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Pakistan Mourns Big Military Loss: General Musharraf Weeps.
Politicians Call for Investigation and Sharing of Information
Conspiracy Theories: U.S. or Al-Qaida or Mechanical Failure?

On February 21, 2003 for the first time General Musharraf wept quietly in public at the funeral of Mushaf Ali Mir, chief of the Pakistan air force and his wife who were killed along with two air vice marshals, 11 squadron leaders of the air fighter command, and two technicians when their Fokker aircraft went down near the Afghan frontier, 55 miles west of Kohat.

Both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have demanded (from exile) an investigation into the crash. The government has urged that speculation in the media be stopped till an inquiry is held. There is a plethora of conspiracy theories coming out of Pakistan. The three most important are as follows:

1. According to the government, the crash took place owing to technical reasons. Critics of the government say that such an explanation is not tenable because:
i. The plane was in "mint condition," and the final message from the plane did not indicate any technical problems.
ii. The weather conditions were perfect.
Thus attribution of technical reasons means the government is hiding something.

2. The U.S. shot it down. This is the most popular theory and is receiving widespread acceptance owing to the prevalent anti-U.S. sentiment. These theorists link it to the kind of subversion which brought down the plane in which General Zia was flying. The U.S. did not demand any investigation of that crash.
2a. These theorists add that the U.S. has used Musharref and now wants to get rid of him to (possibly) bring back someone else (like Benazir).
2b. It is said that Mushaf Ali was unhappy with U.S. bases in Pakistan (though there is no evidence of this).

3. The Air Chief was flying near the Afghan frontier where fighting has been going on almost every day in bits and pieces. The mujahideen would see any air craft as American. In December and January, two American pilotless planes returning back from Afghanistan crashed short of their base in Jacobabad, Pakistan (probanly limping back after being hit by ground fire). The Fokker and the pilotless planes are relatively slow moving and relatively easy to shoot down.
3a. The Fokker could have been known to be Pakistani and shot down by the mujahideen in retaliation for Musharraf's cooperation with the U.S. More than 400 mujahideen have been hunted down and handed over to the U.S. by Musharraf's troops. Pakistani helicopters entered Pashtun villages giving refuge to the mujahideen and Musharraf's troops blew up homes in Israeli style.
3b. This theory is strengthened by the fact that Mushaf Ali was not visiting Pakistani air bases on the Indian frontier but was operating in the Pashtun areas. The Pakistani military is paid for by the Pakistani people to defend the country against India, not to cooperate with the U.S. to hunt the sons of Islam.

Which one of these theories is correct? Only time will tell. There could be some indications:
i. If Musharref starts, gradually, changing his policy towards the U.S., that would mean that he suspects the U.S., and his feelings are hurt (Mushaf Ali was very close to him).
ii. The U.S. media has COMPLETELY IGNORED THE DEATH OF ITS CHIEF ALLY'S AIR MARSHAL. Absolutely no reporting at all! Why? Does it fit into the U.S. psy ops of ignoring the losses it suffers in Afghanistan? Even the CIA officer killed last month did not get anything more than a news line UNDER the TV screen. Something is going on here. Watch U.S. reporting carefully. Some say the jihad is taking a steady toll of U.S. and pro-U.S. forces.


On February 21, 2003, a British citizen connected to the defense industry, BAE, was shot when he stopped at a traffic light in Riyadh. The item was reported VERY BRIEFLY in the U.S. media, which is very strange for something happening in the Saudi capital.

The Afghaistan-sl list reported February 23, 2003 that the Iranian government has deported the wife and children of Hizbe Islami leader Gulbuddin Hikmatyar. Observers think the move is meant to please the U.S.

[Iran is said to be working with the U.S. in the coming attack on Iraq. It is said to be using pro-Iran groups to undermine the Iraqi regime when the U.S. attacks. Also, it hopes to gain some Iraqi territory. It also wants to liquidate Iranian rebel groups which are located in Iraq.]

Scroll down to reports below on the U.S. stance on Hikmatyar and Hikmatyar's reply.

U.S. media report that 90% of Turkey's PEOPLE oppose the U.S. planned attack on Iraq. Regardless of what the 90% think, the generals who control Turkey are working to provide military facilities to the U.S. but are holding out for $30 billion as a bribe rather than the $26 billion the U.S. is offering.

SELDOM HAS A NATION BEEN SO UNITED. 90% against, 10% for ! That's a record unequaled in history. Then you have America working against "democracy." It ignores the 90% and wants to use $26 billion to launch aggression against Iraq from the north.
[Those idiots who think the U.S. supports democracy should now shut up.]

2003-02-23 Sun 07:01ct