‘Irresponsible’ statement to affect war on terror: Awan

Published: July 9, 2011
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Says the US military official’s remarks could create rift in bilateral relations.

Says the US military official’s remarks could create rift in bilateral relations.

ISLAMABAD: 

US Admiral Mike Mullen’s ‘irresponsible’ comment on journalist Saleem Shahzad’s murder will impact the US and Pakistan’s joint anti-terror efforts, Federal Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Friday.

“This statement will create problems and difficulties for the bilateral relations between Pakistan and America. It will definitely deal a blow to our common efforts in the war on terror,” Awan said, addressing a news conference.

She refused to elaborate on the sort of effects that the statement could trigger but said the Foreign Office (FO) would issue another statement on the matter. However, FO spokesperson Tehmina Janjua was not reachable.

In the most explicit remarks to date on the case by a senior US official, Mullen said he did not have a “string of evidence” linking Shahzad’s death to a specific government agency but told reporters that he believed the murder was sanctioned by the government.

Awan was speaking after an event at the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), where she addressed the newly-constituted body and briefed them on their responsibilities as members of the regulatory authority. Pemra has been reconstituted following the prime minister’s orders.

Responding to a question about the exit of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) from the ruling coalition, Awan said that the government is open to negotiations with the MQM and is committed to reconciliation in politics.

“Political reconciliation and dialogue are the best options for a democratic government to move forward and resolve differences,” Awan said. “Many innocent lives have been lost in Karachi and all political forces, including MQM and the Awami National Party (ANP), should stand united to evolve a policy to cater to the problem.”

She said that the local community with close cooperation of law-enforcing agencies can help improve the situation in Karachi and a peace committee has been in place. “Karachi is the economic hub of the country and targeting this city is an attempt to destabilise the country,” she said. She added that those responsible in the Karachi incident would be brought to justice.

Agencies (With additional reporting by Maha Mussadaq in Islamabad)

Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • harkol
    Jul 8, 2011 - 10:52AM

    This is the SOP of Pak govt. Burry the head in sand, deny deny deny. If it didn’t suit it Pakistan govt. will even ‘reject’ the existence of Sun and Moon.

    There have been innumerable instances of ‘rejecting’ reports, which only turned out to be based on sound facts. Osama existence in Pakistan, Mumbai attacks originating from Pakistan, Pakistani Military being behind Kargil, ISI complicity in many acts of violence against its own civilians (and other nations).

    In each case, Pak govt. ‘REJECTED’ the report, only to have egg in the face later with majority of the world being convinced of the proof.

    When will the saner elements (who will obviously be in majority in any nation) take to the streets and put these terror machine to rest. Failing to speak and do something now will lead to total balkanization of Pakistan (and perhaps the region).Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 8, 2011 - 10:58AM

    Of course, its going to be denied ! What did one expect, that some security organisation will just step up to acknowledge that they did it and they are truely sorry????
    Mullen may not be far off from the mark on this call !!Recommend

  • ba ha
    Jul 8, 2011 - 11:07AM

    The PNS attack was sanctioned NOT by the US govt but by CIA which is more powerful than the Govt. of USARecommend

  • saad
    Jul 8, 2011 - 11:35AM

    and who allowed raymond davis (according to reports) be in touch with talibans? drive around during uncertain conditions (not safe for foreigners) in mozang or wherever in lhr? kill two in broad daylight? n av the (unidentified) driver who killed a motorcyclist whisked away? on the one hand sammy considering anything happening here states ‘its an internal matter of pakistan’ n on the other cant burp without making a comment!!! Recommend

  • Jul 8, 2011 - 11:47AM

    Denial and counter blames. Why no one and I say no one accepts the truth; at least educated and forward looking citizens like you who are also citizens of this beautiful world.@ba ha: Recommend

  • Frankk
    Jul 8, 2011 - 11:50AM

    Hedgefunder

    Of course, its going to be denied !
    What did one expect, that some
    security organisation will just step
    up to acknowledge that they did it and
    they are truely sorry????

    You don’t seem to be getting this at all. He is not accusing the ISI or any ‘security organization’ of killing Saleem Shahzad. He is accusing the civilian government of Asif Ali Zardari of being behind the murder. It’s strange is it not that a top general of the world’s greatest army is taking so much interest in the death of a part time journalist? Dozens of other journalists have died in recent years in Pakistan but neither he nor any other American official has shown any concern for them.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jul 8, 2011 - 11:50AM

    We need to hear that the US general is right or wrong? Is he telling the truth or is he lying? Usually ISPR and the army comes out swinging, however, like OBL’s safe house and his killing, the army is quiet on this issue also. Now is the time to use the elected but powerless govt and hide behind them. The American general is telling the truth or is he lying? The nation is waiting the answer from its servants! Recommend

  • syed Yousaf
    Jul 8, 2011 - 11:53AM

    @HedgeFunder
    This what mullen said and quoted by CNN
    “Mullen would not link Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency with the killing. And he said he did not have what he called a string of evidence tying the Pakistan government to the journalist’s death. CNN obtained a tape of the Mullen meeting”.Recommend

  • abc
    Jul 8, 2011 - 11:54AM

    Life is too short in a BANANA REPUBLIC!!!Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jul 8, 2011 - 1:18PM

    The fact that no serious effort has been made to collect evidence that apprehends the killers tells a tale. That the slain journalist has put in writing the source of threats to his life, has not stopped the murderers from putting out statements of denial. Case was an open and shut one but now the Tax payer funds are going to be squandered on a Commission that will produce a lengthy report that pins blame on nobody. For a couple of days after discovery of the body it looked like the Journalists had woken from slumber but they have gone asleep again in National Interest. Recommend

  • Irfan
    Jul 8, 2011 - 1:24PM

    One has to ask, when will all this end? What will Pakistan look like when it all this ends?Recommend

  • Aryabhat
    Jul 8, 2011 - 2:46PM

    “Irresponsible” is not “Untrue”!

    It just means that Mullen’s statement is not helpful to Pak Govt. – which is obvious.

    Statement coming from the best advocate of Pak Army – Mike Mullen – is another way of saying that American defence officials are making space between them and Pak Defence officials.

    One thing is sure. What looked a year ago the assured seat to Pakistan at the top table of Afghan future is no longer visible now. With madness going on in biggest business city -Karachi, cross border skirmishes in North-west, private Jihadis openly roaming street, perhaps Indian PM’s statement of let Pakistan first manage itself and then worry about Kashmir (or Afghanistan) does make sense!

    Let Pakistan first put its house in order. No more terrorism sponsorship as “strategic assets” and then we will not have unfortutane losses like Mr Shahzad’s case! ISI involved or not. Recommend

  • harry stone
    Jul 8, 2011 - 3:29PM

    This was by no means an offhand statement. You can be sure there is some factual evidence to back it up. I suspect there are conversation intercepts and the people in those conversations have been identified.
    As PAK continues down the road of deception, more and more things of this nature will come out. Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jul 8, 2011 - 3:46PM

    Even the anti USA brigade knows in their heart that Mullen is correct — they also know that the USA is a more dependable source about what really goes on in Pakistan than the Pakistani government. Recommend

  • Asif Butt
    Jul 8, 2011 - 3:56PM

    Mr Mullens statement only reflect the true face of US/CIA Government.

    Who else can understand State “SANCTIONED” Killing other than the US…..

    BUT OFCOURSE !!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Roflcopter
    Jul 8, 2011 - 4:01PM

    Wonder what ISI haters have to say about this? Lord Admiral Mullen has spoken and he didn’t blame ISI.Recommend

  • Kashif
    Jul 8, 2011 - 4:23PM

    Why on earth is Mike Mullen commenting on internal Pakistani matters? This makes me even more convinced that the US did this to put further pressure on Pakistan.Recommend

  • R
    Jul 8, 2011 - 5:08PM

    After decades of denying the obvious, is it any wonder that no one believes what Pakistani officials say inside and outside. Recommend

  • buhu!!
    Jul 8, 2011 - 6:21PM

    @ba ha

    you mean ISI instead of CIA and so called Govt. of pakistan, instead of Govt. of USARecommend

  • Safir afkhan.
    Jul 8, 2011 - 7:06PM

    so he was working for some one in the world.

    Recommend

  • ba ha ha ha
    Jul 8, 2011 - 7:36PM

    @buhu!!: Mulla Mullen ain’t croaking for nothing he must have a pension plan somewhere

    Recommend

  • reality bites
    Jul 8, 2011 - 8:57PM

    irony is none has even 1 single evidence against ISI but all seem to make a planned front against it .. 4get every thing how many murders daily by our political parties, feudal lords, dacoits etc etc etc, n y on earth only saleem shehzad gets attention by USA? my neighbour was killed who was a journalist in DAWN .. where were all the Human Right Watch lookin at that time.. conspiracy is wot the order of the day people.. knock the bloody corporate media off of ur life

    Recommend

  • Samir
    Jul 8, 2011 - 11:33PM

    @ Roflcopter – he essentially blamed the ISI. Read between the lines. 90% of Pakistanis know they are behind this. We are too afraid to speak in case we are the next Saleem Shahzad.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jul 9, 2011 - 8:51AM

    @Samir:
    There is no need to read between the lines anymore. Here is NY Time’s article naming names:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/world/asia/05pakistan.html?scp=1&sq=Saleem%20Shahzad%09&st=cse

    Regards,
    Mirza

    Recommend

  • Jul 9, 2011 - 12:45PM

    Sir,Your neighbor was not killed by ISI that is why HRC was there @reality bites:

    Recommend

  • master
    Jul 9, 2011 - 1:16PM

    they (USA) are (yours, Ellite class) masters, not friends

    Recommend

  • cautious
    Jul 9, 2011 - 8:32PM

    US Admiral Mike Mullen’s ‘irresponsible’ comment on journalist Saleem Shahzad’s murder will impact the US and Pakistan’s joint anti-terror efforts, Federal Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Friday

    It’s clear that the USA thinks Pakistan is part of the problem rather than part of the solution — so it’s unlikely that the Admiral thinks much of the “joint anti terror effort”. The USA is convinced that the military is in cahoots with the terrorist and so did the reporter who was assassinated.Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Jul 9, 2011 - 9:03PM

    Time is running out for Pakistan and its old strategy of issuing denials as aptly analysed by harkol has no takers neither at home nor abroad. Its time for the civilian govt and military to sit together and honestly delibrate the three grave problems facing the country ie terrorism, sectarian violence and the failing economy otherwise the d—s day is not far away.

    Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 10, 2011 - 1:21AM

    @cautious:
    That game is already over, the so called partners in war on terror !!
    Now we are awaiting another major thriller, be aware, get ready to enjoy the next episode of the war on terror 2, where US will strom into NW, to deal with the mess, and if Pak forces interfere, then they will take action in self defence !!!
    Pak will run to UN, and cry Foul, however US has plenty of friends who will turn blind eye to solve the problem !!!
    Get the picture!! Its going to happen in next few months !!!

    Recommend

  • Alert
    Jul 10, 2011 - 4:11AM

    Dr. Awan’s ‘cover-up’ to affect Kerry Lugar bill free-money!

    Recommend

  • Jul 10, 2011 - 5:51AM

    Friend…. You are very blunt. Yes seems to be the likely plot. It is sad that in spite of the entire world shouting hoarse the people of Pakistan do not see and apply course correction and save the crash. @Hedgefunder:

    Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 10, 2011 - 1:52PM

    @VINOD:
    Its a real shame that the people of this country have been so indoctrinated, that they actually lost ability to think independently, and they will keep repeating same mistakes again, until such time that their very existance as a nation will be threatend and yet will not act !!!

    Recommend

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