The Sneaking US Occupation Of Islamabad
Pakistan was reported to have expelled the head of an American NGO providing cover to Blackwater operations on Pakistani soil. Now this deported American, Crag Davis, is back in Pakistan. And he is not alone. Close to 2,000 Hummers have arrived at a Pakistani port that are not destined for Afghanistan. The world's biggest US embassy is under construction in Islamabad. As if this is not enough, the US embassy has hired a huge number of houses across the Pakistani capital to serve as unofficial local franchises. Welcome to the silent American occupation of Pakistan, with the blessing of the elected Pakistani politicians and a silent Pakistani military.
By SHIREEN M. MAZARI
Saturday, 29 August 2009.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was given orders to the contrary, press reports of August 6 show that its spokesman, Mr. Basit, on August 5, at the Karachi Press Club, had already given out the fact of the 1,000 US Marines coming to Pakistan for the protection of the new, imperial US embassy in Islamabad.
Now we are seeing houses being barricaded for US personnel all across the capital and we know of the 300 plus 'military trainers' already ensconced in Tarbela.
In addition we have the notorious Blackwater (now hiding under a new label, Xe Worldwide) and the rather obvious CIA front-company, Creative Associates International, Inc. (CAII), operating not only in Peshawar but now in Islamabad also it transpires – and a recent reflection of this was the sealing off of the road in Super Market [a stone throw away from the houses of senior Pakistani officials] last week right in front of a school!
Whatever the US embassy gives out or the terrified Pakistani leadership echoes, the reality is that there is a questionable and increasingly threatening US armed presence in Pakistan and this may be augmented soon by an ISAF/NATO presence. Incidentally, to add to the suspicions of the US presence, reports are coming in of around 3,000 Hummer vehicles, fully loaded, awaiting transportation from Port Qasim.
Will some of these go to the Pentagon's assassination squads, who may take up residence in some of the barricaded Islamabad houses and with whom the present US commander in Afghanistan was directly associated? Ordinary officials at Pakistani airports have also been muttering their concerns over chartered flights flying in Americans whose entry is not recorded – even the flight crews are not checked for visas and so there is now no record-keeping of exactly how many Americans are coming into or going out of Pakistan. Incidentally the CAII's Craig Davis who was deported has now returned to Peshawar! And let us not be fooled by the cry that numbers reflect friendship since we know what numbers meant to Soviet satellites.
Govt. Selling Pakistan's Agri Land To Foreigners
Now another threat, in the making for some time, is becoming more overt. Pakistan's precious and fertile agricultural land is up for grabs to the highest foreign bidder. Pakistan is not alone in being targeted thus by rich countries with little or no food resources. The UN has already condemned this purchase of agricultural land as a form of neo-colonialism. Over the past five years in a hardly-noticed wave of investment, rich agricultural land and forests in poor countries are being snapped up by buyers from cash-rich countries. Leading this grab of poor country resources are the rapidly industrialising states and the oil-rich countries who have, between 2006-2009, either directly through governments or through sovereign wealth funds and companies, already grabbed or are in the process of grabbing between 37 to 49 million acres of developing countries' farmland (a July 2009 report by Robert Schubert of Food and Water Watch).
Wealthy countries like Japan and South Korea are acquiring farmlands abroad for food security while oil-rich countries are seeking cheap water and cultivated crops to be shipped home. The land buyers from the oil-rich arid countries are seeking water as much as land because by buying or leasing land with sufficient water, they can divert their own domestic irrigation water to municipal water supplies.
The foreign land purchases destabilize food security since land given to foreign investors cannot be used to produce food for local communities – the foreign investors' intent being to take the food back to their own food-scarce countries. Many of the land purchases comprise tens of thousands of acres which are then turned into single-crop farms – and these dwarf the small-scale farms common in the developing world, where nearly nine out of ten farms (85 per cent) are less than five acres. Such land grabs have now been recognised as harming the local communities by dislodging smallholder farmers, aggravating rural poverty and food insecurity.
With Gulf countries importing 60 per cent of their food on average, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the investments into Asia and Africa to secure supplies of cereals, meat and vegetables. The rise in demand for food imports for the GCC comes at a time when exportable agricultural surplus worldwide has declined.
How does all this impact Pakistan? Pakistan has rich agricultural land and adequate water although the latter's distribution has been subject to political machinations. There has also been a seemingly deliberate effort by successive ruling elites to undermine the country's agricultural potential and nowhere is this more brazenly evident than at present with power outages preventing crucial water supply through tubewells; and many rich lands being converted into housing colonies! Then we have had artificially created sugar and wheat shortages – 'artificial' because for the last few years our wheat and sugarcane crops have been bountiful. As for the wonderful local fruit, that is also being diverted to feed external populations through exports that are not only depriving the locals of their land's bounty but also raising local prices so only the rich elite can consume what is left.
Now it has come out that we are selling land to the Gulf states, thereby undermining our local agriculture further. Abraaj Capital and other UAE entities have acquired 800,000 acres of farmland in Pakistan (we have learnt no lessons from the sale of the KESC and the PTCL). Qatar Livestock is investing $1 billion in corporate farms in Pakistan. But all this produce will be taken out, so the argument that this foreign investment will bring in new technologies into our agricultural sector does not hold. In any case, one does not have to sell one's land to foreign forces to acquire new technology which is available in the open market and the government can help local farmers acquire it.
Not surprisingly, the Gulf countries are pleased with Pakistan's rulers bending over backwards to accommodate their needs at the expense of the ordinary Pakistani – for none of the food produced on these lands will be available cheaply for Pakistanis; it will go to feed the Gulf populations. Gulf countries are happy because their imported food bill will cost 20-25 per cent less, positively impacting on their present high inflation rate. We may import this food from them for a price, just as our government has now decided to import sugar from the UAE. Of course the UAE itself imports sugar so the absurdity should be abundantly clear to all, including our profiteers!
In the visibly servile mindset of our leaders, instead of offering incentives on a similar scale to local farmers, Islamabad is offering legal and tax concessions, with legislative cover, to foreign investors in the form of specialized agricultural and livestock 'free zones' and may also introduce legislation to exempt such investors from government-imposed tax bans. The most worrisome aspect of such wheeling-dealing is the government's decision to develop a new security force of 100,000 men spread across the four provinces to ensure stability of the Arab investments. This will cost the Pakistani state around $2 billion in terms of training and salaries and the real fear is that this force will be used to forcibly eject local small farmers from their lands. Concerns have been further heightened because no labour laws will be applicable to corporate agricultural companies and there will be no sales tax or customs duties on import of agricultural machinery by these investors. Nor will their dividends be taxed and 100 per cent remittances of capital and profits will be permitted. So where is there even an iota of advantage for the ordinary Pakistani as opposed to the rulers?
With the US increasingly occupying Pakistan with their covert and overt armed presence, and the Gulf states taking over our rich agricultural lands our rulers are voluntarily making us a colony again – as we were under the British who used our men to fight their wars and our cheap labor to ship the finished produce back to Britain!
Have we come full circle after 62 years of our creation?
This article is extracted from the original published by The News International on Aug. 26, 2009. Dr. Mazari can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2007-2009. All rights reserved. AhmedQuraishi.com & PakNationalists. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
War is suicidal, let’s go for talks: Qureshi
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Says Pakistan dismayed over Manmohan’s statement
By Mariana Baabar
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday hit out hard at statements issued by India, as Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi warned New Delhi that a war would be suicidal.
“War is suicidal. When war is not an option, the only option left is talks,” he said while talking to newsmen at the Foreign Office here.The minister was asked to comment on a statement made in Barmer, in which Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had said relations with Pakistan were not conducive for the two sides to have talks at any level.
Earlier in New Delhi, Indian National Security Adviser MK Narayanan said people had tried to misinterpret the Sharm el-Sheikh joint statement and stressed that India would not resume the composite dialogue process until it saw concrete evidence that Pakistan had acted against terrorism.
Qureshi, while commenting on Manmohan Singh’s statement, admitted that he had not seen it. He, however, expressed his shock and dismay. “Then what about Sharm el-Sheikh? If there is to be no dialogue, then where are we heading?” he said.
“India told us that it was scared of more attacks, but when we ask them for information, they do not give it to us. Then you say no talks. What is the way out? Pakistan is not suffering from any inferiority complex, but for the sake of regional prosperity, we have to engage ourselves.”
When asked why in his opinion India was making these statements on the eve of meetings between the two foreign secretaries and the foreign ministers, Qureshi said it seemed that the Indian domestic politics was playing a major role in this regard.
“For example, a former Indian foreign minister writes a book. You can say you do not agree with it or intellectually challenge it. (The reaction to Jaswant Singh’s book) shows a certain mindset. They are falling prey to this. Who has the positive approach? Mumbai (attacks) were sad, very sad and I condemn them, but then what is the way out?
“Should we then give our agenda to terrorists? Where is the leadership (in India)? Politicians find ways out of blind alleys. What more can I say?” Qureshi added. Responding to a query about the reluctance of India to agree to a date for the foreign secretary-level talks, he said: “Why feel shy? We have written to the Indian foreign secretary and I shared this in the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FODP) meeting that Pakistan was willing to engage.
“This meeting was agreed upon by the two foreign ministers and (Indian) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was committed to dialogue. Responsibilities have been given to the foreign ministers for a meeting, but there has been no response from India.”
He said this clearly showed that Pakistan wanted to engage. “We are ready to sit face to face, as we know how to argue our case and how to talk,” Qureshi said. Replying to another question, he said Pakistan had no qualms about the foreign secretaries meeting in a third country.
“We have no issue with a third venue. We are happy to receive the Indian foreign secretary in Islamabad. But if it is a third place, so be it,” he said. Answering a query, Qureshi said as far as the policy on India was concerned, there was unanimity of opinion among all the major political parties in Pakistan.
“All views are identical and there is a consensus on the way forward and how to deal with India,” he said. Asked about Pakistan’s position on India’s claims that its nuclear tests were unsuccessful, he said this was being claimed by the Indian media. “I have no knowledge and do not know whether this is correct. We will wait and see, but we do not have to react prematurely,” he said.
Spy vs spy
Friday, August 28, 2009
By By Shakeel Anjum
ISLAMABAD: Brig (retd) Imtiaz Ahmed is an American agent planted by the American agencies mainly to defame the Pakistani intelligence agencies, former director Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Malik Mumtaz Ahmad said on Thursday.
While addressing a press conference, he said after having played a key role in toppling the Benazir government in 1990, Brig Imtiaz was now bent on destabilising the present government.
Malik Mumtaz claimed that he had informed the then prime minister Benazir Bhutto through her special secretary (security) of the conspiracy plan ‘Midnight Jackal’ of Brig (retd) Imtiaz and Maj (retd) Amar. She contacted the then Army chief Gen Aslam Baig but he had denied.
Malik Mumtaz claimed that Benazir had sent her interior minister Nasirullah Khan Babar to Aslam Baig but the Army chief had again denied the report, asking him to produce evidence about the conspiracy.
“He is playing in the hands of American agencies to destabilise the political system,” Malik Mumtaz averred. “He is opposing Mian Nawaz Sharif to get entrance in the PPP camp,” he added.
He appealed to the Supreme Court to take suo moto notice against Brig Imtiaz and reopen his corruption cases. He claimed Brig Imtiaz’s “anti-state activities” were creating confusion in the political system.
The former FIA chief alleged Brig Imtiaz had collected illegal wealth during his tenure as IB head. Malik said that a corruption case was lodged with the FIA after the brigadierís removal during the Benazir government. However, the FIA did not pursue the case in the court, and, consequently, it was dismissed.
Malik said Brig Imtiaz made 27 valuable properties and a heavy account in a bank of London, adding, he got himself freed from the cases by using his influence during the Nawaz government in 1997.
The second case of corruption against Brig Imtiaz was registered by the Account Appellate Bureau chairman in 2000, Malik said, adding that the detailed list of his properties was attached with the petition. The properties included three houses and three commercial units in Islamabad as well as foreign exchange bearing certificates to the tune of Rs 20.8 million.
He said a court sentenced Brig Imtiaz to eight years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 7 million, also confiscating his assets. The court disqualified him for ten years for holding any public office or statutory or local authority. But he, taking advantage of the NRO, managed to retake his property.
Malik disclosed that before his “retirement at fault” from the Army in 1988, Brig Imtiaz had declared his total asset as a two-kanal plot at the Lahore Cantt Officers Society (Phase-II) and a 2,000-square-yard plot in the Defence Housing Society, Karachi. He questioned how Imtiaz made property worth billions of rupees as IB chief.
7th october 2008?
Conspiracies against Pakistan
Pakistan is passing through one of the most crucial periods of its 61-year history. The situation in NWFP and tribal areas is apparently going out of control with each passing day. Following is a piece by Mr. Ahmad Qureshi on this situation and he has given his point of view and analysis. We invite write-ups and comments on this subject from experts on the subject and the people who have an opinion on this crisis situation and how they see the available options for Pakistan. Write-ups should be concise and thought provoking.
Land of conspiracies
By Ahmed Quraishi
In a recent email exchange, one of the ideological founders of the country's largest left-oriented parties said that he believed that the "core strategic objective of the US" was to "establish its control over the Pakistan Army – to weaken it when it is strong and strengthen it when it is weak but maintain total control over it." He went on to say that the only long-term potent weapon that the Pakistan Army has is "the support of the people of Pakistan". The support General Kayani received from the people on the few words he said about not allowing foreigners to violate the territory of Pakistan is extremely significant."
This is where the defeatist stance of Pakistan's elected government on US belligerence becomes inexplicable. Gen Kayani does not need votes. Those who do need them are wasting a perfect opportunity to earn more of them. That is why Prime Minister Gilani's statement saying 'Pakistan can't wage war with US' comes as a shock. Even if true, why would the prime minister say this because it only serves to deprive Pakistan of the strategic psychological impact created by the army chief's warning.
America has been a duplicitous ally during the past seven years, using Pakistani cooperation on Afghanistan to gradually turn that country into a military base to launch a sophisticated psychological, intelligence and military campaign to destabilize Pakistan itself.
In one sign of the grand double game, despite poor relations with Iran, Washington has encouraged Karzai and the Indians to complete the construction of a road that links Afghanistan to an Indian-built Iranian seaport. The purpose is to end the dependence of both the US army and the Karzai regime on Pakistan. The recent demonization of Pakistani intelligence agencies is a pretext.
Apologists for the US position need to understand that Pakistan has a legitimate right to protect it interests in the region. Everyone does. The problem is not our intelligence agencies. It is how Washington deliberately trampled on the legitimate interests of its ally in favour of strengthening the position of our competitors. Maybe, had the Americans been as considerate to us as we have been to them, our spies wouldn't have needed to re-establish contacts with the militants. If we are doing this, it is protect our interest.
Pessimists fear that if our military tries to block US border violations, there is a possibility of armed conflict. Also, in case of conflict, Washington is expected to signal to India to open a front in the east to divert Pakistani military resources. But Pakistan is not without options. In fact, the Pakistani position is stronger than what it appears to be. Islamabad can activate old contacts with a resurgent and rising Afghan Taliban inside Afghanistan. The entire Pakistani tribal belt will seize this opportunity to fight the Americans. There is a possibility that Pakistani tribesmen could cross the border in large numbers using secret routes to dodge aerial bombardment and join the Afghan Taliban and find their way to Kabul. The misguided and suspicious 'Pakistani Taliban' – whom the NWFP governor has described on Sept 12 as an extension of the US military in Afghanistan – will also come under pressure of the tribesmen and will be forced to target the occupation forces instead of fighting the Pakistani government and people.
But the situation between Islamabad and Washington does not have to come to this. Islamabad can help tip the scales in Washington against the hawks who want a war with Pakistan. Not all parts of the US government accept this idea and this must be exploited. Pakistan must make it clear that it will retaliate.
US military posturing aside, Washington has recently seen a string of diplomatic defeats. Russia has cut American meddling in Georgia to size. In Iraq, a coalition of Shia parties is forcing the Americans to set a timetable for departure. And both Bolivia and Venezuela have expelled US ambassadors, and, in Bolivia's case, the world has suddenly become alert to Washington's intrusive meddling in that country's domestic politics and the role of the US ambassador in fuelling separatism. This is not very different from the US role inside Pakistan, where American diplomats have caused political chaos by directly engaging the politicians.
The only way to entrap Pakistan now is to either orchestrate a spectacular terrorist attack on the mainland US and blame it on Pakistan, or to assassinate a high profile personality inside Pakistan and generate enough domestic strife to scuttle military resistance to US attacks. It's called realpolitik.
American NGO Covers For Blackwater In Pakistan?
Reports suggest Pakistan has expelled a US Blackwater mercenary, but Pakistanis ask, 'Who rules our streets, the Pakistani government or the Americans?' And who let them in?
In May, a US diplomat was caught arranging a meeting between a suspected Indian spy and senior Pakistani officials in the privacy of her house. In June when Pakistani officials confronted Washington with evidence that terrorists in Pakistan were using sophisticated American weapons, US media quickly leaked stories about American weapons missing from the US-trained Afghan army. And now reports confirm that the dirty secret arm of the US government – the mercenaries of Blackwater – have infiltrated sensitive regions of Pakistan. Blackwater works as an extension of the US military and CIA, taking care of dirty jobs that the US government cannot associate itself with in faraway strategic places. The question: Who let them in? And who deported one of them, if at all?
By AHMED QURAISHI
Wednesday, 5 August 2009.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Three weeks ago a group of concerned Pakistani citizens in Peshawar wrote to the federal interior ministry to complain about the suspicious activities of a group of shadowy Americans in a rented house in their neighborhood, the upscale University Town area of Peshawar.
A NGO calling itself Creative Associates International, Inc. leased the house. CAII, as it is known by its acronym, is a Washington DC-based private firm. According to its Web site, the company describes itself as "a privately-owned non-governmental organization that addresses urgent challenges facing societies today … Creative views change as an opportunity to improve, transform and renew …"
The description makes no sense. It is more or less a perfect cover for the American NGO's real work: espionage.
The incorporated NGO is more of a humanitarian front that alternates sometimes for undercover US intelligence operations in critical regions, including Angola, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Gaza, and Pakistan. Of the 36 new job openings, the company's Web site shows that half of them are in Pakistan today. Pakistan is also at the heart of the now combined desperate effort by the White House-military-CIA to avert a looming American defeat in Afghanistan by shifting the war to its next-door neighbor.
In Peshawar, CAII, opened an office to work on projects in the nearby tribal agencies of Pakistan. All of these projects, interestingly, are linked to the US government. CAII's other projects outside Pakistan are also linked to the US government. In short, this NGO is not an NGO. It is closely linked to the US government.
In Peshawar, CAII told Pakistani authorities it needed to hire security guards for protection. The security guards, it turns out, were none other than Blackwater's military-trained hired guns. They were used the CAII cover to conduct a range of covert activities in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province.
The infamous Blackwater private security firm operates as an extension of the US military and CIA, taking care of dirty jobs that the US government cannot associate itself with in faraway strategic places. Blackwater is anything but a security firm. It is a mercenary army of several thousand hired soldiers.
Pakistani security officials apparently became alarmed by reports that Blackwater was operating from the office of CAII on Chinar Road, University Town in Peshawar. The man in charge of the office, allegedly an American by the name of Craig Davis according to a report in Jang, Pakistan's largest Urdu language daily, was arrested and accused of establishing contacts with 'the enemies of Pakistan' in areas adjoining Afghanistan. His visa has been cancelled, the office sealed, and Mr. Davis reportedly expelled back to the United States.
It is not clear when Mr. Davis was deported and whether there are other members of the staff expelled along with him. When I contacted the US Embassy over the weekend, spokesman Richard Snelsire's first reaction was, "No embassy official has been deported." This defensive answer is similar to the guilt-induced reactions of US embassy staffers in Baghdad and Kabul at the presence of mercenaries working for US military and CIA.
I said to Mr. Snelsire that I did not ask about an embassy official being expelled. He said he heard these reports and 'checked around' with the embassy officials but no one knew about this. "It's baseless."
So I asked him, "Is Blackwater operating in Pakistan, in Peshawar?"
"Not to my knowledge." Fair enough. The US embassies in Baghdad and Kabul never acknowledged Blackwater's operations in Iraq and Afghanistan either. This is part of low-level frictions between the diplomats at the US Department of State and those in Pentagon and CIA. The people at State have reportedly made it clear they will not acknowledge or accept responsibility for the activities of special operations agents operating in friendly countries without the knowledge of those countries and in violation of their sovereignty. Reports have suggested that sometimes even the US ambassador is unaware of what his government's mercenaries do in a target country.
Official Pakistani sources are yet to confirm if one or more US citizens were expelled recently. The government is also reluctant in making public whatever evidence there might be about Blackwater operations inside Pakistan. But it is clear that something unusual was happening in the Peshawar office of an American NGO. There is also strong suspicion that Blackwater was operating from the said office.
There are other things happening in Pakistan that are linked to the Americans and that increase the chances of Blackwater's presence here.
1. One of the largest US embassies – or military and intelligence command outposts – in the world is being built in Islamabad as I write this at a cost of approximately one billion US dollars. This is the biggest sign of an expansion in US meddling in Pakistan and a desire to use this country as a base for regional operations. Interestingly, US covert meddling inside Pakistan and nearby countries is already taking place, including in Russia's backyard, in Iran, and in China's Xinjiang.
2. A large number of retired Pakistani military officers, academics and even journalists have been quietly recruited at generous compensations by several US government agencies. These influential Pakistanis are supposed to provide information, analysis, contacts and help in pleading the case for US interests in the Pakistani media, in subtle ways. Pakistanis would be surprised that some prominent names well known to television audiences are in this list.
3. CIA and possibly Blackwater have established a network of informers in the tribal belt and Balochistan; there have also been reports of non-Pakistanis sighted close to sensitive military areas in the country. Considering the intensity and frequency of terrorist acts inside Pakistan in the past four years, there is every possibility that all sorts of saboteurs are having a field day in Pakistan.
4. Members of separatist and ethnic political parties have been cultivated by various US government agencies and quietly taken for visits to Washington and the CENTCOM offices in Florida.
The possibility of the existence of mercenary activities in Pakistan is strengthened by the following events:
5. Pakistani officials have in recent months collected piles of evidence that suggests that terrorists wreaking havoc inside Pakistan have been and continue to receive state of the art weapons and a continuous supply of money and trainers from unknown but highly organized sources inside Afghanistan. A significant number of these weapons is of American and Israeli manufacture. Indians have also been known to supply third-party weapons to terrorists inside Pakistan.
6. Some Pakistani intelligence analysts have stumbled on circumstantial evidence that links the CIA to anti-Pakistan terror activities that may not be in the knowledge of all departments of the US government. One thing is for sure, that CIA's operations in Afghanistan are in the hands of dangerous elements that are prone to rogue-ish behavior.
7. In May, a US woman diplomat was caught arranging a quiet [read 'secret'] meeting between a low-level Indian diplomat and several senior Pakistani government officials. An address in Islamabad – 152 Margalla Road – was identified as a venue where the secret meeting took place. The American diplomat in question knew there was no chance the Indian would get to meet the Pakistanis in normal circumstances. Nor was it possible to do this during a high visibility event. After the incident, Pakistan Foreign Office issued a terse statement warning all government officials to refrain from such direct contact with foreign diplomats in unofficial settings without prior intimation to their departments.
8. Pakistani suspicions about American foul play inside Pakistan are not new. On July 12, 2008 in a secret meeting in Rawalpindi between military and intelligence officials from the two countries these concerns were openly aired. The Americans accused ISI of maintain contacts with the Afghan Taliban. The Pakistani answer was that normal low-level contacts are maintained with all parties in the area. NATO and the Kabul regime were doing the same thing in Afghanistan. In return, the Pakistanis laid out evidence, including photographs, showing known terrorists meeting Indian and pro-US Kabul regime officials. Was the United States supporting these anti-Pakistan activities is the question that was posed to the US military and CIA.
9. Further back into history, in 1978 the ISI broke a spy ring made up of Pakistani technicians working for the nascent Pakistani nuclear program who were recruited by CIA. Pakistan chose not to raise the issue publicly but did so privately at the highest level in Washington.
Now there are reports that the Zardari-Gilani government is consulting Pakistan's Naval headquarters on a proposal to construct a US navy base on the coast of Balochistan. When things have reached this level of American meddling in Pakistan, Blackwater seems like a small issue. Some Pakistani analysts are of the view that elements within the Pakistani security establishment need to be very careful about where they intend to draw the red line for CIA operations in and around Pakistan.
© 2007-2009. All rights reserved. AhmedQuraishi.com & PakNationalists. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
UN in Collaboration with Government is Promoting Illegal Prostitution in Pakistan
Saturday, August 29, 2009
By OmEr Jamil
Sex awareness workshops are okie, but delivering in a way that appreciates the professions for prostitutes (whores) and encourages them to continue it with dignity- that too in a Muslim country with Islamic laws and constitutions where the profession and acts like such are not only prohibited by law but also punished- is I believe worth a thousands condemnations!
I agree with the point that such workshops for prostitutes and whores also provide sex-health-safety and HIV awareness to these personnel. Yes, the workshop might have created much awareness and done 90% good! But in this regard, the illegal and extra-martial sexual activities where Islam has a clear stance of activities like such being one among the greatest sins, this 10% of evil message leads to such an agenda that sums up the expressions and confidence of these whores to speak up and feel like “…now I can continue my profession with more confidence“
Like a friend on Facebooks said; ‘Someone considers Pakistan as favorite state for conducting first of its kind research workshop for Sex workers, War in favor of USA made Pakistan learn an enlightened way to live their life, this is truly not Danda Bardaar nor a people who demand something but just a little bit more freedom. These people are not extremists but well enlightened moderate Muslims, this will be told to us if we question or government may consider it as small misconduct. The flag of enlightened moderation is now openly raised by UN which is still not banned and will never suffer any until democracy or dictatorship rules the land.’
The workshop was organized by Sindh AIDS Programme, Government of Sindh in collaboration with the United Nations! Now they- the very United Nations- are trying to train these Pakistani whores as how to carry on their ill and illegal deeds more “professionally” and ‘”confidently”; a direct or indirect appreciation & support of an illegal profession of course is a violation of the state!
Prostitution is a crime. The question is why these women are being trained under government patronage to commit crime in a safe way. This is like training a robber to commit robbery in a safe way!!! Instead of teaching safe sex, the government should give them vocational training so that they could earn their livelihood with dignity!!!
Also, lets look at what Dr. Shahid Masood has to say on this: check video with upper link
Also, see this post on Haqeeqat.Org already:
Prostitution in the Islamic Nation of Pakistan
Now, lets please have a look as BBC explains the proceedings:
Lessons for Karachi sex workers
By Arman Sabir
Zeba Ramzan is a 28-year-old Pakistani sex worker. Born into the profession in Karachi’s red light district of Napier Road, she plies her trade all over the city. She is celebrating the launch of an initiative to promote health awareness among sex workers.
“We are now revealed to society,” says Ms Ramzan.
But prostitution remains illegal and anathema to many in Muslim-majority Pakistan. It is an ever-present fact of life, but never really acknowledged. The last two decades, given the increasing Islamisation of Pakistani society, have further reinforced stereotypes about such women. But the profession has only grown. Karachi alone has at least 100,000 female sex workers, according to data gathered by local welfare organisations. Lahore has 75,000 sex workers while the military garrison town of Rawalpindi has at least 25,000.
‘Spirit of openness’
Pakistan’s first workshop on health awareness among sex workers has contributed to a new spirit of openness in the profession.
“Earlier we were doing our jobs secretly, but now we can raise our voice for our rights,” Ms Ramzan says.
The three-day event was recently held in Karachi by Gender & Reproductive Health Forum (GRHF) – a local social welfare organisation – in collaboration with the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA).
“I am very happy that a number of sex workers attended the workshop,” says Ms Ramzan.
“This has provided us an opportunity to gather and exchange views and experiences.”
She is not the only one to have benefited.
“I became a sex worker five years back,” says Nadia, 26. Nadia said that she learned about safe sex measures at the workshop. “I had heard about HIV/Aids, but I thought that it could only be transmitted through blood transfusions. “I did not know that precautionary measures should be taken during sex as well,” she said. Before the workshop, most sex workers who attended did not know about measures for safe sex, Nadia added.
Dr Ghulam Murtaza, the head of the GRHF and the man behind the workshop, said the organisation was working to create awareness of safe sex among female sex workers. “It was very difficult to gather sex workers under one roof. Many were simply afraid of being arrested,” he said. “We offered several incentives and assurances and paid them 1,000 rupees ($20) per day for their attendance,” he said. “Finally, we succeeded in gathering almost 100 sex workers at the workshop held at a local hotel.”
Most of the sex workers who attended avoided the cameramen there, saying they were afraid of being exposed to their families.
Many said their husbands or family members did not know they were sex workers. They told their families that they worked for private firms.
Despite these barriers, Dr Murtaza said the workshop had been successful. “We have trained some female sex workers. They will now go to their community to create awareness among their co-workers.”
The international participants at the workshop were of the view that Pakistan was still relatively safe as far as HIV/Aids was concerned. The UNFPA representative, Dr Safdar Kamal Pasha, said at least 100 HIV-positive sex workers had been found in central Punjab. But the number of HIV-positive women was not high among female sex workers in Pakistan.
“It can be controlled by creating awareness about the disease among sex workers and about usage of precautionary measures,” he said.
The workshop was widely considered to be a success and Dr Pasha said they were considering organising a national convention for sex workers next year.
The sex workers themselves were moved by the workshop.
“Having attended the workshop, I feel reinvigorated,” Zeba Ramzan declares.
“I can now continue with my profession with more confidence.”