Zardari Camp Trying To Undermine Army, ISIOctober 8, 2009
By Kamran Khan
“This is actually an attempt to cripple the Pakistan Army and the ISI and it is not the first or last attempt. There are some elements with clandestine job in all this,” said an informed official, who disclosed that Pakistani security officials were constantly getting information from their sources in Washington that illustrated vast difference between the public and private positions adopted by individuals and organizations representing Pakistan’s national interest in Washington”.
KARACHI: When the top military commanders declared their serious concern regarding clauses of the Kerry-Lugar Bill impacting on the national security, the top brass had knowledge and evidence that a few elements within the government deployed resources to lobby several key United States congressmen for inclusion of anti-military and anti-nuclear programme segments in the controversial US aid bill, informed officials said.
“This is actually an attempt to cripple the Pakistan Army and the ISI and it is not the first or last attempt. There are some elements with clandestine job in all this,” said an informed official, who disclosed that Pakistani security officials were constantly getting information from their sources in Washington that illustrated vast difference between the public and private positions adopted by individuals and organizations representing Pakistan’s national interest in Washington.
In Islamabad, security officials have gathered information, supported by telephone intercepts and other secret recordings that showed tremendous eagerness in the holder of an important office that Pakistan military related clauses should remain included in the bill.
Individuals and friends of the same person were found bragging on “coming jolt to the Army from America” numerous times in private chitchat since early July this year. Informed Pakistani officials insist that the present attempt to undermine the Pakistan Army and the ISI’s area of influence in framing Pakistan’s strategic and national security priorities was the Act 2 of a similar attempt made in July last year.
On July 27 of last year, the prime minister was asked to sign a stunning notification ordering to place the entire financial, administrative and operational control of the ISI with the Interior Ministry. The order was reversed within a few hours when the prime minister detected foul play.
Surprisingly, the Kerry-Lugar Bill revisited the same issue by expanding the scope from just the ISI to the entire military services of Pakistan. The bill dictated an American oversight for the process and made it a condition for an uninterrupted flow of US aid to Pakistan. The bill said: “An assessment of the extent to which the government of Pakistan exercises effective civilian control of the military will be carried out regularly.”
The bill proceeded to demand an effective “civilian control” of the promotion of senior military leaders, military budgets, the chain of command and strategic guidance and planning.
While the military leadership discussed the serious implications of the Kerry-Lugar Bill on national security, military strategists and commanders have also discussed in great length the options, alternatives and opportunities that may need to be addressed, if parliament decides not to accept the bill with its present content.
A growing sense in the Pakistani national security community speaks of a thorough review of Pakistan’s security relationship with the United States, which ran into severe strains weeks before the controversial Kerry-Lugar Bill became public.
With the evidence that has been produced before Pakistan’s top military brass on involvement of some important personalities in bolstering humiliating anti-military clauses on Tuesday, material was also produced to prove unregulated entry into Pakistan of scores of American officials, unauthorised acquisition of weapons and in one grave instance an attempted diversion of a substantial quantity of weapons imported for a Pakistani para-military outfit to the American embassy has secret support of some influential individuals in the echelons of power, officials disclosed.