Thursday, October 23, 2008

Authority & Responsibility - 10

Ahsan Siddiqui wrote:

Agree with Arif's statement.

1-That's the Pakistan Army who captures border area along Punjab in 1965, that forces India to run to UNO and launches appeals to stop Pakistan otherwise we will loose our territory. Otherwise Indians was in mood to have cup of coffee at Lahore Gymkhana at evening.

2-That's the Pakistan army / Navy who completely destroyed Dawarka in a silent operation and in just 25 minutes of bombing they destroyed Dawarka operational Indian center completely.Otherwis e India was in position to destroy Karachi in next couple of days.

3-It was Pakistan Air force who made world record of destroying 5 jet planes in less than 3 minutes, in 1965. That's still a world record and still unbreakable.

Although senior Pakistan Army leadership had made some mistakes in political scenario, but I hope they have learned from past and will not let the mistake happens again. We can't blame Pakistan Army alone for any mis happen. In fact Pakistani politicians are part of any problem.


Dear Ahsan Sahab,

You dont debate 1965 War like an essay from State Produced Pakistan Studies Text Books to feed lies to common people and also meant for passing Matric Exam, wake up far excellent and more truthful material is available! Pseudo Patriotism is tantamount to Criminal Behaviour. People outside Pakistan dont rely on Sindh Text Book Board to read History there are others sources as well.

Brillian Military Mind!

In 1965, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) led by Brigadier Riaz Hussain had a very poor performance. In less than 48 hours after the launching of Operation Gibraltar, ISI lost all its contacts. Instead of any accountability, Brigadier Riaz was promoted to the rank of Major General. Similarly, Director of Military Intelligence, Brigadier Irshad had very little information about the whole exercise let alone a comprehensive strategy. He admitted to then information minister when asked about the nature and purpose of operation so that ministry could project it. He innocently admitted that the beauty of the operation is that ‘even I know very little about the operation’. He rose up the ranks to become Lt. General and lead a Corps. A senior retired Lt. General while commenting about 1965 war is of the view that ‘the reputation of many senior commanders was tarnished and many others would have come to the limelight but intense personal lobbying prevented any meaningful change’.

The most tragic effect of 1965 war was not military but political which military mind was unable to comprehend. The remarks of an East Pakistani summarize the feelings of Bengalis about 1965 war, “while the West Pakistan was using its American tanks and American planes to fight India for the precious five million Kashmiris, 65 million Bengalis were left to fight with their bare hands if the Indians had attacked us”.

Brigadier Gulzar Ahmad explaining the role of celestial powers to lessen his troop casualties in 1965 war stated, “There was a hidden hand deflecting the rounds which would otherwise have taken a heavy toll of the advancing troops”.

Martial Mind Pakistan Officer Corps thought-process about Defence Columnist Hamid Hussain explores the Pakistan military mind-set.

Just one question where were these hands of celestial powers in 1971 particularly on the day of surrender?

Martial Mind Pakistan Officer Corps thought-process about Defence
Columnist Hamid Hussain explores the Pakistan military mind-set.

Article by Altaf Gauhar: "How Intelligence Agencies Run Our Politics" Islamabad The Nation in English 17 Aug 97 p 4.

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?


In a soon-to-be-published book, Pakistani journalist Husain Haqqani, who has been able to access a good deal of unpublished material in Washington, writes about the 1965 war: “The Pakistani people were told by the state that they had been victims of aggression and that the aggression had been repelled with the help of God. The propagation of this view needed the help of religious leaders and groups. But in discussions with American diplomats, Ayub Khan acknowledged that the war had begun as a result of Pakistan’s forays in Kashmir. The war ended within 17 days with a UN-sponsored ceasefire and was far from decisive. But official propaganda convinced the people of Pakistan that their military had won the war.” Tashkent punctured that balloon before long.

According to Haqqani, “The Tashkent agreement made no mention of Pakistan’s demand for a plebiscite in Kashmir either, which made the people wonder why Pakistan’s ‘military victory’ did not bring it any gain in territory or at least the promise of a future favourable settlement . Once it became known that the initiation of the war had been a blunder, the Pakistani establishment blamed Bhutto for advocating the guerrilla foray which led to the war. The official account is, however, replete with inaccuracies. For example, Bhutto is accused of hyping up reports from Kashmir that the people would rise up for ‘liberation’ if a fuse was lit in the Kashmir Valley. But the Foreign Office, which Bhutto headed at the time, had no role in reporting on the situation inside Kashmir. That was the task of Pakistan’s intelligence services. To cover their irrational exuberance in reporting on the ground situation in Kashmir, the intelligence services later fed falsified accounts to the media of how Bhutto had been the brains behind the war.”

CONTROVERSY: Why Gohar Ayub is wrong about 1965 —Khalid Hasan

Friday, June 10, 2005


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