Memogate proceedings: Pasha denies any coup planned after May 2 raid

Published: April 6, 2012

Former ISI chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha leaves the hearing of the memo case at the Islamabad High Court. PHOTO: NNI

ISLAMABAD: In his testimony to the memo commission, former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) director general Ahmad Shuja Pasha has claimed that no military coup was planned in the aftermath of the May 2 raid by US Special Forces in Abbottabad.

“The ISI knows about any revolt in advance, and there was no plan of a coup attempt following this incident,’’ he said in his statement.

Appearing before the commission accompanied by his counsel S M Zafar, he added that the relationship between the military and the civilian government was normal. During the cross examination that followed the recording of his statement, Pasha said he found out about Mansoor Ijaz’s article criticising the ISI’s role through the agency’s media wing. Upon realising how damaging the article was to the agency, he recommended action against it.

“On the direction of Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, I met Mansoor Ijaz in the Pearl Continental Hotel London on October, 22 2011. The meeting continued for four hours,’’ he informed the commission.

Interestingly, the former intelligence chief added that he briefed both the army chief and the president regarding the meeting subsequently. Pasha said he met General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on October 24th last year and President Asif Ali Zardari on November 13.

Pasha also claimed that he had seen the 35 Blackberry messages (BBM) between Ijaz and Hussain Haqqani during his meeting with the former. “I asked him to provide the evidence but he refused to do so,’’ he maintained.

In reply to a question regarding the resignation of former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, Pasha claimed he was unaware of his (Haqqani’s) resignation.

When questioned by commission chairman Justice Qazi Faez Isa as to why he had not pursued the memo case further, the former intelligence chief said he had briefed both the top military and civilian leadership and had not received any further instructions in this regard.

During the course of hearing, the commission rejected Haqqani’s application requesting his presence be excused due to a heart condition. Haqqani’s counsel claimed that he had to undergo a MRI scan at the American National Institute of Health in the US. The commission asked his counsel why they had not been informed earlier about his medical condition. Justice Isa added that the test could have been rescheduled.

Meanwhile, the commission directed Haqqani to write a letter to BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) to waive his privacy and produce a letter before the commission on Friday (today).

The commission regretted that Foreign Affairs Ministry Director General (USA) Dr Sohail Khan could not furnish complete details regarding the secret correspondence between Haqqani and Islamabad along with the former ambassador’s code of conduct while in office. It directed Dr Khan to produce Haqqani’s contract letter and standard operating procedures (SOP) today (Friday).

The commission also disposed of Yasin Malik’s application which suggested that the case proceedings be forwarded to the Supreme Court. The commission maintained it was still premature to send the case to the apex court.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Sheikh A. Bukhara
    Apr 6, 2012 - 6:27AM

    Yeah right. As if this guy is going to own up to the fact that the army was going to do a coup.. Even the 111 Brigade was moved to Islamabad that morning (as reported by Dawn’s Islamabad reporter). I have no faith in believing anything the army top brass puts out. None.

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  • MarkH
    Apr 6, 2012 - 6:47AM

    I personally never believed a coup was ever truly in the making at that time. But there were plenty of reasons for people not in the loop to be worried about one. That’s all it takes.

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  • Mansoor
    Apr 6, 2012 - 8:09AM

    Why are we still wasting time and tax payers money on this bogus commission? By rejecting Haqqani’s application and accepting Pasha’s statement about coup at face value they are clearly biased. Do us a favor and read the verdict that has been sent over from the authorities in Pindi.

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  • Apr 6, 2012 - 8:59AM

    things moving at a snail pace – ‘coup’ planned or unplanned have gone past, lets see what future give us – another coup or welfare…………!

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  • Mirza
    Apr 6, 2012 - 9:09AM

    The same generals have denied that presence of OBL in Pakistan for almost a decade. They are the most credible witnesses prosecuting Pakistani courts could find beside Mansoor Ijaz.

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  • PARDESI
    Apr 6, 2012 - 12:51PM

    @Sheikh A. Bukhara:
    I think your faith is in the political leadership of the country a bunch who nobody trusts. At least this guy is in the court and is answering questions. He has not requested immunity or request to leave the country. Unlike our political leadership wont go to the court or will do any thing to diddle daddle with the courts orders in the name of immunity or parliament.

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  • Joaquin
    May 9, 2012 - 7:55PM

    He sure is facing it all and standing tall. That alone speaks of his innocence. Its unlike any politician or general of Pakistan to be acting this way. And why cant he be involved in all this. Is he not a citizen? does he have not the rights?
    You just don’t get famous and be one of the most influential person of the century just like that.

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