Monday, January 16, 2012

Mansoor Ijaz & Witnesses VS Hussain Haqqani.

Way Back in 1997: ISLAMABAD, Nov. 26: The Supreme Court received a petition asking the court to send a reference against Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah to the Supreme Judicial Council for "having committed high treason," the Registrar of the Supreme Court confirmed. A well-drafted petition filed by an unknown lawyer, Mr. Asad Tariq, asked the court to void the Judicial Officers Protection Act of 1850 or any other law giving immunity to a judicial officer for being inconsistent with Article 25 of the Constitution. He further asked the court to direct the federal government to file a complaint against the chief justice for "having committed high treason." He contended that the executive-judiciary row had halted economic progress and that the initiation of contempt of court proceedings against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were aimed at ruining the economy. REFERENCE: Petition filed against CJ for `treason' Staff Correspondent DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 29 November, 1997 Issue : 03/48

General Javed Ashraf Qazi says Quran has 40 Chapters

KARACHI, Dec 13 (Online): Federal Education Minister Javed Ashraf Qazi apparently does not know how many \'Siparas\' are there in the Holy Quran. On Wednesday responding a question of TV anchor of a private TV channel morning show, the education minister, who is also retired General of Pak Army and ex-chief of ISI, said that now a student would complete 40 \'Siparay\' of Holy Quran from Class III to VIII in School and now the children would not need to go to \'Madrassas\' for learning the Holy Quran. The anchor surprised over the minister apparent ignorance, asked him how many Siparay they would learn, the minister replied 40 \'Siparay\'. Astonished and surprised over the minister reply, when the lady anchor for the third time said she believed that there were 30 \'Sipara\' in Quran, then Javed Ashraf Qazi shaking his head apologized and corrected himself by saying, \"Oh I am sorry\". End. REFERENCE: Javed Ashraf Qazi does not know how many \'Siparas\' in Quran

ISLAMABAD/LONDON: Siddiq-ul-Farooq, Spokesman and Media Affairs Incharge of Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N in Islamabad, was taught a lesson in typical ISI style on Oct 29, one day after former ISI Chief and current Railways Minister, General Javed Ashraf Qazi, publicly threatened to sort “this guy out.” Farooq was kidnapped, roughed up, beaten with belts, punched and kicked and taken away to a village 30 miles from Islamabad and amid threats of being killed, abandoned after his wallet, money and watch were stolen by army men. He told the South Asia Tribune the attack was ordered by Railways Minister of General Musharraf’s Government, Lt. General Javed Ashraf Qazi, against whom Farooq had filed a reference with the National Accountability Bureau, accusing Qazi of corruption in Railways to the tune of Rs 5 billion in award of contracts and Railways projects. Qazi reacted fiercely to the charges and told the ARY Gold TV channel he will “sort this guy out.” The next day Farooq was picked up and given a sound beating for accusing a former ISI chief of corruption. Then BBC Urdu Service in London interviewed General Qazi and asked him about Farooq’s charges. What Qazi said was shameful and pathetic, unbecoming of any person with even a modicum of decency. He spoke like a typical Lahori hoodlum, a mafia chief, accusing Farooq of being “a liar, a dog and a Mr. Nobody wandering on the streets.” His interview was a shame for the entire nation, specially the Pakistan Army, as it revealed not only the caliber of a retired general, it exposed Qazi as a man who had not been to any civilized institution where he would have learnt some manners of public speech, specially when millions of people were listening to him on a popular radio station. Click here to hear the Qazi Interview with BBC Urdu Service In hitting out at Farooq, Qazi, a sitting cabinet member and a retired General, should have displayed some manners and civil behaviour. Instead of showing to the world that Farooq was a bad guy, his interview proved that he was the rogue, drunk with power and using such language on international radio which no one would even think about using in public for any human being. Javed Qazi is the same person who has been involved in the Rs 25 billion Golf Course Project near Lahore, details of which have been kept a secret from the Pakistani people and the nation “in the supreme national security interest.” He is also the same person who accommodated the infamous father-in-law of General Pervez Musharraf’s son Bilal in the Peshawar-Rawalpindi Motorway project in which project owner himself admitted that the father in law had been given a 2 per cent commission. In his interview Qazi was asked whether he ever thought of resigning, as it the custom, when charges were leveled against him. “I am not a mad man to resign when any dog barks at me. If we start resigning then no body will be left in the cabinet,” was his arrogant answer. Qazi once again threatened to fix Farooq after the Accountability Bureau completes an enquiry into the charges and exonerates him. “Then we will fix him,” he said on BBC. When told that Farooq had lodged a Police Report (FIR) against him, he scoffed at the idea in a scornful way saying: “Koi FIR, Shef IR Nahin Hui” as if he controlled the legal and Police system and was sure that no one could dare to lodge a report against him. Qazi also said the charges were made against him because he had applied for a Senate ticket and people were scared that he would win the Senate election. Political analysts were wondering about the quality of the proceedings of the next Senate with people like Javed Ashraf Qazi occupying key positions in it under the General Musharraf’s supervision. REFERENCE: Shame on You, Minister Javed Ashraf Qazi Issue No 16, Nov 4-10, 2002 | ISSN:1684-2075 | Special SAT Report

ISLAMABAD: One hundred and Fifty acres of prime Canal Road land in Dharampura, Lahore is being mysteriously turned into a Golf Course for Railway Executives under the controversial Railways Minister, Javed Ashraf Qazi, and not a soul has been told why and how he has been allowed by General Pervez Musharraf to bring the entire government into disrepute. The Golf Course will be part of the Railway Officers Colony, a privilege which no other group in the country has ever enjoyed. Basically 95 per cent of the poor and hard pressed Railways employees would also not be eligible to even enter the Golf Course which will stay a private and privileged resort for the country’s elite. The circumstances under which the contract for the Golf Course and the Officers Colony has been awarded has generated a lot of suspicion and doubt and not even a respected person like former Finance Minister, Dr Mubashir Hasan, has been provided any detail about the prime land being converted into an entertainment resort for a few officials. The Railway authorities claim that they are going to get a Licensing Fee of US $2.5 million besides an extra amount of Rs 15 million as “annual rental” for next 49 years, which shows the land has been leased out for the next 49 years. But nothing more about the deal, secretly done by Javed Ashraf Qazi, is known. Dr Mubashir Hasan has been banging his head against a brick wall to get some more details because as a Lahori resident he is more concerned about his city’s future. He has been stonewalled. His first attempt was to write to the Railways authorities seeking details about the deal. Click to Read his Letter Page1 | Page2 No one answered. He waited and waited and then he wrote to the Public Accounts Committee to seek details.

The PAC of Mr H. U. Beg sent a routine query to the Railway authorities but the arrogant and headstrong Javed Ashraf Qazi refused to share any information until the matter was raised by some members at a PAC meeting on Railways. To the utter shock of every body the Railways Chairman said the project was “a national security matter” and no details could be given “because the Press will make a scandal out of it.” So he was actually hiding a scandal. Dr Mubashir Hasan, in his letter to Secretary Railways Division, Government of Pakistan, had asked some simple questions to ascertain whether the project met the normal standards of transparency and whether equal opportunity was afforded to every body interested.

His questions included:

- The terms drawn by the Railways for pre-qualification of the firms;

- The names of the firms, which were eventually pre-qualified;

- Terms laid down in bid documents on which prices were invited from pre-qualified firms;

- Names of the firms which submitted their bids with the amounts offered by them.

- He sought clarification whether the land measuring 50 acres, presently under Railway Officers Canal Bank Colony, was also part of the original bid document.

- He also wanted to know if tenders were invited on international basis if the intention was to get foreign firms.

- He also demanded a copy of the final documents of the Lease Deed signed with the Malaysian firms.

Dr. Mubashir’s questions were very pertinent as such a huge deal which would yield a Licensing Fee of $2.5 million needed to pass through very stringent Transparency tests and had proper international bidding being done, much more revenues could have been generated. But the since an ex-ISI chief was handling the matter under a military government, who could question the intentions or honesty of the project managers who thought they were above and beyond any accountability. Now the whole scandal has erupted into the face of Javed Ashraf Qazi and his attitude and behaviour has raised a million more questions about the Lahore Golf Course than he would have imagined. REFERENCE: The Rs 25 Billion Golf Course Scandal in Lahore Why is the Railways Minister concealing the facts? By Shahwar Faryal Issue No 16, Nov 4-10, 2002 | ISSN:1684-2075 |

Meanwhile, a petitioner, Advocate Tariq Asad, submitted the names of two witnesses before the commission. The commission had asked all the parties in the case on Jan 9 to submit lists of their witnesses. According to advocate Asad, his witnesses, former ISI director general Lt-Gen (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi and former Intelligence Bureau chief Brig (retd) Imtiaz would brief the commission about the integrity of Mr Haqqani as well as other aspects of his personality. In the application filed under the Legal Practitioners and Bar Council Act, Mr Haqqani requested the PBC to take disciplinary action against Advocate Sheikh and ask him not to attribute or make false, incorrect and provocative statements against the applicant. REFERENCE: Application filed seeking action against Ijaz’s lawyer By Malik Asad and Nasir Iqbal January 14, 2012

Mansoor Ijaz's Attorney Akram Sheikh Attacks Media (16 Jan 2012)

Memogate Commission Zahid Bukhari (Lawyer of Hussain Haqqani) (16 Jan 2012)

Mohammad Malick (GEO TV/The News International) is behind Memogate (Capital Talk – 23rd Nov 2011)

Lahore: As Online reported on Sunday, Mansoor Ijaz, the central character behind the memogate, did not arrive despite his commitment to appear before the Judicial Commission. Without prejudice to his lawyer's statement that he would appear before the Commission on January 24 for recording his statement, Online sources insisted that he would not come to Pakistan at all. However his lawyer Akram Sheikh has said that his client was scheduled to apply for a visa at Pakistani embassy in Switzerland. Now it’s up to the Commission whether it would wait for the central charcater's hearing in person or resort to cross examine available evidence of the case. This originator and sustainer of Memogate, Mansoorr Ijaz, had Pakistani government, Establishment, media and society reeling for clues for two months and in fact, has brought the future of Pakistani political system in question. All eyes are now on the sane eyes of the Supreme Court. The Memogate petitions assume special significance as the defendants in this case have publicly & openly shown reservations about the neutrality of the Supreme Court. Musawar Mansoor Ijaz, introduced himself in his visiting cards & motepads as an Indian Prince, being a direct descendant of Mughal Queen Mumtaz Mahal ( Taj Mahal fame) from his maternal side. His mother was acknowledged as one Princess Lubna Razia Bint Nazir Ijaz, by no less than New York Times in the obituary of his father in 1992. This was the first social placing which Mansoor and his mother Princess Lubna stunned the naïve Americans with. They apparently believed him and even made this elated inheritance as a matter of historical record. Now anyone in Rabwah can tell you who Mansoor’s mother actually was- direct or assumed descendant of Queen Noor Jahan. She reportedly was the direct descendant of founders of Jamaat Ahmedia Pakistan that is correct. Then there are people in USA, who still claim to be directly involved “in the hand off” of Mansoor Ijaz to American CIA to report on Pakistan’s Nuclear Programme since 1990’s due to his Pakistani ancestry and his family background in Nuclear Physics. Mansoor’s father Dr. Mujadid Ahmed Ijaz, was a professor in Nuclear Physics in US when he died of cancer in 1992. It just took ten weeks, a non-issue and a non-paper to reveal how strong Pakistani Constitution and its power centers are. Let’s get to know the man who did it all. He was called Musawer by his parents. He has written over 170 op-eds in leading American and British dailies and has given over 200 TV appearances. According to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of USA “this Firm never filed a return to SEC since 1999 when the filing in USA went Edgar/electronic based”. Prior to that this firm reportedly had only 3 employees and was doing a reported annual turnover of less then One Million Dollars (Equivalent to Pakistani Rupees two crores back then). This Parent Firm doesn’t exist any more, as confirmed by SEC officials in America.Then in year 2000, Mansoor Ijaz broke it to an Indian journalist Ramananda SenGupta at Rediff the following startling facts. “Our business, built around my proprietary CARAT, TRACK and CALOP Systems, today invests across a broad cross-section of industries including oil and gas projects, high technology, infrastructure development and commercial real estate. Crescent Investment Management and its affiliates, Crescent Equity Partners and The Crescent Investment Group, have partners in Europe, the Middle East and Far East.”. Moving on, Musawer M.Ijaz, came out of his startling revelations that Clintons missed at least three selfstyled diplomatic overtures by him to nab Usama Bin Laden from Sudan. This revelation bagged him his only Job as an analyst at Fox TV for an undisclosed sum. This all happened post 9/11. Apparently Mansoor was a paid CEO of this Firm for around four years and the carry home salary of such penny companies in AIM Exchange is generally limited to around 5000 Pounds per month. According to Financial Ombudsman office in London Stock Exchange confirmed that any company with “Crescent Technology Ventures PLC doesn’t exist in their database”. The most interesting part in the Memogate scandal is the fact, that Chief of ISI, Gen Shuja Pasha actually went all the way to London to meet him for four long hours. There were two full weeks between Oct 10 Op-ed article and Oct 22nd meeting at Park Lane between Gen Pasha and The Musawer. The most revealing fact of the matter is how one person, and a perfect conman at that, can send shivers to Pakistani Establishment at the highest national levels sends clear signals to the sandy foundations Pakistan is sitting on. Are we complacent or simply dumb gooves??? Who are we, does anyone know. REFERENCE: Mansoor Ijaz fails to come to Pakistan Monday 16th January, 2012

Brigadier Imtiaz in Front Line - 1 (6 Sep 2009)

Brigadier Imtiaz in Front Line - 2 (6 Sep 2009)

Brigadier Imtiaz in Front Line - 3 (6 Sep 2009)

WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD: The main characters of the famous ‘Midnight Jackals’ operation of the late 1989 Benazir era have now returned to the TV screens and front pages of newspapers to speak about their adventures, blaming everybody else but themselves, and portraying themselves in their new role as great promoters of truth and honesty. Exactly 20 years later, again in a PPP-Zardari era, why and what these characters are doing have turned out to be the greatest political mystery with major political parties and leaders sucked into the storm blaming each other for unleashing these hounds. The multi-million dollar question ‘who is behind this latest sky dive into the past’ remains unanswered. An investigation by The News revealing scattered links and connecting the dots may lead to formation of a composite picture of the people behind this great diversion from the burning issues of the day. A few weeks ago, a top diplomat flew into Dubai and then Islamabad for intensive consultations with the PPP leadership on how to divert the national media and political focus from the so-called Minus-one and Minus-Zardari formulas based on the NRO cases pending in the Supreme Court, the demand for a trial of General Musharraf and the pressure to scrap the 17th Amendment. These issues had dominated Islamabad drawing rooms and were popping up in TV shows and columns every now and then. Several options were discussed, insiders in Islamabad and Washington revealed to The News. The sources of these anti-Zardari campaigns was determined to be some parts of the Rawalpindi establishment, a major part of the media groups backed by the PML-N which was said to be using this campaign to build pressure on Zardari for conceding the changes in the 17th Amendment. It was repeatedly argued that Washington was getting unusually jittery and unsure about political stability in Pakistan and the flow of generous aid, directly from Washington and through the Friends of Pakistan forum, may be delayed or massively cut if this critical issue was not addressed immediately. The US diplomats and even spokespersons of Friends of Pakistan had in so many ways and so many times conveyed the decision that no direct cash aid would be available as long as the credibility of the process reached some acceptable comfort level. The past of the PPP leadership was hounding its present, in a way. Thus the strategists reached the conclusion that it would be a good idea if the past of the alternate leadership, which meant the PML-N and in a roundabout way the military establishment, was exposed so that the aid-givers get the message that whoever ruled Pakistan, the issue of credibility would remain a burning question and thus it would be pointless to deprive the PPP leadership of the much-needed aid on this pretext. It was also agreed that the judges of the restored Supreme Court be entangled in cases challenging their own legitimacy and credibility and thus forcing some of the known radical judges from opting out of hearing the NRO cases. Sacked Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar was also to be activated to stand up and challenge his removal. General Musharraf will also become active and use his millions and his Peerzadas, Malik Qayyums and Saifs to bombard the courts and the media. The deep wound being felt by the presidency was, however, the so-called “positive intervention” of the Pakistan Army chief on the night of March 15 and 16 when President Zardari was forced to restore Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Zardari was on record, on national TV channels and internationally, claiming that Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had become political and would never be restored but he had to eat the humble pie. He would never forget the insult. Another sticking point was that aid for military operations, especially in Swat, Malakand and Fata, was continuing and since it was coming directly to the Army in shape of reimbursements, the political leadership was feeling isolated, somewhat humiliated and not in total control. They were being denied dollars because of the trust deficit but Pindi was enjoying the full trust. This situation was not tenable for some. Thus the strategy evolved had to have several components. One was to deflect the Minus-one formula from Zardari. Officially the term ‘Minus-one’ was recognised by ministers on the media and attacks were launched claiming that no one could remove Zardari because it would invoke the Sindh card. On a subtle note presidential aides and cronies, and even some diplomats, started calling their friends and media supporters bad-mouthing the intelligence agencies and some top echelons of the Army establishment. The anti-Pindi whispering campaign was so vicious that even some foreign journalists in Islamabad were surprised at the madness of such a campaign which could ultimately end up in another Oct 12, 1999-like situation when the sitting Army chief was sacked. The ultimate component of the counter-Minus-one plan was to launch the Daylight Jackals. This would serve several purposes. It would hit at the military establishment, the intelligence agencies and cut the politicians who were now claiming to be larger than life to their size. Resurrecting the Mehrangate scandal would be the ideal tactic. The main character of the 1989 scandal, Brigadier Imtiaz Ahmed would be the best person to stir this hornet’s nest. In his mind Brig Imtiaz, who was close to Nawaz Sharif in the past, was feeling left out after the PML-N staged a comeback in the 2008 elections and formed its government in the Punjab. When everybody else from the past had been accommodated, why not him? That was enough for him to settle some scores. It was time to strike back. He agreed to join the planning and launching of the operation. On Aug 17, 2009, shortly after 12 noon, Brigadier Imtiaz walked into the headquarters of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) in Islamabad to meet its Chairman Ali Arshad Hakeem. A reporter of The News saw him being escorted by the PR personnel of the Ministry of Interior. Enquiries revealed that the Brigadier had been visiting the Nadra for several days. Some of the known media cronies of the presidency in Islamabad had also been seen visiting the Nadra office frequently during these days while at night these guys would meet and plot their strategy in an F-7 house, near Restaurant Civil Junction. A Radio Pakistan executive had also allowed them to use one of the Radio Pakistan annexe in sector H-8 to late night meetings and parties. The background of the Nadra chairman revealed more when The News investigation moved forward. His official introduction at the Nadra web site says: “Ali Arshad Hakeem has a dynamic professional background in both public and private sector organisations of Pakistan as well as abroad, and had joined the Nadra as chairman on August 12, 2008. His versatile experience had brought many value additions and a completely service oriented vision to the Nadra. He not only served in Pakistan’s Central Board of Revenue for ten years at senior management positions but had also been closely involved with business process outsourcing operations, computerisation of land records and automation of customs process in Pakistan. His special interests include data mining for national security & poverty alleviation. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering, Business Administration and Law and believes in an optimistic change through innovation in various business and economic ventures.” But Ali Arshad Hakeem is the son of Major-General (retd) Arshad Hakeem who was very close to Brig Imtiaz during the late 80s, serving in Karachi. Ali Arshad Hakeem also has deep family terms with Faryal Talpur, the sister of President Zardari and thus is very close to Mr Zardari who appointed him as the Nadra chairman, a highly sensitive position in view of the database it controls. Days after his meetings at the Nadra, an important journalist of the official news agency APP started calling TV anchors and media persons on behalf of Brig Imtiaz and each time he handed over the phone to the brigadier who wanted himself on the screens. Many anchors have gone on record to say the brigadier was too eager and ready to spills the beans. One anchor wrote that the brigadier said he wanted to explode a “political nuclear bomb”. That he was going to spill the beans against his own self was irrelevant and unimportant but this time he was trying to compensate the PPP for ‘Midnight Jackals’ against Benazir Bhutto. The other members of the team would call up every friend and ìinterestedî media person to highlight the revelations of Brig Imtiaz and for days and weeks nothing else should be discussed on the media. They were quite successful in achieving that goal, while the presidency would keep on denying that any cell existed in that house on the hill. Factually the cell was not in the presidency. The smell of the rat about his Nadra connections became pungent when The News talked to him on the subject and tried to get his version about why he was frequently going to the Nadra under escort of the Interior Ministry officials, a fact which the Interior Ministry officially denied. He was also asked as to what were his relations with the Nadra chairman. The wily brigadier first denied any relation with Nadra Chairman Ali Arshad Hakeem. That was his first mistake. He said that he had visited Nadra headquarters in mid August to get a new identity card as his old CNIC had expired. He said he chose to visit Nadra headquarters as other Nadra offices meant for this took a long time while Nadra headquarter could issue the card in 24 hours. He said that two days he visited Nadra headquarters for his CNIC and then later on he came to know that CNIC of his wife had also expired so he had to visit Nadra for two more days. His second mistake was that he claimed that he had no relationship with Ali Arshad Hakeem and took appointment to meet him through some other person. Another slip of the tongue was when he praised Ali Arshad Hakeem and said he was an important part of the present government and playing an excellent role in addressing different issues. Sticking to his stand that he had no relations with Ali Arshad Hakeem, Brig Imtiaz said during his meetings no matter of the past was discussed at any stage. However, Ali Arshad Hakeem, whose father Major General (retd) Hakeem Arshad Qureshi remained DMLA Karachi in eighties, when approached by The News admitted that Brigadier Imtiaz was ìa close friend of his deceased father and we have close family relationsî. He called him an Uncle. He confirmed his meetings with Brigadier Imtiaz in mid August in his office in Nadra headquarters but categorically denied discussing any political thing with his uncle Imtiaz. But Hakeem confirmed his close relations with President Asif Ali Zardari. Hakeem confirmed that as his father was DMLA Karachi and Munawar Talpur, husband of President Zardariís sister Faryal Talpur, was member of the Majlis Shura, both the families enjoyed close ties. Talking to The News he said: “Yes, I have close relations with President Asif Ali Zardari who has shown his confidence in me by appointing me as the chairman Nadra.” Hakeem also admitted that he has frequent meetings with President Asif Zardari. But on the record Hakeem only said: “All these meetings are of professional nature and have nothing to do with politics.” After these statements of Ali Arshad Hakeem, when Brig Imtiaz was again contacted on Wednesday he conceded having very close ties with the family of Ali Arshad Hakeem. When he was asked that a reporter had seen him escorted by Interior Ministry officials, Brig Imtiaz denied having any links with the interior ministry and started criticising Interior Minister Rehman Malik. In a direct way he also threatened that he would react “very badly” if this was published. The nervousness and almost panic in the body language and talk of Brigadier Imtiaz revealed more than he did. He did not need a third person to get an appointment with the Nadra chairman, who called him an uncle. He did not need to make repeated visits to collect or get is or his wife’s ID cards. For uncles the cards are delivered at home. What else were these meetings for hours were discussing when cronies of the presidency were also present. When the storm was unleashed by his statements and the military establishment and the agencies were being targeted in the media, abused and humiliated, there was visible jubilation in the presidential camp. One close aide of the president called a TV anchor in Dubai, to claim that now the focus has been diverted from Mr Zardari and at least for a few weeks we will not have sleepless nights. Others who had plotted the scheme to re-launch Brig Imtiaz were celebrating the success in their own domains. An old media manager of the IJI, an important part of ‘Daylight Jackals’, was heard by many congratulating his associates and issuing warnings that much more was about to come if President Zardari was attacked again. The part of the plot to attack the legitimacy of the restored judges has also been launched and sacked CJ Dogar has come on record saying he would challenge his removal in the Supreme Court. The legal team of General Musharraf has started its comings and goings and Justice Malik Qayyum has flown to Jeddah to meet the former president where Interior Minister Rehman Malik had been a royal visitor days ago. The part of the plot to attack the media is yet to be implemented as the operation is not yet over. The Americans, nevertheless, remain deeply suspicious and skeptical. As their first move they have already announced that out of the promised $1.5 billion aid under the Kerry-Lugar Bill, the PPP government will only get about $180 million next fiscal. That would be peanuts and would speak volumes about the confidence the Zardari regime enjoys in Washington and with Friends of Pakistan. Presidency and govt speak: At least three important PPP leaders and spokespersons separately denied having links with Brig Imtiaz controversy or his meetings with the Nadra chairman. Spokesman for the presidency, Farhatullah Babar while talking to The News said that keeping in view the past and credibility of Brig Imtiaz, no person would like to meet him. He said he think that a government officer like Ali Arshad Hakeem would have never met such a person or allow such a person to visit his office. When told that both Ali and Brigadier have confirmed not one but at least four meetings at the Nadra headquarters, Babar said that he couldnít say what might have been discussed in these meeting and only Ali Arshad Hakeem could comment on this. Babar, however, insisted that Ali Arshad Hakeem has no relation with President Asif Ali Zardari and that he is only the chairman of Nadra. Government spokesman and federal Information Minister Qamaruzzaman Kaira when approached by The News and asked to comment on this entire situation insisted that before discussing this situation one must consider the chronology of events. He said that present blame game was started with the speech of the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. Kaira questioned The News that if there had been a cell in presidency or Brigadier Imtiaz was to speak on winking of this cell, why all this did not start before the speech of Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. He said that after Chaudhry Nisarís allegations, one thing led to another, the media gave these allegations full coverage and a series of allegation and counter allegations were hurled at each other. When Kaira was specifically asked about Brigadier Imtiaz’s meetings with Ali Arshad Hakeem at the Nadra headquarters, he did not deny these meetings, saying that many Army officers have been appointed in Nadra and chairman Nadra Ali Arshad Hakeem, being the son of an Army general would have some relations with Brigadier Imtiaz and that if these meetings took place they have no importance with regard to the present blame game. Asked about close relations of Ali Arshad Hakeem with President Asif Ali Zardari, Kaira said: “There are always relations between people like we being in the government have relations with different politicians in the opposition.” When Kaira was asked about any cell in the presidency working for this blame game and maligning the politicians, he said that he himself (Kaira) was the biggest cell. He said that one of his statements made during a public meeting in Lahore was misunderstood. “Why are you asking me about other people when I am admitting that I am the cell,” Kaira said. When asked that whether this blame game is being done to tackle the Minus-one formula, Kaira said that there is no Minus-1 formula whatsoever. On the question that whether presidency has some resentments over the intervention of the Pakistan Army on the night of March 15 in getting restored the deposed judges which sacked by the previous military dictator Pervez Musharraf, Kaira said there was no intervention of any kind from military in that issue. “Your question that there was some military intervention is based on hypothesis so I would not comment on it,” Kaira concluded. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Tuesday the government and the PPP had no connection with the campaign launched by Brig Imtiaz, which, he thought, was apparently a move to protect Pervez Musharraf. He said in an interview: “We do not want to be a party to it, but Pakistan Muslim League-N has started a campaign based on baseless allegations against the PPP. Our party believes in politics of reconciliation ... I urge the opposition party to avoid playing blame-game. Let us sort out issues positively and politically.” According to a report, when he was asked if the people who were behind Brig Imtiazís smear campaign against politicians were the same who launched the ëminus-oneí formula, Malik said he was not sure who was behind it. “But one thing I can say is that the minus-one formula is dead because the nation voted in PPPís favour, giving it the right to complete its tenure.” He, however, hinted that Brig Imtiazís sudden appearance on the political scene might have been patronised by those who wanted to protect the former president. Information Minister Kaira said the recent spate of statements by former intelligence chiefs would only harm national harmony. Kaira said the country already confronted many challenges, and maligning each other would only result in political anarchy. REFERENCE: The return of the Daylight Jackals Shaheen Sehbai with reporting from Mazhar Tufail and Ahmed Noorani Friday, September 04, 2009

Brigadier Imtiaz in DO TOK - 1 (19th Sep 2009)

Brigadier Imtiaz in DO TOK - 2 (26th Sep 2009)

ISLAMABAD, Aug 31 Brigadier (retd) Imtiaz Ahmed, or others like him who served in the security services over the past three decades, may alone know the real reason for re-igniting the controversies regarding their role in the making and breaking of political parties, alliances and governments, and of institutionalising corruption in the country`s politics. It is unclear whether this was his intention but the retired brigadier, known as Imtiaz `Billa (the cat)` in the army circles of yesteryear, has done one great service to this nation. Through his confessions, which he proudly describes as `revelations`, he has revived memories of some of the worst transgressions of the law and violations of norms of decent conduct and human rights by the intelligence agencies. Particularly during the dreaded rule of the dictator Gen Ziaul Haq during the late `70s and early `80s. As these revelations jog one`s memory, one is propelled back in time to the period when Imtiaz Billa`s name had become synonymous with dirty, horrible, tactics in dealing with Zia`s political opponents. During this period, arrests, torture and even death in custody of political opponents dubbed Indian or Soviet agents, had become the order of the day.

As the re-emergence of the debate takes some of us down the memory lane, an unforgettable reference comes to mind when `Imtiaz Billa` came to be known among the communist and other left-wing activists as `butcher`. Tasked by Gen Zia to eliminate anyone or everyone who had even tenuous links with the otherwise tiny communist movement, Billa and his men took upon themselves the task of hunting down those associated with groups viewed as pro-Soviet. Basking in the glory of having earned the support of the United States because of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan, Gen Zia wanted to pursue his own agenda of Islamisation by neutralising all who may have represented socialist or secular ideals. Noted journalist Sohail Sangi, one such victim of the security services, recalls that in those days Imtiaz Billa was either posted in Karachi or, as an ISI colonel, was supervising the anti-communist operation in Karachi and elsewhere in Sindh province. It was during these days in August 1980 that a group of left-wing activists approached a few journalists at the press club in Karachi to seek their help in highlighting the news of death in custody of communist student leader Nazir Abbasi. Abbasi had died during torture as attempts were made to extract information from eight prominent members of the defunct Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP). The news had come out once his body was handed over to his relatives for burial, but the newspapers were unable to publish the reason for his death because of strict censorship. As Professor Jamal Naqvi, one of the arrested communist leaders, later mentioned in his testimony during the famous `Jam Saqi trial`, it was Nazir Abbasi`s death that saved the rest of the detainees from further torture, as they were soon shifted from a military interrogation cell to a Karachi prison. Even during the military trial the actual case that the intelligence agency had framed against Jam Saqi and his comrades was not about their involvement in promoting Soviet communism in the country but of working for the Indian intelligence to topple Gen Zia`s military regime. Prof Naqvi, Jam Saqi and also others like Sohail Sangi, Jabbar Khattak, Kamal Warsi and Shabbir Sher are around to testify to the horrors of that dark period. Then there were many other cases against nationalist leaders like Rasul Bux Palijo or communist activists like lmdad Chandio and scores of others that were all fabricated so that those charged could be kept away from mainstream politics.

Hijacking case

The ISI`s political cell under Gen Zia had acquired a much bigger role with the hijacking of a PIA plane by the so-called Al Zulfiqar in 1981. This incident gave a new lease of life to Gen Zia, as he used it to his advantage to allow the intelligence to round up thousands of political activists in the country – perhaps the biggest crackdown since the mass arrest of political activists to coincide with Mr Bhutto`s hanging. Also, Brig Imtiaz Billa is once again trying to make a big thing of the so-called conspiracy hatched by Ghulam Mustafa Khar to topple Gen Zia`s regime. At one point, noted lawyer and activist Raza Kazim was also implicated in the case, and so were a number of junior officers. In this case too they were accused of having links with RAW. None of them ever denied having worked to remove Gen Zia, but for `Billa` and others the easiest thing was to link them to India to justify their military trial.

`American agent`

Perhaps the most bizarre of such incidents was the arrest of a trade union leader in Karachi, Rafiq Safi Munshi on the charge of being an American agent. A few months ago Imtiaz Billa `disclosed` in a newspaper interview how he trapped an `American agent` who was passing on nuclear secrets in Karachi to his `handlers` at the US consulate. Many may differ with the Rafiq Safi`s style of politics, but the fact is that he was associated with the PPP, and was a prominent leader of the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation`s (KESC) trade Union, and was not working at Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (Kannup) as the retired brigadier had portrayed. Even otherwise, what has Kannup plant got to do with Pakistan`s nuclear weapons programme? But in the martial law period the arrest of any opponent of the military junta was justified, and branding them as Indian or Soviet, or in one case, even American, agent kosher.

Special courts

What helped the junta more was a blanket news censorship and holding of trial in summary and special military courts, whose verdicts were often written before the start of the case proceedings. It will be quite interesting to find out that in many cases the only crime of such left-wing activists, including many professors of Quaid-i-Azam University, was secretly publishing anti-Zia literature. The role of the military intelligence services in former East Pakistan is often described as the worst as in those days hundreds disappeared and popular opinion was suppressed by arresting and trying Awami League leaders as foreign agents. But a close study of Gen Zia`s days, and the powers that were given to people like `Billa`, or the entire ISI under first Generals Ghulam Jilani and then Akhtar Abdur Rehman and finally Lt-Gen Hameed Gul, may show how blatantly they violated the law and human rights.

Probe commission

Now that Brig (retd) Imtiaz has himself decided to spill the beans, perhaps, as many believe, to defame a few more politicians, there are some quarters who argue that democracy will be served better if the politicians collectively demand a high-powered commission to probe into the role of the intelligence services in the country`s politics, particularly during the days of Gen Ziaul Haq and beyond. Politicians may or may not have taken money from the ISI or Intelligence Bureau. But if a former ISI chief, Lt-Gen (retd) Asad Durrani, accepts he distributed money among a large number of politicians, and if Lt-Gen (retd) Hamid Gul boasts of forming an anti-Benazir Bhutto opposition alliance, or if Brig (retd) Imtiaz goes on television to accuse Ghulam Mustafa Khar of taking Rs5 million for his election campaign, then there are enough grounds to initiate proceedings against them and others for subverting the democratic process in the country. Perhaps, the best person to head the commission would be Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan, as he is the one who had approached the Supreme Court to expose the role of the ISI in the country`s politics. And if the present Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani is to be believed about having disbanded ISI`s political wing, it will be fair to assume he will have no objection in a public discussion about the intelligence agencies` dubious political role in the past. At a time when the military is battling forces of religious extremism and militancy, the irony won`t be lost on the leadership that under a different regime it was their own colleagues who tried to crush those representing more tolerant political thought. REFERENCE: Only bean-spilling spooks can tell why By Zaffar Abbas September 1, 2009

1 comment:

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