Growing vandalism of CIA led foreign agencies in Pakistan
Under the plea of keeping a watch on terrorists and netting them, CIA and FBI established Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) in FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. The two agencies soon took complete control over intelligence gathering and dissemination and marginalized the role of ISI and MI. These FOBs became spying and clandestine operations hideouts to destabilize FATA and Balochistan. Their task was not to control terrorists but to fan terrorism, sectarianism, ethnicity and separatism by subverting the loyalties of people, cultivating agents within militant and criminal groups and using them for assassinating important personalities, clerics and pro-government tribal elders and for sabotage and subversion. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in FATA and Baloch Liberation Army in Balochistan were the creation of CIA duly helped by RAW. Banned Jihadi groups were goaded to join up with TTP.
Blackwater elements under the supervision of CIA started operating in Pakistan from 2008 onwards under various guises with a view to expand covert war in major urban centres, pass on information about sensitive installations, gain maximum information about nuclear facilities and draw road maps leading to these sites. DynCorps Pvt Ltd Security Company run by a retired army captain was an offshoot of Xe-World (new name of Blackwater) or Xe Services. Its main office was established in Islamabad and its main function was to distribute weapons procured from abroad.
Xe-Services also had a proper recruiting and training centre in a hired house with a large compound at Sihala next door to police academy. This facility was opened to train the police but it was misused to train a local force for multiple purposes and to keep a close eye on Kahuta nuclear plant. Retired army and police commandoes and ex soldiers were hired on handsome salaries and trained for providing local intelligence, security duties and protection of private contractors and safe houses. Group attack practice to militants was imparted in this building. Sihala centre and Dyncorps office were closed after public protests and media pressure, but Interior Minister maintained all along that there was no Blackwater operative in Pakistan.
Another training centre was opened at Warsak to train Frontier Corps but was used for other purposes as well. Trainers were under cover CIA operatives and were linked with a private residence hired in Peshawar University Chinar Road converted into a safe house. Xe Services provides security contractors to CIA. USA, Israel and India fund this Company since the private contractors act as double agents and execute clandestine operations for the three countries.
Xe-Services elements as well as CIA, FBI, Mossad and RAW agents including over 1000 under cover operatives of US Special Forces work in tandem and are still active in provincial capitals and are responsible for escalating incidents of terrorism. These elements are behind most terrorist attacks including attacks on mosques, shrines of saints and religious places. In addition, a specially trained force of 3000 ex Afghan soldiers trained by CIA had been inducted in FATA sometime in 2007/08 to carryout target killings of pro-government and anti-US notables and sympathizers of anti-US militants and also to beef up TTP.
Aid under Kerry-Lugar Bill was designed to induct greater number of agents belonging to Special Operations on the pretext of coordinators and distributors of funds for approved projects. CIA agents belonging to US Special Forces started slipping into Pakistan in various garbs. Large numbers of private houses were hired in 2009 in Islamabad and provincial capitals to accommodate new faces.
Under cover CIA agents posing as diplomats, officials, businessmen, consultants and security contractors are provided official residences in posh areas duly protected by Blackwater security guards; they move in official cars with diplomatic number plates. Each one of them comes well trained and well equipped. They are given heavier perks, privileges and pay compared to US military personnel engaged in combat in Afghanistan. Since these undesirable elements under fake identity have sneaked in without scrutiny and in big numbers and fanned out in different urban centres, it becomes that much problematic for security agencies to track them.
The US and Indian Embassies in Islamabad as well as consulates have become dens of espionage within Pakistan and safe houses for Raymond Davis like terrorists. The so-called diplomats and staff posted in US and Indian Embassies and consulates are mostly involved in espionage. US media has disclosed that Davis was part of a covert intelligence network involving hundreds of spies operating in Pakistan without the knowledge of security agencies. Death of three US Special Forces trainers in Lower Dir as a result of suicide attack, arrest of Davis in Lahore, and Aaron Mark De-Haven from Peshawar and identification of Jonathan Banks as chief supervisor of drone attacks and detection of Blackwater activities gives an idea about the scale of organized CIA network in Pakistan.
The US plans to convert its embassy in Islamabad into the biggest and most modern embassy in the world surpassing its Baghdad Embassy. 16 acres of extra land has been acquired and work is underway. It plans to station 1000 Marines and greater number of CIA and Blackwater elements along with APCs, large fleet of vehicles including Humvies and other latest gadgets so as to expand its intelligence network and improve its staying power as well as its quick reaction capability. This force can also act as the staging section to guide the main assault group against a specified target. Pentagon has made contingency plans for quick seizure or destruction of our nuclear arsenal.
US Consulates in Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi as well as Xe Services offices are connected with several Joint Special Operation Command (JSOC) and FOBs. Based on policy guidelines received from US Ambassador in Islamabad, the JSOCs plan, coordinate and monitor the activities of field operatives as well as provide intelligence for drone strikes. Efforts are now in hand to open another consulate in Quetta to be able to add fuel to the dying fire of separatist movement led by a small band of Baloch rebels. Pressure on Pakistan to mount an operation in North Waziristan is with a devious intent. Departure date from Afghanistan has not been extended by USA to 2014 to convert its defeat into victory but to steal Pakistan’s nukes.
There have been numerous cases wherein the US diplomats and officials have been found breaking the law of the land in Islamabad and in Lahore. Some were in possession of unlicensed and prohibited bore weapons, grenades and explosives and traveling at ungodly hours of the night. Each time they were apprehended by the police, they were let off scot-free. The Interior Minister has always been coming to the rescue of the culprits, while our Ambassador in Washington Hussein Haqqani assists the undesirables in obtaining visas and getting clearance from Foreign Office.
If the going still gets tough, the PM or the President removes all bottlenecks created by ever watchful ISI. It is owing to our over keenness to keep Washington pleased that our rulers feel no qualm in violating own laws and rules. Laxity in abiding with rules and regulations has resulted in massive inflow of US citizens with criminal background.
Heavy inflow of undesirable American citizens from 2008 onwards without proper checks at Embassy’s end was objected to by ISI after several incidents of terrorism took place in Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore in which hand of Blackwater was visible. Certain US officials involved in suspicious activities and deported from Pakistan had been re-issued visas by our Embassy in Washington. Raymond Davis was twice declared persona non-grata and sent back and yet he managed to return to Pakistan and this time he killed two Pakistanis.
On repeated complaints of ISI when restrictions were imposed on issuance of visas and credentials of each entrant were checked, Washington pulled a long face and resorted to its usual practice of threats asserting that aid under Kerry-Lugar Bill will get affected. Based on the complaint of Hussein Haqqani that the ISI and Foreign Office were causing unnecessary problems in clearing visas of US nationals, Rahman Malik prevailed upon PM Gilani and convinced him to issue an executive order in July 2010 empowering Haqqani to issue visas to Americans without any scrutiny.
Our Embassy in Washington issued 500 visas in one week and has ever since continued to issue visas freely. Record of visas issued in last three years indicate 3528 in 2008, 3784 in 2009 and 3555 in 2010. It is not known as to how many out of 11567 visas issued by Haqqani are CIA, Mosad and RAW agents under the garb of diplomats. Despite the spy network been exposed, the US is still unwilling to wind up and withdraw it’s under cover agents in hundreds from Pakistan. Ongoing spate of bomb and suicide attacks gives rise to suspicion that under cover agents are resorting to yet another kind of pressure tactics to get Davis released.
Hussein Haqqani owes an explanation to 170 million people of Pakistan for dispatching faceless CIA agents wearing numerous masks to Pakistan and endangering their lives. He got the rules on visas relaxed and did away with basic verification and security checks of visa applicants. He did this merely to please USA but in the process allowed hundreds of Raymond Davis type assassins to play havoc in Pakistan. He and Rahman Malik are mainly responsible for this inexcusable offence and must be held accountable. Gilani should be asked as to why he blindly agreed to illegal request made by Haqqani and recommended by Malik. He should cancel the executive order forthwith. It is high time that we gird up our loins and get rid of the foreign assassins as well as snakes in the grass at the earliest.
How long should we continue to be bitten from the same hole?
Brig Asif Haroon Raja an Member Board of Advisors Opinion Maker is Staff College and Armed Forces WarCoursequalified, holds MSc war studies degree; a second generation officer, he fought epic battle of Hilli in northwest East Bengal during 1971 war, in which Maj M. Akram received Nishan-e-Haider posthumously.
He served as Directing Staff Command & Staff College, Defence Attaché Egypt and Sudan and Dean of Corps of Military Attaches in Cairo. He commanded the heaviest brigade in Kashmir. He is lingual and speaks English, Pashto and Punjabi fluently.
He is author of books titled ‘Battle of Hilli’, ‘1948, 1965 & 1971 Kashmir Battles and Freedom Struggle’, ‘Muhammad bin Qasim to Gen Musharraf’, Roots of 1971 Tragedy’; has written number of motivational pamphlets. Draft of his next book ‘Tangled Knot of Kashmir’ is ready.
He is a defence analyst and columnist and writes articles on security, defence and political matters for numerous international/national publications.