‘Final Solution’ Frenzy – From Afghanistan with Love - Part I
- From: PakistanPal <pakistanpal@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 2 May 2010 22:15:14 -0700 (PDT)
This series by Tariq Saeedi who is based in Central Asia, would be
carried by Opinion Maker in full.
By Tariq Saeedi
With Qasim Jan in Kandahar, Khalil Azad in Kabul, SM Kasi in Quetta,
and GN Brohi in Nushki and Dalbandin
(nCa) - Had Van Gogh been given a canvas the size of the Eurasian
landmass in 1890, he would probably have painted what the United
States in painting now: Spectacular psychosis smothering withered
sanity, towering talent defeated by raging madness, sky-high ambition
smashed by rock-hard realities, a troubled genius in self-immolation.
What we are witnessing today, and what may unfold in the coming
months, is Von Gogh's 'At Eternity's Gate' on cosmic scale. ---
Welcome to the 'Final Solution,' Made in USA.
In this series of investigative reports we shall sum up the results of
thousands of kilometers of arduous and risky travel by our team in
search of clues scattered in the harsh terrain of the Pakistani
province of Balochistan and the adjoining, equally unforgiving,
landscape of Afghanistan and Iran.
Our startling findings are explained and augmented by experts and
sources in Moscow, Washington, Kabul and New Delhi.
This series starts with what is happening in Pakistan and will expand
gradually to cover the Greater Central Asia and its immediate
We will tell a dreadful story, segment by segment, part by part.
This is the first part of our 'Final Solution' Frenzy series and in
this report we shall describe what we found in Afghanistan and
Pakistan. In the subsequent report we shall connect these findings
with explanations and interpretations of experts.
As with our previous reports, this series would be abrupt and
incomplete. It is not possible to come up with an alpha-to-omega
story, complete in all respects, merely through investigative
reporting. Without generous leaks from well placed sources a story of
this kind must remain unfinished.
So, let's start cutting through the web of deceit, ambition, cruelty,
backstabbing and violence.
Training camps in Afghanistan
There were persistent reports that the Americans, through their
contractors, were operating at least two training camps, churning out
an assortment of terrorists.
It sounds strange that a country supposedly fighting a global war
against terrorism would train its own terrorists. Nevertheless, the
crux of investigative journalism is that every lead, no matter how
ludicrous, should be followed to its logical end if it promises some
In one of our earlier reports (Mumbai Mystery: American Designs on
Pakistan and India), we uncovered that the Americans had tunneled into
some Jihadi outfits in Pakistan. The links to all four parts of our
Mumbai report are given at the end of this narrative.
In the Mumbai report we mentioned that as far as we had been able to
determine, the earliest deal between the Americans and the Jihadis
took place in Quetta in August 2007.
With the help of our experts in Moscow, we predicted in our Mumbai
report that bombings and acts of terrorism were likely to increase in
Pakistan in the coming months. Our Mumbai report was published in
December 2008 and since then Pakistan has hardly seen a day of
There is no joy in being right in this case; we are not gloating. All
we are trying to register is that most of the substance of our
previous reports has withstood the test of time.
We also told in our Mumbai report that Michael Vickers, the assistant
secretary of defence for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict and
Interdependent Capabilities (ASD/SOLIC&IC) was the author of the chaos
that were going to be systematically unleashed in Pakistan. It is
necessary to remind that Vickers was directly running the Jihadi war
against Soviet Union for about six years and he has personal contacts
with almost all the players in the current mix.
We underlined in our Mumbai report that Vickers would mainly use
United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for beating
Pakistan to near-pulp. Here, again, we were right on the mark, as we
shall show in our subsequent reports in this series.
Based on the findings in our previous reports, we started examining
the possibility of existence of American terrorist training camps in
Interviews with some knowledgeable persons in Afghanistan and Pakistan
suggest that at least one of the training camps run by the American
contractors is located in either Ghowr or Uruzgan province of
What is important from the point of view of our reports is not the
exact location of these camps but the fact that they do exist at all.
We will return to the subject of these camps in our succeeding reports
in this series.
Chicken lunch before hawk chase
It was early October 2009. We were sitting in a killi - a small clan-
village - in the Pakistani province of Balochistan, not far from the
border with Afghanistan. We shall not disclose our exact location but
it was somewhere between the towns of Dalbandin and Nushki in Chagai
district of the Balochistan province of Pakistan.
The chicken, cooked hastily, was tasty without being tender. The
flatbread was improbably large, perfectly round and evenly baked.
The lunch over, we started planning on the travel route for the next
few days. Most of the legwork by our field contacts had been completed
already. We were about to start verifying some of the leads that
The first, and the closest point, was where we expected to see some
young men who were not Muslims. We started off after downing a pot of
excessively sweetened black tea.
They are not Muslims
We drove for about an hour and reached a place almost at the border of
Afghanistan. It was pre-evening (Asr) prayer time when we reached a
small, nondescript teahouse.
"When I point at someone with my eyes, just watch but not overtly and
not immediately. And, don't talk when you look," said our local
contact in a low voice.
We sat down on the palm-frond mat on the dirt floor. After a while, he
looked meaningfully to his right and quickly averted his eyes. In a
few seconds we gave a brief, furtive look and saw two bearded young
men, somewhere in their late teens, dressed in slightly dirty baggy
trousers and long shirt, no different from everyone around, walking
toward a low mound to attend to the call of nature. They emerged
shortly from behind their mound that served as open air toilet and
went straight to the prayer mat.
Some ten minutes later, our local partner made a similar gesture
toward another young man, with a mere hint of a beard on an otherwise
smooth face, who was also walking to the toilet-mound. He also
returned after unburdening his urinary bladder and walked directly to
the prayer mat.
We had seen enough; there was no point in sitting there any more and
attracting unnecessary attention.
"This kind of people started appearing more than a year ago," said our
"After attending to the call of nature, they don't even wash their
hands. They don't perform necessary ablutions (Wudoo) before going
from toilet to prayer mat," he said after we had started driving to
the next point in our journey.
"They are not Muslims," he said.
Yes, we could see that they were not Muslims. After attending the call
of nature, it is mandatory for all Muslims to perform ritual ablutions
before they can stand for prayers. The only exception is when water is
not available, which was clearly not the case.
'Taliban' in American Helicopters
After having seen the young men who wanted to look like practicing
Muslims without bothering to go through the obligatory ablutions for
prayers, our next stop was to meet someone who could tell us about
'Taliban' being transported in American helicopters.
We drove on a dirt trail for about thirty minutes and reached another
point, still not far from the Afghan border. One of our local contacts
in Afghanistan had confirmed earlier that he had spoken to some people
who had seen the so-called Taliban being carried in American
helicopters. He was waiting for us at a makeshift gasoline station.
Border crossing is no big deal in those parts.
Our man told that he had spoken to several people who had seen bearded
young men disembarking from American helicopters near the border of
Afghanistan with Pakistan. Based on the accounts narrated by our
contact person, we understood that batches of four to ten persons were
dropped twice or thrice a month, every time at a different location
but always in walking distance from the Pakistan border.
The villagers on the Pakistani side of the border also confirmed that
illegal border crossing was a universally common phenomenon on the
entire border line in Chagai district.
Next, we drove to see the man who had been left for dead.
Murder after prayers
In a killi about thirty kilometers from the Afghan border we met Osman
(not his real name). He is in his early forties and told a tale that
is not uncommon in those areas.
He said that two persons, who said that they were Afghan traders,
hired his car for a day trip along the border. Since it was the area
where anything can happen at any time, Osman took a friend along for
The 'Afghan traders' said that they had to meet some people near the
border and the trip would be over in less than half a day. At a
deserted place near the Afghan border the clients said that since it
was prayer time, they should stop the car and pray.
Osman and his friend also joined the prayer, led by one of the
Afghans. Soon after completing the prayer, while rising from his
prayer position, the prayer leader took out a pistol from his side
pocket and shot straight at Osman's friend. He was hit in the shoulder
and fell back like a log.
Then he pointed the weapon at Osman and pulled the trigger again.
Osman was wearing a loose and baggy shirt and the bullet passed
through his shirt sleeve, grazing his upper arm slightly. He also fell
down, pretending that he had also been hit.
The two Afghans took the car, sped toward the border, and into
Osman says that when the car snatchers disappeared, he carried his
friend on his shoulder for about a couple of kilometers before he
found someone willing to give him a lift to the hospital. His friend
survived but remained bedridden for more than six months.
Less than a week later the car was found connected to an act of
terrorism in Quetta.
There were reports that more than half of the automobiles and
motorbikes in a wide swath of Balochistan, from Dalbandin to Taftan in
the north, and from Pasni to Gwadar in the south, were running without
any number plates.
This was the easiest thing to verify. All we had to do was to drive
around the area and look at every vehicle to see whether it had a
registration plate or not. Yes, more than half of vehicles of all
description did not have any registration number at all.
It was difficult to understand the reason for this mass anomaly. An
unregistered vehicle is an ideal getaway transport for terrorists,
criminals and everyone else interested in breaking the law.
Theft of cars
Driving from place to place in pursuit to confirm the findings of our
team, we heard repeatedly that theft of motor vehicles, especially
cars and SUVs, was an organized crime, reaching the scales of a
sophisticated business in Balochistan. Stealing a parked automobile is
definitely easier than snatching it at gunpoint.
What we could gather from our conversation with several people was
that vehicles were stolen from all parts of Pakistan and smuggled
across the border to Afghanistan. Sometimes, a car is stolen as per
specifications of the client i.e. a particular make, model and colour.
These cars and SUVs go to Afghanistan and some of them are used for
cross-border forays into Pakistan and Iran, as seen in Osman's case.
Sometimes these vehicles, after commitment of a crime, are abandoned
deliberately to put the investigators on the wrong trail.
So far, we had found that some young men are regularly crossing over
from Afghanistan to Pakistan, some of them were Muslim in appearance
but not in essence, and quite possibly some of them are being carried
by Americans in their helicopters close to the border of Pakistan. We
had also found that automobiles were being stolen or snatched at
gunpoint, taken to Afghanistan, and later used in the acts of
terrorism in Pakistan.
A terrorist must work for someone. Self employed terrorists are far
and few between. If they were working for someone, there must be a
system to provide them with funds when in Pakistan.
This was a challenge. With a small team running on a shoestring budget
we could not trail anyone for long. Tracking multiple targets was
We did the next best thing --- We watched the moneychangers in Quetta,
the administrative centre of Balochistan province.
Quite a few moneychangers in Quetta are concentrated in one of the
bustling streets of the cramped city. With the help of cooperative
fruit vendors, shoeshine boys, tobacconists, and just plain loiterers,
we created a temporary network to keep an eye on some moneychangers.
In a few days we found that some people were changing US dollars to
Pak rupees regularly. This, in itself, can hardly be called a
suspicious activity except for the fact that they were not changing
all of their money from a single vendor. Instead, they went from
moneychanger to moneychanger, never converting more than $ 2000 from a
single vendor. This was an obvious precaution to avoid being noticed.
Because of our insufficient capacity to study the money-changing
phenomenon in detail, this can, at best, be considered implied
evidence. The thing to remember is that terrorism is a comparatively
low cost enterprise.
The corridor of instability between Afghanistan and Iran
In our first investigative report on Balochistan, published in March
2005, we reported that a corridor of instability exists in the
territory of Pakistan through which all kinds of players were
traveling from Afghanistan to Iran and Back. This report is not
available on our own website anymore because we lost our archive after
it was hacked. However, the report received wide audience and it can
be seen at dozens of portals; two links are given at the end of this
In that report we said that if you marked Shah Ismail and Ziarat
Sultan Vais Qarni in Afghanistan and Jalq and Kuhak in Iran, and
connected Shah Ismail with Kuhak through a slowly arching line, and
Ziarat Sultan Vais Qarni with Jalq through another line running in
parallel with the first one, the space between these two lines would
form a corridor that is used by the American defence contractors, and
many other kinds of players, to travel between Afghanistan and Iran
Now we would like to report that the corridor has somewhat narrowed
down in width but there is more activity through it to destabilize
Iran, and put pressure on Pakistan.
The main reason why it is so easy for anyone to use this corridor to
travel between Afghanistan and Iran is that the patrolling in
Balochistan is done mainly by the irregular militia and (FC) frontier
constabulary, mostly manned by illiterate personnel.
To check on this theory, we drove across the breadth of Chagai,
Kharan, and Panjgur districts, reaching just four kilometers from the
border of Iran near Kuhak. Throughout the journey we encountered
several check posts and mobile patrols but hardly anyone could even
read our identity documents much less determine whether we were
genuine travelers or someone else in disguise.
We also learned during this road trip that at least two Indian
nationals had been caught, using this corridor to reach Iran.
It is worth mentioning that the corridor of instability identified by
us terminates right near the town of Pishin in Iran where an act of
terrorism several months ago took the lives of dozens of people,
including 15 senior officials of Pasdaran.
In the next two reports, hopefully at intervals of about a week or so,
we shall describe how a Russian atheism specialist explains the
phenomenon of suicide bombing and how a Russian counterterrorism
expert decodes our findings to create a fairly understandable picture.
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