« »

Monday, 7 December 2009

BlackWater working with new name: Talha

PAKISTAN is to raise the issue of Dr Aafia Siddiqi’s unlawful detention in US with the United Nations to seek her release as the fake charges against her could not be proved ever since her illegal kidnapping in Kabul by the U.S.

This has been stated by the Chairman of Standing Committee on Interior Senator Mohammad Talha Mahmood in an exclusive panel interview with Pakistan Observer here.

He said the Committee after thorough investigation has come to the conclusion that the charges against Dr Aafia Siddiqi were fake and contrary to the US claim of picking her up from the compound of Governor of Ghazni, she was actually kidnapped in Karachi along with her little daughter and two small children in 2003 and handed over to the foreign forces in Afghanistan. The US forces claimed that she was taken into their custody from Afghanistan by U.S. forces after she attempted to shoot the U.S. soldiers. Her daughter and one of the two sons are still missing and there are unconfirmed reports that one of the minor may no longer be there.

Senator Talha Mahmood said that the Standing Committee on Interior headed by him had already working on a resolution seeking the help of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqi.

He said Dr Aafia case should be referred to the International Court of Justice at The Hague so that she is able to get justice and the wrong doers punished for the heinous crime against humanity.

To a question, Senator Talha said he as part of the Pakistan delegation had met Dr Aafia in Texas on June 10 and found that she had three bullet wounds in her abdomen and other parts of the body. He questioned the US contention that she was injured after she allegedly tried to kill the heavily-armed US soldiers in Afghanistan. “How could a mother of three, little kids indulge in an encounter with heavily armed and merciless US soldiers”, he questioned.

Talha Mahmood said that while in Afghanistan, Aafia was denied any consular access which is against diplomatic norms and against fundamental rights.

Senator Muhammad Talha Mahmood said the the meeting with Dr. Aafia at Carswell, Fort Worth, Texas, last year was attended by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Senator S M Zafar, Senator Ms Saadia Abbasi, Iftikhar Ullah Babar, Secretary Committee/Additional Secretary and Faqir Syed Asif Hussain, Consular, Pakistan embassy in Washington.

Asked about the presence of the dreaded US Blackwater presence in Pakistan, the Chairman of the Standing Committee said their presence is an established fact. However, it has changed its name to Xe. “Xe: is working in Pakistan for the CIA. He said the mere change of name does not make any difference and the nature of operation of the Black Water which is believed to be misusing diplomatdic immunity by openly carrying arms at the dead of night. . “Let’s forget Blackwater for a second. What this is confirming is that there are US military operations in Pakistan that aren’t about logistics or getting food to Bagram; that are actually about the exercise of physical violence, physical force inside of Pakistani territory.”

He said he had set up a committee headed by the NWFP Chief Minister to look into this very serious matter of national concern.

To a question about the issuance of thousands of licences for prohibited bore weapon, Talha Mahmood said this was a matter of grave concern as it impinges on the security of the country. These licences had been issued by corrupt officials of Interior Ministry in collusion with arms dealers and who minted millions. “A thorough enquiry into the matter is underway and strict action will be taken against the corrupt officials and arms dealers”.

To a question, he said there is concrete evidence of Indian intelligence agency , RAW’s active involvement in Balochistan and FATA in collusion with Afghanistan.

He pointed out that only recently Afghan intelligence agency, KHAD, has changed its nomenclature to RAM and it is working closely with RAW to carry out acts of terrorism in Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan had conctrete evidence about the involvement of Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies in various incidents of terrorism in the country.”

Asked about the missing persons in Balochistan, Talha Mahmood put their number at 900, but the NGOs say there are about thirteen thousand missing persons in the province and only a few of them had returned to their homes recently”.

Asked about the US decision to despatch more troops to Afghanistan, he said the better option would have been the announcement of the pulling out of foreign troops from Afghanistan and induction of the local government in the war-torn country.

To a question, he said there are 6,500 Pakistanis imprisoned in many foreign countries. The Committee, he said was endeavouring to get their release as early as possible.

Recounting the achievements of his Committee, Talha Mahmood made a particular mention of the steps taken by the concerned agencies on its advice. He said almost 49% of illegal sims had been blocked which would greatly help in the misuse of such sims for criminal activities. The rest of the unauthorised sims would also be blocked.

He said the Committee had made great contribution in checking human smuggling. The salaries of police personnel in the provinces had been raised on the recommendations of the Committee.

Talha Mahmood said on the recommendations of his committee, the judiciary has been facilitated in its working.

About the housing societies, he said strict action has been taken against spurious societies and their bank accounts had been seized. The illegal housing societies had been banned from issuing any advertisement for their so-called schemes.

In conclusion, Talha Mahood said the law and order situation will automatically improve with improvement in political and economic conditions in the country. Unfortunately, he said, Pakistan during the last years did not get dedicated and popular leadership and failure to embark on the path envisaged by its founding fathers.

No comments:

Post a Comment