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Undermining the security institutions

By Dr Shahid Qureshi

Many senior officers of Iranian Armed Forces were executed after Iranian revolution for treason and collaborations. Some one reportedly asked Ayatullah Khomeini, ‘why are you killing your top class military officers? He reportedly said, ‘What is the point of having a top class general who works for the enemy’? In a country where black economy takes over legitimate or white economy, is mostly ruled by either military or mafia. One analyst said, ‘if we remove politicised generals from the top, reputation of the armed forces could be restored, and ring of Military Mafia Alliance (MMA) would be smashed’

Pakistan is currently run by an organised minority Mafia which is eroding every institution of the state including security institutions by design. Unfortunately minority mafia has infiltrated all the institutions of the state including army, police, intelligence agencies, politics, and presidency. Land mafia reportedly paid billions to retired army generals and senior officers to patronise their mostly illegal housing schemes for protection. Ex military officers should be ban from taking these roles by law because it brings disrepute to the armed forces? I asked Governor of Punjab General Khalid Maqbool on 15th April 2008, ‘why computerisation of land record is delayed? In my view by just computerising land records would (a) reduce burden on judiciary with land dispute cases greatly (b) save people from fraud and corruption (c) courts would spend time dealing with other important matters.

General Ashfaq Pervez Kianey walked out of Musharaf’s mess bit late but not so late and it is never too late when there is a will to recover. So called mafia barons cum politicians are so incompetent and compromised that they could not bear a minor pressure. A senior analyst said, ‘on the one hand Zardari led democratic government handing over full powers to COAS, concerning military operations in Pakistan’s tribal area, when it was their prerogative to decide, but on the other hand it is following enemy agenda of clipping wings of premier agency ISI? It seems both decisions were taken under foreign pressures by the crippled and compromised leaders.

Peoples Party has a history of using law enforcing institutions for political brutality against the opposition or opposing politicians. ZA Bhutto created Federal Security Force (FSF) when he could not fully use ISI for his political ambitions. The typical feudal mentality ingrained into the psyche of the PPP leadership.

People ask why ISI is being placed under Rehman Malik, a third class crook and international informer, head of a spy agency ‘Shafaf Limited’ based and registered in London? Well there are many reasons and one of them is ISI might not have destroyed evidence against Zardari & Co and Mr Malik, might have promised to reduce the bulkiness of the files? When Murtaza Bhutto won the provincial elections in exile and came to Pakistan, pages from his intelligence files started disappearing according to reports. His sister Benazir Bhutto made sure nothing left to prosecute him, otherwise how is it possible that some one who was responsible for bombings, murders, terrorism and PIA plane hijacking got scot free in the court of law for lack of evidence? When it comes to abolishing death sentence in Pakistan interests of Zardari, Rehman Malik, Musharraf, and others are common because they fear, that they would be tried for treason sooner or later and sentence is death? It is a future safety valve for them and others.

If we look at the decisions Zardari & Co has taken, one can easily detect the mindset of a compromised and crippled person? He has taken U turn on everything PPP stands for apart from repeating word ‘democracy’ for his international audience. How come he agreed to the appointment of Salman Taseer as Governor of Punjab who was married to an Indian Sikh journalist Talveen Singh and own a media group run by predominantly pro India religious minority group? Salman Taseer’s son, “Aatish Salman Taseer Singh” alias “Captain Condom” as reported, was going to be engaged in the English Royal Family few years ago, which was cancelled for some unknown reasons.

People always do security check when they hire a security guard or cook for the house but these so called imposed leaders appoint any one without any proper checks? Musharaf’s one sided love with India and US has destroyed the image and economy of the country.

Without US and allied support in Afghanistan it is impossible for the Indians to plot, fund and support insurgency and terrorism in Baluchistan, Tribal Areas, and elsewhere? People of Pakistan have suffered thousands of bomb attacks on its soils just because of Afghanistan and its problems in last 28 years. Pakistan is still carrying the burden of 2.5 million Afghan refugees for the last 30 years, but ungrateful puppet leaders like Hamid Karazai do not acknowledge that fact. He is a typical example of as some said probably in last century, ‘you can’t buy an Afghan but you can rent them’.

Are drugs still funding this war as it use to during the Soviet times? The difference now is that the officials on Central Asian side turn a blind eye to the arms and drug dealers operating in Afghanistan. According to press reports drugs are being smuggled abroad in the containers via Pakistan carrying wreckage of the US military machinery destroyed in the combat. Though US has installed cameras at Karachi port where they can monitor container movement in real time. The US is shipping military wreckage back for two reason (a) destroyed tanks, APCs and jeeps on the Afghan roads demoralise soldiers (b) US military technology could be stolen.

American and allied forces are listening and watching every inch of Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal areas via satellites and drones in real time. One newspaper recently reported that, “Pakistani officials asked CIA and US military commander why the CIA-run predator and the US military did not swing into action when they were provided the exact location of Baitullah Mehsud, Pakistan’s enemy number one and the mastermind of almost every suicide operation against the Pakistan Army and the ISI since June 2006. Pakistani security agencies provided precise information to the CIA on 24th May 2008, When Baitullah Mehsud drove to a remote South Waziristan mountain post in his Toyota Land Cruiser to address the press and returned back to his safe abode. The United States military has the capacity to direct a missile to a precise location at very short notice as it has done close to 20 times in the last few years to hit al-Qaeda targets inside Pakistan. Pakistani agencies are intrigued by the presence of highly encrypted communication systems with Baitullah Mehsud. This system enables him to collect real-time information on Pakistani troop movement from an unidentified foreign source without being intercepted by Pakistani intelligence”.

Keeping in view the above factors and US betrayals’ it seems Pakistani establishment and people are suffering from ‘battered wife syndrome’. In this syndrome mostly wife keep coming back to the abusive husband. Similarly Pakistani people keep electing corrupt and dishonest politicians and its establishment keep going back to the Americans regardless of third class treatments.

A senior analyst said, ‘Pakistani establishment thinks they are married to the Americans but Americans think Pakistan is their girl friend’. A messy divorce is inevitable, unless strategy of harm minimisation and harm reduction is adopted leading to a fresh start?

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior award wining investigative journalist and writer on security, foreign policy, and terrorism based in London)

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