The US citizen, later identified as Joel Cox, was arrested by ASF at Karachi airport on Monday May 5. He was reportedly carrying 15 live 9mm bullets, a magazine, three knives, Brass Knuckle, Spy cameras, miniature voice recorders and other tools of trade of spies in his baggage. He was going to Islamabad by a PIA flight (PK 308).
Joel Cox presented himself as a US citizen but soon after the arrest the US media reported that the man works for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the key investigation and intelligence agency of the United States. He was detained before being handed over to the airport police station. A case was lodged against him under Section 23 1(a) of the Sindh Arms Act, 2013. When he was presented before the district Malir court the following day, the court sent him into judicial remanded till May 10. The district and sessions court Malir had released Cox after the payment of a surety bond worth Rs. 1,000,000 on Thursday May 8, and a lavish breakfast from an international food chain.
“Apart from 15 bullets of 9mm calibre along with a magazine, we have also found three knives, spy cameras and devices and other gadgets which included a computer,” the SSP Malir, Rao Anwaar, said.
“He arrived in our homeland for a three-month mission but we have yet to ascertain what the mission is as our investigations are still in progress,” said SSP Malir.
“Each and every object is being examined by our forensic team, but it may take time to reach the conclusion as the process is quite delicate and lengthy. It will definitely help ascertain the motive of the suspect’s visit to Pakistan.”
“He has been booked in under the defined laws. He is not a diplomat who is required to go through some other kind of process for such a crime. We only know that he is a US citizen who is here on a visit visa, but carrying arms and spy gadgets to travel to the country’s capital,” said SSP Anwaar.
The Washington Post, quoting officials in Washington, said the suspect, who is assigned to the FBI Miami Field Office, was in Pakistan on a temporary duty. The newspaper also quoted the father of the suspect, who confirmed his son’s association with FBI, but said he was scheduled to be in Pakistan for about three months for ‘office-type work’ with ‘a non-FBI-type’ entity.
Officials contended that the agent had forgotten a loaded gun magazine in his luggage and wasn’t ‘armed’. They also said that employees for the FBI and other US agencies are allowed to carry weapons in Pakistan when authorized.
Initially it was claimed that the FBI agent was here to assist the Sindh police, as it was difficult to prove this claim, the US officials asserted that he was on a temporary duty assignment to provide routine assistance to the legal attache at the US mission. If he was in Pakistan for such job then what was the purpose of carrying suspicious gadgets. It is evident that he was certainly not here for ‘office-type’ and ‘non-FBI’ nature work.
According to US officials and the reports of International Media, Joel Cox forgot to remove the loaded magazine from his luggage; a naïve act that cannot be expected from an FBI Agent. Secondly, the question is not just about 15 live bullets and a loaded magazine, the guy was also carrying spy gadgetry. The intriguing aspect in this underlying scenario that Cox was carrying 9mm bullets although the authorized side arm (pistol) of an FBI agent is a .40 S&W caliber. This makes the matter more suspicious.
Joel Cox was travelling on a passport which was issued only five months ago and he came to Pakistan for 3 months appointment. This fact leads to a speculation that he was travelling on a fake identity. All these question-marks give an idea that this is not simply an issue of law violation rather it is a matter of espionage.
The case has revived memories of Raymond Davis, an American CIA contractor, who was arrested after shooting down two civilians in Jan 2011. The Intelligence agencies arrested almost 600 suspected persons with the help of information taken out from the CIA agent. It was revealed that prior to his arrest, he visited the South and North Waziristan agency multiple times. It is also suspected that Davis colluded with non state actors on his visit.
Ironically, the radical elements and TTP sympathizers have started their hate-speech against the institutions of Pakistan soon after the arrest of Joel Cox and throttled their anti-Pakistan Propaganda after the bail. Whereas, both these elements (TTP and US operatives) are up to destabilize Pakistan and malign its institutions.
The institution which is being targeted after this episode is the Pakistan Army. The point here is that the elements like TTP and CIA operatives are arrested and put behind-bars due to the efforts and sacrifices of Pakistan Army. But the question to be raised here is that have there been any inputs or reports by the government intelligence apparatus about this and all such operators to our higher ups, and if so has the government been putting those reports in the trash-can?This also proves true the age-old allegations on our legal and political system that they have been providing shelter and immunity to such elements.
The nation should not be forgetting the cases like of Delcan Walsh and Riz Hussian, where the intelligence provided by the agencies had been swift ad fruitful. But it appears that those cases that are not brought to the lime light by the ISI itself and delegated via proper-channels to the Defence Department are never pursued or concluded. The common sense question arising in the mind is that either the Government is not interested in the security of the nation Or it is under undue pressure of diplomacy. In such case the next question is that have the people of this country given the mandate of compromising their security and peace for any diplomatic requirement whatsoever, to the one they gave their votes to? The government should answer!
Today when our media has been seen hell-bent on driving the nation against the Army and its prestigious elements, one needs to ask who the real enemy of the people of Pakistan is – an ISI that does not slack in capturing enemy-spies who have come by breaching the sovereignty of the nation and are suspected to destabilise the country – or a democratically elected government that is not making it a case to punish such perpetrators with severe punishment and send the strongest message to their mother-states.
Note: By the time this report will be published, Mr. Joel Cox would already have been bailed out.