Warrior for free speech
General Ahmed Shujaa Pasha’s words should be sent to Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the organization that is trying to criminalize what it calls “defamation of Islam,” including honest analysis of the ideology and beliefs of Islamic terrorists, at the United Nations and in the West. After all, if Mullah Omar and the Taliban should “be allowed to think and say what they please,” and if their belief that “jihad is their obligation” is a matter of “freedom of opinion,” isn’t it likewise true that anti-jihadists should also be allowed to think and say what they please? After all, they believe that resisting jihad is their obligation. Isn’t that freedom of opinion?
Pakistani Double Game Update: “Pakistan’s New Intelligence Chief: ‘Terror Is Our Enemy, Not India,'” by Susanne Koelbl for Spiegel, January 6 :
General Ahmed Shujaa Pasha has been the head of the ISI, Pakistan’s notoriously independent intelligence agency, for the past three months. He makes a cosmopolitan impression and says he takes his orders from the civilian government. But how much control does Pasha have over his own organization?
A new war appears to be brewing between the two nuclear powers Pakistan and India. The Pakistanis claim that Indian fighter jets are invading their air space, while normally moderate experts are going on television to demand “revenge” for “false accusations” coming from New Delhi. In Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, angry Islamists with long beards and floor-length robes are demonstrating in the streets, raising their fists against both their enemies in India and their own government, and swearing revenge for the government’s banning of their Islamic charity, which is suspected of having ties to terrorism. […]
Pasha says that he too has “questions.” So far, he says, the Indians have failed to provide evidence to support their claims that Pakistani groups sponsored by the ISI were behind the Mumbai attacks. “They have given us nothing, no numbers, no connections, no names. This is regrettable.” Pasha insists that he was willing to travel to New Delhi to help in the investigation. […]
He pauses for a moment. “At first we thought there would be a military reaction. The Indians, after the attacks, were deeply offended and furious, but they are also clever,” he explains. The general presses his hands together and leans forward to give emphasis to his words. “We may be crazy in Pakistan, but not completely out of our minds. We know full well that terror is our enemy, not India.” […]
In the past seven years, the Americans have given the Pakistanis about $11 billion (â‚¬8 billion) in return for their support in the war against terror.
The US military depends heavily on sources provided by the ISI, which, in addition to its estimated 10,000 regular employees, maintains a vast network of spies and informants. After the new regime had come into power, everyone approved of the cosmopolitan Pasha, who recently convinced tribal elders in the Bajaur border region to organize so-called Lashkars, or armed tribal militias, against the extremists. […]
Pasha is apparently adept at overcoming old divisions. However, it is worth listening closely when the general explains why he too is unwilling to apprehend the Taliban leadership, even though many claim that Taliban leader Mullah Omar, for example, is in Quetta, a city where Pasha lived until a few years ago. “Shouldn’t they be allowed to think and say what they please? They believe that jihad is their obligation. Isn’t that freedom of opinion?” he asks, defending extremist rabble-rousers, who are sending more and more Koran school students to Afghanistan to fight in the war there.
Such words from Pasha arouse the old suspicion that the ISI is playing a double game….
No kidding, really?