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Posted by on Jul 27, 2010 in International, Law, Media, Miscellaneous, Places, Politics, Religion, Science & Technology, Society, War | 0 comments

Defining Terrorism: WikiLeaks, Peter Galbraith, Pakistan & India


Peter Galbraith, the former United Nations’ deputy special representative for Afghanistan, raises a pertinent point regarding the White House response to WikiLeaks documents: “The Wikileaks documents, splashed in the Guardian and several other papers, provide useful confirmation of what is readily discerned from public sources: the Afghanistan War is going badly, the Taliban are exceptionally brutal, US forces have not always attacked the right targets and elements in Pakistan continue to support the Taliban.

“Of all this information, the most troubling concerns the duplicitous double dealing by Pakistan’s powerful spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI. While some of the intelligence seems wildly implausible, the Wikileaks documents show a continued relationship between the ISI and the Taliban. This is not surprising.

In the 1990s, the ISI helped create the Taliban and Pakistani support was decisive to the Taliban’s capture of Kabul in 1996. The US has known since 2001 that Pakistan did not break its ties with the Taliban as President Pervez Musharraf had promised President Bush. After all, Mullah Omar and his close associates have been in Pakistan since 2001 and it is not plausible that Pakistan did not know where any of them were.

“President Bush could have forced Pakistan to break the ISI-Taliban nexus but did not. He was dealing with Musharraf who, as the country’s military dictator, presumably did control the ISI. Bush, who liked to talk tough but rarely was, preferred to accept Musharraf’s false assurance that Pakistan was not supporting the Taliban connection to the unpleasant task of having to put pressure on an ally.

“President Obama is dealing with an elected civilian government that is, as its leaders admit privately, in office but not always in power. President Asif Ali Zardari has tried to make the war on terror the centrepiece of his administration… But Zardari does not control the ISI…” More here…

The Indian government has repeatedly pointed out about this dangerous Pakistan-Taliban nexus during the past two decades. The US administration has continued to maintain a mysterious silence on this subject. A few days back Ms Hillary Clinton announced a huge aid package for Pakistan during her visit there without any fool-proof assurance from the country about its dealings with militant/terrorist elements.

The Guardian’s editorial sates: “In these documents, Iran’s and Pakistan’s intelligence agencies run riot. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is linked to some of the war’s most notorious commanders. The ISI is alleged to have sent 1,000 motorbikes to the warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani for suicide attacks in Khost and Logar provinces, and to have been implicated in a sensational range of plots, from attempting to assassinate President Hamid Karzai to poisoning the beer supply of western troops.

“These reports are unverifiable and could be part of a barrage of false information provided by Afghan intelligence. But yesterday’s White House response to the claims that elements of the Pakistan army had been so specifically linked to the militants made it plain that the status quo is unacceptable. It said that safe havens for militants within Pakistan continued to pose “an intolerable threat” to US forces.

“However you cut it, this is not an Afghanistan that either the US or Britain is about to hand over gift-wrapped with pink ribbons to a sovereign national government in Kabul. Quite the contrary. After nine years of warfare, the chaos threatens to overwhelm. A war fought ostensibly for the hearts and minds of Afghans cannot be won like this.” More here…

Australia has established a taskforce to examine the publication of tens of thousands of US military documents that may affect Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. More here…

WikiLeaks has not identified the source of the documents it obtained but suspicion has fallen on Bradley Manning, a US Army intelligence analyst who is currently being held in a military jail in Kuwait. Manning was arrested in May following the release by WikiLeaks of video footage of a US Apache helicopter strike in Iraq in which civilians died and has been charged with delivering defense information to an unauthorized source. More here…

My earlier post on WikiLeaks here…