venerdì 29 luglio 2011

Le forze di sicurezza del Pakistan accusate di torture e uccisioni

Friday, 29 July 2011

mercoledì 27 luglio 2011

Ucciso il sindaco di Kandahar


Ucciso da un kamikaze
il sindaco di Kandahar

Hamidi si trovava nel cortile del palazzo comunale quando l'attentatore suicida ha fatto esplodere la bomba che portava nel turbante. Due settimane fa nella stessa città l'uccisione del fratello di Karzai. I Taliban rivendicano

KABUL - Il sindaco di Kandahar, città nel sud dell'Afganistan, è stato ucciso in un attentato suicida. Lo ha riferito il capo della polizia della provincia, Abdul Raziq. Il kamikaze ha fatto detonare l'esplosivo che nascondeva sotto il turbante davanti all'uomo, Ghulam Haidar Hamidi, che stava discutendo con altri amministratori nel cortile del Comune. Hamidi si era distinto per la sua lotta alla corruzione nella vita pubblica afgana. I Taliban locali hanno rivendicato l'attentato.

Insieme ad Hamidi sono morte anche altre persone, il bilancio finale dell'attentato non è ancora noto. Immediatamente dopo l'attentato, militari afgani e della Forza internazionale di assistenza alla sicurezza (Isaf, sotto comando Nato) hanno preso posizione nella zona isolandola.

Due settimane fa a Kandahar era stato ucciso il fratello del presidente afgano, Hamid Karzai, uno degli uomini più potenti e anche controversi dell'Afghanistan meridionale; e la sua uccisione ha fatto temere da subito una destabilizzazione dei precari equilibri nella zona.
(27 luglio 2011)

venerdì 22 luglio 2011

Il Congresso USA lancia segnali poco chiari al Pakistan

US Congress sends mixed signals on aid

One of the bills taken up by the House Foreign Affairs Committee would bar security and civilian aid to Pakistan unless the Obama administration certified that Pakistan was making progress on fighting terrorism. – Photo by Reuters
WASHINGTON: The US Congress sent a mixed signal to Pakistan on Thursday, rejecting one move to restrict aid to the country while supporting the other.The development came amid a warning from the new CIA chief not to push Pakistan too hard as the country had already poked “a lot of short sticks in hornets’ nests”.
One of the bills taken up by the House Foreign Affairs Committee would bar security and civilian aid to Pakistan unless the Obama administration certified that Pakistan was making progress on fighting terrorism.
Moved by the committee’s chairperson Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the bill requires the US secretary of state to submit an annual certificate to Congress that Pakistan is pursuing terrorists and helping investigate how Osama bin Laden managed to hide for years inside the country.
But the panel rejected a more far-reaching effort targeting US aid to Pakistan. The committee defeated an amendment by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican, to cut off all assistance to Pakistan.
The vote was 39-5. Mr Rohrabacher had moved the bill on May 5, three days after Osama bin Laden was killed in a US raid in Abbottabad.
Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen’s legislation, however, goes beyond terrorism and covers nuclear proliferation as well.
This legislation “puts the government of Pakistan on notice that they will be held to account if they continue to refuse to cooperate with our efforts to eliminate the nuclear black market, destroy the remaining elements of Osama bin Laden’s network, and vigorously pursue our counterterrorism objectives.”
The Obama administration opposed both the moves saying that the aid was critical to building Pakistan’s civilian institutions and to battling the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Restrictions on other countries
The committee also placed restrictions on US aid to Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen and the Palestinian Authority and reduced US assistance to the UN by 25 per cent.
Another adopted amendment would prohibit any foreign assistance to countries that oppose the US in the United Nations.
Overall, the committee sliced $6.4 billion from President Obama’s $51 billion request for 2012 for the State Department and foreign operations. The bill now goes to the Republican-dominated full House for an expected easy adoption. But it also needs the Senate’s approval before it becomes a law. US legal experts say that it cannot pass the Democrat-dominated Senate. President Barack Obama is also a Democrat and the Democrats see the bill as an effort to restrict his powers to make foreign policies.

mercoledì 20 luglio 2011

Pakistan’s Military Plotted to Tilt U.S. Policy, F.B.I. Says

Pakistan’s Military Plotted to Tilt U.S. Policy, F.B.I. Says
WASHINGTON — Pakistan’s military, including its powerful spy agency, has spent $4 million over two decades in a covert attempt to tilt American policy against India’s control of much of Kashmir — including funneling campaign donations to members of Congress and presidential candidates, the F.B.I. claimed in court papers unsealed Tuesday.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Representative Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania was among the politicians who may have unwittingly received donations that originated from Pakistan's military.
Charles Dharapak/Associated Press
Representative Dan Burton of Indiana is another politician who may have unknowingly received money funneled from Pakistan's military.
The allegations of a long-running plan to influence American elections and foreign policy come at a time of deep tensions between the United States and Pakistan — and in particular its spy agency — amid the fallout over the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden at a compound deep inside Pakistan on May 2.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation made the allegations in a 43-page affidavit filed in connection with the indictment of two United States citizens on charges that they failed to register with the Justice Department as agents of Pakistan, as required by law. One of the men, Zaheer Ahmad, is in Pakistan, but the other, Syed Fai, lives in Virginia and was arrested on Tuesday.


lunedì 18 luglio 2011

Médecins sans frontières contro la CIA


Msf contro la Cia

Le rivelazioni su come la Cia avrebbe ottenuto i codici del dna della famiglia di Osama bin Laden, ossia inscenando un falso programma di vaccinazione ad Abbottabad in Pakistan, hanno fatto arrabbiare non poco Médecins sans frontières: “Così ne va della credibilità di tutti gli operatori medici ed umanitari nel mondo”, fa sapere l’ong.

Cover used by US intelligence to spy on Bin Laden in Pakistan 'threatened immunisation work around the world'
Bin Laden complex
Police outside the compound where Bin Laden lived. MSF has criticised the CIA's fake vaccination drive, used as cover to spy on him. Photograph: MD Nadeem/EPA
Médecins Sans Frontières has lashed out at the CIA for using a fake vaccination programme as a cover to spy on Osama bin Ladenon Thursday, saying it threatened life-saving immunisation work around the world.
The international medical aid charity said the ploy used by US intelligence, revealed this week in the Guardian, was a "grave manipulation of the medical act".
The CIA recruited a Pakistani doctor and health visitors before the operation in May that killed Bin Laden in Abbottabad in northern Pakistan, to try to ascertain whether the al-Qaida leader was living in the compound. The doctor, Shakil Afridi, set up a vaccination drive for Hepatitis B in the town in order to try to gain entry to the Bin Laden compound and obtain DNA samples from those living there.
On Thursday night, a senior US government official defended the practice, saying it had been intended as "an actual vaccination campaign conducted by real medical professionals". He said the team was supposed to deliver the full course of three vaccinations to those treated in Abbottabad.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added: "And it's not as if this kind of campaign is something the CIA runs every day."
However, on the ground in Abbottabad the Guardian discovered that while the vaccine doses themselves were genuine, the medical professionals involved were not following procedures. In an area called Nawa Sher, they did not return a month after the first dose to provide the required second batch. Instead, according to local officials and residents, the team moved on, in April this year, to Bilal Town, the suburb where Bin Laden lived.
"The risk is that vulnerable communities – anywhere – needing access to essential health services will understandably question the true motivation of medical workers and humanitarian aid," said Unni Karunakara, MSF's international president. "The potential consequence is that even basic healthcare, including vaccination, does not reach those who need it most."
Afridi was arrested in late May by Pakistani intelligence, for working for a foreign spy agency. The United States is pressing Pakistan to let him go and allow the doctor and his family to be resettled in the US. Islamabad is infuriated by the CIA's activities inside the country, which were kept secret from their Pakistani counterparts.
"It is challenging enough for health agencies and humanitarian aid workers to gain access to, and the trust of, communities, especially populations already sceptical of the motives of any outside assistance," said MSF. "Deceptive use of medical care also endangers those who provide legitimate and essential health services."
The impact of the fake vaccination drive may be keenly felt in Pakistan, where the public already sees an American conspiracy everywhere. Polio campaigns could be at particular risk, as Pakistan has the biggest polio problem in the world.
The US official said: "The vaccination campaign was part of the hunt for the world's top terrorist, and nothing else. If the United States hadn't shown this kind of creativity, people would be scratching their heads asking why it hadn't used all tools at its disposal to find Bin Laden."
The CIA has not publicly admitted that it used the doctor. A CIA spokesman, George Little, would only say: "Finding Osama Bin Laden is a major victory for the United States and Pakistan."

giovedì 14 luglio 2011


21/07/11 Da LETTERA 22

Il problema delle "complicità di Stato", delle contiguità fra servizi segreti e gruppi talebani ha raggelato le relazioni fra Islamabad e Washington e le conseguenze nella regione potrebbero essere disastrose sul piano politico e geostrategico

Sonny Evangelista
Martedi' 12 Luglio 2011
Il Pakistan, sconvolto dalla violenza etnica e religiosa interna nell’era post Bin Laden, è sempre più solo nella guerra al terrorismo. E i gruppi talebani sembrano volerne approfittare per mettere sotto scacco il governo. Il problema delle “complicità di Stato”, delle contiguità fra servizi segreti e gruppi talebani ha raggelato le relazioni fra Islamabad e Washington e le conseguenze nella regione potrebbero essere disastrose sul piano politico e geostrategico.

La Casa Bianca – nella sua politica di austerity che ha toccato difesa e sanità – ha annunciato un taglio di 800 milioni di dollari negli aiuti militari a Islamabad. Il provvedimento è un ulteriore segno del deterioramento nei rapporti bilaterali, precipitati dopo l’uccisione di Bin Laden, quando Il governo pakistano accusò gli Usa di non essere stato avvisato del blitz nel covo di Abbottabad (Leggi). Nei giorni successivi funzionari Usa dissero, inoltre, di avere prove del coinvolgimento dei servizi segreti pakistani (il potente Isi) nell’omicidio del giornalista Saleem Shahzad, che aveva scoperto legami fra gli stessi servizi e i gruppi terroristi, legami che avrebbero causato l’attacco dei guerriglieri alla base della Marina militare pakistana a Karachi. Un ulteriore sgarbo è stata l’espulsione dal Pakistan di oltre 100 istruttori militari americani, rispediti a casa senza tanti complimenti perché ritenuti non più utili, e la minaccia di chiudere un campo base della Cia nel paese. Insomma, i due paesi sulla carta alleati nella guerra al terrorismo sembrano ai ferri corti. E al taglio finanziario di Washington, il governo pakistano ha risposto che “la misura non avrà alcun impatto sulla capacità militare di combattere il terrorismo”.

Il raffreddamento dei rapporti Usa-Pakistan potrebbe avere effetti collaterali sulla lotta ai talebani, mentre proseguono gli attacchi con i droni nelle aree tribali (le Fata, Federally Administered Tribal Areas), anch’essi oggetto di polemica, perché spesso causa di vittime civili.

Intanto, secondo gli analisti i “talebani pakistani” – i gruppi che da anni hanno trovato le loro basi nella provincia di Khyber Pakhtunkhwa e nelle aree tribali, giungendo in alcuni momenti anche ad avere il controllo effettivo dei territorio, come nella valle di Swat – stanno estendendo il loro potere nel Paese. Oggi terra di conquista è la provincia del Sindh: il segnale è l’inaudita violenza che sta attraversando Karachi, capitale del Sindh, grande città portuale e hub commerciale della nazione: almeno 114 morti in cinque giorni di attentati e violenza urbana, tanto che il presidente Ali Zadari ha chiesto al governo locale di dare un “segnale chiaro” degli interventi delle forze dell’ordine. I morti sono stati 453 negli ultimi sei mesi, 378 dei quali civili: quasi un bollettino di guerra, mentre le Ong parlano di oltre 1.000 morti nei primi sei mesi del 2011.

La violenza si è letteralmente scatenata un settimana dopo che il partito Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) ha abbandonato la coalizione al potere a livello federale e provinciale, quella guidata dal Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). E’ vero che la violenza urbana a Karachi ha radici antiche, precedenti alla stessa nascita del Pakistan indipendente. Sono tesi da sempre, a Karachi, le relazioni fra i “mohajirs” (in Urdu “rifugiati”, provenienti dall’India) e i pashtun, che hanno consolidato il loro potere in città.

Le tensioni etniche, con risvolti sociali, economici e politici, in tempi recenti sono aumentate dopo il trasferimento a Karachi di oltre 300 mila sfollati pashtun dalle zone FATA, proprio a causa della guerra contro i talebani e i gruppi loro alleati. Il MQM ha usato parole pesanti, accusando il governo del PPP di “talebanizzare la città”, offrendo protezione alle bande del movimento terrorista “Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan” (TTP), che avrebbero fra l’altro il controllo della mafia e del traffico di droga. Ipotesi, questa, suffragata dallo stesso ministro degli Interni, Rehman Malik, che due giorni fa ha confermato che “i servizi di intelligence hanno identificato la presenza di militanti del TTP a Karachi”. Il problema è esacerbato dalla larga circolazione e dal commercio di armi, fiorente nell’area. Il governo sembra a tratti impotente e, mentre lo spettro della “talebanizzazione” si avvicina, crescono i rischi di un golpe militare, che sarebbe un ulteriore colpo alle fragili istituzioni democratiche nel paese.

Anche su Il Fatto Quotidiano onlin

martedì 12 luglio 2011

Azione urgente fratelli Abdullah e Ibrahim Mohamed El-Sharkawi , puoi firmare entro il 21 luglio

Paure di tortura per due studenti pakistani
I fratelli  Abdullah e Ibrahim Mohamed El-Sharkawi sono stati  presumibilmente rapiti dalle agenzie d’ intelligence pakistane tra il 25 e il 28 maggio in Pakistan . Nove giorni più tardi Ibrahim è stato localizzato in un centro di detenzione. Di  Abdullah non si è saputo più niente.  Si teme che  entrambi  corrano il pericolo di essere torturati e di subire altri maltrattamenti. Si ritiene inoltre che sia seriamente in pericolo la vita di Abdullah.
Ibrahim Moha med El-Sharkaw i  ha solo  17 anni e la sua famiglia ha scoperto il 6 giugno che era stato trasferito al carcere di  Adiala a  Rawalpindi, vicino la capitale Islamabad,  dall’Agenzia Federale dell’Intelligence Agency (FIA). Secondo un difensore dei diritti umani che lavora per conto della famiglia le autorità del carcere di  Adiala hanno detto che  la  FIA ha accusato Ibrahim di soggiorno illegale in Pakistan e di resistenza all’arresto. La madre di  Ibrahim  ha incontrato  il figlio nel carcere di Adiala il  6  giugno e lui le ha detto di essere stato picchiato,  ammanettato e tenuto in cella con un uomo adulto.  Le accuse contro  Ibrahim  appaiono prive di fondamento  in quanto  Ibrahim è cittadino pakistano in base alla legge del Pakistan.  
Secondo le testimonianze   Ibrahim è stato  rapito da diverse persone in abiti civili  ad Attock, dopo che era uscito di casa la mattina del 29 maggio per andare a comprare del cibo. Non ci sono notizie di suo fratello, Abdullah Moham ed El-Sharkaw i, studente di ingegneria a Islamabad. E’ scomparso da quando è uscito dall’ostello della gioventù dove risiedeva per andare a fare spese in qualche negozio del quartiere all’incirca alle 6 di pomeriggio del 25 maggio .  Fino ad oggi non è stato incolpato di nessun reato. La sua famiglia teme che sia vittima di sparizione forzata e che sia in detenzione segreta, in serio  pericolo di subire tortura o altri maltrattamenti.  I familiari sono inoltre seriamente preoccupati del fatto che la vita di Abdullah sia in grave pericolo.

Esprimendo preoccupazione per il fatto che Abdullah Mohamed El-Sharkawi possa essere stato arbitrariamente arrestato e tenuto in detenzione segreta dal  25 maggio in circostanze che fanno supporre si tratti di una sparizione forzata;
Invita le autorità pakistane a indagare immediatamente e a rivelare il nome del luogo dove si trova, a garantire che abbia accesso ai familiari, che abbia assistenza legale di sua scelta e che possa disporre delle cure mediche di cui possa aver bisogno, che sia protetto dalla tortura e da altri maltrattamenti;
Chiedi che  Abdullah sia immediatamente rilasciato se si trova in custodia  a meno che non sia trasferito in un luogo di detenzione ufficiale, e prontamente accusato di un reato riconosciuto a livello internazionale  e posto in detenzione provvisoria da un tribunale indipendente;
Esprimi preoccupazione per il fatto che  Ibrahim Mohamed El-Sharkawi, un minore,  è stato tenuto in detenzione segreta per nove giorni, senza che fossero rivelati il suo destino e il suo luogo di detenzione, il che equivale a “sparizione forzata”, e per il fatto che è stato maltrattato e che è stato tenuto in carcere dal 6 giugno in base ad accuse rivelatesi prive di fondamento;
Chiedi alle autorità  di trattare Ibrahim in modo conforme alla Convenzione ONU sui diritti dei minori, alla quale il Pakistan ha aderito,  di  permettergli di avere contatti con la famiglia, con gli avvocati, con una corte civile indipendente, chiedi che sia protetto dalla tortura e da altri maltrattamenti mentre è in detenzione, chiedi che sia separato dai detenuti adulti;
Chiedi alle autorità di indagare sui responsabili di questa sparizione forzata , che dovrebbero rendere conto delle loro azioni
Prime Minister
Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani
Pakistan Secretariat
Constitution Avenue
Islamabad, Pakistan
Fax: +92 51 9213780; +92 51 9221596
Advisor / Minister for Interior
Rehman Malik
Room 404, 4th Floor, R Block,
Pakistan Secretariat
Islamabad, Pakistan
Fax: +92 51 9202624
Salutation: Dear Minister
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Torture fears for Two Pakistani Students
informazioni aggiuntive
Dopo la scomparsa di  Abdullah e  Ibrahim Mohamed El-Sharkawi la famiglia ha contattato l’ong pakistana  “Defence of Human Rights” e tramite quest’associazione ha contattato vari funzionari del governo per indagare  sui presunti rapimenti di entrambi i fratelli.  Hanno  fatto una denuncia di sparizione alle stazioni di polizia di  Islamabad e  Attock.
Secondo la loro famiglia  Abdullah e  Ibrahim  non sono affiliati ad alcun movimento politico. Abdullah,  studente di ingegneria nella capitale  Islamabad,  è scomparso dopo aver lasciato l’ostello per andare a fare spese in qualche negozio locale all’incirca  alle  6 di pomeriggio del  25  maggio.
Il  27 maggio,  mentre stava  prendendo parte a una conferenza stampa sulla scomparsa di  Abdullah,  la madre ha detto di aver ricevuto una chiamata telefonica da  Ibrahim durante la quale le avrebbe detto che lui e i suoi fratelli stavano per essere interrogati da uomini che dicevano di essere membri della  "brigata speciale di polizia" , alla casa di famiglia ad  Attock, 90km a nord ovest di  Islamabad.
Ibrahim è scomparso da  Attock due giorni dopo, dopo essere uscito da casa la mattina per comprare qualcosa da mangiare. Un negoziante che ha detto di essere stato testimone dell’episodio ha detto che  Ibrahim è stato prelevato con la forza da molti uomini  in abiti civili che l’hanno picchiato e portato via in automobile. Il negoziante ha detto di aver visto le macchine degli assalitori parcheggiate nei pressi della casa della famiglia di Ibrahim la notte precedente.

 Le accuse contro  Ibrahim appaiono infondate per svariate ragioni.   Il padre e la madre di Ibrahim sono cittadini Pakistani e dato che Ibrahim è nato in  Pakistan ha diritto alla cittadinanza pakistana in base alla legge pakistana.  Comunque, i minori di diciotto anni  in Pakistan non hanno diritto a carte d’identità separate da quelle dei genitori.
 Nonostante questo la famiglia ha dovuto lottare anni per ottenere le carte d’identità pakistane, perchè il padre  è stato fino a non molto tempo fa in detenzione amministrativa in Egitto e  non poteva quindi viaggiare fino in  Pakistan per apporre una firma sui documenti necessari.  L’Alta corte di Peshawar  si è pronunciata a favore della famiglia nel gennaio del  2010, ordinando alle autorità competenti di emettere  per loro carte d’identità e passaporti pakistani. Ma le autorità non hanno provveduto a procurare  alla famiglia questi documenti e questo li ha lasciati vulnerabili di fronte agli abusi. 
Il padre dei due fratelli,  Mohamed Abdel Rehim El-Sharkawi, e il loro fratello maggiore, Abdel Rahman,  sono stati entrambi torturati in Pakistan prima di essere consegnati all’Egitto , dove hanno  nuovamente subito  la tortura, rispettivamente nel 1995 e nel 2006 . Il fratello maggiore  Abdel Rahman è stato arrestato dalle agenzie d’ intelligence pakistane nel  2004  ed è stato tenuto prigioniero  14 mesi prima della rendition che l’ha portato in Egitto..

Further information on UA: 162/11 Index: ASA 33/005/2011 Issue Date: 9 June 2011

Il testo dell'appello

Dear Prime Minister,
we are writing to you as supporters of Amnesty International, the non governmental organization which since 1961 has been working in defence of human rights, wherever they are violated.
We would like to express our concern that Abdullah Mohamed El-Sharkawi might have been arbitrarily arrested and held in secret detention since 25 May in circumstances that amount to being subjected to enforced disappearance.
We urge you to immediately investigate and disclose the whereabouts of Abdullah, to ensure that he has access to family, legal assistance of choice and any medical care he might require and to ensure that he is protected from torture or other ill-treatment.
We demand Abdullah’s immediate release, unless he is transferred to an official place of detention and charged with an internationally recognizable offence and remanded by an independent court.
We express concern that Ibrahim Mohamed El-Sharkawi, a child, has been held in secret detention for nine days, without disclosing his fate or whereabouts, which amounts to enforced disappearance, and has been ill-treated, and that he has been held in prison since 6 June on charges that appear to be groundless.
We call on you to treat Ibrahim according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (to which Pakistan is state party), to allow access to his family, lawyers and an independent, civilian court. We call on you to protect him from torture or other ill-treatment while in detention, and to held him separately from adult detainees.
We call on you to investigate and hold into account those responsible for their enforced disappearance.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

lunedì 11 luglio 2011

US withholds $800m of Pak military aid

By Anwar Iqbal | From the Newspaper

The Pentagon sent a statement to some US news outlets, noting that the Pakistani military also had requested a “significant cutback” of US military trainers and had limited the ability of US personnel to obtain visas. — File Photo
WASHINGTON: The White House said on Sunday that it’s withholding some $800 million in military aid to Pakistan while the Pentagon said that Islamabad was cutting back its ties to the US defence establishment.
The $800 million is about a third of the annual US security aid to Pakistan. In the 2010-11 budget, Pakistan set aside $6.41 billion for defence expenditure, an increase of $1.27 billion from the previous year.
Diplomatic observers in Washington say that while the US cut will hurt Pakistan, it is unlikely to persuade the Pakistani military to follow Washington’s instructions, as it appears willing to downgrade its ties with the United States.
In an unusual statement last month, the Pakistani military asked the United States to divert most of its aid to civilian sectors.
And on Sunday, the Pentagon sent a statement to some US news outlets, noting that the Pakistani military also had requested a “significant cutback” of US military trainers and had limited the ability of US personnel to obtain visas.
The two moves follow a series of statements from Washington indicating that the US-Pakistan relationship, which began eroding with the arrest in January of a CIA contractor, had reached a new low.
On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley told ABC television that Pakistan had “taken some steps that have given us reason to pause on some of the aid which we’re giving to the military”.
Mr Daley acknowledged that the May 2 raid in Abbottabad, which killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, had caused new strains in bilateral ties but defended the US action.
“Obviously there’s still a lot of pain that the political system in Pakistan is feeling by virtue of the raid that we did to get Osama bin Laden,” he said, but President Obama “felt strongly” about the raid and “we have no regrets over” it.
Speaking on ABC’s This Week programme, Mr Daley accepted that Pakistan had been “an important ally in the fight on terrorism. They’ve been the victim of enormous amounts of terrorism”.
But he also said that “it’s a complicated relationship in a very difficult, complicated part of the world”. This relationship, he added, “must be made to work over time” and “until we get through these difficulties, we’ll hold back some of the money that the American taxpayers have committed to give them”.
“Some $800 million?” asked the anchor, Christiane Amanpour. “Yep,” said Mr Daley.
The anchor reminded the White House aide that when President Barack Obama came to power, he said he would bring Pakistan to the table with more aid. “Has that policy failed, and is there a change of policy now?” she asked. “It’s not changed. It’s not failed. The truth of the matter is, our relationship with Pakistan is very complicated and we’re trying to work through that.”
Reflecting on this relationship, the Pentagon hoped that the strains were temporary and the situation would soon improve.
“While the Pakistani military leadership tells us this is a temporary step, the reduced presence of our trainers and other personnel means we can’t deliver the assistance that requires training and support to be effective,” said the statement sent to some US news outlets.
Masood Haider adds from New York: The New York Times reported earlier that the suspension of aid showed Washington’s anger at the expulsion of US military trainers and to pressure Pakistan to step up its fight against militants.
Some of the suspended aid had been earmarked as compensation for Pakistan’s redeployment of troops in Fata to fight militants. Other cuts were in military equipment, the newspaper said. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had warned last month that the United States could slow down US military aid to Pakistan unless it took unspecified steps to combat extremists.
In another sign of strained relations, US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen suggested last week that the Pakistani government had “sanctioned” the killing in May of journalist Saleem Shahzad.
Mr Shahzad was kidnapped near his home in Islamabad. His body was found two days later in Mandi Bahauddin.
In a July 8 editorial, The New York Times claimed that there was evidence of complicity by the ISI in sheltering Bin Laden, of ties to the Mumbai attacks and of involvement in the abduction and murder of Mr Shahzad.
The editorial also called for the removal of ISI chief Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha.
The army’s press office reacted angrily to the editorial, calling it a “direct attack” on Pakistan’s security and a bid to weaken Pakistan.

sabato 9 luglio 2011

violenze a Karachi

Karachi violence continues as death toll rises to 88

The current wave of violence in Karachi has brought the total number of dead to 88 in the last four days. - AFP Photo
KARACHI: Incidents of violence continued in Karachi on Friday as 18 people were killed in fresh incidents of firing.
Per ulteriori approfondimenti c'è il link sotto:

Un giornalista scomodo

U.S. Admiral Ties Pakistan to Killing of Journalist
WASHINGTON — Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that he believed that the government of Pakistan had “sanctioned” the killing of a Pakistani journalist who had written scathing reports about the infiltration of Islamic militants into the country’s security services.

Dell'articolo parla Internazionale
Dopo le indiscrezioni dei quotidiani statunitensi nei giorni scorsi, arriva la conferma ufficiale. Gli Stati Uniti credono che dietro l’omicidio del giornalista pachistano Saleem Shahzad, che indagava sulle connessioni dei servizi segreti Isi con Al Qaeda, ci sia Islamabad, o quantomeno la sua intelligence. A confermarlo è il capo di stato maggiore delle forze armate americane Mike Mullen. I rapporti tra Stati Uniti e Pakistan, dopo il raid di Abbottabad contro Bin Laden, sono sempre più logori.

venerdì 8 luglio 2011

Pakistan's reservations: A challenge to the integrity of the United Nations human rights treaty system..

Pakistan's reservations: A challenge to the integrity of the United Nations human rights treaty system

Pakistan's reservations: A challenge to the integrity of the United Nations human rights treaty system

Index Number: ASA 33/006/2011
Date Published: 23 June 2011
Categories: Pakistan

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mercoledì 6 luglio 2011

Pakistan, un anno dopo l'alluvione

Karachi—A hot, gritty wind carries the stench of pit latrines across a refugee camp on the western outskirts of Karachi, on Pakistan’s southern facing coast. In the sky, vultures and eagles circle. At its peak, this camp held 1,400 families, all poor farmers displaced by the Indus floods of 2010, which inundated an area the size of England and affected more than 20 million people.


  • Flooding in Pakistan
  • Flood survivors in Pakistan
  • Christian Parenti
Although climate change cannot be directly blamed for a lone weather event, last year’s floods in Pakistan and the extreme monsoon that caused them fit the pattern that scientists predict climate change will bring. The United Nations Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change warns that the Indus Basin will suffer more floods and droughts as the planet heats up. And Pakistan’s Meteorological Department believes the country’s average surface temperature will rise by 1.3 to 1.5 degrees Celsius over the next decade.
Before the massive floods of 2010—the worst in memory— much of central and southern Asia was suffering through a brutal ten-year drought, during which crops did poorly and farmers sank ever deeper into debt. Pakistan is considered one of the most arid countries in the world and one of the most water-stressed. The flood was just the latest bit of extreme weather.
For those concerned about the human impacts of climate change, flooded Pakistan has been a harbinger, a warning and a test. The people in this camp are climate refugees, and their efforts to survive are what climate adaptation and the struggle for climate justice look like up close.
In Pakistan one can see how the climate crisis is filtered through pre-existing social problems—and thus demands a response that couples the mitigation strategies that climate campaigners generally emphasize with an adaptive program of social justice. It is, after all, the country’s extreme poverty that renders so many Pakistanis intensely vulnerable to extreme weather.
In rural Sindh, the floodwaters have finally receded, but the old problems have not. It is time to plant new crops, but in many refugee camps there are people refusing to go back to the land. At the windswept camp outside Karachi only half the residents have gone home. Aid agencies are cutting off relief, and the government is telling people to leave. Yet many refugees are stubbornly staying put.
“We will die here before we go back to those landlords,” says Mehboob Ali, the camp spokesman. He and his neighbors seem to mean it. The day before I visited, the camp’s incipient social organization, the Mutasereen (affected people) Action Committee, marched demanding the right to stay and build houses. Police met the marchers with volleys of tear gas and a baton charge. Several marchers were bruised and lacerated by clubs and gas canisters, and a 5-year-old went missing—a small example of how climate change leads to increased violence (for more on this topic see my new book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence).
Why would desperately poor flood victims fight to stay in a dust-choked tent camp on the outskirts of a violent mega-city rather than go back to their homes?
The answer lies in the horrible exploitation and humiliation that is everyday life for most people in rural Pakistan. In Sindh, the traditional landlords are called zamindars and their tenant farmers are haris. Since independence and partition, in 1947, various Pakistani leaders have attempted land reform, but little has ever been achieved. And so, today the zamindars still own vast tracks of land on which their serflike haris live and work.
* * *
Several hundred miles north of Karachi on the edge of Sukkur, where old British-built barrages regulate the flow of the Indus, I found another camp of displaced people who don’t want to move. These people could also be described as escapees from feudalism. The camp lacks a school, a clinic, even basic sanitation, and aid is being cut off. But the remaining residents are finding ways to fit themselves into the local labor market: young men work on construction sites and in granaries and warehouses. Women go to the kachcha—the wild area along the river—where they pay armed men for the right to cut wood for resale to restaurants in Sukkur city.
“We don’t want to go back because the landlord will double our debt,” says Hassan Khoso. “We want the government to give us land.” He goes on, “Some poor tenant farmers ran off in the first week of the flood, before the water could even reach their district.” Such was their desire to flee. Khoso, who’s from near Jacobabad, owed 50,000 rupees (about $560) last year but fears the debt will be 100,000 if he returns. He lost a rice crop worth 30,000 rupees, two water buffalo and two goats. He says that landlords have been coming to the camp urging the haris to return. Khoso and others say that is part of what keeps them close to the city. Along with work, there is access to hospitals and the promise—at least the promise—of education for their children.
As at the camp on the western edge of Karachi, these people have formed a camp committee. To make their demands heard they marched to the local press club and held a sit-in. And how are such calls for reform and development being met by officials? Dead silence.
The floods inundated an area the size of England, destroyed almost 5 million acres of crops, killed about 1,750 people and left 10 million homeless. Rebuilding is expected to take three to five years. Despite the scale of the damage, the discourse around reconstruction involves very little if any public discussion of how things can be improved; ideas like social justice, land reform, climate adaptation or climate justice are missing. Local left parties are marginalized and hounded by landlord thugs.
The reason for this is simple: landlords have too much power. They control the sale of seed and fertilizer, set the prices of crops, rig local elections, imprison in private jails those who oppose them, use village schools to stable their cattle and generally have their own way regarding the people. Their influence on the government is pervasive at all levels. There has been no pressure for change coming from the US government—which has given Pakistan $18 billion in assistance and payments since 2002. Nor has any come from the international NGOs and the UN—both of which run large aid and development programs here. When I interviewed a spokeswoman for the UN World Food Program, so diligently did she tiptoe around the sensibilities of the Pakistani government that she refused even to use the word “corruption.” Oxfam, on the other hand, has launched an investigation into “financial irregularities” within its own flood-relief work.

martedì 5 luglio 2011

Pakistan’s Spies Tied to Slaying of a Journalist

Pakistan’s Spies Tied to Slaying of a Journalist

Anjum Naveed/Associated Press
A vigil in Islamabad in June for Saleem Shahzad, who wrote scathing reports about the infiltration of militants in the army.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Obama administration officials believe that Pakistan’s powerful spy agency ordered the killing of a Pakistani journalist who had written scathing reports about the infiltration of militants in the country’s military, according to American officials.
Adnkronos Agency, via Associated Press
Saleem Shahzad was a contributor to Asia Times Online.
New classified intelligence obtained before the May 29 disappearance of the journalist, Saleem Shahzad, 40, from the capital, Islamabad, and after the discovery of his mortally wounded body, showed that senior officials of the spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, directed the attack on him in an effort to silence criticism, two senior administration officials said.
The intelligence, which several administration officials said they believed was reliable and conclusive, showed that the actions of the ISI, as it is known, were “barbaric and unacceptable,” one of the officials said. They would not disclose further details about the intelligence.
But the disclosure of the information in itself could further aggravate the badly fractured relationship between the United States and Pakistan, which worsened significantly with the American commando raid two months ago that killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistan safehouse and deeply embarrassed the Pakistani government, military and intelligence hierarchy. Obama administration officials will deliberate in the coming days how to present the information about Mr. Shahzad to the Pakistani government, an administration official said.
The disclosure of the intelligence was made in answer to questions about the possibility of its existence, and was reluctantly confirmed by the two officials. “There is a lot of high-level concern about the murder; no one is too busy not to look at this,” said one.
A third senior American official said there was enough other intelligence and indicators immediately after Mr. Shahzad’s death for the Americans to conclude that the ISI had ordered him killed.
“Every indication is that this was a deliberate, targeted killing that was most likely meant to send shock waves through Pakistan’s journalist community and civil society,” said the official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of the information.
A spokesman for the Pakistan intelligence agency said in Islamabad on Monday night that “I am not commenting on this.” George Little, a spokesman for the Central Intelligence Agency, declined to comment.
In a statement the day after Mr. Shahzad’s waterlogged body was retrieved from a canal 60 miles from Islamabad, the ISI publicly denied accusations in the Pakistani news media that it had been responsible, calling them “totally unfounded.”
The ISI said the journalist’s death was “unfortunate and tragic,” and should not be “used to target and malign the country’s security agency.”
The killing of Mr. Shahzad, a contributor to the Web site Asia Times Online, aroused an immediate furor in the freewheeling news media in Pakistan.
Mr. Shahzad was the 37th journalist killed in Pakistan since the 9/11 attacks, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Pakistan’s civilian government, under pressure from the media, established a commission headed by a Supreme Court justice to investigate Mr. Shahzad’s death. The findings are scheduled to be released early next month.
Mr. Shahzad suffered 17 lacerated wounds delivered by a blunt instrument, a ruptured liver and two broken ribs, said Dr. Mohammed Farrukh Kamal, one of the three physicians who conducted the post-mortem.
The anger over Mr. Shahzad’s death followed unprecedented questioning in the media about the professionalism of the army and the ISI, a military-controlled spy agency, in the aftermath of the Bin Laden raid.
Since that initial volley of questioning, the ISI has mounted a steady counter-campaign. Senior ISI officials have called and visited journalists, warning them to douse their criticisms and rally around the theme of a united country, according to three journalists who declined to be named for fear of reprisals.
Mr. Shahzad, who wrote articles over the last several years that illuminated the relationship between the militants and the military, was abducted from the capital three days after publication of his article that said Al Qaeda was responsible for an audacious 16-hour commando attack on Pakistan’s main naval base in Karachi on May 22.
The attack was a reprisal for the navy’s arresting up to 10 naval personnel who had belonged to a Qaeda cell, Mr. Shahzad said.
The article, published by Asia Times Online, detailed how the attackers were guided by maps and logistical information provided from personnel inside the base.
Particularly embarrassing for the military, Mr. Shahzad described negotiations before the raid between the navy and a Qaeda representative, Abdul Samad Mansoor. The navy refused to release the detainees, Mr. Shahzad wrote. The Pakistani military maintains that it does not negotiate with militants.
Mr. Shahzad prided himself on staying out of the mainstream press, preferring, he wrote in a preface to his recently published book, “Inside Al Qaeda and the Taliban,” to challenge the “conventional wisdom.”
Asif Hassan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Relatives and journalists carried the coffin of Mr. Shahzad after it arrived in Karachi on June 1. The ISI, the nation's top spy agency, had denied accusations that it was responsible for his death.
He had submitted articles to Asia Times Online, which claims 150,000 readers, since 2001, when he was a reporter in Karachi uncovering corruption in the public utility, the editor of the Web site, Tony Allison, said.
He broke into the limelight two years ago with an interview with Ilyas Kashmiri, a highly trained Pakistani militant allied to Al Qaeda. Mr. Kashmiri is believed to have been killed in a drone attack in early June.
According to associates, Mr. Shahzad cultivated contacts inside the military and the intelligence agency and members of militant groups, some from his student days in Jamaat Islami, a religious political party.
Some of his stories were threaded with embellishments. Soon after the Bin Laden raid, Mr. Shahzad wrote that Gen. David H. Petraeus visited the chief of the Pakistani Army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and informed him, an account the White House strongly disputes. Pakistani journalists questioned the authenticity of some of Mr. Shahzad’s reporting: whether those doubts arose from professional jealousy or were well founded was never clear.
But the ISI had been interested in Mr. Shahzad for some time. In an e-mail written to Ali Dayan Hasan, the head of Human Rights Watch in Pakistan, which Mr. Shahzad instructed Mr. Hasan to release if something happened to him, Mr. Shahzad gave details of an Oct. 17 meeting at ISI headquarters, where two senior officials in the press section wanted to discuss an article he had written about the release of an interrogated Afghan Taliban commander, Abdul Ghani Baradar.
At the end, Mr. Shahzad said, he had been given what Mr. Hasan said he understood to be a veiled death threat from the head of the press section, Rear Adm. Adnan Nazir. “We have recently arrested a terrorist and recovered a lot of data, diaries and other material during the interrogation,” Mr. Shahzad quoted Admiral Nazir saying. “The terrorist had a list with him. If I find your name in the list, I will certainly let you know.”
In its statement after the death of Mr. Shahzad, the ISI said the agency notifies “institutions and individuals alike of any threat warning received about them.” There were no “veiled or unveiled threats” in the e-mail, the ISI said.
Hameed Haroon, the publisher of Dawn, an English-language newspaper and the head of the newspaper publishers’ association in Pakistan, said that the journalist had confided to him that “he had received death threats from various officers of the ISI on at least three occasions in the past five years.”
It was possible that Mr. Shahzad had become too cavalier, said Ayesha Siddiqa, a Pakistani columnist and author.
“The rules of the game are not completely well defined,” she said. “Sometimes friendly elements cross an imaginary threshold and it is felt they must be taught a lesson.”
The efforts by the ISI to constrain the Pakistani news media have, to a degree, worked in recent days. The virulent criticism after Mr. Shahzad’s death has tempered a bit.
A Pakistani reporter, Waqar Kiani, who works for the British newspaper The Guardian, was beaten in the capital after Mr. Shahzad’s death with wooden batons and a rubber whip, by men who said: “You want to be a hero. We’ll make you a hero,” the newspaper reported. Mr. Kiani had just published an account of his abduction two years earlier at the hands of intelligence agents.
Jane Perlez reported from Islamabad, Pakistan, and Eric Schmitt from Washington. Mark Mazzetti contributed reporting from Washington.