The Nation Tuesday, 27th, October, 2009
ISLAMABAD – The US presence in Peshawar is being felt in a most aggressive manner, especially in the form of harassment and actual threats given to the journalists writing critically against the US and its covert operatives.
One such journalist, referred as S.F.A. Shah because he now fears for his life, who first broke the story of the presence of Blackwater (now Xe Worldwide) in Peshawar along with Creative Associates International Inc (CAII), has literally been hounded out of his home.
He had published names of the investigation and operational heads of the notorious agency and unmasked the nexus of BW, FBI and CIA. He had also investigated the activities of the US Consulate in Peshawar including details of their activities, phone numbers and the dozens of houses rented in lavish localities for the purpose of torturing, kidnapping, detention and so on.
He in an exclusive chat with TheNation from his present hiding place explained how the CIA first tried to recruit him into spying on some Imams of mosques through their man Stephen Cash who used to investigate Afghan refugees and some Pakistanis in the NWFP. On his reports, people were picked up including Afghan refugees under the supervision of another operative, Cooper. Even Pakistani authorities were unaware about those ‘kidnappings’. After spending two years in Peshawar, Cash left just two months ago and was replaced with an operative named Roderick.
When Cash and Roderick found Shah unwilling to cooperate with them, they threatened him and unfortunately when he approached our intelligence people, they were not ready to provide him security and instead advised him to leave the city and even the country. Only one Major gave him some support but he was transferred to Karachi and there was no one else. It seems he was prepared to take on Americans in their threatening activities.
After Shah’s initial revelations, there was an apparent bid to kidnap him but he escaped and managed to fly to Iran a few weeks back but could not get refuge there. He also managed to get into Armenia but could not stay on and was forced to return. Now he fears to lose his life and his family is also petrified. So far no journalist or human rights body has come to his support. Even more shameful, no organisation from the government has come forward to offer even an iota of protection to this citizen of the country – in contrast to the massive security provided to members of the government and other VIPs. Clearly, the US operatives have been given a carte blanche to do as they please with the ordinary citizens of the country and the “troublesome” journalists.