FIR against ex-ISI boss lands police officers in trouble
An FIR against the former deputy DG ISI (Counter Intelligence), Maj Gen (retd) Nusrat Naeem on fraud charges has resulted in the removal of a Superintendent of Police, an SHO and an investigation officer who dared to arrest him on the court’s order.
Nusrat Naeem made headlines when the UN Commission’s report on Benazir Bhutto’s assassination was made public. He enjoys good relations with the high and mighty (i.e., Army Chief General Kayani whose two real brothers are known in Islamabad for kickbacks in real estate and NLC supplies). Nusrat Naeem was implicated in issuing a bogus cheque of Rs35 million to one Mohammad Ali from whom he purchased a steel mill for Rs140 million.
When the cheque bounced, Mohammad Ali went to the local court, which directed the Islamabad Police to register an FIR against him and subsequently arrest him. The case fell in the jurisdiction of the Industrial Area Police. Dr Khurram Rashid, SP (Industrial Area) directed SHO I-9 Police Station to comply with the court order that resulted in registration of FIR 446 on November 26.
Then followed a stream of calls from the high-ups to pre-empt his arrest. A well-placed government official is said to have summoned a senior police officer at his residence on Friday. As the officer reached there, he found the wanted accused having lunch with the government official. The police were directed not to proceed further against him. When Nusrat Naeem came out of the official’s residence, he received a call from SHO I-9 Police Station Shafique Ahmad who had summoned him. As Nusrat Naeem reached there, he was told in plain words about his likely arrest on the court’s directives, sources privy to the details say.
In the meanwhile two serving military officers reached there to rescue him. Nusrat Naeem was released on the condition that he would pay Rs35 million to Mohammad Ali by December 1. He was allowed to leave on the consent of the complainant.
As the deadline expired on Saturday without Nusrat Naeem keeping the promise, efforts resumed to arrest him. But before that could happen, the officers dealing with the case were sidelined.
The services of Dr Khurram, SP (Industrial), have been surrendered back to the Establishment Division. The SHO and the investigation officer have been suspended in the meanwhile.
Earlier, Islamabad Police failed to nab a serving Army Major Zubair Ali Khan (PA 38111 of 63 FF Regiment) implicated in a land fraud case. The complainant, Yawar Saeed, has been struggling for the last six years to get justice. The local court declared Zubair a proclaimed offender in 2010 but he is still in service. Neither has he been handed over to the Islamabad Police as was demanded several times for investigation nor did the GHQ proceed against him.
Source: The News, December 03, 2012 (with minor edits)
Benazir case: ex-director general of ISI faces interrogation
By Azaz Syed | From the Newspaper | 15th March, 2011 0
Former premier Benazir Bhutto. — File photo
ISLAMABAD, March 14: The contents of what has been described as an infamous press conference on the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, by Brig (retd) Javed Iqbal Cheema, who was spokesman of the interior ministry at that time, had been revealed by Maj-Gen Nusrat Naeem, the then director general of the Counter-Intelligence Wing of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
This was stated on Monday in a DawnNews report backed by documents and background interviews with people involved in the investigation. “Maj-Gen (retd) Nusrat Naeem may be interrogated by the Federal Investigation Agency’s joint investigation team (JIT) and his name may be added in a supplementary challan,” an official said.
“The contents of the press conference were provided by Maj-Gen Nusrat Naeem, DG-C, ISI, at a meeting.” Big (retd) Cheema whose statement was recorded by the joint investigation team, said the meeting was held at the ISI headquarters and he had attended it along with the then interior secretary, Syed Kamal Shah.
“I did not express any assumptions, guess work or opinion at the press briefing. I just reproduced what I was given to share with the media,” he said.
At the press conference held on Dec 28, 2007, Brig (retd) Cheema presented an audio-tape of a conversation between Baitullah Mehsud (identified as Amir sab in the tape) and one ‘Maulvi sab’ and told reporters that the chief of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan was behind the murder.
In the latest challan submitted to an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi, paragraph 42 relates to the subject. “In this press conference the then DG, NCMC, not only announced the cause of death of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto but also declared that the terrorists belonged to Baitullah Mehsud, chief commander of TTP. The credibility of investigation of this case was affected by the premature press conference.”
Interior ministry sources said they believed that Brig (retd) Cheema had acted only on the instructions of his immediate boss Kamal Shah who accompanied him at the ISI headquarters. They said the decision to address the press conference had been taken at a meeting held the same morning at the Rawalpindi camp office with the then president and the chief of army staff Gen Pervez Musharraf in the chair. Brig (retd) Ejaz Shah, the former chief of Intelligence Bureau and a trusted aide to Gen (retd) Musharraf, confirmed in his statement, a copy of which is also available with DawnNews, that the meeting had been held. “The intercepted CD and medical report was provided by the ISI. The briefing was given by DG-C to the participants.”
According to sources, the JIT has not yet interrogated Maj-Gen Naeem who is living in Rawalpindi and reportedly working at the Bahria Town.
From The News International
Saturday, April 24, 2010
By Umar Cheema
ISLAMABAD: No big name mentioned in the UN report on Benazir Bhutto’s murder has either been put on the Exit Control List (ECL) or asked any question so far, though more than a week has elapsed.
These names include ex-DG MI Major General Nadim Ejaz, Nusrat Naeem, former IB chief Ejaz Shah, retired interior secretary Kamal Shah and even Interior Minister Rehman Malik. The News has learnt on good authority that only a bunch of scapegoats have been put on the ECL and called for recording their statements. They include police officers CPO Saud Aziz, SP Khurram Shahzad, ASP Ashfaq Anwar, Additional IG Abdul Majid Marwat, Yasin Farooq and the then DCO Irfan Elahi.
Another official put on the ECL is Brigadier (retd) Javed Iqbal Cheema, who addressed the press as spokesperson of the Interior Ministry on the question of cause of death of Benazir Bhutto and played the intercepted audio conversation of Baitullah Mehsud.
The rest of the lot is at large and Interior Minister Rehman Malik has also started exercising the authority of secretary interior to include or exclude anybody from the ECL.The Interior Ministry spokesman was not available for comments. However, officials dealing with the ECL confirmed that Major General Nadim Ejaz, Brigadier (retd) Ejaz Shah, former secretary interior Kamal Shah, Rehman Malik, Major General (retd) Nusrat Naeem, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Lieutenant General (retd) Hamid Gul and Major (retd) Imtiaz, Benazir Bhutto’s chief security officer, are carrying on with life as usual instead of being made OSDs, put on the ECL or facing any investigation.
Nadim Ejaz has been accused in the UN commission’s report as the man who issued orders to the then CPO, Saud Aziz, for hosing down the crime scene. Instead of forcing him to join the investigation, the officers in the field, Saud Aziz and Khurram Shahzad, have been made OSDs and summoned for probe.
Nadeem, former DG MI, is presently the Log Area Commander in Gujranwala Cantt, serving under Corps Commander, Lieutenant General Nadeem Taj, the then DG ISI. Kamal Shah has been indicted for not providing fool-proof security. Shah is not only roaming around as a free citizen, he is also considered to be a regular visitor to the Presidency, hoping for the prized slot of governor of the newly-named Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. That would be the ultimate rebuff to the UN report.
The UN commission has consumed a lot of energy and space in exposing the flip-flops of Rehman Malik on the question of his role as the chief security adviser and running away from the scene in the back-up Mercedes. Instead of putting him in the dock, he has been given special benefits of backdated retirement with full honours, although he was dismissed from service.
Nusrat Naeem, accused of flip-flopping in recording his statement to the UN commission, is also untouched. Like Kamal Shah, he is also said to be a close friend of the Presidency, though he has previously denied this impression.
Ejaz Shah, Hamid Gul and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi were the persons who were named by Benazir Bhutto in an FIR. None of them has either joined the investigation or put on the ECL. As far as Gul is concerned, Rehman Malik showing solidarity with him rang him up to re-confirm that he was not on the ECL.
ISLAMABAD: The report of the UN fact-finding commission says the then Rawalpindi City Police Officer (CPO), Saud Aziz, had ordered to hose down the scene of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination at the Liaquat Bagh on the order of the chief of the Military Intelligence of the time, Major General Nadeem Ijaz, who was not only a relative of Pervez Musharraf but also a known crony of the former dictator. The report lays a lot of blame on Saud Aziz on different counts, especially washing of the crime scene and lack of autopsy. He was posted as the CPO Multan immediately after the present government came to power. The commission attached a great significance to the washing of the crime scene to eliminate the evidence that could have proved tremendously useful in investigations into the assassination. At one place, the report said, the then Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lieutenant General Nadeem Taj met Benazir Bhutto in the early morning hours of December 27 at the Zardari House Islamabad. It said that directly knowledgeable sources told the commission that they spoke both about the elections as well as threats to her life; versions differ as to how much detail was conveyed about the threats. The commission is satisfied that at the least the ISI chief told Benazir Bhutto that the agency was concerned about a possible terrorist attack against her and urged her to limit her public exposure and to keep a low profile at the campaign event at the Liaquat Bagh later that day. According to the findings, another source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Saud Aziz was ordered to hose down the scene by the then MI chief.
The report said that an ISI officer, Rawalpindi Detachment Commander Colonel Jehangir Akhtar, was present at the RGH through much of the evening. At one point, ISI deputy chief Major General Nusrat Naeem, contacted senior physician Prof Mussadiq through Colonel Jehangir’s cell phone. When asked about this by the commission, Nusrat Naeem initially denied making any calls to the hospital, but then acknowledged that he had indeed called when pressed further. He asserted that he had made the call, before reporting to his superiors, to hear, directly from Prof Mussadiq that Benazir Bhutto had died. The commission said sources informed it that Saud Aziz did not act independently in deciding to hose down the crime scene. One source, on condition of anonymity, said the CPO had confided to him that he had received a call from the Army Headquarters instructing him to order the hosing down of the crime scene. Others, including three police officials, told the commission that Saud Aziz did not act independently and that “everyone knows” who ordered the hosing down. However, they were not willing to state on the record what it is that “everyone knows”. This is one of the many occasions during the commission’s inquiry when individuals, including government officials, expressed fear or hesitation to speak openly, the report said.
Hosing down of Benazir assassination site: Body to investigate ex-MI chief`s role
By Iftikhar A. Khan
ISLAMABAD, April 24 Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday constituted a three-member committee to pinpoint responsibility for hosing down of the crime scene after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on Dec 27, 2007.
Cabinet Secretary Abdul Rauf Chaudhry will head the body. Other members will be the Deputy Chief of General Staff, Maj-Gen Sajjad Ghani, and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Fayyaz Tooru.
The committee has been tasked with finding out whether the then director-general of Military Intelligence (MI), Maj-Gen Nadeem Ijaz, ordered police officials to hose down the crime scene.
The committee has been asked to submit a report to the prime minister within seven working days.
Informed sources told Dawn that soon after the release of the UN Commission`s report on Benazir Bhutto`s assassination, senior army officials had asked the prime minister to form a high-level committee to dig out the truth behind the erasure of potential evidence.
“As the naming of a senior military official in the report was something embarrassing for the top army command, it sought formation of a body to determine if the former DG MI had a role in the episode or not,” they said.
It will be a rare case of probe into the possible role of a senior military officer in a crime. Maj-Gen Nadeem Ijaz is currently serving as Logistics Area Commander in Gujranwala and before being superseded was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 26th Mechanised Division at Bahawalpur.
The UN fact finding mission`s report had revealed that the then Military Intelligence (MI) chief, Maj-Gen Nadeem Ijaz, a relative of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, had ordered police to wash the scene of Benazir Bhutto`s assassination at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi. The commission attached great significance to the washing of the crime scene as it could have proved useful in investigations into the assassination.
The report, citing unnamed sources, said that the then Rawalpindi city police officer (CPO), Saud Aziz, did not act independently in hosing down the assassination site. It said one source had claimed that CPO Saud Aziz confided in him that he had received a call from Army headquarters instructing him to order the hosing down of the crime scene, but quoted another source as saying that he was ordered by the then director general of Military Intelligence, Maj-Gen Nadeem Ijaz Ahmed, to take the controversial decision.
The report said others, including three police officers, told the commission that Saud Aziz did not act independently and that “everyone knows” who ordered the action. However, they were not willing to state on record what is the meaning of “everyone knows”.
The commission said it was one of the many occasions during the inquiry when individuals, including government officials, expressed fear or hesitation to speak openly.
The report cited some senior police officers as pointing out that while the deliberate hosing down of a scene is unheard of in police practice, it had occurred on a few occasions. In each case the military had been the target of such attacks and the crime scene was managed by it.
The unusual action of hosing down of the crime scene of Benazir Bhutto`s assassination has been shrouded in mystery from the very outset. A three-member committee of inquiry was set up by the Punjab chief minister to delve into the circumstances leading to the washing down of the crime site. It concluded its work within two days on Feb 15, 2008. The committee acknowledged that a crime scene should in principle be preserved at least till a search and thorough forensic examination was carried out. Yet it gave a clean chit to the Rawalpindi police by accepting its plea that it had been done as a crowd control and public order measure.
Interestingly, the UN Commission did not get a chance to meet the committee comprising three senior officers of the Punjab government, in spite of a request.
The commission, however, said it was difficult to credit the committee`s work, saying that the narrow scope of terms of reference cast doubt on the committee`s independence.
It stressed that the objective of the crime scene management was the collection and preservation of evidence to help solve the crime.