Judge refuses request of Indian IT tech, who works for DMI, to censor US writer

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BELOW: Court record of Krishna Gudipati who plays host to Hindu icons such as Dr Subramanian Swamy and Sadhguru.

Krishna

Tuesday, a second judge in Montgomery county district court in Maryland threw out a request  by Indian nationals to censor the writings of an American journalist.

Krishna Gudipati, mobile solutions architect at the DC-based Digitial Management Inc., requested Judge Aileen E. Oliver to ask this correspondent to take down the articles he wrote about Gudipati’s wife beatings recently. Judge Oliver bluntly refused to censor after the writer explained that it was not the responsibility of the state to curtail free speech.

Differences between Gudipati and his associate Soumya S. Chowdhury, also an Indian citizen who works for Monument Construction LLC, with this writer first surfaced when this writer wrote an article to condemn the dastardly killing by a Hindu fanatic Shambulal Regar in Rajasthan in December.

On December 6, the 25th anniversary of the Ayodhya Mosque turmoil that saw the killing of 2,000 people, mostly Muslims in India, Regar hacked to death Afrazul, 50, from West Bengal accusing him of being involved in “love jihad,” that is enticing non-Muslim women into sex with a goal of their conversion to Islam. Regar’s video tape of the killing and burning of Afrazul’s body went viral on the social media.

Other points of differences were this writer’s regular expose of the wrong acts of some Balochistan militant groups of targeting noncombatant civilians. Gudipati and Chowdhury met with representatives of the Baloch National Movement, who are believed to be front offices of the deadly Balochistan Liberation Front.

Gudipati’s associate Chowdhury also abused the pregnant wife of Bronze star winning Capt (RTD) Dipesh Chatterjee and when this scribe asked him to apologize he became even more abusive.

The reports have been widely published in mainstream Pakistan media both in English and Urdu.

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#ChappalChorPakistan protest in Washington DC at Pak embassy today

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A group of Americans are organizing a  #ChappalChorPakistan — “Slipper Thief Pakistan”– protest in front of the Pakistan embassy on Sunday at 4.00 pm.

The protest has been organized against  stealing of the shoes of Cheetan Jadhav, wife of Kulbhushan Yadav, when she went there to meet her husband at Pakistan’s foreign ministry on Christmas day. Avanti, Jadhav’s mother, also accompanied the wife and both were asked to remove their mangalsutra, bangles and bindi before they could meet him, India’s external affairs ministry complained.

The protest will begin in front of Pakistan embassy, 3517 International court, Washington, DC 2008 at 4 pm sharp and end at 5.30 pm. The protest is a brainchild of Soumya Chowdhury, who is from West Bengal. The protesters are requested, if possible, to bring a pair of worn or new women shoes to give to Pakistan.

Najeeb Khan, a die-hard supporter of Balochistan freedom who lives in New York, wished that he was in DC to attend the protest.  Khan, who was shot at and almost killed in Quetta, capital of Balochistan, by the ISI four years ago, instead ordered a pair of women shoes to be sent to the Pakistan ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry. “I hope the ambassador won’t gift it to his wife or girlfriend as a gift. Mr Chaudhry has earned himself for not being honest among Washington DC think-tanks. You can expect anything from Pakistanis,” said Khan.

Najeeb Khan gift-- Picture courtesy Najeeb Khan
#ChappalChorPakistan Pair of shoes ordered by Balochistan freedom supporter Najeeb Khan for Pakistan ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry

A military court in Pakistan sentenced Jadhav to death for spying and terrorism but according to Rediff news, “New Delhi says Jadhav was kidnapped in Iran where he had legitimate business interests, and brought to Pakistan. To save Jadhav, India moved the International Court of Justice, which ordered Pakistan in May to stay his execution.”
On April 6, the same day Pakistan military court sentenced Jadhav to death India reportedly abducted a Pakistan army officer of the ISI, Lt Col Mohammad Habib, who allegedly played a key role in Jadhav’s abduction, from Kathmandu, Nepal. The Hindustan Times cited two senior security officials as saying Habib’s abduction was aimed at pressuring Pakistan to release Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Sad, tragic story of Pakistan foreign ministry

Pakistan foreign ministry, where the Jadhav ladies were humiliated, has a sad and tragic history. Immediately after the Partition Holocaust in August 1947 Pakistan’s tuberculosis-ridden founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah personally occupied a Hindu merchants property in Karachi, free of cost, to make it the country’s first foreign ministry.

The beautiful mansion belonged to a member from the Maheswari community in Rajasthan, named Shrivratan Chandratan Mohatta. Mohatta personally knew Jinnah but his pleas to spare the mansion he built for his beloved sick wife fell on the deaf ears of Pakistan’s stone-faced, British-backed founder. Heart-broken Mohatta left Karachi, never to return. The majestic Mohatta Palace, now a museum, had a family temple on its terrace dedicated to Lord Shiva.

After Pakistan’s capital was shifted to Islamabad, with the main aim of running of the country by army generals at the GHQ in neighboring Rawalpindi,  the Mohatta Palace was taken over by Jinnah’s secretly flamboyant sister Fatima Jinnah in 1964 who renamed it Qasr-i-Fatima. It was here that Ms Jinnah was allegedly murdered on the orders of Pakistan dictator Gen. Ayub Khan.

The wife of Sindh’s first governor Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, Lady Sughra Hidayatullah, who was a family friend of this scribe and also close friend of Ms Jinnah, told me she was murdered at Mohatta Palace. Lady Hidayatullah, who was the first women to reach the murder scene, said her friend had strangulation marks on her neck.

The Ayub regime insisted Ms Jinnah died of a heart failure without carrying out a postmortem and autopsy request by her nephew was turned down by the Ayub regime. After that Shireen Jinnah, another sister of Jinnah, came from India to live in the mansion until she died in 1980.

Lady Hidayatullah’s son Munawar Hidayatullah and his close friend, this scribe’s uncle Aziz Mustikhan, were assassinated by the Hurs during an anti-British rebellion May 16, 1942 when the two were going to New Delhi by train. Lady Hidayatullah’s husband was then the home minister of Sindh.

 

#ChappalChorPakistan: Activists to collect worn out shoes as gift to Pakistan embassies

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Indian Americans, along with Afghan Americans and Baloch Americans in the US, in the Washington DC area have launched a novel campaign to avenge humiliation of the mom and wife of Indian naval officer Kulbushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court in spring.

Avanti Jadhav and Cheetankul Jadhav, wife of condemned India spy Kulbushan Jadhav, were made to remove their “mangal sutra”, bangles, and bindi before they could meet Jadhav on Christmas day, India’s External Affairs Ministry complained. Pakistan’s spy service ISI also stole Cheetankul’s shoes, sent it for forensic exams and now say they have found a metal object in one of them.

Soumya Sundar Chowdhury, civil engineer in the Washington DC area who is from Calcutta, West Bengal and supports the freedom of Balochistan, has launched the campaign.

“As you people all know, Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family has been humiliated by Pakistan for no no fault of their own. They took away their shoes and never returned them,” said Chowdhury. “So this New Year don’t throw away your old shoes instead get together and donate it to your nearby Pakistan embassy through Hand Delivery or Mail.”

Chowdhury made an appeal keep a note in the box of the shoes saying it is from Kulbhushan Jadhav’s extended family. “If possible record the whole event and upload it in your social media. Invite others in this goodwill gesture.”

As Pakistan media mostly sides with the country’s military, the Jadhav ladies were not only insulted by Pakistan’s deep state but also harassed by the journalists.

Aapke patidev ne hazaron begunah Pakistaniyo ke khoon se Holi kheli ispar kya kahengi? (your husband killed thousands of innocent Pakistanis, what do you have to say about that?)'” was a question shouted at Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife Chetankul Jadhav, according to a report in the NDTV.

Aapke kya jazbaat hain apne qaatil bete se milne ke baad? (How do you feel after meeting your killer son?)” – a journalist hurled at Mr Jadhav’s mother Avanti Jadhav, the report said.

Pakistan, which was artificially carved out of India by British mischief mainly due the anti-Hindu bigotry of Muslims from Punjab, Bengal, Bihar and some other Indian provinces, is highly paranoid when it comes to India.

Though the two countries were freed at the same time, India a secular democracy has reached mars while Pakistan has turned into a favorite destination for jihad tourism.

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani Field General Court Martial in April on a charge of terrorism. The Pakistanis claim he was arrested in Balochistan but India says the former naval officer was abducted from Chahbahar port by the militant Jaishul Adal.

Despite being beaten black and blue in all wars against India — for instance former Pakistan army chief Gen Raheel Sharif elder brother Major Rana Sharif and uncle Major Aziz Bhatti both got the country’s highest military award Nishan-i-Haider after being tanked to death by India in the 1971 and 1965 wars– Pakistan army GHQ still believes  they will defeat India in Kashmir.

Many Indians correctly believe 1.32 billion Indians are being held hostage to Pakistan’s 6,20,000 parasitical army and the time has come for India to balkanize Pakistan.

“We need all over the world people doing this to Pakistan, the mother-load of bad ideas,” said Chowdhury.

Pakistan’s treatment of Jadhav ladies enraged India and #ChappalChorPakistan (pakistan is slipper thief) trended on twitter.

Exiled Kashmiri leader urges Baloch to encourage women, respect all activists

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A Kashmiri leader who has been struggling to expose Pakistan’s wrongs since his days as a student leader, four decades back, has called upon Baloch leaders to encourage women’s participation in the Baloch struggle for freedom and justice.

“It’s a very good sign that Baloch women are struggling for independence of Balochistan,” Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, president of the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP), said on Thursday. “Women’s participation, like that of Prof Naela Quadri, is good for your independence movement,” he added.

Kashmiri, who was abducted by the Pakistan secret services and brutally tortured in the mid-1990s, now lives in exile in Switzerland.

Prof Quadri, like Kashmiri, has years of experience behind her. Pakistani secret services badly tortured her husband for two long years for her association with the freedom movement. She had to flee Pakistan, quitting her professor’s job and leaving two homes behind, and now lives in exile in Vancouver.

“Do not discourage a single worker of the movement if you are a true leader and statesman of Baloch nation,” said Kashmiri without taking any name.

A lot of positive energy was generated when Indian prime minister Narendra Modi expressed solidarity with the people of Balochistan from the historic Red Fort last year. There were indications that even a government-in-exile would be formed in New Delhi.

Prof Quadri was working on that idea and was warmly received in India when she arrived there from Afghanistan two months after Modi’s speech. However, some Baloch feudal lords were reluctant to give her a helping hand even though a woman’s face would have helped raise the international profile of Balochistan.

“Naela Quadri is not representing Baloch People, rather than supporting they are damaging Baloch cause by their insane actions(sic),” Brahumdagh Bugti, 33, said in a series of tweets  the Indian Express reported, no sooner than Prof Quadri landed in India.

This scribe had tried to counsel to the Bugti team not to oppose Prof Quadri, without success. Prof Quadri made attempts to contact Bugti, but he and his team refused to talk to her, questioning her “status” even though she was once a central committee member of Bugti’s Baloch Republican Party (BRP) when they were in Afghanistan.

Bugti’s tweet punctured the idea of a government-in-exile, but he shot himself in the feet as well as Indian columnists began questioning his political wisdom and background and India stopped looking at his asylum request seriously. Bugti was denied asylum by India four months back, though he claims he never formally asked for asylum.

“You have a great cause and you are struggling for your country’s independence,” Kashmiri urged. “Please encourage people to claim the Baloch moment, do not isolate them.”

Despite being a third rate failing state, Pakistan does have lots of allies. “Your occupier is more powerful and have allies like Turkey and other Muslim countries,” Kashmiri warned the Baloch leaders.

“We should respect even those who are not struggling (for freedom) but (in their hearts) hate the enemy of Baloch people,” he urged.

The UKPNP president said as a sympathizer of Baloch independence movement, he would like to request stakeholders of the Baloch case to respect each other, create space for every Baloch to contribute and to avoid the blame game.

Kashmiri requested Sardar Brahumdagh Bugti, Nawabzada Mehran Marri, Hyrbyair Marri, Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Daud and all other leaders and workers, who live abroad and fall in the category of Baloch Diaspora, to call an international conference and move towards unity.

The leaders Kashmiri named are feudal lords and are not on talking terms with one another– Bugti and Daud are not on talking terms; Mehran Marri is not on talking terms with his brother Hyrbyair Marri and Daud. Highly arrogant, these members of the Baloch blue blood families don’t consider the commoners as their equals.

Kashmiri and his university comrade Mumtaz Khan, who now lives in Toronto, have been in the forefront to expose ISI’s crimes against the people of Azad Kashmir, which is actually Pakistan occupied Kashmir. As they are born Muslim, the two leaders can help counter the jihadi narrative in Jammu and Kashmir but have not been allowed to visit there for reasons best known to New Delhi babus.

Kashmiri’s call for encouraging women leadership in the Balochistan movement was much needed. Balochistan has one of the highest rates of honor killings of women, called siahkari, in the world. Women, blacks and gays are highly discriminated in Baloch society.

Besides Prof Quadri, other well-known women active in Baloch diaspora politics are Banuk Karima Baloch (Toronto), Farzana Majeed (USA), and Bibi Mahdem and Mahnaz Baloch in London, UK

 

 

Prof Fair responds with funny pictures to ISI’s vicious Wikipedia attacks on her

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A leading US scholar, who was earlier threatened with rape by an entire Pakistan regiment, is facing a concerted campaign by her detractors in Pakistan’s infamous ISI spy service to discredit her academic accomplishments. C. Christine Fair, who is a fierce critic of Pakistan army support to jihadi proxies against India and Afghanistan, is an Associate Professor in the Security Studies Program within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She previously served as a senior political scientist with the RAND Corporation.

The ISI edits in Wikipedia against her said she was critical of leading human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reports on the CIA-run drones operations against Pakistan backed militants in Afghanistan. Some of the ISI criticism directed against her is that her stance on drones has been denounced, and called “surprisingly weak” by Brookings Institution senior fellow Shadi Hamid.[9] Journalist Glenn Greenwald dismissed Fair’s arguments as “rank propaganda”, arguing there is “mountains of evidence” showing drones are counterproductive, pointing to mass civilian casualties and independent studies.[10] In 2010, Fair denied the notion that drones caused any civilian deaths, alleging Pakistani media reports were responsible for creating this perception.[11] Jeremy Scahill wrote that Fair’s statement was “simply false” and contradicted by New America‘s detailed study on drone casualties.[11]

Irked by the ISI attacks, Prof Fair said in her peculiar style that she “is a reasonably accomplished pole dancer who even knits and crochets her own costumes. In college she was a competitive bodybuilder. (See trophy in below photo.) In her free time, she likes to cook and even authored a cult best seller Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States.”

In addition to Pakistan army and ISI backing of jihadi proxies, she is a prominent critic of the so-called Pakistan China Economic Corridor and blasts Islamabad’s atrocities in Balochistan. She is equally critical of Baloch militant outfits targeting non-Baloch in Balochistan, including laborers, teachers and journalists.

To ridicule her ISI detractors, Prof Fair also sent a bunch of funny pictures to share with the audience. She said these pictures could be added to her Wikipedia page. It is relevant to point out here that though Pakistan army got billions of dollars from the US to fight terrorism, senior army and ISI generals reportedly gave safe sanctuary to the US’s most dreaded terrorist Osama bin Laden near the country’s West Point. Observers point out that CIA chief Mike Pompeo is quite soft on Pakistan but even Pompeo recently remarked that Pakistan has “not yet” taken action against Islamic militants operating out of that South Asian country’s soil.

 

Picture courtesy Prof Fair
Prof Fair shows off her stitching skills
Picture courtesy Prof Fair
Prof Fair shows picture of her stich works
Prof Fair-- Picture courtesy Prof Fair
Among her many skills one is that she is a pole dancer, Prof Fair mocks at her ISI detractors.
Prof Fair at her polar best? Picture courtesy Prof Fair
Prof Fair ridicules ISI in her peculiar way
Wanna climb this pole? Picture courtesy Prof Fair
Another action picture by Prof Fair to ridicule the infamous ISI of Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

Swiss deny Bugti asylum but will PM Modi hug him as India’s son?

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is said to be the best thing that happened to India in seven decades. Modi is also known to be great hugger, even hugging germaphobe President Donald Trump, who considers shaking hand as barbaric. But the question today is will he hug Brahumdagh Bugti, president of the Baloch Republican Party, as India’s own son as the Swiss government has rejected his asylum petition?

According to a news report in Geo TV, “A source in the Swiss government confirmed that Brahumdagh Bugti’s asylum application was turned down because of his links with “incidents of terrorism, violence and militant activities” and the rejection letter clearly sets out these allegations. Bugti confirmed to this correspondent that his asylum application has been rejected by the Swiss government on the basis of allegations that he has links with the banned Baloch Republican Army (BRA).”

First let me go back eight years. It was November 2009 when I first spoke with Brahumdagh Bugti, president of the Balochistan Republican Party. I got a call as I was organizing the first international conference on Balochistan in the nation’s capital on behalf of the American Friends of Balochistan. I thought it was the Khan of Kalat, with whom I had spoken a couple of times and the voice sounded quite familiar. But it was not the Khan from Cardiff, but Brahumdagh Bugti from Kabul.

Bugti said he wanted to seek asylum in the US and my first question was why doesn’t he go to India. “That was my first choice too. They are ready to provide us all assistance, but not asylum.”

At the time a Congress government was in power in New Delhi. India was being led by the dehati aurat or village woman — a term reportedly used by ousted premier Nawaz Sharif for his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh. Just four months earlier, mid-July, 2009 at the Sharm el-Sheikh, Cairo, the dehati aurat made the historical blunder of indirectly admitting India was inciting violence in Balochistan in his summit with his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani. India Today described the summit outcome as Manmohan Singh’s Balochistan blunder. Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir made a fool of Shiv Shankar Menon and so did Yusuf Raza Gilani make a chump of Dr Manmohan Singh, who prime minister Modi mockingly says, “knows how to shower in bathroom wearing a rain coat.” Let alone giving asylum to Bugti, it is widely reported that Congress pacifists at times even side with the jihadis in Kashmir– just to please Pakistan.

A year later Brahumdagh Bugti arrived in Switzerland along with family, afterwards joined by about a dozen members of his Bugti tribe. He had obtained special permit for the air travel from rulers of a Gulf nation who were friends of his assassinated grandfather, former governor and chief minister of Balochistan, Nawab Akbar Bugti.

Brahumdagh Bugti may have been in France instead of Switzerland had it not been for the massive attack on Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti’s home by the army on March 17. “The military forces started shelling the town of Dera Bugti, the headquarter of Bugti tribe and the ancestral home of the Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. Rockets and mortars also targeted his house where he was attending a meeting with his tribesmen, but luckily he survived,” according to the web site of his party, the Baloch Republican Party. In that attack, Brahumdagh Bugti’s passport with French visa affixed on it got destroyed.

ModiB

But why should India care about Balochistan?

Here are the reasons. As I consider the Baloch sons and daughters of Hinglaj Mata sakhtipeet (Hindu pilgrim site), I have always believed it is a religious and national duty of India to help the Baloch, the whole nine yards. More important than my subjective belief are historical facts that show the Baloch yearned to get freedom from the British as part of a united India but when they saw the British were bent upon dividing India, they demanded a free Balochistan.

From day one, the Baloch rejected the Two-Nation Theory of Pakistan’s tuberculosis ridden founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Just look at these words; they seem as if they are words printed today in a newspaper or magazine: “From whatever angle we look at the present government of Pakistan, we will see nothing but Punjabi fascism. The people have no say in it. It is the Army and arms that rule.” But this statement was made 69 years ago by the first hero of the Baloch uprising against Pakistan, Prince Abdul Karim, while he was in exile in Afghanistan. Prince Abdul Karim had used these words in a letter to his elder brother – the “King” or Khan of Kalat Mir Ahmadyar Khan – cited in The Politics of Ethnicity in Pakistan, by Farhan Hanif Siddiqi.

Historians wonder if India lost Balochistan and much of India territory to Pakistan because of Lady Edwina Mountbatten-crazed Nehru’s haste in becoming the prime minister? And they may be right in raising the question. Pawan Durani, a journalist and blogger from Srinagar, who now lives in Delhi, tweeted on October 26, 2012: “In 1947, the King of Kalat [ #Balochistan ] acceded 2 #India. Unfortunately Nehru rejected that. Rest is history. Baloch cont 2 suffer.”

London-based think-tank The Foreign Policy Center, FPC, concurs that the Baloch were let down not only by the British but also by the founding fathers of India. The story goes thus. The Baloch sovereign Khan of Kalat Mir Ahmadyar Khan, whose most tragic blunder was to have Muhammad Ali Jinnah as his lawyer in his legal dealings with the British Raj, was said to be very fond of listening to the All India Radio (AIR) broadcasts in the evenings. On March 27, 1948, what he had heard on an AIR broadcast left the Khan of Kalat shell-shocked. The FPC cites an AIR broadcast from that day, which reported a press conference by VP Menon, the secretary in the Ministry of States: “Menon revealed that the Khan of Kalat was pressing India to accept Kalat’s accession, but added that India would have nothing to do with it.”

Hakim Baloch, a former chief secretary of Balochistan, author and historian, who has written several books on Balochistan, agrees that AIR did indeed broadcast Menon’s statement – the very next day, Sardar Patel issued a contradiction that no such request from the Khan of Kalat was ever received by India. Again on March 30, 1948, Nehru went to great lengths to deny what VP Menon had said. The Khan of Kalat too denied the report, but by this time, the Pakistani guns were pointing at the Khan’s head.

As India’s founding fathers closed their eyes on Balochistan, Pakistan was already working overtime to occupy Balochistan. For example, on March 22, 1948 Pakistan prime minister Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan presided over a meeting of the three services chief to oversee the military invasion of Kalat and Mekran. “He was briefed by the army, air force and navy chiefs about the steps these armed services have taken in a number of Balochistan cities, such as Turbat, Pasni,” says Quetta-based Baloch scholar Surat Khan Marri.

While Indian leaders were busy issuing contradictory statements, Pakistan acted swiftly. According to human rights defender Waseem Altaf in Viewpoint: “On orders emanating from Mr Jinnah, Balochistan was forcibly annexed to Pakistan on 28th March 1948 when on 27th March 1948, Lt Colonel Gulzar of the 7th Baluch Regiment under GOC Major General Mohammad Akbar Khan invaded the Khanate of Kalat. General Akbar dragged the Khan of Kalat to Karachi and forced him to sign on the instruments of accession while Pakistan Navy’s destroyers reached Pasni and Jiwani.”

The Khan of Kalat tried his best to retain the independent status of his state, knocking every neighbor’s door. “The Khan of Kalat had tried for an arrangement with both Iran and Afghanistan as well,” said Hakim Baloch. “He had also pondered over a deal with London on the lines that the UK had with Oman,” he added. That deal envisaged Balochistan to remain a British protectorate for 25 years– to emerge on the world map by 1972.

In March 1946, Baloch nationalist leaders went to India to meet with Congress leaders to seek support for a free Balochistan. The team was led by Mir Ghaus Baksh Bizenjo,  president of the Kalat State National Party. They met Congress president Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

Bizenjo, who later became the governor of Balochistan confirmed to me four decades later in 1988– a year before his death– that Azad refused to support a free Balochistan on the grounds that raising the issue would give the British colonialists a pretext to delay their departure from India. I had asked Bizenjo, who used to stay at my uncle’s Mustikhan Lodge in Karachi, why he had changed his stance from being an advocate for a free Balochistan in 1946 to demanding provincial autonomy in his political career, later. Bizenjo said after India’s refusal to stand with the idea of a free Balochistan, he calculated that the Baloch were not in a position to fight Pakistan’s military might on their own, so he toned down his demand to provincial autonomy. According to scholar Hakim Baloch, “Maulana Azad believed that Balochistan would not be a stable state.” Azad ruled out any help to Balochistan as he believed an independent Balochistan will serve as a British base and would undermine the independence of the subcontinent.”

In hindsight, Maulana Azad’s stance was proven to be flawed: Pakistan became the renter state of the US-West, Saudi Arabia and now China continuously causing grief to India. Vikram Sood, former Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) chief, points out to the visits of Baloch leaders to India, including the Khan of Kalat. “They wanted to draw attention to the fact that their state was different and wanted to be treated on par with Nepal,” Sood wrote in an article in February 2006, when Baloch statesman Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was still alive. The former RAW official regrets that the founding fathers of modern India were too engrossed with Kashmir and Hyderabad to see the strategic significance of a sovereign Balochistan.

While the Pakistan Army occupied Balochistan, according to another Indian scholar Deepak Basu, “India stood by silently. Lord Mountbatten, Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru or Maulana Azad, then the president of India’s Congress Party, said nothing about the rape of Balochistan.”

On August 15, 1947 Jinnah recognized Kalat State (a huge chunk of Balochistan) as a free state. The state had a foreign minister named Douglas Yates Fell, while my late uncle A. Sattar Mustikhan became Kalat state’s ambassador to Pakistan. The national flag of Kalat state flew over our family home in Karachi’s Gandhi Garden district from August 15, 1947 to March 28, 1948.

Balochistan has a rich Hindu heritage. In addition to Hinglaj Mata sakhti peet and one of the world’s oldest Hindu civilization sites Mehergarh, it is a fact Kalat, the center of Baloch tribal confederacy, was once called Kalat-e-Sewa (Sewa’s Fort), after Sewa, a legendary Hindu hero of the Brahui-speaking Baloch people.

Some Indians believe that had the Baloch leaders in 1946 met with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel instead of meeting Maulana Azad, the results  may have been different. These same nationalists also believe prime minister Modi wants justice for Balochistan, not merely use Baloch as proxies in tit-for-tat war games over Kashmir. We hope they are right and Shri Narendra Modi Ji will welcome Brahumdagh Bugti to India so everyone in the world, including Balochistan, knows Mother India does care for her Baloch sons.

The main reason why the Swiss have not taken into account the brutalities that Bugti has faced at the hands of Pakistan army and ISI– killing of more than 7,000 of his tribesmen including his grandfather, sister Zamur Domki and niece Jaana Domki– is that Switzerland is a highly racist society. A recent Universal Periodic Review by the UN just 12 days ago asked Switzerland to do more to fight against racism.

Modi hugs Trump-- Courtesy Hindustan Times

 

Strange case of Zeenat Shahzadi, who is still in ISI custody

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Pakistan may soon have a new name internationally– Ghaibistan, or the land of the disappeared. Here is why.

She was as patriotic a Pakistani as any Punjabi in Lahore, capital of Punjab– stronghold of Pakistan army– can possibly be. On August 15, 2015 she posted on Facebook: “Military Courts starts working actively. Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif approved the death sentences of seven hardcore terrorists Well done.”

But this did not prevent Pakistan’s CIA called the ISI to think that she is anti-Pakistan. According to the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), Zeenat Shahzadi was kidnapped off the streets of Lahore on 19 August 2015, and had no contact with the outside world until her release on 18 October 2017. “The brazen, daylight kidnapping of a young female journalist was the first of its kind in Pakistan,” said the CJFE Thursday.

A global coalition of press freedom organizations are calling upon Pakistan to immediately allow freedom of movement to journalist Zeenat Shahzadi, who was recently released after two years in captivity, said the CFJE. “The 26 year old Pakistani journalist was recovered from her kidnappers last month after having vanished from the streets of Lahore, yet she has not yet been released from government custody. There is no justification for this delay. For the sake of her safety, Shahzadi must be immediately released to her family and allowed to seek counsel and treatment from qualified professionals,” said the CJFE.

The teenage brother of Shahzadi, Saddam Hussain, who was distraught over her disappearance, committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree on March 24 last year.

Journalist bodies in Pakistan, afraid that they may themselves become the next target if they speak out, kept mum over Shahzady disappearance.

Houston based Tanvir Arain, a Pakistani journalist who repeatedly faced gun attacks by the ISI, had petitioned against Pakistan spooks to former premier Nawaz Sharif in May last year for the release of the young journalist.

“I feel sorry to about the state of rule of law in Pakistan that on 19 August 2015, Ms. Zeenat Shahzadi, a journalist working for the Daily Nai Khabarand the Metro News television channel in Lahore, Punjab, disappeared while on her way to work in an auto-rickshaw. She was to appear before the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances on August 24, but before that she was disappeared by plain-clothed persons. Police registered an abduction case against “unknown men”.

Arain said Shahzadi was pursuing the safe recovery of a young Indian engineer Hamid Ansari , resident of Andheri West in Mumbai, who was forcibly disappeared by Pakistani intelligence agencies in November 2012.

The story can be made into a hit Bollywood movie. Arain said Hamid Ansari fell in love with a Pakistani girl in the Khyber Pashtunkhwa province whom he met on Facebook. The parents of the girl wanted to get her married against her wish.

“As Ansari was denied a Pakistan visa, he came to Afghanistan and then crossed in Khyber Pashtunkhwa to meet the love of his life but was abducted by the ISI,” Arain said. He said though he never met Shahzadi, he became interested in her case as she was a fellow journalist.

Shahzadi had moved applications with the Supreme Court’s human rights cell and the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances after securing special power of attorney from Fauzia Ansari, mother of Ansari and a college lecturer in Mumbai. (Ansari’s father Nihal Ansari is a retired bank official). She also filed a habeas corpus plea before the Peshawar High Court.
“The ISI boys asked her to back off, but she refused,” said Arain.  According to Latif, a brother of Shahzadi, she had received threats from unknown people who asked her not to pursue the case. “We too asked her not to put her life at risk, but she said she wanted to help Ansari out of humanity.”

In his letter to Sharif, Arain wrote that in February 2016 a military court is said to have jailed Ansari for three years on the charges of illegally entering Pakistan and spying.

Arain had urge the authorities to prosecute those military officials who abducted Hamid Ansari and kept him in illegal detention for more than three and a half years without producing him before the court. “The young Indian must be compensated,” Arain demanded.

People like Arain are sitting ducks in Pakistan. He is now filing for asylum in the United States.

Najeeb Khan, who lives in Albany and is director of the American Friends of Balochistan, had interacted with Shahzadi on Facebook. Khan too received ISI bullets in his body in Quetta, capital of Balochistan, for siding with the Baloch struggle. He recalls that though she used to be super patriotic when they come into contact, there seemed to have been a change in her ideas about Pakistan some months before her abduction.

The CJFE said 1,300 out of a total 3,000 missing people’s cases remain pending before the Commission on Enforced Disappearances. It said in addition to the missing persons’ crisis, Pakistan ranks sixth in the list of the 20 Deadliest Countries for journalists in the world, and as the ninth worst country in the world for impunity for crimes against journalists.

“It is unconscionable that Shahzadi’s family be delayed from reuniting with their daughter and sister any longer. The Pakistani government must immediately release Shahzadi to her family,” the CJFE demanded.

Zohra Yusuf, chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, on a query by this writer said, “As far as I know she is under treatment at a private hospital in Pindi. We have not been able to meet her.”

‘Angels’ of ISI who killed Daniel Pearl went scot-free

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They are called “angels,” sarcastically, in Pakistan, because they indulge in dirty acts but come out clean in the end. They play the keystrokes, albeit discreetly, in politics, both domestic and regional, as well as international – as recent events have proved. An invisible government – a state within a state – if one may. They have traditionally worked as the eyes and ears for the Pakistan army – the world’s sixth largest. They are one of the world’s most dreaded secret service: Inter Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s CIA more infamous by its acronym ISI.

Successfully convincing the entire world they had no idea where bin Laden and Mullah Omar had gone, ISI spooks have had a long history of political assassinations and executions. Thousands of skeletons line their cupboards. It’s almost an open secret, none dare to speak about in Pakistan.

One of the first to fall prey was the country’s first premier Liauqat Ali Khan. The mysterious death of the sister of Pakistan’s founder, Fatima Jinnah, suffocation to death of yet another former premier, Hussein Shaheed Suhrawardy, at his Beirut hotel room, hanging of one of the most popular premiers Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, shooting to death of his son Murtaza Bhutto like a wild dog outside his home and killing of his daughter, twice-premier Benazir Bhutto herself. These are just a few.

All this comes to my mind in my musings on the macabre, cloak-and-dagger assassination of prominent U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl.

Pakistan’s master spy agency Inter Services Intelligence – the angels – had feigned innocence over the dastardly murder, circumstantial evidence surrounding Pearl’s Gestapo-style execution told a different story.

Intriguingly, most of the world’s premier media blamed only “rogue” elements within the ISI, as if the hands of the “real” ISI were clean. For instance, Newsweek had reported, the president at the time coup leader Gen Pervez Musharraf– America’s favorite dictator at the time– was “unpopular in some quarters – including, ominously, among certain officials of Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI – for backing the Americans against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan and trying to crack down on extremist groups in his own country.”

As Pearl’s executioners had demanded release of the F-16s, even that Newsweek story made it pointedly clear that there was more to it than meets the eye: “If the kidnappers were standard-issue Islamic extremists, the demand for the F-16s didn’t seem to make much sense. Warplanes for the Pakistani Air Force are useless to guerrilla jihadists.” Aptly, the Newsweek story highlighted the role of a former aide and pilot of bin Laden, Khalid Khawaja, who was later killed by the very snakes the ISI helped nurture over the years.

The American public, mostly focused on things that happen within U.S. borders, seems to have acquiesced. For the people in the U.S. and rest of the civilized world, Pearl was a respected journalist from a top U.S. newspaper, the Wall Street Journal. Period. But not in Pakistan, a nation held hostage even today under the shadow of bayonets; army generals are the real rulers, the dismissal of premier Nawaz Sharif shows, while Pearl was an enemy agent for his investigative journalism.

For the ISI, especially, Pearl’s profile matched that of an “enemy agent.” As a journalist from Pakistan, I can reasonably assure the world that Pearl’s first major “sin” was that he was Jewish. His second major “sin” was he was stationed in Mumbai, commercial capital of Pakistan’s arch-foe India. These two factors themselves would have made the security managers – the angels – work overtime and keep a close tab on his itinerary.

But, of course, the cardinal sin was that he was trailing al-Qaida’s links in Pakistan. In other words, Pearl was knocking at ISI doors. It would be naivete bordering on absurdity, to believe that the ISI was not monitoring each and every move of Pearl from the very moment he landed on Pakistan soil. Any intelligence outfit worth its salt would have done just the same, considering an “enemy agent” was in the fields.

As a journalist myself, who has written on sensitive issues many years ago in Pakistan, those in the know of how the “system” works had warned me to be careful “otherwise you would vanish into thin air, traceless.” I was wise to lucky to have escaped to U.S. safety in year 2000, much before enforced disappearances of thousands of Baloch and now Sindhis began.

In fact, in my US asylum petition in 2000, I had said those who write objectively out of Pakistan are dubbed either an American or an Indian or an Israeli agent. Those words, my own, rang in my ears when Pearl’s captors first called him a CIA agent, then a Mossad agent. Beyond an iota of doubt, Pakistan’s angels had “marked” Pearl. That’s how they work.

To those angels, the man convicted of Pearl’s murder – the “mastermind” – was not a stranger either. Rather one of their own. Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who according to a CNN October report had bankrolled $100,000 to main 9-11 terrorist Mohammed Atta on ISI instructions. That bankrolling led to the ouster of the then ISI chief Lt. Gen. Mehmud Ahmed, the key general who brought Musharraf into power – and regarded by many as more powerful than Musharraf himself in the army hierarchy.

While the FBI and police in the Southeastern province were feverishly working to track down the suspects, convicted killer Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh was comfortably in the “protective custody” of the highest security official of Pakistan’s governing province of Punjab, home secretary Brigadier Ijaz Shah. That home secretary was Omar’s mentor and was in charge of ISI’s Kashmir desk a few years earlier. Brigadier Shah was accused by slain premier Benazir Bhutto publicly that she feared he was going to kill her, but still he never got arrested. Ijaz Shah was also accused of helping hide bin Laden. However, all these allegations against Shah did not stop ISI’s pampered cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan– aka as Taliban Khan for his support to the Taliban– from inducting him into the core team of his Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf party in spring this year.

Omar Sheikh was a soldier sans frontier, who had participated in the jihad in Bosnia and Kashmir, where he was specifically assigned to kidnap foreigners – ideally Americans – but was arrested and sentenced after a shootout in India. Omar, was deemed important enough to be one of the three militants to be freed from India’s maximum security Tihar jail in exchange for over 155 passengers aboard an Air India plane that was hijacked to Kandahar – coincidentally, headquarters of the disbanded Taliban and safest sanctuary of al-Qaida until a month after 9-11 – on the eve of the new millennium.

Intriguingly, the methods employed by those hijackers were repeated by the 9-11 terrorists. The penultimate jihad of Sheikh Omar, prior to Daniel’s kidnap-slaying, was his role in the storming of the Indian parliament in December 2001, allegedly on ISI instructions. With the angels good wishes, Omar played a key role in this operation despite the fact that the U.S. authorities had more than a month earlier, requested Omar’s extradition to the United States.

But this was just the tip of the iceberg. ISI sleuths pressured Pakistan’s largest selling English newspaper, The News, to stop the editor Shaheen Sehbai from publishing Omar’s confessions. The report was filed by Kamran Khan, who is noted for his solid sources within the spy establishment, and who also used to report for the Washington Post. After the report was published, all government ads to The News were frozen.

Those who were doing it to Editor Sehbai were not certain “rogue elements,” but highest ISI officials loyal to Gen Musharraf. “Physically threatened,” Sehbai flew to U.S. safety just three days after Pearl’s slaying videotapes made international headlines.

Alas, Baloch nawabs, sardars finally talking to one another!

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The news was like music to many Baloch ears, but some critics remained skeptical.

The London-based news portal Baloch Warna News broke the news. At least two feudal lords have announced plans to bury the hatchet.  The pro-freedom Baloch leaders Brahumdagh Bugti, president of Baloch Republican Party, and Hyrbyair Marri, head of the Free Balochistan Movement, held a telephonic conversation on Monday about cooperation in the Baloch freedom struggle.

Just a day earlier, Bugti had issued a separate, joint statement with Marri’s younger and estranged brother Nawab Mehran Marri saying they were joining hands in an effort to highlight the genocide being inflicted on Baloch people in Pakistan-occupied Balochistan.

The Marri brothers had not been on talking terms for more than eight years now after a dispute over accountability of freedom resources. The two brothers were on good terms until the arrest of Hyrbyair Marri and his close associate Faiz Baluch in December 2007. Mehran Marri is brother-in-law of Brahumdagh Bugti. Bugti on the other hand was not on talking terms with Hyrbyair Marri as the latter had allegedly reneged on returning one of Bugti’s favors.

Bugti and Marri who are among political successors of the two neighboring tribes of Bugtis and Marris in Balochistan have agreed to initiate talks and resolve future problems of the Baloch freedom struggle. The statement added, “The regional political scenario and Baloch freedom struggle requires that all problems should be solved with mutual consent and principled and long-term cooperation should be established for the freedom of Balochistan.” In this regard, a meeting will be held in Geneva on November 18 to discuss problems and requirements of the Baloch freedom struggle.

It was not clear if the thaw between Bugti and Marri also includes the younger brother Nawab Mehran Marri, or the Marri’s brother-in-law Mir Javed Mengal. The family feud between Hybyair Marri and Javed Mengal was in such bad taste that Hyrbyair Marri lodged a case against Javed Mengal for keeping him out of his mother’s funeral rites.

Daud and Bugti have not been on talking terms for more than eight years after Daud told a memorial meeting in London that Bugti’s grandfather, former governor and chief minister of Balochistan Nawab Akbar Bugti, did not sacrifice his life for the freedom of Balochistan but for his personal honor.

Pakistan accuses Brahumdagh Bugti, Hyrbyair Marri, Mehran Marri and Javed Mengal of allegedly heading the militant outfits Baloch Republican Army, Balochistan Liberation Army, United Baloch Army and Lashkar-i-Balochistan, respectively. These leaders however publicly deny any links with any militant outfit.

The differences between the feudal lords are all the more troubling and tragic as all of them lost a sibling to Pakistan army brutalities. Javed Mengal eldest brother Asadullah Mengal was one of the first victims of enforced disappearances way back in 1976; Mehran and Hyrbyair Marri’s brother Mir Balach Marri died November, 21 2007 in the Baloch battlefields; and Brahumdagh Bugti’s sister Zamur Domki was ruthlessly executed January 31, 2012 by Pakistani intelligence on the streets of Karachi.

One of the most important leaders on ground zero, is Baloch Che Guevara, Dr Allah Nazar. He is the only none feudal leader who publicly owns the militant outfit Baloch Liberation Front. Dr Nazar refuses to leave Balochistan and is politically supported by the Baloch National Movement.

Feudal lords of Balochistan sometime exhibit extremely rude and jungle-like behavior even in the West.

Some staunch critics don’t care about the unity news much.  “Zero plus zero plus zero is equal to zero,” France-based Dr Ali Akbar Mengal, said. Dr Mengal believes nawabs and sardars are cancer of Baloch society.