A popular Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir is caught on audio talking to a member of a Taliban group popularly known as the TTP. http://criticalppp.org/lubp/archives/10918
Mir and his friends blame the Zardari government especially the Punjab (largest province of Pakistan) governor Salman Taseer for a conspiracy since his paper publish the story. Here's my analysis:
Is the man conversing with, whats alleged as a member of the Punjabi Taliban, Hamid Mir? The simple answer is yes. The man in the tape is Hamid Mir beyond doubt. The voice and style of conversation is his. I have had conversations with him on several occasions and he breaks stories in this very style. The conversation should not surprise people as Hamid Mir has old links with the Islamiscts and the intelligence agencies. In the world of the armed forces information is difficult to access. Relatively better access to information comes at a price which Hamid Mir and many other journalists in the world, particularly Pakistan pay happily. There is not a single journalist, especially on the electronic media who comments on national security and is not fed by the military. I remember one very popular journalist who even writes for foreign press. He is considered an authority on military affairs. The poor chap cannot tell the front of a submarine from its back. Planting people in the media and intelligentsia is an old trick. The only matter of concern really is that how and why is the audio recording made available on the net? The real story is the disclosure rather than the conversation.
This telephone conversation could have been tapped by several intelligence sources including the ISI, MI and IB and the question is which one leaked it and why. Is there anything interesting happening between the PPP government and Hamid Mir due to which the conversation was leaked? The other possibility is that one of the army-run agency leaked it. The first explanation is that they wanted to deflect attention from themselves on Hamid Mir. It seems from the conversation as if Mir caused Khalid Khwaja's death by instigating the alleged Punjabi Taliban. The insistence on KK's links with Ahmedis and Americans could do the trick of inciting the Taliban against KK. But I am sure that was not Hamid Mir's intent. He was just trying to show-ff to the Taliban the superiority of his information. Such show-off comes with the territory that he operates in. But the conversation was then conveniently leaked so that it may appear as something in which the intelligence agencies had no involvement thats is in the killing of KK.
The other explanation is that the conversation indicates some chasm within the intelligence establishment. The conversation basically signifies the presence of multiple groups within the intelligence agencies. There are, at least, three ideological groups within the agencies: (a) the Islamiscsts, (b) the pro-West, and (c) pro-China. These groups exert influence and lobby for their perspective. This means that the flow of information to the top brass is conditioned by the ideological bias of the groups. The information-intelligence is then measured against the policy perspective of the top leadership of the army. Thus, Hamid Mir is not the only journalist working for the agencies. There are others as well. The case in point pertains to that of a female journalist who is dealt with by the external security wing of the ISI. Each ISI division has its own set of journalists. This lady was eventually encouraged by the agencies and the army chief to build familial links with Indian politician through marriage. Her marriage with a famous Indian political figure was made in the GHQ.
But going back to Hamid Mir, his conversation reflects the bias of Pakistan's establishment. There is nothing which he says that is annoying by the establishment's standards. The state has a bias against its minorities which reflects in the conversation. Lets not forget that the Hamid Mir conversation is just the end result of years of Jamaat's infiltration in the establishment. It were during the Zia years (1977-81) that more than 800 changes were made in the text books by a board that pre-dominantly represented the Jamaat. Today, the establishment is essentially Islamisct. The dealings with the US or even China reflect the military's utilitarian approach. It will happily use any of these states to build itself. Most countries behave this way. The name of the game is realpolitik which focuses on power of the state rther than power of the people. The Pakistani state had begun to steer towards Islamism at a very early stage after its creation. Naturally, the ideology rubbed on different elements in the society as well. This is what we can see in Hamid Mir's conversation.
Khalid Khwaja was always with the ISI. He may have been steered by the pro-West elements within the ISI to negotiate some deals with the TTP. There are also rumors that during one of his previous visits, he was suspected of planting an intelligent devise for the US to locate one of the TTP leaders. The discussion of his involvement in misleading Maulana Abdul Aziz does not make sense because Abdul Aziz led his funeral prayers. There is something that doesn't make sense in the story. Whats more important to remember are that the jihadis (aka Pakistani Taliban) are well-entrenched in Pakistan's intelligence system and even its establishment. No wonder, Pakistan's courts have been acquitting jihadis like Lashkare Jhangavi's Malik Ishaq. Recently, the courts acquitted those accused of involvement in the Marriott bombing case and the suicide attack against Lt. general Mushtaq Baig. These decisions could have been changed if the agencies were willing to sort out the jihadis. The segment within the agencies which supports jihad and jihadis has now strengthened. The army and its intelligence agencies now have a dependence on these jihadis. The questions which many ask is that why get their men killed. This is nothing new. There was similar friction in the case of the Algerian military and the Islamiscts. The reason that this particular battle in Pakistan is contained to a few people is because of the influence of the Islamiscts on the army.