Posted by: informer | February 18, 2009

Schoolgirl commits suicide: The Hindu Report

MANGALORE: A 15-year-old schoolgirl hanged herself to death at Mulky in Dakshina Kannada on Wednesday morning after she was publicly humiliated by a suspected Hindutva fringe group, according to eyewitness accounts. Superintendent of Police N. Sathish Kumar, however, denied the involvement of any group in her death. According to Rafique, a helper in a bus, the victim and another girl boarded the bus at Kinnigoli village at 12 noon on Tuesday. The girls got off at Moodbidri along with Abdul Salim, with whom one of the girls was friendly. As they were walking towards Venoor, a group of suspected Hindutva youths allegedly accosted them. The girls were berated for being friendly with someone from another religion and all the three were beaten up. The bus, on its return journey, was stopped by another group that dragged Rafique out and thrashed him. He was taken to the place where Salim and the girls were held. The captors then called Moodbidri SI Bharathi G., who took the four to the police station. The parents of one of the girls were summoned and Salim was allegedly forced to write a letter of apology. The girl and her family were said to have been humiliated at the station by a mob. The next morning, the girl committed suicide. After her death, Salim was arrested following a complaint by her father of rape and abetting in the suicide of a minor.

source: http://www.hindu.com/2009/02/12/stories/2009021256500100.htm

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Posted by: informer | February 18, 2009

Mangalore suicide case: This is how truth is twisted… !!!

Mangalore, Feb 13: The Police today arrested the notorious bus conductor Saleem (26) wanted in the case of raping a minor girl in Maroor and abetting her suicide. He is identified as Saleem the bus conductor and son of a bus owner in Kinnigoli.

On arrest he was remanded to the judicial custody till February 25.He has been also accused of taking a minor girl to a secluded place by making her false promises and had gained her carnal knowledge, while another minor girl was made to stand guard near the site of crime.

In terms of police arrest in this case, it was a significant achievement as raping minors has been taken up seriously in the eyes of the law.

source: http://mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=broadcast&broadcastid=112532

With the efforts of local media and the police, the entire story is getting twisted. There are few other major media as well for their support.

Posted by: informer | February 18, 2009

Girl commits suicide after humiliation

When Sri Ram Sene attacked a Mangalore pub on January 24, they were called the moral police of the worst kind. Then a school girl, Ashwini, committed suicide. She was publicly humiliated by suspected Bajrang Dal men for being friends with a Muslim man, Salim. The group had dragged her to a police station, summoned her parents and forced Salim to write a letter of apology. Ashwini was harassed before the police, but the men have not been arrested yet. Salim has been taken into police custody, now charged with possible rape of a minor. For the saffron police, women might seem the soft target but it goes beyond that. Writer and activist Prof Pattabhirama Somayaji says: ”I would say the people who feel insecure are Muslims. Of late, Christians. And then, As you say, women.” Daughter of a Kerala CPM MLA, who was pulled out of a bus and attacked, made no secret of what her attackers had told her. ”They told me you are a Hindu, why do you want speak to Muslims?” Two cases in a row — one leading to the death of a minor girl. A violent form of parallel policing by saffron groups. It is not just a cause of concern for our women in public spaces, it also seems to be panning out, with a communal edge.

source: http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20090083403&ch=2/13/2009%2012:20:00%20AM

Posted by: informer | February 18, 2009

Moral policing victim commits suicide in Mangalore

Bangalore: After being publicly humiliated by a Right-wing Hindu group for being in the company of a Muslim man, a 15-year-old girl committed suicide on Wednesday morning in Mulky in Dakshina Kannada, 40 km from Mangalore.Worse, keeping in tune with the recent incidents in the coastal district, the police moved to arrest the Muslim man for rape and abetment of suicide, leaving alone the alleged local Bajrang Dal activists who are believed to be the co-abettors.

Abdul Salim, 27, owner of the bus in which the girl commuted to school for over five years, was arrested by the Mangalore police on charges of rape and abetment of suicide, following a complaint filed by the girl’s father.

Salim was placed under arrest on Wednesday, following the suicide, despite the girl and her friend, who were together on Tuesday, refusing to give a statement accusing Salim of sexual exploitation when they were taken to the Moodabidri police station by a woman sub-inspector, who was summoned by the alleged Bajrang Dal activists.

A case was registered under Section 110 of the IPC for “abetment, if person abetted does act with different intention from that of abettor”. To support their case, the police also forced Salim to write an apology on Tuesday night, alleged Abdul Razack, Salim’s brother.

Outside the police station on Tuesday night, after everyone was asked to go, the girl’s father, who was also summoned, publicly thrashed her, witnesses said. The girl committed suicide at her home the following morning.“The case report registered on Tuesday has surprisingly gone missing. We have been trying to get a copy to fight Salim’s case, but have been unable to do so,” Razack said. His family said he had known the girl for a long time and was on friendly terms with her.

“Salim’s statement was recorded on Tuesday night and because no offence was disclosed, all the parties concerned were handed over to their respective parents and asked to go home,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police for Panambur division, Jayant Shetty, under whose jurisdiction the Moodabidri police station falls.

The girl and her friend had alighted along with Salim from a bus he owned on Tuesday evening, before being accosted and beaten up by the alleged Bajrang Dal activists. The bus was intercepted by other activists and the helper Rafique was also dragged to the place where the alleged Bajrang Dal men had detained the girls and Salim.

Rafique, who had described the sequence of events on Wednesday, refused to speak out of fear on Thursday. Sub-Inspector Bharathi G, who was called to take the custody of the girls by the Right-wing group, did not respond to phone calls.The friend of the deceased girl, who was a witness to the entire sequence, is reportedly in hiding.

According to the official version given by Mangalore SP N Satheesh Kumar, “The two girls were found with the boy in an isolated place, with the second girl guarding them, after local elders began a search.” He claimed that Salim had escaped after the girls were accosted by the “elders”.

The district police claimed that they were awaiting a post-mortem report and were also trying to identify the people who accosted the girls on the basis of the phone call made to Bharati G.

The family of Salim, however, identified the “elders” as Bajrang Dal activists. “We have their names — Venoor Sathish, a Sri Durga tempo driver, Praveen, Ashok, Lokesh, Ajit, Nagaraj, Bejapur Shetty and Sadanand Poojari. They are all from the Venoor area,” Razack said.

“The abetment part of the case is still under investigation. We are examining the roles of the people involved. It is too premature to say anything,” Inspector General of Police for the Western region of Karnataka A M Prasad said.

source : http://www.indianexpress.com/news/moral-policing-victim-commits-suicide-in…/422981/

Mumbai: The September 29 Malegaon bomb blast may not have been the first such attack allegedly orchestrated by Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit, named the main conspirator in the case, and possibly some of the other accused, according to the chargesheet filed by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad in a Special MCOCA court this week.

In the pile of documents and evidence submitted by the ATS as part of the chargesheet is a transcript of an audio recording allegedly found on Mahant Sudhakar Dwivedi’s laptops where the arrested Army officer is quoted talking about “two operations” they had earlier conducted.

Maharashtra police sources have in the past alleged that the mahant, who is also in custody, used his laptops to record all his meetings — including the ones where the Malegaon conspiracy was allegedly hatched and planned — either as audio or video files. Four of his laptops have been seized and the content has been listed in the chargesheet as evidence while some conversations have been transcribed and attached as documents.

One such transcript of an audio file created on January 26, 2008, and titled ‘sanatanbharat.wma’, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, refers to an alleged conspiracy meeting on the same day in Faridabad. It was allegedly attended by Purohit, Dwivedi, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni and Sudhakar Chaturvedi, all of whom have been arrested and charged in the case.

The ATS alleges that it was at this meeting that Purohit agreed to supply the explosives for attacking Malegaon while Chaturvedi took the responsibility of arranging two men to plant the crude bomb. During this meeting, where the conversation was all in Hindi, Dwivedi allegedly tells the others that “some homework has been done about the issue they have been discussing” and that its “basic concept” is clear.

Purohit allegedly joins the conversation, according to the transcript, and says that while the matter has been discussed earlier, everyone needs to be involved in the process of taking a decision. Then he allegedly said, “Main kuch baat kahunga isse pehle kabhi nahi kahi gayi thi. Do operation humne kiye, successful ho gaye. Operation karne ki meri kshamta hain, swamiji. Mere paas equipment ki kami nahi hain. Main equipment paida kar sakta hoon. Equipment la sakta hoon. Agar jab thaan leta hoon. Lekin target chun na yeh mere ek ke vishay ke hisaab nahi hona chahiye.”

(I will say something which I have not talked about before. We did two operations in the past and they were successful. I am capable of doing operations. I have no dearth of equipment. I can get equipment if I take it upon myself. But choosing the target should not be my decision alone)

The transcript does not contain details of these operations and ATS officials refused to comment as the case is now awaiting trial. Defence lawyer Naveen Chomal, who is appearing for all the accused, said, “It is not appropriate to comment right now. Police might have several theories floated at this stage but to prove this in the court would not be as simple.”

source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/did-2-successful-operations-in-the-past-ltcol-in-ats-chargesheet/414728/

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chargesheet in the Malegaon blast case claims that as per statements from the accused the town was singled out for the blast as “it was the ideal place where the Muslim community crowd was the maximum” and that prime accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit had told fellow conspirators it was time to set up a parallel, Hindu government-in-exile which could operate out of Israel and ensure a completely sashastra (armed) India.

Purohit, according to the chargesheet, promised “all logistic help” with finances from several quarters and support from some of his contacts in Thailand.

The ATS chargesheet, which includes two important confession statements, statements of witnesses under Section 164, laptop records, telephonic records, detailed SMSes and financial transactions across states, will be filed tomorrow in the designated MCOCA court chaired by sessions judge Y D Shinde.

The ATS will tell the court how a group called Abhinav Bharat became a “front organisation” for a conspiracy which led to an explosion at 9.26 pm on September 29, 2008 at Bhikku Chowk, Malegaon. While all eleven accused have been charged with conspiracy, logistics and execution of the blast, the key roles, according to the ATS, were those of Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Sudhakar Dardwivedi alias Dayanand Pandey.

This will be the first case where a probe has been able to reach the conspirators — unlike other cases where only those who planted bombs have been arrested. In this case, the alleged bomb planters — Sameer Dange, Ramji Kalsangra — and Pravin Patil, another on the wanted list, remain at large. Patil also used the cover name of Mutalik and is a close aide of Purohit.

While the forensic finding of the chassis and engine number of the motorcycle used in the blast — it was a Gujarat registration number GJ-05-1920, owned by Pragya Singh Thakur — led the ATS to Gujarat, it was the statements of witnesses and the forensic report that helped the ATS build a strong case.

The ATS chargesheet has relied heavily on the statement of Sudhakar Chaturvedi (37), the last to be arrested, who said Purohit had called him on September 17, asking him to give the keys of his house in Deolali to a person named Pawar. According to the ATS, Pawar handed the keys to Ramji Kalsangra who along with some others used the house to assemble the bomb that was eventually used in Malegaon.

The ATS team took a picture of Ramji to the locality where Chaturvedi stayed. Two witnesses identified him and confirmed that Ramji did come to the house. A search of the house revealed remains of items used in making the bomb — this was verified by a forensic team. Evidences include recordings from the laptop of Sudhakar Dardwivedi which also has footage of various meetings.

Of the arrested, it is Rakesh Dataram Dhavde’s involvement in the conspiracy that led the ATS to slap MCOCA charges against all ten accused. Pragya Singh’s telephonic conversations recorded with accused Shyam Sahu immediately after the blasts will be included in the chargesheet.

According to the ATS, the Abhinav Bharat, a group founded on June 12, 2006 in Raigad where Shivaji was coronated, initially had retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay in the role of working president. Later, under the control of Purohit, it became the “front for an agenda of creating a Hindu Rajya”.

While the “anger and the determination” to create a parallel Government which “gives power to Hindus” can be seen in the records of the many meetings that transpired between the accused, the ATS says that it was at a meeting in Bhopal where the conspiracy for Malegaon was hatched. Purohit was said to have convinced the group that the time had come for a parallel government — and he detailed the idea of a bomb blast.The group, according to many statements of the accused, was told about possible safe houses in Israel from where the conspirators could operate once their ideology took root and their numbers increased.

source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/purohit-planned-israelbased-hindu-govtinexile-support-from-thai-contacts-ats-chargesheet-today/412947/

Posted by: informer | January 21, 2009

Malegaon case: More Phone transcripts

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad submitted a mammoth 4000-page chargesheet in the Malegaon blast case on Tuesday. That included transcripts of telephone conversations between two of the main accused, which the ATS believes will form crucial evidence in the case.

The controversial case attracted attention not only for the 11 people arrested on charges of Hindu extremism, but also because of allegations that the police did not have enough evidence in the case.

Lt Col Prasad Purohit’s conversation with retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay was taped on the October 23, 2008, the day the ATS arrested Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.

Their conversation includes an escape plan, in case they were caught. Here are excerpts:

Purohit: My name is likely to figure. This is the last phone call from our phone. I will give you one more number. I will tell everyone in the organisation not to talk to me.

Upadhayay: When the chap (police) has come to me, my name has also figured. Otherwise, why should anybody come to my place. Checking has started which means we need to be cautious. I suggest we have a lawyer
.

Purohit: A name I wanted to know again, S Y Singh or who?

Upadhayay: Y P Singh. The Bar Council of Maharashtra has got a directory of members. So I wanted to go there and take out his address. She (Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur) has taken your name. They will not be able to trace you immediately. It appears that she might tell the location if she knows.

The conversations, along with the confessions of the accused, form the basis of the police case against the 11 accused in the Malegaon blast case. But the police will still have to prove the authenticity of those conversations, for them to have a solid case.

source: http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20090080857

Posted by: informer | January 15, 2009

RJD MP does an Antulay, wants ‘conspiracy’ cleared

New Delhi: Declaring that the issues raised by Minority Affairs Minister A R Antulay were no different from those put forth by the wives of slain Mumbai cops Ashok Kamte and Hemant Karkare, RJD MP Jabir Hussain urged Home Minister P Chidambaram to answer their questions.

Talking to The Indian Express, Hussain underlined that what has appeared in the media on behalf of Kavita Karkare and Vinita Kamte contradicted the statement given by the Home Minister in Parliament. “The wives of the officers who were killed during the 26/11 Mumbai Terror attack raised exactly the same issues as Antulay. They have cast doubts over the explanation given by the police about the death of the officers,” said Hussain, a senior RJD leader who has served as the chairman of the Bihar Legislative Council.

Referring to the Home Minister’s statement, the RJD MP said that it did not once mention who shot at Ajmal Kasab. Kamte’s wife claims that it was her husband who fired at the lone arrested terrorist. “Further, Karkare’s wife says she wants to know who was responsible for her husband’s death,” Hussain said.

Asked whether he too smells a conspiracy like Antulay, Hussain said, “The statements of the two ladies who lost their husbands indicate a conspiracy. They can’t be accused of political motives unlike Antulay. It is the duty of the Government to clear it.”

Incidentally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was the first to demand a probe into Karkare’s death, but backed off when Antulay’s statement raised a storm in Parliament.

Posted by: informer | January 14, 2009

Mumbai attacks witness gone missing

In a potential setback to investigations on Mumbai attacks, a woman who had witnessed six terrorists land in the city has gone missing. Police said on Tuesday that Anita Uddaiya, who saw six people leaving an airboat at the Fisherman’s Colony in Cuffe Parade on November 26, has been missing since January 11. Mumbai police had recently taken her to a hospital to identify bodies of the six terrorists. Police said they have launched a search for the missing witness after her daughter filed a missing persons report. “We are also probing the disappearance of the lady since she is a witness in the case,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria said. However, he said, Uddaiya is not considered as a key witness in the case of arrested terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab. Britain’s intelligence service MI5 chief said earlier this week that his agency has uncovered links between the Mumbai attackers and the UK nationals. “We have looked at individuals’ communications, where they have been and so on and found they have got connections with most countries including the UK, but not of national security significance,” said MI5 Director General Jonathan Evans.

source: http://www.presstv.com/Detail.aspx?id=82058&sectionid=351020402

M. A. Durrani was busy leaking information to embarrass Pakistan internationally. He was part of an influential group in Islamabad that worked overtime to ensure Pakistan accepted blame for Mumbai and initiated action against the military and ISI without verifying the so-called evidence. Mr. Durrani says his leaks had the blessings of President Zardari. Who are they working for? Alarmingly, Pakistan’s security stands breached at the highest levels in the capital, where shady individuals are working for foreign interests with impunity. It is time for a major purge to cleanse Pakistani government and politics of foreign assets. Mr. Durrani should be debriefed as to whose interests he was serving in his sensitive position.

By AHMED QURAISHI

Thursday, 8 January 2008.

WWW.AHMEDQURAISHI.COM

ISLAMABAD, PakistanA secretive powerful group in the top corridors of the Pakistani government has been working overtime for the past few weeks to push Islamabad into publicly accepting the half-cooked ‘evidence’ provided by the United States and India that implicates Pakistan, its military and the ISI in the Mumbai attacks.

Two prominent names in this group are national security adviser Mehmud Ali Durrani and the Ambassador in Washington Husain Haqqani. They pushed hard for Pakistan to accept blame without verification and without pursuing other compelling leads in the Mumbai attacks. These other leads cast a wider net and significantly weaken India’s ‘Pakistan-only’ fixation.

The behavior of Mr. Durrani became particularly desperate in the last few days, and especially on Wednesday, Jan. 7. His boss, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, was not off the mark when he cited betrayal of Pakistan’s national security as the main reason for sacking Mr. Durrani.

The question is: Who was Mr. Durrani working for? There is even chatter about the possibility that he might be arrested and interrogated to determine whose interests he was serving. There is no question that his bold moves were sanctioned by President Zardari. It is also interesting to note that information minister Sherry Rehman came to Mr. Durrani’s rescue in the final stage of the bizarre power struggle that marked Durrani’s last few hours in office.

Given the traps created by this government for Pakistan and especially for the ISI after the Mumbai attacks, it is safe to conclude that Pakistan’s power echelons stand breached by individuals, like Mr. Durrani, who are keenly pursuing policy objectives of a foreign government or governments.

The conduct of Mr. Durrani, coupled with massive recent policy failures with direct bearing on national security, reinforce the need for a purge within the government and within the country’s political elite. Foreign governments have been able to penetrate both and cultivate assets. These ‘assets’ conduct their own private foreign policies directly with foreign powers without the approval or knowledge of the Pakistani state.

The Signs

Sitting in Washington, Ambassador Husain Haqqani has been wrangling with the Pakistan Foreign Office for several days now over the FBI evidence shared with Pakistan, which apparently includes a tape recording purporting to show a Pakistani citizen inside Pakistan talking to a Mumbai terrorist over telephone. Mr. Haqqani wants Pakistan to accept this piece of evidence as final proof that elements within Pakistan executed the attack on Mumbai. Other Pakistani officials disagree and say the audio tape and other information need to be verified by Pakistani experts to determine if it is fake or real. We don’t trust India and they don’t trust us. It’s as simple as that.

Durrani’s Suspicious Role

Behind the scenes, Mr. Durrani has been playing what amounts to a dirty role in this whole crisis with India. In the last week of December, he contacted a known Pakistani journalist working for the Wall Street Journal and leaked to him a ‘breaking’ a story: an activist of the defunct Lashkar Tayyeba in Pakistani custody had confessed to making phone calls to Mumbai terrorists.

It was strange that Mr. Durrani chose to leak this information to a U.S. newspaper. If the story was true [it wasn’t. It was officially debunked later] the Pakistani government would have released it through its spokespeople. The only plausible purpose of the leak was to embarrass Pakistan, quash the voices calling for evidence and verification, and push a weak government into accepting responsibility for the Mumbai attacks. It was a classic pressure tactic, in this case used by an insider – Mr. Durrani – against his own government.

Using this deliberate leak, the Wall Street Journal came out with an elaborate story . Its editors somehow linked the alleged confession to ISI’s tense relations with elected governments in the 1990s. There was a separate box in the story that gave a timeline to the supposed tense relations.

In short, Durrani’s leak to Wall Street Journal became a condemnation of the ISI. Which seems to be the whole purpose of the Indian drama anyway. The leak also weakened the effect of foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s rare bold statement that demanded India deactivate its forward air bases, withdraw troops and defuse the war hysteria.

Durrani’s leak in effect threw the ball back in the Pakistani court.

Desperation

With Ambassador Haqqani’s failure to convince Pakistani officials to accept the American evidence, the pro-American lobby in Islamabad began to get desperate. U.S. military chief Adm. Mike Mullen flew into Islamabad to convince President Zardari to allow the Indian air force to conduct limited ‘surgical strikes’. He asked Zardari to deactivate the state of alert in the Pakistan Air Force for this purpose. The deal was sealed if not for the strong stand taken by the Pakistani military. Mullen returned empty handed.

The ‘Charge Sheet’

Mr. Durrani’s reign of double dealings at the top, as Prime Minister’s adviser on national security, makes the list of foreign policy blunders by the government appear deliberate and calculated and not just the work of incompetent administrators:

  1. The immediate admission of guilt on behalf of ISI, when Mr. Gilani was told to accept sending ISI chief to New Delhi on India’s ‘summon’.

  1. The weak, apologetic diplomacy in the face of Indian warmongering.

  1. Misleading China in the U.N. Security Council voting, resulting in incriminating Pakistani individuals and organizations without evidence. Some observers even go as far as saying that this vote has smoothed the way for future sanctions on Pakistan and its military if and when major powers pursue this.

  1. The Zardari government is suspected of having dragged its feet on issuing orders to the Pakistani military to raise the level of alert even when Indian army, air force and navy were moving to forward positions. The plot becomes sinister when the consequences of this reluctance become clear. A snap attack by India when the Pakistani military was not ready could have resulted in humiliation for the military. This would have emboldened the current government to take on a humiliated military and pursue the U.S. agenda of dismantling the ISI and transform the Pakistani military into a glorified police force at the beck and call of U.S. and India. This ‘ideal role’ for Pakistan is now openly discussed in Washington and is no longer a secret.

The Memorable 7 January

The actions of Mr. Mehmud Ali Durrani on this day show how desperate he had become to see Pakistan taking the blame and submitting before India. This portion of the story needs careful reading because it reveals how far this game goes to the top levels of the Pakistani government.

Mr. Durrani apparently leaked to an Indian TV channel and a couple of Pakistani news channels that Pakistan has accepted Indian ‘evidence’ that Ajmal Kassab, the lone surviving Mumbai terrorist, was a Pakistani citizen. [Please click here for an incisive examination of the Indian and American ‘evidence’].

Mr. Durrani probably intended for this information to be quoted ‘anonymously’. But one of the journalists probably made the mistake of mentioning Durrani’s name.

Reacting to this, Pakistan’s second most senior diplomat, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, came out to deny that Kassab’s identity has been determined, in effect brushing aside Durrani’s leak.

To counter Mr. Bashir, Information Minister Sherry Rehman went a step further. She volunteered this information [that Kassab is a Pakistani] through a text message to a reporter of the American Associated Press news agency. Her move seconded Durrani’s.

Surprisingly, the government’s own Minister of State for Interior, Mr. Tasnim Qureshi, reacted angrily to Mr. Durrani’s leaks. He told reporters that Kassab’s Pakistani links mean little because Kassab was a “creation of Indian intelligence.”

Now, was Mr. Durrani acting alone in making the leaks? After being sacked, Mr. Durrani told Geo News that he consulted the President on all his moves.

This begs the question: Did President Zardari approve the calculated leaks to the media by Durrani and Sherry? If so, why? Why did they have to do it this way? Who were they hiding from? Why try to force the hand of the rest of the organs of the Pakistani state?

Does this mean that Mr. Zardari, Mr. Durrani, and Mr. Haqqani will leak confidential material to the media every time things don’t go their way? Why this act of desperation? Who were they trying to please?

Time For A Purge In Islamabad

A growing number of Pakistani officials and politicians have been cultivated by foreign governments in a variety of ways to pursue the goals of those governments. This foreign meddling and direct contact is confined in large part to the United States, and then to the United Kingdom. It is happening outside the knowledge of the Pakistani state and has reached dangerous proportions. Mr. Durrani’s story is a case in point.

Mr. Durrani was and remains an active member of something called the Balusa Group, created and financed by the U.S. government as a way to create influence in the upper echelons of the Pakistani government. The Americans say the purpose of this group was to bring peace between Pakistan and India through ‘Track II’ diplomacy. But the truth is that its members, like Mr. Durrani, were involved in lobbying for U.S. sponsored energy corridors between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. A side goal was to convince Pakistan to give India unlimited access to Afghanistan and Central Asian republics as a free concession without asking for anything in return, like resolving Kashmir and water disputes.

Foreign Minister Mehmood Qureshi distanced himself from the group as soon as he assumed his new position. He wanted to ensure he was not linked to foreign interests while discharging important business of the state. However, Mr. Durrani and Mr. Husain Haqqani have not publicly ceased their associations with foreign policy groups and interests after becoming servants of the Pakistani state. Mr. Durrani has been serving the state for almost three years now without renouncing his foreign associations, and all of them happen to be tied to U.S. interests.

The result of the damage brought by Mr. Zardari, Mr. Durrani and Mr. Haqqani to Pakistan in the past few weeks is obvious. Pakistan’s wishy-washy diplomacy in the face of Indian belligerence and warmongering has emboldened New Delhi to pursue a tougher line with Islamabad. Officials in Washington and New Delhi are betting on the confusion created by the actions of Mr. Durrani to make it easier for them to extract concessions from Pakistan.

There is no question that the United States plans to expand the war in Afghanistan to include Pakistan. This is the only way to weaken the Pakistani military and firmly align Pakistan with American interests opposite China and others. The only way this is possible is with India’s help. People like Mr. Durrani are helping this happen from the inside. Such elements need to be purged form the system.

In conclusion, this is what Dr. Ayesha Siddiq, the author of Military Inc., had to say about Mr. Durrani when he was first appointed in government:

“The PPP selected Washington’s dream team to run foreign relations and national security. One is not sure that appointing Durrani as the National Security Adviser will do the job. The appointment (of Durrani) is in consideration of the general’s close ties with the US Pentagon. Not to mention the fact that Durrani owes his intellectual growth to Shirin Tahirkheli, a Bush administration adviser and former senior official of the [U.S. delegation to the] UN National Security Council”.

Enough said.

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