Sunday, May 11, 2014

Jang Group's Obsession with Intelligence Agencies

No Media Company in the world invite Former Intelligence Agencies Chiefs in their talk shows so frequently rather regularly like Pakistani Media and the most funny part is that overwhelming majority of these "Formers" almost comment on every moving thing and most of the time they are so out of touch with reality that viewers instead of gaining something, feel like to throw up. Most of these Former "Gentlemen" forget one thing that "Cold War" is over and their narratives are no more valid in a Post 911 Pakistan but they won't budge and one of the biggest reason are those TV Anchors and Journalists who invite such Bulls in a China Shop and ask them questions which are not relevant to their filed e.g. Ideology of Pakistan, Text Books, History, Culture, Music and last but not the least the "Dynamics of Politics" but these gentleman do comment without even bothering that people have another sources to confirm and authenticate for rubbishing their Cock and Bull claptrap. How many of us in Pakistan know about the working and function of Mossad, CIA, Mossad, SAS or countless others but thanks to our Media and Narcissist "Formers" , we have made our Services and their Function a laughing stock all over the globe and more funnier are the pages on Facebook loaded with Patritotism almost bordering Fascism in their support. Secret means Secret and Intelligence Agencies and their function are secret and they should remain secret but thanks to our "Narcissist Formers" , every damn country which we cannot even locate on the map talks about Pakistan's Security Services.

2012: IN A recent televised interview, a former brigadier of the Pakistan Military Intelligence claimed that Kamran Khan, one of the prominent new anchors in the country, has been on the agency’s payroll since 1991. A few months earlier, journalists Absar Alam and Hamid Mir approached the Supreme Court and complained about alleged corruption in the media. Such stories do raise questions about the efficacy of modern media in empowering their respective societies. It is worth asking if the new media, with its enhanced tools and technology, ensures freer access to information and hence qualitative enhancement of political space in a society? Reference: Peeping Inside A Free Media The Pakistan media industry is touted to be vibrant and fiercely independent. But such a reputation has been built on a shaky foundation by AYESHA SIDDIQA November 5, 2012, Issue 45 Volume 9

Kamran Khan of GEO TV on Military Intelligence Payroll


Kamran Khan of GEO TV on Military Intelligence... by SalimJanMazari

Reuters says : Hiring stringers Utmost care must be taken in hiring stringers that we use reputable journalists who are able and willing to adhere to our rigorous standards of accuracy, objectivity, sourcing and freedom from bias. No individual correspondent should hire a stringer without the explicit approval of the bureau chief or editor in charge. We must exercise the utmost caution in hiring ad-hoc stringers for individual stories. Preference in hiring stringers should be given to professional journalists whose skills meet our standards. Bureaus should not hire non-journalists as stringers without the explicit approval of the regional managing editor and the relevant specialist editor. Under no circumstances should we hire officials of a government or local authority, members of the armed forces or police and intelligence services or public relations employees to work as stringers. Stringers must be briefed on our standards of accuracy, objectivity, sourcing and freedom from bias. Regular stringers should be asked to read an abridged version of our Code of Conduct and editorial guidelines. Bureau chiefs should have these documents. Stringers should be asked to acknowledge that they have read the contents and agree to abide by them. All stringers must be told at the hiring stage that Reuters reserves the right to rewrite the material they provide to ensure that it meets our standards and style and to insert material from other reporters as well as background and context to ensure that their reports are suitable for a global readership. Stringers must be told that Reuters expects to use their byline and be given an opportunity to discuss circumstances when this might not be appropriate. Training can be offered to stringers who contribute regularly. Such training is at the discretion of the bureau chief and the regional managing editor. Remuneration for stringers will depend on local and individual circumstances. There will be cases of sensitivity where it could be dangerous for a stringer's identity to be revealed because of possible pressure from a government or another employer. In such cases the identity of a stringer should not be divulged to the authorities, members of the public or any third party outside Reuters without explicit approval from a senior editor, who will escalate as appropriate. It should be normal practice, however, for stringers to identify themselves as working on behalf of Reuters. They should not misrepresent themselves. REFERENCE: Reuters Handbook of Journalism

Kamran Khan of GEO TV on Intelligence Bureau Payroll

Kamran Khan of GEO TV on Intelligence Bureau... by SalimJanMazari

Reuters says : Stories based on a single, anonymous source should be the exception and require approval by an immediate supervisor - a bureau chief, head of reporting unit in a large centre, or editor in charge. The supervisor must satisfy himself or herself that the source is authoritative. Supervisors may pre-delegate approval to experienced senior correspondents working with authoritative sources to ensure we remain competitive on timings. Factors to be taken into account include the source's track record and the reporter's track record. The supervisor may decide to hold the story for further checks if the sourcing is unsatisfactory. For a single source story, the informant must be an actual policymaker or participant involved in the action or negotiation with first-hand knowledge, or an official representative or spokesperson speaking on background. Such information should be subject to particular scrutiny to ensure we are not being manipulated. The supervisor's approval should be noted on the outgoing copy (in the "edited by" sign-off) so that editing desks and editors in charge have confidence that a senior journalist in a position of authority has authorised the story. If desks still have doubts, they should contact the supervisor concerned. REFERENCE: Reuters Handbook of Journalism

Although Mr Mazhar Abbas is a very senior journalist and contributed a lot for the Press Freedom in Pakistan but before and after the Tragic Incident of Hamid Mir, he in several TV Shows often found saying that the Ministry of Information and Intelligence Agencies "Corrupt" the newspaper and also the journalists to use them for their selfish motives. One wonders how would he explain the 2 footages above and several blatant rather brazen act of commission and omission by the Media and certian Journalists themseleves because neither the Media Houses nor some of the journalists (not all)  are some school going children that then can be lured by some Lollipop without their will. If the Intelligence Agencies and the State are to blamed for the rot then it must be shared by certain big names in the media as well 

Abbas Nasir on Journalism Ethics


Abbas Nasir on Journalism Ethics by SalimJanMazari

Here’s my two cents worth. In the absence of rules of law, engagement and a code of ethics for all national institutions, what the present crisis represents is a grab for power in the vacuum that perceptibly exists. Had the ISI unilaterally embraced the recommendations of the Air Marshal Zulfikar Ali Khan Commission report it would have spared itself a lot of criticism it faces today. I have no doubt in my mind and can come up with many examples of where it has used the third degree against dissenters, journalists being no exception. It’s tasked with protecting national security. The jury is still out on how great a job it has done but it has grown unchallenged to assume the status of the sole arbiter of patriotism, even trying its hand at ‘nation-building’. It has significant say in Balochistan where its alleged excesses and those of its surrogate civilian religious bands are not a figment of the imagination. The agency has had no qualms about questioning the capability, integrity and even the patriotism of civilian elected leaders, allegedly using sympathisers in the same media which has earned its wrath today. But any criticism directed at it is blamed on foreign masters, handlers, material gain and every unsavoury motivation under the sun. All intelligence agencies in the world need to work in the shadows. ISI is no different. But even the threat of terrorism is no justification for acting like a law unto itself. Jang group has always been one of the most influential media houses here. The setting up of Geo was the work of an entrepreneurial genius. It became the biggest not necessarily because it was the best but it had the first mover’s advantage. Jang newspaper’s vast newsgathering network and the immediacy of 24x7news allowed it to build a mythical status. Along with this status, revenues came flooding in. The group was a pioneer in the ‘talk show’ genre and experimented successfully in ‘iman’ to ‘inam’ shows ie programming from peddling faith to sponsored prizes. Of course with this success came visions of grandeur; a desire not only to report and comment from an observer’s perch as the media should but to enter the fray a la Murdoch. In its ethos, the group also promotes conservatism a bit like the agency it is at loggerheads with today but, not unlike the agency, wouldn’t mind championing progressive causes for a profit. But its pre-eminence in the number of eyeballs also brought with it a huge amount of arrogance. So much so that it pronounced judgement on who was fit to rule Pakistan and who wasn’t, not even shying away from issuing certificates of patriotism or otherwise. The intense rivalries, in the quest for ratings and revenues, have meant a downward spiral where some sections of the electronic media, one fears, may disappear down the gutter. In the more recent context if Geo has made me shake my head in anger and disbelief at the lack of editorial control leading to on-air anarchy, some of the other channels’ complete abandonment of their journalistic role has made me reach for the vomit bag. REFERENCE: Needless distraction BY Abbas Nasir Updated Apr 26, 2014

Pakistani Media and some Senior Journalists often raise hue and cry over lack of control of civilians over Intelligence Agencies in Pakistan and whenever Civilians try to settle this issue then the same media viciously attack the civilians and start the name calling campaign to the extent of declaring Civilian Government , Traitors and what not, here nuggets from the The News International (Jang Group of Newspapers) in 2008 launched a vicious tirade .

Editorial ISI fiasco Monday, July 28, 2008 As the key decision-makers jetted their way towards the US, they left the country in a state of confusion by first issuing an ill planned, sort of arbitrary, notification to place the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) under the interior ministry and then hastily clarifying its intent in a press release issued very late in the night. The confusion did not end just there, and now it appears that the initial decision to place the intelligence agency under the control of the interior ministry has been reversed. The fact that a second press release had to be issued a few hours after the initial story that the ISI had been placed under the interior ministry, (the second one) saying that the intelligence agency was already under civilian control because its chief reported to the prime minister may have to do with negative feedback but also suggests some level of confusion and an apparently ham-handed attempt to resort to some type of damage control. As for the government’s clarification and eventual reversal, it needs to be pointed out that under the old arrangement, where the agency would report to the prime minister through the defence or cabinet division, the wide perception among most people was that it tended to be an institution unto itself and very much under the control of the army chief, who may or may not have had a good working relationship with the executive. To that extent, the transfer to the interior division would have been beneficial simply because the person who heads this ministry is supposed to be any government’s point-man, so to speak, as far as law and order is concerned. The sudden, literally overnight, reversal of the decision also highlights the fact that certain institutions in the country seem to most jealously guard their control over the state’s intelligence apparatus. PPP chief Asif Ali Zardari said after the decision was made public that the move will improve the image of the military, since in the past it had received much flak for being the sponsor of devious doings and of pursuing a foreign policy independent of the elected government. However, there is one valid criticism of the decision and this is that placing the agency under the control of the interior ministry may make it even more vulnerable to being misused to suit a government’s political and ulterior ends. Having said that, as pointed out already it is imperative that all the state’s intelligence-gathering institutions be controlled by civilians eventually and be answerable to parliament. This is because the ISI and the IB have often been accused of in fact working to undermine elected governments. To this effect, the remarks of both the interior and defence ministries made to the Supreme Court in 2006 (while a habeas corpus hearing into some citizens who had disappeared was being conducted) that neither exerted any command over the ISI are instructive. The key is for the ISI and also the IB to be made answerable to parliament, and that their roles be restricted to within the ambit of the Constitution and focused on gathering information and intelligence on those involved in terrorism — and not to harass on innocent citizens or a government’s political opponents. The misuse of agencies to spy on politicians must end but it should also not be handed over to unelected politicians to use it for their own political ends. The ISI in particular is seen by many as a state within the state, pursuing its own agenda. This perception needs to be corrected. While there are questions over whether the Interior Ministry control can cut it down to size, the effort should be to keep the country’s most notorious agency on a tight leash, under existing civilian control. How it works out in practice will depend on the competence and collective wisdom of our ruling political class. REFERENCE: Editorial ISI fiasco Monday, July 28, 2008

Intelligence Agencies, Parliament & Judiciary - 1 (Dawn News)


Intelligence Agencies, Parliament & Judiciary... by SalimJanMazari

It was Zardari’s decision to control ISI by Tariq Butt Tuesday, July 29, 2008  ISLAMABAD: The three influential government leaders — Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, PPP Co-chairman Asif Zardari and Adviser to the PM on Interior Rehman Malik — took the decision to place the premier spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, under the interior ministry, reliable sources said. “The entire cabinet was unaware of the major decision,” a senior political source close to the cabinet told The News. He rather said it was Zardari, who decided to place the ISI under complete civilian control, “and Gilani and Malik just tried its implementation, having the official capacities.” Since the cabinet was not in the loop, the question of any discussion on the issue even among a select group of ministers did not arise, the source said. The PPP leaders and ministers admit that the lack of consultations in which all the pros and cons of the decision would have been reviewed led to the colossal loss of face and faux pas. “We will take a long time to overcome the myriad of misunderstandings and misgivings that have crept up between the powerful players,” one of them said. Other sources say that the abortive attempt to put the ISI under the interior ministry, that created a storm in Rawalpindi, was meant to actually give its control to Zardari “as Rehman Malik is his most trusted person in the government.” Not only the senior PPP leaders and the entire cabinet were kept in the dark, no partner of the ruling coalition was taken on board in this decision. The PML-N has a sullen face and has no contact with the PPP for quite some time due to the stalemate over the issue of the restoration of the deposed judges. The Awami National Party and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam were also not consulted in this connection. While the PPP’s recent attempt to take control of the spy agency has boomeranged, its first bid made under the then prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 1989 was carried through to the extent that she was successful to appoint a retired officer, once close to her father, Lt-Gen Shamsur Rehman Kallue as the ISI chief. Successive elected rulers of Pakistan have been concertedly struggling to take charge of the elite agency. Such bids always created bad blood between the civilian governments and the military establishment. The latest attempt reflected the mindset and approach of the civilian rulers to have the ISI on their side on the premise that they have been mandated to make and implement key domestic and foreign policies of the state and that the agency can do wonders in the realisation of their political agenda. Benazir Bhutto, just three months after assuming the office of the prime minister, had shown the door to the then ISI chief Lt-Gen Hameed Gul and appointed the first-ever retired military officer Gen Kallue in his place. In his first tenure, Nawaz Sharif appointed Islamist Lt-Gen Khawaja Javed Nasir as the ISI chief. He, however, was unable to save or prolong the life of Nawaz government. Instead, the appointment had estranged the Army. In his second tenure, Nawaz nominated Lt-Gen Ziauddin Butt as the director-general of the spy agency. He also failed to delay or prevent his ouster by Pervez Musharraf. The present ISI chief Lt-Gen Nadeem Taj was appointed to this position by President Musharraf. He had earlier served as the military secretary to the president for years. REFERENCE: It was Zardari’s decision to control ISI by Tariq Butt Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Intelligence Agencies, Parliament & Judiciary - 2 (Dawn News)

Intelligence Agencies, Parliament & Judiciary... by SalimJanMazari

Looking for the head that will roll in ISI blunder BY Tariq Butt Thursday, July 31, 2008  ISLAMABAD: Who – amongst the secretaries of cabinet, interior, defence and principal secretary to the prime minister – will be made a scapegoat for the blunder of shifting the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) under the interior ministry's control if Adviser Rehman Malik's declaration to roll some heads is translated into action? Despite repeated efforts, the cabinet, interior and defence secretaries were not available to comment on whether a formal summary, as required to run the business of the state, was moved and routed through different mandatory channels to implement the political decision. “Apart from the involvement of the ministries of interior, defence and cabinet, the Joint Services Headquarters (JSH) was also required to be consulted over the move to transfer the ISI's control to the interior ministry," an official told The News. He said that the views of the defence ministry and the JSH would have been known had they been forwarded a proper summary. In this specific case, he said, the proposal was to be prepared by the interior ministry under the directions of the prime minister or the adviser according to the rules of business. It was required to be sent to the defence ministry from where it was supposed to go to the JSH. Then, it was to land in the Cabinet Division for the approval of the federal cabinet or the prime minister. The official said that bypassing this route, the prime minister had the authority to order the Cabinet Division to prepare a case for his approval if there was an urgency to implement a decision. He may himself approve it or place it before the cabinet for its sanction. The prime minister often conveys his orders to different ministries through his principal secretary, but at times he himself phones the secretaries and calls them to his office to do certain official things. What was haphazardly followed in the case was that the Cabinet Division notified the change of control of the ISI in consultation with or at the behest of the interior ministry, meaning Rehman Malik or Syed Kamal Shah, throwing aside the other necessary channels. The defence paraphernalia was not taken on board. Defence Secretary Kamran Rasool is currently abroad and will be back in Pakistan after August 1. The officiating defence secretary, Maj-Gen Mir Haider Ali Khan, did not call back. The official said had the defence ministry or the JSH been consulted by the interior ministry and the Cabinet Division in writing, the move to transfer the ISI's control would have been killed in infancy because they were going to oppose it and inform the relevant military authorities about it. He said if Rehman Malik was to find out the scapegoats and roll their heads, the easy prey could be either the interior secretary, cabinet secretaries or the principal secretary, or all of them who were actually involved in preparing the order that had to be withdrawn within a few hours of its issuance. Informed circles say that all these secretaries acted only after they were directed by their political bosses to do so. The actual order came from PPP Co-chairman Asif Zardari. In the beginning on the day of the mess-up, Zardari had stated that moving the ISI under the Interior Ministry’s control was to save the military from a bad name. But a few hours later, he said the decision had been reversed to avoid confrontation between the institutions of state. These quarters say that it was a political, not bureaucratic, decision taken at the highest level that boomeranged. Therefore, they add, a scapegoat may be found from the political lot. But, a senior official said, it was a fact that Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah was very happy when the notification was issued for the reason that ISI would now come under his direct control and report to him. REFERENCE: Looking for the head that will roll in ISI blunder BY Tariq Butt Thursday, July 31, 2008

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