Tag Archive | drone

Pakistani tribesmen threaten US with holy war


Hundreds of Pakistani tribesmen on Tuesday threatened the United States with holy war, lashing out at demands for action against Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani extremists based in Pakistan.

There is growing unease in Pakistan about US pressure to take on the Haqqani network or face the consequences, with the military saying it is too             Read More…

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Senator: Consider military action against Pakistan, Haqqani !


While the United States, ever more strident, is ratcheting up pressure on Pakistan to snap its “ties with the Haqqani network”, the group’s chief Sirajuddin Haqqani on Friday warned Washington against any military adventure in the North Waziristan tribal agency.The Haqqanis belong to Zadran tribe, which are mostly based in Paktia and Khost provinces of Eastern Afghanistan.Speaking to Reuters by satellite phone from an undisclosed location, Sirajuddin said he’d look forward to a US ground attack in North Waziristan. “The United States will suffer more losses [in North Waziristan] than they did in Afghanistan,” he said. ReadMore…

A Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee said Sunday that the U.S. should consider military action against Pakistan if it continues to support terrorist attacks against American troops in Afghanistan.”The         Read More…

Pakistan optimistic China to replace US as world power


An international survey forecast that China either will replace or already has replaced UnitedState as the world’s superpower, state media said.The majority of those surveyed in developing economies, such as Pakistan, Mexico and China, are optimistic that China will replace the United States as the world’s dominant power.That sentiment is also largely shared in Western Europe countries, such as France, Spain, Britain and Germany, all of which report percentages of more than 60 percent seeing China overtaking the US with the highest in France at 72 percent. Readmore…
Pakistan Courts China as US Announces Military Aid Cuts
US is withdrawing some $800 million in military aid from Pakistan looks to do more serious harm to US-Pakistani relations, but if administration officials expected the “rebuke” to be met with an act of contrition from
the Pakistani military, they were mistaken. Readmore…
China builds Pakistan’s case for NSG membership
China is learnt to have questioned India’s membership proposal before the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on grounds that an exception should not be made for just one country. In a clear attempt to build a case for Pakistan too, China has told the 46-member grouping that all potential candidates must be considered for membership, reported Indian Express  Readmore…
China praises Pakistan, downplaying risk of rift
Ma Zhaoxu, said his government stood by Pakistan, in comments apparently intended to quash any notion of a rift over the attack in Xinjiang, where members of the Uighur minority have protested against Beijing’s control and the Han Chinese presence.“Pakistan is an important front in the international fight against terrorism, and has made an outstanding contribution to battling terrorism,” Ma said in a statement on the ministry’s website (www.mfa.gov.cn).  Readmore…
ISI chief on secret China visit as US ties take a blowISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha has embarked on a secret visit to China that is being seen as part of Pakistan’s efforts to reduce its dependence on the US in the wake of strained military and intelligence ties.Lt Gen Arshad undertook a week-long trip to Beijing last month to discuss what officials in Islamabad described as “the option of a strategic dialogue” between Pakistan and China on the pattern of the Pakistan-US engagement  Readmore…
China to give squadron of advanced fighter aircraft to Pakistan
Taking bilateral defence relations to a new high, China will give Pakistan a squadron of the advanced J-10B fighter aircraft.The J-10B fighters are equipped with the latest weapons and Pakistan will be the first country, after China, to have these advanced aircraft. Readmore…
ISI chief asked US to stop drone strikes
 
After years of pussyfooting, Pakistan has finally asked the United States to stop the CIA-run unmanned air strikes into its tribal areas.
According to diplomatic sources, Mr Pasha told acting CIA Director Michael J. Morell that the raids had become a major source of embarrassment for the Pakistani government as it was blamed for failing to stop a foreign power from killing its own citizens. Readmore…
US ducks question on ending drone attacksA White House spokesman has sidestepped a question about the stirring call from a former American intelligence chief for an immediate halt to the drone attacks inside the Pakistani soil, saying the US makes “no apologies” to go after terrorists.  Readmore…
Timing of US drone strike questioned
The American ambassador to Islamabad phoned Washington with an urgent plea: Stop an imminent CIA drone strike against militants on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border.Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, said the jirga “was carelessly and callously targeted with complete disregard to human life.”The former aide said the strike reflected the CIA’s anger at the ISI, which it blamed for keeping Davis in prison for seven weeks.”It was in retaliation for Davis,” the aide said. “The CIA was angry.”  Readmore…
Under fire from afar: Harrowing exhibition reveals damage done by drones in Pakistan

If you want to understand the impact of the “war on terror” on America’s ally, Pakistan, look no further than Noor Behram’s photographs which show, he says, collateral damage as a result of US drone strikes in the tribal area. Readmore… 
Lawsuit against Pakistan intel agency could be disastrousThe Consequences of this judicial inquiry have the potential to be disastrous.The intrusion of these actions into the politics of Pakistan will fuel violence and extremism, directed against the government the US intends to support.  Readmore…
Another CIA chief flees PakistanCIA chief in Pakistan pulls out after clashes.The station chief was evacuated for “medical reasons” a fortnight ago. But an official familiar with CIA-ISI relations told The Independent that the US’s top clandestine officer was due to be replaced in September, after just 10 months on the job. The illness, the official added, merely “expedited” his recall. The station chief will not be returning to Pakistan.The CIA’s Islamabad station chief, who oversaw the intelligence team that uncovered Osama bin Laden’s hideout, has left Pakistan.American television, citing US and Pakistani officials, said the officer who headed one of the Central Intelligence Agency’s most sensitive positions worldwide was not expected to return. Readmore…  OR  Readmore…
US stresses Pak role in Afghan peace planThe United States was not contemplating any reconciliation process in Afghanistan without the active engagement of Pakistan, said Marc Grossman, US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.“The US does not foresee any reconciliation in Afghanistan without Pakistan,” the US envoy said.  Readmore…
Blinded by its military might, the US for a long while insisted on reaching a solution through the use of force, and when experienced setbacks after setbacks conceded only to talk to what Mr Lodin called “foot soldiers” and failing again it came round to contacting the top leaders of the Taliban hierarchy.Strangely, in this exercise for a ‘safe exit’, the Obama administration has failed to appreciate the key input Pakistan is making in the war on terror and has been working against its interests. And the pleas of their own man on the spot, Ambassador Munter, for stopping drone attacks have been turned down by the CIA, which apparently had the power to overrule any suggestion in this matter. In the final analysis, the groundswell of anti-Americanism existing in the country gets reinforced. While on the one hand, it wants to pursue a policy of reconciliation, on the other it persists in indulging in acts that provoke tribesmen’s sympathy for the Afghan resistance and provides new recruits to its cause. The dual-track policy is counterproductive.

Pakistan is calling for an international arrest warrant Ex-CIA legal Chief Rizzo on charges of Mass murder.


Rizzo Ex-CIA legal Chief in Pakistan

British human rights lawyers have raised their voice against the US drone strikes in Pakistan calling for the CIA’s former legal chief to be arrested and charged with Genocide for approving attacks that killed hundreds of people.
Amid growing international concern over the use of drones, lawyers and relatives of some of those killed are seeking an international arrest warrant for John A Rizzo, until recently acting general counsel for the CIA. Opponents of drones say the unmanned aircraft are responsible for the deaths of up to 2,500 Pakistanis in 260 attacks since 2004.
Earlier this week 48 people were killed in two strikes on tribal regions of Pakistan. The American
definition of ‘militant’ has been disputed by relatives and campaigners.

The bid to arrest Rizzo is being led by British human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith of the campaign group Reprieve, and lawyers in Pakistan. They are also building cases against drone operators interviewed or photographed during organised press facilities. A first information report, the first step in seeking a prosecution of Rizzo in Pakistan, will be formally lodged early next week at a police station in Islamabad on behalf of relatives of two people killed in drone strikes in 2009. The report will also allege Rizzo should be charged with conspiracy to murder a large number of Pakistani citizens. Now retired, Rizzo, 63, is being pursued after admitting in an interview with Newsweek that since 2004 he had approved monthly drone attacks on targets in Pakistan, even though the US is not at war with the country.
 A group of human rights lawyers working in cooperation with relatives of the victims of US drone attacks in Pakistan is calling for an international arrest warrant to be served on former CIA legal counsel John A. Rizzo on charges of murder.
Rizzo, who was by his own admission “up to my eyeballs” in approving CIA use of “enhanced interrogation techniques”, said in the interview that the CIA operated “a hit list”. He also asked: “How many law professors have signed off on a death warrant?” Rizzo has also admitted being present while civilian operators conducted drone strikes from their terminals at the CIA headquarters in Virginia.
Although US government lawyers have tried to argue that drone strikes are conducted on a “solid legal basis”, some believe the civilians who operate the drones could be classified as “unlawful combatants”.

America Launch Chemical Warfare Attacks on Pakistan


US Drone Rockets Contaminated With Deadly Chemical

– Contain Toxic Agents

US Drones Launch Chemical Attacks on Innocent Pakistani Civilians

US Drones Launch Chemical Attacks on Innocent Pakistani Civilians Pakistani physicians and experts reported that the US uses chemical munitions in its drone attacks on the country’s civilians. Given the fact that the Pakistani civilians who have come under the US drone attacks have been afflicted with different skin, optic and respiratory diseases, it can be concluded that Washington is using chemical weapons in its attacks in Pakistan, the physicians said.“Since the missiles launched by the US drones contain dangerous chemical substances, a large number of the injured people in these attacks cannot be declared as dead or alive since they have been afflicted with complicated diseases due to the deadly chemical materials used in the missiles,” a Pakistani physician, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told FNA.(pakistantime.net)

Should war crimes invariably committed by the state be in the same category as ‘terrorism’ invariably linked to insurgent groups or renegade states? And is it the case that the world’s sole superpower is the only one that has the political, legal and moral authority to define war crimes and terrorism, while exempting itself by silently invoking the doctrine of American Exceptionalism?

Wikileaks has now uncovered documents from 2002 to 2008, revealing that the Bush
administration’s ‘War on Terror'” was itself a terrorist campaign at several levels. In addition to human rights violations of foreign nationals, the civil liberties of US citizens suffered in the process because government operated as a police state.

Documented cases of allegations against US for war crimes (state-sponsored terrorism):

1. 1902: Lodge Senate Investigating Committee of US war crimes in the war against Philippines

2. 1943: Canicatti and Biscari massacres – US troops massacred Italian civilians in Biscari, Italy and German and Italian war prisoners in Biscari, but no one was ever charged. General George Patton dismissed the massacres of dozens of people as exaggerations.

3. 1945: Dachau massacre – US troops killed German prisoners of war. General Patton dismissed the charges.

4. The Pentagon’s Vietnam War Crimes Working Group Files confirm US war 320 separate cases of war crimes, excluding My Lai Massacre of 350 unarmed men, children and women, that US Army documented.A single conviction came out of that era.

5. Agent Orange – French-based International Tribunal of Conscience in Support of the Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange violated the Hague Convention of 1907, Geneva Conventions of 1927 and 1949.

No one was ever held accountable. The US District Court of Brooklyn dismissed a law suit in the case in 2005 on the basis that: “No treaty or agreement, express or implied, of the United States, operated to make use of herbicides in Vietnam a violation of the laws of war or any other form of international law until at the earliest April of 1975.” The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later ruled that “Agent Orange and similar U.S. herbicides cannot be considered poisons banned under international rules of war.”

6. NATO bombing of Yugoslavia: 1999 – 400-1000 civilians killed in deliberate targeting of civilians and infrastructure. No one prosecuted.

7. 2002: War on Terror – A presidential memorandum gave the right to interrogators to deny prisoners basic protections as stipulated by the Geneva Convention, thereby permitting violations resulting in war crimes. On that basis, US personnel carried out torture of prisoners that the US classified as ‘unlawful combatants’, thus circumventing Geneva Convention rules. US Justice Department redefined the law to allow for war crimes to be committed and at the same time not be held accountable.

8. 2006: Human Rights Watch charged that Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld was criminally liable for his involvement in the abuse of a Guantanamo detainee. In November 2006, legal proceedings went ahead in Germany against Rumsfeld, CIA Director George Tenet, and a number of other Bush administration officials. The Military Commissions Act of 2006, however, provided amnesty for war crimes for they were carried out against the War on Terror. Both Tony Blair and George Bush were accused before the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Iraq, but the US has not signed the treaty that would have given jurisdiction to ICC. The UN Security Council could have charged Bush and Blair for well known crimes in Iraq, but US has veto power.

America plays with Fire


Everyone is recoiling from the battle that should be fought against people who impose their authority by murder.
Destabilizing Pakistan, America Plays with Fire

Pakistan Warns US Over Airspace . . . US Then Promptly Murders 8 Pakistanis in Drone Attack.

              First Drone Strikes Since Bin Laden Raid Hit Pakistan, Yemen, it is noted that after Pakistan’s warnings and demands that the US cease and desist from violating its airspace, the US’s subsequent drone attacks made the Pakistanis “look either complicit — and, hence, hypocritical — or incompetent.”

     America on the brink of war with Pakistan.Pakistan’s capital, to try to ease tensions. But the fact remains that American forces have and are violating Pakistani sovereignty.Al-Jazeera’s footage of Taliban fighters brandishing US weapons has not been denied either.Pakistan officials are demanding deep cuts in the CIA’s presence in the country.

The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States,given the vast nuclear arsenals at the disposal of both superpowers, leaders on each side took great care not to provoke their adversary beyond a certain point.If America challenge the survival of Pakistan,so respond will be the disastrous.Pakistan said on Thursday that no one should have any doubt about its defence capability and misadventure and any miscalculation in future in this regard would result in a terrible catastrophe.He said, “No Pakistani should feel demoralized in this regard.”

Empires old and new have no friends. They only have interests. 

That why $3 billion in aid Pakistan receives every year to be an ally in the West’s war against militancy,could not compel Pakistan to surrender or compromise their National interests.As the supplier of nuclear reactors for the Chasma complex and of fighter aircraft for the Pakistan Air Force, Beijing increasingly rivals the U.S. as a security partner of Pakistan. This partnership is likely to grow in the wake of the CIA rupture with the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI).

        To counter what China is doing in Pakistan, the United States should play hardball by supporting the movement for an independent Baluchistan along the Arabian Sea and working with Baluch insurgents to oust the Chinese from their budding naval base at Gwadar. Beijing wants its inroads into Gilgit and Baltistan to be the first step on its way to an Arabian Sea outlet at Gwadar. 

Pakistan’s strategic location as a gateway to the oil and gas riches of central Asia means that it will remain a battleground for competing interests for the foreseeable future. The Great Game continues well into the 21st century.

 

 

Shamsi Air Base taken back from CIA, US forces


One Bold Step, Order to Vacate Shamsi Air Base

So Message was loud and clear, Stop Drone Attacks

Pakistan has stopped all US operations from the Shamsi Air Base in Balochistan, an airport which was given to American forces for use after 9/11 and drone attacks were launched from the base on targets in the tribal areas, military sources have confirmed. It was also used extensively in 2001 when thousands of US sorties took off to bomb Afghanistan a few weeks after the 9/11 attack in New York.

As the relations between Islamabad and Washington have strained due to latter’s mounting interference and repeated breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty, the US Embassy spokesman, Alberto Rodriguez, confirmed that there are no US forces at the Shamsi Air Base in Balochistan. 

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) spokesperson, when approached about his version on the vacation of US forces and the deadly drones from Shamsi airfield, explained that the airfield does not belong to the PAF while the Pakistan Army sources confirmed that the airfield was free from the American forces.

No one was prepared to share with The News the dates or the time period when the Shamsi airfield was vacated by the Americans although the sources insist that it is a recent development.

Almost a year back, Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar spoke on the topic of the Shamsi Air Base confirming that it was being used by American forces for logistical purposes but, he added, the government was not satisfied with payments for the use of the facility.

Mukhtar, however, did not go into the nature of airfield’s use by the American forces. Prior to Shamsi, Pakistan had also got vacated from the US forces the Jacobabad Air Base and Pasni, which were used for its operations in Afghanistan.

The US has been using the Shamsi Air Base in Balochistan province to station unmanned Predator drones that have been used to attack terrorist targets inside Pakistan’s tribal areas. Shamsi airfield, also called Bandari, is a small airfield and air station located about 200 miles southwest of Quetta near the town of Washki.

In 2009, media reports revealed that the airfield was used by the United States Central Intelligence Agency as a base for Predator drone attacks on so-called militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas but ended up killing several hundreds innocent people. On January 9, 2002 a US Marine Corps KC-130 aircraft reportedly crashed on approach to Shamsi. All seven crew members were killed in the crash.

In February 2009, The Times of London had announced that it had obtained Google images from 2006 which showed Predator aircraft parked outside a hangar at the end of the runway of the Shamsi airfield. Before that, a US Senator Dianne Feinstein said that the CIA was basing its drone aircraft in Pakistan. The US company Blackwater was also reported to have a presence there, hired by the government to arm the drones with missiles.

It was General Musharraf who had permitted the US to use its airbases not only to attack Afghanistan but also to launch drone attacks on the people of Pakistan in the name of the so-called war on terror. The present regime also continued with Musharraf’s policies and allowed much larger number of drone attacks than before.

WikiLeaks had revealed that Prime Minister Gilani had endorsed the drones’ policy. Gilani was reported to have even said to the US officials that his government would raise hue and cry over these drone attacks for the sake of countering the public pressure.

However, of late and after the Raymond Davis episode, things became extremely tense between Washington and Islamabad with the CIA insisting to carry on with its operations, including the drone attacks inside Pakistan, while the ISI is adamant to restricting the Americans from crossing the red-line.

Source: by Ansar Abbasi 

Pak military Message was loud and clear, Stop Drone Attacks


The issue became hot, when an unmanned drone attacked a tribal jirga in North Waziristan last month, killing several civilians.While drones continue to hover over North Waziristan, there has been no strike since the March 17 attack on a Madakhel tribal jirga in Datakhel.
            The ISI chief, Gen Ahmad Suja Pasha, has gone to Washington to meet CIA Director Leon Panetta. He is expected to take up Islamabad`s concerns during the trip. New York Times quoted informed sources in Islamabad as saying on Monday that Gen Kayani had also “demanded that US put on hold CIA drone strikes aimed at civilians and militants in northwest Pakistan, a sign of the near collapse of cooperation between the two testy allies”. 
        At the same time, President Asif Ali Zardari warned that the US-led war in Afghanistan was “seriously undermining efforts to restore Pakistan’s democratic institutions and economic prosperity” and blamed his country’s destabilization as the result of America’s invasion of Afghanistan.

  The sources also said the CIA had agreed to give ISI more credit for its counter-terrorism efforts and to keep Pakistani authorities better informed of CIA activities.Privately, U.S. officials acknowledged that despite renewed goodwill, some Pakistani demands for greater scrutiny and control over CIA activities in Pakistan are unacceptable to the administration of President Barack Obama.
           Pakistani officials have expressed mounting frustration with the accelerated pace of the CIA’s Predator air campaign and the expanded presence of agency operatives, including a security contractor who fatally shot two Pakistani men in Lahore in January. A senior Pakistani official called the tone of the meeting “cordial” but said Pasha made clear that the CIA-ISI relationship had suffered a “breach of trust” and had to be reconfigured with a “clear code of conduct.”
          “We need to know who is in Pakistan doing what, and that the CIA won’t go behind our back,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. “There has to be a greater sharing of information, in terms of what the CIA wants and is doing. They have to stop mistrusting the ISI as much as they do . . . you can’t have us as your ally and treat us as your adversary at the same time.” Pakistani officials signaled Monday that the dynamic could change because of a perception in Islamabad that the CIA has overstepped.
                     The United States will reconsider its controversial policy of deploying drones against militants taking refuge in Pakistan, according to its ambassador in Islamabad.
                          Cameron Munter revealed that America intends to review using unmanned aerial vehicles in the wake of an angry public and political backlash over high civilian casualties suffered in attacks.“That is something on our agenda,” Munter told a gathering of top Pakistani military brass, analysts and academics Monday at an event that was billed by the local U.S. Embassy as a major policy announcement. Munter’s comment did not come from his prepared speech, but during a question-and-answer session in response to a question from a member of the audience demanding to know when drone strikes would cease permanently. Fearing a hostile reception that would embarrass the State Department and stoke further local anti-U.S. sentiment, television cameras were ordered to leave the room for the question-and-answer session.
            The U.S. is now at pains to patch up a relationship that has been worn threadbare by deep institutional distrust and public scapegoating of each other by their leadership.

Source: Dawn&csmonitor

Lashkar-e-Khorasan; Hunt Drone Spies


The Taliban have created a group assigned to hunt down tribesmen suspected of providing information to the CIA that enables the Predator campaign to target terrorist leaders in Pakistani tribal areas.
The Khorasan is a region that encompasses large areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Iran.
The Khorasan is considered by jihadists to be the place where they will inflict the first defeat against their enemies in the Muslim version of Armageddon. The final battle is to take place in the Levant: in Israel, Syria, and Lebanon.

The Lashkar-e-Khorasan
was first established as a “loose network with members casually going out and trying to find out who is providing information to the US,” but has become an “organized” unit that is “scientifically on the counter-intelligence line,” a Taliban member associated with Bahadar’s group told the The Express Tribune.
The unit is estimated have more than 300 fighters and to operate primarily in the Datta Khel, Mir Ali, and Miramshah areas. These three areas are strongholds of the Haqqani Network and Bahadar’s Taliban forces, as well as for al Qaeda and allied terror groups, and have been heavily targeted by the CIA.
The group has sought to uncover the network of tribesmen believed to be aiding the US Predator campaign that targets leaders and operatives of al Qaeda and allied groups, including the Haqqani Network and Bahadar’s fighters. The Predator campaign has focused on taking out al Qaeda’s external operations network, which is assigned to hitting Western targets. The campaign has also targeted terror groups that attack the Afghan and Pakistani states.
The local anti-Taliban spy network is thought to observe the location of meetings and to plant tracking chips on compounds and vehicles used by the terror groups. The information is provided to the CIA, which then executes the attacks via unmanned Predator and Reaper strike aircraft. The US has executed 234 strikes total since the program began in 2004; 224 of those strikes have taken place since January 2008. Of the 234 strikes since 2004, 168 have taken place in North Waziristan. [See LWJ report, Charting the data for US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 – 2011.]
The Lashkar-e-Khorasan not only attempts to root out the spy network, it carries out the executions. Increasingly, the Taliban’s counterintelligence unit has been executing so-called US spies in batches. On March 1, the Taliban executed four “US spies” in North Waziristan; four more were executed on March 21.
The Lashkar-e-Khorasan has also carried out the executions of alleged spies outside of North Waziristan. On Feb. 5, the Taliban executed four people accused of “spying for Indian and Jewish intelligence agencies” in the district of Karak, and on March 18, the Taliban executed a spy in Kohat.
The executions are occasionally carried out in public, in a brutal fashion. On May 21, 2010, the Taliban placed suicide vests on the so-called spies, and detonated them in front of crowds of onlookers.

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