Musharraf – Karzai Forum

What follows is someone’s summary of the public statements by Musharraf and Karzai after their conference on September 7. Note that Musharraf spoke for 70 minutes — it must have been a huge drain on the attention span of those present. Karzai spoke for 15 minutes only. There are many interesting details here, reflecting the ways that the two leaders see the world. Musharraf offers to help build a railway from Quetta to Kandahar. A rail system in Afghanistan is inevitable; will it really materialize now? And for it to come into Kandahar, where it is much easier and from where it can continue on to Herat [not Kabul] will be much easier and of course from there into the ex-Soviet Central Asian states, mainly Turkmenistan? — that will shift the transport focus from Kabul to Kandahar. A road to Jalalabad will be on the way to Kabul, but a railroad will be much more difficult and expensive. Musharraf also renounces support for the Taliban. And for Al Qaeda. We’ll see.

Musharraf – Karzai Forum

Ø Afghanis and Pakistanis need each other more than ever before – there is no other option.
Ø There is a need to turn our region into a Tiger economy and this can only happen in the environment of peace and stability.
Ø We need to establish an economic zone in Central Asia /South Asia. Pakistan is willing to help in the following areas:
o Railway link between Quetta and Kandahar
o Jalalabad – Peshawar Road
o Health Sector
Ø He acknowledged Pakistani support of the Mujahideen and then the Taleban (up until 9/11). Pakistan had a need to support the Taleban.
Ø Pakistan no longer sees the Taleban representing the Pashtoons.
Ø We have to somehow forget the past and look to the future.
Ø Pakistan’s historical ties to Afghanistan ie Jihad, refugees etc
Ø Afghans continue to blame the Pakistanis for their woes. He is saddened by this accusation as this is not true.
Ø Pakistan would be a fool to support the Taleban as they totally oppose the Talebanisation of their country (like Afghanistan)
Ø No doubts that Al Qaeda / Taleban are active in Pakistan. As they are in Afghanistan.
Ø Pakistan is against terrorism as
a) it will help in the Talebanisation of Pakistan
b) it goes against its `coalition’ agenda and
c) it will decrease the likelihood of economic development (or economic zone mentioned above).
Ø Pakistan has limitations in controlling/clamping down on these groups because of a lack of
a) capacity and
b) capability.
Ø Afghans should not doubt the intentions of Pakistan.
Ø Don’t blame us for what is going inside of Afghanistan.
Ø Pakistan is willing to wire the border areas (an experience that has worked well between India and Pakistan)
Ø The people of Pakistan too blame Afghanistan for
a) internal Pakistani strife
b) Baloochistan
c) training camps inside of Afghanistan and
d) foreign powers attempting to destabilise Pakistan (meaning India).
Ø Both nations should stop this blame game.
Ø We need to fight terrorism together.
Ø We need to remain united in this fight (blaming each other will lead to defeat)
Ø We need to look at each other’s allegations and then eliminate them.
Ø Pakistan acknowledges that there are hundreds of Al Qaeda (foreign) members operating out of Pakistan’s major cities ie Lahore, Rawalpindi, Karachi etc. Already many have been arrested and locked up (some kicked out of the country).
Ø The Taleban are different as:
o They have roots
o They have command structures
o They have better organisation
Ø There are three types of Taleban:
o Moderate religious types (extremists but not terrorists)
o Hard core Taleban
o Charsi Taleban (thugs who are now Talebs) – `Charsi’ means hashish smoker
Ø Tactics are adopted to win battles while strategies are utilised to win wars
Ø Pakistan favours talking to the moderate Pashtoons (in order to get them onside so that they fight the Taleban) while isolating the more extremist elements within the group. Pakistan’s strategy will entail:
o Defeating the Taleban militarily
o Bolstering its civil administrations in the hot spots
o Raise agency councils through tribal chiefs (or Maliks)
o Massive economic development projects
o Political solutions – cited the recent appointment of General Orakzai (briefly mentioned that locals are tired of fighting in Wazirstan)
Ø Recent agreement (in Wazirstan) entails:
o The expulsion of foreigners from these regions.
o No training camps
o No Taleban infiltration into Afghanistan
Ø Longer term strategy should be to find the root causes of terrorism
Ø Short term strategies will include:
o Curtailing the use of loud speakers that spread hate
o Stopping hate literature ie night letters
o Having a comprehensive Islamic curriculum at school
o Reforming the Madrassa system.

Ø Afghans remain appreciative of Pakistan’s hospitality during the Jihad years
Ø Our intention is to have a peaceful and brotherly relations with our Pakistani neighbours
Ø Afghans will never allow foreign elements or regimes to use the Afghan soil for anti Pakistani activity (or incursions into Pakistan)
Ø The Taleban don’t represent the Pashtoons – on both sides of the border
Ø Afghans are happy about the deal between the Pakistani gov.’t and N. Wazirstan Taleban – in particular as it may stop Taleban incursions into Afghanistan.
Ø Recognition of the need for stronger ties between the two countries.
Ø We are hurt by extremist activity.
Ø We are seeking Pakistan’s assistance as a brother.

Hakim Taniwal

September 11, 2006

The memory of losses on this date five years ago is now overlaid with grief and shame at what our leaders did with the goodwill the world had for us at that moment. In Iran they had vigils in memory of the people lost in the World Trade Center, and all across the world there was broad sympathy for what our country had experienced. Now it is gone. Not only our wealth and the lives of many brave Americans (not to mention the many innocent civilians) but also the world’s sympathy, trust, and respect have been squandered. God help us.

On September 10 Hakim Taniwal, governor of Paktia province in Afghanistan was killed by a suicide bomber. I met him when he was involved in the Afghan Writers Union in Peshawar. He was a sociologist and used his knowledge to write
about the Afghanistan situation in critiques of the Afghanistan Communist regime, mostly in Pushtu. He was one of the few scholars who did not leave the area for better opportunities elsewhere. He stayed, along with several other scholars, to represent the war effort as a scholar.

The times were different when I knew him. The Soviets were pulling out their troops and the Afghanistan peoples were exultant. But the mujahedin organizations were on the verge of fighting each other, creating such confusion and grief that the Taliban defeat of the mujahedin would be welcomed a few years later, in the mid-1990s. Taniwal went to Australia in disgust. When Karzai was made provisional head of the Afghanistan government in 2002 he turned to Taniwal as well as other progressives to help him. Taniwal served the new government as governor of Khost, then as Minister of Mines, and in the present post – replacing a particularly culpable “warlord” – in Paktia.

There have been 47 suicide bombings in Afghanistan this year. The name of the one who killed Taniwal is unknown to those on the government’s side, but there is no doubt that his name is known and valorized somewhere, probably just across the border in Waziristan. Somewhere there is a place where the pictures of “martyrs” are displayed and their stories told as great exploits in the name of God; videos made by them before their deaths are available. They will be shown to another generation of young men eager to serve God. From this “hero” they will learn how they can give their best, their all for God.

Hakim Taniwal
Published: September 12, 2006 (The Herald)

Governor Hakim Taniwal, who died aged 63 on September 10 in a suicide bombing outside his office in Gardez, Paktia, was very different from the caricature of a rugged Afghan tribal leader.

A sociology professor, educated in Germany and fluent in five languages, Dr Taniwal was a gentle Afghan intellectual with the courage to instil order and spearhead development in the lawless Paktia province, bordering Pakistan.

Pakistan “Taliban” in Peace Deal

“Pakistan has signed a deal with pro-Taleban militants on the Afghan border aimed at ending years of unrest. …The North Waziristan accord calls on tribesmen to expel foreign militants and end cross-border attacks in return for a reduced military presence.” “Local Taleban supporters, …have pledged not tharborur foreign militants, launch cross-border raids or attack Pakistani government troops or facilities.” “Observers say meeting these conditions could be difficult, as the Taleban has support on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghan border.”

Everyone seems to see this as an exit strategy for the Pakistani army. And for good reason, there is abundant doubt about whether this will really accomplish anything. The statement by the Afghanistan foreign minister implies that support for the Taliban and Al-Qaida is not limited to Waziristan: “I think it is [in] a lot of other places in our region and a lot of organizationsns and also madrassas [religious schools], that they are the centre of terrorist activity.” Indeed some of the most important figures in the organization have been caught elsewhere in Pakistan. And we are hearing that support for them is broadening among the Pakistani citizenry: “a lot of other places — and a lot of organizations” he says. He specifically points to the madrassas and implies that they are at least one “center of terrorist activity.” If he is right, then this deal accomplishes very little, except give the army an excuse to bow out.

The Pakistanis have lost 500 men in attempting to get control of the tribal areas. This is a frontier area between south Asia and Afghanistan, notable for its rugged terrain (it looks like a washboard from the air), as long as the distance from Maine to Georgia, where attempts at sustained control by outsiders, the British earlier and now the Pakistanis, was unfeasible. I had thought that this time, in the era of modern warfare, the Pakistanis would finally get direct control. But it has been too costly.

We can only surmise the nature of the difficulty. When we used to travel through the Khybar pass I would try to find a place along the road that was not covered by a line of fire from at least two directions. I never found a place that was not covered by fire from at least two established, secured positions above the road. Also, the road was already supplied with huge cement blocks that could easily be moved into position to barricade the highway; it would have been easy to shut down all traffic. These fortifications were first developed in British times and no doubt the Pakistanis have maintained them. I have not been further than the northern edge of Waziristan but I surmise that the passes into that area are similarly secured: I suppose that the Pakistani army’s problem was multiple installations along the lines of access that covered every point. The Waziri tribesmen would have planned ways of shutting down an army trying to move into the area. And now, after 30 years of war, they are armed with the latest weaponry. The old muzzle-loading jazaeels that once did so much damage to the British and the Lee Enfield rifles of WWI times have been replaced by AK-47s.

Moreover, scarcely anyone believes that Pakistan is fully committed to rooting out the Taliban. The New York Times [9/7/06] quotes an American intelligence source that Pakistanis are still actively supporting the Taliban raids into Afghanistan: “Pakistani intelligence agents have provided intelligence to the Taliban about coalition plans and tactical operations …”. They have also provided support, housing and security for the Taliban leadership, including Mullah Muhammad Omar, and it is believed that they are providing money and weapons for their attacks on Afghanistan.

Not a good sign.

Pakistani Leader Admits Taliban Cross into Afghanistan

For Musharraf to admit what the world knew all along is important. It isn’t news that Pakistan has been nourishing the Taliban and sending them into Afghanistan but it is news that he is willing to admit it. This is the first time he has agreed to go after the Taliban. We live in a world in which leaders – to put it bluntly — say what works in their interest, not what is true – or at least this is tragically more true than it should ever be. There is, however, a worry about whether this could cost him his office – and there are rumors that he is not to be in office much longer, even than he may not be with us much longer. Lets hope he lives to carry out his pledge.

Pakistani Leader Admits Taliban Cross into Afghanistan
Published: September 7, 2006 (New York Times)

KABUL, Afghanistan – President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, in a conciliatory speech to Afghan officials and members of Parliament today, conceded that Al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents have been crossing the border into Afghanistan to mount attacks but denied that he or his government were backing them. In a major policy shift that may cost him support at home, General Musharraf pledged to seek out and destroy the command structure of insurgents apparently linked to Afghanistan’s ousted Taliban rulers, who are fighting NATO and Afghan forces in southern Afghanistan.

Abuse of rape victim by the Pakistan government

Thank God for Nicholas Kristof. I pray that Pakistan will face up to itself;
this should help if anything will. Best, RLCRaped, Kidnapped and Silenced
New York Times: June 14, 2005No wonder the Pakistan government can’t catch Osama bin Laden. It is too busy
harassing, detaining – and now kidnapping – a gang-rape victim for daring to
protest and for planning a visit to the United States.Last fall I wrote about Mukhtaran Bibi, a woman who was sentenced by a tribal
council in Pakistan to be gang-raped because of an infraction supposedly
committed by her brother. Four men raped Ms. Mukhtaran, then village leaders
forced her to walk home nearly naked in front of a jeering crowd of 300.Ms. Mukhtaran was supposed to have committed suicide. Instead, with the backing
of a local Islamic leader, she fought back and testified against her
persecutors. Six were convicted.Then Ms. Mukhtaran, who believed that the best way to overcome such abuses was
through better education, used her compensation money to start two schools in
her village, one for boys and the other for girls. She went out of her way to
enroll the children of her attackers in the schools, showing that she bore no
grudges.Readers of my column sent in more than $133,000 for her. Mercy Corps, a U.S. aid
organization, has helped her administer the money, and she has expanded the
schools, started a shelter for abused women and bought a van that is used as an
ambulance for the area. She has also emerged as a ferocious spokeswoman against
honor killings, rapes and acid attacks on women. (If you want to help her,
please don’t send checks to me but to Mercy Corps, with “Mukhtaran Bibi” in the
memo line: 3015 S.W. First, Portland, Ore. 97201.)A group of Pakistani-Americans invited Ms. Mukhtaran to visit the U.S. starting
this Saturday (see Then a few days ago, the Pakistani government
went berserk.On Thursday, the authorities put Ms. Mukhtaran under house arrest – to stop her
from speaking out. In phone conversations in the last few days, she said that
when she tried to step outside, police pointed their guns at her. To silence
her, the police cut off her land line.After she had been detained, a court ordered her attackers released, putting her
life in jeopardy. That happened on a Friday afternoon, when the courts do not
normally operate, and apparently was a warning to Ms. Mukhtaran to shut up.
Instead, Ms. Mukhtaran continued her protests by cellphone. But at dawn
yesterday the police bustled her off, and there’s been no word from her since.
Her cellphone doesn’t answer.Asma Jahangir, a Pakistani lawyer who is head of the Human Rights Commission of
Pakistan, said she had learned that Ms. Mukhtaran was taken to Islamabad,
furiously berated and told that President Pervez Musharraf was very angry with
her. She was led sobbing to detention at a secret location. She is barred from
contacting anyone, including her lawyer.”She’s in their custody, in illegal custody,” Ms. Jahangir said. “They have gone
completely crazy.”Even if Ms. Mukhtaran were released, airports have been alerted to bar her from
leaving the country. According to Dawn, a Karachi newspaper, the government took
this step, “fearing that she might malign Pakistan’s image.”Excuse me, but Ms. Mukhtaran, a symbol of courage and altruism, is the best hope
for Pakistan’s image. The threat to Pakistan’s image comes from President
Musharraf for all this thuggish behavior.I’ve been sympathetic to Mr. Musharraf till now, despite his nuclear negligence,
partly because he’s cooperated in the war on terrorism and partly because he has
done a good job nurturing Pakistan’s economic growth, which in the long run is
probably the best way to fight fundamentalism. So even when Mr. Musharraf denied
me visas all this year, to block me from visiting Ms. Mukhtaran again and
writing a follow-up column, I bit my tongue.But now President Musharraf has gone nuts. “This is all because they think they have the support of the U.S. and can get
away with murder,” Ms. Jahangir said. Indeed, on Friday, just as all this was
happening, President Bush received Pakistan’s foreign minister in the White
House and praised President Musharraf’s “bold leadership.”So, Mr. Bush, how about asking Mr. Musharraf to focus on finding Osama, instead
of kidnapping rape victims who speak out? And invite Ms. Mukhtaran to the Oval
Office – to show that Americans stand not only with generals who seize power,
but also with ordinary people of extraordinary courage.Please see my “concerns” page:
My blog:

fwd: Pakistan’s Role in Scientist’s Nuclear Trafficking Debated

Much goes on under the radar of public information. The story of A. Q. Khan and
his nuclear trafficking is still vitally important. Our world is becoming ever
more deadly. RLCPlease see my “concerns” page:
My blog: Message:

From: “Zalmai M.” <>
Subject: Pakistan’s Role in Scientist’s Nuclear Trafficking Debated
Date: May 17, 2005
> Pakistan’s Role in Scientist’s Nuclear Trafficking Debated
> Islamabad’s awareness of a black market led by the father of its
> atomic bomb is still uncertain.
> By Douglas Frantz
> Times Staff Writer
> May 16, 2005
> In the fall of 2000, Pakistani intelligence agents followed the
> country’s most influential nuclear scientist as he flew to the Persian
> Gulf port of Dubai.
> Abdul Qadeer Khan, acclaimed as the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb,
> was under surveillance as he met with men described by a former senior
> Pakistani military officer as “dubious characters.”
> Rumors had persisted for years that Khan was selling atomic secrets,
> but Pakistani intelligence was on his trail for another reason. His
> unauthorized trip violated new rules imposed by President Pervez
> Musharraf to assert government control over Pakistan’s main nuclear
> weapons laboratory, which Khan ran as his fiefdom.
> Upon Khan’s return to Pakistan from the United Arab Emirates city,
> Musharraf warned the scientist to obey the rules. When Khan persisted
> in his travels, he was forced to retire. But the investigation went no
> further.
> Khan’s secret life in Dubai and beyond is the subject of a meticulous
> international inquiry tracing a black market in nuclear technology
> that stretched over 15 years and three continents.
> Investigators have concluded that Khan masterminded a hugely
> profitable network that provided uranium enrichment equipment to Iran
> and North Korea, countries whose nuclear ambitions are now causing
> global anxieties. Libya paid the ring an estimated $100 million for
> atomic warhead designs and plans for a complete bomb factory before
> giving up its program.
> After more than a year of investigation, one of the crucial unsolved
> mysteries is whether Khan could have run his network without the
> knowledge, and possibly the connivance, of Pakistani military and
> political leaders. The answer is vital to discovering not only the
> full scope of Khan’s trafficking, but whether Pakistan has adequate
> safeguards to protect its arsenal of 30 to 50 atomic weapons.
> Interviews in the Middle East, Europe and the United States with
> former Pakistani government and military officials, international
> investigators and Western diplomats show that warnings about Khan’s
> illicit trafficking were ignored by a succession of Pakistani
> political leaders and military strongmen.
> Neither Musharraf nor his predecessors fully investigated Khan despite
> years of accusations from U.S. officials and international media,
> Khan’s visible accumulation of enormous wealth and the significance of
> his dealings in Dubai.
> His crucial role in building an atomic bomb to match India’s was
> deemed more important than controlling his activities. And over the
> years, Khan had orchestrated a publicity campaign that made him so
> popular that he was virtually untouchable. The decision to turn a
> blind eye gave Khan extraordinary freedom.
> “The military knew that Khan’s orders came from the very top and that
> it was state policy to get the bomb, by hook or by crook,” said the
> former senior Pakistani military officer who was involved in nuclear
> oversight and spoke on condition of anonymity. “He delivered what we
> all thought was impossible, and that was what mattered.”
> International investigators say they might never learn exactly who
> knew what in Pakistan. Neither the United States nor the International
> Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, has been
> allowed to interrogate Khan, who was pardoned by Musharraf after a
> televised confession in February 2004 and remains under house arrest
> in Islamabad, the capital.
> Musharraf has maintained that Khan ran the illegal trade without
> government knowledge. Former and current aides to Musharraf argue that
> until late 2003, there was no proof that Khan was selling to other
> countries the same technology he was acquiring on the black market to
> build Pakistan’s bomb.
> An Anti-Extremism Ally
> The Bush administration, which regards Musharraf as an ally in the
> fight against Islamic extremism, has not pressed for access to Khan.
> U.S. officials have said they are satisfied with the Pakistani
> president’s assurances.
> To outside nuclear experts, it defies logic that a scientist as
> prominent and privy to secrets as Khan could travel freely, operate
> outside security restrictions and ship sensitive technology overseas
> for years without attracting official scrutiny.
> “What he did was simply impossible without the full cooperation of
> people outside his laboratory,” said Michael May, director emeritus of
> Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a U.S. nuclear weapons
> facility in California. “It’s inconceivable to me that he had this
> broad global network without people knowing about it, even Musharraf.”
> Until Washington and the IAEA provided evidence to Pakistan in 2003,
> Khan parried accusations about his activities by saying he was the
> victim of a U.S. smear campaign for making Pakistan a nuclear power.
> The argument resonated among government officials and commanders who
> viewed the U.S. as a fickle ally that favored India.
> Khan’s trip to Dubai three years earlier offered a golden opportunity
> for Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency and
> Musharraf, a general who had seized power in 1999, to get to the
> bottom of his activities.
> Investigators and IAEA reports said Khan had shifted his base of
> operations to the United Arab Emirates city to coordinate the huge
> order from Libya for an off-the-shelf nuclear weapons plant. He
> traveled there often to meet with suppliers and Libyan officials, and
> he even maintained a luxury apartment in a fashionable neighborhood.
> Musharraf set the stage for a potential crackdown early in his tenure
> when he created a military unit to enforce uniform controls on the
> country’s nuclear weapons installations, including Khan’s laboratory.
> The former senior military officer said that, with Pakistan having
> achieved its goal of becoming a nuclear power, Musharraf was
> determined to see the elimination of financially damaging
> international sanctions that followed the nation’s 1998 nuclear tests.
> That meant regaining control of Khan and his laboratory.
> “It was time to stop this dirty business,” said the ex-officer, who
> clashed with Khan several times after Musharraf began trying to limit
> the scientist’s activities.
> Khan refused to answer questions about suspicious transactions at his
> laboratory or report his travels and meetings with foreigners. At
> meetings of senior officials, including Musharraf, he complained
> openly about the restrictions, according to two participants in the
> sessions. His determination to not alter his behavior became clear
> when Musharraf received the Inter-Services Intelligence agency report
> on Khan’s trip to Dubai in late 2000.
> The president summoned the scientist to his office and confronted him
> with the evidence, according to the ex-military officer. Khan argued
> that ISI had no business following him, but he assured the president
> that he had gone to Dubai only to finalize the sale of 50
> shoulder-fired antiaircraft rockets manufactured by his laboratory for
> a Middle Eastern country.
> Musharraf, whose grip on power was tenuous, was wary of Khan’s
> popularity and unconcerned about his trade in anti-aircraft rockets.
> He accepted the explanation, admonishing him to abide by the new
> restrictions.
> Khan was undeterred. Within weeks, intelligence agents reported
> spotting him back in Dubai with another suspicious group of men.
> Musharraf had heard enough. In late March 2001, a month before Khan’s
> 65th birthday, the president forced him to retire as director of the
> laboratory and barred him from the facility that carried his name:
> Khan Research Laboratories. Musharraf softened the blow by naming him
> to a Cabinet-level position as a presidential advisor and permitting
> him to travel freely. But that’s where the investigation ended.
> The previously undisclosed confrontation was described by the former
> senior officer and confirmed by a second retired Pakistani officer,
> both still aligned with Musharraf, on condition that their names and
> ranks be withheld. They said they would face government retaliation if
> they were identified.
> The conventional wisdom has been that Musharraf removed Khan in
> response to U.S. pressure. But the ex-officers said the scientist was
> demoted because he resisted the new procedures. They said the
> punishment was sufficient because the president was unaware of Khan’s
> nuclear trafficking.
> “It was happening right under our noses and we didn’t know,” the
> former senior officer said. “We got what we wanted — a bomb. We knew
> that he was using these dubious characters, greedy suppliers in Europe
> and other places, but this was in our military interest. So some dirty
> acts were allowed to go on.”
> A ‘Nuclear Wal-Mart’
> The question remains whether anyone in authority wanted to know what
> else Khan was doing as he scoured the world for equipment for
> Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, creating what IAEA
> Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei has called a “nuclear Wal-Mart.”
> Never examining Khan’s activities very closely gave Pakistani leaders
> plausible deniability in case he was discovered.
> “If Pakistani officials didn’t recognize that there was a problem
> here, it’s because they didn’t want to recognize it,” said Scott D.
> Sagan, co-director of Stanford University’s Center for International
> Security and Cooperation. “This is a damning indictment of their
> processes, and that’s the best scenario.”
> Khan’s freedom had its origins in Pakistan’s race to match India in
> developing nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
> launched Islamabad’s program in 1972, but the military took over in
> 1977 after Bhutto was deposed by Gen. Zia ul-Haq.
> Pakistan was under international sanctions aimed at stopping it from
> building nuclear weapons, so Khan was given an open account to buy
> what he needed on the black market. The clandestine nature of the
> transactions meant that most were done in cash.
> Khan, a metallurgist, had a ready blueprint. He had worked in Europe
> for a consortium that enriched uranium for civilian nuclear reactors.
> When he abruptly returned to Pakistan in 1975, he brought plans for
> centrifuge machines and other technology to enrich uranium, along with
> a list of European suppliers. Military engineers built a laboratory
> for Khan at Kahuta, about 30 miles southeast of Islamabad.
> Khan’s style of work would prove essential to his later trafficking.
> Former government officials said he refused to permit auditing of the
> laboratory’s books, dispatched shipments on his own signature and
> reported directly to the prime minister. Top scientists were paid
> double what their peers made at Pakistan’s other nuclear installations.
> New information from the two former officers shows that laboratory
> security was firmly under Khan’s control too. They said the army
> officers who monitored the laboratory and its employees were paid by
> Khan, not the military, and that many of them stayed there after retiring.
> Khan ensured his freedom of operation by delivering what he promised.
> Senior Pakistani military officers said Kahuta was enriching uranium
> to weapons grade by 1984 and that Pakistan could have detonated a
> nuclear bomb as early as 1986, a view supported by U.S. intelligence
> reports. Pakistan’s first nuclear tests occurred May 28, 1998, 17 days
> after India exploded its own bombs.
> Though much of the work was done by other scientists at a competing
> laboratory, Khan emerged as a heroic symbol of defiance of India and
> the West. He also had grown rich, which he never bothered to hide. Few
> saw it as a red flag in a country where official corruption is not
> uncommon.
> “People assumed that he was skimming from his purchases of equipment
> for Pakistan’s atomic program, and that was viewed as almost his right
> because he was a hero who had delivered the bomb,” said Husain
> Haqqani, a former Pakistani government official and the author of an
> upcoming book, “Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military.”
> Much of Khan’s wealth came from selling nuclear expertise and
> technology. The IAEA reported last year that Khan received $3 million
> in cash from Iran for enrichment equipment in 1994. Investigators have
> since tracked more large payments to accounts in bank-secrecy havens
> across Europe.
> At the time ISI followed Khan to Dubai, its investigators also
> informed Musharraf that the scientist had accounts containing millions
> of dollars and owned seven houses in Islamabad, one of the former
> officers said.
> Iran’s Early Designs
> Iran, which the U.S. accuses of pursuing nuclear weapons, is
> threatening to create an international diplomatic crisis by resuming
> uranium enrichment at plants whose initial designs and equipment were
> procured through Khan’s network.
> Tehran was Khan’s first known customer, and the history of that
> relationship demonstrates the difficulty of determining who in
> Pakistan knew of Khan’s trafficking. The two countries signed a pact
> to cooperate on nuclear energy in 1987 and Iranian scientists trained
> at Pakistani civilian installations, according to a 1992 report by the
> Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, a human rights advocacy group.
> In 1989, Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani told Pakistani Prime
> Minister Benazir Bhutto that Pakistani generals had offered to share
> nuclear weapons technology with Iran, according to two former
> high-level Pakistani officials who were privy to the conversation.
> The two officials said in separate interviews in 2003 that Rafsanjani
> was looking for Bhutto’s blessing for a deal that he said had been
> initiated by Gen. Aslam Beg, commander of the Pakistani armed forces
> from 1988 to 1991.
> Bhutto told both Rafsanjani and Beg that she objected, the former
> officials said.
> Beg said in a recent telephone interview that he had initiated several
> joint defense projects with Tehran and that he had favored closer ties
> to Iran to counter U.S. influence. But he denied authorizing anyone to
> transfer Pakistan’s nuclear expertise to Iran.
> “I have not been part of any illicit activity where we could pass on
> any nuclear technology to anyone else,” Beg said. “Nuclear technology
> was not in my domain. It was under A. Q. Khan and the political leaders.”
> Bhutto, who lives in exile in London and Dubai, has said the military
> retained control of the nuclear program while she was prime minister.
> Historians and political analysts say the military has been the
> dominant political influence in Pakistan since the nation’s creation
> in 1947.
> Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Henry S. Rowen said Beg
> threatened to provide nuclear weapons technology to Iran in January
> 1990. The incident was first reported by Associated Press last year
> and confirmed by Rowen in a recent interview.
> Rowen said he was in Pakistan trying to calm relations between New
> Delhi and Islamabad when he told Beg that the U.S. might have to cut
> off aid to Pakistan because of its nuclear program.
> “In the midst of our conversation, he said that Pakistan might be
> forced to share its nuclear technology with Iran,” said Rowen, now a
> professor at Stanford University. “I didn’t take it all that
> seriously, though I told him if that were to happen, Pakistan would be
> in terrible trouble with the United States.”
> Beg said he did not recall such a conversation with Rowen.
> There is evidence that Pakistan offered Iran nuclear technology and
> know-how even before the meeting between Bhutto and Rafsanjani. In
> March of this year, an IAEA official said that middlemen affiliated
> with Khan had met with Iranian officials in Dubai in 1987 and had
> offered to sell enrichment technology and designs for an atomic
> weapon. Iran said its officials had turned down the offer of weapons
> designs but had agreed to buy equipment for centrifuges to enrich
> uranium and a list of potential suppliers.
> “Khan might have had meetings in 1987 [with Iranians] we know now, but
> it was when Beg came to power that A. Q. Khan got his green light to
> deal with Iran,” said a former Pakistani official who had access to
> records of the internal investigation of Khan’s activities.
> Iran received undisclosed shipments of centrifuges, components,
> designs and other help from Pakistan until the mid-1990s, according to
> IAEA reports. Much of the equipment came directly from Khan’s laboratory.
> A Deal for Missiles
> Khan’s transactions with North Korea also appear to have roots in a
> deal sanctioned initially by his government.
> Bhutto has acknowledged buying designs for missiles at Khan’s request
> during a visit to North Korea in late 1993. At the time, Khan’s
> laboratory was developing missiles to carry nuclear warheads. It came
> to rely heavily on North Korean designs.
> U.S. intelligence officials said Khan’s relationship with North Korea
> changed when Pakistan ran short of cash in the late 1990s. They said
> he traded advanced centrifuge technology to North Korea for more help
> with missiles. The North Korean assistance led to the development of
> the Ghauri missiles, which are part of Pakistan’s nuclear delivery system.
> North Korea is thought to currently have enough weapons-grade
> plutonium for five to eight bombs, though the technology involved was
> not provided by Khan. Concern is mounting that it is about to conduct
> an underground nuclear test.
> But U.S. officials also say the North Koreans are developing a second
> method for producing atomic weapons, based on uranium enrichment
> technology from Khan.
> To many experts, Khan’s trade with North Korea stands out as the
> clearest evidence that the Pakistani military knew at least something
> about his nuclear trafficking.
> “They can’t say that this was a guy out on his own and we were shocked
> when we learned that he was doing this,” said George Perkovich of the
> Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
> While acknowledging Khan’s sales to Iran and Libya, Musharraf and
> other senior Pakistani officials deny that North Korea received
> nuclear technology. They say Pakistan paid for the North Korean help.
> “The money was on the books,” said the former senior military officer.
> “Unless Khan kept the money for himself and gave North Korea nuclear
> equipment instead, we paid for it.”
> Tracking the proceeds from Khan’s nuclear commerce has proved
> difficult, according to international investigators. Some records were
> intentionally destroyed, and huge sums disappeared into a labyrinth of
> bank accounts in Dubai, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
> Pakistani officials acknowledged that profits from sales of
> antiaircraft rockets and other conventional weapons designed by Khan
> Research Laboratories have helped finance the facility’s nuclear research.
> Perkovich and others suspect that a portion of the trafficking
> proceeds went into the laboratory’s coffers too. But no one has
> offered proof, and as with many aspects of Khan’s clandestine
> activities, it remains an open question.
> Khan has not appeared in public since his televised confession. He is
> not allowed to use a telephone, read a newspaper or watch television,
> although he may swim once a day in his pool.
> Two former laboratory security chiefs, an army major and a brigadier
> general, were among 11 people investigated by Pakistani authorities in
> addition to Khan. Of these others, only Mohammed Farooq, a senior
> scientist at KRL, remains in custody.
> “Unfortunately, the entire proliferation took place under the orders
> and patronage of Dr. A. Q. Khan,” reads a transcript of the closed
> briefing Musharraf gave Pakistani journalists hours before Khan’s mea
> culpa. “I can say with certainty that no government official or
> military personnel were involved.”
> Pakistani journalists close to Khan have said he claims that Beg and
> others approved his sales of nuclear technology.
> A former Pakistani official and the former senior Pakistani officer
> both said outside investigators would never be allowed to question
> Khan because he knows too many secrets and for fear of what he might
> say, true or not.
> “He might name names, he might say that Gen. Beg authorized his
> activities,” the former senior officer said. “It would create a
> problem that Pakistan does not need.”
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fwd: Where liberals love a dictator

Dalrymple has given us some helpful and insightful reports on Pakistan. This is
another helpful formulation of the situation. The real world seems ever to
resist simplicity. RLCSubject: Where liberals love a dictator
Date: May 17, 2005
–> Where liberals love a dictator
> Pakistan’s experience of democracy as a kind of elective feudalism is
> a reminder that the ballot box by itself is no panacea
> William Dalrymple
> Tuesday May 17, 2005
> The Guardian
> If it has achieved little else, George Bush’s “war on terror” has at
> least succeeded in mating some unlikely bedfellows. Who, a few years
> ago, could imagine the strange coupling of the Labour party and the
> neocons? Or the love-in between the House of Bush and the House of Saud?
> An equally bizarre alliance is now to be found in Pakistan. The
> liberal elite, somewhat to its astonishment, has suddenly found a new
> affection for the military dictator, General Pervez Musharraf. Travel
> through the country today, talk to the journalists and opinion-makers,
> and you will find surprisingly little enthusiasm for the resumption of
> full democracy, which – under US pressure – looks likely to take place
> in 2007.
> Article continues
> ——————————————————————————–
> ——————————————————————————–
> It is not that Pakistan’s liberals approve of military dictatorships.
> These were the people who took to the streets to resist General Zia
> ul-Haq. But the democratic politics of Pakistan throughout the 1990s
> proved so violent, so corrupt and so socially and economically
> disastrous that Musharraf’s rule is now widely regarded as the least
> awful option. Pakistan provides a depressing, but highly significant,
> example of just how flawed a democracy can be in a developing country
> – and a useful reality check at a time when Bush and Tony Blair seem
> to have persuaded themselves that democracy is a magic wand that can
> provide an instant solution to all the ills of the Islamic world.
> Certainly, few middle-class Pakistanis have much relish for the return
> of Benazir Bhutto or Nawaz Sharif, the leaders who took Pakistan to
> the brink of collapse in the 90s. There are good reasons for this. Ten
> years ago, at the height of Bhutto’s rule, the corruption monitoring
> organisation Transparency International named Pakistan as the second
> most corrupt country in the world. At the same time, Amnesty
> International accused the government of massive human rights abuse,
> with one of the world’s worst records of custodial deaths,
> extrajudicial killings and torture. Moreover, Bhutto and her husband
> were charged with plundering the country to buy European estates and
> townhouses.
> It was difficult to imagine Bhutto’s successor, Nawaz Sharif, making a
> bigger hash of things, but he quickly succeeded, harassing his
> political opponents, dismissing judges and threatening journalists.
> The Friday Times editor, Najam Sethi, was abducted from his home on
> Sharif’s orders; the police denied all knowledge of his arrest until a
> series of demonstrations eventually forced them to release him. Such
> was the harassment suffered by the leading newspaper, Jang, that it
> was able to produce editions only one page long. Sharif and his
> brother bussed in hundreds of thugs to ransack the supreme court. Soon
> afterwards the chief justice was forced to resign under a barrage of
> threats.
> Sharif also moved Pakistan closer to Islamist policies, entrenching
> sharia in the legal system. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s ISI intelligence
> agency presided over the growth of jihadi groups, believing them to be
> the most cost-effective way of tying down the Indian army in Kashmir
> and exerting Pakistani influence in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the
> economy teetered towards collapse.
> Behind this succession of crises lay the bigger problem of a
> fundamentally flawed political system where land-owning remains the
> only social base from which politicians can emerge. The educated
> middle class – which in India seized control in 1947 – is in Pakistan
> still largely excluded from the political process. As a result, in
> many of the more backward parts of Pakistan the local feudal zamindar
> can expect his people to vote for his chosen candidate. Politicians
> tend to come to power more through deals done within Pakistan’s small
> feudal-army elite than through the will of the people.
> In contrast, Musharraf’s record in bringing the country back from the
> brink has been impressive. Under the urbane eye of Shaukat Aziz,
> formerly the vice-president of Citibank and now Musharraf’s prime
> minister, Pakistan is enjoying a construction and consumer boom, with
> growth approaching 7% – although some of this has been generated by
> the mass repatriation of Pakistani drug fortunes after the tightening
> of money-laundering regulations in the US and the Gulf. Sectarian
> violence is down, the jihadis have been restrained and the ISI, which
> encouraged them, has been partially reformed. Press criticism has been
> tolerated and the airwaves freed up.
> It has certainly not been an unblemished record. Musharraf has made
> many unwise compromises with the Muslim ulema, and in two provinces
> has entered into an alliance with the hardline Islamist MMM. Musharraf
> has failed even to attempt sorting out the country’s disastrously
> inadequate education and health system; instead the army is spending
> money on a fleet of American F-16s. The Pakistani human rights record
> remains abysmal. But few can really dispute that Musharraf’s rule has
> brought Pakistan better economic governance and a greater degree of
> stability and press freedom than it has enjoyed for many years.
> The wider lesson to be drawn from this is that while US support for
> democracy is preferable to its previous policy of bolstering client
> autocracies, electoral democracy is not on its own an automatic
> panacea. As Pakistan shows, rigged, corrupt, unrepresentative and
> flawed democracies without the strong independent institutions of a
> civil society – a free press, an independent judiciary, an empowered
> election commission – can foster governments that are every bit as
> tyrannical as any dictatorship. Justice and democracy are not
> necessarily synonymous.
> In Pakistan, democracy has meant a kind of elective feudalism. In
> Lebanon, the eccentric electoral system, rigged in the Maronites’
> favour, has made it impossible for the majority Shia community to
> achieve power. In Iraq, the electoral system fails to reflect the
> popular mandate, and the means by which it was imposed – down the
> barrel of an American gun – has led many of the Sunni community to
> disfranchise themselves.
> It is a similar situation in Afghanistan, where the elected government
> of President Hamid Karzai has as bad a record of torture and custodial
> deaths as any of its predecessors (although much of the worst torture
> is taking place in US bases, outside Afghan sovereignty). As Dr Sima
> Samar, the leading human rights activist in Afghanistan, put it in the
> New York Review of Books, “democracy and freedom are simply
> meaningless without justice and the rule of law”.
> · William Dalrymple is the author of White Mughals: Love and Betrayal
> in 18th-Century India
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