Mum’s the word as far as the government and the military’s media wing are concerned regarding Mansoor Ijaz’s latest allegations.
The mood in the National Assembly session on Thursday, however, was anything but when a female parliamentarian demanded that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha should resign and face an inquiry based on the allegations that he had met some Arab leaders early this year to discuss a military coup in Pakistan.
Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the whistleblower behind the Memogate affair, claimed that Pasha had visited Arab countries for discussions on a possible coup, according to media reports.
“If Husain Haqqani [Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US] could resign based on mere allegations, why shouldn’t Pasha?” Awami National Party (ANP) MNA Bushra Gohar questioned.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan initially defended Pasha, terming Ijaz’s claims “baseless”. However, when Gohar pointed out that if the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was so quick to believe Ijaz when the memo issue was brought to light, how was it that the same man had suddenly become “unreliable” when it came to the ISI chief, Chaudhry Nisar ‘unwillingly’ agreed. “Isn’t that a double standards. Isn’t it a contradiction within?” she questioned.
A blog posting on The Independent’s website quoted Ijaz as having said, “Their [US intelligence] information was that Pasha had travelled to a few Arab countries to talk about what the necessary line of action would be in the event that they had to remove Zardari from power, and so forth.”
The government should authenticate the allegations and take “necessary steps”, Chaudhry Nisar said, changing his stance.
After the Abbottabad raid unfolded, Chaudhry Nisar said it was he who “dared” Pasha to resign but nobody supported him back then. “Principally, I agree with her [Bushra’s] stance … but it is up to the government to seek a resignation from anyone,” he added.
It was the first time that a parliamentarian representing a major political party called for the ISI chief to resign in order to prove that the allegations against him were untrue.
(Read: Deconstructing the SC order on the memo)
Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2011.
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@Falcon: I think Pakistanis are also dangerously misinformed about how political institutions work. The army is easier to comprehend for us; we've been subjected to generations of pro-army propaganda that our school system is deeply entrenched in. If you don't understand how civillian government works it all seems vaguely sinister and incapable of getting the results the army does (which they do by being horribly unethical and suppressing all dissent by using force). Civillian government is better in the long run because regardless of how much longer the process is, people ultimately will not vote for flagrant violations of human rights.
SHe is 100% right. Everyone should be questioned.
Gohar Sahiba, Do you want Ghulam Ahmad Bilour to become the ISI Chief to progress like railway. Do not criticise the spy chief like this. He has a number of other feathers in his cap which must be acknowledged.
@sam........i totally agree with you.......unless there is evidence one can not implicate the general,while there is incontrovertible evidence against the perpetrator of this stinking saga in which a US general has also popped in to make the waters dirtier. Let the countries in question confirm what has been alleged against the general & also wait for the out come of the case already in the Apex Court, till then please refrain from stigmatizing an honorable person who has rendered immeasurable services for his country.
"She is the daughter of Col. (Retd) Ali Gohar Khan an active member of the National Democratic Party, the predecessor to the Awami National Party."
"was elected as a Member of Parliament on reserved seats for women in the Pakistan’s 2008 National elections."
As long as Pakistan army and I.S.I. continue to meddle in Pakistan politics, the country will have no future.
My solutes to the courage of this MNA. Bravo Honourable Lady!
Many people were wondering abou Ms. GOhar's credentials while obviously lauding her courage> Here they are: "Bushra Gohar is the Central Vice President of the Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan She was elected as the chair of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Women’s Development in 2009 and is a member of the Working Council of the Women Parliamentary Caucus. She is also a member of the National Assembly’s Standing Committees on Finance and Revenue, Interior and Kashmir Affairs. Ms. Gohar has a Master of Science in Human Resources Management from USA, with over 19 years experience in policy design and influence, development design and plans, projects evaluation and in implementing human rights and development programmes in Pakistan and the region".
The contentions of Mrs. Bushara Goher look highly plausible and has weight. Past conduct of Army heavy weights towards abiding by the constitution of the Country is not at all pleasant. The country remained under unconstitutional Army rule for more than 30 years for which they had no constitutional authority. Most of the ills, the country is facing, is direct result of their unconstituional manoeuvres. Army generals, despite their repeated voilations of the Constitution were not made to face justice. D G ISI had no constitutional authority to conspire against an elected government. The accusations against him, like that of Hussain Haqqani has been proved so far, nevertheless he, following the example of HH should for the sake of independent investigation for the sake of independent investigation should follow the example of H H and resign. Such course of action is necessary to make the senior army officer to know that they are not above law and the constitution.
Bravo Bravo Bushra we r with u.
@PAK ARMY: The international community's current opinions are from things that existed during that time as well. They merely came to light later on. The most that means is they're better at deception than the civilian government. @Azmat: It would have become "free" the moment a democracy was created as well.
I love this lady and ANP leadership for standing up for democracy. The sooner we control the out of control generals the better it is for the country. Thank you for standing up for principles. This is my thrid post hopefully this last one would be printed.
@Shahid Kureshi: Some one should warn her to get out of the Country, as even the Security for these members is provided by the very people she is pointing fingure at !! This is Pakistan at its best !!
Fools they think they can play around this time not any more, btw i hate ppp from the core of my heart.
The media became "free" during the Mushraff regime. Food for thought.
@ashok sai It is because of Army dictator Musharraf that we could type our comments on this news website. Mush give rise to free media in Pakistan, not democracy.. @Raj Economic growth..See what Pak was in 2004-05.. see the reviews that international community had for Pak then and now what they think of Pak.. big difference!
@You Said It: Couldn't agree with you more.
Somebody apprise this MP that intelligence is basically information only. It happens to be well within the purview of the ISI to remain closer in contact with some countries as compared to the rest of the world. Especially when such countries wield some degree of influence on the socio-economic aspects of our society. To know at all times, as to what the reaction of such countries would be to a particular domestic development is very much an intelligence function and to acquire this information the interaction has to be at the appropriate level. To remain abreast of such information does not mean that outright support for the possible domestic change is being sought. The idea of demanding a resignation based on the above becomes even more absurd when knowing the third party involved, unlike the pentagon / nato / isaf, has no physical role to play in the change itself.
If Mr Ijaz is some outside force's proxy man tasked with causing a rift between the civilians and the armed forces, then bravo Sir you've earned your wages.
Ms Gohar has asked the right question, Gen. Pasha needs to demonstrate that he is a law abiding citizen of Pakistan much like all others, He needs to show the Nation that he and his institution is not above the law and prove it. The Armed forces are getting a bad publicity of being above the Law. Since when did the the Arabs get to Bless in Pakistan internal affairs and if Pasha is guilty then he should face the Military Law.
Ms Gohar is a very brave lady to have openly confronted the most powerful man in Pakistan but she need not worry as the ISI chief under pressure from US is on the defensive and coup may be ruled out presently.
Forget Imran Khan. Pakistan needs to support Bushra Gohar. The ANP again proves that it has more courage than every other political party combined (yes, that includes the PTI for you IK fan-boys out there).
Justice believed to be blind, to everything, including the uniform. Honorable Mr Chief Justice, your call! Or should I say a test of your steel?
Mr Haqqani has resigned but he can be reinstated at his position of ambassador to US or any other country of the world by just a stroke of a pen. But if Mr. Pasha quits and takes off his uniform, i am not aware of any such rule which can put him back in uniform.
@Azam Mirza: Sun can rise from west but a General can not resign because of his wrongdoings in pakistan. Generals are photocopy of angels, they fly that high no one can touch them. it is just funny just funny... that one action mnetioned by mansoor ijaz is correct but not the other action he mentioned. By the way, Why is it right to ask Saudis help to remove civil govt. but not USA?
If the (ISI) chief Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha were planning a military coup in Pakistan, did he also stage a political comeback for Pervez Musharraf?
Provide evidence first before asking for resignation....I mean seriously Pasha should resign solely because of what Mansoor Ijaz said? this is absurd
Gohar is the lady :)
@PAK ARMY: So what has the Army given to the people of Pakistan??? Await your response !!!
WHY should he resign..Democracy is given a chance.If people are voting currupt people,this doesnt mean the Army should watch the game.
Pakistanis plz understand Democracy is not a god made law......
whats your comments ,zia bhai?
Kindly dig out the detail of this brave lady, I am sure she must have a long list of laurel behind her back for being so brave out of no where!!!
You write this comment because of democracy, otherwise you would have been punished for conspiring against the Government likewise in China.
What has democracy ever given to Pak????? lets bring back the good old days of Army
Bushra Gohar is absolutely right. Pasha must go. Kayani must follow. In our Army, DG ISI cannot dream of doing anything without approval of his Chief. Then Kayani & Pasha believe what Mansoor Ijaz says. Personally, I do not consider Mansoor Ijaz reliable at all. Rather he seems to be an enemy of Pakistan. But if Kayani & Pasha are on board with Mansoor Ijaz, then they must resign or removed from their positions. If we have such people in such positions, Pakistan is in grave danger.
Then why shouldn't other ministers those are also indicted for corruption also resigned ?? Very strange demand ...!!! It means that if a sincere person just blamed then he should resign to create gape for black sheep to fully control the arena.
Ms Gohar why don't you go to supreme court?
whts the benefit Mansoor ijaz getting from whole this game??? why he is providing all the proofs?
Ms Gohar you are great. This is called courage and principled stand. God bless you.
@adeel 759, you summed it up brilliantly. bravo mate!
Bring the evidence and demand resignation.Compare apple with apple. Allegations on Haqqani were investigated and brought to the table. Bushra gohar should also investigate n then demand resignation. This is not courage rather blooper.
for impartial inquiry demand is true Bravo I salute you BG!
True demand, I salute you BG
@saleem ullah: Excellent suggestion. Very reasonable.
Ms Gohar is correct. Bravo....
@Adeel759: I think she is the only politician with spine to call a spade a spade
It is amazing to note that all are commenting without even knowing the details. This was the original item written by Mr. Mansoor Ejaz in the FT, wherein he alleged ISI of this and many more wrongs. This article was written against the ISI. He in support of his arguments mentioned the memo, emphasizing that even the Govt. functioneries are also against the ISI. He was trying to prove his point. So why should anyone from ISI should resign?. Why? plz tell me one good reason. He went after Haqani only after Govt. refused to own the Memo allegedly written by Mr. Haqanni. Just Think Please.
These are frivilious statements by Bushra Gohar. There is no comparison at all between the two sets of allegations and the two people they are levelled against. Hussain Haqqani was suspect right from the start with many people considering him to be working for American, rather than Pakistani, interests. For instance, Haqqani is believed to have been behind the recent propaganda campaign in the American media against the Pak-China alliance.
Why to go so deep in the speculative controvercies at this stage , when only a year almost is left for the General Elections.We must try to wind up the irritating scandals immediately. All the National level personalities' should together concentrate their efforts for stability and continuity of the Democracy.Moreover this is not the time to play for these type of self made problems; Rather at this moment we can re-frame the plicy on war in Afghanistan while sitting together as family members.
Mr Indian, you should be rather more concerned about misery and poverty and corruption of your military,politicians and the people having bleak future rather than pointed fingers on others to begin with.
Army should start an inquiry in this regard and punish Shuja Pasha if found guilty. Justice should be for all, Military and Civilians.
Dying isn't an achievement in the normal human world.
Military pruposely keeps the worst politicians afloat and filters out the honest ones out of the system because they the wors ones will create so much havoc that it will create room for them to takeover. Down with our military.
@Nadir: Salute the wisdom of your statement.
Keeping aside the blame game from both ends, it is to be understood that as a whole people in Pakistan will always side with the army more than the current politicians...that's not because army is so good but rather they are 'perceived' as relatively better...either because they are good at hiding their flaws or civilians have no goods to show. At this point, the latter seems to be the case.
@not me. You are right that country has to be saved but from the Fauj.
What a brave woman she is. She is our hope for the future. I salute you and wish you safety and security.
@nadir...which world u live in...in pakistan no one resigns...no civilians..no army....don't tell me civilians are any better...
Bushra Gohar once again has her facts wrong like so many other Pakistani liberal elitists. Haqqani didn't resign based on facts alone. Mansoor Ijaz had concrete evidence and a personal involvement with Haqqani in drafting the memo. Mansoor Ijaz doesn't have any personal involvement in the alleged Pasha meeting with Arab leaders, but if he has concrete evidence, sure bring it forward.
Brave woman, I must say. Telling the ISI chief to face inquiry is the bravest thing that anyone has done in Pakistan in recent times. I must appreciate her for the bold stance. We need more politicians like her in our country.
No elected government has ever completed its full term in Pakistan. Coup is coming. I wonder this time what General Kayani's title will be, President, Chief Executive or Chief Martial Law Adminstrator!!
claim must be followed by evidance.there are evidances against Haqqani but any evidance against Pasha? witness,recordings,audio/video, text,phone?
Mme. Pakistan comes first. . In last 4 odd years,this country is being ruined due to corruption,bad governance etc. What every it takes the country has to be saved.
haha this is Pakistan. Army chiefs don't resign here. They rule the country
Though Hussein Haqqani demonstrated that he has Ghahriat and resigned his name is included in the Exit Control List.
No words for her courage......superb
I salute Gohar for her act of courage. She has stated the obvious. Now watch the establishment supported Pak electronic media tear her apart
Why is it that, Female Politicians are more brave than their Male counterparts. Points in case, Indian PM Indra Gandhi inflicting historic defeat to pakistani forces, Israeli PM Golda Mier causing shameful defeat to allied arab armies and in pakistan BB Shaheed arguably did more courageous politics than Mian Sahib, and now Ms Gauher becomes first ever in my 33 years of life to demand head of ISI chief. Bravo
Only civilians resign
Is she directly elected or a 'selectee' member? Pasha is not in the dock surely she knows.
Now, Chair of Foreign Affairs Ccomittee should travel to that Arab country and verify the facts and demand his resignation and Try him for Article 6, period. I believe this story, too.