Original Articles

President Zardari rejects unconstitutional demand by the army chief – by Junaid Qaiser

According to foreign press reports; the Pakistan President, Mr Asif Ali Zardari, has rejected a proposal by the powerful Army Chief, Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, to remove some[so called] “corrupt” ministers who happen to be the close aides of Mr Zardari.
Islamabad, Oct. 10: The Pakistan President, Mr Asif Ali Zardari, has rejected a proposal by the powerful Army Chief, Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, to remove some “corrupt” ministers who happen to be the close aides of Mr Zardari, a media report said.
A report in the Time magazine said that the situation is not in the favour of the government following the differences between Gen. Kayani and the President Mr Zardari.
The report said that the civilian government in Pakistan is at a loss and once again the Army is flexing its muscles to install a new civilian setup.
What got the rumour mills going on this time was a leak that Gen. Kayani, in a meeting with the Prime Minister, Mr Yousaf Raza Gilani, and Mr Zardari, demanded the removal of several Cabinet ministers because of alleged corruption.
But fears are that the military was positioning itself to install a new civilian government because Mr Zardari did not agree to the suggestion of the Army Chief to remove his close aide from the Cabinet. The report said that the rumours of a pending coup were a popular dinner-party topic. It said that the military, after all, had directly ruled Pakistan for more than half of the 63 years. The report also quoted a senior Western diplomat as saying that extreme depression was being expr-essed due to the corruption of the present government.
Pakistan is a democratic parliamentary federal republic state-and we as a nation don’t need the army for keeping checks and balances in the state and society.
It is not the army chief’s prerogative to suggest or direct/dictate civilian elected government, Chief of  Army staff’s role and limitations are clearly defined within the constitution.  So therefore I view that demand unconstitutional, indecent or offensive to democratic moral values. Functions of Armed forces and their boundaries are clearly defined within the Constitution.
Lets say hypothetically or suppose, if the stories and accusations [of corrupt ministers] are true, it doesn’t mean that army or it’s Chief intrude in the civilian domain. It’s simply Prime minister or government’s prerogative to drop or induct any minister.
In a democratic dispensation, its traditional norms and practices that if some group have any reservations or objection they can raise the issue in parliament through their  representative. It’s purely legislature/parliament domain.
Armies are formed for a very important task to defend and guard the borders.That is the only task which the armies are performing through out the world, they are not doing politics and checking democratic process, as it’s not their duty, right and privilege. We have to keep in mind that the army is certainly not the solution to the political and democracy related challenges as we have tried several militiary regimes and dictators in the past as well and we all know that they dismantled and obliterated our social, economic, political and cultural fabric.
This time the whole world is keenly and closely watching democratic process in Pakistan, so my suggestion is,  in light of the present circumstances Army and it’s chief should avoid playing the favourite game [in the 90’s style fashion]
“pulling the strings from behind the scenes to achieve favorable ends” .

Related post on LUBP:

Unconstitutional demand

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Junaid Qaiser

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  • isn’t this deja vu-army trying to build a case for intervention again. They will use ‘corrupt’ ministers, ‘bad’ appointments and ‘uncertainties’
    What they do well is hide thier inadequacies well. They are hugely corrupt.over bearing, use violence, intimidation, are reckless, incompetent and always going beyond thier constitutional role. But you never hear this in media because theY shut them too by saum,daam dundh..

  • Latest of “Shaheen Sehbai”

    General Kayani blocking every key US move By Shaheen Sehbai Monday, October 11, 2010 Zi Qad 02, 1431 A.H http://www.thenews.com.pk/11-10-2010/Top-Story/1234.htm

    WASHINGTON: The latest book by journalist Bob Woodward remarkably paints Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and President Asif Ali Zardari as two divergent personalities, one a brave and strong nerved soldier who was standing up against every key US demand and the other a spoilt politician who knows nothing about governance. The book is credible because it quotes top US officials and what they think about these two important personalities of Pakistan and repeatedly recalls and emphasizes on the political weakness of President Zardari.

    Monday, October 11, 2010, Zi Qad 02, 1431 A.H
    http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/oct2010-daily/11-10-2010/main2.htm

  • Reminders for Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani 🙂

    Ayub Khan frustrated with slow pace of negotiations with US during his visit to Washington went to Henry Byroad’s office and told him, ‘I didn’t come here to look at barracks. Our army can be your army if you want us. But let’s make a decision’. [Ref: Tale of a love affair that never was: United States-Pakistan Defence Relations Columnist Hamid Hussain analyses an ON and OFF affair. [Defence Journal Monthly Jun 2002]

  • 🙂 Reminders for Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

    US Declassified Document before the Fall of Dhaka: Handwritten note from President Richard M. Nixon on an April 28, 1971, National Security Council decision paper: “To all hands. Don’t squeeze Yahya at this time – RMN” The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971 REFERENCE: The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971 National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 79 Edited by Sajit Gandhi December 16, 2002 http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB79/

  • 🙂 Reminders for Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

    کیا روشنی سے ڈرتے ہو؟
    وجاہت مسعود
    وقتِ اشاعت: Sunday, 17 December, 2006, 00:48 GMT 05:48 PST
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/miscellaneous/story/2006/12/061216_wajahat_dhaka_uk.shtml
    راؤ فرمان کی ڈائری کا عکس

    اس موقع پر جب جنگ کا حتمی نتیجہ سامنے آ چکا تھا، متحدہ پاکستان کی حمایت یا مخالفت بے معنی ہو چکی تھیں۔ اس مرحلے پر کسی سیاسی مخالف کو قتل کرنے سے کوئی سیاسی یا جنگی فائدہ حاصل نہیں ہو سکتا تھا۔ حمود الرحمٰن کمیشن کے سامنے لیفٹننٹ جنرل عبداللہ نیازی، میجر جنرل راؤ فرمان اور میجر جنرل جمشید تینوں نے اس نوعیت کی فہرست سازی کا اقرار ضرور کیا مگر فوج کے اس کارروائی میں ملوث ہونے سے انکار کیا۔ شواہد سے بڑی حد تک اس مؤقف کی تصدیق ہوتی مگر جنگ کے بعد بھارتی فوج کو جنرل فرمان کے میز سے ایک ڈائری ملی جس میں خود جنرل فرمان کے ہاتھ سے ناموں کی ایک فہرست تحریر تھی۔ ان ناموں میں سے چودہ افراد 14 دسمبر کی رات مارے گئے۔ الطاف گوہر راوی تھے کہ انہوں نے ایک مشترکہ دوست کے توسط سے راؤ فرمان کو اپنے عزیز دوست ثناالحق کی جان بخشی کی سفارش کی تھی۔ راؤ فرمان کی فہرست میں ثناالحق واحد خوش نصیب تھے جو 14 دسمبر کے بعد بھی زندہ رہِے۔

  • 🙂 Reminders for Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

    Pakistan: Military Torturing Farmers in Punjab Government-Backed Forces Brutalize Farmers Into Ceding Land Rights JULY 21, 2004
    http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2004/07/20/pakistan-military-torturing-farmers-punjab Soiled Hands: The Pakistan Army’s Repression of the Punjab Farmers’ Movement http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,HRW,,PAK,412ef0dd4,0.html

    We were produced before Major Tahir Malik. He asked why we had not made the contract payments. We answered that we had no money. They took us to the torture cell and Jallad [“tormentor”] Munir started thrashing us with a leather whip. He made us all strip naked and whipped us till we bled. Major Tahir Malik would personally supervise the whippings, abuse us, laugh at us, and punch us…. We were produced before officers again in the morning. They would insist that we pay the contract money. Upon our refusal, it would begin again.
    – Interview with Mohammad Iqbal, Okara, October 23, 2003

    They snatched our milk and our bicycles. Gomi, the informer, took away the milk and bicycles. They blindfolded us and took us to Rangers Headquarters. As soon as we got there, they started beating us with sticks. After a while we even stopped crying or screaming… There were sixteen [adult] farmers [already present when] we arrived there. [We saw them being] beaten badly with a flat leather whip by Munir “Jallad” and Inspector Aashiq Ali in the presence of Major Tahir Malik. The farmers were bleeding and crying in pain. Some were weeping out of fear and sitting with their heads bowed.

    – Interview with Abid Ali, age ten, Okara, October 24, 2003

  • Reminders for Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

    Just how vicious a campaign the CIA was sponsoring is suggested by the Pakistan Brigadier Mohammed Yousuf, who directed the training with and distribution of CIA weapons at that time. In a matter-of-fact passage in his memoirs, he describes the range of assassination tactics and targets he was preparing the mujahideen to take on in Kabul. They ranged from your everyday “knife between the shoulder blades of a Soviet soldier shopping in the bazaar” to “the placing of a briefcase bomb in a senior official’s office.” Educational institutions were considered fair game, he explains, since they were staffed by “Communists indoctrinating their students with Marxist dogma.” {Page 335 Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story Of The Largest Covert Operation in History by George Crile}.

    On a CIA sponsored trip to Washington that year, the proud ISI Brigadier was deeply insulted when he was led, virtually blindfolded, to the Agency’s “sabotage school” in North Carolina. Vickers {CIA Official foe Afghan “Jihad} escorted the burly Pakistani Brigadier in a plane whose windows were blacked, then in a car with its shades drawn. Yousuf, who suffers the chip on the shoulder of many proud Third World types, was deeply offended at this slight. He reasoned that if he was trusted enough to be permitted to run the CIA’s operation in Pakistan, why was the Agency treating him as if he were about to reveal the location of the sabotage school? Later Vicker and Avrakotos {CIA Officials for Afghan “Jihad”} take Yousuf and one of his colleagues out for a fancy dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, USA. {Page 351 Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story Of The Largest Covert Operation in History by George Crile}.

    On page 503 in Charlie Wilson’s War, the author quoted “but it was losing Zia that crushed Charlie. At the state funeral in Islamabad, with a million Pakistanis and Mujahideen crowding up to him, Charlie made his way to Akhtar’s successor, Hamid Gul, and broke into tears. “I have lost my father on this day,” he said. [Reference: Charlie Wilson’s War The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History by George Crile]

    “Herring set the stage. She had called Zia from Houston on his private line and told him not to be put off by Wilson’s flamboyant appearance and not to pay attention to any stories of decadence that his diplomats might relate. She was adamant he win over US Congressman from Texas: he could become Pakistan’s most important ally.” Crile quotes Wilson in the book as saying that “Zia would leave cabinet meetings just to take Joanne’s calls”. Charlie Wilson’s war July 23, 2003 http://www.dawn.com/2003/07/23/fea.htm

    “She was Zia’s most trusted American adviser, as per Sahibzada Yaqub Khan, She absolutely had his ear, it was terrible,” “Zia would leave cabinet meetings just to take Joanne’s calls. “There was no affair with Zia,” Wilson recalls, but it’s impossible to deal with Joanne and not deal with her on sexual basis. No matter who you are, you take those phone calls.” {Page 67-68}. Charlie Wilson’s War by George Crile

  • Reminders for Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

    Brigadier Yusuf made the most interesting remarks about the death of CIA Director, William Casey. He states that, “It was a great blow to the Jehad when Casey died”. He did not elaborate whether by this definition one should count Casey as Shaheed (warrior who dies in battle in the cause of Islam). It will quite be amusing for Americans to know that one of their former CIA director is actually a martyr of Islam.” Ref: US Vice President Joe Biden & ‘Non Functioning’ Democarcy in Pakistan – 1
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/02/us-vice-president-joe-biden-non.html [NOTE: Brigadier Yousuf was in Millat Party with Laghar and nowadays in Ex-Serviceman Society and usually in Tableeghi Jamat where all Butchers from Establishment Hide after committing Butchery]

    Then “please explain the Kargil Disaster, even Musharraf’s very own Generals says, read the details– REFERENCES: Kargil-A Military Analysis 15 June 2003 A.H Amin – Debacle-As per Pakistani ex Corps Commander Posted: Jun 2, 2008 Mon 11:04 am MORE HARSH TRUTH: “LIES”of General [R] Pervez Musharraf, Sharifs & Talibans. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/03/liesof-general-r-pervez-musharraf.html

  • Reminders for Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

    Pakistan: The Mullahs and the Military Asia Report N°4920 Mar 2003 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/pakistan/049-pakistan-the-mullahs-and-the-military.aspx

    Pakistan: Madrasas, Extremism and the Military Asia Report N°3629 Jul 2002 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/pakistan/036-pakistan-madrasas-extremism-and-the-military.aspx

    The State of Sectarianism in Pakistan Asia Report Nº9518 Apr 2005
    http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/pakistan/095-the-state-of-sectarianism-in-pakistan.aspx

    Pakistan’s Tribal Areas: Appeasing the Militants Asia Report N°12511 Dec 2006 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/pakistan/125-pakistans-tribal-areas-appeasing-the-militants.aspx

  • Reminders for Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

    The War Inquiry Commission was appointed by the President of Pakistan in December 1971. In its secret report, never made public in Pakistan the commission, headed by then Chief Justice of Pakistan, Hamoodur Rahman, held widespread atrocities, other abuses of power by Pakistani generals and a complete failure in civilian and martial-law leadership responsible for the loss of East Pakistan. The report dwells on a range of sins: killing of thousands of Bangladeshis—both civilians and “Bengali” soldiers—rape, pan smuggling, looting of banks in East Pakistan, drunkenness by officers, even an instance of a Brigadier “entertaining” women while his troops were being shelled by Indian troops. It recommended a string of court-martials and trials against top officers . Nothing ever happened. The army’s role in splintering Pakistan after its greatest military debacle was largely ignored by successive Pakistani governments. The Commission examined nearly 300 witnesses and hundreds of classified army signals between East and West Pakistan. The final report was submitted on October 23, 1974, detailing political, administrative, military and moral failings of then Pakistan. REFERENCE: http://www.bangla2000.com/bangladesh/Independence-War/Report-Hamoodur-Rahman/default.shtm

  • Reminders for Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

    The crisis of intelligence came during the 1965 war. Brigadier Riaz was good enough to show me his set-up, an impressive affair judging by the sophisticated equipment and the operators at work. He told me that he had contacts inside the Occupied Kashmir and in other major Indian cities. “I will flood you with news. Don’t worry”. When the war started there was a complete blackout of news from all the intellience agencies. When I got nothing out of the ISI for two days I went to Brigadier Riaz only to learn that all his contacts had gone underground. Ref: Jang Group: Ansar Abbasi, ISI and Peace with India [Aman Ki Asha] http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/01/jang-group-ansar-abbasi-isi-and-peace.html

  • What about this?

    Three ex-Army generals found guilty of Rs 25 bn scam By Rauf Klasra Saturday, October 02, 2010 Shawwal 22, 1431 A.H. http://www.thenews.com.pk/02-10-2010/Top-Story/1022.htm

    ISLAMABAD: A nine-year-old Rs 25 billion scam of the Musharraf regime has returned to haunt his three favourite ex-Army Generals, who administered the Pakistan Railways in 2001, former ISI chief Javed Ashraf Qazi, Saeeduz Zafar and Hamid Hassan Butt.

    A 20-member special parliamentary committee of the National Assembly, formed by Speaker NA Dr Fahmida Mirza on April 22, 2008, investigated the lease of PR’s hundreds of acres of land of Royal Palm Golf and Country Club, Lahore, to a private party. It has now recommended to the government to register criminal cases against these ex-generals and confiscate and auction their property to recover the losses before cancelling the deal.

    These generals were summoned by the committee to give their side of the story but they failed to convince the members of their innocence. This is the major finding of any parliamentary committee since the return of democracy in 2008. The special committee has recommended immediate termination of the contract signed in 2001 and appointment of a new ad hoc committee for the interim period. It recommended fresh leasing of the Royal Palm Golf Course in an open auction so that maximum revenue could be generated for the Pakistan Railways, which according to its calculation might exceed Rs 40 billion.

    This correspondent had exposed this scam in 2001 when it had landed in the Public Accounts Committee, after Auditor General of Pakistan had claimed that the then army generals were not ready to hand over the secret documents of the deal signed with their favourite party, where the father-in-law of General Pervez Musharraf’s son used to work as a consultant. The then railways minister Javed Ashraf Qazi had “condemned” this correspondent for filing this story.

    The committee has also recommended prosecution of all the four members of the executive committee of the Railways who had executed this deal with the patronage of these Army generals, and confiscation of their property too.

    The parliamentary inquiry report, which took more than two years to complete, has now revealed that the contract was achieved through fraud, cheating and misrepresentation. The parliamentary inquiry team headed by MNA Nadeem Afzal Chann submitted its report in the National Assembly on Friday. Other members of the team included Tariq Tarar, Tariq Shabir, Nasir Ali Shah, Nauman Islam Sheikh, Fauzia Wahab, Noor Alam Khan, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq , Abid Sher Ali, Raja Mohammad Asad Khan, Abdul Majeed Khanan Khail, Malik Bashir Awan, Haji Rozud Din, Pervaiz Khan, Sheikh Waqas Akram, Marvi Memon, Arbab Zakaullah, Engineer Shaukat Ullah, Gulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, Iqbal Mohammad Khan and the minister for railways.

    The report said its members discussed and investigated the matter of allotment of Railways land to the Royal Golf and Country Club, Lahore, on nominal price and recommended legal action against those held responsible.

    The committee members have found the then minister for railways Lt General Javed Ashraf Qazi, former secretary and chairman Railways Lt General Saeeduz Zafar, ex-general manager Railways Major General Hamid Hassan Butt and former secretary railways Khursheed Alam Khan responsible for this faulty deal, which according to the committee caused Rs 40 billion loss if calculated on the current market price.

    The 25-page inquiry report available with The News said, “We (members) strongly feel that the contract was secured by the present lessee through deceit and fraud in connivance with the then high-ups of the Pakistan Railways and is not in accordance with the approved terms or the advertised terms. It is illegal and void, especially in the light of the Supreme Court’s decision on the privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills.”

    The report said the deal was signed in indecent haste the day the executive committee approved the terms and conditions of the deal. The officials and three retired generals who appeared before the committee failed to explain how the entire work, such as approval of the deal, preparation of contract documents and signing of the same, were managed in one day. “It appears that it was actually a private contract between those retired generals and the lessee,” the report said.

    It said the inclusion of Phase-II in the deal was also illegal, not based on any expression of interest and was not mentioned in the advertisement. It was to be completed within five years but eight years have lapsed and no revenue has accrued to the Pakistan Railways. The reasons of the delay given by the party are baseless. The Phase 111 is also illegal, it added.

    The report said the revenue share of the golf course should be from gross revenue, including everything as approved by the executive committee. According to the Railways record, the lessee has repeatedly committed defaults and its contract is liable to be terminated on this sole ground.

    The replies given by Railways ex-employees, ex-chairman and lessee are not satisfactory and did not address the issues at all. The lessee has been occupying the land meant for Phase-II and III without paying any rent. The committee calculated a net present value of the land, which substantiates that it was a very poor deal. The committee agrees with the opinion of the DG Audit Railways that even if we accept the value of the land to be Rs 3.2 billion as was claimed by General Hamid Hassan Butt in his deliberations before the Committee members, even in that case the Railways shall suffer a loss Of Rs 25 billion due to this deal because the rent is not calculated according to the Railways code of engineering which provides that the annual rent should not be less than 15 per cent of the market value of the land. The contract is therefore detrimental to public interest, the committee observed.

    This correspondent called General Javed Ashraf Qazi to get his point of view. His wife attended the call on his mobile phone and said he was out for dinner. Meanwhile, talking to The News General (retd) Saeeduz Zafar said he was not in a position to give a comprehensive statement, as he had not read the report yet. But he defended himself and said many important legal issues were involved and this contract was awarded after doing proper homework and following the laws of the land. General Zafar claimed that it was wrong to assume that all those who were running the Pakistan Railways in 2001 were directly responsible. He said a special committee comprising railways officials was set up to monitor the whole process and ensure transparent award of the contract.

    He confirmed that he was summoned by the special committee to give his side of the story. General Saeed claimed that this deal was also put before the Public Accounts Committee in 2006 and its members did not find anything wrong in it. He pointed out that a Senate body too had probed the deal and it too failed to find any flaws in it.

  • I believe such news stories are an attempt to create rifts between the two institutions. Pak army has always supported the democratic setup is working under the directives of the elected government.

  • Reminders for Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

    After Pakistani Journalist Speaks Out About an Attack, Eyes Turn to the Military By JANE PERLEZ Published: September 24, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/world/asia/25cheema.html?_r=4&ref=nf http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/world/asia/25cheema.html Jason Tanner for The New York Times
    A version of this article appeared in print on September 25, 2010, on page A7 of the New York edition.

    Umar Cheema, 34, a reporter for The News, was kidnapped and beaten on the outskirts of Islamabad on Sept. 4 after having written several articles that were critical of the Pakistani Army

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — An investigative reporter for a major Pakistani newspaper was on his way home from dinner here on a recent night when men in black commando garb stopped his car, blindfolded him and drove him to a house on the outskirts of town.

    There, he says, he was beaten and stripped naked. His head and eyebrows were shaved, and he was videotaped in humiliating positions by assailants who he and other journalists believe were affiliated with the country’s powerful spy agency.

    At one point, while he lay face down on the floor with his hands cuffed behind him, his captors made clear why he had been singled out for punishment: for writing against the government. “If you can’t avoid rape,” one taunted him, “enjoy it.”

    The reporter, Umar Cheema, 34, had written several articles for The News that were critical of the Pakistani Army in the months preceding the attack.

    His ordeal was not uncommon for a journalist or politician who crossed the interests of the military and intelligence agencies, the centers of power even in the current era of civilian government, reporters and politicians said.

    What makes his case different is that Mr. Cheema has spoken out about it, describing in graphic detail what happened in the early hours of Sept. 4, something rare in a country where victims who suspect that their brutal treatment was at the hands of government agents often choose, out of fear, to keep quiet.

    “I have suspicions and every journalist has suspicions that all fingers point to the ISI,” Mr. Cheema said, using the acronym for the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, the institution that the C.I.A. works with closely in Pakistan to hunt militants. The ISI is an integral part of the Pakistani Army; its head, Gen. Shuja Ahmed Pasha, reports to the army chief of staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

    Officials at the American Embassy said they interviewed Mr. Cheema this week, and sent a report of his account to the State Department. In response to an e-mail for comment, a spokesman for the ISI said, “They are nothing but allegations with no substance or truth.”

    Mr. Cheema had won a Daniel Pearl Journalism Fellowship to train foreign journalists in 2007 and worked in The New York Times newsroom for six months at that time. He has worked at The News since 2007.

    In interviews, he said his car was stopped near his home in the capital by men with the words “no fear” inscribed on their clothes. Once he was blindfolded and driven to the safe house, he was handed over to another group of men who carried out the abuse, he said. After six hours, he was dumped on a road 100 miles from the capital, Islamabad.

    Mr. Cheema says he wrote more than 50 articles this year that questioned various aspects of the conduct of the military and the government, including corruption accusations against the president, Asif Ali Zardari.

    But it was three articles in particular, in June, July and August, on delicate internal army problems that appear to have angered the military.

    One article reported on the sensitive issue of the courts-martial of two army commandos who refused to obey orders and join the assault on a radical mosque and school in Islamabad in 2007.

    The attack was believed at the time to be unpopular in the army ranks because many soldiers were reluctant to fire on fellow Muslims. Moreover, courts-martial are rarely mentioned in the Pakistani news media, and reporters have been warned not to write about them.

    In his article, Mr. Cheema reported that two members of the Special Services Group, an elite commando squad, were being denied fair justice during the court-martial proceedings.

    In another article, Mr. Cheema wrote that the suspects in a major terrorist attack against a bus carrying ISI employees were acquitted because of the “mishandling” of the court case by the intelligence agency.

    In an article in early August, the reporter described how Army House, the residence of the chief of army staff, was protected by 400 city police officers and not by soldiers, as required by law.

    In its political coverage, The News is vociferously against the civilian government of Mr. Zardari, but the opinion pages publish a cross section of views, including pro-military columnists.

    While Mr. Cheema has chosen to publicize his case, he is not the only journalist or politician to come under the apparent harassment of the security services.

    The law minister in Punjab Province, Rana Sanullah Khan, said that in 2003, when he was an opposition politician and had criticized the army during the presidency of Gen.Pervez Musharraf, he was kidnapped and brutalized in a similar manner.

    In January, in Islamabad, the home of Azaz Syed, a reporter for Dawn, the main English-language daily, was attacked by unknown assailants days after he was threatened by supposed ISI agents over an investigative article he was researching related to the military.

    Kamran Shafi, a leading columnist and himself a former army officer who writes critically of the military, was harassed and his house was attacked last December by “elements linked to the security establishment,” according to his own account.

    In the last several years, journalists in the tribal areas, where the army is fighting theTaliban, have faced special risks and found it increasingly difficult to work for fear of offending either side. In September two journalists were killed in or near the tribal areas, under circumstances that remain unclear.

    Pakistan has developed a rambunctious news media spearheaded by round the clock television news channels in the last decade. The military and the ISI are treated with respect by the powerful television anchors, and by newspaper reporters who extol the deeds of the army in battling the Taliban. The ISI is rarely mentioned by name but referred to as “intelligence agencies.”

    One reason for the deference, according to a Pakistani intelligence official who has worked with the media cell of the ISI, is that the agency keeps many journalists on its payroll.

    Unspoken rules about covering the military and its intelligence branches are eagerly enforced, Babar Sattar, a Harvard-trained lawyer, said. A journalist who trespasses over the line is told to behave, Mr. Sattar said.

    Earlier this year, Mr. Cheema said he was called to a coffee shop in Islamabad by an ISI officer and warned to fall into line.

    At a journalists’ seminar in Lahore, the editor of a weekly newspaper, Najam Sethi, said it was up to the ISI to declare who had attacked Mr. Cheema.

    “If the ISI hasn’t done it, they should tell us who did it because they’re supposed to know,” Mr. Sethi said. “If they don’t tell, the presumption remains they did it.”

    But in a column titled “Surprise Surprise” in Dawn, Mr. Shafi said, “We will never find out what happened to poor Umar Cheema because the Deep State does not want us to find out.”

  • Sharif removed Musharraf after a phone call: Gen Butt
    By Azaz Syed Tuesday, 12 Oct, 2010 http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/sharif-decided-to-remove-musharraf-after-a-phone-call-gen-(retd)-butt-200

    ISLAMABAD: Eleven years after the fateful night that put an end to his military career, General (retd) Ziauddin Butt disclosed that General (retd) Pervez Musharraf had plans to topple the elected government since his inception as Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) in 1998.

    “I do know personally that he had some such plans since October 1998 when he assumed the office of the COAS,” said General (retired) Ziauddin in an exclusive but informal chat with Dawn at his residence in Lahore.

    General Ziauddin was “appointed” army chief by then prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif on October 12, 1999, which triggered the series of events that led to the military coup later that night. The night proved to be no less tumultuous for Ziauddin; stripped of his military rank, he was kept in solitary confinement for two years at the headquarters of the 111 Brigade.

    In perhaps what is his first extensive interaction with the media, the military officer claimed that Musharraf was a “friend of mine”.

    At the same time, when pressed to talk further about the “plans” to carry out a coup, which dated back to 1998, the general refused to reveal anything else. He did, however, claim that the plan to topple the elected government was not a secret in the days leading up to October 12. “We were aware that General Musharraf and his cronies would take over.”

    Ziauddin told Dawn that armed with this knowledge the prime minister too had decided to remove General Musharraf though he (Ziauddin) was not aware of the details of what Nawaz Sharif had in mind.

    The government, he said, sprang into action when on October 12 Mr Sharif was about to proceed on a scheduled visit to Shujaabad, Multan. Shortly before he was about to leave the prime minister received a telephone call from a “reliable source”. This prompted the prime minister to remove General Musharraf. “To date Mian Nawaz Sharif has not disclosed who the caller on the other end was.”

    Ziauddin also said that despite heading the ISI, he was kept out of the loop by the rest of the military in the run-up to the coup. He explained that one of his junior officers, Major General Ghulam Ahmed, widely known as GA, was secretly reporting to Musharraf. He said that in the ISI, most of the postings were done by GHQ and hence if the DG ISI did not enjoy the confidence of the chief of army staff, he was not just ineffective but also helpless despite heading one of the strongest intelligence agencies in the country.

    He also disclosed that on the night of October 12, 1999, after the military had taken over, General Mahmud Ahmed visited him and suggested that he denounce the removal of Pervez Musharraf. Ziauddin refused and ended up in solitary confinement.

    “I refused to become party to the unconstitutional act carried out by the fellow Generals,” said Ziauddin. He held General Musharraf; then corps commander General Mahmud Ahmed; chief of general staff General Aziz Khan; vice chief of general staff Maj-Gen Ali Mohammad Jan Orakzai; DG MO Maj-Gen Shahid Aziz and others responsible for the coup.

    Clad in a blue t-shirt with white trousers, General (retired) Ziauddin said that the differences between the PML-N and the military emerged after the Kargil war. Siding with Sharif, he too claimed that Musharraf started the Kargil conflict without the prior approval and knowledge of the elected government. “Even the corps commanders and principal staff officers were kept in the dark.”

    After the conflict, the relations deteriorated rapidly; according to Ziauddin, Musharraf began abusing Sharif in private gatherings. Sharif learnt this because he was given an audio tape in which the chief of army staff was using insulting language against the prime minister. The tape was given to Sharif by the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

    When asked about his reported close relations with the father of Sharif which is said to have led to his appointment as army chief in October 1999, Ziauddin could not help smiling before he answered that he had never met Sharif senior.

    Ziauddin also claimed that his name as the successor to Musharraf was suggested by secretary defence; Sharif had asked the secretary as to who was the senior most general after Musharraf and this is when Ziauddin’s name came up.

    “On October 12 when I went to PM house I was taken by surprise when I was given the letter appointing me as COAS.”

    He said that he was the senior most military officer on October 12, 1999. When asked about the reports which claimed that Ziauddin had no experience of commanding a corps, he said that he had commanded an infantry brigade and had been awarded the highest grade in the war course and that he had been personnel staff officer of COAS Aslam Baig for which the best brigadier of the army is selected. Besides this, he had also served as the Gujranwala corps commander. These reports about his previous military experience had surfaced after the coup, in a bid to highlight that Sharif’s choice for COAS had been inappropriate also because Ziauddin lacked the requisite experience.

    However, he claimed that this was not the first time his name had been considered for COAS. Even when General Jahangir Karamat’s replacement was to be finalised in October 1998, Ziauddin’s name was proposed along with those of Lt. General Ali Quli Khan and General Musharraf.

    “But at that time then secretary defence, Lt. General (retired) Iftikhar Ahmed Khan supported Musharraf for the post.”

    Ziauddin also claimed that Musharraf was all set to be removed by the former army chief General Jahangir Karamat because the latter had received some pictures and evidence implicating Musharraf in some immoral activities but for some reasons this did not happen.

    Talking about his arrest, General (retired) Ziauddin said he was kept in custody for two years. He said that he was told by a junior officer that he (Ziauddin) had been removed from service. Later, he added, he was given a hand-written order that he was removed under section 16 of the Pakistan Military Law and Manual of Pakistan Military Law but he was never court martialled.

    According to Ziauddin, the removal orders of any senior officer are to be signed by the prime minister or the president. But his dismissal orders, which were sent to the then president, Rafiq Tarar, were not signed by the latter. Evidently, the dismissal orders must have been backdated and signed by Pervez Musharraf once he took over as president, he conjectured.

    Ziauddin said that Musharraf confiscated his property and deprived him of his retirement benefits. The retired ISI chief today lives in a one-canal house owned by his wife. He claimed that for most of Musharraf’s tenure he lived under strict observation and surveillance and most of his former colleagues avoided meeting him.

  • Kamran Khan [Jang/Geo] on Sharif Brothers & 12 Oct 1999.
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/10/kamran-khan-janggeo-on-sharif-brothers.html Nowadays “Kamran Khan, Jang Group of Newspapers, GEO TV, and The News International “advising” Nawaz Sharif for the Long March whereas 11 Years ago read what Kamran Khan had filed in The News International/Daily Jang on Sharif Brothers, Accountability process, Senator Saifur Rehman and what not, read the history and Watch the Video of Former DG IB Mr. Iqbal Niazi.

  • To many here, the drama represents progress: In a nation with a history of military coups, an independent judiciary has emerged as the major threat to the unpopular government. To others, including some government critics and lawyers’ movement stalwarts, the court and its chief justice are on a warpath against Zardari that threatens a fragile democracy that needs an elected government – even a bad one – to complete a term in office. “This judge and the court have embarked upon politics,” said lawyer Khurram Latif Khosa, whose father, also a lawyer, advises Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani. “The lawyers who were chanting slogans in their favor are now burning effigies of their idols.” Some legal experts say they are disturbed that the court rarely pursues matters involving non-ruling-party politicians or the military establishment. Under Musharraf, Chaudhry was a vocal advocate for cases involving suspects who disappeared, allegedly at the hands of Pakistan’s intelligence services. The cases have made little progress since last year. Pakistan’s emboldened judiciary threatens government stability By Karin Brulliard Washington Post Foreign Service
    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/12/AR2010101205922.html

  • Great leadership by President Zardari. If such a leader had ruled Pakistan for a decade instead of the corupt military, Pakistan will today have been a developed nation. We proudly extend our faithful support to President Zardari for standing his ground and repelling all unconstitutional demands.