Amazing Wild Geese Chicks

BY A Khokar

In winters while in snow season, the migratory birds some time in passing do land in our back yard garden. This time we had some wild geese seen landing. One of them could arrange a nest in one of the least attended corner of the garden in long leaves grass shrub. It made a nest and laid her eggs.

 Now spring is very much in the air and on carrying out of the cleaning of garden, a nest full of eggs was found down under with a guest goose occupying it. This corner was made no go area and after 28 days of her hatching, yesterday we had some one dozen little ducklings in our back garden.

 This has been joyful scene for our grandchildren filling our garden with their inquisitive smiles, lot of laughter, fun and amazement.. Here are some photo graphs of garden and wild goose with ducklings.

UN Team Report: A Failed Whitewash is Hogwash – and Swill

By Humayun Gauhar- 24th April 2010
“Report of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry into the facts and circumstances of the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto” – Issued on 15 April 2010

A Failed Whitewash is Hogwash – and Swill!

Humayun Gauhar

The Date: December 27, 2007.
The Country: Pakistan.
The Place: On the road just outside Liaquat Bagh (gardens), named after Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan who was also assassinated here. Originally it was called ‘Company Bagh’ because it belonged to the British East India Company. Now it has been renamed Benazir Bhutto Bagh. Please God it should not be ever renamed again.

The Event: The assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
The Assassins: Unknown.
The Task: A three-man Commission set up by Secretary General of the United Nations to “inquire” into “the facts and circumstances of the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto.”
The Client: The Government of Pakistan.
The Fees: US $1.5 million per page.
The Result: Hogwash.

You’ll find the crap in the UN Commission report. So let’s cut to the chase. Our bankrupt treasury paid 1.5 million a page for it, and it stinks. The least they could have done is given it a good smell.
It has to be said at the outset that this is not a forensic report. It is a report written by three ordinary civil servants after chit chatting to some 250 equally ordinary people who would not necessarily have told them everything they know. Barring a forensic report, how can the Commission lay blame on anyone and exonerate others? They have made a big deal out of no autopsy being done which definitely was the doctors’ and the government’s responsibility. Because there was none doesn’t mean that the matter should necessarily end there. The body can always be exhumed for autopsy, as happens often. But if the family and party won’t let that happen out of respect, which in our culture is understandable, then let’s forget the whole dirty business and get on with our lives. As always, we will never know who the real killers are, though what the majority suspects is often the truth.
If the Commission was asked to inquire into the facts of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, how can it duck responsibility by saying that to try and identify the actual murderers – the masterminds and their financiers and, of course, those who actually carried out the dastardly act – wasn’t part of the brief? And they didn’t. They only concentrated on the circumstances they could find, which makes it selective circumstances per force and thus the conclusions highly suspect.

What they did was to fall back on an age-old tradition that we are all familiar with: the ultimate responsibility lies on the man at the top, former President General Pervez Musharraf and his governments of the time, federal, provincial and local. The Commission has overlooked that fact that Musharraf was no longer the chief executive of the country nor the army chief, so the Military Intelligence Chief did not report to him any more. There was another chief executive, the prime minister, albeit a caretaker. So too the Punjab government, the province in with Rawalpindi is.
They make the great revelation that the governments concerned failed to provide Benazir with adequate security. I wonder what ‘adequate security’ is against suicide bombers, but for its part the official security did successfully manage to ensure that there was no attack on her during the rally in Liaquat Bagh. Actually, the failure was not of the government’s security but of a tragic confluence of circumstances that led to Benazir Bhutto breaking with the agreed security protocol, sticking her head out and presenting herself as a sitting duck when her vehicle was outside the gates of Liaquat Bagh and on the road. This was the most critical incident of the entire tragic episode. Having failed to get to her inside Liaquat Bagh, the assassins suddenly saw an opportunity presented to them on a platter and let loose with everything they had.

In yet another giant hobble of the imagination the Commission next blames Ms Bhutto’s own security detail headed by Mr. Rahman Malik, who was well qualified for the job as he is a former deputy director of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Most of the heavily armed foot soldiers and storm troopers in her immediate vicinity were, her widower Mr. Asif Ali Zardari was to later tell us, “my friends from jail.” Hardened criminals turned protectors, eh?

The kindest comment one can make is that the UN Commission’s report is an attempted whitewash, witting or unwitting, that turned out to be hogwash that has polluted and stunk up our already stinking political atmosphere. They tried to cook for us a palatable dish. Instead, what they have turned out is swill, fit only for pigs. What else should one expect from a mundane diplomat, a former Indonesian attorney general (lawyers by nature are limited people interested only in maintaining the status quo, no matter how iniquitous it might be) and a clapped out Irish policeman?

The net result of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination was:
1. It caused elections to be delayed by five weeks.
2. The Nawaz League got time for electioneering and picked up nearly twice as many seats as the so-called King’s Party won, while winning only about half the votes, such is our illogical system.
3. The People’s Party (PPP) won perhaps some 25 more seats in the National Assembly due to the so-called sympathy vote.
4. Mr. Asif Zardari took control of the party as a de facto regent for his underage son.
5. Mr. Zardari went on to become President of Pakistan.
6. He handpicked his new prime minister instead of someone that Benazir would have picked.
7. Benazir and Zardari’s son, now renamed Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, would still have been a boy enjoying his youth and growing up normally. Now he has been made the new icon of the PPP cult and telescoped into becoming a mature man, youth gone in a hurry. Poor boy. But what else could they do? Without a Bhutto icon the party would dissipate in a jiffy.
8. Mr. Rahman Malik, party in-charge of Benazir’s security, has become in-charge of every Pakistani’s security as interior minister. It is moot whether Benazir would have given him this portfolio, though she was also very close to him. To make him some kind of interloping Zardari crony whom Benazir hated is just plain wrong. She held most of her London party meeting at Malik’s London house.
9. President Musharraf had to eventually resign, which would not have happened had Benazir been alive, despite the UN Commission’s childish assertion that there was no power-sharing deal between her and Musharraf. There was. Such deals are never written down on paper, but how would a mundane diplomat, a limited lawyer and a clapped out policeman know?

To deflect attention from the real killers, some challenged people led by the senator who chaired the committee that gifted us with the anti-democratic 18th Constitutional Amendment and put democracy in retreat, started raising a ruckus that Musharraf should be tried for Benazir’s murder! Benazir loyalist as he claims to be, what he should have done is raised a ruckus and thundered that the government, his government, must seriously and concertedly try to find Benazir’s real assassins and bring them to justice. Her killers must be laughing all the way to the bank! With people like this senator, who needs sleuths?

The People’s Party people are simply pathetic, except the few who are still loyal to Benazir. None of them, not least the members of the grandly named Central Executive Committee, whose verbal diarrhea and bombast had driven most sane people to distraction, has raised a voice that the government – THEIR GOVERNMENT – makes a serious and concerted effort to find the real killers. Some would say, “Humayun, what the hell are you getting at? You expect Brutus to find Caesar’s killers?” But who is Brutus. I don’t know. They are all honourable, honourable people, those who are in her party.
What Logic: The report has raised more questions than it has answered. By the Commission’s logic:

• Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was ‘responsible’ for her brother Murtaza Bhutto’s murder since both the federal and Sindh provincial governments were hers and worse – much worse – he was actually killed by the bullets of her police.

• President Pervez Musharraf was also responsible for three near-successful assassination attempts on him, all in Rawalpindi too. He was saved not by his own security but by the mistakes of the assassins.

• Our first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, was responsible for his assassination, since he was head of government.

• President Abraham Lincoln was responsible for his own assassination.

• President John F. Kennedy was responsible for being killed in Dallas in November 1963.

• President Lyndon Baines Johnson was responsible for Robert Kennedy’s assassination.
What logic!
Uncanny Similarities:
Haven’t you wondered how many similarities the Benazir case bears with incidents past? There’s whitewash. There is hogwash. There is road wash. There are deflections and diversions. There are the killings of critical witnesses before they could speak or be interrogated.

The First Whitewash: This came after the forced secession of East Pakistan to become Bangladesh in 1971. There was (and continues to be) the general belief bordering on conviction that President Asif Ali Zardari’s father-in-law, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was the prime culprit in this tragedy just so that he could come to power, which, he felt, he could not so long as the majority Bengalis were part of Pakistan. He could have, at the very least, prevented the secession by doing the democratic thing and insisting that President and Chief Martial Law Administrator General Yahya Khan or “Tweedle Khan” The Economist called him – whom the Supreme Court, true to form, dutifully legitimized when he seized power but declared a usurper when he lost it – should listen to the voice of the people, respect the mandate that they had given in the 1970 general elections and call the elected Constituent Assembly to session. To the contrary, not only did he go along with Yahya’s dastardly action (“God has saved Pakistan”), he first paved the way for him to attack his own people by insisting on all sorts of bizarre things like two constitutions, two prime ministers and threatening that whoever went to Dhaka to attend the first Constituent Assembly session should buy a one-way ticket else he would break their legs on return. He could have told Yahya – indeed he should have if he truly were a democrat – “It was now between me, the natural leader of the opposition, and Mujibur Rahman, the natural prime minister, to thrash out a new constitution in the Constituent Assembly. You just call it to session and keep out of it. It is none of your business any longer, Legal Framework Order or no LFO.” Tweedle Khan could have done nothing, except drown himself in his cups.

After the secession of East Pakistan in December 1971 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto achieved his life’s ambition: he took over as the world’s first ever civilian Chief Martial Law Administrator and President of a new and woefully diminished Pakistan. Now he had become even bigger than his mentor and political father, President Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan for, unlike him, he was an ‘elected’ dictator, Hitler-like. The problem is that he too was illegal, for the National Assembly that ‘elected’ him was a rump assembly comprising the minority, the majority having been forced out.
However, to deflect attention from his culpability in the break up of Pakistan he formed a Commission headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan at the time, Hamoodur Rahman, to inquire into the circumstances that led to secession of East Pakistan in December 1971. Some years passed in deliberation and endless interviews, during which people’s attention got successfully diverted elsewhere, like to the wanton nationalization that broke the back of industry and re-empowered the feudal robber baron and tribal warlord that Bhutto really represented behind the progressive rhetoric, the muzzling of the press and the wholesale arrest of editors, journalists and opponents real and imaginary and a concentration camp called Dalai hidden in the mountains where the recalcitrant were sent to be corrected Gestapo-style, to name just three instances out of numerous. Needless to say, at the end of it Mr. Bhutto came out in the Commission’s report lily white clean, innocent as a newborn baby. It was a shameless whitewash that found everyone guilty except, of course, Mr. Bhutto, who was one of three prime culprits.
The Second Whitewash: The UN Commission charged to investigate the assassination of Benazir Bhutto has finally delivered exactly what was wanted – deflect attention from the real killers of Benazir Bhutto to the obvious and the irrelevant. They told us what we already knew, including many conspiracy theories, except one – many people believe, including many in the Bhutto family led by Benazir’s uncle Mumtaz Bhutto, that her husband, now our president, Asif Ali Zardari was also implicated. The UN Commission’s report is a waste of time, a copout, for it tells us the obvious traditional place where the buck stops – the governments of the day, but makes us no wiser about who really killed Benazir Bhutto. And rather than clear the public’s suspicion of Zardari, it actually reinforces it because people regard the report as a whitewash commissioned by him just for this purpose.
Zardari would do himself a favour if he was to seriously try and find his wife’s killers and be seen by the public to be doing so seriously. That is the only way that this “damned spot” will out. He did say once – I think it was at her first death anniversary – that “I know who her killers are.” Then get on with it man. This “democracy is the best revenge” codswallop is wearing thin.

The Third Whitewash: That was of former Nawaz Sharif, who ousted himself by trying to illegally oust Musharraf, hijacked his plane or “abducted” him as one High Court judge put it, and was ready to deliver our army chief into Indian hands by asking the pilot to go to Ahmedabad. Saudi Arabia, backed by President Clinton, got Musharraf to grant Sharif a pardon on the promise that they would keep him in their country for 10 years, that he would not indulge in politics and not to return to Pakistan for the period. He stood whitewashed. None of the promises were kept.

Sharif first lived in Suroor Palace in Jeddah and then, breaking with the deal and promise to Musharraf, shifted to London’s Mayfair district in his a flat-to-die-for, one of four. Who says Pakistan is a poor country? I bet no former or current Indian prime minister has a flat as posh as this even in India, leave alone on London’s prime real estate. At least the little flat that Musharraf has purchased in W2 is with his own money, earned from his international best-selling autobiography translated into 30 languages and his lectures.

The Fourth Whitewash: If, as the UN Commission asserts, there was no power-sharing deal between Benazir Bhutto and Musharraf, why did he pass the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) that withdrew all the cases against her, her husband and other members of her family, their cronies and hangers on and some other lucky ones who came within the Ordinance’s ambit? Because he wanted have a party with her? Get real.
Why on earth would Musharraf do all this without a quid pro quo? It doesn’t make sense. The quid pro quo in the American perception was that since that both were liberals in the western mould, they would form a formidable team to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda, she for her domestic popularity and international draw, he for his experience in fighting terrorism and the international network of heads of state and government that he had built up. Plus, they thought, she would be able to keep what they thought was Musharraf’s double game in check – running with the Taliban and hunting with the Americans. The West would, then, be more willing to support America’s war on Afghanistan.

The truth is that on-again, off-again negotiations with Benazir Bhutto were going on for years, with Tariq Aziz, General Kiyani and Brigadier Niaz from his side and Rahman Malik and others from hers. When they finally reached conclusion Musharraf acted by proclaiming the NRO to whitewash her.
One of the things that helped Musharraf to pass the NRO was the persistent and perennial clamour by people – all peanuts really – homegrown intellectuals, drawing room chatterers, the media and civil society – that “democracy will not be complete without the return of the two ‘great’ leaders of the two great ‘national’ parties to lead them into elections.” Today they conveniently forget their mindless role. They are as culpable as anyone else for this satanic law, as I called it at the time.
Anyway, back to the deal. Benazir needed a whitewash similar to the one given to Nawaz Sharif. The NRO was the rabbit that Musharraf pulled out of a hat. It turned out to be a monster that ate them both.

The Fourth Whitewash: Why would the Commission go out on a limb and assert that there was no power-sharing deal between Benazir and Musharraf? It is yet another a crude attempt to whitewash Benazir by implying that this ‘great democrat’ would never enter into a deal with a ‘great dictator’? If Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State at the time had agreed to meet the UN Commissioners, she could have told them about the deal. She was a great proponent of the Benazir-Musharraf power-sharing doctrine but doesn’t want to tell the Commissioners about it now, for people would then say that she and the US pushed Benazir to her death, which is probably why she refused to meet them.
The same goes for Prince Muqrin, the head of Saudi intelligence. The Saudis didn’t really like Benazir and had invested in her rival Nawaz Sharif (a bad investment they are realizing only now). Because they knew about the deal they broke their own deal with Musharraf and insisted that Sharif also return to Pakistan, on the pretext that equity demanded that he be given a chance too to have another go at grabbing power. Since when have we Muslims started worrying about equity and fairness? This is news to me. They also asserted that Musharraf had promised them that Benazir would not return. This is something that Musharraf had certainly been saying, that neither Benazir nor Nawaz would not return before the 2008 elections, but it is not in the deal document that they signed with Nawaz Sharif, his father, his brother Shahbaz etc.

Again, there was no separate written agreement between the Saudis and Musharraf that we know of. It is because of the power-sharing deal and Benazir’s return that they forcibly sent Sharif back to Pakistan. But would Prince Muqrin like to tell the comical UN Commissioners all this?
The First Deflection: For Zardari’s serfs and cronies to say that former President Musharraf is ‘responsible’ for Benazir’s murder is to hark back to the Benazir-Zardari tactic of deflection when they said that President Farooq Leghari was responsible for Murtaza Bhutto’s murder. All sorts of ridiculous theories were floated as to why Leghari would want to kill Murtaza. None made sense.
The Second Deflection: Similarly, it doesn’t make sense for Musharraf to have Benazir out of the way. Nor does it make sense for the Americans to do so for the same reasons, unless you take her “reneging on her promises to the Americans” theory seriously and not as typical political rhetoric to undo the damage already done to her by making all sorts of promises to the US, like allowing the IAEA to interrogate Dr. A. Q. Khan under certain conditions, and to garner people’s support before the elections. Unless, of course, you credit the Americans with greater chess-player like deviousness than I do, for I don’t think that they are as intelligent as that considering how all their foreign-cum-defense policy initiatives and adventures have come a cropper, as recently as in Afghanistan and Iraq where they have painted themselves into a corner.

Musharraf did the NRO deal with Benazir precisely because he was led to imagine that it would give his presidency longevity if he shared power with her, as the Americans and British wanted. Her assassination not only got her out of the way, it also got Musharraf out of the way. After Benazir, Musharraf was the biggest loser. And it caused the American plan to scupper.
Neither Musharraf nor the Americans benefitted from Benazir’s assassination. Instead of whistling in the wind, why do they not look for the real murderers, even starting with the simplistic Agatha Christie type of logic that he who benefits from a crime must be the criminal.

The Two Hose-Downs: The place of the crime was hosed down in Benazir’s case, which certainly is downright fishy and stinks of criminal neglect, for it obliterated much evidence before it could be collected. So was the road on which Murtaza Bhutto was ruthlessly gunned down by his sister’s police, shot not once but repeatedly for he would not die easily, right at the doorstep of his father and grandfather’s house, which is equally suspicious for it obliterated much evidence too. It cannot be said that this is Standard Operating Procedure because it causes a snarl up of traffic or because the authorities want to save the poor relatives of the victims from seeing the blood and gore of their loved ones. Since when did the authorities develop a heart? These incidents were beyond stupidity and no amount of explanation will wash them away.
It is being alleged that the orders for the second hose down came from the Military Intelligence Chief, Major General Nadeem Ijaz, and he reported directly to the army chief, General Pervez Musharraf. Wrong. Benazir was killed on December 27, 2007. Musharraf retired from the army on November 28, 2007, a full month earlier. General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani was now army chief. I’m not implying that General Kiyani told Major General Nadeem Ijaz to do so. I’m not even taking the Nadeem Ijaz thing as gospel truth. We only have assertions.
But the Commission was not concerned with these matters. All I can say is this: now we don’t need a UN Commission to investigate Murtaza Bhutto’s murder, for exactly the same arguments will apply to that as the UN has made in Benazir Bhutto murder case. Just change the names around.

Painting a Bull’s Eye: The most important incident of the entire murderous episode that led to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto was that she broke with security protocol and stuck her head out of a homemade hatch or sunroof made in her armour-plated Toyota Land Cruiser SUV. Toyota said later that it never makes hatches on vehicles of this type.
Did the UN Commission explore the following?
• Why did her people take the armour-plated vehicle to a local mechanic to cut a sunroof out of it, thus seriously compromising its security efficacy? Just so that she needed to be seen by the public? What were her own high falutin’ security people doing, allowing this to happen?

• Why did all those who were in the vehicle with her allow her to stand up and stick her head out and present herself as a target? Did she have a death wish considering that she had been warned repeatedly by Pakistani, Saudi and UAE intelligence? In fact, one of them even dutifully opened the hatch for her. This is what happens when you have brainwashed slaves, not thinking party people.

• Worse, why did the security people and those inside her vehicle allow her to do this outside the area of the public rally known as Liaquat Bagh? There was enough security in the Bagh to prevent her assassins from attacking, despite the fact that they were looking for opportunities. Were her people so scared of her that they didn’t have the guts to prevent her from doing so? In their defense they might say that they couldn’t stop her out of respect. To knowingly allow a person you ‘respect’ to obviously go to her death by making herself vulnerable is showing no respect at all. It is the height of criminal negligence, callousness and stupidity, the last being the most pronounced and rampant quality in the party, apart from hypocrisy, though they still cannot match Nawaz Sharif and Co. in this respect.

• To compound this madness – for there is no other word for it – her driver stopped the vehicle instead of keeping it moving. Why? What were those inside the vehicle thinking? Had their common sense gone on leave? Her party members allowed her to proceed to her death and did nothing about it. Stupid. There is no other word for it, for even a mentally challenged person would have seen the danger. Musharraf was not in the vehicle with her, was he? Nor were any of the official security personnel that they could be accused to endangering her. There were her and her husband’s most trusted people only. I am not for a moment suggesting that all or any of them were complicit in her murder. All I’m showing you is how a tragedy unfolds once “those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad” – or stupid, much the same thing.

• Bur regardless of what I feel or say, did the Commission verify whether perhaps all or some of those inside the vehicle were not complicit in her murder?

• Benazir Bhutto was receiving telephone calls and receiving and sending SMS messages, and not just on her own two mobile phones, one a Blackberry. Did the UN Commission ask to see the records of the phones of everyone in her vehicle? They could easily have got them from the phone companies even if they didn’t get the phones.

• Did they ask for the records of her husband and daughters’ mobile phones in Dubai?

• It bears endless repetition: If Benazir Bhutto had not stood up and stuck her head out in a stationary vehicle outside the area of the public rally she would be alive today, even if her assassins had attacked nevertheless, which they probably would not have, seeing no opportunity. But when she presented herself as a stationary target, they let loose with everything they had.
The question is: Who painted this bull’s eye on her forehead?

The Great Escape
Why did her security chief Mr. Rahman Malik, accompanied by Mr. Babar Awan, now law minister, Mr. Zulfiqar Mirza, now home minister Sindh and retired Lt. General Tauqir Zia leave ahead of her in a Mercedes and proceed to Zardari House or whatever its called in Islamabad? Was this also not the height of callousness? Ruthlessness perhaps? They say that they wanted to be at the house first to receive her. They also say that they heard the bomb blast not 50 yards away from the gate but were told that Benazir was fine, so they proceeded to Islamabad. If the Mercedes was Benazir’s backup vehicle, it should never have left, and the four gentlemen concerned should have gone in some other car. It should have followed her in case something happened and she needed another vehicle, as apparently happened in Karachi. Instead it sped away, turning right instead of left, thus also misleading some of the official security vehicles. Why? No ordinary people were sitting in the Mercedes. Some of them later became ministers, all because of Benazir. Are they also criminally stupid? Or – horror of horrors – did they know what was going to happen and not wish to be around? It stinks. It simply does, to the high heavens. Clear it, please, once and for all, if not for your own sakes then for this country’s sake. Or is it that you can’t?

Death Wish?
Talking of security. Did Benazir Bhutto have a death wish?
• Why did she repeatedly ignore all warnings not only from the Government of Pakistan but other governments too that wished her well and had, in a sense, invested in her, not to return to Pakistan before the elections for security reasons?

• On arrival in Karachi there was a failed assassination attempt on her during her procession from the airport to the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Why did she still not take heed, despite continuing official warnings and kept presenting herself as a target?

• Why did she insist on addressing the public rally in Liaquat Bagh on that fateful day, December 27, 2007, after being warned by the Pakistani government, the director general of the ISI and the Saudi and UAE governments that there was a serious threat against her life?

• If the governments of the day are culpable of anything, apart from hosing down the place of the crime, it is that they did not forcefully prevent Benazir from holding the rally by cancelling permission to do so or even placing her – and Nawaz Sharif – in protective custody. After all, Sharif was also attacked that day at another place just outside Rawalpindi. I know that they were worried that if they cancelled permission or forced her not to hold the rally, she would have accused the government of trying to rig the elections by not letting her campaign. But what happened was much worse, even for the government.

• Before any such rally the personal security staff of a public leader and the official security authorities concerned hold meetings to determine the exact, minute-by-minute, yard-by-yard security protocol: how many vehicles will be in the motorcade, how many in the car of the VIP (as in Very Insecure Person), what route or routes will they take, how fast the motorcade will travel, who will be on the stage with her and where will they sit or stand, how far will the crowd be and so forth. They then sign the protocol and the VIP’s security team makes sure that it is followed meticulously. Why was it violated in Benazir’s case?

• Her vehicle turned right once it was outside the gate of Liaquat Bagh when it was supposed to turn left. Why? Stupid driver?

• Her driver stopped her vehicle when he was actually supposed to speed away on the pre-decided route? Why? Stupid?

• Whose bright idea was it to compromise the bombproof effectiveness of her vehicle by getting a makeshift sunroof made by an ordinary mechanic and welder? Are they not guilty of criminal neglect too? Or just of stupidity, though there’s little difference.

• They say that no autopsy was carried out at Mr. Zardari’s request, so as not to violate her body. But if you consider that they opened Benazir’s chest wide, took her lifeless heart in their hands and massaged it to try and make it start beating again, it was as good as an autopsy. There was no point in opening her stomach, for no one suspected poisoning. They also examined her neck and head and saw that there was no bullet wound in her skull or anywhere else on her body, only a jagged hole like a blunt instrument had hit it. There was no exit hole, as bullet wounds normally make. Those in the vehicle with her say that a white liquid was oozing out.

• When a person is near a bomb blast, as Benazir was, the shock wave kills them instantaneously because it turns their insides into gel. It also, apparently, causes electrical currents to go through the brain. I am sure that poor Benazir’s brain had turned to gel, which is why something white was oozing out. A brain, though soft, is solid, and will not ooze, except the liquid around it that acts as a shock absorber. I think the poor girl was dead before she hit the seat, perhaps even before her head hit the makeshift lever of the homemade run roof. Dr. Safdar Abbasi, loyal party member, a medical doctor and husband of Benazir’s most trusted aide Naheed Khan, was in the vehicle with her and felt her pulse after she fell. He found none but said nothing. Naheed Khan looks the most distraught person in the PPP; she and her husband are the only ones speaking openly without regard to their own safety. Once a fearsome lady who terrorized all within the party – she could make strong men’s hearts quake and stop a person in his tracks at ten yards with a glance – Naheed Khan and her husband have been kicked out of all important positions in the party and sidelined.

• The small guy is always the fall guy. The interior ministry spokesman, Brig. Cheema, has been roundly criticized in the UN report for misleading the investigators for saying on television that no bullet had hit her; only that her head had hit the lever on which there was blood. How can the UN make this assertion when they themselves acknowledge that no bullet had hit her while also acknowledging the presence and possibility of the lever? And if a spokesman says that Pakistani intelligence had intercepted a phone conversation between the late Pakistani Taliban (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud giving someone instructions about her assassination, how does it “mislead” investigators? I would have thought that it helped them. It’s safer to place the blame on minions and former rulers now harmless since they are safely out of the way, thus deflecting attention from the real perpetrators, whoever they are.

• Often in a high-profile assassination like Benazir Bhutto’s, some key witness is killed and silenced, which is one reason why the mystery is never solved.

o President John F. Kennedy’s alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was shot dead by Jack Ruby a few days after his assassination. The case is still unresolved.

o A senior police official – I think his name was Saeed Khan – shot dead Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan’s assassin on the spot instead of arresting him. The case is still unresolved.

o A key policeman involved in the dastardly murder of Murtaza Bhutto and his companions was killed while sleeping in his home in Karachi. The case is still unresolved.

o A man called Khalid Shahinshah was also part of Benazir’s personal security detail and was standing on the stage with her to her left making peculiar gestures and giving significant and meaningful signals. He was shot dead outside his Karachi home a few weeks after Benazir’s murder. The case is still unresolved, and will remain so as long as those who have benefitted from this UN Commission’s useless report can help it.

• Yes, there was a man called Khalid Shahinshah. He was reputedly close to Asif Zardari – one of his henchmen we are told. He was also supposed to be one of Ms Bhutto’s top security honchos (how many did she have?). He was standing next to her on her left throughout her speech at Liaquat Bagh.

• Did the Commission inquire why he, along with two longhaired hippy-looking photographers behind him, kept making peculiar gestures?

• Twice Shahinshah went down on his haunches and stood up, like an out-of-shape wrestler doing sit ups in slow motion. So did the hippy photographers behind him, as if it were a slow motion synchronized dance routine. He fiddled with the knot of his tie – repeatedly. He turned his eyes furtively left and right – repeatedly – as if signaling to someone. All this has been captured on camera and was on You Tube when I last looked. It was behaviour most peculiar.

• I’m told that after the rally Khalid Shahinshah jumped into Benazir’s vehicle. I’m also told that he jumped on to the front seat though I cannot be sure because no one paid me millions of dollars to carry out an inquiry.

• Not too long after, Khalid Shahinshah was gunned down on the drive of his house in broad daylight, Mafia style.

• Zardari never went to Shahinshah’s house to condole, we are told, even though he was reputedly close to him.

• Does this not look like a Mafia style hit to silence the man who knew too much and could no longer be trusted to remember his place in the Mafiosi scheme of things?

Did the Commission look into these episodes most peculiar? They threaten to speak volumes. Not surprisingly, it did not because it would have taken them in exactly the direction they weren’t supposed to go.
• It is the general belief backed by enough proof that America’s dogs of war – Blackwater/Xe International, DynCorp – have infested Pakistan. Did the Commission look into the possibility that one of them might be involved in Benazir’s murder, for sometimes they have their own agenda separate from their government?
Our then foreign secretary, one of the best we have ever had, Riaz Mohammad Khan, opposed asking the UN to probe Benazir’s murder, and he opposed it tooth and nail. He said that such inquiries are useless, lead nowhere and only obfuscate the issue instead of helping to identify the murderers. He also said that the authorities, especially our security and intelligence agencies, would not like to give minute details to a bunch of uninformed and untrained foreigners, untutored in conducting such probes and inquiries. He felt so strongly about it that he resigned. He was right.
Asking the UN or any outside agency to conduct such an investigation when our own people should rightly be doing it is to give further grist to the mills of those who would have the world believe that Pakistan is a failed or failing state which cannot even carry out an investigation at home because they are not competent enough, their people are all saleable commodities and will hide the truth for a consideration and because one Pakistani doesn’t trust another.
That this useless report, this utter hogwash, cost the wretchedly poor people of Pakistan $1.5 million a page is so utterly disgraceful that one is at a loss for further invective and expletives. The United Nation and its Secretary General ought to be ashamed for taking money out of the mouths starving millions to bridge its funding deficit because its patron saint the USA won’t pay it enough and on time to show the world what a useless body it is. Peace keeping body my foot, they are a bunch of incompetents and – dare I say – paid mercenaries who will churn out just what is required of them for a consideration. Remember their authorization to America to clear Al Qaeda from Afghanistan by attacking it. Would they give such an authorization, say, to Muslim countries to clear all Zionists out of Palestine?
They met some 250 odd people and lapped up all their conspiracy theories except one – the favourite – which many Bhutto family members led by Benazir’s uncle Mumtaz Bhutto believe: that Zardari himself was involved. They have no proof for it, of course, and are depending on the Agatha Christie type of logic that, “He who benefits from the crime did it.”
Life is a little more complicated than that, and in Pakistan it is a hell of a lot more complicated even than that. Here, things are never what they seem. Anyone who doesn’t realize this is always going to come a cropper trying to understand just what it is that makes this country tick. For if they knew, they would soon discover that this country doesn’t tick at all. It chugs and bumps along in fits and starts and you don’t know from one moment to the next where you will end up. It is a country full of Muslims but no Islam, only a hypocritical camouflage of it. Here up is down and down is up. Here truth is lies and lies are the truth; heroes are villains and villains are heroes; traitors are patriots and patriots are traitors. Alice would have a far more wondrous time here than in Wonderland. She would find it full of Mad Hatters and lunatic kings and Queens of Diamonds for that is what they all lust after – and, of course, their equally crazy henchmen, serfs and slaves.
Look at the confluence of the press conference of the head of the Commission and Zardari’s reaction in 24 hours. Was it not unconscionably convenient for President Asif Ali Zardari – who as Benazir’s widower holds the highest office in the land and has leadership of the family’s political jagir or fief that passes for a political party but which is actually a cult with some Bhutto as the icon – to declare that he will not take revenge from her killers because revenge has already been extracted by democracy which, the Benazir leftovers never tire of lecturing us, is the best revenge. This is the bizarre logic of those who seem to be scared of the truth and scareder still that it will out. It begs the question: how can he take revenge when he doesn’t even know who the assassins are? Or does he now, for did he not say not too long ago that, “I know who her killers are?”
This “democracy is the best revenge nonsense” is a copout even bigger than the UN Commission’s copout. Of course this is not the place to go into whether we have democracy or not, especially after the 18th Amendment which to my mind has actually put democracy in retreat. But that is another issue, which we can go into later.
So was anyone surprised when right on cue the genius senator (he can’t win a real election so he gets into parliament indirectly through the back door) who gifted us the 18th Constitutional Amendment that has put democracy in retreat thundered: “Musharraf should come back and have the courage to face the charges against him” or claptrap to this effect. This is just posturing to divert attention from the real issue: “Who killed Benazir Bhutto?” They wouldn’t dare take President Pervez Musharraf to court even if they could, which they can’t anyway, because during the course of the proceedings the truth might out and we would know who her real killers are. This is just another heartless drama of dancing on Benazir’s grave and we are all the bemused audience.
Does Asif Zardari have the right to decide whether to pursue Benazir’s murderers or not, or leave it to ‘democracy’? I don’t think so. Benazir Bhutto was not just Asif Zardari’s wife. For the many millions who adored her and her father, she was the keeper of the Bhutto legacy. She was twice prime minister and – who knows – could have been prime minister a third time, an ‘honour’ her great rival Nawaz Sharif is now gleefully waiting for thanks to the anti-democratic 18th Constitutional Amendment. Despite her many flaws, faults, follies and foibles (who doesn’t have them?) she was a great lady and, like her father, a courageous one too. She was the beautiful face of Pakistan to the world and she was the acceptable face of Pakistan for the world. That is the reason why the British and the Americans thoughtlessly pushed Musharraf to do a deal with her, to withdraw all the cases against her and get into a power sharing arrangement with her. It say ‘thoughtlessly’ because they should have known the danger they were putting her in, something many of us knew for months and are on record for having said so many a time. For this thoughtlessness I say that some her blood is also on British and American hands. It doesn’t matter whether one opposed her or supported her or was indifferent, the people of Pakistan and not just her supporters deserve to know who killed her. Mr. Zardari has no business to duck out of the issue by simply taking action against the negligent and saying that “democracy is the best revenge.”
We should not grudge Zardari the offices he now holds for his wife put him there by stating in her will that he is to be her heir if something were to happen to her. She didn’t say that her son should be; it is Zardari who made him party chairman and himself the co-chairman. Saying the will is a fake is neither here nor there unless you can prove it. Hearsay doesn’t count, especially when the Central Executive of the party has accepted it as authentic. Sure the CEC comprises mute serfs – the mazaras, haris, massalis and kammis of the Bhutto political jagir, but they are still the CEC.

humayun.gauhar786@gmail.com

MUSHARRAF, NAWAZ & HIJACKING FROM THE GROUND

 

In the light of the new book published; MUSHARRAF, NAWAZ & HIJACKING FROM THE GROUND by the AminUllah Choudhry, DG Aviation; the man who was at the helm of the affairs of famous hijack case prior to the coup of 12 Oct 1999. He alleges General Musharraf for the hijack. An interview of the author was also telecast by Dunya TV- host Najam Sethi; editor The Daily Times on 21 April 2010.

Earlier on Nawaz Sharif was relieved of any such criminal charges of hijacking as PM what so ever in this case and his punishments as such remitted by the honorable court. He was awarded a clean slate by the court.

All this leaves the common man in the street in illusion that whether —General Pervez Musharraf and his military colleagues—they orchestrated this mellow drama in order to take over the country and come in power…. which they had and remained in charge of this land for long 8 years.

I think that General Pervez Musharraf will have to come forward with suitable reply to all these allegations. This leaves the ball in General Sahib’s court.

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MUSHARRAF, NAWAZ & HIJACKING FROM THE GROUND                                            

The Bizarre Story of PK 805 by Aminullah Chaudry

Publication Date: 2010       Extent: 350 pages

 The Book:                                

 Early the same afternoon, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had dismissed Musharraf, away on a visit to Sri Lanka, and replaced him with Gen Ziauddin. When the latter was not allowed to assume command by a section of the army, he turned to Nawaz Sharif for help. The Prime Minister then ordered Aminullah Chaudry to divert PK 805, the flight on which Musharraf was returning home, away from Karachi and preferably out of the country. As the Civil Aviation Ordinance permitted the Prime Minister to divert any commercial flight from its specified route, and the Director General to close down any airport, Aminullah denied the use of Karachi and its designed alternative Nawabshah to PK 805. When the pilot of PK 805 informed the tower that he was running short of fuel, he was cleared to land at Nawabshah. Before he could do this, the army stormed the control tower in Quaid-e-Azam International Airport and order PK 805 to return to Karachi. Despite this, Musharraf, now in the cockpit of PK 805, remained airborne for another thirty eight minutes until he was sure that the army had deposed Nawaz Sharif.

 Although only a diversion was ordered, Nawaz Sharif and six others were charged with hijacking PK       805. Working under the shadow of Musharraf’s autocratic regime, the Courts convicted Nawaz Sharif.    Amiullah Chaudry was also arrested, kept in solitary confinement, and forced to testify against Sharif.

Having witnessed farcical trial at first hand, Aminullah is one person who can give a firsthand account of a grossly flowed judicial process. He shows how the legal process was distorted and the fundamentals of Aviation Law disregarded

The Author:

Aminullah Chaudry joined the Civil Service of Pakistan in 1967. In 1998, he appointed Director General, Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan and in early 1999, Secretary Aviation, and Government of Pakistan. He was serving in these positions at the time of the coup of 12 October 1999, which brought Chief of Army Staff Gen Pervez Musharraf into power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dictator’s Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet

 ‘The Dictator’s Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet’

 Presentation of Book at the Forum of:  Carnegie Council; The voice of Ethics in International Affairs.

By    H.E. Mr. Heraldo Muñoz, Joanne J. Myers—February 19, 2009

 
The Dictator’s Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet

Related Resources:

The Dictator’s Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet (Video)

The Dictator’s Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet (Audio)

Introduction

JOANNE MYERS: Good morning. I’m Joanne Myers, Director of Public Affairs Programs. On behalf of the Carnegie Council, I’d like to welcome our trustees, members, and guests to our breakfast program.

Today I’m delighted that our speaker is Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz, the Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations. He will be discussing his most recent book, The Dictator’s Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet.

I know that after reading his CV, which was handed out to you earlier, you will agree with me that his rich and vast experience has brought a certain level of expertise to his posting which has benefited the entire UN community.

Throughout its history, Latin America has been a breeding ground for dictators. One of the most infamous examples is Augusto Pinochet, whose name is synonymous with torture, greed, and the death of thousands. After a bloody coup in which he overthrew the elected president, Salvador Allende, General Pinochet ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990. Many justified his rule as a way of rescuing Chile from the threat of dangerous ideologies. These supporters saw his regime as a bulwark against communism and as a testing ground for University of Chicago-inspired economic theories. Others saw Pinochet as a symbol of 20th-century cruelty.

The brutality that brought Pinochet to power and characterized his 17-year reign contrasts remarkably with the unmatched economic gains that created the most prosperous economy in Latin America. This duality raises many agonizing questions about his legacy. For example, was Pinochet a national hero or the embodiment of inhumanity? Could Chile have reached its present prosperity without him? As the story of Pinochet’s rise and fall reflects the broader history of U.S. relations with Latin America, we might ask whether interventions by foreign governments have ever had their intended effect and whose interest they ultimately serve.

But perhaps the most poignant question of all, and the one which all else depends upon, is, was Pinochet really necessary? Do the ends justify the means?

These are just some of the questions lingering in the minds of many Chileans today and are among some of the more disturbing issues that Ambassador Muñoz astutely addresses in his fascinating memoir. Our speaker views this painful period through an unusual lens, as he had to revisit a page of history that he had already turned. Yet this personal testimony of the rise and fall of General Pinochet and the role of the United States during this era serves as a reminder of a period in history that cannot be ignored nor forgotten, for it also shows just how far Chile has come since that time.

Ambassador Muñoz is an insider, a perceptive observer, who, as a former revolutionary in the earlier part of his life, fought the Pinochet regime clandestinely and, later, in open opposition. He takes advantage of his unmatched set of perspectives to evaluate life under an authoritarian ruler, and in so doing, he shares many surprising insights about international relations, national politics, and human nature.

The challenges facing 21st-century democracy can best be dealt with by examining the realities of the past. In telling the story of Pinochet’s reign, Ambassador Muñoz explains what this extraordinary figure meant to Chile, the United States, and the world. Even more, it is a lesson of what democracy could face in the future.

Please join me in giving a very warm welcome to a very special guest, Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz.

Remarks

HERALDO MUÑOZ: Thank you, Joanne, and thanks to the Carnegie Council for inviting me to talk about this book, which truly, I must say, I never intended to write. It was the executive vice president of Basic Books who lobbied me to write it, because he knew my CV, knew my life’s trajectory, and thought that my story deserved to be told. I told him initially that I couldn’t do it, that I wouldn’t do it, because I’m not a historian; I’m a political scientist—more of a political economist.

In addition to that, I said, “There may be biographies of Pinochet.”

He said, “No, I don’t want a biography of Pinochet. I want your story of Pinochet and what Pinochet meant, not only to your country, but to the world.”

Pinochet has touched so many aspects of contemporary life, and so many individuals are associated with him, when you think of it—Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon, Margaret Thatcher, Richard Helms, Fidel Castro, Leonid Brezhnev, Milton Friedman. These are a few that come to mind that were influential, in one way or another affected by the policies of the countries where these leaders, these opinion-makers, led or where they lived.

So in the end, he convinced me, and I wrote this book. It was remembering a painful period of my life, because the book begins the day of the coup, our 9/11, 9/11/73, the day the democratic government of Salvador Allende was overthrown by force, led by General Augusto Pinochet. I tell the story of what I did that day.

I tried to write a book that would be lively, that would convey to the reader not the academic analysis of a period that could be found in other publications, but rather my own memoir.

That day I went to pick up some dynamite. I had some paramilitary training, and I knew how to use explosives. I went to pick it up at the house of a friend where we had stashed it away. I had given him specific instructions on how to do it. Dynamite has to be turned upside down several times during the month, because otherwise, in the technical term, dynamite “sweats.” In other words, the nitroglycerine seeps out, and it becomes highly volatile and can explode with movement.

When I went to pick it up on that day, when rumors were that a coup was occurring, these four sticks of dynamite wrapped in a cloth were absolutely wet. I yelled at him. I said, “Didn’t I tell you to do this?”

He sort of cried. He was too nervous. So I put the dynamite around my waist, in the belt, together with a .32-caliber gun that I had and went to meet other friends.

My editor said, “You have to begin with that.” So the first line is, “On 9/11/73, I almost became the first accidental suicide bomber.

I tell what I did that day and how hard it was for those of us young people who thought that we had to defend democracy and that we had to defend the constitutional government. Looking back, it was an extremely responsible thing that we did, but it was a cause that we were defending. I was willing to die. Even my wife, who is an American, says that at that time there was a moment when it would have seemed that the political cause was more important than her. I told her that was never the case, but I was simply responsible because of the things I did and that I tell in the book.

I was lucky at times. I recall, about two years ago, Barbara Walters, a good friend, invited me to a dinner at her apartment in my honor and invited a group of friends from media, business, et cetera. A movie had been shown in New York theaters called Match Point, by Woody Allen, where the role of luck or fate defines the lives of individuals, one way or the other.

As we know, she’s a great conversationalist. At dessert time, she said, “I want everyone here to tell a story where fate changed your life in a major way. Don’t tell me when you met your spouse or when your first son or daughter was born. No. That’s out.”

There was a series of very interesting stories, until it came to me. I was the last one, to her right. I told the story, during those days, of when the military came to pick me up in my house and all of a sudden, I saw what seemed like a whole battalion of army people that blocked the street. I saw machine guns. Out of the window of my mother’s house, where I lived at the time, I saw two friends of mine that already had been detained in a truck.

I told my wife, “Get your American passport and talk to Ted Kennedy, talk to your congressman in Upstate New York, and try to find out where they have taken me. That’s the important thing. Try to find out where they’re going to take me.”

I saw a lot of movement, a guy with a .30 machine gun, one of those big ones, in front of my door. They wouldn’t come in, until about 20 minutes later, all of a sudden a lot of movement and they leave. They had gone into the wrong house. They had gone to the house next door, which belonged to a family who knew my mother for 30 years. She had been brave enough not to say that I lived next door, and I was saved. They ransacked her house, because they didn’t believe that I didn’t live there.

Eight years later, I met one of the guys who was in the truck in Mexico. He embraced me and cried and said that out of those horrible days, the only happy moment was when this dumb military went into the wrong house and they came out without me. He said, “They were so mad, because they really wanted you.” They had bad intelligence. They just had gone into the wrong house.

Barbara Walters said, “You won the prize. You won the prize by far.”

I tell you this story, which is in the book, to highlight something that happened to us Chileans. We lost our innocence then. We were the most civilized country in Latin America. We thought of ourselves as the “Englishmen of Latin America” (or the English persons of Latin America). All of a sudden we had a dictatorship—and such a cruel dictatorship.

On the day of the coup, 36 people died. There was no resistance. Those young people like me that went out with ridiculous .32-caliber guns against weapons of war had no chance. There were 36 people that died, including some military men, in the confrontation, basically in the palace. Some of you may have seen—and it may be in your mind—a smoking presidential palace.

But what happened was that by the end of 1973—in other words, three months later—2,000 people had died, had been massacred by the repression. That signaled a period of terror by Pinochet, who had not been the leader of the coup. The coup had been led by others. In fact, he had been named army commander-in-chief by President Allende supposedly because of his loyalty.

So he played both sides. He always was during his career a very mediocre individual, who cultivated friendships to get ahead in life and his military career, and who resisted the coup until he saw that in the other branches of the armed forces there was so much support for a coup that he was going to be shoved aside if he didn’t join it. He did join at the last minute.

At that time, the terror that he unleashed against those of us who thought differently, who had been with Allende, was because he wanted to assert power in the country and within the armed forces. He was giving a signal to the armed forces as well.

But Pinochet was, among other things, and perhaps above all, a pragmatist. Here is the other Pinochet that emerges—not only the ruthless Pinochet, the one of torture, of exile, of assassinations, of the disappeared, but a man that, confronted with the fact that he has a government and he has to have an economic policy to implement, in a country that had been polarized and whose economy had been destroyed—basically, the Chilean economy had runaway inflation, hyperinflation. The economic policy of the Allende government had been a misguided policy of controlling prices, which led to the black market. Increases in production, in productivity were minimal, and economic chaos reigned in the country towards the end of the Allende period.

So he had to do a new economic policy. He had no one to rely on, and he thought that this general, who had some accounting courses, could be minister of the economy.

But the navy was thinking better, and they brought this plan by these young men who had studied at the University of Chicago—most of them got an MA, some PhDs, some studied with Milton Friedman—and he had no alternative. He preferred his accountant friend, but these young men, backed by the navy, had a plan that seemed to work, that was rational. And pragmatist that he was, he went with that free-market policy, even though he himself was a nationalist. He was a statist, as the army in Chile always was.

But he went into opening up the economy, liberalizing prices, privatizing state companies, and doing “shock economy.” He went that route. Milton Friedman went to Chile and recommended shock therapy. He said that when you cut the tail off a dog, you don’t do it little by little; you do it with one chop. That signified that when the Chilean economy dropped about 35 points. Unemployment was rampant. But slowly a recuperation began—slowly.

At that time, we Chileans who were in the opposition tried to survive. We went into hiding, with my wife, for about a year and a half, going from one house to another. I tell all the stories. The only year in our 30-some years of marriage that I forgot her birthday was when we were in hiding. I can almost not forgive myself yet. But we went from one house to another in hiding, sometimes trying to connect with others in the Resistance, trying to put out pamphlets. Military resistance was ridiculous at that time. It was committing suicide.

At that time, my wife decided that we had to leave, and at the end of 1975, I came to the United States and took advantage, on the counsel of a friend, to do a PhD. They said, “You can leave legally.” I had been asked to go into an embassy and seek asylum. I said I would never do it. I would rather fight than go into an embassy, because I knew I would go into exile. I left legally, and I came to the University of Denver, to the Graduate School of International Studies, where I met marvelous people, like Joe Korbel, who was my professor-guide and who was Madeleine Albright‘s father. My classmate and good friend was Condi Rice, who became a friend and continued to be a friend, even though we have had some issues where we have differed in the past. But I continue to speak very highly of her.

I thought that, by getting the PhD, there would be a period where I could go back to Chile and take up life in a different way, continue with political activities. My wife said, “If we go back, you don’t go back to clandestine activities,” and I said, “Yes.”

I went back three months before her. Of course, I got into political activities, got arrested, got beaten up, broken fingers, out of which I still have some remembrances in one of my hands. But slowly we began organizing.

In 1982, the economic model, the orthodox Chicago model, goes down, in a situation that reminds me, by the way, very much of what happened a couple of months ago here in this country. There was no regulation of the banking sector, at a moment when Paul Volcker in the United States decides, under the instructions of President Reagan, that inflation has to be controlled.

So he begins to control the money supply, the interest rates. Then the money that was flowing into the international economy dries up and the money then is not coming to Chile. At the same time, they had fixed the currency at a certain number of pesos. With no control of the banking system, the banks were loaning to their own related companies, some of which were not real companies, speculating, and doing other toxic activities.

That meant that the system began to go under, and Pinochet had to rescue it and had to nationalize. Basically, like Greenspan is saying now, maybe it has to occur once in 100 years. Well, it occurred in Chile. It was nationalized by Pinochet. Allende, who was supposed to be a socialist, would never have thought to have all the banking system in state hands and providing a bailout package, equivalent to about $20 billion today, for Chile, a small country.

That crisis allowed us to organize better. We began with protests. We began going out into the street. National protests were a beauty. At night we would go with pots and pans. The first night, it was to begin at 9 p.m., and we didn’t hear anybody, no neighbors. All of a sudden begins a beautiful cacophony of noise, all of Chile protesting against Pinochet.

But he was a hardliner. He abandoned the Chicago model. He took in a neo-Keynesian economist. But since he was a pragmatist, later on down the road, in the late 1980s, he went back to a much more moderate version of the Chicago school—much more moderate, with protectionism here and there, with subsidies here and there, and with good regulations of the banking system. So the economy began to recuperate.

By that time, we, the Chilean opposition, had gathered speed, and we beat him in a plebiscite in 1988, when he thought that he would win. Everybody had told him so. We took the risk of participating in a plebiscite.

The Los Angeles Times asked me to write a piece about what to do about the plebiscite. I said, “We have to participate,” and I wrote an article about participating in the plebiscite. It was quite risky, because it was playing according to the rules of the game with Pinochet. I remember that in a lecture I gave at the University of California at San Diego, some people had read the article and called me, basically, a traitor. The nicest thing they said was that I was naïve.

But we participated in the plebiscite, and we won the plebiscite. And that was the end of Pinochet, in a sense, because what came was the challenge of governing while Pinochet was still commander of the army. They thought it was the real ruler behind the throne.

Here I want to say one more thing before I finish. “What is the U.S. role in all of this?” you may be thinking. The United States—this story is very well known—under the Nixon Administration had sought to impede the accession of President Allende to power. He had been elected with a plurality. He had to be confirmed in Congress. The CIA designed a two-track policy, approved by him personally and by Kissinger.

The first one was to try to buy a few of the congressmen, so that they would vote for the runner-up. That didn’t work, because the tradition in Chile was simply that Congress confirmed the candidate with the highest plurality.

Second, a military coup. The CIA provided weapons, explosives, and money to a group of military and civilian right-wingers. That went bad. They tried to kidnap the commander-in-chief of the army at the time, to blame it on the left. They killed him, instead of kidnapping him, and there was an outcry for democracy and for the confirmation of Allende.

After that followed an invisible blockade, basically. The idea was “to make the economy scream,” as Richard Helms wrote on his pad at a meeting in the Oval Office. The interesting thing is that the only CIA chief that has ever been indicted for anything in the history of the United States has been Richard Helms, for not telling the truth to Congress.

So it was a very bitter period, where the United States embraced Pinochet immediately after the coup, and the perception in Chile and in the world was that this was a U.S. coup. It wasn’t, because there was polarization in Chile. We were guilty of the coup, because we polarized the country.

We socialists and the communists thought that we could do revolution with a plurality, while the right, opposed to any change and wanting to preserve the status quo and the center, instead of playing the pragmatic role, became intolerant. And the country polarized. So we created Pinochet, but the United States was clearly the sponsor of the coup and they made everything possible.

The interesting thing is that the policy of the United States changes with Carter and changes with Ronald Reagan. As you recall, at the time Reagan pushed the policy of democracy and human rights, thinking of the Soviet Union. But he couldn’t overlook what was happening in Latin America, and he was worried about Central America. So he gave Pinochet the chance of quiet diplomacy with Ambassador Kirkpatrick.

But Pinochet thought, “I have an ally, an anticommunist. I don’t need to do anything about human rights,” and he kept on with the repression, until Reagan got tired of it and sent a message that he was going to change the policy. In the end, the greatest support that we had in the plebiscite, in the mobilization against Pinochet, was from the U.S. government headed by President Reagan.

So it was a policy that was not without shades of nuance on the part of the United States. The United States played a very constructive role, under President Reagan, to favor the reinstatement of democracy.

Two final reflections:

The political landscape in Chile changed because of all this. The communists drew the wrong lesson, drew the lesson that you have to have military power and that it was naïve to try to build socialism through democratic means. That was because Leonid Brezhnev told them, in the 25th party congress—the head of the Chilean Communist Party was there—that a revolution that doesn’t defend itself does not deserve the name of “revolution.” So basically he was saying, “You guys were not prepared, and even you were sort of cowards, because you did not take up arms,” influenced also by the Sandinista revolution and by Afghanistan.

I’m sure—and I argue this in the book—that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was because they did not want another Chile. So the defense of the Najibullah regime in Kabul, the invasion, was because they did not want an Allende to occur and the influence of the Communist Party to disappear, as they had in Chile, much closer to the borders than down there in the South Pacific.

That’s the lesson that they drew, and the Communist Party in Chile began armed struggle. They tried to assassinate Pinochet in an episode that I tell in the book. I knew some of the people that participated in that assassination attempt.

We drew a different lesson. We drew the lesson that the only way was peaceful cooperation with all democrats, even conservative democrats, because they were in favor of human rights and democracy and the rule of law, the reinstatement of the rule of law. And that’s what we did. We drew the lesson that Berlinguer, the head of the Italian Communist Party, draws of Chile. He says that Chile demonstrated that you need a historical compromise between the center and the left. Out of that, Eurocommunism emerges.

That’s our lesson, how we coalesced and created the government coalition today, where there are the Christian Democrats, who are the adversaries of Allende, together with the Socialist Party and other parties.

The other reflection is, what about the economy? My feeling is that Pinochet’s policies laid the foundation for what has happened today. He deregulated parts of the economy, which had been very statist in Chile. He pushed the economy towards an export orientation—not only copper, but nontraditional exports.

He gave opportunities for Chileans to begin to be entrepreneurial, so that now any Chilean who wants to can export anything. We export all kinds of things to the world. We never exported salmon. Now we are the second major exporter of salmon. In the 1980s, the experiment began. We export more kiwis than New Zealand. We used to import them from New Zealand; now we do better than them in terms of covering the world market with our kiwis and fruits and all kinds of other products.

So that came out of the Pinochet era. But the real miracle, in my view, occurred when democracy came back. The results were better. We reduced inflation to one digit. Pinochet was never able to do that. We increased the rate of growth to about 6 or 7 percent for two decades. We doubled Gross National Product in ten years. We reduced poverty from 40 percent of the population, at the moment of the return of democracy, to 13.2 percent right now. We eliminated extreme poverty. We reduced income maldistribution.

In essence, we turned into a miracle, in the midst of unions that were able to protest, a congress that was able to “fiscalize,” a press that was able to criticize, political parties that were able to mobilize, and people that were able to complain, as they usually do, even if things are going well.

So that is the miracle. The miracle is to have done that in democracy, with all the limits and the beauty of democracy.

Pinochet was part of it. Yes, he was part of it. You have to look at your history, with the good and the bad. But in the end, I think history will judge Pinochet more as a ruthless dictator, as a violator of human rights, as the individual that dared to come to the United States and perpetrate a terrorist act in the streets of Washington by assassinating Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt on Massachusetts Avenue, a mile away from the White House. He will be remembered as someone who sent terrorists to kill a former commander-in-chief in Buenos Aires, who sent terrorists of the secret police to kill people in Madrid, in Rome, and in other countries. I think he will be remembered a lot more for those acts.

For sure, he marked a generation. He marked me for sure, and I have met numerous leaders throughout the world, like Jack Straw, Tony Blair, and some German ministers I have met in my life, who said, “Well, I began to be involved in public affairs because of the solidarity with Chile in the streets.” So it marked a generation.

It’s a page turned, but I thought that this story deserved to be told.

Thank you.

JOANNE MYERS: I think one of the other reasons this book is so compelling is because it’s Ambassador Muñoz’s reconciliation with the past. That makes it really an interesting read.

Now I’d like to open up the floor to discussion.

Questions and Answers

QUESTION: I want to ask you to offer some reflections on the attempted prosecution of General Pinochet, whether you think Jack Straw, first of all, did the right thing in deciding not to have him extradited to Spain.

Secondly, what you think might have happened in Chile had Pinochet not died. Would he have been convicted? Would that have been a plus for democracy in Chile? Do you think the effort to prosecute him is an important message for other dictators in the world, even though he died without finally being convicted?

HERALDO MUÑOZ: I think the last part of your question is the real relevant conclusion that one should make. I thought it was an important episode, in the sense that Pinochet at the time had retired, finally, from the army. I didn’t talk about many of the episodes that are in the book that occurred during the first two democratic governments, where Pinochet was always there, moving the rug under the feet of the presidents. I interviewed the presidents. There is some rich literature there, a lot of anecdotes.

But after that, he had written into the constitution that he would become senator for life. So he went to the Senate and he became a man that tried to build a statesman image for himself. He was unable to do so, because it was too short a time, when he went to London. He loved London. He said it was the only city where there wouldn’t be these long-haired protesters against him. He loved it. He would go to Harrods and buy maps and go to the army museum, et cetera.

He was picked up because, as you know, a Spanish judge conducting an investigation into the assassination and disappearance of the Chileans actually wanted to put questions to him.

I have gotten this story. I spoke to the judge at length several times. He never intended to arrest Pinochet in London. What happened was, Scotland Yard said, “Look, he’s leaving, so the only way for you to send the questions to him is for us to detain him.” So then he gave the order of detention, thinking that this was not going to happen, and it did.

It changed history. Clearly, the Law Lords, in their judgment, in their ruling, said that there was no immunity for former heads of state. That, I think, was a very important step in international law. It was a warning to former dictators they would not get away with impunity, if they think of leaving the country at least. That has continued to be the case. That, I think, together with the creation of the International Criminal Court, created a regime, I think, that was thanks to the Pinochet detention.

When he went to Chile, yes, there was a lot of politics behind it. It was really a thorny issue for the U.K., for Spain, for Chile. They decided that, for health reasons, they would send him back. There he was put under house arrest, a trial process by a judge for several cases. He died under house detention, but he was never actually condemned. So that is sort of a bittersweet ending.

But at least, I think, the London episode was a major, major step in international law.

QUESTION: We are fortunate that you are not only an active participant, but also an acute observer and analyst. In that role, could you comment on some of the other developments in Latin America, where the trend towards democracy has been strengthened, but, of course, there are many problems, which you know about more than others?

Since you mentioned a plebiscite, just recently Venezuela had a plebiscite, and Chávez won, which surprised many of us.

Could you broaden the discussion somewhat and give your reflections on what’s happening in Latin America today?

HERALDO MUÑOZ: The first thing I would say is that one should not draw a conclusion that Latin America is going in solely one direction. I read a year ago a headline in a newspaper saying, “Latin America Is Going Red,” because of the election of Correa in Ecuador, of Chávez before, of Evo Morales in Bolivia, as well as the return of Ortega in Nicaragua—by the ballot, not by the bullet.

I think Latin America is going into all of the colors of the rainbow. Iff you look at what has happened in the last couple of years in terms of elections, you have a president of Mexico, Calderón, who is a conservative, I would say; Óscar Arias, a moderate centrist, in Costa Rica; you have the four presidents that I have mentioned, various shades of left populism; my own president, who is a Social Democrat; Lula, who is a Social Democrat; Alan Garcia, who is a new Alan Garcia, more of a conservative, particularly in economic policy, in Peru.

So Latin America is not going in any particular direction.

What is happening, though, is that, increasingly, heads of state are falling into the temptation of reelection. Somebody said yesterday to me that there is “revolution by constitutional change.” The constitution is being changed in many countries, not only in Venezuela. The constitution was changed in Colombia to give the possibility for President Uribe to reelect himself. The constitution was changed in Brazil to allow for Lula’s reelection. The constitution was changed in Bolivia as well.

If you look at Latin America, there have been many constitutional changes precisely to allow sitting presidents to reelect themselves. That, I think, is a complicated tendency, but it goes from left to right. If the people, in the end, vote for it, if there are controls on the process in the plebiscites, if there is a level playing field so that those that say no versus those that say yes exist, then it is up to them to do it.

We have to be watchful, though, about the rule of law. That, I think, is the key. It is not sufficient that a president is selected democratically. He must continue to rule democratically. Then the international community has a responsibility, particularly in Latin America, because we wrote a charter, a democratic charter, that I was involved in that says precisely that there is a right to democracy in the Americas.

We have a long tradition, and we have to be very watchful about how the democratic process at some point can turn into something that is less than democratic. Then we have a responsibility.

But I think, as everybody says, at least Chávez won fairly. Who knows what the future will bring, though?

QUESTION: Mr. Ambassador, you alluded to the concern that President Nixon and Henry Kissinger had towards the ascent of Allende. Of course, they were looking at Cuba. They were concerned about another beachhead being established in Chile.

To what extent were the Cubans, or any other communist countries, involved in supporting Allende behind the scenes? Was the concern on the part of the American government justified, given what you know now?

HERALDO MUÑOZ: If you ask me whether the U.S. concern was justified, I would say, clearly, no.

There is a very nice book called Nixon and Kissinger, written by Robert Dallek, where he demonstrates something that I already knew, but he demonstrates it with a lot more detail and documents, and that is that President Nixon and Secretary Kissinger dedicated an inordinate amount of time to Chile, an unbelievable amount of time, if you think of the challenges that they had: the Middle East conflict, the SALT talks with the Soviet Union, the opening to China, the expansion of the war in Vietnam.

I’m just mentioning some of the issues that they had in the Oval Office. And they kept on having meetings on Chile. The idea was that Latin America was going to become a “red sandwich.” On the one hand was going to be Cuba and on the other hand was going to be Chile, and we were going to squeeze Latin America as a red sandwich—or, as Kissinger said, we were going to be “a dagger aimed at the heart of Antarctica.”

Evidently Kissinger is smart enough that I think he was being rather sarcastic when he was saying that. But Dallek demonstrates meeting after meeting the inordinate amount of time that Nixon dedicated to Latin America. He received people that a president shouldn’t have received, with the little time that they had, given those policy changes.

I think there was no justification. Chile was not going communist. We were simply a coalition that had to do a program.

But about Cuba, yes, Cuba supported Allende very strongly, because Fidel Castro was good friends with Allende. But what does “support” mean? He went over and spent a month in Chile visiting. There was a moment when there were no places we could show him, because he stayed and stayed and stayed. He sent some sugar when there was a necessity. But beyond that, what type of support?

At the same time, Allende was very good friends with Nelson Rockefeller. There’s a story that I tell in the book. This was in a conversation that I had with Joe Korbel in Denver, when we talked about the differences between socialists and communists.

He was a very good friend of Nelson Rockefeller. During the Second World War, when Allende was a senator and Rockefeller was sent by the president of the United States to try to pressure Chile and Argentina to break relations with the Axis powers, Allende was the one who hosted Rockefeller and gathered political forces to push the Chilean government to break relations with the Axis.

They didn’t want to, because there was a large German community in the south and the sitting government did not want to get into political trouble by breaking relations with the Axis. And there was Allende with his friend, Nelson Rockefeller. It was because Rockefeller had helped Allende when he was minister of health in 1939 and a friendship had been built.

So Allende was friends with Rockefeller and was friends with Fidel. With Fidel, he had political affinities. With Rockefeller, he had more personal affinities.

But it was absolutely unjustified. It was one of the great errors.

This is a lesson for today. Sometimes the United States should should be careful about what it wishes for, because it may come true. In the case of Chile, it came true, and like the sorcerer’s apprentice, the United States helped to create a monster that it could not control later on. That individual thought he had the full, uncompromised support of the United States, and that’s why he began to perpetrate terrorist attacks internationally, “because, after all, this anticommunist leader will support me to the end.”

He did not understand how the United States operates and that no administration, be it Democratic or Republican, was going to accept the perpetration of an assassination in Washington. He never understood that.

QUESTION: I wonder, Ambassador Muñoz, if we could explore a bit your recollection of Chile at the turn of the 1970s, having become very deeply polarized. It always had the reputation of being an almost-200-year constitutional republic. The KennedyJohnson people had hailed the election of Eduardo Frei of the Christian Democrats in 1964 as the kind of new frontier-style “great society,” a middle way.

Yet by the end of the decade, you had young people like yourself who were agitating for much more radical change, and Frei’s party successor, Tomic, came in third, I think, in the 1970 elections. Somehow, inside the military, there was incubating a virulent kind of right-wing extremism that then exploded when Pinochet took over.

What were the stages of the polarization in Chilean society that drove folks to either end of the spectrum? Is Chile today confident that you would not find such polarization down the road again?

HERALDO MUÑOZ: I can begin with the last part, because it’s easy. Yes. We wouldn’t find the polarization now that we had in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I think we learned our lesson. Playing along with the rules of the democratic game is something that is very ingrained in Chileans now.

The tragedy that we had, at least in my generation and the following generation, is very fresh,  even to young people. Since this story of Pinochet and the dictatorship and Allende is repeated through the media and through informal channels, I think it also penetrates to the younger generation.

So by no means are we going to go back. Chile is a safe, stable country.

How did that happen? I think it happened because of the effects of the Cuban Revolution. When you see the movie Che today—it’s very long, four or four and a half hours—you realize that those were the times in the region when corrupt dictators ruled in the region, and Chile was a haven of civility. All the exiles came to study in our universities. We had the highest literacy in the region. We had good health policies, et cetera.

But we were affected by what we saw in our neighborhood.

But it wasn’t only us. Think of 1968, 1969, 1970. In 1968, there was the Democratic Convention in Chicago. There were protests in the streets. I came to the United States around that time, the first time, and I saw the civil rights movement, the violence, the cries for change, the hippie movement. In 1968, Paris was rioting.

There was a war in Vietnam, protests throughout the world.

So the world was in upheaval in the late 1960s. It wasn’t just us. We were part of a world scenario that wanted change, and that wanted change rapidly.

We did it our way, because we elected a socialist. We elected him by the ballot. But we bought ourselves the dreams that many were dreaming that we could build socialism, despite the fact that more than half of the population in Chile had not voted for Allende. We went well beyond the economic program, and we began, then, to dig the grave of our own death of the political process.

I remember, and I tell in the book, it was ridiculous how this idea of nationalizing companies went, when this local party leader called me and said, “You have to go to this blue jeans factory near your house. It has been seized by the workers and they are asking for you, because they know you, to advise them.”

I said, “Which one is this?”

“El As.”

I said, “But El As has 33 workers. How could it have been seized?”

“Well, that’s who it is. Go and talk to them.”

I went to talk to them, and they were mostly women workers who had been pushed by some activists of my own party to nationalize the blue jeans factory. The owner said, “You’re going to pay for this,” and they came with weapons to defend.

I said, “No weapons, no weapons. Out with the weapons. Continue working, and we’ll see what happens.”

The company ended up in the hands of the state. Can you imagine? A micro-enterprise of 33 workers ended up in the hands of the state, nationalized, in the state area.

So those were the crazy moments that were occurring. But I think we were all a bit crazy in the world at that time. It was not only Chileans.

QUESTION: Since Obama was elected president, has there been a more positive attitude towards the United States by Latin American countries?

HERALDO MUÑOZ: I would say that if the election had been conducted in Latin America, Obama would have gotten 95 percent of the vote. Great enthusiasm for him. I have never seen so much press talking about a U.S. election. I received dozens of calls from TV channels, from radio stations, newspapers, about my opinion on how I was seeing the political process, since I was here in New York. I’m sure that others did as well.

So there is an unbelievable interest. I see it among my colleagues at the United Nations as well. If you do a poll among them, easily 80 percent are going to say that they love Obama. They love what he’s saying.

There’s also the message that he just gave by naming Ambassador Susan Rice and putting it back in the cabinet, recuperating the same level position that it had under the Clinton Administration when Madeleine Albright was also a member of the cabinet, meaning that she would have direct access to the president, and at the same time, signaling that the United Nations is going to matter.

So there is a very positive attitude.

That doesn’t mean that there won’t be differences over country policies. At some moment, on some issues, there will be, for sure. But I think he has so much capital already of goodwill that his honeymoon in Latin America will last a lot longer than the honeymoon with the Republican Party and the economic package.

QUESTION: You said that the real miracle of Chile included income distribution becoming more equal. That was the only thing that slightly surprised me. I wonder, is there clear data on that? I don’t think it has continued in the last 10 years or so. At least the studies I have seen recently suggest that in Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, income distribution has improved, possibly in Brazil, but not in many of the other countries. I would like you to comment on that, because income distribution is surely the Achilles’ heel of so much of Latin American economic policy.

HERALDO MUÑOZ: Yes. I think you’re right. Income distribution has improved in Chile, but not in a way that we would be satisfied with, and other countries have done better in that sense. So you are correct.

When I mentioned income distribution, it was because it has moved, while it hadn’t moved at all previously. The gap had actually widened during the Pinochet period. Now it has been reduced. But the Gini coefficient is still far from ideal. So the data is encouraging, but not satisfying. In other countries, as you say, they have done much better.

What happens is that, even though we have eliminated poverty in a major, major way, at the same time the creation of wealth is so great in Chile. Now our GDP is about $140 billion, which is amazing when you think that we have tripled our income in two or three decades, and income per capita, PPP, is a little bit over $13,000.

So we have done very well, but still we have a problem in income distribution. You are right about that.

JOANNE MYERS: I want to thank you for a very stimulating morning. It was really terrific.

UN Team head Heraldo Munoz is an old Suicide Bomber

 

BY A Khokar  19 April 2010

Heraldo Munoz is the head of independent UN Commission of inquiry who carried out the investigation of the assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto. The subject report  may be totally biased as the man heading the UNO team to formulate an investigative report is the old Chile activist who remained pitched against the regime of General Augusto Pinochet, the Military Dictator who happened to came in power through a CIA subscribed Coup of 9/11/ 1973.

Heraldo Munoz says in his book; The Dictator’s Shadow; Life Under Augusto Pinochet’ that he may the first Suicide bomber of Chile that at the time of coup as a member of underground forces has been looking for the targets to strike with the belt full of detonators tied to his waist and a .32 Calibre gun till he was caught and later  tortured for fighting for the continuation of old Communist Regime. He managed to escape Chile and fled to US. He says that during torture his fingers were broken and he has stiil got his one of the finger as crooked.

While he was conducting the investigation in Pakistan under the perception that President Pervez Musharraf came in power  through a military coup in 1999; and he being the old radical activist who has been fighting against General Augusto Pinochet; his report can certainly be said as biased.

 

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld07bMEx3gA duration 4+ mins

 Presentation by Heraldo Munoz of his Book: The Dictator’s Shadow-The life Under Augusto Pinochet

Link: http://www.cceia.org/resources/transcripts/0121.html duration 51+mins

Presently H.E. Mr. Heraldo Muñoz is the Ambassador of Chile to the United Nations. He was president of The Economist Conferences, Chile (1998-1999), and president of Latin analyst Consulters. He is a professor at the Institute of International Studies of the University of Chile.

He holds a Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of Denver, Colorado (1978).

To Hell with Israel….and Murg bar Amrica

By A Khokar 
To Hell with Israel….and  Murg bar Amrica: This is a cheap and superfluous slogans chanting exercise which may well be able to pump up the adrenaline in our blood and make the emotions run wild;—but history says that this exercise have not served any good to any movement in the world of Islam…not even to Palestinian that Israel is in full occupation and a physical control of Palestinian territories; neither it has served any cause of the chief of instigator of these slogans—Iran, in this regard.
Palestinians are fully subjugated by Israelis and Iran is finding herself isolated, deluded on the behest of Israel in the international community. Question is that to what avail is this chanting of slogans? Muslims claim that they are here in this world to serve God or his religion Islam. Do these inert Slogans serve any purpose or advance the cause of Islam? Answer may be;a BIG NO.

Rather than slinging the volleys of— ‘Hell with Israel’ or Murg bar Amrica…. let the Muslims get on with striving hard in achievement the required education, research and technology. It is better and advisable to lie low and ‘run deep; run silent’ for the time being, till such time they attain such advancement and superiority and made that day possible n dream come true when Muslims will be considered at par Israel and poised to excel in all the spheres of technology for the service and security of humanity. 

After all for how long  Palestinian poised as a front state against Israel; will have to keep on sending the juvenile suicide bombers to encounter, halt stop the advancing Israeli Markova tanks charging on Palestinian homes and Apache strafing the defenceless Palestinian in their streets—- destroying everything and every structure which comes in their range.

To come up with sling shots throwing stones against charging Tanks and firing of ill aimed katyasha rockets against advancing Israeli Army; is totally absurd.

 This exercise is useless, flawed and inert. It is Non-sense; a sheer nonsense.

  After all God Almighty has given His clear orders to believers:

 Surah Anfal; 8:60.And make ready for them whatever you can of armed force and of mounted pickets at the frontier, whereby you may frighten the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you know not, but Allah knows them. And whatever you spend in the way of Allah, it shall be repaid to you in full and you shall not be wronged”

Deterrent; deterrent and a potent invincible force are the only answer…. and in this age and time; who stops Muslims to muster all their resources and raise become one such invicible force?

Assassination of Benazir Bhutto—UNO Team Report is OUT

Ms Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on 27 December 2007 at Liaqat Bagh Rawalpindi

By A Khokar

President Asif Ali Zardari has all along been saying that he knows; who killed Ms Benazir Bhutto. Many others groups including Imran khan of Tehrik e Insaf have very unequivocally been giving the indication of assent that Ex- President Pervez Musharraf got Benazir killed to satisfy his team–PML–Q and MQM. So much so that PML-Q, then in power was named as the Killer party.

 

But reportedly the findings brought forward by ‘UNO Team Report’ state otherwise. This statement is so very simple and absurd that it can be counted as a big joke…of the day!

 

This report is seen here simply putting a rubber stamp on all the lukewarm actions being taken against the usual suspects—of Tehrik e Taliban alleged by Pakistan government in the case except this that their was a huge lake of security arrangement provided by the Government for the occasion. There is no mention about the arrangement of her personal security.

 

In other word—; this is to say that the Pak authorities all knew well; why and how Benazir was killed; but just wanted to listen it from the horse’s mouth; the UNO team that subject assassination of Benazir Bhutto was in fact carried out by TTP at the behest of CIA.  TTP is the brain child of CIA which is supported, equipped and run by CIA in Pakistan for such like acts of subversion  and of execution of assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

India’s GSLV Space rocket launch fails

 

 

 

 

Bangalore, India (AFP) April 15, 2010

Indian space engineers lost contact with a rocket showcasing new indigenously built booster technology on Thursday soon after launch, in a major blow to the country’s space ambitions.

The launch of the first India-made rocket powered by cryogenic motors, a complex technology mastered by just five countries, failed soon after lift-off from India’s space centre at Sriharikota in southeast  Andhara Pardesh state.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan told reporters that the rocket began tumbling soon after launch “indicating the controllability was lost.”

Cryogenic boosters use super cooled liquid fuel and the technology has only been successfully developed by the US, Russia, France, Japan and China.

India had previously imported seven cryogenic engines from Russia, using five of them to launch heavy satellites over the last decade.

The technology is intended to launch heavier Indian satellites into high orbits, about 36,000 kilometres (22,000 miles) from the earth. Scientists say the mission failed because control of the two engines controlling the satellite was lost, resulting in loss of altitude and velocity.

 

Journalists at the scene of the launch said that scientists in the mission control area at Sriharikota in eastern India initially clapped and rejoiced after what appeared to be a successful launch – but their disappointment was apparent as the rocket deviated from its course.

 

India began developing cryogenic technology after Russia reneged on a deal to supply cryogenic engines in 1993 – following pressure from the United States, which believed India was using the technology to power missiles.

 

India hopes to emerge as a global player in the multi-billion dollar satellite launch market.

Obama: Risks of Nuclear Terrorism have Risen

 He has got a excellent posture

Source: Ap

 

WASHINGTON:  — Citing a new nuclear reality, President Barack Obama urged world leaders Tuesday to reach beyond traditional means of avoiding nuclear conflict and agree on new measures to stop terrorists from getting their hands on atomic arms.

Addressing a 47-nation nuclear conference, Obama framed the problem as a “cruel irony of history” — nuclear dangers on the rise, even after the end of the Cold War and decades of fear stoked by a U.S.-Soviet arms race. A terrorist group in possession of plutonium no bigger than an apple could detonate a device capable of inflicting hundreds of thousands of casualties, he said.

“Terrorist networks such as al-Qaida have tried to acquire the material for a nuclear weapon, and if they ever succeeded, they would surely use it,” he told the opening session, which convened under tight security at the Washington Convention Center. “Were they to do so, it would be a catastrophe for the world, causing extraordinary loss of life and striking a major blow to global peace and stability.”

Lurking in the background at the nuclear security summit was a problem some see as equally worrisome: Iran’s alleged pursuit of a nuclear weapon. Iran, which was not invited to the conference, denies it intends to build an atomic bomb, and despite widespread concern about Iranian intentions, Obama is having difficulty getting agreement on a new set of U.N. sanctions against the country.

Obama organized the nuclear summit to win agreement on a plan for securing all vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide within four years. The summiteers were expected to announce how they think that can be done, with plans to review progress at a follow-up conference in South Korea in 2012.

President Lee Myung-bak told reporters that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il will not get an invitation until the North gives up its efforts to build a nuclear arsenal.

North Korea’s efforts — and its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that sets the rules of the road for nuclear technology — kept it out of the Washington summit. Syria, which is suspected by the U.S. and others of harboring nuclear weapons ambitions, also was not invited.

As an example of the collective action called for by Obama, officials of the U.S., Canada and Mexico announced an agreement to work together, along with the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency, to convert the fuel in Mexico’s research reactor from highly enriched uranium to a lower-enriched fuel that would be much harder to use in the manufacturing of a nuclear weapon.

Mexico further agreed that once the fuel is converted, it will get rid of all its highly enriched uranium. That follows Ukraine’s announcement on Monday that it, too, will ship all its highly enriched uranium to protected storage outside its borders — possibly to Russia or the U.S.

U.S. officials touted their completion of a long-delayed agreement with Russia on disposing of tons of plutonium from Cold War-era weapons. Both countries will complete and operate facilities to dispose of at least 34 tons of plutonium by using it as fuel in civilian power reactors to produce electricity, although it will not start until 2018; monitors and inspectors will ensure against cheating.

The State Department said the 34 tons of plutonium represents enough for about 17,000 nuclear weapons. The deal was being signed Tuesday by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, in his remarks to the conference, stressed the important of protecting nuclear-related information.

“We must keep the science as well as the substance of nuclear materials out of terrorist hands,” he said, according to a transcript provided by British officials.

Signaling a growing commitment in Europe to addressing the dangers of nuclear proliferation and potential nuclear conflict, a group of 40 former European politicians and military officers issued a statement endorsing the goal of the Washington conference.

They also said nuclear dangers cannot be contained by addressing the terrorist threat alone. The nuclear powers need to disarm faster, they said, and countries that have not yet signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty — including the United States — must do so.

“This is not just a concern for those fearing a nuclear terrorist attack,” the Europeans’ statement said. “Any major nuclear security incident anywhere is likely to derail the civil nuclear renaissance everywhere.”

There were few signs of dissent among the summit participants.

On the sidelines of the conference, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “very content with the progress” in the talks. “This is a first, important step to react to new, so far unknown threats,” Merkel said, according to the German news agency DAPD.

In advance of the summit, experts cautioned against the leaders merely endorsing existing international agreements and not taking new initiatives.

Kenneth N. Luongo, president of the Partnership for Global Security, worried that the conference — the first of its kind — might prove to be long on hype and short on action, given what he called entrenched bureaucratic and technocratic interests and differing views on the urgency of the threat of nuclear terrorism.

“Allowing the nuclear summit to become an opportunity just to endorse and modestly strengthen the status quo would be extremely disappointing and potentially very dangerous,” he wrote in advance of the conference.

Renowned Islamic scholar Dr Israr Ahmed is dead

LAHORE: The world of Islam lost a luminary early on Wednesday as Dr. Israr Ahmed breathed his last in Lahore, Pakistan. He died of a massive cardiac arrest, according to media reports. (Ina Lillah wa In alhey Rajahoun)

Subh Chamman main aik yahee Aftab thaEs  kay jased  khaki ko  ehzaz  say   utha 

 

 

A veteran Islamic scholar, Dr. Israr was suffering from back pain and heart disorders for a long time. His funeral prayers will be held on Wednesday in Lahore.

Dr. Israr was the head and founder of Tanzeem-e-Islami. He had a huge following in Pakistan, India and Gulf countries, especially in Saudi Arabia.

A medical doctor by profession, Dr. Israr was one of the founding members of the Jamaat-e-Islami.

He was popular for his lectures and TV debates over current Islamic issues and his grasp over Islamic history made him a front-ranking scholar of Islam but could not attain a due recognition in sect ridden society of Pakistan.