June 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India
credibility at rock-bottom
Sept 11: Bush under fire for ‘ignoring warning’
Israeli tanks roll into West Bank towns
Musharraf’s credibility at rock-bottom
U-TURNS do not make a policy. Pakistan is led by a man who will spin full speed in one direction one moment, come to a dead stop and spin in the opposite direction the next. The world heard Gen Musharraf say that there is no infiltration across the Line of Control then go on to promise that he would stop it. His nuclear policy is more dangerous. At one point he promised an infernal storm if India attacked and the next he said that only insane persons talk like that. Few know if he will deliver on his promises or spin into orbit on a different direction.
Kamran Khan in an analysis in NEWS from Karachi: “More than one Pakistani officials has said that the Pakistani Government’s decision to take new measures against infiltrators into India was a pre-requisite to Mr Straw’s and Mr Armitage’s visit to the subcontinent. The British Government believed that the Pakistan-based groups were responsible for the most significant acts of terrorism reported in India since September 11.
“After a meeting of the top military commanders the 10 Crops of the Pakistani Army — deployed in Pakistan’s northern areas and its borders with India in Kashmir — was directed to make further arrangements all along the Line of Control and the working boundary to plug corridors traditionally used in this mountainous region by the militants to enter into Kashmir.”
Loopholes are deliberately put in place: “Frankly speaking the 10 Corps would only be able to devote resources and much attention to the problem of infiltration into India, once the Indian Army eases tension on the Kashmir border by making the necessary withdrawal of troops,” observed a Pakistani military source that thought that the current state of top alert, wouldn’t leave much room for the military commanders to conduct an extensive ‘plugging operation’ on the borders.
“The Federal Interior Minister estimates that some 5,000 Pakistani or Pakistani-Kashmiris trained in the guerrilla warfare are the sworn religious motivated supporters of the Kashmiri freedom struggle and a large number of them now operate ‘completely out of the government’s influence’.
“A lot will depend on the response of these groups as in the recent past the influence of Pakistani security organisations on these groups has diminished significantly’, said an experienced Pakistani security official with vast experience of Kashmir security affairs.
“Many in these groups would relate the new posture of the Musharraf government on Kashmir with the government’s policy shift on the Taliban after September 11,’ he said. ‘A whole lot will depend how much cooperation the military government receives from these groups’.”
Kamran Khan makes the point that “Though not publicly stated, President Musharraf’s administration was determined that extremist Pakistani groups could be behind various acts of terrorism against civilian targets in India. Some security officials in Pakistan believed that a new extremist religious groups in Pakistan — angry over the military government’s posturing against militant organisations — favour an all-out war with India as a measure to exert pressure on the Musharraf administration.”
NATION in its editorial says: “Indian Army Chief General Padmanabhan’s statement that the time has come for action, by which he means a military adventure against Pakistan, in indicative of the increasingly aggressive mood in India.
“There is need to assure the people of Azad Kashmir that Pakistan is capable of defending them and their territory, and has not abandoned the Kashmiri freedom struggle, which is particularly dear to their hearts. The Kashmiris on both sides of the LoC should not be provided the slightest reason to suspect that Pakistani is abandoning them or their cause. The government and people of Azad Kashmir should be free to use whatever methods they deem fit to liberate Kashmir. Information Minister Nisar Memon’s observation that Pakistan will not allow its territory to be used against anyone should not be taken to imply that Islamabad is imposing restrictions on independent actions by the Kashmiri people from the territory of Azad Kashmir.
“Pakistani should make its nuclear deterrent doubly secure against a surpirse conventional attack. It should apprise the USA as well as India that it will follow the ‘use-it-or-lose-it‘ principle in case its deterrent is threatened directly by conventional attack of any kind. Preparedness is the best form of defence. All available diplomatic options, meanwhile, need to be explored to avert a conflict.”
DAILY TIMES in its editorial makes the point: “India says its patience is running thin. The latest attack that killed nearly 40 persons has been blamed by India on Pakistani sponsored militants. New Delhi says the insurgency in Kashmir is being carried out at the behest of Islamabad. Ms Rocca is said to have got an earful from the Indian leadership because New Delhi thinks Washington is mollycoddling Islamabad. The State Department denies that, but says the tough message can only be given in private only because any overt warning to Pakistan is likely to weaken General Musharraf’s position, which is undersirable on a number of counts.
Beyond this inherent weakness in our position, Pakistan needs to take a pro-active line rather than allowing itself to be lamely sucked into the dynamics of a ‘limited’ war that India wants. Gen Musharraf gave a clear commitment to the world on January 12 when he said that no Pakistani would be allowed to wage jehad in any part of the world even as he resolved to keep supporting the Kashmiris right to self-determination.”
M.B. Naqvi writes in NEWS: “But then what of the bomb and the sense of power it confers? There is a whole mythology around these weapons: they are currency of power, they confer great power status; they entitle the owner too much influence over the neighbours. What is the point of having them if we cannot bully the neighbour we hate? There are no real answers to these questions. These weapons are in fact evil and no good can come out of them. At any rate, in the case of India and Pakistan, they have proved to be useless just when they should have given victory to their owners.
“It is true that despite Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent, India has threatened war, with readiness to wage it. The threat persists. Its deterrence power has proved to be inadequate, if not wholly illusory. This inadequacy of deterrence is on full display in the shape of the Indian Army on our borders at the time of this writing. True, Pakistan can inflict horrible damage on India. But so what? Two points become clear during this crisis. There is no likelihood of Pakistan’s first strike, supporting it is first, will totally incapacitate India from replying in kind. Secondly, should India make the expected riposte, all major industrial urban centres in Pakistan would be destroyed. What is the whole point of such a nuclear deterrence?
“Finally, the suggestion requires consideration by all aware citizens that the place of nuclear weapons in national security requires serious rethinking. While their awesome destructive power is no doubt, their capacity to confer anything of value to the possessor, at least in South Asia has now been proved. Would the powers that be recognize a fact when they encounter it?
unlikely: Pervez Kuala Lumpur, June 8 Speaking to a journalist from the New Straits Times late Thursday night, General Musharraf said leaders in both India and Pakistan needed to “be sensible”. “I think the chance of war is minimal,” he was quoted as saying, a few hours after a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. “I think leaders in both countries need to be sensible enough to work on the path of peace.” General Musharraf said Kashmir was a sensitive topic for Pakistanis. “Nobody, no leader in Pakistan can put the Kashmir issue on the sidelines,” he said.
Kuala Lumpur, June 8
Speaking to a journalist from the New Straits Times late Thursday night, General Musharraf said leaders in both India and Pakistan needed to “be sensible”.
“I think the chance of war is minimal,” he was quoted as saying, a few hours after a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. “I think leaders in both countries need to be sensible enough to work on the path of peace.”
General Musharraf said Kashmir was a sensitive topic for Pakistanis. “Nobody, no leader in Pakistan can put the Kashmir issue on the sidelines,” he said. AP
Sept 11: Bush under fire for ‘ignoring warning’
Kalyani Shankar in New York
As part of the big picture, it is also time for a public debate on whether people are willing to let the government intrude into their privacy for the sake of security. In a democracy, such issues are bound to come up.
While the reconstruction work at the World Trade Center site has just started, the American public is finally trying to understand the reasons behind September 11 and the actions that could have prevented it. It must be noted that the whole country had lined up behind President Bush after September 11. There was no criticism from any corner, including the Democrats and the media, regarding the handling of the events after the attacks.
However, the waiting period has finally come to an end. The attack on President Bush and his administration is from two quarters — the media and the Democrats. The media is prying and asking inconvenient questions about the events leading to attacks. Every day there are new revelations about the failure of the intelligence agencies to follow up on the clues that could have prevented the attacks. The Democrats have followed closely on the heels of the media and have asked difficult and probing questions in the Congress.
For instance, the Democrats followed up quickly on the media story about the FBI agent who had warned his superiors about the attacks prior to September 11, which was not investigated further. The Senate Majority leader Tom Dashcle was quick to ask, “What did President Bush know?” Among the others who joined him was New York senator Hillary Clinton. The White House, the Bush administration and the Republicans countered swiftly. Vice-President Dick Cheney even warned the Democrats not to take advantage of the situation. The Democrats piped down and have kept a low profile since then.
Stakes are high for the Republicans because of the Congressional elections due later this year. If the control of the House shifts to the Democrats, the Republicans will have a very difficult time in implementing their agenda. The Senate, which was vertically divided, is now controlled by Democrats after a Republican senator resigned and chose to be an Independent last May.
The Democrats have been demanding an independent commission to investigate the incident despite President Bush’s opposition to such commissions. When the Democrats started asking questions whether President Bush was forewarned of the possibility of terrorist attacks, the Republicans promptly brought up the lapses of the Clinton administration in the 1993 World Trade Center bomb blast. Both parties are trying to fix the blame on the other.
Interestingly enough, during the past weeks, several clues have surfaced on the lapses of the intelligence agencies. First, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was put on the mat and even the Congress found fault with the way the FBI dealt with the issue. Then the media and the Congress blamed both the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency for lack of coordination. Every day a new coordination lapse comes into focus in the newspapers with the result that even President Bush has admitted to a failure in cooperation between the CIA and the FBI.
The FBI and the Justice department have finally woken up to the criticism. The FBI chief has already announced a revamp of the agency. The FBI plans to shift its resources from a focus on drug trafficking and mafia-related investigations to terrorism. It will also share intelligence with the CIA.
What are the lessons that India can learn from the American experience? After the December 13 attack on Parliament House the government promptly gave a clean chit to the intelligence agencies. Even six months after the attacks, details on the inquiry are yet to be made public. IPA
to persuade Bush on Palestinian state Washington, June 8 Mr Mubarak is pressing Mr Bush to support declaration of a Palestinian state before its final borders are set as a way to jump-start the peace process, and stop 20 months of bloodshed that has killed at least 1,383 Palestinians and 505 Israelis. Mr Mubarak said it was unrealistic to expect an end to the violence until a US-backed plan was in place leading to early Palestinian statehood. “Believe me, the violence will not stop ... it will not happen,” Mr Mubarak told The Washington Post in an interview published today. “The only way to stop this is to give hope to the people.” Mr Mubarak said he favoured reforming the Palestinian Authority, particularly its security services, but said Israel must also show flexibility, including withdrawing its troops from the West Bank. Mr Bush, who favours eventual creation of a Palestinian state, told reporters he would make a statement on West Asia after his discussions with Mr Mubarak and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who visits the White House on Monday. Mr Bush has yet to play host Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
Washington, June 8
Mr Mubarak is pressing Mr Bush to support declaration of a Palestinian state before its final borders are set as a way to jump-start the peace process, and stop 20 months of bloodshed that has killed at least 1,383 Palestinians and 505 Israelis.
Mr Mubarak said it was unrealistic to expect an end to the violence until a US-backed plan was in place leading to early Palestinian statehood.
“Believe me, the violence will not stop ... it will not happen,” Mr Mubarak told The Washington Post in an interview published today. “The only way to stop this is to give hope to the people.”
Mr Mubarak said he favoured reforming the Palestinian Authority, particularly its security services, but said Israel must also show flexibility, including withdrawing its troops from the West Bank.
Mr Bush, who favours eventual creation of a Palestinian state, told reporters he would make a statement on West Asia after his discussions with Mr Mubarak and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who visits the White House on Monday. Mr Bush has yet to play host Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. Reuters
tanks roll into West Bank towns
Hebron, June 8
They said the Israelis rolled into Halhul and Beit Ummar on the main road between Hebron and Bethlehem, with troops going door to door in a search for suspected Palestinian militants.
The Israelis summoned local residents to gather in schools and other buildings for interrogation, the witnesses said.
The raid came after two Palestinians opened fire in the Jewish settlement of Karnei Tzur near Hebron, killing a young pregnant woman and her husband, the Israeli army said.
Four settlers were wounded, two of them seriously.
People guarding the newly established settlement returned the fire, killing one of the attackers while the second escaped towards Halhul, an army spokesman said. Israeli troops sealed off the sector.
JERUSALEM: The Israeli army said on Saturday its forces had thwarted an attempt by two Palestinians to infiltrate a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip as they swam towards their target.
The army said in a statement a navy control post in the northern part of the coastal strip had identified during the night “two terrorists swimming towards the Dugit settlement trying to infiltrate Israeli territory via the sea.” AFP, Reuters
Endeavour docks with space station
Cape Canaveral, June 8
“Our ride home is here,” said space station astronaut Daniel Bursch. Endeavour delivered a fresh three-person crew to the space station yesterday to relieve Bursch, Carl Walz and their Russian commander, Yuri Onufrienko.
Bursch was so excited to see Endeavour that he rang the ship’s bell and announced the shuttle’s arrival seven minutes early. Then Walz jumped ahead in the hatch-opening procedures and was asked to wait.
Replacing them aboard the space station were two Russians and one American, astronaut-biochemist Peggy Whitson, only the second woman to settle in. AP
AL-QAIDA PLANS TO ASSASSINATE MUSHARRAF CHINA GAVE PAK MISSILE TECHNOLOGY: USA IVANOV MAY VISIT PAKISTAN SLIGHT REDUCTION IN TENSION, SAYS PAK
CHINA GAVE PAK MISSILE TECHNOLOGY: USA
IVANOV MAY VISIT PAKISTAN
SLIGHT REDUCTION IN TENSION, SAYS PAK
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