Conspiracy Alert: Dual Nationality and Establishment Paranoia

Jul 10th, 2012 | By | Category: Conspiracy Theories, The News

The News (Jang Group)Last month, Gen (r) Tahir Ali wrote that “wrong assumptions, and conclusions drawn thereof, may mislead those assigned to formulate policies”. We agree completely with this conclusion. It is that therefore that much more worrying that Gen (r) Ali fills his latest column for The News with idle speculation, innuendo, and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. His latest conspiracy theory says that “the US is trying to control Pakistan by controlling its leadership”. This is a serious charge, and therefore deserves serious attention.

According to the respected General (r), the US is plotting to elect US citizens who will then undermine the military “and curtail their ability to breed ‘strategic defiance’ to the US ‘grand design’ in the region”. Gen. Ali claims that “the US by just controlling 4-5 party-heads, can control the entire policy-making of Pakistan” and gives a dire warning: “One can imagine the consequences if these leaders also choose to become US citizens after passage of proposed bill on ‘dual nationality.’”

Fortunately, like his dreadful warning, the General’s piece appears to be based entirely in his own imagination. Gen (r) Ali presents not a single piece of evidence to support anything that he has written. He doesn’t even allude to fictitious ‘sources’ or manufactured ‘intelligence’ that proves – or even suggests – that the US is controlling any politicians or party heads. Surely such a serious accusation should require the accuser to provide some evidence supporting his claim?

This raises another issue with regards to Gen (r) Ali’s conspiracy theory. If the General does have some evidence that a foreign power has infiltrated the deepest echelons of government, does he not have a moral and patriotic if not legal obligation to present this evidence as part of a FIR or possibly alert the Supreme Court? Why is a career soldier – a retired Major General actually – merely making unsubstantiated accusations on the inside pages of a newspaper instead of giving all evidence on the front page so that traitors and villains can be quickly removed before they can do any harm?

The same question should be asked of the Editors at The News: What was the level of editorial oversight when this piece was selected for publication? Did the editors request the minimum amount of evidence to corroborate the sensational and serious claims of treason at the highest level? Do they not have a professional obligation to fact-check, verify, and substantiate such serious charges before publishing them on their pages?

It should also be noted here that perhaps the retired General has given away more than was intended. What, for example, does he mean by breeding ‘strategic defiance’ to the US? Does this refer to the sudden and unexplained rise of Difa-e-Pakistan Council? Or is this a reference to the military’s reluctance to target militants affliated with the Haqqanis? Unlike many of the retired military officers who have taken up a new profession in journalism, Gen (r) Ali only recently retired from the Army meaning that he would have direct knowledge of very recent – if not current – military strategy. Did the General (r), in his moment of excitement, accidentally spill the beans? If so, the General may inadvertently find himself off the hook, though. Since his piece is so filled with unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, anything in it will be naturally called into question.

Gen (r) Tahir Ali’s piece is titled, How the establishment looks at contempt law, dual citizenship bill. Perhaps, though, this should be the most worrying. If the views presented by the author reflect not only his own paranoia, but those of the ‘establishment’ as a whole, we should ask ourselves if the General’s previous warning that “wrong assumptions, and conclusions drawn thereof, may mislead those assigned to formulate policies” has already come true.

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