Sunday, June 3, 2012

Munir Akram, Marijana Mihic & Shame in Manhattan.

Despite killing Osama bin Laden, and other hawkish exploits, President Obama remains vulnerable to Republican assertions of foreign policy weakness. Another major military success could revive Obama’s flagging poll numbers. Until recently, most analysts thought a US-Israeli attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities may serve this purpose. But the Iranians will react strongly, directly and asymmetrically to such an attack. After the events of 2011, American strategists may see Pakistan as a far ‘softer’ target. It is uncertain if either the US or Pakistan has fully thought through the potential consequences of their possible military confrontation. Whatever its weaknesses, Pakistan will be compelled by national sentiment to respond to another US attack or intervention across its borders. A limited ‘engagement’ could escalate rapidly into wide-ranging hostilities. If, during such a crisis, Pakistan’s strategic command believes that the US military strike is aimed to capture or destroy its nuclear and delivery capabilities, it may feel compelled to use rather than lose these capabilities. To avoid such a miscalculation, Pakistan’s new nuclear deterrence doctrine, aimed to deter aggression from not only India but also from other sources, needs to be clearly and publicly spelt out. The apocalyptic danger of a military conflict between two (albeit unequal) nuclear powers should be addressed urgently by the international community. The US-Nato should accept the measures Pakistan has proposed to avoid another shooting exchange. The US cannot continue to claim the right to strike at will within Pakistan’s territory without Pakistan’s concurrence. REFERENCE: Shame in Chicago From the Newspaper | Munir Akram | 27th May, 2012 

Reference: Monday 03/03/2003 Ambassador to the United Nations for Pakistan Munir Akram examines the arrest of a key Al Qaeda operative in Pakistan.

WAY BACK IN 2003: The United States has given Pakistan until Friday to decide whether it will waive the diplomatic immunity of its U.N. ambassador, Munir Akram, so that he can be prosecuted on domestic violence charges. Reached by phone at his residence, where he was spending the day, Akram declined to comment, saying, "My government is handling this. I prefer to leave it at that." The charges stem from an early morning incident on December 10 in which Marijana Mihic, 35, told police that she and Akram had argued in an apartment, and he had tried to prevent her from leaving. She described herself as Akram's girlfriend. Police said Mihic had a bruise on her head and minor abrasions on her knees. Because of the ambassador's diplomatic status, police were unable to arrest Akram. A spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney said if diplomatic immunity were lifted, "We would be prepared to arrest" the ambassador. Meanwhile, the Pakistani mission is trying to downplay the incident, calling it a "momentary misunderstanding." "No charges were filed, and no charges have been filed," said Mansoor Suhail, a spokesman for Akram. "The ambassador as well as his friend both strongly believe there is no basis for any legal action. The whole thing is being blown out of proportion. It was a telephone call and as soon as the police arrived, she said, 'Sorry, I don't want to file charges.'" The Pakistani Foreign Ministry said it is conducting an inquiry into the incident. REFERENCE: Pakistan ambassador in assault row January 08, 2003|CNN U.N. Producer Liz Neisloss and Producer Ronni Berke
Munir Akram on India-Pakistan Relations

2009: ISLAMABAD: The government has finally admitted that Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman of the November attacks in Mumbai, is a Pakistani national. The Foreign Office spokesman, who is currently in Kabul said, “According to our preliminary investigations, Ajmal Kasab is a Pakistani national. Our investigations are continuing.” Coming on the heels of this admission, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani sacked his National Security Adviser Major General (retd) Mehmud Ali Durrani for giving a statement on Ajmal Kasab without taking him into confidence. Before the formal announcement, Prime Minister Gilani told Geo News on telephone that Durrani had given a statement to an Indian news channel regarding Ajmal Kasab without taking him into confidence. The prime minister said that Durrani’s statement had tarnished the country’s image. “So I decided to sack him,” he told Geo News. Earlier, the Foreign Office was reluctant to confirm the report with even Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir denying Kasab’s nationality in an interview to an Indian TV channel. His ministry was only willing to do so after other senior officials and ministers from other ministries came out in the open and confirmed Kasab’s nationality when asked by the foreign news agencies. Confusion reigned supreme in Pakistan on Wednesday evening with several official voices speaking at the same time, but ensuring that they were not on the same page regarding the nationality of Ajmal Kasab. These officials proved to the world that they were strangers to ‘coordination’, and nobody knew who was in charge. As far as Kasab’s nationality is concerned it was the Ministry of Information that had the final word in interaction with AP and Reuters where Information Minister Sherry Rehman confirmed that Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani national. Later, state-run television carried the version of the minister. In the end the Foreign Office was left with no choice but to agree. What has emerged very clearly is that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was very much out of the loop on Wednesday and decisions and announcements were made elsewhere with a clueless and embarrassed Foreign Office shaking its head in disbelief. “I really do not know what is happening and this is certainly a very sad state of affairs. I myself am confused. We are trying to get through to the spokesman who is in Kabul,” one frustrated official at the Foreign Office told The News. Earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wanted to have the final say when the National Security Adviser, Maj Gen (retd) Mehmood Durrani, was quoted as saying that Ajmal Kasab was very much a Pakistani citizen while the Foreign Office rebutted this and sent out a one liner from Kabul saying, “investigations to determine the nationality of Ajamal Kasab are still in progress, it is still premature to say anything in this regard — and the information given to us by India is being ‘seriously’ examined.” The Foreign Office spokesman, who is ambassador-designate to Afghanistan, is still in Kabul and in his absence the national security adviser, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Information Minister Sherry Rehman talked to the foreign media, including India. This is something Durrani and Bashir are reluctant to do where the Pakistani media is concerned. Durrani was quoted by the Indian media as saying that the identity of Kasab had been established and he was a Pakistani while Bashir was at pains to tell the Indian media that investigations were still continuing. This led to a media circus where reports were being updated every hour, something not seen before in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs whose statements are taken as the Gospel truth. Earlier, a few weeks ago, the spokesman had stated that they were still examining the letter written to them allegedly by Kasab and they would soon issue a statement regarding the decision that the government would take. The spokesman had issued a statement early in the afternoon and referred to different reports that had appeared, and said that the information received from India is being ‘seriously’ examined. “Pakistan remains fully determined in its investigations to uncover full facts pertaining to the Mumbai incident and is cognizant of the need for establishing legally tenable evidence.” “Pakistan regrets the propaganda campaign unleashed by India to malign the country. Blame game and political point scoring is counterproductive and unacceptable. “Terrorism is a pernicious problem afflicting South Asia. Pragmatic and responsible approach, including cooperation between the relevant investigation departments, is the imperative need of the hour to deal with the Mumbai terrorist attacks and to prevent any such incident in India, Pakistan or elsewhere.” The morning papers had quoted ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha as saying, “We may be crazy in Pakistan but not completely out of our minds”. The different ministries in Pakistan should rephrase this to say, “We are all crazy in Pakistan and completely out of our minds.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would certainly agree. REFERENCE: National security adviser sacked Mariana Baabar Thursday, January 08, 2009

2003: ISLAMABAD, Jan 9: Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Munir Akram, is likely to be recalled due to charges of domestic violence against him that were reported in the US media on Wednesday. A decision in this regard is expected soon, Dawn learnt through well-placed government sources on Thursday. “Even if it was largely a weak case, Pakistan government will not let an individual, no matter how competent, hamper Pakistan’s presence at the United Nations,” said a senior government official, adding: “This is likely to be, even if tragic, an open-and-shut case.” Talking to officials at the ministry of foreign affairs and other relevant government agencies it transpired that Islamabad does not want to allow a simple, unfortunate case acquire a propaganda proportion in an already difficult, if not hostile, diplomatic milieu. “Anything potentially embarrassing for the government will be nipped in the bud,” was the view of a former diplomat. While most of the senior officials contacted by Dawn on Thursday remained tightlipped on the fate of Pakistan’s UN representative, they reckoned the gravity of the matter. Maintaining that there was a strong possibility of Munir Akram being recalled from his present post, one official said: “It is not just a question of right or wrong, but there is also a very strong operational aspect to the whole incident.” “He (Munir Akram) is a fighter and media intrusion will not affect him one bit,” argued one officer at the foreign office who has worked with Akram for almost a decade. “Given Munir Akram’s tremendous contribution to the country one hopes that he will be allowed to continue in his present position as an effective representative of Pakistan at the United Nations,” he added. When asked if Pakistan had responded to the US State Department’s request for waiver of diplomatic immunity of Pakistan’s envoy, a senior official said it was a very serious matter, indicating that Islamabad would not allow that. REFERENCE: Pakistan may recall Munir By Our Staff Reporter January 10, 2003 Friday Ziqa’ad 6, 1423

Charlie Rose - A conversation about Indian-Pakistani relations with Munir Akram

Culture Center - Ambassador Munir Akram - 1
The Real History and Facts which Munir Akram criminally ignored rather hide: Taliban are Pak Army proxies, not Pashtun nationalists - I By Farhat Taj March 30 - April 05, 2012 - Vol. XXIV, No. 07 Taliban are Pak Army proxies, not Pashtun nationalists - II By Farhat Taj April 06-12, 2012 - Vol. XXIV, No. 08 Taliban are Pak Army proxies, not Pashtun nationalists - III By Farhat Taj April 20-26, 2012 - Vol. XXIV, No. 10 Taliban are Pak Army proxies, not Pashtun nationalists - IV By Farhat Taj April 27 - May 03, 2012 - Vol. XXIV, No. 11 Taliban are Pak Army proxies, not Pashtun nationalists - V By Farhat Taj May 04-10, 2012 - Vol. XXIV, No. 12 Taliban are Pak Army proxies, not Pashtun nationalists – by Farhat Taj

2003: NEW YORK, Jan 8: The US State Department has asked Pakistan to withdraw diplomatic immunity of its Ambassador Munir Akram at the world body following a request by the New York City’s prosecutors office. The City’s prosecutors want to investigate a month-old assault charges filed against him by a woman friend, who has since recanted her story. Marijana Mihic, 35, has withdrawn the charges and met the New York City’s district attorney’s officials pleading that the case not be pursued. The New York Times in a report on Wednesday acknowledged that the legal dispute came at a bad time for the ambassador. On Jan 1, Pakistan took a seat on the 15-nation Security Council for a two-year term, just when the Council would be weighing whether to authorize war on Iraq. A spokesman for the Pakistan Mission expressed surprise that the paper like the New York Times had decided to run the report when no charges had been filed. “The ambassador and his friend both strongly believe that there is no basis for any legal action in this matter,” said Spokesman Mansoor Suhail. “And they have both communicated that belief to the concerned authorities.” The spokesman noted that a “trivial matter has been blown up into an issue” when both parties had communicated that belief to the authorities. A spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs said that the ministry was investigating the incident “which appears to have been based on some misunderstanding”. On completion of this process, further appropriate action would be taken, he added. Diplomats here speculate that Mr Akram, who is known to take tough, principled positions on issues without fear, could be undermined with reports about his personal life. Mr Akram refused to make any comments on the reports on the advice of his lawyers. However, he expressed the hope that the matter would be resolved “fairly”. AFP adds: The New York Times and The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the US request stemmed from a Dec 10 incident in which the New York police were called to Mr Akram’s home by a woman who alleged the envoy had beaten her. The woman told the police that Mr Akram had smashed her head into a wall, that her arm hurt and that he had hit her before, according to the newspaper accounts. REFERENCE: Pakistan asked to withdraw immunity of its UN envoy By Masood Haider January 9, 2003 Thursday Ziqa’ad 5, 1423

Culture Center - Ambassador Munir Akram - 2

2003 WASHINGTON, Jan 9: The State Department said on Wednesday it wanted the US legal system to complete its procedure in the complaint against Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Munir Akram, although the complainant was not pressing charges against him. When spokesman Richard Boucher told a briefing that the department had asked Pakistan to waive the diplomatic immunity of its ambassador, a reporter asked him why the US government was insisting on trying the ambassador when the complainant was not interested. Mr Boucher said the request to seek revocation of diplomatic immunity came from the New York police department, based on legal grounds “on what happens legally in terms of the allegations and possible legal proceedings”. “Our job is to try to get the other government to waive immunity so that those procedures can take place. So any explanations of the legal aspects of this really need to come from the local authorities,” he said. So then is it the case that any time a law enforcement official comes to the State Department and asks you to get a government to waive diplomatic immunity, you take that at face value and ask that government to do so, the reporter asked. “We trust our legal system,” Mr Boucher replied. REFERENCE: US official faces tough questions By Our Correspondent January 10, 2003 Friday Ziqa’ad 6, 1423

Ambassador Munir Akram - 1 (Columbia University International Relations Forum)

2003 The State Department has asked Pakistan to withdraw the diplomatic immunity of its envoy here, Munir Akram, after New York City prosecutors sought to bring misdemeanor assault charges against him as a result of a quarrel with a woman, United States and New York City officials said today. Marjorie Tiven, the city commissioner in charge of United Nations issues, wrote to the United States Mission here on Dec. 26 requesting that the envoy's immunity be removed, according to Edward Skyler, the mayor's spokesman. Mr. Skyler said the Manhattan district attorney's office had advised city officials that it was prepared to prosecute if Mr. Akram's immunity was lifted. Pakistan has not yet informed the United States of any decision. The legal dispute comes at a bad time for the ambassador. On Jan. 1, Pakistan took a seat on the 15-nation Security Council for a two-year term, just when the Council will be weighing whether to authorize war on Iraq. On Dec. 10 at 1:36 a.m., the New York City police were summoned by an emergency 911 call to a residence at 47 East 92nd Street in Manhattan, police officials said. Marijana Mihic, 35, told the 911 operator that a man whom she identified as her husband had smashed her head into a wall and that her arm hurt, according to the police dispatcher's notes of the conversation. She said the man had hit her before. ''Female caller states husband has diplomatic immunity,'' the dispatcher noted. When police officers arrived, Ms. Mihic said that Mr. Akram was her ''boyfriend'' and that after an argument with him she had tried to leave. ''He prevented her from leaving, he grabbed her and she fell,'' said Lt. Brian Burke, a police spokesman. The police officers at the scene reported that Ms. Mihic had a bruise on her head, he said. Mr. Akram, who is 57, was at the residence when the police arrived and identified himself as an ambassador. ''There was nothing really that the officers could do,'' Lt. Burke said. United Nations envoys enjoy immunity from local criminal prosecution. A spokesman for the Pakistani Mission said today that Mr. Akram and his friend had reconciled. ''The ambassador and his friend both strongly believe that there is no basis for any legal action in this matter,'' said Mansoor Suhail, the spokesman. ''And they have both communicated that belief to the concerned authorities.'' Once the police officers arrived at the residence, Ms. Mihic seemed to become less alarmed, and she refused medical attention when an ambulance from the city's Emergency Medical Service went to the scene, city officials said. The district attorney's office advised Ms. Tiven that Mr. Akram could be prosecuted for a misdemeanor charge of third degree assault, a law enforcement official said. She wrote to Patrick F. Kennedy, a senior diplomat at the United States mission here, and the State Department lodged its request with Pakistan on Dec. 28. REFERENCE: U.S. Asks Pakistan to Lift U.N. Envoy's Immunity After a Violent Quarrel By JULIA PRESTON Published: January 08, 2003

Ambassador Munir Akram - 2 (Columbia University International Relations Forum)

Even at the best of times, he is known to be acerbic and pungent as they come, his anti-India vitriol alarming to the uninitiated. But last month, Pakistan's UN envoy, Munir Akram, directed his bile at his live-in girlfriend and in the process earned a big, black eye for his country. His dreadful conduct took the wind out of Pakistani sails as Islamabad began its tenure as a non-permanent member of the Security Council—and just as it was gearing to deliver some good rhetorical punches there on behalf of the world's Muslims. What could be more un-Islamic than a relationship outside wedlock which under Shariah is punishable by Taliban-style retribution? Akram's stars plunged precipitously as New York's tabloids screamed details of Pakistan's "diplo-basher" and "abuser". The US State Department asked Islamabad to withdraw his diplomatic immunity so he could face criminal prosecution as a common man. The Pakistani establishment didn't know what hit them, struggling, as they were, with other difficult aspects of their tortuous relationship with Uncle Sam—border shootings and bombs dropping from American planes. They didn't need a new complication from one of their own. The famed corridors of the United Nations were suddenly abuzz with talk of Akram's physical, not verbal, violence. In Indian diplomatic circles, Munir Akram is infamous for his rabid rhetoric against New Delhi. Kashmir or nukes, Akram's visceral anti-India tirades are legion. In fact, the Brothers Akram—Munir and Zamir (who was earlier posted in India)—are known for the poisonous missiles they launch regularly at India. Munir, as spokesman of his foreign office, once called Salman Khursheed "kirai ka Muslim". But first the facts. On the morning of December 10, Akram's girlfriend, Marijana Mihic (pronounced Mariana), called the emergency 911 number at 1.36 am, asking for help. She told the police dispatcher that a man, whom she identified as her husband, had smashed her head into a wall. She said that her arm also was hurting and that he was a repeat offender. The dispatcher noted, "female caller states husband has diplomatic immunity". When the NY police arrived, guns on the ready and red light flashing, at the posh address in the upper reaches of Manhattan, Mihic changed her story a bit and said that Akram, 22 years her senior, was her "boyfriend". She had tried to leave after a heated argument but he grabbed her and she fell. Police officers noticed a bruise on her head but she declined a visit to the hospital. Akram reluctantly identified himself to the police as Pakistan's UN ambassador. The police had no choice but to leave quietly in the face of the ultimate diplomatic perk—immunity from local laws. His press spokesman, Mansoor Suhail, told Outlook: "It was a minor incident blown out of proportion by some people. They continue to be friends. There would be no basis for a legal case when there is no complaint filed." Unfortunately for Akram, the American criminal justice system works a little differently. Even if a victim doesn't file a complaint, the system can. Manhattan district attorney Robert Morgenthau is prepared to press misdemeanour assault charges once the diplomatic immunity is lifted. After all, pushing the case is none other than Majorie Tiven, the city commissioner in charge of UN, and a member of the powerful and wealthy Bloomberg family. In fact, Tiven is New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's sister and a social worker by training. On December 26, she wrote to the US mission at the UN, asking that Akram's immunity be waived. The request was forwarded to Washington, and two days later the State Department sent the summons to Pakistan. Akram has never swum rougher seas. Suhail denied there was any deadline for Islamabad to lift Akram's immunity or to even respond to the Americans.But conventional wisdom at the UN is that Pakistan has little choice but to withdraw him, because for all practical purposes, Akram is compromised. "If he doesn't go, there'll always be this Damocles' sword hanging over him. He's been rendered ineffective," said a diplomat. There's already talk that Akram would be recalled soon. Both Munir and Zamir, who is now ambassador to Nepal, have made their reputation on the one thing that serves Pakistani diplomats well—loud anti-India rhetoric. They have successfully parleyed their bellicosity to endear themselves to the army establishment. Two days after taking his post in NY, Munir Akram threatened the use of nuclear weapons against India. "India should not have the license to kill with conventional weapons while Pakistan's hands are tied regarding other means to defend itself," he said. In Geneva, he regularly accused India of harbouring the lowest of low intentions against Pakistan because it declined to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in the mid-1990s. Says G. Parthasarthy, India's former high commissioner to Pakistan: "In my view, the senior diplomats of the 1980s like Niaz Naik, Riaz Piracha, Humayun Khan and Shahryar Khan were sophisticated people who could put their view points without being abrasive." But the later crop led by the Akram brothers, Riaz Khokhar and Shamshad Ahmed went to another school, one where more bile means more clout with the army and the ISI. REFERENCE: PAKISTAN Sex, Rhetoric And Diplomatic Impunity Islamabad is hard pressed to withdraw its 'diplo-basher'. New Delhi is only too relieved. SEEMA SIROHI, AMIR MIR MAGAZINE | JAN 27, 2003
A conversation about Indian-Pakistani relations with Munir Akram and Fareed Zakaria in Current Affairs on Monday, June 3, 2002

2009: ISLAMABAD, Jan 7 Pakistani authorities, during the course of their own investigations into the Mumbai carnage, have established that the only surviving terrorist Ajmal Kasab is a Pakistani national. After a series of conflicting statements by various officials representing different sections of the government, it was officially acknowledged that DawnNews TV`s news item about the official investigation report regarding Ajmal Kasab`s identity was correct. Earlier, a high-ranking government official had told Dawn that the preliminary finding had provided enough information to conclude that the man at present in India`s custody was from a Punjab village, and perhaps belonged to a militant group that was bent upon destabilising the region by undermining the peace process. The official, who requested anonymity, said the authorities were examining all parts of the puzzle on the basis of their own investigation, as well as the information provided by India and the Americans.

However, he said there was no doubt in the minds of the investigators that the captured terrorist was a Pakistani. “Sadly, it has been established that Kasab is a Pakistani national.”

But within minutes of the revelation, confusing, and somewhat conflicting, statements started emanating from different sections of the government in Islamabad. While the Indian television channel CNN-IBN quoted Pakistan`s National Security Adviser Mehmud Ali Durrani as saying that Ajmal Kasab`s identity as a Pakistani had been established, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir told the same channel that it was premature to say anything because the investigation was continuing.

In the midst of all this, American news agency APTN quoted Information Minister Sherry Rehman as confirming that Ajmal Kasab in fact was a Pakistani national. The minister later confirmed it to Dawn that “he is Pakistani” and that investigations are ongoing.

Similarly, the Foreign Office which at the initial stage appeared either detached from reality or completely out of the loop, admitted by broadcasting through the state-run PTV that Ajmal Kasab was indeed a Pakistani national.

During the course of Dawn`s own investigation, a number of senior officials in the interior ministry and police said that investigations were started soon after initial reports had suggested that Ajmal Kasab might be a Pakistani national. But the authorities wanted to be doubly sure about his identity because there was no record of Kasab and his family in the national database maintained by Nadra. Details of preliminary investigations submitted to the government have still not been made public.

The official who confirmed to Dawn about the preliminary investigation report said Kasab was son of Amir Kasab and Mrs Noor Illahi. But the identity of other militants killed in Mumbai is yet to be established. Senior security officials, however, said that preliminary investigations had established that the militants were operating on their own and had absolutely no link with any section of the country`s security apparatus.

A top ranking western diplomat also confirmed to Dawn that there was no linkage between the terrorists who carried out the Mumbai carnage and the Pakistani security agencies, particularly the ISI. “There is ample evidence to prove that most of the terrorists belonged to Pakistan,” the diplomat said. “But there is not even a shred of evidence to suggest that the ISI or any other Pakistani intelligence agency had any links with these terrorists,” the diplomat said.

“And this is not based on what the Pakistanis have been telling us, as we have double checked it on our own,” the diplomat added.

The remarks belie the latest claim by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who on Tuesday had tried to up the ante by directly accusing the Pakistani security apparatus of being involved in the Mumbai carnage. Pakistan has already rejected the Indian accusation in strongest terms.

In a related development, a statement by Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani also said the Pakistan`s investigations into the Mumbai attacks had made progress. He said that some information of an interim nature on Indian investigations had been received. He did not elaborate.

Punjab`s dusty town of Faridkot became the centre of attention soon after the deadly Mumbai attack as the Indian authorities captured Kasab and claimed that he belonged to Faridkot. The town was thronged by local and foreign media and conflicting reports came out about the identity of Kasab.

At that time the government had, for obvious reasons, decided to adopt a tight-lipped policy, maintaining that only a thorough investigation, based on concrete information, could establish whether Kasab was a Pakistani national, and a resident of Faridkot.

Answering a question about consular access to Kasab, a senior official said the militant had damaged Pakistan `like no other`. “We are not yet sure when to ask for consular access. We may not ask for it. He is involved in a heinous crime,” the official said. Kasab also wrote a letter to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. Pakistani authorities said they were examining the letter. REFERENCE: Ajmal`s nationality confirmed Dawn (Pakistani Newspaper). 8 January 2009 By Mubashir Zaidi

Brian Ross, Chief Investigative Correspondent, ABC News; Robert Gates, President, Texas A&M University / Former CIA Director (from College Station, TX) /// Munir Akram, Ambassador to the United Nations, Pakistan /// Herbert Muschamp, Chief Architecture Critic, The New York Times; Edward Wyatt, Metro Reporter, The New York Times. Reference: A discussion about the arrest of al-Qaeda's Khalid Shaikh Mohammed with Robert Gates and Brian Ross in Current Affairs part of Obama's Appointments on Monday, March 3, 2003

Why the Pakistani Military used to Support Taliban, Several Sectarian Outfits and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba before 911? And while the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi stand officially disbanded, their most militant son and leader, Maulana Azam Tariq, an accused in several cases of sectarian killing, contested elections from jail - albeit as an independent candidate - won his seat, and was released on bail shortly thereafter. Musharraf rewrote election rules to disqualify former Prime Ministers Mohammed Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, and threatened to toss them in jail if they returned from abroad, which badly undermined both Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League and Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP). Musharraf has plainly given the religious groups more free rein in the campaign than he has allowed the two big parties that were his main rivals. In Jhang city, in Punjab province, Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of an outlawed extremist group called Sipah-e-Sahaba, which has been linked to numerous sectarian killings, is being allowed to run as an independent despite election laws that disqualify any candidate who has criminal charges pending, or even those who did not earn a college degree. "It makes no sense that Benazir can't run in the election," says one Islamabad-based diplomat, "and this nasty guy can."

References: And this takes me back to Pervez Musharraf’s first visit to the US after his coup. At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.” Pakistani neocons and UN sanctions Khalid Hasan This entry was posted on Sunday, December 28th, 2008 at 6:00 pm. For The 'General' Good By Sairah Irshad Khan Monthly Newsline January 2003  - General's Election By TIM MCGIRK / KHANA-KHEL Monday, Oct. 07, 2002,9171,361788,00.html - MORE DETAILS: General Musharraf, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Brigadier [R] Usman Khalid & Deobandi Taliban. 

Pakistan’s chief spy Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad “was in the US when the attacks occurred.” He arrived in the US on the 4th of September, a full week before the attacks. He had meetings at the State Department “after” the attacks on the WTC. But he also had “a regular visit of consultations” with his US counterparts at the CIA and the Pentagon during the week prior to September 11. REFERENCE: Cover-up or Complicity of the Bush Administration? The Role of Pakistan’s Military Intelligence (ISI) in the September 11 Attacks by Michel Chossudovsky Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG), Montréal Posted at 2 November 2001

Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa. TFF Associates

AFTER 9/11.

In the afternoon, Mahmood was invited to CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia, where he told George Tenet, the CIA director, that in his view Mullah Omar, the Taliban chief, was a religious man with humanitarian instincts and not a man of violence! This was a bit difficult for the CIA officials to digest and rightly so as the Taliban’s track record, especially in the realm of human rights, was no secret. General Mahmood was told politely but firmly that Mullah Omar and the Taliban would have to face US Military might if Osama Bin Laden along with other Al-Qaeda leaders were not handed over without delay. To send the message across clearly, Richard Armitage held a second meeting with Mahmood the same day, informing him that he would soon be handed specific American demands, to which Mahmood reiterated that Pakistan would cooperate. {Bush at War by Bob Woodward, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002, New York}, p 32. {Pakistan: Eye of the Storm by Owen Bennett Jones, published by New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002}, p. 2.

General Mahmood on September 13, 2001, was handed a formal list of the US demands by Mr. Armitage and was asked to convey these to Musharraf and was also duly informed, for the sake of emphasis, that these were “not negotiable.” Colin Powell, Richard Armitage, and the assisstant secretary of state, Christina Rocca, had drafted the list in the shape of a “non-paper”. It categorically asked Pakistan:

Stop Al-Qaeda operatives coming from Afghanistan to Pakistan, intercept arms shipments through Pakistan, and end ALL logistical support for Osama Bin Laden.

Give blanket overflight and landing rights to US aircraft.

Give the US access to Pakistani Naval and Air Bases and to the border areas betweeen Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Turn over all the intelligence and immigration information.

Condemn the September 11 attacks and curb all domestic expressions of support for terrorism.

Cut off all shipments of fuel to the Talibans, and stop Pakistani volunteers from going into Afghanistan to join the Taliban. Note that, should the evidence strongly implicate Osama Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda Network in Afghanistan, and should the Taliban continue to harbour him and his accomplices, Pakistan will break diplomatic relations with the Taliban regime, end support for the Taliban, and assist the US in the aforementioned ways to destroy Osama and his network.

Having gone through the list, Mahmood declared that he was quite clear on the subject and that “he knew how the President thought, and the President would accept these points.” {Bush at War by Bob Woodward, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002, New York}, p 58-59. Interview: Richard Armitage, “Campaign Against Terror,” PBS (Frontline), April 19, 2002}

Mahmood then faxed the document to Musharraf. While the latter was going through it and in the process of weighing the pros and cons of each demand, his aide de camp that Colin Powell was on the line. Musharraf liked and respected Powell, and the conversation was not going to be a problem. He told him that he understood and appreciated the US position, but he would respond to the US demands after having discussed these with his associates. Powell was far too polite to remind him that he in fact was the government, but did inform him that his General in Washington had already assured them that these demands would be acceptable to the government of Pakistan. {Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism : Allah, the Army, and America’s War on Terror by Hassan Abbas, published by An East Gate Book , M.E. Sharpe Armonk, New York. London, England.}. NOTES/REFERENCES - Pakistan: Eye of the Storm by Owen Bennett Jones, published by New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002. Interview: Richard Armitage, “Campaign Against Terror,” PBS (Frontline), April 19, 2002; last accessed June 2, 2003, at Bush at War by Bob Woodward, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002, New York. Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism : Allah, the Army, and America’s War on Terror by Hassan Abbas, published by An East Gate Book , M.E. Sharpe Armonk, New York. London, England

Charlie Rose - A conversation about the arrest of al-Qaeda's Khalid Shaikh Mohammed with Munir Akram

A conversation about the arrest of al-Qaeda's Khalid Shaikh Mohammed with Munir Akram in Current Affairs on Monday, March 3, 2003 Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations, Munir Akram, on the arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and its likely impact on the broader war on terror.

For example, after the 9/11, the former JI Amir Qazi Hussain Ahmad stated that al-Qaeda was a figment of the Americans’ imagination. On the contrary, the then JI Secretary General Syed Munawar Hassan, the current chief of the party, said that al-Qaeda leaders were our brethren (Nawa-i-Waqt, October 13, 2002). Commenting on these statements, Prof. Ahmad said: ‘There is no contradiction between the two. The Muslims in al-Qaeda are our brethren. They should be punished if they are criminals!’ He sounded mightily reluctant to hold Al-Qaeda responsible for 9/11. He even refused to give any credence to Gulbadeen Hikmatyar’s statement that Al-Qaeda was responsible for 9/11. (It may be added here that Hikmatyar is Jamaat-i-Islami’s favorite Afghan leader.) Instead, he finds “dozens of scholarly books” casting doubt on the official version more credible. REFERENCE: The Muslims in al-Qaeda are our brethren, says the top Jamaat-i-Islami ideologue Prof. Khurshid Ahmad Dec 16th, 2010 By Shakil Chaudhary and Mohammad Shehzad

Jamaat-i-Islami ideologue Prof. Khurshid Ahmad - 1

He justified the two-nation theory saying, the Hindus and the Muslims coexisted peacefully only under the Muslim rule and such an existence was otherwise impossible. ‘The colonial rule divided the Hindus and the Muslims…that resulted in the 1947 riots!’ He admitted that during the last 15-20 years, the Pakistani society had become increasingly intolerant. He conceded that the blasphemy laws were being misused, but he did not favor amending them. ‘The punishment for blasphemy is death – in Christianity, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Quran and the precepts of the Holy Prophet Mohammad.’ The blasphemy does not apply to serious academic debate, he said. ‘It applies only to derogatory remarks.’ He dismissed the argument that the Barelvis consider the Deobandis and the Ahl-i-Hadith blasphemers. On the Kashmir jihad, Prof. Ahmad said that the JI has no organizational relationship with the Hizbul Mujahideen. ‘But of course, we do meet and whatever the Hizb is doing, it is its fundamental right.’ The JI India and JI Pakistan have different ideas on certain issues such as Kashmir though the source of inspiration for them was the same. He justified it saying that they became different and independent organization after the partition because the political situation had changed. He said that Israel was an illegitimate country, but did not support the annihilation of the Israeli Jews. In fact, he supported the idea of a single state in which the Jews and the Palestinians live together. He acknowledged that the US and NATO played some positive role in the Balkans, but they allowed the massacre of the Muslims to continue. Their intervention was aimed at preventing the revival of Islamic movements there. REFERENCE: The Muslims in al-Qaeda are our brethren, says the top Jamaat-i-Islami ideologue Prof. Khurshid Ahmad Dec 16th, 2010 By Shakil Chaudhary and Mohammad Shehzad

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Jamat-e-Islami Links with Al-Qaeda

Terror mastermind captured – Terror mastermind captured – Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is thought to be the man who masterminded the attacks on 11 September. His capture in Pakistan was seen as a key success in the US fight to counter al-Qaeda. BBC News Online presents key video reports following the arrest. Tuesday, 4 March, 2003, 22:56 GMT  - KARACHI – Under immense pressure from the United States, a slow and gradual operation has begun in Pakistan against the strongest political voice of Islamists and the real mother of international Islamic movements, of which Osama bin Laden’s International Islamic Front is the spoiled child. In a surprise move this week, Pakistan’s federal minister of the interior, Faisal Saleh Hayat, listed a number of incidences in which members of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), the premier fundamentalist party in the country, had been tied to al-Qaeda, and called on it to “explain these links”. “It is a matter of concern that Jamaat-e-Islami, which is a main faction of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal [MMA], has neither dissociated itself from its activists having links with the al-Qaeda network nor condemned their activities,” Faisal said, adding that “one could derive a meaning out of its silence”. The MMA is an alliance of six religious parties that gained unprecedented electoral victories in national elections in 2002. One of its members is the leader of the opposition in the Lower House, while the MMA controls the provincial government in North West Frontier Province. It also forms part of a coalition government in Balochistan province. The MMA has 67 seats in the 342-seat National Assembly, with just under a third of them held by the JI. Asia Times Online predicted that the JI would be targeted (Jihadi’s arrest a small step for Pakistan , Aug 10) and now contacts confirm that moves have already started against associates of the JI in its strongest political constituency, Karachi. The next phase will most likely be in Rawalpindi and southern Punjab. Several close affiliates are believed to have been arrested by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) without charges being laid against them. Pakistan turns on itself By Syed Saleem Shahzad Aug 19, 2004  Khalid: A test for US credibility By Syed Saleem Shahzad Mar 6, 2003  Profile: Al-Qaeda ‘kingpin’ Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009 ‘THE MASTERMIND’ For smug KSM, federal court could be perfect arena By Peter Finn Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, November 14, 2009

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ISLAMABAD: One of the top security agencies on Wednesday picked up Raja Ehsan Aziz, a member of Tehrik-e-Islami (TI), for his alleged connections with terrorists who had attacked the Parade Lane Mosque in Rawalpindi and Moon Market in Lahore. Tehrik-e-Islami is a splinter group of the JI. Two female members of the Tehrik have already been taken into custody. Sarwat Wahid, another female member whose son’s car was used in the Parade Lane Mosque attack, is missing. Also her son, Jawad, who was studying in Faisalabad after doing A Level from Beacon House School System, is missing. Aziz, a graduate of Columbia University who also served on senior positions at the Foreign Office, is a retired professor of International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University. His elder son is an Army doctor. Aziz was taken away from his house in G/10-3 on Wednesday evening by sleuths of the Counter-Terrorism Cell, his wife Amira Aziz told The News. Amira, an ex-MNA of Jamaat-e-Islami and now a Shura member of the Tehrik, is a religious scholar and writes columns in an Urdu daily. Aziz’s driver, Phool Zeb from Nowshera, has already been arrested as investigators found a mobile SIM allegedly used for conversation during the attacks on the Parade Lane Mosque and Moon Market, was issued in his name. Likewise, the car used in the mosque attack belonged to Jawad, the son of a Tehrik-e-Islami woman, Sarwat Wahid, a resident of I-8 Sector, Islamabad. Both of them are missing since then. Likewise, Aziz’ son, Omer, a student of Islamic International University, has not returned home for the last five days. JI splinter group leader, females held for links to suicide attackers Friday, December 18, 2009 By Umar Cheema

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