While talking to Media and as reported by the New York Times, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday, 07.07.2011, that he believed that the government of Pakistan had “sanctioned” the killing of a Pakistani journalist who had written scathing reports about the infiltration of Islamic militants into the country’s security services. Admiral Mullen, who is due to retire at the end of September, is the first American official to publicly accuse Pakistan, an American ally, of the kidnapping, torture and death of the journalist, Saleem Shahzad. Admiral Mullen said he could not specifically tie Shahzad’s death to Pakistan’s powerful spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, known as the ISI, although Obama administration officials believe that the ISI ordered the killing. Nevertheless, Admiral Mullen made clear that he thought Pakistani officials were complicit in Shahzad’s death.
By uttering such statement, in fact, Mullen had tried to skip the direct allegation of his life long friend Gen. Kiani and of course, spare some face saving for Gen. Pasha. However, the well informed quarters in the US Administration had already leaked the information that elimination orders for Mr Shahzad were issued by officers of ISI Directorate. Name of Rear Admiral Adnan Niazi has also been aired as one of the probable alleged officers involved in issuance of such orders. As a routine rebuttal, spokes person of ISI and mouth piece of Asif Zardari, Mr Haqqani refuted all such allegations or speculations.
Since it is a long lived routine of ISI to eliminate all such voices who try to peep in the rogue working of this spy organisation, let us examine who are next targets in the line of fire drawn by ISI. Mr. Waqar Kiani who writes for British Newspaper, Guardian, was also recently picked up by ISI in Islamabad, beaten up with wooden sticks and rubber hunters. However, he was let to live after hard beating, with a commentary by those deputed to teach him a lesson that ISI did not want him to become another hero like Sahazad Saleem. Mr Najam Sethi, Mr Tallat Hussain, Abdul Qadir Hasan and Kamran Shafi, who are very vocal and bold Journalists, who are determined to unearth the rogue role of ISI, in the Pakistani Politics and society are also being actively pursued. Mr. Hamid Mir has also clearly announced the threats he is receiving for his bold stance against the role of the Pakistan Army, in the politics of the country.
Since one Commission headed by a Supreme Court Judge is already inquiring the elimination of Mr. Saleem Shahzad, ISI might either adopt delaying tactics or may use such methods, which can point fingers to some other actors for the planned future eliminations. However, this much is certain that next target of ISI has already been chosen and very soon media will report the elimination of another bold and courageous voice from Pakistan Scene. Alas! Retired Gen. Qayyum, instead of criticising Fareed Zakria’s report could have advised Pak Army high ups to mend their rogue ways. It needs lot of courage to face the facts and to speak the truth and unfortunately most of serving and retired elite of Pakistan Defence Forces are seriously lacking in this trait.
It is famous saying that God never alters the state of that nation which does not strive to alter its own state. Pak Army/ISI elements are part of Pakistani Nation. They have not been imported from neighbouring country. Why these elements do not understand this simple truth that with the passage of time the world has changed and they should adapt themselves to these changes also. These days you can not cheat or deceive any one and can not bury your rogue acts beneath the earth. Why Pak Army/ISI does not take such bold writers as the blessings of God who try to differ to the old and feudal tactics of this organisation. Instead eliminating such valued voices, why Pak Army/ISI does not listen to them and make an effort to mend its ugly ways. I am very much confident that if Pak Army/ ISI can mend its ways and start contributing positively towards the progress of the country, Pakistan, very quickly, can reach to top heights of the respected and prosperous countries of the world. May God enable the Pakistani uniformed elite to understand this simple truth. Amin
By Major (Retd) Zubair Khalil Khan