Jun 13, 2011

No repentance, no shame

Dr A Q Khan
The Wikileaks papers are authentic copies of messages sent by US ambassadors and other diplomatic officials to the US State Department in the past three or four years. They contain the gist of meetings between US officials and Pakistani rulers, politicians and military top brass. I have concentrated mainly on those papers that referred to me, with regard to the treatment meted out to me by Gen Musharraf, the Strategic Planning Directorate (SPD), Mr Rehman Malik and President Zardari. Gen Musharraf is now paying for his mischief. He made false promises to me and then shamelessly reneged on them. Now he is a proclaimed offender and hiding abroad.

Former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali stated to the press and on TV that Gen Musharraf had asked him to obtain the cabinet’s approval for my extradition to the United States and that a special C-130 was ready at Islamabad Airport for that purpose. Gen Musharraf accused Mr Jamali of lying, and that while his own track record on that score is abysmal. That he sold our sovereignty at a single phone call is now a dark chapter of our history. Then he tried to make us believe that, had he not accepted US demands, India and the US would have bombed us back into the Stone Age.

The 9/11 attack was neither planned nor initiated from Pakistan and no Pakistanis were involved. All those involved were nationals of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. None of those countries were threatened, bombed to the Stone Age or placed under embargo. No country would have dared to attack us. Iran did not succumb to blackmail and managed to maintain its dignity, self-respect and sovereignty.

Pakistan had joined neither the Non-proliferation Treaty nor the Nuclear Suppliers Group. We were never under any obligation to accept any restrictions or collaborate with other countries. US-Europe, Russia-China, US-Israel and US-India cooperation are not controlled by these treaties. By handling matters in this way, not only was I presented as a criminal, but Pakistan itself was branded as a criminal state. I will be gone, but Pakistan will continue to bear the stigma.

After a civilian government took over, there was optimism that the illegal restrictions placed on me would be lifted. However, we soon realised that only the faces had changed and the new rulers were still most obedient servants of the USA. Pakistan has produced many characterless people.

As we saw from the Wikileaks documents, the chief justice of the Islamabad High Court – a resident of Kahuta and a trainee of Raja Zafrul Haq – turned out to be one of them. Despite the fact that I had helped the Kahuta Bar with a library and offices for the lawyers and had even their dilapidated court building repaired and restored, this gentleman turned out to be more loyal than the king. In collusion with the rulers, he determined to keep me under virtual detention and not allow me any freedom. I was informed that he welcomed government lawyers in his private chambers and took instructions from them. Rumour had it that he was cultivating favours in order to get elevated to the Supreme Court as he was nearing retirement age. He was duly rewarded by then-chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar. But they forgot that man proposes but God disposes. After the Zardari government yielded to pressure from the public public and the lawyers’ movement, the judiciary was restored and the Islamabad High Court dissolved. This gentleman is now history.

While my case was being heard in the Islamabad High Court, I had a few meetings with Rehman Malik. Eminent lawyer and senator S M Zafar and his son, Barrister Ali Zafar, were also present at some of these meetings. In the course of these meetings I was told that the government would not oppose my petition since, after Musharraf’s pardon, my confinement was totally illegal. He promised that after the court’s judgement, he and Mr S M Zafar would brief the media on those lines and convey the message that there had been no wrongdoing on my part. With that the matter would be closed. Mr Zafar and I believed Mr Malik, though we should have known better, even at that time. I have known Rehman Malik for 15 years. When he was additional director general of the FIA, he tried to bully, threaten and blackmail my son-in-law, Saad Ali Khan, and his younger brother, Zarar Ali Khan, sons of the late Admiral Zamir Ahmad. When I was informed of that, I took the matter to Gen Waheed Kakar (a relative of Admiral Zamir), who phoned Gen Nasim Rana, director general of the ISI, and asked him to sort the matter out. After about an hour and a half a shaky Rehman Malik phoned me, apologised profusely for the “misunderstanding,” making all kinds of lame excuses. When we later met in connection with my case, Rehman Malik had obviously not forgotten and often reminded me of the “misunderstanding.”

The Wikileaks papers clearly pointed out the plot hatched by Rehman Malik and Zardari to use the Islamabad High Court judge to keep me totally isolated and confined to the four walls of my house. The papers also revealed that the interior secretary, Syed Kamal Shah, personally went to the US ambassador and gave her the court judgement with the fake and notorious “Annexure A” which my lawyer and I had not been allowed to see. A copy was finally sent to me more than three months later after strong insistence on my part as it was required for further legal action.

It was our good luck that the Islamabad High Court was dissolved and my petition was heard by Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, who has since become chief justice of the Lahore High Court. Not entertaining any pressure, he declared me a free citizen and ordered the government to provide me with security during my movements.

The matter does not end here. Wikileaks reveals that Zardari told the US ambassador that if he had his way he would hand me over to the IAEA. What a spineless head of state, totally lacking in self-respect. Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto had wanted to do this too, and where are they now?

Wikileaks brought to light the fact that, except Imran Khan, all our top leaders were meeting the US ambassador of their own accord, seeking favours and assuring her of their unconditional obedience. We also read shocking disclosures about Maulana Fazlur Rehman (make me prime minister, my votes are for sale), Musharraf (support me to prolong my rule by dissolving the assemblies), Amin Fahim (help me become prime minister), Nawaz Sharif (we can dump the chief justice) and Gen Kayani (the media should be gagged).

Not ashamed of facing the people after their misdeeds, they are also not ashamed to face Almighty Allah. But history is full of such people.

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