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Why Pakistan should fit American visitors with Electronic GPS-tags

Posted by yourpakistan on February 8, 2011

Hundreds of Indian students, mostly from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, have been humiliatingly fitted with electronic GPS tags in the United States, after federal authorities last month shut down the ‘sham’ Tri-Valley University (TVU) in the San Francisco Bay Area. The University was being used in an immigration scam helping Indian students get student visas to the United States. Radio-tagging is usually reserved for convicted criminals, allowing their whereabouts to be monitored in real time, and helps restrict and monitor their movement to certain geographical areas.

PKKH Editorial | Humaira Naz

Since 9/11 when the ex-president and Army Chief Parvez Musharraf gave the Americans unprecedented access to Pakistani facilities, we’ve seen an upsurge of US nationals suspected of involvement in anti-state activities within Pakistan. This American engagement is the elemental reason for terrorist activities which have caused heavy losses to the Pakistani Nation over the years. Last year, Pakistanis were stunned to watch several incidents where US citizens were caught by the Military Police at checkpoints leading up to the city’s military zone known as “Lahore Cantt”, short for Cantonment. Most of the time, these US individuals refused to say what business took them to the military zone. The US Consulate in Lahore is located far away from this zone, which compounded the mystery. These US nationals also refused to allow the police to check their vehicles, which is a standard procedure that all Pakistanis undergo considering the security situation.

The people of Pakistan, who are already frustrated due to the incompetence and misconduct of PPP Government, have to further bear the nauseating tactics of the American intervention. Only now the case of Raymond Davis, a CIA Contractor and American terrorist has come forth which has cost the lives of four innocent Pakistanis. As usual, the witty old American administration has carefully stated that Raymond Davis is a member of the US embassy’s “technical and administrative” staff. One must note that the roles stated by the US embassy are nowhere close to security or spy operations. However, reports in the US media have confirmed his links with the CIA as a contractor. We are not least surprised by the purposeful equivocalnesses of the US embassy’s affirmations in this regard.

A number of US citizens have been arrested for the same reasons with some being deported while others released. These arrests were made for a diverse range of accusations including possession of illegal weapons, driving vehicles with fake registration plates, and suspicion of involvement with terrorist outfits etc.

These incidents have increased since the Pakistan People’s Party took over after the 2008 elections. Attempts have been made, with full blessing of the US government – as confirmed by recently release Wikileaks cables – to clip the wings of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

PPP’s initial attempts, soon after coming into power, to reign in the ISI by placing it under Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s portfolio failed dramatically as the Chief of Army Staff General Kiyani forced Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani into a humiliating U-turn, even as the latter was airborne on an official visit to the United States. Ever since then, friction between the Interior Ministry, the US consulate spear-headed by Hussain Haqqani and the ISI has continued over various issues, including issuance of visas to previously deported personnel and US citizens who had failed the ISI’s security clearance. In addition to this, many US citizens arrested by the law enforcement agencies have been released on the orders of the Interior Ministry.

Perhaps Pakistan’s security interests would be best served if every US citizen on an ‘official’ or ‘diplomatic’ visit to Pakistan is fitted with a similar electronic tag around the ankle which would let the law enforcement agencies monitor their movements and take action if any of them are found trespassing on to sensitive locations or violating the terms of their visa. After all, Pakistan and its people deserve security and respect as much as any other Nation in the World



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