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'ISI was asleep when naval officers plotted to kill me'

May 01, 2007 20:03 IST

Unhappy with Inter-Services Intelligence's performance, former Pakistan Field Marshall Ayub Khan had once believed that 'it was fast asleep' when some naval officers were hatching a plot to kill him to grab power, according to his diaries, which are to be launched in a book form on Friday.

The late Field Marshall's disappointment had forced him to think that he was just a 'babe' in the intelligence network and thus could easily be deceived anytime, The News reported.

His reliance, it seemed, was upon Military Intelligence and the Intelligence Bureau, as he had frequently referred to their reports in a praiseworthy manner, it said.

Khan said his assassination plot was aimed at bringing forward the Islamists like Maulana Maudoodi, the founder of radical religious-political outfit Jamaat-e-Islami.

A naval officer who belonged to Gujarat, Faiz Hussain, was the ringleader of the would-be-assassins, Khan wrote on May 21, 1967. He had, however, appreciated a senior police officer, the then DIG Karachi, Allah Yar Tareen, father of the incumbent Minister for Industries Jehangir Khan Tareen.

"DIG Tareen and his associates have done an excellent job whilst the naval intelligence and ISI were fast asleep. It just shows that we are babes in intelligence network," Khan wrote.

This poor state of affairs of the intelligence network prompted him to form a committee under the leadership of General Yahya to suggest methods for its revamping.

"General Rafi, my military secretary, said the governor, Gen Musa, told him that the DIG police, Karachi, had brought the information that a certain number of young naval officers were plotting to assassinate me," Khan wrote in his diary, the paper said.

Khan was, therefore, asked not to proceed for Karachi where he was scheduled to go but he did not accept the plea. And asked to expedite the probe and hunt down the network, the report said.

"He (Faiz) was conspiring to get hold of me and get me under duress to declare martial law, dismiss the governors and hand over the power to him and his associates," Khan noted in his diary.

Tareen discovered through his constable that Faiz was on the look-out for a businessman who would finance him, Khan disclosed in his diary.

"He (Faiz) wanted three to four lakh of rupees for buying transport etc. According to plan, the naval officers wanted to bump Ayub off when he was to go on a deep-sea fishing trip with the King of Afghanistan, but the trip was cancelled."      

"Faiz had made all sorts of boasts that he would kill all senior officers and do this and that," Khan wrote about the intelligence that police had gathered about the naval officer's plan.

The late field marshal, however, had noted that the plan was amateurish, lacking comprehension and thoroughness. However, DIG Tareen and his team had foiled the attempt and the leading conspirators were later court-martialled, The News reported quoting the diary.

Sentences ranging from 3 to 14 years had been awarded.      

"The discipline in the service is being tightened and welfare work stepped up," Khan said in the diary note taken on July 1, 1967.

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