Disgraced atomic scientist disowns confession· Father of Pakistan's bomb rejects smuggling claim
· Khan defiant in first talk to western media since 2004
Declan Walsh in Islamabad The Guardian, Friday May 30 2008 Article history
Supporters of Pakistan Muslim League-N party hold a picture of disgraced nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan as they gather near a replica of Chaghi mountain, where the nuclear tests were conducted. Photograph: Reuters/Faisal Mahmood

For four years Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, has lived in the shadows, confined to his Islamabad home since a tearful televised confession in which he admitted selling nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya. But yesterday the 76-year-old scientist returned to the spotlight with a bold new twist: that he had not meant a word of his earlier admission.

In his first western media interview since 2004, Khan said the confession had been forced upon him by President Pervez Musharraf. "It was not of my own free will. It was handed into my hand," he told the Guardian. More worryingly, he swore never to cooperate with investigators from the International Atomic Energy Agency, despite persistent fears that nuclear technology traded by his accomplices could fall into terrorist hands.

"Why should I talk to them?" he said. "I am under no obligation. We are not a signatory to the NPT [nuclear non-proliferation treaty]. I have not violated international laws." He said details of his clandestine nuclear supply network were "my internal affair and my country's affair".

Despite numerous requests from the IAEA and the US government, Pakistan has refused access to Khan, who is still considered a national hero. A spokesman at the UN watchdog's headquarters in Vienna declined to respond to his comments.

Until this week Khan had been unseen and largely unheard since his February 2004 appearance on state television, in which he said he had hawked the country's nuclear know-how abroad. He offered his "deepest regrets and unqualified apologies". Since then Khan has been confined to his villa below the Margalla Hills in Islamabad, where he lives with his wife, Henny. He was initially subjected to tight restrictions. Telephone calls were monitored, internet access was forbidden and visitors were turned away by soldiers camped at his gate. He was allowed to leave the house in August 2006 only for a cancer operation in Karachi, which was successful.

But as Musharraf's powers have ebbed over the past year, so have the ties on Khan been loosened. First he was allowed to have lunch with close friends, then last month he gave his first interview from his house arrest to a local Urdu language newspaper. Now he hopes that the newly elected prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, will set him free.

Link to this audio
Hear Declan Walsh speaking to Abdul Qadeer Khan

"As long as you are living there is always hope," he said, adding that he would wait for pressing economic and political crises to pass. In reality, he may be waiting for Musharraf to be forced out.

Yesterday the military dismissed speculation, prompted by changes in the army command, that Musharraf was about to quit as president. "A section of press is trying to sensationalise routine functional matters," said a spokesman.

Khan has emerged as Pakistan celebrates the 10th anniversary of the 1998 test that catapulted the volatile nation into the nuclear club. Speaking by telephone, he displayed the mix of defiant nationalism and religious ardour that has endeared him to many Pakistanis.

Reports that nuclear technology was smuggled abroad were "western rubbish", he said, and unfavourable accounts of his life were "shit piles". He brusquely dismissed nicknames such as "the Merchant of Menace" from a Time magazine cover.

"It doesn't bother me at all. They don't like our God, they don't like our prophet, they don't like our holy book, the Qur'an. So how could they like me?" he said.

He dismissed reports that he owned 43 houses in Islamabad, had many bank accounts and owned a $10m hotel in Timbuktu, Mali. "The journalists should have gone and seen - it was an eight-room mud-brick house where the poor people reside," he said, referring to the latter. Asked if he was rich he answered: "Never was, never will be."

International nuclear investigators and the Pakistani government paint a very different picture. In 2005, Musharraf confirmed that Khan had supplied North Korea with centrifuges used to enrich uranium. This week the IAEA board received further confirmation linking Pakistan with Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

Khan said yesterday that nuclear technology was freely available in the west to Iran or North Korea. "They were supplying to us, they were supplying to them ... [to] anyone who could pay," he said.

But for all his defiant talk, one subject remains out of bounds for Khan. Supporters claim he was made a scapegoat for Pakistani generals involved in nuclear trading. Khan refuses to discuss the issue. "I don't want to talk about it. Those things are to forget about," he said.

He denied speculation he had hidden evidence of military collusion with his daughter, Dina, who lives in London. "MI6 has spoken to my daughter, they have been to her house. I did not keep any official papers in my house or anywhere," he said.

Khan directed Pakistan's nuclear enrichment programme for 25 years. Born in pre-partition India - his family moved to Pakistan after 1947 - his passion for developing a nuclear bomb was driven by hatred of his country of birth.

Khan is worshipped as a hero at home, but the former CIA director George Tenet described him as "at least as dangerous as Osama bin Laden", and fears of the damage wreaked by his smuggling network were realised when North Korea exploded a nuclear device in October 2006.

In Musharraf's 2006 memoir, he said he sacked Khan after learning that he was "up to mischief".

Khan blames this on the "self-seekers and sycophants" around Musharraf, who had allowed Pakistan to become a "banana republic".

The quest for a Pakistani nuclear bomb was launched by Benazir Bhutto's father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in 1972. "You men here will make it for me and for Pakistan," he told a secret meeting of scientists and generals. Bhutto's motive was to counter India's more developed programme. His secret asset was metallurgist AQ Khan who, while working in a Dutch nuclear laboratory, smuggled secrets home. Khan returned to head the programme in 1976. Pakistan exploded its first nuclear device in 1998. The army has an estimated 50 nuclear warheads.

About this articleClose This article appeared in the Guardian on Friday May 30 2008

The Frontier Post
Commitment to Journalism

Prisoner of conscience
M Waqar New York Khyberzalmee@comcast.net
I read this headline on, THE NEWS website, Tension between Zardari, Shahbaz mounts over jailed chief editor of The Frontier Post''. This makes no sense that Rehmat Shah Afridi is still in prison, I was expecting from ANP Govt in pukhtoonistan to react on this issue but I don't understand muteness of ANP leadership, although on ANP web site I did send a message to Chief Minister, I would like to ask all the writers on this forum to send messages to CM on the following website of ANP(http://www.awaminationalparty.org/news/)and express your solidarity with The Frontier Post Chief Mr. Afridi who is in prison because he was punished for expressing his views and he was educating Pakhtuns through his newspaper. His confinement is politically motivated. The drugs were planted on vehicle he was in. Similar to innumerable judicial murders and crimes to suffocate voice of Pathans. The literate class of people in Pakistan is the only hope, which can place a check & balance on these bureaucrats corrupt politicians. Its about time this class should pick their pens. Its really amazing that criminals and thugs involved in suicide attacks can be easily released in Pakistan but someone like Mr. Afridi stays in prison. Two face Nawaz Sharif and his brother who are responsible for declaring Pakistan a failed state ran out of country but did not have courage and principles to face jail, attacked Supreme Court and insulted judges but now wants to be champions of judiciary and free press. I agree with Mr. Asif Ali Zardari who bitterly asked: "Where are the champions of the press freedom today? Rehmat Shah Afridi was arrested and booked in a fake drug smuggling case on political grounds. He spent nine years in jail just for writing the truth and now he is seriously ill but some people still want to take their revenge. "Champions of the press freedom should be ashamed of themselves that for nine years some one in their ranks is in prison but they are not saying a word. Rehmat Shah Afridi was punished because he disclosed that Nawaz Sharif received Rs. 150 crore from Osama bin Ladin in the Green Palace Hotel, Madina, with the pledge that the amount would be used for furthering the cause of Jihad in Afghanistan and helping the Mujahideen and exposing the deeds of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Instead he (Nawaz) put the whole amount in his pocket. Nawaz Sharif got annoyed with Afridi when he was chief minister of Punjab in 1986.Frontier Post Chief disclosed in his newspaper that Nawaze sold the commercial land between UCH and Kalma Chowk in Lahore to his relatives for meager Rs. 400 per marla. After that, he distributed plots in NWFP, Punjab and Balochistan among his colleagues and opponents to get their political support. He published all this in his newspaper along with proofs, which further infuriated Nawaz Sharif. Rehmat Shah Afridi used his personal links to thwart the "no-confidence motion" against Benazir Bhutto in 1990 and asked the members of National Assembly from Punjab, FATA and NWFP to use their vote in favour of Benazir Bhutto. Mr. Afridi did so as it was in the interest of the country at that time. Nawaz Sharif once threatened him that they would rule the country for 20 years and that he (Rehmat Shah) could not harm him through publishing news items against them. This proves all cases against The Frontier Post chief were false and baseless. Detention of Rehmat Shah Afridi is no more justified. Rehmat Shah Afridi had been arrested in a fake and bogus case because the then government was not happy with his bold editorial policy. The PPP government's pro-media and democratic credentials have already been enhanced by the proposed anti-PEMRA bill in parliament. It should now do the honourable and just thing by ordering the immediate release of Rehmat Shah Afridi and winning hearts and minds all round.

Saved from: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=le&nid=360&ad=22-05-200
Dated: Thursday, May 22, 2008, Jamad-i-Awal 14, 1429 A.H.

Promotion of extremism in pashtunkhwa !!!!!!!!!!

After the allied forces came in Afghanistan in oct:2001, Pakistan had to save the minimum investment in the form of Taliban and Al-Qaeda . It is worth mentioning that Pakistan will be only 5% sincere in elimination of the Al-Qaeda operatives while on Taliban she will never compromise as it is believed that they are the own children of Pakistan .For Pashtun Nation both are same as Pashtun need peace and development in the region while the presence of these forces have multiplied their problems and have created trouble for the Pashtun, these views were expressed by a tribal chief on the condition of not disclosing his name. The safe havens were provided to Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives in the mountains adjacent to the south and east of the Afghanistan near Durand line. Most of them were provided safe shelters in the seminaries and mosques in settled areas of the NWFP (Lower Pashtunkhwa) by the ISI, and bureaucracy including Political Agents of the tribal Agencies across Durand line without the consent of the tribal Pashtun as these areas have been ruling by the bureaucracy sitting in Islamabad for the last 60 years without doing any developmental work for the welfare of the tribal Pashtun. The Tableeghi Jumat, a religious organization struggling hard to make the people orthodox religious, having their center in Lahore , Pakistan have a special attention on the Pashtun to bring them to Lahore and train them for 4 months or 120 days is also believed to have played a role in sheltering the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in their center Lahore to get Pashtun forget their Nationalism. Initially Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives were advised by the Pakistani intelligence sleuths not to take steps against the American and allied forces stationed in Afghanistan. But they kept continued their skirmishes in Afghanistan across Durand line,attacked and backed to their safe abodes with the collaboration of the intelligence agencies without the permission of the tribal people as tribal Pashtun have no say and no role in the drama staged in FATA against Pashtun and Afghanistan. When Pakistani high-ups sensed that Americans engaged in Iraq, then they geared up their friends Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives to initiate their anti Afghanistan activities and damage all what were constructed in the last few years, particularly the schools where Pashtun children were studying the science, opined a tribal political activist .It is also pertinent to mention that the anti Pashtun and anti Afghanistan forces do not like to see Pashtun children having books in their hands. The antagonistic negative forces understand it well that one who reads book can not be misguided easily and their ulterior motives can not be materialized. There are credible and reliable information that the Pakistani ISI started assistance to the Taliban with weapons and pelf. They started their activities in Waziristan on a low scale, and beat the weak people like dressers ,bombed music centers and punished some low profile wicked in the area to get the support of the local people. They then started beheading some people to spread terror among the inhabitants. After getting more and more stronger by the help of the Pakistani intelligence Agency (ISI) and alleged drug mafia, they initiated the steps to tease the locals on the basis of such heinous crimes like kidnapping the affluent people, killing and assassinating the political and influential tribal Pashtun, secular, democratic and progressive nationalist to wipe them off and create a vacuum for them. People are just slaves and hostages and leading a life on the mercy of the miscreants. It is also worth mentioning that common tribal have no role in this game engineered by the ISI of Pakistan with the collaboration of some religious influential people, these views were expressed by a victim of terrorism. May be some Norco-businessmen will be having the hands but majority of the tribesmen are having no role in it. Political administration and establishment are be fooling the international community by telling them pack of lies that tribal territory is very dangerous and no one except Pakistani forces will have courage to fight against the extremists there. This is a mountainous area and fighting is very difficult thing here, such lies are told by the establishment to the international community and is trying to deceive them about the real situations in FATA. In tribal region which comprises 7 Agencies and six FRs(Frontier Regions ) even a leaf can not shake without the permission of the Political Agent and Pakistani Government. How can extremists operatives and other Taliban will do their activities without their assistance ?.When Taliban and Al-Qaeda activities increased the pressure on Pakistan built up. Now Pakistani ruling junta has to do something against theirown extremist forces. First they tell them that operation will be started on such and such day. There fore they should move to safer places. Then operation starts by the military while few Taliban retaliate. According to credible information and eye witnesses military men strike the places where there is no Talib or extremist. The real places are not hit. Only the miseries and troubles of the innocent Pashtuns increase. Schools are closed, hospitals are non functional, business activities come to stand still, and people are forced to move to safer places for shelter and security reasons. People are terrified and their children and women have nothing except weeping, mourning and wailing. Men are arrested on the charges of helping terrorists and extremists, which is wrong. Terrorists, extremists, militants and military men all come out of the same basket in Pakistan .Islamic insurgents are trained in different places in Pakistan. There are camps where these people are trained, and then these insurgents are brought to tribal territory and are moved onward to Afghanistan to fight against allied and Afghan forces. Their main objective is to get allied forces teased to flee from Afghanistan and they themselves move to Kabul and seize it, from where they will spread terrorism in different parts of the world. Previously Talibanization was in tribal areas, but with the passage of the time, this spread to the settled districts of the lower Pashtunkhwa. The objective of the Pakistani establishment is to spread the religious Taliban to more and more areas of the Pashtunkhwa, this side of the Durand line, so that to create more and more tumultuous situations and to engage her Army in a friendly fight. In this way several aims could be achieved. One is to get assistance from the American and international community for the military, and second is to add to problems of the allied forces in Afghanistan. The entire FATA and settled areas of the Pashtunkhwa have been handed over to extremist out-fits and Jihadi organizations where Pakistani establishment needs to eliminate progressive nationalist, secular and democratic political people and Pashtun tribal Chiefs who are avers to the extremism and want peace to prevail in region. The Government thinks that her objectives could be obtained only through the religious out-fits .That’s why in this way the above mentioned positive people are discouraged by promoting insurgents and militants by the establishment of Pakistan. In such uncertain and anarchic situations the extremist and negative anti Pashtun forces could get safer places to hide themselves. In election 2002 , the ISI of Pakistan created an atmosphere and forced people particularly Pashtun to get MMA voted to power. MMA was especially formed by the secret agencies over nights. This was an alliance of the religious Political parties to misguide the simple Pashtun on the name of the religion and exploit the situations. This alliance was needed to Pakistani ISI to win in two provinces namely NWFP (Pashtunkhwa) and Balochistan because both the provinces were adjacent to Durand line. In Khyber Agency a bus conductor Mangal Bagh was created by the intelligence Agencies and imposed on the tribal Pashtun of the Khyber Agency who has the power to decide the future of the Pashtun tribes there .He does what he wants as he is the sole authority in Khyber Agency and the state representative, Political Agent has no role to play in the presence of Mangal Bagh. The inhabitants of the Khyber Agency FATA have been taken as hostages and they are fed up of what is going on there on their soil. Now the said cleric is running a parallel Govt. in Khyber Agency. Before this man who has no knowledge of the religion, there were two religious mullahs(Clerics) namely mufti shakir and pir. People were engaged in fighting through these mullas. When the situations got seriously disturbed and pressure built up on Pakistan to solve the problem, she apparently forced both mullas to leave the Agency. Both disappeared for some time and later on one was seen shaking hand with Ijazul Haq ,a former religious federal minister in the cabinet of Shoukat Aziz under the president Musharraf and the son of a late military dictator General Zial Haq. The other came to lime light at a time when he started his preach in Jana Kor a tribal strip of FR Peshawar situated in the south of the metropolitan Peshawar. Besides, there are other extremist clerics too in Khyber Agency like Namdar, Pir Noorul Haq and other Tableeghees. The Khyber Agency is completely at the mercy of the extremists who have made the life of common people like hell. In Mahmand Agency, an other area of the FATA which was a peaceful territory, extremist forces were encouraged there after the Govt. bombarded Masjid Hafza in Islamabad last year. In Bajor, Maulana Liaqat and Maulana Faqir Muhammad were made to lead the people there breaking the Pashtun code. In Swat an other Molana with the name of Fazlullah suddenly appeared on the scene after he spent four months in tableeghee jumat in lahore a city of Pakistan in Punjab province which is known for the conspiracies against Pashtun Nation and Afghanistan alike. Before his new appointment he was just a driver of the Chair(This chair is used in the area where there is no bridge on the river swat for the passengers to be crossed over the river). According to information of the local people loaded trucks of the weapons were seen to provide weapons to molana and his friends. After some time his disciples started beheading the innocent people of Swat international pressure developed on the govt. once again to redress the problem of terrorism concerning Swat valley the rulers were compelled to engage in a friendly fight with extremist forces. Now it is claimed that extremists were pushed away to either mountains or some safer areas. But it is pertinent to mention that problem once again was not solved and left incomplete .The situations are uncertain and people look at security agencies with suspicion. Darra Adam Khel an other strip of the FATA on main high way near Kohat , a southern settled district of NWFP(Pashtunkhwa) was handed over to the extremist forces for the sole aim of looting and hitting the supply of the American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. When the people of the said tribal area were fed up with the activities of the Taliban and more than three army vehicles loaded with weapons were confiscated, the govt .took steps to force the Taliban to apparently flee from the area at least for some time. But it is very interesting and ironic for the Pashtun Nation that military personnel were not striking the places where extremist forces were hidden, according to some reports gathered from the locals. This again was a friendly fire between two same forces in which almost all the extremist forces were safe and sound and were not harmed. Pashtun and their home Pashtunkhwa is burning in the fire which Pashtun have not lit. There are reports that the Americans have announced to spend 750 million $ on the development of FATA, but it is feared that Pakistani establishment in Islamabad are not sincere with Pashtun as they never like to see the child of Pashtun having book in his hand. Pashtun want prosperity and peace in their region and want development and happiness in their home Pashtunkhwa and Afghanistan. This is only possible with Pashtun National Unity.
Written by
Zar Ali Khan Musazai
Pashtun Democratic Council

Pakistan's 'Gandhi' party takes on Taliban, Al Qaeda
The Awami National Party, which leads the ruling coalition in the crucial North West Frontier Province, espouses a nonviolent approach to tackling extremism.
By Mark Sappenfield | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the May 5, 2008 edition

New DELHI - In following the will of its people by attempting to find a negotiated solution to mounting extremism, the new Pakistani government is wading against American skepticism, the lessons of the recent past, and – some suggest – its own military establishment.

Early indications, however, point to the enormousness of the task facing Pakistan's new ruling coalition. The US is likely to increase pressure after a major State Department report last week concluded that Al Qaeda has rebuilt some of its pre-9/11 capabilities from havens in Pakistan's contested border region with Afghanistan.

Al Qaeda and Taliban militants have the upper hand in these Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where the region's colonial-era rules limit the new government's authority.

The job of overcoming these obstacles has largely fallen to the overlooked member of Pakistan's new ruling coalition, the Awami National Party (ANP). As Pashtuns, the ANP can talk to the Taliban as ethnic brothers. Yet as disciples of the nonviolence espoused by its late founder, Abdul Ghaffar Khan – the so-called "Frontier Gandhi" and follower of the Mahatma – the ANP is uniquely qualified to attempt peacemaking.

Whether it succeeds could determine whether Pakistan finds the peaceful resolution that a majority of its people so desire or descends back into war.

"The responsibility for a deal lies with the ANP because of the ANP being Pashtun and because they have been very critical of the way the war on terror has been conducted," says Rasul Baksh Rais, a political scientist at the Lahore University of Management Sciences.

Facing opposition to cease-fires

The ANP is a minor partner in the national parliament, but it leads the ruling coalition in the strategically vital North West Frontier Province. Adjacent to the central battleground of FATA, the province is the front line against the Talibanization of Pakistan. Rising militancy in FATA has spilled into it with bombings against barbers who trim beards and owners of DVD shops – both Taliban taboos.

Already, the ANP-led government in the North West Frontier Province has had to withstand global criticism for its new, conciliatory tack – such as last week's release of Sufi Mohammed, a pro-Taliban hard-liner, from jail.

The US has warned against negotiations, saying they lead only to toothless cease-fires that have allowed militants time and space to tighten their grip on territory. Indeed, the State Department's annual terrorism report released last week suggested that suicide attacks in Pakistan more than doubled to 887 last year because terrorists were able to regroup during a 2006 cease-fire.

For this reason, a new potential cease-fire with militants in FATA, reported last week but apparently abandoned, raised deep concern in Washington.

"It's important that any agreement be effectively enforced and that it not interrupt any operations where we are going after terrorists in that area," said White House press secretary Dana Perino.

The White House was right to be worried, some experts agree. "The government is negotiating from a position of weakness," says Seth Jones, an analyst at RAND Corp., a security consultancy in Arlington, Va. "There should be no illusions – these [militant] groups are trying to strengthen their position."

Army 'capitulated' to militants

But others see another dynamic at work in the scrapped cease-fire, too.

"The military is out to save itself," says Ahmed Rashid, author of "Taliban," a book considered one of the most insightful looks into the group.

He suggests that the failed deal was not the fault of the new government, but of the Army, which wields great influence in FATA, because it is controlled federally. The deal was essentially a capitulation to militants, Mr. Rashid adds, because the Army wants to get out of an unpopular campaign.

The military denies this, saying it is not in any direct negotiations with the Taliban. "The government officials are negotiating with them through interlocutors," says Maj. Gen. Atthar Abbas, an Army spokesman.

Yet due to the peculiar rules governing FATA, the Army does have more of a voice there. In the North West Frontier Province, the only government negotiators are new lawmakers. In FATA, however, talks are being supervised by a governor appointed by President Musharraf, and the regional Army corps commander, in addition to federal lawmakers, says Rahim Dad Khan, a member of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), an ANP ally.

ANP pushes for more accountability

The ANP, for its part, wants to bring more accountability to negotiations by putting all the facts before the people. Past negotiations under the military-led government were never made public, says Sen. Zahid Khan of the ANP. So when agreements inevitably fell apart amid accusations and counteraccusations, no one knew who was right.

"We'll make all the developments in the talks public so as the masses can judge who is backing out of his words," he says. "The party going against the agreement would have to take the ire of the masses."

In this way, negotiations can serve a strategic purpose. Defense analyst Ikram Sehgal says there are many natural points of disagreement between Pashtun tribals and foreign terrorists, such as the tactic of suicide bombing.

"Terrorist ideology is completely anathema to tribal ideology," he says. "The whole idea is to drive a wedge between the tribals and the terrorists."

Yet Rashid and others say that to ultimately succeed, the government must have a policy beyond just talks – or bullets, for that matter. The government of North West Frontier Province has drawn a $4 billion development plan designed to spread the authority of the government through new counsels and government positions. But it must address the root causes of the tribal belt's problems – the economic backwardness and political isolation that have made the area a haven for militants, analysts add.

"They have to offer some strategic vision," says Rashid. "[The terrorists] want sharia. What are you offering?"

Mr. Nawaz Sharif had planned a "Bangladeshi solution for Pakistan." Under the proposed plan, Mr. Chaudhry was supposed to have declared the election of Mr. Musharraf null and void, and then declared the NRO unconstitutional, and Mr. Chaudhry also would have upheld the graduation rule. By eliminating the NRO, and upholding the graduation rule Mr. Zardari would have been ineligible for any office. With Mr. Musharraf and Mr. Zardari out of the way, Mr. Chaudhry would have taken over the country as president. The Prime Minister would be Mr. Sharif. Mr. Zardari knows about this plan, does not want to restore the judges which would rock the boat, eliminate him from the corridors of power, NAWAZ SHARIF is a businessman and ''luhar'' who knows strike while the iron is hot. ZARDARI ain't stupid either. The PPP, the MQM, the ANP, the JUI-F are opposed to the reinstatement of deposed judges, each having its own set of interests. Nawaz has refused to unlock his horns with Musharraf and yearns for his ouster.

Nawaz is of the same breed, the same corrupt politicians era and he is not different from others. “Mr Sharif Businessman turned politician the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, was ousted in a military coup in 1999 and was forced to forfeit $9million dollars and some of his assets including his $5m Mansion is Raiwind near Lahore. Before becoming PM he was a major share holder along with his brother and cousins of Ittefaq Group, having assets well in excess of £50m in the 90’s. However he got richer when he took commissions from foreign companies for construction in Pakistan. He build the first motor way and many new roads and took heavy kickbacks. He then also stole $100m from the Iqra funds, he started a new scheme “Ghar Apna” in which he again looted around $40m, the “Mulk swaaro” scheme involving public & govt. money collections to help pay Pakistan’s debts also was pocketed.” There are reports that Nawaz took millions from OSAMA BIN LADEN to fight election against Benaz ir in 90’s. Iftikhar Choudhery worked with Mush many years happily and doing all ordinary things like supporting his son for better placement, enjoying his remunerations as much as possible, keeping the CM luxury Mercedes Benz with him etc. His lower staff got corrupt seeing his character and looted millions by making false receipt of fuels on his car’s number. When he asked for it, he said he don’t know what the lower staff is doing .It were the judges who given law asylum to Mush for his illegal occupncy of president's post. They were also judges who signed the death warrant of Z.A. Bhutto.

I am sure that Mr .Nawaz remembers when supreme court was attacked during his Govt. Was not that shameful? He is in love with Judges now but lets not forget that most of these justices have in past taken oath under the first PCO, where was there diligence then? if they could have done it once they can do it twice and even more times. I am not supporting Zardari either, he should be more fair and honest in dealing with other political elements and should not bow his head to a former general and other hidden powers. I never been Nawaz fan but I think in greater national interests PPP and Nawaz should stay together,although I have reservations about Nawaz and as I mentioned in one of my previous letters that Nawaz cant be trusted. In civilized countries politicians decide their problems through referendum and I think there should be something like this to solve this problem and Govt should focus on other important issues. I kept an optimistic view on the new found political allianc es giving them a fair chance to prove their mettle, but as times passes one has to gawk at smooching circus on display, its hideously embarrassing to say the least. The PPP is the most popular party across the land. PML-N is only in Punjab. I would suggest to Asif Zardari to let this minor partner in the coalition know that PPP is a democratic and liberterian party and must respect its constituents. Either PML-N learns to play by the rule or just get out of the way. PML-N leadership will understand it, after all they are children of four generals (Gilanee, Zia, Beg, and Gul), they understand when get a kick in the right place. Nawaz Govt was dismissed by Gen.Mush, otherwise Nawaz would love him too just like Choudry brothers. Lets not forget that when Nawaz was prime minister, he not only crushed supreme court but also media and Rehmat Shah Afridi of FP is an example of Nawaz cruelties. PPP leadership should have more close working relationship with ANP of Pukhtoonistan as ANP is l iberal political party and even BENAZIR BHUTTO was advised by her father Z A BHUTTO to trust Pukhtoons. Nawaz claims that his party will not become part of any conspiracy to destabilise the democratic process but it seems like he will continue blackmailing , so he cant be trusted. I think there are other important issues politicians should discuss, the country is burdened by electricity shortages and rising inflation, running at 17%,suicides,so called Talibans, poverty etc.

Turkish schools offer Pakistan a gentler Islam

Turkish schools offer Pakistan a gentler Islam
By Sabrina Tavernise

Saturday, May 3, 2008
KARACHI, Pakistan: Praying in Pakistan has not been easy for Mesut Kacmaz, a Muslim teacher from Turkey.

He tried the mosque near his house, but it had Israeli and Danish flags painted on the floor for people to step on. The mosque near where he works warned him never to return wearing a tie. Pakistanis everywhere assume he is not Muslim because he has no beard.

"Kill, fight, shoot," Kacmaz said. "This is a misinterpretation of Islam."

But that view is common in Pakistan, a frontier land for the future of Islam, where schools, nourished by Saudi and American money dating back to the 1980s, have spread Islamic radicalism through the poorest parts of society. With a literacy rate of just 50 percent and a public school system near collapse, the country is particularly vulnerable.

Kacmaz (pronounced KATCH-maz) is part of a group of Turkish educators who have come to this battleground with an entirely different vision of Islam. Theirs is moderate and flexible, comfortably coexisting with the West while remaining distinct from it. Like Muslim Peace Corps volunteers, they promote this approach in schools, which are now established in more than 80 countries, Muslim and Christian.

Their efforts are important in Pakistan, a nuclear power whose stability and whose vulnerability to fundamentalism have become main preoccupations of American foreign policy. Its tribal areas have become a refuge to the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and the battle against fundamentalism rests squarely on young people and the education they get.

At present, that education is extremely weak. The poorest Pakistanis cannot afford to send their children to public schools, which are free but require fees for books and uniforms. Some choose to send their children to madrasas, or religious schools, which, like aid organizations, offer free food and clothing. Many simply teach, but some have radical agendas. At the same time, a growing middle class is rejecting public schools, which are chaotic and poorly financed, and choosing from a new array of private schools.

The Turkish schools, which have expanded to seven cities in Pakistan since the first one opened a decade ago, cannot transform the country on their own. But they offer an alternative approach that could help reduce the influence of Islamic extremists.

They prescribe a strong Western curriculum, with courses, taught in English, from math and science to English literature and Shakespeare. They do not teach religion beyond the one class in Islamic studies that is required by the state. Unlike British-style private schools, however, they encourage Islam in their dormitories, where teachers set examples in lifestyle and prayer.

"Whatever the West has of science, let our kids have it," said Erkam Aytav, a Turk who works in the new schools. "But let our kids have their religion as well."

That approach appeals to parents in Pakistan, who want their children to be capable of competing with the West without losing their identities to it. Allahdad Niazi, a retired Urdu professor in Quetta, a frontier town near the Afghan border, took his son out of an elite military school, because it was too authoritarian and did not sufficiently encourage Islam, and put him in the Turkish school, called PakTurk.

"Private schools can't make our sons good Muslims," Niazi said, sitting on the floor in a Quetta house. "Religious schools can't give them modern education. PakTurk does both."

The model is the brainchild of a Turkish Islamic scholar, Fethullah Gulen. A preacher with millions of followers in Turkey, Gulen, 69, comes from a tradition of Sufism, an introspective, mystical strain of Islam. He has lived in exile in the United States since 2000, after getting in trouble with secular Turkish officials.

Gulen's idea, Aytav said, is that "without science, religion turns to radicalism, and without religion, science is blind and brings the world to danger."

The schools are putting into practice a Turkish Sufi philosophy that took its most modern form during the last century, after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey's founder, crushed the Islamic caliphate in the 1920s. Islamic thinkers responded by trying to bring Western science into the faith they were trying to defend. In the 1950s, while Arab Islamic intellectuals like Sayyid Qutub were firmly rejecting the West, Turkish ones like Said Nursi were seeking ways to coexist with it.

In Karachi, a sprawling city that has had its own struggles with radicalism — the American reporter Daniel Pearl was killed here, and the famed Binori madrasa here is said to have sheltered Osama bin Laden — the two approaches compete daily.

The Turkish school is in a poor neighborhood in the south of the city where residents are mostly Pashtun, a strongly tribal ethnic group whose poorer fringes have been among the most susceptible to radicalism. Kacmaz, who became principal 10 months ago, ran into trouble almost as soon as he began. The locals were suspicious of the Turks, who, with their ties and clean-shaven faces, looked like math teachers from Middle America.

"They asked me several times, 'Are they Muslim? Do they pray? Are they drinking at night?' " said Ali Showkat, a vice principal of the school, who is Pakistani.

Goats nap by piles of rubbish near the school's entrance, and Kacmaz asked a local religious leader to help get people to stop throwing their trash near the school, to no avail. Exasperated, he hung an Islamic saying on the outer wall of the school: "Cleanliness is half of faith." When he prayed at a mosque, two young men followed him out and told him not to return wearing a tie because it was un-Islamic.

"I said, 'Show me a verse in the Koran where it was forbidden,' " Kacmaz said, steering his car through tangled rush-hour traffic. The two men were wearing glasses, and he told them that scripturally, there was no difference between a tie and glasses.

"Behind their words there was no Hadith," he said, referring to a set of Islamic texts, "only misunderstanding."

That misunderstanding, along with the radicalism that follows, stalks the poorest parts of Quetta. Abdul Bari, a 31-year-old teacher of Islam from a religious family, lives in a neighborhood without electricity or running water. Two brothers from his tribe were killed on a suicide mission, leaving their mother a beggar and angering Bari, who says a Muslim's first duty is to his mother and his family.

"Our nation has no patience," said Bari, who raised his seven younger siblings, after his father died suddenly a dozen years ago. He decided that one of his brothers should be educated, and enrolled him in the Turkish school.

The Turks put the focus on academics, which pleased Bari, who said his dream was for Saadudeen, his brother, to lift the family out of poverty and expand its horizons beyond religion. Bari's title, hafiz, means he has memorized the entire Koran, though he has no formal education. Two other brothers have earned the same distinction. Their father was an imam.

His is a lonely mission in a neighborhood where nearly all the residents are illiterate and most disapprove of his choices, Bari said. He is constantly on guard against extremism. He once punished Saadudeen for flying kites with the wrong kind of boys. At the Turkish school, the teenager is supervised around the clock in a dormitory.

"They are totally against extremism," Bari said of the Turks. "They are true Muslims. They will make my brother into a true Muslim. He'll deal with people with justice and wisdom. Not with impatience."

Illiteracy is one of the roots of problems dogging the Muslim world, said Matiullah Aail, a religious scholar in Quetta who graduated from Medina University in Saudi Arabia.

In Baluchistan, Quetta's sparsely populated province, the literacy rate is less than 10 percent, said Tariq Baluch, a government official in the Pasheen district. He estimated that about half of the district's children attended madrasas.

Aail said: "Doctors and lawyers have to show their degrees. But when it comes to mullahs, no one asks them for their qualifications. They don't have knowledge, but they are influential."

That leads to a skewed interpretation of Islam, even by those schooled in it, according to Gulen and his followers.

"They've memorized the entire holy book, but they don't understand its meaning," said Kamil Ture, a Turkish administrator.

Kacmaz chimed in: "How we interpret the Koran is totally dependent on our education."

In an interview in 2004, published in a book of his writings, Gulen put it like this: "In the countries where Muslims live, some religious leaders and immature Muslims have no other weapon in hand than their fundamental interpretation of Islam. They use this to engage people in struggles that serve their own purposes."

Moderate as that sounds, some Turks say Gulen uses the schools to advance his own political agenda. Murat Belge, a prominent Turkish intellectual who has experience with the movement, said that Gulen "sincerely believes that he has been chosen by God," and described Gulen's followers as "Muslim Jesuits" who are preparing elites to run the country.

Hakan Yavuz, a Turkish professor at the University of Utah who has had extensive experience with the Gulen movement, offered a darker assessment.

"The purpose here is very much power," Yavuz said. "The model of power is the Ottoman Empire and the idea that Turks should shape the Muslim world."

But while radical Islamists seek to re-establish a seventh-century Islamic caliphate, without nations or borders, and more moderate Islamists, like Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, use secular democracy to achieve the goal of an Islamic state, Gulen is a nationalist who says he wants no more than a secular democracy where citizens are free to worship, a claim secular Turks find highly suspect.

Still, his schools are richly supported by Turkish businessmen. M. Ihsan Kalkavan, a shipping magnate who has built hotels in Nigeria, helped finance Gulen schools there, which he said had attracted the children of the Nigerian elite.

"When we take our education experiment to other countries, we introduce ourselves. We say, 'See, we're not terrorists.' When people get to know us, things change," Kalkavan said in his office in Istanbul.

He estimated the number of Gulen's followers in Turkey at three million to five million. The network itself does not provide estimates, and Gulen declined to be interviewed.

The schools, which also operate in Christian countries like Russia, are not for Muslims alone, and one of their stated aims is to promote interfaith understanding. Gulen met the previous pope, as well as Jewish and Orthodox Christian leaders, and teachers in the schools say they stress multiculturalism and universal values.

"We are all humans," said Kacmaz, the principal. "In Islam, every human being is very important."

Pakistani society is changing fast, and more Pakistanis are realizing the importance of education, in part because they have more to lose, parents said. Abrar Awan, whose son is attending the Turkish school in Quetta, said he had grown tired of the attitude of the Islamic political parties he belonged to as a student. Now a government employee with a steady job, he sees real life as more complicated than black-and-white ideology.

"America or the West was always behind every fault, every problem," he said, at a gathering of fathers in April. "Now, in my practical life, I know the faults are within us."

The Hypocrisy and Danger of Anti-China Demonstrations

The Hypocrisy and Danger of Anti-China Demonstrations

By Floyd Rudmin

Global Research, April 18, 2008

We hear that Tibetans suffer “demographic aggression” and “cultural genocide”. But we do not hear those terms applied to Spanish and French policies toward the Basque minority. We do not hear those terms applied to the US annexation of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1898. And Diego Garcia? In 1973, not so long ago, the UK forcibly deported the entire native Chagossian population from the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. People were allowed one suitcase of clothing. Nothing else. Family pets were gassed, then cremated. Complete ethnic cleansing. Complete cultural destruction. Why? In order to build a big US air base. It has been used to bomb Afghanistan and Iraq, and soon maybe to bomb Iran and Pakistan. Diego Garcia, with nobody there but Brits and Americans, is also a perfect place for rendition, torture and other illegal actions.

When the Olympics come to London in 2012, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu will certainly lead the demonstrators protesting the “demographic aggression” and “cultural genocide” in Diego Garcia. The UN Secretary General, the President of France, the Chancellor of Germany, the new US President and the entire US Congress will certainly boycott the opening ceremonies.

The height of hypocrisy is this moral posturing about 100 dead in race riots in Lhasa, while the USA, UK and more than 40 nations in the Coalition of the Willing wage a war of aggression against Iraq. This is not “demographic aggression” but raw shock-and-awe aggression. A war crime. A war on civilians, including the intentional destruction of the water and sewage systems, and the electrical grid. More than one million Iraqis are now dead; five million made into refugees. The Western invaders may not be doing “cultural genocide” but they are doing cultural destruction on an immense scale, in the very cradle of Western Civilization. Why is the news filled with demonstrators about Tibet but not about Iraq?

And as everyone knows but few dare say, “demographic aggression” and “cultural genocide” can be applied most accurately to Israel’s settlement policies and systematic destruction of Palestinian communities. On this, the Dalai Lama seems silent. Demonstrators don’t wave flags for bulldozed homes, destroyed orchards, or dead Palestinian children.

The Chinese Context

The Chinese government is responsible for the well-being and security of one-fourth of humanity. Race riots and rebellion cannot be tolerated, not even when done by Buddhist monks.

Chinese Civilization was already old when the Egyptians began building pyramids. But the last 200 years have not gone well, what with two Opium Wars forcing China to import drugs, and Europeans seizing coastal ports as a step to complete colonial control, then the Boxer Rebellion, the collapse of the Manchu Dynasty, civil war, a brutal invasion and occupation by Japan, more civil war, then Communist consolidation and transformation of society, then Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Such events caused tens of millions of people to die. Thus, China’s recent history has good reasons why social order is a higher priority than individual rights. Race riots and rebellion cannot be tolerated.

Considering this context, China’s treatment of its minorities has been exemplary compared to what the Western world has done to its minorities. After thousands of years of Chinese dominance, there still are more than 50 minorities in China. After a few hundred years of European dominance in North and South America, the original minority cultures have been exterminated, damaged, or diminished.

Chinese currency carries five languages: Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uigur, and Zhuang. In comparison, Canadian currency carries English and French, but no Cree or Inuktitut. If the USA were as considerate of ethnic minorities as is China, then the greenback would be written in English, Spanish, Cherokee and Hawaiian.

In China, ethnic minorities begin their primary schooling in their own language, in a school administered by one of their own community. Chinese language instruction is not introduced until age 10 or later. This is in sharp contrast to a history of coerced linguistic assimilation in most Western nations. The Australian government recently apologized to the Aboriginal minority for taking children from their families, forcing them to speak English, beating them if they spoke their mother tongue. China has no need to make such apology to Tibetans or to other minorities.

China’s one-child-policy seems oppressive to Westerners, but it has not applied to minorities, only to the Han Chinese. Tibetans can have as many children as they choose. If Han people have more than one child, they are punished.

There is a similar preference given to minorities when it comes to admission to universities. For example, Tibetan students enter China’s elite Peking University with lower exam scores than Han Chinese students.

China is not a perfect nation, but on matters of minority rights, it has been better than most Western nations. And China achieved this in the historical context of restoring itself and recovering from 200 years of continual crisis and foreign invasion.

Historical Claims

National boundaries are not natural. They all arise from history, and all history is disputable. Arguments and evidence can always be found to challenge a boundary. China has long claimed Tibet as part of its territory, though that has been hard to enforce during the past 200 years. The Dalai Lama does not dispute China’s claim to Tibet. The recent race riots in Tibet and the anti-Olympics demonstrations will not cause China to shrink itself and abandon part of its territory. Rioters and demonstrators know that.

Foreign governments promoting Tibet separatism and demonstrators demanding Tibet independence should look closer to home. Canadians can campaign for Québec libre. Americans can support separatists in Puerto Rico, Vermont, Texas, California, Hawaii, Guam, and Alaska. Brits can work for a free Wales, and Scotland for the Scots. French can help free Tahitians, New Caledonians, Corsicans, and the Basques. Spaniards can also back the Basques, or the Catalonians. Italians can help Sicilian separatists or the Northern League. Danes can free the Faeroe Islands. Poles can back Cashubians. Japanese can help Okinawan separatists, and Filipinos can help the Moros. Thai can promote Patanni independence; Indonesians can promote Acehnese independence. New Zealanders can leave the islands to the Maori; Australians can vacate Papua. Sri Lankans can help Tamil separatists; Indians can help Sikh separatists.

Nearly every nation has a separatist movement of some kind. There is no need to go to Tibet, to the top of the world, to promote ethnic separatism. China is not promoting separatism in other nations and does not appreciate other nations promoting separatism in China. The people most oppressed, most needing a nation of their own, are the Palestinians. There is a worthy project to promote and to demonstrate about.

Danger of Demonstrations

These demonstrations do not serve Tibetans, but rather use Tibetans for ulterior motives. Many Tibetans, therefore, oppose these demonstrations. Many Chinese remember their history and see the riots in Lhasa and subsequent demonstrations as another attempt by foreign powers to dismember and weaken China. There is grave danger that Chinese might come to fear Tibetans as traitors, resulting in wide spread anti-Tibetan feelings in China.

Fear that an ethnic minority serves foreign forces caused Canada, during World War 1, to imprison its Ukranian minority in concentration camps. For similar reasons, the Ottomans deported their Armenian minority and killed more than a million in death marches. The German Nazis saw the Jewish minority as traitors who caused defeat in World War 1; hence deportations in the 1930s and death camps in the 1940s. During World War 2, both Canada and the USA feared that their Japanese immigrant minorities were traitorous and deported them to concentration camps. Indonesians fearing their Chinese minority, deported 100,000 in 1959 and killed thousands more in 1965. Israel similarly fears its Arab minority, resulting in deportations and oppression.

Hopefully, the Chinese government and the Chinese people will see Tibetans as victims of foreign powers rather than agents of foreign powers. However, if China reacts like other nations have in history and starts systematic severe repression of Tibetans, then today’s demonstrators should remember their role in causing that to happen.


The demonstrators now disparaging China serve only to distract themselves and others from seeing and correcting the current failings of their own governments. If the demonstrators will take a moment to listen, they will hear the silence of their own hypocrisy.

The consequences of these demonstrations are 1) China will stiffen its resolve to find foreign influences inciting Tibetans to riot, and 2) the governments of the USA, UK, France and other Western nations will have less domestic criticism for a few weeks. That is all. These demonstrations can come to no good end.

How would a communist USA pay for "free" health care and education?

In a time when all politicians are crying about too little money to pay for programs, and with an administration racking up the biggest deficits in history (even bigger than the Reagan deficits!), the problem of how to pay for social programs seems insurmountable.

However, there are large amounts of money available. One source would be to cut the military budget by half—still leaving us with the largest military budget of any country in the world (instead of as large as all other countries combined, as at present), and transferring the funds to social programs. That would amount to several hundred billion dollars per year. We could provide for all real defense needs if we weren’t maintaining hundreds of overseas bases, if we weren’t engaging in military adventurism to the tune of billions per year, if we didn’t run military construction on a “cost plus” basis to give super-profits to the military industrial complex.

If we returned the tax rates to the levels in the 1960s, with higher tax rates for the wealthy and corporations, that would raise additional hundreds of billions of dollars per year.

Such steps would be enough to pay for free health care and education for all, and for stepping up many other social programs, and for avoiding the manufactured “Social Security crisis” they keep trying to frighten us with.

None of these steps is revolutionary, just radical reformism—for example, returning to the tax rates of the 1960s wouldn’t cripple the capitalist system, capitalists made plenty of money in the 1960s, it was a boom period, so such tax rates aren’t “confiscatory.” But returning to those rates would solve the current massive budget deficits of the federal, state, and municipal governments.

If we go farther and take revolutionary steps, nationalizing the major industries and finance capital (banks, etc.), the profits, instead of enriching the wealthy, could be used to provide greatly increased benefits for the working class, the large majority of the population, those who in fact create all that wealth.

In other words, we favor progressive tax structures, favor increasing taxes on the wealthy, favor removing the cap on Social Security taxes (bringing in billions more every year and keeping that system financially solvent way past the baby boom retirement years by making the rich pay the same percentages as the rest of us). We oppose both flat rate taxes and sales taxes (except those on luxury goods), as falling heaviest on working families and the poor.

How would free education and free medical care be paid for? Right now, each year billions of dollars go into the pockets of already wealthy capitalists. That’s one source of money to pay for these changes. Right now much of our tax dollars go to making repayments on the national debt, billions of dollars a year, and this is another source of money—if the banks and other financial institutions are nationalized, then the democratic political structure can rationally decide on realistic repayment options and interest rates, freeing up much of this money for public benefits. Another source is that, contrary to the common claim that private business can do everything cheaper, many things can be done more cheaply by government, by pooling resources, by maximizing economies of scale, by eliminating unnecessary paperwork. Before you guffaw, since government right now causes much unnecessary paperwork, let me point to a program that works well. In Washington State, the state provides worker’s compensation benefits—provides the insurance for workplace injuries. Private insurance companies, on top of their profits, run about 20% administrative costs. Since they are banned from operating in the state (except for large employers who can set up their own programs under certain conditions), and the state thus covers everyone, they keep the administrative costs to about 2%! In years when the state’s investments are paying well, the program has actually returned money to the state treasury, since there are no profits and since administrative/paperwork costs are so low. No doubt many government programs don’t work this way, but it is possible, especially when they are not set up to provide profits to the private sector. This is another source of billions.

For another example, if we as a society continued to spend the same amount of money on health care each year, but had a single-payer nationalized health care system, we could cover everyone for the same amount we spend now. That’s right, for the same amount, everyone could be covered if we eliminated the profits and excessive administrative costs of the insurance companies, the for-profit health care chains, the pharmaceutical companies, and similar needless expenses.