Bahria students stage demo as Naval Intelligence intervenes –>The News

I am really sick of these pathetic occupied armed forces who just know how to control power, kill their own people, suppress their own people and serve their foreign masters and thier greed.

By Umar Cheema
 
 
ISLAMABAD: As protests in Bahria University have erupted over the beating and termination of Professor Qamar Riaz Mehmatkhel, the administration, instead of revising its decision, has now fired his head of the department, a foreign qualified and the youngest PhD in Pakistan, for speaking in defence of his sacked subordinate.
Meanwhile, Dr. Shafqat has had his vehicle surrounded by two cars in the F-8 Markaz on Monday by, what he said, were sleuths of the Naval Intelligence who did not allow him to move an inch for hours, only releasing him after the protest being carried out three kilometres away ended.

Likewise, the BU students were warned of expulsion in case they participated in protests or expressed solidarity with the outspoken professor. The BU main gate was closed to stop the students from going out. Nevertheless, the bravos not only showed up in a reasonable strength but also resolved to do so again on Tuesday when the sacked professors would deliver lectures on the roadside on the issue of leadership. The BU Rector, vice admiral (retd) Haroon, has meanwhile left for Hong Kong on vacation, as the situation grew tense in the university. Registrar of the university, retired commodore Mumtaz Raza, was called several times, messages were dropped, requesting for his version on the conflicting situation but he did not return the calls.

Dr Shafqat who earned doctorate in management sciences is only 32 years old but has authored three books and 50 research articles in international journals. He returned to Pakistan last year with a passion to serve his country after teaching in reputed UK universities for eight years where he was inducted into the academic staff at the age of 23 after earning distinctions in post-graduation.

Dr. Shafqat, who heads the department of Management Sciences, was expecting this showdown for a long time as he confronted the university administration on a number of occasions. Now when the administration decided to sack Professor Qamar Riaz, the termination letter was to be served through him. And he refused.

Instead, he asked for a proper inquiry to establish Qamar Riaz’s guilt. It was not done and the professor was roughed up and later sacked. It followed the termination of Dr. Shafqat. Interestingly, the sacked professors are regular employees and no notice was served nor any inquiry ordered into their conduct.

As Dr Shafqat had to attend the protest rally on Monday, he was passing through the F-8 Markaz for some business and was surrounded by two cars. “Do you know who we are?” said the sleuths as they came out of the cars, Dr. Shafqat told The News. “I got the point that they were 7-9 persons of Naval Intelligence.” They had him locked in there until the protest was over.

Dr. Shafqat has been at unease with the university’s administration since he joined it. First, he refused to keep three children of Navy officers in MBA classes, as they did not fulfil the admission criteria. Dr Shafqat had refused to take them notwithstanding the fact they were already granted admission by the registrar’s office, he told The News.

“The Registrar said we have to enrol the scions of Navy officers. I said, OK but you will have to devise a policy. Then that was never done but the pressure always keeps mounting.”

Likewise, Dr. Shafqat refused to take into the faculty a female teacher, the daughter of a serving rear admiral, and he was then put on warning: “You will face the consequences.” He also faced the wrath of the administration when he bluntly refused to comply with a wish list also including a Naval officer who desired to be inducted into the faculty when he was already taking classes at the same department. Dr. Shafqat said that he had also taken up the issue of the harassment of female students by some officials of the administration. The female students submitted a written application, naming the officers who harassed them. “As I took up the issue, the administration reprimanded me for doing this”, Dr Shafqat said.

 
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Zardari ‘pocketed millions’ in French subs deal: report

Source : http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/15-Jan-2011/Zardari-pocketed-millions-in-French-subs-deal-report/1

Official Pakistani documents detailing how the country’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, benefited from massive, secret payments connected to the sale of French submarines to Pakistan have been seized as evidence by a Paris magistrate investigating a suspected widespread scam surrounding the deal.
The documents, revealed for the first time by Mediapart, show that the payments to Zardari and others took place on the fringes of the sale of three Agosta-class submarines by the French defence contractor the DCN) to Pakistan in the 1990s. The French sale succeeded against rival offers by Swedish and German contractors.
The sale, and the payment of bribes associated with it ­- officially termed as commissions – are at the core of what has become known as the ‘Karachi affair’, currently the subject of two French judicial investigations and which has rocked the French political establishment with its potential far-reaching ramifications within France.
A key allegation in the developing affair is that the cancellation of commissions paid out in the submarine deal was the motive behind a suicide bomb attack in Karachi on May 8th, 2002, that left 11 French engineers dead. They were in Pakistan to help build one of the Agosta submarines.
Increasing evidence suggests that cancellation of the commissions, ordered by former French president Jacques Chirac, was decided after it was discovered they were in part re-routed back to France to fund political activities of Chirac’s principal political rival, Edouard Balladur. For the full background to the story please click here.
The documents now in possession of Paris-based judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke were found during a French police search in June 2010 of the home of Amir Lodhi , one of the intermediaries involved in securing the Agosta contract. Lodhi held a copy of a report by a Pakistani anti-corruption service, the Ehtesab Cell.
Lodhi, 61, the brother of a former Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations, is a close friend of Zardari, who became president of Pakistan in 2008 one year after the assassination of his wife, Benazir Bhutto.
The raid on Lodhi’s home in the French capital was carried out by detectives from the French police national financial investigation division, the DNIF, (Division nationale des investigations financiers). The Ehtesab Cell documents were the object of a formal report by the DNIF, established on June 17th, 2010, and reveals that Zardari received backhanders worth 6,934,296 euros between October and December 1994.
That report is now among the evidence collected by Van Ruymbeke in his investigations launched last autumn into the financial aspect of the Agosta submarine sale, and in particular whether commissions paid abroad were re-routed to fund political activities within France.
Originally written in English, the Pakistani document was translated by the DNIF investigators and now provides the first clear details about the scale of the payments made to Zardari, amounting to several million euros, as well as the channels used, including offshore companies, bank accounts and a British tax haven.
Bank transfers to the Virgin Islands
The Agosta submarine contract was signed between the two countries on September 21st, 1994, just weeks before the first payments began.
At the time, Zardari was a minister in the Pakistani government then led by his wife, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Importantly, Zardari was the key figure for all public contracts signed with foreign countries. That position earned Zardari the unflattering nickname in his own country of “Mister 10%”.

The main document seized by French investigators is a photocopy of an original dated November 9th, 1997, concerning a request by Pakistan to Switzerland for co-operation in a judicial investigation.
The request by the Pakistani authorities to Switzerland aimed, according to the officer, “to obtain all the necessary information to pursue a criminal investigation and to try the former prime minister of Pakistan, Madame Bhutto, her husband, Monsieur Asif Ali Zardari, her mother, Begum Nusrat Bhutto and the other members of the Bhutto government, public servants and civilians implicated in the conspiracy of Madame Bhutto and/or her husband to misappropriate public funds for their own profit.”
The French police report said the document explicitly referred to the Agosta contract: “This request concerns several cases of malpractice including that of the purchase of French submarines.” According to the DNIF investigators “the chronology and the currency [of the sums paid] suggest that these payments are secret commissions paid by the DCN-I [the commercial arm of the submarine builders DCN] to Monsieur Zardari and Monsieur Lodhi for their considerable service in assuring that DCN-I got the contract”.
Huge sums are recorded at the end of 1994 alone, when a company called Marleton Business Inc. was set up through a lawyer in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands for use by Zardari. A first payment of some of 5.5 million francs (about 838,000 euros) took place in October 1994 “of which 70% goes to Monsieur Zardari (AAZ) and 30% to Monsieur Lodhi (AL),” noted the French police report.
Sarkozy’s ministry ‘approved’ bribe sums
A second transfer took place two months later, in December, for an altogether larger sum of 59.48 million francs, (about 9.06 million euros) “divided into 41.636 million [francs] for Monsieur Zardari and 17.844 million for Monsieur Lodhi”. That represented 6,934,296 euros for the current president of Pakistan, and 2,971,841 euros for his partner.
According to the French investigators, the official Pakistani documents seized in Lohdi’s Paris home also explain that “Messieurs Lodhi and Zardari received their bribes in the bank accounts of a series of offshore companies”.
The report says they are all based in the Virgin Islands and they are identified by the DNIF as: Marvil Associated Inc., Penbury Finance, Oxton Trading, Crimities Holding and Dustan Trading.
The banks involved in the payments were also recorded in the Pakistani documents, as well as the bank accounts used. “The commissions paid into the accounts, notably opened by these companies at the Pasche bank and the bank of Piguet et Cie, in Switzerland, were probably supplied by transfer from the Banque française du Commerce extérieur [French bank of Foreign Trade], account number 2700 0008358 or IV10000083580.”
Several high-profile witnesses questioned in November and December 2010 by judge Van Ruymbeke have insisted that the bribes paid in 1994 were perfectly legal and were approved by France’s then-defence minister, François Leotard, and its budget minister, now France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy.
In a statement he gave to Van Ruymbeke on November 9th, 2010, former DCN-I finance director, Gérard-Philippe Menayas, said “the total volume of the commissions was validated, contract by contract, by the ministers of the budget and defence.”
In a statement given to judge Van Ruymbeke on December 7th, 2010, Jacques Dewatre, who in 1994 was head of the French foreign intelligence service, now called the DGSE, testified that “The approval for commissions is the responsibility of services which depend upon the Minister of Defence and the Minister of the Budget.”
Mediapart has learnt Van Ruymbeke’s investigation has already established that, in order to convince the Pakistani authorities to choose the French submarines, a very structured network of corruption was established by a French state company dedicated to such activities. This was the Société française de matériels d’armement, the SOFMA, which partnered the designers and builders of the submarines, the DCN.
Van Ruymbeke has evidence that the SOFMA set aside the equivalent in francs of 51.6 million euros for bribes to be paid out in the Pakistan deal.
Influential agents working with the SOFMA used the money to gain the favours of numerous Pakistani dignitaries, in both military and political spheres. While the practice of commission payments was then legal for France, the reception of bribes was illegal in Pakistan.
Asif Ali Zardari was one of the main benefactors of the paid bribes, according to a former SOFMA managing director, Henri Guittet. He evaluated the sum paid to Zardari as being 4% of the total value of the sales contract, which amounts to a value of 33 million euros.”I believe there was one per cent paid upon the signature of the sales contract, which means at the moment when everything can get underway and when notably the deposit and [partial] down payment has been paid, and one per cent later,” he said in a formal statement. “The remaining two per cent was pro rata with the payment of the clients.”
But French judicial investigators are investigating whether the Agosta contract also involved illegal payments in France. It was in the summer of 1994, despite the fact that negotiations with Pakistan over the sale were already successfully concluded, that the government of then-prime minister Edouard Balladour imposed two Lebanese intermediaries in the contract, Ziad Takieddine and Abdulrahman El-Assir.
They were promised supplemantary commission payments worth more than 30 million euros. Both judge Van Ruymbeke and judge Marc Trévedic, who is heading investigations into the murders of the French engineers, have collected evidence suggesting that part of the supplementary commissions was destined for Balladur’s 1995 presidential election campaign.
Trévedic’s investigation has discarded the theory touted by the Pakistani authorities that the engineers were targeted by al-Qaida. He is now centring on suspicions that the bomb attack was directly or indirectly linked to the secret financial arrangements surrounding the Agosta deal. More precisely, that it was in retaliation for the non-payment of commissions promised to Pakistanis after they were all blocked by Balladur’s rival Jacques Chirac, after he won the 1995 elections.(Mediapart)

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Comment : This case is a true example of corrupt alliance between feudal-corporatist politicians and corrupt people in military establishment.

Hamood ur Rehman Commission Report Conclusion–>Need to revisit the past

Another 16 December is here and I don’t think much lessons are learned from a disaster which could have made any nation with some conscience to think over its strategies. Still our military establishment is involved in dirty politics, working for imperialist agenda and busy in securing their business agenda. Our establishment and politicians have not learned much lessons and are still busy in following unjust practices, suppression and killing of own people to please their masters and fulfil their greed.

“Indiscriminate killing and looting could only serve the cause of the enemies of Pakistan. In the harshness, we lost the support of the silent majority of the people of East Pakistan.” — Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission Report on 1971

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Recommendations below are taken from the Supplementary report issued by Hamood ur Rehman Commission which was setup to investigate the events in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

There are parts which are missing as the report is never officially released and it was published by some indian media.

Full Supplementary Report can be downloaded from here :

http://www.insaf.pk/Portals/0/NTForums_Attach/hamoodurrehmancommission-report.pdf

RECOMMENDATIONS

In the concluding portion of our Main Report, submitted in 1972, we had made a number of

recommendations based on our study of the various aspects of the causes of the debacle of

1971. Some of these recommendations need to be modified, or amplified, in the light of the fresh

evidence, which we have now recorded: while the need for the others has only been further

emphasised, we believe that the object of setting up this Commission would be fully realised

only if appropriate and early action is taken by the Government on these recommendations.2.

consider that it would be appropriate if all our recommendations are now finally set out at one

place, for facility of reference and action. Detailed reasons and justification for these

recommendations will be found in the relevant Chapters of the Main Report as well as this

Supplementary Report. We are aware that some of these recommendations have already been

implemented, but this would not appear to be a reason for not including them in this final

summing up.Trials

3.

Commanders who have brought disgrace and defeat to Pakistan by their subversion of the

Constitution, usurpation of political power by criminal conspiracy, their professional

incompetence, culpable negligence and wilful neglect in the performance of their duties and

physical and moral cowardice in abandoning the fight when they had the capability and

resources to resist the enemy. Firm and proper action would not only satisfy the nation’s

demand for punishment where it is deserved, but would also ensure against any future

recurrence of the kind of shameful conduct displayed during the 1971 war. We accordingly

recommend that the following trials be undertaken without delay.

(I) That General Yahya Khan, General Abdul Hamid Khan, Lt. Gen. S.G.M.M. Pirzada, Lt. Gen.

Gul Hasan, Maj. Gen. Umar and Maj Gen Mitha should be publicly tried for being party to a

criminal conspiracy to illegally usurp power from F.M. Mohammad Ayub Khan in power if

necessary by the use of force. In furtherance of their common purpose they did actually try to

influence political parties by threats, inducements and even bribes to support their designs both

for bringing about a particular kind of result during the elections of 1970, and later persuading

some of the political parties and the elected members of the National Assembly to refuse to

attend the session of the National Assembly scheduled to be held at Dacca on the 3rd of

March, 1971. They, furthermore, in agreement with each other brought about a situation in East

Pakistan which led to a civil disobedience movement, armed revolt by the Awami League and

subsequently to the surrender of our troops in East Pakistan and the dismemberment of

Pakistan:

(ii) That the Officers mentioned in No. (I) above should also be tried for criminal neglect of duty in

the conduct of war both in East Pakistan and West Pakistan. The details of this neglect would

be found in the Chapters dealing with the military aspect of the war

(iii) That Lt. Gen. Irshad Ahmad Khan, former Commander 1 Corps, be tried for criminal and

wilful neglect of duty in conducting the operations of his Corps in such a manner that nearly 500

villages of the Shakargarh tehsil of Sialkot district in West Pakistan were surrendered to the

enemy without a light and as a consequence the Army offensive in the south was seriously

jeopardised;

(iv) That Maj Gen Abid Zahid, former GOC 15 Div, be tried for wilful neglect of duty and shameful

surrender of a large area comprising nearly 98 villages in the phuklian salient in the Sialkot

district of West Pakistan, which surrender also posed a standing threat to the safety of Marala

Headworks by bringing the Indian forces within nearly 1500 yards thereof. He also kept the GHQ

in the dark about Indian occupation of the Phuklian salient until the loss was discovered after

the war.

(v) That Maj. Gen B.M. Mustafa, former GOC 18 Division, be tried for wilful neglect of duty in that

his offensive plan aimed at the capture of the Indian position of Ramgarh in the Rajasthan area

(Western Front) was militarily unsound and haphazardly planned, and its execution resulted in

severe loss of vehicles and equipment in the desert.

(vi) That Lt. Gen. A.A.K. Niazi, former Commander, Eastern Command, be court-martialled on

15 charges as set out in Chapter III of part V of the Supplementary Report regarding his wilful

neglect in the performance of his professional and military duties connected with the defence of

East Pakistan and the shameful surrender of his forces to the Indians at a juncture when he still

had the capability and resources to offer resistance.

(vii) That Maj Gen Mohammad Jamshed, former GOC 36 (ad-hoc) Division, Dacca, be tried by

court martial on five charges listed against him, in the aforementioned part of the Supplementary

Report, for wilful neglect of his duty in the preparation of plans for the defence of Dacca and

showing complete Jack of courage and will to fight, in acquiescing in the decision of the

Commander, Eastern Command, to surrender to the Indian forces when it was still possible to

put up resistance for a period of two weeks or so, and also for wilfully neglecting to inform the

authorities concerned, on repatriation to Pakistan, about the fact of distribution of Rs.50,000 by

him out of Pakistan currency notes and toher funds at his disposal or under his control in East

Pakistan.

(viii) That Maj Gen M. Rahim Khan, former GOC 39 (ad-hoc) Division, Chandpur, in East

Pakistan, be tried by court martial on five charges listed against him in this Report for showing

undue regard for his personal safety in abandoning his Division, his Divisional troops and area of

responsibility and Vacating his Divisional Headquarters from Chandpur on the 8th of December,

1971; for his wilful insistence on moving by day owing to fear of Mukti Bahini and thus causing

the death of fourteen Naval ratings and four Officers of his own HQ, besides injuries to himself

and several others, due to strafing by Indian aircraft; for his abandoning valuable signal

equipment at Chandpur; for spreading despondency and alarm by certain conversation on the

12th of December, 1971, at Dacca; and for wilfully avoiding submitting a debriefing report to

GHQ on being specially evacuated to West Pakistan in early 1971 so as to conceal the

circumstances of his desertion from him Divisional Headquarters at Chandpur.

(ix) That Brig. G.M. Baquir Siddiqui, former GOS, Eastern Command, Dacca, be tried by court

martial on nine charges as formulated in this Report, for his wilful neglect of duty in advising the

Commander, Eastern Command, as regards the concept and formulation of defence plans,

appreciation of the Indian threat, execution of denial plans, abrupt changes in command,

friendliness with he Indian during captivity and attempts to influence formation Commanders by

threats and inducements to present a co-ordinated story before the GHQ and the Commission

of Inquiry in regard to the events leading to surrender in East Pakistan.

(x) That Brig Mohammad Hayat, former Commander 107 Brigade, 9 Division, East Pakistan, be

tried by court martial on four charges for displaying wilful neglect in not formulating a sound plan

for the defence of the fortress of Jesore; for failing to properly plan and command the brigade

counter-attack at Gharibpur, for shamefully abandoning the fortress of Jessor and delivering

intact to the enemy all supplies and ammunition dumps; and disobeying the orders of the GOC

9 Divison, to withdraw to Magura in the event of a forced withdrawal from Jessore;

(xi) That Brig Mohammad Aslam Niazi, former commander 53 Brigade, 39 (ad-hoc) Division,

East Pakistan, be tried by court martial on six charges for displaying culpable lack of initiative,

determination and planning ability in that he failed to occupy and prepare defences at

Mudafarganj as ordered by his GOC on the 4th of December, 1971; for failing to eject the enemy

from Mudafarganj as ordered on the 6th of December, 1971; for shamefully abandoning the

fortress of Laksham on or about the 9th of December, 1971; for wilful neglect in failing to

properly organise oxfiltration of his troops from the fortress of Laksham to Comilla on the 9th of

December, 1971, thus resulting in heavy casualties and capture of several elements of his

troops on the way; for showing callous disregard of military ethics in abandoning at Laksham

124 sick and wounded with two Medical Officers without informing them about the proposed

vacation of the fortress; and for abandoning intact at Laksham all heavy weapons, stocks of

ammunition and supplies for the use of the enemy;

II. Inquiry and Trials for Alleged AtrocitiesThat as recommended in Paragraph 7 of Chapter III of Part V of the Main Report and in

4.

Paragraph 39 of Chapter II of Part V of this Supplementary Report, a high-powered Court or

Commission of Inquiry be set up to investigate into persistent allegations of atrocities said to

have been committed by the Pakistan Army in East Pakistan during its operations from March

to December, 1971, and to hold trials of those who indulged in these atrocities, brought a bad

name to the Pakistan Army and alienated the sympathies of the local population by their acts of

wanton cruelty and immorality against our own people. The composition of the Court of Inquiry,

if not its proceedings, should be publicly announced so as to satisfy national conscience and

international opinion. The Commission feels that sufficient evidence is now available in Pakistan

for a fruitful inquiry to be undertaken in this regard. As the Government of Bangladesh has since

been recognised by Pakistan, it may also be feasible to request the Dacca authorities to

forward to this Court of Inquiry whatever evidence may be available with them.

III. Other Inquiries(I) That allegations of personal immorality, drunkenness and indulgence in corrupt practices

5

against General Yahya Khan, General Abdul Hamid Khan and Maj. Gen Khuda Dad Khan be

properly investigated as there is prima facie evidence to show that their moral degeneration

resulted in indecision, cowardice and professional incompetence. In the light of the result of this

inquiry suitable charges may be added against these Officers, during the trials we have already

recommended earlier. The details of the allegations and the evidence relating thereto will be

found in Chapter I of Part V of the Main Report.

(ii) That similar allegations of personal immorality, acquiring a notorious reputation in this behalf

at Sialkot, Lahore and Dacca, and indulgence in the smuggling of Pan from East to West

Pakistan made against Lt. Gen Niazi should also be inquired into and, if necessary, made the

subject matter of additional charges at the trial earlier recommended in respect of the

performance of his professional duties in East Pakistan. The details of these allegations and

the evidence relating thereto will be found in Chapter I of Part V of the Main Report and in

Chapter I of part V of this supplementary Report.

(iii) That an inquiry is also indicated into the disposal of Rs.50, 000 said to have been distributed

by Maj. Gen. Mohammad Jamshed, former GOC 39 (ad-hoc) Division and Director General,

East Pakistan Civil Armed Forces immediately before the surrender on the 16th of December

1971. Details of this matter including the General’s explanation would be found in Paras 21 to

23 of Chapter I of Part V of the Supplementary Report. We have already recommended that this

Officer be tried by a court martial on several charges including his wilful failure to disclose any

facts at all about his sum Rs.50,000. That charge does not necessarily imply any dishonest

practice on his part. The inquiry now suggested can form a part of the charges already

recommended.

(iv) That allegations of indulging in large-scale looting of property in East Pakistan including theft

of Rs.1, 35,00,000 from the National Bank Treasury at Siraj Ganj persistently made against

Brig. Jehanazeb Arbab, former Commander 57 Brigade, Lt Col (now Brig) Muzaffar Ali Zahid,

former CO 31 Field Regiment, Lt. Col Basharat Ahmad, former CO 18 Punjab, Lt. Col

Mohammad Taj, former CO 32 Punjab, Lt Col Mohammad Tufail, former CO 55 Field Regiment

and Major Madad Hussain Shah of 18 Punjab, as set out in Paras 24 and 25 of Chapter I of part

V of the Supplementary Report, should be thoroughly inquired into and suitable action taken in

the light of the proved facts.

(v) That an inquiry be held into the allegation, noticed by us in Para 36 of Chapter 1 of Part V of

the Main Report, that while serving in the Martial Law Administration at Multan, Maj. Gen.

Jahanzeb, presumably a Brigadier at that time, demanded a bribe of Rs. one lac from a PCS

Officer posted as Chairman of the Municipal Committee of Multan, on pain of proceeding against

him for corruption under martial Law, as a consequence of which demand the said PCS Officer

is said to have committed suicide leaving behind a letter saying that although he had made only

Rs.15,000 he was being required to pay Rs. one lac to the Martial Law officers. The allegation

was made before the Commission by Brig. Mohammad Abbas Beg (Witness No.9)

(vi) That in inquiry is also necessary into the allegation made against Brig. Hayatullah that he

entertained some wom en in his bunker in the Maqbulpur sector (West Pakistan) on the night of

the 11th or 12th of December, 1971, when Indian shells were falling on his troops. The

allegation was contained in an anonymous letter addressed to the Commission and supported

in evidence before us by the Brigadier Hayatullah’s brigade, Major, namely, Major Munawar

Khan (Witness No.42).

(vii) That it is necessary to investigate into the allegations, as set out in Paragraphs 9 to 14 of

Chapter 1 of Part V of the Main Report, to the effect that senior Army Commanders grossly

abused their official position and powers under the Martial Law to acquire large allotments of

land, and obtained substantial house buildings loans on extremely generous terms from certain

banking institutions with which they deposited large amounts from departmental funds entrusted

to their care. Those found guilty of corrupt practices should receive the punishment they

deserve under the military law or the ordinary criminal law of the land as the case may be.

(viii) That a thorough investigation be conducted into the suspicion created in the mind of the

Commission, during the recording of additional evidence of Officers repatriated form India, that

there may be some complicity or collusion between the Commander, Easter Command (Lt Gen

A.A.K. Niazi) and his Chief of Staff (Brig G.M. Baqir Saddiqui) on the one hand and the Indian

authorities on the other in the matter of the failure of the Pakistan Armed Forces to carry out

execution of denial plans immediately before the surrender inspite of instructions issued in this

behalf by GHQ on the 10th of December, 1971. We have already included relevant charges in

this behalf against these two Officers, but we consider that it would be in the public interest to

depute a specialized agency to probe into the matter further. On the material available to us we

cannot put the matter higher than suspicion, but we have not been able to find any reasonable,

or even plausible explanation for the orders issued by the Easter Command to stop the

execution of denial plans, particularly in Dacc and Chittagong, thus ensuring the delivery intact

to the Indians of large amounts of war materials and other equipment. Details of these deliveries

will be found in our Chapter VII of Part IV dealing with the aftermath of surrender.

(ix) That an inquiry be held into the circumstances under which Commander Gul Zareen of the

Pakistan Navy was carried from Khulna to Singapore on the 7th of December, 1971, by a

French ship called M.V. Fortescue, thus abandoning his duties at PNS Titumir Naval Base,

Khulna. The case of this Officer was dealt with by us in Paras 12 and 13 of Chapter III of Part V

of the Main Report.

IV. Cases Requiring Departmental ActionWhile examining the course of events and the conduct of war in East Pakistan, we formed a

6.

poor opinion about the performance and capabilities of Brig. S.A.Ansari, ex-Commander 23

Brigade, Brig. Manzoor Ahmad, ex -Commander 57 Brigade, 9 Division, and Brig Abdul Qadir

Khan, ex -Commander 94 brigade, 36 (ad hoc) Division. We consider that their further retention

in service is not in the public interest and they may accordingly be retired.

V. Performance and Conduct of Junior OfficersIn the very nature of things the Commission was not in a position to examine at any length

7.

the conduct and performance of officers below the brigade level, although some case

necessarily came to our notice where the performance of these Officers had a direct bearing on

the fate of important battles or where their conduct transgressed the norms of discipline. Such

cases have been mentioned by us at their proper place, but by and large cases of junior Officers

must be dealt with by the respective service headquarters who have obtained detailed debriefing

reports from all of them and are also in possession of the assessment of their performance by

their immediate superiors.

VI. Measures for Moral Reform in the Armed ForcesWhile dealing at some length with the moral aspect of the 1971 debacle, in Chapter I of Part

8.

V of the Main Report as well as in the corresponding Chapter of the present Supplementary

Report, we have expressed the opinion that there is indeed substance in the widespread

allegation, rather belief, that due to corruption arising out of the performance of Martial Law

duties, lust for wine and women, and greed for lands and houses a large number of senior Army

Officers, particularly those occupying the highest positions, had not only lost the will to fight but

also the professional competence necessary for taking the vital and critical decisions demanded

of them for the successful prosecution of the war. Accordingly, we recommend that: –

(I) The Government should call upon all Officers of the Armed Forces to submit declarations of

their assets, both moveable and immovable, and those acquired in the names of their relations

and dependents during the last ten years (they were exempted from submitting such

declarations during the last two periods of martial Law). If on examination of such declarations

any Officer is found to have acquired assets beyond this known means, then appropriate action

should be taken against him

(ii) The Armed Services should devise ways and means to ensure: –

(a) That moral values are not allowed to be compromised by infamous behaviour particularly at

higher levels

(b) That moral rectitude is given due weight along with professional qualities in the matter of

promotion to higher ranks;

(c) That syllabi of academic studies at the military academics and other Service Institutions

should include courses designed to inculcate in the young minds respect for religious

democratic and political institutions

(d) That use of alcoholic drinks should be banned in military messes and functions

(e) That serious notice should be taken of notorious sexual behaviour and other corrupt

practices

VII. Discipline and Terms and Conditions of Service9.

reasons given therein we make the following recommendations: –

(I) An inter-services study should be undertaken of the operative terms and conditions of service

and amenities available to Officers, JCOs and other ranks of the Services so as to remove

disparities existing in this behalf and causing discontentment among the junior officers and

other ranks of various Services

(ii) The GHQ should consider the advisability of adopting recommendations contained in the

report submitted by the Discipline Committee headed by the late Maj Gen Iftikhar Khan Janjua

(iii) Th e Navy and Air Force might also appoint their own Discipline Committees to consider the

peculiar problems of their Services, such measure to be in addition to the inter-services study

recommended above.

VIII. Improvement and Modernizations of the Pakistan Navy10.

VIII of Part IV of the Main Report, and supplemented by further details of its operations in East

Pakistan is set out in this Supplementary Report, it seems to us that the following steps are

urgently called for to improve our naval capability: –

(I) That immediate attention should be given to he basic requirements for the modernizations of

the Pakistan Navy in order to make it capable of protecting the only sea port of Pakistan and of

keeping the life-lines of the nation open. The Navy has been sadly neglected ever since the first

Martial Law regime, for in the concept of Army Commander the Navy was not expected to play

much of a role. The folly of this theory was fully demonstrated during this war. The Pakistan

Navy, we strongly recommend, should have its own air arm of suitable aircraft for the purpose of

reconnaissance and for defence against missile boats. This is the only way in which the threat

posed by the growing Indian Navy and her missible boats can be countered.

(ii) There is urgent need for developing a separate harbour for the Navy away from Karachi, from

where the Navy can protect the approaches to Karachi more effectively

(iii) In view of the serious handicaps which were posed by the late conveyance of the D-day and

the H-hour to the Pakistan Navy and its total exclusion from he planning for war, the need for

making the Navy a fully operative member in he joint Chiefs of Staff Organization is imperative.

IX. Improvement in the Role of P.A.F.11. In Section (C) of Chapter VIII of Part IV of the Main Report as well as in a separate Chapter

of the present supplement (viz Chapter X of Part III), we have discussed at length the role and

performance of the P.A.F. in the 1971 war. In the light of that discussion, we recommend as

follows: –

(I) We are not convinced that a more forward-looking posture cannot be adopted by eh Air Force

having regard to the peculiar needs of the country. We recommend, therefore, that Pakistan

should have more forward air fields located at such places from where it might be in a position to

give more protection to our vital line of communication as well as to major centres of industry.

The adoption of such a fo rward strategy would also increase the striking capabilities of our

fighters.

(ii) There is need also to improve the working of our early warning system. The time lag

between the observation of an enemy aircraft by the first line of Mobile Observer Units and the

final collation of that information in the Air Operation Centre takes unduly long because of the

draftory system of reporting adopted. Training exercises to coordinate the working of the various

agencies employed for the operation of the early warning system should be held periodically to

keep them at a high pitch of efficiency.

(iii) The Karachi Port should also be provided as soon as possible, with a low level seawardlooking

radar which it seriously lacks and due to the want of which it suffered many handicaps

during the last war.

(iv) That with the increased Indian capability of blockading Karachi with missile boats the air

defence of Karachi should be attached greater importance. Leaving the defence of Karachi to be

tackled only by one squadron of fighters and a half squadron of bombers was extremely unwise.

X. Re-organization of Air Defence of Pakistan12. The subject of air defence has been discussed by us at some length in section (13) of

Chapter VIII of Part IV of the Main Report. In the light of that discussion, we make the following

recommendations: –

(a) Since it will not be possible for us to enlarge our Air Force to any appreciable extent in the

near future, we strongly recommend that we should strengthen our air defence programmes by

at least doubling our holdings of anti-craft guns by the end of 1972 and ultimately raising it under

a phased programme to 342 Batteries as suggested by the Air Force.

(b) Efforts should also be made to procure ground to air missiles for a more effective air defence

of the country.

(c) If ground-to-air missiles are not available, then efforts should also be made to get radar

controlled medium HAA guns from China.

XI. Recommendations with Regard to Civil Defence Measures13.

consider that the following measures are called for to improve the civil defence aspects in

Pakistan: –

(a) The civil defence arrangements should be placed under the Ministry of Defence, and not be

made the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior or other individual departments. The Central

Government should accept the responsibility for the overall control and organization of the civil

defence of the country, as Provincial Governments have not been able to shoulder this

responsibility effectively in the past.

(b) Steps should be taken to improve the fire-fighting facilities in the country, particularly in ports

and industrial areas.

(c) Industrialists keeping inflammable materials near lines of communications and other

vulnerable points should be induce, or in fact obliged under the law, to accept responsibility for

the protection of their materials, and make effective arrangements for fire-fighting in their

establishments.

(d) Provision should be made for storing large quantitative of petrol and other fuels underground.

XII. Higher Direction of War14.

Chapter XI of Part IV of the Main Report, and in the light of that discussion, we proposed the

following measures: –

(a) The three Service Headquarters should be located at one place along with the Ministry of

Defence.

(b) The posts of Commander-in-Chiefs should be replaced by Chiefs of Staff of the respective

services (This, we understand, has already been done by the Government)/

(c) The Defence Committee of the Cabinet should be re-activated and it should be ensured that

its meetings are held regularly. A positive direction should be added in its Charter to give the

Cabinet Division the right to initiate proceedings for the convening of its meetings should be held

even in the absence of the President or the Prime Minister under the Chairmanship of the senior

most minister present.

(d) There should also be a Defence Ministers Committee and the Ministry of Defence should

assume its rightful position as a policy-making body and incorporating policy, decisions into

defence programmes after consultations with the three services. This should ensure the

preparations of realistic plans for the national defence with in the agreed framework of …….

allocations. It should meet under the chairmanship of the Defence Minister and comprise the

Defence Secretary, the three service chiefs, the financial advi ser for defence, the Director

General of Civil Defence, the Director General of munitions production, the Director General of

Defence Procurement, the Director General of inter-services Intelligence Directorate, the

Defence Scientific Adviser and any other Central Secretary or Service officer who may be

required for a particular item on agenda. If the defence portfolio is held by the President or the

Prime Minister then its meeting may be presided over by a Deputy Minister for or by the

Minister in charge of Defence Production (illegible) Minister is available, the Defence Secretary

should preside, irrespective of any considerations of protocol or (illegible)

(e) The Secretaries Coordination Committee as at present constituted, should continue

(f) (illegible) The three services should share (illegible) joint responsibility for national defence

and that all plans and programmes for the development of the (illegible) forces should be based

on joint (illegible) objectives, it is necessary. Therefore, that the three services Chief should

(illegible) As Joint Chiefs of Staff and not merely as individual Heads of their respective Services.

This Joint Chiefs or Staff should constitute a corporate body with collective responsibility having

its own (illegible) staff for evolving joint plans and its own Headquarters located on one place.

The (illegible) of chairman of this Joint Chiefs of Staff must be held by rotation, irrespective of the

personal ranks enjoyed by the three service chiefs. The duration of the tenure should be one

year at a time and the chairmanship should commence with the (illegible) Service, mainly, the

Army. A detailed Chapter of duties for this Joint Chiefs of Staff has been suggested in Annexure

‘I’ of Chapter XI of Part IV of the Main report.

(g) Under the Joint Chiefs of Staff Organisation there will not only by a Secretariat but also a

joint planning staff drawn from all the three Services. It might be designed as the Joint

Secretariat and Planning Staff. It will be responsible not only for providing the necessary

secretarial assistance (illegible) Also for evolving the joint defence plans and (illegible) studies

of processing of all matters of inter-(illegible) The Joint Chief of Staff may also have other Joint

Common to assist them on such matters, as it may consider necessary.

(h) The weakness, in the (illegible) of the armed forces, which have been brought by light,

(illegible) feel that there is need for an institution like the America” (illegible) General’ which

should be a body changed was the duty of carrying out surprise inspection and calling area the

formations and (illegible) concerned to demonstrate that the (illegible)

(this para not readable)

(i) We have also felt the (illegible) for in Institute of Strategic Studies, preferably as a part of a

University Programme. The need for such an (illegible) has been highlighted by the weakness in

our joint strategic panning by the three Services. We are of the opinion that such an Institute will

go a long way in producing studies of value for examination by the other defence organizations.

XIII National Security CouncilHaving examined the working of the National Security Council in Chapter XI of Part IV of the

15.

Main Report we are of the opinion that there is no need for super-(illegible) such an organization

on the Directorate of Intelligence Bureau and the Directorate of Inter-services Intelligence. The

Security Council should therefore be abolished.

XIV. The Farman Ali incidentIn view of the fresh evidence examined by us regarding the role of Maj Gen Farman Ali,

16.

which we have discussed in the concluding portion of Chapter III of Part V of the Supplementary

Report, recommendation No. 7 made in the Main Report has now become (illegible); as we have

found that in delivering a message to Mr. Paul Mare Henry, Assistant Secretary General of the

United Nations. Maj Gen Farman Ali, acted under the instructions of the Governor of East

Pakistan, who in turn had been authorised by the then President of Pakistan to make certain

proposals for settlement in East Pakistan at the critical juncture.

 

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.

Ex-Navy chief confirms French kickbacks–> The News

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.

Silence is sin! | Imran leads protest against Aitzaz’s detention—>The post

LAHORE: To express solidarity with deposed judges, detained jurists and pay tribute to their historic struggle, a rally was held outside Atizaz Ahsan’s House on Sunday.

Starting from the Zman park residence of Aitzaz, the rally which was led by PTI Chief Imran Khan, reached The Mall before coming back.

As many as 200 people from different walks of life including lawyers, students, political workers teachers businessmen and civil society activist demonstrated against Musharraf.

Nasra Javed Iqbal,Vena Malik, Dr.Farid, Faryal Gohar, Ahsen Rashid Hamid Zaman Azher and Hamid khan were present.

They shouted ; Mushraf ki barbadi Tak Jang rahi gi jang rahi gi. They carried banner reading “Pakistan Ki Baqa, Azad Adliya Expressing the rally Bushra Atizaz insisted that judiciary must be restored then we can experience the true and strong democracy .She feared if it was not so the country would come on the threshold of destruction.

Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan said that country has to choose the Quaid’s Pakistan. He vowed “we will stand with deposed judges and detained lawyers for the bright future of Pakistan”. Imran indicated that weak judiciary is not good omen not only for political parties but also to the government institutions. He said PEMRA ordinance is totally against the freedom of press. The parliament should restore the sacked judges, he added.

“The winning political parties PPP, PML (Nawaz) and ANP should reinstate the removed judges of the superior courts. Pakistan can win war against terrorism provided the real democracy is allowed to work and the country put on the right track of democracy. The country will remain in the dark if the sacked judges were not restored”, says Imran Khan while addressing demonstrators outside Aitzaz’s house. Meanwhile police on Sunday did not allow Aitzaz to come out.

United4Justice: I think the pressure should be maintained on the government and also a clear message should be given to the elected parties that if they deviate from thier agenda they will face the same opposition as Musharraf is facing.

Keep it UP!

Retired generals refuse to apologise,but want Musharraf to go—>The News

ISLAMABAD: Several hundred retired armed forces men on Thursday urged their colleague, General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, to hand over power to the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and join their ranks but most of their leaders refused to apologise for their past roles against democracy.

Led by some high-profile generals, air marshals and admirals, these ex-servicemen also demanded that retired Justice Bhagwandas be appointed as the Chief Election Commissioner and the detained nuclear scientist, Dr AQ Khan, be either released or tried in a court.

Except for retired Lt-Gen Hamid Gul, none of the leaders showed moral courage by making an admission of guilt or apologising to the nation for their past. They did not even feel any embarrassment on their roles when asked by newsmen at a press conference.

The former DG of ISI, Lt-Gen (retd) Hamid Gul, not only admitted the wrongdoings he had committed as a spy chief, he also submitted an apology to the nation and said he was ready for any punishment, even to be hanged.

“I am ready for a trial or even hanging,” Gul told the gathering of ex-servicemen in open door proceedings. His words, however, failed to move the other architects and supporters of martial law who were sitting on the stage. They included retired Lt-Gen Faiz Ali Chishti, Gen Mirza Aslam Beg, Air Marshal Asghar Khan, Lt-Gen Majid Malik and Lt-Gen Asad Durrani. They showed no remorse for their past conduct.

Air Marshal Asghar Khan, who awas presiding over the meeting, was annoyed when he was asked about his past role and whether he was ready to apologise. “These were individual acts of different individuals,” he responded.

He did not respond when a journalist questioned their moral authority to preach others when they did not feel embarrassed on the wrongdoings of their past. The convener of Thursday’s meeting, Brig (retd) Mehmood, who had said only a day earlier that he would offer an apology on behalf of all the ex-servicemen, remained seated on the stage with his head down, as if trying to avoid the media and had no courage to act on his words.

Although, the retired servicemen expressed solidarity with lawyers and journalists community, vowing to participate in their rallies, they gave no timeframe for launching a movement against Musharraf on their own. They instead said nothing had been decided as yet.

They even conceded that they might not do anything concrete in future. Asghar Khan said many of them had their near and dear ones in the government, a major hurdle in their way to call the spade a spade. Asghar Khan’s own brother, Farooq Rehmatullah, is the DG Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

A demand raised by a retired navy commodore, Shahid Nawaz, also went unheeded. He had asked for en masse resignations of all ex-servicemen presently working in government departments. “If this strategy is not feasible, then out-of-job ex-servicemen should surrender all medals, awards and pension books to protest against Musharraf’s stay in power,” he demanded, but this demand also went unheard by the retired generals.

The Thursday’s meeting virtually turned into a comedy programme as it was marred by indiscipline largely by ex-servicemen, who would pick up quarrel with journalists when questions regarding their own accountability were put to the Chair Asghar Khan.

However, they did at least one job by hooting down a proposal that Lt-Gen (retd) Abdul Majeed Malik should be included in the committee that was to make a list of demands of Thursday’s meeting during the lunch break.

Air Marshal Asghar Khan, who was chairing the meeting, told a press briefing that ex-servicemen demanded stepping down of President Musharraf and that power should be handed over to the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to hold elections under a neutral caretaker set-up.

Khan also demanded the re-constitution of the Election Commission of Pakistan with Justice Bhagwandas as its chief. Khan said the ex-servicemen would extend full support to the protest rallies staged by journalists and lawyers. The meeting demanded that disgraced hero, Dr AQ Khan, should be either released or tried in a court of law, instead of being kept under illegal detention.

Khan, however, remained uncomfortable while facing critical journalists with his colleagues sitting in the hall, yelling ‘planted question’ whenever a query about their accountability was put to him.

In most cases, he said: “We have not decided yet”. He refused to take questions on self-accountability and was pressed time and again that he himself was among the strong supporters of General Zia’s martial law and the person sitting next to him, Lt-Gen (retd) Faiz Ali Chishti, was Commander 10 Corps when Zia had taken over and later collaborated with him in all his acts.

Questioners also mentioned Gen (retd) Beg under whose stint as Army chief the Mehran Bank scandal took place and the then president had nominated his successor three months before Beg’s retirement as a pre-emptive measure keeping in view his political ambitions.

But neither Asghar Khan showed the grace to admit any wrongdoing nor did Chishti and Beg. Speaking on his own behalf and the two others, Khan said: “Whatever happened in the past has happened. There were individuals involved, not all ex-servicemen.”

Lt-Gen. (retd) Abdul Majid Malik, who spoke earlier, said many blunders were committed in the past but regretted that only the blunders committed by the Army had been exploited. Malik left the venue before the press conference when the majority of those present said ‘no’ to the proposal of nominating him as a committee member for furnishing the list of demands.

United4Justice: Its great to see our soldiers (a soldiers remains a soldier for life unless he becomes a dictator) back in the field (this time the right way and for the right cause) to save the country from a dictator.

KEEP IT UP!