"Like the fake Taliban, the whole war in Afghanistan and Iraq is based on lies; these warrant war crimes against all those who have been the initiators of this destruction of mankind." Raja Mujtaba
By Sajjad Shaukat
Some strategic thinkers say that Pakistan is under siege, while some others opine that there is external conspiracy against the integrity of the country. In fact, foreign elements have intensified their plot against Pakistan, which could be assessed from the fake Taliban leader.
In this connection, on November 23, 2010, The New York Times reported, “A man it had described as a Taliban leader who had taken part in secret peace talks with the Afghan government was in fact an impostor…the man had held three meetings with NATO and Afghan officials but those US officials had confirmed…they had given up hope, he was the leader identified as Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour.”
The New York Times explained, “The fake Taliban leader, whose identity is not known, may have been dispatched by the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI…elements within the ISI have long played a “double-game” in Afghanistan, reassuring United States officials that they are pursuing the Taliban, while at the same time providing support for the insurgents.”
The paper further said, “The fake Taliban leader even met with President Hamid Karzai, having been flown to Kabul on a NATO aircraft and ushered into the presidential palace.”
In this regard, The Washington Post also reported that two senior Afghan officials believed the man was a “lowly shopkeeper” from Quetta (Balochistan). But the Post also confirmed his meeting with the Afghan President Hamid Karzai. On the other hand, Karzai denied that his government had met anyone named Mansour.
A Western diplomat said the Afghan man was initially given a sizable sum of money to take part in the talks—and to help persuade him to return.
On the other side, Taliban leadership indicated that there are no such talks at all. In a recent message to his followers, Mullah Omar denied that there were any talks unfolding at any level. The message said, “The cunning enemy which has occupied our country, is trying, on the one hand, to expand its military operations on the basis of its double-standard policy and, on the other hand, wants to throw dust into the eyes of the people by spreading the rumors of negotiation.”
However, plot behind the fake Taliban leader Mansour cannot be seen in isolation as it coincides with a number of developments against Pakistan. In this regard on November 24, a US court has issued summons to senior ISI officials including its Chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha, along with Mumbai attack masterminds and leaders of Lashkar-i-Taiba, Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi in response to a lawsuit filed by relatives of two American victims accusing them of providing material support for the 26/11 attacks of Mumbai.
The 26-page lawsuit accusing ISI of aiding and abetting LeT regarding the deaths of 166 people was filed before a New York Court on November 19. Nevertheless, in an unprecedented step, the UScourt has summoned ISI chief to appear before it during 26/11, anniversary.
In this respect, Pakistan has reacted by saying that dragging the ISI into the Mumbai terror attacks in any manner was “not only not fair, but also preposterous instead.” Foreign Office Spokesperson Abdul Basit pointed out that a trial against the seven accused in the Mumbai terror siege is underway, and that Pakistan is committed to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice.”
Inter-related developments against Pakistan can be judged from the fact that at the same time, India has also accelerated its campaign against Islamabad in connection with the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage. In this context, on November 25, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that substantive and verifiable progress has not been made by Pakistan—on bringing all the perpetrators and masterminds of the heinous attacks to justice.
As a matter of fact non-state actors are present in whole of the region from India and Afghanistan to the Indian-occupied Kashmir. And it was proved that these non-sovereign entities were responsible for the Mumbai catastrophe and Pakistan had no official involvement.
Notably, Islamabad had demanded from New Delhi information and progress in relation to a serving Lt. Col. Srikant Purohit along with other army officials involved in bombing of Samjhota express, which brunt alive 69 Pakistanis. But India has sent no reply in that regard.
Recall, on April 6, 2008 in the house of Bajrang Dal fundamentalists in Nanded, a bomb went off. The investigations proved that the militants belonging to the Bajrang Dal were found in the bomb-making and attack on a mosque in Parbhani in 2003. Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra arrested Lt. Col. Purohit including other army officials, indicating that they were helping in training the Hindu terrorists, providing them with the military-grade explosive RDX, used in the Malegaon bombings and terrorist attacks in other Indian cities. ATS further disclosed that Lt. Col. Purohit confessed that in 2007, he was involved in bombing of Samjhota express. But Leaders of the Indian extremist parties, Shiv Sena, BJP, VHP and RSS are now pressurising the Congress regime to release the culprits.
It is worth-mentioning that in the past few years, hundreds of Mumbai-like terrorist attacks have occurred in Pakistan, while the same continues intermittently. Although Indian secret intelligence agency, RAW has been sponsoring these terrorist events in Pakistan, yet Islamabad does not make much hue and cry in this respect.
Here it is also notable that American CIA-operated drones strikes continues unabated on Pakistan’s tribal areas. In this context, a writ petition must be filed in a court of Pakistan against the US President Obama and the ex-president Bush in connection with the deaths of many a persons through drones attacks.
It is mentionable that in the past, American and Indian high officials have always accused ISI regarding cross-border terrorism in the Indian-held Kashmir and Afghanistan in order to conceal their nefarious designs against Pakistan.
In this regard, on July 26, 2010, “the documents, made available by an organization called WikiLeaks, indicated a series of accusations against ISI in relation to alleged ties with the Afghan Taliban. The timings of the leakage of the reports were mentionable as US military and civil high officials including their media have been blaming ISI of supporting the Taliban militants, while reviving American old maxim to ‘do more’ against the insurgents in Pakistan.
Particularly, as regards ISI, present plot is part of the old blame game against this agency which is, in fact, the first defence line of our country in thwarting the conspiracies of foreign enemies against Pakistan. That is why, it has become special target of America, India and Israel which cannot tolerate the only ‘nuclearised’ Pakistan in the Islamic World.
It is noteworthy that the misdeeds of anti-ISI agencies are well-known to everyone. In this connection, Ramzi Yousaf who was well-aware of the activities of the American and Israeli secret agencies had stated in the US court in 1997, “You are butchers, liars, and hypocrites. You keep on talking about terrorism to the media, but behind closed doors you support terrorism”.
In fact, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad with the help of strong Indo-Israeli lobbies are working in America and other European countries against the interests of Pakistan. These lobbies are well-penetrated especially in the US administration and intelligence agencies. They have played a key role in preparing the fake Taliban leader, Muhammad Mansour in order to malign Pakistan and to intensify their blame game against ISI.
In the end, it is of particular attention that the US President Obama is likely to visit Pakistan in February next year. So before that occasion, RAW and Mossad want to distort the image of Pakistan with the tactical support of CIA as the US is playing a double game with Islamabad. Nonetheless, plot behind fake Taliban leader is part of all inter-related developments against Pakistan.
Sajjad Shaukat is a regular writer for Opinion Maker. He writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.