When I advocate reform in Pakistan’s power structure or express hope that democracy will soon hold sway in Pakistan, my critics often label me an ‘American agent.’ Many young Pakistanis also opine that questioning ISI’s role is tantamount to compromising the country’s sovereignty.
Taking a look back at Pakistan’s history, however, exposes the hypocrisy of such assertions. It was, in fact, during Gen.Zia ul Haq’s rule that the US was allowed to construct five ‘intelligence and recon basses’ in Pakistan. It was under Gen. Musharaf’s rule that Pakistan compromised the security of it’s nuclear assets, allowed drone attacks, handed over Pakistani civilians to the CIA and allowed Blackwater to launch covert operations.
By now we all know about Seymour Hersh article in New Yorker. I have been wary of Mr. Hersch’s unnamed sources and questioned timing of his stories.
But Jeremy Scahill who writes for The Nation Magazine is a straight shooter. In his latest article in The Nation journalist Jeremy Scahill has revealed that Blackwater is secretly operating in Pakistan under a covert program that includes planning the assassination and kidnapping of Taliban and Al Qaeda suspects. Blackwater is also said to be involved in a previously undisclosed U.S. military drone campaign that has killed scores of people inside Pakistan. Blackwater operatives have been working under a covert program run by the Joint Special Operations Command, the military’s top covert operations force. The previously undisclosed JSOC operations would mark the first known confirmation of U.S. military activity inside Pakistan.
This was possible because in 2006 Gen. Pervez Musharaf struck a deal with the Bush administration that allows U.S. Special Operations forces from the Joint Special Operations Command to enter Pakistan with the understanding that they were, “following the target.”
Indeed, if you read Pakistan’s short history you will find that our Army has always served America’s interest and its foreign policy has been congruent with US policy in the region. Although our nation’s key decision to stand in America’s camp pre-dates the Ayub regime, it was during our first martial law that Pakistan’s anti-imperialist forces were completely crushed.
America was the clear winner when, on April 17th 1953, Pakistan’s third Governor General Malik Ghulam Mohammad dismissed Prime Minister Khawaja Nazimuddin who had then enjoyed the confidence of the parliament. Mohammad Ali Bogra was appointed to form a government the same day. Looking through declassified documents at the US National Archives you will understand that the main benefactors of the change were always two elements, Pakistan’s army and the US.
Please see blow the US ambassador’s telegram from the embassy in Karachi sent on April 18th, 1953.