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Strategic Punishment: A Program To Assassinate Pakistani Military Officers

Posted by yourpakistan on February 27, 2011

A little over a year ago, before CIA agents were arrested in Pakistan working with anti-Pakistan terrorists, Pakistani military buildings and officers were targeted in brazen, commando-style attacks that were blamed on a ragtag army of mercenaries hiding at the Afghan border. Today we revisit an important argument made at the time: Not all terror attacks inside Pakistan can be blamed on Taliban or al-Qaeda.


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

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 in Pakistan by 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, the kind of training not available except in military schools. Al-Qaeda is not known to have mounted 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.

Watch the video in Urdu: Plan To Assassinate Pakistan Military Commanders: Ahmed Quraishi

These attacks on military commanders mark a shift that most Pakistani pundits failed to notice. Before 2002, when foreign forces landed in Afghanistan, no group, political or militant, ever existed inside Pakistan that could be a match for the Pakistani military. It did not happen even at the height of the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s or during the Afghan Taliban government in the 1990s. 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 holed up 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 the above finding 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, 2009, 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 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
2. The attack on Mumbai in November 2008
3. The Jan. 2008 attack on Serena Hotel, Kabul.

Washington and New Delhi insist ISI is responsible for all of them, without evidence.

The 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 responsibility for the political turmoil in Pakistan partially rests with Washington and its interference in Pakistani politics.

US ambassador Anne W. Patterson has recently been personally involved in meeting politicians in private houses 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, 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.

This article was first published in December 2009 and republished in February 2011.


2 Responses to “Strategic Punishment: A Program To Assassinate Pakistani Military Officers”

  1. […] , USA Also you can check out this related blog post:… […]

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