Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pakistan security staff pull out of UK visit, after David Cameron 'exporters of terror' comments

As one of the world's newest nations Pakistan has this wild idea about becoming the world's foremost Islamic nation behind Arabia. To do this, like Saudi Arabia they have to promote intolerance, particularly in schools. The concept of inclusion in Pakistan simply doesn't exist. The Hindus to the south are idolaters. Christians misled. The major difference between Saudi Arabia is that they don't have a non-Muslim community such as Pakistan does. They have far more money to control Islamist groups who feel the state, or elements or groups within the country are not Islamic enough. Without the Saudi funding and an Islamic policeman on every corner, Pakistan's Islamic groups are allowed to take the law into their own hands. And kill at will. And challenge the state. Pakistan's intolerant policies aim to make it a great Islamic nation ~ but they simply can't afford to be. What is happening, is that the intolerant elements and their sympathizers are wrestling for control and they risk loosing the nation to them. They could become the greatest jihadist nation on earth. And surpass Arabia for export of terror and intolerant ideology.

Pakistan is offended by David Cameron's comments ~ but is also clear is how far they are in denial [if they are indeed not supporting the other side].

In protest at David Cameron's comments on Pakistan's record on terrorism, Pakistan's intelligence agency withdraws from a visit to the UK. Previously, the prime minister told Economics Editor Faisal Islam that it is important to "speak frankly and clearly about these issues".

During a visit to India this week, Mr Cameron said that Pakistan should not be allowed "to promote the export of terror" in the world.

The Times reported that senior officers from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had been due to come to London for talks on counter-terrorism co-operation with British security services.

But an ISI spokesman told the paper: "The visit has been cancelled in reaction to the comments made by the British Prime Minister against Pakistan."

The withdrawal comes just before a three-day visit to the UK by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, during which he was expected to stay at the prime minister's country retreat Chequers.

Officials said that Mr Zardari's visit to the UK was still expected to go ahead as planned. "Our understanding is that the visit is on," said a Foreign Office spokeswoman.

In an interview with Economics Editor Faisal Islam at the end of his visit to India, Mr Cameron appeared to row back on his comments at first, saying: "The point is this, that to be fair to Pakistan, they have made progress in terms of trying to drive out of their country terrorist groups that are both damaging to Pakistan itself, but also damaging to others including Britain in Afghanistan and British people back at home."

But he then said that support for terrorist groups in Pakistan is "not acceptable".

He told Channel 4 News: "They (Pakistan) have made progress, but obviously we want to keep that progress going and it's important for everyone to understand that it's not acceptable for there to be within Pakistan, support for terrorist groups that can do so much damage, in Pakistan itself, but also in other parts of the world."

Faisal Islam asked the prime minister if he felt the comments had overshadowed his visit to India.

He replied: "I don't think it's overshadowed anything. I mean I just think it's important to speak frankly and clearly about these issues. I've always done that in the past and I'll always want to do that as Prime Minister, but this trip is about building the relationship between Britain and India.

"A relationship which is about the economy, business, finance, but also a relationship that is about security and about common issues like climate change. And on all those issues I think it's been a great success and very, very positive."

ISI Pakistan links to al-Qaida
The controversy comes after 91,000 secret US Military documents were released by Wikileaks at the beginning of the week. Within some of the field reports it appeared to show that, according to intelligence received by the US military, the Inter-services intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan are involved in many different ways in Afghanistan.

One incident Wikileaks tells Channel 4 News is a warning that ISI agents and five al-Qaida operatives are working together on a mission, crossing into Afghanistan from Pakistan to carry out an attack.

One of the most interesting incidents, Wikileaks says is an attempt by an ISI officer to assassinate Afghan President Hamid Karzai, through a Taliban contact.

ISI Karzai assassination plot
In the field report 52171, filed on 22 August 2008, it says that a Pakistani intelligence officer has targeted Afghan president Karzai for assassination.

It then states that a colonel from the ISI had directed a Taliban official to "see that Karzai was assassinated".

The report then says that the Taliban official assigned an individual from the Sarowbi district to assassinate Karzai in a suicide mission at the presidential palace. According to the report there is no information as to how or when this assassination was to be carried out.

Channel 4 News has seen these classified documents, but has been unable to independently verify their authenticity.

Wikileaks Editor Julian Assange told Channel 4 News: "Well there are allegations in there from human intelligence reports - informers talking to the US military about the ISI including attempts to assassinate President Karzai.

"There is a lot of material in there about Pakistan, about the ISI, crossing over the border, firing over border, firing by US troops from Afghanistan into Pakistan, drones over flights and even a plot by the ISI to assassinate Karzai."

Pakistan's ISI (or Inter-Services Intelligence agency) has throughout its 62 years of existence played a unique and rarely uncontroversial role, wedged tightly between its handling of the country's relations with the West and of those Pakistanis who support violent jihad.

Founded shortly after Pakistan gained its independence in 1947, the ISI reached its highest profile when Soviet forces invaded neighbouring Afghanistan just over 30 years later. Through much of the 1980s the agency trained and equipped tens of thousands of the mujahideen fighters who streamed to wage jihad against the Russians.

Crucially the ISI also helped distribute the CIA-supplied Stinger missiles that all but ended hitherto lethal offensives by Soviet planes & helicopters. (This unusual alliance of hardline Islamists and Capitalist ideologues against a shared Communist enemy leads some commentators to blame the West for itself setting in train the forces that would strike it on September 11 2001.)

With Moscow defeated, the ISI began the 1990s by supporting the creation of the Afghan Taliban to preserve Pakistan's strategic influence in the region. But, long after the US-led coalition claimed victory in 2001 in routing the Taliban from Kabul, many analysts have accused elements within the ISI of continuing to train and support the jihadists against the West.

Julian Assange said: "Now a number of these reports, including the assassinate plot, could be erroneous. These are informers coming and saying 'I heard this guy is involved in an assassinate plot', a lot of these are probably burns and designed to take out a competitor or enemy, it doesn't mean the allegations are true.

"That's what is true about the material - it reveals how difficult the intelligence environment is when there are incentives to say information for money.

"As a result, military command can say anything they want about what is happening. There is always a man in Afghanistan or Pakistan who is willing to say the right thing."

Channel 4

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