Tuesday, July 17, 2018

"Deep State" AKA "Khalai Makhlooq" vs Trump and Sharif

US President Donald Trump says he is being investigated by the "US Deep State" because he is trying to improve his nation's bilateral relations with Russia.  Pakistan's ex Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also made similar allegations of being targeted by "Khalai Makhlooq" (Pakistani Deep State) because of his efforts to make peace with India.  Their narratives are strikingly similar. Sharif and Trump have polarized and divided their nations by asking their political supporters to stand by them and to reject what they describe as a political "witch hunt".

Donald Trump and Nawaz Sharif
Trump vs US Deep State:

In a press conference after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Mr. Trump said: "We have 90 percent of nuclear power between the two countries. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous what’s going on with the probe".  The probe Mr. Trump is calling "ridiculous" is the result of the consensus reached by US intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in 2016 US presidential election to help Mr. Trump win. President Putin confessed that he favored Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump's supporters have accused "US Deep State" made up of intelligence and security establishment and Democrats of pursuing an anti-Trump agenda to derail efforts to improve US-Russia ties. Trump himself at the Helsinki press conference said: "As president, I cannot make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics or the media or Democrats who want to do nothing but resist and obstruct. Constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia forwards the opportunity to open new pathways toward peace and stability in our world. I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics. As president, I will always put what is best for America and what is best for the American people".

Sharif vs Khalai Makhlooq:

Nawaz Sharif and his supporters have long accused "Khalai Makhlooq" (Pakistani Deep State) for targeting him because of his efforts to improve ties with India. They reject any criticism of Sharif's eagerness to make friends with Indian Hindu Nationalist Prime Minister while ignoring India's proxy war of terror to destabilize and damage Pakistan.

Sharif's critics say that he is too soft on India's Modi in the same way that Trump's critics accuse him of being too cosy with Russia's Vladimir Putin.  They cite Nawaz Sharif's total silence on the arrest and confessions of Indian intelligence agent Kulbhushan Jadhav in Balochistan. Sharif's silence on this issue is seen as his distrust in his own intelligence agencies.

Sharif and his supporters have bought the Indian narrative that Pakistani establishment is the root cause of all problems between India and Pakistan. It''s similar to the way Trump and his supporters accuse US establishment of being responsible for lack of progress on building better ties with Russia.

Sharm al Shaikh and Ufa Declarations:

In 2009 Sharm al Sheikh meeting between then prime ministers Yousuf Raza Gilani and Manmohan Singh, the joint declaration included the mention of India's involvement in Balochistan along with Kashmir and other issues.

In 2015 when Nawaz Sharif met with Narendra Modi in Ufa, Russia, the joint statement does not mention the the Kashmir issue. Nor did it raise the issue of the 2007 inquiry of the Samjhauta Express blast, the British government’s alleged findings that India was supporting the MQM, and the Pakistan's charge that India is supporting terrorist groups in Pakistan.

The difference between the Sharm al Sheikh and Ufa caught the attention of all in Pakistan and reinforced the perception that Sharif was eager to make any deal with Modi, even a deal that ignored Pakistan's national security interests.  Many Americans have similar views about Trump's eagerness to make a deal with Putin.

Civil-Military Divide:

Indian and Western analysts and media promote the narrative of civil-military divide in Pakistan for lack of progress on India-Pakistan relations. In an article titled "Pakistan’s civil–military imbalance misunderstood", Husain Nadim of the University of Sydney says as follows:

"This absence of nuance in Western academic writing and commentaries on Pakistan is not just a blind spot. It is deliberate neglect whereby the dominant characterization of Pakistan’s civil–military relations is constructed to suit Western political interests that include aligning Pakistan’s national security policies with that of the West, and having a strong check on its nuclear program. Through aiding the civil–military divide in the country, the idea is to push back the mighty role of the Pakistan army from national security and foreign policy in hopes to seeking concession from the civilian political leadership."

On Sharif's eagerness to seek better ties with India, Husain Nadim says that "(Pakistani) military leaders advised caution and small steps to achieving sustainable peace with India — advice which Sharif ignored. After several months of futile attempts to court Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who pressed hard on Pakistan after his rise to power, Sharif faced an embarrassing situation. He accepted that his strategy had been a failure and allowed the military to devise a new strategy to engage India".

Who's at Fault?

In “How India Sees the World: Kautilya to the 21st Century”, the former India Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran recalls the crucial meeting of the CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) on the eve of India-Pakistan Defense Secretary-level talks in May 2006, where the draft agreement, that had been approved by the Army and other stakeholders, was to be discussed. However, he said two key players, the-then National Security Advisor MK Narayanan and then Army Chief General J.J. Singh made last minute interventions to scuttle the proposal, according to a report in The Hindu newspaper.

“When the CCS meeting was held on the eve of the defense secretary–level talks, [Mr.] Narayanan launched into a bitter offensive against the proposal, saying that Pakistan could not be trusted, that there would be political and public opposition to any such initiative and that India’s military position in the northern sector vis- à-vis both Pakistan and China would be compromised. [Gen] J.J. Singh, who had happily gone along with the proposal in its earlier iterations, now decided to join Narayanan in rubbishing it,” Mr. Saran writes.

“This is when L. K. Advani surprised Musharraf by asking for Dawood Ibrahim. This took Musharraf back and a shadow was cast thereafter on the Agra summit.” “As Mr. Mishra put it: “Yaar, hote-hote reh gaya … Ho gaya tha, who toh.”  Ex Indian Intelligence Chief A.S. Dulat

The above quote is from A.S. Dulat who has served as Chief of India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and as Special Director of India's Intelligence Bureau. He was speaking with Indian Journalist Karan Thapar of India Today on a variety of subjects including Kashmir and Musharraf-Vajpayee Agra summit.

Dulat has essentially confirmed the fact that Indian hawks like the BJP leader L.K. Advani are responsible for sabotaging the India-Pakistan summit.

There have now been multiple revelations by former Indian officials like Shyam Saran and AS Dulat as well as leaked US diplomatic cables detailing the causes of failures to resolve disputes in India-Pakistan talks in the last two decades.  These disclosures thoroughly debunk the myth promoted by Indian security analysts, Indian politicians and some western think tanks blaming Pakistan, particularly the Pakistani military, for the continuing failures to resolve bilateral disputes with India.


US President Donald Trump and Pakistan's ex prime minister Nawaz Sharif are both claiming they are victims of  conspiracies by "Deep State" also known as Khalai Makhlooq in their respective countries. Each says that they are being targeted for wanting better relations with the leaders of their arch rivals in Russia and India. Their narratives are strikingly similar. Sharif and Trump have polarized and divided their own nations by asking the voters to stand by them and to reject what they describe as a political "witch hunt". Their critics argue that both leaders are too eager to make any deals with the enemies, even deals that do not take into account their countries best interests.

Here's a video clip of BBC Hardtalk's host Stephen Sackur challenging Pakistan Dawn Media Group's CEO Hameed Haroon to show evidence of Pakistani "Deep State" interference in the upcoming elections:


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Sharif's and Trump's Strikingly Similar Narratives

Indian Agent Kulbhushan Jhadav's Arrest in Balochistan


A.S. Dulat and Shyam Saran on India-Pakistan Ties

America's "We're the Good Guys" Narrative

The Story of Pakistan's M8 Motorway

Pakistan-China-Russia vs India-Japan-US

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel


Riaz Haq said...

Here's the link to #BBC's Hardtalk's Stephen Sackur challenging #Pakistan's Dawn Group CEO Hameed Haroon for evidence of his allegations against "Deep State": https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-asia-44873938/dawn-boss-deep-state-influence-on-pakistan-election #PakistanElection2018 #media #PTI #PMLN

How BBC’s HARDtalk exposed Dawn’s anti-establishment narrative
In the latest interview with BBC hard talk, Hameed Haroon- Chief Executive Officer of Dawn Group of Publication, said, “Pakistani media was facing the worst kind of intimidation at the hands of ‘deep state’ which would not be good for the future of democratic institutions in the country.” Rather than providing concrete evidence, he put forward a rather lame reply that there exists a strong perception that military was behind all this.

Despite the allegations of ‘rigging’ in sumo wrestling in Japan, “the mere utterance of the words “sumo” and “rigged” in the same sentence can cause a national furor,” argues ‎Steven D. Levitt‎ and ‎Stephen J. Dubner in their book Freakonomics. It’s a rarity that such allegations find their way into Japanese media and any occasional reporting may stir a media storm to measure the possible corruption in sumo.

“Media scrutiny, after all, creates a powerful incentive…..” say the writers. In Pakistan, few media houses take credit and liberty to discredit and loathe political parties, and military establishment for rigging credentials in favor of holy cow of their liking.

The dubious reality of the world media is up for debate. Media stories may at times alter your conclusion of the real events. The presentation of the story and carefully chosen words can make a lot of difference. Dawn leaks II is a prime example of this. It meddles with the mind of the audience. It hides the reality behind the scenes. What one sees may not be the factual position of a person, an institution, and/or a country.

The questions regarding the control of international media are not something new. It’s a known fact how powerful cronies, capitalists, and neoliberals control media to safeguard their own national, regional and global interests.

Relying on any particular media house in the domestic circuit or in the international domain challenges your intelligence and rationality. The wisdom to join the dots to reach a conclusion which makes sense requires extensive reading of newspapers from Europe to the Atlantic. One of Pakistan’s oldest and credible media houses-Dawn decided to take its case to international media over hurdles in distributions, blocking of television broadcast, and threats it received from allegedly rogue elements/deep state in the country.

Pakistan’s media group dawn is making waves across the world. It is making efforts to gather international sympathy. From Washington post to BBC studio, Dawn is busy ridiculing Pakistan’s Military establishment. But in the process, it has exposed itself. Dawn has shown its real intent. The intent is to malign Pakistan’s security establishment and to gather support in favor of Nawaz.

Ever since the Panama revelations, which troubled Nawaz, Dawn has been busy defending him profoundly through its different forums—news analysis, op-eds, and videos podcasts.

Riaz Haq said...

SATIRE on "Pakistan Deep State" or "Khalai Makhlooq" :

I know how the conspiracy was hatched and unfolded :-)

1. Pakistan Army and ISI colluded with the international consortium of investigative journalists to hack and leak Panama Papers.

2. They made sure that Nawaz Sharif's family's undeclared assets are part of the leak.

3. Pakistan Army chief and ISI ordered NAB to investigate Panama leak and Nawaz Sharif family's assets.

4. Pakistan Army Chief and ISI chief called a meeting of the top Supreme Court judges to hear the case, remove Nawaz Sharif and transfer trial to a NAB court.

5. Pakistan Army Chief and ISI ordered NAB court to render a guilty verdict.

I know it's true. I don't need any evidence for it.

It's for the Army Chief, the ISI chief and the judges to prove their innocence :-)

Riaz Haq said...

BBC Hardtalk's host Stephen Sackur challenged Pakistan Dawn Media Group's CEO Hameed Haroon to show evidence of Pakistani "Deep State" interference in the upcoming elections. Haroon responded by saying there's strong perception of it and said "it's all over social media". Sackur then told Haroon about the widely held view that Dawn Media Group is openly taking sides by supporting PMLN for the last two years and its now "convicted" leader Nawaz Sharif.

Sackur: You are defenders of journalistic integrity, independence and impartiality in Pakistan but you are not seen as entirely neutral and impartial because over the last couple of years you are increasingly giving platform to one particular political player Nawaz Sharif who's run into an awful lot of trouble due to allegations of corruption ....you, the self-proclaimed impartial, independent, neutral media group covering Pakistani politics are now seen to be supporting and sympathetic to Nawaz Sharif and his daughter who it has has to be said are convicted criminals...

Haroon: There's an element of orchestration by military of a campaign against us...

Sackur: Where is your evidence of orchestration?

Haroon: If you look at the social media attacks on Dawn by the ISPR trolls....not just going after us but anybody who stands in their way


Riaz Haq said...

‘We are Q’: A deranged conspiracy cult leaps from the Internet to the crowd at #Trump’s ‘MAGA’ tour. #QAnon #ConspiracyTheory #DeepStateCabal https://wapo.st/2vqCRwh?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.8849d47a01ee

On Tuesday evening, the dark recesses of the Internet lit up with talk of politics.

“Tampa rally, live coverage,” wrote “Dan,” posting a link to President Trump’s Tampa speech in a thread on 8chan, an anonymous image board also known as Infinitechan or Infinitychan, which might be best described as the unglued twin of better-known 4chan, a message board already untethered from reality.

The thread invited “requests to Q,” an anonymous user claiming to be a government agent with top security clearance, waging war against the so-called deep state in service to the 45th president. “Q” feeds disciples, or “bakers,” scraps of intelligence, or “bread crumbs,” that they scramble to bake into an understanding of the “storm” — the community’s term, drawn from Trump’s cryptic reference last year to “the calm before the storm” — for the president’s final conquest over elites, globalists and deep-state saboteurs.

What Tuesday’s rally in Tampa made apparent is that devotees of these falsehoods — some of which are specific to faith in the president, others garden-variety nonsense with racist and anti-Semitic undertones — don’t just exist in the far reaches of the Web.

[Why the QAnon conspiracy is the natural culmination of the Trump era]

Believers in “QAnon,” as the conspiracy theory is known, were front and center at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall, where Trump came to stump for Republican candidates. As the president spoke, a sign rose from the audience. “We are Q,” it read. Another poster displayed text arranged in a “Q” pattern: “Where we go one we go all.”

The symbol appeared on clothing, too. A man and a woman wore matching white T-shirts with the YouTube logo encircled in a blue “Q.” The video-sharing website came under criticism this week for unwittingly becoming a platform for baseless claims, first promoted on Twitter and Reddit by QAnon believers, that certain Hollywood celebrities are pedophiles. A search for the name of one of those celebrities on Monday returned videos purporting to show his victims sharing their stories.

The prominence of the “Q” symbol turned parts of the audience into a tableau of delusion and paranoia — and offered evidence that QAnon, an outgrowth of the #Pizzagate conspiracy theory that led a gunman to open fire in a D.C. restaurant last year, has leaped from Internet message boards to the president’s “Make America Great Again” tour through America.

“Pray Trump mentions Q!” one user wrote on 8chan. He didn’t need to. As hazy corners of the Internet buzzed about the president’s speech, his appearance became a real-life show of force for the community that has mostly operated behind the veil of anonymity on subreddits.

Trump himself has at times been a purveyor of conspiracy theories, most notably in refusing for years to back down from his false claim that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. He also asserted without evidence that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower, peddled the debunked idea that millions of illegal votes cost him the popular vote and associated the father of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas with the assassin who shot John F. Kennedy.

Riaz Haq said...

Jason Chaffetz: The Deep State is real – I've seen it up close and it's far worse than you can imagine


With each successive batch of text messages released between then-FBI agent Peter Strzok and then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, the evidence supporting a politically motivated Deep State within the federal government spills out into the open.

Based on my own experience, this particular set of text messages is the tip of the iceberg. While serving on the House Oversight Committee, I saw firsthand how those in control of our bureaucracy brazenly abuse their power – spying, manipulating and misleading – in an effort to perpetuate their stranglehold on the government.


My first run-in with the Deep State happened weeks after the Benghazi terrorist attacks of September 11, 2012. In an encounter highlighted in my book, I went face-to-face with a lawyer sent to Libya by Hillary Clinton’s State Department to act as a spy and ensure I did not ever get to the truth of what happened on that tragic night.

When I refused to allow this State Department lawyer to participate in a briefing for which his security clearance was insufficient, he immediately called Clinton Chief of Staff and fixer Cheryl Mills to demand entrance to the meeting. His real purpose was to intimidate witnesses from being candid with a congressman.

I won that battle and got the information I sought. But the effort to speak to witnesses, review documents, and debunk the ridiculous and false narratives told by political appointees and perpetuated by their Deep State allies was an uphill battle.

Even with a select congressional committee empaneled to investigate, Congress was never able to pry from the Deep State many of the documents that would have confirmed or refuted the damning testimony of Benghazi’s heroes.

Spying is just one trick up the sleeves of politicized bureaucrats. Powerful senior staffers with authority to classify, resist disclosure, and subvert oversight have perfected other strategies to avoid transparency and accountability.

The Deep State manipulates congressional investigations by pretending to cooperate with document subpoenas. Those who are part of the Deep State bury congressional committees in piles of paper ostensibly responsive to the investigation, and then brag to the media about the number of pages they have turned over.

In reality, many of those pages will either be fully redacted, duplicates of other pages, or irrelevant to the investigation.

The media then dutifully report that the agency has turned over thousands of pages – yet the public gets no answers. Meanwhile, the documents that would actually tell the American people the truth never see the light of day.

Misleading the public about the nature of documents sought either by Congress or through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests is another art the Deep State has perfected. Agencies employ lawyers specifically to find reasons to withhold documents.

In one May 2014 hearing, a TSA sensitive security information director testified that upon being hired, attorneys and FOIA processors trained him to hide information.

The director testified that he was told: “If you come across embarrassing information or whatever, (the chief counsel) will just hide it and come up with an exemption; because if you cover it with a FOIA exemption it’s so hard for the other person to challenge it, and it will be costly and difficult for them to challenge it, and they’re probably never going to see it anyway, so you just get away with it. That’s the way it’s done.”

There are solutions, which I outline in my book. But before we can address solutions, we have to acknowledge the problem.

The Deep State is not just a conspiracy theory. No less than our very system of separation of powers and checks and balances is at stake.

Riaz Haq said...

Top #US General hits back against 'offensive' #Republican criticism and defends #Pentagon diversity efforts! Civil-military tensions are not unique to #Pakistan! https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/23/politics/milley-diversity-pentagon-gop/index.html

The most senior general in the US military, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, offered a forceful rebuke of renewed efforts from Republican members of Congress to question the Defense Department's diversity efforts and alleged embrace of "critical race theory."

Responding to a question by Rep. Mike Waltz about the appropriateness of a seminar at the United States Military Academy at West Point called "Understanding Whiteness and White Rage," Milley responded: "I want to understand White rage. And I'm White. And I want to understand it."
Tying the question to the January 6 insurrection, Milley asked: "What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here."
Milley called it "offensive" that service members were being called "quote, 'woke' or something else, because we're studying some theories that are out there."

"I've read Mao Zedong. I've read, I've read Karl Marx. I've read Lenin. That doesn't make me a communist," Milley said. "So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?"
Milley's forceful pushback came as military officials have faced a chorus of GOP voices questioning the Defense Department's efforts to promote diversity and combat extremism in the ranks.

The exchange took place during a House Armed Services hearing on the Defense Department budget, where Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin faced similar questions on "critical race theory," a decades-old academic concept that recognizes systemic racism as part of American society, that has become a political talking point for Republicans nationwide.
Embattled Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who was seen shaking his head during Milley's comments, later tweeted a video of Milley's remarks, writing in the tweet: "With Generals like this it's no wonder we've fought considerably more wars than we've won."
Gaetz had earlier asked Austin about the stand down he ordered regarding extremism, claiming he had heard complaints from service members from "majority minority" units, as well as what Austin thought of critical race theory.
Austin responded by calling the GOP-driven conversation about critical race theory "spurious" and said that he had received far more positive feedback on the stand down than Gaetz's "anecdotal" negative feedback.
"I have gotten 10 times that amount of input, 50 times that amount of input on the other side that have said, hey, we are glad to have had the ability to have a conversation with ourselves and with our leadership, and that's what we need," said Austin.


The strong responses from Milley and Austin come a week after Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday fired back at Republican members of Congress who criticized his recommendation of the book "How to Be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi on a voluntary reading list for Navy sailors.
"What this is really about is trying to paint the United States military, and in this case, the United States Navy, as weak, as woke," Gilday said. "We are not weak."
Gilday further defended his recommendation as part of a national security concern, arguing that conversations about racism and diversity in the military are necessary to combat misinformation by US adversaries.

Riaz Haq said...

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Monday took strong exception to the recent remarks by PTI Chairman Imran Khan regarding the appointment of the new army chief, saying that it was “aghast at the defamatory and uncalled for” statement about the institution’s senior leadership.


“Regrettably, an attempt has been made to discredit and undermine [the] senior leadership of [the] Pakistan Army at a time when the institution is laying lives for the security and safety of the people of Pakistan every day.

Senior politicians trying to stir controversies on the appointment of the chief of army staff (COAS), the procedure for which is well defined in the constitution, is most unfortunate and disappointing, the ISPR said.

It went on to say that the army’s senior leadership had a decades-long, impeccable and meritorious service to prove its patriotic and professional credentials beyond any doubt.

“Politicising the senior leadership of Pakistan Army and scandalising the process of selection of [the] COAS is neither in the interest of the state of Pakistan nor of the institution. Pakistan Army reiterates its commitment to uphold the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” the statement concluded.

The development comes a day after Imran, at a rally in Faisalabad, alleged that the PPP and PML-N were opposing fresh elections, because they wanted to “appoint an army chief of their choice” in November to save their skin in corruption cases.

“They want to bring their own army chief…they are afraid that if a strong and patriotic army chief is appointed then he would ask them about the looted wealth,” the former prime minister said.

“They are sitting [in the government] because they want to bring in an army chief of their choice through joint efforts,” Imran claimed, adding that the army chief should be “appointed on merit … whoever is on the top of the merit list should be appointed” to head the institution.

COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, who was appointed in 2016, is set to retire in the last week of November. The army chief’s appointment is meant to be for three years, but Gen Bajwa was given an additional three-year term in 2019 after a bit of political drama.

She said the press release was “of concern because it seems to have misunderstood what Imran said despite clarifications”. The ex-human rights minister maintained that the PTI chief had not criticised the military or its leadership in his Faisalabad speech.

PTI’s Asad Umar said the context of Imran’s statement had already been clarified. “There was never an intent to cause harm to the reputation of the institution or its senior leadership,” he said.

He went on to say that the party and its chief had always “fully appreciated” the professionalism and sacrifices of army personnel.

“The emphasis on upholding the principle of merit is consistent with the desire to protect the professionalism of the force which provides security to the nation,” he said.

PTI Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said the ISPR would not have felt the need to issue the press release if it had listened to what he had said in Islamabad earlier today.

In his press conference, Chaudhry had attempted to explain and defend Imran’s remarks.

Criticising the coalition government and its leaders, Chaudhry said Imran had meant that the decision to appoint the next COAS could not be left to the government since it lacked “political legitimacy”.

“We have raised questions on the legitimacy of the politicians who are making decisions,” Chaudhry said.

He added that the PTI felt the army should not be involved in the political process.

“There is no doubt about the patriotism of the army’s leadership. There can be no doubt or suspicion about it,” Chaudhry asserted.

Coalition govt slams Imran
Earlier today, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other coalition leaders castigated Imran for levelling “poisonous allegations” against the armed forces and “putting blots” on the appointment of the new army chief.