War on Terror
Well-known Pakistani security analyst NASIM ZEHRA's take on the ISI flip-flop in Pakistan.
The PPP Government’s recent attempt to club the ISI with the IB and make both “accountable” to the unelected advisor to the interior ministry, Rehman Malik, was very clumsy. But it is neither surprising nor insignificant, writes veteran Pakistani journalist Najam Sethi.
Heightened intelligence capability, sustained and built over a period of time, which is able to keep pace with the growing threat, skilful investigation and forensics, particularly at the state level, sharing intelligence, national identity cards, CCTVs at important places, speedy justice which is also seen to be fair, a system of governance that delivers what it is supposed to and a media that does not compete for TRP ratings over such issues: All this and more will have to be put in place for us to succeed. India must get ready to detect, deter and destroy this menace before it destroys us, writes Vikram Sood, India’s former external intelligence chief and now a regular columnist.
The frustrating cycle of a deal, followed by renewed conflict, has been played out in Swat -- as has happened elsewhere. After a brief lull that lasted several weeks, a full-fledged operation has begun in the area. Up to five soldiers, including a major, and at least 48 militants have lost their lives. The local Taliban have also claimed 25 security personnel, presumably the persons taken hostage during a militant attack on a security checkpost in Matta Tehsil have been killed. An editorial in The News, Islamabad.
American intelligence agencies have concluded that members of Pakistan’s powerful spy service helped plan the deadly July 7 bombing of India’s embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to United States government officials. The conclusion was based on intercepted communications between Pakistani intelligence officers and militants who carried out the attack, the officials said, providing the clearest evidence to date that Pakistani intelligence officers are actively undermining American efforts to combat militants in the region. A report by MARK MAZZETTI and ERIC SCHMITT in The New York Times
Pakistani response to the New York Times report about links between the ISI and militants was quick and sharp and varied. A CIA official reportedly showed evidence of these ties to Pakistan government members in Islamabad recently. NewAgeIslam.com presents a selection of these responses from three Pakistan newspapers, The Dawn, The News and The Daily Mail.
The CIA has confronted Pakistan with new evidence showing that members of its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have deepened their ties with militant outfits responsible for the recent spike in terror strikes in Afghanistan, possibly including the attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul. Armed with the new information, CIA's deputy director Stephen R Kappes travelled to Islamabad this month, the New York Times reported, citing US military and intelligence officials. It said that links between the ISI and the militant network led by Jalaluddin Haqqani have come to light. S Rajagopalan reports from Washington for the Daily Poneer, New Delhi.
Sometimes in politics, particularly in campaigns, parties get wedded to slogans — so wedded that no one stops to think about what they’re saying, whether the reality has changed and what the implications would be if their bumper stickers really guided policy when they took office. Today, we have two examples of that: “Democrats for Afghanistan” and “Republicans for offshore drilling.”... New York Times columnist and author THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN's advice: Before Democrats adopt “More Troops to Afghanistan” as their bumper sticker, they need to make sure it’s a strategy for winning a war — not an election.
Defence Secretary Robert M. Gates says that even winning the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will not end the "Long War" against violent extremism and that the fight against al-Qaeda and other terrorists should be the nation's top military priority over coming decades, according to a new National Defence Strategy he approved last month.
Josh White reports for Washington Post.
The U.S. government's former point man in the fight against the heroin trade in Afghanistan has accused Afghan President Hamid Karzai of obstructing counter-narcotics efforts and protecting drug lords. Karzai on Thursday vehemently rejected Thomas Schweich's comments, saying international criminal gangs were the main beneficiaries and culprits of the trade. Schweich, who resigned last month from the State Department's narcotics bureau, said in an article to appear on Sunday in the New York Times magazine that the Afghan government was deeply involved in shielding the opium trade.
Red Tide: Recent U.N. reports shattered the myth that poppies are grown by destitute farmers who have no other source of income.
POPPY FIELDS FOREVER: An unlikely coalition of corrupt Afghan officials, timorous Europeans, blinkered Pentagon officers and the Taliban has made poppy cultivation stubbornly resistant to eradication.
THOMAS SCHWEICH’s stunning report in New York Times Magazine.
It is summer now in Kabul, the snow has largely melted from the 15,000-ft. (4,600 m) peaks, and I am sitting with my friends Hussein, Nabi and Zia in the garden of a 19th century fort. Nearby, 10 carpenters who work with my nongovernmental organization (NGO) are creating a library for a buyer in Tokyo. They're fitting slivers of wood into a delicate lattice and carving flowers into the walnut shutters. They work fast and smile often. But Nabi, a gentle-voiced 66-year-old cook, is not smiling. He is pessimistic about his country. "We have been promised progress by every government since 1973," he growls, "but it is getting worse and worse."
By RORY STEWART / KABUL in The Time magazine
The International Herald Tribune today reports on a recent CIA mission to Pakistan to confront leaders of the ISI there about the ties ISI members retain to the Taliban and al Qaeda. The CIA assessment specifically points to links between members of the spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, and the militant network led by Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, which American officials believe maintains close ties to senior figures of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
Several al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq have left the country for Afghanistan in a sign of weakness in the insurgent group, The Washington Post reported today quoting Iraqi intelligence. US officials also say al-Qaeda may be sending new recruits to Afghanistan, where they have made gains, and away from Iraq, where they have been hit by US and Iraqi forces, the newspaper reported.
The gravest threat to India’s security is not Pakistan, not the Inter Services Intelligence, not terrorism, but the limitless acts of omission, the venality and the ineptitude of the political and administrative executive, and the complete absence of accountability in the top echelons of Government. Our greatest enemy is not only within – it has captured and blocks up the highest nodes of power and decision-making in the country, writes security analyst Ajai Sahni.