July 25th, 2002, 12:56 PM
Osma Bin Laden: Rumblings in Afghanistan
I think osama Bin-Laden ia still Alive and well.
There are tentative, but as yet unconfirmed indications that following the US bombing of the terrorist camps of Osama Bin Laden also known as Osman Bin Laden and the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (formerly known as the Harkat-ul-Ansar) in the Khost-Jalalabad area of Afganistan on August 20,1998, there was probably an unsuccessful revolt against Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Amir of the Taliban and the son-in-law of Bin Laden, who lives in Kandahar, which was crushed by the Amir.
On September 25,1998, the Taliban authorities were reported to have arrested 55 persons, including 25 former army officers, in Kabul, the seat of the Taliban Government, Kandahar, the seat of the Amir, and Herat on the Iranian border. Amongst the former army officers reportedly arrested were General Abdul Razaq, Gen. Alauddin and Lt. Gen. Abdul Ali.
Briefing Pressmen on October 22, Mullah Sadre Azam, Deputy Governor of the Nangarhar Province bordering Pakistan, confirmed the arrests of over 40 persons on a charge of planning a coup. He claimed that documents regarding the coup plans had been recovered from the arrested persons. He said: " They were planning to explode bombs and fuel lawlessness. Their objective was to foil the Taliban's efforts to enforce the Shariat and combat crime." He, however, admitted that no arms or explosives had been recovered from the arrested persons.
It was stated that the arrested persons mostly belonged to the Khalqi and Parchami factions of the erstwhile People's Democratic Party ( as the Communist Party used to be known) who had subsequently joined the Taliban. There were insinuations that some of the plotters were the supporters of Gen (Retd). Shah Nawaz Tanai , former Defence Minister of Najibullah who was overthrown by the mujahideen in April,1992, and Sayed Hamid Gailani, deputy leader of the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan, but both of them, in separate statements, have strongly denied any links with the arrested plotters.
Since these arrests, Mullah Rabbani, the President of the Taliban's interim ruling Council in Kabul, who is No.2 in the Taliban and looks after the governance of the areas under the Taliban's control, has not been seen in Kabul, giving rise to widespread rumours that he has been sacked because of his suspected involvement with the plotters.
It is reported that Abdul Kabir, the Governor of Nangarhar, is now acting as the head of the interim ruling Council at Kabul. Abdul Ahad Jehangirwal, a spokesman of the Amir at Kandahar, has strongly denied rumours of the sacking and the arrest of Mullah Rabbani and claimed that Rabbani has come to Kandahar for treatment of an unspecified illness and added that he would return to Kabul to resume his duties as soon as he recovered.
The reports of the coup and rumours of action against Mullah Rabbani have come in the wake of persistent reports since April of differences between the Amir and Mullah Rabbani. These reports projected Mullah Rabbani as heading a moderate section of the Taliban which, it was stated, was unhappy with the policies of the Amir. This group reportedly felt that the Amir's policies were isolating Afghanistan not only in the international community, but also in the Islamic world.
According to Pashtoon analysts in Peshawar, the capital of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, the differences first surfaced after the visit of Bill Richardson, the then US Permanent Representative to the UN, to Afghanistan in April. Richardson was received by Rabbani at Kabul for talks and not by Omar at Kandahar..
After his return to Pakistan from Kabul, Richardson expressed satisfaction over his talks with Mullah Rabbani which covered the future of Afghanistan and the extradition of Bin Laden to the US. He claimed that Mullah Rabbani had agreed to the need for a negotiated settlement of the Taliban's quarrels with other mujahideen groups and to an interim cease-fire to facilitate negotiations.
Later, Mullah Omar repudiated the commitments allegedly made by Rabbani and other officials with Richardson and publicly criticised Rabbani for exceeding his brief without consulting him (the Amir).
After the bombing of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and before the US retaliatory bombing of Afghanistan, the Peshawar correspondent of the "News" of Islamabad (August 20) reported that not only Mullah Rabbani, but also Mullah Hassan, Governor of Kandahar, were unhappy over the activities of Bin Laden from Afghan territory. Other Pakistani journalists covering Afghanistan also claimed that Mullah Rabbani wanted Bin Laden to be expelled from Afghanistan, but the Amir was opposed to this.
Even before the US bombing of Afghanistan, there was a section of the Taliban which wanted to throw Bin Laden out, but the Amir now seems to have pre-empted any challenge to his leadership from this group. It remains to be seen whether Mullah Rabbani enjoys the same confidence of the Amir as he did before April, even if he resumed normal duties at Kabul.
In the meanwhile, the "Sunday Times" ( December 20) of London has quoted a purported senior commander of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen as claiming that the training infrastructure damaged or destroyed by the US bombing had been fully repaired and that training has again been resumed. It has also quoted him as saying that Bin Laden has added India to his list of potential targets.
There is as yet no corroboration of the 'Sunday Times" report. At his press conference at Khost on May 26,1998, during which Bin Laden called for a jihad against the US and Israel, he said that he would have liked to participate in the jihad in Kashmir, but the Pakistani authorities would not have allowed him to do so. After the US bombings, Dr. Aiman al-Zawahiri of the Jamatul Jihad of Egypt, who had been issuing statements on behalf of Bin Laden, had not referred to India.
However, the Markaz Dawa Al Irshad (the Centre For Preaching) and its miltant wing the Lashkar-e-Toiba (the Army of the Pure), which act as the surrogates of Bin Laden's group in Pakistan and which have been active in Kashmir, have always designated India and Israel as the principal enemies of Islam and projected their activities in Kashmir as the first phase of their jihad for the liberation of the Muslims of India and the creation of three Pakistans in the sub-continent.
But, after the US bombing of Afghanistan, these two surrogates of Bin Laden have included the US in their list of principal enemies of Islam and have been calling for a jihad against the US too in which they have called upon the Muslim citizens of the US to join.
Addressing the recent congregation of the two organisations at Muridke, near Lahore, (November 4 to 6), Prof Mohammad Saeed, their Amir, condemned the US for bombing the camps in Afghanistan, and said that all evil in the world emanated from the White House which would be blown up by the Muslims. He accused the US of supporting the allegedly anti-Muslim policies of India and Israel and warned that his organisations were determined to plant the flag of Islam on New Delhi, Tel Aviv and Washington.
The Pakistani press has reported that after the explosions in Kenya and Tanzaniya, US diplomats in Islamabad have been interviewing Pakistani journalists and other knowledgeable people and collecting data on the Markaz and its Lashkar. They have speculated that this could be a prelude to the US State Department declaring these two organisations as terrorist organisations just as it had similarly declared the Harkat-ul-Ansar last year.
Two other Pakistan-based organisations have openly come out in support of Bin Laden. The first is the Sunni extremist Sipah Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), which has been calling for the proclamation of Pakistan as a Sunni state and which is believed to be responsible for the massacre of Shias in different towns of Pakistan and at Mazar-e-Sharif and Bamiyan in Afghanistan. It had joined the Taliban and Bin Laden's Arab volunteers in the assault on Mazar-e-Sharif and Bamiyan.
A convention of the organisation at Multan on November 20,1998, called for a Taliban-style revolution in Pakistan under the leadership of Bin Laden.
The other is the Asian Muslims Human Rights Bureau headed by Abdul Rasul, a Pakistani citizen of Xinjiang origin, which has been campaigning for an independent Eastern Turkestan. In an interview to the "Nation" (November 7,1998), Abdul Rasul, an Uighur, claimed that he had met Bin Laden who had promised all support to the Muslims of China in their jihad against Beijing.
July 25th, 2002, 02:31 PM
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.