Archive for September, 2009

US Ambassador Patterson MUST be EXPELLED

By: Ammar 

anne_patterson-thumb-260xauto-395‘You cannot tolerate vipers in your bosom without getting bitten,’ Ambassador Patterson said. ‘Our concern is whether Pakistan really controls its territory. There are people who do not threaten Pakistan but who are extremely important to us.’’

After controlled media leaks about US concerns of a Taliban ’safe-haven’ in Quetta, the US Ambassador in Pakistan has come out and spoken to the media about it. Instead of a denial of reports that the US might attack the provincial capital of Baluchistan with drones, she says the US will have to do what it has to do to take out terrorists.

Enough is enough, Ms. Patterson.  The outrage the Pakistani nation will come up with if anything as such happens will really be very painful for US interests in the region.

Ms. Patterson says several Pakistani officials have made it ‘crystal clear’ to her that the Taliban are a strategic asset to Pakistan in case the US has to withdraw from Afghanistan and the Taliban come into power; now implying that Pakistan is supporting insurgency in Pakistan or anywhere.

The United States really will never stop whining. After a major counter-insurgency operation in Swat, they still express their lack of trust over Pakistan’s ability to contain and crush terrorism.

It leads one to believe that it really is not about terrorism. It really is not about insurgencies. It is actually about the dirty US goal to destabilize and colonize Pakistan. It is about having put the Frontier province on fire and now to support anti-state elements in Baluchistan. The US wants to provide opportunities to them amongst all the mayhem that drone attacks here shall bring with them.

We also have to understand the significance of Quetta as a strategic military base of the Pakistan army. The command and staff college is situated there. And now of all times, the so called ‘Quetta Shura’ of the Taliban tops the US agenda and not Waziristan/FATA.

Will it not give confidence to anti-state elements to take-on the Pakistan army openly in the very heart of the province with US support? Will it not send a signal to them that not even the Pakistan army is secure in its own country?

I believe it is time to crush US war-hysteria in the region once and for all in Pakistan; diplomatically or militarily. Ms. Patterson has so wrongly been led to believe that she enjoys absolute authority over Pakistan and she can come and say whatever she wants to the Pakistani media. She must be told she is an Ambassador and nothing more and nothing less. She must also be told that she is an Ambassador of what every Pakistani believes is a ‘Hostile’ country.

We, I believe, should now go on the offensive and we should deliver selective strikes inside Afghanistan destroying drones and whatever equipment is to be used against Pakistan.

Ms. Patterson – Who are you to tell us we have no control over our territory? Who are you to tell us what we have to do with the insurgents inside?

I urge the Pakistan army to take strict notice of any suspicious military movement across the Pakistani border near Quetta. I urge the government of Pakistan to expel Ambassador Patterson for crossing the line one time too many.

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Breaking News: Proofs of Blackwater’s (Xe Services) Presence in Karachi

A report published in Urdu daily, Jasarat has claimed country’s intelligence agencies have submitted their report regarding Xe (Blackwater) to the federal interior ministry. The report includes proofs of XE Services (also Blackwater) presence in Karachi besides shocking story of their nexus with the political party dominating the city. The report also contains details of houses and hotels being used by Blackwater as its operational centre and lodging.  Quoting highly reliable sources, the investigation cell of one of the large circulated dailies from Karachi has claimed………. Please for details read my Urdu blog. Click here.

Dot summary of the details from Urdu blog plus a chat with the concerned reporter by Talkhaba are given blow.  

  • Blackwater’s activities are at the peak.

  • The notorious mercenary forces are enjoying the support of the most powerful party in the city.

  • Office bearers of the two major political parties are providing [not known whether in their individual capacity or with party lines] to Blackwater besides helping them in getting houses.

  • Nearly half dozen of the houses are provided by a federal minister who is also helping them in clearing the shipments [weapons and hummer] at Port Qasim.

  • Black water has acquired dozens of houses while its strength has reached to 60, 32 out of which are retired officers of Pakistani Law enforcement agencies. No need to mention that the owner of disband Inter Risk is also a retired Captain of Pakistan Army.

  • Blackwater has also acquired the seventh floor of five stars Hotel in the Karachi which is believed to be the new operational Headquarter. Previously a Bungalow in the Khyaban-e-Shamshir area of DHA was used as operational centre.

  • The American School in KDA scheme one has 8 housing units. One house is used by a senior American diplomat while the remaining seven houses are given to Xe Services (Blackwater) for their lodging.

  • Blackwater has got seven houses near the houses of Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf and Gen Moinuddin Hayder in the General colony, near Zamzama DHA. Some Japanese and Koreans are hired and accommodated there to doge Pakistani agencies.

  • Another house is acquired in Karsaz Area which is situated near the Muslim League House. The street has been blocked.

  • Two Vehicles of BB and BD numbers are used by Blackwater in Karachi, the numbers which are assigned to the MNAs and MPAs only. No one will be able to stop them.

  • According to Ummat, the plot reserved for children park in China ground [Kashmir Road] is also given to Xe Services (Blackwater)

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Foreigners are staying in some 1300 residences in the Federal Capital

On the directives of Interior Ministry, Islamabad Police on Wednesday has completed formal survey of private vehicles and private residences that are being used by foreigners. According to Reliable Sources, Islamabad Police has sent its formal report to the high officials after collecting all the necessary data.

According to the survey conducted, foreigners are staying in some 1300 residences in the Federal Capital which are outside Diplomatic Enclave that include sectors, F-7, E-7 and I sectors respectively. All the record of the foreigners living in the houses and driving various vehicles has been sent to interior ministry.

All such precautions are being taken following the gruesome incident of recovery of illegal arms from a residence of sector F-6, last week, sources added.

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PM allows US to import 80 sophisticated automatic prohibited bore weapons

Dawn reports yesterday [Friday, 18 Sep, 2009] “A private Pakistani security agency being operated by a retired army captain, and providing security and protection to American embassy officials in the country, has imported over 80 sophisticated automatic prohibited bore weapons, following special permission granted by the prime minister.”

It further reports “The retired captain, who was picked up by a Pakistani intelligence agency a day earlier but soon released on the production of valid documents, acquired these licenses for prohibited bore guns for Inter Risk, a company which has the contract to provide trained “security guards” for the Americans”.

 Sources privy to the development said 84 licenses were issued with the special approval of Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on a personal request from a senior US official who had apprised the prime minister of the need for having a specialized private security team to protect American diplomats in the country. Soon after grant of approval the weapons were imported from the US.

Among the weapons for which special licences were issued include guns of 5.56mm and 7.62mm calibre rifles.

When contacted, a US embassy spokesman confirmed that the embassy was working with the private company, Inter Risk. However, he said that it was Inter Risk which might have imported the weapons, and certainly not the US embassy.

However, he claimed that since the weapons were quite expensive and he was not in a position to buy them on his own, he was provided help by the contracting party in paying for them. [It proves that since US has paid for it, the weapons are of Americans, and they will use these. Inter Risk is just a facilitator and agent]

When asked about the controversy surrounding another foreign security firm, Blackwater or the XE, Capt Zaidi denied any linkage with, or knowledge of, any such company. [I think it is the most ridiculous thing Capt Ziadi has ever said. The CEO of Security Company providing security to US embassy claims to have no knowledge about the world’s largest security firm. LOL]

Dawn reports “The sources said the arrangement was made with a Pakistani security company because local laws do not permit any foreign private security firm to operate within the country or import sophisticated weapons from abroad.” [This confirms that Inter Risk is playing the role of agent for help US embassy to import the Weapon which will target Pakistanis]

Isn’t it bizarre that the Prime Minister of country allows the prohibited weapons to the mercenaries who point these at his own people?

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Yet Another Proof of Black Water Presence in Pakistan

Teeth Maestro has rightly said  that it seems all these reports quite apparently points towards a definite buildup of US military personnel and subsequent a good security cordon around them as well which may hint towards the presence of BlackWater / Xe. But what to do of our government and its ignorance foreign office spokesman? By speaking bushtit being dictated by US sponsored regime, does he think he can make Pakistani vigilant citizens fool.

State Department revises Pay Scale & Lodging rates for US personnel in Islamabad

By Teeth Maestro

With effect from 1st July 2009 the US State Department has revised the pay scale of all US personnel and contractors stationed within USG civilian compounds in Islamabad from high of a $289/day to a present low of $110/day, while the lodging rates have dropped even more significantly from $213/day to a paltry $70/day. This is compounded with a 35% Danger Pay which is to-date the highest in the world going shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan and Iraq, while Yemen and Lebanon come as second most dangerous place for US contractors and personnel receiving 30% danger pay

The sudden fall in lodging rates may suggest a massive acquiring of housing locations in Islamabad, while the simultaneous reduction in the ‘per deim’ pay scale for US personnel and contractors may suggest that they maybe living inside a ’secure compound’. Such low rates across the world are seen in locations where the Americans have a proper base and a secure compound, while interestingly Karachi and Lahore fetch the same high living rates like before. Something definitely cooking in Islamabad

It seems all these reports quite apparently points towards a definite buildup of US military personnel and subsequent a good security cordon around them as well which may hint towards the presence of BlackWater / Xe, the American rogue militia

The following table is the present pay scale and lodging rates for US Personnel in Pakistan, as published on the State Department’s website, while the previous rates prior to 1st July 2009 can be found here for comparison, special attention to Islamabad

Post Name

Lodging Rate

Misc. & Incidental Rate

Per Deim Rate

Footnote

Effective Date

Faisalabad

133

46

179

View

01/01/2007

Islamabad

70

40

110

View

07/01/2009

Karachi

231

79

310

View

10/01/2008

Lahore

188

57

245

View

01/01/2007

Other

154

63

217

N/A

10/01/2008

Peshawar

156

45

201

View

03/01/2004

Quetta

154

63

217

View

10/01/2008

It would be safe to say that something definitely cooking in Islamabad

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Blackwater Watch by Citizens of Pakistan

Courtesy: Teeth Maestro

With all the wheeling and dealing by our country’s leaders compromising on all national issue only to ensure that their own stay in power is secured it does seem that our very own leaders elected / burecratic and military have unleashed yet another wrath unto the people of Pakistan by allowing the menacing extra-military force called Blackwater to establish a strong foothold in Pakistan.

Blackwater or recently known as Xe is a rogue military force comprised of ex-military personnel that has had a very bad reputation of being instrumental in a number of assassinations and armed bullying in Iraq and Afghanistan and it appears that they are now being welcomed into Pakistan.

This is OUR country, and there is no justification to import a team of non-Pakistani militia to come into Pakistan and establish themselves for any reason what so ever. The excuse that is being thrown around is that they are entrusted with the elite task of protecting the interests of the American Embassy in Islamabad, which I believe is hogwash.

As responsible and patriotic citizens of Pakistan I believe we as a team can out-fox our corrupt leaders in exposing this menace, this same organization played havoc with the lives of Iraqi nationals, let them not trample over us. We can wield power in numbers, literally found at every corner of the street in Pakistan, we as patriotic citizens of Pakistan can be an invisible force that chooses not be be trampled by an external force trying to run our lives
 
What can you do?

  1. Help document all their locations across Pakistan on a Map hence making it public knowledge, at Map.Pakvoices.net, this I believe is a noble thing to do since they’re definitely a security risk for us Pakistanis and the least patriotic thing that we can do is point out these rogue militia [NOTE: All submissions will need to be verified before going live]
  2. Help take pictures / videos of any encounters you may have with this militia, spot them on the street, snap a picture and post them on either on Youtube / flickr [without unnecessarily exposing yourself] you can also submit them as an incident at Pakvoices or email to iReport@Pakvoices.net
  3. You can also symbolically join the Facebook group EXPEL Blackwaters & US marines from Pakistan
  4. More importantly do join the effort to spread the word making more and more Pakistanis become aware of this increasing menace in Pakistan, a few good suggestions have been suggested by Talkhaaba

 Please NOTE: All submissions made to the PakVoices.net website will go through some degree of verficiation to ensure correctness before going public

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A complete State of Denial

How has Pakistani rulers converted Pakistani State into a Pakistani society by surrendering its sovereignty to United State of America. The process started by criminal Pervez Musharraf has witnessed its high during the present regime lead by Asif Ali Zardari. For read a must read article by Abu Saad, published in “The Nation” Pakistan.

A complete State of Denial

By: Abu Saad

An all time technique to reject a story is simply to call it “conspiracy theory”. It is an established fact that Pakistan ruling party’s politicians have got command in calling news stories as conspiracy theories, which they blame are being hatched to destabilise the ‘democratic’ regime. In fact it is a ‘democratic regime’ where Parliament does not discuss the issues pertaining to national security and foreign policy and where major political parties do not feel it necessary to show their concern over US meddling in our day-to-day governance from local bodies issue to flour and sugar shortage. Due to US and now Saudi interference in our affairs the state of Pakistan has been concerted into a society of people with conflicting views. The sovereignty, which differentiates ‘state’ from ‘society’, ceases to exist in the land that had been carved out of the Indian subcontinent and named Pakistan.

The worst aspect of this story is the division of the civil society. One segment comprises NGOs related citizens – the ones being beneficiary of US influence has no objection to the American expansionist designs. The worst scenario develops with the deaf government unwilling to value the louder voices of the majority of the people of Pakistan who see these expansionist designs conforming to what Richard N Haass calls a “war of necessity”. Besides the growing society and media, the two prominent parties outside the Parliament – JI and PTI – have only raised anti-American or anti-US expansionist slogans.

Isn’t it the height of deterioration when on the one hand the US ambassador in Islamabad is meddling in Pakistani affairs, while on the other Pakistan’s [US] Ambassador to US Hussain Haqqani did not even bother to issue a two-line statement regarding the inclusion of Balochistan in the state of citizenship column in the US citizenship and immigration services form for Non-US residents. After forming the Union of Patriotic Bloggers for Sovereign Pakistan (UPBSP), for running a campaign for the removal of the name from USCIS form and seeking an official apology, I also wrote an email to Ambassador Haqqani to raise the issue. Although the name was removed from the column silently within seven days after the news broke, the ambassador did not even express two words condemning this anti-Pakistan action by an official US agency. Now proving himself as US’s Pakistani Ambassador to US, Mr Haqqani has written a letter to the foreign secretary and chief of ISI suggesting them that denying visas to US journalists would not only hurt the country’s image but could also cost severely in view of the forthcoming herring about the US assistance to Pakistan. The Pakistanis smelling danger in every move of Mr Haqqani have, rightly, termed it a pressure tactic from our own ambassador to soften the process of the entry of US spies and Blackwater agents, which our embassy and the ISI has started screening after ‘media speculations’.

Going back as of August 21, 2009, our Foreign Office spokesman was telling the world that media speculations on the US embassy’s expansion were not true. Speaking at a weekly briefing, he said that the US had not yet formally asked for expanding its embassy compound or deploying additional security staff. “We haven’t yet received any formal request as to how many additional personnel they want to position in their embassy in Islamabad and in their consulates in Karachi and other cities,” Basit said. The media speculations rejected by the FO spokesman have become true now. The news of the ambitious plan of the United States to expand its presence in Pakistan surfaced in early August 2009, but the government has been in a complete state of denial. According to the news that first appeared in a section of the Pakistani press and is now being highlighted by the Pakistani society, media and blogosphere, the “fortress-like embassy” had to “accommodate close to 1,000 additional personnel being sent to Islamabad as part of the US administration’s decision to significantly raise its profile in the country. The new staffers will augment the current 750-strong American contingent already based in Pakistan; this against a sanctioned strength of 350.” But the news of 1,000 additional staff was rejected by the Pakistani government calling it an exaggeration of what they thought was to furnace anti-American sentiments. Once again a US diplomat has disclosed America’s plan to double the staff of its embassy in Islamabad, which though is lesser than the actual number that was planned, but if summed up with the present strength of 750 it will become 1,500. Almost 1,150 more than the sanctioned strength and just 250 less than what the media had been ‘speculating’.

In an interview with the BBC, Deputy Ambassador Gerald Festine also admitted that negotiations were on to buy Peshawar’s bombed Pearl Continental Hotel, where a diplomatic mission would be established. The Nation quoted Festine as saying: “One of the proposals is to purchase the PC Hotel in Peshawar as it has all the basic infrastructure according to our requirements.

The negotiations are on and no final decision has been made as yet.” According to the news story the deputy ambassador said: “We are in contact with the local security agencies, and similarly the discussions are underway with the US agencies as well.” The statement of Festine is a confession of what the media had been ‘speculating’ regarding Blackwater. The deputy ambassador has partially confessed, but what to say about our leadership that has put a blind eye on what is happening in the country. From the central leadership to our ambassador, all have made up their mind for selling Pakistan. However, our media and civil society can transform the Pakistani society into a sovereign state only if they wish to do so and make a sincere effort for it.

The writer is a freelance columnist.

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