October 12, 2001
Volume 2, #40
Lt-Gen Rashid Qureshi, spokesman for Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, reiterated that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons facilities are secure.
India is taking steps to prepare for potential terrorist attacks with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
“States asked to set up anti-terror mechanism”
Japan indicated that Pakistan signing the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty (CTBT) would be a significant step toward Japan restoring official development assistance.
US air strikes in Afghanistan commenced, and US troops and planes were deployed near the Uzbek border town of Termez.
Despite its resources, the US still lacks vital information to pursue its war aims in Afghanistan.
Osama bin Laden appeared on the Arab al-Jazeera news network to call for an Islamic jihad against the United States, and his Al-Qaeda network warned that the United States would face further terrorist attacks. Observers debated the intent and effectiveness of the messages.
“Osamaism’ may only grow in strength”
“Arab establishment rejects Osama theory”
Hedayat Amin Arsala, a top aide to former Afghan monarch Mohammed Zahir Shah, said the ex-king will send an envoy to Islamabad, at the request of President Pervez Musharraf, to outline plans for a post-Taliban government in Afghanistan.
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf reiterated the need for a broad-based political dispensation in Afghanistan, representing all ethnic groups and giving due consideration of their demographic composition.
The Northern Alliance on Monday called on Pakistan to stop interfering in Afghanistan’s affairs.
“Alliance asks Pakistan not to interfere”
Siddharth Deva discusses the potential role for the United Nations in the current Afghanistan crisis.
“The United Nations in Afghanistan”
Observers assess the merits of proposals for a post-Taliban government in Afghanistan.
“Can the king and his men do it?”
Pakistan reacted to the assaults on Afghanistan by expressing hope that the military action would remain limited and focused. Pakistan President Musharraf’s statements that he expected US military operations in Afghanistan to be short annoyed US leaders.
“Diplomatic failure regretted”
Pakistan’s air space was used by the US in launching its attacks on Afghanistan, but Pakistani ground bases were not used.
Leaders of various Pakistani religious parties condemned the US attacks on Afghanistan. Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi, head of the Pakistan Afghan Defence Council in Islamabad, said the possibility of civil war in Pakistan had increased due to the government’s support of the US attacks.
“US act termed terrorism”
Prior to the attacks, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, leader of the radical Islamic Jamia Ulema-i-Islam, told a rally of some 5000 supporters to attack any US military plane found on Pakistani soil.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Sunday stated that Pakistan should learn from its past policies on Afghanistan and base future policies more on the needs of Afghanistan’s own citizens.
“Sept 11 attacks require unemotional response: HRCP “
Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee cautioned British Prime Minister Tony Blair against some countries pursuing “their own terrorist agenda” under the cover of an international action.
“Blair, Vajpayee differ on approach to anti-terror fight”
“Check countries sponsoring terrorism, says Vajpayee”
India’s deputy home minister I.D. Swami said Wednesday that cross-border military strikes on Muslim guerrilla camps in Pakistan is an options to combat violence in Kashmir. Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Omar Abdullah has said that the government is considering hot pursuit of terrorists to tackle militancy in the region.
“Hot pursuit on India’s agenda: Omar”
India is keenly examining the role of the Northern Alliance in the unfolding situation in Afghanistan.
“High stakes for India”
President Marshal Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen has said that he fully supports Pakistan President Musharraf’s position announced September 19, but most governments of Muslim-majority states have refrained from commenting on commencement of US air strikes in Afghanistan.
“West Asian Govts mum, streets quiet”
Turkey favors sharing with Afghanistan’s Taliban government evidence about the alleged involvement of Osama bin Laden in the September 11 attacks. Observers note that the US unwillingness to share evidence publicly is unsettling to West Asian states.
“Turkey favours sharing of ‘evidence’ with Taliban”
Foreign Ministers from the Arab League of the Arab nations and the Organization of Islamic Conference were set to meet this week in Doha, Qatar, to debate responses to US military operations in Afghanistan. Among non-Arab Muslim and Arab countries, only Turkey (a NATO member) has committed assets to assist the US.
“Islamic States to discuss terrorism”
The onset of military action in Afghanistan is reshaping alliance relationships throughout the region.
The US may seek airspace, airfields and ground intelligence support from Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to expand its operations inside Afghanistan.
US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that US Secretary of State Colin Powell would travel to India and Pakistan because “there is serious work to do with both of these governments in the coalition against terrorism.”
Rasul Bakhsh Rais, Director, Area Study Centre, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, warns of a backlash if the “war on terrorism” does not address the deeper sources of the conflict.
Suba Chandran, Research Officer, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi, discusses the emergence of “suicide terrorism.”
A paper by the late Dr Eqbal Ahmad examines the nature and causes of international terrorism.
“Genesis of international terrorism”
Harold A. Gould, Visiting Scholar of South Asian Studies, Center for South Asian Studies, University of Virginia, and Franklin C. Spinney, a civilian in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, discuss how the crisis evinces the changing nature of modern war.
“Fourth generation warfare”
Niraja Gopal Jayal, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, calls for a new vocabulary to describe the current crisis.
“War and the language of politics”
Mollica Dastider, Research Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti House, New Delhi, reviews the relevance of Samuel P. Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” thesis.
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf removed Lt. Gen. Mehmood Ahmad as chief of the ISI, the Pakistan army’s most powerful institution, in a shakeup that also included promotion of two lieutenant generals.
“ISI chief shifted in major reshuffle”
A.B.S. Jafri warns that Pakistan needs to address domestic extremism.
“What about our own backyard?”
President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee spoke to each other by phone on Monday, their first direct talk since the failure of the India-Pakistan summit in Agra in July.
“Musharraf holds talks with Vajpayee”
The Pakistan Foreign Office has condemned false reports of a hijacking of an Indian airliner, and denied any linkages between the 1999 hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane and the hijacking of four US jetliners on September 11.
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on Tuesday met with Leader of the Opposition and Congress President Sonia Gandhi to discuss implications of US military action in Afghanistan.
The Indian cabinet has agreed to reorganization of India’s military command structure.
“Indian govt okays establishment of integrated military command”
Subramanian Swamy, cabinet minister in 1991 under Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, criticizes the current Indian government’s handling of relations with the US on the current crisis.
“Vajpayee Govt. soft on terrorism?”
India is prepared to take new initiatives to strengthen its ties with Pakistan following the phone conversation between President Musharraf and Prime Minister Vajpayee.
“India not averse to talks with Pak.”
Indian officials are worried over the prospect of new US military aid to Pakistan, but do not oppose the lifting of US economic sanctions on Pakistan.
“U.S. military aid to Pak. worries Delhi”
Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on Monday to discuss developments in Afghanistan.
“India, Russia against double- standards”
“India exchanges notes with Russia”
The current crisis may help both the US and India steady their relationship and avoid past vacillations.
Indian commentators discuss implications of the Srinagar attack.
“Prepare an iron-clad case against Pak. Terrorists”
“‘Tackling J&K terrorism is our job'”
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf distinguished the Kashmir “freedom struggle” from events in Afghanistan but equated the Kashmir and Palestine situations. Riaz Mohammad Khan, the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman, also equated Kashmir and Palestine and expressed hope for international attention to both in the context of the campaign against terrorism.
“Kashmir, Afghanistan different: Musharraf”
“Address Kashmir, Palestine issues: Pak.”
Shujaat Bukhari describes the situation in Kashmir as declining into greater violence.
“Will it ever end?”