Pakistan'sobsession with extracting an apology from the U.S. for airstrikes that accidentally killed 24 Pakistani troops last year seems dubious considering its own questionable commitment in the fight against terrorism.
Instead of jeopardizing U.S. efforts in South Asia, the Pakistani government should instead show courage by owning up to its destructive policies and apologize for its mishaps.
Here are at least 10 reasons why Pakistan owes the U.S. its deepest apology:
1. Osama bin Laden: On May 2, 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed near the Pakistan Military Academy, the equivalent of West Point. Pakistan was receiving about $18 billion from the U.S. to dismantle al-Qaida, while bin Laden was living comfortably with his wives and children in Abbottabad. Instead of apologizing for its complicity or incompetence, Pakistan vigorously protested violation of its sovereignty by theU.S. military operation that killed bin Laden. In fact, Pakistan's National Assembly offered religious prayers for bin Laden, and civilian protests across the country condemned the killing.
2. Doctor on trial: Last week, Dr. Shakil Afridi, a surgeon who helped the CIA locate bin Laden's whereabouts under the cover of a vaccination campaign, was convicted of treason and sentenced to 33 years in prison and fined about $3,500. So, let's get this straight. Pakistan publicly pledges to eliminate terrorism, yet punishes its citizens for helping to do so?
3. Embassy attack: On Sept. 13, 2011, well-equipped insurgents linked to the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, allied with al-Qaida and the Taliban, attacked the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. Adm. Mike Mullen, the then-Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, said the network is a "veritable arm" ofInter-Services Intelligence, the Pakistani spy agency. Instead of working to dismantle the terror network, Pakistan's army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani complained that his country was being "singled out," and that it was "neither fair nor productive." Hence, the network continues to undermine coalition efforts in Afghanistan.
4. Hostile land: While Pakistan claims to be an ally of the U.S., it has been indifferent to the kidnappings and violence carried out against Americans inside its territory. In 2002, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and beheaded in Karachi. In 2009 John Solecki, a U.S. national and U.N. official, was abducted in Baluchistan, while New York Times reporter David Rohde was held in Pakistan's tribal region for several months after being kidnapped in Afghanistan. And 70-year-old American aid worker Warren Weinstein is still missing after being kidnapped by al-Qaida in Lahore. Pakistan has not undertaken any demonstrable action to address this trend.
5. Mumbai attacks: At least 166 people, including five Americans, were killed in the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India's largest city. The four-day killing spree was carried out by the Pakistan-based militant organization Lashkar-e-Taiba. On April 3, the U.S. announced a $10 million bounty for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, head of Lashkar-e-Taiba. Not only have Pakistani authorities rejected the charges against Saeed, but they continue to grant him absolute liberty to appear on television and propagate hate speech at public rallies.
6. Leaked identities: American officials strongly suspect that Inter-Services Intelligence was behind the 2010 leaking of information identifying CIA station chiefs in Pakistan.
7. Misuse of American weapons: In a February congressional hearing, Amnesty International</runtime:topic> and Human Rights Watch testified that Pakistan regularly misuses U.S. military assistance. U.S. weapons have allegedly been used to kill democratic political leaders and activists in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan.
8. Jihad factory: Pakistan's lack of action against the training camps of extremist groups makes it a perfect destination for aspiring jihadists.
9. Undercover agent: In 2011, the FBI revealed that Inter-Services Intelligence had illegally funded a lobbyist, Ghulam Nabi Fai, to influence U.S. policies in support of the Pakistani government's stance on the disputed territory of Kashmir. Though Fai has been sentenced to prison by a U.S. court, Pakistan never apologized for covertly funding Fai's activities.
10. Nuclear proliferation: Pakistan has never officially apologized for its nuclear proliferation. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the infamous Pakistani scientist, illegally supplied designs and centrifuge technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea. Though he publicly apologized, many believe Khan could not have acted without the tacit approval of segments of the Pakistani military.
Nothing was conclusively proven that any one from pakistan govt. or aak army had helped osama to hide in pakistan.if it was so then USA would have been the 1st country to pass sanctions ons on pakistan and attack it.
Dr. Afridi worked for CIA against pakistan's interests and was spying on his own country that tantamount to treason hence he was punished.
Though pakistani army regard haqqani network as strategic assets USA had no proof that it was pak govt/PA which had direct involvement in embassy attack
argument can be reversed as though usa regard pakistan as ally but it kills citizen of its allies by daily violating its airspace and land borders.
there is no conclusive proof that pak govt or PA did 26/11 even usa which announced bounty on hafiz saeed dont have proof of his involvement.
Its mere suspicion that tantamount to kite flying or CTs.
If usa's heart bleeds so much for human rights and use of it weapons then why does it provide them to pak.learn from germany which refused to sell weapons to BSF keeping in mind its bad human rights records in kashmir.
if pakistan is to be blamed for jihad factory then usa is equally guilty in starting this jihad factory.
As if usa dont fund under cover agents like blackwater and raymond davis dr.afridi etc in pakistan.
Usa has no conclusive proof that pak govt./PA were involved in proliferation.its was as usa described whole n sole Dr.khan's nuke walmart.
Pollard worked directly for American HUMINT and used his position to illegally obtain tens of thousands of highly classified documents, which he then sold, that's right SOLD to the IDF and South Africa, and tried selling documents to Pakistan as well.
"The full extent of the information he gave to Israel has still not been officially revealed. Press reports cited a secret 46-page memorandum, which Pollard and his attorneys were allowed to view. They were provided to the judge by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, who described Pollard's spying as including, among other things, obtaining and copying the latest version of Radio-Signal Notations (RASIN), a 10-volume manual comprehensively detailing America's global electronic surveillance network."
Iraq was attacked because the US had a 'good' reason that was hyped with disinformation - WMD.
US required a base in the center of the Middle East so that they could monitor the area. Check Iraq has a border with all the countries (Cheney Doctrine).
The US wanted to break the OPEC cartel and Iraq had the second largest oilfields in the world, and what was the sugar topping was that it was 'sweet' oil i.e. low sulphur content and so less expensive for refining.
Iraq was sitting in the underbelly of CAR nations that the US wanted to influence and wean them away from Russia.
And the CAR had a huge reserve of hydrocarbons that the US wanted to exploit!
There is evidence of foreign intelligence backing for the 9/11 hijackers. Why is the US government so keen to cover it up?
Omar Sheikh, a British-born Islamist militant, is waiting to be hanged in Pakistan for a murder he almost certainly didn't commit - of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. Both the US government and Pearl's wife have since acknowledged that Sheikh was not responsible.
Yet the Pakistani government is refusing to try other suspects newly implicated in Pearl's kidnap and murder for fear the evidence they produce in court might acquit Sheikh and reveal too much. Significantly, Sheikh is also the man who, on the instructions of General Mahmoud Ahmed, the then head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), wired $100,000 before the 9/11 attacks to Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker.
It is extraordinary that neither Ahmed nor Sheikh have been charged and brought to trial on this count. Why not? Ahmed, the paymaster for the hijackers, was actually in Washington on 9/11, and had a series of pre-9/11 top-level meetings in the White House, the Pentagon, the national security council, and with George Tenet, then head of the CIA, and Marc Grossman, the under-secretary of state for political affairs. When Ahmed was exposed by the Wall Street Journal as having sent the money to the hijackers, he was forced to "retire" by President Pervez Musharraf.
Why hasn't the US demanded that he be questioned and tried in court? Another person who must know a great deal about what led up to 9/11
is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, allegedly arrested in Rawalpindi on March 1 2003. A joint Senate-House intelligence select committee inquiry in July 2003 stated: "KSM appears to be one of Bin Laden's most trusted lieutenants and was active in recruiting people to travel outside Afghanistan, including to the US, on behalf of Bin Laden." According to the report, the clear implication was that they would be engaged in planning terrorist-related activities.
The report was sent from the CIA to the FBI, but neither agency apparently recognised the significance of a Bin Laden lieutenant sending terrorists to the US and asking them to establish contacts with colleagues already there. Yet the New York Times has since noted that "American officials said that KSM, once al-Qaida's top operational commander, personally executed Daniel Pearl ... but he was unlikely to be accused of the crime in an American criminal court because of the risk of divulging classified information". Indeed, he may never be brought to trial.
A fourth witness is Sibel Edmonds. She is a 33-year-old Turkish-American former FBI translator of intelligence, fluent in Farsi, the language spoken mainly in Iran and Afghanistan, who had top-secret security clearance. She tried to blow the whistle on the cover-up of intelligence that names some of the culprits who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, but is now under two gagging orders that forbid her from testifying in court or mentioning the names of the people or the countries involved. She has been quoted as saying: "My translations of the 9/11 intercepts included [terrorist] money laundering, detailed and date-specific information ... if they were to do real investigations, we would see several significant high-level criminal prosecutions in this country [the US] ... and believe me, they will do everything to cover this up".
Furthermore, the trial in the US of Zacharias Moussaoui (allegedly the 20th hijacker) is in danger of collapse apparently because of "the CIA's reluctance to allow key lieutenants of Osama bin Laden to testify at the trial". Two of the alleged conspirators have already been set free in Germany for the same reason.
The FBI, illegally, continues to refuse the to release of their agent Robert Wright's 500-page manuscript Fatal Betrayals of the Intelligence Mission, and has even refused to turn the manuscript over to Senator Shelby, vice-chairman of the joint intelligence committee charged with investigating America's 9/11 intelligence failures. And the US government still refuses to declassify 28 secret pages of a recent report on 9/11.
It has been rumoured that Pearl was especially interested in any role played by the US in training or backing the ISI. Daniel Ellsberg, the former US defence department whistleblower who has accompanied Edmonds in court, has stated: "It seems to me quite plausible that Pakistan was quite involved in this ... To say Pakistan is, to me, to say CIA because .. it's hard to say that the ISI knew something that the CIA had no knowledge of." Ahmed's close relations with the CIA would seem to confirm this. For years the CIA used the ISI as a conduit to pump billions of dollars into militant Islamist groups in Afghanistan, both before and after the Soviet invasion of 1979. W ith CIA backing, the ISI has developed, since the early 1980s, into a parallel structure, a state within a state, with staff and informers estimated by some at 150,000.
It wields enormous power over all aspects of government. The case of Ahmed confirms that parts of the ISI directly supported and financed al-Qaida, and it has long been established that the ISI has acted as go-between in intelligence operations on behalf of the CIA. Senator Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate select committee on intelligence, has said: "I think there is very compelling evidence that at least some of the terrorists were assisted, not just in financing ... by a sovereign foreign government."
In that context, Horst Ehmke, former coordinator of the West German secret services, observed:
"Terrorists could not have carried out such an operation with four hijacked planes without the support of a secret service." That might give meaning to the reaction on 9/11 of Richard Clarke, the White House counter-terrorism chief, when he saw the passenger lists later on the day itself: "I was stunned ... that there were al-Qaida operatives on board using names that the FBI knew were al-Qaida."
It was just that, as Dale Watson, head of counter-terrorism at the FBI told him, the "CIA forgot to tell us about them".
· Michael Meacher is Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton. He was environment minister 1997-2003
Al Qaeda: a US connection? —Shaukat Qadir
Daily Times -August 2
Intelligence organisations are by definition, non-transparent and secretive; consequently, even while collaborating, they do not share all information; also as a consequence of their secrecy they often give rise to such theories, founded and unfounded The question about the connection between Al Qaeda (more specifically, Osama bin Laden) and the US refuses to die. On July 27, the British newspaper The Guardian carried an article “The Pakistan connection and the US silence over an execution” by Michael Meacher, a British Labour Party MP and a former minister for environment.
Meacher begins with the claim that Omer Sheikh, under sentence of death for the murder of US reporter Daniel Pearl, is actually innocent, though he provides no evidence of Sheikh’s innocence or someone else’s guilt. He then goes on to make a rather preposterous accusation that former DG-ISI, Lt-Gen (retd) Mahmood Ahmed was the actual financier of the 9/11 attack and had used Omer Sheikh to transfer funds to Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker.
Again, Meacher makes the allegation without substantiating it. Lt-Gen Mahmood may have a lot to answer for, but not this.
Meacher goes on to weave the tapestry from facts and fiction and argues that there is collaboration between the CIA,
perhaps even the State Department, and the ISI to cover up all such facts.
In other words, the US and Pakistan governments have colluded to hide facts to prevent the disclosure of their involvement in the cloak-and-dagger stuff they have been indulging in in Afghanistan since the Soviets invaded that country. Conspiracy theories are generally fantastic, but this one must be ranked among fairytales. Even so, this is not the first time such accusations have been made.
In his speech in the House of Representatives on September 5, 2001 US congressman, Ron Paul stated, “Osama bin Laden, a wealthy man, left Saudi Arabia in 1979 to join American-sponsored so-called freedom fighters in Afghanistan. He received financial assistance, weapons and training from our CIA, just as his allies in Kosovo continue to receive the same from us today”.
Earlier, during his testimony before a congressional committee on July 12, 1999, on “The Locus of Terrorism”, Michael Sheehan, the State Department spokesman, was asked again and again about the US government’s role in supporting the Taliban. Not only did he continuously evade the question, but when pinned down said he would only do so in-camera.
By then, of course the Taliban had begun to be viewed as supportive of Al Qaeda and Osama. Representative Dana Rohrabacher did not mince his words when he stated in the same session that “Bill Richardson and Rick Inderfurth, high-ranking members of this administration [he was talking about the Clinton administration], personally visited the region to discourage the opposition from attacking the Taliban when they were vulnerable.
So what we hear about terrorism are crocodile tears from this administration, let us remember this administration is responsible for the Taliban. But none of the terrorism, which we will hear about today, by Mr bin Laden or others, would be taking place with Afghanistan as their home base if it weren’t for the policies of this administration”. Meacher, therefore, is not alone in his views and, while some of it may seem fantastic, there are some facts that do raise questions.
For instance, he writes, “A fourth witness is Sibel Edmonds. She is a 33-year-old Turkish-American former FBI translator of intelligence, fluent in Farsi, the language spoken mainly in Iran and Afghanistan, who had top-secret security clearance.
She tried to blow the whistle on the cover-up of intelligence that names some of the culprits who orchestrated the September 11 attacks, but is now under two gagging orders that forbid her from testifying in court or mentioning the names of the people or the countries involved. She has been quoted as saying: “My translations of the September 11 intercepts included [terrorist] money laundering, detailed and date-specific information ... if they were to do real investigations, we would see several significant high-level criminal prosecutions in this country [the US] ... and believe me, they will do everything to cover this up.”
This deserves a response. Meacher also establishes a link between the CIA and the ISI, which really needs no establishing. However, his inference from this connection is not that easy to swallow: that anything known to the ISI is due to the CIA connection. Intelligence organisations are by definition, non-transparent and secretive; consequently, even while collaborating, they do not share all information; also as a consequence of their secrecy they often give rise to such theories, founded and unfounded.
The CIA and the ISI are guilty of many errors of judgment and conspiracies that backfired on them. There is little doubt that both these agencies collaborated in strengthening the Taliban until 1997 and, while the US policy began to tilt against the Taliban after they had arrested Emma Bonino and nineteen journalists with her, for photographing an Afghan woman, the CIA continued to play along with the ISI, supporting the Taliban in the hope that they could prevail over the Northern Alliance.
The two agencies also have a lot to account for in their errors of commission and omission, not only in Afghanistan but elsewhere also. I do hope that someday they will reveal what was going on. But to build from this a case that Pakistan was the principal financier for the 9/11 attack and imply that the CIA collaborated in it and is now covering up seems too far-fetched.
The author is a retired brigadier.
He is also former vice president and founder of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI)