Friday, July 3, 2009




In a press note issued on July 1,2009, the US Department of Treasury gave the personal particulars of four persons--- a Pashtun born in Afghanistan, two Punjabis and a fourth person of
unclear ethnicity originating from Karachi----associated with the Lashkare-Toiba (LET),who were designated by the Department under Executive Order 13224 “as providing direct support to Al Qaeda and the LET and as facilitating terrorist attacks, including the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai.”

2. The four persons so designated by the Treasury Department are:

(a).FAZEEL-A-TUL SHAYKH ABU MOHAMMED AMEEN AL-PESHAWARI born in the Konar Province of Afghanisan and living in Peshawar.
(b).ARIF QASMANI, a Pakistani national from Karachi.
(c).MOHAMMED YAHYA MUJAHID, a Pakistani national from Lahore.
(d).NASIR JAVAID, a Pakistani national from Gujranwala, Punjab, living in Manshera, NWFP.

3.The Treasury Department's notification does not specifically refer to Fazeel-A-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen Al-Peshawari (Ameen al-Peshawari) as an associate or an office-bearer of the LET. However, it says of him as follows: " He was providing assistance, including funding and recruits, to the al Qaida network. He has also provided funding and other resources to the Taliban, including explosive vests and other resources and actively facilitated the activities of anti-Coalition militants operating in Afghanistan by raising money in support of terrorist activities. In addition, he had begun a campaign to support militants in Pakistan. As of 2007, Ameen al-Peshawari was responsible for recruiting fighters and suicide bombers and for the acquisition of funds and equipment for militants in Afghanistan. Ameen al-Peshawari has also provided monetary compensation to families of fighters killed in Afghanistan and has been involved in anti-Coalition militia recruiting activities."

4.All the activities of Abu Mohammed al-Peshawari referred to in the notification relate to Afghanistan. No activities of his in relation to India have been cited.

5. However, Arif Qasmani of Karachi has been specifically named by the notification as involed in the Mumbai suburban train blasts of July,2006, and in the Samjotha Express blast of February, 2007. It says of him as follows: "Arif Qasmani is the chief coordinator for Lashkar-e Tayyiba's (LET) dealings with outside organizations and has provided significant support for LET terrorist operations. Qasmani has worked with LET to facilitate terrorist attacks, including the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai, India, and the February 2007 Samjota Express bombing in Panipat, India. Qasmani conducted fundraising activities on behalf of LET in 2005 and utilized money that he received
from Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian crime figure and terrorist supporter, to facilitate the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai, India. Since 2001, Arif Qasmani has also provided financial and other support and services to al Qaida, including facilitating the movement of al Qaida leaders and personnel in and out of Afghanistan, the return of foreign fighters to their respective countries, and the provision of supplies and weapons. In return for Qasmani's support, al Qaida provided Qasmani with operatives to support the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai, India, and the February 2007 Samjota Express bombing in Panipat, India. In 2005, Qasmani provided Taliban leaders with a safe haven and a means to smuggle personnel, equipment, and weapons into Afghanistan."

6.From the notification, three significant points about Qasmani emerge: First, he received money from Dawood Ibrahim for the July 2006 bombings in Mumbai; second, he provided financial and logistics support to Al Qaeda and its leaders; and third, he provided safehaven to the leaders of the Afghan Taliban.

7. According to the notification, "Mohammed Yahya Mujahid is the head of the LET media department and has served as an LET media spokesman since at least mid-2001. In that capacity, Mujahid has issued statements to the press on behalf of LET on numerous occasions, including after the December 2001 LET attacks on the Indian Parliament, and following the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India. Mujahid's statements on behalf of LET have been reported by international news sources such as BBC News, the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and Asia Times Online. As of late 2007, Mujahid was influential among the LET central leadership."

8.The notification says that "Nasir Javaid is an LET official involved in LET operations and has served as an LET commander in Pakistan. From 2001 to at least 2008, Nasir Javaid was also involved in LET military training. In mid-2001, Javaid assumed command of an LET training center in Pakistan."

9. The notification does not specify whether the evidence against the four designated individuals cited in it was collected by the US intelligence or whether some of it came from India too. Some inputs from India are likely.

10. Earlier on June 29,2009,the Department of Public Information of the UN Security Council had announced as follows: " The Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee approved the addition of three entries to its Consolidated List of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 1822 (2008) adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations." The three names added by the UN Committee to its list are those of Abu Mohammad Ameen al-Peshawari, Arif Qasmani and Mohammad Yahya Mujahid. The name of Nasir Javaid does not figure in the list issued by the UN Committee possibly because there is no evidence of his involvement with Al Qada and/or the Afghan Taliban. The evidence against the three persons cited in the notification of the UN Committee is the same as subsequently cited by the US Treasury Department.

11.The UN Committee notification has one additional detail which is not there in the Treasury Department notification ---- namely, all the three persons were in custody as of June,2009. While it does not mention where they were in custody, it must be in Pakistan. It also does not say when they were arrested.

12. However, in a report on the Mumbai terrorist attack of November,2008, carried by "Asia Times Online" on December 2,2008,Syed Saleem Shahzad, its Special Correspondent in Pakistan, had indicated that Arif Qasmani, whom he described as a millionaire businessman of Karachi, was already in detention in Pakistan because of the ISI's anger over the double role allegedly played by him---- namely, assisting the ISI in its operations in India through the LET and at the same time assisting the Pakistani Taliban in its operations against the Pakistan Army.

13. Shahzad reported as follows: "The most important asset of the ISI, the Laskhar-e-Taiba (LET), was split after 9/11. Several of its top-ranking commanders and office bearers joined hands with al-Qaeda militants. A millionaire Karachi-based businessman, Arif Qasmani, who was a major donor for ISI-sponsored LET operations in India, was arrested for playing a double game - he was accused of working with the ISI while also sending money to Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal area for the purchase of arms and ammunition for al-Qaeda militants."

14. Shahzad did not mention when Qasmani was arrested, but from the wording of his article it appeared that he must have been arrested before the 26/11 Mumbai strike. Earlier, the "Dawn" of Karachi had reported on December 29,2005, as follows: "The Sindh High Court asked the federal interior secretary on Wednesday to file, within 10 days, a rejoinder to a petition alleging that a man was being detained by a federal law enforcement agency unlawfully. Petitioner Javeria Arif submitted through Advocate Nihal Hashmi that her husband, Arif Qasmani, was picked up by law enforcement personnel from his KDA Scheme residence on Nov 29 for his suspected links with Al Qaeda and Taliban. No case was registered against him, nor was he produced before a magistrate for remand. The police were informed but was of no help to her. An additional advocate-general informed a division bench, comprising Justices Mushir Alam and Athar Saeed, that the provincial government had nothing to do with the matter but he required more time to make a formal statement on behalf of the police. Adjourning further hearing to Jan 19, the bench expressed its concern that, judging by the number of petitions being filed in this behalf, the incidence of ‘disappearance’ of people was on the increase. It observed that the government agencies were legally obliged to protect the life and liberty of citizens and they should act in accordance with the law."

15. On December 1,2005,Shahzad reported to the Italian news agency AKI ( Adnkronos International) as follows: "Arif Qasmani is a veteran jihadi, having fought against the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, and been associated with the armed struggle in Indian-held Kashmir. He was picked up by Pakistani security forces last October but released a few days later. Now Qasmani is once again missing. According to his family, he was in Karachi and departed for Lahore two days ago but since he left home his whereabouts are unknown." Around the same time, he reported to "AsiaTimes Online" as follows: "Arif Qasmani was a part of a high-level November 14 meeting in Islamabad held to initiate a process for peace between the Afghan resistance and coalition forces led by the US.”

16. The same day,Amir Mir, the well-known Pakistani journalist, who writes for sections of the Pakistani media and some of whose articles are also carried by sections of the Indian media, reported as follows: "One of the four Pakistanis who reportedly held a clandestine meeting with the visiting American Undersecretary of State for Public Affairs Karen Hughes and other senior US State Department officials at Serena Hotel in Islamabad on November 14, 2005, to broker a deal between the Taliban and the United States is believed to have been kidnapped by the Pakistani intelligence agencies.”

17. He added: “Previously linked with the now defunct Lashkar-e-Toiba, a militant outfit active in the Indian-administered Kashmir, Arif Qasmani is considered close to Javed Ibrahim Paracha, a former member of the National Assembly from Kohat district of the NWFP. Paracha, who is also the chairman of the World Prisoners' Relief Forum, claimed on November 17, 2005, that he was requested by the Americans during their Islamabad meeting to serve as a bridge between Washington, the Taliban and their Arab comrades for the purpose of 'reconciliation'. According to Paracha, Arif Qasmani has been picked up by the Pakistani intelligence agencies without any justification. "Qasmani went missing on Tuesday after he had left Karachi for Lahore by plane which was supposed to take off at 8 in the morning. His wife has informed me that Qasmani has not yet reached Lahore where he was supposed to hold a business meeting. I understand that he has been arrested by the sensitive agencies. He was earlier detained in August 2005. His family members now fear for his life", Paracha said.

18. He further reported: “Paracha, who is also Chairman International Rabita Jehad Council, said those who met the Americans on November 14 and discussed the possibility of negotiating with the Afghan resistance leaders included (besides him) Arif Qasmani, Khalid Khawaja and Shah Abdul Aziz of MMA from Karak district in NWFP. "There is every possibility that Qasmani has been detained for nvestigations in connection with the November 14 meeting", Paracha added. Khalid Khawaja, a former officer with the (ISI) Inter Services Intelligence said, "I have just met Arif Qasmani's wife in Karachi. She is much disturbed. She is shocked and believes that Qasmani has been kidnapped by the agencies who had previously detained him in August this year".Khawaja said the family of the kidnapped businessman is seriously considering approaching the court of law for his recovery. "I appeal to the government to inform his family members about his exact whereabouts. The government should ensure that Qasmani is recovered as early as possible", he added."

19. Thus, during his career, Arif Qasmani had helped the LET, the ISI, the TTP and the US State Department. He had helped the LET in its operations in India. He had helped the ISI by acting as its cut-out with the LET in order to maintain the deniability of the ISI's use of the LET against India. He had helped the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) in its operations against the Pakistan Army and the ISI and he had helped the US State Department by acting as an intermediary between it and the so-called good Taliban. He was also acting as the cut-out of Dawood Ibrahim for funding terrorist attacks in India and of Al Qaeda for using Pakistani jihadi cells in India for its operations. He was also associated with Khalid Khawaja, a retired officer of the Pakistan Air Force who had served in the ISI. Khawaja's name first cropped up during the investigation into the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, the journalist of the "Wall Street Journal", at Karachi in
January-February, 2002. Information regarding his alleged role in the Pearl's case had alleged that it was he who had told the kidnappers that Pearl was Jewish.

20. It is surprising that a man with such a controversial background should be moving in and out of informal custody in Pakistan since August 2005 and at the same time assisting the LET, Al Qaeda and the Taliban in their terrorist strikes, including the Mumbai attack of July,2006, and the blast of February,2007, in the Samjotha Express without ever being prosecuted under Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act.

21. The State Department had known about him at least since 2005, if not earlier. Has the US Government now decided belatedly to act against him because he failed to deliver on the question of a peace deal with the so-called good Taliban? ( 4-7-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )



Shaykh Aminullah
Sheik Aminullah
Shaykh Ameen
Abu Mohammad Aminullah Peshawari
Shaykh Aminullah al-Peshawari
Abu Mohammad Amin Bishawri
Abu Mohammad Shaykh Aminullah al Bishauri
Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen al-Peshawari
Circa 1967
Alt. DOB:
Circa 1961
Alt. DOB:
Circa 1973
Konar Province, Afghanistan
Ganj District, Peshawar, Pakistan

Muhammad Arif Qasmani
Muhammad 'Arif Qasmani
Mohammad Arif Qasmani
Qasmani Baba
Arif Umer
Memon Baba
Baba Ji
Circa 1944
House Number 136, KDA Scheme No. 1,
Tipu Sultan Road, Karachi, Pakistan

Mohammad Yahya Aziz
Yahya Mujahid
March 12, 1961
Lahore, Punjab Province, Pakistan
National ID Card No.: Pakistan, 35404-1577309-9

Naser Javed
Nasir Javed
Nasser Javid
Abu Ishmael
Haji Nasir Javed
Nasar Javed
Qari Naser Javed
Circa 1956
Alt. DOB:
Circa 1958
Alt. DOB:
Circa 1965
Gujranwala, Punjab province, Pakistan
Mansehra district, Northwest Frontier
Province, Pakistan




Why the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan is now targeting scientists and engineers working in Pakistan's strategic weaponry establishments such as the Army-run Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) at Taxila and the Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL), which is responsible for the development of Pakistan's military nuclear and missile capabilities. Both these establishments have come up with substantial Chinese assistance---the HMC since 1979 and the KRL since the 1980s.

2. This question should be of great concern to the Pakistani authorities following a reported attack by a single suicide bomber riding on a motor-bike on a bus in which scientists, engineers and others working in a Pakistani strategic establishment were traveling on the evening of July 2 on the Rawalpindi-Peshawar road. Initial reports had said that at least six persons were killed and 36 others injured when the suicide bomber rammed his motor-cycle fitted with an explosive device against the bus. The Pakistani authorities subsequently claimed that the suicide bomber was the only fatality.

3. The are conflicting versions of the establishment in which the persons traveling in the bus were working. While the "Dawn" of Karachi and the "Daily Times" of Lahore described them as the staff of the KRL, the "News" has described them as the staff of the HMC. Amir Mir, the well-known Pakistani correspondent, has described them as the staff of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). One thing seems to be certain--- those traveling in the bus were working either in the HMC or in the KRC or both. If they really belonged to the ISI as reported by Amir Mir and were not scientists and engineers as reported by other sources, the possibility is that they were part of the physical security set-up at these establishments.

4.Even though no claim of responsibility has so far been made by the TTP or any of the organisations associated with it, the needle of suspicion points to the TTP which had in the past similarly targeted buses carrying the staff of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the Islamabad/Rawalpindi area and Air Force officers in the Sargodha area. The HMC manufactures, inter alia, tanks and armoured personnel carriers with Chinese assistance.

5. Since the commando raid of the Pakistan Army into the Lal Masjid of Islamabad in July,2007, there has been a wave of suicide attacks in the non-tribal areas on the Pakistan Army, the Special Services Group, which led the commando raid, the Air Force, the Navy, the ISI, the Federal Investigation Agency and the Police, but there has not been any attack on scientists and engineers working in the military-industrial-nuclear-missile complex. They are amongst the most popular of Pakistan's security bureaucracy. Pakistani society venerates them for giving Pakistan a nuclear and missile capability and for strengthening its capability for the production of arms and ammunition. Attacking them runs the risk of antagonising the Pakistani society----- including the mainstream fundamentalist parties which lionise these scientists and engineers.

6.If it turns out that those traveling by the bus were scientists and engineers and not ISI personnel as claimed by Amir Mir and if it further turns out that it was the Pakistani Taliban which carried out the attack, why did it take the risk? The only possible answer is that the Taliban had calculated that the only way of exercising pressure on the military to slow down, if not halt, its military operations against the Taliban is by threatening to target strategic establishments such as the HMC and the KRC. The Armed Forces and the Police have so far taken in their stride the increasing suicide attacks on their personnel and establishments. Will they treat with equal equanimity attacks on scientists and engineers and strategic weaponry establishments if such attacks are repeated or will they once again make peace with the Taliban to halt such attacks? An answer to this question will depend on the Taliban's capacity to keep such attacks sustained.

7. The attack on the scientists and engineers, if true, coming in the wake of the suicide attack on some Army personnel in
Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir can be interpreted as indicating the Taliban's determination to fight with no holds barred----- even to the extent of damaging the strategic capabilities of Pakistan either in respect of Kashmir or in respect of its nuclear, missile and other military arsenal --- in order to force the army to stop its operations in the Pashtun tribal belt. (3-7-09)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. (E-mail: )


Text of Amir Mir’s Analysis As carried by sections of the Pakistani media

" The unending spate of lethal suicide bombings across Pakistan has killed 465 people and injured 1121 in 36 attacks carried out by human bombs in the first six months of 2009 - between January 2 and July 2 - literally turning the country into the suicide bombing capital of the world.

“The July 2 attack in Rawalpindi on a bus carrying the staffers of the Inter Services Intelligence was the 36th incident of suicide bombing since the beginning of 2009. Data compiled by the Pakistani authorities show that the human bombs struck 36 times in the first six months of 2009 in various parts of Pakistan and killed at least 90 people a month on average. While the per week average killing for the first 180 days of 2009 comes to 18, the daily average casualty rate due to suicide attacks stood at three persons.

“ Available figures show that the human bombs struck four times in January 2009, killing 21 people and injuring 52. The month of February saw seven suicide hits, killing 118 people and injuring 158. March proved worst for Pakistanis as six human bombs exploded themselves killing 130 people and injuring 147. The deadliest suicide attack of 2009 came on March 27, targeting a mosque on the Peshawar-Torkham Highway in the Jamrud sub-division of the Khyber Agency in FATA during Friday congregation, which killed 85 persons, including over a dozen security forces personnel.

“In five incidents of suicide bombings carried out in April 2009, 103 people were killed and 137 injured. The human bombs killed 63 people in five more attacks conducted in May 2009 and injured 286 others. The worst hit of the month was carried out on May 27, 2009 when 35 people were killed and over 200 injured in Lahore, after a massive bomb attack targeted the provincial headquarters of the ISI. The blast was so powerful that it bulldozed a part of the ISI building killing a serving Colonel of the Pakistan Army besides demolished the nearby Rescue 15 building, which was adjacent to the head office of the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore.

“However, the month of June 2009 saw the highest number of suicide attacks as eight deadly hits killed 101 people and injured 231 others. The worst hit of the month was carried out on June 9, 2009 when at least 23 persons, including many foreigners working for the United Nations, were killed and many others iinjured as a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden truck into Peshawar’s lone five-star Pearl Continental Hotel, adjoining the residence of the Corps Commander Peshawar.

“In yet another incident of suicide bombing on June 12, 2009, a known religious scholar Dr Sarfraz Naeemi was martyred, along with five others, as a 17-year-old boy blew himself inside the Jamia Naeemia premises in Garhi Shahu area of Lahore, soon after the Friday prayers. On June 26, 2009, in the first ever incident of suicide bombing in Azad Kashmir, three army soldiers were killed and three wounded as the bomber blew himself up after approaching a military vehicle. On June 30, 2009, five people were killed and 11 seriously injured in the first ever incident of suicide bombing in the Kalat area of Balochistan, targeting a hotel.

“In the first suicide attack of July, a human bomb riding a motorbike struck an ISI staff members’ bus in Rawalpindi, killings six people....

“According to the figures compiled by the Ministry of Interior, a total of 2267 people have so far been killed in 158 incidents of suicide attacks between July 2, 2007 and July 2, 2009, in the aftermath of the bloody Operation Silence carried out against the fanatic Lal Masjid clerics in the heart of Islamabad by the security forces exactly two years ago which killed Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi and many others.

“The year 2007 was considered to be the bloodiest year since Pakistan joined the war against the al-Qaeda, Taliban and other militant groups. During the year, a series of deadly suicide attacks and roadside bombings rocked the four provinces of the country as well as the federal capital, Islamabad, claiming the lives of more than 1,100 people. The dangerous trend of suicide strikes, targeting the Pakistani security forces touched alarming heights in 2007, averaging more than one hit a week.

“While Benazir Bhutto’s 27 December 2007 assassination in Rawalpindi was the most high-profile suicide attack of the year 2007, there were total 56 incidents of suicide bombings across Pakistan. Figures compiled by the Ministry of Interior show that Pakistan witnessed a ten-fold increase in the incidents of suicide bombings in 2007 as compared to 2006. The year 2007 witnessed 56 suicide hits, killing 837 people and injuring 1227 others, mostly belonging to the law enforcement agencies. In fact, there had been only 12 such attacks all over Pakistan between 1 January and 3 July 2007, killing 75 people.

“Yet the turning point came with the Operation Silence against the Lal Masjid clerics, killing hundreds. The rest of 44 suicide attacks took place between 4 July and 27 December 2007 after the Lal Masjid action was launched, spreading to Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Islamabad etc, killing 567 people, mostly belonging to the Pakistan Army, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and the police. The number of suicide attacks rose from 56 in 2007 to 66 in 2008, killing 965 people during that year compared with the 837 people killed by human bombs in 2007. The bombers killed 78 people a month on average in 2008 across Pakistan, compared with the average of 70 killings a month in 2007. But if the brutal trend of suicide strikes recorded across Pakistan in the first six months of the year 2009 is anything to go by (465 people killed in 36 attacks), it may turn out to be the worst year ever for the people of Pakistan."