Thursday, April 24, 2014

The cult of cronyism


The cult of cronyism

Siddharth Varadarajan


Who does Narendra Modi represent and what does his rise in Indian politics signify? Given the burden he carries of the 2002 anti-Muslim massacres, it is tempting to see the Gujarat chief minister's arrival on the national stage as a watershed moment in the escalation of communal politics. Certainly the cult-like following he has amongst the sangh parivar faithful and a wider section of the Hindu middle class is due to the image he has of a leader who knows how to "show Muslims their place". For these supporters, his refusal to do something so simple – and tokenistic — as express regret for the killings that happened under his watch is seen not as a handicap but as further proof of his strength.


And yet, Modi's rise and rise has less to do with his Hindutva credentials and appeal than his secular critics would like to believe. Modi is where he is today – on the cusp of power — not because the country is becoming more communal but because the Indian corporate sector is becoming more impatient. Every opinion poll that shows him inching towards power sets off a bull run on the Bombay Stock Exchange.  In a recent dispatch for the Financial Times, James Crabtree noted the exceptional gains notched up by Adani Enterprises – the company's share price has shot up by more than 45 per cent over the past month compared to the 7 per cent rise registered by the Sensex. One reason, an equities analyst told the FT, is that investors expect a government headed by Modi to allow Adani to expand his crucial Mundra port despite the environmental complications involved. "So the market is saying that, beyond the simple proximity of Mr Adani and Mr Modi, these clearances may no longer be so hard to get under a BJP regime," the analyst is quoted as saying.


The word 'clearances' sounds benign but what it really signifies is Modi's willingness to accommodate the desire of capital to expand in any way it wants – horizontally, across land and field, vertically, above and below the earth, and laterally, in terms of accommodating the demands of foreign investors, including for the opening up of the insurance and retail sectors.   And if environmental rules, livelihoods, farmsteads or community interests intervene, they must perforce make way with the vigorous backing and assistance of the government. It is this promise of 'decisiveness' that has made Modi such an attractive proposition for Indian – and global — big business today.


How and why the country's top businessmen switched allegiance from the 'indecisive' Congress to Narendra Modi is a story that reflects the inner rhythms of life at the base of Indian politics. But it is also a cautionary tale about the deep crisis that rent-seeking and cronyism have engendered in the Indian economy now that the immediate gains made possible from liberalization have reached their natural limit. For all the changes that neo-liberal policies and the end of the 'license-permit raj' were meant to usher in, the level of rent that can be earned by companies that are close to the government has reached astronomical levels. As N.S. Siddharthan of the Madras School of Economics argues, "Under the existing business environment, the path to amass wealth is not through manufacturing but through exploitation of resources under government ownership." Even if some of the estimates generated by the Comptroller and Auditor General in his reports on the 2G spectrum and coal scans appear to be on the high side, it is evident that the preferential allotment of resources has become a huge source of profit for companies that might otherwise earn only a 'normal' rate of return through their brick-and-mortar ventures. These resources include not just coal or spectrum or iron ore but, most crucially, land and water too. And here, the poster boy for the brave new world that Modi represents is Gautam Adani, whose emergence as a major businessman closely mirrors the rise of the Gujarat Chief Minister himself. 


At the January 2009 'Vibrant Gujarat' summit, two of India's biggest industrialists, Anil Ambani, who was locked in battle with Mukesh Ambani over the issue of gas pricing, and Sunil Mittal, chose openly to bat for Modi as Prime Minister. "Narendrabhai has done good for Gujarat and [imagine] what will happen if he leads the nation," Anil Ambani was quoted as saying. "Gujarat has seen progress in all the fields under his leadership. Now, imagine what will happen to the country if he gets the opportunity to lead it … Person like him should be the next leader of the country." Mittal, head of the Bharti Group with major interests in telecoms, had this to say: "Chief Minister Modi is known as a CEO, but he is actually not a CEO, because he is not running a company or a sector. He is running a state and can also run the nation." Tata, who was present at the event, also sang Modi's praises. "I have to say that today there is no state like Gujarat. Under Mr Modi's leadership, Gujarat is head and shoulders above any state." Again, the question of 'clearances' took pride of place.  The Economic Times reported: "A state, Mr Tata gushed, would normally take 90 to 180 days to clear a new plant but, 'in the Nano case, we had our land and approval in just two days.'"

Two years later, at the 2011 Vibrant Gujarat meet, the prize for florid rhetoric went to Mukesh Ambani: "Gujarat is shining like a lamp of gold and the credit goes to the visionary, effective and passionate leadership provided by Narendra Modi. We have a leader here with vision and determination to translate this vision into reality." In 2013, it was again the turn of his estranged brother. "Anil Ambani hailed chief minister Narendra Modi as the King among Kings," the Economic Times reported, and requested the audience to give the CM a standing ovation. "The audience readily relented." Others who spoke included a who's who of top industrialists.  If there was no repeat of the 'Modi for PM' chant this time around, it was only because India Inc had already made its choice clear.


Looking back, a major turning point in this evolving matrix of business and political interests was surely the Niira Radia tapes drama of 2010. Coming close on the heels of the CAG's dramatic exposé of the 2G scam, the Radia tapes brought out into the open the inner connections between big business, politicians, policymaking and even the media. With the Supreme Court now joining the CAG in seeking to stop the loot of public resources, it became clear that the era of easy "clearances" was now coming to an end. It was around this time that corporate India started accusing the Congress-led Manmohan Singh government – which they had strongly backed, and profited from, until then — of "policy paralysis", "drift" and "indecisiveness."

Since his name had figured in the Radia tapes, it was only natural that Ratan Tata should lead the charge. Warning that India was in danger of becoming a 'banana republic', the head of one of the country's largest conglomerates hit out at the government for failing to maintain a conducive climate for industry.  He was soon joined by Deepak Parekh, the influential head of HDFC bank, who raised the spectre of capital flight since land acquisition and mining leases were becoming more difficult. "Talk to businessman after businessman", the Times of India reported, "and one of the first things he'll tell you, off the record, is, 'The government's come to a halt. Bureaucrats, bankers, everybody's scared to take decisions.' The next thing he'll tell you: 'We are now looking at investing abroad rather than in India'." Sharad Pawar, the business-friendly Union Agriculture Minister, also lent his voice to this chorus of protest.


It is a fact that outward investment from India has been growing steadily, except for a fall in the slump year of 2009-10. Companies invest abroad for a wide variety of reasons. Some look for resources like coal or oil to feed their industries at home, others for technology or a means of more easily accessing protected markets. Domestic constraints on profitability can also be a factor. As Harun R. Khan, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India has noted, "There exists a school of thought which apprehends that overseas investment by Indian corporates is at the cost of on-shore investment. One of the discernible reasons acting as an obstacle for companies to undertake on-shore investment could be the policy and procedural constraints." But domestic investment is also constrained by supply bottlenecks, especially in infrastructure, and domestic demand, which, in turn, are functions of public investment and expenditure, investor confidence, and the poor dispersion of income, which affects the spending power of the population.


As long as the Indian economy was maintaining a high rate of growth during the first term of the Manmohan Singh government, the biggest Indian companies were able to enjoy both "normal" profitability and a "crony premium." But the joint effect of the 2008 global slowdown  on inflation, and interest rates, and the blow that Radiagate, the CAG, public opinion, and a more vigilant judiciary have delivered from 2009 onwards has fatally compromised this cosy revenue model. The arraignment of the Sahara group by the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the jailing of its boss, Subrata Roy, by the Supreme Court on contempt charges is perhaps the most dramatic example of how the terrain for big business is changing. To be sure, Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram were aware of the brewing disquiet in the corporate sectorand tried to tackle the problem at the easier end by creating the Cabinet Committee on Investment and making rent-friendly changes in key ministries like Petroleum and Natural Gas and Environment and Forests.  But this has not been enough to restore the confidence of India Inc in the Congress party's ability to restore the status quo ante.


It is hardly surprising that this is the time the name of Narendra Modi as a potential Prime Minister of India enters public discourse in a determined fashion. Egged on by corporate sponsors as well as by the personal preferences of their proprietors, big media swung into action to take the process of "normalizing" Modi to its logical conclusion. Barely nine years earlier, the Gujarat Chief Minister and the massacres he failed to prevent were universally acknowledged by the media as having played a key role in the defeat of the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre in 2004. The problem was how to convince the same urban middle class India, which is repelled by the spectre of communal violence, that the solution to India's problems lies in Modi's leadership. This is how the myth of the 'Gujarat model of development' came in handy. "Today people are talking about the China model of development in Gujarat," Anand Mahindra of Mahindra and Mahindra told the 2013 Vibrant Gujarat summit. "But the day is not far when people will talk about Gujarat model of growth in China."


Enough has been said and written about the statistical legerdemain that underlies Modi's fanciful claims as an administrator who has transformed Gujarat. But in praising their Leader in this way, Corporate India is making an inadvertent admission: that what they admire the most about Modi is his love for the "Chinese model." What is this model? It is one in which "clearances" for land, mines and the environment don't matter. It is one in which awkward questions about gas pricing are never asked, let alone answered.  Unlike the growing public support for strong institutional action against corruption that lies at the root of the visible disenchantment with the Congress, Corporate India is not interested in an end to "corruption" as such. Cronyism and rent-seeking have become an integral part of the way our biggest companies do business – a sort of 'capitalism with Indian characteristics' – and they are looking to Modi to run this system in a decisive, stable and predictable manner. What they want is a Leader who will manage contradictions and institutional obstacles as and when they emerge. The communalism of the hordes who follow the Modi cult is an added attraction for his corporate backers, provided the Leader is able to keep his flock in check. This is something Atal Bihari Vajpayee and even L.K. Advani were not always capable of doing. Narendra Modi is a more decisive and strong-willed man. He can be counted upon to keenly calibrate their deployment whenever a crisis requires a diversion.


Postscript: As this issue was going to press came news that N.K. Singh, the bureaucrat-turned-politician, who is heard on the Radia tapes trying to influence the course of a parliamentary debate on a matter concerning Reliance, has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

(Siddharth Varadarajan, formerly Editor of The Hindu, is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Public Affairs and Critical Theory, New Delhi)



Siddharth Varadarajan


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Iraq War Crimes & International Legal System Ap2014


                                  I8TH CONGRESS

                        BRUSSELS April 15-19 2014


                              IRAQ COMMISSION


                         Session 4- April 16 2014


          War Crimes and the International Legal System



                 The Duality of an International Financial, Political, and Legal System

                       Conferring Impunity on Major War Criminals


                               Niloufer Bhagwat


  Irreconcilable contradiction     

    As  we look back  at a quarter of a century of developments on the vital issue of  war and the absence of peace ; with  successive criminal wars waged , for  seizure of resources, for control of strategic regions for hydrocarbon pipelines,  for uranium mines,  heroin , opium and the drug trade ; for capture of markets , seeds and even river systems, for confiscation of   national savings of entire societies , including  bank deposits and  gold in vaults; inflicting genocide and every conceivable war crime ; it is necessary  to rid ourselves of  illusions and  reappraise  economic and   political systems  and the international  legal system that has been put in place in recent decades , after the cold war , to facilitate this criminality .

       Leading  governments of the world have been integral to the subversion process, permitting  the diktat  of imperialism in financial , economic , trade and military relations and within the United Nations system; on the capitulation of the  only alternative political system which was in place, as a buffer of sorts, whatever its deficiencies .Presently many regions of the world have been turned into a  fascistic and military arena for a  vast criminal enterprise, assured of impunity by the imposition of the  New World  legal order .

        We  as jurists and lawyers seem to have been  carried away by our own illusions, believing  that it was possible to avoid war, irrespective of the nature of the  economic and political system of dominant nations , by merely advocating legal structures and systems, relying on precedents and pacifism , rather than on opposition to the  political and economic systems, using war as  alternative policy , by financial and other monopolies seeking to extend themselves everywhere in the world for profits ,by any and every means . Could such  political systems be the basis for a just international legal order in the world .

   We naively believed in the exalted promises held out at the Nuremberg and Far East Trials (Tokyo), side stepping the important dissent of Judge Radhabinod Pal at the Far East Trials, that these trials represented a system of "victor's justice". Judge Pal  while  fully  acknowledging Japan's war time atrocities and the Nanking massacres, highlighted  that the  exclusion of Western colonialism  and the use of the Atomic bombs by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki , the ruthless  bombing of civilians  in several cities , from the  terms of reference of the war crimes referred for prosecution ;and  the exclusion from   consideration of the   US provocative  ultimatum to Japan prior to the War , was  "unjust and unreasonable " and "would not contribute to a lasting peace" .This ratio of Judge Pal's judgment  was not limited to Japan and Germany. The judgment observed that : " It does not comply with the idea of international justice that only vanquished states are obliged to surrender their own subjects to jurisdiction of an international tribunal for the punishment of war crimes"1

        Despite the magnitude of destruction by both Axis and Allied powers, very few were really tried .At Nuremberg only 22 Nazi political and military leaders, 11 were executed. At the separate Tribunals appointed by the US, British and French, another 500 executed and approximately 1000 sentenced to life imprisonment, or a lesser sentence. The Far East Tribunal tried 28 Japanese political and military leaders, 7 were executed. With the revival of hostility to the former USSR,   a program was instituted   to re-integrate Germany and Japan into the Western Defense Alliance System .2

  This dissenting judgment  of Judge Pal  cautioned  against a  limited approach, observing that: " questions of law are not decided in intellectual quarantine in which legal doctrine and local history of the dispute alone are retained , and all else forcibly excluded….." which was the approach of the Security Council appointed ad hoc Tribunals,  the  International Criminal Tribunal on former  Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, in view of  the  geopolitical and self serving  objectives behind the appointment of the Tribunals.

  The juridical reasons why the Nuremberg and Far East Trials found acceptance and were embedded in Customary  International law and Conventions.

     The rational behind the juridical acceptance of the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials were two important jurisprudential advances.

   The first was the solemn undertaking given by the distinguished jurist and Chief US Prosecutor, former US Supreme Court Judge Robert Jackson on behalf of the government of the United States:

    " If certain acts of violation of treaties are crimes , they are crimes whether the United States does them or Germany does them and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have against us".3

     Explicit in this undertaking  is the legal and equitable doctrine of 'estoppel ', which  precludes the government of the United States of America, allied powers, including the  NATO powers , "from now  denying or asserting anything contrary of that which has been established as the truth ……….or by his ( its ) own deed , acts or representation whether express or implied ."    

      The second reason for wider acceptance of the Nuremberg and Fast East Trials   was its declaration that waging   a war of aggression is a crime.

     The Nuremberg Tribunal accepting   submissions of the Chief Prosecutor of the United States and other prosecutors held that: "War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression therefore is not only an international crime; it is the Supreme International crime ………it contains within itself, the accumulated evil of the whole."  4    

           The confidence of  jurists in the universality  of these principles was  belied by the  history of the immediate  post war period , with brutal wars of aggression waged  among other countries , in Korea, in Algeria ,  in Vietnam , with millions of civilians killed ;  Napalm and  defoliants  such as Agent Orange were   used to destroy  farm land and forests , with permanent genetic damage of those exposed with no ad hoc tribunals  appointed , and no trials and no reparation .

     Ironically just before  the Allied powers tried  Nazi Germany for genocide, in 1943-1944,   3 - 5 million Indians  died of man made famine referred to as the ' Great Bengal Famine', 5  a 'holocaust'( repeatedly inflicted on India during colonial rule)by the British colonial power  procuring food grains for  war fronts, even as 2.5 million   Indian soldiers were deployed by the Empire in key sectors in Europe, North Africa , West Asia and South East Asia; a war in which they had no stake , enslaved as their country was .

The ideological basis  for successive wars of aggression.

      Global corporate propaganda pronounced the end of the "Cold War", with   the capitulation of the Socialist systems, and the fragmentation of the USSR, despite a referendum in which every Republic of the former USSR voted for continuance of a Union.  Russia,  a member of the Security Council, and many former Republics became a "basket case "an appendage of Western financial institutions, under 'economic reforms".

     What were the nature of forces which emerged victorious? 'The dominant force in to-day's financial zed globalization is the Imperialist capitalism of oligopolies of which financial oligopolies constitute the headquarters backed up by the power of states  …and the so –called international economic organizations that serve their interests . "6 With the capitulation of the Soviet Union, the United States assumed "the role of the capital system as such, subsuming under itself by all means at its disposal all rival powers" leading the world into the "potentially deadliest phase of Imperialism."7

     The Project for the New American Century (which the Brussels Tribunal had focused on in 2002) against this financial and  geopolitical  backdrop , planned for a " New American Century", in alliance with NATO and the Triad, with  the  ideological construct  for' continuous'  and 'endless wars in our lifetime ' including the 'war of terror' which began with a false flag operation on 9/11 .

    The PNAC project was  reinforced  by UK and  European ideologues, including  senior diplomat Robert Cooper who helped  shape the foreign policy of former Prime Minister Tony Blair , and was special adviser to EU's Foreign Affairs  Chief , Xavier Solana and by France's  Bernard Henri-Levy,  among others in Europe.

 Robert Cooper's essay "The New Liberal Imperialism", called   for new wars:

      "Among ourselves, we operate on the basis of laws…….. But when dealing with more old –fashioned kind of states outside the post modern conditions of Europe, we need to revert to rougher methods of an earlier era – force , pre-emptive attack , deception……… what form should intervention take ? The most logical way ………..and the one most employed is colonization………though the opportunities, perhaps even the need for colonization is as great as it was in the 19th Century ……..What is needed is a new kind of Imperialism …….. First there is the voluntary Imperialism of the global economy. This is usually operated by a global consortium  though international financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank etc is characteristic of the new Imperialism……the second form of postmodern imperialism may be called the imperialism of neighbours ". 8

  At   Chicago on 22nd April 1999 Prime Minister Tony Blair had earlier   pronounced:

     " Twenty years ago  we would not have been fighting in Kosovo ……the fact that we are engaged is the result of  a wide range of changes-the end of the cold war …… the world has changed in a fundamental way . Globalization has transformed our economies…. But globalization is not just economic. It is also a political and security phenomenon……….Many of our-problems our caused by the other side of the world ………financial instability in Asia disturbs jobs ……….even in my constituency ……..our armed forces have been busier than usual –delivering humanitarian aid deterring attacks  on defenseless people backing up UN resolutions and occasionally engaging in wars as we did in the Gulf in 1991 and our currently doing in the Balkans ………… the end of this century the US has emerged by far the strongest state . It has no dreams of world conquest and is not seeking to colonize."9

         Across the Atlantic Bernard Henri –Levy in France apart from justifying the new imperialism , in a press conference on 24th March 2011  attempted to make out a  case for  so called ' humanitarian' bombing of Libya , which the International Court of Justice had pronounced as impermissible in the Nicaragua case 10,  even as covert Islamist mercenaries  recruited by private security agencies with the support of  NATO,  Qatar , Saudi Arabia , were committing agent provocateur acts within Libya, 11 and thereafter in Syria. The new warfare strategy includes covert and  privatized warfare, with  private Security Agencies such as Black Water ,which mutate, changing their nomenclature from one conflict to another, hiring killer mercenaries and death squads  for attack ; deploying fascist militias  or special  forces on the ground,  or even agent provocateur  sniper fire,  to  create conditions for regime change. A pre-meditated war of aggression was waged on Libya using 9,400 bombing sorties flown by NATO, bombing indiscriminately, civilians and civilian infrastructure. Till date no has been tried for this criminal war of aggression or war crimes; ironically the former leaders  of President Gaddafi's government , were referred to the ICC as demanded by those  Human Rights organizations , an extension of NATO , funded by corporate foundations.

 . Devising a new international legal strategy and a new International Legal System for intervention and control, as an extension of the strategy for war.       

The New World  Economic and Political Order as it emerged in 1991, required a different international legal system for  the penetration of finance capital into every region  and the  'multi-nationalization' of the world through the WTO  and financial and military means .The  end of the cold war  paved the way for the 'New International Legal System', even as the acquiescence of China was secured  at the relevant time,  due to the economic and financial agreements and alliances in place for rapid capitalist  development of  China, advantageous to western companies , benefiting from the disciplined and cheap labor of Chinese workers.

     One of the  first acts  in pursuance of the new  International legal  hegemony post 1990,  was the gross  misuse  by the US-UK dominated Security Council  of  provisions of the UN Charter, in particular  Chapter VII ,the so called  peace keeping powers of the Security Council. It was this chapter which was used to impose and indefinitely continue illegal sanctions on Iraq, which was war by imposition of hunger. The  sanctions regime imposed  in August  1990, a near total financial and trade embargo ,when the Iraqi army entered Kuwait was  continued for  more than 12  years, and  lifted  only after the  2003 war  despite the  fact that Iraqi forces withdrew  from Kuwait in early  1991 .

 Justice C. Weeramantry one of the presiding Judges of the International Court of Justice, observed in the Lockerbie case:

             " That the history of the UN …….corroborates the view that a limitation on the plenitude of Security Council's power is that the  those powers must be exercised in accordance with well established principles of International Law".12

      Emboldened at the end of the Cold War , one of the largest coalition of forces for war  was assembled and  led by the US and UK  in the first Gulf War , flying   10,000 bombing sorties on military and civilian targets , dropping 85,000 bombs leaving 250,000 dead including 100,000 Iraqi soldiers  , most of whom had indicated their  desire  to  surrender  and were retreating  on the " Highway of Death"; the rest were civilians.  Napalm, Fuel Air Explosives, Bunker busters and Uranium and Depleted Uranium munitions were used which creating an environmental catastrophe for Iraq with permanent genetic damage to all exposed, for billions of years. Deformed births commenced immediately after the First Gulf War. Business Centers, schools , hospitals , mosques , churches , shelters , residential areas , historical sites , museums , private vehicles etc all were bombed indiscriminately . Economic warfare through bombing was also carried out to reduce Iraq to a pre-industrial age, 'excessive force was used that went well beyond normal war aims' 13.

In  these conditions, Iraq  did not pose any threat to anyone ; yet sanctions were continued  in clear  violation of  article  29 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions 1949 , applicable during hostilities, which imposes an obligation during an international armed conflict to authorize and facilitate passage of relief goods that is medical , food, and all essential supplies and religious objects,  all necessities for children under 15, expectant mothers and maternity cases .The Geneva Conventions were  clearly  applicable , as the  US-UK were   still resorting to air strikes ,and imposing  and controlling Iraq  by use of its air forces, with  " No Fly Zones" imposed  on Iraqi territory continuously from 1990 to 2003, and thereafter . That there was a clear intent by these governments to impose genocide in violation of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is also established, as these members of NATO were wholly aware of official reports received , and reports of humanitarian agencies, that sanctions were seriously impacting the lives of civilians including all vulnerable sections, and had led to a humanitarian disaster .

  Under Article 54 of the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Convention, and article 14 of Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, both jus cogens, no collective sanctions may be imposed in a manner so as to cause the civilian population to starve, or deny them clean drinking water or purification plants. If a significant segment of the civilian population falls below subsistence levels, economic sanctions are illegal and starvation as a method of warfare is prohibited. Article 55 and 59 of the Fourth Geneva Convention require the establishment of a regime in occupied territory to ensure supply of food and medicine, as do other provisions of the 1977 Additional Protocols I and II to the Geneva Conventions. "The entire regime of sanctions in Iraq  was in gross violation of the right to life under Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ,1966; Article 2 of the European Covenant for the Protection of Human Rights  and Fundamental Freedom 1950 and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human Rights." 14.

      The final word on the manner in which sanctions on Iraq  were  subversive of the UN Charter and   Chapter VII, came from the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, who later was to declare the 2003 invasion of Iraq illegal:

          "Let me conclude by saying that the humanitarian situation in Iraq poses serious moral dilemmas for the organization. The United Nations has always been on the side of the vulnerable and weak, and has always sought to relieve suffering, yet here we are accused of causing suffering to an entire population. We are in danger of losing the argument and the propaganda war – if we haven't already lost it – about who is responsible for the situation."

      The US-UK dominated Security Council was undeterred by this exposure of the illegalities of sanctions and that sanctions in Iraq  were a form of warfare  ,  even as per the representatives of the United Nations in Iraq ;  the NATO dominated Security Council  proceeded to   impose  sanctions on the other targets  of NATO , earlier former Yugoslavia,  and  thereafter Iran ,  attempting to illegally  strangulate Iran's  financial and trade activities; this time the excuse was the  alleged ongoing preparation to  manufacture " nuclear weapons"; whereas in Iraq  it was " weapons of mass destruction", after the withdrawal from Kuwait, despite  nuclear and uranium and depleted uranium  weapons, among other satanic weapon systems flooding the arsenals of NATO and other allied powers like Israel , to destroy the world several times over, despite their use being illegal under International Humanitarian Law . An increasing number of countries trading with Iran, including members of the G 7, China, and India among others, privately concluded that they too were intended to be victims of this illegal sanctions regime, resulting in a search for financial and economic alternatives to the illegal international hegemony destroying trade in many regions.

           The  New World Order in 2001, placed six countries under notice of attack , with the   threat of use of small nuclear weapons,  including  on Iraq , North Korea , Syria and Iran ; proceeded  to bomb and  invade Afghanistan , even though the country was no threat to US –UK led forces, cruelly using every prohibited weapon  system , which they  justified by a false flag operation of  9/11, in which not a single Afghan citizen was involved, and thereafter invaded  Iraq in 2003 .These wars  was even more  brutal than the first Gulf war.

     During occupation of  Iraq ,death squads were unleashed on all sections of the population, like in Central America, in Salvador and Nicaragua , trained by special forces and private security agencies, for a brutal sectarian warfare to marginalize the resistance. Death  squads are still being unleashed in Iraq  against the civilian population of all denominations , the country has been pushed back into the dark ages ;more than one million Iraqis have been killed in the war , thousands die  every year after the war by causes directly related to the occupation  and at the hands of death squads, almost all of  them civilians.  Five  million  have been internally displaced and with a large number ,international refugees . The entire infrastructure of the country has been destroyed by war; intellectuals, doctors and academics  assassinated, in an attempt to wipe out cultural and historical memories of the Iraqi nation, which still exists . All these acts, including the 100 orders of Paul Bremer to  take over  the entire Iraqi economy, including the appropriation of Oil resources( not metered)  , by foreign banks and multinationals, constitute the most barbaric  war crimes on the Iraqi people , which includes  the crime of genocide . Donald Rumsfield, the voice of the' new barbarians' said: " at some stage the Iraqis will get tired of being killed"15. Presently orders have been  placed by President Malliki  for US arms imports, which will be  also be used  against Iraqi citizens seeking restoration of  the rule of law , an end to sectarian warfare,  the restoration of civic services, the dignity and equality of women , and a civilized judicial system , destroyed by the occupation and quisling governments installed under occupation . This demand comes from all sections of the Iraqi population.

    The   establishment of ad hoc tribunals for Yugoslavia) and Rwanda ultra vires of the UN Charter and Chapter VII.

        The timing of the establishment of  the  International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda , on 11th February 1993 and on 8th November 1994 respectively, by resolutions of the Security Council,  assumes significance  in view of the facts already referred to , that commencing with the   nineties and in the first few years of the twenty first century  there was little or  no opposition to the New World economic, political  and legal order being  imposed by US-UK , NATO and Israel.

        The ad hoc Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda were wholly illegal bodies. There    is no article in the Charter of the United Nations or in Chapter VII of the UN Charter  which permits the constitution of  judicial or quasi –judicial  tribunals  by the Security Council even as so called subsidiary organs . At  the relevant time and till the establishment of the International  Criminal Court  in 2002 , on obtaining  60 ratifications from member states , who had earlier  signed the Rome Treaty , international civil and criminal jurisdiction vested only in one body,  in the International Court of Justice .

       From  24th October 1945  the date that the UN Charter came into force till date ,no such powers  to appoint ad hoc tribunals  were ever read into the Chapter VII or the UN Charter , till such an interpretation suddenly  surfaced ,  at  the end of the so called cold war .As the word ad hoc implies, both these Tribunals were unusual bodies , as only two countries and regions  had been singled out , former Yugoslavia and Rwanda ( other such illegal  bodies were to be constituted in due course, such as the Special Tribunal for Lebanon , with  different structures )  the repeated Israeli aggressions on Palestinian territory and in Gaza , on Lebanon , on Syria in pursuance of Greater Israel, and   though Israel was in violation of hundreds of UN Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions, prima facie  committing wars of aggression , genocide and war crimes, received no such focus.

    Significantly though the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia included in its terms of reference,  grave breaches of the Geneva Convention 1949,  violation of the laws and  customs of war ,genocide , and crimes against humanity ; it had been given  no mandate over  the crime  of  waging  a war of aggression , as the  United States led  NATO powers, were conscious of  what was really intended for former Yugoslavia,   a "death sentence" had been pronounced on the Federal Republic; to be fragmented  step by step, by inciting secession, by aggression and  bombings , sanctions, and even bribery and corruption by aid packages , to extradite former  President Slobodan Milosevic to the Hague  despite the ruling of the highest Court in Serbia that he could not be legally extradited .

         According to Michael Scharf who drafted the ICTY statute:

         " There was a clear consensus that the US would not support the inclusion of 'Crimes Against Peace' in the statute of the ICTY , notwithstanding the Nuremberg precedent ……in the final analysis , the United States government , which had been accused by human rights groups  and several governments  of committing ' Crimes Against Peace' with respect to recent military invasions such as the '89 invasion of Panama , did not want the ICTY to exercise jurisdiction over this offense, leading to precedents that might hamper similar U.S. military action in future ."16

     The  period prescribed for the exercise of jurisdiction for both Tribunals was also significant , whereas the ICTY was to have jurisdiction to try crimes committed after January 1991 until determined by the Security Council , with jurisdiction  left open ended, to cover the entire period of the saga of the internal conflicts of the Balkan right until all propaganda and  strategic objectives had been achieved , including the bombing of former Yugoslavia and Kosovo, and the indictment of the President Slobodan Milosevic which took place  after the bombing began to cover up for  the armed attack by NATO forces ; the ICTR was confined to indictment of crimes committed from January  1994 till the end of 1994 , for genocide , war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by  prominent Hutus,  and to prevent the Rwandan Patriotic Force government which had assumed office through military means and aid of Ugandan forces, with covert  support from the United States and the UK , from being indicted  for war crimes and crimes  against humanity,   including, for the pursuit of more than a million  Hutu refugees who had fled into the Eastern Congo .

       In  both countries in Yugoslavia and Rwanda  ,  every ethnic group and tribe  was  trained and  encouraged to commit atrocities on the other, by  lighting the  tinder box  of racial , ethnic ,economic and  political fratricide ; with NATO powers acting in unison as in Yugoslavia,  or in conflict and competition  as  US and France were in Rwanda.  In former Yugoslavia , the Federal State was obstructed from asserting control by the EU  with active support for secession, in the name of human rights and democracy; the independence of former Republics of Yugoslavia seceding,  like Croatia , were swiftly recognized  ; the same policy was adopted for Bosnia and Kosovo .Both Bosnia and Kosovo were  covertly supplied Islamist fighters,  the  " Mujahideen "  from friendly Asian governments,  acting in tandem with NATO  to wage war against the former  Yugoslav  army , to incite internal conflict for intervention by NATO, to balkanize  former Yugoslavia, a member state of the UN .

            The  Judges of both Tribunals the ICTY and ICTR were to be elected by the General Assembly , from a panel short listed after careful screening   by the Security Council ,  before the General Assembly vote. The Security Council controlled entirely the appointment of Judges and the  appointment of the  office of the Prosecutor, the most important functionary. In the case of the ICTY, generous funding was received from time to time by the United States and  Foundations, including donations by George Soros .Memoirs of Carla Del Ponte and interviews of some who had held the office of  Chief Prosecutors  ,  later disclosed the  nature of influences  and  the reason why the Rwanda Patriotic Front's war crimes on the Hutus were not the subject matter of indictment , despite reports of  war crimes by the RPF.

       From  the early months and years immediately  preceding and following the appointment of the Tribunals , the propaganda narrative of  the dominant US-UK  powers in the Security Council  singled out mainly  the Serbs in former Yugoslavia as responsible,  and the  Hutus in Rwanda for the genocide of  approximately  800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus ; the war crimes and ethnic cleansing committed by other sides to the conflict were suppressed or down played ; so that this  narrative should be in keeping with the legal narrative before the Tribunals ,dovetailed with  their strategic policy. The Serbs were to be held primarily  responsible,  as all other sides of the conflict were being trained by NATO special forces ; and  the Hutus alone were  indicted for the genocide  of Tutsis in Rwanda, though the advancing Rwandan Patriotic Front  had committed war crimes on  Hutus in 1994 itself , and   the killings of Hutu refugees in the Eastern Congo where more than a million  had fled continued  by the RPF  after  1994, in alliance with  other military forces deployed in the Eastern Congo .  17

       The involvement of foreign powers in the conflict  in Yugoslavia and  Rwanda ,  with members of the Security Council among others having  trained,  aided and assisted rival forces ,  including the United States and  France, was not  a part of the legal narrative .Both Tribunals were used for a geopolitical purpose of  penetrating and extending economic and political control , and never  intended to resolve the issue  between the warring parties , to keep alive the  ethnic conflicts through the widely publicized use of the Tribunals .

      It was with a view to test the so called objectivity of the International Criminal Tribunal for  Yugoslavia,  that  several organizations   filed  detailed complaints  with the prosecutor of the ICTY , against the  NATO leaders responsible for the  NATO bombings of Yugoslavia. Among the complainants was  the  complaint filed by  the Belgrade Law faculty  on 3rd April  1999; one was  from Canada supported by the American Jurists Association and another was filed by  the Movement for the Advancement of International Criminal Law . The  complaints  were directed against   all the heads of government , foreign ministers and defense ministers  of the 19 NATO countries involved in the bombing operations  , including the Secretary General of NATO ,and eight generals, including Supreme Commander Wesley   Clark , for "crimes against the laws and customs of war' and 'crimes against humanity' covered by the ICTY statute .

 The  territory of former Yugoslavia was relentlessly bombed for 78 days , using 25,000 bombs and missiles, only because President Milosevic had not immediately  accepted the Rambouillet accord  presented on behalf of NATO,  demanding  that with immediate effect NATO forces should not only be permitted to be stationed in Kosovo, which was the subject matter of the negotiations;  but all over in Yugoslavia, for an unlimited period of time with total immunity from all civil and criminal liability, with  the right to use aircraft , train , transport , ports etc without paying costs or charges .The bombings like in Iraq during the first Gulf war and in 2003, bombed the  civilian population  and civilian infrastructure  with prohibited weaponry and missiles, ( including Depleted Uranium used in Bunker Busters and other munitions ). Everything was bombed,  hospitals, schools , factories , bridges , railway lines , trains , chemical plants, oil refineries , fertilizer factories  power grids , livestock , religious monuments, archeological sites  etc including the Chinese embassy .

    In the press briefing on behalf of NATO on 25 May 1999 , Jamie Shea, official spokesman of NATO forces said:

     " If President Milosevic really wants all of his population to have water and electricity all he has to do  is accept NATO's five conditions and we will stop this campaign……..if this has civilian consequences , it's for him to deal with ……."

      Whereas   President Milosevic was indicted  for genocide , war crimes and crimes against humanity ,significantly at the height of NATO's bombing campaign , to camouflage the real objective  of the bombing and attribute  it to Serbian obduracy and war crimes ; till date not a single leader or military personnel of NATO has been charged with war crimes or crimes against humanity before the ICTY;  though the matter was pursued relentlessly by all complainants against NATO , even  after Carla Del Ponte was appointed to replace Louise Arbour. The statement made by the Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte of the ICTY on several complaints of war crimes and crimes against humanity made against NATO leaders was that NATO was absolved ,  without investigation .18

    The International Court of Justice failed to protect  the people of former Yugoslavia. A  few days into the bombings,  the government of   late President Slobodan Milosevic applied to the ICJ  for " provisional measures",  that is an injunction to restrain  the ongoing  bombing by NATO ,on the ground that this would result in a  " genocide" ; the ICJ  on  basis of technicalities of  the acceptance of jurisdiction of  the Court , denied the request of the government of Yugoslavia , interalia on the ground that on the date of the application there was no prima facie apprehension that the bombing of Yugoslavia by NATO would result in " genocide", though the government of former  Yugoslavia submitted in its application  that  civilians and all civilian structures had been targeted  using missiles and  Depleted Uranium munitions among others. This was the conclusion of the ICJ, despite the ruling at Nuremberg that a war of aggression is the 'Supreme International Crime' as "it contains within itself, the accumulated evil of the whole"; that is genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity  are all direct  consequence of  a war of aggression . This ruling of Nuremberg ,  was adequate for the ICJ to  have restrained the bombing ,on the application for provisional measures .19

 International Criminal Court Statute violates the ' Rule of Law'-Major War Criminals given Impunity , even  as small countries  targeted for political reasons.

            On 1st July 2002 the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court came into force on 60 states ratifying the statute. The " Supreme International Crime', the crime of waging a war of aggression, was significantly   missing from  the list of crimes over which the ICC had jurisdiction; indicating the extraordinary influence brought to bear on the drafting of the statute by major war criminals operating behind the scenes . This statute conflicts with the rule of law .A  basic principle of criminal jurisprudence  has been violated in by the Statute of the ICC, in so far as  the permanent members of the Security Council can prevent any referral in respect of their own crimes by the exercise of a veto, while insisting that smaller countries bow to their diktat of referral   for 'situations' requiring investigation and trial,  including situations purely of domestic criminal jurisdiction .

       The  conference held to review the working of the statute in  2010 at Kampala, while  finally defining  a ' war of aggression " has postponed its  inclusion as a  crime to a date after  1st January  2017,  when member states may activate the issue ,which will be   required to be voted on by two-thirds of the member states and ratified by  a minimum  of  30 ; with an  astounding proviso , that  as and when the amendment is adopted ,individual  member states can exclude themselves from the jurisdiction of the ICC in respect of the crime of waging a war of aggression . What happens to the Nuremberg principle? Is  the 'International Criminal Court Law ' movement telling us that until 2017 there is no " crime of waging a war of aggression", and not till the statute is amended; and that Major War Criminals can exclude themselves whether non members or members , and so can other  members to the statute ; proposals  in gross  violation of the Vienna Convention on  the Laws of Treaties 1969  , derogating substantially from the  ICC statute which is a Multilateral  Treaty and has as its  objective  the prosecution of war crimes. This curious approach, despite the Nuremberg principles and the UN  Charter preamble and objectives , constitutes clear  evidence that aggressive war is actual state policy of the dominant economic and political powers.       

          In contrast to this  approach on the crime  of  waging a war of aggression ,  the provisions of the statute of the International Criminal Court violate  customary International Law , the United Nations Charter and the principle of State sovereignty , in respect of  crimes committed within a nation state, which are not war crimes or crimes against humanity committed in an interstate armed conflict / armed conflict,  by introducing   the concept of " crimes against humanity" unrelated to  an interstate armed conflict /armed conflict. To effectively camouflage this  " legal intervention /aggression " into internal sovereign criminal jurisdiction of a nation  state, in violation of customary international law, the ICC statute claims to further " complementarity" between national and international jurisdiction ,in respect of the crimes defined in the statute, with the provision  that it is primarily national courts which will exercise jurisdiction,  provided that the ICC and the Prosecutor are satisfied  that the investigation , prosecution and penalty are  adequate  as determined by the Court and the Prosecutor; introducing an element of subjectivity and politicization into the decision not in keeping with the principle of 'complementarity ' in particular for crimes within national jurisdiction defined as "Crimes Against Humanity " , with no linkages to war crimes or crimes against humanity committed during an interstate  armed conflict /armed conflict .

      This is a legal mockery of the International and national legal systems, and their respective and separate jurisdictions. To give one example , the case of  the Kenyan head of state and deputy prime minister, which has been  referred to the ICC by the Security Council, for post election violence which allegedly  resulted in 1000 deaths  in the post election period, an internal issue for Kenyan criminal jurisdiction . That the ICC should be directed by Security Council referral, to investigate, prosecute and penalize such offences, which fall  within national jurisdiction, is a clear case of the intention to use the Rome Statute in furtherance of the 'New World Order' ,to bring to heel governments not toeing the economic and political diktat of major powers and their military alliance systems.

      The duplicity of the United States government  is established from the fact that even though it gave  other governments the impression that it was signing the treaty and did sign it; simultaneously  its concerned officials were finalizing  the American Service Members Protection Act  2002 which was legislated  , also known as the " Hague Invasion Act " , as it  empowers the US President to use " all means necessary and appropriate measures  to bring  about release from captivity of US or allied personnel  detained or imprisoned by or on behalf of the ICC ." This Act also has provisions for cutting off military aid to nations who co-operate with the ICC, except NATO and other close alliance partners. President Clinton signed the agreement as per premeditated strategy to lure into the treaty other states, as a minimum of signatures and ratifications were required to bring it into force. President Bush (Jr.) unsigned immediately on assuming office, in continuance of the same strategy.

        This apart the government of the United States has been coercing and persuading  governments into signing Immunity agreements under Article 98 ( 2 ) of the ICC statute,  to exclude US personnel and those employed by the US, from being handed over to the ICC, in furtherance of the objectives of the Statute . Till date more than 120 such agreements have been signed. Earlier the government of the United States by Resolution No.1422 of 2002 of the Security Council secured immunity for US peace keeping forces from orders of the ICC. .            Criticism against the ICC statute has also been directed on the provisions relating to the  Office of the Prosecutor ( OTP ), conferred vast and arbitrary powers to investigate 'proprio motu' on the prosecutor's own initiative , or  not to investigate even when there is a complaint ,in the discretion of the prosecutor .So far the OTP has investigated eight situations, all  concerned with the   African  continent , relating  to the  Democratic Republic of Congo , Uganda, , Central African Republic , Darfur/Sudan , Kenya, Libya , Ivory Coast and Mali ,out of which three namely  Kenya, Darfur /Sudan  and Libya have been referred by the Security Council under referral powers. Apart from referral powers, the Security Council has also powers to postpone a trial, unheard of in any system of civilized jurisprudence.

     As a consequence the African Union has been increasingly critical of the ICC 20. At a  meeting held at Addis Ababa , leaders from the African Union 's  54 nation body, (  approximately   34  of  AU states are   members of the  ICC ) met to review the relationship of their countries with the ICC  on the ground of unjust treatment , in particular after the Kenyan case. The AU 's position is that far  worse atrocities have been committed in other states such as Myanmar , Iraq , Afghanistan , Colombia and Egypt, without any investigation or referral,  because of the bias against  African States. The Kenyan Parliament has resolved that Kenya must withdraw from the ICC statute.

         Consequently  the  ICC  is  seen in Africa  as a " tool to extend colonial domination" , in the context of referral of  issues relating to national criminal jurisdiction, with approximately   60% of   funding from the EU ,and  ICC personnel  substantially  recruited from the EU ,as  the Court has its headquarter at the Hague, in a member country of the EU . China and India have also  expressed reservation on the extensive powers of the Office of the Prosecutor and the nature of jurisdiction being exercised by the ICC, even in respect of non member states. With India concerned that the ICC in respect of certain articles of referral and postponement of trial has been subordinated to the Security Council, in effect to its permanent members, introducing a political element into the ICC .21

        In March 2009 "China expressed its regret and worry over the arrest warrant to the Sudan President issued by the International Criminal Court. China is opposed to any


action that could interfere with peaceful situation in Darfur and Sudan. At the moment the primary task of the international community is to preserve the stability of the Darfur region" 22 this position of the African Union and China,  indicates the reality that often referral to the ICC , among other problems with the Prosecutor's functioning ,  have exacerbated internal and regional tensions in Africa.        

   " Member states of the ICC from Africa are now alleging that  pressure was used to secure the ratification by 34 countries from Africa one of the largest constituencies of the EU for ratification of the Treaty to bring into force in 2002  by donor countries  as a condition for being part of the EU-Africa pact of  the Countonou economic  agreement "23 It this is so , it explains the strange provisions of the statute , which justify unusual  political interventions camouflaged as legal,  into internal issues of member and non member countries with no bearing whatsoever on interstate armed conflict /armed conflict .

      An analysis of the  International legal system  structured and put in place  at the end of the cold war,  conclusively establishes that this legal system  is in furtherance of  " New Imperialism, " with the United States government , Israel and  the  NATO military pact  the  "geopolitical lynchpin" of this 'New World Order'. The legacy of the fragmentation of Yugoslavia and the ICTY in pursuit of "Lebensraum", not living space, but economic space, is playing itself out  in the Ukraine. We are  back to where we were, with the " Gates of Hell Open", as the system seeks more wars , if not another world war as a way out of its crisis, as it did twice in the 20th Century. This explains the resistance to the inclusion of   the "Supreme International Crime", the crime of waging a war of aggression in the ICC statute and the innumerable immunity agreements signed,with the   real intentions, not covered even by a fig leaf.

     The solution now lies in exposing the duality of the International Legal System of a fascistic world order, and exposing its global alliances; with  a relentless campaign to overturn the foundations of a political and economic system which uses militarization, war and war crimes as an extension of economic and policy, making peace a mirage.



Significantly  even as the International Legal order has collapsed,  the rule of law is being

gradually abandoned on  the home front of so many countries waging war , as  these are two parts of the same whole .

 For those  losing heart , it is necessary to remember that  it took  approximately 42 years for Bangladesh to establish a national Bangladesh  War Crimes Tribunal  to try  collaborators and leaders of fascistic organizations ,citizens of Bangladesh, who had perpetrated    genocide and war crimes, during the 1971 war in the region. Some have been convicted and  the trials are still ongoing. The 'Shahbag' movement of 2013 of more than 500,000 young people assembled over several weeks in Bangladesh to support the trials, demanded   the death sentence for genocide and  war crimes; their logic was, that this was not a case of one or two persons killed, a whole country and society was sought to be destroyed, with thousands of intellectuals murdered and pushed into mass graves; that war  criminals are not ordinary criminals to be protected from the death sentence , they are  sociopaths and psychopaths, beyond humanity.

    Major war criminals have not only targeted individual countries, they target  the whole of humanity, in their own turn . It is in the interests of citizens whose governments are waging wars to create the political  conditions for  a  trial of  their own major war criminals , even as we do not give up our efforts to make them internationally accountable .After the bombing and killings in   Afghanistan , Iraq,  Palestine , former Yugoslavia ,  Libya , Syria , Lebanon , Somalia  the Horn of Africa ,  Yemen ,Afpak , Congo ,  Mali , Niger,  among many  other societies, tomorrow,  the same weapons may  be used by these governments on their citizens.

     In  memory of the martyrs of the united  Iraqi Resistance,  at this Commission let us pronounce  ' Non Pasaran' ( They Shall Not Pass), the stirring  words of La Passionara , leader of the broad alliance of  Spanish Republican forces in a similar historic situation. This time there will be no defeat .




1.  The Dissenting Opinion of the member for India (Radhagobind B. Pal) International Military Tribunal for the Far East (The Tokyo War Crimes Trial).

2. Arieh J. Kochavi, Prelude to Nuremberg: Allied War Crimes Policy and the Question of Punishment (University of North Carolina Press) 1998.

3. Robert Jackson, the Nuremberg Case.

4. Nuremberg Tribunal Judgment, 1946.

5. Gideon Polya, the Forgotten Holocaust -1943-44.

6. Samir Amin, Seize the Crisis, Monthly Review 61, NO.7 (Dec.2009 and Capitalism in the age of Globalization (London: Zed books, 1997).

7. Istavan Meszaros, Socialism and Barbarism.

8. Robert Cooper, the New Liberal Imperialism, Observer World View Extra, April 7 2002.

9. Address of Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Economic Club, Chicago, April 2 1999.

10. Nicaragua Case, Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v United States of America) 1986.

11. Alex Lentier 'Bernard Henri Levy Makes a Humanitarian Case for Bombing Libya, WSWS, May 2014.

 12. Lockerbie case, Questions of Interpretation and Application of the 1971 Montreal Convention arising from the Aerial incident at Lockerbie (Libya Arab Jamahiriya v. United Kingdom (Provisional Measures Stage) Judgment of Justice C. Weeramantry 1992.

13 Francis Boyle, International War Crimes: The Search for Justice ', Symposium held at Albany Law School, Feb 2, 1992.

14. Boris Kordoch,  The Limits of Economic Sanctions under International Law: The Case of Iraq .

15. Donald Rumsfield, Secretary of Defense, USA To-day, September 16, 2004.

16. Michael Scharf ,  Personal  communication dated 31st March 2003 ,quoted in Michael  Mandel  ' How America gets away with Murder ', Pluto Press 2004.



17. Report by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by foreign militaries and armed entities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including Eastern Congo, between 1993-2005.

18. Michael Mandel, 'How America Gets Away with Murder 'Pluto Press, 2004.

19. Case concerning  Legality of use of Force ( Yugoslavia v Belgium ; Canada; France; Germany ; Italy ; Netherlands; Portugal ; United Kingdom; United States of America, Request for the Indication of Provisional Measures Order( International Court of Justice )1999.

20. Faith Karimi, African Union accuses ICC of bias, seeks delay of cases against sitting leaders, CNN, Oct. 12, 2013.

21. Mwangi S. Kimanyi, Can the International Court play fair, Africa Focus, October 17, 2013. for –ICC case-against-Sudan president Omar-al –Bashir.

23. Mwangi S. Kimanyi, Can the International Court Play fair, Africa Focus, October 17, 2013.



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Re: Turkish Premier Ecevit consulted Bhagavad Geeta both in war and peace


Turkish Premier Ecevit consulted Bhagavad Geeta both in war and peace                       


Note ;In early 21 century ,with the rise of religious fundamentalism and obscurantism ; in the wake of collapse of the Soviet Union aka scientific socialism and even moderate socialism ,with Islamic fundamentalism tearing into the core of Pakistan and the rise of Hindutva in India, under the command of Narendra Modi ,who let lose a pogrom against Muslims ,Bharat is inching towards his becoming India's prime minister .God forbid .In Ataturk's Jacobean secular Turkey ,an authoritarian dictator and Islamist Tayep Erdogan is ruling in Ankara  ruthlessly since ten years .It would be therefore difficult for Indians to believe , specially hardliners that Turkey had a liberal , socialist and multi-culture loving prime minister in Bulent Ecevit, just over a decade ago.



In 1974, on a visit to London from Paris , where I was then posted ,I switched on the BBC TV and saw Bulent Ecevit, then Prime Minister for the first time ,who had just sent the Turkish troops to Cyprus, where they still stay put, being interviewed. When asked what gave him the courage to send in the troops, which many other Turkish Premiers in the past would have loved to do but dared not. Apart from other reasons Ecevit responded that he was inspired by the teachings of Bhagavad Geeta; if one was morally in a correct position, one should not hesitate to fight injustice, against mighty and even against ones near and dear ones. Earlier I had read an interview in the International Herald Tribune, in which the interviewer remarked on the books in Ecevit's library; among others, he prominently pointed out the Geeta and Nehru's Glimpses of World History. Ecevit said they had influenced him profoundly.


In spite of stereotyped  , West promoted notion of the terrible Turk, following centuries of Crusades and Jihad between them, Turks are no different than other people .Having never been enslaved ,they are a  proud people .They hold India and its leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi , Indian civilisation and culture and the democratic system in the highest regard, not withstanding their having  been on the opposite side during the Cold War and their quid pro quo support to Pakistan on Kashmir, for New Delhi's support for Archbishop on  Cyprus.


When I returned to Ankara in 1992 as Ambassador, (having been earlier posted in Turkey from 1969 to 1973) I requested Ecevit to elucidate his views on Geeta's role in his decision to invade the Republic of Cyprus. He said that Turkey along with UK and Greece was one of the Guarantor Powers of the Cypriot Constitution, according to which if a change was brought about in the status of Cyprus, it could act with them to restore back the situation. The Greek Cypriot leadership, after a coup, in league with Greece, had declared unity with Greece (Enosis) and as Britain was dithering (to take any action); Turkey had no option but to protect Turkish Cypriot community and its own strategic interests. 


Ecevit added that he abhorred violence in internal politics and also in international relations, but he was convinced that the situation created by the Greek Cypriots enlarged the Greek border with Turkey to include Cyprus. It would have led to constant tensions and perhaps a full scale war between Turkey and Greece. So with a heavy heart he ordered the military strike as he felt that he was morally right and the action would ultimately produce less strife and violence in the long run. (He has been proved correct.)While he was quoting Geeta in international media, India, of course, because of our foreign policy compulsions were denouncing Turkish invasion in the UN and elsewhere.


In a military exercise in 1979, Ecevit was greatly pained and concerned with the agony of an injured horse, much to the disgust and chagrin of his Military Chief, Gen. Kenan Evren.


Ecevit mentioned Bhagavad Geeta again when I recalled his defeating in 1972 the legendary and venerable leader Ismet Inonu  (who had warned Nehru during the 1960 visit to Turkey , not to trust the Communists aka China and against opposition sent some mountain guns to India after 1962.) Ecevit stood for the Republican Peoples  party leadership against Inonu who was the right hand man of Kemal Ataturk, Turkey's liberator, founder and  modernizer  .After Ataturk' death in 1938 Inonu became president .Earlier he was most of the time prime minister .Inonu on Ataturk's advice adroitly kept Turkey out of World War II. He then played a vital role in Turkey's transition from one party rule to multiparty democracy.


After the 1971 Army ultimatum which forced Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel to resign, Ecevit and Inonu, though together in opposition, had different perceptions of the political situation. Ecevit had opposed the ultimatum, while Inonu had acquiesced in, not to exacerbate the situation at that juncture. Ecevit said that he had the greatest regard for Inonu, a father figure (Bulent's father was Inonu's personal physician and close friend) and who was his teacher and leader (like Dronacharya!), but he differed from his teacher very strongly and in order to make up his mind and choose the right path, he again studied Geeta before taking up the political fight against Inonu. Inonu lost and resigned from the party .He died a year later at the age of 89.


As a result of Ecevit's stand against military intervention, his party did well in elections in 1973, as I had predicted to Mrs Ecevit .He formed a coalition government with the National Order party of Najemettin Erbakan, thus giving a foot hold to an Islamist party for the first time .Now Erbakan's protégé Islamist Tayep Erdogan is ruling Turkey with a strong hand since 2002.


Ecevit was born at Istanbul in 1925 and as a young man took some Sanskrit lessons at the Indology department of Ankara University. When posted as Cultural Attache at the Turkish Embassy in London, his love for poetry and philosophic bent of mind drew him to study Rabindra Nath Tagore's Geetanjali and Bhagvata Geeta... He learnt Sanskrit to better understand Geeta and Bengali to appreciate and translate Tagore's writings .He was surprised to find similarities between Turkish and Sanskrit and Bengali, not only in the vocabulary but in the syntax also. He repeated this when I presented to him my essay on the influence of Turkish on Hindustani languages. He said that he had translated only a few poems from Geetanjali. He would like to do more but his profession gave him little respite. He also translated Ezra Pound and TS Elliot.


Tagore's works, Geetanjali ( in full), Gora, Hungry Stones, the Gardener, Chitra, Stray Birds etc, perhaps more than 20 works have been translated into Turkish , most longtime ago, some later. In 1971, after the military crackdown on leftists, mysteriously Upanishads, Geeta, Geetanjali etc were banned. On enquiries, it was revealed that these books were found along with writings of Karl Marx, Engels and Lenin in a leftists den .In the maze of the bureaucracy as no one went through them, all were banned. The ban on Indian writings was soon lifted. The leftist students apart from Karl Marx and Mao also studied the Naxalbari movement of Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal.             


During president Shankar Dayal Sharma's visit to Turkey in 1993 Ecevit was invited to visit India .In 2000 he also fulfilled his dream of going over to Shantiniketan, where he was honoured for promoting Bengali literature.


Bulent Ecevit, five times Turkish Prime Minister and a key political player for almost half a century died on 6 November, 2006 aged 81 after a long illness . Apart from 1974, he was twice premier from 1977 to 1979, with his last stint from 1999-2002. Representing the coalminers of Black Sea coast town of Zonguldak, as labour minister he gave the Turkish workers the right to strike for the first time in Turkey. Apart from being a poet, Ecevit had also worked as a journalist.


K Gajendra Singh, served as ambassador to Turkey from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he served terms as ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rise of religious fundamentalism bodes ill for the subcontinent ( Complete)

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Rise of religious fundamentalism bodes ill for the subcontinent

In the clutches of extremists and Taleban, Pakistan poses grave danger to India


In our era ,a very unfortunate , regressive and game changer development in the last quarter of 20th-century has been the rise of religious fundamentalism and obscurantism ; and the regression of rationalism and scientific thought in the wake of collapse of the Soviet Union aka scientific socialism and even moderate socialism. U.S.-led West, uses Christianity as a counter to Islamic fundamentalism, but which it has encouraged and supported  with training ;but major finances has been provided by obscurantist Saudi Arabian medieval state . Pakistan’s armed forces have acted as pawns and cannon fodder in Washington’s objective to control the strategic space in South West Asia and South Asia and its resources in exchange for an overall guarantee of the luxury lifestyle of the Saudi ruling princes oligopoly. Most Pak rulers are beholden to and controlled by Riyadh.


Since the theory of survival of the fittest, US led West believes in naked brutal power and exploitation of its own people and other people for the enrichment of the few. To say that USA is a democratic Republic is a cruel joke on its people and the world. It is an oligopoly and represents tyranny, a state of polity between absolute kingdom and democracy as defined in Greek history and thought. US believes that it will escape the backlash of extremism which it has stirred ,encouraged ,financed and created since its support to extremists and terrorists, in Afghanistan since 1979 against the leftist Afghan government supported by the Soviet Union, which ultimately led to the collapse of Russian communist state .


The extremism and terrorism, which U.S.-led West, Saudis and other Muslim states and Pakistan have midwifed and nurtured since 1979 has come home to roost in the region. Pakistan seems to be edging towards a state of lawlessness and terror like in Iraq, where everyday extremists, terrorists and Taleban are openly attacking government institutions and killing innocent people.


Khaled Ahmed articles , below ,explain how the extremists have put the government on the defensive .There appears little hope of victory over the extremists and normality in Pakistan and the region. But Pakistan is in a state of denial .As for naval watcher Indians; less said the better .It sad and tortured history is a proof. They also remain in a state of denial.


Along with the rise of Islamic extremism in north-west of Indian subcontinent, there appears to be reciprocal rise of Hindu extremism and fanaticism in India, with BJP's Prime Minister Candidate Narendra Modi at the head, with unsavory and terrible consequences for the polity and well-being of the people of India. Under Modi in 2002 in Gujarat , a pogrom against Muslims was allowed to happen ,in fact encouraged , whose noxious consequences  continue to simmer and fester with no regret from both Modi or his followers .Many have joined him for power, without realizing the ramification of what could follow.


India’s  ill-equipped and slow moving judicial machinery  has yet to conclude hearings for many a final decision on major onslaught on Gujarat Muslims. Modi himself and his right hand Amit Shah are under trial in various courts and the final verdict is still to come. How come so many police officers with Hindutva bent of mind in Gujarat, have been convicted for false encounters , extortion etc and others who refused to join Amit Shah in his cover-up are behind bars.


That Modi is authoritarian and dictatorial is crystal clear.Before being catapulted as the ruler of Gujarat in 2000 he had little experience of administration accept as a ‘pracharak ‘aka preacher of Hindu hard line ideology and philosophy . He has ruled the state with an iron hand without any other centre of power being allowed to come up. Muslims are quite clearly cowed down and subdued as Christians and others are in orthodox Muslim and Wahabi ruled states. In this task of polarization Amit Shah has been Modi’s right-hand collaborator, hatchet man and executioner. There are many cases pending against him which had to be shifted from Gujarat to neighboring states and Amit Shah ordered to remain outside Gujarat. He has survived like many accused criminals / political leaders because of India's slow moving judiciary, which can sometimes be pressurized or can even be bribed .Many in the police, are Hindutva types or can even be bribed.


For his campaign to become Prime Minister of India Modi retained Amit Shah as the major domo to spread the poison of hatred between Hindus and Muslims in order to create polarization between the two communities for Hindu votes. As a recently minted BJP sec general in charge of UP, Amit Shah has succeeded brilliantly by helping organise communal violence between Jats and Muslims in Muzaffarnagar. UP sends 80 members to the lower house of Parliament out of nearly 550 and is very crucial for any party hoping to be a major partner of a ruling coalition, which is most likely to emerge after 16 May 2014. UP’s Muslim population is around 19 – 20% Therefore there is a counter reaction and statements have been made by the pro-Muslim Samajwadi party and its Muslim face Azam Khan.


At the behest of the central election commission both Amit Shah and Azam Khan have been charge sheeted and debarred from holding any rallies and road shows in UP. But imagine what will happen if Modi becomes the Prime Minister, then Amit Shah will surely occupy a very crucial and powerful position .They both will continue to pursue policies against Muslims as they have done in Gujarat during the last 12 years. There are many Muslim leaders like Azam khan who will stand up and fight .There will be chaos, fighting and communal violence, you name it.


Pak extremists and Taleban would fish in troubled Indian waters


Quite obviously extremists and Taleban of Pakistan would fish in troubled Indian waters and whatever the colour of the Pakistani government, they will be helpless and quite happy to let the extremists carry out operations in Kashmir and rest of India like 26/11 and elsewhere. This has been Pak policy since decades, with Washington, Riyadh and others looking on.


In the old days, the Khyber Pass used to be the dividing line for invaders beyond North West who came down to kill, rob and plunder,  now the line passes through the Wagah border. Of course farseeing emperors like Akbar kept a watch beyond the Khyber Pass. Argumentative and chattering Indians remain obsessed with petty issues and themselves. Barring some rare articles very little comes in India media on Pakistan or is analyzed. Even the educated Indians and diplomats who should know better seem to rely on the God residing in White House, hoping that US forces would somehow manage to stay on in Afghanistan and keep the Taleban engaged along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Like the Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, president Karzai, in spite of his many faults, but with many good qualities is proving to be a proud Afghan leader and has refused to provide bases and other protections for American forces to stay on Afghan soil. In 13 years long US led war ,Afghanistan has been devastated and hundreds of thousands killed and daily continue to be killed by US troops and drones, the latter make little distinction between a warrior and an innocent child or woman.


Below are two very concise but disturbing articles from Pakistan Newsweek about the grave and deteriorating situation in Pakistan where extremists and terrorists seem to be having a field day , increasing their hold, activities and influence everyday .The subcontinent is certainly in for some violent and unsettling times.


K.Gajendra Singh 12April, 2014.


Sleepwalking to surrender

Khaled Ahmed | April 11, 2014


As the Pakistani state embraces the Taliban, the chorus of the clerics drowns out liberal voices.


TV talk show journalist Raza Rumi was attacked and nearly killed in Lahore in the last week of March because a) he was seen as a liberal, or b) working for an Ismaili-owned TV channel, or c) for visiting India and writing a book about shrines in Delhi that the non-state actors of Pakistan don’t like. Meanwhile, Pakistan is talking peace.


As Pakistan smokes the peace pipe with the Taliban after yielding 60,000 civilians and 5,000 troops dead to them, the media is measuring the impact. The clerics who never get votes and therefore don’t contest elections have become empowered and appear scary in their aggressive rhetoric. The TV anchor has become anti-American and anti-NGO and warns about “liberals who get paid by America to oppose Islam”.


The Taliban see the tide turning. And they are outspoken in their preferences and discrimination about a nation they have been massacring without distinction. They say the “secular” Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Awami National Party (ANP) are their enemies and the rest can be spared. The high-value persons they have kidnapped belong to the PPP and ANP. Out in the street, Islamic practices are in full force; nobody dare stop the illegal use of the loudspeaker blaring the name of Allah. The common man uses speech habits that highlight his faith.


The state is ready to hang Pervez Musharraf, subliminally bending the knee to the Taliban decree of death against him. Little girl Malala, shot in the head by the Taliban, has been rejected now even by girls who perceive insult to the Holy Prophet in her book, which has been banned in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.


Listen to the BBC reporting on the Nigerian common man in areas under attack from the Boko Haram, who attack schools and colleges just like the Taliban and behead Nigerian troops together with innocent Muslim civilians. Last month, in one such reportage, pre-teen Nigerian laborers telling how they ended up in the street, peppered their sad account with references to Allah to an extent that Pakistanis don’t yet. People in the Islamic world are preparing themselves for the slaughter that is coming from their own brothers.


The Arab Spring has not led to democracy but to the rise of jihad. Elections threaten to bring Islamists to power, whose ideology is based on a pre-modern hatred of what is going on, like banks, global dress codes, cinema-TV entertainment and culture in general. In Lahore, all rickshaws carry threatening messages against purveyors of entertainment.


Some Arab scholars have suppressed their anti-Westernism to reveal that military dictatorships nursed the jihadists to scare the world into maintaining them in power; some used them to carry out proxy jihad as the regular armies were either too used to peacetimes or too bruised by repeated defeats to fight their wars. Democracy was postponed and people fighting for freedom and representation were brutalised, put in jail or pushed into exile. One analysis says: “The regimes released jihadist leaders and elements from prison, facilitated their activities and sometimes secretly provided them with the necessary financial and media support.” Pakistan nurtured its own jihadis and borrowed some from the Arab world, leveraged with Islamist funds.


The dictators at times used the jihadis to kill their civilian rivals. The Pakistani state is in trouble as more and more researchers and analysts point to assassinations found to have been “devolved” to the Taliban-al-Qaeda combine. If the dictators thought they could use the jihadis and their priestly leaders without getting flecked with their blood-thirsty creed, they were seriously in error. Now, “normal” officers promoted to top ranks in the army have to accept the status quo in which an “inspired” rank-and-file can kill them in the name of Allah.


Nurturing jihadis has led to the rise of sectarianism and states hitherto free of religious infighting are concentrating on decimating their Muslim minority sects. Pakistan had started doing this long ago, putting the world on notice by declaring its minuscule Ahmadi sect non-Muslim. Now this hapless community is labelled apostate, with serious disabilities inside Pakistan. (They become normal Muslims the moment they step out of the country.) Today, Arabs too are enjoying themselves as their Muslim minorities go as lambs to the slaughter. In Pakistan, the Shia and the Barelvi Sunnis are feeling the coming doom in their bones. In some evils, Pakistan has scored a first, but if the entire Muslim grand nation (umma) likes it, so what?


The Arab Islamists, a little this side of the red line of jihadism, won their elections after the dictators left the scene, but soon fell from grace. A scared population forced them to leave the scene, but a stark lesson has been learned: next time, use terror. That is the point where Ayman al-Zawahiri disagreed with the Muslim Brotherhood and quit Egypt, to demonstrate the right way of conquering in the name of Islam in Pakistan.


One way a Muslim state can get ready for jihadism is by embracing extremism. That is what Pakistan has done as the pax of the Taliban looms on the horizon. A splenetic TV intellectual in Lahore has written a long column justifying the taking of enemy women as sex-slaves after killing their husbands. Instead of tempering this rather unreasonable Islamic practice allowed by great Islamic thinkers like Maududi, he argued that a slave thus taken will have to be married with morganatic rights, as opposed to what the World War II armies did to women in enemy lands. Tragically, he ignored the international law in the 21st century that criminalises this practice. Muslim extremism lays down indefensible laws no sane person can live under.

Some Arab optimists say the “Islamist phenomenon is in a chronic crisis and at a dead end because of the failure of their project in Afghanistan and its inability to be a desirable example or model for a state that can apply the true Islam and save Muslims from their current situation”. Soon, in Afghanistan, all this will be proved wrong. Last time, the Americans had responded to 9/11 and driven the Taliban into exile; this time, the Americans will be driven out. Pakistan, already prostrate in body and mind, will gift to the religious killers a Caliphate and an “Army of Khorasan” complete with territory, money and manpower. And possibly nuclear weapons.


Writing in Dawn on April 2, Zahid Hussain mused: “What is most disturbing, however, is that the government’s policy of appeasement has divided the country on provincial, ethnic and sectarian lines. The much-touted consensus among the political parties on talks with the Taliban is all but broken…


“The militants have cleverly exploited this divide and selectively target only those political parties that are actively resisting them. The TTP has refused to release the sons of late governor Salmaan Taseer and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani because the PPP government in Sindh is cracking down on the group.


“Legitimizing the TTP has, in fact, increased the sense of insecurity not only among the minority sects, but is also of concern to the majority Sunni Muslims who believe in a more tolerant Islam. Any deal on the TTP’s terms will plunge the country into civil strife destroying its social fabric.”


The writer is consulting editor, ‘Newsweek Pakistan’


Khaled Ahmed .


No terrorists here

Khaled Ahmed | April 6, 2014 11:05 pm


Carlotta Gall’s book will be met by the same denialism that has gripped Pakistan for many years.


Pakistan, where over 80 per cent of people hate America, is greatly upset over the yet-to-be-published book by reporter Carlotta Gall — a woman and a Jew — who has written in The New York Times that Pakistan was keeping Osama bin Laden in a safe house in Abbottabad; and that it actually faked shock followed by populist rage at “discovering” him there after America’s dastardly attack to kill him on Pakistani soil.

We say her lies are myriad, typical of a Jewish hater of Pakistan and Islam. She says “the madarsas in Quetta are a cover, a camouflage. Behind the curtain, hidden in the shadows, lurks the ISI. The Pakistani government, under President Pervez Musharraf and his intelligence chief, Lt Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, was maintaining and protecting the Taliban, both to control the many groups of militants now lodged in the country and to use them as a proxy force to gain leverage over and eventually dominate Afghanistan.”

She goes on to indict Pakistan further as an abettor of terrorism through proxy warriors it pretends not to know and claims to be helpless to curb. It pretends to “apparently” cooperate with America but covertly trains militants through its dreaded ISI to go to Afghanistan and kill Americans. She says Americans knew what its great ally was doing but refused to face up to it “for fear of setting off a greater confrontation with a powerful Muslim nation”.

She quotes a former chief of the ISI, Ziauddin Butt — a simple soldier, if you run into him at the Lahore Gymkhana, you will see him stuffing the heads of rich shopkeepers with stories of great derring-do against enemy America — as saying that “he thought Musharraf had arranged to hide bin Laden in Abbottabad”.

Of course, Butt has quickly denied what he said to Gall but he had already told a lot of foreign reporters about how Musharraf and the ISI’s Brigadier Ijaz Shah and ISI chief Shuja Pasha had actually placed him in Abbottabad.

Then Gall turns to the 2007 Lal Masjid affair in Islamabad when Musharraf ordered the attack on this al-Qaeda-linked mosque — and thus dug his grave by daring to go against the hardcore establishment within the army and represented in the ISI. She quotes a cabinet minister on the affair: “One hundred per cent they knew what was happening. The ISI allowed the militants to do what they wanted out of sympathy. The state is not as incompetent as people believe.”

More dangerously, she states: “In 2007, a former senior intelligence official who worked on tracking members of al-Qaeda after September 11 told me that while one part of the ISI was engaged in hunting down militants, another part continued to work with them.” We say officers who don’t have the stomach to play double often spill dangerous beans to foreign journalists. If it weren’t for these cowards, Pakistan would be floating on the mists of a utopia at whose gates America and India — the latter with its hands clasped together in supplication — would beg entry.

We say Butt is a military genius because he was the first head of the army’s Strategic Plans Division, which controls nuclear weapons, and that Nawaz Sharif made him director general of the ISI in 1997, and promoted him to army chief in 1999. (Whisper: Sharif was overthrown by the army after this.)

Pakistani journalist Amir Mir, who is not yet convinced that terrorism in Pakistan is carried out by America and India working in tandem, has revealed more juice: “It was in December 2011 that General Ziauddin Butt was quoted by the Western media for the first time saying that Osama was kept in an Intelligence Bureau safe house in Abbottabad and Musharraf knew about it. He was quoted in an article on the well-known Jamestown Foundation website, saying: ‘General Ziauddin Butt said Osama bin Laden was kept in Abbottabad under the instructions of IB Director Brigadier Ijaz Shah’.”

Ijaz Shah is the same brave man who clairvoyant Benazir Bhutto predicted would be instrumental in killing her. Shah was also “responsible” for hiding Omar Saeed Sheikh, who had killed American journalist Daniel Pearl. General Butt stated that “former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had set up a 90-man commando team to track and kill Osama bin Laden but it was disbanded after he was ousted in a military coup.”

The American diplomats in Islamabad were sending a lot of dastardly information back home. WikiLeaks claimed, while citing secret documents seized from the Abbottabad compound of bin Laden, that the al-Qaeda chief was in routine contact with up to 12 ISI officials. We say, all lies! As the chief priest of Makka said, it is an international conspiracy to make Muslims fight each other.

Late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in her book Reconciliation, mistakenly linked the deep state with terrorism and feared she would be eliminated through this dark nexus. According to her, Pakistan’s establishment comprised the army, the intelligence agencies, religious leaders piously building political muscle through proxy warriors and those brainwashed with textbook nationalism favoring the Islamic state.

She was attacked in Karachi by one of the three assassination squads she had listed in her book. No special security was provided to her. Her book referred to Saifullah Akhtar, a specially favoured jihadi leader in Pakistan who, together with General Zaheerul Islam Abbasi, nearly toppled the Bhutto government in 1995. But all these “facts” are in abeyance, so to speak, while the case of Bhutto’s assassination is being investigated. And India must have arranged the murder of the man who was investigating it, senior police officer Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, who was gunned down in a street in Islamabad in broad daylight.

Assistant secretary general at the United Nations, Chilean diplomat Heraldo Munoz, who headed a UN inquiry commission on Bhutto’s assassination, writes: “Akhtar had joined hands with Major General Zaheerul Islam Abbasi, a former intelligence officer, not only in an attempted coup against Benazir Bhutto in 1995 but also in an attempt to remove the army leadership. After Akhtar spent five months in jail, he was released from detention. Years later, arrested in the United Arab Emirates for plotting to murder Musharraf, he was handed over to Pakistan; but after being held in jail for a couple of years, he was quietly released by the government after the Supreme Court inquired as to his whereabouts.”

Who did Bhutto name as her potential killers in her book? In a letter sent to then president Musharraf, she named former ISI director general Hamid Gul, the Intelligence Bureau’s retired chief, Brigadier Ijaz Shah, and the then-chief minister of Punjab, Pervaiz Elahi, plus former Sindh chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim. Surely, she was brainwashed by the enemies, you know who, of Pakistan; therefore the letter was ignored.

Major General Zaheerul Islam Abbasi, who attempted a coup in 1995, was a soldier of Islam. Now dead, as Brigadier Abbasi, he was once Pakistan’s military attaché in New Delhi and believed that “India will soon be destroyed because of its obscene movies,” as he told me once when I was visiting Delhi. He got thrashed by RAW in a sting operation and was repatriated, only to be promoted and sent to Gilgit to challenge India on the Siachen. As Allah willed it, he got a large number of troops killed by mounting an unauthorised operation.

We hold that obscene movies will be the end of India. Good riddance. Dastardly America is dying anyway.

The writer is consulting editor, ‘Newsweek Pakistan’