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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.

 

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.

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.

Witnesses’ accounts differ at Dr. Aafia’s trial –>DAWN

January 21, 2010 1 comment

Source : http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/14-witnesses-accounts-differ-at-dr-aafia-trial-zj-01

KARACHI: The trial of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has taken a bizarre turn when a witness’s testimony came out to be different from the one given by American official Captain Schnieder, reports DawnNews.

Furthermore, an FBI agent testified that they did not find Dr. Aafia’s finger-prints on the rifle.

The US federal court in Manhattan heard Aafia Siddiqui and 5 other witnesses. Dr. Aafia told the court that she is being misrepresented by the prosecutor’s statement regarding the things she has said about America, that only negative thoughts are being portrayed.

According to DawnNews’ correspondent in New York, Masood Haider, the court heard witnesses who saw the incident including an Afghan interpreter, Ahmed Gul who became a green card holder in 2009 and was processed by the American government and now lives in New York. Abdul previously claimed that he saw Dr. Aafia shoot at the US soldiers.

There was also a cross examination of witnesses and forensic experts and FBI. On the second day of the trial, four witnesses came under cross-questioning.

In the previous hearing, Captain Schnieder told the court that Dr. Aafia shot at him while she was on her knees.

But on the second day of the trial, Ahmed Gul told the court that Dr. Aafia was standing when she fired the gun and the gun was pointing at some other official.

The Afghan interpreter also told the court that he has been granted a green card and has been settled in America by the officials who brought him to testify in the trial.

During the hearing, one FBI official told the court that they found Dr. Aafia’s fingerprints on the documents but not on the gun, Masood Haider said.

Ex-Navy chief confirms French kickbacks–> The News

January 13, 2010 1 comment

Source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=26619

By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Former Naval chief Admiral Abdul Aziz Mirza gives credence to the recent French investigative report that talked of almost $49 million kickbacks in the Agosta-submarine deal allegedly received by President Asif Ali Zardari and others, including Naval officers, disclosing that the then Benazir government had urged the Pakistan Navy to go for the French subs.

Mirza, while quoting the then Naval chief Admiral Saeed Khan, also revealed that Benazir Bhutto’s defence minister Aftab Shaban Mirani had clearly indicated to the Pakistan Navy’s high command the government’s preference for the induction of the French submarines.

Despite these clear indications by the defence minister, the top naval command again met and deliberated on the subject and decided to recommend two options to the government — the British Upholder and the French Agosta. The government later approved the induction of the Agosta.

Mirza, who led the Pakistan Navy from Oct 1999 to Oct 2002, said the Navy first formally came to know about the kickbacks in the Agosta deal in 1998 following which it proceeded against three officials of the rank of captain and commodore for getting bribe. They were eventually removed from service. “My hunch is that besides the politicians, some top ranking naval officers, even above the rank of commodore, might also have received kickbacks as reflected in the recent French media reports. They, however, (the top Naval officials) remained undetected for want of proof or witnesses,” Mirza said.

He claimed that even the condemned formal Naval chief, Masoorul Haq, was not convicted of the Agosta kickbacks but for the bribes that he had pocketed in other defence deals. According to a recent report in a leading French newspaper, investigations have revealed that Zardari received $4.3 million in kickbacks from the sale of three Agosta 90 submarines for Eu825 million. These reports also suggest that Naval officials might have received kickbacks out of this $49 million.

This deal was struck during Benazir Bhutto’s second tenure in 1994. According to former DG Naval Intelligence Commodore Shahid Ashraf, he had informed in early 1995 the then Naval chief Mansoorul Haq and his vice chief vice admiral AU Khan of the cash pay off to Capt ZU Alvi and Col (retd) Ejaz as bribe for further distribution amongst Naval officers.

Ashraf, who was dismissed from service, claimed in his statement in 1998 that he had informed the Naval chief and the vice chief in early 1995 of the Agosta kickbacks issue but was asked by them to keep quiet. Ashraf insisted that he was innocent and victimised by the Pakistan Navy in 1998 to save the skin of several other allegedly corrupt Naval officers, who had received kickbacks in the Agosta deal.

Admiral Mirza admitted the facts that Ashraf did make the same claim in his statement in 1998 and that retired vice admiral AU Khan too had confirmed the same fact when questioned in 1998 by the fact-finding inquiry.

But Admiral Mirza still insisted the ex-DG Naval Intelligence did receive kickbacks in the Agosta deal as was confirmed by the other two officers, Capt ZU Alvi and Capt Liaqat Ali Malik, who were blamed to have received bribes directly from the French. For the same reason, he said, the ex-DGNI was penalised.

He said that Capt ZU Alvi and Col (retd) Ejaz were the two main witnesses with the former having agreed to become approver on the condition of revealing all the details of kickbacks and corruption. Mirza though conceded that Ashraf was Admiral Mansurul Haq’s right-hand man, he did never carry the reputation of being corrupt before he was convicted to have received Rs 1.5 million from Alvi, who was the direct recipient of the kickbacks.

Mirza, who has also served as the country’s ambassador to Riyadh, said that one Zafar Iqbal, a middle man of the French company, was also interrogated and had admitted to have received $160,000 to be paid to four commodores. He, however, said that both Iqbal and Ejaz never paid this amount to anyone of them. The former Naval chief said that the four commodores were never charge sheeted or confronted by a board of inquiry as a fact-finding inquiry had already found them innocent, which led to their promotion as rear admiral.

Zafar Iqbal claimed during interrogation to have been assigned by the French company to bribe the Naval officials up to the rank of commodore. For top ranking Naval officers and for political bosses, Mirza quoted Zafar Iqbal to have claimed that some other middle men, including Aamir Lodhi, were responsible for the kickbacks and commissions of persons with higher status both in Navy and in the government.

Since these middle men were never caught and probed so it still remains a secret as to who amongst the senior most Naval officers of that time received how much money, he said. But he believed that there were some top men, who must have received the kickbacks but remained free.

Referring to the latest French media reports about the Agosta kickbacks, he said he gives such reports due credence also for the reason that the French, Germans, Italians and other manufacturers of defence equipment do have a recognised provision of allocating about 10 pc of the contract value as kickbacks, entertainment, gifts etc as a matter of policy.

When asked whether the kickbacks and commissions in defence deals in Pakistan could be curbed, he stated that with a little bit of sincere effort the kickbacks in defence procurements could be considerably reduced if not altogether eliminated.

Blackwater Loses a Job for the C.I.A.–>NYT

December 13, 2009 1 comment

Blackwater Loses a Job for the C.I.A.

NewyorkTimes

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/12/us/politics/12blackwater.html

By MARK MAZZETTI

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency has terminated a contract with the security company formerly called Blackwater Worldwide that allowed the company to load bombs on C.I.A. drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan, intelligence officials said Friday.

The contract gave employees with the company an operational role in one of the Central Intelligence Agency’s most significant covert programs, which has killed dozens of militants with Predator and Reaper drones. The company’s involvement highlighted the extent to which the C.I.A. had outsourced critical jobs to private companies since the 9/11 attacks.

The contract with the company, now called Xe Services, was canceled this year by Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, according to a C.I.A. spokesman. In August, The New York Times first revealed the existence of the contract, which was run by a division of the company called Blackwater Select, which handles classified contracts.

George Little, the C.I.A. spokesman, said that Mr. Panetta had ordered that the agency’s employees take over the jobs from Xe employees at the remote drone bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that Mr. Panetta had also ordered a review of all contracts with the company.

“At this time, Blackwater is not involved in any C.I.A. operations other than in a security or support role,” Mr. Little said.

The disclosure about the terminated contract comes a day after The Times reported that Blackwater employees had joined C.I.A. operatives in secret “snatch and grab” operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Blackwater’s role in the raids grew out of contracts that the company had with the spy agency to provide security for the C.I.A. in Kabul and Baghdad.

The company had a dual role in the drone program, said current and former employees and intelligence officials. Contractors on the secret bases assembled and loaded Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs onto drones, and they also provided security at the C.I.A. bases.

The C.I.A. did not allow contractors to select targets for the drone attacks or pull the trigger on the strikes. That work was done at the C.I.A.’s headquarters in Langley, Va.

But Blackwater’s direct role in the drone operations sometimes led to disputes between the contractors and C.I.A. employees, as the spy agency sometimes accused Blackwater employees of poor weapon assembly if the missile or bomb missed a target. In one instance last year, a 500-pound bomb dropped off a Predator before the drone had launched its payload, leading to a frenzied search along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

A company employee said the bomb was eventually found not far from the intended target.

Former CIA Intelligence Officer in charge of Blackwater in Peshawar

October 29, 2009 2 comments

10/29/09 1321 hours
Sana Aijazi

Peshawar: Fomer CIA Intelligence Officer Steven Cash is in charge of Blackwater operations in Peshawar. The Blackwater supervisory team in Peshawar includes James Bill William, Copper, Steven Cash, Roderick Christopher and Alisha Cambel.

They have hired several Pakistani government officials and retired army personnel at remunerations as high as $2,000 per day. Various journalists have been approached and offered bribes by these officials to implement the PSYOPs in newspapers and electronic media in Pakistan. They are pushing journalists to publish news stories of Talibans, as the Psychological Operations group of US Army has planned.

They are paying as high as $1000 per published news story to journalists. Meetings are held in various houses rented in University Town, Peshawar and residents have reported activities with tinted glasses jeeps during late night hours.

Steven Cash is a former senior U.S. government official. Mr. Cash served as an Intelligence Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, first as an Assistant General Counsel, and then with the Directorate of Operations. He also served as Chief Counsel to Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, and as Minority Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security. From 2001 to 2003 he was a Professional Staff Member and Counsel for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Source:http://sana.aijazi.com/former-cia-intelligence-officer-in-charge-of-blackwater-in-peshawar/

 

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