By Sultan M. Hali
The arrests of Raymond Allen Davis (RAD), an established CIA operative and US national Mark De Haven from Peshawar have blown the lid off CIA’s clandestine operations in Pakistan. What is shocking is the extent of the massive covert maneuvers, which have been going on for years since the painstakingly laid infrastructure could not have been established in a few weeks’ time. As Pakistan’s security agencies dig deeper, they uncover more dark secrets. It has now become apparent that CIA was working for besides itself, the interests of a number of other foreign powers having hegemonic concerns in Pakistan; some of them openly hostile to Pakistan.
If this is not abuse of hospitality then what else is? There is honour even amongst thieves. In the dark and dank world of espionage, enshrouded in secrecy and comprises, there are certain norms and mores, which are upheld. However, it appears that the CIA is totally devoid of any ethical considerations. It is an accepted moral principle of espionage that the host country has the exclusive right of operating at home and external agencies have to coordinate their efforts in consonance with the home government. In this case, the CIA has crossed all limits especially when Pakistan and USA are considered to be allies and ISI and CIA have had the opportunity to work in tandem, first to route the Soviets from Afghanistan and post 9/11 to defeat the Al-Qaeda. However, at some stage CIA’s plans included working to the detriment of Pakistan’s interests too.
Under the garb of diplomats, the US government managed to place intelligence, security and guerrilla warfare experts in its embassies and consulates in Pakistan. These estimated over 3000 operatives have been conducting an internecine warfare within Pakistan.They have managed to infiltrate the Taliban and Al-Qaeda network and create their own Tehrik-e-Taliban (Pakistan) force, which has been recruited, trained and equipped by these CIA operatives to target Pakistan Army personnel, Armed Forces installations, markets, hospitals, schools and public places to destabilize Pakistan.
The Soviet Intelligence Agency SVR has disclosed that RAD and his network have provided Al-Qaeda operatives with chemical, nuclear and biological weapons so that installations in the US may be targeted and Pakistan is blamed and pressed to do more of the US’ dirty work like conducting operations in North Waziristan.
CIA operatives in Tehrik-e-Taliban (Pakistan) have also been unleashed to conduct political assassinations. Reportedly, PPP stalwart Benazir Bhutto was enabled to return to Pakistan by the US so that she could protect American interests in the region. The US even expected her to rollback Pakistan’s nuclear program. However, on her return to Pakistan, Benazir had a reality check and refused to play ball. Any bonafide Pakistani with roots amongst the masses would have had difficulty in toeing the US agenda and Benazir was a diehard Pakistani. Her reluctance resulted in her elimination and it is no coincidence that alleged CIA operative Baitullah Mehsud took responsibility for the assassination. It is no coincidence that within hours of Benazir’s assassination, Sindh not only came to a standstill but organized looting of banks, ATMs and Petrol Pumps was carried out. It appeared as if a blueprint of the entire operation of pillaging, looting and rioting had been prepared in advance.
The perpetrators only had to cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war. Has anyone wondered why no high value target has ever been eliminated during the drone attacks? RAD’s arrest resulted in the drone attacks being suspended for over four weeks. It was only when Pakistani media took up the question if RAD was directing the reviled drone attacks, which have resulted in the demise of hundreds of women, children and old men as collateral damage, that the drone attacks were ultimately resumed perhaps under a new spy master.
Let us examine the case of the fresh arrest of an American national, Aaron Mark De Haven. The alleged CIA operative had an expired visit visa; he is married to a local woman at Peshawar and claims to have converted to Islam. The whole episode is highly dubious and smacks of CIA operations. Coming back to RAD’s role as a CIA operative; his business cards were bogus, the address provided in the US was fictitious and there was little or no clue regarding his real identity. It was his wife, who finally let the cat out of the bag about his CIA connections. In fact it came about that the US media was under instructions to keep RAD’s true identity and CIA links under wraps.
The cases of RAD and De Haven are only the tip of the iceberg. The whole gamut of the CIA operations in Pakistan is still enshrouded in mystery and secrecy. The aspect of CIA giving its sister spy agency RAW a helping hand has also been uncovered. RAW has been facing disappointments in its Pakistan operations, however ever since it teamed up with the CIA and decided to ride piggyback, it has been having some success.
The deadly attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team at Lahore was not only a triumphant operation, which besides driving away foreign sports teams from visiting Pakistan, also hammered the last nail in the coffin of Pakistan hosting the Cricket World Cup, currently in progress in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Pakistan has lost tremendous revenue while the cricket enthusiasts in Pakistan have been deprived of watching high class live cricket and the downstream industry has also suffered.
CIA operations in Pakistan are already illegal but cozying up to Pakistan’s enemies is akin to following the Chanakyan principle of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”. Indian spy agency RAW has had a watershed by its marriage of convenience to CIA and provided it an opportunity to settle old scores with archenemy Pakistan but the cat is now out of the bag. Pakistan needs to take the bull by the horns and confront CIA to stop its shenanigans in Pakistan and end its complicity with Pakistan’s enemies.