US Friendship Factor – Guest post by Aal e Hashmat

A press release no: 512 / 2009-ISPR dated 4th December 2009 reads as under: ‘In a highly tragic incident 36 innocent people including 17 children, 10 civilian, 9 Army personnel embraced shahadat when terrorists attacked a mosque in Parade Lane, Rawalpindi, Saddar today. Reportedly 4 terrorists approached a mosque inside officer’s residential colony in Parade Lane, Rawalpindi Saddar and hurled grenades on Namazies followed by indiscriminate firing. Meanwhile two suicide bombers entered the Mosque and blew themselves killing 35 Namazies who were offering Jumma prayers.

Security forces personnel in the area responded immediately and 2 other terrorists were killed in exchange of fire. 75 personnel were injured in the same incident. Those who embraced shahadat included one Major general, one Brigadier, 2 Colonels, 3 Majors and some others below this rank.’ The whole nation was shocked that how it happened in the most secure army official cum residential area. Just two days before there was a suicidal attack on Naval HQ in Islamabad where nine Naval security men died. About a month earlier the same type of bomb attack coupled with armed firing was done at GHQ Rawalpindi in which a brigadier was also included among the lost lives list.

Who has done it, who has managed it, who provides funds to do it, who is behind the curtain, who gets benefits out of such situation. Who may be responsible, let us think about: Afghani Talibans: No, they are fighting in Afghanistan. They have enough jobs to do there. Pakistan is not on their agenda to take over. At the moment they want their rule in Afghanistan only.

Pakistani Talibans: May be but they are mostly based in Wazirastan. How can they know the minute details of their sensitive targets like GHQ Rawalpindi, Naval HQ Islamabad, Parade Ground Mosque Rawalpindi and other alike places. In Wazirastan there is no facility to train bombers to drive cars or vans, no facility to provide them the roads and routs to reach the targets and find out ways of escape.

These Talibans may be religiously and emotionally charged to wear suicidal jackets and die but the enemy is there in Islamabad or Rawalpindi to provide them shelter, food, stolen vehicles, rout maps and necessary basic acquaintance of the target area. Indians / Afghan agents: Possibility is there that these foreign nationals are involved in these acts of terrorism. Indian ammunition and gadgets have been caught from so many places.

They normally act as guides, supervisors, carriers, food and shelter providers and work under direct control of the 19 Indian Consulates on Afghan border with Pakistan and sometimes from Indian Embassy Islamabad (the open van used to attack the Marriot Hotel Islamabad was found parked in the parking area of Indian Embassy one night earlier to the incident). American Agents: When there were no Americans and NATO forces in Afghanistan, there use to be terrorist’s attacks in Pakistan but were limited to the sectarian violence only. Only mosques and Imam Bargahs used to be targeted by opponent parties once or twice a year.

There were no challenge to our armed forces nor was any security risk involved. The series of incidents have taken start when the American and NATO forces had landed in Southern Afghanistan five years earlier. Why America is after us. Many theories and pointers are there in circulation but the foremost two causes may be described here: Firstly, after 9/11 incidence Gen Musharraf had given them green signal to run into Afghanistan on the pretext that ‘Usama Bin Laden and Taliban are security risks for all’. Gen Musharraf got $10.67 billion from them to fight for them. When the Americans re-checked the accounts concerning the dollar pipeline to our Presidency, they immediately felt that Pakistanis had made them fool and had eaten up their tax payer’s money.

The reaction started secretly from inside but openly they have spoken out as helping Pakistan. Secondly, The Americans and the British decision makers have reached the conclusion that they not only have lost the war of Afghanistan but have also suffered on account of writ of American supremacy. The analysis done by the American think tanks, the essays and opinions in the leading newspapers, the sentimental calls from the Human Right flag bearers, the tears and cries of the American and British soldiers and their pleas on the media channels all have lead the two powers to believe that they have ultimately lost the battles in barren mountains.

They want an honourable exit from Afghanistan now. They want to make Pakistan an escape goat, they want to punish Pakistan and they want to tell the world that it was not Afghanistan but Pakistan which was the nursery of terrorism and training camp of Taliban. Afghan and Indian governments are providing them all diplomatic help to fulfill their vicious designs. Within Pakistan, they planned another strategy; to create law and order situation through foreign security personnel who are having shelter and protection of very high ranking officials in the government like President Zardari and the Interior Minister Mr Rehman Malik.

To see this phenomenon in little detail your attention is invited towards a BBC telecast in the first week of December (2009) where they had invited a former US Ambassador to the UK in their morning talk. He specifically said that next target is Pakistan where we are going to be for a long time. The Anchor person asked him to rethink and explain: “You mean Pakistan not Afghanistan” and the former US Envoy repeated again “I mean Pakistan, we are going to be there for long time”.

So many question marks on the anchor’s face then. On 2nd December 2009 Barrister Zafarullah Khan of the Pakistan Watan Party has moved an application before the Lahore High Court (LHC), seeking directions for the Pakistan Government to search the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and recover the illegal weapons kept there. The petitioner alleged that illegal weapons, used in sabotage and subversive activities in the country, were dumped in the American Embassy at Islamabad. He said U.S. nationals were involved in “terrorism in Pakistan” and evidence of this report had been provided to the American CIA. He alleged that terror activities and suicide attacks at public places had been increased ever since the American Blackwater (now its name stands changed to XE Services) security agency and U.S. DynCorp, an International mercenary company, had come to Pakistan.

The petition said that Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations deals with immunity, but this does not extend to all staff of foreign missions because there is local staff in the embassy and other staff which cannot claim a facility of immunity. He requested the High Court to issue directions to the Pakistan Government to search the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and take action against U.S. nationals involved. Barrister Zafarullah Khan, cited reports that the ISI Director General Lt. Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha had shown proofs to the visiting American CIA chief Leon Edward Panetta last month about his organization’s involvement in the terrorist activities in Pakistan. He also prayed to the court to allow this petition and make it a part of his main petition already pending with the court, which challenged the alleged activities of the U.S. private army XE.

It may not be out of place to mention here that the American Defence Company in Pakistan, called here to provide security to the US Embassy Islamabad and their other installations in Pakistan, had imported a consignment of 138 most sophisticated weapons in early months of this year allegedly after paying a bribe of about $ 270000 to one Abdul Qadir, who was the personal assistant to the Interior Minister of State Mr Tasnim Qureshi. Mr Qadir, alongwith other three associates, is under arrest with FIA at present and facing investigations.

The fact remains that US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson had personally lobbied the Pakistani Interior Ministry early this year to secure the licenses for DynCorp, another American Company doing the same security job in parallel position to XE, who had paid the above mentioned bribe.

The said drama was launched in Pakistan by the Americans long ago. When BB was assassinated on 27th December 2007, the American agenda, which could not be completed on 18th October 2009 through a suicidal bomb attack in Karachi, started with the help of their chosen men including Mr Zardari, Mr Rehman Malik, Hussain Haqqani and Mehmood Ali Durrani.

Subsequently, they were placed as President, Advisor on Interior, Ambassador in US and Advisor on National Security. All these persons collectively had taken forward the objectives of the super power and starting kick was the permissions provided to XE and DynCorp for import of lethal weapons while compromising the security of Pakistan. DynCorp is otherwise immune from government’s control due to Mr Rehman Malik but for jobs of lower levels are allegedly managed through a PPP activist named Jameel Abbassi.

After April 2009, DynCorp managed to set up a training facility in Rawat, a town on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital, appropriately disguised as an automobile repair workshop. They provided training to about two platoons, each of 30 men, equipped them with imported weapons mentioned above and the government of Pakistan has no knowledge that where are they actually performing security duty but stand posted in US Consulate Peshawar in papers. For the staff and officers of DynCorp, about 284 houses have been procured on rent in various sectors depending upon their ranks and nature of duties.

The above facts provide clear designs of a covert American effort to operate private militias inside Pakistan and Ambassador Patterson’s personal involvement in the case confirms a layman’s suspicions because she is quite acquainted with the concept of such force raised under the garb of private security agencies as they did in Colombia. In Pakistan, DynCorp had engaged another counterpart security company named ‘Inter-Risk’, based at Islamabad, headed by one Capt ® Ali Jafar Zaidi who also used to share the bribe with Mr Qadir. Though the name of Tasnim Qureshi is also mentioned among the booty-sharers but the insiders believe that such a big job of issuing so much illegal weapons could not be possible without a green signal of Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

Mr Hussain Haqqani, commonly known as US Ambassador in the US but sitting in Pakistan’s mission in Washington, is equally responsible for this fiasco. When certain Americans of the above mentioned security agencies were not admitted in the country due to their exchequer record, Mr Haqqani was the person who apologized the US government for ‘follies’ done by FIA people at Pakistani airports, gave them visas again and also asked Mr Zardari and Rehman Malik to take care of those Americans when they reach Pakistan. The later reports proved that both, Mr Malik and Mr Haqqani, had pivotal role in letting private US security contractors into the country without knowledge of the Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, military and civil.

Though the issues concerning these American agencies are there in the media since earlier months of 2009 but the Interior Ministry launched a probe into the matter on 28th November 2009. The media had rightly cried in April that DynCorp was recruiting a large number of former officers of the Special Services Group (SSG).

In the words of Ahmed Quraishi, published on 2nd December 2009 in www. ‘Earlier this month, Inter-Risk filed a petition with the Lahore High Court seeking to overturn government’s decision to ban its activities in the country. Interestingly, the Rawalpindi Bench of the Court issued a stay order on Nov. 11, restricting the government from interfering in Inter-Risk’s ‘lawful’ business. The verdict came as a surprise considering the extent of violations and defiance of Pakistani law.

There have been five or six incidents recorded in and around the Pakistani capital over the past few months where armed US citizens were arrested dressed as Afghan Taliban and carrying weapons that only the Pakistani military is allowed to carry in public.

Eight years after the US landed in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s security stands compromised at the Pak-Afghan border and inside the country. The Americans are part of the problem, not the solution.’

(Aal e Hashmat from UK)