ISLAMABAD: Where were the innumerable intelligence agencies, including the all-influential ISI and IB, when the junior VVIPs like Dr Arsalan Iftikhar were allegedly getting involved in corruption?
This exposes the failure of intelligence agencies to timely warn the authorities concerned, and in this case Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, about the alleged shady activities and wheeling-dealings of his son Arsalan Iftikhar.
Pakistan has several spy agencies, including the Inter-Services Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau, Military Intelligence, Special Branch, Crime Intelligence Department, Federal Investigation Agency and some others, but why none of them reported the matter to the chief justice.
If any such report was submitted to the federal government, then why was such a report not shared with the chief justice, who was actually the main target.On the contrary, some officials of intelligence agencies are accused of having been involved in the episode as an alleged video showing Arsalan receiving cash was prepared by them. How does the Bahria Town’s top management know about this video, but not the chief justice? The question arises: was it a trap?
Although, the authorities concerned had categorically denied this and insisted that no such activity took place, the Bahria Town’s top management in their recent background interaction has shared this information with some journalists. Dr Arsalan Iftikhar did confirm to this correspondent that an intelligence official was engaged to get him, what he insisted was, a legal cash payment.
If it was a legal payment, then why a video was made and that too allegedly by some intelligence officials and then shared with the Bahria Town management?A powerful cabinet member of the Gilani regime is also said to be holding some stuff prepared by the intelligence agencies, but it too raises questions about the role of security agencies.
Senior Geo anchorperson Hamid Mir is on the record to have said he was told by Malik Riaz that Adviser to PM on Interior Rehman Malik possesses the videos made by some of the intelligence agencies.
However, Hamid Mir said when he crossed checked this from the interior adviser, he categorically denied this. The adviser later also told the media persons that he neither had any such videos nor had anything to do with the episode.
About the role of intelligence agencies, it is now being asked why none of the intelligence agencies had forewarned the chief justice or any other authority about the episode. Do these agencies only prepare scandals to blackmail those at the helm of affairs as and when it suits them or should they help the key public office holders by timely intimating them if any of their near and dear one is exploiting their position, one wonders.
Such a timely warning can serve the purpose but preparing files containing negative material against politicians, judges and others is a destructive activity and is tantamount to wastage of intelligence skills, which are direly required to be focused on Pakistan’s enemies.
During Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif governments of the 90s, the Intelligence Bureau was generally massively (mis)used for political means and to blackmail and haunt opponents. Benazir Bhutto’s IB chief had admitted before the Supreme Court that even the phones of judges were being tapped.
Later, during Musharraf’s dictatorial rule, the ISI and MI were massively misused to win politicians in favour of the dictator, to form the then king’s party, the PML-Q, and to engineer the elections. The extremely negative role of these agencies came into play initially to suspend Chief Justice Iftikhar and then later to haunt and harass the judges.
Later, again the state’s leading security agencies were extensively used to protect the vested interests of the dictator and against the most popular movement for the restoration of independent judiciary.
Denials apart, this is high time for the government, intelligence agencies and the military establishment to leave security agencies to perform their prime responsibility and ensure that these are not used to blackmail and harass the likes of chief justice, but to support them by providing timely information, if any.