DG Naval Intelligence ready to spill the beans

By Ansar Abbasi

Source : http://www.thenews.com.pk/20-11-2010/Top-Story/2161.htm

ISLAMABAD: As public pressure in France mounts on President Nicolas Sarkozi to testify over alleged corruption in the sale of French submarines to Pakistan in the mid-90s, the then Director General Naval Intelligence (DGNI) of Pakistan Navy has offered help to Islamabad and Paris to book the corrupt and bring back the looted money to Pakistan.
Talking to The News, former DGNI Commodore Shahid Ashraf, who by his own account was tortured, harassed and put under illegal custody by the sleuths he once commanded and prematurely retired from the service “for knowing too much about the commission mafia in defence forces”, said that he was willing to cooperate with the Pakistani as well as French authorities. “I have a lot to share with them about the kickbacks in the Agosta submarine deal,” he insisted.
Ashraf, in a recent interview with this newspaper, disclosed certain details of the Agosta submarine deal and revealed while the deal had led to the removal of the then Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Mansurul Haq and the framing of a corruption reference against Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari but those mighty and powerful in the navy, who made millions of dollars from the deal, were never held accountable. The cover-up in the submarine deal, according to the former DGNI, was meant to save the skin of many in the Pakistan Navy.
To force his silence, he said, he was maliciously charged for getting Rs1.5 million from a naval officer, who was alleged to have got illegal gratification and kickbacks from foreign suppliers of the naval vessels, etc., but was ‘interestingly’ made an approver against the DGNI. On the contrary, a list of naval officers, who were alleged to have received kickbacks, were never touched. Instead, they were promoted as rear admirals.
It is pertinent to point out that a Feb 17, 1995 letter, issued by SOFMA (the French company that was involved in the Agosta deal), talked of making payment of $40,000 to each of the four naval officers whose names were mentioned in the same letter. Instead of probing the four officers, however, each one of them was later elevated as a rear admiral while the DGNI was taken to task for alleged corruption of Rs1.5 million. Interestingly, he was alleged to have received this money from a naval officer, who was getting money from foreign suppliers of the defence deals. As being the DGNI, he had even sought permission of his high command to catch an agent, who was giving bribe money to naval officers but was not allowed to do so.
Besides the then DGNI, the former naval chief Admiral Abdul Aziz Mirza has recently also given credence to the 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 the naval officers.
Recently, in an interview with The News, Aziz Mirza had also disclosed 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, had revealed that Benazir Bhutto’s Defence Minister Aftab Shabaan Mirani had clearly indicated to the Pakistan Navy’s high command the Benazir’s government’s preference for the induction of the French submarines.
Despite these clear verbal directions from the defence minister, the naval top command, according to Mirza, had again met and deliberated upon the subject and decided to recommend two options to the government namely the British Upholder and the French Agosta. The government later approved the induction of Agosta. Mirza, who led the Pakistan Navy from Oct 1999 to Oct 2002, said that the Navy first formally came to know about the kickbacks in the Agosta deal in 1998 following which it had proceeded against three officials of the ranks of captain and commodore for taking bribes and they were removed from service.
“My hunch is that besides the politicians, some top ranking naval officers even above the rank of commodore might have also received kickbacks as reflected in the recent French media reports, however, they (the top Naval officials) remained undetected for want of proof or witnesses,” Mirza was quoted to have said, claiming that even the condemned former naval chief Masoor Ul Haq was not convicted of Agosta kickbacks but for the bribes that he had pocketed in the other defence deals.
In Paris, the families of French engineers killed in a 2002 bombing attack in Karachi are pressing President Nicolas Sarkozy to testify over alleged corruption linked to the deaths. A lawyer for the families said they had lodged a demand with investigating magistrate Renaud Van Ruymbeke to question Sarkozy, former president Jacques Chirac and former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin in the case.
Van Ruymbeke is investigating parts of a complex case that has spawned allegations of illegal political funding implicating former prime minister Edouard Balladur, for whom Sarkozy served as campaign spokesman in 1995.
The families suspect that the bombing in Karachi in 2002, which killed 11 French engineers and three others, was prompted by the cancellation of commission payments on sales of French submarines with Pakistan.
French investigative news website Mediapart in June quoted Luxembourg police as saying that a company set up with Sarkozy’s approval had channeled money from arms deal commissions to fund political activities in France.Sarkozy and Balladur have repeatedly dismissed the allegations of illegal party funding and so does President Asif Ali Zardari in Pakistan.

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UN Comission Report on Benazir Bhutto Murder–>Initial response

United Nations has just released the report of UN fact-finding mission for Benazir Murder Case. Bhutto was killed in Rawalpindi in December 2007  during her election rally.
 
The commission headed by Heraldo Munoz, the U.N. representative from Chile, comments, “Bhutto’s assassination could have been prevented if adequate security measures had been taken.”
 
It also says :
 
 “The commission believes that the failure of the police to investigate effectively Ms. Bhutto’s assassination was deliberate.” Also, “ The officials, in part fearing intelligence agencies’ involvement, were unsure of how vigorously they ought to pursue actions, which they knew as professionals, they should have taken.” 

Note that the purpose of UN commission was fact-finding not fixing the responsibility. 

 
 
 
The main points are :
 
1 ) Musharraf government failed to provide proper security to Benazir Bhutto. The responsibility for this failure is on police and intelligence agencies including ISI,MI and IB.
2 ) Negotiations were going on between Benazir Bhutto and Musharraf but no agreement was made. Musharraf was not in favor of Benazir’s arrival in Pakistan at that time.
3 ) Musharraf government washed all the conclusive evidence. Only 23 pieces of evidence were provided and for this scale of incident usually thousands of pieces are preserved to investigate the truth.
4 ) The press conference of Brigadier Cheema of Interior Ministry was misleading in which responsibility was put on Baitullah Mehsud without investigation.
5 ) PPP’s own security team also failed to protect Benazir Bhutto despite PPP having so many people willing to give their lives for Bhutto.
6 ) Rehman Malik denied that he was responsible for Benazir’s physical security. UN commission finds Rehman Malik’s argument not factual as he was continuously in touch with establishment for Benazir’s security and was looking after the arrangements.
7 ) CPO Saud Aziz was responsible for not allowing the postmortem and washing the crime scene.
8 ) The car, in which Rehman Malik was sitting, left Benazir’s car alone which also decreased the level of security.

 

 

10 ) It is said that a 15 years old boy conducted the suicide blast but UN commission says a 15 years old boy cannot do all this alone. 
11 ) Threat to Benazir’s life was from Extremist elements but role of establishment cannot be overlooked in this. 
  
Now few things which immediately come to my mind are: 

1) Why Musharraf was given a safe exit when even PPP workers think he was responsible for BB’s murder? Was it due to the fact that Mr. Zardari was one of the beneficiaries or it was due to some pressure? 

2) Why the key responsible persons continued to work on their positions without proper accountability during the government of PPP including interior ministry officers, police officers, intelligence agency officers including former DG MI Nadeem Ijaz, former ISI head and Vice Army Chief General Kiyani? 

3) Kiyani is now Army Chief and was representing Musharraf during NRO deal. Will he allow further investigation on the role of ISI, MI,Musharraf and Kiyani himself? 

4) In Rehman Malik’s car, two other persons were also sitting. These two persons are Babar Awan and Musharraf’s close friend and former Core Commander Mangla Lt. General (R) Tauqir Zia(who was also the Chairman PCB during Musharraf time). Will some probe them for their role and negligence? 

5) Why the government of Pakistan delayed UN Commission Report for 15 days (till 15th April 2010)? Even though UN Commission didn’t conduct any new interview after 31st March 2010 as opposite to the government’s claim that the Commission is requested to conduct few interviews. Rehman Malik even yesterday revised the same claim. 

6) Will this murder go into the dustbin of Waziristan or some serious investigations will be done to investigate this high-profile murder? 

 

Report can be downloaded from the link below:

 
Lets see if millions of dollars invested by a poor nation on this report will be of any use or not?

I hope some serious and independent investigation and trial will be conducted for this murder.

 

9 ) Commission didn’t find evidence against Asif Zardari’s and any of the family members’ involvement in this murder.

Detailed Judgment Issued Over NRO

NRO Detailed Judgment has been issued by Supreme Court of Pakistan. Previously on 16 December 2009, SC 17 member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary issued a short order which nullified the draconian law.

The 287 detailed judgment is written by CJP Ifikhar Chaudhary.

The judgment can be downloaded from:

http://www.supremecourt.gov.pk/web/user_files/File/NROJudgment.pdf

For once we need to go for across the board accountability without becoming a prey of illusions created by the players of National Security Card, Democracy Card, Shaheed Card, Ethnic Card, Sectarian or any other Card.

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SC issues detailed Judgment in NRO case

Source: http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=94497&Itemid=2

ISLAMABAD, Jan 19 (APP): Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday issued a detailed judgement in National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case.The Supreme Court issued detailed judgment in Constitution Petitions numbers 76 to 80 of 2007, Constitution Petition 59 of 2009 (on appeal from the order dated 15-01-2009 passed by High Court of Sindh at Karachi in Constitution Petition No. 355 of 2008) and HRC Nos.
14328-P to 14331-P and 15082-P of 2009 regarding the NRO.
The petitions were heard by 17-Member Larger Bench headed by Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Chief Justice of Pakistan and consisting of other Judges namely Mr. Justice Javed Iqbal, Mr.  Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, Mr. Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, Mr. Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Mr. Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jillani, Mr. Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, Mr. Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed, Mr. Justice Ch. Ijaz Ahmed, Mr. Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, Mr. Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui, Mr. Justice S. Khawaja, Mr. Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Mr. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Mr.Justice Rahmat Husain Jafferi, Mr. Justice Tariq Parvez and Mr. Justice Ghulam Rabbani.
The Judgment has been authored by the Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Chief Justice of Pakistan. The judgment was circulated to all Judges of the Bench, signed by Mr. Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday on 12-01-2010.
It has been signed by all remaining Judges of the Bench.  The judgment has unanimously been signed by all the Judges and having signed detailed judgment the three Judges namely Mr. Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, Mr. Justice Ch. Ijaz Ahmed and Mr. Justice Jawwad S. Khwaja have also added supporting notes.