Give chance to other, competent generals for DG ISI post: Chaudhry Nisar

Published: March 1, 2012

PML-N and civil society will protest against extension in ISI chief's tenure. PHOTO: ZAFAR ASLAM/EXPRESS/FILE

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior member and Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan warned the federal government from extending Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General Ahmad Shuja Pasha’s tenure for a third time, urging the army to instead devise a strategy for replacing the agency chief.

“There are a lot of competent generals who are capable for this post and I hope that the Army would devise a strategy on who should replace Pasha,” Nisar said in a press conference in Lahore on Wednesday.

He said that the civilian society along with the PML-N would protest against a possible extension for Pasha, adding that he should be replaced by a competent and capable army general.

Talking to The Express Tribune, PML-N sources said that the party leadership has received a message from the government and Army that Pasha may be awarded an extension for the third time.

Nisar lashed out at the intelligence agency’s suspected role in various activities, including the missing persons cases and allegedly promoting political parties.

Justifying his argument against an extension for him, the opposition leader said that the incumbent had a history of massive intelligence failures.

“During Pasha’s tenure, the  nation witnessed massive intelligence failures like the Abbottabad raid, Mumbai tragedy (India), PNS Mehran Base attack, Memogate and the Nato attack on the Salala Checkpost,” adding that, “ It was unfortunate that despite all this, according to Pasha, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani has repeatedly stopped him from resigning, which is strange.”

Nisar said that the PML-N was collecting evidence and working on documents to present in the Supreme Court regarding the ISI’s involvement in ‘promoting’ Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf. Speaking on the government-military rift, he added that six weeks ago, the army had leveled serious allegations against the rulers over the Memogate episode while Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani had leveled allegations against the army, claiming that it had given safe house to al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.

Nisar said that PML-N according to its promise would move a resolution in upcoming session of NA on Monday. He read one of the paragraphs from the resolution. According to content, “The house calls upon the government to ensure prevalence of the rule of law and to implement, without further delay, the directions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and recommendations of the commission on inquiry of enforced disappearances, commission of inquiry concerning the murder of Syed Saleem Shahzad, for enactment of necessary legislation to resolve the problem of missing persons”.

“Besides resolution, PML-N is working on a draft bill to regulate the role of intelligence agencies which would be moved in the assembly,” he said.

Two year retirement extension for CJP

The government intended to extend the upper age limit of retirement of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) by two years. At present, the retirement age is 65.

Missing persons

Speaking on the infamous missing persons case, Nisar inquired that under which law they (agencies) picked up a person. He added that according to a rough estimate, therewere between 2,000 to 10,000 missing persons in the country.

Nisar also condemned the recent Kohsitan incident and called it the failure of intelligence agencies and PPP’s government. Atleast 18 people, mostly from the Shia community, were shot dead by unknown assailants in the Gilgit-Baltistan area.

He said that PPP and PML-N has signed Charter of Democracy to regulate the rules and regulation regarding intelligence agencies but unfortunately rulers don’t bother to intervene in the affairs of intelligence agencies while Army has decided to remain in distance from the rulers’ affairs.

Radio Tax

Nisar said that the government intended to impose Radio tax which PML-N government had abolished in 1997 which was a clear violation of the law. He said that the government’s standing committee cabinet approved this tax as a wireless fee, which will be imposed on those who use mobile phones instead of transistors.

He added that tax could only be imposed through a money bill not through committees. He said that if the PPP government does not refrain from such measures then President Asif Ali Zardari’s address in the parliament would be in danger.

Media censorship

He revealed that the government had planned to place restrictions on some talk shows and comedy shows. Nisar vowed that the PML-N would oppose these restrictions, which the government intended to introduce through PEMRA.

Revolving media fund

He said that government is going to establish a cell comprising marginal segment of the media which would ponder over whom to award aid or not. He said that the Zardari government is planning through this cell to channelise funds to those which applaud the government while rest of the money through a revolving process to utilise it for Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) election campaign.

By-election

Nisar claimed that the PML-N had retained its seats and won PPP’s vacated seat with heavy margin.

PTI

Nisar lashed out PTI’s chief Imran Khan, challenging him to present himself in a tribunal, exclusively for judging their properties and tax declarations, to clarify any ambiguities. The PML-N senior leader claimed that Khan was a tax defaulter from 1971 to 2001 and had not even paid for his house in Bani Gala, which was declared as a ‘gift’.

He remarked that ironically Khan spared the Awami National Party (ANP), PPP, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and PML-Q and only criticised PML-N’s leadership.

Nisar also hinted at the PTI postponing its Balochistan rally on directions from the ISI.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • DB
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:37AM

    Pasha or no Pasha, the intelligence failure of Abbottabad, PNS Mehran are due to the system and society and how it operates.

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  • Abubakar Khalid
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:38AM

    Sale Sale Sale – Every Pakistani is up for sale. Be it a military personal, ISI, politician or even a joe-blow. Are there no God fearing people left in Pakistan who actually care for the country and not their pockets? God Bless Pakistan and the true patriots of Pakistan. Aameen!

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  • Mirza
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:41AM

    Looks like there are no capable generals in Pakistan other than who are already in power. No chance for the new ones and all the extensions of the current ones. In the same way the laws can be twisted to give yet more extensions to PCO SC judges. All the paid and unelected officials refuse to leave while they expect the elected leaders to leave before their term.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:51AM

    PML(N) Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is the only politician in the country who interfere in the affairs of Pakistan Army.

    Previously he has been giving advice to the former Presidents as which General should be Army Chief and which should not.

    I would request Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to kindly keep his valuable advice with him and leave Pakistan Army alone to choose as who should be next DG ISI.

    It is a matter of our country’s survival where politics does not work.

    I hope Chaudhry Sahib will understand and try to read as what I have said in between the lines.

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  • GS@Y
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:15AM

    Wow! Remarkably strong public statements. The ISI is clearly no longer as much in charge as it once was. Good stance Ch. Nisar.

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  • Mar 1, 2012 - 1:21AM

    I think he is saying this due to personal feud with pasha but he is right as a principle. Others should also get the chance

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  • smj
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:32AM

    Make Nawaz Shareef DG ISI

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  • yajsingh
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:52AM

    Why cannot their be a system based on merit cum seniority?

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  • Ilyad
    Mar 1, 2012 - 2:09AM

    …like the ones who belong to his borther’s clan (a former general himself) so their interest could be served well.

    @ Mr. Siddiqui: Sir this is the reason why he meddles with the army affairs.

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  • Mirza
    Mar 1, 2012 - 2:28AM

    By the time Gen Kayani retires (if at all) the last two army chief Mush and Kayani would have been at the top slot for about 15 long years. During this long time in any other country more than half a dozen chief would have retired. This can happen only in Pakistan. Remember Mush did not want to give up the uniform! These unelected elite love power.

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  • Falcon
    Mar 1, 2012 - 2:42AM

    He is striking out against ISI because of the fear of expected repercussions of Asghar Khan case against PMLN politicians.

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  • Frank Obesrver
    Mar 1, 2012 - 2:42AM

    How about giving a chance to new competent politicans? Ch. Nisar is being hypocritical. He himself has been in politics for donkey’s years and has done no good but loot the country and was groomed by the ISI. In fact, he is a test tube of ISI. So do us all a favour and quit politics please.

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  • Majid Urrehman
    Mar 1, 2012 - 3:01AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui politicians are not only supposed to interfere but also issue directives to army. Army is under parliament.

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  • Mansoor
    Mar 1, 2012 - 3:58AM

    Why generals? We have many competent civilians who can head ISI. About time ISI gets a civilian head!

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  • anybodyagree
    Mar 1, 2012 - 5:41AM

    so the whole memo drama was created for job extension .. ..????

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  • Gul G
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:07AM

    @Mirza:
    In simple words Blackmailers…???

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  • Gul G
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:20AM

    @smj:
    GOOD CHOICE ;-)

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  • Mar 1, 2012 - 6:22AM

    Mr. Nisar although i m not supporter of PML N but i believe what u said is 100% rightRecommend

  • MarkH
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:31AM

    It’s a golden opportunity to bring ISI under the peoples control by placing the right person there. If they don’t, after all that has been said and done, they’re simply fools.

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  • Mar 1, 2012 - 9:25AM

    good work done by ch.nisar – no extention to nobody……..!

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  • Jaidi
    Mar 1, 2012 - 11:43AM

    Well said. These extensions should be banned and look at the Chief Justice of Pakistan getting extensions for himself and he pretends to be the moral authority. Always thought the guy was a fraud. Why does no one in the media dare to write against him

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  • Qasim
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:08PM

    General Saheb, enough is enough. Please go home, relax with your children, play golf and let someone else deal with the mess you are leaving behind.

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  • Affan Dawood
    Mar 2, 2012 - 11:48AM

    I totally agree with Mr Nisar about he extention of Gen Pasha , i think he should leave now and let some other person to take his place . . .
    In case for IK , the onslaught is likely to go to extreme in next 3 weeks bcoz of the fact that Asghar khan petition .. .and for IK taxes and properties , i think that Mr Nisar should leave t bcoz it will hurt them rather imran . . .

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