April 2002 News

Former ISI chief steps out of shadow to put foot in mouth

1 April 2002
The Indian Express
KHALED AHMED

NEW DELHI: GENERAL (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi is counted among the rare competent heads of the ISI. His tenure beginning in 1993, was professional and non-ideosyncratic. he had to clear up the mess created by his ideosyncratic predecessor who had undergone a pathological change called the "born again" phenomenon, an affliction that was to claim General Mehmood too later on. Compared to General Hameed Gul, who paraded before the nation as prime example of "reverse indoctrination", General Qazi remained true to the national agenda. On March 19, 2002, President Musharraf announced that he planned a revamp of intelligence services of the country. No single state organisation is as discussed and argued over "unofficially" as the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). On March 18, 2002, for the first time in the career of ISI, the PTV decided to discuss the organisation with an ex-boss of the ISI, General Qazi, currently Railway Minister in the Musharraf government. The General said the ISI's task was to gather strategic intelligence and do counter-intelligence in Pakistan with 90 percent of its employees coming from the enemy. He claimed that army officers could not become entrenched in the ISI because their tenure was restricted to three years unless they were reposted. He said the ISI boss can fire his officers if they are insubordinate. But officers Brigadier Imtiaz Billa and Major Amir took it upon themselves to side with Nawaz Sharif and topple Benazir Bhutto through the rigging of a vote of no confidence in the national Assembly. General Qazi said that Pakistani journalists were of two categories. The left wing liberal journalists could be bought by India for two bottles of whisky while right wing journalists were patriotic. The Job of the "purchased" journalist was to pick up disinformation published in India and print it in Pakistan as his own investigative work. The ISI did not meddle in journalism. He said that the report in the English monthly Newsline in Karachi that Dawood Ibrahim (not named) was in Karachi - the Newsline report also appeared in the The Indian Express - damaged Pakistan's prestige. The bias of General Qazi is bias of his profession, the army. All armies in the world are right wing and do not like people who violate the unwritten law of patriotism. The special issue of Newsline that published the story of Dawood Ibrahim was purely investigative and took the lid off a ham-handed ISI operation. What the General implies is that certain investigative stories should be shelved in the name of patriotism. It would be impossible to suppress information about an underworld gangster simply because he had been a part of an ISI operation. If Pakistan was damaged in the process, and General Musharraf was wrongly compelled to tell Vajpayee in Agra that he was unaware of Dawood's residence in Pakistan, the blame must not go to the liberal "journalist". During Nawaz Sharif's last tenure, Genral Mahmud misused the ISI and ran counter to the policy of the army chief. It's in his tenure the psychopath terrorists like Sheikh Omar Saeed, already in the open after the 1999 Kathmandu hijack, were allowed to roam free. The report of his "freedom of movement" was not platted by a left wing journalists but was a fact for anyone in Lahore who saw Sheikh running al-Qaeda office in the city. General Qazi was most upset over the charge that the ISI ran the Afghan policy. He said no ISI agent was ever caught by Ahmad Shah Massoud- Masooud ahd insisted that at least over a dozen of officers he had caught belonged to the Pakistan Army and the ISI. Pakistan's response was that they were not serving officers but had actually retired from the service, General Qazi would be hard put to resolve the dilemma about officers who developed their personal agendas while in service, then took them forward after retirement. The biggest examples: Hameed Gul and Genereal Javed Nasir. How can intelligence organisation survive if so many of its officers turn rouge? How many officers of RAW have turned rouge and followed their own agenda.? How many of the RAW chiefs speak in the open after retirement? Why is it that all the ISI chiefs who choose to become public figures after retirement display very poor level of personal IQ? Why is the Pakistani citizen compelled to name the ISI in local incidents of terrorism while the Indian citizen does not suspect RAW? If the Pakistani citizen has been undermined by the propaganda of the enemy, whose fault is it anyway? The left wing liberal journalist could not have achieved this defeat of the ISI single handedly. General Qazi was quite strong in his condemnation of jehadi organisation after their role against the Soviet Union against Afghanistan. had come to an end. he called them terrorists and, barring one or two organisations who fought inside Kashmir, considered them all fake. Why did the ISI not take action against these fake jehadi organisations? Both Gul and Nasir are committed to these Jehadi organisation. Gul was a member of the cross-the-board jehadi council doing a advocacy for what are mow perceived as terrorist organisations. Javed Nasir mother organisation Tableeghi Jamat. Once Masood Azhar was released by India, who gave him training facilities for raising of the Jaish? When he was issuing threatening statements against Musharraf, why was the ISI sheltering him? Why was the ISI ISI escorting" Masood Azhar in Sindh were his entry was banned?

 

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