The Algerian Kidnappers and the Case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui

By Yvonne Ridley
January 20, 2013

The only thing that surprised me when I heard that the Algerian kidnappers had called for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui was that it hadn’t happened sooner.
Don’t get me wrong, as a former hostage myself, there is no way I condone the actions of what has unfolded in a remote corner of the Algerian desert.
And my heart goes out to the families of those who have lost loved ones in the unfolding drama at a gas plant siege said to have been masterminded by Mohktar Belmokhtar. The infamous one-eyed Algerian militant apparently with ties to al Qaida, has claimed responsibility for launching Wednesday’s attack.

It also goes without saying there is no way the kidnappers, whether politically or criminally motivated, can be justified in their actions.
But an injustice is an injustice and as the only western journalist to have specifically gone to Afghanistan to investigate the case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, I have to say her plight has become a cause célèbre around the Muslim world.
And I have an uncomfortable feeling that more and more westerners will be kidnapped as their captors demand the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a woman I once called the most wronged in the world.

So just who is Dr Aafia Siddiqui and why is a group of North Africans calling for her release?
Well it’s very easy to get emotional about a wronged Muslim woman caught up in the War on Terror but I am not basing my case on emotion just some simple cold, hard facts and forensic evidence … or lack of it, but more of that and her bizarre story later.
Her family will certainly not be pleased that a group of Algerian terrorists have called for her release because it will give a perception in some quarters that Dr Aafia must be an Islamic extremist. It’s a narrative pushed by US intelligence although it has to be said in her trial the opening statement of the prosecutor stated quite clearly that she was not al-Qaida nor a terrorist sympathiser.

The case of the mother-of-three is well known in every household in Pakistan from the most religious to the most secular … the majority of which have been demanding her repatriation for years. Now she is known as the Daughter of the Nation although her story has travelled well beyond Pakistan’s borders.
Thousands of Muslim children have been named after her because of all that she has come to symbolise. Everything that she represents stems from the injustices created by America’s War on Terror … the kidnaps, renditions, torture, rape and waterboarding.

The brilliant academic, educated in top US universities, is tonight languishing in a Texan jail serving an 86 year sentence after being found guilty of trying to kill American soldiers.
The fact they shot her at close range and nearly killed her is often overlooked.
To their eternal shame, the US soldiers serving in Afghanistan claimed in court under oath that the diminutive, fragile academic leapt at them from behind a prison cell curtain, snatching one of their guns to shoot and kill them. It was a fabricated story that any defence lawyer worth his or her salt would have ripped apart at the seams.

The scenario painted in court was incredulous and more importantly, the evidence non-existent – no gunshot residue on her hands or clothes, no bullets from the discharged gun, no fingerprints belonging to Dr Aafia on the gun … other vital evidence removed by US military from the scene went missing before the trial. Come on, we’ve all seen episodes of CSI – the science doesn’t lie.
After being patched up in a medical wing in Bagram, she was then renditioned to America to stand trial for an alleged crime committed in Afghanistan. Flouting the vienna and Geneva Conventions, she wasn’t given consular access until the day she made her first court appearance.
The trial was held in New York, a stone’s throw from where the Twin Towers once stood making it impossible not to invoke the memories of that horrific day on september 11 which for some forever turned Muslims into Public Enemy Number One.

A lack-lustre legal team forced on Dr Aafia by the US authorities failed to sway the jury of her innocence, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that she could not have snatched a soldier’s gun, let alone pulled the trigger.
I went into the cell a few weeks after the shooting in July 2008 and discovered that the soldiers had panicked and sprayed the room with bullets as they struggled to flee. The evidence is there on film shot during my visit and handed over to the defence team.
Seeing Dr Aafia emerge unshackled and unhooded from behind a curtain caused blind panic among the young soldiers who had been briefed by the FBI they were going to arrest one of the most dangerous women in the world.

I interviewed eyewitnesses, senior Afghan police officers who one after another told me what happened. Yet the only Afghan brought to court to give testimony against her was the FBI’s translator who now has a green card and lives in New York with his family.
What the jury was not told is that Dr Aafia, and her three children, all aged under five at the time, had been kidnapped from a street near their home in Karachi and disappeared from 2003.
The FBI put out a story at the time that she had in fact gone on a jihad to Afghanistan – it was a ludicrous tale without foundation and, as every mother of young children knows, a journey to the local corner shop with toddlers is a monumental challenge so heading off to fight in Afghanistan with a pram, pushchair and toddler in hand is simply inconceivable. The FBI narrative was destroyed by Boston-based Elaine Whitfield Sharp, a lawyer hired by the Siddiqui family when Dr Aafia first disappeared.

The missing years of the academic’s life reveal a story which is now known to virtually everyone in the Muslim world where she is widely regarded as a victim of George W Bush’s War on Terror.
As she tried to tell the jury how she was held in secret prisons, with no legal representation, cut off from the outside world since 2003 where brutal interrogation techniques were used to break her down, she was silenced by the judge who said he was only interested in the cell shooting incident.
Judge Richard Berman, a modest little man with much to be modest about, insisted he was not interested in the missing years; it had no relevance to the case he insisted.

She testified that after completing her doctorate studies she taught in a school, and that her interest was in cultivating the capabilities of dyslexic and other special needs children. She emerged as a humanity-loving nurturer and educator, the gentle yet resolute seeker for truth and justice.
As the evidence continued we learned that she didn’t know where her three children were – it was sensational content for those who knew the real story. She talked of her dread and fear of being handed back to the Americans when she was arrested in Ghazni and was held by police.

Terrified that yet another secret prison was waiting for her she revealed how she peaked through the curtain divider into the part of the room where Afghans and Americans were talking, and how when a startled American soldier noticed her, he jumped up and yelled that the prisoner was loose, and shot her in the stomach. She described how she was also shot in the side by a second person. She also described how after falling back onto the bed in the room, she was violently thrown to the floor and lost consciousness. This ties in exactly with what I was told by the counter terrorism police chief I interviewed in Afghanistan back in the autumn of 2008 – I remember him laughing as he told me how the US soldiers panicked, shot randomly in the air as they stampeded out of the room in a blind panic.

Of course there’s no way a bunch of soldiers are going to admit they lost it, but according to those I interviewed for my film “In search of Prisoner 650 in Afghanistan” that’s exactly what happened.
Two of her missing children have since been found and reunited with their extended family in Karachi. It is still not clear where the children were held when they were snatched from a street in Karachi but there’s no disguising their American accents … possibly picked up from their jailers.
So why did the FBI want to speak to Dr Aafia in the first place and why did they portray her as a dangerous terrorist on the run? if she was the person they painted why wasn’t she charged with terrorism offences and why was the prosecutor at pains to point out that she was not al Qaida?
The bottom line is Dr Aafia Siddiqui should not be in prison and as long as this injustice continues she will become a rallying call for anyone who wants to pick a fight with America.

Acknowledging the injustice and returning Dr Aafia to her home in Pakistan will not stop extremists from causing terror, but it might make the lives of US citizens a lot safer if this wrong is put to right.

British journalist Yvonne Ridley is a patron of CagePrisoners as well as being the European President of the International Muslim Women’s Union and the Vice President of the European Muslim League.

The Pakistani Lion with his loins at Kings Road

"A nation created on the basis of Islam was destroyed by too much Islam. And a nation dedicated to democracy flourished because of too much democracy."

Vir Sanghvi
Express News Service

I wrote, a few weeks ago, about how much the attitude to Indians had changed in the West. Once we were regarded as losers, people who inhabited a desperately poor country, continually ravaged by famine or drought, incapable of making a single world-class product, and condemned to live forever on foreign aid. Now, we have the world’s respect and, more tellingly, the West’s envy as more and more jobs are Bangalored away from their high-cost economies and handed over to Indians who perform much better for less money.

That piece was prompted by a visit to London. This one too has been inspired by a trip abroad and by saturation coverage of the Pakistani cricket scandal in the press and on global TV channels. But my concern this week is not with how the West sees India.

It is with the transformation of the image of the global Pakistani.

I was at school and university in England in the Seventies and lived in London in the early 1980s. This was a time when Pakistan was regarded — hard as this may to believe now —  as being impossibly glamorous. The star of my first term at Oxford was Benazir Bhutto. In my second term, she became president of the union and was the toast of Oxford. Her father was then prime minister of Pakistan and lucky students vied for the opportunity to visit Karachi or Islamabad as guests of the Bhuttos. They came back with stories of unbelievable hospitality and spoke knowledgeably about Pakistan’s feudal structure, about landowners like the Bhuttos, about an autocracy that had reigned for centuries etc.

Even on the other side of the ideological divide, Pakistan was all too visible. He had come down from Oxford nearly eight years before, but a former president of the union, the charismatic Trotskyite Tariq Ali was still the sort of chap who made English girls swoon. For her first debate as president of the Oxford Union, Benazir asked Tariq Ali to speak. He agreed but then, rather inconveniently, he was detained by the police on a visit to Pakistan. No matter. He phoned Benazir who spoke to daddy and — hey presto! — Tariq was out of jail and on a plane to England. Pakistan was that kind of country, the British chortled delightedly.

In those days, us poor Indians hardly ever got a look in. The Pakistanis were dashing, far richer (they spent in a week what we spent in the whole term), always going off to chic parties or nightclubs in London and charming the pants off the British (often, quite literally).

In that era, the Arabs had just emerged on the world stage (following the massive oil-price hikes of 1973/4) and the Pakistanis were almost proprietorial about them. A Pakistani graduate student at my college, even affected Arab dress from time to time and bragged that he had taught Arabs how to fly planes.

My college-mate was merely reprising Z A Bhutto’s philosophy: the Arabs were rich but they were camel drivers. They needed Pakistanis to run the world for them and to teach them Western ways. It was this sort of thinking that led to the creation of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), the first global Third World bank, run by Pakistanis with Arab money. For most of the 1980s, BCCI was staffed by sharply dressed young Pakistanis who entertained at London (and New York’s) best restaurants, hit the casinos after dinner and talked casually about multi-million dollar deals.

Their flamboyant lifestyle was matched by other rich Pakistanis. In his autobiography, Marco Pierre White, the first of the British super-chefs (he was the original bad boy and Gordon Ramsay worked for him), talks about the Pakistanis who were his first regulars. Michel Roux, then England’s top chef (three Michelin stars) would fly out to Pakistan to cook at private parties thrown by wealthy individuals. In the late 1980s, a friend of mine went to dinner in Pakistan and was startled to be asked to guess the vintages of three different bottles of Mouton Rothschild, one of the world’s most expensive wines.

In that era, Indians knew absolutely nothing about wine or French food and the few Indian millionaires who vacationed in London were vegetarians.

Pakistanis were sex symbols too. The first international cricketing stud was Imran Khan (who finished at Oxford the term before I got there) and his sex appeal was so legendary that even Benazir joked about it. Told that Gen Zia-ul-Haq called him the ‘Lion of the Punjab,” Benazir said, “Yes but Zia pronounces “Lion as ‘Loin’ and this is appropriate.” Years later when Imran spoke about his love for Pakistan, a British columnist sneered, “His heart may be in Pakistan but his loins are in the King’s Road” referring to a trendy (and expensive) London area.

Even Pakistan’s millionaires were more glamorous than ours. In the Eighties when the Hinduja brothers (“we are strictly vegetarian”) first emerged in London, the Pakistanis stole the show with such flamboyant high-profile millionaires in Mahmud Sipra who financed feature films and kept a big yacht in the South of France.

So what went wrong?

It’s hard to pin point any single reason but I can think of several contributing factors. First of all, much of the Pakistani profile was based on flash and fraud. BCCI collapsed amidst allegations that it was a scamster’s bank. Mahmud Sipra left England with the Fraud Squad in hot pursuit even as he declared his innocence from beyond Scotland Yard’s jurisdiction. Many big-spending Paksitanis turned out to be heroin smugglers.

Secondly, Indian democracy came to our rescue. The Brits who bragged about Bhutto hospitality and the Pakistan aristocracy missed the obvious point: this was a deeply unequal and therefore unstable society. When Bhutto rigged an election, this led to his downfall.

Thirdly, Pakistan signed its own death warrant by trying to out-Arab the Arabs with a policy of Islamisation. This reached its peak under General Zia who declared a jihad against the Russians in Afghanistan and invited Arabs such as Osama bin Laden to come to Pakistan to fight the holy war. Ultimately, fundamentalist Islam devoured what was left of glamorous Pakistan.

Fourthly, the world just moved on. Flash can only get you so far. In the end it is substance that counts. And plodding, boring India came up with the substance.

It is hard to think, when you look at today’s Pakistan team, that Pakistani cricketers were such sex symbols in India in the 1980s that Imran Khan was able to brag to an interviewer “Indian actresses are chickens. They just want to get laid” (In all fairness, Imran later said he had been misquoted.)

Get laid by today’s team? You must be joking.

Even the Pakistani playboys who are still around no longer seem exciting or glamorous. Poor Imran just looks tired. And the rest look like Asif Zardari — pretty much the archetypal glamorous Pakistani of the Eighties — though perhaps not as disgustingly sleazy.

Of all these factors, two remain the most important. A nation created on the basis of Islam was destroyed by too much Islam. And a nation dedicated to democracy flourished because of too much democracy.

Threat Analysis and Security Situation report:


posted as received

The ultimate diplomatic and Geo-political nightmare is now unfolding
in Pakistan. Just as they did in Libya, UN is now getting involved in
Baluchistan over human rights issue and a case is being built against
Pakistan for a UN intervention in Baluchistan.

No one in the government is owning the “invitation” to the UN team.
No one knows who has authorized it or under which mandate this is
being done. There is a total conspiracy of silence in the government,
media and the judiciary. The secrecy to the entire mission is itself
sinister. There are vices being raised in the parliament but just for
the gallery.

The UN is now well and truly poised to build a case for a
direct military intervention into Baluchistan. Once the case gets the
UN sanction, NATO would start to roll in from Afghanistan to cut a
corridor to Gawader through the province of Baluchistan. Welcome to
the invasion of Pakistan under Af-Pak!

The stage for an invasion is being set step by step. The sequence is
as following:

1.Sub-nationalists and insurgents like BLA backed by CIA and RAW wage
a war against the state and force thousands of youth and tribals to
migrate to Afghanistan or join the insurgency. Baluchistan is turned
into a death zone for all those patriots who protect and defend

2.Media creates a hype about the “missing persons” creating a global
outcry based on totally false, fabricated and propaganda stories to
malign the security forces and national secret services.

3.Supreme Court CJ takes notice and either naively or deliberately
plays into the hands of the enemies and separatists. For example, the
grandson of Akbar Bugti, Brahmdagh Bugti is based in Switzerland and
is waging the military campaign against the state while the son of
Akbar Bugti is filing cases in the courts against army and the state
for “missing persons”. It is incredible that it is  all in the
“family” for the insurgents.

4.CJ starts his bashing of the ISI, FC and army, even registering
cases against the security forces instead of the terrorists and the
insurgents. In the Akbar Bugti’s death case, where no inquiry and
investigation has ever been done, CJ even becomes a party and called
it a “murder” and the biggest political blunder of Pakistan’s

5.Due to the aggressive attitude of CJ against the army and the FC,
security forces went on the defensive, even withdrawing from the basic
security operations allowing a free field to the terrorists.

6.On the other hand, government and the judiciary started to withdraw
the cases against the BLA, insurgents and terrorists for hundreds of
acts of war, sabotage, assassinations, kidnappings and destruction of
state power and gas infrastructure. Withdrawing of cases against the
insurgents without any concession from the terrorists is a deliberate
betrayal of the nation and the state and amounts to treason.

7.Moved by the “direct interest” of the CJ, UN decides to move in for
a fact finding mission.

8.The separatists meet the UN mission and demand a UN intervention.
Next steps would be:

1.UN mission would go back and write a damning report against Pakistan
and Pak army.

2.Global media and India would pick up the report to build an
international case on Baluchistan.

3.Pakistan media would also join the Indian and western media to bring
more pressure on Pak army and ISI and would demand withdrawing the
army and the FC from the province, giving a free hand to the
insurgents and the foreign intervention forces.

4.UN would take up the case and a debate would be initiated in the
General assembly or in the Security Council on Baluchistan’s “grave”
HR violations by Pakistan. A UN mandate would be created for
aggressive involvement and to increase the pressure on Pakistan.

5.In the next 3 months, the entire NATO military hardware for the
invasion would pass through Pakistan, bolstering the US force presence
in Afghanistan, ready for rolling into Baluchistan under the UN

6.By December, Pakistan would be in total and complete anarchy and the
government would be busy in elections with total collapse of civil
governance and and economic axis, a civil war situation would be ripe
in the country. The TTP insurgents based in Afghanistan would launch
more aggressive attacks on Pak army to draw Pak army away from
Baluchistan. Indians would also make aggressive moves and postures in
Kashmir and on the eastern borders of Pakistan to keep Pak forces
focused on East and against insurgents in FATA.

7.The prize would be to cut a strategic corridor through Gawader to
Chaman for NATO. An amphibious landing on Gawader is the target.

8.The final phase of Af-Pak, 4thGW and Cold start would be launched.
Invasion, occupation, war, anarchy and dismemberment.
We expect this to unfold in the next 3 to 4 months. From Somalia to
Syria to Iraq to Yugoslavia – the war would head towards its logical
end unless stopped now by Pak army, else the bitter end is a foregone


Within the country, it is total chaos, death, floods and corruption as
the government remains at war with the judiciary and the country has
literally gone to dogs on all axis. The internal implosion is now
bringing down the entire edifice of the state and the country. Rampant
corruption, lawlessness and complete meltdown of social and civic
services are now drawing blood staggeringly on daily basis. The anger
and rage in the people is spilling in every direction.

When future history will be written, the historians would be at a
total loss to find out the reason for the deafening silence and
inexplicable inaction of the Army chief when the country was being
sunk so rapidly on all axis. The situation can still be recovered but
now it needs a military coup to clean up the mess and recover the nose
dive to death. Every passing day is a day lost in recovery and is
increasing the cost of salvage which is getting higher and higher in

A firm physical, ideological, spiritual and intellectual rebellion
against the system is now a national, religious and moral duty of
every patriot! We have been betrayed. Now very soon, we will be tested
as well..

Noxious conceit


by Babar Sattar
Saturday, September 15, 2012


Legal eye

The writer is a lawyer based in Islamabad.

General Kayani’s decision to have the generals involved in the NLC scam court-martialed, shielding them from ordinary criminal investigation and accountability, projects the army as an ‘extractive’ status-quo institution choking equality, accountability, rule of law and progressive change.

The exact details of the NLC affair are still shrouded in mystery. But here is what is known: the generals in question splurged and squandered public funds belonging to the NLC. Despite boldly and arduously pursuing the matter, the Parliamentary Accounts Committee under Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan failed to procure the record of the NLC scam. (Might this be one of the reasons the opposition leader surrendered the PAC chair?) With the mantle of PAC passing to the intrepid Nadeem Afzal Chan, the emphasis on holding the khakis to account has not changed, but neither has the outcome.

Reports suggest that the army has also refused to hand over NLC scam records to NAB. The alleged crookedness and profiteering by the khakis at the expense of tax-payers is apparently of such crucial relevance for our national security that the army chief had to personally meet the NAB chairman multiple times to negotiate the details of how to proceed against the generals.

The point here is not to conduct a media trial of the generals involved in the NLC scam and paint them guilty. The benefit of doubt – innocent until proven guilty – must go to all accused and these generals are no exception. In question are the choices made by the army high command that seem to sabotage due process of law and ensure preferential treatment for fellow khakis, and the mindset and conceptions of institutional interest that inform such bum choices.

The objections are two-fold: the timing of this decision and the refusal to share the NLC scam record with civilian authorities. The scandal relates to the period from 2004-08. It came to the fore in February 2009. Why is it that the army chief finally woke up to order a court martial after a gap of two and a half years – in September 2012? Is it because the cat is unfortunately out of the bag and refuses to shut up despite being cajoled and coerced?

And what is so unfathomable about sharing the record of possible impropriety involving ex-khakis with civilian institutions? Under the Manual of Pakistan Military Law, the army chief can refuse to share the findings of a court of inquiry if it involves matters prejudicial to the security of the state. But does a graft scandal become a matter of national security if khakis are caught with their hands in the cookie jar?

The concept of individual and institutional accountability of khakis seems to have taken a backseat under the present regime. We saw a special inquiry clearing the name of the lone general implicated in the Benazir Bhutto murder case. No one of any significance was held to account for the security failure that resulted in the GHQ attack or the intelligence failure in the OBL matter. In the NLC case if the court of inquiry has been ordered after two and a half years, recording the summary of evidence could itself take till eternity, with the matter of framing charges and holding the court martial still remaining. What is that we are witnessing here – grudging accountability or a simple cover-up?

Stories from childhood leave an impression on you. A family friend – a retired colonel – regaled us with his hunting stories when we were kids when he visited our home frequently (during a brief period) in relation to a legal matter my father was helping him with. One of his stories has stayed with me. As commanding officer (CO) of his unit, a soldier came up to the colonel and narrated how a rival group within his village had killed his kin and that he needed leave to go back and take revenge. The Col. refused the leave and discouraged the soldier. A week or so later the police came looking for the soldier and informed the colonel that he had been named in the murder of two men in his native village who were killed a few days back in the middle of the night.

The Col. said he knew in his heart that the soldier had committed the murders and that, despite not being granted the leave, he had slipped away during the night. The Col then told us with swagger and pride that he would not surrender one of his men to the police and so he showed the police some duty/attendance register establishing that the soldier was on duty within the unit on the night of the incident and couldn’t thus be involved in murder. In other words he abetted the crime, provided an alibi and helped the soldier get away with murder. Suspicious of memory, I began narrating this story to a close friend, a serving fauji. He delivered the punch line just as I started out and told me that this is a fable that nostalgic COs narrate to celebrate their bravado and leadership.

How can a national army allow the nurturing of a mindset that lionises a fictional story of an officer helping a subordinate get away with the murder of a fellow citizen and project it as a mark of leadership or loyalty? For too long have we tolerated and nurtured us-vs-them distinctions between Pakistanis. Today we are witnessing brutality celebrated in the name of these distinctions, and people being killed, maimed and persecuted in the name of honour, morality and religion. Are bigoted conceptions of esprit de corps and an institutional sense of entitlement – of being above the law – any different from other forms of bigotry that haunt us? Will accountability of generals strengthen or undermine our national security?

In Why Nations Fail, the authors (Acemoglu and Robinson) trace the history of evolution of political and economic institutions around the globe and argue that nations are not destined to succeed or fail due to geography or culture but because of the emergence of extractive or inclusive institutions within them. If one revisits the role of our military in politics and its continuing economic activities, one finds uncanny similarities with the defined attributes of an extractive institution:

“Extractive political institutions concentrate power in the hands of a narrow elite and place few constraints on the exercise of this power. Economic institutions are then often structured by this elite to extract resources from the rest of the society. Extractive economic institutions thus naturally accompany extractive political institutions. In fact, they must inherently depend on extractive political institutions for their survival. This synergistic relationship between extractive economic and political institutions introduces a strong feedback loop: political institutions enable elites controlling political power to choose economic institutions with few constraints of opposing forces. They also enable the elites to structure future political institutions and their evolution.”

Speak with any member of our ruling elite and s/he will agree that Pakistan is going down fast. And yet, whether it is the generals, politicos, judges or bureaucrats, in an institutional sense, one finds them committed to the same set of values and interests that have produced this sorry state. Is this narrow self-serving conduct really sustainable?

The NLC scam and the conceit evident therein is only the symptom of a much deeper-rooted problem. General Kayani has a choice. He can keep making feel-good speeches such as the recent one at PMA, stating that all national institutions are responsible for leading the country astray and they must all make amends. Or he can put his money where his mouth is and use his last year of service constructively by taking bold steps to transform the “extractive” institution he heads into an “inclusive” one capable of lending earnest support to democracy and rule of law

ISI: US Special Forces Back Terror Attack on Pakistan’s Kamra Base

ISI: US Special Forces Back Terror Attack on Pakistan’s Kamra Base

Militants who attacked the Minhas Air Base in the aviation city of Kamra had highly-sophisticated equipment and possessed a very tactical standard of guerrilla warfare training which no ordinary Taliban brigade has.

by Zaki Khalid

As the sacred Islamic month of Ramadan was at its peak in Pakistan, the serene city of Kamra near Islamabad (known as the Aviation City for housing a number of aircraft production/maintenance factories) was attacked by a horde of terrorists in the dark hours of the night.

The final overview of the attack made it clear that it was, fortunately, a humiliating failure for the improvised militants whose core objective was to give a series of strategic blows to the Pakistani military, especially the airforce since two very important assets of the country were parked at that base: JF-17 Thunder jets which were jointly manufactured with China and the Saab AWACS tasked with gathering aerial intelligence for the country’s defence establishment.

Had this terror operation proven successful, another major loss for the Pakistan Air Force would have taken place like the one before it when similarly-trained guerrillas managed to destroy Orion surveillance planes at the PNS Mehran base in the port city of Karachi.

However, thanks to the enhanced training for Pakistani Special Forces regiments such as the Special Services Group (SSG) Commandos and the exclusive Special Service Wing (SSW) Commandos of the airforce, a dreadful repeat was averted. Like the previous occurrence, the fingers were immediately raised towards India as the arch-rival.

But as my team presented in its report last year, this assertion is what was planned by the actual layout officials. The assortment of sophisticated hi-tech equipment, ammunition and training which the terrorists had was found to be too advanced for what the Indian intelligence RAW is capable of.

As always, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades were found along with suicide jackets. This time, there was a new addition: For the attack on PNS Mehran in Karachi, the militants then had static preset coordinates set for the operation and communicated just via satellite phones; but during the recent attack on Kamra, the terrorists besides these had real-time GPS enabled touchpads fixed on their bodies, two BlackBerry smartphones (exact quantity could not be confirmed from secondary source), infrared devices, daggers inside pockets and more items which were not disclosed by sources for various reasons.

As always, the planners always forget to leave their marks (mostly by accident), and this time the mark they left was that the GPS devices were of a make used only by US troops. They might not have had the intention to let the devices come in Pakistani hands since the recruits were strapped with suicide vests to blow themselves off after the stunt, but the vest-strapped attackers were all gunned down by sniper shots where only one blew himself up beforehand. This helped forensic experts from the ISI and MI gather evidence which remained intact. Using BlackBerry phones was a smart option because of its highly secure encrypted communication logs.

In an ominous backdrop, just a day before the attack, Leon Panetta held a press conference at the Pentagon in which he said:

“The great danger we’ve always feared is that if terrorism is not controlled in their country (Pakistan), then those nuclear weapons could fall into the wrong hands”

I am not saying that the attack was planned right after that overnight. Surely such pinpoint operations take months of regular practice before the recruits are sent on their mission by being told that they are ‘doing a great service to Islam‘.

The attacks are executed on symbolic occasions: that night was the most holiest night of Ramadan in the country and the Independence Day (August 14) had just passed. Pakistani security officials have maintained that almost all militants who come from Afghanistan are jointly trained by the Afghan NDS and Indian RAW or directly by the US, in this case the latter was found involved knee-deep.

“It is very easy to assess that the attackers were backed by a group more technologically advanced since the Afghan intelligence has considerably zero TECHINT capability and neither did our ground sources find any archived leads which showed that the Indian RAW had links to this particular misadventure,” said an official on condition of anonymity. “Almost all the militants were traced to the Khost area of Afghanistan. Leads from that region suggest that majority of the attackers comprised of recruits from various Kandaks (battalions) of the Afghan National Army Commando Brigade working under the directorate of the US Special Operations forces had been trained for incursion into Pakistan. They were deployed to the mainland of the country for a grand operation and had local assistance by Pakistani militia also”.

The Minhas Air Base has a false notion attributed to it. Miscreant journalists tasked with writing propaganda such as Declan Walsh of Guardian fame (now in the New York Times) wrote an article on the attack with the crispy headline ‘Pakistani Air Force base with nuclear ties is attacked‘.

Just where the heck did he come out with the supposed relation is beyond many; since my primary subject of discourse is intelligence affairs, I happen to be a regular reader of the DEBKAFile website which has close ties to the Israeli intelligence. The site had written a report titled ‘Two Pakistani N-bombs available to Saudi Arabia‘. An excerpt from the article reads:

‘Saudi Arabia has jumped ahead of Iran by obtaining the use of two Pakistani nuclear bombs or guided missile warheads. debkafile’s Gulf sources believe the weapons are ready for delivery upon royal summons in Pakistan’s nuclear air base at Kamra in the northern district of Attock. Already delivered is a quantity of Pakistan’s Ghauri-II missile with an extended range of 2,300 kilometers. They are tucked away in silos in the underground city of Al-Sulaiyil, south of the capital Riyadh’

Pakistan indeed has nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia but the details aforementioned are quite distorted and far from reality. This is a separate topic for discussion and might be highlighted later someday. What is to be noted above is that it is DEBKAFile which is the first known news source to allege Kamra as a nuclear base whereas it is not factually true.

The Minhas Air Base was never used for emergency nuclear assembly neither is Pakistan’s National Command Authority so unprofessional that it will store disassembled warheads on a base which is in a region infested with growing threats from the CIA-sponsored Punjabi Taliban. For the part, this proves Mr. Walsh’s research is either absolutely faulty or it was purposely added for nefarious reasons known better to himself.

It has long been an American strategy to push for an Indo-Pakistan war. Admiral Mullen was the first to push for one, and so was McRaven, who is now at SOCOM. His successor Lt Gen Joseph Votel is proving to be even more of an enthusiastic officer. What is clear though is that whichever special operations team was involved, SOCOM or JSOC, the quality of intelligence which the attackers had was courtesy of the notorious CIA.

To be honest, the US gains nothing by destroying the Saabs and JF-17s under Pakistan’s possession. All this was meant, as I have been consistently saying, to provoke Pakistan into triggering a regional war. India could surely have garnered strategic leverage but it could not afford a misadventure into Pakistan of this magnitude. India’s RAW in association with the CIA already has its hands full providing for the TTP militancy in northern and central Pakistan.

I personally think that the American Task Force 373 (TF373) could be behind this attack keeping in light its bloody past and bases in Khost and Kunar from where major terrorism comes into Pakistan. However, it might not be so since the TF373 act as more of standalone contractors rather than trainers and the level of training imparted to the terrorist Afghan Commandos was very high which can lead one to safely suggest that such specified exercise could only be the handiwork of the elite US Special Operations forces scattered across Afghanistan.

But then why did the TTP accept responsibility for the attack?

“Routine PR,” says the official. “Tomorrow a false-flag happens in Europe or the US, they will be told to come out again and ‘accept responsibility’. Its all about repeatedly stressing that Waziristan is the supposed epicentre of global terror.

The Kamra attack is a notable addition to this demand. They are challenging the Pakistan Army to come to North Waziristan and believe me, the military leadership including General Kayani do not want to go there”.

“Has the military expressed its concerns with the government?” I asked.

“Yes it has. But to no avail”, came the reply.


I would like to reiterate what I briefed in my interview to Press TV not long ago. It provides a comprehensive summary of why the US is constantly provoking Pakistan’s military establishment and what adverse effects it could have for the entire world. Please spare out some minutes to listen to my statement:–J174A4&feature=player_embedded

Zaki Khalid is the Director and Chief Editor of, Pakistan’s most authoritative portal on Defence, Intelligence and Geopolitics.

Source of article

Measuring Life

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things. 

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. 
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete… 
Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. 
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

How CIA used Spy Equipment Devices to Hunt Pak Nukes-

stories told by Black-water Agent

We were all wondering what Pakistan’s plan was for its nuclear warheads. We knew it had 76 enriched uranium warheads with 5 – 25 kilotons of explosive yield each. We also knew it was working on plutonium fissile materials and had well over 100 tons of raw uranium buried in the hills of Baluchistan. It was a God-awful mess of reckless development.
We knew Pakistan wasn’t afraid to hand off its warheads to some of our worst enemies, and the country had already sold nuclear secrets for oil, gas, and economic trade agreements to North Korea, Iran, Syria, Libya to name a few. The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency, which uncharacteristically and unexplainably oversaw the country’s nuclear program, was also growing increasingly cooperative with China. We felt there was much reason for concern over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
In November 2004, I was given a series of briefs over a three-day period by former Senior Pakistani Military Officers. These men were educated, well traveled, and religious in their beliefs, family oriented and professionally respectful toward everyone in our group. Some unpolished, but very knowledgeable British and American scientists also attended the briefings. The former Pakistani officers conducted a brilliant briefing about Pakistan’s Nuclear Program since it’s inception in the 1970s and made very pointed statements about the ISI’s exclusive control of the country’s nuclear arsenal and its dangerous habit of recklessly moving nuclear warheads.
The briefing also included details of a Pakistani nuclear scientist’s visit to Afghanistan to consult with Osama bin Laden, the Al-Qaida terrorist network and the Taliban-controlled government of Afghanistan of the late 1990s that was orchestrated, planned and executed by Pakistan’s ISI. The General also mentioned China’s now-growing cooperation with the ISI in the advanced production of lighter plutonium warheads for miniaturization and fitment on Chinese missiles made from stolen US and British technology. Plutonium weapons are lighter and have a higher explosive yield than weapons based on enriched uranium, which have been the mainstay of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. Those weapons are now showing signs of decay due to purity contamination in the early stages of the uranium enrichment processes. By the time we heard this, everyone in the room was silent. The briefing had hit a deep nerve.
I intervened and asked, is it not the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission’s right and duty to oversee the nuclear power development in Pakistan? Also, why would an intelligence services organization like the ISI be in the business of massing a nuclear arsenal? Is it not the central government’s job to ensure that any nuclear energy program is managed and operated by its country’s qualified personnel?
The room went silent again and everyone started shaking their heads in approval, except the Pakistani military officers giving the briefing. They were looking at me and nodding their heads in disapproval. But I understood people from this region of the world usually shook their heads from side to side whether they agreed or disagreed. I was understanding of the culture and bodily gestures they commonly express. The highest ranking officer, Brigadier General Naseer, looked out at our group and was about to say something when one of the American scientists stopped him and stated that he would take it from there.
The American scientist was a nuclear weapons expert and was employed by the Department of Energy. He looked a bit scraggly—long hair, a beard, slacks and a short sleeve shirt. He said: “ I understand that all of you here have been selected by our government to attend this briefing. You all have impeccable credentials and are unusually skilled in specific areas of your profession. We’re all grown men, and I’m going to fast forward a bit here and get to the heart of a very sensitive matter.
“Last week, an elite team of Navy SEALs attached devices to the hull of a luxury yacht off the coast of U.A.E. and
deployed powerful miniature surface water devices that enhanced eavesdropping. On board were three high-ranking Pakistani ISI general officers with Iranian officials to discuss the sale and transfer of nuclear arms to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Furthermore, it has been leaked through a Saudi Arabian official, many years before—whose identity is anonymous—that Saudi Arabia has already made a purchase from the Central Government of Pakistan for 13 enriched uranium nuclear warheads in a long-term oil-for-arms deal. The three ISI officials, who have been identified, are in charge and in control, by succession of Rank and Authority, of various sites that store these warheads and are rouge profiteers conspiring to make the sale and transfer without Pakistani government knowledge.”
“What has been discovered thus far is that the movement of the enriched uranium warheads may occur within the next three to six months, or when there is an event within the country or region that would warrant authorized movement of the warheads from the highest level of Pakistani leadership and power. It is most likely at that time, the ISI General Officers would move three warheads into the possession of Iranian handlers”.
An American General Officer and two company personnel came into the room, and the Pakistani generals along with the American and British scientists were escorted out. The lights were turned on, and my group all filed into another room. We went to lunch, and no one talked. But there was no doubt we could feel the energy of mind vibes at lunch. What was next, we were all thinking. We didn’t have to wait long.
It’s 2004, the US and its allies were at war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Pakistani government is virtually in a perpetual state of economic default due to expenditures in nuclear development, increased military budgets, cuts in social and food programs for its people and a deep rooted hatred of its neighbor, India. A secret intelligence agency virtually ran everything in and out of Pakistan and killed its own leaders who were determined to either harness or diminish its power and authority, much like the Nazi Gestapo of World War II. The agency was out of control, and the ISI’s own leadership was now in the radical Muslim, “Islamic Jihadi” nuclear black market business.
Planning went into effect to locate Pakistan’s nuclear warheads that were to be sold to Iran.A large team was assembled and assigned various known routes to transport the weapons—rail, air, road, tunnels, ports. Highly sophisticated electronics with powerful penetrating x-ray, sensors, cameras, Geiger counters, radiation-exposure detectors, cellular GPRS eavesdropping devices, even remote satellite command was employed. This was going to be a huge undertaking of diligent efforts on everyone’s part to make this work like a Swiss clock.
My primary responsibility was Aviation Operations Surveillance, and I had all the resources at my disposal I could imagine. I was assigned six crack aviators with impeccable flying skills beyond reproach. These guys were the best we had to offer. There was a team of excellent technicians; all were combat-hardened, proven leaders with solid backgrounds in ethical and moral professionalism. If one of them screwed up, he admitted it, took full responsibility, and held himself to a high standard of maturity while ensuring whatever it was didn’t happen again.
Our home base of operations was in the desolate desert of Afghanistan with operational teams in Pakistan at key sites where the nukes were stored and maintained. I operated out of an airbase in Pakistan with a small fleet of Helicopters and Cessna Caravan Turboprops that were owned by the US and under the operational control of the Pakistani Ministry of Interior.
However, The exact number of planes and helicopters in Pakistan, to include their color, markings, registration numbers, interior and even the scratches or marks on the fuselage were staged just over the border in Afghanistan. In other words, for all the aircraft we had in Pakistan, we had exact lookalikes in Afghanistan that could easily intrude Pakistani Airspace at anytime.
Whenever the Pakistani Ministry of Interior, the Pakistani military, gave the US a mission in Pakistan, the teams in Afghanistan were alerted, given the Pakistani transponder and IFF codes so they could fly covertly over the border into Pakistan to scout any new evidence of moving nukes. In the meantime, the fleet that had always been in Pakistan flew the usual, day-to-day missions. Without the Pakistani Transponder and IFF Codes, our aircraft were sure to be shot down in these highly sensitive areas. We lucked out every time, and these guys never knew what was going on.
Our Cessnas were loaded with highly sophisticated ground-penetrating radar panels inside the cargo holds that emitted a lot of energy on a newly discovered frequency and band that isn’t recorded in any technical literature. We were searching for the enriched uranium signatures below ground, in buildings, on trains, in tunnels, you name it.
No Pakistani-deployed sensors ever picked up the slightest signature of electronic interrogation from our sweeps and it if it was there, we had no problems finding it. The floors and crew compartments of all our aircraft were flamed sprayed with a layer of lead to prevent exposure to the crews and sensitive equipment. The aircraft exterior control surfaces were enhanced with static wicks that dissipated electricity generated through the airframe and improved grounding discharge through landing gear contact with the earth upon landings. We went undetected.

On 8 October, 2005, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in the North West Frontier Province struck with a destructive force never before seen in Pakistan. Some estimates put the number killed at 84,000 including 1,400 killed in China. All planes and helos we had in Afghanistan at home base immediately went into action as the US was very concerned that now was the time these rogue ISI generals would move the nukes. In addition, the Department of Energy was very concerned that a possible nuclear processing facility was leaking radiation as detected through satellite sensor readings. The Pakistani government knew about the leak, kept the information secret, and had issues getting qualified personnel to the location due to washed-out and debris-covered roads. It was a complete mess, and the Pakistanis had their pride and honor at stake for their inability to handle an emergency of this magnitude.
The Pakistani government is always claiming the need for and arguing for more and more aid and assets from the US. However, this time DOE was very concerned about Pakistan’s aging uranium enrichment processing plants, and it was a well known fact that the Pakistanis needed to bypass roads and get experts to the damaged facilities via air ASAP. The decision was made by DOE to approve funding for the purchase of six more Bell 412s through the Pacific Northwest Nuclear Laboratory. Knowing a great deal about the Pakistani Military Aviation Maintenance Programs and the caliber of technicians and pilots they possessed, this was just a Band-Aid compared to the gushing wound the services lacked.
The program manager for the company I was working for as my cover requested I immediately move air assets from the airbase where I was stationed. I communicated this request to the teams in Afghanistan, and a fully loaded Cessna Caravan landed at the airfield where I was with no issues whatsoever. The Pakistani Military understood the immediate need to get all air assets to the affected region as soon as possible. As we were en route to Qasim Air Base, all equipment was powered on and the surveillance ops were all now in full swing. I had to make a pit stop for fuel and passengers in Multan, and was soon back up and heading into the devil’s lair. Our mission this day was to actually land at Chaklala Air base and electronically interrogate a large hanger and adjacent facilities, as there were reports of a possible movement of warheads from this location.

As we entered Islamabad Airspace I made the usual calls to the tower at Qasim Airbase, gave tail number, heading, altitude, passenger and crew numbers. We were given clearance to enter airspace and as we reached the threshold between Qasim and Chaklala, I initiated an emergency call: “May day, May day! Experiencing power loss and smoke in the cockpit!”
I had tripped a simulated smoke generator, and from the tower at Chaklala Airbase, they could see we were in trouble. But Chaklala Airbase was not authorizing a US aircraft to land at Chaklala. I made another emergency “May day” call over the emergency net frequency and reported total engine failure as I oriented our flight path to the active runway on final. From our position, we could see Pakistani military vehicles scrambling on the runway to prevent our landing. I nosed it over, increased speed, turned on landing lights and proceeded with approach. The aircraft was at max gross weight, we had Pakistani military passengers and a ½ load of fuel. Off to our right, we could see the target hanger and a roadway along its side. The Pakistani troops guarding that hanger facility had mounted up in vehicles and were blocking the freaking runway.
My APR-39 was indicating a surface to air missile laser lock on the aircraft. We knew from intel surveillance that it was the French-design Crotale 2000 SAM System. By now, my pucker factor was a 10 and my co-pilot’s anal retention dropped to zero. If there was a launch, we would be vaporized.
I continued with the emergency calls: “May Day, May Day.” By now, the Pakistani Military passengers were yelling, screaming, saying their prayers to Allah. As soon as I was five feet off the runway, I applied max power on the engine, full feathered the prop and landed with the smoke generators blowing some serious smoke. I immediately steered the aircraft to the roadway next to the target hanger and reported a stuck throttle with braking difficulty. The Pakistani vehicles were all over the roadway waving us down, trying to get us back on the active, but I stayed the course and requested emergency fire vehicles. By now, we were scanning for warheads. “BINGO!” We got three major hits on the scope and the computers were recording everything in real time at the home base in Afghanistan. By the time I got to the other end of the hanger, we had the evidence we were looking for.
I brought the aircraft to a stop, killed the smoke generator, engines and stowed the landing gear light. I made communications with the tower that I was going through emergency shutdown procedures. Before I could thank all my passengers for flying with American Eagle flight 1 from Multan to Islamabad, they were already piling out, looking blue, pale and a little loose in bladder control. Now we were surrounded by Pakistani troops all pointing AK-47s at us. I felt one wrong move, and we’d cut to Swiss cheese. So I put my hands up in the air, and my crew did the same. They opened the door and had us deplane and lie flat on the ground. We were searched and a young captain walked up and asked in English, “Who’s in charge?”
I rolled my head to where he was standing and said I was. He then asked me to get up, and when I did I recognized the man as Captain Javed, a young arrogant officer who was an Aviator in Training. He immediately recognized me: “Mr. Larry! My God, man! What happened?” He ordered his troops to stand down into the low ready, and I explained we had taken on fuel in Multan and experienced engine failure before landing with a loss of oil pressure and high temperature readings from the power gearbox.
The Captain was concerned for us and stated we were in a highly restricted area that was off limits to even the Pakistani Military. He was shitting bricks when another vehicle pulled up and it was Colonel Imtaz, the ISI officer in charge of Chaklala Air base. He was more calm and relaxed and looking like the spitting image of Barney Fife of Mayberry RFD with his big bug eyes. The captain vouched for me, my credentials and crew and stated that I was an Aviation Advisor for the Department of State working as an instructor through the Ministry of Interior. Examining all my ID cards, Colonel Imtaz immediately ordered a search of the plane. (Like the Pakistani’s had any clue what they were looking at!)
Captain Javed told the Colonel all was OK, and that there were only relief supplies on board, which were our travel bags, toolbox and some boxes of aircraft oil. The passengers also were telling the Colonel that if it wasn’t for me and my Co-Pilot, they all would have died. By now my Co-pilot was telling everyone not to forget their box lunches and peanuts! Captain Javed had wanted to qualify in my aircraft, and he was a major kiss ass since I was posted as an instructor. He was always wanting to impress upon me his skills and knowledge as an aviator, but he was a marginal pilot at best.
Finally Col. Imtaz was satisfied with the search of the plane and our engine-failure story. About this time, my co-pilot, “Knuckles,” a big, corn-fed Alabama boy, says to Col. Imtaz, “Where’s the titty bar! Any liquor in this place?” Looking at Col. Imtaz, Knuckles puts this huge dip of snuff in his mouth and lets out a fart! He then reaches for his US Marine Corps K-Bar, pulls it out, and starts picking at a sore on his palm. I wanted to laugh so hard it made pee. Colonel Imtaz was fixated on Knuckles and didn’t know what to say. He looked confused, like he was thinking of a response for Knuckles. Still being surrounded by Pakistani troops, I told the Colonel, “Excuse me for a minute sir,” and took about six steps away and started to piss like a Texas jack ass.
The Pakistani soldiers were all looking at the Colonel and me. The roadway was slanted, and the soldiers started to move out of the way as the river of piss headed for them. Col. Imtaz, also looking at me, was speechless and called Captain Javed over. They walked toward the Colonel’s vehicle and were talking. Col. Imaz got into his vehicle and left the area. Captain Javed came over and said I had to stop pissing, that I was embarrassing him in front of the soldiers, who were all still in shock and staring at me. I told Captain Javed: “Dude, sorry! But I was on a freaking four-hour flight, had engine failure, made an emergency landing, and almost had my head blown off! Ya’ think I would have just pissed in my flight suit?”
Not hearing any response from Captain Javed, I looked over at him and he was staring like the rest of those morons. I finally said, “Hello, hello!” Captain Javed then ordered the troops to push the Cessna to a mooring spot right next to the hanger. Knuckles and I tied it down and got our bags. While Knuckles was talking to Captain Javed, I cycled a remote satellite transmitter that signaled we were OK and on Chaklala Airbase. I ensured the ground-penetrating radar system was completely grounded and the battery disconnected. We got a ride to the Officer’s Club and called U.S. Marine Corps Post 1, US Embassy, Islamabad for a ride ASAP. The young Marine on the other end patched me through to transportation, and our ride was on its way to take us to the safe house.

Captain Javed came over to the table where we sat and ordered coffee and tea. He conveyed to us that the aircraft had to be flown out of here by tomorrow or the Pakistani military was going to tow it. I immediately made a call to Qasim Airbase and requested a technician be transported to Chaklala to repair the Cessna by 7 PM that same day. I explained to Captain Javed that the technician had to eat dinner and would come afterward. Our tech knew exactly what to do upon arrival and made a big deal to the Pakistani’s that the work was complicated. I also mentioned to Captain Javed that I wanted to give him the rating on the Cessna and that if he wouldn’t mind accompanying me on flights to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas for the relief efforts, he would surely have enough time behind the wheel to receive the rating with no problems. His eyes lit up like alfalfa and buckwheat staring at a bar of soap. I did this to diffuse the tensions over having the Aircraft moored next to a hanger that was surrounded by troops and seemed suspicious. Col. Imtaz was also on his case to move the aircraft ASAP.
Captain Javed agreed and stated that he would get authorization from his superiors immediately. I mentioned to Knuckles that I would stay behind while he went with the driver to the safe house to shower. By this time it was approaching 7PM and the technician was escorted up to the aircraft by a group of Pakistani soldiers. I told the tech to open the engine doors and that I would get inside the cockpit to do some checks.
By this time, we had an audience, and even the security cameras all around the place were on us recording our every move. We had to make our efforts look good. The tech removed the igniters and cleaned them, replaced a gearbox pressure sensor and went through throttle checks. After about four hours, Knuckles came back, and we went through the preflight checklist, cranked the engine, prop feathering and brake checks. All comms were good, and we asked for permission to taxi to the active. The tower denied permission, and we stayed there for about 10 mins at engine idle listening to U2 and keeping our cool. We needed to get the hell out of there now.
Again I made the tower call and permission was denied. I was then instructed to power off and proceed to the Operations Center. We all just looked at each other and expected the worse. We didn’t know if we’d just been had. But I gave the hand signal for no one to talk as I felt we may have a listening device on board or worse. I did exactly as the tower instructed and looking out at the tower, we could see a lot of military vehicles there and more pulling up all the time. Were we going to be arrested? A jeep drove up to the plane and ground troops in the vicinity rushed the plane and surrounded it. I was then told by a Pakistani military officer that I was needed in the Operations Center and the crew was asked to go to the ready room of the Pilot’s office. We were being separated.
The driver took me over to Operations, and a room full of Pakistani officers was looking at me when I came through the door. I looked around and wanted to know what the problem was. A Brigadier approached and asked why I decided to land at Chaklala instead of Qasim Airbase—since Qasim was the base I should have landed at. I quickly told him, “Sir, I had to turn the troubled aircraft into the wind. I was loosing altitude and power, carrying six passengers. I was dropping like the stock market trying to keep the ship stable. Thinking quickly, I also knew you had a longer runway and emergency fire vehicles here. Which I reported and received no assistance from your fire brigade when I landed! The aircraft was full of smoke from a faulty engine oil pressure sensor that was leaking oil onto the engine, which your crews installed back at the airbase!”
The Brigadier then asked why I had pulled off the runway. “Why didn’t I stop on the active?” I asked. “I had to pull off onto the access road because your military vehicles were blocking the active, and I had to avoid a collision that surely would have resulted in a major incident, loss of life and aircraft. Furthermore, sir, the United States military and all its resources available are lending assistance to your country in a major disaster relief effort to save over a million people that have been trapped in the NWFP (North West Frontier Province)! My crew and myself have been working around the clock to repair the aircraft, move it to Qasim AB at this time and get some rest before daylight. Do I need to inform my Ambassador?”
By now all the officers were shaking their heads, “No.” Looking around, the Brigadier apologized and ordered the tower to give clearance immediately.
When I walked out of there, I was trembling with fear, and I knew I had just saved everyone’s ass. In the background was one of the ISI Generals who had made the deal to sell the nukes to Iran. He sat there listening to every word I had to say. The Brigadier actually had looked at him when I was done talking, and it was the ISI General that gave a hand signal to release us.
I got my guys on the aircraft, we mounted our PVS6 Night Vision Goggles and flew just 10 minutes to Qasim Airbase. We landed, got out of the ship and a new American crew from Afghanistan got in and flew the heavily equipped nuke hunter out of there toward the south. We quickly got into the waiting Suburban and went straight to the safe house without anyone saying a word. When we arrived, we went to our rooms, showered and went to sleep. It was a hell of a long day, but we made a major play in the discovery of the loose nukes.

The next day was a day like any other day. The team assembled downstairs, and we all drove back down to Qasim Airbase to assist in the earthquake relief efforts. When we arrived at the tower, I noticed the Cessna Caravan that I usually fly that had always been based out of another airbase was there on station. We managed to pull off this three card monte because when I flew from Chaklala to Qasim, the original Cessna that we always use in country was just 30 minutes away at another airbase. When I took off from Chaklala, the other aircraft took off from the base it was pre-staged at, when I landed at Qasim, we all got off and changed crews. The new crew explained to Qasim Control Tower that they were taking the aircraft for a test flight. As they did, they flew in the direction of the replacement plane and as they passed each other, Transponder and IFF frequencies were swapped. This left the replacement aircraft returning to Qasim and the Nuke Hunter transmitting on another code and frequency that was Pakistani, back to Afghani airspace.
Captain Javed was there at the tower waiting for us and wanting to learn all he could about flying and I was happy to oblige. The relief efforts went on for over two months, and he was qualified afterward.
The mission was a complete success and all teams recalled back to Afghanistan. What we had discovered was a Boeing 737 Saudi Arabian airliner inside the hanger that was fitted for cargo use and having three enriched uranium, 25 kiloton bombs on board. The Saudis claimed to have absolutely no knowledge that the plane was theirs. But little did they know, the corrupt ISI generals were selling to the Iranians what the Saudi’s had already purchased from the Pakistanis in exchange for oil. The US immediately came forward with this information to the Pakistani and Saudi Arabian governments, including the recordings from the luxury yacht as well.
Strangely enough, the Pakistani ISI generals suddenly disappeared without a trace and were replaced within a few days of this disclosure.