Pasha says would have opposed security deals with US


In what many participants termed a candid interaction with diplomats, ISI Director General Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha declared at the envoys conference this week that had he held a senior position when the controversial security agreements were being negotiated with the US, he would have opposed them tooth and nail, a participant disclosed.
The lieutenant general heading the country’s premier security agency was ostensibly referring to the post 9/11 agreements Pakistan inked with the US and NATO/ISAF during the Musharraf regime. According to an insider, Pasha remarked, “We are lucky to have a civilian set-up in the country now because only a democratic government could have taken such a bold stand that also reflects the national aspirations.” His obvious reference was to the decisions taken by the government after the November 26 US-led NATO air strike on Pakistan’s two border posts in Mohmand Agency.
Unlike previous envoys conferences, this one was held at a time when the main pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy i.e relations with the US, are undergoing an unprecedented crisis and hence the need for a review as called for by all pillars of the Pakistani state. Convened after the Mohmand Agency attack on the Salala check posts last month, the conference’s primary focus remained the fragile Pakistan-US relations.
The working session on ‘Specifying elements essential to a redefinition of our co-operation with the US and NATO/ISAF’ was co-chaired by new Pakistani Ambassador-designate to the US Sherry Rehman who made her formal debut in the Foreign Office team. By all accounts she made a valuable contribution and was appreciated by her new colleagues as “a team player” and a “consensus team leader” throughout the conference.
While recalibrating relations with Washington was advocated by envoys, there was a consensus on the need to “de-escalate” tensions and “manage the presently troubled relationship” with the US. Avoidance of confrontation was essential. Diplomats and military officials, who attended the conference, were of the view that the ongoing engagement was needed to settle major disagreements over the Salala attack. But it was proposed that ground supply routes from Pakistan into Afghanistan for the US and NATO/ISF should remain suspended until there is a formal apology from the US and its allied forces with a guarantee that there will be no such incidents in the future.
It was proposed that sharing of actionable intelligence with security agencies and clearance from the government must be made essential preconditions for allowing drone attacks on Pakistani soil. Another general from the military top brass present at the conference noted that since 2009, Washington appeared to perceive Pakistan as a ‘soft state’ and the epicenter of real trouble. Consequently, the Americans have used the ‘carrot and stick approach’ with Pakistan. In this context, he pointed to a strong lobby in the US, headed by Obama’s advisor Bruce Riedal, a former CIA official, projecting Pakistan as the most dangerous country in the world.
AFGHANISTAN: There was a detailed discussion on the endgame in Afghanistan and how things unfold in what many believe is the last phase in the Afghan conflict. Envoys recognised Afghanistan’s immense significance for Pakistan and importance of relations for both. It was emphasised that both countries have to work together not just for resolution of problems in Afghanistan but overall peace in the region. It was noted that the need for Afghanistan to end the blame game ought to be emphasised. While some expressed concern of growing Indian presence in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq observed that Pakistan and Pakistanis remain important for Afghans. The Indian presence has to be viewed in that perspective.
Afghanistan and American concerns regarding the Haqqani Network were also discussed. The envoys were informed by a key security agency official that the Pakistan-based Haqqani Group is non-militant as opposed to the militant groups based in Afghanistan. Against the backdrop of the last two years developments on Pakistan’s western border and clear indications of US military presence in Afghanistan well beyond 2014, the need to take specific steps to further secure the western borders was emphasised. It was also pointed out that in Afghanistan 300,000 to 400,000 security forces were being trained. That this becomes particularly important in view of a continued US presence in Afghanistan increased Indian presence and the raising of an Afghan national army with western and also perhaps Indian support.
INDIA: With India, all agreed that bilateral dialogue should continue and some participants proposed that the government should reconsider Musharraf’s four-point formula on Kashmir as an interim move towards the eventual resolution of this issue. It was noted that India’s position on issues such as Siachen and Sir Creek is not proving helpful. But it was stressed that bilateral dialogue should continue with a focus on resolving these issues.
By all accounts on the policy decision-making front, the most significant outcome of the envoys conference was the unanimous support for the proposal that in the future all security-related bilateral and multilateral agreements would be cleared by parliament. It was also proposed that the agreements on NATO supplies and logistic support to the US should be re-negotiated.
A host of recommendations were drawn up in these working sessions. The meeting of the eight-member drafting committee, which prepared the final recommendations, was headed by Ambassador-designate Sherry Rehman who also made a presentation on conclusions and recommendations in the concluding session chaired by the PM.


  1. "… informed by a key security agency official that the Pakistan-based Haqqani Group is non-militant as opposed to the militant groups based in Afghanistan … "

    Got to be a moron to load this kit on traveling salesmen…

  2. "… had he held a senior position when the controversial security agreements were being negotiated with the US, he would have opposed them tooth and nail, …"

    He needs a chlorine bath to wash it off…

  3. Afghans may want to live happily with 500 thousand strong security force and a second friendship, transportation, development and defense pact with Teheran (US please stay out of the way)…

  4. I wonder what else Gen. Pasha said. He is a patriotic Pakistani and also a pragmatist. The limits of what we can and cannot do are well known to him.
    This news report seems at odds with an earlier one claiming Gen. Pasha had convased Arab capitals about a possible coup . Then again the source of this report was said to be the US so I wonder….

  5. Just one question from this self proclaimed patriot general: Why didn't you resign, sir? If you realized that the security arrangements with the US were harming Pakistan, as a patriot soldier of this great nation and as part of your responsibility under the constitution, why did you not step down? I still remember your submissive smile when you and Kayani went to meet Mike Mullen on a US ship that remains a constant reminder of the true character of this institution of the army. It's very easy to claim later I would have done that and I would have done this. Every Pakistani can now see through this fassard.

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