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.

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