Wikileaks: a deliberate accident

Published: July 26, 2010

180 incidents against the ISI are reported in 200,000 pages of documents

Wikileaks, has opened a Pandora’s box by making public the transcripts or journals of the hour by hour detail of service by Nato soldiers in Afghanistan. It has been termed as the biggest leak in the history of intelligence. Most news sources are giving the story the headline of “Pakistan back Taliban in Afghanistan against the Nato forces.”

The White House has strongly condemned the incident and sent detailed answers to the media describing how the US wants to establish peace in Afghanistan and wishes to work along with its partner Pakistan. They have shown that they have nothing to do with Wikileaks who has so conveniently released hacked reports six months ago and sent them to 3 major newspapers of North America, UK and Europe. The White House release pointed out that the person in charge of Wikileaks is an Australian and it does not forget to mention that Wikileaks is against the policy of the United States in Afghanistan. It is also mentioned that the documents the website has revealed are from the period 2004 to 2010, and a major chunk of them are the responsibility of the Bush administration.

It was inevitable that the ISI would be blamed for the intelligence collected by US marines (who were guided by Afghan soldiers) at every step. The US, along with India has on many occasions pointed fingers at the ISI and something is certainly not right for this much blame to be accumulated.  And now, thanks to the recent leaks, pressure has been built up by the US for a North Waziristan offensive.

At the same time, the White House says it supports the Pakistani troops and it’s efforts in fighting the war. There are also reports of some incidents where marines may have described the actual incident, but a majority of the reports are termed as unverifiable for now. The White House has said this may be the work of the Afghan Intelligence, who would like to see ISI booked for any attack in Afghanistan. A total of 180 incidents against the ISI are reported from the 92,000 occasions, spread over 200,000 pages. Similarly, 150 incidents are of the British troops, which were never reported and were related to civilian killings in Afghanistan.

We should be more concerned at what the remaining 91,670 incidents were in the past six years of the war on terror. But when it comes to the deliberate defamation of Pakistan to develop public opinion just by giving it a title most would want to believe in, even without reading the complete report, this is the report to refer to. It also appears that this leak wants to put the blame for the Nato failures on to the ISI for playing a double game with the coalition.

The timings of these leaks remain very important, especially when the US is trying to negotiate with the Taliban and the Karzai-Kayani friendship is at its best. It is expected that there will be a media outburst at this leak, and India especially (Kehtay thay naa) would be taking advantage of this leak to flood the internet and newspapers by presenting this report as full and final confirmation from the Gora Sahib that the ISI of Pakistan is behind all the menace in society. I am not defending the journal entries, but wouldn’t it be better if we are able to prove these allegations?

Pakistan’s ISI has informed the CIA in Afghanistan about the location of Fazlullah, and are concerned about the lack of interest in taking him down, in spite of being provided the exact location. His video was recently released where he was giving a sermon to graduating suicide bombers. Unfortunately, the mistrust remains on both sides — hampering progress. This needs to be corrected and re-established by cutting down the flurry of allegations on the ISI for almost every attack in Afghanistan. If we want peace, we will have to work hand in hand, otherwise it is just not possible with nine years of war behind it.

The sudden release of such information, when dark clouds are already over Pakistan, is one-quarter malicious, one-quarter propaganda, with a quarter of reality and a balance of something very serious coming up! A better headline would be “Truth of the occupation in Afghanistan”

The latest is that the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been detained by the FBI in Miami, Florida. They need the leaks to appear authentic, so the world does not start believing that this was a sympathy gaining stunt, as the remaining “leaks” would be of horrific incidents which marines had to go through, and might help develop public support for attacking North Waziristan and the use of additional force in Afghanistan until there is ‘peace’ in the country – with or without Karzai.


Syed Ali Raza Abidi

A businessman who writes on politics and civic issues. He completed his masters in business administration from Boston University. He tweets @abidifactor.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.