Questions raised: Pressure on Pasha

Published: December 20, 2011

ISI chief Lt Gen Shuja Pasha is not new to confrontations, and these coming from political quarters should not make him break a sweat at least.

ISLAMABAD: 

The rhetoric against country’s top spymaster has increased in recent days – that too from a number of quarters.

Asma Jahangir, the counsel for former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, said on Monday that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Shuja Ahmed Pasha “should have resigned immediately” after the May 2 raid in Abbottabad that killed Osama bin Laden.

Speaking to the media after the Memogate case hearing, Jahangir said she did not understand why the DG ISI felt the need to travel abroad in order to investigate the matter. Jehangir also questioned Pasha’s meeting with Mansoor Ijaz.

Asma said she was baffled by Pasha’s meeting with Ijaz. “I don’t understand his interest in the Memogate affair,” she added.

“Under whose authority did he go abroad?” she said, referring to the permission Pasha had required from the prime minister. Ijaz, in his reply, had stated that Pasha told him that he was meeting him with the knowledge of the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Petition against Pasha

Communist Party Chairman Engineer Jamil Ahmed Malik has also applied pressure on General Pasha. On Monday he pleaded with the Supreme Court to take action against the ISI chief for allegedly meeting Arab rulers.

Filing a petition in the SC on Monday, Jameel asked the court to remove Pasha, claiming he has lost the right to remain in service after his involvement in the Memogate affair.

Jamil said that, although reports regarding Pasha’s meeting with senior Arab leaders were carried in the press, neither ISPR (Inter Services Public Relations) nor Pasha had contradicted them. In the ‘Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto versus President of Pakistan’ case, the SC had decided that “facts given in newspapers, having not been denied, would be considered as undisputed fact”, Jamil said.

Jamil’s argument, therefore, is that news on the meeting indicated that Pasha and the army were involved in politics, which was contrary to their oath under Article 244 of the Constitution. He added that the SC in a 2004 case had barred all government employees from taking part in politics during service. “…the ISI chief has hatched a conspiracy against an elected government and the president and he deserves a court martial under the Pakistan Army Act, 152,” Jamil said.

Last week, a parliamentarian from the ANP, Bushra Gohar made a similar demand on the floor of the house – demanding that Pasha either resign or be sacked and face an inquiry on the coup plotting charges.

Abbottabad commission abuzz

Most of the political leaders interviewed by the panel have suggested that it should recommend removal of top individuals from the country’s security establishment if it is proved that slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden conveniently lived in Pakistan for years.

The most obvious of these ‘top individuals’ would be spy chief Lt Gen Pasha – given that the incident points in the direction of either an intelligence failure or collaboration.

Last week, top leaders from Awami National Party (ANP), Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) appeared before the body with recommendations by their respective political parties.

Headed by former Supreme Court judge Javed Iqbal, the commission is tasked to probe the exact circumstances surrounding the terror network leader’s killing in a night raid by American commandoes in the garrison city of Abbottabad in May this year.

The commission is currently seeking recommendations from the top leaders of political parties.

“The one question they (body’s members) asked everyone is what should be recommended if bin Laden living in the Abbottabad compound for years is proven,” said one of the political leaders who appeared before the commission last week.

“And we have told them some heads must roll…perhaps at the top. Why not?” said the political leader, who did not want to be named.

Another ‘hot’ issue under discussion revolves around what should be proposed if it was proved that Pakistan’s political leadership had prior knowledge of the raid by the US navy SEALs.

“They asked this but most of the politicians posit that apart from intelligence authorities, no one might have prior knowledge of the raid,” said the leader.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2011.

Reader Comments (47)

  • Nadir
    Dec 20, 2011 - 6:02AM

    Seriously! So much time is being spent with the countries top two generals spending all their time politicking. Its not your job! When was the last time they actually did their jobs? I mean politicans are politicans, they do what they do. But the Army claims to be the most disciplined institution and now they are increasingly controversial individuals who are tarnishing the militarys image themselves. I am sure there is no shortage of officers who could take their place. Right?

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  • bangash
    Dec 20, 2011 - 6:20AM

    Pasha will not resign but no doubt he has been an incredibly incompetent chief of ISI.

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  • Hu Jintao
    Dec 20, 2011 - 6:25AM

    all the anti-state agents have mobilized to attack when they have been exposed big time

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  • Observer
    Dec 20, 2011 - 6:54AM

    Time to remove the gloves – we are now playing by a new set of rules. Actually, they are the oldest rules but have been regularly trampled upon.
    It’s called “The Law”.
    Maulvi Tameezuddin, welcome back.

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  • Khoemeni Required
    Dec 20, 2011 - 6:59AM

    Will Some one ever talk about the Ordinary Pakistani and his/her Interest? All we see is these Big Fellas Looting the country and the Ordinary class Crushed every day. Mr. Pasha will not resign as in the History of Pakistan a very Few people have resigned when they should have.
    We need a Revolution and who will become the Khoemeni of Pakistan should be decided soon rather than leaving it until we lose the Identity we have today.

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  • adeel759
    Dec 20, 2011 - 7:11AM

    Yes he should resign and hand over command to an other capable General, he has failed on both internal and external fronts.

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  • Noor Nabi
    Dec 20, 2011 - 7:27AM

    It is time for Pasha to sail into the sunset. Enough is enough.

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  • Ali Hassan
    Dec 20, 2011 - 7:37AM

    No! He must not resign.

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  • Imran
    Dec 20, 2011 - 7:56AM

    Pasha’s actions require Article 6.

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  • narayana murthy
    Dec 20, 2011 - 8:23AM

    A lawless country with no accountability.

    I would like to go t a coma and wake up after 20 years to see where’s Pakistan! That would make a great plot for a Pakistani film, by the way.

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  • Imran
    Dec 20, 2011 - 8:27AM

    Dear Mr. Pasha!
    If India and the US are behind the insurgencies in Pakistan, and the disappearing balochis, then it seems like you are not doing your job quite well.

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  • azhar
    Dec 20, 2011 - 8:46AM

    thanks ASMA JANNGIR for presenting good ,bold and realistic perspective in court.we are proud of you brave lady.

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  • frank
    Dec 20, 2011 - 8:53AM

    Dear Express Tribune, this is not news, this is opinion. There is a difference and newspapers usually make a clear distinction between the two.

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  • Kazmis
    Dec 20, 2011 - 9:04AM

    Gen Pasha had not done that SIN with out support of his command and other Core command,and he did his duty. He is not a politician to submit resign in this way.

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Dec 20, 2011 - 9:19AM

    Please don’t ask their resignations. Request them to keep serving. They design, not resign.

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  • Mirza
    Dec 20, 2011 - 9:49AM

    In all honesty the Army Chief ,the Air Chief and DG ISI should have resigned after May 2 raid in Abbotabad.The Naval Chief should have followed suit after Mehran Base attack. It would not only have raised their prestige but also set a good example for others in the interest of Pakistan. But then we are made of different mould where self interest always comes first.

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  • Zain Kamran
    Dec 20, 2011 - 10:35AM

    he did good for this country. an ISI chief can never be questioned !
    we all know that this HAQQANI thing is a trap for our government !
    where was Hussain Haqqani some 2-3 years ago ? was he sleeping ?
    we have to do something otherwise this americanization culture will spread in our country’s every department like a cancer….
    people, we have to be ONE!

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  • Sibtay Hasan Hyder
    Dec 20, 2011 - 10:54AM

    Throughout the course of his job in the top intelligence agency of Pakistan, we have seen General Pasha as the most competitive person for defending the respective agency. If the solution exists in the removal of top personals, than government should be prioritized to get resignations from it. But in rational terms, this is not the solution. To protect your sovereignty and territories from external fears, debate and diplomacy is always the peaceful solution. So, we can’t expect Pasha to go and fight with US officials over the Abbotabad or Memo issue. Demanding resignation from him, in the current critical situation, is totally irrational.

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  • Murad
    Dec 20, 2011 - 11:00AM

    Pasha should resign immediately to save ISI from further deterioration.

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  • Beatle
    Dec 20, 2011 - 11:08AM

    @Nadir:
    You are right buddy. They even violate the rules and oath of their office in a very disciplined way – - including surrendering to the enemy.

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  • vasan
    Dec 20, 2011 - 11:40AM

    Only if Pasha and/or Kayani resign, then only one can believe that democracy and civilians can rule Pakistan.

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  • Imran Ali
    Dec 20, 2011 - 12:26PM

    Army must quit politics. Let the politician to handle the country. We have lost half of our country due to Army. They consider themselves the best for every thing. Economy, local politics, international politics and so on……………………….

    If they keep on the same role. I do not think that Pakistan would survive.

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  • Shehryar
    Dec 20, 2011 - 12:32PM

    @Sibtay, Pasha’s job is to protect the country not ISI and he has terribly failed on May 2. Sorry to say, all top brass should have resigned on this raid.

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  • Khurram Mansoor
    Dec 20, 2011 - 1:01PM

    @sibtay the only sane comment here.

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  • Basharat Lodhi
    Dec 20, 2011 - 1:25PM

    Gen. Pasha should not resign. He is very competent officer. He has contained the nefarious activities of the enemy agencies. Thats why suicide attacks and explosions has come to halt. Many CIA agents had to leave the country. And last but not the least, it is the courage of Kiani and Pasha that our government has taken bold stand before the US. Hats off! Gen Pasha!

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  • Beatle
    Dec 20, 2011 - 3:06PM

    Thumbs-up to the two courageous vocal ladies, (i.e.) Bushra Gaohar and Asma Jahangir to take the lead in highlighting this issue. I hope their male counterparts follow the suit. Our top brass should pledge publically not to mingle in the (so-called) dirty politics and concentrate solely on their professional duties.

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  • ahmad
    Dec 20, 2011 - 3:18PM

    @sibtay:Diplomacy solution for army while aggression and cutting off all contacts from America and rest of the world for civilian govt’s.wah gee wha….

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  • Cautious
    Dec 20, 2011 - 3:24PM

    He should not be allowed to resign = he should be fired for cause. Pakistan has a terrible international reputation and much of that tarnished reputation can be laid on Pasha.Recommend

  • TruthNFacts
    Dec 20, 2011 - 3:28PM

    @narayana murthy: Take care of your own country and we will take care of our country. You have got several issues which are still to be resolved. You’ve been facing critical issues including extreme disparities, political divides, and insurgencies in more than a dozen of states, so you better take care of your own issues and let Pakistanis resolve their issues. It is none of your business, by the way. I wonder why people like you always try to exploit situation in other countries. People like you sow the seed of hatred and widen the gap between people of Pakistan and India. However, people across the borders share several similar things in common and do not want instability in the region. We want prosperity, peace, and progress for both countries and the region.

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  • Farhan
    Dec 20, 2011 - 4:18PM

    @frank:
    Its more like a combination of news items, not opinion, as you claim. This all gets more attention because our politicians seldom muster courage to speak against ISI and its activities.

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  • Hukabukka
    Dec 20, 2011 - 4:45PM

    How naive! All are equal but some are more equals than others…

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  • Salman
    Dec 20, 2011 - 6:03PM

    Its easy to say him as incompetent ignoring the ground realities of the situation when a cunning super power has already penetrated inside your country since 9-11 and your own govt is sorta against you and people having mixed feelings regarding the Army as an institution. Not many generals of any country, have to face such delicate situations 24/7/365.

    If any general had to stepped down after May 2 American raid, than it had to be PAF chief since air defense responsibility is under him while Pasha is just an intelligence officer to design strategies based on current and future geo political situation of Pakistan.

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  • Syed
    Dec 20, 2011 - 10:02PM

    @bangash: I love my Army and the Armed Forces – did I hear you saying anything :)
    @Beatle: Right, Asma needs to look into the curruption cases of PIA, NICL, Steel Mill, IPP and etc…by the govt. for the Govt. – I wonder what you have to say about it?

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  • Imran
    Dec 20, 2011 - 10:28PM

    @Salman:
    Do you think the enemy should e-mail you before attacking? Bottom line is: If you are not ready for this tough job, there are many more competent generals in the Army to fill in the void. Just have mercy and leaveRecommend

  • G.A.
    Dec 21, 2011 - 12:19AM

    None of them looks eligible for the ranks, they are given, these days. Actions speak louder than words, so they should make sure that their actions speak, for what they are known for.

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  • M.A. Khan
    Dec 21, 2011 - 12:33AM

    perhaps to counter this situation Sh. Rasheed is being used to make noise to prove already knowledge of the attacks to Pakistani civilian government.

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  • realize
    Dec 21, 2011 - 12:38AM

    @Salman:
    You are totally missing the point. How on earth the most wanted terrorist can be living right under your nose unless you are accomplice or you are totally incompetent. In the first case, article 6 is to be applied. If latter, a competent general must replace him. I guess competency is not a rare commodity in the army.

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  • sohail
    Dec 21, 2011 - 12:44AM

    Where was Asma herself when all things happened? This country is filled with hypocrites from all the sections of the sections and so called ‘fighters’.

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  • Ganesh Ram
    Dec 21, 2011 - 2:23AM

    @Khoemeni Required:

    Khomenee was a good, humble and kind hearted ruler who just paved his way to established Shia ideology all over the world, thus threw up against his own people in the name of Islamic Revolution that had nothing to with Islam and introduced Islamicphobia.

    Pakistan, in my view is an entirely different case. You people need “Halakoo Khan” or The “Chengez Khan” who should establish an another country known as “Muslim Kush” bordering Hindu Kush”.

    There are many muslims and mosques in India than Pakistan who are duly protected, are muslims are secured in Pakistan what to say about minorities.

    Ganesh

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  • Syed Kashmiri
    Dec 21, 2011 - 2:59AM

    Asma and the communist part chief have a lot of gall when they are asking for ISI chief’s resignation. It is surreal. According to anUrdu proverb: Ulta Chor Kotwal Ko Dante!.

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  • Shaheed Salman Taseer
    Dec 21, 2011 - 3:34AM

    Its about time ISI is transfered to civilians and a former police chief is hired for the job.

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  • kawar khalid
    Dec 21, 2011 - 6:52AM

    @Shaheed Salman Taseer:
    where will you find an “honest” police officer?

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  • aziz
    Dec 21, 2011 - 3:52PM

    General Pasha is a brave soldier. Salute to him. It is all part of his job.
    It is natural for an intelligence agency sometimes to think and act differently
    than its government.

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  • Tanveer Khan
    Dec 23, 2011 - 6:57PM

    The electronic data between Mansoor Ijaz and Hussain Haqqani does not tell anything except that they were in touch with each other during those days. Hussain Haqqani and others are in touch with many people but they all are not involved in drafting and delivering the memos against Pakistan. Mansoor Ijaz has been an open opponent of ISI and Pakistan while Hussain Haqqani has been defending the army and Govt even after OBL was found in military base. In short:
    A foreign man who wrote and delivered the memo himself is innocent, more reliable than Pakistani Govt and Gen. Jones.

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  • shuweikh
    Feb 4, 2012 - 12:51PM

    @Imran Ali:
    Do not blame the political failures of ZA Bhutto on military. Yahya Khan held elections in his times. We lost East Pak because ZA Bhutto lost the elections, but still angered the Bengalis by not giving them government WHICH THEY RIGHTFULLY DESERVED. ZAB split the Government into two,

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  • salman
    Feb 4, 2012 - 2:39PM

    Pasha is just the face it is the ISI that is on the hit list.Our so called liberals are trying to undermine ISI not for the love of humanity but to please their masters.

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  • CAT
    Feb 4, 2012 - 3:26PM

    One question is bothering me: Why the life of a FC jawaan is worth less that that of an Army jawaan in terms of reaction by all stakeholders? Please, can anyone answer this.

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