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.