Original Articles

ISI Chief’s extension: Another bad decision in offing?

Related articles: General Kayani’s extension as army chief: A bad decision

Mohsin Baig’s Online-International News Network: A news ‘agency’ you can trust!

A glaring example of how ISI dictates Pakistani newspapers: The case of a missing WikiLeak cable

According to a recent report by Online, an ISI sponsored news agency headed by Mohsin Baig:

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has advised President Asif Ali Zardari to extend Director General Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. General Ahmed Shuja Pasha’s service for two years.

Since Pasha is already on extension, to further extend his service it requires a favorable advice of the Prime Minister to be duly approved by the President. Therefore, Premier Gilani has already moved a summary for the President in this regard, sources privy to the development told Online on condition of anonymity. The sources were hopeful that the President was most likely to sign shortly the summary proposing two-year extension in Pasha’s service.

On March 9, 2010 Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani had extended the term of service of Pasha, as the rules empower the army chief to extend service of a Lt General by one year. Sources familiar with the rules underlined that the first time post-retirement extension in service of Lt Generals does not require the government’s approval.

Retirement date of Pasha, who has been serving as Director-General of the ISI since his appointment by Kayani in September 2008 was March 18, 2010. Now the extension given army chief to the ISI head would expire on the 18th of this month. Thus the PPP government considering multiple factors ranging from internal security to touchy ties with America has decided that extension to Pasha was unavoidable.

It seems that contrary to the feeler released by the Online, the “advice” was given by the Chief of Army Staff General Kayani in which he instructed the Prime Minister to grant yet another extension to the ISI’s chief General Pasha.

General Pasha was previously granted an extension in 2009; several right wing and fake liberal writers wrote articles and gave statements at that time eulogizing his professional excellence. However, it is now proven that Pakistan has suffered most terrorist attacks during General Pasha’s stint as the ISI chief than any other of his predecessors, and that the ISI remains committed to its policy of cooperation with the (good) Taliban and protection of groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Sipah-e-Sahaba and Jamaatud-Dawa.

So, is the extension a reward for the mess he has done so far, given that our intelligence agency has been constantly failing on domestic and international fronts?

Pasha’s extension, in the context of the recent ISI-CIA meeting in Oman, does this mean that Raymond Davis is about to get freedom? Is this part of a barter trade arrangement with the CIA?

Here is how Mohsin Beg’s Online news agency of the ISI justifies Pasha’s extension:

Deteriorating law and order across the country, Pakistan-India relations taking delicate turn, and evolving scenario in Afghanistan, and above all soared ties with US after the Raymond Davis imbroglio have forced the government to retain Pasha for another two years at least, the sources observed.

Based on these factors in addition to the key role of Pakistan’s top intelligence agency in countering regional insurgency situation, the current decision was to ensure continuity of policy, the sources observed.

Pasha heads the ISI, which plays the single most important role in the US-led war on terror especially in this region. According to the sources, Washington relies heavily on Pakistan’s army-led security establishment to help bring a close to the now a decade old war. But without the ISI, the United States simply could not realize its objectives in the region, the sources added.

It is pertinent to recall here that the telephonic conversation between Pasha and his American counterpart CIA chief Leon Panetta last week had partially eased the hype in tension between the two countries over the issue of Raymond Davis.

According to the sources, the contact between the two agencies’ chiefs was in follow-up of the Army Chief’s meeting with American military leadership in Oman. The economist had reported that the military leadership of the two countries was performing where the diplomats could not.

Online had already reported that the military leaderships of the two countries had resolved to rescue relations and arrest the downhill descent. Therefore, the sources liked the decision of giving extension to the ISI chief to these developments in the touchy Pak-US relations. Thus, Pasha needs to stay in office in order to make progress on the understanding reached upon during the Oman meeting of the two countries’ military leadership.


About the author

Abdul Nishapuri


Click here to post a comment
  • trade off?

    The US has linked sovereign immunity for ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha in a lawsuit filed by relatives of victims of the Mumbai attacks in a Brooklyn court to the diplomatic immunity for an American arrested for the Lahore double murder, a media report said.

    The US administration “appears willing to claim sovereign immunity for the ISI chief in this case provided Pakistan also granted diplomatic immunity to Mr (Raymond) Davis, who is a CIA contractor ,” Dawn newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying.

    “At one stage, the Americans were going to file papers in the court, stating that the ISI chief enjoyed sovereign immunity but decided not to do so after Mr Davis’ arrest,” an official source told the daily.

    The court in Brooklyn has accepted the petition against the ISI chief for the agency’s alleged involvement in the Mumbai attacks, the report said. The arrest of another alleged CIA operative in Peshawar for over-staying his visa has further annoyed the Americans, who pointed out that more than 100,000 Pakistanis were living in the US after the expiry of their visas, it said.

    The Americans seem willing to discuss Islamabad’s demand for sharing information on the CIA’s activities in Pakistan “provided the Pakistanis also shared relevant information ,” the source said.

    Read more: Mumbai attack: US links cover for ISI chief to Davis case – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Mumbai-attack-US-links-cover-for-ISI-chief-to-Davis-case/articleshow/7608088.cms#ixzz1Fcb2SC3n

  • Two jeems:

    The Lahore High Court asked the counsel for the federation on Wednesday to get written comments from the chief of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on a petition seeking release of 11 men detained after their acquittal in terrorism cases.

    Justice Saghir Ahmed Qadri of LHC`s Rawalpindi bench asked counsel Babar Ali to get the response of the military authorities concerned by March 17 on the petition filed by Attiqur Rehman and others through their lawyer Ilyas Siddiqi.

    Relatives of the 11 men detained by military authorities after they were allegedly taken away from Adiyala jail on May 29 last year by personnel of intelligence agencies have sought their release, terming their detention illegal.


  • @author
    ” is now proven that Pakistan has suffered most terrorist attacks during General Pasha’s stint as ISI chief than any other of his predecessors”………….wat a pathetic analysis…..i feel ISI feeds considering the topic 1st to the paperz, while you have gone for it without imagining it once……….you are in a state of war and why dont u fire d govt aswell, for letting most drones rain hell fire missile in Pakistan……the extension is justified keeping in view the current situation……..

  • It will be illustrative if folks could post links to all terrorist attacks and incidents during General Paasha’s tenure as ISI head.

  • Jang Group says that Shahbaz Bhatti was murdered by US CIA:) then why didn’t the JUI (F) Stood in silent for Bhatti in National Assembly – Jang Group is paving the way to hide the Murderer Mullahs behind cock and bull story of CIA – Taliban say they did it but agencies also looking at Xe, RAW – By Shakeel Anjum Friday, March 04, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=4380&Cat=13&dt=3/4/2011

    Could this Jang Group justify its campaign Aman Ki Asha with RAW’s parent country

  • Well Pasha ka bhee haq hay. If the CJ, PM, President and Army Chief are assured to stay on till 2013, why not him? In ka bhee utna hee haq hay. Please also extend the tenure of Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, SCBA President Asma Jahangir, PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt and many more. What will happen after 2013 is very simple…Imran Khan brings a revolution

  • extension for Kiani , pasha, justice ramday, rehmat jafery , suprem court registar dr faqir khokhar is fine but extenstion for D.G FIA Wasim ahmed is very bad. what a funny world we living in.we aliving under judicial martial law, Hamid dogar and iftikhar did a judicial NRO and the deal broke by Army becuase army generals names were also coming in that case.if hamid dogar did a great crime and violated the constituion how can he be let free by only apologies to Iftikhar choudry.if you do a crime and apologies to iftikhar choudry you will be let free.i don’t know whats going on.

  • I kept thinking why Bhatti was killed by some professional hit men, now I have the answer.
    To believe that a few rogue asshiq e Rasool killed Bhatti just did not sit well with me. I think people who speculate on the Brooklyn court and the trade offs there, just don’t know what we are dealing with here. Brooklyn court is a petty matter and more or less a smokescreen.
    Thanks for this piece of info.

  • What If Bhatti’s death is not enough to get an extension, just think about what else we might see before the 18th.

  • More than a thousand Shias killed, thousands of Pushtuns and Baloch killed, more than a hundred Ahmadis killed, dozens of Christians killed, thousands of ordinary Pakistanis of all faiths and ethnicities killed, countless leaders of the PPP and ANP killed.

    General Pasha has a long citation in his list of achievements. Extension granted. Hail GHQ!

  • The Davis case already settled between CIA and ISI. Zardari being used as a smokescreen to face domestic criticism in Pakistan.


    Talks under way for Davis issue settlement
    By Qaiser Butt
    Published: March 6, 2011

    The talks were made public on Saturday after the US ambassador in Pakistan, Cameron Munter, called on President Asif Ali Zardari. PHOTO: AFP/FILE
    A top level dialogue between Pakistan and the United States is under way to hammer out a negotiated settlement on the Raymond Davis issue.
    The talks were made public on Saturday after the US ambassador in Pakistan, Cameron Munter, called on President Asif Ali Zardari and delivered an important message from Washington, a source said requesting anonymity.
    After the meeting, spokesperson for the president Farhatullah Babar issued a brief and vague statement, which said that various bilateral issues were discussed between the two sides.
    An article published in The Washington Post on Saturday by President Zardari on the Davis issue also came under discussion, sources said.
    A veteran diplomat said that a marked improvement in bilateral ties between Pakistan and the United States “will be visible over the next couple of weeks” when US special envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, Mark Grossman, will hold talks with top civilian and military leadership of the country.
    The ties, which soured rapidly after the arrest of a CIA contractor, Raymond Davis, in Lahore on Jan 27, “are returning to normalcy”, the former diplomat told The Express Tribune. “The process to return the Washington-Islamabad diplomatic affairs to normalcy is under way,” he said requesting anonymity.
    However, at no point in time did the relations hit a point of no-return despite a heated war of words.
    In this context, he cited two important meetings between top Pakistani-US military leaders in Muscat and Rawalpindi over the past week.
    The February 23 meeting in Muscat between Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral US Central Command chief General James Mattis, chief of the Special Operations Command Admiral Eric Olson and the Commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus.
    Although US commanders consult frequently with General Kayani, this was only the third time they gathered in this manner since August 2008, said an ISPR press release to signify the meeting.
    Referring to CIA-ISI ties in the context of Raymond Davis episode, the diplomat noted the post meeting statement by the ISPR: “The two sides also discussed the need for greater infrastructure development, cross-border communication between Pakistan and Afghanistan and information sharing to defeat terrorists.”
    The second meeting between Gen Kayani and top US commanders occurred on March 3 at the GHQ when the Tripartite Commission, composed of senior military representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan and coalition forces in Afghanistan, held its 33rd meeting in Rawalpindi, including General David H Petreaus, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) and General Sher Muhammad Karimi, Chief of General Staff of Afghan National Army. The forum also discussed various measures to further improve the coordination.
    To substantiate his optimism, the former diplomat said that Grossman’s first interaction with President Zardari and Gen Kayani is primarily scheduled for talks on the Afghan issue but it would not remain confined to just one single subject.
    “There is no doubt that the talks will play a key role in put the ties back on the right track,” he added.
    The US envoy is faced with an uphill task in Afghanistan as the US plans the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan this summer.
    Grossman has already been to London, Jeddah, Kabul, Islamabad and Brussels to promote a “political reconciliation with the Taliban”.
    “There appeared to a greater realisation between the civil and military leadership of the both countries that the Davis’ factor should not be allowed to take their (bilateral) relations, particularly war on terror, a hostage,” he said.
    The former diplomat cited three major developments which indicated leniency on part of Pakistan: (a) Pakistan refrained from prosecuting Raymond Davis on espionage charges despite the fact that Davis was put on trial for the Lahore murders (b) Pakistan is no longer demanding the custody of the three US nationals who are still hiding in the US consulate in Lahore after crushing to death another Pakistani citizen (c) Spying charges were not pressed against another US national who was arrested in Peshawar despite having been found to be involved in questionable activities.
    However , the arrest of the US citizen in Peshawar sent a loud and clear message to the CIA that more of its “spies” could be arrested in the future, the former diplomat opined.
    On the part of the Americans, he said, a long list of its “diplomats” was made public by the state minister for foreign affairs after the list was handed over by the US embassy last week.
    However, he warned that it would be a “mistake to read this display as an indication that the trust issues have been resolved between the two intelligence agencies”.
    “But it is also significant to note that the CIA spokesman George Little said any problems between the two agencies will be sorted out.”
    Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2011.


  • http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_a-spy-for-a-spy_1516052-all

    A spy for a spy
    Published: Sunday, Mar 6, 2011, 2:03 IST
    By Amir Mir

    With the CIA rapidly expanding its covert operations in Pakistan, and the ISI in no mood to surrender its dominant presence in the Af-Pak region, the arrest of CIA agent Raymond Davis has pushed the two intelligence agencies into an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation.

    The world of espionage and counter-espionage has rules of its own, with the most fundamental ones being: you don’t get caught, and you don’t get caught committing murders. These rules are even more critical if you happen to be an American spy working in Pakistan, a country seething with anti-American sentiment but headed by a pro-American government. Raymond Davis, the undercover CIA agent who faces a double murder charge in Pakistan for killing two youngsters in Lahore on January 27, broke both these rules. He is now in a Pakistani jail and the Americans are scrambling to get him out.

    The US, however, has a tough job in saving him, for his arrest has acquired dimensions that the ex-Army Special Forces soldier (an elite group trained in weapons, foreign languages and cultures) may not have dreamt of when he whipped out his Glock and fired away at two young men on a motorbike. For what Davis’ arrest has achieved is to blow the lid off the scale and intensity of covert CIA operations on Pakistani soil — much of it without the knowledge or consent of the Pakistani intelligence establishment, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). This is also at the heart of the turf war between the CIA and the ISI.

    How many Raymonds?
    Indeed, Davis’ current predicament exemplifies this conflict. US President Barack Obama has tried both threats and persuasion to get Pakistan to release Davis who, they claim, is a member of the American diplomatic mission, and hence immune from criminal prosecution under the Vienna Convention. But Pakistan’s refusal to accede to the American demand of granting diplomatic immunity to a CIA agent has already led to a diplomatic row.

    Although Raymond Davis says he had killed both the boys in self-defence as they tried to rob him, some media reports say the victims were ISI operatives who had been tracking him. An ISI official has issued a statement saying that Davis had contacts in the tribal regions along the Afghanistan border and already knew both the men he killed.

    Even as the Raymond Davis fiasco raged, another Raymond was caught in Peshawar. This one hadn’t even cared to renew his expired Pakistani visa. Hence, ‘Raymond’ in Pakistan has come to characterise a typical, white, trigger-happy secret agent, with a revolver in his holster and a licence to kill in his pocket.

    The arrests from Lahore and Peshawar point to the scale of the American spy network in Pakistan, prompting the masses to ask: how many Raymonds stalk Pakistan? Truth to tell, thousands of Raymonds live in posh localities of the four provincial capitals of Pakistan and the federal capital.

    Profusion of security contractors
    According to diplomatic sources in Islamabad, the number of American security contractors working for the US military and the CIA in the region has exceeded the total strength of the US troops and CIA personnel. Furthermore, the presence of over 80,000 US military and intelligence contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan has taken the privatisation of the war to an unprecedented level.
    There have also been credible reports that Blackwater Worldwide, the private security firm (now called Xe), has been working with US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) on American Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) in various parts of Pakistan, including Karachi, on sensitive operations such as ‘snatch-and-grabs’ of high-value targets inside and outside Pakistan. As the American stakes became higher in Pakistan than in Afghanistan or Iraq, the strength of the US Mission in Islamabad also swelled from 280 to about 1,000, including CIA personnel, but without any agreement between the two governments.

    The Davis issue comes in the wake of a major setback in Pak-US ties, when in November 2010, a US federal court issued a summons to the current head of the ISI, Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha as well as to a number of senior office-bearers of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for their involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The court is hearing a law suit filed by the relatives of Gavriel Noah Holtzberg, an American Jew, who was killed along with his wife in the 26/11 attacks. The petitioners had alleged that the ISI had a role in the attacks. This episode deeply upset the Pakistani military establishment, which has often been accused by the West of backing Islamic jehadi organisations active in India and Afghanistan.

    ISI blows cover of CIA station chief
    On December 16, 2010, almost a month after the November 19, 2010 issuance of the summons for the ISI chief and others, the Islamabad police moved to register a murder case against the CIA station chief in Pakistan, Jonathan Banks, who was supervising the US drone campaign. The complainant in the case was Kareem Khan, a resident of the Mirali area in North Waziristan, who claimed that his son and brother were innocent civilians killed in a US drone attack on December 31, 2009.

    Banks was charged with providing operational guidance for the drone hit. This was the first time since 2004, when the US launched its drone campaign in Pakistani tribal areas, that a victim of a missile strike has sought legal action against the CIA.
    The Obama administration subsequently decided to withdraw Jonathan Banks from Islamabad, citing security threats. But diplomatic circles in the federal capital were of the view that the case against the CIA station chief could not have been lodged without the consent of the Pakistani establishment.

    Therefore, the filing of the case against Banks was largely seen as a tit for tat move, in a battle of one-upmanship between the ISI and the CIA. The American media subsequently alleged while quoting intelligence sources that the ISI was involved in blowing the cover of the CIA station chief, especially at a time when Washington was pushing Islamabad to support the CIA’s renewed efforts target al-Qaeda and Taliban militants on the Pak-Afghan border.

    American intelligence sleuths stationed in Pakistan believe that these militant organisations, many of which are backed by the ISI, are linked to anti-US elements, especially the al-Qaeda and the Taliban, both of which are quite active on either side of the Pak-Afghan border despite a decade-long American crusade against them.

    The decision-makers in Washington, therefore, want a bigger US presence in Pakistan in order to pursue their strategic interests in the region, especially when an exit strategy for Afghanistan is already being chalked out. That’s why the White House decided last year to spend approximately $1 billion from its $2.4 billion War Supplemental Package for Pakistan on the construction of its new embassy in Islamabad on 18 acres of land and additional staffing of the American mission.

    Bargaining chip
    As expected, however, the American reinforcement plans for Pakistan created ripples in Pak army circles due to apprehensions that more and more US military and intelligence personnel would be brought to Pakistan under the cover of diplomatic assignments for covert operations. The Obama administration wants a long-term presence in the region to protect its interests, and Islamabad is an ideal place for that purpose technologically, diplomatically and personnel-wise.

    And just as the Americans were trying to allay the fears of the Pakistani establishment, Raymond Davis killed two youngsters in Lahore. But worse was to follow when the American media disclosed that the arrested US national — who was in the country on a diplomatic passport — was in fact part of a covert intelligence network involving hundreds of contract spies, operating in Pakistan without the knowledge of the ISI. Therefore, the Pakistani establishment is in no mood to free Raymond Davis as it apparently wants to use him as a bargaining chip to get the withdrawal of the civil lawsuit against the ISI chief.

    According to recent US media reports, some senior US military officials have warned Pakistan that once beyond a tipping point, the Pak-US face-off could be taken over by political forces that cannot be controlled. Key American military officials, including Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander General David Petraeus, reportedly held a daylong meeting with the Pakistani Army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, in Oman on February 22, to plot a course out of the diplomatic crisis. The Pakistani side reportedly made it clear that any step to resolve the crisis must include the withdrawal of the civil lawsuit against the ISI chief.

    Although the case against the ISI chief is a civil lawsuit, Pakistan believes that if the US is serious about getting Davis released, the American president can quash it by invoking the provision of sovereign immunity Therefore, the possibility of a clandestine settlement between the two sides on both the cases — Raymond and Pasha — can’t be ruled out.

    However, many in Pakistan fear that even after the current diplomatic crisis is resolved, it would be hard for the decision-makers in Washington and Islamabad to regain the lost buoyancy, primarily because their respective military and intelligence establishments are moving towards conflicting goals, with each trying to ensure that it becomes the dominant influence in Afghanistan after the war stops.

  • Should Pakistan wants respectability from the world community, Dismantle ISI immediately !!!

  • Nawaiwaqt / The Nation are very loyal:

    General Pasha’s extension
    By Ikramullah | Published: March 7, 2011
    Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani deserves to be congratulated on taking a relevant and timely initiative of advising President Asif Zardari to extend the service of Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), for another two years. The General was due for retirement on March 18, 2010. But considering the messy and dangerous situation in South Asia, especially Pakistan, COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had extended his term for one year, which was within the ambit of the Army Chief’s powers.
    The past year has witnessed a number of changes in the region. During his tenure, General Pasha has played an important role in handling many regional issues in the best interest of Pakistan. Truly, it is not easy to accomplish difficult tasks specifically without compromising the country’s integrity and sovereignty.
    Once again, with the General’s term due to expire on March 18, 2011, the multi-dimensional threats facing the state, and the challenges of America’s AfPak strategy, have placed it at the crossroads where continuation of the highly sensitive intelligence coordination (between ISI and CIA) is vital for a successful outcome. Thus, Gilani’s recommendation to Zardari for a two-year extension for Pasha reflects a remarkable unanimity of views between the country’s civil and military leadership.
    Also, it brings out a complete unity of approach with regard to the implementation of the strategy on national security under the present leadership. In this context, the period between 2011 and 2013 is marked by many crucial events, which may change the course of South Asia significantly. For instance, the term of the present government is due to expire in 2013, while the Army Chief’s tenure expires at almost the same time. Likewise, the security situation in FATA and the Pak-Afghan border coupled with the planned withdrawal of the US and NATO forces from Afghanistan falls within the same timeframe.


  • President Zardari gives one year extension to the protector of his wife’s killers? http://bit.ly/giJp3E


    Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha has secured a year’s extension in his service, as President Asif Ali Zardari signed Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s proposal on the matter on Thursday. Sources said the president had signed Gilani’s summary wherein he recommended a year’s extension in Pasha’s service. Chief of Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani had extended Pasha’s service for a year until March 18, 2011.
    Under the rules, the army chief can extend the service of a Lt General for a year only once without seeking a prior approval by the government. Further extension, however, requires an approval by the president. The sources said the government decided to extend the ISI chief’s service keeping in view the need for continuity of policy on issues ranging from internal security to external relations.


  • ’جنرل پاشا کی مدتِ ملازمت میں توسیع‘

    جتنی ضرورت ہوگی اتنی مدت کے لیے توسیع دی جائے گی: وزیرِ دفاع چودھری احمد مختار

    پاکستان کے وزیرِ دفاع چودھری احمد مختار نے اس بات کی تصدیق کی ہے کہ خفیہ ادارے آئی ایس آئی کے سربراہ لیفٹیننٹ جنرل احمد شجاع پاشا کی مدتِ ملازمت میں توسیع کی جا رہی ہے۔

    یہ دوسرا موقع ہے جب لیفٹیننٹ جنرل احمد شجاع پاشا کے عہدے کی معیاد میں توسیع ہوگی۔

    کلِک جنرل پاشا: تسلسل کا معاملہ

    صوبہ پنجاب کے دارالحکومت لاہور میں وفاقی وزیر ثمینہ خالد گھرکی کے شوہر خالد گھرکی کے انتقال پر ان سے تعزیت کے بعد صحافیوں سے بات کرتے ہوئے وزیرِ دفاع چودھری احمد مختار نے کہا کہ جنرل احمد شجاع پاشا کی مدتِ ملازمت میں توسیع کی جا رہی ہے۔

    تاہم وزیرِ دفاع نے اس بات کا جواب نہیں دیا کہ کہ آئی ایس آئی کے سربراہ کو دی جانے والی توسیع کی معیاد کتنی ہوگی۔

    نامہ نگار عباد الحق کے مطابق جب ان سے یہ سوال کیا گیا کہ کیا آئی ایس آئی کے سربراہ کو دو سال یعنی دو ہزار تیرہ تک توسیع دی جائے گی تو وزیر دفاع نے جواب دیا کہ ’جتنی ضرورت ہوگی اتنی مدت کے لیے توسیع دی جائے گی۔‘

    لیفٹیننٹ جنرل احمد شجاع پاشا کو ستمبر سنہ دو ہزار آٹھ میں آئی ایس آئی کا ڈائریکٹر جنرل مقرر کیا گیا تھا اور مدتِ ملازمت مکمل ہونے پر انہیں گزشتہ برس ایک سال کے لیے توسیع دی گئی تھی جو اس سال اٹھارہ مارچ کو ختم ہو رہی ہے۔


    The following article is from one year ago:

    جنرل پاشا: تسلسل کا معاملہ

    ہارون رشید
    بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، اسلام آ باد
    ایک کلیدی ادارے کے کلیدی سربراہ کو موجودہ کلیدی وقت پر ہٹانا شاید موجودہ فوجی سربراہ جنرل اشفاق پرویز کیانی کے لیے کوئی آپشن نہیں تھی۔ یہی سوچ شاید پاکستان کی اہم ترین خفیہ ایجنسی آئی ایس آئی کے سربراہ لیفٹننٹ جنرل احمد شجاع پاشا کو اس وقت مزید ایک سال کی توسیع دینے کے فیصلے کے پیچھے کارفرما ہوسکتی ہے۔ تاہم اس سوچ کی بہترین وضاحت ایک ہی لفظ کرسکتا ہے اور وہ ہے ’تسلسل‘۔

    آئی ایس آئی کے سربراہ لیفٹنٹ جنرل احمد شجاع پاشا

    جنرل پاشا آئی ایس آئی کے ڈائریکٹر جنرل کی حیثیت سے ستمبر دو ہزار آٹھ سے فرائض سرانجام دے رہے ہیں۔ اس سے قبل وہ پاکستان فوج میں ایک اور اہم ترین عہدے ڈائریکٹر جنرل ملٹری آپریشنز پر بھی ایک طویل عرصے تک کام کرچکے ہیں۔ وہ قبائلی علاقوں میں شدت پسندی کے مرض کے علاج میں ابتدائی دنوں سے مصروف تھے۔ تاہم وہ فوج سے اٹھارہ مارچ کو ریٹائر ہونے والے تھے۔

    ان کی ملازمت میں اضافے سے ناصرف پاکستان کے اندر بلکہ بیرون ملک بھی اطمینان کا اظہار کیا گیا ہوگا۔ ان کا اس عہدہ پر جاری رہنے سے شاید ہی اس موقع پر کسی کو اختلاف ہوگا۔ امریکہ جو آج بھی کسی حد تک آئی ایس آئی سے شاکی ہوگا شاید ہی اس فیصلے سے اختلاف کرنے کی حالت میں ہو۔ اس نے بھی باقی دنیا کی طرح اس امید کا اظہار کیا ہے کہ جنرل پاشا شدت پسندوں کے خلاف حالیہ کامیابیوں کے سلسلے کو جاری رکھ سکیں گے۔

    بعض تجزیہ نگاروں کے مطابق افغانستان میں امریکہ نے حالات میں بہتری لانے کے لیے اپنے لیے جو اٹھارہ ماہ کی ڈیڈلائن طے کی ہے اس تناظر میں یہ فیصلہ کافی اہمیت کا حامل ہے۔ اس موقع پر کسی نئے شخص کو آگے لانے، جاری کارروائیوں سے متعارف کروانے اور تمام گیم پلان کو سمجھنے سمجھانے میں کافی وقت ضائع ہوسکتا تھا۔ امریکہ کے لیے افغانستان میں اس کی موجودگی کا ایک ایک دن بھاری اور وہاں سے باعزت واپسی کا امکان مشکل ہوتا جا رہا ہے۔ ایسے میں کسی نئے فوجی افسر سے تعلقات استوار کرنے کی شاید حالت میں نہ ہو۔

    بعض لوگوں کا خیال ہے کہ جنرل پاشا کی مدت ملازمت میں توسیع سے جنرل کیانی سمیت کئی دیگر کی مدت ملازمت میں توسیع کے امکانات بھی بڑھ گئے ہیں۔
    امریکی فوجی کمان کے اعلیٰ ترین افسران ایک مدت سے اسلام آباد کے دورے کر رہے ہیں تاکہ پاکستان کے ان دو اہم ترین جنرلوں یعنی جنرل کیانی اور جنرل پاشا کو اپنے موقف کا قائل کرسکیں۔ لیکن ان دونوں پر مشتمل پاکستانی سکیورٹی اسٹیبلشمنٹ بظاہر ایک حد تک اس سے متفق ہے۔ جنرل کیانی نے گزشتہ دنوں بھارت ’سینٹرک‘ ہونے کا بیان دے کر واضح کر دیا کہ کم از کم ہندوستان سے متعلق فوج کی پالیسی میں کوئی تبدیلی نہیں آئی ہے۔ ہاں طالبان کے معاملے پر کچھ اتفاق رائے حالیہ گرفتاریوں اور سوات اور وزیرستان میں کامیابیوں سے ظاہر ہو رہا ہے۔ تاہم یہ اتفاق دائمی صورت اختیار کرسکے گی یا نہیں اس بارے میں ابھی شکوک وشبہات موجود ہیں۔

    حالیہ طالبان رہنماؤں کی گرفتاریوں سے ہی آئی ایس آئی کی شبیہ بہتر نہیں ہوئی ہے بلکہ اندرون ملک سیاست میں مداخلت بھی اگر مکمل طور پر ختم نہیں تو کم ضرور ہوئی ہے۔ اس ادارے کا سیاسی سیل کافی عرصے سے غیرمتحرک ہے جس کا کریڈٹ بھی شاید جنرل پاشا کو جاتا ہے۔ انہوں نے اس ادارے کی سیاست میں مداخلت کے تاثر کو کافی حد تک ختم کیا ہے۔ یہی شاید وجہ ہے جو اب ہمیں سیاست میں ان کی مداخلت کے الزامات کافی عرصے سے سننے کو نہیں مل رہے ہیں۔ ایک اور خوشگوار تبدیلی انہوں نے چند ماہ قبل اسلام آباد میں بھارتی ہائی کمیشن کی ایک تقریب میں شرکت کر کے محسوس کروائی تھی۔

    بعض لوگوں کا خیال ہے کہ جنرل پاشا کی مدت ملازمت میں توسیع سے جنرل کیانی سمیت کئی دیگر کی مدت ملازمت میں توسیع کے امکانات بھی بڑھ گئے ہیں۔ جنرل کیانی کے علاوہ جائنٹ چیفس آف سٹاف کمیٹی کے چیرمین جنرل طارق مجید بھی اس سال اواخر میں ریٹائر ہونے والے ہیں۔ لیکن بعض تجزیہ نگاروں کے مطابق جنرل طارق کی جگہ جنرل کیانی کی ملازمت میں توسیع کے امکانات زیادہ روشن ہیں۔

    جنرل کیانی کے علاوہ جائنٹ چیفس آف سٹاف کمیٹی کے چیرمین جنرل طارق مجید بھی اس سال اواخر میں ریٹائر ہونے والے ہیں۔ لیکن بعض تجزیہ نگاروں کے مطابق جنرل طارق کی جگہ جنرل کیانی کی ملازمت میں توسیع کے امکانات زیادہ روشن ہیں۔
    لیکن جنرل پاشا کی مدت ملازمت میں توسیع کے فیصلے پر بعض حلقوں کی جانب سے تنقید بھی سامنے آ رہی ہے۔ روزنامہ ڈان نے آج کے اپنے اداریے میں لکھا ہے کہ فوج میں بحیثت ایک ادارے کے نیا افسر تلاش کرنے یا موجودہ کی پالیسیوں کو آگے بڑھانے کی صلاحیت رکھنے والوں کی کمی نہیں ہونی چاہیے۔ اخبار کے مطابق جنرل کیانی کو اس موڑ پر پہنچنے کے بارے میں اس وقت سوچنا چاہیے تھا جب انہوں نے جنرل پاشا کو آئی ایس آئی کا سربراہ مقرر کیا تھا۔ اس وقت واضح تھا کہ وہ تین برس کی مدت پوری نہیں کرسکیں گے کیونکہ ان کے دو سال ملازمت میں رہ گئے تھے۔

    لیکن ناقدین کے مطابق ملازمتوں میں توسیع اپنے وفادار اور حمایتی افسران کو دینے کی پرانی روایت ہے۔ جنرل پاشا بھی ایسے افسر ہیں جن پر خیال ہے کہ جنرل کیانی اندھا اعتماد کرسکتے ہیں۔ اس وقت جو طالبان اور القاعدہ کے خلاف کامیابیاں مل رہی ہیں وہ انہیں جاری رکھ سکتے ہیں لہذا ان کی موجودگی کو ضروری قرار دیا جا رہا ہے۔ پاکستان کی سکیورٹی پالیسی نے جو موڑ لیا ہے اس میں امریکی اس پر تنقید اور شک کم کرنے لگے ہیں۔ سکیورٹی اسٹیبلشمنٹ کی اب کوشش ہوگی کہ اسی تاثر کو مزید بہتر بنایا جاسکے۔

    آئی ایس آئی کی اہمیت مستقبل قریب میں افغانستان کے طالبان سے مذاکرات کی تجویز کے تناظر میں بھی زیادہ دیکھی جا رہی ہے۔ اگرچہ پاکستان فوج اب شدت پسندوں کے کسی تعلق یا رابطے سے انکار کرتی رہی ہے لیکن اس کے باوجود امریکہ اور افغانستان آئی ایس آئی کے کردار سے انکار کو تیار نہیں۔ ان کا خیال ہے کہ یہ ادارہ ان اور طالبان کے درمیان پل کا کردار بخوبی ادا کرسکتا ہے۔


  • Extension for ISI chief
    By Letter
    Published: March 12, 2011

    KARACHI: This is with reference to a report published on your website on March 11 which said that Pakistan was going to extend the term of the present ISI chief. Two-and-a-half years is a long enough a period for the director-general of the ISI to bring about a meaningful change in the way the organisation works. If it is the usual ‘stay-the-course’ agenda, then any selected general can run the agency.
    Many professional and able officers have held this appointment for a far shorter time period and in much more difficult circumstances. They were not indispensible and were changed. The continuity and extension in General Pasha’s tenure may have everything to do with his close association with the army chief. However, it would be fair to say that surely the present government and the Americans must be extremely satisfied with the present working of the ISI for its chief to get an extension.
    In July 2008, after the Indian embassy was bombed in Kabul, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and then CIA deputy director Stephen Kappes visited Pakistan on July 12 and, in meetings with the military and political leadership, presented evidence of Pakistani intelligence’s involvement in the bombing. The prime minister who was to visit Washington and meet President George W Bush in two weeks time issued a notification which placed the ISI under the control of the interior ministry. However, this notification was rescinded within 24 hours and this gave a clear signal to all concerned that the country’s political leadership could neither control nor reform the ISI.
    By the same logic, if General Pasha does get the extension (it has yet to be formally announced), then it will not be unfair to assume that the civilian leadership today has a say in policy matters being implemented by the agency and that the Americans are pretty happy with it.
    Lt-col (retd) Muhammad Ali Ehsan
    Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2011.


  • Late last year, a judge in the United States ordered Pasha and his predecessor, Nadeem Taj, to appear in court as part of a lawsuit by relatives of four Americans killed in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The lawsuit alleges links between the ISI and the attacks that killed 166 people. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said neither his spy chief nor his intelligence agency would be pressured to appear in court.

    The Pakistani government has also denied reports that ISI has links to the Taliban. A report last year by the London School of Economics said Pakistan’s ISI agency not only provides funding, training and sanctuary to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan but is also represented on the movement’s leadership council.


  • Pakistan spy chief to stay on as key CIA partner
    By CHRIS BRUMMITT , 03.12.11, 10:07 AM EST

    ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s government will extend the term of the country’s powerful spy chief, the CIA’s main partner in the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban and a major player in the country’s policies toward Afghanistan, an official said Saturday.

    The decision to keep Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha at the head of the Inter Services Intelligence, or the ISI, ensures continuity during a crucial phase in the war in Afghanistan. While ties between the CIA and the ISI are currently rocky, Pasha is believed to have good relationships with his American counterparts.

    The ISI and the army – rather than the civilian government – formulate Pakistan’s foreign and defense policies, especially concerning Afghanistan and India. The agency also has significant influence over domestic political developments.

    Defense Minister Ahmad Mukhtar told reporters Pasha would stay on as ISI chief when his term expires March 18, but he did not say how long the extension would be. One senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, said he would a get a further one-year term. He took up the post in 2008.

    Under Pasha’s leadership, Pakistan has taken the fight to Islamist militants linked to al-Qaida and the Taliban. It has partnered with the United States in drone strikes against militants in the northwest, but questions remain over whether it has wholly severed its ties with commanders behind the Afghan insurgency.

    Pakistan’s perceived differing strategic interests with America, especially over the future of Afghanistan, cause frequent tensions between the two spy agencies. Many analysts believe some in the agency want to ensure its one-time allies, the Taliban, wield influence in Afghanistan once foreign troops withdraw.

    Ties have hit a low since the arrest of a CIA contractor in eastern Pakistan in January after he shot and killed two Pakistanis. The contractor remains in jail despite Washington’s insistence he must be freed. The ISI has criticized alleged CIA covert operations in the country.

    Last year, Pakistan gave an unprecedented three-year extension to army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, an ally of Pasha.


    Associated Press Writer Asif Shahzad contributed to this report from Islamabad.

    Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • Another extension for the ISI chief
    By Ayesha Siddiqa
    Published: March 12, 2011

    Another general gets an extension and most of the media scrambles to justify the move. It was comical listening to alleged experts argue on the basis of their scant knowledge of military strategy, justifying General Ahmed Shuja Pasha’s extension as necessary for continuity of purpose and operations in times of war. Eventually, the case will be justified in the eyes of the general public through the army of defence analysts that the various organisations of the military seem to have created. Perhaps the most honest comment was Lt General (retd) Asad Durrani’s, who was of the view that the decision may be difficult to defend.
    The decision is being justified on the grounds of the extension being crucial to making gains in the war on terror. Pasha’s continuation is critical because he has the confidence of both his own boss and the Americans. Changing command during a war is theoretically considered detrimental to the success of operations. But then what happens the day after Pasha’s lease of life expires? This is not a regular conventional war that the Pakistan military has trained for. We have limited endurance and can fight conventional wars that are no more than a week or 10 days. The war on terror is a protracted affair that will probably go beyond 2013. It is not a fast-paced war which is about to come to a close so that the Kayani-Pasha duo are vital for some grand finale. There are other equally well-trained officers in the army who ought to get a chance to prove their war-management skills.
    A friend compared the situation created by to the extension of one man in the army with the blockage of a water pipe. One extension tends to create a major block for a large number of officers. Consequently, either the pipe goes bust or it begins to leak in unimagined directions. Already, General Kayani’s extension has written off the future of about 24 senior generals who might have had dreamt of becoming the service chief. Once you become a one-star, the effort is to be able to make it to the ultimate position of power in the organisation. Surely, promotion within the army is a tricky business and anything can go wrong at any time. By the time an officer becomes a three-star he is one amongst a team of equals who may get a chance to be considered as trustworthy enough to become the team leader. There are a lot of lobbies at play at the time of the selection for the chief’s position. However, the competition being eroded due to an insider’s manipulation of power makes a lot of people uncomfortable. This also applies now to the coveted position of the chief of ISI.
    The rule of thumb is that a force that crowds out other forces may actually damage itself as it destroys the capacity of others to perform certain vital functions. This is predatory behaviour which means that those at the helm of affairs are capable of destroying vital capacities due to their inability to look beyond themselves.
    We in Pakistan are made to believe that the army is the only remaining institution of the state. By prolonged spells in power, it has managed to crowd out other institutions which could play a role in protecting the country from the existing mess. However, what happens if the most powerful organisation begins to eat itself from within because its members begin to crowd out organisational capacity for personal gains? Since now a lot will depend on how an officer fares with the army chief, his continuation in service will depend on personal loyalty rather than organisational or national interests.
    What is even more hazardous is the fact that, at some point, the sewage pipe may just give in, resulting in an awful stench inside the organisation. There have been many occasions in the past when subordinate officers conspired against an unsuspecting superior. Even if senior officers are extremely watchful, it can become very hard to see every conspiracy being hatched. General Ziaul Haq never guessed that someone within the organisation would plan his death nor did Musharraf suspect his organisation would so willingly surrender him to circumstances.
    Good organisations make their mark by their ability to create systems. Otherwise, the army will end up with a dangerous witches’ brew.
    Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2011.


  • PML-N opposes ISI chief extension

    SLAMABAD: The PML-N on Tuesday opposed the extension given by the government to in-service Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Major General Shuja Pasha.
    In an interview to Express News programme Pakistan Bolta Hai with Munizae Jahangir, PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar said the ISI chief is already on an extension, and the PML-N was not consulted on a second extension.
    Lieutenant General Pasha, director general of the military’s ISI agency, is due to retire this month but will remain in office, perhaps for two more years, theDawn newspaper reported.
    Pasha, a former head of military operations for the army, was appointed head of the ISI in September 2008, at a time when US officials questioned the reliability of the spy agency in the campaign against militancy.
    Discussing the issue of the NAB chairman case, Nisar said that his party would wait for the detailed decision of the Supreme Court on the case before replying to the letter written to him by President Asif Ali Zardari. However, he added that there were several questions that he also wanted to ask President Zardari on the issue.
    Earlier, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani’s spokesman had refuted Nisar’s claim of not receiving a letter sent by the President about the NAB chief.
    The spokesman claims the letter was received by Chaudhry Nisar’s guard at the opposition leader’s residence in Rawalpindi on March 11. The letter was written in connection with consultation on the appointment of NAB chairman after the Supreme Court ruled Deedar Hussain Shah’s appointment illegal.
    Referring to the PML-N’s role in the current setup, Nisar said his party would not adopt any unconstitutional or un-parliamentary path but the PML-N was in a position to give the government a tough time.


  • Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!…