The Great Game- Renewed – I.5


“Tim Osman” was the name assigned to Osama bin Laden by the CIA for his tour of the U.S. and U.S. military bases, in search of political support and armaments. […] There is some evidence that Tim Osman … visited the White House. There is certainty that Tim Osman toured some U.S. military bases, even receiving special demonstrations of the latest equipment. Why hasn’t this been reported in the major media…? The answer is that the US is now obsessed by the Afghan war i.e. operation Geronimo, and therefore the western media too put a blind eye to OBL’s days with the CIA.
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AND FINALLY…

THE BEAR TRAP IS SPRUNG

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by Hassan Rizvi

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He allowed a free hand to the CIA approved Wahabi Islamic doctrine to gain a firm foothold in Pakistan. Passing pro-Islamic legislation, he allowed FIB (Faisal Islamic bank) to start Islamic banking systems, and created Islamic courts. Most importantly, he imposed a new religious tax which was used to create tens of thousands of madrassas, or religious boarding schools, where “Islamic text books’ printed in USA and approved by CIA were taught. These schools would be used to train and indoctrinate a large portion of future Islamic militants using courses developed in the USA.

“Radical Islamist ideology began to permeate the military and the influence of the most extreme groups crept into the army,” writes journalist Kathy Gannon in her book ‘I is for Infidel’. The BBC later commented that Zia’s “Islamization” policies created a “culture of jihad” within Pakistan that continues until present day. Meanwhile ISI took over to continue the field work and launched a massive campaign of terrorism, assassinating hundreds of teachers and civil servants in Afghanistan.” (more…)

The Great Game – Renewed – I.4


At its peak, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) was the seventh largest private bank in the world. However, during the mid-1980s the bank was reportedly involved in  activities which included money laundering, drug money, and dubious account holders. It is also said that the CIA used accounts at the BCCI to fund the Afghan Mujahideen during their war with the Soviet Union in the 1980s.
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THE RISE OF BCCI

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by Hassan Rizvi

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Adham, and other intelligence heads worked with Abedi to contrive “a plan that seemed too good to be true. The bank (BCCI) would solicit the business of every major intelligence – and therefore terrorist, rebel, and underground – organization in the free world. The intelligence collected – and links forged in the process – would be shared with these ‘friends’ of BCCI.” CIA operative Raymond Close worked closely with Adham during the Congressional inquiry years to help identify and tap “into CIA’s hordes of misfits and malcontents to help man a 1,500-strong group of assassins and enforcers.”

[Right: Late Agha Hassan Abedi, Founder of  the BCCI]

Soon, BCCI became the fastest growing bank in the world. Time magazine would later describe BCCI as not just a bank, but also “a global intelligence operation and a Mafia-like enforcement squad. Operating primarily out of the bank’s offices in Karachi, Pakistan; the 1,500-employee network had used sophisticated spy equipment and techniques, along with bribery, extortion, kidnapping and even, by some accounts, murder. It stops at almost nothing to further the bank’s aims the world over.”

Saudi Prince Mohammed al-Faisal also set up Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt (FIBE) as part of the banking empire. The “Blind Sheikh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman was one of its founding members. Growth of Islamic banking would directly help the growth of the Islamist movements, and allow the Saudis to pressure poorer Islamic nations, like Egypt, to shift their policies to the right. FIBE worked closely with BCCI. Investigators would later find that BCCI held $589 million in “unrecorded deposits,” $245 million of which were placed with FIBE!

BCCI at a later stage was also ‘discovered’ to be deeply implicated in illegal arms and narcotics trade .But all this was to happen way in the future, when CIA wanted to get back into the driving seat! (more…)

The Great Game- Renewed – I.3



The Soviet backed coup in Afghanistan gave birth to Afghan militancy followed by Soviet attempts to destabilize Balochistan. A natural consequence should have been the involvement of the USA and CIA on the Pakistani side in a communistic vs. free world conflict as was the norms of the time; more so as both sides were Muslims. Yet two developments on the inter –national stage were to give it an irretrievable ‘Wahabi’ luster which US supported & this ‘Wahabi’ militancy continues to this day. The first was the vast growth in Saudi wealth due to sharp rise in oil prices. The second was the castration of CIA as a result of post Watergate repercussions!
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THE BIRTH OF MILITANCY INSIDE AFGHANISTAN / PAKISTAN

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by Hassan Rizvi

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In 1973 Prince Daud staged a Soviet assisted coup to oust King Zahir Shah. The Daud regime not only raised the issue of Pashtunistan (Afghans claims to Pakistani provinces of NWFP and Balochistan), but also for the first time moved the Afghan army closer to the borders. More importantly KHAD the Afghan Intelligence agency (aided and abetted by the Russian KGB and Indian RAW as all three were allied in those days) used several Pakistani tribal leaders (Sardars) to start an uprising in the tribal areas of Balochistan and parts of NWFP.

Z.A. Bhutto’s government retaliated by supporting the disenchanted elements within Afghanistan. These included Burhanuddin Rabbani, Ahmad Shah Masud and Gulbadin Hikmatyar. Thus relations in the 1970s began with each country supporting the other’s dissidents on a purely nationalistic agenda on a quid pro quo basis; and till the mid-70’s Pakistan army was busy fighting a bitter insurgency in the province of Balochistan – with the help of it’s ‘Militants’ within Afghanistan. There was no question of an Islamic Jihadi motivational base for either; as ‘enemies’ of both sides were Muslim. As we shall see this was to come much later when the CIA would conceive the theory of turning ‘Afghan militants’ into ‘Islamic militants’ for use against the ‘USSR’. (more…)

The Great Game – Renewed – I.2


In 1893 the British created the “Durand line” as a buffer between the Czars and the British Empire. After the British departure Kabul refused to recognize Pakistan, challenging the legitimacy of its borders. India jumped in, to encourage Afghan claims – supported by its ally the USSR. Despite the tension in its Frontier province, Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah had already pulled out troops from the Pashtun areas, confident that Pakistan had the allegiance of the tribes. Subsequent events were to prove him correct. Aslam Khattak then first secretary and later ambassador in Kabul even started a proposal for a Pakistan-Afghan confederation. Both sides agreed to work for a confederation in which the two regions would be autonomous in all matters, except for defence, foreign policy, foreign trade and communications.
IMAGE ABOVE:PAKISTAN AFGHANISTAN BORDER NEAR CHAMAN (BALOCHISTAN) EPA/OLIVIER MATTHYS
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AFGHANISTANPAKISTAN FRICTION

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by Hassan Rizvi

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             ♦     A Wider Northern By-Pass (Route 3)

Russia has proposed exporting oil north to join its existing pipeline system at Novorossiysk .This development would remove the pipeline further from Chechnya and help maintain regular flow of Caspian Sea and Kazakh oil.

            ♦      The Trans Caucasus Route (Route 4)

The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) built an initial line from Baku through Georgia to the Georgian port of Supsa on the Black Sea. It is pumping a limited amount of oil since l999.This is relatively an inexpensive option, but the oil still has to move from Supsa by oil tankers through the Black Sea and the Bosporus. Turkey controls the traffic between the Black and Mediterranean Seas and does not want increased oil tanker traffic through the straits because of environmental concerns. Russia objects to this route because none of the pipeline passes through Russia. Further, this pipeline runs through domains of many fractious mountain tribes. (more…)