By Aijaz Ahmed
|ISI Chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha|
Islamabad: Director General Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) gets another two years extension in his service, thus all four civilian and the uniformed top brass will remain in the office till 2013, sources in the power corridors revealed to Indus Herald today. However, whether the extension will be taken as a violation of the Supreme Court orders or the extension will bring the political stability in the country is yet to be determined.
Sources placed in the government have confirmed that Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani sent a summary along with his advice for the two years extension in the service of DG ISI Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, which is duly accepted by the president yesterday and thus his present tenure is again extended.
The second extension will start at the end of his first extension tenure that was awarded last year when he was about to retire, but first extension under the law was given for one year.
It may be mentioned that general Kayani, the COAS was also given an extension in his service and also in his tenure as army Chief, and the reason being given for both these extensions is no other than continuity and consolidation of results in war on terror.
‘General Pasha in his present position is playing a pivotal and critical role in intelligence gathering for war on terror and operations against different Taliban outfits’, said an official at the presidency.
The second extension is obviously linked with the present political scenario, particularly in view of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s suggestion of a dialogue between the Army and the Judiciary to resolve the present crisis in the country.
‘Shahbaz Sharif’s suggestion of dialogue between political leadership, military top brass and judiciary is an effort to build rapport between the “defamed” PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and the military establishment while the PMLN is already enjoying good and healthy relations with CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry led judiciary’, said a PPP leader on the condition of anonymity.
The extension shall be seen in the light of the latest PML-N move and the pressure being exerted by the leaders out of parliament. Every single effort is being made to make military establishment think about a coup again, said Faisal Raza Abidi, political advisor to the president. ‘We want to establish a point that the political governments should complete their term and that is why we have adopted the policy of reconciliation’, he added.
The extension is also an effort to keep the good and healthy relationship between presidency/PPP and the GHQ, said a party insider. Another reason for extending his tenure is no other than a case against General Pasha in America. General Pasha as serving general enjoys immunity that a diplomat enjoys. ‘By another extension in his service tenure, we will benefit from his experience and the continuity in war on terror, but meanwhile the case against him will either be withdrawn or decided and than he will be a free citizen to move anywhere in the world’, a PPP source added.
|It will be interesting to see CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry's reaction to this development|
However, the critical aspect of the extension will be reaction of the Supreme Court on the decision as it has already terminated number of high-ranking police officers including DG FIA, Waseem Ahmed whom the government of the day considers critical in the war on terror. ‘In fact every institution shall work within its limits, and should not intervene in the jurisdiction of any other institution’, said Faisal Raza Abidi.
‘We follow double standards as the registrar Supreme Court is already given two years’ extension by the CJ himself, while army chief is also enjoying an extension, but the civilian government is not allowed to give extension to any civilian officer because of certain other reasons’, commented a senior PPP leader. ‘It is the time now for the Supreme Court to take notice of this extension and set an example’, he added.