A British author is telling a shocking story about last month's murder of a Pakistani military officer. Major-General Alavi, a former head of Pakistan's special forces, was gunned down outside Islamabad November 19.
Alavi has predicted his death in a recent meeting with Carey Schofield. It was because of this letter which Alavi gave Schofield, which accuses other Pakistani military leaders of striking secret agreements with the Taliban. One general allegedly struck an agreement to pay Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud to protect the army from attacks. Mehsud is believed to be behind the assassination of Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Schofield, author of the forthcoming Inside the Pakistan Army, writes in the Sunday Times that Alavi felt his concerns were being ignored:
"Aware that he was risking his life, he gave a copy to me and asked me to publish it if he was killed. Soon afterwards he told me that he had received no reply.
‘It hasn't worked,' he said. ‘They'll shoot me.'
Four days later, he was driving through Islamabad when his car was halted by another vehicle. At least two gunmen opened fire from either side, shooting him eight times. His driver was also killed."
Alavi was a natural target for terrorists working in Pakistan, but he was killed by 9mm pistol shots, the kind used by the army. Schofield described the murder as "far more clinical than a normal militant attack."
Alavi had been forced out as head of Pakistan's special services three years ago in what he considered a fabricated set of allegations meant to silence his criticism that his country was letting Taliban fighters operate freely and strike western troops in Afghanistan. Writing the letter, and making sure Schofield took it public if something were to happen to him, was his way of setting the record straight.
"I want justice. And I want my honour restored," Schofield says Alavi told her. "And you know what? I [don't] give a damn what they do to me now. They did their worst three years ago."