With deepest condolences to the grieving nation
February 04, 2008.
(updated February 05, 2008)
(A version submitted to Daily Times and Dawn – remained unpublished)
Addendum Sept. 21, 2009: Former Chief of Army Staff’s belated disclosure
© Project HumanbeingsfirstTM. Permission granted to use freely as per copyright notice
Almost every English daily in Pakistan has carried some coverage of Benazir Bhutto’s posthumously published book in the UK. The Daily Times on February 05, 2008, in its editorial, wrote: ‘A London newspaper has published excerpts from Ms Benazir Bhutto’s posthumous book “Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West” in which she has revealed that Al Qaeda agents and some people from the Musharraf establishment were involved in the plot to kill her’. In Dawn’s column of February 04, 2008, titled “Benazir’s ‘last testament’ gives hint about plot to kill her”, Benazir was also quoted, stating: “When I returned, I did not know whether I would live or die. I knew that the same elements of Pakistani society that had colluded to destroy my father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and end democracy in Pakistan in 1977 were now arrayed against me for the same purpose exactly 30 years later.”
It is instructive to quote Brig. Tirmazi, the Director of ISI at the time of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, from his 1995 memoirs ‘Profiles of Intelligence’, where the erstwhile spymaster asserts the following:
The US Plays its Role. According to some candid intelligence estimates, the US was fully involved in exploiting the situation by guiding and aiding the opposition political parties and ultimately getting him removed and hanged. (page 33)
It is generally believed that the US wanted ZAB to be removed from the political scene of Pakistan mainly on two counts. First, for the nuclear policy that he framed and tried to relentlessly pursue and secondly, for apprehensions that ZAB’s was influencing the minds and policies of a number of Islamic and Third World countries. He posed a serious challenge to the US interests in the region. ‘He had to be eliminated’.
On August 9, 1976, American Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger had a talk with ZAB, in Lahore, to dissuade him from acquiring Nuclear Reprocessing Plant from France for which the deal had already been finalized after Pakistan had agreed to all the safeguard requirements laid down by both France and the International Atomic Energy Agency. In their talks, Dr. Kissinger found ZAB inflexible and determined to go ahead with the acquisition of the Reprocessing Plant and make Pakistan a nuclear power. Incensed, he warned ZAB, “We will make a horrible example of you,” adding menacingly, “When the railroad is coming, you get out of the way.” But ZAB stood his ground. The US virtually mowed down ZAB. The political and economic crisis situation that started to develop during 1976-77 was fully exploited by the power broker USA. This is how they did it:-
– The Americans had successfully cultivated a number of well-placed bureaucrats, PPP stalwarts and ministers who wittingly or inadvertently served as the US agents of influence. American diplomats and CIA operators not only got most of the ‘inside’ information from these ‘gentlemen’ but also utilized their good offices to ‘convey’ whatever they wanted to feed or plant.
– During 1976-77 ZAB, probably working on the structured advice of these agents, continued to slip deeper and deeper into the political quagmire. They somehow convinced him that PPP must win and hold two third majority in the elections. When the agitation was moving from bad to worse, some of these men wanted weapons and chalked out plans to defeat MNA movement by force. ZAB also seriously started to consider this option.
– Some officers from USMAAG had also meaningful ingresses in the General Headquarters and not only gathered the thinking in the Services Headquarters but would also drop a ‘suggestion’ here and there.
– Some of the US diplomats had established direct contacts with a number of PNA leaders whom they continued to aid, support and give day-to-day line of action.
– As soon as the PNA movement gathered momentum, a large number of foreigners, particularly Americans descended on Pakistan in the garb of freelance journalists, reporters, observers, and photographers to cover the events. These men and women loaded with cameras, tape recorders and money seemed to have done their home-work well and were also being fed locally by invisible sources. They all seemed to know the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of every one who was any one in politics. It would be interesting to note that, (thanks to our days of slavery, we still have not overcome the ‘white skin’ phobia) most of our politicians were not only always available to these manipulators but would actually feel elated on getting a call from them and would pour out whatever they had in their minds. Every day, we in the ISI received a flood of telegrams that these journalists would send home and it was surprising to know who all they were speaking to and what information and political analysis they received.
– All that was being sent out by these so-called foreign journalists, who were actually CIA operators, was being beamed back on Pakistan as psychological warfare and propaganda aimed at building up a scenario of ZAB’s fall.
– A number of diplomats were not only actively involved but also directed the operations against ZAB. Jan M. Gibney, Political Officer, US Consulate General, Lahore, duly assisted by a couple of Pakistanis, was extremely active and would frequently visit a number of politicians. It was Gibney who had telephoned and conveyed to Howard B. Schaffer, Chief of Political Affairs, US Embassy, Islamabad, that notorious sentence, “The party is over. Merchandise has gone.” ZAB had retorted by saying, “Party is not yet over. Elephant has long ears……”
– We had reports from Karachi that exchange rate of US Dollar in the open market had considerably dropped. The market was flooded with US Dollar currency notes and too many people were trying to exchange US Dollars for Pak Rupees. Who unloaded all those US currency notes in the market, is a question not difficult to answer.
– PL-480 funds had also been released by the US. Over-night some JI workers were seen with pockets full of money and spending lavishly. …
… The US not only aided but also directed most of the PNA activities. On July 4, 1977, PNA negotiators Mufti Mahmood, Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan and Professor Gafoor had agreed on a joint formula with the PPP but suddenly Air Marshal (retired) Asghar Khan, Pir of Pigaro, Begum Nasim Wali Khan, Maulana Noorani and some other of their ilk declared that they did not endorse the agreement reached between the parties. On whose behalf these leaders sabotaged the reconciliation proceedings, is any body’s guess.
Martial Law. On the night of July 4/5, 1977 General Zia-ul-Haq declared Martial Law. …
The US Issues Black Warrant. When ZAB’s trial for his alleged involvement in the murder of Nawab Muhammad Ahmad Khan was being heard in the Supreme Court, Islamabad, … a telegraphic message from Washington [was received]. When decoded, it contained directions for the local US offices to ensure that ZAB was hanged. It also laid down instructions for arranging retirement and shifting of some of the general officers. (pages 33-38 )
The top spymaster of Pakistan further elaborated on the innate nature of the puppetmasters:
Under the pretext of securing her own strategic interests, the United States of America tries to manipulate and dabble in the affairs of other nations. …
Essentially, the US policy configurations vis-a-vis Pakistan have been that of a “master” and not of a “friend”. Oscillating between persuasion and coercion, the US tends to employ all available means to keep Pakistan under watch, pressure and diplomatic subjugation. At times, it has used the ‘carrot and stick’ of aid, and at others, lashed out threats of economic strangulation or declaring Pakistan a terrorist state.
Pakistan’s geostrategic position, nuclear capability, agricultural and technological potential, as well as the Islamic ideological base are matters of vital concern to US policy makers. The US will not and cannot allow Pakistan to govern her own affairs. While Pakistan was still in its infancy, the American hawks pounced upon and hijacked our national interests by building up an exaggerated threat of the former Soviet Union’s expansionist designs against Pakistan and their so called ‘mad’ drive to the warm waters. …
In addition to the administrative, economic and political means, the US has always employed her secret terrorist arm, the CIA, in foreign lands. The CIA is known for adopting various covert and overt means to undermine the integrity of other countries for achieving their own objectives and furthering their ‘nefarious’ designs. It is equipped with colossal material resources and its men are canny and ruthless in executing their assignments. Their methods in madness include:
a) Espionage and penetration in all areas of interest like defence, foreign affairs, science/technology, developmental programmes, economy, education, and politics. b) Propaganda, disinformation campaigns, subversion, terrorism, psy warfare, assassinations, blackmail, bribes, coercion and intimidation. …
j) Install CIA agents as presidents, prime ministers, ministers, generals and senior advisors, etc.” (pages 20 – 22)
And the most telling observation by Brig Tirmazi – which may perhaps also shed immediate investigative light on who killed Benazir Bhutto until it is eventually rerun as self-evident on the history channels in 20-50 years – is this straightforward question that he had the chutzpah to ask, ex post facto:
… It would be fair to ask what we [the ISI] did to counter the US machinations? Well we did not, and could not do any thing beyond reporting to the highest authority in the country. There are reasons for our inaction:
One, neither the ISI nor the IB is designed or equipped to counter the machinations of a Super Power.
Two, an important factor is our own price. A lot has been said and written by some of our American friends about the price of a Pakistani. Dr. Andrew V. Corry, US Counsel General at Lahore, once said, “Price of a Pakistani oscillates between a free trip to the US and a bottle of whisky.” He may not be too far wrong. We did observe some highly placed Pakistanis selling their conscience, prestige, dignity and self-respect for a small price. (page 45)
And to carry the chutzpah to its logical conclusion, the erstwhile former leader of the ISI asks the exact same question – ever so blithely (after having willingly served the old ‘masters’) – that most plebeians in this ‘wretched’ nation are still asking twelve years later:
“The nation has the right to know and ask the leaders how far has the situation changed and have we developed enough muscles and guts to get rid of the old masters and their agents? That is the question.” (page 23)
So the erstwhile daughter of the East, Benazir Bhutto, was indeed quite clairvoyant in asserting that the same killers will be after her – except that she (perhaps deliberately) misidentified the culprits, in both cases – for this spy confessional-memoir was written during her own time as Prime Minister, and could not have escaped her notice or the approval of the upper echelons of ISI and her own government before publication.
And her un-clever misidentification, not surprisingly, clearly only benefits the real culprits themselves – crafted as she was by the Council on Foreign Relations. Witness this exchange on August 15, 2007, in New York, where she was introduced by CFR’s President, Richard Haass, with a very revealing welcoming statement: “It is, for me, a personal pleasure to welcome back to the Council on Foreign Relations an old friend of mine and someone who is familiar to many of you in this room and knows well this organization, the former prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto.”
It is here that Benazir Bhutto had asserted that she will tow the American line: “I seek to lead a democratic Pakistan which is free from the yoke of military dictatorship and that will cease to be a haven, the very petri dish of international terrorism” – thinking that that’s what they wanted to hear. In her eagerness to come to power – or perhaps deliberately setup over the past three years to entice her to return to Pakistan – not realizing that it was to create a ‘strategy of tension‘ in Pakistan as a pawn-move on the ‘Grand Chessboard‘.
It is unsurprising that the Pakistani newspapers continue to un-forensically repeat the same mantras as did the victim, Benazir Bhutto, and as is publicly the wont among the Pakistani ruling establishment. Perhaps deceit, forgetfulness, and co-optation today are deemed the better part of valor. Unless one has the unflinching courage to practice the late Charles de Gaulle’s solution of “tous azimuths” ( ‘vigilant in all directions – “360 degrees”’ ), that includes of friends and foes alike, this nation is at the end of its tethers. See the upcoming detailed deconstruction by Project Humanbeingsfirst (http://humanbeingsfirst.org) on who killed Benazir Bhutto and how to possibly arrest the ‘Descent into Oblivion’. [Author’s Note 9/21/2009: This report was abandoned.]
Blackwater involved in Bhutto and Hariri hits: former Pakistani army chief
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN – Pakistan’s former chief of army staff, General Mirza Aslam Beg (ret.), has said the U.S. private security company Blackwater was directly involved in the assassinations of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto and former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.
Blackwater later changed its name and is now known as Xe.
General Beg recently told the Saudi Arabian daily Al Watan that former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf had given Blackwater the green light to carry out terrorist operations in the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, and Quetta.
General Beg, who was chief of army staff during Benazir Bhutto’s first administration, said U.S. officials always kept the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan secret because they were afraid of possible attacks on the U.S. Embassy and its consulates in Pakistan.
During an interview with a Pakistani TV network last Sunday, Beg claimed that the United States killed Benazir Bhutto.
Beg stated that the former Pakistani prime minister was killed in an international conspiracy because she had decided to back out of the deal through which she had returned to the country after nine years in exile.
Beg also said he believes that the former director general of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence was not an accomplice in the conspiracy against Benazir Bhutto, although she did not trust him.
The retired Pakistani general also stated that Benazir Bhutto was a sharp politician but was not as prudent as her father.
On September 2, the U.S. ambassador to Islamabad, Anne W. Patterson, intervened with one of the largest newspaper groups in Pakistan, The News International, to force it to block a decade-old weekly column by Dr. Shireen Mazari scheduled for publication on September 3 in which Mazari, the former director of the Islamabad Institute of Strategic Studies, broke the story of Blackwater/Xe’s presence in Pakistan.
The management of The News International dismissed one of the country’s most prominent academics and journalists due to U.S. pressure. She joined the more independent daily The Nation last week as an editor.
On September 9, in her first column in The Nation, Dr. Mazari wrote:
“Now, even if one were to ignore the massive purchases of land by the U.S., the questionable manner in which the expansion of the U.S. Embassy is taking place and the threatening covert activities of the U.S. and its ‘partner in crime’ Blackwater; the unregistered comings and goings of U.S. personnel on chartered flights; we would still find it difficult to see the whole aid disbursement issue as anything other than a sign of U.S. gradual occupation. It is no wonder we have the term Af-Pak: Afghanistan they control through direct occupation loosely premised on a UN resolution; Pakistan they are occupying as a result of willingly ceded sovereignty by the past and present leadership.”
According to Al Watan, Washington even used Blackwater forces to protect its consulate in the city of Peshawar.
In addition, U.S. journalist Seymour Hersh has accused former U.S vice president Dick Cheney of being involved in the Hariri assassination.
He said Cheney was in charge of a secret team that was tasked with assassinating prominent political figures.
After the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005, the U.S. and a number of other countries pointed the finger at Syria, although conclusive evidence has never been presented proving Syrian involvement in the murder.
Please note the following blatant obviousness from Project Humanbeingsfirst before one is overly impressed by the Pakistani General belatedly breaking his silence only when fait accompli has irreversibly been seeded – and do watch for more ‘cats performing hajj after having eaten 900 mice’:
The author, an ordinary researcher and writer on contemporary geopolitics, a minor justice activist, grew up in Pakistan, studied EECS at MIT, engineered for a while in high-tech Silicon Valley (patents here), and retired early to pursue other responsible interests. His maiden 2003 book was rejected by six publishers and can be read on the web at http://PrisonersoftheCave.org. He may be reached at http://Humanbeingsfirst.org.
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Who Killed Benazir Bhutto? In her own words!