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ISLAMABAD: The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has been accused by one of its own spies of “protecting” terrorists.

A serving assistant sub-inspector of IB, ASI Malik Mukhtar Ahmed Shahzad, has accused his senior officers of not taking action against terrorism suspects and filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) requesting it to refer the matter to the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) for a thorough probe.

The IHC Registrar’s Office fixed the petition before Justice Aamer Farooq on Monday who referred the case to IHC Chief Justice Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi, with a note that the matter may be transferred to Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui since an identical matter is pending in his court, an IHC official said.

In the petition filed through his counsel Masroor Shah, Mr Shahzad has said he joined the IB in 2007 and that he “reported against various terrorist groups having roots in Uzbekistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and India”.

ASI tells court he reported against terrorist groups from various countries but no action was taken

“However, to the petitioner’s utter dismay, no action was ever been taken by IB in this respect despite concrete evidence provided to it in the form of the intelligence reports”, the petition says.

“Upon thorough intelligence gathering process, it transpired that certain high officials of the IB themselves are directly involved with the terrorist organizations having linkages with hostile enemy intelligence agencies” the petition reads.

It goes on to say that the matter was even reported to the IB director general, who also did not take any steps.

It says some IB officials travelled to Israel and had direct links with Afghan intelligence which, it was found later, had links with another terrorist group from Kazakhstan.

“These terrorists used to disguise themselves as citrus dealers in Kot-Momin and Bhalwal, Sargodha. The business was a mere camouflage,” the petition says.

The petition goes on to say that the son of joint director IB (Punjab) was dealing with the said terrorist groups.

The petition claims that some officials of Afghan and Iranian intelligence used to take refuge in the places of the citrus dealers.

The petition names certain IB’s officials who are on the payroll of foreign intelligence agencies which include a joint director general, directors and deputy directors. The petitioner says that the senior IB officials also facilitate Afghan nationals in getting Pakistani nationality.

Mr Shahzad said he “has been running from pillar to post including approaching the prime minister of Pakistan to raise this issue of national security and protection of lives of the citizen of this country but in vain.”

The petitioner requested the court that the issue of connivance, complacency and involvement of official of IB and other senior bureaucrats raised in the petition may graciously be entrusted to ISI for investigation.

The petition further requested that the prime minister be directed to evolve a comprehensive strategy to keep a check on IB officials’ involvement in sectarian terrorism.

IB also recently came under attack by a joint investigation team consisting of officials from ISI, Military Intelligence and officials from other departments for ‘hampering the investigation’ into the assets of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s family.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2017