Agents of inimical alien powers
Apart from despicable acts of inimical alien powers’ agents in Pakistan, beghairat brigade comprising elements who sarcastically term the patriots as ghairat brigade is active. They are of the view that if the ISI knew about Osama bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad, it amounted to complicity; and if it did not know then it was incompetence and intelligence failure of the institution. In other words they want to put Pakistan on the mat either way.
Such elements also give a spin to the words ‘strategic depth’ conveying an impression that Pakistan wants to make Afghanistan as its satellite, which is wrong. The true connotation of strategic depth is that Pakistan wishes to see a friendly government or at least a neutral government in Afghanistan. They feel hurt and protest if anybody calls them American agents. There is a perception that anybody who has the penchant to ridicule and disgrace Pakistan’s institutions like the US does, and tries to denigrate Pakistan, its military and the ISI, is an American agent. Following an allegation by British newspaper “The Independent” on the basis of Mansoor Ijaz’ letter that DG ISI had visited some Arab countries soliciting support for a coup back home, certain quarters in Pakistan joined the chorus with the western media in an orchestrated campaign against the ISI. The question being raised is that with whose permission he left the country, which is being blown out of proportion? It goes without saying that DG ISI’s visit to other countries is a part of routine intelligence-sharing activity during which the interaction is with the counterparts only, and not with the heads of states. Since security of the country requires quick decisions, the formality of asking for permissions could jeopardize the assigned task. When he has the authority and standing instructions to travel abroad to unearth or investigate into the intrigues to destabilize Pakistan, pointing fingers towards him on issues of national sensitivities is not desirable.
During the last six decades, heads of all civil and military governments or top brass have been compliant and obeyed the orders of the super power. It is indeed first time in the history of Pakistan that army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the ISI chief Lt. General Ahmed Shuja Pasha have told America that enough is enough. After 9/11, Pakistan was coerced into joining the war on terror by the sole super power, and since then the CIA made inroads in militant organizations. There is a strong perception that be it Nek Mohammad, Baitullah Mehsud, Hamkimullah Mehsood or Fazlullah, all of them had liaison with the CIA, which was instrumental in eliminating Maliks, political agents or sidelining personnel of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies in FATA. This was the reason for the failure of operation in South Waziristan or elsewhere in 2004. It was due to General Pasha’s unrelenting efforts that Pakistan could break the CIA’s network in FATA, which infuriated the CIA to start propaganda blitz and increase its hostilities against the ISI.
During then president Pervez Musharraf’s visit to England, the BBC had cited a leaked paper written by a senior military official linked to Britain’s foreign intelligence service M16 who served on a fact-finding mission to Pakistan in June 2007, which interviewed army officers and academics. In the leaked report, there was a suggestion that ISI be dismantled, though almost all countries of the world have intelligence agencies; however, CIA, KGB, RAW, ISI, Mosad and few others are well known in the world. The primary function of such agencies is to watch the country’s interest by keeping an eye on the enemy agencies and subversive elements that are out to harm the country. And the ISI is no exception. During the Cold War era, CIA and KGB conducted operations to destabilize the countries belonging to each other’s camp. Appallingly, the palmed-off commentariat and media networks are openly acting as the agents of inimical alien powers, purveying freely the perfidies of their foreign benefactors.
Indeed, the situation has come to such a sorry pass that even the issues that should necessarily hog a measure of our elites’ and the media’s attention have gone wholly unnoticed, too. The Memogate scam, for instance, has rightly drawn the nation’s full attention. And sinful indeed it would have been had it been pushed under the rug, so audacious and so criminal was it. The authenticity of the memo and the identity of its authors and its masterminds must be established at any rate. But the fuller truth would remain unknown and untold unless it is also probed why this purportedly top-secret document was leaked to the media after months at a time when this country’s relations with America were at their severest strains. For the key foreign figures involved in this sensational drama are ones whose hostility towards Pakistan is no secret. Leave alone Mansoor Ijaz, even James Jones is reputed for his anti-Pakistan antipathies. He is the one who after assuming the charge of US national security advisor had said that India’s role in Afghanistan was “excellent” and Pakistan’s role was dubious and duplicitous. Since the Memogate scandal came to light, there were concerted efforts from unconscionable elements to criticize the ISI. Muhammad Ziauddin in his column titled ‘A sting operation’ in English daily wrote: “Still, I don’t think the former ambassador deserved the kind of treatment that has been meted out to him by the ‘ghairat brigade’ within our establishment and the media. Even if all the allegations that are being leveled against him by an ordinary US citizen are true, I would have preferred to send General Pahsa to Washington to meet Haqqani or awaited his return to Pakistan to get his version first rather than make the spy chief go all the way to London to meet Ijaz who according to Mr. Bruce Riedal, former CIA officer has a “long record of fabricating false information and self promotion. This very act of General Pasha has by default given a measure of respectability to Ijaz’s version of the episode and made Mr. Haqqani’s position suspect in the eyes of unsuspecting masses”.
Shahab Usto, another columnist tried to give a twist to the issue and wrote: “If President Zardari is forced out for his alleged ‘ineptness’ or ‘collusiveness’ with Ambassador Haqqani’s alleged ‘memo’, then there will be questions about those who are accused of being ‘inept’ or ‘collusive’ in the Osama bin Laden case, those who were involved in the infamous ‘Mehrangate’ that sabotaged democracy and constitutionalism and also those who committed Kargil, bringing shame, diplomatic embarrassment and huge losses in human and material terms to the country”. Another writer Dr. Mohammad Taqi in his column captioned ‘Pakistan: between memo and military’ stated: “The junta’s dislike of Haqqani thus turned into pure hatred. In their eyes, he was the ‘absolute poison’ who reversed decades of ‘achievements’ by the Pakistan Army’s plants in the US academic and think-tank circles”. If Pakistan has this sort of intelligentsia, it does not need enemies, as they spew more venom than staunch enemies of Pakistan.