Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Peace Talks with Militants and Return of the `Midnight Jackal.

2014 ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday announced that his government would pursue peace talks with Taliban militants despite a recent spate of attacks, naming a four-member committee to facilitate the talks. Addressing a session of the National Assembly after a span of six months, Sharif said the government wanted to give peace another chance. The premier announced the constitution of a four-member team – comprising his Advisor on National Affairs Irfan Siddique, veteran journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai, former ambassador and expert on Afghanistan affairs Rustam Shah Mohmand and former ISI official Major (Retd) Amir Shah – to holds talks with the militants. He said that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan would assist the committee. Sharif also called on the militants to observe a ceasefire in the televised speech. He said that he would personally supervise the performance of the committee, adding that he was sincerely trying to restore peace in the country and expressed his hope that the other side would reciprocate in a similar manner. The announcement came the same day Taliban militants targeted paramilitary soldiers, killing at least three Rangers personnel in separate bomb attacks in Karachi. Speaking to from an undisclosed location, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed responsibility for the attacks. Shahid said the Taliban have convened a meeting of the Shura (council) to “assess the committee formed by the federal government for peace talks.” “Taliban are united under Fazlullah and rumours about rifts are baseless,” he said. REFERENCE: PM Sharif announces another push for Taliban peace talks & Page 271 from Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion by Peter Bergen (Editor) , Katherine Tiedemann (Editor)

May 19, 2009 Nawaz Sharif told the conference the Swat operation must continue until the elimination of the Taliban. LAHORE: PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif, expressing concern about a controversial peace deal with militants, has said militants in Swat were trying to export their particularly harsh version of Sharia. “How do we deal with the situation in Swat?” Nawaz asked in an hour-long interview with USA TODAY at his home on the outskirts of the city. “They are now threatening to get out of Swat and take other areas into their custody. So we’ve got to avoid that situation.” Nawaz said he opposed attacks by US drones on militant hideouts as “counterproductive” and wanted to see dialogue with more moderate groups. Nawaz downplayed fears that the country could be taken over by the Taliban militants. He said the insurgency in Swat and border areas could be defused in just two years if sufficient economic development took place. Any deal with militants should include commitments that “democracy will not be allowed to deteriorate and the writ of the government will be honoured,” Nawaz said, adding that women’s schools and universities must be allowed to stay open. REFERENCES: Nawaz voices concern over Swat deal News Desk Wednesday, April 22, 2009 Nawaz voices concern over Swat deal APC wants end to terror Irfan Ghauri May 19, 2009

Go through the "efforts (Jirga 3 March 2011)" of Jang Group and GEO TV to further distort the Recent History of Afghan War and Pakistan's Cooperation with US CIA during General Zia's period (1979 - 1988), the Anchor, Mr. Salim Safi in the start of the Program "Jirga" mentioned Unnamed CIA Officials and showed the cover of a Steve Coll's book on Afghanistan -- Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to 10 September 2001) and shamelessly declared Steve Coll, a Former US CIA Employee whereas he is is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and writer. Coll is currently president and CEO of the New America Foundation. Prior to assuming that post on September 17, 2007, Coll was a staff writer for The New Yorker, and served as managing editor of The Washington Post from 1998 to 2004. Coll was also an associate editor for The Post from late 2004 to August 2005. Coll used to maintain a blog on The New Yorker website entitled Think Tank, where he wrote primarily on issues of foreign and public policy, and American national security. June 1, 2010 What I Learned About Blogging Posted by Steve Coll 

The facts which were conveniently forgotten by the host and guests as well during that programs are as under:

Toasts of President Reagan and President Mobammad Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan at the State Dinner December 7, 1982 - In the last few years, in particular, your country has come to the forefront of the struggle to construct a framework for peace in your region, an undertaking which includes your strenuous efforts to bring peaceful resolution to the crisis in Afghanistan—a resolution which will enable the millions of refugees currently seeking shelter in Pakistan to go home in peace and honor. Further, you've worked to ensure that progress continues toward improving the relationship between Pakistan and India. And in all these efforts the United States has supported your objectives and will applaud your success. And, Mr. President, unfortunately, a new and menacing turbulence has arisen in our region. More than a fifth of the entire population of Afghanistan has been compelled to seek shelter in Pakistan as a result of the armed intervention in that country by a foreign power. We are bending our effort to resolve this tragic situation through a peaceful political settlement, in accordance with the principles enunciated by the international community. The latest manifestation of this was the Resolution of Afghanistan adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, once again with the overwhelming support of the member states. Spread this America, Mr. President, to areas other than the United States of America. Let America be the torchbearer of peace, peace not only on the American continent but peace in Afghanistan, peace in Vietnam, peace in Somalia, and above all, peace in Palestine. We wish you, sir, all the best in your endeavors. And you will never find Pakistanis faltering. We'll be there right behind you to give you the helping hand, if we can, at the moment that you wish us to do so. REFERENCE: Toasts of President Reagan and President Mobammad Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan at the State Dinner December 7, 1982

The demolition of the temples in Buner was initiated by Maulana Dua Noor, a cleric who belonged to the Panjpiri sect of Wahabism. After the death of Maulana Muhammad Tahir, his son Maulana Tayyab became the chief of this organization who also manages a huge religious seminary in the town of Panjpir. Muhammad Amir, another brother of Maulana Tayyab was a major in Pakistan Army and worked for Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the country’s spy agency in 1980s. Major Amir allegedly conspired and collaborated with others to topple the democratically elected government of the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1989.

Here comes the Lies and Blatant Distortion by the Jang Group of Newspapers and GEO TV: CIA and ISI: friends or foes? ---> Watch debate on ‘Jirga’ tonight - KARACHI: CIA and ISI: Friends or Foes? Watch a conversation among ISI officials, who had close links with the CIA, in ‘Jirga’. Guests are Brigadier (R) Mohammad Aslam Ghumman (Former Station Chief ISI, Lahore), Brigadier (R) Asad Munir (Former Station Chief ISI, Peshawar), Colonel (R) Bashir Wali (Former Station Chief ISI, Peshawar), Major (R) Mohammad Aamir (Former Station Chief ISI, Islamabad) with host Salim Safi. ‘Jirga’ will go on air tonight at 7 pm. Geo glimpses Thursday, March 03, 2011

ISI and US CIA : Adversary or Allies (Jirga 3rd March 2011)

ISI and US CIA : Adversary or Allies (Jirga 3rd... by SalimJanMazari

Swat Taliban welcome Osama bin Laden 2009-04-21 00:00:00‘Swat Taliban to welcome Osama’ Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Afghan Jihad & Emergence of Transnational Networks by CRSS Afghan Jihad & Emergence of Transnational Networks by CRSS

2003: A new book, “Charlie Wilson’s War” by George Crile on the life and good times of a former US congressman is a frank pastiche of a lawmaker who helped Pakistan’s military ruler Gen. Ziaul Haq in procuring American money and weapons for the “holy war” against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. From humble beginnings in Lufkin, Texas, Congressman Charlie Wilson became an Israeli lobbyist and beneficiary of largesse bestowed upon him by the Jewish lobby in the United States and went on to become Ziaul Haq’s personal friend and confidant as they plotted to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan at times using Israeli supplied arms. Charlie Wilson still works as a lobbyist for Pakistan on Capitol Hill and he was spotted at every reception that former Pakistani ambassador Maleeha Lodhi hosted. Wilson, an avowed anti-Communist and anti-Indian, sat on the powerful US House Appropriations Committee. He managed to procure millions of dollars for America’s largest covert operation ever. He has been investigated several times by the FBI for using covert money to support his lifestyle. Wilson reveals in the book that he was introduced to Gen Ziaul Haq by the Houston socialite Joanne Herring who was appointed honorary Pakistani consul-general by the then ambassador of Pakistan, soon to become foreign minister, Sahibzada Yaqub Ali Khan, when Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was prime minister. Joanne Herring, described as the “Texas Bombshell” in addition to her role as “a social lioness and hostess to the powerful”, was credited with “setting in motion a process that would profoundly impact the outcome of the Afghan war”. “In the pivotal years of the Jihad, she (Herring) became both matchmaker and muse to Pakistan’s Muslim fundamentalist military dictator Ziaul Haq as well as scandal prone Charlie Wilson,” writes Crile. “Herring set the stage. She had called Zia from Houston on his private line and told him not to be put off by Wilson’s flamboyant appearance and not to pay attention to any stories of decadence that his diplomats might relate. She was adamant he win over US Congressman from Texas: he could become Pakistan’s most important ally.” Crile quotes Wilson in the book as saying that “Zia would leave cabinet meetings just to take Joanne’s calls”. When Zia made his maiden visit to the United States during the Reagan administration, he was much reviled by most Americans having hung Mr Bhutto. Ms Herring hosted a most lavish dinner for Zia at a Houston hotel where she defended Zia’s hanging of Bhutto, saying “Zia did not hang Bhutto. He was found guilty. President Zia did not commute the sentence because the Pakistani constitution based on the Quran did not allow it”. At that dinner, Crile writes, “Zia had dangerous decisions to make in the coming months about the CIA’s involvement in his inflamed North-West Frontier, and all of them centred on whether he could trust the United States. Joanne’s startling toast was strangely therapeutic for the much-maligned leader, who remembered how quickly Jimmy Carter had turned on him. In Houston that night, Joanne Herring saw to it that a host of powerful Americans actually honoured him. And that same night, Charlie Wilson provided yet another dimension to Zia’s growing partnership with the United States when he took the general into a side room for a private talk. The congressman had a novel proposition for the Muslim dictator. Would Zia be willing to deal with the Israelis? “This was not the sort of proposal just anyone could have made. But by now, the Pakistanis believed that Charlie Wilson had been decisive in getting them the disputed F-16 radar systems. As he saw it, Wilson had pulled off the impossible. Now the congressman, in his tuxedo, began to take Zia into the forbidden world where the Israelis were prepared to make deals no one need hear about.
REFERENCE: Charlie Wilson’s war by Masood Haider DAWN - Features; July 23, 2003  Pakistan got Israeli weapons during Afghan war

Declassified - The Taliban (Documentary)
Declassified - The Taliban (Documentary) by SalimJanMazari

 “He told Zia about his experience the previous year when the Israelis had shown him the vast stores of Soviet weapons they had captured from the PLO in Lebanon. The weapons were perfect for the mujahideen, he told Zia. If Wilson could persuade the CIA to buy them, would Zia have any problems passing them on to the Afghans? “Zia, ever the pragmatist, smiled on the proposal, adding, ‘Just don’t put any Stars of David on the boxes.” With that encouragement, Wilson pushed on. “Pakistan did not have diplomatic relations with Israel, and Wilson certainly had no authority to serve as a quasi secretary of state. In fact, with this kind of talk, the congressman was walking dangerously close to violating the Logan Act, which prohibits anyone other than the (US) president or his representatives from conducting foreign policy. But as the two rejoined Joanne’s party, Zia left the congressman with an understanding that he was authorized to begin secret negotiations to open back channels between Islamabad and Jerusalem. Wilson would leave for Israel in March and travel on to Pakistan to brief Zia immediately afterward. Crile says that the CIA man in Islamabad, Howard Hart, when asked years later, if he knew about Wilson’s efforts to bring the Israelis into the Afghan war, dismissed the story out of hand, insisting that the Pakistanis would never have permitted it. “I would have burst into hysterical laughter and locked myself in the bathroom before proposing such a thing,” he said. “It was bad enough for Zia to be dealing with the Americans, even secretly. But the Israelis were so beyond the pale that it would have been impossible. You have to understand that the Pakistanis were counting on maintaining the image of holding the high moral ground — of a religious brother helping a religious brother. It is beyond comprehension to have tried to bring the Israelis into it.” “Yet right under Hart’s nose,” Crile writes, “Wilson had proposed just such an arrangement, and Zia and his high command had signed on to implement it. Seven years later, Hart still knew nothing about it.” Charlie Wilson’s strategy called for introducing a new weapon into the battle every three months or so, in order to bluff the Red Army into thinking their enemy was better armed and supported than it was, “The Spanish mortar, for example, with its satellite-guided charge, was rarely deployed and may only have succeeded because the Pakistani ISI advisers were along to direct the fire. But the Soviets didn’t know that. When the weapon was first used it wiped out an entire Spetsnaz outpost with a volley of perfect strikes.” But ultimately it was the Reagan administration’s decision to covertly supply the mujahideen with Stinger missiles which changed the course of war. President Zia, Wilson is quoted as saying in the book, was unwilling to deploy Stingers in the war fearing that the Soviets would react harshly. As it is at Leonid Brezhnev’s funeral Soviet leader, Yuri Andropov, had threatened “to destroy Zia if he didn’t cut off the Afghan bandits.” In his bid to persuade Zia to allow mujahideen to deploy Stingers, Wilson says that he told the general “that he should consider an important benefit beyond weapon’s battlefield value to mujahideen. The Stinger, he told Zia would become symbol of the special relationship that had been forged between United States and Pakistan.” Crile says Wilson’s importance to Zia and Pakistan went beyond money. “Every year the appropriations sub-committee members fought a battle royal over charges that Pakistan was actively pursuing an Islamic Bomb. And every year Wilson, sometimes single-handedly, beat back those accusations. The fact is, Pakistan was working on the bomb, as Wilson, the CIA and almost everyone knew. Furthermore it was not about to stop. The one thing all serious Pakistani politicians agreed on was the need for a nuclear deterrent. It was the only way, they believed, they could survive against militarily superior India, which had already overrun the country in three previous wars.” Thus, Crile says, “Zia knew that as long as Pakistan was backing the mujahideen, Charlie Wilson would be with them, whether they had the bomb or not.” Hence the crucial decision to deploy the Stingers was made by Zia. REFERENCE: Charlie Wilson’s war by Masood Haider DAWN - Features; July 23, 2003  Pakistan got Israeli weapons during Afghan war

Dawn News on Operation Midnight Jackal (2009)

Dawn News on Operation Midnight Jackal (2009) by SalimJanMazari

2009:  Return of the `Midnight Jackal`? ISLAMABAD, April 7 Major Amir, who allegedly conspired and collaborated with others to topple the first Benazir Bhutto government, is said to have developed close relations with the Pakistan People`s Party top leadership. Party sources told Dawn that Major Amir, a former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) operative, had held a few meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari. However, what was discussed in the meetings remains unclear. The sources said that Major Amir was part of the president`s entourage that accompanied him on his visit to Saudi Arabia in November 2008. They added that some PPP leaders were quite surprised to see him around. Major Amir confirmed the recent thaw in relationship between himself and the PPP top leadership. “Let it be no surprise that I have had a cordial relationship with the PPP leadership for the past few years,” he asserted. Asked what he discussed during his meetings with the president, he said, obliquely, that they had exchanged views on the issues of mutual interest. However, the presidential spokesman, Farhatullah Babar, denied reports of meetings between Major Amir and President Zardari. “I have never seen Major Amir in the Presidency during my stay. Moreover, I have not seen his name in any of the scheduled meetings of the president,” he said. But Mr Babar could not explain why Major Amir had been included in President Zardari`s entourage to Saudi Arabia. Major Amir and Brigadier Imtiaz were the two main characters of “Operation Midnight Jackal” that was reportedly launched to topple the first Benazir Bhutto government in 1989. The ISI had reportedly launched the operation to make Pakistan People`s Party MNAs support a no-confidence motion against their own prime minister. According to the then director-general of the Intelligence Bureau, Masood Sharif Khattak, Major Amir and Brigadier Imtiaz were caught on video and audiotapes influencing some PPP parliamentarians. But in an earlier interview with DawnNews, Major Amir and Brig Imtiaz had contradicted the reports of their involvement in the conspiracy. Major Amir claimed he was acting on the specific directives of the then ISI director-general, Shamsur Rehman Kallue, who was an appointee of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. He claimed that he was acting to identify the black sheep within the ranks of the PPP. He offered the same version of events to the board in the GHQ which heard his case during court martial proceedings. The former ISI operative conceded that he kept a watchful eye on the treasury MNAs who were expected to support the no-confidence motion against the then prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. Sources said Major Amir would never have been able to find a place close to Benazir Bhutto. They added that some close aides of President Zardari helped Major Amir make his acquaintance. The former ISI operative used to be a special adviser to former NWFP chief minister Sardar Mehtab Abbasi, a close aide of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. By then, Major Amir was said to be in the good books of the PML-N top leader. But this is not what the PML-N spokesman thought. “He was just an adviser to Sardar Mehtab. But he did not have any close contact with Mian Nawaz Sharif,” PML-N spokesman Siddiqul Farooq claimed. A political pundit, who has access to some important drawing rooms in Islamabad, did not rule out the possibility of the former ISI operative being given an important political assignment to deal with right-wing media or fundos or both. Return of the `Midnight Jackal`? 2009-04-08 00:00:00 by Shahzad Raza

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