Published On: Mon, Jul 15th, 2013

Agencies’ role for peace

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By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani-

As a general rule people of Kashmir do not engage in any healthy discourse on the roles of ISI and RAW in their respective politics on either side of UNMOGIP supervised cease fire line and abroad. They are good at holding down their opposition in politics and label it as RAW or ISI agents, little knowing that the two institutions have a defined role in “Peace” in Kashmir.

Designated role of ISI and RAW in Peace

ISI and RAW have been designated a role in phase 4 of the joint  paper prepared by the Institute of Regional Studies, Pakistan and International Centre for Peace Initiatives, India on “The Beginning of the Future”, circulated at the 25-26 November 2000 International Symposium on “Next Steps in Jammu and Kashmir : Give Peace a Chance”. Kashmiri leadership has participated in this International Symposium and has duly subscribed to this wisdom designating roles of the two institutions.

Therefore, there is a genuine need to bother about these two institutions. However, it would always be very difficult to prepare a Kashmir related Dossier on either of them unless, one of them either individually or both jointly submit anything in respect of their designated role to “Peace” in Kashmir. This may once again remain within the custody of the two Governments and very little would fall in the public domain.

Respect for Constitution, rule of law, manner of peoples’ participation in the election of their representatives and transparency in the discharge of public trust are the important roller skates which carry the mind-set, culture and methodology of these two institutions. There are books written on RAW by former officers of the institution but it has not so far appeared in any enquiry commission to account for itself.

337 page report

ISI as an institution on the other hand has appeared before the Abbottabad Enquiry Commission to account for its failures as the premier spy agency during the May 2011 US “Operation Neptune Spear” launched from Jalalabad, Afghanistan in Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, province of Pakistan. The 337 page report makes a useful reading. It however, leaves one in an intriguing conjecture to attribute substance to the missing page 197.

Every Kashmiri who is able to read English or has a facility in the family to read English should have it read. The reading should be in respect of ISI’s designated role in “Peace” in Kashmir and its failure to prevent the death of a generation. This reading could not be complete unless the reader has access to 44 page Affidavit filed by Sarah Webb Linden, Special Agent FBI, 12 page “Plea Agreement” filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in United States of America Versus Syed Ghulam Nabi Case, findings of Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark in their book “The Meadow” and observations of Owen Bennett Jones in his book “Pakistan eye of the storm” in 2002 in relation to Kashmir. This would help to apportion a manner of liability for the death of a generation and for the death of self-determination.

A reader in Pakistan and in Kashmir in particular would be disappointed to read the admissions of the former Director General ISI who appeared before the Enquiry Commission.

Decent people had been harmed

At page 191 and 192 the reader would be furious to note the admissions by DG ISI that “ISI record was not without blemish. Many decent people had been harmed by some of its errors”. Faced with the best skill in cross examination of the senior most judge of the Supreme Court, DG ISI in para 468 admitted that, “In a given situation ISI at present arrested people for which it had legally no authority and this was a major problem it faced”. Of course an error committed against decent people and the decent people harmed would have been either Pakistan’s or helpless Kashmiris. The General is retired now and has moved on to Dubai to work for another Government. His errors against innocent people may not fall within the reach and jurisdiction of Rule of Law at the moment but history has to complete its circle and the innocent blood will cry for justice. His future would not be dissimilar to Musharraf being tossed from pillar to post for the abuse of his authority.

DG ISI seems to have been irked by a due sense of remorse and he rushes to add that, “Changes to its (ISI) mind-set, culture and methodology” had been instituted. The report brings out that ISI did not go by its 24 tasks mentioned in the Charter, concerned primarily with external intelligence. In fact it offered itself to a double servitude of CIA through General Musharraf in its Global war on Terror (GWOT) and Counter Terrorism. It seems to have consumed itself in ‘doing harm to decent people’ and in sniffing for High Value Targets (HVTs) to please CIA. The lead example was the arrest of Khalid Shaikh Muhammad on 01 March 2003 and handing him over to the American’s after 4 days. DG ISI admits that Khalid Shaikh was water boarded almost 200 times by the CIA. The admission of the manner of torture inflicted on Khalid Shaikh makes him liable for his role in the participation or as an instrument in doing such a colossal harm to a human being.

DG ISI accommodated Director CIA

The Bin Laden Commission Report does not satisfy the reader on a number of issues in particular as to whether there could be different degrees in ones loyalty to his country or the country that gives him refuge.  All are equal in the eyes of law and every law abiding person would feel equally responsible for his duties to his country. In para 450 DG ISI has admitted that ISI kept an eye on those “working against the national interests”. However in para 475, he has contradicted himself and has incriminated himself in an action at variance with his duties. He has stated that, “1300 NGOs are working in Pakistan. CIA used many NGOs, including Save the Children for its activities. In fact the Director CIA had personally requested the DG ISI not to expose Save the Children’s role in the activities in Pakistan”.

The Enquiry Commission seems to have missed to seek further on this admission to find the actual date when CIA Director had personally requested the DG ISI not to expose the activities of “Save the Children” in Pakistan. In fact DG ISI by accommodating the request of Director CIA has committed treason against his own country and has to be addressed under article 244 for remaining unfaithful to his oath. If there were no Abbottabad Enquiry Commission, a common citizen would have never known that DG ISI in Pakistan had accommodated the request of Director CIA and allowed “Save the Children” to carry its activities for CIA in Pakistan. It seems that after General Musharraf to co-operate with USA, many other Generals felt to play a no holds barred game in Pakistan. Of course Kashmir was not an exception in this game.

Bribed with money, women and alcohol

DG ISI has appeared before the Abbottabad Commission, established under Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act 1956 and subsequently amended. A common man’s understanding of his statement before the Commission does not accredit him for the aura and myth attached to his office. He has contradicted himself after every punctuation in his statement. In para 479 he states that “The main agenda of the CIA was to have the ISI declared a terrorist Organization. The law suit against the DG ISI in an American court was part of this campaign… Unfortunately, Pakistan media persons were also involved in this campaign against ISI. Many of them were heavily bribed with money, women and alcohol”.

On the one hand DG ISI accommodates Director CIA and does not expose the anti-Pakistan activities done by the NGO “Save the Children” in Pakistan and at the same time finds an issue against CIA. Furthermore, there could be no serious offence than accepting “money, women and alcohol’ from CIA to work against the interests of the State of Pakistan or any of its institutions. ISI does not seem to have named any of these Pakistani media persons before the Commission and there is no evidence that any action in this regard has been taken against any media person in Pakistan.

Case against DG ISI

Kashmiris may have to examine the manner in which a case has been filed in the US court against the DG ISI and why the State Department refused to certify that the ISI was an Organization of the State of Pakistan for the case to be dropped. It may be that the people of Kashmir have a case against DG ISI and other institutions within the responsibilities accepted by the Government of Pakistan under UNCIP Resolutions.

Author is London based Secretary General of JKCHR – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.  He is on UN register as an expert in Peace Keeping, Humanitarian Operations and Election Monitoring Missions. He could be reached on email dr-nazirgilani@jkchr.com


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