The Ignored World of Indian Terrorism

Posted in Indias Oppression of Minorities on August 18, 2009 by dimension117

by Havi Zayed

For years major terrorist organizations in India have been given a free hand to massacre and terrorize minorities. Thousands of innocent people have been murdered by them and they continue to operate putting not only India but also the entire region at risk. The Successive Indian governments have for years not only allowed these organizations to operate but have also denied and hidden the terror related activities of these fascist outfits denying the minorities justice who have suffered at their hands. These fascist outfits are largely ignored and kept away from the attention of the World Media leaving no chance of minorities getting justice for the crimes committed by them or any chance for the World to know about their doings.

It is true that no religion deserves to be highlighted for terrorism and harmony must be promoted at all costs. Also it must be understood that it is not the religion that promotes terrorism but there are certain elements that move away from that religion that promote such anarchy. However the issue in India remains despite the level of destruction and damage these terrorist organizations are causing there is an absolute denial of such criminal and terrorist elements even though they have taken part in the murder of thousands of innocent people.

Terrorist Organizations such as the Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, VHP (Vishva Hindu Parisad) and the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) are all ignored and their horrible crimes not only being hidden by members of the government but also being promoted by them. Several members of the Indian government themselves are part of this campaign of terror and have massacred thousands of innocent civilians and not on one occasion is action taken against them.

It is noticeable in almost all past incidents of such religious violence passed off as riots (even though they resulted in a systematic massacre of a certain religious group which can be defined as genocide) that members of these terrorist organizations are actively involved. If we look at all the instances of such violence in the past 30 years we will see this trend and will notice the damage they have caused to the Indian State:

·         In 1984 there was a planned massacre of Sikhs by these same extremists after the tragic death of Indira Gandhi. Over 5000 Sikhs were killed and it has been defined by several Sikh Writers as a “Genocide against the Sikh Community” and a “War against the Sikh Faith” considering the fact that just a few months ago Operation Bluestar had resulted in death of at least 8000 Sikhs. The figures are highly disputed with vast variations between the figures by Humanitarian Organizations, the Indian government and the Sikh Freedom Movements. The fact however is that the people belonging to the same organizations struck here as well. It is also interesting to note that several Politicians as well have been blamed for having a part in this massacre such as Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and RK Anand who are in the government even now. The police and government did absolutely nothing allowing mobs to loot Sikh property, torture, rape and murder.

·         In 1992 they struck again and Babri Masjid a Seventh Century Islamic Mosque was burned down to the ground by Hindu Terrorists resulting in a major culmination of riots which resulted in the death of at least 5000 Muslims according to several Islamic Groups and Humanitarian Groups. Again the trend was the same with politicians and police taking a part in the massacre. According to Tehelka News the police not only remained silent spectators but even participated in the genocide often attacking Muslims and pointing them out for the mobs.  There was also proof against Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thakarey who ordered his followers to murder Muslims in the riots and also in the riots that ensued after the Bombay Blast which is claimed to be by Underworld Don Dawood Ibrahim. Madhukar Sarpotdar a Shiv Sena MP was jailed for his connections to Hindu terrorists and for inciting them to attack Muslims. Other leaders joined the rhetoric by calling for attacks on Muslims including Girijaj Kishore.

·         In 2003 a major massacre of Muslims was committed in the Province of Gujarat and this massacre is often attributed to Nirender Modi who is still the Chief Minister of Gujarat and a member of the Right Wing Hindu Nationalist Party BJP. Almost all humanitarian organizations and all groups found exclusive proof that the trail to the massacre indeed did lead to him. However he has been elected for another year as Chief Minister of Gujarat despite this and no action has ever been taken against him. Nirender Modi is also said to have protected a terrorist known as Babu Bajrangi an Ex VHP Leader who has now become a leader of the Terrorist Organization Bajrang Dal. He famously boasted to Tehelka News how he “ripped open a pregnant woman’s stomach” and how he wanted to wipe out 25000-50000 Muslims. Another criminal leader is Giriraj Kishore who is a leader of the VHP and is known to have incited the mobs to attack and kill Muslims just like in . These are not the only people from these terrorist organizations to have taken part in this massacre but there are many more. This was undoubtedly the most horrible pre planned attack on any minority in India and has resulted in over 20000 deaths whereas several claims go up to the 200000 mark and can by all means be defined as a Genocide. The massacre and the fact that none of the leaders associated with it have been punished proves that several Hindu terrorists have high jacked the government and are already in a position where they can destroy the lives of innocents. India has admitted that there are links to these people in these attacks but says it will “hurt the country” if any action is taken against them.

·         Finally even in Mid 2008 after the murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati Hindu Mobs from these organizations have become thirsty for Christian blood and till now may have murdered over a 1000 Christians burning over 1800 Christian homes and many churches and left about 60000 Christians homeless. Most have either fled to the woods or are in refugee camps. Again the figures are highly disputed and different sources have different estimates. The highest claim is by the Union of Catholic Asian News which claims that over 100,000 Christians could have been killed between August 23 and September 4. This is considered a smaller massacre but several analysts have suggested that the growing agitation against Christians in the area may result in a much larger pogrom next time.

Though these are not all the incidents of violence where members of these terrorist organizations have shown the world their true colours it is noticeable that in all these cases it has been activists of Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena RSS and other such terrorist organizations involved in the violence which is proven by the accounts of survivors and people who saw the terrorists. It is also very concerning that the police and several government ministers have supported the violence and there is at least one influential person who has either turned a blind eye on the matter, worked to protect these terrorist elements or even worse support them in their horrible deeds. It proves the level of hatred these elements have and how the terrorists have infiltrated all fields of Indian society. All of them have called for the elimination of Pakistan and Islam.

Not only this but these leaders are inspired by Hitler and his genocide of Jews. That is why they are known as representatives of a Fascist ideology since they call for the elimination of certain groups and want to form a “Hindu Rashtra”, an India only for Hindus. Bal Thakarey himself is a great admirer of Hitler.

The fact is India is one of the only Countries where Terrorist leaders like Jagdish Tytler, Bal Thakarey and Nirender Modi who are responsible for past violence are allowed to operate with impunity and endanger the lives of innocent people in the process. All three of these leaders have called for violence against Minorities and are well known to have ordered and commanded their followers to attack minorities yet no action is taken against them or the perpetrators of these horrible and violent crimes. Will all those killed by them ever get justice?

In India there is very heavy handed action against Islamic terror outfits and organizations but this same action is never taken against Hindu terrorists who operate in India with impunity. Therefore there is absolutely no balance and no system of justice for minorities. Several people especially Pakistanis tend to laugh when India blames Pakistan for violence within its borders and “infiltration” considering the fact that these are the sort of people who are present in the Nation. Is it not likely that such a massive campaign of violence will naturally result in Terrorism?

What is even more dangerous is that the terrorists do not even leave those who raise their voice against the atrocities of the Hindu Terrorist organizations and their supporters. It has now become a crime to even speak out against them because any such person who dares to raise his voice is being sent death threats and becomes a victim of a massive harassment and bullying. On the net the terrorists are even worse than Bal Thackeray and conveniently hide behind their computers spreading their campaign of hatred, freely admitting murder rape and torture and sending death threats as if there is no big deal in it and they will never get caught. This extremely worrying trend of death threats, admission of murder rape and torture has all been reported by several other Writers and Rights Workers who have decided to expose the wrong doings. By resorting to these cheap acts these individuals are now expecting to cause fear in Rights Workers and Journalists to somehow make them stop their campaign for justice completely.

Despite all this several Indians continue to claim that it is the internal matter of India and if anyone from Pakistan raises a voice he is interfering in “India’s Affairs”. On the other hand if it is a Local Indian especially from a Minority Community, then he almost immediately becomes Anti-Indian or Anti-Hindu just because he raises his voice for minority rights! In any case the fact is that Pakistanis have a right to speak out because these terrorist groups have not only called for violence on Pakistan and have encouraged their followers to kill Pakistanis but have also attacked Pakistanis before. It must be remembered that the Samjhauta Express attacks where Hemant Karkare pointed out that Colonel Purohit with the help of several Hindu terrorists was responsible for the attack resulted in the death of several Pakistanis.

India must deal with these dangerous elements, ban these organizations and arrest their leaders that are spreading hatred and calling for violence and the Indian politicians who have supported such people and are known to have committed acts of murder on minorities before should be brought to book because in the end it is not Pakistanis nor the Muslims Sikhs or Christians that suffer but all Indians that suffer.

The US-Taliban/Al Qaeda Partnership

Posted in US-Taliban/Al Qaeda Ties on August 18, 2009 by dimension117

Hostile Enemies or Strategic Allies?

by Havi Zayed

Many people who have constantly been brainwashed by the typical Fox News type US media into seeing things only in one particular way may wonder why any sane person would even think of questioning the almost understood fact that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are sworn enemies of the United States Government who is trying to eliminate them in the War on Terror. However the World often forgets or purposely ignores the fact that it is the United States itself that has not only created but also raised and nurtured the monster we see today. In this case it is not very hard to see how the Taliban and United States can work together for their own interests and how their interests meet in many aspects.

Background of the Afghan Civil War & USA’s role:

In the 1980’s the people who today we call the Taliban and Al Qaeda were funded and used by the Americans to attack the Soviets and drive them away from Afghanistan for their own gains. When the Soviets withdrew from the region and the task was over the USA stopped sending all aid to Afghanistan leaving the country war torn and destroyed after using it as a battleground. USA did absolutely nothing to stabilize the region or develop Afghanistan at par with other Nations in the World nor did it deal with the miseries of the people that started because America simply used Afghanistan for its own vested interests forming and supporting the Taliban against the Soviets and abandoning them when their task was done.

The Afghan people in turn were left at the mercy of the Taliban who slowly took control of the Nation unleashing a reign of terror on the local people. The poorer sections of Afghan society became more and more fanatical as they had no one to turn to in order to address their needs except the Taliban. The USA did nothing except giving the militants a free hand as they seized power, slowly strengthened themselves and imposed their rule on the Afghans. Under the Taliban there was only one Women’s Hospital in Kabul for the entire countries female population. The militants ordered women to be locked up in their homes and treated Pakistanis and Iranians brutally. In one case they locked up Pakistani and Iranian businessmen in containers and suffocated them. Furthermore they ordered an end to all entertainment in Afghanistan banning music and any form of leisure confining the Afghan public to their homes. The local culture was absolutely destroyed and the entertainment industry ruined. The effects of the Taliban’s actions were directly felt on the already crippled economy of Afghanistan.

Unfortunately all this is very conveniently polished over by the US media but since the USA needs a scapegoat they use the ruse of Iranian support to the Taliban or the pathetic old rant that “Pakistan is not doing enough to curb terror” denying all responsibility for the pitiful condition Afghans find themselves in.

Although the US media and several delusional bloggers continue to deny responsibility the movie “Charlie Wilson’s War” even goes as far as to glorify the way Afghanistan was used as a killing field and its people massacred in Millions with Millions others fleeing the Nation as refugees. Unlike what is shown in “Charlie Wilsons War” none of the money sent by USA reached National Hero Ahmed Shah Masoud or the more moderate Afghan groups involved in fighting the Soviets but it was some of the worst fanatics that got the money.

The US-Taliban Relationship Today

It is unlikely that a Superpower like the USA could not predict that in the future these same people they had used as Proxies against the Soviets would be radicalized to such an extent that they would be their enemies in the future. Keeping that in mind it is unthinkable to accept that the US government did not know it was raising a monster and creating immense hatred for USA itself amongst many Afghans who would later be great targets for US formed terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda. In this case it is also safe to assume that they knew that they could somehow utilize this growing hatred for themselves to fulfill their own goals in the region and increase their influence.

This may seem like a wild allegation for many but there are a number of questionable actions by the USA that completely support this school of thought.

Taliban Commanders linked to USA

The history of certain Taliban commanders is one of the biggest embarrassments for the terrorist supporting government of USA. Abdullah Mehsud was one such commander who in the past received American support in their unholy designs against the Soviet’s. When USA attacked Afghanistan in 2001 using the Taliban and Al Qaeda as an excuse Abdullah Mehsud was captured and sent to Guantanamo Bay Prison. Surprisingly Mr Mehsud was released from Guantanamo Bay and the first thing he did upon his return was attack Chinese civilians in Pakistan and massacred several Pakistanis in a blast in Islamabad. Maulvi Abdul Ghaffar too was captured by the US and sent to Guantanamo but he was later released and the first thing he did was attack Afghan civilians and police officials. The one question that lies waiting to be asked in both these cases is that if both these men were such dangerous terrorists then why were they released from Gauntanamo Bay in the first place and why in both the cases they attacked Pakistani, Chinese and Afghans civilians rather than the occupying US forces after being released. The US has never been willing to answer these question’s but their actions of releasing these Terrorists have led to losses for countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan which have a limited Nationalist media to question such actions.

The list of commanders not only includes those that were released from Guantanamo Bay but also others who studied or worked in the USA but found Pakistanis or Afghans a convenient target to strike at instead of the US forces responsible for genocide in Afghanistan. One of the most shocking revelations comes from the spokesman for Tehreek E Taliban Pakistan, Muslim Khan. This major terrorist works for the Tehreek E Taliban and is responsible for the massacre of hundreds in Pakistan and for the displacement of over 3 Million people from their own land. Surprisingly this man has lived an amazing life in the USA and was working as a painter in the USA but instead of killing Americans and fighting against US influence which he claims to be doing he very conveniently moved to Pakistan and massacred hundreds upon hundreds of Pakistanis. Muslim Khan and countless other terrorist commanders like him expose what exactly the Taliban are and who is supporting them. The actions of such people and the very fact that they have lived in or had links to the USA even though they are responsible for the massacre of Pakistanis and Afghans expose what the Taliban really are.

Terrorism and how it benefits USA’s regional objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan

It is well known that the United States has the largest presence of Armed Forces across the World. As of 2008 USA has 761 military bases around the World and this number is increasing. Not surprisingly the USA has used the terrorist threat to expand their regional objectives and confirmed they will establish permanent bases in Afghanistan as well. After the completion of several bases in Central Asia the total number of Nations with US Military bases will be 70. In addition to this there are 156 other countries in which US forces are present but there are no bases. This means the United States Military can strike at any location in the World at any time they please. However to build these bases an excuse is needed and today the excuse is the same terrorism the United States started in order to defeat their arch enemy the Soviet Union. In other places it has been “democracy” or replacing “dictatorial rule”

The USA released a statement recently saying that it would create permanent US bases in Afghanistan to ‘stabilise the country.’ According to USA the justification for building these permanent bases of course is the terrorist presence. That is all without any regard for what the people of so called “Democratic Afghanistan” want. According to Afghan media sources 76% of Afghans want US forces out of their country. This is a much lower figure than the actual one because of fear of the occupying forces amongst the Afghans. However how the Afghans see the occupation is not a matter of concern for “Democratic USA” at all.

Other than creating permanent bases in Afghanistan and ignoring the wishes of the Afghan people it is also being considered whether the USA’s invasion of Afghanistan was about the oil pipeline that will carry oil from Central Asian states and Azerbaijan to Afghanistan from where it will go to Pakistan and then India. This is another benefit the USA has in occupying Afghanistan.

Where the terrorists stand in all this is simply that their subversive activities kill mostly Afghan civilians while they continue to try and use the policies of USA to recruit youth by claiming to be defend Islam or fight the USA. It is a fact that both the Taliban and the Al Qaeda have killed more Muslims than Non Muslims. For every suicide bombing 9 out of  10 of those killed are Muslims and the proportion of Afghans killed by both the US military and the Taliban are much higher than the causalities on either of the two side. However since they were brought to power in Afghanistan by the USA itself the terrorist commanders know they need the US occupation to continue the so called “Jihad” where inevitably only the Pakistanis or Afghans actually suffer.

The fact that is understood by both the USA and their Taliban allies is that if either side relents and leaves the country alone or refuses to drain the blood of innocent people in the country then there will be no reason for the occupation of Afghanistan. Neither side will ever do this since it does not serve their interests. Therefore it is understood that both of them need each other to occupy the Country. It is also indisputable however that the USA has benefited most from the murderous activities of the Taliban and that if they could once form fund and bring them to power then they can today use them as enemies in order to reach their goals. This common interest is what brings the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the USA on the same side.

Conclusion

It should be an understood fact that if the USA formed the Taliban and used them as their allies simply to fulfill their own gains in a petty war against Communist USSR then they can also use them as their so called “enemies” in order to fulfill their interests in the region.

Even though this will once again be brushed off as a “conspiracy theory” by many Americans who ignore the fact that the USA has used horrible means to gain its objectives including the use of Nuclear Weapons that resulted in the death of 220,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If the horrible genocide can be justified as “necessary” by the US government then why can the American soldiers killed in Afghanistan to fulfill US objectives not be “necessary causalities” in increasing the Global American muscle and influence?

Many Americans will brush this off just like they brushed off the questions they should have been asking when plane after plane hit the CN Towers. They will again ignore their mistakes and try to deny them and in the future they will once again be faced with another so called “enemy” which is formed, funded and supported by their own government. They will selfishly ignore the Millions of Afghan and Iraqi civilians who have died to date in the War on Terror by coalition forces while raising a hue and cry for the American soldiers who die in Afghanistan claiming that they are proof that the USA stands against the terrorists. As the saying goes arrogance has no limits however this arrogance has been the reason of the fall of every great empire.

As far as the rest of the World is concerned what needs to be understood is if anyone today is supporting the Taliban or Al Qaeda he is supporting USA’s strategic goals in the region and vice avers. The entire theory of terrorism was introduced to the World by the US when they used Nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Taliban simply follow the USA’s lead by killing anyone who stands in their path. The relationship between the terrorists and USA must end along with the influence of Nations that use other Countries for their own interests, form and sponsor terrorists while leaving the mess to be cleared up by their victims. Such Nations are enemies of humanity and are worse than their slaves such as the Taliban Commanders who are puppets in their hands.

Afghanistan, the CIA, bin Laden, and the Taliban

Posted in US occupation of Afghanistan with tags on August 18, 2009 by dimension117

by Phil Gasper

The U.S. war on Afghanistan is a brutal attack on a country that has already been almost destroyed by more than 20 years of foreign invasion and civil war.’ The Soviet occupation, which lasted from 1979 to 1989, left more than a million people dead. Millions still live in refugee camps More than 500,000 orphans are disabled. Ten million land mines still litter the country, killing an average of 90 people per month. At 43 years, life expectancy in Afghanistan is on average 17 years lower than that for people in other developing countries. The countryside is devastated and is currently experiencing a severe drought, with 7.5 million people threatened with starvation. The death and destruction wrought by the U.S. bombing campaign-and the cut off of food aid deliveries it has caused-have already killed hundreds and produced thousands more refugees scrambling to escape into Pakistan.

But not only is Washington attacking one of the poorest countries in the world, past U.S. government actions are in no small part responsible for the current situation in Afghanistan. The Bush administration claims to be targeting Osama bin Laden, who it says masterminded the September 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (even though it has offered no concrete evidence to back up this accusation), and Afghanistan’s Taliban government, which is sheltering him. But as the Economist magazine noted soon after September 11, ” [U.S.] policies in Afghanistan a decade and more ago helped to create both Osama bin Laden and the fundamentalist Taliban regime that shelters him.” An examination of this history will reveal the extent to which U.S. foreign policy is based on hypocrisy, realpolitik, and the short-term pursuit of narrow interests.

Before the Russians invaded

Modern Afghanistan was created in the nineteenth century as a buffer state between the Russian and British empires as they played their “great game” in the region. This historical circumstance, coupled with the country’s forbidding mountainous terrain, not only made it difficult for imperialist countries to conquer Afghanistan (it did not undergo colonial rule), but also resulted in little economic development.

The country contains many different ethnic groups. The Pashtuns-from whom Afghanistan’s traditional rulers have come-constitute 52 percent of the population. The Hazaras are 19 percent of the population. The Tajiks in the north constitute 21 percent; Uzbeks, also in the north, 5 percent. About 85 percent of Afghans are Sunni Muslims, and about 15 percent, among the Hazaras, are Shia Muslims.

Afghanistan survived as a medieval island in the modern world, characterized by backwardness and extreme poverty. In the postwar period, some changes began to occur as a result of foreign aid from the USSR and, to a lesser extent, the U.S., which were vying for influence during the Cold War. Power shifted toward the state, and an educated middle class began to emerge. But industry still barely existed.

In 1973, following a severe drought, King Zaher’s cousin Daud overthrew Zaher’s corrupt and repressive regime and declared a republic. But government corruption increased and promised modernization did not take place. Meanwhile, Daud began to collaborate more closely with the Shah of Iran. Lower-level officials and members of the middle class grew increasingly discontented. In April 1978, as Daud attempted to move against his opponents on the left, he was overthrown and killed by army officers sympathetic to the pro-Soviet People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA).

Following the coup, a broad ruling coalition was set up, controlled by the Khalq, one of the PDPA’s two factions. Nur Mohammad Taraki, a well-known novelist, became president. Within a few months, however, the Khalq pushed Barbrak Karmal and other members of the rival Parcham faction out of the government. Karmal was made ambassador to Prague, and other Parchami were also given diplomatic posts. The new government lacked any social base outside Kabul, and its program of reforms soon provoked a popular backlash. The Kabul regime was completely isolated from the mass of the population in the countryside:

[They] had neither survey information nor local leaders with knowledge of actual conditions in the countryside. In short, it would have been virtually impossible for them to devise a successful land-reform program. As it was, their reforms were implemented by blundering and often brutal officials from the city who dropped into the countryside by parachute.

Rebellion and resistance started to spread around the country. The resistance was spontaneous, but soon came to be led by an alliance of conservative Islamic groups who referred to themselves as “majahideen” (holy warriors). By the spring of 1979, rebellion had spread to most of the country’s 29 provinces. On March 24, a garrison of soldiers in Herat killed a group of Soviet advisers (and their families) who had ordered Afghan troops to fire on antigovernment demonstrators. From this point, the regime was no longer merely isolated from peasants in the countryside, but divided by open hostility from an overwhelming majority of all the people. The regime had no choice now but to crush much of the population…. [Prime Minister Hafizullah] Amin’s secret police and a repressive civilian police force went into action across Afghanistan, and army troops were sent into the countryside to subdue “feudal” villagers.

Government repression was severe. “Mass arrests were commonly followed by torture and execution without trial. Police terror was common in the city as well as the countryside, where virtually all social groups joined in the rebellion.” The rebels’ tactics were equally brutal. The Washington Post reported that the mujahideen liked to “torture victims by first cutting off their noses, ears, and genitals, then removing one slice of skin after another.”

As the situation got out of control, the Soviets advised Taraki to dismiss Amin, reunite with Parcham, and adopt a policy of “democratic nationalism.” But Amin got wind of the plan and arrested Taraki in September, assassinating him soon afterward. Amin was now in the position of publicly accusing the Russians of plotting to overthrow the Afghan government while being totally dependent on Soviet military and economic support.

In December, hard-liners in Moscow decided that Amin had to go. They believed that he could be removed by a dramatic show of force and quietly replaced by Karmal. On December 27, a force of 5,000 Soviet troops advanced on Kabul, but Amin refused to leave office quietly and fought back. On December 28, ” [a]fter twelve hours of bitter combat with Soviet forces at the presidential palace, Amin was killed, along with 2,000 loyal members of his armed forces.” Having killed the man whom they claimed had invited them into the country, the Russians proclaimed Karmal to be president and flew him back from Moscow. Within a few days, the number of Soviet troops in Afghanistan had reached 80,000. The figure later climbed to more than 100,000. What was to be nearly a decade of Russian occupation had begun.

The CIA’s anticommunist jihad

President Jimmy Carter immediately declared that the invasion jeopardized vital U.S. interests, because the Persian Gulf area was “now threatened by Soviet troops in Afghanistan. But the Carter administration’s public outrage at Russian intervention in Afghanistan was doubly duplicitous. Not only was it used as an excuse for a program of increased military expenditure that had in fact already begun, but the U.S. had in fact been aiding the mujahideen for at least the previous six months, with precisely the hope of provoking a Soviet response. Former CIA director Robert Gates later admitted in his memoirs that aid to the rebels began in June 1979. In a candid 1998 interview, Zbigniew Brezinski, Carter’s national security adviser, confirmed that U.S. aid to the rebels began before the invasion:

According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan [in] December 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: indeed, it was July 3, 1979, that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention…. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would….

That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap…. The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War.”

The Carter administration was well aware that in backing the mujahideen it was supporting forces with reactionary social goals, but this was outweighed by its own geopolitical interests. In August 1979, a classified State Department report bluntly asserted that “the United States’ larger interest…would be served by the demise of the Taraki-Amin regime, despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and economic reforms in Afghanistan.” That same month, in a stunning display of hypocrisy, State Department spokesperson Hodding Carter piously announced that the U.S. “expect[s] the principle of nonintervention to be respected by all parties in the area, including the Soviet Union.”

The Russian invasion in December was the signal for U.S. support to the Afghan rebels to increase dramatically.

Three weeks after Soviet tanks rolled into Kabul, Carter’s secretary of defense, Harold Brown, was in Beijing arranging for a weapons transfer from the Chinese to the ClA-backed Afghani troops mustered in Pakistan. The Chinese, who were generously compensated for the deal, agreed and even consented to send military advisers. Brown worked out a similar arrangement with Egypt to buy $15 million worth of weapons. “The U.S. contacted me,” [then-Egyptian president] Anwar Sadat recalled shortly before his assassination [in 1981]. “They told me, ‘Please open your stores for us so that we can give the Afghans the armaments they need to fight.’ And I gave them the armaments. The transport of arms to the Afghans started from Cairo on U.S. planes.”

By February 1980, the Washington Post reported that the mujahideen was receiving arms coming from the U.S. government.

The objective of the intervention, as spelled out by Brezinski, was to trap the Soviets in a long and costly war designed to drain their resources, just as Vietnam had bled the United States. The high level of civilian casualties that this would certainly entail was considered but set aside. According to one senior official, “The question here was whether it was morally acceptable that, in order to keep the Soviets off balance, which was the reason for the operation, it was permissible to use other lives for our geopolitical interests.” Carter’s CIA director Stansfield Turner answered the question: “I decided I could live with that.” According to Representative Charles Wilson, a Texas Democrat,

There were 58,000 dead in Vietnam and we owe the Russians one…. I have a slight obsession with it, because of Vietnam. I thought the Soviets ought to get a dose of it…. I’ve been of the opinion that this money was better spent to hurt our adversaries than other money in the Defense Department budget.

The mujahideen consisted of at least seven factions, who often fought amongst themselves in their battle for territory and control of the opium trade. To hurt the Russians, the U.S. deliberately chose to give the most support to the most extreme groups. A disproportionate share of U.S. arms went to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, “a particularly fanatical fundamentalist and woman-hater.”‘ According to journalist Tim Weiner, ” [Hekmatyar’s] followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. CIA and State Department officials I have spoken with call him ‘scary,’ ‘vicious,’ ‘a fascist,’ ‘definite dictatorship material.”

There was, though, a kind of method in the madness: Brezinski hoped not just to drive the Russians out of Afghanistan, but to ferment unrest within the Soviet Union itself. His plan, says author Dilip Hiro, was “to export a composite ideology of nationalism and Islam to the Muslim-majority Central Asian states and Soviet Republics with a view to destroying the Soviet order.” Looking back in 1998, Brezinski had no regrets. “What was more important in the world view of history?… A few stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War>”

With the support of Pakistan’s military dictator, General Zia-ul-Haq, the U.S. began recruiting and training both mujahideen fighters from the 3 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and large numbers of mercenaries from other Islamic countries. Estimates of how much money the U.S. government channeled to the Afghan rebels over the next decade vary, but most sources put the figure between $3 billion and $6 billion, or more. Whatever the exact amount, this was “the largest covert action program since World War II” – much bigger, for example, than Washington’s intervention in Central America at the same time, which received considerably more publicity. According to one report:

The CIA became the grand coordinator: purchasing or arranging the manufacture of Soviet-style weapons from Egypt, China, Poland, Israel and elsewhere, or supplying their own; arranging for military training by Americans, Egyptians, Chinese and Iranians; hitting up Middle-Eastern countries for donations, notably Saudi Arabia which gave many hundreds of millions of dollars in aid each year, totaling probably more than a billion; pressuring and bribing Pakistan-with whom recent American relations had been very poor-to rent out its country as a military staging area and sanctuary; putting the Pakistani Director of Military Operations, Brigadier Mian Mohammad Afzal, onto the CIA payroll to ensure Pakistani cooperation.

When Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, he found the Democratic-controlled Congress eager to increase spending on the Afghan war. A congressional staffer told a reporter, “It was a windfall [for the new administration]. They’d faced so much opposition to covert action in Central America and here comes the Congress helping and throwing money at them, putting money their way and they say, ‘Who are we to say no?”

Aid to the mujahideen, who Reagan praised as “freedom fighters,” increased, but initially Afghanistan was not a priority:

In the first years after the Reagan administration inherited the Carter program, the covert Afghan war “tended to be handled out of [CIA director William] Casey’s back pocket,” recalled Ronald Spiers, a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, the base of the Afghan rebels. Mainly from China’s government, the CIA purchased assault rifles, grenade launchers, mines and SA-7 light antiaircraft weapons, and then arranged for shipment to Pakistan…. The amounts were significant-10,000 tons of arms and ammunition in 1983, according to [Pakistani General Mohammed] Yousaf-but a fraction of what they would be in just a few years.

In March 1985, the Reagan administration issued National Security Decision Directive 166,29 a secret plan to escalate covert action in Afghanistan dramatically:

Abandoning a policy of simple harassment of Soviet occupiers, the Reagan team decided secretly to let loose on the Afghan battlefield an array of U.S. high technology and military expertise in an effort to hit and demoralize Soviet commanders and soldiers….

Beginning in 1985, the CIA supplied mujahideen rebels with extensive satellite reconnaissance data of Soviet targets on the Afghan battlefield, plans for military operations based on the satellite intelligence, intercepts of Soviet communications, secret communications networks for the rebels, delayed timing devices for tons of C-4 plastic explosives for urban sabotage, and sophisticated guerrilla attacks, long-range sniper rifles, a targeting device for mortars that was linked to a U.S. Navy satellite, wire-guided anti-tank missiles, and other equipment.

Between 1986 and 1989, the mujahideen were also provided with more than 1,000 state-of-the-art, shoulder-fired Stinger antiaircraft missiles.

By 1987, the annual supply of arms had reached 65,000 tons, and a “ceaseless stream” of CIA and Pentagon officials were visiting Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) headquarters in Rawalpindi and helping to plan mujahideen operations:

At any one time during the Afghan fighting season, as many as 11 ISI teams trained and supplied by the CIA accompanied mujahideen across the border to supervise attacks, according to Yousaf and Western sources. The teams attacked airports, railroads, fuel depots, electricity pylons, bridges and roads….

CIA operations officers helped Pakistani trainers establish schools for the mujahideen in secure communications, guerrilla warfare, urban sabotage and heavy weapons.

Although the CIA claimed that the purpose was to attack military targets, mujahideen trained in these techniques, and using chemical and electronic-delay bomb timers supplied by the U.S., carried out numerous car bombings and assassination attacks in Kabul itself.

Bin Laden and the Arab-Afghans

As well as training and recruiting Afghan nationals to fight the Soviets, the CIA permitted its ISI allies to recruit Muslim extremists from around the world. Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid reports:

Between 1982 and 1992, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries in the Middle East, North and East Africa, Central Asia and the Far East would pass their baptism under fire with the Afghan mujahideen. Tens of thousands more foreign Muslim radicals came to study in the hundreds of new madrassas [religious schools] that Zia’s military government began to fund in Pakistan and along the Afghan border. Eventually more than 100,000 Muslim radicals were to have direct contact with Pakistan and Afghanistan and be influenced by the jihad [against the USSR].

In camps near Peshawar and in Afghanistan, these radicals met each other for the first time and studied trained and fought together. It was the first opportunity for most of them to learn about Islamic movements in other countries, and they forged tactical and ideological links that would serve them well in the future. The camps became virtual universities for future Islamic radicalism.

One of the first non-Afghan volunteers to join the ranks of the mujahideen was Osama bin Laden, a civil engineer and businessman from a wealthy construction family in Saudi Arabia, with close ties to members of the Saudi royal family. Bin Laden recruited 4,000 volunteers from his own country and developed close relations with the most radical mujahideen leaders. He also worked closely with the CIA, raising money from private Saudi citizens. By 1984, he was running the Maktab al-Khidamar, an organization set up by the ISI to funnel “money, arms, and fighters from the outside world in the Afghan war.”

Since September 11, CIA officials have been claiming they had no direct link to bin Laden. These denials lack credibility. Earlier this year, the trial of defendants accused of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombing in Kenya disclosed that the CIA shipped high-powered sniper rifles directly to bin Laden’s operation in 1989. Even the Tennessee-based manufacturer of the rifles confirmed this. According to the Boston Globe,

Some military analysts and specialists on the weapons trade say the CIA has spent years covering its tracks on its early ties to the Afghan forces…. Despite the ClA’s denials, these experts say it was inevitable that the military training in guerrilla tactics and the vast reservoir of money and arms that the CIA provided in Afghanistan would have ended up helping bin Laden and his forces during the 1980s.

“In 1988, with U.S. knowledge, bin Laden created Al Qaeda (The Base): a conglomerate of quasi independent Islamic terrorist cells spread across at least 26 countries,” writes Indian journalist Rahul Bhedi. “Washington turned a blind eye to Al-Qaeda, confident that it would not directly impinge on the U.S.” After the Soviet withdrawal, however, bin Laden and thousands of other volunteers returned to their own countries:

Their heightened political consciousness made them realize that countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt were just as much client regimes of the United States as the Najibullah regime [in Afghanistan] has been of Moscow.

In their home countries they built a formidable constituency-popularly known as “Afghanis”-who combined strong ideological convictions with the guerrilla skills they had acquired in Pakistan and Afghanistan under CIA supervision.

Over the past 10 years, the “Afghani” network has been linked to terrorist attacks not only on U.S. targets, but also in the Philippines, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, France, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, and elsewhere. “This is an insane instance of the chickens coming home to roost,” one U.S. diplomat in Pakistan told the Los Angeles Times. “You can’t plug billions of dollars into an anti-Communist jihad, accept participation from all over the world and ignore the consequences. But we did.

Romancing the Taliban

As the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan in early 1989, American policymakers celebrated with champagne, while the country itself collapsed into virtual anarchy. Almost a quarter of the population was living in refugee camps and most of the country was in ruins. Different factions of the mujahideen struggled for power in the countryside, while the government of Muhammed Najibullah, the last Soviet-installed president controlled Kabul. Eventually, in April 1992, Kabul fell to some of the mujahideen factions and Burhannudin Rabbani was de dared president, but civil war continued unabated. Hekmatyar in particular was dissatisfied with the new distribution 0 power. With his huge stock of U.S.-supplied weapons, h began an artillery and rocket assault on Kabul that lasted for almost three years, even after he was appointed prime minister in 1993. “The barrage…killed more than 10,000 Afghans [drove] hundreds of thousands into squalid refugee camps, created political chaos, and blocked millions of exiles from returning.” The rest of the country disintegrated into isolated fiefdoms dominated by local warlords.

In 1994, a new group, the Taliban (Pashtun for “students”), emerged on the scene. Its members came from madrassas set up by the Pakistani government along the border and funded by the U.S., Britain, and the Saudis, where they had received theological indoctrination and military training. Thousands of young men-refugees and orphans from the war in Afghanistan-became the foot soldiers of this movement:

These boys were from a generation who had never seen their country at peace-an Afghanistan not at war with invaders and itself. They had no memories of their tribes, their elders, their neighbors nor the complex ethnic mix of peoples that made up their villages and their homeland. These boys were what the war had thrown up like the sea’s surrender on the beach of history …

They were literally the orphans of war, the rootless and restless, the jobless and the economically deprived with little self-knowledge. They admired war because it was the only occupation they could possibly adapt to. Their simple belief in a messianic, puritan Islam which had been drummed into them by simple village mullahs was the only prop they could hold on to and which gave their lives some meaning. Untrained for anything, even the traditional occupations of their forefathers such as farming, herding or the making of handicrafts, they were what Karl Marx would have termed Afghanistan’s lumpen proletariat.

With the aid of the Pakistani army, the Taliban swept across most of the exhausted country promising a restoration of order and finally capturing Kabul in September 1996. The Taliban imposed an ultra-sectarian version of Islam, closely related to Wahhabism, the ruling creed in Saudi Arabia. Women have been denied education, health care, and the right to work. They must cover themselves completely when in public. Minorities have been brutally repressed. Even singing and dancing in public are forbidden.

The Taliban’s brand of extreme Islam had no historical roots in Afghanistan. The roots of the Taliban’s success lay in 20 years of “jihad” against the Russians and further devastation wrought by years of internal fighting between the warlord factions. Initially, villagers-especially the majority Pashtuns in the south who shared the Taliban’s ethnicity-welcomed them as a force that might end the warfare and bring some order and peace to Afghanistan. Their lack of a social base within Afghanistan made them appear untainted by the factional warfare, and their moral purism made them appear above compromise. Before launching their war to conquer power, they first won some public support by appearing as the avenger against the warlords’ raping of women and boys. Of course, they could not have risen so far and so fast without the financial and military backing of Pakistan.

The U.S. government was well aware of the Taliban’s reactionary program, yet it chose to back their rise to power in the mid-1990s. The creation of the Taliban was “actively encouraged by the ISI and the CIA,” according to Selig Harrison, an expert on U.S. relations with Asia. “The United States encouraged Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to support the Taliban, certainly right up to their advance on Kabul,” adds respected journalist Ahmed Rashid. When the Taliban took power, State Department spokesperson Glyn Davies said that he saw “nothing objectionable” in the Taliban’s plans to impose strict Islamic law, and Senator Hank Brown, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Near East and South Asia, welcomed the new regime: “The good part of what has happened is that one of the factions at last seems capable of developing a new government in Afghanistan.” “The Taliban will probably develop like the Saudis. There will be Aramco [the consortium of oil companies that controlled Saudi oil], pipelines, an emir, no parliament and lots of Sharia law. We can live with that,” said another U.S. diplomat in 1997.

The reference to oil and pipelines explains everything. Since the collapse of the USSR at the end of 1991, U.S. oil companies and their friends in the State Department have been salivating at the prospect of gaining access to the huge oil and natural gas reserves in the former Soviet republics bordering the Caspian Sea and in Central Asia. These have been estimated as worth $4 trillion. The American Petroleum Institute calls the Caspian region “the area of greatest resource potential outside of the Middle East.” And while he was still CEO of Halliburton, the world’s biggest oil services company, Vice President Dick Cheney told other industry executives, “I can’t think of a time when we’ve had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian.” The struggle to control these stupendous resources has given rise to what Rashid has dubbed the “new Great Game,” pitting shifting alliances of governments and oil and gas consortia against one another.

Afghanistan itself has no known oil or gas reserves, but it is an attractive route for pipelines leading to Pakistan, India, and the Arabian Sea. In the mid-1990s, a consortium led by the California-based Unocal Corporation proposed a $4.5 billion oil and gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. But this would require a stable central government in Afghanistan itself. Thus began several years in which U.S. policy in the region centered on “romancing the Taliban.” According to one report,

In the months before the Taliban took power, former U.S. assistant secretary of state for South Asia Robin Raphel waged an intense round of shuttle diplomacy between the powers with possible stakes in the [Unocal] project.

“Robin Raphel was the face of the Unocal pipeline,” said an official of the former Afghan government who was present at some of de meetings with her….

In addition to tapping new sources of energy, de [project] also suited a major U.S. strategic aim in the region: isolating its nemesis Iran and stifling a frequently mooted rival pipeline project backed by Teheran, experts said.

But Washington’s initial enthusiasm for the Taliban’s seizure of power provoked a hostile reaction from human rights and women’s organizations in the United States. The Clinton administration quickly decided to take a more cautious public approach. Plans to send the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan on a visit to Kabul were canceled, and the State Department decided not to recognize the new regime immediately. Nevertheless, Unocal executive vice president Chris Taggart continued to maintain, “If the Taliban leads to stability and international recognition then it’s positive.”

Tacit U.S. support for the Taliban continued until 1998, when Washington blamed Osama bin Laden for the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and retaliated by launching cruise missiles at bin Laden’s alleged training camps in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s refusal to extradite bin Laden- not its atrocious human rights record-led to UN-imposed sanctions on the regime the following year. “Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright used to say that she cared about the women suffering under the Taliban, but after the Taliban took over the U.S. accepted very few refugees,” points out journalist Laura Flanders. “In ’96 and ’97 no Afghan refugees were admitted to the United States; in ’98, only 88, in ’99, some 360.”

Whatever the U.S. government’s current rhetoric about the repressive nature of the Taliban regime, its long history of intervention in the region has been motivated not by concern for democracy or human rights, but by the narrow economic and political interests of the U.S. ruling class. It has been prepared to aid and support the most retrograde elements if it thought a temporary advantage would be the result. Now Washington has launched a war against its former allies based on a strategic calculation that the Taliban can no longer be relied upon to provide a stable, U.S.-friendly government that can serve its strategic interests. No matter what the outcome, the war is certain to lay the grounds for more “blowback” in the future.

Being a Muslim in Mumbai

Posted in Indias Oppression of Minorities with tags on August 1, 2009 by dimension117

By Daipayan Halder

The last thing you would expect my colleague Rehan Ansari, foreign editor of the newspaper I work for, to be is a jihadi. I know he learns kickboxing, but I suspect it is more for upping his fitness levels than kicking a kafir’s butt. He’s well-mannered, well-read and as far as I am concerned, well-intentioned. We have chatted a couple of times near the office coffee-machine on how best to thrash out odd thoughts. By odd thoughts he meant subjects that are unpalatable to our publishers. Thoughts on naxalism, communalism, casteism and several such isms that are best left unwritten in the paper we work for. Our readers don’t want to start their days with a negative thought after all!

Brief, but our conversations have always been interesting. He chided me more than once for neglecting my writing. This Rehan, the Rehan I just described, is a different Rehan from the one I met this Monday. The new Rehan, with eyes that betrayed hurt, disgust and anger in equal measure, told me he takes the cab from his rented apartment in Bandra to Lower Parel, where our office is located. I asked why. He said after the train blasts last year, the Mumbai police conduct random checks in local trains. It gets very uncomfortable if you happen to be a Muslim. Doubts are raised about your loyalty and if you are unlucky you may hear a snide or two about Pakistan being your rightful place. Rehan said he fears he might retaliate one day and hence he has decided to take the cab instead.

We were discussing Salman Rushdie’s Mumbai visit and his interview to NDTV where he said Mumbai is just like New York, a truly cosmopolitan city. “Has he ever travelled in local trains?” Rehan said. “If he had he wouldn’t be saying such things. He would know the Mumbai that exists is different from the Mumbai he fancies.”

My wife Insiya doesn’t bother herself with such existential dilemmas. But I remember when she moved in with me to my swanky, new flat in Thane, she had frowned. She had frowned because I told her she is the only Muslim in that entire complex (it has six apartment buildings and more are coming up). The promoters of my housing complex don’t sell flats to Muslims because “they mean trouble”. It is okay in a way to them if Insiya stays because having married a Hindu she is now in the Hindu fold. But she could not have bought the flat in her name. There are other Muslims in Thane, India’s largest district that is witnessing a real estate boom due its proximity to Mumbai, but they stay in ghettos. And from what I have seen and heard, it would be difficult for Insiya or any other Muslim to buy a flat in any of the big housing complexes that are coming up. She shrugs it off, saying: such things happen.

Such things, in fact, happen with unfailing regularity to Muslims in Mumbai, irrespective of their social standing. City tabloid Mumbai Mirror reported that Bollywood actors Shabana Azmi and Emraan Hashmi couldn’t buy apartments of their choice in the city because promoters wouldn’t sell to Muslims. Other papers have also carried stories on Muslims being forced to stay in ghettos in Mumbai. But my friend Adnan insisted that we journalists have a tendency of sensationalising things. “It’s not that bad, come on,” Adnan had told me. “There are jerks everywhere. You can’t dump a city because of them, can you?”

Adnan at that time was high on Mumbai. He had switched jobs, landed in Mumbai and rented a spacious two-bedroom apartment in Bandra. “Told you, journos invent stories. I got my flat in a jiffy.” “But Adnan, Bandra is unlike the rest of Mumbai. It is one of the very few truly cosmopolitan places. It’s got a sizable Muslim and Christian population, the corporator himself is a Muslim and the real estate prices are prohibitive. What about those Muslims who can’t afford Bandra? It’s either the ghetto or nowhere for them,” I had argued. “Deep, you guys cook up stories to sensationalise. Admit it, my friend,” he had chided me. My protests had fallen on deaf ears.

Adnan’s Mumbai honeymoon had lasted for a few months. During which time, he had got himself a promotion, a car and a girlfriend. Life was a breeze before he encountered a friendly, neighbourhood pandu (slang for a beat constable). It was Adnan’s fault to begin with. He had oversped on the eastern express highway and got caught by the constable. The man asked for his licence, when Adnan handed it to him, he sneered: Bhag kyun rahe the. Gaadi mein bomb hai kya? (Why were you running away? Have you hidden a bomb in your car?) “What do you mean?” Adnan had screamed. “Mian, aap log bahut tez bhaag rahe ho aaj kaal. Thoda sambhal jao” (Mian, you people are on the fast track these days. Better mend your ways.)

Adnan didn’t know what to say. To have a beat constable raise aspersions about his community in broad daylight in a city like Mumbai, his Mumbai, was unthinkable to him. “It felt surreal Deep. In the badlands of Bihar, yes; in Modi’s Gujarat most definitely; but to be told in middle of Mumbai that people of my faith will always be suspect was a rude jolt to me,” he told me later that day. Adnan had taken the day off, he was too dazed to concentrate on work, I had met him in the evening to buy him a drink and talk him out of his depression. It didn’t work. “You were so right Deep. So right,” he said.

I told him it’s a stray incident and he should put it behind him. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that what happened to him is far less shocking than what was reported in Mumbai Mirror on July 17, 2006.

Correspondent Aditi Sharma had met a certain Hamid Pir Mohammed Ghojaria, who was yet to recover from his shock even a week after he was assaulted. Ghojaria (39) was attacked on a running train between Marine Lines and Churchgate railway stations for no fault of his. On that day, the Jogeshwari resident had gone to Marine Lines to submit his son’s college admission forms at Ismail Yusuf Trust. After completing the formalities, he decided to visit his brother-in-law who owns a watch shop near Churchgate. Around 5.15 pm, he went to Marine Lines railway station to catch a Churchgate-bound local. “As soon as I entered the train, I saw some commuters beating up a Pathani-clad man. Even before I could realise what was happening, two of the commuters saw me and started hitting me as well. They just kept saying ‘get out of this country, go back to Pakistan, you do not belong here, you are the ones responsible for the blasts in the city’,” says a shocked Ghojaria.

The watch repair mechanic was all the more stunned when he was asked to take the name of Lord Ram and Lord Krishna. “When they started hitting me, I screamed ‘Allah’. That’s when they told me to call out to Ram and Krishna instead. They said they wouldn’t let go of me if I did not chant the names,” alleges Ghojaria, adding that the mob even pulled his beard. The abuse stopped only when the train reached Churchgate terminal. “Nobody came forward to help me. I felt utterly helpless throughout. When the train came to a halt at Churchgate, all the commuters, including the attackers, simply walked away,” adds Ghojaria. After alighting from the train, he reported the matter to the police at the station, who first sent him to GT Hospital for a checkup and later registered a case under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 34 (common intent) of the Indian Penal Code against unknown persons in Ghojaria’s case. “Investigations are on, we should be able to locate the men soon,” Deepak Bagwe, senior inspector, railway police, Churchgate told Mumbai Mirror. Nothing happened.

I couldn’t narrate this incident to Adnan. I didn’t have the heart. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that my friend Atif’s grandparents have been living in Mumbai for six decades now. They have never wanted to live anywhere else. But in the last three decades, they have gradually withdrawn into a shell. There is a Shiv Sena sakha in front of their house. Every day when they pass it, they shudder. They shudder as they remember how their next door neighbour was cut to pieces in the 1993 Mumbai riots and his wife and teenaged daughter gang-raped. They shudder because they see those men sometimes on the streets, walking tall and walking free.

I didn’t remind Adnan that between December 1992 and January 1993, the city set a record for itself in the matter of communal madness. In the riots that followed the destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, more than a thousand people were killed. Unlike previous riots, violence spread to relatively new urbanised areas. Violence affected not only slums but also apartment blocks and chawls. What was common to all the areas was the systematic targeting of Muslims, who comprised 17 per cent of the city’s population.

The relief work that followed the riots helped members of the Muslim community resume their everyday lives. However, although successive governments promised to do away with communal forces and civic organisations worked towards communal amity, stray communal incidents still occur in Mumbai. “Mumbai changed after 1993″ is a common refrain of long-time residents.

I didn’t need to. The encounter with the Pandu broke Adnan. He had a long-standing offer from an Ahmedabad-based company. He had refused to consider it earlier. “That city gives me the jitters man. After what Narendra Modi did, you can’t stay in the city,” he had said. He has decided to take it now.

On the nature of fear, Jodie Foster’s character says in The Brave One: “It’s not like anyone has gassed the subway. And yet now we have this ongoing fear that pretty much sits on top of you every minute. So it’s the fear in some ways that’s the bad thing. It feeds on people. It turns people against people.” If you are a Muslim in Mumbai, chances are you might feel the same way.

EXCLUSIVE: John Walker Lindh’€™s Parents Discuss Their Son’€™s Story

Posted in US occupation of Afghanistan with tags on August 1, 2009 by dimension117

EXCLUSIVE: John Walker Lindh’s Parents Discuss Their Son’s Story, from Joining the US-Backed Taliban Army to Surviving a Northern Alliance Massacre, to His Abuse at the Hands of US Forces

The above link provides an interview of the Parents of John Walker Lindh a member of the American formed, funded and supported Taliban and the story of how he was betrayed by his own Nation after the USA used him and young men like him to fulfill their interests as they nurtured and bred terrorists to fight against the Soviets and drive them out of Afghanistan.

His mistake was unlike most of the Taliban fighters he refused to be used by the US government and fulfill the USA’s Agenda by massacring innocent civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan like other Taliban soldiers but came to Afghanistan to stop what he saw as atrocities of the Northern Alliance on the Afghan people.

He was trapped by the USA’s allies, the Taliban in a war that had nothing to do with him. He then suffered the brutality of the Northern Alliance under Commander Dostum who had only recently allied with the government of George Bush who was keen to show the World that his country was a sworn enemy of the Taliban who they had themselves created.

Since John Walker Lindh did not act according to US needs by adopting violent Taliban behavior by pillaging property and massacring innocents in Afghanistan he was brutally punished by his home country. On the other hand Taliban commanders who were responsible for the mass murder of Afghans or Pakistanis such as Abdullah Mehsud very conveniently evaded capture.

John was handed over to the Americans by Commander Dostum where he was tortured and brutalized under the orders of American Officials and paraded as the “American Taliban” and as a violent terrorist by the media. His crime was that as a Taliban soldier he had failed to accomplish his purpose and had refused to drain the blood of innocent civilians in Afghanistan to give USA the excuse of being the “protectors of Afghans from Taliban’s terrorism”.

He continues to suffer for serving his country by joining the Taliban who until 9/11 were always the brave heroes for driving the Soviets away from Afghanistan.

Havi Zayed

Sikhs stage anti-India protests in US

Posted in Khalistan Movement with tags on June 19, 2009 by dimension117

NEW YORK – Sikh-Americans on Friday staged big anti-India demonstrations across the United States to mark the 25th anniversary of the Indian Army attack on their holiest religious site – the Golden Temple in Amritsar. “India: Out of Khalistan” and “Who is terrorist? – Indian government” were their slogans at rallies staged in front of Indian consulates in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, according to reports received here. In Washington, a demonstration was planned for Saturday afternoon. In New York, Sardar Amarjit Singh, head of the Washington-based Khalistan Affairs Centre, led the demonstration in driving rain. Busloads of Sikhs from adjoining states of New Jersey and Connecticut joined the rally. They called for United Nations’ intervention to end what they called was India’s oppression of Sikhs. Meanwhile, The Washington Times Friday carried an advertisement, sponsored by American-Sikh Organisations and Gurdwaras, denounced the 1984 attack against Sikhism’s holiest shrine. “The ‘foundation-stone of Khalistan’ was indeed laid on that day as those wanton acts of state terrorism permanently hurt the psyche of 26 million Sikhs and ‘laid the foundation of an independent, democratic Sikh buffer state of Khalistan’ in the minds and hearts of most Sikhs,” it said. “Six months later, the June 1984 attack was followed by a state-supervised India-wide pogrom, in November 1984, during which nearly 10,000 innocent Sikhs were also put to death all over India, including New Delhi… As time goes by, the memory of the ghastly experiences, of June and November 1984, continue to convert the thinking of not only the old but the younger Sikh generation as well, that, Khalistan is the ultimate goal.

US air strike wiped out Afghan wedding party

Posted in US occupation of Afghanistan with tags on June 19, 2009 by dimension117

James Sturcke and agencies
guardian.co.uk, Friday 11 July 2008 14.47 BST

A US air strike killed 47 civilians, including 39 women and children, as they were travelling to a wedding in Afghanistan, an official inquiry found today. The bride was among the dead.

Another nine people were wounded in Sunday’s attack, the head of the Afghan government investigation, Burhanullah Shinwari, said.

Fighter aircraft attacked a group of militants near the village of Kacu in the eastern Nuristan province, but one missile went off course and hit the wedding party, said the provincial police chief spokesman, Ghafor Khan.

The US military initially denied any civilians had been killed.

Lieutenant Rumi Nielson-Green, a spokeswoman for the US-led coalition, told AFP today the military regretted the loss of any civilian life and was investigating the incident.

The US is facing similar charges over strikes two days earlier in another border area of Afghanistan.

The nine-member inquiry team appointed by the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, to look into the wedding party incident found only civilians had been killed in the attack.

“We found that 47 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in the air strikes and another nine were wounded,” said Shinwari, who is also the deputy speaker of Afghanistan’s senate.

“They were all civilians and had no links with the Taliban or al-Qaida.”

Around 10 people were missing and believed to be still under rubble, he said. The inquiry team were shown the bloodied clothes of women and children in a visit to the scene.

The Red Cross said 250 people had been killed or wounded in five days of military action and militant attacks in the past week.

The toll included the US-led air strikes and a suicide blast outside the Indian embassy in Kabul on Monday that killed more than 40 people, including two Indian envoys.

The UN said last month that nearly 700 Afghan civilians had lost their lives this year – about two-thirds in militant attacks and about 255 in military operations.

Karzai has pleaded repeatedly for western troops to take care not to harm civilians, and in December wept during a speech lamenting civilian deaths at the hands of foreign forces.