Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gen. (R) Mirza Aslam Beg "Misquotes" MQM.

LAHORE: Former army chief Mirza Aslam Beg said on Friday the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was established as a political measure to counter the Sindhi nationalist movement following the hanging of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Talking to a private TV channel, Beg said the MQM did not exist before 1978 and was established on the directions of General Ziaul Haq, then military ruler, only to counter Sindhi nationalists who had lost Bhutto after Zia’s military coup. He said the caretaker government under Ghulam Ishaq Khan had decided to support the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) to counter the PPP in order to balance the political atmosphere. “I think the formation of the IJI was a right decision at the time,” he said. Beg said the IJI were the only means that could create a strong opposition at the time. He said former president Pervez Musharraf had created and supported the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and the PML-Q to prolong his term in office, but no one had pointed that out. Beg said he believed the Bahawalpur plane crash that killed Gen Ziaul Haq was “sabotage”. REFERENCE: MQM was established to counter Sindhi nationalists: Beg Daily Times Monitor Saturday, September 05, 2009\09\05\story_5-9-2009_pg7_4 

General Mirza Aslam Beg in Jirga 4th Sep 2009

Daily Ummat "Karachi" 06 August 2011

Martial Law is Coming in Pakistan - 1 (Bolta Pakistan 20th July 2011)


Brigadier Retd. Imtiaz aka Billa - Former Number 2 of ISI - 1987 - 1989, and Director General Intelligence Bureau under Mian Nawaz Sharif's First Government - 1990 - 1993.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former chief of intelligence Brig. Imtiaz Ahmed (Ret.) has strongly rebuffed the allegations of being the CIA and Israeli agent, which was leveled by Hamid Gul in his interview with Arab News on Sunday. SOURCE: Pakistan’s ex-spy chief rebuffs Gul’s remarks by Azhar Masood I Arab News Tuesday 28 July 2009 (30, Shaban, 1430) In a statement, Brig. Ahmed said that Hamid Gul is a “compulsive liar.” SOURCE: Pakistan’s ex-spy chief rebuffs Gul’s remarks by Azhar Masood I Arab News Tuesday 28 July 2009 (30, Shaban, 1430)

Lt General Retd. Hamid Gul [Former ISI and MI Chief]

He alleged the statement made by Gul reflects his “intellectual and mental bankruptcy” and “innate shallowness.” “Those who know Gul inside out would bear me out, as they know that Gul is the embodiment of opportunism,” he added. “The history of my 17-year career in intelligence is testimony to the fact that I have always fought against the CIA, the Mossad, the RAW (India’s intelligence service), the KGB and other hostile intelligence outfits, at the risk to my life, to defend the sovereignty of my country.” SOURCE: Pakistan’s ex-spy chief rebuffs Gul’s remarks Azhar Masood I Arab News Tuesday 28 July 2009 (30, Shaban, 1430) Imtiaz vowed to uncover the misdeeds and dreadful professional failure of Gul in the near future. “Gul has forgotten that he begged for a higher position from many rulers including Pervez Musharraf in the past. SOURCE: Pakistan’s ex-spy chief rebuffs Gul’s remarks by Azhar Masood I Arab News Tuesday 28 July 2009 (30, Shaban, 1430) I also remind Gul about his dirty role played in the past to create serious misgivings between the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and Farooq Leghari, who was then the president.” SOURCE: Pakistan’s ex-spy chief rebuffs Gul’s remarks by Azhar Masood I Arab News Tuesday 28 July 2009 (30, Shaban, 1430)

A letter from an MQM minion, Kunwar Khalid Yunus, was printed in this newspaper on August 15 in which he admitted “that Gen Beg’s one sidekick also reached Mr Altaf Hussain’s residence of Azizabad with one suitcase full of currency notes. Mr Hussain refused to accept it. After a few months, when Mr Hussain met Mr Beg [at] a function in Lahore, the former cynically asked if his expensive suitcase reached him safely. The latter sheepishly nodded.” Will Mr Yunus file an affidavit in court? Lastly, may I again appeal to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take up this pending matter and let us have a decision before the next round of ‘fair and free’ elections. If press reports of August 17 are to be believed, President General Pervez Musharraf has clearly stated that he would be re-elected “at any cost” – at the cost of whose life and whose money? REFERENCE: We never learn from history - 8 By Ardeshir Cowasjee August 19, 2007 Sunday Sha’aban 5, 1428 

General Beg & Hamid Gul Tried to Bribe Altaf Hussain (ARY NEWS 2009)


ISLAMABAD: Mohajir Qaumi Movement’s chairman Afaq Ahmed admitted on Monday that he had received Rs5 million from Younus Habib in 1993, long after he along with several other leaders had parted ways with the party led by Altaf Hussain. He claimed that Mr Hussain had also received Rs5 million from Mr Habib in his presence and that former army chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg was present on the occasion. Addressing a press conference, Mr Ahmed said he was presenting facts before the media so that it could highlight them without any fear. He accused the Muttahida Qaumi Movement of being involved in extortion and issuing threats to all segments of society in Karachi. “I have told this to the media in Karachi too but they do not have the courage to carry such things,” he said. Mr Afaq said Karachi was a part of the country but policymakers generally thought that negotiating with Mr Hussain was the only way to move ahead because of his influence in the city. He said it was imperative to clear the city of weapons for peace and tranquillity. “We will try to bring religious, nationalists and political groups to one platform for peace in Karachi.” In reply to a question, Mr Ahmed said that if new provinces were made on an ethnic grounds then it would be a never-ending process that might lead to disintegration of the country. REFERENCE: Afaq says he, Altaf got money from Younus A Reporter 20th March, 2012 الطاف حسین بھتہ لیتے ہیں: آفاق احمد

آخری وقت اشاعت: پير 19 مارچ 2012 ,‭ 13:46 GMT 18:46 PST

Altaf Hussain (MQM) Oppose Division of Sindh but Jang Group "SUPPORTS DIVISION" - 1


LONDON, Jan 24: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has claimed that former army chief Gen Aslam Beg had also tried to bribe the MQM like other political parties of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) during the general election, but he had turned down the offer because it was against the ideology and principles of his party. In a press statement issued here on Monday, the MQM chief said Gen Beg had sent an brigadier with a briefcase containing money to bribe the organization during the election but he had told the brigadier that the MQM would not accept it as it was against its principles and ideology. He said the brigadier had come in the presence of MQM's central executive committee members and they were witness to the event. Gen Beg had CONFESSED that the ISI had distributed Rs140 million among the component parties of the IJI, including the PML, ANP and JI for defeating the PPP in the general election when he was the army chief. The general's public confession had created an uproar and forced TI chief Asghar Khan to file a petition in the Supreme Court to investigate the ISI's role in manipulating those elections and its role in national politics. That petition is still pending before the apex court. REFERENCE: Altaf accuses Beg of trying to bribe MQM DAWN/The News International, KARACHI 25 January 2000, Tuesday, 17 Shawwal 1420

Altaf Hussain (MQM) Oppose Division of Sindh but Jang Group "SUPPORTS DIVISION" - 2


The MQM chief said that later when he met army chief Gen Beg in Rawalpindi at the latter's residence, he told Mr Beg that the MQM had not accepted the money. Mr Hussain said he had deliberately informed the general about the MQM's refusal to accept the bribe just to ensure that this money was not misappropriated by the intermediary. He said Gen Beg had told him that he was in the knowledge that the MQM had not accepted the money. He said this was not the only occasion when the ISI had tried to bribe the MQM. It had made several attempts even earlier to purchase the MQM but had failed, he said. He said the only reason why he was forced to leave the country was that he had refused to compromise his resolve, philosophy and ideology. "Had I also compromised or traded my conscience like Nawaz Sharif and other politicians (who had accepted ISI funds), I would have owned large industries in Pakistan and would not have been forced to live in exile, nor any direct or indirect army operation would have been carried out against his party," he said. REFERENCE: Altaf accuses Beg of trying to bribe MQM DAWN/The News International, KARACHI 25 January 2000, Tuesday, 17 Shawwal 1420

Altaf Hussain (MQM) Oppose Division of Sindh but Jang Group "SUPPORTS DIVISION" - 2


Mr Hussain criticized the army for its involvement in politics and claimed that the army generals were also corrupt like politicians. He questioned why every general was allotted a huge residential plot. The MQM chief said he would soon tell the nation about the misconduct and misdeeds of Gen Asif Nawaz (late), Gen Abdul Waheed Kakar, Gen Jehangir Karamat, former chief of ISI Gen Hameed Gul, former ISI chief Gen Asad Durrani and others, whose names and misdeeds had not came out in the open because they were not Mohajirs. "The judiciary, military, bureaucracy and politicians of the country have failed," he said. "We have fought three wars with India and despite losing every time we are spending a huge portion of the country's budget on defence," he said mentioning that defence budget still was treated as a sacred cow and not audited. He said one reason for denying the people their role in the government was the feudal mentality of the ruling oligarchy. The army is different to some extent as it comes from the common class but a stage comes when the senior ranks of the army join hands with these feudals or forced to do that. REFERENCE: Altaf accuses Beg of trying to bribe MQM DAWN/The News International, KARACHI 25 January 2000, Tuesday, 17 Shawwal 1420

How General (R) Mirza Aslam Beg Sabotaged Democracy in 1990. (Bolta Pakistan - 3rd Aug 2011)


NOTE: On August 9, 1990, another one of the country’s short-lived experiments with democracy came to an end. While “The Empire Strikes Back” published in the August 1990 issue of the Herald describes the events that took place on the day of Benazir Bhutto’s ouster, “The Invisible War (See Herald Monthly Issue of January 2008, page 87), printed in the same issue, provides an analysis of the factors that led to the sacking of her government. [Courtesy Monthly Herald Pakistan January 2008, page 84-85-86]

The Invisible War by Abbas Nasir [Monthly Herald January 2008]

Was there a covert war raging between a sophisticated intelligence agency and the PPP government? And did the crisis in the Gulf have anything to do with Ms Bhutto’s ouster from office? After the dust begins to settle over the dissolution of the assemblies, it becomes clear that Benazir Bhutto’s ouster was directly linked to the fact that the army’s patience with her government had run out. Differences between the two had fuelled much media speculations for the entire duration of the PPP’s 20 month tenure. Issues as diverse as Sindh, Kashmir, postings, corruption, and Afghanistan had caused much tension between the ruling party and the military establishment. But the differences were more deep-rooted than a mere disagreement on some issues. It was clear, from the very outset, that the army had very reluctantly allowed Ms Bhutto to take office, and motivated every move and mistake she made during her 20 – Month Rule.

General Retd. Mirza Aslam Beg - The distrust between the Prime Minister and the army has never been too far below the surface and dates back to the period when Ms Bhutto’s father, the executed Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was in power. According to one analyst, “The defence establishment would have never allowed Benazir to come to power, had it not been for the pressure exerted by the US. Reluctantly, the army bowed to this pressure – probably because Washington controlled its purse strings” The attitude of the military towards the PPP and its leader was clearly evident during the run-up to the elections in 1988. One unreported incident from that period perfectly reflects this deep distrust. Knowledgeable sources maintain that a high official of the intelligence set-up came to Karachi just before polls, and convened a meeting of all the candidates contesting from the Lyari constituency, where Ms Bhutto was a candidate. “We can beat her if all of you agree to withdraw and put-up a single candidate against her, “he was quoted as suggesting to them. But such was the foresight of this hotshot that not only did most of the candidates not agree to withdraw, but the PPP leader subsequently won from the area with a margin of votes that six times that of the votes won by all her opponents put together. Another official of the same agency has been credited with the formation of IJI and sources say, he was largely responsible for masterminding the anti-PPP campaign in Punjab, which was to work with devastating effect both before and after elections.

Lt General Retd Hamid Gul - However, on coming to power, Ms Bhutto secured one of the few concessions from the military establishment when she successfully pushed for the removal from the Inter Services Intelligence Directorate of its then Director General Major General Hamid Gul and his Assistant Director General (Internal Security) Brigadier Imtiaz Ahmad. But the removal of Hamid Gul had sting in its tail. Ms Bhutto was not chastened by the fact that the military had forced her to allow the promotion of the ISI strongman, or his posting to the strategically important corps in Multan. Following the appointment as DG of a Benazir nominee, Lt. General (Retd) Shamsur Rehman Kallue, the powers of the Political Cell of the ISI, working in the guise of the Internal Security (IS), were drastically curtailed. However a serving Major General, Khalid Latif Mughal was posted to run the Afghanistan and Kashmir policies. Mughal, formally, and Hamid Gul informally, continued to have a major say in both these spheres. While the Prime Minister was willing, perhaps, to allow the army a free hand in handling the Afghanistan and Kashmir policies as a price to keep herself in power, her government appeared to have relaxed because the army’s earlier meddling in domestic politics through the ISI had been curtailed. But a couple of transfers and postings were hardly enough to ensure a pliant military high command. And a determined army was hardly something that the inept Benazir Administration could tame quite easily. Although the political cell at the ISI was closed down, the army launched a two-pronged offensive primarily through the media, which to the credit of the PPP government, remained free all through the party’s short, but eventful, tenure in office.

Lt General Retd. Asad Durrani - While on one hand, Brigadier Riazullah, an articulate and charming officer, moved into the barracks outside the GHQ which houses the Inter Services Public Relations Directorate, another officer, known for his competence and pleasant demeanor, occupied an office inside the walls of the GHQ. This was the Director General of the Military Intelligence, Major General Asad Durrani. Brigadier Riazullah’s task was to execute General Aslam Beg’s policy of “glasnost” – to wash from the minds of the public, through the media, the negative image of the armed forces had acquired, following the more than a decade long period of Martial Law. The new face of the army was much in evidence when it launched its biggest ever maneuvers – Zarb-e-Momin – in the winter of 1989-90. As a result of an unprecedented media blitz, the “professional soldier” image that the army was beaming out began to sink into public mind slowly but, surely.

Brig (Retd) Imtiaz - Side by side with the rehabilitation of its image, the army (with ammunition provided by the antics of the PPP government itself) set about destroying the populist aura of the PPP and succeeded in making corruption the most talked about subject in the country. The army was aided in this endeavor, of course, by the blundering Johnny-come- latelies who came to represent the public face of the PPP. It is clear that a great deal of homework was done, in gathering as well as fabricating evidence against prominent PPP members and the Prime Minister’s husband. Mush of this information and disinformation was handed over mainly to the right-wing journalists belonging to some key papers and periodicals, who saw themselves as the natural allies of the army, having enjoyed close ties with the Zia Regime. At least three people were assigned to feed corruption stories to the foreign media. The DG, MI also adopted an increasingly high-profile role. Although traditionally the DG, MI is hardly someone, given the sensitivity of his assignment, to come before newsmen, the balding Durrani is understood to have personally briefed more than one journalist about the lack of sincerity on the part of the PPP in handling the Sindh situation. This same officer reportedly maintained contact with dissident PPP members of parliament and dictated strategy to them. Similarly, in Karachi, where the MI had grown to many hundreds-strong since the early 80s, Brigadier Jamil and a couple of other officers personally briefed a select band of newsmen time and again, offering them “evidence” of corrupt and criminal activities of the government. While in Hyderabad these stories were leaked by a Colonel Ayub, in Lahore the main channel of contact with the media was a top aide to fromer Chief Minister, Nawaz Sharif, who coordinated closely with a group of Pro-Estbalishment Right Wing Journalists planted in different papers and periodicals.

Masood Sharif Khan Khattak (Former Director General Intelligence Bureau - Pakistan) - And this was not all. There was something more deep-rooted going on, as an interview with at least one Corps Commander revealed. The gentleman insisted on blaming a PPP minister for planting stories against him although this was not the case as independent investigations subsequently revealed. To this day, however, it is not clear who was briefing the Corps Commander on the “enemy-like” attitude of PPP ministers. The urgency of the army’s desire to see Benazir removed is clear from an article by a journalist, reputed to have very close ties with the army bosses. The report, published soon after the fall of the Bhutto government, alleged that while Ms Bhutto was an opposition leader, her mail used to leave the country courtesy the diplomatic pouch of the Indian mission. The journalist proceeded, without naming sources, to question the patriotism of the elected prime minister. But despite this deep rooted prejudice, the army tolerated Benazir Bhutto for 20 months. What then was the catalyst to her being pushed out of the office in a “constitutional coup”? Knowledgeable quarters point towards two factors that may have served as the proverbial straw that broke the Camel’s back. The first of these was the Alam Jan Mehsud incident. Lt General Mahsud, the Corps Commander at Lahore enjoyed the reputation of being a top class professional soldier. His excellent strategy during the course of Zarb-e-Momin, defence experts say, earned him the reputation of “Pakistan’s Rommel”. The Prime Minister reportedly conveyed her desire to the GHQ to grant Mahsud an extension, and post him as the Deputy Chief of Army Staff – an act that military establishment viewed as direct interference in the army affairs.

Ghulam Ishaq Khan (Former President of Pakistan) What they suspected was that Ms. Bhutto was placing a well known dove in a strategic position as a potential successor to the present COAS. The army’s response was swift. A replacement, Lt General Ashraf, was rushed to Lahore and, the day after, Mahsud’s photograph was carried by various newspapers, receiving the Corps Shield as a farewell gift. Within days, Mahsud had left for a month long holiday to the tribal areas Waziristan, to spend time in his home village. Knowledgeable quarters say it was in the wake of the Mahsud incident, that a Corps Commander tried to convey to the government that the army was planning to move against it. He reportedly said that the military leadership complained to the President that Ms Bhutto was attempting to foment “divisions” in the rank of the army. The army, which has prided itself on its discipline and the unity in its ranks even during the imposition of Martial Law, couldn’t possibly be expected to tolerate what it perceived to be an attempt to divide it. The other important factor that could have acted as a catalyst was the tilt in the balance of relations between the Pakistan Army and the US administration. Ironically, Ms Bhutto has alwayslooked towards the US as a staunch ally. While it is true that the US administration had much to do with the restoration of democracy in Pakistan – as well as the nomination of Ms. Bhutto as prime minister after her party emerged as the largest single party in the elections – it is equally true her party emerged as the largest single party in the elections – it is equally true that the US strategic interest vis a vis Gulf, are far more crucial to it then romantic notions of third world democracy. Well informed sources in Islamabad say that on a number of occasions in the past, Washington had told the army that any attempt to brush aside democracy would be met with a stiff reaction, including a cut off in aid – particularly now that the Soviets had vacated Afghanistan. Given Pakistan’s tension with India, the defence establishment was hardly likely to jeopardize relations with its key hardware supplier.

US Ambassador Robert Oakley - However, with Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and the threat of an onward march into Saudi Arabia, the US apparently needed the support of the Pakistan Army. In fact, US Ambassador Robert Oakley told a meeting at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad, just two days after Benazir’s ouster, that Saudi Arabia had requested troops from Pakistan. Although the once again retained Foreign Minister Sahibzada Yaqub Khan, as well as an army spokesman, denied having received any such request, the US envoy has neither retracted nor clarified his earlier statement. Although there has been no report yet of Pakistani troops being sent to Saudi Arabia, eyewitnesses say that they recently saw at least a couple of giant US Air force transport (C-141) aircraft taking off from a Pakistan Air Force Base. To further confirm American acquiescence in recent events in Pakistan, there was highly significant meeting between the three services chiefs, Bob Oakley and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman of the latter’s headquarters in Chaklala, Rawalpindi. This meeting took place on the weekend preceding the dissolution of the assemblies. In it, sources say, the issue was discussed threadbare, after which admiral Sirohey quietly left for Multan on a routine inspection tour.

The State Department’s quick reaction is hardly attributable to any efficiency at Foggy Bottom. It is clear that prior information was available to them – the denial to the contrary of a USIS official in Islamabad notwithstanding. One thing, however, is clear. The haze of disinformation is still as thick as any fog. But keeping in view the well-oiled machinery that the army has at its disposal, its main political rival, the PPP appears to have been knocked out and has little chance of staging a quick or easy comeback. But whether the army comes out in the open or prefers operate through remote control, only the course of events in the next few months will tell. [Courtesy Monthly Herald Pakistan January 2008, page 87-88-89]

The Empire Strikes Back by Abbas Nasir [Monthly Herald January 2008]

August 6, 1655 hours… a group of army officers-whose men have already thrown a ring around the Prime Minister’s Secretariat – enter the multistory white building and advise all the staff to leave and not to return until further orders…

A similar scene is being enacted at most other key buildings and installations in Islamabad as battle ready troops jump out of their gun-mounted trucks to surround the radio and television stations, the Directorate of Intelligence Bureau, the Federal Investigation Agency, important ministries and, of course, the erstwhile Sindh House – the official residence of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Jawans and officers of the FF Regiment, and contingents from a battalion of the Special Services Group take up positions near the parliament building as the president prepares to address a press conference that has just been announced. The high-profile army presence in the Federal Capital leaves a little doubt in any mind that President Ghulam Ishaq Khan’s announcement has the solid backing of the country’s powerful defence forces..

By this time, everybody in Islamabad, with the exception, perhaps, of the Pakistan’s People’s Party government has a fair idea of what is happening. The turbulent 20-month honeymoon between PPP and the establishment is all but over. A little after five, the President administers the last rites at a press conference at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. The Empire – which allowed the PPP to take office following polls in November 1988 – has finally decided to strike back.

After reading from a lengthy charge sheet, President Ishaq quotes a number of constitutional clauses and then announces the dissolution of the national assembly and the dismissal of Benazir Bhutto’s government. Unlike the speech of the late General Ziaul Haq on May 29 1988 – in which he announced the dismissal of Junejo’s Government – Ishaq steps doesn’t surprise anyone. The action comes on the heels of a multitude of corruption scandals, the government’s abject failure in arresting the Sindh situation, reports of serious differences with the army, as well as acrimonious confrontation between the Centre and the Provinces of Punjab and Balochistan.

Shortly afterwards, the nominated Caretaker Prime Minister Ghulam Mustaf Jatoi takes oath of office, fulfilling a long-standing ambition, and four ministers are sworn in simultaneously. There are two surprise inclusions in the cabinet – Rafi Raza, a man known in the past primarily as an aide to Zoulfikar Ali Bhutto, and for his strong US Connections. Raza has returned following a long absence in the political wilderness. The second surprise is the inclusion of the controversial Ghulam Mustafa Khar, on whom the establishment is reported to have a stack of files as high as the Margalla Hills.

The two other ministers – Illahi Bux Soomro, who was a minister in the Martial Law period but was pushed out into the cold after having lost in the 1988 elections, Senator Sartaj Aziz, also a minister in the Zia period – are both known Zia loyalists.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, General Mirza Aslam Beg, comes out with the quote of the moment when mobbed by journalists following the oath taking ceremony. “We are not involved in politics. We have never been involved in politics. We will never be involved in politics.”

Within a matter of hours, Sindh Governor Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim refuses Ishaq’s request to dissolve the provincial assembly and is replaced by Mahmoud A. Haroon , former interior minister in General Zia’s Martial Law government, who then signs the dissolution order. Jam Sadiq Ali, until days earlier a staunch Benazir Bhutto supporter, is sworn in as caretaker chief minister of the troubled province.

Frontier Governor, Amir Gulistan Janjua, meanwhile sends the Sherpao government and the legislature packing, and Mir Afzal Khan, an industrial tycoon and a former Z.A. Bhutto government minister, takes over as the caretaker chief executive.

For the opposition-led provincial governments, a more dignified and, perhaps cosmetic exit if facilitated. In the Punjab, Mian Nawaz Sharif is not sacked and give time to advise dissolution to the new governor, Mian Muhammad Azhar, the Lahore mayor and a close relative of the Punjab strongman himself, who replaces General (Retired) Tikka Khan. Meanwhile a close associate of Nawaz Sharif, Ghulam Haider Wyne, takes oath of office as caretaker Chief Minister of the most populous province of the country. Mir Humayun Khan Marri, the son-in-law of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti replaces him as Chief Minister after the latter sends advice to the Governor, General (Retired) Muhammad Musa, to dissolve the Balochistan assembly.

Meanwhile, in the Federal Capital itself, correspondents who rush to file their dispatches, find all telex, fax and international dialing lines out of order. The lines are not restored till 2230 hours. In effect, Islamabad is cut off from the rest of the world until the new order is safely put into place. Benazir Bhutto gives her reaction at a press conference at 1930 hours. She says she has been ousted in a “Constitutional Coup”, but informs journalist that President Ishaq’s hand was forced. Asked who forced the president to dismiss her government, she responds, “I leave that to your imagination.” After the press conference, a PTV crew that has covered the vent, hands over the video to an army officer at the gate of Sindh House.

Inside Sindh House itself, the STD lines are cut off and restored about seven times and the T&T authorities inform an aide to Ms. Bhutto that they are only following orders. As the just-ousted Prime Minister sits down to dinner, some party people, mainly former ministers, drop in. She picks up the phone, tells her ADC to send in more food, then laughs at his response and puts the phone down. Benazir Bhutto turns round and apologizes to her guests for not being able to lay out a proper dinner for them. The kitchen staff – as well as the crockery – have been summoned out of Sindh House. Even the next day, lunch is eaten out of boxes ordered from a caterer.

While the troops clear out of Sindh House and the TV and Radio Stations the next morning, the PM Secretariat, as well as the DIB and FIA offices are visited by a steady stream of army men – some in plainclothes – for several more days. Hundreds of files are taken away from the premises, no doubt to reappear as a damning indictment of the fallen government. Meanwhile, Major (Retd.) Masud Sharif, the Joint Director of the IB, and later, six of his staffers, are reportedly arrested and taken to an unknown destination for interrogation.

Two days after his nomination as Caretaker Prime Minister, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi addresses a press conference and lays a great deal of emphasis on the accountability of the previous government. The forthcoming elections, that are barely 77 days away, are played down somewhat, fuelling much speculation and reviving bitter memories of the past. The same day, in Karachi, Benazir Bhutto finally explodes at a press conference and charges that the Military Intelligence (MI) was responsible for her ouster. She goes to the extent of alleging that the draft of the President’s speech was prepared by the JAG (Judge Advocate General) branch of the Pakistan Army at the GHQ.

Either naively, or reflecting her own political compulsions, she absolves the Chief of Army Staff and the Corps Commanders of any blame, thus distancing them from the MI and JAG Branch, and perhaps leaving the door ajar for any future compromises.

Those in control now also seem to be in a hurry to acquire more and more bargaining chips. Significantly half a dozen persons reputed to be very close to Asif Zardari, are picked up in pre-dawn raids. As their interrogation begins, there are reports of deals and offer of immunity from prosecution. Events take a mysterious turn, as Begum Nusrat Bhutto leaves the country in a departure that is still unexplained. In the wake of the ouster of Benazir, numerous theories are being floated in the Federal Capital, with conspiracy theorists in hot demand. From deals between the PPP and the army, culminating in the exit of the Bhuttos from the Pakistani political scene, to a grand design by the army to completely discredit civilian politicians through appointments like those of caretaker set-up – all kinds of scenarios are being discussed and debated in Islamabad. Democracy in Pakistan, it is clear, has entered a critical new phase.


Military Operation in Karachi under Article 245! Pros and Cons. (Bolta Pakistan - 3rd Aug 2011)

245. Functions of Armed Forces.

259] [(1)] The Armed Forces shall, under the directions of the Federal Government, defend Pakistan against external aggression or threat of war, and, subject to law, act in aid of civil power when called upon to do so.

[259A] (2) The validity of any direction issued by the Federal Government under clause (1) shall not be called in question in any court.

(3) A High Court shall not exercise any jurisdiction under Article 199 in relation to any area in which the Armed Forces of Pakistan are, for the time being, acting in aid of civil power in pursuance of Article 245:

Provided that this clause shall not be deemed to affect the jurisdiction of the High Court in respect of any proceeding pending immediately before the day on which the Armed Forces start acting in aid of civil power.

(4) Any proceeding in relation to an area referred to in clause (3) instituted on or after the day the Armed Forces start acting in aid of civil power and pending in any High Court shall remain suspended for the period during which the Armed Forces are so acting.] - REFERENCE: PART XII (contd) Miscellaneous Chapter 2. Armed Forces  The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 

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