Isha khan’s Weblog


CIA’s secret operations worldwide and drug money
February 23, 2009, 11:05 pm
Filed under: USA

CIA’s secret operations worldwide and drug money

By Farzana Shah
 
In Afghanistan US/NATO put blame on Taliban for the poppy cultivation in Afghanistan for financing their resistance to allied forces. Ironically, it was only in Taliban era when the world had seen a sharp decline in opium crop in Afghanistan. Taliban banned opium cultivation nationwide. A more important question is how and when this business of drug production and trafficking started in region? CIA has been using drug money since long to generate money to support its operations all over the world. It did not start in Afghanistan it was brought here after experimenting somewhere else.
This is something which is not a lead story in international media for obvious reasons despite the fact it is harming millions of lives around the globe.
 
1. CIA’s secret Operations
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on of the most active and dynamic intelligence setups in the world needs massive amount of money to carry on its clandestine operations all over the world. It has happened when CIA used local sources to conduct a coups, assassinations, regime change, etc. As US has a long history to support democracy by hook and crook measures, until and unless a dictator is ready to serve US interests to prolong its rule.
Operations like the one completed in Iran in 1953 to remove Prime Minister Mussadaq and backing Shah’s regime by using assets in civil society, or in Iraq in 1975 to arm Iraqi Kurds to destabilize Pre-Saddam in Iraq or more recently using its assets in Pakistan to pave the way of direct US intervention in Pakistan under pretext of hunting Al-Qaeda.
 
These kinds of operations need a lot of financial input. Usually CIA arranges revenue from its own means for this kind of operations where expenses can’t be predicted by any measure. Funds from Whitehouse always need a complete audit and detailed reports about usage of these funds. There are numerous occasions when CIA never shared details of operations with its own analytical wing nor with any other public office in Washington. Most of the time it is drug money that compensates these expenses.
 
CIA operations are not only single expenditure fulfilled by drugs there are also other deficiencies which are compensated with this money like financial institutes and banks in current financial crisis. UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa based in Vienna revealed that drug money often became the only available capital when the crisis spiraled out of control last year.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had found evidence that “inter bank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities,” Costa was quoted as saying. There were “signs that some banks were rescued in that way.”
 
It is not only CIA anymore in trade for using it as gold mine to finance its illegal operations all over the world but US economy also need some liquidity in its banks, it doesn’t matter if it is coming by drug trade.
2. Drug Production & Consumption
 
Afghanistan is the largest producer of heroin’s main ingredient; opium and opium is nothing new in this part of the world. In Afghanistan and FATA, Pakistan it is being produced since centuries; used as remedy for various diseases. Commercial production of opium began just during the Russian invasion in Afghanistan where it is estimated to produce some 8250 metric tons (Source: AmericanFreePress.net, November 24, 2008) of opium per year which makes 85% to 90% of the world’s supply of opium. This also contributes towards Afghan warlords’ wealth directly. This is what CIA brought to the region: Opium production without a brand name obviously. Today’s world opium production map is as under;
 
 

Left: Demand and trafficking of drugs globally. US is one of very high concentration drug trafficking territory thanks to Regan’s National Security Council who turned a blind eye towards South American cocaine socking into US in 1980 when CIA was backing all the drug traffickers of Contra movements in Nicaragua.

Markets for these drugs stretched world over from Western Europe to Far East, From Canada to Latin America and From China to Morocco, Africa. Profits related to this business also vary along with market’s location.

This business enriches not only the United States-friendly Afghan warlords but also elements of the Northern Alliance, the US key ally in the country. More disturbing is fact that this money also contributes in CIA’s operations against Pakistan as well.

3. Contra Movements (1980)

In Asia demand for heroin is more than any other drug but it is not the case world over. Cocaine is favorite drug which is consumed the most. Cocaine was nothing new in South American countries but it was only during Nicaraguan contra movements against the then dictator it got shoot up. It was again CIA’s regime change operation to bring “democracy” in Nicaragua. It was during this period when the whole region saw an unprecedented surge in cocaine trafficking in 1980. This has been investigated none other than but by CIA’s inspector general in later years.

Was CIA a part of this?

Answer is not only CIA was aiding these cocaine traffickers and money-launderers but Ronald Reagon’s National Security Council also turned a blind eye towards these drug trades despite the fact that later these very drug traffickers brought cocaine to mainland US. According to CIA’s inspector general report, published in online magazine The Consortium magazine, Oct. 15, 1998, it was Reagan’s National Security Council which cleared proven drug traffickers and CIA inspector general Frederick Hitz confirmed long standing.


Above: Armed men of Nicaragua insurgency during 1980, armed with CIA’s sport and financed by drug money.

Allegations of cocaine traffickers.

The NSC’s covert airline was the main transportation mean to do this trade in safest possible way.Most stunning part of all this contra movements and CIA involvement is methods these movements used to dismantle the then Nicaraguan government including bombing and killing of civilians and CIA withheld all evidence of contra crimes from Justice Department, the Congress and even its own analytical division just to conceal its connection with drug traffickers.

4.Afghanistan

As it is mentioned earlier that Afghanistan was not a hub of drug supply to world before Russian invasion in 1979. It was CIA once again to implement what it successfully implemented in Nicaragua in 1980. Now, Afghanistan is biggest contributor in drug production with its massive opium production.

Russian Afghan War (1979-1989)

CIA was not fully done with contra movements when Russia invaded Afghanistan in 1979 threatening the region with her expansionist design to gain control over Afghanistan and Baluchistan province of Pakistan to reach Arabian Sea. Pakistan decided to confront Russia inside Afghanistan to thwart communist designs. CIA found an opportunity in Afghanistan to settle its long standing duel with Russian for global dominion, after initial successes by Afghan fighters. CIA once again brought tested formula of drug to finance this war which it used in South America with only difference in prescription where cocaine was replaced with heroin. Poppy cultivation was nothing new to Afghan but it was level of production and demand created by international traffickers in the world which shocked many in vicinity of these poppy fields.

Profit gained by these drugs was main driving force behind all this trade and with heroin it was much more than what it was with cocaine. Ironically US and Europe became biggest markets of heroin prepared produced in Afghanistan.

Regan’s administration is also a common factor in both Afghan heroin trade and contra cocaine traffickers. Role of CIA in first Afghan war was not overt as it could provoke Russians in more direct retaliation albeit Cuban missile crisis of 1960s. To avoid that kind of hostility it was more suitable for CIA to have silent links with Afghan warlords and providing sources to grow poppy. “By the end of Russian invasion in 1989 Afghanistan was second largest opium production spot with 1350 Metric ton after notorious Golden Triangle including countries like Laos, Thailand, Burma and Vietnam which was producing 2645 Metric ton at that time leaving Latin America way behind with just 112 Metric ton”, as per US Drug Enforcement Administration.

Pre and Post Taliban Era (1994-2001)

In 1994 unrest and lawlessness in Afghanistan gave rise to Taliban. Motivated with their strict religious background and education they put ban on all kinds of drugs in territory under their control but this was not the cure for chronically infected Afghan economy and society. Non availability of any job market and strong hold of Northern Alliance of Northern part of country remained biggest challenge to these efforts to cut down poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. But despite all the challenges Talibans were able to put a serious cut on opium.

 

 


Above: A price comparison between Cocaine and Heroin. Despite low price of Afghan opium street price in end market in US is many times more than cocaine’s price in same market.

production in Afghanistan by start of 2001 when they were about to capture Northern Alliance’s strong hold Mazar-e-Sharif but post 9/11 scenario not only changed the geopolitical dynamics of the whole world but also destroyed the efforts of Taliban to control opium production.

 

Left: In year 2001, just before US/NATO invasion into Afghanistan, Taliban were able to cut down opium production by a decisive margin. This was also one of core reasons against Taliban along with other excuses. After year 2002, when Taliban were removed from power there is a historical increase in opium production in Afghanistan, money is going to pentagon to carry on Afghan and Iraq war despite a historical recession in US.

Recent Afghan Conflict (2002 – To date)

 

Afghanistan is leading opium production in world today but after the invasion of US in 2002 Afghanistan is also attributed to have largest heroin production in the world as well.

Without active support of Pentagon and CIA it is not possible to export drug prepared with more than 8000 metric tons of opium. US relations with Northern Alliance in Afghanistan after Taliban have given a free license to drug producers, traffickers. CIA and Pentagon both have their links to all these criminals in order to get supplies of the drugs and export it in US Army planes. It has been reported that CIA used US Army planes leaving Afghanistan carrying coffins which were filled with drugs instead of bodies.

To make sure undisturbed trade US appointed all Northern Alliance drug lords at key posts in Afghanistan and most prominent appointment was none other than President Hamid Karzai. Karzai’s brother, head of Kandahar’s provincial council is proven drug trafficker facilitating the transportation of heroin from Kandahar eastward through Helmand and out across the Iranian border.
There is no reason to believe that CIA is not aware of this but as it is all one big enterprise where Karzai is also a partner so no danger to his brother.

Bush administration pushed the level of poppy cultivation to next level in Afghanistan just to keep Wall Streets alive in crisis. Many top Bush administration’s officials were worried about growing influence of countries in Golden Triangle (Loas, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma) in Russian and Chinese drug markets. Like Oil in Iraq this was just another opportunity for the Bush administration to have some quick bucks.

Blames for using drugs to fight with NATO and US forces is always put on Taliban. But looking at areas of Taliban’s active zones one can easily understand where all this poppy cultivation is taking place. Taliban put ban on poppy when they were incharge of majority of Afghan territories and Kabul, the capital. Afghanistan was suffering worst economic crisis at that time but Taliban never went to build their economy with heroin trade. Now it is just ridiculous to blame Taliban to have vast fields of poppy and having enough peace and time to grow and process it into heroin and then trade it in Pakistan and Iran to dens it to destinations in Eastern Europe. Below is map of Afghanistan indicating high poppy cultivation provinces and it is quite evident that Taliban dominant.

 

Left: Ahmed Wali Karzai, appointed by his brother, President Hamid Karzai, to represent Kandahar province in Kabul.

According to media reports he is main player in exporting heroin and opium to European countries through Turkmenistan. Provinces like Kunar, Pektika,Paktya has low poppy cultivation and other provinces where all US/CIA supported warlords are holding key positions are growing most of opium crop. It was only after US invasion there was a 4400% increase in opium production.

US role in Afghan social debacle will go in history as described The Huffington Post on October 15, 2008 “When the history of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is written, Washington’s sordid involvement in the heroin trade and its alliance with drug lords and war criminals of the Afghan Communist Party will be one of the most shameful chapters.”

5. Pakistan: Indirect Victim of the CIA’s Drug business

Almost the whole world is affected by this drug trade but countries which lie in routes of drug traffickers are worst effected after the original drug markets. Countries like Pakistan are paying a very high price for US/CIA drug trade as there is a constant increase in drug addiction in Pakistan. Iran is another country which happens to be in route of international drug traffickers so it is also facing problem of smuggling of heroin and morphine from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Turkey and Europe. After US invasion of Afghanistan this route has become active manifold then it was previously.

Effects of this trade are not limited to drug usage only but it destroys the social fabric in a society and gives rise to street crimes in order to get some cash to buy drugs from street market. A more horrible outcome is spread of HIV virus among addicted persons when they share the injection syringes. This threat is increasing with each passing day as number of HIV positive is increasing.

Another disastrous effect it brought to Pakistan and Afghanistan other neighbours is serious law and order situation in bordering area of each country with Afghanistan. Combating this evil trade is not possible until a holistic effort is made by international community in this regards but its chances are bleak as this trade is needed by global imperialism (Israel, US, UK) more than ever before to give some support to their dying economies.


Above: Pakistan has become main artery in heroin trafficking route and it has a lot of implication on Pakistani security. Level of drug addicted also increased over the year due to high availability of drugs in street market. Afghanistan is main producer but Pakistan us where most of drugs are seized.

6. Conclusion

Under current situation it is very important for countries like Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Russia to think about how to put jinni of drug back to the bottle before international drug mafia takes over these countries by destroying their social norms and values.

CIA not only has a long history of having links with traffickers but also encouraging the drug trade to get its own interests served. CIA always encourages this trade even if it affected its own citizens like in Contra movements of 1980.

Afghanistan became leader in opium production and main hub for providing heroin and its main ingredient to whole world. All this happened under the control of champion of human rights US and its intelligence setup mainly CIA.

Situation is becoming more and bleaker unless Pakistan, China, Russia, Iran and Afghanistan governments start thinking about this trade and its far reaching affects on US economy and CIA’s funding. It is time when the whole region should become equivocal against this trade and ask US to leave the region for greater good of the billions of people in region.

http://asiantribune.com/?q=node/15709

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Racism and Religious Desecration as US Policy
February 23, 2009, 12:56 pm
Filed under: Muslims, USA

Racism and Religious Desecration as US

 Policy:Islamophobia, a Retrospective

 
By TRISH SCHUH
It was the potshot heard round the world that touched off a counter-crusade. Packaged in western free speech cliches, and marketed as innocent satire, the newspaper Jylland-Posten’s depiction of the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist/suicide bomber with a ticking bomb for a turban was “provocation-entrapment” propaganda. Dual-use entertainment, in this case frivolous caricature, is an unexamined aspect of “full spectrum information dominance.” The US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s “Information Operations Roadmap” mandates that ‘information warfare’ utilize all cultural venues to further its agenda- news, posters, books, movies, art, internet, and music etc.
 
Can comedy be far behind? At recent CIA training sessions in Dubai, Iranian opposition agent provocateurs were taught the importance of mockery and ridicule when used to discredit and ‘demythologize’ an enemy or incite against it. Even populist actions like grafitti “could embolden the student movement and provoke a general government crackdown, which could then be used as a pretext to ‘spark’ a mass uprising that appeared to be spontaneous.” (Asia Times, Mar 14, 06). Such provocation tactics operated in the cartoon intifada, as well as in US Embassy-coordinated “color revolutions”.

As a free speech crusader, Flemming Rose, Jyllands-Posten’s editor behind the Muhammad cartoons (and ally/author of a Daniel Pipes profile “The Threat from Islam”), had earlier refused to publish denigrating cartoons of Jesus, fearing it would “offend readers.” Jylland-Posten also rescinded sponsorship of a Holocaust cartoon contest for the same reason. Kurt Westergaard, Jylland-Posten’s ‘Muhammad bomb’ illustrator even transcribed a Koranic verse onto Muhammad’s turban to reinforce his message. Westergaard later admitted to The Herald of Glasgow, Scotland that “terrorism” which he said got “spiritual ammunition” from Islam was the inspiration for that message.

If propaganda is a weapon of war, Islam is under carpet bombing. Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels described the methods, which define those used today: “Concentrating the fire of all the media on one particular point- a single theme, a single enemy, a single idea- the campaign uses this concentration of all media, but progressively…”
 
Theme: “War on Terror” Enemy: Muslims. Addressing the 2006 AIPAC “Now is the Time to Stop Iran” Conference, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Daniel Gillerman summarized the Idea: “While it may be true- and probably is- that not all Muslims are terrorists, it also happens to be true that nearly all terrorists are Muslim.” Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami put it another way: “the West needs an enemy, and this time it is Islam. And Islamophobia becomes part of all policies of the great powers, of hegemonic powers.”

Is Islamophobia de facto state policy? Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi declared in 2001 that Western civilization is superior to the Islamic World: “We should be confident of the superiority of our civilization, which consists of a value system that has given people widespread prosperity in those countries that embrace it, and guarantees respect for human rights.” He added that this superiority entitled the West to “occidentalize and conquer new people.” Another Italian official MP Roberto Calderoni flaunted his Muhammad cartoon T-shirt on TV, warning of a an “Islamic attack on the West.” French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy pronounced Muslim immigrants “gangrene” and “scum,” and one Danish MP labeled Muslims “a cancer in Denmark.”

 
In America, Illinois Congressman Mark Kirk commented: “I’m okay with discrimination against young Arab males from terrorist-producing states.” Texas Congressman Sam Johnson bragged to a crowd of veterans that he had advised Bush to nuke Syria, and Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo advocated wiping out Mecca to get even with Muslims for terrorist attacks. Recently the Bush administration itself revealed its plans to “nuke Iran” with bunker buster bombs.

Zionist Daniel Pipes, a representative at the Congress-sponsored think tank US Institute for Peace, (who was appointed by Bush despite heavy public protest against Pipe’s racism) recently diagnosed Muslims as carriers of a sinister, latent psychopathic contagion: “Individuals may appear law-abiding and reasonable, but they are part of a totalitarian movement, and as such, all must be considered potential killers… This is what I have dubbed the Sudden Jihad Syndrome, whereby normal-appearing Muslims abruptly become violent. It has the awful but legitimate consequence of casting suspicion on all Muslims. Who knows whence the next jihadi? How can one be confident a law-abiding Muslim will not suddenly erupt in a homocidal rage?”

 
Muslims’ angry reactions to the cartoon provocation unwittingly served a goal of Pipe’s Anti-Islamist Institute: “the delegitimation of the Islamists. We seek to have them shunned by the government, the media, the churches, the academy and the corporate world.” For once, Israel, America and Europe were united to protect civilization’s free speech virtues against “crazed, rampaging”, “dirty arabs” or, as Pipes himself once remarked, “brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and not exactly maintaining Germanic standards of hygiene.”
 
I asked Pipes about the systemic racism and Muslim/Arab ‘terrorist’ stereotypes in the US media. Pipes said: “I would strongly, strongly disagree. There is an enormous amount of media that is very, very positive about Muslims, an enormous amount. I see it everyday. There is a steady stream of media that is very positive about Muslims- steady, steady, steady. I see it everyday- all the time…” When persistently pressed to name five positive stories or Muslim role models among this plethora of good news- authors, academics, lawyers, celebrities etc. Pipes could not give a single example. But he easily supplied numerous names of prominent Arab Americans allegedly ‘linked’ to terrorism.
 
Despite disclaimers, bigoted, hideous and contemptuous anti-Muslim content continues unabated: hooded corpses in Abu Ghraib displayed by jovial “thumbs up” troops, force-fed hunger strikers at Guantanamo (who Donald Rumsfeld wisecracked were “on a diet”), refugee camps flattened, Palestinians starving, taunts of “Taliban lady boys” after US troops had set fire to Afghan bodies, ubiquitous car bombings, wedding parties crushed, mosques massacred, civilians attacked with cluster bombs and daisy cutters. Depleted uranium mutating future generations, and a thousand Iraqi pilgrims stampeded to death in an hour… In the midst of which President Bush pantomimed & joked about missing WMD’s to an applauding, jeering Radio & Television Correspondents Association that call themselves a press corp. Antics befitting a noncombatant President who greeted the initial bombing of Iraq with pumped fists: “I feel good!” (BBC) “See in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.” (George W Bush, 5/24/05)
 
This state-sponsored smirking has trickled down to spawn a climate of recreational cruelty in the US military. Reflecting anti-Muslim propaganda while perpetuating it, is the “Rumsfeld Contingent” of the armed forces. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, Lt. Gen. William Jerry Boykin propagated hate at the grassroots level in dozens of speeches to church groups, saying that the war on terror was actually spiritual warfare, with the enemy ‘Satan’ being embodied by Islam. Speaking of God versus Allah he said: “Well, you know what I knew, that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol.” Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld defended Boykin, so it was unsurprising that after Abu Ghraib crimes erupted Boykin found “no pattern of misconduct.”
 
Dropping down the chain of command, Marine Corp Lt. Gen. James Mattis’s comments were caught by AP. “Actually, it’s a lot of fun to fight. You know it’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right upfront with you, I like brawling.” Drawing on the ‘Muslim misogynist’ stereotype, Mattis added that Muslim men were wife-beaters and continued: “You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of alot of fun to shoot them.” Some troops on the ground echoed this “raghead” ethos as they shot Iraqis.
 
Or shot down their sacred symbols. In May, 2005, worldwide Muslim reaction compelled Newsweek to retract a story about US interrogators flushing the Koran down a toilet at Guantanamo Bay. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld maintained that the revelation was not true, and demanded that Newsweek explain to the Muslim world “the care that the US military takes” to respect Islamic beliefs.
 
But such behavior had been documented independently elsewhere. The Denver Post: prisoners were “forced to watch copies of the Koran being flushed down toilets” (January, 2005), Financial Times: “they were beaten and had their Korans thrown into toilets” (Oct 28, 2004), NY Daily News: “They would kick the Koran, throw it into the toilet and generally disrespect it.” (Aug. 5, 2004), The Independent UK: “Guards allegedly threw prisoners’ Korans into toilets” (Aug 5, 2004), The Observer UK: “copies of the Koran would be trampled on by soldiers and, on one occasion, thrown into a toilet bucket.” (March 14, 2004), Washington Post: “American soldiers insulted Islam by sitting on the Koran or dumping their sacred text into a toilet to taunt them” (March 26, 2003). These were but a few of similar media reports over a period of years.
 
Other instances of Islamic desecration were also recorded. One online fundraiser sold printed toilet paper with the words “Koran, the Holy Quran” which was then distributed to mosques and the media with a letter claiming the Koran was a “cookbook for terrorists” and incited violence. The Mercury News revealed that flyers posted on a Sacramento National Guard military base extolled World War 1 General John Pershing as a hero for executing “Muslim terrorists” with bullets dipped in pigs blood, thus excluding them from Paradise. WorldNetDaily reported on a US Army Reserve recruit’s contest that used pages from the Koran to make porcine figures. His website pabaah.com showed a paper mache’ pig with a US flag on its back, and included paper mache instructions and links to get free Korans.
 
Some troop contests were flippant in a physical way. At Camp Nama adjacent to Baghdad Airport, The New York Times reported that detainees were bruised after being used for target practice by soldiers playing in the High Five Paintball Club. Human Rights Watch later assessed that prisoners were sometimes tortured as a form of stress relief for soldiers to help while away the hours. “Some days we would just get bored so we would have everyone sit in a corner and then make them get in a pyramid. We did that for amusement.” One soldier added “…it was like a game …for sport..” This R & R earned the 82nd Airborne at FOB Mercury a prized nickname from terrified Iraqis: “Murderous Maniacs”. Departing military personnel who did a ‘good job’ were later awarded by commanders with trophies- a detainee’s black hood, and a piece of tile from the medical office that had once held Saddam Hussein. (After the 1990 Iraq War, one soldier tried to smuggle an Iraqi’s limb home in his duffel bag as a trophy under the first Bush/Cheney administration.)
 
At Abu Ghraib, Sgt Michael J. Smith laughed and partied with rival dog handlers as they competed to see who could outscare and humiliate Iraqi prisoners (dogs are considered unclean and human contact is forbidden by Islam) by siccing ferocious, violent killer dogs on them. Smith said: “My buddy and I are having a contest to see if we can get them to defecate on themselves because we’ve already had some urinate on themselves.” Then in a show of good canine conscience (or just good sportsmanship), one trainer’s Belgian shepherd turned its back on the detainee and instead attacked the interrogator.
 
Michael Blake, an Iraq veteran explained that the military indoctinated troops with the idea “Islam is Evil” and “they hate us.” This attitude facilitated the abuse and killing of civilians, and was not just ‘a few bad apples’. (There are around 2000 unreleased torture images). “Most of the guys I was with believed it”, he added. Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, a former 82nd Airborne commander insisted that responsibility for such abuses ultimately lead “directly back to Secretary Rumsfeld,” as an architect of the torture policy.

Lower level troops prosecuted to deflect responsibility from Rumsfeld have also testified that they were following orders from above. An official report in 2005 by the Army Inspector General confirms that authorities at the highest level sanctioned the crimes. The report documented Rumsfeld’s direct, personal briefings by Army Major interrogator Geoffrey Miller.

British Brigadier Alan Sharp (American Bronze Star winner for writing the “coalition campaign plan”) disapproved of the gung ho, swaggering “streak of Hollywood” displayed by US troops. Acknowledging that such “heroics” made for good television back in the States, he warned that heavily armed Americans boasting “how many Iraqis have been killed by US forces today” was no ‘hearts and minds’ winning tool.

But the example had been set after 911 by the “gunslingin’, nuke-totin'” swagger of Cowboy-in-Chief Dubya Bush. His blustering wisecrack “Osama- Wanted: Dead or Alive” mimicked posters of old Hollywood westerns. The New York Times reported that major Tinsel Town executives were working with top Bush advisor Karl Rove to revive the former propaganda partnership between the entertainment industry and the Department of Defense. “Hollywood Now Plays Cowboys and Arabs”, ran one headline. (Ironically, Bush’s grandfather Prescott claimed to have stolen the skull of legendary American Indian warrior Geronimo for his college secret society. It was proudly kept on display as a trophy).

In 2004, the Pentagon previewed its own “coming attractions.” Marines staged a desert “gladiators’ Ben Hur” drill in full historic costume- togas, trojan helmuts, and shields while swinging spiked truncheons to “psych up for a planned invasion” against Fallujah. “Friends, Romans, countryman, fend off their spears. When in Fallujah, do as the Romans do” the New York Post quipped. White phosphorus ‘burning at the stake’ was strictly offscreen. As Lt. Col. Gary Brandl said in the film Fallujah: “The enemy has got a face. He’s called Satan. He’s in Fallujah. And we’re going to destroy him.”

Internet audiences could catch candids of Iraqi dead “just for fun”. At undermars.com, troops posted photos of bloody faces ground to a pulp. Others showed a birthday candle stuffed into a smashed skull, and various decapitated heads. Evoking Bush’s cowboy spirit, one caption read: “i’m an indian outlaw… look my first scalp.”

NowThatsFuckedUp.com accepted photos of Iraqi war crimes and atrocities as currency to buy pornography when credit card companies refused to ok payment in dollars.After a brief outcry from Iraqi expatriates, the site was closed and diverted to an address called barbecuestoppers.com. There troops laughed and gloated over ‘baked’, charred and hideously disfigured Iraqi cadavers, with captions like “Die, Haji die.” One picture showed a ‘barbecued’ corpse steeped in its own blood and entrails labeled “what every Iraqi should look like.” The US Department of Defense is aware of the site, but it is still accessible to voyeurs despite being in violation of Geneva Conventions.

Unfortunately, this avalanche of damaging associations have increased Americans’ prejudice against Islam. A March 2006 ABC News poll found 46 percent view Islam negatively, up from 39 percent in the months after September 11, 2001. Americans who believe that Islam promotes violence has risen from 14 percent in 2002 to 33 percent today. Former US president Bill Clinton warned: “So now what are we going to do? Replace anti-Semitic prejudice with anti-Islamic prejudice?”

It seems so. In 2005, for the first time since the atomic devastation of Japan, an Associated Press poll found that half of all Americans would approve the use of atomic bombs, especially against terrorist targets. A mushroom cloud of anti-Muslim hate, with a sickly “humorous” spin, has been winning American ‘hearts and minds’ into acceptance of the Bush administration’s nuclear attack against the “axis of evil” terror sponsor- Islamic Republic of Iran.

Meanwhile, another cheap shot has recently been fired at Islam. A provocative ‘Muhammad cartoon’ depicts the Prophet Muhammad cut in half, and burning in Hell, next to a woman among burning coals. Its editor says the cartoon represents policy towards Islam and that any angry reaction to it could serve to further alienate Muslims: “if the cartoon provoked an attack, it would only ‘confirm the idiotic positions’ of Muslim extremists.” Don’t forget to laugh.

Trish Schuh was a co-founder of Military Families Support Network and is a member of Military Reporters & Editors covering the middle east.




Does India – U.S. alliance threaten South Asia?
February 23, 2009, 12:50 pm
Filed under: India, SubContinent

Does India – U.S. alliance threaten South Asia?

By Dimuth Gunawardena

“The peace dividend for South Asia is the creation of new hope & opportunity for its billion and half people…….” -Hon. Atal Bihari Vajpayee – former Prime Minister of India

Sri Lanka is on the verge of destroying the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world. Even the most extreme elements in the South of Sri Lanka accept that upon completion of this task certain genuine grievances of the Tamil people and a certain degree of devolution envisaged in the current constitution should be implemented in the Northern Province as it is now being done successfully done in the Island’s East. India knows all this too well. Nevertheless New Delhi and explicitly its South Indian clique is again attempting to repeat their attempts of 1987 save LTTE which is on the verge of defeat.

Sri Lankans have a right to decide their own future free any more foreign interference. They have suffered enough for the past 25 years because of Indian meddling the island’s internal affairs. The time has some to say enough is enough categorically and firmly.

Much has been written about India’s gross interference in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs and violation of her sovereignty and territorial integrity in the recent past supposedly due to political pressure from Tamil-Nadu. However it is important for all Sri Lankans to comprehend and appreciate the behaviour of Indian politicians in a more holistic context, India has a very loose and fragile regional federal structure (unlike the strong federal systems of government in their new found western allies like USA).

Furthermore the fundamental psychology of India’s foreign service and intelligence services operating in the region must be clearly understood. The contemporary developments in the region merit a complete re-evaluation of regional bilateral and multilateral policies that all SAARC countries follow vis-à-vis their giant superpower and neighbour India.

In Sri Lanka’s case, India’s strategic objectives has been satisfied with most Sri Lankan’s being absolutely ignorant and unaware of the real status quo – Sri Lanka’s Governments “flying to brief” New Delhi and Sri Lanka Government’s readiness to meet India’s wishes.

Even world powers with the exception of China of course, never dare interfere on India’s decisions on Sri Lanka. The trade between Sri Lanka & India places the latter at a greater advantage even where the Free Trade Agreements are concerned. Under the Free Trade Agreement between the two. (24-25 % of Sri Lanka’s imports come from India. And this excludes contraband like sarees, gold, drugs etc. If these added they would change the percentage significantly).

In US$ millions

Indians can travel to Sri Lanka without a visa while Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry has not demanded reciprocal gestures from India.

It has been to India’s advantage that the bulk of Sri Lanka’s domestic commerce is again in Indian hands. This too can be used as a strategic tool when the need arises. India has also ensured that it has in Sri Lanka a group of errant politicians, corrupt public officers and diplomats, powerful mainstream political parties like Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), Up Country Peoples Liberation Front (UPLF), and even the LTTE proxies like the so-called Tamil National Alliance (TNA) chirping in India’s favour.

India’s RAW has even been able to control various INGO celebrities and even some sections of the so called free Media to comment in support of India’s involvement direct or otherwise in Sri Lanka.

What can we expect if the Government of Sri Lanka’s resolves to give India complete economic and political facilities in the strategically significant Northern and Eastern provinces? Could the Government of Sri Lanka not be aware of the implications of allowing India to economically control two of the most significant regions that India had been eyeing for so long? The KKS Cement plant, the Trincomalee Harbour and the oil tank farm, mineral sands in Pulmoddai (some of which can be refined into Thorium) and oil exploration in Mannar basin…etc reflect the importance of these regions. RAW also made deep inroads to newly emerging political forces in these provinces too. These include the TULF and TMVP in what could be seen as a deliberate move to control the vital Northern and Eastern Provinces as a response to Chinese investment in Hambantota.

With all this being the case India’s certain errant strategic policy makes still believe that it is to the advantage of Delhi and her new found U.S. and other Western Allies such as France to keep Sri Lanka permanently on the boil. Can this be permitted? Why should it be so?

In considering the strategic importance of Sri Lanka to India, there is also the need to look deeper into the reliance India places on energy and power as a tool of control and these are the interests that spurs India’s ambitions to control the energy and power sectors of her neighbours like Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh.

Could it be sheer coincidence that the issue of Katchativu islet that India conceded to Sri Lanka has resurfaced with India accusing Sri Lankan Navy of harassing Indian fisherman in the vicinity? Let us view this new attitude from the point of view of India’s nuclear plants (for military & civilian purposes) coming around Sri Lanka, in Goa, Cochin, Ennore, Chennai Vizzak and even Nagappatnam all in the back yard of the so called “Eelam” which may one day could well be India’s Chernobyl. Sethu Samudram Canal Project (SSCP) is more of a military project to protect these high security zones by Naval patrolling rather than a civilian commercial project as it has been made out to be. As a matter of fact SSCP is all about India’s Submarine Base in Ramanathapuram. Kachchativu not under Indian control but is too close for comfort for this whole grand design.

As a matter of fact some Sri Lankans naively talk about a nuclear free zone in the region. Hence the Tamil Nadu politicians singing their Katchatvu ‘song.’ If ever India goes to war with any of her enemies I hope Sri Lankans know that stray missiles will all rain on them. Therefore Sri Lanka should not get tied down to any agreement with India on Kachchativu at this juncture. There should be no repeat of what happened with Trincomalee under the Indo-Lanka Accord. Perhaps Sri Lanka having listening post on Katchativu with China’s collaboration might not at all be bad idea considering India current interference in Sri Lankan affairs.

Therefore in this context the LTTE’s total disappearance from the political scene would be of distinct disadvantage to India’s long term strategic objectives. Now we come to the real paradox of India’s Sri Lanka policy. The LTTE, the baby they gave birth to and fed, and allowed it to kill more than 2,000 of their own Indian soldiers and also their own Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi have now evolved to be a powerful Global Suicide Terror Organization led by Prabakaran and Pottu Amman – both wanted men on Indian soil.

It is intriguing to know how the RAW, their initial handlers will find a way out of this dilemma – Will it be a case of helping the Government of Sri Lanka kill the LTTE’s current leadership and replace it with a more India friendly 2nd tier leadership but still force the Sri Lankan Government to hand over that “Eelam” territory? Such a move perfectly fills the India-USA allied strategic objectives in the Indian Ocean. Filling this void must be the next task of the RAW. India cannot allow a 3rd Navy and 3rd Air force, under the LTTE, due to India’s own regional strategic objectives and thus these too will have to be destroyed by the Sri Lankan armed forces. Hence the Indian manned radar systems no matter the opposition of Tamil Nadu politicians.

This is why we should not be too surprised over Karunanidhi and his boys agitating over Sri Lanka’s Tamils – the New Delhi’s nod of approval must have been silently given for the present agitation which never arose when the IPKF went on a rampage killing and raping innocent Tamil civilians – was that not some form of “genocide”? We are all aware that these crocodile tears will never materialise in any of them actually giving up their status as MPs. All the Tamil Nadu MPs have been guilty of following pro-LTTE stands – ‘Vaiko’ Gopalaswamy one of the LTTE’s strongest supporters who has been arrested – for the 2nd time.

Before discussing further as to why a country like Sri Lanka needs to seriously re-evaluate its policy since independence especially the policy towards India and the SAARC member nations of which it is the Chairman, let us examine policy of de stabilization in the region carried out by India’s intelligence agency the RAW.

Amidst the Indo-Lanka crisis breaking out we saw newspaper reports of the arrival in Sri Lanka of a RAW big wig by the name of S. Chandrasekaran, alias Chandran (Who was an LTTE handler) who coordinated several terror attacks and civilian massacres such as the Anuradhapura massacre of innocent pilgrims. But this should have come as hardly a surprise to the people of Sri Lanka. The fact that he has been operating in Tamil Nadu to facilitate the bail out of the LTTE also should not come as a surprise. The RAW has played a far more significant role in all regional conflicts and terror organizations than what has been thus acknowledged. These reports however do not mention Chandran’s other accomplices in the RAW like B.Raman…etc whose names have been previously mentioned in news reports as being instrumental in various civilian massacres using – in addition to LTTE – organizations like EPRLF.

“Stephen Phillip Cohen” in his career as a South Asian Political Scientist and one who strongly lobbied within the US for the current US-Indian Political & Strategic Military Alliance was responsible for the deep influence he had on most of the modern Indian strategic thinkers and policy makers. One such person who was heavily influenced by Stephen and specifically one of his works on “Brahamin-Kshatriya relationship of India” was “Swarna Rajagopalan”. Who in the writings titled “Security Ideas in the Valmik Ramayana” illustrates the Indian policy makers thought process and gives a better understanding for the reasons for its regional hegemony.

“Today, if any of us were to see our destiny as lying along the path engagement with others outside the region as well as with our neighbours within South Asia, it cannot reasonably be argued that thereby South Asian unity would be denied or diminished……..” Late Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar – Former Minister of Foreign affairs, Sri Lanka assassinated by the LTTE.

According to the “Jain Commission” report on the killing of former Premier Rajiv Gandhi it becomes amply clear of the RAW hand in the whole sordid affair of cross border global terrorism – networks financed by intelligence operatives. It has also created major politically dissenting movements in poor neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and even Pakistan.

Seeking regional expansionist hegemony and its ambition as a major global actor – since independence – has been a corner stone of Indian foreign policy. India’s dirty work has always been delivered by the RAW. One must keep in mind that perhaps officers like N.K. Narayanan who is the current National Security Advisor under whose purview agencies like the RAW currently comes under was in late 1980’s officially assigned as the Director of the Intelligence Bureau in Tamil Nadu had close links with all terrorist group in Sri Lanka as well as Tamil Nadu politicians from MGR to Karunanadhi and even personally attended to Prabakaran’s visit from Tamil Nadu to New Delhi. (“Assignment Colombo”by J.N. Dixit) Hence his famous statement Sri Lanka will win the battle against the Tamil Tigers but not the war as they haven’t got the Tamils on to their side” sets in motion the current chain of events in India.

The RAW had a major role to play in the Tibetan dissident movements of China and the pro-democracy movements in Myanmar due the the Military junta’s closeness to China. In Bangladesh the RAW has been involved with destabilisation of the country since 1965. They created a network of ‘Separatist Teroriist Cells’ all over the country. RAW set up training camps in India – camps that trained the LTTE & “Mukti Mahimi’s” men, (reference “RAW & Bangladesh” by Zainal Abedin) preparing for the arrival of Indian troops into that country. Over the years they also created several other terrorist forces in Bangladesh such as “The Shanti Bahini” for fighting between Hindu’s & Buddhist’s tribesmen thus keeping the Bengali military fully occupied. In Bhutan the RAW created an ethnic crisis led by people of Nepalese origin.

In Nepal itself just like in Sri Lanka, the RAW follows an active policy of pushing pro-Indian Nepalese politician on their pay roll to the forefront of the political sphere in order to make Nepal an official Hindi state as a prelude to merging with India in the future. RAW quite successfully followed this strategy in Sikkim (the tiny Himalayan state bordering Bhutan). RAW was actually able to use various groups to oppose Chohyal and actually merge with the Indian Union in 1975.

In the Maldives the Gayoom government was contemplating handing over the “Marao Islands” to the Chinese govt. who could have used it as a submarine base for 5 submarine battle groups and two aircraft carrier battle groups enabling the launching of Feng-44 missiles. Here in Maldives however more than any other South Asian country the RAW had engineered the ultimate coup through one of the RAW funded terrorist groups called the EPRLF. India was at hand to help, and Gayoom was eternally grateful and till today the Chinese base in Marao Islands remain only but a pipe dream.

The only country in the region with counter intelligence capability of any form to counter the threats from the RAW activities is the Pakistani ISI, however Pakistan has been the biggest recipient of terror attacks, subversion, political and judicial dissent orchestrated by the RAW again but specific details will require a longer version of this article. If one were to weigh the activities of ISI activities of subversion against India against those committed by RAW against Pakistan the scale will be heavily tilted on to the RAW.

Today Pakistan is being bombed in its Afghanistan border by US and NATO forces indiscriminately, under the guise of attacking Al-Qaeda and the Taliban these American forces on the instructions of some 10,000 Indian troops currently operating in Afghanistan (part of military force of 150,000 Indian troops to be stationed in Afghanistan in the US-Indian plan to encircle Pakistan) are effectively eroding the power of Pakistan’s federal government has over its border provinces. If one were to study the sequence of events form the time of Mushraff firing the Pakistani Chief Justice and clashes with the judiciary to the assassination of Bhutto to the weak pro-western Zadari and Giliani where the end result is the break of the Islamic state one could now see similar agenda being carried out in Sri Lanka. Perhaps one day we will see all the federal political forces of Sri Lanka rallying round a populist retired judge as a presidential candidate to carry out the agendas the LTTE cannot get on a negotiating table through a political executive and legislative power with Indian auspices. Let me quote from an article titled “The Destabilisation of Pakistan” by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research

Quote… “Washington will push for a compliant political leadership with no commitment to the national interest, a leadership which will serve US imperial interests, while concurrently contributing under the disguise of “Decentralization”, to the weakening of the central government and the fracture of Pakistan’s fragile federal structure…..US Special Forces are expected to vastly expand their presence official justification and pretext …to extend “war on terrorism”. Concurrently, to justify its counter –terrorism program, Washington is also beefing up its covert support to the terrorists………..”
….Unquote

If these are the games of USA on Pakistan then what must their ally India be up to in Pakistan. The RAW together with CIA operatives in the region was instrumental in setting up and sponsoring the perfect terrorist group for this plan in “Tehrik Taliban Pakistan” (TTP).

These are the machinations unparalleled and unseen anywhere in the world, with the exception of USA and its manipulation of Cuba such as the Bay of Pigs invasion. India has to and should behave like the great power she really and truly is.

“The United Front Government’s neighbourhood policy now stands on five basic principles, first with neighbours like Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, India does not ask for reciprocity but but gives all that it can in good faith and trust, Secondly no South Asian country will allow its territory to be used against the interest of another country of region, Thirdly none will interfere in the internal affairs of another, Fourthly all South Asians must respect each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and finally they will settle all their disputes through peaceful, bilateral negotiations…..” Hon. I. K. Gujral Former Minister of External Affairs at the Royal Institute of International Affairs/ London.

One of the best strategic thinkers in India “Kanti Bajpai” has described three schools of Indian Strategic thought. The paradigms briefly are Nehruvian School, Neoliberal School, and the Hyperealist School. Fundamental to Neruvianism is argument that people come to understand each other better and thereby make and sustain peace. They believe that in the International system the threat of war to settle disputes is but only as a last resort.

Neoliberals accept the characterisation of international relations as a state of war and coercion important role in their world, while hyperrealists believe the surest way of achieving peace, and stability is by the accumulation of military power and the willingness to use force.

The last few years saw the growth of the two latter schools of thought within the Indian Public and Foreign services and hence it’s behaviour towards its neighbours. Everybody knows that the warships sent to Sri Lankan territorial waters during the SAARC summit in Colombo was not to protect the Indian PM from their own LTTE but the usual Indian “Gunboat” diplomacy (like in 1987 airdrop, and fleets that came to Sri Lankans waters) of flexing it’s muscles and sending messages to a defiant Sri Lankan President to behave himself and any fancy ideas that countries like Russia, China or Pakistan may have of getting too close to Sri Lanka.

India’s nuclear agenda too should be cause of great concern to her neighbourhood. The “Nuclear Suppliers Group” of 45 countries, which up until now had barred any nation that refused to accept international nuclear standards wilted under tremendous pressure from the new western alliance of Bush-Sarkozy. This position reversed even the penalties in the event of resumption nuclear testing by India too has not been clarified with regards to regional stability and coexistence. Dangers of proliferation by terrorists like what happened to India just before signing of the accords poses significant threats to its neighbours.

If India espouses to provide security to all of the Indian Ocean and is to genuinely win over its neighbourhood as it slowly matures into a great power that she really is, then she must rethink some of her foreign policy options with her neighbours. For India to respond to regional strategic threats to her defences like Gwadur, Chittagong, Hambanthota with the kind of Air bases in Tajikistan, they do not come with an “everything for me, nothing for you” policy but more of a “win-win” with a lot of mutual trust that is built up over time. Mutual consultation and diplomatic compromise cannot be one sided however powerful one maybe, One cannot replace constructive engagement with acts of browbeat and manipulations on the world stage in anyway.

If the rest of the South Asian countries (Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, & the Maldives) together with China and Myanmar do not wake up to the impending disaster on them by this “US-Indian alliance” most countries will be splintered into tiny pieces and will most surely become protectorates of the greater Indian Union…………

Sri Lanka should now call for Karunanadhi and his 50 of so MP’s to honour their deadline and their promise of resignation without now changing their usual face saving acts of deceit. Sri Lanka should also seriously reconsider to join “Shanghai Cooperation Organisation”(SCO) without any further delay in face of the threat she is facing from India.

But she must be sensitive to the domestic political compulsions of the Indian governments while at the same time making clear distinction between friendly advice and diplomatic Demarche’s using flimsy excuses. One cannot keep out “international players in the backyard” simply by paying lip service to the needs of Sri Lanka.

There is much more than meets the eye where Indian foreign policy is concerned. SAARC members have suffered greatly as a result of the hunger for India to dominate the region. It behoves all sovereign Governments to ensure they do not sleep with the enemy and develop a plan on how to counter India’s covert operations that has done little good to the region including India itself which is presently having to deal with terrorism in its most brutal forms. Delhi seems clueless on how to handle it though it perfected the art of creating terror in neighbouring countries.

If India is not interested in creating a separate state in Sri Lanka, then Sri Lanka needs a categorical assurance that it will not use the LTTE as a destabilisation force in the country.

If India takes the position that her neighbours take “Belligerent anti-Indian positions” in their dealing with her due to “bellicose patriotism” peace and prosperity would no doubt would be the furthest thing for all the people of South Asia. India needs to lead the way in cultivating TRUST, understanding, benevolence, harmony and peaceful coexistence with all its neighbours. It must display its maturity as a world power in dealing with all its smaller neighbours

Perhaps The Chinese and Indian Prime Ministers should have in their agenda South Asian Stability and Peaceful coexistence, besides common border issues and bilateral economic cooperation during the forthcoming visit to China by the Indian PM…………

http://www.asiantribune.com/?q=node/13923

Isha Khan     bd_mailer@yahoo.com



Manekshaw’s secret, Indira Gandhi’s plans : a 1971 mystery
February 19, 2009, 1:09 pm
Filed under: Bangladesh, India


Manekshaw’s secret, Indira Gandhi’s plans : a 1971 mystery

 

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw’s death robs
Indians of a vital source of information on one of recent Indian
history’s unresolved questions: did New Delhi have secret plans to
dismember Pakistan in the west after comprehensively defeating it in
the east?

India‘s plans in the western sector toward the close of the 1971 war
over Bangladesh have long been a matter of controversy and
speculation by historians and others.

American declassified documents say President Richard Nixon and his
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger believed Prime Minister Indira
Gandhi wanted to dismember West Pakistan.

Equally, some Russian commentators have said they dissuaded her from
doing so.But some leading Indian – as well as Pakistani – diplomats and
strategic experts say if Gandhi had wanted to march in to Pakistan,
she could have done so. They attribute the American and Russian
claims to interventionist zeal.

The hero of the 1971 war, Manekshaw, was a garrulous man. But he
never spoke publicly about the issue. The divided opinion found an echo at a just-ended conference on India and Pakistan organised by the Tehelka media group in London.

“Mrs Gandhi never had a territorial ambition, but she did want to
finish off Pakistan’s military capability,” former Pakistan foreign
secretary Tanvir Ahmad Khan told IANS.”But that would have ultimately led to the break up of Pakistan. There would have been chaos,” he added.

Khan’s assessment is similar to that of the late Nixon and Kissinger, who is a prominent commentator in the US media.Declassified US documents claim that details of a briefing given by Gandhi to members of her cabinet in early December 1971 were leaked
to the US intelligence.

A summary of the documents by the State Department says: “Gandhi
outlined her war aims: she would not accept a settlement until
Bangladesh was liberated, the ‘southern area of Azad Kashmir’ was
liberated, and the Pakistani armoured and air force strength was
destroyed to prevent any future challenge to India.

“Nixon and Kissinger took this as proof that India planned not only
to foster the independence of East Pakistan, but to use the
opportunity of the crisis to inflict a crushing military defeat on
Pakistan, which would lead to the break-up of West Pakistan.
Kissinger attributed to the Gandhi government the goal of
Balkanizing West Pakistan.”

With the Bangladesh war seen in Cold War terms by the Americans and
Russians, exchanges between Nixon and Kissinger sometimes bordered
on the paranoid – the two men even contemplated using nuclear
weapons against Russia if China entered the conflict.

The US archives quote Kissinger as telling Nixon: “If the Soviets
move against them (the Chinese) and we don’t do anything, we will be
finished.”

“Nixon asked: ‘So what do we do if the Soviets move against them?
Start lobbing nuclear weapons in, is that what you mean?’ Kissinger
responded: ‘If the Soviets move against them in these conditions and
succeed, that will be the final showdown… and if they succeed we
will be finished’.

“He added that ‘if the Russians get away with facing down the
Chinese and the Indians get away with licking the Pakistanis… we
may be looking down the gun barrel.’ In the end, they concluded that
the projected confrontation with the Soviet Union would not involve
a nuclear exchange.”

But at the London conference June 26-27, at least two former senior
Pakistani figures – spy chief Lt Gen Assad Durrani and finance and
foreign minister Sartaj Azeez – were not sure if Indira Gandhi would
have wanted to dismember Pakistan.

“There was neither the intention, nor the capability. The relative
strength of Pakistan on the western front would not have encouraged
a major Indian invasion,” said Durrani.”You wouldn’t turn your guns to the western sector when the bulk of
your forces were in Bangladesh, and achieve a strategic result,” he
added.

Sartaj Azeez said both the US and the Soviet Union “overstated the
case” in order to give their impression that it was their
intervention that had stopped the Bangladesh war from spiralling out
of control.”In any case, Pakistan would have been ready for such an invasion as the bulk of our troops – something like 600,000 men – was in West
Pakistan,” Azeez said.

The late Indian foreign secretary Jyotindra Nath Dixit too has
dismissed Nixon’s and Kissinger’s claims.

“The Indian government’s attitude after the war disproved the theory
of those who still believed that India had opposed the existence of
Pakistan,” he is quoted as saying in British journalist Victoria
Schofield’s book, “Kashmir in Conflict: India, Pakistan and the
Unending War”.

“Had India wanted to dismember Pakistan completely, the army could
have marched straight on to Rawalpindi,” Dixit said.

Whether Indira Gandhi ever contemplated such an invasion, or whether
the claims were part of an elaborate Cold War drama played out by
the Americans and Russians is something that still awaits clarity.
And Sam Manekshaw isn’t telling. He never did tell.

http://mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=broadcast&broadcastid=83243



Posted by Isha Khan, who can be reached at bd_mailer@yahoo.com



2nd Report on the findings of the People’s Inquiry Commission on the activities of the War Criminals and the Collaborators
February 15, 2009, 7:05 pm
Filed under: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan

2nd Report on the findings of the People’s Inquiry Commission on the activities of the War Criminals and the Collaborators

(Summary of the investigation published on 26 March 1995)

Introduction
‘National Co-ordinating Committee for Realisation of Bangladesh Liberation War Ideals and Trial of Bangladesh War Criminals of 1971’ announced its programme to unveil the misdeeds of the war criminals of 1971 at a rally on March 26, 1993 while observing its first anniversary of the public trial of prime accused war criminal Golam Azam.

A national committee, hereby called, the ‘National People’s Inquiry Commission’, was constituted to investigate into the activities of the leading war criminals and to determine the logic for their trail.

Poet, women leader and human rights activist Begum Sufia Kamal was made the chairperson of the committee while writer Shawkat Osman, educationist Khan Sarwar Murshid, Justice Debesh Bhattacharya, Justice KM Sobhan, poet Shamsur Rahman, Professor Anupam Sen, Professor M A Khaleq, former lawmaker Advocate Salahuddin Yusuf, Air Vice Marshal (retd.) Sadruddin Ahmed and Barrister Shafiq Ahmed were made member of the committee.

The country bust into protest when Gulam Azam, the prime collaborator of the 1971 Pakistani occupation forces and war criminal, was made Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh on 29 January 1991. The fanatic party violated the country’s constitution and undermined once again the spirit of the liberation war by announcing a Pakistani citizen, Azam, the Ameer of its party. As the government was unheeded about the matter, country’s renowned personalities have came together and formed a committee to resist the collaborators and uphold the spirit of the liberation war i.e. secular democracy. Jahanara Imam was made chief of the organisation.

Based on the investigation report, Golam was found guilty on ten specific account that is eligible for capital punishment by a public -trial at Sarwardi Uddyan on March 26, 1992. Then, the movement against the fundamentalism geared up with an intensified demand of banning on the fascist fundamentalist politics of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and other radicals. The people’s Inquiry Commission was formed in March 1993 in this direction.

The commission on the first phase decided to investigate allegations of criminal activities of eight well known war criminals and come up with major disclosure on March 26, 1994 at a public rally. On the second phase the commission decided to continue investigation against eight more notorious persons 1) S A M Solaiman, 2) Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury, 3) Maolana Abdus Sobhan, 4) Maolana AKM Yusuf, 5) Mohammad Aen-ud-din, 6) Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, 7) ABM Khaleque Majumder and 8) Dr. Syed Sajjad Hossain.

The Commission gave responsibility to writer-journalist Shahriar Kabir for documentation of newspaper reportings, historical books and also to conduct a physical investigation. It asked Kabir to report back to the commission. A group of young journalists including Julfiker Ali Manik, Emon Sikder, Mehedi Hasan, Provash Amin, Barrister Sarah Hossain, Javed Hasan Mahmud, Asaduzzaman, Abu Junaed Seneka, Faezuddin Ahmed, Umme Habiba Sumi, Faiz Ahmed Setu and Mohammd Reza extended their support to the investigation process. On march 23, 1995 the commission finally approved the draft report and handed to the National Co-ordinating Committee to make it public.

The Commission abandoned field level investigation into allegation against Dr. Syed Sajjad Hossain as he died during the investigation process. Part of his anti-Bangladesh activities during the liberation, which was published in the newspaper during the 1971 and ’72 and some government documents, were attached with the report. It was learnt through the investigation that the rest seven were still hatching various conspiracies against the country and were creating panic situation in their respective areas. As a result many people harassed in their hands during the war, have requested not to disclose their names fearing that their lives could be endangered.

The people’s Inquiry Commission observed that the major information could not be recovered due to non-cooperation by different government agencies and many evidences were destroyed. The minority Hindu community, the prime target of the Pakistani occupation forces and their collaborators, was still panic-stricken for socio-political adversities. As many of the Hindus left the country during this period, one of the commission had no other option but to testify their neighbours. Therefore, this time also the nature and extent of crimes committed by the killers and collaborators were partially disclosed like the previous report. The extent of crimes is more than that of the allegations.
The accused and the Evidance

A S M Solaiman
A S M SOLAIMAN, son of Md. Jonab Ali, Village – Boydder Bazar, Post Office – Boidder Bazar, Thana – Soanargaon, Dist – Narayanganj. At present : 20/1, Pallabi, Thana – Pallabi, District – Dhaka. He is the president of Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Party now.

Solaiman as the minister of Malek cabinet of with the portfolio of Labour, Social welfare and Family Planning and as chief of the district coordination committee presided over a meeting with DC office, police officers and other communities on December 8, 1971. The meeting expressed firm determination to maintain law and order and took some decision.

From the very beginning of the war, Solaiman was very active. In a statement on April 8, 1971 he called upon the then armed forces for ‘bringing back normalcy in the country by fighting the anti-social and anti-state elements’. On May 7, he also called upon the members of the Peace
Committee at a meeting to ‘check all common people and anti-state elements’ in a bid to catch the freedom fighters. On November 15, 1971, he told newsmen in Karachi, “Razarkers were doing praise-worthy and they should be called the national heroes.” (Genocide ’71 : An Account of the Killers and Collaborators, Edited by Dr. Ahmad Sharif, Qazi Nur-uz-Zaman, Dr. Serajul Islam Chowdhury & Shahriar Kabir, published by Muktijuddha Chetona Bikash Kendra, Dhaka, February 1987)

Inhabitants in Sonargaon brought allegation against Soliman of direct or indirect involvement in killing, looting, torching, raping and various forms of atrocities. President of Aminpur Union Awami League and an elected Union Parishad Member, Mohammad Tayebur Rahman, narrated formation of Razaker Bahini by ASM Solaiman in 11 unions of Sonargaon thana.

Tayebur informed Solaiman had appointed every chairman of the then Union Parisads as chairman of the ‘Peace Committee’. Among them (1) Raja Moulavi of Aminpur (2) Shamsul Haq Khan of Perojpur (3) Alauddin of Boiddyer Bazar (4) Gafur Sarker of Sammandi (5) Abdul Mannaf Bhuiyan of Jampur UP (6) Hossain Khan of Kanchpur (7) Bakhar Ali of Sathipur (8) Nasiruddin of Noaga (9) Abdur Rob Milkey of Barodi (10) Rafiqul Islam of Mograpara and (11) M A Jaher of Shomvupura Union Pariashad were appointed as chairmen of the Peace Committee. Soanrgaon Peace Committee chairman ASM Solaiman led them as their leader. M A Zaher was also appointed the General Secretary and Raja Moulavi as Organising Secretary of Sonargaon unit of Peace Committee (PC). Alauddin and Mohiuddin Mollah, a brother of Solaiman, acted in absence of Solaiman.

Tayebur Rahman also informed that Jamir Ali Kerani, an associate of Solaiman, handed over a Hindu girl named Bibha Rani to the Pakistani occupation forces in mid-May .The military-men released her in a critical condition after raping overnight. Bibha is now in India. Ali also led an attack on the home of one Narendra Patel in Boiddyer Bazar. Tayebur at that time risking his life reached at the scene and rescued five girl from the scene and taken to a nearby village for their safety, he said.

Tayebur said that the Soliaman-gang had attacked on a freedom fighters’ meeting on May 24 at Boiddyer Bazar. Tayebur was caught by the PC members twice and was released on request from a non-bengali postmaster at the area. The gang, he said, set on fire homes, more than hundred in Sammanadi, ten in Companiganj, five in Shatipur and the entire homes of Pirojpur village. Jamir and Allauddin executed the plan of Solaiman from women supply to torching.

Moshammat Azimon Nahar of Haria Gopindi village told the commission that her husband Siddiq Mia was killed on December 14 near Adamjee area. She alleged Soliamn’s gang and local razakars were involved in her husband’s killing.. She demanded trial of her husband’s killing.
An Awami League worker, Sumon, of Hatkopa village when appeared to the commission said, the Pakistani forces attacked his home with the help of Tekka Shamsu, a trust-worthy associate of ASM Solaiman, in a bid to catch the young women of his home. He said the women saved them hiding in a nearby jute plantation.

Freedom fighter Nurul Islam of Basan Daradi village said, geographically Sonargaon was ab important area and all goods were being transported through the Sonargaon river port. At the very beginning of the war Solaiman and his associates, especially the Razaker Bahini, used to loot the goods like rice, sugar, flour, oil, fertiliser, tea etc. from various vehicles. Traders lodged a number of complaints at freedom fighter’s camp in Sammanadi village, according to Islam.

He said being informed by the Razakars, Pakistani forces unleashed attack on the training camp of the freedom fighters at that village. During the attack the Razakars on their way took away two young girls from the village. But none of the girls returned. He said many such incidents were suppressed social humiliation apprehending.

According to eyewitnesses account, Razakars set their eyes on the Hindu dominated Shahapur, Baninathpur, Joyrampur, Vattapur, Barirghubhanga, Baghmucha, Panamnagar, Boiddyer Bazar, Satbhayapara, Ramganj and Panchabati for the Hindu girls. As per the directions from Solaiman, Jamir Kerani and Shamsu led the Razakers to supply women to the Pakistani camp at Boiddyer Bazar.
Apart from this, the commission learnt that a number of incidents of firing, looting and killing took place in the area perpetrated by the Razakars led by Solaiman and his associats.

Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury
SALAHUDDIN KADER CHOWDHURY, son of late Fazlul Kader Chowdhury, Village-Gahira, Thana -Rawzan, District-Chittagong . He was a minister in the autocratic General Ershad’s cabinet. He is now leader of the National Democratic Party.

Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury opposed Bangladesh’s independence and took a number of measures against the freedom fighters during the Liberation War of 1971. He used to provide all out support to the Pakistani occupation forces. His area was grater Chittagong district. He along with his father Fazlul Kader Chowdhury, brother Giasuddin Kader Chowdhury organised a number of collaborators against the liberation war. They had been out and out anti-Bangladeshi elements and perpetrated whatever they wanted to do in the name of opposing the freedom struggle.

The vernacular daily news paper ‘Dainik Bangla’ published a report on 8 January 1972 featuring the activities of Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury and his family. The paper reported “Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury and his father Fazlul Kader Chowdhury brought a good number of young boys at Good Hill’s residence in Chittagong and unleashed repression on them. Salahuddin in association with Pakistan army killed one Faruk, a then student leader, at his residence on July 17, 1971. A platoon of Pakistan army was deployed in front of Salahuddin’s residence from the beginning up to the end of the war. The common people caught him and his father when they were trying to flee with a mound of gold on

December 18, 1971, two days after the Pakistan army surrendered to the joint forces.”
Shakhawat Hossain Majnu, a prolific author, in his book “Torture Cells and Killing Grounds in Chittagong during the Liberation War” gave a vivid description of the torture cells. He writes about the Good Hill’s residence of Salahuddin, “The torture centre was being led by extremists of the Muslim League. The home belongs to Fazlul Kader Chowdhury. He was not involved with the crimes at the early stage of the war. But, from May inspired by the Muslim League extremists, he started assisting the Pakistani forces. At one stage his Good Hills residence become a torture centre of the pro-liberation forces. It is heard that his son Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury was directly involved with the torture. Pro-liberation elements were being caught from different city points and beaten up mercilessly after being tied. Omar Faruk, a well known freedom fighter was killed at this home. Members of the Al-Badr forces had directly been given support to the torture.”

In a book tilled ‘Bangalir Muktijudhher Itibritto’, written by Mahbubul Alam described the torture. On page 69 of the book, the author writes, “Nizamuddin got free from Jail on November 18, 1971. He says … I was arrested on July 5. I was taken to Fazlul Kader. I was tied back-folded and beaten up for continuous five hours by Fazlul Kader’s son Salahuddin, associate Khoka, Khalil and Yousuf. I got unconscious. I was sent to the stadium on July 6. Until then I was given neither food nor water. Once I wanted water, they said that you became a Hindu, we will not give you water even. On July 13, I was taken to the jail. At this time I was being beaten hanged from upside down. When I was dropped once in a day was being provided with two pieces of bread and water, but they didn’t feel offended to kick my back. Then I started to pray regular to avoid torture. But the soldiers did not spare me. They kicked me on my back saying, fuck you, you became a hindu,
what pray you need to offer.”

In the same book, the writer told about an incident of April 13 an attack on Kundeshawri Bhaban. “Principal Notun Chandra Singha was murdered in the Kundershawri Bhaban on April 13. From the morning, the military started firing from Gahira High School. They set up mortars on the roof of the school and was continuing firing toward Kundeshwari Bhaban. The principal had sent all other members of his family to some safe place but he remained with the Kundeshawri temple.

Presuming that the military might come, the principal placed some chairs and tables on the courtyard to welcome the soldiers. Two jeeps, followed by four tanks, had droved down at Kundeshwari Bhaban. Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury was one of them accompanying the soldiers. The principal made the soldiers understand that what he had done for the people of that area and what his plan was for the future. The military went back. But Salahuddin again brought them back saying that this Malaun (infidel) should be killed as per his father’s order. On that day seventy years old Principal Notun Chandra Shingha set an example of strong courage. He stood before the statue of god without any fear. They shot three gunfire, the principal laid down in front of the temple and died praying. Both the Muslims and Hindus got shocked with the killing, but Salahuddin prevented the Muslims not to deplore the death of Malaun (Hindu). Then Salahuddin gang killed two more people,
including one college student Dayal Hari Biswash in Gahira.” (page 254-255)

Local Awami League leader Abdullah Al Harun filed an election case against Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury on April 25, 1991, Kader was the prime accused of among the seven. The petition narrated the wrongdoings of Salahuddin during the war of liberation and said, “the top accused does not bother the law and he believes in terrorism and unleashing attacks and terrorise the locality. He has neither honour to the election code of conduct nor he has regard for the people’s vote. .. the petitioner said the aforesaid person was accused charged with collaborator act of 1972. He was accused in a case (No. 13.4.72) under the act. He was also charged in Notun Chandra Singha murder case 41 (1) 72 and 43 (1) 72. Immediately before the emergence of Bangladesh, this criminal had fled the country, and later he managed to take a seat in the Ershad’s cabinet”, said the petitioner.

On depositions from witnesses, investigators charge-sheeted all the accused of Notun Chandra Singha murder case filed in 1972 (FIR NO. U/S/302/120( 13)/298 BPC). The case started on 29 January 1972. Of the accused Salahuddin’s father and five others were in jail and the five rest were absconding.

Sheikh Muhammad Jahangir, a son of a martyr freedom fighter, told the Commission that Salahuddin Kader in association with the Pakistani army killed his father Sheikh Muzaffar Ahmed and brother Sheikh Alamgir on April 17, 1971. They had taken his father and brother near Hathazari military camp and killed there. After the independence, Jahangir also filed a case against Salahuddin and his gang.
Chittagong Jatiya party leader Harun-or-Rashid was the liaison officer the liberation war of 1971. He said that, he had formed a publicity cell in favour of the freedom fighters to collect information about the anti-liberation forces. He made a report on Salahuddin’s activities including killing and looting, and handed over to Sector Commander Maj. Rafiqul Islam.

Harun came to know that Salahuddin Kader Chowdhury, his father Fazlul Kader Chowdhury and other members of their gang had tortured on uncountable number of freedom-loving citizens and killed them at the Good Hills residence. They also supplied innocent Bengali women to the Pakistan Army for their gratification. He said Salahuddin fled the country immediately before the country gained independence. He was shot at by the freedom fighters while running away.

Even after 24 years of the liberation war, Salahuddin still killing innocent people and terrorising entire Raujan area in Chittagong. Agency reports will qualify those allegations. Still, the NDA leader is accused in three criminal cases filed in Roujan police station.
Moulana Abdus Sobhan
MOULANA ABDUS SOBHAN, son of late Noimuddin, Pathartala, Pabna, is the member of the fundamentalist Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’ s central Shura (committee) and Member of Parliament elected from Pabna Sadar in 1991, and deputy leader of the Jamaat’s parliamentary group.

Sobhan had been serving the Jamaat-e-Islami as acting Ameer (chief) of Pabna during the liberation war and he nominated for the so-called by-election in 1971. He was the vice president of Pabna unit of Peace Committee, an organisation of Pakistani collaborators. Field level investigation revealed that Sobhan organised the Al-Badar, Razakar and formed the PC and had been involved in a number of criminal activities. As he was fluent in spoken Urdu, he easily managed to come close to the Pakistanis and become a policy maker of anti-liberation forces. He supervised almost every activities of the Razakers and Al Badars.

Sobhan was implicated in a special tribunal case for his activities against the freedom struggle and killing of the freedom fighters, innocent people and assisting in killing 3 million people, assaulting and repressing women and other heinous activities. He was asked to attend before the Sub-divisional magistrate court on February 29, 1972. But he fled to Pakistan with Gulam Azam at that time (Source : ‘Ekattorer Dalalra’ by Shafiq Ahmed and Advocate Shafiqul Islam Shibly, Patahrtala Pabna).

Like Dhaka, Pakistani forces also unleashed attack on innocent people of Pabna on the very night of March 25, 1971. But the situation in Pabna was a bit different. An aged woman told the investigation commission that the Pakistani forces caught Pabna’s eminent personalities searching their homes and brought to their camps on the night. On March 26, she said that she had been seeing an army lorry stopped on the road at Rayer Bazar area. More or less 100 people were tied with rope behind the van. They were being dragged. Their clothes have been tore, blood letting from injury marks. She witnessed Mowlana Sobhan along with three Pakistani soldiers in the van. Among the dragged people, the woman could recognised Pabna’s eminent businessmen Syed Talukder, Professor Harun of Edward College, dentist Amulendu Dakshi and Awami League Leader Advocate Aminuddin. The soldiers came down from the lorry and burnt some national flags hoisting on the building tops. The
woman preferring anonymity said the soldiers killed all the people they dragged to various points within March 29. She farther said that, on 27 March she went to visit Amalendu Dakshi’s residence. Dakshi’s wife informed her, it was Maolana Sobhan who came to pick her husband.
Senior Advocate of Pabna Judge Court and former Public Prosecutor Awami League leader Golam Hasnaen said, “Sobhan took the Pakistan Army to the residence of Awami League leader Aminuddin.” Sobhan organised all the Al Badar, Razakar and Peace Committee members. Daily Ittefaq’s Pabna correspondent Anwarul Haq and Advocate Shafiqul Haq Shibly said that Sobhan inspired the Pakistan army to kill Pabna Zilla School teacher Kochimuddin. He also directed killing of freedom fighter and musician Shadhon, informed Shadhon’s mother Sufia Begum.
Retired principal Md. Abdul Ghani of Kalachand Para, Pabna, said Sobhan along with the Pakistani soldiers raided hindu-dominated Kuchiapara and Shankharipara on April 17. Eight people including Sudhir Chandra Chowdhury, Ashok Kumar Shaha, Gopal Chandra Chowdhury were killed during the operation. The army torched as many as 25 homesteads, looted valuables and assaulted the Hindu women.

He said a strong group of collaborators led by Sobhan, Ishaq, Tegar and many others killed over 1000 people and torches homes in Faridpur thana in Pabna district in the month of May. The second largest mass killing in Pabna took place in Sujanagar. It was one of the dawn of the first week of May, the Pakistanis’ killed some 400 people at Nazirganj in Satbaria, according to freedom fighter Zahirul Islam Bishu. He said his Mujib Bahini had arrested one of the gang leader Moulavi Modhu in late May and later killed him. Modhu during the interrogation admitted that before they go for attack they had a meeting ahead of the attack at Sobhan’s residence. He said before any attack the collaborators used to had meeting at Sobhan’s residence.

Maulana A K M Yousuf
MAULANA A K M YOUSUF, village-Rajoir, Thana-Saran Khola, District-Bagerhat. Presently he is the Naeb-e- Ameer of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh. He was one of the leading anti-liberation organizers during the 1971 war. As part of his role in the anti-liberation activities he became a member of Malek cabinet during the war. He first formed ‘Razakar Bahini’ comprising 96 members of Jamaat-e-Islami in Khulna district. He became the leader of the Jamaat well before the freedom War started. He started his anti-Bangladesh role and cooperating the Pakistani forces as soon as the war began on March 25.. His responsibilities were to issue statement, organize the anti-liberation forces and lead attacks, killing, looting and arson by his groups. He also helped the members of the Pakistani forces to do the same.

His statements published in the newspapers where he opposed the liberation war and urged the collaborators to resist the pro-liberation forces. On October 10, 1971, this anti-liberation leader praised activities of the Razakars in a public rally and said, “we will have to make the people understand that the so-called Bangladesh concept is created by Indian authorities is valueless. Naxalaits, separatists and criminals are trying to create anarchy in this part of the country. They should be ousted by root.” (Genocide ’71, Muktijuddha Chetana Bikish Kendra, Dhaka, February 1987).

On October 26, at a gathering in Sylhet, he said, “a section of ignorant youths inspired by Indian propaganda has been unleashing separatist activities on our land. You spread over every nook and corner of the country to resist this movement and uproot the concept of so-called Bengali nationalism” . He warned the allied forces saying, “Had there been any war imposed on them, then heroes of Razakar and soldiers would face with all courage.” On November 12, 1971, he praised the Razakar activities while visiting Razakar camps in Shatkhira. He commented, “the Razakars have been doing their best to resist the spies and intruders of India”. He also assured the Razakars that he would provide them with government jobs.

On November 28, while he was discussing with newsmen in Karachi, Yousuf said that the Razakar have been working hand in hand with the soldiers. He demanded supply of modern arms to the hands of razakars to eliminate freedom fighters. “now the number of Razakar and Al-shams stood to some 1 lakh. Apart from them, there were Mujahid bahini also. They all are in guarding the borders along with the soldiers. The razakars have been operating successfully resulting in reduce of criminal activities”. (Ibid)

Guljan Bibi, a mother of martyr Shahid Seikh, informed that one Razakar Khaleq Member asked her son to join in the Razakar Bahini during the monsoon of freedom War. As Shahid rejected his proposal, the member called him out a month after. On the same day she learnt that her son was handed to the Pakistani forces. Later she rushed to the founder of the Razakar force, Maolana A K M Yousuf and requested him to free his son. At that time Khaleq Member was also with Yousuf who turned down her request. Guljan Bibi did not get her son back, later she came to learn that Pakistanis killed her son. Guljan demanded trial of her son’s killing.

Yousuf along with his associates Khaleque and Adam Ali had killed number of males and females during the war. They raped many women. These information were disclosed by the citizens of Khulna, but still after 24 years of independence they are tight lipped for the sake of their own security. One of them told the commission that Yousuf forced many people from his own area Morelganj to join in the Razakar force. He forced them to work against the liberation war. Yousuf’s headquarters was the then ‘Ghost House’ which is now being used as district Anasr camp. This camp was the prime torture centre. Apart from this they used to torture the freedom-loving people at Khulna Shipyard, Bhashani Biddalaya and many other camps. They also killed people at such places wherever they felt comfortable. They handed over the innocent Bengalis to Pakistani Army stationed at the prime camp Circuit House, and other makeshift camps at Helipad, Naval base, hotel Shahin, Asiana
Hotel etc. The Razakar and other fundamentalist forces maintained regular connection with the camps. They used to kill the people at Gallamari, forest Ghat, Station road and some other places.
Mohammad Ayen ud Din

ADVOCATE MOHAMMAD AYEN UD DIN, son of Late Md. Moinuddin, Village and Post Office : Shaympur, thana : Motihar, District : Rajshahi. He serves the Muslim League as Secretary General and work as an advocate in the Dhaka High Court. The Muslim League leader resorted to do whatever needed to oppose the creation of Bangladesh. He was the chairman of the then Peace Committee (PC) Rajshahi region and he contested by-election to the then provincial assembly from Rajshahi-13 constituency. Under his direct supervision the Peace Committee, Razakar Force and Al Badar Force were constituted in Rajshahi at that time. He and his associates led all the killings outside the battlefields in the northern Rajshahi area.

“They have been able to face the enemy with unlimited tolerance. Normalcy restored all over Rajshahi. Peace Committee was formed at every sub-division, thana and union levels,” he told the Daily Azad in an interview on May 31, 1971, after the formation of the PC. On August 4, 71 the Daily Sangram reported – “The closing session of the first batch training of Razakar Bahini held at Jinnah Islamic Institution. The trainees took oath on the Koran. In his speech, Ayenuddin advised the Razakar Bahini to do their duties sincerely for an integrated Pakistan. Local personalities and military officers attended the function.”

His kin and kith and locals alleged that Ayenuddin indulged him in killing, torching, looting, repressing the women, forced joining to the Razakar forces and appointing of some persons against their willingness for bridge vigilance. He was also charged with looting assets and property of innocent people who were handed over to Pakistani military by him.

Freedom fighter Advocate Abdullah-hil- Baki and Professor Zinnatunnesa told the Inquiry commission that Ayenuddin started announcing by microphone in the city that if anyone catches Baki, live or dead then he will be awarded Taka 10,000. Ayenuddin, in a letter (D-44 CPC Date 13-09-71) to the then army captain, Mohammad Ilius Khan provided a list of 10 people from the city with a request for immediate arrest. Baki was one among the ten.

Baki said one Abdur Rahman (son of Solaiman, village- Ramchandarpur, thana-Paba), listed in the letter, was arrested from Parila village in September. During a army raid in that area Pakistani forces killed some 30 people at the village and torched some 150 homesteads.
Zinnatunnesa said Ayenuddin killed one Harunur Rashid of Chandua village in Tanore thana because of rivalry over property in April. Then he took away Harun’s nine-year old girl and 13-year old daughter-in- law and then handed over to the Pakistani soldiers, according to an eyewitness of Harun killing.

Awami League district unit vice president and central member of Bangladesh Krishak League Abdus Sobhan told the investigation team that Ayenuddin helped arrest of nine people, including Rahimuddin Sarker, his son Pintu. These nine was later killed at a killing field behind the Joha hall of Rajshahi University.

In late November, he said, Ayenuddin in association with the army picked up Aminul Haq Chowdhury, a hotel owner, Mokbul Chowdhury, Advocate Taslim Uddin, Contractor Altaf Hossain, Nowrozuddula Khan, Advocate Abul Hossain and many others. On December 18, after two day of the victory, the bodies of most of them were recovered from a sandy shoal in the Padma. There were no injury mark on the bodies and it was assumed that all of them were buried alive in the sand.

Sobhan said that Ayenuddin had grown up at their home and studied from there. “But he killed my father in 1955 when he was hardly a student of intermediate. He was implicated in the murder case, but he was spared because two of the juries, from the then Muslim League, helped him to escape.

Preferring anonymous, one local said that the Pakistan army raided a village and arrested several hundred people from there. Ayenuddin came to the scene and separated five of them and asked the army personnel to kill them. Two of them were killed in the hand of Pakistanis, the rest three were released. These five had been campaigning against him during the provincial election held under Pakistani army junta.

Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid.
ALI AHSAN MUHAMMAD MUJAHID, now is one of the assistant secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh. He was the president of East Pakistan Islami Chhatra Shangho and chief of the Al Badar Bahini in Dhaka in 1971. As per his commitment to the party, Mujahid helped in the massacre, looting and women repression during the 71. He led the killings of the intellectuals only two days ahead of the victory of the war.

His anti-liberation activities were evident from his statements published in the then newspapers. While addressing a function of the Chhatra Shangha in Faridpur on September 15, ’71, he had announced that they should have captured Assam before taking control of India. He called upon his cadres to be prepared for such actions. He was quoted in a report published on October 15, as saying that Mujahid criticised Bhutto, Kawsar Niazi and Mufti Mahmud for their objectionable comments on the Razakars and Al Badars. “The youths of the Razakars and Al Badar forces and all other voluntary organisations have been working for the nation to protect it from the collaborators and spy of India. But, recently it was observed that a section of political leaders like Z A Bhutto, Kawsar Niazi, Mufti Mahmud and Asgar Khan have been making objectionable remarks about the patriots.” He called upon the government to take measures to stop such activities by the sections of
leaders. And at the same time he urged the students to come back to classes and help the army to bring back normalcy.

In another statement on October 25, Mujahid called upon for observing Badar day on 17 Ramadan and said, ‘We are now facing anti-islamic forces. We will today take oath for the interest of the nation to establish Islam in the country.’ (Genocide ’71 Muktijuddha Chetona Bikash Kendra, Dhaka February 1987).

Mujahid used to stay at various homes in Fakirerpul and Nayapaltan in Dhaka during 1971. His main place was 181, Fakirerpul, Garompanir Golli of some Feroz Mia. This Feroz was a commander of Razakar forces, according to eyewitness accounts of Jatiya Party leader Abdus Salam, journalist GM Gaus, freedom fighter and columnist Mahbub Kamal.

This home was not only the den of local Razakars, but all the anti-liberation forces had been thronging to this house to make their plan. Razakars were used to use this home as their training centre and meeting place. Many people were taken at this home blind folded and they were being subject to torture. Mujahid was the gang-chief. As he was the party chief, his associates were bout to execute his directives.

GM Gaus said that they have known Mujahid as a leader of one Islamic organisation. He used to stay on rent in the area and tried to convince the general students to join in his party from ’70. After March ’71, the entire Razakar Bahini was formed in the area under his direct supervision. He nominated Feroz Mia as the local commander and organised armed training for the recruited Razakars. Mujahid was also responsible for collecting money and arms.. During the mid-way of the war, Mujahid started operation at various places and picked up intellectuals and resorted to torture on them. Even he led the operation in Dhaka University to kill the teachers, scientists and the writers, said Gaus.

Abdus Salam echoed Gaus saying as a central leader Mujahid’s activities were spread all over the city. “I recovered a number of important documents and photos from Firoz Mia’s home. The evidences included list of Dhaka’s Razakars, their bio-data and various photographs of their activities. Later, the documents were lost during police raids at my home,” he said. After the victory, Firoz Mia’s home was used temporarily a camp of the freedom fighters.

Columnist Mhabub Kamal termed the home as the den of conspiracy. The Razakers used to raid the homes of freedom fighters from this home. He said the residence of the then union Awami League leader Jobed Ali was raided several times. “They also searched home of one of my friend, Nazu, who was missing since August at that year. It is assumed that Nazu was killed by Feroz Mia and his gangs.” He said during the liberation war one of his cousin, Mohsin, came in Dhaka in search of a job. Mohsin used to offer his daily prayer at the Mosque where Mujahid asked him to join the Razakar Bahini. Later, we sent him to Rajshahi secretly to save him from Mujahid.

According to locals, Firoz Mia formed a Razakar platoon of 300 who had been killing innocent people. They resorted to repression on the women in the area. One of the noted footballers who was taken by Feroz’s men said he was brutally tortured at that home. He found a number of hapless young women tied up in houses. They were being tortured everyday. (Genocide ’71 Muktijuddha Chetona Bikash Kendra, Dhaka February 1987)

Photos of anti-liberation activities by Mujahid were also brought up in the newspapers. A photo caption contained in the daily Azad that the Al Badar chief Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid speaking at a street corner rally of the Al Badars issuing warning to the rumour creators.
His anti-liberation activities and acts of terrorism were not stopped in the 1971. Mujahid has been continuing the same until today. According to a news report in the weekly Bichitra that in 1978 Shibir activists killed their opponent student leader, Abdus Sobhan. It was learnt that Mujahid led the killing.
ABM Khaleq Majumder

ABM KHALEQ MAJUMDER, son of Abdul Majid Majumder, Village: Dohatta, thana : Haziganj, District: Comilla. He was office secretary of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Dhaka city unit, during the 1971 liberation war. Now he is not so active in politics. He helped the Pakistani forces as per his party belief during the war and he also killed many a people by his own hands. He had served as a commander of the Al Badar Bahini of the Jamaat during the war. He is charged with the intellectuals’ murders.

On December 14 evening, he along with his associates forcibly picked up the then joint-editor of daily ‘Sangbad’ and noted litterateur Shahidullah Kaiser from 29 Kayet Tuli. Kaiser did not returned, even his body was yet to be recovered. Shahidullah’ s wife Saifunnahar alias Panna Kaiser, Nasir Ahmed, husband of Shahidullah’ s youngest sister, younger brother Zakaria Habib and his wife Neela Jakaria witnessed the incident.

According to their witnesses account, due to the war a number of Kaiser’s relatives took shelter at his home. On the December 14 evening, Zakaria along with some others had been trying to listen to the ‘Sawdhin Bangla Betar Kendro’ (A radio station operated by the freedom fighters) programme. The entire area darkened due to blackout. At that time someone knocked loudly the outside door. Zakaria rushed to first floor. Shahidullah Kaiser was taking tea at the drawing room at that time, Neela was accompanying him. Informing that someone came at the door, Zakaria came down. Gripped by fear, Kaiser’s sisters and other switched on all the lights on the ground and first floor. Kaiser was trying to make a phone call, but the intruders entered breaking the door inside. They first knocked Obaidullah (younger brother of Shahidullah) down by the rifle butt. The masked-men went up to Shahidullah’ s bedroom. Identifying himself, Shahidullah wanted to know the reason
for their coming.

Getting Shahidullah’ s identity, one of the masked-men exclaimed saying “Mil gaya” (we got him) in Urdu and hold him by his hair. The others caught him by shirt, by hand and dragged him out. At that time wife Panna Kaiser, sister Shahana Begum and brother-in-law Nasir tried to rescue him from the cluster of the abductors. At one stage, Shahana tore one of the mask-men and everybody known him. Later, during identification of Khaleq Majumder in the court they said this man had gone to abduct Shahidullah Kaiser on the evening of December 14.
As the abductor was identified on the spot, he kicked Shahana and forcibly dragged out Shahidullah and Jakaria Habib. Shahidullah tried his best to resist the abductors, but failed. Finally, the abductors released Zakaria on the road but took away Sahaidullah by a waiting jeep. Khaleq Majumder was also the inhabitant of the area. He used to live at 47, Agamosi Lane.

Imam of the Kaet Tuli Mosque Ashrafullah who now works for the Banani graveyard said, on December 14, 1971 afternoon Khaleq Majumder wanted to know when Shahidullah Kaiser was available at his home. In response, Ashrafullah told him that he did not know. He even did not know that Majumder was looking for Kaiser to kill him. On that night, the Imam had been watching that Kaiser was trying hard to resist the abductors and was screaming ‘help, save me’. And a number of people were picking up in a jeep. On December 17, Ashrafullah informed it to Nasir Ahmed and Zakaria Habib.

On December 14 night, Nasir Ahmed informed about the abduction to Kotowali police station, but no service could be provided due to a lack of police administration at that time. After the country was freed from the occupation forces on December 16, Nasir Ahmed was looking for Khaleq Majumder and filed a case with Kotowali thana.

Khaleq Majumder fled from his home fearing reprisal for his activities. Nasir Ahmed, Zakaria Habib and others went to his home. But he was not there. They found a revolver loaded with bullets, plenty of important documents with names of military officers and members of the Al Badar forces. These evidences were handed to the investigation commission formed to find out the culprits of intellectuals’ killing. In fact: Nasir Ahmed along with a number of freedom fighters from Sector-2 had been looking for Khaleq Majumder to get Shahidullah Kaiser back. Finally, Majumder was arrested from one of his relative’s home in Malibagh. The case proved that he abducted Shahidullah Kaiser to kill him and the court in its verdict on July 17 (1972) awarded Khaleq Majumder seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of taka 10,000. As Khaleq was convicted based on specific charges, he was out of the purview of the general amnesty announced by the then Prime Minister
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

But with the changed political scenario, Khaleq Majumder got acquitted from the case on appeal to the High Court on April 29, 1976 during the Ziaur Rahman’s regime.

In his book “shikol Pora Dingulo’ Khaleq himself admitted that he was the secretary of Jamaat office of Siddique Bazar. His party was against the independent war in 1971. They had been assisting the Pakistani forces by mobilising Razakar and Albadar forces and directly involved themselves in genocide, rape, arson, torching etc. He admitted that due to his loyalty to the party he had to implement those things. He also admitted that he was well know with the other war criminal Matiur Rahman Nizami and operation in charge of intellectuals’ killing Chowdhury Moinuddin. It was also learnt from his book that he maintained very good relations with the Pakistan army. In his book that came out 14 years after the independence, he expressed his hatred to the Bangladesh’s freedom. When seventy million people were expressing their joys with the victory on December 16, 1971, the writer of the book was feeling frustrated saying “Alas! Everybody was surprised ….on
that very morning one Jamaat leader sent me to the Jamaat office in a hurry… my mind was disappeared with disappointment listening to the news. …” (Shikol Pora Dinguli, page 10). He continued writing “I was not certain about my future. But I did not feel well. The day was ended with a long breath of frustration. The night fell down with all its darkness. The fortunate star bade good-bye from our sky etc.”

Dr. Syed SaJJad Hossain
PROFESSOR SYED SAJJAD HOSSAIN was the Vice-Chancellor of Rajshahi University during the early times of the war. He was appointed VC of Dhaka University in May 1971. He was active against the war of independence at that time. He had been trying to save his misdeeds by issuing press statements praising the activities of the Pakistan army. And he had used to maintain regular lesion with the army.

On January 10, 1972, a ‘Dainik Bangla’ report said “Dr. Sajjad had foreign trip to propagate against Independent Bangladesh within a few days of attacking by notorious Yahia’s army on the innocent people.” One of his letters were published in the London Times newspaper. The letter carried, “It was not right what is being told to be happened in Bangladesh.” He opined in the letter that the Pakistani forces were not responsible for the post-March 25 killings of the teachers of Dhaka University inside the campus. They died of cross firing of two groups. Mentionable, those who died on March 25 and 26 by the army were the classmates of Dr. Sazzad.

A letter with his signature published in the Dainik Bangla newspaper on January 10, 1972 is still being considered as one of the proof of his collaboration with Pakistan. He wrote, according to the office order of London Embassy of Pakistan I should be paid money as per the following rate.-a) 50% D/A from June 24 to July 1, 25 pound 25 penny as per three pound 75 penny per day. b) 150 pound cash. My hotel fare will be given latter.

Dr. Sajjad was the number one signatory of a statement of 55 professors, writer, journalists and artists denouncing the war. The joint statement was published in the papers on May 17, 1971, which condemned the liberation New York based International University Emergency
Committee for extending its support to the Bangladeshi people. The statement termed the war as an Indian mission and the university was being used for political purposes. It also said that extremists in the Awami League has been making the simple demand of autonomy into an independent state. “We are frustrated with the demand … we had been expressing our grievances within the one sate structure.. we never wanted such happening, as a result we become very sorry and frustrated with the developments. ”

Conclusion
According to the investigation by the National People’s Inquiry Commission, the logic of trial for the aforesaid eight persons are valid. As they have been assisting an organised force for massacre, war crime, anti-human right activities and indulging them in the similar crimes, their trial is under the purview of international and national laws. The international laws of war crime are base on the historic Nuremberg and Tokyo trial. And the United Nations conventions, declaration, and the human rights documents emphasised trial of war crimes and crimes related to the violation of human rights.

Many countries have introduced laws for trial of the war criminals to uphold the moral base. Bangladesh is not an exception. Bangladesh introduced the International Crime (Tribunal) Act 1973 was defined to try the offences under anti-peace, war crimes, human rights violation and genocide related crimes. The law also defined the crime of imposing an unusual war on a section of people despite having political, religious, race, language and cultural differences, and resorted to killing, raping, detaining, destroying their property, and also help doing this misdeeds. The act suggested formation of special tribunal and to take evidences from the then newspapers, media as witnesses.

The Inquiry Commission after reviewing the offences of the accused and related laws came to a conclusion that these criminals can be tried under the International Crime (Tribunal) Act 1973.

To make the sovereignty of Bangladesh safe and sound, to ensure peace, human rights and dignity these criminals (killers, collaborators and war criminals) must be brought to the justice. Bangladesh has an elected government in office now. The government as well as the opposition parties are talking about human rights. The National People’s Inquiry Commission believes without trying those who assisted the Pakistani occupation forces during the unequal war, those who resorted to killing, torture, rape, torched homesteads, and participated directly or indirectly to the massacre, democracy and human rights cannot be upheld. In this regard the responsibility goes to the government. The government has the authority to try such offence.

The commission strongly recommends trial of these offences under the International Crime (Tribunal) Act of 1973. In this connection this commission recommends further to revival of the laws, repealed herewith, and ensure trial of the offences against humanity.

Sufia Kamal
Chairperson
National People’s Inquiry Commission
Dhaka, 26 March 1995

Posted by Isha Khan, who can be reached at bd_mailer@yahoo.com



The Largest Wave of Suicides in History
February 13, 2009, 8:11 pm
Filed under: India

Neo-Liberal Terrorism in India:

The Largest Wave of Suicides in History

By P. SAINATH

The number of farmers who have committed suicide in India between 1997 and 2007 now stands at a staggering 182,936. Close to two-thirds of these suicides have occurred in five states (India has 28 states and seven union territories). The Big 5 – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh– account for just about a third of the country’s population but two-thirds of farmers’ suicides. The rate at which farmers are killing themselves in these states is far higher than suicide rates among non-farmers. Farm suicides have also been rising in some other states of the country.

It is significant that the count of farmers taking their lives is rising even as the numbers of farmers diminishes, that is, on a shrinking farmer base. As many as 8 million people quit farming between the two censuses of 1991 and 2001. The rate of people leaving farming has only risen since then, but we’ll only have the updated figure of farmers in the census of 2011.

These suicide data are official and tend to be huge underestimates, but they’re bad enough. Suicide data in India are collated by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a wing of the Ministry of Home Affairs, government of India. The NCRB itself seems to do little harm to the data. But the states where these are gathered leave out thousands from the definition of “farmer” and, thus, massage the numbers downward. For instance, women farmers are not normally accepted as farmers (by custom, land is almost never in their names). They do the bulk of work in agriculture – but are just “farmers’ wives.” This classification enables governments to exclude countless women farmer suicides. They will be recorded as suicide deaths – but not as “farmers’ suicides.” Likewise, many other groups, too, have been excluded from that list.

The spate of farm suicides – the largest sustained wave of such deaths recorded in history – accompanies India’s embrace of the brave new world of neoliberalism. Many reports on that process and how it has affected agriculture have been featured right here, on the Counterpunch site. The rate of farmers’ suicides has worsened particularly after 2001, by which time India was well down the WTO garden path in agriculture. The number of farmers’ suicides in the five years – 1997-2001 – was 78,737 (or 15,747 a year on average). The same figure for the five years 2002-06 was 87,567 (or 17,513 a year on average). That is, in the next  five years after 2001, one farmer took his or her life every 30 minutes on average. The 2007 figures (detailed below) place that year, too, in the higher trend.

What do the farm suicides have in common? Those who have taken their lives were deep in debt – peasant households in debt doubled in the first decade of the neoliberal “economic reforms,” from 26 per cent of farm households to 48.6 per cent. We know that from National Sample Survey data. But in the worst  states, the percentage of such households is far higher. For instance, 82 per cent of all farm households in Andhra Pradesh were in debt by 2001-02. Those who killed themselves were overwhelmingly cash crop farmers – growers of cotton, coffee, sugarcane, groundnut, pepper, vanilla. (Suicides are fewer among food crop farmers – that is, growers of rice, wheat, maize, pulses.) The brave new world philosophy mandated countless millions of Third World farmers forced  to move from food crop cultivation to cash crop (the mantra of “export-led growth”). For millions of subsistence farmers in India, this meant much higher cultivation costs, far greater loans, much higher debt, and being locked into the volatility of global commodity prices. That’s a sector dominated by a handful of multinational corporations. The extent to which the switch to cash crops impacts on the farmer can be seen in this: it used to cost Rs.8,000 ?($165 today) roughly to grow an acre of paddy in Kerala. When many switched to vanilla, the cost per acre was (in 2003-04) almost Rs.150,000 ($3,000) an acre. (The dollar equals about 50 rupees.)

With giant seed companies displacing cheap hybrids and far cheaper and hardier traditional varieties with their own products, a cotton farmer in Monsanto’s net would be paying far more for seed than he or she ever dreamed they would. Local varieties and hybrids were squeezed out with enthusiastic state support. In 1991, you could buy a kilogram of local seed for as little as Rs.7 or Rs.9 in today’s worst affected region of Vidarbha. By 2003, you would pay Rs.350 — ($7) — for a bag with 450 grams of hybrid seed. By 2004, Monsanto’s partners in India were marketing a bag of 450 grams of Bt cotton seed for between Rs.1,650 and Rs.1,800 ($33 to $36). This price was brought down dramatically overnight due to strong governmental intervention in Andhra Pradesh, where the government changed after the 2004 elections. The price fell to around Rs.900 ($18) – still many times higher than 1991 or even 2003.

Meanwhile, inequality was the great man-eater among?the “Emerging Tiger” nations  of the developing world. The predatory commercialization of the countryside devastated all other aspects of life for peasant farmer and landless workers. Health costs, for instance, skyrocketed. Many thousands of youngsters dropped out of both school and college to work on their parents’ farms (including many on scholarships). The average monthly per capita expenditure of the Indian farm household was just Rs.503 (ten dollars) by early this decade. Of that, 60 per cent roughly was spent on food and another 18 per cent on fuel, clothing and footwear.

Farmers, spending so much on food? To begin with, millions of small and marginal Indian farmers are net purchasers of food grain. They cannot produce enough to feed their families and have to work on the fields of others and elsewhere to meet the gap. Having to buy some of the grain they need on the market, they are profoundly affected by hikes in food prices, as has happened since 1991, and particularly sharply earlier this year. Hunger among those who produce food is a very real thing. Add to this the fact that the “per capita net availability” of food grain has fallen dramatically among Indians since the “reforms” began:  from 510 grams per Indian in 1991, to 422 grams by 2005. (That’s not a drop of 88 grams. It’s a fall of 88 multiplied by 365 and then by one billion Indians.) As prof. Utsa Patnaik, India’s top economist on agriculture, has been constantly pointing out, the average poor family has about 100 kg less today than it did just ten years ago – while the elite eat like it’s going out of style.  For many, the shift from food crop to cash crop makes it worse. At the end of the day, you can still eat your paddy. It’s tough, digesting cotton. Meanwhile, even the food crop sector is coming steadily under corporate price-rigging control. Speculation in the futures markets pushed up grain prices across the globe earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the neoliberal model that pushed growth through one kind of consumption also meant re-directing huge amounts of money away from rural credit to fuel the lifestyles of the aspiring elites of the cities (and countryside, too). Thousands of rural bank branches shut down during the 15 years from 1993-2007.

Even as incomes of the farmers crashed, so did the price they got for their cash crops, thanks to obscene subsidies to corporate and rich farmers in the West, from the U.S. and EU. Their battle over cotton subsidies alone (worth billions of dollars) destroyed cotton farmers not merely in India but in African nations such as Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali, and Chad. Meanwhile, all along, India kept reducing investment in agriculture (standard neoliberal procedure). Life was being made more and more impossible for small farmers.

As costs rose, credit dried up. Debt went out of control. Subsidies destroyed their prices. Starving agriculture of investment (worth billions of dollars each year) smashed the countryside. India even cut most of the few, pathetic life supports she had for her farmers. The mess was complete. From the late-’90s, the suicides began to occur at what then seemed a brisk rate.

In fact, India’s agrarian crisis can be summed up in five words (call it Ag Crisis 101): the drive toward corporate farming. The route (in five words): predatory commercialization of the countryside. The result: The biggest displacement in our history.

Corporations do not as yet have direct control of Indian farming land and do not carry out day-to-day operations directly. But they have sewn up every other sector, inputs, outlets, marketing, prices, and are heading for control of water as well (which states in India are busy privatizing in one guise or another).

The largest number of farm suicides is in the state of Maharashtra, home to the Mumbai Stock Exchange and with its capital Mumbai being home to 21 of India’s 51 dollar billionaires and over a fourth of the country’s 100,000 dollar millionaires. Mumbai shot to global attention when terrorists massacred 180 people in the city in a grisly strike in November. In the state of which Mumbai is capital, there have been 40,666 farmers’ suicides since 1995, with very little media attention.

Farmers’ suicides in Maharashtra crossed the 4,000-mark again in 2007, for the third time in four years, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. As many as 4,238 farmers took their lives in the state that year, the latest for which data are available,?accounting?for a fourth of all the 16,632 farmers’ suicides in the country. That national total represents a slight fall from the 17,060 farm suicides of 2006. But the broad trends of the past decade seem unshaken. Farm suicides in the country since 1997 now total 182,936.

To repeat, the five worst affected states?– Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh?– account for two-thirds of all farmers’ suicides in India. Together, they saw 11,026 in 2007. Of these, Maharashtra alone accounted for?over 38 per cent. Of the Big 5, Andhra Pradesh saw a decline of 810 suicides against its 2006 total. Karnataka saw a rise of 415 over the same period. Madhya Pradesh (1,375) posted a decline of 112. But Chattisgarh’s 1,593 farm suicides mean an increase of 110 over 2006. Specific factors in these states nourish the problem. These are zones of highly diversified, commercialized agriculture where cash crops dominate. Water stress has been a common feature, and gets worse with the use of technologies such as Bt seed that demand huge amounts of water. High external inputs and input costs are also common, as also the use of chemicals and pesticides. Mindless deregulation dug a lot of graves, lit a lot of pyres.

Maharashtra registered a fall of 215 farm suicides in 2007. However, no other state even touches the 3,000 mark. And AP (with 1,797) and Karnataka (2,135) – the next two worst hit states – together do not cross Maharashtra’s 4,000-plus mark. A one-year dip of 221 occurred in 2005 too, in Maharashtra, only to be followed by an all-time high of 4,453 suicides in 2006. The state’s trend shows no turnaround and remains dismal.

Maharashtra’s 2007 figure of 4,238 follows one and a half years of farm “relief packages” worth around Rs.5,000 crore ($1 billion) and a prime ministerial visit in mid-2006 to the distressed Vidharbha region. The state has also seen a plethora of official reports, studies and commissions of inquiry over 2005-07, aimed at tackling the problem. However, the 12,617 farm suicides in the same years is its worst ever total for any three-year period since the state began recording such data in 1995. Indeed, farm suicides in Maharashtra since that year have crossed the 40,000 mark. The structural causes of that crisis seem untouched.

Nationally, farmers’ suicides between 2002-07 were worse than for the years 1997-2001. NCRB data for the whole country now exists from 1997-2007. In the five years till 2001, there were 15,747 farmers’ suicides a year on average. For the six years from 2002, that average is 17,366 farmers’ suicides each year. The increase is distressingly higher in the main crisis states.

P. Sainath is the rural affairs editor of The Hindu and is the author of Everybody Loves a Good Drought. A regular contributor to CounterPunch,  he can be reached at psainath@vsnl.com

http://www.counterpunch.org/sainath02122009.html



Indian Army-Hindu terrorists nexus: Sinister Facist plans
February 11, 2009, 5:53 pm
Filed under: India, Pakistan
Indian Army-Hindu terrorists nexus: Sinister Facist plans
 
 By Farzana Shah
 
Links of Indian military with Hindutva organizations are no secret now. Most of organizations are working in Indian society since ages like Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal etc have long history of having links with military establishment at different level. The root of this cooperation is decades-old appeal: “India is for Hindus only”. This is nothing new but there is something new and that is the growing influence of this ideology among Indian military and elements that are now not in control of Indian military or Indian government but they are on their own agenda of Hindutva, a name given to same old appeal of race and religion regarding India.
 
Over the years Indian youth is becoming part of these militant outfits working under these organizations with same ideology of Hindu fascism but it never ends here as same youth got recruited into Indian military on regular basis. After being recruited these Hindu fundamentalist keep their links intact with entities like RSS, VHP, Bagrang Dal, Shiv Sena etc.
 
 
 
 
 
This dual linkage of young Indian officers with both military and Hindu fascist organisations has caused a cancer to the military establishment in India. It has brought elements into Indian military who have their own goals which do not conform well with military discipline. An army with irrepressible elements is as dangerous to any country as its real enemy’s army can be or even more. 
 
Officers like Gen (R) Premnath Hoon joined Indian army decades ago and served at different posts all the way to rank of General before he retired. What is revealing that he was one of the founding fathers of military wing of Shiv Sena. This also proves that either before joining or during his service in military he established links with Shiv Sena but what is more important is that he was not alone in this venture but there was active support from Indian military through his contacts he made during service like Colonel Jayant Chitale who was also incharge in military selection center at Pune for many years. Initiating military training from scratch has its own prerequisites like infrastructure, trainers, weapons and most importantly a slogan to motivate new recruitment.
 
This is where assets belonging to RSS/Bagrang Dal/VHP and Shiv Sena in Indian military and RAW enter into equation to bail out above mentioned Hindu terrorist organisations all of them vying for Hindu Rashstra (Hindu State). This process is in place there since many decades and now it is impossible to tell exactly at till what level these elements are controlling Indian military and RAW’s resources to complete Hindu Rashtra dream.
 
RAW also needs these militants to carry out its operation both inside and outside India. As it happens in intelligence business it is not always necessary to give minutest details to government officials until state is getting its objective served. It was matter of time when these terrorists take over RAW as well. Without active support of RAW it is not possible to carry out these massive training programs, coordination among different groups spread all over India and abroad, Only a military intelligence organisation like RAW can make all this happen. RAW reports to Indian prime minister directly, what is more startling to know is how world’s biggest democracy is involved in destabilising its neighbours. There are many operations launched by RAW against its neighbours specially Pakistan and Sri Lanka due to reason that both these SRAAC countries are located at critical geopolitical location on map.
 
All these operations were carried out with consent of different Indian PMs during their occupancy in Dehli. In all these operations RAW always used terrorists trained by Hidutva organizations and in return RAW and intelligence agencies turned a blind eye to whatever these organisationns were doing to the minorities in India be it Muslims, Christians or Sikhs, no one is immune to this dormant infection of Hindutva in Indian society. Successive Indian governments until recently ignored this ever growing influence of Hindutva ideology in military and RAW as there is always an excuse in minds of Indian politicians i.e. Pakistan and ISI to put all the blame on for all the sufferings of Indian minorities.
 
Lt Col Jayant Chitale:
The close relations between Gen Hoon and Col Jayant Chitale are not a secret. The two have been involved in forming Hindu suicide squad to be used against minorities in India on pretext of fighting the terrorism. Just on last Thursday Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Jayant Rao Chitale once again openly admitted training suicide Hindu bombers although he tried to reject that only Hindus are part of suicide squad bys saying that the suicide squad was secular.
Lt Col Chitale, the dictator of ‘Maharashtra Military Foundation while speaking to the media said “Ours is a truly secular suicide squad. Every Indian is welcome to join my suicide squad.” The training session for the suicide squad, which includes the use of lathis and swords, takes place near Vasat Village at Ambernath, an industrial town, which is over 50 kilometres away from Mumbai from where according to Lt Col Chitale a batch of 30 students has passed out in the last 15 days.
 
Earlier a the chief of a Hindu fanatic organisation Shiv Sena called for forming ‘Hindu suicide squads’ to tackle terrorism in India.Further openly admitting training Hindu youth for suicide bombing the Indian Army officer Lt Col Jayant Chitale said “I have been requesting the government for the last three years to form this suicide squad,” he said. “I have sent letters to the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, President Abdul Kalam and the army chief about the formation of these suicide squads, but there was no response. So, I started the training programme.”

Asked what his recruits would do, he said, “The Pakistanis have disturbed the internal peace in India and my suicide squads will do the same thing in Pakistan.”It was earlier mentioned that Lt Col Chitale has been supported by Lt Col (retired) Lt Gen P N Hoon and a few other ex-servicemen belonging to the Shiv Sena.
In this context when media asked Lt Gen Hoon for his comments he only denied that Shiv Sena was backing the suicide bombing training but he shamelessly “We have started this program on our own because the country needs such youth to tackle terrorism. Today, the country is being destroyed by the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan. And we have to do something about it. So, we feel that these suicide squads are the answer for the Pakistanis.”
 
 

clip_image005(RSS Trainging)
 
 
Now it must be no surprise that both Gen (R) Premnath Hoon and Colonel Jayant Chitale also served RAW at different positions. Police on several occasion got information about the involvement of these elements in terrorist activities but every time some unseen hidden hands stopped the investigation in middle before it could be completed. One such example is ATS (Anti Terror Squad) ‘s investigations from Col Jayant in 2002. The investigations were forced to stop when ATS was about to prove links between Indian military and Hindu Zionists and this intervention came from nowhere else but from RAW.
 
Role of Hindutva in 26/11 & its goals
Recent attacks in Mumbai was another manifestation of these Hindu elements who perpetrated Babri Mosque, Godhra Train fire, Gujrat Massacre, killing of Christians, Malegoan bombing, Samjhuta Express and countless other operations against minorities.
 
Till start of November 08 every Indian newspaper was publishing reports of arrest of Col. Prouhit and his confession about Malegoan bombing and supplying deadly RDX for Samjhuta Express inferno in 2007. What was the most shocking news in first 15 minutes of Mumbai attacks was murder of 3 top ATS officers including ATS chief Hemant Karkare at the hands of “gunmen” on 26th Nov. 2008. It is now becoming more and more evident that he was actually murdered by cold blooded assassins of Hidutva trained in RAW’s training camps. This linkage of RAW and terrorists was exactly what Hament Karkare was investigating from Col Shinkar Purohit, a serving officer in Indian army currently deputed in RAW who was arrested by ATS in connection with the Malegoan bomb blasts and Samjhuta express.
 
It was only after 8th Nov. 2008 when news started surfacing about Col. Purohit’s confession in Malegoan blasts and Samjhuta express incident. He also revealed that he was not only serving army officer who is linked to Gen Premnath Hoon’s terror network. Ramesh Upadhyaya a retired Major in Army was also among accused in Malegoan blasts. But ATS soon disclosed that there may be two other serving colonels facing charges of involvement in these blasts in Malegoan in Sep. 07. Now it was clear that ATS will soon uncover the whole cartel of Hindu terrorists in midst of Indian military establishment and RAW.
 
 So the hardliner Hindus from fundamentalist organizations started giving life threats to chief of Anti-Terrorist Court, Hament Karkare but he carried on his work till the D-Day arrived i.e 26/11/08. Investigations were little slow as ATS was not receiving required corporation from police in neighbouring states but still at that time a lot was already known to media and masses both about where actual problem lies.
 
After calculating the expected damage to their cartel, the fundamentalist Hindu groups decided to eliminate Karkare. But it was to be done in a way that no body should have doubts about Indian military’s involvement in this. Again trained terrorists of Atma Ghatak Phatak (AGP) [suicidal squad once desired by Bal Thackeray] were picked for job to eliminate Karkare in a way that the blame can put be on Pakistan and ISI.
 
India tried its best to stage a perfect terrorist plot being planned and controlled from Pakistan by ISI. But it seems now that India fell into hole it dig for Pakistan as more and more reports are coming on media about these attacks and inefficiency of Indian Police, Army, RAW to protect Indian citizens. More confessions are on the way to unleash the sinister nexus between RAW, Indian army and terrorists. All this happened due to very strong rebuttal from Pakistani media in reaction to what Indian was propagating to the world during crisis when no investigations were even started. So considerable portion of Indian intelligentsia started to look for problem within instead of believing what government news agencies were selling to the world and Indian masses.
 
Latest investigation from Col Purohit revealed that more colonels and a major were also part of Malegeon. At start Indian army was very mortified when Col. Purohit’s confession came to media about Malegeon and Samjhuta Express. Col Raikar & Col Hasmukh Patel was also part of masterminding Malegeon blasts. Recently it is learned that above mentioned officers although not charged but are going under investigation as their names were also mentioned by the Col Purohit. Other serving officer who is being accused and investigated in official charge sheet is Colonel Bapaditya Dhar of Parachute regiment at Panchmarhi.
 
After looking at these names it is safe to assume that on further investigation from this new accused Col. Dhar more links of Indian Army with fundamentalist Hindu organizations uncovering fascist elements among top ranks of Indian Army. After these facts emerged Indian establishment was forced to pretend as they were never aware of these terrorists in their midst. One such statement was made by Defence minister A K Antony saying that his ministry and the Army were “fully cooperating” with the investigating agencies. “It’s a matter of serious concern to all of us…. We are determined to go to the root of the entire issue,” he said. “We are awaiting their (ATS and IB) report…. We will take all necessary steps after that. We are also taking internal steps (to prevent any occurrence of such incidents),” he added.
 
It is ironic why he is not ready to throw light on what former Indian Prime Minister VP Singh said in front of Jain Commission in Nov. 1996 about the forming LTTE terrorist network 1983. Mr. Singh said,” First batch of training of Sri Lankan Tamil militants was done by India in 1983 under the orders of then Prime Minister (Late) Mrs. Indira Gandhi. The camp was located at Chakrata, Tamil Nadu.”
 
So it is clear now that Indian governments and intelligence agencies were not only aware of these links of Indian military with terrorist organisations but they used these links in order to pursue national policy of state terrorism and the practice is still going on. (There are highly active offices and training camps of RAW working along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan and creating low intensity conflicts with Pakistani state and military in order to soften it up for a major military battle on Eastern front.)
 
Like recently out of embarrassment Indian Army Chief General Kapoor said, “Steps are being taken to prevent involvement of its officers in terror attacks”. From this statement it seems that he wanted to say “Steps are being taken to prevent any clue to be ended in ATS hands in terror attacks.”
 
It is ironic that why he did not announce a broader inquiry to find out remains of this nexus between Indian military and Hindutva terrorists. But after looking at above facts and history of these relations it is not a very wise thing to think about any such inquiry in Indian military ever. Immediate goals of 26/11 are clearer than ever before…
 
  1. Eliminate Hament Karkare along with his team to put breaks on ongoing investigations which were illuminating all links between Indian military, RAW and Hindutva organizations.
  2. Divert attention towards ISI so that next time no one in India could ask about those investigations done by Karkare and his team before they got assassinated.
  3. Advocate Hindutva message that Muslims are root cause of panic in India so these must be either converted to Hinduism or must be eliminated from Indian soil.
  4. Create a media wave to divert attention from incidents like Malegeon and Samjhuta Express blast and hence diverting attention from investigations of these incidents as well.
 
It is also to be noted that Lt Col Jayant Chitale and serving Indian Col Purohit are also neighbours where as Gen Hoon and many other ex-Indian army officers are active contributors of suicide bombing training to Hindu youth and also admit it openly.. This is a dangerous scenario for India in common and the world in general where the elements from Indian army are taking part in training suicide bombers after becoming part of Hindu fundamentalist organisations.
 
If these elements are let loose in future which is a sure possibility keeping in view track record of RAW then there is strong possibility of falling of Indian nukes into the hands of Hindu fundamentalists who are more dangerous to the world than Pakistani religious groups.
 
India had been having civilian governments throughout its history while armed forces have been sidelined in many issues including nukes which are under the civilian government more than the Indian army. But unfortunately Indian politics and successive governments over the years have been manipulated by Hindu fundamentalist orgnisations like RSS, Bajrang Dal and BJP. These organisations over the decades since creation of India have gradually penetrated the Indian army. Now with top ranking officials of Indian army having links with Hindu hardliner politicians who are fanatics and running suicide training camps, it is feared that Indian nuclear assets might be slipped into the hands of these Hindu fundamentalists who have been ruthlessly killing Christians, Muslims and Dalits in India. God forbid if these Hindu fundamentalist took over Indian nuclear weapons then the region will face the biggest threat.
 
 
(The author can be reached at janashah_1@yahoo.com)