Thursday, November 3, 2011

"LIE" & "DISTORT" with BBC London on Pakistan.

Secret Pakistan - 1. Double Cross - In May this year, US Special Forces shot and killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. Publicly Pakistan is one of America's closest allies - yet every step of the operation was kept secret from it. Filmed largely in Pakistan and Afghanistan, this two-part documentary series explores how a supposed ally stands accused by top CIA officers and Western diplomats of causing the deaths of thousands of coalition soldiers in Afghanistan. It is a charge denied by Pakistan's military establishment, but the documentary makers meet serving Taliban commanders who describe the support they get from Pakistan in terms of weapons, training and a place to hide. This first episode investigates signs of duplicity that emerged after 9/11 and disturbing intelligence reports after Britain's forces entered Helmand in 2006. REFERENCE: Secret Pakistan -

Seymour Hersh on Bin Laden and Al 'Qaeda's -escape- from Afghanistan

Seymour Hersh on JSOC - Americas Assassination Division

LONDON: Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has disclosed that Omar Sheikh, who kidnapped and murdered American journalist Daniel Pearl and is now facing death penalty, was actually the British secret Agency MI6’s agent and had executed certain missions on their behest before coming to Pakistan and visiting Afghanistan to meet Osama and Mullah Omar. General Musharraf’s book has also given a new twist to the whole drama of kidnapping and murder of American journalist as many believe here British national Omar Sheikh might use Musharraf’s memoir to plea his innocence after, quite surprisingly, Musharraf tried to give a clean chit to Omar despite his role in kidnapping which is punishable with death in Pakistan. It has been reported that General Musharraf has written in his book that while Omar Sheikh was at the London School of Economics (LSE), he was recruited by the British intelligence agency MI6, which persuaded him to take an active part in demonstrations against Serbian aggression in Bosnia and even sent him to Kosovo to join the jihad. At some point, he probably became a rogue or double agent. The local media is discussing the possibility that Omar would use evidence from President Musharraf’s memoirs to save himself from the hangman. General Musharraf appeared to exonerate Omar Sheikh in his book In the Line of Fire. Sheikh, 32, who was brought up in Wanstead, east London, has been on death row since 2003 after being convicted of orchestrating the kidnap and murder of the Wall Street Journal reporter. The Times, which is carrying extracts of Musharraf autobiography has reported that General Musharraf appears to have changed his mind about the Briton’s guilt, saying he now believes that the man who beheaded the American hostage was Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. The Times has reported that Rai Bashir, Sheikh’s lawyer, said that he intended to use the memoir to force a new appeal hearing. The Times report said General Musharraf appears to contradict the original claim that the British militant callously planned Pearl’s murder, saying: "Only later did I realise that Omar Sheikh had panicked because the situation had spiralled out of his control." Bashir said: "After reading the book, if I feel necessary, I will quote the book in my arguments in favour of my client. It can be used as evidence." Three other men jailed for life for their part in the crime have lodged appeals. - Internews. Reference: President dubs alleged Pearl killer MI6 spy Latest Update: Friday29/9/2006September, 2006, 01:06 PM Doha Time

Secret Pakistan : Double Cross Part 1/6

When Clement Rodney Hampton-el, a hospital technician from Brooklyn, New Jersey, returned home from the war in Afghanistan in 1989, he told friends his only desire was to return. Though he had been wounded in the arm and leg by a Russian shell, he said he had failed. He had not achieved martyrdom in the name of Islam. So he found a different theatre for his holy war and achieved a different sort of martyrdom. Three years ago, he was convicted of planning a series of massive explosions in Manhattan and sentenced to 35 years in prison. Hampton-el was described by prosecutors as a skilled bomb-maker. It was hardly surprising. In Afghanistan he fought with the Hezb-i-Islami group of mujahideen, whose training and weaponry were mainly supplied by the CIA. He was not alone. American officials estimate that, from 1985 to 1992, 12,500 foreigners were trained in bomb-making, sabotage and urban guerrilla warfare in Afghan camps the CIA helped to set up. Since the fall of the Soviet puppet government in 1992, another 2,500 are believed to have passed through the camps. They are now run by an assortment of Islamic extremists, including Osama bin Laden, the world's most wanted terrorist. Bin Laden arrived in Afghanistan from Saudi Arabia in 1979, aged 22. Though he saw a considerable amount of combat - around the eastern city of Jalalabad in March 1989 and, earlier, around the border town of Khost - his speciality was logistics. From his base in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, he used his experience of the construction trade, and his money, to build a series of bases where the mujahideen could be trained by their Pakistani, American and, if some recent press reports are to be believed, British advisers. One of the camps bin Laden built, known as Al-Badr, was the target of the American missile strikes against him last summer. Now it is used by Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistan-based organisation that trains volunteers to fight in Kashmir. Some of their recruits kidnapped and almost certainly killed a group of Western hostages a few years ago. The bases are still full of new volunteers, many Pakistanis. Most of those who were killed in last August's strikes were Pakistani. A Harkut-ul-Mujahideen official said last week that it had Germans and Britons fighting for the cause, as well as Egyptians, Palestinians and Saudis. Muslims from the West as well as from the Middle East and North Africa are regularly stopped by Pakistani police on the road up the Khyber Pass heading for the camps. Hundreds get through. Afghan veterans have now joined bin Laden's al-Qaeda group. Some have returned to former battlegrounds, like the university-educated Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, a key figure in the Egyptian al-Jihad terrorist group. Al-Zawahiri ran his own operation during the Afghan war, bringing in and training volunteers from the Middle East. Some of the $500 million the CIA poured into Afghanistan reached his group. Al-Zawahiri has become a close aide of bin Laden and has now returned to Afghanistan to work with him. His al-Jihad group has been linked to the Yemeni kidnappers. One Saudi journalist who interviewed bin Laden in 1989 remembers three of his close associates going under the names of Abu Mohammed, Abu Hafz and Abu Ahmed. All three fought with bin Laden in the early Eighties, travelled with him to the Sudan and have come back to Afghanistan. Afghan veterans, believed to include men who fought the Americans in Somalia, have also returned. Other members of al-Quaeda remain overseas. Afghan veterans now linked to bin Laden have been traced by investigators to Pakistan, East Africa, Albania, Chechnya, Algeria, France, the US and Britain. At least one of the kidnappers in Yemen was reported to have fought in Afghanistan and to be linked to al-Quaeda. Despite reports that bin Laden was effectively funded by the Americans, it is impossible to gauge how much American aid he received. He was not a major figure in the Afghan war. Most American weapons, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, were channelled by the Pakistanis to the Hezb-i-Islami faction of the mujahideen led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Bin Laden was only loosely connected with the group, serving under another Hezb-i-Islami commander known as Engineer Machmud. However, bin Laden's Office of Services, set up to recruit overseas for the war, received some US cash. But according to one American official, concentrating on bin Laden is a mistake. 'The point is not the individuals,' he said last week. 'The point is that we created a whole cadre of trained and motivated people who turned against us. It's a classic Frankenstein's monster situation.' Others point out that the military contribution of the 'Arabs', as the overseas volunteers were known, was relatively small. 'The fighting was done by the Afghans and most of them went back to their fields when Kabul fell to the mujahideen,' said Kamaal Khan, a Pakistani defence analyst. 'Ironically, the bulk of American aid went to the least effective fighters, who turned most strongly to bite the hand that fed them.' REFERENCE: Frankenstein the CIA created Mujahideen trained and funded by the US are among its deadliest foes, reports Jason Burke in Peshawar Sunday 17 January 1999 05.42 GMT

Secret Pakistan : Double Cross Part 2/6

Following the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in December 1979, the U.S. administration, first under Carter and then under Reagan, launched a massive support and training campaign for the Afghan freedom fighters, or "mujahideen" (holy warriors), as they came to be known. In addition to overt and covert funding operations by various U.S. governmental agencies for the mujahideen, a plethora of private "aid" agencies, think-tanks, and other odd outfits joined the fray, with the ostensible aim of helping the Afghans to liberate their nation from the clutches of the Soviet invaders. However, a closer look at the activities of these private agencies reveals that there was much more at stake. As the profiles below show, the source of policy for most of these groups was British intelligence. As such, these groups lobbied the U.S. Congress, set up conferences, launched pro-mujahideen propaganda campaigns, and, in some cases, even provided military training for various mujahideen groups. U.S. policy toward Afghanistan, and the region, was largely determined by the aims of these "committees," which also represented the controlling "mediators" between the mujahideen and British policy. Some of the members and leaders of the organizations profiled below were also involved with some of the figures in the drugs-for-guns related Iran-Contra networks of then-Vice President George Bush and his sidekick Oliver North.

Afghan Aid U.K./Radio Free Kabul

Afghan Aid U.K. (AIUK), together with Radio Free Kabul of London, were the two most important coordinators of Afghan mujahideen aid efforts internationally throughout the Afghan War. Afghan Aid U.K. was set up in Peshawar, Pakistan, by Romy Fullerton, in the early stages of the war. She was the wife of the British journalist John Fullerton, who has written extensively on Afghanistan, and the Afghan War. The main sponsor and funder of the group was Viscount Cranbourne, currently Lord Privy Seal (chief of the Queen's Privy Council), and Leader of the House of Lords. Viscount Cranbourne is a member of the Cecil family, one of the oldest and most powerful oligarchical families in Britain, whose ancestor, Lord Burghley, was the Lord Privy Seal and Lord Treasurer of Queen Elizabeth I. Viscount Cranbourne is the son and heir to the current Sixth Marquis of Salisbury. His grandfather, the Fifth Marquis, had been a British colonial secretary in World War II, and a postwar foreign minister, as well as having been Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords. His great-great-grandfather, the famous Third Marquis of Salisbury, had been the British prime minister and foreign minister from 1878-87, and again 1900-02; he helped lay the basis for World War I. The family motto is, "Late, but seriously." AIUK's initial refugee aid programs were soon expanded to include numerous other services, including medical and agricultural aid, and it even offered a hostel for British journalists. According to one U.S. journalist, AIUK received "considerable British government funding" in addition to "massive amounts of money" from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In order to solicit U.S. government funds for this British operation, Viscount Cranbourne once appeared before the U.S. Congress Special Joint Task Force on Afghanistan, where he attracted considerable attention by twirling his full-length cape around his chair before seating himself to testify. AIUK funneled much of its support to Masood in the north of the country, to the Tajiks (as opposed to the Pushtuns in the south). Masood's brother is currently the Afghan "ambassador" to London.

Radio Free Kabul

Radio Free Kabul was formed almost immediately after the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, by Lord Nicholas Bethell, a former lord-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth II. A career British intelligence official with a specialization in Iranian and Arab affairs, Lord Bethell had served in the Mideast and Soviet sections of official British intelligence, MI6. Lord Bethell had been a decades-long friend and colleague of British intelligence operative Kim Philby, who "defected" to the Soviet Union in 1963. Radio Free Kabul, which was formed virtually single-handedly by Lord Bethell, was run out of Coutts and Co., the private banker to Queen Elizabeth. In 1981, Lord Bethell accompanied British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on a tour of the United States dedicated to drumming up support for the mujahideen. Thatcher and Lord Bethell met over 60 congressmen and senators, and aided in organizing the Committee for a Free Afghanistan, the de facto U.S. arm of Radio Free Kabul. In 1983, Radio Free Kabul sponsored the formation of Resistance International, which pulled together various "freedom movements" sponsored by the Thatcher and Reagan-Bush administrations, including the Afghan mujahideen, the Nicaraguan Contras, anti-Castro Cubans, and various anti-communist eastern European and African movements. Lord Bethell was also the British sponsor of the operations of Jon Speller, a former aide to CIA director Allen Dulles, who played an instrumental role, as did Bethell, in coordinating the operations of the Sikh independence movement (Khalistan), which was allied to the Afghan mujahideen.

Other figures on the board of Radio Free Kabul included:

Ray Whitney, a former British intelligence official who had for years run the disinformation operations unit of the Foreign Office, the so-called Information Research Department. Whitney's outfit was the model for the Reagan administration's new creation, the National Endowment for Democracy. Winston Churchill III, the grandson of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and a leader of Britain's Conservative Party, who was reportedly the main financial backer of the group. Lord Morrison of Lambeth, the former head of the British Foreign Office when two of his employees, Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess of the Philby ring, fled to Moscow. Baron Chalfont, the former British foreign secretary and longtime defense correspondent, with a particular expertise in Mideast affairs.

Afghanistan Relief Commitee

The Afghan Relief Committee was established in 1980 by Wall Street investment banker and spook John Train, who handles the family fortunes of some of the oldest and most powerful U.S. establishment families, such as the Mellons. The organization was housed in Train's investment consultant office. Train was the president of the group, and, according to a 1980 Washington Post article, "its financial whiz." Simultaneous with his founding of ARC, Train was organizing a "media salon" of press prostitutes to launch a massive slander attack on EIR's founder, Lyndon LaRouche. The stated purpose of the ARC was to raise "seed money" for medical organizations treating casualties among the mujahideen. After receiving the Relief Committee's seed money, the medical organizations were expected to go elsewhere for financing. The ARC was especially fond of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-i-Islami group (see article, p. 26). Also operative were Leo Cherne's International Rescue Committee (IRC), whose Peshawar-based office was staffed mostly with Hekmatyar's gang; the National Endowment for Democracy (NED); and the State Department's Agency for International Development. CIA director William Casey was on the IRC's board of directors, and served as its president at one time. Cherne was then vice-director of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), with offices at the White House. From its inception, the ARC worked closely with Freedom House, which had been chaired by Cherne since the 1940s, and whose treasurer, Walter Schloss, was a longtime business associate of Train. Rosanne Klass, vice president of the ARC, was also the director of Freedom House's Afghanistan Information Center, and had formerly been the founding director of the Afghanistan Council of the Asia Society. Founders of the ARC, in addition to Train, included four former U.S. ambassadors to Afghanistan: Francis L. Kellogg, a decades-long associate of Train from the prominent grain-interest family; Train's cousin Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-R.I.); and the ubiquitous professors Louis Dupree and Thomas Gouttierre, both longstanding Afghan hands for U.S. intelligence. Jeane Kirkpatrick, later the Reagan administration ambassador to the U.N., was co-chairman of the group.

The main known financial beneficiaries of the group were:

Doctors Without Borders, run by Ronny Brauman in Paris. This organization, whose most prominent representative was Danielle Mitterrand, wife of President François Mitterrand of France, also received money from the National Endowment for Democracy.

Freedom Medical of Washington, D.C.

Aide Medicale International

Sainte Sud of Marseilles

Most money to such groups, although not these specifically, originated with the International Rescue Committee or Relief International. The first two listed received almost all of ARC's funds.

ARC on-the-ground operations (like those of many other western organizations) were based in Peshawar, Pakistan, the main Pakistani base of the mujahideen. ARC-funded physicians were smuggled into Afghanistan from this base. Foreign national physicians were preferred for this function.

ARC also worked with the National Endowment for Democracy, the congressionally created funding conduit for Project Democracy, on two NED Afghan projects: the Writers Union of Free Afghanis and Freedom House's Afghan Information Center. The two groups were dedicated to training Afghan mujahideen spokesmen in "communication skills." Additionally, the group received NED grants to operate schools inside Afghanistan.

Honorary co-chairmen of the group drawn from the Congress included: Senators Richard Lugar (R) of Indiana, Alfonse D'Amato (R) and Daniel Moynihan (D) of New York, Claiborne Pell, Gordon Humphrey (R) of New Hampshire, Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah, and Representatives Charles Rangel (D) of New York and Bill McCollum (R) of Florida.

Committee for a Free Afghanistan

CFA was founded in 1981 in the aftermath of a trip by Prime Minister Thatcher and Radio Free Kabul founder Lord Bethell to the United States, dedicated to building U.S. support for the mujahideen. The founding executive director of CFA, Karen McKay, was reputed to be the mistress of Lord Bethell. From its inception, the CFA acted as the U.S. arm of Bethell's London-based Radio Free Kabul. McKay, a major in the Rapid Deployment Force reserves, had spent four years in the U.S. Army's Delta Force, studying unconventional warfare in the 1960s. Following active duty, McKay spent nine years in Greece and Israel as a freelance journalist, during which time she also studied for a doctorate in history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She returned from Israel shortly before taking over CFA. CFA's publicly known funding came largely from the Heritage Foundation, an offshoot of the British Fabian Society, the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation headed by Paul Weyrich, and Accuracy in Media, of which CFA was a formal arm. CFA also held numerous conferences and other events throughout the early and mid-1980s, which attempted to organize Americans to support the Afghan mujahideen cause, while simultaneously raising funds. It also put out a publication called the Free Afghanistan Report. The committee actively lobbied Congress. In addition, it managed to gain the sympathy of some high-ranking military officials.

Although the CFA provided funds for almost all of the "Peshawar Seven" groups of mujahideen, the Jamiat-e-Islami, of Burhanudeen Rabbani and his military commander Ahmad Shah Masood, was CFA's favored group. It brought various mujahideen leaders to Washington in order to influence the decision-making regarding aid for the Afghan War. In late 1981, McKay took part in a conference in Paris organized by Lord Bethell aimed at patching together an alliance of the more traditionalist groups of the mujahideen, under the banner of the Islamic Federation of Mujahideen. The groups included the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan of Pir Sayed Ahmad Gailani—the group most patronized by Lord Bethell; the Afghan National Liberation Front of Sebghatullah Mojaddidi; and the Islamic Revolutionary Movement of Mohammed Nabi Mohammedi. CFA was also engaged in raising funds for Radio Free Kabul, International Medical Aid, and Doctors Without Borders.

Some of CFA's key figures included:

Maj. Gen J. Milnor Roberts, chairman of the CFA board of directors, a member of the board of the U.S. branch of World Anti-Communist League (WACL) during the 1980s, and executive director of the Reserve Officers Association. In 1984, Roberts expressed satisfaction over the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, which he stated benefited the Afghan War against the Soviets. He also later told a journalist that the 1991 assassination of Rajiv Gandhi would help western interests in the region.

Charles Moser, professor of Slavic Studies at George Washington University.

David Isby, author of a book for Jane's Defense Weekly of Britain, which analyzed Soviet weaponry. Isby was working for Rep. Bobbi Fiedler (R-Calif.) when he joined the CFA. He later became a contributing editor and Soviet analyst for Soldier of Fortune magazine.

Brig. Gen. Theodore Mataxis, who served as a "military adviser" to the mujahideen, and also paid regular visits to the Salvadoran-based Contras, and the Cambodian rebels in Thailand. From 1986-70, Mataxis was a senior officer with the Army's Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) in Iran. The list of CFA's Council of Advisers also included Gen. John Singlaub, the former international president of WACL who was deeply involved in various Iran-Contra operations; former U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency head Gen. Daniel Graham; former Reagan-Bush administration National Security Adviser Richard V. Allen; Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Claiborne Pell, Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.), and Paul Simon (D-Ill.); and Representatives Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Gerald Solomon (R-N.Y.), Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.), and Charles Wilson (D-Tex.).

Other members of its advisory council included Washington Times editor Arnaud de Borchgrave, whose cousin Alexander de Marenches was then running French intelligence; and two known CIA operatives, Louis Dupree and Thomas Goutierre. A Peace Corps veteran of Afghanistan, Goutierre is now the director of the Center for Afghan Studies at the University of Nebraska. Dupree, formerly with the U.S. Military Academy, has written a book on Afghanistan and also authored many articles for Soldier of Fortune during the Afghan War. Fundraisers for the CFA included the Bush-linked televangelist Pat Robertson, former Ambassador Angier Biddle Duke, and former U.S. Attorney General Eliot Richardson.

Federation for American Afghan Action

The FAAA was founded in 1983, with the help of Paul Weyrich and his Coalition for America, the Heritage Foundation, and the Committee for a Free Afghanistan, of which it was a de facto arm. The first executive director of the Federation for American Afghan Action, which was based at the Heritage Foundation, was Andrew Eiva. Eiva's career started at West Point; upon graduation in 1972, he went on to command paratroopers in the 82nd Airborne Division in North Carolina. While with the 82nd, Eiva also led a detachment of Green Berets which specialized in Soviet weapons, tactics, and languages. Eiva officially gave up his West Point commission in 1980, and went to Afghanistan and other places in order to train the mujahideen. He reportedly trained Afghan guerrillas in bases in West Germany and the United States. Later that year, Eiva came to know Louis Dupree of the Committee for a Free Afghanistan, and soon became president of the Free Afghanistan Alliance in Massachusetts. In that capacity, he came in contact with the CFA's Charles Moser, who brought him to Washington, D.C.

A few notable figures who were on the FAAA board of directors include:

Louis Dupree of the Committee for a Free Afghanistan.

Don Weidenweber, who founded American Aid for Afghans (AAA) in 1980, which organized the delivery of combat supplies to the Afghan mujahideen, and which worked closely with Lord Bethell's Radio Free Kabul.

Matthew D. Erulkar, formerly with the Peace Corps in Zaire, who worked as the legislative director of FAAA, and executive director of its American Afghan Education Fund. In 1985, he formed an organization called the Afghan Support Team in Washington, D.C. That same year he claims to have covertly penetrated the Soviet Union with the Afghan mujahideen, "carrying Korans and other Islamic texts." In cooperation with Senator Tsongas and others, FAAA introduced legislation in Congress to provide funds for the mujahideen in 1984-85. Its May 1985 International Conference on Afghanistan, held in Virginia, was attended, among others, by:

Louis Dupree, FAAA board member.

Edward Luttwak, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Col. Robert Downs (USAF, ret.), an expert in "clandestine air resupply operations," according to Karen McKay.

Anthony Arnold, a former CIA officer and author of Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion in Perspective, whose overseas service included two years in Afghanistan.

Ralph Magnus, a former United States Information Service (USIS) official in Kabul (1962-65). From 1983-84, Magnus served as the original project director of "Americares For Afghans," a project of the Americares Foundation, with responsibility for establishing ties between Americares and the Peshawar offices of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, and the Belgian group Solidarité Afghanistan. Americares was created by George Bush's career-long associate, Robert C. Macauley, and included the president's brother, Prescott Bush, on its board.

Angelo Codevilla, legislative assistant to Sen. Malcolm Wallop (R-Wyo.).

Mike Utter, executive director of the International Medical Corps. IMC worked closely with the American Aid for Afghans and was also contracted by the USAID to help resupply the Nicaraguan Contras. IMC was instrumental in the effort to send Stinger missiles to the Afghan mujahideen, and also helped to force CIA Deputy Director John McMahon out of office. McMahon had reportedly displayed hesitancy in sending Stingers to the Afghans. REFERENCE: The Anglo-American support apparatus behind the Afghani mujahideen by Adam K. East This article appeared in the October 13, 1995 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Secret Pakistan : Double Cross Part 3/6

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

Secret Pakistan : Double Cross Part 4/6

In Afghanistan last November, the Northern Alliance, supported by American Special Forces troops and emboldened by the highly accurate American bombing, forced thousands of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters to retreat inside the northern hill town of Kunduz. Trapped with them were Pakistani Army officers, intelligence advisers, and volunteers who were fighting alongside the Taliban. (Pakistan had been the Taliban’s staunchest military and economic supporter in its long-running war against the Northern Alliance.) Many of the fighters had fled earlier defeats at Mazar-i-Sharif, to the west; Taloqan, to the east; and Pul-i-Khumri, to the south. The road to Kabul, a potential point of retreat, was blocked and was targeted by American bombers. Kunduz offered safety from the bombs and a chance to negotiate painless surrender terms, as Afghan tribes often do. Surrender negotiations began immediately, but the Bush Administration heatedly—and successfully—opposed them. On November 25th, the Northern Alliance took Kunduz, capturing some four thousand of the Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters. The next day, President Bush said, “We’re smoking them out. They’re running, and now we’re going to bring them to justice.” Even before the siege ended, however, a puzzling series of reports appeared in the Times and in other publications, quoting Northern Alliance officials who claimed that Pakistani airplanes had flown into Kunduz to evacuate the Pakistanis there. American and Pakistani officials refused to confirm the reports. On November 16th, when journalists asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld about the reports of rescue aircraft, he was dismissive. “Well, if we see them, we shoot them down,” he said. Five days later, Rumsfeld declared, “Any idea that those people should be let loose on any basis at all to leave that country and to go bring terror to other countries and destabilize other countries is unacceptable.” At a Pentagon news conference on Monday, November 26th, the day after Kunduz fell, General Richard B. Myers, of the Air Force, who is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked about the reports. The General did not directly answer the question but stated, “The runway there is not usable. I mean, there are segments of it that are usable. They’re too short for your standard transport aircraft. So we’re not sure where the reports are coming from.” Pakistani officials also debunked the rescue reports, and continued to insist, as they had throughout the Afghanistan war, that no Pakistani military personnel were in the country. Anwar Mehmood, the government spokesman, told newsmen at the time that reports of a Pakistani airlift were “total rubbish. Hogwash.” In interviews, however, American intelligence officials and high-ranking military officers said that Pakistanis were indeed flown to safety, in a series of nighttime airlifts that were approved by the Bush Administration. The Americans also said that what was supposed to be a limited evacuation apparently slipped out of control, and, as an unintended consequence, an unknown number of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters managed to join in the exodus. “Dirt got through the screen,” a senior intelligence official told me. Last week, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld did not respond to a request for comment. Pakistan’s leader, General Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in a 1999 coup, had risked his standing with the religious fundamentalists—and perhaps his life—by endorsing the American attack on Afghanistan and the American support of the Northern Alliance. At the time of Kunduz, his decision looked like an especially dangerous one. The initial American aim in Afghanistan had been not to eliminate the Taliban’s presence there entirely but to undermine the regime and Al Qaeda while leaving intact so-called moderate Taliban elements that would play a role in a new postwar government. This would insure that Pakistan would not end up with a regime on its border dominated by the Northern Alliance. By mid-November, it was clear that the Northern Alliance would quickly sweep through Afghanistan. There were fears that once the Northern Alliance took Kunduz, there would be wholesale killings of the defeated fighters, especially the foreigners. Musharraf won American support for the airlift by warning that the humiliation of losing hundreds—and perhaps thousands—of Pakistani Army men and intelligence operatives would jeopardize his political survival. “Clearly, there is a great willingness to help Musharraf,” an American intelligence official told me. A C.I.A. analyst said that it was his understanding that the decision to permit the airlift was made by the White House and was indeed driven by a desire to protect the Pakistani leader. The airlift “made sense at the time,” the C.I.A. analyst said. “Many of the people they spirited away were the Taliban leadership”—who Pakistan hoped could play a role in a postwar Afghan government. According to this person, “Musharraf wanted to have these people to put another card on the table” in future political negotiations. “We were supposed to have access to them,” he said, but “it didn’t happen,” and the rescued Taliban remain unavailable to American intelligence. According to a former high-level American defense official, the airlift was approved because of representations by the Pakistanis that “there were guys— intelligence agents and underground guys—who needed to get out.” Once under way, a senior American defense adviser said, the airlift became chaotic. “Everyone brought their friends with them,” he said, referring to the Afghans with whom the Pakistanis had worked, and whom they had trained or had used to run intelligence operations. “You’re not going to leave them behind to get their throats cut.” Recalling the last-minute American evacuation at the end of the Vietnam War, in 1975, the adviser added, “When we came out of Saigon, we brought our boys with us.” He meant South Vietnamese nationals. “ ‘How many does that helicopter hold? Ten? We’re bringing fourteen.’ REFERENCE: The Getaway Questions surround a secret Pakistani airlift. by Seymour M. Hersh January 28, 2002

Secret Pakistan : Double Cross Part 5/6

INT: Right, describe your reaction when you heard that your suspicions had been fully justified: an invasion had happened. ---- ZB: We immediately launched a twofold process when we heard that the Soviets had entered Afghanistan. The first involved direct reactions and sanctions focused on the Soviet Union, and both the State Department and the National Security Council prepared long lists of sanctions to be adopted, of steps to be taken to increase the international costs to the Soviet Union of their actions. And the second course of action led to my going to Pakistan a month or so after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, for the purpose of coordinating with the Pakistanis a joint response, the purpose of which would be to make the Soviets bleed for as much and as long as is possible; and we engaged in that effort in a collaborative sense with the Saudis, the Egyptians, the British, the Chinese, and we started providing weapons to the Mujaheddin, from various sources again - for example, some Soviet arms from the Egyptians and the Chinese. We even got Soviet arms from the Czechoslovak communist government, since it was obviously susceptible to material incentives; and at some point we started buying arms for the Mujaheddin from the Soviet army in Afghanistan, because that army was increasingly corrupt. REFERENCE: INTERVIEW WITH INTERVIEW WITH DR ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI-(13/6/97)

Secret Pakistan : Double Cross Part 6/6

Tony Blair is reported to be heading for heavy criticism by the official inquiry into the Iraq war, which is likely to focus on his alleged failure to consult the cabinet fully in the run-up to the 2003 invasion. The Mail on Sunday reports today that Sir John Chilcot, the former permanent secretary at the Northern Ireland Office who is chairing the inquiry, has identified a series of concerns. These include:

• Failing to keep cabinet ministers fully informed of Blair's plans in the run-up to the invasion in March 2003. The committee is understood to have been impressed by the criticism voiced by Lord Butler of Brockwell, the former cabinet secretary, that Blair ran a sofa government.

• Failing to make proper preparations for the post-war reconstruction of Iraq.

• Failing to present intelligence in a proper way. In his inquiry into the use of intelligence, published in July 2004, Butler said the usual MI6 caveats were stripped out of the famous Downing Street arms dossier of September 2002.

• Failing to be open with ministers about understandings Blair reached with George Bush in the year running up to the invasion.

Blair hit out at the Mail on Sunday. A spokesman for the former prime minister said: "This is a deliberate attempt by the Mail on Sunday to prejudge a report that hasn't even been written yet. We are not going to comment until the report is actually published." Angus Robertson, the SNP's leader at Westminster, said: "The tapestry of deceit woven by Tony Blair over the past decade has finally unravelled. Despite his best attempts to fudge the issue when he was called to give evidence, the Chilcot inquiry have recognised the former prime minister's central role in leading the UK into worst foreign policy disaster in recent history. "While no inquiry will ever bring back those lost in Iraq, this comprehensive review by Sir John Chilcot will at least provide some explanation of the decisions which led to the disastrous invasion." There has been speculation at senior levels of Whitehall that Chilcot and the members of his inquiry are planning to criticise Blair when they publish their report in the autumn. Some members of the inquiry, including the former British ambassador to Moscow, Sir Rod Lyne, put Blair under pressure in his two appearances before them. Members of the inquiry have said in private to former colleagues in Whitehall that the best way to gauge the inquiry's findings is to identify areas that have been raised repeatedly by Chilcot and his team. Three key areas which fall into this category are: the lack of proper cabinet consultation; the use of intelligence; and the failure to make preparations for the post-war reconstruction. It is expected that the inquiry will take a dim view of the Downing Street dossier on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, published on 24 September 2002. This included the notorious claim that Iraq could launch a WMD attack in 45 minutes. In launching the report, Blair told an emergency session of the Commons: "His [Saddam Hussein's] weapons of mass destruction programme is active, detailed and growing. The policy of containment is not working. The weapons of mass destruction programme is not shut down; it is up and running now." Blair later stated he was wrong to have been so categorical about Iraq's WMD programme. The inquiry is likely to criticise Alastair Campbell, Blair's former director of communications, who was instrumental in drawing up the dossier. Campbell has always maintained that Sir John Scarlett, then chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, was in charge of the dossier. However, Major General Michael Laurie told the inquiry in a letter in May that the dossier was designed to "make the case for war". Campbell wrote back to the inquiry to say: "Witnesses who were directly involved in the drafting of the dossier have made clear to several inquiries that at no time did I put anyone in the intelligence community under pressure, or say to them or anyone else that the then prime minister's purpose in publishing the dossier was to make the case for war." The inquiry is also expected to focus on Blair's assurances to Bush in the run-up to the Iraq war. Blair rejects criticism that he told the former president in a meeting at his Texas ranch in April 2002 that he would support an invasion as long as the US agreed to try to secure agreement from the United Nations. In addition, the inquiry will address the failure to make adequate preparations for the post-war reconstruction of Iraq. Major General Tim Cross, who was attached to the US post-war Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, told the inquiry of a meeting he had with Blair on 18 March 2003, two days before the invasion. In written evidence, he said: "I told him that there was no clarity on what was going to be needed after the military phase of the operation, nor who would provide it. Although I was confident that we would secure a military victory, I offered my view that we should not begin that campaign until we had a much more coherent postwar plan." Cross told the inquiry in person in December 2009: "He nodded and didn't say anything particular. I didn't expect him to look me in the eye and say, 'This is terrible, we are going to pull the whole thing off.' I was just one of a number of people briefing him." REFERENCE: Chilcot to 'heavily criticise' Tony Blair over Iraq war Official inquiry into Iraq war expected to focus on former PM's alleged failure to consult cabinet fully in run-up to invasion Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent Sunday 31 July 2011 12.12 BST


 London riots spread to Midlands and north-west on fourth night of trouble - Rioting and looting has spread to towns and cities throughout England, 24 hours after police were accused of losing control of the streets of London. Officers were fighting disturbances in Manchester and Birmingham involving hundreds of youths who set fire to shops and smashed store windows. The fourth night of riots came after David Cameron returned early from his holiday and called on police to be more robust in their response. The Prime Minister announced that the number of officers on the streets of the capital would rise from 6,000 to 16,000 in a bid to stamp out escalating lawlessness. The Metropolitan Police also said it would consider firing plastic bullets, never before used on the mainland, against the rampaging gangs, while police leave was cancelled and special constables drafted in. The Army’s emergency infantry battalion, known as the Spearhead Lead Element, has been put on standby should the civil unrest worsen, The Daily Telegraph has learned. London was placed in lockdown after three nights of anarchy with shops being boarded up early in the afternoon and office workers hurrying home before dark as rumours swirled that mobs were forming at locations throughout the city. But as police officers from 30 forces poured into the capital it became increasingly clear that the tactic had left the provinces exposed. By early evening a number of outbreaks of violence were confirmed. REFERENCE: London riots spread to Midlands and north-west on fourth night of trouble By Martin Beckford, Andrew Hough and Mark Hughes 10:00PM BST 09 Aug 2011 

UK riots Fourth night of violence spreads north

London riots spread

ISLAMABAD: The British government has refused to process warrants against former president Pervez Musharraf in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case, issued by an anti-terrorism court of Pakistan, DawnNews reported. The British Foreign Office informed the Pakistani government that the arrest warrants cannot be processed because there is no official agreement signed between the two countries on prisoner exchange. However, the British Prime Minister David Cameron during his visit to Pakistan had assured Pakistan’s request would be processed. REFERENCES: UK refuses to handover Pervez Musharraf DAWN.COM April 19, 2011  Warrants issued for Musharraf By Mudassir Raja | From the Newspaper February 13, 2011 

NEW YORK: President All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and former president Pervez Musharraf, criticizing PML-N’s Nawaz Shaif said, he made a blunder as he messed with four ex-army chiefs, two presidents and the chief justice during his government, Geo News reported Sunday. Musharraf was addressing APML’s mass gathering here on Sunday. Former President, responding to threats of filing a lawsuit incessantly posed to him by Nawaz Sharif, said, “As Nawaz knows that neither will he regain power nor will he be able to try me in a court of law therefore he takes resort to blow this trumpet time and again.” He said he doesn’t regret killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti and attack on Lal Mosque and neither will he seek apology over those actions, adding that he was ready to replicate all what he did during his tenure in the face of similar situation. Musharraf said, on one hand Nawaz Sharif chant slogan of ‘Jaag Punjabi Jaag’ to accumulate votes in Punjab and on the other hand, he has worn criminal silence over killings of Punjabis in Balochistan. Also, Musharraf alleged Nawaz Sharif of handing refuge to Talal Bugti in Lahore whom (Bugti) he termed ‘lawbreaker’. The supporters of PML-N and APML were also present on the occasion and were chanting slogans against chiefs of both parties. REFERENCE: Don’t regret Bugti’s murder: Musharraf Updated at: 1150 PST, Sunday, November 07, 2010  Don’t regret Bugti’s murder: Musharraf Updated at: 1217 PST, Sunday, November 07, 2010 

Former Chief of the Army Staff General (R) Pervez Musharraf Justifies the "Murder" of Sardar Akbar Bugti


The 132-page report documents dozens of enforced disappearances, in which the authorities take people into custody and then deny all responsibility or knowledge of their fate or whereabouts. The report details 45 alleged cases of enforced disappearances, the majority in 2009 and 2010. While hundreds of people have been forcibly disappeared in Balochistan since 2005, dozens of new enforced disappearances have occurred since Pakistan returned to civilian rule in 2008. REFERENCE: “We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years” Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan July 28, 2011 

ISLAMABAD: The man who has ruled Sindh as a de facto chief minister for many years finally lost his powers on Saturday. Brigadier Huda, who was an ISI commander in Sindh, was in fact the caretaker of the MQM-PML-Q provincial coalition government. He was responsible for running the coalition in a smooth manner. All major decisions were taken after his consultation. He resolved the differences between former CM Arbab Ghulam Rahim and the MQM many a time. Many provincial ministers even used to say “ooper Khuda aur neechay Huda”. The brigadier’s name figured in the power circles of Islamabad in the evening of May 12, 2007. Brigadier Huda was given credit for the show of massive government power in Karachi on that day. Initially, the MQM was reluctant to hold a rally in Karachi on May 12. The then ISI DG Gen Ashfaq Kayani also had the same opinion that the MQM should not come out on the streets when Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would visit Karachi. It was Huda who played an important role in convincing the MQM not to cancel its rally. He assured the MQM leadership that there will be no riots on that day though he was proved wrong. He was supposed to be very close to the then Army chief General Pervez Musharraf. However, no action was taken against him. REFERENCE: De facto Sindh CM finally transferred Monday, April 21, 2008 By Hamid Mir

The blasts in the rally of Benazir Bhutto on October 18, 2007 in Karachi were another failure of Brigadier Huda. He was responsible for the security of Benazir Bhutto on that day more than anybody else. However, he was not transferred despite his repeated failures. His downfall started on April 9, 2008, when many people including lawyers were killed in the Karachi violence. It was another failure on the part of Huda. The new PPP government in Sindh felt that Brigadier Huda was still having immense political influence. It believed that he was in contact with the anti-PPP forces. Many important bureaucrats reported to the provincial government that Huda was interfering in different departments. He was more interested in “political makings and breakings” than doing his security job. After the episode of April 9, PPP leaders asked ISI Director General Lt Gen Nadeem Taj through the prime minister that Huda must be transferred. It took just a few days and Huda was transferred. He was replaced by another brigadier. The PPP gave a message that it means business and it will not tolerate any ambitious spymasters. There are rumors in the capital that the ISI DG will also be transferred soon but highly-placed sources in the new government dispelled all these rumours. “The prime minister has the authority to change the ISI DG anytime but right now we don’t need to change him,” claimed a top PPP leader. REFERENCE: De facto Sindh CM finally transferred Monday, April 21, 2008 By Hamid Mir

MQM on Sardar Akbar Bugti's Death in 2006.

LAHORE, Aug 28: The MQM is politically caught in a dilemma. It ideologically differs both with the government and the opposition but had to choose one of them. MQM organiser Dr Farooq Sattar stated this at a press conference here on Monday. Facing a barrage of questions about the party's responsibility (being a part of the government) in the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti, he said the MQM condemned it in unequivocal terms. The MQM is a party limited to urban Sindh as far as electoral politics is concerned. In these circumstances, it can hardly make independent choice in national politics. That is why, it had to choose between the government and the opposition, and it went for former. But this partnership does not exclude being ideologically different, he insisted. The party, he said, believed that it could better serve national interest by being part of the government as it could influence official decisions and fight for the rights of downtrodden from within the system. The party is certain that it could better fight for provincial autonomy and other irritants in national politics by being in the government and that is the only reason for it being part of official set-up. Facing more and more questions on the killing of Akbar Bugti, Dr Farooq did not go beyond already stated position of the party: The MQM condemns killing and stands for maximum provincial autonomy, which originally triggered the crisis between the government and Mr Bugti. About demands like the judicial inquiry into the killing, he said the party would measure its further response once the initial phase of grief was over. Earlier, Dr Farooq announced a 16-member organising committee representing some 14 districts of the Punjab. He said the number would be taken to 25 in near future. The members of the committee would organise the party in Punjab according to the principles of party chief Altaf Husain. REFERENCE: Farooq explains MQM dilemma By Our Staff Reporter August 29, 2006 Tuesday Sha'aban 4, 1427

KARACHI: The United Kingdom Under-secretary Foreign Affairs Alistair Burt telephoned Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad on Wednesday and discussed the law and order situation in Karachi. The present political situation of Pakistan and of Karachi, in particular, also came under discussion between the two. Burt lauded the efforts ofMQM chief Altaf Hussain in the restoration of peace in the metropolis. He gave an assurance that the UK was ready to help Pakistan in any way to achieve political stability and for the restoration of peace in Karachi. Burt also appreciated the role of all stakeholders in Karachi who are making efforts to restore peace. Ebad apprised Burt that the government was fully cognisant of the situation in Karachi and action was being taken against criminal elements. REFERENCE: Ebad, UK official discuss Karachi situation our correspondent Thursday, August 04, 2011

KARACHI: In a speech marked by a discernible reduction of bellicosity, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain said on Wednesday that the Army and the Rangers be deployed in Karachi on a full-time basis to stop it from frequently descending into violence. Mr Hussain set alarm bells ringing late on Tuesday night when he asked the beleaguered people of Karachi — where more than 300 people were killed last month alone — to stock up on ration for at least a month. He said the people must do that even if they had to sell valuables. That the major portion of the Wednesday speech by the MQM chief was in English indicated that he sought to address the international audience in addition to his party’s senior leaders and general workers at the Lal Qila ground in Azizabad. This impression was strengthened by a statement issued by British Foreign Office Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt after speaking to Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad over the phone.

Mr Burt expressed his concern “at the continuing violence and loss of life that Karachi has faced in recent weeks”. He said: “I warned that inflammatory statements from any political party risked making the situation worse and that all political leaders and their parties have a duty to refrain from inciting violence and to reduce tensions and restore calm. “Our Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi, Francis Campbell, has met representatives of all main political parties in Karachi to encourage them to work towards stability in Karachi and the wider region. I have asked my officials to reiterate these points directly with the leadership of the MQM and to discuss our concerns.” While Mr Hussain may have refrained from issuing dark warnings on Wednesday, he was no less impassioned in his appeal for a durable peace in the city. “The Rangers and the Army should come to Karachi and see who is involved in terrorism. They should control the law and order situation here.” REFERENCE: Altaf wants army to quell violence By Mukhtar Alam | From the Newspaper (1 hour ago) Today PTI to sue Blair for ‘harbouring’ MQM leader By Our Reporter May 15, 2007 Tuesday Rabi-us-Sani 27, 1428  UK paper blames MQM for May 12 carnage Rauf Klasra Sunday, June 03, 2007 KARACHI: Altaf wants CJ to tender resignation By Our Staff Reporter May 13, 2007 Sunday Rabi-us-Sani 25, 1428  UK urges MQM not to hinder Benazir’s return By M. Ziauddin October 09, 2007 Tuesday Ramazan 26, 1428 

Foreign Office Minister discusses continuing violence in Karachi with Governor of Sindh Last updated at 18:46 (UK time) 3 Aug 2011 

Befitting Reply of MQM to Stephen Sackur in BBC HARDtalk Part 1

KARACHI Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain has said that `international powers` had in the past tried to eliminate the MQM through the Pakistani establishment, but now they were trying to get rid of him. In an open letter to party workers, which was also released to the media on Sunday, Mr Hussain said that `international powers` could eliminate him anytime and they (MQM workers) should be mentally prepared for such an eventuality. He said that he had given a philosophy and ideology for struggle against generals, feudal lords and chieftains who assumed “power through unfair means”. He said it was not only the aristocracy which benefited from the mediaeval system, but international powers also used it to their advantage. “International powers used the Pakistani establishment which includes the army, ISI and other powerful agencies to eliminate the MQM. When these forces failed to achieve their objective through conspiracies and barbarity and by slaying thousands of MQM workers, international powers are now trying to eliminate Altaf Hussain,” he said in the letter. Mr Hussain said the murder of Dr Imran Farooq was a link in the chain and news analysis and columns published in the international press gave a clear indication about which party and personality were being targeted. He referred to the BBC programme “Hard Talk” in which the host asked coordination committee member Mohammad Anwar why the MQM leader (Mr Hussain) had not been removed. “This has implications for the situation… what was the purpose of this question?” Mr Hussain said he did not have strength to withstand the might of powers and, therefore, workers should be mentally prepared for any eventuality because of “these powers can eliminate Altaf Hussain anytime”. “If I am assassinated, it would be your duty to carry forward the mission, and objectives and to disseminate my ideology and teachings by sacrificing your personal interests and remaining united,” he said. The release of the letter was followed by an MQM statement condemning the nefarious plan to eliminate its chief. It called upon the British government to provide adequate security to the MQM leader in London. This was the crux of a meeting of the MQM coordination committee held simultaneously in Karachi and London on Sunday, said the statement. It said that after the assassination of Dr Farooq, a conspiracy was hatched to malign the MQM and its leader Mr Hussain, triggering concern among MQM supporters and workers worldwide. “The coordination committee reposed full confidence in the leadership of Mr Hussain and resolved that they would remain committed and continue their struggle under him.” Altaf accuses foreign powers of plotting to eliminate him By Azfar-ul-Ashfaque September 27, 2010

Befitting Reply of MQM to Stephen Sackur BBC HARDtalk Part 2

The Scotland Yard investigation into the murder in London of the leading Pakistani politician Dr Imran Farooq has been told that rows within his own party may have led to his assassination. Farooq, 50, was stabbed to death earlier this monthduring an attack in which he was also beaten near his home in Edgware, north London. Farooq was a senior figure in Pakistan's MQM (Muttahida Quami Movement) party, and was in exile in London at the time of his death. The murder is being investigated by Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism branch because of the political dimension to the killing. Sources say intelligence suggests his death was linked to rows within the MQM. Farooq, once prominent in MQM, had taken a back seat. A senior Pakistani source said he may have been about to endorse or join a new party set up by Pakistan's former military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf. The source said of the motive: "It lies within the MQM. Dr Farooq was probably going to join Musharraf."He is vowing to leave his own London exile and return home to launch a fresh bid for power. His new party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, will launch its programme in London later this week. Asked by the Sunday Telegraph about his reaction to Farooq's murder, Musharraf said: "It is terrible that such an assassination could happen in a place like London." Farooq, who was married with two young sons, claimed UK asylum in 1999 alongside Altaf Hussain, the MQM's leader. Hussain, who also lives in exile in London, has said "enemies of the MQM" killed Farooq and they will try to kill him. Pakistan's media reported him as saying on Friday: "Now the enemies of the movement are after my life, but I want to tell them I am not afraid of anyone, whether it's a superpower like the United States or its Nato allies or their Pakistani agents … I fear the Almighty Allah and will never bow down before the conspirators even if they get my British citizenship rescinded." Police in London are still hunting an attacker who, one witness said, appeared to be an Asian man. Analysts say the MQM has longstanding rivalries with ethnic Pashtun and Sindhi parties in Karachi. The MQM has also been riven by occasional internecine violence. Before entering the UK, Farooq spent seven years on the run in Pakistan from criminal charges while the MQM was engaged in a violent battle for control of Karachi. He remained a key party figure. While MQM leader Hussain is protected by private guards and rarely appears in public following death threats, colleagues said Farooq never believed he was at risk and had played a smaller role in the party since the birth of his sons, now aged five and three. Farooq was attacked on his way home from his job at a chemist's shop. He was found near his home after neighbours witnessed what they believed was a fight. Paramedics were called but he was pronounced dead at the scene. MQM party officials in the party's stronghold of Karachi declared a 10-day period of mourning. Previous political killings have triggered riots and deadly clashes between rival factions. Police are keeping an open mind as to the identity of Farooq's killer and their investigation continues. REFERENCE: Pakistan: Imran Farooq murder linked to rows within MQM party Politician may have been about to endorse or join new party set up by General Pervez Musharraf, source claims Vikram Dodd, crime correspondent, Sunday 26 September 2010 20.28 BST

George Galloway (British MP) on MQM - 1 (2007)


With his healthy plume of gravity-defying hair and chunky tinted glasses, Altaf Hussain is as colourful in appearance as his reputation suggests. Perhaps no other Pakistani politician has as big a list of enemies as the one-time cabbie and university student who transformed himself into one of the most feared political bosses in the country. That he has directed his Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) party from the distant shores of the UK since 1994 speaks volumes for his enduring influence in the treacherous political life of Pakistan. Hussain came to prominence as an advocate for the rights of Pakistan's "muhajir" population – those Urdu-speaking communities that originally travelled to the country from India following partition in 1947. The move to Pakistan was traumatic for the subcontinent's Urdu-speaking communities. They often faced hostile indigenous populations, especially in Sindh and Punjab where most of them settled, and were discriminated against in universities and employment. Hussain's political career was born out of this marginalisation. Had it not been for the military dictator Zia-ul-Haq, however, it is unlikely that he would have risen to prominence. Zia was a master of divide-and-rule politics and sectarianism and ethnic tensions rose under his dictatorship. In Hussain's MQM, Zia saw potential for yet another political platform for dividing would-be federalist opponents. From inception, the MQM's powerbase has been Karachi, Pakistan's simmering, overcrowded economic hub. It is also home to the country's largest Urdu-speaking population. For decades the MQM has dominated local politics, albeit more often than not in manners and means outside the formal parliamentary process. When it ruled Karachi with what critics described as a mafia-like organisation in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the city was engulfed in violence (either endorsed of ignored by the MQM), many of its political opponents mysteriously disappeared only to be later found as corpses, often with the scars of gruesome torture. In 1996 the US state department accused the MQM, along with other political factions, of involvement in torture, summary killings and other abuses. As I noted in an earlier piece for Cif on Karachi, many Karachites have their own personal stories of the period. The army eventually stepped into the chaotic milieu in 1992, setting the stage for a bloody conflict that, at its height between 1992 and 1995, saw up to 10 political activists murdered per day. In the same fighting, Hussain's brothers and several cousins were killed by his opponents. The violence compelled Hussain to flee the country, first to the autocrat-friendly Saudi Arabia and finally to the UK where he still lives. Ever since then, Hussain has been too fearful to return to Pakistan. Yet he remains ubiquitous in Karachi, not least in the MQM posters liberally scattered in the party's stronghold districts. The party faithful sing his praises too, and Hussain still sends his daily orders to them from his Mill Hill residence in North London. One of those orders has been the controversial effort to prevent ethnic Pashtuns taking refuge in the southern state of Sindh while fleeing from the Taliban war in the North West Frontier Province. Hussain and the MQM, the most vocal and vociferous opponents of the Taliban in Pakistan, have spoken regularly of the "Talibanisation" of Karachi owing to its ever-growing Pashtun population, a largely poor community of economic migrants that do much of the menial work in the large port city. Those claims, sparked by rumours that Taliban have slipped into Sindh by posing as refugees and a spate of high-profile police operations against alleged pro-Taliban syndicates in Karachi, have helped add Pakistan's Pashtun population to Hussain's already large list of enemies. The animosity has fuelled a bloody running battle in Karachi between MQM and Pashtun activists from the secular Awami National party that has claimed hundreds of lives. It is difficult to find people outside his MQM who consider Hussain a positive influence. According to the cricketer turned politician Imran Khan, Hussain's MQM is "a fascist movement run by criminals". To be fair to Hussain, however, all of Pakistan's major political parties are beholden to a few powerful individuals or families. And just like those other parties, the MQM has shown a remarkable capacity to make friends of past enemies. Despite its support for the former military dictator Pervez Musharraf and his clamp down on dissent, the MQM is now part of the coalition government currently dominated by the Pakistan Peoples party that spent nine long Musharraf years in opposition. Historically, the PPP's first family, the Bhuttos, have been Hussain's greatest rivals. In recent times the necessities of parliamentary politics have forced both parties to bury the hatchet. Only last week, Pakistan interior adviser and senior PPP stalwart Rehman Malik met Hussain in London to discuss, among other things, the possible addition of MQM parliamentarians to the already bloated federal cabinet. There is little doubt that Hussain will be following events closely from the suburbs of London. He is a political survivor who shows no signs of disappearing quietly into history. REFERENCE: The Karachi king After a bloody conflict in Karachi, much-feared political boss Altaf Hussain fled to London, but he is no less powerful in Pakistan Mustafa Qadri, Monday 6 July 2009 18.00 BST

George Galloway (British MP) on MQM - 2 (2007)


Query: Provide information on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Altaf (MQM-A) in Pakistan. Response: SUMMARY: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Altaf (MQM-A) has been widely accused of human rights abuses since its founding two decades ago. It claims to represent Mohajirs— Urdu-speaking Muslims who fled to Pakistan from India after the 1947 partition of the subcontinent, and their descendants. In the mid-1990s, the MQM-A was heavily involved in the widespread political violence that wracked Pakistan's southern Sindh province, particularly Karachi, the port city that is the country's commercial capital. MQM-A militants fought government forces, breakaway MQM factions, and militants from other ethnic-based movements. In the mid-1990s, the U.S. State Department, Amnesty International, and others accused the MQM-A and a rival faction of summary killings, torture, and other abuses (see, e.g., AI 1 Feb 1996; U.S. DOS Feb 1996). The MQM-A routinely denied involvement in violence. References: Pakistan: Information on Mohajir/Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Altaf (MQM-A),USCIS,,,414fe5aa4,0.html


The current MQM-A is the successor to a group called the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) that was founded by Altaf Hussein in 1984 as a student movement to defend the rights of Mohajirs, who by some estimates make up 60 percent of Karachi's population of twelve million. At the time, Mohajirs were advancing in business, the professions, and the bureaucracy, but many resented the quotas that helped ethnic Sindhis win university slots and civil service jobs. Known in English as the National Movement for Refugees, the MQM soon turned to extortion and other types of racketeering to raise cash. Using both violence and efficient organizing, the MQM became the dominant political party in Karachi and Hyderabad, another major city in Sindh. Just three years after its founding, the MQM came to power in these and other Sindh cities in local elections in 1987 (AI 1 Feb 1996; U.S. DOS Feb 1997, Feb 1999; HRW Dec 1997). The following year, the MQM joined a coalition government at the national level headed by Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which took power in elections following the death of military leader General Zia ul-Haq. This marked the first of several times in the 1980s and 1990s that the MQM joined coalition governments in Islamabad or in Sindh province. Meanwhile, violence between the MQM and Sindhi groups routinely broke out in Karachi and other Sindh cities (AI 1 Feb 1996; Jane's 14 Feb 2003). In 1992, a breakway MQM faction, led by Afaq Ahmed and Aamir Khan, launched the MQM Haqiqi (MQM-H), literally the "real" MQM. Many Pakistani observers alleged that the MQM-H was supported by the government of Pakistan to weaken the main MQM led by Altaf Hussein, which became known as the MQM-A (Jane's 14 Feb 2003). Several smaller MQM factions also emerged, although most of the subsequent intra-group violence involved the MQM-A and the MQM-H (AI 1 Feb 1996; U.S. DOS Feb 1999; Jane's 14 Feb 2003).References: Pakistan: Information on Mohajir/Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Altaf (MQM-A),USCIS,,,414fe5aa4,0.html

Political violence in Sindh intensified in 1993 and 1994 (Jane's 14 Feb 2003). In 1994, fighting among MQM factions and between the MQM and Sindhi nationalist groups brought almost daily killings in Karachi (U.S. DOS Feb 1995). By July 1995, the rate of political killings in the port city reached an average of ten per day, and by the end of that year more than 1,800 had been killed (U.S. DOS Feb 1996). The violence in Karachi and other cities began abating in 1996 as soldiers and police intensified their crackdowns on the MQM-A and other groups (Jane's 14 Feb 2003). Pakistani forces resorted to staged "encounter killings" in which they would shoot MQM activists and then allege that the killings took place during encounters with militants (U.S. DOS Feb 1996). Following a crackdown in 1997, the MQM-A adopted its present name, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, or United National Movement, which also has the initials MQM (HRW Dec 1997). MQM-A leader Hussein fled in 1992 to Britain, where he received asylum in 1999 (Jane's 14 Feb 2003). The MQM-A is not on the U.S. State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations (U.S. DOS 23 May 2003). While the multifaceted nature of the violence in Sindh province in the 1980s and 1990s at times made it difficult to pinpoint specific abuses by the MQM-A, the group routinely was implicated in rights abuses. In 1992 after the Sindh government called in the army to crack down on armed groups in the province, facilities were discovered that allegedly were used by the MQM-A to torture and at times kill dissident members and activists from rival groups. In 1996, Amnesty International said that the PPP and other parties were reporting that some of their activists had been tortured and killed by the MQM-A (AI 1 Feb 1996). The MQM-A and other factions also have been accused of trying to intimidate journalists. In one of the most flagrant cases, in 1990 MQM leader Hussein publicly threatened the editor of the monthly NEWSLINE magazine after he published an article on the MQM's alleged use of torture against dissident members (U.S. DOS Feb 1991). The following year, a prominent journalist, Zafar Abbas, was severely beaten in Karachi in an attack that was widely blamed on MQM leaders angered over articles by Abbas describing the party's factionalization. The same year, MQM activists assaulted scores of vendors selling DAWN, Pakistan's largest English-language newspaper, and other periodicals owned by Herald Publications (U.S. DOS Feb 1992). References: Pakistan: Information on Mohajir/Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Altaf (MQM-A),USCIS,,,414fe5aa4,0.html

The MQM-A has also frequently called strikes in Karachi and other cities in Sindh province and used killings and other violence to keep shops closed and people off the streets. During strikes, MQM-A activists have ransacked businesses that remained open and attacked motorists and pedestrians who ventured outside (U.S. DOS Feb 1996; Jane's 14 Feb 2003). The MQM-A allegedly raises funds through extortion, narcotics smuggling, and other criminal activities. In addition, Mohajirs in Pakistan and overseas provide funds to the MQM-A through charitable foundations (Jane's 14 Feb 2003). Since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States, the MQM-A has been increasingly critical of Islamic militant groups in Pakistan. The MQM-A, which generally has not targeted Western interests, says that it supports the global campaign against terrorism (Jane's 14 Feb 2003). This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the RIC within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. References: Pakistan: Information on Mohajir/Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Altaf (MQM-A),USCIS,,,414fe5aa4,0.html

George Galloway (British MP) on MQM - 3 (2007)


The man in charge of Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, was at his usual command-and-control post at the weekend: a sofa in north London. As his fiefdom descended into brutal violence, with the deaths of at least 40 people reported amid the worst political bloodshed Pakistan has witnessed in years, Altaf Hussain directed his followers by telephone from a safe place more than 5,000 miles away. His headquarters, or "international secretariat", is not in the Pakistani port city but housed in a red-brick office block opposite a supermarket on Edgware High Street. Followers of Mr Hussain, 53, whose Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) is allied to President Pervez Musharraf's government, were accused yesterday of playing a bloody part in the clashes with opposition supporters. But in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hussain insisted that they held a "completely peaceful gathering" and that it was opposition supporters who provoked the violence, in which at least nine MQM activists were killed. When reports of the killings reached Edgware on Saturday morning, Mr Hussain was preparing to address the party by telephone. Three hours later, he defied what he called "agitators" by leaning over the loudspeaker of his phone to speak to his supporters. Opposition activists loyal to Benazir Bhutto were staging their own anti-government rally when the violence began.

But Mr Hussain said: "It was a completely peaceful gathering by MQM supporters that was targeted by a collaboration of three other parties." He said he had called for peace. But as tens of thousands of his followers sat cross-legged in reverential silence as they listened to their leader's telephonic address relayed by loudspeakers, in another street armed MQM activists fired directly into the crowds of opposition protesters. Mr Hussain, who founded the MQM in 1984 specifically to represent the Mohajirs - Muslim refugees from India - has lived in Britian since arriving in 1992 for a kidney operation. He has since become a British citizen, while his party governs five cities and the populous Sind province. He claimed yesterday that his party is the only force to stand up for secular values in Pakistan. "MQM is the only party against all sorts of religious fanaticism in Pakistan," he said. "It is these groups and their influence, which is all around, that is stopping me coming home. A sizeable majority of the army even have been brainwashed to supporting what the Taliban wants to impose." Mr Hussain, who spent part of yesterday speaking on the telephone to Gen Musharraf, warned Pakistan's leader not to make any deals with exiled leaders, such as his rival Miss Bhutto, that would see the military ruler resign from the army. Pakistan faces a referendum on Gen Musharraf's rule before the end of the year and he has promised to abandon his uniform before the poll. "The situation in South Asia does not allow Pervez Musharraf to take off his uniform, for without it he will have no power at all. Because of activities next door in Afghanistan as well as our own country, the Taliban is growing very strong," Mr Hussaid said.

"He is doing his level best to fight these groups. Musharraf is a very brave man. Only he can prevent the Talibanisation of Pakistan." Unlike the former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Miss Bhutto, Mr Hussain is an exile whose party has consolidated its grip. But Karachi remains tense. The MQM's most senior leader in Pakistan, Farooq Sattar, said: "The opposition wants to show that Karachi does not belong to the MQM. We have accepted the challenge." Mr Hussain is one of the Indian subcontinent's more unusual leaders. His political addresses by telephone have been known to last up to four hours, while a Western diplomat in Pakistan described the MQM as "something out of Chicago - nobody leaves the party". While Mr Hussain promotes the party as a secular cause and courts the middle-class vote, his supporters are known to extort a goonda, or thug, tax from Karachi businesses. Mr Hussain, who once drove a taxi in Chicago for a living, micro-manages the MQM with acute attention to detail. The movement runs on Greenwich Mean Time with his ministers in Pakistan fielding hour-long telephone calls into the early hours. Mr Sattar admitted that his party's image had been tarnished by "accusations of fascism and terrorism" but said this was a "misperception". Some observers argue that in the tough city of Karachi the MQM has given a vulnerable group protection and a voice. After Mr Hussain left Pakistan, an army operation was launched against his party during which hundreds of its workers were either killed by police or were arrested on charges of terrorism. He has no plans to return to Pakistan. When asked why Mr Hussain was not deported to Pakistan before he was granted citizenship, a British diplomat said: "He has not committed a crime on British soil." REFERENCE: Running Karachi - from London By Isambard Wilkinson in Karachi and Damien McElroy 12:01AM BST 14 May 2007  

No comments: