Dastardly attacks in Quetta and Ziarat

ziarat burntAsif Haroon Raja

After deposing Taliban regime and occupying Afghanistan, the US and its strategic partners embarked upon a covert war to disable Pakistan’s nuclear program but kept giving signals of friendship. Total freedom of action enjoyed by the US intelligence agencies and officials in Pakistan enabled the US to embroil Pak security forces in FATA and Balochistan, penetrate all the departments, establish CIA network and gather vital information about Pakistan’s nuclear program. By the time Musharraf and the US protégé Shaukat Aziz left the scene, the US had gained sufficient control over Pakistan’s foreign, defence, economic and political policies.

By installing NRO cleansed regime in March 2008, Asif Ali Zardari as all-powerful president in August 2008, a dummy parliament under mumbling Syed Gilani and later on under corrupt Raja Rental, appointing America’s chosen men Hussein Haqqani as Ambassador in Washington, Maj Gen retired Mahmood Durrani as defence adviser, Rahman Malik as interior minister and Wajidul Shams as Chief Commissioner in London and with strings in the hands of Negroponte and Richard Boucher, a stage had been set to put Pakistan on sale and denude Pakistan of its integrity, sovereignty and dignity. Each member of the parliament and their cronies wanted to earn as much of ill-gotten wealth in five years of rule. The gang of looters started plundering the nation from the day one and continued to suck the blood of 180 million people gluttonously till the last day of their rule. Every penny was scrounged and Pakistan put under a mountain of debt. Day to day state expenditure was met by printing currency notes.

The top leaders bestowed upon themselves lifelong perks and privileges by issuing last minute executive orders. In order to restrain the proactive judiciary from convicting them and their cronies, the rulers defied rule of law and directives of higher judiciary and defanged the prosecuting and anti-corruption agencies. NAB, FIA, AG and law minister/secretary were mandated to protect the crooks and criminals making money for the rulers at all cost. Wherever required, convicted persons were given presidential pardon and were further rewarded. Such shameful acts were justified under the concept of reconciliation the benefits of which were confined to the selected few only.

While Rahman Malik protected foreign agents and spies including Blackwater, Haqqani facilitated entry of CIA agents and members of US Special Forces by granting visas liberally without clearance. He had virtually succeeded in letting the US Special Forces to barge into FATA in 2011 after May 2 incident, affecting a complete change in security apparatus consisting of pro-US senior officers and opening up nuclear program to US inspectors.  Haqqani wanting to become the head of the new security team in Pakistan had handed over the treasonous memo to Mansoor Ijaz for onwards dispatch to CJSC Admiral Mike Mullen and James Jones was made party to the secret plan. Between July 2010 and October 2011 when the memo issue was exposed by Financial Times, Haqqani had pushed in 7000 CIA agents for the materialization of his objective. It included Raymond Davis and hundreds of his types of pathological killers.

Gen Kayani and Lt Gen Pasha’s affidavits submitted to the Supreme Court confirming the existence of memo led to sacking of Haqqani, but it was a close shave. The prime accused was housed in Presidency and then in PM House as a state guest. It is unfortunate that such a poisonous snake was allowed to sneak out to Washington during his trial at the assurance of devil’s advocate Asma Jahangir. His wife with dual nationality who was party to the scheme was personally whisked out of Pakistan by President Zardari.  Haqqani was a fit case to be tried under Article 6 of the constitution. The memo case must reach its logical end. We must know whether the memo was Haqqani’s brainchild or someone else in authority was behind him. It doesn’t appeal to senses that he could have taken such a dangerous initiative at his own.

The electronic media that had been widely expanded and liberated by Gen Musharraf was hijacked by foreign powers. India bought heavy shares in leading TV channels particularly Geo while Obama administration invested $60 million in Pakistani print and electronic media. Purchased anchors and writers were mandated to cover up the misdoings of foreign agencies in Pakistan and to discredit Army and ISI. Chosen anchors were glamorized and paid well for serving the cause of foreign paymasters. Among the anti-establishment media brigade, Hamid Mir led the assault to defame the Army by arranging programs on dictated themes and lent strength to Indo-Western propaganda war.

Geo TV arranged seminars and talk shows on settled issues like two-nation theory, ideology of Pakistan, and whether Quaid-e-Azam was an Islamist or a secular. Secularism was promoted and Islam demonized. Sensationalism through breaking news became the hallmark of each channel. As a policy whenever a high- profile terrorist attack took place Pakistan, our media took up cudgels against the establishment and ISI but avoided mentioning the role of foreign agencies.

This policy has remained in vogue despite the fact that CIA, RAW, MI-6, RAAM, Mosad are heavily involved in destabilizing Pakistan since 2002 and Pakistan has ample proofs of their involvement. Attacks on GHQ, Mehran Naval Base, FIA HQ, Kamra airbase, Peshawar airbase, Police Academy, ISI setups couldn’t have taken place without the intimate intelligence support provided by foreign powers. As opposed to passive attitude of our media, Indian media went berserk whenever any major terrorist attack took place in India. I distinctly recall the madness of Indian media on the occasions of Kargil conflict in 1999, December 2001 and November 2008 terrorist attacks in India. All guns pointed at Pakistan and that too without an iota of evidence and internal failings were overlooked. In the 2008 Mumbai episode, Geo TV sent out an investigation team led by Hamid Mir. It claimed that Ajmal Kasab belonged to a village in Punjab.

This sharp contrast in responses of media of India and Pakistan are worth noting. Even when dastardly attacks by banned BLA militants on the women university bus carrying girl students and Bolan medical complex in Quetta, and the Residency of Quaid-e-Azam in Ziarat took place on June 15, 2013 killing 30 people, Hamid Mir in his program ‘Meray Mutabiq’ callously blamed the establishment that it could be behind the attacks to discredit nationalist Dr Malik’s government. His guest retired Major Kamran Shafi fully supported Mir’s diatribe. By staging this nasty program he delighted his patrons who had masterminded the attacks, but he rubbed salt on the injured feelings of 180 million people who have viewed the attack on Ziarat Residency as an attack on Pakistan’s identity. Their emotional attachment with this building where the beloved Quaid had spent last days of his life is understandable. People are demanding early arrest of the culprits and bringing them to justice.

Ziarat attack and terrorist attacks in Quetta were again the handiwork of foreign agencies who got vexed with the fast changing national political spectrum after the installation of new government. Nawaz Sharif besides taking host of constructive measures has given a go-ahead to road/rail linkage of Kashgar with Gwadar and to Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project which has disconcerted the US and India. Tough talk with the US Charge de Affairs by PM”s advisor on Foreign Affairs Fatimi after the second drone attack in North Waziristan was not well received in Washington. The changed political scenario in Balochistan after the appointment of Dr Malik as CM and Muhammad Achakzai as Governor has given a serious blow to the Baloch separatist movement.

June 15 attacks were a crude and shoddy attempt to destabilize the new regime in Balochistan. The plan has backfired and resulted in heightening of revulsion for the separatists and their backers. Notwithstanding the deplorable act of the militants and their sponsors which must be exposed, the role of Hamid Mir and that of Geo TV playing the enemy’s game is even worse and unpardonable. It is high time that this channel which daily airs Hamid Mir’s anti-Pakistan program Capital Talk and pro-India programs, and is also part of RAW sponsored Aman ki Asha, should be disciplined by Ministry of Information and PEMRA.

The writer is a retired Brig and a defence analyst. Email:asifharoonraja@gmail.com

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