Backstabbing generals ruled Pakistan, finds report

Pakistani Army soldiers

Top Generals of Pakistan Army were busy backstabbing each other in the run up to the selection of the new Chief of Army Staff in November last year, according to details emerging in the Pakistani media.

The name common in all the investigations is former DG, ISI, Lt. General Faiz Hameed who played a key role in supporting and sustaining the Imran Khan government. Khan was keen to appoint Hameed as the COAS.

It is not yet known whether his superior, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, was aware of the ISI chief’s moves. Bajwa, however, has admitted in a recent interview that he had ignored a few of his ISI DG’s unauthorised acts.

Hameed was part of a Whatsapp group of Generals, judges, bureaucrats and political leaders which manipulated events in the country.

The latest episode, part of an unravelling series of stories, is related to an attempt by General Hameed to block the possible selection of General Asim Munir as the new chief. Hameed along with four other Generals were in the queue for the position.

An investigation carried out by Pakistan’s central citizen database, NADRA, found that some senior officers of the agency were involved in extracting personal information of General Munir’s wife and international travels of the family. General Munir, when he was the ISI DG, had objected to some of the activities of the then Prime Minister Imran Khan’s wife. An angry Khan had ensured General Munir’s ouster from the agency in haste.

The NADRA leak was calculated to block the chance of General Munir becoming the new COAS. He was being projected as a Shia officer.

The NADRA inquiry was ordered by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif after he got a communication from Saudi Arabia that attempts were being made to label one of the main contenders for the COAS, General Munir, as a Shia officer and hence not fit for the top military position.

The conspiracy took place in October 2022, when five senior Lt-Generals, including Munir and Hameed, were being mentioned as possible contenders. A data entry operator at NADRA accessed the details of General Munir’s wife and international travels of his family.

The inquiry was supervised by retired Brigadier Khalid Latif, a senior NADRA officer. He was later found to be a close aide of Lt. General Faiz Hameed. Brigadier Latif was then replaced by another senior officer, Ali Javaid.

The inquiry found two NADRA officers, Khalid Anayatullah and Amir Bukhari, as the key players behind the data leak, both disclosed that close relatives of the contenders for COAS had sought their help in accessing the data.

Hameed was not alone in the conspiracy against Munir. Another senior General involved in the conspiracy was Lt Gen Azhar Abbas, the then Chief of General Staff. Abbas had the support of other officers belonging to the Kakul Academy who were opposed to Munir who had completed his training from the Officers Training School (OTS).

Abbas raised his objection to Bajwa who intimated the feelings of senior Generals to the Prime Minister. Shehbaz Sharif spoke with Nawaz Sharif who point blank refused such an idea.

Abbas threatened a coup and the government quickly approached Lt Gen Shahid Shamshad and offered him the post of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC). Lt Gen Shamshad was at that time commanding 111 Brigade or the `coup brigade.

Other officers involved in the conspiracy were the former head of ISI Islamabad office Colonel (r) Liaquat Ali Waseem and Lieutenant Colonel (r) Asif Mehmood, both close to Lt. General Faiz Hameed. Waseem and Mehmood were involved in accountability cases against PMLN leaders on behalf of Hameed.

The extent of Lt. General Hameed’s conspiracy network could be gauged from his group’s involvement in the leakage of sensitive meetings at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, his principal secretary Dr. Tauqeer Shah, Maryam Nawaz, and other senior ministers. These conversations reportedly took place in the secure confines of the PMO in September last.

During the investigation by the Intelligence Bureau, the main culprit was found to be the Prime Minister’s aide-de-camp (ADC), Major Arsalan. Arsalan was ADC to Lt. Gen. Hameed when he was DG ISI. When Hameed was transferred to Peshawar, he positioned Major Arsalan as the then Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ADC.

There was a talk of prosecuting Hameed but the move was blocked by General Bajwa.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024