THE US’ 2.3 MILLION DOLLAR MISTAKE


by Ghalib Sultan
ZoneAsia-Pk

From ‘The Daily Beast” (Denver Channel)—“-CIA operative Raymond Davis was arrested in Highlands Ranch Colorado-Davis and two other men had been arguing over a parking space when the argument turned violent and Davis was reportedly the aggressor. He was charged with third-degree assault and disorderly conduct but was released after posting a $ 1750 bond. Davis made world headlines when he was arrested in Pakistan after he shot and killed two men who he said were trying to mug him. His imprisonment turned into a stand-off between the US and Pakistan about the CIA’s covert activities in the country and he was freed only after the US paid US $ 2.3 million to the victims’ families.”

The report quoted above fails to mention that the US had claimed that Davis was a ‘diplomat’-something that is not being said now that there is tacit acknowledgement that he was a CIA ‘operative’ or contractor carrying out unauthorized covert activity in Pakistan—a country that the US calls its ally, or at least did till Mullen had his pre-retiremental syndrome. There is also no mention that in a ham handed and botched attempt to rescue Davis a US Consulate car crushed a third Pakistani to death. All this happened in broad daylight in a crowded part of the city of Lahore where the likes of Davis could have had no legitimate business. There is more. After Davis was released the CIA carried out a’revenge’ Drone attack on a tribal gathering in broad daylight that was dubbed a Taleban ‘meeting provoking much anger in Pakistan. No doubt this situation created by the US led to the decision to carry out a unilateral raid deep into Pakistan to kill Osama-bin Laden thereby further humiliating Pakistan especially its military and ISI. What is Pakistan supposed to do under the circumstances? Mullen’s desperation and his late concern for US lives was farcical and added insult to injury. The ball is in the US court if it wants to retrieve the relationship with Pakistan—not in Pakistan’s court as is being made out. If you want cooperation you have to build trust and not just demand access and action.

In a hard hitting article The New Yorker has placed the Davis incident in context and indicated the high handedness that the US displays—“William Frankfurt, Davis’s lawyer, also said, “It’s important to recognize where the incident took place. It was a war zone.” Is the middle of a Pakistani city a war zone? Pakistan, at least nominally, is still our ally. Or is the war zone now wherever we think we see our enemies, if only out of the corner of our eye? Is the battlefield now not just Kandahar but Lahore, or Yemen, where we carried out the targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki last week?’ Awlaki was a US citizen! What about the villages that are being razed and the Afghans and Pakistanis being killed. For the Afghans the Soviet Union has been replaced by the US and they have to continue doing exactly what they did then– till the US leaves.

Pakistan is standing up to the US. Those who collaborated with the CIA in covert operations will be tried for treason setting an example for others. Pakistan will not be pushed into doing what is not in its interest. The US is ratcheting up the pressure—the latest being the India-Afghan Strategic Agreement. There is already a US-India Strategic Agreement. A US-Afghan Strategic Agreement is in the works. Pakistan just has to read the writing on the wall but this writing is by the US and it ignores the reality of geography.

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