Pakistan and Afghanistan: “the bad guys don’t stay in their lanes”

November 14, 2009
Given the debate about whether the United States should refocus its strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan more narrowly on hunting down al Qaeda, it’s worth looking at what happened immediately after 9/11 when it did precisely that.
 
In a new book about his years fighting terrorism, former French investigating magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere casts fresh light on those early years after 9/11. At the time, he says, the Bush administration was so keen to get Pakistan’s help in defeating al Qaeda that it was willing to turn a blind eye to Pakistani support for militant groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, nurtured by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency to fight India in Kashmir.
 
Basing his information on testimony given by jailed Frenchman Willy Brigitte, who spent 2-1/2 months in a Lashkar training camp in 2001/2002, he writes that the Pakistan Army once ran those camps, with the apparent knowledge of the CIA. The instructors in the camp in Pakistan’s Punjab province were soldiers on detachment, he says, and the army dropped supplies by helicopter. Brigitte’s handler, he says, appeared to have been a senior army officer who was treated deferentially by other soldiers.
 
CIA officers even inspected the camp four times, he writes, to make sure that Pakistan was keeping to a promise that only Pakistani fighters would be trained there. Foreigners like Brigitte were tipped off in advance and told to hide up in the hills to avoid being caught.
 
Reluctant to destabilise Pakistan, then under former president Pervez Musharraf, the United States turned a blind eye to the training camps and poured money into the country. In return, Pakistan hunted down al Qaeda leaders — among them alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, captured in 2003. ”For the Bush administration, the priority was al Qaeda,” writes Bruguiere. ”The Pakistan Army and the ISI would focus on this – external – objective, which would not destabilise the fragile political balance in Pakistan.”
 
Pakistan denies that it gave military support to the Lashkar-e-Taiba and has banned the organisation. But India at the time accused western countries of double standards in tolerating Pakistani support for Kashmir-focused organisations while pushing it to tackle groups like al Qaeda which threatened Western interests. Diplomats say that attitude has since changed, particularly after bombings in London in 2005 highlighted the risks of “home-grown terrorism” in Britain linked to Kashmir-oriented militant groups based in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
 
Last year’s attack on Mumbai, blamed on the Lashkar-e-Taiba, and more recently the arrest in Chicago of David Headley, linked to the Lashkar-e-Taiba and accused of planning attacks in Denmark and India (pdf document), has underlined international concern about the threat posed by the group.
 
But for Bruguiere, one of the major lessons was that Islamist militants can’t be separated into “good guys and bad guys”, since they were all inter-linked. 
 
“You should take into account, this is crucial, very, very important,” Bruguiere told me in an interview. “Lashkar-e-Taiba is no longer a Pakistan movement with only a Kashmir political or military agenda. Lashkar-e-Taiba is a member of al Qaeda. Lashkar-e-Taiba has decided to expand the violence worldwide.”
 
Bruguiere said he became aware of the changing nature of international terrorism while investigating attacks in Paris in the mid-1990s by the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA). These included an attempt to hijack a plane from Algiers to Paris in 1994 and crash it into the Eiffel Tower — a forerunner of the 9/11 attacks. The plane was diverted to Marseilles and stormed by French security forces.

This new style of international terrorism was quite unlike militant groups he had investigated in the past, with their pyramidal structures. ”After 1994/1995, like viruses, all the groups have been spreading on a very large scale all over the world, in a horizontal way and even a random way,” he said. “All the groups are scattered, very polymorphous and even mutant.”

Gone were the political objectives which drove terrorism before, he writes, to be replaced with a nihilistic aim of spreading chaos in order to create the conditions for an Islamic caliphate. For the hijackers on the Algiers-Paris flight, their demands seemed almost incidental. “We realised we faced the language of hatred and a total determination to see it through.”

Many have argued against this view of international terrorism as a new and nebulous Islamist network without obvious political objectives, which found its most powerful expression in al Qaeda. Just as Lashkar-e-Taiba grew out of rivalry between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, the GIA sprang from anger about the annulment of elections in Algeria that an Islamist group was poised to win. Its attacks on Paris in the mid 1990s were seen as a reprisal for France’s role in supporting the government in its former colony. Many of those who support al Qaeda and other Islamist groups are driven by anger over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other perceived injustices across the Middle East. 

Yet if he is right that the United States and its allies are facing a loose international network of Islamists with no clear pyramid structure, then it would suggest that no amount of drone bombing of al Qaeda and the Taliban leadership of the kind promoted by counter-terrorism supporters would work. Nor would it be enough, alone, to address political grievances at a national level without taking account of a network which operates globally and does not recognise the validity of the nation state. Rather, you would need a sophisticated and comprehensive strategy which went far beyond the kind of focused counter-terrorism first used by the Bush administration.

Browsing through the New Yorker profile on U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke, I noticed the same argument was raised there:

“A pure counter-terror approach had, in fact, been the Bush Administration’s policy for years: kill or capture terrorist leaders, with minimal support for political institutions in Kabul and Islamabad,” it said. “It had created the mess that (President Barack) Obama inherited, with two countries under threat from insurgents and Al Qaeda’s strength increasing.

“‘Al Qaeda doesn’t exist in a vacuum,” it quoted former CIA officer Bruce Riedel, who led Obama’s first review of strategy, as saying.  “They’re part of a syndicate of terrorist groups. Selective counterterrorism won’t get you anywhere, because the bad guys don’t stay in their lanes.”

(Photos: Jean-Louis Bruguiere; Pervez Musharraf, the Taj in Mumbai, the Marriot in Islamabad)

Comments

I agree with the views expressed by Bruguiere. I have always maintained that there is no good or bad Taliban. Also, that organisations like the LeT et al. no matter where, how and who nurtured them, have grown beyond there sponsors. Similarly, they may have started off with one aim and purpose, but as their tentacles spread their ambitions too have grown way beyond their initial focus.If I remember right it was Hafeez Saeed who gave a statement that now they are not going to stop at Kashmir or even India. They have a pan Islamic vision for the whole world. Mr Bruguiere is right when he talks of their plans to expand the violence world wide.

“Rather, you would need a sophisticated and comprehensive strategy which went far beyond the kind of focused counter-terrorism first used by the Bush administration.”

Though it is right to fault the Bush policy of hunting the Al Qaeda and neglecting political inter action in Afghanistan, it does not mean that a policy of targeting them is wrong. It is not a question of either or. The way I see it, the need is to concentrate on all aspects simultaneously. Fight the terrorists, nurture a political set up in Afghanistan, set up and train Afghans to become self reliant about their own security and gradually play a greater role. Emphasis on these issues individually while neglecting the others doesn’t seem a recipe for success.

It is well nigh impossible to completely isolate terrorists and prevent them for striking selectively. However, it is possible to gain the upper hand and render them less effective as also erode their support and structure.

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive
 

These things may be news to some Westerners but not to Indians.

Mujahids, irregulars or terrorists whatever you call them have always been part and parcel of Pakistan army. This dates back to Jinnah’s dispatch of “tribal irregulars” to Kashmir in 1947. During the 1999 Kargil war, LeT terrorists worked with Northern Light Infantry personnel of Pakistan army to defend positions against Indian army.

That’s why the phraseology “non-state actors” used by Pakistan is what we Indians call “tamasha”…this was meant for international consumption. Retired Pakistan army, navy officials trained the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists who came to Mumbai last year.

You are not going to get hold of a letter signed by General Kayani with the official logo- Chief of Pakistan Army- on an official letterhead authorizing the Mumbai attack. That’s about it. Every one knows what’s going on.

 

Even americans toned down their demands to dismantle LeT, just so to please ISI, Pak Army and civil admn. This is where the fatal flaw lies. It has to be ‘all or none’ not truncating to a surgical dissection of a select few outfits. The hatred can manifest a tectonic shift and their ideologues will push the warriors tto far off lands like Philippines and Thailand, its only a question of time.

US in the meanwhile helps emboldening the Pak Army with modern military hardware, both Iran and afghan govts will blame it on US in future for making their defences looking weakaer vis a vis Pak. They will go nuclear to counter the unjustified imbalances, without a question.

 

The first thing to do is to lay down the law to Pakistan and make them realize they can no longer foster murderers and jihadi terrorists, to kill others for the sake of religion. The biggest problem is Pakistan, the worlds largest state incubator of terrorism.

Posted by Adam | Report as abusive
 

Another new monster is in incubater in Pakistan now with complete support. Pakistan as a Whole nation is suffering due to madness of few people. Let the religion be the path to unity, peace and development but not as a tool for terrorism.

Posted by Praveen | Report as abusive
 

It’s not exactly earth-shattering news that terrorists don’t stay in their lanes. The Paks were just lucky before that these terrorists were attacking Pakistan or going global and attacking Westerners. It was all good for them as long as they were killing Indians.

Now that they have drawn the attention of the West things are getting difficult. It’s hard to argue that LeT is about Kashmir liberation when they are planning attacks in Denmark.

As long as this stuff persists, Pakistan’s reputation will be in shambles and nobody will want anything to do with Pakistan. Yet, the growth of terrorism will, sadly, ultimately cost Pakistan more than any other country.

Until the Pakistani authorities and society drop the distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terrorists, Pakistan’s are doomed to suffer at the hands of these anarchists.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

All Islamic terrorist groups have the same Islamic ideology and their goals are quite similar.Thus it is best not to waste resources on trying to distinguish among them but to confront them all simultaneously.They firmly believe that Allah and Mohammad are far more powerful than all Western powers combined and that it is just a matter of time before they will defeat the infidels and Moslems will triumph over the Kafirs the world over.Islam tells them that they never lose,they are winners either way:to kill or to be killed;as Allah will grant them eternal paradise in heaven and so the harder they fight and sacrifice,the more they will please Allah.This is their core belief and nothing will change their mind and thus the West must neutralize these thugs or face continuous attacks on their cities.There is no other option and don’t waste your energies as this is a long and very tough struggle.

Posted by Zartosht Ariana | Report as abusive
 

“CIA officers even inspected the camp four times, he writes, to make sure that Pakistan was keeping to a promise that only Pakistani fighters would be trained there. Foreigners like Brigitte were tipped off in advance and told to hide up in the hills to avoid being caught”

Can India trust CIA/US now?

And Myra you forgot to mention when ISI/army would force these foreign militants in these training camps to hide in higher mountains during the CIA inspections!

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive
 

The FBI submitted fresh set of evidence against Pakistanis (Rana and Gilani)in a sealed envelope and requested the Chicago court not to unseal it.

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_fbi -files-fresh-evidence-against-rana-prose cutors-seek-time_1311755

Posted by Sameer | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan’s newest contribution to the world …

“Sources link Pakistan to Fort Hood shootings”

According to a senior security figure Major Nidal Malik Hasan made or accepted a number of wire transfers to or from Pakistan.

http://thenextreporter.com/qs/sources-li nk-pakistan-fort-hood-shootings/082809/

Posted by John | Report as abusive
 

60 years of lying, cunning, deception and conspircsy theories to cover them!

How long a castle built on lies will last?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2009/11/12/AR2009111211060. html?hpid=topnews

Posted by Alex | Report as abusive
 
 

“Heights of Duplicity, Hypocrisy, Greed”

Musharraf:
“I said to the Americans, ‘Give us the Predators.’ It was refused. I told the Americans, ‘Then just say publicly that you’re giving them to us. You keep on firing them but put Pakistan Air Force markings on them.’ That, too, was denied.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/ 11/16/091116fa_fact_hersh?currentPage=al l

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive
 

Since we are not getting many Pakistani comments on this post, here are a couple of articles from Dawn well worth reading:

The first is by columnist Irfan Husain arguing that the jihadis had alienated most sections of Pakistan:

“Although they may appear invincible, they are on the run. Our political parties and the army must stay united in routing them. They are the real threat; everything else is secondary,” he writes.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/colu mnists/our-foes-failures

The second is a Dawn blog criticising conspiracy theorists who blame India, Israel and the United States for the wave of violence in Pakistan:

“We need to step away from viewing this as a clash of civilisations, in terms of Islam versus the West,” he writes. “This is a misinformed dichotomy, since the West is not a religion, and Islam isn’t a geographical location. The more hopelessly intertwined our nationality becomes with a faux mythology, the more susceptible it becomes to being hijacked by those wishing to extract temporary gains from this vulnerability.”

http://blog.dawn.com/2009/11/14/the-conv enient-curtain-of-myth/

There are many serious and intelligent people in Pakistan arguing against the Islamist militants.

So rather than rehearse criticisms of Pakistan, it would be more interesting to discuss what can be done now; or indeed what Obama should be expected to say when he finally announces his plans for Afghanistan.

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 
 

Since we are not getting many Pakistani comments on this post, …
- Posted by Myra MacDonald

After confronting Pakistanis with so much undeniable evidence, you expect Pakistanis to come here and defend themselves?

You didn’t allow them any spin-zone, any room to cook conspiracy theories and they won’t show up.

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive
 

Myra,
do you think paying ransom to an extortionist will make him change his profession?

I think it is time for India to forget US co-operation and ally with Iran-Russia-Afghanistan-Central Asians and prepare a joint strategy. Seems like CIA and Obama have their own interests!

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive
 

The US follows strange policies in different parts of the world, based on the objectives. In its war on terror, without Pakistan’s help, it simply could not have made progress this far. US and Pakistan have had long term strategic relationship in this region, first against the Soviets and now against Al Qaeda. Pakistan was the country that facilitated the meeting between the US and China. Both Pakistan and the US have common objectives against Al Qaeda, which took over the Taliban once Pakistan helped train it and bring the much needed stability to Afghanistan. Pakistan’s objectives were to strengthen its fortifications against India and we do not see anything wrong in working in that direction. An Afghanistan that is an ally of Pakistan and provides the needed strategic depth is essential in tackling the nuclear armed India. Though many Indians disagree, liberation of Kashmir is one of the primary objectives of Pakistan. Once people are retired from the military they can do whatever pleases them. If they went and trained the freedom fighters against Indian occupation inside Kashmir, I do not see why that should be so terrible. Al Qaeda used the set up that Pakistan had built to liberate Kashmir from oppression and went after the US. Until then, the US did not mind Pakistan’s operations with India. That is why, even after 9/11, there was a clear understanding between Pakistan and the US. They had to nail Al Qaeda and eliminate it. Pakistan was on the same page. As far as Pakistan’s support of freedom struggle in Kashmir, the US has been well aware of that right from 1948. For them, it is yet another local issue that neighboring countries to sort out between themselves. It does not affect their objectives. They have allies in Turkey which has similar problems with Armenians, Kurds and Greeks. The US has alliance with all three groups and stays out of their local disputes. Likewise, it has done the same as far as LeT and other such organizations inside Pakistan is concerned. Every country has its issues to deal with. For Pakistan, Kashmir is a core issue that has not found any resolution. The Indians can never be expected to honor the UN resolutions. And Kashmiris are suffering from military occupation and oppression. Every Pakistani will support their struggle. And the US knows that. That is why it did not worry about what the ISI did with groups like the LeT. They have been Kashmir specific. But every individual cannot be controlled. If some of their cadres had global ambitions, ISI cannot be blamed for it. For all one knows, these kinds of reports might be attempts by countries like India to create monsters out of such organizations and turn the global attention on them. They do not have the guts to fight them themselves. Just like the Western press has made rogues out of Hezbollah, PLO and other such organizations which are fighting a genuine struggle against Israeli occupation, they are now doing the same with LeT and other organizations. The Western agencies can project anything, any which way they want. For Pakistanis LeT is not a terrorist organization. It fights for the freedom of Kashmiri brothers. But if some elements within the movement go out of control, no one has control over them.

I clearly see an Indian driven strategy at work. It is using its new international clout to destabilize Pakistan. The US will not mess with ISI’s regional objectives no matter how much people scream. So there is an attempt to make it appear like a global monster. It has been tried before. It will not work. ISI is here to stay. And it does not control every individual aspiration of the cadres in LeT etc. If some of them go out of control, we must look the root cause of it – it is freedom of Kashmir. No one wants to admit it and discuss it, because the Indians are holding Kashmir at gun point to brandish about their great “democracy” to the world. Pakistan will stay on its course no matter what the odds are. And don’t worry. We are not falling apart. We are just plugging some loop holes created by RAW and Mossad.

 

“Since we are not getting many Pakistani comments on this post, here are a couple of articles from Dawn well worth …..”
Myra,

There are reasons behind for not posting on these sites. If some Pakistani posts here, it’s like stepping on a beehive. All Indian propagandists attack them with same old reasoning. They barely post anything new.For example:
“60 years of lying, cunning, deception and conspiracy theories to cover them!
How long a castle built on lies will last?”

What’s so productive about this post. It only shows hatred. As far china helping pakistan’s nuclear program is concerned, it’s very old news. Why it’s published again? Most likely because of Obama’s trip to China. US would like to have more leverage with China in dealing with Iran. Furthermore India had plenty of covert operations for it’s nuclear program.
Another example:
“Heights of Duplicity, Hypocrisy, Greed”
Only thing I would say that Musharraf was not being very smart about talking openly about it. I guess India is run by SAINTS.

“These things may be news to some Westerners but not to Indians.
Mujahideen, irregulars or terrorists whatever you call them have always been part and parcel of Pakistan army. This dates back to Jinnah’s dispatch of “tribal irregulars” to Kashmir in 1947.”

You Indians need to understand one thing that Pakistanis do not consider Kashmire India’s integral part. It’s at least a disputed territory. Once you people come terms with it, may be you will understand alot more.
Pakistan has let use it’s territory to train so called mujahideen to get rid of Russia in Afghanistan, why not India in kashmir? Which Pakistan believes is occupied by India. I am not saying it’s a right policy.

What is the root cause of this terrorist problem? Pakistan was not in Sri Lenka where first ever suicide bomber attack occurred. Pakistan is not training Palestinians. I believe it’s basic violation of human rights and broken promises. Ask a Kashmiri, whose daughter has been raped or a Palestinian who gets humiliated every day by crossing check points.
If I close my eyes and think what this world would be , if Kashmir problem is solved & Palestine problem is also gone away. It seems haven to me.
I know what an Indian would say, “Pakistan would never change”. ha ha..

Posted by babag | Report as abusive
 

Remember wack the dog…..guess who is also involved in this terror. So called largest democracy in the world…you guessed it right…INDIA.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/13+p roof+of+indian+hand+south+waziristan+arm y-za-02

Posted by story-unwind | Report as abusive
 

BABAG WRITES:
–> Pakistan has let use it’s territory to train so called mujahideen to get rid of Russia in Afghanistan, why not India in kashmir?

You sound like you think your strategy is working! [:)]

It worked in Afghanistan because USSR thought it was occupying Afghanistan. Indians DO consider Kashmir to be India’s integral part. Once you come terms with it, may be you will understand a lot more. You seem to be trying. Keep at it.

–> If I close my eyes and think what this world would be , if Kashmir problem is solved & Palestine problem is also gone away. It seems haven to me.

No need to insult the hapless palestinians. No one is buying the story line, once “Kashmir problem” is “solved” paks would stop killing eac other or stop plotting bombing buses and trains in London, Madrid, Mumbai elsewhere.

–> I know what an Indian would say, “Pakistan would never change”. ha ha..

Who said that? pakistan has changed quite a bit with much diminished diplomatic, economic, geostrategic stature. Besides pakistan has been thoroughly exposed. Even a mere few years ago a western news agency running a blog exposing pakistani terrorism would have been unimaginable.

 

This is a can of worms. As we dig deeper and deeper we are seeing more worms twisting and turning. The bottom line is built up hatred in the minds of Pakistani citizens and their military elite against India. I am afraid that this is only going to end by means of a massive outage. I think thinks have gone to a point of no return. The whole nation of Pakistan needs some kind of a psychotherapy to come out of their fixation and paranoia. Everything is pointing towards a massive war in this region after which new beginning will emerge. Until then we are going to be seeing more and more of the same news in a different form. Pakistan’s destiny is tied up with America’s destiny. If Pakistan goes down, so will the US. It is unfortunate.

 

Myra,

There is nothing left for Pakistan to defend or to deny with mounting evidence against it from all directions.
I’m tired of the narrative of victimhood that Pakistan plays shamelessly each time it’s confronted with damning facts.

On Af-Pak, Obama should increase the troops in Afghanistan and plan for a long stay. The Pentagon understands this but for the White House it is difficult to sell the war to the American public. The US should involve friendly countries in the region to shoulder responsibility in Afghanistan in return for some influence in that country.

The CIA should increase its intelligence in the region and be watchful of the fundamentalists in the Pak army. LeT will continue to receive state patronage as long as it stays clean and does not pose immediate threat to the Pak army. However, it’s difficult for the LeT to remain Kosher forever. We may need to be patient.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Myra. One post in the comments section will not spark productive discussion on the Pakistani mindset. It would be nice for you and Sanjeev to tackle the issue of conspiracy theories and the national mindset in Pakistan in an article and have some serious discussion on it.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

“The Indians can never be expected to honor the UN resolutions.” Anjum.

The UN resolution that people love to talk about has obviously not been understood or even read by those who make such statements.

“An Afghanistan that is an ally of Pakistan and provides the needed strategic depth is essential in tackling the nuclear armed India.”

From what little I have read here and in other reports, I doubt most Afghan citizens would endorse the statement of being an ally or that it would like to be considered as a country which is there to conveniently provide strategic depth for Pakistan. Though Pakistanis may find this hard to believe, the Afghans think of themselves as an independent sovereign state, like Pakistan.

“That is why it (US) did not worry about what the ISI did with groups like the LeT. They have been Kashmir specific.”

Rest assured that the US now is very worried about the honeymoon between the ISI and terror groups. The point of this article is that the LeT is no longer localised in its ambitions and operations.

“Though many Indians disagree, liberation of Kashmir is one of the primary objectives of Pakistan.”

Pakistan is free to have its own objectives and Indians are only too aware of them. Doesn’t imply that India must cooperate.

“Once people are retired from the military they can do whatever pleases them. If they went and trained the freedom fighters against Indian occupation inside Kashmir, I do not see why that should be so terrible.”

So after they retire, they become non-state actors. Doesn’t matter if they continue to draw their pensions and other benefits from the State while at the same time engage in terrorist activity. The point is that this is what India has been saying all along and the govt of Pakistan has been consistently denying.
Moreover, Pakistan has committed that its territory will not be allowed to be used for precisely such activities. Are we to now understand that this is another instance of double talk?

“I clearly see an Indian driven strategy at work. It is using its new international clout to destabilize Pakistan.”

No one need to do anything to destabilise Pakistan, it has done a very good job of it on its own.

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

I think we are all agreed that the opinions expressed here by a few are not representative of what most Pakistanis feel about militancy in Pakistan. Personally, I take most statements here as a means of letting off some steam. Just a general reading of Pakistani writers and analysts tells us how many voices are raised against the dangers of rising militancy in Pakistan. I don’t think anyone here takes anything personally.

As to what next in Afghanistan. I think that Obama may see the wisdom of what the military wants, as he should. But, finally, it is the clamour within his own party and the general mood that will decide what he must do. I think it will be a great pity if the US gets into ‘exit mode’ rather than redouble efforts to get the situation under control. Incidentally I read a report that Gordon Brown is trying hard to convince NATO and EU partners that they need to support a surge. I hope that has some effect on Obama’s decision, though I doubt it.

The greater harm will be to the US itself. For one, the US is going to come across as a country which is willing to go in guns blazing with its superior fire power, but when things get sticky, it is squeamish and would rather cut and run. I think that once you go in, you don’t leave without putting things in order. The US has done this once too often already. You break it, you mend it.

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive
 

Big DEAL, Pakistan liberated 2% of Pakistan!!! We should all hug Pakistanis now and NO BODY dare ask any question about Quetta SHura, Mullah Omar, OBL, Haqqanis, ISI trainers at LeT camps, double dealing, Taliban peace deals, nuke proliferation, looting US aid .. and so on and on.

And don’t forget to write another check for USD 10 bil!!! We have earned our right to US tax dollars! Yeah, and DON’T ask us what we are going to do with that!!! NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive
 

CIA gets its bang for the bucks!

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/ world/la-fg-cia-pakistan15-2009nov15,0,4 066853.story?page=1

No wonder, ISI wants to keep the fountain flowing FOREVER!

Posted by Soman | Report as abusive
 

it is not true the word terrorism came from islam, but this is the only blaming which the westerners and the intelligience services like CIA,M16 and more who uses this term as a weapon against muslims community and the wrist of islam world. and itself the CIA supports the militias like Lashkar-e-taiba, taliban and other militants. An Afghan T.V channel reported that the NATO helicopters depplies assistance to the taliban militias in northern parts of Afghansitan and many so like

 

@Selective counterterrorism won’t get you anywhere, because the bad guys don’t stay in their lanes.”
–What a suprise!

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Kashmir is for Kashmiris…!!

As soon as Indians get this in their hallow heads the better, otherwise the struggle for independence of Kashmir will carry on. Indians can use any extravegent words, excuses, similarties but the fact is people of Kashmir and kashmiris are part of Pakistan in flesh, blood, geography, next of kin and UN resoulution asking for peblicite. In all fairness there should be peblicite in ALL of Kashmir to get the concensus what the Kashmiris want. What they want should be acceptable to India/Pakistan and the world.

I know the idiots will say well have peblicite in Balouchistan, unfair comment no UN resoulution has been passed to ask for that so case closed. However if one does come out with illogical commment how about doing the same in all over India especially places where the maoist control after all they dont approve indian rule, justice or democracy, do they?

Let me ask Myra is it only individuals that are terrorists? cant a state be a terrorist state?

How about uncondictional supprt for Israel from your own country when Israelis have shreded every UN human rights charter, excessive use of force, occupations, humiliations, Gaza being the biggest open prison on the planet. If you want to light the beacon of democracy in how about asking President Obama to start with few of these countries without any democratic process:

Saudi Arabai – ruled by royal family will be next 50years
Egypt – Ruled by hosni Mubark for last 30 years and laready getting his son in line fo rthe next fifty.
Algeria – Kuwait – Jordan – Morrocco – and so many more all of them run by dictators and monarchs. So please staqrt with your friends first but then again democracy is just pretext to use to go into any country.

How about Hamas which are democraticly elected and true representitive of Gazans, so why dont we see people talking to them and you can even talk to north koreans?

I guess you wount even allow this to be posted maybe i am exposing the truth!!

Till there is injustice, occupation, agression, looting and most of sponsored by the worlds biggest superpower. Is it a surprize that the world is burning and there is no peace!!!

Posted by Majid | Report as abusive
 

raj i think its time for you to have a good look at your country . its unimaginable for someone who has been to different places of india . my advice for you is india is a country on the verge to explode . what i mean is there is so much inequality in your society . you have 170m people homeless , around 500m people under poverty line . around 2% of the pupolation who controls almost 49% of india’s entire wealth . its a good time to look beyond news. it seems extemely odd to someone who has been to both india and china and then both beening compared with eachother. i remember when a chinese businessman was asked about your country , he laughed and sarcastically said poverty

 

i think US has trapped the whole world in a un-ending war. Its wrong policies have got everything from bad to worse. The war on terrorism is now war on insurgency. If you continue this war it will become war of ideology, and evn then you continue this war it will become war of relegions and if you dont stop there it will become war of civilizations(or ww3)and if even if you dont stop there then dont blame God for the day of judgement the end this world.

Posted by KAM | Report as abusive
 

@i remember when a chinese businessman was asked about your country , he laughed and sarcastically said poverty”
- Posted by abc123

-abc123: Are you from planet Mars that you do not understand the socio=economic conditions of countries like India, China, Pak. The devlopment and the time it takes to reach each single person in the countries is a slow process—-even if all sincere intentions are in place. That “chinese of your story” can laugh as much as he likes and roll on the floor and he must know that China is having presentable Shanghai and poor, neglected and corruption in rural areas and Chinese party rule is lose there as indictaed by heavy corruption. But China is progressing and India is progressing. Percentage of poor is on the decrease in both India and China. Inequality is a natural thing when wealth increases. Thanks for your concern that inequality has put India on the verge of explosion. But you do not tire yourself for clapping. Equality rather exploded Russians and created troubles in China. Embracing Capitalism has created inequality in China but more important is the fact that wealth has spread in bits to poorest of the poor too and pacified them.

The question is have these countries made the right choices that their policies will benifit the poor. I will say Yes for India and China, not for Pakistan. China is leading on this.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

India is a country on the verge to explode
- Posted by abc123
? WHICH country are you from? Will you be brave enough to select a screen ID more reflective of your country? Are you from the country famous world over as terrorism central? If you are from that “country” we wouldn’t know how poor you are until you stop begging. American tax payers are feeding you.

Your vigorous begging, running all over the world with a begging bowl has covered up your poverty for a while.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/e o20090425bc.html

The above article is already 7 months old, you have indulged in lot more begging since then.

No amount of your screaming on India’s poverty will alleviate your deficit. Because of your begging and terrorism, you don’t get respect. And India does get respect.

About India about to explode: Jinnah and the Pakistani ideologues started with a thesis India is not one country. After India became one country you have been saying for 62 years India is about to explode. It is “Pakistan” which exploded in 1971, and more of it exploding as we speak.
===
Kashmir is for Kashmiris…!!
- Posted by Majid
-?FINALLY, you got one thing right! Despite the severity of “education” you got in “Pakistan studies”. Kashmir is indeed for Kashmiris. Not for Punjabis to colonize as you did to the hapless people of Balochsitan!

http://balochwarna.com/

 

India backed Tamil tigers to enhance their intrests even though its a terrorist organisation..

Iran backs Hizbulla and hammas to counter the Israeli threat.

Pakistan used LET to enhance its intrest as well as talibans.

Saudis used taliban to spread there form of wahabism islam..

USA helped the afghan mujahdeens to dismantle USSR and organised coutless coups and to topple the governments.

The list goes on and on, by eliminating the core issue e.g. Kashmir, Palestine, and promote real democracy not dictators might be way out of this mess. What it will do minimise the properganda material terrorist group used to recruit and to kill and inocent civilians besides what religion, race or country they live in.

As I said before till their are clear double standards by the West, there will be no justice. Especillay when you have the same powers thaty are trying to perservce the Internatinal law, but break it at every junction. As USA/UK did to go into Iraq without the UN backing. Bomb the hell out of those inncocent people and call it COLLATORAL DAMAGE! Imgaine Taliban/Al-qaeda saying collateral damege!

THE BAD GUYS DONT STAY IN THEIR LANE NEITHER DO GOOD GUYS!! But what is intresting it was on BBC about the British planning to speak to the good taliban in order to seprate the talibans. Sounds logical to me after all the low level foot soldiers more do it for money than any other reason. So why is it when the Pakistanis try to do the same thing where they feel it will help breakup the talibans so why not? Let me also say its not just mere talibans who are being hunted in the their safe heaven dont think they have time to even scratch than plan a sucide attack on ISI in Peshawar, surely they cant be that organised, funded to carry out all these attcaks. All fingers point to countless RAW agents operating inside Pakistan over the border in their safe heavens in Indian counslates. The construction work is just a pretext to hurt Pakistan intrest to create this mayham..We will hunt the cold killers where ever they hide inshala inside and outside Pakistan!

Posted by Majid | Report as abusive
 

Majid:
why kashmiris from Azad Kahmir living in UK were protesting against Pakistan?

They blamed Pakistan for 1947 invasion of kashmir that led to all this. THese are kashmiris from Azad Kashmir not Indian.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

abc123,

To be fair, many of those stats you cite for India (poverty, homelessness, income inequality) are present in Pakistan and they are getting worse.

Both India and Pakistan have had these problems for over a half century and they have not broken either country yet. So there’s no evidence that either country is going to fall apart because of these problems anytime. As long as progress continues, India will become more cohesive as time goes by. Not less.

ps. Please provide citations for your stats, otherwise they appear to be pulled out of thin air. And give us percentages not absolutes. A country of a billion people will have hundreds of millions who are homeless if that’s 10 per cent of its population. It means squat.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Majid,

I agree that Kashmir is for Kashmiris. I trust you support the withdrawal of Pakistani troops from Azad Kashmir as well then? After all, that land is for Kashmiris too.

ps. And what exactly does Kashmir have to do with the global concern that the LeT is becoming a global jihadist group. If they care about Kashmir why are they planning bombings in Denmark?

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Soman,

You should read the articles you post. Not just the titles.

From my perspective as a Westerner, that article says that the ISI is less than a reliable friend despite getting significant US assistance. And what does it say about the ISI that they need million dollar bribes to pursue terrorists hiding out in their country? You think FBI agents get paid a million dollars for doing their jobs?

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

From now on, if we are to discuss Kashmir and UNSCR, please refer to the exact text of UNSCR 47 available here:

http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/RESOLUT ION/GEN/NR0/047/72/IMG/NR004772.pdf?Open Element

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nati ons_Security_Council_Resolution_47

We keep rehashing the Indian obligations. Here are the Paksitani oblgiations of Resolution 47. No plebiscite can be held without Pakistan meeting its obligations.

A – RESTORATION OF PEACE AND ORDER

1. The Government of Pakistan should undertake to use its best endeavours:

(a) To secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and
Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purposes
of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of
material aid to those fighting in the State;

(b) To make known to all concerned that the measures indicated in this and the following
paragraphs provide full freedom to all subjects of the State, regardless of creed, caste, or
party, to express their views and to vote on the question of the accession of the State, and
that therefore they should co-operate in the maintenance of peace and order.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Dear Ms. MCdonald: It is time that you renaimed the blog to “Anti-Pakistan” blog. Your rhetoric covers any all written against Pakistan.

If you were unbiased, you would troll the Pakistani blos and report on what is being discussed. Instead you pick randmin Anti-Pakistan topics to rehas old discredited Neocon balderdash.

This is a classis example of Orientlaism, when you portray a country a certain way and then provide your own flawed solutions to ill that may or may not exist.

With reference to Islamaphobic Anti-Pakistan author Louis Bruguiere–he certainly doesn’t add “fresh light”–he simply puts old wine in new bottle rehashing the propoganda from Delhi in what he calls a “book” (propoganda rag).

India has been exportinng terror to Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Junagarh, Manvadar, Hyderbad, Kashmir, Tibel, Lanka, and Pakistan. Even Bangaldesh now faces Indian terrorirst in the Chittagong Hill Tracks (CHT) and they hate Delhi for supporting secessionists in their country.

Using the currently available buzz words to decredit the legitimate struggle of the valiant Kashmiris is but a ploy to gormandise a land, and take over the people.

Kashmir has never been part of “india” (a conglomeration of 560 states) never a “country”. Kashmiris have lived and traded with the people of the Non-Hindu Indus for 5000 years. The Kashmiris did not trade with the Ganges (a a much Hindu habitation)After exterminating Buddhism in the valley the Brahmins wanted to impose Hinduism on the people. They failed.

After claiming a fake article of accession–Nehru sent forces to take over Srinagar (even before the accession– accordinng to Stanley Wolpert and Alistair Lmab). Bharat now claims that the Article of Accession is now lost (as if it ever existed). It was never shown to the UN or to Pakistan.

Scores of UN resolutions and telgrams by Nehru confirmed that Delhi would hold a pelebscite in Kashmir. The world is still waiting.

Half of Kashmir has been liberated. The other half is subjugatged by 80,000 Indian army soldiers. How long can Delhi keep Kashmir on the point of a baynotte? 100,000 Kahsmiris have been killed. No wonder they are resisting the occupation–a legitimate right under the UN charter.

Editor Rupee News
http://www.rupeenews.com

 
 

Pakistan’s conspiracy cottage industry

“But what is the common man to do?” retorts science tutor Imran during a random encounter outside my uncle’s house. It is a valid point. With so much out of the ordinary citizen’s hands, it is easy to believe Pakistan’s problems are all down to hidden designs.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ 2009/nov/15/pakistan-terrorism-bombings

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive
 

Mr. Moin Ansari:

In general there has been a complaint from Indians that Ms. Myra has been pro-Pakistan in her writings. And it is surprising to see your claim that she is anti-Pakistan. She probably has the most in-depth knowledge of the problems in the region compared to most Indians and Pakistanis put together in this forum and elsewhere. She is doing a thankless job. If you do not like her views, you can always go to other forums where you feel comfortable. Now coming to your view points here (My God, we start all over again):

You write: “India has been exportinng terror to Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Junagarh, Manvadar, Hyderbad, Kashmir, Tibel, Lanka, and Pakistan. Even Bangaldesh now faces Indian terrorirst in the Chittagong Hill Tracks (CHT) and they hate Delhi for supporting secessionists in their country.”

Can you tell me where the countries of Junagarh, Manvadar, Hyderabad, Tibel etc? You claim to be an editor in some rupee news. Judging by your world knowledge, this rupee appears with no value. I am trying to understand how many of you are like this. India is not exporting terrorism to any country. It is fighting terrorism and in some places it has turned brutal. That is all. But I don’t think you will agree to it. You seem to have invented many countries that do not exist and your imagination has already taken you over.

You write: “Using the currently available buzz words to decredit the legitimate struggle of the valiant Kashmiris is but a ploy to gormandise a land, and take over the people.”

I didn’t know you can invent new words too! What a literary genius! “Gormandise,” “decredit,” vow!

You write: “Kashmir has never been part of “india” (a conglomeration of 560 states) never a “country”. ”

You need to come out of the cave and smell the air outside. This is the year 2009. 1947 happened long ago when a lot of small states existed. And countries called Pakistan and India did not exist before that. Did you land where you are during any plane crash during WW II? Just checking, that’s all.

“Kashmiris have lived and traded with the people of the Non-Hindu Indus for 5000 years. The Kashmiris did not trade with the Ganges (a a much Hindu habitation)After exterminating Buddhism in the valley the Brahmins wanted to impose Hinduism on the people. They failed.”

Kashmiris followed Buddhism and Shaivism before many converted to Islam. So 5000 years ago, even “Hinduism” of today, did not exist. There was no state called “Kashmir” at that time either. The people who lived 5000 years ago might have spoken a very different language. And might not have had any hatred that you exhibit here. They probably did not even know about the “Indus” civilization that went extinct.

You write: “After claiming a fake article of accession–Nehru sent forces to take over Srinagar (even before the accession– accordinng to Stanley Wolpert and Alistair Lmab). Bharat now claims that the Article of Accession is now lost (as if it ever existed). It was never shown to the UN or to Pakistan.”

You know what? You can be a good story writer. Why don’t try?

You write: “Scores of UN resolutions and telgrams by Nehru confirmed that Delhi would hold a pelebscite in Kashmir. The world is still waiting.”

If you ask most of the world where Kashmir is, they may draw a blank. So I do not know which world is waiting. Is it the one near your cave?

“Half of Kashmir has been liberated. The other half is subjugatged by 80,000 Indian army soldiers. How long can Delhi keep Kashmir on the point of a baynotte? 100,000 Kahsmiris have been killed. No wonder they are resisting the occupation–a legitimate right under the UN charter.”

Half of Kashmir? I thought Pakistan held only one third of it. I do not want to go over from lesson 101 again. But I am saddened by the fact that an entire generation has grown with wrong information and history. The propaganda machinery has won.

Thanks for such a comic relief by the way! I could laugh reading your words. Keep up the good work.

 

Moin Ansari,

You consistently portray anything I write as anti-Pakistan even when it links extensively to articles written in Pakistan (or do you consider Dawn anti-Pakistan as well?)

But for once, let’s look at what you said:

“With reference to Islamaphobic Anti-Pakistan author Louis Bruguiere–he certainly doesn’t add “fresh light”–he simply puts old wine in new bottle rehashing the propoganda from Delhi in what he calls a “book” (propoganda rag).”

1) Bruguiere is not Islamaphobic – he takes a strong stance on terrorism which is supported by some and criticised by others. If you were to read his book you would see that some of his early anti-terrorism actions were against European left-wing radical organisations, or against the Christian Palestinian George Habash.

2) He is not “rehashing the propaganda from Delhi”. Don’t you think you are stretching your point a bit to suggest that a Frenchman dealing with the Algerian Armed Islamic Group was influenced by Indian propaganda?

3) You’ll find that the original post covers both Bruguiere’s point of view and those who say that the answer is to find a solution to Kashmir, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other perceived injustices in the Middle East. You are very welcome to defend the latter argument, but don’t write off anything that does not conform to your point of view as anti-Islam, or anti-Pakistan.

“Using the currently available buzz words to decredit the legitimate struggle of the valiant Kashmiris is but a ploy to gormandise a land, and take over the people.”

I suggest you ask Kashmiris living in the Kashmir Valley what they think rather than claiming to speak for them. And I’d also make the same point to Indians on this blog. But please first also read the details of the U.N. resolutions just posted by Keith.

Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

Good read from David Rose on “why Pakistan is having success”.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/articl e-1227826/Why-Pakistan-winning-ITS-war-T aliban.html#ixzz0WuTAA3F4

Posted by babag | Report as abusive
 

or do you consider Dawn anti-Pakistan as well?
- Posted by Myra MacDonald
===
Myra,
You intended a rhetorical question, but you have clarified the situation better. Interacting in other blogs I have seen paks not subscribing to the twisted logic like those of Majid and Ansari here are accused of being Indian agents, RAW agents, etc.

Bengali muslims protesting this punjabi army attitude were accused of being “hindus” pre-1971. Same situation today for Sindhi, Mohajir and Balochis who don’t share the anti-india hatred and are accused of being “anti-pakistan”"hindus”"indian agents”, etc.

In a recent survey a whopping 3% of Sindhis considered India to be enemies and a threat!

For the rhetoric, Kashmir has never been part of India, one can respond to the rhetoric and say Kashmir has never been part of pakistan, or pakistan has always been part of India..this is all silly.

Going to back to the theme of the article, Pakistan army and ISI nurtured terrorist orgainzations to be used as proxies. The monster has gone out of their control, and now they want to blame others, crying to be victims.

As the Indian commentatot Tanveer Jafri points out whatever little credibility the pak army , ISI apparatus might have is further beeing eroded by these antics:

http://www.modernghana.com/news/246944/1  /misleading-statements-can-end-pakistan s-credibilit.html

EXERPT: “A decade ago, these Talibans had pasted posters in all major cities of Pakistan in which their plans were clearly mentioned. Through these posters, they made it clear that they want to enforce Sharia’h law in Pakistan. Pakistan’s courts would give verdicts based on the holy Quran. Gold coins would be used as currency during the Taliban regime etc.

The question is that when a decade ago, the Taliban sympathizers were launching such campaigns, was the Pakistani administration asleep then?”

 

i remember when a chinese businessman was asked about your country , he laughed and sarcastically said poverty
- Posted by abc123

And I remember when a close colleague of mine who was a diplomat in China told me, “Shanghai is like Paris and the rest of China is like sub-Saharan Africa.”

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

With reference to Islamaphobic Anti-Pakistan author Louis Bruguiere–he certainly doesn’t add “fresh light”–he simply puts old wine in new bottle rehashing the propoganda from Delhi in what he calls a “book” (propoganda rag).
- Posted by Moin Ansari

Please enlighten us on what from the Magistrate’s book is propaganda from Delhi. I’d love to learn something new.

Just because you find his work uncomfortable does not make it propaganda. Nor does it make this blog at Orientalist effort. I am sure Edward Said would be turning in his grave at your most liberal abuse of his work.

Next. As an editor I am sure you know about staying on topic. But you ignore the discussion of the article at hand and then rant on about Kashmir. The Kashmir issue at this point is only tangentially important anymore. And its the Kashmiri freedom fighters who have made Kashmir unimportant. The rest of the world might have had sympathy when they were fighting in Kashmir. When they started planning attacks in Denmark, plotting in the US, killing evening diners and commuters in Mumbai, their credibility and that of the Kashmir cause went down the tubes. You want to help Kashmiris? Tell the fighters to stick to Kashmir. Killing citizens from two dozen other countries will not help them one bit. Nor will it help Pakistan which has a global reputation worse than Somalia these days.

Finally, sir, please don’t advocate your rag on here. It’s a nice attempt to equate your borderline ‘news’ organization (staffed with activists not journalists) with a reputed global news and analysis organization like Reuters. But the rest of the audience can see right through it. Passing off conspiracy theories as news won’t work with anyone above a basic literacy level. Nor will you win any friends by accusing them of being Orientalists right off the bat.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

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