Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pakistani Neocons or Nationalists?

Pakistani Neocons and UN sanctions
By Khalid Hasan

Like bullfrogs out after heavy summer rains, Pakistani cyberspace and the realm of the printed word are full of the croaking of neocons who have convinced the already ignorant that the Security Council sanctions against Jama’at-ud Dawa (aka LeT) and certain individuals only came because Pakistani officials were either sleeping at the post or had conspired with the 15-member Security Council to let the axe fall.

These people are not interested in facts. They only have opinions.

One cybercon who answers to the name Ahmed Quraishi writes on December 24, “We have a government with shady characters in key places, strongly backed by the Bush administration, acting and behaving as if they were representing a US occupation government in Pakistan.” Under “recommendation”, he proposes, “We need to start a witch-hunt in Pakistan to cleanse our academia and public life of such self-haters and defeatists who poison the minds of young Pakistanis about their homeland. Such academics and human rights activists should not be allowed to hide behind the freedom of expression.”

The two “traitors” he refers to are Pervaiz Hoodbhoy and Asma Jehangir.

Then there is the Ann Coulter of Pakistan, Shireen Mazari, who writes, “Thanks to the pusillanimity shown by our leaders ever since the Mumbai acts of terrorism, Pakistan is being squeezed by so-called friends and foe alike.” She goes on to predict, “However, let there be no doubt that India is going to carry out surgical strikes, probably beginning with AJK. After all, the extraordinary and unscheduled Envoys Conference can only have been called to contain the diplomatic fallout of such strikes.”

It is pointless to inform her that the envoys’ conference had been scheduled for some time and was not summoned because of Mumbai. Mazari also wrote that “in the Mumbai aftermath, we chose to prevent our allies from rallying around us in the UN Security Council.”

Ann Coulter, I should explain, is a neocon American figure who urged the bombing of Mecca and who wrote, “Liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America’s self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant.”

She is also an ardent admirer of the late Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch hunts.

But to return to the Security Council sanctions, a statement issued by the Foreign Office in Islamabad laying out facts was lost in the din created by our croaking neocons. So let me quote that for the record:

“Action against the JuD and certain individuals was initiated following their designation by the UN Sanctions Committee established pursuant to the UN Security Council Resolution 1267, on the Consolidated List of individuals and entities associated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The request for enlisting the JuD had been under consideration of the UN Sanctions Committee since 2006... Since this resolution was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, it is obligatory on Pakistan to fully implement its provisions. Pakistan, as a responsible member of the United Nations, has fulfilled its international obligations.”

On December 9, a day before the resolution, Pakistan’s UN ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon said in a statement, “After the designation of Jama’at-ud Dawa (JuD) under (Security Council resolution) 1267, the Government, on receiving communication from the Security Council, shall proscribe the JuD and take other consequential actions, as required, including the freezing of assets.”

This shows that the sanctions were more than expected as was their imminence and the UN mission was not asleep as is being charged by the Ann Coulters and other neocons of Pakistan.

Those who are rising in defence of Lashkar-e Tayba and its mutation, the Jama’at-ud Dawa, perhaps neither know nor do they care to know what the Security Council’s terrorism sanctions committee is. And although these cybercons and super-patriots are beyond redemption and repair, let me nevertheless explain what this committee is and in the face of which Pakistan is accused of having acted pusillanimously.

The Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1267 (1999) on October 15, 1999, is also known as “the Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee”. The sanctions regime has been modified and strengthened by subsequent resolutions, including Resolutions 1333 (2000), 1390 (2002), 1455 (2003), 1526 (2004), 1617 (2005), 1735 (2006) and 1822 (2008) so that the sanctions measures now apply to designated individuals and entities associated with Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban wherever located.

The names of the targeted individuals and entities are placed on the Consolidated List. The resolutions listed above have all been adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and require all states to take a number of specified measures in connection with any individual or entity associated with Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban as designated by the Committee.

And what are those measures? Freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities; prevent the entry into or transit through their territories by designated individuals; and prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, spare parts, and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.

The Committee is one of three subsidiary bodies established by the Security Council that deal with terrorism-related issues. The other two committees are the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1540 Committee. The three Committees and their expert groups coordinate their work and cooperate closely and the Committees’ chairmen also brief the Security Council on the activities of the Committees in joint meetings, when possible.

No one can prevent the action of the committee; nor is anyone invited or told about its proceedings. Normally the first signal is a note circulated to all UN member states.

And now the unvarnished truth.

Since 2006, Pakistan, against better advice and reasons that have been blown sky-high by Mumbai, had kept the sanctions from being clamped with the help of China. However, after the Mumbai attacks, China informed Pakistan that it could no longer block the terrorist group and individuals from being sanctioned. The question the neocons and the super-patriots should ask, but don’t, is: Why was Pakistan blocking sanctions against a terrorist group?

And this takes me back to Pervez Musharraf’s first visit to the US after his coup. At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.”

Khalid Hasan is Daily Times’ US-based correspondent. His e-mail is khasan2@cox.net

Source: Daily Times

Riaz Haq's Note: Mr. Hasan quotes Ahmed Qureshi in the above piece as follows:

One cybercon who answers to the name Ahmed Quraishi writes on December 24, “We have a government with shady characters in key places, strongly backed by the Bush administration, acting and behaving as if they were representing a US occupation government in Pakistan.” Under “recommendation”, he proposes, “We need to start a witch-hunt in Pakistan to cleanse our academia and public life of such self-haters and defeatists who poison the minds of young Pakistanis about their homeland. Such academics and human rights activists should not be allowed to hide behind the freedom of expression.”

While I don't agree with what Mr. Quraishi proposes, I do worry about the constant doom and gloom that dominates Pakistani media and intellectual discourse. It can potentially discourage any hope in Pakistan and make such talk a self-fulfilling prophesy. BTW, such overwhelming negative talk in Pakistan is welcome news to those in India who argue for covert actions to hurt Pakistan.

Vikram Sood, former top spy in India, elaborates on India's covert warfare options to target Pakistan in the following words: "Covert action can be of various kinds. One is the paramilitary option, which is what the Pakistanis have been using against us. It is meant to hurt, destabilize or retaliate. The second is the psychological war option, which is a very potent and unseen force. It is an all weather option and constitutes essentially changing perceptions of friends and foes alike. The media is a favorite instrument, provided it is not left to the bureaucrats because then we will end up with some clumsy and implausible propaganda effort. More than the electronic and print media, it is now the internet and YouTube that can be the next-generation weapons of psychological war. Terrorists use these liberally and so should those required to counter terrorism."

Leaving aside the personal attacks on "Pakistani neocons", Mr. Hasan has asked the most relevant question in this piece above: Why was Pakistan blocking sanctions against a terrorist group (LeT or JuD)?

To answer this question, what is needed is a serious, independent investigation that is aimed at discovering the truth rather than diverting the world's attention from the long-festering core issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan. One can speculate on all sorts of motives and conspiracy theories, but here's one answer from a respected Japanese writer Yoichi Shimatsu, a former editor of The Japan Times in Tokyo who currently teaches journalism at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Shimatsu is not known to be neocon and he has covered the Kashmir crisis and the Afghan War:

"Why then is New Delhi and Washington insisting that Islamic militants in Pakistan are primarily responsible for the attack while downplaying Dawood’s larger role?

Lashkar-e-Taiba is the convenient solution for the politicians who are trying to cement an Indo-American “civilian” nuclear pact and military allianace, and every such arranged marriage demands a common enemy.

Blaming the Lahore-based Lashkar is all-too easy since the outfit was once the West Point of the Kashmir insurgency. The Army of the Righteous, as it is known in English, was a paramilitary force par excellence that routinely mauled the Indian Army along the Himalayan ridge that forms the Line of Control of divided Kashmir. In an attack on the strategic town of Kargil in late spring 1999, Lashkar broke through India’s alpine defense line and came close to forcing New Delhi to the negotiating table.

Along the sawtooth LoC, Lashkar is respected by professional soldiers on both side. A Pakistani hero who fought on the Baltistan heights, Corporal Ahmed, told me of his admiration for the stoicism of these jihadis, who wore sandals to battle in the snow. At a checkpoint in Indian-controlled Kargil, an army captain wearing a Sikh turban said frankly that nobody in the Indian Army could fight man-to-man against Lashkar.

Lashkar earned its reputation in clean-fought mountain warfare, pitting lightly armed guerrillas against Indian armor and superior firepower.

In its finest hours, these fighters would never consider the dirty tactics used against civilians in Mumbai, for example, the gangland-style executions using a shot to the back of a kneeling captive’s head. That is more typical of the Mumbai underworld.

Like many of the misguided decisions in the war on terror, the banning of Lashkar by Pakistan in 2002 did more harm than good. Without central discipline and a unifying cause, splinter groups broke off and many a cadet went solo. During his residency in Karachi, Dawood is known to have sent his young recruits for training by former Lashkar instructors. The moralistic cause had degenerated into a school for hitmen."



Related Links:

Pervez Hoodbhoy on Mumbai

Mastermind of Mumbai Massacre

Solving the Mumbai Attack Puzzle

Pakistan, US Act in Mumbai's Aftermath

Can India "Do A Lebanon" in Pakistan?

ISI Rogues

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting stuff on South Asia.. http://saprophagous.blogspot.com/2005/06/suicidal-divide.html
Please post on your blog.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately most experts in Pakistan have a very monochromatic thinking and hence extremely divergent views and no common path.

Riaz Haq said...

Mr. Hasan quotes Ahmed Qureshi in this piece as follows:

One cybercon who answers to the name Ahmed Quraishi writes on December 24, “We have a government with shady characters in key places, strongly backed by the Bush administration, acting and behaving as if they were representing a US occupation government in Pakistan.” Under “recommendation”, he proposes, “We need to start a witch-hunt in Pakistan to cleanse our academia and public life of such self-haters and defeatists who poison the minds of young Pakistanis about their homeland. Such academics and human rights activists should not be allowed to hide behind the freedom of expression.”

While I don't agree with what Mr. Quraishi proposes, I do worry about the constant doom and gloom that dominates Pakistani media and intellectual discourse. It can potentially discourage any hope in Pakistan and make such talk a self-fulfilling prophesy. BTW, such overwhelming negative talk in Pakistan is welcome news to those in India who argue for covert actions to hurt Pakistan.

Vikram Sood, former top spy in India, elaborates on India's covert warfare options to target Pakistan in the following words: "Covert action can be of various kinds. One is the paramilitary option, which is what the Pakistanis have been using against us. It is meant to hurt, destabilize or retaliate. The second is the psychological war option, which is a very potent and unseen force. It is an all weather option and constitutes essentially changing perceptions of friends and foes alike. The media is a favorite instrument, provided it is not left to the bureaucrats because then we will end up with some clumsy and implausible propaganda effort. More than the electronic and print media, it is now the internet and YouTube that can be the next-generation weapons of psychological war. Terrorists use these liberally and so should those required to counter terrorism."

Sikander Hayat said...

To read more about developments in Pakistan and areas around it, please go to
http://real-politique.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

According to a news article in Pakistan, Pakistan is demanding that Colonel Prohit be handed over to Pakistan for a trial of killing 60+ Pakistanis and of terrorism on Samjhota Express. Pakistan has also expressed deep concern over the Death of legendary office Kurkurey. Wondering why none of those British and American visitors (Bouchers and Miliband of the world) did not ask India to do that. Over to you Jadev and Ray ;-)

jaydev,India said...

anon@Jan 18, 2009 3:32 PM
->Investigation in case of Malegaon and Samjhota Express blasts are on going in spite of whole ATS leadership being wiped out. The whole Purohit-Sadhvi angle is still in media and investigative domains. They haven't been convicted yet and is in judicial?/ATS? custody under MCOCA Act.
Since Pak citizens are dead in the blasts, they are entitled to be debriefed on investigation progress and results of trials.

->The incident took place in Indian territory near Delhi,so its under Indian jurisdiction with both Indian and Pak causalities.

->We never had top political parties(PPP ruling party) asking for an independent UN investigation(Benazir assassination) into any crimes committed in our territory.Such is the low credibility of Pak judicial as well as investigation agencies.

-> You might have head of recent Wall Street journal repot quoting NSA officials about your intel ppl calling up jehadi madrassa head and suggesting senior ppl to "scram" before the "show" raid.

->The main reason India is asking for deporting terror leaders are because Pak is holding them under "house-arrest". There is nothing under any law in any country that gives "house arrest" punishments to people involved in terror strikes. House arrest is mainly used to detain people to foil public demonstrations and potential instigators of riots etc.

->The JuD/LeT are declared terror organizations by UN. LeT is even "banned" in Pak. JuD's ban was voted for by Pak itself in UN.

->If Pak claims that it too is a victim of same terrorists who attacked Mumbai then what is the problem with taking action against them? If Pak don't act against the terror group this time and Indian Govt don't do anything about it..it will be routed in coming election.

Riaz Haq said...

During British Foreign Sec Miliband's visit to South Asia, the Indian media welcomed Miliband's demand that Pak move quickly against JuD. But as soon as he talked about the need to resolve Kashmir, the Indian media ganged up on him. Here's a BBC report on this:

The Indian media have continued their assault on UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband following his comments on the Kashmir issue.

Mr Miliband, who visited India and Pakistan last week, said in a UK newspaper article that solving the dispute would help tackle extremism.

India blames Lashkar-e-Taiba militants, who have fought Indian rule in Kashmir, for the November attacks on Mumbai.

But Delhi sees Kashmir as an "internal" issue separate from tackling terrorism.

On Monday the Hindu's editorial said Mr Miliband's visit was an "ill-conceived foray" and criticised the linkage of the Mumbai attacks with the divided region of Kashmir.

"Such ham-handedness plays into the hands of those who are in denial and rationalise violent extremism by finding 'just' causes for it," it wrote.

The editorial in the Asian Age said: "Such appeasement of terrorism is startling... What next? That the chief imam of London's Finsbury Park Mosque should be elevated to the House of Lords?"

The Pioneer accused Mr Miliband of "domestic grandstanding and ideological posturing that only left his Indian hosts convinced of Whitehall's marginal status in international politics".

A number of Indian newspapers at the weekend quoted officials as criticising Mr Miliband's "aggressive" attitude in meetings.

In his article in the Guardian, Mr Miliband said resolving the Kashmir dispute would help deny extremists in the region one of their main calls to arms and allow Pakistani authorities to focus more effectively on tackling the threat on their western borders.

India's foreign ministry reacted strongly, saying India did not need unsolicited advice on internal issues.

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party described the visit as a "diplomatic disaster".

The BBC's Jill McGivering says Indian officials may be firing a warning shot, reminding the West that foreign attempts to engage with - or interfere in - the dispute about Kashmir are unwelcome.

India has long resisted attempts to internationalise Kashmir, which it sees as a bilateral affair.

A spokeswoman for Mr Miliband was quoted in the UK's Independent newspaper on Sunday as saying: "The foreign secretary was very open and honest about his views, which are those of the British government. He delivered the same message in New Delhi as he did in Islamabad."


These reports clearly show that Indians want to continue the "terrorism" discussion in the media and the diplomatic circles rather than any hint of the underlying Kashmir issue. Some of Pakistan's "liberal elite" is unwittingly joining the Indian campaign of malice toward Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I think this whole fiasco of extremism in Pakistan is gonna end ... surely some people have been successful staging the drama of 11/26 and gathering international sympathies to some extent by penetrating into Pakistan government to make them sing a bollywood song ... but this drama can longer contain itself ... it is about to die its natural death. Ann Coulters or not ... but the Bushes and Cheyneys and Mukherjees will have to chase their own tails in the end. As for Pakistan being busy in its own defense ... India still faces insurgencies throughout its mainland which unveils the conspiracy of Indian Governments of always shifting the blame on "across border" ... general populace in india does understand but being the emotional animals that people of sub-continents are ... they get carried away sometimes by incessant media hype.