Sunday, 28 September 2014

QotD: The King, Zia & Black September

'The King asked his friend Zia UK Haq, the Pakistani general - who later became President of Pakistan, and who was in Jordan on a military mission - to travel to the Syrian front and telephone an assessment. Zia Ul Haq introduced the Jordanians to some American slang in his reply, which they did not understand and asked me to decipher. When Rifai asked Zia UK Haq how things looked, he said, "I'm shitting green!" -Kings Counsel

Sunday, 12 January 2014

QOTD: Ayub Khan and Peshawar

'But why single out Qayyum Khan, he is a typical product of Peshawar city and those that imbibe its spirit. Barring a few exceptions it is the breeding ground of devious crooks and cheats. In my younger days I was at one time Brigade Major of the Peshawar brigade, As such I had many duties- amongst them the protection of water supply which came from Bara and was at that time subject to tribal attacks. Someone told me that Bara water was most wholesome for health. I agreed but added that it also provided the biggest crooks on God's earth..'

-Ayub Khan diaries December 1970

Sunday, 24 November 2013

QOTD: Clinton on heresy and faith

This is one of my favourite interviews with an American President.

My answer to that question is from a religious and philosophical point of view is that the heresy is believing that your faith is not only true, which we all believe, but that you can be, as a human being, in full possession of the absolute truth, turn it into an absolutely true political program and then decide that those who don't accept it are less than human and deserving of death.

So my belief is that all religious dialogue is possible if we recognize that we have something to learn from one another. Not that our faith is not true, but that we can't be in full possession of that faith in this lifetime as fallible human beings.
- Bill Clinton  September 23, 2006

Friday, 27 September 2013

QOTD: The murder of Dr Najibullah

Afghanistan's late President was murdered on the 27th of September by the Taliban. Here is an account of his last day ( this account has been edited down due to violence described) 

' Three Taliban entered the UN compound while the driver waited outside. Najib wary greeted them. He offered them tiny, elegantly wrapped packages of Swiss chocolate, joking that they were the only gifts he had on hand. The three Taliban lined up, one after another they knelt down and kissed Najibs handin a traditional Afghan gesture of respect. The Taliban invited Najib to come with them to the presidential palace. Najib enthusiastically accepted.. natural megalomania played into their hands....

By this time the Datsun truck had driven Najib into the palace compound. He was taken into the room inside the Palace, where he was brutally tortuted, castrated and shot.... 

The reported ringleader of the three Taliban was the notorious Abdul Razak, a ruthless Taliban mullah from between Quetta and Kandahar. He was closely associated with the ISI & JUI.'  

- Peter Tomsen : The Wars of Afghanistan page 20 

Friday, 9 August 2013

Afghanistan: Gulbuddin Hekmatyar a profile

'Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is a radical Muslim fundamentalist who believes his divinely ordained destiny is to rule Afghanistan. However his single -minded and ruthless pursuit of power has alienated him from the overwhelming majority of his countrymen. Hekmatyar is the most divisive element in the current attempts to hammer out a successor government in Kabul. His accession to power would be resisted by force by many of the commanders on the ground. Hekmatyars alliance with the most hard line elements of the former Kabul regime and his willingness to assassinate other resistance figures who stand in his way have repelled most Afghans. Hekmatyar is virulently anti-western. He has frequently targeted U.S and western interests in Pakistan. He supported Iraq in the Gulf war despite having long been a beneficiary of Saudi largesse. 

Hekmatyar's espousal of militant Islam was probably a manifestation of his strong opposition to the king, Zahir Shah, which appears rooted in tribal rivalry. Hekmatyar belongs to the Ghilzai Pashtun tribal confederation which traditionally has opposed the Durrani Pashtuns. Hekmatyar's antipathy tithe former King is well known. As is his contempt for traditional Pashtun concepts such as the loya jirga. Hekmatyar's ideas and his organization reflect the strong influence of the Muslim brotherhood ( with which he is in contact according to a subordinate) and the Jamaat-I-Islami party of Pakistan , whose leader Qazi Hussein Ahmad, remains his staunchest supporter. Hekmatyar also supports other international Islamic causes. His training camps reportedly have hosted Kashmiris, Algerians and other Islamic radicals, who after a stint with the resistance in Afghanistan, return home with their newly acquired military and political skills '

- declassified (april 2000 ) 1992 US state department intelligence analysis 

Monday, 24 June 2013

QOTD: Pakistan & its Afghan problem

' Afghan problem? What is the Afghan problem? A little strategic bombing and an armoured thrust would settle it once and for all!
         - Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Army (1956) General Ayub Khan in a cabinet briefing.

He was interrupted by the then Prime Minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy who said he did not want a 'surgical solution' he wanted a 'physicians' one.
                                                                  -Khattak, Aslam (2004) A Pathan Odyssey

Sunday, 23 June 2013

QOTD: The one by the Nawab of Kalabagh

It is said one day in the early 1960's, reports were received by 'Field Marshal' Ayub Khan  about his Governor of West Pakistan the much feared, Nawab of Kalabagh and his 'over zealousness' in settling scores with his enemies in his home town of Mianwali.

One day as news gradually leaked to him of the Generals displeasure. he said to a fellow Muslim Leaguer Aslam Khattak
' Khattak Khan, I do not take bribes , I do not womanise, I do not drink, I do not gamble. I am fair and just in the dispensation of justice, but may the Lord God forgive me I commit little cruelties in Mianwali!
   -  Khattak Mohammad Aslam Khan  (2004)'A Pathan Odyssey