The Candid Eye

March 20, 2010

Pakistan again using mafia links for terror strikes

Saturday’s arrests of the two terror suspects in Mumbai who wanted to set fires at three locations across the city shows that Pakistani planners are now returning to their old ally, the underworld, to plot terrorist acts.

In the recent case, Abdul Latif Rashid alias Guddu, 29, and Riyaz Ali Imtiaz alias Rehan, 22, were arrested for conspiring to set fires at the ONGC office in Bandra (East), Mangaldas Market in Kalbadevi and Thakkar Mall in Borivli. Latif’s uncle, Abdul Bashir Khan, is an absconding accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, which was plotted and executed by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, who is now living in Karachi. Khan is currently living with Dawood in the latter’s Karachi flat and works as his assistant.

Pakistan ISI : Image Courtesy - http://www.topnews.in/

The security establishment in India has been claiming that the D-gang is hand-in-glove with Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) in the execution of conspiracies in India.

In the 11/7 Mumbai train blasts case, the police arrested a doctor, two engineers and a sotware programmer who did not have any prior criminal record. However, the recent case points to the in-depth involvement of the D-gang. “The two accused were in touch with a D-gang member who had asked them to identify youths for terror training in Pakistan,” said the source.

Officials in the security forces said terror bosses may have returned to the underworld because the police have mentally de-linked the underworld from terror. “The police seem to have formed an opinion that gangsterism is entirely different from terrorism and they do not pay heed to gangsters when it comes to probing terror cases nowadays. This could be one of the reasons why the Pakistani terror handlers are focusing on the use of the underworld,” the security source said.

Pakistan ISI : Image Courtesy - http://trendsupdates.com/

“In 1993, the underworld had first participated in a terror strike. Later, the modus operandi changed and the handlers started recruiting young people with no criminal records as the underworld was already on the police list,” said a security establishment official.

In the 2001 Parliament attack, new faces who were neither in the police list nor connected to the underworld were recruited. In the post-2001 modus operandi, the use of educated youths from the Muslim community was seen.

Software engineer Mansoor Peerbhoy, a Pune resident, who had a job with a Rs 19-lakh-a-year salary, was arrested by the Mumbai Crime Branch in 2008 for being part of the Indian Mujahideen. He was accused of hacking into computers and sending terror emails.

Earlier, in a string of post-2001 terror-related cases in Mumbai, an MBBS, an MBA, three civil engineers, four mechanical engineers, two chemical engineers, a pilot and a professor working for the National Defence Academy, Pune, had been arrested. While the police had focused on these men, most of them were later acquitted by the court or discharged by the central Pota review committee.

Noteworthy also is that absconding Indian Mujahideen operative, Riyaz Bhatkal, who is also suspected to be in Pakistan, was connected to the Fazlur Rehman gang before he formed his own extortion outfit. Bhatkal later took to terrorism.

Source: TOI

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March 3, 2010

ISI protecting IM founder Riyaz Bhatkal in Karachi

The attempts by the Pune police probing the February 13 German Bakery blast to track Riyaz Bhatkal may prove futile, since there is confirmation now that the founder of the Indian Mujahideen is safely ensconed in Karachi.

A police officer from Hyderabad, who is currently interrogating Ahmed Khwaja, a Lashkar-e-Tayiba militant currently in custody of Hyderbad police, told rediff.com that Bhatkal is in Karachi.

The official said that Khwaja was also questioned in-depth regarding the Pune blast, but he did not appear to know much about the plot.

Riyaz Bhatkal, the terrorist

“He has details of the Indian Mujahideen operatives and says that there are three key persons who control the IM. Bhatkal and Mohsin Chaudhary head the India operations, but they report directly to a man by the name Aamir Raza, who is a Pakistani national,” the officer said.

Khwaja also revealed that Bhatkal, who stayed in Dubai for a considerable amount of time, was asked to shift base to Pakistan at the insistence of the Inter Services Intelligence.

Indian Mujahideen

Bhatkal is a high-profile personality for them, and he is being protected by the ISI. Sources in the Intelligence Bureau told rediff.com that Bhatkal holds the key, and nabbing him would help crack the entire IM network in India.

The IB further adds that they have got information that Bhatkal has been housed under the protection of the ISI at the high-security Defence Enclave in Karachi, which show his importance for the ISI..

Karachi plot

The IB says that the interrogation of Khwaja and Shahzad (who was picked up by the Delhi police from Azamgarh, UP in connection with the Batla House case) have made one thing clear and that is the ISI was not planning on launching attacks in India with its Pakistan and Afghanistan based cadres.

Both Shahzad and Khwaja were aware of the Karachi plot (IB had sounded off a warning pertaining to a terror plot that was being hatched in Pakistan to target several Indian cities), and during their interrogation, their bosses told them that they needed to gear up for this.

The IB says that this is a worrying factor since the ISI is roping in Indian operatives for this plot. They are setting up their network in India and most of the heads of the India-based terror groups have been told about this plot, so that when they plan on carrying out the attacks, there would be no problems with the logistics.

The ISI, which plans on carrying out the Karachi plot with the help of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Al Qaeda and the Harkat-ul-Jihadi-Islami, will depend on Indian operatives for logistics and also to ensure that they provide a safe passage into the country for their fidayeen fighters.

August 25, 2009

He had a pistol.He used it.

A very informative article on Jinnah,by Tarun Vijay,editor of Panchajanya, appeared in Times of India a while ago.

“I am not prepared to discuss ethics. We have a pistol and are in a position to use it.” So said Mohammad Ali Jinnah while delivering his presidential speech at the Muslim League convention on July 19, 1946.

What followed was an unimaginable massacre of Hindus in Kolkata on August 16, 1946. Six thousand killed, twenty thousand raped and maimed.

Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the then leader of Hindu Mahasabha had said, “Jinnah is out to destroy the very soul of India.”

If one single instance should be cited to understand what Jinnah really was, it would not be his speech in the Constituent Assembly, Karachi, often quoted by Indian Hindus, but his call for “Direct Action”.

That was August 16, 1946, known as the day of “great Calcutta killings”. After the “Direct Action” resolution was passed by the Muslim League on July 19, 1946, its president, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, said in his valedictory speech: “What we have done today is the most historic act in our history. Never have we in the whole history of the League done anything except by the constitutional methods and by constitutionalism. But now we are obliged and forced into this position. This day we bid goodbye to constitutional methods…. Now the time has come for the Muslim Nation to resort to direct action. I am not prepared to discuss ethics. We have a pistol and are in a position to use it.”

Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the then leader of the Hindu Mahasabha, who had said, “Jinnah is out to destroy the very soul of India”, organized Hindus fearlessly and foiled Jinnah’s plan to oust Hindus from Kolkata. He formed a volunteer group of the Hindus named the Hindusthan National Guards, resisted horrendous goondaism of the League and moved in the riot-affected areas giving courage to the victims of a planned slaughter and orgy of violence by the League’s marauders.

Syama Prasad Mookerjee was traveling all over India awakening the masses to rise against the partition plot. On October 8, 1944, at a United Provinces Hindu Conference, he said, “The sooner Mr Jinnah understands that Pakistan in any form or shape will be resisted by Hindus and many others with the last drop of blood, the better for him, for he will then quietly descend on realities and himself plead for a just and equitable settlement. None but an agent of imperialism will so block the path of Indian unity and freedom as Mr Jinnah is doing.”

Dr Mookerjee, who is respected as the ideological icon and source of inspiration by the Bharatiya Janata Party, was a devotee of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. In fact, he had been in close contact with Sri Aurobindo, who had said, “The idea of two nationalities in India is only a new-fangled notion invented by Jinnah for his purposes and contrary to the facts. More than 90% of the Indian Mussalmans are descendants of converted Hindus and belong as much to the Indian nation as the Hindus themselves. This process of conversion has continued all along; Jinnah is himself a descendant of a Hindu,converted in fairly recent times,named Jinabhai and many of the most famous Mahommedan leaders have a similar origin.”(SABCL, vol.26, page 46).

It was Dr Mookerjee who stood firm and tried to organize a people’s movement against partition. He said: “Hindus regard this country as their sacred and holy land. Irrespective of provincial barriers or the diversity in faiths and languages there exists a remarkable economic and cultural unity and inter-dependence which cannot be destroyed at the will of persons and parties who think it beneath their dignity to regard India as their motherland. We must live and die for India and her liberty.” (24th December 1944).

He disagreed with Gandhi placating the Muslim demands and said,”As soon as the other communities realize that the Hindus of India are united and have pledged themselves to stand together for the attainment of their ideal and have adopted a policy of understanding and tolerance to all classes of people residing in India, other communities whose support we are seeking in vain today will then join us voluntarily and on terms honourable to all.”(“Awake Hindusthan”, Page 12).

He further said: “Our experiences in recent years have proved that much as we would be willing to surrender the rights and interests of the Hindus for the purpose of placating other communities, much as we would like to pursue the policy of delivering “blank cheques” the response from the other side is slow and halting, if not sometimes hostile in character.(“Awake Hindusthan”, Page 13)

In this context, I would like to add that however different Jinnah might have been , we just can’t belittle Nehru before Jinnah. Nehru belonged to us; he fought for India’s freedom, spent years in jail and had an Indian dream. We may have a thousand differences with him on policies and programmes, but so what? That would be our “domestic matter”. Jinnah led our motherland’s vivisection and he never fought for the freedom struggle.

MJ Akbar has written these lines describing his persona,”Muhammad Ali Jinnah, aristocrat by temperament, catholic in taste, sectarian in politics, and the father of Pakistan, was the unlikeliest parent that an Islamic republic could possibly have. He was the most British of the generation of Indians that won freedom in August 1947. As a child in the elite Christian Mission High School in Karachi, he changed his birthday from 20 October to Christmas Day. As a student at Lincoln’s Inn, he anglicised his name from Jinnahbhai to Jinnah. For three years, between 1930 and 1933, he went into voluntary exile in Hampstead, acquired a British passport, set up residence with his sister Fatimah and daughter Dina, hired a British chauffeur (Bradley) for his Bentley, kept two dogs (a black Dobermann and a white West Highland terrier), indulged himself at the theatre (he had once wanted to be a professional actor so that he could play Hamlet) and appeared before the Privy Council to maintain himself in the style to which he was accustomed. He wore Savile Row suits, heavily starched shirts and two-tone leather or suede shoes……Despite being the Quaid-e-Azam, or the Great Leader of Muslims, he drank a moderate amount of alcohol and was embarrassingly unfamiliar with Islamic methods of prayer. He was uncomfortable in any language but English, and made his demand for Pakistan — in 1940 at Lahore — in English, despite catcalls from an audience that wanted to hear Urdu.”

That was a bit of Syama Prasad and the related reflections that may prove worthwhile in the present political debate enveloping the nationalist school of politics. At the end of it, what the Gita has said and the RSS teaches us must make the final lines to this blogpost:

It’s better to die unwavering even in tatters than to change track midway and die stinking rich.

That’s Dharma.

Krishna said: “Swadharme nidhano shreyo (to live and die in ones’ own path alone is the life worthwhile and adopting the ‘other’ dharma is horrible)”.

For small desires we lose a lifetime’s achievements and glory.

History was never made essentially by those who became state heads, but often by those who didn’t.

Or by those who gave up everything for others’ good, honestly. Syama Prasad and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya are two major icons of faith for the Hindu nationalist parivar. Both created history and died in their early fifties. Both were mysteriously ‘murdered’. Their lives must light the path of those who care to follow swadharma.

That’s BJP’s legacy too. As it is of other ideologically committed organisations of the saffron hue.

Lincoln didn’t shy away from the civil war and stood like a rock on the question of American spirit and unity. So was Syama Prasad. He died but didn’t bend.

May 25, 2009

Stop Funding My Failing State

Filed under: Pakistan — thecandideye @ 3:00 AM
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Fatima Bhutto

This article appeared in The Daily Beast by Fatima Bhutto.Same is reproduced here.

When Pakisan’s president visits the White House next week, he’s sure to ask for another handout. But Fatima Bhutto,niece of the late Benazir Bhutto, says the billions of dollars the U.S. gives are merely propping up a government that’s capitulating to terror.

In Pakistan things move at a leisurely South Asian pace. We missed our goals to eradicate polio recently because we, a nuclear nation, could not sustain electricity across the country long enough to refrigerate the vaccines. Garbage disposal is a nonexistent concept, and plush neighborhoods in Karachi boast towers of rubbish piled on street corners and alleyways. Prisons and police cells are full of prisoners awaiting trials, and our justice system, despite the reinstatement of the Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry, leaves a lot to be desired in terms of meting out free and fair access to justice.

One thing moving ridiculously fast, however, is the Taliban’s stranglehold on the country. After two years of fighting off Taliban insurgents camped out in the lush Swat Valley, Pakistan’s president, Asif Zardari, threw in the towel last week and gave the militants what they wanted—Shariah law.

The billions of dollars we have received have not made Pakistan safer. Instead, we now have our own version of the Taliban busy blowing up trade routes and flogging young girls.

Never mind that Pakistan’s constitution stipulates that no law contrary to Islam can be passed in the land. The no-goodnik president, who The Wall Street Journal called a “Category 5 disaster,” went ahead and unilaterally—without a vote granted to the citizens of Swat—imposed Shariah. So perhaps it shouldn’t be considered a great surprise that a week after the law was passed, the Taliban, in typical breakneck speed, have now advanced into the Buner district, a mere 70 miles from the capital.

Meanwhile, President Obama is set to meet with President Zardari (who locals have now taken to calling President Ghadari, or “traitor” in Urdu) in 10 days’ time. There is, I’d imagine, much to discuss.

The most important question that will come from Pakistan, however, is a familiar one: Can we have some more please? Money, that is, not Taliban. It may surprise some Americans that even in the midst of this recession, billions of their tax dollars are given directly to the thievery corporation that is Pakistan’s government, never to be seen again. George W. Bush gave Pakistan a whopping $10 billion to fight terror, money that seems to have gone down the drain—or rather, into some pretty deep pockets. And it’s not just the U.S.—last week, international donors from 30 countries met in Tokyo and pledged $5 billion to Pakistan to “fight terror.” The IMF has given the country $7.6 billion in a bailout deal that boggles the mind. Saudi Arabia has generously pledged $700 million over the next four years, and the less-generous European Union an additional $640 million over the same period. And then there’s Obama’s promise of $1.5 billion a year, dependent, the White House says, on results.

It’s phenomenally silly to give that kind of money to a president who, before becoming president, was facing corruption cases in Switzerland, Spain, and England. Zardari and his wife, the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, are estimated to have stolen upwards of $3 billion from the Pakistani Treasury—a figure Zardari doesn’t seem desperate to disprove, he placed his personal assets before becoming president at over $1 billion.

It’s also dangerous. No amount of money, especially in the hands of a famously corrupt government, is going to help Pakistan stave off terror, especially when said government seems more than willing to capitulate to the militants they’re supposed to be using that money to save the world from. Since 2001, Pakistan has been a country in decline. We suffer a suicide-bombing rate that surpasses Iraq’s. The billions of dollars we have received have not made Pakistan safer, they haven’t made our neighbors safer, and they’ve done nothing in the way of eradicating terror. Instead, we now have our own version of the Taliban busy blowing up trade routes and flogging young girls.

The Taliban and their ilk, on the other hand, are able to seat themselves in towns and villages across Pakistan without much difficulty largely because they do not come empty-handed. In a country that has a literacy rate of around 30 percent, the Islamists set up madrassas and educate local children for free. In districts where government hospitals are not fit for animals, they set up medical camps—in fact, they’ve been doing medical relief work since the 2005 earthquake hit Northern Pakistan. Where there is no electricity, because the local government officials have placed their friends and relatives in charge of local electrical plants, the Islamists bring generators. In short, they fill a vacuum that the state, through political negligence and gross graft, has created.

To combat the Taliban’s incursions further into poverty-stricken parts of the country, Pakistan’s government only has to do its job less leisurely. That’s the frightening truth.

Fatima Bhutto is a graduate of Columbia University and the School of Oriental and African Studies. She is working on a book to be published by Jonathan Cape in 2010. Fatima lives and works in Karachi, Pakistan.

April 13, 2009

Kidnappings & Conversions of Hindus in Pakistan!

Filed under: Hindu Persecution,Pakistan — thecandideye @ 8:24 PM
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Increasing incidents of kidnapping of Hindu community members and “conversion” have caused concern in Sindh. Approximately 30 to 35 minority members had been kidnapped; one of them was killed. Seven are still believed to be in the custody of abductors. Around 18 Hindu girls had been converted to Islam; one of them was reportedly killed this year.

Some say that these incidents should not be seen in isolation and should be viewed as part of the general law and order problem. Similarly, girls have increasingly shown a tendency to marry with their consent.

Others say there is a plot against the minority members who are being targeted for various reasons. Of particular concern is the alleged blasphemy case in Umerkot, which had remained closed for a few days recently following violent protests. Sindh Home Minister Zulfikar Mirza was of the view that there was a conspiracy to grab the property and business of the Hindu community.

These issues were also highlighted during the last days of parliamentary year of the Sindh Assembly by the Pakistan People’s Party-Parliamentarian (PPP-P) minority legislator, Pitanbar Sewani.

Sewani was born in Bagarji, Sukkur, in 1953 and has been associated with the PPP since 1974. Starting from his political career as a member of district council Shikarpur in 1979, he had been elected as a member of the provincial legislature twice. He is among three senior legislators of the minority community. Two others were late P.K Shahani and Rana Chander Singh. One striking aspect of his personality is that he prefers a simple lifestyle. He spoke to The News about these issues.

KIDNAPPINGS: Three Hindus were kidnapped in Salih Pat. The kidnappers demanded Rs1.5 million as ransom. When the relatives sold their property to pay the ransom money, the abductors increased the original amount to Rs2.5 million. As the poor relatives were not in a position to pay the ransom, the abductors killed Mahender Kumar on the Hindus’ religious festival (Holi) recently “as if to present a ‘gift’ to us,” Sewani said. Two were still in their custody.

On the same day on which Kumar was killed, the criminals kidnapped three more Hindus in Ghotki. “The home minister personally visited the area and we hope that they would be recovered,” Sewani said.

The robbers gunned down Dr Darshan Lal in Larkana and snatched Rs2.4 million from him. The police made some arrests in the case but showed only Rs16,000 as recovery from the accused.

In this year, around 30 to 35 Hindus had been kidnapped, out of them seven were still in the custody of criminals. Among them is PPP-P district Jacobabad minority wing President Darshan Lal. Apart from kidnappings, robberies had also been increased, targeting the Hindus. The robbers stormed a temple in Jacobabad and snatched 450 “tolas” gold from 250 women. The police made some arrests but had shown recovery of only 10 to 15 Tolas gold.

Criminals stormed another temple in Daharki and robbed people. In the third incident, robbers stormed a temple in Ghotki and robbed people. However, the then district police officer (DPO) Irfan Baloch made arrests and recovered each and everything, which was appreciable. This is first time that the religious places had been robbed.

The minority community’s houses have also been looted. The robbers entered Natho Mal’s house in Sakrand city and took away Rs1.4 million. The police made arrests but had shown recovery of Rs500,000 to Rs600,000 only. In Shikarpur, a Panchayat leader’s (Mukhi) house was looted.

RELIGIOUS CONVERSION: Around 18 Hindu girls had been kidnapped and “converted” this year. Some of the events might be the result of love affairS. “We do not have objections over their becoming Muslims but we have objections over the method through which they had been ‘converted’,” Sewani said.

“First they kidnap the girl, marry her and subsequently she is presented before the court. We demand that first, the girl should be kept at a ‘neutral place’ then it should be decided as to whether she had been converted. How we would be convinced that she had not been converted under duress as there are incidents that girls were kidnapped for ulterior motives. One Hindu girl who was reportedly converted and married in Sukkur, was thrown from the third floor of the building on Eid-ul-Azha day and died. Her husband was arrested but later released on bail,” he said.

PLOT: The Hindu community in Pakistan was first targeted in 1972-73 when their women were insulted in Kandhkot under a conspiracy. It inspired Amar Jalil to write a short story on it. Subsequently, a pattern was set that whenever the PPP comes in power, the minority members are targeted as it is the only party, which strives to improve the condition of minorities and empower them, Sewani said. Certain elements want the government in Sindh to fail, and they target Hindus who are loyal to the party, he maintained.

When the PPP came in power in 1988, around 19 Hindus were killed in Karachi and their property was looted. When the PPP assumed power in 2008, Jagdesh, a factory worker was killed over alleged blasphemy. Hindus were targeted on their religious festival (Holi) in Umerkot and the home minister on the Sindh Assembly floor said there was conspiracy against the minority.

Source :The News

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