Pakistani neocons and UN sanctions
Like bullfrogs out after heavy summer rains, Pakistani cyberspace and the realm of the printed word are full of the croaking of neocons who have convinced the already ignorant that the Security Council sanctions against Jama’at-ud Dawa and certain individuals only came because Pakistani officials were either sleeping at the post or had conspired with the 15-member Security Council to let the axe fall.
These people are not interested in facts. They only have opinions.
One cybercon who answers to the name Ahmed Quraishi writes on December 24, “We have a government with shady characters in key places, strongly backed by the Bush administration, acting and behaving as if they were representing a US occupation government in Pakistan.” Under “recommendation”, he proposes, “We need to start a witch-hunt in Pakistan to cleanse our academia and public life of such self-haters and defeatists who poison the minds of young Pakistanis about their homeland. Such academics and human rights activists should not be allowed to hide behind the freedom of expression.”
The two “traitors” he refers to are Pervaiz Hoodbhoy and Asma Jehangir.
Then there is the Ann Coulter of Pakistan, Shireen Mazari, who writes, “Thanks to the pusillanimity shown by our leaders ever since the Mumbai acts of terrorism, Pakistan is being squeezed by so-called friends and foe alike.” She goes on to predict, “However, let there be no doubt that India is going to carry out surgical strikes, probably beginning with AJK. After all, the extraordinary and unscheduled Envoys Conference can only have been called to contain the diplomatic fallout of such strikes.”
It is pointless to inform her that the envoys’ conference had been scheduled for some time and was not summoned because of Mumbai. Mazari also wrote that “in the Mumbai aftermath, we chose to prevent our allies from rallying around us in the UN Security Council.”
Ann Coulter, I should explain, is a neocon American figure who urged the bombing of Mecca and who wrote, “Liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America’s self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant.”
She is also an ardent admirer of the late Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch hunts.
But to return to the Security Council sanctions, a statement issued by the Foreign Office in Islamabad laying out facts was lost in the din created by our croaking neocons. So let me quote that for the record:
“Action against the JuD and certain individuals was initiated following their designation by the UN Sanctions Committee established pursuant to the UN Security Council Resolution 1267, on the Consolidated List of individuals and entities associated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The request for enlisting the JuD had been under consideration of the UN Sanctions Committee since 2006… Since this resolution was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, it is obligatory on Pakistan to fully implement its provisions. Pakistan, as a responsible member of the United Nations, has fulfilled its international obligations.”
On December 9, a day before the resolution, Pakistan’s UN ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon said in a statement, “After the designation of Jama’at-ud Dawa (JuD) under (Security Council resolution) 1267, the Government, on receiving communication from the Security Council, shall proscribe the JuD and take other consequential actions, as required, including the freezing of assets.”
This shows that the sanctions were more than expected as was their imminence and the UN mission was not asleep as is being charged by the Ann Coulters and other neocons of Pakistan.
Those who are rising in defence of Lashkar-e Tayba and its mutation, the Jama’at-ud Dawa, perhaps neither know nor do they care to know what the Security Council’s terrorism sanctions committee is. And although these cybercons and super-patriots are beyond redemption and repair, let me nevertheless explain what this committee is and in the face of which Pakistan is accused of having acted pusillanimously.
The Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1267 (1999) on October 15, 1999, is also known as “the Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee”. The sanctions regime has been modified and strengthened by subsequent resolutions, including Resolutions 1333 (2000), 1390 (2002), 1455 (2003), 1526 (2004), 1617 (2005), 1735 (2006) and 1822 (2008) so that the sanctions measures now apply to designated individuals and entities associated with Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban wherever located.
The names of the targeted individuals and entities are placed on the Consolidated List. The resolutions listed above have all been adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and require all states to take a number of specified measures in connection with any individual or entity associated with Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban as designated by the Committee.
And what are those measures? Freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities; prevent the entry into or transit through their territories by designated individuals; and prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, spare parts, and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.
The Committee is one of three subsidiary bodies established by the Security Council that deal with terrorism-related issues. The other two committees are the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1540 Committee. The three Committees and their expert groups coordinate their work and cooperate closely and the Committees’ chairmen also brief the Security Council on the activities of the Committees in joint meetings, when possible.
No one can prevent the action of the committee; nor is anyone invited or told about its proceedings. Normally the first signal is a note circulated to all UN member states.
And now the unvarnished truth.
Since 2006, Pakistan, against better advice and reasons that have been blown sky-high by Mumbai, had kept the sanctions from being clamped with the help of China. However, after the Mumbai attacks, China informed Pakistan that it could no longer block the terrorist group and individuals from being sanctioned. The question the neocons and the super-patriots should ask, but don’t, is: Why was Pakistan blocking sanctions against a terrorist group?
And this takes me back to Pervez Musharraf’s first visit to the US after his coup. At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.”
Khalid Hasan is Daily Times’ US-based correspondent. His e-mail is email@example.com