Tuesday, June 2, 2009
INDIA JOLTED AS PAKISTAN RELEASES HAFEEZ SAEED AND UK QUESTIONS THE TERRORIST TAG ON MASOOD AZHAR
Picture (c) REUTERS
Hafeez Saeed is released, engineered by Pakistan. And why are we feigning to be surprised? Did anyone of us seriously believed that Pakistan has had a change of heart and is going to go after its own assets that it created to fight proxy wars in both India and Afghanistan.
Pakistan did what we all expected it will do – continue to finance terror, obfuscate terror dossiers handed to it, stall investigations, lie blatantly and to confuse the agenda go off tangentially to a topic known to provoke India – Kashmir (as was done when Prime Minister of Pakistan talked on Kashmir on the day Hafeez Saeed was released).
For an excellent analysis, read LONG WAR JOURNAL article - Pakistan releases LeT leader.
Interestingly, Indian Express reported (May 31) : “For the first time, the Pakistan Government on Saturday (May 30th ) admitted that Jamaat-ud-Dawa, blamed for the 26/11 attacks, has “prima facie” links with al-Qaeda, as it justified the detention of JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and another top leader after the Mumbai terror strikes.
Submitting his arguments on Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Toiba, and Col (retd) Nazir Ahmed’s petition against their detention, Attorney General Latif Khosa told the Lahore High Court that the Government had received “evidence” that showed the JuD “prima facie has links with al-Qaeda”. Khosa said the Government had “classified information” that would justify their detention.”
Not that it mattered much, as Times of India on June 3rd reported: “The weak case that Pakistani authorities presented to the court point towards the essential ambiguity of its anti-terror commitments and underline a self-evident truth that Islamabad only acts on any Indian concern under pressure. Now that it has been seen to take on the Taliban in Swat - a pressing US concern - it perhaps feels it can ease up elsewhere. Also, given Pakistan's deep links with jehadis, it does not find it easy to take on all such outfits at the same time.
Pakistan's military establishment simply does not believe it can roll back its leverage against India through infiltrating jehadis into Kashmir even as fronts like Hurriyat keep the separatist movement going and groups like LeT and its jehadi twin Jaish-e-Mohammed are key parts of this strategy. Despite important LeT figures like Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a close aide of Saeed, being in direct contact with the Mumbai attackers, Saeed has been able to walk free.
The detention of the man who has preached jehad against India, inspiring thousands of youth in Pakistan's Punjab to volunteer on tours of duty in India was termed as unconstitutional by the Lahore court. Indian authorities were appalled as they said Pakistan facilitated his release by not pursuing the case against Saeed, who was placed under house arrest on December 11 last year in the face of extreme international pressure.”
The important point is not what Pakistan is doing, but what can India do?
Let’s look at a recent attack in Lahore. Orbat.com reports quoting Manjit Bajwa
“Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence’s Section K, responsible for handling Khalistani Indian Sikh separatists, suffered 100% casualties in the Taliban attack on Lahore. The section is housed in the front of the ISI building, which is adjacent to a police station. Of its strength of 36, ten were killed and 25 injured.”
What India needs to engineer are such black ops or help people to execute command that will be surgical in precision. Hafeez Saeed should be a marked man and he is out in the open – I see no reason why that murderer has any reason to live.
While Americans are pincer poised on the Haqqani group (responsible for Indian embassy bombing in Kabul with help of ISI), India should seriously look at eliminating D Company – notwithstanding the enormous clout Dawood has with Indian politicians and police and also with CIA, Dick Cheney black ops team.
India should eliminate Masood Azhar, the perpetrator of Indian Parliament attack, again with the help of ISI and JuD + LeT.
To understand the kind of leverage India has internationally, read this >Economic Times article - Britain has put a roadblock on India’s efforts to get Jaish-e-Mohammad founder Maulana Masood Azhar on the UNSC terror list. India’s request to put the JeM chief along with Lashar-e-Taiba intelligence chief Azam Cheema, who is an accused in the Mumbai train blasts, on the list has hit a hurdle after Britain asked for a confirmation of the evidence provided by INDIA.
Ok, China has raised similar apprehensions, but it was expected. But the question is why did UK raise concerns?
Remember David Miliband’s last visit to India where he tried his surreptitious best and with a boyish charm his face exudes,to set forth Kashmir as an agenda. Of course the kick he received in his backside from India, he will not forget in a hurry!
One must remember and recall, that BJP government’s greatest folly had been to release Massood Azhar and Omar Sheikh in Kandahar. It is well known that Omar Sheikh is a British Intelligence asset. During the Kosovo and Bosnia wars, British and American intelligence used ISI, Omar Sheikh, Al-Qaeda to send in Islamic warriors from LeT etc to fight the Serbs and Soviet backed assets.
Even after the Kandahar release, Omar Sheikh went to London twice from Pakistan to visit his parents, and while a red corner notice was put against him, Omar Sheikh was not even detained in London airports.
So, why is UK getting all shy on Masood Azhar? Is Masood Azhar also a British intelligence asset if not a collaborator? After all UK used to channel militants through them for the Kosovo war.
Interestingly, and I have stated this before, two notorious pan Islamic organizations are headquartered in UK. Both have Islamic Caliphate as their agenda - same as Al Qaeda's and LeT's.
1. Tablighi Jamaat : perhaps the largest Islamic “teaching organization,” was named for the Bali bombings in 2006. The organization—influenced by a branch of Saudi Arabian Islam known as Wahhabism—has already been linked to two of the July 7 London suicide bombers who attended a Tablighi mosque at the organization’s headquarters in Dewsbury, in northeast England. The jailed shoe-bomber Richard Reid is also known to have attended Tablighi meetings.
2. Hizbut Tahrir (HT): an extremely active and dangerous Islamic group also headquartered in Britain. HT is funded by various Saudi charities, and is most active in Central Asia. Another preachers’ group, openly promoting a worldwide Islamic Caliphate from the mosques of Britain, HT is ostensibly a non-gun-carrying group. But, at the same time, one of the most violent terrorist groups that function in Central Asia, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), recruits exclusively from the HT. HT is also active in Chechnya, although its headquarters are in Old Brompton Road in London.
I will have to go back to a new angle here and come back to the main story. Let’s just take the Kosovo liberation. Why on earth would Christian majority countries like US / UK and NATO members help carve out an Islamic enclave Kosovo from former Yugoslavia and use terrorist assets like LeT that were supplied by ISI, Al-Qaeda?
Kosovo has no oil. So?
But its still about oil. Confused?
When Kosovo broke away from Serbia and declared its independence, it was instantly recognized as a state by the U.S., Germany, Britain and France.
Kosovo does not have oil but its location is strategic as the trans-Balkan pipeline - known as AMBO pipeline after its builder and operator the US-registered Albanian Macedonian Bulgarian Oil Corporation - will pass through it.
The pipeline will pump Caspian oil from the Bulgarian port of Burgas via Macedonia to the Albanian port of Vlora, for transport to European countries and the United States. Specifically, the 1.1 billion dollar AMBO pipeline will permit oil companies operating in the Caspian Sea to ship their oil to Rotterdam and the East Coast of the USA at substantially less cost than they are experiencing today.
Brown & Root Energy Services, a wholly-owned British subsidiary of Halliburton (remember DICK CHENEY – well he was CEO here and held shares) completed the original feasibility study for this project.
The report stated the this pipeline will "provide a consistent source of crude oil to American refineries", "provide American companies with a key role in developing the vital east-west corridor", "advance the privatisation aspirations of the US government in the region" and "facilitate rapid integration" of the Balkans "with western Europe".
Behind the idea of that "grid" lay a go-for-broke militarization of an energy corridor that would stretch from the Caspian Sea in Central Asia through a series of now independent former SSRs of the Soviet Union to Turkey, and from there into the Balkans (from thence onto Europe). It was meant to sabotage the larger energy plans of both Russia and Iran. AMBO itself would bring oil from the Caspian basin to a terminal in the former SSR of Georgia in the Caucasus, and then transport it by tanker through the Black Sea to the Bulgarian port of Burgas, where another pipeline would connect to Macedonia and then to the Albanian port of Vlora.
Incidentally, Halliburton was also granted a contract to service US troops in the Balkans and build "Bondsteel" in Kosovo, which now constitutes "the largest American foreign military base constructed since Vietnam".
And coincidentally the AMBO pipeline just runs along Camp BONDSTEEL.
“The AMBO Trans-Balkans pipeline project would link up with the pipeline corridors between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea basin, which lies at the hub of the World's largest unexplored oil reserves. The militarization of these various corridors is an integral part of Washington's design."
This is a topic worthy of a separate article which I will put up soon.
Some of you may ask me what has Hafeez Saeed’s release got to do with Camp Bondsteel?
If you look at it from micro perspective – then nothing. However, if you have the larger geo-strategic consideration in your perspective, you will get to see the larger picture – the dalliance of West with Islamic extremists and continued second class treatment to India and its concerns (which in reality is a function of India's toothless posturings in international fora).
While India has to look at Western countries playing the oil game, it has to look at China too as it tries to encircle India – be it in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Indian Ocean.
Adding complexity to this scenario is a weakening US and a rising China. India is rising too – but is it rising fast enough to contain and thwart designs of our friends and enemies in the region?
Racist Australia has understood that the US power is waning in the region. Brendan Nicholson writing in Australian newspaper THE AGE (2nd May) writes: “AUSTRALIA needs to massively bolster its military capacity to deal with the rise of China and the possible decline of American influence in the region.
"We must never put ourselves in a position where the price of our own security is a requirement to put Australian troops at risk in distant theatres of war where we have no direct interests at stake," the Defense White Paper stated.
It details the purchase of a massive list of military hardware expected to cost more than $100 billion. The weapons include a new generation of very long range submarines to provide "strategic strike" with cruise missiles and 100 state-of-the-art Joint Strike Fighters.
The paper points to China as a possible threat in a future world where the power of Australia's key ally, the United States, gradually declines.”
The world knows that US power is waning, its economy in tatters and the real unemployment rate in US is actually 20%. My sister who is in Sloan Business School (MIT) gave me a link to read up – THE BASELINE SCENARIO – to understand the crisis better. This site is run by people in MIT.
The rationale for writing this, it is high time India realize that US needs India far more than India needs US. With Obama trying to put in hardliners in proliferation team, the US-India nuclear deal is in for hard times. Not that it matters to India much – India will simply move its business elsewhere.
India better get ready for a tenuous relationship with the US. What this means is its time INDIA stood up on its own feet and behave like a regional superpower. It has the economic strength, the smart military power and coercive diplomacy as its assets – which it must use.
Pakistan gets better of the TAPI vs IPI game:
While the US is pushing for TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline project, Russia & Iran are gunning for IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline. TAPI will give a profitable reason for US / NATO to sit tight in Afghanistan.
The bigger game is Nabucco pipeline which would require gas from either Turkmenistan and / or Iran. While Russia and US are playing a deadly game in Turkmenistan, India was warned off Iranian gas by the US. Like a puppy, India heeded.
Pakistan upped the stakes and went in for IP (Iran-Pakistan) pipeline.
Tehran Times (May 25th) reports: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari inked an agreement in Tehran on Sunday finalizing the deal to transfer gas from Iran to Pakistan. India has not participated in the last several rounds of talks, but Iran has encouraged India to rejoin the process.
Both Russia and China are jumping in delight as Iranian gas goes to Pakistan and then onto either India or China means one thing - no surplus gas for Nabucco. That leaves the playing fields of Turkmenistan. And if Turkmenistan gas is snapped up by Russia rendering the Nabucco pipeline bust - does it make any "economic" sense for the US to hang inside Afghanistan?
Also read my earlier blog: Russia moves in to the Iran - US game
The last 20 years, India has lost ground heavily. The next 2 years it has got to correct this – and if not, India has to bid its status as a regional superpower goodbye.
India has to make one reality happen in these two years – It must get is border to touch Afghanistan and cut the land access route of Pakistan and China. Whether US / UK / NATO likes it or not, it is in India’s interest to get back its own territories.
No use worrying about Hafeez Saeed and Lakhvis till that time !!
Osama bin Laden's (supposedly) tape sent to Al Jazeera. Bin Laden accused the United States, Israel and India of conspiring against Pakistan, accusing Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani of fighting against Islam instead of against Pakistan’s true enemies — namely, India.
This statement plays on the fears of many Pakistanis who view their country’s eastern border as a much larger strategic threat than its internal militant Islamist problem — the same argument the Pakistani military makes to Washington for its resistance to redeploying troops from the Indian border to deal more effectively with the jihadist threat in the west. By playing on this fear, bin Laden is trying to undermine the Pakistani government’s judgement and prevent the application of more military pressure to jihadist forces in the west.
US & INDIA - dealing with the Muslim Obama:
I have already mentioned that dealing with US will become tenuous - if Obama has his way.
Barack Hussein Obama will be giving an important speech today to the Muslim world - we must pay heed to what he says. In a article on 1st November, I wrote about Obama's Islamic roots : Barack Hussein Obama was born a Muslim - so what?
ABC news (June 2nd), reporting in The Emergence of President Obama's Muslim Roots : "Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Denis McDonough said "the President himself experienced Islam on three continents before he was able to -- or before he's been able to visit, really, the heart of the Islamic world -- you know, growing up in Indonesia, having a Muslim father -- obviously Muslim Americans (are) a key part of Illinois and Chicago."
Read this Julia Gorin article : Obama's Christian Grandma to make Hajj this year.
Again, if someone asks how does it matter if Obama is a Muslim or not - I will tell them this. It matters. It does not mean he will be anti-India. But he will be pro-Muslims. And in this context, pro - Pakistan. Already the dollars are flowing into Pakistan. Because China owns a lot of US debt, Hillary Clinton, a friend of India, has no choice but to be more friendly to China. The only friend India has in the US are the Republicans and CIA. These will be very difficult times for India.
Already Pakistan is threatening to attack India with another 26/11 - maybe a spectacular assassination of Narendra Modi, certainly bring Kashmir to a boil again. And India, it seems, buckling under force fed "intel", as per Times of India (4th June) - India likely to resume talks with Pakistan.
(Excuse me, did not India say - no talks till Pakistan books the 26/11 accused. And India wants to talk right after Pakistan releases Hafeez Sayeed !)
The article states: "Pakistan may be thumbing its nose at India by releasing wanted terrorists like Hafeez Saeed, but New Delhi is veering around to the view that talks with Islamabad that were suspended after the 26/11 Mumbai attack should be resumed as engagement, however frustrating, would be better than benign neglect of the source of its terror problem. Taking the cue from the boss, the foreign office is trying to find a way to break the ice.
There are two main reasons why India would like to begin talks. First, it might get the Pakistanis to at least attempt to stop the next big- ticket terrorist attack against India. Sources said Pakistan is likely to sponsor another big attack in J&K to push India to come to the table. This is nothing short of blackmail, but India doesn't want to be in a position where it might seem to be succumbing to such blackmail.
Second, Indian officials are clear that the US, waiting for the elections to be over, will soon raise the talks issue with India. This could come as soon as Hillary Clinton's visit to India in July. The government here is keen to pre-empt such pressure tactics.
Prime minister Manmohan Singh might have an occasion to break the ice if he decides to go for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Moscow later this month. If Singh attends the SCO, he would have a chance to meet his Pakistan counterpart and could seize the opportunity. "
Interestingly the US too may be overtly blackmailing India. US justifies travel advisory to India. Generally it happens if US receives clear intelligence that their citizens are at a substantial risk in the concerned country or it is a diplomatic tool used by US to make the concerned country (here India) change or facilitate policies which the US may want.
And message we are therefore giving to Pakistan - keep on doing what you do, increase the nukes, we will sit tight and get angry and not talk for a while till you threaten us again.