US Behind Zia Plane Crash: Pak Senator

WASHINGTON — The United States was behind the August 1988 C-130 Hercules plane crash that killed then-Pakistan President Gen­eral Muhammad Zia-ul Haq, accord­ing to Pakistani Senator Mushahid Hussain. Also killed in the crash were several of Zia’s top army offi­cers and the American Ambassador in Islamabad, Arnold Raphel.

Senator Hussain, who is also a renowned political analyst, strate­gic expert and journalist, made the remarks in a recent exclusive inter­view with Pakistan’s GEO TV.

The assassination of General Zia “was a joint operation by Amer­ica and the then (Pakistani) mili­tary establishment,” he claimed.

Senator Hussain said a year after the assassination, Congressman Ste­phen Solarz, who was then the chair­man of the Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee of the House Foreign Af­fairs Committee, asked him (Hussain) at a US embassy reception in Islam­abad: “Who do you think killed Zia?”

“You guys did,” Senator Hus­sain said he replied. “You people killed General Zia.”

“We? It’s not in our Constitu­tion. We don’t do such things now,” Solarz said.

“Have you stopped assassinat­ing Third World leaders? Since when?” Senator Hussain said he asked him. Then the senator said he read a list of the leaders of the Third World leaders who were killed by the CIA and the congressman’s face be­came pale.

When asked why then the American Ambassador was killed in that incident, the senator ex­plained: “It was a mistake. He was not supposed to be on that plane. At the last moment General Zia put Ambassador Arnold Raphel and Brigadier General Herbert Was­som, who was (America’s) chief de­fense representative (in Pakistan) on the plane.” General Wassom also died in the plane crash.

Hussain said that the United States covered up the assassination plot. “There is a rule in America that wherever a suspected terrorist inci­dent happens, they send the FBI for investigation, but the FBI was not allowed to investigate that incident.”

General Zia ruled Pakistan from September 16, 1978 till his death on August 17, 1988 in the crash. Backed by the United States and Saudi Ara­bia, Zia played a major role in the 1979-1989 Soviet–Afghan War.

The Pakistan army under Zia’s rule had trained Afghan “mujahi­deen” to fight against the Soviet oc­cupation throughout the 1980s that culminated in the Soviet Union’s withdrawal in 1989.

According to some analysts, the United States used General Zia to defeat Soviet forces in Afghanistan and then had him killed because the general was planning to establish a regional bloc constituting Pakistan, Afghanistan and the newly liber­ated states from the Soviet Union.

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