Ex-ISI chief says US unlikely to forget Imran’s charges against it

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ASHIS RAY

London– Former director-general of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) espionage agency, Lt Gen Asad Durrani, feels the US is unlikely to forget easily Imran Khan’s allegations that it was involved in a conspiracy to oust him.

Circulating a blog on an encrypted social media post, Durrani wrote Khan has followed the tactics of the late People’s Party founder and leader Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

“Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto famously used this card in 1977 when after a rigged electoral exercise, the opposition mobilised against him. The ploy backfired.” Bhutto was ousted by General Zia-ul-Haq in a military coup and tragically meted out capital punishment by the dictator.

The General went on to pen: “Since IK (Imran Khan) has taken a page out of the ZAB’s (Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s) book, he would do well to recall that his hanged predecessor had once labelled their common nemesis as elephants. The species is known for its remarkable memory.”

Durrani strongly suggested people “look at the significance of a rather unusual statement made by the incumbent Army Chief”.

He noted: “When (General Qamar) Bajwa took a position on the Ukraine crisis, not quite in line with the government’s policy; was it to make some reconciliatory noises to placate the Yanks; express his disagreement with IK’s conspiracy thesis; or was it a precursor to bad tidings for his once favourite prime minister?”

The general effectively dismissed a US hand in the tabling of a no-confidence motion against Khan by Pakistan’s opposition parties.

He argued: “By the beginning of March, the Opposition’s move to bring down the PTI’s (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s) government was not only well on its way but in fact looked in pretty good shape. If at that stage a US Assistant Secretary of State were to warn our Ambassador in Washington that POTUS (President of the United States Joe Biden) had decided to show Imran the door, it served only one purpose: subvert the credentials of the no-confidence move. Wasn’t it wiser to keep quiet and let the ‘American supported movement’ come to its ‘desirable’ end?”

Referring to past instances of civilian Pakistani prime ministers being toppled, Durrani cited: “Faced with a no-confidence motion in 1989, the daughter (of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir) Bhutto appealed to the then American President, the elder (George) Bush, to save democracy in Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif in 1999 sent his brother to seek (Bill) Clinton’s help against a likely military coup. And Musharraf in September 2008 was counting on the Amis (Americans) to pull his chestnuts out of the fire. None of them worked.”

General Durrani is a candid erstwhile senior Pakistani army officer and ISI chief. He co-authored with the now retired secretary of India’s Research & Analysis Wing AS Dulat a book entitled The Spy Chronicles. His most recent effort as a writer is a work of fiction Honour Among Spies. His unorthodoxy has not best pleased the powers-that-be in Pakistan.(IANS)

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