Original Articles

Khalid Khwaja’s death – by Ahmed Iqbalabadi


I am saddened by the killing of former ISI officer, Mr. Khalid Khawaja, by the so called “Asian Tigers” (Punjabi Taliban) after having abducted him more than a month ago.

Even though I have strong differences to the point of view of Mr. Khawaja during the last 3 years, when he appeared as a vocal supporter of jihadis, yet his killing is a chilling reminder and an eye opener to all of us that the Taliban and their off shoots, are nothing but mercenaries having their own twisted agenda of removing anyone who they deem to be a hurdle in their cause. Their cause is something which remains vague, however, it for sure supports a regime that presents the most unrealistic view of our faith.

Mr. Khawaja was a Mujahid by conviction, with a well known motivation of ridding the world of American domination. It is ironic that he has been killed because the Asian Tigers considered him to be an “American Agent” and part of the “Lal Masjid saga”.

I hope that people who support the Taliban or have any sympathies towards them would realize what a grave mistake they have been doing. Till now it was the moderate forces that were at a risk of being attacked by the extremists. Now it can be anyone’s head who doesn’t seem to tow the line set by the terrorists.

It is also my sincere hope that newspapers and media highlight this point as much as possible to bring about awareness of the dangers associated with supporting these so called Jihadis.

About the author

Ahmed Iqbalabadi

18 Comments

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  • i think you are affected by ”Taliban fobia.u r not more then a dirty dog & bluddy pig.open your eyes if you have and see sir khalid saheed widow’s point of view in newspapers .she said clearly that Taliban are not involved in his assassination. peoples like you are not aware about the great game played by isi and taliban in tribal areas against your ”superpower” america.why taliban and isi have crosslinks togather? many times evidense show these links.so plz enjoy your unvalueable life and not stuffed your tiny mind in those thing you dont know

  • @sany Let us refrain from swear words. They are so easy to use.

    In short, you are suggesting that Taliban and ISI are linked together. Then the question is, who is responsible for Mr Khawaja’s murder? What is the evidence?

  • Imran Khan should try to go there now to “Talk” to his brothers for peace.

  • @sany
    Oh…my gosh…U have a great revelation for us…It must be from ZH site or some other like him…only the big headed can understand not the tiny minds and hearts can understand or realize…or the revelation came upon U in Royay E sadiqaa(dreams)…thanks for sharing this to us…
    This time its better Hamid Gul sb Qibla should go to avenge the martyrdom of his messenger….

  • خالد خواجہ کون تھے؟

    شہزاد ملک
    بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، اسلام آباد

    پاکستان کے قبائلی علاقے میں شدت پسندوں کے ہاتھوں ہلاک ہونے والے خالد خواجہ کو بائیس سال پہلے پاکستانی فضائیہ سے ریٹائر کر دیا گیا تھا اور وہ اس وقت سکوارڈن لیڈر کے رینک پر فائز تھے۔

    اسی ملازمت کے دوران انہوں نے دو سال کے لیے پاکستانی فوج کی انٹیلیجنس ایجنسی آئی ایس آئی میں ڈیپوٹیشن پر بھی کام کیا تھا۔

    سنہ اُنیس سو ستاسی میں فوج سے جبری ریٹائرمنٹ کے باوجود بھی وہ آئی ایس آئی کے لیے مختلف منصوبوں کے لیے کام کرتے رہے اور افغان جہاد میں بھی وہ مختلف معاملوں پر آئی ایس آئی کے لیے مبینہ طور پر خدمات سرانجام دیتے رہے۔

    تاہم اس عرصے کے دوران لوگ اُنہیں زیادہ نہیں جانتے تھے۔خالد خواجہ کا نام لوگ اُس وقت جاننا شروع ہوئے جب نائن الیون کے واقعہ کے بعد انہوں نے مغربی میڈیا پر انٹرویو دیے کہ وہ القاعدہ کے لیڈر اُسامہ بن لادن کے پائلٹ رہے ہیں۔ خالد خواجہ کے اس دعوے نے تو پورے مغربی میڈیا کی توجہ اپنی جانب مبذول کروا لی تھی۔

    خالد خواجہ کا یہ بھی دعوٰی تھا کہ انہوں نے میاں نواز شریف اور اُسامہ بن لادن کی دو سے زائد مرتبہ ملاقات کروائی تھی تاہم پاکستان مسلم لیگ نون کی طرف سے اس خبر کی تردید کی گئی ہے۔
    اپنی حیات کے دوران خالد خواجہ یہ دعوے بھی کرتے رہے کہ اُن کے پاکستان مسلم لیگ نون کے قائد میاں نواز شریف کے ساتھ ذاتی مراسم تھے اور سابق وزیر اعظم بینظیر بھٹو کی حکومت کے خلاف مختلف سیاسی جماعتوں کے اتحاد اسلامی جمہوری اتحاد یعنی آئی جے آئی قائم کرنے میں انہوں نے آئی ایس آئی کے ساتھ مل کر اہم کردار ادا کیا تھا۔

    خالد خواجہ کا یہ بھی دعوٰی تھا کہ انہوں نے میاں نواز شریف اور اُسامہ بن لادن کی دو سے زائد مرتبہ ملاقات کروائی تھی تاہم پاکستان مسلم لیگ نون کی طرف سے اس خبر کی تردید کی گئی ہے۔

    کراچی میں امریکی صحافی ڈینیل پرل کی ہلاکت کے بعد امریکی خفیہ ادارے ایف بی آئی کے اہلکاروں نے خالد خواجہ سے پوچھ گچھ کی تھی تاہم اُنہیں حراست میں نہیں لیا گیا تھا۔

    سابق ملٹری ڈکٹیٹر پرویز مشرف کے دور میں اُنہیں ایک اور مقدمے میں دو سال کے لیے جیل میں رکھا گیا بعدازاں اُنہیں ضمانت پر رہا کردیا گیا۔ رہائی کے بعد خالد خواجہ نے لال مسجد آناشروع کردیا اور وہ لال مسجد کے خطیب مولانا عبدلعزیز کے چھوٹے بھائی غازی عبدالرشید کے قریبی دوستوں میں شمار ہونے لگے۔

    سنہ دو ہزار سات میں لال مسجد آپریشن سے پہلے لال مسجد کے طلباء کی طرف سے ایف ایٹ میں چینی مساج سینٹر سے چینی خواتین کو اغواء کرنے کا معاملہ ہو یا پھر آبپارہ اور دوسری مارکیٹوں میں سی ڈیز کو آگ لگانے کا واقعہ سب میں خالد خواجہ کا نام آتا تھا۔
    اسلام آباد پولیس
    اسلام آباد پولیس کے اہلکاروں کا کہنا ہے کہ سنہ دو ہزار سات میں لال مسجد آپریشن سے پہلے لال مسجد کے طلباء کی طرف سے ایف ایٹ میں چینی مساج سینٹر سے چینی خواتین کو اغواء کرنے کا معاملہ ہو یا پھر آبپارہ اور دوسری مارکیٹوں میں سی ڈیز کو آگ لگانے کا واقعہ سب میں خالد خواجہ کا نام آتا تھا۔

    لال مسجد آپریشن سے پہلے اسلام آباد کی انتظامیہ اور لال مسجد کے خطیب مولانا عبدالعزیز اور اُن کے چھوٹے بھائی عبدالرشید غازی کے ساتھ مذاکرات میں شامل ایک انتظامیہ کے اہلکار نے بی بی سی کو بتایا کہ ضلعی انتظامیہ اور لال مسجد کی انتظامیہ کے درمیان مذاکرات نتیجہ خیز ہونے والے تھے اور مسجد کی انتظامیہ لال مسجد میں موجود اسلحہ ضلعی انتظامیہ کے حوالے کرنا چاہتی تھی کہ اسی دوران خالد خواجہ لال مسجد سے ملحقہ جامعہ حفصہ کی ایک سو سے زائد طالبات کو لے کر وہاں آگئے اور انہوں نے ضلعی انتظامیہ کے خلاف نعرے بازی کے علاوہ اُن پر پتھراؤ بھی شروع کردیا۔

    انہوں نے کہا کہ اس واقعہ کے بعد حکومت کی طرف سے لال مسجد آپریشن کرنے کا فیصلہ کیا گیا۔

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2010/04/100430_khalid_khawaja_profile.shtml

  • Talibans are not just militia or separatist gorillas they are religiously motivated people ,They were used by CIA ,ISI and Army .Now we are paying the cost .
    So the religious ideology which was supported now turn against us .If they are backed to bring their “Sharia Khilafat ” in Afghanistan so They would apply the same ideology in Pakistan ,If they are told to kill Afghani Army and police so they apply the same rule for Pakistan army and police .
    the non practicing Islamic generals are supporting “Shariat ” ,Khilafat for their own agenda and used religion ,They played with the fire .Lal Masjid was backed by the same ” clean shaved Shariat-e-Islami Generals ” but the drama ended by another “liberal ” general ,For there “religiously motivated Talibans” become against both groups .

    Its not only generals or Army those Mufti ,Ulemas and Molvis who supported The militancy are also scared by Their own Students and followers .becasue they have taught them to go for Jihad but they are staying in their Madaris ,Jamaat Islami leaders did not visited Sawat During fazlullah khilafat ,JI and JUI leaders cannot go to Taliban supported ares because they are also scared from them .
    These religious Motivated Militants cannot be dismantle like other militia .

  • Khalid Khawaja’s body sent to Islamabad for funeral

    Saturday, 01 May, 2010

    PESHAWAR: The body of Khalid Khawaja, a former Inter-Services Intelligence officer, was brought to Bannu’s DHQ hospital for post-mortem by unknown people.

    According to the officials of DHQ Bannu, no government official was present during the post-mortem of the body.

    The body of Khawaja has been handed over to the men and is now on its way to Islamabad for his funeral.

    Meanwhile, the funeral prayers of Khwaja will be offered by Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz on Sunday morning at Lal Masjid.—DawnNews

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/12-khalid+khawajas+body+sent+to+islamaba+for+funeral–bi-02

  • HuJI chief behind ex-ISI man’s killing?
    AGENCIES, May 2, 2010

    LAHORE: Pakistani investigation agencies probing the abduction of former ISI official squadron leader Khalid Khwaja and his subsequent murder believe that the Asian Tigers, the group which took the responsibility for Khwaja’s assassination, is actually a cover for top militant commander Ilyas Kashmiri’s led Harkatul Jihadul Islami (HUJI).

    According to sources, Pakistani officials have credible input that Kashmiri is currently in Mir Ali area of North Waziristan where the bullet riddled body of Khwaja was recovered on Friday, almost a month after he was abducted with his former ISI colleague Colonel Sultan Amir Tarar, commonly known as Colonel Imam and a British journalist of Pakistani origin, Asad Qureshi.

    Sources said that all the three kidnapped persons who were last seen in Mir Ali, were in touch with one Usman Punjabi before they went missing. Officials probing the abduction believe that Usman was actually a ‘mole’ of Kashmiri to catch Khawaja and Imam, The News reports.

    Reading into Khawaja’s statement from the video, which was released by his abductors just a few days ago, Pakistani investigators have drawn the conclusion that the abduction of the former ISI officials has something to do with the rift among the various Kashmir centered jihadi groups which operate from Pakistani soil.

    They cited Khawaja’s remarks in the video that certain jihadi commanders such as Maulana Fazlur Rahman Khalil, Maulana Masood Azhar and Abdullah Shah Mazhar and jihadi groups like the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Al Badr are still operating as ISI proxies and allowed to collect funds in Pakistan.

    “As a matter of fact, while the leaders of the three mainstream Kashmir jihadi groups, JeM, LeT and HuM, are still allowed to move freely across Pakistan despite being proscribed by the government, Ilyas Kashmiri has been declared as one of the most wanted fugitive commanders,” the newspaper said.

    Kashmiri was arrested by the Pakistani authorities after the December 2003 twin suicide attacks on the then President General Pervez Musharraf’s carcade in Rawalpindi, but was released two weeks later due to the lack of evidence. He is said to have been running a terror training camp in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/Pakistan/HuJI-chief-behind-ex-ISI-mans-killing/articleshow/5882004.cms

  • Ex-Spy’s Slaying Spreads Fear in Pakistan

    Adnan R. Khan

    ISLAMABAD (May 1) — The execution of a former Pakistani spy with well-known connections to Pakistan’s security establishment has re-ignited fears here that militants once friendly to Pakistan now pose a serious threat to its stability.

    The bullet-riddled body of Khalid Khawaja, a retired military officer and senior member of the Interservices Intelligence, or ISI, was discovered on Friday on a road controlled by Taliban militants in North Waziristan, nearly a month after he was kidnapped along with a second retired ISI officer and a British-Pakistani journalist.

    The fate of the remaining two men is still unclear. However, the group holding them, a previously unknown outfit calling itself the Asian Tigers, has threatened to kill them as well if their demands are not met.

    B.K.Bangash, AP
    Former Pakistani intelligence officer Khalid Khawaja was abducted by an alleged militant group in northwest Pakistan and found shot dead on Friday, officials said.

    Those demands include a $10 million ransom and the release of three senior Taliban commanders, including second in command, Mullah Abdulghani Barader, who was captured by Pakistani security forces in a joint operation with the U.S. Central intelligence Agency last February.

    The three men were reportedly traveling to South Waziristan to shoot a documentary on the Taliban when they were captured.

    Details about the Asian Tigers are still sketchy. What emerges is an image of a group angry about the ISI’s continued support for some jihadis at the expense of others.

    Pakistani authorities deny giving safe-haven to any jihadists but it is widely believed that groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad, who have refrained from attacking the establishment and remain focused on their jihad against Pakistan’s arch-rival India, continue to receive financial and logistical support from the ISI.

    Others have been sidelined, creating a large pool of former pro-Pakistan militants who have turned their guns on their one-time patrons.

    Locals in North Waziristan told AOL News that the Asian Tigers emerged about two months ago but it’s still unclear who exactly they are. “Their senior leadership is Punjabi,” said one man, requesting anonymity. “But they are recruiting from the local population.”

    Punjabi militant groups, traditionally known to have very close ties to the ISI, gained prominence in the summer of 2007 after a bloody confrontation with Pakistan’s army at the Red Mosque in the capital, Islamabad. Scores were killed and hundreds injured after army commandoes stormed the mosque following a weeklong standoff.

    The fallout from that event continues to haunt Pakistani authorities. It was a pivotal moment not only in terms of Pakistan’s war against Islamic militancy but also in marking the beginning of the end of the dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf, who was widely blamed for the massive loss of life.

    In the weeks following the Red Mosque siege, some Punjabi militant commanders shifted their bases of operation from Pakistani-controlled Kashmir to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where their links with the Taliban and al Qaeda deepened.

    For many of these groups, the Jihad has now gone global. Anger at the Pakistan military’s support of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and the role played by the ISI – including Khawaja himself – during the bloody siege on the mosque, has driven a deep wedge between what had been for years a mutually beneficial relationship.

    Indeed, the spokesman for the Asian Tigers used the Red Mosque incident as justification for Khawaja’s execution, labeling him “an enemy of Islam and Muslims” for his role in betraying the mosque’s leadership.

    The fracturing of Punjabi militant organizations is a worrying development in a nation already burdened with a homegrown Taliban movement and a separatist insurgency in its southwest. According to military sources, as many as 30 armed groups now operate inside Pakistan. On Friday, the Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, told Britain’s the Guardian newspaper that his province is sitting on a “knife’s edge” as militants extend their influence and terrorize minority groups in the region. “These [militant] groups are armed and dangerous,” he was quoted as saying. “There is no way you can accommodate these people. There has to be zero tolerance.”

    More disturbing perhaps is the direction some of these groups now appear to be taking from the Taliban and al Qaeda. They are no longer the ISI’s pet jihadis and, as Khalid Khawaja tragically discovered, they will, without hesitation, bite the hand that once fed them.

    http://www.aolnews.com/world/article/slaying-of-ex-pakistan-spy-khalid-khawaja-spreads-fear/19461393

  • Murderous deeds

    Sunday, May 02, 2010
    Does the murder of former ISI official Khalid Khwaja indicate a changed order up in the north? We still do not know why precisely Khwaja was targeted or why those who held him believed authorities might have been willing to trade key militant leaders that they have captured for Khwaja and another former pro-Taliban official who were kidnapped along with a journalist by the militants. It is thought that Punjabi militant elements may have been behind the killing and the dumping of the body near the North Waziristan town of Mirali. It is significant that more and more often the so-called ‘Punjabi Taliban’ are being blamed for the latest wave of terror attacks and incidents. The group that killed Khwaja has made itself known as the Asian Tigers. It is thought the outfit may be a breakaway faction of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a sectarian organisation that since the 1990s has been splintered and then re-splintered many times over. It is very difficult to say very much about the nature of such events, but it seems the ‘Punjabi’ element may be playing a more active role than before in the various acts of terrorism that continues to take so heavy a toll on us.

    These developments signify great danger. It is conceivable the militants’ central command has broken down. Otherwise it is hard to explain why individuals seen as being pro-Taliban would be taken hostage in the first place. While the ‘Asian Tigers’ have accused Khwaja of being a US ‘agent’, most believe he had changed sympathies on this count many years ago. The emerging situation could signal greater chaos and greater difficulty in netting the militants who have so many tentacles and so many off-shoots. It seems that there is no getting away from the need to tackle all militant elements, no matter where they are based, rather than treating them as separate entities. So far, Punjab and its leadership continue to deny that militant groups are even present in the province. This is hardly wise. The facts need to be squarely faced up to. The province after all has a long history of militancy and witnessed orgies of sectarian violence in past decades. Jihadi organisations have been headquartered here in various towns. Evidence continues to emerge of the existence of such groups in southern Punjab. Failing to act against them will only aggravate problems. The murder of Khalid Khwaja has exposed the involvement of these forces in the tribal areas and the ruthless nature of the actions that they are willing to engage in is clear. It is essential we go after them with full force, or this ruthlessness will increase.

    http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=237122

  • Mullah Omer sends jirga to negotiate Col Imam’s release?

    * Kohat-based PML-N leader reveals jirga has ‘reached Miranshah’

    Staff Report

    PESHAWAR: A jirga representing Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Muhammad Omar reached North Waziristan on Saturday to negotiate the safe release of former ISI official Col Imam, as a tribal peace committee secured the body of another former ISI official Khalid Khawaja, who was found dead on Friday, a pro-Taliban PML-N leader and family members said.

    Kohat-based PML-N leader Javed Paracha revealed a jirga sent by Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar had “reached Miranshah” to “secure the release of Col Imam” without any preconditions.

    There was no independent confirmation of Paracha’s claims though. However, the pro-Mullah Omar Haqqani network is very influential in North Waziristan and if the pro-Haqqani local Taliban pressurise the “Asian Tigers”, they would have to release Col Imam – described as “very close” to Mullah Omar.

    A hitherto unknown group, the Asian Tigers claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. They demanded the release of some key Afghan Taliban leaders held in Pakistan in exchange for kidnapped officials and $10 million for a British journalist.

    Meanwhile, Khalid Khawaja’s body was taken to Islamabad after a peace committee helped the Miranshah political administration recover it. “His body is on his way and will reach (Islamabad) soon,” Fahad, a relative of Khawaja, told Daily Times over the phone.

    http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\05\02\story_2-5-2010_pg1_4

  • EDITORIAL: Murky murder

    In a shocking turn of events, the kidnappers of ex-ISI men Khalid Khawaja and Sultan Tarar, and British journalist Asad Qureshi have stayed true to their deadly word. The bullet-riddled body of Khalid Khawaja was found in North Waziristan after the passing of a 10-day deadline. Abducted in March, when reportedly visiting the tribal areas to film a documentary based on interviewing Taliban commanders, Khawaja’s militant captors pressed for a release of top Taliban leaders Mullah Baradar, Mullah Mansoor Dadullah and Mullah Kabir from Pakistani detention and a $ 10 million ransom for the Brit-born Pakistani journalist. So far, Britain has stayed out. The hornet’s nest of militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas seems to have a newly christened faction to contend with: Asian Tigers, the outfit claiming responsibility for Khawaja’s murder.

    Hardly anything is known about this group although suspicions are cast on it being a shadow name for the sectarian extremists in Punjab who have a few scores to settle in this war. With extremists from the tribal areas teaming up with Punjabi militant organisations to gain inroads into the province, newly emerging militias like the Asian Tigers should not come as a surprise.

    The victim served 18 years in the air force and one year as an ISI official. Khawaja played a leading role in the Laal Masjid operation where it is said that on his behest Maulana Abdul Aziz tried to escape in a burqa, an act that made the fundamentalist a laughing stock. There is plenty of resentment within the militants’ ranks about the mosque’s siege, especially in Punjab, and this latest episode could very well be a blowback.

    It is generally accepted that many in the ISI camp have inescapable links to the militant networks that are swarming the country due to ties that take them back to the Afghan war, when training and arming militants was part of the ISI’s dossier. However, this old legacy seems to have exhausted its shelf life and it is these very ‘associates’ who are now biting the hand that once fed them. The ill-perceived idea that the ex-intelligence men’s connections with militants might give them safe passage means little to newly risen groups with harsher ideologies.

    It is about time Pakistan realises it is in an all out war with the militants who are charting a path more violent and indiscriminately terrorist to achieve their own goals. To conclude that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban and to structure a war strategy on these lines is military and political suicide as the entire militant nexus has long since negated that illusion. The Asian Tigers asking for the release of Afghan Taliban leaders is a clear indicator that there are hardly any demarcations when it comes to singling out who to fight and who to protect. The Afghan Taliban have been offering safe havens to our extremists since this war started and so classifying them as somehow tolerable is a risky, precarious position, especially for our military and security services.

    Speaking of army offensives, their strategy and tactics need revisiting. With the army concentrating on one specific area and one specific bloc of the militants at a time, many guerrillas, literally, run for the hills, only to fight another day. Swat is a glaring example where, after military ‘successes’, target killings have started once again.

    The military should reconsider how to prevent militant fighters slipping away in the face of its offensives to other areas or even across the porous border into Afghanistan. The militants need to be treated as equally dangerous, without deluding ourselves about the spurious ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban distinction. Khawaja’s murder should serve as an eye-opener for those who continue to fool themselves by believing in this fantasy.

    http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\05\02\story_2-5-2010_pg3_1

  • AOA
    Khalid khawaja belongs to a teshsil of Faisalabad known as Jaranwala city. He was very brave man as well as very noble. I think somebody traped him and use him to achieve their goals. At this time I just can say that Allah give calm and peace to his soul and give patient to his family to bear this great desaster. Amin. We can pray only for Khalid Khawaja’s wife and his sons and daughters.