Rejoinders: Army, ISI chiefs stick to their guns on memo

Published: December 22, 2011
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Ministry of Defence and DG ISI submit replies to Supreme Court.

Ministry of Defence and DG ISI submit replies to Supreme Court.

ISLAMABAD: The army chief has reiterated his stand on the memo controversy, stating that there is truth to the document.   

And while the Supreme Court wanted a concrete reply from the federal government on the accusations put forward in the Memogate case by various parties, including the military and intelligence chiefs, it got one late Wednesday night.

The ministry of defence has told the Supreme Court that it has no control over the Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), except simple administrative matters. Hence, it said, it was not in a position to confirm or deny what the two were saying. It also asked the court to not press ahead with the petition.

On Monday, a nine-judge bench of the court had asked all the petitioners and respondents to submit affidavits “to clear cobwebs” left hanging over the political scandal. Each respondent was to reply to the initial statements made by the others in the case.

While Nawaz Sharif and army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani submitted their statements earlier in the day, the ministry of defence and ISI Chief Shuja Pasha submitted their replies around midnight.

President Asif Ali Zardari once again chose not to file a statement with the court, despite the chief justice’s remarks on Monday to the attorney general that further presidential silence would lead the court to an “adverse presumption”.

Meanwhile, the DG ISI submitted a rejoinder, unlike Gen Kayani. His reply focuses on the veracity of the outcome of Mansoor Ijaz’s meeting with him. He had earlier stated that anti-ISI rhetoric obliged him to visit London to see Ijaz. He felt the evidence on memo was overwhelming.

The message sent to the Supreme Court from Sharif and Gen Kayani continues to be simple: bring to book the players in the Memogate affair.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president and the Chief of Army Staff are on the same page, at least in the respect that the memo certainly exists. Both urged the SC to “fully examine the facts” and expose those responsible.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudary is not the only one calling for Zardari to engage in the Memogate case and clear his name. Nawaz Sharif, in his rejoinder to former Ambassador Husain Haqqani’s reply, also urged the president to comply.

“The respondent [Haqqani] and even Mr Zardari now have an ample and clear opportunity provided to them through this petition to clear their names of the allegations internationally levelled against them,” read Sharif’s statement.

Doubt about the part played by former US national security adviser Gen (retd) James Jones was also rolled into Sharif’s rejoinder. “It is anybody’s guess that while being used as a channel, a person of the stature of Mr Jones would check up whether the serious affair in which he was being used was genuine or was it a fake affair,” the statement read.

Sharif piled on the allegations against Haqqani – even accusing him of contempt of court by accusing the SC of “having been affected by emotions rather than due process of law.” Sharif’s rejoinder egged on the court, stating: “Such a slander of this learned court is contempt of the highest order and warrants serious notice and action by this august court.”

Sharif also asked the court to examine in depth the alleged evidence ISI chief Lt Gen Shuja Pasha gathered after his meeting with Mansoor Ijaz in London.

For his affidavit, the army chief reproduced the reply filed earlier in the court: that he had advised Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to establish the details of the memo as soon as possible, as well as recommending that Haqqani be called in to answer for his part in the scandal. “The memo episode has an impact on national security and lowers the morale of the Pakistan Army.”

The proceedings resume on Thursday (today).

(Read: A way out of the memogate mess)

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

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Umer
    Dec 22, 2011 - 1:57AM

    In effect MoD is admitting that Army and ISI are not in the control of Pakistani state.

    Recommend

  • PP (Punjabi Pakistani)
    Dec 22, 2011 - 2:19AM

    if it is true then it is the bravest statement of any civil Govt. in recent history of Pakistan.
    1000 million Rs question.
    will SC “order ” Pak ARMY and ISI to follow law and be answerable to ministry of defense/ Govt.?

    Recommend

  • adeel759
    Dec 22, 2011 - 2:22AM

    Wow, this is getting ugly. MOD telling the truth, saying it as it is, (Bravo MOD) shows that serious collision is looming. MOD is not only distancing itself but totally disowning the deeds of GHQ and ISI. Ring is Ready.

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  • Mirza
    Dec 22, 2011 - 2:29AM

    Poor Ministry of Defence so helpless in front of generals. This can happen only in Pakistan. Might is right, PCO CJ, do you hear me?

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  • Maryam
    Dec 22, 2011 - 3:01AM

    Today is the The Day for the Constitution of Pakistan: Government of Pakistan officially accepted that ISI and Army is not under the control of the elected representatives of Pakistan. Do we need the constitution any more?

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  • Saleem
    Dec 22, 2011 - 3:17AM

    Supreme Court is independent now. Rather than having a media trial and verdicts, let Supreme Court solve this puzzle. All sides must present their case and those who are found guilty must be punished.

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  • Realist.
    Dec 22, 2011 - 3:55AM

    So its FORMALLY said by the government that we have no control over ISI!
    & then people say its the civilians who call the shots in this country!

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  • Amjad Cheema
    Dec 22, 2011 - 4:00AM

    Its crystal clear that ISI & Army is a regime inside a regime rather it is the regime which rules the roost. This has to end if this country has to survive.

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  • rehmat
    Dec 22, 2011 - 4:26AM

    What Pasha has said is provable i.e. memo exists and there is evidence that it has been sent to Mullen. What Kayani says however is not yet proven i.e. Haqqani sent the memo to Mullen via Mansoor Ijaz. There is nothing in the blackberry communication that proves this.

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  • being realistic
    Dec 22, 2011 - 5:07AM

    @Realist.:
    As far I recall, ISI comes only under the command of the prime minister

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  • alicia
    Dec 22, 2011 - 5:56AM

    Finally something which the whole universe knew has been officialy acknowledged that ISI and Army operate on their own and according to their own interests

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  • American Desi
    Dec 22, 2011 - 6:28AM

    So the coup is still on! This time aided by the judiciary!

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  • Arindom
    Dec 22, 2011 - 6:50AM

    Defence Ministry has control over only ‘administrative’ matters of the Army !! – like pressing uniforms and polishing shoes….
    The Defence Ministry by it;s own admission does nothing – it should be disbanded immediately. This will also save money.

    Recommend

  • Pundit
    Dec 22, 2011 - 6:56AM

    What travesty of democracy…….drop elections and save money.

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  • faraz
    Dec 22, 2011 - 6:56AM

    The authenticity of the messages proved through forensic examination will decide the matter. These replies and statements are just formalities

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  • Ashraf P
    Dec 22, 2011 - 7:21AM

    What Ijaz says about Memogate is true but what he says about Pasha is false ! Who gave the army and the intelligence agency the right to act like rulers anyway? They’re paid to protect the nation of Pakistan – no more, no less. They didn’t do their job on May 2 or Mehran and no heads rolled.Recommend

  • Dec 22, 2011 - 7:35AM

    @Maryam: Lady! We do need the Constitution but we need clean politicians who will do the job. This issue is getting serious and the civilian GOP needs to call for snap elections and go honorably. To control the armed forces wont happen overnight but will take time.

    It can start by the civilians calling for the resignation of General Pasha for the OBL issue on May 02 2011 and thereafter the Mehran Base terrorism incident. Both Admiral (retd) Noman Bashir and General Pasha should have kept their tabs on the terrorists.

    Salams to you, your family, Pakistan and have a nice day.

    Recommend

  • Dec 22, 2011 - 7:42AM

    Certainly without a shade of doubt there is mischief in this issue. The memo was written and the US is once again up to tricks that our rural rulers are unaware of. Frankly Genarals Kayani and Pasha are not doing damage to the country but are burning the midnight oil to keep Pakistan safe. Salams to Pakistan

    Recommend

  • Imran
    Dec 22, 2011 - 8:17AM

    @American Desi:
    So the coup is still on! This time aided by the judiciary!

    As always! The doctrine of necessity got buried… but the doctrine of national security is getting revived. What a joke we are making of the constitution of Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Dec 22, 2011 - 10:11AM

    If this clash and difference between army and federal government remains and persists on memogate issue and all negotiations are proven non-result-oriented then this negative attitude and cold war of federal government shall pave the ways of military coup and martial law any day any time because army’s commandments and rules are more authentic and powerful than civil government and military coup and martial law’s atmosphere is spreading in Islamabad now-a-days gradually only due to the clashes and differences on memogate issue between federal government and army.

    Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Dec 22, 2011 - 11:13AM

    If the military is not under MOD that means it is an independent establishment though constitutionally it is under the civilan govt. This ambiguity of actual control under different parameters the constitution of the most important establishment of the country needs to be clarified by CJP through consultation with GOP for smooth functioning between the two and and avoid bulldozing by the former in future.

    Recommend

  • Sadia
    Dec 22, 2011 - 12:55PM

    @Umer:
    No, the MoD is admitting that the army and ISI are not in their control, which is sadly true. It is also sadly true that the army and ISI are in control of the state, or at least are holding it hostage.

    Recommend

  • Babar F.
    Jan 11, 2012 - 8:06PM

    Gentlemen! We are watching the natural process of the events that will end in putting a leash on Institution/Incorporation of Pak Army. After the end of Cold War this probably was the last hurdle to full democracy and so freedom-of-speech along with other basic human rights. Costly and over whelming institutions of Army in poor countries are actually the reason of lack of development and progress due to poor & powerless governments. Thanks to Nawaz who “shot on his own foot” by bringing MemoGate to the Supreme Court and thus opened a Pendora box that will start a chain of event that no one can control resulting in long over due freedom for Pak Citizens from unchecked Army rule. Pak Army will still be strong but now under Civilian Rule. More burden now will be on the Democratic institutions for educating the masses about their rights. Whole Muslim world(non-Muslim too) and their huge defense institutions are watching the unfolding of the events in Pakistan. I say: All Power to the Supreme Court and it’s honorable, high conscience, brave and bold Chief Justices.Recommend

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