How we are beneficiaries of a suspension of human rights

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It’s a message in a recent book, Spy stories: in the secret world of RAW and ISI by Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, who describe India’s Research & Analysis Wing as a cunning, ruthless and underrated organization that is not only good at stealing information but also fabricating tragedies to harm Pakistan . This appears in another new version, The boy in love with Bahawalpur by Rahul Pandita. The books also demonstrate that RAW no longer shies away from presenting itself as a brutal dark force with a persuasive moral excuse.

The idea that a democracy’s intelligence agency is run by human patriots who valiantly compromise with their own conscience to kill and maim, and fund merciless terrorists for the greater good, is one of the most successful myths of our time.

Stories about these underground agencies would often feature melancholy patriarchs who seem grieved by their own practical games that have destroyed many lives. But what I understand, and what I suspect, is that a secret agency is usually a magnet for people addicted to the thrill of intrigue, but also for sociopaths and sadists, whose psychological background helps them. to flourish here. But they render an extraordinary collateral service: they protect millions of lives against other lunatics who also kill for moral reasons.

The point is, we are all beneficiaries of the suspension of human rights in many dark spaces of this world, where horrible things are done to extract information.

A few days after September 11, 2001, Levy and Scott-Clark write, Pervez Musharraf, then President of Pakistan, wrote his thoughts in a classified document. We believe that classified documents must contain complex things that we cannot imagine, but most of them are simple, like this: “The United States will go to war against Al Qaeda at some point, and Taliban will become victims for having protected them… Then, Pakistan will have to choose. And if Pakistan chooses the Taliban, while this decision will be popular, it will also be disastrous. Consider: 1. The Taliban for the most part escape the influence of the ISI. 2.… The task is to capture their attention and maintain their influence over the United States. But also to reach out to India. “

This is interesting for several reasons. The Pakistani president held a view contrary to the popular opinion of journalists, even today, that the ISI controls the Afghan Taliban. In addition, Musharraf wanted to reach out to India. But RAW, the authors point out throughout their book, had become adept at portraying Pakistan as a rogue aggressor eroding the patience of mature India.

After September 11, the United States treated Pakistan with very little respect; his Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) wanted direct access to the ISI counterterrorism wing, whose leader Azmat Hyat said: “I now had two bosses… ISI leader General Ehsan ul-Haq , and CIA counterterrorism chief Jose Rodriguez. “

In 2003, something strange happened, even by ISI standards. The CIA asked its counterterrorism center to search a house in Rawalpindi but declined to give further details. It was a house in an upscale neighborhood, worthy of a general. When Pakistani officers kicked in the door, they were blindly following American training with no idea what lay at the end of their search. It was possible that an angry Pakistani general was there. But what they found was a sleeping Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was then widely known as the “mastermind” of the 9/11 attacks. It took some effort to wake him up. their money for his freedom. “

Shortly after his capture, he was taken to secret CIA prisons in Afghanistan and Poland. There he was brutalized in various ways. He was also subjected to waterboarding, a form of torture in which a person is immersed in water for so long that they feel like they are drowning; in some cases, the subject takes water in his lungs. In Poland, Mohammed suffered 183 drownings. “Mohammed had been filled with so much water that there was a danger that the electrolytes in his blood had dangerously diluted,” Dexter Filkins wrote in The New Yorker, “The officer asked CIA interrogators to ‘use salt water during waterboarding sessions. “

Nusrat Naeem, an ISI officer who helped create Hurriyat, an organization that fought for Kashmir independence, told Levy and Scott-Clark: “Human rights are a used construct. in peacetime to stifle American competitors.

The confluence of several games from several intelligence agencies in Pakistan reduced it to anarchy where even its president was not safe. After one of the many attacks on his life, he said, sadly, although it might sound hilarious to Indians: “Some leaders have the opportunity to visit the scenes of tragedy and to convey their condolences. Instead, it was me who continually received commiserations. “

Meanwhile, RAW has carried out several operations to make Pakistan unsafe and untrustworthy in the eyes of the world. The authors suggest that there may be some substance to theories that Indian agents were linked to the December 13, 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament. All of this for the greater good of law-abiding Indians.

Manu Joseph is journalist and novelist, most recently of ‘Miss Laila, Armed And Dangerous’

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