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Thread: Pakistan influence on Taliban commanders helped Afghan breakthrough

  1. #46
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    Let me ask a direct question, if there is a possibility of a peaceful future for Afghanistan while it is completely outside any Pakistani sphere of influence, would that be acceptable to you?
    Absolutely - provided that 'peaceful future for Afghanistan' includes complete respect for Pakistani sovereignty and territorial integrity as currently demarcated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie View Post
    I am sure you will correct me if I'm wrong, but according to this article, Pakistan was responsible for the birth of the Taliban-led Afghanistan. Now, Pakistan wants credit, and high-fives, for setting up talks to straighten out a bad situation that Pakistan created to begin with ???
    Pakistan was not responsible for the 'birth of the Taliban' - Pakistan did not 'create the Taliban' - the Taliban were an Afghan movement that Pakistan chose to support when they emerged as a potent and (relatively) popular force on the Afghan landscape.

    And the point behind highlighting Pakistan's role in cooperating with the US and assisting in negotiations with the Taliban is to counter arguments made in the past (by both Afghans and the West) that Pakistan was blocking US/Afghan dialog with the Taliban. The US wanted to negotiate with the Taliban, Pakistan assisted in bringing that about - why exactly are you complaining about Pakistani assistance to the US?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deltacamelately View Post
    AM is enjoying his time it seems, or is it the other way around?
    Enjoying my time in what sense?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemontree View Post


    The back stabbing by Pakistanis....
    I am curious, let's say everything in this documentary is true, why the status quo? Why no slap on the Pak hands, why no sanctions, why no treats with intervention, why instead of that we have POTUS asking for increasing the aid to Pakistan?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deltacamelately View Post
    AM is enjoying his time it seems...
    It looks so.And to see him waving the weakness and stupidity of the Western establishments adds insult to injury.I don't know if he's personally malevolent,but I know many others are.And that's enough to know.
    Don't know how others feel,but I feel stabbed in the back.Am I thinking already at Round 2?Hell yeah.
    Those who know don't speak
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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Dok,if you can't beat them,join them.
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  7. #52
    Contributor 1980s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    Pakistan was not responsible for the 'birth of the Taliban' - Pakistan did not 'create the Taliban' - the Taliban were an Afghan movement that Pakistan chose to support when they emerged as a potent and (relatively) popular force on the Afghan landscape.
    No, you're wrong. The Taliban is a creation of Pakistan, and thats where the movement originates from. There's been more than enough information out there even since the end of the 1990s that the Taliban started in Pakistani seminaries in what was then NWFP, with the backing of Pakistani politicians, clerics and generals.

    Here's a documentary from 1998, 'Exporting the Taliban Revolution - Afghanistan'



    Oct 1998

    "Exploring the complex web of relations between the Taliban, Iran, Pakistan and fundamentalist Islamic groups. The story makes it clear that the Taliban have now turned their attention to Iran and have been fermenting trouble there. The Taliban take us to see Iranian hostages. Caught by the mujahadeen these diplomats were sold to the Taliban. They're booty in the intensifying struggle between the two great houses of Islam. Afghanistan is Sunni - Iran, Shia. Taliban members tell us of their intent to take the Taliban's revolution on to Iran. Mohiuddin is a militant member of Iran's Sunni minority. They are guests of the Taliban and have previously operated here in secret. But here they make an explosive announcement: the launch of their own Taliban-style revolution on Iranian soil. And if nations start aligning, Pakistan would be right by the Taliban's side. Pakistan's creation of the Taliban is again strongly depicted through the Taliban Madrassas or schools, which are based in Pakistan. Filming in a key religious school near Peshawar, we find Sami-ul-Haq preaching to 2,500 students from all over the Arab world. A man who is one of the Taliban's ideological founding fathers, provides them with a new generation of recruits. Sami-ul-Haq is an ex Pakistani senator and his schools have trained many of the Taliban's central committee members. He tells us; "We now have Taliban from Arab countries, the Far East - Thailand etc. Central Asia also, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan - They are also seeking Islam." Anti-western students throw insults at the camera. Meanwhile in bullet-ridden Kandahar we capture the militant Islamic state in action. At a public execution crowds gather to see 3 men convicted of murder gunned down by their victim's relatives."

  8. #53
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    I am curious, let's say everything in this documentary is true, why the status quo? Why no slap on the Pak hands, why no sanctions, why no treats with intervention, why instead of that we have POTUS asking for increasing the aid to Pakistan?
    Why simply assume that everything in the 'documentary' is true?

    X-Posting a critique from another thread on the same 'documentary':

    Journalism or jabberwocky?

    By: Ejaz Haider Thursday, 27 Oct 2011

    Call it the new style of reporting Pakistan’s ‘perfidy’. Go to Afghanistan, embed with the National Directorate of Security (NDS), interview alleged Taliban commanders, their faces covered, present their ‘confessions’ to the world as an ‘authentic’ story on what Pakistan and the Inter-Services Intelligence is doing, run an old sound-bite by Pakistani military spokesperson and, lest I forget, interview ‘impartial’ actors like former NDS chief Amrullah Saleh, former CIA officer Bruce Riedel and former British officer Col Richard Kemp and voila!

    That this should happen on BBC2 makes one shake one’s head.

    Wait. We haven’t got to the facts section yet. The question here, as yet, is not about what Pakistan might be doing but whether the manner of presentation of this documentary passes some tests of good reporting. Simply put, it doesn’t.

    • How could the BBC ensure the veracity of its story when the primary facilitator for it was the NDS? Pakistan has, in its custody, many Taliban commanders who have been trained in camps in Afghanistan. Would the BBC interview them and present that documentary as authentic proof of what several intelligence agencies in Afghanistan are doing to hurt Pakistan without corroborative reporting?

    • Why did the BBC not feel the need to talk to Pakistani officials, resorting instead to running an old sound-bite by Maj Gen Athar Abbas, DG-ISPR? If that is correct then it is akin to deception?

    • Why did it not underscore the documentary with the disclaimer that given the fog in this region with several state and non-state actors playing multiple games its story cannot be presented as anything beyond what is visible and is said by people who have their biases and agendas?

    • Why was there no attempt to mention the role of state actors other than Pakistan? Is the Pakistani state acting – even if, for the sake of the argument, one were to accept the allegations contained in the report – in a vacuum and without any cogent reason(s)?

    • Are other state actors merely reacting to Pakistan’s perfidy? Is there a context here, and if there is, should the BBC not have mentioned it?

    • How does the BBC know for sure it spoke with Taliban commanders and not plants by the NDS? Does it have any independent proof of the IDs of those it spoke with, and who are incognito in the documentary, beyond the NDS’ word about them?

    • Does the BBC not know the published views of Saleh and Riedel on Pakistan? Should that have been a concern for the channel?

    Nemo iudex in causa sua: it is a principle of natural justice that no person can judge a case in which they have an interest. In journalism, one has to deal with biased actors. But it is precisely for that reason that a reporter has to make that extra effort to sift the grain from the chaff. The BBC documentary, titled “Secret Pakistan”, fails most of the basics tests. That raises the obvious question: is this an attempt to frame Pakistan or just bad reporting?

    Now to some facts.

    The documentary says there is no significant troop deployment in North Waziristan. This is a widely held misconception and I first tried to dispel it in a May 25, 2010 article in The Indian Express captioned, “A very long engagement”. This is what I wrote:

    “There are more troops deployed to and around North Waziristan than South Waziristan, where the army launched Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Path to Salvation) last October [2009]. Statistics compiled from media reports and local journalists, and corroborated with data from the military, show that since 2005, militants based in the area have launched between 70 and 80 raids on different army posts in North Waziristan. These attacks have resulted in about 200 casualties, including over 50 soldiers killed.”

    This was more than a year ago. There have been more attacks since then. There is a Division-plus with 5 Brigades deployed to the area which is over 30,000 troops. The Frontier Corps wings are in addition to this deployment. To call this deployment insignificant would take some doing.

    Then, of course, we have the supposed ISI generals monitoring training camps including suicide bombers. They come to these camps in uniform so that they can be ID-ed. These camps also have Al-Qaeda cadres, forget the number of top AQ leaders the ISI has captured and handed over to the US or killed. And while ISI ‘generals’ train AQ and Taliban commanders, AQ, TTP and their affiliate groups have attacked and killed nearly 300 ISI officials and blown up 5 ISI centres across Pakistan.

    So, while the ISI trains Afghan Taliban, who is training those who are attacking the ISI here and also killing Pakistani civilians? According to data compiled by PIPS, from 2008 until Sept 2011, there have been 259 suicide attacks in Pakistan which have killed 4124 people and injured or disabled 10,216. The fact is that such camps exist on both sides of the Durand Line and suicide attacks have been a problem on both sides. If it is accepted that Pakistan is sending suicide bombers to Afghanistan, then who is sending the ones that come and attack Pakistan – the ISI?

    We already have the WikiLeaks saga with NDS reporting on alleged Pakistani activities, reports based on dubious sources and quite often contradictory. Sure, the NDS would do that. It’s part of its job. But it shouldn’t be the job of the BBC to swallow the NDS narrative hook, line and sinker and present it to the world as the ultimate truth on what Pakistan is doing.

    Maj Gen Athar Abbas was less charitable. “It is because of the miserable performance of all the intelligence agencies in Afghanistan that this thrust is being directed towards the ISI. If they cannot do their job, they shouldn’t undermine our effort this side of the border.”

    There, then. How should I treat this statement, as gospel? I can’t. It is the general’s job to defend the Pakistani military and the ISI. I will report what he said but I cannot present what he said as the ultimate truth. That would require more sources. But then I am not the mighty BBC!

    The writer is Contributing Editor, The Friday Times.

    Journalism or jabberwocky? | Pakistan Today | Latest news | Breaking news | Pakistan News | World news | Business | Sport and Multimedia[/QUOTE]
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  9. #54
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1980s View Post
    No, you're wrong. The Taliban is a creation of Pakistan, and thats where the movement originates from. There's been more than enough information out there even since the end of the 1990s that the Taliban started in Pakistani seminaries in what was then NWFP, with the backing of Pakistani politicians, clerics and generals.

    Here's a documentary from 1998, 'Exporting the Taliban Revolution - Afghanistan'



    Oct 1998

    "Exploring the complex web of relations between the Taliban, Iran, Pakistan and fundamentalist Islamic groups. The story makes it clear that the Taliban have now turned their attention to Iran and have been fermenting trouble there. The Taliban take us to see Iranian hostages. Caught by the mujahadeen these diplomats were sold to the Taliban. They're booty in the intensifying struggle between the two great houses of Islam. Afghanistan is Sunni - Iran, Shia. Taliban members tell us of their intent to take the Taliban's revolution on to Iran. Mohiuddin is a militant member of Iran's Sunni minority. They are guests of the Taliban and have previously operated here in secret. But here they make an explosive announcement: the launch of their own Taliban-style revolution on Iranian soil. And if nations start aligning, Pakistan would be right by the Taliban's side. Pakistan's creation of the Taliban is again strongly depicted through the Taliban Madrassas or schools, which are based in Pakistan. Filming in a key religious school near Peshawar, we find Sami-ul-Haq preaching to 2,500 students from all over the Arab world. A man who is one of the Taliban's ideological founding fathers, provides them with a new generation of recruits. Sami-ul-Haq is an ex Pakistani senator and his schools have trained many of the Taliban's central committee members. He tells us; "We now have Taliban from Arab countries, the Far East - Thailand etc. Central Asia also, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan - They are also seeking Islam." Anti-western students throw insults at the camera. Meanwhile in bullet-ridden Kandahar we capture the militant Islamic state in action. At a public execution crowds gather to see 3 men convicted of murder gunned down by their victim's relatives."
    If you are going to argue 'originate' as in 'the origination of the ideology', then yes, you could argue that many of the Taliban spent time in Madrassa's in Pakistan, but many of those Madrassas were funded by the Gulf Arabs and taught a Saudi/Wahabi form of Islam, so 'the ideological origins' of the Taliban would then lie in Arabia.

    That said, in terms of an organized religio-political movement, the Taliban were not created/formed by Pakistan - they developed as a movement inside Afghanistan with Pakistan stepping in to support them after the fact.
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  10. #55
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    And to see him waving the weakness and stupidity of the Western establishments adds insult to injury.I don't know if he's personally malevolent, ...
    That is your interpretation of the situation, not mine.

    I merely see the publicly expressed desire of the US to engage in negotiations with the Taliban (irrespective of the result) as vindication of an approach Pakistan has been arguing in favor of for years.
    Last edited by Agnostic Muslim; 21 Jun 13, at 15:27.
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    Taliban to the Table
    By ANATOL LIEVEN
    Published: June 21, 2013

    LONDON — Talks between the United States and the Taliban are overdue by many years.

    On the U.S. side, it has long been recognized that the Pashtun conservative groups that the Taliban represent cannot be destroyed militarily, and therefore will have to be accommodated politically at some stage and in some form.

    At least some of the Taliban also realize that the strength of the forces opposing them means they too will sooner or later have to reach a political accommodation with other groups. One of the first goals of the planned talks must be to test how far this perception is shared by Mullah Muhammad Omar and the top military leadership of the Taliban.

    According to a survey published earlier this year by the Asia Foundation, the Taliban enjoy the sympathy of around 30 percent of Afghans. Interestingly enough, that is also the estimate of Taliban intermediaries whom colleagues and I met in the Gulf last year, and of Pakistani analysts. This figure seems plausible, as it would represent around two thirds of the Pashtun ethnicity in Afghanistan, from which the Taliban is overwhelmingly drawn.

    Realistic Taliban know that this support is not enough for them to conquer and rule unilaterally. On the other hand, it gives them a very powerful role in any political order established by a negotiated settlement. Such a settlement will, however, require compromise and power sharing with other groups.

    These groups represent the non- Pashtun ethnicities of the country. These Tajiks, Hazara, Uzbek and other forces used to be grouped in the so- called Northern Alliance, and today provide the key support for the Afghan state established by the United States and its allies after 2001.

    One of the most encouraging signs for the future of Afghanistan is that the Pakistani state and military have also in recent years made assiduous efforts to reach out to the leaders of these groups. The Pakistanis have assured them that Pakistan is no longer pursuing its strategy of the 1990s — unconditional support for a Taliban campaign to conquer the whole of Afghanistan — and that both the government and the military support a peace settlement between the Taliban and the former Northern Alliance.

    The reasons for this are threefold. Pakistani officials and analysts fear that if the Taliban did win in Afghanistan, they would then be in a position to support the rebellion of the Pakistani Taliban with a view to uniting all the Pashtun lands in an Islamic emirate. However, they also fear that if the Taliban did try to conquer the whole country, they would be beaten back militarily, not least because India would give massive aid to the anti-Taliban forces — a fundamental Pakistani nightmare.


    But where would negotiations between the United States and the Taliban, leading to talks between the Taliban and the former Northern Alliance, leave the present government of Afghanistan under President Hamid Karzai? The answer, of course, is precisely nowhere, and this explains both Karzai’s anger at the U.S.-Taliban talks and the increasingly wild nature of some of his public comments in recent months.

    If Karzai were president for life, or even for another full term, this would be an insuperable obstacle to peace. But key to Karzai’s increasing irrelevance is that under the Afghan Constitution, he has to step down as president next year. There is overwhelming opposition in both Afghanistan and Washington to the idea of him changing the Constitution in order to stay on, or of rigging the presidential elections to ensure victory for a member of his family.

    Indeed, an important reason for Washington’s desire for a peace settlement is precisely fear of a political meltdown in Kabul next year, stemming from a bitterly contested and rigged election producing a president whose authority would be rejected by the existing Kabul elites and the Afghan National Army. Thousands of American soldiers would be caught in the middle of the resulting mess.

    It is possible therefore to imagine circumstances in which the existing Afghan state could essentially destroy itself from within. The result would be the fragmentation of Afghanistan into different ethnic territories backed by different regional powers. This is a prospect that the Taliban and the vast majority of Afghans fear and loathe.

    The path to a settlement will be appallingly difficult, given the presence of hard-line elements on all sides and the bitter hatreds generated by more than 30 years of civil war. On the other hand, the fact that all the parties are committed to holding Afghanistan together provides a basis for peace that was lacking in the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and the Caucasus.

    America too desperately needs a settlement, both to secure at least some elements of a positive U.S. legacy in Afghanistan, and to save remaining U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan after 2014 from what may otherwise be a truly appalling set of predicaments.

    Anatol Lieven is a professor in the War Studies Department of King’s College London and a senior fellow of the New America Foundation, in Washington. He is author of “Pakistan: A Hard Country.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/22/op...the-table.html
    Last edited by Agnostic Muslim; 21 Jun 13, at 15:38.
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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    why exactly are you complaining about Pakistani assistance to the US?
    If anybody is complaining its the Afghans, it seems like the US & Pakistan in going over their heads, want to cut a deal with the Taliban to serve their interests and any collateral damage that results is well, not their problem.

    Taliban group here also includes the subordinate Haqqani network.

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    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    If anybody is complaining its the Afghans, it seems like the US & Pakistan in going over their heads, want to cut a deal with the Taliban to serve their interests and any collateral damage that results is well, not their problem.
    I understand why the Afghan government is complaining, and that is not what I was referring to - I was referring to the comments by some on this thread criticizing Pakistan and using what appears to be a joint US-Pakistan initiative to initiate talks with the Taliban as somehow being yet another example of Pakistan 'supporting terrorists and back-stabbing the US'.
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  14. #59
    Contributor 1980s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    If you are going to argue 'originate' as in 'the origination of the ideology', then yes, you could argue that many of the Taliban spent time in Madrassa's in Pakistan, but many of those Madrassas were funded by the Gulf Arabs and taught a Saudi/Wahabi form of Islam, so 'the ideological origins' of the Taliban would then lie in Arabia.

    That said, in terms of an organized religio-political movement, the Taliban were not created/formed by Pakistan - they developed as a movement inside Afghanistan with Pakistan stepping in to support them after the fact.
    You need to stop lying and go away and research about topics before trying to speak about them. The Taliban are not Wahhabis, and the Pakistani seminary to which their movement and ideology originates from was not 'funded by Gulf Arabs'. It is a seminary near Peshawar called Darul Uloom Haqqania that is run by a former Pakistani senator called Sami ul Haq (his father founded it in the 1940s) and teaches a radical Deoband school of Islamic thought.

    Not only did this seminary birth the Taliban, but here you can read from the horses mouth that it also had ties to Osama Bin Laden and that "Osama deserves to get aid from us rather than to give it".

    Another piece from 1998:

    Islamic Seminary Has Strong Ties To Bin Laden The Pakistani Religious School, Which Trains Scholars While Supporting Fundamentalism, Holds The Businessman In High Esteem.

    By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
    Posted: August 30, 1998

    NOWSHERA, Pakistan
    Moulana Samiul-Haq, chancellor of the Darul Uloom Haqqania religious school, makes no secret about where his sympathies lie.

    A poster from a group called the ``Crush America Forum'' in Islamabad hangs from the bookshelves of his office, praising Saudi fundamentalist Osama bin Laden as a heroic promoter of Islam. The poster, which predates the American cruise-missile strike on bin Laden's bases in neighboring Afghanistan, promises that ``any action against him will be considered an action against the whole Muslim world.''

    ``Each and every person in this institution wants to be like Osama bin Laden,'' the chancellor said.

    Samiul-Haq's Islamic seminary, located behind whitewashed walls off a highway outside this town in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, is 50 years old and now in a sudden limelight.

    Officially, the school trains 2,500 students to be religious scholars. But unofficially, it serves as an educational center for the Taliban, the hard-line Islamic movement that has taken control of nearby Afghanistan.

    What's more, Darul Uloom Haqqania is allied with bin Laden, the Saudi-born businessman whom the U.S. government accuses of sponsoring the Aug. 7 twin bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

    Before they go off to join the Islamic jihad, or holy war, young men who get their religious training here often pass through the same military camps attacked by American missiles. To fight for Islam is considered an honor at Darul Uloom Haqqania.

    So the American attack against camps allegedly sponsored by bin Laden only proved what Samiul-Haq has been teaching all along: that the Americans have joined with other nations in a conspiracy to destroy the Taliban and the growth of Islam in the region.

    ``America, Russia and India have engineered a joint operation to undermine the Taliban and the creation of Islamic governments in the region,'' said Samiul-Haq, who also heads a small, religious political party called Jamiat e-ulema-e Islam, or the Community of Islamic Theologians. He was elected to Pakistan's 85-member Senate as his party's representative.

    Darul Uloom Haqqania is to the Taliban as Harvard was to the Kennedy administration. The Taliban's supreme leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, attended the school. So did a famous mujahideen commander, Jalaluddin Haqqani, who was one of the first to join the Taliban in 1995.

    The school's campus, a hodgepodge of two- and three-story white stucco buildings surrounding a mosque embellished with ornate blue tiles, has seen reduced attendance in recent weeks. Samiul-Haq said most of the seminary students were away, fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan where an offensive is under way in the north.

    ``I am proud to say that 80 percent of the students of this institution have contributed in the jihad against the former Soviets, and many of them are still among the top leadership of the Taliban,'' he said.

    Although Samiul-Haq represents Pakistan's religious extreme, many Pakistanis last week shared his indignation at the U.S. attacks. Protests across Pakistan have been relatively small, but the mainstream political parties were busy placating fundamentalist religious parties. On Friday, for instance, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he planned to make Islam Pakistan's supreme law.

    It was as if the cruise missiles managed to turn fringe figure Osama bin Laden into a folk hero overnight.

    ``The average Pakistani had no idea who this guy was before last week,'' said Abida Hussain, Pakistan's former ambassador to the U.S. and now minister of population, welfare, science and technology. ``Suddenly, he's being blasted with missiles from America. So it's the little guy vs. the big guy effect.''

    The political disquiet in Pakistan illustrates how events in this nation of 130 million people are intimately intertwined with those with Afghanistan, where bin Laden resides as a guest of the Taliban. The overlap is especially strong here in the North West Frontier, where the population is mostly Pushtun, the same ethnic group that dominates Afghanistan and the Taliban.

    Darul Uloom Haqqania was founded 50 years ago by Samiul-Haq's father, Moulana Abdul Haq, shortly after Pakistan won its independence from Britain and restrictions on religious instruction were lifted.

    It remained small until the 1980s, when the CIA threw its support behind the mujahideen's campaign to oust Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan. Some of that American money flowed to institutions like Darul Uloom Haqqania to train a new generation in Islam. In a sense, the Cold War funded the growth of Islamic fundamentalism much as the GI Bill paid for the expansion of American universities after World War II.

    Bin Laden, who inherited millions from his family's construction business and fought with the mujahideen in the 1980s, is believed to have stepped into the role of financier once performed by the Americans. He has reportedly helped finance hundreds of religious madrassah schools where students learn the Taliban's fundamentalist strain of Sunni Islam.

    The school's chancellor, Samiul-Haq, is about 60 years old and keeps his beard long and untrimmed, in accordance with strict Islamic law. His closely cropped balding hair is hidden beneath a topi, a knitted white cap. He greeted visitors last week and sat down on the carpeted floor, setting his cell phone on a table while his secretary presented him with some letters for his signature.

    Samiul-Haq said he once met bin Laden in the provincial capital, Peshawar. Although some have asserted that bin Laden helps finance the tuition-free school, the chancellor said he did not. The school offers only religious education, he said, and no military training.

    ``He didn't give a single penny to this school,'' Samiul-Haq said. ``I met him when he was in Peshawar when he made his contribution to jihad, but at this stage Osama deserves to get aid from us rather than to give it.''

    The school operates openly in Pakistan, which is one of only three countries that officially recognizes the Taliban.

    The school's offices are stacked with yellowed religious tracts bundled with twine. The classrooms are spare. In one auditorium, students sat on floor cushions and paged through Koranic texts placed on small pine tables while stand-mounted fans moved the humid, 90 degree air.

    Many of the students have wispy pubescent beards, in keeping with belief that beards should never be shaved. Students typically attend for eight years before they become maulvi fazil - religious scholars - about age 16. Some older students, who appear to be in their 20s with thicker builds and beards, attend the school for advanced religious training.

    A school official said most of the students came from Afghanistan and the Pakistani frontier areas. About 100 foreign students come from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in Central Asia, and Chechnya in the Caucasus region. They live in a separate dormitory. The few women present are part of the staff rather than students.

    Samiul-Haq declined to allow the students to be interviewed. ``I speak for them,'' he said.

    He praised bin Laden as a hero for condemning the presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest site in Mecca.

    ``American troops are bringing alcohol and other anti-Islamic things to the holy places,'' he said. ``America intends to dominate and occupy the oil deposits of Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.''

    What's more, he said, Americans want to dominate Afghanistan's economy and control trade routes in Central Asia.

    He warned that America needs to change its policy toward Islam, adding that Pakistan's government must not tolerate another U.S. missile strike that might cross Pakistani air space.

    ``We've warned the government not to allow the Americans to make a second strike,'' he said. ``Otherwise, we will reserve our right to respond.''

  15. #60
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Dok,if you can't beat them,join them.
    You can't?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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