An Ending of Peeping Inside Al Qaeda or …?

Asif Chauhdary

Leading Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad who was missing since Sunday night was found dead near Mandi Bahauddin, a significant grain market of Punjab. The initial post mortem confirmed that the young brilliant journalist was murdered. Why he was murdered is indeed a question needs to be answered and that needs a sober investigation. Nevertheless, minutes after the breaking news of his death there was uproar on the television channels, where the anchor persons and the analysts were directly blaming a particular intelligence agency for his killing. No one should have any doubt that the murder of Saleem Shahzad is indeed a colossal loss to the journalism world which is irreparable and it will have very serious implications on the national events in the times to come. However at the same time this would also be very unfair to draw a conclusion without putting in any investigative efforts. This is not the silencing of a first free voice. There have been such events in the past. Have we forgotten the killing of Daniel Pearl of Wall Street Journal for whom Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was alleged and arrested? Has Ms. Hilary Clinton, who has ‘graciously’ condoled and condemned the killing of Saleem Shahzad, so promptly, forgotten the story of Charles Harman and Frank Teruggi, who were arrested during the US-backed 1973 Chilean coup and were later murdered along with many other freelancers in Santiago’s national stadium. It was only in 1999, when the US State Department declassified bundles of documents; the truth revealed that US intelligence agents played a role in their deaths. Neither the killing of any journalist in the past had a justification, nor does the murder of some news reporter have any validation now. But never ever had anyone given the verdict without going into any investigation as some irresponsible and immature media persons are breathlessly doing now.

It would be quite pertinent if impartially analysed as why and who murdered Saleem Shahzad. Honestly speaking there can be more than one suspect. Dropping ISI out of the suspected list would be quite unfair as the supreme intelligence agency of Pakistan is the first one to be put under heavy volley by the friends and the foes, second could be the terrorists outfits who thought that the diseased journalist was probably not playing some fair game and third could be some foreign intelligence agency who has some specific and highly confidential vested interests.

Let’s start it with the prime suspect ISI. Ever since the Abbottabad debacle, the poor organisation is already under heavy criticism. The agency had been blamed for abducting and casual torturing in the past but never ever had anyone laid an accusing finger at it for a heinous crime like murder because in the heart of the hearts people know that ISI is not as callous as the civil police of Pakistan have proved to be. Why the agency, at such a time when it is targeted nationally and internationally, would invite more troubles? Knowing very well that a well timed symphony is being orchestrated against them currently, only some insane would commit such suicidal acts. As UK based daily Guardian has quoted that two ISI officials met him in the past and threatened him of the consequences. Well, that sounds ridiculous and stupid, since the threats by any intelligence agencies are not handed over formally over a cup of tea. Can Guardian quote just one example from the history where some journalist was called by some high profiler intelligence officer and was threatened? If we carefully analyse late Saleem Shazad’s recent write ups then we will find them rather helpful to the military leadership. This logic is otherwise not convincing and valid, because if that’s so then there are many other journalists, who penned more bitter and harsh write-ups, but are roaming freely and ISI or the armed forces have not even said a word to them. However, the possibility of exploiting his anti forces pieces by some unknown forces, to frame the organisation thus killing two birds with one stone cant be ruled out.

On the other hand Shazad’s recent book ‘Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11’ has raised lots of controversies. According to a number of published reports Shahzad was quite upset about the feedback on the book. If we remember Saleem was made hostage by Al Qaeda and Taliban sometime back, later he was accorded the status of a guest by his keepers. If this book is taken and understood in that backdrop then it sounds quite possible that his ‘friends’ were not happy over his unclear point of view regarding them. Even in his recent article about Mehran Base tragedy, he has put in more efforts to expose the terrorists’ network and functioning then doing any harm to the armed forces.


The last but not the least possibility is of the adventure by some foreign intelligence agency. If it is kept in mind that; the armed forces and ISI are purposely targeted for the obvious motives these days, anti army quarters within the country and abroad have collaborated, specific campaigns against the armed forces are being run by a section of media and few bloggers and finally the time is found apt to reap then guess who is going to be benefited by committing such reckless action?

In the underworld’s affairs the real purpose of the actions also remains unearthed but let’s take it for granted that those who appear palpable culprits are usually turn out to be innocents.


Peelkhana: The Truth

This has been the irony that whenever somebody dared speak truth in Bangladesh, a specific block with a prefixed mindset and the regional orientation would call him an agent. So it shouldn’t be shocking or eccentric for poor Munshi who is being labeled as ISI agent. The patriotism of a genuine Bengali is beyond any doubt, may that was before 1971 Indian sponsored and supported civil war or post that scenario. (ref: The Bengalis did realise that someone in the name of Bengali nationalism misguided the Bengalis to an extent that they started asking for independence. No Bengali can deny the dirty role played by the Indians generally and RAW categorically in the fall of East Pakistan and that was proved just three years after the so-called independence when the traitor Mujeeb ur Rehman was killed by the patriot Bengali officers at the stairs of his house. Pakistan despite this all never showed any keenness for interfering in Bangladesh’s internal affairs even when it got the clear signals from there, for a reunification. The latter always supported Bangladesh at every forum helped them in the crisis, even the gifting of F-6 aircrafts to the Bangladesh air force is also on the record. Everyone knows that it was purely Pakistan’s efforts that helped BD cricket team to earn a Test status. So much so that an ex president Musharraf paid tributes at the Unknown Soldier’s monument and regretted over the war crimes, if there were any.

Nevertheless, despite this all Pakistan has never remained a favorite, at least with Awami League, whenever it came into power. The latest example is of movie ‘Mehar Jan’ which could have clarified many doubts and misunderstandings but the Awami League launched a proper campaign to stop the screening of this movie in Bangladesh. Here I would like to quote an extract from the above article:

“The new DG BDR’s promotion to the rank of Major General and his hasty journey to New Delhi for the expressed purpose of thanking the Indian BSF for their magnanimity in protecting our borders during the mutiny looked odd to me.”

I think this one sentence is enough to suggest that who was behind the Peelkhana Massacre and I am sure not many will doubt it. This is for sure that as long as AL will play a role in the Bangladeshi politics, the inopportune Bengalis would keep suffering at the hands of those who would keep playing with their fate.

Iran Needs to Learn Manners



Knees are based under the belly by default and can never come before tummy. Trying it by someone would only bring desperation and humiliation and nothing else. Pakistan has a neighbour who is trying to put knees before belly so ever since the over thrown of Reza Shah Pehlvi. As it is no more a secret that we are talking of Iran, hence it is also essential to mention that the reasons for this vindictive and grudging attitude are known by a hair’s breadth to Pakistan. The rise of Islamic revolution brought no goodwill messages for Pakistan. Though as far as Pakistan is concerned, it always stretched out a brotherly hand towards Iran, may that was about the revolutionaries coming into power or Iran-Iraq war. Besides this Pakistan never meddled into the Iranian politics or its internal affairs, nevertheless, Iran invariably showed a lost sleep about Pakistan’s affairs, contrary to it.


If Iran could find the reasons for showing its disquiet over sectarian issue in Pakistan then the same rationales were valid for Pakistan to protest over the Sunnis plight in Iran but Pakistan while indifferent to whichever government was in power always displayed sensibleness. Pakistan never objected to the founding of Iranian cultural centers (Khana-e-Farhang) throughout Pakistan and that too in a number more than it required. Pakistan always had reasons to believe that why the Iranians have more than one cultural centers of this kind in the cities having Shia population in majority but Pakistan always demonstrated patience. It’s no more a secret that what these cultural centers (Khana-e-Farhang) have been up to in Pakistan but Pakistan has never blamed Iran for any involvement.


Recently the Indians have handed over a newly constructed 218-km Zaranj-Delaram highway to the Afghan government which is of strategic importance. What interest India had in constructing the road that will connect Kandhar to the Iran border is a question that Iran and Afghanistan are in a better position to answer, but Pakistan never showed any nervousness on it despite the fact that highway is defiantly likely to influence Pakistan’s strategic interests in the region.


The IPI gas pipeline project was approved to meet the Indian requirements but who doesn’t know that it was the India who backed out from the agreement at the eleventh hour which annoyed Iran also but at the end of the day Iran had no grievances against India while Pakistan has been asked to sit in the corner, wait and see.


Like Pak-Afghan border, the residents of Pak-Iran border are also living astride the international boundary. While Pakistan on Pak-Afghan border despite having great security problems never thought of erecting the wall and instead augmented the security, but Iran on Pak-Afghan border has constructed a700 kilometer long, 3 feet thick and 10 feet high concrete wall by using extra strong steel rods, alongside its border with Pakistan from Taftan to Mand, although the Baloch community of border village Sorap of western Mekran region have shown their fears about being politically and socially divided. The people were forced by the Iranian authorities to vacate the town in a stipulated time period, but Pakistan’s official stance, that Iran has the right to erect border fencing in its territory, is very much on record.

Pak-Iran relations have seen some frequent highs and lows during last three decades. Late President General Zia ul Haq apart from visiting himself once had been sending the goodwill missions to stamp out the Iranian qualms quite off and on but unfortunately no one could satisfy the pre-fixed mind Iranians. If any common man here in Pakistan is asked he would definitely call the Iranians as Pakistan’s brothers. Pakistani president late Field Marshal Ayub Khan gifted 60 Square KM area to Iran to save their Oil drainage on Pakistan side. Reza Shah Pehlvi reciprocated the gesture and started providing Pakistan subside oil in return. However, contrary to that no wonder if one hear the story of marching by the Iranian Passdarans on Pakistani flag in the presence of Pakistani diplomats as guests invited to witness the parade.

The recent Iranian elections were a unique example of rigging by Ahmadinejad gang where Pakistan had a great opportunity to create trouble for a brother country had the latter been an enemy as it is thought by the Iranians but remained indifferent to the issue until it resolved.

Iran must put his own house in order before leveling any accusation against Pakistan in the most ill-mannered and undiplomatic way as it doesn’t speak high of an Iranian leader whose own loyalties and credibility is doubted amongst his own countrymen. Before pointing any accusing finger towards Pakistan he needs to satisfy the world body about the strong Argentinean criticism on President Ahmadinejad’s decision to put forward Ahmad Vahidi as defense minister in his new 21-member cabinet. No one has forgotten that Vahidi is wanted by Argentina in connection with a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires which leveled a seven-floor Argentinean building, killing 85 people and wounded 300. It was the worst terrorist attack in Argentina.

Pakistan bagged all the blames for helping Iran in nuclear proliferation but surprisingly it is Pakistan which in return is targeted by the western and USA authorities whereas the Iranian government is simply getting just the verbal warnings by them which provides enough reasons to believe that a conspiracy to tight noose around Pakistan’s neck is being executed discreetly and no wonder if Iran is also a party to it. It is high time for the Iranians to learn the diplomatic norms. Both the countries are not having that tensed relations that they can’t even talk to clarify each others misgivings, only if India has priority over Pakistan for Iran.

 It is high time for Iran to remember one thing that, genetically knees are based under the belly by default and can never come before tummy. Trying it by someone would only bring desperation and humiliation to one and nothing else.

Asma Jahangir: A Saffron Crusader

Asma and Bal Thackeray discussing 'human rights'

Asma and Bal Thackeray discussing 'human rights'

Surprisingly from all nooks and corners, the voice against Pakistan army is raised simultaneously, as it was done in 1971 and yet another surprising thing is the timings of Uday Bhaskar’s concern and Asma Jahangir’s address at Agha Khan University which are finely synchronized. Interestingly both the individuals have thrillingly common theme to highlight. Her addressed at Agha Khan University is being given a wide coverage and extra ordinarily highlighted by the Indian press and electronic media

Those who have a short memory can be given the allowance to forget the cries she made about few months back when she was yelling for action by the army, and against the Taliban, at the Constitution Avenue Islamabad and now when the army ensured and restored peace in the restive valley, she has come out with her real motive as she is tasked by her mentors. However, it would be very difficult for people with sharp memory to forget her suspicious meetings in India with the radical leaders like Bal Thackeray whom she met while wearing a specially tailored Saffron suit, a color perfectly matching Bal’s dress. Though Bal Thackeray was not the only one whom she met.

She claims to be a human activist but her struggle is confined to the Indian prisoners rightly placed behind the bars for the heinous crimes like bomb exploding and killing but she has never uttered a single word or has raised even a faint voice for the inopportune Pakistani prisoners rotting in the Indian jails.

 Not only that due to her stubbornness recently she cheerfully broke her house but at the same time she ensured fetching divorce to thousand of innocent women during last two decades, yet she claims to be a ‘Rights’ Watchdog’ (if that can be used for either gender). For this notorious mission she is popularly known as the Chief Executive Divorcee Club of Pakistan.

The point to remember is that those who lit candles at Joint Check Post Wagha and dance with their Hindu friends in India, ‘religiously’ celebrate Diwali, have no right to lose any sleep for Pakistan or to criticise Pakistan army. It is difficult to please everyone and every time. The public must show some guts to ask the lady that why must she always clutches to the negative ends.

Water Grabber India & Nuclear War Part – I by Zaheerul Hassan

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nation mentioned in his report that rural poverty and food insecurity has been intensified and is showing downward trend all over the world. Developing countries within the Asia-Pacific region represent more than half of the world population today (a total of 3.7 billion out of 6.3 billion people in 2000), which continued to grow at 1.4% per year (1990-2000) and slowing down to 0.7% per year in 2020-2025.  The population in urban areas will increase from 37% to 51% during the same period. The report further reveals that majority of the worlds poor live in this region, about 829 million out of a world total of 1.2 billion, living on an average of just one dollar a day.

An alarming aspect of under discussion issue is that despite having maximum manpower, natural resources and all weather pieces of land, why Asian countries failed to bring Green Revolution. The answer is unequal distribution of manpower and ambitious desire of grabbing natural resources by the power greedy country India. New Delhi never realized that her wishful thinking of attaining supremacy and capturing natural resources is pushing the region into war. She has forgotten that hunger is the only factor which changes the human characteristics. It gave birth to the world terrorism too. Here, in Asia the ratio of poor people remained high as high Himalayan Mountain. Most of the governments in south Asian region cannot maintain even daily necessities of their nations. The countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal   botched to promote their agricultural sector because of presence of a water grabber country in their neighbourhood.

 India has given a new turn to the philosophy of war while using water as an instrument of war. She has the intentions of converting her neighbourhood’s land into ruins and deserts through inundation and trickling of water.  In this regard her actions speak that she is emerging as “Global Water Terrorist Country”. New Delhi has planned number of barrages and dames while violating international water pacts. Now, it’s the talk of the region that future war would be on water issue because none of the country will like to become barren as result of Water terrorism.  Therefore, it is evident from the prevailing environment that if world community failed to control water grabber then insecurity of food would be the core issue of future Asia and would prove fatal for the world peace.


 It is further emphasized that Agriculture sector is expected to continue to play the central role in achieving sustainable food security and poverty alleviation through increasing the food production, improving productivity and quality, expanding non-farm employment and enhancing trade and overall capital formation. But, the increase in capital is only possible if water resources shall be available to the countries. But its reality that development of any country revolves around Water since it’s equally good for agriculture and industrial sectors apart for the daily routine maintenance. Unavailability or shortage of water might lead into environmental degradation, erosion of top soils, and depletion of soil fertility, pollution, starvation and low production of food.


The third word countries which are already suffering with depleted economies have to do something for their survival. The numbers of water issues of South Asian countries though have been taken up at various international fora but are still unresolved or pending due to disinclination attitude of India towards the execution of already concluded International Pacts. Indus Basin Water Treaty between India and Pakistan 1960, Indo-Bangladesh water dispute over the Farakka Barrage (The Ganges Water Treaty) and the Indo-Nepal dispute over the Mahakali River are the glaring examples of Indian refusal of abiding by the international agreements. The continuous Indian denial is endangering regional peace too. It is notable here that India always used water as blackmailing tool against Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. The Indian rulers exploit this natural resource through blocking the flow of rivers which originate from the Indian controlled territories and claiming their rights of using Nepalese Origin Rivers too.


It is also notable here that major water issue between two nuclear powers (India and Pakistan) is directly linked with the territorial dispute too. Pakistan and India have fought four wars over Kashmir. The sources of three major rivers are located in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK). India has started construction of dams and barrages over these rivers with the aim of destroying agriculture sector of Pakistan. According to the sources, India has also suggested Afghan government to construct dam over Kabul River which is a main water contributor to Indus River. She has also offered technical assistance to Afghanistan. Therefore it’s a proven fact now that India will never be our trustworthy friend because of her mean nature. Her only aim is to create instability and destruction of Pakistan.

 Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal have tried to resolve their water issues with India while using various world and regional stages. These countries also used SAARC platform to settle their long outstanding issues over water but some how on one or other pretext New Delhi showed her unwillingness in resolving the issue. India straightaway refused to come on SAARC forum while saying that water clashes will be solved with Bangladesh and Nepal through tri-partite dialogues.  In fact India is not interested to decide the issues at all and will keep on avoiding the talks on such delicate matters. Same situation is prevailing between Pakistan and India over water problem.

 The reluctance of India in resolving of basic issues has further deteriorated the regional security. The political and military leaderships of India have failed to comprehend and read the delicacy of the current adverse regional situation. The ruling party of India is trying to corner the lonely Islamic nuclear power without realizing that Pakistan can not afford anymore conventional war with her. She must know that Pakistani nuclear programme is though very safe but off course in strong hands too. According to A Q khan Pakistan Nuclear Programme is of latest version and has edge over Indian nuclear programme too.

 Pakistan has sufficient nuclear arsenals to meet any potent threat to her integrity.  Careful analysis of contemporary political and security environment reveals that future nuclear war would be on water issue. India must know that Pakistan can go for nuclear strike first, since it’s the matter of her survival on world map. To avoid this nuclear war, international community has to establish, deliberate and redress the major water issues of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal. I would like to mention here that details and formula of resolving this important issue and avoiding future nuclear war would be discussed in Part – II of the article.

                                                                          (To be continued)

URGENT: India Pays Baitullah Mehsud To Attack Pakistan’s Nuclear Sites, Plan Deployed


Tuesday, 7 July 2009.



ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—India has paid terrorist leader Baitullah Mehsud and his well armed and trained terrorist army around U.S. $ 25 million to mount a spectacular attack on a major Pakistani nuclear site. A special force of around 500 recruits has been assembled and trained to mount the operation that is supposed to shock the world. The purpose is to create an event that will create a global media scare and convince the world of the need for military intervention in Pakistan. Another objective is to neutralize voices of reason within the U.S. government that believe Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is secure.

The bulk of the terrorists in the special 500-strong force put together by Mehsud have been trained inside Afghanistan by trainers suspected of having links to the Indian intelligence. Although most of the recruits are expected to be Pakistanis from Mehsud’s tribe, an unknown number of Afghan and Indian elements with special operations training have been inserted in the Mehsud group in order to ensure the success of this high profile operation.

It is not clear when this plan was conceived and whether the 500-strong force divided into crack teams to carry out the attack(s) is ready. But Pakistani officials are taking no chances. The nation’s security setup is on high alert. As for the nuclear installations, the managers of Pakistan’s strategic arsenal maintain unrestricted universal operability to fulfill the arsenal’s role as a deterrent. For them, no day is a normal day.

But this latest disclosure of a plan to attack the nuclear sites has raised alarm bells, to say the least.

 A rough sketch of the plan and how the attack(s) are expected to unfold goes as follows:

A team or several teams of terrorists attack one or more Pakistani nuclear sites and attempt to enter the facilities.

  1. Within each crack team only a small core is supposed to be equipped with modern communications equipment, special operations gear, and modern weapons; highly trained to exact maximum damage.
  2. Where possible, the terrorists plan to break in and hold the fort, a la Mumbai attacks, in order to generate maximum media coverage and embarrassment for the Pakistanis.
  3. The international media, and especially the main American and British news outlets, turn this into a global crisis, comparable to the Bay of Pigs in 1962.
  4. The event generates enough pressure to justify an ‘international demand’ to neutralize Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and force Pakistanis to accept ‘international’ supervision.
  5. Depending on the aftermath, and after a few days or weeks, a small nuclear weapon is used somewhere, maybe against the US military or NATO bases in Afghanistan since it would be difficult to do it anywhere else, in order to confirm that the Afghan Taliban or generally the ‘Islamic extremists’ managed to steal a weapon from the earlier attack(s) on Pakistani sites.

This last point is critical. According to the available information, the mysterious disappearance of a senior Indian nuclear scientist and his subsequent death in May is linked to at least some parts of this plan. The scientist, Mr. Lokanathan Mahalingam, 47, had access to Indian’s sensitive nuclear information and worked at the prestigious Kaiga Atomic Power Station in the southern Indian state Karnataka, close to Project Seabird, a major Indian military base. His disappearance received limited coverage in the Indian media and there was almost a blackout on the circumstances surrounding how his dead body was found in a lake. The media in the U.S. and Britain also ignored the story. It is believed that Mr. Mahalingam was either involved in or had some knowledge about the planning for securing a small nuclear weapon that would leave no fingerprints, to put it this way, in order to execute the idea in paragraph 6 above.

The Indians have been working on this scenario for some time now.

On 16 May, the Israeli security website Debka under a story titled, ‘Singh warns Obama: Pakistan is lost,’ reported the following:

“India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has told President Obama that nuclear sites in Pakistan’s restive frontier province are “already partly” in the hands of Islamic extremists.”

 The Times of India, reporting the story, complained about “Washington’s misplaced confidence in, and [careless] approach towards, Pakistan’s nuclear assets,” and grumbled that “Pakistan is ramping up its nuclear arsenal even as the rest of the world is scaling it down.”

The Indian interest is obvious. But so is the Israeli interest. It is quite revealing that the story was broken by a news outlet known in international circles for its links to the Israeli government.

 Official circles in Washington, including the White House, the State Department, Pentagon and CIA are cognizant of a history of cooperation between India and Israel in security issues. India’s security establishment is largely focused on Pakistan and on controlling Kashmir where the population is fighting the Indian military. At least in one incident, during the limited Pakistan-India war in 1999, the Israelis directly intervened to help the battered Indian army overturn a tactical victory by Pakistani and Kashmiri fighters.

As recently as two days ago, Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and an Obama adviser known for his strong anti-Pakistan views, wrote an article published at the Brookings Institute website that demonstrates how far the anti-Pakistan lobby is willing to go to prove that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is not safe.

In Mr. Riedel’s case, he went as far as lying.

He used a recent terrorist attack on a bus carrying employees of KRL, a Pakistani nuclear facility, to say that Pakistani nuclear sites are already under attack. What he conveniently ignored is that the said bus was in fact traveling through a densely populated part of the city and not anywhere near any nuclear site. The bus most probably became a target of opportunity because it carried a plate indicating it was a government vehicle.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement quoted by an Israeli source which was widely reported and never denied by the Indians, the Israelis or the Americans, was not the first to promote the alarmist and the unreal scenario of Pakistani nuclear weapons getting into the wrong hands. Mr. Singh came on record during an interview with CNN in 2005 to say this:

 “I am worried about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets should President Pervez Musharraf be replaced, since there is always the danger of Islamic militants seizing power and taking control of the country’s nuclear assets.”

There is little question that influential parts of the Indian government are involved in exporting terrorism into Pakistan from bases inside Afghanistan. Attempts to incite ethnic unrest in Pakistan’s southwest were traced by investigators to Indians in Afghanistan. Pakistani investigators reached the same conclusion with some of the evidence found in northwest Pakistan where terrorists are killing Pakistanis. And now there are reports of an impending attack on Pakistan’s nuclear facilities using Baitullah Mehsud.

The Indians and those who are supporting them should be under no illusions. Any attack on Pakistani nuclear facilities in the coming days will be construed as a declaration of war by India against Pakistan. Knowing of Mehsud’s previous contacts with Indians and with Karzai’s people, any miscalculated attempt by his terrorists will not be seen as anything less than a direct Indian attack. In this case, Pakistan will consider itself in a state of war, and retaliate accordingly. There should not be any confusion on this.


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