Sunday, July 24, 2011

Heil Hitler: General (R) Mirza Aslam Beg VS Sheikh Rashid Ahmed!

In Iran we have a story about children playing together. Ali the youngest was everyone’s favorite and had many friends but one enemy called Rashid. One day as they played, Ali fell down in a well. All Ali’s friends were scared since they had been told not to play near the well. So they ran away and went home without telling anyone about what had happened. Fortunately Rashid saw Ali falling into the well. He knew that if something happened to Ali he would be the one who might be blamed. Being wise, he called the adults and told them what had happened. Ali’s father threw a rope into the well and Ali was saved and now Ali and Rashid, the wise became best friends. From this we get the Persian saying, “A  wise enemy is better than a foolish friend.” REFERENCE: A wise enemy is better than a foolish friend This post was written by admin on December 13, 2009 

General Aslam Beg, a former Army chief, is known more for scheming and conspiring against elected governments than any battles he should have waged against the enemies of Pakistan. He seems to be at it again. The former chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmad is now into ‘think-tanking.’ Over the weekend, he held the inaugural session of his forum. Beg had stunned the participants there by passionately beseeching the incumbent Army chief General Kayani, “to act and protect Pakistan from total ruin.” Presenting his case in the assembly, Qureshi also joined the chorus that seeks a ‘corrective intervention’ from non-parliamentary cleaners of our political system. General Beg at it again By Nusrat Javeed Published: July 23, 2011

TalkBack w- Wajahat Khan & Sheikh Rasheed Ep 4 Pt 2

RAWALPINDI: Retired army generals said on Tuesday that jihad was the only way to liberate Kashmir. Addressing a seminar on Kashmir Solidarity Day at a local hotel, they said the faulty policies of President Pervez Musharraf over the past eight years had moved the Kashmir issue to the backburner. They said it would remain unresolved while he was in power. They showered praise on sacked chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for dispensing justice to the masses and Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan for turning the country into a nuclear state. They demanded that both men be released from detention promptly. General (r) Mirza Aslam Baig, General (r) Faiz Ali Chishti, General (r) Hameed Gul, General (r) Jamshaid Gulzar Kiyani, General (r) Asad Durrani, General (r) Sardar Anwar Khan, General (r) Abdul Qayyum and General (r) Ali Quli Khan and former bureaucrat Roedad Khan were prominent among the participants of the seminar, which was organised by the Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society. The participants later rallied outside the hotel to show solidarity with the Kashmiris fighting Indian forces in the held valley for freedom. Former Steel Mills chief General (r) Abdul Qayyum claimed that Kashmir could only be liberated by waging jihad. He said dictators had ruled Pakistan for most of its history, adding that the country was without leadership. Former army chief General (r) Mirza Aslam Baig said freedom was the birthright of Kashmiris and no one could deprive them of it. Former Rawalpindi Corps Commander General (r) Jamshaid Gulzar Kiyani said that Pakistan had rendered many sacrifices for the Kashmir cause. He alleged that Indian forces had sexually assaulted scores of Kashmiri girls and women. Former ISI chief General (r) Hameed Gul said Srinagar was just as important as Islamabad for Pakistanis. He praised ex-servicemen for supporting the Kashmiris fighting Indian forces by making a human chain on the road. REFERENCE: Jihad only way to liberate IHK: ex-generals * Claim there will be no solution to Kashmir issue while Musharraf is in power By Terence J Sigamony Wednesday, February 06, 2008\02\06\story_6-2-2008_pg7_41 

TalkBack w- Wajahat Khan & Sheikh Rasheed Ep 4 Pt 3

ISLAMABAD: General (r) Mirza Aslam Baig, former chief of army staff, on Wednesday confirmed that Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed used to run a militant camp in Rawalpindi. He told Daily Times that being the army chief, he had received information about the camp where militants used to receive training. “The abandoned camp still has the signboard of Freedom House,” he said.He said the camp was established during the rise of an armed struggle in Kashmir, but was closed down in 1991 when the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif found out about its existence. Asked to comment on the denials issued by the foreign office and Sheikh Rashid himself about the camp, the former army chief said: “I am telling you what I have in my knowledge.” On June 13, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman Yasin Malik made a pubic statement about the camp. The JKLF chief’s disclosure incurred a strong reaction from the Indian government and also put in doubt Sheikh Rashid’s expected visit to Srinagar later this month. Baig said Nawaz Sharif could also confirm the existence of the militant camp. He urged the government and Sheikh Rasheed to come forward and admit the statement, saying it would adversely affect the ongoing peace process with India. Khawaja Khalid, who served in the Inter-Services Intelligence, said he had personally visited Rashid’s camp, where militants were being trained in guerrilla warfare. “Sheikh Rashid is a mujahid and played a great role in jihad. I would like to meet him and ask him why he is denying his involvement in training mujahideen,” he said. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, acting president Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), also confirmed that Sheikh Rashid used to run a militant camp in Fateh Jang, near Rawalpindi. He corroborated the report that Nawaz Sharif had order the camp’s closure in 1991. Sheikh Rashid was a member of the PML-N during the period in question. After the 2002 general elections, he joined PML-Quaid-e-Azam and supported General Pervez Musharraf. “Why do you want me to dig out skeletons from the closet? If I do that, no one in the ruling PML will come out smelling like a rose,” Nisar said. In a press statement, former interior minister Maj Gen (r) Naseerullah Babar said: “In 1989, Shaikh Rashid himself confessed to running a training-cum-refugee camp for Kashmiris near Islamabad.” The former interior minister said even if the government pressed Yasin Malik to retract his earlier statement, it would not absolve Rashid of his past. REFERENCE: Ex-generals, politicians confirm Sheikh Rashid ran militant camp By Shahzad Raza Thursday, June 16, 2005 

TalkBack w- Wajahat Khan & Sheikh Rasheed Ep 4 Pt 4

In 2005 the then Pakistan's Federal Information Minister Sheikh Rashid had said in an interview that;

"Dr. Abdul Qadeer gave some centrifuges to Iran," the minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "He helped Iran in his personal capacity, and the Pakistan government had nothing to do with it." Ahmed initially made the admission at a seminar in Islamabad (search) organized by a local newspaper group, in which he stuck by Pakistan's insistence that Khan would never be handed over to a third country for prosecution. The scientist is considered a hero by his countrymen for nearly single-handedly producing atomic bombs for Pakistan to counter rival India's nuclear arsenal. "I support the idea that the government should tell the people about these sensitive matters," Ahmed said at the seminar, according to an audiotape obtained by the AP. "I am not a spokesman for a cowardly nation. Yes, we supplied Iran the centrifuge system. Yes, Dr. Qadeer gave Iran this technology. But we are not going to hand over Dr. Qadeer to anyone. We will not." Ahmed later told the AP that Pakistan's government is fully cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. body that is investigating the extent of Khan's illicit sales of nuclear technology to Iran, Libya, North Korea and other countries. REFERENCE: "Pakistan: Khan Gave Nuke Material to Iran Thursday, March 10, 2005,2933,149995,00.html


TalkBack w- Wajahat Khan & Sheikh Rasheed Ep 4 Pt 5

It's perhaps easier to persuade the militant to eschew violence than to imbibe in him the ethos of popular politics demanding doublespeak and concealment of the unsavoury past. Proof of this was provided at Islamabad's Marriott Hotel at the June 13 inauguration of a photo exhibit. Present were Pakistan PM Shaukat Aziz, information minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, chairperson of the Human Rights Commission Asma Jehangir, who inaugurated the exhibition, and a clutch of Kashmiri leaders. 'The camp was meant to train JKLF cadres and the Sheikh accompanied JKLF leaders, including Malik, to the LoC several times.' And then began speaking JKLF leader Yasin Malik, who had crossed the Line of Control (LoC) in the 1980s to train as a militant and subsequently became a votary of non-violent politics. Yasin Malik said, "(Information minister) Sheikh Rashid has played a great role for Kashmir's liberation. He used to support the frontline jehadis from Kashmir, but few know of his contributions." Perhaps, in the euphoria of reliving the past, or overwhelmed by gratitude (or, indeed, pique), Yasin went on to spell out the Sheikh's role in Kashmir's militant movement: it was at the information minister's farmhouse that some 3,500 Kashmiri jehadis, including Yasin, received training in arms. From the reformed militant leader's perspective, there obviously couldn't have been a better compliment to shower on another Kashmiri before an august audience. But the politician in the irrepressible Sheikh realised that even in these days of Indo-Pak bonhomie, it isn't possible to accept as minister a man who could have trained 3,500 militants. When journalists questioned him, he tersely remarked, "I have no idea about which Sheikh Rashid he (Yasin) is speaking." This prompted the newshounds to turn to Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, who's known to have close links with the Kashmiri leadership and attained fame for his interview with Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Mir said, "Yes, according to the information I have, Sheikh Rashid's Rawalpindi farmhouse was dubbed Freedom House and used to be a hub of Kashmiri activists belonging to the JKLF. The camp was operational from 1988-90 to train JKLF cadres and Sheikh Rashid accompanied JKLF leaders, including Yasin, to the LoC several times. The camp's existence was known to high officials in Islamabad."

The next day Yasin Malik retracted his statement, claiming the media had misquoted him. The Sheikh issued a statement, insisting it had never been his policy to train militants. "I am a politician, not a militant, and strongly support the Indo-Pak peace process," he added. A retired intelligence official told Outlook that late Ashfaq Majeed Wani was in charge of Freedom House, the Sheikh's 20-acre farmhouse in Fateh Jang, Rawalpindi; and it was the ISI, then under Lt Gen Hamid Gul, which established the facility. But the former official claims the "liberation of Kashmir" may not have been the Sheikh's sole motive. "There were those in the intelligence who believed that he had actually rented out his farmhouse to the ISI for a hefty sum of money. And Yasin, who lived in Rawalpindi's Tinch Bhatta area then, was a frequent visitor to Freedom House," he said.

As journalists dug up the Sheikh's past, the Pakistan People's Party spokesperson Farhatullah Babar confirmed Yasin's statement: Freedom House was a militant training camp. Subsequently, the PPP issued a statement saying, "In 1989, the PPP government had learnt that the ISI, without the government's clearance, had given to then Opposition member Sheikh Rashid hundreds of acres of land in the suburban areas of Rawalpindi. The PPP government had also learnt that this land was given to him to support the Kashmiri groups." He said the PPP government was, however, sceptical about the claim and did not buy this argument. "But, as the military was under the President, there was little the government of the day could do about it constitutionally". Since only 20 acres of land was used to train militants, Babar has alleged that hundreds of acres of land were given to the Sheikh for some "collateral purposes". Claiming that the "training camp story was anything more than a decoy to divert state funds to favoured political leaders to overthrow democracy", the PPP has now demanded an inquiry into the Sheikh's role in training militants.

Confirmation has come from other quarters as well. Hamid Mir, of the Geo Television Network, says he talked to the interior minister of the Benazir government (1988-1990), Aitizaz Ahsan, on June 15, two days after Yasin tossed the bombshell at the Marriott Hotel. Mir quotes Ahsan as saying that Yasin was "100 per cent correct" in claiming that Freedom House used to be a training facility. Sources say the ISI decided to shut Freedom House as the establishment chose to back armed Islamic groups, instead of secular groups like the JKLF. This was when the ISI put its formidable weight behind the Hizbul Mujahideen, the Jamaat-e-Islami's armed wing. Sheikh Rashid did not have good relations with the Jamaat, and Freedom House fell out of favour. Those close to the Sheikh, however, say he has drastically altered his mindset since the Zia days. "There is a hell of a difference between the Sheikh of the early 1980s and the Sheikh of 2005," says a close friend. He says that as a Kashmiri from the Valley, Sheikh Rashid was an ardent supporter of the JKLF which had received an impetus under the military regime of Gen Zia-ul Haq.

The controversy couldn't have been more inopportune: he was planning to travel to India's Kashmir on the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar bus on June 30. There's much speculation here on whether or not the Sheikh will make the journey to Srinagar, from where his family had migrated decades back. Should he decide to not alter his travel plans, the other crucial question is: will the Indian government grant him permit to visit his 'homeland'? Mir, however, feels the Indian government should allow the Sheikh to visit Kashmir. "No doubt the Sheikh believed in liberating Kashmir through an armed struggle. But, today, he believes in resolving the ever-lingering Kashmir dispute through bilateral dialogue." Many here believe the Sheikh has a penchant to change his ideology and political affiliations. Earlier known as Farzand-e-Rawalpindi, or son of Rawalpindi, the Sheikh had served as information minister in the Nawaz Sharif government. He was elected to the National Assembly on the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) ticket in the 2003 election. Subsequently, though, he shifted his allegiance to the ruling PML(Q), and earned the sobriquet of Lota of Rawalpindi. A vessel used for ablution, lota is a derogatory term used for political chameleons. REFERENCE: PAKISTAN Did He Help Train 3,500 Militants? He supported the JKLF, and helped train militants. Thanks to Yasin, Sheikh Rashid's dirty secret is out. AMIR MIR MAGAZINE JUN 27, 2005

TalkBack w- Wajahat Khan & Sheikh Rasheed Ep 4 Pt 6


ISLAMABAD, April 7: Power politics in the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) will intensify with the conviction of deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as the development poses a question as to who will be the acting president of the party. According to the party constitution, only the president (Nawaz Sharif) can nominate one of the eight vice-presidents as acting president while the central executive council or the general council of the party have no authority to do so. Senior party leaders told NNI that in the present situation, the CEC and parliamentary party would meet on April 9 to pass a resolution demanding of Nawaz Sharif to nominate one of the vice-presidents as the acting president. The vice-presidents are Raja Zafrul Haq, Ejazul Haq, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Lt-Gen (retd) Majid Malik, Khurshid Kasuri, Illahi Bukhsh Soomro, Subedar Khan Mandokhel and Gohar Ayub Khan.

According to party sources Zafrul Haq at the moment enjoys backing of Chaudhry brothers (Shujaat Hussain and Pervaiz Ellahi). Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Lt-Gen (retd) Majeed Malik, Illahi Bukhsh Soomro, and Gohar Ayub Khan have also supported his nomination, the sources said. Ejazul Haq, on the other hand, is a strong contender for the top slot but some party leaders oppose the idea on account of some of his statements after Oct 12 military takeover. He, however, enjoys full support of the so-called dissidents, including Mian Mohammad Azhar, Abida Hussain, Syed Fakhar Imam and Khurshid Kasuri, the sources added. They said that Nawaz Sharif had a soft corner for Raja Zafrul Haq and he had repeatedly thanked him for keeping the party united. However, Syed Fakhar Imam has repeatedly said that the new party president should be elected through secret ballot in a general council meeting.-NNI . REFERENCE: PML to ask Nawaz to nominate party chief DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 8 April 2000 Issue : 06/15

TalkBack w- Wajahat Khan & Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad Ep11 Pt 2

ISLAMABAD: Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, former railways minister, on Wednesday said the coming parliament would not stay for a long, as there existed little chances that President Musharraf and new assemblies could work together. Addressing a news conference here, he said the government’s failure to handle Lal Masjid issue besides power and gas crises were the causes of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) crushing defeat in Monday’s elections. Rashid, who suffered defeat in NA-55 and NA-56 constituencies of Rawalpindi, said: “I am considering to make my own political party but before taking a decision I will consult Chaudhrys.” He said he had no intention to quit politics. However, he added, he would quit politics at the peak of his political career. He said though President Musharraf was keen to work with the coming parliament, but some politicians did not want to let the system work for a long period. Accepting the PML-Q defeat in the elections, he said the polls were held in a free, fair and transparent manner enabling the nation to bring a change. “We are defeated due to our own deeds like ghee, atta, electricity and gas crises. The Lal Masjid issue is the most important reason behind our defeat,” he conceded.

TalkBack w- Wajahat Khan & Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad Ep11 Pt 3

Rashid said now its liability of the politicians not to plunge the country into further chaos and crises. “The nation has made right decision. Now the ball is in politicians’ court. They should form a government of national consensus,” he advised. He said the people reacted against the Lal Masjid operation and pro-United States policies in the poll. “Obviously, there is the issue of chief justice, but the real fact behind our defeat is the Lal Masjid operation,” he maintained. Sacked chief justice: When asked, he agreed that the sacked chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry should be released immediately. Rashid, the all time winner in Rawalpindi in the past, said some politicians had played with the sentiments of the people by promising to reinstate the deposed chief justice and make Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan as president of the country. He said Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had no interest in the constitutional amendment to undo the third-terms’ condition for becoming prime minister. “PPP has no interest in it. As far as Nawaz Sharif is concerned he will have to wait for the next parliament,” he told a questioner. ‘Lal Masjid raid was major reason for PML-Q defeat’ * Sheikh Rashid calls for immediate release of sacked chief justice * Says he will form his own party Staff Report Thursday, February 21, 2008

TalkBack w- Wajahat Khan & Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad Ep11 Pt 4

The opposition victory is so resounding that influential Pakistanis began calling for the president's resignation. "The people of Pakistan have spoken with great vigor and clarity," the Supreme Court Bar Association's president, Aitzaz Ahsan, told NEWSWEEK by phone from his Lahore residence, where he is still under house arrest for opposing Musharraf's efforts to keep power. "Pervez Musharraf has played his innings and should show some grace and bow out." But Musharraf, who has ruled Pakistan with an authoritarian hand since he overthrew the democratically elected Sharif in a bloodless 1999 military coup and who has been hailed by President George Bush as a crucial ally, is unlikely to call it quits anytime soon. Even so, he is badly weakened politically. Although Musharraf as president was not a candidate in the election, his most powerful and vocal supporters were routed. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, the Q party's president, was defeated. So were Musharraf's defense and foreign ministers and his strongest whips in parliament. Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, his former railways minister, lost for the first time in seven elections going back to 1985. He was so shaken that he scrambled for a midnight plane to Spain, as angry crowds gathered outside his residence in Rawalpindi. The End of Musharraf? "Newsweek", 2008-02-19. Retrieved on 2008-02-19 After humiliating election results, the U.S. ally may wield little power in Pakistan.

TalkBack w- Wajahat Khan & Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad Ep11 Pt 5

Lt General Retd. Faiz Ali Chishti who now has become Born Again Democrat and that too after 30 years after taking part in Late. Zoulfiqar Ali Bhutto's Judicial Murder with the help of USA-General Zia-Henry Kissinger-and last but not the least the Jamat-e-Islami. He has no shame even in his old age while lecturing Pakistanis about democracy and fairplay.

Lt General Retd. Faiz Ali Chishti

Lets have a look at Chishti's Dirty Past:

The historical photo to the right shows Zia-ul-Haq’s cabinet. People from the left are Mr Mustafa Gokal Minister for Ports and Shipping, Lt Gen Faiz Ali Chishti Minister for Establishment, Mr A K Brohi Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Mr Ghulam Ishaq Khan Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs.
Operation Fairplay of 1977 against Zoulfiqar Ali Bhutto:

A trusted Lt-General Faiz Ali Chishti (the one who carried out the "Operation Fair Play" the night of July 5, 1977).

"Murshid [God Father] do not get me killed !" (Zia Ul Haq speaking to Lt.Gen Faiz Ali Chishti upon the authorization of Operation Fairplay in which the Bhutto govt. would be overthrown quoted from Betrayals of Another Kind)

General Zia with American President Ronald Reagan

" What is a constitution? It is a booklet with twelve or ten pages. I can tear them away and say that tomorrow we shall live under a different system. Today, the people will folow wherever I lead .All the politicians including the once mighty Mr.Bhutto will follow me with tails wagging " (Zia Ul Haq speaking to Iranian Newspaper in September 1977) [1]


Following negotiations between the PPP government [1972-1977] and PNA, both the parties reached to an agreement in the late hours of 4th July 1977. This was against the desire and wishes of army Chief General Zia who wanted to take over and impose martial law. “One day, when (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) returned from the office, on the dinner, he looked agitated,” . “He said that General Sharif [Chairman of JCSC] had just come to meet him and had alerted him that General Zia ul Haq was up to no good, and might be planning some kind of coup.” When ZAB inquired from his ISI chief, he showed his ignorance and attributed the warning to his ill will towards General Zia; because General Sharif was not made the army chief.

But, the ISI chief was wrong. General Zia had fully prepared his plan for removal of the elected government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The General had already sent his family out of the country. Lieutenant General Faiz Ali Chishti, the Corp Commander of 10th Corp, the area covering the federal capital later wrote in his book:

“When Gen. Zia ordered me to take over and execute the ‘Operation Fair-play,’ he may well have feared for the security of his family in the event of an abortive coup. In any event, Gen. Zia’s family was not in Pakistan on July 4/5. He had shifted his family to UK during negotiations, under the plea of his daughter’s operation. Two sons and three daughters along with his wife were all abroad.”

Not only this, the General had also prepared very well to flee from the country, in case of any such eventuality. General Chishti narrates an interesting tale: “On the night of the coup, my Corps Intelligence Chief told me that there was one ‘Puma’ helicopter ready to take off at short notice from Dhamial. It could have been for the PM or for Gen. Zia.

But it was unlikely to have been for the PM because he did not know what was happening, and secondly he would not leave his family behind. In any case he had nothing at stake. It could have been for Gen. Zia, because he had everything at stake. What would happen to him if Operation Fair-play had failed? I recollected his last sentence to me after giving orders. ‘Murshid, do not get me killed.’ So I ordered my Intelligence Chief to keep an eye on the helicopter and not let it take off. It did not matter who the passenger was going to be.”

The ambitious army chief had not taken into confidence most of his senior colleagues. The senior army command, unaware of such development, was called at an odd hour, 11.00 O’ clock in the night on 4th July for a meeting with the army chief at the General Headquarters. “When the invitees inquired about agenda for discussion, Brigadier Khalid Latif Butt, Personal Secretary to General Zia, had a stock reply: ‘No preparatory work is needed for the meeting,’ wrote General Zia’s most confidant colleague, his Chief of Staff, General KM Arif.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
A little after midnight, the army contingents took over the important installations including Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s official residence, where he was sleeping along with his family, unaware of any eventuality. He did not resist the coup and saved his family and him from perhaps immediate execution as had happened in breakaway Bangladesh few years back.



PAKISTAN - A DREAM GONE SOUR Roedad Khan Oxford University Press 1997

Group Captain (Retd) ATHAR HASSAN ANSARI reviews the book written by ROEDAD KHAN, a consummate bureaucrat for being in the eye of the storm [1]
Even more Filthy Characters in above mentioned Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society:

Former Chief of the Army Staff General Aslam Beg

Former President of Pakistan Ghulam Ishaq Khan

Roedad Khan Former Federal Secretary for Interior - Government of Pakistan

Former Chief of Pakistan's ISI and MI Major General Retd. Asad Durrani

Former Chief of ISI and MI Lt. General Retd. Javed Ashraf Qazi

Hypocrisy of Asgher Khan and Mirza Aslam Beg [sitting together in 2008 in Islamabad] - ISLAMABAD: Several hundred retired armed forces men on Thursday urged their colleague, General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, to hand over power to the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and join their ranks but most of their leaders refused to apologise for their past roles against democracy. Led by some high-profile generals, air marshals and admirals, these ex-servicemen also demanded that retired Justice Bhagwandas be appointed as the Chief Election Commissioner and the detained nuclear scientist, Dr AQ Khan, be either released or tried in a court. Except for retired Lt-Gen Hamid Gul, none of the leaders showed moral courage by making an admission of guilt or apologising to the nation for their past. They did not even feel any embarrassment on their roles when asked by newsmen at a press conference. The former DG of ISI, Lt-Gen (retd) Hamid Gul, not only admitted the wrongdoings he had committed as a spy chief, he also submitted an apology to the nation and said he was ready for any punishment, even to be hanged.

“I am ready for a trial or even hanging,” Gul told the gathering of ex-servicemen in open door proceedings. His words, however, failed to move the other architects and supporters of martial law who were sitting on the stage. They included retired Lt-Gen Faiz Ali Chishti, Gen Mirza Aslam Beg, Air Marshal Asghar Khan, Lt-Gen Majid Malik and Lt-Gen Asad Durrani. They showed no remorse for their past conduct. Air Marshal Asghar Khan, who awas presiding over the meeting, was annoyed when he was asked about his past role and whether he was ready to apologise. “These were individual acts of different individuals,” he responded. He did not respond when a journalist questioned their moral authority to preach others when they did not feel embarrassed on the wrongdoings of their past. The convener of Thursday’s meeting, Brig (retd) Mehmood, who had said only a day earlier that he would offer an apology on behalf of all the ex-servicemen, remained seated on the stage with his head down, as if trying to avoid the media and had no courage to act on his words.

Although, the retired servicemen expressed solidarity with lawyers and journalists community, vowing to participate in their rallies, they gave no timeframe for launching a movement against Musharraf on their own. They instead said nothing had been decided as yet. They even conceded that they might not do anything concrete in future. Asghar Khan said many of them had their near and dear ones in the government, a major hurdle in their way to call the spade a spade. Asghar Khan’s own brother, Farooq Rehmatullah, is the DG Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). A demand raised by a retired navy commodore, Shahid Nawaz, also went unheeded. He had asked for en masse resignations of all ex-servicemen presently working in government departments. “If this strategy is not feasible, then out-of-job ex-servicemen should surrender all medals, awards and pension books to protest against Musharraf’s stay in power,” he demanded, but this demand also went unheard by the retired generals.

The Thursday’s meeting virtually turned into a comedy programme as it was marred by indiscipline largely by ex-servicemen, who would pick up quarrel with journalists when questions regarding their own accountability were put to the Chair Asghar Khan. However, they did at least one job by hooting down a proposal that Lt-Gen (retd) Abdul Majeed Malik should be included in the committee that was to make a list of demands of Thursday’s meeting during the lunch break. Air Marshal Asghar Khan, who was chairing the meeting, told a press briefing that ex-servicemen demanded stepping down of President Musharraf and that power should be handed over to the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to hold elections under a neutral caretaker set-up.

Khan also demanded the re-constitution of the Election Commission of Pakistan with Justice Bhagwandas as its chief. Khan said the ex-servicemen would extend full support to the protest rallies staged by journalists and lawyers. The meeting demanded that disgraced hero, Dr AQ Khan, should be either released or tried in a court of law, instead of being kept under illegal detention.Khan, however, remained uncomfortable while facing critical journalists with his colleagues sitting in the hall, yelling ‘planted question’ whenever a query about their accountability was put to him. In most cases, he said: “We have not decided yet”. He refused to take questions on self-accountability and was pressed time and again that he himself was among the strong supporters of General Zia’s martial law and the person sitting next to him, Lt-Gen (retd) Faiz Ali Chishti, was Commander 10 Corps when Zia had taken over and later collaborated with him in all his acts.

Questioners also mentioned Gen (retd) Beg under whose stint as Army chief the Mehran Bank scandal took place and the then president had nominated his successor three months before Beg’s retirement as a pre-emptive measure keeping in view his political ambitions. But neither Asghar Khan showed the grace to admit any wrongdoing nor did Chishti and Beg. Speaking on his own behalf and the two others, Khan said: “Whatever happened in the past has happened. There were individuals involved, not all ex-servicemen.” Lt-Gen. (retd) Abdul Majid Malik, who spoke earlier, said many blunders were committed in the past but regretted that only the blunders committed by the Army had been exploited. Malik left the venue before the press conference when the majority of those present said ‘no’ to the proposal of nominating him as a committee member for furnishing the list of demands. REFERENCE: Retired generals refuse to apologise,but want Musharraf to go By Umar Cheema Friday, February 01, 2008, Muharam 22, 1429 A.H.

The group of retired Pakistani generals and military officers who have asked General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf to resign as president of Pakistan have now reportedly decided to “apologise” to the nation “for imposing martial laws in the past, abrogating the Constitution several times, and not letting democracy flourish in the last 60 years”. The first “apology” session was to have taken place Thursday to which the retired brass had invited President Musharraf himself. There is a newspaper report that the “letter” to President Musharraf by the retired generals was mishandled because the group, led by General (Retd) Faiz Ali Chishti, could not organise its composition properly and had allowed names to be named without first getting permission from those named. However, the first speaker is said to be General (Retd) Abdul Majid Malik, “who was a major in 1956 when he drafted a resignation which General Ayub Khan forced President Iskandar Mirza to sign”. He will presumably also apologise for siding with General Musharraf when he took over the government of the country in 1999 and split his party, the PML. He will be followed by General (Retd) Mirza Aslam Beg, a former army chief, “whose political ambitions had forced the then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan to nominate Gen Asif Nawaz as the new Army chief three months prior to Gen Beg’s retirement”. The newspaper report says: “His role in the famous Mehran Bank scandal and misuse of ISI funds for electoral/political manipulation is still fresh in public memory”. The report adds: “His then DG ISI, General (Retd) Asad Durrani, who had distributed Rs 140 million to win over the “for-sale” politicians never felt ashamed of his role or offered an apology”.

One has to add that the retired generals have more to answer for than what has been designated in the announcement. Most of them will get a free ride condemning what they have not done directly and will succeed in targeting President Musharraf as a political gimmick unless they also do some more navel-gazing and confess to professional and moral crimes which they committed when they were in service, including acquisition of properties and mismanagement of military operations. General (Retd) Aslam Beg will have to also apologise for bringing the Supreme Court in contempt when he admitted that he had influenced the chief justice. When confronted with challenging a general, the Supreme Court under Justice Zullah forgivably got cold feet and let Gen Beg go scot free. (We saw what happened to the Supreme Court in November 2007 when it tried to stand up to a general.) General Beg must also apologise for warning the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto off a large area of internal and external policy in 1988. He has also got to apologise to the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for violating an agreed foreign policy decision to send Pakistani troops to Saudi Arabia when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, and for trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran without consulting Mr Sharif.

We must insist that General (Retd) Musharraf apologise for the Kargil Operation which was more an example of professional incompetence than defiance of the Nawaz Sharif government whom he accuses of having agreed to the operation. He must apologise for undermining the visit of the Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee when Mr Sharif was prime minister. But at the same time we must insist that General (Retd) Hameed Gul should apologise for planning the disastrous Jalalabad operation in 1989 as a prelude to the ISI setting up a government of the mujahideen. He has been boasting of having organised the IJI against the PPP. He must apologise first to the PPP for having done the sordid deed; after that, he must apologise for lack of wits because the IJI could not maintain its two-thirds majority for long. General (Retd) Faiz Ali Chishti, who heads the Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society, which last week issued a blunt open letter signed by more than 100 senior officers, calling on President Musharraf to quit, has to apologise, not only for being a willing and core partner in the military coup of General Zia-ul Haq in 1977 but of the thoughtless things he has since been saying on TV. By the same token, many senior officers have to confess to having less brains than needed for commanding an army. It is only after confessing to all the personality and intellectual defects of the generals that the Ex-Servicemen Society will be seen as justified in trying to get President Musharraf to step down. General (Retd) Chishti not long ago came on TV to explain why the army did not educate the nation. His answer was: if the roof is leaking why put good furniture in the room? The biggest crime to which many retired generals must confess, and then apologise for, is the policy of seeking “strategic depth” in Afghanistan because the consequences of this policy are now threatening to actually spell the end of Pakistan itself. In fact, some of these retired generals are too tainted for mouthing principles that the civil society of Pakistan has decided to uphold. They should keep zip up unless they are ready to give up what they have enjoyed over the years and are still enjoying at the cost of the nation. * REFERENCE: Editorial: What the generals must apologise for Friday, February 01, 2008  

Old habits die hard. In the 10-year span mentioned by Gen Musharraf, the ISI was headed by Lt Gen Ghulam Jilani (1974-1980), who as governor of Punjab let loose Mr Nawaz Sharif as a politician on an unsuspecting Pakistani public; Gen Akhtar Abdur Rahman (1980-1987); and Lt-Gen Hameed Gul (1987-1989); and for part of 1989, Lt-Gen Shamsur Rahman Kallue (names and dates from Wikipedia website). In a rebuttal, which is neither here nor there, Gen Gul has said that the Taliban surfaced in 1994, five years after his tenure ended as ISI chief. However, his political activities prior to his retirement, including the rousing tour of Punjab in support of Mr Nawaz Sharif and the IJI after the dismissal of the Junejo government, are well known, and the ideological thrust of his views well established. A few days ago, another ISI chief (1990-1991), Gen Asad Durrani, said in a private TV channel interview that he was asked to receive money given for the IJI in what is known as Mehrangate. The money was duly passed on and the general candidly confessed that while it was wrong in principle for him as ISI chief to have undertaken the mission, in his personal capacity he believed that the change that this might augur would be good for the country. So we have army generals and ISI chiefs who meddle in politics, face no accountability and presumably continue to get their pensions and other post-retirement privileges. Most of them seem to be more knowledgeable about our ideology and collective good than are ordinary mortals or elected politicians. Their political instincts also for the most part are clearly honed in a particular right-wing direction. Isn't this another mess that requires to be cleared? REFERENCE: Contradictions & anomalies By Tahir Mirza 

ISLAMABAD: Leading politician Ch Shujaat Hussain has reopened the controversy over Army's role in politics by admitting that he and his cousin Ch Pervez Elahi were offered millions of rupees by the then Army chief General Mirza Aslam Beg in 1991 for political purposes from Mehran Bank accounts.Mehran Bank scandal had cost Rs 9.92 billion to the national exchequer. Ch Shujaat is the first politician to openly confirm that he was offered massive money for political purposes by a sitting Army chief in 1991 for political purposes. Shujaat in an exclusive interview with The News revealed many secret tales of his political life that started in 1981 after the murder of his father Ch Zahoor Elahi. The News will carry on Thursday an exclusive profile of Ch Shujaat Hussain with the title of "The new political godfather reveals all" in which Ch Shujaat Hussain spoke on sensitive and secret issues such as development of his political links with General Zia, hanging of Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif's period in power, his differences with Nawaz Sharif, his jail period in Adalaya, and emergence of differences between Nawaz Sharif and General Musharraf over the Kargil crisis, role of Mian Sharif in Pakistan politics, formation of Kings' party (PML-Q), former NAB Chairman General Amjad's refusal to meet him despite General Musharraf's request, and his pro-military role during the three-year tenure of General Pervez Musharraf.

Ch Shujaat Hussain revealed that one day he received a message from the then Army chief Mirza Aslam Beg that he wanted him to come to his Army House residence in Rawalpindi around 4 pm. He was asked to accompany his cousin Ch Pervez Elahi. According to Shujaat, when they reached the residence of the then army chief, Beg was wearing sleeveless shirt and looked very relaxed. Beg, Shujaat said, told them about his plan to give them massive funds for election campaign from the platform of the IJI.Ch Shujaat said he was surprised as the Army chief made the offer without any formality or reluctance. According to Ch Shujaat's observation, General Beg was not expecting reply in negative from them because whoever earlier met him at the Army House could not dare to decline his lucrative offers. Shujaat said Mirza Aslam Beg told them that instead of opening the bank accounts with their own names, they should hire a front man and account would be opened in his name in a bank in Karachi.

Beg further explained that on his orders the money would continue to be transferred in the bank account and they would consume those funds on the campaign of religio-political alliance to win elections against the PPP. However, Hussain said, he politely declined the offer that greatly surprised Mirza Aslam Beg. Shujaat said he told the then army chief that he had never done such dirty politics by taking money from illegal channels specially from military generals. Shujaat said he explained to the surprised general that usually he used to give funds to his own political lieutenants and party men to contest elections from his party platform. He said he also told the general that many MNAs and MPAs used to get money from him to meet expenses of their election campaigns. He said he told General Beg that he would not take a single penny from him. Shujaat said when Beg found him firm in refusing his offer, he looked annoyed and tried to press him into accepting his offer. Gen Beg, according to Shujaat, told them that then they should prepare a list of contesting MNAs and MPAs who could be ready to take funds from him to contest elections against the PPP.Chaudhry admitted that keeping General Beg's military might in view and fearing that he would get more aggressive against them if they resisted his offer, he told the general that he would soon come back to him with the list of contesting politicians who would be ready to take funds.

But, Shujaat said, he never went back to General Beg with the list because he did not believe in such politics. The Mehran Bank scandal rocked the country when the Supreme Court started proceedings on Asghar Khan's application. Later Naseerullah Khan Babar submitted papers in the Supreme Court in which the names of the beneficiaries of funds were given. The list contained names of all those who received funds from Mehran Bank through General Beg. Asghar Khan in his application sought proceedings against the General Beg and former ISI DG Asad Durrani for distributing funds among politicians.They were accused of distributing Rs 140 million among different politicians. Following were alleged to be the beneficiaries: Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister, Farooq Leghari, former president, Jam Sadiq, former Sindh Chief Minister, Altaf Hussain, MQM Chief, Yousaf Memon, advocate, for disbursement to MNA Javed Hashmi and others, Liaquat Jatoi, former Chief Minister Sindh, Afaq Ahmad of MQM, Imtiaz Sheikh, former Chief Minister of Sindh, Ajmal Khan, ex-Federal Minister, Jam Mashooq, Dost Mohammad Faizi, and Adnan son of Sartaj Aziz. REFERENCE: Shujaat says Beg offered him massive funds DAWN/The News International, KARACHI 23 April 2003, Wednesday, 20 Safar 1424

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