Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Pakistan in Deep Turmoil

In the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s killing, the Pakistani government finds itself under both domestic and foreign pressure.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Inter Press Service

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani faces the nation Monday, amid opposition demands for the resignation of the country’s top political and military leaders in the wake of the secret U.S. operation that killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil.

Gilani will address the nation through parliament, a week after U.S. forces snuck into Abbottabad in northeast Pakistan, killed bin Laden and took his body without the knowledge of Pakistani leaders.

Gilani said in France Sunday that the U.S. forces should not have violated Pakistn’s sovereignty.

A full debate on the bin Laden fiasco would be conducted in parliament, according to an official statement issued immediately after Gilani met with President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

The three met for the second time since the bin Laden fiasco on May 7, and said in an official statement afterwards that they "comprehensively reviewed" the situation in the "perspective of Pakistan’s national security and foreign policy."

The prime minister returned from a three-day official visit to France on Saturday morning and also held consultations with defence minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar and the minister of state for foreign affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar.

The meetings took place in the face of international pressure for Pakistan to explain how bin Laden lived undetected near the country’s premier military academy for five years. There is also pressure from within the country for heads to roll, the Dawn newspaper said.

Opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told IPS that they are demanding the resignations of the president, the prime minister and the military leadership.

"We are not going to spare the government on this issue which relates to the country’s sovereignty," Khan told media people outside the National Assembly on Saturday. "The government must come out of hibernation and speak clearly and loudly to give an end to the blame-game between the Pakistan and the U.S."

At a news conference in Lahore, former foreign minister and senior leader of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party Shah Mahmood Qureshi said action should also be taken against the heads of the Army and the main spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), if an official inquiry finds them responsible.

For the past week, the Pakistani government has provided no reply to the barrage of accusations from the U.S. that Pakistan’s ISI forces may have turned a blind eye to bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad, and even actively assisted him.

On May 4, the ISI issued a statement saying it was embarrassed by the presence of Osama in Abbottabad and admitted its incapability to have traced him. However, it said that Pakistan’s role in the war against terror had been positive, and that several top leaders had been arrested and handed over to the U.S.

Pakistani leaders also pointed out that more than 3,000 soldiers have died fighting insurgents since 9/11, and that tens of thousands more civilians have died in terrorist attacks.

After Israel, Pakistan has been a main recipient of U.S. aid. Now U.S. Congressmen are moving enact a law that would choke off billions of dollars.

According to the Washington Post, a safe house set up by the Central Intelligence Agency in Abbottabad was a base of operations for intelligence gathering that used Pakistani informants and other sources to compile a "pattern of life" portrait of the occupants.

Officials told The Washington Post that it was from this safehouse that spies monitored the daily activities at the compound where bin Laden was found.

Earlier in April, according to WikiLeaks, the United States had listed Pakistan’s ISI as "terrorist", and ranked it alongside groups such as Al-Qaeda and Taliban. Late last year, news reports also quoted the U.S. as saying that ISI had a long association with Al-Qaeda and Taliban, and that ISI officials even attended Taliban meetings.

On Apr. 25, the Guardian newspaper quoted secret files it had obtain in which "U.S. authorities describe the main Pakistani intelligence service as a terrorist organisation."

"Recommendations to interrogators at Guantanamo Bay rank the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate alongside Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon as threats. Being linked to any of these groups is an indication of terrorist or insurgent activity, the documents say," according to The Guardian.

In the week since the May 2 operation in Abbottabad, the Pakistani government has been unable to come up with a coherent response to the accusations.

On May 3, a meeting between Zardari, Gilani and Kayani failed to draw up a response to the Abbottabad operation. On May 7, the country’s top civilian and military leadership met to hammer out a strategy to cope with the situation.

An official statement on Saturday emphasised that "the sole criterion for formulating our stance is safeguarding of Pakistan’s supreme national interest by all means, by all state institutions, in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Pakistan, who above all value their dignity and honour."

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Jon Lerner is a conservative political strategist and top adviser to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. He was a key figure in the “Never Trump” Campaign, which appears to have led to his being ousted as Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser.


Pamela Geller is a controversial anti-Islam activist who has founded several “hate groups” and likes to repeat debunked myths, including about the alleged existence of “no-go” Muslim zones in Europe.


Max Boot, neoconservative military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, on Trump and Russia: “At every turn Trump is undercutting the ‘get tough on Russia’ message because he just can’t help himself, he just loves Putin too much.”


Although overlooked by President Trump for cabinet post, Gingrich has tried to shape affairs in the administration, including by conspiring with government officials to “purge the State Department of staffers they viewed as insufficiently loyal” to the president.


Former Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL) is an advisor for United Against Nuclear Iran. He is an outspoken advocate for aggressive action against Iran and a fierce defender of right-wing Israeli policies.


A military historian, Kimberly Kagan heads the Institute for the Study of War, where she has promoted the continuation of U.S. war in Afghanistan.


A “non-partisan” policy institute that purports to defend democracies from “militant Islamism,” the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is an influential base of hawkish advocacy on Middle East policy.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Other than the cynical political interests in Moscow and Tehran, there is no conceivable rationale for wanting Bashar al-Assad to stay in power. But the simple fact is, he has won the war. And while Donald Trump has reveled in positive press coverage of the recent attacks on the country, it is clear that they were little more than a symbolic act.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The reality is that the Assad regime is winning the Syrian civil war, and this matters far less to U.S. interests than it does to that regime or its allies in Russia and Iran, who see Syria as their strongest and most consistent entrée into the Arab world. Those incontrovertible facts undermine any notion of using U.S. military force as leverage to gain a better deal for the Syrian people.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

An effective rhetorical tool to normalize military build-ups is to characterize spending increases “modernization.”


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Pentagon has officially announced that that “long war” against terrorism is drawing to a close — even as many counterinsurgency conflicts  rage across the Greater Middle East — and a new long war has begun, a permanent campaign to contain China and Russia in Eurasia.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Revelations that data-consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used ill-gotten personal information from Facebook for the Trump campaign masks the more scandalous reality that the company is firmly ensconced in the U.S. military-industrial complex. It should come as no surprise then that the scandal has been linked to Erik Prince, co-founder of Blackwater.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As the United States enters the second spring of the Trump era, it’s creeping ever closer to more war. McMaster and Mattis may have written the National Defense Strategy that over-hyped the threats on this planet, but Bolton and Pompeo will have the opportunity to address these inflated threats in the worst way possible: by force of arms.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

We meet Donald Trump in the media every hour of every day, which blots out much of the rest of the world and much of what’s meaningful in it.  Such largely unexamined, never-ending coverage of his doings represents a triumph of the first order both for him and for an American cult of personality.


RightWeb
share