01 August, 2014 / Shawwal 4, 1435

Abbottabad report: right to know

Updated Jul 28, 2013 08:17am

THE recent leak of Abbottabad Commission report escalated the political temperature and inundated talk shows with a new debate. The script, which surfaced, though critical of military intelligence agencies, didn’t fix the responsibility, unambiguously, on one institution.

However, the leaked text of the report categorically highlights the civil-military imbalance, and brings to limelight the incapacity and deteriorated condition of civilian intelligence apparatus.

It also transpires from the report that how much contempt for civilian institution the former DG ISI had, despite the fact that the gravest security breaches occurred during his tenure.

But strange enough was the reaction of political masters to this leak. Many political leaders started calling this leak as a breach of national security and a deliberate attempt to cause humiliation to the national institution.

This argument was repeatedly flouted to save the skin of military and its intelligence outfits. Instead of punishing those whose negligence led to Osama bin Laden’s capture and reported killing, the federal minister for information, asked for a probe to find out who passed the text of report to Al-Jazeera TV network.

Isn’t it strange that so much hue and cry is being raised on the leak as if the people of Pakistan have no right to know the truth. Same was done after debacle of Dhaka, the powerful state institutions suppressed the Hamoodur Rahman Commission report but it got published in India and exposed the excesses committed and brutalities unleashed by our institutions.

It is ironical that the democratic government of the PML-N is depriving the public of their fundamental right as enshrined in article 19 A of the Constitution – right to information.

The same right to free information was emphasised vehemently by the apex court in Memogate scandal, in which, coincidently, the petition was filed by the incumbent prime minister.

Therefore, the PML N should punish all those who could not trace Bin Laden in Abbottabad and caused our humiliation at international level, instead of getting trapped in any red herring.

In addition to this, being a democratic government, it should protect and preserve public’s right to information.

WASEEM AHMAD Abbottabad

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