The Great Game– Renewed – I.1


Lord Curzon famously stated “who ever controls West Asia, controls the world”. In his view this entailed the exercise of a predominant influence over the destinies of Persia and Afghanistan – a role he reserved for British India.
·

BIRTH OF RADICAL ISLAMIST MILITANCY

·

by Hassan Rizvi

·

Today we have many nations desperate to acquire that role? NATO and ISAF led by the USA, fighting Al-Qaeda and the Pakhtuns (Taliban). Even Russia and China are not ignoring their strategic interests in the area; and of course the traditional rivals India and Pakistan always ready to fight a proxy war in Afghanistan. This article –and a few others to follow- will look at the issues at stake today – primarily from Pakistan’s point of view. But first an over view of the make up and strategic importance of Central Asia.

CENTRAL ASIAN DEMOGRAPHY

Once upon a time not so long ago the world’s biggest Empire possessed unimaginable land, wealth and potential. However, lacking the vision to manage what it possessed; it chose the wrong friends and made the wrong enemies resulting in an inevitable humiliation at the hands of a ‘despicable band of holy warriors’. China which should have been it’s biggest helper lifted not a finger to assist; and India which should have been it’s biggest friend shed not a single tear -in fact jumped on to the opposing band wagon with glee. (more…)

America’s “Islamists” Go Where Oilmen Fear to Tread


Unlike this image, where you can easily recognize the wolf in a sheep’ cloak, the science of propaganda, psyops and killings through conventional as well as ultra modern weapons has been perfected to such an extent that it’s difficult to differentiate between terrorism and its victims. Wolves as sheep and the sheep have been turned into monsters.
·

by Peter Chamberlain

·

By following the trail of militant terrorists US forces and American interests have gained access deep in Central Asia, where oil companies have had little luck gaining a foothold on their own.

To students of American foreign policy in Afghanistan and throughout the world, it is common knowledge that the United States military and Central Intelligence often act in a manner that is contradictory to the words of American leaders. (more…)

Ex-ISI Chief Says Purpose of New Afghan Intelligence Agency RAMA Is ‘to destabilize Pakistan


Lt. Gen. Retired Hamid Gul

by Jeremy R. Hammond


[Note for WoP readers: Gen. Hamid Gul, the former head of Pakistan’s ISI, has been a key player of once the US-Pakistani covert operations in Afghanistan. At that time all three actors on the Afghan stage, the US, Pakistan and the Mujahideen, were all united against the Soviets.
Gen. Hamid Gul’s views on US involvement in Afghanistan during the Afghan resistance, the Pakistani support to the Mujahideen, the 9/11 tragedy (which he quite frequently refers to “as an inside job”) are already well known. We covered his two previous sessions, one with Alex Jones (here, here, here and the other with Ahmed Quraishi already in our issues of April and June 2009.
The most startling part, however, of his current interview to Jeremy R. Hammond of Foreign Policy Journal is his disclosure on record production of opium in today’s Afghanistan, right under the nose of US and NATO forces as well as the puppet regime of Hamid Karzai, all going unchecked!
When he describes the involvement of President’s brother Ahmad Wali Karzai, who is also the governor of Kandahar province, his wheeling dealing in poppy trade, one cannot overlook the role of White House staffers in propping up a regime that from head to toe is smeared in the sleaze of Afghanistan’s narco trade.
Another sensation is his statement that heroin is being smuggled out of Afghanistan in jet aircrafts as well. Now this is a very serious issue; not even a warlord or a narco smuggler would dare or afford to indulge in such an operation. Obviously this can happen only under the protection and or with the connivance of the regime in power. Question now arises: who benefits from this large scale production and smuggling of poppy thing from Afghanistan, the Taliban or the regime or the forces that oppose them? Go through the following post and you will get the answer from none else than General Gul himself. Nayyar]
In his current interview with Foreign Policy Journal, retired Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul responds to charges that he supports terrorism, discusses 9/11 and ulterior motives for the war on Afghanistan, claims that the U.S., Israel, and India are behind efforts to destabilize Pakistan, and charges the U.S. and its allies with responsibility for the lucrative Afghan drug trade.
Retired Lieutenant General Hamid Gul was the Director General of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from 1987 to 1989, during which time he worked closely with the CIA to provide support for the mujahedeen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Though once deemed a close ally of the United States, in more recent years his name has been the subject of considerable controversy. He has been outspoken with the claim that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were an “inside job”. He has been called “the most dangerous man in Pakistan”, and the U.S. government has accused him of supporting the Taliban, even recommending him to the United Nations Security Council for inclusion on the list of international terrorists.
In an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy Journal, I asked the former ISI chief what his response was to these allegations. He replied, “Well, it’s laughable I would say, because I’ve worked with the CIA and I know they were never so bad as they are now.” He said this was “a pity for the American people” since the CIA is supposed to act “as the eyes and ears” of the country. As for the charge of him supporting the Taliban, “it is utterly baseless. I have no contact with the Taliban, nor with Osama bin Laden and his colleagues.” He added, “I have no means, I have no way that I could support them, that I could help them.”
After the Clinton administration’s failed attempt to assassinate Osama bin Laden in 1998, some U.S. officials alleged that bin Laden had been tipped off by someone in Pakistan to the fact that the U.S. was able to track his movements through his satellite phone. Counter-terrorism advisor to the National Security Council Richard Clarke said, “I have reason to believe that a retired head of the ISI was able to pass information along to Al Qaeda that the attack was coming.” And some have speculated that this “retired head of the ISI” was none other than Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul.
When I put this charge to him, General Gul pointed out to me that he had retired from the ISI on June 1, 1989, and from the army in January, 1992. “Did you share this information with the ISI?” he asked. “And why haven’t you taken the ISI to task for parting this information to its ex-head?” The U.S. had not informed the Pakistan army chief, Jehangir Karamat, of its intentions, he said. So how could he have learned of the plan to be able to warn bin Laden? “Do I have a mole in the CIA? If that is the case, then they should look into the CIA to carry out a probe, find out the mole, rather than trying to charge me. I think these are all baseless charges, and there’s no truth in it…. And if they feel that their failures are to be rubbed off on somebody else, then I think they’re the ones who are guilty, not me.”
General Gul turned our conversation to the subject of 9/11 and the war on Afghanistan. “You know, my position is very clear,” he said. “It’s a moral position that I have taken. And I say that America has launched this aggression without sufficient reasons. They haven’t even proved the case that 9/11 was done by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.” He argued that “There are many unanswered questions about 9/11,” citing examples such as the failure to intercept any of the four planes after it had become clear that they had been hijacked. He questioned how Mohammed Atta, “who had had training on a light aircraft in Miami for six months” could have maneuvered a jumbo jet “so accurately” to hit his target (Atta was reportedly the hijacker in control of American Airlines Flight 11, which was the first plane to hit its target, striking the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 am). And he made reference to the flight that hit the Pentagon and the maneuver its pilot had performed, dropping thousands of feet while doing a near 360 degree turn before plowing into its target. “And then, above all,” he added, “why have no heads been rolled? The FBI, the CIA, the air traffic control — why have they not been put to question, put to task?” Describing the 9/11 Commission as a “cover up”, the general added, “I think the American people have been made fools of. I have my sympathies with them. I like Americans. I like America. I appreciate them. I’ve gone there several times.”
At this point in our discussion, General Gul explained how both the U.S. and United Kingdom stopped granting him an entry visa. He said after he was banned from the U.K., “I wrote a letter to the British government, through the High Commissioner here in Islamabad, asking ‘Why do you think that — if I’m a security risk, then it is paradoxical that you should exclude me from your jurisdiction. You should rather nab me, interrogate me, haul me up, take me to the court, whatever you like. I mean, why are you excluding me from the U.K., it’s not understandable.’ I did not receive a reply to that.” He says he sent a second letter inviting the U.K. to send someone to question him in Pakistan, if they had questions about him they wanted to know. If the U.S. wants to include him on the list of international terrorists, Gul reasons, “I am still prepared to let them grant me the visa. And I will go…. If they think that there is something very seriously wrong with me, why don’t you give me the visa and catch me then?”

(more…)