Thursday, March 14, 2019

India Saudi Relations, OIC and Pakistan

India and Saudi Arabia on Monday agreed to set up a "strategic partnership council" to deepen cooperation to combat terrorism. Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir discussed the proposal with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during a brief visit to New Delhi on Monday, according to a statement issued by India's foreign ministry. Without naming any country, Swaraj said “an immediate irreversible and verifiable action to dismantle terror infrastructure is essential to fight the menace of terrorism.” Al-Jubeir called on the Indian leadership days after he visited Pakistan, where he held meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. The minister had at the time assured Islamabad of Saudi Arabia's "support to seek peaceful settlement of all outstanding disputes between Pakistan and India". Reference: India, Saudi Arabia to set up council to deepen anti-terrorism cooperation March 12, 2019

 Saudi India Ties, Iran and Pakistan

"We in Saudi Arabia are not observers in Pakistan, we are participants," the Saudi ambassador to the US, Adel al-Jubeir, boasted in 2007. A senior US official later bemoaned as "negative" the Saudi influence. As home to Islam's holiest sites, Saudi Arabia has longstanding ties with Pakistan. In the 1980s Saudi intelligence, along with the CIA, funded the anti-Soviet "jihad" in Afghanistan; since then the Saudis have given billions in financial aid and cut-price oil. But the close relationship has grown "increasingly strained" in the past two years, with King Abdullah and the ruling princes displaying a clear preference for the opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, over the president, Asif Ali Zardari, who is viewed with thinly veiled contempt. In January 2009 Abdullah told James Jones, then the US national security adviser, that Zardari was incapable of countering terrorism, describing him as the "'rotten head' that was infecting the whole body". Abdullah added that Pakistan's army was "staying out of Pakistani politics in deference to US wishes, rather than doing what it 'should'". Abdullah's preference for military rule was recorded by the Saudis' American guests: "They appear to be looking for 'another Musharraf': a strong, forceful leader they know they can trust." His views were echoed by the interior minister, who said Saudi Arabia viewed the army as its "winning horse" in Pakistan. The anti-Zardari bias appears to have a sectarian tinge. Pakistan's ambassador to Riyadh, Umar Khan Alisherzai, says the Saudis, who are Sunni, distrust Zardari, a Shia. Last year the United Arab Emirates' foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, told Hillary Clinton that Saudi suspicions of Zardari's Shia background were "creating Saudi concern of a Shia triangle in the region between Iran, the Maliki government in Iraq, and Pakistan under Zardari". Reference: WikiLeaks cables: Saudi Arabia wants military rule in Pakistan Declan Walsh in Islamabad Wed 1 Dec 2010 US embassy cables: Saudi influence in Pakistan Wed 1 Dec 2010 

 Sushma Swaraj in OIC on Terrorism

NEW DELHI: Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj has urged the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to “act together” to combat global terrorism amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan triggered by the Pulwama terror attack. India on Friday made history exactly 50 years after it was blocked by Islamabad from attending the meet. Swaraj reached Abu Dhabi on Thursday night to attend the foreign ministers’ meet of the grouping of 57 countries. India has been invited as the guest of honour for the plenary meet. Reference: States giving shelter, funds to terrorists must be told to dismantle infrastructure: Sushma Swaraj at OIC meet Fight against terror isn’t a confrontation against religion: Minister in Abu Dhabi By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury Mar 02, 2019 ------ During a recent visit to the southern Punjabi cities of Multan and Bahawalpur, Principal Officer's discussions with religious, political, and civil society leaders were dominated by discussions of the perceived growing extremist threat in Seraiki and Baloch areas in southern and western Punjab. Interlocutors repeatedly stressed that recruitment activities by extremist religious organizations, particularly among young men between the ages of 8 and 15, had increased dramatically over the last year. Locals blamed the trend on a strengthening network of Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith mosques and madrassas, which they claimed had grown exponentially since late 2005. Such growth was repeatedly attributed to an influx of "Islamic charity" that originally reached Pakistani pseudo-religious organizations, such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the Al-Khidmat foundation, as relief for earthquake victims in Kashmir and the North West Frontier Province. Locals believe that a portion of these funds was siphoned to Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith clerics in southern and western Punjab in order to expand these sects' presence in a traditionally hostile, but potentially fruitful, recruiting ground. The initial success of establishing madrassas and mosques in these areas led to subsequent annual "donations" to these same clerics, originating in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The value of such donations was uncertain, although most interlocutors believed that it was in the region of $100 million annually. 178082: Extremist recruitment on the rise in southern Punjab MAY 22, 2011

 Imran Khan, Musharraf, Amjad Shoaib and Yemen

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has opposed the government’s decision to allow former chief of army staff (COAS) retd Gen Raheel Sharif to assume the command of a yet-to-be-formed, Saudi-led 39-nation military alliance of Muslim states. “We strongly oppose this decision and will soon raise the issue in the parliament,” PTI spokesman Fawwad Chaudhry told Dawn. He said PTI Chairman Imran Khan had tasked three parliamentarians of the party — Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Shireen Mazari and Shafqat Mehmood — with preparing a strategy under which a privilege motion and a calling attention notice would be moved in the National Assembly so that a threadbare discussion could take place there on the issue. The PTI’s reaction came after an interview of Defence Minister Khawaja Asif was published in some newspapers on Sunday in which he revealed that the government had issued issue a no objection certificate (NOC) to the former army chief to lead the military alliance. Reference: PTI opposes NOC for Raheel to head Saudi-led military alliance by Syed Irfan Raza March 27, 2017 ISLAMABAD: The government has issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) regarding appointment of former army chief retired Gen Raheel Sharif as head of a Saudi Arabia-led military alliance comprising personnel from 41 Muslim countries. The NOC has been issued in view of an approval that was granted by the federal cabinet during its meeting held on Jan 10, according to a source. Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday confirmed that the NOC had indeed been issued after approval by the federal cabinet. “The issue was not on the normal agenda of the federal cabinet’s meeting but it was approved through circulation,” the minister said while talking to Dawn. Reference: NOC granted to Raheel for heading Saudi-led military coalition January 19, 2019 LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has urged the government not to become part of the Yemeni conflict and said Pakistan should instead play its role in peaceful settlement of issues between the two Muslim countries. Mr Khan was speaking to journalists after inaugurating the PTI Business Club set up under the chairmanship of former Punjab governor and PTI core committee member Chaudhry Sarwar on Friday. The PTI chief said Pakistan was still facing consequences of the US-led war in the region and vehemently opposed the idea of Pakistan joining the war. He asked the prime minister why option of letting parliament or an all-party conference decide whether Pakistan should join war in Yemen had not been exercised. “Pakistan should play its role for peace in the region,” he added. Reference: Pakistan must not join Yemen war, says Imran Mansoor Malik 28, 2015

 PTI Leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the Yemen issue

The word ‘neutral’ was introduced in the resolution on Yemen by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). There was an hour long debate in Parliament on the resolution following which the word ‘neutral’ was added to it. According to sources, the resolution on Yemen was presented in the joint-session by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and not Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on the objection of the PTI. Sources added that Pakistan has decided to play the role of mediator in the Yemen crisis. A Pakistani delegation will visit Saudi Arabia, Iran and Middle East countries. Iran will be asked to tell the Houithi tribe to halt its forward movement and make efforts for the restoration of the government in Yemen. Sources further said that there was no sectarianism in Yemen but if the war was not stopped the conflict could become sectarian. PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said his party played a key role in formulating the resolution on Yemen which was passed unanimously by the joint-session of Parliament on Friday. Speaking to reporters, Qureshi said the proposal presented by the Foreign Office was not satisfactory. “We presented our own proposal and adopted those points from the government proposal which were positive and added points which were missing”. Reference: PTI introduced the word ‘neutral’ in Yemen resolution: sources April 10, 2015 Senator Rehman Malik and PTI MNA Shah Mehmood Qureshi spoke to reporters outside the Parliament and asked the government to provide details of the Saudi request for military assistance. “A 2-3 point agenda of what discussions have been held should be presented and discussed in the assembly,” Malik said. “Till now there is no clarity in the position of the government,” said Qureshi adding that the country’s political parties were opposed to sending troops to Yemen. Reference: Parliament session on Yemen adjourned till Thursday April 8, 2015

PTI leader Dr Shireen Mazari address in Joint Session On Yemen

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Central Information Secretary Dr Shireen Mazari Thursday expressed concern over the impending sectarian conflict that was looming in Pakistan’s neighbourhood with the US-Saudi decision for military action in Yemen, urging Pakistan to remain neutral. She said, “A proxy war in Yemen is being waged and has all the hallmarks of spilling over not only into other parts of the Gulf region especially Bahrain but beyond into Pakistan and Afghanistan”. Mazari pointed out Pakistan already had a serious sectarian terrorism issue. “Reports coming in that the Pakistan government may provide/is providing assistance to Saudi Arabia in the latter’s partnership with the US over Yemen is a cause for serious concern,” she said.“Given our close ties to both Saudi Arabia and Iran and our own internal sectarian terrorism, Pakistan simply cannot afford to get embroiled in any Shia-Sunni conflict in the Gulf and Middle East regions. Pakistan must stay strictly neutral”, Mazari contended. She also pointed out that just when the new Afghan government was seeking a dialogue with all Afghan stakeholders for bringing peace into Afghanistan, the flaring up of a sectarian conflict in the Gulf region would have severe and negative repercussions for this peace process especially with President Ghani has already gave warning about an advance IS surveillance mission’s presence along the Afghan-Pakistan international border.Mazari demanded of the government to give a clear-cut statement on its policy on Yemen and the US-Saudi military action there. Reference: Mazari concerned over Saudi action in Yemen March 27, 2015

1 - PTI Leader Shireen Mazari on Saudi Iran Conflict

2 - PTI Leader Shireen Mazari on Saudi Iran Conflict

3 - PTI Leader Shireen Mazari on Saudi Iran Conflict

4 - PTI Leader Shireen Mazari on Saudi Iran Conflict

Foreign Policy Expert Hafiz Saeed on Pakistan's Foreign Policy

PESHAWAR: Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed on Sunday accused the US and the ‘Jewish lobby’ of portraying the ongoing crisis in Yemen as a conflict between two major religious schools of thoughts. “The war in Yemen is neither a Shia-Sunni dispute nor a conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. In fact the US and Jewish lobby are trying to depict the conflict a war between two sectarian groups,” he said while speaking at a ‘Pasban Harmain Sharifain Conference’ here on Sunday. Leaders of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Jamaat-i-Islami, Pakistan Muslim League-N and other religious groups also addressed the gathering. The JuD organised the event to drum up support for Saudi Arabia which is leading an air assault to crush the uprising in Yemen led by the Houthi rebels. Without naming Iran, Hafiz Saeed said that a regional power, which was dubbing the US a ‘Great Satan’ and calling for the liberation of Baitul Maqdis from Israel, ‘was going to sign a nuclear treaty with it’. He said that ulema could play major role in educating people about what he said the new game plan in the Middle East. “We urge this regional power to stay away from making friendship with the US and become part of the Ummah,” he said, and alleged that America and its allies were hatching conspiracies to encircle Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and start proxy war there. Mr Saeed stated that private militias had been created in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen to incite civil war in the Middle East. The JuD chief alleged that Pentagon had chalked out a strategy to destabilise Muslim world by creating militias in Arab countries. Hafiz Saeed justified the Saudi-led military action against Houthi rebels in Yemen and said that Abdul Malik, who was leading uprising in Yemen, had “announced that Mecca and Medina were their targets”. Mr Saeed argued that a legitimate government in Yemen was overthrown and its president had sought help from Saudi Arabia. He criticised the parliament for passing a resolution opposing deployment of Pakistani troops in Yemen. Reference: JuD blames ‘Jewish lobby’ for Yemen crisis April 20, 2015 WikiLeaks says "Emphasize that Pakistan's support for disrupting financing to the Taliban and LeT obligatory pursuant to their obligations under UNSCR 1267 and successor resolutions, and is critical to achieving stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan. (S/REL USA, PAK) We are deeply concerned that Pakistan has failed to enact an AML/CTF law that meets APG/FATF standards. As you may realize the FATF is currently engaged in a &International Co-Operation Review Group8 exercise, that is likely to have very negative multilateral repercussions if the Parliament does not pass an adequate AML/CTF law. (S/REL USA, PAK) We stress your government's obligation, under UNSCR 1267, and successor resolutions to strictly enforce existing sanctions against the 142 Taliban, LeT leader Hafiz Saeed, LeT/JUD, al Rashid Trust, al Akhtar Trust and other individuals and entities on the UN 1267 Consolidated List. " Reference: US embassy cables: Hillary Clinton says Saudi Arabia 'a critical source of terrorist funding' Sun 5 Dec 2010 US embassy cables: Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists raise funds in Saudi Arabia Sun 5 Dec 2010 One cable details how the Pakistani militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks, used a Saudi-based front company to fund its activities in 2005. Meanwhile officials with the LeT's charity wing, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, travelled to Saudi Arabia seeking donations for new schools at vastly inflated costs – then siphoned off the excess money to fund militant operations. Reference: WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists Hillary Clinton memo highlights Gulf states' failure to block funding for groups like al-Qaida, Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba Declan Walsh in Islamabad Sun 5 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks: Saudi Arabia and UAE funding Terrorism in Pakistan

General (R) Talat Masood on Islamic Military Alliance

To underline the point, here is a report my journalist friend Zarrar Khuhro found for me. It was published on Jan 13, 2012, in the oldest and well-informed Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “Israeli Mossad agents posed as CIA officers in order to recruit members of a Pakistan-based terror group to carry out assassinations and attacks against the regime in Iran, Foreign Policy revealed on Friday, quoting US intelligence memos. “Foreign Policy’s Mark Perry reported that the Mossad operation was carried out in 2007-2008, behind the back of the US government, and infuriated then US President George W. Bush. “Perry quotes a number of American intelligence officials and claims that the Mossad agents used American dollars and US passports to pose as CIA spies to try to recruit members of Jundallah, a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organisation that has carried out a series of attacks in Iran and assassinations of government officials. “According to the report, Israel’s recruitment attempts took place mostly in London, right under the nose of US intelligence officials. “‘It’s amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with,’ Foreign Policy quoted an intelligence officer as saying. ‘Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn’t give a damn what we thought.’” “According to a currently serving US intelligence officer, Perry reports, when Bush was briefed on the information he ‘went absolutely ballistic.’” But the report also conceded that there was little the US could do. And, in effect, did nothing. This happened at a time when the US may not have been geared up for regime change or disposed to even ‘cutting to size’ Iran. Look at all the rhetoric coming out of Washington today. It isn’t difficult to understand the kind of mood and environment that exists as we speak. Reference: Sanity demands neutrality by Abbas Nasir February 16, 2019

1 - Seymour Hersh on US Policy in Iran

Jundallah (not to be confused with Jandola, a Pakistani terrorist group) came into being to supposedly protect the rights of the Sunni Baloch in Iran. However, its close links with drug smugglers and the Taliban in Afghanistan make it anathema to Tehran, and its deadly campaign against the Iranian state has caused scores of casualties. But even more controversial are the allegations that it has enjoyed CIA support, at least in the recent past. In April 2007, ABC, the American network, carried a report by Brian Ross and Christopher Isham alleging that Jundallah was receiving covert American support. The story also alleged that the group was based in Pakistan. Other reports asserted that the then US Vice President Dick Cheney discussed Jundallah with Musharraf on a visit to Islamabad. These allegations tied in neatly with a report by Seymour Hersh, the prize-winning reporter. Published by the New Yorker in July 2008, Hersh wrote that congressional leaders had secretly approved a request for $400m from George Bush to finance covert operations against Iran in a bid to slow down or halt its nuclear programme. These efforts included clandestine operations, anti-Iran propaganda, and support for terrorist groups like the Mujahideen-i-Khalq. It is unclear whether the Obama administration has terminated this campaign. Obviously, no Pakistani official in his right mind would wish to be involved in a suicidal policy to help Jundallah in its attacks against Iranian targets. Despite the ups and downs in our relationship with Iran, we have tried to minimise differences, even at the time of tension when Pakistan supported the Taliban, even while they persecuted Afghanistan's Shia minority when they were in power. Nevertheless, all too often in Pakistan, the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing. Some arrested Jundallah militants in Iran have confessed they were trained at a secret camp in Pakistani Balochistan. Whether there was an element of official connivance is hard to say. Reference: Porous borders, angry neighbours by Irfan Husain October 24, 2009 

2 - Seymour Hersh on US Policy in Iran

THE deadly blast in Iran's Sistan province, bordering Pakistan, last October 17 has just added another gory dimension to the saga of mayhem and murder already engulfing Pakistan and Afghanistan. The wave of terror has reached the shores of Iran, a relative island of tranquility until now. It's an open secret that Iran has long been in the cross-hairs of those who would like to redraw the map of the region around Iran and Pakistan. They have developed enormous stakes in it, especially since the occupation of Iraq. Ace investigative journalist, Seymour Hersch, reported in The New Yorker, last year in spring, about the elite Special Services Group (SSG) sleuths and saboteurs being active inside Iran for quite sometime. SSG at that time was led by General Stanley McChrystal, since anointed by President Obama to bail him out of the Afghan cul de sac. Washington has both long- term and short- term interests vested in Iran and these two have been running in parallel. The long-term interest is to ensure that Iran doesn't have nuclear power to threaten Israeli and American stakes—in that order, precisely—in the region. The short-term interest dictates, per se, that in order to guarantee the realisation of the long-term objective there should be a non-hostile regime—the euphemism for a caged ruling elite—in Tehran. It irks Washington enormously that the only piece missing on the chess-board it has been trying so hard to arrange for the region is Iran, which refuses to be boxed in. This looks all the more jarring to Washington's chess masters that a defiant Tehran continues to play 'catch-me-if-you-can' with them against the backdrop of a subdued Iraq, and Afghanistan half in the bag, half still outside of it, and a Pakistan whose surrender can be taken for granted; it has never been more than a phone-call-away. Reference: A new dimension to the saga of terror October 25, 2009

3 - Seymour Hersh on US Policy in Iran

Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program. Reference: Preparing the Battlefield The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran. By Seymour M. Hersh July 7, 2008 Issue The “redirection,” as some inside the White House have called the new strategy, has brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda. Reference: The Redirection Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism? By Seymour M. Hersh March 5, 2007 Issue Israeli intelligence and military operatives are now quietly at work in Kurdistan, providing training for Kurdish commando units and, most important in Israel’s view, running covert operations inside Kurdish areas of Iran and Syria. Israel feels particularly threatened by Iran, whose position in the region has been strengthened by the war. The Israeli operatives include members of the Mossad, Israel’s clandestine foreign-intelligence service, who work undercover in Kurdistan as businessmen and, in some cases, do not carry Israeli passports. Asked to comment, Mark Regev, the spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, said, “The story is simply untrue and the relevant governments know it’s untrue.” Kurdish officials declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the State Department. However, a senior C.I.A. official acknowledged in an interview last week that the Israelis were indeed operating in Kurdistan. He told me that the Israelis felt that they had little choice: “They think they have to be there.” Asked whether the Israelis had sought approval from Washington, the official laughed and said, “Do you know anybody who can tell the Israelis what to do? They’re always going to do what is in their best interest.” The C.I.A. official added that the Israeli presence was widely known in the American intelligence community. Reference: Plan B As June 30th approaches, Israel looks to the Kurds. By Seymour M. Hersh June 28, 2004 Issue

Jundallah, Iran and USA

Iran had always alleged that Jundallah was financed by the US government to destabilise their country. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed in another report in July 2008 that US Congressional leaders had secretly agreed to former president Bush's $400 million funding request, which gave the US a free hand in arming and funding Iranian terrorist groups such as Jundallah militants. Reference: Rigi`s arrest a godsend for Pakistan February 24, 2010 

 PTI Leader Mubasher Lucman on US/Saudi Role in Pakistan's Sectarian Violence

A US State Department official in a meeting urged President Asif Ali Zardari against accepting Iran’s offer of concessional oil for Pakistan and providing Iran with a foothold in Pakistan, a ‘Secret’ American diplomatic cable made available to Dawn reveals. The meeting between Richard Boucher, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia during the Bush administration, and President Zardari took place on October 18, 2008 at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, during which Mr Zardari apprised the visiting official of the Iranian offer that the President “did not believe he could refuse.” “How could he go to the National Assembly and tell them Iran had offered the assistance and Pakistan had turned it down, he asked rhetorically,” the then US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson wrote in the cable dated October 22, 2008, referring to President Zardari. She added that, “Boucher reminded him of Ambassador Haqqani’s recent conversation with Deputy Secretary Negroponte in which the Deputy cautioned against providing Iran with a toehold in Pakistan.” Reference: Don’t provide Iran with a foothold, US told Pak May 24, 2011 2008: Do not to allow Iran toehold in Pakistan: US May 23, 2011

Defence Analyst Mr Ejaz Haider on The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace (Aina - 28th May 2018)

India-Pakistan: need for intelligence cooperation Amarjeet Singh Dulat & Asad Durrani JULY 14, 2011 (This is a joint paper by two former heads of intelligence — Amarjeet Singh Dulat of RAW, and Asad Durrani of the ISI — discussed in a Track II setting with current and former policymakers from July 1-4 in Berlin, at the 59th Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs. It now appears simultaneously in The News International and The Hindu . )

Defence Analyst Mr Ejaz Haider on Kargil Fiasco (Waqt News 2013)

WASHINGTON, July 4: President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reached an agreement on Sunday under which the freedom fighters who crossed into certain parts of occupied Kashmir would withdraw, US officials said. "It was agreed between the president and the prime minister that concrete steps will be taken for the restoration of the Line of Control," Clinton and Sharif said in a joint statement after three hours of talks. "The president urged an immediate cessation of the hostilities once these steps are taken," it added after the discussions. The officials said the joint statement meant the Kashmiri fighters would withdraw to the Pakistani side of the LoC. "Our understanding is that there will be withdrawal of the forces now," a senior official told reporters. He declined to say exactly when the forces would pull out but added: "We would like to see positive steps in the very near future." In their statement, Mr Clinton and Mr Sharif said they shared the view that the recent conflict was "dangerous and contains the seeds of a wider conflict." "They also agreed that it was vital for the peace of South Asia that the Line of Control in Kashmir be respected by both parties in accordance with their 1972 Simla Accord," it added. The statement finessed another issue - India's long- standing rejection of any outside mediation over Kashmir and Washington's resulting reluctance to play such a role, even though Mr Clinton had intervened with Pakistan in this instance. The White House said Mr Clinton had spoken to Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for about 10 minutes on Sunday to brief him on the talks. The statement said Mr Clinton stressed that the best way for the two countries to settle their differences, including Kashmir, was to continue the direct talks that began when their prime ministers met in Lahore in February. "The president said he would take a personal interest in encouraging an expeditious resumption and intensification of those bilateral efforts once the sanctity of the Line of Control has been fully restored," the statement said. It also said Mr Clinton, who cancelled plans to visit India and Pakistan last year after they conducted their nuclear tests, intended to "pay an early visit to South Asia."-Reuters Reference: Nawaz, Clinton agree on pullout by Mujahideen 10 July 1999 Dawn ISLAMABAD, July 9: The Pakistan government on Friday formally appealed to the Mujahideen to de-escalate the situation by withdrawing from the Kargil sector. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met 11 Mujahideen leaders immediately after the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) meeting and requested them to pull back. "Yes, 11 leaders of the freedom fighters held an important meeting with the prime minister in which they were requested to withdraw from Kargil," said the Minister for Religious Affairs and the Leader of the House in the Senate, Raja Zafarul Haq. Asked about the response of the Mujahideen, Zafar told Dawn that the prime minister had sought the Mujahideen leaders' support for reducing the heightening tension in the region. "But there is no timeframe as such which was discussed," the minister said while hoping that the Mujahideen would withdraw as quickly as possible. However, Raja Zafarul Haq said that the DCC decided to continue to offer all kinds of diplomatic, moral and political support to the freedom fighters to achieve independence from India. The DCC saluted the martyrs who had made the supreme sacrifice for the defence of their sacred cause and the honour of the country. The DCC also paid tributes to the armed forces of Pakistan for their courage and determination to defend the independence and the territorial integrity of the country and to meet and challenge any aggression against the motherland. Mujahideen urged to withdraw from Kargil By Ihtasham ul Haque 10 July 1999

Nawaz Sharif & US President Bill Clinton after Kargil Fiasco

Asked what he believes is the reason for his ouster from public office, Mr Sharif did not reply directly but steered the conversation towards foreign policy and national security. “We have isolated ourselves. Despite giving sacrifices, our narrative is not being accepted. Afghanistan’s narrative is being accepted, but ours is not. We must look into it.” He continued: “Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial?” — a reference to the Mumbai attacks-related trials which have stalled in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court. “It’s absolutely unacceptable. This is exactly what we are struggling for. President Putin has said it. President Xi has said it,” Mr Sharif said. “We could have already been at seven per cent growth (in GDP), but we are not.” ------------------------------------ (October 06, 2016) ISLAMABAD: In a blunt, orchestrated and unprecedented warning, the civilian government has informed the military leadership of a growing international isolation of Pakistan and sought consensus on several key actions by the state. Second, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed that fresh attempts be made to conclude the Pathankot investigation and restart the stalled Mumbai attacks-related trials in a Rawalpindi antiterrorism court. Those decisions, taken after an extraordinary verbal confrontation between Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the ISI DG, appear to indicate a high-stakes new approach by the PML-N government. On the US, Mr Chaudhry said that relations have deteriorated and will likely further deteriorate because of the American demand that action be taken against the Haqqani network. On India, Mr Chaudhry stated that the completion of the Pathankot investigation and some visible action against Jaish-i-Mohammad were the principal demands. Then, to a hushed but surprised room, Mr Chaudhry suggested that while China has reiterated its support for Pakistan, it too has indicated a preference for a change in course by Pakistan. Specifically, while Chinese authorities have conveyed their willingness to keep putting on technical hold a UN ban on Jaish-i-Mohammad leader Masood Azhar, they have questioned the logic of doing so repeatedly. At that point came the stunning and unexpectedly bold intervention by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Addressing Gen Akhtar, the younger Sharif complained that whenever action has been taken against certain groups by civilian authorities, the security establishment has worked behind the scenes to set the arrested free. Astounded onlookers describe a stunned room that was immediately aware of the extraordinary, unprecedented nature of the exchange. References: For Nawaz, it’s not over till it’s over by Cyril Almeida May 12, 2018 --- Exclusive: Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military by Cyril Almeida October 06, 2016

Musharraf, Mullahs, Militants and USA

MUZAFFARABAD, Aug 8: Prof Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, chief of Markaz Dawa Wal Irshad, the parent organization of Lashkar-i-Taiba, asked Islamabad to send its troops across the Line of Control to liberate Kashmir. "It is the duty of the armed forces of Pakistan to cross the bloody line for the liberation of their Kashmiri brethren," he told a "Takmeel-i-Pakistan conference" held here at Upper Adda under the aegis of the Lashkar. India, he said, was blaming Pakistan for being behind the Kashmir liberation movement but it had forgot that it itself had sent its troops into East Pakistan in 1971 in violation of international laws to dismember Pakistan. "If Indian troops can cross the international border then why the Pakistan troops cannot cross the so-called LoC?," he said. It is not an appropriate time for holding negotiations with India because Delhi has always deceived the Kashmiris and Pakistan, he said. "We are not opposed to dialogue but we cannot favor it at this critical juncture of the liberation struggle because we believe that it will, as usual, provide India an opportunity to gain time to continue massacre of the Kashmiris." He said talks should be held only after the withdrawal of the Indian troops from Kashmir, otherwise, he declared, the Mujahideen would evict them by themselves. This was the unanimous stand of all Mujahideen groups, he added. "If any other stand is taken, I am afraid the sacrifices rendered by the people of Kashmir and the Mujahideen will be wasted." Hafiz Saeed declared that all Mujahideen groups, including the Hizbul Mujahideen, would strengthen mutual coordination and cooperation to continue Jihad till the liberation of Kashmir. He rejected Indian allegations that the Lashkar was involved in the recent massacre in occupied Kashmir. He said he was ready to prove before any international court that no Mujahideen group was involved in the killings. Reference: Pakistan troops urged to liberate Kashmir by Tariq Naqash 12 August 2000 Dawn (Pakistani neocons & UN sanctions BY Khalid Hasan Dec 28, 2008 Daily Times) QOTD: Musharraf in America Sunday, 9 September 2012