Suffer the little children

Six young lads Sergeant Nigel Coupe, Corporal Jake Hartley, Private Anthony Frampton, Private Christopher Kershaw, Private Daniel Wade, Private Daniel Wilford were blown to smithereens, collateral damage of a murderous bloody pointless war. And as their families and friends and nation weep for the loss of these young men…

Let us look at the picture below and contemplate the futility of war.

It is always the young that suffer the most.
It is always the young that die first.
What a tragedy that all the religions in the world cannot stop this butchery.

When will this madness end?
How many young people do we need to kill to call it a victory?

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Breaking News – One Million Dollar Reward Offered for Missing Retired FBI Agent Bob Levinson

Robert Levinson image array

Help Us Bring Bob Levinson Home
$1 Million Reward Offered for Missing Retired FBI Agent


This week marks the fifth anniversary of Robert Levinson’s disappearance, and the FBI today announced a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the safe recovery and return of the retired special agent.

Levinson, who retired from the FBI in 1998 after 22 years of service, was working as a private investigator when he traveled to Kish Island, Iran on March 8, 2007. He has not been seen or heard from publicly since he disappeared the following day. In 2010, a video showing him in captivity was sent to the Levinson family by his captors.

Supporting the Levinson FamilySociety of Former Special Agents

The Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI announced this week that it will give the two youngest Levinson children $5,000 each to help with college costs.

“Bob is part of the FBI family,” said Brad Benson, the society’s president. “We are trying to help carry out what he would be doing for his children if he were home. We also want to commend and support the fact that Bob’s family has pulled together so heroically.”

The FBI is responsible for investigating crimes committed against U.S. citizens abroad. We have been working since 2007 to obtain information about Levinson’s whereabouts and well-being.

“On the fifth anniversary of Bob’s disappearance, the FBI continues to follow every lead into his abduction and captivity,” said James W. McJunkin, assistant director in charge of our Washington Field Office. “We are committed to bringing Bob home safely to his family. We hope this reward will encourage anyone with information, no matter how insignificant they may think it is, to come forward. It may be the clue that we need to locate Bob.”

“Though he is retired from the FBI, Bob remains a member of the FBI family to this day,” said Director Robert S. Mueller, “and his family is our family. Like all families, we stand together in good times and in times of adversity. Today, we stand together to reaffirm our commitment to Bob Levinson.”

“I am very grateful that the FBI has offered this reward,” said Levinson’s wife Christine. “Our family believes the only way of resolving this issue successfully is with the FBI’s help. It has been an extremely difficult time for my family,” she said. “We all thought Bob would be home by now. But five years have passed, and we still don’t know why he’s being held, who has him, or where he is.”

Levinson will celebrate his 64th birthday on March 10.In addition to his wife of 37 years, Levinson has seven children and two grandchildren. The family has been working tirelessly to bring Levinson home safely. “Our youngest son is about to graduate from high school,” Christine Levinson said. “He was in middle school when his father disappeared.”

In March 2011, the U.S. secretary of state issued a statement that the U.S. government had received indications that Levinson was being held by a group in southwest Asia. That region includes the border areas of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. A publicity campaign is being launched this week in southwest Asia to heighten awareness of Levinson’s abduction, announce the $1,000,000 reward, and solicit information. Billboards, radio messages, and flyers will be used to publicize the reward and the investigation. A telephone tip line will be provided to listeners and viewers in that region so that they can confidentially provide information.

“We’re never going to give up,” Christine Levinson said. “Our goal is to get Bob home. We miss him every single day.”

We need your help. If you have information about the Levinson case, contact your nearest FBI office or American Embassy, or submit a tip to

– Director’s remarks
– Press release

Student Visa and Terrorist activity in India

In the ongoing investigations into the terrorist attack on an Israeli diplomat, investigative agencies have unearthed the misuse of student visas on an alarming scale and are now scrutinizing documents submitted by foreign students studying in India.

Here’s a few details:

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and other organizations in India sponsor many students from Africa, Central Asia, and Middle East etc. for study in Indian Educational Institutes. These students need to submit certain basic documentation along with an application for sponsorship for higher studies at a preferred institute in India. This student visa varies from six months to a year (I need to recheck the duration). Many of these students excel in their studies and return home on completion of their education. However, the recent case of 87 foreign students studying in Karnataka exposes the abuse and misuse of India’s hospitality. These students were instructed to leave the country after being charged with crimes, visa and passport expiry! Forty four students have been involved in various crimes; cases are pending in the courts in Karnataka. The main culprits appear to be from Iran, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Mongolia.

Those foreign students who pay for their tuition, board and lodging can avail of any course offered by any government recognized institute in India. The present modus operandi is not to seek Indian Government sponsorship but to pay for one’s own fees, board and lodging backed by a private sponsor in India. This helps in expeditious issuance of a student visa.

Whether a student actually attends college or is busy in other activities is usually not verified. And it is this loop hole that allows a number of murderous people to legally enter the country, sponsored by ‘religious’ and ‘other’ institutes. Not all are above board. And this is where the problem comes in…how does a country the size of India monitor these students who can easily merge into the vast countryside?

There have been and continue to be many cases where foreign students have ‘acquired’ an Indian driving licence, ration card and voter’s card…Iranians and Bangladeshis are among the leading offenders in this racket!

Terrorism, drugs and religious fundamentalism appear to be a lucrative business for those “students” who connive to abuse the educational system in India. In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi one hopes that India will be more prudent in issuing student visas.

I am sure authorities in U.K and Australia face the same problems:)

Osama Bin Laden his last interview by mark ulyseas

This interview was conducted in the third quarter of 2010 in Afghanistan, at a place which is a six-hour drive from Kabul airport. Many details have been omitted to safe guard those that were instrumental in setting up this interview with Osama Bin Laden. I was instructed to upload parts of the interview onto my blog sites after I had received instructions from Kabul.

The telephone call brought news from Sharif in Kabul.

“As-Salāmu `Alaykum bhai jaan”.

‘Wa `alaykum s-salām, who is this?”

“Sharifbhai, you wrote to me that you want to visit Afghanistan, why?”

Oh, I want to do a series of articles on Afghan cuisine, is this possible”.

“Hahaha…yes, very possible…but I will suggest other interesting subject”

“What should I do?”

“I will contact our embassy in Delhi. You go there after three days, brother, with your passport. All will be arranged,  wa `alaykumu s-salāmu wa rahmatu l-lāhi wa barakātuh.”

Ten days later I arrived in Kabul with a  carry bag containing some clothes, a small camera and notepads. Sharif  was adamant I didn’t bring a laptop.

As soon as I exited the airport two Pashtus approached and bundled me into a jeep with curtains and drove me away. Some minutes into the drive one of them tied my hands and the other put a black cloth over my head. Then they pushed me to the floor of the vehicle. No one spoke.

The smell of mobile oil and exhaust was overwhelming. I cried out to my companions, one of whom bent down and in a gruff voice told me that if I wanted to do the interview I had to comply with the conditions.

What conditions? What interview? With whom? Had Sharif sold me out to theTaliban?

The drive lasted, I think, around six hours. When the vehicle finally stopped my captors led me up some stairs and sat me down on a mat. When they removed my blindfold and untied my hands I noticed we were in a room. The walls were bare. In one corner was a bed on which rested a man with a turban and white flowing beard. The single tungsten bulb shed a warm light while the air smelt of antiseptic and sweat.

A cat sat in the green doorway looking at me. I could hear a baby crying.

Just then a man in army issue trousers but no shirt was dragged in. His body was badly bruised. Skin appeared to have been peeled off by some sharp instrument. I couldn’t see his eyes for they were blood soaked. The fingers on his right hand had been crudely chopped off.

The old man rose slowly from his bed, coughed and looked at me. It was then that I realised I was face to face with the most wanted man on the planet. I was terrified. Sharif had set me up.

“This man’, he said pointing to the captive,” came to one of the villages with his friends in the night. They shot Islam who was sleeping next to his wife. These are animals. Take him out, cut his throat and send his head as a message to those foreign troops”, he said in a quiet voice and started coughing again.

The man was dragged out and a burka clad woman entered with a cloth to wipe the blood off the floor, while another entered carrying two steel mugs of water. One was handed to me. The water smelt strangely of roses and tasted a bit salty. The second was placed on a low table next to the bed.

Osama stood looking at me while playing with his prayer beads. His eyes were bright like a predator sensing his prey.

“They think we are fighting for the Muslims. They are wrong. This about a new world order. For too long the USA and its friends have ruled with their foolish policies. Look at the Arab countries that do business with the West. They shall all face their own people next year (2011). What we have put in place will soon bear fruit. One by one these Arab leaders that call themselves Muslim will fall.”

I replied,“Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Libya, Syria and even Qatar appear to have strong leaders. How can their people rise up against them? Do you think this can be changed by your people?”

Osama smiled, reached for the cup of water on the table, took a sip and flung it on the floor. The guard sitting behind me hit me on my shoulder with the butt of his gun. The pain was unbearable as I fell to the side.

“You are an idiot. I made a mistake by listening to Sharif. I should hand you over to my men. Do you know what is happening in the streets in these countries you talk about? How the common people survive? And these rulers call themselves Muslim? Islam is about brotherhood. All is one and one is all. But that’s not the case right now. Let me tell you, “ he said pointing his finger at me, “the first to fall will be Egypt. Mubarak is a thief. He will be shot. And if the Army doesn’t do it, we will. And Syria? Assad thinks his country is his family business. He too shall pay.

Understand one thing, Islam is our religion it is not our political agenda. In fact Iran has sent agents to discuss future arrangements. But how can we trust them? Look at their people, they want western democracy.”

“Why is violence necessary to bring about a new world order? Isn’t there any other way that it can be done?” I asked hesitantly keeping my eyes on the floor mat, too afraid to look into osama’s eyes.

“Do you think Gandhi could practice non-violent methods against these people today? Tell me? These governments only understand violence. When they are threatened with violence they listen. Our people have done good work and our message is loud and clear. Yes I would prefer to discuss matters but how can this happen when our Holy Land is ruled by a regime ‘loyal’ to the West…but this will not happen…so violence is the only path to creating a new world order. We had begun our jihad in Pakistan. We own Pakistan. No one can change this. Afghanistan will be liberated in 2011. And when this is done a message will be sent to the West. When they receive it they will know that a new world order has come and they will have to talk to us not with bombs and guns but with folded hands.”

“Will Al Qaeda be the control center?” I said in a low voice.

Al Qaeda is not an army. It is a political party with an agenda to create the new order through a program of networks of groups that usually work independently. We have no direct control over what they do but we supply the arms and finance their operations. And like a bank we call in our loans, sometimes when our people get too undisciplined. We too have our honor. You remember Daniel Pearl. I personally gave instructions not to kill him because we will lose sympathy with the left-wing media. Yet Omar disobeyed me and killed him. So we had him betrayed to the West.”

“You have mentioned a new world order. What will this order be?”

“Not now, at a later stage I will send for you. We will talk again. I am tired.” He replied in a rasping voice, then lay on the bed and turned his face to the wall.

The guard behind me pushed me to stand up and then blindfolded me, tied my hands and led me to a vehicle waiting outside. On the drive back I kept thinking of the beheaded prison, the curious smell of antiseptic that pervaded the room and Osama’s eyes. Was his vision of a new world order a myth, a dream or a violent reality in the making?

I suppose we will have to wait for 2011 for the answer.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Frontier Gandhi – Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan

Today as the tidal wave of rebellion to decades of injustice raises its head Medusa-like from Afghanistan to North Africa, one recalls the life and times of a great Pashtun (Afghan) pacifist whose sole weapon was that of non-violence to fight the British Colonial Power.

In the vitiating atmosphere of feuding clans and the endless ebb and flow of  ‘badla’ (revenge) was born, in the late 19th century, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in Pashtunistan, the legend of the North West Frontier Province (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). He is also known as Badshah Khan, Fakhr-e-Afghan (pride of Afghans) and Sarhaddi Gandhi (Frontier Gandhi). Khan Sahib followed Gandhi’s path of non-violence as a means to an end – freedom for Pashtus  from the British.

Around 1928 he founded  the Khudai Khidmatagars (Servants of God), popularly referred to as the “Red Shirts” (Surk Posh). The main objective was to achieve independence for the Pashtus through a sustained program of non-violent protests and also to carry out charity work in the community – setting up  schools across the Province and upholding women’s rights. Khan Sahib admitted that this was based on the Gandhian Principle of satyagraha and it was the only path for the Pashtus. Incidentally, he viewed non-violence as being “compatible” with the tenets of Islam.

The sustained crackdown on the Red Shirts by the British forced him to seek help from the Indian National Congress and in turn for their support, joined Mahatma Gandhi’s movement of non-violence/non-cooperation in United India. It was during this time that he met Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah, Sardar Patel and other  ‘national’ leaders.

The Mahatma and Khan Sahib became close friends and often the Frontier Gandhi chided Mahatma Gandhi on policies that were detrimental to United India. He believed that the partition would bring much bloodshed and divide the family of United India. Moreover, the Pashtus had supported the independence movement  in the belief that their homeland, Pashtunistan, already dissected by the raggedy Durand Line (Peshawar in the East and Kabul in the West), would  be lost forever in the new state of Pakistan.
Unfortunately, this is what happened and Khan Sahib felt betrayed not only by the Indian National Congress but by the Muslim League which was hellbent on a state for Muslims. The ensuing events unfolded into a bloody communal upheaval that witnessed the horrible slaughter of Muslims and Hindus. The Pashtus were immediately seen as “India lovers” and thus followed another bloody crackdown.

The sad truth is that the Pashtus and their homeland Pashtunistan was carved up by the British and then by Pakistan and topped by the betrayal of the Indians to their cause. Yet in spite of the  years of ruthless crackdown and incarceration by Britain and Pakistan of his followers and in particular Khan Sahib himself, he never abandoned the belief that non-violence, education and women’s emancipation was the only way to fight oppression.

He died in 1988 while under house arrest in Peshawar. Khan Sahib’s dying wish was to be buried in Jalalabad (Afghanistan). This was to show the world that he didn’t recognize the Durand Line and that his country was still Pashtunistan. (see map). Russia and its adversaries declared a cease fire so that the funeral could be conducted (even though a bomb exploded in the crowd of mourners, killing 15 people).

1920s – Founded the Khudai Khitmagars (Servants of God).
1930 – Participated in the Salt Satyagraha. In Peshawar’s Kissa Khwani (Storytellers) Bazaar a number of Red Shirt protesters gathered only to be gunned down by British troops who killed a few hundred unarmed people. Some troops from Garhwal Regiment refused to fire on the Red Shirts and were immediately arrested and jailed for life by the British.
1931 – Indian National Congress offered the post of President of the INC to Khan Sahib who refused, saying, <strong>“I am a simple soldier and Khudai Khitmatgar and I only want to serve”.
1948-56 – Arrested and incarcerated many times by the Pakistan Government. Beaten by mullahs and their followers for they viewed him as being un-Islamic.
1960s/70s – Either in Pakistani jails or exile.
1962 – Named Amnesty International “Prisoner of the Year”. Amnesty said that his example symbolized the suffering of upward of a million people all over the world who were prisoners of conscience.
1967 –Awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.
1985 – Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
1987 – Awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award even though he was not a citizen of that country.

Durand Line between Afghanistan and Pakistan

Much has been written of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan by those with political agendas and by scribes from different countries, each projecting a distorted view of this man of Islam who professed non-violence as the sole means to end oppression.

In the words of the Frontier Gandhi to the Khudai Khitmatgars (Servants of God)
“I am going to give you such a weapon that the police and the army will not be able to stand against it. It is the weapon of the Prophet, but you are not aware of it. That weapon is patience and righteousness. No power on earth can stand against it”

Note: Pashtuns and their indigenous culture, Pashtunwali, with its pre-Islamic (mainly Hindu) identity continues to be an integral aspect of everyday life. One hopes this will continue to keep alive the dream of an undivided and independent Pashtunistan.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om