Islamabad, Jan 16: The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency in Pakistan appears to have launched a coordinated SI-War against the country"s former National Security Adviser, Major General (retired) Mahmud Ali Durrani. ISI agency allege that Durrani aimed at proving that he was an American agent in Islamabad working for American and Indian interests.
Pakistan"s Ambassador to the United States, Hussain Haqqani and Information and Broadcasting Minister Sherry Rehman who are close to Durrani are pushing Islamabad into publicly accepting the 'half-cooked evidence' provided by the United States and India in relation to the Nov 26, 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai, ISI agencies reports said.
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 Durrani"s behavior over the last few days, 'and especially on Jan 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.
A four-point charge sheet has reportedly been prepared to showcase foreign policy blunders while Durrani was NSA, and it includes the following:
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 Azmal Kasav, 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.
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.