Sunday, March 29, 2009


One of the most important geo-political event to take place in the coming week is the launch of Taepodong 3-stage missile from North Korea.

Let us look back to July 2006 – when North Korea last started preparing to launch Taepodong-2 intercontinental ballistic missile.

The US which had trumpeted the need for missile defense, had begun deploying the first interceptors at a base in Alaska. Bush and Rumsfeld ordered the military to try to blow the North Korean missile out of the sky.


The man put in charge of the efforts was Adm. Timothy J Keating, the commander of the U.S. Northern Command. For six weeks in the summer of 2006, the military had prepared to launch ground based anti-missile interceptors from Vandenberg Air Force base in central California and from Fort Greely, the Army launch site about 100 miles south east of Fairbanks, Alaska. The idea was to blow up the Taepodong over the Pacific, demonstrating that America’s missile defenses were a real first line of defense against rogue states.


It was a huge risk as tests of missile defense system had often ended in embarrassing failures. Yet, Rusfeld and other enthusiasts of the missile defense system, there might not be another opportunity as good one to test out the system. After all the North Koreans were not shooting up several warheads to overwhelm the missile defense system, nor did the missile have the sophistication to spew out chaff and decoys that could fool the antimissile interceptors.

The main US worry was what was in the cone of the missile – was it a dummy load, a satellite or a weaponized warhead? The US had to assume the worst and were prepared to launch interceptor missiles.

On JuLy 4th 2006, the Taepodong missile left its launchpad – Keating and Rumsfeld had between five and fifteen minutes to decide whether to launch the interceptors to take out the Taepodong. Satellites detected the launch at 4:01 pm, but Keating and Rumsfeld never got to test their prized new system. Forty two seconds into the flight, the Taepodong broke up, either because of a launch failure or because of the North Koreans aborted the flight.

North Koreans tried to cover this embarrassment by calling the Chinese embassy on October 9th the same year of an impending nuclear explosion. At 11:36 am, Pyongyang time, the US Geological Survey picked up a 4.2 magnitude quake on the Korean peninsula. The blast was not much more impressive than the Taepodong launch. It was nearly a dud and many suspect it was not a real bomb at all, but just a small controlled nuclear explosion. The yield was below a kiloton.

The contours of the North Korean nuclear program was hardly a secret to the US. While the plutonium path was known, the US started getting evidence that North Korea was buying equipment for a secret, undeclared program to enrich uranium – an alternative path to the bomb. The CIA had tracked shipments from Russia of aluminum tubes which are critical working part of a modern gas centrifuge. There were close to a hundred other items related to uranium enrichment that analysts had followed. Some of them came aboard a cargo plane commandeered by A.Q. Khan.

In July 2008, AQ Khan publicly stated for the first time about sending centrifuges to North Korea. He told “It was a North Korean plan and the Pakistani army had complete knowledge about it and the equipment.”

In June 2008, the North Koreans blew up the cooling tower at Yongbyon. However, in characteristic North Korean style, they tore the seals off their reprocessing facility and announced they would resume making bomb fuel.

As stated in an earlier article both North Koreans and Pakistanis realized that US / NATO do not mess with countries who have nuclear arsenals and they can pretty much bargain for food / money / aid by feigning to go into abyss from time to time to deflect mounting pressure from US.

Did North Koreans conduct nuclear explosion in Pakistan?

On June 10, 1998, an Air Koryo chartered plane took off the runway of the Islamabad International Airport of Pakistan. No one had anticipated the significance of this Pyongyang-bound flight in the affairs of the Korean peninsula. On board the plane were the 20 North Korean nuclear scientists who had conducted an underground nuclear test at Pakistan's Balochistan nuclear test site. In addition, the plane was loaded with the nuclear test equipment and test data.

Pakistan has conducted six nuclear tests. On May 28, 1998, Pakistan exploded 5 nuclear devices simultaneously at the Chagal Hills (Ras Koh range) nuclear test site. One of the devices was a boosted fission device. Two days later, a 14 KT nuclear device was tested at the Balochistan test site. This device is believed to be a plutonium bomb flown in from North Korea.

The people of Pakistan were relieved and overjoyed at the news of Pakistani nuclear tests in the aftermath of India's nuclear tests of the same scale (including a boosted bomb) a few days earlier. In stark contrast to the festive mood prevailing in Pakistan, the dark cloud of American spy planes and satellites shadowed the Pakistani nuclear facilities, and a horde of US CIA and DIA agents swarmed to Pakistan's capital.

Pyongyang had no time to celebrate its Balochistan nuclear test success because it had the daunting task of extracting its nuclear scientists, test equipment and test data safely from Pakistan. Hundreds of American spies and agents were out to grab North Korean scientists and nuclear materials. Even if the plane took off safely, it might have been shot down or forced to land by American planes.

North Korea had anticipated dirty plays by the Americans and worked out detailed counter measures for the safe return of its nuclear assets. Little has been published about this super secret operation. Several American news articles have revealed certain aspects of the operation, however.

The Los Angeles Times has published two articles related to the operation. On June 7, 1998, one week after the Balohsitan test, a gunshot rang out in the darkness of the night in the exclusive residential district of Islamabad. The district referred to as "E-7" is for high-ranking military officers and nuclear scientists, and as such, it is highly secured. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the Pakistani bomb, lives in the district. In fact, the gun was fired only a few meters from Dr. Khan's residence. The victim was Kim Sa-nae, a North Korean woman. There was no eyewitness and Pakistani plainclothes men investigated the incidence. Kim Sa-nae was reportedly well-known for her cold-noodles, a famed North Korean dish.

Kim's death was duly reported on Pakistani newspapers but few paid attention at the time, when the news of the nuclear tests dominated the news at the time. The Pakistanis said that Kim Sa-nae was a North Korean diplomat. Her mysterious murder was forgotten until the Los Angeles Times picked it up one year later. The Los Angeles Times story went far beyond what was reported by the Pakistanis. It had some sinister twists added to the unsolved 'murder'.

1). The Pakistani police refused to disclose the true identity of Kim Sa-nae. The US intelligence claims that Kim was the wife of Kang Thae-yun, a mid-level staff member at the North Korean Embassy in Pakistan, and that Kang was in fact an agent of North Korea's Chang-kwang Trading Company, which sells weapons overseas. The Americans claim that Kang was no diplomat - he was a weapons salesman. Kang left Pakistan one month after Kim's death. On the other hand, the Pakistanis claim that Kim Sa-nae was one of the twenty North Korean nuclear scientists, who were staying at the guest house of Dr. Khan's residence when Kim was shot.

2). The Pakistani police has not disclosed the murderer of Kim Sa-nae. There have been three different speculations. One says that a cook working next door to Dr. Khan borrowed a gun from a guard and fired it by accident. The second story says that one of Dr. Khan's neighbors fired his gun accidentally while cleaning it. Dr. Khan has stated that Kim's death was accidental. In contrast, the American intelligence claims that Kim Sa-nae was an American spy and provided information on North Korea's nuclear tests to the Western intelligence agents, and that she was killed while trying to defect.

3). The Los Angeles Times article claims no autopsy was done on Kim's body and that the Pakistani police was told to close the book on her case. The American intelligence claims that her body was returned to Pyongyang on June 10th, four days after her murder on a Pakistani cargo plane, and that her coffin contained two centrifuge machines for enriching uranium and associated manuals. In those days, Air Koryo had two flights per month to Islamabad. In fact, an Air Koryo plane was at Islamabad at the time of Kim's murder. Then, why would Kim's body be on a Pakistani plane?

The truth is most likely that there was no Kim Sa-nae. She was made up by North Korea to create confusion to cover up the extraction of its nuclear assets. On the other hand, the Americans went along to hammer in their claim that Pakistan provided enriched uranium technology to North Korea (and therefore, North Korea 'has' an enriched uranium nuclear program).

The Kim Sa-nae 'murder' was a fabrication to draw away American spies in Pakistan from the imminent departure of the Air Koryo plane carrying North Korean nuclear scientists, test equipment and test data. It was a cat and mouse game, in which North Korea won.

Cut back to present : March – April 2009.

The new player in the block this time is Japan which is probably trying to test its expensive missile defense shield. Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada on Friday ordered the Japan Self-Defense Force (SDF) to prepare to destroy any ballistic missile fired from North Korea if it looks like hitting the country.


Many believe that under the pretext of a satellite launch, North Korea is poised to test-fire a long-range ballistic missile to boost national prestige ahead of the Supreme People's Assembly starting on April 9. This date is also the 16th anniversary of Dear Leader Kim Jong-il's rise to chairman of the National Defense Commission of North Korea.

There is widespread speculation among military experts that North Korea will launch a third-stage version of the newly developed Taepodong-2 missile, which has a range of up to 8,000 kilometers. Many countries, such as the United States and South Korea, are concerned that a successful test-firing will provide Pyongyang with the capability for inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force is deploying the Kongou and the Chokai - the two Aegis-equipped ballistic missile defense (BMD) destroyers fitted with SM-3 missiles among Japan's six Aegis-equipped destroyers - to the Sea of Japan. One Japanese Aegis-equipped destroyer called Kirishima will also be sent to the Pacific to detect and track the North Korean projectile's path and to collect data on it to figure out whether it is a satellite or a missile. Kirishima has no ability to intercept it.

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force will shift its Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) ground-based interceptor missiles currently deployed at the Hamamatsu base in Shizuoka prefecture to Japan Ground Self-Defense Force bases in Akita and Iwate prefectures in northeastern Japan, where rocket debris from a failed launch might fall.

Japan's BMD Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) can intercept inter-continental ballistic missiles at an altitude of about 100 kilometers and the PAC-3 has a range of about 20 kilometers. Thus, the ground-based PAC-3 is responsible for the lower range of the shield and is designed to intercept incoming missiles the SM-3 misses.

Hence the difference this time (2006 LAUNCH VS 2009):

1. Japan is the front runner to shoot down the missile this time, with US giving backup
2. Probably a 3 stage Taepodong and a more confident North Koreans this time


Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper claimed that a 15-strong delegation from Tehran has been in the country advising the North Koreans since the beginning of March 2009.

The experts include senior officials from the Iranian rocket and satellite producer Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, the newspaper said.

The Iranians brought a letter from President Ahmadinejad to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il stressing the importance of co-operating on space technology.

If the missile is a failure or is aborted, this will result in serious embarrassment for the North Koreans. And if the launch is a success and Japan and US fail to intercept the missile – it will be an embarrassment for them.

Either which way, someone is going to be embarrassed with this launch going ahead . We will have to wait and see what happens.

Assuming that the launch is a success and Japan manages to shoot the missile down, the region can very quickly descend into an abyss with unknown consequences. While North Korea will not launch any nuclear strike as the military leadership there knows (as I suspect our Pakistani military counterparts know) that in that event their life expectancy will be like that of a FIREFLY.

What North Koreans might well do is to have another nuclear blast, this time going above the 1 kiloton level to regain respectability. And when it does, the world can clap the Pakistanis for it.


While the world pays attention to AQ Khan, the person more important is Khalid Kidwai – the keeper of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals. Kidwai oversees the entire security structure meant to keep Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and fuels out of the hands of its enemies. Kidwai is based about three-quarters of a mile down the road from Chaklala military base, within the walls of the garrison and barely marked in a small compound for Strategic Plans.

His schooling was from Sargodha – a place that remains important to him as Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is stored there and nearby. Sargodha airbase can be seen on the map above, to the left of Lahore.


On Nov . 23, 1971 when war broke out with India, Kidwai then a young second lieutenant was captured and held as a prisoner of war for two years in Allahabad.

And the world is paying the price for India releasing one more Pakistani from its jails.

One must remember that Bush included North Korea in the axis of evil only to make it look kosher – as he is supposed to have said – we cannot have all three countries in Axis of Evil to be coming from the Islamic world. Pakistan which gave the nuclear technology to the so-called Axis of Evil, itself continues to dodge the stigma of an evil empire – however it knows and the world knows how Pakistan is being looked at in the hushed corridors of powers.

The success or failure of Taepodong will reverberate in the corridors of India and Pakistan too – it will be fascinating to watch for the drama to unfold in the next few days.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Graham Allison, a Harvard professor and an authority on nuclear terrorism stated: “If you can build a nuclear reactor in SYRIA without being detected for 8 years, how hard can it be to sell a little plutonium to Osama bin Laden?

Allison’s derogatory remarks on the intelligence ability of the US was not without reason. For 8 years, the US had its eyes peeled at non-existent Iraqi nuclear reactors – and the Syrian one was just a few kilometers away from the Iraqi border.


The American stupor was broken one day in late April 2007 when Meir Dagan, the chief of Mossad called the White House and asked for an urgent meeting with NSA Stephen Hadley. In May 2007, thanks to the work of Israeli agents, Dagan spread out a treasure trove of photos taken from inside the “facility”, inside the curtain walls where satellites could not penetrate. What they showed solved the mystery of Al-Kibar. Dagan also pulled out a photo of two men standing near the Syrian nuclear complex – Ibrahim Othman: the head of the Syrian Atomic Energy Commission and on his left was Chon Chibu: North Korean scientist who managed the production of fuel at North Korea’s main nuclear weapons site at Yongbyon.

What surprised the Americans was that the innards of the Syrian nuclear plant bore a striking resemblance to the reactor at North Korea’s main nuclear complex. A carbon copy, in fact.

On September 6th 2007, the Israeli F-15s crossed into Syria soon after midnight, screaming undetected over the desert, headed for their target deep in the Euphrates valley. They traversed 2/3 of the country, barely setting off air defenses that the Syrians had paid Russia millions to construct. In minutes they swooped over the tiny town of Al-Kibar and left a pile of concrete and rubble. They had splintered apart a baseball-diamond field-sized building that the Syrians had been working on in deepest secrecy.

The Syrians, embarrassed, denied the incident at first and later tried to say that the planes hit empty buildings. However, US satellite images from above told a completely different story.

As North Korea itself gets ready to test its ballistic missile in the next few days, there is intense speculation whether the US or the Japan will try to shoot it down, and if so at what stage, or if at all? The best kept secret in all this, is the nuclear stockpile that Japan has. Will come to this another day.

Dr A.Q. Khan’s connection to the North Korean nuclear program as well as the Iranian ones are well documented.
The Libyan operation took the lid off the lucrative deals.

North Korea’s dear leader learnt that even if he had no food grains to feed his people, if he put nuclear missiles on his roof it would be a brilliant survival strategy. The strategy: “If the rest of the world, specially its neighbours didn’t bring him oil, gas and take out food, he would blow the place sky high.” The amazing thing was that this strategy was working; the neighbors did not want any trouble. (See any similarities here with Pakistan’s strategy?)

The Iranians, a proud nation and an ancient civilization, surely needed the nuclear bomb – it was the ultimate symbol of self reliance. Moreover, Pakistan had nuclear arsenal and it being a Sunni nation – Pakistan’s bomb was called the de-facto Sunni bomb. Saudi Arabia looked at Pakistan’s nuclear assets as its own and as I have shown in an earlier article the very close military relationship that Saudi Arabia has with Pakistan.

There were voices from Pakistan that made Iran even more nervous. Al Qaeda leadership safely ensconced in Pakistan due to ISI’s hospitality (covert & overt), came out with a statement that Hezbollah is its enemy as it is a Shia force.

And (have touched on this earlier) Pakistan Army together with Osama bin Laden, targeted the largely Shia controlled Northern Areas & Gilgit and forcibly killed and changed demographics of the area. In 1988, as a Brigadier charged with suppressing a Shia revolt in Pakistan occupied Gilgit-Baltistan, Gen Musharraf used Islamist 'irregulars' from the North West Frontier Province, under the command of OSAMA BIN LADEN, to execute a campaign of pillage, arson, rape and slaughter, in which hundreds of Shia were killed. These Islamist irregulars were Sunni hardliners – the ISI formed Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) – from where LeJ (Lashkar e Jhangvi) was later formed.

Thereafter, Gen Musharraf was intrinsic to the 'demographic re-engineering' of the illegally occupied region, through which large numbers of Pashtun and Punjabi 'outsiders' were forcibly settled there, to alter the existing demographic balance that overwhelmingly favoured the Shias. After decades of this policy, while Shias continue to maintain a slim - though diminishing - majority, the proportions have been altered from 1:4 in their favour, to 3:4.

Dera Ismail Khan- one of the southern Districts of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan has become the slaughterhouse for the Shia community. The banned Sipah-e-Sahaba has indiscriminately killed dozens of innocent Shias including women and children. The venomous anti-Shia organizations like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have no remorse in killing Shias in their mosques, whereas Lashkar-e-Taiba has stated that they will not kill Shias while they are praying in their mosques (but outside mosques – ok to kill !).

Iran has been noting with growing disquiet the increased Talibanisation of Pakistan and the increased attacks on the Shia community as a direct function of this.

Iranian diplomats have been killed off and once Iran & Afghanistan were very close to war when Taliban was in control of Afghanistan.

September 15th 1998: "Iran must know that if the soil of Afghanistan is attacked, we will target Iranian cities and the entire responsibility will rest with Iranian authorities," Taliban spokesman Wakil Ahmed told the independent Afghan Islamic Press.

The last thing Iran wants is nuclear blackmail from a Sunni nation – or even a threat from a rag tag bunch of Deobandi/Wahabbi Sunni mindless warriors threaten the great nation of Iran.

Just as the Israelis had, in another spectacular attack, bombed Saddam’s nuclear reactor Osirak in 1981, Saddam Hussein bombed Iran’s nuclear site at Bushehr. Saddam was not about to allow the mullahs to obtain nuclear fuel ahead of him. Unfortunately for Iran, Pakistan beat them to it.

Iran wanted the “bomb” desperately and it came to realize that Dr A Q Khan is on the market. For him Shia – Sunni did not matter – only dollars mattered and an ego massage. Later in 1994, two officials from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards showed up at the Dubai office of Dr A Q Khan with suitcases stuffed with US $ 3 million in cash – a partial payment – and left with detailed plans for the P-2 and with parts that fit an older model. The Iranians were angry at the inferior equipment, but it was better than nothing and it helped kick start their program.


The Iranians went about their job efficiently. On a frigid Monday morning in Vienna in late February 2008, Olli Heinonen summoned ambassadors and experts from a dozen countries into the boardroom of IAEA. While presenting, he saved Project 111 for the last.

The first slide was a status report on Project 111 written in Farsi. The opening page bore an epigraph which when translated read: “Fate changes no man, unless he changes fate.” The remainder of the slides, also in Farsi, detailed work on how to design a warhead so that it could be placed in the nose cone of Iran’s most sophisticated long range missile, the Shahab-3.

One of hardest documents for the Iranians to explain was a chronology showing the arc of a missile’s flight. It indicated when the altitude meters would be switched on, when the detonators on the warhead would be fired, and it showed the warhead exploding at about 600 meters above the ground.

Heinonen’s message was clear. No one would detonate a conventional weapon at that height, but as any nuclear weapon designer would attest, that it is roughly the height at which an atomic bomb, detonated over a city, can do the most damage.

Obviously the Iranians had moved far ahead from the suitcase days, and the Americans were in a bind. The Israelis were preparing to launch attacks but the countries most apoplectic were neither the US nor Israel, they were Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt. They clearly stated that if Iran possessed nuclear weapons, they too would restart their programs – some dormant, some semi-active.

The message to the US was clear. The Iranians are not building the bomb to attack Israel – because if they did, Iran will be obliterated not only by Israel but by US too (Hillary Clinton was at her polite best – when she said: “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president we will attack Iran,” Clinton said. “In the next ten years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them).”

No Hillary, Iran does not want to nuke Israel. Iran wants to possess the nuke so that:

1. The US / Israel does not attack it or tries to bring in regime change through coercive means
2. To counter the Sunni bomb of Pakistan
3. To counter Talibanization of Pakistan – the threat to Iran grows manifold
4. To bargain better with the civilized world
5. To take control of middle eastern affairs and reaffirm its rightful place in the region.

Iran came to realize pretty early that US does not mess with nations who have nukes – however small the quantity of nukes or however small the nation – otherwise the noose on Saddam is a constant reminder of what US can do if countries do not have nukes.

For India : With apologies to Israel, it is in India’s interest that Iran have this Shia bomb. Iran and India have been traditional allies over centuries (barring minor instances). The Shia bomb is an excellent counterfoil to the Sunni bomb. Also US’s position in the middle east becomes tenuous if Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia embark on nuclear weapons. This does not harm India’s interests, but it does harm the interests of US and Europe.

One must recall that US’s wink allowed Pakistan to develop the nukes and we should return the compliment to them. Let them deal with this. Iran will not let go of its nuclear ambitions, and why should it? If Pakistan has the nukes, then Iran must have nukes too.


The United States thwarted a suspect shipment from North Korea to Iran by persuading the Indian government to deny clearance for the North Korean flight to travel through Indian airspace,.

Nine weeks after the flight was diverted in August, the Bush administration removed North Korea from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism in a bid to salvage an accord to end Pyongyang’s nuclear programs.

U.S. officials suspect the North Korean plane, an Ilyushin-62 jet owned by the North Korean state airline, was carrying sophisticated technology — such as ballistic missile parts — that could be used in a program for weapons of mass destruction.

The jet stopped in Burma on Aug. 7 and sought permission to cross Indian airspace to reach Iran. India is not part of the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, but officials in New Delhi agreed to a U.S. request to deny access.

“This was very, very important,” said a senior U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the incident involved U.S. intelligence. “It was frankly a success that we stopped North Korea from doing this."

Surely India should be pursuing its foreign policy for its own interests first. As I have stated earlier, the US did not favours to India as it allowed nuclear proliferation to go on unabated by Pakistan.

Obama is trying diplomacy – it is a welcome gesture but it will not slow down Iranian efforts at bomb making in the least. But good relations with Iran does open up alternate supply routes to NATO in Afghanistan (discussed earlier).

I wish Mohsen Fakrizadeh – the Iranian military scientist sitting atop the entire nuclear project and his team “godspeed”.

STRATFOR is reporting in its latest article:

"The danger of having such a program is that the United States — or some other country — might attack and destroy the associated facilities. Therefore, the North Koreans created a high level of uncertainty as to just how far along they were on the road to having a nuclear device and as to how urgent the situation was, raising and lowering alarms like a conductor in a symphony. The Iranians are following the same strategy. They are constantly shifting from a conciliatory tone to an aggressive one, keeping the United States and Israel under perpetual psychological pressure. The Iranians are trying to avoid an attack by keeping the intelligence ambiguous. Tehran’s ideal strategy is maintaining maximum ambiguity and anxiety in the West while minimizing the need to strike immediately. Actually obtaining a bomb would increase the danger of an attack in the period between a successful test and the deployment of a deliverable device.

What the Iranians get out of this is exactly what the North Koreans got: disproportionate international attention and a lever on other topics, along with something that could be sacrificed in negotiations. They also have a chance of actually developing a deliverable device in the confusion surrounding its progress. If so, Iran would become invasion- and even harassment-proof thanks to its apparent instability and ideology. From Tehran’s perspective, abandoning its nuclear program without substantial concessions, none of which have materialized as yet, would be irrational. And the Iranians expect a large payoff from all this."

One of the commentators RAY said "Iran has been threatening recently that it will conduct its petro-transactions in Euros instead of the tanking dollars. If that happens, and if fellow OPEC nations follow suit, US will suffer an economic disaster, much worse than what is happening right now. Iran is being "convinced" by the US president to follow the norms and not rebel against the dollar. If Iran complies, some economic sanctions will be lifted and the threat of war taken away. Otherwise it will suffer the same fate as Iraq (Saddam actually implemented his petrotransactions in Euros. That is the main reason for invasion).

I apreciate the Iranian people, their culture, their cuisine, their movies. And India should quickly get back into the trio of friendship that existed : Iran, Russia, India – the original backers of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan.

Navroz Mubarak !

(Note: Most of the above material sourced from David Sanger's book: The Inheritance)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

INDIA has $1.4 Trillion of Illegal money stashed in Swiss Banks - Time to bring it home !

American Thinker reports: Rajeev Gandhi’s untimely death left Sonia Gandhi extremely wealthy. The true extent of her wealth became known only when the Soviet archives were thrown open following the collapse of the Soviet Union. KGB archives revealed that as far back as 1982, when Indira Gandhi was still prime minister, Soviet trading agencies were channeling funds into a company controlled by her son and future Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

This was also brought to light by Harvard Russian scholar Yvgenia Albats in her book The State Within A State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia. The Swiss newsmagazine Schweizer Illustrierte (November 11, 1991) provided more details. Citing newly—opened KGB records, it reported that Sonia Gandhi, widow of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was controlling a secret account worth 2.5 billion Swiss francs (about 2 billion dollars at current exchange rates) in a Swiss bank in her minor son's name.

This was of course, the tip of the iceberg. India is number one in the world as far as stashing black money in Swiss Banks.

Now, we have figures for Swiss banks only - there are other offshore banking centres – Cayman Islands etc. One can therefore surmise that amounts stashed in Swiss Banks are also just the tip of the iceberg. Let us see that “tip of the iceberg”.

India is world’s number 1 in stashing black money – a whopping $1.4 trillion dollars = $ 1400 billion dollars = $ 1,400,000 million dollars = Rs 70,00,000 Crores.

And we are talking just about Swiss Banks only !

Daily Times Pakistan
reports : “India with $1456 billion or $1.4 trillion has more money in Swiss banks than rest of the world combined. This must be unaccounted money earned in India by wrong means as otherwise any Indian wanting to open a bank account abroad has to take permission of the Reserve Bank of India and records do not show any such permissions granted for deposits in Switzerland. 
In March 2005, the Tax Justice Network (TJN) published a research finding demonstrating that $11.5 trillion of personal wealth was held offshore by rich individuals across the globe. 
The findings estimated that a large proportion of this wealth was managed from some 70 tax havens.”

A rare accolade to the Communist Party of India

Communist Party of India (CPI) Deputy General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said that Government should take steps to bring back $1456 billion. This is allegedly the unaccounted money deposited by Indians in Swiss banks.

"Who could deposit this amount and why at a far of place like Switzerland not preferring banks in India? The answer is simple. This is black money, this is the money unaccounted," he said.

"These depositors are shameless betrayers of the nation and money deposited by them should be confiscated through all legal means immediately and brought back to India," he said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Even if it is $1400 billions, it is almost twice to country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 15 times more of its budget. If distributed equally among the Indians, each will get approximately Rs one lakh, Reddy said.

"While 36 crore people in the country are living below poverty line, it is unpardonable that a few rich keep the huge amount in Swiss banks," he added.

Milap Choraria submitted 2 application under RTI Act, 205, to the Prime Ministers Office to know actual volume of Indian (black) money deposited in Switzerland’s Banks as per rough estimates of the Government of India and that what action have been taken to retrieve such money from Switzerland to strengthen Indian Economy?

United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), gave a chance to retrieve such money from Switzerland, provided India make appropriate law to that affect to recover such stolen Indian Money and prevent them to retain such money any further. But, till date India not ratified such Convention, and wanted to know that what are the reason and hurdles in rectification of such Convention? But, Government failed to supply appropriate information, rather trying to escape on the alleged pretext of alleged exemptions under RTI Act, 2000.

As we all go to vote, we must try to find out who ruled India most for all these years, whose money is “hiding” in the Swiss vaults, who has endangered India’s security where even the Pakistani Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mehmood Ahmed threatened – “We have made the whole of PAF a nuclear force.” He said the PAF had achieved such a deterrence level that no one could cast an evil eye on the motherland. We fought two wars with India in 1965 and 1971 and prevented three imminent wars in 1998, 2002 and in the recent days in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks.”

True, India sits calmly as it braces for another attack, which will be followed by platitudes and empty threats emanating from Indian politicians. Our holes in defense are a function of slush money parked in compromised military purchase. And those slush money is now staring at our faces mocking us from the vaults of Switzerland as we face real mocking from Pakistani military and militants.

Pakistan’s ex-President Musharraf did concede, in recently concluded India Today Conclave, the fact that India may have to brace with more Mumbai type attacks. Brilliant that he could simply say that as a matter of fact – and the truth is – India is in a comatose, probably impotent.

(My view on this nuclear threat from Pakistan: Personally I give a fig leaf to this alleged threat. The threat may be real, but the threat to Pakistan is greater and in this scenario of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) - it pretty much cancels it out. Even in the case of a nuclear strike, India will be hurt and hurt badly but will not cease to exist - Pakistan will cease to exist. Hence, all these threats from Pakistan mean nothing to me - except empty rhetoric and trying to scare the shit out of our corrupt politicians who hold the nuclear button. Hence, we need to have ex-intelligence / armed forces person to lead India - a la PUTIN to "right certain wrongs". Don't get me wrong - I am well aware of Putin's stashed billions too - but as far as Russia's security is concerned - he does not compromise on that. Our politicians do that as a normal course - that is the difference. And I cannot stand it that they sit smug while cheating our nation of its resources, of its strength and of its security. Time to rob them off their slush funds !).

And in the current global meltdown, that slush money has no business to be sitting anywhere else but in India.

At the very least - This wrong must be “righted”.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is Lashkar e Taiba (LeT) taking over the role of global jehad from Al-Qaeda, with ISI blessings?

US looking for Osama in Hindu Kush mountain range, Pakistan.

The fight for the control of the mindless fighters – the Taliban will begin shortly.

Al – Qaeda (AQ) had money and ideological base, which the ISI used in its favour to learn and perfect the art of global jehad, by playing second fiddle to it. With the US baying for the blood of top tier AQ leadership, the Pakistan Army has come to the understanding that cutting off AQ might not be a bad idea at all. The US will be happy, and probably get off its back, and if Pakistan does ultimately manage to sell the idea of “Good Taliban” to the Obama administration, it will be the proverbial icing on the cake.

Pakistan is under attack for its role in the 26/11 attacks as well as instigating the BDR mutiny in Bangladesh. Given its penchant to forget immediate important issues when a new toy is dangled in front of USA - and Pakistan has seen this happen many times with USA - Pakistan feels that this is the right time to distract both US & Saudi Arabia and give them what they both want - top heads of Al Qaeda. And Pakistan feels, probably rightly, that heat of 26/11, collusion with LeT will be overlooked if it delivers on Al-Qaeda.

The pincer attack on Pakistan to root out Al Qaeda actually comes not from the US but from its trusted ally - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The effort is being led by Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi intelligence chief and he has visited Islamabad, Delhi and Kabul in January 2009. Osama bin Laden has become the mortal enemy of the Royal family of Saudi Arabia and they are putting the proverbial cock-screw into Pakistan to flush out the top heads of Al-Qaeda, preferably dead.


Keep in the back of the mind that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have had a deep strategic military relationship for decades and today have an unacknowledged NUCLEAR partnership to provide the kingdom with a NUCLEAR DETERRENT on SHORT NOTICE if ever needed. This is a Brookings Institute report.

However, current President Zardari has put a spoke in the seamless relationship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan by his various acts. In a very high-handed manner, Zardari withdrew the hunting privileges of two Saudi princes located in the district of Dera Ghazi Khan in southern Punjab. To add salt to the wound, the facility was given to a rival sheikh from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The action was taken at a time when Pakistan badly needed Saudi oil on deferred terms due to soaring prices, and the UAE was in no position to fill the gap. Islamabad now enjoys very good relations with the UAE - which is unable to help Pakistan - due to the family friendship between the Bhutto family and the UAE's rulers. But Pakistan's relations with Saudi Arabia and its two major allies - Qatar and Bahrain - are at an all-time low because of the insult to the Saudi royal family. (The issue of Zardari's Shi'ite background is a secondary factor.)

However, Richard Holbrooke is busy patching up the differences between KSA and Pakistan, with the blessings of Pakistan Army. And the biggest breakthrough has been to get Mullah Omar on board for talks with US. Meetings are due in Dubai later this month and in Saudi Arabia next month. This development can never be good for India's interests in the region.

SAUDI ARABIA & AL-QAEDA - Where are they today?

Forget the earlier connections and connivance between Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden, the CIA, the ISI. That was for a different war (Afghan jehad to oust Soviets) in a different era. Today, the stakes are different, to say the least. Today, Saudi Arabia and Al Qaeda are literally mortal enemies.

In March 2008, the top Saudi cleric, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, cautioned Saudis against giving money to charities or organizations that finance “evil groups” who are known for harming Islam and its followers — a clear reference to al Qaeda and other jihadist organizations.

One of the greatest threats the Saudis pose to al Qaeda is the threat to its ideological base. There are two different battlespaces in the war against jihadism — the PHYSICAL and the IDEOLOGICAL. For an ideological organization such as al Qaeda that preaches persecution and martyrdom, losses on the physical battlefield are expected and glorified. The biggest threat to the jihadists, therefore, is not a Hellfire missile being dropped on their heads, but an ideological broadside that undercuts their legitimacy and ideological appeal.

Many Saudi clerics have condemned jihadism as a “deviance from Islam.” Even prominent Saudi clerics who have criticized the Saudi government, such as Salman al-Awdah, have sent open letters to bin Laden condemning violence against innocents and claiming that al Qaeda was hurting Muslim charities through its purported ties to them.

The sting of the ideological attacks is being felt. In a May 2008 speech, al-Libi addressed the ideological assault when he said, “and because they knew that the key to their success in this plan of theirs is to turn the people away from jihad and mujahidin and to eliminate them militarily and intellectually.” Al-Libi recognized that without new recruits and funding, the jihad will wither on the vine.

In addition to financial and ideological threats against the organization, the Saudi assault has also gone after al Qaeda where it lives — in Pakistan.

A weak and threatened Pakistani state means that before working with the Pakistanis on the Afghan Taliban, Riyadh has to help Pakistan combat its own Taliban problem, which the Saudis currently are attempting. The Saudis obviously have much to offer the Pakistanis, in terms of both cash and experience. They also have the religious cachet that other Pakistan allies, such as the Americans and the British, lack, giving them the ability to broach ideological subjects.

However, as is the case with the Afghan Taliban, the Saudis will have to get the Pakistani Taliban to part ways with al Qaeda and are working hard to drive a wedge between Pakistani militants and their foreign guests.

(Note: Precisely where Mullah Omar comes in as the Afghan Taliban and lo and behold - these are ISI assets. India should fine tune its approach and stop being mute and incapacitated spectator.)

As stated before, Bin Laden, al-Zawahiri, et al., are well aware of these Saudi moves, which they see as a threat to their very existence. When asked in a November 2008 interview what he thought of the Saudi efforts to mediate between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Taliban, al-Zawahiri responded that the Saudi efforts pointed out “the historical role of saboteur played by the House of Saud in ruining the causes of the Muslim ummah, and how they represent the agents whom the Crusader West uses to disperse the ummah’s energy.” Al Qaeda has already launched a sustained stream of ideological attacks in an attempt to undercut the Islamic credentials of the Saudi monarch and the Saudi clerical establishment.

Hence, there is a clear and present danger to Saudi interests being attacked in Pakistan sooner than later.

Al Qaeda has faced several reverses across the globe and its ability to wage global jehad has been greatly degraded. It is no longer flush with billions and the narco trade has moved over from AQ assets to Taliban and Dawood Ibrahim – both ISI assets, with the rest of the narco trade being controlled by Karzai’s younger brother and British / US assets to fund black ops and propping their defunct banks and economy with real money.

In case some of you are still sceptic about the role of contraband drugs - read this "smokey" article "Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?"

The rift of the Taliban base is not yet apparent and even today there is a close co-ordination between Al-Qaeda, ISI and Taliban. It is the last tango, before one of the two major controllers – ISI & AQ – fight it out to gain supreme control of the Taliban.

For Al Qaeda – it is an existential threat. Pakistan, FATA is its home base, and should it be ousted – it has nowhere else to go home to. Hence it has only one hope – to take over the Pakistan State, take over the nuclear bombs – which it views essentially as a Sunni bomb and not a bomb for the Muslim ummah (causing heartburn to Iranians who need to have the Shia bomb to counter this Sunni bomb).

What will serve AQ’s purpose is to cause enough internal disequilibrium in Pakistan that it implodes from within. Two of the recent spectacular acts of Al Qaeda has been – Marriott bombing (which could actually have finished off the top level of Pakistan’s civilian leadership as well as the military) and the recent attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers. It is well known that Lashkar e Jhangvi (LeJ) operatives are subservient to Al-Qaeda masters.

For ISI – it is an existential threat too. If it does not root out Al Qaeda, it may be declared as a “terrorist spewing entity” and have its activities curbed by designs and circumstances beyond its controls. It’s most potent ally – the Lashkar e Taiba (LeT), has been caught red-handed for executing the Mumbai attacks. ISI cannot eradicate the LeT, it will then cede to AQ elements – and lose Pakistan to a more radicalized version of Islam that will lend itself difficult to control. ISI wants these Islamist elements permanently focused on both Kashmir and Afghanistan, so that they do not target Pakistan.

However, this cannot be the case. These mindless warriors of Allah – have been indoctrinated to fight and fight without question. Anyone with Koran and cash – can influence the different Talibans – to fight their wars, to blow themselves up for pretty much any reason, anywhere.

Here comes the problem. The US has pretty much read the riot act to Pakistan military regarding its double game on supporting Taliban and wants actionable results. If Pakistan Army goes along with this war on terror and fights the Taliban in FATA, it pretty much plays into the hands of Al Qaeda. AQ has always stated to its fighters that this Pakistan Army has been fighting the infidel’s (USA’s) war and it is the duty of every Islamist to defeat this treacherous army. Osama Bin Laden did speak as much (if they are authentic tapes) about the right of every sovereign Pakistani to overthrow Musharraf as we went about attacking Lal Masjid and camps of Tehrik e Taliban. Incidentally, Pakistan Army had to retreat twice as Baitullah Mehsud’s men scored spectacular victories over the Pakistan Army.

AQ has put all Taliban under its control under one umbrella for better co-ordination. On February 23, 2009, “under instructions” from Mullah Umar and “sheikh” Osama bin Laden, the three feuding warlords of Waziristan — Baitullah Mehsud, Maulvi Nazir and Hafiz Gul Bahadur — announced reconciliation and merger under the rubric of Shura Ittehad Mujahideen (SIM). They also issued a pamphlet that vowed the targeting of Al Qaeda’s three enemies: “Obama, Zardari and Karzai”. (Note: Kashmir, India is missing, as it mostly has been for Al Qaeda)

Putting it simply: The Taliban assets aligned with Pakistan Army and ISI are called the GOOD TALIBAN and the Taliban assets aligned with Al-Qaeda only are called the BAD TALIBAN. In reality, there is no such black & white divisions as recent attacks have shown the joint operations synergies between ISI assets and Al Qaeda assets.

However, if the US buys into the Good Taliban theory of the ISI, Pakistan Army will surely go in for the kill and take over the Al Qaeda leadership bases in NWFP and FATA. At least it will have enough incentives to do so – but easier said than done.

It is not beyond AQ’s scope to stage even more dramatic explosions / disruptions in Pakistan or even in India, to cause conflict to break out between India and Pakistan. Things are very fluid and it is ultimately the battle of Al-Qaeda to survive and thrive in Pakistan.

Hence one can ask – why do joint operations if the ultimate aim for ISI is to take over from Al – Qaeda?

First, ISI cannot just walk in and take over from Al-Qaeda. Most probably it will be Lashkar – e –Taiba (LeT) that will be given the task of taking over the mantle from Al-Qaeda, thus ISI becomes the de-facto owner of the global jehad franchise.

Second, there are deep and good relations between ISI and AQ. And ISI is not being able to understand the contours of staying power of the US Army in Afghanistan. ISI will calibrate its policy of supporting AQ and Taliban accordingly. Whatever happens, ISI will never sever its relationship with Taliban.

It is interesting to note that global jehad has not only been Al-Qaeda’s philosophy but Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) too. Before the Markaz-da'wa wal-irshad, the Lashkar's religio-political wing, was banned, its website regularly carried the view of its founder. Saeed's view of LeT's mission was quite unambiguous. He argued that Kashmir was the "gateway" to India, much of which comprised "lost Muslim lands". He saw jihad in Kashmir as a religious duty and fully identified himself with the 9/11 mayhem that Osama bin Laden wreaked.

Aligned with the Ahl-e-Hadees sect, Lashkar was founded in 1987 by Saeed, who incidentally was also trained as an engineer like Osama and many other prominent jihadis, and who drew his inspiration from the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood — an organisation that saw Palestine as an Islamic cause way back in the 1930's. In collaboration with ISI, Lashkar built up an impressive Kashmir portfolio with recruits chiefly drawn from Pakistani Punjabis, Pashtoons, Bangladeshis, Arabs and south-east Asians.

But its vision has NEVER been Kashmir-centric as it bids to re-establish Muslim rule from Morocco to Indonesia and also eyes north Australia as part of its likely domain.

Not much different from Al-Qaeda’s philosophy. And this suits ISI very well.


It took the US a long time, a very long time indeed, to understand that “ISI in in complete co-ordination with the Taliban.” That was CIA written report – dated “Summer of 2008.”

J. Michael McConnell, the Director of US National Intelligence was stunned into silence as a 2 star Pakistani general gave vent to his frustrations and stated “WE MUST SUPPORT THE TALIBAN.” Mc Connell was left wondering what happened to the $11 billion in aid to Pakistan that his country gave to fight the Taliban – it was answered by Obama when he famously said – Pakistan has used all that money to prepare to fight India and not the Taliban.

So, what did the 2 star Pakistan General say to McConnell?

The General started making the case that the real problem in the tribal areas and in Afghanistan was not Al-Qaeda or the Taliban, or even the militants who were trying to topple the Pakistani government. The real problem was India, which he said, was secretly manipulating events in an effort to crush Pakistan. “We have to watch them at every moment.” With alarm the 2 star General talked about how the Indians were opening consulates around the country and building roads. What the rest of the world saw as desperately needed nation-building program in Afghanistan, the Pakistanis saw a threat. The General continued, “The Indians will surround us and annihilate us. And the Indians, in their surrounding strategy, have gone to Afghanistan.” Those newly built roads, he seemed to suggest, were future Indian invasion routes. The Indian consulates were a den of spies. The real purpose of Indian humanitarian aid to Afghanistan was to run “operations out of Afghanistan to target Pakistan.”

He continued, “In the long run, American will not have the stomach to bear the burden of staying in Afghanistan. And when American pulls out, India will reign. Therefore Pakistan will have to sustain contact with Taliban, as it’s a friendly government to Pakistan.”

Therefore,” the General concluded with a flourish, “we must support the Taliban.

Note: This was not an off the cuff statement by a marginalized General, it dawned upon McConnell that this was the stock staple of the entire Pakistan security establishment. They are not at all serious about the Taliban threat emanating from the NWFP, and are in-fact fuelling the Taliban insurgency to gain Afghanistan as Pakistan’s 5th province and Kashmir as the 6th province.

Late June 2008, NSA intercepted messages that ISI officers were helping the Taliban plan a big bombing in Afghanistan. US made the decision to send deputy director of CIA Stephen R Kappes to Pakistan with the evidence and demand a cessation of the connections to Taliban. Kappes made the trip but arrived too late. On July 7th 2008, the Indian embassy in Kabul was bombed, killing 54 people including India’s defense attaché to Afghanistan. For Americans, this was the “aha” moment – there was a sense that there was finally direct proof. New York Times carried the article: “Pakistan aided attacks in Kabul, US officials say.” One could not get more blunt than that. Incidentally, Pak Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani is on tape referring to Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani’s Taliban as a “strategic asset.”

US then concentrated on this Pakistan-Taliban collusion and came to startling complicity (Pak-Taliban) and treachery (Pak-US). Musharraf who promised to close the worst of the terrorist spewing madrassas, “never took the slightest steps to do so.” – Well, they should have known that Musharraf remains a die-hard Deobandi (see previous article).

NSA started picking up intercepts that Pakistani raid parties were giving advance warning to the Talibans of their arrival. “It was like, ‘Hey, we’re going to hit your place in a few days, so if anyone important is there, you might want to tell them to scram.’” But, leave a few weapons around, Haqqani’s operatives were told, so that it would not look as if the Pakistani Army had come up with nothing. They needed a few trophies to bring back. “Oh, and they warned them that there would be a lot of smoke bombs and stuff, but they shouldn’t worry too much.”

What India knew all along, the US came to know too, but it was way too late in the day for getting a crash course on “Dummies guide to collusion of Pakistan Army, ISI and Taliban.”

Interim conclusion 1: There is absolutely no way Pakistan Army and ISI will let go of their strategic assets – the Taliban. There is also absolutely no way Al Qaeda will let go of their strategic assets in the tribal areas. The ISI continues this wink-wink relationship with Al-Qaeda – but for how long? The US may at some level tolerate Pakistan-Taliban complicity but will abhor Pakistan-Al Qaeda complicity. And then there is considerable pressure from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Pakistan to root out Al-Qaeda from its safe zones. Hence this Pak-AQ relationship will be and is actually under CONSIDERABLE STRAIN.

Question is : Why did the Kashmir centric LeT, that ISI had formed ostensibly to wage jehad only in Kashmir, turn its focus from only Kashmir to global jehad? Did the ISI foresee that it may well have to give up Al-Qaeda heads to US and save its precious assets (Taliban, LeT etc) and also the global jehad space for itself?

The answer lies in the taste LeT & ISI received by conducting global jehad under the Al Qaeda banner, which has been dealt with in details in two of my earlier articles: ARTICLE 1 (ISI & AL-QAEDA) & ARTICLE 2:


Pakistan wanted to conduct business with the oil and gas rich Central Asian regions. However 30 trucks from Pakistan on their way from Quetta that carried symbolical merchandise to Turkmenistan were hijacked by local Afghan Mujahideen. Pakistan Army, ISI and transportation mafia got in touch with Mullah Omar and utilized his “services” in rescuing the Pakistani convoy. That started off the Pakistan Army – ISI – Mullah Omar and the Taliban saga.


Shamil Basayev, the then “young” Chechen field commander (year = 1994) caught the attention of the Pakistani intelligence stationed in the neighboring oil rich Azerbaijan, where about 1500 Afghan mujahideen under the command of Pakistani officers were fighting Armenians to reclaim for Azeris the rebel Armenian enclave of Nagorno Karabakh. In April 1994, ISI arranged for Basayev and his trusted lieutenants to undergo intensive Islamic indoctrination and training in guerrilla warfare in the Khowst province of Afghanistan at Amir Muawia camp, run by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In July 1994, Basayev was transferred to LASHKAR e TAIBA (LeT) camp in Muridke to undergo training in advanced guerrilla tactics. In Pakistan, Basayev met the highest ranking Pakistani military and intelligence officers: Minister of Defense Gen. Aftab Shahban Mirani, Minister of Interior Gen. Maseerullah Babbar, and head of ISI branch in charge of supporting Islamic causes, Gen. Javed Ashraf (now all retired).

That same summer, Pak backed Taliban offensive against the government of Iran backed President of Afghanistan, Burhanuddin Rabbani, threatened to cut the Chenchen drug trade. After personal intervention of Gen Babbar and the ISI, Taliban and government forces allowed shipments of Chechen drugs through their lines while they were slitting each other’s throats. (Keep this in mind to the current situation).

One of the most prominent Pakistani nationals Abu Abdulla Jafa, along with Basayev and Jordanian born Afghan veteran Khattab organized a terrorist academy in Chechnya. The ISI also deputed 9 trainers of the rank of Captain and subedars (NCO) to train the Chechen guerrillas in urban and mountain warfare.

Abu Abdulla Jafa was a career officer of Pakistan’s elite Northern Light Infantry Brigade and the tactical mastermind behind Basayev’s invasions into Dagestan. (NON-STATE ACTORS ???)

Fighters from an ISI battalion of Afghan mujahedeen stationed in Peshawar were also dispatched to Chechnya in late 1994 to bolster the Pakistani-Chechnya detachments. In 1997, several hundreds of Chechens were trained in ISI sponsored camps. These training programs continued till 2001. Islamabad continues to support the Chechen rebels.

Basayev formed common cause with ISI and Al-Qaeda – establishing independent Islamic regimes in Muslim majority states of Russian Caucus. Pakistan’s overall strategic goal in Central Asia is intricately linked with the oil / gas resources in the Caspian Sea zone.

And CIA is not averse to the idea. Remember how US tried to broker oil deals through Unocal and Taliban – well, the idea continues in the different context today. Today, it is perhaps the turn of the “Good Taliban” who will grant the US access to the rich Yolotan-Osman gas reserves and beyond and Pakistan the warm water ports.

Other than Chechnya, we have over these articles, seen that ISI has sent terrorists from the cadre base of LeT, LeJ and HuM to the following countries – sometimes taking the lead role, in other instances playing second fiddle to Al Qaeda:

- Kosovo
- Bosnia
- Bangladesh
- India
- Bali / Indonesia
- Russia
- Europe
- Philippines
- Burma
- Somalia
- Malaysia etc etc.

Interim conclusion 2
: ISI has played an important role in global jehad especially by sending operatives from LeT. It is also noted that most of the bigger terrorists have learnt their craft in LeT training centre in Muridke. Hence, LeT is the most potent jehadi force under the wings of ISI. LeT is both subservient and compliant . Hence, ISI will not at all crack down whole heartedly on LeT, even after its role on 26/11 becomes clear.

The above is borne out from the recent changes on the leadership of LeT – more Kashmiri veterans are being inducted as LeT tries to show the world that is a Kashmir centric force and not a global one. But we know better !

The dream of Pakistan to turn LeT into a global clone of Al Qaeda is not without perils. Complexity arrives in the form of Iran and India – both of whom are averse to Taliban / LeT and such Sunni forces. Then there are the Baluch nationalists who can also offer warm water port through Gwadar, if they manage to become an independent nation. And Iran and India joint venture at Chabahar is just a few kilometers away from Gwadar.

Bottom Line: There is no way Pakistan is going to fight the Taliban or crack down on LeT.

If we now logically look at the evolving scenario in the future -ISI might as well serve AQ heads up as fodder food to the US predators and special forces. Curiously enough there are articles on Osama bin Laden doing the rounds. New York Daily news asks: Where is Osama bin Laden? US zeroes in on Chitral, Pakistan.

What does Chitral newspaper have to say on this?

One comment from Chitral: "Chitral is a land of barren mountains with 400000 population. Any stranger in this area is traced within 24 hours.In case CIA and Pentagon have kept Osama alive despite his kidney failure in 2001, he will never, never take refuge in barren rocks amongst peaceful people."

The commentator above refers to "in case CIA & Pentagon have kept alive ...." finds a curious mention in French newspaper Le Figaro. The French version can be read by CLICKING HERE.

Some of the important translated points from the above article: "Gravely ill, enemy number one stayed in an American hospital in the [United Arab] Emirates at the beginning of the summer. Suffering from a kidney disorder, Osama Bin Laden stayed at the American hospital in Dubai, from July 4-14,2001, where he reportedly met an official of the CIA, according to a witness, a professional partner of the administrative management of the hospital. Coming from the airport in Quetta, Pakistan, the man who since the Sept. 11 attacks has become public enemy number one, was immediately transferred on arrival at the Dubai airport. He was accompanied by his personal physician and loyal lieutenant, who could be the Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahari, four bodyguards, as well as an Algerian nurse, bin Laden was admitted to the American hospital, a glass and marble building situated between the Al-Garhoud Bridge and the Al-Maktoum Bridge. Each floor has two VIP suites and about 15 rooms. The Saudi billionaire was admitted to the very famous urology department of Dr. Terry Calloway, specialist in kidney stones and male infertility. Reached by telephone, several times, Dr. Calloway did not want to answer our questions. According to authorized sources, Bin Laden had a mobile dialysis machine delivered to his hideout in Kandahar in the first half of 2000."

For India – Pakistan / ISI / LeT / Taliban aligned to ISI present a clear danger to India. Their designs and actions have stated as such and their actions will continue to get bolder. Already, the investigations of 26/11 is starting to fade away into the icy windy trails of Chitral.

Al-Qaeda/ Taliban aligned to Al-Qaeda are more a clear danger to the Western world, especially to US / UK. They are not interested in Kashmir or India.

And India knows that US and its allies are presently cutting deals with Pakistan so that Al-Qaeda, the most potent threat to it is wiped out from their bases in Pakistan. However, that will hardly help India as US has shown time and again, it was willing to wink at LeT’s Kashmir role as long as it did not pain the Americans.

It is therefore time to think what is good for India – to do things out of the box, away from executive glare, and help forces that are threatening Pakistan and not India.

Even for a moment assume that due to “external” help, Al-Qaeda and Taliban aligned to A-Qaeda are in a position to take over Pakistan – it might actually serve India well.

How ?

For starters, such a scenario will be the ultimate nightmare scenario for the US / western allies. It will mean that Al-Qaeda will be taking over a country with nuclear warheads that will surely threaten the US / European mainland.

And what do you think US / UK / NATO do under the circumstances?

They will take the “tabletop exercises” of securing Pakistani nukes to the next logical step and take over the nuclear assets of Pakistan, so that it does not fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda.

For India, Pakistan is denuded of its nuclear arsenal.

And that, for India, one major Indian military objective achieved !!

Monday, March 9, 2009

MUMBAI & LAHORE - A TALE OF TWO CITIES. Lashkar e Taiba & Lashkar e Jhangvi - children of Pakistan Army


As the din gets louder that Sunni extremists linked to Al Qaeda – the Lashkar e Jhangvi (LeJ) perpetrated the Lahore massacre on Sri Lankan cricketers, let not the main fact get lost in translation. One has to look at the attacks on Mumbai and Lahore not merely as stand alone incidents, but part of a larger game plan, some of which have already played out before, some are ongoing and certainly more to come in future.

The alleged mastermind of Lahore attacks has been identified and he is Mohammad Aqeel and all that is known is that he belongs to one of the banned outfits - Lashkar e Jhangvi (LeJ). He has not been caught but his accomplice TALAT has been apprehended.

LeJ: The late Zia-ul-Haq's perceived partiality towards the Deobandi sect of the majority Sunni community of Pakistan led to the formation on April 12-13,1979, of the Tehrik Nifaz Fiquah Jaffria (TNFJ) by the Shias. The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), with the blessings of the USA, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, encouraged a group of Deobandi Muslim migrants (Mohajirs) to counter the activities of the TNFJ. Thus came into being the Ajuman-e-Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (since re-named as the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan--SSP) on September 6,1984, under the leadership of Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, a semi-educated Khateeb who had his religious education in Darul Uloom, Kabirwala, and the Khairul madrasa of Multan in Pakistani Punjab. The well-motivated and trained cadres of the SSP offered themselves as mercenaries not only to the ISI for its operations against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan and against the Shias in Pakistan itself, but also to the intelligence agencies of Saudi Arabia and Iraq for their operations against the Islamic regime in Iran. In 1996, the SSP underwent an ostensible split with a group led by Riaz Basra forming a separate anti-Shia organisation called the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). Though the two have since been operating separately, Pakistani analysts call the split an eye-wash and describe the LeJ as nothing but the militant wing of the SSP, to enable the latter to concentrate more on overground political activities.

Cricket & LeJ - Have attacked cricketers before:

In May 2002, a New Zealand cricket team abandoned its tour of Pakistan after an LeJ suicide bomber attacked them in front of their hotel in Karachi.

Hence, if LeJ was behind the Lahore attacks targeting Sri Lankan cricketers, this would be their second attack on cricketers.

Al – Qaeda - Oddities of timing to own up to Marriott bombing:

On the day the attack on the cricket team in Lahore occurred, the newspapers carried news that Al Qaeda had owned up the Marriott Hotel blast of September 2008 in a message sent to the Saudi embassy in Islamabad. On December 22, 2008, the adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior, Mr Rehman Malik, had told the National Assembly that the Marriott blast was carried out by Lashkar-e Jhangvi.

Al-Qaeda & IIF – where LeT and LeJ meet up.

The International Islamic Front (IIF), which is a coalition of likeminded jihadi organisations of different countries formed by Laden in 1998. Members from Pakistan include, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), the Lashkar-e-Tayiba (LeT), the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).

And the connection to ISI.

The connection of Pakistani jihadi organizations in IIF and their connections to ISI. All these organizations were formed by ISI and are organizations where ISI officers find employment after retirement. Why is it that only ISI controlled jihadi organizations find themselves part of Al-Qaeda’s elite group of IIF?

Before going back, the current situation:

On February 23, 2009, “under instructions” from Mullah Umar and “sheikh” Osama bin Laden, the three feuding warlords of Waziristan — Baitullah Mehsud, Maulvi Nazir and Hafiz Gul Bahadur — announced reconciliation and merger under the rubric of Shura Ittehad Mujahideen (SIM). They also issued a pamphlet that vowed the targeting of Al Qaeda’s three enemies: “Obama, Zardari and Karzai”. Baitullah Mehsud’s Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) subsequently announced that it would no longer fight the Pakistan army. But the announcement of “Zardari” as a target while letting the Pakistan army off the hook is a menacing signal for Pakistani politics.


BuA: Hence, Al-Qaeda is trying to bring feuding to an end to help the Pakistan Army, while targeting the civilian set up in Pakistan. After the attack on Lal Masjid, (at the goading of the Chinese and in essence to please its all weather ally) , the Pakistan Army went on the wrong side of the Islamists. The US "war on terror" landed the Paksitan Army once again on the wrong side of the Islamists and Taliban - hence there was a backlash from them. The peace deals at SWAT and the formation of SIM (Shura Ittehad Mujahideen) are a step to heal the wounds and get the Islamists back into the fold of Pakistan Army.

Benazir Bhutto & LeJ :

Ms Benazir Bhutto had revealed in an interview that the attack on her procession in Karachi in October 2007 was carried out by the gang of “Abdul Rehman Sindhi, an Al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LeJ) militant from the Dadu district of Sindh”. After her assassination in December 2008, an Al Qaeda spokesman claimed having killed “an American asset”. In the late 1990s, whenever the government of Pakistan demanded the handover of LeJ killers, the Taliban government, backed by Al Qaeda, steadily refused the demand.

The revelations in the book “The Way of the World”, by Pulitzer Prize winning US journalist Ron Suskind : the conversations between Musharraf and Benazir, including Musharraf’s quote - “You should understand something, your security is based on the state of our relationship”.

Looks like the state of the relationship was not good.

A look at Musharraf: After all, he may well become the next President of Pakistan ousting Zardari !

We all see a moderate face, but we also know he plotted the Kargil. So who is the real Musharraf ?. (I will tie in LeJ, Mushrraf, Al Qaeda shortly, hence the digress).

Gen Musharraf was 'picked up' by the then military dictator of Pakistan, Gen Zia-ul-Haq, as a young Brigadier in 1987 on strong recommendations from the Jamaat-e-Islami, in part of the Zia gameplan to 'Islamise' the Pakistani Army. Gen Musharraf was perceived as a 'devout Deobandi', who could be trusted to mobilise and train 'jihadis' for the Afghan campaigns against the Soviet Union.

NOTE 1 on MUSHARRAF: Gen Zia, a known Islamist, was not going to love any “secularist”. And Musharraf a ‘devout Deobandi’ was recommended by Jamaat e Islami.

Brigadier Musharraf, SSP, Al Qaeda:

In 1988, as a Brigadier charged with suppressing a Shia revolt in Pakistan occupied Gilgit-Baltistan, Gen Musharraf used Islamist 'irregulars' from the North West Frontier Province, under the command of OSAMA BIN LADEN, to execute a campaign of pillage, arson, rape and slaughter, in which hundreds of Shia were killed. These Islamist irregulars were Sunni hardliners – the ISI formed Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) – from where LeJ was later formed.

Thereafter, Gen Musharraf was intrinsic to the 'demographic re-engineering' of the illegally occupied region, through which large numbers of Pashtun and Punjabi 'outsiders' were forcibly settled there, to alter the existing demographic balance that overwhelmingly favoured the Shias. After decades of this policy, while Shias continue to maintain a slim - though diminishing - majority, the proportions have been altered from 1:4 in their favour, to 3:4.

NOTE 2 on MUSHARRAF: Musharraf was no stranger to genocide, and ethnic cleansing and tried to use it to good use in Kashmir. The friends of Musharraf, and Pakistan Army, were the ISI created terror organizations and LeJ was at the forefront, along with LeT. And yes, Musharraf worked together with Osama bin Laden in GILGIT.

Gen Musharraf and Kashmir:

Musharraf wanted to plant the Pakistani flag on the Srinagar Assembly building and he has not shied away from these comments. In 1999, with Mr Pervez Musharraf as its chief, the Pakistan army invaded the Kargil sector of the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir with military formations - particularly the Gilgit Scouts - posing as 'irregulars' or 'mujahideen'.

It is a well established fact that every Pakistani Army and Deobandi jehadi organizations (it is an irony that Deoband is based in UP and its seminaries are spewing these terrorists) – have only one agenda: Make Afghanistan the 5th province of Pakistan and Kashmir its 6th province.

An interview Benazir gave on May 20, 2000, reveals Pakistan’s Kashmir policy: She said: Three crucial changes took place in the Kashmir policy:

i) The leadership of All Party Hurriyat Conference was effectively replaced by HuM & LeT
ii) The arena of conflict was expanded beyond the disputed area
iii) Non-military targets i.e. civilians, were also included as targets

When we reflect back on 26/11, the above three points should be remembered.

The plan for KASHMIR:

Pakistan’s idea is simple. Make the Hindus flee the state. Pakistan wants to make Jammu, Rajouri, Udhampur & Poonch Muslim majority areas and then press for DIXON formula type solution with the backing of USA & its allies in Afghan & Iraq wars. (Pakistan is still the frontline ally of US for the Afghan war).

The Indians, however did not get trapped into the plans, despite attacks on its Parliament in 2001, or the audacious attack in Mumbai on 26/11 by going to war – which would have acted as a catalyst for all the various feuding jehadi organizations to become one and fight with the Pakistan Army, while the real plan was to infiltrate Kashmir with more than 2000 of highly trained terrorists to take over the state gradually.

Had Pakistan succeeded, they would have gone the whole hog and press USA & UN for implementation of their new DIXON formula.


Sir Owen Dixon, the U.N. Representative came to the subcontinent pursuant to the Security Council's 1950 resolution on the Kashmir dispute.

That was "The Dixon Plan". It assigned Ladakh to India, the Northern Areas and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) to Pakistan, split Jammu between the two, and envisaged a plebiscite in the Kashmir Valley. Pakistan demurred at first, but agreed. It fell through because Nehru did not accept the conditions under which the plebiscite could be held; precisely the issue on which the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) and Graham failed. They, because of their ineptness; Dixon because he lost patience.

My reading of Musharraf: He is NOT TO BE TRUSTED at all. It was his then ISI chief Mahmood Ahmed, whose hands were caught in the till for financing the 9/11. Musharraf is a Deobandi die-hard, and is committed to the cause of breaking India up through a 1000 cuts. His overtures of peace are just a show. As an Indian Brigadier pointed out – Pakistan cannot fight on three fronts – hostile western borders, deteriorating internal security and a hostile eastern border. Pakistan army’s peace overtures is to keep “peace” in eastern borders till it “deals” with the other two issues – which are mostly its own creations anyway to seize power from the civilian leadership.

Yes, while Pakistan is in control of the major terrorist organizations through ISI in Pakistan, it is not in control of all and there are, I am sure, foreign powers, hostile to Pakistan, who are making use of these terror organizations to their advantage too.

The striking similarities between ISI covert ops team and the commado jehadists that struck Mumbai & Lahore:

The typical ISI covert ops team contains a Major, a JCO, an NCO and about 10 soldiers who merge with the Mujahideen and serve under direct operational command of the ISI. They attack in a buddies formation.

In both Mumbai & Lahore,10 – 12 commando - terrorists attacked in pairs. But what gave it a signature covert ops was the GPS (Mumbai attacks) & conversation trail. In Mumbai’s case : One of IP addresses that was accessed by Zarrar Shah to talk to the Mumbai attackers,, belongs to Col R Sadatullah whose official address is SCO, Qasim Rd, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The link to Pakistan Army is clearly established and it seems there are a couple more to be named in the future.

Interim conclusion: Whether it was LeT in Mumbai, or LeJ in Lahore, the hands of ISI & Pakistan Army are clear. And movements like Al Qaeda dominated Shura Ittehad Mujahideen, which targets the civilian government and eases Pakistan military leads credence to the theory.

HISTORICAL CONNECTIONS between Al Qaeda, ISI, LeT, LeJ – a few examples. It is stunning how well co-ordinated ISI, Al Qaeda and LeT / LeJ were, and therefore continue to be:

1. LeT / ISI / Al Qaeda / KMM

Kumpulan Mujahideen Malaysia (KMM) was formed by a Pakistan trained Afghan jehad veteran ZAINON ISMAIL. 50 of his cadres were trained by LeT in Muridke. They were flown to Kuwait and by sea to Alor Satar in north western Malaysia. Zainon flew to Kuwait and visited Pakistan on the basis of a PAKISTANI PASSPORT provided by the Pakistan Mission in Kuwait. He and his organization received liberal monetary help from ISI, and training facilities by LeT at Muridke, co-ordinated by ISI.

2. LeT / ISI / Jemaah Islamiya (JI) / Al Qaeda and BALI BOMBINGS:

Hambai was JI’s operational chief. He was sponsored to visit Pakistan as a mujahid. After initial training in a Peshawar camp of ISI & LeT camp in Muridke, Hambali was deputed to the training camp of ABDUL RAUF SAYYAF, leader of Ittehad-i-Islami in Afghanistan. Here he was contacted by Al-Qaeda. Under ISI & Al Qaeda guidance and JI support, two important Pakistanis – WALI KHAN AMIN SHAH and KHALID SHIEKH and HAMBALI planned spectacular terrorist actions in South East Asia. One of Hambali’s important collaborators was ABDUL AZIZ alias IMAM SAMUDRA, who too was trained in Pakistan at LeT camp in Muridke and was the mastermind of the BALI bombings in Oct’02. While in Pakistan, Imam Samudra, was taken to Binori mosque where bulk of Taliban cadets were trained. Imam Samudra’s main training was at LeT’s camp in Muridke.

Hence, the blood stains of Bali Bombings, can be traced straight back to Lashkar e Taiba’s training camp in Muridke, facilitated as usual by the ISI.

3. ISI / LeT / HuM/ Al Qaeda and KOSOVO

The ISI linked HuM & LeT volunteers numbering 50 left for Albania (1994) through Turkey, under the noses of NATO forces. They were lodged in Kosovo by Kosovar muslims to fight against Serbian army & militia. The ISI backed Pakistanis were grouped under the AL-QAEDA BANNER (wow !!!). Two more groups of Pakistani mujahideen belonging to Lashkar e Taiba (LeT) were deputed to Kosovo in a flight chartered by ISI (look at the very close co-ordination between ISI & LeT for global jehad). This flight took them to Turkey and then smuggled into Kosovo. Their leader was Mullah Saraf-ud-Din. These Islamic fighters created havoc and later on many of them settled on in Kosovo. These fighters married locally and are now propagating their hardline views through mosques and madrassas – and they remain a very dangerous force in future aligned against Europe. Similar assimilation of Pakistani fighters with local women have taken place in Bosnia creating similar danger for Europe.

4. ISI / HuM / LeT /LeJ /BOSNIA

Not 50 this time, but 500 jehadists were recruited by ISI belonging to HuM, LeT and LeJ to be deputed to Bosnia. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) carried weapons for Bosnian rebels. The then Lt Gen of ISI Javed Nasir claimed that despite the UN ban, he successfully air-lifted sophisticated anti-tank missiles which were used by LeT / HuM terrorists and turned the tide of war in favour of the Bosnian Muslims and forced the Christian Serbs to lift siege. The US was extremely peeved and the then President of USA – Bill Clinton was on the verge of declaring Pakistan as a terrorist state, when Nawaz Sharif (then PM of Paksitan) placated Clinton by sacking Javed Nasir from top post of ISI.

The conclusion one can easily draw from here – the ISI openly used the terrorist organizations for global jehad and it sided with Al Qaeda with impunity.

For an excellent analysis of ISI connections with terrorist organizations and global jehad, I recommend this book - "FULCRUM of EVIL" by Moloy Krishna Dhar (former Indian Intelligence Bureau [IB] Chief). The book can be purchased by clicking here.

The current US intelligence outlook:

John Michael "Mike" McConnell served as the United States Director of National Intelligence from 20 February 2007 to 27 January 2009 during the Bush and seven days of the Obama administration, stated: “The Taliban are making huge inroads into Afghanistan and other militants saw an opportunity over the next two years to attempt the first violent overthrow of a nuclear armed state – Pakistan. The country was ripe for the picking. It’s weak and corrupt government faced national bankruptcy, an insurgency raged at the doorsteps of the capital and the Pakistan government had no comprehensive strategy to confront either conflict. Nor did it seem to want to.

BuA : We can intelligently now know why Pakistan did not want to confront the militancy.

McConnell also came to the conclusion that Pakistan’s aid to Taliban was no act of rogue intelligence, but instead was a government policy.

Such enlightenment came through telephone intercepts of Army Gen Kiyani where he is said to have stated that the Taliban were strategic assets of Pakistan Army (quoted from David Sanger’s new book – The Inheritance).

HENCE: What is confronting India today?

A Taliban which has tacit Pak Army approval. Al Qaeda linked terror organizations like LeJ, LeT and HuM enjoying benevolence of ISI in its terror activities inside India as well as in Pakistan. A concerted effort by Pakistan Army to use these jehadi organization to weaken the civilian leadership of Pakistan to take control of Pakistan again – maybe in a different guise, but in control nonetheless. The twin attacks were intended to fast forward the Taliban/Al Qaeda/military takeover of Pakistan.

BuA: Yes I am saying, there is no difference between Pakistan Army, ISI, Taliban, LeT, LeJ and Al Qaeda. They are all connected to each other for various activities and Pakistan Army is the controller. In fact, if Al Qaeda were to be eliminated, Pakistan Army takes control of global jehad through LeT, LeJ.

Here is the question therefore? People are saying that Al Qaeda wants to take control of Pakistani nukes and Taliban inroads in Pakistan is a worrying sign for Pakistan. My question to them – what is the role of Pakistan Army and ISI in all this, given the close history and military objectives of these said organizations (Pak Army & ISI) in supporting not only Taliban, but Al-Qaeda backed jehadi organizations like LeJ, LeT etc. What is the ultimate game plan here?

Other than military objectives like the 5th & 6th province (Afghanistan and Kashmir) there is also a theological story residing in GHAZWATUL HIND, KHORASAN and the final battle (this for a later article). While cold military logic will make the Pakistan Army & ISI act on the choices it has, this will have no succor for the militants bred on wahabbi / deobandi madrassas. It is for these militants that the theological story is essential as it gives them the fodder, the rationale for acting out and be part of a history.

Hence, given the adulterous relationship ISI has with Al-Qaeda & Taliban while professing undying love for USA, one would imagine the political leadership of USA will be as clear on the role of Pakistan Army as Mc Connell was. However, that is not so, as Obama goes on to find the good Talibananyone here can please tell me from historical perspective what was a good Nazi?

In the grand scheme of things, the two incidents of Mumbai & Lahore are just that – means to the end that the Pakistan Army has thought out for itself. And as Musharraf stated recently in Delhi – if India does not solve the Kashmir issue, there will be many more Kargils.

A look at what India has to contend with from the enlightened US political establishment:

David Sanger, in his book, The Inheritance, writes in the introduction: The grand ambition of Bush presidency post 9/11 was to create a “RIP IN TIME”, to re-order the Middle East and the wider world so that America would never face a day like that – or a far worse one – for generations. Bush’s theory was that the combined effect of America’s military power and the newly declared intolerance for accepting risks to American security or to its interests around the world – particularly nuclear threats – it would convince the other nations to SURRENDER their weapons of mass destruction. The pre-emption doctrine would put nations on warning. The US successes in Afghanistan and in Iraq, the administration argued, would sow the seeds for DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTIONS. Repressed people would find the confidence to rise up against self interested mullahs and oil soaked dictators (except, of course allies like SAUDI ARABIA). Some of these events would happen right away. Others, like democracy’s rise, would become what Condoleeza Rice called, “ a generational project.”

BuA: In hindsight, we can evaluate / guage / assess whether any of the above policy objectives were met as Bush went away and Obama came in. As Obama sifts the sands looking for the elusive good Taliban, to rescue him from the Afghan quagmire, India has to think through its options. India has to come to one simple conclusion really – that the US will act for its sake only and not for any other country. In that case, the mess in our western borders and the conniving Pakistan military’s last acts have not ended with the attacks on Mumbai and Lahore.


And as I write this, the ominous signs of a military takeover in Pakistan (in some form) are taking shape. General Kiyani, former head of ISI, is learnt to have told president Zardari to set things right before the March 16 protest called by lawyers and supporters of Sharif to demand reinstatement of Supreme Court judges sacked by former president Pervez Musharraf. Kiyani, just back from the USA, has been told by the Americans to clean up the NWFP - which he has assured he can, if Army were in control. Looks like the USA has bought the line.

There are two choices facing the Pakistan Army :

1. Go after the Taliban and other obscurantist forces and make Pakistan a freer society. The price to pay for this will be severe backlash from these organizations that are embedded in every aspect of Pakistani society, including in the Army & ISI. This will also mean giving up on these "strategic assets".

2. Try to obfuscate the issue into good Taliban and bad Taliban and carry on business as usual. Increase attacks in Afghanistan and Kashmir to bring parties to a negotiating table that will be to Islamabad's advantage.

Incidentally, the debate of good and bad Taliban has been handled excellently in this article A futile search for 'moderate' Taliban written by Walid Phares.

The readers are free to choose the path that the Pakistan Army will take. I am sure the tone of my article reflects my choice / preference / view.

What next for INDIA? Another hijack to free Kasav? Or something more ominous !