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Strategic Punishment: A Program To Assassinate Pakistani Military Officers

Posted by yourpakistan on December 20, 2009

The bombings in Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Multan are part of a strategic punishment against Pakistan’s military. This punishment has now entered a new stage: a systematic program for assassinating Pakistani military commanders.

Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was a possible target during the commando-style break-in and siege at General Headquarters in October. Maj. Gen. Mushtaq Baig was assassinated earlier this year, near GHQ. Four senior Army officers were ambushed commando-style on the streets of the Pakistani capital, one Brigadier was killed. Police arrested a suspect who is linked to DynCorp, a military contractor deployed at the US Embassy in Islamabad. The latest is the daring Dec. 4, 2009 operation targeting a mosque frequented by military officers. The attack carried the hallmarks of Special-Ops training. While at least some of the attackers were Pakistanis from the tribal belt, the training, logistics and execution were impeccable, military-style by all standards, which is the kind of training not available except in military schools. Al-Qaeda is not known to have mounted any kind of similar attacks anywhere in the world. The list of the assassinated officers in this attack was long and deadly: a serving major general, 11 serving and retired army officers, five soldiers and 13 children, most of them sons of army officers. The wounded include a retired four-star army officer.

These attacks on military commanders marked a shift that Pakistani security analysts failed to notice. Hardly any group ever existed inside Pakistan that could be a match for the Pakistani military. The attackers in all of the incidents above have shown a level of training and organization that is beyond the abilities of a loose army of bandits based in the isolated mountains of South Waziristan. The only plausible explanation for the daring attacks inside Pakistan is that a source outside Pakistan is feeding the anti-Pakistan insurgency with money, expertise, equipment and weapons in a manner that renders ineffective any countermeasures by the otherwise highly professional Pakistani military.

When this is coupled with the evidence that ISI chief Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha is reported to have shared with CIA director Mr. Leon Panetta in their meeting on Nov. 20, the picture gets clearer. While the US media, intelligence and politicians attack the Pakistani military and blame it for their regional troubles, a shadowy insurgent force supported by CIA, British and Indian elements in Afghanistan is used on the ground to launch direct attacks on Pakistani military officers and their families, possibly as a last-ditch effort to force the Pakistanis into compliance with US objectives.

Important segments of the Pakistani media, intelligentsia, political elite and the military remain in partial denial. But it is no longer possible – and might even be suicidal – to ignore the reality. Pakistan’s military is the only major roadblock for the Indo-US interests in the region. The Indo-US interests overlap more than the Pak-US interests.  The rest is plain math.

Pakistan, and specifically the military and the ISI, are being punished for a number of things:
1.   The attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul in July 2008, which killed the Indian defense attaché.
United States and New Delhi blamed Pakistan and ISI. No evidence was presented.

2. The attack on Mumbai in November 2008.
3.  The Jan. 2008 attack on Serena Hotel, Kabul.
This punishment is eerily similar to the events of the 1980s when a foreign power occupying Afghanistan decided to punish Pakistan. At the time, India offered its intelligence expertise on everything related to Pakistan. The Soviets were glad and the security services of their client regime in Kabul helped unleash a wave of terror across major Pakistani cities.
The political turmoil in Islamabad is directly linked to blatant interference by United States in Pakistani politics.
US ambassador Anne W. Patterson is personally involved in meeting politicians in private houses recently to rally support for US-installed President Zardari.
Under Ms. Patterson’s guidance, US Consul Generals and other diplomats posted in Pakistan take turns every couple of weeks or so to issue belligerent press statements claiming without evidence that Pakistan is sheltering al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. They indirectly threaten to bomb major Pakistani cities. These allegations draw little reaction from a government in Islamabad that is actively pursuing a US agenda.
This month, this Web site revealed that a handful of federal Interior Ministry officials were bribed over US$250,000 to issue illegal arms permits in a case that Ms. Patterson was personally involved in. The Personal Secretary to the Pakistani State Minister for Interior is under arrest in the case.
Pakistani officials have already told CIA chief Leon Panetta on Nov. 20 that CIA operatives are involved in supporting a wave of terrorism inside Pakistan.

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