Shakil Afridis amongst us!

Bassam Javed
Strange as it may sound but CIA did publicly reveal complete identity of one of its moles in Pakistan who helped it home on to Osama’s abode. Whether his revelation was done by mistake or by design, Dr. Shakil Afridi who placed his allegiance to a foreign intelligence agency before the interests of his own country was just arrogantly dumped away by CIA when his services were no longer required. An impression is now being created abroad and in Pakistan as if the doctor did not know what he was up to while colluding with CIA.
The doctor was not nave and was educated enough to distinguish between right and wrong. Being a doctor of medicine he ran ‘fake’ vaccination campaigns in an act that was completely immoral and unethical to the noble profession he adopted. Even his betrayal of his profession was condemned by over hundred non-governmental organizations in the US also. By colluding with an anti-Pakistan spy agency Dr. Shakil revealed the extent to which one anti-state person can go for a handful of green backs, multiple visas, green cards, nationalities and false promises of good future in United States by his handlers.
His collusion with CIA brought shame and anguish to his country and people which he could have avoided by taking into confidence his country’s relevant authorities. Had the doctor shared information with Pakistani intelligence of his links and indulgence in CIA activities he would have been a hero. His anti-state activities subsequently led to a provocative violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty by the US through midnight intrusion of US helicopters carrying heavily armed US Special Forces and then attacked the particular compound and ‘killed’ Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad.
Dr. Shakil Afridi has had a dubious track record. He practiced medicine in Khyber Agency for over three years and treated militants of banned outfits in his clinic besides paying two million rupees to one of those outfits. He has had proven links with Mangal Bagh, the dreaded militant leader in the tribal area.
He was arrested for his links with militants and subsequently awarded 33 years of imprisonment plus a relative small amount of fine under FCR under the tribal traditions on four counts. His other crime i.e. conniving with a foreign intelligence agency against the interests of the state of Pakistan, is awaiting trial in a court of law.
In another classic example of US duplicity CIA in the garb of cooperation with Pakistan’s Inter-services Intelligence continued laying an independent network of its spies in the country especially in the north-west of Pakistan. The living example of the network’s presence and effectiveness is portrayed through their accurate aerial drone attacks wherein its moles leave a cyber transmitter at the designated targets for the drones’ launched missiles to home on to.
In total disregard of diplomatic norms the US administration and its veritable arm, the CIA, the two organs of the state overstepped there responsibilities and dealt directly with the local people to cultivate them to achieve their hidden agendas for Pakistan rather than government to government or intelligence agency to intelligence agency’s bilateral interactions. Would US have not taken action against its citizens that may try to interact with any foreign entity against its national interests?
It sure did take action against Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai for allegedly receiving money from Pakistan for promoting Kashmir cause in the US. Should it be then morally asking Pakistan to spare Dr. Shakil Afridi whom it has already dumped to face the law on colluding with a foreign organization against the interests of Pakistan? The US not only took action against Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai for alleged links with Pakistani intelligence but other US nationals too that colluded with foreign spy organizations.
To quote a few here Jonathan Pollard, a CIA employee and his wife Anne, were arrested by FBI in 1985. Both had worked for Mossad, Israel’s premier intelligence agency, and provided it with treasure trove of secret documents held with CIA against Palestinians and Libya. On 4th March 1987, Judge Aubrey Robinson Junior sentenced both husband and wife to life and five year imprisonment respectively. Israel had awarded its citizenship to both after their conviction but despite all and personal efforts of Israeli Prime Minister, the US did not release the two home based spies that worked for friendly foreign intelligence organization.
Today there are echoes of granting Shakil Afridi US citizenship in the American corridors of power but then US would expect that Dr. Shakil should be granted pardon on the very type of crime that Jonathans committed in the US. Does the American leadership remember US national Robert Hanssen who handed over US classified information to Russians for over 20 years? He was jailed in the US for life without any parole. In another case US picked up two of its nationals who happened to be father and son and worked for Russian spy agency in their homeland, America.
US courts sentenced both for twenty-three years each on 9th of January in 2009. Other countries also deal with their citizens who betray their country and help foreign intelligence organizations. Egypt also jailed its citizen who indulged in spy work in his own country for Israeli intelligence service Mossad for a meager amount of thirty-seven thousand dollars. He was also subsequently jailed for twenty-five years despite Israel’s unconventional means to get him released from Egyptian custody.
That citizens of a country do not work for foreign spy agency is a simple and straight axiom. No citizen can be left off the hook for conniving with foreign intelligence agencies on any issue that goes to hurt ones individual country.
It is regrettable that under which moral obligation US is pressurizing Pakistan to release him. Everyone wanted Osama to go but it is a state’s responsibility not individuals. Yes they can help advise and work with ones national agencies to achieve a particular goal but colluding with foreigners just cannot be acceptable by any nation around the globe. The whole episode has been bizarre and unethical.
Now behind bars for committing a crime of helping militants and waiting for another trial on collusion with CIA the doctor must be wondering who betrayed whom? Whether he was betrayed by his American friends who revealed his identity in public or was it himself who betrayed his own country? For the state, it must ensure that its citizens are regularly educated on activities of other intelligence agencies operating in Pakistan like India’s notorious intelligence agency RAW and Israel’s Mossad. They must be from time to time communicated the consequences for indulging in anti-state crimes at the behest of foreign intelligence operators especially in north-west and Balochistan.

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