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Sunday, 24 May 2009

From Today's Papers - 24 May 09

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Indian terrorist training camps in Tribal Area

By newsadmin at 23 May, 2009, 3:25 am

By Afshain Afzal

It has been estimated that around 2,637,000 (twenty six lac thirty seven thousand) illegal Indian nationals are residing in Karachi alone. Persons from Indian backgrounds have shifted in bulk to Swat and Tribal Areas and have established terrorist training camps there. The locals of the area claim that they have seen aliens not belonging to NWFP, speaking unknown language and Urdu who vanish during day time in the jungles and mountains. Some ground evidences indicate that they are either Indian nationals or agents of Indian Intelligence agency RAW. After the arrested three Indian agents from Tribal Areas who were involved in dumping arms and ammunition in various pockets, intelligence reports confirmed presence of RAW agents in border belt of NWFP.

Indian intelligence agencies are suspicious of Pakistani moves and maintain a firm belief that in case Pakistan is allowed to stabilize and develop, it will cause unrest within Indian union, leading to disintegration of India into smaller states. In fact the Indian foreign policy towards Pakistan rests on the foundation of these apprehensions and preconceived ideas. The Indian agencies, especially Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) were thus established to counter these fears.

Afghan trained Indian Taliban threaten 2 attacks per week in Pakistan

Since the establishment RAW, its main operations in Pakistan as well as in other countries are in one way or the other linked to Indian foreign policy against Pakistan.

Today, RAW has become so stubborn with regards to its anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslims agenda that political government at New Delhi cannot move an inch without its approval. Instances where initiatives were made to enhance Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), RAW took no time to sabotage them. RAW has penetrated deep inside Pakistan to an extent that a bulk of Indian population is living in major cities of Pakistan without any fear and are hollowing the foundations of Pakistan.

Rumors are circulating that people with Indian background have shifted in bulk to Swat and Tribal Areas and have established terrorist training camps there. The locals of the area claim that they have seen aliens not belonging to NWFP, speaking unknown language and Urdu who vanish during day time in the jungles and mountains. Some

ground evidences indicate that they are either Indian nationals or agents of Indian Intelligence agency RAW. After the arrested three Indian agents from Tribal Areas who were involved in dumping arms and ammunition in various pockets, intelligence reports confirmed presence of RAW agents in border belt of NWFP.

Although Pakistani agencies have been graded these reports as authentic but I still feel that there is a requirement of counter confirmation. It is strange to note that so

far local Police has not taken any action against these people. The recent arrest of a suspicious person by Kabal Police in Swat could not bear fruits when said Indian agent was spared after he showed documents indicating that he belonged to New Karachi.

Two days later on April 12, 2009, three more persons, two hailing from Karachi and one from Hyderabad, were arrested and hand grenades were recovered from their possession. One won’t believe that there is no official record of any arrest but a local alleged that police spared them after the payment of rupees 30,000 as compensation.

Police authorities in Karachi claim that they have intimated their superiors on a number of occasions but no clear orders have been issued regarding expulsion of Indian nationals living illegally in Karachi and Hyderabad. It is pertinent to mention here that these elements are involved in the majority of terrorist activities including carrying out bombings at mosques. It has been estimated that around 2,637,000 (twenty six lac thirty seven thousand) illegal Indian nationals are residing in Karachi alone.

Confirmed reports indicate that Indian Christians have also infiltrated into Pakistan and have taken permanent residences in all the major cities of Pakistan including Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Some of them have even shifted to the G Sector and along the Islamabad-Lahore Road. Some of them are located in Katchi Abadis and slums in the twin cities.

Intelligence sources claim that most of them have infiltrated from India into Pakistan through border areas while a good number who had come to Pakistan to see their relatives did not return. A rough estimate suggests that 70 percent of these Indians have acquired Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs).

Ironically, certain Afghans, West Bengalis and even Nepalese who were based in India infiltrated into Pakistan and are living here now with authentic Pakistani documents.

The recent arrest of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) officials from Karachi and other cities indicates the even foreigners were issued fake CNICs.

India has moved additional battalions of Rashtriya Rifles (RR) units near the Line of Control (LoC) as well as regular Army units to put pressure on Pakistan and to show the world that India is victim of terrorism. Seventy Infantry Brigade has been shifted from Shopian while additional Indian Army units have also been moved to new locations. Although India has moved additional troops along LoC but it has no intentions to wage a war with Pakistan. In fact, the Indian intelligence agency RAW continues to encourage the Indian foreign office and other government officials to continue accusing Pakistan of mass infiltrations through LoC. The objective, it seems, is to divert Pakistan’s attention from the mass infiltration of Indian nationals in different cities of Pakistan.

India has also opened a new front against Pakistan. Recently, the Indian government has taken the liberty of issuing statements against the Pakistani Parliament’s decision regarding the ‘Swat Peace Deal’ and the ‘Nizam-e-Adl’ n Swat. Interestingly, one of the reasons the Indians are so outspoken for the first time on an internal Pakistani issue is that New Delhi is worried the implementation of Islamic law in the tribal regions will expose its agents who masquerade as non-practicing Muslims and as Christians, who have taken up their residences throughout Pakistan.

Pakistan does not fear from the Indians, irrespective of religion and other issues. The reason is that the Indians are also desirous of peace with Pakistan as much as Pakistanis want peace with India. It is the fifth columnists with our files who want that the two countries should remain dagger drawn.

I must emphasize that Pakistan does not fear from Hindu India, similarly India also is not afraid of Muslim Pakistan. Leaving aside pre-independence Indian northern heartland, where Muslims ruled until the intrusion of British imperialists, in all the Indian states Muslims and Hindus were living with peace and harmony.

Today, the Indian intelligence agency is acting on the instruction of some of their foreign masters who are bent upon destroying both Pakistan and India for their own vested interest. In this conspiracy U.S., Britain and other countries are equally involved.

Under these circumstances, both Pakistan and India should try to get rid of foreign influence and allow the sons of the soil to decide the fate of their countries. India must help Pakistan to get rid of mass infiltration by Indian nationals who are in Pakistan since decades and are polluting the atmosphere. There is a requirement of treaties of extradition between the two countries so that such illegal lot can be sent back to countries of their origin and prosecuted under the law.

http://thecurrentaffairs.com/index.php/indian-terrorist-training-camps-in-tribal-area/

MHA orders demotion of ITBP DIG
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
In an unusual case, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has passed orders to demote a deputy inspector general (DGP) serving with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) and instead promoted another officer who was held guilty for corruption.

While the aggrieved officer, Kunwar Pal Singh, presently posted at Chandigarh as DIG (Operations and Training), North West Frontier, was promoted to Additional DIG (upgraded to DIG consequent to the Sixth Pay Commission) in October last year and granted the requisite pay scale and consequential benefits, the other officer, who was considered for promotion at the same time, was not approved as charges of financial and procedural irregularities were pending against him.

A communiqué issued by the home ministry to ITBP headquarters on May 14 stated that Kunwar Pal Singh was to be reverted to the rank of Commandant as the home ministry had approved the promotion of the other officer.

In a petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Kunwar Pal has maintained that his reversion to a lower rank and lower pay-grade, without giving him an opportunity to be heard, is whimsical, arbitrary, illegal and detrimental to his rights and principles of natural justice.

Issuing notices to the MHA, ITBH chief and other respondents this week, the High Court has ordered that status quo be maintained in respect of Kunwar Pal’s rank till further directions.

The petitioner has contended that he was promoted after being found duly fit in all respects and the other officer was not promoted as he was being tried in “summary disposal” for commission of offences under Sections 33 (f) and 43 for intent to defraud and violation of good order and discipline, which could attract punishment up to 10 years.

Kunwar Pal has been performing the duties of DIG since October and has maintained that his entire career is without a blemish or adverse remark.

He claimed that the said development took place in the backdrop of the fact that in spite of being found guilty/partially-guilty of the said charges, the authorities concerned closed in a clandestine manner without carrying it to its logical conclusion. On extraneous considerations, the authorities recommended the issuance of an “advisory” to the other officer by the ITBP chief as an administrative measure.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090524/main6.htm

Fresh offensive in Swat; 17 militants killed

Islamabad, May 23
Pakistani security forces entered Mingora, the Swat Valley’s main city, on Saturday and killed at least 17 Taliban militants as a new phase of their offensive against the militants began, the military said.

Chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said parts of Mingora had already been cleared and that 17 militants, including an important commander, were killed during the most recent fighting of Pakistan's northwest offensive.

The ground assault on Mingora, a city with an estimated population of around 300,000 - of whom many have fled - marks the most crucial part of the military's blistering offensive against the Taliban in the scenic valley.

“Today the most important phase of operation Rah-e-Rast, the clearance of Mingora, has commenced,' the military said in a statement on its website.

'In the last 24 hours, security forces have entered Mingora; 17 miscreants-terrorists, including important miscreant commander were killed,” added the statement, written in English.

The military reported intense exchanges of fire and said one would-be suicide bomber was shot dead and that another 'suicide vehicle' rigged with explosives had been destroyed.

Pakistani troops had been slowly tightening their encirclement of the city for days and Abbas said Saturday that militant supplies had been cut off.

“Mingora was surrounded from four directions and militant supplies were cut off,” Abbas told a news conference. The prospect of an assault on Mingora, which has loomed for days, has raised fears of a bloody battle and the possibility of civilian casualties.

US-based Human Rights Watch earlier this week quoted residents as saying the Taliban had mined Mingora and prevented many civilians from fleeing, using them as ‘human shields’ to deter attack.

The group also said Pakistani forces appeared to have taken insufficient precautionary measures in aerial and artillery attacks that have caused a high loss of civilian life. Pakistani commanding officers have stressed that soldiers are under top-level orders to avoid collateral damage and not to use either artillery or air strikes in built-up areas.

— By Arrangement With The Dawn

No entry for displaced in Karachi

Karachi: A woman was killed today when large-scale violence broke out in this port city after protesters opposed the entry of thousands of displaced people from the militant-infested Swat valley. The strike badly affected life in Karachi and miscreants torched 13 vehicles in the city and one woman was killed in the violence, police said.

The protesters fired in the air and torched vehicles. A police officer said a woman travelling in a van was burnt to death. Several thousands of displaced persons wanted to enter Karachi and other parts of Sindh province to stay with relatives but the government opposed their entry fearing that Taliban militants can enter in their guise. — PTI

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090524/main7.htm

Pak ready to phase out nukes if India reciprocates Abu Sheikh 23 May 2009, Saturday

PAKISTAN HAS offered to phase out nuclear arms if India expressed similar willingness and was ready to enter into an agreement culling these weapons. Insisting that his country's nuclear assets are safe and in secure hand, Pakistan's ambassador to United States, Hussein Haqqani has said that his country's nukes were strategic assets and acted as deterrents against India.

Haqqani said this while making an appeal to the US public to donate money via cellphones for the internally displaced Swat refugees, who have been forced out of their homes due to war against the Taliban.

The ambassador also asserted that the Pakistani nuclear programme was a safe one and was aimed to maintain minimum deterrence against India.

Haqqani, however, said that his country was willing to enter into a comprehensive settlement to ensure nuclear weapons were completely phased out in both countries.

Reiterating the safety of nuclear weapons, Haqqani assured that Pakistan was not expanding the atomic stockpile to the extent that it becomes a threat to the neighbours and world at large.

http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?articleID=15770545

Pakistan to sign another deal with Taliban?

Lalit K Jha in Washington | PTI | May 23, 2009 | 18:58 IST

A top Pakistani diplomat in the United States on Saturday said that Islamabad was aware that the peace deal with Taliban in the country's troubled Swat valley would not work but went ahead with it as a tactical move.

Pakistan's ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani, in a television interview, said even President Asif Ali Zardari knew about its result from the very beginning of the deal. He also said that such strategy could be repeated in the future.

"It was a tactical move," Haqqani told the CNN, adding, "President Zardari made it very clear that he did not think that this agreement is going to work."

"But it was important to do it to ensure that all those people in the Pakistani political spectrum, who did not want to fight, would then not have an excuse to support the government when the government did go ahead and fight," he said.

The Swat agreement, Haqqani argued, was a limited agreement with a group that was not the Taliban. "It was a group that supported the Taliban. The idea was that this group will prevail upon the Taliban and get them to lay down their arms," he said.

Responding to a question, Haqqani said, "Many of us in the government of Pakistan already knew that the peace agreements cannot work. They were a political tactic. And if the tactic has to be used again, it will be used again."

While the Swat agreement was criticised at that time, Haqqani said nobody is talking about the peace agreements right now.

"Right now, the government of Pakistan has sent in the forces. The Pakistan military is fighting the terrorists effectively. And I think we will fight them and we will win," he said.

http://news.rediff.com/interview/2009/may/23/pakistan-to-sign-another-deal-with-taliban.htm

Pension hike for Lt Colonels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued the much-awaited orders for the sanction of enhanced pension to Lieutenant Colonels following the rank being upgraded to Pay Band-4.

The orders were issued by the MoD on May 21 after concurrence of the ministry’s finance division was received earlier this month.

The revised pension is applicable to all Lieutenant Colonels and equivalents in the air force and navy except Military Nursing Service officers.

According to sources, the full pension of Lt Cols who retired prior to January 1, 2006, would now be Rs 25,700. In addition, DA at the present rate of 22 per cent would be applicable on this amount.

Sources said for pre-2006 pensioners of this rank, pension has been worked out on the basis of 50 per cent of the minimum pay in Pay Band-4, which is Rs 37,400, plus grade pay of Rs 8,000 plus military service pay of Rs 6,000.

For those retiring on January 1, 2006 or after, the pension has been fixed at 50 per cent of the total last drawn pay.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090524/cth1.htm#10

Blame army for Pakistan's woes

By SALIM MANSUR

Last Updated: 23rd May 2009, 3:23am

Pakistan is the "most dangerous place on earth" and an "incubator of fanaticism," Peter MacKay, Canada's minister of defence, observed recently.

This assessment is correct, since Pakistan is simultaneously a "rogue" and a "failed" state.

For the West and, most importantly India, this means the need to prevent Pakistan's failure from spilling over international boundaries and spreading instability. It also means containing the rogue state from exporting terror, given the real threat of nuclear blackmail by the same people responsible for keeping secure the country's nuclear arsenal.

The deep seated problem of Pakistan arises from the military's role in politics. Any normal country possesses an army for protecting and securing its interests. Of Pakistan it might be said the army possesses a country to maintain and advance its interests.

The military brass, supported by civilian bureaucracy and a large land-owning class, has run Pakistan as its fiefdom. During brief spells of civilian rule the army generals merely stepped back to give an appearance of a popular government in power.

Any explanation of how this situation evolved is complex and embedded in the history and culture of the people. Briefly, however, the primary domestic reason remains the collective failure of the political class to provide for responsible government based on a consensus of what the country represents and what the people want.

In the absence of such consensus, Pakistan as an ethnically divided country is held together by force, by the appeal to Islam as ideology that went into its making and by an obsession with India as an enemy Hindu state.

Deceiving allies

Internationally Pakistan's importance has resided in its location. The geo-strategic aspect of Pakistani territory has allowed the military rulers to get away with their heavy-handed rule internally and with deceiving their western allies.

From the earliest years following Pakistan's birth in 1947, the ruling elite sought to capitalize on its geography through alliance with the United States in procuring military-economic assistance.

For more than half of Pakistan's history, military generals -- Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Zia ul-Haq and Pervez Musharraf -- have ruled the country. In the early Cold War years (1950-60) Pakistan provided air bases for American U-2 spy planes, and was a strategic link alongside Iran and Turkey in the northern tier defence perimeter on the southern borders of the former Soviet Union.

During early 1970s Pakistan became a secret back channel for Nixon-Kissinger diplomacy with Mao's China. In the 1980s the country willingly positioned itself as a front-line state against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

But in the 1990s Pakistan was downgraded in strategic importance by the Clinton administration following the Soviet defeat and collapse.

This was a mistake of Himalayan proportions allowing Pakistan to emerge as a nuclear weapon state while proliferating nuclear technology in the underground world of rogue states.

Connection to al-Qaida

Then came 9/11, and the country under military rule again became a front-line state in the U.S.-led war against the Taliban-al-Qaida connection in Afghanistan. This war finally has blown away the military's deceitful cover, given the reluctance to eliminate homegrown Taliban warriors and disarm Islamist organizations nurtured to wage war against India in Kashmir.

The vital lesson, however, of Pakistan for Peter MacKay and others in the post-9/11 world is simple: The West cannot afford a second strategic failure in not preventing Iran, another rogue state, from acquiring nuclear weapons.

salim.mansur@sunmedia.ca

http://www.winnipegsun.com/comment/columnists/salim_mansur/2009/05/23/9545401-sun.html



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