Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor, New Age Islam
Osama bin laden is at large. So is Ayman al-Zawahiri. So is their network, intact and prospering. Taliban are dominating two-thirds of
Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor, New Age Islam
Major General [R] Mahmud Ali Durrani and Security Breach
Major General [R] Mahmud Ali Durrani and Security Breach
THURSDAY, JANUARY 8, 2009
PakNationalists wrote: “
”M. A. Durrani was busy leaking information to embarrass
Dear Quraishi Sahab,
When did you become aware of this 'Closely Guarded Secret' about Major General [Retd] Mahmud Ali Durrani?
I have few questions since you have alleged that Major General [Retd] Mahmud Ali Durrani was leaking information [sic].
Question Number 1: Did Major General [Retd] Mahmud Ali Durrani started leaking Information [as per you above] when he was From 1977 to 1982 he was Pakistan’s defense and military attaché in Washington, D.C?
Question Number 2: Did Major General [Retd] Mahmud Ali Durrani started leaking information [as per you above] when he was Military Secretary [1982-1986] to American Backed Military Dictator General Muhammad Zaiul Haq [1977 - 1988 and Maternal Son-In-Law of Former Jamat-e-Islami Chief Mian Muhammad Tufail]
Question Number 3: Did Major General [Retd] Mahmud Ali Durrani started leaking information [as per you above] when he was posted as the commander the 1st Armoured Division in Multan, and being the former MS to the president persuaded the then Army chief and president General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq to witness the tank exercise in Bahawalpur desert on 17 August, 1988 [where are those demented Generals i.e. General Retd. Mirza Aslam Beg and Lt. General Retd. Hamid Gul who wind up the investigations of General Zia's Plane Crash - Read, Who Killed Zia below].
Former Chief of the Army Staff General [Retd] Mirza Aslam Beg
Former ISI and MI Chief Lt. General [Retd] Hamid Gul
Question Number 4: Did Major General [Retd] Mahmud Ali Durrani started leaking information [as per you above] when he was From 1992 to 1998 Durrani was the Chairman of the Pakistan Ordnance Factories Board.
Question Number 5: Did Major General [Retd] Mahmud Ali Durrani started leaking information [as per you above] when he was appointed as
If your answer is yes then another question, what the hell our Intelligence Agencies were doing during all this while all this mentioned above that include you allegation on Major General [Retd] Mahmud Ali Durrani????? You dont need rocket science to explain this.
George Tenet, CIA (Part 2)
What can you tell us about your meetings with the Government of India, Maj.Gen. (retd) Mahmud Ali Durrani, who like Gen.Musharraf, was a blue-eyed boy of the late Gen.Zia-ul-Haq and who is now a close confidante of the self-styled Chief Executive? Maj.Gen.Durrani had in the past served as the ISI station chief in
"General Durrani, by his own admission, started out as a fire-breathing soldier, and his slow conversion to the cause of political engagement as the only way forward is all the more telling for that." - Salman Haider, Senior Fellow of Centre of Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh, India "This is the first time that a highly decorated Pakistani military officer has written about the need for peace and reconciliation with India." - Rifaat Hussain, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad "If this book leads to formation of peace lobbies in India and Pakistan, I can say General Mahmud has achieved much." - Wasim Sajjad, former Chairman, Senate of Pakistan 
Why? - An Extraordinary Series Of 911 Questions
From American Patriot Friends Network APFN@apfn.org 4-27-2 
VICISSITUDE OF CBMS AND NRRMS BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN 
Major General Mahmud Ali Durrani, retired, “
Who Killed Zia? (Page 2) VANITY FAIR September 1989 by Edward Jay Epstein
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On August 17 1988, Pak One, an American built Hercules C-130b transport plane, took off from the military air base outside of
This was General Zia's first trip on Pak One since May 29. He had reluctantly gone to
Seated next to him on the flight back to
Like Zia, Rehman had not wanted to come to this tank demonstration. He indeed had another appointment in
Zia blamed the Soviet trained Afghan intelligence service, WAD, for the blast, but
The remaining two seats in the capsule were given to Zia's American guests: Ambassador Arnold L. Raphel, an old
Lt. General Aslam Beg, the Army's vice chief of staff, waved goodbye from the runway, the only top general in the chain of command not aboard Pak One that day. He would fly back in the smaller Turbo Jet, waiting to take off as soon as Pak One was airborne.
A Cessna security plane completed the final check of the area-- a precaution taken ever since terrorists had unsuccessfully fired a missile at Pak One eight years earlier. Then, the control tower gave Pak One the signal to take off.
In the cockpit, which was separated from the VIP capsule by a door and three steps, was the four man flight crew. The pilot, Wing Commander Mashhood Hassan, had been personally selected by Zia. And the co-pilot, the navigator and the engineer had been cleared by Air Force security. Just the day before, they had flown Pak One back and forth on the exact route as a trial run so there would be no surprises. The trip was expected to take an hour.) After Pak One was airborne, the control tower at
Meanwhile, at a river about 18 miles away from the airport, villagers, looking into the sky, saw Pak One lurching up and down in the sky, as if were on an invisible roller coaster. After its third loop, it plunged directly towards the desert, burying itself in the soil. Then, it exploded and, as the fuel burnt, became a ball of fire. All 30 persons on board were dead. It was 3:51 p.m.
General Beg's turbojet circled over the burning wreckage for a moment. Then the vice chief of stall, realizing what had happened, ordered his pilot to head for
The crash altered the face of politics in
Women, if they were teachers, students or government employees, to cover their head with a chador. While he used thousand-year old Koran law to help maintain control over a population of over 99 million people in Pakistan, he strove to build an ultra-modern military machine, complete with state of the art F-16 fighters, Harpoon missiles, and nuclear arms, and to make Pakistan the leading ally of the United States in Asia. It had been an extraordinary balancing act.
Now, the sudden end of Zia and his top generals dead, with no civilian government in place, left a conspicuous void. There was of course still the Army, which General Beg had now assumed command of--which was and always had been the dominant power in
But this still left opened the question of what had happened to make Pak One to fall from the sky at this opportune moment? Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto offered perhaps the most convenient explanation: divine intervention. In the epilogue to her book, Daughter of Destiny (which before Zia's death had been entitled more modestly "Daughter of the East"), Mrs. Bhutto notes "Zia's death must have been an act of god". Zia was, as far she was concerned, the incarnation of evil. When she first met him in January 1977, she saw him only as a " short, nervous, ineffectual-looking man whose pomaded hair was parted in the middle and lacquered to his head". She could not understand why her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, then the prime minister of
He also banned her father's political party, the Pakistan Peoples Party, imprisoned her and her mother (even though she was suffering from lung cancer) and had both her brothers in exile, Shah Nawaz and Mir Murtaza, tried and convicted of high crimes in absentia. When Shah Nawaz was killed by poison in
But there also existed less divine sources of retribution. There was, for example, Mrs. Bhutto's own 34 year old brother, Mir Murtaza Bhutto. For the past nine years, he headed an anti-Zia guerrilla group, which shared offices with the PLO in Kabul, Afghanistan (and later operated out of Damascus, Syria) called Al Zulfikar or "the sword". Its proclaimed mission was to destroy the Zia regime, and the means it used included sabotage, highjackings and assassination in
But Mir Murtaza admitted that he had attempted to assassinate Zia on five previous occasions. And one of these earlier Al-Zulfikar assassination attempts involved attempting to blow Pak One out of the sky with Zia aboard it by firing a Soviet-built SAM 7 missile at it. On that occasion, the missile missed, and when the terrorists who fired it were capture they admitted that they had been trained for the mission in
Another suspect was the
Soviet intelligence certainly had the means in place in
After weighing this possibility, the relevant officials in the Pentagon and State Department rejected, according to the official I was interviewing. What persuaded them that the Soviet leadership would not permit such a move, he further elaborated, was the presence of the Ambassador on the plane. They simply did not believe that the Soviets would not have jeopardized Glastnost by assassinating an American of this rank. But later while we were having lunch in his office he mentioned that neither Ambassador Raphel or General Wassom were supposed to fly back on Zia's plane. Both men, at least the day before, had been scheduled to return from the tank exhibition on the
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The Soviets were not, as it turned out, the only nation to pointedly threaten Zia. In
It was not unlike Agatha Christie's thriller Murder on the Orient Express, in which, if one looked hard enough, every aboard the train had a motive for the murder. When Zia's eldest son, Ijaz ul Haq, a soft-spoken, impeccably dressed man now living in Bahrain, described to me how his father was persuaded to go to the tank demonstrations that day by his generals, despite his misgivings, and then General Rehman's sons told me how their father was manipulated into going on the same plane, it raised the possibility that the assassination was the work of a faction in the army. After all, as I learned from Zia's son, Zia had planned to make imminent changes in the military.
Zia's great game had also even offended the
In any case, with Zia death, the
During his confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relation Committee, Oakley explained "the judgment of the State Department and the Defense Department was that [the FBI forensic experts] would not add any expertise to the team and that it might create complications because we had already obtained something rather extraordinary, that is, the permission of the government of Pakistan to have U.S. investigators fully involved, with full access to everything which had occurred, involving the death under mysterious circumstances of the President of Pakistan." The result was that the
An unrestricted investigation by the FBI also could have opened up a potential Pandora's box of geo-political troubles. What if, for example, it pointed towards a superpower, a neighbor, or
The State Department evidently decided to work to control media and public perception of what had caused the crash. Just before a summary of the Board of Inquiry' findings was to be released to the press, Oakley sent a classified telegram from
This spin control effectively deflected press attention from the report's conclusion actual conclusion that the probable cause of the crash was sabotage. On October 14th, 72 hours before that release, the State Department leaked a pre-emptive story to theNew York Times headlined "Malfunction Seen as Cause of Zia Crash". It began " Experts sent to
The problem with this press guidance was that it was misinformation. There was no such divergence between the American and Pakistanis experts involved in the investigation, and no separate American conclusion of a "malfunction". Nor was it a conspiratorial Pakistani "mind set" that had ruled out a malfunction as the cause of the crash. This was the conclusion the six American Air Force experts, headed by Colonel Daniel E. Sowada, that comprised the U.S. Assistance and advisory team, which was supported by laboratories in the United States. They, not the Pakistani, had actually written the sections of the report that investigated all possible mechanical failure of the aircraft that led the Board to state it had been " unable to substantiate a technical reason for the accident."
This was confirmed to me by both the head of the
The conclusion of sabotage became inescapable after the accident investigators eliminated virtually all other causes. Sherlock-Holmes like detective work is contained in a red-bound 365 secret investigation report, which the relevant sections of were read to me by a Pentagon official in his office. Like Sherlock Holmes, it used on a process of elimination. First, they were able to rule out the possibility that the plane had been blown up in mid air. If it had exploded in this manner the pieces of the plane, which had different shapes and therefore resistance to the wind, would have been strewn over a wide area-- but that had not happened. By re-assembling the plane in a giant jigsaw puzzle, and scrutinizing with magnifying glasses the edges of each broken piece, they could established that the plane was in one piece when it had hit the ground. They thus concluded structural failure--ie. The breaking up of the plane-- was not the cause.
Nor had the plane been hit by a missile. That would have generated intense heat which in turn would have melted the aluminum panels and, as the plane dived, the wind would have left tell-tale streaks in the molten metal. But there were no streaks on the panels. And no missile part or other ordinance had been found in the area.
They could also rule out the possibility that there was an inboard fire while the plane was in the air since, if there had been one, the passengers would have breathed in soot before they died. Yet, the single autopsy performed, which was on the American general seated in the VIP capsule, showed there was no soot in his trachea, indicating that he had died before, not after, the fire ignited by the crash.
The next possibility they considered was that the power had somehow failed in flight. If this had happened, the propellers would not have been turning at their full torque when the plane crashed, which would have affected the way their blades had broken off and curled on impact. But by examining the degree of curling on each broken propeller blades, they determined that in fact the engines were running at full speed when the propellers hit the ground. They also ruled out the possibility of contaminated fuel by taking samples of the diesel fuel from the refueling truck, which had been impounded after the crash. By analyzing the residues still left in the fuel pumps, they could also tell that they had been operating normally at the time of the crash.
They deduced that the electric power on the plane had been working because both electric clocks on board had stopped at the exact moment of impact, which they determined independently from eye witnesses and other evidence.
The crash had occurred, moreover after a routine and safe take off in perfectly clear daytime weather. And the pilots were experienced with the C-130 and in good health. Since the plane was not in any critical phase of flight, such as take off or landing, where poor judgment on the part of the pilots could have resulted in the mishap, the investigators ruled out pilot error as a possible cause.
They thus came down to one final possibility of mechanical failure: the controls did not work. But the Hercules C-130 had not one but three redundant control system. The two sets of hydraulic controls were backed up, in case of a leak of fluid in both of them, by a mechanical system of cables. If any one of them worked, the pilots would have been able to fly the plane. By comparing the position of the controls with the mechanisms in the hydraulic valves and the stabilizers in the tail of the plane (which are moved through this system when the pilot moves the steering wheel), they established that the control system was working when the plane crashed.
This was confirmed by a computer simulation of the flight done by Lockheed, the builder of the C-130. They also ruled out the possibility that the controls had temporarily jammed by a microscopic examination of the mechanical parts to see if there were any signs of jamming or binding. (The only abnormality they found, which led to a long separate appendix, was that there were brass particles contaminating the hydraulic fluid. Although they could not explain this contamination, they found that it could have accounted only for gradual wear and tear on the parts, not a sudden loss of control).
Having ruled out all the mechanical malfunctions that could cause a C-130 to fall from the sky in that manner, the American team left it to the Board to conclude "the only other possible cause of the accident is the occurrence of a criminal act or sabotage leading to the loss of control of the aircraft".
This conclusion was reinforced when an analysis of chemicals found in plane's wreckage, done by the laboratory of Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco in Washington, found foreign traces of pentaerythritol tertranitrate (PNET), a secondary high explosive commonly used by saboteurs as a detonator, as well as antimony and sulfur, which in the compound antimony sulfide is used in fuses to set off the device. Using these same chemicals, Pakistan ordinance experts reconstructed a low-level explosive detonator which could have been used to burst a flask the size of a soda can which, the Board suggested, probably contained an odorless poison gas that incapacitated the pilots.
But this was as far as the Board of Inquiry could go. It had not had autopsies done on the remains of the crew members to determine if they were poisoned. It acknowledged in its report that it lacked the expertise to investigate criminal acts. What was needed was criminal investigators and interrogators. It thus recommended that the task of finding the perpetrators by turned over to the competent agency, which meant, as one of the investigators explained to me,
When I got to
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But it was still possible to come to some reasonable conclusions about what happened to Pak One, if not the precise cause. And there were still outstanding, however, disturbing pieces of evidence. A crucial piece missing in the puzzle was what had happened to the pilots during the final minutes of the flight because the accident investigators found that there was no black box or cockpit recorder on Pak One to recover. Yet, there were three other planes in the area tuned to the same frequency for communications-- General Beg's turbojet, which was waiting on the runway to take off next, Pak 379, which was the backup C-130 in case anything went wrong to delay Pak One, and a Cessna security plane that took off before Pak One to scout for terrorists.
I managed to locate pilots of these planes-- all of whom were well acquainted with the flight crew of Pak One and its procedures-- who could listen to the conversation between Pak One and the control tower in
Then, a faint voice in Pak One called out "Mash'hood, Mash'hood". One of the pilots overhearing this conversation recognized the voice. It was Zia's military secretary, Brigadier Najib Ahmed who apparently, from the weakness of his voice, was in the back of the flight deck (where a door connected to the VIP capsule.) What this meant that the radio was switched on and was picking up background sounds; in this sense, it was the next best thing to a cockpit flight recorder. Under these circumstances, the long silence between "stand bye" and the faint calls to Mash'hood, like the dog that didn't bark, was the relevant fact.
Why wouldn't Mash'hood or the three other members of the flight crew spoken if they were in trouble? The pilots aboard the other planes, who were fully familiar Mash'hood, and the procedures he was trained in, explained that if Pak One's crew was conscious and in trouble they would not in any circumstances have remained silent for this period of time. If there had been difficulties with controls, Mash'hood instantly would have given the emergency "may day" signal so help would be dispatched to the scene. Even if he had for some reason chosen not to communicate with the control tower, he would have been heard shouting orders to his crew or alerting the passengers to prepare for an emergency landing. And if there had been an attempt at a hijacking in the cockpit or scuffle between the pilots, it would also be overheard. At the minimum, if the plane was crashing towards earth, screams or groans would have been heard. The radio must have been working since it picked up the brigadier's voice. In retrospect, the pilots had only one explanation for the prolonged silence: Mash'hood and the other pilots were either dead or unconscious while the microphone had been kept opened by the clenched hand of one of the pilots' on the thumb switch that operated.
I could not be ascertain if such tapes actually existed. If they did, the clarity could possibly enhanced to separate other background sounds from the static. Although one witness claimed that he had listened to recordings of these conversations after the crash to identify Mash'hood's voice, the control tower operators at Bahawalpur denied having recorded the conversations although they suggested it might have been taped by the Multan airport forty miles away.
In any case, the account of the eyewitnesses at the crash site dove-tailed with the radio silence. They had seen, it will be recalled, the plane pitching up and down as if it were on a roller coaster. According to a C-130 expert I spoke to at Lockheed, C-130's characteristically go into a pattern known as a "phugoid" when no pilot is flying it. First, the unattended plane dives towards the ground, then the mechanism in the tail automatically over-corrects for this downward motion, causing it to head momentarily upwards. Then, with no one at the controls, it would veer downward. Each swing would become more pronounced until the plane crashed.
Analysing the weight on the plane, and how it had been loaded on, this expert calculated the plane would have made three roller-coaster turns before crashing, which is exactly what the witnesses had been reported. He concluded from this pattern that the pilots had been conscious, they would have corrected the "phugoid"-- at least would have made an effort, which would have been reflected in the settings of the controls. Since this had not happened, he concluded, like the pilots in the other planes, that they were unconscious. He suggested that this could be accomplished be planting a gas bomb in the air vent in the C-130, triggered to go off, when the plane took off and pressurized air was fed into the cockpit.
My investigations at the
I also spoke to an American chemical warfare expert about poison gases that could have been used. He explained that Chemical agents capable of knocking a flight crew, while extremely difficult to obtain, are not beyond the reach of any intelligence service, or underground group with connections to one.
He also pointed out that a gas capable on insidiously poisoning a whole flight crew (and leaving the pilot's fingers locked on the radio switch) had been used in neighboring
This showed that they had been the victims of "an extremely rapid acting lethal chemical that is not detectable by normal senses and that causes no outward physiological responses before death." This gas manufactured by the Soviet would have done the trick. But so would American manufactured "VX" nerve gas, according to a scientist at the U.S. Army chemical warfare center in
Such an act of sabotage would probably leave other detectable traces. The chemical agent that killed or paralyzed the pilots could probably be determined through an autopsy of their bodies. If it was a sophisticated nerve gas, it had to be obtained from one of the few countries that manufactures it, transported across international borders, and packaged with a detonator and fuse mechanism into bomb that would burst at the right moment after take off. All this could be trace back, just as the bomb on Pan Am 103 in
And someone had to supply him with intelligence about Zia's movements, the operations of Pak One, and the gaps in its security. Since access was limited to a few dozen persons, these people were vulnerable to discovery through an ordinary police investigation. Access to American intelligence resources, such as the technical labs of the FBI, the counter-terrorist profiles of the CIA, and the electronic eavesdropping archives of the National Security Agency, might also have helped locate the source of the intelligence (especially if it had been broadcast). But I found no such determined investigation took place.
To begin with, as noted by the Board of Inquiry, autopsies were never performed on the bodies of the flight crew. The explanation told to me by the Pentagon official, and apparently given in the secret report, was that Islamic law requires burial within 24 hours. But this could not been the real reason since the bodies were not returned to their families for burial until two days after the crash, as relatives confirmed to me. Nor were they ever asked permission for autopsy examinations. And, as I learned from a doctor for the Pakistan Air Force, Islamic law not withstanding, autopsies are routinely done on pilots in cases of air crashes. I further determined from sources at the military hospital in
The police investigation of those who had access to Pak One at the airport and were involved in its security, also appeared to be similarly curtailed. According to a security officer who was there that day, the ground personnel was not methodically questioned. Instead, they said in interviews almost uniformly that they were amazed that no one was interrogated. The only inquiry that they saw taking place was the inquiry by the American team. The questions by the Americans, which had to go through a Pakistani translator, were largely confined to the aircraft's maintenance and movements prior to take off. Other activities that day were not explored. For example, according to a police inspector at Bahawalpur, a policeman at the airstrip that day was found murdered shortly thereafter, but it was not connected to the air crash or, for that matter, resolved.
For its part, Pakistani military authorities attempted to foist a explanation that Shi'ite fanatics were responsible for the crash. The only basis for this theory was that the co-pilot of Pak One, Wing Commander Sajid, happened to have been a shi'ite (as are more than ten per cent of
There were other indications of efforts to limit or divert from the investigation, such as the destruction of telephone records of calls made to Zia and Rehman just prior to the crash, the reported disappearances of ISI intelligence files on Murtaza Bhutto, and the transfer of military personnel at Bahalapur, which, taken together, appeared to add up to a well-organized cover up. If so, I was persuaded that it had to be an inside job. The Soviet KGB and Indian R.A.W. Might have had the motive, and even the means, to bring down Pak One but neither had the ability to stop planned autopsies at a military hospital in Pakistan, stifle interrogations or, for that matter, kept the FBI out of the picture. The same is true of anti-Zia underground, such as Al-Zulfikar, although its agents, like the shi'ite, would provide plausible suspects ( or even, if provided convenient access to Pak One, fall guys.) Nor would any foreign intelligence service which was an enemy of Zia's have much of a motive for making it look like an accident rather than an assassination. Only elements inside
The most eerie aspect of the affair was the speed and effectiveness with which it was consigned to oblivion. Even it involved the incineration of the principal ally of the
I received this very interesting defence of Mr. Durrani and the Zardari government. It bears all the classical hallmarks of what the spokespeople of this government say when they defend their pro-U.S. policy. See the defence and the rebuttal. It is important to stop the spokespeople of this government in their pants. I call them the ‘graduates of
ARTICLE ID: 572
ARTICLE TITLE: America’s Foot Soldiers In Islamabad: Durrani’s Firing Reveals How Pakistan Is Penetrated At The Top
BY: Mariam (email withheld for email@example.com)
Following the exit of Mr. Durrani from the PM’s team, it is understandable that this episode would invite wide ranging comments for the way it was handled. However, the whole plot drawn by Mr. Quraishi is a little over the top, especially since the reason for Mr Durrani’s exit has been clarified both by the PM and by Mr. Durrani himself. He was shown the door because he did not take the PM into confidence before making important information public. Similarly, assertions regarding Sherry Rehman’s confirmation of investigations related to Ajmal Kasab’s identity is an irresponsible presentation of facts. Sherry Rehman is a federal minister and as a government spokesperson, it’s her job to provide official information regarding government matters. Members of the government do not ‘volunteer’ information and this is the difference between her and Mr. Durrani who acted in his individual capacity while Sherry Rehman followed the obligations of her job as the Information Minister. It makes sense if we consider the foreign office’s statements after the Information Minister’s.
It is clear that the govt. had decided to make public its investigations regarding Kasab’s identity. Whether it was compelled to do so after Mr. Durrani’s statement or it did that for any other reason, is another matter. What is clear was that there was no clandestine message exchange activity going on, contrary to the impression being created here. It is strange that despite being a victim of terrorism, we in
Dear Ms. Mariam,
Thank you for a passionate defense of Ms. Sherry Rehman, Mr. Durrani and the current government. You accused me here of ‘enthusiastically protecting ISI’ and then accused
© 2007-2008. All rights reserved. AhmedQuraishi.com. & PakNationalists
M. A. Durrani was busy leaking information to embarrass
By AHMED QURAISHI
Thursday, 8 January 2008.
Two prominent names in this group are national security adviser Mehmud Ali Durrani and the Ambassador in Washington Husain Haqqani. They pushed hard for
The behavior of Mr. Durrani became particularly desperate in the last few days, and especially on Wednesday, Jan. 7. His boss, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, was not off the mark when he cited betrayal of
The question is: Who was Mr. Durrani working for? There is even chatter about the possibility that he might be arrested and interrogated to determine whose interests he was serving. There is no question that his bold moves were sanctioned by President Zardari. It is also interesting to note that information minister Sherry Rehman came to Mr. Durrani’s rescue in the final stage of the bizarre power struggle that marked Durrani’s last few hours in office.
Given the traps created by this government for
The conduct of Mr. Durrani, coupled with massive recent policy failures with direct bearing on national security, reinforce the need for a purge within the government and within the country’s political elite. Foreign governments have been able to penetrate both and cultivate assets. These ‘assets’ conduct their own private foreign policies directly with foreign powers without the approval or knowledge of the Pakistani state.
Durrani’s Suspicious Role
Behind the scenes, Mr. Durrani has been playing what amounts to a dirty role in this whole crisis with
It was strange that Mr. Durrani chose to leak this information to a U.S.newspaper. If the story was true [it wasn’t. It was officially debunked later] the Pakistani government would have released it through its spokespeople. The only plausible purpose of the leak was to embarrass
Using this deliberate leak, the Wall Street Journal came out with an elaborate story . Its editors somehow linked the alleged confession to ISI’s tense relations with elected governments in the 1990s. There was a separate box in the story that gave a timeline to the supposed tense relations.
In short, Durrani’s leak to Wall Street Journal became a condemnation of the ISI. Which seems to be the whole purpose of the Indian drama anyway. The leak also weakened the effect of foreign minister ShahMahmood Qureshi’s rare bold statement that demanded Indiadeactivate its forward air bases, withdraw troops and defuse the war hysteria.
Durrani’s leak in effect threw the ball back in the Pakistani court.
With Ambassador Haqqani’s failure to convince Pakistani officials to accept the American evidence, the pro-American lobby in Islamabadbegan to get desperate.
The ‘Charge Sheet’
Mr. Durrani’s reign of double dealings at the top, as Prime Minister’s adviser on national security, makes the list of foreign policy blunders by the government appear deliberate and calculated and not just the work of incompetent administrators:
1. The immediate admission of guilt on behalf of ISI, when Mr. Gilani was told to accept sending ISI chief to
1. The weak, apologetic diplomacy in the face of Indian warmongering.
1. Misleading China in the U.N. Security Council voting, resulting in incriminating Pakistani individuals and organizations without evidence.Some observers even go as far as saying that this vote has smoothed the way for future sanctions on Pakistan and its military if and when major powers pursue this.
1. The Zardari government is suspected of having dragged its feet on issuing orders to the Pakistani military to raise the level of alert even when Indian army, air force and navy were moving to forward positions. The plot becomes sinister when the consequences of this reluctance become clear. A snap attack byIndia when the Pakistani military was not ready could have resulted in humiliation for the military. This would have emboldened the current government to take on a humiliated military and pursue the
The Memorable 7 January
The actions of Mr. Mehmud Ali Durrani on this day show how desperate he had become to see
Mr. Durrani apparently leaked to an Indian TV channel and a couple of Pakistani news channels that Pakistan has accepted Indian ‘evidence’ that Ajmal Kassab, the lone surviving Mumbai terrorist, was a Pakistani citizen. [Please click here for an incisive examination of the Indian and American ‘evidence’].
Mr. Durrani probably intended for this information to be quoted ‘anonymously’. But one of the journalists probably made the mistake of mentioning Durrani’s name.
Reacting to this,
To counter Mr. Bashir, Information Minister Sherry Rehman went a step further. She volunteered this information [that Kassab is a Pakistani] through a text message to a reporter of the American Associated Press news agency. Her move seconded Durrani’s.
Surprisingly, the government’s own Minister of State for Interior, Mr.Tasnim Qureshi, reacted angrily to Mr. Durrani’s leaks. He told reporters that Kassab’s Pakistani links mean little because Kassab was a “creation of Indian intelligence.”
Now, was Mr. Durrani acting alone in making the leaks? After being sacked, Mr. Durrani told Geo News that he consulted the President on all his moves.
This begs the question: Did President Zardari approve the calculated leaks to the media by Durrani and Sherry? If so, why? Why did they have to do it this way? Who were they hiding from? Why try to force the hand of the rest of the organs of the Pakistani state?
Does this mean that Mr. Zardari, Mr. Durrani, and Mr. Haqqani will leak confidential material to the media every time things don’t go their way? Why this act of desperation? Who were they trying to please?
Time For A Purge In
A growing number of Pakistani officials and politicians have been cultivated by foreign governments in a variety of ways to pursue the goals of those governments. This foreign meddling and direct contact is confined in large part to the
Mr. Durrani was and remains an active member of something called the Balusa Group, created and financed by the
Foreign Minister Mehmood Qureshi distanced himself from the group as soon as he assumed his new position. He wanted to ensure he was not linked to foreign interests while discharging important business of the state. However, Mr. Durrani and Mr. Husain Haqqani have not publicly ceased their associations with foreign policy groups and interests after becoming servants of the Pakistani state. Mr. Durrani has been serving the state for almost three years now without renouncing his foreign associations, and all of them happen to be tied to U.S .interests.
The result of the damage brought by Mr. Zardari, Mr. Durrani and Mr. Haqqani to
There is no question that the
In conclusion, this is what Dr. Ayesha Siddiq, the author of Military Inc., had to say about Mr. Durrani when he was first appointed in government:
“The PPP selected
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