Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The View From Pakistan's Spies by David Ignatius

Columnist and Associate Editor David Ignatius
He joined The Post in 1986 as editor of The Post's Outlook section, and then served as foreign editor from 1990 to 1992. Prior to becoming a columnist, Ignatius was The Post's assistant managing editor in charge of business news, a position he assumed in 1993. He continued to write weekly after becoming executive editor of the Paris-based International Herald Tribune in 2000, and resumed writing twice a week for the op-ed page in 2003. Before joining The Post he worked for ten years as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering at various times the steel industry, the Justice Department, the CIA, the U.S. Senate, the Middle East, and the State Department. Ignatius has written six novels: "Body of Lies" (April 2007), "The Sun King" (1999), "A Firing Offense" (1997), "The Bank of Fear" (1994), "SIRO" (1991), and "Agents of Innocence" (1987). Courtesy: David Ignatius
Editorial; Associate Editors

The View From Pakistan's Spies By David Ignatius Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ISLAMABAD -- The headquarters of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence directorate is a black-ribbed stucco building in the Aabpara neighborhood of the capital. Its operatives, described by wary Pakistanis as "the boys from Aabpara," play a powerful and mysterious role in the life of the country. Their "tentacles," as one ISI officer terms the agency's spy networks, stretch deep into neighboring Afghanistan.

The ISI agreed to open its protective curtain slightly for me last week. This unusual outreach included a long and animated conversation with Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the agency's director general, as well as a detailed briefing from its counterterrorism experts. Under the ground rules, I cannot quote Pasha directly, but I can offer a sense of how his agency looks at key issues -- including the Afghanistan war and the ISI's sometimes prickly relationship with America.

At an operational level, the ISI is a close partner of the CIA. Officers of the two services work together nearly every night on joint operations against al-Qaeda in Pakistan's tribal areas, perhaps the most dangerous region in the world. Information from the ISI has helped the CIA plan its Predator drone attacks, which have killed 14 of the top 20 targets over the past several years.

But on the political level, there is mistrust on both sides. The United States worries that the ISI isn't sharing all it knows about Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. The Pakistanis, meanwhile, view the United States as an unreliable ally that starts fights it doesn't know how to finish.

A test of this fragile partnership is the debate over the new Afghanistan strategy proposed by Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The ISI leadership thinks the United States can't afford to lose in Afghanistan, and it worries about a security vacuum there that would endanger Pakistan. But at the same time, the ISI fears that a big military surge, like the up to 40,000 additional troops McChrystal wants, could be counterproductive.

ISI officials believe Washington should be realistic about its war objectives. If victory is defined as obliteration of the Taliban, the United States will never win. But the United States can achieve the more limited aim of rough political stability, if it is patient.

In the ISI's view, America makes a mistake in thinking it must solve every problem on its own. In Afghanistan, it should work with President Hamid Karzai, who, for all his imperfections, has one essential quality that American strategists lack -- he's an Afghan. ISI officials suggest that Karzai should capitalize on the post-election ferment by calling for a cease-fire so that he can form a broadly based government that includes some Taliban representatives.

ISI officials say they want to help America with political reconciliation in Afghanistan. But they argue that to achieve this goal, the U.S. must change its posture -- moving from "ruler mode" to "support mode" -- so that Afghan voices can be heard.

The American suspicion that the ISI is withholding information about the Taliban, or is otherwise "hedging its bets," makes ISI leaders visibly angry. Pakistanis have the most to lose from a Taliban victory in Kabul, they argue, because it would inevitably strengthen the Taliban in Pakistan, too. A Pakistani version of Mohammad Omar is anathema to them, the ISI leaders say.

As for American allegations that the ISI maintains direct links with Siraj Haqqani, a key ally of the Taliban, the ISI officials insist it isn't so. They do have a network of agents within the insurgent groups and tribes, but that's part of a spy agency's job. America's suspicion that Pakistan secretly pulls the Taliban's strings is many years out of date, they contend.

One ISI analyst loudly calls my name at the end of a briefing and then recites a summary of Pakistani casualties since Sept. 11, 2001, from terrorism. The list totals 5,362 dead and 10,483 wounded. "Trust us," says another ISI official, referring to this casualty toll. "Do not interfere in a way that infringes on our sovereignty and makes us look bad in the eyes of the public."

Talking with ISI leaders, I am reminded of something you see around the world these days. People want to help America more than we sometimes think. But they want to be treated with respect -- as full partners, not as useful CIA assets.

Trust is always a conditional word when you are talking about intelligence activities, which are built around deception. But in this case, where America and Pakistan share common interests, the opportunities are real.

NOTE: Picture of Hamid Karazi with Details is not in the Post article, both are inserted by me. Aamir Mughal

Hamid Karzai - Incumbent President of Afghanistan Assumed office 22 December 2001
Acting until 7 December 2004 - Profile: Hamid Karzai became the first popularly elected president of Aghanistan in 2004 - nearly three years after being appointed the country's interim leader. After taking up power in December 2001, he survived an early assassination attempt and infighting among ethnic groups to carve out a reputation as a shrewd statesman. MORE DETAILS ON HAMID KARZAI Richard Holbrooke, USA, Taliban, Karzai, Zalmay Khalilzad & Narcotics

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Safari Club - An Alternate Super Intelligence Agency.

Alexandre de Marenches

The Safari Club- An Alternate Super Intelligence Agency. In September 1 1976, a group of countries got together and established a newly formed secret cabal of intelligence agencies called the Safari Club. It included France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Iran. The club was a brain child of Alexandre de Marenches, head of the French external intelligence service SDECE. It was likely formed with the connivance of CIA to compensate for it’s paralysis after Watergate - as a means of circumventing US Congress which had tied down the CIA! Acutely conscious of the Soviet threat these countries had decided that if the US could not do anything to counter it, they would!

Kamal Adham brother in law of Saudi King Faisal

Millions were spent to create an operational capability. But much more was required to be done to create its financial arm. The group needed a network of banks to help manage and conceal the enormous transactions needed to finance its intelligence operations. Saudi Intelligence Minister Kamal Adham was given the task to create one. With the blessing of CIA director George Bush Sr, he would transformed the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), a small Pakistani merchant bank, founded in 1972 by a Pakistani partner of Adham (Agha Hasan Abedi); into a world-wide money-laundering machine, buying additional banks around the world to create the biggest clandestine money transfer and whitening network in history.

Agha Hasan Abedi

The Rise Of BCCI.Adham, and other intelligence heads worked with Abedi to contrive “a plan that seemed too good to be true. The bank (BCCI) would solicit the business of every major intelligence – and therefore terrorist, rebel, and underground - organization in the free world. The intelligence collected - and links forged in the process - would be shared with these ‘friends’ of BCCI.” CIA operative Raymond Close worked closely with Adham during the Congressional inquiry years to help identify and tap “into CIA’s hordes of misfits and malcontents to help man a 1,500-strong group of assassins and enforcers.” Soon, BCCI became the fastest growing bank in the world. Time magazine would later describe BCCI as not just a bank, but also “a global intelligence operation and a Mafia-like enforcement squad. Operating primarily out of the bank’s offices in Karachi, Pakistan; the 1,500-employee network has used sophisticated spy equipment and techniques, along with bribery, extortion, kidnapping and even, by some accounts, murder. It stops at almost nothing to further the bank’s aims the world over.”

Saudi Prince Mohammed al-Faisal also set up Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt (FIBE) as part of the banking empire. The “Blind Sheikh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman was one of its founding members. Growth of Islamic banking would directly help the growth of the Islamist movements, and allow the Saudis to pressure poorer Islamic nations, like Egypt, to shift their policies to the right. FIBE worked closely with BCCI. Investigators would later find that BCCI held $589 million in “unrecorded deposits,” $245 million of which were placed with FIBE! BCCI at a later stage was also ‘discovered’ to be deeply implicated in illegal arms and narcotics trade .But all this was to happen way in the future, when CIA wanted to get back into the driving seat!

The Activities Of Safari Club. Thus was the Safari Club established .It funded – off the books - covert operations for a ‘ghost’ CIA made up of fired agents close to ex-CIA Director George Bush Sr. and Theodore Shackley. Shackley would remain at the center of this “private, shadow spy organization within the CIA” until he was fired in 1979; when the Safari Club was exposed due to the Iranian revolution-Iran being one of the members ! It must be noted here that this “Super Spy Club” inevitably gave a front seat to Saudi, Arab and Iranian ‘Islamist’ interests. The club seems to have remained active till about 1982 when de Marenches stepped down from being head of French intelligence .By this time the issue of the witch hunt of CIA within the USA also seems to have been resolved, and the CIA was keen to get back into the driving seat. Yet as we shall see next ;the then junior officers –as they rose in rank- would continue to retain their Islamic imprint ,as they shaped Americas -and the CIA’s- future policies.

During the initial period the Safari Club played a secret role in political dramas of many countries mostly Islamic and in Africa or the Middle East. Its first operation: A rebellion in Zaire was put down by Moroccan and Egyptian troops, using French air support.It then turned to deal with the Soviet infiltrations in Ethopia, Somalia and Djibouti and Peoples republic of Yemen. It also acted to repel Libyan aggression against Chad and Sudan. It also played a role in the US-Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of 1979. Through out 1970-80 huge amounts of Saudi money backed by Safari Club covert activity helped countries like Syria,Jordan,North Yemen, Angola, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Uganda, Mali, Nigeria, Ziare, Guinea, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines –and some reports suggest even South Vietnam; survive Russian backed Libyan or leftist in roads. In most countries Saudi ‘Wahabi Jehadi’ proselytizing inevitably accompanied the cash.

The Safari Club and the ‘rogue CIA’ also played a major role in supporting Pakistani ISI backed Afghani militants.Pakistani operation was remarkably successful and by 1977 the Afghan government of Sardar Daud was willing to settle all outstanding issues in exchange for a lifting of the ban on the National Awami Party and a commitment towards provincial autonomy for Pashtuns.This was also the period in which Moro operations in the Philippines achieved their most outstanding success.

Planning For A Russian Vietnam: 1977-1982. During the period 1977 to 1982 a major re-orientation of US policy is apparent specially in the mid-east and SE Asia.To what extant the Safari Club influenced the shape of things must remain a field of conjecture;yet the circumstantial evidence is pretty clear that the Carter administration had “no clear policy” due to internal divisions and confusion – and also that Saudi(Muslim) influence was considerable through elements of the ‘rouge CIA’ which was beginning to emerge out of the shadows to merge into the main stream re-activated CIA.

• Setting The Stage. In the year 1977-79 a number of remarkable events (mentioned below) took place affecting our region. An analysis of these helps us to understand how the original concept of a defensive and deterrent Islamic Jehad was shaped into one of Americas most potent intelligence assets – global Islamic (Wahabi) militancy or Islamic Terrorism:

In The USA Zbigniew Brzezinski took over as President Carter’s National Security Adviser. He established the Nationalities Working Group (NWG) for weakening the Soviet Union through Islamic militancy .By December 1978; he formalized his theory around the idea of turning the Muslim world into ‘an arc of crises. It was based on the ideas of British expert Dr. Bernard Lewis, who advocated the balkanization of the entire Muslim near East along tribal and religious lines. The chaos would spread in what he also calls an “arc of crisis” and ultimately destabilize the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union.

BCCI Even Buys The CIA’s Bank! The same year The Safari Club made a bid to buy CIA’s bank! A group fronted by Kamal Adham, bought First American Bank shares. It was the biggest bank in the Washington, D.C. - and since long the CIA’s principal banker. In 1981, the Federal Reserve after asking CIA for the mandatory clearance allows the sale! The CIA held back what it knew, including the fact that Adham was Saudi intelligence minister. But Adhami and his group were acting on behalf of BCCI.Thus by 1982 BCCI becomes (illegally) the owner of CIA’s bank. The CIA did not inform the Treasury Department about this link till as late as 1985.In fact CIA continued using both BCCI and First American. The Safari Club and its financial arm the BCCI were fully in place –even within USA by 1982!

From Left to Right: Agha Shahi - the then Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Lt. General [R] Mujib ur Rehman [Zia's Advisor on Information], Zbigniew Brzezinski [National Security Advisor to the then US President], US President Jimmy Carter, and American Backed Military Dictator General Ziaul Haq.

Brzezinski’s Islamic Militant Policy Implemented In Pakistan. In Pakistan on 5 July 1977 Pakistan’s socialist minded Prime Minister Z.A.Bhutto - an advocate of the policy of independence from US domination through a combination of ‘Islamic socialism’ and a pro-China foreign policy ; as well as the architect of Muslim unity(held first Islamic summit at Lahore) and Pakistan’s nuclear program - was eliminated in a coup by General Zia –ul-Haq .Zia had already proved his worth as an American ally in Jordan , where he massacred the PLA to save the Jordanian throne for the Americans.

Apparently the US stopped all economic and military aid to Pakistan as a result of the coup .But in actual fact aid continued flowing in a big way for the militants and their Islamisation process through the Safari club and the rouge CIA; and planning was soon expedited to draw in and kill the Russian bear in Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan Daud suspected of having gone ‘soft’ on Pakistan was removed through a pro-Soviet coup on April 1978.This served as the ideal start point for implementing Brzezinski’s policy. Aid to Pakistan was resumed .The CIA commenced beaming of radio propaganda into Afghanistan, and a program and started for turning the Afghan mujahideen into radical Wahabi Islamic fighters. Zia proved invaluable at this stage.

He allowed a free hand to the CIA approved Wahabi Islamic doctrine to gain a firm foothold in Pakistan. Passing pro-Islamic legislation, he allowed FIB (Faisal Islamic bank) to start Islamic banking systems, and created Islamic courts. Most importantly, he imposed a new religious tax which was used to create tens of thousands of madrassas, or religious boarding schools, where “Islamic text books’ printed in USA and approved by CIA were taught. These schools would be used to train and indoctrinate a large portion of future Islamic militants using courses developed in the USA.

“Radical Islamist ideology began to permeate the military and the influence of the most extreme groups crept into the army,” writes journalist Kathy Gannon in her book I is for Infidel. The BBC later commented that Zia’s “Islamization” policies created a “culture of jihad” within Pakistan that continues until present day. Mean ISI took over to continue the field work and launched a massive campaign of terrorism, assassinating hundreds of teachers and civil servants in Afghanistan.”

For Iran, in November 1978 former Under Secretary of State George Ball was appointed as advisor to President Carter! This is most amazing for he was known to hold the view that the US should drop support for the Shah of Iran in favor of the radical Islamist opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini. Later during his exile The Shah would note with bitter hind sight,”It should have been clear to me that the Americans wanted me out. What else was I to make of the Administration’s sudden decision to call George Ball as advisor on Iran?”

For Al-Qaeda around 1978-79(the details are fuzzy) Osama Bin Laden visited the US and Britain -or both -ostensibly for the treatment of his son Abdul Rahman born with hydrocephalus. However the required treatment-an operation - was never carried out. More likely he went there to get his final briefs first hand!

From Left to Right: Agha Shahi - the then Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Lt. General [R] Mujib ur Rehman [Zia's Advisor on Information], Zbigniew Brzezinski [National Security Advisor to the then US President], US President Jimmy Carter, and American Backed Military Dictator General Ziaul Haq.

1979-The Bear Trap Is Sprung. Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile in France on January 16, 1979.By February Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi is deposed and Ayatollah Khomeini took over as Iran’s new leader. At first the US was taken aback by the new fundamentalist Islamic government, and Brzezinski contemplated a military coup to stop Khomeini.

Ayatollah Khomeini

In March, there was a major revolt in Herat province. Russian Intelligence noted that it had support from outside-particularly Iran. This convinced Brzezinski that Khomeini was fiercely anti-communist, and he soon decided that Iran’s new government can become part of his “arc of crises. The US embassy remained open, and more US officials come to Iran to begin tentative talks. The CIA started working (re-working) with Iranian intelligence to destabilize the pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan.

By April 1979, US officials start having their first meetings in Pakistan with opponents of the Afghan government. Robert Gates –a junior officer then , but later to become CIA Director - recalls that in one such meeting on March 30, 1979, Under Secretary of Defense Walter Slocumbe wondered aloud whether there is “value in keeping the Afghan insurgency going, ‘sucking the Soviets into a Vietnamese quagmire.’”

In May a CIA special envoy also meets these Afghan mujaheddin leaders at Peshawar. All of them have been carefully selected by the Pakistani ISI. One of them is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a drug dealer, and brutal warlord. His extreme ruthlessness is considered a plus. Over the next 10 years over half of all US aid to the mujaheddin will go to his faction. In June /August there are further large scale army mutinies within Afghanistan.

According to the official US version CIA aid to the Mujaheddin began after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan. How ever President Carter had formally approved covert aid in July. And as Brzezinski’s confessed later on: “that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention”. Charles Cogan, who later headed the CIA covert aid program to Afghanistan, will call Carter’s approval on 6th July a “very modest beginning to US involvement.” In fact, this is not correct because the’ Safari Club’ along with the ‘rouge CIA’ had been aiding the rebels since well before 1978. Haizullah Amin over throws Daud in a military coup in October 1979, and invites the Soviets.

In early November 1979, Brzezinski had secretly met with Iranian Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan, as well as Iran’s foreign minister and defense minister, in Algiers. But shortly before the meeting, the US agrees to allow the Shah, dying with cancer, to come to the US for medical treatment. Khomeini is enraged, and on November 4, just three days after the Algeria meeting begins, students take over the US embassy in Teheran. Brzezinski’s (Safari Club’s?) attempts to create an alliance with Khomeni’s Iran collapse.

On December 8 1979 The Soviets invaded Afghanistan; surprisingly on December 26 Russian troops turn against the invitee and kill him! Later declassified high-level Russian documents show that the Russian leadership believed Amin to have had secret contacts with the US embassy and was probably a US agent; and that because of this “the right wing Muslim opposition” has “practically established their control in many provinces… using foreign support.” They therefore installed a communist regime led by Babrak Karmal which was openly hostile to Pakistan. The Russians will later be proved correct when in a 1998 interview, Brzezinski, revealed that earlier in the year Carter authorized the CIA to destabilize the government, provoking the Russians to invade and later topple Amin’s government! It seems Russia had been invited into Afghanistan by a Khomeini cultivated US agent – even though Iran was no more a part of the team!

Brzezinski wrote a memo to President Jimmy Carter after the Soviet invasion suggesting that success in Afghanistan could give the Soviets access to the Indian Ocean. He advised that US should continue aid to the Afghan Mujaheddin. He also added, “This means more money as well as arms shipments to the rebels and some technical advice.” He concludes the memo with, “[W]e must both reassure Pakistan and encourage it to help the rebels. This will require a review of our policy toward Pakistan, more guarantees to it, more arms aid, and alas, a decision that our security problem toward Pakistan cannot be dictated by our nonproliferation policy.” Carter accepted Brzezinski’s advice. Pakistan would be rewarded to become a nuclear power in exchange for help in implementing Brzezinski doctrine of Islamic Militancy!

Over the next decade CIA and Saudi Arabia would channel a huge amount of money through ISI, (estimates range up to $40 billion total for the war) to support the Mujaheddin guerrilla fighters opposing the Russians, forcing the USSR into a decade-long war which it could ill afford. It was as Brzezinski insisted, a war that brought about “The demoralization and finally the collapse of the Soviet Empire”. In my next article I shall show how this covert operation involving ‘radical Islamist militants’ was developed and implemented by CIA. References: Profile: Safari Club Complete 911 Timeline Project: Complete 911 Timeline Open-Content project managed by matt, Paul, KJF, blackmax The New ‘Great Game’:Part 1-Birth of Radical Islamist Militancy by Hassan Rizvi , Lahore: Sep 20 2008

US Private Contractors, Aal-e-Saud, Wahhaabis & Saudi Arabia.

Private Contractors, Aal-e-Saud and Wahabis

The Pentagon has awarded a 48-million-dollar contract to train the nucleus of a new Iraqi army to Vinnell Corporation, a US firm which also trains the Saudi National Guard. The Fairfax, VA-based company, a subsidiary of the US aerospace firm Northrup Grumman, said on its website it was hiring former US army and marine officers to train infantry battalions and combat support units for the new Iraqi army. The Vinnell Corp. of Alexandria, Va., owned by politically connected Northrop-Grumman. Founded in the early 1930s, Vinnell worked on the Los Angeles highway system before it started to expand into military construction during World War II. During the Vietnam War, the company built bases in South Vietnam that it later had to blow up after the United States withdrew from the country. According to The Boston Herald, a Pentagon official called Vinnell “our own little mercenary army” in a 1975 interview with The Village Voice. Vietnam almost led Vinnell to bankruptcy, but a 1975 contract worth $77 million to train the Saudi Arabian National Guard started a long and lucrative history of involvement in the Middle East. Twenty-eight years later, Vinnell’s Saudi operations employ more than 1,300 workers, including almost 300 U.S. government personnel, under an $800 million five-year contract to train land forces, the air force and other elements of the Saudi Arabian military. The contract, which is run by the U.S. Army Materiel Command, is financed by the Saudis. Vinnell is responsible for training the New Iraqi Army (NIA). Work on the $48 million one-year contract began July 1, 2003, and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2004. The contract includes a feature called “Not-To-Exceed Cost Ceiling,” meaning that Vinnell’s total contract invoices for the first six months cannot exceed 50 percent of the contract estimate, or $24,037,221. FOR FURTHER READING: Privatizing Military Training Volume 7, Number 6 May 2002 By Deborah Avant, George Washington University U.S. Ties to U.S. Ties to Saudi Elite May Be Hurting War on Terrorism by Jonathan Wells, Jack Meyers and Maggie Mulvihill PART 1 Bush Advisers Cashed in on Saudi Gravy Train by Jonathan Wells, Jack Meyers and Maggie Mulvihill PART 2 Published on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 in the Boston Herald

Thomas Fintel, Vinnell’s president and CEO, served 27 years in the U.S. Army. He attained the rank of colonel, and in addition to being a brigade commander, he also worked in the U.S. Army Force Modernization Coordination Office. Donald C. Winter, corporate vice president of Vinnell’s parent company Northrop Grumman and president of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, was program manager for space acquisition, tracking, and pointing programs with the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) from 1980 to 1982. William O. Studeman, vice president and deputy general manager for intelligence and information superiority in Northrup Grumman Mission Systems, served as deputy director of Central Intelligence from 1992 to 1995. He served in the U.S. Navy and retired as an admiral in 1995.

Kent Kresa, who stepped down as Northrop Grumman’s board chair in October 2003, worked with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) before joining Northrop Grumman in 1975. Retired Gen. John T. Chain, a member of Northrop Grumman’s board, also serves as a director of R.J Reynolds Inc., ConAgra Foods Inc., and Kemper Insurance Company. He is also the chairman of the Thomas Group Inc., and previously he worked for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation. He served as commander in chief of the Strategic Air Command before he retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1991. Former Democratic congressman Vic Fazio is a senior partner in Clark & Weinstock, a consulting firm. During his time on Capitol Hill, he was a member of the Appropriations Committee, Budget and Ethics Committee and the Armed Services Committee. Fazio was part of the Democratic leadership from 1991 to 1998, rising to the party’s third-ranking position as chair of the Democratic Caucus. Fazio has contributed more than $110,000 to mostly Democratic candidates since 1980. Retired Adm. Charles R. Larson served as commander in the Pacific from 1991 to 1994. He also consults government and industry on defense and foreign policy issues. Larson was also superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, first from 1983 to 1986, and again from 1994 to 1998. He is vice chairman of the board of regents of the University System of Maryland and is on the board of directors of Edge Technologies Inc., the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation and the Atlantic Council. Philip A. Odeen was chairman of TRW Inc. from February 2002 until December 2002. Odeen served as president, chief executive officer and director at BDM International Inc. from 1992 to 1997. BDM was acquired by TRW in 1997. He has held senior positions with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council staff. Odeen is a member and former vice chairman of the Defense Science Board. FOR FURTHER READING: Privatizing Military Training Volume 7, Number 6 May 2002 By Deborah Avant, George Washington University U.S. Ties to U.S. Ties to Saudi Elite May Be Hurting War on Terrorism by Jonathan Wells, Jack Meyers and Maggie Mulvihill PART 1 Bush Advisers Cashed in on Saudi Gravy Train by Jonathan Wells, Jack Meyers and Maggie Mulvihill PART 2 Published on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 in the Boston Herald
Vinnell Corporation: 'We Train People to Pull Triggers' by Pratap Chatterjee, Special to CorpWatch March 20th, 2003

Vinnell corporation was founded by the late A. S. Vinnell in 1931 to pave roads in Los Angeles. Since then the company has handled a number of large domestic as well as government projects. The company was the major contractor for US military operations in Okinawa, overhauled Air Force planes in Guam in the early 1950s, and sent men and equipment onto the battlefields of the Korean War.

Now based in Fairfax, Virginia, the company has been controlled in the past through a web of interlocking ownership by a partnership that included James A. Baker III and Frank Carlucci, former U.S. secretaries of state and defense under presidents George Bush senior and Ronald Reagan respectively.

Perhaps the most important military contract Vinnell landed was in 1975 when the Pentagon helped the company win a bid to train the 75,000 strong Saudi Arabian National Guard, a military unit descended from the Bedouin warriors who helped the Saud clan impose control on the peninsula early in last century.

An article in Newsweek at the time described the company's first recruitment efforts with the aid of "a one-eyed former U.S. Army colonel named James D. Holland" in a cramped office in the Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra to put together "a ragtag army of Vietnam veterans for a paradoxical mission: to train Saudi Arabian troops to defend the very oil fields that Henry Kissinger recently warned the U.S. might one day have to invade."

"We are not mercenaries because we are not pulling triggers," a former U.S. Army officer told the magazine. "We train people to pull triggers." One of his colleagues wryly pointed out: "Maybe that makes us executive mercenaries."

Since 1994 the company has been paid $800 million for training and construction alone according to a Freedom of Information Act request conducted by U.S. News and World Report. In return Vinnell has constructed, run, staffed, and written doctrine for five military academies, seven shooting ranges, and a healthcare system, as well as training and equipping four mechanized brigades and five infantry brigades.

In 1997 Charles Hanley, a special correspondent for the Associated Press newswire, got a rare glimpse inside the Saudi operation where he described 300 American military veterans in the desert hills overlooking Riyadh with yellow "Vinnell Arabia" patches on their khaki-and-olive-drab uniforms training young Saudis in the operation of new General Motors light armored vehicles and other weaponry while supervising supply operations, operating a hospital and updating the Guard's data processing, among other functions.

"The VINNELL Corporation" Research by Gregory Burnham Nov-08-99

Technically Vinnell is contracted by the US government on behalf of the Saudi government, thus its personnel are not considered to be in the direct employ of the Saudis for most legal purposes. "Vinnell Selected for Award of $163.3 Million Contract for Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program," news release, BDM International, Inc., McLean, Va., 3 May 1995.

BDM, Inc is the parent company of Vinnell. The author has visited one of the five Vinnell sites in Saudi Arabia. See also William D. Hartung, "Mercenaries Inc.: How a U.S. Company Props Up the House of Saud," The Progressive, April 1996, pp. 26-28. Philip A. Odeen is the CEO of BDM International, which owns Vinnell. Philip Odeen is also the Chairman of the NATIONAL DEFENSE PANEL - (bet you never even heard of that, eh?)--

Philip A. Odeen is President and CEO of BDM International, Inc., and serves on the BDM Board of Directors. He has worked within government in senior positions for the National Security Council and Defense Department. In the private sector, Mr. Odeen has served as a member of the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel and the Defense Science Board (DSB). Mr. Odeen led a DSB task force in early 1993 that reviewed anticipated defense management savings in the DOD budget and a DSB task force on outsourcing in 1995/96. Mr. Odeen played a leading role in a recent DSB study that resulted in the proposal of major budget savings that could be derived from a fundamental reengineering of the DOD infrastructure.

Secretary Cohen announced today the appointment of the National Defense Panel (NDP) that will review and make recommendations to the Secretary of Defense on the department's ongoing Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). In December 1997, the NDP also will provide an assessment of alternative force structures for the U.S. military through the year 2010.

Secretary Cohen's choice to chair the NDP is Mr. Phil Odeen, president of BDM International, a defense consulting and research firm. Other NDP members are: Richard Armitage, former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs; Richard Hearney, former assistant commandant of the Marine Corps; David Jeremiah, former vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff; Robert M. Kimmitt, managing director of Lehman Brothers, an investment banking firm; Andrew Krepinevich, director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments; James P. McCarthy, former deputy commander-in-chief, U.S. European Command; Janne Nolan, senior fellow, Brookings Institution Foreign Policy Studies program; and Robert R. RisCassi, former commander of U.S. forces in Korea. NDP members were selected in consultation with congressional leadership.

In announcing the appointment, Secretary Cohen said, "The Department looks forward to working with the panel and will welcome its insights and recommendations."

The NDP will submit interim recommendations on the Defense Department's work on the QDR to date in early spring and a final assessment to the Secretary of Defense as part of the report to Congress, which is required by May 15, 1997. NDP also will conduct an independent assessment of a variety of possible force structures for the armed forces through the year 2010 and beyond. The results of this analysis and Secretary Cohen's comments on the assessment are due to Congress by December 15, 1997

Vinnell Corporation is a construction company founded in 1931. Through experience gained in managing military assignments during the Second World War, Vinnell expanded into a booming construction business in Asia. It won hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts and employment for 5,000 personnel during the war in Vietnam.

Among its activities there were covert military operations. A Pentagon source described Vinnell as 'our own little mercenary army in Vietnam ... we used them to do things we either didn't have the manpower to do ourselves, or because of legal problems'.

In February 1975 Vinnell secured a US$77 million contract with King Fahd to train the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG), the military arm of the House of at-Saud. Today, Vinnell's advertising depicts the firm as 'providing a broad spectrum of professional and technical services to government clients in multiple areas of management and training. Client requirements have led Vinnell to a vast array of challenges, from Malaysia to Mexico to the Middle East, often to the very heart of international conflict areas'. Vinnell has subsidiary operations in Egypt, Oman, and Turkey, but the key area of responsibility remains with SANG. The contract for its one thousand-plus-strong team of advisors was extended in January 1994 to the year 2000 at a cost of US$819 million.

Other US military firms working in Saudi Arabia include Booz-Allen & Hamilton, which drills the Saudi marine corps and maintains the Saudi Armed Forces Staff College; Science Applications International Corp (SAIC), which provides guidance for the Saudi navy; and O'Gara Protective services, directly hired by the Saudi Defence Minister to provide security for the Saudi royal family.

Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI), of Alexandria, Virginia, was founded in 1 987 by former special forces personnel 'to perform world-wide corporate contractual functions requiring skills developed from military service'.

MPRI has over 350 employees and can draw on a database of more than 6,000 former servicemen of the United States armed forces. MPRI is currently engaged in twenty contracts (seventeen domestic, three international) worth more than US$90 million in total. Twenty-two corporate officers Of MPRI are former high-ranking military officers. These include General Carl Vuono, US. Army Chief of Staff during the invasion of Panama and the Gulf War; Ed Soyster, former head of the Defence Intelligence Agency; and General Frederick Kroensen, former commander of the US. Army in Europe.

Its mission statement claims that 'MPRI can perform any task or accomplish any mission requiring military skills (or generalized skills acquired through military service), short of combat operations'. MPRI picked up the contract to train the Angolan Army after EO pulled out in January 1996. Its main focus of operations today is in the Balkans. MPRI training prepared the Croat Army for its successful counter-offensive against the Serbs in 1995. The head of Croat Army Headquarters, Zvonimir Cervenko, stated 'We can create by ourselves a new and efficient army. But why lose time if there are in the world institutions which can be paid so that they can transfer very quickly their maximum know-how'? Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke, who brokered the Dayton peace accord, spoke favourably of MPRI in testimony to the US Congress. In March 1996 James Perdew, the Pentagon's point man at Dayton, flew to Sarajevo to urge the Bosnian government to contract MPRI or one of its competitors for the training of the Bosnian armed forces. In May MPRI Won the contract over rivals Vinnell and SAIC. Its $400 million programme is being paid for largely by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Brunei and Malaysia.

Mercenaries Keep the Peace

Why is the US government so keen to incorporate the services of private military firms in its international policy? The shadow of the disastrous Somalia operation looms over US peace-keeping operations. Cooperation with professional outsiders enables the State Department to keep a distance from potentially dangerous or compromising situations in the conduct of foreign policy. 'We will not be able to leave unless the Bosnian government is armed and prepared to defend itself', says Senator Joseph Biden (Democrat, Delaware). 'That's the ticket home for Americans'. MPRI has provided the most expeditious means of achieving that aim whilst maintaining the facade of official us neutrality in the region.

Similarly, Saudi Arabia, despite maintaining military contracts with us companies valued at over $60 billion US., officially does not sanction the stationing of us troops in the country. Vinnell training helps link SANG with the Office of the Program Manager (OPM), an agency of the US Army Material Command responsible for maintaining weapons programs. SANG shares its headquarters with OPM. Nationalists in Saudi Arabia recognize this link as being a key connection between the Saudi and US governments, which is why the building was targeted in the 13 November 1995 car bomb attack which killed five Americans and wounded thirty more.


Saudi Arabia: Vinnell Adds Saudis To Its Trainee Roster Business Week February 24th, 1975

Confirming reports this week that a little-known Alhmabra (Calif.) heavy construction company, Vinnell Corp., has a $77-million contract to train Saudi Arabian forces to defend Saudi oil fields, the Defense Dept. managed to shed little light on the deal. The Pentagon sidesteppped any probing questions about the contract, shunting them to the State Dept., which had approved it. Officials at State, clearly hoping to allay fears of U.S. military involvement or CIA-type intrigue in the touchy Middle East, treated it as part of routine policy to assist friendly governments with internal security. State confirmed, for instance, that Bell International is training an Iranian “sky cavalry” brigade using Bell equipment. Vinnell itself was maintaining the lowest possible profile. Neither President John F. Hammill nor Bob Montgomery, the company’s general manager for special projects, was available for comment. Experienced Industry sources familiar with Vinnell, however, are not surprised at the reticence. They know Vinnell as a publicity-shy contractor that has had many government jobs. It has not only had similar training assignments in the past, they say, but has been active in Saudi Arabia since 1957, when the U.S. Air Force brought it there to manage engineering at the Dhahran air base. The company has never acknowledged that it trains foreign nationals in anything other than equipment handling and maintenance. But as the chairman of one multinational company remarks, “Like many construction companies abroad, they tend to take on broad responsibilities.”

The venture in Saudi Arabia — if not canceled by the Senate Armed Services Committee — appears to fit the Vinnell mold. Founded by the late A. S. Vinnell back in 1931 to pave roads in Los Angeles, the company has handled a number of large domestic government projects, but its thrust in recent decades has been overseas.Between 1946 and 1967, it completed some $350-million of contracts in Southeast Asia. It handled equipment for the Republic of China in 1946, was the major contractor in Okinawa, overhauled Air Force planes in Guam in the early 1950s, and sent men and equipment onto the battlefields of the Korean War. For years, Hammill was boss of operations in Vietnam, where Vinnell operated floating power barges, land-based power plants, and electrical distribution systems through the height of the fighting. With overseas operations now spread from Bangladesh to Mexico, Vinnell is still operating electric plants in Vietnam.

FAIR USE NOTICE. This document may contain copyrighted materialwhose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.CorpWatch is making this article available in our efforts to advance the understanding of corporate accountability, human rights, labor rights, social and environmental justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. FOR FURTHER READING: Published in the April, 1996 issue of The Progressive Mercenaries Inc.: How a U.S. Company Props Up the House of Saud
by William D. Hartung [ACCESSED ON Monday, September 28, 2009



November 13, 1995: Al-Qaeda Bombing in Saudi Arabia, US Realizes Bin Laden Is More than Financier

Two truck bombs kill five Americans and two Indians in the US-operated Saudi National Guard training center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaeda is blamed for the attacks. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/19/2002] The attack changes US investigators’ views of the role of bin Laden, from al-Qaeda financier to its leader. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 150] The Vinnell Corporation, thought by some experts to be a CIA front, owns the facility that has been attacked. [LONDON TIMES, 5/14/2003] Reference: Profile: Vinnell Corporation Vinnell Corporation was a participant or observer in the following events: May 12, 2003: Suspicious Circumstances in Riyadh Bombings Indicate Government Collusion with Al-Qaeda, American Contractors Say

The May 12, 2003, Riyadh suicide bombings, which left 35 dead, targeted several housing compounds for Westerners, include one for Vinnell Corporation employees (see May 12, 2003). (Vinnell had a large contract to train Saudi forces.) Some former Vinnell employees, who are predominantly former American servicemen, will later allege in interviews and court documents that the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG), the elite force which protects the royal family, colluded with the bombers to facilitate the attacks. They claim that an exercise organized by the National Guard removed most security staff for the day of the bombing, suggesting foreknowledge. They also claim that warnings were ignored and that security was inexplicably lax. [INDEPENDENT, 5/16/2004] They will then sue Vinnell and Saudi Arabia for negligence. [INDEPENDENT, 5/8/2005] Reference: Profile: Vinnell Corporation Vinnell Corporation was a participant or observer in the following events:

July 3, 2007: US-Hired Contractor Deaths Top 1,000

It is reported that over 1,000 civilian private contractors have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since the start of hostilities in those countries. An additional 13,000 have been wounded. The casualty figures come from the Department of Labor. Civilians work in a number of areas in Iraq, from providing security and servicing weapons systems, to more mundane tasks such as logistics, construction, truck driving, and maintenance (see April 4, 2007). [REUTERS, 3/7/2004] Roughly one contractor dies for every four members of the armed forces. But despite the risks, Americans are lining up for jobs in the two war zones, lured by the prospects of high pay and, for some, adventure. As of the end of April 2007, 224 of the killed contractors were US citizens. [REUTERS, 3/7/2004] Reference: Profile: Vinnell Corporation Vinnell Corporation was a participant or observer in the following events:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

US threatens airstrikes in Pakistan by Christina Lamb

Christina Lamb is a British journalist who is currently Foreign Correspondent for The Sunday Times. Profile -

US threatens airstrikes in Pakistan From The Sunday Times September 27, 2009

The United States is threatening to launch airstrikes on Mullah Omar and the Taliban leadership in the Pakistani city of Quetta as frustration mounts about the ease with which they find sanctuary across the border from Afghanistan.

The threat comes amid growing divisions in Washington about whether to deal with the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan by sending more troops or by reducing them and targeting the terrorists.

This weekend the US military was expected to send a request to Robert Gates, the defence secretary, for more troops, as urged by General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander there.

In a leaked strategic assessment of the war, McChrystal warned that he needed extra reinforcements within a year to avert the risk of failure. Although no figure was given, he is believed to be seeking up to 40,000 troops to add to the 68,000 who will be in Afghanistan by the end of this year.

However, with President Barack Obama under pressure from fellow Democrats not to intensify the war, the administration has let it be known that it is rethinking strategy. Vice-President Joe Biden has suggested reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan and focusing on the Taliban and AlQaeda in Pakistan.

Last week McChrystal denied any rift with the administration, saying “a policy debate is warranted”.

According to The New York Times, he flew from Kabul to Ramstein airbase in Germany on Friday for a secret meeting with Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to discuss the request for more troops.

So sensitive is the subject that when Obama addressed the United Nations summit in New York, he barely mentioned Afghanistan. The unspoken problem is that if the priority is to destroy Al-Qaeda and reduce the global terrorist threat, western troops might be fighting on the wrong side of the border.

The Biden camp argues that attacks by unmanned drones on Pakistan’s tribal areas, where Al-Qaeda’s leaders are hiding, have been successful. Sending more troops to Afghanistan has only inflamed tensions. “Pakistan is the nuclear elephant in the room,” said a western diplomat.

It is a view echoed by Richard Barrett, head of the UN Commission on Monitoring Taliban and Al-Qaeda, who believes the presence of foreign troops has increased militant activity and made it easier for the Taliban to recruit.

“If Obama sends more troops it had better be clear what they are to do,” he said.

“A few thousand more boots on the ground may not make much difference except push the fight into areas which are currently quiet because no one is there to challenge the Taliban. I cannot see any number of troops eliminating the Taliban. Obama has a really difficult decision to make.”

The debate has been intensified by the debacle of the Afghan election, which has left many European leaders struggling to justify sending soldiers to support a government that has been fraudulently elected.

According to preliminary results, President Hamid Karzai won 54.6% of the vote, compared with 27.8% for Abdullah Abdullah, his main challenger. But there have been complaints that fraudulent ballots may account for up to 20% of the 5.5m votes cast.

The Electoral Complaints Commission, overseen by a UN watchdog, has begun to recount about 10% of the disputed votes. Final results are not expected for two weeks. If Karzai is left without the 50% needed for outright victory, there must be a second round unless he agrees to form a unity government.

In the meantime, the country is in limbo and the Taliban is taking advantage, opening up new fronts in the north and west.

Al-Qaeda is also trying to capitalise on the uncertainty. Osama Bin Laden issued a call to European nations to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, and threatened reprisals with an allusion to the bombings in Madrid and London. The recording, released on Friday, seemed to be directed at Germany in the run-up to parliamentary elections today.

The Afghan election has strengthened the position of those in Washington who advocate eliminating Taliban leaders in Pakistan.

Senior Pakistani officials in New York revealed that the US had asked to extend the drone attacks into Quetta and the province of Baluchistan.

“It wasn’t so much a threat as an understanding that if you don’t do anything, we’ll take matters into our own hands,” said one.

The problem is that while the government of President Asif Zardari is committed to wiping out terrorism, Pakistan’s powerful military does not entirely share this view.

Earlier this year there was optimism that Pakistan had turned a corner after it confronted a Taliban group that had taken over the Swat valley and moved to within 70 miles of Islamabad.

There has been tacit co-operation over the use of drones. Some are even stationed inside Pakistan, although publicly the government denounces their use.

Suspicions remain among US officials that parts of Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, the ISI, are supporting the Taliban and protecting Mullah Omar and other leaders in Quetta.

It was to shore up Zardari’s domestic standing that Obama attended a Friends of Pakistan summit in New York on Thursday. On the same day, the US Senate tripled non-military aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion a year.

The Obama administration hopes such moves will reduce anti-American feeling in Pakistan. A survey last month by the Pew Research Centre found that almost two-thirds regarded the US as an enemy.

Drone attacks on Quetta would intensify this sentiment, causing some British officials to argue that such missions would be “unthinkable”.

The Pakistani government is reluctant to take its own action, however. “We need real-time intelligence,” said Rehman Malik, the interior minister. “The Americans have never told us any location.”

Western intelligence officers say Pakistan has been moving Taliban leaders to the volatile city of Karachi, where it would be impossible to strike. US officials have even discussed sending commandos to Quetta to capture or kill the Taliban chiefs before they are moved.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Masood Sharif Khan Khattak on Brigadier Imtiaz Revelation.

Masood Sharif Khan Khattak is the first Director General of the Intelligence Bureau of Pakistan. He has served as the Vice President of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians(PPPP) under the leadership of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto. Courtesy: Profile

Jirga (10th September, 2009) Part 1 of 3


Jirga (10th September, 2009) Part 2 of 3


Jirga (10th September, 2009) Part 3 of 3


Brigadier Retd. Imtiaz aka Billa - Former Number 2 of ISI - 1987 - 1989, and Director General Intelligence Bureau under Mian Nawaz Sharif's First Government - 1990 - 1993.

NOTE: The following media is in the Urdu language and NOT in English.

The month of August 2009 witnessed a dubious character from the past who had worked in the intelligence apparatus of Pakistan making, on every TV Channel of Pakistan, so-called and unwarranted revelations galore about important political and other events of the eighties and nineties. If those revelations were to go unchallenged the political history of Pakistan would eventually be wrongly interpreted by the historians of the foreseeable future. It is widely suspected that the campaign launched by the dubious intelligence characters of the past was an orchestrated one for sinister purposes.

Masood Sharif Khan Khattak, a former Director General Intelligence Bureau (DG IB) from the era in question, was an eye witness to the events of the time period that was being distorted by dubious characters. His name figured in many ways in all the discussions taking place on various TV Channels. Thus, the TV channels of Pakistan had wanted to have his views on different matters. Initially, he desisted from becoming a part to the raging controversies. But after a lot of the recent history had been distorted and had stunned the people of Pakistan Masood Sharif Khan Khattak agreed to give a comprehensive interview to GEO TV Program’s renowned host Mr Salim Safi in order to put matters in their true perspective.

The video is the result of that interview which covers all the events of the eighties and nineties that were put in doubt by dubious characters being used in a manipulated campaign meant to hurt the Pakistani Military and Intelligence Establishment and thus weaken Pakistan internally by causing unwarranted fissures.

The point that must be made is that while Masood Sharif Khan Khattak has touched upon all the thorny and heavily contested issues not a single person, organization, political party or any other quarter has repudiated anything said by Masood Sharif Khan Khattak in this interview after the telecast. Happy viewing and it is hoped you will leave us your comments and opinions. Courtesy: Exclusive Interview of Masood Sharif Khan Khattak On GEO TV’s Program JIRGA – 10th Sept 2009
Brigadier Retd. Imtiaz aka Billa - Former Number 2 of ISI - 1987 - 1989, and Director General Intelligence Bureau under Mian Nawaz Sharif's First Government - 1990 - 1993. READ MORE DETAILS Brigadier Retd. Imtiaz: Another Multifaceted Fraud.

Homayun Sakhi: The art of the Afghan Rubâb

Homayun Sakhi The art of the Afghan Rubâb by SalimJanMazari Courtesy: kushall1972


Rabab or Rebab - Afghanistan

The rabab is the national instrument of Afghanistan used in ancient court music, as well as modern day art and entertainment music. It has three main strings and a number of sympathetic strings over a hollow neck and a goat-skin resonator. It has a very deep body making it a bit awkward to hold. Rababs come in different sizes depending on the region they are found. The Afghan rabab is also found in northern India and Pakistan, probably due to the Afghan rule in those regions in the 18th Century. The rabab was the precursor to the Indian sarod, which is regarded as one of India's most important instruments. Country: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir Region: Central and South Asia Type: rebab Collection: Randy Raine-Reusch - Courtesy

Homayun’s artistry demonstrates how an imaginative musician working within a traditional musical idiom can enrich and expand its expressive power.

Homayun Sakhi is the outstanding Afghan rubâb player of his generation, a brilliant virtuoso endowed with a charismatic musical presence and personality. During Afghanistan’s long years of armed conflict, when music was heavily controlled, censored, repressed, and, finally, totally banned, the classical rubâb style to which Homayun has devoted his career not only survived but reached new creative heights.

Homayun’s artistry demonstrates how an imaginative musician working within a traditional musical idiom can enrich and expand its expressive power while respecting the taste and sensibility passed down from master musicians of the past. Moreover, Homayun’s personal story illustrates the extraordinarily challenging conditions under which he and his fellow Afghan musicians have pursued their art.

The art music tradition of the Afghan rubâb featured on these recordings is very much a hybrid creation. Indeed, Afghan music represents a confluence of cultural influences whose sources lie to the east, north, and west of present-day Afghanistan, in the great historical empires of Persia, Central Asia, and India. Each region has contributed instruments, genres, and performance styles to Afghanistan’s diverse musical landscape. The rubâb itself is of Central Asian origin - one of a family of double-chambered lutes that includes, among others, the Iranian târ, Tibetan danyen, and Pamir rubâb. While rooted in the raga tradition of North India, the cultivated art music performed on the Afghan rubâb also has strong stylistic links to Iran. The tabla, the pair of drums that accompany the rubâb and express the music’s sophisticated rhythmic element, is indisputably Indian, but its creators seem to have drawn inspiration from older forms of Central and West Asian kettle and goblet drums. Finally, Homayun’s performance style has been shaped not only by the musical traditions to which Afghan music is geographically and historically linked, but by his lively interest in contemporary music from around the world.

Homayun Sakhi was born in Kabul in 1976 into one of Afghanistan’s leading musical families. From the age of ten, he studied rubâb with his father, Ghulam Sakhi, in the traditional form of apprenticeship known as ustâd-shâgird (Persian: “masterapprentice”).

Ghulam Sakhi was a disciple and, later, brother-in-law, of Ustâd Mohammad Omar (d. 1980), the much-revered heir to a musical lineage that began in the 1860s, when the ruler of Kabul, Amir Sher Ali Khan, brought a number of classically trained musicians from India to perform at his court. He gave them residences in a section of the old city adjacent to the royal palace so that they could be easily summoned to court when needed, and this area, known as Kucheh Kharabat, became the musicians’ quarter of Kabul. Over the next hundred years, Indian musicians thrived there, and Kabul became a provincial center for the performance of North Indian classical music. The royal patrons of this music were Afghans who were at ease with Persian culture as well as Indian and loved classical Persian poetry. To please their patrons, the Kharabat musicians created a distinctive form of vocal art that combined elements of Persian and Indian music. One of the principal Persian verse forms is the ghazal, constructed from a series of couplets that follow a
particular rhyme scheme. Ghazals provided the texts for the new style of Afghan vocal music, while the music itself was based on the melodic modes (raga) and metrical cycles (tala) of Indian music. The Kabuli style of ghazal singing later spread to other Afghan cities. Musicians in Kabul also cultivated the art of playing the rubâb, which was prominent in regional folk music. Today the rubâb is regarded with great pride by the people of Afghanistan as their national instrument.

Homayun’s study of the rubâb was interrupted in 1992, when his entire family moved to the Pakistani city of Peshawar, a place of refuge for many Afghans from the political chaos and violence that enveloped their country in the years following the Soviet invasion of 1979. In Peshawar, Homayun quickly became a popular entertainer. “I played a mixture of ragas and songs,” Homayun recalled, “and I earned a good income from music. I played on television and on the radio. Peshawar has a lot of popular singers, and I often played with these singers.”

The unofficial headquarters of Afghanistan’s émigré music community in Peshawar was Khalil House, a modern apartment building where between thirty and forty bands established offices. The building’s apartments - each one essentially a single large room - became the headquarters of a group of musicians to which potential clients came to arrange for the musicians’ participation in wedding parties and other musical events. For several years, Khalil House was a hotbed of musical activity for Afghan musicians in exile. Some musicians ran their own music schools, and informal jam sessions where young musicians competed to show off their virtuosity and technical skills were common.

Long hours and a spirit of camaraderie in Khalil House enabled the musicians from Kabul to maintain and further develop key musical skills.

Homayun rented a room in Khalil House and opened a small music school. “The people of Peshawar - the way they play the rubâb is different,” Homayun explained. “I introduced a Kabul style to them. For example, traditionally, rubâb players didn’t touch the instrument’s sympathetic strings, but I used them a lot, in addition to the melody strings. Before, players just picked down with the plectrum, but I picked both up and down. I thought these things up. I listened to violin music from different places, and to guitar and sitar music, and symphonic music. I listened to a lot of different things that I found on cassettes, and I wondered, why couldn’t I play with these kinds of techniques on the rubâb? And I started to try them. I understood that the rubâb isn’t just an instrument for backing up a singer. I worked hard and played for long hours every day to create more of a style - a complex picking style that uses rhythmic syncopation and playing off the beat.”

After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, many Afghan musicians in Peshawar returned to Kabul, but by this time, Homayun was on his way to Fremont, California. He brought with him the sophisticated and original rubâb style that he had developed during his years in Pakistan, but little else. Fremont, a city of some 200,000 that lies southeast of San Francisco, claims the largest concentration of Afghans in the United States. Afghans flocked to Fremont and nearby Hayward and Union City in the 1980s, joining an older community of émigrés from the Asian subcontinent. In Fremont, just as in Peshawar, Homayun quickly established himself as a leader of the local musical community. He opened a school to teach Afghan music to children, recorded compact discs of popular Afghan songs, and became a sought-after performer, appearing together with Toryalai Hashimi, a tabla player and well-known exponent of Afghan music who had also grown up in Kabul. But while continuing his community activities, Homayun devotes as much as eight hours a day to practicing the rubâb. His exceptional talent and unswerving dedication to his art have brought him success on the concert stage, and he maintains an active performance schedule that takes him to cities around the world. Yet Homayun never appears satisfied with his own performances. He rejected the honorific title of ustâd (master) that his fellow Afghan musicians proposed to confer on him, claiming that his abilities represented “only a drop in the vast sea of music and musical knowledge.” Asked to comment on his own music-making, Homayun says, “I am grateful to God for helping me through every step of my life, and to Him I owe whatever success I’ve achieved in performing on my instrument and developing the art of rubâb.” COURTESY: Homayun Sakhi: The art of the Afghan Rubâb

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Classic Balochi Folk Song - Washsh Mallay

Artist with Baluchi Musical Instrument "Suroz" is Prominent Balochi Artist Sacho Khan. The suroz is a bowed string instrument with a long neck, similar to a fiddle or sarangi and played vertically. It is considered the national instrument of the Balochs.

Traditional Pashto Folk Song (Tappay)

Pashto Tapey Part 1


Pashto Tapey Part 2


What is Tappa:


Tappa is the oldest and most popular genre of the Pashto poetry. It is liked very much by the Pushtoons of all ages irrespective of their age and sex. Countless Tappas have been added by unknown poets and are sung with unsurpassed popularity. Lyrically, the Tappa is a composition of two unequal meters, in which the first line is shorter than the succeeding one, yet it reflects all human feelings and aspirations elegantly. Be it laborers, peasants, or women, everyone’s sentiments find expression in the Tappa.

It is also common among the Pashtoons that a boy of school would sing it, the elders in their hujrahs, the women in their home and Godar alike. It is the only song sung in the time of grief and on the occasion of marriage. In music it is sung with the traditional Pashto musical instrument 'Rabab' and 'Mangay'. Tappa has upto 16 different models of harmony. Nowaday it is being sung with full orchestra. Tappa is the song, which used to be sung without musical instruments but musicians have composed different compositions for it. In mountains and in the deserts, it is still sung without some instruments. In these places, some times is sung with the melody of flute. In hujrah it's sung with Rabab and Sittar and the beating of a water pot. Among the different tunes of Tappa, the tone of teerah, Peshawar, Bannu and Qandahar is popular. A new tone has recently been created by the famous Pashto singer. Haroon Badshah. A part from the Indian notation, it has its own Pashto andante-- Mughalai. COURTESY: Pashto Music - Prof. Dr. Raj Wali Shah Khattak Excerpts from Sheikh Aziz's 'The Richness of It All'

Tappa (Landay) is a form of folk poetry and consist of couplets; the first one consists of nine syllables and the second thirteen. This format of poetry is described by some to consist of one and one half verses. The author of such couplets is generally unknown. Some of them have names of authors or national figures and heroes attached. Tappay are started with a fond opening word of ‘ya qurban’, meaning respect to the listener or the subject. Tappey are sung with loud melodious voice and could be accompanied by Mangay, Tabla, Tambal, Baja or sitar. Tappey are generally sung over weddings, celebrations or just to tide over the long winter nights. In weddings ceremonies it might have the form of two-person duet presented by male and female singers or two male singers. Tappa covers all forms of Pashtoon life; love, passion, anger, hate, wars, history, heroes and villains. The love for environment, flower, cities and mountains is contained in many. Pakhtoon loves his cities with reverence and are commonly noted in the verses. The rugged Pakhtoon terrain from Chitral to Chaman and Amu to Abasin is the source of inspiration in the form of Tappa and is a therapy for the soul of the inhabitants of these mountains and valleys.

The expatriate and natives alike often miss Peshawar, Kabul, Qandahar, Ningrahar, Chaman, Mardan, Swat, Bajaur, Nowshera, Karapa and Tirah. Tappey covers them all. There is sufficient coverage of the beauty of the Landmark Mountains like Khyber, Tahtarra, Malakand, Tirah and Elam. Separation is pain; reunion a joyful event and happening. Islam the religion of the Pashtoon tribes is noted in many, others reveal his reverence to spiritual leaders of the past like Pir baba and Kaka sahib. Pashtoon are fond of fragrant flowers like Kashmali, rose and Chambeli to mention a few. He compares the beauty of his love without devotion to a flower without fragrance.

The beloved has to have wafa or heart felt devotion, she is mentioned with great reverence and respect, her lips are red, face ruby white and eyes, clear, shining, full of passion and beautiful like the flower of Nargis (narcissus). Her hairs are long and consist of jet-black locks often compared to day and night. Some Tappay describe the face of the beloved as Roohani as Islam and the hair as pagan as Kafiristan. Pashtoon lover is always dreaming and imagining, he never has a chance to marry the girl of his dreams. It is satisfying to dream and imagine seeing her fetching the water in the water pitcher (Mangai) from the water bank (Gudar) or well. The Jewish Rabbi historian noted this commonality between Pakhtoons and Jews by reading the frequent mention of water bank and wells in our folk poetry. He noted the same in the Israelites, like Moses, Jacob and many others who fell in love with their wives by the water holes, wells and fountains.

Tappey covers the constant struggle of the Pashtoon with nature, the harsh weather, and droughts. With all those wars, struggle for existence and survival I wonder how Adam Khan and Durkhanai pulled a love affair, so successful to be remembered for generations. Tohmat, Badnami (bad reputation) bugs the lover constantly. Sohbat, the unending love talk of lovers is the state of bless, longed for in many verses. Beltoon the other fellow who has the same love interest is a hateful soul. He is smart and can get across to the family of the girl some how and gets away with it. He is Waham and Waswasa and the extreme fear of being accepted by the family and the beloved. The fond neglect or Makeiz exhibited by the beloved does not allay the fear either or remedy the situation. The beloved is not trust worthy she may fall for the talk of the Beiltoon who is like Latoo, a bird that changes his tone frequently to attract his own kind in the forest. ‘Tapoosai Tor Kargha’ the crow is an ugly bird which at times brings bad news, by repeatedly crowing in front of the house. The ‘ka ka’ of the crow inspires aw and fear of loss. COURTESY: Tappa by Rahmat Shah

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Brigadier (R) Imtiaz, Death of General Zia & American Conspiracy!

Ronald Reagan and General Zia. General Zia-ul-Haq came to power after he overthrew ruling Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in a military coup d'état on July 5, 1977. COURTESY: Just an opinion - creating new enemies – ii March 18, 2009

Brigadier Retd. Imtiaz aka Billa - Former Number 2 of ISI - 1987 - 1989, and Director General Intelligence Bureau under Mian Nawaz Sharif's First Government - 1990 - 1993.

ISLAMABAD: Former chief of the Intelligence Bureau Brigadier (retd) Imtiaz Ahmed has claimed that the US and the “internal powers” were behind the 1988 plane crash, which killed General Zia-ul-Haq. Talking to a private TV channel, he said the US collaborated with the internal powers in assassinating Zia. “Former Army chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg also says that Zia’s plane crash was not an accident, but sabotage,” he said. REFERENCE: US, internal powers behind Zia plane crash: Brig Imtiaz - News Desk Monday, September 07, 2009
Express: Front Line with Kamran Shahid Brig. Imtiaz

Express: Front Line with Kamran Shahid Brig. Imtiaz 2

Express: Front Line with Kamran Shahid Brig. Imtiaz 3

Express: Front Line with Kamran Shahid Brig. Imtiaz 4

Arnold Lewis Raphel, the United States Ambassador to Pakistan - AFGHANISTAN: WAR WITHOUT END? The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour -- December 27, 1985
Arnold Lewis Raphel, the United States Ambassador to Pakistan who died today in a plane crash there, was frequently at the center of diplomatic crises in his 22-year career. Mr. Raphel, who was 45 years old, was a member of the special State Department group set up in 1979 to seek the release of the Americans seized by Iranian militants at the United States Embassy in Teheran and held hostage until early 1981. REFERENCE: Arnold L. Raphel: An Envoy of Deep Commitment By DAVID BINDER, Special to the New York Times Published: Thursday, August 18, 1988 A version of this article appeared in print on Thursday, August 18, 1988, on section A page 11 of the New York edition.

Arnold Lewis Raphel, the United States Ambassador to Pakistan - AFGHANISTAN: WAR WITHOUT END? The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour -- December 27, 1985

Pakistan’s president Muhammad Zia ul-Haq is killed in an airplane crash. The plane went into a steep dive, then recovered regaining altitude. Then it dove a second time and crashed. [YOUSAF AND ADKIN, 1992, PP. 91-92] ISI Director Akhtar Abdur Rahman, US ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel, and other Pakistani and US officials are also killed. A joint US-Pakistani investigation fails to definitively explain what caused the crash. [COLL, 2004, PP. 178-179] According to Mohammad Yousaf, the ISI’s Afghan Bureau chief, the crash was due to sabotage. Yousaf does not know who was responsible, but later says that the US State Department was instrumental in the cover-up. Yousaf points out several reasons why the State Department might want to cover up the crime even if the US were not involved in the assassination itself. [YOUSAF AND ADKIN, 1992, PP. 91-92] Richard Clarke, a State Department analyst who later will become counterterrorism “tsar” for Presidents Clinton and Bush Jr., believes that Zia’s death and the destruction of a major weapons stockpile used by the CIA and ISI around the same time (see April 10, 1988) were both ordered by the Soviets as revenge for being defeated in Afgnanistan. Clarke says, “I could never find the evidence to prove that the Soviet KGB had ordered these two acts as payback for their bitter defeat, but in my bones I knew they had.” [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 50]. REFERENCE: August 17, 1988: Pakistani President Zia Killed in Plane Crash

RAWALPINDI: Former chief of Army Staff Gen (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg has said that recent disclosures made by Brig (retd) Imtiaz were aimed at averting the anticipated trial of former president Pervez Musharraf. Talking to Salim Safi, in the Geo programme ‘Jirga’, he said the murder of former president Gen Zia-ul-Haq was an act of sabotage and not an accident. REFERENCE: Brig Imtiaz trying to avert Musharraf trial: Beg - News Desk Monday, September 07, 2009 JIRGA with Saleem Safi on Geo: SEP 4 ‘09 Posted on 05 September 2009. Jirga – 4th September 2009

General (R) Mirza Aslam Beg - 1 (Jirga 4th Sep 2009)


General (R) Mirza Aslam Beg - 2 (Jirga 4th Sep 2009)


General (R) Mirza Aslam Beg - 3 (Jirga 4th Sep 2009)


General (R) Mirza Aslam Beg - 4 (Jirga 4th Sep 2009)


General (R) Mirza Aslam Beg - 5 (Jirga 4th Sep 2009)


General (R) Mirza Aslam Beg - 6 (Jirga 4th Sep 2009)


General (R) Mirza Aslam Beg - 7 (Jirga 4th Sep 2009)


General (R) Mirza Aslam Beg - 8 (Jirga 4th Sep 2009)


Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq s/o General Ziaul Haq - Ex- Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Pakistan Muslim League-Q

2. In addition to the 29 military martyrs, two US nationals -- Ambassador Arnold Raphel and Brigadier General Herbert Wassom -- were killed. Pakistan's top military hierarchy was eliminated. The mystery is that the Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS), General Aslam Beg, having himself hovered over the disaster site, preferred to fly back to Rawalpindi. Major General Mehmud Durrani, the host of the whole episode, moved to Multan for a comfortable sleep. 3. Now, claiming credit for democracy and decorated with the democracy medal, General Aslam Beg did not feel obliged to care for the fallen comrades. Without knowing about the survivors and the urge to take over, he rushed to Rawalpindi where in a high-level meeting, he faced tough resistance. REFERENCE A conspiracy against my father Part I Muhammad Ijaz ul Haq Tuesday, September 08, 2009 conspiracy against my father Part II Muhammad Ijaz ul Haq Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Major General [Retd] Mahmud Ali Durrani
Major General [Retd] Mahmud Ali Durrani - he was From 1977 to 1982 Pakistan’s defense and military attaché in Washington, D.C. Military Secretary [1982-1986] UNDER American Backed Military Dictator General Muhammad Zaiul Haq [1977 - 1988]. Durrani was posted as the commander the 1st Armoured Division in Multan, and being the former MS to the president persuaded the then Army chief and president General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq to witness the tank exercise in Bahawalpur desert on 17 August, 1988 [where are those demented Generals i.e. General Retd. Mirza Aslam Beg and Lt. General Retd. Hamid Gul who wind up the investigations of General Zia's Plane Crash -Read, Who Killed Zia below]. REFERENCE: Major General [R] Mahmud Ali Durrani and Security Breach

Hamayun Akhtar Khan {s/o General Abdur Rahman - Director General ISI - DIED WITH ZIA IN 1988 PLANE CRASH WITH AMERICANS}

General Abdur Rahman - Director General ISI [DIED WITH ZIA IN 1988 PLANE CRASH WITH AMERICANS]

Humayun said Brigadier retired Imtiaz has opened new Pandora Box which has met strong opposition from political leaders. REFERENCE: Brig. Imtiaz encouraged my father to board C-130 plane: Akhtar Updated at: 0530 PST, Sunday, August 30, 2009

Who Killed Zia? (Page 2) VANITY FAIR September 1989 by Edward Jay Epstein

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On August 17 1988, Pak One, an American built Hercules C-130b transport plane, took off from the military air base outside of Bahawalpur, Pakistan at 3:46 p.m, precisely on schedule. The passengers in the air-conditioned VIP capsule, which included Mohammad Zia ul-haq, the Army Chief of Staff and President of Pakistan. were returning to the capital city of Islamabad after a hot, dusty tank demonstration.

This was General Zia's first trip on Pak One since May 29. He had reluctantly gone to Bahawalpur that morning to witness a demonstration of the new American Abrams tank. Although he himself saw little point in going at a time of national crises to see a lone tank fire off its cannon, the commander of the armored Corp, who had been his former military secretary, was extraordinarily insistent in his phone calls. He argued that the entire Army command would be there that day, implying that if Zia was absent it might be taken as a slight. As it had turned out, the tank demonstration was a fiasco. After helicopters flew him from the airport to the desert site, the much vaunted American tank missed its target ten out of ten times. So much for the tank. Zia went on to the lunch at the officers' mess, eating ice cream, and joking with his top generals. Back at the air strip, he prayed to Mecca, then, before reboarding the plane, he warmly embraced those of the generals that stayed.

Seated next to him on the flight back to Islamabad was his close friend, General Akhtar Abdur Rehman, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and, after Zia, the second most powerful man in Pakistan. He had headed Inter Service intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's equivalent of the CIA, for ten years. There he had been Zia's architect for the war in Afghanistan against the Soviets. It was his ISI that had organized the Muejadeen into combat units, trained them, distributed weapons to them, provided them with intelligence and even selected their targets. And now the Mujuedeen was on the verge of winning; the first time the Soviet Union had been defeated since the second world war.

Like Zia, Rehman had not wanted to come to this tank demonstration. He indeed had another appointment in Karachi. He decided to go only when a former deputy of his at the ISI advised him that Zia was on the verge of making major changes in his the army and intelligence high command and suggested that Zia needed his counsel. Rehman had been aware that ever since a huge arms depot for Afghan weapons had blown up in the suburbs of Islamabad that April, killing at least 93 people, Zia had become increasingly uneasy about what might be done to undermine his control in the closing days of the Afghan war. Zia blamed the Soviet trained Afghan intelligence service, WAD, for the blast, but Pakistan politicians criticized him and Rehman for locating the arms depot where it endangered civilians. Zia reacted by precipitously firing his own prime minister, dissolving the parliament and local government on May 29. He had expected changed to be made in the military. So, canceling his meeting in Karachi, he joined Zia on Pak One that morning. He reboarded the plane, wearing his familiar peaked general's hat, with General Mohamed Afzal, Zia's chief of the General Staff.

The remaining two seats in the capsule were given to Zia's American guests: Ambassador Arnold L. Raphel, an old Pakistan hand who had known Zia for twelve years and General Herbert M. Wassom, the head of U.S. Military aid mission to Pakistan. They had also witnessed the dismal tank demonstration, then, Ambassador Raphel found time to pay a condolence call at a convent in Bahawalpur where an American nun had been murdered the week before. Behind them, Eight other Pakistan generals packed the two benches in the rear section of the VIP capsule.

Lt. General Aslam Beg, the Army's vice chief of staff, waved goodbye from the runway, the only top general in the chain of command not aboard Pak One that day. He would fly back in the smaller Turbo Jet, waiting to take off as soon as Pak One was airborne.

A Cessna security plane completed the final check of the area-- a precaution taken ever since terrorists had unsuccessfully fired a missile at Pak One eight years earlier. Then, the control tower gave Pak One the signal to take off.

In the cockpit, which was separated from the VIP capsule by a door and three steps, was the four man flight crew. The pilot, Wing Commander Mashhood Hassan, had been personally selected by Zia. And the co-pilot, the navigator and the engineer had been cleared by Air Force security. Just the day before, they had flown Pak One back and forth on the exact route as a trial run so there would be no surprises. The trip was expected to take an hour.) After Pak One was airborne, the control tower at Bahawalpur routinely asked Mashood his position. He said "Pak One, stand bye" . But there was no response. The efforts to contact Mashood grew more desperate by the minute. Pak One was missing only minutes after it had taken off.

Meanwhile, at a river about 18 miles away from the airport, villagers, looking into the sky, saw Pak One lurching up and down in the sky, as if were on an invisible roller coaster. After its third loop, it plunged directly towards the desert, burying itself in the soil. Then, it exploded and, as the fuel burnt, became a ball of fire. All 30 persons on board were dead. It was 3:51 p.m.

General Beg's turbojet circled over the burning wreckage for a moment. Then the vice chief of stall, realizing what had happened, ordered his pilot to head for Islamabad. That evening, acting as if a coup might be underway, army units moved swiftly to cordon off official residences, government buildings, television stations, and other strategic locations in the capital.

The crash altered the face of politics in Pakistan in a way in which no simple coup d'etat could have done. Pakistan is the only country named after an acronym: "P" stands for Punjab, "A" for Afghanistan, and the "K" for Kashmir. It reflected a dream at best of an Islam state; only the "P" actually became part of Pakistan when it was carved out of British India in 1947 as a haven for Moslems. But it was a dream that Zia taken advantage of after he seized power in a bloodless military coup in 1977. Mindful that the Shah was unable to control his empire in Iran because he had underestimated the power of Islam, Zia moved almost immediately to placate the mullahs in his country by pursuing a policy of "islamization" and reinstalling the law of the Koran. Public flogging was made the penalty for drinking alcohol, amputation of a hand the penalty for robbery, and being stoned to death the penalty for adulatory. Women, if they were teachers, students or government employees, to cover their head with a chador. While he used thousand-year old Koran law to help maintain control over a population of over 99 million people in Pakistan, he strove to build an ultra-modern military machine, complete with state of the art F-16 fighters, Harpoon missiles, and nuclear arms, and to make Pakistan the leading ally of the United States in Asia. It had been an extraordinary balancing act.

Now, the sudden end of Zia and his top generals dead, with no civilian government in place, left a conspicuous void. There was of course still the Army, which General Beg had now assumed command of--which was and always had been the dominant power in Pakistan. There was also the opposition party, the Pakistan Peoples Party, founded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, which no longer prevented by Zia from participating in the elections scheduled for that November, could back the candidacy of his arch enemy, Benazir Bhutto. This, in turn, made possible her election-- which was inconceivable if Zia had been in power.

But this still left opened the question of what had happened to make Pak One to fall from the sky at this opportune moment? Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto offered perhaps the most convenient explanation: divine intervention. In the epilogue to her book, Daughter of Destiny (which before Zia's death had been entitled more modestly "Daughter of the East"), Mrs. Bhutto notes "Zia's death must have been an act of god". Zia was, as far she was concerned, the incarnation of evil. When she first met him in January 1977, she saw him only as a " short, nervous, ineffectual-looking man whose pomaded hair was parted in the middle and lacquered to his head". She could not understand why her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, then the prime minister of Pakistan, had passed over six more senior generals to pick him as head of the Army . Eighteen months later, Zia had usurped power from him and then committed "judicial murder," as she saw it, by allowing her father to be hanged like a common criminal on a trumped up charge. He also banned her father's political party, the Pakistan Peoples Party, imprisoned her and her mother (even though she was suffering from lung cancer) and had both her brothers in exile, Shah Nawaz and Mir Murtaza, tried and convicted of high crimes in absentia. When Shah Nawaz was killed by poison in France in 1986, she suspected it was done by Zia's agents. Zia had decimated her family. She took particular satisfaction that Zia's body was burnt beyond recognition in the plane fire, noting, "Zia had exploited the name of Islam to such an extent, people were saying that when he died, God didn't leave a trace of him."

But there also existed less divine sources of retribution. There was, for example, Mrs. Bhutto's own 34 year old brother, Mir Murtaza Bhutto. For the past nine years, he headed an anti-Zia guerrilla group, which shared offices with the PLO in Kabul, Afghanistan (and later operated out of Damascus, Syria) called Al Zulfikar or "the sword". Its proclaimed mission was to destroy the Zia regime, and the means it used included sabotage, highjackings and assassination in Pakistan. It had demonstrated that it had the capacity to carry out complex international terrorist operations when it hijacked a Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 727 with 100 passenger aboard in 1981, flew it first to Kabul, where it executed one passenger and refueled, and then to Damascus, where, with the assistance of the Syria government, it forced Zia to exchange 55 political prisoners for the passengers. It originally had taken credit for the destruction of Pak One in a phone call to the BBC although subsequently, after it was announced that the American Ambassador was aboard it, Mir Murtaza Bhutto retracted this claim. But Mir Murtaza admitted that he had attempted to assassinate Zia on five previous occasions. And one of these earlier Al-Zulfikar assassination attempts involved attempting to blow Pak One out of the sky with Zia aboard it by firing a Soviet-built SAM 7 missile at it. On that occasion, the missile missed, and when the terrorists who fired it were capture they admitted that they had been trained for the mission in Kabul by Mir Murtaza Bhutto and his advisers. Now, with his sister in a position to win the elections if Zia could be removed, Mir Murtaza had an added reason to pursue his mission. But he was not the only one with a motive.

Another suspect was the Soviet Union. Zia had offended Moscow to such a degree that it had declared publicly, only a week before the crash, that Zia's "obstructionist policy cannot be tolerated". In Washington, I was told by a top official in the Pentagon, who was directly responsible for assessing the political consequences of military activity, that his initial concern was that the Soviet Union might have been involved in bringing down Pak One. Earlier that month the Soviet had temporarily suspended its troop withdrawals from Afghanistan to protest Zia's violations of the Geneva Accords that had been signed in May. According to the Soviets, Zia not only was continuing to arm the Afghan Mujuedeen in blatant disregard of the agreement but was directing the sabotage campaign in Kabul that was adding to the Soviet humiliation. After protesting to the Pakistan Ambassador, the Soviet foreign ministry then took the extraordinary step of calling in the American Ambassador to Moscow, Jack Matlock, and informing him that it intended "to teach Zia a lesson".

Soviet intelligence certainly had the means in place in Pakistan to carry out this threat. It had trained, subsidized and effectively ran the Afghan intelligence service, WAD, which had in its campaign of covert bombings in the past year killed and wounded over 1400 people in Pakistan, according to a State Department report released the week of the crash. It had also demonstrated that Spring it could recruit Pakistani accomplices inside military installations. Had Pak One been another of its targets?

After weighing this possibility, the relevant officials in the Pentagon and State Department rejected, according to the official I was interviewing. What persuaded them that the Soviet leadership would not permit such a move, he further elaborated, was the presence of the Ambassador on the plane. They simply did not believe that the Soviets would not have jeopardized Glastnost by assassinating an American of this rank. But later while we were having lunch in his office he mentioned that neither Ambassador Raphel or General Wassom were supposed to fly back on Zia's plane. Both men, at least the day before, had been scheduled to return from the tank exhibition on the U.S. military attache's jet (which General Wassom had flown down on). If so, the perpetrators might not have necessarily reckoned on the American presence aboard the plane.

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The Soviets were not, as it turned out, the only nation to pointedly threaten Zia. In Delhi, Rajiv Gandhi, the prime minister of India, informed Pakistan on August 15 it would have cause "to regret its behavior" in covertly supplying weapons to Sikhs terrorists in India. The Sikhs, who were attempting to secede from India and create an independent nation called Khalistan, were a crucial problem for Gandhi. They had assassinated his mother when she was prime minister and, with some 2000 armed guerrillas located mainly around the Pakistan border, the death toll from this civil war was approaching 200 a month. Zia had been meeting with top Sikh leaders, according to Gandhi, and providing guerrillas with AK-47 assault rifles, rocket launchers and sanctuary across the Pakistan border. In response, India had organized a special unit in its intelligence service, known by the initials R.A.S., to deal with Pakistan.

It was not unlike Agatha Christie's thriller Murder on the Orient Express, in which, if one looked hard enough, every aboard the train had a motive for the murder. When Zia's eldest son, Ijaz ul Haq, a soft-spoken, impeccably dressed man now living in Bahrain, described to me how his father was persuaded to go to the tank demonstrations that day by his generals, despite his misgivings, and then General Rehman's sons told me how their father was manipulated into going on the same plane, it raised the possibility that the assassination was the work of a faction in the army. After all, as I learned from Zia's son, Zia had planned to make imminent changes in the military.

Zia's great game had also even offended the United States. It was explained to me at the Pentagon that the CIA had become concerned that Zia was diverting a large share of the weapons being supplied by America to an extreme fundamentalist Muejadeen group led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Not only was this group anti-American but its strategy appeared to be aimed at dividing the rest of the Afghan resistance so that it could take over in Kabul-- with Zia's support. American anxiety was also increasing over the progress Zia was making in building the first Islamic nuclear bomb. His clandestine effort included attempts to smuggle the Kryton triggering mechanism and other components for it out of the U.S., which had only added to the tensions.

In any case, with Zia death, the U.S. could foresee an amenably alternative: the replacement of the Zia dictatorship, with all its cold war intrigues, with an elected government head by the attractive Harvard-educated Benazir Bhutto. With this prospect, the State Department had little interest in rocking the boat by focusing on the past, as the new American Ambassador, Robert Oakley, told me in Islamabad. This decision was apparently made just hours after the charred remains of Zia were buried. Flying back from the funeral, Secretary of State Schultz recommended that the FBI keep out of the investigation. Even though the FBI had the statutory authority for investigating crashes involving Americans, and its counter-terrorism division had already assembled a team of forensic experts to search for evidence in the crash, it complied with this request.

During his confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relation Committee, Oakley explained "the judgment of the State Department and the Defense Department was that [the FBI forensic experts] would not add any expertise to the team and that it might create complications because we had already obtained something rather extraordinary, that is, the permission of the government of Pakistan to have U.S. investigators fully involved, with full access to everything which had occurred, involving the death under mysterious circumstances of the President of Pakistan." The result was that the U.S. team assigned to Pakistan's Board of Inquiry included only seven air force accident investigators-- and excluded any criminal, counter-terrorist or sabotage experts.

An unrestricted investigation by the FBI also could have opened up a potential Pandora's box of geo-political troubles. What if, for example, it pointed towards a superpower, a neighbor, or Pakistan's military itself? It could undermine everything the United States was striving to achieve by damaging detente, leading to armed confrontation on Pakistan's borders or even de-stabilize the new and shaky Pakistan government. Why chance such uncontrollable consequences when the change in power could be attributed to an "accident" or "act of god?

The State Department evidently decided to work to control media and public perception of what had caused the crash. Just before a summary of the Board of Inquiry' findings was to be released to the press, Oakley sent a classified telegram from Islamabad providing "press guidance." He advised in a follow-up telegram "It is essential that U.S. Government spokespersons review and coordinate on proposed guidance before commenting to the media on the GOP [Pakistan] release".

This spin control effectively deflected press attention from the report's conclusion actual conclusion that the probable cause of the crash was sabotage. On October 14th, 72 hours before that release, the State Department leaked a pre-emptive story to theNew York Times headlined "Malfunction Seen as Cause of Zia Crash". It began " Experts sent to Pakistan ... have concluded that the crash was caused by a malfunction in the aircraft". But on October 17, when the summary was released, the headline had to be changed to "Pakistan Points to Sabotage in Zia crash". TheTimes now correctly reported that Pakistan's Board of Inquiry had concluded "the accident was most probably caused through the perpetuation of a criminal act or sabotage". But unnamed administration spokespersons, continuing with their pre-prepared press guidance, added to the story that "the Pakistani findings were not the same as findings by American experts." They even suggested a psychopathological explanation for the Board's finding, saying that it reflected a"mind set" among Pakistan military officers who wanted instability so they had an excuse for continuing their military rule.

The problem with this press guidance was that it was misinformation. There was no such divergence between the American and Pakistanis experts involved in the investigation, and no separate American conclusion of a "malfunction". Nor was it a conspiratorial Pakistani "mind set" that had ruled out a malfunction as the cause of the crash. This was the conclusion the six American Air Force experts, headed by Colonel Daniel E. Sowada, that comprised the U.S. Assistance and advisory team, which was supported by laboratories in the United States. They, not the Pakistani, had actually written the sections of the report that investigated all possible mechanical failure of the aircraft that led the Board to state it had been " unable to substantiate a technical reason for the accident." This was confirmed to me by both the head of the Pakistan investigating team and an American assistant secretary of defense. Colonel Sowada himself gave secret testimony before the subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs that acknowledged that no evidence of a mechanical failure had been found.

The conclusion of sabotage became inescapable after the accident investigators eliminated virtually all other causes. Sherlock-Holmes like detective work is contained in a red-bound 365 secret investigation report, which the relevant sections of were read to me by a Pentagon official in his office. Like Sherlock Holmes, it used on a process of elimination. First, they were able to rule out the possibility that the plane had been blown up in mid air. If it had exploded in this manner the pieces of the plane, which had different shapes and therefore resistance to the wind, would have been strewn over a wide area-- but that had not happened. By re-assembling the plane in a giant jigsaw puzzle, and scrutinizing with magnifying glasses the edges of each broken piece, they could established that the plane was in one piece when it had hit the ground. They thus concluded structural failure--ie. The breaking up of the plane-- was not the cause.

Nor had the plane been hit by a missile. That would have generated intense heat which in turn would have melted the aluminum panels and, as the plane dived, the wind would have left tell-tale streaks in the molten metal. But there were no streaks on the panels. And no missile part or other ordinance had been found in the area.

They could also rule out the possibility that there was an inboard fire while the plane was in the air since, if there had been one, the passengers would have breathed in soot before they died. Yet, the single autopsy performed, which was on the American general seated in the VIP capsule, showed there was no soot in his trachea, indicating that he had died before, not after, the fire ignited by the crash.

The next possibility they considered was that the power had somehow failed in flight. If this had happened, the propellers would not have been turning at their full torque when the plane crashed, which would have affected the way their blades had broken off and curled on impact. But by examining the degree of curling on each broken propeller blades, they determined that in fact the engines were running at full speed when the propellers hit the ground. They also ruled out the possibility of contaminated fuel by taking samples of the diesel fuel from the refueling truck, which had been impounded after the crash. By analyzing the residues still left in the fuel pumps, they could also tell that they had been operating normally at the time of the crash.

They deduced that the electric power on the plane had been working because both electric clocks on board had stopped at the exact moment of impact, which they determined independently from eye witnesses and other evidence.

The crash had occurred, moreover after a routine and safe take off in perfectly clear daytime weather. And the pilots were experienced with the C-130 and in good health. Since the plane was not in any critical phase of flight, such as take off or landing, where poor judgment on the part of the pilots could have resulted in the mishap, the investigators ruled out pilot error as a possible cause.

They thus came down to one final possibility of mechanical failure: the controls did not work. But the Hercules C-130 had not one but three redundant control system. The two sets of hydraulic controls were backed up, in case of a leak of fluid in both of them, by a mechanical system of cables. If any one of them worked, the pilots would have been able to fly the plane. By comparing the position of the controls with the mechanisms in the hydraulic valves and the stabilizers in the tail of the plane (which are moved through this system when the pilot moves the steering wheel), they established that the control system was working when the plane crashed. This was confirmed by a computer simulation of the flight done by Lockheed, the builder of the C-130. They also ruled out the possibility that the controls had temporarily jammed by a microscopic examination of the mechanical parts to see if there were any signs of jamming or binding. (The only abnormality they found, which led to a long separate appendix, was that there were brass particles contaminating the hydraulic fluid. Although they could not explain this contamination, they found that it could have accounted only for gradual wear and tear on the parts, not a sudden loss of control).

Having ruled out all the mechanical malfunctions that could cause a C-130 to fall from the sky in that manner, the American team left it to the Board to conclude "the only other possible cause of the accident is the occurrence of a criminal act or sabotage leading to the loss of control of the aircraft".

This conclusion was reinforced when an analysis of chemicals found in plane's wreckage, done by the laboratory of Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco in Washington, found foreign traces of pentaerythritol tertranitrate (PNET), a secondary high explosive commonly used by saboteurs as a detonator, as well as antimony and sulfur, which in the compound antimony sulfide is used in fuses to set off the device. Using these same chemicals, Pakistan ordinance experts reconstructed a low-level explosive detonator which could have been used to burst a flask the size of a soda can which, the Board suggested, probably contained an odorless poison gas that incapacitated the pilots.

But this was as far as the Board of Inquiry could go. It had not had autopsies done on the remains of the crew members to determine if they were poisoned. It acknowledged in its report that it lacked the expertise to investigate criminal acts. What was needed was criminal investigators and interrogators. It thus recommended that the task of finding the perpetrators by turned over to the competent agency, which meant, as one of the investigators explained to me, Pakistan's intelligence service--the ISI.

General (R) Hamid Gul

When I got to Pakistan in February and called upon General Hamid Gul, the Director General of the ISI, I found out that political events had apparently overtaken this mandate. He told me that his agency had called off its investigation at the request of the government and had transferred the responsibility for it to a "broader based" government authority headed by a civil servant called F.K. Bandial. It was not using the resources of his intelligence service and, as far as he knew that committee had not begun the work. His tone suggested that, he did not expect any immediate resolution of the crime.

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But it was still possible to come to some reasonable conclusions about what happened to Pak One, if not the precise cause. And there were still outstanding, however, disturbing pieces of evidence. A crucial piece missing in the puzzle was what had happened to the pilots during the final minutes of the flight because the accident investigators found that there was no black box or cockpit recorder on Pak One to recover. Yet, there were three other planes in the area tuned to the same frequency for communications-- General Beg's turbojet, which was waiting on the runway to take off next, Pak 379, which was the backup C-130 in case anything went wrong to delay Pak One, and a Cessna security plane that took off before Pak One to scout for terrorists. I managed to locate pilots of these planes-- all of whom were well acquainted with the flight crew of Pak One and its procedures-- who could listen to the conversation between Pak One and the control tower in Bahawalpur. They independently described the same sequence of events. First Pak One reported its estimated time of arrival in the capital. Then, when the control tower asked its position, it failed to respond. At the Same Time Pak 379 was trying unsuccessfully to get in touch with Pak One to verify its arrival time. All they heard from Pak One was "stand by" but no message followed. When this silence persisted, the control tower got progressively more frantic in its efforts to contact Zia's pilot, Wing Commander Mash'hood. Three or four minutes passed. Then, a faint voice in Pak One called out "Mash'hood, Mash'hood". One of the pilots overhearing this conversation recognized the voice. It was Zia's military secretary, Brigadier Najib Ahmed who apparently, from the weakness of his voice, was in the back of the flight deck (where a door connected to the VIP capsule.) What this meant that the radio was switched on and was picking up background sounds; in this sense, it was the next best thing to a cockpit flight recorder. Under these circumstances, the long silence between "stand bye" and the faint calls to Mash'hood, like the dog that didn't bark, was the relevant fact. Why wouldn't Mash'hood or the three other members of the flight crew spoken if they were in trouble? The pilots aboard the other planes, who were fully familiar Mash'hood, and the procedures he was trained in, explained that if Pak One's crew was conscious and in trouble they would not in any circumstances have remained silent for this period of time. If there had been difficulties with controls, Mash'hood instantly would have given the emergency "may day" signal so help would be dispatched to the scene. Even if he had for some reason chosen not to communicate with the control tower, he would have been heard shouting orders to his crew or alerting the passengers to prepare for an emergency landing. And if there had been an attempt at a hijacking in the cockpit or scuffle between the pilots, it would also be overheard. At the minimum, if the plane was crashing towards earth, screams or groans would have been heard. The radio must have been working since it picked up the brigadier's voice. In retrospect, the pilots had only one explanation for the prolonged silence: Mash'hood and the other pilots were either dead or unconscious while the microphone had been kept opened by the clenched hand of one of the pilots' on the thumb switch that operated.

I could not be ascertain if such tapes actually existed. If they did, the clarity could possibly enhanced to separate other background sounds from the static. Although one witness claimed that he had listened to recordings of these conversations after the crash to identify Mash'hood's voice, the control tower operators at Bahawalpur denied having recorded the conversations although they suggested it might have been taped by the Multan airport forty miles away.In any case, the account of the eyewitnesses at the crash site dove-tailed with the radio silence. They had seen, it will be recalled, the plane pitching up and down as if it were on a roller coaster. According to a C-130 expert I spoke to at Lockheed, C-130's characteristically go into a pattern known as a "phugoid" when no pilot is flying it. First, the unattended plane dives towards the ground, then the mechanism in the tail automatically over-corrects for this downward motion, causing it to head momentarily upwards. Then, with no one at the controls, it would veer downward. Each swing would become more pronounced until the plane crashed. Analyzing the weight on the plane, and how it had been loaded on, this expert calculated the plane would have made three roller-coaster turns before crashing, which is exactly what the witnesses had been reported. He concluded from this pattern that the pilots had been conscious, they would have corrected the "phugoid"-- at least would have made an effort, which would have been reflected in the settings of the controls. Since this had not happened, he concluded, like the pilots in the other planes, that they were unconscious. He suggested that this could be accomplished be planting a gas bomb in the air vent in the C-130, triggered to go off, when the plane took off and pressurized air was fed into the cockpit.

My investigations at the Bahawalpur airport showed that planting a gas bomb on the plane that day would not have entailed any insurmountable problems. Instead of following prescribed procedures and flying to the nearby air base at Multan where it could be guarded, Pak One had remained at the air strip that day. According to one inspector there, a repair crew, which included civilians, had worked on adjusting the cargo door of Pak One for two hours that morning. Its workers entered and left the plane without any sort of search. Any one of them could dropped a gas bomb into the air vent.

I also spoke to an American chemical warfare expert about poison gases that could have been used. He explained that Chemical agents capable of knocking a flight crew, while extremely difficult to obtain, are not beyond the reach of any intelligence service, or underground group with connections to one. He also pointed out that a gas capable on insidiously poisoning a whole flight crew (and leaving the pilot's fingers locked on the radio switch) had been used in neighboring Afghanistan. According to the State Department's special report 78 on "Chemical Warfare in Southeast Asia and Afghanistan," which he sent me, corpses of rebel Muejadeen guerrillas were found still holding their rifles in firing positions after being gassed. This showed that they had been the victims of "an extremely rapid acting lethal chemical that is not detectable by normal senses and that causes no outward physiological responses before death." This gas manufactured by the Soviet would have done the trick. But so would American manufactured "VX" nerve gas, according to a scientist at the U.S. Army chemical warfare center in Aberdeen, Maryland. "VX" is odorless, easily transportable in liquid form, and a soda-sized can full would be enough, when vaporized by a small explosion, and inhaled, to causes paralyzes and loss of speech within 30 seconds. According to him, the residue it would leave behind would be phosphorous. And, as it turned out, the chemical analyzes of debris from the cockpit showed heavy traces of phosphorous.

Such an act of sabotage would probably leave other detectable traces. The chemical agent that killed or paralyzed the pilots could probably be determined through an autopsy of their bodies. If it was a sophisticated nerve gas, it had to be obtained from one of the few countries that manufactures it, transported across international borders, and packaged with a detonator and fuse mechanism into bomb that would burst at the right moment after take off. All this could be trace back, just as the bomb on Pan Am 103 in Scotland was eventually identified and traced. Moreover, in Pakistan, the device had to be delivered to an agent capable of planting it on Pak One at a military air base. And someone had to supply him with intelligence about Zia's movements, the operations of Pak One, and the gaps in its security. Since access was limited to a few dozen persons, these people were vulnerable to discovery through an ordinary police investigation. Access to American intelligence resources, such as the technical labs of the FBI, the counter-terrorist profiles of the CIA, and the electronic eavesdropping archives of the National Security Agency, might also have helped locate the source of the intelligence (especially if it had been broadcast). But I found no such determined investigation took place.

To begin with, as noted by the Board of Inquiry, autopsies were never performed on the bodies of the flight crew. The explanation told to me by the Pentagon official, and apparently given in the secret report, was that Islamic law requires burial within 24 hours. But this could not been the real reason since the bodies were not returned to their families for burial until two days after the crash, as relatives confirmed to me. Nor were they ever asked permission for autopsy examinations. And, as I learned from a doctor for the Pakistan Air Force, Islamic law not withstanding, autopsies are routinely done on pilots in cases of air crashes. I further determined from sources at the military hospital in Bahawalpur that parts of the victims' bodies had been brought there in plastic body bags from the crash site on the night of August 17, and stored there, so that autopsies could be performed by team of American and Pakistani pathologists. On the afternoon of August 18,however, before the pathologists had arrived, the hospital received orders to return these plastic bags to the coffins for burial. The principal evidence of what happened to the pilots was thus purposefully buried.

The police investigation of those who had access to Pak One at the airport and were involved in its security, also appeared to be similarly curtailed. According to a security officer who was there that day, the ground personnel was not methodically questioned. Instead, they said in interviews almost uniformly that they were amazed that no one was interrogated. The only inquiry that they saw taking place was the inquiry by the American team. The questions by the Americans, which had to go through a Pakistani translator, were largely confined to the aircraft's maintenance and movements prior to take off. Other activities that day were not explored. For example, according to a police inspector at Bahawalpur, a policeman at the airstrip that day was found murdered shortly thereafter, but it was not connected to the air crash or, for that matter, resolved.

For its part, Pakistani military authorities attempted to foist a explanation that Shi'ite fanatics were responsible for the crash. The only basis for this theory was that the co-pilot of Pak One, Wing Commander Sajid, happened to have been a shi'ite (as are more than ten per cent of Pakistan's Moslems). The pilot of the back-up C-130, who also was a shi'ite, was then arrested by the military and kept in custody for more than two months while military interrogators tried to make his confess that he had persuaded Sajid to crash Pak One in a suicide mission. Even under torture, he denied this charge and insisted that, as far as he knew, Sajid was a loyal pilot who would not commit suicide. Finally, the army abandoned this effort the Air Force demonstrated that it would have been physically impossible for the co-pilot alone to have caused a C-130 to crash in the way it did. And if he had attempted to overpower the rest of the flight crew, the struggle certainly would have been heard over the radio. But why had the military attempted to cook up this shi'ite red herring?

There were other indications of efforts to limit or divert from the investigation, such as the destruction of telephone records of calls made to Zia and Rehman just prior to the crash, the reported disappearances of ISI intelligence files on Murtaza Bhutto, and the transfer of military personnel at Bahalapur, which, taken together, appeared to add up to a well-organized cover up. If so, I was persuaded that it had to be an inside job. The Soviet KGB and Indian R.A.W. Might have had the motive, and even the means, to bring down Pak One but neither had the ability to stop planned autopsies at a military hospital in Pakistan, stifle interrogations or, for that matter, kept the FBI out of the picture. The same is true of anti-Zia underground, such as Al-Zulfikar, although its agents, like the shi'ite, would provide plausible suspects ( or even, if provided convenient access to Pak One, fall guys.) Nor would any foreign intelligence service which was an enemy of Zia's have much of a motive for making it look like an accident rather than an assassination. Only elements inside Pakistan would have an obvious motive for making it the death of Zia, Rehman and 28 others look like something more legitimate than a coup d' etat.

The most eerie aspect of the affair was the speed and effectiveness with which it was consigned to oblivion. Even it involved the incineration of the principal ally of the U.S. in the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, the abrupt end of the American Ambassador and the head of its military mission in Pakistan were killed in the course of discharging their duties, and the government of one of the few remaining allies of the U.S. In Asia was abruptly changed; there little occurred in the way of repercussions. No outcries for vengeance, no efforts at counter coups, no real effort to find the assassins. In Pakistan, Zia and Rehman's names disappeared within days from television, newspapers and other media-- except on a few monuments in Afghan refugee camps that had not yet been painted over. In the United States, the State Department blocked any FBI interest in investigating the death of its Ambassador and, through press "guidance", distorted the event into just another foreign plane accident. The one uncounted casualty of Pak One was the truth.