US fears: ‘PAF airmen sabotaging F-16s’

Published: May 21, 2011
A 2006 cable cites a senior air force official saying airmen were 
being radicalised.

A 2006 cable cites a senior air force official saying airmen were being radicalised.


According to a WikiLeaks cable, Pakistan’s airmen were being radicalised by extremists and were sabotaging Pakistani F-16s deployed for security operations along the Afghan border, NDTV reported on Friday.

The cable sent on March 2006 from the US embassy to Washington, quotes then Deputy Chief of Air Staff for Operations Air Vice Marshal Khalid Chaudhry as saying that the airmen, most of whom came from rural villages, were being radicalised by extremist clerics.

The cable quotes Chaudhry as saying, “You can’t imagine what a hard time we have trying to get them to trim their beards.”

The cable also reveals that Chaudhry claimed “to receive monthly reports of acts of petty sabotage, which he interpreted as an effort by extremists amongst the enlisted ranks to prevent PAF aircraft from being deployed in support of security operations in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata) along the Afghan border.”

According to NDTV, Chaudhry was briefing visiting US officials at the Pakistan Air Force Headquarters and impressing upon them the need to ensure “the F-16 deal has enough sweeteners to appeal to the public – a complete squadron of new F-16s, with JDAM and night-vision capability – but not to offer the PAF things that it cannot afford.”

The cable quotes Chaudhry as telling the delegation, “off the record”, that PAF aircraft were regularly called to provide air support to military and security forces when they get into tight spots in Fata … “, adding that the Army brass and the ground forces commanders would deny it.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2011.

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Reader Comments (31)

  • farhan aziz
    May 21, 2011 - 11:19AM

    This happened in 2006,why didn’t our media report this & even today why haven’t any of our anchors screamed & shouted about this when they don’t waste a chance to cry about yahoodi & kaafir sazish against our military ,then why no talk shows on our very own fanatic traitors who’ve been damaging our aircraft bought with our tax money.

    why no coverage on tv channels of this phenomenon of the infiltration of our forces by terrorists who are destroying our military from the inside??Recommend

  • May 21, 2011 - 11:30AM

    Yeah Yeah now label everyone keeping beard as infested and radical!!… If they dont want to trim their beards who are you? Do you ask people to shave moustaches too?Recommend

  • Abdul Wahab
    May 21, 2011 - 11:36AM

    Most of the media is paid by US one way or the other.
    Dun count on them. They will only highight wat they are told to. Recommend

  • Uzma Hasan
    May 21, 2011 - 11:47AM

    The Geberals use Paskistan as their personnel property In the end they will find no place to live here like MusharrafRecommend

  • NA
    May 21, 2011 - 11:53AM

    Before accepting the report blindly, one needs to analyze the infiltration in US, Indian and Afghan forces in which there are many incidents of killings inside forces by fellow solders, however, there is not a single such incident inside Pakistani forces.Recommend

  • afzal khan
    May 21, 2011 - 11:59AM

    @farhan aziz:

    our media only considers non-muslims as terrorists or criminals,don’t you hear after every terror attack ” yeh kisi musalmaan ka kaam nai hosakta”.our media continues to deflect blame away from the islamic terrorists who’ve killed 35000 of our own people.The anchors promote wild conspiracy theories & make excuses for the actions of the religious barbarians.

    in our society only non-muslims can be criminals or terrorists as we live in our delusion of being better than everyone else simply by being born into islam.Recommend

  • Mahboob
    May 21, 2011 - 12:58PM

    @Abdul Wahab:
    You are very right Abdul Wahab. The media seems to be on the payroll of the Army and ISI. They are themselves paid by the USA. So I guess, the media is ultimately paid by the US. Just not the way you expected though.Recommend

  • abdul sami
    May 21, 2011 - 1:01PM

    why are religious fundoos allowed to be in the forces in the first place?? all these religious fanatics want to do is to wage jihad & they’ll land us into trouble one day as these guys’ loyalties are to islamic fundamentalism first & to pakistan second.

    they’ll be the ones doing some rash action & all the rest of the normal public will have to suffer the consequences of their jihadi actions.Recommend

  • javed
    May 21, 2011 - 1:03PM

    Faraz aziz our media is also financed by americans so we can’t expected good from our media…America give billions of dollars to our media to change our people perception… this america say…but this billions of dollars gave to our media not to change our people perception its for to change our culture…if america want to change our people perception why they did not give that money to our schools, colleges, universities??? exactly they want to change our culture…they are not interested to develop our country…

    It is great said…that..If you kill any nation completely you have to change their culture first…

    they follow this quotation…we can see know a days what our media is doing….what our media try to promote…what our media is showing is this our culture?? Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    May 21, 2011 - 1:08PM

    NDTV… isnt woth even mentioningRecommend

  • J Oberoi
    May 21, 2011 - 1:44PM

    Where is the news in all this? Everybody knows about the radicalization of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Chilli
    May 21, 2011 - 2:32PM

    Puppet show in full swing in Pakistan. Everyone is dancing on Dollar’s music. Our rulers are more loyal to US than their own people. We are disappointed to know what kind of people are ruling us.Recommend

  • May 21, 2011 - 2:50PM

    @afzal khan What a childish reply…. And when did our media call TTP allies? lashkar e taiba and jhangwi adn on and on…?
    as far as your concern about statements they give “u need some dose of common sense…”
    @J Oberoi What is different in all this? Everybody knows about sic Indian trolling….Recommend

  • Khan from Jeddah
    May 21, 2011 - 2:59PM

    Why should people trust Wikileaks?…. It’s just another tool for propaganda…Recommend

  • saif ur rehman
    May 21, 2011 - 3:00PM

    @ afzal khan
    s u have taken media statement as totally wrong thing….they say no muslim can do this..means islam does not preach us for killing innocent people….musalman means follower of islam so when u say they direct on non muslims it’s ur thinking try to be open minded think with ur brain not just u say what on ur tongue is…..try to be realistic…and see ground realities are’nt these attacks done by non muslims…everybody knows this tehreek e taliban is funded by RAW, MOSSAD and CIA to attack on us….this is modern time…dont wait for that moment when u think America will takeover pakistan like iraq or afghanistan…Pakistan is a better nation then nowadays they want civil war…they’ll make ur economy vey down…attack is only done by that country which has no hold on that particular surface but we r totally under U.S..why U.S would directly attack us??/afghan talibans are good. they have always been secure for pakistan but TTP is mixture of agents of World controversial agencies…so think about it..aren’t they non muslims???Recommend

  • meekal ahmed
    May 21, 2011 - 3:02PM

    The issue of sabotage is very serious and disconcerting.Recommend

  • May 21, 2011 - 3:06PM

    How much Indians are delighted after hearing this ? Bogus News………

    F-16 aircrafts are fully operational and more JF-17 planes are pouring in.

    Indians should not be in some doubts about military capability of Pak Armed Forces.Recommend

  • saeed ahmad
    May 21, 2011 - 3:26PM

    I take it as more nonsense by those who wish to raise and spread doubts about the capacity of Pak armed forces to guard it’s assets… Rubbish.Recommend

  • Imran
    May 21, 2011 - 3:45PM

    Such a real fear and emanating threat and look at the confounding complacency of the security establishment. The question is: Instead of complaining to the Americans what the low-ranking officers or pilots were doing, why did not you bother to act yourself. Strictly and dedicatedly to avoid a dreadful outfall. Recommend

  • sohaib
    May 21, 2011 - 3:52PM

    That report is so rubbish. i dont know the context in which the air force commander said things about the beards. And everyone who has a beard and comes from a non-english speaking class is not extremist. We need to get out of this superiority(inferiority) complex. Recommend

  • K9
    May 21, 2011 - 4:24PM

    the fact that its reported by Indian media.. I stopped reading half way!… they (indians) cant even get a wanted list right!..lolRecommend

  • K9
    May 21, 2011 - 4:26PM

    Unlike the indians who use ‘flying coffins’ F16 is extremely valuable to pak and extremist would never get their hands on them..Recommend

  • May 21, 2011 - 6:11PM

    US is now getting desperate to try and get a mandate to attack Pakistan. Now wikileaks reveal something which was back in 2006. Nobody since than ever heard anything about it on TV, newspapers or in any manner. Now they are trying to frame the PAF as well, and this cable appears soon after China promised 50 more JF17s.Recommend

  • May 21, 2011 - 7:46PM

    US is getting desperate.Recommend

  • Javaid Iqbal
    May 21, 2011 - 11:05PM

    Well what US embassy has been conveying to its home land must not be taken as correct as we have seen their capability and credibility in the past.They have been cheating and sending false reports and US government has also been deceiving the world.Reports of Wikileaks are mostly based on the correspondence of US embassy with US government,so these reports should be viewed in this perspective.Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    May 21, 2011 - 11:06PM

    @farhan aziz:
    Perhaps the moderators working at our media cannot allow us to speak against those who will issue no objection certificate on day of judgement. so that selected favorites of mullah and media could enter the home of 72 celestial virgins?Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 22, 2011 - 2:32AM

    @farhan aziz:
    Mullah/military/terrorist alliance has hurt the country more than anything in the past. They usurp all the money and resources and then act as traitors. Sad to see these elements are supported by military touts like Imran Khan, Like minded party, JI and like. It is about time the educated and secular majority of the country take care of these terrorists. Not that they are Muslims so they are not terrorists and killers.

    Mirza, USARecommend

  • May 22, 2011 - 8:44AM

    God, i am so obsessed to reading the comments by any indians around. They would first write their crap and supposedly use a ip changing software to change alias and recommend their post as to make it seem very popular. We dont buy your CRAP. A post which would have only 4 comments and 1 from an indian, still you would see atleast 19 recommends on it =D sounds funnyRecommend

  • zhaoid
    May 22, 2011 - 10:26PM

    Stop copy paste of news, your paper is better than that…….Recommend

  • zhaoid
    May 22, 2011 - 10:28PM

    Do some real research / reporting for a change……have you guys confirmed it from the AF??Recommend

  • Indian
    May 23, 2011 - 10:19PM

    Uzair Javaid wrote:

    God, i am so obsessed to reading the
    comments by any indians around. They
    would first write their crap and
    supposedly use a ip changing software
    to change alias and recommend their
    post as to make it seem very popular.

    Yes, “obsession” is the right word. All posts look completely legitimate to me. I do have an :IP changing software”, but I wouldn’t bother to expend so much effort only to post multiple comments, as I have better things to do.

    Yes, does appear to be a report by the usually feisty Indian media all right, but the original source is still Wikileaks, not NDTV.

    Unlike the Pakistani media who published outrageous LIES about 9 training camps for Baloch insurgents established by India’s RAW (who were much embarrassed when Wikileaks and The Guardian (UK) denounced the story as a Pakistani media fabrication), this report is authentic. Also who says Wikileaks is a propaganda tool? Which country gains? The US? Think again.Recommend

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