ISI’s interface with terror

Published: July 22, 2012
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The writer is Director South Asian Media School in Lahore

The writer is Director South Asian Media School in Lahore

On July 12, 2012, ex-ISI chief General (retd) Asad Durrani appeared on PTV and expressed his views in his characteristic reductive manner. Durrani cultivates gruffness as his trademark. In this, he is like a predecessor of his, General Mahmood Ahmad: the US is here in the region to stay to get to the oil and gas bonanza of Central Asia; and Pakistan has to deal with this as a threat to its security.

While Durrani delivered his rough wisdom, another retired spy boss, Hamid Gul, was in the Long March of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, riding in an ego-boosting Land Cruiser, seeing cash worth lakhs of rupees being handed around on the way.

Hamid Gul has told the international press that he had sent his sons to be trained with the Haqqanis in the tribal areas. Barnett R Rubin in his book The Search for Peace in Afghanistan: From Buffer State to Failed State (Yale University Press, 1995) wrote that, in 1988-89, the 519-strong Afghan shura in Peshawar received 25,000 dollars per member as bribe from the Saudi intelligence agency, which spent 26 million dollars per week during the Peshawar session. The ‘deal’ was facilitated, according to Rubin, by Hamid Gul.

That year, Afghanistan’s ruler, President Najibullah, defeated the ISI-nurtured mujahideen in Jalalabad. Hamid Gul says he did not plan the Jalalabad operation, but an ISI officer, Brigadier S A Tirmizi, in his book Profiles of Intelligence (1997) stated that he had.

Like Durrani, Hamid Gul has been frequently clueless but speaks like a prophet on Pakistan’s security. He thought Aimal Kasi, who was executed for killing CIA agents in the US, was called a CIA agent by him. He had to admit that his plan to put together the IJI in 1990 to prevent the PPP from coming to power was wrong.

Our ISI geniuses were not only clueless; what is worse, they were usually ‘reverse-indoctrinated’. Hamid Gul never believed that Osama bin Laden had done 9/11; he was convinced that the Jews had done it.

Another ISI chief, General Mahmood Ahmad, was simply cowed by the charisma of Mullah Umar. Cathy Gannon in her book ‘I’ is for Infidel: from Holy War to Holy Terror, 18 Years inside Afghanistan (Public Affairs, 2005) tells the story. ISI boss Mahmood Ahmad was in Washington when Osama struck on 9/11. General Musharraf sent him to Mullah Umar to tell him to avoid being invaded by the US and surrender Osama.

She writes: “The general was a religious zealot very much like Mullah Umar … He told Mullah Umar not to give up bin Laden. He visited Kandahar many times, each time giving Mullah Umar information about the likely next move by the US”. (p.93). He met Jalaluddin Haqqani too, the warlord of Khost where Osama bin Laden had his training camps and warned him against surrendering him. Haqqani was told in Rawalpindi to hold out against the Americans and that “he had friends across the border” (p.94).

(One State Department official told this writer in 2006 that Mahmood in Washington tended to lose his cool. This was confirmed by Pakistani diplomats who had to listen to his angry Islamic harangues in Islamabad. Finally, when Musharraf fired him, his tendency to throw tantrums was mentioned in the press.)

Today’s big question is: is the ISI now sincere in what it says it is doing against terrorism? Did the terrorists return the loyalty the ISI felt towards them? “Musharraf had sent his soldiers into South Waziristan, where nearly 200 were killed trying to flush out suspected terrorists. His intelligence agency protected men who had kidnapped international UN workers” (p.184).

Ex-foreign secretary Riaz Muhammad Khan in his brilliant book Afghanistan and Pakistan: Conflict, Extremism, and Resistance to Modernity (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012) says the ISI got ideologically involved with the terrorists and asserted that General Mahmood Ahmad “found it difficult to argue with a man of faith” (p.91).

Shuja Nawaz in his classic study Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army and the Wars within (Oxford University Press 2008) says General Mahmood never intended to be loyal to Pakistan as he met Mullah Umar. He told the author: “I am a Muslim. Why would I go against another Muslim? US has strategic designs in the region and that includes stopping the religious revolution from spreading” (p.543).

Benazir in a revised edition of her autobiography, Daughter of the East (Simon & Schuster 2009), writes: “In February 1989, Osama bin Laden went back to Saudi Arabia but in May he was recalled to Pakistan when I asserted authority over the ISI. Bin Laden was asked by the ISI, with whom he had long and close relations, to help overthrow the democratic government.”

Benazir’s son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has repeated the charge she had made in her letter to Musharraf before she landed in Pakistan in 2007: that the ISI got her killed through al Qaeda.

The US is overtly scared of international terrorism making a home in a state possessed of nuclear weapons. Pakistan says its nukes are safe and are meant to keep India at bay. But the ISI’s interface with the terrorists fills the world with doubts, which results in a negative fallout for Pakistan’s economy.

Pakistan’s stock is low at the global level. Investments are not coming in and domestic capital is fleeing. Pakistan counters that by blaming terrorism and a bad law-and-order situation — signifying absence of the writ of the state — on India and the US who are supposed to be paying the Taliban to kill innocent Pakistanis. No one in the world believes that.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (81)

  • Jul 22, 2012 - 10:52PM

    Excellent analysis – are people listening?

    Recommend

  • C. Nandkishore
    Jul 22, 2012 - 11:01PM

    After reading this what can one say?

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  • Iron hand
    Jul 22, 2012 - 11:01PM

    You have identified that main, and exceedingly frightening, problem – the prevelance of religious extremism in the highest ranks of the Pakistani military. The problem only grows worse as Saudi funded religious indoctrination and a complicit media continue to stamp out the last remnants of a tolerant Islamic culture in Pakistan and replace it with the Wahabi Recommend

  • sidjeen
    Jul 22, 2012 - 11:15PM

    what a mess we got ourselves in.

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  • Nadir
    Jul 22, 2012 - 11:17PM

    The Rtd Generals need to move beyond there “US wants oil in Central Asia” rhetoric. For one, China has already gobbled up large chunks of it. 2) the pipeline going across to Turkey has already secured oil supplies for Turkey and other European countries and third, and perhaps most importantly, massive discoveries of shale gas in the US, has led to a year on year fall of imported oil, along with declines in Middle Eastern oil imports.

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  • Mirza
    Jul 22, 2012 - 11:55PM

    A great Op Ed. It proves that the generals and ISI is not for Pakistan but for themselves and their false beliefs. No wonder the fanatic terrorists are butchering the Pakistanis without fear. There are very few mainstream political forces in Pakistan that are targeted by the ISI and its assets. This is the main reason I support the ruling coalition as the other options are only terrorism, death and destruction. What a shame that our paid servants are doing this to we the people of Pakistan.

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  • Jul 22, 2012 - 11:56PM

    on India and the US who are supposed to be paying the Taliban to kill innocent Pakistanis. No one in the world believes that.

    Unfortunately no one in the world, except our own delusional citizens who’ll eat up any insane right-wing nationalist propagation and will accept no culpability or responsibility.

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  • Shuweikh Haqqani
    Jul 22, 2012 - 11:57PM

    Anti Pakistan content yet again. Strange to see, all these bloggers on ET always write blogs which undermine Pakistan’s position.
    Maulvi Faqir, a leader in the “Pakistani” Taliban, has admitted on TV that his men have safe havens in Afghanistan. But rarely will you see blogs (aligned with major American newspapers) speaking against their own country, or military.
    The problem lies in the definition of the word “terrorist.” Every nation has its own definition of the word. For Pakistanis and Muslims, the terrorist would be (naturally) the one who kills Pakistanis or Muslims. For the world But that is not so for those who call themselves “Pakistani liberals.”
    For the Pakistani “liberal”, the terrorist is the one who kills Indians in Kashmir, Israelis in Palestine, and Americans in Afghanistan. For them, the terrorist is the one with the beard, and the one whom the Americans call “terrorist.” This is due to an inferiority complex and beggar complex. The liberals stick to the viewpoint of the newschannels in the country they live in, or their leaders live in.

    The biggest propaganda is that the TTP (that is killing Pakistanis) and the Afghan Taliban (Mullah Omar group, Haqqani network and Gulbadin Hekmatyar group) are the same thing. One is anti Pakistan, and one is pro Pakistan.

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  • S
    Jul 23, 2012 - 12:02AM

    “Benazir’s son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has repeated the charge she had made in her letter to Musharraf before she landed in Pakistan in 2007: that the ISI got her killed through al Qaeda.” If Pakistani President’s son accuses ISI for conspiring to kill his mother, a former Prime Minister, why do Pakistanis throw a hissy fit (Shahzad Chaudhry Saab, ar you listening?) when India says the same about the Mumabi attack? Doesn’t it look like what India says about the involvement of ISI is probably true?

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  • faraz
    Jul 23, 2012 - 12:03AM

    @Shuweikh Haqqani

    When army launched military operation in South Waziristan, the Haqqani group provided safe haven to TTP and prevented it from destruction. There are no good or bad Taliban; both want to take over the state in their respective areas and enforce the same ideology.

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  • sabi
    Jul 23, 2012 - 12:11AM

    our jugler vein(army) in the hand of religeous fanatics and we are playing our favourit game of politician bashing.this remind me old history of baghdad when halaku khan ivaded and destroyed the city it is said the creme of the empire was buissy in debat whether crow is kosher or not. there is also a narative that when the army of halaku khan was bussy in bloodshed people came to a saint siting in a street and ask him to pray to Allah for help.the saint replied and said go away i’m seeing angels exciting halaku army saying “ya eyual kaffar-o- uqtalul fagar-o.(oh infidils kill the liars)
    are not we passing through same phase of history?

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  • Ejaaz
    Jul 23, 2012 - 12:12AM

    @Shuweikh Haqqani

    So how did Mullah FM Radio get sanctuary in an area in Afghanistan which is really controlled by the Haqqanis? Why did the Haqqanis not take the Mullah Radio out?

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  • S
    Jul 23, 2012 - 12:20AM

    @ Shuweikh Haqqani

    “The problem lies in the definition of the word “terrorist.” Every nation has its own definition of the word.” Except for the likes of you and organizations such as the ISI, everybody else has a unique definition of terrorists. Terrorists are those who spread terror by deliberately killing civilians, period. By terrorizing the civilians with bombing, hijacking etc their goal is to compel their governments on their religious/political demands. It’s a simple enough definition, try it out, it will fit everyone that has been called a terrorist. It’s only Pakistanis like you who think in terms of “killing Indians”, “killing Pakistanis”, “killing Americans” etc.
    .

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  • Jul 23, 2012 - 12:28AM

    One thing that amazes any onlooker is the way the army/isi officers make statements and steps; as if they don´t have anyone above/ behind them to scrutinise their actions and the whole country belongs to them. The honest leaders /journalists are easily wiped out and except for some outcry through the printed words there is no hindrance.And even if some superb columnists dare bring some truth out, it is a long way to the accomplishment of their views.

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  • BlackJack
    Jul 23, 2012 - 12:30AM

    @Shuweikh Haqqani:
    Maulvi Faqir, a leader in the “Pakistani” Taliban, has admitted on TV that his men have safe havens in Afghanistan.
    What I find puzzling is the approach that you guys take. On the one side you say that the writ of the current ‘puppet’ govt does not extend beyond Kabul and the Taliban controls the rest of the country already; on the other you say that there are safe havens in Afghanistan. Either one or the other can be true, but not both together – pls make up your mind. Further, the definition of terrorists are those who use terror to achieve political/ religious or ideological goals – by this definition, the TTP, Afghan Taliban, Lashar-e-Taiba and yes, the ISI all fall within this category.

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  • sick of this nonsense
    Jul 23, 2012 - 12:33AM

    @Shuweikh Haqqani:
    The article just states the facts. For “liberals” as you so spitefully put it, the word terrorism means killing of innocent may it be anywhere in the world. This is not beggar complex but its enlightened thinking. And TTP and Afghan Taliban BOTH are anti Pakistan. Get your record straight.

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  • salim
    Jul 23, 2012 - 12:34AM

    @Shuweikh Haqqani:
    are baloch not Muslims….answer me…..uyghur are not muslims………u have one motive to use and trade in Islam…….by the way Islam clearly states that to kill any innocent is wrong…….u have made Islam a business

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  • Arifq
    Jul 23, 2012 - 12:43AM

    Hydra tentacles are far and deep, kudos to Khalid Sahib for his extremely bold and thought provoking piece. This is going to be a long and arduous battle, Khalid Sahib and his likes will need support and encouragement or this battle will be lost. Best of luck Khalid Sahib, I salute your courage and honesty.

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  • kaalchakra
    Jul 23, 2012 - 1:23AM

    Surprised at the fecklessness of the well-paid mandarins at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Granted, the US is too powerful to allow people to see the truth, but India?

    Some simple and powerful arguments should be made to expose the Indian roots of TTP. Who benefits from trouble in Pakistan? Which country has always done everything to undermine Pakistan? One can expose the connections right to the pre-47 period when the Congress used TTP equivalents to weaken the Great Quaid and his project of moderation. Plenty of historical evidence exists that Indians cannot deny.

    If the world-at-large is made aware of this aspect of the true history of the subcontinent, it will be quite easy to distinguish between Pakistani Taliban and Afghanistani Taliban, and to establish that while the latter deserve all international support, the former need to be brought to justice for their anti-national activities.

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  • mr. righty rightist
    Jul 23, 2012 - 1:49AM

    @Shuweikh Haqqani

    who writes “The problem lies in the definition of the word “terrorist.” Every nation has its own definition of the word. For Pakistanis and Muslims, the terrorist would be (naturally) the one who kills Pakistanis or Muslims. For the world But that is not so for those who call themselves “Pakistani liberals.”

    Like your self serving, ego-maniacal, power hungry, ISI geniuses, you are just trying to lie here.

    There are no two definitions for terrorism. Anyone who kills/terrorizes innocent people (those not connected with the security establishment) is a terrorist.

    By the way why do u club Pakistanis and Muslims in the same bracket? Pakistanis are hardly Muslims? Just because you wear a long beard and pray 5 times a day, you don’t become a muslim. On the contrary, Pakistanis are a stigma to the Muslims. It’s because of Pakistanis that other peace loving muslims get bad names.

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  • gp65
    Jul 23, 2012 - 2:21AM

    @sabi:
    I have just started seeing your comments very recently and find that they are wise and knowledgeable. I look forward to continuereading more of thise and learning as well.

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  • Jul 23, 2012 - 2:24AM

    isi is the best department of Pakistan i love pak nd love also ISI……..<3

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  • saleem
    Jul 23, 2012 - 3:29AM

    @ shuweikh haqqani ,
    there are no good taliban or bad taliban, they are simply terrorists, if ISI or any Govt agency is working with them then they are also terrorists. It is not a question of liberal or otherwise. Forget Israel, India , Afghanistan , why should we meddle in other countries. Lets fix our country , bring peace and prosperity to our homes first.

    Recommend

  • Basit
    Jul 23, 2012 - 4:04AM

    @BlackJack:
    Yes, safe havens of TTP exist in Afghanistan, which means that ISAF/NATO/US has either failed or is complicit. What else is there to say? Neither Pakistan or Afghanistan can win this war through military force. Gen. Mahmud was 100% right to not obey Musharraf’s directive, that as the years have shown was short sighted and has landed the region in this chaos.

    Why can’t liberals accept that killing your own people, through either forging a false alliance with the Americans or through your own military is wrong and is doomed to failure? Even if jihadis are wrong about everything, mercilessly killing them or allowing them to be killed by others and not accept any blowback is the single stupidest thing Pakistan has done to date. You cannot win this type of war, no matter what you want to happen, dear liberals.

    End of story.

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  • anonymus
    Jul 23, 2012 - 4:28AM

    best article of the week twice in a row.

    Recommend

  • gp65
    Jul 23, 2012 - 4:46AM

    @kaalchakra: “it will be quite easy to distinguish between Pakistani Taliban and Afghanistani Taliban, and to establish that while the latter deserve all international support, the former need to be brought to justice for their anti-national activities.”

    Ok. So TTP is bad. They are operating in Pakistan. Where is your so called sovereignty when it comes to dealing with these monsters who attack your own citizens? Why do you need world’s approval in taking care of them? Just go ahead and do it- who is stopping you?

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  • mahakkalchakra
    Jul 23, 2012 - 5:03AM

    @kaalchakra:

    The fabled ability of Pakistani Jehadis to selectively glean, doctor and then disseminate information in second to none, and so I should not be surprised to continue to hear India accused of ….

    If Pakistanis don’t consider Taliban the top threat, it can only mean they are turning into Taliban.

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  • Spud
    Jul 23, 2012 - 5:05AM

    This article proves what the Indian government has been saying all along that ISI is complicit in terrorist activities. yet Pakistan government denies that it is so. Pakistan keeps denying that Kasab and Jundal and others who are responsible for Mumbai masscre and other attacks are not controlled by any one in Pakistan. What liars!

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  • Awaken
    Jul 23, 2012 - 7:00AM

    What is this smelly stuff we are floundering in?
    .
    Ignorance never smelt so vile.

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  • Ali tanoli
    Jul 23, 2012 - 7:21AM

    If they are all wrong then what is the proof of truthness of the books writers and even this articles???? sub gol maal hai.

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  • Arian
    Jul 23, 2012 - 8:20AM

    It is sad to see so many Pakistanis defending terrorists and engaging in verbal gymnastics to confuse issues.

    Long before the US/NATO invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban there were Muslims killing other Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan for various causes.

    Let’s call a spade a spade and accept the fact that Pakistan has turned into a radical society where people are constantly concocting conspiracy theories, historical myths permeate the average man’s thought process creating an uttelry apocalyptic and nihilistic worldview.

    The Afghan Taliban and the TTP are not fighting for a just cause or any cause and people need to see that jihad has turned into a business and that is all there is to it. Scapegoating has become a convenient tool and everyone shifts the blame and kicks the can down the street. It has been a good run for these terrorists but the jig is up.

    Recommend

  • Kirmani
    Jul 23, 2012 - 8:24AM

    Khaled Ahmed- Great analysis. But truth stinks. And you know what happens to journalists who speak the truth in Pakistan? Just be careful. Don’t want to read a news item ABOUT you.

    Recommend

  • kaalchakra
    Jul 23, 2012 - 8:32AM

    Dear Indians

    Although Allah instructs us to let argumentative unbelievers go their own way, in the generous spirit of Ramadan Kareem, I will share a minuscule bit of ilm with you with the aim of vastly expanding of your horizons.

    There is no such thing as ‘good Muslim’ ‘bad Muslim’ ‘good Taliban’ ‘bad Taliban’. All that promotes the glory and the power of Islam is good and anything that weakens those is bad. Outsiders like you bear the blame for any distortions in the beneficent, glorious spirit of Islam that is a blessing to all humanity, now and forever.

    Here is a reference that might resonate with you. Read Mahmood Mamdani’s book – “Good Muslim, Bad Muslim”. As a liberal, he is undeserving of my respect, but he might interest you, being the husband of your national Mira Hamdani (nee Nair) – a committed social worker much harassed by Indian fanatics for her expose of shameful Hindu practices.

    May the Blessings of the Allah bring wisdom to you in this Holy month.

    Recommend

  • Jul 23, 2012 - 8:59AM

    Brilliant.

    The Author talks about reverse indoctrination of the ISI, which is a very less talked about subject.

    We can safely assume that the Terrorist sympathizers exist in the nuke complex of Pakistan. The odds are that they exist. I am petrified to think what might happen if they manage to get their hands on a nuke or radioactive material.

    Recommend

  • Afghanistan
    Jul 23, 2012 - 9:32AM

    When we shout, pakistanis say why you write agaisnt pakistan because pakistani nation help you alot and there are still 3 million refugees in pakistan but we reply that we dont mean pakistani people but we mean……………………

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  • Nand
    Jul 23, 2012 - 9:58AM

    @kaalchakra:
    It’s much easier to be in a state of denial than to accept reality.

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  • Anyways
    Jul 23, 2012 - 10:01AM

    @kaalchakra:
    Anyways – I love and enjoy when RAW is blamed for whatever happens in Pakistan. RAW is one of the best on earth that not one agent is caught and the people inside Pakistan are helping them.

    Recommend

  • Hassan
    Jul 23, 2012 - 10:11AM

    Hats off to you Khaled saab…

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  • observer
    Jul 23, 2012 - 10:19AM

    @kaalchakra

    There is no such thing as ‘good Muslim’ ‘bad Muslim’ ‘good Taliban’ ‘bad Taliban’. All that promotes the glory and the power of Islam is good and anything that weakens those is bad.

    Are you saying that all Taliban promote glory and power of Islam? And, therefore, only Taliban are Muslims, or in other words all muslims are Taliban?
    Are you now back tracking on your statement about Afghani and Pakistani Taliban?

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  • Utpal Baruah
    Jul 23, 2012 - 10:19AM

    @kaalchakra:

    You are underestimating India here. The fact is most of your so called victories against India in war and diplomacy are just myths propagated by Pakistani Govt for domestic consumption. Now, this is the reason why India got support and cooperation from the world (including your close allies like Saudi Arabia) when Mumbai happened, but Pakistan never get any support from anyone, although Mumbai like incidents are happening everyday in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • mahakaalchakra
    Jul 23, 2012 - 10:30AM

    @kaalchakra:

    Dear Kaalchakra,

    My favorite tweet was by someone who wrote “One day I am going to learn Arabic myself, interpret the Quran the right way and then all our problems in Islam, particularly Pakistan would be solved”

    Taliban are good and true Muslims following the orders of Allah in the Koran and the teachings and behavior of “prophet” Mohamed. They are not giving a bad image to Islam, they are Islam. The Sufi Muslim is the one who is giving a false good image to Islam, they cherry pick Islam to suit their conscience.

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  • sabi
    Jul 23, 2012 - 11:12AM

    gp65,
    thanks for your’s kind remarks.thanks to ET for providing us this wonderfull forum for itntelectuls debates on some serious matters.God bless you

    Recommend

  • Jul 23, 2012 - 1:36PM

    @kaalchakra: Dear Sir, I most humbly ask you that is there any thing, I mean any thing for you beyond Islam?? This infatuation is not bringing any progress but disaster. You use internet, you travel in car and aeroplane, you sit in ACs, You day and night use alopathic medicines and go for most advanced surgeries including heart or kidney transplant, live in modern towns and buildings, watch TV, wear swanky clothes; I say each bit of your day is covered by amenities invented designed and manufactured by the west but whole day and night, like a parrot you abuse the WEST and the world. When you say “Outsiders like you bear the blame for any distortions in the beneficent, glorious spirit of Islam that is a blessing to all humanity, now and forever.” Please tell me what blessings you are referring to. All around I only see blood shed and dead bodies.

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  • A J Khan
    Jul 23, 2012 - 1:54PM

    This article appears to be tailor cut for the West Propaganda. Weldone Mr khalid Ahmed, like a good father you have secured future of your children in the West. Pakistan is a soft state. You can write what you your masters tells you or you feel about it. After all free media meant for cashing on your country.

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  • sabi
    Jul 23, 2012 - 3:34PM

    A J Khan,
    if there is an oppurtunity to get a green card for Ameica you would be a best sprinter to get it i guess.discover yourself you will be surpriesd.

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  • elementary
    Jul 23, 2012 - 4:46PM

    @sabi: I find your analogy strange. why is bashing politician similar to discussion of crow’s meat being halal.
    Aren’t Politicians supposed to be in government,didn’t people elect them to do the needful.If they find themselves impotent in relation to another institution why don’t they take the nation in confidence.why don’t they simply resign if they are not actually in power.if bashing politicians is useless exercise as you point out then electing them to assemblies is equally useless.

    Fact of the matter is they don’t mind as long as they can continue to inflate their coffers and complete their tenure. Our Army is this way because our political leaders are short sighted ,selfish and incompetent and lack popular support.

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  • elementary
    Jul 23, 2012 - 4:53PM

    @sabi:@A J Khan,
    if there is an oppurtunity to get a green card for Ameica you would be a best sprinter to get it i guess.discover yourself you will be surpriesd.

    Yes it is true. but do you know why is it so? Becasue your leaders have made our lives miserable in pakistan. We want to live in pakistan but we have a right to a better life which is denied by our great political leaders.

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  • MS
    Jul 23, 2012 - 5:25PM

    Absolutely spot on. ISI’s mind set has not changed in the last 20 years nor is it going to. Pakistan must suffer as a result. Shame.

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  • Indian
    Jul 23, 2012 - 5:26PM

    @Shuweikh Haqqani:
    For the Pakistani “liberal”, the terrorist is the one who kills Indians in Kashmir, Israelis in Palestine, and Americans in Afghanistan
    NO. Some sane Pakistanis whom you call “liberal” have said that these home grown “time bombs” are now turning inwards and targeting ordinary Pakistanis labelling them “Kafir”… My dear friend there are no simple answers for complex questions…… Try finding the truth.. Try not to answer your ego……..

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  • Jul 23, 2012 - 5:47PM

    @A J Khan: You have said “This article appears to be tailor cut for the West Propaganda. Weldone Mr khalid Ahmed, like a good father you have secured future of your children in the West.” May be what you say is true that Mr Khalid has secured future of his children in the West. What is wrong in this? Every parent desires to keep his children safe. Instead calling this a propaganda kindly answer as to why most of the people feel that they and their children are unsafe. You have not answered a single point raised by the author instead made a personal attack. Please do ponder.

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  • FactCheck
    Jul 23, 2012 - 6:00PM

    @Shuweikh Haqqani:

    Facts don’t change because you don’t like it.

    Pretty much the jest of your comment.

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  • FactCheck
    Jul 23, 2012 - 6:06PM

    @salim:

    For that matter, all religions in the world have become a business. Some worse than the other.

    Religion has nothing to do with God and God has nothing to do with religion. If you believe in God, and God is the creator, God could not tell anyone to kill another in his name.

    Humans are idiots and are becoming more and more every day.

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  • sabi
    Jul 23, 2012 - 6:16PM

    elementary,
    I’m not aginst bashing politician but against a general attitude that we have, as a nation adopted.we are finding the root causeses of all the evils that we are meesed up by bashing politicians.the foreign policy of any state detirmine the fate of any nation good or bad.or in other words internal policies of a state are directly proportional to foreign policy the state has adopted.now tell me who controle our foreign policy? certainly not politicians and those contoling our foreign policy have no doubt an upper hand.without changing this deadly foreign policy can we come out of mess.
    nawaz sharif dared to change it he was hand cuffed and sent abroad.in ppp govt,mehmood durrani talked some sense he was removed hussainhaqani from washington removed.
    As a matter of fact this foreign policy that we have, demands a very big portion of our much limited sources for our security state.to divert public attention from root cause of all evils ,hoards of ghairat brigades are given the task to maligne politicians with a hope of bringing a ghairat brigade govt.is there enough blood left in our civil institutions to show some courage
    to change this lethal policy? I do’nt think so.then why bashing civilians and for what.

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  • Neela
    Jul 23, 2012 - 6:35PM

    I don’t know about the internal workings of the ISI or for that matter the Army….but wouldn’t anyone we keeping an eye on the fundamental tendencies of these high ranking officials before they are given even higher posts. Sadly, Pakistan is a classic case of riding a tiger you no longer want to ride, but can’t get off it either. It is caught in a vicious circle, and only they themselves can get out of it.

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  • elementary
    Jul 23, 2012 - 7:19PM

    @sabi: And how do you think this civil-military imbalance can be rectified? By asking a foreign power’s help?,as Hussain Haqqani did ; which I find nauseating.
    Terrorism,extremism,fanaticism,sectarianism all breed in an envoirment of economic deprivation and social injustice. PPP by it’s abysmal performance on socioeconomic front actually increased all the above; therefore I consider it as much responsible for our current mess as Army.

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  • choptocut
    Jul 23, 2012 - 7:48PM

    People analyze the situation but no one come out with solution !!

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  • Sinclair
    Jul 23, 2012 - 8:03PM

    @elementary:

    As mentioned interminably on discussion forums – several states of India are comparable to sub-saharan africa in terms of economic indicators. Why are all those problems not prevalent in India then? Stop giving excuses of economic conditions or social injustice. The proclivity to violence is justified using any and all of such reasons. But the inclination to violence itself is independent of it all.

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  • elementary
    Jul 23, 2012 - 8:40PM

    @Sinclair:

    Poverty and social injustice are the fertile ground you also need the seed which is provided by other factors which you and others are more focused on i.e Army patronage to which I will add ,foreign fundings/interference etc.
    If someone says TB is prevalent in crowded and poor places you don’t counter that by giving examples of poor crowded places withhout TB.

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  • gp65
    Jul 23, 2012 - 9:20PM

    @elementary: “if there is an oppurtunity to get a green card for Ameica you would be a best sprinter to get it i guess.discover yourself you will be surpriesd.
    Yes it is true. but do you know why is it so? Becasue your leaders have made our lives miserable in pakistan. We want to live in pakistan but we have a right to a better life which is denied by our great political leaders.”

    Just some things you want to consider:
    1) Are these leaders not your leaders as well. IF you take ownership then you know you can change them.
    2) Is it just political leaders that are responsible for this situation? Is the ‘India is the enemy’ attitude taken by the establishment not responsible for allocating a very large portion of your tax revenue to your security needs? After allocating such large potions also, how secure ARE you?
    3) If you would exercise an option to use a green card, if you had one, that at lest means that US treats its residents well even if they are Muslim i.e. the so called Islamophobia is a myth – or else why would you want to go to a country where they hate you?
    4) Neither Indians , nor Pakistanis not Americans (or anyone else for that matter) has a RIGHT to a better life as you stated. What you have a right to expect is that your leaders make the effort to improve things. But the leaders alone cannot change things. The people have to do their part as well.

    Anyway, hope things get better in Pakistan. In particular if radicalism in Pakistan is brought down significantly, there are many other issues which will improve simultaneously. Not just for your country but mine as well.

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  • gp65
    Jul 23, 2012 - 9:25PM

    @elementary: “If someone says TB is prevalent in crowded and poor places you don’t counter that by giving examples of poor crowded places withhout TB.”

    You would however want to find out what mitigating strategies were being used by people in those crowded places to escape TB. That way even if you are resigned to living in a crowded place, you do not have to be resigned to having TB. SOmething to consider.

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  • elementary
    Jul 23, 2012 - 10:14PM

    @gp65: :)

    1) I consider them my leaders that’s why criticize and bash them to improve their performance,or throw them out.

    2) I am all for cutting down army budget ,but i don’t trust my current political leaders I believe they will misappropriate even that. I do realize Army’s role in current mess.
    3) I do consider US a welfare state, I have never said I hate it ; am just against some of it’s foreign policies towards pakistan.
    4) when leaders are on oppsoite trajetory it’s hard for the people, to say the least.
    5) no mitigating starategiesRecommend

  • sabi
    Jul 23, 2012 - 10:27PM

    elementra,
    civil military imbalance to ractify.
    My personel view is those who have created this mess.yes our military boses if the wish so.is it going to happen smoothly i’m afraid not.red red!

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  • CoolbreezeAsia
    Jul 23, 2012 - 10:58PM

    The media spinning has now become profitable business, the more you sell in international market more money..!. Same is case with this editorial; what the writer feel for those who are sacrificing their lives daily to fight these terrorists/taliban. God help this country from these intellectuals. Recommend

  • elementary
    Jul 23, 2012 - 11:00PM

    @gp65:
    *”You would however want to find out what mitigating strategies were being used by people in those crowded places to escape TB. That way even if you are resigned to living in a crowded place, you do not have to be resigned to having TB. SOmething to consider”.

    My reponse to this as #5 above got deleted for some reason. Here it’s again.
    No mitigating factors: crowded poor places without TB ,they just got lucky as the bacteria responsible didn’t happen to be around.
    To explain furthur there is a link between drink driving and accidents, argument that i know several people who got away without accident although they were drunk driving is a weak one.Elementary.

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  • gp65
    Jul 23, 2012 - 11:18PM

    @elementary: “4) when leaders are on oppsoite trajetory it’s hard for the people, to say the least.”

    My friend, understand your frustration and can empathise. I would caution you though to put your trust in systems rather than individuals to improve the situation. Charismatic people have a way to impress us but just because they are charismatic, it does not mean they are wise or have good judgment.It is rare for charismaic people to have the vision of a Lee Kuan Yew – far too many are like RObert Mugabe. In my own country, Indira Gandhi was very charismatic but so many of her decisions were so wrong and had negative consequences for the country. Fortunately, it is the institutional controls that kicked in and prevented further damage. I feel that a lot of people in Pakistan are too focused on individuals (Zardari bad – CJ good, Imran good) – and they could end up being very disappointed.

    “5) no mitigating starategies”

    You will not find them unless you look for them. If you simply say that until people are poor, there is no way to deradicalize them, you will not address other controllable factors such as controlling public hate speeches, changing school text books, some PEMRA guidelines about language for minorities (religios, ethnic, linguistic etc.), monitoringand controlling madrassas and so on.

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  • elementary
    Jul 23, 2012 - 11:21PM

    @sabi:
    well well well.

    “People are the source of power” used to be the manifesto of PPP. Align to people ,work for their betterment and emancipation ,when people truly trust you ,you are on your way to restoring that balance.
    when military dictator topples an elected government populace don’t mind it or breathe a sigh of relief ; that is the hint. Reverse that equation and you have restored the balance.

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  • Jul 24, 2012 - 12:17AM

    joint anti pakistan movement by foreign Agencies involved actively.Misreporting.

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  • USA means Devil
    Jul 24, 2012 - 1:25AM

    If ISI was of the opinion that Benazir was corrupt and didn’t think of her worthy of ruling pakistan then ISI was not wrong.
    If America is very fair then what they say about Weapons of mass destruction.
    Thanks for introducing General Mahmood, i have one more hero in my list.

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  • sabi
    Jul 24, 2012 - 3:20AM

    elementry

    “when military dictator topples an elected government populace don’t mind it or breathe a sigh of relief ; that is the hint. Reverse that equation and you have restored the balance”.
    who will reverse the equation those who can not make or allowed not to make necessary amendments in constitution or those who overrun the constitution under their boots
    and no body dare to ask why.let us see what happens.thanks

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  • numbersnumbers
    Jul 24, 2012 - 4:26AM

    @USA means Devil:
    Need to sign up with a new name, something like ” Pakistan means LOSER” !

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  • kaalchakra
    Jul 24, 2012 - 5:48AM

    “People analyze the situation but no one come out with solution !!

    Chop, the solution is right there, before our eyes, if we have the courage to say it out loud in the face of liberal fascists crowing all around us. Sir Ejaz Haider has been telling it in his own masterly and inimitable way – conquer the Conniving Kabul Cabal and defeat the Devious Delhi Dadas to solve all problems. So long as the current hostile external environment remains unaltered, it would be foolish to imagine that any steps taken inside will change ground realities.

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  • upkar gill
    Jul 24, 2012 - 7:56AM

    @kefi:
    this discussion is for adults only .

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  • Cynical
    Jul 24, 2012 - 8:44AM

    @kaalchakra

    You are a genious.What a simple solution to a complex problem!!!Recommend

  • Aditya Randhawa
    Jul 24, 2012 - 10:56AM

    @kaalchakra:
    try to implement your ideas and see the results

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  • A J Khan
    Jul 24, 2012 - 12:18PM

    We have a large number of people who lives in this country(basically immigrants from the region) but are always ready to sell it. The author is one amongst many in Pakistan.

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  • elementary
    Jul 24, 2012 - 3:01PM

    @gp65: I would caution you though to put your trust in systems rather than individuals to improve the situation
    Comments like these actually stem from arrogance where somebody having a different viewpoint is being immature ,naive or downright fanatic. I believe in system rather than personalities and strongly believe that current ruling party is more despotic in it’s character who worship personalities. Systems and values are being abused for petty gains rather than being built. One after the other institutions were destroyed under current regimen.

    you will not address other controllable factors such as controlling public hate speeches, changing school text books, some PEMRA guidelines about language for minorities (religios, ethnic, linguistic etc.), monitoringand controlling madrassas and so on.

    I fully agree and whole heartedly support all of this.Again our government was neither willing nor able to do all or any of this in the last four and half years hence my disgust for it .

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  • observer
    Jul 24, 2012 - 6:30PM

    @Kaalchakra

    conquer the Conniving Kabul Cabal and defeat the Devious Delhi Dadas to solve all problems. So long as the current hostile external environment remains unaltered, it would be foolish to imagine that any steps taken inside will change ground realities.

    Let us say conniving Kabul is conquered. Immediately the conquerer is perceived to be a threat by Iran, Central Asia, India and possibly China too. So the dynamics of the external hostile environment changes. New players get added.
    Let us say your biggest dream, ‘defeat of devious Delhi’ comes true. Before you can say Zazak…. you will find Russia and China, if not the US as well, coming down at you like a ton of bricks.

    As I said, the external reality is not frozen, it is dynamic and the more hostility you show to it, the more hostility it will throwback at you.

    MORAL-Forget conquests, Try friendship and peace for a change.Recommend

  • gp65
    Jul 24, 2012 - 7:53PM

    @elementary: “Comments like these actually stem from arrogance where somebody having a different viewpoint is being immature ,naive or downright fanatic.”

    It is true my comment was directed to you but I did not think you were immature, naive or fanatic. You are projecting these feelings on me, which do not exist.

    “I believe in system rather than personalities and strongly believe that current ruling party is more despotic in it’s character who worship personalities. Systems and values are being abused for petty gains rather than being built. One after the other institutions were destroyed under current regimen”.

    If you DO believe in the system and also believe that the current lot are corrupt and incompetent, wait for the next election which is not far away at all. I do not like UPA government being elected in India for similar reasons as your objection to PPP – they are corrupt and have dynastic rule. But I feel that part of the system is also respecting other people’s choices i.e. once people vote (even if it is not who you want) then letting the party perform. Part of the system (at least parliamentary system) is that during the elected termPM can either resign himself/herself, lose vote of confidence of the parliament. There is not a third mechanism to take the PM out constitutionally.

    Does that mean that people are helpless for 5 years and can do nothing? No. Criticism is absolutely legitimate, taking out dharnas and doing other ways of showing disapproval are also legitimate ways of expressing disapproval. At Chief Minister level, many corrupt CMs have been forced to resign through public pressure in India. This is because when the public pressure gets to a certain point, the party itself feels it is better to get a fresh CM otherwise they will face impact in next election. Of course court cases against ministers are also legitimate things. I hope I have explained myself.Recommend

  • elementary
    Jul 24, 2012 - 10:10PM

    @gp65:

    I would rather they complete the tenure ,so they can not use their eternal victim card for the coming election.

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  • gp65
    Jul 24, 2012 - 10:34PM

    @elementary:
    We are on the same page then.

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  • ahmar
    Jul 25, 2012 - 9:05PM

    baseless allegations with no research. Poorly written article. writer had only quoted those books which are not authentic. Please be sincere to Pakistan and stop blaming ISI.

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