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There’s no place for the ISI in Canada | My column in The Toronto SUN

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  • Tarek Fatah
    23 July 2013 at 21:39 The sooner Canada expels this vermin [ISI] from our land, the better it will be. Our federal government should send a clear message to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 23 7:20 PM

      23 July 2013 at 21:39


      "The sooner Canada expels this vermin [ISI] from our land, the better it will be. Our federal government should send a clear message to Islamabad: “Your goons are not welcome in Canada, even if they hide under the burka of diplomatic titles.”


      July 23, 2013

      There’s no place for ISI in Canada

      Tarek Fatah

      When two former U.S. ambassadors to Pakistan make common cause with a leading British apologist of successive military regimes in Islamabad and they try to destroy the reputation of an academic who has just recently exposed a billion-dollar military scam, something is rotten.

      Meet Ayesha Siddiqa, a military analyst with a PhD in War Studies from King’s College, London, and a contributor to the prestigious Jane’s Defence Weekly.

      In 2007, Dr. Siddiqa authored Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy, a brilliant book that exposed the truth about how Pakistan’s generals are looting the country while pretending to protect it.
      Ever since her expose of the Pakistan Military-Industrial complex, she has become a pariah, shunned not only by the generals who run Pakistan, but also by a roster of Americans and other westerners who lobby for Pakistan’s interests in D.C.

      It all came to head on June 27 when Siddiqa tweeted that a Pakistani diplomat had confided that the ISI — Pakistan’s dreaded secret intelligence agency — had set up funds to infiltrate think tanks in Washington DC. The tweet was picked up by the Times of India with a story headlined “ISI has infiltrated US thinktanks, Pak scholar says.”

      This is when two former U.S. envoys to Pakistan, ambassadors Wendy Chamberlin and Cameron Munter, joined hands with a UK apologist for the Pakistan Army, author Anatol Lieven, a retired Pakistan Army general, and at least a dozen other people who work for U.S. think tanks, to accuse Siddiqa’s actions as “disgraceful” and demand a retraction. She did not oblige.

      It’s a mystery why two former U.S. ambassadors would find it necessary to lend their name to a character assassination of Dr. Siddiqa. Analyst Anatol Lieven is best known for his soft corner with all things military in Pakistan. He once wrote a eulogy to Pakistan’s most brutal military dictator, Gen. Zia-ul-Haq in these words:

      “He (Gen. Zia) won respect … for his lack of vindictiveness. It was said his repression, unlike that of his predecessor stopped with individuals and was not extended to attempts to destroy their families. From that point of view he had some claim to be remembered as an honourable man.” 

      We may not know for sure if the ISI has infiltrated U.S. think tanks. But what we do know is that the long arm of the ISI has reached Toronto where it is targeting critics of the Pakistani military junta and those who expose the ISI’s work in North America.

      One of their targets is yours truly. On Sunday, July 7, a Pakistani Islamist newspaper, The Nation, ran a back page ISI-inspired story accusing me of being an agent of the Indian and Israeli secret intelligence agencies, RAW and Mossad.

      I assume the intent was to silence me. It didn’t.

      Ayesha Siddiqa and I are not the only ones in the ISI crosshairs. Recently the host of an ethnic TV show in Urdu complained a Toronto-based Pakistani diplomat was harassing him and had referred to Pakistani Canadian journalists as “prostitutes” and “Indian agents.”

      The ISI makes no qualms about its hit squads. Appearing before a commission investigating the U.S. Abbotabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the then- ISI boss threatened its critics, saying those who criticized the ISI should fear the ISI.

      The ISI has no business targeting Canadian citizens. The sooner Canada expels this vermin from our land, the better it will be. Our federal government should send a clear message to Islamabad: “Your goons are not welcome in Canada, even if they hide under the burka of diplomatic titles.” 




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