ISLAMABAD - The Inquiry Commission on May 2 Abbottabad Operation in its report has condemned the role of the US Embassy in Pakistan saying prima facie it compromised the diplomatic norms and customs associated with the working of an embassy.
The Commission has also discussed the role of foreign non-government organizations (NGOs) including USAID and Save the Children concluding that hostile intelligence agencies were using these NGOs for assaults on the sovereignty and independence of the country, as happened on May 2, 2011.
According to the report leaked by Al-Jazeera on its website, the Commission observed, “Its (the US Embassy in Pakistan) hiring of approximately 370 houses in Islamabad supported with a motor pool for use by CIA operatives, without informing the Foreign Office; declaring a criminal killer such as Allen Raymond Davis as a diplomat and seeking diplomatic immunity for him when he was in fact a CIA agent; not cooperating with the Punjab police in handing over the drivers belonging to their Consulate in Lahore who ran over and killed an innocent Pakistani; its dispatch of 4-5 Land Cruisers carrying personnel to participate in the Abbottabad assassination mission etc represent activities inconsistent with a diplomatic mission’s status and obligations”.
The alarming expansion and reconstruction of the US Embassy in Islamabad may pave the way for deeper US penetration in Pakistan, the report said adding that it must be ensured that official channels are employed and such matters are not left to the discretion of unaccountable institutions.
The Commission recommends that the Government of Pakistan needs to ensure that all diplomatic missions, whether of small or large countries, act in a manner consistent with their international and legal obligations and with the sovereignty, independence and laws of host country.
Discussing the role of foreign NGOs, the Commission concludes that there is often inadequate oversight and monitoring of the activities of foreign NGOs from the counterpart department of Government of Pakistan. In a number of cases, this has created opportunities which have been availed by the hostile intelligence agencies to infiltrate NGOs for the purpose of illegal intelligence gathering, including preparations for assaults on the sovereignty and independence of the country, as happened on May 2, 2011.
It also praised the role of NGOs saying that most of the NGOs including foreign NGOs are doing valuable work and have assisted the people of Pakistan in a number of fields of emergency assistance, capacity building, provision of basic services, etc. “But the role of the US government’s decision to allow the CIA to use USAID with in turn used the Save the Children in Pakistan for planning of the US assassination mission of May 2, has done incalculable harm to the environment in which perfectly respectable and indeed renowned NGOs seek to assist the government in discharging its development and humanitarian obligations to the people of Pakistan,” remarked the Commission.
The Commission observed that most of the NGOs have no internal mechanism to keep a watch on such elements that have infiltrated them for purpose unrelated to their projects in Pakistan, as almost happened in the case of Save the Children. Save the Children ran the fake vaccination campaign to get the blood samples of the family members of Osama Bin Laden for a DNA test.
The report recommended that there are number of other aspects of the working of foreign NGOs in Pakistan which need attention but hat are not directly concerned with the mandate of this Commission. It also recommended that the laws related to NGOs must be reviewed by the Ministry of law and Parliamentary Affairs and Economic Affairs Division (EAD) in order to meet present day needs. –IMRAN MUKHTAR