Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Cost Of Pakistan's Double Game

The past week has witnessed major attacks on key Pakistani military and intelligence facilities by the Tehrik-i- Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a group that for the past several years has fought an increasingly brutal and brash war in the heart of the Pakistani state. Yet while the attacks, and in particular the lengthy siege of the Mehran naval base in Karachi, have brought condemnation on the military for lax security procedures , few within Pakistan have openly questioned the state's long- running dance with militant groups, many of whom cooperate closely while alternately working with and fighting Pakistan. But a string of events in the past few years have made the question of Pakistani support for - or allowance of - terrorist and militant groups unavoidable.[[BREAK]] In the days after the 9 /11 attacks, President Bush's remarks that nations would from then on be "with us or with the terrorists" and his direct threats to Pakistan to sever ties with militants forced then-military leader Pervez Musharraf to take a U-turn and begin targeting selected al-Qaeda and other militant leaders. However, as the dust from the U.S. warning started settling down, truck- loads of Arab and Uzbek fighters and their Taliban facilitators from eastern Afghanistan's Khost province and other parts of the country started traveling to and settling in Pakistan's tribal areas. Through the payment of money along with various kinds of intimidation, those terrorists and their supporters won the loyalties and support, or simply the acquiescence, of the tribesmen, many of whom continue to suffer at the hands of their unwanted guests. Yet even after militants were allowed to settle in the tribal areas with little resistance from the Pakistani state, the tribesmen were (and are still) told that it was because of U.S. drone strikes that these "holy warriors" fled to their areas. Hence, each missile against foreign militants or their Pakistani counterparts increased the potential number of militants flowing in and fueled rising anti-Americanism in Pakistan, serving the short-term political interests of pro- Taliban elements in the country's security establishment, while allowing the army to play on anti-American sentiment domestically while still occasionally offering militants to the United States, either for arrest or targeting by drones, as a sign of good faith and in order to maintain a steady flow of military aid. Recent history provides ample room for suspicion that the relationship between militants and the Pakistani military or intelligence agencies continues. Some key points should lead informed observers, for instance, to suspect some knowledge of slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's presence in the highly-secured cantonment town of Abbottabad among Pakistani intelligence officials. For instance, the structure of the house is very different from the rest of the buildings in the area, and that plus the barbed wires atop its 18
to 20 feet high boundary walls would have likely drawn some suspicion to the compound's residents. The compound is located less than a kilometer from Pakistan's Kakul Military Academy. Security officials, who keep a strict watch on anyone entering and living in a cantonment zone, somehow managed to miss the compound, which sticks out from the others around it. The Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani even visited the Kakul Academy less than 10 days before the May 2 raid, something that was undoubtedly preceded by security officials combing the nearby areas for any suspicious people or activities, as is the standard practice for such visits. Additionally, locals told the writer that three gas connections were provided to the house within a few days after its construction, which otherwise takes weeks if not months. But again, no alarm was raised. Additionally, groups like Lashkar-e- Taiba (LeT) and Sipah-e-Sihaba Pakistan (SSP) continue to operate openly despite being nominally banned. Indeed, locals I have spoken with in Kurram agency blame Pakistani intelligence for bringing the Sunnis against the Shi'a there, simply to show the world that Pakistan is heading towards de-stabilization and only U.S. and international support can save the society from becoming radical (not to mention the benefit accrued by the Haqqani network, who now have space to operate if their North Waziristan sanctuary is compromised). And a brief look at some of the militants operating in Pakistan currently raises questions about how they have been able to implant themselves and continue operating. For instance, is it believable that Khyber agency-based militant and former bus driver Mangal Bagh, a warlord with no more than 500 volunteers, can operate just 15 kilometers away from Pakistan's 11 Corps headquarters in the town of Bara, kidnapping people from Peshawar and other parts of the country, attacking powerful tribal elders, ministers, and journalists from Khyber agency, attacking NATO supply convoys, and carrying out public attacks and executions? Maulana Fazlullah, a leading warlord in the Swat Valley, a man who was once a chair-lift operator on the Swat River, became the most powerful commander in the area in a span of two years, with little government opposition. When the military conducted an operation in Swat upon the request of the secular Pashtun nationalist Awami National Party (ANP) government in Khyber- Puktunkhwa, Fazlullah somehow managed to break a cordon of 20 ,000 soldiers backed by helicopters and jets to escape. And in Bajaur, Taliban commander Faqir Muhammad's forces were "cleared" in 2008 , but though hundreds of thousands of locals were displaced, their houses destroyed, their crops burnt and their cattle killed, Faqir Muhammad continues to leave peacefully in the agency. And those who rose up to confront the Taliban received little protection from the government. When the ANP, after coming into power in Khyber- Puktunkhwa, raised its voice against the Taliban, party leader Asfandyar Wali Khan was attacked by a suicide bomber inside his house in his hometown of Charsadda. Since then, the party leadership has lived in Islamabad. The party's spokesman and Information Minister Mian Iftikhar's son was killed by armed men close to his house last July. Mian Iftikhar and another outspoken minister of the KP government, Bashir Bilour, escaped several attempts on their lives; Asfandyar Wali Khan's sister Dr. Gulalay, who is not involved with party politics, was attacked in Peshawar, and ANP lawmaker Alam Zeb Khan was killed in a bomb attack in the same city, before finally the party leadership and members were forced to stop their vocal opposition to the militants. *** One key problem in the Pakistan-U.S. relationship, particularly in the present situation, is that both countries are dependent on each other despite pursuing contrasting interests in Afghanistan and in South Asia. And to keep this marriage of convenience going, the U.S. will likely come out with some praise for Pakistani efforts, more than Sen. John Kerry did during his recent Islamabad trip , while Pakistan may launch some kind of sham military operation in North Waziristan and may kill or arrest some Haqqani, Taliban or al-Qaeda leaders just to brush aside the U.S. and international opinion about its support for the al-Qaeda and Taliban. Just last week the Pakistani Army announced the arrest of a "senior Yemeni al-Qaeda operative" named Mohammed Ali Qasim, or Abu Suhaib al-Makki, in the teeming city of Karachi. While al-Makki's place in the al-Qaeda hierarchy is in dispute, he was somehow able to live undisturbed in Pakistan for 10 years, only to be arrested just days after bin Laden's death. Expect to see more "senior" leaders arrested or killed, whether in operations or drone strikes, in the coming weeks and months. Meanwhile, the Taliban and al-Qaeda affiliates, drawing covert support from some individuals in the intelligence apparatus, may carry out attacks in cities, on mosques, and even on military and government installations just to remind the world that the country is itself a victim of terrorism - just look for example to last week's devastating suicide bombing in Charsadda on a paramilitary constabulary post, claimed by the TT P, the attacks last week against the Saudi consulate and a Saudi diplomat in Karachi, or this week's attacks against the Mehran base and yesterday' s attack on the police Criminal Investigations Department in Peshawar. The Pakistani media does not and will not help ease the heightened tension between Pakistan and the United States. Heavily influenced by the security establishment, it presents an image of the society that is anti- American to the core. This image is simply not true, but instead originated from the handpicked anchorpersons of the private Pakistani TV channels, who run after interviews with Taliban commanders to increase their profiles, and some selected analysts and commentators, who present that picture of Pakistani society to the United States, constantly raising the specter of a Pakistan on the edge of a collapse into fundamentalism. But instead of turning away from Pakistan, the United States must listen carefully to the demands of the Pakistani security and political establishment, while also plainly conveying their own. And instead of investing in the generals and politicians, the U.S. should focus its attentions more thoroughly on Pakistani society and its long-term economic and social needs that have nothing to do with the Taliban. It is the army and the government who always disappoint the United States, and it is the Pakistani people who always end up disappointed with the United States. These are the simple but key steps that have to be taken. If not, instability will prevail in Afghanistan and terrorist safe havens will survive in the tribal areas. Innocent people in all parts of Pakistan will continue to fall prey to the Taliban and other jihadist groups, and the eventual U.S. withdrawal from and the hastily arranged peace deal in Afghanistan will not alleviate the situation. But no change can take place unless President Obama and the world revive Bush's ultimatum, and tell Pakistan's military and civilian leadership that they are either "with us or with the terrorists."

Deep, Wide Terror Strikes Ploted : Headley Papers

Chillig details about extensive plots to strike high profile and sensitive targets in India are coming out in the closely- watched trial of Pakistani-born businessman Tahawwur Rana who is charged with helping the Lashkar-e-Taiba plan the 2008 strikes that killed 160 people. The documents that have come to light in trial of Rana show how the Lashkar plotted attacks, in great details, on India’s nuclear installations, Jewish organizations and crowded markets. The emails, transcripts, recce videos and photos also show a plan to target Bal Thackeray, the head of the Shiv Sena while exposing the links between Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) and elements in Pakistan's military with the terror outfit. The trial also put on stand David Coleman Headley, the LeT operative who is said to have scouted targets across the length and breadth of India in his nine visits to the country, including detailed reconnaissance of the National Defence College, Chabad houses in Goa, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune and the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre. Headley has said Pakistan's Inter- Services Intelligence directorate ( ISI) and elements in Pakistan's military coordinated with Lashkar and other Pakistani militants to launch the daring attacks on Mumbai. The gradually unravelling terror trail links Headley to his various contacts in India, according to emails, photos, videos and transcripts and other documents related to the trial of Rana put up as trial exhibits by the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois on its website. On exhibit are Headley's email exchanges with Raja Rege, who he refers to as the ‘Shiv Sena PRO’ as part of a bigger plot to get access to Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, high on the LeT list as a possible target. Rege writes in June 2008 to Headley asking for details of his company and the work done so far and agrees to his visit to India in the coming weeks to set up a ' business opportunity' with the Shiv Sena chief. Rege calls Headley ‘ Dave’ and boasts of contacts in India and the scope that lies in various projects. Headley promptly forwards the mail to one 'Chaudhery Khan' who he identifies as Major Iqbal, an ISI officer. Writing from an email id ' impervious2' and 'ranger1 dave2', Headley also discusses funds and cash transactions with Rana in emails dated March 2007 , about the time he visited India. According to a document, Headley got his name changed from Dawood Gilani in February 2006 to David Coleman Headley. He updates Major Iqbal in an email sent in April 2008 on commercially viable spy cameras and surveillance material. One of Headley's conversations with Pasha months after the Mumbai raid turned to Headley's anger at a man identified as Major Iqbal of Pakistan's ISI, who had provided guidance during Headley' s surveillance work in Mumbai. He called Iqbal a "coward" for telling Headley, "Friend, do not have any contact with me any more." According to the National Investigation Agency’s interrogation report, Headley gives an extensive report of his nine visits to India and his reconnaissance in places such as Paharganj in Delhi, the Taj Hotel in Mumbai and identifying places for the Mumbai attackers to land after crossing over on boats from Pakistan. Headley, who has been put under witness protection programme of the federal government and is being treated as a star witness in the trial of Tahawwur Rana Hussein Rana, admitted that his reconnaissance videos on the five targets in Mumbai which were attacked on 26 /11 were crucial for the success of the LeT. His reconnaissance videos in respect of other targets in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Goa and Pushkar was intended for use by the LeT to attack India and cause large scale damage. The report clearly states that the money which was used by Headley for reconnaissance was provided by Major Iqbal. During conversation with Abdur Rehman Hashim Pasha in 2009 , Headley believed an attack on the National Defence College is imminent. After his training Headley was told to go to India and several Indian cities were discussed – Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore Pune, Nagpur, Gujarat and Hyderabad. From his first visit to his ninth visit to India, Headley carried a camera he had taken from his mother-in- law in Pakistan. Headley said during his visit to India in April and June 2008 , he carried a Sony Eriksson model of mobile phone given to him by Major Iqbal and GPS device given to him by Sajid Majid, one of the earliest members of LeT. Headley conducted detailed videography of places for future attacks including residence of the Vice President of India, India Gate, Paharganj in Delhi and the CBI office in Mumbai. Headley identified some of the prominent locations on Google Earth. In 2005 Headley was getting impatient after having completed his training which included hand to hand combat and wanted to be sent to Kashmir. He, however, was told to wait. Between October and December 2005 Headley said the LeT conducted a surveillance of the Rajkot Oil refinery, a possible target. September 14 2006 to December 14 2006 During his first visit to India he stayed at Hotel Outram in Mumbai. He purchased a cell phone and a sim card. He bought memory sticks from a showroom near his hotel. He befriended Rahul Bhatt during this time. Headley said he made extensive photography of the Bombay Municipal Corporation building, Haji Ali, Gateway of India, Hotel Taj, the Apollo Bander, State Police Headquarters of Maharashtra, Azad Maidan, areas close to hotel Outram, and Marine Drive. Headley watched videos of Kumbh Mela and was asked by Sajid if these places could be attacked. On his second visit to India in February 2007 , a third in March, 2007 , and fourth in May 2007 he said he made some general videography of the city. His fifth visit to India In September 2007 , he came to India for the fifth time and this time the target was Pune. He conducted a reconnaissance of the NDC in Delhi. In Mumbai he made a detailed surveillance of the entry and exit points of the Taj Hotel, the jewellery shop 'Jazdar' of the Taj hotel. The Shiv Sena Bhavan was videographed as Headley visited the house of Bal Thackeray and spoke to some guards. He was also asked to do a recce of the staff colony of the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre. In April 2008 , his seventh visit, he videographed the entire BARC residential areas, believed to be one of Asia's largest. He also conducted boat rides for reconnaissance of the landing sites. He went to Cuffe Parade area where the attackers finally landed. He also conducted a reconnaissance of the VT railway station and a bus terminus near VT. He took videos of the Mumbai central railway station. He discussed his surveillance with Rana who told him of an Indo-Pak agreement on non-use of force on each others’ nuclear installation. Detailed maps of Mumbai, images of operatives, the landing sites in Mumbai for terror operatives were submitted as evidence in the trial as Headley said told the US District Court jury about secretly recorded telephone conversations he had with Rana and retired Pakistan military officer Abdur Rehman, known as Pasha. Headley said he and Rana gloated over the success of the Mumbai raids and praised its planners, listening to recordings of cell phone conversations between the attackers and Headley's main Lashkar contact, Sajid Mir, during the raid. In July 2008 , Headley said he finalized his surveillance of the the Taj hotel, naval air station, police HQ, state assembly building, Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Chabad House, Mumbai Stock Exchange, Leopold Cafe, Colaba police station, Delhi Durbar, Israeli consulate, DN Road and Trident Hotel. He covered the VT railway station and the bus stand to plot an exact egress point for the attackers. It was at this time that he went to Osho Ashram in Pune and bought a gown. During the discussion for the boat ride he suggested the attackers wear vests which he said saved them during a botched attempt in September 2008. He said he wanted to name the Mumbai attacks the Mickey Mouse Project but Sajid did not like the name and renamed it Northern Project. When back in Pakistan in June 2008 Headley said he was getting frustrated due to the lack of action. He met Sajid and Abu Quhafa and it was decided that the sea route was to be used to go to Mumbai. He was asked to take a stock of train timings at the VT railway station. The Taj Presidency, World Trade Centre, Chabad House, Maharashtra Police Station, State Assembly Building, Bombay Stock Exchange and the Radio Club were discussed as possible targets. Soon after, in October Headley shifted to Denmark for a reconnaissance. He said he watched the Novenmer 26 , 2008 attacks on Geo TV and CNN. While videographing the Raksha Bhawan, he also videographed the outer boundary of the Prime Minister's residence. He informed the handlers that the best time to attack Pushkar was in winter and they could hide weapons in surrounding mountains. He was shown a oil refinery on Google Earth, possibly the Reliance Oil Refinery near Gujarat. On his final trip to India in 2009 , Headley conducted reconnaissance of Chabad Houses in Delhi, Pushkar, Goa and Pune. He took videos of all three entry points to Delhi's crowded Paharganj area. He visited India Gate and surveyed the Vice Presidents house, Sena Bhawan and NDC and made extensive footage of Israeli embassy and entries to NDC. Paharganj looked like a likely target. His last visit also brought him to Pune where he extensively surveyed the entire Koregaon area, including the German Bakery.

The Nuclear Jihad

Pakistan is not the original birth place of the Islamic fundamentalist and jihadi orgs. Islamic fundamentalism and jihadi terrorism were born elsewhere in the Ummah and thereafter spread to Pakistan after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. But, Pakistan is the original birth place of the concept of the nuclear jihad, which highlighted the need for an Islamic bomb and advocated the right and the religious obligation of Muslims to acquire WMDs and use them, if necessary, to protect their religion. The jihadi terrorists and their ideologues in Pakistan perceived the nuclear weapon as the ultimate weapon of retribution against States which they viewed as enemies of Islam, particularly the US and Israel. It was, in fact, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, a Western-influenced liberal and not a religious fundamentalist, who first projected Pakistan’s clandestine quest for an atomic bomb as the quest for an Islamic bomb to counter what he described as the Christian, Jewish and Hindu atomic bombs. He used this depiction in order to convince other Islamic States such as Libya, Saudi Arabia and Iran to fund Pakistan’s clandestine military nuclear programme. It was only subsequently that Paki jihadi orgs such as Harkat-ul- Mujahideen and fundamentalist orgs such as Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat-ul- Ulema Islam adopted Bhutto’s depiction of the Islamic bomb and projected it as rightfully belonging to the Ummah as a whole. They described Pakistan’s nuclear and missile capability as held by it on trust on behalf of the Ummah. In 2000 , when Abdul Sattar, Musharraf’s then Foreign Minister, advocated Pakistan’s signing of the CTBT, the Islamic fundamentalist and jihadi orgs started a public campaign against him and projected him as a traitor and as anti-Islam. Thereafter, he gave up his advocacy. After he shifted to Afghanistan from the Sudan in 1996 , Osama bin Laden not only started speaking of the right and religious obligation of Muslims to acquire WMDs and use them if necessary to protect Islam, but also initiated a project for the acquisition/ development of WMDs under the leadership of Abu Khabab in his training complex in Afghanistan. After 1998 , Al Qaeda and the International Islamic Front for Jihad against the Crusaders and the Jewish People IIF launched a campaign for the recruitment of students of science and scientists already working in the scientific establishments of Islamic countries for helping them in their quest for the acquisition/development of WMDs. Many analysts of what has come to be known as catastrophic or new terrorism have remarked on the presence of a large number of educated persons in the ranks of the jihadi terrorist orgs. Even the pre-1991 ideological terrorist orgs of the world, influenced by leftist ideologies, had attracted a large number of educated youth. Thus, the attraction of educated youth to terrorism is not a new phenomenon. Most of them were students or graduates or teachers of humanities. There were hardly any students of science or scientists in their ranks. What is new about jihadi terrorism is the gravitation of a number of students of science or working scientists to the jihadi orgs to help the terrorists in their jihad. While the students of science came to the jihadi orgs from many Islamic countries, working scientists came mainly from Pakistan. Gen Zia-ul-Haq, who ruled from 1977 to 1988 , strengthened the Islamic motivation of not only the Armed Forces, but also of its scientific community in the nuclear field. Just as he started projecting the Army not only as the Army of Pakistan, but also as the Army of Islam to serve the Islamic cause, similarly, like ZA Bhutto whom he overthrew and sent to the gallows, he started providing a religious justification for Pakistan’s clandestine quest for the atomic bomb. Zia’s policies resulted in the injection of the fundamentalist virus into Pakistani Army and scientific establishment. While the increasing influence of fundamentalism in the lower and middle levels of the Armed Forces received the attention of analysts of the world, a similar increase in the influence of fundamentalism in the scientific establishment did not receive similar attention despite the fact that sections of the Pakistani media had been reporting the presence of unidentified scientists of Pakistan’s nuclear establishment in the religious conventions of Pakistani jihadi orgs such as Lashkar-e-Toiba. The first indications of the presence of pro-jihadi scientists in Pakistan’s nuclear establishment came to notice during the US military ops in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda and Taliban, when documents recovered reportedly spoke of the visits of retired Paki scientists Sultan Bashiruddin Ahmed and Abdul Majid to Kandahar when bin Laden was operating from there pre-9 /11. Bashiruddin was the first head of the Kahuta uranium enrichment project before AQ Khan replaced him in the 1970 s. At the instance of the US, Pakistan authorities detained the two for some weeks and interrogated them. They admitted visiting Kandahar and meeting bin Laden, but maintained that the visit was in connection with the work of a humanitarian relief org for helping Afghan people which they had founded and had nothing to do with Al Qaeda’s quest for WMD. Since no evidence linking them to Al Qaeda’s Abu Khabab project could be found, they were released but banned from traveling abroad. However, the US and, at its instance, the UN Security Council initiated action for banning their so-called humanitarian org and for freezing its bank accounts. Since 9 /11 , one of the major concerns of US intel and counter-terrorism agencies has been over the dangers of Al Qaeda and its jihadi associates in the IIF managing to acquire a WMD capability. In this connection, attention was particularly focused on Pakistan as the most likely spot from which such leakage could occur. Pakistan has been the epicentre of State-sponsored nuclear proliferation since the late 80 s. Having benefited from funds contributed by Libya, Iran and Saudi Arabia for its clandestine military nuclear project, the Pakistan State had to agree to requests from these countries for helping them in acquiring a similar capability. Large sections of the media and the community of strategic analysts have been writing as if the Pakistan State’s collusion with Iran in the nuclear field came to light only last year. In fact, this came to light in the early 90 s when Nawaz Sharif was PM. The Pakistani political and military establishment, including Sharif himself, had then strongly refuted these reports. If one goes back to the 90 s - immediately before and after the 1991 Gulf war - one would find reports of the role played by Gen Mirza Aslam Beg, then COAS, and Dr AQ Khan in the clandestine nuclear co-operation not only with Iran, but also with Iraq. Dr Khan had been the honoured guest of Saddam Hussein on many occasions. The reports of those years were dismissed by the apologists for Pakistan in the US on the following grounds: - the reports about the co-operation with Iran came from sources in the anti- Teheran Mujahideen-e-Khalq, which were not reliable. - it did not sound logical that Pakistan should be helping Iran as well as Iraq, both sworn enemies of each other. Such arguments have no validity in the case of Pakistan. Duplicity has been the defining characteristic of Pakistan’s foreign policy since 1947. It co-operated with China against India, and with the US against China. It co-operated with the US against Iran by allowing the CIA to use Pakistani territory for its ops against the Islamic regime in Iran and, at the same time, had no qualms about helping Iran in strengthening its conventional capability and developing a nuclear capability. The political and military leadership of Pakistan clandestinely helped not only other Islamic countries, but also North Korea. Whereas in the case of the Islamic countries, the motivation was money and religion, in the case of North Korea it was the desire for the North Korean missile technology. When Pakistan faced difficulties in the late 80 s in developing its indigenous missiles (based on the Hatf series), it was to China it turned. Beijing helped it by supplying technology and fully tested short and medium range missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons up to Delhi and Mumbai, but was reluctant to supply long-range missiles capable of striking Chennai and Kolkatta. It was then that Pakistan turned to North Korea, when Benazir Bhutto succeeded Nawaz in 1993. During her visit to North Korea from China, the agreement for co-operation in the missile field was concluded. Gen Musharraf, her DGMO, was made responsible for co-ordinating this project. He and AQ Khan had made many secret visits to North Korea in this connection - together as well as separately. Initially, Pakistan paid for North Korea’s missiles and related technology with dollars and wheat purchased from the US and Australia and diverted to it. The supplementary agreement to help North Korea in developing a military nuclear capability was reached after Musharraf assumed power in Oct 1999. Zia, Benazir, Nawaz, Beg, Gen Asif Nawaz Janjua [who succeeded Beg], Gen Abdul Waheed Kakkar, his successor, and Gen Jehangir Karamat, his successor and Musharraf’s predecessor, were all privy to the clandestine nuclear/missile relationship with Iran, Libya and North Korea. Right from its inception, the clandestine nuclear and missile projects in Pakistan were treated as a top secret intel op of the ISI to ensure deniability. All payments to the foreign suppliers were made not from the accounts of the Govt of Pakistan, but from private accounts in the BCCI, which collapsed in 1991 , and other Dubai and Geneva based banks. These accounts were opened by the Gokul brothers of Geneva, one of whom was jailed for cheating in the UK after the collapse of the BCCI; Shaukat Aziz, Pakistan’s present Finance Minister, who was working in the Gulf for the Citibank in the 1990 s; Dawood Ibrahim, the mafia leader who was designated by the US as an intl terrorist in Oct; Dubai-based Pakistani smugglers, and AQ Khan and other trusted Pakistani scientists. The financial contributions from Libya, Iran and Saudi Arabia were transferred to these accounts from numbered Swiss accounts, and payments to the overseas suppliers were made from these accounts. In response to periodic Western media reports about Pakistan’s clandestine co- operation with these countries, Musharraf has been taking shifting stands just as he has been doing in the case of Paki links with Al Qaeda and other jihadi groups. When the first reports about Pakistan’s clandestine co- operation with North Korea in the missile and nuclear fields appeared, he totally denied them and repeatedly maintained that Pakistan’s medium and long-range missiles were totally indigenous and there was no North Korean role. In Oct last year, during a visit to South Korea, he changed this stand and openly admitted for the first time North Korean inputs in Pakistan’s missile programme. However, he continues to deny any Pakistani inputs into North Korea’s nuclear programme. At the same time, he sought to blame the previous Govts of Nawaz and Benazir for the missile co-operation with North Korea as if he had no role in it. After 9 /11 , when there was considerable speculation about the dangers of Pak’s WMDs falling into the hands of Al Qaeda, he asserted on innumerable occasions that Pakistan’s nuclear capability was in the secure hands of the military and that there was no question of its leakage to anybody outside Pakistan. However, after Libya and Iran made a clean breast of the inputs received from Pakistan, he has again shifted his stand. He is now trying to give the impression that this was the unauthorized doing of rogue elements in Pakistan’s scientific community who, according to him, betrayed Pakistan’s nuclear secrets out of greed for money. He has been enacting an elaborate nuclear charade of detaining and " debriefing" A.Q.Khan and eight other nuclear scientists close to him and four ISI officers who had served in the Kahuta uranium enrichment factory and by projecting the proliferation which has taken place, which he no longer denies, as the act of these rogue elements. When President Vladimir Putin of Russia visited India a year ago, he stated in an interview that Musharraf had repeatedly assured him that Pakistan’s nuclear and missile assets were in the safe hands of the Army and that there was no question of their leakage to Al Qaeda or other jihadi terrorists. Putin added that while he had no reasons to distrust Musharraf, he continued to be concerned over the dangers of individual members of the Pakistani scientific community helping the jihadi terrorists to develop a WMD capability. Even though he did not say so explicitly, it was apparent that he was having in mind the case of Sultan Bashiruddin and Abdul Majid and was worried that they represented only the tip of the jihadi rogue iceberg in Pakistan’s nuclear and missile fields. Putin’s concerns have been justified by the recent discoveries of the role of over a dozen members of Pakistan’s WMD community, civilian scientists as well as their military supervisors, in the proliferation of nuclear technology and material to Libya and Iran. Even if one were to accept Musharraf’s unconvincing arguments that this was a rogue operation by greedy scientists without the knowledge of the military, these concerns would only be aggravated and not lessened because if greedy scientists were prepared to help other States in return for money, they would be equally capable of selling material and expertise to jihadi terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, which can pay as well as these Islamic States. I f an Islamic fundamentalist orientation was an additional factor in their sale/ transfer of these technologies to Iran and Libya, the international community would have reasons to be even more concerned. Till now, strategic analysts have been focusing only on the dangers of a possible Talibanisation or Al Qaedisation of the Pakistan Army. It is time now to pay more attention to the dangers of a Talibanisation or Al Qaedisation of Pakistan’s scientific community. The recent developments and the shifting stands of Musharraf only add to the misgivings in the minds of many about him. If he has been telling a lie by putting all the blame on individual scientists, it shows how he continues to be as unreliable as before befitting his reputation as "tricky Mush". If he is telling the truth, it shows how ineffective is his control over the jihadi elements in the Pakistani Army and scientific establishment.