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Benazir Bhutto murder case takes new turn as officials hunt for retired and serving army men

میں کس کے ہاتھ پہ اپنا لہو تلاش کروں


Investigators are searching for four military personnel who had disappeared just before the assassination of the former prime minister.

New twist in Benazir’s assassination probe

ISLAMABAD: Investigations into murder of Benazir Bhutto take a new turn as Pakistani officials said they are searching for four military personnel who had disappeared just before the assassination of the former prime minister.

Interior ministry officials told DawnNews that the missing soldiers were retired army personnel who were among the eight army soldiers related to the main accused and a proclaimed offender in the case, Ibad Ur Rehman.

The interior ministry officials disclosed that investigators are facing difficulties in determining the exact status of these soldiers and so far no record had been provided. The four other soldiers are still serving the army. These four army personnel had never been mentioned in the legal proceedings before an anti-terrorist court in Rawalpindi.

This is the first time that the investigators are probing into the possibility of army soldiers’ involvement into the assassination of the former prime minister.

A UN commission constituted to probe into the assassination of Ms. Bhutto is expected to submit its report by the end of this month.

When DawnNews tried to ascertain the view of military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas on this revelation, he could not be reached on his telephone despite repeated attempts.

Source: Dawn

The UN commission’s findings would be submitted to the US Secretary General Ban ki Moon, and would also be shared with the Pakistan government, a UN spokesperson said.

The inquiry commission was to submit its report by 31st December 2009, but it had sought an extension in its term, as its work was severely affected by the poor law and order situation in Pakistan.

The commission headed by Chilean Ambassador to UN Heraldo Munoz met several high profile persons in Pakistan, including the Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt.Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha. The commission had also grilled former President General Pervez Musharraf, who is currently in London.

Pakistan had called for a UN commission to probe the assassination of the two-time Prime Minister who was killed at a campaign rally at Rawalpindi on December 27 2007, after her supporters were angered by conflicting accounts from the then-government of how she died.

The international commission is primarily a fact-finding team in nature and its mandate is only to determine the facts and circumstances of the assassination. The duty of determining criminal responsibility of the perpetrators of the assassination remains with the Pakistani authorities. (ANI)

Source: ONEINDIA

Killers of Benazir Bhutto

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  • ‘If I Am Assassinated’ By Benazir Bhutto

    “On Oct 16, before returning home, I wrote a letter to Gen Musharraf in which I informed him that if anything happens to me as a result of these attacks, then I will neither nominate the Afghan Taliban, nor Al Qaeda, not even Pakistani Taliban or the fourth group. I will nominate those people who, I believe, mislead the people. I have spelt out names of such people in the letter,” she said. “I have named three people, and more, in that letter to Gen Musharraf. I have named certain people with a view to the attack that took place yesterday so that if I was assassinated, who should be investigated.”

    Below are excerpts from some published news reports about Shaheed Benazir Bhutto’s apprehensions and accusations about her possible killers since the terrorist attack on her Karachi rally on October 19, 2007

    Email to be used only ‘if I am killed’
    Associated Press/Dawn, December 29, 2007

    It was a story CNN’s Wolf Blitzer hoped he would never have to report — an email sent through an intermediary to him by Benazir Bhutto complaining about her security. Conditions of use: only if she were killed.

    Ms Bhutto wrote to Wolf Blitzer that if anything happened to her, “I would hold (President Pervez) Musharraf responsible.”

    Mr Blitzer received the email on Oct 26 from Mark Siegel, a friend and long-time Washington spokesman for Ms Bhutto. That was eight days after she narrowly escaped an attempt on her life on Oct 18.

    Benazir Bhutto wrote to Blitzer: “I have been made to feel insecure by his (Musharraf’s) minions,” that specific improvements had not been made to her security arrangements, and that the president was responsible.

    Blitzer agreed to the conditions before receiving the e-mail. He said on Friday that he called Siegel shortly after seeing it to see if there was any way he could use it on CNN, but was told firmly it could only be used if she were killed. Siegel could not say why she had insisted on those conditions.

    Blitzer reported on the e-mail late on Thursday. He noted that Ms Bhutto had written a piece for CNN.com that mentioned her security concerns and that American politicians had tried to intervene on her behalf to make her feel safer. “I didn’t really think that it was a story we were missing out on,” he said. “I don’t think the viewers were done any disservice by my trying to hold on to this.”

    Wolf Blitzer was the only journalist sent such a message, Siegel said. He also sent the e-mail to Representative Steve Israel, a New York Democrat.

    Siegel said he did not believe Ms Bhutto’s opinions had changed since she wrote the e-mail. Her message specifically mentioned she had requested four police vehicles surrounding her vehicle when travelling; Siegel said it seemed evident from pictures taken at the assassination scene that the request was not fulfilled.

    Ms Bhutto did not necessarily believe that President Musharraf wanted her dead, but felt many people around him did, he said.

    Her husband contacted Siegel on Thursday to remind him about the e-mail message and to make sure it got out, he said.

    ‘Zia remnants’ blamed for Karachi carnage
    Dawn, October 20, 2007

    Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto on Friday (October 19, 2007) condemned the suicide attack on her rally (in Karachi) and blamed it on what she termed ‘Zia remnants’. She said that before returning home, she had written to President Pervez Musharraf that more than three officials were planning suicide attacks on her.

    “The attack was a message sent by the enemies of democracy to all the political parties of the country. It was intended to intimidate and blackmail all the political forces and elements working for democracy and human rights. It was a warning not only to me and the PPP but to all political parties; indeed to the entire civil society.”

    “On Oct 16, before returning home, I wrote a letter to Gen Musharraf in which I informed him that if anything happens to me as a result of these attacks, then I will neither nominate the Afghan Taliban, nor Al Qaeda, not even Pakistani Taliban or the fourth group. I will nominate those people who, I believe, mislead the people. I have spelt out names of such people in the letter,” she said. “I have named three people, and more, in that letter to Gen Musharraf. I have named certain people with a view to the attack that took place yesterday so that if I was assassinated, who should be investigated.” She alleged that more attacks were being planned on her life. She said her apprehension was that a strike would be made ……..“The modus operandi will be that selected people will be planted in the police department and posted near my house. Perhaps, commandos will be sent in the garb of a rival political party and blamed for the attack.”

    Ms Bhutto said she had shared this piece of information with Gen Musharraf and was confident the government would take pre-emptive measures.

    After Bombing, Bhutto Assails Officials’ Ties
    New York Times, October 20, 2007

    Looking pale and shaken the day after she survived a suicide bomb attack, the opposition leader Benazir Bhutto said Friday that she had warned the Pakistani government that suicide bomb squads were going to go after her on her return to the country and that it had failed to act on the information.

    Ms Bhutto pointed the finger at government officials who she said were sympathetic to the militants and were abusing their powers to advance their cause. She did not identify them on Friday, but said she had in a letter to the government this Tuesday. It was not clear if she was implicating the officials directly or accusing them of dragging their feet on her warning. “I am not accusing the government, but I am accusing certain individuals who abuse their positions, who abuse their powers,” she said.

    Aides close to Ms. Bhutto said that one of those named in the letter was Ijaz Shah, the director general of the Intelligence Bureau, another of the country’s intelligence agencies and a close associate of General Musharraf.

    Mr. Shah hung up when asked by telephone for a reaction to the allegations.

    Bhutto names suspects in letter to Musharraf
    24 Oct 2007, 1706 hrs IST,PTI

    ISLAMABAD: October 24 (PTI) Former Pakistan Premier Benazir Bhutto has named four well-known persons, including Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and former ISI chief Hamid Gul, as those who pose a threat to her life in a letter to President Pervez Musharraf, the media here reported today.

    In the letter written on October 16, two days before she returned to Pakistan from eight years in self-exile, Bhutto said she feared there was a threat to her life from Elahi, Gul, Hassan Waseem Afzal, the former Deputy Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and Intelligence Bureau chief Brig (Retd) Ijaz Shah, Geo TV reported.

    In a press conference held hours after the suicide attack on her motorcade in Karachi on Thursday night that left nearly 140 people dead, Bhutto had, however, said she had named three persons in the letter.

    She had indicated that there were also other officials who posed a threat to her life as, she claimed, they were abusing their powers and positions.

    Bhutto, who also referred to three persons posing a threat to her life in a complaint she submitted to police in Karachi, has so far not publicly named these persons.

    In her complaint, Bhutto only said that police should take action against “those whose names were given to Musharraf”.

    The government has so far been silent on her allegations though Musharraf’s spokesman defended the IB chief’s integrity and reputation and said there was no move to sack Shah.

    Some media reports had earlier suggested that Sindh Chief Minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim was also named in Bhutto’s letter.

    Afzal, who played a key role in probing graft charges against Bhutto and was removed from his post in the NAB due to pressure from her PPP party, is currently serving as Secretary to Punjab Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Khalid Maqbool.

    Mohtarma Bhutto’s assassination, Senator Asif Ali Zardari writes to the UN Secretary General

    Islamabad, 16 January 2008: The Co-Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party, Senator Asif Ali Zardari has formally urged the United Nations to set up a UN International Commission to thoroughly investigate the assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to “bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of this reprehensible act of terrorism to justice”.

    The letter signed by Co Chairman of the PPP Mr. Asif Ali Zardari was sent directly to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon today as the regime refused to forward it the UN despite plea on Thursday by the Party to the Caretaker prime Minister to forward it UN.

    The Party Co Chairman’s letter makes out a case for undertaking investigations by the UN Commission recalling the concern shown by the Security Council soon after the first bomb attack on welcoming rally on Mohtarma Bhutto’s rally in Karachi on October that killed 179 people and injured over 600 people.

    The letter begins with recalling the Security Council resolution underlining the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of October 19 bomb attack to justice, and urging all States to cooperate actively with the Pakistani authorities in this regard”. Copies of the letter have also been sent to the five Permanent Representatives of the UN Security Council.

    It then goes on and gives details of the events that led to the assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed and her own apprehensions about her security as expressed from time to time including in an e-mail communication of on 16th October 2007 to her publicist in New York Mr Mark Siegal and the abject failure and neglect of the regime to address her apprehension for her security. The letter further details the inadequacy in her security arrangements after the attack on her cavalcade in Karachi on her return on 18 October.

    The letter along with supporting documents and annexure also apprised the UN Secretary General about the shifting stand of the regime on the assassination, the hosing down of available evidence and other supporting evidence that makes it necessary to set up Independent International Investigative Commission under the auspices of Security Council be named “MS. BENAZIR BHUTTO INQUIRY COMMISSION”

    Copies of the letter were also sent to the permanent Representatives of Security Council.

    Following is the full text of the letter:

    The Honorable Ban Ki Moon
    Secretary-General of the United Nations
    United Nations Headquarters

    REQUEST FOR THE FORMATION OF A UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION COMMISSION INTO THE ASSASSINATION OF MS BENAZIR BHUTTO TO BE KNOWN AS THE “MS. BENAZIR BHUTTO INQUIRY COMMISSION”

    (a) The Security Council of the United Nations condemned the bomb attacks on Ms Benazir Bhutto on 18 October 2007 in Karachi.

    In its meeting held on 22 October 2007 Security Council of the United Nations condemned the bomb attacks on Ms Benazir Bhutto on 18 October 2007 in Karachi. The statement of President of the Security Council reads as follows:

    “The Security Council condemns in the strongest terms the bomb attacks that occurred in Karachi, Pakistan, on 18 October 2007, causing numerous deaths and injuries, and expresses its deep sympathy and condolences to
    the victims of this heinous act of terrorism and their families, and to the people and the Government of Pakistan.

    “The Security Council underlines the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of this reprehensible act of terrorism to justice, and urges all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and resolution 1373 (2001) and consistent with resolution 1624 (2005), to cooperate actively with the Pakistani authorities in this regard.

    “The Security Council reaffirms that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.

    “The Security Council further reaffirms the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. The Council reminds States that they must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.

    “The Security Council reiterates its determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.”

    (b) The Security Council of the United Nations condemned assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto on 27 December 2007 in Rawalpindi.

    In its meeting held on 27 December 2007 Security Council of the United Nations condemned the assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto on 27 December 2007 in Rawalpindi. The statement of President of the Security Council reads as follows:

    “The Security Council condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist suicide attack by extremists that occurred in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on 27 December 2007, causing the death of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and numerous other casualties, and expresses its deep sympathy and condolences to the victims of this heinous act of terrorism and their families, and to the people and the Government of Pakistan. The Security Council pays tribute to former Prime Minister Bhutto.

    “The Security Council calls on all Pakistanis to exercise restraint and maintain stability in the country.

    “The Security Council underlines the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of this reprehensible act of terrorism to justice, and urges all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and resolution 1373 (2001) and consistent with resolution 1624 (2005), to cooperate actively with the Pakistani authorities in this regard.

    “The Security Council reaffirms that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.

    “The Security Council further reaffirms the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. The Council reminds States that they must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.

    “The Security Council reiterates its determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.”

    (c) Return of Ms Bhutto to Pakistan on 18 October 2007

    1. Ms Benazir Bhutto, “Daughter of the East” was Prime Minister of Pakistan and was the Chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the largest and most popular political party of Pakistan.

    2. Ms Bhutto after living in self imposed exile in Dubai, UAE decided to return to Pakistan on 18th October 2007 to lead her Party in the forthcoming General Elections.

    3 On 16th October 2007 (2 days prior to her return to Pakistan) Ms Bhutto wrote to President Musharraf that “I have been informed by the Government that certain militant groups wanted to attack me. As such I wish to inform you of my grave concern regarding my security and I am specifying the sources and persons behind them whom I suspected were likely to harm me physically”.

    4. Prior to her arrival in Pakistan Ms Bhutto through her lawyer Senator Farooq H Naek wrote many letters to the Government informing them of the need to provide security to Ms Bhutto bearing in mind the “very precarious and bad law and order situation in the country”.

    5. Ms Bhutto wanted to import a bullet proof vehicle for her protection to be used by her when she arrives in Pakistan. No response was given by the Government to the request made by Ms Bhutto’s lawyer Senator Farooq H. Naek on her behalf in this regard. Consequently Ms Bhutto was forced to move the Sindh High Court in order to compel the Government of Sindh to grant such a request.

    6. Human Safety Foundation concerned about the threats made against the life of Ms Bhutto on her return to Pakistan requested the Sindh High Court to direct that fool proof security be provided to Ms Bhutto on her return. This request was granted by Sindh High Court vide order dated 11October 2007 and directed both the Federal and Provincial Governments to ensure security as prayed for, namely fool proof security and protection for Ms Bhutto.

    7. On 16th October 2007 Ms Bhutto sent an e-mail to her publicist in New York Mr Mark Siegal expressing her apprehension for her security.

    8. However the authorities failed and neglected to make adequate and proper arrangements for Ms Bhutto’s security on her return to Pakistan. This was notwithstanding the fact that as a former Prime Minister Ms Bhutto was entitled to be provided by the State with adequate and fool proof security. The security requested was that considered appropriate in the circumstances of a returning exile of the major popular political party in Pakistan, committed to eradicating terrorism and promoting a secular mandate.

    (d) Ms Bhutto narrowly escapes assassination on the day she returns to Pakistan on October 18th

    1. The very day Ms Bhutto returned to Pakistan on 18th October 2007, she was subject to an assassination attempt through bomb attacks on the vehicle in which she was traveling killing 179 people and wounding hundreds of others.

    2. Ms Bhutto narrowly escaped being killed in this assassination attempt.

    3. Under Pakistani law a criminal investigation is launched after the registration of a complaint known as a First Information Report (FIR).

    4. Following the failed assassination attempt Ms Bhutto approached the relevant police station in order to register her FIR so that an inquiry could be started in connection with the attempt to murder her which had already left hundreds dead and wounded.

    5. In her proposed FIR Ms Bhutto reiterated what she wrote in her letter dated 16th October 2007, namely, that she had informed him of the forces and persons behind the militant groups which she suspected were likely to harm her physically.

    6. Instead of assisting Ms Bhutto by registering and investigating under Ms Bhutto’s FIR the Police refused to register Ms Bhutto’s FIR as they claimed that an FIR in respect of the incident had already been registered. The already registered FIR did not contain the names of the organizations and persons who Ms Bhutto believed were behind elements out to cause her physical harm.

    7. Under Pakistani law it is possible to register more than one FIR in respect of the same incident. Ms Bhutto was therefore forced to approach the Court to permit her FIR to be registered so that her suspicions regarding her would be assassins would be fully investigated.

    8. On 5th November 2007 the District and Sessions Judge Karachi East on Ms Bhutto’s application ordered that her FIR be registered.

    9. Notwithstanding the Court order the authorities again, rather than assisting Ms Bhutto, went out of their way to ensure that her version of events would not be investigated by obtaining an ex parte order from the Sindh High Court staying the earlier Court order allowing the registration of Ms Bhutto’s FIR an event both perverse and extraordinary. The reaction indicates the politicised environment, making objective analysis by the government an impossibility.

    10. To date no one has been apprehended in respect of this failed assassination attempt on Ms Bhutto and the authorities investigation has been unhelpful.

    11. Had the persons and organizations whom Ms Bhutto suspected were behind those persons who wanted to cause her physical harm and her FIR been registered and investigated then it is extremely unlikely that Ms Bhutto would have been assassinated only 9 weeks later. The reasoning is simple; had the investigations been effective, the prospect of detaining those complicit would have reduced or even prevented the second unfortunate attempt.

    (e) Continuation of Inadequate security arrangements after 18th October assassination attempt.

    1. Despite Ms Bhutto’s narrow escape on 18th October 2007 and the Court order to both the Federal and Provincial authorities to provide Ms Bhutto with “fool proof” security Ms Bhutto’s security remained inadequate.

    2. Senator Joseph Biden Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee along with 2 other Senators on Ms Bhutto’s request wrote to Government of Pakistan shortly after the failed 18th October 2007 assassination attempt on Ms Bhutto urging the Government to give Ms Bhutto the full level of security support afforded to any former Prime Minister including bomb proof vehicles and jamming devices.

    3. On 23rd October 2007 Ms Bhutto’s lawyer Senator Farooq H. Naek received a letter posted from Rawalpindi on 11th October 2007 written by
    Head of Suicide Bombers and friend of Al-Qaida threatening to assassinate Ms Bhutto. This letter was made public but the Government failed to pay any attention to it and took no proper or further steps to increase the quality and level of the security team. The position was that:

    a. The protection was not controlled by an effective security team.

    b. Any sensible government determined to protect a politically vulnerable leader would have immediately introduced close protection and the exclusion of direct ability for the public to approach the vehicle which took the leader to and from political meetings.

    c. Equally there was no security protection by way of cordoning off the access for any potential assassin.

    d. The PPP had requested the jamming of mobile phone and other electronic equipment so as to hamper any potential bomber; that request
    was not acceded to by the government without any adequate reason.

    e. It is of concern that the scene of the crime was hosed down by government operatives, which prevents a proper investigation of the circumstances and lends suspicion as to the motives for the destruction of evidence.

    f. The government indicated at first, that Ms Bhutto was not shot but apparently died as the result of banging the head upon the sun roof of the vehicle. That contradicted the evidence of those within the vehicle and television footage which shows a pistol shooting at Ms Bhutto and reeling from the impact of the shots. The Government itself recanted from such assertion, lending even more confusion.

    4. On 23rd October 2007 Ms Bhutto’s Lawyer Senator Farooq H. Naek sent a letter to the Government of Sindh with copy endorsed to Federal Secretary Ministry of Interior, Government of Pakistan requesting that fool proof security may be provided to Ms Bhutto and she may be allowed to travel with her personal guards armed with licensed weapons in vehicles with colored/tinted glasses. The government vide letter dated 23rd October 2007 acknowledged the security concerns but failed and neglected to provide security as demanded. The provision for private security was pivotal and there is no obvious reason why it should not have been allowed.

    5. On 24th October 2007 Ms Bhutto’s lawyer Senator Farooq H. Naek informed the Chief Justice of Pakistan about the letter which he had received threatening to attack Ms Bhutto and the other lapses of the Government in providing security to Ms Bhutto and asked him to take suo moto notice and thereby direct the Government of Pakistan to provide fool proof security to Ms Bhutto. The Chief Justice of Pakistan failed to act on the request.

    (f) Assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007

    1. On 27th December, 2007 Ms Bhutto was assassinated in Rawalpindi.

    2. Security arrangements were so inadequate that one of Ms Bhutto’s killers was able to get within feet of Ms Bhutto. According to a Russian newspaper report it is possible that multiple sniper teams were used to kill Ms Bhutto using long range sniper rifles with laser guidance followed by rocket propelled grenades to destroy evidence of assassination as no evidence was found of a suicide bomber.

    3. The Government of Pakistan in order to conceal their failure to protect Ms Bhutto came up with the implausible explanation that the death of Ms Bhutto was caused on account of her hitting her head on the lever of the sunroof of her vehicle. Such an implausible explanation is contrary to both video evidence of the assassination and eyewitness accounts.

    4. Immediately after the incident the Government quickly washed the crime scene with water and blamed Al-Qaida and Baitullah Masood for the assassination of Ms Bhutto and relayed a conversation of 2 men discussing the assassination of Ms Bhutto.

    5. The fact that the crime scene was also not preserved is highly suspicious. It should be noted that when assassination attempts were made on other high-profile persons crime scenes were preserved with the material being professionally investigated.

    6. President Musharaff has expressed his dissatisfaction at the current investigation into Ms Bhutto’s assassination. Furthermore in an interview with the US television network CBS President Musharraf admitted that Ms Bhutto could have been shot. The disparity of good reason in itself demands an explanation.

    THE NEED FOR AN INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONAL INQUIRY COMMISSION

    1. The tragic murder of Ms Bhutto is a national and international loss and leaves behind an indelible legacy, a pall of gloom and grief and a wave of anger both inside and outside Pakistan. Ms Bhutto gave her life for democracy and to save Pakistan which is in danger of becoming a failed state riddled with extremists.

    2. Ms Bhutto’s assassination has led to political instability in Pakistan. There is no leader in Pakistan who can be termed as a leader of National standing having vast political and public support in the four provinces of Pakistan. Ms Bhutto’s assassination is a great set back to the unity of federation.

    3. The Government of Pakistan has already stated that Al-Qaida is involved in the assassination of Ms Bhutto and allegedly have intercepts in support of this. According to Government of Pakistan Al-Qaida has bases and it operates from Afghanistan which is a neighboring country and other countries of the world.

    4. It is imperative to discover the truth behind Ms Bhutto’s assassination. For instance, who planned it, in which countries such plans were made, who financed and carried out the assassination?

    5. The investigation process in Pakistan suffers from serious flaws and interference from powerful figures in the establishment. Further more they have neither the capacity nor the commitment to reach a satisfactory and credible conclusion which is evident from the fact that the security services of Pakistan failed to provide adequate protection to Ms Benazir Bhutto otherwise it would not have led to her assassination on 27 December 2007. Thus it is not possible for the security services of Pakistan to carry out either an impartial or credible investigation into the assassination of Ms Bhutto which will lead to the truth being uncovered and bring the people who are behind this heinous crime to justice. Even detectives from Scotland Yard would not be able to reach any definite and credible conclusion as they are working with limited powers under the control, guidance and supervision of the Pakistani authorities. and with inability to effectively access all of the evidence.

    6. The family members of Ms Bhutto and the people of Pakistan want to know the truth about her assassination so that the criminals, perpetrators, financiers and sponsors of this heinous crime are exposed and brought to justice as a mark of respect to the departed soul so that the sentiments and feelings of those concerned is given solace which under the prevailing political situation in Pakistan can only be achieved through the findings of an international investigation commission which is both impartial and whose findings will be credible to the family members of Ms Bhutto and the people of Pakistan.

    ADVANTAGES OF THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL APPOINTED INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE COMMISSION

    1. Such an Inquiry Commission will not be under the control of the Pakistani authorities and will report directly to the UN. As such its findings will be credible in the eyes of the Pakistani people who want to know the truth behind the assassination of Ms Bhutto.

    2. Such an independent inquiry is likely to help stabilize the precarious political situation in both Pakistan and the region as both the people of Pakistan and the region will have confidence in such an Independent Inquiry.

    THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL IS THEREFORE CALLED UPON TO CONSTITUTE AN INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION COMMISSION

    A call for constitution of such commission has also been made by the International Crisis Group a Brussels based HR think tank and so also by Senator Arlen Specter of USA to the Secretary General of the United Nations.

    The UN itself has condemned the assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto, underlined the need to bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of this heinous crime to justice and has also confirmed its willingness to assist in the investigation of the assassination of Ms Bhutto if requested by the Government of Pakistan.

    The Inquiry commission should be mandated to investigate the circumstances leading up to the assassination of Ms Bhutto and identify the perpetrators, financiers, conspirators, sponsors and/or organizations involved in the assassination of Ms Bhutto with a view to bringing them to Justice.

    On the failure of the Government of Pakistan to make a request to the UN
    Security Council for establishing an international investigative commission the Security Council is hereby requested to invoke its suo moto powers to form an International Investigative Commission to be known as “Ms Benazir Bhutto Inquiry Commission”, or any other termed name.

    In such circumstances, especially in the light of aforementioned two Resolutions of the Security Council of The United Nations, we humbly request that an International Investigation controlled by the United Nations be constituted forthwith so as to independently investigate the assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto and “bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of this reprehensible act of terrorism to justice”.

    ASIF ALI ZARDARI
    CO-CHAIRMAN
    Pakistan Peoples Party

    Annexure Attached: List of Documents with Annexures A to R

    CC to:

    Other Permanent Representatives of Security Council

    1. H.E. Mr. Wang Guangya, Ambassador Extraordinary and Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations 350 East 35th Street, New York, NY 10016.

    2. H.E. Mr. Vitaly I. Churkin, Ambassador Extraordinary Russian Federation, Permanent Mission of the Russain Federation to the United Nations 136 East 67th Street, New York, NY 10021, U.S.A.

    3. H.E. Sir Emyr Jones Parry, KCMG, Ambassador, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom to the United Nations One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 885 Second
    Avenue, New York, NY 10017, U.S.A.

    4. H.E Mr. Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 245 East 47th Street, 44th Floor, New York, NY 10017, U.S.A.

    5. H.E. Mr. Zalmay Khalizad, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations 140 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017, U.S.A.

    AND

    Senator Arlen Specter, 711 Hart Building, Washington, DC 20510, U.S.A.

    With the request to assist in the formation of International Independent Commission to be known on “Ms Benazir Bhutto Inquiry Commission”.

    http://www.famousmuslims.com/benazir%20If%20I%20Am%20Assassinated.htm

  • Ijaz Shah new IB chief Staff Report Thursday, February 26, 2004
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_26-2-2004_pg7_2

    ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Wednesday appointed Brig (r) Ijaz Shah the new Intelligence Bureau (IB) director general and transferred his predecessor Wali Muhammad.

    Mr Shah was earlier the Punjab home secretary. However, there was no notification of who would replace him. There is speculation in the Punjab Civil Secretariat that three officers on special duty Sheikh Habibur Rehman, Hassan Wasim Afzal and Salman Ghani could be appointed to the post.

    Punjab Forests Department Secretary Sajid Hussain Chattha is another possibility. Of course the Establishment Division could also post a bureaucrat from some other province. Brig (r) Shah is well known to President Musharraf for a long time. He was also the Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) Lahore chief in 1999. French journalist Bernard Henri-Levy mentions his name in the book on American journalist Daniel Pearl.

    Mr Shah is also said to be close to President Musharraf’s Principal Secretary Tariq Aziz. Both Mr Shah and Mr Aziz are thought to have advised President Musharraf against holding the referendum in 2002 and were ignored for some time for their contrary views. Later, President Musharraf is said to have acknowledged the wisdom of their advice.

    After he was bypassed for promotion to Punjab Chief Secretary some months ago, Mr Shah agreed to go to Australia as Pakistan’s high commissioner this year. But President Musharraf accepted the current high commissioner’s plea for a year’s extension in tenure. It was also thought that perhaps the Australians were not too keen on welcoming a former ISI official as the high commissioner. This dampened Mr Shah’s prospects and he soon acquired a low profile in the Punjab government.

    Mr Shah’s appointment as head of the IB means that he will be back doing the sort of job he is said to do best. It will also bring him close to President Musharraf again. In fact, in view of the recent assassination attempts on the president, the appointment suggests that President Musharraf wants an astute friend in the IB.

  • Ijaz Shah was a participant or observer in the following events:
    http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=ijaz_shah

    Saeed Sheikh, a brilliant British student at the London School of Economics, drops out of school and moves to his homeland of Pakistan. He had been radicalized by a trip to Bosnia earlier in the year (see April 1993). Two months later, he begins training in Afghanistan at camps run by al-Qaeda and the Pakistani ISI. By mid-1994, he has become an instructor. In June 1994, he begins kidnapping Western tourists in India. In October 1994, he is captured after kidnapping three Britons and an American, and is put in an Indian maximum-security prison, where he remain for five years. The ISI pays a lawyer to defend him. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 2/9/2002; DAILY MAIL, 7/16/2002; VANITY FAIR, 8/2002] His supervisor is Ijaz Shah, an ISI officer. [TIMES OF INDIA, 3/12/2002; GUARDIAN, 7/16/2002]

    After being released from prison at the end of 1999 (see December 24-31, 1999), Saeed Sheikh travels to Pakistan and is given a house by the ISI. [VANITY FAIR, 8/2002] He lives openly and opulently in Pakistan, even attending “swanky parties attended by senior Pakistani government officials.” US authorities conclude he is an asset of the ISI. [NEWSWEEK, 3/13/2002] Amazingly, he is allowed to travel freely to Britain, and visits family there at least twice. [VANITY FAIR, 8/2002] He works with Ijaz Shah, a former ISI official in charge of handling two militant groups; Lt. Gen. Mohammed Aziz Khan, former deputy chief of the ISI in charge of relations with Jaish-e-Mohammed; and Brigadier Abdullah, a former ISI officer. He is well known to other senior ISI officers. [NEW YORK TIMES, 2/25/2002; INDIA TODAY, 2/25/2002; NATIONAL POST, 2/26/2002; GUARDIAN, 7/16/2002] At the same time that he is working closely and openly with the ISI, he is also strengthening his links with al-Qaeda (see 2000).

    Pakistani police, with the help of the FBI, determine Saeed Sheikh is behind the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl, but are unable to find him. They round up about ten of his relatives and threaten to harm them unless he turns himself in. Saeed Sheikh does turn himself in, but to Ijaz Shah, his former ISI boss. [BOSTON GLOBE, 2/7/2002; VANITY FAIR, 8/2002] The ISI holds Saeed for a week, but fails to tell Pakistani police or anyone else that they have him. This “missing week” is the cause of much speculation. The ISI never tells Pakistani police any details about this week. [NEWSWEEK, 3/11/2002] Saeed also later refuses to discuss the week or his connection to the ISI, only saying, “I will not discuss this subject. I do not want my family to be killed.” He adds, “I know people in the government and they know me and my work.” [NEWSWEEK, 3/13/2002; VANITY FAIR, 8/2002] It is suggested Saeed is held for this week to make sure that Pearl would be killed. Saeed later says that during this week he got a coded message from the kidnappers that Pearl had been murdered. Also, the time might have been spent working out a deal with the ISI over what Saeed would tell police and the public. [NEWSWEEK, 3/11/2002] Several others with both extensive ISI and al-Qaeda ties wanted for the kidnapping are arrested around this time. [WASHINGTON POST, 2/23/2002; LONDON TIMES, 2/25/2002] One of these men, Khalid Khawaja, “has never hidden his links with Osama bin Laden. At one time he used to fly Osama’s personal plane.” [PAKISTAN NEWS SERVICE (NEWARK, CA), 2/11/2002]

    Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returns to Pakistan after eight years in exile. Earlier in the month she had made a deal with President Pervez Musharraf that gave her amnesty in return for not opposing Musharraf’s reelection vote (see October 4, 2007). Bhutto, Pakistan’s most popular opposition politician, is greeted by large, enthusiastic crowds as she arrives in the city of Karachi. But as her motorcade is moving through the crowd at night, a suicide bomber approaches on foot and throws a grenade to attract attention. Then the bomber sets off a larger blast that kills at least 139 and injures around 400. Bhutto is not hurt, as she had just moved inside her vehicle from the roof moments before. CNN reporter Dan Rivers, filming the motorcade just before the attack, later comments on the lack of security. He says it was possible to walk right up to the side of her vehicle without being stopped. [CNN, 10/19/2007]
    Bhutto Assigns Blame – The next day, Bhutto says, “I am not accusing the government [as a whole], but I am accusing certain individuals who abuse their positions, who abuse their powers.… I know exactly who wants to kill me. It is dignitaries of the former regime of General [Muhammad Zia ul-Haq] who are today behind the extremism and the fanaticism.” She has long accused the ISI of opposing her. Aides close to her say that she specifically names Ijaz Shah, a former ISI official linked to Saeed Sheikh (see February 5, 2002) and the director general of the Intelligence Bureau, another Pakistani intelligence agency. She also says that an unnamed “brotherly country” had warned her that several suicide squads were plotting attacks against her, including squads from the Taliban and al-Qaeda. She says this government gave the Pakistani government the phone numbers the plotters were using, but implies investigators did not take advantage of the lead. She further says the street lamps had been turned off along the motorcade route, making it difficult for her security detail to scan the crowd for possible bombers, and demands an investigation into this. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/20/2007]
    Others Assign Blame – Her husband Asif Ali Zardari is more direct, saying, “I blame the government for these blasts. It is the work of the intelligence agencies.” The government by contrast complains that the security situation was extremely difficult. She was taking a big risk, moving though crowds of hundreds of thousands in a notoriously violent city of 16 million people. [AUSTRALIAN, 10/20/2007] The US by contrast, quickly blames al-Qaeda. Only one day after the bombing, US State Department officials say they believe there is a “strong al-Qaeda connection” and that it “bears the hallmarks” of an al-Qaeda attack. [CNN, 10/20/2007]

  • Qari Saifullah Akhtar???

    UN team grills close aide of Musharraf in Bhutto murder Thursday 18 February 2010
    Amir Mir http://www.metransparent.com/spip.php?page=imprimer_article_avec_forum&id_article=9256

    LAHORE: The United Nations’ Inquiry Commission probing the assassination of the former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto recently posed some tough question to the former director general of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and a close associate of Musharraf, Brig (retd) Ejaz Hussain Shah, primarily on two counts – firstly, what arrangements he had made being the person officially responsible for protecting Bhutto and secondly, why did she name him in a letter as someone who could hurt her.

    According to well placed government sources in Islamabad, during their recent meeting with the former IB chief in Lahore, the UN Commission members had also questioned him about his alleged links with certain al-Qaeda-related jehadi elements, including Qari Saifullah Akhtar and Sheikh Ahmed Omar Saeed. The sources said it is widely believed that Ejaz Shah had been the handler of the two jehadis during his tenure as the director general of the Punjab chapter of the ISI. Incidentally, it was Ejaz Hussain Shah who had arranged the surrender of Sheikh Ahmed Omar Saeed, the killer of US journalist Daniel Pearl, in February 2005 in Lahore. Then, Ejaz Shah was the home secretary of Punjab. However, the actual relationship between Ejaz Shah and Sheikh Omar Saeed was believed to be that of a handler and his agent.

    Although the former IB chief could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, his close circles refuted that he was questioned by the UN Inquiry Commission “as someone having something to do with the Bhutto murder”. These circles added: “It was a routine meeting in which Brigadier Sahib was asked normal questions regarding some intelligence reports about possible threats to Benazir Bhutto’s life after her homecoming as well as the security measures taken by the Intelligence Bureau, being the only civilian security agency.”

    However, the fact remains, after the first suicide bombing attack on her life in Karachi in October 2007, Bhutto had nominated three persons, then DG IB Brig (retd) Ejaz Hussain Shah, then Punjab Chief Minister Ch Pervez Elahi and then Sindh Chief Minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim as being involved in the bomb blasts. Hardly a week earlier Bhutto had mentioned Ejaz Shah’s name with displeasure in London, saying he was trying to sabotage reconciliation between the PPP and Musharraf. On October 19, 2007, a day after the Karachi attack, Bhutto disclosed at a press conference that she had informed Musharraf in a confidential letter, written on 16 October 2007 that three senior government officials were planning to assassinate her upon her return. “I had further made it clear to Musharraf that I won’t blame Taliban or al-Qaeda if I am attacked, but I will name my enemies in the Pakistani establishment,” she told journalists.

    In an interview with a Pakistani daily on 13 August, 2007, Bhutto said, ‘Brigadier Ejaz Shah and the ISI recruited Sheikh Ahmed Omar Saeed, who killed Danny Pearl. So I would feel very uncomfortable making the Intelligence Bureau, which has more than 100,000 people underneath it, being run by a man (Ejaz Shah, the DG IB) who worked so closely with militants and extremists.’ On November 3, 2007, two weeks after she returned home, Bhutto, in an interview with Sir David Frost, referred to “three individuals who wanted to kill her, one of them a very key figure in security who she claimed had dealings with Omar Saeed Sheikh.” Asked in an interview on NBC television on 20 October 2007 whether it was not risky to name a close friend of Musharraf as being someone who’s plotting against her, Bhutto said: “Well, at that time I did not know whether there would be an assassination attempt that I would survive. I wanted to leave on record the suspects. I also didn’t know he was a friend of Musharraf. But I asked myself that even if I knew that he was a friend and I thought of him as a suspect, would I have not written? No, I would have written”.

    However, a high-level meeting presided by General Musharraf in Islamabad had dismissed Bhutto’s accusations as childish. According to Pakistani media reports, the participants of the meeting were informed that the Karachi suicide attack on Bhutto bore the hallmarks of al-Qaeda, arguing that she had incurred the wrath of militants because of her support for the military operation against the Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) fanatics in Islamabad in July 2007 and for declaring that she would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to question the father of the Pakistani nuclear programme, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, pertaining to his proliferation activities. Days before her return to Pakistan, Bhutto had told The Guardian on 15 October 2007 she felt the real danger to her life came from well- placed fundamentalist elements in the Pakistani intelligence establishment who were opposed to her return.

    Talking about Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the government sources recalled that in her posthumous book, Benazir had named the ameer of the Harkatul Jehadul Islami (HUJI), Qari Saifullah Akhtar, as a principal suspect in the October 18, 2007 assassination attempt on her life in Karachi, a few hours after her return from self-exile. In her posthumous book, Benazir stated, “It was Qari [Saifullah] to whom the intelligence officials in Lahore had turned to for help before my homecoming on 18 October 2007. I was informed of a meeting that had taken place in Lahore where the bomb blasts were planned. However, a bomb maker was needed. Enter Qari Saifullah, a wanted jehadi terrorist who had tried to overthrow my second government in the 1990s. According to my sources, the [intelligence] officials in Lahore had turned to Qari for help”. Following Bhutto’s murder, it emerged that Saifullah had quietly been released by the establishment as one of the missing persons being sought by a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. Qari is generally considered to be a handy tool of the Pakistani intelligence establishment who is used and dumped whenever required by the all-powerful spy master.

  • Who killed Benazir Bhutto? Who really is Qari Saifullah Akhtar? QARI SAIFULLAH AKHTAR HAS BEEN AT LARGE IN PAKISTAN SINCE MAY 2007 http://www.yousufnazar.com/?p=388

    1. Who is Qari Saifullah Akhtar? Was he involved in the assassination attempt on Benazir Bhutto on October 18, 2007?

    2. Is there a connection between his “release” from the custody of the intelligence agencies in May 2007 and the phenomenal rise in bomb attacks during the second half of 2007?

    3. Why did the government keep him for nearly three years, first denied he was in its custody and then released him?

    Qari Saifullah Akhtar’s role in bomb attack on Benazir Bhutto on October 18, 2007 in Karachi

    Benazir Bhutto writes in her last book about October 18, 2007 bomb attack in Karachi:

    Quote: “later I was informed of a meeting that had taken place in Lahore where the bomb blasts were planned. According to this report, three men belonging to a rival political faction were hired for half a million dollars. They were, according to my sources, named Ejaz, Sajjad and another whose name I forgot. One of them died accidentally because he couldn’t get away fast enough before the detonation. Presumably this was the one holding the baby. However, a bomb maker was needed for the bombs. Enter Qari Saifullah Akhtar, a wanted terrorist who had tried to overthrow my second government. He had been extradited by the United Arab Emirates and was languishing in Karachi central jail. According to my second source, the officials in Lahore had turned to Akhtar for help. His liaison with elements in the government, according to this source, was a radical who was asked to make the bombs and himself asked for a fatwa making it legitimate to oblige. He got one.(p.221)” Unquote.

    Who is Qari Saifullah Akhtar?

    A notorious character and the Amir of Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami, Saifullah Akhtar emerged on the national scene when in October 1995, General Abdul Waheed Kakkar, the then chief of the army staff under Benazir Bhutto, discovered a plot by a group of army officers headed by Major General Zaheer-ul-Islam Abbasi to have him and Benazir assassinated, capture power and proclaim the formation of an Islamic Caliphate in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Abbasi and his army associates were arrested. They were found to have been plotting in tandem with a group in the Harkat-ul-Ansar(HuA) led by Qari Saifullah Akhtar. But while Abbasi and his associates were court-martialled and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment, the Qari was released without any action being taken against him.

    Before 1990, there were two jihadi organisations called the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-Al-Islami (HuJI). The HuM was headed by Maulana Fazlur Rahman Khalil and the HuJI by Qari Saifullah Akhtar. Around 1990, the two merged to form the HuA, with Maulana Khalil as the amir and Qari Akhtar as the deputy amir. Amjad Farooqi – the alleged assassin of Musharraf – who was shot dead in a police encounter, used to work closely with the Qari.

    In the late 1980s, Abbasi as a brigadier was posted to the Pakistani high commission in New Delhi as head of the ISI station in India. The Government of India had him expelled. On his return to Pakistan, he was posted to the Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan). In the beginning of the 1990s, without the clearance of General Asif Nawaz Janjua, the then COAS under Nawaz Sharif, Abbasi organised a raid on an Indian Army post in the Siachen area and was beaten back by the Indian Army with heavy casualties. Janjua had him transferred out and censured. Since then, he had been nursing an anger against the Pakistan army’s senior leadership and hobnobbing with the Qari. A few months after capturing power on October 12,1999, Musharraf had Abbasi released from jail. He formed an anti-US organisation called Hizbollah, which acted in tandem with the HUJI. In December 1999, a group of Pakistani hijackers, said to be belonging to the HuM, hijacked an aircraft of the Indian Airlines, which had taken off from Kathmandu, and forced the pilot to fly it to Kandahar. They demanded the release of Omar Sheikh, a British Muslim of Pakistani origin, and Maulana Masood Azhar, a Pakistani Punjabi belonging to the HuM. The Government of India conceded their demands in order to terminate the hijacking. Amongst the hijackers was a Pakistani Punjabi by name Mansur Hasnain. Sections of the Pakistani media reported that this hijacker was none other than Amjad Farooqi, who was subsequently found involved in the assassination attempt on Musharraf. On January 12, 2002, under pressure from the US in the wake of the attempted terrorist strike on the Indian Parliament at New Delhi in December 2001, Musharraf announced a ban on the Lashkar, Jaish and SSP and had their leaders arrested or placed under house arrest. However the ban did not apply to the HuM and HuJI, and the government did not take any action against Qari Saifullah Akhtar and Amjad Farooqi

    On May 20, 2002, the Friday Times published the following story titled: “The biggest militia we know nothing about”:

    Ary Digital TV’s host Dr Masood, while discussing the May 8 killing of 11 French nationals in Karachi, named one Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami as one of the suspected terrorists involved in the bombing. When the Americans bombed the Taliban and Mulla Umar fled from his stronghold in Kandahar, a Pakistani personality also fled with him. This was Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the leader of Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami, Pakistan’s biggest jehadi militia headquartered in Kandahar. No one knew the name of the outfit and its leader. A large number of its fighters made their way into Central Asia and Chechnya to escape capture at the hands of the Americans, the rest stole back into Pakistan to establish themselves in Waziristan and Buner. Their military training camp (maskar) in Kotli in Azad Kashmir swelled with new fighters and now the outfit is scouting some areas in the NWFP to create a supplementary maskar for jehad in Kashmir. Its ‘handlers’ have clubbed it together with Harkatul Mujahideen to create Jamiatul Mujahideen in order to cut down the large number of outfits gathered together in Azad Kashmir. It was active in Held Kashmir under the name of Harkatul Jahad Brigade 111.

    Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami and the Taliban:

    The leader of Harkat al-Jahad al- Islami, Qari Saifullah Akhtar was an adviser to Mulla Umar in the Taliban government. His fighters were called ‘Punjabi’ Taliban and were offered employment, something that other outfits could not get out of Mulla Umar. The outfit had membership among the Taliban too. Three Taliban ministers and 22 judges belonged to the Harkat. In difficult times, the Harkat fighters stood together with Mulla Umar. Approximately 300 of them were killed fighting the Northern Alliance, after which Mulla Umar was pleased to give Harkat the permission to build six more maskars in Kandahar, Kabul and Khost, where the Taliban army and police also received military training. From its base in Afghanistan, Harkat launched its campaigns inside Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Chechnya. But the distance of Qari Saifullah Akhtar from the organisation’s Pakistani base did not lead to any rifts. In fact, Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami emerged from the defeat of the Taliban largely intact. In Pakistan Qari Akhtar has asked the ‘returnees’ to lie low for the time being, while his Pakistani fighters already engaged are busy in jihad as before. The Harkat is the only militia which boasts international linkages. It calls itself ‘the second line of defence of all Muslim states’ and is active in Arakan in Burma, and Bangladesh, with well organised seminaries in Karachi, and Chechnya, Sinkiang, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. (The latest trend is to recall Pakistani fighters stationed abroad and encourage the local fighters to take over the operations). Its fund-raising is largely from Pakistan, but an additional source is its activity of selling weapons to other militias. Its acceptance among the Taliban was owed to its early allegiance to a leader of the Afghan war, Maulvi Nabi Muhammadi and his Harkat Inqilab Islami whose fighters became a part of the Taliban forces in large numbers. Nabi Muhammadi was ignored by the ISI in 1980 in favour of Hekmatyar and his Hezb-e-Islami. His outfit suffered in influence insideAfghanistan because he was not supplied with weapons in the same quantity as some of the other seven militias.

    According to the journal Al-Irshad of Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami, published from Islamabad, a Deobandi group led by Maulana Irshad Ahmad was established in 1979. Looking for the right Afghan outfit in exile to join in Peshawar, Maulana Irshad Ahmad adjudged Maulvi Nabi Muhammadi as the true Deobandi and decided to join him in 1980. Harkat Inqilab Islami was set up by Maulana Nasrullah Mansoor Shaheed and was taken over by Nabi Muhammadi after his martyrdom. Eclipsed in Pakistan, Maulana Irshad Ahmad fought in Afghanistan against the Soviets till he was killed in battle in Shirana in 1985. His place was taken by Qari Saifullah Akhtar, which was not liked by some of the Harkat leaders, including Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khaleel who then set up his own Harkatul Mujahideen.

    According to some sources, Harkatul Mujahideen was a new name given to Harkatul Ansar after it was declared terrorist by the United States. Other sources claim that it was Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami that had earlier merged with Harkatul Ansar. But relations with Fazlur Rehman Khaleel remained good, but when Maulana Masood Azhar separated from Harkatul Mujahideen and set up his own Jaish-e-Muhammad. Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami opposed Jaish in its journal Sada-e-Mujahid (May 2000) and hinted that ‘you-know-who’ had showered Jaish with funds. Jaish was supported by Mufti Shamzai of Banuri Mosque of Karachi and was given a brand new maskar in Balakot by the ISI.

    Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami and Kashmir jihad:

    The sub-militia fighting in Kashmir is semi-autonomous and is led by chief commander Muhammad Ilyas Kashmiri. Its training camp is 20 km from Kotli in Azad Kashmir, with a capacity for training 800 warriors, and is run by one Haji Khan. Harkat al- Jahad al-Islami went intoKashmir in 1991 but was at first opposed by the Wahhabi elements there because of its refusal to criticise the grand Deobandi congregation of Tableeghi Jamaat and its quietist posture. But as days passed, its warriors were recognised as ‘Afghanis’. It finally had more martyrs in the jehad of Kashmir than any other militia. Its resolve and organisation were recognised when foreigners were seen fighting side by side with its Punjabi warriors. To date, 650 Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami mujahideen have killed in battle against the Indian army: 190 belonging to both sides of Kashmir, nearly 200 belonging to Punjab, 49 to Sindh, 29 to Balochistan, 70 to Afghanistan, 5 to Turkey, and 49 collectively to Uzbekistan, Bangladesh and the Arab world.

    Because of its allegiance to the spiritual legacy of Deobandism, Harkat al- Jahad al-Islami did not attack the Tableeghi Jamaat, which stood it in good stead because it became the only militia whose literature was allowed to be distributed during the congregations of the Tableeghi Jamaat, and those in the Pakistani establishment attending the congregation were greatly impressed by the militia’s organisational excellence. It contained more graduates of the seminaries than any other militia, thus emphasising its religious character as envisaged by its founder and by Maulvi Nabi Muhammadi. It kept away from the sectarian conflict unlike Jaish-e- Muhammad but its men were at times put off by the populist Kashmiri Islam and reacted violently to local practices. In Central Asia, Chechnya and Burma: The leader of Harkat al-Jahad al- Islami in Uzbekistan is Sheikh Muhammad Tahir al-Farooq. So far 27 of its fighters have been killed in battle against the Uzbek president Islam Karimov, as explained in the Islamabad-based journal Al-Irshad. Starting in 1990, the war against Uzbekistan was bloody and was supported by the Taliban, till in 2001, the commander had to ask the Pakistanis in Uzbekistan to return to base. In Chechnya, the war against the Russians was carried on under the leadership of commander Hidayatullah. Pakistan’s embassy in Moscow once denied that there were any Pakistanis involved in the Chechnyan war, but journal Al-Irshad (March 2000) declared from Islamabad that the militia was deeply involved in the training of guerrillas in Chechnya for which purpose commander Hidayatullah was stationed in the region.

    It estimated that ‘dozens’ of Pakistani fighters had been martyred fighting against Russian infidels. When the Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami men were seen first in Tajikistan, they were mistaken by some observers as being fighters from Sipah Sahaba, but in fact they were under the command of commander Khalid Irshad Tiwana, helping Juma Namangani and Tahir Yuldashev resist the Uzbek ruling class in the Ferghana Valley. The anti-Uzbek warlords were being sheltered by Mulla Umar in Afghanistan. Maulana Abdul Quddus heads the Burmese warriors located in Karachi and fighting mostly in Bangladesh on the Arakanese border. Korangi is the base of the Arakanese Muslims who fled Burma to fight the jehad from Pakistan. A large number of Burmese are located inside Korangi and the area is sometimes called mini-Arakan. Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami has opened 30 seminaries for them inside Korangi, there being 18 more in the rest of Karachi.

    Maulana Abdul Quddus, a Burmese Muslim, while talking to weekly Zindagi (25-31 January 1998), revealed that he had run away from Burma via India and took religious training in the Harkat seminaries in Karachi and on its invitation went to Afghanistan, took military training there and fought the jehad from 1982 to 1988. In Orangi, the biggest seminary is Madrasa Khalid bin Walid where 500 Burmese are under training. They were trained in Afghanistan and later made to fight against the Northern Alliance and against the Indian army in Kashmir. The Burmese prefer to stay in Pakistan, and very few have returned to Burma or to Bangladesh. There are reports of their participation in the religious underworld in Karachi.

    Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami has branch offices in 40 districts and tehsils in Pakistan, including Sargodha, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Khanpur, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Mianwali, Bannu, Kohat, Waziristan, Dera Ismail Khan, Swabi and Peshawar. It also has an office in Islamabad. Funds are collected from these grassroots offices as well as from sources abroad. The militia has accounts in two branches of Allied Bank in Islamabad, which have not been frozen because the organisation is not under a ban.The authorities have begun the process of reorganisation of jehad by changing names and asking the various outfits to merge. Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami has been asked to merge with Harkatul Mujahideen of Fazlur Rehman Khaleel who had close links with Osama bin Laden. The new name given to this merger is Jamiatul Mujahideen. Jamaat Islami’s Hizbul Mujahideen has been made to absorb all the refugee Kashmiri organisations. Jaish and Lashkar-e-Tayba have been clubbed together as Al-Jahad. All the Barelvi organisations, so far located only in Azad Kashmir, have been pout together as Al-Barq. Al-Badr and Hizbe Islami have been renamed as Al-Umar Mujahideen.

    In a report in The News of September 28, 2004 titled ‘Real conspirators in Musharraf case may never be exposed,’ Kamran Khan, wrote: ‘Senior lawyers say that the killing of Amjad Farooqi, the main accused in President Musharraf and Daniel Pearl cases, may also influence the final outcome of the two most important cases. ‘A nationwide military investigation launched after two assassination attempts against President Pervez Musharraf last year had unveiled that some civilian and low level military individuals were the field operatives while Amjad Farooqi played an anchor in the abortive bids on Gen Musharraf’s life. ‘Because of the most sensitive nature of the probe the principal investigative work was carried out under the supervision of the Commander Corps 10, who received inputs from all federal and provincial law enforcement agencies in the most extensive investigation of a crime case in Pakistan,’ Khan said. ‘“It was very important to catch Amjad Farooqi alive,”‘ Khan quoted a senior law enforcement official as saying. ‘”Farooqi was the key link between the foot soldiers and those who ordered the murder.”‘ ‘”Amjad Farooqi is now dead with the most important secret and we still don’t know for sure the real identity of the Pakistani or Al Qaeda or any other foreign elements who had launched Farooqi into action to remove General Musharraf from the scene,” said another senior law enforcement official.’

    August 8, 2004: Qari Saifullah Akhtar arrested

    On August 8, 2004, the then Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed announced the arrest of ‘wanted militant’ Qari Saifullah Akhtar: “We confirm that we have arrested [Qari] Saifullah Akhtar. He was on our wanted list for a very long time before, but he was not available. We did not know his location. And now from UAE, we got the information, and they delivered him to us. And now he is in our custody.”

    According to a Radio Free Europe report dated August 9, 2004:

    “Pakistani security officials believe Akhtar is an important terrorist figure with links to Al-Qaeda. His arrest is part of a series of apparent breakthroughs in recent weeks in efforts to infiltrate Islamic terror networks. Recent arrests are the latest in a month-long crackdown in which more than 20 terrorist suspects have been captured in Pakistan.”We are trying our best. We have arrested the most valuable people. We never go to the small arrests or the people who are expediters. We have gone for the planners. And the best planners, we have arrested,” Ahmed said. “And I think that these arrests will make a big change in their activity. They will not be in a position to [attack] some big target. Or [if there is] something [that] they want to do, it’s not [going to be] easy to do for them.” Akhtar is known to have been involved with Pakistani intelligence agencies through much of the 1990s before his group was outlawed and he left the country. His capture is being interpreted by many in the United States as a sign that the government of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is joining the war on terrorism with renewed vigor. Pakistani security agencies also recently arrested Fazalur Rehman Khalil, accused of leading another outlawed group with links to Al-Qaeda, Harakatul Mujahedin.”

    The Daily Times wrote an editorial [August 09, 2004] after the arrest of Qari Saifullah Akhtar:

    “ Qari Saifullah Akhtar — born in 1958 in South Waziristan — is a graduate of the Banuri Masjid in Karachi. He was a crucial figure in Mufti Shamzai’s efforts to get Osama bin Laden and Mullah Umar together as partners-in-jihad. Qari Saifullah Akhtar first came to public view when he was caught as one of the would-be army coup-makers of 1995 led by Major-General Zaheerul Islam Abbasi, but saved his skin by turning ‘state witness’. (Some say he was defiant but was still let off.) After that, he surfaced in Kandahar and from 1996 was an adviser to Mullah Umar in the Taliban government. His fighters were called ‘Punjabi’ Taliban and were offered employment, something that other outfits could not get out of Mullah Umar. His outfit had membership among the Taliban too. Three Taliban ministers and 22 judges belonged to his Harkat. In difficult times, the Harkat fighters stood together with Mullah Umar. Approximately 300 of them were killed fighting the Northern Alliance, after which Mullah Umar was pleased to give Harkat the permission to build six more ‘maskars’ (training camps) in Kandahar, Kabul and Khost, where the Taliban army and police also received military training. From its base in Afghanistan, the Harkat launched its campaigns inside Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Chechnya. It finally became the biggest jihadi militia based in Kandahar located in the middle of the Taliban-Al Qaeda strategic merger. The Harkat called itself ‘the second line of defence for all Muslim states’ and was active in Burma, Bangladesh and Sinkiang. Because of their common origin in the Banuri seminary, Harkat al-Jihad al-Islami and Harkatul Mujahideen were merged in 1993 for the sake of “better performance” in Kashmir. The new outfit was called Harkatul Ansar, the first to be declared as a terrorist organization by the United States after one of its commanders formed an ancillary organization, called Al Faran, and kidnapped and killed Western tourists from Kashmir in 1995. Qari Saifullah Akhtar fled from Kandahar after the fall of the Taliban in late 2001 and hid South Waziristan.

    Qari Saifullah’s outfit was truly international. When the Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami men were seen first in Tajikistan, they were mistaken by some observers as being fighters from Sipah Sahaba, but in fact they were under the command of a Punjabi commander, helping Juma Namangani and Tahir Yuldashev resist the Uzbek ruling class in the FerghanaValley. Out of the two Uzbeks being sheltered by Mullah Umar in Afghanistan, one was killed and the other was recently wounded during the Wana Operation inSouth Waziristan. The Harkat used to be entrenched in Karachi, looking after its Burmese warriors. They were located inside Korangi and the area was sometimes called mini-Arakan. The Harkat opened 30 seminaries for themselves inside Korangi, there being 18 more in the rest of Karachi. In Orangi, the biggest seminary was Madrasa Khalid bin Walid where 500 Burmese were once under training. They were later trained in Afghanistan and directed to fight against theNorthern Alliance and against the Indian army inKashmir. Harkat al-Jahad al-Islami had branch offices in 40 districts and tehsils in Pakistan, including Sargodha, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Khanpur, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Mianwali, Bannu, Kohat, Waziristan, Dera Ismail Khan, Swabi and Peshawar. It also had an office in Islamabad. Funds were collected from these grassroots offices as well as from sources abroad. The militia had accounts in two branches of Allied Bank in Islamabad. Qari Saifullah’s repatriation signals the closing of the Saudi channel of escape for the Deobandi jihadis.

    But Qari Saifullah was not the only one hiding in that region. There were other less known personalities with contacts who could go at will to Saudi Arabia and the UAE to bide their time when the political heat increased in Karachi and their ‘handlers’ told them to take a sabbatical. For Qari Saifullah Akhtar the sabbatical is now over. The timing of Qari Saifullah’s repatriation is significant. It happened after the arrest of Al Qaeda operative Muhammad Khalfan Ghailani from Gujrat along with Al Qaeda’s computer genius Muhammad Naeem Nur Khan. It is said that the Pakistani agencies recruited Khan as a double agent and were thus able to communicate with Al Qaeda through him. Because of a premature disclosure of Khan as a double agent in the United States, the slowly tightening noose around Al Qaeda in the UK had to be quickly sprung. The home-coming of Qari Saifullah Akhtar could well be connected with the revelations made in Gujrat.”

    January 18, 2005 Supreme Court dismisses Qari’s petition

    The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition against the arrest of alleged Al Qaeda operative Qari Saifullah Akhtar and directed the petitioner to first move the High Court by filing a habeas corpus writ petition. A Supreme Court bench of Justice Hamid Ali Mirza and Justice Falak Sher ruled that the arrest in this case was not a matter of public importance, hence a constitutional petition could not be filed directly in the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

    May 5, 2007 Supreme Court told Qari not in government custody

    About Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the concise report presented by the National Crisis Management cell to the Supreme Court, revealed, “He is engaged in jihadi activities somewhere in Punjab”, thus denying that Qari Saifullah was in government’s custody. Qari Saifullah’s lawyer, Hashmat Habib told the bench that government is aware of the whereabouts of Qari Saifullah since he was handed over to the Pakistani government by the UAE authorities on August 8, 2004. He substantiated his statement by narrating NCMC’s Director General Javed Iqbal Cheema’s [Admin note: the current spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, who made extremely controversial statement about recording Baitullah Mehsud’s telephone call to ‘prove’ he was behind her murder] interview to a newspaper on August 9, 2004; saying, “Qari Saifullah is in custody of law enforcement agencies and Pakistani agencies are interrogating him.” Hashmat Habib said that the then Information Minister, Sheikh Rashid’s statements given in August 2004 also confirmed that Qari Saifullah was in government’s detention. After listening to the arguments given by both the sides, Justice Javed Iqbal ordered that a specific report about Qari Saifullah be furnished in the next hearing.

    May 26, 2007 Supreme Court told Qari has been released

    Director Crisis Management Cell Col (retd) Javed Iqbal Lodhi told the Supreme Court Friday that so far 98 missing persons have been traced. The two member bench comprising Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and Justice Falak Sher directed the interior ministry to submit affidavits about those who have reached their homes so that information could be collected as to who had picked them up and under what charges and circumstances. The bench also asked the authorities to expedite their efforts to find out whereabouts of remaining 156 missing people and coordinate with all the intelligence agencies including MI, ISI and the interior ministry officials of all four provinces. The counsel for Qari Saifullah Akhtar said he had been released after detention by the security agencies for two years and nine month.

    The terrorist released and at large

    What happened after he was let go in May 2007 is not known. What is known that instead of trying to prosecute and convict him, the government chose to keep him in ‘custody’ after his arrest in August 2004. It first denied before the supreme court on May 5, 2007 that he was in its custody and then quietly released him and informed the supreme court on May 26, 2007 that he had been released.

    Is Qari Saifullah Akhtar a jihadi? Is he a militant? Is he a rogue double agent who turned his back on the ISI? If so, why no attempt to try him and get a conviction from the court? OR is he an ‘intelligence asset’, a handy tool to be manipulated and dumped at an appropriate time?

  • Seymour Hersh, Dick Cheney & Secret Assassination Wing
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/05/seymor-hersh-dick-cheney-secret.html

    Seymour Hersh: Secret US Forces Carried Out Assassinations in a Dozen Countries, Including in Latin America Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh created a stir earlier this month when he said the Bush administration ran an “executive assassination ring” that reported directly to Vice President Dick Cheney. “Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or to the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving,” Hersh said. Seymour Hersh joins us to explain. [includes rush transcript] http://www.democracynow.org/2009/3/31/seymour_hersh_secret_us_forces_carried

    Guest:

    Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist for The New Yorker. His latest article is titled “Syria Calling.”

    AMY GOODMAN: Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh created a stir last month when he said the Bush administration ran an executive assassination ring that reported directly to Vice President Dick Cheney. Hersh made the comment during a speech at the University of Minnesota on March 10th.

    SEYMOUR HERSH: Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination wing, essentially. And it’s been going on and on and on. And just today in the Times there was a story saying that its leader, a three-star admiral named McRaven, ordered a stop to certain activities because there were so many collateral deaths. It’s been going in—under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or to the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving.

    AMY GOODMAN: Yesterday, CNN interviewed Dick Cheney’s former national security adviser, John Hannah. Wolf Blitzer asked Hannah about Sy Hersh’s claim.

    JOHN HANNAH: There is clearly a group of people that go through a very extremely well-vetted process, inter-agency process, as I think was explained in your piece, that have committed acts of war against the United States, who are at war with the United States, or are suspected of planning operations of war against the United States, who authority is given to the troops in the field and in certain war theaters to capture or kill those individuals. That is certainly true.

    WOLF BLITZER: And so, this would be, and from your perspective—and you worked in the Bush administration for many years—it would be totally constitutional, totally legal, to go out and find these guys and to whack ’em.

    JOHN HANNAH: There’s no question that in a theater of war, when we are at war, and we know—there’s no doubt, we are still at war against al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and on that Pakistani border, that our troops have the authority to go after and capture and kill the enemy, including the leadership of the enemy.

    AMY GOODMAN: That’s John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s former national security adviser. Seymour Hersh joins me now here in Washington, D.C., staff writer for The New Yorker magazine. His latest article appears in the current issue, called “Syria Calling: The Obama Administration’s Chance to Engage in a Middle East Peace.”
    OK, welcome to Democracy Now!, Sy Hersh. It was good to see you last night at Georgetown. Talk about, first, these comments you made at the University of Minnesota.

    SEYMOUR HERSH: Well, it was sort of stupid of me to start talking about stuff I haven’t written. I always kick myself when I do it. But I was with Walter Mondale, the former vice president, who was being amazingly open and sort of, for him—he had come a long way in—since I knew him as a senator who was reluctant to oppose the Vietnam War. And so, I was asked about future things, and I just—I am looking into stuff. I’ve done—there’s really nothing I said at Minnesota I haven’t written in the New York Times. Last summer, I wrote a long article about the Joint Special Operations Command.

    And just to go back to what John Hannah, who is—was—I think ended up being the senior national security adviser, almost—if not the chief of staff, deputy chief of staff for Dick Cheney in the last three or four years, what he said is simply that, yes, we go after people suspected—that was the word he used—of crimes against America. And I have to tell you that there’s an executive order, signed by Jerry Ford, President Ford, in the ’70s, forbidding such action. It’s not only contrary—it’s illegal, it’s immoral, it’s counterproductive.

    The evidence—the problem with having military go kill people when they’re not directly in combat, these are asking American troops to go out and find people and, as you said earlier, in one of the statements I made that you played, they go into countries without telling any of the authorities, the American ambassador, the CIA chief, certainly nobody in the government that we’re going into, and it’s far more than just in combat areas. There’s more—at least a dozen countries and perhaps more. The President has authorized these kinds of actions in the Middle East and also in Latin America, I will tell you, Central America, some countries. They’ve been—our boys have been told they can go and take the kind of executive action they need, and that’s simply—there’s no legal basis for it.

    And not only that, if you look at Guantanamo, the American government knew by—well, let’s see, Guantanamo opened in early 2002. “Gitmo,” they call it, the base down in Cuba for alleged al-Qaeda terrorists. An internal report that I wrote about in a book I did years ago, an internal report made by the summer of 2002, estimated that at least half and possibly more of those people had nothing to do with actions against America. The intelligence we have is often very fragmentary, not very good. And the idea that the American president would think he has the constitutional power or the legal right to tell soldiers not engaged in immediate combat to go out and find people based on lists and execute them is just amazing to me. It’s amazing to me.

    And not only that, Amy, the thing about George Bush is, everything’s sort of done in plain sight. In his State of the Union address, I think January the 28th, 2003, about a month and a half before we went into Iraq, Bush was describing the progress in the war, and he said—I’m paraphrasing, but this is pretty close—he said that we’ve captured more than 3,000 members of al-Qaeda and suspected members, people suspected of operations against us. And then he added with that little smile he has, “And let me tell you, some of those people will not be able to ever operate again. I can assure you that. They will not be in a position.” He’s clearly talking about killing people, and to applause.

    So, there we are. I don’t back off what I said. I wish I hadn’t said it ad hoc, because, like I hope we’re going to talk about in a minute, I spend a lot of time writing stories for The New Yorker, and they’re very carefully vetted, and sometimes when you speak off the top, you’re not as precise.

    AMY GOODMAN: Explain what the Joint Special Operations Command is and what oversight Congress has of it.

    SEYMOUR HERSH: Well, it’s a special unit. We have something called the Special Operations Command that operates out of Florida, and it involves a lot of wings. And one of the units that work under the umbrella of the Special Operations Command is known as Joint Special Op—JSOC. It’s a special unit. What makes it so special, it’s a group of elite people that include Navy Seals, some Navy Seals, Delta Force, our—what we call our black units, the commando units. “Commando” is a word they don’t like, but that’s what we, most of us, refer to them as. And they promote from within. It’s a unit that has its own promotion structure. And one of the elements, I must tell you, about getting ahead in promotion is the number of kills you have. Of course. Because it’s basically devised—it’s been transmogrified, if you will, into this unit that goes after high-value targets.

    And where Cheney comes in and the idea of an assassination ring—I actually said “wing,” but of an assassination wing—that reports to Cheney was simply that they clear lists through the Vice President’s office. He’s not sitting around picking targets. They clear the lists. And he’s certainly deeply involved, less and less as time went on, of course, but in the beginning very closely involved. And this is the elite unit. I think they do three-month tours. And last summer, I wrote a long article in The New Yorker, last July, about how the JSOC operation is simply not available, and there’s no information provided by the executive to Congress.

    AMY GOODMAN: What countries, Sy Hersh—what countries are they operating in?

    SEYMOUR HERSH: A lot of countries.

    AMY GOODMAN: Name some.

    SEYMOUR HERSH: No, because I haven’t written about it, Amy. And I will tell you, as I say, in Central America, it’s far more than just the areas that Mr. Hannah talked about—Afghanistan, Iraq. You can understand an operation like this in the heat of battle in Iraq, killing—I mean, taking out enemy. That’s war. But when you go into other countries—let’s say Yemen, let’s say Peru, let’s say Colombia, let’s say Eritrea, let’s say Madagascar, let’s say Kenya, countries like that—and kill people who are believed on a list to be al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda-linked or anti-American, you’re violating most of the tenets.

    We’re a country that believes very much in due process. That’s what it’s all about. We don’t give the President of United States the right to tell military people, even in a war—and it’s a war against an idea, war against terrorism. It’s not as if we’re at war against a committed uniformed enemy. It’s a very complicated war we’re in. And with each of those actions, of course, there’s always collateral deaths, and there’s always more people ending up becoming our enemies. That’s the tragedy of Guantanamo. By the time people, whether they were with us or against us when they got there, by the time they’ve been there three or four months, they’re dangerous to us, because of the way they’ve been treated. But I’d love to move on to what I wrote about in The New Yorker.

    AMY GOODMAN: One question: Is the assassination wing continuing under President Obama?

    SEYMOUR HERSH: How do I know? I hope not.

    AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Sy Hersh. We’re going to go to break, and then we’ll be back with him, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. His piece in The New Yorker is called “Syria Calling: The Obama Administration’s Chance to Engage in a Middle East Peace.” Stay with us.

  • ڪوڙ جو ڪاروان ۽ سچ جي منزل

    سارنگ مصطفى
    عمومي طور تي انساني تاريخ جي هر عهد ۾ طاقتور نظريو حڪمرانن جو ئي رهيو آهي غلامانا دوئور هجي ،جاگيردارنا دئور يا سرمائيدارانا دوئور پر عوام کي صرف حڪمران طبقي جي بهادري ۽ سچائي جا قصا پڙهايا ۽ ٻڌايا ويندا آهن درباري ليکڪن جي مهاڪاريگري سان ڪوري ڪاغذ جي سيني مٿان ڪوڙ جي مهر لڳائي محنت ڪش عوام کي ان جي عزت ۽ احترام ڪرڻ جو درس ڏنو ويندو آهي ۽ اهيو غمان پڻ ڪرايو ويندو آهي ته تاريخ تي تنقيد جو اختيار ڪنهن کي به ناهي
    نه چاهيندي به توهان کي قبول ئي ڪرڻي پوندي ڇو ته اهيوئي توهان جو مقدر آهي
    اڄ اسان جو پيارو ملڪ خدادادِ پاڪستان جنهن سماجي معاشي ۽ سياسي بحران ۾ مبتلا آهي اهيو بحران ڪو حادثو ناهي پر هڪ مسلسل ڪرپشن جو نتيجو آهي
    پاڪستان جي 63 ساله تاريخ جو مرڪزي ڪارنامو ئي ڪرپشن،دوکو ۽ دولاب رهيو آهي ايمانداري، سچائي ۽ مخلصيءَ سان هن ملڪ جي حڪمرانن يا وري فوجي رهنمائن جو ڪڏهن ڪو تعلق رهيو آهي ۽ نه وري ايندڙ وقت ۾ نظر ٿو اچي .
    گذريل ڪجهه مهينن کان اخبارن جي زينت بڻيل ذوالفقار علي ڀٽي جي موجوده سياسي گادي نشين محترمه شهيد بينظير ڀٽو جو ور آصف علي زرداري ئي آهي جنهن جي ڪرپشن جي ڪارنامن جو ذڪر ڪرڻ ۾ مختلف ٽي وي اينڪرز خاص طور تي اڙدو زبان جي ڪالم نگارن لاءِ انتحائي اهم ڪم بڻجي چڪو آهي ۽ اهو محسوس پڻ ٿي رهيو آهي ته اهي دوست پنهنجو ڪم ايمانداريءَ سان نڀائي پڻ رهيا آهن .
    جيڪي دوست اليڪٽرانس ميڊيا سان تعلق رکن ٿا اهي جڱي ريت ڄاڻن ٿا ته اينڪرز حضرات پنهنجي ڊائريڪٽر ۽ پروڊيوسر کان سواءِ ڪنهن به پروگرام کي پهنهنجي مرضيءَ سان پيش نٿا ڪري سگهن انهن جو هر هڪ سوال انهيءَ پروگرام جو حصو هوندو آهي جيڪو اسڪرپٽ انکي پهرين ٻڌايو ۽ سمجهايو ويندو آهي زبان اينڪر جي هوندي آهي پر لفظ ڪنٽرول روم ۾ بيٺل واڳ ڌڻي جا هوندا آهن
    زبان مان لفظ اوچاريندڙ ته پنهنجي معاشي حالاتن کي بهتر ڪرڻ خاطر ڪئميرا اڳيان اها اداڪاري ڪرڻ تي مجبور هوندو آهي ۽ هن سرمائيدارانا نظام ۾ هر وڪامندڙ جنس جيان پنهنجن لفظن کي وڪڻي عياشيءَ جي تسلسل کي برقرار رکڻ جي جستجو ۾ مصروف هوندو آهي.
    حقيقت ته اهيا آهي هن بازاري معيشت ۾ هر شيءَ بازار ۾ وڪامندي آهي قانون کان وٺي انساني جسمن جي قيمت لڳندي آهي ، هتي ضمير ،اصول، رشتا ۽ جذبا نيلام ٿيندا آهن ،تعليم ۽ علاج جو به ڪاروبار ٿيندو آهي
    هي ڪرپشن پاڪستان ۾ موجود معاشي، اقتصادي، سماجي ۽ سياسي نظام جي خرابيءَ جو ڪارڻ ناهي پر هن سرمائيدارانا نظام جي ضرورت آهي .
    هڪ اندازي مطابق پاڪستان جي غير سرڪاري يا غير تصديق شده informal) ) معيشت سرڪاري تعين شده ۽ حساب ڪتاب ۾ موجود ( formal) کان ٽي گناه وڌيڪ آهي ٻيئن لفظن ۾ پاڪستان جي مجموعي معيشت ۾ غير سرڪاري يا ڪاري ناڻي جي موجودگي ٻه ڀاڱي ٽي کان وڌيڪ آهي ، جنهن ۾ رشوت خوري، بدعنواني، ٺيڪن جي ڪميشن، خردبرد، منشيات جو ڌنڌو ۽ ٻيئن مجرمانا طريقن سان حاصل ڪيل دولت ، وسائل ۽ جائيدادون شامل آهن ، اهيو ڪارو ناڻو دراصل پاڪستان جي معاشي سائيڪل کي هلائيندو ۽ متحرڪ ڪندو رهيو آهي اگر اهيو ڪارو ناڻو ختم ٿي وڃي ته پاڪستان جا معاشي حالات هڪ رات اندر گهرو ويڙهه جو سبب بڻجي سگهن ٿا جيڪا گهرو ويڙهه آخري نتيجن ۾ هن ملڪ جي حڪمران طبقي لاءِ نقصان ڪار ثابت ٿيندي ۽ انهيءَ حالات کان هتي جا حڪمران چڱي ريت واقف آهن انهن جو اهيو سوچڻ يا گوڙ ڪرڻ ته بدعنوانيءَ جو خاطمو ڪيو وڃي دوکي ۽ فريب کان سواءِ ٻيو ڪجهه به ناهي
    هن سماجي ۽ رياستي نظام ۾ رهندي اهيو ممڪن ئي ناهي ڇو ته هن سرمائيدار معاشري ۽ رياست ۾ رهندي هن ڪرپشن ۽ لٽ مار جي بقا ئي هن نظام جي بقا ۽ وجود سان جڙيل آهي
    جيستائين هي نظام رهندو تيستائين ڪرپشن ۽ لٽ مار جو سلسلو نه صرف جاري رهندو پر وڌيڪ شدت پڻ اختيار ڪندو رهندو
    هتي جومحنت ڪش عوام جنهن جي زندگي مسلسل عذاب آهي، هر نئو سج هڪ نئي پريشانيءَ جو ڪارڻ آهي.
    رات جو سمهڻ کان پهرين ننڊ جي گوري خريد ڪرڻ جي سگهه نه رکندڙ سموري رات جي لوڇ پوڇ کان پوءِ چند گهڙيون اگر ننڊ جو ذائقو حاصل ڪرڻ جي سعادت ماڻي به وٺي ته صبح جي سج جا پهريان ڪرڻا هڪ نئي عذاب جو سنهيو کڻي حاضر ٿيندا آهن ، محنت ڪش لاءِ ته جيون ڪينسر وارڊ کان به ڀيانڪ بڻجي چڪو آهي.
    هن ملڪ جو 20 سيڪڙو کان به گهٽ عوام اخبار پڙهندو آهي ۽ 40 سيڪڙو کان گهٽ عوام ٽي، وي جهڙي انوکي شيءَ ڏسي سگهندو آهي ٻهراڙي ۾ مشڪل سان ڪو 25 گهرن ۾ هڪ ٽي وي موجود هوندو آهي ۽ اهو به خبرون لاءَ نه بلڪِ فلمن ۽ ڊرامن ڏسڻ تائين محدود ، حالت ته اهيا آهي جو هن ملڪ جا اندازن 30 سيڪڙو ڳوٺ ته بنيادي سهولتن کان ئي محروم آهن مطلب ته انهن وٽ اڃان تائين لائيٽ به اڻ لڀ آهي پر اسان جا اينڪر حضرات ۽ ڪالم نگار جڏهن لکندا ۽ بيان ڪندا آهن ته ڄڻ پوري قوم انهن سان متعفق هوندي آهي
    1967۾ جڏهن پاڪستان جي محنت ڪش عوام حڪمران طبقي کان بغاوت ڪري پنهنجن حقن جي حاصلات لاءِ سموري ملڪ جو ڪار وهنوار بند ڪري هڪ انقلابي ڌارا ۾ شامل ٿي وقت جي طاقتور آمر ايوب خان ۽ سرمائيدارانا نظام خلاف رنگ، نسل، ذات پات کان مٿاهون ٿي ذاتي ملڪيعت جي تصور کي للڪاري رهي هئي ان زماني ۾ پيپلز پارٽيءَ جي خلاف ايوبي آمريت زهر اوڳاڇيندي رهي ، ميڊيا جا حملا،ٽيليوزن کان ريڊيو طرفان خاموش نه ٿيندڙ مسلسل گوڙ هو ، تهمتن ۽ ڪفر جي فتوائن جي انتها هئي سوشل ازم خلاف مولوين کان وٺي لبرل ڊيموڪريٽن جي هڪ واويلا هئي ، حڪمرانن وٽ رياستي طاقت کان وٺي بي پناه مالي وسائل هئا ، فو ج پوليس ۽ جيلون هيون، عدالتن ۽ تمام رياستي جبر جو سامان هو ، ۽ پيپلز پارٽي وٽ انهن جا اسٽيڊي سرڪل هئا جتي مارڪس ۽ لينن جي فلاسافي ۽ دنيا جي مختلف انقلابن تي بحث ڪيو ويندو هو ۽ پاڪستان ۾ هڪ سوشلسٽ انقلاب برپا ڪرڻ جي تياري ۽ طربيت ڏني ويندي هئي ، تڏهن پارٽيءَ ۾ دوکو ،دولاب ،ڪوڙ ۽ ڪرپشن جو نالو نشان به نه هو پر پارٽيءَ وٽ هڪ عظيم مقصد ، هڪ سوشلسٽ انقلاب جي منزل هئي ،
    هڪ اهڙو نظام جيڪو نظام محنت ڪش عوام جي زندگيءَ ۾ غير معمولي تبديليءَ جو ڪارڻ بڻيو ، جيڪا مخصوص تبديلي اڄ ڏينهن تائين محنت ڪش عوام کي پنهنجي روايتي پارٽيءَ کان الڳ ٿيئڻ نٿي ڏي تمام ڪوششن جي باوجود اڄ به محنت ڪش عوام جا خواب انهي پارٽيءَ سان ئي جڙيل آهن ، اهيا الڳ ڳالهه آهي ته اڄ جي هن احد ۾ عوام جي زندگيءَ ۾ اها تبديلي نٿي اچي سگهي ڇوته موجوده پيپلز پارٽي پنهنجي ان بنيادي منشور تان دستبردارٿي چڪي آهي پارٽي جي قيادت هڪ طويل عرصي کان بنيادي سوشلسٽ پروگرام پويان ڌڪي ڇڏيو آهي ۽ هاڻي ته اهي ذوالفقار علي ڀٽي جي نيشلائيزيشن واري پاليسي جي مذمت ڪرڻ تي لهي آيا آهن انهي جو انجام اسان جي سامهون آهي .
    بک، بدحاليءَ ۽ افلاس جي زندگي گذاريندڙ عوام جي بنيادي مسئلن تان توجا هٽائڻ لاءِ حڪمران طبقي جا سياستدانن واحيات ناٽڪ رچائي رهيا آهن ۽ نان اشوز تي کيڏي رهيا آهن ، ۽ عوام لاءِ انهن سياست کي هڪ بي هودا ۽ نفرت آميز تماشو ڪري ڇڏيو آهي جنهن ۾ عوام جي سياسي بي حسي وڌي رهي آهي پر انهن حڪمران سياستدانن جو اهيوئي قردار محنت ڪش عوام جي لاءِ هڪ متبادل جي جستجو ۽تلاش ۾ به شدت پيدا ڪري رهيو آهي ، ڇوته تمام مسلم ليگون ۽ ٻيون ساڄي پاسي جون پارٽيون ته هن ڪرپشن جي نظام جون علمبردار آهن انهن کي محنت ڪش نه ڪڏهن پنهنجو سمجهو آهي ۽ نه وري ڪڏهن پنهنجو سمجهندا ، اهي ته صرف وچولي طبقي ،تاجرن ،دڪاندارن تائين حمايت رکندڙ آهن ، ميڊيا ۽ سياسي آشرواد جي ڪري مسلط آهن
    هن عهد تمام سياستدانن ،صحافين ۽ دانشورن کي عوام اڳيان ننگو ڪري ڇڏيو آهي پاڪستان جي هڪ نجي اڙدو چيئنل جي معروف صحافي افتخار احمد جي پروگرام جواب دي ۾ 12 نومبر 2008 تي مها ڏاهي صحافي شاهد مصعود کان انٽرويو ڪيو ۽ 24 نومبر 2008 تي ساڳئي چيئنل جي هڪ ٻئي معروف صحافي ڪامران خان جي پروگرام ۾ شاهد مصعود کي ڪوڙ ڳالهائيندڙ صحافي ثابت ڪيو ويو ڇو ته افتخار کي هڪ سوال جي جواب ۾ شاهد مصعود چيو هو ته زرداري سان پي ٽي وي جي چيئر مين شب ڇڏڻ لاءِ مون معروف صحافي شاهين صباحي ۽ انصار عباسي سان گڏجي ملاقات ڪئي جڏهن ته ڪامران خان جي پروگرام ۾ انهن ٻنهي حضرات شاهد جي ان ڳالهه کي بي بنياد ۽ غلط چيو ، افتخار جو هڪ ٻيو سوال جيڪو هن ريت هو ته ڪجهه سال اڳ شاهد مصعود طرفان پروگرام” ڊائيلاگ “ ڪيو ويو ان ۾ فارين مان آيل مهمانن جو خرچ ڪنهن برداشت ڪيو؟ جنهن تي شاهد جو چوڻ هو ته انهن پنهنجو خرچ پاڻ برداشت ڪيو هو پر ڪامران خان جي رابطي ڪرڻ تي ٻه واشنگٽن ۽ هڪ ڪراچي جي پارٽي سپيٽ ڪندڙن جو اهيو چوڻ هو ته اسان کي دعوت نامه به شاهد مصعود ڏنا هئا ۽ ڪراچي جي فائيو اسٽار هوٽلن سميت جهاز جا ٽڪيٽ پڻ شاهد مصعود طرفان ئي مليا هئا
    ايڏو وڏو ڪوڙ آخر ڇو ؟ ۽ ڇالاءِ
    ڇا شاهد مصعود کان پڇاڻو نه ٿيئڻ گهرجي ته آخر توکي پيسه ڪير ٿو ڏي جو تون لکين رپيا ٿو خرچ ڪرين ۽ ڪوڙ به ٿو ڳالهائين ، آئون ڄاڻان ٿو ته 12 نومبر ۽ 24 نومبر 2008 جو اهو پروگرام اسان جي عوام کي ياد نه هوندو ڇو ته سياستدانن جيان اسان جا صحافي به اهيوئي سمجھندا آهن ته عوام کي ته هر ڳالهه وسري ويندي آهي ، عوام ته پريشاني ،بدحالي ۽ بک ۾ سواءِ مانيءُ جي ڳڀي کان ٻيو ڪجهه به ياد ناهي رکي سگهندو اهيوئي ڪارڻ آهي جو انسان جي هر عهد ۾ طاقتور نظريو حڪمرانن جو ئي رهيو آهي پر تاريخ مان اهيو به ثبوت ملي ٿو ته محنت ڪش عوام هميشه اگهور ننڊ ۾ ناهي رهندو ۽ هيئنر به نه رهندو ڪو انقلابي فيض جو گيت جهونگاري عوام کي بيدار ضرور ڪندو
    اڄ اسين جن کي دهشتگرد ٿا سڏيون اهي ساڳيا ڪجهه وقت پهرين مجاهد پڻ سڏيا ويندا هئا پوءِ مجاهد کان دهشتگرد جو سفر ڪئين ٿيو ؟ اهيو سوال ڪنهن کان ڪجي ۽ ان جو جواب ڪير ڏيندو! جنرل ضيا جي باقيات نواز شريف يا مذهبي رهنما،
    الميو اهيو آهي ته هڪ فوجي ڊڪٽيٽر جي هنج ۾ جنم وٺندڙ مجاهد ٻئي ڊڪٽيٽر جي دئورِ حڪومت ۾ دهشتگرد جي نالي سان سڃاتا ٿا وڃن

    بول، بول، بول ڪي لب آزاد هين تيري

  • Why Zardari delayed UN report Thursday, April 01, 2010 By Rauf Klasra Benazir assassination http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=28099

    ISLAMABAD: President Asif Zardari is said to have quietly given names of four international personalities – US ex-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Saudi Arabia intelligence chief Prince Muqrin and the UAE intelligence chief – to the UN inquiry commission to ask them: How did they know the secret in advance that Benazir Bhutto would be killed?

    The UN commission has now been asked to first meet these four indirect witnesses before submitting its report on Benazir Bhutto assassination. With this new information, two and a half years old mystery also finally stands resolved that which two friendly countries had actually warned BB about attack on her life before she decided to return to Pakistan on October 18, 2007.

    These two countries were the UAE and Saudi Arabia, whose intelligence agencies chiefs had actually warned the PPP chairperson against threats to her life. Generally, it was believed that apart from the UAE, the second friendly country was Iran. But now it has been revealed that this was Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief Prince Muqran bin Abdul Aziz who had warned the former prime minister about threats to her life.

    After receiving the names of four new indirect witnesses from Islamabad, the UN inquiry team was making contacts with all of them to seek explanations from them as how did they already knew threats to BB’s life.

    The sources said President Zardari believed that inside information to be shared by these four personalities might greatly help the inquiry commission to identify the real killers whose secret plans somehow reached the intelligence agencies of Afghanistan, the USA, UAE and Saudi Arabia, and which turned to be prophetically correct.

    One top sources claimed that this was the main reasons which had delayed release of UN inquiry commission report after President Zardari gave names of these four top people to the UN commission through Pakistan permanent representative in at the UN Hussain Haroon. Haroon held extensive talks with the UN team in New York to convince them as to why it was important to interview these four personalities.

    Talking to The News, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar confirmed that this was true that the Pakistan government wanted three friendly countries to share their information with the UN. But he did not name any country or drop any hint about the country which was being asked to share the intelligence.

    He said: “We want comments of three friendly foreign governments which had warned Benazir Bhutto of plots to assassinate her around time of her return included in the UN report. One foreign country government has shared its perspective with the UN commission. We hope the other two governments will also share their perspective. That hopefully will help the commission in its task. Hence the two weeks delay,” he said.

    However, Babar did not deny the names of three countries and former US secretary of state as revealed in this news report. Meanwhile, sources said President Zardari was not satisfied with the UN report into the killing of Benazir Bhutto after he came to know that quite surprisingly, the otherwise high level commission which was paid over half a billion rupees by the Government of Pakistan to meet its expenses, did not contact these four high profile international personalities, who at different occasions had warned Benazir Bhutto about threats to her life before she returned to Pakistan.

    The sources said Zardari knew the information given by these four personalities to Benazir Bhutto as none other than BB herself kept her spouse on board about these warnings so that he should know what sort of information were coming from which corner of the world. Later, she had also told Zardari after meeting Hamid Karzai in Islamabad, hours before her assassination, that he had informed her that his country intelligence agency too had information about the possible attack on her life.

    The sources said President Zardari was of the view that these four personalities who knew about possibility of threats to life of Benazir were in a good position to help the UN commission to know from where they all got the information and what were their sources.

    The sources said the information shared by these four personalities with BB was not an ordinary thing to ignore. They said the arguments given by the Pak envoy at the UN was mulled over by the commission and they decided to delay the report till interviewing these four witnesses.

    When asked about the inclusion of name of Hamid Karzai in the list of witnesses, sources said actually just few hours before her assassination on December 27, 2007, Benazir Bhutto was informed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai about threats to her life. Also the former two-time prime minister was also warned that her meeting with the Afghan president, just few days before the elections, could create more troubles for her. Now President Zardari wanted the commission to ask more questions from Karzai.

    Likewise, the sources said Condoleezza Rice was also a potential witness because the US had provided a steady stream of intelligence to Benazir Bhutto about threats against her and advised her aides on how to boost security. The source said senior US diplomats had multiple conversations, including at least two private face-to-face meetings, with top members of the Pakistan People’s Party to discuss threats on her life and review her security arrangements after a suicide bombing marred her initial return to Pakistan from exile in October, 2007. The intelligence was also shared with the Pakistani government.

    An American intelligence officer was quoted soon after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto that she knew people were trying to assassinate her. One official said now Ms Rice would be asked point blank to respond that how she knew that Benazir Bhutto life was under threat and she would be killed. The intelligence agency chiefs of the UAE and Saudi Arabia would also face similar questions from the commission as this might resolve the mystery that who had killed Benazir Bhutto and what were their sources of information.

    Thursday, April 01, 2010, Rabi-us-Sani 15, 1431 A.H
    http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/apr2010-daily/01-04-2010/main2.htm