Confessions of a spook


For the jollies

Consider this character fictional and he is easier to digest. Whether he is or he is not; who am I to say.

During his training, he was given three assignments to steal. One from a military-run university in the federal capital. He got a job as a clerk, entered the location and left with a bunch of files on a rickshaw, before making the delivery.

He was told to dress up as a muddy trash-carrier and walk the streets of the twin city – accompanied by his batman. He found himself lying on a staircase in front of a particular plaza when two girls began to make fun of him. After his time slot ended, he walked up to their rolled-down window and said in English: “Bet you never saw a more handsome man than me.” And ran away for the jollies as the girl screamed.

He would walk up to another of his type, who manned a stall, and began to badger him, only to be told off, for the adjoining fruit stall vendor to sympathise, “Look what drugs did to the poor chap.” For the jollies, he would take away fruit from the vendor’s cart.

He was taught interrogation techniques and during one interrogation, applying an electric shock to an interrogated, he and his victim became sleepy and the transcriptors continued to watch him deliver a shock and withhold. During the process, he applied a shock when the blindfolded and chained interrogated held onto his hand begging for forgiveness. The shock applier remained in touch with the victim’s body and the current began to flow through both bodies. Both danced, moved their hands and fainted. After this incident, the interrogated began to pun at him by mimicking the failed shock manoeuvre.

He was assigned to get a certain former education minister elected from the ‘banned’ province in place of a prominent nationalist. He claims the candidate in question would have gotten three votes in the constituency and it was feared the candidate would be killed upon her arrival, when he and another one of his kind were assigned the task to engineer the electoral process. In the process, they established links with the local drugs and smuggling mafia, got international cases against them dismissed and secured their manpower to begin to campaign in the region. They went village-to-village using modern election techniques such as video-screening, making speeches, doling out money and a little vote fudging here and there. In the end, he only ‘made sure’ the candidate in question won the seat.

He believes his agencies were right to manufacture dissent against the 1990 Benazir Bhutto government – ala the Mehrangate scandal – because BB had handed over lists of the Sikhs supporting the Khalistan movement and had promised to share details of Pakistan’s nuclear programme with the Indian governments. He, however, finds no contradiction when Qadeer Khan, in collusion with some of his seniors, did the same to North Korea and others, to generate funds for the nuclear programme.

He claims that the army stopped purchasing American weapons to wage war in Balochistan. But he admits that it received hardware and payments during the last decade but claims the Baloch are wrong to wage war using ‘foreign funds’. He believes it was wrong of BB to let Khair Baksh Marri return from exile since he ‘left with a stick and returned with Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers.’

He was trained to kidnap individuals, using chloroform, at gunpoint or throwing a stones at a car. Once the stone-throwing method failed and the victim’s pressed the accelerator and almost drove into him. He survived.

He has done an MBA from a private college and is currently enrolled in an LLB programme at a public university on state expenditure for ‘reasons unknown’ to him. He says his call to duty is: ‘obey orders.’ Of course, he insists that he still ‘thinks’.

He says he is one of the better ones from his kind. One less educated than him would have… hmm… ahem ahem…let’s not get into it.

The writer is a member of the Workers’ Party Pakistan and is a researcher at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. He blogs at:


  1. You have just described a competent but coldblooded and completely brainwashed thug with no principles. As these are the kind of people pulling the strings of state from behind the scenes, the country has a bleak future, that is if it has one.

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