ISLAMABAD, May 11: After weeks of silence, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif made an astute move on the political chessboard on Wednesday. At the end of a long consultative meeting with his party colleagues, Mr Sharif called for the constitution of a high-level judicial commission comprising the chief justices of the Supreme and provincial high courts to investigate the American raid that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2. By doing so, observers feel, he has put pressure on both the military as well as the PPP-led government. At a crowded press conference at the Punjab House, he said: “The PML-N rejects an inquiry committee headed by an adjutant general of the army as the party believes it is not possible for such a committee to understand the scope and gravity of the matter.” Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday had informed the National Assembly that the Adjutant General of Pakistan, a Lieutenant General, has been appointed as the inquiry officer to investigate the Abbottabad incident. Referring to the futility of such exercises in the past he cited the investigation of the Ojhri camp tragedy, the findings of which were never made public. Mr Sharif, who has just returned from London after a heart surgery, made it clear the decision had been taken by his party because it felt that only a “high-level impartial investigation would enjoy the confidence of the people of Pakistan”. REFERENCE: Demand for judicial inquiry to fix responsibility, terms of reference suggested: Nawaz rejects US raid probe by military By Khawar Ghumman | From the Newspaper May 12, 2011 (2 days ago http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/12/demand-for-judicial-inquiry-to-fix-responsibility-terms-of-reference-suggested-nawaz-rejects-us-raid-probe-by-military.html
News Night With Talat Hussain - Nawaz Sharif (Part 1)
In 1999, the CIA secretly trained and equipped approximately 60 commandos from the Pakistani intelligence agency to enter Afghanistan for the purpose of capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, according to people familiar with the operation. The operation was arranged by then-Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his chief of intelligence with the Clinton administration, which in turn promised to lift sanctions on Pakistan and provide an economic aid package. The plan was aborted later that year when Sharif was ousted in a military coup. The plan was set in motion less than 12 months after U.S. cruise missile strikes against bin Laden's training camps in Afghanistan that Clinton administration officials believe narrowly missed hitting the exiled Saudi militant. The clandestine operation was part of a more robust effort by the United States to get bin Laden than has been previously reported, including consideration of broader military action, such as massive bombing raids and Special Forces assaults. It is a record of missed opportunities that has provided President Bush and his administration with some valuable lessons as well as a framework for action as they draw up plans for their own war against bin Laden and his al Qaeda network in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
The Pakistani commando team was up and running and ready to strike by October 1999, a former official said. "It was an enterprise," the official said. "It was proceeding." Still stung by their failure to get bin Laden the previous year, Clinton officials were delighted at the operation, which they believed provided a real opportunity to eliminate bin Laden. "It was like Christmas," a source said. The operation was aborted on Oct. 12, 1999, however, when Sharif was overthrown in a military coup led by Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who refused to continue the operation despite substantial efforts by the Clinton administration to revive it.
Musharraf, now Pakistan's president, has emerged as a key ally in the Bush administration's efforts to track down bin Laden and destroy his terrorist network. The record of the CIA's aborted relationship with Pakistan two years ago illustrates the value -- and the pitfalls -- of such an alliance in targeting bin Laden. Pakistan and its intelligence service have valuable information about what is occurring inside Afghanistan, a country that remains closed to most of the world. But a former U.S. official said joint operations with the Pakistani service are always dicey, because the Taliban militia that rules most of Afghanistan has penetrated Pakistani intelligence. "You never know who you're dealing with," the former senior official said. "You're always dealing with shadows."
'We Were at War'
In addition to the Pakistan operation, President Bill Clinton the year before had approved additional covert action for the CIA to work with groups inside Afghanistan and with other foreign intelligence services to capture or kill bin Laden. The most dramatic attempt to kill bin Laden occurred in August 1998, when Clinton ordered a Tomahawk cruise missile attack on bin Laden's suspected training camps in Afghanistan in response to the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. At the time, the Pentagon informed the president that far more ambitious and riskier military actions could be undertaken, according to officials involved in the decision. The options included a clandestine helicopter-borne night assault with small U.S. special operations units; a massive bombing raid on the southeastern Afghan city of Kandahar, the spiritual home of the Taliban and a place frequently visited by bin Laden and his followers; and a larger air- and sea-launched missile and bombing raid on the bin Laden camps in eastern Afghanistan. Clinton approved the cruise missile attack recommended by his advisers, and on Aug. 20, 1998, 66 cruise missiles rained down on the training camps. An additional 13 missiles were fired at a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan that the Clinton administration believed was a chemical weapons factory associated with bin Laden.
Clinton's decision to attack with unmanned Tomahawk cruise missiles meant that no American lives were put in jeopardy. The decision was supported by his top national security team, which included Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen and national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger, officials said. In the aftermath of last month's attacks on the United States, which the Bush administration has tied to bin Laden, Clinton officials said their decision not to take stronger and riskier action has taken on added relevance. "I wish we'd recognized it then," that the United States was at war with bin Laden, said a senior Defense official, "and started the campaign then that we've started now. That's my main regret. In hindsight, we were at war."
Outside experts are even more pointed. "I think that raid really helped elevate bin Laden's reputation in a big way, building him up in the Muslim world," said Harlan Ullman, a defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. "My sense is that because the attack was so limited and incompetent, we turned this guy into a folk hero." Senior officials involved in the decision to limit the attack to unmanned cruise missiles cite four concerns that in many ways are similar to those the Bush administration is confronting now. One was worry that the intelligence on bin Laden's whereabouts was sketchy. Reports at the time said he was supposed to be at a gathering of terrorists, perhaps 100 or more, but it was not clear how reliable that information was. "There was little doubt there was going to be a conference," a source said. "It was not certain that bin Laden would be there, but it was thought to be the case." The source added, "It was all driven by intelligence. . . . The intelligence turned out to be off." A second concern was about killing innocent people, especially in Kandahar, a city already devastated by the Soviet Union's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. Large loss of civilian life, the thinking went, could have cost the United States the moral high ground in its efforts against terrorism, especially in the Muslim world.
The risks of conducting a long-range helicopter assault, which would require aerial refueling at night, were another factor. The helicopters might have had to fly 900 miles, an official said. Administration officials especially wanted to avoid a repeat of the disastrous 1980 Desert One operation to rescue American hostages in Iran. During that operation, ordered by President Jimmy Carter, a refueling aircraft collided with a helicopter in the Iranian desert, killing eight soldiers. A final element was the lack of permission for bombers to cross the airspace of an adjoining nation, such as Pakistan, or for helicopters to land at a staging ground on foreign soil. Since Sept. 11, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have offered the United States use of bases and airspace for any new strike against bin Laden. Bin Laden, 44, a member of an extended wealthy Saudi family, was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991 and stripped of his citizenship three years later. In early 1996, the CIA set up a special bin Laden unit, largely because of evidence linking him to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. At the time, he was living in Sudan, but he was expelled from that country in May 1996 after the CIA failed to persuade the Saudis to accept a Sudanese offer to turn him over.
After his subsequent move to Afghanistan, bin Laden became a major focus of U.S. military and intelligence efforts in February 1998, when he issued a fatwa, or religious order, calling for the killing of Americans. "That really got us spun up," recalled retired Marine Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, who was then the chief of the Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East and Central Asia. When two truck bombs killed more than 200 people at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August of that year, and the U.S. government developed evidence that bin Laden was behind both attacks, the question was not whether the United States should counterattack, but how and when. And when depended on information about his whereabouts. Two weeks later, intelligence arrived in Washington indicating that bin Laden would be attending a meeting in eastern Afghanistan. Much turned on the quality of the intelligence provided by CIA Director George J. Tenet, recalled a senior official who had firsthand knowledge of the administration's debate on how to respond.
"Some days George was good," the official said, "but some days he was not so good. One day he would be categorical and say this is the best we will get . . . and then two days later or a week later, he would say he was not so sure." 'It Was a Sustained Effort' The quality of the intelligence behooved restraint in planning the raid. Hitting bin Laden with a cruise missile "was a long shot, very iffy," recalled Zinni, the former Central Command chief. "The intelligence wasn't that solid." At the same time, new information surfaced suggesting that bin Laden might be planning another major attack. Top Clinton officials felt it was essential to act. At best, they calculated, bin Laden would be killed. And at a minimum, he might be knocked off balance and forced to devote more of his energy to hiding from U.S. forces.
"He felt he was safe in Afghanistan, in the mountains, inside landlocked airspace," Zinni said. "So at least we could send the message that we could reach him." In all, 66 cruise missiles were launched from Navy ships in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Pakistan into the camps in Afghanistan. Pakistan had not been warned in advance, but Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston, then the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Pakistani officials at the precise time of the launch to tell them of the operation. He also assured them that Pakistan was not under surprise attack from India, a potential misapprehension that could have led to war. At least one missile lost power and crashed in Pakistan, but the rest flew into Afghanistan and slammed into suspected terrorist training camps outside Khost, a small town near the Afghan-Pakistani border. Most of the cruise missiles were carrying loads of anti-personnel cluster bomblets, with the intention of killing as many people as possible. Reports from the scene were inconclusive. Most said that the raid killed about 30 people, but not bin Laden.
Intelligence that reached top Clinton administration officials after the raid said that bin Laden had left the camp two or three hours before the missiles struck. Other reports said he might have left as many as 10 or 12 hours before they landed. Sources in the U.S. military said the launch time was adjusted some to coordinate it with the Sudan attack andto launch after sundown to minimize detection of the missiles. This had the effect of delaying the launch time by several hours. An earlier launch might have caught bin Laden, two sources said.
Cohen came to suspect that bin Laden escaped because he was tipped off that the strike was coming. Four days before the operation, the State Department issued a public warning about a "very serious threat" and ordered hundreds of nonessential U.S. personnel and dependents out of Pakistan. Some U.S. officials believe word could have been passed to bin Laden by the Taliban on a tip from Pakistani intelligence services. Several other former officials disputed the notion of a security breach, saying bin Laden had plenty of notice that the United States intended to retaliate.
There also is dispute about the follow-up to the 1998 raid, specifically about whether the Clinton administration, having tried and failed to kill bin Laden, stopped paying attention. There were attempts. Special Forces troops and helicopter gunships were kept on alert in the region, ready to launch a raid if solid intelligence pinpointed bin Laden's whereabouts. Also, twice in 1999, information arrived indicating that bin Laden might possibly be in a certain village in Afghanistan at a certain time, officials recalled. There was discussion of destroying the village, but the intelligence was not deemed credible enough to warrant the potential slaughter of civilians. In addition, the CIA that year launched its clandestine operation with Pakistani intelligence to train Pakistani commandos for operations against bin Laden. "It was a sustained effort," Cohen said recently. "There was not a week that went by when the issue wasn't seriously addressed by the national security team." Berger said, "Al Qaeda and bin Laden were the number one security threat to America after 1998. It was the highest priority, and a range of appropriate actions were taken." But never again did definitive information arrive that might have permitted another attempt to get bin Laden, officials said. "I can't tell you how many times we got a call saying, 'We have information, and we have to hold a secret meeting about whether to launch a military action,' " said Walter Slocombe, the former undersecretary of defense for policy. "Maybe we were too cautious. I don't think so." Researcher Jeff Himmelman contributed to this report. REFERENCE: CIA Trained Pakistanis to Nab Terrorist But Military Coup Put an End to 1999 Plot By Bob Woodward and Thomas E. Ricks Washington Post Staff Writers Wednesday, October 3, 2001; 12:18 AM http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/18/AR2007111800629.html
News Night With Talat Hussain - Nawaz Sharif (Part 2)
LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif has demanded that army and intelligence agencies’ budget should be presented in the assembly, Geo News reported on Saturday. Addressing a press conference following meeting with US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter here, Nawaz stated that foreign policy making is not the business of agencies, adding that agencies must not make alliance and divide political parties. PML-N will not allow government within government. He also demanded that an independent commission should be constituted at the earliest and those responsible for Abbottabad incident be unmasked. PML-N leader said Pakistan has rendered great sacrifices in the war on terror. Around 35 thousand Pakistani citizens and security personnel have lost their lives in this war. Nawaz regretted that despite all such sacrifices Pakistan is being held in the dock. The US raid in Abbottabad was against the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan. He came hard saying that Pakistan could not maintain unilateral relations. The government also stop obeying the US and other institutions, he said and added that it come forward to serve the nation. REFERENCE: Army, agencies’ budgets be presented in assembly : Nawaz Updated http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=15533 (14 May 2011)
ISLAMABAD: Osama bin Laden’s lover Maulana Attaur Rehman, the younger brother of Fazlur Rehman, became speechless on Friday when stunning information was revealed in the in-camera session of parliament that his party had been receiving dollars from Libya and Saudi Arabia. Upon this information, the entire hall echoed with the thumping of desks, which was the only moment when the house cheered irrespective of party affiliation and association, the sources told The News. In reply to Maulana’s question whether the Army considered them Muslims and yet the Army conducted operations in his constituency and against the OBL, who was first a Mujahid of Islam and now was an enemy, and whether the Army had turned to parliament because the big boss US was angry, the ISI director general requested him not to get involved in such discussions of history of Mujahids. “If we will discuss it, then things will go very far and everyone will come to know who has been receiving dollars from Saudi Arabia and Libya,” the DG ISI said in response to Maulana’s insistence. All parliamentarians started thumping their desks and the Maulana in sheer embarrassment staged a walkout from the hall. However, he came back on his own after 10 minutes, the sources maintained.
The sources said General Ahmad Shuja Pasha’s tone was submissive with mild protest that it was a tough time for Pakistan and nations united after such incidents, but Pakistan’s Army was being criticised and parliamentarians were not paying attention to the Army bashing by the foreign media. The sources said nothing new which the media had not reported had bee n said to the parliamentarians. The sources said the tone of a few PML-N parliamentarians was harsh, while Pasha was confident while replying to the questions. “Outsiders want a wedge between the Army and the nation, and a few leaders had also bashed the Army,” sources quoted the DG ISI as saying. The sources said the DG ISI told parliament that if the Army was maligned, then there would be an irreparable loss to the country. REFERENCE: Did Saudis, Libyans pay dollars to JUI-F? Pasha hinted so Usman Manzoor Saturday, May 14, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=5975&Cat=13&dt=5/14/2011
Saturday, May 14, Jamadi-us-Sani 10, 1432 A.H
Saturday, May 14, Jamadi-us-Sani 10, 1432 A.H
News Night With Talat Hussain - Nawaz Sharif (Part 3)
WHAT would we do were dawn to dawn each day in Pakistan if there were no Dawn, the newspaper founded by the founder of the nation, Mohammad Ali Jinnah? It informs, it educates and it entertains. Its first editorial on August 26 ends with the words: "Watching these events it is difficult to decide whether to laugh or to cry." Let us rather laugh. Ashvagan, the ‘Land of Horses,’ as Afghanistan was once known long, long ago, formed itself into a state in 1747. The first Amir, Ahmad Khan ruled well and wisely (1747-73). His brothers and sons succeeded him, the last of the family, brother Mahmud being overthrown in 1818. Thereafter, for eight years, anarchy prevailed. It was during this period that Afghanistan became the main playing field for the Great Game, started in 1824 and which now, almost two centuries later, still continues. In 1826, Amir Dost Mohammad restored a semblance of order until 1838 when he was forced to abdicate. Then came ten rulers until the progressive Habibullah Khan took the throne in 1901, ruling over not only his country but over an extended harem of unveiled women dressed in the latest European fashions. He was assassinated in 1919. His brother Nasrullah Khan succeeded him, holding the throne for a month until the people brought in Habibullah’s son, Amanullah Khan. Once more, for ten years, there was relative peace in the Land of Horses. This period has been encapsulated in ‘Through Amanullah’s Afghanistan’ (pub. 1929) written by Sohrab Kavasji Hormusjee Katrak, a former mayor of Karachi. From the introductory essay by his contemporary scholar Gustad Kaikhosro Nariman : "Once elevated to the throne by the will of the people, Amanullah threw himself body, heart and soul into the task of redeeming his motherland from ignorance, sloth, corruption, bigotry and partial subordination to the foreign paramount power, from which it received a yearly subsidy of 12 raised to 18 lakhs in lieu of an undertaking to have no relations with foreign states save through Britain. The aim of Amanullah’s reign was to see Afghanistan free.
He married the daughter of a journalist, Mahmud Tarzi, a person without parallel at home, who had ample share in the making of modern Afghanistan." Amanullah’s first act was to proclaim the independence of his country and the conclusion of direct treaties with other European powers. Thereafter, he took on the emancipation of women, education, the solving of the linguistic problem, town planning, the development of resources, agriculture in short, progress and modernization. But Amanullah moved too swiftly. The religious establishment had little stomach for reform. They were supported by the treachery of those who used and abused religion to serve their selfish ends, by the unbelievers who proclaim belief and exploit cheap religious zealotry. Unrest spread, civil war ensued, Amanullah abdicated and left the country. A bandit chief, Bacha-i-Saqao, usurped the throne, holding it from January to October 1929. During his short period in power he achieved much. Promising the Afghans a complete return to the principles of the Quran and Sharia law. He halted each and every one of Amanullah’s progressive measures. All modern schools were closed, female students were recalled from abroad, foreign advisers were forced to leave Kabul, polygamy laws were reinstated, laboratories, libraries, palaces and royal museums were sacked, rare books and articles of value were either destroyed, burnt or sold at ridiculous prices. Bacha’s chief victims were Amanullah’s officials, wealthy merchants, influential and learned men. Most were either blown from the mouths of canons, shot, beaten, bastinadoed, impaled, bayonetted, or starved to death. Confiscation of property, exile or simple death was deemed an uncommon instance of leniency. Students were regarded as secret enemies.
An orderly, well-run, clean Kabul was converted into a city of rioting, sabotage and destruction, the latter extending even to the felling of trees. Its inhabitants lived in daily terror of horrible occurrences. No one knew who ruled, nor what may occur from minute to minute. The reign of terror was accompanied by a string of decrees designed to enhance the new ruler’s popularity. He promised to lower taxes, abolished conscription, dissolved the ministries of education and justice, both of which were regarded as unnecessary and unwelcome
infringements of the power of the religious establishments. The sole responsibility for the courts and schools reverted to the religious leadership. Bacha proclaimed that he represented the ‘true faith,’ and that as a result of Amanullah’s innovations, calculated to injure the sanctity of Islam, he had received the call and had taken a vow to serve the cause of God. To legitimize his rule, he took the title Amir Habibullah Ghazi, Servant of God and the Nation.
But his authority had shallow roots. Most of the tribes either refused to support him or were openly hostile, as were the Shias. These difficulties were compounded by a depleted treasury, looted by Bacha and his supporters, and by the suspension of normal trade. Unable to control raging corruption, unable to pay a disorganized army, he himself resorted to wholesale extortion and persecution. Nadir Khan, kinsman of Dost Mohammad and cousin of Amanullah by marriage, rallied the tribes and in October 1929 they marched into Kabul to the cheers of the relieved townspeople. The cheers did not last long, the city was ransacked by the tribesmen, the citizens paying a high price for their relief. Bacha fled with his followers, most of whom were subsequently killed in the ensuing fighting, the rest deserting him. He surrendered unconditionally, and along with ten men who had stuck by him, was publicly hanged.
Nadir Shah acceded to the throne, his programme aimed at reestablishing political stability and the reconstruction of society. The first task was to repair the ruins of Afghanistan and to preserve its independence. Without intruding on religious beliefs and traditions, his intention was that his people achieve material and intellectual progress side by side with cultural reforms. He saw no reason why religion and progress should disagree, for, as he proclaimed, Islam does not prohibit progress. He attached great importance to education, without which no country can take a step forward, and schools were reopened. To do it all, he needed to replenish his treasury and to promote the development of industry and trade. In 1930, he permitted the opening of the Afghan National Bank, which encouraged the setting up of 30 large private joint-stock companies. In mid-1933 things started to go wrong for Nadir Shah. Partisans of Amanullah, impatient modernists, disillusioned nationalists fomented trouble and in November Nadir Shah was assassinated by a student during a school prize-giving ceremony. That same day, his only son, Zahir Shah, ascended the throne, the last of the kings of Afghanistan.
In July 1973, he was deposed by his cousin, Mohammad Daud, and went off to Italy to live in exile. President Daud was assassinated in 1978, followed by Nur Mohammad Taraki, deposed and executed in September 1979, followed by Hafizullah Amin, deposed and assassinated in December 1979. Babrak Karmal took over as president and the Russians marched in. Zia’s Afghan policy we all know, as we know whom it enriched. Since then we have supported Engineer freedom fighters, Taliban freedom fighters, all of whom have ravished and destroyed the once beautiful country reducing it to a state almost beyond redemption. Come 1998, and Osama enters, as do cruise missiles. The Tomahawk missile is a fantastic piece of equipment. It is powered by a turbo jet engine, travels at 500 mph, can be launched from the torpedo tube of a surface ship or a submarine, carries 1,000 lbs of high explosives over a range of 1,000 miles. It is guided by a terrain mapping system augmented by global positioning satellite data. The initial coordinates are fed into the missile’s navigation system by the launching platform. Mid-course correction is made at the time of landfall, using key features of the coastline. Thereafter the missile flies a pre-programmed path to avoid populated areas and radar sites. A flat featureless terrain is a problem, while complex contours are more effective in enabling the missile to find its way and zero in on the target. All the in-flight and target contour information is fed into the missile’s terrain following computer which is linked to its ground mapping radar. The missile flies much of the time when over enemy territory at a height of between 50 and 100 feet.
The Tomahawk has a very small radar cross-section. Most ground radar, unless mounted on a hilltop and looking down, will not be able to catch it. Even then, such a radar would need to be programmed to screen out ground clutter, especially in daytime. An AWAC plane, looking down with doppler radar, operating on particular wavelengths, could pick up a Tomahawk, but not perhaps over broken ground. We are in deep trouble. People are looking for a Talleyrand (letter to editor, August 29) to sort out our problems and save the country. But we need have no fear. Amirul Momineen Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, ably aided by Naib Ameers Rafiq Tarar, Sartaj Aziz, Khalid Anwer, Ghous Ali Shah, Hamid Gul, the two Chaudhrys, and other luminaries will see us through. The tabled 15th Amendment is the answer to all problems, big or small. REFERENCE: Ashvagan Ardeshir Cowasjee DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 05 September 1998 Issue : 04/35 http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/SAserials/Dawn/1998/05Sep98.html#ashv
News Night With Talat Hussain - Nawaz Sharif (Part 4)
The Pakistanis say they informed the U.S. of the discovery on Friday. The missile was found by local people in Shatinger BaluchAbad, in the Kharan district around 250 km 155 miles southwest of Quetta. We found the unexploded cruise missile about 65kilometers 40 miles from Basima, Assistant CommissionerAbdul Samad Baluch said. The Tomahawk cruise missile made a crater of around 12feet four meters deep with clear marking of Made in USA. It was more than seven feet two meters long, a districtofficial told reporters. The unexploded missile had been cordoned off and the areaevacuated, Baluch said, adding that the Interior Ministry hadbeen told and teams of experts, including the bomb disposalsquad, had been rushed to the site. A local source said the nearest settlement to where themissile landed was 12 kilometers seven miles away. Provincial security officials confirmed that parts of a missile had been found but refused to elaborate. Local people said that the missile hit the ground around10.30 p.m. 1730 GMT on Thursday and that other missiles fired by U.S. warships in the Arabian Sea were seen flying over Basima, he said.
Pakistan last Friday protested that a missile had struck thePakistan side of the Afghan border but later retracted theclaim, because the missile had hit Afghan territory, killingfive or six people. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who telephoned President Bill Clinton to lodge the protest, sacked his intelligence chief over the blunder. The United States fired the missiles at militant campssuspected of being linked to Osama Bin Laden, an Islamicmilitant leader accused of masterminding the double bombing of U.S. embassies in East Africa. External sites are notendorsed by CNN Interactive. Daily Pakistan NewsPakistan Today. REFERENCE: Unexploded U.S. cruise missile found in Pakistan August 24, 1998 http://articles.cnn.com/1998-08-24/world/9808_24_pakistan.missile.01_1_cruise-missile-afghan-border-tomahawk?_s=PM:WORLD
News Night With Talat Hussain - Nawaz Sharif (Part 5)
WASHINGTON, Oct 3: The US Central Intelligence Agency had trained some Pakistani commandos in 1999 to enter Afghanistan and capture Osama bin Laden, but the plan was shelved when the Nawaz Sharif government was displaced by the military. The revelation is made in a story published by The Washington Post under banner headlines. It says the operation was arranged by Nawaz Sharif and his chief of intelligence with the Clinton administration, which in turn had promised to lift sanctions on Pakistan and provide an economic package the precise steps that the Bush administration is now undertaking following Islamabad's pledge of support for the US-led campaign against terrorism. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage refused in a television interview on Wednesday morning to comment on the Post story, saying intelligence matters could not be discussed in public, but unnamed administration officials were quoted as confirming the report. The Post also said a proposal by Sudan in 1996 to arrest Osama, who was then in that country, and deport him to Saudi Arabia had fallen through after Riyadh refused to agree to accept Osama. Talking of a record of "missed opportunities" in the drive against Osama and Al Qaeda, the Post said the US-Pakistani intelligence plan was set in motion less than 12 months after American Tomahawk missiles were launched on Afghanistan. The Pakistani commando team trained by the CIA "was up and running and ready to strike by October 1999", according to one official, when the plan was aborted after the Oct 12 overthrow of the Sharif government by Gen Pervez Musharraf and the army.
The Post says Gen Musharraf, who has now committed himself to back the US, had refused to continue with the operation despite attempts at persuasion by the Clinton administration. It adds: "The record of the CIA's aborted relationship with Pakistan two years ago illustrates the value - and the pitfalls - of such an alliance in targeting bin Laden." The paper says Pakistan and its intelligence services have valuable information about what is occurring inside Afghanistan. "But a former US official said joint operations with the Pakistani service are always dicey, because the Taliban militia that rules most of Afghanistan has penetrated Pakistani intelligence." According to the Post, president Clinton's national security adviser Samuel "Sandy" Berger says Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden were the number one security threat to America after 1998 (the year when, in August, 200 people were killed in bomb attacks at the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania). "It was the highest priority and a range of appropriate actions were taken". REFERENCE: Osama: CIA had trained Pakistani commandos Staff Correspondent DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 6 October 2001 Issue : 07/40 http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/SAserials/Dawn/2001/oct0601.html#osam
Nawaz Shareef Press Conference on Osama's Operation
ISLAMABAD, Oct 4: Government said that the evidence provided by the United States against Osama bin Laden was sufficient to indict him in a court of law. "We have seen the material that was provided to us by the American side yesterday," Foreign Office spokesman Riaz Muhammad Khan told reporters at his briefing about the evidence that Islamabad said was received on Wednesday. The investigations against Osama bin Laden were still continuing and Islamabad expected that the evidence shared with it would be supplemented by additional material, he said. Asked whether the material was related to the Sept 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, or to the bombing of the US embassies in Tanzania and Nairobi, the spokesman said it related to both incidents.
As regards the question of sharing the proof with the international community, he said they had not been requested to share the evidence with anybody. "It is for the US to exercise its judgment on this question." However, he observed, the case of Washington in taking action against those responsible for the terrorist acts would be strengthened if this evidence was publicized. He noted that certain sensitivities were involved with regard to confidentiality of the evidence and that it should be a US decision as to what extent it could be shared or whether they could go to the extent of publicizing it. He said they had not been asked to approach Taliban, adding it was for the United States and Taliban to get in touch with each other regarding the evidence against Osama. He said the evidence shared by the United States had no reference of the Al Rasheed Trust (ART) whose accounts had been frozen by the government following a determination by the US that the trust, with 26 other organizations, had been a source of funds for Osama and his Al Qaida group.
The spokesman said the government had asked the US administration to provide evidence against ART, which, it believed, was primarily a charity organization working for the welfare of Afghan refugees. In reply to a question about the influx of Afghan refugees, he said there were reports that around 800 people crossed over to Pakistan daily. The established entry points, he pointed out, were lying closed. There was a tremendous pressure on Pakistan's western borders and hundreds of thousands of people were pressing to enter the country, he added. In reply to a question about foreign nationals, particularly Arabs, the spokesman said the government was checking credentials of all the expatriates working with the NGOs. He said it was part of the restrictive visa policy and added that issuance of visa at the airports on arrivals had been stopped. All visa applications were now accepted only by Pakistani missions to be referred to Islamabad for clearance, he said. Agencies add: "There are sufficient grounds for indictment and it reinforces the resolutions of the Security Council taken earlier," the spokesman said, referring to the United Nations sanctions slapped on the Taliban in 1999 and 2001 for their refusal to hand over Osama to the United States or a third country. He said Pakistan had not been asked to share the material with the Taliban and it would not do so. "Pakistan is not talking to the Taliban on behalf of any other country or persons." REFERENCE: Evidence enough to indict Osama: FO Staff Reporter DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 6 October 2001 Issue : 07/40 http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/SAserials/Dawn/2001/oct0601.html#evid
OSAMA BIN LADEN: Inderfurth's remarks on Osama ben Laden were even more candid and direct: "In our view about bin Laden, it is very simple, he is a terrorist, he is a murderer, he plans to kill again and we want him brought to justice. And that view was made very clear to our Pakistani guests...The means to accomplish that are several in terms of working with other governments...Pakistan is well aware of our views on this. "Pakistan is well aware of the impact of Osama bin Laden in the region, and we have asked Pakistan for its assistance and I think that message came through loud and clear to Prime Minister Sharif. We do not want to speak for him, or what his government intends to do. That is a decision they have to take. But they have heard our views loud and clear." This statement was in clear conflict with what foreign secretary Shamshad Ahmed Khan said earlier when he denied that any discussion had taken place on Osama bin Laden as according to him, "this was not a Pakistan's problem." Inderfurth said Secretary Albright had told Prime Minister Sharif that the US had very serious problems with the Taliban, including their treatment of women and girls. "All made it clear that of primary importance to the US government is the expulsion of Osama bin Laden from Afghanistan so that he can be brought to justice. "While I don't intend to go into details of what was said about bin Laden in the meeting, I think it's fair to say that there was no love lost, nor any sympathies expressed for him (bin Laden) in that meeting," he said. REFERENCES: CTBT & other issues: US tells Pakistan to take solid steps Shaheen Sehbai DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 05 December 1998 Issue : 04/48 http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/SAserials/Dawn/1998/05Dec98.html#ctbt
EVEN a cursory reading of the official statements and press releases issued by US and Pakistani sides after the Nawaz Sharif visit will give the impression that hardly any breakthrough was made and both sides stuck to their guns, but the satisfaction and relief in Prime Minister's family circles betrays that conclusion. So what has actually happened and why are the Sharif brothers so happy and enjoying the rest of their visit? This remains a challenging subject for investigative journalists to dig out. The blunt and terse White House comments a few hours after the two leaders ate lunch and briefings by top administration officials later give some clues to what the Americans are expecting from Mr Sharif. Because they were given not-so-public assurances, they could afford to keep their tough public posture for the US media. In return what Mr Sharif will get was clearly indicated by Mr Clinton himself when he virtually asked opposition parties in Pakistan and India to give their governments "a little elbow room" to deliver what they had promised to the Americans.
This was taken by Mr Sharif as an open and public expression of support for him personally which his media spin masters would project as Washington's stamp of approval and authentication to curb any traces of opposition in the military, judiciary, parliament or the media. Thus Mr Sharif is likely to become even more tough in dealing with his adversaries and the most likely target would be the print media, the sections which keep their independence and try to portray the facts as they are, rather than as the PM sees them. According to Karl Rick Inderfurth, the official who was present almost in every meeting except the one-to-one between the two leaders, "Mr Clinton enjoyed talking to Mr Sharif in their closed door meeting." Rick had seen the President immediately after their talks to seek guidance on how the White House Press Corps had to be briefed and it was he who talked tough and appeared rude at times, giving the vibes that the US would not concede anything more unless Pakistan comes forward with more concessions. That is the public position knowing what time frame Mr Sharif had indicated would be followed to meet these targets.
The same Rick was much more sober at his briefing on Friday but he was asked about his demeanour on Wednesday and why was he so tense, discourteous and blunt. "It was Wednesday and today is Friday," was his curt reply but he tried to put some spin for South Asian journalists by saying it was his first White House briefing and his ABC TV senior Sam Donaldson was sitting in the front row making him nervous. But he did get a "well done, my son" compliment from Sam at the end. Yet in both the briefings Rick said almost the same thing and on Friday he was a little bit more specific about what the US was expecting. The four important indicators he gave were: - Pakistan is on the path of signing and ratifying the CTBT. - The future may hold interesting, surprising new developments. - The important thing is that we are in the middle of a process and what we will do will be mutually reinforcing. - I cannot discuss specifics of what Mr Nawaz Sharif said when he was asked to assist in arrest and extradition of Osama bin Laden to the US.
The family circles and those closest to the prime minister, including almost everybody who is anybody in the Sharif mini- kitchen cabinet or decision-makers club, was present in Washington, are displaying big smiles. "Mr Clinton has assured Nawaz Sharif that America would not let him go down, come what may," a confidant who knows what is going on said. "In return Mr Sharif has promised that he would sign the CTBT once the IMF approves the loans and the economy comes under control. And that time frame is just a few weeks, not even months. He has also promised that ISI would be asked at least to push the Taliban to get Osama ben Laden out of Afghanistan, if actually arresting him and dispatching him to the US was difficult," he said. The key to the whole visit is the 20-minute one to one that Mr Sharif had with the President and the confidant said it was there that Mr Sharif convinced the President that he would deliver on his promises.
The threat from the army, fundamentalists and Benazir Bhutto was raised and the assurance was given that Pakistan would continue to talk to India on all issues, even keeping the talks on for the sake of just talking and appearing to meet the US demand to keep tensions from rising, the aide said. The breakthrough has come on the F-16s and Mr Clinton told the Prime Minister that a case in the US courts would be embarrassing for him but he would provide a solution before the deadline for filing the case expires. An amount of $350 million was mentioned and that is precisely what would Pakistan get after adjusting the lease money which the US gets from New Zealand.
The idea is that Pakistan will get the lump sum money from a US commercial bank which will receive the New Zealand payments over the years. How the US pays its part is to be seen. Pakistan will also get a full certification on the drugs issue this year which means that the President will have to issue a waiver as he did last year in US national interest. The US is meanwhile keeping the pressure on Pakistan on the economic front and the IMF Board meeting has been put off to January while it is also not clear when the Paris Club would announce its decision to reschedule the loans that Pakistan has to pay. So the twin pressure would continue and unless Mr Sharif implements his assurances, both public and private, the time frame for bailing out Pakistan would remain vague. Personally if Mr Sharif has won support of President Clinton, the agenda he has now to implement is tough and practically impossible. That is where he will be tested. REFERENCE: Clinton enjoyed Nawaz visit Shaheen Sehbai DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 12 December 1998 Issue : 04/49 http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/SAserials/Dawn/1998/12Dec98.html#clin