Babble Media Mujahids

Jan 3rd, 2010 | By | Category: Uncategorized

Nadeem Paracha never fails to leave me laughing. Today’s Dawn includes his latest “Smoker’s Corner” about the media Talibans or what he calls “Babble Media Mujahids.” In his usual biting manner, Mr. Paracha’s witty satire really puts the ridiculous of some of the media talking heads into perspective. As infuriating as it is to read or listen to these individuals, if you sit back and look at them through the lens of Mr. Paracha’s satire, you really see them for the silly little people that they are. It is like the story of the Emporer’s Clothes. Everyone takes these chattering heads so seriously, but then Paracha comes around and says, “What are you people doing? These people are not wearing any clothes!” and the ridiculousness of the BMMs is finally easy for everyone to see.

Babble Media Mujahids (BMM, and also called, BAAM!) is a group of superheroes operating in Pakistan. They advocate religious tolerance through the killing of heretics and glorification of an independent judiciary. The BMM was formed through divine intervention when in 2005 God invoked a devastating earthquake in Kashmir to punish the people watching Indian movies and indulging in local brews.

The BMM gained a burst of popularity, asking the people to repent, repent, repent… and buy new 657 SL mobile phones and Nofone connections. The outfit has shown great concern for the country’s political, social, economic, cultural, moral, sporting, judicial, nuclear, digital, physical, mental, intellectual, psychological, physiological, geographical, biological, chemical and puritanical state of affairs. Anyone disagreeing is an infidel on the payroll of Asif Ali Zardari, Barack Obama, Madonna, et al.

The BMM’s biggest weapon is a devastating exploding device. It is called the Chattering-Bomb. It is constructed with tons of anarchic talk, cheesy innuendos, fact-free gabble, paranoia, and awe-inspiring gossip. When these ineffectual, I mean, intellectual, compounds are mixed they generate a reactionary effect that helps produce the most vital condition used in infidels: nausea. So, unlike conventional exploding devices that go ‘ka-boom,’ the Chattering-Bombs go ‘ka-blugghhh!’ But I must add that the Chattering-Bomb is a fascinatingly unique device because it may kill the victim but never the bomber. It only makes him/her fatter and louder.

The BMM superhero group’s heroes are: Ka Ka Kami who is an expert at making fast-talking jaws that explode every time Asif Ali Zardari’s name is mentioned but drop in awe every time Bharvi Minion’s picture appears; Dr. Shaddi Mashud, who has an invisible beard that explodes every time Asif Ali Zardari’s name is mentioned but shreds every time he talks to Kashnama Farigh on his show. Ansi Bhai (also known as Sansar Chaprasi), has a sleeping disorder that induces nightmares and explodes every time Asif Ali Zardari’s name is mentioned, but these nightmares turn into sweet lullabies every time the Swat girl flogging video is shown;

Then there are Narmeen Naswari (also called Hasseena Atom Bomb) who has diamond rings on her fingers that are actually tiny, baby atom bombs that explode every time Asif Ali Zardari’s name is mentioned but sparkle every time Immy Bravo flexes his tribal panther biceps at the many jirgas that he loves to hold in London and Mumbai; Yaqeen Sepahi who makes pens, also explodes every time Asif Ali Zardari’s name is mentioned but he runs out of ink every time there’s a suicide bombing.

Another effective weapon that BMM possesses is intriguingly called Chhoti Si Break. Though its immediate translation is ‘a short break,’ this weapon’s technical name is Coatis Commercialus Interruptus. This device pops more than explodes, both suddenly and rudely. Their fuse may be short but the break that they induce in the infidels’ patience can be devastatingly long.

However, the most devastating weapon of the BMM remains the device called Breaking News Grenade. It is actually a small size version of the Chattering-Bomb. It is indiscriminately hurled at infidels even more suddenly and rudely than the Coatis Commercialus Interruptus. Though highly destructive, the Breaking News Grenade is surprisingly made with nothing more than hot air! Thus, it makes a lot of noise and is mainly used to impede an infidel’s senses and bring everything to a stand still, making him feel that the day of judgment has arrived and it’s time to repent, repent, repent… and change your shampoo.

Over the years the BMM has gathered great power, presence and popcorn. It believes that a revolution is at hand and that it is the BMM that will be bleeding it, I mean, leading it. That’s why most BMM leaders are wonderful speakers, passionately speeching instead of speaking, gallantly deforming instead of informing, and declaring jihad against infidel concepts such as objectivity and commonsense.

Contrary to popular belief, the BMM has a lighter and a tad more liberal side to it as well. It has a cultural wing consisting of sirens in the shape of trendy looking androids that are fed burgers and French fries to further fatten their complete ignorance of reality. They talk in strange tongues called ‘minglish,’ and ‘Hinglish.’ One of the biggest successes in this respect has been the conversion of Zion Wamid who was once an uncaring, burger-popping DJ at a Tora Bora disco. Today he is a hero of the BMM.

Speaking on the issue, Wamid said: “Yo, man, like, I was a no-good dude, until the I-mess-I, I mean, the BMM, picked me up, and, like, far out, man, like, repent, repent, repent!”

The BMM’s history has been short but eventful. It believes it is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, I mean, intellectual meltdown, I mean mental showdown, I mean showdown with the infidels that will lead to a glorious Islamic/ Marxist/ judicial/ fundamentalist/ Bollywoodist revolution that will save Pakistan from the wrath of George, Gog, Magog and Rehman Malik’s curly hair.

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  1. Jang Group: Ansar Abbasi, ISI and Peace with India [Aman Ki Asha]

    It is very disgusting that Prejudice take you to a level when you blatantly lie and distort history. Mr Ansar Abbasi just did that in his column in Daily Jang Monday, January 04, 2010, Muharram 17, 1431 A.H, wherein [Read the text below] he says that Political Cell of ISI was formed by Bhutto whereas in reality it was formed by General Ayub Khan. Read Ayub Khan’s Information Secretary’s Late Altaf Gauhar’s Column on ISI published in The Nation in English 17 Aug 97 p 4. After reading the last paragraph of Ansar Abbasi’s Lies on ISI. Ansar Abbasi and Jang Group have no shame left in them they forget while lecturing PPP and Zardari about Kerry Lugar Bill, No First Strike, Patriotism and National Security that Ansar Abbasi’s very own Jang/The News and GEO are running the campaign of “Joint statement by editors of the Jang Group and Times of India” Friday, January 01, 2010 Aman Ki Asha”. AMAN KI ASHA – DESTINATION PEACE

    Read Ayub Khan’s Information Secretary’s Late Altaf Gauhar’s Column on ISI published in The Nation in English 17 Aug 97 p 4 – Islamabad The Nation in English 17 Aug 97 p 4 Article by Altaf Gauhar.


    “How Intelligence Agencies Run Our Politics”

    I had an opportunity to watch quite closely the working of our intelligence agencies during the 1965 war with India. At that time the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was headed by Brigadier Riaz Hussain, who later became the Governor of Balochistan, the Military Intelligence (MI) was under Brigadier Muhammad Irshad and A.B. Awan was the Director of the Intelligence Bureau (DIB). Each agency had its own sphere of duties but they had a common goal — preserving the national security. Since there is hardly any significant political activity, domestic or foreign, national or international, which does not, directly or indirectly, impinge on national security, there was much overlapping in the work of the three agencies. Despite the all-embracing definition of national security unnecessary conflict in day to day working was avoided as the lSl and the MI confined themselves to matters of direct military interest and the IB concentrated on domestic political activities. The DIB reported directly to the Prime Minister and the two military agencies to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (C-in-C). It was left to the C-in-C to bring all matters of interest to the notice of the Prime Minister through the Ministry of Defence. This arrangement continued fairly smoothly until the imposition of Martial Law in 1958. I was in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat during the last days of parliamentary government in 1957-58 and Malik Feroz Khan Noon used to get reports of the contacts which military intelligence agencies were making with the political leaders of different parties. There was little that he could do about it since President Iskander Mirza was drawing up his own plan of action to put an end to parliamentary rule in collusion with the C-in-C, General Ayub Khan. Noon was resisting Mirza’s pressure to grant a four-year extension of term to Ayub Khan. I remember Ayub Khan bursting into my office one afternoon in full, uniform. I was relieved when he said: “Since the Principal Secretary has gone for lunch I thought I would ask you to request the Prime Minister to stay with me in Rawalpindi when he comes on a formal visit next week.” He left the room before I could recover my breath. When I conveyed the message to the PM he said: “I know he wants me to give him an extension of term. His term does not end till 1959. Why is he in such a hurry?” Years later when I mentioned this incident to Ayub Khan he said: “The fellow was under the influence of his wife. He wanted to promote General Sher Ali. My boys were keeping tabs on him.”

    Once the Martial Law was promulgated in 1958 all the intelligence agencies came under the direct control of the President and Chief Martial Law Administrator. The maintenance of national Security, which was the principal function of these agencies, came to mean the consolidation of the Ayub regime; any criticism of the regime was seen a threat to national security. The three intelligence agencies started competing with each other in demonstrating their loyalty to Ayub Khan and his system of government. Since Ayub Khan was reluctant to increase the military budget, neither the ISI nor the MI could post their officers in the districts and because of that limitation their domestic activities remained quite restrained. But they continued to be assigned specific duties to keep a watch on ‘undesirable’ politicians and civil servants. When I came to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, I found a psychological warfare unit under operation in the office of the Secretary. It was, headed by Col Mujibur Rahman, who later became the Secretary of the Ministry in the Ziaul Haq regime. Was it an intelligence plant meant to keep an eye on the working of the civil government? Whatever its purpose, I found it a complete waste of time and I was able to persuade the President to have it recalled by the GHQ.

    The President used to receive regular reports on the political situation in the country from the ISI and the MI. These reports in sealed envelopes marked ‘Eyes Only’ were usually handed over to the President by the C-in-C. On a few occasions the President gave me these reports and it seemed to me that the agencies were keeping the politicians, particularly the East Pakistanis, under close surveillance. I rarely found anything insightful in these reports. The DIB had direct access to the President and his weekly reports used to be fairly exhaustive. It was during the presidential election in l964 that the ISI and the MI became extremely active.. While the DIB gave the President a detailed, assessment of his prospects in the election the ISI and the MI kept him informed of the trend of public opinion based largely on gossip. The election results showed that the three agencies had seriously under estimated the popularity of Mohtrama Miss Fatima Jinnah and given Ayub Khan too optimistic a picture of his prospects.

    The crisis of intelligence came during the 1965 war. Brigadier Riaz was good enough to show me his set-up, an impressive affair judging by the sophisticated equipment and the operators at work. He told me that he had contacts inside the Occupied Kashmir and in other major Indian cities. “I will flood you with news. Don’t worry”. When the war started there was a complete blackout of news from all the intellience agencies. When I got nothing out of the ISI for two days I went to Brigadier Riaz only to learn that all his contacts had gone underground. The performance of the MI was even more frustrating. The mobile transmitter which the MI had acquired to broadcast the Voice of Kashmir conked out and Brigadier Irshad came to me to find him a spare transmitter. When I told him that it would take at least a month to import another transmitter he pleaded with me to take over the broadcast part of the operation. “How can I do that I know nothing about the operation?” I protested. “But that is the beauty of it.” said Irshad, “even I know very little about it.” It did not take the Indians long to extract the whole operational plan out of the ‘infiltrators’ whom they captured the moment they entered the Indian occupied territory in Kashmir. Four of them were put on All India Radio to make a public confession. I heard the details of the operation on the air in utter disbelief. I rushed to Muzaffarabad to acquaint Irshad with what I had heard. He fell back in his chair and moaned: “The bastards have spilt the beans.”

    After the cease-fire I brought these incidents to Ayub Khan’s notice and urged him to review the working of these agencies. “They have no idea of intelligence work,” I submitted “all they can do is investigative work like sub-inspectors of police, tapping telephone conversations and chasing the suspects.” Much later Ayub Khan set up a committee to examine the working of the agencies under General the Yahya Khan. Both A.B. Awan and I were members of the committee. The GHQ tried to put all the blame on IB for their own incompetence. Yahya wanted the committee to recommend that officers of ISI and the Ml should be posted at district headquarters. Awan strongly opposed the idea and I backed him. We could not understand the purpose of getting the military agencies involved in domestic administration. As we left the meeting Awan said to me “They are planning to impose martial law.” He proved right though it took the Army quite some time to get rid of Ayub Khan after unleashing a popular campaign against him.

    The intelligence agencies got even more deeply involved in domestic politics under General Yahya Khan. The ISI jumped headlong into the Political crisis in East Pakistan. A National Security Council was created under the chairmanship of General Yahya Khan with Major General Ghulam Umar as second in command to control the intelligence operation which was meant to ensure that no political party should get an overall majority in the general election. An amount of Rs 29 lac was put at the disposal of General Umar for the purpose. Before the Army action General Akbar, who was the head of the ISI and with whom I had good relations when I was in service, requested me that I should introduce him to some Bengali academics and journalists. The ISI was trying to infiltrate into the inner circles of the Awami League. Had I given him any names they too have been put on Rao Farman Ali’s hit list of Bengali intellectuals. The operation proved a total disaster. Lawrence Ziring says: “New efforts at a political solution might have been attempted later, but army intelligence failed time and again to correctly assess the situation, and the demeanor of the generals was hardly conducive to rational decision-making.” (Lawrence Ziring, The Tragedy of East Pakistan, OUP, 1997). For General (retd) Aslam Beg to claim on solemn oath before the Supreme Court of Pakistan that the ISI got involved in the internal politics of the country only after a special cell was created by Prime Minister Bhutto in 1975 is a culpable attempt at concealing the truth and distorting the record of the operations of the military intelligence agencies since independence. The present government has only to report to the Supreme Court that the ISI deals with matters relating to Pakistan’s national security and that would be the end of Asghar Khan’s writ petition against Aslam Beg. Who will provide a definition of national security to rule out the involvement of the ISI and the MI in domestic politics which is seen as the biggest threat to the security and solidarity of Pakistan?



  2. NRO: Kamran Khan & Dishonest Lawyers.

    Sometimes Intellectual Dishonesty is more fatal than the Financial or Moral Corruption. Financial/Moral Corruption is mostly related with a few and destroys a few [Of course I condone neither] but Intellectual dishonesty destroys nations e.g. Sharifuddin Pirzada, A K Brohi and their Protégé i.e. Barrister Mr Khalid Anwer. Once again it is proven beyond doubt that Human Memory is very weak particularly of Jang Group/Kamran Khan when they discuss PPP/NRO/Zardari and that’s what happen during a talk show on NRO with Legal Wizzard Mr Khalid Anwer. Mr Kamran Khan/Jang Group/GEO TV/Mr. Khalid Anwer “conveniently” forget as to what the same Jang Group used to publish 10 years ago on the “Dirty Role of Barrister Mr. Khalid Anwer” and other Lawyers whom nowaday GEO TV/JANG GROUP/THE NEWS INTERNATIONAL call for “Expert Opinion” on NRO [READ TO DISCUSS WAYS AS TO HOW TO SACK ELECTED GOVERNMENT OF PPP OR GET ZARDARI THROUGH WITCH HUNTING]

    This happened last night i.e. 29-Jan-2010 during a GEO TV Show Aaj Kamran Khan Kay Saath. Profile: Barrister Dr. Mohammad Farogh Naseem

    Mr Khalid Anwer is a renowned ‘Lawyer’ and as per his Legal Firm Profile ” Khalid Anwer & Co. is a premier law firm having a total strength of eleven lawyers in Karachi and associate firms in Lahore and Islamabad. It was formerly known as A.K. Brohi & Co. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious law firms in Pakistan.” Everybody who know Pakistan History also know that “The Law of Necessity” was basically the brainchild of Late. A.K. Brohi – As per Mr Ardeshir Cowasjee in Daily Dawn.
    HOW fortunate can a man be? Take me, for example. I have had the pleasure of knowing, partaking of their wisdom, and enjoying the company of Allah Baksh Kadir Baksh Brohi, Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, and Brohi’s protege, Khalid Anwer. Friend Brohi is with us no more. Friend Sharifuddin is very much around, but for the time being enjoying a sabbatical. One can but admire his self- confidence, as he is still sure that he can convince his Maker (if his Maker will hear him) that all he has done upon this earth has been good and just. Khalid is on his way up. He successfully had Nawaz’s dissolution overturned. He successfully had Benazir’s dissolution upheld. Now he has had 58(2)(b) erased from the Book. As a member of the government, he bears a great deal of the collective responsibility for any action taken by this government, for he is by far the brightest, the most finely educated, the most well-read, and the most balanced of the democrats amongst whom he sits. How often can a man write the same thing, over and over again:
    “Every citizen of this country who can read, write and think, can say without any fear of contradiction that it is, and always has been, the intent of all our leaders (barring the first), to enforce their will, to tailor the constitution and all of the laws of the land and to interpret them to suit their own special needs so that they may remain in power for ever. During the early years, the leaders did make some sort of effort to pretend that they had the interests of the country and its people at heart, bogus though it may have been, but since 1 — 1 even pretence has been discarded. Now, it is total blatant glasnost; machinations, schemes and scams are publicly, fearlessly and contemptuously aired. REFERENCE: Consistent honesty? Ardeshir Cowasjee Week Ending: 12 April 1997 Issue : 03/15 DAWN WIRE SERVICE
    MORE DIRT ON Former Judge MALIK QAYYUM, Former Law Minister KHALID ANWER PML-N, Ehtisab Bureau Chief[Accountability Bureau of PML-N] SAIFUR REHMAN [NOW General Musharraf Advisor] AND Justice Rashid Aziz of Lahore High Court.
    Judiciary’s/Lawyers Checkered History as compiled in a book The Hegemony of the Ruling Elite in Pakistan (2000) by Mr. Abdus Sattar Ghazali – The author is a professional journalist, with Master’s degree in Political Science from the Punjab University. Started his journalistic career as a sub-editor in the daily Bang-e-Haram, Peshawar in 1960. Later worked in the daily Anjam and the Tourist weekly Peshawar. Served as a News Editor in the Daily News, Kuwait from 1969 to 1976. Joined the English News Department of Kuwait Television as a News Editor in December 1976. Also worked as the correspondent of the Associated Press of Pakistan and the Daily Dawn, Karachi, in Kuwait. At present working as the Editor-in-Chief of the Kuwait Television English News. [Courtesy: HEGEMONY OF THE RULING ELITE by Abdus Sattar Ghazali]

    Excerpts from the book:



    Absolute power has corrupted our rulers absolutely. They have had their way since the demise of the Quaid-i-Azam. Corruption is a universal weakness and is hardly confined to Pakistan. But, whereas in other countries it is abhorred and severely proscribed and punished, we have allowed corruption to thrive and spread with total impunity. Today, it has pervaded the whole structure of our society, not excluding politicians, bureaucrats and even some sections of the army.[1] Rampant corruption has now reached its peak and has engulfed every segment of the society. Successive governments always made vocal claims and hollow promises to weed it out. But it all sounds false, as all these people were themselves involved in all types of corrupt practices. Pakistan’s credit-rating has been lowered by several foreign agencies, and it has been labeled as the third most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International. However, our rulers believe that corruption is a necessary evil in the developing countries that provides incentive for developments.[2]

    Corruption has been a perennial charge against all outgoing regimes and its eradication has been on the top of the agenda of all successive regimes. Unfortunately, the ground realities have only worsened in our country despite tall claims and promulgation of a heap of laws to arrest and contain corruption. It’s not been the inadequacy of the laws but the failure to implement them, as well as the erroneous approach to contain corruption, which has thwarted every such attempt in the past 52 years.
    The first statute, commonly known as PRODA, was enforced by the first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, in 1949. Later, General Ayub Khan, as chief martial law administrator, promulgated PODO in March 1959 which was then substituted by EBDO in August 1959. Under the government of prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the Holders of Representative Offices Act and the Parliament and Provincial Assemblies (Disqualification for Membership) Act were passed in 1976. But no case was registered under these two acts which were later repealed by General Ziaul Haq who instead issued two presidential orders, commonly known as PPO No16 and PPO No17 (1977).

    In September/October 1996 the then opposition under the leadership of Mian Nawaz Sharif and the then government of prime minister Benazir Bhutto tabled in Parliament their respective bills on accountability. These bills lapsed with the dissolution of the National Assembly. The caretaker government of Malik Meraj Khalid had promulgated the Ehtesab Ordinance (1996) which was replaced by a new act of parliament called the Ehtesab Act (1997). Even this Ehtesab Act was subsequently amended repeatedly by Nawaz Sharif through ordinances. The general elections in 1997 were held on the basis of the laws whereby defaulters of loans and utility bills were disqualified and every candidate was required to submit declaration of his assets not only at the time of election but also every year after becoming members of parliament. The Nawaz Sharif regime had deliberately allowed this law to lapse as it was made through an ordinance.

    Since the tenure of the first prime minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, across-the-board accountability has remained the unanimous demand of all sections of the public and, after the dismissal of the Sharif government on October 12, 1999, it was once again a burning issue. Ironically, despite unanimity on this issue, the mode, manner, period and extent of the accountability to be undertaken has never been resolved decisively. In Pakistan, the word ‘accountability’ has only one meaning: to malign and persecute political opponents.

    Ehtesab (Accountability) Law

    The National Assembly, on May 29, 1997, amended the Ehtesab Ordinance to introduce major changes in the accountability process. The most significant amendment was the shifting of the starting date for accountability from the original 31st December, 1985 (when General Zia lifted the martial law) to 6th August, 1990 (when the first government of Benazir Bhutto was dismissed). The amendment also transferred the power of investigating charges of corruption from the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner to the Ehtesab Cell set up by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
    Although the amendment excluded the first Benazir government from the purview of accountability but the exemption for the 1985-90 period is significant since it was during this period that Mr. Nawaz Sharif, in his capacity as the Chief Minister of the Punjab, was strengthening and consolidating his industrial and political base. At the time of passage of the Ehtesab Law, there were reports that there were 167 cases of major loan default which include 107 cases involving top leaders of the PML(N) who got the benefit of huge write-offs and rescheduling during 1985-1990.

    The transfer of the power of appointment of the Chief Ehtesab

    Commissioner from the president to the federal government reduced the office of the CEC to a mere post office. The real power was transferred to the accountability cell in the Prime Minister’s secretariat. The head of the Cell, Senator Saifur Rehman Khan, was accountable only to the PM. The amendment also extended ex post facto legal sanction to the PM’s accountability cell, which was under attack in a number of writ petitions in the Lahore High Court.
    The original ordinance had empowered the CEC to initiate a case on a reference received from the appropriate government, on receipt of a complaint or on his own accord. Under the new amended law, if the CEC deems a reference necessary, he must refer it to the accountability cell for investigation. With all the accountability functions and powers concentrated in a cell functioning in his secretariat, the prime minister was able to keep a strict check not only on the opposition and the bureaucracy but on his own party-men also.
    Ehtesab officials get SHO’s power
    The federal government, on Feb. 4 1998, amended the Ehtesab Act, replacing the name, “Ehtesab Cell”, with “Ehtesab Bureau”, and provided powers of an SHO to the chief of Ehtesab Bureau or any other official designated by him for the purpose of investigation. The amendments were introduced into the Ehtesab Act through a presidential ordinance, the first by President Rafiq Tarar.

    The chief of Ehtesab Bureau or any officer designated by him enjoyed all the powers of an officer-in-charge of a police station. The chairman or designated officer were empowered to require the assistance of any agency or police officer. The amended law provided indemnity to officials of the Ehtesab Bureau on acts deemed to have been done on “good faith”.
    By amending Section 3 of the Ehtesab Act, the government had again brought in the original definition of “corruption and corrupt practice”. In the original Ehtesab Ordinance, corruption by a government official was defined as “favours or disfavours to any person.” Through a subsequent amendment in the original Ehtesab Ordinance of 1996, the words “any other person” was replaced with the words “his spouse or dependents.” The government again restored the original meaning that any favour by a government official to other person other than his/her spouse or dependents would also fall in the definition of corruption, and he would be held responsible for that.

    A reference made to the Ehtesab Bureau was to be treated as a report under section 154 of the Penal Code. After the reference of any case to the Ehtesab Bureau by the Ehtesab Commissioner, it would be an exclusive responsibility of the bureau to examine all the material, evidence and proof. No other agency had a power to look into the matter. For the purpose of inquiry into any matter referred to the Ehtesab Bureau, the chairman and the bureau had the powers of an officer in charge of a police station, including the power to ask any citizen to appear before it. Every government agency, police official or any other government official was bound to assist the Ehtesab Bureau in investigation.

    After the amendment, the Ehtesab Bureau was also empowered to ask the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner to make a request to any court for the withdrawal of any case pending in a court. If the application was granted by the court, the case will be transferred to the Ehtesab Bureau. The Chief Ehtesab Commissioner had the powers at any stage of proceedings against an accused under the Ehtesab Act, to order the arrest of the accused..

    The Bureau became an independent investigating agency with teeth of its own and therefore not dependent, as it formerly was, upon the powers of the FIA. This may be a sequel to the turf war between Senator Saifur Rehman’s ehtesab machine and Ch. Shujaat Hussain’s interior ministry, both of whom were vying for control over the FIA. The first and most striking change of course was to strip the original law of its neutrality and place the powers of investigation and prosecution firmly in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.

    How FIA kidnapped notables to please Saif-ur-Rahman

    Chairman of the Ehtesab Bureau, Senator Saif-ur-Rahman, used his power to harass political opponents and kidnapping leading businessmen. He operated mostly through a select group of FIA officials while Nawaz Sharif had first-hand information about Saif’s involvement in the kidnapping of some of the very reputed citizens as he ignored strong complaints against this nasty operation even from his cabinet colleagues. [3]
    For instance when the FIA sleuths kidnapped Farooq Hasan, owner of Hasan Associates, a renowned builder and developer of Karachi in 1998 and locked him at a Saif-run safe house in Islamabad, federal minister Halim Siddiqi had rushed to Nawaz Sharif to inform him about Saif’s involvement in the kidnapping of a well-known Karachi businessman. Halim Siddiqi’s pleas both to Sharif and Saif went unheeded as Hasan had to stay for about a week in Saif’s dungeon and was only released when he signed a confessional statement that had been prepared by Saif’s lieutenant at the Ehtesab Cell. Saif prepared confessional statement for Farooq Hasan relating to dealings of AES power plant with the Benazir government. Throughout his confinement Hasan was physically abused, mentally tortured and was not allowed to sleep. Hasan was also kept and interrogated at Saif’s personal residence in Islamabad.

    Jamil Ansari, the Chief Executive of a famous trading and business group in Karachi, was also kidnapped in 1998 by the FIA while he was about to board a Karachi-bound flight from Islamabad. For the next four days Ansari’s family in Karachi had no knowledge of his whereabouts. The case was soon brought to the knowledge of Nawaz Sharif, who conveniently ignored protest from an associate who thought that such daylight kidnappings of the business luminaries without any charges would bring the PML government into disrepute. For more than a week, Ansari, a businessman, was questioned for his friendship with a ranking naval official. This week-long illegal detention under Saif’s orders of the chief executive of a reputed firm had sent a shock wave in Karachi’s mercantile community, but the Nawaz Sharif administration was not bothered.

    The FIA was also involved in the kidnapping of Shahzad Sherry, a well-known international banker, from Karachi. Like other victims, Sherry was also swiftly shifted to Islamabad, where he was locked at a government-run safe house. For several days Sherry was kept in illegal confinement and questioned by the former Ehtesab Bureau stalwarts including Senator Saif-ur-Rahman. Sherry was apparently also paying price for his friendship with certain naval officials. His detention also continued for several days before being released without bringing any criminal charges against him.
    Karachi-based Jamil Hamdani, another representative of an international bank, was kidnapped from his house in Defence Society Karachi in Oct. 1999 and was forced to board an Islamabad-bound flight for an urgent meeting with Saif-ur-Rahman and his team. Saif pointedly informed Hamdani about his disliking for his bank’s interest in the privatisation of Habib Bank Limited. Jamil Hamdani was believed to be working on an international consortium that was interested in the management of overseas operations of Habib Bank. No apologies were offered after Hamdani was set free three days later by the Ehtesab sleuths who also warned him not to talk to the press about his ordeal.

    Saif’s frenzy to get private citizens abducted through the FIA touched its peak last year when he used the federal agency to kidnap Arif Zarwani, a UAE national and a reputed businessman, from his friend’s house in Defence Society Karachi. Zarwani, who had been arrested in an FIA-cum-police raid, was quickly flown to Islamabad, where he was handed over to Wasim Afzal, a close associate of Saif-ur-Rahman. The Ehtesab action created a stir in the UAE as Nawaz Sharif was personally told that Zarwani’s kidnapping in Karachi had endangered his official visit next day to the UAE. Zarwani, who was apparently picked up for his ties with Asif Zardari, was freed from the Ehtesab clutches, two days later, only after he was forced to listen to a telephonic sermon from Saif who was then touring Europe. No reasons were given for Arif Zarwani’s arrest nor any criminal charges were brought against him. Despite an official protest from the UAE Nawaz Sharif did not question Saif or the FIA for the kidnapping of a foreign national.
    In another case Ghulam Mustafa Memon, a well-known petroleum dealer and a former friend of Asif Ali Zardari, was kidnapped in an FIA action from his house in Defence Society, Karachi in 1998. During the operation the FIA sleuths ransacked his house. Memon, like other victims, was quickly flown to Islamabad where he was kept at a safe house for about a week. Mustafa Memon said that during the detention, he went through severe physical torture and mental harassment at the hands of senior Ehtesab officials. At last a week later Mustafa was quietly released from Islamabad and no criminal charges were brought against him.

    Among others who made the hostage list of Saif-ur-Rahman was Naeemuddin Khan, a senior United Bank Limited (UBL) executive responsible for recovering Rs 1.2 billion loans from Saif-ur-Rahman’s Redco Textile Mills. While using the FIA in the kidnapping of Naeemuddin Khan from his room at Karachi’s Pearl Continental Hotel, Senator Saif is understood to have told the FIA that Naeemuddin was involved in money laundering. Without verifying the facts an FIA team barged into Naeemuddin’s room in August this year and in the next few hours he was facing a Saif-ur-Rahman interrogation squad at an unspecified location in Islamabad. Naeemuddin’s ordeal ended after Nawaz Sharif listened to a strong complaint in this regard from National Assembly Speaker Illahi Bukhsh Soomro and ordered the bank executive’s release. Sharif, however, refused to order any probe into the kidnapping of a bank executive who was being punished for his attempt to recover Rs 1.2 billion of loan from Saif-ur-Rahman.
    Leading newspaper columnist Hussain Haqqani had been kidnapped by the FIA sleuths along with his brother, an active service Army Colonel, during an evening stroll on direct orders from Saif-ur-Rahman in early 1999. It was at least three days after Haqqani’s kidnapping that Saif-ur-Rahman ordered the FIA bosses to “produce” a case against him. Official sources confirmed Haqqani’s account that he was beaten and kept awake during the first week of his arrest. Haqqani was of the few Saif victims whose captivity brought criminal charges, vehemently denied by Haqqani who said that the cases against him was the figment of Saif’s imagination.
    The annual 1997 Human Rights Report of US State Department said the Accountability Commission, established by the caretaker government and headed by a retired judge, had been overshadowed by an “accountability cell,” headed by a close associate of the prime minister. This cell had been accused of conducting politically-motivated investigations of politicians, senior civil servants, and business figures, designed to extract evidence and, in some cases, televised confessions of alleged wrongdoers. The report gave the examples of televised confessions extracted from Salman Farooqi, secretary of commerce under Benazir Bhutto; Ahmed Sadiq, Benazir Bhutto’s principal secretary; and Zafar Iqbal, chairman of the Capital Development Authority. It said most politicians and bureaucrats, who had been charged with corruption or other crimes, were out on bail.

    MORE DETAILS: NRO: Kamran Khan & Dishonest Lawyers.

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