Thursday, August 27, 2009

Spy vs spy: Another IB official speaks out by Usman Manzoor

Brigadier Retd. Imtiaz aka Billa - Former Number 2 of ISI - 1987 - 1989, and Director General Intelligence Bureau under Mian Nawaz Sharif's First Government - 1990 - 1993. READ MORE DETAILS Brigadier Retd. Imtiaz: Another Multifaceted Fraud. General (R) Hamid Gul, Brigadier (R) Imtiaz & Jews Brigadier (R) Imtiaz 'Exposes' General (R) Hamid Gul

Spy vs spy: Another IB official speaks out By Usman Manzoor Friday, August 28, 2009

ISLAMABAD: Another former senior officer of the Intelligence Bureau has broken his silence after the recent outbursts of Brig (retd) Imtiaz and has revealed that the former IB director-general had planned to register high treason cases against Benazir Bhutto, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, Salmaan Taseer and Masood Sharif.

Following the recent disclosures of Brig Imtiaz, which have shaken both the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Rana Abdul Baqi, who had served under former IB director-general Masood Sharif and retired as senior director, in an exclusive interview with The News, disclosed that Brig Imtiaz wanted to try Benazir Bhutto and three others because they leaked secret tapes to an Indian journalist and got it published in India Today.

According to Baqi, the tapes which were leaked contained conversations between MNAs and Brigadier Imtiaz and Major Amir, and also included classified information about training camps of the Army and other strategic security information which may still be classified.

The former IB director said: “In 1991 after completing medical leave I reported at the IB headquarters and started waiting for my next posting, as I was previously working as personal staff officer to IB director-general Masood Sharif. One day, Brig Imtiaz called me in his office because he was upset with the episode of Salmaan Taseer, who had conducted a press conference against the architects of ‘Operation Midnight Jackal’ and India Today had also published some extracts of those secret tapes. The brigadier asked me how did Salmaan Taseer get those tapes? “He (Taseer) is an agent of RAW and India Today got those tapes through Taseer.” “Brigadier Imtiaz alleged according to his information Taseer got those tapes through me.”

“According to my sources, Masood Sharif and Benazir Bhutto got those tapes from you,” Brig Imtiaz blamed me, adding: “Benazir Bhutto gave those tapes to Taseer.” Imtiaz added apart from Benazir Bhutto and Salmaan Taseer, Aitzaz Ahsan was also present there and in his presence these tapes were handed over to Taseer.

“I want to initiate high treason case against these four because they have handed over classified national secrets to India and you (Rana Abdul Baqi) would become approver in the case and you would admit that these secret tapes were handed over to Taseer in your presence.

“I told Brig Imtiaz that I do not know Benazir Bhutto, Aitzaz Ahsan and Salmaan Taseer personally and I can not give any sort of false evidence. I was offered promotion by Brig Imtiaz and upon my refusal I was threatened of severe consequences and an inquiry was lodged against me and I was accused of leaking those secret tapes.”

“I told Brig Imtiaz that three sets of these tapes were prepared each containing 12 cassettes. One was sent to the Military Intelligence director-general; one to the Prime Minister Secretariat and the third was kept in IB director-general’s office. I don’t know how Taseer got those tapes. Brig Imtiaz constituted a committee to discuss my involvement in handing those tapes to Taseer.

Brig Imtiaz’s committee comprised Air Commodore Khalilullah Ghauri, Col Bashir Wali, who has remained IB director-general and Major Salim Khan.

The committee inquired from me and I gave a ten-page reply on how these tapes were distributed. The Army men took the last copy of these cassettes which was at IB director-general’s office and a receipt was also given of that episode.

“The committee exonerated me after getting satisfactory answers. Commodore Khalilur Rehman Ghauri told me Brig Imtiaz wanted to initiate high treason cases against Benazir Bhutto, Aitzaz Ahsan and Masood Sharif. I was asked to be careful as Brig Imtiaz could be dangerous. I only said I will not give any false evidence.”

To a question, the former senior IB director disclosed that the then-government did not pay any heed to Brig Imtiaz’s formula of vindicating the opposition. “Even the prime minister was shocked about Imtiaz’s formula,” said Rana Abdul Baqi, adding: “In 1997 Brig Imtiaz once again wanted to play his role but was reminded of the 1991 mistake.”

Brigadier Imtiaz, the mastermind of the Operation Midnight Jackal, when contacted termed all the allegations levelled by Rana Abdul Baqi baseless and said he never gave worth to Rana Abdul Baqi. He said Rana Abdul Baqi was sidelined by him when he assumed the charge of Intelligence Bureau. “I never thought of giving any important task to Baqi,” said the brigadier.

Brigadier Imtiaz said the Operation Midnight Jackal was kept alive against a person who has served his whole life serving the country. He said he, Major Amir, Malik Mumtaz (a RAW agent according to Brigadier Imtiaz) and two MNAs were discussing the political situation of Pakistan and mentioned that their views were not favourable to the incumbent regime and that the minor incident was termed the Operation Midnight Jackal. Brigadier Imtiaz said politics was, and is, discussed everywhere but that the minor incident has been kept alive till today.

He said Nawaz Sharif, Gen Nasir, Masood Sharif and Rana Baqi had taken MNAs in C-130 from the Rawalpindi Cricket stadium to Swat, which was unauthorised but no one had questioned that.

SOURCE: The News International


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