US-Saudi Funded Terrorists Sowing Chaos in Pakistan


Fauzia Qurban
Photo: AP Pakistani sister Fauzia Qurban an ethnic Hazara, tries to hold back her tears as she talks about her brother Ali Raza Qurban, at her family home in Quetta, Pakistan.
Brutal sectarian bloodletting has killed hundreds of Shiite Muslims in Pakistan’s Balochistan province and fired a flourishing human smuggling business in the provincial capital of Quetta.
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Balochistan, Pakistan – long target of Western geopolitical interests, terror wave coincides with Gwadar Port handover to China.

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QUETTA KILLINGS: ORCHESTRATION FOR A PAKISTAN SPRING?

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by Tony Cartalucci

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Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s southwest Balochistan province, bordering both US-occupied Afghanistan as well as Iran, was the site of a grisly market bombing that has killed over 80 people. According to reports, the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Billed as a “Sunni extremist group,” it instead fits the pattern of global terrorism sponsored by the US, Israel, and their Arab partners Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Why Balochistan? Gwadar in the southwest serves as a Chinese port and the starting point for a logistical corridor through Pakistan and into Chinese territory. The Iranian-Pakistani-Indian pipeline would enter from the west, cross through Balochistan intersecting China’s proposed logistical route to the northern border, and continue on to India. Destabilizing Balochistan would effectively derail the geopolitical aspirations of four nations.

The terrorist Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group was in fact created, according to the BBC, to counter Iran’s Islamic Revolution in the 1980′s, and is still active today. Considering the openly admitted US-Israeli-Saudi plot to use Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups across the Middle East to counter Iran’s influence, it begs the question whether these same interests are funding terrorism in Pakistan to not only counter Iranian-sympathetic Pakistani communities, but to undermine and destabilize Pakistan itself.

THE US -SAUDI GLOBAL TERROR NETWORK

While the United States is close allies with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, it is well established that the chief financier of extremist militant groups for the past three decades, including Al-Qaeda, are in fact Saudi Arabia and Qatar. While Qatari state-owned propaganda like Al Jazeera apply a veneer of progressive pro-democracy to its narratives, Qatar itself is involved in arming, funding, and even providing direct military support for sectarian extremists from northern Mali, to Libya, to Syria and beyond. (more…)

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Galen Rowell: The Man And His Art


Simultaneously earthbound and heaven-seeking, the weather-beaten pinnacles of Pakistan’s Karakoram mountains bear witness to the region’s harsh climate. The Karakoram Range marks the convergence of the borders of Tajikistan, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India, lending it importance in the world of geopolitics. [Photograph by Galen Rowell]
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TRANSCENDING SPECIFIC SITUATIONS & LOCATIONS

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by Masood Hasan

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On August 11, 2002, the lives of four singularly unique people came to an end as their small Cessna aircraft crashed at Bishop, California. Amongst those who died were Galen Rowell and his wife Barbara Cushman Rowell. Both extraordinary intrepid travellers, adventurers, photographers and mountaineers were returning from a trip to the Bering Sea and had a hectic and full schedule ahead.

 In the words of Tom Brokaw, an old friend and admirer of Rowel’s work, “he was a man who went into the mountains, into the desert, to the edge of the sea, to the last great wild places in the world to be absorbed by their grace and grandeur. That is what he did for himself.

For the rest of us, he shared his vision with – click – the release of a shutter, creating photographs as timeless, as stunning, and as powerful as nature itself.”

So wrote Brokaw and I can only add that seeing Rowell’s work is like rediscovering faith in God, for how else could such a unique and stunning world come into being were it not for a master creator? (more…)

Pakistan–Russia Relations [1 of 5]


Relations between Pakistan and the Russian Federation were reactivated in 2007 after the 3-day official visit of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.
He was the first Russian prime minister to visit Pakistan in the post Soviet-era in 38 years. He had “in-depth discussions” with then President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.
The major focus of the visit was to improve bilateral relations with particular emphasis on ways and means to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries. [Image: Russian president Dmitry Medvedev engaged in conversation with his Pakistani counterpart president Asif Zardari, 2010].

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START: SOMETIME GOOD, MANY TIME BAD

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Pakistan–Russian relations refer to the bilateral, historical, cultural, and international relations between the State of Pakistan and the Russian Federation. Pakistan and the Russian Federation first established the diplomatic and bilateral relations on 1 May 1948. [1]

For the most of the Cold War, Pakistan’s relations with then Soviet Union saw many ups and downs during different periods of Pakistan’s post indepndence history. During the 1947-50s Soviet Union enjoyed relatively healthy and strong relations with Pakistan when it had civilian governments. The relations, however, went ultimately cold soon after the U.S.-backed 1958 military coup d’état was staged by Gen Ayub Khan, the Commander in Chief of Pakistan’s armed forces, although attempts to warm the relations were made after the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war and in midst of 1970s, the relations were quickly improved and warmed.

In the late 1980s, Pakistan allied with the United States and Saudi Arabia to support the Mujahideen rebels during Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. (more…)

Pakistan can make Russia Queen of Asia


The constant and rude attempts of the United States to interfere in the internal affairs of a nuclear power raise overt anger in Pakistan at all levels. An opinion poll conducted by Pew Research Center (USA) in the beginning of 2012 showed that 74 percent of Pakistanis view the U.S. as an “enemy.”
Not that long ago, the whole country was discussing the scandal connected with the resignation of the Pakistani ambassador to the United States.
But even this pro-American official said last August that the goals and priorities of the two countries would not be the same in near future. That is why, he said, the USA and Pakistan should give up their attempts to build a partnership and pay attention to their own interests instead.
“If in 65 years we haven’t been able to find sufficient common reasons to live together … It may be better to find friendship outside the family ties,” Haqqani told Reuters.
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PAK RUSSIA COLLABORATION: POSSIBILITY OF A MEGA BREAKTHROUGH

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by Lyuba Lulko

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The relations between the U.S. and Pakistan, despite the numerous attempts to revive them, are falling apart. Therefore, establishing close cooperation with Pakistan will give Russia a real chance to gain a foothold in Central and South Asia. In addition, Russia will be able to access the Indian Ocean, and make the U.S. troops in Afghanistan directly dependent on its logistics.

The constant and rude attempts of the United States to interfere in the internal affairs of a nuclear power raise overt anger in Pakistan at all levels. An opinion poll conducted by Pew Research Center (USA) in the beginning of 2012 showed that 74 percent of Pakistanis view the U.S. as an “enemy.” Not that long ago, the whole country was discussing the scandal connected with the resignation of the Pakistani ambassador to the United States. Husain Haqqani who it was alleged wrote a secret letter, in which he asked for help in preventing a military coup, which was allegedly plotted in Pakistan, and promised certain concessions in return.

But even this pro-American official said last August that the goals and priorities of the two countries would not be the same in near future. That is why, he said, the USA and Pakistan should give up their attempts to build a partnership and pay attention to their own interests instead. “If in 65 years we haven’t been able to find sufficient common reasons to live together … It may be better to find friendship outside the family ties,” Haqqani told Reuters.

The brazen drone bombings of the Pakistani territory, the uncoordinated military operation to destroy Osama bin Laden, the accusations of supplying materials for Iran’s nuclear program have prompted Pakistan to seek cooperation with Russia.

A special envoy of the President of Russia visited Pakistan in May 2012. Putin himself accepted the invitation to come to Pakistan for a bilateral meeting in Islamabad, prior to the IV quadrilateral meeting on Afghanistan. The meeting was to be held in Islamabad on 26-27 September 2012 with the participation of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Russia. 

A new strategic partnership is brewing in the region. The meeting was indeed held, however, Russian president because of his pressing engagements at home, could not attend as expected.

Pakistan was one of three countries that officially recognized the power of Taliban movement in Afghanistan. There is no logic in the decision of the USA to make Pakistan its ally after 9/11. Indeed, Afghanistan and Pakistan are two brotherly nations. Ten billion dollars that the States invested in Pakistan’s economy during ten years are not enough to make the country “sell and destroy itself,” as then Pakistani Minister of Science and Technology Azam Khan Swati said.

In case of partnership with Pakistan, Russia could take control of the logistics of the U.S. military bases in Afghanistan. Russia already controls the Northern Distribution Network in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan that border on Afghanistan. If we add the southern routes from Karachi to Chaman and Torkham, then all deliveries will have to be coordinated through the Russian-Pakistani alliance.

If this scenario becomes reality, Russia will obtain enormous leverage over the United States. In one full sweep, it will remove the Mideastern loop, which can not be tightened today just because of Iran. What is more, Russia will receive access to the Indian Ocean through the Arabian Sea and the ports of Gwadar or Karachi and then to the Strait of Hormuz, bypassing the alliance with Iran, which is not beneficial for Russia now.

In addition, Pakistan has been an observer at the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization – a regional international organization, founded in 2001 by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan) since 2005. One could go further on the geopolitical level, and make the country a permanent member of the SCO. Given that Afghanistan, India and Iran also look for partnerships in the bloc, one should welcome them as members too. The U.S. would thus face a dilemma: either give away South Asia to the SCO (to Russia and China that is) or try to retain the region at all costs.

With Pakistan’s help, Russia would be able to control terrorist activities in Central Asia. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) is the largest Islamist political organization in Central Asia. It is present in Afghanistan on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border, and Pakistan’s role could be crucial in the fight against this menace.

The Commander of Pakistan Air Force, Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, visited Russia in August. He told Thenews.com.pk portal that “it was a great visit with a positive result, and we can expect closer cooperation with Russia in the field of defense, particularly air defense.” According to experts, Pakistan is interested in buying Mi-35 attack helicopters, Mi-17 transport helicopters, engines for JF-17 program, missile defense systems, submarines and so on.

Russia made another thoughtful decision as it offered Pakistan help in solving the country’s energy crisis. Gazprom is ready to invest in Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline, rather than in the risky TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India), which has the support of the United States. In addition, Russia’s Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Factory (MMK), with 75 percent of shares, will help expand the capabilities of Pakistan Steel Mills from 1 million to 3 million tons of production a year. Pakistan, in turn, can provide access to mineral resources in Balochistan and the Thar coal deposit.

It is important to remember that Pakistan sits on the crossroads of east to west and north to south trade corridors, including the new Silk Road Project in South Asia, which the Americans cherish. Russia needs to firmly define its economic priorities and defend them strongly. If the resources are not needed, then one should keep the transportation routes of those resources under control. A mega breakthrough is possible in the future: the “Persian Gulf – Bering Strait” railroad. The road will cross the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Turksib and the Trans-Asian Railway from China to Europe.
Pravda.Ru

Previous:Russia – Pakistan: the Way is Open for New Projects

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Analysis of Pak-Russia relations (Urdu Column)
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Russia – Pakistan: the Way is Open for New Projects


Following withdrawal of the majority of NATO troops from Afghanistan in 2014, there will remain approximately 10,000 American servicemen (as of 1 January 2013, there were 66,000 American soldiers and officers in the country).
The American contingent staying on in Afghanistan will, just as before, need supplies of food, fuel and other products and these will be delivered to Afghanistan via tried and tested routes – through Pakistan and Russia. This means that the coordination of actions between Moscow and Islamabad is also important from this angle…
In general, improving relations between Russia and Pakistan could have a positive influence on the situation both in Afghanistan itself and in Central Asia.
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BREAKTHROUGH IN RUSSIA PAKISTAN  RELATIONS ON THE ANVIL

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by Sergey Kamenev

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At the start of February this year, a trilateral meeting between the presidents of Pakistan, Afghanistan and British prime minister dealing with the situation in Afghanistan came to an end in London. The outcome of the meeting was an agreement for a strategic Pakistan-Afghanistan partnership.

Following the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan in 2014, close cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad will have a decisive influence on the situation in Afghanistan.

For Russia, the importance of relations with Pakistan is already on the increase, if only the involvement Afghanistan in drug trafficking is considered, as the bulk of the drugs ends up in Russia and the rest goes to Europe. 

Following the withdrawal of the majority of NATO troops from Afghanistan in 2014, there will remain approximately 10,000 American servicemen (as of 1 January 2013, there were 66,000 American soldiers and officers in the country). The American contingent staying on in Afghanistan will, just as before, need supplies of food, fuel and other products and these will be delivered to Afghanistan via tried and tested routes – through Pakistan and Russia. This means that the coordination of actions between Moscow and Islamabad is also important from this angle… In general, improving relations between Russia and Pakistan could have a positive influence on the situation both in Afghanistan itself and in Central Asia.

Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan head of states meeting in Sochi, August 2010

A breakthrough in relations between Russia and Pakistan was made possible by the annual quadrilateral summits between Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia and Tajikistan, which included bilateral meetings between the presidents of Russia and Pakistan. Initially (in Tajikistan, 2009), an expansion of Russia-Pakistan cooperation was reflected in the establishment of more trusting relationships at a higher level, the signing of several memorandums of mutual understanding and a number of other specific agreements.

Even at that time, substantial discussions were under way at a meeting in Dushanbe between the presidents of Russia and Pakistan regarding the possibility of a concerted combat against drug trafficking (including the direct and active participation of Afghanistan in this process), terrorism and extremism, the involvement of Gazprom in Pakistani energy projects, the possibility of developing regional trade, the creation of a favourable investment climate and a number of other issues.

The expansion of bilateral relations continued at a similar summit in Sochi in August 2010. At that time during bilateral meetings between the presidents of Russia and Pakistan, opportunities to collaborate in the financial sector were explored (the opening of branches of Russian banks in Pakistan and Pakistani banks in Russia), the admission of Pakistani students to study in Russia and many others.

Russia and Pakistan seem to have realised their mutual role in resolving the issues plaguing the region. Pakistan also sems to be contemplating on the way to lessen her reliance on America and to diversify its support base among the powerful states in the region.

Most important, however, was the decision to hold the first meeting of the Russia-Pakistan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation in September 2010, which took place as planned. On the Russian side, the commission is headed by the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy, V.L. Mutko, while the Pakistani side at that time was headed by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar.

The agenda for the 4th quadrilateral summit in Islamabad (2-3 October 2012) included, at the top of the list, discussions regarding the domestic political situation in Afghanistan. However, the meeting was cancelled several days before it was due to start as V.V. Putin was unable to attend the “Dushanbe Four” summit in Islamabad. After the quick cancellation of the summit on 2-3 October 2012, the government of Pakistan diplomatically expressed hope that the Russian president would nevertheless still have the opportunity to visit Pakistan.

As such, there was much speculation in the media that the “Indian factor” had played a major role in the cancellation of V.V. Putin’s visit to Pakistan, with reports that Moscow continues to look at Pakistan through Indian eyes. However, in our opinion, Russia-Pakistan relations will increasingly develop no matter what. All the prerequisites are present for this and there is no doubt that it will have a positive impact on the general situation in Central Asia and on the situation in Afghanistan and surrounding areas.

In this context, a particular mention needs to be made of the relations between the military leaders of the two countries i.e. the visit made to Moscow at the beginning of October 2012 by virtually the most important military official in Pakistan, Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army. During hisvisit, talks took place between General Kayani [COAS Pakistan] and his Russian counterpart, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces Colonel General A.N. Postnikov, as well as the-then Chief of the General Staff N.E. Makarov. A meeting was also held between the Pakistani military leader and the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defence, V.P. Komoedov. It is possible to suppose that one of the main subjects of the talks was Afghanistan.

The arrival of Air Marshal Tahir Rafiq Butt, chief of the Pakistan Air Force, in Moscow in August 2012 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Russian Air Force also indicates that there are real prospects for military-technical cooperation between Russia and Pakistan. According to Russian experts, at the first stage this cooperation could well be developed within the framework of supplies of Russian dual-use technologies to Pakistan, for example heavy-duty trucks (which can transport both soil and troops across rough terrain, if and when required).

There has already been similar cooperation in the history of Russia-Pakistan relations. Alternatively, the supply of civilian helicopters (which has also happened in the past), are comparatively easy to convert into military transport helicopters.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with his Pakistani counterpart Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar in Moscow, February 2012

It should also be noted that during the visit made by the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister S.V. Lavrov to Pakistan at the beginning of October 2012, three Memorandums of Mutual Understanding were signed – in the areas of metallurgy, energy production and railroad transportation.

There is no doubt that the talks held between the prime ministers of Russia and Pakistan at the beginning of November 2012 in Laos as part of the “Asia-Europe” summit will also promote the development of cooperation between Russia and Pakistan. An unconventional document was signed following the meeting – a Decree on the willingness to sign a Memorandum of Mutual Understanding to modernise a Pakistani metallurgical plant.

During the course of the talks, the heads of the two countries’ governments referred to the trade figure for 2011 (348 million dollars) and expressed regret that this was 40% lower than before the financial crisis (prior to 2008); at that time, the volume of bilateral trade had amounted to approximately 570 million dollars. At a meeting of the Business Council for Cooperation with Pakistan held at the end of December 2012, meanwhile, it was noted that according to preliminary figures, the volume of trade between Russia and Pakistan had shown a steady upward trend overall and in 2012 had reached 660 million dollars. In our view, however, this figure is far from the total wealth of existing possibilities.
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The contours of the geopolitical situation in Asia are literally changing before our very eyes. Large areas of intergovernmental cooperation that convey the ideas of a Greater East Asia and a Central East Asia macro region are taking shape. At an organisational level, this is reflected in the stepping up of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

We would like to quote a few words from one of the leading Russian experts on Southern and Central Asia, Professor Vyacheslav Belokrenitsky, who as much as five years ago wrote that, firstly, “strengthening Russia-Pakistan relations would enable Moscow to equalise their chances with China’s in a multilateral dialogue on the expanses of Central and Eastern Asia. Secondly, it would enable Russia to make it clear to India that the time has passed, first and foremost, for its interests in terms of Russia’s priorities regarding South Asia to be taken into account.

If New Delhi is going to strengthen its strategic partnership with the United States by entering into an exclusive long-lasting peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement with them and opening up the way for cooperation with the West in the military-technical sphere, can it rely on the fact that Russia will still refrain from military cooperation with Pakistan that would be to Russia’s advantage?

The point here, of course, is not that the vector of Moscow’s military-technical cooperation itself will change, but that the implementation of certain corrections is possible and even necessary”.

In short, the way for the implementation of new projects between Russia and Pakistan is open. From the point of view of the needs of the Pakistan economy, cooperation with Russia would be most productive in the infrastructure, in energy production, including atomic energy, and in the sectors of communication, metallurgy, irrigation and amelioration. Here is something for both Islamabad and Moscow to think about.

Professor Sergey Kamenev is Director of the Centre for Pakistan Studies, in Moscow, Russia.

Next:: Pakistan can make Russia Queen of Asia

Previous:Pak–Russia Relations

Related Article:

Analysis of Pak-Russia relations (Urdu Column)
Source   Title image   Image next
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author (s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statement / s contained in this post.
Wonders of Pakistan supports freedom of expression and this commitment extends to our readers as well. Constraints however, apply in case of a violation of WoP Comments Policy. We also moderate hate speech, libel and gratuitous insults.

YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT

We at Wonders of Pakistan use copyrighted material the use of which may not have always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” only. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.


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