Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Who's the Boss?

Attack on the General Headquarters last Saturday rang the bells in many quarters of the country. This was the first time when the terrorists broke into the headquarters of those who are considered as one of the best army in the world. It was a very unique situation in the heart of Rawalpindi.

Pakistan has been plagued with the terrorist since the inception of military operation in tribal areas and Waziristan area. We have seen a whole bunch of incidents in which Security Personnel, Political Leaders and even the President/Chief of the Army Staff were attacked.

Two militant outfits have come out and taken the responsibility of the incident, which makes it difficult to figure out who’s the real culprit. Besides these two terrorist organizations, there are many other incidents which lead to the GHQ attack.

From the last six months, there has been an unprecedented movement of the foreign nationals mainly Americans inside Pakistan. Two private security contractors i.e. Blackwater and DynCorp have set up their bases inside Pakistan which is known to everyone. Both these organizations are known to be vicious and deplorable.

These private militias have been operating in Pakistan with no fear and acting like first grade citizens. Their behavior with the Pakistani nationals has been reported as very rude and yokelish.

If we closely take a look at appearance of the Pakistani Taliban from the video footages we receive from time to time, we can see that all the members of TTP we see have beards contrary to the persons who were responsible for the attack except Aqeel. If we analyze the psyche of a Taliban, we can clearly say that they are motivated in the name of Islam, then how it is possible that they will shave their beard (which they consider very sacred and fundamental to Islam) before the attack?

Last month Pakistani security agencies with the help of local agencies raided a local private security company ‘Inter-Risk’ owned by a former captain of SSG (the same group which took part in the operation of GHQ to make it free of terrorists and rescue the hostages) and confiscated heavy ammunition and collared the owner. The owner of the company, Captain (r) Zaidi was known to be providing human resource assistance to these private security contractors. He was recruiting former army personnel for these companies. Aqeel a.k.a Dr. Usman is believed to be the mastermind of the whole event and he himself was an ex-army.

Pakistan security agencies have started to keep an eye on the activities of these private contractors from last few weeks. Arrest of Capt. Zaidi was an installment of their monitoring of these contractors. Pakistan agencies also deported an NGO runner Craig Davis to US but later he came back by getting visa from the American ambassador for Pakistan in Washington, Mr. Hussain Haqqani. All these activities of the Pakistani security agencies didn’t go well with them.

There are many questions which still remain unanswered. These American Mercenaries don’t want their activities to be monitored or their associates arrested. The attack on GHQ is an act which has a very serious motive rather than avenging for the death of Baitullah Mehsud. It looks as if it was a case of settling the scores and telling each other that “WHO’s THE BOSS?”

Pakistan is fighting the war for its very existence against its own people. It is high time that Islamabad identifies its real enemy and stop fighting against its own men.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ignorance is a Blessing

A lot has been made about the movement of US officials and the expansion of the Embassy of United States in Islamabad. There have been reports that US nationals are allowed to enter in Pakistan without any visa. Local media have already reported about the hiring of furnished houses for the US diplomats.

Few months back it was reported that a private American security company known as XE (formerly Blackwater) was found operating in the capital of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Imtiaz Gul, an engineer, whose home is a few hundred meters from the US contractor’s base on Chanar Road in University Town was quoted saying "Sometimes, these guys stand in the streets and behave rudely with the passers-by, sometimes they point guns at people without provocation. Who rules our streets, the Pakistani government or the Americans? They have created a state within the state". There have been many other incidents like this in Islamabad.

New York Times reported on 20th August 2009, "The Central Intelligence Agency in 2004 hired outside contractors from the private security contractor Blackwater USA as part of a secret program to locate and assassinate top operatives of Al Qaeda, according to current and former government officials".

Blackwater came in the limelight in 2005 when its guards were accused of using overweening force in the backwash of Hurricane Katrina. The company became more notorious when it made news in a series of incidents in Iraq when its guards were averred to have caused unnecessary civilian deaths and injuries. Blackwater has been accused of many wrong doings. Two of its former guards have accused the company for smuggling of illegal weapons into Iraq. They also accused its owner Erik Prince of ordering the killing of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating against the company. The former employees also alleged that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe".

Blackwater has started working in Pakistan very rapidly and are recruiting Pakistani ex-military persons for its own objectives. Islamabad Police raided the Inter-Risk Office, a private security company in Islamabad, and arrested its two employees, possessing unlicensed arms and ammunition. The owner of the company, Captain Zaidi, a retired army officer of Special Services Group (SSG) was able to flee successfully.

It is worth noting here that the Capitalists, who believe in privatization of the national institutions, love this policy so much that they are privatizing the war. The US is hiring these contractors because they have lost so much in Iraq and Afghanistan. This privatization of war will lead US nowhere. Infact, it shows the inability of the United States Armed forces that they have to hire private contractors to do what they can not.

One thing is worth noting in all this development that our political leadership including the opposition parties are ignoring this matter. They are only concerned with their point scoring on the tv talk shows by maligning each other and using slang language against their counterparts. It is about time we realize our mistakes. Pakistani people have suffered alot and will keep suffering if our rulers kept the policy of ignorance.