Misguided missiles

Pakistan transferred Stinger missiles to Iran. By mistake.

Pakistan transferred Stinger missiles to Iran. By mistake.

Here’s another one for the credulous.

During America’s covert war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the CIA gave 2000 anti-aircraft Stinger missiles to Pakistan’s ISI to be transferred to the Afghan mujahideen. Little is known what became of them — a small number were transferred to the mujahideen, many were supposed to have been destroyed in the (convenient) explosions at Ojhri camp and the Americans may have bought back some of them.

Lt Gen Hamid Gul, former chief of the ISI, has now revealed that although Pakistan did not sell them, as many as thirty five of those missiles ‘reached Iran by mistake’. Even giving him the benefit of the doubt does not make it any better for Pakistan. The advanced military hardware it continues to receive from the United States may reach Iran and other places by the same mistake. Neither is the Stinger episode the first case where American military technology ended up with in the hands of its enemies through Pakistan’s hands. During the Vietnam War, China got more than a good look at the F-104 fighter planes that Pakistan had received by virtue of being America’s Cold War allies.

5 thoughts on “Misguided missiles”

  1. hey,

    They’re are their Major Non-NATO ally for chrissakes! They’re allowed such mistakes!

  2. Here’s nutjob Hamid Gul on Sept 26, 2001 blaming Mossad and buddying up to Bin Laden.
    I know bin Laden and his associates. I’ve been with them here, in Europe and the Middle East. They are graduates of the best universities and are highly intelligent with impressive degrees and speak impeccable English. These are people who have rediscovered fundamental Islamic values.

  3. Hi,

    The Iranian consulate in Quetta purchased stingers from the local arms market. Two mujaheddin commanders operating in Nimroz sold sixteen stingers to IRGC representatives in 1987. The sixteen were part of a cache of 32 they had recieved from the ISI station in Quetta.

    The commanders did not recieve their stingers from Ahmad Shah Massoud as his arms trafficing chain (Virginia-Germany-Oman-Chahgai) was never used to ship stingers to the Mujaheddin. I doubt any arms travelled from Massoud’s caches to the Khash Rud area without crossing Abdul Haq or Haji Abdul Qadeer’s area of responsibility.

    This is the first time I am hearing that 30 stingers were transfered to Iran. It appears that the entire stock earmarked for the Khash Rud sector was transfered. Is this what Hamid Gul is referring to?

    Why is Hamid going to such lengths to talk about this now? why is he clearing HeI(K)(Hekmatyar faction – now under effective command of Jalaluddin Haqqani)? why is he telling us that their 70 odd stingers are no longer effective due to failing batteries?

    Is this an effort to clear his hands of any AA activity by the HeI(K)/”Resurgent Taliban”? or is this an attempt to prepare the ground for something worse?

    Hamid usually speaks in some concert with Mirza Aslam Beg. I have an uneasy feeling about this.

  4. Hi,
    It is quite intresting to read that pakistan gave stinger missiles to iran “by mistake “, i beleive that pakistan have developed over the years habit of making the “mistakes” of giving sensitive technology related to WMD to rogue nations (NORTH KOREA) & US seems to have accepted this “mistake” of pakistan, which i beleive is surely going to backfire them (US) sooner or later in the same manner it backfired them in afganistan.

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