Newspaper Articles

Mariana Babar’s article on Hamid Mir and the LUBP

Anchor Cast Adrift
What’s behind the tapes of TV host Hamid Mir’s chat with a Taliban man?

Source: Outlook India

‘Khawaja Is A CIA Agent, An American CIA Agent’
Excerpt from the transcript of the tapped telecon between Hamid Mir and an unidentified man (UM). India, Kashmir, A.B. Vajpayee figure in this chat.

Unidentified man ( UM): So, are they men of the government or ISI?

Hamid Mir ( HM): Who?

UM: Khawaja and Colonel Imam.

HM: Khalid Khawaja, according to my opinion, is not an ISI man, rather he is a CIA agent, an American CIA agent, and he has links with the Taliban leadership.

UM: Yes, he met with Hakimullah (Mehsud) and others when he came here last time.

HM: I personally know Khawaja has links not only with CIA but he is also a front man of Mansoor Ijaz who belongs to a very big international network of Qadianis. Once he came to me along with Mansoor… Khalid saab told me Mansoor is a key representative of the US government, so arrange his meeting with Syed Salahuddin, and he along with him would resolve the Kashmir issue.

UM: All right.

HM: I asked him what charm or magic lamp does he possess for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

He said he had links with the Indian government and (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee ji, which surprised me. I didnt arrange the meeting, but I asked Mr Salahuddin who said Khawaja is sending messages that you should directly talk to India and the US and exclude Pakistan.


Lollywood film directors searching for a script to produce a thriller are best advised to readLet Us Build Pakistan (LUBP) on the website, which is advertised as a project of critical supporters of the Pakistan People’s Party. The website has all the ingredients for a racy film—the transcript of a conversation between renowned TV anchor Hamid Mir and his Taliban interlocutor, the murder of a former ISI official known for his links with militant Islamic groups, spies from foreign intelligence agencies and their dirty games, and the blackmail tactics of those in power. As the hits on the website register a sharp spurt, the plot has enlarged to include Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, his interior minister Rehman Malik and Punjab governor Salman Taseer, father of Indian writer Atish Taseer. Underlying it is the war the government has declared on the media. There are no punches pulled, friends are betrayed, new villains are discovered.

The film could have as its opening shots former ISI officials Sqn Ldr (Retd) Khalid Khawaja and Col Sultan Amir Tarar (popularly known as Col Imam) accompanying Pakistani-origin British journalist Asad Qureshi to the North Waziristan badlands, ostensibly to shoot a documentary. But their real mission is to convince the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leaders to declare a ceasefire in their ongoing battle against the Pakistani state. The two are ideal for this sensitive task, boasting as they do formidable contacts in the Taliban.

The mission, however, soon goes into a tailspin—the three are kidnapped by militant group Asian Tigers (supposedly a group working under the TTP umbrella), who raise several demands for their release. Negotiations are tortuous and protracted. Weeks later, on April 30, the body of Khawaja is discovered: he has been killed in captivity. The group demands $10 million for the release of the British journalist and Col Imam. The story, as always, disappears from the front pages of newspapers.

Mir denies the voice is his, saying Pak agencies have technology that can make one’s voice sound like another’s.

Cut to May 12: the LUBP site features the transcript [Also on Youtube in two parts: Part I and Part II] of what it says is a phone conversation between the popular host of Geo TV’s Capital Talk, Hamid Mir, and an unidentified man (UM) belonging to, or known to, the Asian Tigers. UM asks Mir about Khawaja’s background, and whether or not he’s an ISI spy. Mir allegedly answers, “I personally know that Khalid Khawaja has links not only with the CIA, but he is also a frontman for Mansoor Ijaz, who belongs to a very big international network of Qadiyanis.” The transcript has Mir telling UM that Ijaz is a key representative of the United States and had requested him to fix a meeting with Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin for resolving the Kashmir issue. “I didn’t arrange the meeting,” Mir goes on to add, “but I asked Mr Salahuddin who said Khawaja is sending messages that you should directly talk to India and the US—and exclude Pakistan.” Mir asks UM to interrogate Khawaja on his role in the July ’07 Lal Masjid siege, which ultimately saw a bloody military operation.

The transcript was sensational, providing as it did a motive for the militant group to kill Khawaja. The excerpted conversation mentions a cast of characters whom Pakistani militants detest—the CIA, the US, Kashmir, and the Qadiyanis, a sect considered non-Islamic by the community. The LUBP’s disclosure prompted Khawaja’s son, Osama Khalid, to declare, “This audiotape is enough proof of Mir’s role in my father’s murder.”

Despite the LUBP’s sensational disclosure, no newspaper reported the issue until the Daily Times, owned by Punjab governor Taseer, published the transcript on its front page. Its editorialmade a scathing comment, “If it is indeed a genuine transcript, Mir’s credentials should come under the scanner. If these charges are proved against Mir, he could attract the mischief of the Army Act and Pakistan Penal Code for aiding and abetting terrorists who have declared war on the state of Pakistan and against whom our forces are fighting and dying.”

It was legitimate now to follow the story—and everyone did. Mir, after all, is among the more high-profile TV anchors, winning acclaim for interviewing Osama bin Laden. His alleged entanglement with militants, if true, demonstrates their sway over Pakistani society. For Mir belongs to a family known for its progressive ways and for opposing dictators—his father Waris was an intellectual who took on Gen Zia-ul-Haq; his grandfather Abdul Aziz was a leading Punjabi and Persian poet.

As the story grabbed headlines, denials from principal players poured in. The Asian Tigers issued a denial, saying they had had no such conversation with Mir. To Outlook as well as others, the celebrated TV anchor denied outright the conversation and the transcript. He said this was a ploy to defame him and the Jang Group, owners of Geo TV, which has been relentlessly exposing corruption in the Zardari government and its poor governance record.

But isn’t the voice on the tape his? Columnist and defence analyst Ayesha Siddiqa is convinced that it is. This is what she wrote in her blog: “The man in the tape is Hamid Mir beyond doubt. The voice and style of conversation is his. I have had conversations with him on several occasions and he breaks stories in this very style. The conversation should not surprise people, as Hamid Mir has old links with the Islamists and the intelligence agencies.”

But Mir claims that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies have procured a special gadget capable of taking someone’s voice and changing it to resemble that of another. “Through this special gadget they made the voice on the tape sound like mine…. The ultimate goal is to silence the voice of the Pakistani media on certain issues. Khalid Khawaja was assassinated at least two weeks ago, but no tape about his murder surfaced anywhere then.”

And then he drops the bombshell considered credulous here. In early 2009, he reveals, Zardari invited him to Lahore’s Governor House. “It was basically to shake hands with Salman Taseer,” says Mir, “who as Pervez Musharraf’s governor, had been very harsh with the media, even abusing us. As a journalist, I did not have any problems, and shook Taseer’s hand. Then both of them asked me to leave Geo so that they could take on Geo and the Jang group. I was offered Rs 2.5 crore a month as a bribe.” Mir, no doubt, has very good connections among the powerful. For instance, he reveals that Opposition leader Nawaz Sharif had requisitioned his service to convey to the authorities about the threat to his life emanating from Karachi. The recipient of that message was Zardari, whom Mir met then. In doing so, he forgot he was overstepping journalistic lines, inadvertently becoming a player in politics.

Apart from the meeting with Zardari, Mir says he was summoned to interior minister Rehman Malik’s chamber in Parliament House as late as May 12. Malik said he had been given a copy of the tape of Mir’s conversation with UM, and the journalist should consider it as a warning to him. “On the evening of May 12, the alleged telephone conversation appeared on the website.”

Mir rubbishes the accusation that he is close to the Taliban, saying he often receives threatening faxes, calls and e-mails for taking a stance against them on his TV shows. And when Swat was a no-go area for journalists during the military operation there in February 2009, he did a report accusing the Taliban of indulging in gang rapes. Sounding pugnacious, Mir told Outlook, “I have hired Asadullah Jaral, a lawyer with experience in international cyber crime, and I have issued a legal notice to the Daily Times.”

What then is the truth about the tapes? About Mir’s denials, The Dawn pointed to some discrepancies: “Mir has now moved a step further—from describing the taped conversation as doctored or concocted to completely denying that it is his voice.” Supposing it is Mir’s voice, Siddiqa raises fresh questions: “In the world of the armed forces, information is difficult to access. The only matter of concern really is that how and why was the audio recording made available on the internet? The real story is the disclosure rather than the conversation.”

So who leaked the tape? For one, only the ISI, IB and the Military Intelligence have the expertise to tap telephone conversations. It’s anyway their favourite pastime to tap phones of journalists and politicians for blackmailing them. No wonder, Siddiqa argues, “one explanation is that one of the army-run agencies leaked it, wanting to deflect attention from itself to Hamid Mir”. She further says that the Mir-UM conversation illustrates the presence of “multiple groups within the intelligence agencies”. Why else would a militant group ask for information on a man whose contacts in the shadowy world of jehadists is formidable? According to this theory, a group in the intelligence agency could have conveyed to the Asian Tigers about Khawaja’s past, and Mir’s interlocutor wanted to verify the information. There’s a more simple, third possibility—the ISI blames Mir for the murder of its former official and made public the tape to sully his reputation.

The appearance of the transcript on the website does prove that Mir is no favourite of Asif Zardari and his friends. Perhaps all theories about the tape happen to be partially correct, indicating the coalescing of interests to hound Mir, irrespective of whether or not he talked to UM.

Source: Outlook India

About the author



Click here to post a comment
  • Lollywood film directors searching for a script to produce a thriller are best advised to readLet Us Build Pakistan (LUBP) on the website, which is advertised as a project of critical supporters of the Pakistan People’s Party. [Mariana Baabar]

    I wonder what Ms. Mariana Baabar has to say about this:

    Where has US aid to Pakistan gone? Mariana Baabar

    Mariana Baabar is a senior Pakistani journalist and diplomatic editor of the Islamabad-based newspaper, The News International and also contribute for Outlook India

    Note: Link is dead therefor pardon for full text! The article was published in The News International. Supporting US Congress Report by K. Alan Kronstadt, a specialist in South Asian affairs for the Congressional Research Service, is at the end.

    Where has US aid to Pakistan gone? Mariana Baabar [STORY APPEARED IN 2007]

    ISLAMABAD : The billions of dollars in US military aid to Pakistan since September 11, 2001, without any accountability, has now been billed as a “tsunami of new funding”.

    Washington’s Centre for Public Integrity, in its report, says that today human rights activists, critics of the Pakistani government and members of Congress want to know, where most of the money — totalling in the billions — coming through a Defence Department programme, subject to virtually no Congressional oversight, has disappeared to.

    The Centre says that this is a major finding of more than a year of investigation by the Centre for Public Integrity’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). US military aid to Pakistan since September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks includes almost $5 billion in coalition support funds, a programme controlled by the Defence Department to reimburse key allies in the global war on terror. Pentagon reports that the ICIJ obtained through the Freedom of Information Act requests show that Pakistan is the No 1 recipient of these funds — receiving more than 10 times the amount that went to the No 2 recipient, Poland — and that there is scant documentation of how the money was used.

    Pakistan also benefited from other funding mechanisms set up in the aftermath of the 2001 attacks. In three years after the attacks, Pakistan was the third-largest recipient of the Pentagon’s new regional defence counter terrorism fellowship programme, designed to train foreign forces in counter terrorism techniques. More than $23 million was earmarked for Pakistan in fiscal 2006 for “improving counter terrorism strike capabilities” under another new Pentagon programme referred to colloquially as Section 1206 training, which allows the Pentagon to use a portion of its annual funding from Congress to train and equip foreign militaries. Pakistan finished first in the race for this new Pentagon-controlled training.

    The US State Department rates Pakistan’s human rights record as poor and reports a long litany of abuses. That nourishes critics’ claims that the US largesse has been put to abusive purposes, including to buy weapons that have been turned against Pakistani civilians and to offer bounties on suspects the US is seeking. According to Senator Sana Baloch, an opposition lawmaker who fled the country out of safety concerns, the US has several military bases inside Pakistan, including some in the senator’s home province of Balochistan. “Most of the US bases are based in Balochistan,” Baloch told ICIJ in an interview. “One or two of them are in Kharan, my own home district. The US is using the bases in this area for the war on terror. We are very supportive of the US in this role.”

    The majority of the new US funding to Pakistan has come in the form of billions of dollars of coalition support funds (CSF), a post-9/11 funding mechanism created to reimburse key countries for expenses incurred in supporting American counter terrorism operations. According to K Alan Kronstadt, an expert on South Asia at the Congressional research service, by August 2006, CSF accounted for roughly $4.75 billion of the military aid Pakistan received from the US since the terrorist attacks. Pentagon documents obtained by ICIJ say the money that went to Pakistan was largely for “military operations on the Afghanistan border.”

    Coalition support funds are considered a reimbursement by some and a blank check by others. Craig Cohen, the co-author of a recent Centre for Strategic and International Study on US aid to Pakistan, asked rhetorically whether CSF money is “intended to yield some sort of specific action on the part of the government,” adding, “If so, there’s clearly no oversight.”

    Olga Oliker, an expert on US defence policy and co-author of a recent RAND think tank report on the human rights performance of internal security forces in South Asia, said she’s concerned that US-made weapons that go to Pakistani security forces and US training that the forces receive are being used against civilian populations. “In implementing assistance,” she told ICIJ, “the US has paid relatively little attention to human rights abuses and oversight. People weren’t paying attention.”

    The new Democratic-controlled Congress has taken a greater interest in CSF payments to Pakistan. Under the previous GOP majority, there was virtually no oversight of CSF payments to any country. In January 2007, the House of Representatives acted to impose conditions on military aid to Pakistan by adopting the Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007. Section 1442 of the bill relates to Pakistan. It identifies areas of concern for US policy, including the need for Pakistan to curb the proliferation of nuclear technology, to address the presence of the Taliban and other extremist forces and to secure its borders to prevent movement of terrorists. The bill would impose limits on foreign assistance to Pakistan, declaring that the US assistance may not be approved until “the president determines and certifies to the appropriate Congressional committees that the government of Pakistan is making all possible efforts to prevent the Taliban from operating in areas under its sovereign control. “In addition, Pakistan would be required to demonstrate that it is making significant steps toward free and fair parliamentary elections in 2007.” The bill also requires that the president submit a report describing the long-term strategy of US engagement with Pakistan.

    “The American-supplied military arsenal has been used against Baloch nationalists,” Senator Baloch told ICIJ. He said he and others have gone to the State Department, “and the State Department says [the US has] given military hardware with no conditions.” A former US official, previously based in Pakistan, acknowledged to the ICIJ that in Balochistan “the [Pakistani] army stepped in with a pretty heavy hand last year.”

  • Lollywood film directors searching for a script to produce a thriller are best advised to readLet Us Build Pakistan (LUBP) on the website, which is advertised as a project of critical supporters of the Pakistan People’s Party. [Mariana Baabar]

    Shaheen Sehbai VS Kerry-Lugar Bill & The News International

    Human Memory is weak so let me revive it!

    The news/editorial below was published in Daily Dawn and it was about The Former, then present, then former and now Present Group Editor of The News International [The Editorial Staff/Owners also think that The News and Jang Group of Newspapers are Anti-American and Prop Pakistan’s alleged National Interests], the one and only Mr Shaheen Sehbai. We all know that Liars don’t have good Memory. Please keep one thing in mind while going through the article below that Mr Shaheen Sehbai had complained about the Falling Standards of The News International in 2002 [the standards fell when Mr Shaheen Sehbai resigned during Musharraf’s Tenure in 2002] now standard of The News International is again risen since Mr Shaheen Sehbai has agin joined and now it can be compared with The New Yorker/ The Washington Post and The New York Times.

    Read and Lament as to how the Educated Pakistan play with the sentiments of those who read newspapers for news. Do read as to what another Seniot Journalist Late Khalid Hasan had to say about Shaheen Sehbai at the end. Also read The Washington Post as to how The News International and Shaheen Sehbai involved/linked Pakistan with Terrorists in 2002. Shaheen Sehbai should be ashamed of himself that after doing this he escaped and took self imposed asylum in USA, the same USA against whom he and his newspaper spitting venom. So Why the hell exile in USA, a country whose Legislative Bill [Kerry – Lugar Bill – State of Pakistan’s Economy and Kerry Lugar Bill
    JOURNALIST Shaheen Sehbai, resigned as editor of The News on March 1 after serving the paper for about 14 moths.

    In a letter addressed to colleagues, Mr Sehbai, who earlier had a very distinguished career with Dawn, implied that the publisher had charged him with policy violations and professional misconduct to sack him under pressure from the military government. He enclosed a memorandum from the publisher alleging publication of libellous matter, alienating advertisers, failing to consult him on important matters, printing a story recently that was ‘perceived to be damaging to our national interest’ and elicited a severe reaction from the government, failing to contact ‘relevant government functionaries’ to discuss the issue, and being generally inaccessible to senior government officials as well his own staff.

    The memo also complained of a lack of improvement in the paper.

    Mr Sehbai said he had answered by recalling that the publisher had informed him of the government demand to sack four The News staffers, including the editor, and regretted that “you have decided to get in line.” He said he was aware that the government had stopped carrying advertisements in not only The News but also other papers of the group and that the publisher had been told that only the dismissals would result in their restoration.

    He claimed that he had been asked to contact the Inter-Services Intelligence officials but had refused on principal to call, or meet, any government official in a ‘hostage’ situation.

    On the other hand, he said, he had conveyed to the government the evidence that the paper’s policy had, in fact, been tilted in its favour. At least 50 editorials and over 100 articles published in about six weeks were cited to prove the point. The paper, he said, had at times gone out of its way to accommodate the government.

    But, Mr Sehbai said, he could not allow a newspaper he edited to become the voice of any government for monetary considerations.

    Dismissing “whatever other issues you have raised” as “childish and frivolous,” he said there was no point in discussing them.

    Recounting management problems, Mr Sehbai also mentioned the “legal jugglery” employed to deprive contract workers of salary increases and the refusal to renew their contracts.

    The episode was described in foreign media as a blow to claims of freedom of press in Pakistan. A spokesman for the government was said to have denied Mr Sehbai’s allegations.

    At The News, no replacement has since been named.



    In Washington we had formed a small group and regularly met at a restaurant that sort of replicated “Pak Tea House” of yesteryears of Lahore. Khalid was always at the centre stage of lively discussions on wide range of subjects there. In his dispatches to Pakistan, he called it “Kabab Masal” group after the name of the restaurant. We rotated chairmanship with every meeting. Several years ago when Shah Mahmood Qureshi came to Washington, it was Khalid’s turn to preside. He recalled his first meeting with him in Vienna while Qureshi was finance minister Punjab. “I had my gut reaction that he is a prime ministerial stuff”, Khalid said. Shaheen Sehbai mixed up this remark and attributed it to Qureshi himself in his report to Dawn. Qureshi was very upset and a clarification was made next day. I told Shaheen: “You have perhaps permanently destroyed Qureshi’s career in the PPP.’ When Ms.Bhutto named him as ARD’s candidate to the office in 2002, I recounted this episode to him in the presence of Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan. He was again in the reckoning when PPP won elections last year.


    Nafisa Hoodbhoy [Former Correspondent of Daily Dawn – Courtesy: Online NewsHour


    The Washington Post – Sunday, March 10, 2002; Page B01 Section: Outlook – Missing Links : There’s Much More To Daniel Pearl’s Murder Than Meets the Eye By Nafisa Hoodbhoy [INTERNET LINK IS DEAD

    AMHERST, Mass.–Nine days ago there was an alarming indication of upheaval in Pakistan — a crackdown on the press. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the government pressured the owner of an influential English language newspaper, the News, to fire four journalists. One of them, the paper’s editor, Shaheen Sehbai, said the trouble started after his newspaper reported a link between the prime suspect in the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, and recent attacks on the Indian parliament in Delhi and in the Kashmiri capital, Srinagar.

    Daniel Pearl – South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, was an American Jewish journalist who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in Karachi, Pakistan in 2002.

    When Sehbai asked the paper’s owner to identify who wanted to sack them, Sehbai said he was told to see officials at the ISI, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. Instead he resigned and left for the United States.


    Group Editor of The News International, Mr Shaheen Sehbai

    Now read the words of Mr Shaheen Sehbai in the light of his suddenly found ‘concerns for the National Security of Pakistan’ in connection with the Conditions of Kerry-Lugar Bill. Do note his language against the Pakistani Military Establishment in 2002.


    Three weeks ago, I resigned as editor of Pakistan’s most influential English daily, the News. My proprietor had directed me to apologize to the chiefs of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for my decision to publish details of a confessional statement by Omar Saeed Sheikh, the prime suspect in the abduction and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. I was the first local journalist Danny contacted last year when he arrived in Karachi to cover Pakistan, and America’s war against terror, the latest dimension of which was seen in Sunday’s attack on a church in Islamabad.

    Never lacking for audacity, the ISI first broke into our newsroom on Feb. 17 to detect our story on Sheikh, in which he linked the ISI directly to his involvement in last December’s terrorist attacks on India’s Parliament. With such embarrassing information coming from one of their own kind — Sheikh had, after all, turned himself in for interrogation to his former ISI handler on Feb. 5, a week before Pakistan’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, visited Washington — the regime’s principal information officer called me at 1 a.m. and demanded I pull the piece.

    When his coercion failed, my proprietor in London was called. He tried to stop publication, but failed, and the next day the government pulled all its advertising — accounting for over half our income — in an effort to silence my paper completely. Then they asked the owner to sack me, as well as three other senior journalists.

    I resigned rather than be part of a conspiracy to mislead Pakistan’s people. Fearing for my safety — and with the Pearl case fresh in mind — I chose to join my family in Virginia and live to fight another day.

    And fight we must. This media management is the first sign of where Gen. Musharraf’s newly tactful ISI is headed. “Managing” politics and rigging October’s elections are next on the agenda. There are signs that a political party is being put together to legitimize Gen. Musharraf as an all-powerful president, to stay in office well beyond any reasonable time-frame.

    Games we have seen so many times are underway in Pakistan again. I’m not talking about cricket with India, but about an effort to manipulate the press, to usurp the right to fair elections, and to hide Islamists under a presentable wrap. (Only last week, Gen. Musharraf released most of the arrested Taliban activists and their fanatic leaders.)

    The primary instrument of change in achieving this devil’s pact is Gen. Musharraf’s recasting of the ISI as a more docile institution, ostensibly purged of Islamist hard-liners and Taliban sympathizers. But buyers beware.

    Another intelligence disaster now looms. Its similarities to the Zia days are remarkable. Gen. Musharraf, the military dictator of the day, is the new darling of the West fighting the new enemy in Afghanistan. Billions of American taxpayer dollars are again set to flow. A beautiful facade has been crafted for external consumption, on everything from press freedoms and elections to a corruption-free economy and an Islamist-free state. The reality is harshly different.

    The ISI has been assigned the task of recruiting representatives for this effort. They are to cajole and coerce the press and politicians. Key leaders from the political parties of both former prime ministers — Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif — are being lined up for pre-approval. The Islamist role will be safeguarded by fundamentalist generals.

    A full dress rehearsal of this methodology was carried out during the recently concluded countrywide polls for mayors and deputy mayors. Every city, big or small, had a pre-selected mayor. In Pakistan’s military stronghold, Rawalpindi, ISI interference in seating a pre-approved candidate was so blatant that the non-political but highly compliant chamber of commerce president was “elected” mayor against better-known political stalwarts.

    Pakistan has played crucial roles in two of the main victories of our era — those over communism and terrorism. The first time, the West looked away while evil forces were born in our midst, destroying our culture and society. The moderate majority was silenced into submission until the world woke up on Sept. 11.

    The warning signs are there again. America must invest its political and financial capital in institutions, not individuals. The American people and their elected representatives must not look the other way again. Freedom of the press is under siege. The promised return of democracy is being systematically compromised. American aid is being used to achieve dubious objectives. And the poor people of Pakistan, in defense of whom the ISI and Gen. Musharraf have made their last stand, may once again lose whatever is left of a country that can still be great. (By SHAHEEN SEHBAI )Courtesy: Pakistan Punch

  • Lollywood film directors searching for a script to produce a thriller are best advised to readLet Us Build Pakistan (LUBP) on the website, which is advertised as a project of critical supporters of the Pakistan People’s Party. [Mariana Baabar]

    Kamran Khan [Jang Group]’s Malicious campaign against ISI.

    Jang Group particularly Mr Mahmood Sham (Group Editor Daily Jang), Mr Shaheen Sehbai (Group Editor The News International), Mr Kamran Khan (Senior Correspondent Jang/The News and GEO TV) and Mr Rauf Klasra (Senior Correspondent Jang/The News International) played a very dirty role after the murder of US Journlaist Daniel Pearl in Karachi in 2002. This very same Jang Group/GEO TV is now lecturing Pakistanis for Peace with India had itself launched a Vilification Campaign againt PPP and raised doubts on the Patiroitsm and Loyalty of PPP and President Asif Ali Zardari when they tried to formulate a policy on ISI, Kerry Lugar Bill, No First Strike, and Dialogues wih India. Now read what Jang and Times of India have jointly been saying and Jang Group/GEO TV/The News International have introduced a permanent link on their websites to promote Pakistan-India Peace. Now read as to how Kamran Khan with malafide intent involves Pakistan Army/ISI with Militants while giving an Interview to FRONTLINE PBS an American Public Affairs News Organization.


    Kamran Khan – He is a Pakistani journalist and special correspondent for the Washington Post, based in Karachi. He maintains that Al Qaeda definitely moved into the tribal areas of Pakistan after the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan, but that Pakistani officials deny it because they fear U.S. intervention. He argues that at the same time Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has allied himself with the U.S., he also has made an “unwritten compromise” to give more political power to Pakistani Islamist groups. This interview was conducted on Sept. 13, 2002.

    Let’s talk about Al Qaeda since Sept. 11, and what happened to them.

    It has been bruised. It has been hurt, definitely. It lost the main hideout it had. It has lost the main sanctuary. There has been a tremendous blow to the prestige of the organization. So it’s a wounded tiger, I would say.

    [Is it] even still an organization?

    I believe that it’s an organization, as long as Osama bin Laden is alive, as long as Ayman al-Zawahiri is alive, as long as the other key players are still alive. I think, as an organization, Al Qaeda is still alive.

    You think top leaders still in place?

    Yes, Ayman al-Zawahiri is alive; Osama bin Laden is alive. If you talk about the cause and the motives of the organization, Mullah Omar is alive. We have new characters, new players in the game. …

    Many think, after 9/11, Al Qaeda went to the tribal areas [of Pakistan]. What you know about that?

    Definitely they did. Definitely. The whole of Al Qaeda’s moved into Pakistan. First they moved into the tribal areas. Pretty much they are there — even today they are there. There is pretty strong evidence available to suggest that some of the Arabs who speak local native language, the Pashto, that wear native dresses, they look like native people. They are the guest of tribal people in South Waziristan and North Waziristan. I’ve been meeting people who know it for sure in their own areas –there are Arabs living there as guests of some tribal people.

    I would think that some people in the government may also know, have some ideas. But as long as these people are not creating trouble and they are just sitting quiet, the government are not ready to confront them. They don’t want to create a problem for themselves. So they moved into tribal areas, and then they moved into major cities, urban areas.

    The greatest manifestation was the arrest in March this year of Abu Zubaydah in Faisalabad. The key players of Al Qaeda [were] in Faisalabad — Abu Zubaydah and at least 11 Al Qaeda-ers. Faisalabad is a place — it won’t strike you at the first place that they are hiding at the central Punjab somewhere. So that shows that, yes, they moved across border into Pakistan. They moved into tribal areas, and from there they are now moving towards the cities. And we have very credible info that many of the Arabs were hiding in Karachi and in Lahore; maybe other places. …

    What is it about the tribal areas? I mean, people watching this program don’t know what these tribal areas are or what they represent. What is it about these places that makes them such a good hiding place for Al Qaeda?

    They are often categorized as semi-autonomous areas. But for all practical purpose, before 9/11, they were autonomous areas. There was no law there. The law was gun and drugs. These people trade in gun and guns only. There was no other thing. Maybe smuggling. So it was a lawless terrain, completely out of Pakistan’s control.

    These people don’t accept any laws. They didn’t even accept the Durand Line, the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. They never had any travel documents to go into Afghanistan or coming back from there. So there are tremendous linkages there. These people have no law, no Pakistani law, government.

    And they’re in the same tribe as the Taliban?

    Yes, in most cases. There are different types, but they share the area. They share the terrain. They share the culture, and they all share a very deep, religious leanings. They consider themselves ultra-religious people. Yes, the rest would like to call them the sheer fundamentalists.

    We sent someone with a camera and a list of questions into [the tribal areas] recently. He asked questions of tribal leaders and whatnot, on the record, on camera. And they said, “No, we support the government. We are not going to harbor Al Qaeda.” Why would they say that to us and say something different?

    No, they are very intelligent people; don’t consider them a [naÔve] tribesman and all. They are very intelligent people. They are talking to an American TV crew. They are not stupid. …

    They are serious about the business, what they are doing. There is a fire of remains and settling score with the Americans. Nobody should doubt that at all. That’s why you see this activity in the east and in the south and southeast in Afghanistan. It can be that whatever is happening there is not indigenous Afghan reaction. There has to be some sanctuary across the border. There has to be some supplies from across the border. If nothing, some hideouts. …

    The basic thing, the bottom line with Pakistan is that they don’t want to have an armed rebellion in the tribal areas. They don’t want to take things to a limit where there is an armed rebellion, and there can be, because these people are armed to the teeth. They have heavy machine guns, they have got artillery, they have got light artillery, they have got tremendous amount of firepower with them. So the government of Pakistan is not really to challenge them. …

    So what about the war on terrorism and the coalition and cooperation with the United States?

    It will continue. It will continue, but not at the cost of internal strife. Not at the cost of creating anarchy within Pakistan. Not at the cost of creating chaos within Pakistan. Not at the cost of creating the rebellion from the very strong religious lobby in Pakistan.

    Mind you, this is the army is half a million, a very, very religious [faction]. I mean, these people are very religious. They cannot stand to any notion that the government or army is challenging the people who are religious people, who are religiously motivated people. So the army and the government, General Musharraf, has to be very cautious. That’s why he’s walking on a very tight rope. …

    What was [Abu Zubaydah] doing in Faisalabad?

    He was just hiding there. They were having a very low profile there. They didn’t have weapons, a lot of weapons, with them. They why they wanted to just stay cool there and waiting for their chance to react. …

    They’ve also come to Karachi, and we had an event here [on Sept. 11. 2002]. What happened?

    There were many, many incidents there. The incident two days ago in Karachi, there was an information from neighborhood to the police that there are some suspicious people living here. Police did some reconnaissance, and then they went for a raid early morning Sept. 11. They faced fierce resistance from these guys. They are all definite Al Qaedas in the sense that they are Tajiks and they are Central Asians and two Arabs and all.

    And Yemeni, apparently?

    Yes. That’s an Arab or Yemeni.

    Have you received any briefings letting you know what’s going on in that case?

    They are still questioning these guys. But they have been told that, “We ran from Afghanistan and for the hideout. For us, this is a Muslim country.”

    Whenever these people are caught, they always play Islamic card. They always play a Muslim card. They like to influence their interrogators, and in many cases, they successfully do that. …

    They say that, “We have devoted our lives to Islam and Quran and Allah. So what problem do you have with us?” They usually ask their interrogators, and these people are very confident.

    In most cases, they say, “You can kill us. No problem.” That really baffles their interrogators, because if they are questioning a person who is ready to die, who says, “[If] you release me, you leave me, I’ll go and I’ll hit again.” So that really baffled because an interrogator, to go to an extent to use a third degree, which may put some fear in the person he’s interrogating that maybe he’ll be killed. But these guys say, “Do whatever.” These are very, very hard nuts. You can’t make them speak without the third-degree measures, which are quite common in Pakistan, you know.

    In terms of nationality, who are these people that are coming out of Afghanistan since October and coming to the tribal areas, coming to Faisalabad, coming to Karachi? What nationality are we talking [about]?

    Mostly Arabs. Yemenis, I would say, Saudis, some Kuwaitis, some Palestinians.

    Gulf Arabs?

    Yes, yes, yes. And of course, Pakistanis, and of course, Afghanis, Chechens.

    Are they going home? Are they going down to Karachi in order to catch a boat or–

    Yes. Basically, it’s not stationed to plot more action. These people at the moment who have escaped from Afghanistan — I’m talking about the Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, which escaped from Afghanistan — is looking for a hideout. It’s on the run.

    We can’t say that they’re sitting quiet and they are plotting, and they have been successful and all. We can’t say that. They are on the run. They really fear that they may be caught any days. There is a great degree of mistrust in the ranks, because they think that the information going out, these raids and stuff, these arrests and all, it may be coming in from within their ranks. So there is some mistrust. But it’s not a very, very well-entrenched organized force at the moment. …

    Any evidence that they’re leaving Pakistan and going back to the Gulf?

    Yes, yes, yes. There has been, yes. The some people who have their passports intact and all, these people have left and have gone off to Dubai. I understand that some people took also boats from Karachi and went off to the to U.A.E. There are several ports in the U.A.E. which you can access without being severely monitored.

    Also, what about Iran?

    Iran, of course. I understand that soon after October raids, there was a request made by some key Arabs to the Iranians in asking for passage. There is a Islamic code under which when some Muslims ask you for passage, you are obliged to provide that passage. I understand through a key U.A.E. diplomat that that passage was provided in the early days, and some people really went out. …

    There is talk we’ve heard that some of the major madrassas in Pakistan have harbored Al Qaeda — the Haqqania Madrassa up near Peshawar, but also the Binori Madrassa here in Karachi.

    I would think that not in the madrassas premises; there’s a major intelligence penetration in these madrassas.

    The ISI is in the Binori Madrassa?

    Yes, yes, yes. They know what’s going on there. But at the same time, you must understand that some of the key people are already with the ISI. I mean, they report back to the ISI. Maybe they are in the forefront of the anti-U.S. campaign or whatever–

    So some of the Islamists are inside the ISI? And the ISI is looking–

    And they report back to the ISI, yes, yes.

    How does that work?

    It works quite good, yes. I think that they have a very reliable penetration source of information. The bottom line here is that, “Look. Whatever you are doing, whatever you do, we understand. But mind you, we cannot afford to harbor Arabs here. We cannot afford to harbor non-Pakistanis here. So please, please cooperate with us on that count.” There is a very deep connections between the religious madrassas, and the key religious scholars, and the establishment. …

    Doesn’t President Musharraf need the Islamists in order to prosecute the Indians? Doesn’t he need them to keep pressure on the Indians in Kashmir?


    So he can’t offend these groups that are akin to Al Qaeda in their sympathies?

    By all means. … It’s also because there are 50,000 strong, militant, armed people. That most of these people have deep connections with the establishment, with the security–

    Security — ISI?

    –operators of Pakistan, the security operators, yes. The intelligence agencies. And they just can’t do things which may provoke them, and which may create an internal rebellion of sorts. Not only that. Of course, these people have devoted themselves to jihad in India, at least, to jihad in Kashmir. …

    A lot of Pakistani security people say that no country has such a tremendous fifth column. You have 50,000 armed people who are ready to give their lives without asking for any favor or anything. These motivated people are an asset for any country with such a massive, such a big enemy. And with such a major problem boiling there. Of course, yes.

    So can Americans trust Musharraf to crack down on his own people to rat out terrorists in Pakistan?

    I don’t know, because my perception is the Americans are basically interested in Al Qaeda — people who were in Afghanistan, who have an anti-West, anti-America agenda. I’m not sure if the U.S. is really terribly interested about the people who were fighting in Kashmir. …

    Yes, but the Americans are concerned, [about] if you have good connections inside the ISI, inside this government. And you’re telling me that the government or that the Pakistani militant groups, the fifth column, if you will, is serving as a sort of bed and breakfast for Al Qaeda.

    In some cases, yes. But there has been a very intense pressure from the government on these groups — I would say not pressure, but lobbying — trying to convince these guys that, “Please don’t have connections with Al Qaeda. Please don’t have ties with Al Qaeda.”

    We have reasons to believe that the key jihadi organizations at their top level have severed their ties. Or they are not really to have connection, ties, with the Arabs, but maybe some breakaway factions doing this.

    Kind of a messy situation to untangle, if you’ve got Al Qaeda and these jihadi groups being tight before 9/11, and now, after 9/11, the Americans pressure Musharraf to sort of untangle this mess. It’s not something that gets done overnight.

    It’s very complicated. It’s very complicated. It’s a very difficult message to convey to these jihadis. But for these jihadi organizations, the focus is Kashmir. The agenda is Kashmir. And they have been told that, “If you have the focus on Kashmir, then you better not compromise your cause.” …

    I think that the government is really satisfied that those groups now understand the language, and they don’t want to be involved in any active anti-U.S. terrorist operation.

    So the line is something like this: If you’re fighting India, you’re a freedom fighter. If you’re fighting the Americans, you’re a terrorist?

    They have been told that you have been fighting as a freedom fighter in Kashmir, then no problem. It all started in 1990. Since 1990 until September 2001, there was no problem. There was no severe pressure on Pakistan to cut ties with these groups, to rein in these groups. There was some whispers here and there. But nothing serious. That’s why it all continued here.

    Why should the Pakistanis fight America’s war for it?

    For its own survival, for the economic reasons, to stay viable. If the country is facing economic crunch before 9/11, and also because General Musharraf, a military leader, wants legitimacy. He wants to survive. He wants to continue as the leader of the country. There are plenty of reasons.

    I’m surprised that you think that Al Qaeda has any capability. My sense is that there’s only a few hundred guys, they’re scattered, they’re in a defensive position and aren’t in any position to be offensive.

    That’s very correct. But it doesn’t mean that it’s a dead organization, it cannot react, it will not react or whatever. The people who are on the run are basically who were in Afghanistan. But the sleepers, the sleeper cells all over the world — it’s not a very tightly knitted organization.

    We are talking about people who floated around, who went to Afghanistan and returned back to these places. But these are people who are now self-energized, self-motivated. You don’t need a central order to act from Osama bin Laden. So we are talking about loose sleeper cells all over the world.

    Even before 9/11, I used to talk [to] people who are supposed to know all that. And they used to say very much before 9/11, that these people are not restricted to Afghanistan. …

    We talked to General Taj of the Frontier Corps in Peshawar. He contradicts you on the tribal areas. He says there’s no Al Qaeda.

    This is his job.

    It’s his job to say there’s no Al Qaeda in tribal areas?

    Absolutely. Because if now, the tribal area belongs to Al Qaeda, it means a direct American intervention. Americans would go mad. They’ll say that “Yes, but you also agree with us, you must move fast. Otherwise, we’ll come. We are coming. We’re going to bomb these places out.” So this is crucial for Pakistan to negate this impression that there are any Al Qaeda in Pakistan. …

    What do you know about the decision to let the FBI operate in the tribal areas? That must have been a difficult negotiation.

    Oh, yes. But they always say that it’s part of the 9/11 agreement which Pakistan had with the U.S., which included providing intelligence, allowing intelligence, technical facilities. They say that allowing Americans to have technical access in Pakistan.

    But that’s what the repeated assertion is from the government of Pakistan and President Musharraf also, that these people — yes, they are doing something in tribal areas and other areas. But their work is restricted to technical cooperation.

    Well, we know that the troops, the [U.S.] Special Forces come across the border, because the border’s not demarcated.

    That’s right, yes.

    Clearly, they’re patrolling inside the Pakistani [territory].

    Special Forces, they come and they say that “We don’t know [whether] this was Pakistan or Afghanistan or whatever.” They come and go and they come and go. Pakistan also allowed this to happen, because it gives them some leverage against the tribal leaders. They tell them, “Look. If you don’t listen to the Americans, I’m going to come.”

    Three months ago, about four months ago basically, the tribal leaders were called and told that if you don’t listen to the Americans, they are going to bomb you out here. And so you must understand this. That’s why this very intelligent face from the tribal leaders. “No, no, no Al Qaedas, no, not at all. We do not provide any shelter. There’s nothing.”

    How come reporters can’t go into this area anymore?

    Reporters can go. But the government says that we cannot guarantee your safety.

    But they won’t let me past a roadblock.

    Yes. They would say that you have to have a government permission, a written government permission to–

    A non-objection certificate?

    Yes, that’s right, yes.

    But I can’t get a non-objection certificate.

    Yes, because they think that if you go inside, you’ll be kidnapped, and you’ll be made another Daniel Pearl.

    You think that’s true?

    Partly, yes.

    You think it’s true that if I went into the–

    You run a great risk if you go inside there. Sure. …

    No question in your mind that Al Qaeda has used those tribal areas as a sanctuary?

    A sanctuary? Yes, absolutely, yes. Definitely. Oh, sure. Yes.

    There’s this notion that Musharraf is holding onto power. He’s quashing opposition parties. At the same time, that’s creating a real valid viable opening for Islamist extremists in the country.

    Except for very few months just after 9/11, the Pakistani establishment and army had never had a direct confrontation with the religious groups or religious bodies. …

    You won’t find now the government having any crackdown against any of the religious groups or any religious political parties. The religious political parties are much freer today than the Pakistan People’s Party, or Pakistan Muslims. Their leaders are much freer than the key, say, the former prime ministers and the former ministers of the government. And now, we don’t find any fireworks from the religious parts against Musharraf. …

    I have reason to believe, that there is an unwritten compromise between these religious groups — erstwhile anti-Musharraf religious parties, and the government. The religious group now are back in action and they are moving freely. They are participating in election. There is no restriction. There has not been a single key religious leader who has been debarred from contesting election. …

    You’re saying Musharraf has managed to do the impossible — to cozy up with the Americans, give the Americans want they want, and at the same time, give more political power and more political space to the radical extremist, to Islamist parties?

    Excellent job. Excellent job. I’ll give him full marks for that. He is an ally to the U.S. and the war against terrorism, and now the religious parties are also not saying anything against him. This is an ideal situation for him.

    It sounds like Saudi Arabia. It sounds like the same sort of power-sharing arrangement that the Saudis have worked out — loyal to the Americans but give the religious extremists full rein over certain parts of society.

    It’s a good comparison. I would say it’s a good comparison. …

    Do you think President Bush knows what kind of arrangement that he’s gotten himself into here?

    Oh, sure. He does, but I think he cannot afford to disturb the situation. He just cannot afford to, because he doesn’t know. Because if Musharraf goes, what comes next?

    But if the Islamist parties become stronger, that’s going to end up biting them back as well.

    My sense is that the Islamic parties, though they have compromised with Musharraf, but they have not lost the focus. And the campaign at the moment is squarely anti-U.S., is squarely anti-war-against-terrorism. It is overwhelmingly pro-Taliban. It is overwhelmingly pro-Al Qaeda. But nobody’s touching them. Nobody’s questioning them.

    So it just gives them time to regroup?

    Yes. These rabble rousers are out there. I mean, look at their statements. Look at their public rallies. Yet, there’s no restriction.

    It’s a funny place, this. I go around, I talk to people. They say, “We like the Americans, we like–”

    This is the whole issue, you know. How can this work? How can you be an ally with the U.S., and you have the jihadi parties, you don’t have that kind of a comfortable tie with the same government?

    And who’s the architect of this?

    General Musharraf himself.





  • Hamid Mir/Jang Group’s Mess & Credibility of JANG/GEO TV.
    As per Merriam Webster Dictionary “Diversion” Pronunciation: \də-ˈvər-zhən, dī-, -shən\ Function: noun 1 : the act or an instance of diverting from a course, activity, or use : deviation 2 : something that diverts or amuses : pastime, 3 : an attack or feint that draws the attention and force of an enemy from the point of the principal operation, 4 British : a temporary traffic detour.

  • It was LUBP! NO NO NO Jews are behind it, NO NO Zionists are behind it, NO NO NO Zardari is behind it [Mariana Baabar says so], NO NO Zardari is not behind it but RAW is behind it, NO NO Quadiyanis are behind it but NO NO NO Hussain Haqqani behind it, NO NO some serving Generals behind it, God damn my Journalist Colleagues who are actually behind it. [Hamid Mir’s View] – Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, the top body of media and custodian of ‘freedom of speech and civil liberties’,

    I am forced to believe that some elements in the intelligence used my media colleagues against me because I was not in control of any intelligence outfit. One of my crimes was that I wrote an article against a serving general of the Pakistan Army.

    Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, who has been linked by several Pakistani websites to the killing of a former intelligence official by the Taliban, refutes the accusations in this e-mail sent to The Washington Times in response to an article that appeared in Tuesday’s editions:

    Dear Sir,

    The Washington Times has published a story today “Terrorist Hit Puts Pakistani Reporter Under Fire” (by Eli Lake – Reporter – The Washington Times – 25 May 2010)

  • Conspiracy against Hamid Mir by an aggrieved person i.e. Osama Khalid s/o Khalid Khawaja

    Lollywood film directors searching for a script to produce a thriller are best advised to readLet Us Build Pakistan (LUBP) on the website, which is advertised as a project of critical supporters of the Pakistan People’s Party. [Mariana Baabar]

    Osama seeks FIR against Hamid Mir, Osman Punjabi Daily Times Monitor Wednesday, May 26, 2010\26\story_26-5-2010_pg1_7

    LAHORE: Osama Khalid, son of Khalid Khawaja, on Tuesday submitted an application in the Shalimar Police Station for registration of an FIR against TV talk show host Hamid Mir and suspected terrorist Osman Punjabi for the murder of his father, a private TV channel reported.

    Khalid Khawaja, a former Inter-Services Intelligence official, was murdered by a relatively less-known Asian Tigers militant group on April 23. Osama alleged that the talk show host had instigated the terrorists to murder his father. He said the application was based on the audiotape of Mir’s conversation with a member of the Taliban, and he was ready to prove in court that the audio clip was original. Khalid Khawaja, a former Inter-Services Intelligence official, was murdered by a relatively less-known Asian Tigers militant group on April 23.
    Osama alleged that the talk show host had instigated the terrorists to murder his father. He said the application was based on the audiotape of Mir’s conversation with a member of the Taliban, and he was ready to prove in court that the audio clip was original.

  • Slain ISI man’s son seeks case against TV anchor By Mudassir Raja Saturday, 03 Jul, 2010

    RAWALPINDI, July 2: The son of Khalid Khawaja, a former ISI official, has urged the Lahore High Court to order registration of a criminal case against an anchor of a private television channel for the murder of his father.

    Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, of the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench, on Friday took up the petition of Usama Khalid and directed the law officer representing the federal government to appear in court on July 12.

    The petitioner challenged the June 12 order of an additional district and sessions judge rejecting his plea to register the murder case.

    Khalid Usama has made the SHO and a sub-inspector of Islamabad’s Shalimar police station respondents in the petition filed with the Lahore High Court, contending that the district and sessions judge dismissed his petition after the Shalimar police had told him they lacked jurisdiction as the murder of Khalid Khawaja was not committed in their area.

    Mr Usama said the conspiracy to kill his father was hatched within the jurisdiction of Shalimar police and the travel of his father to the tribal area was allegedly arranged by journalist Hamid Mir.

    The petitioner also attached a copy of an application submitted by him to Shalimar police for registration of a case against the journalist and Usman Punjabi for plotting the murder of Khalid Khawaja.

    Usama Khalid said Hamid Mir had developed “ideological differences” with his father after the Lal Masjid operation of July 2007.

    According to the petitioner, the television anchor and his father were on good terms since long, but Hamid Mir betrayed the trust by laying a trap for Khalid Khawaja. Usama alleged it was Mr Mir who persuaded the former ISI official to travel to the tribal area, where the journalist directed Usman Punjabi to kill Mr Khawaja.

    An audio-tape, which emerged a few days after the murder of Khalid Khawaja, contained a purported conversation between Mr Mir and a Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan operative. Mr Mir has denied the veracity of the tape and said the voice on it was not his.