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Pak parliamentarian demands ISI chief's resignation

December 16, 2011 15:03 IST
A Pakistani parliamentarian has demanded that Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha should resign following the claims that he travelled to Arab countries to discuss a move to oust President Asif Ali Zardari.

Bushra Gohar, a senior leader of the secular Awami National Party, noted that former envoy to the US, Husain Haqqani, had resigned after being implicated in the memogate scandal by Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz.

Similarly, the ISI chief should quit after Ijaz's remarks that he met some Arab leaders in May to discuss a possible military coup in Pakistan, she said.

Raising a point of order in the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament, Gohar said, "When one ambassador was summoned and asked to resign, then the director general of the ISI should also be asked to resign". She said if everyone was accepting Ijaz's statement on the alleged memo, then it should be assumed that he was speaking the truth about the ISI chief too. She said the main opposition had approached the Supreme Court for a probe on the basis of Ijaz's allegations while it was saying that his remarks about a possible coup were a lie.

Gohar was referring to a speech by Leader of Opposition, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League -N, who said he believed Ijaz's statement about the ISI chief was wrong. She said the ISI chief should resign and face an inquiry based on the allegations that he had met some Arab leaders to discuss a possible military coup.

After hearing Gohar, the Leader of Opposition conceded her point but said it was up to the government to seek Pasha's resignation. The government should authenticate Ijaz's allegations and take "necessary steps", he said. He further said he had sought the ISI chief's resignation during an in-camera joint session of parliament that was held after the US military raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2.

A recent blog on The Independent newspaper's website quoted Ijaz as having said, "Their (US intelligence) information was that Pasha had travelled to a few Arab countries to talk about what the necessary line of action would be in the event that they had to remove Zardari from power, and so forth".

Pakistan's political and diplomatic circles were rocked after Ijaz made public the alleged secret memo that sought US help to prevent a military takeover after the killing of bin Laden in May.

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