Articles, Opinions & Views: Sajid Mir: The Ghost In Hiding

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In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Sajid Mir: The Ghost In Hiding
Sunday, October 18, 2020

Sajid Mir

Jihad Watch
: With the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decision on Pakistan expected to be out shortly, there is frenetic activity to try and tick all the boxes (only in letter, not in spirit) so that Pakistan isn’t pushed into the “Blacklist” and cut off from the international financial markets and trade.

At one level, the Pakistani government is desperately trying to pass new laws that ostensibly seek to tighten the anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework, but which in fact is going to be used less against terror financiers and money launderers and more against politicians in the opposition. At another level, Pakistan is trying to show that it is taking action on ground by not only giving data on the number of cases it has booked against money launderers and accounts of terror groups and individuals it has frozen, but also the convictions it has secured against some leaders of one of the deadliest terror groups – Lashkar-e-Taiba / Jamaatud Dawa (LeT /JuD).

All the above action is supposed to convince the international community that Pakistan is indeed draining its terrorist swamps. But scratch the surface and it becomes clear that Pakistan is protecting the “real” bad guys – the ones who are closely linked with the Pakistani State, who function as auxiliaries and hit-men of the Pakistani “deep state”, who have gained international notoriety because of their involvement in planning and executing spectacular terror attacks in other countries.

Among the most notorious of these terrorists is a shadowy figure who is wanted in more than half a dozen countries for his involvement in terrorism but who remains under the protection of the ISI – Sajid Mir. What is shocking is not so much that Sajid Mir is being protected by the ISI as is the fact that none of the countries against whom he has practiced his craft of terrorism seem to be pressing for his trial and punishment. What is even more perplexing is that fact that some of these countries were in the forefront of holding Pakistan accountable for its acts of omission and commission before the FATF, and yet are soft-peddling on Pakistan’s refusal/denial to bring Sajid Mir to justice.

Sajid Mir gained infamy not only as the man who planned and executed the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai and who manages LeT’s overseas assets (terrorists), but even more as the chilling voice which sitting in his control room in Karachi instructed the Lashkar terrorists in Mumbai to shoot one of the hostages in the Chabad House in the back of her head. The 26/11 terror strike is not the only terrorist outrage that Mir is responsible for, though it is certainly his most spectacular attack. He has planned and nearly carried out attacks in about half a dozen other countries – US, Australia, France, Denmark, and the UK. He is on FBI’s most wanted list. A French Court has convicted him in absentia. India has demanded his extradition from Pakistan. Despite his mugshots being available, none of the intelligence agencies have been able to locate him. As is their wont, the Pakistanis feign complete ignorance about Sajid Mir; a standard Pakistani response when confronted with an inconvenient demand. This is precisely the tack they have adopted with the Americans on the Taliban. According to the author Shuja Nawaz, every time US officials presented evidence of Taliban and Haqqani Network sanctuaries inside Pakistan, they were met with “blank stare”.

Sajid Mir remains a shadowy figure about whom not much is known. Even his antecedents are fuzzy. Some reports claim that he joined the LeT at a young age of 16 and then rose up the ranks. But other reports, which might be circumstantially more credible, claim that he is a Pakistan Army/ISI member/officer who has been working very closely with the LeT. The fact that he speaks English fluently, the influence he wielded within the LeT which was manifest by his ability to not bother too much about the Lashkar hierarchy in deciding what he wanted to do, the extent to which the Pakistanis have gone to protect him from any kind of prosecution (he, along with a Major Iqbal (an ISI official), are the only two 26/11 terror attack planners who haven’t been arrested by the Pakistanis), the sort of security that has been provided to him (head of state level), all suggest that he is someone special and not just another LeT commander. He might have been deputed to the LeT, or he might have quit the army and joined the LeT full time.

There are many other terrorists who have followed this trajectory – Ilyas Kashmir for example. But unlike others, Sajid Mir seems to have not allowed his addiction to jihad come in the way of his loyalty to the Pakistan Army, which in turn has protected him ever since his face became public. Not surprisingly, like another globally designated terrorist Dawood Ibrahim who is another ISI favourite, Sajid Mir too has managed to avoid the dragnet. Part of the reason for this is that the focus of the international law enforcement and intelligence agencies has remained fixated on the LeT/JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and some of his other lieutenants like Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi (who has been released on bail by the Pakistani courts) or Abdul Rehman Makki.

As a result, the lack of Pakistani action against Sajid Mir just doesn’t figure on the radar screen; despite the fact that operational commanders like Sajid Mir are far more dangerous and destructive than the ideologues. He has remained elusive partly owing to Western diffidence. In the words of an unnamed senior US law enforcement official “Sajid Mir is too powerful and too well connected for them to go after. We need the Pakistanis to go after the Taliban and Al Qaeda.” With Pakistan facing crunch time at FATF, it is perhaps time for Western countries to push Pakistan to stop the deflection, deception and denial on Sajid Mir and bring him to justice. To not doing this would tantamount to allowing a free pass to a terrorist who has the blood of hundreds of people, including Westerners, on his hands.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:10 AM  
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