Friday, June 08, 2007

A Long-Standing Rule Finally Broken

For many years there has been an unwritten rule requiring the Pakistani media not to print nor mention the name of the Director General of Military Intelligence.

Even in Chief Justice Ifitkhar Chaudhry’s recently submitted affidavit the senior intelligence officer is simply referred to as DG MI.

The first time your Blogger saw the intelligence official’s name in print was thanks to Carlotta Gall of The New York Times. Ten days ago, in a news piece about the affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court by the CJ, she wrote: Maj. Gen. Nadeem Ijaz, the director general of Military Intelligence and a close relative of General Musharraf.

With his back suddenly to the wall Musharraf seems to have ditched this ‘hallowed’ convention altogether by getting the DG MI to submit an affidavit in a public court of law. And so the general public finally got a peek at his name from this official document, which begins:

I, Major General Mian Nadeem Ijaz Ahmad son of Late Mian Ijaz Ahmad, presently working as Director General, Military Intelligence (“DG MI”), do hereby solemnly state on oath as under:-

I was appointed as DG MI on 28 February 2005, and have continued to work in that position ever since…

Now that the cat is officially out of the bag, your Blogger can confirm what Carlotta Gall gave away: ‘Major General Mian Nadeem Ijaz Ahmad son of Late Mian Ijaz Ahmad’, also happens to be Mrs Sehba Musharraf’s nephew; his mother being Mrs Musharraf’s elder sister.

More importantly, the hawkish DG MI is believed by many to be one of the Commando General’s closest of advisers in most, if not all, matters these days.
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One intriguing aspect of the counter-affidavits submitted by Musharraf’s lawyers is the omission of one from Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani, the director general of Inter-Services Intelligence (DG ISI).

It is worth commenting that the existing three affidavits have all been given by men known to be close to Musharraf; DG MI is a family member; DG IB, Brigadier (Retd) Ijaz Shah, is an old friend; and Lt. General (Retd) Hamid Javed has been serving Musharraf loyally as his Chief of Staff ever since 1 November 2002.

Is it possible that, as an outsider to this close Musharraf loop, the DG ISI was reluctant to embroider the facts?
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According to a news report while over a dozen affidavits of government servants are attached to the affidavit of Lt-Gen (retd) Hamid Javaid, doubts do exist about their veracity:

At least, one of them is now uncertain not only about the signatures on “his” affidavit but also its contents. At one point, he categorically said that the affidavit was never signed by him. At another stage, he said that the signatures appearing on the affidavit were not his but these did resemble his initials.

Talking to The News on the assurance that his name would not be disclosed, the concerned signatory was apprehensive and shy of going to the court for being a government servant. Since the filing of an absolutely “fake” affidavit does not make sense, the officer was asked to come on the record but he did not oblige. The officer hails from the Punjab.

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6 comments:

Faisal Khan said...

I am a great admirer of your blog and your style of writing. However, this post intrigued me as you have assumed that the affidavits submitted by Musharraf loyalists are doubtful and motivated while the one submitted by the Honorable CJ is completely true. I appreciate that this government has lost its nerve and is willing to go to any extent to protect its hold over power. Yet, in the interest of objectivity and understanding things deeper, it might have been better to analyse the contents of these statements first. There is a lot of stuff in Gen hamid's statement before the court that you have chosen to ignore.
I am not being critical but trying to present an alternative point of view here - of being a little more dispassionate.

alam said...

r these affidavists available online?

Hamza said...

Onlooker:
First of all, great job on the blog. I regularly check it and am never disappointed.

I was doing some research on the military in Pakistan and I have a question for you. On your main page, you have quoted Mr. Jinnah as scolding Colonel (later Maj. General) Akbar Khan about the role of the military in Pakistan. I tried to find the original document of that particular speech but have been unable to do so. A google search for that particular quote only uncovered this blog. Can you let me know when/where Mr. Jinnah said that? Or could you post a link to the source documents?

Thank you
Hamza

Onlooker said...

Hamza
The quote is taken from Air Marshal Asghar Khan's book "We've Learnt Nothing from History" (OUP, 2005).

The air marshal was an eye witness to the exchange between the Quaid and Col. Akbar. As Asghar Khan - whether you agree with his politics or not - is a man of undoubted honesty and integrity, I have complete faith in his account.

________________________

Faisal Khan
Yes, I believe that some points (but not all) in the affidavits submitted by Musharraf loyalists are doubtful. However, that is my personal viewpoint.

Similar doubts have been expressed by CJ's lawyers themselves.

As citizens of Pakistan we are entitled to hold our own views - wrong or right they maybe.

However, the issue is, in the end, up to the honourable judges of the Supreme Court to decide.
______________________

Alam
The affidavits are available on The News and Daily Time online issues of 8 June 2007

AAS said...

I think the point is to note that the CJ is far from perfect god knows what skeletons are in his closet.

I am happy the steps he has taken agains the government but i don't consider him a hero.

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