Ex-spy says former Pak IB chief wanted to file high treason cases against Benazir, two others

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Islamabad, Aug.28 (ANI): After the recent outbursts of Brigadier (retired) Imtiaz, another officer of Pakistan's intelligence services has revealed that the former IB director-general had planned to register high treason cases against Benazir Bhutto, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, Salmaan Taseer and Masood Sharif.

Rana Abdul Baqi, who had served under former IB director-general Masood Sharif and retired as senior director, in an exclusive interview with The News, disclosed that Brigadier Imtiaz wanted to try Benazir Bhutto and three others because they leaked secret tapes to an Indian journalist and got it published in India Today.

According to Baqi, the tapes which were leaked contained conversations between MNAs and Brigadier Imtiaz and Major Amir, and also included classified information about training camps of the Army and other strategic security information which may still be classified.

"In 1991, after completing medical leave, I reported at the IB headquarters and started waiting for my next posting, as I was previously working as personal staff officer to IB director-general Masood Sharif. One day, Brigadier Imtiaz called me in his office because he was upset with the episode of Salmaan Taseer, who had conducted a press conference against the architects of 'Operation Midnight Jackal' and India Today had also published some extracts of those secret tapes. The brigadier asked me how did Salmaan Taseer get those tapes? "He (Taseer) is an agent of RAW and India Today got those tapes through Taseer." "Brigadier Imtiaz alleged according to his information Taseer got those tapes through me."

"According to my sources, Masood Sharif and Benazir Bhutto got those tapes from you," Brigadier Imtiaz blamed me, adding: "Benazir Bhutto gave those tapes to Taseer." Imtiaz added apart from Benazir Bhutto and Salmaan Taseer, Aitzaz Ahsan was also present there and in his presence these tapes were handed over to Taseer.

"I want to initiate high treason case against these four because they have handed over classified national secrets to India and you (Rana Abdul Baqi) would become approver in the case and you would admit that these secret tapes were handed over to Taseer in your presence.

"I told Brig Imtiaz that I do not know Benazir Bhutto, Aitzaz Ahsan and Salmaan Taseer personally and I can not give any sort of false evidence. I was offered promotion by Brig Imtiaz and upon my refusal I was threatened of severe consequences and an inquiry was lodged against me and I was accused of leaking those secret tapes."

"I told Brig Imtiaz that three sets of these tapes were prepared each containing 12 cassettes. One was sent to the Military Intelligence director-general; one to the Prime Minister Secretariat and the third was kept in IB director-general's office. I don't know how Taseer got those tapes. Brig Imtiaz constituted a committee to discuss my involvement in handing those tapes to Taseer.

Brig Imtiaz's committee comprised Air Commodore Khalilullah Ghauri, Col Bashir Wali, who has remained IB director-general and Major Salim Khan.

The committee inquired from me and I gave a ten-page reply on how these tapes were distributed. The Army men took the last copy of these cassettes which was at IB director-general's office and a receipt was also given of that episode.

"The committee exonerated me after getting satisfactory answers. Commodore Khalilur Rehman Ghauri told me Brig Imtiaz wanted to initiate high treason cases against Benazir Bhutto, Aitzaz Ahsan and Masood Sharif. I was asked to be careful as Brig Imtiaz could be dangerous. I only said I will not give any false evidence." (ANI)

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