Omar Waraich presents three anti-ISI heroes of Pakistani media

by admin

For the past several months, some enemies of Pakistani liberals and free media have been involved in a defamatory campaign against some most respectable, independent journalists, portraying them as proxies of Pakistan army / ISI.

Kudos to my friend Omar Waraich for calling a spade a spade. In his article in The Time, Omar Waraich explains how journalists like Najam Sethi, Hamid Mir and Ejaz Haider are in fact anti-ISI journalists.

Omar Waraich notes how these three independent journalists heavily criticized the military/ISI for its alleged role in Saleem Shahzad’s torture and subsequent murder.

In the article,  Omar Waraich wites, “The ISI denies that it ever threatened Shahzad or was involved in the kidnapping or killing of the journalist.

Najam Sethi

The ISI has contacted Sethi, Haider and other journalists whom it feels have unfairly represented the spy agency.” Sethi told TIME, “For what I’ve been saying since the bin Laden raid, I have incurred the wrath of the ISI. The agency has officially expressed its anger and annoyance and irritation.”

Ejaz Haider

Of course, in view of the general anti-ISI sentiments in Pakistan in the aftermath of Saleem Shahzad’s murder, several journalists found it convenient and opportunistic to write a mild, shallow criticism of the ISI/army, something which Omar Waraich celebrates as “a recent wave of unprecedented criticism of the military”.

A striking example is a bluntly worded and widely read column by Ejaz Haider, a defense specialist who writes for several newspapers. “The ISI, the agency that you head, is being accused of Saleem’s murder,” Haider wrote in the op-ed that was cast as an open letter to ISI chief Lieut. General Ahmed Shuja Pasha. “You must know that the ISI is widely reviled and dreaded at home. For an agency that was set up primarily for strategic intelligence, this is quite an achievement.”

Hamid Mir

“The agency has officially expressed its anger and annoyance and irritation.” A third journalist, Hamid Mir, a political-talk-show host, goes further. The ISI, Mir alleges, recently approached him to ask that he cease his endorsement of the current civilian government. “I have refused to extend my support to the armed forces’ interference in politics,” he says. “That’s why they’re against me.”

Three heroes:

For their comments about the military establishment, the three journalists could soon find themselves appearing before the Supreme Court. Sardar Muhammad Ghazi, a lawyer who served as deputy attorney general under the military regime of General Pervez Musharraf, has filed a 20-page petition calling on the court to stop them from disparaging the army and the ISI and to declare that such criticisms will not be tolerated and should lead to the shutdown of the offending television channel and newspaper. “These people are criticizing my armed forces,” Ghazi says indignantly. “They sit and castigate the army. I can’t tolerate it. There should be somebody who should come forward and say the media should be controlled.” In the petition, he accuses Sethi, Haider and Mir of being “out to promote the foreign agenda to destabilize and denuclearize Pakistan.”

Indeed, it will be ludicrous to theorize that there are certain times when even patent friends of the ISI are forced to adopt a cosmetic anti-ISI line (mixing one ounce of truth in one tonne of lies) in order to demonstrate their neutrality.

All that glitters must be treated as gold, or so would Omar Waraich want us to believe.



9 Comments to “Omar Waraich presents three anti-ISI heroes of Pakistani media”

  1. I think you should add Omar Waracih’s name too in this list. He too is very anti-ISI.

  2. In Punjabi we say, Khawaja da gawah daddu (A little fly-eating frog acting like an offical-witness for a Kommie).

  3. Fake criticism of military establishment

    Fake critical letter to ISI chief by Ejaz Haider

    Fake criticism of Pakistan army by a budding writer

  4. @Akram Butt


    In Seraiki there is a similar saying: chore da gawah gundh kup (a pickpocket in support of a thief)

  5. This Waraich guy is a compulsive liar. He says:

    The three journalists have also been discreetly banned from state-run media. When a prominent presenter at Pakistan Television (PTV) — the state-owned channel, which continues to enjoy a monopoly in rural areas where there is no cable penetration — tried to interview Haider for his analysis, the host of the show was told that the journalist was not allowed to appear on the air. The PTV presenter says Sethi and Mir are also banned.

    My uncle works in PTV. He tell ms there is no such ban on any of these three journalists.

    Shame on liar!

  6. Ejaz Haider praises Omar Waraich praises Ejaz Haider… and so on.

    Personal to the political
    News Comments (21)
    By:Ejaz Haider Thursday, 22 Dec 2011 9:53 pm | Comments (21)

    Can the army defend this country from itself?

    A December 21, 2011 Inter-Services Press Release No PR301/2011-ISPR reads: “An article was published in the daily, [sic] Independent, [sic] UK on 13 December 2011, [sic] in which Mr Omar Waraich has made false assertions regarding DG ISI’s visits to Arab countries [sic]. It has been said that the DG met senior Arab leaders and asked permission for a military coup in Pakistan. The story has been publish [sic] without verification at any level.

    “It is clarified that DG ISI did not meet any Arab leader between 1-9 May 2011 as mentioned in the article. DG ISI’s other visits to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [sic] and UAE [sic] only, prior to or after this period, were part of routine intelligence sharing activity, during which he interacted with his counterparts only.

    Contents [sic] of the article are strongly and categorically denied. A legal notice is being served to [sic] the newspaper to retract the story and apologise.”

    If the genesis and purport of this PR were not serious and malignant, I would have poked fun at its terrible drafting, asked the ISPR to hire a good sub and moved on. Unfortunately, the issue is vital to me at two levels, personal and analytical.

    Personal because Omar Waraich, the reporter who has been falsely and gratuitously attacked by the ISPR-PR, is a friend and a fine professional and I take my friendships and enmities seriously.

    The second level, the analytical, is important to me because I have always argued that the civil-military imbalance in Pakistan is the biggest security threat to this country. And I have argued this as a realist, not some softie lib-lab.

    It is not every day that the personal and the analytical become part of a continuum as they have in this case. That being so, let me begin with the personal and move from the specific to the general.

    What is Omar being accused of: false assertions? And pray, what did Omar say: that Mansoor Ijaz, the current darling of the army-ISI combine, told him that a senior [US] intel source confirmed to Ijaz that “Pasha had traveled to a few of the Arab countries to talk about what would be necessary to do in the event they had to remove Zardari from power and so forth”? And why did Ijaz need to consult a US intel source? Because Ijaz felt the measure was necessary “to make sure that there was nothing we were doing that was against US interests”. And what did “we were doing” mean? In Ijaz’ words, “to make sure that a senior person that I know in US intelligence would have had the opportunity to review what was about to sent over”. What was being sent over? The memo, thank you.

    Please note that what is being said here is what Mansoor Ijaz told Omar Waraich in an interview from London over the telephone. None of this constitutes Omar’s “assertions”. If these assertions are false, as the ISPR-PR makes them out to be, the falsehood belongs squarely to Ijaz, not, I repeat not, Omar Waraich.

    But wait. Let’s go back to the BBM exchange which makes the basis of the current crisis. In a message on May 10 Ijaz writes: “I was just informed by senior US intel that GD-SII Mr P asked for, and received permission, from senior Arab leaders a few days ago to sack Z. For what its [sic] worth.”

    Omar got on to the story from this message. He called and spoke with Ijaz, recorded the interview and wrote the story. And after reproducing what Ijaz said to him his own analysis was that what was being said was unlikely, that no such thing happened and there was no danger of any coup. In fact, as Omar’s story put it: “Did he [Ijaz] find the information credible? ‘Of course I thought it was credible,’ Ijaz replied, slightly exasperated by the question.”

    So, why this ISPR attack on Omar? It would stretch credulity to think that the army-ISI combine cannot get this fact which is plain and simple. There are two reasons why they have decided to shoot the messenger: one, the government has annexed Omar’s blog piece with its reply to the petitions on the memo (there’s also a separate petition asking for the removal of the DG-ISI); two, the army-ISI combine cannot accuse Ijaz of making false assertions because you can’t say he has blatantly lied about this matter while being truthful about everything else related to the memo.

    To wiggle out of this and put something on the record to be presented before the court, they have decided to attack Omar and The Independent. This is as good a strategy as Huckleberry Finn would come up with after a 10-minute reading of Sun Tzu.

    But let’s move to the general. What happens after this calumnious attack on Omar? Would the civil-military fault-line disappear? Let’s also assume the army manages to get rid of the current government by acting as a force-multiplier in combination with sections of the media, the judiciary and the political “tsunami” that’s about to engulf Pakistan. Would the structural problems that keep begetting us these crises disappear?

    The answer to these and many more questions is a big no. Let me also assume something else, i.e., the memo actually happened. The question is: why? Why does something like this not happen in India? The army can either take a snapshot view of this event and cry foul or – in the most unlikely event –do some honest soul-searching and take a longitudinal view of the situation and its own role.

    So fed up are the civilians with the army – if this memo happened the way it’s said to have – that they are prepared to compromise the country’s security, if required, to put the army down. That is the biggest security threat to Pakistan. The army claims to defend Pakistan. The question is: can it defend this country from itself? Attacking reporters, who do an honest job, or hanging someone or getting rid of this or that government will solve absolutely nothing.

    The writer is Executive Director of Jinnah Institute. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect JI’s policy

  7. AbdulNishapuri
    Example of fake liberals lies in English media: Meher Bokhari, Hamid Mir are saving democracy from army! CNN report.

  8. from Twitter:

    Fake liberals in English media are working very hard to present most patent affiliates of the military establishment as anti-army. Beware!

    Fake criticism of military establishment

    Articles on fake criticism

  9. According to Saleem Safi, champions of Baloch cause are: Najam Sethi, Hamid Mir and Nawaz Sharif. Viva fake champions!

    پاکستان، افغانستان، ایران، بلوچستان اور امریکہ….جرگہ…سلیم صافی… (گزشتہ سے پیوستہ)

    اسی کانگریس نے پاکستان کے خلاف پابندیاں عائد کی تھیں لیکن نائن الیون کے بعد جب امریکی اسٹیبلشمنٹ کو پاکستان کی ضرورت پڑی تو دو دن میں پاکستان کے خلاف سب پابندیاں ختم ہوکررہ گئیں۔ امریکہ بلوچستان میں فوج کشی کرسکتا ہے اور نہ بلوچستان پاکستان سے علیحدہ ہوسکتا ہے ۔ ہاں البتہ بلوچستان کے حالات نہایت خراب ہیں، بلوچوں کے ساتھ زیادتیاں ہوئی ہیں اور ہورہی ہیں۔ امریکہ کچھ کہے یا نہ کہے بہرحال بلوچوں کے زخموں پر مرہم رکھنے اور انہیں بہرصورت راضی کرنے کی ضرورت ہے۔ بلوچستان کا مسئلہ امریکہ کے خلاف چیخ و پکار سے نہیں بلکہ پاکستان کی عسکری اور سیاسی قیادت کا ایک ہوکر بلوچوں کو مطمئن کرنے کی سنجیدہ کوششو ں سے حل ہوگا۔ جہاں تک قرارداد پر بلوچ قوم پرستوں کا تعلق ہے تو ان کی خدمت میں عرض ہے کہ امریکہ کی اس نام نہاد حمایت کا جتنا نقصان ان کو ہوگا اور کسی کو نہیں ہوگا۔ پہلی بات تو یہ ہے کہ امریکہ کو ان سے کوئی ہمدردی نہیں ۔ تزویراتی طور پر آج بھی امریکیوں کو ان سے زیادہ افغانستان کی سرحد پر مقیم پختونوں کی ضرورت ہے۔ امریکی جہاں جاتے ہیں کسی کو آزاد کرنے نہیں بلکہ غلام بنانے جاتے ہیں۔ وہ افغانستان میں افغانوں کو آزادی دلوانے کے نام پر آئے تھے لیکن آج ان کے لائے ہوئے افغان حکمران حامد کرزئی بھی امریکیوں کو شر کی جڑ اور اپنا دشمن نمبرون سمجھتے ہیں۔ بلوچ بھائی ذرا عراقیوں سے پوچھ لیں کہ امریکیوں نے ان کو آزاد کرایا یا غلام بنایا۔ اس وقت صورت حال یہ ہے کہ بلوچوں کے حق میں سب سے توانا آواز پنجاب سے اٹھ رہی ہے۔ بلوچ نواب اسلم رئیسانی کی منظوری اور سرپرستی سے ایف سی ان کے خلاف کارروائی کررہی ہے جبکہ ان کی کارروائیوں کے خلاف سیاستدانوں کی صف سے سب سے توانا آواز پنجابی نواز شریف اٹھارہے ہیں۔ بلوچ سیاستدان خاموش بیٹھے ہیں اور بلوچوں کے حق میں سب سے زیادہ جرأت کا مظاہرہ لاہور کی عاصمہ جہانگیر کررہی ہیں ۔ اسی طرح میڈیا میں ان دنوں بلوچ قوم پرستوں کے سب سے بڑے وکیل پنجاب سے تعلق رکھنے والے حامد میر اور نجم سیٹھی ہیں لیکن اگر بلوچ امریکہ کی صف میں کھڑے ہوگئے تو پھر پاکستان کے اندر ان کے حق میں کوئی بھی آواز نہیں اٹھاسکے گا اور طالبان سمیت امریکہ کا ہر مخالف ان کے خلاف میدان میں آجائے گا۔

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