This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By:Admiral Fasih Bokhari


If you believe the Taliban won the war, as many Pakistanis and Americans do, you could be close to the truth. You may then ask, as many Pakistanis and Americans do: why haven’t hostilities ended? That is a question that opens up the murky can of worms of today’s world, also known as the world of financiers, drugs, oil, weapons, politicians-on-the-take, and anyone else that can make a quick buck. They all operate under the cover of legitimate Governments who claim to be planning long term geo-strategic and economic advantage for their people. That war is a good business and lifts political ratings is rarely mentioned as the primary driver of policy.

Conventional war depletes national military power and shakes governments. In this long war on terror the fighting has therefore been out-sourced to the Taliban of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and America. The Regular forces are now primarily engaged in trying to contain the fighting to the border regions, but it is the American and Local Taliban who are conducting the “war of continuing terror”. And they get handsomely paid for it. They get paid by those who benefit from this long war. So who is paying them?

The Pakistan Taliban gets some money from those who want to establish the hold of Sunni political Islam and dream of the earliest Islamic state of Arabia at the cost of the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan. These include Pakistani financiers and the Gulf Arabs whose actual long term objective is Shia Iran. They get money too from unlawful acts like kidnapping and robbery. They also get substantial inputs (including technology) for specific operations from pro ISAF intelligence agencies, which in turn get their money from the drug trade that that has been allowed to expand hugely since the war started.

The Afghan Taliban are fighting a war of resistance for which funding from any source is welcome, including Gulf Arabs, drugs, and intelligence agencies of countries opposed to American military presence in central Asia.

The American Taliban are terrorists sponsored and directly funded by covert sections of the American government. These are mercenary groups such as Blackwater, XE, DynCorp, and other American companies with links to the Pentagon and CIA. They recruit nationals of any country (even former soviet republics) who want to make money and are willing to kill for it. These are “mercenary terrorists” as opposed to the local Taliban who claim the fig leaf of being “ideological terrorists”.

So the fighting continues because the Taliban of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and America are laughing their way to the bank. The question then arises “if the three primary Governments are not achieving their political objectives and are facing voter pressure to end the war, why don’t they simply pull the plug on the financing of these groups”? The answer to this question is simply that the governments are also benefitting. Or should I say that the peddlers of “death for profit” in these countries are benefitting, their military are benefitting, and their bankers/weapon suppliers are benefitting. In fact in a perverse way many sectors of their economies are thriving in this war environment.

The only and real losers are the silent majority of people of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan whose freedoms are being usurped, whose moral standards are being savaged, whose lives are being taken, and whose livelihoods are being denied. What are these victims of war doing about it? The answer to this question lies in understanding the true nature of the modern nation state in which the masses have ceded their sovereignty to a greedy few in exchange for “protection and leadership”. The social contract of the modern state is an imposition of classic Mafia control. Standing armies, civil bureaucracy, and media have evolved in the service of the modern mafia state. Patriotism is now glorified over citizen’s fundamental rights, religion is glorified over free will, and “writ of State” is imposed by the chosen few in the name of democracy. And of course the Media’s bread is buttered to ensure public apathy and acceptance of this perverse social tragedy through mind control in the garb of “opinion making”. If you believe a new social contract to save the victims rather than the beneficiaries of war is essential, only you can answer the last question which is, “what are you doing about it”?

*The writer is Former Chief of Naval Staff,Pakistan.


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  • ID  On June 30, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Full of ingenuity!

  • Nazia  On June 30, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I must congratulate Admiral Fasih Bokhari on an incisive, thoughtful, and deep analysis which is a refreshing change from run of the mill articles we see daily in local and international press. Congratulations.


  • Mubaschir Inayet  On June 30, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Problem is that the Muslim financiers are, in their minds, doing it for a good cause so a few casualties along the way is small change to them! Who ever opposes them, including Admiral Fasih, is working for the enemy, hence a legitimate target. PNS Mehran becomes a target, GHQ becomes a target and triggering a war between Indian and Pakistan becomes a sacred goal through attacks like Mumbai to usher end times and advent of Mehdi!!

    A lot of claims are made that the terrorists are being funded by the CIA to attack Pakistan with little control over when these terrorists will turn their guns against the US!! However no audio, video or documentary proof is provided nor desired.

    We need to undersand their mindset: A State established based on Sharia. Those who oppose them are enemies of Islam. Hence they must be dealt with. If the extremists die in their “Jihad” they are winners, if they kill they are members of a righteous army doing Allah’s work!!

    You can’t win with a midset like this.

    What is the solution? That needs to be explored without any blame games!!


  • khan saheb  On June 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    In Pakistan we are redefining everything these days, so here is a perspective on Jihad.


    1. Original concept

    Mentioned 41 times in the holy Quran. Means struggle and has not been used in the context of fighting or combat. Historically, however, the struggle has taken two forms- struggle to defend the Muslim society and the struggle to defend Islam for Allah. The latter spins-off the holy war.

    In the context of a holy war, when you went into jihad, you were a mujahid. If you survived you were a ghazi, if you are killed doing jihad you were shaheed. You were expected to be a Muslim to get the status of shahadat.

    2. Jihad in the present day, specially Pakistan

    Struggle not necessary to be a basis to carry out Jihad. Jihad means the freedom of killing any Muslim, who does not practice Islam the way you want or who does not agree with you. You are called a jihadi. The west call you a jihadist, grade two is extremist, grade one is terrorist. A dead suicide bomber is automatically shaheed and by virtue this status, goes straight to heaven and joins the 72 waiting virgins.

    You also do not have to be a Muslim to indulge into jihad. Gandhi’s struggle for independence has been defined as jihad even by modern Arab historians. Even Bhagat Singh is being called shaheed and in Pakistan if you are killed even for the punishment of your own offense, you can get the title of shaheed and have a road named after you. Examples, Salman Taseer may not be a shaheed but Mumtaz Qadri is considered a ghazi.

    When a faith and religion gets hijacked, it can get an easy face-lift. Killing fellow Muslims, your very own countrymen, maybe part of somebody’s manifest and master plan, but no way should it be classified as towards Allah’s cause and His name.


  • Nasim Hassan  On July 1, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Fasih saheb;

    I agree with your opinion regarding the real losers in this war of conflicting interests. Biggest losers are the common people of Afghanistan followed closely by the people of Pakistan.
    I remember Pakistan of yester years when clean water was available in every part of Lahore. We never had any fear of getting sick by drinking water from municipal water taps or hand pumps. Now the average people cannot afford bottled water and his family gets all kinds of diseases from contaminated water and pollution. Sick people do not have a chance to progress.

    I have great concerns about Afghan people after the departure of American army. In a tribal society where there is no middle class there is great possibility of ethnic cleansing in areas of Pashtuns, Hazara, Tajiks and Uzbeks.

    The same countries who are helping these groups will start again the game of control like before. Afghanistan does not have the intellectual capital to foresee the conditions and avoid infighting.

    I believe Pakistan will quickly stabilize when all of these groups start to participate in socalled Jehad now for the control of Afghanistan. Previously Talibans received lots of help from Wahabi or Deobandi Madrassahs in terms of manpower. Saudi Arabia provided the money and Pakistan army gave them guidance. Iran supported Shias and India was aligned with Uzbeks/Tajiks.

    Looking from a distance, it seems that Pakistan has a civil society that Afghans will built in next hundred years. They discuss all issues openly in the media. Pakistani people are also very smart. All they need is competent and honest leadership. The country will be transformed in ten years if they get right leadership.

    Would Pakistan get this leadership? This is a question that only people living in Pakistan can answer. I like to know the opinion of people on this forum.

    Nasim Hassan


  • Minhaj  On July 1, 2011 at 2:20 am

    In my opinion there are not only leadership issues but also our army which has masonic elements working in their interest
    Will we able to get a leadership what we’re looking for looks remote
    Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

  • Minhaj  On July 1, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Admiral Fasih what is the solution for Pakistan and how we can come out of this mess


  • Mubaschir Inayet  On July 1, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Well put Siraj!!

    These Jahadis/terrorists/extremists are not going to disappear as in defeat is their victory and in victory is their glory.

    We need to expolore some serious solutions to combat this Murder in the Name of God Incorporated groups.

    The problem is that there are many who believe in their twisted ideology; It is only a matter of time before someone labels us as anti Islamic and Western Boot Lickers!!

    A knowledgabel scholar who dared to oppose them had to leave the country because of death threats. His name is Javed Ghamdi and he tells it as it is, speaking in their own language of hadees, fiqh, opinion of Imams, tafseer, taweel, Qur’an, etc. etc.

    Any ideas?


  • Syed Wajahat  On July 1, 2011 at 2:29 am

    Admiral Fasih speaks my mind. Every word in his write up carries a heavy load
    of meaning and reality. The only addition I can make to his thoughts is the
    elusive fact that all moneys, no matter what the apparent source is, start to flow
    and the return back by the action of a core group of financiers who look after each other.
    The rest are just pawns.

    Regardless, as Mr. Fasih points out, the victims of this tragedy, the middle class,
    on whom is based all the technology being utilized for these operations is literally
    intoxicated by the “core” group of financiers using what is known as the “Good” life.

    I am in agreement with Mr. Fasih that the time has come for us to get on the band wagon,
    get sober, and begin to correct what is wrong. We should ask ourselves every night before
    going to sleep, “What did I do to day to make this world a better place”. Then every morning
    when we wake up we again should ask ourselves, “What can I do to day to make this a better world”.

    my deepest thanks to Admiral Fasih for depicting so eloquently, the realities of life
    to day.

    Syed Wajahat Hussain

  • Shah Dogar  On July 1, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Referring to the article, last note “what are you doing about it”Let me through in a thought,if the beneficiary are from nations in deficiet budgets, I see a Dyecotamy. If nations are in surplus budget then they become the beneficiaries. So who is benefiting? Certainly not the nation or the masses involved. Neither the leaders/bureaucrats of involved nations in terrorism,or the mcenaries(includes
    Media,agencies and host of others that get paid funds).who are we pointing fingers at. Let’s put all facts together and get down to the apex point. “Who is the beneficiary?”
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • Azzam Abdo  On July 1, 2011 at 4:45 am

    Looking at the history of Muslims over the last few hundred years, I noticed that it is the West that invaded our countries, killed our people, enslaved our men, robbed our resources. they still do that under different names and forms.

    Physics teaches us that: To every action there is a reaction equal in magnitude and opposite in direction.

    Is that what we are experiencing in our countries.

    Best Regards;

    ‘Allah would never bring disgrace upon you for you maintain ties of kinship, bear people’s burdens, help the destitute, give hospitality to your guests, and help those who have been afflicted by calamities.’ KhadijaRAA

  • Admiral Fasih Bokhari  On July 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    how trueWe in PESA and the “Save Pakistan” coalition, and many Pakistanis on the blogosphere have debated the issues you raise threadbare. There is widespread and real anger at the situation we are in. Mismanagement of energy, education, prices, job creation, security, health care, and random killing and abductions etc. There is anger not because we are a nation that is less capable than others, but because we feel helpless to do anything about it. We stay outside the filth of our politics, and abuse those in that mire for their apathy.
    We look for saviours because in our history the usurpers of power, be they military or civilian, have always presented themselves as attractive saviours in shining armour. Saviours believe they are “above the cut”; they do not institutionalize governance systems. They mold them to the perpetuation of their personal rule. Their departure leaves governance, and its delivery machinery, weaker than before they arrived on the scene.
    Governance in Pakistan has descended, as in many countries, into a system of patronage that makes the political elite richer and more secure in their constituencies. Even usurper saviours have to co-opt the same political elite to survive.
    The question everyone is raising is how to break their hold and bring in the competent leadership that we know is out there. The obvious answer is to reform the electoral process. We have tried this by pushing for the mobile/NIC/PIN voting that is simple, cheap, and do-able. The political elite are not allowing NADRA to proceed, and are forcing the “machine voting” system as a preferred solution.
    Another option I often hear is to organize demonstrations and create change through street power. People do not come out on the street without some organization, without political action, without some lead group spending money. The international “controlled” media present movements like the Colour Revolutions and the Arab Spring as spontaneous uprisings. They are not. They are the result of planned and well funded political organization. Our Lawyers movement was not a “no cost” spontaneous rebellion. It was poorly funded and badly organized,and would have collapsed had it not been hijacked by a major political party that had the resources to take it to a conclusion that did not impact the continued hold of the political elite.
    Imran Khan has tried to raise a new political party for the past two decades. He is sincere and committed, but cannot stoop to street level violence to match the existing parties.
    Our generation was engaged in protecting our nascent country from premature death. It is your generation’s task to join the existing parties and create change from within them. That is not an easy direction to take in life because you have to provide for your family’s sustenance. Only those with some financial security like successful professionals or scions of richer families can enter the political field. Catch 22? Yes, that is the problem with the parliamentary model of democracy. Even in western democracies only those who are rich or are heavily funded by moneyed interests/investors can hope to stay in the political process from where they are obliged to pay back their “investors”. In a worst case scenario, like what many Americans are also angry about, is that foreign governments are investing in American politicians, specially Israel, Gulf Arabs, China, and India. Can you read between the lines to see who controls our politics, and why we are stuck?
    The Islamists want to bring back the moral standards of the early Caliphate. It is not sustainable, as wasn’t the early Caliphate. Saviour based systems are not sustainable.
    If my generation had better answers we would not be in the current situation. Nowhere on earth is there a perfect and sustainable political model. No model can survive in the face of incessant human fallibility.
    The trajectory that you have also suggested is to pressurize the political elite. PESA is meeting the political parties one by one to try and get them to understand the NSP template for a national debate, if not a parliamentary debate which would be more productive if the outcome is legislated. This is an attempt to show them that there is a better way to serve the people without whittling their political standing.
    All one hopes for is the people’s continued interest and pressure on their leadership. And that is the moral authority that your generation must exert through the blogosphere, the media, civil society organizations, and where possible by joining the existing political parties for improvement from within.
    Organized and well funded activity of committed pressure groups is what is keeping parliamentary democracy somewhat responsive and viable in other countries. Pakistan is now developing this culture..That is all that PESA and people and groups like us are trying to do.
    Fasih Bokhari

  • Mubaschir Inayet  On July 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    es Mubashir Sahab here are the ideas you asked for:
    Those who can do something can also undo something!
    We always asked this question “How to put the genie back into the bottle” meaning how to reverse the trend of terrorism? How to bring a vast number, definitely not a majority, back to normal life?

    No body has a clue. But I have an idea. Those who can do something can undo something. The mindset is created by the religious parties and only they can undo it. MMA has had a field day in Musharraf’s time and with their patronage this has all happened.

    It took Fazlurrahman over a decade to start condemning it. Munawar Hasan, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Prof. Ibrahim and co. still don’t but on the contrary promote it. Even Imran Khan and Hameed Gul Don’t condemn it. They are all aiding and abetting by silence.

    It is promoted directly or indirectly by most anchors be it Hamid Mir, Dr. Shahid Masood, Talat Hussain, Asima Choudhry, Waheed Hussain of Waqth News, Malik from Islamabad – the list is endless. Now what can be done? Seems daunting. But not impossible. Consider this example:

    Khuda Hafiz to Allah Hafiz:
    Just a few years back not too long ago we all said Khuda Hafiz. Now we all say Allah Hafiz. Was Khuda Hafiz ever wrong if so nauzubilla all our ancestors are doomed. No.

    There was nothing wrong with Khuda Hafiz as it was a tradition and tradition is allowed so long you are not saying there is more than one God or going against the express commandments of Allah.

    Although Allah Hafiz is technically incorrect we latched on to it thoughtlessly. Let me explain something:
    First from the Arabic lexicology it does not exist and no Arab any where in the world uses it. It does not exist in the language. From Arabic grammar it is not correct either.
    Second Allah Hafiz was not used in prophet’s PBH time. Huzoor PBH did not say it nor any of his companions Sahaba ever did. This is the logic extended by some hard cores that, what was not prevalent at that time is bidat as they define it, although the word bidath is not there in the Holy Quran at all. Jamath belongs to the same ideology. So going by their definitions Allah Hafiz is a Bidat. Not allowed. But they say it knowing fully well it is wrong. So why say it? Allah Hafiz is technically and Islamically wrong.
    So how did it gain so much of currency? This is the achievement of our wonderful and mercurial Jamath e Islami. Unable to do any thing substantial for Pakistan they did this. It is just a classic case of oneupmanship. Nothing to do with Islam but ego. Also an example of how people take up irrelevant and questionable things without questioning.They don’t see what one says but who says?

    If we say Allah hu Taala they say Allah Subhana wathala, we know better, something extra, so follow us. We say Jazakallah they will say jazakallah khair. We know more than you. Although both things are good but not exactly necessary.

    There is an element of Thakabbur (pride) and Allah just doesn’t like it. That is one thing that Allah wants to see in Himself – The Creator not in His creatures (us). But that is our Jamath e Islami. Put others down with their supposed more knowledge. Holier than thou syndrome.

    I was once in Islamabad attending a series of weddings about three years back. The hot topic by them was Pakistan is breaking up. A gentleman with that typical beard – the hallmark of a Jamathi and a suit, not a sherwani came and said the same thing.

    I asked him if he was from the Jamath, he was taken aback a bit but conceded. He asked me why did I ask that? I said it was so obvious only Jamathis are spreading this rumor, adding, keep dreaming. Allah made Pakistan for Muslims and He will safeguard it. Don’t you worry. Alhamdulillah three years and we are there.

    They follow Goebbels to the hilt – say a lie so many times that it becomes a truth. That is the propaganda mechanism. Now the same propaganda mechanism which they used to convert people from Khuda Hafiz to Allah Hafiz needlessly should be used to dissuade people from becoming terrorists.

    You give them a task of rumour they are excellent at it. The magic is they make the media catch on. Media then 24×7 was talking of “Pakistan breaking up”. Why? Every body has problems. We have too and we will overcome them eventually inshallah.

    And they are so good at spreading any thing that we have to give them this task. Just as they started Allah Hafiz from Khuda Hafiz we have to make them go and speak to people against terrorism. They know how to do it. But make them do it.

    When they can do it for Khuda Hafiz which was not a life and death issue nor a heaven and hell issue, they must do it for cleansing the society of terrorism mindset which is a life and death issue thus saving the lives of our countrymen.

    Only they can do it. I appeal to my Jamathi brothers, sisters and friends to condemn terrorism and tell people from every roof top , every pulpit and every microphone, every column, every channel and every program. Make this the talk of the town nay the talk of the country.

    There will come a time when every one will think it as somethingdespicable. Mullahs are coming around hope Mullys come around too. What Mr. Ghamdi is saying now had he said it 10 years back when we were saying it, nothing of this level should have happened.

    Better late than never, lets start.

    Khuda Hafiz,


  • saleemfida  On July 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm


  • Inam Khan  On July 3, 2011 at 3:39 am

    These are all faces of money,which is evil.War mongering will go on as long as there are givers and takers………………………Inam Khan

  • Mohammad Chaudhry  On July 8, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Bokhari sahib,
    I broadly agree with your thought process and appreciate the inputs of your group,PESA.You’re right in acknowldging the power,tactics and commitment of the vested interest to retain statusquo.However I,myself who belong to your generation,do not excuse myself from not doing what was needed to be done,in the name of some expedeincy or priority to save the budding nation and ensure its survival.In fact our generation lacked analytical understanding to sift the grain from the chaff to identify the culprits and guts/nerves as well as enough of self-denial to fight against the inroads of vested interest. We got carried away by so-called industerialization by the first usurper,Gen.Ayub who loaded the nation with almost double the burden of debts than the net assets created by facilitating the era of the first, Swiss bank accounts holders in hundreds or maybe thousands.We failed to learn about leadership traits from our neighbours,India and Iran,the most pertinent being the level of self-denial,missing in all except the founder of nation,Mr.Jinnah.All the same ,we are not a lost case so far as we have vibrant civic bodies and bold media that made possible restoration of independent judiciary.So all conscientious-minded Pakistanis need to galvanize human resources through the backing and support of media and the rest will follow.

  • Minhaj  On July 10, 2011 at 5:54 am

    Janab Bokhari Sahab,
    Thx for your enlightentening comments. I have put justn my opinion, PESA should play the role of catalyst:
    1. Form a political party or support or allign itself to one.
    2. Branch out to overseas Pakistanis.
    3. Form a shadow cabinet (with the help of the political party) to lay critique the existing and communicate the right obes.
    4. Generate funds through overseas Pakistanis, but who will manage it?
    5. Liase with a media group to counter policies and let people know the truth.
    6. Ask Pres. Musharraf and ohers who can deliver good lectures, to lecture abroad on Pakistan and also contribute the funds to PESA for its activities.
    7. Lay out a strategy of how to get rid of corrupted people and establish governance first.
    8. Plan to establish a think tank for Pakistan
    9. Identify a select gp of individuals to discuss and formalize a new charter or set goals for PESA and Pakistan
    10.Formalizean an action plan
    Minhaj Qidwai

  • Hamid Qazi  On July 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Lets come to realities, There may be long term and short term strategies in place to deal with the current situation, but who will bell the cat. Pakistan has plunged herself into this travesty by her own follies. In this war against terror. We will keep corruption and obliteration of the institutions aside. Yes they are corrupt to their marrows and it is twinging to see our institutions deliberately being annihilated. But what ever are being over seen by some other institution are in the right direction.. There are solutions, but chair and power takes presedence over solutions. W,ho knows it better than the Admiral himself as he has seen and been in the corridors of power. Therefore pulverized lot in this game are the silient majority. Who will bring them to life? Yes agreed that, war is a good business. But who wages a war without any interest involved? The best that the militracracy can do, they are already doing. Army always fights, when the people are with them, but their representatives are in the assembly. It took them no time to galvanize the public opinion for Swat operation. So what is stopping them now? Implying a strategy is in place and they are playing their part of the game accordingly. In wars we should not be expecting any fair means. Lets believe for a while that, Pakistan is funding or supporting the Talibans, where are they wrong? who are funding and supporting the Blackwater, xe and dyncorps and why in return are they funding the suicide bombers. People ask for proofs, where are they getting dollars from? Where are they getting Indian weapons and medicines from? where are they getting Riyals and Dinars from? So whats the best way out? could we analyse the situation, in the light of the existing policies of the government,

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