Raymond Davis’ firing spree is no surprise. This was the unsaid message of Obama’s third surge and comes to pass with alacrity like many other violent incidents in Pakistan; drones escalation to the use of banned sectarian outfits and undercover sting operations.
This incidence is a tip of the proverbial iceberg and can be made a case study to convince the rulers that it is better for the nation to pass through a river of fire, than be plunged into an abyss where history is forlorn. It is time Pakistan uses this opportunity to reassert itself as a sovereign, stable and independent nation.
From the various versions of the event that led to the killing of two Pakistanis and the crushing to death of a bystander by a US Consulate Land Cruiser, it appears that the entire operation was premeditated, deliberate and cold blooded. It had a purpose.
The motorcyclists had been trailing the Land Cruiser and Raymond’s Honda for over an hour. Raymond’s camera with photos testifies his activities. Chased by a motor cycle, the peak traffic hours made it impossible to achieve a clean break. As in sting operations, at some point it was agreed that Raymond would kill the motorcyclists and in the confusion thereof, the land cruiser would get away with its high value occupants. In this extra ordinary situation, Raymond complied. However his escape was prevented by the highly charged and emotional mob that gathered at the scene. Confident, that the US influence and pressure will ensure his safety and exit, Raymond showed remarkable cool in his line of duty. In Pakistan one could get away with anything. On two previous occasions, he had managed his way.
However, this was not to be. The quick media reporting and public anger forced the police to escort him to the Police Station. The conflicting reports of identity coming from Raymond himself, US Consulate, Embassy and the White House Spokesperson lent credence to the suspicion that perhaps the US State Department Staff and the US embassy neither knew the true role of Raymond Allen Davis nor his real identity. A quick check of his company on the web raised doubts.
As arrogance and contempt for the law of the land becomes more apparent by the US Consulate’s refusal to hand over the Land Cruiser and its occupants to the local police, so does the intent and purpose of US covert operations in Pakistan. Some reports suggest that the valued cache of the Land Cruiser is already in USA.
The operation gone awry was so important that John Kerry, the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee had to make a dash to Pakistan. Meanwhile the urgency was so grave that before Kerry could land, President Obama censured and demanded Pakistan to release the assassin. At the same time a segment of the liberal media in Pakistan portrayed Kerry as a friend of Pakistan; ironically a man who played the crucial role in closure of BCCI and who as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee always exercised an elastic conscience.
The Federal Government of Pakistan desperate to free the killer indulged in naïve tantrums. It also deemed it opportune to address the 10 points agenda of PMLN to sack Shah Mehmood Quraishi, the impediment towards an unprecedented favour to USA. Seymour Hersh is convinced that Zardari sees the lives of Pakistanis as a disposable commodity.
It is beyond doubt that Pakistan’s landscape is littered with hundreds of gun totting covert operators issued indiscriminate visas by the government of Pakistan. This contempt of law is visible on daily basis on the roads of Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi. The purpose of this article is not to discuss legal semantics but rather seek a deeper understanding of why USA keeps meddling in Pakistan’s internal affairs.
Instability is a Plank to Confrontational Environments being shaped by USA
Stability in Pakistan would be the biggest hurdle to the Long War-Long Arm US Strategy. Confrontational objectives need an unstable Pakistan under siege by non state actors in a regressive economic environment. I am reproducing excerpts from my column ‘Pakistan’s Cross word Puzzle’ I wrote in the Nation.
“Pakistan’s overall security situation in terms of law and order, economics and its fallout on society is precarious. It tends to reinforce international perceptions that Pakistan’s internal dynamics situate an international threat… Caught in this kaleidoscope of conflicting demands, a conclusion is foregone. Pakistan will plunge from a fry pan into the fire. There are countries directly or indirectly funding militancy. Rise of militancy in Pakistan serves this game plan … Pakistan as an independent sovereign state armed with nuclear systems needs to do what is best in its own interests… The least our leaders can do is decide on a minimum national agenda and then pursue it relentlessly”. They never did.
Writing on Obama’s surge I wrote,
“What lies undisclosed is high intensity sting and covert intelligence operations conducted by CIA and the dreaded JSOC. The message is unambiguous. Pakistan will have to face a surge of expanded drone attacks by both JSOC and CIA, and a cruel spate of covertly sanctioned illegal assassinations (political leaders), sting operations and anarchy generated by contractors with leaks capable of breaking hell in Pakistan…The next 18 months and beyond will test Pakistan to the verge”.
That was fourteen months ago. Raymond’s act is just a glimpse of what could happen in Pakistan.
Agents under cover of contractors, sub contractors and businessmen have been active in Pakistan for some time. Some are busy training security forces in equipment training while others direct drone attacks through their networks. The most lethal are ones who have established contacts with militants and sectarian outfits to conduct operations against the security installations within Pakistan and assassinate national and nationalist leaders to keep the instability pot on the boil.
Discussing Political Absolutism, I had written,
“The strategy creates a ‘coercive strategy of compellence’ forcing Pakistan to cede its lesser interests in order to preserve a larger one. They bend minds; give leads for the future while the covert arms move around to prove just that”.
I have painstakingly followed chatter emanating from various blogs, social sites, facebook and myspace to help make a picture and the most ominous hypotheses for Pakistan’s security. The research has helped me make accurate and timely assessments.
On one such occasion, the chatter even mentioned a significant event in October 2009, the month GHQ was attacked.
It also leaves a trail from Daniel Pearl to Benazir’s assassination, Marriot, attacks on security installations and assassination of nationalist and sub nationalist leaders. It amuses me when Firdaus Ashiq Awan slurs Shah Mehmood Quraishi for being upset for Pervez Musharraf’s.
Sectarian outfits initially raised and patronised to contain a revolutionist Iran are being patronised to destabalise Pakistan. In the interim, these organisations played their role in Eastern Europe and Chechnya as also mobilising India and Pakistan to the brink of war. Some chatter suggests that with Jundallah’s support, Iran could be next.
While this dirty game continues, the ruling junta and USA are covering each other’s backsides; as are some segments and anchors of the vitriolic media. Each one doing what they are supposed to in the role crafted for them.
The accuracy of my assessments thus far has never invigorated debates. Anyone who matters in Pakistan lives in a bubble of idiosyncratic notions. There is a total lack of conspicuousness towards a healthy dialogue on Pakistan’s security in the Parliament, media and political parties. It is time the citizens of the country start re asserting themselves.
Brigadier Samson Simon Sharaf is a retired officer of Pakistan Army and a Political Economist.