President Pervez Musharraf .......... EXCURSIONIST PRESIDENT !!!!!


Well the latest news is…..‘’During the past five years, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf traveled to around 40 countries costing the country's exchequer Rs 1.4 billion‘’, I am sure Uncle Sam can figure out now where his Aid money was being spent. I am sure Mush could win American Express frequent traveler points very easily. Lets not forget that Musharraf is the president of one of the poorest countries in the world, where people are compelled to auction their children for the sake of bread, sell their kidneys or to commit suicide, Innocent people getting killed by suicide bombers but president of this poor nation spend such a huge money on his world tours, this money could be spend on education, getting rid of load shedding and so many other projects and problems Pakistanis face every day .It is a fact that such heavy expenses from public exchequer were not spent by the heads of any other conutry like China, India, Russia, USA, Germany, Canada and UK, who are the richest countries of the world. There are over 40 million people in Pakistan who cant read or write,Rs.1.4 billions on foreign tours by Mush could built world class schools and colleges. It is really disgusting. I think Pakistanis deserve to know why such money was spend on useless so called diplomatic tours. Is there anyone in Pakistan who thinks and cares about poor people, people who are begging on streets, people who are committing suicides because of poverty, selling kids and their body parts. I don’t understand how Pakistanis president and other elite face leaders of developed countries, in those countries their leaders care about their nation, people. I don’t think Pakistan’s leaders have any self respect or ego. Musharraf claimed to save Pakistan from two scourge: corrupt, money-grubbing politicians and Islamic extremists but he failed because his intentions were not sincere. He is corrupt just like any other military dictator and politician of Pakistan. On these tours, Musharraf not only spent with an open heart and both hands but also took with him more than thousand people on these tours to show the world his generosity. According to the media reports, the Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi told National Assembly that, President Musharraf was on foreign tour every 50th day on average and spent a total of 201 days abroad during these five years. In these tours, Musharraf didn't’ reside at embassy or at the house of any ambassador, rather he selected the most plush and posh residence for him and for his entourage. Following are the countries President Musharraf visited during Jan 2003 - Jan 2008 with number of visits to each of the country:

Russian Federation (1); Malaysia (3); Saudi Arabia (8); US (6); UK (3); Germany (1); France (3); Tunisia (1); Algeria (1); Morocco (2); Canada (1); China (2); Korea (1); Turkey (4); Switzerland (3); Sweden (1); Finland (1); Azerbaijan (1); Netherlands (1); Italy (1); UAE (5); Afghanistan (3); Brazil (1); Argentina (1); Mexico (1); Kyrgyzstan (1); Uzbekistan (1); India (1); Indonesia (2); Philippines (1); Qatar (1); Australia (1); New Zealand (1); Kuwait (1); Yemen (1); Norway (1); Belgium (2); Cuba (1); Jordan (1); Syria (1); Egypt (1); Iran (1); Spain (1); Poland (1) and Bosnia (1).

Musharraf’s stay at a luxurious hotel opposite of Hyde Park(UK) had cost Rs. 2 Million or roughly £17,000 per night to Pakistani tax payers. I think this money could save some Pakistanis who were going to commit suicide because of poverty. This is Pakistan’s President who can not see the people hunger and poverty in his country. Wonderful, Mr. President wonderful!!! You abused, accused and insult the most honorable chief justice of Pakistan of negligence and corruption, but you abused your own self and insulted your colleagues. You have proved that misusing of power spending the govt. exchequer lavishly is a noble cause. Spending millions over night serves the best interest of Pakistani people rather summon the notorious and powerful agencies before the court is dirty job. Flour must be kept out of reach of the people, load shedding, killing and suicide bombing is a noble cause to serve poor Pakistanis. Mr. President, You rule a country, where people even don’t have clean drinki ng water, two-thirds of women and a third of men are illiterate; one in two have extremely hard lives; one in four live desperately below the poverty line. According to the CIA Fact Book on Pakistan, last year the per capita income was $600 ($33,940 in the UK). Eighteen percent of the Pakistani budget goes on the military, while a meager 1% is spent on health and 2% on education. What this means is that Pakistan has among the richest generals and politicians in the world. The army controls aviation, agriculture, housing, industry, every aspect of the economy, and it dispenses patronage in order to divide and rule the opposition. There is no sanitation; no roads; inferior hospitals; poor utilities; rotten water; few state schools. It is estimated that about 32% of Pakistan's population are below the food poverty line rising from a level of 26% in 1988 (GoP, 2002), and about 44% are below the poverty line on the human poverty index (UNDP, 2002). And Musharraf has the nerve, after eight years in power, to say, "I have the national interest foremost." By 2007, Pakistan was among the world’s most dangerous places. This transformation is the result of Musharraf’s long, incompetent rule. His long, highly extravagant foreign tours to publicize his book or beg for more aid are hardly helpful in fighting terrorism or poverty. Musharraf spent billions on image improvement through ‘Enlightened Moderation’, and people are still confused as to what end all that money went???

It is shame that Pakistan is becoming ‘’kidney bazaar’’ but Pakistan’s elite is not aware of this. The rich constitute a very small percentage of the total population but command most of the resources. They live in palatal houses, drive luxury cars, and are educated in elite institutions. Conversely, the poor make up a very large portion of the population but do not have access to basic amenities, such as health, education and safe drinking water.

In February 2000, Mr Shahid Javed Burki (one of Pakistan’s most respected economists and then working in the World Bank) predicted that by the year 2010 Pakistan’s population would reach 170 million of whom 80 million (47 per cent) would be living below the poverty line. I wonder what will be suicide rate because of poverty?

Although Musharraf is not the only one, there is a history of Pakistani elite and bourgeois who spend and stole nation’s money, but it is really disgusting to look at these figures spend on foreign tours by Pakistan’s elite but poor are committing suicides. I don’t have any faith in Pakistani politicians either and I am sure the new Govt officials will do the same thing. It is shame that in Pakistan a terrorist mullah can be released but a journalist like Rehmat Shah Afridi of FP stays in prison.

Khyber Pass

Khyber also spelled KHYBER, or KHAIBAR, most northerly and important of the passes between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The pass connects Kabul with Peshawar. The pass has historically been the gateway for invasions of the Indian subcontinent from the northwest. The name Khyber is also applied to the range of arid, broken hills through which the pass runs and which form the last spurs of the Spin Ghar (Safid Kuh) Range. On either side of the connecting ridge are the sources of two small streams, the beds of which form the Khyber gorge. This narrow gorge forms the Khyber Pass; it winds between cliffs of shale and limestone, 600-1,000 feet (180-300 m) high, and enters the Khyber Hills from the Shadi Bagiar opening, a few miles beyond Jamrud, Pak., and continues northwestward for about 33 miles (53 km). Just beyond the old Afghan fort of Haft Chah, it opens onto the barren Lowyah Dakkah plain, which stretches to the Kabul River.
After a steep ascent at its southern entrance, the pass rises gradually to Fort Ali Masjid (3,174 feet), where the Khyber River (Khyber Khwar) leaves the pass to the south. For 5 miles from Ali Masjid the pass becomes a defile not more than 600 feet wide, flanked by imposing and precipitous walls. From Zintara village on northward, the pass becomes a valley a mile or more wide, with forts, villages, and scattered cultivation plots. About 10 miles west of Ali Masjid lies Landi Kotal fort and cantonment (3,518 feet); this is the highest point in the pass and is also an important market centre with an alternate route back to Peshawar. There the summit widens out northward for 2 miles. The main pass, however, descends from Landi Kotal through Shinwari territory to Landi Khana, where it runs through another gorge and enters Afghanistan territory at Towr Kham (Torkham; 2,300 feet), winding another 10 miles down the valley to Lowyah Dakkah.

The Khyber Pass is threaded by a caravan track and by a good hard-surface road. The railway (opened 1925) through the pass connects Jamrud with Landi Khana, near the Afghan frontier; the line, with its 34 tunnels and 94 bridges and culverts, revolutionized transportation in the area. The pass may be skirted by a road fork that enters the hills about 9 miles north of Jamrud and emerges at Lowyah Dakkah.

Few passes have had such continuing strategic importance or so many historic associations as the Khyber Pass. Through it have passed Persians, Greeks, Mughals, Afghans, and the British, for whom it was the key point in control of the Afghan border. In the 5th century BC Darius I the Great of Persia conquered the country around Kabul and marched through the Khyber Pass to the Indus River. Two centuries later Hephaestion and Perdiccas, generals of Alexander the Great, probably used the pass. Buddhism flourished in and around the Khyber when it was part of Ashoka's kingdom (3rd century BC); Buddhist remains include Kafir Kot (Citadel of the Kafirs), Shopla stupa (also called the Khyber Top), and the stupa near Ali Masjid. The pass was used by Mahmud of Ghazna, Babur, Nader Shah, and Ahmad Shah Durrani and his grandson Shah Zaman in their invasions of India. Ranjit Singh, the Sikh ruler of the Punjab, extended his kingdom as far as Jamrud in the early 19th century.

The Pashtun Afridi people of the Khyber area always resisted foreign control, and numerous punitive expeditions were undertaken against them by the Mughals and the British. The first British advance northward into the Khyber took place in 1839, and during the First Anglo-Afghan War the pass was the scene of many skirmishes with the Afridis. The Treaty of Gandamak, which was signed during the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1879, left the Khyber clans under British control. In 1897 the Afridis seized the pass and held it for several months but were defeated in the Tirah expedition of 1897. The British became responsible for the safety of the pass, which is now controlled by the Pakistani Khyber Agency.
Pukhtoonistan produces 70 percent timber, 75 percent hydal power, 70 percent maize, 80 percent tobacco.

Foolishness Over the Olympics and Tibet

Foolishness Over the Olympics and Tibet

Tibet has been a part of China since ancient days. Historical records have shown that Tibet had been under the central government of China for more than 700 years since the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Less than 6 decades ago, China emerged from a century of colonialist oppression and humiliation at the hands of the very same colonialists that are currently behind the anti-China campaign of disinformation.

Up until the time of the Second World war, Tibet was considered as a part of China as they were trying to curb the encroachments of the British Empire on their territory. However, after the war, Washington decided to use Tibet’s religious enclave in its fight against Communism.

The international community is being barraged with a deliberate and sustained campaign of disinformation about what is going on with Tibet as once again, Washington is providing financial, political, diplomatic and propaganda support to a blatantly racist demonization effort, ostensibly due to “concerns” for “human rights." We’ve already seen the fake claims of genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo, the ridiculous and absurd lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and babies being thrown out of incubators, now we have the poor downtrodden, innocent and abused “freedom fighters" in Tibet.

Curious timing, as preparations are being made for the upcoming Olympics in Beijing. The corporate elitist media and some in-the-pocket politicians now suggest that boycotts be organized against the Beijing Olympics or the opening ceremonies at the very least.

As early as last August, Chinese scholars were warning about the Dalai Lama and what he was up to: "The Dalai Lama is once again provoking activists," said Di Zhankun, a Qinghai-based Tibetologist, claiming that the 71-year-old Dalai Lama is preparing to usher in "an era of violence."

The initial uprising in Lhasa on March 14 had been pre-planned and well orchestrated. We have none other than the Dalai Lama directing the actions of internal terrorists. As part of the so-called Tibet government in exile, the Dalai Lama has managed to grasp media attention worldwide to his “crusade” for an independent Tibet.

The events that unfolded at the lighting of the Olympic flame March 24 in Greece were most revealing. A protest briefly disrupted the ceremonies. Three protesters were arrested, but then summarily released. None were Tibetan. They were three French men, it turns out, all from a notorious right-wing organization funded by the governments of France and the United States as well as some of the richest capitalist elitists in the world. They all are employees of the group called Reporters Without Borders.

What most do not know about Tibet is the sinister historical links to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Tibet’s current “independence” fanatics and rabble rousers maintain close ties with the CIA’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED). It goes beyond any concept of non-violent protest as these individuals have engaged in acts of vandalism and looting, behaving like hooligans and criminals with rampant property destruction, hardly the actions of non-violent protest.

The American Society for a Free Asia, a CIA front, gave unlimited publicity to the cause of Tibetan criminals. The CIA has provided the Tibetan exile movement with $1.7 million a year for its operations against China which includes an annual subsidy of $180,000 for the Dalai Lama.

In the book, “Buddha's Warriors” by Mikel Dunham, is the story of CIA-backed Tibetan Freedom Fighters. In 434 pages, it explains how the CIA took hundreds of Tibetans to the US for combat training and provided them with modern arms.

Protests occurred in the UK and France that truly demonstrated to the world that the spirit of the Olympics has once again been abandoned for questionable motives. However, Gordon Brown ignored calls to rebuff China because of the protests in Tibet, and welcomed the Olympic flame behind Downing Street’s gates. Meanwhile, demonstrators and police clashed just yards away outside of Parliament. The Prime Minister did not hold the torch, but posed for a picture with it after.

In Paris, protesters scaling the Eiffel Tower, grabbed for the flame and forced security officials to repeatedly snuff out the torch and transport it by bus past demonstrators who were shrieking "Free Tibet!"

At another destination in San Francisco, three protesters wearing harnesses and helmets climbed up the Golden Gate Bridge and tied the Tibetan flag and two banners to its cables. The banners read "One World One Dream” and "Free Tibet."

A media charade occurred when some of these “peaceful” monks in Tibet managed to get themselves arrested for the benefit of a visiting media team. China allowed a group of about two dozen reporters into Lhasa for a three-day escorted visit. The monks in a carefully choreographed action pushed in front of journalists on cue and recited a list of carefully prepared “grievances” and thereby sidetracked and disrupted the event. One of the monks also declared their intended purpose: “We know we will probably be arrested but we have to keep fighting,” Naturally the group of monks ended up by being surrounded by security guards and other officials who tried to quiet the disturbance. Lights, camera, action!

Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said India will ensure the smooth run of the relay of the Olympic torch in the country, the Press Trust of India reported. "As far as the Government of India is concerned, we are committed to providing complete security to the Olympic torch," Sharma was quoted as saying.

The European Union has rejected any boycott, saying it would be counterproductive to efforts to improve “human rights” in China. "Boycotting the XXIX Olympiad is not the right answer to the current political problems," said a statement from Slovenia, which holds the EU's rotating presidency.

Unfortunately, it has become politically expedient to hate China in the empire today. After all, China sends them cheap junk . Never mind that corporate elitist businesses order that cheap junk and China makes it according to the specifications given them by these companies, all to maximize profits at the expense of quality. Blaming China gets the companies off the hook for what they ordered, inspected and accepted and willingly sold to the public for huge profits. China is being used as a scapegoat, albeit a very prosperous and wealthy scapegoat.

Meanwhile the Dali Lama rolled into Seattle at his home base USA to attend a 5 day conference entitled “Seeds of Compassion.” Conference tickets were reported to be sold out. He told the media that China, “Cannot suppress protests against human rights in Tibet.” Rich words coming from a paid CIA shill.

There can be little doubt that the main beneficiaries to the death and destruction sweeping Tibet are in Washington. How disgusting it is to see so many well meaning people deceived into serving the interests of Washington and the corporate elitists in sabotaging the Beijing Olympics. The spirit and nature of the event are being spoiled all to the delight, enrichment and interests of corporate elitists. The Chinese people have a long memory and a keen sense of honor and this will not soon be forgotten or forgiven.

The Taliban blowback

The Taliban blowback
The US enlisted the help of the mujahideen to fight the Soviet army in 1980s Afghanistan. But Pakistan, too, began fostering Islamist extremism. Now, Declan Walsh reports, it is suffering the violent consequences
Declan Walsh The Guardian, Wednesday April 16 2008 Article historyAbout this articleClose This article appeared in the Guardian on Wednesday April 16 2008 on p12 of the Comment & features section. It was last updated at 00:12 on April 16 2008. Two recent films feature Pakistan's lawless North-West Frontier province. The first is Charlie Wilson's War, a glossy Hollywood tale about how a cocaine-sniffing, skirt-chasing congressman helped goad the CIA into a massive covert war against Soviet-occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s.

In one scene Tom Hanks, who plays Wilson, and Julia Roberts, his flinty southern belle, bring a powerful Washington politician named Doc Long to a squalid refugee camp near Peshawar in neighbouring Pakistan. Moved by the plight of the Afghan refugees, Long promises he will send weapons to fight the infidel communists.

"This is good against evil. And I want you to know that America is always going to be on the side of the good," the pudgy white man declares to the turbaned crowd of Afghan exiles. "Allahu Akbar!" they yell. Long punches the air in return. "Allahu Akbar!" he shouts.

The second film is far from glossy; in fact it is a non-fiction production. Shot in Mohmand, a tribal area in Pakistan's borderlands near the Afghan refugee camps created by that conflict in the 80s, Revenge is a straight-to-DVD job. It sells for the equivalent of 40p in the bazaars of Peshawar and its budget is evident in the wobbly camerawork and harsh lighting. But the action is all too real.

In the climactic scene, a Taliban gang parades six men, accused of theft and betrayal, before a crowd of perhaps 5,000 tribesmen. The prisoners are badly beaten, naked to the waist and smeared with their own blood. They are shoved before the central figure - a man in traditional shalwar kameez and basketball boots, brandishing a knife as long as his forearm. Amid much ballyhooing, he beheads the prisoners, one by one.

The camera spares no detail. The head-chopping Talib clamps his hand over his victims' mouths as he hacks at their necks; fellow fighters clamour to take photos with their mobile phones; blood squirts on to the soil. But only one sound is audible. "Allahu Akbar!" the crowd cries. "Allahu Akbar!"

The film exemplifies the fundamentalist fury sweeping Pakistan's frontier region, a fury that has swelled to alarming proportions. Across the North-West Frontier province that abuts Afghanistan, self-proclaimed Taliban forces - a hotchpotch of religious diehards, foreign fugitives, angry tribals and village thugs - are imposing their influence at gunpoint. Girls' schools have closed, movie and music stores have been torched and barbers who dare to shave beards have shuttered their pokey little stalls. Perceived enemies are kidnapped or, in some cases, beheaded.

Even more worrying, the violence is spilling into other parts of Pakistan. A cascade of suicide attacks and bombs have rocked the main cities. Recent victims have included a three-star general stalled in traffic, FBI agents at a pizza joint and the opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, killed as she left an election rally in Rawalpindi.

In one of the largest attacks, a massive car bomb gutted a seven-storey police headquarters in Lahore. For days afterwards terrified city residents streamed past to gawp at the awesome destruction. "It looks like we've been attacked by an enemy country," said Muhammad Umar, a municipal clerk, staring at the sagging mess.

The bloodshed has stalled in recent weeks as a new, civilian-led government takes control. But few expect the calm to last. Many Pakistanis blame America. Since 2001 the Pentagon has given the Pakistani army more than £5bn to fight militants in the tribal badlands. But for many Pakistanis this is "America's war" - a fight inadvertently started by Charlie Wilson.

Throughout the 80s the US used Islam as a weapon against the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan, funnelling billions of dollars in weapons to the mujahideen fighters. The struggle became a cause celebre across the Muslim world, sucking in disaffected young men like Osama Bin Laden.

After the Soviet forces crawled home in 1989, Wilson and the CIA largely forgot about their jihadi creation until the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York in September 2001, when the realisation came painfully late.

Pakistanis make this argument forcefully and frequently (though usually omitting to mention that their more respected ally, Saudi Arabia, paid for half of the anti-Soviet jihadi budget). But the 80s jihad also spawned a home-grown malignancy - one that now poses a powerful threat.

Recognising the jihadis' skill with a Kalashnikov and dedication to God, Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) gave them a fresh assignment in the 1990s: Kashmir. Led by Afghan veterans, fighters were secretly trained, armed and funded by the ISI to fight Indian soldiers in Kashmir. The best were later sent to help the Taliban in Afghanistan, then also sponsored by elements within Pakistani intelligence.

But when Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, backed the United States after 2001, the footsoldiers felt betrayed. First they tried to kill Musharraf in 2003; in the past nine months they have launched a blistering offensive against the security forces. A senior Pakistani police official told the Guardian that he believes these elements - loosely termed the "Punjabi Taliban" - have played a central role in the recent violence. Frankenstein's monster has turned on its master.

"The intelligence agencies were so short-sighted not to see the blowback," says another figure with front-line experience, Hassan Abbas. He was a sub-divisional police chief in North-West Frontier province in the late 90s, and is now a research fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. "You can switch these guys on," he says. "But it's 100% more difficult to switch them off."

Yet for all that, Pakistan is strangely reluctant to crack down on certain Islamists. While there are those who have been captured or killed, others are allowed to roam free. Some shadowy figures seem almost untouchable: men such as Qari Saifullah Akhtar.

Akhtar, a jihad veteran of three decades' experience, has seen it all. He has been portrayed as hero and villain, godfather and coupster, idol and assassin. He has skirted American bombs, fought dirty wars and become pals with the Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar. Today his past seems to have caught up with him. He languishes in a Karachi jail, accused of orchestrating an attempt on Benazir Bhutto's life last October. But if history is a guide, he is unlikely to see a trial. He may be quietly released or, who knows, mysteriously slip from custody. People like him, it seems, simply know too much.

Akhtar wasn't always seen as the bad guy. Back in 1980, just months after the Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan, he became a pioneer of the modern Pakistani jihad. He left his home in the city of Chishtian in Pakistani Punjab, and headed north to Peshawar in North-West Frontier province. Teaming up with other religiously minded men, he signed up for the fight. News of the glorious exploits of his group, Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI), inspired others to follow.

"He was my first amir [commander]," said Maulana Tahir Ashrafi, 35, a baby-faced cleric who heads the Pakistani Ulema (scholars) Council and is a former religious adviser to the government of Punjab. "The Russians were demolishing an Islamic country and it was our duty to defend it. At that time we were the Americans' sugar babies. They thought we were doing their job. We thought we were doing it for God."

Men like Akhtar were friends of America, allying themselves to Afghan commanders and, in the bubbling cauldron of jihad, befriending wealthy Arab fighters, such as Osama bin Laden, according to a former Pakistani intelligence officer, Khalid Khawaja. He said he met Akhtar in a training camp in 1987. "He was one of the first Pakistanis to go for jihad," he said.

After the Russians fled in 1989, a generation of jihadi fighters found themselves fired up with nowhere to go. Pakistan's ISI spy agency gave them a destination. Within a few years, Pakistani guerrilla groups were infiltrating Indian-controlled Kashmir, all under the control of the ISI. Battle-hardened warriors such as Akhtar led the fight. Saudi-funded madrassas provided a steady flow of recruits.

"It was an arrangement that suited the ISI very much," said Muhammad Amir Rana, author of The A to Z of Jehadi Organisations in Pakistan.

But Akhtar soon made it clear that his first allegiance was to Allah, not Pakistan. In 1995 he was part of a fanciful plot by a fundamentalist army general, Zaheerul Islam Abbasi, to overthrow Benazir Bhutto's second government, oust the army and turn Pakistan into an Islamic caliphate. Akhtar's job was to provide the muscle. Once the generals had been arrested or killed, he would lead up to 300 jihadis into action, said Rana.

The plot failed miserably and Akhtar was jailed. But in a pattern that was to recur, he was quietly released months later. Soon after, he slipped back to his stomping ground in Afghanistan, where the Taliban were sweeping to power.

At a time when the ISI was openly supporting the Taliban, Abbasi became a close adviser to Mullah Omar. "He was a sort of consultant," said Rana. And that allegiance made him a new enemy after 9/11: America.

In October 2001, on the first night of the US-led offensive aimed at crushing the Taliban and extremist training grounds in Afghanistan, the US air force blitzed a HUJI training camp in Rishikor, south of Kabul. It was later identified as a graduate school for jihadis. Students from Arab countries, Pakistan and Uzbekistan learned how to kidnap, bomb and shoot.

By the time the bombs landed Akhtar had already fled. But he was less lucky a month later. A spokesman for HUJI reported that US bombs had killed 85 Pakistani fighters in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Akhtar, it was said, had gone to Kabul to make preparations for the bodies to be repatriated.

Weeks later, he disappeared. One swashbuckling fable has Akhtar fleeing through the deserts of southern Afghanistan on his motorcycle with Mullah Omar riding pillion as American bombs destroyed the Taliban headquarters in Kandahar. Either way, Akhtar surfaced again three years later, several thousand miles away, in Dubai.

In a highly publicised coup for America and Pakistan, he was seized at Dubai airport and flown to Islamabad. The White House and Musharraf claimed to have nabbed a key al-Qaida player. "Very important," declared President Bush's terrorism adviser, Frances Townsend. The Pakistanis accused Akhtar of involvement in two attempts on Musharraf's life nine months earlier.

Akhtar was kept in custody for almost three years. No court case was lodged, no charges were brought and he disappeared from view. Then last May, amid much public anger about Pakistan's many "disappeared", he was dumped on a busy road south of Islamabad. He went home.

Akhtar might have hoped for the quiet life. His lawyer and family say that he had retired from jihad and started building a khanqah, or religious retreat, on the Grand Trunk Road outside Lahore. In December he spent the holy month of Ramadan deep in meditation at the Syed Ahmed Shah khanqah, a collection of neat, low buildings amid maize fields and lychee orchards to the west of the city.

On a recent Friday morning, a group of young men with frizzy beards welcomed me in a small room off the polished courtyard. They offered sweet tea and biscuits but their faces were sour. "You foreigners call us terrorists because of our beards," snapped one, a clerk from the city's high court, in Urdu.

But after a few sips of tea the harshness melted. Of course they remembered Akhtar, they said. He stayed in a simple upstairs room, fasting through the day and praying deep into the night, said Rehan Ishfaq. "You could tell he was a commander," he said. "But he was treated no differently to anyone else."

To prove the point he named other respected guests who had been treated as equals - Maulana Masood Azhar, leader of the extremist Jaish-e-Muhammad, another Kashmir militant group; and Azam Tariq, a sectarian leader gunned down in 2003.

The men were upset that Akhtar was now in jail. It was all Benazir Bhutto's fault, they said. A few weeks earlier Bhutto's family had posthumously published Reconciliation, the book she was finishing at the time of her death on December 27. In it, she names Akhtar as the puppet-master for a huge suicide bombing that killed 150 people during her homecoming parade in Karachi last October.

"A bomb maker was needed for the bombs. Enter Qari Saifullah Akhtar, a wanted terrorist who had tried to overthrow my second government," she wrote.

Akhtar's lawyer Hashmat Habib says there is no evidence to link his client to the plot. "Qari sahib [sir] is a pious and religious person, yes. But fighting for freedom is no crime," he said. And he has launched an ambitious libel case against the book's New York publishers for $200m in damages - the alleged value of Bhutto's own insurance policy. "A mujahid's [religious fighter's] life is worth more than that of a political leader," he says.

As before, Akhtar is surrounded by more questions than answers. He has not been charged. When the first detention order expired, police flew him to Karachi. When that detention order expired late last month, they renewed his detention for another 30 days. Experts are sceptical he will ever see a trial. A man such as him could shed much light on the intelligence services' past - and possibly present - links with the murky Islamist underworld.

Suspicions linger that the intelligence agencies have not entirely closed the chapter on jihad - possibly in case its practitioners are needed in any future war with India. "Some people seem to be still in the 'good books'. The police are afraid to touch them," said Abbas of Harvard. Several western diplomats echoed this view.

Meanwhile the bombs and the blowback continue. Nobody is safe, not even the family of the man who started it all through his policy of "Islamisation" in contemporary Pakistan - the dictator General Zia-ul-Haq, who ruled Pakistan through the 80s and was a key ally of Charlie Wilson. In the movie, the congressman apologises for requesting a scotch on the rocks in the alcohol-free presidency. "I'll bet that visitors often make that mistake," he quips. "No they don't," says Zia.

A few weeks ago I went to see Ijaz-ul-Haq, Zia's softly spoken son. Until last year, he served as minister for religious affairs under Musharraf. Sitting under a tobacco-coloured portrait of his father, he looked a little dejected. Now the Islamists were out to get him too, he said.

In late December a bomb prematurely exploded 300 yards from his house in southern Punjab. The police linked the putative killer to the Red Mosque, the radical Islamabad mosque where over 100 people died in a confrontation with the army last summer. Haq had led unsuccessful attempts to find a peaceful solution.

There were other ominous echoes. The killer belonged to a militant group that had fought in Kashmir. He had also been to Afghanistan. And he came from a village close to the home of Qari Saifullah Akhtar.

"This is a whole new phenomenon," said Haq. "Even during Afghanistan and Kashmir, we never saw suicide attacks like this." He had raised the walls around his house and erected concrete barricades. Security men roamed the garden. But still he was worried.

"Time is on their side," he said. "They go slowly. It's very scary."

A bearded man wearing a tracksuit, who looked like an ex-soldier, came into the room. A gun appeared to bulge from one pocket. It was time for his employer's evening jog.

The American who funded jihad is also quietly contrite. After September 2001, Charlie Wilson told biographer George Crile that the 1980s fight was a "glorious" time. But the endgame, he admitted, had gone disastrously wrong.
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Prisoner of conscience
M Waqar NY, USA
I am extremely disturbed and upset by reading a news item in your newspaper about Editor in Chief of The Frontier Post ; I am surprised that he is still in prison, Rehmat Shah Afridi played a great role by publishing The Frontier Post from Peshawar, The Frontier Post was born during cruel regime of Zia, then I was student at Islamic college, Frontier Post did educate me. Mr. Afridi made Frontier Post voice of Pakhtuns and never hesitated to publish facts even during cruel dictator Zia regime. The Frontier Post is right to mention in news item that Mr Afridi was punished for his pen which he was using for his people against tyrant rulers. Any journalist who does not work for the official media, bourgeois, and elite; is considered to be an "enemy or criminal" and that happens in third world countries, its time for the new government in Pakhtunistan to release Mr. Afridi, I would like to ask all writers on this forum to write and mail letters to new government in Pakistan and write letters to amnesty international and CPJ (, mention this on all blogs newspapers etc, and force government to release Mr. Afridi and all other journalists from prison. Mr. Afridi is imprisoned because of his peaceful expression of his beliefs. He is victim of an unfair trial. The Frontier Post had been targeted for some time for its investigative journalism; Rehmat Shah Afridi, was sentenced to death for drug offences for which the prosecution failed to produce any compelling evidence. If prosecution was unable to produce any evidence, then why he is still in prison? He is still in prison because he is Pakhtun??? He was arrested because his paper The Frontier Post documented official corruption. That was his job and duty as a journalist and his right to freedom of expression, which he exercised in the course of his work as a journalist. Third-world regimes are known to be intolerant of gutsy journalists and publishers. He published a story detailing how members of the ruling party, including Prime Minister Sharif himself, had through illegal and bizarre use of power and influence obtained massive loans from some public-sector banks, leading to the banks' failure. In USA water gate was exposed by a journalist but he was not send to prison, but in Pakistan corrupt regimes like to control media. He was tried and convicted solely for his journalistic work. He is in jail on cooked-up charges of possessing narcotics. What is the sin of Mr. Rehmat Shah Afridi? Nawaz government sentenced Mr Afridi just because he was the real critic of that regime and was a big hurdle for the enemies of the nation and the country. Did he kill innocent people? The only sin of Mr Rehmat Shah Afridi is that he is the prisoner of conscience; he criticized the government for its illegal acts; he raised voice against cruelty; corruption; he spoke against unfair justice; and he disclosed those who looted the country. Lets not forget that NAWAZ SHARIF afraid for his life and did not stay in prison for more then a year and made a deal with Mush Regime and ran out of country. Rehmat Shah Afridi was exposing the corrupt practices of Nawaz regime and educating people of Pakhtunistan through his newspaper, in this case he was a true journalist. Bourgious, Imperialists and their puppets are enemies of Pakhtun nation, today Pakhtun nation is victim and target of those elements who don't want to see Pakhtuns educated and advanced. Lame-Duck President Musharraf's drastic steps to silence news coverage make a mockery of his often repeated claims to have fostered free and open media. ''Reporters Without Borders'' believes Afridi was imprisoned, convicted and sentenced to death in June 2001 because of his journalistic activities as the head of the Peshawar-based Frontier Post, and not because of any involvement in drug trafficking. His newspaper had carried frequent reports of corruption within Pakistan's Anti-Narcotics Force, which was set up with US support. Journalists in Pakistan and throughout Central and South Asia face great risks. Journalism is the noblest profession around. I hope new government in Pakhtunistan take action for release of The Frontier Post chief and all other journalists.

Saved from:
Dated: Sunday, April 6, 2008, Rabi ul Awwal 28, 1429 A.H.

SALUTE TO Z A BHUTTO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Frontier Post
Salute to Z A Bhutto!
M Waqar

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed on April 4, 1979, a darkest day in the history of Pakistan. Bhutto wrote a book from his death cell, Titled "If I am assassinated," its last pages contained a quote from Russian author Nikolai Dostoevsky: "Man's dearest possession is his life, and since it is given to him to live but once, he must so live as not to be scared with the shame of a cowardly and trivial past, so as not to be tortured for years without purpose, that dying he can say, 'All my life and my strength were given to the first cause in the world - the liberation of mankind.' " As death stared the Z.A Bhutto in the face, he stared back. His past has no shame of cowardice. His daughter, too, gave her life in courage. "If India builds the bomb we will eat grass or leaves, we will go hungry. But we will get one of our own." This statement by Zulfiar Ali Bhutto should open up our eyes and bring back the passion of patriotism, unity and love for each others for the sake of Pakistan. I would like to express that this man is and was hero of Pakistan. Historians, Retired Judges of the Superior Courts and eminent lawyers have now unanimously admitted that Mr. Z.A Bhutto was hanged by a military dictator General Zia-Ul Haq by orchestrating a judicial trial to get rid of a popular leader. He gave Pakistan its first constitution, nuclear programme, held peace talks with India and brought 90,000 POW who were in Indian prison and were going to face war crimes. He liberated the small farmers and peasants from the repression and cruelty of big landlords and banished the jagirdari and sardari system declaring that all citizens are born equal and must live with equal rights. Z.A Bhutto was a Legend, who lived and died like a hero with courage, determination and devotion to his principles, when cruel dictator Zia was going to kill him, Z.A Bhutto could sign few papers and could live in exile but he was a real man, he was not a coward. He too could have made a deal and lived to fight another day; but only great men with principles sacrifice their life for their cause. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto earned everlasting fame in the pantheon of leaders from the Third World in the struggle against colonialism and imperialism. He had the privilege of interacting with many of those leaders who played a great role in the epic struggle for national independence in the 20th Century including Mao Tse Tung, Soekarno, Chou-en Lai, and Gamal Abdel Nasser. He belonged to a category of anti-imperialist leaders who included Jamal Nasir of Egypt and Jawahir Lal Nehru of India. He was a brilliant Diplomat who negotiated some of Pakistan's most enduring diplomatic policies as well as bargaining from a position of weakness against Indira Gandhi in Simla. He was a great diplomat; there is a story that the American President John F. Kennedy was much impressed with then Foreign Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. When they met, Kennedy walked with him in the Rose Garden and said, "Bhutto, if you were an American, you would be in my Cabinet". To which Zulfikar Ali Bhutto smilingly replied, "No, Mr. President. If I were an American, you would be in my cabinet". A Pan Islamic socialist who weakened the Feudal and tribal system.. He also pushed through Pakistan's nuclear programme despite enormous International pressure. He was also a brilliant politician whose popularity and powerful speeches impressed even his worst opponents. It took a great man to get Pakistan out of the 71 trauma. A dynamic leader, who stood up against imperialism and looked to China and other progressive countries for an alliance. When he was Prime Minister, the country prospered and was set on a course of industrial and agricultural development. He gained popularity in villages and poor industrial areas. Bhutto was the only true leader in our history who gave us constitution, identity in international relations. You will be surprised to know when Bhutto became as Foreign Minister, at that time; we did not have ambassador level relations with so many big countries of the world like Indonesia etc. He empowers the poor of his country. Such people like Z.A BHUTTO are born rarely, who will forget his capabilities as an extempore speaker, as an writer, as an diplomat, as an leader and above all as lover of poor. On the day of his martyrdom his opponents called him as a culprit but same are now calling him as an innocent. The simple reason for this is that Zia tried his best to create divisions among people in order to finish the popularity of Bhutto. The irony is all those who hatched conspiracy against him are no more in this mortal world, all of them died a horrible death. Bhutto was the greatest leader we can think in the modern history. In his book "If I Am Assassinated", Bhutto clearly mentions his fear of 120 million Pakistanis under a defenseless sky in comparison to a nuclear India. What a vision! India could have swallowed Pakistan long ago if thanks to Bhutto we were not an atomic power. On the economic front Bhutto vision for nationalization was that Pakistanis will work hard like Chinese, but here Pakistanis failed him. The labor and the management of nationalized industry had no interest to take advantage of this opportunity. Using this as a golden opportunity, the industrialists, bureaucrats, and above all corrupt army declared him as an unsuccessful leader. Bhutto loved poor and poor loved Bhutto. This relationship is ever lasting. The first leader who legislated labor laws and enforced in Pakistan and nobody could do it till now. This is the reason of his popularity among labors. He tried to unite the Islamic world. The Pakistan is still under developing country because Bhutto is not alive. Z.A Bhutto is the first person in Pakistan who has given the voice to the common people. Z.A Bhutto was great charismatic leader, man of masses, top class negotiator, excellent communicator, a visionary, known for mercurial brilliance, wit and a highly well read person. He attracted mammoth crowds where ever he addressed public meetings even in remote regions of the country. He was a man of masses because of his personal charm and charisma and the one who spoke in the language of workers, laborers, peasants and the people in the streets. He would make the people feel that he was one of them, understood them, had solutions to their problems and give them roti, kapra aur makan. He might have given all these things to them if his government had not become target of the establishment's conspiracies. ZA Bhutto's Powerful Political Legacy Cannot be eliminated. In no time Bhutto had made a tremendous impact all around. As Minister for Fuel and Power, he had diverse explorers tapping into Pakistan's underground hidden energy resources. For the first time Russians were involved in oil and gas exploration. His time as Minister for Science and Technology was well spent. He could measure the advancements made by India in the atomic field. I can't help grieving the tragic death of a Hero who paid with his life to set an ultimate example of principled politics. I hope we honor Shaheed Bhutto by giving to the weak and less fortunate people of Pakistan the gift of unconditional empowerment through democracy and moral governance and not trade his dream for our illusions. Bourgeois battled Bhutto's populist economic and political enforcement, the bourgeois and the petty-bourgeois became ready instruments in carrying out their social propaganda against Bhutto. He was the man behind introducing democracy in the country by kicking out the dictatorial rule and finally gave a consensus constitution of 1973 with guarantees to basic human rights under the supremacy of parliament. Cruel dictators like Zia and Musharraf are responsible for bringing fundamentalists into the corridor of power, Mush, who is now trumping against them just an eye wash. Political Leaders must posses' qualities of power, vision, ethics, courage, knowledge, decision making, integrity, enthusiasms and devotion and should have principles, Z.A BHUTTO had all those qualities. Mr. Bhutto lived consciously to make history and to leave a legacy in the form of the development of his nation. He is right credited with saving Pakistan at the darkest moment of its history, as French President Giscardd' Estaing said he was the man,'' who incarnated Pakistan at a dramatic hour of its history''. Z A BHUTTO was indeed a great leader, a leader we must salute today; who gave voice to the voiceless and helped them shape their own destiny. It was under his leadership that every Pakistani given the right to passport. Education was nationalized and made available to every child. Scores of Universities were built to turn the children of the discriminated and downtrodden into lawyers, doctors and engineers liberating them from a destiny of backwardness. Bhutto pushed politics out of the posh drawing rooms into real Pakistan-into the muddy lanes and villages of the poor. The ever-lasting contribution of Bhutto was to raise the consciousness of the people for democracy. He awakened the masses, making them realize they were the legitimate fountainhead of political power. He enlightened the peasants, the industrial workers, the students, the women and the rest of the common people of their importance and of their right of franchise, which is the definite means of bringing changes and improvement in the lives of the common people. He deeply cherished democracy and democratic values and in the end gave his life for the cause of freedom. In the case of Pakistan, he viewed military rule as a negation of the very genesis of the country that came into being as a result of a democratic process and a vote. Today as the Nation pays tribute to one of its greatest sons; it is destined to move forward in the spirit of Federalism, Democracy, Autonomy and Egalitarianism which he lit through his example of courage in the defense of principles and ideals. Z.A BHUTTO was a people leader, a legend and a poet and he remained so till the last breath in his body. He was a true revolutionary; his revolution was against imperialism, against bourgeois. He was a charismatic leader and his charisma still rules the nation. Z.A Bhutto ruled the hearts of people when he was alive and till date he rules their hearts. Z.A Bhutto was a principled friend to the poor, downtrodden and oppressed. He was fearless in his beliefs and refused to bow before any man or power other than the Almighty. His contributions to an impregnable Pakistan are seen in the Kamra Aeronautical factory, Heavy Mechanical Complex at Taxila, modernization of Karachi Shipyard, creation of precision engineering works, Pakistan Steel Mills, Port Qasim, Pakistan Automobile Corporation to name a few. By signing the Simla Accord of 1972 he negotiated longest peace between India and Pakistan. His social reforms laid the foundation of an egalitarian society, his non-aligned foreign policy earned Pakistan respect in the comity of nations. He lifted the nation drowning in a sea of despair to Himalayan heights. The death cell in which his killers kept him failed to break his will or his determination to challenge military rule and stand up as the leader of the people. Bhutto was a modernizer and saw nationalism as the key to unity. He rejected fanaticism. He gave pride to the poor. As leader of the Third World he spoke boldly against racism, colonialism and imperialism. He fearlessly defended the right of nations to independence. When the 1973 Ramadan War broke out, he sent Pakistan's military to defend the borders of the Muslim countries including the Golan Heights of Syria. Bhutto's short life of fifty years was spent in the service of many international, regional and national causes. Today Pakistan is at the crossroads. Its policies relating to Nuclear, Taliban, India, Militancy, Religious Parties, Democracy and Economy are in shambles. Shaheed Bhutto believed that the army could protect its institutional competence by keeping out of politics. He said, "Those soldiers who leave the barracks to move into Government mansions lose wars and become prisoners of war as happened in 1971; his words reverberate as a warning and a guide to the country to save its honor, respect, pride and position by reverting to the golden principles that gave it birth. April 4 falls at a time when Pakistan is faced with a critical situation. The dark shadow of military dictatorship clouds the political horizon and spawns fissiparous tendencies striking at the solidarity of the country. Rocket launchers and bomb blasts kill innocents while the military is involved in operations against its own people. The rise of the suicide bomber and armed struggle is reminiscent of an earlier military dictatorship. The tyranny of General Zia's military rule led to the Kalashnikov culture where young men picked up automatic weapons. That culture has reasserted itself under the military dictatorship of General Musharraf. Except that the weapons are more dangerous than the Kalashnikovs of yesterday. Every time a General ruled Pakistan, innocent people were being killed. Today many people in Pakistan must be scared as Mr. Zardari is shaking hands with MQM, let's not forget that Mr. Bhutto and Benazir were killed by two presidents,who supported MQM.As Asfand Wali Khan has some reservations about MQM,I agree with him. Z.A Bhutto was born in 1928. He was martyred in 1979. Yet he lives in the hearts and minds of the people still shining like a star that brightens the sky motivating those caught in the prisons of oppression. No doubt, the age of Bhutto was an age of revolution. At the time of his over throw; Bhutto was emerging as a spokesman of the world of Islam and the leader of the third world. Although his life and political career were cruelly terminated, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto will always be remembered as one of the great leaders who took part in the liberation of the third world from the yoke of Imperialism and Neo Colonialism during the twentieth century. "It is better to live like a lion for one day than to live like a jackal for a thousand." Z.A.BHUTTO''.
Long Live Bhuttoism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saved from:
Dated: Friday, April 4, 2008, Rabi ul Awwal 26, 1429 A.H.