'Each man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world'
-- Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms

'Artists are tricky fellows sir, forever shaping the world according to some design of their own'
-- Jonathan Strange, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Pakistani motorcyclists and military aid

27th January 2011: Two men pull up on a motorcycle alongside the vehicle of Raymond Davis a CIA contractor, in Lahore. Davis pulls a weapon and shoots one dead, pursues the other and kills him, too. It is reported that Davis is released after the US pays $10 million to the victims' families and promises green cards.

2nd May 2011: According to Reuters, after the death of Osama Bin Laden, the first person to be made aware of American operations was General Kayani, phoned by Mike Mullen at 3 am.

16th May 2011: Karachi, Hassan al-Khatani is driving from the Saudi consulate, a motorcycle with two men on pulls up alongside his vehicle. He is gunned down, police say with a 9mm pistol

10th July 2011: The US suspends approximately a third of its military aid to Pakistan, approximately $800 million, citing 'difficulties'. Since, the ISI have been playing a dangerous game, telling media that the US is going to restore aid and promise to respect Pakistani sovereignty. 

Of all the ups and downs that have happened in the recent past months and that have led to this suspension of part of the military aid package, the two motorcycle incidents sum up the international nature of the displeasure and, even though there's no evidence, suggest the ISI is dispensing its own justice. 

It was probably the Saudis applying at least some pressure to the US through backchannels that added weight to suspend some of the aid package and that the motorcycle incidents are tips of a larger iceberg of espionage retaliation that is going on after the bin Laden affair. 

Bear in mind, it isn't just the Americans that are angry - the Saudis have borne some of the fall-out and Pakistan is playing a very dangerous game: it's siding with its militant proxies.

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