Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 19th, 2018

The Secret US War in Pakistan


The Secret US War in Pakistan

There are many stories available in leading Pakistani newspapers about the secret US operations run by the US Joint Special Operations Command in major cities, specifically, in Karachi, Peshawar and Lahore. The notorious private militia, Blackwater has been at the centre of killing field and targeted assassinations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2001. According to well-placed military sources in Pakistan, members of this militia are gathering secret information to help direct the drone attacks in FATA and Waziristan regions. Black water also controls drone strikes and gathers intelligence for JSOC in Pakistan. There are debates in Pakistani press about the Blackwater and JSOC military operations and under what law they have retrieved the license to kill?

Not going into the detail of the story, the case is simple. On May 10, 2011, Daily Guardian reported a secret agreement signed between General Pervez Musharaf and US President George Bush in 2001 which allowed US Special Forces, CIA and JSOC to carry out secret operations and drone attacks inside Pakistan. This agreement was renewed in February 2008. Afterwards, the Guardian reported both sides agreed on the point that Pakistan would protest the incursion. Having referred to the recent Abbottabad operation, a government official in Islamabad said that US has just implemented the said agreement.

Before signing the deal, General Musharaf had agreed that he would convince his nation that officially the US was not allowed to carry out any secret operation inside Pakistan without the consent of the regime, but JSOC will continue its mission. Moreover, in all major cities of the country, Blackwater was also directed to deny its presence in Pakistan. The deal is still secret but the recent operation in Abbottabad has exposed the intentions of US imperialism in Pakistan. Political parties criticized the army and ISI for their connivances, some demanded the resignation of the ISI chief, but Mr. Pasha himself offered to resign.

On government level, Prime Minister expressed concern over the US operation in his national assembly address and said Pakistan had some differences and reservation regarding this operation and complained that US forces violated the country's sovereignty. The murder of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad created many doubts and misunderstandings among the politicians, ISI and army generals. This unauthorized operation further dilapidated relations between Pakistan and the US. Pakistan army chief conveyed a warning message about the future attacks.

The statement warned: "Any similar action violating the sovereignty of Pakistan will warrant a review on the level of military/intelligence cooperation with the United States." Several questions are being asked that why American did not inform Pakistan army. Some people ask about the ability of Pakistan army for protecting the country while it was not even aware of a major military operation taking place a short distance away from one of its top military academies.

The US secret operations and the unlawful activities of Blackwater across the country created some doubts about the US secret agenda in Pakistan. Opposition parties have raised some questions about the presence of CIA contractors while Interior Minister, Rehman Malik offered resignation if the presence of private militia is proved in Pakistan. According to the recent revelation within Blackwater circles the militia members are working for CIA and Joint Special Operation Command in Pakistan. Sources within the private militia have recently confirmed that it has established various facilities in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar and has personnel deployed elsewhere in Pakistan.

During the Musharaf regime in 2007, the secret operation program of JSOC in Pakistan was started under the leadership of William McRaven, who took over the post from Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC from 2003 to 2008. Blackwater, as a private military and intelligence force is operating under the instruction of JSOC in Karachi and making every plan coordinate with the Task force based in Bagram Air Base of Afghanistan. US military intelligence says that Blackwater classified contracts keep getting renewed at the request of JSOC.

Sources in Afghan Defense Ministry told this author that Blackwater signed first contract with CIA in 2002 for operation in Afghanistan while Afghan intelligence sources say that the militia and JSOC operation in Karachi city is referred to the base in Qatar as the planning centre for the US invasion on Iraq. This private militia (Blackwater) not only making strategies for drone attacks in Waziristan, FATA and Afghanistan, but in Karachi, it also makes plans for CIA and JSOC against extremist groups. In August, the New York Times reported Blackwater's job in hidden bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In its underground places, members of Blackwater assemble and load Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs on remotely piloted Predator aircraft. In September last year, Pakistani newspapers reported a secret ISI report about the suspicious activities of Blackwater and a Federal Minister who had been providing houses and helping them clear shipments of weapons and vehicles through Port Qasim in Karachi.

The arrest of Raymond Davis in 2011 in Lahore further increased in the hurdles of opposition politicians who have often demanded a thorough investigation into the secret deal between the Musharaf regime and CIA. Print and electronic media in Pakistan reported various politicians who alleged that government and military establishment know about the secret activities of Blackwater on their soil but officials vehemently denies these charges. Who is Raymond Davis, nobody knows in Pakistan but it is clear that he was not a regular diplomat. As we mentioned earlier, Pakistan has already agreed about the diplomatic status of the members of Blackwater during the Musharaf regime, Raymond Davis was treated as diplomat as well.

According to the newspapers' reports, Davis also worked for Blackwater. The same story is being repeated in Afghanistan. American secret agencies distribute money among the members of President Hamid Karzai's administration so as to control the President and his decision making machine.
The recent political inclinations of the President towards China and Russia further increased in the headache of American policy makers. The United States is reeling under the $100bn pack a year and is negotiating a new strategic partnership agreement with the Afghan president. Security in Afghanistan has deteriorated recently, but much of that is due to stepped-up military operations, drone attacks and private criminal militias. The current Afghan structures are untenable and cannot sustain. After the withdrawal of US forces and the winding down of operations, the US may maintain some military bases in Afghanistan.

The Writer is the executive Editor of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan and the author of Britain’s National Security Challenges. He can be reached at: zai.musakhan222@gmail.com

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