Are So-Called Defense Experts Really Connected?

Mar 19th, 2010 | By | Category: Uncategorized

Interesting article received from a dear reader by email. It raises the question of why some journalists who are considered defense experts were not invited to a recent press briefing by the military. As always, please write in your tips and articles to!

Not invited

A few weeks ago, Army Chief Gen. Kiyani invited editors and columnists to a press briefing. Interestingly, Ahmed Quraishi, Shireen Mazari, Shaheen Sehbai, and Shahid Masood were not invited. Was this an intentional snub by the military brass to send a clear signal that these people do not speak for the military? Or was it just that these journalists are so irrelevant that the Army did not think to invite them?

Usually, if a reporter is truly close to the establishment, they are not only invited, they are given special access like a closed door briefing before the official briefing so that they can get background statements from the officials. These four not only got no invitation to a closed door briefing, they were not even invited to the regular press briefing!

Ahmed Quraishi, Shireen Mazari, Shaheen Sehbai, and Shahid Masood are well known for claiming to be unofficial experts on the Pakistani establishment – especially the military. They are always saying that they have spoken to high up sources, even when what they say turns out to be wrong. But it seems from this latest snub that they are not as connected as they claim to be.

Ahmed Quraishi and Shireen Mazari in particular tend to represent ‘old think’ on security issues. They support a military coup and for the military to cut iself off from allied powers and are opposed to the present democracy and the way that Gen. Kiyani is working with the government.

While each of them probably has some contacts from the military, it could be that their contacts may not be current military leaders. Also, it could be that their sources are actually retired military or ex-military who supported the Musharraf and Zia dictatorships and are filling their heads with false information rather than accurate information in attempt to disrupt the actual policies of the current military establishment.

If this is the case, it makes sense for them not to receive invitations to press briefings by the military brass. The military leadership would recognize them as working for elements that are opposing the actual plans and policies of Gen. Kiyani and his staff so they would refuse them any invitations.

None of these media personalities will reveal who their sources are, so we do not know if this is the case. It could be that sometimes their sources do not exist at all, but are simply invented in order to give their articles and talk shows some air of authority that is missing. But it seems very apparent that if they cannot even get an invitation to a public press briefing, they probably do not have sources that are very high up.

Was this a calculated snub? Is it because Ahmed Quraishi, Shireen Mazari, Shaheen Sehbai, and Shahid Masood do not represent the Army? Are Ahmed Quraishi, Shireen Mazari, Shaheen Sehbai, and Shahid Masood reflecting an old mindset from the past that the present establishment wants to distance itself from? Or does the military brass think that Ahmed Quraishi, Shireen Mazari, Shaheen Sehbai, and Shahid Masood are just too irrelevant to bother inviting them?

Whatever the answers are, one thing is made clear by the snub – Ahmed Quraishi, Shireen Mazari, Shaheen Sehbai, and Shahid Masood obviously do not speak for the military.

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  1. If people like Shaheen cannot help their country sort out the critical situations, they should not add more fire…..In fact , it is because of such people that there has always been creation of ambiguity in the minds of people regarding the affairs of government and everything else.She should rather be ashamed of her freaking acts…….and if not, then kindly leave the world for hell….a black mark on the name of journalism. Further more , PPP and the representatives of the party are united and there lies no rift for such foul ideas to be born in mind…..Pakistan Peoples Party ,its President and Prime Minister all are one in affairs of party or government , there lies no space for any sort of disbelief in this fact and the people of Pakistan are quite sensibile enough to avoid believing in such a big bunch of malarkey.

  2. They all were involved .. one way or the other By Yousuf Nazar Sunday, April 18th, 2010 at 9:40 am

    The biggest conspiracy theory that I have come across in the recent years is that Benazir Bhutto fell victim to a terrorist attack. Ninety percent of our media analysts have been, deliberately or unconsciously, part of the larger conspiracy to lay the blame of most violence in Pakistan on terrorism and extremism or on the mullahs but do not have the guts to point to the root causes, the principal accused and the main culprit …. the military establishment.

    Najam Sethi, the senior journalist, analyst, editor, etc. wrote in his editorial for the Daily Times on Dec. 29, 2010:

    “A spokesman of Al Qaeda has informed the media that his organisation has killed Ms Benazir Bhutto — “a precious American asset” — reminding Pakistan that it is in the midst of a global war. (Al Qaeda Afghanistan commander and spokesman Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid telephoned the Italian news agency AKI to make the claim.) This owning up once again proves Daily Times right when it reported before the arrival of Ms Bhutto from Dubai on October 18 that the terrorist elements in South Waziristan had vowed to kill her through a suicide-bomber. Now it develops that Al Qaeda had to deploy an elaborate piece of disinformation to disarm Ms Bhutto’s suspicion that Al Qaeda was intending to attack her.”

    There was no such call and the story was planted as I had written on my blog on the 26th December 2008. [ Transparency in Pakistan’s Media, Benazir and the US By Yousuf Nazar Friday, December 26th, 2008 at 1:22 am

    Today on April 19, 2010, another so-called stalwart and editor of another newspaper, Shaheen Sehbai has written a piece which while rightfully criticising Zardari for his [criminal] failure to investigate BB’s murder wrongly and deliberately gives undue and disproportionate attention to the role of Rehman Malik and does not even remotely suggest that Musharraf and his buddy Nadeem Ejaz be arrested and put on trial for at-least the cover-up if for not for the actual crime. This would be the first step. Need I say that only the guilty have the motive to cover up.

    It is so easy to lambast Mullah Radio, Rehman Malik, Zardari, or an petty official like CPO Saud Aziz. The UN report serves a purpose. It puts an independent and impartial seal on what Benazir Bhutto and the people of Pakistan already knew and this was no conspiracy theory. Musharraf killed Benazir Bhutto. Musharraf, with the help of his officials, his media supporters, and the CIA tried to put the blame on Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda did not change BB’s exit route from Liaqat Bagh. It was blocked by the police vans. Al Qaeda did not wash the crime scene. It was ordered by the Army Head Quarters. Al Qaeda did not prevent autopsy. An ISI officer was at the hospital directing the whole operation.

    There will perhaps never be any real investigation or trial. If Pakistan was not a banana republic, public prosector’s list of accused and witnesses would have looked like this:

    Charge: Murder of Benazir Bhutto and cover up of the crime

    Principal accused: General Pervez Musharraf

    Principal co-accused: DG MI, DG ISI

    Principal collaborator: Rehman Malik

    Principal Accessory in cover-up: Asif Zardari

    Criminally silent spectators: Supreme Court judges

  3. […] himself that he has no factual evidence for anything he is writing. It has been already shown that Sehbai does not have connections in the armed forces, so why should we be surprised that he has no facts? But I must admit that I am a bit surprised […]

  4. General (R) Pervez Musharraf, Dr. Shazia Khalid & Dirty Role of Dr. Shahid Masood.

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