PFS 14: The Government and Criminal Activity

Chapter 14


There is probably no government in the world which does not have one or more people in power who are either themselves criminals or have links to criminals. However, successive Pakistani governments and the army have been unique in actively supporting and participating in international criminal activity as an integral component of the Pakistani economy and foreign policy.

Heroin smuggling and Narco terrorism:

Heroin is a drug that is a derivative of the medically used pain-killer morphine. It is obtained from the Opium Poppy plant. Although heroin itself has medicinal value as a potent pain-killer, it is extremely addictive when administered to normal people. People are said to crave for the drug after experiencing its effects just once. In most countries of the world, heroin is illegal to manufacture or possess because of its dangerous potential to cause addiction. Heroin addicts become so physically dependent on the drug, and crave the drug so much that they are willing to pay very high prices to obtain it, making heroin the star compound of the illegal drug trade.

In October 1994, US Senator Frank Pallone brought to the attention of the US house of representatives a news report in the Washington Post (140): Mr Pallone said:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to bring to the attention of my colleagues a report that appeared in the Washington Post of September 12, 1994, which describes a disturbing link between narcotics and terrorism. The report from Karachi, Pakistan, headlined ‘Heroin Plan by Top Pakistanis Alleged’ quotes Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif saying that ‘drug deals were to pay for covert operations’ brings to mind other reports not so long ago of Pakistani involvement in using the Bank of Credit and Commerce International [BCCI] to launder drug money that was eventually believed to have been used in financing terrorist groups involved in the New York World Trade Center bombing. The report cites Pakistan’s army chief and head of intelligence agency proposing to then-Prime Minister Sharif ‘a detailed blueprint for selling heroin to pay for the country’s covert military operations in early 1991.

The news report said that three months after Nawaz Sharif became Prime Minister of Pakistan he was approached by the Pakistan army chief of staff, Gen. Aslam Beg and Gen. Asad Durrani, the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) with the blueprint for a plan to export heroin to raise money for the Pakistan army’s covert foreign operations a euphemism for Pakistan sponsored terrorism in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Indian analyst, B. Raman writes (141) that money earned through Pakistan’s heroin trade was used to fund Pakistan’s arms purchases, including missiles from North Korea, submarines from France and components for Pakistan’s covert nuclear program. During the late years of Gen. Zia ul Haq’s rule and in the early years of Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a special cell was set up by Pakistan’s ISI for the use of heroin for covert action, under one Brigadier Imtiaz.

Raman writes:

Pakistan’s illegal heroin economy has kept its legitimate State economy sustained since 1990 and prevented its collapse. It has also enabled it to maintain a high level of arms purchases from abroad and to finance its proxy war against India through the jehadi organisations.

The Indian army’s 15th Corps, which is in the thick of action against terrorists from Pakistan has this to say in an article on Narco-Terrorism on its website (142):

Both the Pakistan Army and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency are known to be extensively involved in narcotics trade. The primary reason for indulging in narcotics trade by these two premier institutions of Pakistan is the need for money to finance covert foreign operations, which the otherwise cash strapped economy of Pak could ill afford to pay for. The nexus between Pak ISI and Pak Army with the drug mafia is a well documented and established fact. Pak trucks are used by the drug mafia for narcotics smuggling. Even during the Afghan crisis Pak trucks and National Logistic Cell (NLC) vehicles transporting arms to Afghan Mujahideen were used for shipping large consignments of drugs from the drug producing areas to Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and other such city centres, where the drugs were processed, packaged and dispatched towards their destination.

In a one and a half year period from January 1997 to May 1998, the Indian army captured from Pakistani infiltrators about 19 Kilograms of Heroin with a street value of US $ 5 million. Also recovered was 60 Kilograms of Charas - a drug derived from Cannabis (Ganja).

Nuclear Proliferation:

Nuclear weapons, also known as atomic bombs are extremely destructive. They have been used only twice in August 1945 when the Unites States dropped a bomb on each of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A single bomb reduced each city to rubble, killing hundreds of thousands of people, causing Japan to surrender within days. That brought the second World War to an end. The destructive potential of nuclear weapons made them attractive to nations as a deterrent - a weapon of terrifying power to scare a potential attacker from waging war for fear of being hit by nuclear weapons. And because of their destructive potential, the technology for manufacturing nuclear weapons remained a closely guarded secret, available to only a handful of nations in the world.

As described in chapter 4, Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani metallurgist stole the blueprints for making Uranium enrichment centrifuges from a Dutch concern called URENCO that he worked for. Enrichment of Uranium is one of the first steps in making one type of nuclear bomb. Upon his return to Pakistan, Khan was encouraged and funded by the Prime Minister of Pakistan at the time, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to set up facilities to enrich Uranium manufacture nuclear bombs. Abdul Qadeer Khan became a hero and achieved cult status in Pakistan as the father of Pakistan’s Islamic bomb

In late 2003 and early 2004, it became clear that Pakistani nuclear technology to enrich Uranium had been supplied to North Korea, Libya and Iran, along with actual blueprints of nuclear bomb designs in order to help these nations manufacture atomic bombs. Centrifuges made from the very designs Qadeer Khan had stolen from URENCO were found in Iran, and these centrifuges had radioactive contaminants that unmistakably bore the signature of a Pakistani source. Shipments of centrifuge components to North Korea and Libya were intercepted. Pakistan had obtained funds from Libya in exchange for this technology and North Korea paid for the technology by supplying Pakistan with ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons (143).

In early 2004 the world was witness to an incredible drama on Pakistan television in which Abdul Qadeer Khan made a public confession of having sold nuclear weapons technology to other nations entirely on his own, with no knowledge of the Pakistani army or government. This confession was followed by a prompt presidential pardon for Dr. Khan by President and army chief Gen. Musharraf. It would be naive to imagine that successive Pakistani governments and the military were unaware of Khan’s activities.

An article in the online edition of the L.A. Times said (143):

U.S. officials, nuclear experts and a former prime minister of Pakistan expressed doubts Monday about how Khan and a handful of associates could have circumvented the extraordinary controls on the country’s nuclear technology without the military’s blessings.

Benazir Bhutto, who served twice as prime minister before going into exile in the face of corruption charges, said she doubted that the transfers could have taken place without the knowledge of senior military officials.

“It is difficult to accept that the scientists could have violated government policy on their own,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “Those who violated the policy are now hiding behind the scientists.”

On February 4th 2004, the New York Times reported (144):

experts inside and outside the government say it is difficult to believe that Pakistan’s nuclear secrets could have been exported without the knowledge of some in the military and the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency, especially since some shipments were made on Pakistani military aircraft.

Four days later, the New York Times carried a report in which it was said (145):

Few of Mr. Bush’s aides believe Pakistan’s story that Dr. Khan operated alone. He has the deepest ties to the military, which oversaw the Khan Research Laboratories, and supplied it with a cargo fleet. Pakistan got missiles from North Korea, investigators believe, in return for uranium enrichment technology. Clearly, the Pakistani government must have known something about how its new missile fleet materialized.

It is virtually certain that the televised drama of Qadeer Khan absolving the army of all responsibility for proliferation while taking all the blame, only to be pardoned by the army is in keeping with the Pakistan army’s time honoured tradition of protecting its self interest and attempting to appear farcically squeaky-clean in the face of contrary evidence.

Airliner hijacking:

The most blatant case of an airliner hijacked with Pakistani army and government complicity is the shameful episode of Indian Airlines Flight number IC 814 that was hijacked in December 2000 by five Pakistani nationals who boarded the flight in Kathmandu in Nepal. If it had not been for the murder that the hijackers committed and their success in achieving their aim of securing the release of jailed terrorists in India terrorists who were later to enter Pakistan and mastermind further murders and play a role in the suicide attacks of September 11th 2001 in New York, this whole hijacking story could have come out of a B-grade semi-comic motion picture.

The five hijackers actually received their weapons in a diplomatic bag checked in by Pakistani First Secretary in Nepal, Mohammad Arshad Cheema (146). The hijacked aircraft was flown to the UAE, Amritsar and Lahore, and the newlywed husband of a honeymooning couple was murdered by slashing his throat, and his body thrown out of the aircraft while his wife remained on board for the rest of the duration of the hijack. The plane was then flown to Kandahar in Afghanistan, where it came under control of Pakistan’s puppet Taliban government. In a surreal turn of events, the hijackers were provided with new weapons in Kandahar, as reported by a French tourist hostage who survived the ordeal (147).

Indian intelligence agencies who monitored and recorded the communications of the hijackers on the aircraft in Kandahar found them receiving instructions from Lt. Gen. Mohammad Aziz, a Pakistani Corps commander (148). On Aziz’s instructions the hijackers demanded a ransom of nearly one million US dollars, which was to be delivered in cash. When that was decided to be impracticable, the money was deposited in the account of a Pakistani diplomat in Delhi. The hijackers also secured the release of three dangerous Pakistani terrorists in prison in India, including Maulana Masood Azhar the founder of the Pakistan based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad, and Omar Shaikh. The released terrorists disappeared from Kandahar and resurfaced in Pakistan. Omar Shaikh was later implicated in helping to fund the attacks on the World Trade center in New York, and was finally arrested for the murder of the Jewish-American reporter Daniel Pearl.

Pakistan’s record with reference to Indian airliners hijacked to Pakistan has been condemnable. After a 1971 hijack the hijackers were granted asylum in Pakistan, and the aircraft blown up on the ground. After a 1976 hijack, the hijackers were imprisoned for a token one month in Pakistan for entering Pakistan without due documents. In two instances of hijacking in 1981 and 1984, the hijackers were given refuge in Pakistan. And in an unbelievable second hijacking event in 1984, the hijackers received a weapon along with snacks in Lahore (149).

Refuge for Criminals:

Pakistan has positioned itself as an ideal place for any criminal from India to seek, and obtain refuge. India has a list of 20 most wanted criminals who are living in Pakistan.

The following is a list of names of the twenty, and a brief description of their activities (150):

  1. Maulana Masood Azhar, leader of Jaish-i-Mohammad, man behind the attack on India’s parliament on December 13, 2001. He is also wanted for an attack on the J&K Assembly on Oct 1, 2001 in which 38 people were killed. He currently lives in and operates from Bahawalpur, Pakistan.

  1. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, co-founder of Lashkar-e-Toiba, also blamed for the attack on parliament in New Delhi. He operates from Muridke town, near Lahore in Pakistan.

  1. Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian underworld don, man behind the planning and financing of 13 explosions in Mumbai in 1993 in which almost 300 people died. Ibrahim is wanted in connection with cases of arms supply, counterfeiting, drugs trade, funding alleged criminals, murder and smuggling. He lives in and operates from Karachi, Pakistan.

  1. Chhota Shakeel, a key associate of Dawood Ibrahim. Wanted for murder, extortion, kidnapping, blackmail of businessmen and film stars in India. He lives in and operates from Karachi, Pakistan.

  1. ”Tiger” Ibrahim Memon, accused of executing the 1993 Mumbai blasts. He is wanted in cases of murder, extortion, kidnapping, terrorism and smuggling arms and explosives in India. He is currently living in Pakistan.

  1. Ayub Memon, accused of executing the 1993 Mumbai blasts. He is alleged to have helped his brother Ibrahim Memon carry out the blasts. He is wanted in cases of terrorism and smuggling. He lives in and operates from Karachi, Pakistan.

  1. Abdul Razzak, accused of involvement in the Mumbai blasts. He is wanted in cases of terrorism and arms smuggling. He lives in and operates from Karachi, Pakistan.

  1. Syed Salahuddin, head of Hizbul Mujahideen, which has claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks on Indian forces in Kashmir, India. He currently lives in and operates from Muzaffarabad, Pakistan.

  1. Ibrahim Athar, an associate of Maulana Azhar Masood and was one of the hijackers of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 from Kathmandu to Delhi in 1999. He is a member of Jaish-i-Mohammad and is wanted for hijacking, kidnapping and murder. He currently lives in and operates from Bahawalpur, Pakistan.

  1. Zahoor Ibrahim Mistri, a member of Harkat-ul-Ansar, which later changed its name to Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. He is wanted in connection with the hijacking of IC-814 and in cases of kidnapping and murder. He lives in and operates from Karachi, Pakistan.

  1. Shahid Akhtar Sayed, is wanted for the IC-814 hijacking and for kidnapping and murder. He lives in and operates from Karachi, Pakistan.

  1. Azhar Yusuf, wanted in the IC-814 hijacking case and in cases of kidnapping and murder. He lives in and operates from Karachi, Pakistan.

  1. Abdul Karim, a Kashmiri terrorist blamed for more than 30 bomb blasts in Delhi and parts of northern India in 1996-97. He lives in and operates from Lahore, Pakistan.

  1. Ishaq Atta Hussain, an associate of Dawood Ibrahim, is wanted in connection with a conspiracy to kill Indian Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister L.K. Advani. He lives in and operates from Karachi, Pakistan.

  1. Sagir Sabir Ali Shaikh, an associate of Dawood Ibrahim, is also wanted in connection with the conspiracy to kill Advani. He lives in and operates from Karachi, Pakistan.

  1. Wadhawan Singh Babbar, chief of Sikh group Babbar Khalsa International, which was involved in an insurgency in East Punjab during the 1980s. He is wanted in over a dozen cases of sedition, murder and in connection with the assassination of East Punjab’s then chief minister Beant Singh. He lives in and operates from Lahore, Pakistan.

  1. Ranjit Singh Neeta, chief of Khalistan Zindabad Force. He is wanted in cases of murder, bomb blasts and smuggling of arms in India. He lives in and operates from Lahore, Pakistan.

  1. Paramjit Singh Panjwar, leader of the Khalistan Commando Force. He is accused of trying to revive the Sikh insurgency in East Punjab and is wanted in more than a dozen cases of murder, treason, conspiracy and arms smuggling. He lives in and operates from Lahore, Pakistan.

  1. Lakhbir Singh Rode, leader of the International Sikh Youth Federation, is wanted in cases of arms smuggling, conspiracy to attack government leaders in Delhi and inciting religious hatred in East Punjab. He lives in and operates from Lahore, Pakistan.

  1. Gajinder Singh, leader of Sikh group Dal Khalsa, is accused of hijacking an Indian Airlines plane from Srinagar to Delhi in 1981. He was arrested by Pakistan after he hijacked the plane to Lahore and tried. He lives in and operates from Lahore, Pakistan.

Pakistan admitted the presence of the third man on the list, Dawood Ibrahim in Pakistan in September 2003 after news of a bomb blast in Karachi. Rediff reported (151):

Pakistan has admitted gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s presence in the country, according to a report. The admission came after a bomb blast at a Karachi business centre, the Kawish Crown Plaza, which the inspector general of Sindh police said was “ostensibly owned by Ahmed Jamal but actually belonged to Dawood Ibrahim”, Pakistani journal The Herald said.

Dawood Ibrahim was subsequently designated a global terrorist by the US for his links with Al Quaeda and the Lashkar-e-Tayeba, the Islamist extremist group that was founded by Maulana Masood Azhar, the first man on India’s Most wanted list, one of the prisoners released by India after the 1999 hijacking of an Indian Airlines aircraft to Kandahar in Afghanistan.

Printing and circulation of counterfeit currency:

In January 2000, a staffer from the visa section of the Pakistan embassy in Nepal was arrested in Kathmandu (Nepal) after passing counterfeit Indian currency to Nepalese police in a sting operation. The Pakistani ambassador tried to stop the arrest claiming diplomatic immunity for the staffer but it turned out that he did not have diplomatic immunity.

The Indian Express reported (152):

Officials said the quality of fake notes was “such that it could only be printed in security presses”, in an apparent hint that Pakistan was indulging in massive printing of fake notes to abet its terrorist activities against India.

With Indian currency being valid in Nepal, that country was a natural choice for anti-India activities from Pakistan, which apparently intended to destabilize the Indian economy by flooding India with fake currency. One report (153) quoted the street value of the Pakistan made counterfeit currency in India:

The prevailing price for counterfeit currency in Punjab is Rs 40-60 (83 US cents-$1.25) in exchange for every Pakistani-made Rs 100 note - the range depending on the buyers’ bargaining skills and the volume required. The right contacts can ensure that Pakistani counterfeit currency is available even cheaper.

Another report of the arrest of a man carrying counterfeit currency said (154):

The racket was being remote controlled by Aftab Butki from Dubai in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Butki is a front man of notorious mafia don Dawood Ibrahim and controls the gang for pumping fake currency into India through the porous Indo-Nepal border. Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan has been providing logistical support to the underworld dons for flooding the Indian market with counterfeit currency with the sole aim of creating panic in the Indian market. Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, U K Katna said, “The counterfeit currency notes were sent for damaging the Indian economy.

The high quality of the counterfeit notes and official sponsorship of this and other criminal activities by Pakistani governmental agencies is a frightening indicator of the chaotic state that Pakistan is in with no expense being spared to prepare for war or jihad against India and very little being spent on development and education within Pakistan.

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