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Pak has lost control of rogue military officers: book

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WASHINGTON (PTI): Pakistan has lost control of rogue military and intelligence officers, who are now aiding the militants, and it might be too late to sanitise the Army, a former French judge has said in his new book.

"The situation in Pakistan is among the most worrisome... the central government has lost control of certain elements of the Army and the ISI," Jean-Louis Bruguiere, an investigative French Magistrate, said.

In his book based on details of investigations of Willie Brigitte, a Frenchman who was convicted of terrorism charges in 2007, the judge says that according to the account given by the terrorist CIA officers were hoodwinked by Pakistani Army officers as they inspected militant training camps jointly run by Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

"Since most of the commanders of LeT were earlier in the Army, these inspections were doomed to draw a blank," he said in the book, which is slated to hit the stands on Monday, excerpts of which were carried by Los Angeles Times.

"The foreign recruits were alerted on the eve of the arrival of the inspecting teams by their instructors... the trainees then had to erase any traces of their presence and head to elevations of more than 13,500 feet while the inspection lasted," Bruguiere says in the book 'What I Could Not Say'.

The book details French investigations of extremist activities in Pakistan, including a case in which officials went as far as hiding militants from CIA inspection teams at a training camp run by the Pakistani military, the Times said.

"Military handlers then sent the trainees on terrorist missions to the West," it quoted Bruguiere as saying.

"Thousands of Afghans and Pakistanis were being trained in these camps. The Pakistani security forces supplied arms and instructors to the camps," Bruguiere says.

In his 481-page book, Bruguiere says the US made strategic errors in dealing with Pakistan, and adds that it might be too late to clear the security forces of those who sympathise with the extremists.

The book says Brigitte testified that his handler was a Pakistani military officer, identified as Sajid, who sent the Frenchman to Australia to join a cell plotting bomb attacks on targets that included a nuclear plant.

Alerted by French investigators on Brigitte's trail, Australian police arrested the group in 2003.

The Los Angeles Times said in 2006, Bruguiere went to the Pakistani port city of Karachi to investigate a suicide bombing that had killed 11 French naval contractors three years earlier.

Pakistani security officials were uncooperative and hostile, he said.

"French officials in Pakistan were the target of threats and physical intimidation: a way of dissuading us from returning," he writes according to the daily.

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