A War Within the Ranks?


An inter-agency battle appears to be playing out on the pages of some propaganda web sites. Following the briefing by Maj General Mehmood Ghayur that put to rest several drone myths and conspiracy theories, a call for his head has been issued on a website by Moin Ansari who was exposed as part of Cafe Pyala’s report on propaganda websites last year.

The General’s strange statement that “The number of innocent people being killed is relatively low.” should be condemned at the highest levels and he should be taken to task. Just labeling it as a “personal assessment’ is not good enough. Foreign Minister Qureshi had to give up his job for confronting allies and friends. Major General Mehmood should be stripped of his stars and put in jail for “approving” the attack on civilians in Pakistan, for tolerating the violation of Pakistani sovereignty–and justifying illegal murders.

As evidence that the General is incorrect, the author refers to the data of New American Foundation. But when I looked at their website, it turned out that the data actually supports Gen Mehmood’s statements.

Drones Deaths 2004 to 2010

But more telling, perhaps, is the way that the author strikes out at the ISI and even Gen Pasha by name.

The ISI has to own up to its incompetence in not following folks who were hurriedly handed out Pakistanis visas by the Pakistani Embassy in Washington. Why were the 500 or so “spies” not followed properly. How could they romp around Pakistan without the ISIs eagle eye on them? What stopped the ISI from doing a follow-up and in depth background check on these individuals. Why did the ISI have a epiphany moment when “Raymond Davis” actually committed murder. Why was he not targeted for intense surveillance for months. Does the ISI not know about the safe houses in Lahore. Ordinary citizens know where these thugs live. Why did the ISI allow them to run amok. There has been a shake-up at the ISI, where inefficiency has been sidelined. The knife neds to go deeper and eliminate incompetence.

Why has the ISI not submitted deep and profound background checks on all the Xe types that are present in Pakistan?

If General Pasha and General Kayani cannot answer these questions, the Senate and National Assembly should hold closed door and pubic hearings on these issues. If General Pasha is still allowing the drones to commit murder on Pakistani soil, then General Pasha should not get an extension.

An article in Daily Times reveals a network of think tanks are responsible for much of the conspiracy theory propaganda being circulated on the internet. Actually, this is not the first time these propaganda networks have been exposed. Last year Cafe Pyala found the same thing, including the web site that features these latest calls for sacking the military brass.

What is interesting is how these propaganda rings appear to be driven by retired military and intelligence officers from the Zia and Musharraf eras who consistently promoted pro-jihadi ideologies and failed military adventures that resulted in the present sad state of security. Now that Gen Kayani and Gen Pasha are left to clean up the mess that they created, they seem to have turned on their beloved institutions. Ideology before country, I guess, which is ironic for a bunch of goons that consistently declare themselves as ‘patriots’ and ‘nationalists’.

You have to wonder, though, if this isn’t just a public face of a larger war being waged within the ranks. The Zia-style ideologues for jihad versus the Kayani-style pragmatists for national security. It’s long been rumoured that such a battle is being waged, but the military keeps much closer ranks than politicians who are quick to insult each other openly.

Let me tell you this: If Gen Kayani and Gen Pasha have boiled the blood of the hyper-nationalist pseudo-patriots, they must be doing something right.


Author: Mahmood Adeel