Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Terrorists Want to Destroy Pakistan, Too

Op-Ed Contributor

Published: December 8, 2008, NY Times.

Islamabad, Pakistan

THE recent death and destruction in Mumbai, India, brought to my mind the death and destruction in Karachi on Oct. 18, 2007, when terrorists attacked a festive homecoming rally for my wife, Benazir Bhutto. Nearly 150 Pakistanis were killed and more than 450 were injured. The terrorist attacks in Mumbai may be a news story for most of the world. For me it is a painful reality of shared experience. Having seen my wife escape death by a hairbreadth on that day in Karachi, I lost her in a second, unfortunately successful, attempt two months later.

The Mumbai attacks were directed not only at India but also at Pakistan’s new democratic government and the peace process with India that we have initiated. Supporters of authoritarianism in Pakistan and non-state actors with a vested interest in perpetuating conflict do not want change in Pakistan to take root.

To foil the designs of the terrorists, the two great nations of Pakistan and India, born together from the same revolution and mandate in 1947, must continue to move forward with the peace process. Pakistan is shocked at the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. We can identify with India’s pain. I am especially empathetic. I feel this pain every time I look into the eyes of my children.

Pakistan is committed to the pursuit, arrest, trial and punishment of anyone involved in these heinous attacks. But we caution against hasty judgments and inflammatory statements. As was demonstrated in Sunday’s raids, which resulted in the arrest of militants, Pakistan will take action against the non-state actors found within our territory, treating them as criminals, terrorists and murderers. Not only are the terrorists not linked to the government of Pakistan in any way, we are their targets and we continue to be their victims.

India is a mature nation and a stable democracy. Pakistanis appreciate India’s democratic contributions. But as rage fueled by the Mumbai attacks catches on, Indians must pause and take a breath. India and Pakistan — and the rest of the world — must work together to track down the terrorists who caused mayhem in Mumbai, attacked New York, London and Madrid in the past, and destroyed the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in September. The terrorists who killed my wife are connected by ideology to these enemies of civilization.

These militants did not arise from whole cloth. Pakistan was an ally of the West throughout the cold war. The world worked to exploit religion against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan by empowering the most fanatic extremists as an instrument of destruction of a superpower. The strategy worked, but its legacy was the creation of an extremist militia with its own dynamic. ... more ...

Asif Ali Zardari is the president of Pakistan.


So the President of Pakistan all but admits the attacks were carried out from Pakistani soil, attempts to gain sympathy over his wife's murder in the effort to appear in the same boat as the Indians, and that some mysterious Pakistani non-state actors are to blame quoting the arrests in Muzaffarabad.

Pakistanis simply had to arrest 'someone'. Perceptions are more powerful than reality. If perceptions say Pakistanis must have done it, then Pakistan has to show it's doing something about it to avoid war. These arrests appear no more than that.

Let's see if any proof is presented. Right now the Indians are stumbling along changing stories every other day. Latest was the attackers left a sack of Pakistani flour, a satellite phone with Pakistani numbers on it, and unbelievably some rolls of Pakistani toilet paper in the abandoned boat. I know they wouldn't have much use for a sack of flour and toilet paper on a suicide mission but a satellite phone?

Re: "The terrorists who killed my wife are connected by ideology to these enemies of civilization."

Mr. Zardari not very long ago when asked by a reporter "Who killed your wife?" during a press conference at the Nawaz Sharif Ranch in Lahore, replied with great finality while staring down the reporter "The same people who killed her father."

It wasn't known till now that terrorists killed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

Why can't the Pakistani State come right out and say what Tariq Ali says in conclusion on Counterpunch, and which infinitely makes more sense:

The Assault on Mumbai

Why should it be such a surprise if the perpetrators are themselves Indian Muslims? Its hardly a secret that there has been much anger within the poorest sections of the Muslim community against the systematic discrimination and acts of violence carried out against them of which the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in shining Gujarat was only the most blatant and the most investigated episode, supported by the Chief Minister of the State and the local state apparatuses.

Add to this the continuing sore of Kashmir which has for decades been treated as a colony by Indian troops with random arrests, torture and rape of Kashmiris an everyday occurrence. Conditions have been much worse than in Tibet, but have aroused little sympathy in the West where the defense of human rights is heavily instrumentalised.

Indian intelligence outfits are well aware of all this and they should not encourage the fantasies of their political leaders. Its best to come out and accept that there are severe problems inside the country. A billion Indians: 80 percent Hindus and 14 percent Muslims. A very large minority that cannot be ethnically cleansed without provoking a wider conflict.

None of this justifies terrorism, but it should, at the very least, force India’s rulers to direct their gaze on their own country and the conditions that prevail. Economic disparities are profound. The absurd notion that the trickle-down effects of global capitalism would solve most problems can now be seen for what it always was: a fig leaf to conceal new modes of exploitation.


Majumdar said...

Zee sahib,

It wasn't known till now that terrorists killed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

I am surprised that you of all people are making this comment. Surely you wud agree that regardless of who actually pulled the trigger the real culprit are the ones who commissioned these pawns. They are the same ones (ESTABLISHMENT) who killed ZAB too.

Re: Tariq Ali's comments

if the perpetrators are themselves Indian Muslims?

Of course, there were local IMs who wud have enabled the attacks. But the ones who carried out the attacks or at least those who trained them were from Pak. The kind of training that these guys had cud not have been obtained in India.

Its best to come out and accept that there are severe problems inside the country.

Of course, this part is correct. India has serious issues (Hindoo-Muslim conflict, caste issues, Naxalites problem) pertaining mainly to unequal economic growth and denial of justice and this has to be addressed post haste.


PS: Eid Mubarak to you, Amin sahib and all your families.

poppy said...

if zardari all but admits according to contrarian, though i did not see any mention of pakistanis specifically there ...
many were trained by the US and allied agencies in palistan and many of them were non pakistanis ... whos progenies have spread all over ...
i dont even see any point in quoting zardari here ...
so far as tariq ali and his likes go i think all seem to be deliberatly ignoring the reality that pakistan is the one of the biggest muslim colony being ruled by proxys worse than the the previous masters since independence ...
and so is the hindu majority in india and other such artificially carved up holes we call independent nation states of today ...
majority in this context is a misnomer ...
the fact is its the majority in all nations who suffer the most and those are the poor n downtrodden no matter what religion or creed ...
its the minority which always rules everywhere ...

Zeemax said...


ZAB was removed from power in 1977 and placed on trial for murder. The Afghan war hadn't even started by then.

I agree with the Pakistan training link.

Eid Mubarak to you and your family as well. Thanks.

Zeemax said...

poppy, (The Afghan variety? :)

if zardari all but admits according to contrarian, though i did not see any mention of pakistanis specifically there ...

Para #4 of the article is referred.

many were trained by the US and allied agencies in palistan and many of them were non pakistanis ... whos progenies have spread all over ...

I really don't know when we will stop flogging the dead horse of the erstwhile CIA sponsored Afghan Jihad. The fighters of that time are either now retired 'uncles', or dead.

As for their progeny, these are the neo-Taliban which took birth after the 2001 Afghan invasion. Its birth had nothing to do with CIA.

ISI then, one may argue, but I fail to see why ISI would create a force first and then fight the same losing 1100 of its regular soldiers. Do you?

poppy said...

1100? just check the specifics of that number and ull find out what i meant by the poor n downtrodden majority in my first comment ...
u'll find foot soldiers trying to make a living with the only job they are given ...
and for once zeemax ... lets see what u have to say about what isi is in your minds eye ... then maybe we can talk about what they can or cant do ...
and try to be as thourough as u can as to its catalysts, progenitors, inception, wings, offsprings and its heirchical structure in case u know ...
should be enlightening for us all ...

Majumdar said...

The Afghan war hadn't even started by then.

You misunderstand me, sir. It is your belief isnt it that BB was done in by the Establishment (aka Pak Army under Gen Mush). Another Gen (Zia) got rid of ZAB. The purpose of both assassinations was to crush democracy, the A-factor was irrelevant.


Zeemax said...


The number of 1100 is quoted by ISPR itself, and all these are soldiers. Of-course soldiers have to fight wherever these are deployed. There's no question of being poor or downtrodden as excuse. Officers have been killed too in this conflict.

... what u have to say about what isi is in your minds eye ...

ISI is a Division of the Pakistan Army and not a separate entity apart from the Army. Postings to ISI are made on a rotation basis from the pool of serving servicemen and officers who go back to regular duties after finishing their tenures. The ISI is headed by a Director General who is a serving Lieutenant General and many have been Corps Commanders before or after their ISI postings. ISI has four sub-divisions each headed by a Major General in the same manner.

Thus, ISI is not any renegade organization, nor can there be any renegade elements in it. It is the Pakistan Army without distinction, and whatever it does is upon clear instructions of the Army Chief or the President through consent of the Army Chief.

What else Sir?

Zeemax said...


It is your belief isnt it that BB was done in by the Establishment (aka Pak Army under Gen Mush).

When did I say that? I have always said whoever did her in was much more powerful than Musharraf or the bureaucratic establishment or even the Pakistan Army. After appearance of the 'will' and particularly following Khalid Shahnshah's targeted killing, I'm convinced Zardari had an implicit role in it, if not as a perpetrator but certainly as an abettor.

Now Zardari wrote "The terrorists who killed my wife are connected by ideology to these enemies of civilization."

Guess you missed that hence your observation. Certainly you don't believe the establishment which killed ZAB was connected by ideology to these 'enemies of civilization'.

Another Gen (Zia) got rid of ZAB. The purpose of both assassinations was to crush democracy, the A-factor was irrelevant.

No Sir. Zia got rid of ZAB because of his strategic shift away from USA (of since Liaquat Ali Khan's time) towards China and the OIC. Nuclear program was another. Democracy had nothing to do with it.

After all, there is a democracy now, and had been throughout the 90s as long as Pakistan remained a firm US ally. None of these were removed by even the Army except Musharraf's coup which even came as a surprise to Clinton.

pavocavalry said...













Having said that the next 5 years would be very dangerous.Events would move very fast.So fast that decision makers will be at a loss what to do.

I met a senior ex agency boss recently .He was convinced that Usama Bin Laden was a US agent .While he confessed that Taliban were a Pakistan run show .
Pakistan is the problem as far as the USA is concerned and the best bet for USA is India.India offers a cheap armed forces to achieve US objectives.The Bombay blast is a work of agent provocateurs.

Zeemax said...


Many of your comments are same as Zaid Hamid. Others are same as Hameed Gul. Yet you're a solid left-leaning liberal thinker. How's that?

Just wondering :)

Majumdar said...

Amin sahib,

Honestly I dont think any war is going to happen. Becuase if push comes to shove nukes will be up. India may win but have 50-100 mn casualties and will be finished as an economic entity. And even USA wouldnt want that to happen, it needs a healthy India as a counter to China.

Besides, neither USA and more importantly India would want Pakistan to disappear. From India's POV Pakistan serves an important purpose- it keeps almost 150 million Muslims outside (political) India's border and provides a buffer against Central Asian madness.

More likely than a war, India-US wud pressurise the civilian admin to dismantle the Jihadi apparatus and give up its revisionist aims. A somewhat disarmed and stable Pakistan wud be far more useful from both India and USA's POV


pavocavalry said...

USA has been a very reactionary power always.the leftists cannot forgive it for sabotaging the USSR by starting an arms race right from 1945.The USSR was a great social experiment.

The USA thinks that Pakistan will not use nuclear weapons.Its logical but in war even the illogical occurs .And often chances of that are higher.

Yes India does not want to occupy Pakistan but it wants a weak Pakistan with no nuclear weapons.With semi autonomous states.A Pakistan which India can kick at will.

All understandable objectives.But can they be achieved.Thats the dangerous question.

Having said that USA has some very stupid thinkers who think that Pakistan can be denuclearised the way they are trying.Historically Americans have been naieve in their strategic thinking.As a result their policy is manipulated by Polish Americans,Jewish Americans and Armenian Americans and now as you have seen Afghan Americans and Arab Americans.All these clowns had a vested interest and in forming US policy they damaged USA in reality.Zalmay was diasastorous in Afghanistan.Chalabi was a fiasco in Iraq.Brezinski thinks like a Pole.A naieve Pole.He only hates the Russians.But the USA has to think above that.The Jews in reality rogered by Germans just want to destroy the Muslims.This makes US policy rabid,illogical and not in larger interest of USA.

Now in Pakistan USA is relying on change through internal political subversion.Thus they think that they will denuclearise Pakistan in next 5 to 10 years without a war through internal betrayal and then through Indian cheap manpower and through internal sabotage using MQM and BLA and Pashtun nationalists.All this is achievable but what if there is military coup in Pakistan or if the non state actors go out of control.

As I see it in the end the USA will be exhausted and will be the loser and China and Russia will be the gainers.I must find a Russian wife in advance or should it be an Israeli one !

Zeemax said...


Excellent comment. I fully agree! I wish you'ld write more in such detail and with clear thoughts & expression.

As for the choice between a Russian wife or Israeli, as we used to say in school:

"Crore Ruppaye, flush system tey yahudi rann ... hor ki chyida ey?"

TR: "Ten million Rupees, flushing toilet and a woman jew. What else would a person want?

pavocavalry said...

just for your information Mr Zeemax below is what Pakistani leftists think of Hameed Guls interview:---

To: Pak-Youth-Forum@ googlegroups. com; cmkp_pk@yahoogroups .com; socialist_pakistan_ news@yahoogroups .com
From: d.feroze@gmail. com
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2008 11:58:07 +0100
Subject: (SPN) Imperialism' s new designs for Pakistan: A case in prepartion for Intervention

Last night, CNN GPS programme interviewed Rtd Gen Hamid Gul in relation to Mumbai attacks. The programme, in the nutshell, painted the following views:

1) Pakistan, as a state, is unable to control its territory fully
2) Pakistan is at the centre of global jihadist Terrorism (Washighton Post last week talked about WMD attack emerging from FATA).
3) Pakistan's army is gone rogue, or some of its agencies have terrorist connections (This litterally targets Pakistani National Security Apparatus). And Hamid Gul foolishly spoke about 911 and Zionist connection on international western media, and got recorded, in such a way that it's supported the views projected by the CNN.
4) "Democratically- Elected-Civilian" Government of Pakistan is trying it's best to fight the terrorist but it's being marginalized by the Pakistan Army (Thus leads to unsaid aim of controling it)
5) Civilian Government must be supported by the international community; both to control it's army and terroritory

This all is preparing the western public view that how dangerous Pakistan have become, and preparing the ground for intervention to secure it's nuclear-assets. The situation have become so dangerous, and still the Pakistani establishment is lacking any coherent regional policy to deal with this emerging hurrican. Each terrorist incident in the regions is building pressure (as it's always linked back to Pakistan by the western media), and completing the jig-saw puzzle one by one to support the above 5 points.

Hamid Gul on CNN: http://edition. cnn.com/video/ #/video/bestoftv /2008/12/ 08/fz.hamid. gul.cnn

Henry Kessinger: http://edition. cnn.com/video/ #/video/world/ 2008/12/01/ gps.fareed. kissinger. intv.cnn


Majumdar said...

Amin sahib,

Yes India does not want to occupy Pakistan but it wants a weak Pakistan with no nuclear weapons.

Actually what India and USA would want is a Pakistan which is:

2. Stops hosting terror group

And ironically this Pakistan may be a lot better for Pakistanis themsleves much like Japan post 1945.

A Pakistan which India can kick at will.

If Pak stops hosting terror groups I dont see why India would want to "kick Pak at will". It wud be dumb but then Indian leaders have always been dumb.

With semi autonomous states.

Well, actually that was the vision of LR-1940 wasn't it. Had Pakistan stuck to that vision, Pak (and the subcontinent) may have been a different place by now.

The tragedy was that the vision was at least a century ahead of time and would have needed a great man like MAJ (pbuh) to preside over it.

The USSR was a great social experiment.

I beg to differ on this. The USSR was a fascist state right from its inception. It was what Lenin had described the Russian Empire as "a prison house of nations"

It chose to engage USA in an arms race becuase like USA it was an imperialist power.

in the end the USA will be exhausted

The world has had different superpowers- Macedonia, Rome, Islam, China, Britain, now USA. Every power has had its day and then faded out. I am sure USA too. As to when and how we can only speculate.


pavocavalry said...

mr majumdar

what you are saying may be ideally OK but reality is far away from ideals.we dont expect any sanity from irrational indians who are just as narrow minded and jaundiced as pakistanis.

Zeemax said...


I fully agree with the Lahore Resolution's vision. That was Chadhery Rehmat Ali's vision too. It was this which should have been implemented and which was the very definition of the Two-Nation theory.

Re your "Pak ... may have been a different place by now. ", Pakistan would have been a U.A.E by now.

I think that's what it will eventually still turn out to be.

Though I do not have a 100 year crystal ball as Pavo Sahib does ;-) but would 15-20 years do?

Majumdar said...

Zee sahib,

Aap ke muh me ghee shakkar. 15-20 years will do provided Pak focuses its energy on economic and HR development, eschews foolish concepts like strategic depth and remains committed to Jinnah sahibs vision of a progressive Muslim democracy.

But it will need a leader of exceptional ability and patience and optimism on part of ordinary Pak citizens. Unfortunately, I see neither right now.


Zeemax said...

Yes Majumdar Sahib, but somehow everyone pushes Jinnah's last speech under the carpet which he delivered just two months before his death at the inauguration of State Bank of Pakistan. Even Mr. manto always neatly side-tracked this particular one.

That speech was practically a dying statement since his disease by that time was terminal and he was not allowed to travel, but he still came from Ziarat to Karachi to deliver that message.

I wish you would reproduce it (on the other forum perhaps?) and comment. It will answer a lot of questions in everyone's mind about Pakistan's inevitable and unalterable direction.

Majumdar said...

Zee sahib,

I dont recall the speech you are referring to. Can you give me the link or the text?


Zeemax said...


It was reproduced in its entirety by none else but Echoboom on Chowk. The full speech is not available on the web but only quotes. Guess echoboom typed it from a book.


The last speeech of the Quaid-i-Azam - STATE BANK opening ceremony, July 1, 1948

"The opening of the State Bank of Pakistan symbolises the sovereignty of our State in the financial sphere and I am very glad to be here today to perform the opening ceremony. It was not considered feasible to start a Bank of our own simultaneously with the coming into being of Pakistan in August last year. A good deal of preparatory work must precede the inauguration of an institution responsible for such technical and delicate work as note issue and banking. To allow for this preparation, it was provided, under the Pakistan Monetary System and Reserve Bank Order, 1947, that the Reserve Bank of India should continue to be the currency and banking authority of Pakistan till the 30th September, 1948. Later on it was felt that it would be in the best interests of our State if the Reserve Bank of India were relieved of its functions in Pakistan, as early as possible. The State of transfer of these functions to a Pakistan agency was consequently advanced by three months in agreement with the Government of India and the Reserve Bank. It was at the same time decided to establish a Central Bank of Pakistan in preference to any other agency for managing our currency and banking. This decision left very little time for the small band of trained personnel in this field in Pakistan to complete the preliminaries and they have by their untiring effort and hard work completed their task by the due date which is very creditable to them, and I wish to record a note of our appreciation of their labours.

As you have observed, Mr. Governor in undivided India banking was kept a close preserve of non-Muslims and their migration from Western Pakistan has caused a good deal of dislocation in the economic life of our young State. In order that the wheels of commerce and industry should run smoothly, it is imperative that the vacuum caused by the exodus of non-Muslims should be filled without delay. I am glad to note that schemes for training Pakistan nationals in banking are in hand. I will watch their progress with interest and I am confident that the State Bank will receive the co-operation of all concerned including the banks and Universities in pushing them forward. Banking will provide a new and wide field in which the genius of our young men can find full play. I am sure that they will come forward in large numbers to take advantage of the training facilities which are proposed to be provided. While doing so, they will not only be benefiting themselves but also contributing to the well-being of our State.

I need hardly dilate on the important role that the State Bank will have to play in regulating the economic life of our country. The monetary policy of the bank will have a direct bearing on our trade and commerce, both inside Pakistan as well as with the outside world and it is only to be desired that your policy should encourage maximum production and a free flow of trade. The monetary policy pursued during the war years contributed, in no small measure, to our present day economic problems. The abnormal rise in the cost of living has hit the poorer sections of society including those with fixed incomes very hard indeed and is responsible to a great extent for the prevailing unrest in the country. The policy of the Pakistan Government is to stabilise prices at a level that would be fair to the producer, as well as the consumer. I hope your efforts will be directed in the same direction in order to tackle this crucial problem with success.

I shall watch with keenness the work of your Research Organization in evolving banking practices compatible with Islamic ideas of social and economic life. The economic system of the West has created almost insoluble problems for humanity and to many of us it appears that only a miracle can save it from disaster that is not facing the world. It has failed to do justice between man and man and to eradicate friction from the international field. On the contrary, it was largely responsible for the two world wars in the last half century. The Western world, in spite of its advantages, of mechanization and industrial efficiency is today in a worse mess than ever before in history. The adoption of Western economic theory and practice will not help us in achieving our goal of creating a happy and contended people. We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind.

May the Sate Bank of Pakistan prosper and fulfil the high ideals which have been set as its goal.

In the end I thank you, Mr. Governor, for the warm welcome given to me by you and your colleagues, and the distinguished guests who have graced this occasion as a mark of their good wishes and the honour your have done me in inviting me to perform this historic opening ceremony of the State Bank which I feel will develop into one of our greatest national institutions and play its part fully throughout the world."

Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
1st July, 1948

Surprisingly (or perhaps not) this is not even listed on Jinnah Speeches archives on http://www.quaid.gov.pk/quotes_quaid.htm

Majumdar said...

Zee sahib,

Thanks. I guess I will have to ask my lawyer as to what he makes of this speech.

Btw, I presume in your opinion this speech is an unequivocal adoption of interest free banking. No?


Zeemax said...

LoL Majumdar, do indeed ask your lawyer! But don't let him escape by saying he's too busy to take your case.

Re: "... in your opinion this speech is an unequivocal adoption of interest free banking ..."

It is an unequivocal direction to adopt the 'Islamic System of Finance' which is not just interest free banking but much more than that. It is complete disintermediation in finance.

Zeemax said...

... BTW by the time of delivery of this speech, he was already a skeleton:


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