Category Archives: Pakistan

Pakistan, Elections, Jihadists and Musharraf

Congratulations to Pakistan for carrying out a predominantly fair election and not falling prey to the temptation to let loose the dogs of political Jihad again!

Musharraf’s political party, the PML-Q (Pakistan Muslim League “Q”) lost seats, with the head of the party losing his seat in Pakistan’s Parliament, and the hardline Islamist/Jihadist MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal) lost 91% of its seats (plummeting from 59 to 5). The totality of the MMA’s rout, even in the jihadist infested North West Frontier Province, was unexpected, and signals a turn away from Islamist politics toward a more local politics of potholes, post offices, and government jobs. Jihadist excesses and proliferation around the Lal Masjid and by al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the NWFP, the MMA association with Musharraf, and factional splintering that led to a voting boycott by Jamaat i-Islami, all bear some responsibility. [Telegraph India]

The MMA lost command of the NWFP, which it had controlled, to the liberal-secular Awami National Party (ANP) and the (Bhutto Family’s) Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). In the NWFP provincial assembly, Islamist and Jihadist parties won 67 seats out of 96 in 2002, and in 2008 they won 9. It will be interesting to see how Mehsud’s jihadists, who have showed no respect so far for Pakistan’s civil law, or its army for that matter, react to attempts by the ANP and PPP to reign them in.

To provide an anecdotal yet amusing answer to the question of whose election day went worse, the Islamists/Jihadists or the PML-Q, Mohammad Ahmad Ludhianvi, the head of the banned Jihadist group the Sipah-e-Sahaba, was defeated in Punjab by Sheik Waqas of the PML-Q. Clear loser: Islamist Jihadist vampires.

The Bhutto family’s Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League “N” (PML-N) were expected to do well. Both performed to expectations. [CTV]

No single party has a clear majority. It will be a coalition government.

The Dawn shows the Election results as follows:

Party position National Assembly & provincial assemblies

Party

NA

PP1

PS2

PF3

PB4

PPPP

88

77

66

18

7

PML(N)

66

102

0

4

0

PML(Q)

38

64

10

4

17

MQM

19

0

36

0

0

ANP

10

0

2

29

2

BNP(A)

1

0

0

0

5

MMA

5

2

0

8

5

Others

41

39

11

16

10

1. Provincial Assembly Punjab
2. Provincial Assembly Sindh
3. Provincial Assembly NWFP
4. Provincial Assembly Balochistan

There were 24 election-related deaths in Pakistan, mostly in the Punjab. Turnout was 35-40% of the 81 million eligible voters [Times of India]

The election was monitored and approved for fairness by international observers, though there were concerns about the threat of violent attacks suppressing turnout. Apparently the Pakistanis, being used to representative government, are not as brave about exercising their hard-won franchise as the Iraqis. [CTV]

In the aftermath of the elections, Musharraf and his allies made clear what has always been clear except to the confused media, who continually thought that the Parliamentary elections, ultimately determining the Prime Minister of Pakistan, would automatically expel Musharraf from his position as President. For example, the Daily Express gets it wrong.

PRESIDENT Pervez Musharraf conceded defeat in the early stages of Pakistan’s parliamentary elections today. […]

Musharraf faces stiff competition from the two main opposition parties; the PPP led by the son of assassinated leader Benazir Bhutto and the PML-N led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Both parties already have a clear majority in the presidential race.

Not presidential, Express. It’s the parliamentary race. Mushy is the President. Big difference. He can’t be defeated because his seat was not up for elections. He might be impeached, but that is a different story.

The ANI reports correctly.

“They are way off in their demands,” presidential spokesman Major General Rashid Qureshi told reporters.

“This is not the election for President. Musharraf is already elected for five years,” he added.

In the meantime, the PML-Q is furiously distancing itself from Musharraf. [ANI]

Responding to the recent rise in Jihad terrorism in the NWFP, in the past month 10,000 Pakistanis have reversed the recent refugee pattern and fled to Afghanistan for safety. And this is the harshest month of the winter. Imagine how they will run from those blood-sucking Jihadist vampires when the weather gets nicer.

Finally, the retired Pakistani Air Marshall Masood Akhtar has requested American assistance with more modern COIN weapons to counter the al-Qaeda and Taliban’s insurgency against the Pakistani government. [The News of Pakistan]

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Stephen Coughlin and Jihad Terror Doctrine in the real world

Stephen Coughlin is a lawyer, a Reserve Military Intellgence officer, an Arabic speaker, and a scholar of Islamic law. He is also soon to be a former advisor to the Pentagon, who was fired after ruffling the feathers of “Hasham Islam, an aide to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England,” by “being too critical of Islamic law.” [1, 2]

While looking through Stephen Coughlin’s master’s thesis I was impressed less by Coughlin’s own writing, which was stodgy and academic as is only to be expected from the fact that it is found in an academic thesis, than by his command of the material. Appendix G, on real world Jihad doctrine, is a real eye-opener. The following is quoted from the Qur’anic Concept of War by Brigadier S. K. Malik of the Pakistani Army. This book is state sanctioned military doctrine for Pakistan.

Terror struck into the hearts of the enemies is not only a means; it is an end in itself. Continue reading

All eyes on Baitullah Mehsud

It is time for some news from the Far End of the World, the region that touches the sky where the Pashtun tribes live between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Baitullah Mehsud, the rising young al-Quaeda/Taliban commander who has been accused of responsibility for the assassination/murder of Benazir Bhutto, is all of a sudden very popular with the Pakistani military, which is seeking him out in order to kill him as dead as vulture vomit, and then kill him some more. It is possible that some want the military to capture him first. Judging from what seems to happen to captured Taliban commanders (free and clear after a little bribe), I’m against capture. Mehsud, who captured five Christians recently, has freed the the Christians under intense political pressure.

Mullah Abdul Salaam, the former Taliban commander and governor of Uruzgan province, who recently joined the government and helped NATO retake Musa Qala, has been made the district chief of Musa Qala.

Pakistan is on alert over the Shiite holy month of Moharram, which will reach its peak observance on Jan 20.

It’s questionable whether this is really information from Afghanistan or Pakistan, but it is about a man of Pakistani heritage who was headed to Afghanistan to go on Jihad. Britain has jailed Sohail Qureshi, a London dentist who had his mind set on going to Afghanistan and joining the Taliban in order to kill NATO soldiers (including British soldiers). The sentence is 4 1/2 years, but he’s likely to be out in one year. Now that’s multiculti punishment for you! Going to war against your own country is the most clear, unambiguous example of treason possible. One year in jail for treason! When did they stop hanging people for treason again?

Iran is beginning to expel its Afghan refugees, many of whom have been in Iran since the Soviet invasion of 1979 or were born in Iran. Afghanistan is pleading for Iran to hold off. This is the middle of winter after all.

Now this is good news! Islamic political parties are losing their appeal for voters in Pakistan.

British special forces stationed in Taliban-infested Helmand province (where most of the Heroin comes from), kept up their spirits on Christmas by patrolling in Santa hats.

But as they neared the final mile of their patrol, almost five hours after they set out, every man who had one swapped his helmet for a Santa hat. Armed with heavy machine guns, mortars and grenade launchers, the men continued through a derelict bazaar, grinning like children, but looking like a violent Father Christmas audition.

China is going into copper mining near Kabul.

All that remains from Soviet attempts in the 1970s to assess one of the world’s biggest copper reserves is exploratory drill holes.

But in five years time, if all goes to plan, the landscape in the Aynak exploration area will finally be changed into one of the world’s largest open cast mines thanks to a $3bn investment by the China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC).

And finally, a traveling exhibition of ancient artworks from Afghan’s pre-Islamic past has found its way to Amsterdam, and in May will begin a 17-month tour of the USA. Time magazine gives an overview.

The Amsterdam exhibition presents 250 objects from four archaeological sites — Tepe Fullol, Ai Khanum, Tillya-tepe, and Begram — dating back as far as 4,000 years ago. It includes gold and silver vases from the Bactrian Bronze Age; a Greek limestone pillar and sundials from the 2nd century BC; Indian-related ivory figures and furniture from the 1st century AD; and a spectacular gold collection from Tillya-Tepe that includes bracelets, hearts, a crown, and even a pair of golden shoe soles meant to convey an aristocrat’s disinclination for walking.

But just as Afghanistan’s geography invited cultural influence, so too did it draw a sequence of invasion and conquest that has put the country’s heritage in constant peril. The Taliban’s destruction of art was the culmination of years of catastrophe visited on the National Museum, and the extraordinary story of how the surviving art got here is as much part of the exhibit as the art itself.

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Benazir Bhutto: Assassins’ Accomplices Arrested

The assassin who shot Benazir Bhutto seems to have been identified from photos. His gun has been identified as a Steyr M. Following leads, an investigative team including detectives from Scotland Yard has identified and arrested several accomplices in Swabi, a town in the North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan. Musharraf’s previously declared commitment to cooperating with Scotland Yard and solving the Bhutto murder appears to have been confirmed.

Earlier the Pakistani government had tied the assassination to Baitullah Mehsud’s organization, notably intercepting his congratulations on the successful jihad murder.

Continue reading

The Assassins Got Benazir Bhutto

The modern-day Assassins led by their vanguard in al-Qaeda managed to murder Benazir Bhutto and roughly 20 bystanders in Rawalpindi. The Canadian Press reports:

The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto addressed thousands of supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, about 18 kilometres south of Islamabad, the capital. She was shot in the neck and chest by the attacker, who then blew himself up, said Rehman Malik, Bhutto’s security adviser.

Bob Krumm states this is the biggest news story of 2007, and claims that this could be as big a deal as the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. That would imply it would start a war as big as World War I. I don’t think it will cause that big a reaction because it will not offend Muslims the same way that any offense committed by Americans would, but would put it second, after Petraeus’ success in Iraq with the surge.

From the first day she came back to Pakistan, the Jihadists were out to kill her and she seemed to be seeking martyrdom. In that first day back she held an enormous, well publicized, rally down the middle of a main road. A Jihadist carried an infant to her, wrapped in explosives, for her to kiss. But luckily for Bhutto, she had retired beneath the top of her transport and was uninjured by the explosion that killed 140 people, including the infant bomb. Yesterday the police stopped a 15-year old suicide bomber with a bomb full of nails. She has been going out into crowds too frequently. She went to Rawalpindi, where her father was hanged to death by General Zia ul Haq, who overthrew him in a military coup.

Mark Steyn writes:

Benazir Bhutto’s return to Pakistan had a mad recklessness about it which give today’s events a horrible inevitability. As I always say when I’m asked about her, she was my next-door neighbor for a while – which affects a kind of intimacy, though in fact I knew her only for sidewalk pleasantries. She was beautiful and charming and sophisticated and smart and modern, and everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be – though in practice, as Pakistan’s Prime Minister, she was just another grubby wardheeler from one of the world’s most corrupt political classes.Since her last spell in power, Pakistan has changed, profoundly. Its sovereignty is meaningless in increasingly significant chunks of its territory, and, within the portions Musharraf is just about holding together, to an ever more radicalized generation of young Muslim men Miss Bhutto was entirely unacceptable as the leader of their nation. […]

As I said, she was everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be. We should be modest enough to acknowledge when reality conflicts with our illusions. Rest in peace, Benazir.

The best thing that might come out of this martyrdom is that al-Qaeda’s allies in Pakistani military and intelligence services finally awaken to the reality that al-Qaeda and the Taliban have overstepped, that they are not allies by any stretch of the imagination, and that Pakistan finally acts decisively to destroy al-Qaeda and the Taliban branch and root.

The second best thing that might come out of it is that NATO, the UN, the EU, and the US will finally stop fooling themselves about whether the Taliban is a reliable partner in negotiations. It is not. It never will be. Hopefully, this tragedy will open some eyes.

Who has roundups? Jules Crittendon. Pajamas. Instapundit.

More on Pakistan.

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Afghanistan expels footloose UN and EU staffers for visiting with the Taliban

It is time for some news from the Far End of the World, the region that touches the sky where the Pashtun tribes live between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has asked a staffer from the UN and one from the EU to leave the country. If the pair hadn’t had diplomatic immunity they would have been arrested. One of the pair is a Briton from Northern Ireland, and the other is from Ireland. Which one is from which NGO is not yet known. It also seems likely they have connections to British Intelligence. Apparently the two were wondering around in Helmand province talking to Taliban elements and otherwise threatening the national security of Afghanistan. UN spokesman Aleem Siddique claims this is a “storm in a teacup.” Judging by an article Siddique wrote for Australian ABC last week, the UN was “reaching out to groups hitherto involved in the insurgency,” presumably without Afghan government approval. The beeb ties these talks to drug eradication efforts in Helmand. The Telegraph confirms the report and adds that British Intelligence (MI6) has been holding secret talks with the Taliban, contrary to explicit denials from new Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Note that Siddique has a semi-famous, 5-star quality quote at ThinkExist.com.

We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms and hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice swiftly.

So he’s the guy who said that! I would have thought that was a line from Casablanca. </sarcasm>

Across the line in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto has been busy identifying the elephant in the room.

Speaking to about 25,000 supporters near her ancestral home in the southern town of Larkana, she also renewed accusations the government had done nothing to stop militant violence.

“They always try to stop democratic forces but don’t make any effort to check extremists, terrorists and fanatics,” she told a rally at a cricket stadium, two days after a suicide bomber killed nearly 50 worshippers in a mosque.

Bhutto said President Pervez Musharraf had spoken of the need to reform religious schools, or madrasas, but had done nothing. She said she respected genuine religious schools. […]

“Then there are the political madrasas, the political madrasas that teach their pupils how to make bombs, how to use rifles and how to kill women, children and the elderly.”

God bless her and keep her alive long enough to make a difference. Also, God please help guide her towards true morality so she does not once again rob her country blind if she gains office.

A dozen Jihadists belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen surrendered in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the sort of thing that the political attempts to speak to the Taliban in Afghanistan are trying to create: Cracks in the alliances between the Taliban, various Jihad organizations, and al Qaeda. The problem is that al-Qaeda is a revolutionary vanguard that spins off cells and subsidiary organizations like a semi-truck tire throws off pebbles. A different name is no guarantee of any meaningful difference in goals, methods, or morals.

But it is, like the 40% drop in cross-border attackers from Pakistan into Afghanistan, an indication of progress.

On the other hand, Afghan intelligence agents near the Pakistani border arrested a 50 year old foreign woman who was transporting a bomb-vest in her burka to be detonated by someone else. In this case foreign means Pakistani.

Recently some bomb-makers in Afghanistan have begun to defile corpses by placing bombs in them.

The British Army Field Hospital at Camp Bastion is doing impressive work, though the treatment of the Taliban is a step too far.

2500 tons of Afghan opiates (mostly heroin) are getting into Iran every year, 25% of which stay in Iran. The rest is going through Iran in the direction of Europe.

The India Times reports that al-Qaeda poses a threat to Musharraf’s life. Duh!

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Pakistan accepts counter-terror aid from USA, spends on Jihad against India

Animesh Roul refers to a NYT report on the Counterterrorism Blog:

Today’s New York Times has a story which paints alarming picture about Pakistan’s intention and puts question marks against it’s role in the US led War on Terror campaign. According to the report, US aid worth billions of dollars, given to Islamabad administration towards counter terror efforts have been ‘wasted and much of it was diverted to help finance weapons systems designed to counter India rather than fight al-Qaeda/Taliban

The heart of the problem (and I am being charitable this Christmas season by not mentioning mendacity as part of the problem) is the different understanding of what terror means. Americans think that terrorism is any act of illegal warfare directed primarily at civilians that is committed by non-uniformed irregular fighters. There are other accepted meanings of terror, such as the state-sanctioned terror committed by totalitarian governments from Jacobin France to the Soviet Union to Cambodia, the terror caused by strategic bombing, and the balance of nuclear terror that was part of the Cold War. The Muslims of Pakistan do not agree with these meanings. They think that warfare directed at civilians by non-uniformed irregular fighters is just fine, as long as it is part of a Jihad for Allah.

So the USA gives money to Pakistan for anti-terror purposes and it is used to commit terrorist acts.

OK Mushy, time to give that money back. You can’t keep it if you are going to use it to kill your neighbors instead of chasing after your terrorist population up in the mountains of Bajaur and Waziristan.