Conspiracy theories and anti-Americanism Distort Reporting on High Level Talks

Apr 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Daily Times, Jang, The News

Daily TimesA column by Shahzad Chaudhry in Daily Times starts with a very informative history of drone strikes that illustrates how the tactic has increased over time. But then the author veers very much off of a straight path and begins weaving in baseless conspiracy theories.

Questions are being asked of illicit relations between such agents and the Punjab-based militant groups and the increasing incidence of bomb blasts in Punjab and other centres, seeking hidden motives characterising these as the CIA’s sinister moves to cement further dissent in Pakistani society.

Chaudhry continues on to say that “The CIA has always had a separate agenda from the declared stance of both the state and defence departments in Washington”. But what is the evidence for any of this, and why does his informative history of the drone program spiral out of control and into a conspiracypalooza? Though some countries intelligence agencies may operate very independently from oversight of parliament, the US has kept its intelligence agency on a tighter leash following embarrassing incidents of the past. According to a report in TIME:

Bucking a veto threat by Obama and overruling a deal among the White House, Republicans and two Democratic committee chairmen, Pelosi is pushing to dramatically expand congressional oversight of the CIA and other intelligence agencies. At issue is Congress’s ability to monitor the intelligence programs deemed most sensitive and closely held by the Executive Branch. And the battle is turning into the biggest confrontation yet over Executive power between the liberal House Speaker and a White House that has moved steadily to the center on national security matters.

Pelosi wants the CIA and other intelligence agencies to inform all members of the House and Senate intelligence committees when they launch any covert action or other controversial program, not restricting that information to the chairmen and ranking opposition members and party leaders, or “Gang of Eight,” as required by current law. She also wants the congressional intelligence committees to have the power to task the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with auditing any intelligence program, Democratic aides say, a power the GAO has for classified Pentagon programs but not for the intelligence agencies. “The Speaker has made it very clear that she wants disclosure for the full membership of the intelligence committees, not just the ranking members,” says Pelosi’s press secretary, Brendan Daly.

It is pertinent to note also that even after all the Wikileaks documents have been released and made available to the public, no evidence of a CIA plot to destabilize Pakistan has surfaced. Surely in the thousands of top secret documents there would be some mention of such a nefarious scheme.

The News (Jang Group)Another column, riddled with contradictions and conspiracies, is by none other than Ahmed Quraishi writing in The News. The author begins by asking “Is ISI the problem?” You can imagine what Ahmed Quraishi’s answer will be before even reading one more word. But what is worth mentioning are the contradictions and conspiracies in his answer.

Ahmed Quraishi states that Admiral Mullen’s suggestion that ISI maintains links to Afghan Taliban factions is “factually incorrect” and blames the Pakistani side for not loudly correcting him. But then, a few paragraphs later, Ahmed Quraishi states that actually we are maintaining contacts with Afghan Taliban who are killing American troops, just as Admiral Mullen said.

We should tell Washington that we will maintain ties to legitimate Afghan parties, including the Afghan government and Afghan Taliban. American demands to cut off ties to any one of them are misplaced. If an Afghan group that Pakistan maintains links with is killing US soldiers in Afghanistan, this is not necessarily Pakistan’s design or responsibility.

Which is it? First Ahmed terms Admiral Mullen’s statement ‘factually incorrect’ and then he says the same thing that Admiral Mullen says also.

In addition to such contradictions, Ahmed Quraishi finished his column with a repeat of the conspiracy theory that we read in Shahzad Chaudhry’s columns – the claim that the US is trying to destabilize Pakistan.

The US military and CIA inflate these assessments to justify prolonging the Afghan war and, more importantly, to justify meddling in Pakistan.

Actually, the US has announced that it will start removing troops from Afghanistan this year and will be out of the country by 2014. If the US plans to prolong the war, it has a funny plan to do so.

It should also be noted that Ahmed Quraishi’s claim that “The strength and ability of terror groups such as TTP and BLA to resupply will end when CIA ends its grand strategic project in Afghanistan” does not make sense as BLA first launched attacks prior to the US invasion of Afghanistan following 9/11 attacks. If BLA could resupply and pose attacks before US involvement in Afghanistan, why would it be affected once the US leaves? This makes no sense.

Ironically, Ahmed Quraishi concludes his column with the sentence, “This is political propaganda.” Perhaps here he is correct. Both Shahzad Chaudhry and Ahmed Quraishi writing in two different newspapers are parroting the same conspiracy theories based in anti-Americanism and not solid evidence. As high level talks continue between the military and their counterparts in the US, media should inform the people of developments so that they are aware. But media should not invent developments and spread conspiracy theories that are absent of supporting facts.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

8 comments
Leave a comment »

  1. Imran Khan’s Rally but Marvi Memon says “Dr. Aafia is an alleged Al Qaeda, CIA agent! http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2011/04/imran-khans-rally-but-marvi-memon-says.html

    KARACHI: A prominent, vocal Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Marvi Memon has said that Dr. Aafia is an alleged Al Qaeda and CIA agent; till she is proven innocent in Pakistani courts, she can not be called as the daughter of Pakistan or a national hero. Marvi, talking to SAMAA, has said that the reality about Dr. Aafia is being hidden and all political leaders and government representatives are trying to gain political mileage and applause from the people by expressing popular sentiments about her.

  2. anti-Americanism,:))))????

    Imran Khan’s “American Connections” & Israeli too:)
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2011/04/imran-khans-american-connections.html

    US Congressman Bruce Braley demands high level of security for Imran Khan & other political leaders

    Mr. Imran Khan can even go to the extent of blackmailing to stop US Drone Attacks, even if the victim is a personality like Abdul Sattar Edhi

    Q. Have you ever been approached by political or other groups for support?

    A. Once, I was approached by General Hamid Gul, Imran Khan and few others, mostly military and intelligence officials, who were conspiring to overthrow Benazir Bhutto`s second government and wanted me to get involved. I declined because I am a social worker and not a politician. I also did not want to tarnish the credibility of my organisation by getting embroiled in something that obviously seemed quite disturbing. Eventually, I was made to feel threatened enough to temporarily leave the country.

    “Pakistan is at a critical make-or-break stage” By Qurat ul ain Siddiqui March 15, 2010 (Daily Dawn)

    Abdul Sattar Edhi, the founder of the Edhi Foundation, is unarguably the most renowned philanthropist in Pakistan. He began his work in 1951 with the opening of a free, one-room medical clinic in Karachi. Currently, his foundation runs 250 centres across the country and houses more than 2,000 children at any given time.

    The centres also provide free burial of unclaimed bodies, free health care and dispensaries, rehabilitation of drug addicts, free assistance for the handicapped, and family planning counselling. Over 6,000 destitute, runaways, and mentally challenged individuals are also in the foundation`s care. The Edhi Foundation has also managed to raise the largest single fleet of ambulances in Pakistan, providing transportation to over one million persons annually. The foundation is also involved in relief efforts for victims of natural and other disasters on a national and international level.

    Dawn.com speaks with Edhi to gauge how the foundation has been affected by the ongoing political and security situation.

    Q. Your foundation is involved in a range of activities. How do you decide what projects to pursue?

    A. My work involves supporting those who have no one to look after them. That also involves looking after the dead bodies and arranging a respectable burial for them. I cannot say no to anyone.

    Q. Is there any part of the country where your organisation has encountered problems owing to the security situation?

    A. We have never had any serious problems with anyone. There have been incidents reported by our workers and volunteers regarding hide-snatching [during Eid-ul-Azha] in the past, but we are operating as we always have. In fact, we are also planning to establish centres in Tank and Hangu. Even the Taliban haven`t made any trouble for us; they donated money to the foundation and said they did so because I was helping those who couldn`t help themselves.

    Q. The foundation has accepted donations from the Taliban; does that mean that you agree with their ideology?

    A. No, I do not. I also told them that I do not agree with all the violence and destruction and the effect it has on people`s lives. To that, they said they were not behind the attacks that targeted civilians and ordinary people.

    Q. What is it that makes your angry?

    A. I don`t get angry – it`s not in my nature. Sometimes [my wife] Bilquis and I have arguments, but that`s all.

    Q. Do you think philanthropic organisations such as yours cause the state to further abscond from its civic responsibilities?

    A. If the state can ensure that all who are subject to pay taxes do so, that would be a good enough start. If people were to honestly pay their taxes and also give charity, it would solve more than half of the country`s problems.

    Q. In 2008, eight children were abandoned by three women at an Edhi Foundation centre. The foundation later paid the families Rs. 100,000 each to take the children back. Are pay-offs of this kind effective when the root causes for children being abandoned are not addressed?

    A. Pay-offs are, of course, no solution, and we normally do not hand out money like that. Usually, we give shelter to children whose families abandon them, primarily for monetary reasons. The day people stop abandoning their children at our centres, I will believe that things are changing in Pakistan. But that does not seem to be happening. It is also quite clear that the government does not get actively involved, so I have no hope of people getting support from the state.

    Q. No hope? Isn`t that a fatalistic position to take regarding the state machinery?

    A. It is. But how can I have hope in a state that is being exploited by the current system – a system that is itself being manoeuvred by groups with no commitment to the people of this country. The whole political frame as it currently exists has to reinvent itself before we can even begin to hope for change in Pakistan.

    Q. Have you ever been approached by political or other groups for support?

    A. Once, I was approached by General Hamid Gul, Imran Khan and few others, mostly military and intelligence officials, who were conspiring to overthrow Benazir Bhutto`s second government and wanted me to get involved. I declined because I am a social worker and not a politician. I also did not want to tarnish the credibility of my organisation by getting embroiled in something that obviously seemed quite disturbing. Eventually, I was made to feel threatened enough to temporarily leave the country.

    Q. How do you see the future of Pakistan?

    A. I will continue to do my work and serve the people. However, Pakistan is now at a critical make-or-break stage, and if the system does not undergo a major overhaul, I am afraid that the country may even break up. Given the current conditions, it will take nothing short of a calculated, studied revolution to change things and save Pakistan.

  3. Right-wingers like Ahmed Quraishi never talk about the 800 pound gorilla in the room– Iran. They are the natural supporters if groups like BLA and TTP but avoid doing so because it would disrupt their narrative that both the USA and India are to blame for Pakistan’s terrorism woes.

  4. “amreeka ka jo yaar hy wo gaddar hy gaddar hy”
    Thats interesting !!
    so for why Aafia had gone to the “yaar USA” for education ?

    apna matlab pura kerne ke liye USA is GOOD
    and when you conspire with terrorists to harm USA and it gets hold of you then USA becomes evil

    Interesting !!

  5. How about this “Conspiracy Theory”????

    Cable operators accuse Geo, Jang of ‘blackmail’ 31-October 2010

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETwDSAm7gSI&feature=channel_video_title

  6. Not only Politics but Invasion of Privacy , go through this blog wherein in a video clip “Kamran Khan Grills” Ansar Abbasi for tapping the phone of a Pakistani Citizen (with telling him) and later using the tape in Reporting???

    Ansar Abbasi & Jang Group Illegally Tape the Phones of Citizens & Judges – P – 1 (9 Apr 2009) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95rtWVvqahw

  7. Not only Politics but Invasion of Privacy , go through this blog wherein in a video clip “Kamran Khan Grills” Ansar Abbasi for tapping the phone of a Pakistani Citizen (with telling him) and later using the tape in Reporting???

    Ansar Abbasi & Jang Group Illegally Tape the Phones of Citizens & Judges – P – 2 (9 Apr 2009)

    URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyRQkewdj4Q

  8. Jang Group & Ansar Abbasi “ILLEGALLY” Taped the Telephones of Judges & Citizens. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2011/04/jang-group-ansar-abbasi-illegally-taped.html

Leave Comment

?>