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Zafar Hilaly’s ‘hate India’ op-ed in service of his masters in the ISI

Related article: A glaring example of how ISI dictates Pakistani newspapers: The case of a missing WikiLeak cable

No conspiracy theories, please
by Zafar Hilaly

Talking to Time Magazine on July 28, 1958, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt confessed: “I have been a conspirator for so long that I mistrust all around me.” Were they equally candid our legion of conspirators would probably agree. Hence they dismissed the WikiLeaks exposures as a ‘CIA conspiracy.’ They did it with such aplomb and so quickly after the Pakistani leaks surfaced that it seemed they had proof.

In fact, they were trying to shield those who had blabbed irresponsibly to the American envoy in the certitude that their outpourings would never see the light of day. Well, it did and their credibility has been further dented. They should have emulated their supreme commander whose put-down of the insult King Abdullah hurled at him was masterly. In their case, too, a simple, ‘well, that is what she thought she heard’ would have sufficed. Their explanation was implausible to say the least. Clearly, some ‘new thought’ machinery is required in Rawalpindi.
Ironically, if the cables are a concoction, as our conspiracy theorists aver, then, logically the latest disclosures about Indian brutalities against Muslims that the cables from the American Embassy in New Delhi reveal, would also be false. In fact, the horrors perpetrated on Muslims by the Indian Army led by generals, in the mould of the war criminal Milosevic, are precisely what our intelligence reports relay. Are we then lying to ourselves?

Far from promoting the American cause, US embassy cables reveal that the US had in their possession solid information about the Indian Army atrocities against Muslims; the nexus between Indian generals and Hindu terrorist/extremist outfits like Shiv Sena, Sang Parivaar, Hindutva Brotherhood; the assassination of Hemant Kekare, an honest Indian policeman, by the Indian army in a pre-planned ambush in Bombay for exposing the involvement of an Indian army colonel in the Samjhota Express attack of 2007 and much else. One cable reports the prescient, albeit, pathetic pleas of Hemant Harkare for American protection, lest he be eliminated by the Indian establishment.

Notwithstanding urgings from its own diplomats in New Delhi, that Washington alert the UN to the genocide of innocent Muslims in Kashmir — Washington did nothing. Or, rather it did, Obama came to Delhi, grovelled for Indian support against China; announced support for Indian membership of the UNSC; opened up America’s armoury for weapon purchases by India and promised dollops of enriched uranium for Indian nuclear reactors to free up indigenous production for more nuclear weapons. Not content, he praised India for the great democracy that she was and warned Pakistan against harbouring terrorists. Not bad for a country which, according to its own embassy, said that while terrorist groups were found in Pakistan, this was far less compared to what India had on its own territory.

The little that has so far been revealed has shown America in not too good a light. It reveals the sordid values that underlie American policy and the fact that American self-interest speaks all sorts of tongues and plays all sorts of devilish roles. An American WASP (white Anglo-Saxon protestant), we may have guessed, was capable of such antics, but Obama? The liberal, half-Kikuyu with a Muslim father? It beggars the imagination.
What the Indian cables revealed will reverberate for a long time in Pakistan. They will probably remove the last vestige of trust in America and the hope of a semblance of balance in its policy when it comes to India and Pakistan. The fact that America knew and did nothing, because it must have approved of the Karzai-India collusion to sow disaffection in Waziristan and Balochistan, will effectively put to rest any possibility of reconciliation between Islamabad and a Kabul under Karzai; and, of course, anything like a rapprochement with India. And still our conspiracy-minded theorists will go on prattling that WikiLeaks was a CIA conspiracy.

The writer is an analyst and a former ambassador to Yemen, Nigeria and Italy

Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2010.


Some comments from ET website:

Ha ha ha dear writer you have an egg on your face.Pakistan is lucky to have such diplomats in the past.I have always enjoyed your funny stories on the panel with Arnab Goswami on Times Now.Dear Readers you could also enjoy him speaking regularly at Newshour on Times Now.I could not understand the urgency to write an article within 24 hours of a Fake Wiki Leak Cable

Apparently you’ve been had, those cables are fake, and Outlook (India), the Guardian (UK), and Foreign Policy (US) are having fun with it at your expense:
The Guardian has the actual database of leaks, the least you could do is search them.

Hmmm…I wonder how much of Zafar Hilaly’s op-ed piece was based on the so-called ‘Wikileaks’ report (published in the Express Tribune, The News, Jang and other newspapers yesterday) purportedly linking Indian involvement in Balochistan and Waziristan, which has now turned out to be a fake news story and has been traced as originating from media sources closely linked to our ‘agencies’.
Red faces, anyone?

Based on such astute analysis of some ‘leaks” this gentleman should be appointed to investigate the murder of Benazir, Zia, Zulfiqar and Liaqat. At the same time, he should help investigate the role of the Pakistani army and elite in mass murder of their then Bengali citizens in 1971. Oh I forgot ..each of those tragedies was the work of the foreign hand!

Will you take back your statements now that your own paper has come out with a clarification and apology on this “fake wikileaks”

Mr. Hilaly,
Isnt it ironical that you are propagating conspiracy theories about India in a column written to educate people that Wikileaks is not a conspiracy. To think of it, you were a former diplomat. God save Pakistan.

Syed Nadir El-Edroos:
Sir, while I appreciate your sentiments, and wholeheartedly agree that anything that does not fit into our view of the world should not be discarded as a conspiracy, the alleged cables you refer to: killings, and genocidal generals etc, are all fake. Kindly skim through the cables that have been disclosed so far and none of them corroborate the facts that you are claiming. Apart from one cable that refers to Indian involvement and support for an insurgency in Baluchistan, none of the other facts are found anywhere.

Cafe Payala has highlighted this fact already and if that wasnt enough, the fact that fake cables are popping up has been caught on with the international media:

These supposed leaks have been attributed to Agency sources by The News and the Jang. So either sir you have gotten caught up with yesterdays headlines, or perhaps you yourself are peddling rumours?
Can we please stop embarrassing ourselves! Everyone goes on and on, about the international media defaming Pakistan, when we are our own worst enemies. In a globalizied world, do our “Agencies” really believe that they wouldn’t be caught out!

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  • Dear Sir,
    I was deeply disappointed with your paper and myself for being taken for a ride by what, on second thoughts, should have been seen as an obvious piece of dis-information. I refer of course to the fake WikiLeak documents purporting to be cables from the American Embassy in New Delhi published in your paper’s issue of 9th December. Although, it seems, that the Tribune and I were not the only ones to have been so duped there is no gain saying the fact that better and more intrusive investigation may have revealed them to have been fake. To that extent we were both remiss.
    As the article bearing my name in today’s issue of the Tribune was prompted entirely by what these fake cables contained and which now turn out to have been palpably false I would like you to publish this retraction and to convey to your readers my unreserved apologies.
    Your’s faithfully,
    Zafar Hilaly



    Ij that you Mr Ex Ambassador to Nigeria?! Does your retracshun mean that you are now best phriends with India?!
    We also breathlessly await your wisdom on faked Moon landings, the Jews involved in 9/11 and Lochness monster.
    PS> Please to also write a column about how Pakistan can solve its economic woes by taking the money of the wealthy Nigerian Brince who sent you an email and that wonder pill advertised on email which can you know. ahem.

    RS Johar:

    Well can’t blame the former Ambassader who jumped on the first opportunity he got to write something against India as he has been doing in other english dailies for a long time. Apology issued in time is well taken but the writer bracketed with Zaid Hamid has damaged his reputation.


    its funny to see so much of Zafar Hilaly’s self-righous hot air dissolve into nothing!! 🙂


    Oh, While on the subject, perhaps Hilaly can enlighten everyone about the Genuine Wikileaks cables about Pakistan army funding & supporting and declining to act against first rate terrorists like LeT etc??


    It happens. With ISI and Army running the show, what can one expect? Its case of crying wolf.

  • The rise and fall of Shah Mahmood Qureshi
    By Zafar Hilaly
    Published: February 19, 2011

    What a silly article by Zafar Hilaly on SMQ. “It’s not certain if the 2 people were innocent”, well it’s not certain if they were guilty either, so innocent until proven guilty :). SMQ never bashed the PPP, and that was the best part of the conference, He said he was, is and always will remain in the PPP, because he believes in the ideals of ZAB and BB.

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Hilaly sought job with Zardari govt but was turned down coz of his “resourceful” actions against BB when he served in FO in her last govt
    10 hours ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Will a chronic Bhutto-phobe (Zafar Hilaly) now advise PPP who to stiff arm into oblivion? What’s your latest brief from GHQ, Mr Hilaly?
    10 hours ago Favorite Reply Delete

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Zafar Hilaly, not unlike Tariq Fatemi etc, is an ISI sucking former ambassador. How could he show respect 2 ZAB, most capable FM in Pak hist
    10 hours ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    “All politicians are vain” “Qureshi like his icon Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is a compulsive performer” Zafar Hilaly is anything but a Halali.

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