November 1, 2012 Special Dispatch No. 5036

Former Pakistani Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz: Attack On Malala Yousafzai 'May Be The Handiwork Of American Agents'; Urdu Daily Alleges American Conspiracy Behind Malala's Anti-Taliban Diaries

November 1, 2012
Pakistan | Special Dispatch No. 5036

Malala Yousafzai at hospital in the UK.

In a recent interview, former Pakistani interior minister Lt.-Gen. (retired) Hamid Nawaz argued that the October 9, 2012 Taliban attack on 14-year-old Pakistani education and women's rights activist Malala Yousafzai may have been carried out by American agents like Raymond Davis, the CIA agent who was held in Pakistan for killing two Pakistani nationals in Lahore and later released.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack on Malala Yousafzai, accusing her of advancing Western interests in Pakistan after she opposed the Taliban's total ban on girls' education in early 2009 in a series of anonymous online diaries. The diaries, which she wrote for the BBC's Urdu language service and were published in early 2009, described how the Taliban was enforcing Islamic shari'a rule in Swat district. She is now recovering at a hospital in Britain.

Lt.-Gen. (retired) Hamid Nawaz's interview was published October 19, 2012 by the Urdu-language daily Roznama Ummat, in a report titled "American Agents Like Raymond Davis Could Be Involved In The Attack On Malala." In it, Hamid Nawaz also argues against a military operation on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda hideouts in Pakistan's North Waziristan district.

A few days earlier, on October 15, the newspaper published a conspiracy-theory report stating that the anonymous online diaries by Malala Yousafzai were part of a pre-conceived plan against Pakistan. The report, titled "Malala's Diaries Were Written By The BBC Reporter," also observed: "The aim was to create hatred against all the Taliban in the name of Swat fighters. After the popularity of the diaries, the [BBC] bureau chief was promoted to become news producer. In return for this 'mission,' Malala's father was said to be given lots of money from U.S. and British NGOs. Popularity was the bonus."

Excerpts from both reports are given below.

"American Agents Like Raymond Davis Could Be Involved In The Attack On Malala" – Roznama Ummat, Pakistan, October 19, 2012

"It May Be Uncovered Through Some WikiLeaks Revelation… [That The Attack On Malala Yousafzai] May Be The Handiwork Of American Agents Like Raymond Davis"

Question: "What do you think about the Malala incident? Is it an incident, or was it carried out under some plan, or was a U.S. agent like Raymond Davis used in this?

Hamid Nawaz: "Intelligence operations are very deep. The thing you are talking about carries much weight. Apparently, it [i.e. the attack on Malala Yousafzai] has been shown as a big atrocity. But it really they who have claimed that they are responsible for it? It has been greatly stressed, but what is the reality behind it?

"Perhaps many years later it will be uncovered through some WikiLeaks revelation... that [the attack] may be the handiwork of American agents like [CIA agent] Raymond Davis."

"A Few Thousand U.S. Troops Who Fight Traditional War Will Exit [Afghanistan In 2014] – Giving The World The Impression That The U.S. Is Completely Out"

Question: "The U.S. has promised to leave Afghanistan by 2014. Do you see any chances of the U.S. doing so?"

Hamid Nawaz: "In fact, the U.S. will not leave. [That is,] NATO forces and the U.S. ground forces will [indeed] leave, but the Americans will leave three things behind them.

"[First, they will leave] the setup of drones, which are 200 to 400 in number, and are operating in this area. The Americans are not taking them away; they will remain.

"The second system [that will remain] is the U.S. Special Task Forces, which carry out operations like Abbotabad [i.e. the killing of Osama bin Laden]; 15,000 Special Forces troops will remain at the Bagram airbase. A task force consists of 40 to 50 personnel… There are 300 task forces which carry out operations in Afghanistan, as we have seen, they carried out the operation in Abbotabad and we could do nothing. Americans are leaving these dangerous forces behind them.

"The third system is the cyber-weapon system, which creates problems in computers. The U.S. capability has increased much in cyber warfare. Their experts in the U.S. have set Iran back 10 years, by creating problems in Iranian computers through cyber-weapons. The Americans claim that Iran would have become a nuclear power if they had not done so, [saying,] 'This is the work of our [U.S.] cyber-weapons, that their [Iran's] computers have been destroyed.' They have created the problem sitting in the U.S., through cyber-weapons in all of [Iran's] centrifuge grid stations where computers and the latest technologies are used.

"What would be the significance of their exiting [Afghanistan] if the Americans leave these three systems behind them in Afghanistan? A few thousand U.S. troops who fight traditional war will exit [Afghanistan in 2014] – giving the world the impression that the U.S. is completely out. But the U.S. capability of creating devastation will remain intact, and they will keep backing the Afghan security forces."

"The Outcome Of A [Military] Operation In North Waziristan Would Not Be Good, And The [Pakistan] Army Would Be Trapped…. The American Interest Is That If Pakistan Suffers A Loss, Let It Be, But Let The U.S. Interest Be Served"

Question: "The demand for operations in North Waziristan is growing. What do you think? Is it public demand or is it U.S. pressure?"

Hamid Nawaz: "The outcome of a [military] operation in North Waziristan would not be good, and [Pakistan] Army would be trapped there. The American interest is that if Pakistan suffers a loss, let it be, but let the U.S. interest be served. The U.S. thinks that there are Taliban and Al-Qaeda bases in North Waziristan, and its priority is to destroy them.

"Even if Pakistan fulfils the U.S. aspiration by bearing great losses, the situation would be under control only temporarily, and when the troops leave the area five or six years later, then the areas of Swat and South and North Waziristan will face the same situation they faced at the time of the operation."

"I Don't Say That There Will Be No Foreigners [i.e. Non-Pakistani Militants In North Waziristan] But That They Will Be In Limited Numbers"; "Why Is There A Need To Send [Pakistani] Forces… To Defeat Them?"

Question: "But the government must have some policy for its rehabilitation in case of any operation?"

Hamid Nawaz: "Where is the policy? Policies which take care of all the possibilities and all the aspects of what is to be done after an operation [against militants]. For example, if the army carries out a surgical strike [against the Taliban], then the federal and provincial governments must make arrangements to win people's hearts... and solve people's problem, help the people, and create a civil system for peace. The government does nothing but make statements.

"Now plans are being made to attack North Waziristan, on the pretext of the Malala incident. Some mentally ill people created such a big issue by attacking Malala. But through a media campaign on this attack, and by inviting U.S. supporters [to speak on television on the issue], the path is being paved in support of the U.S. [demand on Pakistan to attack the Taliban in North Waziristan]. Parliament's unanimous resolution is the only voice of the nation [regarding how to deal with the Taliban]. The voices that are coming through media are not the true voices of the nation. But even today, the government is trying to act as per the U.S. wishes, as it used to do earlier...

"In case of any operation in North Waziristan, the general election [of 2013] will be postponed, which is not in our national interest. If this decision is to be taken, then it should be taken with great consideration and it should be very strong, so that it reassures the people; it should not be to go into attack mode and kill your own people [i.e. the Taliban]. I don't say that there will be no foreigners [i.e. non-Pakistani militants in North Waziristan], but that they will be in limited numbers, and that American drones are already after them. Why is there a need to send [Pakistani] forces … to defeat them?

"Instead, a comprehensive policy should be drawn up, and people should be taken into confidence, and only then should there be any decision [on whether or not to attack the Taliban]. In fact, such a big decision should not be made on the pretext of the Malala incident. The media should also think about giving priority to the Pakistani interest rather than to the U.S. interest."

"The [Pakistan] Army Has Told The Federal Government Many Times That We Should Not Carry Out Any Operation In North Waziristan, At Any Cost"

Question: "The U.S. envoy [i.e. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan] Marc Grossman is visiting Pakistan. Is he coming with any fresh message, and will there be increase in the U.S. pressure on Pakistan?"

Hamid Nawaz: "There has been pressure on the [Pakistan] Army and government earlier too. The army told the federal government many times that we should not carry out any operation in North Waziristan at any cost. However, now the form of pressure is changing. The U.S. wants to pressure the government through the media. It remains to be seen how the people react.

"This is a big question. If the people of the nation are not ready for that, then the government could bear this U.S. pressure even now, as they have borne it in the past two and a half years. We should take a decision that is in Pakistan's interest, not the U.S. interest. If we decide to take a decision in our interest, then there remains no issue."

Question: "The Americans are contacting the Muslim League (N) and Tehreek-e-Insaf to win their support for the operation in North Waziristan. Do you think that these political parties will agree on this issue?"

Hamid Nawaz: "In my view, both the Muslim League and Tehreek-e-Insaf will resist the U.S. demand, but the parties which are allies of the government will throw their weight in favor of the government, and all the opposition parties will oppose it, and thus the U.S. attempts in this regard will be in vain."

"Malala's Diaries Were Written By The BBC Reporter" – Roznama Ummat, Pakistan, October 15, 2012

"Malala Yousafzai's Diaries Against The Taliban Were Written By Then-BBC Peshawar Bureau Chief"; "The Aim Of Those Diaries Was To Create Hatred Against All The Taliban"

"Malala Yousafzai's diaries against the Taliban were written by the then-BBC Peshawar bureau chief.[1] He wrote this diary in the name of Gul Makai, one of his relatives, and got it released by the BBC after consultation with Malala's father. The aim of those diaries was to create hatred against all the Taliban on the pretext of Swat fighters [i.e. Taliban militants who were enforcing Islamic shari'a rule in early 2009 in Swat district]. This bureau chief was sent to Prague as news producer of the U.S. propaganda Radio Mashal, in reward for his service.

"One of the sources at BBC headquarters, Bush House in London, has revealed that these diaries were written by one of its correspondents, who was then bureau chief in Peshawar, in the name of Malala Yusufzai. He was from Quetta. He had close relationship with Malala's father Ziauddin Yousafzai, who was running a school in Swat.

"Ziauddin is a greedy and ambitious man. The BBC bureau chief met with him and persuaded him to release the diary in Malala's name and said that he would get it aired by the BBC and would post it on its website.

"Ziauddin agreed for three reasons. [One,] he was promised a large sum of money from U.S. and British NGOs in return. Secondly, children and women are not beaten in the Pashtun community; therefore, there would be no danger in using Malala, as people don't bear animosity against women and children even in the case of life-threatening enmity. They can go anywhere openly. Thirdly, Ziauddin was seeking popularity for himself and for Malala in this guise. So he agreed, and diaries were released in the name of Malala.

"If the diaries that gained popularity are carefully analyzed, it seems that it is impossible for them to have been written by a seventh-grader. They clearly indicate that they have been written by some mature person, who has something to do with literature or media. The print-outs of these diaries could be taken from the BBC Urdu website. It is most probable that the BBC bureau chief must have given his diary to get it copied by some girl or Malala [herself] to make sure it was in female handwriting.

"If the diary and Swat operation [that followed against the Taliban in mid-2009] are analyzed, then many mistakes crop up. There was the peace deal [between the government and the Taliban] in Swat on February 16. The Taliban declared a ceasefire on February 24. Operation Black Thunderstorm began May 5. The diaries under Malala's name began January 9 on the BBC website [i.e. much earlier than the ceasefire].

"The first entry is dated January 3, while another was dated Sunday, January 4. On the 5th, the diary mentions TV. The Taliban announced the closure of schools January 15, 2009 (which was later rescinded). But Malala's diary mentions the closure of the schools 12 days prior to that. How was this possible? If the details of the diary are taken to be true, then the Taliban had made no announcement till that time. How could Malala receive this 'revelation' 12 days in advance? And the information [in the diaries] about markets could never even be dreamed by a seventh-grade girl.

"The operation began in May, but there was no diary during the whole of April. However, the tensest month was the month of April only."

"Malala's Father Ziauddin Yousafzai Brought Malala Before The Media After The Diary Became Public"; "Ziauddin Began Successfully Using His Daughter"; "When These Diaries Got U.S. Media Attention, There Was A Shower Of Rewards For Her"

"It should also be noted that the Taliban had issued an order only for the closure of government schools, not for private schools, which remained open as normal. Malala did not attend a government school, but attended her father's Khushhal Public School. But the scene she depicted in her diary is as if it is her school that has been closed down, and her education that has been stopped. But this was not the case; Malala and her fellow students kept attending school throughout this period. Khushhal Public school was not concealed from the Taliban, but it was not their policy to close down private schools.

"Malala's father Ziauddin Yousafzai brought Malala before the media after the diary became public. According to [prominent journalist] Hamid Mir, Ziauddin Yusufzai and his daughter Malala met him in Swat when he was there following the death of GEO [TV] correspondent Musa Khan Khel, and he invited them to his program Capital Talk. This was when Ziauddin began successfully using his daughter. When these diaries got U.S. media attention, there was a shower of rewards for her.

"One more reason to give the name of Malala to these diaries was that Malala is an intelligent and confident girl. She was not at all reluctant to speak before the media. When Malala reached the pinnacle of her popularity, the media, including The New York Times, made documentaries about her, published features about her, and wrote stories about her.

"Afterwards, U.S. officials agreed to provide considerable funding for the establishment of an educational and cultural center in Swat, at the suggestion of Malala's father Ziauddin. This center was to become helpful in establishing liberal thinking, open education for wome, and open society in Swat. Malala did not represent those girls who study in government schools or Taat schools [schools where students sit on sacks] and whose schools were destroyed. The BBC bureau chief took advantage of the whole play…"

"Afterwards, Malala Claimed To Have Written This Diary In The Name Of Gul Makai"; "There Was No Reason To Write This Diary"; "Ziauddin Is Hopeful That He Will Be Able To Acquire Big Sums In Malala's Name And U.S. Support To Get Malala Into Pakistani Politics In The Future"

"The name 'Gul Makai' is more common in Baluchistan or in the tribes; it is not a common name in Dir, Swat, Bajaur or Buner areas [of the region where Malala Yousafzai lived]. Most probably, she is some relative of the BBC bureau chief from Baluchistan, and the diary was released in her name only. But when he was asked for proof, then he put Malala forward after talking to Ziauddin, and this diary was declared Malala's – otherwise, the bureau chief would have lost his job. But the Americans swallowed these lies...

"Afterwards, Malala claimed to have written this diary in the name of Gul Makai. There was no reason to write this diary. Her school was not shut down and the Taliban never searched her, or other girls. The most important thing is, how were these diaries of Malala published regularly on the BBC when the [Inter]net system was shut down and phone service in Swat at that time was disrupted? How did Malala send her diaries to the BBC?

"All these facts show that an innocent girl like Malala was used by supporters of U.S. interests in Pakistan. It should be noted that when Malala met Amir Haider Khan Hoti [chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province], she told him that her idol was Bacha Khan [or Badshah Khan, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan]. When she met [then-Pakistani] prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, she said her idol was Benazir Bhutto, and when she met Americans, then [U.S. President Barack] Obama became her idol…

"The benefit of Malala Yousafzai's campaign did not reach the students of government schools, but the public school of Malala's parents benefited. The issue will remain thus, unless there is any clarification from all the three groups of the Taliban – Hakimullah Mehsud, Maulvi Nazir and Hafiz Gul Bahadur.

"The U.S. and Ziauddin benefited most from the attack on Malala. The U.S. achieved three aims, and Ziauddin [may achieve] two. [For the U.S.,] the countrywide movement against the blasphemous film [Innocence of Muslims] was suppressed and died out; the U.S. had [also] been concerned that religious parties would get the popular vote in the [2013 general] elections and that the election outcome would change the political map that it had decided for Pakistan.

[Aim No. 2 for the U.S. is that] the Taliban is categorized as a tyrant, without any distinctions. And [for Aim. No. 3,] the killing of over 40,000 women and children in drone attacks in Afghanistan and FATA are forgotten. The Pakistani media have proven the proved the tyrant as victim and victim as the tyrant. Thus the U.S. changed the game by losing its one pawn [i.e. Malala Yousafzai].

"Some British diplomatic sources say that the U.S. is leaving Afghanistan, but before doing so it will sacrifice its own pawns to achieve its goal.

"The U.S. dream of establishing an anti-Taliban center in Swat through Malala [and her father] has dissolved into thin air. However, Ziauddin is hopeful that he will be able to [achieve two aims:] to acquire large sums of money in Malala's name, and to acquire U.S. support to get Malala into Pakistani politics in the future.

"According to [unidentified] diplomatic sources, they are a small pawn in the big game…."



[1] The BBC reporter's name is not given in the original report, and is not revealed here for security reasons.

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