This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/3252
November 15, 2007
.S. State Department Delusional If It Sees Bhutto As The Answer
By William Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz
November 14, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Why the U.S. diplomatic establishment views the re-injection of Benazir Bhutto into Pakistani politics as anything but alarming is hard to fathom.
In the current crisis, which finds Pak military strong-man/president Musharraf attempting to manage his country's seemingly headlong rush towards Islamist madness, Bhutto's presence is anything but helpful.
Fact - The Bhutto family is the poster child for Pakistani corruption, so it's hardly surprising that Benazir Bhutto was in exile because of massive evidence of her participation in money laundering schemes [a charge which sent her husband Asif Ali Zardani to jail for 8 years] before the U.S. State Dept. started its campaign of ill-advised meddling, which resulted in her return.
Not only is Ms. Bhutto corrupt but she comes from a long line of corrupt "public servants," notably her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who in addition to that failing and general thuggery, was executed in 1979 on charges that he participated in a conspiracy to murder a political rival. It must also be remembered that Mr. Bhutto is responsible for putting Pakistan on the nuclear map.
Despite this, in many ways Benazir Bhutto's history is even more troubling.
She is the leader of Pakistan's PPP party, a fact constantly referred to in media reports. However what is not so widely reported [if at all] is that PPP is a hard left political entity. Its motto is "Islam is our faith; democracy is our politics; socialism is our economy; all power to the people."
One does not have to ponder long the Islamist conception of democracy, or the impediments that "power to the people" type leftism presents to the prospects of secular rule in Pakistan to understand that nothing about Ms. Bhutto augurs well as a possible solution for the country's deepening instability.
Fact - Bhutto can't escape her past support of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Her level of support was critical and complete, even to the extent of sending Pakistani troops, after having been elected prime minister in 1988, to aid the establishment of that bloody terrorist regime.
Thus it is comical to observe Bhutto's calculated deceptions broadcast by CNN, "... I can tell you that if General Musharraf stays, al- Qaeda or Taliban people taking over the country will become a reality," which in lapdog media fashion, CNN apparently saw fit not to challenge.
Bhutto's goal in the current crisis is to depose Musharraf, despite his election in October 2007, sensing that manipulated world opinion might support her effort.
In this quest she has found allies in the worst of Pakistan's Islamist rabble, including Pir Sabir Shah a power in the tribal areas who is directly in league with the Taliban and al-Qaeda, who has decried U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan on the grounds that, "the Taliban are being killed...due to ruthless bombing by the allied forces," [source http://www.dawn.com/2001/11/29/local22.htm]
Before his arrest on Tuesday, Imran Khan, the UK cricketeer turned politician, was slated to join Bhutto's campaign, another sign of Bhutto's Islamism. Khan is the head of the Pakistan Tehrek -e- Insaaf (PTI) party and supports the Taliban. Last year Khan met with the pro al-Qaeda Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal [MMA] and agreed to an alliance with the Jamaat e Islami.
According to a report in the Daily Times:
"The meeting was held at the initiative of Imran Khan, PTI chairman, and was attended by Qazi Hussain Ahmed, MMA president and amir Jamaat-e-Islami, and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of the PML-N. Akbar S Babar, PTI central information secretary, was also present in the meeting." [source, http://www.dailytimes.com.pk:80/default.asp?page=story_17-2-2005_pg7_26]
The MMA is led by Fazlur Rahman probably best known in the United States as having run the al-Qaeda camp where a California man Hamid Hayat received terror training for nearly a year, re-entering this country with the intent of carrying out jihad.
In September of this year Hamid was sentenced to serve 24 years in prison.
Hamid's father, Umar [Umer] was also charged in the case and pled guilty to a lesser charge.
From a report by Huma Aamir Malik in the Arab News, "ISLAMABAD, 12 June 2005 - The arrest of two suspected Al-Qaeda agents in California raises new concerns about the existence of Al-Qaeda training camps inside Pakistan, according to a special report for the US and Pakistan. Citing an FBI affidavit, the report showed in a news channel accused opposition Muttaheda Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) leader Fazlur Rehman of running an Al-Qaeda camp near Rawalpindi. It said that Rehman is a fundamentalist, and is known for his close ties to Afghanistan's ousted Taleban regime."
Below from a 2003 interview with Rehman conducted by Pakistan Newsline, in which he serves as a Taliban apologist while clearly indicating that the imposition of Sharia is his goal:
Q: Liberal forces feared that religious extremism would increase with Islamic parties coming to power in the Frontier province. Do you think this is happening?
A: If they cannot tolerate the Shariah Bill, which has been passed unanimously by all the elected members of the Frontier assembly, then the popular sentiment that America and other western countries are against Islam is right. The whole world should understand the realities and respect the mandate given to the MMA by the people of Pakistan. Actually, this is a campaign against Pakistan's Islamic forces, to brand them as Taliban.
Q: People generally believe that the Islamic parties idealise the Taliban and they have recently adopted a Taliban-style system of governance.
A: The Taliban were misrepresented. Their system was an ideal Islamic system, but they were trying to implement it by force. Here, in Pakistan, we are trying to bring about an Islamic revolution in accordance with the wishes of the people who voted for us." [source http://www.newsline.com.pk/newsJuly2003/cover3july2003.htm]
Make no mistake about it, no matter how flawed Pervez Musharraf's governance has been, his actions including the dismissal of Supreme Court Chief Justice Chaudry, his declaration of martial law and program of detentions and house arrests [including those of Ms. Bhutto] are entirely appropriate and designed to prevent the only Muslim country with nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of al-Qaeda.
Unfortunately, at this juncture the United States has no realistic option aside from backing Musharraf to the hilt. It had therefore better adopt a realistic assessment of the threat posed by a nuclear Taliban while resisting the influence of the State Department dolts [whose policies dealing with the Muslim world are fundamentally in error] who believe against all available evidence that a "free" election in Pakistan would not quickly devolve into a radical Islamist takeover followed by a rogue government with its finger on the triggers of as many as 80 nuclear weapons. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=pak11.14.07%2Ehtm
MIM: Imran Khan planned to join the Bhutto campaign.
Imran Khan 'will join Bhutto campaign'
From correspondents in Islamabad November 14, 2007 01:53am Article from: Reuters PAKISTANI cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan said today he would launch a joint opposition campaign with Benazir Bhutto if she agreed to boycott elections. Ms Bhutto, who was put under house arrest for a week yesterday to stop her leading a protest, phoned Mr Khan and other political leaders opposed to President Pervez Musharraf's imposition of a state of emergency. "I spoke to Benazir Bhutto today. She has talked about boycotting elections which is a welcome step," Mr Khan told Geo television from an undisclosed location where he is in hiding after escaping house arrest. Mr Musharraf has promised elections by January 9 but opposition parties say they will be meaningless if held under emergency rule. "We should all boycott these fraudulent elections under emergency rule and on this point we can run a joint campaign," Mr Khan said. "We should all agree that until courts are not restored to pre-emergency status, we should not take part in elections." He added that there should be a "one-point agenda of opposition parties - remove Musharraf". http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22756336-38197,00.html
MIM: Imran Khan's instigation of last years Koran flush rumor riots must have earned him his street creds by the Taliban supporting MMA. Khan's new partnership of his party Tehrik-e- Insaf together with the pro Taliban MMA prove that his transformation from Westernised millionaire playboy crickeer to radical Islamist 'fundi' is now complete. His divorce from UK born billionaire's daughter wife may have to do with the fact that Khan's new cronies believe that women belong in burqas locked up at home, and his ex's Jewish father was considered a political liability.
Imran assures support to MMA's anti-Musharraf drive
ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan and acting president Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), Qazi Hussain Ahmed, after agreeing on three basic points for the restoration of democracy, have said that they will cooperate mutually for the supremacy of constitution, restoration of real democracy and in the anti-uniform movement. Qazi and Imran met Tuesday at the residence of former. Qazi warmly welcomed Imran Khan at his residence and invited him to participate and address in the public gatherings of expected anti-uniform campaign, which Imran Khan accepted. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_17-2-2005_pg7_26
MIM: Bhutto is also seeking to form an alliance with Nawaz Sharif who is linked to Bin Laden.
Former Pakistani PM met Bin Laden discussed Jihad - says ex intelligence agent
March 22, 2006
PAKISTAN: FORMER PM NAWAZ SHARIF DID MEET BIN LADEN, SAYS EX-INTELLIGENCE AGENT
Karachi, 20 March (AKI) - (Syed Saleem Shahzad) - Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif did meet al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at least three times in order to get financial help, according to Khalid Khawaja, the former official with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). In an exclusive interview with Adnkronos International (AKI), Khawaja, once a close friend of Osama bin Laden, rejected the statements by a spokesperson for Sharif's political party, denying that Sharif had sought political cooperation from bin Laden in the past.
In an interview with a national Urdu daily, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the leader of the largest Islamic party in Pakistan, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and of the six party religious alliance MMA, said that Nawaz had repeatedly met Osama bin Laden who offered him money to buy the loyalties of parlimentarians in the late 1980s in order to topple the government of then prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Ahmad also said that bin Laden was a big supporter of Nawaz Sharif's bid to be prime minister in 1990.
Soon after the publication of the interview, the information secretary of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Siddiqul Farooq, denied any contact between Nawaz Sharif and Osama bin Laden.
"Osama is above all this politicking," said Khawaja. "He is a great man and will remain great. Even if Nawaz Sharif's party refuse to admit a contact between Osama and Nawaz, it will not change the facts which were witnessed by many people including Khayyam Qaisar (Nawaz Sharif's personal staff officer) and myself," Khalid Khawaja maintained.
Khalid Khawaja is a retired squadron leader of the Pakistan Air Force who was an official in Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI, in the mid 1980s. After he wrote a critical letter to General Zia ul-Haq, who ruled Pakistan from 1977 till 1988, in which he labeled Zia as hypocrite, he was removed from the ISI and forced to retire from the airforce.
He then went straight to Afghanistan in 1987 and fought against the Soviets along side with Osama Bin Laden, developing a relationship of firm friendship and trust.
Khalid Khawaja's name resurfaced when US reporter Daniel Pearl was abducted and subsequently killed. Pearl had come to Pakistan and met Khalid Khawaja in order to investigate the jihadi network of revered sufi, Syed Mubarak Ali Gailani.
"Actually the situation needs to be understood from very beginning as everybody has got the facts intermingled" Khawaja maintained.
"Soon after the plane crash of then President General Ziaul Haq in August 1988, I was fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan. The biggest challenge before us was to save Afghan Jihad as in the post-Zia period the victory of the secular Pakistan Peoples Party was like writing on the wall."
"So initially a few Pakistanis, including myself, planned an alliance which would be dominated by Islamic parties and also include the moderate Pakistan Muslim League. We wanted clear domination of hardline religious parties so that moderate Muslim League would not deviate from the cause of Jihad," Khawaja asserted.
"A businessman, Tanveer Sheikh, Dr Adil of Jamia Farooqia, Karachi and myself were the three person who initiated this task. Tanveer Sheikh provided the seed money and we established an office in a bungalow in an upmarket neighborhood of Karachi.
"At that time we had zero percent support from ISI. Though they knew of our plan and we both used to exchange notes as well" he said.
"We had meetings with all top religious figures ranging from Mufti Rafi Usmani to Maulana Fazlur Rehman and finally brought them together under the umbrella of Muttahida Ulema Council (United Islamic Scholars Council)."
"However, the irony of this situation was that when all there was a ground-swell for a broader Islamic alliance the ISI hijacked the whole plan and deviated partners into IJI (Islamic Democratic Alliance).
Even then, Khawaja said, they did not give up and tried to outwit Benazir Bhutto . We met Altaf Hussain of MQM and he agreed to vote against Benazir Bhutto, then we tried to cut a deal between Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Nawaz Sharif. Nawaz was ready to give a big share to Fazl in power but Fazl insisted on premiership. As a result of these differences, Benazir Bhutto prevailed and with a very simple majority formed her government in 1989" Khawaja recalled.
"Now after Benazir Bhutto formed her government and the opposition parties moved for a vote of no-confidence, Osama Bin Laden comes in a picture," Khawaja recalled.
"However, let it be clear that Osama is Mujahid. His aim was not to manipulate Pakistani politics. His whole life revolves around the cause of Jihad" he said.
"I still remember that Osama bin Laden provided me with funds, which I handed over to Nawaz Sharif, then the chief minister of Punjab [and later premier], to dislodge Benazir Bhutto. Nawaz Sharif insisted that I arrange a direct meeting with the "Sheikh", which I did in Saudi Arabia. Nawaz met thrice with Osama in Saudi Arabia. "
The most historic was the meeting in the Green Palace Hotel in Medina between Nawaz Sharif, Osama and myself, Khayyam Qaiser is the witness for that meeting in which Khayyem, the personal staff officer tried to take a photograph but Osama's friends there stopped him.
Osama asked Nawaz to devote himself to "jihad in Kashmir". Nawaz immediately said, "I love jihad." Osama smiled, and then stood up from his chair and went to a nearby pillar and said. "Yes, you may love jihad, but your love for jihad is this much." He then pointed to a small portion of the pillar. "Your love for children is this much," he said, pointing to a larger portion of the pillar. "And your love for your parents is this much," he continued, pointing towards the largest portion. "I agree that you love jihad, but this love is the smallest in proportion to your other affections in life."
These sorts of arguments were beyond Nawaz Sharif's comprehension and he kept asking me. "Manya key nai manya?" [Agreed or not?] He was looking for a grant of 500 million rupee [US 8.4 million dollars at today's rate]. Though Osama gave a comparatively smaller amount, the landmark thing he secured for Nawaz Sharif was a meeting with the [Saudi] royal family, which gave Nawaz Sharif a lot of political support, and it remained till he was dislodged [as premier] by General Pervez Musharraf [in a coup in 1999]. Saudi Arabia arranged for his release and his safe exit to Saudi Arabia,"
"Now with these immortal accounts secured in my memory I see the denials published in newspapers, that Nawaz had nothing to do with Osama, and I think "how can people forget their mentors?". Nawaz proudly said that he is friend of US president Bill Clinton and but denies his association with a revered holy figure like Osama Bin Laden," Khalid Khawaja concluded
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/3252