Persona non grata: US agrees to recall 331 ‘diplomatic staffers’

Published: March 24, 2011
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Most of these persons were found to be involved in espionage activities.

Most of these persons were found to be involved in espionage activities.

LAHORE: 

According to a deal reached between relevant officials of Pakistan and the US in exchange for the release of US national Raymond Davis, as many as 331 US officials, most of whom are suspected of being engaged in espionage under diplomatic cover, have been identified to leave the country.

Pakistani authorities, The Express Tribune learnt, have agreed that these US officials would not be declared ‘persona non grata’ if they left the country voluntarily within a stipulated time.

Previously, Pakistan was almost ready to summarily expel these persons, who have various levels of diplomatic immunity, as most of them were issued Pakistani visas without getting prior No-Objection Certificates (NOC) following Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), sources familiar with the matter revealed.

According to the Standard Operating Procedures, all embassy and consulate staff  working under different diplomatic covers like contractors, consultants, technicians and administrative staff were required to be vetted by relevant officials before issuing them visas.

Pakistani officials while handing over a list to the US officials had demanded that these US officials should be recalled immediately.

When Pakistan was assured that they will leave the country within the stipulated period, it extended assurances that these US officials will not be declared persona non grata.

This was one of the salient features of the secret deal which is also said to include a substantial increase in aid, weapons and mandatory scrutiny of all persons seeking diplomatic immunity.

Intelligence officials said that Pakistani authorities had been trying to “trap someone to expose the cover of these consultants and technicians in front of the world community and Pakistani people”.

With the help of this achievement, Pakistan has successfully neutralised operatives of ‘friends’ (allies in the war in terrorism) involved in anti-state activities against our sovereignty.

The Express Tribune learnt that Pakistan has devised “an adequate response policy to counter the severity of our friends’ reaction”.

An official, who is privy to these developments, said that most of the suspected persons on the list were “involved in suspicious activities, including photographing and filming of sensitive installations like air bases (Warsak, near Peshawar and Multan), defence bunkers along the Pakistan-India border near Lahore, recruiting persons supporting their activities and launching local people for suspicious activities by offering lucrative benefits”.

Sources familiar with the issue said that Raymond Davis case had firmly established the veracity of some Pakistani authorities’ insistence on stopping “out-of-context additions” of diplomatic immunity in Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • americanview
    Mar 24, 2011 - 10:07AM

    dont think US cant stop all aid to pakistan and bring it downRecommend

  • Ashok
    Mar 24, 2011 - 10:23AM

    Enjoy reading the following four pages and you’ll understand what this is all about:

    http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete’ async defer=’defer911timeline&geopoliticsand9/11=isi

    RegardsRecommend

  • Ashok
    Mar 24, 2011 - 10:38AM

    Note to moderator: Please adjust the link I attached earlier so that it works when someone clicks on it. It is a critical part of this geopolitical puzzle.Recommend

  • Ashok
    Mar 24, 2011 - 10:40AM

    Here is the correct link:

    http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?startpos=0&geopolitics’ async defer=’deferand9/11=isi&timeline=complete911timelineRecommend

  • Zulfiqar Haider
    Mar 24, 2011 - 10:41AM

    Whats the authenticity of this news report?Recommend

  • ba ha
    Mar 24, 2011 - 10:59AM

    Our embassy in Washington also has to be strengthened with better personnel, who can independently verify credentials of these so called consultants/insult-ants. The present ambassador is just a lackey of the US and must also be replaced “like yesterday”. I believe Raymond Davis may have been really high up in the “pecking order” and we lost a good chance water-boarding some info out of him.Recommend

  • John
    Mar 24, 2011 - 11:04AM

    Well, several informations in this news:

    “Pakistan authorities have been trying to trap someone to expose in front of the world communities and Pakistani people…..”

    So the two persons who RD killed were indeed PAK ISI set up. If that is the case, the PAK indeed sacrificed two agents in this episode, whether they are innocent robber civilians or ISI agents, and RD’s claim that he acted in self defense becomes more credible. It is unfortunate another innocent by stander in the pavement got killed in this Spy Vs Spy drama.

    ” the deal reached include more aid, more ammunition …….”
    Not sure if it ever will legitimately happen after this expulsion.

    ” Voluntary expulsion of 331 ” diplomatic personnel”

    So the deal reached with Musharraf regime is not honored? If US agrees to withdraw her “diplomatic staff” who entered previously, then it indicates there is a rift between the institutions in PAK. The story in ET that the whole RD saga was done to discredit elected government becomes more credible now.
    So then who paid the blood money and are the families of the victims are really given US residency?I doubt it. The US congress will rip the issue apart once this issue is known fully and secretary Clinton is not going to lie about it when the question is asked in US senate committee hearing.

    As I noted in previous news report, once the US Justice department investigation starts and US media digs into it, the out come will be more embarrassing to PAK institutions than US. Looks like Kargil all over again, and this time the PAK picked a wrong one in their view that PAK is indispensable to US in war on terror.

    It looks like Mr. Musharraf buddies orchestrated the whole thing and once the diplomats come come, the senate investigation will start and it will be the best drama.

    So the sum total. Who is the winner? ” Diplomates going home” – Draw

    US- PAK relationship: PAK lost. Diplomates going back from Afghanistan: US winner.

    Drone strike stopping- PAK looses. Democracy – PAK lost .

    PAK honor restoration: PAK wins. US – careless.

    Will US Public ever receive PAK delegation with the same warmth after diplomatic expulsion: No. Remember the Iran Hostage crisis in 1970s. PAK : lost

    What an idiotic calculations from PAK institution. Why did they simply go and show the evidence to US consulate that the actions of “the Diplomates” were no longer in PAK interest as they see it now? ”

    One care be sure they did, but the elected Govt felt that their assessment were incorrect and decided to ignore.

    So the option : engineer the situation to discredit and trap. But the institution underestimated, and it terribly back fired.
    Forget increased aid or ammunition. So goes the PAK nuclear tech transfer from US ambition, have eventually happened on 15-20 years.

    China in rescue? Do not count on it. US-China are closer than what China is to PAK. Money talks and trade is far more important than self centered diplomatic relationships.

    Now what: US/NATO/ India Aid to Afghanistan will increase, and US will be in Afghanistan with all the “expelled Diplomates” entering freely from the west.

    End result : PAK lost, by her own institution. George Fulton was right in his analysis. The PAK institution will be the cause of PAK demise.

    PAK people lost. Sad. IMF loan – will be a miracle.

    All hail to honor and glory! Recommend

  • DIG.
    Mar 24, 2011 - 11:20AM

    For this reason our agencies must be allowed to do their homework well. Foreign office and other departments if required must take due responsibility and intelligence must keep their eyes & ears attentive as is done in other countries.Recommend

  • nasir
    Mar 24, 2011 - 11:23AM

    Do they actually require to take photographs of sensitive areas when eveything is available on Google Map for ordinary citizens./ I am sure the super power must have some much modren technology to monitor our activities. I strongly recommend to the journalists that they should watch hollywood movies to know the modren techniques of intellegience available to the secret agencies. Recommend

  • Gill
    Mar 24, 2011 - 12:12PM

    This appears to be good outcome of the Raymond Davis issue and I think more details should be shared with the public so that the unrest created on this account could be minimized.Recommend

  • Danish
    Mar 24, 2011 - 12:46PM

    There is a lot of difference between hollywood movies and ground realityRecommend

  • Ajmal Malik
    Mar 24, 2011 - 12:49PM

    There is lot of difference between movies and ground reality if in movies all the real then why Usama Bib Laden not book by CIA ,FBI Recommend

  • pakpinoy
    Mar 24, 2011 - 1:50PM

    @John:
    Great post! Pakistan is treating one of their few “quasi-friends” worse than most treat their enemies. Without US support, Pak has no chance of success, maybe not even survival. Don’t think China, Saudi Arabia or any other “friend” will come to their rescue. Economics and trade trump diplomatic self-interest, as you aptly state, every time for mature states.

    It is also so true and so ironic that the very thing Pak is mostly “having a tantrum” over is the very thing the US could give a rat’s a$$ about >> GHAIRAT!! Focus on pride & ego in international relations (or human relations for that matter!) produces catastrophic results.

    Sometimes I think Pakistan as a nation screams to the world — “YOU HAVE TO RESPECT ME!!” The world replies, “what have you done to earn such respect, to deserve such honor?” “Ummm, let me think of something…well, I’m not sure, but you still MUST RESPECT ME AND TREAT ME WITH HONOR!!” The world scratches its global head unsure of what to do with such a childish demand for respect without having earned it…Recommend

  • Javed
    Mar 24, 2011 - 3:46PM

    So they leave. What will the conspiracy theorists come up with next? They’ve so far been blaming all extremism on “foreign agents”.Recommend

  • V. C. Bhutani
    Mar 24, 2011 - 5:05PM

    I am amazed at the original report in The Express Tribune and the comments from John, who seems to be an American, and pakpinoy, who may be a Pakistani. Read together, the three nearly shake everything that one had ordinarily come to associate with matters concerning Pakistan.
    This is hardly the occasion to go into everything that can be said on the subject. Please allow me to offer some observations.
    It will serve no useful purpose for Pakistan to imagine, as the Pakistan army chief thinks, that India means to destabilize Pakistan. This is not in India’s interest in any way. In fact, unrest and instability in Pakistan shall be a source of worry for India. It would be short-sighted for India to attempt anything in that direction.
    But it is also true that many of Pakistan’s policies and decisions in all of its 64 years have been taken in the hope and calculation that Pakistan would thereby reap some advantages. Unfortunately, this never happened. I used to think in my inexpert way – I am only a student of history, which I used to teach until my retirement – that although India and Pakistan started from the same starting line, they reached very different destinations. Secondly, I observed that not much had been done in Pakistan for the development of the people. As such, there was enormous disparity of resources between the two countries, which I used to think was in the proportion of 1 to 10. I recently read informed writing on the subject making out that the proportion may be something like 1 to 9. Coming from experts, this was not very far from my guess. With that kind of disparity, it is hardly in Pakistan’s interest to go on picking up wars with India as it has done four times in the past – with disastrous consequences for Pakistan all along the line.
    The good of the people of the subcontinent lies in cooperation and goodwill and not in continued warfare.
    Let me also take this opportunity to submit that Pakistan shall do well to abandon terror as the principal instrument of its policies. It has already begun to eat into Pakistan’s own vitals. Terror is a tiger that Pakistan has been riding for at least 20 years. It has been my view expressed several times over the years that Pakistan would find it difficult to dismount the tiger. Pakistan has created a monster which it cannot control: the monster shows all signs of turning on its creator.
    V. C. Bhutani Delhi, India, Mar 24 2011, 1735 ISTRecommend

  • Tariq J. Qureshi
    Mar 24, 2011 - 6:04PM

    @John: Yes it was all a win-win for USA…. but at the cost of every person killed in Pakistan. That is where the issue is. 9/11 may have killed 3000 people but since that day over 100,000 killed in Iraq, over 100,000 killed in Afghanistan, over 35000 killed in Pakistan.
    The lifeline of US and AFPAK forces in Afghanistan passes through Pakistan, and that was the reason insurgency was created in Pakistan to show it as a common problem…unfortunately you have to be on ground to see what is happening! No US citizen will like to be in the shoes of Pakistani’s….Recommend

  • Mar 24, 2011 - 6:59PM

    Love with America,
    and sink your boat in between.

    History is just a great ocean,
    and you find many boats of lovers
    in between Sharks.Recommend

  • Bogus Story
    Mar 24, 2011 - 7:03PM

    If the ISI wants to show that Pakistan got “a good deal” regarding this farce with Raymond Davis, then:

    1) the USA must withdraw its drones from Pakistan

    2) shut down its 18 ACRE military base in Islamabad, posing as an Embassy

    3) pay tariffs and tolls to transport goods to Afghanistan

    4) must agree and publicly advocate for Pakistan to annex the Wakhan Corridor

    5) pass UN Security Council Resolution on the complete independence of Kashmir from India or complete international sanctions on India

    Otherwise, the ISI betrayed Pakistan.Recommend

  • Zahid Qureshi
    Mar 24, 2011 - 8:04PM

    1- What surprises me is the fact that this is not reported in any other website or Newspaper……well yes it’s mentioned in some indian papers but not in pakistani

    2- I would love to check the authenticity of this report…….

    If this news item is true, then it explains why ISI chief is getting extension after extension in his job….. let me explain

    what used to amaze me, is the extention in the term of ISI Chief even after successive bomb explosions in pakistan during his tenure as ISI Chief…….

    I congratulate Pasha for his success if this news item is trueRecommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Mar 24, 2011 - 9:03PM

    Who wrote this fairy tale Hans Christian Andersen, The Brothers Grimm, Charles Perraut or may be Sherazade! Sorry none of the above authors as this is not a fairy tale but dilligent approach to the problem by two players who have no assets like our NRO Heroes and will not
    launder their uniform in public. As long as Zardari’s man in Washington DC continues to play as his Master wants, Then we will continue to face such problems best that he return to his job
    in Boston and a mature career diplomat with no political links handle this difficult job. Mr Obama
    has completely failed to honor his pre-election promises and seems all set to follow the neocon
    agenda. However the ” Immune Diplomats” must be placed in special quarantine and flown out
    before Uncle Sam plays April Fool with us?Recommend

  • FM Shah
    Mar 24, 2011 - 10:05PM

    Pre-planned drama of CIA/State Deptt and their puppets (Army Generals, Politicians , Bureaucrats etc) ruling in Islamabad, Lahore, Pindi and Peshawar in order to save their face in front of masses after the Davis affairs.Recommend

  • Mar 24, 2011 - 11:36PM

    The PPP let these foreign mercenaries come in so they can over throw the Pak military with their help. The PPP never thought the ISI would know about the issuance of illegal visas to these contractors till Raymond Davis blew their cover. Recommend

  • Ashok
    Mar 25, 2011 - 12:50AM
  • Ali Haider
    Mar 25, 2011 - 3:04AM

    @Americanview: Stopping of American aid will not bring Pakistan down. Come out of your dreams. If anything it will lift Pakistan up. I hope America stops giving aid to us.Recommend

  • omar yusaf
    Mar 25, 2011 - 6:42AM

    @Ashok: This is a dead link. Can you post a live lead to the article? Thanks.Recommend

  • omar yusaf
    Mar 25, 2011 - 6:46AM

    @Ashok: Sorry. Saw the link in the ‘correction”. Thanks for raising the issue and getting it resolved.Recommend

  • omar yusaf
    Mar 25, 2011 - 6:47AM

    @Ashok: I give up :))))Recommend

  • Khan
    Mar 25, 2011 - 7:37PM

    @ Ashok

    stop spamming!Recommend

  • Ashok
    Mar 25, 2011 - 10:57PM

    Omar Yusaf,

    Apologies – when I pasted the first two links here, the underscores went missing and the links went dead. The last link I posted (the one with the word ‘abbas’) should work since the original link did not contain any underscores. However, this only takes you to a few relevant entries, not the entire four pages

    I imagine that other people were able to access the dead links by copying the dead part of the link and pasting them on a google search which should point you to the correct link.

    In any case, here’s how to access the full four pages directly –

    Go to http://www.historycommons.org
    On the bottom portion of the page, on the right hand side, click on ‘complete 911 timeline’ under ‘most viewed projects’
    On the left hand side, you should find a link titled ‘Pakistan and the ISI (384)’ under the subheading ‘Geopolitics and Islamic Militancy’. Click on the link ‘Pakistan and the ISI (384)’ and you should be able to access the full four pages with all the entries.

    My purpose is to inform and educate, not to spam. Please let me know if you were able to access the relevant webpage.

    RegardsRecommend

  • pakpinoy
    Mar 26, 2011 - 2:56PM

    @V. C. Bhutani:
    Nice comments. Actually, I’m an American as well. But I lived and worked in Pakistan many years and still make frequent trips there and to your country for business purposes.

    I gave my heart and soul to the people of that land — learned language(s), immersed myself in the culture and society. I have a strong bond to the people of that land, so I speak as a “wounded lover” more than a stoic critic…Recommend

  • Ashok
    Mar 26, 2011 - 9:09PM

    VC Bhutani,

    You don’t seem to understand Pakistan despite all these years of wisdom that you have gained. India draws its values from a civilization – from a cultural legacy stemming from that civilization to be more precise. Pakistan draws its values from an ideology. Please think about what that means. You so far, like many others, call for peace, but you don’t seem to understand that the ideology of Pakistan does not allow for that. It is the driving force and motivation that results from that ideology that will never give India (and increasingly, other parts of the world) the desired peace for which you seek. You seem to understand (or not understand) the many events that negatively affect India coming from Pakistan, but you don’t understand the underlying process generating those events. Please understand that I’m not criticizing you, a well meaning and well read person, just for the sake of criticizing. I just see a lot of confusion from India regarding “peace”. Calling for peace, and achieving peace, are two very different things.Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Mar 27, 2011 - 11:04AM

    @Ashok:
    How wrong you are with feeble-mind! When you place all Pakistanis as believers in ideology.
    In fact it is a small group that both India and Pakistan possess namely the politicians. Talking of
    civilization, we can go back to 8,000BC in this region now known as Pakistan the cradle of Civilization, name it MehrGhar(Baluchistan) Mohenjo Daro(Sind) Harrappa(Punjab) and Ghandara
    where I come from. They all go back from 5000 to 8000BC. When you riot in Gujerat is it based on clash of civilization or the vedic ideology? Don’t tell me that the glory of Krishna and Kali plays no role, come Ashok your namesake decided to put on the saffron robes and put the
    Mahabaharta Ideology away. Stop wearing the theatrical mask and and refrain from spewing a venom that could kill your soul first.Recommend

  • V. C. Bhutani
    Mar 29, 2011 - 10:33AM

    Not all commenters write with a sense of responsibility and sobriety. Many do. I would beg to hold on to my basic position that the good of the subcontinent lies in promoting cooperation and not confrontation between countries of the region.
    All kinds of accusations against India have been made from time to time. We cannot hope to convert people to think with some kindness about India and Indians. All societies have their problems, and societies find their solutions over time. Some take less time, some take more time. In the history of international relations there have been countries that were locked in hereditary warfare for generations but are now together in their region, in peace and cooperation. Hopefully, better days may dawn for peoples of the subcontinent.
    We need to stop thinking in terms of black or white. Let us remember that there are several shades in between. Besides, there is no such thing as permanent adversaries. Countries and peoples that are not friendly today may come to be friendly after some time. The important thing to remember is that it will not help to call in external factors to resolve our mutual problems. Outsiders can only further complicate matters. They shall not advance matters towards resolution.
    V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, Mar 29 2011, 1103 ISTRecommend

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