ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira on Thursday lashed out at former chief of the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) Gen (Retd) Hamid Gul, asking his ‘institution’ to take notice of his activities during his time as a serving general.
“If his office, his home, and his institution were used in the formation of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), then he is answerable to the nation,” said the minister.
“No one has the right to become the security adviser of the nation himself; this is the job of the state.”
Kaira’s comments come two days after the former ISI chief , in an interview with DawnNews, admitted responsibility for creating the IJI to allegedly prevent former prime minister Benazir Bhutto from coming into power through the 1990 polls.
The minister said the IJI was formed to steal the mandate of the people through ulterior motives by preventing the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) from winning the elections.
During the interview, the former ISI chief had also alleged that Pakistani politicians were crooks and that if they continued to tread the path they were on, the army would also continue to intervene in the state’s affairs.
Kaira said Gul had created problems for the nation in the past and should refrain from issuing such irresponsible statements, advising him to be careful in his choice of diction and tone.
Pakistan has had three bloodless military coups in its history and has been ruled by four military dictators, the last being former president Pervez Musharraf. The powerful army and its intelligence agency have been accused of interfering in national politics and election rigging.
In a landmark ruling on Oct 19, the Supreme Court ordered legal action against former intelligence chief Asad Durrani and former army chief Mirza Aslam Beg over allegations of bankrolling politicians to rig the 1990 election. The verdict was announced 16 years after retired air marshal Asghar Khan originally filed the case, accusing the ISI of doling out money to a group of politicians who joined together under the IJI banner to prevent the PPP from getting elected.
‘Judiciary should show restraint’
Pakistan’s courts also became the subject of criticism during Kaira’s press talk here Thursday as he accused the judiciary of interfering in political decisions and matters.
Responding to a question about Lahore High Court’s verdict on the Kalabagh dam, he said that only elected forums could make decisions on such issues.
The involvement of the judiciary in such matters should be avoided as it would not serve any purpose, said the information minister.
The judiciary should show restraint on issues of a political nature and as a nation we should also try not to drag it into political issues, he said.
On the matter of CNG prices, another case the Supreme Court is currently hearing, he said the issue was subjudice and he would not comment on it.
“On those matters which are subjudice, we should not hold debates or make comments,” said the minister.