South Asia : Insights [11.04.14]

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Pentagon, Headquarters of the United States Department of Defense

Pentagon, Headquarters of the United States Department of Defense

“Afghan – and India – focused militantscontinue to operate from Pakistan territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability. Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India’s superior military,” the Pentagon told the Congress in its latest report ‘Progress Towards Security and Stability in Afghanistan‘. 

The report cites the terrorist attack on the Indian consulate in Herat in Afghanistan in May, which came just ahead of Modi taking charge as the prime minister. 

“In May of this reporting period, the Indian consulate in Herat Province was attacked by a group of four heavily armed militants. The attack came three days prior to the swearing-in of the new Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Prime Minister Modi is perceived as being close to Hindu nationalist groups, a fact that may have played into the timing of the attack,” the Pentagon said.
“In June, the US department of state announced that the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba was responsible for the attack,’ it added. LET is a Pakistan-based terror group, closely associated with Hafiz Saeed, who India considers as the mastermind behind the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.  

Pentagon also suggested that Pakistan’s ‘relationships‘ with militant groups is detrimental to regional stability, especially in neighbouring Afghanistan.
“These relationships run counter to Pakistan’s public commitment to support Afghan-led reconciliation. Such groups continue to act as the primary irritant in Afghan-Pakistan bilateral relations,” the Pentagon said in its 100-page report. 

It further said that India continued to root for a stable and secure Afghanistan.
“India and Afghanistan signed a strategic partnership declaration in 2011, which formalised cooperation on governance, economics, commerce, education, public administration, and security and law enforcement,” the report said.”




Earlier Insights 

“And it (Pakistan’s armed forces) has made common cause with militant Islamists who it hoped would further its interests abroad—keeping India on edge to the south and sowing confusion in Afghanistan to the north in hopes of preventing anti-Pakistan forces growing there.
The country is now paying a terrible price for its sponsorship of foreign terror. It has spawned dozens of local extremist groups attacking Pakistan itself. Since 2001 nearly 50,000 Pakistanis have died in terror-related violence.
For a long time the generals refused to see the Islamists for the threat they are. Officers from the army’s spy wing, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), were probably involved in funding and planning deadly attacks in Mumbai in 2008 carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba.
… the army can always play a spoiling game, especially when it comes to relations with India. It makes no secret of despising Mr Sharif’s enthusiasm for a rapid normalisation of relations, and opposes a crucial free-trade deal. And even as Mr Sharif dreams of visa-less travel across the Indo-Pakistani border, after years of relative calm the ceasefire line in contested Kashmir has become hot again. The officers probably deserve some of the blame for that.”




“In the past a strong public rebuke from an army chief would have sparked panic among politicians. But a feisty judiciary and media appear to have made even the threat of a coup unthinkable.” 



“IT IS not true to say that Afghanistan lacks good-news stories. It’s just that they are not the kind to generate headlines: 8m children at school, two-fifths of them girls, compared with 1m when the Taliban were in power; a tenfold increase in those Afghans with access to basic health care; some 20m who own mobile phones; and proliferating television channels, radio stations and newspapers.

  … over 7m Afghans, about 60% of those eligible, appear to have voted, half as many again as in 2009. Around 35% of those who cast a ballot were women. … A vibrant and largely independent media reported with vigour and professionalism”

 



 
 

“১০ ট্রাক অস্ত্র আটকের কথা শুনে নীরব ছিলেন তত্কালীন প্রধানমন্ত্রী খালেদ জিয়া। প্রতিরক্ষা গোয়েন্দা মহাপরিদপ্তরের (ডিজিএফআই) মহাপরিচালক সাদিক হাসান রুমী তাঁকে অস্ত্র আটকের কথা জানিয়েছিলেন। রায় ঘোষণার সময় চট্টগ্রাম মহানগর দায়রা জজ এসএম মজিবুর রহমান তাঁর পর্যবেক্ষণ আজ বৃহস্পতিবার এসব কথা বলেন।
আদালত সূত্রে জানা গেছে, বিচারক রায়ের পর্যবেক্ষণে আরও বলেন, সাক্ষীদের জবানবন্দির ভিত্তিতে এ মামলায় হাওয়া ভবনের সম্পৃক্ততা পাওয়া গেছে। এনএসআইয়ের সাবেক মহাপরিচালক ব্রিগেডিয়ার জেনারেল আবদুর রহিমকে টাকা দিতে উইং কমান্ডার (অব.) সাহাব উদ্দিনের মাধ্যমে টাকা দেন এআরওয়াই গ্রুপ। এ গ্রুপের আবদুর রাজ্জাক ইউসুফের সঙ্গে পাকিস্তানের আইএসআই (ISI) য়ের যোগাযোগ ছিল বলেও পর্যবেক্ষণে বলা হয়েছে।
বিচারক আরও বলেন, ডিজিএফআইয়ের তত্কালীন মহাপরিচালক সাদিক হাসান রুমী সাক্ষ্য দেওয়ার সময় জানিয়েছিলেন, তিনি তত্কালীন প্রধানমন্ত্রী বিএনপি চেয়ারপারসন খালেদা জিয়াকে এ ঘটনা জানিয়েছিলেন। কিন্তু প্রধানমন্ত্রী এ কথায় তখন নীরব ছিলেন। এ ঘটনাও মামলায় এসেছে।”

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