Temper, temper

Published: February 24, 2012

The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto

What else this week but about the ludicrous, loud, rude, and completely inappropriate statement of the seemingly out-of-control ISPR attempting to trash the press release of the respected Human Rights Watch (HRW) on the findings of the Saleem Shahzad Commission. And some other propaganda unleashed in the press by certain trolls.

Whilst the contents of the ISPR statement are laughable at best, e.g., “Unheard of court actions have been initiated by the apex court regarding ISI / intelligence agencies and the unprecedented obedience/compliance…” (which says it all doesn’t it, friends?), what is unforgivable is the naming of two of HRW’s staff, Brad Adams and our own Ali Dayan Hassan. This is like fingering the two in much the same way as the mafia does to those it considers its enemies.

The HRW is a well-thought of human rights watchdog that is represented worldwide, and which has done great work in exposing HR violations everywhere. Whether they have to do with the plight of Filipina maids and nurses in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or excesses in the United States prison system including at the Guantanamo Bay prison, Human Rights Watch has always been in the forefront protesting the violations. It therefore ill behoves any government agency anywhere in the world to name the names of those who work for the organisation. It is wrong, it is amoral, it is sneaky.

In any case, who gave ISPR the right to comment on the criticism of the findings of a judicial Commission headed by a serving judge of none other than the Supreme Court of Pakistan? If the HRW statement was so unacceptable, it was up to the Commission to debunk it. How possibly can the ISPR, representative of those organisations alleged to have had a hand in the ghastly murder of Shahzad, come out in blatant support of the Commission’s findings considered by many to be faulty and not credible at all?

Indeed, what if someone agitates the superior judiciary against the findings of the Commission? Will the ISPR issue another statement against that? Will it become a party to the case, Athar Abbas becoming the defendant? Who knows what this all-powerful state within a state within a state will do next! May the heavens save us from its ire.

A little aside on the Report before we move on to the trolls. On pages 65 and 66 Brigadier Zahid of the ISI is quoted as saying about Saleem Shahzad: “Though I do not have any concrete evidence, but Saleem Shahzad in my presence stated that he was approached by Indian Intelligence Agency (RAW) and now he has to present a paper in UK on which he wanted the input of ISI. He also stated that he is in contact with the intelligence agency in UK. I do not remember the exact date of this meeting, but perhaps it was in the month of October, 2010.”

Now, what is this statement, if it is true that is, meant to convey? That Shahzad was a RAW friend/agent too? Most straight-thinking people would find Shahzad’s informing the ISI that he had been approached by RAW to speak at a conference in London, and could he have the ISI’s input on whatever he was supposed to speak on, an act of great patriotism. How does this make him an enemy of Pakistan please? Quite frankly, Saleem Shahzad should be decorated with a high civil award for this act alone.

And now to the most clumsy attempt by the trolls to defend the Army/ISI in a long piece published in an English daily known to be a leader of the Ghairat Brigades. As noticed frequently, both the tenor and the language of the trolls leave much to de desired. Indeed, the unnamed writer needs to be given six of the best as used to be administered by Colonel AWE Winlaw, MC, Principal of Cadet College, Hassan Abdal, for murdering the English language so brutally. Given here are just two excerpts:

“But despite subservience to the rule of law, questions are framed doubting its sincerity. One of the questions in fashions is that why Pakistan army intervenes and interrupts the civilian governance whereas the much asked question should have been why the political system and the stalwarts show incompetence, negligence and dishonesty? This is the high time that we should say goodbye to the idea that army is keen to disrupt the political system. At the same time we must admit that the army, judiciary, establishment and other patriotic forces have always supported the civilian government despite all sorts of labels on latter’s poor governance, corruption etc.

“In present day scenario, we especially need to appreciate Pakistan army and the ISI for preventing all kind of aggression by both our naked and cloaked enemies and safeguarding territorial integrity of our motherland. The significant role played by army and the ISI in bringing normalcy in relations with when called upon by a political authority or in any untoward and critical situation at national and international level is laudable, indeed.

Therefore, it is high time for us to act sombre and not fall prey to the enemies within. Our army and the intelligence agency are the backbones of our country.

“We are only going through a rough patch that is not going to last long, however, all we need is to stand united and display a responsible and mature attitude towards issues of national interest. Dragging the Pakistan army and ISI into courts for infamous events merely to settle personal vendettas is likely to bring embarrassment to the perpetrators and the country at the international level.

“The impact of injured image and bruised prestige of army and ISI will have its impact on entire nation also. Besides, mudslinging on the army and ISI may result into deepening jealousies and contemptuous environment. It is call of the hour to rise above and put a halt to the internal smoldering before it becomes a volcanic surge.”

I ask you!

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2012.

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (27)

  • khoya pakistani
    Feb 24, 2012 - 2:28AM

    Good of you to quote the idotic article. What ISI and Army have become to Pakistan is what Qadri was to Salman Taseer. Put in charge of protection, decided to follow a misguided ideology and killed what they were supposed to defend, were hailed as heroes!

    Recommend

  • Feb 24, 2012 - 8:38AM

    This is what is called black comedy.

    Recommend

  • Shabbir Ahmad
    Feb 24, 2012 - 9:40AM

    Idiots, aren’t they? Ha ha ha… By golly, Kamran, you amuse us so very much. Bless you!

    Recommend

  • Pinky
    Feb 24, 2012 - 10:07AM

    haha..even that writer is convinced that Army is guilty
    Dragging the Pakistan army and ISI into courts for infamous events merely to settle personal vendettas is likely to bring embarrassment to the perpetrators

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Feb 24, 2012 - 10:27AM

    Another great Op Ed by KS. Sir, you hit it out of the ball park once again. However, the arrogance of ISPR and generals is not going to subside. They can dare name names but none of these high powered generals dared contradict the US president’s account of OBL’s presence in military base. They are subservient when faced against greater power.

    Recommend

  • wonderer
    Feb 24, 2012 - 11:21AM

    It is very easy to tell lies, but how difficult to perpetuate them!

    Recommend

  • Geronimo
    Feb 24, 2012 - 11:35AM

    Great piece – Just wait for the “patriotic” forces to take over the comments section :)

    Recommend

  • Rashid Qureshi
    Feb 24, 2012 - 12:49PM

    Kamran, you never fail in your obsession to malign the armed forces. Take a deep breath sir, you get so worked up that you forget the world sees bias oozing from every piece you write. Well it’s not your fault, all paid writers obey the hands that feed them.. :)

    RQ

    Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 24, 2012 - 1:33PM

    I wish there was an icon for dislike! what nonsense.

    Recommend

  • Parvez
    Feb 24, 2012 - 2:26PM

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
    It is difficult to watching standards fall, especially in an institution that is regarded by the people as a bastion of high standards.

    Recommend

  • Geronimo
    Feb 24, 2012 - 3:21PM

    @ Rashid Qureshi:

    You meant to say : “All paid writers push comments supporting the powers-to-be”..! I wonder who would be paying Kamran Shafi who writes so fearlessly identifying the double games perpetuated by the ‘invisible hands” and the myths (lies) that it disseminates.

    Kamran, we are with you – Please keep calling a spade a spade – Trolls will try to weigh you down but you have demonstrated that you have a spine strong enough to support the innuendos and accusations laid to your feet by the supporters of the deep state.

    We truly salute your courage.

    Geronimo

    Recommend

  • Sadia
    Feb 24, 2012 - 3:34PM

    @Rashid Qureshi:
    please let go of that tiresome refrain that anybody who talks sense in this country is ‘paid’ by ‘hands that feed them’. does not work anymore. kudos to the author for this brave and biting article.

    Recommend

  • Gulfam Hassan
    Feb 24, 2012 - 5:14PM

    excellent stuff. As always Kamran sb did not disappoint.

    Recommend

  • santhosh
    Feb 24, 2012 - 6:12PM

    This says it all,

    At the same time we must admit that the army, judiciary, establishment and other patriotic forces have always supported the civilian government despite all sorts of labels on latter’s poor governance, corruption etc.
    strong text

    As they the civilian gov is subservient to them! It should be the people rt? Correct me if I am wrong

    Recommend

  • Rana Amjad
    Feb 24, 2012 - 7:05PM

    We Salute You Sir for Writing Bold Articles based on Facts & Truth! God Bless You!Recommend

  • Falcon
    Feb 24, 2012 - 7:44PM

    I agree that the quoted article from ‘The News’ has been written with naivety at best. But choosing to make a mockery out of it is slightly distasteful. Recommend

  • Feb 24, 2012 - 8:46PM

    Testimony in the memogate scandal and recently convened discussion in US Congress on Balouchistan, proved that the crazy conspiracy theorists were right about their suspicions of a plot to regulate Pakistan’s nuclear technology and the break-up of Af-Pak.Recommend

  • Feb 24, 2012 - 9:02PM

    who gave ISPR the right to comment on the criticism of the findings of a judicial Commission

    So basically ISPR, i.e. Pakistan Army, needs permission to comment or to criticise the criticism (read: statement) levelled by an American organisation (i.e. HRW)?Recommend

  • Seema Shaikh
    Feb 24, 2012 - 9:27PM

    What a bold article. very true. Army is not above the law, why should be spared when find guilty.

    Recommend

  • Mian Iftikhar
    Feb 24, 2012 - 9:47PM

    @khoya pakistani: my compliments…!

    Recommend

  • Zaheer
    Feb 24, 2012 - 10:39PM

    “We are only going through a rough patch that is not going to last long”! Well, who is this we? The nation or the establishment, because now the two do not seem to be in agreement on most matters? The nation has always been in a rough patch since we gained independence. The establishment is now in a rough patch for the first time at home and abroad not because of external interference but because its own arrogance has led it to poke its nose in all matters where it did not belong. As for the rough patch not lasting, this is again a horrible misreading of the situation. In my view this is just the beginning of pressure mounting and support dwindling from all sides. It will be a very sad day when this happens. No one but the establishment alone can correct the situation by minding their own business and letting the people decide their future.

    Recommend

  • Feb 24, 2012 - 11:02PM

    kamran shafi’s columns deserve to be included in the inservice training course for officers serving in isi and other arms of the defence forces..for sure these would improve their professional standards. his is a capacity building effort and should be acknowledged.

    Recommend

  • Mian Dilshad Jani
    Feb 25, 2012 - 12:00PM

    Pakistani nation don’t know why Pak army general are above of law. Till today no guilty general have investigated and punished on his violations.

    Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Feb 25, 2012 - 4:18PM

    Why spend so much time & space on institution & members of Armed Forces of Pakistan who have yet to win single war!
    They can only flex their (non-existing) muscles in front of unarmed weaker section Pakistani civil society.
    Is it their training?Recommend

  • K B Kale
    Feb 25, 2012 - 4:48PM

    Why spend so much time &
    space on institution &
    members of Armed Forces of
    Pakistan who have yet to win
    single war!
    They can only flex their (non-
    existing) muscles in front of
    unarmed weaker section
    Pakistani civil society.
    Is it their training?

    Recommend

  • Feb 25, 2012 - 5:52PM

    Kamran sahib, perhaps you have some bad experiences when you were serving in Army. Hence have some vengenge against this organization.

    Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Feb 25, 2012 - 11:06PM

    What is the problem with you sir.It appears you are settling scores with the army. Enough is enough,you are crossing all the limits. If you think you are becoming popular by abusing army you are sadly mistaken

    You take the army out from borders,it will be just 48 hours and Taliban shall make their way.We are proud of our armed forces, your all efforts are going to fail.May Allah give some AQAL (wisdom)

    Recommend

More in Opinion