The Durrani Network: What Jihadi Generals Can Get Away With

Traitor stamp

Gen Musharraf has never been known for being tight lipped. Recently, he has been speaking openly to international media and admitting that Pakistan has been supporting the Taliban and other jihadi militant groups who Army sees as a useful proxy against Indian influence in Afghanistan while also cooperating with NATO. Musharraf says that Army is not playing a double game, but then admits the obvious: It is. “Pakistan’s interest comes first,” he said. “But is this also the interest of ISAF? I don’t know.” He doesn’t know if it is in the interest of ISAF for a frontline ally to support their enemy?

Musharraf’s confirmation of Army support for Taliban is particularly important in the context of facts revealed by Wikileaks documents a few years ago. One leaked document discusses the involvement of another former General, Hamid Gul, in supporting Taliban. According to one document, “It was not known whether Hamid Gul was acting with the knowledge or consent of ISI, or whether any portions of ISI were aware of his activities.” While the knowledge or consent of secret agencies will always be difficult to prove beyond any doubt, it would be fairly naive to believe that Hamid Gul’s pro-Jihad activities were done without at least tacit approval of the Army leadership. Hamid Gul has described himself as “an ideologue of jihad“. It is increasingly apparent that he is not the only General who subscribes to this ideology.

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A Familiar Tune

Gen Raheel with Secretary Kerry in Washington

Much fanfare was made of COAS Gen Raheel’s recent trip to Washington, with even the supposedly independent Express Tribune publishing an embarrassingly sycophantic editorial praising the Army chief’s trip. Now that the celebrations have died down, more sober assessments are finding nothing to write home about. One analyst noted that the trip had a sense of deja vu around it, and he is correct. Even the General’s much touted “Legion of Merit” award from the US appears to be little more than diplomatic theatre. Six of the last eight recipients were high-ranking Pakistani military officers including former COAS Gen Kayani. These diplomatic visits are always more about theatre than substance, though, so that is not surprising. What is more bothersome is the feeling of deja vu one is getting at home.

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Foreign Office Loses All Credibility With Response To Iran Crisis

Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesperson Tasnim Aslam

The Foreign Office has lost any remaining thread of credibility in response to heightening of tensions with Iran. On Friday, Iranian soldiers crossed the border into Pakistan and killed one Pakistani soldier and injuring three others. This came just days after the Iranian government threatened to hold Pakistan accountable for terrorists operating from within its borders. The immediate reaction from Pakistan was a stunned silence, with hours passing by and no response from ISPR. After some time, Foreign Office issued a statement demanding Iran to provide proof that there are any terrorists in Pakistan. At this point, the Foreign Office lost all credibility.

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Rashid Rehman’s Murder and the Banality of Evil

The most profound thing about the response to the murder of Rashid Rehman has been how muted it has been. The UN has condemned the brutal act, but the government has ignored international outcry demanding an investigation. The fact is, such an investigation does not serve the purposes of the national or Punjab governments. Rashid Rehman was killed for defending those accused of blasphemy, and that is not a particularly powerful political group. Religious extremists, however, are, and the Sharifs know it. This willingness to play realpolitik with those who believe they are justified to kill those who disagree with them has been the Nawaz Sharif’s undoing in the past, but it threatens to undo much more than just the current government.

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Out of the loop and into Global Jihad – Kamran Shafi

Once more, thank you to the writers of the Abbottabad Commission Report, every page, every para of which I have now read and every third of which lays the blame for the Abbottabad disgrace squarely on some agency or arm or institution of state or other — we don’t have to name ‘em, we KNOW ‘em!

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