ISLAMABAD: This is with reference to Anwar Khalil Sheikh’s letter of October 23 in your newspaper titled “A question for Asghar Khan”.
It had many inconsistencies, primary among them the claim that Air Marshal Asghar Khan wrote “a letter to General Ziaul Haq, asking him to take over power from Mr Bhutto”. This oft-repeated allegation is a gross misrepresentation of what the air marshal actually said.
Air Marshal Asghar Khan’s letter dated April 25, 1977, reproduced in his book We’ve Learn’t Nothing from History (pps 133-134) was addressed to all officers of the defence services of Pakistan. It called upon them to reject “the blind obedience of unlawful commands” and cited the tragic killing of a young man for showing a victory sign to the army as a case in point.
The same premise is clearly reflected in the letter written by Air Marshal Asghar Khan which was converted into a petition in the Supreme Court, i.e., then-army chief General Aslam Beg and then-ISI director general Lt Gen Asad Durrani should not have blindly obeyed unlawful commands, allegedly given by then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan who was also commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2012.