Peshawar PC Blast: Where’s Hashwani?

Hashwani outside Marriott, Islamabad

Hashwani outside Marriott, Islamabad

Remember after the Marriott blash, Hashwani, the owner of Marriott and the PC Hotel chain in Pakistan, was all over the TV channels and his picture splashed in all the newspapers. But after last night’s blast at PC Peshawar, there is no sign of him. Curious isn’t it?

PC, Peshawar

Is it because he is NOT the owner any more? Reports are PC, Peshawar was “sold” to the Americans some time back and is the center for their intelligence agencies for the whole area. It was reported by at least one channel (SAMAA TV) that the 3rd and 4th floors WERE completely under American control (just like Marriott where it was the 6th and 7th floors). Further credence is given to the report by the fact that a “tender notice” has already been issued for another PC in Peshawar (Hayatabad). Now why does a smaller city like Peshawar need TWO PC hotels when much bigger cities like Karachi and Lahore have only one?

According to that earlier report, plans were for complete take over of the current PC by the Americans in the coming days, leaving Peshawar with out one. Hence the plans for constructing a new one….

So suggesting this was “a random act of violence” is completely preposterous. PC being the “US Intelligence Headquarters” was common knowledge in Peshawar so an attack there was all but expected sooner or later. The blame for civilian deaths and injuries falls squarely on the government for allowing Americans to set up a base there despite having the example of Marriott before them.

BTW: Americans knew something was up. The following is from last week:

The advisory issued on Tuesday instructs US government personnel to cancel all travel to and from Peshawar for the next 24 hours in response to a security threat.

P.S. The story being spun by the media is that the foreigners there were all UN or NGO workers who were there to help the IDPs. Hogwash, I say. I am sure this is true of a few but I say shame on them for wasting all that money on their stay in a five-star hotel when that money could be better spent on the IDPs.

UPDATE #1:
Hashwani has finally shown up talking tough and claiming: “Despite the losses, I will make the (Pearl Continental) operational in two months just as I reopened the Marriott in three months.” Well, sure he “reopened” Marriott but I am told no one goes there (except his old clients 😉 perhaps.) The same will be the case will this one. Only foreigners will be there and it will continue to be a target. Wonder just how much bigger the “no-go area” would be around the hotel now. Kind of kills the will to go there anyways. So I guess the new owners will have it all to themselves sooner than planned. Or was this the plan in the first place?? 😉

(I still believe Hashwani has handed it over to the Americans and they “own” it, just like they own him….)

Update #2:
Well, here is where most of the money for rebuilding PC is going to be coming from:
US to spend $1 billion on embassy expansions in Pakistan, Afghanistan
But more significant is this bit from the story that confirms what i have been saying:

BUYING THE PEARL IN PESHAWAR

A senior State Department official confirmed that the US plan for the consulate in Peshawar involves the purchase of the luxury Pearl Continental hotel. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

The Pearl Contintental is the city’s only five-star hotel, set in its own expansive grounds, with a swimming pool. It’s owned by Pakistani tycoon Sadruddin Hashwani.

Peshawar is an important station for gathering intelligence on the tribal area that surrounds the city on three sides and is a base for Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The area also will be a focus for expanded US aid programs, and the American mission in Peshawar has already expanded from three US diplomats to several dozen.

In all, the administration requested $806 million for diplomatic construction and security in Pakistan.

“For the strong commitment the US is making in the country of Pakistan, we need the necessary platform to fulfill our diplomatic mission,” said Jonathan Blyth of the State Department’s Overseas Buildings Operations bureau. “The embassy is in need of upgrading and expansion to meet our future mission requirements.”

A senior Pakistani official said the expansion has been under discussion for three years. “Pakistanis understand the need for having diplomatic missions expanding and the Americans always have had an enclave in Islamabad,” said the official, who requested anonymity, because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. “Will some people exploit it? They will.”

Any doubts??? 🙂

Note: DO pay special attention to the statements:
$736 million to build a new US embassy in Islamabad…The scale of the projects rivals the giant US Embassy in Baghdad, which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of $740 million.”
AND
“The embassy is in need of upgrading and expansion to meet our future mission requirements.”

So you know what’s coming….

And this DOES CONFIRM the statement made by me earlier i.e. that:

  • PC HAD ALREADY BEEN SOLD TO THE AMERICANS
  • PC IS THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS

So no tears here…Just applause

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