US Embassy Protects Dutch Diplomats Carrying Grenades In Pakistan
This happened seventeen months ago, but it is important to recall it now after the arrest of CIA agent Raymond Davis. This story establishes a pattern.
AHMED QURAISHI |Saturday | 5 March 2011
Dutch diplomats were intercepted carrying explosives near the residence of Pakistani president. The weapons were not licensed and the car number plate were fake. The real surprise came when the US Embassy in Islamabad dispatched a US embassy employee to save the Dutch diplomats.
The weapons found by Pakistani policemen were no exactly the kind one would carry for self-protection. The police recovered two 9-millimetre pistols, four magazines, two smoke grenades, two stun grenades and six bulletproof jackets. The two Dutch diplomats, identified as Tomas Smith and William Van, failed to produce any permits for the weapons.
When asked why they were carrying grenades, the Dutch diplomats claimed the grenades were for testing purposes. In a few minutes, an employee of the US embassy, Sunny Christopher, arrived in another vehicle to back up the Dutch diplomats, giving rise to the speculations that the latter might have been transporting weapons for the Americans.
Moments later, a telephone call from a senior official at the Interior Ministry ordered the police to release the Dutch diplomats and the employee of the US embassy citing diplomatic immunity.
As usual, the Interior Ministry did not consult with the Foreign Ministry about whether the foreign diplomats carrying dangerous weapons and unable to explain why should be released without a probe. The Foreign Ministry, however, made sure to summon the Dutch diplomats the next day and express concern over the diplomats running illegal weapons in the capital.
In early 1980s, two senior French diplomats were arrested and expelled from Pakistan after they confessed to working with CIA to spy on Pakistani nuclear installations.
Pakistan has a long history of foreign-backed terrorism. During the 1970s and the 1980s, Soviet KGB and Indian RAW cooperated from occupied Afghanistan in launching a wave of terror bombings in public places that killed hundreds of Pakistanis and spread chaos in the country.
Something similar is happening today. In view of this history, it was irresponsible on the part of the Interior Ministry not to probe the link between a US embassy employee and two Dutch diplomats carrying grenades in the Pakistani capital.