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Hamid Gul’s challenge to Iftikhar Chaudhry: Try me if you can!

Hamid Gul admits he had role in IJI formation

LAHORE: Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Hamid Gul has said that he played a role in forming the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) and any accountability of the issue should be started from him, a private TV channel quoted him as saying on Monday. Talking to the channel, Gul said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was against any accountability, adding that the Saifur Rehman Accountability Cell was one sided. He said people had hoped that the then president Farooq Laghari would do justice through accountability, but he gave protection to journalists, generals and judges. Gul said when he would be probed about the IJI formation, he would reveal the names of those politicians who requested the military leadership not to hold elections. daily times monitor\story_5-1-2010_pg7_21

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Omar Khattab


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  • In the end, might one beg the indulgence of my lord the chief justice to take suo motu notice of the newly unearthed Agosta submarine and the Swedish AWACS scandals? And to order the immediate divulgence of the agents names involved in both the deals, indeed of the names of agents of all the defence deals entered into by the country over the past 30 years? As they say in the vernacular, ‘Then milk will become milk, and water will become water’!

    Kamran Shafi

  • While many apologists view this war to be imposed upon us, the fact remains that these extremist elements are opposed to voices of peace, liberty and equality. Our culture reflects the pluralist ideas propagated by the Sufis and mystics whereas such notions are intolerable in their rigid paradigm.

  • Establishment VS Judiciary & Demented Pakistani Media.

    When Advocate Hashmat Habib requested the court to summon heads of the Military Intelligence and the Inter-Services Intelligence, Justice Iqbal said that last time when “we tried to summon them we were sent home for almost 16 months”. Moving scenes were witnessed in the courtroom when Mrs Amina Masood Janjua, chairperson of the Defence of Human Rights who is campaigning for the release of detained persons including her husband Masood Janjua, regretted that there was silence despite the fact that witnesses were ready to help locate her husband. – ISLAMABAD: In the missing persons’ case’s proceedings on Wednesday, Justice Javed Iqbal, who heads the bench hearing the case, stated that individuals taken by intelligence agencies were considered as missing persons. The military’s role was also brought into question over the disappearances of these individuals. Justice Javed Iqbal said in the missing persons’ cases “there is always a mention of brigadiers and majors, who has given them power?” “Frontier Corps has no rights to arrest and detain any person,” Justice Iqbal said, adding that the court will be satisfied even if one person was recovered and the anxiety of one family was over. Meanwhile, Justice Raja Fayyaz said “there is a Gestapo-like reign of terror…anyone can come into a house, where is the enforcement of law?” Incidents involving hundreds of missing persons have been reported to the court in the past four years. Relatives of the missing allege they were picked up by intelligence agencies. — DawnNews – REFERENCE: Missing persons issue more serious than NRO, says judge By Nasir Iqbal Wednesday, 06 Jan, 2010,-says-judge-610 SC questions military’s role in missing persons’ case Wednesday, 06 Jan, 2010 – Agencies failed to recover missing persons: SC Wednesday, January 06, 2010 Seeks report within two weeks court wonders how democracy got jeopardised all of a sudden By Sohail Khan

    Right after the resignation of General Musharraf from the Post of the President of Pakistan, Mr. Athar Minallah the Chief Spokesman of Defunct Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary in Private Pakistani TV Channel [AAJ TV], demanded Treason Trial under article 6 of 1973 Constitutiuon of Islamic Republic of Pakistan while shamelssly forgetting that Athar Minallah, also served in the Musharraf cabinet for two years. Shouln’t Mr Athar Minallah be brought to Justice as well because abetting in a crime is tantamount to committing a crime. Athar Minallah joined the prestigious Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP) and after serving for 10 years left the post of Additional Collector Customs to join the firm as a partner. Athar Minallah brings not only rich taxation experience but also valuable scholastic input. Athar completed his law degree from the International Islamic University (Islamabad) and his LLM from University of Cambridge, UK. And his areas of interest are taxation, judicial review, Athar was appointed Minister for Law, Local Government, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights by the Provincial Government of NWFP (2000-2002). He also was the member of the Task Force constituted by the Federal Government for revamping the Taxation regime in Pakistan. Currently he is the member of the Policy Board of Intellectual Property of Pakistan and Chairman of Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee (ADRC) for Sales Tax constituted by the Central Board of Revenue. – Athar was appointed Minister for Law, Local Government, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights by the Provincial Government of NWFP (2000-2002) by General Musharraf Military Regime. REFERENCE: Musharraf Consolidates His Control With Arrests By JANE PERLEZ Published: November 4, 2007

    Sometimes Intellectual Dishonesty is more fatal than the Financial or Moral Corruption. Financial/Moral Corruption is mostly related with few and destroys few [I REPEAT I AM NOT CONDONING IT] but Intellectual Dishonesty destroys nations e.g. Sharifuddin Pirzada, A K Brohi and many many more. I will just restrict myself to the swinging pendulum of Mr. Ansar Abbasi’s pen and journalism and will quote news/columns/opinions filed by him in all these years and every article is contradicting the earlier one. Remember one thing that Ansar Abbasi had demanded Treason Trial of Musharraf for violating article 6 of 1973 Constitution whereas shamelessly Mr. Ansar Abbasi is in favour of retaining National Accountability Bureau to hound politicians [the NAB was founded by Martial Law Regime! Where is the validity? Violation is Violation and cannot be condoned through Law of Necessity. To Proceed

    Mr Ansar Abbasi was a Musharraf supporter while working for Daily Dawn:


    During 1999 Mr. Ansar Abbasi was Praising General Musharraf Martial Law regime’s “Alleged Reforms” when Ansar Abbasi used to be a Correspondent in Daily Dawn, he never mentioned even a single time that Impsoing Martial Law is Treason and Violation of Article 6 of 1973 Constitution of Pakistan. Read the news reports which Ansar Abbasi filed in the Daily Dawn in 1999. Not a single time Ansar adress Musharraf as CMLA but Ansar was very respectful towards “Alleged Chief Executive” Musharraf. You may not find a single personal observation by Ansar Abbasi on Constitutional Tampering by Military Regime. Musharraf was given mandate by the Judiciary to tamper with the Constitution. Everybody knows who was part of that Supreme Court Bench. REFERENCES: Special courts to try cases of accountability Ansar Abbasi 06 November 1999 Issue : 05/45 [Courtesy Daily Dawn Wire Service] Musharraf approves pre-1973 authority for FPSC by Ansar Abbasi Week Ending : 29 January 2000 Issue : 06/05 [Courtesy Daily Dawn Wire Service] Sharifs lose 80pc of assets, says Qureshi by Ansar Abbasi Week Ending : 16 December 2000 Issue : 06/48 – The National Accountability Bureau is Pakistan’s apex anti-corruption organization. It is charged with the responsibility of elimination of corruption through a holistic approach of awareness, prevention and enforcement. It operates under the National Accountability Ordinance-1999, with its headquarter at Islamabad. REFERENCE:

    Ansar Abbasi Praising General Musharraf’s Martial Law Regime’s “Alleged Reforms” when Ansar Abbasi used to be a Correspondent in Daily Dawn, he never mentioned even a single time that Impsoing Martial Law is Treason and Violation of Article 6 of 1973Constitution of Pakistan

    As per 1973 Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan


    PART I

    6. (1) Any person who abrogates or attempts or conspires to abrogate, subverts or attempts or conspires to subvert the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.

    (2) Any person aiding or abetting the acts mentioned in clause (1) shall likewise be guilty of high treason.

    (3) [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] shall by law provide for the punishment of persons found guilty of high treason.




    ISLAMABAD, May 29: The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, on Tuesday narrated for the first time his version of the events of of May 9 at the President’s camp office in Rawalpindi. He said in an affidavit that top intelligence officials had constantly pressured him into resigning, and after keeping him confined at the office for over five hours, he was allowed to leave in a flagless car. “I was informed that I have been restrained from acting as the chief justice.” The `non-functional’ chief justice informed the full-bench hearing identical petitions against the presidential reference that since the action of March 9, he had remained a victim of intrusive and not-so-intrusive intelligence and police operation. “I replied that it was not based on facts as my case was decided by a two-member bench and that attempts are being made to maliciously involve the other member of the Bench as well.” After this, the president said there were a few more complaints as well, directing his staff to call the ‘other persons’. The ‘other persons’ entered the room immediately. They were: Prime Minster Shaukat Aziz, the Directors General of Military Intelligence (MI), Director General of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Director General Intelligence Bureau (IB), Chief of Staff (COS) and another official. All officials (except the IB chief and the COS) were in uniform. “The meeting lasted about 30 minutes. The chiefs of the MI, ISI and IB stayed back, but they too did not show him me a single piece of evidence.” In fact, Justice iftikhar said, no official, except the ISI chief, had any document with him. The officials, however, alleged that Justice Iftikhar had used his influence to get his son admitted in Bolan Medical College, Quetta, when he was serving as a judge of the Balochistan High Court. The ISI and MI heads persisted in their demand for resignation, the CJ said. “I refused, saying that the demand has a collateral purpose.” “I was kept there absolutely against my will till 5pm. I was stopped there on one pretext or the other and at one stage was told the president will once again see me. “After 5pm, the MI chief told me `This is a bad day. Now you are taking a separate way and you are informed that you have been restrained from working as a judge of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of Pakistan’.” Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry further said when he came out of the room, he was stunned to find that the national flag and the insignia of office were no longer there on his car. “My staff officer later informed me Justice Javed Iqbal has taken oath as Acting Chief Justice and it has been shown on TV. My driver said he had been instructed not to drive the Chief Justice to the Supreme Court.” REFERENCE: CJ says chiefs of MI, ISI asked him to quit: Affidavit on March 9 camp office event By Iftikhar A. Khan May 30, 2007 Wednesday Jamadi-ul-Awwal 13, 1428




    ISLAMABAD: The detailed judgment in the case of the restoration of the Chief Justice of Pakistan on July 20, 2007 reveals that not only Pervez Musharraf but the then Director General ISI and the DG Military Intelligence (MI) had also insisted that the chief justice resign during his illegal detention at the Army House Rawalpindi on March 9, 2007. The judgment, penned by Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, says: “The petitioner CJP went on to depose that ‘the respondent (the president) insisted that the deponent (the CJP) should resign’. He added that his refusal to oblige, ‘ignited the fury of the respondent (the president); he (the president) stood up angrily and left the room along with his MS, COS, and the prime minister of Pakistan, saying that others would show evidence to the deponent’ (about the allegations of misconduct against the CJP).” “As per the CJP, his meeting with the president lasted for about thirty minutes meaning thereby that the president and the prime minister would have left by about 12.15/12.30 pm and the CJP was then left behind in the company only of the DG MI, the DG ISI allegedly to be shown the evidence in support of the above-noticed accusations. The CJP alleged that no evidence at all was shown to him and “in fact, no official except DG ISI had some documents with him but he also did not show anything to the deponent” (the CJP). He added that they only accused him of having secured a seat for his son in Bolan Medical College while he was serving as a judge of Balochistan High Court. “The CJP further alleged that the DG MI and the DG ISI kept insisting that he should resign from his office while he continued to assert strongly that the allegations were baseless and were being levelled only for a collateral purpose and that he would not resign at any cost and would rather face the said false charges.” The judgment states, “While the CJP was still at the President’s Camp Office in Rawalpindi during the said crucial ‘FIVE HOURS’ and when according to the CJP he was being detained there against his wishes after 12 noon and when according to the respondents he was sitting there, in the company of the intelligence chiefs examining the reference and the material available in support thereof, a notification dated March 9, 2007, was issued by the Government of Pakistan in the Law, Justice and Human Rights Division mentioning therein that since the President of Pakistan had been pleased to make a reference called a ‘DIRECTION’ by Article 209(5) of the Constitution) to the SJC against the CJP, therefore, the President had restrained Mr Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry from acting as the Chief Justice of Pakistan or even as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.”

    The honourable judges of the Supreme Court also made it clear that the case had nothing to do with army as an institution but acts of a person who happened to be chief of army staff. The judgment regarding the statement of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain that ‘it was a matter between army and judiciary’ states, “This, in our opinion, was a naive attempt to create a wedge between two important and indispensable arms of the State and to put them on a war-path. What was in question before us was an act of the President and it was just an accident or a coincidence that the said President also happened to be the Chief of Army Staff. The matter had obviously nothing to do with the Army as an institution. Needless to add that the Army was an invaluable organ and instrument of the State and was as precious to us all as any other institution of our homeland. We, therefore, take this opportunity to express our disapproval and displeasure about the said statement.” Political analysts and observers who had watched the situation at the time, however, told The News that the involvement of junior military officers was minimal and on the specific orders of General Pervez Musharraf who had his own personal vested interest to protect.

    They said whatever happened at the time was planned and ordered by General Musharraf and no other army or intelligence officer could be blamed for it. “It was Musharraf and Musharraf alone who must be held responsible for the treatment he meted out to the judiciary and the judges have also noted this in their judgment when they said the army had nothing to do with it as an institution,” an analyst said. It should be noted that both the ISI and the MI were directly under control of the then COAS, General Musharraf, although the ISI is supposed to be under the prime minister. A retired general who was closed to General Pervez Musharraf when contacted said that Musharraf tried to show the door to the chief justice because he wanted extension in his tenure that was expiring, election results of his own desire and government of his own choice. He considered the chief justice as the only person who could create hurdles in the achievement of his objectives. He said Musharraf’s stakes were very high and he wanted to achieve his objectives at all costs. Musharraf, he said, used his senior colleagues, to press the chief justice to quit. He said the then DG MI General Nadeem Ijaz, who was relative of Musharraf, crossed all limits in dealing with the opponents of the former dictator. The DG MI was the strong man of Musharraf. He said Musharraf took aggressive steps against judiciary on the advice of the DG MI, who was in fact responsible for spoiling Musharraf’s all matters related to judiciary. The DG IB went too far in bid to protect the interests of his boss (Musharraf).

    He said under Musharraf’s pressure the DG MI Ijaz, DG IB Ejaz Shah, the then secretary interior and some others also submitted affidavits in the Supreme Court against the chief justice. He reminded that the DG ISI did not submit an affidavit. It was believed that Musharraf asked the DG ISI to submit his affidavit but the latter said sorry to the former. Musharraf, he said, was reportedly offended by the DG ISI. He said despite Musharraf’s intensive efforts, the then DG ISI Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani kept a reasonable distance from this issue in grace. He said Gen Kayani was popular as a simple soldier. He did not show any interest in Musharraf’s machinations and that was why he did not submit any affidavit. Observers are pleasantly surprised that Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry wrote the names of military generals including the former DG ISI Gen Kayani, who is present army chief, and the full court also mentioned them in their judgement without showing any fear. They said the chief justice and all the members of the full court deserve praise and esteem for showing rare courage. Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday also mentioned the reasons for delay in writing the detailed judgment. The judgment says, “And before I put my pen down, I wish to offer a personal explanation which I owe in connection with this judgment. As is known, the short judgment in the matter was announced on July 20, 2007 and these reasons in support of the said judgment are being recorded after almost 2-1/2 years. This rather extraordinary delay, which was on account of equally extraordinary circumstances, warrants clarification and elucidation.” He mentioned that after vacations he was a part of a bench hearing the eligibility case of Pervez Musharraf but, when the said matter had almost reached the final stages, martial law (called emergency) was imposed in the country by General Musharraf on November 3, 2007 in his capacity as the Chief of Army Staff. Thirteen out of seventeen Judges were removed from office and some including the Chief Justice were put under house arrest which detention continued till March, 2008. “Thereafter, I was of course a free man but being a ‘REMOVED’ Judge, had no access to the Supreme Court and consequently the entire record of this case, including all the notes, were out of my reach. I, along with the Chief Justice of Pakistan and some other learned brothers, got restored to office in March, 2009 and it is thereafter that I got down to collecting the lost, the forgotten and the scattered threads and this is what I have been able to produce now.” REFERENCE: How dictator Musharraf used his colleagues against Justice Iftikhar Friday, December 25, 2009 By Usman Manzoor



    MR. ANSAR ABBASI OF THE SAME JANG GROUP OF NEWSPAPERS REFUTES THE ABOVE REPORT. WHAT A JOKE! – LIES OF MR. ANSAR ABBASI IN VIEW OF NEWS ABOVE AND IF THAT WAS NOT ENOUGH MR. ANSAR ABBASI ALSO TRIED HIS BEST TO PROVE THAT CJ’s AFFIDAVIT WAS WRONG [he didn’t write that but his article “missed” a crucial information – read the last paragraph and then read CJ Affidavit as reported in Daily Dawn above]


    MURREE: The Pakistan Army would stay distant and neutral from the Supreme Court’s proceedings against the ex-army chief and condemned dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s trial on account of his Nov 3, 2007 unconstitutional action. While many wonder if the Pakistan Army would defend Musharraf despite what he did to Pakistan, its institutions and to the constitution as a 14-member bench of the apex court is currently adjudicating the former dictator’s Nov 3 actions, the military under General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani intends to stay neutral. It is not interested to drag itself into unnecessary controversy by siding with a man, who is no more associated with the Army and is sought by the country’s superior judiciary for his unconstitutional actions. The Supreme Court Wednesday summoned Musharraf to appear before the 14-member bench or get himself represented through his counsel to defend his actions of Nov 3 and later. Although the military spokesman when contacted by a member of The News Investigative Reporting Wing did not offer his comment on the question if Pakistan Army would defend its former chief in the apex court, a senior army source simply ruled out any such possibility. “What army has to do with this,” said the source, adding that the Supreme Court has taken up a political case that has nothing to do with the army.

    “We have nothing to do with it,” the source said when precisely asked about the Nov 3rd unconstitutional actions of the then Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf, the military source added, is no more in army. “You know better that he is retired now and have no link with army,” the source said, adding that dragging Pakistan Army into this would be uncalled for. In an interesting twist of fate Musharraf, who had perpetuated his dictatorial rule by misusing his powers as chief of army staff and even at the cost of the reputation of the institution of Pakistan Army, is all alone and is now trying to settle down in London as he fears facing music if comes back to Pakistan. Musharraf is becoming such a lesson for others that even Washington to whom he had sold his soul and served even at the cost of damaging Pakistan, has been abandoned by his real master. US special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke Wednesday said President Pervez Musharraf is now history and that the US will not come to defend him.

    The reputation of Pakistan Army was at its worse when Musharraf handed over the military command to the incumbent Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who took no time to get the army out of politics and repeatedly proved military’s neutrality from political and government matters. Kayani, the man who enjoys utmost respect both within the army and outside for his professionalism, kept army out of any electoral manipulation early last year though Musharraf was keen to rig the elections to get his choice parties elected all over Pakistan. After Musharraf’s departure and the emergence of President Asif Ali Zardari as the major opponent to the restoration of the deposed judges, again it was the incumbent army chief who played his positive role and have had a series of interactions with President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani to settle the issue to the best interest of the people, the country and the judiciary. This is also in public knowledge that even during the days when Musharraf was an all powerful dictator, he had also refused to give an affidavit against the incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry following his controversial suspension on March 9, 2007. Perhaps not many know that Musharraf and some of his other Generals misbehaved with the chief justice on March 9 in order to coerce him into tendering resignation, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the then ISI chief, was decent and polite with the chief justice. While others were rude towards the CJ, it was Gen Kayani, who had even offered a cup of coffee to Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. REFERENCE: Army to stay away Thursday, July 23, 2009 Kayani treated Iftikhar with respect when Musharraf and aides misbehaved with him By Ansar Abbasi


  • Jang Group: Ansar Abbasi, ISI and Peace with India [Aman Ki Asha]

    It is very disgusting that Prejudice take you to a level when you blatantly lie and distort history. Mr Ansar Abbasi just did that in his column in Daily Jang Monday, January 04, 2010, Muharram 17, 1431 A.H, wherein [Read the text below] he says that Political Cell of ISI was formed by Bhutto whereas in reality it was formed by General Ayub Khan. Read Ayub Khan’s Information Secretary’s Late Altaf Gauhar’s Column on ISI published in The Nation in English 17 Aug 97 p 4. After reading the last paragraph of Ansar Abbasi’s Lies on ISI. Ansar Abbasi and Jang Group have no shame left in them they forget while lecturing PPP and Zardari about Kerry Lugar Bill, No First Strike, Patriotism and National Security that Ansar Abbasi’s very own Jang/The News and GEO are running the campaign of “Joint statement by editors of the Jang Group and Times of India” Friday, January 01, 2010 Aman Ki Asha”. AMAN KI ASHA – DESTINATION PEACE

    Read Ayub Khan’s Information Secretary’s Late Altaf Gauhar’s Column on ISI published in The Nation in English 17 Aug 97 p 4 – Islamabad The Nation in English 17 Aug 97 p 4 Article by Altaf Gauhar.


    “How Intelligence Agencies Run Our Politics”

    I had an opportunity to watch quite closely the working of our intelligence agencies during the 1965 war with India. At that time the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was headed by Brigadier Riaz Hussain, who later became the Governor of Balochistan, the Military Intelligence (MI) was under Brigadier Muhammad Irshad and A.B. Awan was the Director of the Intelligence Bureau (DIB). Each agency had its own sphere of duties but they had a common goal — preserving the national security. Since there is hardly any significant political activity, domestic or foreign, national or international, which does not, directly or indirectly, impinge on national security, there was much overlapping in the work of the three agencies. Despite the all-embracing definition of national security unnecessary conflict in day to day working was avoided as the lSl and the MI confined themselves to matters of direct military interest and the IB concentrated on domestic political activities. The DIB reported directly to the Prime Minister and the two military agencies to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (C-in-C). It was left to the C-in-C to bring all matters of interest to the notice of the Prime Minister through the Ministry of Defence. This arrangement continued fairly smoothly until the imposition of Martial Law in 1958. I was in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat during the last days of parliamentary government in 1957-58 and Malik Feroz Khan Noon used to get reports of the contacts which military intelligence agencies were making with the political leaders of different parties. There was little that he could do about it since President Iskander Mirza was drawing up his own plan of action to put an end to parliamentary rule in collusion with the C-in-C, General Ayub Khan. Noon was resisting Mirza’s pressure to grant a four-year extension of term to Ayub Khan. I remember Ayub Khan bursting into my office one afternoon in full, uniform. I was relieved when he said: “Since the Principal Secretary has gone for lunch I thought I would ask you to request the Prime Minister to stay with me in Rawalpindi when he comes on a formal visit next week.” He left the room before I could recover my breath. When I conveyed the message to the PM he said: “I know he wants me to give him an extension of term. His term does not end till 1959. Why is he in such a hurry?” Years later when I mentioned this incident to Ayub Khan he said: “The fellow was under the influence of his wife. He wanted to promote General Sher Ali. My boys were keeping tabs on him.”

    Once the Martial Law was promulgated in 1958 all the intelligence agencies came under the direct control of the President and Chief Martial Law Administrator. The maintenance of national Security, which was the principal function of these agencies, came to mean the consolidation of the Ayub regime; any criticism of the regime was seen a threat to national security. The three intelligence agencies started competing with each other in demonstrating their loyalty to Ayub Khan and his system of government. Since Ayub Khan was reluctant to increase the military budget, neither the ISI nor the MI could post their officers in the districts and because of that limitation their domestic activities remained quite restrained. But they continued to be assigned specific duties to keep a watch on ‘undesirable’ politicians and civil servants. When I came to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, I found a psychological warfare unit under operation in the office of the Secretary. It was, headed by Col Mujibur Rahman, who later became the Secretary of the Ministry in the Ziaul Haq regime. Was it an intelligence plant meant to keep an eye on the working of the civil government? Whatever its purpose, I found it a complete waste of time and I was able to persuade the President to have it recalled by the GHQ.

    The President used to receive regular reports on the political situation in the country from the ISI and the MI. These reports in sealed envelopes marked ‘Eyes Only’ were usually handed over to the President by the C-in-C. On a few occasions the President gave me these reports and it seemed to me that the agencies were keeping the politicians, particularly the East Pakistanis, under close surveillance. I rarely found anything insightful in these reports. The DIB had direct access to the President and his weekly reports used to be fairly exhaustive. It was during the presidential election in l964 that the ISI and the MI became extremely active.. While the DIB gave the President a detailed, assessment of his prospects in the election the ISI and the MI kept him informed of the trend of public opinion based largely on gossip. The election results showed that the three agencies had seriously under estimated the popularity of Mohtrama Miss Fatima Jinnah and given Ayub Khan too optimistic a picture of his prospects.

    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. The performance of the MI was even more frustrating. The mobile transmitter which the MI had acquired to broadcast the Voice of Kashmir conked out and Brigadier Irshad came to me to find him a spare transmitter. When I told him that it would take at least a month to import another transmitter he pleaded with me to take over the broadcast part of the operation. “How can I do that I know nothing about the operation?” I protested. “But that is the beauty of it.” said Irshad, “even I know very little about it.” It did not take the Indians long to extract the whole operational plan out of the ‘infiltrators’ whom they captured the moment they entered the Indian occupied territory in Kashmir. Four of them were put on All India Radio to make a public confession. I heard the details of the operation on the air in utter disbelief. I rushed to Muzaffarabad to acquaint Irshad with what I had heard. He fell back in his chair and moaned: “The bastards have spilt the beans.”

    After the cease-fire I brought these incidents to Ayub Khan’s notice and urged him to review the working of these agencies. “They have no idea of intelligence work,” I submitted “all they can do is investigative work like sub-inspectors of police, tapping telephone conversations and chasing the suspects.” Much later Ayub Khan set up a committee to examine the working of the agencies under General the Yahya Khan. Both A.B. Awan and I were members of the committee. The GHQ tried to put all the blame on IB for their own incompetence. Yahya wanted the committee to recommend that officers of ISI and the Ml should be posted at district headquarters. Awan strongly opposed the idea and I backed him. We could not understand the purpose of getting the military agencies involved in domestic administration. As we left the meeting Awan said to me “They are planning to impose martial law.” He proved right though it took the Army quite some time to get rid of Ayub Khan after unleashing a popular campaign against him.

    The intelligence agencies got even more deeply involved in domestic politics under General Yahya Khan. The ISI jumped headlong into the Political crisis in East Pakistan. A National Security Council was created under the chairmanship of General Yahya Khan with Major General Ghulam Umar as second in command to control the intelligence operation which was meant to ensure that no political party should get an overall majority in the general election. An amount of Rs 29 lac was put at the disposal of General Umar for the purpose. Before the Army action General Akbar, who was the head of the ISI and with whom I had good relations when I was in service, requested me that I should introduce him to some Bengali academics and journalists. The ISI was trying to infiltrate into the inner circles of the Awami League. Had I given him any names they too have been put on Rao Farman Ali’s hit list of Bengali intellectuals. The operation proved a total disaster. Lawrence Ziring says: “New efforts at a political solution might have been attempted later, but army intelligence failed time and again to correctly assess the situation, and the demeanor of the generals was hardly conducive to rational decision-making.” (Lawrence Ziring, The Tragedy of East Pakistan, OUP, 1997). For General (retd) Aslam Beg to claim on solemn oath before the Supreme Court of Pakistan that the ISI got involved in the internal politics of the country only after a special cell was created by Prime Minister Bhutto in 1975 is a culpable attempt at concealing the truth and distorting the record of the operations of the military intelligence agencies since independence. The present government has only to report to the Supreme Court that the ISI deals with matters relating to Pakistan’s national security and that would be the end of Asghar Khan’s writ petition against Aslam Beg. Who will provide a definition of national security to rule out the involvement of the ISI and the MI in domestic politics which is seen as the biggest threat to the security and solidarity of Pakistan?



  • While the court was well intentioned in its stated resolve not to stop at summoning lowly officials to answer questions about specific cases of missing persons, Justice Javed Iqbal, heading the bench, wryly remarked in answer to a counsel’s plea to summon the heads of Military Intelligence and the ISI that the last time the court attempted to do this, the judges were sent home for 16 months. This is merely a reflection of an obvious truth that our intelligence agencies are used to a culture of impunity that has grown over the country’s history because of repeated military interventions in politics and authoritarian trends even when civilian governments have been in power. The intelligence and security agencies appear to be a law unto themselves and until the SC came along to ask awkward questions, never felt under any pressure for being in violation of the law, constitution, and the rights of citizens. The law states that no person can be kept in custody unless he has been produced before a magistrate within 24 hours of his arrest. This law is practised more in the breach by the intelligence and security agencies, and at a more ordinary everyday level, even by the police. It is terra incognita for both the intelligence and security agencies as well as the court to now try and reverse this culture of impunity that fundamentally characterises our security and law enforcement milieu.\01\07\story_7-1-2010_pg3_1

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