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RPPs return Rs 2b on SC orders ; Intelligence agencies confirm custody of 11 missing prisoners

December 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Supreme Court is proving again and again that at least there is one institution in the country on which we can trust.

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RPPs return Rs 2b on SC orders

Source : http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/09-Dec-2010/RPPs-return-Rs-2b-on-SC-orders

ISLAMABAD – The counsels for Guddu and Naudero projects assured the Supreme Court on Wednesday that Rs 2 billion taken in advance would be returned with the mark-up.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heading a three-member bench comprising Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday said, “Everybody should follow suit on matters of the national exchequer.”
Justice Ramday remarked that many problems of the society could be solved with the cooperation of bar and bench.
Dr Pervez Hassan, counsel for Pakistan Power Resources (PPR), and Shahid Hamid representing Walter Power International (WPI) informed the court that money had been arranged and would be returned to Central Power General Company Ltd (CPGCL) during the course of the day, which, according to the media reports, was paid by Wednesday evening.
The court directed Abdul Malik Memon, CEO GENCO, to conduct an inquiry into the case and submit a report, fixing responsibility upon the officers or the persons on whose instructions GENCO agreed to make the payment to both the companies without keeping facts and circumstances of the case in front of them, in the next date of hearing, and adjourned the case till December 14, 2010.
The bench heard fraud in payment of Rental Power Projects detected by NEPRA (Human Rights Case No.56712 of 2010) and alleged corruption in Rental Power Projects (Human Rights Case Nos. 7734-G/2009 & 1003-G/2010). Syed Najamul Hassan Kazmi appeared on behalf of NEPRA.
According to the statements, PPR and Walters Power International had paid Rs 405.9 million (Rs 405,992,246) earlier and the balance amount of Rs 301 million (Rs 301,058,766) today (Wednesday).
Further RPP is paying Rs 120 million (Rs 120,000,000) on account of interest/mark-up on advance payment, while WPI submitted that an advance payment of US $10.1 million (US $11,036,666) and interest amount of US$ 0.18 million (US$ 180,753) are being paid.
NEPRA has declined to approve a fresh tariff for Naudero-II after discovering that the project’s equipment belonged to Guddu rental power project, which had been dismantled illegally.
The Government paid 14 per cent advance of US $11.28 million to Pakistan Power Resources (PPR) in April 2010 for Naudero-II, while the same company was paid 14 per cent advance payment of $10.15 million for the same machines for Guddu rental power plant having a capacity of 110 MW.

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Intelligence agencies confirm custody of 11 missing prisoners – The Nation

Source : http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Islamabad/09-Dec-2010/Intelligence-agencies-confirm-custody-of-11-missing-prisoners

Pakistan intelligence agencies have confirmed before a bench of the Supreme Court that eleven missing prisoners of Adiala Jail have been in their custody. Raja Irshad, the counsel of the agencies, during hearing of the missing persons case confirmed before a three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry that the missing prisoners are alive and have been in custody of the Military Intelligence (MI) and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The counsel further said that these persons were arrested under military act during various operations and more people are being arrested. He further said that the military, ISI and MI are subordinate to the judiciary under the constitution and law.

 

Intelligence agencies and law –> Dr AQ Khan column in The News

December 7, 2010 28 comments

Dr A Q Khan

Source :http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=18997&Cat=9
The Lahore High Court recently acquitted 11 people accused of involvement in an attack on Gen Musharraf and ordered their release from Adiala Jail. Before they could even taste their freedom they were, according to jail authorities, whisked away by agents of the intelligence agencies. To give it all a bizarre twist, the advocate general, Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq, presented an affidavit from the intelligence agencies stating that these people were not in their custody. Then the bombshell came from the chief secretary of Punjab, who informed the Supreme Court that the men in question had indeed been taken away by ISI sleuths.

This is a very disturbing matter, as it more or less confirms the universal belief that our intelligence agencies are rogue agencies, and are above the law and the Constitution. Equally disturbing is the impression created that the army and the ISI still have Musharraf stooges who are willing to do anything for him, even if that means breaking the law. Only these organisations can tell us what the advantages of their actions are. It is an undeniable fact that such actions give a very bad name to our most august institution, the army.

Ever since Ayub Khan’s coup, our intelligence agencies have been used as servants for personal use and against political opponents. Their main task – gathering information for national security and safety – was superseded. It is said that our most expensive and extensive networks, like the ISI and the MI, are run by the army and take orders from the army chief, not from the civilian government. This has led to all the coups staged in this country.

When the Indians exploded their nuclear weapons on May 11, 1998, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called a meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) on the 13th to discuss options. The participants had varying views, but Foreign Minister Gauhar Ayub Khan, Mr Shamshad Ahmed Khan, the foreign secretary, and myself were quite vocal in favour of a response in kind. I voiced my criticism of the performance of our intelligence agencies. Despite their claims of having informants in almost every house in Pokhran, and their promises that they would inform us if India made any preparations for tests, we were caught unawares. If we had had as little as 10 days’ notice, we could have prepared a matching response and could have detonated our devices in as little as an hour.

If we look at the history of espionage and spies, we find that it is a very old business. The Indians and the Chinese were the original masters. Chanakya and Sun Tzu wrote treatises on the subject and the techniques recommended included murder, secret agents and paying foreigners for information. Similarly, the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans, all established intelligence networks on a scientific basis. The Mongols and the Japanese also used all kinds of tactics to get information about their adversaries. Western and communist countries strove hard to perfect this technology and turned it into a lethal war instrument.

It is said that Abul Fazl Sakzi, the adviser (prime minister) of Sultan Alp Arsalan, once asked the Sultan why he had not established an intelligence network and employed spies for collecting information against adversaries. The sultan replied: “I believe that there is a need for an intelligence network and spies, and that this is the responsibility of the government. This responsibility must be given to highly competent, honest, experienced people so that the government remains safe from dangers. This work is highly complicated and needs people of wisdom, knowledge and foresight, as there is a great danger in this work of fraud, cheating and double games. Hence the people working in this field must be free of all temptation and blackmail, as the security of the country will depend on their performance. They should be free from financial and family worries, which will enable them to fully concentrate on their important work and provide the government with correct and reliable information. It must ensure punishment to traitors and unpatriotic elements and reward and respect patriotic people and well-wishers of the state. The conditions within the country should be such that people automatically and willingly become good, law-abiding and patriotic citizens while at the same time respecting and fearing state laws. They should not dare to indulge in any anti-state activities. The establishment of an intelligence network and the deployment of spies is a state responsibility and it is a demonstration of courage and foresight. It is thus an essential duty of the state.” (Tusi Siasat-nama.)

Sultan Alp Arsalan gave important and practical advice. He not only mentioned the inherent dangers and possible undesirable activities of these institutions and their workers, but also the necessity of such organisations.

Unfortunately, in our country the performance of the intelligence agencies is anything but commendable and is not something to be proud of. They have been the extended arm of dictators and been widely branded as rogue organisations. They operate outside the law, are least bothered about the judiciary and totally ignore court orders. During Gen Musharraf’s time, a general, an ISI colonel and eight subordinates forcibly sent us to Bannigala and kept us there for 10 hours. During that time our house was totally ransacked, bedrooms, clothes, books, files, etc., searched and many things taken away – all this without any official warrant or court order to do so. To-date many of the things taken away have not been returned. During the process our house was also bugged with cameras and – how low can you get – listening devices placed behind our bed and in the bedroom of our granddaughter, as well as in the drawing room, dining room and other places. They totally ignored that fact that, with my background, I was not ignorant of such affairs. I immediately realised the mischief they had done, traced their devices but left them in place (until years later) to let them remain under the illusion that we were unaware. The courts did not take any action against this blatant violation of our fundamental rights and privacy. In any civilised society such despicable acts are totally unacceptable and are dealt with severely by the courts.

We saw how President Nixon was removed from office in disgrace over the bugging of Watergate by his staff. Our courts have wide powers and could, if they so desired, deal with such mischief effectively and immediately in one way or another. Unfortunately, such action is always lacking and the rogue agents of the rogue agencies are left to follow the law of the jungle. As long as they are allowed a free hand, we will be branded as a lawless, corrupt country.

It is my personal opinion that these activities are mostly carried out by retired and re-employed army personnel, who then try to be more loyal than the king and indulge in all kinds of mischief to justify their continuity in service. In doing so, they give a bad name to their agencies and to the government. The heads of the intelligence agencies would be better off not carrying such excess baggage and to utilise the services of young, educated, honest and capable people.

Missing persons’ case

November 3, 2010 6 comments

Source : http://www.thenews.com.pk/02-11-2010/Top-Story/1746.htm

By Ansar Abbasi

 ISLAMABAD: The case of newly discovered 11 missing persons, presently being heard by the Supreme Court, is yet another reminder of how callously intelligence agencies of the country operate without showing any respect to rule of law.
The saga of missing persons seems to be getting more and more complicated with every passing day as the governments, whether federal or provincial, political parties and parliament are simply incapable or indifferent to providing the needed support to the Supreme Court to keep intelligence agencies under check and to make them behave as per the law of the land.
Illyas Siddiqui, the attorney of these 11 persons, insists that the Lahore High Court had ordered the release of these 11 persons on July 21, and on July 28, the orders of the court were received by the Adiyala Jail’s superintendent but instead of releasing them, the jail authorities handed them over to intelligence agencies on July 29, from the main gate of the jail. He also referred to a video evidence to prove his point.
Siddiqui did not precisely name as to which intelligence agency had abducted these persons, all of whom were acquitted in terrorism cases, including rocket attack on the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra, anti-aircraft shots fired at a plane carrying former President Pervez Musharraf and suicide attacks on the bus of an intelligence agency in Rawalpindi and at the main entrance of the GHQ.
A deputy attorney general told the apex court that none of the three leading intelligence agencies — ISI, MI and IB — have in their custody any of these missing persons. The Punjab government authorities also don’t admit that the acquitted persons were handed over to any of the intelligence agencies but say that all the persons were released as per the high court’s order.
The then Home Secretary, Nadeem Hasan Asif, said that after their acquittal by the court in terrorism cases, the Punjab government, on the recommendation of CID, kept them under detention, initially under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) and later by invoking the Anti-Terrorism Act.
But when the LHC set aside these detention orders, Nadeem told The News, the jail authorities were asked to release all the acquitted persons. When asked, Nadeem said that none of the intelligence agencies, including ISI, MI and IB, had approached him either to keep these persons under detention or hand them over to the spy agencies.
On the files of the provincial government, all these detainees were released from the Adiyala Jail. However, when they were to be released, quite a reasonable number of their relatives were waiting outside the Adiyala Jail to receive their acquitted relatives. The superintendent and the deputy superintendent of Adiyala Jail have already been arrested from the Supreme Court following the court’s order.
No matter what the government files read, some of the provincial government authorities do believe that these 11 persons would have been in the illegal custody of the intelligence agencies.
Six out of these 11 persons are those who were acquitted in a case of attack on the ISI bus near Hamza Camp on the morning of November 24, 2007, killing 17 persons and injuring 35 others. According to media reports, the Punjab Police had held the intelligence agencies responsible for their acquittal on grounds of non-cooperation and mishandling of the case.
The report said that these six people were first picked up by intelligence agencies and were latter handed over to the Punjab Police after almost nine months of detention with not a single evidence provided to police and the spy agencies even refused to share any information gathered from the illegal detainees. These reports were carried by the national press in June this year and neither the Punjab Police nor the ISPR or any intelligence agency had rebutted the news.

Aafia’s sentencing–> A question mark over USA justice system; Shame for Pakistan Army and Government

September 24, 2010 6 comments

Dr. Aafia Siddiqi, mother of three children who was kidnapped from Karachi in 2003 by USA and Pakistani agencies, is sentenced for 86 years.

The charge is that this 5 feet weak woman  attacked well trained US marines by snatching their rifles and in the process no one was shot except Aafia herself.

All the principles of justice like innocent till proven guilty, fair defense and unbiased decision making were destroyed in the case by US judge , members of jury and the US government. They were well supported by Pakistani government and agencies in the fake trial.

The decision leaves a question mark on the justice system of USA and its effectiveness to protect human rights. USA civil society needs to think over it if they have some conscience as this can happen with them too.

This decision is a Shame for Pakistan Army, Agencies and Government especially the Pentagon Pet Dictator Musharraf and his junta. They not only sold Aafia but hundreds like her and sold their motherland to their imperialist masters for serving their greed and lust for power.

May Allah give justice to Aafia and bring to justice those who were involved in doing this with her.

Read also : Aafia Siddiqui Indictment

Support Appeal For Dr. Afia Siddiqi(Prisoner 650 Bagram Jail)–>AHRC

Aafia turns out to be a credible witness–>DAWN

January 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Source : http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/12-aafia-turns-out-to-be-a-credible-witness-010–bi-10

By Masood Haider

NEW YORK: Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui took the stand on Thursday afternoon to testify in a court where she is facing the charge of trying to kill American servicemen while in custody at Ghazni (Afghanistan).

While denying the attempted murder charge, Dr Aafia told the court that she was concerned she was going to be transferred to a ‘secret’ prison by the Americans and was trying to slip out of the room when she was shot.

“I’m telling you what I know,” she said in response to a question by Assistant US Attorney Jenna M. Dabbs.

“I walked towards the curtain. I was shot and I was shot again. I fainted.” Much to the surprise of her defence team, Dr Aafia turned to be a ‘credible witness’.

She was allowed to take the stand after Judge Richard Berman issued her caveats making her aware of the pitfalls and the dangers of such a move. Her defence team was literally scared that she could turn out to be her own worst enemy given her past record of outbursts.

She had been thrown out of the court several times after being admonished by the judge not to speak out of turn.

But on Thursday she surprised them all and remained calm and composed.Dr Aafia again denied picking up an M4 rifle and taking a shot at American soldiers and instead maintained that she was scared and wanted to run away as she heard conversations from behind the curtain during her incarceration at Ghazni.

She said as she peeked out of the curtain she was shot and injured. She also accused the FBI agents who questioned her time and again of threatening to hurt her children in order to scare her.

At one point she became so chatty that she was asked by the judge to just answer the question instead of elaborating them.

She also denied prosectuion’s claim that she was trained in rifle shooting, saying: “I took physical training but not to shoot a rifle.”

She said she was shot two or three times by one person in the room and then shot by someone else. She also said she did not believe any US soldier in the room would be irresponsible enough to leave his weapon lying around.

A group of FBI agents and US soldiers had travelled to Ghazni to interview Dr Aafia after she was allegedly found with materials that included hand-written notes referring to a “mass casualty attack” in the US and listed several landmark locations, including the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge, prosecutors have said.

Gates confirms Blackwater presence in Pakistan

January 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Source :http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=116754&sectionid=351020401

Press TV

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirms that American security firms Xe Services LLC, formerly known as Blackwater, and DynCorp have been operating in Pakistan.

The two firms are operating in private capacities, Gates said on Thursday, adding that the companies were abiding by Pakistani laws.

However, he said that if the Pakistani parliament votes for a ban on the presence of the firms, the US government would comply with it.

Blackwater won notoriety for having gone on a shooting rampage in a heavily trafficked Baghdad intersection in September 2007 killing more than a dozen Iraqi civilians.

Blackwater Worldwide changed its name to Xe Services LLC in February 2009, after it came under international criticism for its disregard for civilian lives.

Two former Blackwater mercenaries have also been charged with the 2009 murder of two Afghan civilians in Kabul.

Asad Durani, former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), had earlier told Press TV that the notorious firm, Blackwater, was involved in the deadly drone attacks on Pakistani territories, which usually result in civilian casualties.

“I learned somewhere that these people are employed certainly for the logistic support at the drone bases. That is understandable,” Durani said earlier in January.

Gates, meanwhile, said that Washington is considering sharing its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology with Pakistan.

“These UAVs are useful and we have a budget for them,” Gates said in an interview with a privately-run Pakistani television on Thursday.

He claimed that the drones had proved productive in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“We are working together with Pakistan army in this connection,” Gates said, adding that discussions were underway with Pakistan military leadership on technical matters in this regard, a Press TV correspondent reported late Thursday.

Defense officials in his delegation later said that the US will provide 12 Shadow drones to Pakistan.

The Shadow drone is about 3.3 meters (11 feet) long and has a wing-span of 4.2 meters (14 feet), with sensors and cameras feeding video images back to operators on the ground.

Blogger Jailed For Anti-Bush Remarks

November 4, 2009 1 comment

The world has not yet come out of the medieval suppression when people either got killed or get imprisoned for life if they are found guilty for exercising their freedom and criticize the monarchs but this time it has taken a leap and taken a new form of national security policies.

Secret agencies in the name of national security can suppress anyone’s rights and freedom.

Civil society in USA should take a serious note of these events where innocent people like
Dr. Aafia and her children or old journalists like Nayyar Zaidi become easy targets of the
parallel governments in the for security agencies. The prime reasons are similar in these cases
either speaking for justice, belonging to particular race or religion or it can be the case
of just fitting in the profile.

Recent event is of an Indian blogger who was jailed for just making anti-bush remarks over the
internet.

Vikram with a highly educated background was pursuing PhD in cancer research and holds an
excellent academic record.

Civil society and human rights organizations of the world particularly of USA should
demand justice for these victims.

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Student jailed indefinitely over alleged anti-Bush remark

Report by Russia Today

Source: http://www.russiatoday.com/Top_News/2009-10-15/indian-student-jail-bush.html

Internet crime is rapidly becoming a major focus for authorities around the world, but the case of an Indian student, jailed in the US nearly three years ago, is being seen as a major test of human rights in the country.

He was locked up for allegedly threatening the American president George W. Bush via his internet blog.

Before ending up in prison in 2006, Vikram Buddhi was an award-winning student at Purdue University in the United States, pursuing a double PhD in cancer research. His parents in India have been trying to prove his innocence for over three years.

“On February 3, 2006, the Secret Service made a formal report saying Vikram Buddhi is not a threat to the US President or any Secret Service protectees,” says the student’s father Dr. Buddhi Kota Subbarao. “Suddenly, on April 14, they arrest him. There is no new development between these dates. So having said he’s not a threat, how he could become a threat in April 2006?”

Dr. Subbarao is a retired Navy captain and nuclear scientist. His son was eventually found guilty formally, in 2007, of threatening the US President. However, the length of sentence has still not been announced and, without that, the family cannot appeal. Dr. Subbarao believes the entire trial was a miscarriage of justice.

Dr. Subbarao and his son
Dr. Subbarao and his son

“The jury was not informed of the law, the defense attorney was told to shut up, and the jury’s questions explaining their confusion – the judge didn’t want to clear the confusion, so the jury got fed up and said guilty,” goes on Dr. Subbarao, “So all these show the trial is unfair, a mistrial must be declared.”

Vikram, 37, is accused of starting a web discussion, calling on Iraqis to take revenge on the US by attacking President George W. Bush. Vikram’s supporters believe he is innocent, because the internet trail does not prove he posted the message.

“He’s been accused of threatening to kill President Bush. How did he threaten – did he buy a weapon, did he write a letter ‘I want to kill you’, did he buy a ticket to Washington DC? What did he do?” demands the student’s lawyer Somnath Bharti.

In fact, Vikram’s family believes that he was targeted because a few months earlier he had publicly spoken out against possible racial discrimination at Indiana’s Purdue University. Vikram defended the case of a black student who was expelled for cheating, by highlighting the fact that three white students, guilty of the same act, were not.

Lawyer Somnath Bharti is sure that “Vikram is an outstanding student who stood against injustice, somebody who speaks up, and such people are not liked.”

Meanwhile, teachers and students of the elite Indian Institute of Technology are demanding the release of Vikram, a former student. They want the Indian government to put pressure on the American administration to look at the legality of the trial.

“The government has done nothing for this boy. Even the basic minimum that should have been done for an Indian citizen who is an alien abroad,” points out student Vijaya M.J. “We’re actually dealing with the US which is supposed to be a friendly country right now. When we have [Barack] Obama and Manmohan [Singh, Indian Prime Minister] shaking hands, and one of our students, completely in an unjust way being arrested and jailed in the US is completely unacceptable.”

They argue web postings are protected by the First Amendment of the US constitution that defends the right to freedom of speech.

“Even though so much is written about the rule of law and freedom of speech, [Americans] in fact live in a great deal of fear. Not only from terrorists, but also from their own security departments. Now, anybody who says anything about the American [president] will face the same fate,” Dr. Subbarao says.

What started out as two concerned parents demanding justice for their son is fast becoming an important precedent for the very nature of free speech in contemporary America. For a nation that prides itself on basic human rights and often lectures those who do not comply, it could soon face tough questions over its own laws of liberty.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwfzKX1Uu4s&feature=player_embedded

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