1)State of TerrorWhy Obama should blacklist Pakistan -- not just the Haqqanis.
In September 2011, Adm. Mike Mullen, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, astonished the American public when he declared at a congressional hearing that the network of Jalaluddin Haqqani was a "virtual arm" of Pakistan's top spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate. Pakistanis were surprised, as Mullen had been one of the most outspoken defenders of Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies and their efforts to combat Islamist terrorists within Pakistan. Since Mullen's head-turning testimony, pressure has continued to mount on the Obama administration, forcing it take a stronger position on Pakistan's intransigent support for one of the most lethal organizations killing Americans and allied forces in Afghanistan.
On Sept. 7, after considerable hemming and hawing, the Obama administration finally announced it would designate the so-calledHaqqani network as a foreign terrorist organization. The call was long overdue. Members of the Haqqani network move back and forth between Pakistan's North Waziristan Agency (and other localities) as well as the Paktiya, Paktika, and Khost provinces of Afghanistan. The network provides sanctuary, manpower, weapons, financing, and other amenities to several other terrorist and insurgent networks such as the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban, and al Qaeda, among others. Its financial assets are vast and derive from numerous illicit and licit activities spanning South Asia and the Middle East. The Haqqani network is behind some of the most devastating and complex attacks against United States, NATO, and Afghan forces. U.S. officials hold it responsible for the 2008 assault on the Indian Embassy in Kabul, last September's attack on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters employing rocket-propelled grenades, assassination attempts against President Hamid Karzai and other leaders, as well as numerous kidnappings.
The Obama administration touted its decision to list the Haqqanis as an important step in being able to go after the vast resources of the network -- never mind that the move was taken under considerable congressional pressure.
Why the long wait? Listing the Haqqanis was always considered sensitive because Pakistan views the network as one of its few reliable assets to shape Afghanistan in desirable directions, including restraining India's influence and physical presence. Given the tenterhooks upon which U.S.-Pakistan relations have hung over the last two years, critics of the decision will argue it amounts to further provocation for little payoff. Moreover, some in the U.S. State Department thought that the Haqqani network deserved a seat at the negotiating table even if doing so served no other purpose than placating Pakistan, according my discussions with an array of U.S. officials. Others feared that declaring the Haqqanis a foreign terrorist organization would lead to greater insistence from Congress and other quarters to label Pakistan itself a state that supports terrorism -- a club populated by Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria. For this reason, the administration went to great lengths to clarify that this move does not pave the way for putting Pakistan on that inauspicious list.
And that was a huge blunder. Unfortunately, if the administration believed that designating the Haqqani network would have any hope of mobilizing Pakistanis to abandon its jihad habit, categorically removing the threat of a State Department designation from the table vitiated any such potential. Pakistan's response will likely be to double down.
There can be no doubt that Pakistan's unrelenting support for the Afghan Taliban and allied militant organizations, of which the Haqqani network is just one of many, has made any kind of victory -- however defined -- elusive if not unobtainable for the United States and its allies. The crux of the matter: The United States and Pakistan have fundamentally divergent strategic interests in Afghanistan. America's allies, such as India, are Pakistan's enemies, while Pakistan's allies, such as the Haqqani network and the Afghan Taliban, are America's enemies. Unfortunately, Pakistan's ongoing support for these groups has become an altogether easy hook on which the Americans and their allies have hung their failures in Afghanistan.
But even if Pakistan were not actively undermining U.S. and allied efforts in Afghanistan, would the country be any more stable than it was on Sept. 10, 2001? The United States and NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan have stumbled from one strategic disaster to another. The delusional belief in population-centric counterinsurgency is simply the latest chimera that plagued international efforts to bring Afghans a modicum of peace and security. The various national missions strewn across Afghanistan under the ISAF banner have been a disjointed disaster; more like a militarized version of Epcot Center than a cohesive effort. Some of the best development projects these national partners have undertaken have been restricted to their own bases and provisional reconstruction teams (PRTs). One of my most memorable moments during a 2009 visit to Afghanistan occurred at a German PRT, notable for its perfectly paved and LED-lit sidewalks, sleeping quarters equipped with duvets and duvet covers and individually heated commodes. That was surprising enough -- but nothing prepared me for the sight of a scantily clad German rollerblading about the perfectly groomed pavement of the PRT. Needless to say, none of this development was in evidence outside the PRT.
Equally disappointing has been the Afghan government, with its own dogged dedication to remaining a narcokleptocracy. For all the hopes placed on him over the years, here is the stark reality: President Karzai has squandered some 11 years and billions of dollars. Had he shown commitment to better governance, less corruption, and greater transparency, his country may have registered gains that could be sustainable. The most recent "news" about corruption strangling the extraction of national resources serves as only the latest reminder of Karzai's impotence and incompetence.
Pakistan certainly hasn't helped in Afghanistan, but the United States must be clear-eyed about the sources of failure. There is plenty of culpability to go around, and the Haqqanis are only part of a much larger story of disorganization, missed opportunities, and intractable obstacles.
None of which, by the way, gets Pakistan off the hook. After thoroughly accepting its military and political failures in Afghanistan, the United States must also recognize that its haphazard policies toward Pakistan are an enduring part of the problem. For all the buzz about "AfPak," neither the Bush administration nor the Obama team has ever successfully integrated its Pakistan strategy with its Afghanistan strategy. Under Bush, Pakistan continued to partake of U.S. funds as a bona fide partner in the global "war on terror" while continuing to support an array of Islamist terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Haqqani network, and various insurgent groups such as the Afghan Taliban. The Pakistanis have long exploited these inconsistencies in U.S. policy to advance their own interests -- by noting, for instance, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conceded in the fall of 2011 that the United States was meeting with the Haqqani network. She defended the engagements by explaining that the United States saw no contradiction in fighting while talking. Pakistan could clearly justify its own inaction in light of America's discordant policy towards the group. And it did.
Why the discord? Part of the U.S. government -- particularly in some quarters of the the military and intelligence communities -- has long supported designating the group as a foreign terrorist organization. However, others, particularly within the U.S. State Department, demurred from doing so, fearing that it would compromise any sort of negotiated settlement in Afghanistan. Why these officials believed that the Haqqani network had anything to offer is somewhat beyond comprehension. Unlike Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who is a political actor, the Haqqani network is a provider of violence and little more. The Haqqanis do not offer vote banks. They have not established any reputation for providing much-needed social services. Keeping them in the game therefore amounts to little more than pandering to Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies in the hopes of persuading Pakistan to be a part of some solution to Afghanistan rather than a continued hindrance.
Now that the Haqqani network has been designated, this interagency bickering has been ostensibly silenced. As Heritage Foundation scholar Lisa Curtis correctly noted, this action will enable the U.S. government to enlist more cooperation from other foreign governments and put greater pressure on the network's ability to raise funds in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and elsewhere. It would also give some hope to Afghans who have looked warily at the various terrorists, insurgents, and warlords seeking to gain control over their country without offering anything positive in return.
Let's be clear: Designating the Haqqani network was a welcome, if belated, move. The problem is that Pakistan's military and intelligence agency has paid no price for continuing to support the very organizations that the United States recognizes as its enemies. After the mistaken U.S. killing of 24 Pakistani troops in November 2011 and Pakistan's subsequent decision to close the ground supply routes to Afghanistan, Pakistani officials watched warily as the United States learned to make do without them. Cutting the cord to Pakistan and thus freeing them to wage their war in Afghanistan, U.S. officials began imagining even bolder steps to punish Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies for continuing to use militant proxies in the region -- many of whom are killing Americans with weapons subsidized by the American taxpayer
All of which explains why Pakistan eventually backed down. Notably, the Pakistanis did not get a higher price per vehicle, and they got no more apology than they had received in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. What was achieved by this was important: Pakistan could reinsert itself into the game, remain relevant to U.S. interests, and stave off any further aggressive U.S. action.
As the 11th anniversary of 9/11 and the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom looms, Pakistan's commitment to the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network has likely intensified rather than diminished. In part, this is because Pakistan believes its strategic interests have been jeopardized, not secured. Pakistan believes that India has exploited the U.S. security umbrella and is poised to harm Pakistan's interests in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. While Americans and certainly Indians dismiss these claims, they remain bedrock truth for Pakistan -- diplomatic niceties, financial allurements, and conventional weapons have done little to persuade Pakistan to change course.
If the United States does want Pakistan's military and intelligence agency to change course, the United States needs to change course as well. Designating the Haqqani network -- like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and other Pakistan-based terror groups -- should pave the way for public discussions about declaring Pakistan to be a state that supports terrorism. After all, surely Pakistan's support for terrorism exceeds that of Cuba and Iran, two of the four countries so designated?
The logical and empirical case for listing Pakistan is strong; what about the diplomatic one? Taking the threat of action off the table signaled to Pakistan that the United States is still not serious about the nature of the threat that Pakistan poses. Why would any of Pakistan's men in khaki take this latest designation seriously? Why would they expect that this designation would be any different from that of the other numerous Pakistani groups so designated -- i.e., quickly ignored? The answer is simple: They won't.
The United States needs to either take its counterterrorism goals seriously or stop harping about them. Continuing to berate the Pakistanis for supporting these groups while enabling their ability to do so only erodes U.S. credibility further.
Of course, one of the principal reasons not to declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism is that it is virtually impossible to get off that list. It also punishes the elected civilian government, which has no control over Pakistan's jihad policies even if it objects to them. The United States needs to find a way to be selective in its punitive actions -- there should be a clear path forward with identified and verifiable steps that Pakistan can take to rehabilitate itself over time. Efforts to designate Pakistan as a state that sponsors terrorism must lay out key milestones that would enable it to remove this pariah status should it choose to, and offer inducements for doing so.
The United States must also think more creatively about sanctioning individuals rather than entire organizations, much less the entire country. The United States should consider creative ways to pursue specific individuals for whom there is credible evidence of material support to designated groups. This could include U.S. Department of Treasury moves against personal financial resources, coordinated visa restrictions among the United States and European partners, and coordinated actions through Interpol that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of the individuals in question. All that might make the Pakistani ISI finally sit up and take notice.
Alternatively, the United States can pat itself on the back for finally having the courage to simply state the obvious: that the Haqqani network is a terrorist group that kills Americans. And keep flying home those body bags -- also paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.
2)Official: 'Top' Pakistani intel officials support for terror network
The United States believes that the leaders of Pakistan's intelligence services are directly supporting the Haqqani terrorist network, which has increased its attacks against U.S. troops and other targets in Afghanistan, a U.S. military official told CNN Friday.
The accusation goes even further than declarations this week by U.S. officials like Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence provided support for the Haqqani network in its attack last week in Kabul against the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters.
Until now American officials, when asked, generally indicated that it is only elements of the Pakistani intelligence service that are involved in supporting terrorism.
But the official told CNN, "I am not caveating this. We believe this support goes right to the top of the ISI."
CIA Director David Petraeus met this week with Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, chief of the ISI, to warn him against supporting the Haqqanis.
"We have credible intelligence obtained through a series of methods that directly implicate the ISI" in having "knowledge or support" for Haqqani activities, the official told CNN. "The ISI is providing financing, safe haven, advice and guidance" to the Haqqanis.
He noted the ISI uses retired senior officers as proxies in some cases, but he was adamant the latest intelligence shows support from the highest level of current serving ISI personnel.
On Thursday, Mullen minced few words in accusing the intelligence service of supporting terrorists responsible for recent attacks, and more broadly, the Pakistani government of supporting terrorism.
"In many ways ... the support of terrorism is part of their national strategy to protect their own vital interests," Mullen told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "In choosing to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy, the government of Pakistan, and most especially the Pakistani Army and ISI, jeopardizes not only the prospect of our strategic partnership, but Pakistan's opportunity to be a respected nation with legitimate, regional influence."
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta repeatedly this week has said the Haqqani attacks, which are often against U.S. troops in Afghanistan are cannot be tolerated.
Pakistan officials denied the claims.
"I'm completely denying that our intelligence or our military service would be helping them," Pakistan's foreign minister said in an interview on CNN's "Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
A statement from the Pakistani military said the Mullen accusations were "not based on facts" and said the head of the military, Chief of Army Staff
Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was "categorically denying the accusations of proxy war and ISI support to Haqqanis."
The spate of public U.S. criticism this week is a "manifestation of our frustration" with Pakistan's failure to act, the U.S. military official said.
American officials have been careful so far not to spell out what military action, if any, the United States would take against the Haqqani network inside Pakistan, but CNN reported earlier this week that the CIA has conducted drone strikes in Pakistan aimed at Haqqani network members.
3)Pakistan's New Generation of Terrorists
Pakistani authorities have long had ties to domestic militant groups that have largely focused their efforts abroad, as in Afghanistan and India. But with Pakistan joining the United States as an ally in the post-9/11 "war on terrorism," experts say Islamabad has seen harsh blowback from Washington for its support of militant groups. In May 2011, al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed by a U.S. raid at a compound not far from Islamabad, raising new questions about Pakistan's commitment to fighting terrorism. Meanwhile, leadership elements of al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban, along with other terrorist groups, have made Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal areas their home, and now work closely with a wide variety of Pakistani militant groups, like the Haqqani Network, which in September 2012 was added to the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). Links between many of these new and existing groups have strengthened, say experts, giving rise to fresh concerns for the country's stability.
Many experts say it is difficult to determine how many terrorist groups are operating out of Pakistan. Most of these groups have tended to fall into one of the five distinct categories laid out byAshley J. Tellis, a senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in a January 2008 testimony (PDF)before a U.S. House Foreign Affairs subcommittee.
Sectarian: Groups such as the Sunni Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and the Shia Tehrik-e-Jafria, which are engaged in violence within Pakistan;
Anti-Indian: Terrorist groups that operate with the alleged support of the Pakistani military and the intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), and the Harakat ul-Mujahadeen (HuM). This Backgrounder profiles these organizations, which have been active in Kashmir;
Afghan Taliban: The original Taliban movement and especially its Kandahari leadership centered around Mullah Mohammad Omar, believed to be now living in Quetta;
Al-Qaeda and its affiliates: The organization led by Osama bin Laden and other non-South Asian terrorists believed to be ensconced in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Rohan Gunaratna of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore says other foreign militant groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Islamic Jihad group, the Libyan Islamic Fighters Group, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement are also located in FATA;
The Pakistani Taliban: Groups consisting of extremist outfits in the FATA, led by individuals such as Hakimullah Mehsud of the Mehsud tribe in South Waziristan, Maulana Faqir Muhammad of Bajaur, and Maulana Qazi Fazlullah of the Tehrik-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM).
There are some other militant groups that do not fit into any of the above categories--for instance, secessionist groups such as the Balochistan Liberation Army in the southwest province of Balochistan. BLA was declared a terrorist organization by Pakistan in 2006. Also, a new militant network, often labeled the Punjabi Taliban, has gained prominence after the major 2008 and 2009 attacks in the Punjabi cities of Lahore, Islamabad, and Rawalpindi.
Hassan Abbas, a professor of international security studies at the Washington-based National Defense University, wrote in 2009 that the Punjabi Taliban network is a loose conglomeration of members of banned militant groups of Punjabi origin--sectarian as well as those focused on Kashmir--that have developed strong connections with the Pakistani Taliban, Afghan Taliban, and other militant groups based in FATA and the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).
Since there is also greater coordination between all these groups, say experts, lines have blurred regarding which category a militant group fits in. The Haqqani Network, a semi-autonomous faction of the Taliban, is particularly emblematic of the complex interrelations between militant groups in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. A 2011 report from theCombating Terrorism Center (CTC), an independent research institution based at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, characterizes the group as a "nexus player" with ties to Pakistan's ISI, al-Qaeda, Uzbek militants, and other global Islamists. "For the past three decades, the Haqqani Network has functioned as an enabler for other groups and as the fountainhead (manba') of local, regional and global militancy," write Don Rassler and Vahid Brown in the report.
The Pakistani Taliban
Supporters of the Afghan Taliban in the tribal areas transitioned into a mainstream Taliban force of their own as a reaction to the Pakistani army's incursion into the tribal areas, which began in 2002, to hunt down militants. In December 2007, about thirteen disparate militant groups coalesced under the umbrella of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban, with militant commander Baitullah Mehsud from South Waziristan as the leader. After Mehsud was killed in August 2009 in a U.S. missile strike, his cousin and deputyHakimullah Mehsud took over as leader of the TTP. Experts say most adult men in Pakistan's tribal areas grew up carrying arms, but it is only in the last few years that they have begun to organize themselves around a Taliban-style Islamic ideology, pursuing an agenda much similar to that of the Afghan Taliban. Abbas writes in a January 2008 paper that the Pakistani Taliban killed approximately two hundred tribal leaders and effectively established themselves as an alternative.
TTP not only has representation from all of FATA's seven agencies (see this interactive map of the area) but also from several settled districts of the NWFP. According to some estimates, the Pakistani Taliban collectively has around thirty thousand to thirty-five thousand members. Among their other objectives, they have announced a defensive jihad against the Pakistani army, enforcement of sharia, and a plan to unite against NATO forces in Afghanistan.
The Haqqani Network, whose operations and relations straddle the Durand Line, has proven a valuable ally in some of these pursuits. The Haqqanis have not only fought alongside the TTP and Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan, they have also served as an influential mediator between the TTP and officials in Islamabad. Pakistan has long been a large supporter and beneficiary of the Haqqanis, according to CTC. The network has helped Islamabad manage militant groups in FATA, and provided leverage against India in the struggle over Kashmir.
Pakistani authorities accused the TTP's former leader, Baitullah Mehsud, of assassinating former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in December 2007. Some experts have questioned the ability of the different groups working under the Pakistani Taliban umbrella to stay united, given the rivalries between the various tribes. However, the group has proved since its inception, through a string of suicide attacks, that it poses a serious threat to the country's stability. On May 12, 2011, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for bombing a paramilitary academy that killed eighty people and injured more than 100 (BBC). A Taliban spokesman said the suicide assault "was the first revenge for Osama's martyrdom" (al-Jazeera). TTP also expressed transnational ambitions when it claimed responsibility for a failed bomb attack in New York in May 2010.
Changing Face of Terrorism
Violence in Pakistan has been on the rise as more militant groups target the state. According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a terrorism database, 8,953 civilians were killed interrorist violence from January 2009 to September 2012, compared to around 1,600 civilian deaths from 2003 to 2006. This new generation of terrorists is also more willing to engage in suicide attacks; in a 2009 documentary (CBC), journalist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy reported that the Taliban are recruiting increasingly younger children to carry out suicide attacks. According to SATP, there were seventy-six suicide attacks in Pakistan in 2009 as compared to only two in 2003. Gunaratna attributes this to the influence of al-Qaeda. He says bin Laden's group is training most of the terrorist groups in FATA.
Besides providing militant groups in Pakistan with technical expertise and capabilities, al-Qaeda is also promoting cooperation among a variety of them, say some experts. Don Rassler, an associate at CTC, writes that al-Qaeda "has assumed a role as mediator and coalition builder among various Pakistani militant group factions by promoting the unification of entities that have opposed one another or had conflicting ideas about whether to target the Pakistani state." Al-Qaeda's greatest strength today, says counterterrorism expert Brian Fishman, is its "ability to infiltrate and co-opt other militant groups that have existing operational capability."
In an interview with CFR, Bruce Riedel, the original coordinator of President Obama's policy on the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, also stressed al-Qaeda's growing cooperation with groups like the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and others. "The notion that you can somehow selectively resolve the al-Qaeda problem while ignoring the larger jihadist sea in which [al-Qaeda] swims has failed in the past and will fail in the future," he said.
In December 2011, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi-al-Alami --a splinter of the sectarian group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi --claimed responsibility for deadly attacks on Shias in Afghanistan. But some experts raised doubts over the group's capacity to carry out such an attack on its own, pointing to possible support from al-Qaeda, Pakistani Taliban, or "rogue elements inside Afghanistan" (AFP). Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid writes "al-Qaeda and its attendant Pakistani extremists" are using sectarian warfare as a tool (Spectator) to divide Afghanistan and thwart any U.S. effort to reconcile with the Taliban.
Experts say militants have also expanded their control over other parts of Pakistan such as in South Punjab, some settled areas of NWFP, and as far south as Karachi. Military analyst Ayesha Siddiqa writes, "South Punjab has become the hub of jihadism" (Newsline). She argues South Punjabi jihadists have been connected with the Afghan jihad since the 1980s and the majority is still engaged in fighting in Afghanistan. Some estimates put between five thousand and nine thousand youth from South Punjab fighting in Afghanistan and Waziristan. According to some experts, the Karachi wing of TTP provides logistics support and recruits new members.
Pakistan's security forces are struggling to confront these domestic militants. As thisBackgrounder points out, efforts are under way to reform the forces, but challenges remain both in terms of willingness to fight some of these militant groups as well as capabilities. Security forces, especially the army and the police, have increasingly become the target for the militant groups. In October 2009, militants attacked the army headquarters in Rawalpindi and held around forty people hostage for over twenty hours, much to the army's embarrassment.
These attacks have heralded a new period in army and ISI relations with many of these militant groups, say analysts. Steve Coll, president of the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, says since the bloody encounter between Pakistan's security forces and militant Islamic students in Islamabad's Red Mosque in 2007, there has been a pattern of some of these groups previously under state patronage, breaking away from the state. He says Pakistan's security establishment is now trying to figure out how to control them.
Most analysts believe that even though the Pakistani army and the ISI are now more willing to go after militant groups, they continue some form of alliance with groups, such as the Haqqanis, that they want to use as a strategic hedge against India and Afghanistan. But Pakistan's security establishment denies these charges. In October 2009, ISI Chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha said: "The ISI is a professional agency and does not have links (DailyTimes) with any militant outfit including the Taliban."
However, in April 2011, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen accused the ISI of having "a long relationship with the Haqqani network." Addressing the Haqqanis, Mullen said, "is critical to the solution set in Afghanistan."
The revelation in May 2011 that Osama bin Laden had been hiding in a compound around the corner from the Pakistan military academy at Kakul--Pakistan's version of West Point--raised new questions about the ISI's commitment to counterterrorism. CIA Chief Leon Panetta says the agency ruled out partnering with Pakistan out of concern that Pakistanis"might alert the targets" (TIME), highlighting the deep distrust in the relationship. Both President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani defended Pakistan's military and intelligence services, declaring claims of support for terrorists to be "baseless speculation" (WashPost).
The prospect of further deteriorating relations is concerning to both countries, but it remains to be seen whether mutual need will be enough to keep the relationship alive. "Pakistan needs the U.S. for its economic aid, and Washington needs Islamabad to continue its fight against terrorism and because it is home to the most important routes supplying the war in Afghanistan," writes Susanne Koelbl in Germany's Der Spiegel.
4)PAKISTAN & TERRORISM: The Evidence
The international community is yet to understand clearly that Pakistan's State-sponsorship of terrorism against India in Indian territory is not related only to Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). This started in the North-Eastern tribal areas of India in the 1950s, spread to the Punjab in the 1970s, to J&K in 1989 onwards and to other parts of India, including New Delhi, since the late 1990s.
From 1956 to 1971, it provided safe haven to the Naga and Mizo hostiles in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of the then East Pakistan and gave them arms and training assistance. During the war in East Pakistan in December,1971, an Indian commando group raided the headquarters of the Mizo National Front (MNF) in the CHT. Laldenga, the leader of the MNF, and other MNF cadres managed to escape into the Arakan Division of Myanmar, leaving behind all their records, which were captured by the Indian commando group. The records gave complete details of the MNF's contacts with the ISI and the training and arms assistance received.
From Myanmar, the ISI took Laldenga to Islamabad, where he lived till 1975. In 1975, Laldenga got disenchanted with the ISI. He realised that the ISI was using the MNF to achieve Pakistan's strategic objective against India and that it had no interest in the future of the Mizos.
He escaped into Afghanistan, travelled from Kabul to Geneva, contacted the Indian diplomatic mission in Switzerland and sought negotiations with the Govt. of India, which ultimately led to a peaceful political settlement in Mizoram. During his talks with the Government of India, he gave complete details of the ISI's role in instigating acts of terrorism and insurgency in the North-East. The Govt. of Pakistan totally rejected Indian evidence of the ISI's sponsorship of terrorism in the North-East.
In the late 1970s, the ISI contacted some members of the Sikh diaspora in the UK and Canada and instigated them to take up a fight against the Govt. of India for what was called an independent Khalistan in Indian Punjab. A number of terrorist organisations came into being such as the Dal Khalsa, the Babbar Khalsa, the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), the Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) etc. The ISI gave them funds, arms and training in camps set up in Pakistani territory.
The explosive post-1967 increase in hijackings by terrorists all over the world led to the adoption of international conventions against hijacking and other criminal acts against civil aviation such as those of the Hague (1970) and Montreal (1971) . These conventions made it obligatory for nations to arrest and prosecute hijackers or extradite them to the countries whose aircraft were hijacked. Pakistan has never co-operated with India under these Conventions.
Since these Conventions were adopted, there have been seven hijackings of aircraft of the Indian Airlines Corporation (IAC) by ISI-trained terrorist organisations. Five of these were by Sikh terrorists, all India-based, one by Kashmiri extremists, again India-based, and the seventh in December 1999 by the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), a Pakistani-based organisation of Pakistani office-bearers and cadres, which was designated by the US as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation in October,1997, under its then name of Harkat-ul-Ansar and which became in 1998 a member of Osama bin Laden's International Islamic Front For Jehad Against the US and Israel and signed bin Laden's first fatwa against the US as stated in the US State Department's Report on the Patterns of Global Terrorism during 2000 released on April 30,2001, by Gen. (retd) Colin Powell, US Secretary of State.
All these hijackings took place when the Pakistani military was in power. There was no hijacking of Indian planes by ISI-supported terrorist organisations whenever Pakistan was under a democratically-elected political leadership. Five of these hijackings took place under Zia-ul-Haq and one each under Yahya Khan and Pervez Musharraf.
After a series of five hijackings in quick succession by Sikh terrorists between 1981 and 1984, India managed to get clinching evidence of ISI involvement in 1984 in the form of a West German Government report that the pistol given to the hijackers of August 24,1984, at Lahore by the ISI was part of a consignment supplied to the Pakistan Government by the West German manufacturers. This resulted in a severe warning to Pakistan by the Reagan administration and a total discontinuance by the ISI of the use of hijacking as a weapon against India for 15 years till the latest hijacking on December 24,1999, after Musharraf seized power on October 12,1999.
The first hijacking in 1981 by a group of terrorists of the Dal Khalsa headed by Gajendra Singh was terminated at Lahore by the Pakistani authorities and Gajendra Singh and the other highjackers were ostensibly taken into custody. The Zia administration rejected India's repeated demands for handing them over to India for investigation and trial, even though all of them were Indian nationals. It told India and the Reagan Administration, which had taken up the matter with Islamabad, that the highjackers would be tried under Pakistani laws in a Pakistani court.
The highjackers were not kept in a prison. Instead, they were allowed to live in the Nankana Sahib gurudwara in Lahore and direct the terrorist activities in Indian Punjab from there. From the gurudwara, they orchestrated four more hijackings by different Sikh groups. After repeated Indian protests, the Pakistani authorities held a sham trial in which the hijackers were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. Instead of sending them to jail after their conviction, different Pakistani administrations allowed them to continue to live in the gurudwara and organise terrorist activities in Indian Punjab.
In June, 1985, terrorists of the Babbar Khalsa, Vancouver, headed by Talwinder Singh Parmar, a Canadian national, had the Kanishka aircraft of Air India flying from Toronto to India blown up off the Irish coast, killing all the passengers. As the Canadian investigation into the terrorist incident zeroed in on the involvement of Talwinder Singh Parmar, he escaped to Pakistan and took up residence in the Nankana Sahib gurudwara and from there, guided terrorist activities in the Indian Punjab.
Again in June,1985, Bhajan Lal, former Chief Minister of Haryana, and Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, visited the US. Before their visit, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found evidence of a plot by a group of terrorists of the ISYF, Canada, led by Lal Singh alias Manjit Singh, a Canadian national, to assassinate them. As the FBI's investigation zeroed in on Lal Singh, he too escaped to Lahore and took up residence there under a Muslim name in a house belonging to the Jammat-e-Islami (JEI) and started directing the terrorist activities in India from there.
To repeated requests from the Canadian and US authorities for tracing and arresting Talwinder Singh Parmar and Lal Singh, the Pakistani Government replied that they were not in Pakistan and might be operating in Indian Punjab. Ultimately in 1992, the Canadian and US authorities obtained conclusive evidence that both of them had been living in Lahore. When they again took up the matter with Islamabad, the ISI asked them to leave the country. They both entered India, where Lal Singh was arrested by the Indian Police and Talwinder Singh Parmar was killed in an encounter with the Punjab Police along with a Pakistani national, who was suspected to be an official of the ISI. The Pakistani authorities refused to accept his dead body under the pretext that he was not a Pakistani national, but his relatives demonstrated in their home town in Pakistani Punjab demanding that his dead body should be brought back to Pakistan for burial.
Before 1992, the Government of India had repeatedly taken up with the USA the question of Pakistani sponsorship of terrorism in Punjab, but Washington DC rejected all Indian evidence against Pakistan under the pretext that the evidence was based on interrogation during which the Punjab Police must have used torture.
During his interrogation, Lal Singh gave complete details of Pakistani sponsorship of terrorism in Punjab. The Government of India invited the counter-terrorism experts of the US and other Western countries to come to India and interrogate him. They were assured that no Indian official would be present during the interrogation so that they could satisfy themselves that no force or torture was used. Some Western countries accepted the offer and sent their experts to interrogate him. They went back satisfied that India's complaint of Pakistani sponsorship of terrorism in Punjab stood fully corroborated.
The US was the only Western country which declined the Indian offer. It was afraid that if he told the US interrogators about the Pakistani role, they would no longer be able to reject his statement as obtained under torture. Nor was the US interested in taking him to the US for investigation and prosecution since it was afraid that if he testified before a US court about the Pakistani sponsorship of terrorism in Punjab, Washington DC would no longer be able to evade declaring Pakistan a State-sponsor of terrorism. They closed the investigation against him on the ground that this was unnecessary since he was already being prosecuted in India.
Before 1993, Dawood Ibrahim, the notorious narcotics smuggler and mafia leader, his brother and the principal members of his gang were living in Dubai, but used to frequently visit Karachi in connection with their narcotics smuggling business.
Details of their close nexus with the ISI came during the investigations into the Mumbai blasts of March 1993. The perpetrators were taken to Dubai with Indian passports. At Dubai, Dawood got them Pakistani visas on plain pieces of paper from the local Pakistani consulate. They were then taken to Karachi by Pakistan International Airways (PIA) flights, received at the tarmac by Dawood Ibrahim's representative in Karachi, and taken out of the airport without immigration formalities.
They were then taken to a training camp in the North-West Frontier Province, suspected to have been run by the Harkat-ul-Ansar (now called the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen) and, after training, sent back to Mumbai by the same route. Their plain paper visas were removed from them by Dawood's men and destroyed. Their Indian passports did not show any entry of their visit to Pakistan.
Dawood separately sent the explosives, detonators and timing devices given by the ISI by boat to clandestine landing points on the Maharashtra coast. One of these detonators and timing devices was recovered from an explosive device, which had failed to explode at Mumbai, and given to US law-enforcement officials for examination by their forensic science laboratory. They confirmed that the timing device was of US origin and part of a consignment given to the Pakistani Government during the Afghan war of the 1980s for use in Afghanistan. Austrian experts certified that hand-grenades of Austrian design found on the spot had been manufactured in a Pakistan ordnance factory with technology and machine tools sold by an Austrian company to Pakistan's Defence Ministry.
While some perpetrators of the blasts were arrested by the Mumbai Police, others including the members of the Memon family of Mumbai, who were close to Dawood Ibrahim and had played a leading role in organising the explosions, managed to escape to Karachi via Dubai or Kathmandu. When the US, at India's instance, started making enquiries about their presence in Karachi, the ISI took them to Bangkok, kept them in a hotel there till the US enquiries had ceased and then brought them back to Karachi. Some members of the Memon Family subsequently got fed up with the ISI and returned to India in 1994, where they were arrested and interrogated. They gave full details of the ISI's role in the Mumbai blasts.
When the Government of India took up with Interpol and the authorities of the United Arab Emirates the question of the arrest and deportation of Dawood for his involvement in the explosions, the Dubai authorities pressurised him in 1994 to leave Dubai. He and Chhota Shakeel, his lieutenant, shifted to Karachi, from where they supervised their underworld operations in India, Nepal and elsewhere.
Many Caribbean and South Pacific countries offer fugitives from justice what is called 'economic citizenship' to enable them to evade arrest and deportation to countries where they are wanted for crimes. This citizenship is sold in return for a minimum deposit in foreign currency kept by them in local banks.
Pakistan does not have any laws providing for such 'economic citizenship', but its Government, on the ISI's advice, informally awarded economic citizenship to Dawood Ibrahim, who was issued a Pakistani passport under a different name. Similarly, Chhota Shakeel was given a Pakistani passport under a different name.
It is believed that in the 1990s, Dawood Ibrahim had financially helped Pakistan in the clandestine procurement of nuclear and missile technology and components and that this factor too probably influenced Islamabad's decision to grant him economic citizenship.
In 1995, US President Bill Clinton, by presidential decision directive number 42, designated the activities of organised crime groups a major threat to national security and made it a priority for American intelligence agencies. A similar decision was taken by John Major's government in the United Kingdom on the recommendation of Stella Rimington, then Director-General of MI5, and by other European Union governments.
Since then, Dawood Ibrahim's gang was amongst the organised crime groups being closely monitored by various Western intelligence agencies, thereby keeping him largely confined to Karachi, where he is a privileged guest of the ISI.
Indian investigators had a cast-iron case against Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Shakeel and the two Memon brothers still living in Karachi. This was based on the interrogation of those captured, xerox copies of the manifests of the flights by which they went to Karachi from Dubai for training and returned to Dubai after the training, evidence regarding their stay in Bangkok and technical intelligence.
Since the Pakistani authorities could not question the credibility of this evidence, they have been taking up the stand since 1994 that none of them is in Pakistan. When the Government of India took up the matter with Musharraf during his visit to New Delhi in July,2001, he took up the same stand.
Musharraf was once again proved a "straight-faced you know what" by an investigative cover story carried by the "Newsline", a reputed monthly journal of Pakistan, in its September, 2001, issue under the title "Portrait of a Don". The report, inter alia, said: "Dawood Ibrahim and his team, Mumbai's notorious underworld clan including his righthand man Chota Shakeel and Jamal Memon, are on India’s most wanted list for a series of bomb blasts in Mumbai and other criminal activites. After the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, the gang have made Karachi their new home and base of operations. Living under fake names and IDs, and provided protection by government agencies, they have built up their underworld empire in Karachi employing local talent........ Dawood Ibrahim has been operating out of Karachi with the apparent blessings of the Government."
Dawood Ibrahim and his gang have had very little to do with the terrorism in Punjab and J & K. Pakistan's jehadi organisations have no apparent interest in them. And yet, the military junta has not been arresting and handing them over to India due to fears that their interrogation might bring out conclusive evidence about the ISI's involvement in the Mumbai blasts and about its use of this mafia group for the clandestine procurement of nuclear and missile technology and components from the West and North Korea .
The Musharraf junta has consistently avoided carrying out its obligations under the Hague and Montreal Conventions in relation to the hijacking of December,1999.
The use by the ISI of the HUM, the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), all Pakistan-based organisations, with Pakistani office-bearers and cadres and with links with the Al Qaeda for sponsoring terrorism in J & K and now in New Delhi is well-known. Details of this could be found in our previous articles at http://www.saag.org.
The most damning indictment of the terrorist activities of these organisations from Pakistani territory against India and their links with the Al Qaeda is to be found in the State Department's report on the Global Patterns of Terrorism during 2000. This report is based not on Indian evidence, but on independent evidence gathered by the USA.
The credible nature of the evidence against them could be understood from the fact that they have been banned by the UK under the Terrorism Act of 2000 and designated as Foreign Terrorist Organisations by the US under a 1996 law.
The Musharraf junta has at every stage refused to act or avoided acting against terrorists operating from its territory against India, whether they be connected with the North-East or Punjab or J & K or narcotics smuggling. The pretexts used are that either the evidence is not credible or that the terrorists wanted by India are not in its territory even though its own media has been reporting on their presence and activities from its territory.
The junta is so blatantly able to encourage and protect the activities of terrorists from its territory because of its conviction that the US would not go beyond a point in pressurising it to act against terrorists threatening Indian lives and interests so long as it extends full support to the US against terrorists threatening US nationals and interests.
This conviction has only been strengthened by the recent shocking decision of President Bush designating the LET and the JEM as indulging in terrorism against India and Pakistan thereby pre-empting any demand for action against Pakistan for violation of the Security Resolution No. 1373. There has not been a single proved or reported instance of these organisations indulging in terrorism against Pakistan.
On September 28, 2001, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1373 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. This established a body of legally binding obligations on all member states.
Its provisions require, among other things, that all member states prevent the financing of terrorism and deny safe haven to terrorists. States will need to review and strengthen their border security operations, banking practices, customs and immigration procedures, law enforcement and intelligence cooperation, and arms transfer controls. All states are required to increase cooperation and share information with respect to these efforts. The Resolution also called upon each state to report on the steps it had taken, and established a committee of the Security Council to monitor implementation.
Since September 11, 2001, the US has taken the following steps:
* On September 23, Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, froze all the assets of 27 foreign individuals, groups, and entities linked to terrorist acts or supporting terrorism and authorized the freezing of assets of those who commit, or pose a significant threat of , acts of terrorism.
* On October 5, 2001, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, redesignated 25 terrorist organizations (including Al Qaeda) as foreign terrorist organizations under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Giving material support or resources to any of these foreign organizations is a felony under U.S.law. The HUM figured in the list. Subsequently, in the last week of December, the LET and the JEM were also added to the list.
* On October 12, the U.S. added 39 names to the list of individuals and organizations linked to terrorism or terrorist financing under E.O. 13224.
* On October 26, the U.S. enacted the USA PATRIOT Act, which significantly expanded the ability of U.S. law enforcement to investigate and prosecute persons who engage in terrorist acts.
* On October 29, the U.S. created a Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force aimed at denying entry into the U.S. of persons suspected of being terrorists and locating, detaining, prosecuting and deporting terrorists already in the U.S.
* On November 2, the U.S. designated 22 terrorist organizations located throughout the world under E.O. 13224, thus, highlighting the need to focus on terrorist organizations worldwide.
* On November 7, the U.S. added 62 new organizations and individuals, all of whom were either linked to the Al Barakaat conglomerate or the Al Taqwa Bank, which have been identified as supplying funds to terrorists.
* On December 4, the U.S. froze under E.O. 13224 the assets and accounts of the Holy Land Foundation in Richardson, Texas, whose funds are used to support the Hamas terrorist organization, and two other entities, bringing the total to 153.
* On December 5, the Secretary of State designated 39 groups as "terrorist organizations" under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended by the new USA PATRIOT Act, in order to strengthen the United States' ability to exclude supporters of terrorism or to deport them if they are found within US borders. The list of such designated organizations is called the "Terrorist Exclusion List." The HUM, the LET and the JEM figure in the list.
Between September 11 and December 6, 2001, the U.S. blocked a total of 79 financial accounts within the U.S.under E.O. 13224. The accounts totaled $33.7 million. Included was the November 7 blocking by the Department of the Treasury of the property and interests in property of several financial institutions and accounts -- primarily those of the "Al Barakaat" organization.
According to a statement made by the British Government in the House of Commons on October 15,2001,the UK had till then frozen 35 suspect bank accounts, immobilising more than £63 million of suspect terrorist funds. France has announced freezing of suspected terrorist funds/assets worth Pound Sterling 2.7 million.
On November 17,2001, the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on each IMF member to freeze all terrorist assets within its jurisdiction and to implement fully UNSCR 1373. Members should publish monthly reports by February 1, 2002, listing terrorist assets subject to freezing and the amount of assets frozen.
How did Musharraf comply with the directives of the UN Security Council and the IMF? After taking over as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee on October 8,2001, Gen. Mohammad Aziz called a meeting of all the jehadi organisations and briefed them on the various steps which the junta would have to take in pursuance of the UN resolution and pressure from the US. Even before this meeting, the Al Rashid Trust of Karachi had transferred most of the amounts held in its name in different banks to new accounts in the names of individuals, who had not come to the adverse notice of the US. Similar action was taken by other jehadi organisations after the briefing by Aziz.
Pakistan-Afghanistan was the main epicentre of international Islamic terrorism inspired by bin Laden and the Taliban and there was a large flow of funds to various organisations in Pakistan associated with terrorism from contributors in Pakistan, the West, Saudi Arabia and other members of the Ummah. One would have, therefore, expected that the funds frozen in Pakistan would have been much larger than in any other country.
On the contrary, the total amount was derisively low. The two accounts of the HUM had a total of Rs. 4,742, the JEM had Rs. 900, the Al Rashid Trust, which handled the accounts of the Taliban and the LET, had Rs.2.7 million and US $ 30. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, of the Al Jihad, Egypt, who operated the accounts of the Al Qaeda, had just US $ 252.Pakistani Rs.68 are equivalent to one US dollar.
The "News" of Islamabad reported as follows on January 1,2002: "The frozen accounts had a balance of $190,554 and close to Rs 10 million till December 20,2001. The Government has sent the details of these bank accounts, including that of the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad, to the US authorities. Experts said the policy to freeze the accounts in "pieces" gave ample time to most of these account-holders to withdraw their money."
Of the terrorist organisations and their supporters in Pakistan figuring in the various US lists, which are important from India's point of view are the Al Rashid Trust, the HUM, the JEM and the LET, all of which were connected with the Taliban and bin Laden.
In an investigative report published by the "Asia Times" on October 26,2001, Pepe Escobar wrote as follows: " The Pakistani-based Al-Rashid Trust is one of the key organizations included in America's black book of terrorist groups. American intelligence - for many a cynic, a contradiction in terms - may think that the elusive Osama bin Laden is the main source of hard cash for Al-Rashid. But in fact it is the other way around: Al-Rashid is one of Osama's many sources of
"Asia Times Online has learned from a key source how the trust is "very much part of Osama's international work" and that it is closely linked with the Taliban and with separatists fighting in Kashmir. The source says that "they [members of the trust] are financially helping the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Jaish-i-Mohammad".
"Mufti Rashid is the amir (leader) of the trust. Mufti Abu Lubaba is the
ideologue, while Maulvi Sibghatullah of the Dar-ul-Uloom (religious school) in Karachi is the director of the trust in Kandahar, the southern Afghan city that serves as the headquarters for the Taliban. Only the two muftis have direct access to bin Laden.
"Al-Rashid is also closely linked with the Jaish-i-Mohammad, a Pakistan-based militant religious organization, which is now also on the US terrorist list. Al-Rashid and Jaish-i-Mohammad share office buildings across the country, although some are strictly for the use of the Jaish-i-Mohammad. The groups also have common cadres, who undertake fundraising activities for both organizations. Indeed, it is often difficult to distinguish between the two outfits. Maulana Masood Azhar of the Jaish-i-Mohammad regularly writes for the weekly newspaper of Al-Rashid, the Zarb-I-Momin.
"Zarb-i-Momin, a weekly, reports the jihadi activities of the Taliban and the Jaish-i-Mohammad. It was closely associated with the Harakat-ul-Ansaar (another one on the US terror list) before the Jaish-i-Mohammad was founded in early 2000. The paper spews ultra-venomous propaganda against Hindus, Jews and Christians.
"Pakistani banks, after President General Pervez Musharraf's spectacular pro-US realignment, froze Al-Rashid's bank accounts, but this does not seem to pose a problem: the trust opened new accounts in the names of individuals. The biggest source of funds for Al-Rashid are the Middle East and everywhere where Pakistanis can be found, especially in Britain. The trust also has a network in South Africa. Al-Rashid also raises a lot of money in Pakistan. And Osama bin Laden, even if he cannot access an ATM in Kandahar, obviously remains an elite financial recipient."
In "the Washington Times" of November 6, 2001, Julian West reported as follows: "The Taliban regime is receiving weapons from Pakistani arms dealers who are funded by sympathetic local businessmen and a religious trust linked to al Qaeda, the international terror network headed by fugitive Osama bin Laden.
"Intelligence sources in Pakistan have described how arms are sent to the Taliban from the arms bazaars of Pakistan using a complex network of money changers, arms dealers and smugglers.
"According to these sources, the main sponsor of the illicit trade is Al Rashid Trust, a Karachi-based extremist organization whose bank accounts recently were frozen by the Pakistani government after it was suspected of channeling funds to al Qaeda, the prime suspect in the September 11 attacks on the United States. The other principal backers are a few wealthy businessmen based mainly in Lahore, Pakistan.
"In the past few weeks, Al Rashid Trust is believed to have smuggled an undetermined quantity of weapons and ammunition in trucks containing relief supplies such as blankets or wheat.
"The arms have been shipped through the desert border crossing at Chaman, near the Pakistani city of Quetta. From there, the weapons, bought in the arms bazaars of Karachi, are being trucked along the straight desert road that leads to Kandahar, the Taliban heartland.
"The Al Rashid Trust is totally involved in supplying ammunition and weapons," said a former Pakistani intelligence source, who could not estimate the number of arms supplied. "They are sending in heavy weapons under blankets and foodstuffs; it's nonsense to believe this has stopped."
"An Afghan shipper in Peshawar, who until recently ferried fruit and other goods to and from Afghanistan, also confirmed that relief trucks had been used to transport arms during the period when the Taliban regime was under U.N. sanctions."
While making a pretense of freezing the accounts of the Al Rashid Trust, Musharraf has not acted against any of its office-bearers. He has reportedly arrested or placed under house arrest over 100 office-bearers of the JEM and the LET, including Maulana Masood Azhar of the JEM and Prof.Hafeez Mohd.Saeed of the LET, but has sought to exonerate them of any responsibility for their acts of terrorism in India by attributing their arrests to their inflammatory statements against Pakistan's support to the international coalition against terrorism.
He has not acted against the headquarters of the JEM in the Binori madrasa in Karachi or of the LET in Muridke, near Lahore. He has not acted against Mufti Shamzai, the chief mentor of the Taliban as well as the HUM and the JEM.
He has evaded action on India's request for the arrest and extradition of Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon wanted in connection with the Mumbai blasts of March, 1993, the JEM members who had hijacked the Indian Airlines plane in December, 1999, or others wanted in connection with other terrorist cases.
What Musharraf has been doing is to indulge in a series of tactical manoeuvres to convince President Bush about his so-called sincerity in wanting to eliminate terrorism from Pakistani soil and, at the same time, re-clothing and re-locating the terrorist organisations in order to preserve their capability to continue to assist in Pakistan's proxy war against India.
Under common law, a criminal, who co-operates with the law-enforcing agencies in dealing with crime and in the investigation of his crime, does not become a saint. He continues to be a criminal in the eyes of the law, but his co-operation could be a mitigating factor in deciding the quantum of punishment to be awarded to him.
Before September 11, 2001, the Government of Pakistan created the Taliban, helped it to capture power in Afghanistan and run the administration. It refrained from co-operating with the international community in the arrest and prosecution of bin Laden and in eliminating the Al Qaeda. On the contrary, it used bin Laden and the Al Qaeda for training the HUM, the JEM and the LET in training camps in Afghan territory. It used the Al Qaeda for occupying the Kargil heights in 1999.
After September 11,2001, while pretending to co-operate with the international community and to implement the Security Council Resolution No.1373, it has continued to provide safe haven in its territory to organisations declared as terrorist organisations under the laws of the US, the UK and India and has evaded strict compliance with the provisions of the Security Council Resolution, by facilitating the withdrawal of their money by the internationally-designated terrorist organisations from their accounts held in Pakistan.
It has provided safe haven to terrorists wanted by India in connection with the Mumbai blasts of March,1993, and has denied their presence in Pakistani territory despite detailed reports carried by the Pakistani media about their presence and activities in Karachi with the blessings of the Pakistan Government. It has repeatedly violated its various obligations under international conventions to deal with hijacking and criminal offences against civil aviation.
By ostensibly co-operating with the US-led allies after September 11, 2001, in their war against the Taliban and the Al Qaeda, Pakistan has not become a saint State. It continues to be a terrorist State.
The Government of India should issue a detailed White Paper on the Dawood Ibrahim case, Pakistan's non-compliance of international conventions relating to hijacking of planes, its providing safe haven to organisations internationally designated as terrorist organisations and its evasion of strict compliance with the directives of the UN Security Council Resolution 1373. Copies of this White Paper should be given to all Governments which are members of the international coalition against terrorism, the monitoring committee set up by the UN Security Council to monitor the implementation of Resolution 1373 directives regarding denial of safe haven to terrorists and seizure of their funds, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The relatives of the Indians who were killed in the New York World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, should form a committee for taking up with the UN Security Council, the US Administration and Congress and the US judiciary the links of Pakistan-based terrorist organisations with the Al Qaeda and bin Laden, which, according to the US, were responsible for the terrorist strikes on the World Trade Centre. They should also bring to the notice of the American public the role of Pakistan in this matter.
The Government of India should make it clear that there cannot be any resumption of dialogue with Pakistan unless and until it hands over the terrorists given safe haven in Pakistan, who are wanted by India.
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )
5)Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert
The Conflict in Afghanistan
1979The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan. Mujahedeen — Islamic fighters — from across the globe, including Osama bin Laden, come to fight Soviet forces.
1989Last Soviet troops leave Afghanistan.
1996The Taliban take control of Afghanistan, imposing fundamentalist Islamic law. Osama bin Laden takes refuge in the country.
SEPT. 2001After the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush gives the Taliban an ultimatum to hand over bin Laden; the Taliban refuse, and in October the U.S. leads a campaign that drives the Taliban out of major Afghan cities by the end of the year.
2002Hamid Karzai becomes interim president of Afghanistan. The Taliban continue to wage guerrilla warfare near the border with Pakistan.
2004New constitution is ratified, making Afghanistan an Islamic state with a strong president. Later, Mr. Karzai wins the country’s first presidential election.
FEB. 2009President Obama orders 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.
AUG. 2009President Karzai wins re-election in a vote marred by fraud.
DEC. 2009President Obama issues orders to send 30,000 troops in 2010, bringing the total American force to about 100,000.
Americans fighting the war in Afghanistan have long harbored strong suspicions that Pakistan’s military spy service has guided the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand, even as Pakistan receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help combating the militants, according to a trove of secret military field reports made public Sunday.
The documents, made available by an organization called WikiLeaks, suggest that Pakistan, an ostensible ally of the United States, allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders.
Taken together, the reports indicate that American soldiers on the ground are inundated with accounts of a network of Pakistani assets and collaborators that runs from the Pakistani tribal belt along the Afghan border, through southern Afghanistan, and all the way to the capital, Kabul.
Much of the information — raw intelligence and threat assessments gathered from the field in Afghanistan— cannot be verified and likely comes from sources aligned with Afghan intelligence, which considers Pakistan an enemy, and paid informants. Some describe plots for attacks that do not appear to have taken place.
But many of the reports rely on sources that the military rated as reliable.
While current and former American officials interviewed could not corroborate individual reports, they said that the portrait of the spy agency’s collaboration with the Afghan insurgency was broadly consistent with other classified intelligence.
Some of the reports describe Pakistani intelligence working alongside Al Qaeda to plan attacks. Experts cautioned that although Pakistan’s militant groups and Al Qaeda work together, directly linking the Pakistani spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, with Al Qaeda is difficult.
The records also contain firsthand accounts of American anger at Pakistan’s unwillingness to confront insurgents who launched attacks near Pakistani border posts, moved openly by the truckload across the frontier, and retreated to Pakistani territory for safety.
The behind-the-scenes frustrations of soldiers on the ground and glimpses of what appear to be Pakistani skullduggery contrast sharply with the frequently rosy public pronouncements of Pakistan as an ally by American officials, looking to sustain a drone campaign over parts of Pakistani territory to strike at Qaeda havens. Administration officials also want to keep nuclear-armed Pakistan on their side to safeguard NATOsupplies flowing on routes that cross Pakistan to Afghanistan.
This month, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in one of the frequent visits by American officials to Islamabad, announced $500 million in assistance and called the United States and Pakistan “partners joined in common cause.”
The reports suggest, however, that the Pakistani military has acted as both ally and enemy, as its spy agency runs what American officials have long suspected is a double game — appeasing certain American demands for cooperation while angling to exert influence in Afghanistan through many of the same insurgent networks that the Americans are fighting to eliminate.
Behind the scenes, both Bush and Obama administration officials as well as top American commanders have confronted top Pakistani military officers with accusations of ISI complicity in attacks in Afghanistan, and even presented top Pakistani officials with lists of ISI and military operatives believed to be working with militants.
Benjamin Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said that Pakistan had been an important ally in the battle against militant groups, and that Pakistani soldiers and intelligence officials had worked alongside the United States to capture or kill Qaeda and Taliban leaders.
Still, he said that the “status quo is not acceptable,” and that the havens for militants in Pakistan “pose an intolerable threat” that Pakistan must do more to address.
“The Pakistani government — and Pakistan’s military and intelligence services — must continue their strategic shift against violent extremist groups within their borders,” he said. American military support to Pakistan would continue, he said.
Several Congressional officials said that despite repeated requests over the years for information about Pakistani support for militant groups, they usually receive vague and inconclusive briefings from the Pentagon and C.I.A.
Nonetheless, senior lawmakers say they have no doubt that Pakistan is aiding insurgent groups. “The burden of proof is on the government of Pakistan and the ISI to show they don’t have ongoing contacts,” said Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat on the Armed Services Committee who visited Pakistan this month and said he and SenatorCarl Levin of Michigan, the committee chairman, confronted Pakistan’s prime minister,Yousaf Raza Gilani, yet again over the allegations.
Such accusations are usually met with angry denials, particularly by the Pakistani military, which insists that the ISI severed its remaining ties to the groups years ago. An ISI spokesman in Islamabad said Sunday that the agency would have no comment until it saw the documents. Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, said, “The documents circulated by WikiLeaks do not reflect the current on-ground realities.”
The man the United States has depended on for cooperation in fighting the militants and who holds most power in Pakistan, the head of the army, Gen. Parvez Ashfaq Kayani, ran the ISI from 2004 to 2007, a period from which many of the reports are drawn. American officials have frequently praised General Kayani for what they say are his efforts to purge the military of officers with ties to militants.
American officials have described Pakistan’s spy service as a rigidly hierarchical organization that has little tolerance for “rogue” activity. But Pakistani military officials give the spy service’s “S Wing” — which runs external operations against the Afghan government and India — broad autonomy, a buffer that allows top military officials deniability.
American officials have rarely uncovered definitive evidence of direct ISI involvement in a major attack. But in July 2008, the C.I.A.’s deputy director, Stephen R. Kappes, confronted Pakistani officials with evidence that the ISI helped plan the deadly suicide bombing of India’s Embassy in Kabul.
From the current trove, one report shows that Polish intelligence warned of a complex attack against the Indian Embassy a week before that bombing, though the attackers and their methods differed. The ISI was not named in the report warning of the attack.
Another, dated August 2008, identifies a colonel in the ISI plotting with a Taliban official to assassinate President Hamid Karzai. The report says there was no information about how or when this would be carried out. The account could not be verified.
General Linked to MilitantsLt. Gen. Hamid Gul ran the ISI from 1987 to 1989, a time when Pakistani spies and the C.I.A. joined forces to run guns and money to Afghan militias who were battling Soviet troops in Afghanistan. After the fighting stopped, he maintained his contacts with the former mujahedeen, who would eventually transform themselves into the Taliban.
And more than two decades later, it appears that General Gul is still at work. The documents indicate that he has worked tirelessly to reactivate his old networks, employing familiar allies like Jaluluddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whose networks of thousands of fighters are responsible for waves of violence in Afghanistan.
General Gul is mentioned so many times in the reports, if they are to be believed, that it seems unlikely that Pakistan’s current military and intelligence officials could not know of at least some of his wide-ranging activities.
For example, one intelligence report describes him meeting with a group of militants in Wana, the capital of South Waziristan, in January 2009. There, he met with three senior Afghan insurgent commanders and three “older” Arab men, presumably representatives of Al Qaeda, who the report suggests were important “because they had a large security contingent with them.”
The gathering was designed to hatch a plan to avenge the death of “Zamarai,” the nom de guerre of Osama al-Kini, who had been killed days earlier by a C.I.A. drone attack. Mr. Kini had directed Qaeda operations in Pakistan and had spearheaded some of the group’s most devastating attacks.
The plot hatched in Wana that day, according to the report, involved driving a dark blue Mazda truck rigged with explosives from South Waziristan to Afghanistan’s Paktika Province, a route well known to be used by the insurgents to move weapons, suicide bombers and fighters from Pakistan.
In a show of strength, the Taliban leaders approved a plan to send 50 Arab and 50 Waziri fighters to Ghazni Province in Afghanistan, the report said.
General Gul urged the Taliban commanders to focus their operations inside Afghanistan in exchange for Pakistan turning “a blind eye” to their presence in Pakistan’s tribal areas. It was unclear whether the attack was ever executed.
The United States has pushed the United Nations to put General Gul on a list of international terrorists, and top American officials said they believed he was an important link between active-duty Pakistani officers and militant groups.
General Gul, who says he is retired and lives on his pension, dismissed the allegations as “absolute nonsense,” speaking by telephone from his home in Rawalpindi, where the Pakistani Army keeps its headquarters. “I have had no hand in it.” He added, “American intelligence is pulling cotton wool over your eyes.”
Senior Pakistani officials consistently deny that General Gul still works at the ISI’s behest, though several years ago, after mounting American complaints, Pakistan’s president at the time, Pervez Musharraf, was forced publicly to acknowledge the possibility that former ISI officials were assisting the Afghan insurgency. Despite his denials, General Gul keeps close ties to his former employers. When a reporter visited General Gul this spring for an interview at his home, the former spy master canceled the appointment. According to his son, he had to attend meetings at army headquarters.
Suicide Bomber Network
The reports also chronicle efforts by ISI officers to run the networks of suicide bombers that emerged as a sudden, terrible force in Afghanistan in 2006.
The detailed reports indicate that American officials had a relatively clear understanding of how the suicide networks presumably functioned, even if some of the threats did not materialize. It is impossible to know why the attacks never came off — either they were thwarted, the attackers shifted targets, or the reports were deliberately planted as Taliban disinformation.
One report, from Dec. 18, 2006, describes a cyclical process to develop the suicide bombers. First, the suicide attacker is recruited and trained in Pakistan. Then, reconnaissance and operational planning gets under way, including scouting to find a place for “hosting” the suicide bomber near the target before carrying out the attack. The network, it says, receives help from the Afghan police and the Ministry of Interior.
In many cases, the reports are complete with names and ages of bombers, as well as license plate numbers, but the Americans gathering the intelligence struggle to accurately portray many other details, introducing sometimes comical renderings of places and Taliban commanders.
In one case, a report rated by the American military as credible states that a gray Toyota Corolla had been loaded with explosives between the Afghan border and Landik Hotel, in Pakistan, apparently a mangled reference to Landi Kotal, in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The target of the plot, however, is a real hotel in downtown Kabul, the Ariana.
“It is likely that ISI may be involved as supporter of this attack,” reads a comment in the report.
Several of the reports describe current and former ISI operatives, including General Gul, visiting madrasas near the city of Peshawar, a gateway to the tribal areas, to recruit new fodder for suicide bombings.
One report, labeled a “real threat warning” because of its detail and the reliability of its source, described how commanders of Mr. Hekmatyar’s insurgent group, Hezb-i-Islami, ordered the delivery of a suicide bomber from the Hashimiye madrasa, run by Afghans.
The boy was to be used in an attack on American or NATO vehicles in Kabul during the Muslim Festival of Sacrifices that opened Dec. 31, 2006. According to the report, the boy was taken to the Afghan city of Jalalabad to buy a car for the bombing, and was later brought to Kabul. It was unclear whether the attack took place.
The documents indicate that these types of activities continued throughout last year. From July to October 2009, nine threat reports detailed movements by suicide bombers from Pakistan into populated areas of Afghanistan, including Kandahar, Kunduz and Kabul.
Some of the bombers were sent to disrupt Afghanistan’s presidential elections, held last August. In other instances, American intelligence learned that the Haqqani network sent bombers at the ISI’s behest to strike Indian officials, development workers and engineers in Afghanistan. Other plots were aimed at the Afghan government.
Sometimes the intelligence documents twin seemingly credible detail with plots that seem fantastical or utterly implausible assertions. For instance, one report describes an ISI plan to use a remote-controlled bomb disguised as a golden Koran to assassinate Afghan government officials. Another report documents an alleged plot by the ISI and Taliban to ship poisoned alcoholic beverages to Afghanistan to kill American troops.
But the reports also charge that the ISI directly helped organize Taliban offensives at key junctures of the war. On June 19, 2006, ISI operatives allegedly met with the Taliban leaders in Quetta, the city in southern Pakistan where American and other Western officials have long believed top Taliban leaders have been given refuge by the Pakistani authorities. At the meeting, according to the report, they pressed the Taliban to mount attacks on Maruf, a district of Kandahar that lies along the Pakistani border.
The planned offensive would be carried out primarily by Arabs and Pakistanis, the report said, and a Taliban commander, “Akhtar Mansoor,” warned that the men should be prepared for heavy losses. “The foreigners agreed to this operation and have assembled 20 4x4 trucks to carry the fighters into areas in question,” it said.
While the specifics about the foreign fighters and the ISI are difficult to verify, the Taliban did indeed mount an offensive to seize control in Maruf in 2006.
Afghan government officials and Taliban fighters have widely acknowledged that the offensive was led by the Taliban commander Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, who was then the Taliban shadow governor of Kandahar.
Mullah Mansour tried to claw out a base for himself inside Afghanistan, but just as the report quotes him predicting, the Taliban suffered heavy losses and eventually pulled back.
Another report goes on to describe detailed plans for a large-scale assault, timed for September 2007, aimed at the American forward operating base in Managi, in Kunar Province.
“It will be a five-pronged attack consisting of 83-millimeter artillery, rockets, foot soldiers, and multiple suicide bombers,” it says.
It is not clear that the attack ever came off, but its planning foreshadowed another, seminal attack that came months later, in July 2008. At that time, about 200 Taliban insurgents nearly overran an American base in Wanat, in Nuristan, killing nine American soldiers. For the Americans, it was one of the highest single-day tolls of the war.
Tensions With PakistanThe flood of reports of Pakistani complicity in the insurgency has at times led to barely disguised tensions between American and Pakistani officers on the ground.
Meetings at border outposts set up to develop common strategies to seal the frontier and disrupt Taliban movements reveal deep distrust among the Americans of their Pakistani counterparts.
On Feb. 7, 2007, American officers met with Pakistani troops on a dry riverbed to discuss the borderlands surrounding Afghanistan’s Khost Province.
According to notes from the meeting, the Pakistanis portrayed their soldiers as conducting around-the-clock patrols. Asked if he expected a violent spring, a man identified in the report as Lt. Col. Bilal, the Pakistani officer in charge, said no. His troops were in firm control.
The Americans were incredulous. Their record noted that there had been a 300 percent increase in militant activity in Khost before the meeting.
“This comment alone shows how disconnected this particular group of leadership is from what is going on in reality,” the notes said.
The Pakistanis told the Americans to contact them if they spotted insurgent activity along the border. “I doubt this would do any good,” the American author of the report wrote, “because PAKMIL/ISI is likely involved with the border crossings.” “PAKMIL” refers to the Pakistani military.
A year earlier, the Americans became so frustrated at the increase in roadside bombs in Afghanistan that they hand-delivered folders with names, locations, aerial photographs and map coordinates to help the Pakistani military hunt down the militants the Americans believed were responsible.
Nothing happened, wrote Col. Barry Shapiro, an American military liaison officer with experience in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, after an Oct. 13, 2006, meeting. “Despite the number of reports and information detailing the concerns,” Colonel Shapiro wrote, “we continue to see no change in the cross-border activity and continue to see little to no initiative along the PAK border” by Pakistan troops. The Pakistani Army “will only react when asked to do so by U.S. forces,” he concluded
6)The ISI and Terrorism: Behind the Accusations
Pakistan's military intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), has long faced accusations of meddling in the affairs of its neighbors. A range of officials inside and outside Pakistan have stepped up suggestions of links between the ISI and terrorist groups in recent years. In fall 2006, a leaked report by a British Defense Ministry think tank charged, "Indirectly Pakistan (through the ISI) has been supporting terrorism and extremism--whether in London on 7/7 [the July 2005 attacks on London's transit system], or in Afghanistan, or Iraq." In June 2008, Afghan officials accused Pakistan's intelligence service of plotting a failed assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai; shortly thereafter, they implied the ISI's involvement in a July 2008 attack on the Indian embassy. Indian officials also blamed the ISI for the bombing of the Indian embassy. Pakistani officials have denied such a connection.
Numerous U.S. officials have also accused the ISI of supporting terrorist groups, even as the Pakistani government seeks increased aid from Washington with assurances of fighting militants. In a May 2009 interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said "to a certain extent, they play both sides." Gates and others suggest the ISI maintains links with groups like the Afghan Taliban as a "strategic hedge" to help Islamabad gain influence in Kabul once U.S. troops exit the region. These allegations surfaced yet again in July 2010 when WikiLeaks.org made public (NYT) a trove of U.S. intelligence records on the war in Afghanistan. The documents described ISI's links to militant groups fighting U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan. In April 2011 during a visit to Pakistan, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen pointed to ISI's links with one such group, the Haqqani network. The May 1, 2011, killing of America's most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani military town not far from Islamabad raised new questions over army and ISI support for the al-Qaeda leader and the legitimacy of their counterterrorism efforts. Pakistan's government has repeatedly denied allegations of supporting terrorism, citing as evidence its cooperation in the U.S.-led battle against extremists in which it has taken significant losses both politically and on the battlefield.
"The ISI probably would not define what they've done in the past as 'terrorism,'" saysWilliam Milam, former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan. Nevertheless, experts say the ISI has supported a number of militant groups in the disputed Kashmir region between Pakistan and India, some of which are on the U.S. State Department's Foreign Terrorist Organizations list. While Pakistan has a formidable military presence near the Indian border, some experts believe the relationship between the military and some Kashmiri groups has greatly changed with the rise of militancy within Pakistan. Shuja Nawaz, author ofCrossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army, and the Wars Within, says the ISI "has certainly lost control" of Kashmiri militant groups. According to Nawaz, some of the groups trained by the ISI to fuel insurgency in Kashmir have been implicated in bombings and attacks within Pakistan, therefore making them army targets.
"I do not accept the thesis that the ISI is a rogue organization." --William Milam, former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan.
On Pakistan's western border with Afghanistan, the ISI supported the Taliban up to September 11, 2001, though Pakistani officials deny any current support for the group. Pakistan's government was also one of three countries, along with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, that recognized the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The ISI's first major involvement in Afghanistan came after the Soviet invasion in 1979, when it partnered with the CIA to provide weapons, money, intelligence, and training to the mujahadeen fighting the Red Army. At the time, some voices within the United States questioned the degree to which Pakistani intelligence favored extremist and anti-American fighters. Following the Soviet withdrawal, the ISI continued its involvement in Afghanistan, first supporting resistance fighters opposed to Moscow's puppet government, and later the Taliban.
Pakistan stands accused of allowing that support to continue. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly said Pakistan trains militants and sends them across the border. In May 2006, the British chief of staff for southern Afghanistan told the Guardian, "The thinking piece of the Taliban is out of Quetta in Pakistan. It's the major headquarters." Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in September 2006, then-president Pervez Musharraf responded to such accusations, saying, "It is the most ridiculous thought that the Taliban headquarters can be in Quetta." Nevertheless, experts generally suspect Pakistan still provides some support to the Taliban, though probably not to the extent it did in the past. "If they're giving them support, it's access back and forth [to Afghanistan] and the ability to find safe haven," says Kathy Gannon, who covered the region for decades for the Associated Press. Gannon adds that the Afghan Taliban needs Pakistan even less as a safe haven now "because [it has] gained control of more territory inside Afghanistan."
Many in the Pakistani government, including slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, have called the intelligence agency "a state within a state," working beyond the government's control and pursuing its own foreign policy. But Nawaz says the intelligence agency does not function independently. "It aligns itself to the power center," and does what the government or the army asks it to do, says Nawaz.
Control over the ISI
Constitutionally, the agency is accountable to the prime minister, says Hassan Abbas, research fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. But most officers in the ISI are from the army, so that is where their loyalties and interests lie, he says. Experts say until the end of 2007, as army chief and president, Musharraf exercised firm control over the intelligence agency. But experts say it is not clear how much control Pakistan's civilian government--led by Bhutto's widower, President Asif Ali Zardari--has over the agency. In July 2008, the Pakistani government announced the ISI will be brought under the control of the interior ministry, but revoked its decision (BBC) within hours. Bruce Riedel, an expert on South Asia at the Brookings Institution, says the civilian leadership has "virtually no control" (PDF) over the army and the ISI. In September 2008, army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani replaced the ISI chief picked by former president Musharraf with Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha. Until then, Pasha headed military operations against militants in the tribal areas. Some experts said the move signaled that Kiyani was consolidating his control over the intelligence agency by appointing his man at the top. In November 2008, the government disbanded ISI's political wing, which politicians say was responsible for interfering in domestic politics. Some experts saw it as a move by the army, which faced much criticism when Musharraf was at the helm, to distance itself from politics.
"I do not accept the thesis that the ISI is a rogue organization," Milam says. "It's a disciplined army unit that does what it's told, though it may push the envelope sometimes." With a reported staff of ten thousand, ISI is hardly monolithic: "Like in any secret service, there are rogue elements," says Frederic Grare, a South Asia expert and visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He points out that many of the ISI's agents have ethnic and cultural ties to Afghan insurgents, and naturally sympathize with them. Marvin G. Weinbaum, an expert on Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Middle East Institute, says Pakistan has sent "retired" ISI agents on missions the government could not officially endorse.
Resistance in FATA
Pakistan's tribal areas along the Afghan border have emerged as safe havens for terrorists. Experts say because of their links to the Taliban and other militant groups, the ISI has some influence in the region. But with the mushrooming of armed groups in the tribal agencies, it is hard to say which ones the agency controls. Also, there appears to be divisions within the ISI. While some within the intelligence agency continue to sympathize with the militant groups, Harvard's Abbas says others realize they cannot follow a policy contradictory to that of the army, which is directly involved in counterterrorism operations in the area.
Bruce Riedel, an expert on South Asia at the Brookings Institution, says the civilian leadership has "virtually no control" over the army and the ISI.
Mixed Record on Counterterrorism
Pakistan has arrested scores of al-Qaeda affiliates, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. The ISI and the Pakistani military have worked effectively with the United States to pursue the remnants of al-Qaeda. Following 9/11, Pakistan also stationed eighty thousand troops in the troubled province of Waziristan near the Afghan border. Hundreds of Pakistani soldiers died there in resulting clashes with militants, which, as Musharraf told a CFR meeting in September 2006, "broke the al-Qaeda network's back in Pakistan."
But Musharraf did crack down on terrorist groups selectively, as this Backgrounder points out. Weinbaum in 2006 said the Pakistani military has largely ignored Taliban fighters on its soil. "There are extremist groups that are beyond the pale with which the ISI has no influence at all," he says. "Those are the ones they go after." In 2008, Ashley J. Tellis, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote (PDF) in TheWashington Quarterly that Musharraf tightened pressure on groups whose objectives were out of sync with the military's perception of Pakistan's national interest.
The Taliban as a Strategic Asset
Pakistan does not enjoy good relations with the current leadership of Afghanistan, partly because of rhetorical clashes with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and partly because Karzai has forged strong ties with India. But there have been increased efforts by the United States to close this gap. The Obama administration's regional strategy unveiled in March 2009 focused on creating new diplomatic mechanisms; a trilateral summit of the leaders of the United States, Pakistan, and Afghanistan has been one such step toward helping reduce the level of distrust that runs among all three countries. But lingering suspicions about ISI's support for the Taliban continue to pose problems. In an October 2006 interview, Musharraf said some retired ISI operatives could be abetting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, but he denied any active links. Zardari, too, denies any ISI links with the Taliban or al-Qaeda. In a May 2009 interview with CNN, he remarked all intelligence agencies have their sources in militant organizations but that does not translate to support. "Does that mean CIA has direct links with al-Qaeda? No, they have their sources. We have our sources. Everybody has sources."
Some experts say Pakistan wants to see a stable, friendlier government emerge in Afghanistan. Though the insurgency certainly doesn't serve this goal, increased Taliban influence, especially in the government, might. Supporting the Taliban also allows Pakistan to hedge its bets should the NATO coalition pull out of Afghanistan. In a February 2008interview with CFR.org, Tellis said the Pakistani intelligence services continue to support the Taliban because they see the Taliban leadership "as a strategic asset," a reliable back-up force in case things go sour in Afghanistan.
Not everyone agrees with this analysis. According to Weinbaum, Pakistan has two policies. One is an official policy of promoting stability in Afghanistan; the other is an unofficial policy of supporting jihadis in order to appease political forces within Pakistan. "The second [policy] undermines the first one," he says. Nawaz says there is ambivalence within the army regarding support for the Taliban. "They'd rather not deal with the Afghan Taliban as an adversary," he says.
Allegations of Terrorist Attacks
Indian officials implicated the ISI for the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed nearly two hundred people. India's foreign ministry said the ISI had links (Reuters)to the planners of the attacks, the banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which New Delhi blames for the assault. Islamabad denies allegations of any official involvement, but acknowledged in February 2009 that the attack was launched and partly planned (AP)from Pakistan. The Pakistani government has also detained several Islamist leaders, some of them named by India as planners of the Mumbai assault. Gannon says this is an unusual step by Pakistan, which never got enough credit in India because the country was in the middle of a national election. "I don't see any evidence" to believe that the ISI was behind the Mumbai attack, she says. However, she doubts the agency has severed all its ties with groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba which it supported to fight in Indian-administered Kashmir.Indian officials also claim to have evidence that the ISI planned the July 2006 bombing of the Mumbai commuter trains, but these charges seem unlikely to some observers of the long, difficult India-Pakistan relationship. The two nations have a history of finger-pointing, and while some of the allegations hold water, there is a tendency to exaggerate.
Following the release of the British report regarding its July 7, 2005, bombings of London's mass transit system--which London insists is not a statement of policy--Weinbaum said it makes "too broad a statement." Though Pakistan does offer safe haven to Kashmiri groups, and perhaps some Taliban fighters, the suggestion that the ISI is responsible for the 7/7 bombings is "a real stretch," Gannon says.
Secret BBC - Pakistan Double Cross on Terrorism
Note:We created this article on the basis of 6 news which proves pakistani involvement in terrorism.We have not made any changes from original news provided by publishers.