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Posts tagged with: Blackwater

Why perceptions matter more than grievances: Conspiracy theories, our Achilles heal?

Conspiracy theories are making a big splash in both the domestic and international media. While we in Pakistan are often angered as to how Pakistan is portrayed in the Western media, the same people seem to be supporting various individuals and right wing parties who are also gaining much traction with foreign correspondents in Pakistan.

Recent articles in the NY Times, Times and The Guardian all highlight some of the more outlandish (outlandish for me, common sense to others) arguments to explain the various challenges that the country faces. These articles and conspiracy theorist skeptics recognize that by offering elaborate and complex explanations for Pakistan’s miseries politicians, generals, media personalities etc are trying to deflect responsibility onto un-provable external actors. Not only are they deferring any questions that may be linked to their contribution to the nations state of affairs, by making statements such as “external actors cannot be ruled out” the narrative of the Pakistani state being constantly under siege is maintained.
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Blackwater ‘IN’ Pakistan – Rehman Malik, Patterson & Clinton all LIED to the People of Pakistan

In an interview with Express News [transcript on DoD], Robert Gates confirmed in some clear terms that private security firms Blackwater and DynCorp are operating inside Pakistan. “They’re operating as individual companies here in Pakistan” – so technically by all counts this statement more or less proves that Anne Patterson, Hilary Clinton and Rehman Malik all have being LYING to the people of Pakistan. Where over the past few months they have one after the other vehemently denied the presence of Blackwater and its operatives in Pakistan. Rehman Malik is on record to quit. In an attempt to soften the blow the US Department of Defense is covering up their statement by that updating reporters that Mr. Gates had been speaking about contractor oversight more generally and that the Pentagon didn’t employ Xe in Pakistan – which we all know is yet another lie, since even Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, confessed to his organizations involvement in Pakistan barely a month back in the Vanity Fair article.

I can’t complain much if foreign agents like Anne Patterson and Hilary Clinton lied to our people, as they probably were protecting the interests of their own government, but what irks me is that our own Ministers (& President) knowingly continue to lie to their people literally selling our soul to the highest bidder and yet had the audacity to deny the real facts while our country continued to burn under our noses.
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Survey – Who is responsible for Bolton Market Tragedy?

Please take part in this survey designed by Omar Javaid – Critic Magazine, to decipher the public perception of the 28th December Bolton Market Bomb blast – Survey Form

As of my last response there were about 96 people who had filled in the survey showing an overwhelming majority of 84% respondents thinking that the bolton market tragedy was a preplanned conspiracy, and 74% thinking that external elements (Blackwater, CIA, Mossad etc) were involved. More importantly only 6% believed that the Talibans could have benefited from this incident.
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Laidback Show Episode 10 – @NaveeNaqvi

Show notes after the Jump
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APC’s making their way to Quetta / Waziristan? (US/NATO?)

APC being transported to Baluchistan

UPDATE I – Observers have been trying to identify this APC and best guestimates are of a long wheel base US Stryker possibly an M1135 NAB-RV [Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle]

UPDATE II – It is possible after observing the wide wheel base that this vehicle is actually a Short Range Ballistic Missle Launcher (upto 300km) resmebles the image here or here, in all likelihood this is not of Pakistan Army as teh color marking were of a muddy brown and the launcher was being transported in a private carrier without protocol and security

In a set of recently published pictures that were taken by me while I was going to Hingol, Baluchistan for a few days of offroading.  We happened to come across a transporter parked at a gas station about 2 km west of a small town called Winder some 40km away from Karachi on the RCD Highway (Karachi-Quetta).  It was a large privately owned transporter carrying a heavily draped vehicle which seemed like an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)

The heavily draped cargo had no physical markings except a few on the back with bold letterings “Caution: Inflammable” It seemed to be a military grade Armored Personnel Carrier with a set of 8×8 heavy duty tires.  According to some experts on site and even Bilal, a commenter on this blog, this type of an APC is not available in the inventory of the Pakistan Army but is found in use with NATO or US forces.  It is my speculation that, had if the Pakistan Army, owned this APC or was transporting this cargo, they would have utilized their abundant brown colored military trailers and not be dependent on private contractors to move these to Quetta or possibly Waziristan
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Jermey Scahill talks about Blackwater on Democracy Now

blackwaterJermy Scahill, the defense analyst who recently published an article in The Nation, is interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. Jermey Scahill says that when he was about to go to press with the article, he got some frantic calls from US Joint Chief of Staff General Mullen. He goes on to discuss the Kestral Logistics a Pakistani firm and its owner Liaquat Ali Baig having close contacts with being the front end for Blackwater’s operations in Pakistan. The numerous covert drone attacks were also analyzed. The first 20 minutes are relevant to the Blackwater controversy


Blackwater’s Secret War in Pakistan being Verified

blackwater Xe servicesJeremy Scahill writes a must read detailed report on the operations of Blackwater in Pakistan. His extensive investigation naturally starts off from The White House which refused to comment or respond to his emails but a spokesperson from the US Department of Defense denied the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan to categorically say “We don’t have any contracts to do that work for us. We don’t contract that kind of work out, period”

I share some important points from the article, while I strongly suggest to read the full write at The Nation
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Who’s actually running Pakistan? The Americans or Pakistanis?

Anne Patterson US ambassador to PakistanAmmar Faheem lashes out without mincing any words US Ambassador Patterson MUST be EXPELLED which comes in response to Anne Patterson’s statment regarding the Quetta Shura yesterday “You cannot tolerate vipers in your bosom without getting bitten our concern is whether Pakistan really controls its territory. There are people who do not threaten Pakistan but who are extremely important to us.’’ Signifying quite openly that America is gearing up for an offensive in Quetta. EXCUSE ME….. isn’t she a foreign diplomat issuing aggressive offensive orders against the state of Pakistan? Whatever happened to our Army?

On the other hand the very same day Rehman Malik, Pakistan’s Minister of Interior, who should have all knowledge of the in’s-n-out’s about our country is on record to have said “Over and again this topic has been coming up. But according to us the Quetta shura does not exist in Quetta” —- goodness gracious, it surprising that even our top notch minister has no clue whats up in Quetta, let alone prepare a for it
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Pakistani media’s corporate interests > Abdullah Saad

Abdullah Saad talks about Pakistani media’s corporate interests and our threat perceptions, discussing how the media reacted to Saad Khan’s tragic death, Annie Pattersons secret (but leaked) letter to Rehman Malik and more importantly (for me) the hot topic ie Blackwater-Xe. Abdullah Saad: LINK


The Brouhaha over Blackwater continues

Blackwater hereSunday’s Dawn has a report on the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan > there seems to be an apparent blanket of denial of their presence but tell tale signs continue to emerge that something is definitely afoot

Questions that must be asked of ourselves, (a) Can we trust our present leadership to tell us the whole truth, with honesty? (b) Can we trust America to NOT do such a thing and we believe the denial as per the US Ambassador, a representative of a country whose 233 year history is full of military operations, even if we were to, for a moment ignore this last decade of destruction and carnage?
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State Department revises Pay Scale & Lodging rates for US personnel in Islamabad

US State DepartmentWith effect from 1st July 2009 the US State Department has revised the pay scale of all US personnel and contractors stationed within USG civilian compounds in Islamabad from high of a $289/day to a present low of $110/day, while the lodging rates have dropped even more significantly from $213/day to a paltry $70/day. This is compounded with a 35% Danger Pay which is to-date the highest in the world going shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan and Iraq, while Yemen and Lebanon come as second most dangerous place for US contractors and personnel receiving 30% danger pay

The sudden fall in lodging rates may suggest a massive acquiring of housing locations in Islamabad, while the simultaneous reduction in the ‘per deim’ pay scale for US personnel and contractors may suggest that they maybe living inside a ‘secure compound’. Such low rates across the world are seen in locations where the Americans have a proper base and a secure compound, while interestingly Karachi and Lahore fetch the same high living rates like before. Somethings definitely cooking in Islamabad

It seems all these reports quite apparently points towards a definite buildup of US military personnel and subsequent a good security cordon around them as well which may hint towards the presence of BlackWater / Xe, the American rogue militia
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Blackwater Watch by Citizens of Pakistan

blackwaterWith all the wheeling and dealing by our country’s leaders compromising on all national issue only to ensure that their own stay in power is secured it does seem that our very own leaders elected / burecratic and military have unleashed yet another wrath unto the people of Pakistan by allowing the menacing extra-military force called Blackwater to establish a strong foothold in Pakistan.

Blackwater or recently known as Xe is a rogue military force comprised of ex-military personnel that has had a very bad reputation of being instrumental in a number of assassinations and armed bullying in Iraq and Afghanistan and it appears that they are now being welcomed into Pakistan.

This is OUR country, and there is no justification to import a team of non-Pakistani militia to come into Pakistan and establish themselves for any reason what so ever. The excuse that is being thrown around is that they are entrusted with the elite task of protecting the interests of the American Embassy in Islamabad, which I believe is hogwash.

As responsible and patriotic citizens of Pakistan I believe we as a team can out-fox our corrupt leaders in exposing this menace, this same organization played havoc with the lives of Iraqi nationals, let them not trample over us. We can wield power in numbers, literally found at every corner of the street in Pakistan, we as patriotic citizens of Pakistan can be an invisible force that chooses not be be trampled by an external force trying to run our lives
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Survey: Why Blackwater is present in Islamabad, Peshawar?

Many might want to take part in this survey on the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan, it is being conducted anonymously by Omar Javaid, a frequent writer on our blog and the author of Critic Magazine

Do answer the short few questions and then we can figure out the sentiments of Pakistani regarding the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan whilst you can also take a peak at the live results (approximately 100 responses)

Survey: Why Blackwater is present in Islamabad, Peshawar?