Friday, October 30, 2009

9 -11 & Said Bahaji: Right under the Nose of Bush, Musharraf and Mahmud.

Why the Pakistani Military used to Support Taliban, Several Sectarian Outfits and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba before 911? And while the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi stand officially disbanded, their most militant son and leader, Maulana Azam Tariq, an accused in several cases of sectarian killing, contested elections from jail - albeit as an independent candidate - won his seat, and was released on bail shortly thereafter. Musharraf rewrote election rules to disqualify former Prime Ministers Mohammed Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, and threatened to toss them in jail if they returned from abroad, which badly undermined both Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League and Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP). Musharraf has plainly given the religious groups more free rein in the campaign than he has allowed the two big parties that were his main rivals. In Jhang city, in Punjab province, Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of an outlawed extremist group called Sipah-e-Sahaba, which has been linked to numerous sectarian killings, is being allowed to run as an independent despite election laws that disqualify any candidate who has criminal charges pending, or even those who did not earn a college degree. "It makes no sense that Benazir can't run in the election," says one Islamabad-based diplomat, "and this nasty guy can."

References: And this takes me back to Pervez Musharraf’s first visit to the US after his coup. At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.” Pakistani neocons and UN sanctions Khalid Hasan This entry was posted on Sunday, December 28th, 2008 at 6:00 pm. For The 'General' Good By Sairah Irshad Khan Monthly Newsline January 2003 - General's Election By TIM MCGIRK / KHANA-KHEL Monday, Oct. 07, 2002,9171,361788,00.html - MORE DETAILS: General Musharraf, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Brigadier [R] Usman Khalid & Deobandi Taliban.

We can easily say that the the latest reveleation is the last nail in the coffin of our so-called Startegic Depth. REFERENCE: Passport of 9/11 conspirator found in Waziristan By Zahid Hussain Friday, 30 Oct, 2009 The 9-11 Commission Report
Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Official Government Edition

German intelligence is periodically tapping suspected al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar’s telephone. On this day, investigators hear a caller being told Zammar is at a meeting with “Mohamed, Ramzi, and Said,” and can be reached at the phone number of the Marienstrasse apartment where all three of them live. This refers to Mohamed Atta, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, and Said Bahaji, all members of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. However, apparently the German police fail to grasp the importance of these names, even though Said Bahaji is also under investigation. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 6/22/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 1/18/2003] Atta’s last name is given as well. Agents check the phone number and confirm the street address, but it is not known what they make of the information. [DER SPIEGEL (HAMBURG), 2/3/2003]. REFERENCE: Context of 'February 17, 1999: Germans Intercept Al-Qaeda Calls, One Mentions Atta’s Name'

Pakistan’s chief spy Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad “was in the US when the attacks occurred.” He arrived in the US on the 4th of September, a full week before the attacks. He had meetings at the State Department “after” the attacks on the WTC. But he also had “a regular visit of consultations” with his US counterparts at the CIA and the Pentagon during the week prior to September 11. REFERENCE: Cover-up or Complicity of the Bush Administration? The Role of Pakistan’s Military Intelligence (ISI) in the September 11 Attacks by Michel Chossudovsky Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG), Montréal Posted at 2 November 2001

Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa. TFF Associates

AFTER 9/11.

In the afternoon, Mahmood was invited to CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia, where he told George Tenet, the CIA director, that in his view Mullah Omar, the Taliban chief, was a religious man with humanitarian instincts and not a man of violence! This was a bit difficult for the CIA officials to digest and rightly so as the Taliban’s track record, especially in the realm of human rights, was no secret. General Mahmood was told politely but firmly that Mullah Omar and the Taliban would have to face US Military might if Osama Bin Laden along with other Al-Qaeda leaders were not handed over without delay. To send the message across clearly, Richard Armitage held a second meeting with Mahmood the same day, informing him that he would soon be handed specific American demands, to which Mahmood reiterated that Pakistan would cooperate. {Bush at War by Bob Woodward, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002, New York}, p 32. {Pakistan: Eye of the Storm by Owen Bennett Jones, published by New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002}, p. 2.

General Mahmood on September 13, 2001, was handed a formal list of the US demands by Mr. Armitage and was asked to convey these to Musharraf and was also duly informed, for the sake of emphasis, that these were “not negotiable.” Colin Powell, Richard Armitage, and the assisstant secretary of state, Christina Rocca, had drafted the list in the shape of a “non-paper”. It categorically asked Pakistan:

Stop Al-Qaeda operatives coming from Afghanistan to Pakistan, intercept arms shipments through Pakistan, and end ALL logistical support for Osama Bin Laden.

Give blanket overflight and landing rights to US aircraft.

Give the US access to Pakistani Naval and Air Bases and to the border areas betweeen Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Turn over all the intelligence and immigration information.

Condemn the September 11 attacks and curb all domestic expressions of support for terrorism.

Cut off all shipments of fuel to the Talibans, and stop Pakistani volunteers from going into Afghanistan to join the Taliban. Note that, should the evidence strongly implicate Osama Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda Network in Afghanistan, and should the Taliban continue to harbour him and his accomplices, Pakistan will break diplomatic relations with the Taliban regime, end support for the Taliban, and assist the US in the aforementioned ways to destroy Osama and his network.

Having gone through the list, Mahmood declared that he was quite clear on the subject and that “he knew how the President thought, and the President would accept these points.” {Bush at War by Bob Woodward, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002, New York}, p 58-59. Interview: Richard Armitage, “Campaign Against Terror,” PBS (Frontline), April 19, 2002}

Mahmood then faxed the document to Musharraf. While the latter was going through it and in the process of weighing the pros and cons of each demand, his aide de camp that Colin Powell was on the line. Musharraf liked and respected Powell, and the conversation was not going to be a problem. He told him that he understood and appreciated the US position, but he would respond to the US demands after having discussed these with his associates. Powell was far too polite to remind him that he in fact was the government, but did inform him that his General in Washington had already assured them that these demands would be acceptable to the government of Pakistan. {Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism : Allah, the Army, and America’s War on Terror by Hassan Abbas, published by An East Gate Book , M.E. Sharpe Armonk, New York. London, England.}. NOTES/REFERENCES - Pakistan: Eye of the Storm by Owen Bennett Jones, published by New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002. Interview: Richard Armitage, “Campaign Against Terror,” PBS (Frontline), April 19, 2002; last accessed June 2, 2003, at
Bush at War by Bob Woodward, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002, New York. Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism : Allah, the Army, and America’s War on Terror by Hassan Abbas, published by An East Gate Book , M.E. Sharpe Armonk, New York. London, England

Zaffar Abbas is resident editor of Dawn News in Islamabad, Pakistan. Abbas was the Bureau Chief for the monthly Herald in the capital and also remained the BBC's correspondent first in Karachi and then in Islamabad for 17 years. On trail of Al Qaeda operative Said Bahaji By Zaffar Abbas Friday, 30 Oct, 2009

ISLAMABAD: In November 2001, Pakistan’s prestigious Herald magazine, in an investigative story, had given a detailed account of how Said Bahaji along with two of his accomplices, had arrived and stayed in Karachi shortly before the dastardly 9/11 attack and how they had managed to slip out of the country, with at least two of them crossing into Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden had his base under the Taliban’s protection.

The detailed report in the magazine said that on arrival at the Karachi airport the three had identified themselves as Abdellah Hosayni, a Belgian citizen of Algerian dissent, Ammar Moula of Morrocan origin but travelling on a French passport, and German national Said Bahaji. In a normal hustle bustle at the airport, no one noticed that all three got into the same taxi. They then headed for a hotel which none of them had mentioned in the disembarkation card submitted with the Pakistani immigration authorities.

The three remained as anonymous as any other tourist until all hell broke loose in the US on September 11, 2001. The massive manhunt that followed soon spread to Hamburg and Paris, and with the help of Pakistani security agencies, a connection was established with these three mysterious characters who had arrived in Karachi exactly eight days prior to the attacks in New York and Washington.

No one knows where these men went after they left their hotel on September 5, 2001. But the paper trail followed by Pakistani sleuths at the time led to some startling disclosures about the trio’s earlier activities. Investigators believed they had unearthed the first direct link between Afghanistan — and possibly Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda movement — and the events of September 11.

It all began when authorities in Hamburg, acting on a tip from US investigators, raided a flat which had been frequently visited by one of the main suspected hijackers, Mohammed Atta. Sifting through the few items found in the flat, German investigators were able to determine that someone by the name of Said Bahaji, among others, had been in close contact with Mohammed Atta. Soon they also tracked down a shipment slip which revealed that a packet, ostensibly containing ‘religious literature’, was sent to Bahaji on March 30, 2001 from an address in Karachi.

The German authorities then passed on a list of telephone numbers to their Pakistani counterparts, primarily to confirm whether any calls were made to these numbers from this country. This really set the ball rolling. Within days, Pakistani security agencies were able to pinpoint the location in Karachi from where calls had been placed to one of the suspect numbers 0049-40-76757634. Additional spade work soon linked this telephony to the three mysterious men who arrived in the city on September 4, 2001. Three calls were made to the above number in Germany from a World Call phone booth in PECHS Block 6 in the Nursery area. The first call was made on August 31, another was placed on September 2, and the third on September 4. Investigators believe the first two calls were made by Said Bahaji’s local contact while the third was the work of either Bahaji or his associates after the trio landed in Karachi.

The Herald report said, working on assumption that the person making the calls must have been lodged at a nearby hotel, security operatives found their way to a Hotel Embassy on the main Sharae Faisal. It was here that the investigators hit the jackpot. Pakistani law requires foreign visitors to provide hotels with photocopies of their passports and these documents offered a wealth of information. The hotel record, meanwhile, showed that all three men had stayed in the same room (318) for one night, paid for it in cash and had not used the hotel telephone. A trip to Hotel Embassy by the Herald correspondent left little doubt that the staff had been through ceaseless questioning by more than one security agency.

According to information gleaned by investigators at that time from the hotel record, Said Bahaji was travelling on a genuine German passport (L8642163). Bahaji had Morrocon father and German mother and was married to a Turkish woman called Nezy. Bahaji was clean shaven in his passport photograph but was sporting a beard when he applied for a visa.

Abdellah Hosayni’s Belgian passport was also deemed genuine. However, subsequent investigations in France revealed that the third occupant of room 318 had been travelling on a fake passport. The real ‘Ammar Moula’ had by then been tracked down by French authorities.

Apart from getting information about the possible presence of Al Qaeda supporters in Karachi, investigators said that circumstantial evidence suggested that at least two of the men boarded a PIA flight for Quetta the following day. They did not book into any hotel in Quetta and might have slipped into Afghanistan the same day.

At that time there was a strong suspicion that at least one member of the trio, most likely Said Bahaji, left Pakistan on Sept 5 on a fake passport and under an assumed name. Pakcom internet service record of that period showed that an email in German was sent that day to Hamburg from the Quaid-i-Azam, International Airport’s departure lounge, probably by Said Bahaji to his mother. The airport record showed that two flights took off in this period and investigators were of the view that Bahaji most probably flew to Bahrain.

Although the trail went cold here, senior security officials at that time said their work had earned praise not just from the Germans but also the FBI and other organisations which have been working round the clock to corner the group responsible for the 9/11 attack.

The recovery of Said Bahaji’s passport during the current security operation in South Waziristan suggests that the Al Qaeda operative at some point must have returned to the area. It’s, however, not clear if he was still alive, and was travelling within or outside the country under an assumed name.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shaheen Sehabi on the Accountability of Media/Press.

Every one in the present morally, intellectually and financially depleted Pakistan --the print media and its well-entrenched "gurus" among the foremost --- is shouting from the roof top for accountability of every one else.Yet no one has seriously demanded, nor does any one appear to be contemplating, any accountability of the media itself. [Shaheen Sehbai in 2000]

Group Editor of The News International, Mr Shaheen Sehbai [Founding Editor/Owner of South Asia Tribune - USA]Shaheen Sehbai is allegedly famous for investigative reporting and his anti government stance had once joined ARY TV Channel where he had taken over from another fraud Dr Shahid Masood as the Director Of ARY. Shaheen Sehabi, Jang Group & Definition of National Interest.


Who will Bell the Bad, Fat Cats? by Shaheen Sehbai January 5, 2000 REFERENCE:

Every one in the present morally, intellectually and financially depleted Pakistan --the print media and its well-entrenched "gurus" among the foremost --- is shouting from the roof top for accountability of every one else.Yet no one has seriously demanded, nor does any one appear to be contemplating, any accountability of the media itself.

Accountability of the media should, under ordinary circumstances, be conducted by peers of the profession in terms of its moral, professional and intellectual integrity. But in the lopsided Pakistani context, financial accountability of journalists, columnists, newspaper owners, publishers and editors also needs to be promptly and urgently undertaken and that would require intervention of the State investigative apparatus.

Accountability to determine integrity should not just include professional and financial conduct of journalists but it should also try to understand the reasons why objective journalism and traditional professional journalists are fast becoming an extinct breed and almost all opinion writing, analysis and interpretation work has been taken over by "lateral entrants" --- people who had no journalistic training, who never went through the mill, who acquired writing skills doing something else and when they failed in their professions, took refuge in journalism.

These "lateral entrants" mostly comprise ambitious generals, politicians, bureaucrats, technocrats and opportunists, all masquerading as journalists, opinion makers and columnists of the highest order. Most of them have no reporting or editing skills and some appear to even have been planted by vested interests. It is common knowledge in Islamabad that at least two well known editors of the now-defunct Daily ‘Muslim’ were nominees of the military establishment, including one who became an ambassador and another who graduated to be a federal minister.

That most of them had, and still have, political ambitions and hidden agendas has never been concealed by them, as their current or past conduct would show. Many of them have virtually "used" journalism as a stepping stone to achieve their political and/or financial goals. Names in this category are numerous and if these big names are removed from the present spectrum of editors, leading op-ed writers, columnists, commentators and leader writers, newspapers would appear to be barren.

The purpose of this piece is not to condemn any one for his or her views and opinion nor does this piece encompass all the problems that journalism faces in Pakistan, specially the ills created by yellow journalism and a "free-for-all" attitude to Press freedoms. Yet one specific purpose is to pin point those who have been continuously "using" or "abusing" journalism for their own ends.

Some of these leading lights of present-day journalism in Pakistan are so brazen and unabashed in their pursuit of profit, politics or power, that they seem to have lost their sense and powers of judgement. They exercise their biased judgements only if their own political interests are served. They never measure their own conduct by the yardstick with which they measure everybody else in their writings.

Since all accountability processes began in the country from the cut off date of mid 80s, looking at the media scene in these 15 years brings up a horde of opportunists and power-grabbers, who have been rampaging the newspapers and their columns in one form or the other.

The best way to start such a process would be for the leading stars of the profession to present their own assets and liabilities to the public, like the Chief Executive and other services chiefs have done. One or two journalists have done that already but generally there is deafening silence. That would set the stage for authorities to go into their financial conduct. Newspaper owners and their families, some very high profile editors and some upstarts who overnight became millionaires after they turned editors and publishers, would have to answer a lot of messy questions.

The integrity check should simultaneously be launched by the peers of the profession at whatever forum they think would be appropriate. Perhaps this first hurdle may be the only big hurdle and may never be crossed.

The peers, naturally those who come out unscathed and "clean", should sit down to formulate lists of those who have been publicly demonstrating a lack of intellectual, moral and professional integrity. Big names like Minhaj Barna, Mushahid Hussain, Maleeha Lodhi, Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Nazir Naji, Ataul Haq Qasmi, Ayaz Amir, Hussain Haqqani, Irshad Ahmed Haqqani, Najam Sethi, Nasim Zehra, Jamiluddin Aali and many others who sought or accepted political, diplomatic or government jobs, or joined political parties as activists, should be asked to explain why they did not quit journalism to do so and why they continued to use the profession to get, keep or regain lucrative jobs or positions of power. How do they retain, or claim to retain, their objectivity and credibility, once they have demonstrated their political ambitions. In the least they should have apologised to the profession.

Some of them have been going in and out of journalism so frequently as if the profession was a revolving door only to be used when they needed a push to restore their lost position of political, economic or administrative influence and power.

Some others, like the once-revered Minhaj Barna, who led the trade union movement of journalists and whose "Barna Group" of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists still exists, accepted so petty, temporary and at times demeaning jobs that the entire profession could only hang its head in shame. Scenes when stalwarts of the profession like him were seen waiting outside offices of petty bureaucrats in Islamabad’s corridors of power, to get an extension of their foreign assignment were, to say the least, despicable, bringing no merit to Pakistani journalism.

I would never forget a supposedly well known name in today's op-ed pages who, in order to "please" a lady ambassador in Washington, turned himself into her private photographer and started taking her pictures with all those present at a grand farewell dinner thrown at her official residence. For three hours this newspaper columnist behaved like a personal privately hired professional. He even carried his "act of sycophancy" to the next day at the airport where people went to see her off, clicking rolls and rolls of pictures with the ambassador sitting, standing, waving and smiling at every Tom, Dick, Harry and Larry. Even junior embassy staffers started making jokes about this senior journalist and his "buttering skills". To his ultimate disgrace, he was never obliged by the slick ambassador, despite his publicly self-demeaning conduct. But later these very skills worked well with the successor political government and he landed a cushy government job in Islamabad. The moment the government was ousted, his columns started attacking his previous employers. Still he retains his claim to be an "impartial and objective" analyst and writer and does not include himself in the long list of trapeze artists that crowd the media circus in Pakistan.

Pakistan's so-called free press is on the verge of becoming, or has already become, a beggar's market where cheap and shoddy journalism is sold to the highest bidder --- whether political or military --- and thus the sellers get unprecedented access to power corridors. Many in Pakistan's print and news media seem to have forgotten their responsibilities as guardians of the truth. It has therefore to be decided: whether these political aspirants, masquerading as journalists, deserve to be given the status of "objective commentators"; whether what they dish out every day as "informed opinion" or "dispassionate analysis" should be presented to the readers as material worthy of credit; and whether the value of transparency is not irreparably compromised.

Financial accountability of journalists has to take place parallel to what the peers may decide to do and for that the government sleuths have to determine how small-time reporters turned overnight into millionaires, newspapers owners and big-time real estate tycoons.

Tax accountability will demonstrate the fraud Pakistani journalism has evolved into. Tax collectors should go into the records of "overnight millionaire journalists" to determine whether, for example, the life style of some of the big names match what they have been paying into the exchequer, whether the properties they have built in short spans of time match the incomes, or losses, of their otherwise unprofitable newspaper organisations.

Cases of open and blatant government cash handouts to favourite journalists, newspapers and news agencies are no secret in Islamabad and Lahore. A deceased news agency owner, a small time reporter not long ago, was awarded two costly plots of land in Lahore to set up his news agency by the first Nawaz Sharif administration. The agency still claims to be "independent" but always dishes out planted stories that suit the rulers of the day. Open and blatant black mailing tactics by some vernacular newspapers were hated by every political government and party but no one ever tried to curb their activities, fearing an exposure. Only an honest and strong government could tackle these profiteering rags.

While the peers of the profession and the state probers look into the conduct of the mediamen, the editors and publishers should also carry out a simultaneous process of introspection to determine how other outsiders --- opportunists and ambition-hunters --- have used the print media for achieving political goals that would otherwise not be achievable.

This category would include a long list of uniformed generals, air marshals and admirals, retired bureaucrats and technocrats, many of whom were shunted out in disgrace --- sinners of the past, who would just not quit, and continue to impose themselves on the nation in one form or the other. Politicians have also been trying frequently to use the media to stage a come back when they lost the game on their own wicket.

The spearheads of this list would be stalwarts like Altaf Gauhar from the bureaucracy and Lt. Gen. K.M. Arif from the khakis. But in politics, not only Benazir Bhutto has been trying to regularly push her case of innocence through op-ed pieces, even her famous one-time house-maid Naheed Khan got at least a couple of articles published in obliging newspapers to include her name in the list of those who could be seen brandishing the media sword. That was like adding salt to the injury.

I vividly recall my first encounter with Lt. General (Retd) K.M. Arif in Washington D.C. when I saw him at the Carnegie Institute, while he was here with the then opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, US columnist Mansoor Ijaz and Editor Najam Sethi to speak at a conference on nuclear proliferation in South Asia. I had always carried one question for the general which I had wished I could ask him. That day I did. We were standing in a small group of some five or six people including the then Assistant Secretary of State Robin Raphael and the then ambassador Maleeha Lodhi during the tea break, when I asked: "Have you, General, ever thought of apologising to the people of Pakistan for the years and years of rape of democracy and institutions that you committed in collusion with military dictator General Zia ul Haq, virtually as his No 2."

The General was thunder struck. Face distorted, he tried to compose himself for a few anxious seconds and then said he would like to take a cup of coffee and moved away from the group. That general is one of the most outspoken authority on democracy and foreign affairs in our newspapers today and has just been named as a member of the think tank on foreign affairs by General Musharraf. His appointment can best be described as the most apt example of insulting the collective intelligence of the people. If he is not punished for what he did to democracy, he should at least have been banished from giving sermons on democracy and good governance in newspaper columns.

The list of foreign and home-based technocrats and experts on economy, sciences and geo-strategic subjects, who pushed their resumes through newspaper columns, would also not be a small one. Some may have achieved their objectives. What they did could probably not be called objectionable, but if they did so in collusion with newspaper editors and owners who now expect to be rewarded because the aspirant expert has assumed political power, it would be patently unethical and against professional integrity.

While carrying out this exercise of accountability by the peers and by the state apparatus, it should not be forgotten that journalism has always been proud of many who have remained spotless, intellectually and financially, despite the most adverse of conditions in their professional and personal lives. They would definitely emerge as the "clean peers" that we desperately need for self-cleansing.

Among those the profession has to remain forever thankful, are late Mazhar Ali Khan, A.T.Choudhri, Khwaja Asif, Nisar Osmani, Razia Bhatti and Maulana Salahuddin besides living legends like Ahmed Ali Khan and Zamir Niazi. Some very respectable names like Aziz Siddiqi, I.A. Rehman, S.G.M. Badruddin, A.B.S. Jafri, Salim Asmi, H.K. Burki, Munno Bhai, Hussain Naqi, and the present younger lot of many hard core professionals who have turned down all inducements and bribes, plots and privileges to remain honest and upright journalists, also need recognition.

These leading lights should do something to clean up journalism or what is left of it as a growing cesspool.



Shaheen Sehbai gets it wrong – again and again – and remains Shameless by Shaista Sindhu

Group Editor of The News International, Mr Shaheen Sehbai [Founding Editor/Owner of South Asia Tribune - USA]Shaheen Sehbai is allegedly famous for investigative reporting and his anti government stance had once joined ARY TV Channel where he had taken over from another fraud Dr Shahid Masood as the Director Of ARY. Shaheen Sehabi, Jang Group & Definition of National Interest.


Shaheen Sehbai gets it wrong – again and again – and remains Shameless by Shaista Sindhu - Courtesy: Pakistan Media Watch–-again-and-again-–-and-remains-shameless/

The Group Editor of the Jang group newspaper The News, Shaheen Sehbai, is well known for playing fast and loose with facts. Sehbai lets his opinions determine what he will describe as facts, not the other way around. So, it was not surprising when the U.S. Ambassador to Islamabad reacted strongly to Sehbai’s story claiming that the US does not trust the Pakistan government. But knowing Sehbai he will neither feel any shame not express any regret.

Just as background, let it be clear that Sehbai believes (possibly in all sincerity) that Pakistan’s direction should be set by “honest intellectuals” like himself. Soon after the 1999 coup by General Musharraf he wrote an article in Dawn listing what Musharraf should do to “clean up” the country. Musharraf didn’t (or couldn’t) follow Sehbai prescriptions so he went on a crusade against him. An online newspaper called South Asia Tribune was started only to be shut down and even pulled off the internet once Musharraf’s team started seeking advice from Sehbai again.

Sehbai himself brags that he wrote the ‘Charter of Democracy’ that helped Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif bury the hatchet. But President Asif Zardari has not been sufficiently attentive to Sehbai’s advice so he has now been running a crusade against him and his government. From the day of President Zardari’s election, Sehbai’s line has been that Zardari should not be President and that it is only a matter of time before the army and the U.S. will force him out.

Now, we all know that is not happening so Sehbai has to create an environment to make it happen. Hence the crusade in The News to present every mistake of the government as a crisis and to present things in a manner that provokes tension between GHQ and the Presidency, the Presidency and the PM’s office, and the GHQ and the United States.

Sehbai’s recent effort was to try and set the U.S. against the President of Pakistan and it is this move that got rebuffed by Ambassador Anne Patterson. In an article titled, “US says no direct money to PPP government” on Sept. 13, 2009, Sehbai claimed that U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew had said the U.S. did not trust the Pakistani government and so could not give aid money to the government. Lew’s remarks are available online And a plain reading of Lew’s remarks did not bear out Sehbai’s story - REFERENCE:
Briefing on Recent Trip to South Asia Jacob J. Lew Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources Washington, DC September 11, 2009

But since Sehbai is his own boss as editor, his newspaper carried the story any way.

No other reporter spun the story the way Sehbai did. The story alleged that the US made it absolutely clear that the money it will provide under the Kerry-Lugar Bill will not go directly to the PPP government but to specific projects and purposes for which it is intended. Mr. Sehbai quoted the briefing given by US Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew where he stated that the Pakistani government was “very anxious” to receive the aid directly and Washington had a lot of ifs and buts to remove these anxieties.

By September 17, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson had decided that this time she would not ignore Sehbai’s attempts to create rather than report news. We don’t know if Pakistani ambassador to Washington, Husain Haqqani, played any role in getting Patterson to speak up but if he did that too would only speak of the Zardari government’s influence in Washington rather than its weakness. Any way, Ambassador Patterson clarified in a statement issued from Islamabad that the US government has already provided $3 billion since President Zardari was elected and will continue to deliver assistance to Pakistan through a variety of longstanding vectors as required by American law to ensure transparency and accountability, and is not depriving the Pakistani government of any degree of direct funding as a result of a lack of confidence or trust.

This is not the first time Sehbai has spun or simply made up a story to predict the Zardari administration’s demise, weakness or incompetence. Other occasions where he tossed journalistic principles aside for the sake of his desire to act as the decider for Pakistan’s fate:

1. In a story titled ‘PM Walks, lavish spending but no seats for media’ on July 30, 2008 Sehbai tried to trash Prime Minister Gilani’s visit to the U.S. The story alleged that senior journalists coming from Pakistan were not invited by Ambassador Husain Haqqani to the official dinner for the Prime Minister although more than 100 guests were there. He said lack of funds was not a valid reason as spending by the embassy had been lavish with huge floral bouquets delivered to all important members of the delegation each costing at least $150. The very next day, the Embassy of Pakistan clarified that all journalists accompanying the Prime Minister were invited to all the events including the dinner. The Jang-Geo-News Group was represented at the dinner by Mr. Mahmood Sham, Mr. Saleh Zaafir, Mr. Talat Aslam and Mr. Sami Abraham. Obviously Sehbai had been miffed at not being invited himself (as he was not representing his paper on the visit and just happened to be in Washington where he and his family live most of the time). As for the flowers, the floral bouquets in guest rooms were complimentary from the hotel and did not cost the Embassy anything!

2. An article headlined ‘Obama throws a ton of bricks on Zardari’ on May 01, 2009 attracted the most humiliation for Sehbai. While commenting on President Barack Obama’s 100th day prime time press conference (which he did not attend while being in Washington) Sehbai asserted that the Pakistani civilian government was very fragile, without any capacity to deliver almost anything of consequence. Sehbai also said that Obama made in the same breath several statements showing a superb degree of confidence in the Pakistan Army. His article claimed that Obama’s remarks dug deep into the credibility and future of the civilian set-up specially the fate of President Zardari himself, who he said “everyone in Washington knows, has been running Pakistan as a one-man show.” According to Sehbai, Obama’s criticism was meant to hit the Pakistani President right where it might hurt. The next day, US presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke went on the sister TV network of The News, Geo, and expressed the Obama administration’s full confidence in the ability of the democratic Pakistani government to deliver services for its people. Holbrooke rubbished media reports implying that Washington might be concerned about the performance of the elected government to the point of seeking change. He told GEO TV channel that “our support is for the democratically elected government of President Zardari. It’s simple as that. Who has President Obama invited to Washington next week? President Zardari.” About Sehbai’s story he said, “This is journalistic garbage. This is journalistic gobbledygook. It’s a story being hyped by journalists”.

3. That should have chastened any ordinary journalist but Sehbai is no ordinary journalist. He wants to be a mover and shaker, a maker and breaker of governments and the definer of Pakistani leaders’ reputations. So when President Zardari came and met President Obama, and Obama did not throw a ton of bricks at him, he decided to write about something else. On May 11, 2009, The News carried his article “Rs. 410,000 per night for a room in Washington.” The story alleged that President Zardari stayed in the $5,000 per night (approximately Rs 410,000) presidential suite, while his son PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was given a separate suite, which cost $2,600 per night. When the facts came out, however it became clear that the Embassy of Pakistan had negotiated special rates for the stay of the delegation. The rate for the Presidential suite was US $ 2800 and not US$ 5000. Similarly the Chairman of the PPP stayed in the Federal Suite the rate of which was US $ 1500 and not US $ 2600 and his room was paid for by his father not by the Pakistani exchequer.

4. Having a ton of hotel rates thrown at his story still did not deter Shaheen Sehbai from trying to find something to embarrass President Zardari, his government or the embassy in Washington that had proven him wrong a few times by now. This time he surfed the internet and came up with what he thought was a great story. “Lobbying dollars flowing out at super speed” ran on June 28, 2009. Sehbai claimed that at least 11 big and small, known and unknown, lobbying companies have been hired by Pakistan and state-owned Pakistani organisations in the US, paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars every month, some of them having mysterious names and almost dubious credentials. The facts, however, resulted in more egg on Sehbai’s face (not that it makes any difference). His own paper carried the clarification on June 28, 2009 that currently, Pakistan has hired only two firms — Locke Lord Strategies-LP (Since May 2008 @ $75000/- per month) and Cassidy & Associates (Since May 2009 @ $58000/- per month). Sehbai had mistakenly found the names of every firm that had lobbied for Pakistan since 1991, failed to check out the termination dates of their contracts and assumed they were all currently at work.

Great work, Shaheen Sehbai! You keep us amused although it is a shame that your work causes disruption and instability.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Asif Ali Zardari, Kamran Khan/The News & International Republican Institute (IRI)

To criticize any political government whether PPP or PML - N specifically Asif Ali Zardari one shouldn't need the crutches of International Republican Institute (IRI)'s report/survey, only law and order news and rising prices of basic utilities would be more than enough to put any government in shame.

Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan and Chairman PPP.

Kamran Khan the Investigative Tout of GEO/THE NEWS/JANG GROUP OF NEWSPAPERS

Nawaz Sharif, Kamran Khan, National Interest & Geo TV

But our so-called Investigative Journalist-cum- GEO TV Political Analyst (read Tout) i.e. Kamran Khan [Correspondent of The News/Jang & Former Correspondent of The Washington Pots] and many like him are so insecure that to prove their credibility they always quote ISI, Army Sources, Unnamed Political Sources, or IRI Survey.

Kamran Khan has again quoted IRI Survey.Report today in his "Alleged" Investigative Report filed in The News dated Thursday, October 29, 2009.


Dwindling faith in President Zardari’s capacity to act as a neutral, corruption-free, nationally respected leader of Pakistan waned further early this month when the Washington-based International Republican Institute (IRI), a pro-democracy group financed by the US government, reported in an in-depth survey that only about two in 10 Pakistanis carry any favourable opinion about President Zardari. As opposed to President Zardari’s terrible approval rating, the same IRI survey revealed that a big majority of Pakistanis, close to nine out of 10, hold the institution of the Pakistan Army in the highest esteem followed by the judiciary that won the support of seven out of 10 Pakistanis. Reference: Beleaguered Presidency left with single option By Kamran Khan Thursday, October 29, 2009


The International Republican Institute (IRI), considered the international branch of the U.S. Republican Party, and one of the four “core groups” of the congressionally created and funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), apparently knew of the coup d’etat in Honduras against President Zelaya well in advance. IRI is well known for its role in the April 2002 coup d’etat against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and its funding and strategic advising of the principal organizations involved in the ouster of President Jean Bertrand Aristide of Haiti in 2004. In both cases, IRI funded and/or trained and advised political parties and groups that were implicated in the violent, undemocratic overthrow of democratically elected presidents. REFERENCE: The Role of the International Republican Institute (IRI) in the Honduran Coup The International Republican Institute talks of “coup” in Honduras, months before By Eva Golinger MONDAY, JULY 6, 2009

Let have look at the Credibility of International Republican Institute (IRI)


A brief history of the IRI is as follows: In a bid to make the world friendlier to US interests, President Ronald Reagan (a supporter of Apartheid South Africa) called for the creation of the National Endowment for Democracy in 1983. The US, he claimed, needed an organization that would "foster the infrastructure of democracy--the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities- -which allows a people to choose their own way, to develop their own culture, to reconcile their own differences through peaceful means." As a result the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which spawned the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) were formed. NED receives about $50 Million from the US Congress. USAID requested a staggering $9.3 billion for 2007. Out of these three organizations, the IRI and USAID are the most active in the promotion of a world safe for US Democracy. The IRI at first "focused on planting the seeds of democracy in Latin America," according to its website. After the "Cold War, [it] has broadened its reach to support democracy and freedom around the globe." USAID states that U.S. foreign aid helps in "furthering America's foreign policy interests in expanding democracy and free markets while improving the lives of the citizens of the developing world."

Through what NED terms Consolidating Democracy, democratic principles and sovereignty are being violated. The NED, IRI and USAID attempt to unify opposition against a target government. They provide strategic and monetary support to the opposition. They also infiltrate university student organizations, women's and youth groups, trade unions, teacher associations and other sectors of civil society which they then into supporting the opposition parties that they have effectively turned into a coalition. Worse than instigating a coup (a top down mechanism of change), the IRI and USAID infect the very blood lines of the country by affecting "regime change" through civil society. Consolidating Democracy was successfully used in what the IRI refers to as the color revolutions in Ukraine (Orange), Georgia (Rose) and Kyrgyzstan (Tulip). In Haiti, democratically elected Aristide was overthrown using the same methods of unifying a rag-tag opposition and then mobilizing civil society behind it. But some countries such as Venezuela remain a failed target. The IRI's 2005 Programs in Africa webpage states that it "provided training for political parties in Angola to establish a strong and stable political party system, and reinforce the national reconciliation process." In Kenya it "worked with political parties to teach them how to develop positions and communicate them to voters." In Nigeria they "focused on strengthening and preparing political parties for the 2007 elections and fostering partnerships between the parities and civil groups". And in Liberia the IRI "sponsored the first-ever formal presidential candidate debates."

In September 2006, when receiving the IRI 2006 Freedom Award together with Laura Bush, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf thanked the IRI which "was particularly active in promoting [the] elections." She added that "Very quickly an office was established. They came, they did workshops. They brought political groups together. They worked with the media. They educated. They instructed. They supported. They assisted the process." She was in fact recounting the steps taken to consolidate democracy in Liberia by the foreign NGO. President Mbeki has in the past questioned to what extent South African civil society makes independent choices. This concern can be extended to the continent. For example, a Boston Globe survey "identified 159 faith-based organizations that received more than $1.7 billion in USAID prime contracts, grants and agreements from fiscal 2001 to fiscal 2005" as part of President Bush's Faith Based Initiative. The implications here are obvious. USaid has also tied acceptance of Genetically Modified food to foreign aid even in terms of disaster as in the case with Zambia in 2002. Organizations such as Oxfam have showed that GM foods in Africa would in the long run be harmful to the small scale African farmer, lead to the destruction of local food economies, create a cycle of dependency and cause more acute starvation. It was an absurd case of stopping starvation today by creating conditions for more starvation tomorrow.

And in even more direct interference with the internal economy and politics of African countries, USaid, has worked in concert with the World Bank to promote the now infamous Structural Adjustment Programs consolidated wealth for a corrupt elite while taking away education and health rights from the poor. But it is the hijacking of democratic processes by using civil society that should be of the most concern to Africans concerned with genuine democracy. The IRI and USAID don't have to win every African election they participate in – each parliamentarian and each political organization that gets a seat in the government becomes their lobbyist. In effect, they become shareholders in the new government. And as the American proverb says, "whoever pays the piper calls the tune." Reference: African Democracies for Sale By Mukoma Ngugi February 07, 2007


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shaheen Sehabi, Jang Group & Definition of National Interest.

Group Editor of The News International, Mr Shaheen Sehbai [Former Founding Editor/Owner of South Asia Tribune - USA]

There was a time when members of the Pakistani establishment and especially those agencies, used to assume the role of determining what is ‘national interest of Pakistan’, and who is loyal, and who is anti Pakistan, have perhaps done more damage to Pakistan than known enemies of Pakistan. It is unfortunate that every blunder, be it at national level or in foreign affairs, is made in the name of ‘national interest of Pakistan’. People of Pakistan are perplexed as they fail to understand what is ’national interest of Pakistan?

Now this role has been adopted by some of our most "Celebrity Journalists cum Analysts cum Private TV Channel Anchors" even the some of the Senior Most Seasoned Journalist/Editor [Read Shaheen Sehbai, Ansar Abbasi, Dr Shahid Masood, Hamid Mir and Rauf Klasra] have suddenly become so obsessed [right after the announcement of Kerry Lugar Bill] with National Security and National Interest of Pakistan and Futile Ant-Americanism that they forget that what they used to file in web based magazine - South Asia Tribune [based in USA] founded by Shaheen Sehbai [Present Group Editor of The News International Pakistan]. They and some of the most important members of present PPP Government used to contribute in the same web based magazine e.g. Farhatullah Babar, Hussain Haqqani, Wajid Shamsul Hassan and so many others. Shaheen Sehbai never doubted the loyalty of those PPP members when they were contributing for his magazine.

Recently Shaheen Sehbai in several of his so-called "Breaking Stories/News Analysis" in The News International has targetted the present PPP government for compromising on National Security during the Kerry-Lugar Bill Controversy whereas Shaheen Sehbai himself had already damaged the reputation of Pakistan, Pakistan Army and Pakistan National Interest when he was in Self Imposed Exile in USA in his magazine, yes in a country whose legislative bill [Kerry-Lugar Bill] he considers dangerous for Pakistan.

Even in his latest which Shaheen Sehbai has filed in The News International are quite detrimental for Pakistan's National Security [as per the criteria of Shaheen Sehbai and The News International/GEO TV/DAILY JANG], here are some glimpses;


So far the GHQ has kept the Lashkar Tayyaba quiet by not acceding to the US demands of attacking or even touching Muridke, arguing that once this sleeping elephant wakes up, it could turn around and trample our own forces. After all, the LeT was raised and trained by our military establishment to fight the Indians in Kashmir and they are good at it. Turning their guns inwards, with TTP suicide bombers roaming everywhere, would turn Pakistan into a burning inferno, ready to collapse. Unfortunately, or probably in the interest of the system as the other side may argue, the political wings of our military establishment (read agencies), which had almost become redundant and were dormant for some months, have now come back into action with full force. The intense discussions behind closed doors are focusing on finding some way out before the NRO explodes into the political scene and starts rocking the boat. Political wings of agencies are secretly lobbying members of parliament to vote out the law, which may force the president to think about giving up his powers or to resign. REFERENCE: All power players focus on constitutional knock-out - By Shaheen Sehbai, Dated Friday, October 23, 2009 Kerry-Lugar law’s Muridke clause alienates Army from; NRO-hit presidency; Zardari falls back on Nawaz; ready to give up 17th Amendment powers


In another "so-called Breaking Story/News Analysis", Shaheen Sehbai says;


ISLAMABAD: Intense search has begun in political and media circles to find out who is the father of the Pakistan Army and ISI-specific conditions in the Kerry-Lugar Bill, which ultimately led to the assertive statement issued by the 122nd corps commanders’ meeting on Wednesday. But the search will not be too difficult. Between 1988 and 1999, when civilians ostensibly governed Pakistan, US officials routinely criticised the civilians’ conduct but refrained from commenting on the negative role of the military and the intelligence services despite overwhelming evidence of that role. ISI manipulation of the 1988, 1990, and 1997 elections went unnoticed publicly by the United States while the Pakistan military’s recitation of politicians’ failings was generally accepted without acknowledging the impacts of limits set for the politicians by the military. REFERENCE: Mystery of Kerry-Lugar conditions solved? News Analysis By Shaheen Sehbai Dated Friday, October 09, 2009


Mr Shaheen Sehbai is condemning PPP government particularly President Asif Ali Zardari for compromising on Pakistan National Security whereas Mr Shaheen Sehbai himself and journalists like him used to do the same in worse possible way while sitting in the USA not only that his present employer i.e. The Jang Group of Newspapers and its top management as well.



Group Editor of The News International, Mr Shaheen Sehbai [Former Founding Editor/Owner of South Asia Tribune - USA]


Issue No 22, Dec 23-29, 2002 ISSN:1684-2075

The Unreported Terrorism Case against Pakistan's Media King Special SAT Report Issue No 22, Dec 23-29, 2002 ISSN:1684-2075

LAHORE: A former Chief of ISI has demanded death penalty under anti-terrorism laws for Pakistan’s virtual media “Ted Turner”, and three other senior journalists, in an Anti-Terrorism Court in Lahore, and the charge against them is carrying out “terrorist acts with their pen”, according to court documents.

In this historic but bizarre case of its kind, the ex-ISI Chief, a Lieutenant General of the Pakistan Army, has submitted a signed petition which in itself is a document revealing some of the most well guarded national secrets, which should never have been revealed, and could get the General hanged for committing sedition if taken up by a fair and judicious court. See other Story.

The most intriguing part of this story is that this Anti Terrorism Court of General Pervez Musharraf not only started hearing the case, it even completed testimony of five prosecution witnesses without even sending a notice to the defendants. Later when the Judge decided that he had jurisdiction to hear the case, he summoned the defendants, who raised immediate objections. He then started hearing their arguments. The latest hearing of the case was held on December 19, with earlier hearings held on Dec 3 and 14, 2002.

The complainant in this case is Lt. General (Retired) Javed Nasir, who headed the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) from March 1992 until May 1993 and the case has been filed against owner of the Jang/News Group of Newspapers and GEO TV, Mir Shakil ur Rehman, Mr. Salim Bokhari Editor of ‘The News’ Lahore, Mr. Usman Yousaf Chairman Editorial Committee ‘Jang’ Lahore and Mr. M.A.K. Lodhi Editor Investigations of ‘The News’ Lahore, who is also a senior employee of the official news agency Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).

The case has been filed under Section 6 (a)(b)(c), 8 & 11 of the Anti Terrorist Act, 1997. Maximum punishment for most of the crimes under this Act is death and Gen. Javed Nasir has demanded in his written petition that the “severest possible punishment” be given to “these terrorists (who) in the garb of journalists have delivered the most lethal blow to the unity and survival of the country.”

“By attacking his reputation the Army and the ISI have been jointly targeted. Left as the last stable institution, if destabilized can lead to an extreme chaos and confusion and eventually to a civil war,” he notes in his petition.

Click here to View Petition Page 1

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The basis for General Nasir’s complaint is a report published by ‘The News’ on August 24, 2002 which alleged that the General, as Chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board, embezzled Rs. 3 billion and had fled the country. The report filed by Editor Investigations, M.A.K. Lodhi, claimed the writer had documents to prove its contents.

Click to see Original Story (Warning: Large file)

“The complainant learnt about it (the report) through a telephone call which was followed by thousands of telephone calls from all over Pakistan and the world including England and USA,” General Nasir said in his petition.

The General, who is an active member of the Tableeghi Jamaat, an organization of Islamic preachers, said the news item had “terrorized the entire Jamaat, the membership of which runs into millions, and the masses would have led to sectarian strife had it not been for the complainant’s interview on the TV the same night.”

“The entire report manifests a highly arrogant attitude of a few terrorists garbed as journalists indulging in yellow journalism…they are an incurable cancer of the society which must be removed to save the rest of the nation through major surgical operation in the form of the severest possible punishment,” he demanded.

Mir Shakil ur Rehman appeared before the Anti-Terrorism Court-III Judge Manzoor Hussain in Lahore on Dec 19. Editor Salim Bokhari appeared before him in an earlier hearing.

“The entire journalistic community in Pakistan is terrorized, so much so that the newspapers of Mir Shakil ur Rehman himself, the largest circulated Urdu and English language newspapers and GEO TV, a recently launched satellite channel, have not reported anything about this huge case as yet,” journalists in Lahore told the South Asia Tribune.

The original report against the General, carried by ‘The News’ was denied the same day but the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of General Musharraf confirmed in a letter to the Editor of ‘The News’ on Nov 15, 2002 that “various complaints against Lt. Gen ® Javed Nasir, Ex-Chairman ETPB, are under consideration in NAB.”

Click Here for NAB Letter

This confirmed that not everything reported by the newspaper was wrong but what has shocked the journalists is the manner in which the complaint of the ex-ISI chief was filed and accepted by an Anti-Terrorism Court which started one-sided hearings. Journalists argued that it could at best be a case of defamation and be tried under ordinary law in a civil court.

The ATC, instead of throwing out the case, started hearing arguments and decided that it was within its jurisdiction to hear a libel case, thus setting a new legal precedent and turning the so-called Press freedom pronounced so often by General Musharraf, on its head.

In a short judgment given on Dec 3, 2002, the ATC Judge announced that it was within his jurisdiction to hear such a case. “After considering the material placed on record as aforementioned and reading the above provisions of law, I summon all the four persons arrayed as respondents in the complaint for 14.12.2002. A copy of the complaint, as also that of the evidence referred to above, shall be sent to all of them,” Judge Manzoor Hussain said. Click to View Judgment

The anti-terrorism law was passed in August 1997 by the Nawaz Sharif Government. It gave police wide-ranging powers to arrest suspects and established special anti-terrorism courts. Amnesty International at the time pointed out the manifold ways in which the law violated human rights particularly the right to a fair trial. In ... the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared that the Anti-terrorism law as a whole was not unconstitutional but that 12 key sections of the law were unconstitutional and needed to be amended. Several months later this was done by an Amendment Act.

Dozens of people were tried and convicted by these special courts which still fail to provide a fair trial. Most of the death sentences in Pakistan are imposed by anti- terrorist courts. In November 1998, summary military courts were set up to try, within three days, civilians suspected of specified serious offences. Several people were tried and convicted by these special courts; several were sentenced to death and two men were executed before the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared these courts unconstitutional and ordered them disbanded.

General Musharraf enacted the new anti-terrorist law, which replaced the old one of 1997. It came into force on 31 January 2002. The new ordinance provided for new courts which included one senior military officer nominated by the government besides two civilian judicial officers constituting a three-member bench headed by a civilian judge. The courts were to sit in cantonments or jail premises to ensure the security of accused, witnesses and the judiciary. A senior officer said, "these are not military courts in the true sense, but these courts will comprise civil judges and military officers to speedily dispose of cases of all those involved in terrorism".

Amnesty International condemning the law said it gave the police a new licence to violate human rights. It authorizes the police and army to fire on anyone "committing, or believed to be about to commit, a 'terrorist' offence". It also provides them with powers to arrest suspects and to search premises without a warrant. Placing the interpretation on what is justifiable use of lethal force entirely in the hands of law enforcement personnel is, in the Pakistan context, an incitement to the security forces to commit unlawful killings.

Trial by special tribunals including military staff contravenes Principle 5 of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, endorsed by the General Assembly in 1985. It states: "Everyone has the right to be tried by ordinary courts or tribunals using established legal procedures. Tribunals that do not use the duly established procedures of the legal process shall not be created to displace the jurisdiction belonging to the ordinary courts of judicial tribunals."


Another masterpiece against Pakistan Army by Shaheen Sehbai is as under:


Group Editor of The News International, Mr Shaheen Sehbai [Former Founding Editor/Owner of South Asia Tribune - USA]

Ex-ISI Chief Reveals Secret Missile Shipments to Bosnia defying UN Embargo Special SAT Report Issue No 22, Dec 23-29, 2002 ISSN:1684-2075

LAHORE: Pakistan defied the United Nations ban on supply of arms to the Bosnian Muslims and sophisticated anti-tank guided missiles were air lifted by the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, to help Bosnians fight the Serbs, an ex-ISI Chief has officially admitted in a written petition submitted before a court in Lahore.

The document was submitted by Lt. General (Retd) Javed Nasir, who was head of the ISI from March 1992 to May 1993, in a case he filed against the owner and editors of the largest newspaper and TV group of Pakistan, in an anti Terrorism Court. The court started hearings of the case earlier this month.

The document refers to the career of the ex-ISI Chief, recounting his achievements and his credentials as a leading Islamic international figure, who, he alleged, had been defamed by a report in the English language newspaper ‘The News’, published by the Jang/News Group, owned by Mir Shakil ur Rehman, the virtual media king of Pakistan.

“The complainant symbolizes the Islam loving populous of Pakistan by being an active member of the Tableeghi Jamaat which stands and works for the preaching of Islam…” his petition in the Anti-Terrorism Court No III, based in Lahore, began. Click here to View Petition Page1 Page2 Page3 Page4 Page5 Page6 Page7 Page8 Page9 Page10

He then recalled his role as ISI chief in putting together the Mujahideen Government in Kabul, in April 1992 when Soviet-backed President Najibullah was overthrown and US-backed Mujahideen took over Kabul.

In self adulatory language, the General said in his petition: “On 14th March 1992 I was appointed as DG ISI and became an instant international figure when in April 1992, through his persuasive power and motivational talks he brought all the warring factions of the Afghan Mujahideen to agree to the famous Peshawar Accord and successfully installed the Mujahideen’s first Government under (President) Mujadadi in Kabul.”

“A true practicing Muslim, he would not compromise on the interests of Islam and Pakistan,” the petition filed by Gen Nasir said, and then revealed: “Despite UN ban on supply of arms to the besieged Bosnians, he successfully air lifted sophisticated anti-tank guided missiles which turned the tide in favour of Bosnian Muslims and forced the Serbs to lift the siege, much to the annoyance of the US Government.”

The documents goes on to give details of how then the US threatened Pakistan, then ruled by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, to be declared as a terrorist state, if Sharif did not remove him from the post of the ISI chief.

“He thus became the target of US, Indian and Secular minded lobbies both inside and outside Pakistan. Having failed to buy him, the US Government started a totally fabricated and mendaciously false propaganda against him and demanded his removal as ISI chief, failing which Pakistan would be declared a terrorist state,” the petition filed by his lawyers in the court said.

“In April 1993, the US Government finally warned Pakistan Government in writing to remove the complainant as ISI’s head failing which Pakistan was threatened to be declared a terrorists state. It was therefore at the behest of the US Government’s official demand that he was prematurely compulsorily retired from service by the Caretaker Government of Mir Balkh Sher Mazari on 13th May 1993,” it said.

SA Tribune learnt that the highly damaging disclosures by the ex-ISI chief were objected to by the lawyers of the defendants, who had the common sense to point out that these state secrets should not be divulged by a person who was supposed to be responsible and had occupied a sensitive post as the ISI chief.

But despite the warnings, the petition of the General was not changed and was included in the public record of the case against the newspaper.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Shaheen Sehbai VS Kerry-Lugar Bill & The News International

Group Editor of The News International, Mr Shaheen Sehbai [Shaheen Sehbai VS Hussain Haqqani & Jang Group of Newspapers. - Shaheen Sehbai VS Asif Ali Zardari & Jang Group of Newspapers]

Human Memory is weak so let me revive it!

The news/editorial below was published in Daily Dawn and it was about The Former, then present, then former and now Present Group Editor of The News International [The Editorial Staff/Owners also think that The News and Jang Group of Newspapers are Anti-American and Prop Pakistan's alleged National Interests], the one and only Mr Shaheen Sehbai. We all know that Liars don’t have good Memory. Please keep one thing in mind while going through the article below that Mr Shaheen Sehbai had complained about the Falling Standards of The News International in 2002 [the standards fell when Mr Shaheen Sehbai resigned during Musharraf's Tenure in 2002] now standard of The News International is again risen since Mr Shaheen Sehbai has agin joined and now it can be compared with The New Yorker/ The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Read and Lament as to how the Educated Pakistan play with the sentiments of those who read newspapers for news. Do read as to what another Seniot Journalist Late Khalid Hasan had to say about Shaheen Sehbai at the end. Also read The Washington Post as to how The News International and Shaheen Sehbai involved/linked Pakistan with Terrorists in 2002. Shaheen Sehbai should be ashamed of himself that after doing this he escaped and took self imposed asylum in USA, the same USA against whom he and his newspaper spitting venom. So Why the hell exile in USA, a country whose Legislative Bill [Kerry - Lugar Bill - State of Pakistan's Economy and Kerry Lugar Bill TEXT OF KERRY LUGAR BILL URL: Source: URL:] is so bad about Pakistan. Why not asylum in Dubai or any other Muslim country.


Judge not lest ye be judged [Dated March 10, 2002 Sunday Zilhaj 25, 1422 Courtesy: Daily Dawn URL:]

JOURNALIST Shaheen Sehbai, resigned as editor of The News on March 1 after serving the paper for about 14 moths.

In a letter addressed to colleagues, Mr Sehbai, who earlier had a very distinguished career with Dawn, implied that the publisher had charged him with policy violations and professional misconduct to sack him under pressure from the military government. He enclosed a memorandum from the publisher alleging publication of libellous matter, alienating advertisers, failing to consult him on important matters, printing a story recently that was ‘perceived to be damaging to our national interest’ and elicited a severe reaction from the government, failing to contact ‘relevant government functionaries’ to discuss the issue, and being generally inaccessible to senior government officials as well his own staff.

The memo also complained of a lack of improvement in the paper.

Mr Sehbai said he had answered by recalling that the publisher had informed him of the government demand to sack four The News staffers, including the editor, and regretted that “you have decided to get in line.” He said he was aware that the government had stopped carrying advertisements in not only The News but also other papers of the group and that the publisher had been told that only the dismissals would result in their restoration.

He claimed that he had been asked to contact the Inter-Services Intelligence officials but had refused on principal to call, or meet, any government official in a ‘hostage’ situation.

On the other hand, he said, he had conveyed to the government the evidence that the paper’s policy had, in fact, been tilted in its favour. At least 50 editorials and over 100 articles published in about six weeks were cited to prove the point. The paper, he said, had at times gone out of its way to accommodate the government.

But, Mr Sehbai said, he could not allow a newspaper he edited to become the voice of any government for monetary considerations.

Dismissing “whatever other issues you have raised” as “childish and frivolous,” he said there was no point in discussing them.

Recounting management problems, Mr Sehbai also mentioned the “legal jugglery” employed to deprive contract workers of salary increases and the refusal to renew their contracts.

The episode was described in foreign media as a blow to claims of freedom of press in Pakistan. A spokesman for the government was said to have denied Mr Sehbai’s allegations.

At The News, no replacement has since been named.



In Washington we had formed a small group and regularly met at a restaurant that sort of replicated “Pak Tea House” of yesteryears of Lahore. Khalid was always at the centre stage of lively discussions on wide range of subjects there. In his dispatches to Pakistan, he called it “Kabab Masal” group after the name of the restaurant. We rotated chairmanship with every meeting. Several years ago when Shah Mahmood Qureshi came to Washington, it was Khalid’s turn to preside. He recalled his first meeting with him in Vienna while Qureshi was finance minister Punjab. “I had my gut reaction that he is a prime ministerial stuff”, Khalid said. Shaheen Sehbai mixed up this remark and attributed it to Qureshi himself in his report to Dawn. Qureshi was very upset and a clarification was made next day. I told Shaheen: “You have perhaps permanently destroyed Qureshi’s career in the PPP.’ When Ms.Bhutto named him as ARD’s candidate to the office in 2002, I recounted this episode to him in the presence of Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan. He was again in the reckoning when PPP won elections last year.


Nafisa Hoodbhoy [Former Correspondent of Daily Dawn - Courtesy: Online NewsHour -]


The Washington Post – Sunday, March 10, 2002; Page B01 Section: Outlook – Missing Links : There’s Much More To Daniel Pearl’s Murder Than Meets the Eye By Nafisa Hoodbhoy [INTERNET LINK IS DEAD -¬Found=true - Complete Text -] – Crackdown on Pakistani Press : A radio interview with Shaheen Sehbai.[Courtesy:]

AMHERST, Mass.–Nine days ago there was an alarming indication of upheaval in Pakistan — a crackdown on the press. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the government pressured the owner of an influential English language newspaper, the News, to fire four journalists. One of them, the paper’s editor, Shaheen Sehbai, said the trouble started after his newspaper reported a link between the prime suspect in the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, and recent attacks on the Indian parliament in Delhi and in the Kashmiri capital, Srinagar.

Daniel Pearl - South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, was an American Jewish journalist who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in Karachi, Pakistan in 2002.

When Sehbai asked the paper’s owner to identify who wanted to sack them, Sehbai said he was told to see officials at the ISI, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. Instead he resigned and left for the United States.


Group Editor of The News International, Mr Shaheen Sehbai

Now read the words of Mr Shaheen Sehbai in the light of his suddenly found 'concerns for the National Security of Pakistan' in connection with the Conditions of Kerry-Lugar Bill. Do note his language against the Pakistani Military Establishment in 2002.


Three weeks ago, I resigned as editor of Pakistan's most influential English daily, the News. My proprietor had directed me to apologize to the chiefs of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for my decision to publish details of a confessional statement by Omar Saeed Sheikh, the prime suspect in the abduction and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. I was the first local journalist Danny contacted last year when he arrived in Karachi to cover Pakistan, and America's war against terror, the latest dimension of which was seen in Sunday's attack on a church in Islamabad.

Never lacking for audacity, the ISI first broke into our newsroom on Feb. 17 to detect our story on Sheikh, in which he linked the ISI directly to his involvement in last December's terrorist attacks on India's Parliament. With such embarrassing information coming from one of their own kind -- Sheikh had, after all, turned himself in for interrogation to his former ISI handler on Feb. 5, a week before Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, visited Washington -- the regime's principal information officer called me at 1 a.m. and demanded I pull the piece.

When his coercion failed, my proprietor in London was called. He tried to stop publication, but failed, and the next day the government pulled all its advertising -- accounting for over half our income -- in an effort to silence my paper completely. Then they asked the owner to sack me, as well as three other senior journalists.

I resigned rather than be part of a conspiracy to mislead Pakistan's people. Fearing for my safety -- and with the Pearl case fresh in mind -- I chose to join my family in Virginia and live to fight another day.

And fight we must. This media management is the first sign of where Gen. Musharraf's newly tactful ISI is headed. "Managing" politics and rigging October's elections are next on the agenda. There are signs that a political party is being put together to legitimize Gen. Musharraf as an all-powerful president, to stay in office well beyond any reasonable time-frame.

Games we have seen so many times are underway in Pakistan again. I'm not talking about cricket with India, but about an effort to manipulate the press, to usurp the right to fair elections, and to hide Islamists under a presentable wrap. (Only last week, Gen. Musharraf released most of the arrested Taliban activists and their fanatic leaders.)

The primary instrument of change in achieving this devil's pact is Gen. Musharraf's recasting of the ISI as a more docile institution, ostensibly purged of Islamist hard-liners and Taliban sympathizers. But buyers beware.

Another intelligence disaster now looms. Its similarities to the Zia days are remarkable. Gen. Musharraf, the military dictator of the day, is the new darling of the West fighting the new enemy in Afghanistan. Billions of American taxpayer dollars are again set to flow. A beautiful facade has been crafted for external consumption, on everything from press freedoms and elections to a corruption-free economy and an Islamist-free state. The reality is harshly different.

The ISI has been assigned the task of recruiting representatives for this effort. They are to cajole and coerce the press and politicians. Key leaders from the political parties of both former prime ministers -- Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif -- are being lined up for pre-approval. The Islamist role will be safeguarded by fundamentalist generals.

A full dress rehearsal of this methodology was carried out during the recently concluded countrywide polls for mayors and deputy mayors. Every city, big or small, had a pre-selected mayor. In Pakistan's military stronghold, Rawalpindi, ISI interference in seating a pre-approved candidate was so blatant that the non-political but highly compliant chamber of commerce president was "elected" mayor against better-known political stalwarts.

Pakistan has played crucial roles in two of the main victories of our era -- those over communism and terrorism. The first time, the West looked away while evil forces were born in our midst, destroying our culture and society. The moderate majority was silenced into submission until the world woke up on Sept. 11.

The warning signs are there again. America must invest its political and financial capital in institutions, not individuals. The American people and their elected representatives must not look the other way again. Freedom of the press is under siege. The promised return of democracy is being systematically compromised. American aid is being used to achieve dubious objectives. And the poor people of Pakistan, in defense of whom the ISI and Gen. Musharraf have made their last stand, may once again lose whatever is left of a country that can still be great. (By SHAHEEN SEHBAI )Courtesy: Pakistan Punch