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Thread: US plan to improve Afghan intelligence operations branded a $457m failure

  1. #331
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    NIA brands Pakistani diplomat 'wanted,' to seek Interpol RCN

    NEW DELHI: In a first, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has put a Pakistani diplomat on its ‘wanted’ list and released his photo, seeking information. It said the diplomat — Amir Zubair Siddiqui, who was posted as visa counsellor in the Pakistani High Commission in Colombo — had been included in the list along with two other Pakistani officers for conspiring to launch 26/11-type attacks on US and Israeli consulates besides Army and Navy commands in south India in 2014. NIA said a fourth Pakistani officer posted in the high commission in Sri Lanka was also involved in the conspiracy.

    The development comes even as the agency is preparing to send a request to Interpol seeking red corner notices (RCNs) against the Pakistani officers, who have reportedly been repatriated to Islamabad.

    While the NIA chargesheeted Siddiqui in February, the other three officers could not be identified. The two, who have been put on the ‘wanted’ list apart from Siddiqui, are a Pakistani intelligence officer who went by his alias ‘Vineeth’, and another official codenamed ‘Boss alias Shah’. This is the first time that India has put a Pakistani diplomat’s name in the ‘wanted’ list or sought a red corner notice against one, an official said.

    According to the NIA, the Pakistani officers, while serving in Colombo from 2009 to 2016, planned to attack vital installations in Chennai and other places in south India with the help of their agents. Siddiqui allegedly hired Sri Lankan national Muhammed Sakir Hussaien and others, including Arun Selvaraj, Sivabalan and Thameem Ansari, all of whom were arrested by agencies here.

    After recruiting them, Siddiqui and the other Pakistani officers instructed them to collect information about defence installations, nuclear establishments and movement of arms and click photographs of such places, the NIA claimed. The Pakistanis also asked them to steal laptops of senior Indian Army officers and supply fake Indian currency notes (FICN), the agency said. They planned to attack the US consulate in Chennai, the Israeli consulate in Bengaluru, the Eastern Naval Command headquarters in Visakhapatnam and various ports, the NIA claimed.

    The US shared key information with India in the case which helped investigators nail the Pakistani officers. The code name for the plot to attack the US consulate in Chennai was ‘wedding hall’ which was to be executed by ‘cooks’, a code for terrorists who were to gain entry from the Maldives into India. Hussaien gave a detailed description of his meetings with various Pakistani officers based in Sri Lanka as well as two ‘fidayeen’ (suicide attackers) whom he had met in Bangkok. ‘Spice’ was the code name for the bombs, which were to beplanted at the consulate.
    And DE was saying that after 26/11 the Pak Army was isolated and saw no reason to attack innocent civilians and so they limited their terrorist acts to Kashmir. Bah!

    This is the Indian mentality. We spring surprises on our own, discounting the mindless killings that has been going on for decades, and look out for every chance to forgive, forget and move on, while Pak unleashes it's Jihadis every week on Indian soil. Indians keep hoping, it makes them sleep better.

  2. #332
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    NIA brands Pakistani diplomat 'wanted,' to seek Interpol RCN



    And DE was saying that after 26/11 the Pak Army was isolated and saw no reason to attack innocent civilians and so they limited their terrorist acts to Kashmir. Bah!

    This is the Indian mentality. We spring surprises on our own, discounting the mindless killings that has been going on for decades, and look out for every chance to forgive, forget and move on, while Pak unleashes it's Jihadis every week on Indian soil. Indians keep hoping, it makes them sleep better.
    Let's clear up this misunderstanding right now. Said they shifted focus to defense targets from civilian. I said this back in 2013 to lemontree when the first attacks on soldiers began. Saying this is how it should go down. Fight those that can respond instead of defenseless civvies. And where did you come up with the forgive, forget & move on strawman. We've seen a constant shifting of focus dating back to at least the 80s. Policy since the 90s has been this is a problem to manage and not a strategic threat. Implication is we absorb attacks and not get overly perturbed with retaliating each and every time. That mindset has yet to completely change even with this govt despite some stirrings here and there

    So military camps targeted as the record shows. IAF Pathankot is in Punjab. Does this mean Indian defense establishments elsewhere too ? why not. Chennai & Vishakapatnam is par for the course.

    There are some oddball targets in here though which are puzzling.

    Nuclear, both Paks & India agree not to attack each others nuclear establishments includes war time too IIANM. AFAIK this is still ongoing. Doesn't mean we let our guard down just that its odd to see it in the target list. The Pak idea is to hit below our threshold, a nuclear establishment and whatever is pushing it big time.

    The US & Israeli consulates makes me think this is some outfit gig but no outfit names offered ? why are they on the list even. To show there is domestic resistance to closer relations between India & those two countries. Hah fat chance. Adding Israelis & Americans to the target list helped us in busting this conspiracy.

    We now have a case showing consular officers acting as coordinators for fidayeen outfits. Interesting.

    As for sleeping better, attacks are under the threshold where we respond. 26/11 is ample proof of this. The Paks are calling the bluff we'd attack if another 26/11 occurred.

    Last but not least : Screw the cynics! the nothing changes brigade...

    I pointed out things were different with this president because of his tone, BACK IN AUGUST. Then these buggers wanted to know how different. Oh! we're seeing it now aren't we yes? : P
    Last edited by Double Edge; 13 Apr 18, at 17:21.

  3. #333
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Paks looking to raise foreign exchange through expatriates. India did the same following US sanctions after the nuke test. Roaring success, after raising $4bn in a month and had to discontinue the offer as they met their target. Let's see how much the Paks manage to raise. They need $6bn to cover debt repayment for the present year

    Pakistan looks to expatriates and China to stave off crisis | FT | Apr 16 2018

    Islamabad seeks to avoid recourse to IMF despite slide in reserves

    Kiran Stacey and Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad APRIL 16, 2018

    Pakistan has stepped up efforts to stave off a foreign exchange crisis, through plans to raise hundreds of millions of dollars both from Pakistani expatriates and wealthy Chinese investors, top officials have told the Financial Times.

    Islamabad has been battling for several months to restore its dwindling stocks of foreign currency and hopes to avoid asking for help from the International Monetary Fund through measures including raising US denominated debt from Pakistanis living abroad and a Renminbi-denominated “Panda Bond”.

    The plans come after a fall in Pakistan’s foreign reserves this month to about $11.4bn — equivalent to about 10 weeks of imports — down from around $14.1bn in December.

    Reserves have been squeezed by a combination of falling remittances from Pakistani migrant workers abroad and rising imports and payments to Chinese companies for infrastructure as part of an ambitious, $60bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

    The World Bank warned in October that Pakistan would need to raise $17bn to cover its debt repayments and the current account deficit this year.

    Islamabad argues that affluent Pakistanis abroad can be enticed to support their country, especially if it offers remunerative rates.

    “Our expatriates will be offered attractive rates, better than what they will receive elsewhere,” a central bank official in Karachi told the FT on Monday. He said the country would seek to raise up to $1bn from expatriates worldwide, although he declined to reveal the terms of the offer.

    Mushtaq Khan, a former chief economic adviser of the central bank, said tapping overseas Pakistanis was a promising idea that could help the country ride out its current woes. “Pakistani expatriates worldwide have a lot of money and we know that expatriates have a strong appetite for Pakistan-related risk,” he said.

    Other analysts were sceptical that such a plan would be successful, especially given the country’s current political turmoil, with an election due this year.

    A senior government official in Islamabad said that other options include borrowing from Middle Eastern countries or from Chinese commercial banks.

    Miftah Ismail, the country’s de factor finance minister, had told the FT that the country was also seeking to issue debt denominated in Renminbi for the first time.

    The Panda Bond plans, which are still in the early stages, would be the latest example of Pakistan looking to its northern neighbour as a source of finance. Last year the FT revealed that Islamabad had quietly borrowed more than $1bn from Chinese state-backed institutions as its current account deficit worsened, triggering fears that Pakistan was becoming overly dependent on the support of Beijing.

    Mr Ismail said:*“We have never issued a Panda Bond before, but I am interested in doing so. We are just looking at the rules and requirements. I am interested in doing it in the next financial year — I don’t know if the timing will work out for that though.”

    Mr Ismail, the financial adviser to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, said the government had not decided the amount it wanted to raise. Asked to comment on press reports that it could be around $1bn, he said:*“$1bn is a very nice, round number that anybody can just float but I’ve really not even started thinking about it.”

    In recent months, ministers have allowed the Pakistani rupee to depreciate nearly 10 per cent against the dollar.*

    “The rupee has fallen significantly in four months,” said Mr Ismail.*“In my opinion that probably is enough right now to change the direction of the current account deficit.

    “This will hopefully increase in double digits my exports and my foreign remittances and also stem the tide of imports or slow down imports and I think that should be more than enough for now.”
    Panda bonds : )

    Paks won't be the first, Poland issued panda bonds couple years ago already
    Last edited by Double Edge; 19 Apr 18, at 16:25.

  4. #334
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Without permission, American diplomats cannot move beyond a 40km radius in Pakistan. So it was decided the same should apply to Pak diplomats in the US

    http://new-pakistan.com/2018/04/17/p...re-restricted/

    Pakistanis should be concerned about the growing rift between the US and Pakistan that has led – for the first time in Pakistan’s history – to restrictions being imposed on Pakistani diplomats within the United States. Hiding our heads like ostriches will not make this problem simply go away.

    On April 12, 2018, the Trump administration notified Pakistani authorities that “diplomats at their embassy in Washington and at consulates in other cities will not be able to travel beyond 40km from their posts without permission. The notice, shared with the Pakistan Embassy in Washington and sent also to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, indicates that the restrictions could be imposed from May 1, if certain issues remained unresolved.”

    Five days later on April 17, 2018 a top official of the State Department confirmed that this was true. “A senior official of Trump Administration has confirmed that Pakistani diplomats cannot move without seeking prior permission from the concerned authorities in the State Department. In an interview with VOA’s Uzbek service, Thomas Shannon, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, said this restriction was placed in response to the same conditions Islamabad has imposed on US diplomats in Pakistan.”

    According to this notification, “diplomats will need to apply for permission at least five days ahead of an intended travel outside the imposed 25 miles radius. In their discussions with their Pakistani counterparts, US officials also point out that Islamabad has already imposed similar restrictions on American diplomats in Pakistan, who are not allowed to visit the tribal belt or Karachi. Pakistani officials, however, argue that those are not restrictions but security measures intended to protect American diplomats. They point out that the State Department too does not allow its diplomats in Pakistan to visit Fata, Karachi and certain other places in Pakistan out of security concerns.”

    Further, “the US warning is linked to a larger visa dispute. Last month, Pakistan received a letter from the State Department complaining that while Americans issue two-year visas to Pakistani diplomats, US diplomats only get one-year visas, forcing them to get their visas renewed every year during their usually three-year postings. The State Department complained that Pakistan was also very restrictive in issuing visas to other US officials and traders and warned that it could reciprocate the measure for Pakistani officials and citizens. The State Department maintained that Pakistanis were usually issued five-year US visas, but US officials and businessmen only got single-entry visas of three-month duration.”

    Pakistan’s isolation is growing and yet there is no attempt to change policy in order to prevent this further isolation. Such restrictions inside the United States were always for countries like erstwhile Soviet Union and Cuba or North Korea, not countries that claim ally status like Pakistan.

  5. #335
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Baloch demonstration against Pakistan......IN KOREA!!!


  6. #336
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Seven Indian engineers kidnapped in Afghanistan: police | Reuters | May 06 2018

    KABUL (Reuters) - Seven Indian engineers and an Afghan national working for a power plant in northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan were kidnapped on Sunday, officials said.

    Zabihullah Shuja, spokesman for Baghlan police, said the engineers were travelling to a government-run power station in a minibus when unknown gunmen abducted them and their Afghan driver.

    Two officials at the Indian embassy in Kabul confirmed the kidnapping of the engineers, all working for the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) that operates power generating stations.

    A senior Indian embassy official said over 150 Indian engineers and technical experts are currently working across Afghanistan on large infrastructure projects.

    “We are working out ways to ensure the release of our engineers,” an official said.

    It is not known who is responsible for the kidnapping or whether a ransom has been sought for their release.

    Kidnapping of locals for extortions are common in Afghanistan. Rampant poverty and rising unemployment has worsened the situation.

    In 2016, an Indian aid worker was kidnapped in Kabul. She was released after 40 days.

    The Indian government regularly issues a security alert for Indians residing in Afghanistan and travelling to the war-torn country.
    This means now, India has to open some lines of communication to the Taliban. Indirectly, if we expect to get our people back
    Last edited by Double Edge; 07 May 18, at 21:02.

  7. #337
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    He continued: “Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial?” — a reference to the Mumbai attacks-related trials which have stalled in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court.

    “It’s absolutely unacceptable. This is exactly what we are struggling for. President Putin has said it. President Xi has said it,” Mr Sharif said. “We could have already been at seven per cent growth (in GDP), but we are not.”
    DAWN

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