By AHMED QURAISHI.Ambassador Patterson launches a campaign to quietly rally Pakistani politicians on behalf of President Zardari.
HYPOCRITICAL PROPAGANDIST PERVEZ HOODBHOY DANCED WITH INDIAN-HINDUS WHEN PAKISTANIS DIED
US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson has launched a series of covert meetings with Pakistani politicians seeking support for President Zardari, and her Indian counterpart has just organized a music and booze party on the very day as hundreds of Pakistani families, four Pakistanis cities, and at least one large political party observed a day of mourning. Pakistan is open to foreign meddling like never before, probably the only nuclear power in the world exposed to outside powers in this manner, thanks to sold-out ruling elite.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—In a brazen insult to Pakistanis, India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Mr. Sharat Sabharwal held a musical event at his residence the same day 12 Pakistanis were killed in Multan, and a day after the carnage in Lahore were a death toll of 50 people sent the country into mourning.
On Dec. 8, Lahore wore black and MQM, the third largest party in the country, observed an official day of mourning for the victims of attacks in Peshawar, Rawalpindi, and Lahore. But Mr. Sabharwal decided to hold a musical concert that night and sent out invitations to 130 Pakistani families to attend. Most of them had the good sense to decline. Only about 40 families attended.
The move by the senior Indian diplomat was in such bad taste that news of his musical night spread far and wide across Pakistan, especially when the country’s Interior Ministry and the military have both confirmed possessing strong evidence that implicates India in killing Pakistanis.
“It is in bad taste on the part of any diplomat to hold an unnecessary event that denotes celebration of some sort when the murder of close to 500 Pakistanis in a few weeks has sent thousands of Pakistanis into mourning,” a senior Foreign Office official told AHMEDQURAISHI But despite this, the Pakistani Foreign Office is unable to straighten up the Indian envoy. “This is a matter for Foreign Minister Qureshi to decide,” said the Pakistani official.
If the action of the Indian envoy was in bad taste, what’s worse is how some very prominent Pakistanis joined the Indian ambassador in a night of music, booze and merrymaking while their countrymen mourned. The list of prominent Pakistanis who decided to party includes:
1. Pervez Hoodbhoi, Professor, QAU
2. Gen. Talat Masood (r)
3. Dr. Shoukat Aman Askari
4. Effat Saigol
5. Syed Fakhar Imam, politician-PPPP
6. Syeda Abida Hussain, ex-Ambassador, US/Politician-PPPP
7. Riaz Khokhar, ex-Foreign Secretary
8. Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, ex-diplomat
9. Shafqat Kakakhail, ex-diplomat
10. Ex-Sen. Fasih Iqbal
11. Ex-Sen. Anwar Baig, PPPP
12. Abbas Zaidi
13. Ex-Pres. Wasim Sajad,
14. Adnan Aurangzaib, politician-PML-N
15. Safina Khar, politician-PPPP
16. Ex-Foreign Sec. Abdul Sattar
17. Babar Sattar, lawyer-Rhodes Scholar
18. Kabir Wasti , politician, PML-Q
In principle, there is nothing wrong in attending an event at the Indian High Commissioner’s residence in Islamabad. The problem with this particular event is its timing. Had Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi dared to do something similar on the eve of the mourning for Mumbai attack victims, he would probably have been publicly lynched. But in Pakistan, the Indian envoy is unfortunately patronized by prominent Pakistanis.
US Ambassador & Her Diplomats
In the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009, US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson drove to an area outside the capital Islamabad called Chak Shehzad. This is where the city’s wealthy maintain farmhouses. In one such house owned by a Member of National Assembly Donya Aziz, who is a member of the party once headed by former President Pervez Musharraf, Amb. Patterson held an unannounced meeting with PML-Q chief Shujaat Hussain and Ch. Pervez Ilahi. Ms. Aziz and her mother, Mrs. Shehla Aziz, have reportedly organized several such meetings between her party leaders and the US ambassador. Both the US Embassy and the party have kept the meeting under wraps.
The secret meeting was part of Amb. Patterson’s new campaign. She is now lobbying Pakistani politicians to support President Asif Zardari, who came to power through an arrangement brokered by the US and UK with Mr. Musharraf. She requested Chaudhry Shujat, who is an influential elder statesman, to support Mr. Zardari. She also requested that he publicly support President Obama’s new Afghan strategy unveiled on Dec. 2.
[Mr. Shujaat is reported to have carefully listened to US ambassador but apparently did not commit to a course of action.]
It is stunning that the Ambassador of the United States in Pakistan is desperate to ensure support for Mr. Zardari, a man tainted by corruption and ineptitude. The only quality he has that endears him to Ms. Patterson is that he is willing to turn a nuclear power like Pakistan into an American client state subservient to US interests in Afghanistan and India.
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.
Last week, 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.
There are still pockets inside Pakistan, including official buildings and military buildings, which are occupied by US operatives disguised as US military and government representatives. These arrangements were approved by Mr. Musharraf and the information was kept secret from Pakistanis.
On Dec. 8, American diplomats seated in two jeeps belonging to US Consulate in Lahore locked themselves inside and refused to allow Pakistani Military Police officers to inspect the vehicles at a checkpoint. Pakistani soldiers surrounded the cars for three hours and were ready to break the doors when the Punjab government officials rescued the US diplomats at the last minute.
In July 2009, four US diplomats were arrested in the Maximum Security Zone around Pakistan’s premier nuclear research installations in the central part of the country. US diplomats were traveling in cars carrying fake number plates. They were unable to provide a plausible explanation for their presence in the area. They were released because of the intervention of the federal government of Mr. Zardari.
In May, a US woman diplomat was caught arranging a quiet [read ’secret’] meeting between an Indian diplomat and several senior Pakistani government officials at her residence. An address in Islamabad was identified as a venue for the secret meeting. The American diplomat in question knew there was no chance the Indian would get to meet the senior Pakistanis in normal circumstances considering the nature of Pak-Indian relations. Nor was it possible to arrange this meeting during a high visibility event, like an embassy reception. This private meeting arranged by the US diplomat was the only way for the Indian to meet a group of senior Pakistani government officials. After the incident, Pakistan Foreign Office issued a terse statement warning all government officials to refrain from such direct contact with foreign diplomats in unofficial settings without prior intimation to their departments.
In the latest example of covert US activities inside Pakistan, a citizen’s good judgment led to the arrest of five US citizens of Arab and Pakistani descent today in Punjab province. Documents detailing sensitive Pakistani buildings and installations were recovered from them. All of them came from the US and claimed association with a little known American Islamic organization. Interestingly, US military and intelligence officials are keen to shift the war from Afghanistan to this part of Pakistan for many reasons, but especially as a way to punish the families of the officer cadre of the Pakistani military. Indian security experts have been counseling their American counterparts for years that the war on terror should be taken to the Punjab province if the Pakistani military were to be sufficiently pressured to cooperate with US regional objectives.
With the kind of activities that US diplomatic and military staffers are pursuing in Pakistan, coupled with a wave of terror in which arms and financing is coming from US-controlled Afghanistan – where Indian intelligence has been allowed space – Pakistan appears exposed to unprecedented foreign interference and is in dire need of a strong federal government that can rescue the country from Washington’s dubious war in Afghanistan.