Original Articles

PML-N should apply minus one formula on Shahbaz Sharif – by Junaid Qaiser

In a recent address to the PPP workers, President Asif Ali Zardari said government will ensure free and fair, transparent elections. We beleive in domocracy and we’ll ensure the electroral process will be transperent and fair. The local body elections are approaching and our oppenents will come to know that masses are with us.

Pakistan People’s Party is a symbol of democracy and federation, and independent observers are quite certain that PPP will perform well in the forthcoming local bodies elections, and all the opponents will see that we are the most popular political party. Due to PPP’s pro people programmes and progress and worst sort of performance of Punjab’s administrator (punjab based political party’s president) Punjab once again is going to become citadet of Pakistan Peoples Party.

Due to bad governance, no clear stance on terrorism, irresponsible attitude, Godfather’s mindset, ignoring citizens basic needs and petty politics on non-issues such as judges, NRO, 17th amendment. People are going to vote-out PML-N (the Punjab based party) in NA55 in Rawalpindi.

PML-N is not doing positive politics, PML-N is just criticizing, not giving Government or Parliament alternative solutions. Mere doing politics on 17th amendment, as all know very well that constitutional committee is working and Ishaq Dar and Ahsan Iqbal are in that committee. Instead they are busy in petty politics and legislation inside parliament, and are declaring parliament redundant. People like Shahbaz Sharif and Chauhdry Nisar are seriously damaging party, lots of PML-N members MPA, MNAs are not happy with party’s politics.

PML-N and especially Shahbaz Sharif have not learnt any lesson from their past mistakes, he is even misleading Mian Nawaz Sharif….and you’ll see that PMLN will face defeat even in Punjab…therefore PMLN was running away from elections…

Shahbaz Sharif and his hawks followers have been breathing fire against the President and Pakistan peoples Party since president Asif Zardari’s arrival in Punjab, this is causing tension between the two coalition partner in Punjab.

Shahbaz Sharif and his tag team partner”chaudhary of Chakri(baz) Nisar is once again causing great demage to conducive political democratic environment and also violating charter of democracy, when both met secretly with the chief of army staff.

Instead concentrating their it’s own work, PMLN leadership is continously targeting President Asif Ali Zardari. Due to this negative politics Punjab’s administrators own performance is nill and zero.

Pakistan Peoples Party knows that the PML-N men are doing so at the behest of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Had there been no endorsement from Mr Sharif, Rana Sana and Iqbal would not have dared to issue harsh statements against the president.

This is not acceptable to our workers. PPP Punjab Secretary-General Samiullah Khan clearly said.

Although President Zardari did not give a go-ahead to his party loyalists to respond to the PML-N’s hawks at a meeting with the PPP Punjab executives at the Governor’s House here on Friday, but the party provincial leadership has decided to come hard on the Sharifs for “allowing their hawks to target Mr Zardari”.

The PPP secretary general said: “In fact the PML-N has lost its wits after the arrival of President Zardari at Lahore. The PML-N was quiet when the president was on a Sindh visit and the day he landed at Lahore, it got nervous and has crossed all limits of decency while speaking against President.”

The PML-N leadership, he said, feared that it might lose its control over Lahore – a city it calls its citadel — if the president continued paying regular visits to the city. “The PML-N should not think itself a party of a province and it must accept the existence of other political forces here too,” Samiullah khan said.

Contradicting Rana Sanaullah’s statement, PPP Punjab President Rana Aftab Ahmad said the federal government had beforehand intimated the Punjab chief secretary and the IGP about the president’s arrival at Lahore. “The PPP workers are very emotional about their leadership and they will not tolerate such elements in the PML-N,” he said while remarking that “Rana Sanaullah must take lessons on ethics.”

Federal Labour Minister Khurshid Shah also expressed surprise over Shahbaz Sharif’s statement in which he had asked President Zardari to quit the office along with him to face courts. “Shahbaz’s statement is against the spirit of Charter of Democracy,” he said.

EX CM Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Ellahi seems right when he said “Shahbaz Sharif ne punjab ka beda ghariq ker diya hae” and Sharif brothers are lairs”. Under Shahbaz Sharif Punjab first time in Pakistani history become bankrupt.Shahbaz Sharif is too much dependant on bureaucracy and his task forces thus ignoring democratically elected assembly and cabinet,which is against democratic spirit.

The so called custodian of merit Shahbaz Sharif is the best exemple of neptoism and favouritism; the nation still remember that he and his tag team partner Chaudhary Nisar promoted and elevated General Pervaiz Musharaf and violated the principle of seniority.

Democratic forces have shown great anger over their recent secret meeting with the Chief of Army Staff. Here I want o give free advice to the PML-N leaders that instead of giving advice to other parties, PML-N should apply the minus one formula on Shahabaz Sharif.

Despite all the odds, the PPP still believe in politics of reconciliation. Fouzia Wahab PPP’s central information secretary said PPP would exercise restraint and would not respond PMLN’s tirade against the politics of confrontation and wants to promote tolerance. President Zardari reiterated that the PPP would continue the process of reconciliation and take along all political forces in the interst of the country.

President said some elements did not want him to speak for the rights of workers. Pakistan belongs to the poor. If our opponents think that giving rights and making the workers economicaly independent is a sin,we’ll continue to commit it again and again.

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Abdul Nishapuri

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  • NRO/Jang Group: Kamran Khan, Nawaz Sharif & Ethnic Hatred.
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/01/nrojang-group-kamran-khan-nawaz-sharif.html

    I wonder why our Esteemed Journalist Kamran Khan used to suffer from acute Inferiority Complex to name his feature as if its a section of US Central Intelligence Agency, he should have been proud of just quoting the story as Special Report. What the hell is News Intelligence Unit? There must be a difference between Special Branch Report and Newspaper Stories.

    “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones” reminds us that we should be careful how we treat other people (with our words and actions) because we can all be easily hurt. People “throw stones” at other people to try to hurt them, and one way that people try to hurt other people is by saying bad things about them. If you lived in a “glass house” it would be very easy for other people to hurt you by throwing stones at you. “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones” means that we should not say insulting things to other people because they could easily do the same thing to us. Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged! and Let He Who is Without Sin Cast the First Stone.

    Defending himself against the allegations of the federal minister for labour and manpower, Kamran Khan, the host of the Geo programme ‘Aaj Kamran Kay Sath’, said that they have been exposing corruption in the regime of Pervez Musharraf and an appreciation letter of Benazir Bhutto on his investigative reports is an asset for him. Kamran Khan said that during the dictatorial regime and a decade before that when there was democracy in the country, they were doing the same. Addressing Khurshid Shah, he said that in view of the importance of his investigative reports, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had addressed a press conference in a five-star hotel of Karachi to highlight the reports that were quoted in arguments against the cases that were instituted against Benazir Bhutto and her spouse Asif Zardari in Pakistan as well as abroad.

    Now read the same Mr Kamran Khan was more than jubilant when Farooq Laghari [President of Pakistan from 1993 – 1997] sacked Late. Benazir Bhutto’s second government on trumped-up charges and analyze the report above filed by Mr. Kamran Khan in 2009 in The News International and read as to what Mr Kamran Khan had filed on The Washington Post Thursday, November 7, 1996.

    “QUOTE”

    KARACHI, PAKISTAN, NOV. 5 (TUESDAY) — Pakistani President Farooq Leghari dismissed Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto early today and dissolved the National Assembly in a decree he said was mandated by corruption, political violence and financial mismanagement by Bhutto’s government. The president’s action, while legal under the constitution, was backed up by army troops who surrounded Bhutto’s house in Islamabad, the capital, as well as the parliament and radio and television stations in major cities. The country’s airports were closed. Bhutto, 43, who was elected prime minister in 1993, was reported to be in her residence but not under formal detention. The decree, which marked the second time that Bhutto has been dismissed from the prime minister’s office on charges of corruption, delivered a new blow to Pakistan’s faltering democracy. Under relentless pressure from the military, no elected Pakistani prime minister has finished a full term in office, and Bhutto’s predecessor, Nawaz Sharif, was forced to resign. Bhutto’s dismissal came amid a bitter political struggle with the Supreme Court, which recently thwarted her attempt to appoint political loyalists as judges by ruling that judicial appointments are the prerogative of the president. Bhutto also was haunted by charges that she and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, had collected bribes and kickbacks on government contracts and transferred the millions of dollars into foreign bank accounts and property holdings. Well-placed officials said that in August, the army had warned Leghari about growing unrest in its ranks and had provided him with evidence about corruption involving Zardari. An official said Zardari and about 20 other party members had been arrested. Bhutto denied the charges against her and as recently as Sunday vowed to complete her five-year term, saying, “We cannot imagine {Leghari} using his powers to dismiss the government.” This morning her spokesman, Farhatullah Babar, said Bhutto had received a letter from the president at her home in Islamabad and would comment later in the day. Bhutto’s first stint in office, which began when she was appointed prime minister in 1988, lasted just two years and was, like the term that was ended today, marked by allegations of corruption. Her husband and father were accused of orchestrating improper deals involving government-owned land, and she was faulted for clashes with military leaders and for inaction in the face of civil strife in her home state, Sindh.

    And the same Kamran Khan in 2009!!!

    As per an “Allegedly Famous Investigative GEO TV Program” Aaj Kamran Khan Kay Saath –24 th November 2009 , Mr. Kamran Khan, Senior Correspondent for GEO TV/THE NEWS INTERNATIONAL & Daily Jang, continuously insisted while discussing NRO with Wajid Shamsul Hasan [Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom] that corruption cases registered against Asif Ali Zardari for were genuine and Senator Saifur Rehman [Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz – & Former Undeclared Adivosr to General Musharraf] really and genuinely worked hard on these cases. What a shame for The Jang Group of Newspapers which was ruthlessly persecuted by the same Senator Saifur Rehman during 1999 and more shameful is this that the same Kamran Khan and Jang Group of Newspaper had filed stories after stories against Senator Saifur Rehman’s Corruption and Violation of Rules and Law regarding Press Freedom. REFERENCE: REFERENCE: Conspiracy: Kamran Khan, Farooq Laghari, Sajjad Mir, Saifur Rehman & Media Trial of PPP. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/11/conspiracy-kamran-khan-farooq-laghari.html

    Former Senator Saifur Rehman [PML – Nawaz] during 1996-1997, in connivance with the then President Farooq Ahmed Khan Laghari, Kamran Khan [The News International] and Sajjad Mir [the then Editor of Daily Nawa-e-Waqt and nowadays a TV Anchor in Pakistani Private TV Channel NEWSONE AND TVONE] had a conducted detailed Media Trial of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari [while their cases were pending in the Court of Law]. The most funny thing is that Mr Sajjad Mir played the part of TV Anchor on Pakistan Televison Network and his guest was Kamran Khan revealing the detail of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari. REFERENCE: Conspiracy: Kamran Khan, Farooq Laghari, Sajjad Mir, Saifur Rehman & Media Trial of PPP. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/11/conspiracy-kamran-khan-farooq-laghari.html

    Tragically Mr Kamran Khan has played this “Game” with every Democratically Elected Government even at the cost of Ethnic Hatred. This Ethnic Card of Punjab used against the government of Mr Nawaz Sharif and his government during his second tenure [1997 – 1999]

    “QUOTE”

    KARACHI: Less than four dozen individuals from Central Punjab, who had either lived or served in Lahore in the past 15 years, are currently holding the country’s 41 most important official assignments — a situation that is bound to aggravate the prevailing sense of deprivation not only in the three smaller provinces but also in Southern Punjab, according to an investigation by the News Intelligence Unit (NIU). The situation took a delicate turn late on Monday night when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stunned the federal cabinet by announcing that he had decided to nominate the former Supreme Court judge and a known Sharif family friend, Mr Justice (retd) Rafiq Ahmed Tarar, as the president of Pakistan. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took the decision to appoint a Central Punjabi president against strong recommendations from his cabinet members, parliamentary party members and even his younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif, urging him to pick a presidential candidate from smaller provinces, the sources said. The NIU investigation found that before Senator Tarar’s nomination as the president, at least 41 individuals — mostly with permanent residences in Lahore — were holding almost all of the, what an independent observer labelled as, “make-or-break appointments” in the country. The NIU study showed that though all of these appointments were not made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, but under his nine-month-old administration the domination and influence of Central Punjabis over the government departments multiplied manifold. With the election of Justice Rafiq Tarar as the president of Pakistan by the end of this month, the country would have a Lahore-based president, prime minister and chairman Senate. Although Justice Tarar hails from Wazirabad near Lahore, he has lived most of his life in Lahore and is believed to be a personal friend and constitutional and legal adviser to the Sharif family. Both Nawaz Sharif and Wasim Sajjad have lived their personal and professional lives in Lahore, where their families are permanently settled.

    Seniority, merit and professionalism may have been the criterion, but the fact remains that all three present services chiefs incidentally have Central Punjab background. The present Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Fasih Bukhari, and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P Q Mehdi had been appointed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while Chief of Army Staff General Jehangir Karamat was selected by President Farooq Ahmed Leghari. The present government handed dual charge of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee to Gen Karamat. When Nawaz assumed the charge of the prime minister in February this year, each and every member of his personal team at the Prime Minister’s Office had a Central Punjab, particularly Lahore, background. He appointed seasoned civil servant and a scion of a known Lahore family, A K Z Sherdil, as his principal secretary. Because of his Lahore background, Sherdil was personally known to Saifur Rahman Khan, who had initially suggested his name to the prime minister. Even before Sherdil’s appointment, Nawaz had decided to appoint another former civil servant, Anwer Zahid, as his special assistant. The Lahore-based Anwer Zahid was the principal secretary to the prime minister during Nawaz’s first tenure. Closest in Nawaz Sharif’s personal team at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat was, and still is, Saifur Rahman Khan — the chief of Ehtesab Cell. Saifur Rahman like Sherdil and Anwer Zahid, cherished his Lahore background. “The prime minister feels very comfortable with Sherdil, Zahid and Saif. They speak his mind and the language,” noted an informed official. The prime minister not only favoured the individuals with Lahore background for top positions of his office, he invited the people with similar background even for mid-level posts in his personal setup. He appointed Rauf Chaudhry and Khayyam Qaiser as his personal staff officers and Qamaruzzaman as his personal secretary. These three personal staff members, like other senior aides in the Prime Minister’s Office, have strong Central Punjab background. They not only manage the prime minister’s days and weeks, but also serve as his eyes and ears.

    Similarly, his Press Secretary Siddiqul Farooq has always lived and worked in Lahore and Central Punjab with no work experience in smaller provinces. The prime minister appointed another old Lahore hand and a former Ittefaq Group employee, Major General Sikander Hayat, as chief of the Prime Minister’s Monitoring and Evaluation Cell. He appointed Colonel (retd) Mushtaq Taher Kheli, an individual of similar background, as his political secretary. With the accountability placed at the top of his priority list, Nawaz Sharif decided to operate through his most-trusted Lahore aides. While Senator Saifur Rahman was placed at the driving seat, Nawaz decided to continue with Justice (retd) Ghulam Mujaddid Mirza, another famous Lahorite, as the chief Ehtesab commissioner. He appointed another Central Punjab PML leader Mumtaz Ahmed Tarrar as the chief of Ehtesab Council. Not surprisingly, officials and politicians wanted or arrested in corruption cases from Punjab escaped the net laid by the much-dreaded Ehtesab Cell, while those arrested from Sindh faced a totally different situation. For instance, under extremely intriguing condition a corruption case registered against former RECP chairman Kabir Sheikh, a Lahore-based official, was hurriedly withdrawn. Under identical circumstances, the corruption charges against former petroleum secretary Capt Naseer Ahmed had been withdrawn.

    While appointing the federal cabinet, Nawaz Sharif, once more, preferred his trusted Lahore and Central Punjab associates for important cabinet assignments such as commerce. Senior official sources conceded in their background interviews that because of his extreme closeness with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Ishaq Dar’s influence reaches frequently the decision-making levels in the Ministry of Finance. Because of his Lahore and Model Town connections, Ishaq Dar has emerged as the prime minister’s most trusted aide in the federal cabinet. Dar’s closeness with the prime minister can be gauged by the fact that it was he and Saifur Rahman who had negotiated and finalised the power-sharing agreement with the MQM. No PML member from Sindh was included in the team that had negotiated with the MQM after the change of government in February this year. Other Central Punjab PML parliamentarians who received important cabinet slots included Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan (Petroleum), Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (Interior), Mushahid Hussain (Information), Shaikh Rashid Ahmed (Labour and Culture), Begum Abida Hussain (Population Welfare), Raja Nadir Pervaiz (Water and Power), and Khalid Anwar (Law). Surprisingly, the entire national security team that is reporting to the prime minister on important security matters also has the similar Central Punjab background.

    The present director generals of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) shared this common background. Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed and Major General (retd) Enayat Niazi had been appointed as the IB director general and the FIA director general, respectively by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while Lt Gen Nasim Rana had been appointed as the ISI director general by the Benazir Bhutto government. Smaller provinces were completely ignored over Central Punjab when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided to appoint members of his party as heads of various government and public sector organisations. He appointed 37-year-old Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi, MNA from Murree, as the PIAC chairman and picked Khawaja Asif to head the Privatisation Commission. Similarly, Humayun Akhter Khan, the MNA from his home town Lahore, was appointed as the chief of Board of Investment (BoI). When it came to the appointment of the attorney general of Pakistan, the prime minister once again preferred a candidate from Lahore. Sources said that before his appointment as the Attorney General, Chaudhry Muhammad Farooq had long served the Sharif family in their business and family matters.

    While selecting the team of bureaucrats for his government, the prime minister apparently decided not to disturb the officials with Lahore or Central Punjab background, notwithstanding the fact that they had been appointed by President Farooq Leghari during the caretaker set-up. In a policy decision, the prime minister decided to continue with Dr Muhammad Yaqub as the governor of State Bank of Pakistan, absolving him of his responsibility in the collapse of banking and DFI sector in Pakistan in the past four years. Similarly, he also decided to continue with Chaudhry Moeen Afzal as the secretary of finance and Hafizullah Ishaq as the chairman Board of Revenue — both gentlemen had a Central Punjab background. The prime minister also appeared comfortable with Afzal Kahut as the establishment secretary and Mian Tayyab Hussain as the cabinet secretary.

    The Central Punjab criteria apparently played a significant role as he appointed secretaries to some of the important ministries, for example he selected Mian Iqbal Fareed as the secretary commerce, Mehar Jivan Khan as the interior secretary and Gulfaraz Ahmed as the secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum. The Central Punjab may not exactly be the reason behind the appointment of Lt Gen (retd) Chaudhry Iftikhar Ali Khan as the secretary defence, but it may be the first time that no one from a smaller province is attached to any significant position in the entire Ministry of Defence. Like in Justice (retd) Rafiq Tarar’s case, most observers do not dispute the fact that many of the Central Punjab bureaucrats or politicians given important tasks in the government by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif enjoy good reputation, but they do not believe that the smaller provinces cannot offer individuals with similar reputation and competence. These observers felt that to give a truly national look to his government, particularly after the election of Justice Tarrar as the president, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would have to go an extra-mile to neutralise the impression of his being the Central Punjab government.

    “UNQUOTE”

    “QUOTE”

    KARACHI: The government appeared locked in a difficult situation over the Najam Sethi case on Thursday as its intelligence agencies failed to produce any evidence that may even remotely establish Najam Sethi`s links with Indian secret services. The News Intelligence Unit (NIU) understands that confusion and anxiety in top government circles over the Najam Sethi case was growing rapidly as the General Headquarters (GHQ) independently determined that there was no reason to constitute a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) to try the detained journalist under the Army Act. Sources said the government had approached the GHQ to order Najam Sethi`s court martial under the Army Act. Army`s Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch has already prepared its response to the government`s position taken before a Lahore High Court judge on Wednesday. In the past, on a very few occasions civilians directly involved in espionage activities had been court-martialled under the Army Act that almost exclusively governs the activities of army or ex-army personnel.

    Sources told the NIU that the government`s apparent failure in building a solid anti-state case against Najam Sethi and Army`s decision not to lock horn with the Press might soon result in Sethi`s sudden release from the official captivity. There was a perception in the government circles that a final decision on Sethi`s case would be taken on the prime minister`s return from Singapore at the weekend. Fakhruddin G Ibrahim, a noted lawyer and former federal law minister, told the NIU that if tried under the Army Act by an FGCM, Najam Sethi would be the first Pakistani journalist to face court martial under an elected civilian government. For its part, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) that had questioned Sethi for at least four days at one of its safe houses in Islamabad has concluded and reported both to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of the Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf that its interrogation with Najam Sethi has not confirmed any connection between the detained journalist and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) or any other Indian official or agencies. From their records also the intelligence agencies have not been able to dig anything that may help confirm the government`s projected image of an Indian agent for Najam Sethi, according to reliable security sources. Ranking officials told the NIU the ISI was brought into the picture in the Najam Sethi case through an executive verbal order on Sunday when the ISI high command was ordered to take Sethi`s custody from the Intelligence Bureau and have him interrogated to probe his alleged ties with the Indian security establishment.

    Sources said a joint team of IB and Lahore police had first arrested Sethi from his residence where he was severely beaten before being bundled into an IB vehicle. The Lahore operation, the sources said, was supervised by a senior Lahore-based IB official. In the recent months it was the IB that was repeatedly cited for chasing journalists; tapping their phones; placing threatening calls; raiding their residences and offices and abducting journalists. The organisation played an identical role under the PPP government, when the journalists were routinely targeted. Sources said soon after receiving Najam Sethi from the IB, the ISI high command noted, with some degree of surprise, that the agency`s name was extensively publicised in numerous government`s statements. Like all intelligence agencies, the ISI also hates to get mentioned in the media.

    The ISI got into the focus of the Sethi controversy as two statements from an unidentified government spokesman, another two statements from the interior and parliamentary affairs ministries and a statement from the governor of Punjab identified ISI as the agency that was grilling The Friday Times editor. “The situation rang a bell at the GHQ when the COAS was told that the situation might pitch the entire journalist community and international opinion against the Army as the ISI is mainly run by the active service army officers,“ said an official who added the situation warranted some urgent measures as the Army did not want to be a party in the case. Though the ISI has dealt extensively with the activities of journalists in Pakistan and abroad but rarely before it had received such a limelight. The ISI works under the Ministry of Defence and it takes orders directly from the prime minister. A former ISI official said the agency`s role regarding journalists largely covers the national security angle, and it has never obliged the successive political governments over their orders that relate to the media.

    Background interviews with informed officials and ruling PML politicians by the NIU to find out the actual reasons behind this latest crackdown on the journalists have provided an interesting answer. Informed sources said in recent months Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had been led to believe by a few of his “closest associates“ that in order to settle scores with his administration over the Hubco/Kapco issue, the British security establishment had launched a secret drive to destabilise his government. Britain`s National Power has large stakes in Hubco and Kapco power generation projects. Both projects were the main Ehtesab Bureau targets for its probe into IPPs with Chairman Ehtesab Bureau Senator Saifur Rehman Khan claiming that the British sponsors of those projects paid at least $ 400 million to Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari in kickbacks and commission, a charge often rejected by both companies.

    These sources said that the prime minister had also been warned that if the “conspiracy and its perpetrators“ were not crushed on a war-footing, it might lead to an overthrow of his government. Without producing any solid evidence, Nawaz Sharif had also been told that the stories in the British print media against corruption in his government were part of the same conspiracy and the coming BBC documentary would serve as a major leap in bringing his government into international disrepute. Conspiracy theorists in the government had also impressed upon the prime minister that a decree passed by the London High Court against his family for the payment of $32 million to Al-Towfeek Investment Limited was also linked to the same British plot, and a dramatic action against his family interests in London was expected soon. The London High Court had passed an ex-parte decision against the Sharif family in March last when they refused to contest the Al-Towfeek case in London challenging the jurisdiction of London High Court. Prime Minister`s family has also been advised against visiting Britain in the near future. Those who had floated the weird conspiracy theory thought that any BBC documentary on the alleged corrupt practices of the rulers would be part of the same British plot so it was decided to confront all those who had assisted in any form the BBC news crew. Najam Sethi made a strategic blunder when the delivered a hard-hitting anti-establishment speech in Delhi, only a few days after participating in the BBC documentary on Nawaz Sharif.

    Officials acknowledged that Najam Sethi`s statement before a select Indian audience in Delhi had generated an uneasy feeling in the country`s top military echelon as they received extremely negative reports on his speech through their own representatives at the Pakistan embassy in India. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had received a similar report from Ambassador Ashraf Kazi. “What do you expect from services chiefs if they are told that a responsible Pakistani had spit venom against his own country on Indian soil,“ observed an official who thought that The Friday Times editor “definitely crossed line in Delhi and provided an ideal hit-back opportunity to his antagonists in the country“. Talking to the NIU Fakhruddin G Ibrahim and other senior lawyers expressed deep surprise over the government`s statement before the Lahore High Court on Wednesday wherein it was stated that Najam Sethi had been taken into custody under section 123-A of Pakistan Penal Code “for condemning the creation of the state and advocacy of abolition of its sovereignty“ and the Army had decided to take cognizance of his speech under the Army Act.

    The federal Law ministry in its opinion to the government had thought that in his speech at the India International Centre in Delhi on April 30 last Najam Sethi made remarks that violated section 123-A of PPC. What surprised the legal community in the country was the government`s decision to push for his court martial and not to try him in normal courts under normal laws. Even the best of government loyalists in their private conversations conceded that Sethi was being punished for The Friday Times` extremely adversarial editorial stance against the government. “It hurts most when a close friend turns into a foe,“ said a close associate of the prime minister who recalled several anecdotes to establish that both Najam and his wife Jugnu once had fairly close relationship with the Sharifs. During the caretaker administration of Malik Meraj Khalid, The Friday Times and Najam Sethi who had joined the caretaker set-up as an adviser with the status of the minister consistently demanded a bi-partisan accountability before the elections — a position that might have irked the PML leadership. Picked by former president Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari to become a member of his interim government, Najam and The Friday Times have always remained close to the former president.

    “UNQUOTE”

    “QUOTE”

    ISLAMABAD: Within half an hour of his surreptitious climb to the post of the Chief of Army Staff on Tuesday afternoon, the former Inter-Services Intelligence chief, General Khawaja Ziauddin knew that the Army he was supposed to lead was not prepared to accept his command. The News Intelligence Unit (NIU) has gathered that all of Ziauddin`s phone calls to the Corps Commanders and the Chief of General Staff — placed from the Prime Minister`s House in Islamabad on Tuesday — drew a blank, a reaction that almost instantly drew down the curtains on former prime minister Nawaz Sharif`s second term in office. Debriefing sessions with detained aides of the Nawaz Sharif administration by security officials here have disclosed that the former ISI chief-led operation to stage an in-house coup in the Army was driven by his personal ambitions ignoring the actual situation on the ground. “Even a layman in Pakistan is aware that any operation of this sort can never be completed without the active support of the troops and commanders posted in the cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi,“ an Army official commented. “It was foolish of the former prime minister not to be aware that his nominee for the Army chief didn`t have the key support of the 10 Corps and more specifically the 111 brigade,“ he added. It has now become clear that Lt. Gen. Ziauddin was the architect of the secret operation that envisioned the official announcement of his promotion to the post of COAS once Gen Pervez Musharraf boarded PIA Flight PK 805 in Colombo for a journey that severed his contact with the GHQ for a good 200 minutes. It was also Lt. Gen. Ziauddin who, along with the former principal secretary Saeed Mehdi, had suggested to Nawaz Sharif that General Pervez Musharraf`s plane must not be allowed to land at Karachi so that he could be arrested at any other less busy airports in Sindh.

    Sources said that Ziauddin had assured Sharif that he would gain the full command of the Army much before the landing of General Pervez Musharraf`s plane at Karachi airport, a dream that suddenly transformed itself into Sharif and Ziauddin`s worst nightmare. Officials here believe that because of his family and, more particularly, his father`s old ties with Khawaja Ziauddin`s family, Sharif always wanted to appoint him to the coveted post of the COAS, but he couldn`t do that since he had ignored a senior-most three star general as General Jehangir Karamat`s replacement. Several close aides to Sharif had often conceded in the past that Gen Kuli Khan Khattak was ignored because Sharif was not comfortable with a Pathan general.

    Ziauddin, an officer from the Army`s Corps of Engineers, was one course junior to Gen. Ali Kuli Khan and Gen. Pervez Musharraf at the Pakistan Military Academy, but even before Karamat`s dramatic exit from the Army, Ziauddin had told his friends about the likelihood of his replacing Gen. Jehangir Karamat. Sources said that General Karamat had posted him as the Corps Commander, Gujranwala in response to a personal request from Sharif, who wanted to give him a fair chance at the time of Karamat`s retirement. Those who had close access to Sharif always contended that his decision to appoint Gen Musharraf was a stopgap arrangement between Gen. Karamat`s abrupt resignation and Ziauddin`s eventual appointment as the COAS. Ziauddin`s appointment as the ISI chief, minutes after Musharraf`s posting as the COAS, spoke volumes of Sharif`s bent of mind at the time. With the knowledge that doubts deliberately created about Musharraf`s tenure as the COAS would further deteriorate worsening relations between the Army and the former prime minister, Ziauddin using his position as the ISI chief nonetheless invented an intriguing conspiracy theory on the Kargil crisis and helped fuel misinformation that the Army leadership got Sharif trapped by launching the Kargil operation.

    During the Kargil crisis, Gen. Ziauddin`s exclusive briefing to the former prime minister almost always contradicted the GHQ`s version. “He was responsible for planting the seeds of intrigue on the Kargil issue in Sharif`s mind,“ according to a reliable official source. In his rash drive to convince Sharif that Musharraf`s removal as the COAS would ease tension with the Army, Ziauddin is believed to have also encouraged the former Intelligence Bureau chief Colonel (retd) Iqbal Niazi, to invent a variety of Army-backed threatening scenarios for Sharif, who apparently had an unlimited appetite for stories that painted a highly negative picture of Musharraf and the corps commanders considered close to the COAS. Khawaja Ziauddin`s desperation to please Nawaz Sharif became evident on the first day of his appointment as the ISI chief when he readily confirmed a police-doctored version about the culprits allegedly involved in the ghastly murder of Hakim Mohammad Said. On Ziauddin`s report, submitted without any independent verification, Sharif got an excuse to knock out the democratic set-up in Sindh, an act that later emerged as part of a well-engineered plot to make way for the installation of an exclusive PML-run unelected administration in Sindh. An independent Army probe later discovered that the Sindh Police`s version of the Hakim Said case, with a stamp of ISI confirmation from Gen. Ziauddin, was nothing but “a pack of lies.“ Neither Sharif nor Ziauddin, however, ever acknowledged the blunder.

    In another desperate attempt to please the former prime minister, Ziauddin ordered the illegal detention of Najam Sethi, the editor Friday Times, for more than two weeks. Despite the Army`s blunt refusal to initiate sedition or treason charges against Sethi, Ziauddin obliged Sharif and Saifur Rahman by keeping Sethi locked up for about 20 days. Sethi had been handed to Ziauddin`s ISI after being abducted by IB goons from his Lahore residence. Sources said Ziauddin agreed to hold Sethi in illegal detention in response to a single phone call from Saifur Rahman, who later also made Sharif speak to him on the subject. Reliable sources said that Ziauddin was also behind severe criticism of the Kargil crisis by at least two corps commanders, who later met Sharif in Ziauddin`s presence. These meetings were never reported to the COAS, who later reacted by removing both corps commanders from their posts. For Sharif, sources said, Ziauddin`s mission was to divide the corps commanders on ethnic and professional lines and to create an anti-Musharraf lobby amongst the corps commanders. “Since his appointment as the DG ISI, Ziauddin was playing a dangerous game that pitched his boss against the Army,“ observed a senior official. “His operation ultimately turned out to be hara kari (suicide).“

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