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NightWatch 20100708

NightWatch

For the Night of 8 July 2010

India-Pakistan: Update. Next Thursday, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and the Indian Minister of External Affairs will meet in Islamabad to resume their dialogue. A Pakistani spokesman said all issues are on the table, but then immediately removed one, namely the Indian concern about the Chinese plan to build a railroad through the Karakoram Mountains.

He also referred to Pakistan's concern for the human rights of people living in "Indian-occupied" Kashmir. However, the spokesman said Pakistan is approaching the meeting with an open mindset.

Pakistan: Security. Several Chinese engineers working in Baluchistan survived an attempt on their lives when unidentified assailants fired two rockets at a five -star hotel in the provincial town, in a pre-dawn attack on Wednesday. According to reports, the Chinese engineers left the hotel elevator minutes before the attack, which damaged a portion of the hotel building.

The Chinese engineers had arrived in Gwadar recently and were reportedly working on an oil refinery. Official sources believe that they were the targets of the attack. Security officials and paramilitary forces cordoned off the area after the attack and began investigations against unidentified assailants.

Comment: Baluch hostility to foreigners is less interesting than that the Chinese are building an oil refinery in Gwadar, in western Pakistan. That provides the motive for building a railroad link to Xinjiang, China, or maybe a pipeline, if that is feasible.

China is developing lines of communication through Pakistan and Burma to complement oil pipelines in central Asia that will ensure crude supplies to China in the event of a crisis in Northeast or Southeast Asia in which US Naval forces would disrupt the maritime supply route through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

Pakistan: Gratitude. The head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, said "foreign powers" were responsible for terrorism in his country, Samaa reported 8 July. During a briefing at a session of the National Security Committee, General Pasha said U.S. counterterrorism policy is being looked into and that changes will be made in accordance with Pakistan's national interest. According to Samaa, the foreign powers mentioned were specified as Western powers.

Comment:: The duplicitous, calculated comments of Pakistani politicians, such as Lieutenant General Pasha, expose the psychology of blame that infects Pakistani leaders. They do not accept responsibility for their own actions and constantly indulge in blaming those - in this case, the US -- who have provided enormous assistance to support elective, democratic government.

The US has persevered in this support despite overwhelming evidence that helping Pakistan is against the best interests of the US, Indian and Afghan governments. Even neutral international observers have concluded that Pakistani government organizations have never stopped supporting the Taliban.

Pakistani strategists are fond of accusing the US of being an inconstant ally of Pakistan against India. In the world-wide fight against terrorist groups, Pakistan is the inconstant ally. Its lack of gratitude is a world class disgrace. Pakistani political and military leaders should have the humility to appreciate they are not very clever in their initiatives to manipulate the US.

Security. Private security firms and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) working in Pakistan have been found involved in assisting the Pakistani Taliban militants financially and providing them with the human resource. The militants arrested by the law enforcement agencies in different operations disclosed the names of private security firms and NGOs, who actually have been funding the militants and providing them with human resource for activities of terrorism in the country.

After the disclosure by the militants, the Interior Ministry asked the Government of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa to provide a detailed list of those private security firms and NGOs. The Interior Ministry and the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa government have ordered an investigation.

Israel: An army inquiry into the Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound maritime flotilla criticized the Israeli Defense Forces' (IDF) planning but did not single out any military officials, Ynet reported 8 July.

The inquiry's report said there was a lack of coordination between forces involved in the raid, mishaps in planning and failure to make use of available intelligence. The report said the military planners thought IDF forces would only face low-level violence.

Note: The after-action report indicates there is little learning occurring in the IDF, despite the intelligence and tactical failures of 2006. Lieutenant General Ashkenazi should offer to resign. Israel cannot afford to tolerate these continuing and repeated intelligence and operational failures. If no senior officers tender their resignations, that means the entire exercise is fraudulent, political and not to be accepted at face value.

UK-European Court of Human Rights: The European Court of Human Rights on 8 July halted the extradition of radical preacher Abu Hamza and three other men to the United States on terror charges. The court said the possible length of US jail terms -- life without parole -- raised concerns about breaches of the European human rights code and needed further examination before a final ruling.

Hamza, whose full name is Mustafa Kamal Mustafa, is wanted on terror charges in the US. The three other men facing extradition are Babar Ahmad, Syed Talha Ahsan, and Haroon Rashid Aswat. Ahmad, a 36-year old computer expert, has been in a UK prison without trial for nearly six years, refused bail since his arrest in August 2004 on a US extradition warrant.

This is an extraordinary perversion of the notion of justice, as understood in the Anglo-Germanic world. In the EU Court's interpretation, the nation-states must prove the fairness of their system of dispensing justice, over the heinous nature of the criminal's behavior. This is tantamount to turning the world upside down in that the dead have no advocate and the accused has more protections than those he killed.

The UK went along with this decision.

Kenya-Somali pirates: Last week, the first hearings were held in a Kenyan courtroom specially designed to bring pirates to justice. The court room is in Shimo la Tewa maximum-security prison, 10 miles north of the coastal city of Mombasa.

The courtroom at Shimo la Tewa was built with $5 million of international donations. The United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia, and others, channeled money for the facility through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). "This, we hope, is going to go a long way to improving the efficiency of the trials, in a secure, modern environment," said Alan Cole, coordinator of a counter-piracy program at the UNODC office in Nairobi.

The Seychelles agreed that it, too, would prosecute pirates. The UNODC also is refurbishing the main prison in Victoria. Tanzania will soon begin talks over taking suspects.

With enough money, almost any state will prosecute pirates. At least now there is little excuse for capital ships in releasing pirates they capture or in taking them back to Europe, where the Somalis invariably seek political asylum!!!.

End of NightWatch for 8 July.

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