Islamabad, Jan.16 (ANI): The Inter-Services Intelligence agency in Pakistan appears to have launched a coordinated psy-war against the country's former National Security Adviser, Major General (retired) Mahmud Ali Durrani, aimed at proving that he was an American agent in Islamabad working for American and Indian interests.
Journalists and publications who are close to the establishment in Islamabad are being used to project the line that after Major General (retired) Durrani, the "agents" who are pushing Islamabad into publicly accepting the "half-cooked evidence" provided by the United States and India in relation to the November 26, 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai, are Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, Hussain Haqqani and Information and Broadcasting Minister Sherry Rehman.
According to one report, a powerful group of which Haqqani and Rehman are prominent members is working overtime for the past several weeks to convince their superiors for Pakistan to accept "blame without verification and without pursuing other compelling leads" in connection with the Mumbai attacks.
The report further goes on to say that Major General (retired) Durrani's behavior over the last few days, "and especially on January 7" has been "particularly desperate", and that there are rumors in circulation that he could be arrested and interrogated to "determine the interests he was serving".
There is a view that Durrani has had the backing of both President Asif Ali Zardari and Rehman, and that there was an attempt by Rehman to rescue Durrani from his eventual sacking.
The report further goes on to say that Durrani's conduct and the recent security-related policy failures of the government "reinforce the need for a purge" both within the government and the political elite. It is being claimed in the corridors of power here that foreign governments have been able to breach both institutions and cultivate assets, who have been " conducting their own private foreign policies directly with foreign powers, without the approval or knowledge of the Pakistani state."
Durrani has been allegedly accused of contacting a Pakistani journalist working for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in December and leaking the story of a Lashkar activist confessing to making phone calls to the Mumbai terrorists. It is now being said that Durrani was seeking to embarrass Pakistan and quashing the voices calling for evidence and verification - a classic pressure tactic by an insider.
The WSJ is said to have come out with an elaborate story, linking the alleged confession to the ISI's tense relations with elected governments in Pakistan since the 1990s. Durrani, it seems, wanted to expose the ISI for its role in clandestine attacks on India, a view that has always been projected by the Indian establishment.
As far as Ambassador Haqqani is concerned, the report says that he has been insisting with his superiors in Islamabad that Pakistan accepts the FBI evidence on a tape recording that purportedly shows a Pakistani citizen in Pakistan talking to one of the terrorists involved in the 26/11 mayhem that claimed 179 lives. Critics of this stance are saying that this information needs to be verified by Pakistani experts to determine its accuracy.
Haqqani's failure to convince Islamabad, according to the report, has made the pro-American lobby desperate enough to send the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen to Islamabad to convince President Zardari to "allow the Indian Air Force to conduct limited surgical strikes" and to "deactivate the state of alert in the Pakistan Air Force" for this purpose. Admiral Mullen failed in his mission.
A four-point charge sheet has reportedly been prepared to showcase foreign policy blunders while Durrani was NSA, and it includes the following:mmediate admission of guilt on behalf of ISI, when Mr. Gilani was told accept the sending of ISI Director General to New Delhi on India's summons.he weak, apologetic diplomacy in the face Indian war-mongeringMisleading China in the UN Security Council voting, resulting in incriminating Pakistani individuals and organizations without evidencehe Zardari Government is suspected of dragging its feet on issuing orders to the Pakistani military to raise the level of alert even when Indian defence forces were moving to forward positions.
The report particularly focuses on the events of January 7 when Durrani apparently leaked to an Indian TV channel and a couple of Pakistani news channels that Pakistan has accepted the Indian evidence that Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving Mumbai terrorist, was a Pakistani citizen.
The report says that Durrani may have wanted this story to be leaked anonymously, but one journalist made the "error" of naming him.
Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir sought to deny Durrani's leak, but Information Minister Rehman went a step further and text messaged that Durrani was right in naming Kasab a Pakistani citizen.
The report says that Durrani is an active member of the "Balusa Group" created and financed by the US Government to lobby Washington's interests in the upper echelons of the Pakistani Government, with the stated prime objective of maintaining peace between Pakistan and India through track II diplomacy. However, according to sources within the Pakistani establishment, the group was also involved to promote US energy interests in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, and to convince Pakistan to let India have unlimited access to Afghanistan and the Central Asian republics, a concession sans returns.
It concludes by saying that Durrani, as an insider, has facilitated US moves to expand the war in Afghanistan, weaken the Pakistani military and firmly align Pakistan with American interests opposite to China and others, with India's help, and therefore, there is a need to purge individuals like him on a priority basis. (ANI)