Gen Nadeem Ijaz tortured me: Hashmi

Express April 28, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Lieutenant-General Nadeem Ijaz, former head of Military Intelligence (MI), used to supervise “my torture in jail”, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi claimed on an Express News talk show on Tuesday.

In response, a close aide of former President Musharraf said that if that was the case, action should be taken “even if the person was a general.” Ijaz is currently in a centre of the storm after it is alleged that he ordered that the site of the killing of Benazir Bhutto be hosed down. Makhdoom Hashmi said: “After the coup in 1999, the generals used to personally search us and hang us upside down and beat us,” adding that, he was ready to give evidence if action was taken against such generals.

Chief of the Awami Muslim League Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and former spokesman for General (retired) Pervez Musharraf Rashid Qureshi also appeared on the programme. Hashmi criticised Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani for saying that the people in power had been bestowed with favours by the so-called establishment and all was well with respect to the establishment. He said that Pakistani politicians, who “come to power via people’s votes, consider civilian and military bureaucracy and the United States as parts of the ‘establishment’” .

Stressing the need for strengthening institutions, he said that he had opposed General Ziaul Haq even when he had introduced the Eighth Amendment in parliament, adding that people like Sheikh Rashid were “on the other side” even at that time. “Maybe Rashid Qureshi (a confidant of General (retired) Pervez Musharraf) did not know anything that we were tortured, but Mr Musharraf contended that his government did not believe in resorting to torture, but it is very hard for anyone to tolerate people like Akbar Bugti or Javed Hashmi.”

Rashid Qureshi criticised people for attributing “baseless allegations against the establishment and Gen Nadeem Ijaz”. He said no one in the army nor the establishment was happy over Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. He said that he did not know that Javed Hashmi or anyone else was tortured during the Musharraf regime, adding that he would have acknowledged “if I knew”. Qureshi said that action should be taken against anyone who exceeded his authority “even if the person is a general”.