National interest and corruption in PakistanBy Afshain Afzal • Nov 3rd, 2012 • Category: Politics • 5 Comments
The pace, at which cases of corruption are emerging in Indian Armed Forces and its intelligence indicate as if India is the most corrupt country of the world. In the recent past, Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani pointed out that India has come to be known all over the world as among the most corrupt countries of the world. On the other hand, across the border in Pakistan, there is hardly any case of major corruption that emerged in Armed Forces of Pakistan or its intelligence. To overcome this embarrassing situation pro-Indian lobbies in Pakistan are trying their level best to malign Pakistani military and intelligence in corruption cases to balance the situation. In a recent development, the former Indian Chief of Army Staff, General V K Singh has denied having receiving kick backs in the purchase of sub-standard Tatra BEML trucks for Indian Army. During a recent inquiry that submitted its report in October 2012, General (Retired) VK Singh has confessed that Lieutenant General (Retired) Tejinder Singh offered him a bribe of Rs 14 Crore in his office in September 2010 to clear the purchase of tranche of 1,676 substandard Tatra BEML trucks. Indian arms-business circles have no doubt that deal did take place between General (Retired) Tejinder Singh, Ravinder Rishi, Abhishek Vermahat and General V K Singh but Indian Defence Minister AK Antony is supporting the ex Army Chief. The surfacing of the names of a serving Major General, a Brigadier, two Colonels and other officers has put a big question mark on the innocence of top Army brass and indicates that there is fire behind the smoke. It is interesting to note that General (Retired) Tejinder Singh has denied the allegations and claimed that former Indian Chief has tried to defame him.
If we recall, on February 18, 2011, the General Court Martial (GCM) trying Lieutenant General SK Sahni, former Indian Director General, Supplies and Transport, for irregularities in the procurement of dry rations dismissed him from service without benefits and sentenced him to three years rigorous imprisonment. It was the first time in the Indian Army’s history that an officer of the rank of Lieutenant General went on trial before a GCM and was sentenced to dismissal and imprisonment for professional impropriety. According to Indian military sources in New Delhi so far 23 officers of the rank of Lieutenant General have faced disciplinary or administrative actions. Many of them were spared without any action while in some cases they were asked to put in their resignation papers after grave misconduct on their part came to light. The role of Indian Military Intelligence (MI) in violence and terrorism has become an open secret and is also linked with corruption. Obviously officers, who have been convicted by court or still under trial like Lieutenant Colonel Purhiot, Major General (Retired) Premnath Hoon, Colonel Jayant Chitale and Major (Retired) Ramesh Upadhyaya and others, who also served In Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Indian Military Intelligence on different appointments, did not carry out explosions in Malegaon, Nanded, Ajmer, Shamjhoata Express for fun and a big amount of money was also involved. The leaking of national secrets to enemy agents by Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and intelligence officials is also linked with corruption. Today many Indian officers even forgot that they are performing sacred duty of defence of the country. Probably, Captain Shyam Sunder Guleria and the Indian Army and Intelligence officers who had been financing the Hawala agents were unaware that how much loss they have inflicted to the country. No doubt, such kind of corrupt practices not only lead to economic loss but are connected to terrorism and other crimes.
In yet another development, Indian government, in the recent past, appointed the task force to probe the amount of black money hidden by Indians in foreign banks and recommend ways to bring it back. A four-member task force comprising former Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director, S Gurumurthy, Ajit Doval, Professor R Vadiyanathan and Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani carried out investigations. A booklet ‘Indian Black Money Abroad in Secret Banks and Tax Havens’ was released as second report of the task force. The report revealed the figure of hidden money in safe secret accounts abroad to be 25 Lac Crore. The report submitted by task force reflected that Italian widow of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi alias Sonia Gandhi and her husband Rajiv Gandhi were among Indians who held Swiss bank accounts. Interestingly, Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to BJP leader LK Advani denying the allegation claiming that neither she nor her husband held Swiss bank accounts. One wonders why Gandhi wrote letter to LK Advani when she could have denied this publicly when there were murmurs that names of her family members could figure in the report. It is pertinent to mention here that in the past a number of foreign magazines and journals published reports about India’s hidden money but no action was taken due to pressure from the Indian politicians and Intelligence agencies. The important thing is that neither disclosure of secret accounts of Sonia Gandhi was unexpected nor the Indian masses received it as a shock as it was very much expected. However, the corruption by Rajiv Gandhi is really shocking for many.
On the contrary no major corruption in Armed Forces or intelligence agencies was surfaced. In order to balance the situation and justify Indian corruption, cases of irregularities in Pakistan’s National Logistic Cell (NLC) were painted as if big corruption has been unearthed. The fact cannot be denied that investment of money in Stock Exchange from profits earned by NLC was not an idea from Armed Forces but was baby of then Prime Minister Saukat Aziz, who encouraged even the government servants to invest in Stock Exchange. Same is the reason why shares of OGDCL, PPL, HUBCO, KAPCO are also owned by a number of government servants. Ironically, in another case, former Pakistan’s Air Chief, Air Marshal (Retired), Asghar Khan, who led Tehrik-e-Istiqlal party but miserably failed in politics all his life filed a petition some 16 years back, in which he alleged that Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) had financed many politicians in the 1990 elections by distributing Rupees 14 Crore to create the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) to prevent late Ms Benazir Bhutto’s PPP from coming to power. Accordingly, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered an inquiry against former Pakistan’s Army and intelligence chiefs for their involvement in rigging in the 1990 parliamentary elections and distributing money among politicians. Former Pakistan Army chief, General (Retired) Mirza Aslam Beg, former Inter Services Intelligence chief and Lieutenant General (Retired) Asad Durrani have been alleged for their involvement in the rigging of the elections of 1990. Those who contributed money are renown persons and their names are neither hidden from anyone nor the have denied collation of money to fund some individuals who are loyal to the country. It is being claimed that in a linked case, a former banker, Younas Habib and former Inter Services Intelligence chief, Lieutenant General (Retired) Hameed Gul are also important characters. The point is that why we are dragging instructions as the failure to remain within the authorized jurisdiction of the institution is act of an individual not an organization. Inter Services intelligence, Pakistan Army and other institutions are not outfits or proscribed groups about which there can be any doubt about role, responsibilities and jurisdiction. Those who are ignorant of the events in Sindh during the period in question can still get a good idea about the series of political statements emitting from the leadership of a particular political party and its political ally in Sindh, which depicted if they are agents and spokespersons of India sitting in Pakistan. To have a fair idea what was going on, one must recall about open invitation by certain politicians to India to take over Pakistan. One wonders with such a grave corruption in Indian Armed Forces and Intelligence as highlighted, none of Indian nationals has blamed the Indian institutions but in Pakistan a fraction of friend of enemies are openly criticizing institutions.
The former intelligence chiefs of Inter Services Intelligence have confessed their involvement in creation of Islami Jamhoori Ittehad in the national interest but is someone forgetting to mention which Intelligence agency or Intelligence chief created Tehreek-e-Insaf. Many analysts are presenting the whole episode as a move to support a new pro-west political party. They claim to have strong reasons to believe that it is another foreign intelligence game to defame most popular political leadership of Punjab about whom opponents fear that they will form next government with clear majority in Punjab, Khyber PK and Sind provinces. One wonders had Air Marshal (Retired), Asghar Khan kept national interests his top priority he would have never made self-engineered and so called intelligence operations public in violation of Official Secret Act. An important question arises… What is national interest? Of course, it includes preventing anti-state elements in their evil design against state and people of Pakistan. There can be no doubt in the fact that we could not enforce “Objective Resolution,” which is preamble of our constitution, because of a pro-India lobby, who wanted to see Pakistan as ally of west and nation back into union with India. We lost East Pakistan because a leader of a particular political party refused to honour the elections results and did not allow our Bengali brothers and sisters to create government. This injustice was coupled by decision by pro-west Pakistani conspirators to deploy Army in East Pakistan to further suppress the rights of Bengali Pakistanis. Then we witnessed creation of a private army by same party to suppress political opponents. During these years Indian Muslims and Christians illegally penetrated in Pakistan in millions to bring a demographic change in Pakistan. Sindh and Balochistan were badly affected while other provinces witnessed speedy migration of illegal Indian Muslims. Properties of Evacuees were illegally occupied by these element and they ensured induction in every major government department. It is interesting to note that unlike Muslims from India, who migrated during the initial days of independence and are loyal Pakistanis, these elements have still properties and close relatives in India with whom they have regular contacts. Generally speaking, today, same anti-Pakistan elements have control over media and number of important government, semi-government, autonomous and private institutions. They want Capitalists, Imperialist, Communists and enemies of Islam to re-build Pakistan. They want removal of “Objective Resolution” from the Constitution and rephrasing of Lahore Resolution of 1940. They are leaving no stone unturned to eliminate all those who want enforcement of Islam in Pakistan as their goal. They want the issues of Kashmir, Siachin, Runn of Kutch, Sir Creek etc to be forgotten in hope better relations and to see bollywood and Hollywood in Pakistan.
When Pakistan is in the grip of foreign intelligence agencies and their agents, attack by own disgruntles, fifth columnists and conspirators on important institutions like Armed Forces is only serving the interests of enemies. No doubt, things are being overprotected but we need to focus on lessons learnt and actions required. Firstly acts of individual should not be allowed to be linked with institutions. Secondly, serving as well as retired officials should be barred by their respective ministries from discussing information and events, which they come across during course of their official duties or linked with government institutions. In other words disclosure of official information should be strictly barred for any official or non officials without prior approval of exact text that is required to be communicated to unauthorized persons. Thirdly, a permanent committee should be constituted to handle cases of corruption, irregularities and misuse of powers so that aggrieved persons or even common citizen of Pakistan should have platform to share information in national interest. Fourthly and finally media and others should be barred from making any matter public regarding any official, office, department or institution etc without the prior approval of concerned authority. Ironically, in the instant case, Air Marshal (Retired), Asghar Khan was the same person who demanded that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto should be again hanged at Kohala Bridge but why all of a sudden a political party becomes so important for him. No doubt, in the same political party we have also some of the seasoned politicians who are asset of the country but the point is that national interest is above party politics. We cannot rule out possibilities of a grand conspiracy by the western and Indian agencies to malign Pakistani top leadership including renowned families into corruption so to give an impression that all the Pakistani leaders and Armed Forces command are corrupt. There are visible footprints of foreign intelligence agencies everywhere in Pakistan and more dangerous is the employment by them of good number of Pakistani, who have sold their conscience and joined enemy’s intelligence agencies and their front organizations. They include journalists, politicians, businessmen, civilian, armed forces and from other walks of lives and such witting or unwitting fifth columnists are the greatest threat to the country. If these activities continue, in the years to come, Pakistani leadership including political, civil and Armed Forces would be mere puppets who would compromise on ideology of Pakistan and sovereignty on the dictions of western and Indian conspirators.
Click For More Articles By Afshain Afzal
I am a freelance writer by profession and have an experience of writing freelance for both the online and the print media. My articles regularly appear in Pakistani newspapers including The Frontier Post, Pakistan Observer, The Post, The News. In foreign press, my articles have been published in Bangladesh Today, Holiday international and Sri Lanka Guardian. Besides completing Masters in History and International Relations, I am also pursuing M Phil in Rural Development. I am a Law graduate. I spend most of the time in affairs relating to social work and writing articles.
All posts by Afshain Afzal
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.