Arab, treason and plot: Army finally rebuts claims of Pasha coup plot

Published: December 21, 2011
Statement released on ISPR website says reports alleging that Pasha met with Arab leaders made 'false assertions'. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Statement released on ISPR website says reports alleging that Pasha met with Arab leaders made 'false assertions'. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The chorus of resignation calls, which were fuelled by some serious allegations against the country’s intelligence chief, has managed to elicit a response – finally.

The military on Wednesday denied that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief visited some Arab countries soon after the May 2 Abbottabad raid to discuss a military coup against the civilian government.

Earlier, on December 13, a blog in the UK daily The Independent, quoted Mansoor Ijaz, the Pakistani-origin American businessman, and self-proclaimed whistleblower in the Memogate scandal, as saying: “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.”

Calls for resignation

The revelation led to first audible calls for Director General (DG) ISI Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha’s resignation on the parliament floor.

“If Husain Haqqani (Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US) could resign based on mere allegations, why shouldn’t Pasha?” Awami National Party MNA Bushra Gohar questioned.

The call was subsequently supported in principle by Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali and Haqqani’s counsel and former president Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir.

Furthermore, Communist Party Chairman Engineer Jamil Ahmed Malik has also recently petitioned the Supreme Court to take action against the ISI chief for allegedly meeting Arab rulers, citing lack of denial or contradiction by Pasha.

The military’s public relations wing finally issued a rebuttal on Wednesday.

The denial

False assertions have been attributed to the visit of DG ISI to Arab countries, said a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

“It is clarified that the DG ISI did not meet any Arab leader between May 1 and 9, 2011, as mentioned in the article. The DG ISI’s other visits to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE only, prior to or after this period, were part of routine intelligence sharing activity, during which he interacted with his counterparts only,” the statement said.

It added that contents of the article are ‘strongly and categorically denied.’

A legal notice will also be served to the British newspaper to retract the story, the press release added.

The statement comes a day before the Supreme Court is set to resume hearing of the Memogate scandal, where questions are expected to be raised about Pasha’s visit to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

(Read: Correcting the civil-military imbalance)

Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2011.


Considering Husain Haqqani’s resignation over allegations in Memogate, should DG ISI resign over allegations of meeting Arab leaders to discuss a military coup?

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Reader Comments (51)

  • Ali
    Dec 21, 2011 - 2:49PM

    DG ISI did not meet Arab leaders between May 1-9….. But Hussain Haqqani did dictate the memo, right ? One person, two different allegations. One institution; welcomes one and denies other… Applause


  • hedgefunder
    Dec 21, 2011 - 2:49PM

    Since when has ISPR ever told the actual truth??? It has always lacked credibility !!!!


  • Maryam
    Dec 21, 2011 - 2:50PM

    So let’s also accept Hussain Haqqani statement that he has not written the controversial memo. Come on DG sahib, You have to sue the Mansoor Ijaz. And what about the second point: I mean on whose permission you met with Mansoor Ijaz, Have you seek the permission of PM on that????In any case you should resign along with your chief.


  • Paki says
    Dec 21, 2011 - 2:55PM

    so his met them either before May 1 or after May9th.


  • Dec 21, 2011 - 2:59PM

    Now we demand Bushra Ghor resignation :)


  • Nahi Maanta
    Dec 21, 2011 - 3:01PM

    The Pak ISI and Pak Army have never made any coup in the history of our country.

    These innocent preachers-of-faith spend most of their time in praising the Almighty and thanking Him for His countless bounties.

    This is proven by the fact that our country was attacked twice by a foreign power and they got away with it. Our military installations were attacked successfully.

    How can we blame them of being involved in any conspiracies. Recommend

  • vasan
    Dec 21, 2011 - 3:14PM

    Then when did he visit the “few arab countries” ?


  • Realist.
    Dec 21, 2011 - 3:34PM

    Which means he met them either prior to 1st may or post 9th may ?Recommend

  • jalaibi
    Dec 21, 2011 - 3:37PM

    His Highness Himself went to see Mansoor Ijaz to collect proof about a matter of national interest. Now, the same Mansoor Ijaz says that the most pious man in ISI met Arab leaders. Cmon media. You are to blame for the confusion you are spreading. You are framing govt, judiciary, armed forces and God knows what else.Recommend

  • Faisal
    Dec 21, 2011 - 3:40PM

    let the fair investigation be decided the true picture of the case, and lets not malaign the instituation of Pakistan in politiking…


  • Adeel759
    Dec 21, 2011 - 4:47PM

    You see, when voices are raised that are heard. Thanks to Bushra Gohar and A petition filed in the Court for his resignation, they felt forced to tell out their version on his alleged trip to secure support from arab Capitals for the coup. Sipahi Zindabad, Generals not so much.Recommend

  • Sadia
    Dec 21, 2011 - 5:04PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:

    “Every one knew in Pakistan that DG ISI did not went to meet the Arab leaders.”

    Well none of my friends, family and colleagues knew, and we all live in Pakistan. Infact no one i know knew. So can we please refrain from making such sweeping and baseless statements.

    Besides, Haqqani was made to resign, so they should have the moral decency to ask for pasha’s resignation too, specially since the very same mansoor ijaz is behind both claims.Recommend

  • pervaiz memon
    Dec 21, 2011 - 5:05PM

    mr haqqani also denied but no one believe him did we believe it? Recommend

  • Roflcopter
    Dec 21, 2011 - 5:12PM

    Mansoor Ijaz backtracked on his Pasha statement and now denies that he said Pasha met Arab leaders to discuss coup therefore nullifying the whole case against Pasha.

    You can’t compare this to Hussain Haqqanis case because there is CLEAR evidence that Hussain Haqqani was in contact with Mansoor Ijaz and was planning something dodgy while allegation against Pasha is based on Mansoor Ijaz statement which he said he was told by American intelligence official.

    No one is saying Mansoor Ijaz is a saint but you CANNOT deny clear evidence. This is a very sad attempt by few people like Asma Jahangir to divert attention from Haqqani to Pasha.


  • SalSal
    Dec 21, 2011 - 5:19PM

    PEOPLE PLEASE !!!! Why are you guys after Pasha and Kayani ??? These people are servants of our country who are trying to protect it!! Atleast if there is a war we know FOR SURE THAT ISI and the army won’t run out of the country but these politicians will !! Please for our country’s sake don’t run around after them!! There is a big reason why USA an others want to weaken ISI and the army which is due to the fact that ISI is protecting our country and looks eye into eye with the Americans!! Please dont come under the influence of politicians.Recommend

  • Salman
    Dec 21, 2011 - 5:22PM

    Even Mansoor Ijaz has debunked this fake news. End of story.


  • Meekal Ahmed
    Dec 21, 2011 - 5:27PM

    What did we expect but a denial!


  • Muhammad
    Dec 21, 2011 - 6:01PM

    did He bother asking his boss where he is going?


  • Imran
    Dec 21, 2011 - 6:17PM

    “These people are servants of our country who are trying to protect it!!”

    Protecting from who? Enemy attacks, insurgents, terrorists? Protecting who? Balochis/journalists from kidnappings/torture/murder? Civilian government from conspiracies/destabilization?

    Seems like they are doing an poor job, my friend.Recommend

  • Imran
    Dec 21, 2011 - 6:23PM

    The explanation is not sufficient, and is suggestive. SC should probe into his travel records. ISPR admitted that he did go to these countries. What kind of intelligence gathering was he doing in UAE? Which other ISI officials where part of the meetings? Or were those solo flights? SC should investigate the minutes of the meetings.


  • Dec 21, 2011 - 6:42PM

    @ Ali:

    “DG ISI did not meet Arab leaders between May 1-9….. But Hussain Haqqani did dictate the memo, right ? One person, two different allegations. One institution; welcomes one and denies other… Applause”

    The difference is that the Mansoor Ijaz claims to have directly dealt with Hussain Haqqani on the issue of the memo, and directly communicated with, and claims to have the electronic communication records to prove both his communication with Haqqani as well as the content of that communication.

    In Haqqani’s case the court/prosecutors can verify the authenticity of the BBM messages through the concerned Telecom company. There is no such direct evidentiary trail supporting the allegations against Pasha.

    Your rhetoric is just that, empty rhetoric and hot air meant to play to ill informed individuals.


  • Ali
    Dec 21, 2011 - 6:43PM

    Demanding Pasha’s resignation is absurd. And comparing it with Haqqani’s resignation is even more ridiculous. Haqqani, if cleared, can resume any other role including that of US Ambassador. But for Pasha, this option is not available.


  • Umer
    Dec 21, 2011 - 7:17PM


    Even Mansoor Ijaz has debunked this
    fake news. End of story.

    Not so fast. Is Mansoor Ijaz going to sue the newspaper for false allegation? If not then we know newspaper’s claim is true. Further investigation on such serious allegation is a must.


  • saleem ullah
    Dec 21, 2011 - 8:28PM

    Now this Memogate Issue’ is irritating the Nation and looks like a useless one because out come is still to be visualized and to be reached for. Now the right thing is to do is that we must concentrate on the Afghan War at this time, when we have blocked the supply route for the US and NATO forces operating their.This Issue needs more attention by the Medea and people, so that the after effects \ outcome can be in the favour of Nation.


  • khurram
    Dec 21, 2011 - 8:43PM

    so @salsal who ran away during the wars of 71 and kargil???????


  • Dr. Who!
    Dec 21, 2011 - 8:50PM

    DG ISI’s other visits to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UAE only, prior to or after this period,”

    But not between May 1-9.

    ISI is not denying it; just setting the record straight!


  • Dec 21, 2011 - 9:44PM

    Mansoor Ijaz > CIA man and US citizen as confirmed by Hamid Gul who has worked with him on Express News Talk show
    Hussain Haqqani > US sympathizer, giving visa to CIA spies under cover of diplomat

    And we are suppose to believe they are telling the truth? If we want to move forward punish them and set examples. Otherwise it is no different, two laws for two classes.


  • Adnan
    Dec 21, 2011 - 9:51PM

    I’m posting my second comment as my dear moderator didn’t like my earlier comment.

    In my humble opinion, Pasha should resign!!


  • rehmat
    Dec 21, 2011 - 11:40PM

    @Salman: “Even Mansoor Ijaz has debunked this fake news. End of story.”

    Well Mansoor Ijaz’s statement contradicts his blackberry message which everyone is relying on. Secondly Jim Jones said that he was never led to believe that the memo came from Haqqqani when he forwarded it. He thought it was from Ijaz. So why does that statement from a decorated war hero not end the story?


  • rehmat
    Dec 21, 2011 - 11:46PM

    @Agnostic Muslim: “The difference is that the Mansoor Ijaz claims to have directly dealt with Hussain Haqqani on the issue of the memo, and directly communicated with, and claims to have the electronic communication records to prove both his communication with Haqqani as well as the content of that communication.”

    Ijaz has already published the blackberry communication – which is not disputed even by HH. He has further said ( afact that is not under dispute) that he forwarded the memo to Jim Jones who in turn forwarded it to Mike Mullen. He does not even claim to have any evidence which can link Hussain Haqqani to the existence of the memo or the contents of the memo. HE claims this happened during a 11 minute call which was not recorded. Even if Hussain was providing memo content telephonically, would you not expect that Mansoor would have sent the final draft once to HH for review and approval? No such evidence exists.

    So the proof is that HH spoke to Ejaz Mansoor. So did Pasha. SO what? That does not prove anything.


  • Shah G
    Dec 22, 2011 - 12:16AM

    DG ISI did not meet Arab leaders between May 1-9: ISPR, it was Arab leaders who met DG ISI between May 1-9: ISPR


  • MarkH
    Dec 22, 2011 - 12:42AM

    Since when has anyone denied his US citizenship? Also, CIA agents do not speak casually of their occupation, especially to a man like that.

    If you believe him and want the best for your country, you should leave the thinking to the mentally retarded for even better results.


  • Arindom
    Dec 22, 2011 - 12:45AM

    it amazes me how gossip, insinuation, conspiracies and pieces of paper can rock a nation!! I think Pakistanis indulge in all these as it helps them forget the real problems and the real people causing these problems.


  • Hu Jintao
    Dec 22, 2011 - 1:07AM

    whats with your fascination with Pakistani matters?
    its like us discussing rahul gandhi and sukanya devi issue


  • SalSal
    Dec 22, 2011 - 2:15AM

    Well our country is full of terrorists, foreign agents, and seperatist groups on payrolls of foreign intelligence agencies. And mind you, foreign powers trying to destablize Pakistan further have more financial power than Pakistan does. Dont expect the army to be doing a perfect job okay!!

    The army was ordered to surrender by the stubborn Bhutto. The army in Bangladesh wasnt even getting supplies properly. The govt said do whatever you can with whatever you have. Also, the army came back from Kargil because Nawaz Sharif called them back due to international pressure !!


  • Salahuddin
    Dec 22, 2011 - 2:49AM


    Yup, Musharaf didn’t flee away. Yahya Khan also remained in the country. Polticians flee and the same generals, who are “above board”, engineer, design and develop NRO to bring them back. Polticians are blamed by every Tom, Dick and Harry for signing the NRO but the ones who negotiate and facilitate such agreements are declared “holy cows”. Isn’t it height of hypocracy or we are too simple a “crowd” to understand.
    In spite of all the historical baggage of our generals, its still important for us to take sides with our army, being the only institution that has a capacity to defend Pakistan but at the same time our generals will have to change their behaviour/mindset towards the people of Pakistan and their elected representatives. The mess, we are in, can only be dealt with if people and army have a common vision and stand together to face all odds and perform their constitutional duties. Let the people of Pakistan decide the “best interest” of my beloved homeland. Pakistan Zindabad.


  • Cautious
    Dec 22, 2011 - 3:07AM

    Memogate demonstrates a classic flaw that all conspiracy theorist have — in order for their theory to make any sense they have to ignore certain obvious information. In this case the source of their information is considered a notorious liar by the American’s but they assign great credibility because it suits their cause — if the statements include sections which go contrary to their beliefs they just ignore them or invent some excuse why a portion of the statement is credible and a portion is a lie.


  • alicia
    Dec 22, 2011 - 7:38AM

    @Sal Sal
    Get your facts right. Bhutto wasn’t even in power when the army surrendered it was GENERAL yahya. How could Bhutto ever ask them to surrender when he held no office? Yes Bhutto did make the mistake of bringing those 90000 soliders back without any bloodshed.
    And as far as Kargil is concerned our army was getting crushed by the indians. I know a doctor who worked in that area and he said that the soliders were dying from hunger and malnutrition infact they were reduced to eating grass. If the Indians didn’t kill them hunger and cold would have. Our army did horrible planning in that war wheras Indians played their cards with tactics.


  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Dec 22, 2011 - 8:15AM

    Musarraf will never ask resignation of Pasha or Kayani . Armed forces are always with him . He will restore the dignity of arm forces if came in the power once again after the election . No one in Pakistan can dare to arrest him if he landed there for election .


  • Usman
    Dec 22, 2011 - 8:20AM

    I completely agree, the excuses being made are beyond ridiculous ie. what happened in 1971, ISI/Army’s performance etc. etc. You show me the budget that the Army has used and compare it with its performance, and take a step back and look at the parliament, it’s expenses and its performance. There is no comparison


  • Mirza
    Dec 22, 2011 - 9:09AM

    In all honesty DG ISI should have resigned after May 2 raid in Abbotabad by US. Thr Naval Chief should have also resigned after Mehran Base attack.But then people who do this are made of different mould.


  • Dec 22, 2011 - 9:38AM

    ISI and truth are two separate poles. I wonder why ISPR keep issuing statements that no sane person believes in the entire world.


  • vasan
    Dec 22, 2011 - 9:43AM

    Also, the army came back from Kargil because Nawaz Sharif called them back due to international pressure !!
    SalSal : When did Pak army ever listened to the civilian govt. Didnt Mush beg Nawaz to find a way out. He couldnt do it openly. Because Mush claimed that the fighters were jihadists and therefore he didnt have the basic courtesy of taking the dead soldiers’r bodies back. I think you should get your facts right.


  • A. Khan
    Dec 22, 2011 - 9:00PM

    With everyone calling for resignations, I call for the government to resign : for total failure in its attempts to run the country. It doesn’t help when the PM is just a rubber stamp and cabinet meetings are chaired by Mr.Z.

    And why the rush to sign deals with rental power plants etc. ? My understanding is that the electricity shortage is not as large as is being bandied about, thereby justifying exorbitant expenditure on agreements with RPPs. Guess who was in power when IPPs were given free license in Pakistan ? Electricity was within the means of everyone then. Sure there were brown outs but nothing compared to what is there today. Country cannot even pay those IPPs leading them to suspend generation and here we are signing new agreements.

    Can the government publish complete ownership details about the parties behind these RPPs ? No offshore shell companies etc. Either they divulge full details about owners with names and addresses or they should not be allowed to participate.

    This is wrong article to vent my feelings about his matter but the country is being taken to the cleaners again. And people do not understand the issues. We need an “awakening” in this country with the rulers subjected to similar punishment as Gadaffi.

    Sorry I got carried away again.

    Mr. Moderator, please, please do not remove this post.


  • oasis
    Dec 22, 2011 - 10:43PM

    @Vinod; why don’t u mind ur own business? And for ur kind information ISI’s performance is far more better then RAW SHAW, so try to get some business there.


  • Aftab kenneth Wilson
    Dec 23, 2011 - 12:29AM

    Dear readers in our country holy cows do not resign. They are only game changers. This is our fate unless all leading political parties do not strengthen democracy with a single voice.


  • Worried world
    Dec 23, 2011 - 2:43PM

    there si no smoke without fire. Its finally unfolding that the civilian govt is getting the boot. PM Gilani has let the cat out of the bag. speculation was right! Recommend

  • Dec 24, 2011 - 12:53PM

    @oasis: We are very happy and also proud that in your words “ISI’s performance is far more better then RAW SHAW,” We only pray no organisation in India should ever become as good as ISI and go out of control of Govt, establish its own empire, run the foreign policy of the country and also make thousands of people disappear, play politics within the political parties of the country and spend billions to make some one win or loose.


  • Maria
    Dec 25, 2011 - 2:10AM

    Why should anyone in the ISI discuss coups with an Arab leader? The Arab nations are regarded as being the most corrupt places in the world. Look at Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen or the Gulf. Those nations make the corruption in Pakistan seem like nothing in comparison. The Arab nations are even more spineless than other Muslim nations; that’s why it took them 40 years to decide to kick out dictators. Most Muslim nations like Pakistan kick out dictators in under a decade! Think about Zia, Yayha Khan or Musharraf who couldn’t last a decade!


  • Dec 25, 2011 - 8:16AM

    Nice try CIA.


  • Khi2Kpk
    Jan 21, 2012 - 12:23AM

    I fear for the life of American Businessman__ now Pak Army, ISI, PPP, and USA all take a number for their turn on this guy. Also, now we know who else endorse Martial Law beside western powers.


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