Recently, there was a huge commotion in Pakistani media caused by the book entitled ‘The Contractor’ written by Raymond Allen Davis, who killed two men in Lahore, for which he remained incarcerated in 2011 for 49 days. This book is full of anti-Pakistan material and contains mudslinging on former Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha. General Pasha is not the main target though, as he was targeted actually to malign the ISI and Pakistan. It’s a bit strange that a book priced US$17 is being circulated on the internet free of cost, and publisher has not objected to it. On pages 59 to 64 of chapter 13 of this book, it is mentioned that Raymond Davis was facing a financial crisis. It means that he is not so rich, then why he distributed his book as freeware? Rehman Malik, who was the Interior Minister of Pakistan in 2011, has described this book as “a pack of lies” as no such role was played by the then DG ISI in the release of Raymond Davis, as claimed in this controversial book.
Raymond Davis, who is a psychopath and who has tried to commit suicide many a time, is not a literary person and, obviously, not capable of writing a book. It was sponsored by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or (as Mr Rehman Malik said) India’s RAW, and written by a ghostwriter. ISI is considered the world’s best intelligence agency and is known for its professionalism and Pakistanis love it a lot. This book is a part of American propaganda to change Pakistanis’ love for ISI and Pak Army into general abhorrence.
In 2008, Mike McConnell, the then Director of National Intelligence in Bush administration, confronted General Pasha. He accused Pakistan of not doing everything it could to rein in the Pakistani Taliban; he asserted that American intelligence had concluded that most Pakistani assets were still deployed against India. “How dare you tell me how our forces are deployed?” Pasha said in a fierce tone to McConnell.
Before 2011, there was a strong CIA network working in Pakistan, which entered the country on the pretext of eliminating terrorism. When Mr Davis was released in exchange of a payment of $2.4 million as blood money, there was also a condition that CIA agents working in Pakistan will also be removed. Information the ISI got out of Davis enabled Pakistan to make hundreds of arrests and shut down CIA’s information and covert action cells within Pakistan.
Here I present some rebuttals to the claims made in this book, one by one. On Page 44 (PDF format of the book), it’s written, “[T]elevision interviews with people who said the men I’d shot had robbed them earlier in the day indicated that the men were common thieves.” But, the reality is starkly different; no such interview was broadcast in which people would have said that victims were ‘common thieves’. On the same page, it is mentioned that Davis had diplomatic immunity because he carried a diplomatic passport. It is important to note that diplomatic immunity does not solely depend on carrying a diplomatic passport; it is awarded to that embassy staff whose names are provided by embassy to the host country, so they are dealt under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961. Davis was not one of the embassy employees listed on January 25, 2011 i.e. two days before the incident. However, a revised list submitted a day after the incident on January 28 carried his name.
The second list proves that he was a consular staff, and had to be dealt under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963. Article 41(1) of the Convention states: “Consular officers shall not be liable to arrest or detention pending trial, except in the case of a grave crime and pursuant to a decision by the competent judicial authority”. Hence, Davis was answerable to a court of law in Pakistan as there is no other crime more heinous or graver than murder.
On Page 44, he writes: “All too often one division of ISI would profess to be working toward one goal, while another one of its divisions would be operating in a manner that seemed in direct opposition to the other’s efforts.” How did Raymond Davis know about the internal workings of the ISI? The agency works in strict secrecy and no one can understand the working of its various divisions. It’s not a small-level organization where employees may work against one another; it’s the world’s best intelligence agency which works under a proper mechanism.
On Page 77, he wrote: “Prosecutor Asad Manzoor Butt gave four different versions, at first he said that Davis killed two armed men in self-defence and his statements continuously changed, and on the fourth day of the hearing he said that Davis killed two unarmed innocent men. But, during court proceedings, the statements made by the prosecutor are always recorded in written; they are not verbal that he may change by his own. Interestingly, Davis has been presented in the whole book as a psychologically and physically strong person who could cope with any situation in the best way, but then it is mentioned that due to different statements of the prosecutor, Davis was so frustrated that he couldn’t refute the prosecutor’s statement on the fourth day – actually he didn’t disapprove the statement, because that was correct.
On Page 82, it has been said that “Shumaila Kanwal, Muhammad Faheem’s widow, had swallowed a lethal dose of poison and been rushed to Allied Hospital Faisalabad.” Davis’ version is that he had heard about the death nine days before the media coverage, from a lieutenant, during his captivity, but ISI forced the media to sit on it until it was needed to incite anti-American statement. It is difficult to believe, because when a woman commits suicide and a large number of media persons are there for coverage, then how could the news would be stopped from being broadcast. If we take this statement as correct, even then it proves that General Pasha was a true patriotic who took that step to don’t let the dust settle, and to drive out CIA contractors and agents from Pakistan.
On Page 83 it’s stated, “… In Lahore they were readily available, from the guys who would run up to your car at traffic circles trying to sell you alcohol.” I have been living in Lahore since 2007, but I haven’t seen such situation in Lahore – and not in any other city of Pakistan.
On Page 92 ‘Davis’ writes: “Between 1954 and 1959, the United States gave Pakistan $1.28 billion.” Actually, Pakistan was used as a tool against communist countries, and it was America’s exigency to introduce South East Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO) and the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), and Pakistan was awarded that amount under these treaties. America didn’t give charity to Pakistan, but also used an Air base, against the USSR, in return.
Page 124 contains comments on Jinnah. He wrote: “Jinnah wore hand-tailored suits and silk ties. He drove imported cars. He never wore a beard. He drank whiskey. He mainly spoke English. He married a non-Muslim.” Won’t it be foolish to believe in such a person’s opinions on Jinnah who had never met him, and he himself has mentioned that he doesn’t like to read books; that’s why during his short time in captivity he read more books than in his remaining life. So, whatever he wrote about Jinnah is unauthentic and doesn’t have any credence.
On Page 129 he wrote, “General Pasha, who’d been continually texting Ambassador Munter, updating him about the court proceedings …” How Davis knew that General Pasha was texting Ambassador Munter? Was General Pasha showing his cell phone to Davis while doing so? It’s maligning the ISI and tarnishing its repute.
If ISI was doing everything behind the scenes, then why did the agency released Davis’ secret equipments and maps to the media? General Pasha always remained anti-American, that’s why the Obama administration had decided not to inform Pakistan in advance of the Operation Geronimo in which Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad. On May 13, 2011, in an in-camera session of Pakistan’s Parliament, General Pasha declared that the United States, which has provided Pakistan with about $20 billion in aid over the last decade, had let Pakistan down at every turn since the 1960s, including imposing sanctions on the country in the 1990s.
The book is just an attempt to malign ISI and blame Pakistan for the failures of the United States in combating terrorism in Afghanistan in order to deviate American public’s attention from the embarrassing defeat.