Tag Archives: Pakistan

AQ Khan blows the whistle on Pakistan

An angry, humiliated, and wounded A.Q.Khan has finally made public and official what has long been suspected: his nuclear proliferation activities that included exchanging and passing blue-prints and equipment to China, Iran, North Korea, and Libya was done at the behest of the Pakistani government and military, and he was forced to take the rap for it.
”The bastards first used us and are now playing dirty games with us,” Khan writes about the Pakistani leadership in a December 2003 letter to his wife Henny that has finally been made public by an interlocutor. ”Darling, if the government plays any mischief with me take a tough stand,” he tells his wife, adding, ”They might try to get rid of me to cover up all the things they got done by me.”

But Henny was unable to play hardball because Khan had also sent copies of that letter to his daughter Dina in London, and to his niece Kausar Khan in Amsterdam through his brother, a Pakistan Airlines executive. Pakistani intelligence agencies got wind of it and threatened the well-being of the family, forcing him to recant and publicly take the blame for the proliferation activities in a humiliating television spectacle engineered by then military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

However, a copy of the four-page letter reached Khan’s long-time journalistic contact Simon Henderson in 2007. In fact, in the letter, Khan tells his wife, ”Get in touch with Simon Henderson and give him all the details.” Henderson says when he acquired the copy of the letter, he was shocked. His acquaintance with Khan goes back to the late 1970s, but it was never intimate, and consisted of an occasional interviews and conversations, and seasonal greetings.

Describing the four-page letter as ”extraordinary,” Henderson says in numbered paragraphs, it outlines Pakistan’s nuclear co-operation with China, Iran and North Korea, and also mentions Libya. Some of the disclosures are stunning , and in one para that is bound to embarrass Beijing, besides implicating it, Khan writes about how Pakistan helped China in enrichment technology in return for bomb blueprints.

”We put up a centrifuge plant at Hanzhong (250km southwest of Xian),” Khan writes. “The Chinese gave us drawings of the nuclear weapon, gave us 50kg of enriched uranium, gave us 10 tons of UF6 (natural) and 5 tons of UF6 (3%).” UF6 is uranium hexafluoride, the gaseous feedstock for an enrichment plan.

On Iran, the letter says: ”Probably with the blessings of BB [Benazir Bhutto]…General Imtiaz [Benazir’s defence adviser, now dead] asked me to give a set of drawings and some components to the Iranians. The names and addresses of suppliers were also given to the Iranians.”

On North Korea: ”[A now-retired general] took $3million through me from the N. Koreans and asked me to give some drawings and machines.”

Henderson does not explain why he waited nearly two years since he got hold of the letter to make it public. But he writes sympathetically about Khan’s travails in Pakistan, where he is held largely incommunicado under house arrest. The Pakistani government and the military have repeatedly rejected and challenged court orders to free him, and an episode last month, where Khan was freed just for a day on court orders before Islamabad locked him up again under pressure from Washington, appears to have precipitated the leak of the explosive letter.

Henderson’s Sunday Times expose also implicates the U.S and other western powers, who he says, basically shoved Islamabad’s rampant proliferation (while blaming it solely on Khan) under the carpet in order to get Pakistan’s cooperation in the war on terror. The move also saved Washington from huge embarrassment since it was basically asleep on the watch when Pakistan began its nuclear proliferation and then winked at it when it was discovered, all the while lavishing billions in military supplies on its unstable client state.

PAK GOVT RESCUED BROKE A.Q.KHAN WITH $ 2500 PER MONTH PENSION

Henderson also implicitly defends Khan from charges that he profited from proliferation activities, as alleged by deposed military ruler Pervez Musharraf. Khan, he says, is adamant that he never sold nuclear secrets for personal gain. So what about the millions of dollars he reportedly made?

”Nothing was confiscated from him and no reported investigation turned up hidden accounts. Having planted rumours about Khan’s greed, Pakistani officials were curiously indifferent to following them through,” Henderson writes.

According to Henderson, much was made of a ”hotel”, named after Khan’s wife, Henny, built by a local tour guide with the help of money from Khan and a group of friends in Timbuktu. But it is a modest structure at best, more of a guesthouse, he says. A weekend home at Bani Gala, outside Islamabad, where Khan went to relax, is hardly the palace that some reports have made it.

In fact, says Henderson, Khan was close to being broke by the summer 2007, when he was finding it difficult to make ends meet on his pension of 12,200 (Pakistani) rupees per month. After pleading with General Khalid Kidwai, the officer supervising both Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and Khan, the pension was increased to $2,500 per month and there was a one-off lump-sum payment of the equivalent of $50,000. Hendersen says he has copies of the agreement and cheques.

Henderson’s 3000-word expose also reveals a couple of intriguing tid-bits that should interest the world’s strategic community, including New Delhi. Besides details of the Pakistan-China nexus, he says Pakistan tested only two devices in its 1998 tit-for-tat nuclear tests that followed India.

While Pakistan claims it conducted six tests to be one-up on India’s five tests, Western experts and seismologists have long said they recorded only two signals for devices that measured between two and four kilotons. Khan also states clearly that China gave Pakistan designs for the nuclear bombs.

In fact, in one colorful passage in his article, Henderson describes how Khan was warned by a Chinese counterpart about the Pakistani Army. On a visit to Kahuta, Li Chew, the senior minister who ran China’s nuclear-weapons programme, tells Khan, ”As long as they need the bomb, they will lick your balls. As soon as you have delivered the bomb, they will kick your balls.”

Henderson himself seems deeply conscious of any perception that he is close to Khan or that he is a cat’s paw for any country. ”Any relationship with a source is fraught with potential difficulties. One doesn’t want to be blind to the chance of being used. Government officials and politicians in any country are seldom interested in the simple truth. They all have their particular story to tell. In this context, I am frankly amazed that Khan has chosen me to be his interlocutor with the world,” he writes.

But Pakistani authorities were clearly aware that he and Khan had been in touch and Khan may have managed to smuggle a copy of the letter implicating Islamabad to him. Henderson says in a court document that Khan was asked to sign when he was promised freedom, there is a line that read “That in case Mr Simon Henderson or anyone else proceeds with the publication of any information or material anywhere in the world, I affirm that it would not be based on any input from me and I disown it.” That line was eventually deleted and replaced with a more general prohibition about unnamed ”specific media personnel.”

As reported in TOI

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Refuges need to win a world cup to get awarded

President Asif Ali Zardari congratulated the national cricket team on Sunday for winning the T20 World Cup in London and announced an award of Rs1 million each for Captain Younus Khan and Man of the Match Shahid Afridi and Rs500,000 each for other players.

Well Mr President your country has over 2 million people displaced because of your so called war on terror. Do the refuges need to win a world cup to get awarded ?

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So what does Zaid Hamid(Brass Tacks) has to say?

Pakistani police hunted on Wednesday for gunmen who mounted a bold attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket team in Lahore as officials tried to figure out who was behind it. It would be intersting to know what so called Pakistani think tank Zaid Hamid has to say , who had said that people behind Mumbai attack were Indians . Why?

“The orange thread wristbands on one of the terrorists – a sign of belonging to the Hindu extremists of the RSS” – Zaid Hamid.

As per reuters , here is a list of possible suspects.
ISLAMIST MILITANTS

Pakistan has been struck by a wave of suicide attacks and bomb blasts by al Qaeda, Taliban and militant groups linked to them.

The attack in Lahore was carried out by around a dozen gunmen, and many observers, including Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, noted similarities with the attack on the Indian city of Mumbai in November.

India and the United States blamed Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, a jihadi group fighting Indian rule in the disputed Kashmir region.

Pakistan has arrested a few LeT members suspected of being behind the Mumbai plot, even though the group, according to analysts, has had ties with Pakistani intelligence in the past.

Many past attacks have been attributed to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (Movement of Taliban, Pakistan), a loose umbrella group of factions based in northwest Pakistan on the Afghan border. It is led by Baitullah Mehsud, an al Qaeda cohort. He is suspected of organising the assassination of Zardari’s wife and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, in December 2007.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), a Sunni Muslim militant group, is regarded as one of al Qaeda’s principal cat’s paws in Pakistan. LeJ, made up of cadres largely drawn from Punjab, specialises in targeting minority Shi’ite Muslims, but graduated to high-profile attacks like the suicide truck bombing of Islamabad’s Marriott Hotel in September last year which killed at least 55 people.

Jaish-e-Mohammad is another Punjab-based militant group that has focused on fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, but there are signs its members have broadened their remit. A Jaish connection was made to one of the assassination attempts on former President Pervez Musharraf in December 2003, and there was a Jaish presence at the Red Mosque uprising in Islamabad in 2007. Jaish members have also surfaced in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

Harkat-ul Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI), is another Islamist militant group fighting in Kashmir that forged al Qaeda links. HUJI carried the suicide attack that killed 11 Frenchmen and two Pakistanis outside Karachi’s Sheraton Hotel. The New Zealand cricket team was staying at the same hotel, and promptly aborted its tour.

BALUCH GROUPS

Several guerrilla groups are waging a low-key insurgency in gas-rich Baluchistan province on the border with Afghanistan. Some have taken responsibility for small attacks in Lahore in the past. A group calling itself the Baluchistan Liberation United Front (BLUF) claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of an American working for the United Nations a month ago. The attack on the Sri Lankan team is on a vastly different scale to anything carried out by any Baluch group.

OUTSIDE PAKISTAN — SRI LANKA’S TAMIL TIGERS

In Sri Lanka, official suspicion will fall on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a rebel group close to military defeat in northern Sri Lanka and which has a long history of carrying out deadly guerrilla attacks. There has been no clear evidence the Tigers have operations or links to Pakistan.

Pakistan has good relations with Sri Lanka and has given training and supplied arms to the Sri Lankan military fighting the Tamil Tiger rebels.

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Confused Leadership Of Pakistan

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday said, in his remarks in National Assembly’s ongoing session summoned after Mumbai evidences were declared not proofs but mere information by the government of Pakistan, political wisdom and maturity is the need of the time to tackle all the present issues instead of power. Situation after Mumbai attacks, has changed a great deal and world is now backing Pakistan

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 Meanwhile on Tuesday Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Tariq Majid has said that the world must stop criticizing Pakistan.

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 This surely is one confused leadership

 

 

 

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Irresponsible Journalism

CNN IBN (a leading Indian news channel) recently posted on its website whereabouts of Ajmal Kasab (Mumbai 26/11 Terrorist)

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The news channel has even posted a Google Earth view of Arthur Road jail and the cell where Kasab will be kept.

Why would any one want to know the exact location of a  terrorist? Perhaps Toral Varia (The Reporter) could answer this.

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Pakistani confesses to involvement in Mumbai attacks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani investigators have unearthed substantive links between the gunmen who attacked Mumbai in November and a banned militant group, a foreign journal reported on Wednesday. It said in an online report that at least one top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leader, Zarar Shah, captured in a raid early this month had confessed to the group’s involvement in the attack.“He is singing,” an unidentified Pakistani security official told the newspaper, referring to Shah. Shah’s admission was backed up by the US intercepts of a telephone call between Shah and one of the attackers during the assault, the Pakistani security official told the newspaper.

“These guys showed no remorse,” said the Pakistani official. “They were bragging. They didn’t need to be pushed, tortured or waterboarded” into making their statements.

One Lashkar fighter who left the group several years ago said in an interview that the agency (ISI) was directly involved in planning operations in the disputed Kashmir region. The agency’s officers were “at the table” as missions were being sketched out, the former Lashkar fighter said. However, an active member of Lashkar said in an interview that relations with Pakistani security forces had grown cold. “We always had to hide from the Indian military, but now we have to hide from the Pakistani military as well,” he said.

The ISI has always been a powerful and semiautonomous agency, and its top officers have maintained strong links to Islamist militants. There is some hope that the appointment three months ago of a new spy chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who previously oversaw military operations against militants in Pakistan’s lawless western districts, signaled a move away from sympathies with the Islamist fighters who control much of the region bordering Afghanistan.

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Lahore Blasts – Pro Taliban Group Claims Responsibility

A previously-unknown pro-Taliban group, Ansar Wa Mohajir, has claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s bomb explosion in Lahore and the earlier rocket attacks on Dera Ismail Khan.

Toofan Wazir, identifying himself as a commander and spokesman of the group, phoned The News from somewhere in North Waziristan to claim responsibility for the two attacks. He threatened more attacks against the security forces and the government installations to avenge the two recent US missile strikes in North Waziristan in which several militants belonging to the Punjab were killed.

According to Toofan Wazir, the US drones fired the missiles at Pakistani targets with the agreement and cooperation of the government of Pakistan. He said revenge would be taken from both the Americans and the Pakistan government. In Pakistan, he warned, suicide bombings would be carried out and bombs would be planted and exploded at important government installations.

Toofan Wazir, which doesn’t appear to be his real name, claimed his men were “Ansar” who hosted the “Mohajir” or refugees who had come from different countries and also from places in Pakistan to find refuge in Waziristan. He said the group was committed to protect the foreigners who were the guests of local tribesmen.

 

Interestingly other news channel from pakistan were earlier blaming India for these blasts.

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