Tag - ISI

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Afghanistan says Rabbani’s killer was Pakistani
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Rabbani’s killer was Pakistani, Afghan Claim
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APC issues unanimous declaration, calls for unity
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Clearing Air: An Interview With Wajid Shamsul Hassan
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Who Framed Wajid Shamsul Hassan?
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Is Pakistan Army Anti-America? Not really….

Afghanistan says Rabbani’s killer was Pakistani

KABUL: Afghanistan said on Sunday that the suicide bomber who assassinated Afghan peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani was a Pakistani national.

Tensions between the neighbours have been rising amid allegations from Afghan officials that Pakistan and its powerful ISI intelligence agency masterminded Rabbani’s assassination and are seeking to destabilise Afghanistan.

An investigative delegation established by President Hamid Karzai said evidence and a confession provided by a man involved in Rabbani’s killing on Sept. 20 had revealed that the bomber was from Chaman and the assassination had been plotted in Quetta, both on the Pakistani side of the border.

“It proves that the assassination of Professor Rabbani was hatched in Quetta and the man who carried out the suicide bombing is a Pakistani national,” the delegation, led by Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, said in a statement issued by the presidential palace.

“The documents and evidence in hand, details of other accomplices and their phone numbers have been handed over to Pakistan to make arrests,” it said.

Rabbani’s killing derailed efforts to forge dialogue with the Taliban to end the 10-year war, and raised fears of a dangerous widening of Afghanistan’s ethnic rifts.

The High Peace Council, which Rabbani headed, reiterated earlier comments by Karzai that negotiations should continue, but with Pakistan, rather than the Taliban.

Rabbani’s killer was Pakistani, Afghan Claim

Tensions between the neighbours have been rising amid allegations from Afghan officials that Pakistan and its powerful ISI intelligence agency masterminded Rabbani’s assassination and are seeking to destabilise Afghanistan.

An investigative delegation established by President Hamid Karzai said evidence and a confession provided by a man involved in Rabbani’s killing on Sept. 20 had revealed that the bomber was from Chaman and the assassination had been plotted in Quetta, both on the Pakistani side of the border.

“It proves that the assassination of Professor Rabbani was hatched in Quetta and the man who carried out the suicide bombing is a Pakistani national,” the delegation, led by Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, said in a statement issued by the presidential palace.

“The documents and evidence in hand, details of other accomplices and their phone numbers have been handed over to Pakistan to make arrests,” it said.

Rabbani’s killing derailed efforts to forge dialogue with the Taliban to end the 10-year war, and raised fears of a dangerous widening of Afghanistan’s ethnic rifts.

The High Peace Council, which Rabbani headed, reiterated earlier comments by Karzai that negotiations should continue, but with Pakistan, rather than the Taliban.

“For the groups that are tired of conflict and want to end the killings and destruction inside the country, peace efforts must continue,” the council said in a separate statement issued late on Sunday.

“But because of those who hide in Pakistan with no known address, who send killers (to Afghanistan), we must negotiate with Pakistan instead.”

Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets of Kabul on Sunday to condemn recent shelling of border towns by Pakistan’s army and accuse the ISI of involvement in Rabbani’s killing.

APC issues unanimous declaration, calls for unity

ISLAMABAD: The All-Party Conference (APC) which was convened in Islamabad at the behest of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has issued a unanimous declaration in which all the various parties called for unity in light of the recent increase in pressure on Pakistan by the United States.

Among the issues that the declaration has put forward, include a new foreign policy, better relations with Pakistan’s neighbours and a peaceful resolution to the war in Afghanistan.

The APC rejected all allegations that have been leveled against Pakistan by the United States including alleged links between the ISI and the Haqqani network.

The resolution also gave full support to the armed forces of Pakistan and stated that they are the defenders of the country’s sovereignty.

A committee has now been formed which will review and implement the resolution put forward during the APC meeting

Clearing Air: An Interview With Wajid Shamsul Hassan

The ISI had plotted a stint to malign the President of Pakistan and that is why the Pakistani High Commisioner to Britain was intercepted in Geneva while retrieving documents for the National Acountability Bureau from Swiss attorneys. He was accompanied by Dr. Danishwar Malik of NAB and they were performing a government duty but they were represented as acting criminally by a GEO TV reporter. The following interview of Wajid Shams-ul-Hassan was conducted one day before the Supreme Court decision on NRO..

Ibrahim Sajid Malick (ISM): What were you doing in Geneva?

Wajid Shamsul Hasan (WSH):  I was officially assigned by the Pakistan Foreign Office to accompany NAB Prosecutor General Dr Danishwar Malik to Geneva. Dr Danishwar Malik was dispatched from NAB Islamabad to go to Geneva to collect the cartons lying with the Swiss lawyers.

ISM: What documents did you pick up from the attorney and why?

WSH:  It was the NAB Prosecutor General who received the closed cartons in my presence and that of Mr. Aftab Khokher, Deputy Permanent Representative at the Pakistan’s Geneva Mission. Since the boxes were closed I do not know the nature of things inside the boxes.

ISM: Why did you not respond to Geo stringer?

WSH: I was intercepted by two hoodlum looking guys in a Geneva street. They did not identify themselves as such and I was not obliged to respond to thug-looking strangers.

ISM: Is it your intent to destroy these documents? If not, can they be used against President Zardari? Are you willing to make them available to Pakistani judicial system?

WSH:  Boxes sent in sealed diplomatic bags from Geneva by the Pakistan’s Permanent Representative’s office are in the safe custody of Pakistan High Commission in London. These sealed diplomatic bags containing the boxes were inspected by the NAB Prosecutor General Dr. Danishwar Malik on his arrival in London from Geneva. There was no intent and there is no question of either tampering with them or destroying them. They will be shipped as and when NAB makes arrangements. As regards their

ISM: NAB Chairmain Naveed Ahsan has asked that you send the Swiss court record of cases against President Zardari as soon as possible through diplomatic bag and special courier. Will you comply?

WSH: Yes. Those boxes lying in the Pakistan Embassy in London are NAB’s property. I have requested the NAB authorities to assign Dr Danishwar Malik who brought them here, to come over to London, collect them after inspection and conform if these were subjected to any tampering or foul play as was alleged by a section of Pakistani media. I have requested that either NAB Prosecutor General Dr Danishwar Malik or any person authorized by NAB is sent to London as a special courier to inspect those boxes. Pakistan High Commission will make arrangements accordingly for their shipment in the same sealed diplomatic bags they were sent to London from Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan’s Permanent mission in Geneva.

ISM: Did you benefit from NRO? If not, why is your name in the list of NRO beneficiaries?

WSH: I did not benefit from NRO. It was clarified by the Minister of State for Law Mr. Afzal Sindhu, that in his press conference while announcing the list of NRO beneficiaries my name was mentioned inadvertently as a mistaken identity since a name similar to mine was in the list. My position was repeatedly clarified in the media.

However, I regret that despite clarifications a particular group in the media continues to mention my name as a beneficiary although its channel Geo was the first to highlight Law Minister’s clarification. Obviously this could mean there is a sinister method behind this madness. And, the conspiracy to destabilize the democratic government is gaining strength.

ISM: Do you know a gentleman name Naseer Malik in Geneva? Why was he so interested in embarrassing you?

WSH:  Most certainly not.

ISM: Why do you think ISI’s Joint Counterintelligence Bureau rep who works within your premises provided your travel information to Geo’s stringer?

WSH: I do not think that any one working in my Mission was involved in ‘leaking’ the information of my travel. Any way my visit was not clandestine or mysterious as everything was on record.

ISM: Why were you framed? Who gains from it?

WSH:  I feel that I have been made a victim of a scandalous campaign by Bhutto-haters with the sole objective of targeting President Zardari. By hitting me they think they weaken Mr. Zardari.

ISM: Why do you think Pakistanis who support democracy are muzzled?

WSH: It is a game of lethal perceptions let loose in a section of the media with an agenda of their own to destabilize and derail democracy.  Since they could not manage an electoral defeat to keep PPP out of power, they now want democracy to be murdered judicially. This is amply reflected in their comments that whatever the decision of the Supreme Court, the recent ‘disclosures’ by the media shall have to be taken notice of. I am confident that Pakistan’s judiciary has come of age through toughest trial; it won’t play to the media gallery and shall act on merit. President Zardari has been a victim of political vendetta for more than ten years. The pudding of vendetta has been tasted by the Chief Justice himself who was made a similar victim of reference of fabricated charges by President Musharraf. Had there been no change in government General Musharraf would have made him rot in detention. He was brutally maligned by that section of the media who dance to the tunes played by their masters who had supported Musharraf in his action against the Chief Justice.

Who Framed Wajid Shamsul Hassan?

Before I write this column here is my disclaimer: Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Pakistan High Commissioner in the UK was editor of The Daily News, Karachi- where I launched my journalism career in 1986. He was my mentor and I am still obliged to his kindness, and guidance. However, I have not benefited from his political positions or government assignments.

Pakistan’s real rulers- the men in khakhi uniforms with stars on their shoulders and all type of fancy color combo badges on their chest, have decided to muzzle the nation again. Because of the direct orders from their American masters this time around they are being subtle about this sudden change.

Instead of removing the elected President Asif Ali Zardari in the middle of the night, they have clipped his wings in broad day light. The Pakistani President practically has no power left. His office is just symbolic; his sway is meaningless.

After the Kerry-Lugar Bill fiasco, the Pakistani envoy in Washington DC, Hussain Haqqani, was ridiculed and sidelined. As a representative of President Asif Ali Zardari he, like the president, has lost influence.

mosque-and-military

I have been critical of Ambassador Haqqani as well.  I had questioned how he could reconcile the intellectual Haqqani who has written one of the most credible books on Pakistan’s recent history, “Between Mosque and Military”, a detailed expose on Pakistan’s military mafia and how they have used Mullahs and mosques; and, the Ambassador Haqqani who must represent Pakistan’s civilian government along with that same army.  My fears that you can’t reconcile darkness and light, truth and lies, monsters and victims, proved true.

The second victim of the ISI onslaught was Pakistan’s envoy in London, Wajid Shamsul Hassan.

Many TV journalists including yours truly were made aware that something big was about to happen in Geneva. They were told by army types working in embassies around Europe and the US that their all expense paid trip to Geneva will be a career changing story.

Army and ISI representatives in London, Geneva, Washington DC, and Bern were very actively cajoling credible TV journalists to visit Geneva for an ‘on the spot coverage,’ without explaining what it was for.  When no professional journalist agreed, they brought an unknown stringer for Jang from the Italian city of Carpi on an all expense paid trip to Geneva. Jawaid Kanwal- the stringer had never done a TV news package and the Geo team in Karachi assembled, edited and produced the entire segment with the b-roll that he had sent.

The gentleman who was the liaison in Europe is a known mid level ISI representative in Geneva who is also an office bearer of PML-N, Naseer Malik (owns and operates a local liquor store). He called TV correspondents several times to persuade them to come over with a camera person. Naseer Malik knew exactly what time Wajid Shamsul Hassan will arrive; he knew what type of car he will be using; he knew the license plate of the car.

bhutto_wajid

The stringer, Jawaid Kanwal, who claims to have a PhD in photography from University of Lahore ( I checked again and no one offers a PhD in photography in Pakistan), walked away famous and wealthier. He simply fell pray to a campaign launched by ISI’s Joint Counterintelligence Bureau. This group of spies is responsible for the surveillance of Pakistani diplomats abroad.

I am not sure if Wajid Shamsul Hasan is guilty of any crime or not; I feel jury is still out. If he has breached law and if the story is accurate than I hope he will resign and face the legal consequences. But I condemn the way he was framed.

In Washington DC and London, diplomatic missions provide an ideal cover and ISI centers are located on the embassy premises. These are the ones that we know of.

But outside the premises of these embassies, ISI operatives often find good cover working closely with the Pakistani community as businessmen. Naseer Malik is a great example. Beside him several very suspicious characters present themselves as journalist because this garb provides freedom of movement. No wonder during press conferences in Geneva whenever Pakistan’s army rule and human rights issues are questioned Naseer Malik is always there in the first row- to disrupt and derail the conversation.

Pakistan’s Mission to the United Nations in Geneva under the leadership of Zameer Akram was front and center in framing Wajid Shamsul Hassan. Zameer Akram is brother of the infamous Munir Akram – former Pakistan diplomat to the United Nations accused of assaulting a mistress in his New York apartment.

Sources in Intelligence Bureau (civilian intelligence organization of Pakistan) admit that they were blindsided by ISI’s  “Operation Kill Democracy,” but now they have sufficient evidence as to how the media was used to embarrass an envoy and Pakistan’s democratically elected president.

In his many speeches throughout the U.S. former President Pervez Musharraf has been vociferously defending the army and the ISI arguing that they do what all national security apparti do in every country. If that is the case, they at least do so under the guise and sanction of a democratically elected government.  In fact, during Musharraf’s Presidency Pakistan was often ridiculed and maligned for its lack of democratic institutions, frequently characterized as a banana republic; a charge that Musharraf was completely ineffective in responding to.

If Pakistan is to redeem itself in the world and defend its sovereignty from a position of power and credibility it can only do so through democratic institutions. Those who actively seek to undermine those institutions are the real threat to our national security. Indeed, Pakistan’s fragile democracy is still being held hostage by the Army. Hopefully Pakistani people will rise to the occasion, and push the men in boots back to the barracks.  We are now approaching a new era of world governance and without a viable democracy Pakistan will not even have a seat at the table.

Is Pakistan Army Anti-America? Not really….

army

When I advocate reform in Pakistan’s power structure or express hope that democracy will soon hold sway in Pakistan, my critics often label me an ‘American agent.’ Many young Pakistanis also opine that questioning ISI’s role is tantamount to compromising the country’s sovereignty.
Taking a look back at Pakistan’s history, however, exposes the hypocrisy of such assertions.  It was, in fact, during Gen.Zia ul Haq’s rule that the US was allowed to construct five ‘intelligence and recon basses’ in Pakistan. It was under Gen. Musharaf’s rule that Pakistan compromised the security of it’s nuclear assets, allowed drone attacks, handed over Pakistani civilians to the CIA and allowed Blackwater to launch covert operations.
By now we all know about Seymour Hersh article in New Yorker. I have been wary of Mr. Hersch’s unnamed sources and questioned timing of his stories.

When I advocate reform in Pakistan’s power structure or express hope that democracy will soon hold sway in Pakistan, my critics often label me an ‘American agent.’ Many young Pakistanis also opine that questioning ISI’s role is tantamount to compromising the country’s sovereignty.

Taking a look back at Pakistan’s history, however, exposes the hypocrisy of such assertions.  It was, in fact, during Gen.Zia ul Haq’s rule that the US was allowed to construct five ‘intelligence and recon basses’ in Pakistan. It was under Gen. Musharaf’s rule that Pakistan compromised the security of it’s nuclear assets, allowed drone attacks, handed over Pakistani civilians to the CIA and allowed Blackwater to launch covert operations.

By now we all know about Seymour Hersh article in New Yorker. I have been wary of Mr. Hersch’s unnamed sources and questioned timing of his stories.

But Jeremy Scahill who writes for The Nation Magazine is a straight shooter. In his latest article in The Nation journalist Jeremy Scahill has revealed that Blackwater is secretly operating in Pakistan under a covert program that includes planning the assassination and kidnapping of Taliban and Al Qaeda suspects. Blackwater is also said to be involved in a previously undisclosed U.S. military drone campaign that has killed scores of people inside Pakistan. Blackwater operatives have been working under a covert program run by the Joint Special Operations Command, the military’s top covert operations force. The previously undisclosed JSOC operations would mark the first known confirmation of U.S. military activity inside Pakistan.

This was possible because in 2006 Gen. Pervez Musharaf struck a deal with the Bush administration that allows U.S. Special Operations forces from the Joint Special Operations Command to enter Pakistan with the understanding that they were, “following the target.”

Indeed, if you read Pakistan’s short history you will find that our Army has always served America’s interest and its foreign policy has been congruent with US policy in the region. Although our nation’s key decision to stand in America’s camp pre-dates the Ayub regime, it was during our first martial law that Pakistan’s anti-imperialist forces were completely crushed.

America was the clear winner when, on April 17th 1953, Pakistan’s third Governor General Malik Ghulam Mohammad dismissed Prime Minister Khawaja Nazimuddin who had then enjoyed the confidence of the parliament. Mohammad Ali Bogra was appointed to form a government the same day. Looking through declassified documents at the US National Archives you will understand that the main benefactors of the change were always two elements, Pakistan’s army and the US.

Please see blow the US ambassador’s telegram from the embassy in Karachi sent on April 18th, 1953.

Sec-Tel-from-Khi-emb-emmerson18april1953

Two more significant telegrams sent from the US embassy in Karachi clearly indicate that: America was fearful of Pakistan’s left inclined politicians and Ayub Khan was being encouraged to take control ie. “a coup by a military dictatorship”.

I will be adding to more documents here to deconstruct the notion that Pakistan’s army is anti-imperialist. Secondly, I will also continue to question the assertions of many that Pakistan’s Army is truly religious.  It only promoted and protected Islamist elements to serve U.S. interests. Ironically Pakistan’s army also promoted westernized voices in early parts of it history, also at the behest of it’s American masters. A religious bigot like Zia ul Haq was built-up when America wanted to exploit religious sentiments. And, Gen. Musharaf was nurtured as a ‘westernized’ voice when that was the need of the day.  This willingness to be anything the U.S. wants is often observed by Pakistan watchers who say: if America wants a transvestite, the Pakistan army will hurry up and promote ahijra through it’s rank.

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