Keller’s introduction and The Times articles are journalistic perspectives chiefly directed at the American public about revelations most embarrassing for the American government. But that people sitting elsewhere could have a different perspective on the same information is a point brought home by a comparison of the varied handling by the Guardian and The Times of the material from the same pile. Keller’s and Rusbridger’s fellow professionals in Pakistan will find it hard to agree with the leaks’ stated purpose — that of lending nuance and some meat to stories people already knew and knew were true. In Pakistan, WikiLeaks were accepted as an authoritative account on events and subjects local journalists are often too shy of broaching. While they understand the nuances of power structure and make oblique references, the complete story is often missing. In WikiLeaks was found an account of events that was hard to deny and that helped Pakistani journalists and other commentators to candidly discuss issues which they had until then been too apprehensive to take up openly. In a column for The Times, included in Open Secrets, Mohammed Hanif observes how the Pakistani media had sprung to the defence of their spies in the wake of leaks accusing the Inter-Services Intelligence of playing a double game in the ‘war on terror’. REFERENCES: cover story: Behind the WikiLeaks Reviewed by Asha’ar Rehman | InpaperMagzine (11 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/29/cover-story-behind-the-wikileaks.html
"On a trip to Pakistan last October, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton suggested that officials in the Pakistani government knew where Al Qaeda leader were hiding. General David Petraeus, the new to military commander in Afghanistan, recently acknowledged longstanding ties between Pakistan's Directorate for the Inter-Services Intelligence, known as the ISI, and the 'bad guys'. The Time's report of the new documents suggests the collusion goes even deeper, that representatives of the ISI have worked with the Taliban to organise networks of militants to fight American soldiers in Afghanistan and hatch plots assassinate Afghan leaders. The article painted a chilling picture of the activities of Lt. General Hamid Gul of Pakistan, who ran the ISI from 1987 to 1989, when the agency and the C.I.A were together arming the Afghan militia fighting Soviet troops. General Gul kept working with those forces, which eventually formed the Taliban. Pakistan's ambassador to the United States said the reports were unsubstantiated and 'do not reflect the current on-ground realities'. But at this point, denials about links with the militants are simply not credible." Reference: Open Secrets WikiLeaks, War, and American Diplomacy (Current Events)
Gen. Hamid Gul is made head of Pakistan’s ISI. [YOUSAF AND ADKIN, 1992, PP. 91-92] General Gul is a favorite of CIA Station Chief Milt Bearden and US ambassador to Pakistan Arnie Raphel, who view him as an ally and a potential national leader of Pakistan. [BEARDEN AND RISEN, 2003, PP. 301] REFERENCE: April 1987: Hamid Gul Becomes Head of ISI http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=hamid_gul
Jamat-e-Islami & Hamid Gul are "Confused" on WikiLeaks - Part 1
Jamat-e-Islami & Hamid Gul are "Confused" on WikiLeaks - Part 2
In today's Daily Jang (The Urdu version of The News International & GEO TV), the Former ISI and IB "Executive" Brigadier (R) Imtiaz has opined that "Wiki Leaks is a Conspiracy by CIA against Pakistan":)
Sunday, May 29, 2011, Jamadi-us-Sani 25, 1432 A.H
KARACHI: Widow of Nazir Abbasi, Hamida Ghangro, has demanded that her husband’s killers should be taken to task. Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Sunday, she said her husband Nazir Abbasi was arrested in August 1980 and was killed on August 9, 1980 after being brutally tortured in the alleged custody of Brigadier Imtiaz. Professor Jamal Naqvi and Kamal Warsi, who were arrested at that time along with Nazir Abbasi, also accompanied her. She said on her appeal an investigation was initiated against Brigadier Imtiaz in the tenure of Benazir Bhutto’s government but when the government was toppled the probe was also put on the back burner. She claimed Brigadier Imtiaz had killed her husband in custody. She also alleged that government officials had accepted that Nazir Abbasi was killed during custody.
‘We have all documentary proofs,’ she said, demanding the government to arrest and try Brigadier Imtiaz before a court of law. She also demanded Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to take suo motu action in this regard. She said the case was filed on August 17, 1980, while the trial was halted after some hearings. An FIR of the case was also lodged and it is the police’s responsibility to investigate into the matter, she maintained. REFERENCE: Nazir Abbasi’s widow demands Brig. Imtiaz’s arrest Monday, 31 Aug, 2009 02:27 PM PST http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/04-nazir-abbasi-widow-demands-imtiaz-arrest-qs-09 Brig Imtiaz’s arrest demanded for communist leader’s murder * Widow says her husnband ‘killed after torture’, has proof of Brigadier Imtiaz’s involvement By Amar Guriro Monday, August 31, 2009 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009%5C08%5C31%5Cstory_31-8-2009_pg7_11
Brigadier Imtiaz in Front Line - 1 (6 Sep 2009)
Brigadier Imtiaz in Front Line - 2 (6 Sep 2009)
Brigadier Imtiaz in Front Line - 3 (6 Sep 2009)
Brigadier Imtiaz with Talat Hussain in AAJ TV - 1 (2009)
Brigadier Imtiaz with Talat Hussain in AAJ TV - 2 (2009)
Brigadier Imtiaz with Talat Hussain in AAJ TV - 3 (2009)
Brigadier (R) I A. Tirmizi had thoroughly exposed these bunch of James Bond i.e. Brigadier Imtiaz, Hamid Gul, Major Amir and General Akhter Abdul Rahman, in his book Profile of Intelligence (published in mid 90s) and by the way Tirmizi was number 2 in ISI much before Brigadier Imtiaz. Brigadier Imtiaz’s had gotten his Tamgha Basalat through “Sifarish” and that is also mentioned in Profile of Intelligence and involvement of Hamid Gul in Narcotics Trade.
Brigadier Imtiaz in Front Line - 1 (6 Sep 2009)
Brigadier Imtiaz in Front Line - 2 (6 Sep 2009)
Brigadier Imtiaz in Front Line - 3 (6 Sep 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. REFERENCE: Spy vs spy: Another IB official speaks out By Usman Manzoor Friday, August 28, 2009 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=24160&Cat=13&dt=8/28/2009
Brigadier Imtiaz with Talat Hussain in AAJ TV - 1 (2009)
Brigadier Imtiaz with Talat Hussain in AAJ TV - 2 (2009)
Brigadier Imtiaz with Talat Hussain in AAJ TV - 3 (2009)
What the Former Boss of "Brigadier (R) Imtiaz says about him:)
ISLAMABAD: Former Chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul said the Jews have played a role in the campaign initiated by Brig. Imtiaz Billa to demonize him. Speaking over the current controversy that his outfit gave clearance to former military dictator Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq to fly to Bahawalpur in Air Force One, Gul told Arab News during an exclusive interview in Rawalpindi Friday that Billa is working with “my foes, who are indirectly the Jews” to blame him for the 1988 crash of Zia-ul-Haq’s plane, which also clamed the lives of US Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold L. Raphel and Brig. Gen. Herbert M. Wassom, the head of the Military Assistance Advisory Group at the US Embassy in Islamabad. Billa had spoken recently on TV implying that Gul played a role in the crash. “Musharraf placed me under house arrest,” said Gul. “Now my foes have selected Imtiaz to carry on my character assassination . . . It’s total rubbish that I cleared the flight of Air Force One. The PAF has its own complete intelligence which deals with the matter.” He also rejected claims that he played a role in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto or that he’s a Taleban operative. Reference: Hamid Gul: I am being demonized by Jews Azhar Masood Arab News Monday 27 July 2009 (05 Sha`ban 1430) http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4§ion=0&article=124887&d=27&m=7&y=2009
Above all what the same Jang Group's Employees i.e. Shaheen Sehbai and others says about the same Brigadier (R) Imtiaz
Kindly note that "Jang Group" has changed the Format and all the stories filed by Shaheen Sehbai and Co are lost therefore please note the dates of the story and read every word in the links. Jang Group of Newspapers, GEO TV, Salim Safi, Shaheen Sehbai, Rauf Klasra and Ansar Abbasi should be ashamed of themselves because it was the Jang Group of Newspapers which statrted giving undue attention to Brigadier (R) Imtiaz since July 2009. Jang Group of Newspapers, GEO TV, Salim Safi, Shaheen Sehbai, Kamran Khan,Rauf Klasra (now in Express News Group) and Ansar Abbasi should be called the "Anti Democracy Secret Cell in the Journalist Community" to tarnish the very image of Journalism and Press Freedom, now go through the coverage "Brigadier Imtiaz received" in the GEO TV and then watch the Interview which should be called interview conducted by Express News (ABOVE).
WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD: The main characters of the famous Midnight Jackals operation of the late 1989 Benazir era have now returned to the TV screens and front pages of newspapers to speak about their adventures, blaming everybody else but themselves, and portraying themselves in their new role as great promoters of truth and honesty. Exactly 20 years later, again in a PPP-Zardari era, why and what these characters are doing have turned out to be the greatest political mystery with major political parties and leaders sucked into the storm blaming each other for unleashing these hounds. The multi-million dollar question ï¿½who is behind this latest sky dive into the past remains unanswered. An investigation by The News revealing scattered links and connecting the dots may lead to formation of a composite picture of the people behind this great diversion from the burning issues of the day.
A few weeks ago, a top diplomat flew into Dubai and then Islamabad for intensive consultations with the PPP leadership on how to divert the national media and political focus from the so-called Minus-one and Minus-Zardari formulas based on the NRO cases pending in the Supreme Court, the demand for a trial of General Musharraf and the pressure to scrap the 17th Amendment. These issues had dominated Islamabad drawing rooms and were popping up in TV shows and columns every now and then. Several options were discussed, insiders in Islamabad and Washington revealed to The News. The sources of these anti-Zardari campaigns was determined to be some parts of the Rawalpindi establishment, a major part of the media groups backed by the PML-N which was said to be using this campaign to build pressure on Zardari for conceding the changes in the 17th Amendment.
It was repeatedly argued that Washington was getting unusually jittery and unsure about political stability in Pakistan and the flow of generous aid, directly from Washington and through the Friends of Pakistan forum, may be delayed or massively cut if this critical issue was not addressed immediately. The US diplomats and even spokespersons of Friends of Pakistan had in so many ways and so many times conveyed the decision that no direct cash aid would be available as long as the credibility of the process reached some acceptable comfort level. The past of the PPP leadership was hounding its present, in a way. Thus the strategists reached the conclusion that it would be a good idea if the past of the alternate leadership, which meant the PML-N and in a roundabout way the military establishment, was exposed so that the aid-givers get the message that whoever ruled Pakistan, the issue of credibility would remain a burning question and thus it would be pointless to deprive the PPP leadership of the much-needed aid on this pretext. It was also agreed that the judges of the restored Supreme Court be entangled in cases challenging their own legitimacy and credibility and thus forcing some of the known radical judges from opting out of hearing the NRO cases. Sacked Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar was also to be activated to stand up and challenge his removal. General Musharraf will also become active and use his millions and his Peerzadas, Malik Qayyums and Saifs to bombard the courts and the media. The deep wound being felt by the presidency was, however, the so-called positive interventionï¿½ of the Pakistan Army chief on the night of March 15 and 16 when President Zardari was forced to restore Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Zardari was on record, on national TV channels and internationally, claiming that Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had become political and would never be restored but he had to eat the humble pie. He would never forget the insult. Another sticking point was that aid for military operations, especially in Swat, Malakand and Fata, was continuing and since it was coming directly to the Army in shape of reimbursements, the political leadership was feeling isolated, somewhat humiliated and not in total control. They were being denied dollars because of the trust deficit but Pindi was enjoying the full trust. This situation was not tenable for some. Thus the strategy evolved had to have several components. One was to deflect the Minus-one formula from Zardari. Officially the term Minus one was recognised by ministers on the media and attacks were launched claiming that no one could remove Zardari because it would invoke the Sindh card.
On a subtle note presidential aides and cronies, and even some diplomats, started calling their friends and media supporters bad-mouthing the intelligence agencies and some top echelons of the Army establishment. The anti-Pindi whispering campaign was so vicious that even some foreign journalists in Islamabad were surprised at the madness of such a campaign which could ultimately end up in another Oct 12, 1999-like situation when the sitting Army chief was sacked. The ultimate component of the counter-Minus-one plan was to launch the Daylight Jackals. This would serve several purposes. It would hit at the military establishment, the intelligence agencies and cut the politicians who were now claiming to be larger than life to their size. Resurrecting the Mehrangate scandal would be the ideal tactic. The main character of the 1989 scandal, Brigadier Imtiaz Ahmed would be the best person to stir this hornet's nest. In his mind Brig Imtiaz, who was close to Nawaz Sharif in the past, was feeling left out after the PML-N staged a comeback in the 2008 elections and formed its government in the Punjab. When everybody else from the past had been accommodated, why not him? That was enough for him to settle some scores. It was time to strike back. He agreed to join the planning and launching of the operation.
On Aug 17, 2009, shortly after 12 noon, Brigadier Imtiaz walked into the headquarters of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) in Islamabad to meet its Chairman Ali Arshad Hakeem. A reporter of The News saw him being escorted by the PR personnel of the Ministry of Interior. Enquiries revealed that the Brigadier had been visiting the Nadra for several days. Some of the known media cronies of the presidency in Islamabad had also been seen visiting the Nadra office frequently during these days while at night these guys would meet and plot their strategy in an F-7 house, near Restaurant Civil Junction. A Radio Pakistan executive had also allowed them to use one of the Radio Pakistan annexe in sector H-8 to late night meetings and parties. The background of the Nadra chairman revealed more when The News investigation moved forward. His official introduction at the Nadra web site says: Ali Arshad Hakeem has a dynamic professional background in both public and private sector organisations of Pakistan as well as abroad, and had joined the Nadra as chairman on August 12, 2008. His versatile experience had brought many value additions and a completely service oriented vision to the Nadra. He not only served in Pakistan's Central Board of Revenue for ten years at senior management positions but had also been closely involved with business process outsourcing operations, computerisation of land records and automation of customs process in Pakistan. His special interests include data mining for national security & poverty alleviation. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering, Business Administration and Law and believes in an optimistic change through innovation in various business and economic ventures. But Ali Arshad Hakeem is the son of Major-General (retd) Arshad Hakeem who was very close to Brig Imtiaz during the late 80s, serving in Karachi. Ali Arshad Hakeem also has deep family terms with Faryal Talpur, the sister of President Zardari and thus is very close to Mr Zardari who appointed him as the Nadra chairman, a highly sensitive position in view of the database it controls.
Days after his meetings at the Nadra, an important journalist of the official news agency APP started calling TV anchors and media persons on behalf of Brig Imtiaz and each time he handed over the phone to the brigadier who wanted himself on the screens. Many anchors have gone on record to say the brigadier was too eager and ready to spills the beans. One anchor wrote that the brigadier said he wanted to explode a political nuclear bomb. That he was going to spill the beans against his own self was irrelevant and unimportant but this time he was trying to compensate the PPP for Midnight Jackals against Benazir Bhutto. The other members of the team would call up every friend and interested media person to highlight the revelations of Brig Imtiaz and for days and weeks nothing else should be discussed on the media. They were quite successful in achieving that goal, while the presidency would keep on denying that any cell existed in that house on the hill. Factually the cell was not in the presidency.
The smell of the rat about his Nadra connections became pungent when The News talked to him on the subject and tried to get his version about why he was frequently going to the Nadra under escort of the Interior Ministry officials, a fact which the Interior Ministry officially denied. He was also asked as to what were his relations with the Nadra chairman.
The wily brigadier first denied any relation with Nadra Chairman Ali Arshad Hakeem. That was his first mistake. He said that he had visited Nadra headquarters in mid August to get a new identity card as his old CNIC had expired. He said he chose to visit Nadra headquarters as other Nadra offices meant for this took a long time while Nadra headquarter could issue the card in 24 hours. He said that two days he visited Nadra headquarters for his CNIC and then later on he came to know that CNIC of his wife had also expired so he had to visit Nadra for two more days. His second mistake was that he claimed that he had no relationship with Ali Arshad Hakeem and took appointment to meet him through some other person. Another slip of the tongue was when he praised Ali Arshad Hakeem and said he was an important part of the present government and playing an excellent role in addressing different issues. Sticking to his stand that he had no relations with Ali Arshad Hakeem, Brig Imtiaz said during his meetings no matter of the past was discussed at any stage. However, Ali Arshad Hakeem, whose father Major General (retd) Hakeem Arshad Qureshi remained DMLA Karachi in eighties, when approached by The News admitted that Brigadier Imtiaz was a close friend of his deceased father and we have close family relations. He called him an Uncle. He confirmed his meetings with Brigadier Imtiaz in mid August in his office in Nadra headquarters but categorically denied discussing any political thing with his uncle Imtiaz. But Hakeem confirmed his close relations with President Asif Ali Zardari. Hakeem confirmed that as his father was DMLA Karachi and Munawar Talpur, husband of President Zardari's sister Faryal Talpur, was member of the Majlis Shura, both the families enjoyed close ties.
Talking to The News he said: Yes, I have close relations with President Asif Ali Zardari who has shown his confidence in me by appointing me as the chairman Nadra. Hakeem also admitted that he has frequent meetings with President Asif Zardari. But on the record Hakeem only said: All these meetings are of professional nature and have nothing to do with politics. After these statements of Ali Arshad Hakeem, when Brig Imtiaz was again contacted on Wednesday he conceded having very close ties with the family of Ali Arshad Hakeem. When he was asked that a reporter had seen him escorted by Interior Ministry officials, Brig Imtiaz denied having any links with the interior ministry and started criticising Interior Minister Rehman Malik. In a direct way he also threatened that he would react very badly if this was published. The nervousness and almost panic in the body language and talk of Brigadier Imtiaz revealed more than he did. He did not need a third person to get an appointment with the Nadra chairman, who called him an uncle. He did not need to make repeated visits to collect or get is or his wife's ID cards. For uncles the cards are delivered at home. What else were these meetings for hours were discussing when cronies of the presidency were also present. When the storm was unleashed by his statements and the military establishment and the agencies were being targeted in the media, abused and humiliated, there was visible jubilation in the presidential camp. One close aide of the president called a TV anchor in Dubai, to claim that now the focus has been diverted from Mr Zardari and at least for a few weeks we will not have sleepless nights.
Others who had plotted the scheme to re-launch Brig Imtiaz were celebrating the success in their own domains. An old media manager of the IJI, an important part of Daylight Jackals, was heard by many congratulating his associates and issuing warnings that much more was about to come if President Zardari was attacked again. The part of the plot to attack the legitimacy of the restored judges has also been launched and sacked CJ Dogar has come on record saying he would challenge his removal in the Supreme Court. The legal team of General Musharraf has started its comings and goings and Justice Malik Qayyum has flown to Jeddah to meet the former president where Interior Minister Rehman Malik had been a royal visitor days ago.
The part of the plot to attack the media is yet to be implemented as the operation is not yet over. The Americans, nevertheless, remain deeply suspicious and skeptical. As their first move they have already announced that out of the promised $1.5 billion aid under the Kerry-Lugar Bill, the PPP government will only get about $180 million next fiscal. That would be peanuts and would speak volumes about the confidence the Zardari regime enjoys in Washington and with Friends of Pakistan. Presidency and govt speak: At least three important PPP leaders and spokespersons separately denied having links with Brig Imtiaz controversy or his meetings with the Nadra chairman. Spokesman for the presidency, Farhatullah Babar while talking to The News said that keeping in view the past and credibility of Brig Imtiaz, no person would like to meet him. He said he think that a government officer like Ali Arshad Hakeem would have never met such a person or allow such a person to visit his office. When told that both Ali and Brigadier have confirmed not one but at least four meetings at the Nadra headquarters, Babar said that he couldn't say what might have been discussed in these meeting and only Ali Arshad Hakeem could comment on this. Babar, however, insisted that Ali Arshad Hakeem has no relation with President Asif Ali Zardari and that he is only the chairman of Nadra. Government spokesman and federal Information Minister Qamaruzzaman Kaira when approached by The News and asked to comment on this entire situation insisted that before discussing this situation one must consider the chronology of events. He said that present blame game was started with the speech of the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Kaira questioned The News that if there had been a cell in presidency or Brigadier Imtiaz was to speak on winking of this cell, why all this did not start before the speech of Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. He said that after Chaudhry Nisarï¿½s allegations, one thing led to another, the media gave these allegations full coverage and a series of allegation and counter allegations were hurled at each other.
When Kaira was specifically asked about Brigadier Imtiaz's meetings with Ali Arshad Hakeem at the Nadra headquarters, he did not deny these meetings, saying that many Army officers have been appointed in Nadra and chairman Nadra Ali Arshad Hakeem, being the son of an Army general would have some relations with Brigadier Imtiaz and that if these meetings took place they have no importance with regard to the present blame game.
Asked about close relations of Ali Arshad Hakeem with President Asif Ali Zardari, Kaira said: There are always relations between people like we being in the government have relations with different politicians in the opposition.
When Kaira was asked about any cell in the presidency working for this blame game and maligning the politicians, he said that he himself (Kaira) was the biggest cell. He said that one of his statements made during a public meeting in Lahore was misunderstood. Why are you asking me about other people when I am admitting that I am the cell, Kaira said. When asked that whether this blame game is being done to tackle the Minus-one formula, Kaira said that there is no Minus-1 formula whatsoever. On the question that whether presidency has some resentments over the intervention of the Pakistan Army on the night of March 15 in getting restored the deposed judges which sacked by the previous military dictator Pervez Musharraf, Kaira said there was no intervention of any kind from military in that issue. Your question that there was some military intervention is based on hypothesis so I would not comment on it, Kaira concluded.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Tuesday the government and the PPP had no connection with the campaign launched by Brig Imtiaz, which, he thought, was apparently a move to protect Pervez Musharraf. He said in an interview: We do not want to be a party to it, but Pakistan Muslim League-N has started a campaign based on baseless allegations against the PPP. Our party believes in politics of reconciliation ... I urge the opposition party to avoid playing blame-game. Let us sort out issues positively and politically.According to a report, when he was asked if the people who were behind Brig Imtiaz's smear campaign against politicians were the same who launched the minus-one formula, Malik said he was not sure who was behind it. But one thing I can say is that the minus-one formula is dead because the nation voted in PPP's favour, giving it the right to complete its tenure. He, however, hinted that Brig Imtiaz's sudden appearance on the political scene might have been patronised by those who wanted to protect the former president. Information Minister Kaira said the recent spate of statements by former intelligence chiefs would only harm national harmony. Kaira said the country already confronted many challenges, and maligning each other would only result in political anarchy. REFERENCE: The return of the Daylight Jackals Friday, September 04, 2009 By Shaheen Sehbai with reporting from Mazhar Tufail and Ahmed Noorani. http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=24299&Cat=13&dt=9/3/2009
WITHOUT ANY SPIN DOCTORING
ISLAMABAD, Aug 31: Brigadier (retd) Imtiaz Ahmed, or others like him who served in the security services over the past three decades, may alone know the real reason for re-igniting the controversies regarding their role in the making and breaking of political parties, alliances and governments, and of institutionalising corruption in the country’s politics. It is unclear whether this was his intention but the retired brigadier, known as Imtiaz ‘Billa (the cat)’ in the army circles of yesteryear, has done one great service to this nation. Through his confessions, which he proudly describes as ‘revelations’, he has revived memories of some of the worst transgressions of the law and violations of norms of decent conduct and human rights by the intelligence agencies. Particularly during the dreaded rule of the dictator Gen Ziaul Haq during the late ’70s and early ’80s. As these revelations jog one’s memory, one is propelled back in time to the period when Imtiaz Billa’s name had become synonymous with dirty, horrible, tactics in dealing with Zia’s political opponents. During this period, arrests, torture and even death in custody of political opponents dubbed Indian or Soviet agents, had become the order of the day.
As the re-emergence of the debate takes some of us down the memory lane, an unforgettable reference comes to mind when ‘Imtiaz Billa’ came to be known among the communist and other left-wing activists as ‘butcher’. Tasked by Gen Zia to eliminate anyone or everyone who had even tenuous links with the otherwise tiny communist movement, Billa and his men took upon themselves the task of hunting down those associated with groups viewed as pro-Soviet. Basking in the glory of having earned the support of the United States because of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan, Gen Zia wanted to pursue his own agenda of Islamisation by neutralising all who may have represented socialist or secular ideals.
Noted journalist Sohail Sangi, one such victim of the security services, recalls that in those days Imtiaz Billa was either posted in Karachi or, as an ISI colonel, was supervising the anti-communist operation in Karachi and elsewhere in Sindh province. It was during these days in August 1980 that a group of left-wing activists approached a few journalists at the press club in Karachi to seek their help in highlighting the news of death in custody of communist student leader Nazir Abbasi. Abbasi had died during torture as attempts were made to extract information from eight prominent members of the defunct Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP). The news had come out once his body was handed over to his relatives for burial, but the newspapers were unable to publish the reason for his death because of strict censorship. As Professor Jamal Naqvi, one of the arrested communist leaders, later mentioned in his testimony during the famous ‘Jam Saqi trial’, it was Nazir Abbasi’s death that saved the rest of the detainees from further torture, as they were soon shifted from a military interrogation cell to a Karachi prison.
Even during the military trial the actual case that the intelligence agency had framed against Jam Saqi and his comrades was not about their involvement in promoting Soviet communism in the country but of working for the Indian intelligence to topple Gen Zia’s military regime. Prof Naqvi, Jam Saqi and also others like Sohail Sangi, Jabbar Khattak, Kamal Warsi and Shabbir Sher are around to testify to the horrors of that dark period. Then there were many other cases against nationalist leaders like Rasul Bux Palijo or communist activists like lmdad Chandio and scores of others that were all fabricated so that those charged could be kept away from mainstream politics.
The ISI’s political cell under Gen Zia had acquired a much bigger role with the hijacking of a PIA plane by the so-called Al Zulfiqar in 1981. This incident gave a new lease of life to Gen Zia, as he used it to his advantage to allow the intelligence to round up thousands of political activists in the country – perhaps the biggest crackdown since the mass arrest of political activists to coincide with Mr Bhutto’s hanging. Also, Brig Imtiaz Billa is once again trying to make a big thing of the so-called conspiracy hatched by Ghulam Mustafa Khar to topple Gen Zia’s regime. At one point, noted lawyer and activist Raza Kazim was also implicated in the case, and so were a number of junior officers. In this case too they were accused of having links with RAW. None of them ever denied having worked to remove Gen Zia, but for ‘Billa’ and others the easiest thing was to link them to India to justify their military trial.
Perhaps the most bizarre of such incidents was the arrest of a trade union leader in Karachi, Rafiq Safi Munshi on the charge of being an American agent. A few months ago Imtiaz Billa ‘disclosed’ in a newspaper interview how he trapped an ‘American agent’ who was passing on nuclear secrets in Karachi to his ‘handlers’ at the US consulate.
Many may differ with the Rafiq Safi’s style of politics, but the fact is that he was associated with the PPP, and was a prominent leader of the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation’s (KESC) trade Union, and was not working at Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (Kannup) as the retired brigadier had portrayed. Even otherwise, what has Kannup plant got to do with Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme? But in the martial law period the arrest of any opponent of the military junta was justified, and branding them as Indian or Soviet, or in one case, even American, agent kosher.
What helped the junta more was a blanket news censorship and holding of trial in summary and special military courts, whose verdicts were often written before the start of the case proceedings. It will be quite interesting to find out that in many cases the only crime of such left-wing activists, including many professors of Quaid-i-Azam University, was secretly publishing anti-Zia literature. The role of the military intelligence services in former East Pakistan is often described as the worst as in those days hundreds disappeared and popular opinion was suppressed by arresting and trying Awami League leaders as foreign agents. But a close study of Gen Zia’s days, and the powers that were given to people like ‘Billa’, or the entire ISI under first Generals Ghulam Jilani and then Akhtar Abdur Rehman and finally Lt-Gen Hameed Gul, may show how blatantly they violated the law and human rights.
Now that Brig (retd) Imtiaz has himself decided to spill the beans, perhaps, as many believe, to defame a few more politicians, there are some quarters who argue that democracy will be served better if the politicians collectively demand a high-powered commission to probe into the role of the intelligence services in the country’s politics, particularly during the days of Gen Ziaul Haq and beyond. Politicians may or may not have taken money from the ISI or Intelligence Bureau. But if a former ISI chief, Lt-Gen (retd) Asad Durrani, accepts he distributed money among a large number of politicians, and if Lt-Gen (retd) Hamid Gul boasts of forming an anti-Benazir Bhutto opposition alliance, or if Brig (retd) Imtiaz goes on television to accuse Ghulam Mustafa Khar of taking Rs5 million for his election campaign, then there are enough grounds to initiate proceedings against them and others for subverting the democratic process in the country. Perhaps, the best person to head the commission would be Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan, as he is the one who had approached the Supreme Court to expose the role of the ISI in the country’s politics. And if the present Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani is to be believed about having disbanded ISI’s political wing, it will be fair to assume he will have no objection in a public discussion about the intelligence agencies’ dubious political role in the past. At a time when the military is battling forces of religious extremism and militancy, the irony won’t be lost on the leadership that under a different regime it was their own colleagues who tried to crush those representing more tolerant political thought. REFERENCE: Only bean-spilling spooks can tell why By Zaffar Abbas Tuesday, 01 Sep, 2009 http://archives.dawn.com/archives/37099