Friday, November 18, 2011

Mansoor Ijaz, Shaheen Sehbai, Kamran Khan, Daniel Pearl & Indian RAW.

"Every reporter has got to start somewhere. And the place Danny Pearl began, shortly after 9/11, was with a phone call to a number in Manhattan [to Ijaz Mansoor].... Danny called on a tip from Indian intelligence, which said Ijaz was wired with leading jihadis. ... Ijaz made introductions to three sources: Shaheen Sehbai, editor of The News, Pakistan's largest English-language daily; a jihadi activist he declines to name; and--most fatefully-- Khalid Khawaja, a Muslim militant and a onetime agent with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) who counts among his very best friends Osama bin Laden. .... Musharraf himself said [the reason Pearl was killed] was because Danny was 'overly inquisitive.' And more than a few knowledgeable Pakistanis think the ISI was involved. When asked by Vanity Fair whether it shares that view, The Wall Street Journal issued a two-word written answer: 'No comment.'" Reference: The Journalist and the Terrorist Vanity Fair, August 2002 What Was Daniel Pearl Doing In Pakistan? http://www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex/Documents/pearlmission.htm
Credibility of Mansoor Ijaz. 

Mansoor Ijaz Propaganda Against Pakistan Army (FOX NEWS May 2011)

video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQh90sH9CgU

Mansoor Ijaz Memo (GEO TV Capital Talk 17 Nov 2011)

video

URL: http://youtu.be/B1cTJ-Cs-c0

UM: Yes, he met with Hakimullah (Mehsud) and others when he came here last time.

HM: I personally know Khawaja has links not only with CIA but he is also a front man of Mansoor Ijaz who belongs to a very big international network of Qadianis. Once he came to me along with Mansoor... Khalid saab told me Mansoor is a key representative of the US government, so arrange his meeting with Syed Salahuddin, and he along with him would resolve the Kashmir issue. REFERENCE: PAKISTAN: HAMID MIR Anchor Cast Adrift What’s behind the tapes of TV host Hamid Mir’s chat with a Taliban man? MARIANA BAABAR MAGAZINE | MAY 31, 2010 http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?265494



His known contacts with some former CIA officials and an American businessman Mansoor Ijaz also created problems for him. He was intelligent enough in maintaining links with Americans and their critics like Hameed Gul at the same time but unfortunately he could not anticipate the seriousness of his adversaries, who did not miss any opportunity to strike against friends and foes alike. Khwaja had met these former CIA officials through an American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who was very close to the Bill Clinton administration. Ijaz played a key role in forcing the Sudanese government to expel Osama bin Ladin from Khartoum in 1996 and helped Khwaja to establish direct links between the Taliban and the Bush administration in October 1999 when he wanted Mulla Omar to meet James Woolsey to avert an American attack on Afghanistan. Mulla Omar refused to meet the then CIA leader. Next year, Khalid Khwaja tried to fix a meeting between American businessman Mansoor Ijaz and Kashmiri militant leader Syed Salahuddin. Khwaja contacted Salahuddin through his friends in Jamaat-e-Islami and informed him that Mansoor Ijaz wanted to deliver a letter from Bill Clinton. Syed Salahuddin came to know that Mansoor Ijaz had meetings with Indian Army officials in Srinagar in early 2000 and also with then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. He smelled a rat and refused to meet Mansoor Ijaz. Shortly after these attempts by Ijaz, a ceasefire was announced by a rebel Kashmiri militant commander Abdul Majid Dar in July 2000 but it failed. Majid Dar was assassinated after sometime in Kashmir. Khalid Khwaja was arrested in 2002 after the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi. Khwaja had exchanged some e-mails with Pearl just a few days before his killing. Later, Marianne, the widow of Pearl, informed investigators that Pearl contacted Khwaja through Mansoor Ijaz and he only tried to help her husband in obtaining the contact numbers of some militants. Khwaja was released after a few weeks...REFERENCE: What was the last mission of Khalid Khwaja? Hamid Mir Sunday, May 02, 2010 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=28590&Cat=13&dt=5/2/2010


The wreckage of Minister Ghulam Hassan Bhat's bullet-proof car, which was blown apart by a remotely-activated landmine near Dooru in Anantnag district on May 15. - Mansoor Ijaz, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-trained nuclear physicist who is chairman of the New York based Crescent Equity Investment Bank and a member of the influential Council for Foreign Relations, arrived in Srinagar in the second week of May. He is personally close to U.S. President Bill Clinton and a major campaign finance donor to the Democratic Party. The visit of the second-generation Pakistani immigrant to the U.S. has obvious significance in the context of both U.S. and Indian eff orts to initiate a dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir's future. Sources say that Ijaz, escorted by Research and Analysis Wing minders, was whisked through passport control at Srinagar's Humhama Airport without the mandatory entries being made, and driven to t he State Guest House under police escort. In Srinagar, Ijaz was given top level official access. Both 15 Corps Commander Lieutenant-General Kishan Pal and Director-General of Police Gurbachan Jagat briefed the businessman on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, a privilege rarely granted to forei gn nationals other than high-level diplomats. A succession of meetings with top officials and politicians followed. Finally, Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah hosted a dinner for the visitor at his residence on Srinagar's Gupkar Road on May 10, which was at tended by a small group of State Cabinet Ministers. Extraordinary secrecy was observed through the visit. The security staff assigned to Ijaz were not told anything about the visitor other than his first name, and neither his nationality nor the purpose of his visit was disclosed. Just what Ijaz discussed with Jammu and Kashmir officials and politicians is not known: none of them was willing to discuss the matter with Frontline. Informed sources, however, say that Ijaz held a second set of meetings with top officials of the Prime Minister's Office in New Delhi. Ijaz, these sources claim, made few specific proposals, but sought responses to ideas for minor adjustments to the Line of Control (LoC) in the event that its acceptance as an international border could be secured. He also discussed several proposals for granting wide autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, including proposals made by the New York-based Kashmir Study Group (KSG) for the creation of a quasi-independent Kashmiri state carved out of the Muslim majority areas o f Jammu and Kashmir. INTERESTINGLY, Ijaz's visit was preceded, in March, by another covert visit by a United States based subcontinental figure. Frontline had broken news of the arrival of KSG head and furniture tycoon Farooq Kathwari, who had been barred by successiv e Indian governments from visiting this country, and his high level meetings in New Delhi and Srinagar on the eve of Clinton's visit (Frontline, April 14, 2000). Ijaz, however, appears to have had little past association with U.S.- based politics on Jammu and Kashmir. An article he wrote in the May 2000 issue of the Pakistani magazine The Herald referred in passing to "India's brutality in Kashmir" and to the American Indian community's campaign to have Pakistan declared a terrorist state. The principal thrust of the article, however, was that the lobbying tactics of the Pakistani establishment have corrupted U.S. democratic institutions but secured little for either Pakistan's citizens or its overseas communities. REFERENCE: THE STATES Strategic shift? Another U.S.-authored move to launch a dialogue involving the government and the secessionist groups in Kashmir may be in the offing. PRAVEEN SWAMI in Srinagar Volume 17 - Issue 11, May 27 - Jun. 09, 2000 India's National Magazine from the publishers of THE HINDU http://www.hindu.com/fline/fl1711/17110360.htm

Worried about Mansoor's Memo but what about WikiLeaks?

ISLAMABAD: Once again Islamabad is ripe with rumours that the PPP-led coalition government might not survive till March 2012 but President Asif Ali Zardari is not worried. He does not see any “extra-constitutional” threat to his government because he thinks there is no reason for the Army to take over. He recently told his friends that the political government and Army leaders have no differences over issues relating to foreign policy and security but even then some diehard critics say the countdown has begun. The rumours spread fast after the publication of an article in the Financial Times by Mansoor Ejaz who claimed President Zardari had sent a secret memo to the White House through Admiral Mike Mullen immediately after the killing of Osama bin Laden in the Abbottabad operation on May 2. President Zardari allegedly informed the US officials that his government was under threat from the Army and the US must stop General Kayani from taking over. According to the article President Zardari also promised to make some major changes in the Army and ISI leadership. Many opposition politicians raised questions about the alleged secret memo when this article was published but the Presidency remained silent. Many friends and colleagues advised President Zardari to issue a contradiction but he said: “let them spread the dirt for some days; we must know who is friend and who is foe?” Farhatullah Babar, the presidential spokesman, informally contradicted Mansoor Ejaz’s claim but he was not ready to say anything on the record. One intelligence agency informed the government that this “memo controversy” was part of an international conspiracy to create differences between political and military leadership of Pakistan. In the meantime US secretary of state Hillary Clinton during her recent visit met a group of journalists in Islamabad. One of our colleagues Mazhar Abbas asked her about the secret memo but she neither contradicted nor confirmed. Her careful response was a bombshell for many in the government. More articles with more speculations started appearing in the Pakistani media. Rumourmongers confused many seasoned politicians. One federal minister from a coalition party decided to speak against his own government in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. That was when the Foreign Office decided to issue a formal contradiction. Next day the President’s spokesperson also broke his silence on the issue and said that “Mansoor Ejaz’s allegation is nothing more than a desperate bid by an individual whom recognition and credibility has eluded, to seek media attention through concocted stories”. Farhatullah Babar further said: “why would the President of Pakistan choose a private person of questionable credentials to carry a letter to US officials? Since when Mansoor has become a courier of messages of the President of Pakistan?” He recalled that 16 years ago during the visit of late Benazir Bhutto to US Mansoor Ejaz wanted to see her. Farhatullah Babar was press secretary to the PM at that time. He mentioned the name of Mansoor to Benazir Bhutto and she said: “Mansoor is not to be trusted”. Late Benazir Bhutto advised her Press Secretary to “stay away from Mansoor Ejaz” but he never mentioned these words in his denial issued on October 29. Mansoor Ejaz also issued a statement in response in which he said: “I have the facts, all the facts. Every word I say or write is backed with hard evidence and proof. Challenging me on that would be a grave mistake” since “the evidence is crystal clear”. Background interviews with well-informed officials in Islamabad and conversations with top Pakistani diplomats in Washington and London revealed some more information. REFERENCE: The man who played with four govts Hamid Mir Wednesday, November 02, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10015&Cat=13&dt=11/2/2011  http://images.thenews.com.pk/02-11-2011/ethenews/t-10015.htm

Kamran Khan (Jang Group) Exploits Wiki Leaks "Again" - 1 (Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Sath - 06-07-2011)


URL: http://youtu.be/Ol1euCbu6T4


Kamran Khan (Jang Group) Exploits Wiki Leaks "Again" - 2 (Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Sath - 06-07-2011)


URL: http://youtu.be/Mixg4njw5RY


Kamran Khan (Jang Group) Exploits Wiki Leaks "Again" - 3 (Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Sath - 06-07-2011)


URL: http://youtu.be/t5QrbuUMrCM


Kamran Khan (Jang Group) Exploits Wiki Leaks "Again" - 4 (Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Sath - 06-07-2011)


URL: http://youtu.be/h-3ig3w4oBs


This is not the first time Mansoor Ejaz has created a problem for the PPP government. He did so in 1995 when tried to meet Benazir Bhutto through Zafar Hilali who was then working with the prime minister. He informed Hilali that Yusuf Haroon was hatching a conspiracy against the government with the help of some Army officials. Hilali asked him to write all these things in black and white. Mansoor Ejaz wrote a letter to Benazir Bhutto on June 29, 1995 claiming that the then Director General of Military Intelligence Ali Quli Khan was hatching a conspiracy to overthrow her government with the help of Yusuf Haroon. He offered his services for lobbying in the US Congress. He also proposed that Pakistan must recognise Israel and US will write off all its foreign debt. Benazir Bhutto spoke to Army chief General Abdul Waheed Kakar and informed him about the allegations made by Mansoor Ejaz against General Ali Quli Khan. Kakar initiated an inquiry but nothing was proved. After some weeks Ali Quli Khan reported to Kakar about a coup plan made by some hardliners and arrested many officers including a Major General. A few months later Benazir Bhutto visited New York to address the UN General Assembly. This writer was part of the delegation as a journalist. Mansoor Ejaz tried to meet Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari. She not only refused to meet him she even advised the journalists accompanying her “never to meet this person”. REFERENCE: The man who played with four govts Hamid Mir Wednesday, November 02, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10015&Cat=13&dt=11/2/2011
http://images.thenews.com.pk/02-11-2011/ethenews/t-10015.htm

Kamran Khan (Jang Group) Exploits Wiki Leaks "Again" - 1 (Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Sath - 07-07-2011)


URL: http://youtu.be/lOuUqlcCYyo


Kamran Khan (Jang Group) Exploits Wiki Leaks "Again" - 2 (Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Sath - 07-07-2011)


URL: http://youtu.be/bsbigeutXTU


Kamran Khan (Jang Group) Exploits Wiki Leaks "Again" - 3 (Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Sath - 07-07-2011)


URL: http://youtu.be/u7EV0X7eOts


Kamran Khan (Jang Group) Exploits Wiki Leaks "Again" - 4 (Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Sath - 07-07-2011)


URL: http://youtu.be/Dihm_9_7RS4


Mansoor Ejaz claims he persuaded US Vice President Al Gore to say that a military coup against democratic government will not be accepted. Al Gore said this in a reception organised by a Pakistani-American Rashid Chaudhry in Washington. Rashid Chaudhry has requested Benazir Bhutto not to send the former ambassador to that reception but someone more trust-worthy. She sent Wajid Shamsul Hasan. Mansoor Ejaz met Wajid Shamsul Hasan but the latter told Benazir Bhutto “we must not trust him”. Mansoor Ejaz tried to become a lobbyist for Pakistan but the then Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington, Maleeha Lodhi, raised many questions about his credibility and then Mansoor Ejaz started writing articles against Benazir Bhutto in the Wall Street Journal. Benazir Bhutto said privately many times in those days that he was a double agent working for Israel and also for some people in the ISI. In October 1996 the Pakistan Embassy in Washington accused Mansoor Ejaz of writing against the PPP government because he was denied 15 million dollars he had demanded to deliver votes in the US House of Representatives in support of the Brown Amendment. The embassy also said that Mansoor Ejaz had been pushing the PPP government to recognise Israel and he himself visited Israel on several occasions, once on the invitation of Jerusalem’s mayor. The embassy mentioned that he was given ‘humanitarian of the year’ award by a major Jewish organisation “for establishing clinics and schools in Belgium and in many parts of the Eastern Europe for the Jewish communities. Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Ahmad Kamal was close to Mansoor Ejaz but then Foreign Secretary Najmudin Sheikh addressed a press conference against him and declared his articles “vindictive and without credibility”. REFERENCE: The man who played with four govts Hamid Mir Wednesday, November 02, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10015&Cat=13&dt=11/2/2011  http://images.thenews.com.pk/02-11-2011/ethenews/t-10015.htm

After the dismissal of Benazir Bhutto’s government by President Farooq Leghari in November 1996 Mansoor Ejaz became very close to some ministers of the Nawaz Sharif government, which was installed in 1997. He even claimed to act as a middleman between US and Sudan and then between Pakistan and India in 2000 on behalf of US President Bill Clinton. He visited the Indian Army headquarters in Srinagar and then came to Islamabad for a meeting with the ISI officials who ignored him but one day he was able to informally meet General Pervez Musharraf through his mother. He entered in Army House to meet Musharraf’s mother but succeeded in having a brief chitchat with the military dictator. Musharraf at that time was diplomatically isolated ruler but he too never trusted Mansoor Ejaz due to his close links with some PML-N leaders. After meeting Musharraf he met Hizbul Mujahedeen chief Syed Salahudin in Islamabad through a Jamat-e-Islami leader and tried to deliver him an alleged letter from US President Bill Clinton but the Kashmiri militant leader never accepted that letter. Mansoor tried to give an impression to both Islamabad and Delhi that he was an unofficial negotiator of President Clinton. When the Indian government approached Washington about the credentials of Mansoor Ejaz some senior Clinton administration officials clarified publicly that Mansoor Ejaz was not given any mandate to act as a negotiator in the Kashmir dispute. REFERENCE: The man who played with four govts Hamid Mir Wednesday, November 02, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10015&Cat=13&dt=11/2/2011  http://images.thenews.com.pk/02-11-2011/ethenews/t-10015.htm

After 9/11 Mansoor Ejaz tried to interact with both CIA and Taliban. He sent messages to Taliban through a retired ISI official and offered his services for mediation between Taliban and the US but his efforts never materialised because Taliban were not ready to hand over Osama bin Laden to US. After the change of command in the ISI the new DG ISI General Ehsanul Haq denied him access to all the government circles. He tried to become partner of a newspaper owner but failed. He remained silent for many years and then wrote an article in the Christian Science Monitor after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on December 28, 2007 in which he said: “I knew Benazir Bhutto well. I am often blamed by her supporters for having helped bring her government down in 1996 by exposing her hypocrisy and corruption in two Wall Street Journal Op-Ed pieces”. His words raise the question that how can President Asif Ali Zardari trust him and why would he send a secret memo through a person who wrote against him and his wife many times? It is obvious now that President Zardari neither met him recently nor spoke to him on telephone. Mansoor Ejaz is claiming that one top diplomat was instrumental in the making of the alleged memo and he can prove that whatever he wrote in the memo was approved by the top diplomat. REFERENCE: The man who played with four govts Hamid Mir Wednesday, November 02, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10015&Cat=13&dt=11/2/2011
http://images.thenews.com.pk/02-11-2011/ethenews/t-10015.htm

PTI Chief Imran Khan claimed in the Lahore rally that it was Pakistan Ambassador in US Hussain Haqqani who gave this memo to Mansoor Ejaz. Hussain Haqqani denies that. He says that when he can talk to Admiral Mike Mullen directly why would he use a person like Mansoor Ejaz to send a secret memo? Some government sources suspected that maybe Mansoor Ejaz had spoken to Ambassador Haqqani on phone after the May 2 incident and recorded his conversation with him but he cannot present that recording as evidence because it is an offence under the US law. These sources accuse the PML-N of being part of the conspiracy because some PML-N leaders enjoy friendly relations with Mansoor Ejaz sine late 90’s. Sources close to Mansoor Ejaz claim that the PPP government is inviting big trouble by denying the memo. They say Mansoor Ejaz is an American citizen and he would not like to be involved in Pakistani politics but he is ready to produce the evidence in any Pakistani court of law if required. Mansoor Ejaz is playing with the fourth Pakistani government in the last 16 years. It seems that someone tried to play with someone through Mansoor Ejaz but this clever person has created a big trouble for a small-time power player. President Zardari may not lose anything in this whole controversy but Mansoor Ejaz is capable of destroying the credibility of the diplomat who spoke to him on phone or sent him some email. REFERENCE: The man who played with four govts Hamid Mir Wednesday, November 02, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10015&Cat=13&dt=11/2/2011
http://images.thenews.com.pk/02-11-2011/ethenews/t-10015.htm

One PPP insider claimed that Mansoor Ejaz has special hatred for PPP. He belongs to a sect that was declared non-Muslim by the Pakistani Parliament when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the prime minister. That is why he has always tried to punish PPP through his conspiracies. The insider claimed that President Zardari has no problem with General Kayani. President Zardari wrote an article in Washington Post on May 3, 2011 and defended his intelligence agencies by saying “a decade of cooperation and partnership between the US and Pakistan led up to the elimination of Osama bin Laden and we in Pakistan take some satisfaction that our early assistance in identifying an Al Qaeda courier ultimately led to this day”. After five months President Zardari again wrote in Washington Post on October 1 and said: “must we fight alone in our region all those that others now seek to embrace? And how long can we degrade our capacity by fighting an enemy that the might of NATO’s global coalition has failed to eliminate?” PPP sources insisted that Mansoor Ejaz tried to create differences between army and the president and also tried to create misunderstanding between Pakistan and US but he has miserably failed. The PPP leaders play down the delay in contradicting the alleged secret memo from President Zardari to President Obama. But this delay was not a mistake but a blunder, which forced many in Pakistan to believe that the secret memo was true. REFERENCE: The man who played with four govts Hamid Mir Wednesday, November 02, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10015&Cat=13&dt=11/2/2011
http://images.thenews.com.pk/02-11-2011/ethenews/t-10015.htm 

Wednesday, November 02, 2011, Zil Hajj 05, 1432 A.H.
http://jang.com.pk/jang/nov2011-daily/02-11-2011/main2.htm

























DIRTY PAST RECORD OF THE SAME JANG GROUP AGAINST THEIR VERY OWN SHAHEEN SEHBAI.

Group Editor of The News International, Mr Shaheen Sehbai [Shaheen Sehbai VS Hussain Haqqani & Jang Group of Newspapers. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/10/shaheen-sehbai-vs-hussain-haqqani-jang.html - Shaheen Sehbai VS Asif Ali Zardari & Jang Group of Newspapers http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/10/shaheen-sehbai-vs-asif-ali-zardari-jang.html ]

Human Memory is weak so let me revive it!



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

Read and Lament as to how the Educated Pakistan play with the sentiments of those who read newspapers for news. Do read as to what another Seniot Journalist Late Khalid Hasan had to say about Shaheen Sehbai at the end. Also read The Washington Post as to how The News International and Shaheen Sehbai involved/linked Pakistan with Terrorists in 2002. Shaheen Sehbai should be ashamed of himself that after doing this he escaped and took self imposed asylum in USA, the same USA against whom he and his newspaper spitting venom. So Why the hell exile in USA, a country whose Legislative Bill [Kerry - Lugar Bill - State of Pakistan's Economy and Kerry Lugar Bill http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/10/state-of-pakistans-economy-and-kerry.html. TEXT OF KERRY LUGAR BILL URL: http://united4justice.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/kerry-lugar-bill-text/ Source: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc111/s1707_es.xml URL: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc111/s1707_es.xml#HD21CAA40FFF04D6A9295F70635912277] is so bad about Pakistan.

“QUOTE”

Judge not lest ye be judged [Dated March 10, 2002 Sunday Zilhaj 25, 1422 Courtesy: Daily Dawn URL: http://archives.dawn.com/2002/03/10/fea.htm#2 ]
JOURNALIST Shaheen Sehbai, resigned as editor of The News on March 1 after serving the paper for about 14 moths.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At The News, no replacement has since been named.

“UNQUOTE”
LATE. MR. KHALID HASAN - IN MEMORIAM 1934-2009 – A MESSAGE FROM HIS SON - http://www.khalidhasan.net/news/
“QUOTE”

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

“UNQUOTE”



Nafisa Hoodbhoy [Former Correspondent of Daily Dawn - Courtesy: Online NewsHour - http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/jan-june02/pearl_1-29.html]
"QUOTE"

The Washington Post – Sunday, March 10, 2002; Page B01 Section: Outlook – Missing Links : There’s Much More To Daniel Pearl’s Murder Than Meets the Eye By Nafisa Hoodbhoy [INTERNET LINK IS DEAD - http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A64435-2002Mar9¬Found=true - Complete Text http://www.indianet.nl/indpak40.html#20020310a - http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/2002/wpost031002.html] – Crackdown on Pakistani Press : A radio interview with Shaheen Sehbai.[Courtesy: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/act/message/1299]

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



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

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

“UNQUOTE”

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

"QUOTE"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The warning signs are there again. America must invest its political and financial capital in institutions, not individuals. The American people and their elected representatives must not look the other way again. Freedom of the press is under siege. The promised return of democracy is being systematically compromised. American aid is being used to achieve dubious objectives. And the poor people of Pakistan, in defense of whom the ISI and Gen. Musharraf have made their last stand, may once again lose whatever is left of a country that can still be great. (By SHAHEEN SEHBAI )Courtesy: Pakistan Punch http://pakistanpunch.pk/punch11.html
Mr. Shaheen Sehbai, Group Editor, The News International - Jang Group of Newspapers is very fond of quoting Foreign Press particularly when Foreign Press [Pro Zionist] is negative on President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari and PPP. Shaheen Sehbai while quoting The New York Times: “The problems in Afghanistan have only been compounded by the fragility of Mr. Obama’s partner in Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari, who is so weak that his government seems near collapse.” The Washington Post in a report by two correspondents said: “Zardari's political weakness is an additional hazard for a new bilateral relationship...The administration expects Zardari's position to continue to weaken, leaving him as a largely ceremonial president even if he manages to survive in office.” REFERENCE: Obama administration fears Zardari collapse WASHINGTON (Shaheen Sehbai)Updated at: 1525 PST, Monday, November 30, 2009 http://thenews.jang.com.pk/updates.asp?id=92494 Obama administration fears Zardari collapse Updated at: 1525 PST, Monday,November 30, 2009 http://www.geo.tv/11-30-2009/53849.htm

Obama administration fears Zardari collapse Updated at: 1525 PST, Monday,November 30, 2009







Should we believe Mr Shaheen Sehbai or his Editor in Chief Mir Shakil ur Rahman's Letter Addressed to Mr Shaheen Sehbai asking for his resign on filing Concocted Stories in The News International

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SHAHEEN SEHBAI RESIGNS AS EDITOR OF `THE NEWS`

Date: Fri, 01 Mar 2002 07:42:48 -0500

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

It is with great sorrow that I have to convey this bad news to you all today. I have resigned today as the Editor.

I am enclosing enclosing the correspondence with MSR which is self explanatory. I wish to thank you all for all the cooperation and respect that you extended to me during these 14 months as Editor. I will be available to each one of you as a friend at all times. Wishing you the best of luck and a great future. Shaheen Sehbai

Pl read on:

Memorandum

To: Mir Shakil ur Rehman, Editor-in-Chief, The News
From: Shaheen Sehbai, Editor, The News
Date: March 1, 2002
Subject: Reply to Memo dated Feb 28, 2002


With reference to your Memo dated Feb 28, I have been accused of policy violations starting from March 2001 until the publication on Feb 17 this year of the Kamran Khan story on Daniel Pearl case. I can obviously understand that these so-called �policy violations?are nothing but an excuse to comply with the Government demand to sack me, and three other senior journalists, as you told me in our meeting in your office on Feb 22. I feel sorry that you have to make such excuses. You could have given one hint that you wanted me to go and I would have quit immediately.

I understand that you, as owner of the Jang Group of Newspapers have been so intensely pressurized in the last about two weeks that you are no longer ready, or able, to withstand it. All government advertising of the Group has been unjustifiably suspended by the Government starting Monday, February 18, 2002, following the investigative story done in The News by our reporter, Kamran Khan. This story, as it appears now, was just an excuse to twist the neck of the Group because the same story appeared simultaneously in the Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune and not one point contained in it was denied or clarified by the Government. Instead they tightened the screw on the Jang Group, as it appeared to be the most vulnerable and within their reach. This has a very obvious, and sinister message, for the free Press in Pakistan: Get in line, or be ready for the stick.?I feel sorry that you have decided to get in line, but I cannot be a party to this decision.

You had informed me officially at a meeting in your office on Feb 22, 2002, at 10.15 p.m. that you have been given names of four journalists of The News? myself, Kamran Khan, Amir Mateen and a staffer in our Islamabad Bureau (probably Rauf Klasra as you did not name the 4th person), to be immediately sacked before the government advertisements could be restored. You also informed me that officials of the Information Ministry wanted me to improve my PR with them as they had been complaining that I was not available to them, which is basically not true. You told me to directly contact these officials and talk to them about restoring the advertisements of the Group. Mr Mahmud Sham, who later joined our meeting, had informed us that the Secretary Information had clearly stated that matters were beyond his capacity to resolve and that we have now to meet the ISI high ups.

As a matter of principle I refused to call, or meet, any of these government officials in a situation when the entire Group was being held hostage with a gun pointed at its head. I, however, conveyed to the Government, through Mr Sham, all the evidence that the policy of The News?was very balanced, in fact tilted, in favour of General Pervez Musharraf's government, not under any government pressure, but because some of the things he was doing were right and The News never hesitated to support any right step taken by the Government. At least 50 editorials and over 100 Op-Ed articles published in about 6 weeks were cited to show that The News had no bias against the government. Proof was also provided of how �The News? at times, went out of its way to accommodate government requests.

Apparently these argument have not satisfied the government and the pressure is continuing on you, as your Memo indicates. Whatever other issues you have raised are childish and frivolous and I would not waste my time discussing them. But one message that emerges is very clear --- I ran the newspaper as a very independent Editor, according to whatever I thought was objective, true and professionally sound journalism. I made the best use of the latest available computer technology to create a working environment in which the entire editorial staff was integrated in such a network that almost everyone was available to each other at all times. I interacted with all my staff on a personal, round the clock basis, no matter where I was located or traveling, even outside Pakistan. So the charge that I was not available to my staff is laughable as it shows how far removed you are from the ground situation.

Your complaint of lack of general improvement in The News?is also obviously an excuse to build some case against me under Government pressure. You never once complained of that before. In fact the ground reality is just the opposite. I successfully built a great team of reporters, editors and writers during the 14 months I have been the Editor. We achieved a lot in breaking major stories, including assumption of the office of the President by General Musharraf and corruption in various government departments including Social Action Programme (SAP) and Employees Old-age Benefit Institution (EOBI). The overwhelming impression that any newspaper of the Jang Group could not publish anything against its advertisers and commercial sponsors was removed by the investigative stories we did on PIA and other corporate organizations. The News became the most quoted newspaper abroad, not only for its stories but its editorial comments and opinions. The latest such quote was in the prestigious New York Times just three days ago. The Washington Post interviewed me last week as Editor of The News.

The real reasons for failure to bring about a real visible change in Karachi are known to you. For over a year now you have been sitting on all the plans, proposals and schemes, including a Vision Document prepared after months of hard work. The scheme to revamp all the magazines has been lying on your table for months. The designs and site plans to renovate the entire newspaper office on 4th and 5th floors has been gaining dust for months and the staff is forced to work with hundreds of cockroaches creeping on papers, computers, inside telephone sets and faxmachines. In fact I have been bogged down in these totally useless exercises for most of my time, hoping that you would find time and money to start implementing any of these detailed proposals for change and improvement. You have always been promising to launch these scheme within weeks, but that time never came. I am appalled at your audacity to accuse me of being responsible for not bringing any change while the fact is that you have always been complaining of the financial crunch?in the newspaper. You have stopped increments of all the staff and played legal jugglery with all the contract employees by refusing to renew their contracts or giving them salary increases.

Even despite that I continued to work 20 hours a day to improve the editorial content of the newspaper which has been appreciated and recognized by every one, including your senior Directors and Editors of sister publications in letters written to me. The readers, however, are the best judge.

Why you never raised any objection before, and why you are doing it now, is obvious --- the Government pressure is unbearable. This is not a happy omen.

Therefore, I have to convey this sad message to you, though I feel very content and satisfied that I have taken the right decision on the basis of principles. I have decided to resign from the Editorship of The News with immediate effect, rather than to submit to Government pressure and change the policy of the newspaper. Under my editorship, I will not allow the newspaper to become the voice of any government for monetary considerations. I had given my name, credibility and reputation to The News?and I prefer to protect these precious assets, rather than my job. But I will earnestly request you not to take any action against the other colleagues you have been asked to sack, as the ultimate responsibility of whatever appeared in the newspaper was mine, as Editor, and not theirs. They should be allowed to continue with their jobs. I wish, you, the newspaper and all of my colleagues a great future.

I hereby, resign from the editorship. Please accept my resignation today and remove my name from the print line of the newspaper as of tomorrow, Saturday, March 2, 2002. I would not be responsible for the contents of the newspaper as of tomorrow.

Best Regards

Shaheen Sehbai

Memorandum

To: Shaheen Sehbai, Editor, The News
From: MSR, Editor-in-Chief
Date: 2/28/02
Re: Violation of policy



I am constrained to bring to your notice several, and repeated, violation of editorial policies clearly understood between us. Infact, these policies have also been agreed in writing. On 26th March, 2001, you had published a one sided, incorrect and libelous article against Mr. Aittiazaz Bob Din, a well known businessman residing in the United States. Although Mr. Bob Din had cited person differences between the two of you, dating back to your stay in the United States, as the motive behind the unfounded allegations against him, I had disregarded this suggestion at that time and had judged the matter purely on merit. As you will recall, you were unable to substantiate the serious charges you had leveled against him. It was only through my personal apologies and the intervention of mutual acquaintances that we were able to dissuade Mr. Din from suing the News for defamation and libel.

On two different occasions, you published unfavourable articles about PIA, which were of uncertain veracity and did not contain their point of view, as a result of which they denounced these articles in a press conference, threatened to take legal action, suspended our advertisements and also stopped putting our papers on PIA flights. Needless to say, these measures hurt us financially, damaged our reputation and took a great deal of pacification to undo.

I would also refer to the written terms of our agreement at the time of your appointment under which you are required to discuss the top stories of the day and other important editorial matters with me and seek the Editor-in-chiefs point of view and verdict on contentious issues? To my recollection, you have never deemed it fit to consult me on any matter. In this connection, I would further like to refer to our meeting on the eve of Eid in which group Editor Daily Jang was also present and we discussed the fallout of the story printed a few days earlier in the News ( again without consulting me, I might add ) which was perceived to be damaging to our national interest and elicited severe reaction by the Government. It had been agreed that we would contact relevant Government functionaries and arrange to meet with them to discuss the issue and also convey our point of view. Regrettably, you chose not to go to Islamabad and attend the meeting even though this had been clearly agreed. You even rebuffed senior Government officials who contacted you on the phone by hanging up on them. Sham Sahib and I left several messages with your assistant but again, you chose not to take or return our calls.

I would also like to take this opportunity to point out again, that it is a frequent complaint that you do not interact with people. Not only have senior Government officials protested that you are inaccessible to them, but even your own staff complains that you are hardly available for meetings, guidance and discussions.

I must convey my disappointment to you at all these issues, as I must convey my disappointment with the lack of general progress in the improvement of the News. The number of mistakes and blunders being committed, failure to follow agreed journalistic ethics - as pointed out to you from time to time by EMD have all resulted in financial set backs as well as loss of credibility for the News. I have only recounted some of the problems besetting the Jang group. It is quite evident that matters are not proceeding as we had agreed. However, before I make up my mind, I would like to hear your point of view.

I look forward to hearing from you about the serious issues that I have raised above and any solutions that you may propose.

Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman

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REFERENCE: Why Are We Killing Ourselves? Anas Malik March 2, 2002 http://www.chowk.com/interacts/5252/1/0/a


Mr. Shaheen Sehbai, Group Editor, The News International - Jang Group of Newspapers is very fond of quoting Foreign Press particularly when Foreign Press [Pro Zionist] is negative on President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari and PPP. Shaheen Sehbai while quoting The New York Times: “The problems in Afghanistan have only been compounded by the fragility of Mr. Obama’s partner in Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari, who is so weak that his government seems near collapse.” The Washington Post in a report by two correspondents said: “Zardari's political weakness is an additional hazard for a new bilateral relationship...The administration expects Zardari's position to continue to weaken, leaving him as a largely ceremonial president even if he manages to survive in office.” The report in The New York Times was filed by journalists Peter Baker, Eric Schmitt, David E Sanger, Elisabeth Bumiller and Sabrina Tavernise from Islamabad, Washington and New York while in the Washington Post Karen DeYoung from Washington and Pamela Constable from Islamabad contributed to its report. Both newspapers referred to President Zardari's increasing weakness in the context of the new Afghan policy being prepared by President Obama, which will be announced on Dec 1. REFERENCE: Obama administration fears Zardari collapse WASHINGTON (Shaheen Sehbai)Updated at: 1525 PST, Monday, November 30, 2009 http://thenews.jang.com.pk/updates.asp?id=92494

Seven years ago Mr Shaheen Sehbai was also quoted in The New York Times as well his Editor in Chief i.e. Mir Shakil ur Rehman, and do note what Mir Shakil ur Rehman had to say about the Patriotism and Loyalty of Shaheen Sehbai with Pakistan.

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 1 (Reuters) -- The editor of a leading English-language daily said today that he had resigned, citing pressure from the government after the newspaper reported a link between the prime suspect in the killing of Daniel Pearl and an attack on India's Parliament in December. India blamed Pakistan-based militant groups for the attack, but the Pakistani government denied any link. The editor who resigned, Shaheen Sehbai, said that after publication of the article in his paper, The News, the owner and editor in chief, Mir Shakeel ur-Rahman, was pressed by the government to dismiss him and three other journalists. ''I was told by my editor in chief that he had been asked to sack four journalists -- myself, Kamran Khan, Amir Mateen and Rauf Klasra,'' Mr. Sehabai said in an online interview. ''He did not name who had said that, but he told me to go and see the I.S.I.,'' Pakistan's intelligence service. REFERENCES: A NATION CHALLENGED: SUSPECTS; Kidnapping Suspect Bears Sign of Militancy Elsewhere By DOUGLAS JEHL Published: Saturday, March 2, 2002 Editor Forced to Resign http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/02/world/nation-challenged-suspects-kidnapping-suspect-bears-sign-militancy-elsewhere.html

The article, Mr. Rahman wrote in the letter dismissing Mr. Sehbai, ''was perceived to be damaging to our national interest and elicited severe reaction of the government.'' He also accused Mr. Sehbai of violating standard procedures. Mr. Rahman and government officials were not immediately available for comment. Mr. Sehbai and one of the reporters, Mr. Klasra, have recently complained of harassment by intelligence agencies, a colleague said. While Pakistan's news media enjoy relative freedom, some newspapers have been forced to remove staff members after complaints from the government or intelligence agencies. REFERENCES: A NATION CHALLENGED: SUSPECTS; Kidnapping Suspect Bears Sign of Militancy Elsewhere By DOUGLAS JEHL Published: Saturday, March 2, 2002 Editor Forced to Resign http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/02/world/nation-challenged-suspects-kidnapping-suspect-bears-sign-militancy-elsewhere.html

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SHAHEEN SEHBAI'S DOUBTFUL LOYALTY WITH PAKISTAN AND READ WHAT HE HAD SAID TO "The Times of India" ABOUT PAKISTAN ARMY AND ISI.
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Exposing the Pakistani establishment's links with terrorists can be a hazardous job. It cost Daniel Pearl his life, and Shaheen Sehbai, former editor of 'The News', a widely-read English daily in Pakistan his job. Fearing for his life, Sehbai is now in the US He speaks to Shobha John about the pressure on journalists from the powers-that-be in Pakistan:

Q. Is it true you had to quit because a news report angered the government?

A. On February 16, our Karachi reporter, Kamran Khan, filed a story quoting Omar Sheikh as saying that he was behind the attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, the Kashmir assembly attack and other terrorist acts in India. Shortly after I am, I got a call on my cellphone from Ashfaq Gondal, the principal information officer of the government, telling me that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had intercepted the story and I should stop its publication. I told him I was not prepared to do so. He then called my newspaper group owner/editor-in-chief, Mir Shakil ur Rehman in London and asked him to stop the story. Rehman stopped it in the Jang, the sister newspaper in Urdu but could not do so in The News as I was unavailable. The next day, all editions of The News carried the story. It was also carried by The Washington Post and The International Herald Tribune the same day, as Kamran also reports for The Post. On February 18, all government advertising for the entire group was stopped. On February 22, Rehman rushed to Karachi and called a meeting at 10 p m. He told me the government was very angry at the story. He said he had been told to sack four journalists, including myself, if the ads were to be restored. He asked me to proceed to Islamabad to pacify the officials. Sham informed us that he had contacted the officials and was told by Anwar Mahmood, the information secretary that the matter was now beyond his capacity and we will have to see the ISI high-ups to resolve it. I was told to go and see the ISI chief in Islamabad and also to call Anwar Mahmood on Eid and improve my 'public relations' with him.

I left the meeting with the firm resolve that I would neither call nor meet anyone, even at gunpoint. Sham, however, left for Islamabad to meet the officials. His meetings were unsuccessful. From my sources, I learned that the ISI and the government were not prepared to lift the ban unless I gave them specific assurances. If I refused, there may be trouble for me as the owner was already under pressure to fire me and the other three journalists. On February 27, I took a flight out of Karachi to New York. On February 28, I received a memo from my owner accusing me of policy violations. In reply, on March 1, I sent in my resignation.

Q. Is the ISI still keeping a close watch on journalists after Daniel Pearl's killing?

A. The ISI has been a major player in domestic politics and continues to be so. That means it has to control the media and right now, it is actively involved in doing so. Pearl's murder has given them more reasons to activate the national interest excuse.

Q. Is there a sense of desperation within the Pakistan government that it should not be linked in any way to events in India?

A. Yes. That's why when our story quoted Omar Sheikh claiming such links, the government came down hard on us.

Q. Has there been any pressure on the staff of 'The News' to 'conform'?

A. Yes. The News was under constant pressure to stop its aggressive reporting on the corruption of the present government. A few months back, Pakistan International Airlines stopped all ads to The News as we ran a couple of exposes. A major story on the government owned United Bank was blocked when we sought the official version. Intelligence agencies were deputed to tail our reporters in Islamabad.

Q. This is not the first time you and your family have been under pressure, is it?

A. I have been the target of physical attacks in the past too for stories against the government. The first was in August 1990 when I was arrested and detained for 36 hours and falsely charged for drinking, before a judge gave bail. The second time, in December 1991, three masked men broke into my house in Islamabad, ransacked it, pulled guns on my two sons, beat them up and told them, Tell your father to write against the government again and see what happens. In 1995, I was threatened once again and I had to take my entire family away. My newspaper then, Dawn, decided to post me to Washington as their correspondent. This time, I feared that I could be physically targeted again. So I decided to leave the country.

Q. Is the present regime in Pakistan any different from earlier ones with regard to freedom of the press?

A. It has tolerated some freedom under foreign pressure, but the situation is basically the same. Now Musharraf appears to be under pressure to manage the media more effectively in order to manage the October elections and get his supporters elected in the polls. He needs to legitimise his military rule through a political process, which essentially is being rigged from the beginning.

Q. Is your case the first instance of a crackdown on the media by this government?

A. This was the first case of a major financial squeeze on the country's largest media group. It was followed by demands to sack me and other senior journalists and then to change the policy.

Q. How independent will the forthcoming polls be now?

A. They will be as independent as the recently-concluded local bodies polls in which candidates were named by the army and no one else was allowed to win. Candidates for state and national assemblies are now being pre-selected and influential politicians are being pressured, lured or coerced to join Musharrafs supporters.

Q. What is the mood within the Pakistani media?

A. The media is generally quiet and has fallen in line because Musharraf is getting strong support from the US and the West. But elements in the media are very resolute and they will fight back as soon as they see Musharraf losing his grip. The October polls will determine the role of the media as well because if Musharraf fails to 'manage' the elections, his control over the media will be finished.

Q. What do you propose to do now?

A. I will be writing out of Washington for some time and will return to Pakistan around the October polls. My days in Pakistan were very exciting as I maintained a completely independent editorial policy and pursued it to the last day. In the memos written by the owner, he repeatedly complains that I was not consulting him on policies. I had no need to, as he watches his own commercial interests. REFERENCE: The Daily Noose (Interview with Shaheen Sehbai) Publication: The Times of India Date: March 18, 2002 http://www.hvk.org/articles/0302/206.html



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