Insulting one’s intelligence

Published: March 23, 2012
The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto

The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto

Absolutely nothing angers one more than someone trying to insult one’s intelligence. The most stupid and ludicrous stories are trotted out to try and fool us lay people all of the time, particularly by those who, even now, consider themselves beyond the reach of the law. What amazes, nay infuriates one no end, is the extent of the lies and damned lies that are put about, even in matters of human pain and suffering. Consider the heartbreaking case of the kidnapping of young Omer Mahmood Khan, son of the unfortunate Mehmood Ahmad Khan who had only recently moved his family from Canada back to the Citadel of Islam.

A report in this newspaper of record of March 17, 2012, states, inter alia:‘The counsel for Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) has revealed in the Supreme Court that Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Israel’s Mossad are active in Pakistan. He was speaking during the hearing of the missing person’s case. He said that they were behind kidnappings in the country and were being helped by terrorist groups.

‘The chief justice asked the defence counsel if the agencies had any credible information of the involvement of RAW and Mossad, and why they did not take any action against them. “We did not bar you from taking action against RAW and Mossad.”

Terming the intelligence agencies’ reply on Adiala missing persons unsatisfactory, the apex court on Friday took suo motu notice against the abduction of a boy who used to provide food at camps set up by the relatives of missing persons outside parliament.

The report said: “A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry directed Inspector General of Police Islamabad and Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq to submit a report of the incident by March 17 and present the abductee before the court on March 19.” The chief justice also remarked that this time someone was abducted right under the government’s nose’.

In the event, the boy Omer Mahmood Khan, who had been kidnapped in broad daylight by goons driving two double cabins with tinted glasses, a black Corolla, a white Suzuki Baleno and a Suzuki Mehran, “in front of his mother, father and younger brother” returned home that same evening too terrified to say what had happened to him over the week that he was in custody. We also know that his family followed the convoy carrying the poor chap but were stopped at Faizabad near the ISI’s ‘Hamza Camp’. Er, as an aside, is this the same camp that blew up quite mysteriously on April 10, 1988 killing up to a thousand people, almost all of them ‘bloody civilians’, when an audit of weapons, particularly ‘Stinger’ ground to air missiles supplied by the United States was about to be carried out? And, er, where is the inquiry into that atrocity? (Would My Lords consider suo motu action even now, please?).

If My Lords of the Supreme Court are doing what they must on the missing persons/unlawful kidnappings case in Islamabad, My Lord the Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court, Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and his Brother Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth are doing likewise. The CJ actually went to the extent of saying “They are lying… how long will we tolerate it… things are going out of control” when told that the interior and defence ministries were both denying that they had picked up two brothers, Sufaid and Zahid on December 29, 2010.

Whilst the exertions of the honourable Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court have already yielded some missing persons; including those of the Adiala Eleven that remain alive after the ministrations of the ISI, and one from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who remained disappeared for thirteen months, My Lord Khan is right that things are getting “out of control” despite all that the superior judiciary is trying to do to enforce the rule of law and the Constitution when a young man is picked up in front of his family in broad daylight in Islamabad.

Things must surely be out of control when the lawyer representing the ISI and the MI has the effrontery to tell the Supreme Court, no less, that RAW and Mossad are behind the kidnappings and the disappearances, not the ISI and the MI! So then, RAW and/or Mossad are tearing around Islamabad’s security road-block ridden roads in convoys of up to six cars, two of the convoy’s SUVs with forbidden blacked-out windows picking up people? And then releasing their prisoners when the Supreme Court admonishes the ISI/MI? Really, now?

If that is so, is it the case that the three agencies: ISI/RAW/Mossad are working in tandem? If they are not, what the devil are the ISI and the MI doing about RAW and Mossad running about freely in the Land of the Pure? Is it because of the ineptness and inefficiency of the highest order on the part of our agencies that foreign ones are allowed a free hand to do what they will? I mean, can you believe any of this? And yet we are lectured by the Sipah Salaar-e-Azam that we must not criticise our ‘institutions’!

Let me end by saying that the Khan family is so terrified to say anything that they have switched off their telephones and are not speaking to anyone. Well done, commanders of the Deep State! You may have been caught with your trousers around your ankles on the nights of May 1st, and May 22nd, but you have succeeded in terrifying one more Pakistani family. Shabash!

Can you even begin to imagine what the younger brother would have gone through watching his elder brother being manhandled into a black-windowed SUV? The mother? The sheer terror they must have felt? What if it was your son; your younger brother? Has all feeling left you in your crazed quest for more power, and therefore more pelf? Shame on you!

Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (54)

  • Mar 23, 2012 - 12:41AM

    There may be excesses on intelligence agency/ies part, but what is your view on terrorism cases and justice system? And what should we as a nation do to rein in unconventional criminals like terrorists!Recommend

  • Sajid
    Mar 23, 2012 - 12:42AM

    Shame on the people who take the oath to protect the people who they later torture, kill, and dump away!


  • NA
    Mar 23, 2012 - 1:10AM

    Superb once again!
    You’ve hit the nail on its head


  • Hasan
    Mar 23, 2012 - 1:11AM

    Rightly said A Citadel of Islam. Pakistan is on self destruction mode. In Punjab especially my all friends are more or less extremist and they are more or less blood thirsty vampires of Non Muslims and even they distributed sweets the day around 100 Ahmedis killed in Lahore and their second enemy is Shia Muslims now a days and celebrations went underway on the news of Shia killings in Kohistan. These same people from plains of Punjab and KPK make their way into our intelligence agencies and these goons then went on a spree of abductions and killings and then on a self confessed role of savior of Islam and a delusional enemy they out par the cruelest of the world. Pakistan is bound to fall in these circumstances. The laal topy followers and intelligence agencies must be tackled before it will be too late and Pakistan will be comparing itself with Afghanistan and Somalia or perhaps cease to exist in future.


  • Umer
    Mar 23, 2012 - 1:11AM

    When is the apex court actually going to punish someone for the abductions, torture and murders? Is the apex court not aware that these are serious crimes under Pakistani law? Is apex court not able to apply Pakistan law over these entities? Is apex court really apex court?


  • Meekal Ahmed
    Mar 23, 2012 - 1:16AM

    Actually Mickey I think in a bizarre twisted way we have less antagonism against RAW and MOSSAD that we do the CIA.

    Mention of the CIA really gets the juices flowing.


  • Shahid Jamil
    Mar 23, 2012 - 1:36AM

    The last time I checked we have a President and a Prime minister who are supreme commander and the chief executive of the country. Why is it the responsibility of the Supreme Court to go after the agencies? The agencies are not under the direct command and control of the courts. They are to be managed and supervised by the executive. Where are they? Why the author is not asking questions from them? Who appoints the chiefs and executive heads of these organizations? Apex court or the executive? Why is the CJP responsible for opening an inquiry into the disaster in 1988 at the Hamza camp? Why does the executive not open such an enquiry and as a matter of fact many other inquiries that have been pending for decades? What stops them from doing so? Why?

    The hypocrisy of the author is boundless when it comes to the courts. Even if allowanc is made for one’s political leanings, one aught to have some sense of fairness and balance. The courts have been forced into taking actions in these ares because there is no effective government worth its name in the country. Instead of thanking God that some one is doing something the author is nearly always indulging in innuendos, satirical comments and cheeky one liners to put the courts down one way or the other. Why does he not spend more of his time worrying about the politicos and their shenanigans and criticizing them? Or may be that is too difficult …


  • Wasil Arien
    Mar 23, 2012 - 1:42AM

    An excellent expose and brilliant depiction of the blatant lies by used by deep state to hide their devious and brutal activities.


  • Shahbaz Asif Tahir
    Mar 23, 2012 - 1:51AM

    The usual weekly rhetoric, against the establishment, with none to stop, it from howling. Kamran, seems you have made a big packet with the PPP. Keep making hay while the sun shines. How ever when it stops shining,
    ask them to help you when they prepare to face the courts, and InshAllah the wrath of Allah Subhana be on them.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Mar 23, 2012 - 2:07AM

    Thanks ET, for publishing this wonderful and factual Op Ed. Kudos to the writer and ET.
    You wrote “his family followed the convoy carrying the poor chap but were stopped at Faizabad near the ISI’s ‘Hamza Camp’.”

    Well mystery solved, like OBL the RAW, and Mosad also live in our bases and camps!


  • Babloo
    Mar 23, 2012 - 2:09AM

    You wrote
    “Things must surely be out of control when the lawyer representing the ISI and the MI has the effrontery to tell the Supreme Court, no less, that RAW and Mossad are behind the kidnappings and the disappearances, not the ISI and the MI! So then, RAW and/or Mossad are tearing around Islamabad’s security road-block ridden roads in convoys of up to six cars, two of the convoy’s SUVs with forbidden blacked-out windows picking up people? And then releasing their prisoners when the Supreme Court admonishes the ISI/MI? Really, now?

    Yes sir, If I was CJ, I would have held the defense lawyers guilty of insulting the intelligence of the chief justices and ordered there incarceration until more missing persons were released by RAW/MOSAD.


  • Shoaib
    Mar 23, 2012 - 2:16AM

    ISI and MI , what a joke, these nonsense generals and the jokers under them should be put in prisons the same way their predecessors were in Dhaka. They need to have a honest look in the mirrors and realize how pathetic they really are how much their stupid influence has made the country weaker.


  • Basit
    Mar 23, 2012 - 2:20AM

    Despicable attempt by Kamran Shafi in voicing support for terrorists and the courts who free terrorists routinely.

    And of course there are CIA, JSOC, RAW and Mossad networks active inside Pakistan, thanks to the policies of liberal rulers and other Western puppets who have allowed this to happen and instead put a stop on ISI and MI counter intelligence. This has already been revealed through Wikileaks.

    Until the civilian government fixes the broken police and court system, Shafi’s terrorist friends will continue to be picked up by ISI and MI.

    Also tell your civilian PPP controlled IB (many times larger than ISI) to actually do it’s job instead of coming up with nonsense analysis that they try to pass off as intelligence.


  • Haris Chaudhry
    Mar 23, 2012 - 2:22AM

    Thank you Mr Shafi as another no-nonsense, no tip-toeing-around-the-agencies, no prisoners barred, honest, brave and in your face article.

    What a big contrast to all those pieces where the ISPR sponsored ‘journalists’ try to sew an impossible story together just to justify the shenanigans of the deep state..

    Kudos and Keep safe..


  • Baba G
    Mar 23, 2012 - 2:39AM

    Let this be an eye opener to the ISI… i hope they are reading this… we are sick of your high handedness… please leave us Pakistanis alone… we hate you


  • Nadir
    Mar 23, 2012 - 3:15AM

    When news about Brig Ali’s case comes up, people comment that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. When any news regarding missing people come up, then people say that our intelligence agencies are making sacrifices how date one criticize them! The missing people are obviously guilty only because they have been picked up by our intelligence agencies. What a shame.


  • Shehzad Shah
    Mar 23, 2012 - 3:16AM

    A real solution would be to disband the ISI altogether and constitute a new, civilian intelligence agency absorbing the current IB. The ISI is now too riddled with men who are ideological warriors, when what the country needs is competent intelligence gathering & analysis. For the purposes of military intelligence, the army has the MI available; why should the country’s prime intelligence gatherer also be in the army’s hands? ISI loves to talk up RAW/Mossad/CIA; interestingly these are all civilian agencies, though they have at times included serving military officers. If they are as effective as the ISI seems to claim, maybe we should learn from them.


  • Sarah
    Mar 23, 2012 - 3:47AM

    why dont we just hit the roads and protest over this military ghundagardi ?


  • Babloo
    Mar 23, 2012 - 6:06AM

    The argument put forward by defense is an insult to the judges.
    How is all this tolerated when eveything is so self-evident about who is abducting pakistanis, is beyond belief.


  • Maulana tharra
    Mar 23, 2012 - 8:14AM

    RAW may sound absurd and far fetched but there may be some truth behind it!
    During 1977 PNA (so called 9 stars) agitation against ZA Bhutto, a local Mosque Imam and leader of Jamiat-Ul-E Islam (led by Mufti Mahmood, maulana Fazal Rehaman’s father; Jagirdars and Chauhdries are not the only ones passing their political assets to their children) in Shahpur Chaker Sindh presented with an acute strangulated inguinal hernia.
    The surgeon noted thet he was uncircumcised. The maulana had two surgeries; hernia repair and circumcision.
    The so called “National” media did not pick the story but local Sindhi media had a field day!
    MQM may have been conceived by Zia and delivered by ISI but how big a secret it is that who groomed and nourished it at Dehradun? Just put two and two together!
    ISI is not dumb that it would drop names so easily.
    That also explains why Altaf Hussain will never set foot on Pakistan soil as long as he lives!


  • Nisar Hussain
    Mar 23, 2012 - 8:14AM

    if foreign agencies are involve then sham on dull country’s agencies that they are not performing their duties well and country’s are more responsibly specially on 3000 abductees of balochistaniRecommend

  • Mirza
    Mar 23, 2012 - 8:15AM

    All the populist remarks aside, the fact remains that these SC judges have yet to call a single general in the court let alone punish them. All the humiliation is reserved for elected prime ministers only including hanging. The nation is still waiting for six decades for justice against the usurpers.


  • sidjeen
    Mar 23, 2012 - 11:20AM

    there is total anarchy in our country i think even the deep state has lost control and are just trying to save as much power for themselves as they can after complete collapse of the system.


  • Saif M
    Mar 23, 2012 - 11:27AM

    We are waiting to see the day when the judges’ “remarks” actually become court judgements and orders. Until then the “remarks” have no value except making the headlines in the newspapers.


  • Mohsin
    Mar 23, 2012 - 11:33AM

    @ Maulana – Tharra (piye huye):
    Only thing that comes out of your comment is that the surgeon should be tried and punished for leaking the private information of his patient. Such an unethical fellow. Rest is just the figment of your (and other delusional Pakistanis’) imagination.


  • wonderer
    Mar 23, 2012 - 11:44AM

    @Shahid Jamil:

    Should you not be thankful that at least the courts are acting forcefully?

    When the writer is talking about only what is actually happening, why must you object?


  • Hafeez
    Mar 23, 2012 - 12:02PM

    Are you kidding me? Courts decide on cases based on laws and proofs and witnesses etc. If some terrorists roam free, it is not the fault of courts rather it is incompetence of the security apparatus/agencies.


  • Raza Murad
    Mar 23, 2012 - 12:42PM

    Do not be so happy on JUDGES’ Remarks

    We are listening such remarks in PM Case as well


  • Mar 23, 2012 - 12:50PM

    You propagate very well, are u assigned to bash Pak Army only???


  • Parvez
    Mar 23, 2012 - 1:52PM

    In the war of 1812 in America General Andrew Jackson later to become President had famously said ‘ Chief Justice John Marshall has given his ruling, now let him implement it ‘.
    The same sorry situation exists with us today.


  • R.Khan
    Mar 23, 2012 - 2:03PM

    Loved your article! Superb article! We love you!Recommend

  • raza khan
    Mar 23, 2012 - 3:24PM

    cheap of army staff, sipa salar-e-azam is brow beating media and court, that was a threat in disguise, not lecture.


  • Adil
    Mar 23, 2012 - 3:50PM

    I’ve always admired your bravery when it comes to criticizing the mighty ISI and the deep state. I can only imagine the threats you have to bare with day in and out. We’re behind you Sir! But how long will you write for? Once you’re done. Who will? Writing and talking isn’t enough anymore. Complaining to the judiciary isn’t enough anymore either! We need to take the roads! Like you did for the judiciary! You were brave enough to take your family along. Respect again! We can’t sit quietly and worry about the consequences of a long march against the deep state! No one can help us. It’s time for the ‘Awaam’ of this Country to come out again. Sacrifice again! This can’t continue forever. What happened to this young chap and his family is pathetic! It’s sad! It brings tears to our eyes!


  • Salman Orangiwala
    Mar 23, 2012 - 5:14PM

    So the grass root support MQM enjoys with massive populat votes …..are yielded by RAW .?

    Flirt the notion of cornering a specific community …It surely will not end in an affair of hunky dorey , I assure you .Bengalis and Balochs have already been labelled the same way ,donot go futher to open up that Pandora’s box which neither the Govt nor the ISI would be able to clsoe down .Recommend

  • Babloo
    Mar 23, 2012 - 5:20PM

    The military regimes in Argentina and Chile were also involved in abductions and disappearences of their citizens. The tactics were also very similar to those practiced in Pakistan. Things did not end well for those regimes.


  • Khan
    Mar 23, 2012 - 6:07PM

    As usual my comments are again not getting through?


  • Harry Stone
    Mar 23, 2012 - 7:20PM

    You have to wonder if this family considered their lives to be better in Canada or in PAK.


  • wonderer
    Mar 23, 2012 - 7:40PM


    So what???

    Mine too disappear…


  • saleem
    Mar 23, 2012 - 9:09PM

    Its time action is taken against poeple like these, otherwise who knows we may reach the african level where sergeants went on coup upon coup taking out all officers above them. Remeber IDI Amin and James Taylor


  • KMR Overseas
    Mar 23, 2012 - 9:09PM

    @ Maulana tharra
    lol, couldn’t stop laughing. Post the link if u have please.


  • Balochi liberal
    Mar 23, 2012 - 10:37PM

    @Basit: Yes a “Khan” family returning from Canada , indeed sounds like RAW / MOSSAD spy agents. And distributing food coupons may be some sort of intelligence gathering tactic. If you really believe so on what you commented above than your imaginations are worse than that of Hamid Zaid. What the author pointed out here ( very much thanks to him ) is the routine state and daily occurrence on streets of Balochistan. Why were our cell networks down during Pakistan day ???? Can you answer that ? Our situation is truly worse than Kashmir under India.


  • s shah
    Mar 23, 2012 - 11:04PM

    Thank you for another brave and excellent article. Bravo.


  • ashok
    Mar 24, 2012 - 5:07AM

    @ Pakistan politics wrote above
    You propagate very well, are u assigned to bash Pak Army only???

    Allow me to respond to your personal attacks on Kamran

    One can say for sure about Kamran Shafi that he is NOT doing anything other than bringing the truth and the whole truth to the readers; however most reasonable persons would agree that you are the one assigned to defend the indefensible actions of ISI and Pakistan army in almost every article published in ET as if this is your full time job.

    Please spare the messenger.


  • Truth Seeker
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:18AM


    After reading few of your articles in ET, I can say that you really challenge the intelligence of thinking and knowledgeable Pakistanis. Your comprehension of the complexities of the world’s politics correlated with the wisdom gained from history is very different than mine.

    9 out of 11 of your published articles in ET are ISI/Army bashing, 1 apex court and 1 general public bashing (, as if there are no other problems like corruption, inflation, load shedding, law & order, education, health, and the list goes on. I am not saying that you shouldn’t point out the wrong doings of the Army/ISI but one also shouldn’t lose the perspective. So why an intelligent person like yourself hung up on a single subject as that is the only and most important one.

    Or, to show some neutrality, also write similar articles about the wrong doings of America and CIA (Patriot Act, foreign governments toppling, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, abductions from Pakistan and elsewhere, illegal detentions for years in Bighram Airbase, Dr. Afia’s 86 years imprisonment for only pointing a gun), India and RAW (POTA, tens of thousands of extra-judicial killings and brutal torture of Kashmiris and Sikhs, thousands of missing Kashmiris since last decade and dozens of mass graves in IOK), and many other intelligence agencies of the world. I am sure their stories would be much more horrible and on logarithmic scale. But would you dare writing against them instead of becoming part of a propaganda war currently going on to demoralize the national institutions responsible of defending the country. If you learn from history then you would know demoralizing army has been the last stage before the aggression by the enemy. In early stages they create civil unrest, divide and chaos.Recommend

  • Truth Seeker
    Mar 24, 2012 - 11:00AM


    “One can say for sure about Kamran Shafi that he is NOT doing anything other than bringing the truth and the whole truth to the readers…”

    I wish someday he has the courage to bring the truth out of the Indian side.

    According to official figures, 43,000 Kashmiris have been killed – CNN
    Mass Graves Hold Thousands, Kashmir Inquiry Finds – New York Times
    Over 145,000 Sikhs have been killed, tortured and remain missing –


  • wonderer
    Mar 24, 2012 - 11:32AM

    @Truth Seeker:

    As an Indian I have two requests for Mr. Kamran Shafi.

    1) Please do write articles bringing out the weaknesses and shortcomings about the Indian Government, army, RAW and society. We trust your fairness and impartiality. I am sure we will learn from what you write and correct ourselves while we thank you wholeheartedly.

    2) Please do not write articles like the present one concerning Pakistan because people like “Truth Seeker” will feel hurt and do their best to ensure no one takes you seriously and take necessary actions. It will most probably be waste of your time and no one will of course thank you.


  • Insaniyat
    Mar 24, 2012 - 9:14PM

    Kamran Shafi


    Thank you for naming names and thank you ET for printing it. On an earlier occasion ET was too coy to publish my reference to the Ojhri Camp and Mr Jatoi’s unceremonious departure for getting curious about the incident.


  • Mansoor
    Mar 25, 2012 - 6:31AM

    simply great column kamran shafi sb

    wish the inhumane at the top could think and plan like human beings ….. alas its to our etarnal shame that they can’t


  • Insaniyat
    Mar 25, 2012 - 9:53AM

    @Truth Seeker

    If you learn from history then you would know demoralizing army has been the last stage before the aggression by the enemy. In early stages they create civil unrest, divide and chaos.

    Is that so,

    A. Then Japan must have ‘demoralised’ the US Army and also spread ‘civil unrest, divide and chaos’ before attacking Pearl Harbour.

    B. Pakistan must have done that to India before launching aggression in 1965. Or,

    C. India must have done the same to Pakistan in 1965, depending on which history you have been learning from.

    Can we have some reference to such sources of history please?


  • vivek ruparel
    Mar 25, 2012 - 11:14AM

    @Truth Seeker: dude seriously U r pointing fingers on us? can u b more naive n fanatic! after wht ur army did in bengal. after they took false oath of quran 2 capture Nouroz Khan in Balochistan the butchering of baloch ppl. The forced conversions which led to extermination of non-muslims in Pakistan. How much was % of Hindu population in d 4 provinces during 1950’s? How much is it now? shrunk from 15% to 2% in last 60 years. And U r accusing us. Thts like a serial killer accusing a petty thief of being a criminal. and BTW My wrongs do not justify U doing the same. Infact here U r far worse than us. So plz sort out ur internal issues


  • Truth Seeker
    Mar 25, 2012 - 5:43PM

    @vivek ruparel:
    “and BTW My wrongs do not justify U doing the same. Infact here U r far worse than us. So plz sort out ur internal issues.”

    Agree with you – in many ways we are not as good as we must, but in many ways we are much better than you. At least this proverb is not about us “baghal main churri, mohn pay ram ram”. We (most of the intelligentsia) admit our weaknesses and mistakes and don’t pretend to be the best, moral or otherwise.

    Regarding your other questions about minorities, I have already given a detailed explanation in several articles. Perhaps a Google search of “Truth Seeker”+”Express Tribune” can get you your answers.


  • Truth Seeker
    Mar 25, 2012 - 6:01PM


    “Can we have some reference to such sources of history please?”

    Throughout history, most of the successful wars used the same pattern in order to achieve win with minimal effort and loss. Regarding your request about a particular reference, there is no such easy way that a click would take you the relevant part. However, the easiest way I can suggest is to start from “Gangis Khan” on and read through all up-til more recent times.


  • Wonderful
    Mar 25, 2012 - 6:28PM

    @Truth Seeker:
    You write ‘aggression by the enemy’ Who is your enemy?


  • Truth Seeker
    Mar 25, 2012 - 7:35PM


    *”You write ‘aggression by the enemy’ Who is your enemy?”

    I am sure you already know that. Who is the enemy of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh? – I am just talking about the region. Don’t they maintain, train, and equip armed forces? Don’t their air defense systems work 24/7? What is the need of all this if they don’t have any enemy?


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