Thursday, May 13, 2010

Racist, Anti-Pakistan Picture Circulating On Some US-based Websites


Pakistan's political and military officials can dodge reality all they want, but no other country in the world has demonized Pakistan and Pakistanis in the last eight years like the United States government and its foreign policy and militay-intelligence communities have done, from spreading false global panic over Pakistan's strategic weapons to sponsoring political and academic events in Washington hosting speakers from little known separatist groups that advocate the break up of Pakistan along linguistic lines.

Now we have pictures such as the one above that are circulating on US websites, targeting Pakistanis despite the fact that it was a US citizen who allegedly freely traveled to meet terrorists right under the eyes and noses of CIA and FBI and their DynCorp and Xe/Blackwater agents who scour Pakistani border regions disguised as ethnic Pakistani Pashtuns. Faisal Shahzad, whose lousy terror attempt raises serious question marks about the conduct of US intelligence community, managed to allegedly travel to the Afghan border region several times and escape racial profiling and dodge every precautionary US anti-terror measure to pull off the Mickey-Mouse-clock-and-firecracker 'car bomb' stint, and yet the responsibility for his action lies on Pakistan, as per Mrs. Clinton, the White House, and now the New York City government. 

While demonizing Pakistan, Washington is also guilty of empowering India during those eight years and turning Afghan soil into a launchpad for the export of terrorism into Pakistan.

The American people and the Pakistani people have no strategic conflict of interest. But with the constant demonization of Pakistan at the hands of US government and its psy-ops managers, every attempt is being made to put the Americans and Pakistanis on a war path, and the ad above is one big step in that direction.

Not all Americans approve of what their government and intelligence are doing. Some of our American friends, including those in Washington, have informed that the Web site of Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or MTA, appears to have pulled down the ad in the last couple of hours, but it's still available at other locations.

It's funny how this Mickey-Mouse-clock-and-firecracker 'car bomb' attempt is executed and then a week later a young Pakistani hotel clerk in Chile is arrested with traces of bomb powder on his clothes as he visits the US embassy armed only with visa application documents.

Of course, Pakistan's foreign policy, military, and intelligence communities are not stupid. They know what is going on. But they have orders to ignore this. They are also ignoring the activities of US Embassy in Islamabad as it expands its list of local Pakistani mouthpieces who have been assigned US State Department's new mission of confronting 'anti-Americanism' in Pakistan.  The ranks of these US apologists is swelling. They came into action during the last week to desperately try to scuttle any discussion on the fishy circumstances surrounding the terror attempt and focus instead on inducing guilt among Pakistanis and indirectly justify the US pressure to launch new internal wars in Pakistan.

Pakistani government and military is probably ignoring all this, including the provocative language used by Mrs. Clinton in threatening war against Pakistan, in order to avoid a direct confrontation with US or maybe more realistically to ensure the flow of US aid dollars that feed corruption at various levels of Pakistan's power structure.


This picture invited a lot of feedback in the shortest span of time. It is also doctored. Here it is, above, as it appears on a US-based satirical website with the link. It also appears at several other places, all of them US-based websites. I am emphasizing this to answer some readers who accused our team of doctoring the original MTA ad to spread hatred. Interestingly, US apologists in Pakistan, who are closely linked to the US embassy in Islamabad and US consulates in other cities, conveniently ignore how this kind of insulting anti-Pakistan material is common in the US, actively encouraged by people close to the US government.

The point is the mindset behind this picture. Although the word 'Pakistani' is added by private US citizens, the racial profiling is quite clear on the part of MTA in the choice of the gentleman who appears in the picture. The fact that this doctored image with the word 'Pakistani' is circulating on US websites is a matter of concern and is in bad taste to say the least and does not reflect well on our American friends, most of whom are great people, just as Pakistanis are. Despite all the legitimate criticism in Pakistan on US government policies, never do US critics in Pakistan create and circulate such insulting material to humiliate US citizens as is the case here with this image insulting Pakistanis.

The story above accompanying the image explains how the US government and its pys-ops experts have been busy demonizing Pakistan for political reasons, and how Pakistan's decision makers continue to avoid addressing this manifest anti-Pakistanism on the part of some US government officials and US media. I stand by this argument.

Creative Commons License

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Indians Seize NYC Terror To Peddle Anti-Pakistanism

Mr. Sadanand Dhume is a columnist for Wall Street Journal. Earlier this week, he wrote a column on the failed New York City terror attempt. He gave this provocative title to his column, 'Why Pakistan Produces Jihadists'.

His sub-heading was even more interesting. It read:

Carved out of the Muslim-majority areas of British India in 1947, it was the world's first modern nation based solely on Islam.

My gut reaction was: What's that got to do with anything?

How typical. An event offers itself to malign Pakistan and Indians pop up everywhere to offer distortions on history and policy that - in an innocent coincident of course – overlap with long held Indian policy objectives. Most WSJ readers won't know this because most outsiders are not privy to the full history of Indian antagonism toward Pakistan since this small nation's rise in 1947 after an epic and peaceful struggle.

One of the official Indian objectives has always been to question directly and indirectly the rise of Pakistan as an independent nation. That's exactly what Mr. Dhume does here, innocently of course. In lamenting the rise of a Muslim-majority nation, he conveniently forgets that it was Hindu extremism in his country that pushed the ruling Muslim elites of the region - who were a distinct race and culture by all standards - to seek the right to shape their own destiny.

Pakistan is Muslim in the same way that Israel is the world's first and only nation created in the name of Judaism and in the same way that Ireland is Catholic and India is Hindu, even if it presents itself as secular.

Instead of obsessing over Pakistan and seizing opportunities to malign it, Mr. Dhume would do well to explain to us and the world how a secular democracy in India produced 21st century's first genocide against Christians [almost 600 killed in the summer of 2009] and Muslims [2,000 burned alive in 2002].

Pakistan, despite failures of governance and politics and a history of foreign meddling in its affairs by outside powers, remains immune to this rapid and violent deterioration in tolerance that has affected the world's largest democracy.

Why do US newspapers solicit insights on Pakistan from biased, agenda-driven Indians?

Even the US government does it. Recently, Washington sent an Indian to head the USAID office in Islamabad.

This is a sign of prevalent anti-Pakistanism in some corners of US media and government.

Of course, WSJ doesn't hide its bias against Pakistan. It is not interested in offering a balanced perspective. Like most of the mainstream US news organizations, this publication has been at the forefront of demonizing Pakistan and spreading unsubstantiated rumors about Pakistan's nukes and the country's imminent breakup. To be fair to WSJ, most mainstream US news outlets have been peddling these theories as news for the past three years.

Now the US Embassy in Islamabad is recruiting Pakistanis from the media and academia [as consultants to USAID, to DoD, to CIA-linked think tanks, etc.] to beautify Washington's real face in the eyes of ordinary Pakistanis.

But Pakistanis are not stupid. They know how Washington has been treating Pakistan as a de facto enemy state and deceiving Pakistan for the past eight years.

This op-ed by Mr. Dhume is also a sobering reminder for Pakistanis that India remains the number one threat to Pakistan's long term security and stability. The Indians won't miss a chance to harm Pakistan, like they did in 1971 when they unilaterally invaded Pakistan when Pakistanis were busy in a post-election domestic squabble.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Is Madhuri Gupta Christina Palmer?

Will The REAL Ms. Christina Palmer Rise?

Christina Palmer has long tortured Indian officials. Writing for a Pakistani newspaper from New Delhi, she has raised eyebrows both in Islamabad and New Delhi by leaking sensitive information about Indian military and intelligence to Pakistan's Daily Mail. She did this during the past two years. Indian police and intelligence have been searching for her within New Delhi's community of foreign correspondents. But to no avail. Then comes Madhuri Gupta, a journalism specialist who was based in Islamabad's Indian high commission for the past two years. Apart from passing on information to ISI, has Madhuri also been writing for a Pakistani newspaper under the pen name Christina Palmer?

Friday, 30 April 2010.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan--Christina Palmer is an ace reporter for a small and feisty Islamabad-based Pakistani newspaper The Daily Mail. Her scoops on Indian army and intelligence have been rich in information and punch. Their accuracy has raised eyebrows in both Pakistan and India.

Last year, one of her reports sent the Indian media and government into a tailspin.

That report left Indian Interior Minister P. Chidambaram “miffed”, according to one report, forcing Indian officials to consider lodging a protest with the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. [The protest was never lodged.]

“The scurrilous report,” wrote India Today last year, “claimed the 178- strong first women contingent of the BSF had been inducted to meet the "natural needs" of male soldiers posted away from their families in Jammu and Kashmir (...) They even declared the BSF had borrowed the idea from Russians.”

So serious was the matter that India’s Border Security Force, which operates in the two occupied territories Kashmir and in Afghanistan, sent agents to search for clues on Ms. Palmer’s whereabouts in the records of the Press Information Bureau and the Foreign Correspondents Club in New Delhi.

Nothing was found. In an email interview later that year with a talk show host on the private TVOneNews station in Karachi, Ms. Palmer claimed she was an accredited journalist based in New Delhi and that she used a pen name for security reasons because her reports often probed issues related to the Indian military and intelligence and the powerful Hindu terror groups.

But even if she was based in New Delhi and operated under her original name, her unusual access to often accurate information regarding Indian military and intelligence movements and policies on Pakistan, China, the disputed region of Kashmir made her editors at The Daily Mail happy but raised eyebrows among watchers in Islamabad and New Delhi. A copy editor at The Daily Mail said he often wondered that the only way for Ms. Palmer to get such scoops was to have insiders in the Indian government passing on such information.

Some of her prominent work includes a report titled The most vulnerable naked nukes of India which proved that India’s most important nuclear installations are located in parts of the country where separatist insurgencies are the strongest.

Her Dec. 31 report, titled, Corruption scams generate acute row amongst Indian army top brass was the first report published anywhere to reveal the internal power struggle within the Indian Army. The report was confirmed a few weeks later when the Indian army chief had to leave office mired in scandal and replaced by a general whose power ambitions were first discussed in Ms. Palmer’s Daily Mail report.

Now with the news that a lady Indian diplomat who dealt with media affairs is now under arrest in New Delhi for spying for Pakistan, many are raising an interesting question: Is Madhuri Gupta the long-sought Christina Palmer? Have the Indians finally caught her?

Interestingly, Ms. Palmer has published some of her most insightful and accurate India-specific reports in Pakistan during the last two years. 

Coincidentally, that's the same time that media specialist and now disgraced Indian diplomat Madhuri Gupta was posted in the Indian high commission in Islamabad as Second Secretary.

At one point last year someone leaked to the Pakistani media a list of names of frequent Pakistani visitors to the Indian High Commission – including rights activists, retired generals, former ambassadors and journalists – with some insight into what some of them have told their Indian hosts. No major Pakistani newspaper published the story but details of what these Pakistanis have said to their Indian hosts are scandalous, according to those who are familiar with the leak.

Some of the names in the list tried to win favors from the Indian government, or hinted they would like to be invited to India for conferences to revive their sagging careers.

Question is: Was Ms. Gupta behind this?

We posed this question to the editor of Ms. Palmer's newspaper, Mr. Makhdoom Babar Sultan. Mr. Babar has often been vilified in the Indian media because of Ms. Palmer’s reports. A commentary on Chennai Television’s website once challenged him, ‘
Mr. Baber, you cannot hide a mountain by a shawl.’

He denies there is any link between Ms. Gupta and Ms. Palmer. He also said there was no link between Ms. Gupta’s arrest and the fact that Ms. Palmer’s byline hasn’t appear in the newspaper for several days now.

We also asked him how it was possible for him to retain the services of a correspondent like Christina Palmer with her probing investigative stories.

After all, The Mail is a small newspaper with limited circulation. Five years ago it became the first Pakistani newspaper to print an edition from Beijing, which has been discontinued ever since because of a financial crunch. There have been rumors the paper was funded by Pakistani intelligence. But that seems unlikely considering that the paper faces a severe financial restructuring due to a slump in distribution and advertising.

So is Christina Palmer Madhuri Gupta?

No way, said Makhdoom Babar Sultan. When asked to produce a personal photograph or an address for Ms. Palmer, Mr. Sultan said it would endanger her security in New Delhi, where she is based. He did offer to have her call our reporter from a public telephone in New Delhi.

Only Indian investigators can confirm if Ms. Gupta was actually writing for a Pakistani newspaper under a fake name and leaking out in the process some of the juiciest details about insider happenings in New Delhi.

One last question: How many more Indian diplomats are actually working for Pakistan?

Creative Commons License