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The Long History Of US Special Ops Disguised As American Diplomats In Pakistan
John Arso, Pickel Robin Kenneth, Lister Douglas Michael, Clen Denen Jason Robert and Steele Jr Richard Earl, James Bill Koeen and Charlie Benzic are the names of some of the US ‘diplomats’ arrested in Pakistan over the past three years. What were four US ‘diplomats’ carrying M-4 machine guns and wearing Pakhtun clothes and beards doing entering the Pakistani capital coming from the Afghan border?
ANSAR ABBASI | Thursday | 3 February 2011 | The News International
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Although, the latest Lahore “adventure” of armed US ‘diplomats’ is very serious, there have been repeated incidents of US government employees posted in Pakistan carrying weapons in public. According to an intelligence report, published by The News, on June 23, 2009, a double-cabin vehicle coming from the NWFP [now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa] passed through a police checkpost at Golra headed for Islamabad where the police tried to stop it for checking but it did not stop. The police passed on a wireless message to the next checkpost considering it a suspicious vehicle. It was intercepted at a check post at Khyber Chowk, G-9/4.
The report said that three American diplomats namely Jeffery, Jeffdic and James Bill Koeen and a driver named Charlie Benzic belonging to Regional Security Section of the US Embassy were found in the vehicle. They were wearing Shalwar Kameez, had beards, were in Pakhtun clothes and carrying four M-4 machine guns and four 9 mm pistols. The report, however, said that on the intervention of the then SP Sadar, the vehicle was allowed to go.
MEET JOHN ARSO
In yet another incident, according to the report, on August 5, 2009, Inspector Hakim Khan of Islamabad Police was passing through a checkpost near the US Embassy along with his wife in a private car, he was stopped by a US security official John Arso and was abused. Once the police inspector told the US official that the latter could not check vehicles on a public road, the US diplomat took out his pistol and said that he could do anything anywhere in Pakistan.
Hakim Khan later formally reported the matter and lodged a complaint with his superiors. No criminal proceedings were initiated against the American but he was sent back to Washington.
According to a media report, it was considered to get John Arso declared persona non grata and the matter was also referred to the Foreign Office but before the FO could proceed on the matter, the Islamabad Police high ups and the US Embassy resolved the matter by reaching a compromise.
DUTCH CARRY WEAPONS,
AMERICANS COME FOR RESUCE
Last year, when two Dutch diplomats were caught red handed while carrying weapons, including hand-grenades, in Islamabad they were allowed to go scot-free despite Foreign Office spokesman’s clear statement that no foreign diplomat, whether American or Dutch or belonging to any other country, was permitted to carry weapons within the territorial limits of Pakistan.
On that occasion, the Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit was quoted to have said that those diplomats who were still carrying weapons were behaving inconsistently with the law of the land.
Interestingly, in the last year’s Dutch diplomats’ case, the Secretariat police formally lodged the complaint against them besides nominating in the report a US embassy’s local employee, Sunny Christopher, a Pakistani citizen, for unnecessarily intervening into the Dutch diplomats’ episode. Pakistani police officials were threatened by Pakistanis working for US embassy of dire consequences if Americans and Dutch carrying grenades in Islamabad were not released.
Some newspaper reports suspect a Dutch-US connection. Some allege that the Dutch were transporting the weapons to the US Embassy. However, US Embassy spokesman had denied these reports.
A US MARINE RIDICULES PAKISTAN
RIGHT BEHIND ZARDARI’S OFFICE
In yet another incident, on August 12, 2009 a young Pakistani boy, living in the Diplomatic Enclave, along with his two friends was passing through a private security checkpost near the US Embassy on a Suzuki car when a US Marine, who was jogging along with his wife, on the same road, stopped the car and broke it side mirror by kicking at it.
The Marine, the report said, also abused the boy and the host country too. The young boy and his friends protested following which the US Marine got them detained by the local security guards present there. They were allowed to go after 40 minutes of detention but only with caution that they would never drive again on that particular road.
US VIGILANTE ACTION
IN THE HEART OF ISLAMABAD
In another incident, on August 26, 2009, one Mohsin Bukhari, owner of Shell petrol pump, Sector F-6 (Super Market) was stopped by two US nationals at the traffic signal on the Agha Khan Road, near Marriot Hotel after some routine road driving tension. He was asked to show his identity and then taken to his petrol pump and questioned for 30 minutes after a team of security staff from the US Embassy also joined the two Americans.
According to the intelligence report, Bukhari is the nephew of Syed Nayyer Bukhari, the Leader of the House in the Senate.
In yet another incident, the report said, on August 28, 2009 at about 14:00 hours, two vehicles of US Embassy (one five door Prado and one double cabin) were intercepted by the local police on the Kashmir Highway near Peshawar Mor. The vehicles had fake number plates. Initially, the passengers of the vehicles resisted checking but later following the arrival of some security officials, they were requested to allow the police to check them as per the law of the land.
Upon checking, four Americans, who were identified as Pickel Robin Kenneth, Lister Douglas Michael, Clen Denen Jason Robert and Steele Jr Richard Earl, introduced themselves as US Army officials. They were carrying four M-4 rifles and ammunition with them. They did not have any license or authority letter for carrying these weapons.
Upon inquiry, they told that they were working with the Frontier Corps, NWFP, but failed to produce any evidence in support of their statement. They were accompanied by one Ahmedullah, an Afghan national, who is said to be living in the US Embassy without any valid travel document or passport. He just carried a letter from the US Embassy.
This report is adapted from a longer article by the author published in The News International.
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