Related posts: LUBP Archive on Maleeha Lodhi
Dr. Maleeha Lodhi became the Pakistani Ambassador to the US, from 1994–1997 and then during 1999-2002. Because of deep trust in her loyalty by the Deep State, she was allowed to work as an Ambassador to the US by such diverse heads of the state as PM Benazir Bhutto, PM Nawaz Sharif and General Musharraf. She is currently a special adviser to the Jang Group/Geo, a position she shares with another key asset, Najam Sethi.
Here are some quick excerpts from various resources put together to highlight Dr. Lohdi’s vital services to the deep state.
The United States has long debated how hard it can push Pakistan to attack militant strongholds in the tribal area. Washington, however, depends on Pakistan as a major supply route into Afghanistan. American officials also want to monitor as closely as they can Pakistan’s burgeoning nuclear weapons arsenal.
The decision to hold back much of the American military aid has not been made public by the Pakistani military or the civilian government. But it is well known at the top levels of the military, and a senior Pakistani official described it as an effort by the Americans to gain “leverage.”
A former Pakistani diplomat, Maleeha Lodhi, who served twice as ambassador to the United States, said the Pentagon action was short-sighted, and was likely to produce greater distance between the two countries.
“It will be repeating a historic blunder and hurting itself in the bargain by using a blunt instrument of policy at a time when it needs Pakistan’s help to defeat Al Qaeda and make an honorable retreat from Afghanistan,” Ms. Lodhi said of the United States.
Washington imposed sanctions on Pakistan in the 1990s, and in the process lost influence with the Pakistani military, Ms. Lodhi said. Similarly, the Obama administration would find itself out in the cold with the Pakistani Army if it held up funds, she said.
(Source: http://criticalppp.com/archives/53056 NYT July 2011)
As India pulls away from us economically and diplomatically, we won’t be able to strategically compete with them. But because India is the enemy, our boys will need to find a way of competing.
But how? There are essentially two routes, flagged by Rifaat Hussain in his chapter in Maleeha Lodhi’s new book.
The first, soft, option is to try and put our own house in order: look inwards, reform, fix the security situation, get the economy going again. The quickest route to economic revival would be to trade with India. The second option: double down on the jihad option to ‘balance’ India’s growing power. It’s a tried and tested strategy, it’s low-cost, we already have the infrastructure and to ramp it up would take minimal effort.
Source: http://criticalppp.com/archives/47396 Dawn, April 2011
In France, President Nicholas Sarkozy, former President Jacques Chirac and former Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin were under intense pressure to come up with real facts on the Agosta submarine deal and how certain funds were diverted to be used to fund an election campaign. Another twist to the story is the raid on Amir Lodhi’s house. Amir Lodhi, an absconder, is the brother to Ambassador Maliha Lodhi. Lodhi was the broker of the Agosta submarine deal by the DNIF, the French intelligence which provided details of the payments made to a top politician in Pakistan, who was paid between October and December in 1994.
Source: http://criticalppp.com/archives/41658 TFT, March 2011
Recently, GEO, under pressure to maintain a substantial grant from Voice of America (VoA) has gotten Najam Sethi as well as Dr. Maleeha Lodhi on board to provide a pseudo liberal veneer and to balance the virulent anti-American screeds of their jingoistic jihadi journos like Ansar Abbasi, Hamid Mir and Kamran Khan. Apparently, the Jang Group, one of the oldest news houses of the sub continent, has converted into a gossip mongering enterprise run by a dynasty of three generations of opportunists.
http://criticalppp.com/archives/40784 LUBP February 2011
Even before the latest signing, news filtering in from within the Jang Group indicated that head honcho Mir Shakilur Rahman had begun to exert more control over the editorial content of Jang and The News. Apparently of particular concern for him were the over-the-top anti-Western diatribes of some of his correspondents such as Ansar Abbasi and all such potentially ‘controversial’ news pieces are regularly first vetted by him.
Add to that the appointment (announced December 16) of former The News editor and Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, as the Jang Group’s ‘Special Adviser International Affairs.’ According to the official announcement, she will “lead efforts to establish new platforms for global discourse and enhance the Group’s global engagement and international profile.” Basically, what that means is that she will lead the public relations effort for the Jang Group, especially with the US.
But what I had really wanted to comment on was this unprecedented front-page write-up on December 17 in The News and Jang (unfortunately a poor translation) by Geo News Managing Director Azhar Abbas. Abbas has never written for the Jang Group publications since he first began heading Geo and also has probably not written anything since he left his reporting days behind at least a decade ago. But what makes the piece even more intriguing is its between-the-lines condemnation of the machinations of elements within the military intelligence services which, according to the piece, are back to their old tricks of attempting to manipulate public opinion in favour of hawkish positions through the media, as well as its plea for providing space to liberal voices.
For the Managing Director of the largest television news channel to make these accusations and plea publicly is surely worth noting. It also is worth remembering that Abbas’ elder brother, Athar Abbas, is a serving major general in the army and head of the military’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), which surely shows the sensitivity that Geo’s Abbas was willing to breach with his piece. Our information indicates, however, that the piece was directly instigated and approved by the top echelons of the Jang Group (could Lodhi’s joining have something to do with it?), which should also give people an idea of how the group is attempting to make a break with its ambivalent past.
Source: Cafe Pyala, Dec 2010
. In that article though, there were a few responses that stuck out at me:
“Maliha Lodhi, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the UK and US saying that “There is acknowledgement in private about mistakes made in the past. But it is not translating into a long term strategic plan”.“
To this I say “Of Course!” Pakistan needs a long term strategic indigenous plan, because dammit, its not like that the religiously fanatic folk aren’t thinking long term.
Returning back to what Azhar Abbas said:
“Our policy on the drone attacks is very clear and I don’t think there is any change in the policy, though for public consumption the government and the establishment will continue to oppose the attacks in the media,” said Mushahid Hussain.
Lodhi is even more critical of this style of policy. “No government can afford to have a covert policy of cooperation and overt position with the public, which is at odds with that policy,” she said.
Source: http://criticalppp.com/archives/34174 LUBP Dec 2010
Maleeha Lodhi’s edited volume is one of the few books that Pakistan military’s Inter-Services Public Relations’ head Maj. General Athar Abbas recommends to his visitors. The value of this book for Pakistan’s armed forces and establishment is that it presents Pakistan as ‘beyond a crisis state’. The basic thesis of the volume is that there are many things which are not right about the country but that in itself does not qualify it as a failed or failing state. The seventeen contributors have come together in this volume to present the generally unsung successes of Pakistan or to make it look like a normal state, like any other.
Source: http://criticalppp.com/archives/57464 LUBP Dec 2011
A view from a pro-Pakistan army website (PKKH):
I think Maleeha Lodhi has been excellent where ever she went. She speaks like a confident diplomat.
Don’t send someone there who stands behind the US officials with their hands behind their back, like I saw Mr. Qureshi in his recent tour. When these people are addressing their Pakistani audience they leave the impression that they know everything. But when they are behind their Masters they stand like an obedient servant. I guess that is what they are.
We need self confident aggressive personality not and obedient servant.
Maleeha Lodhi writes:
Diplomatic efforts have helped in the past week to defuse the latest crisis to rock Pakistan-US relations. Although the immediate tensions have dissipated these developments have reaffirmed the tenuous quality of the relationship.
This was the third crisis in a rollercoaster year which started with the protracted row over the Raymond Davis affair and was followed by the bigger blow to relations delivered by the May 2 covert US raid in violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. [wow, violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty by US raid not by OBL’s presence in the garrison town, Ms Lodhi?]
Source: http://www.columnspk.com/crux-of-the-crisis-by-dr-maleeha-lodhi/ 4 October 2011
Shaheen Sahbai’s interview with an ex-ISI official (1999):
WASHINGTON: It is rare that any ISI operative, even a retired one, speaks out to the media. But Colonel Shuja Khanzada did so, five years after he was booted out by the political government and the army top brass did not come to his rescue.
His interview came after allegations in the Pakistani media that attempts were being by the then Benazir Bhutto Government to get the F-16’s money back from the United States to rush into buying new French Mirage planes through intermediaries, who would obviously make money.
This interview was recorded in late 1999 by Shaheen Sehbai on a long distance call to Attock, in Pakistan, where Mr Khanzada lived on his farms after resigning from the Pakistan Army as a Colonel in 1994.
SS: So what was your experience with her (Maleeha Lodhi as an ambassador to the USA)?
SK: When she came to America, We had a good relationship. She said, I have heard a lot of praises from your DG ISI and I’ll be needing your help. I assured her full support. We were really close. She would discuss anything with me and I could discuss anything with her and we were going fine. After some time I could make out things. Let me tell you a couple of things before that. In the last few months of Nawaz Sharif , there was a lot of pressure on the Americans, they wanted to undo Nawaz Sharif. That time Nawaz Sharif was very stable, the economy was picking up and he was doing an overall good job. We were going very strong in Kashmir. We were dominating Kashmir. The allegations of state-sponsored terrorism leveled by the Americans was a big pressure on Nawaz Sharif govt and the DG ISI who was then General Javaid Nasir. Now, in the meantime, Benazir came to America and she had come to Atlanta for CNN anniversary where she was the chief guest. She was accompanied by Zardari. I was told to go and receive her in Atlanta and be a protocol officer to her. When I went there to Atlanta, I went to receive her and got all arrangements for car etc ready, I saw that Mark Siegel was there also who was one time a lobbyist. When he saw me he was very upset and asked me what was I doing there. I told him I have come to receive the Leader of the Opposition. She said she would go with them. She had a number of other people to receive her.
A number of other (inaudible) on the committee were all there to receive her. She was more inclined to go to them than us. But we were staying at Omni Shoreham hotel . There at least we would have our breakfast with Benazir and Zardari. So I could make it out that she was getting a terrific reception in America. And she had been given appointments by all the people in the State Department, she had been even given appointment by the CIA chief and she kept insisting to me that her visit will solve a lot of problems. We’ll get the F-16s and we’ll do this and the state-sponsored terrorism charge will go. But I said at what cost. I hope it is not at the cost of nuclear program or Kashmir. She said no no, not at all. That was the main thing. Americans wanted to bring her over for that particular purpose. Roll back, one, and Kashmir, two and that she had agreed to totally. Then she came to Washington, met people. She met the CIA people. Khalid Hasan (journalist) was there, Zaidi (journalist) was there. Dr Fai (Kashmiri lobbyist) was there, I kept telling them these things. I said this is what I feel is happening. Whenever she comes, there will be a roll back. I told Dr. Fai to step up his campaign so that they don’t get the impression that you are involved in the same issue. Now the (Nawaz Sharif) government was dismissed and finally she came over there, everything changed. Now, over the period of time, I felt that there is a roll back going on and the front at Kashmir was getting cold and this is not in the interest of Pakistan. Our security was being jeopardized because of this. Dr (Maleeha) sahiba was trying to get around for F-16s deal so that Pressler Amendment is repealed. I was of the opinion that there were two remaining installments of F-16s and there would have been big kickbacks in that. This lady (inaudible) was of Pakistan. We would have got F-16s, Pressler Amendment would go, and so hell with others things.
SS: Did you ever get any hard evidence that there were kickbacks or they were looking for kickbacks or they were working for kickbacks?
SK: Let me tell you something, General Kakar was then the Chief of the Army Staff and he was visiting US along with Gen (Khwaja) Ziauddin, Gen. Ali Quli Khan and Gen Jehangir Karamat. When they were coming, the Pakistani community and the Embassy were under the impression that he is coming as an envoy of Benazir Bhutto and probably he is going to talk to the Americans regarding (Nuclear Program) roll back or freeze whatever it may be. When (Gen.) Kakar arrived, I saw him. He was under tremendous pressure when he landed. He was coming for the first time as he had become the new (army) chief. He did not know what is going to transpire between him and the Americans. I gave him a short brief. I said you are here and you are going to assist a roll back or freeze. He said what, I said yes, this is the fix. He said, on my dead body. I said you are coming to the embassy tomorrow to address the officers, clarify this point too. He said yes I will. When he came to the embassy next day, in his address to the officers, he said, roll back and freeze on my dead body, no question! We will go ahead with our nuclear program, we will not compromise on anything. After he left, next day, the Pakistani papers gave front page headlines quoting (Gen.) Kakar. Dr (Maleeha) got very furious over that. She said who leaked this to the newspapers. Then Zahoor Malik (a diplomat handling the media) was made the target and Ghazanfar (another diplomat in economic section) was made the target. (a reporter/columnist) was called to the embassy, … (another journalist) was called to the embassy and asked why this (had happened). She called me and asked who has done it. I asked her was there a secret about that. There was no secret.
SS: How many people were there when he made that speech?
SK: The whole embassy was sitting there.
SS: Then what was the secret?
SK: That’s right what was the secret. She never wanted this to go to the papers. She thought we will keep it under wraps. There was a lot of fuss on that in the Embassy. It turned into a crisis. She literally sacked Ghazanfar, she sacked Zahoor Malik. But I took a firm stand on the issue. I said don’t make it into a big fuss, leave it alone. We should actually be very proud that the General made that statement. Peoples sagging morale was restored and our grim faces were now OK. She was really very furious and there my relations turned very sore with her though I wanted to mend it. I said I talked to you having the interest of Pakistan in mind but she was not listening to anything. She was trying to find excuses to sack me. I even went to her to clarify things that I just wanted to do what was in the best interest of Pakistan. And when I talked to (General) Kakar that this thing has leaked he was very happy and said it was great. I’m no politician, I’m no man to get credit for these things but what I said I meant it. That completely changed the scenario.
SS: Why do you think she was doing that?
SK: What were they going to give to the Americans? If Benazir was to come for the second time and the Americans were going to push her into Pakistan the second time as the Prime Minister, it was clear on the cards. We knew that. Nawaz Sharif was on his way out. I spoke to (Gen) Javaid Nasir (then DG ISI) for one hour on telephone, and told him what was going on and told him that you people (Nawaz Sharif Government) should start packing up now. At a reception in Georgetown hosted by (Benazir supporter) Abdullah Riar, Senator Barbara Mikulski, member of select committee, opened her speech before 400 people saying “Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto”, and then said I am very sorry for the slip of the tongue. There was the indication right there, that she(BB) is coming. Americans wanted to bring her over for the main purpose of roll back and to end the Kashmir dispute. Americans were feeling very very itchy on the Kashmir issue. They said all the terrorism across the border is being done by you guys. So, what would they give in return, nuclear issue and this, we had nothing else in Pakistan to give.
SS: Do you believe Maleeha was actively working for that agenda?
SK: She was the fastest friend of Benazir, she was closest to Benazir , she and Benazir had the same thinking line. They were every time together. She was the confidant. She flew to London to get my posting done immediately. From London, the moment she came back from London, there was a signal lying that I should be transferred to Pakistan within 24 hours
SS: And who did that, Benazir or who?
SK: I was heading to New York when I was told by my PA that I had been posted back to Pakistan. I immediately called the CGS (Chief of General Staff), (General) Jehangir Karamat was the CGS. (Gen) Ali Quli was the DGMI and none of these officers knew about it. My DG ISI, Gen. Javaid Kazi also claims that he didn’t know about it. It was all done by the prime minister and the establishment division.
SS: Could they do that without informing you or telling you?
SK: That is the sore point on which I’m still very very upset. That was the only time I needed the army to stand by me, what the hell is this. This is the wrong procedure. It should have been done by GHQ not by you, right. Everybody kept quiet on that issue. I said at least give me 3-4 days so I can pack up. In 24 hours I can come if you send a special plane. I m a disciplined person , I never wanted to create any fuss, nothing of that sort. With good memories, I just left the embassy, immediately. (In Pakistan) the first person who called me was General Kakar, he called me immediately and I went to him. He said I’m really sorry for what has happened to you. I have given my mind to Benazir but I can’t help. I told him in the army we stand by one another, I was not a thief or robber. I did not do anything wrong. There are no character failings in me. I was working for Pakistan day in and day out. In 27 years of service, how professional an officer I have been. You guys let me down. He said I’ m very sorry. Prime minister ordered in writing and I could not help. But we will take care of you. I said what care you have totally destroyed me. Then I went to (Gen) Jehangir Karamat, (Gen) Ali Quli. Everybody said we have given our mind but It has happened now , what can we do. That was a very very sad point in my career and my life. We gave so much to the army nobody stood by me. I told Kakar, had General (Mirza Aslam) Beg been there, or General (Asif Nawaz) Janjua been there, how dare they pull me out from there, I would have seen that. Or if somebody like Musharraf had been there, how could anybody put their hands on me and pulled me out. I am working for my country here and they know how hard I worked all these 12 years in ISI.
SS: While you were there, did you ever find anything involving Maleeha or her brother in any of the affairs?
SK: Her brother came here regularly and she visited him in New York regularly. He lived in NY. In this F-16 case, there were two installments left. They were doing their best to get the F-16s and pay the two installments. I told Maleeha on her first day that these people (Americans) would pull a lot of weight, a lot of their lobbyists would come to you telling you to pay the remaining installments, and will quote you the rules and regulations that the installments have to be paid. That’s a different thing that the State Department has put a ban (on the delivery). (Previous Ambassador) Abida (Hussain) put her foot down and told the (US) Government that there is no question of any installments. I told Maleeha that she will have to stop these installments and that we are not going to pay.
SS: Did (former prime minister) Moeen Qureshi not stop the payments of installments?
SK: Yes he did but now the government had changed and they could have resumed it. Now Benazir was in power. On that issue she (Maleeha) would not talk to me and always asked me to forget about it. She said that is for me to look after. I felt that she and her brother were (Inaudible)… They were going to get the installment (Inaudible)….. the sub-marine deal and all that sort of things. There was another thing. At that time there were wheat shipments under PL-480 (to Pakistan). The Food and Agriculture Attache in the (Pakistan) Embassy, one Mr. Qazi, came to me and said something wrong is going on. He was an honest officer and is now Commissioner of Hyderabad. He said over the years shipments were being done by Pakistan (National) Shipping Corporation. PNSC was getting their money and every thing was going fine. But Qazi said Dr. Maleeha wants to change the system and wants to give it to some Greek Shipping company. He said he had written a letter to the Food and Agriculture Ministry not to do it as there will be lot of kickbacks and commissions. Why should Dr (Maleeha) be doing that if a system is going on without anything wrong. Her brother was also….. as hundreds of thousands of dollars were involved in commissions. I wrote a letter to the ISI headquarters to stop it immediately as it was not in the interest of Pakistan. People will get money in it. These things were going on but she went to London and sacked me.
SS: Whenever anything like this happened, you would inform your headquarter that this was going on?
SK: Yes I would let them know, of course.
Source: http://antisystemic.org/satribune/www.satribune.com/archives/july27_02_02/isi_whistle_blower.htm (from Aamir Mughal’s blog: http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2011/09/lie-with-general-r-musharraf-maleeha.html)