ISI always keeps its hand in politics: Ijaz
ISLAMABAD: The principal character in the memogate scandal, Mansoor Ijaz, has said that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is under nobody’s control and always keeps its hand in politics.
In an interview with CNN host Fareed Zakaria, Mr Ijaz said: “The ISI has two critical branches in it. One is called CT, for counter-terrorism, and the other one is called S Branch for strategic —it’s sort of the arm of the ISI that does everything from political interventions in other countries, for example, Afghanistan, which is what they’re doing through the Haqqani network and the Taliban right now.”
He said the ISI was an organ of the state that nobody could control. “And it is essentially the organ of the state that the army and the intelligence wings are using to, shall we say, coordinate or obstruct what it is that the political side of the government, the civilian side of the governments do in Pakistan,” he said.
Mr Ijaz said the ISI does a lot of political interventions in its own country as it has been reported in the past by Pakistani press that S Branch was involved in manipulating elections and doing things of that nature inside Pakistan.
“Now, there have been so many wrong things that have happened since the death of Bin Laden in the early part of May, so many things that indicated some hidden hand, if you will, in what was going on,” Mr Ijaz said.
Mansoor Ijaz, who claimed himself a ‘messenger’ for a memo from Pakistan’s civilian government to the Pentagon asking Washington to clamp down on Pakistan’s military, said he had been involved in different operations in Pakistan now for a very long time. However, he did not mention that what kind of operations these were.
He claimed that he had helped former prime minister Benazir Bhutto come back together with the Clinton administration as a part of the larger Pakistani-American community. “I was deeply involved in trying to broker a ceasefire in Kashmir,” he said.
Blaming the ISI for interfering in the country’s politics, he said he found out in almost every single case that there was a political motivation and a political interference by the ISI.
“It is my view, and it is still my view today that Section S of the ISI has been involved in some very, very nefarious activities.
And so since nobody was able to get their arms around that, the United States had to take the lead on that,” he said.
“The United States has done this in Iran. They’ve done it in other countries where they’ve labelled certain organisations as terrorists. And it had a material impact in terms of how both US policy as well as other country’s policies were formulated to handle the problems in those countries then,” he added.
By bringing the issue of memogate into limelight Mansoor Ijaz claimed that he had helped civilian government in Pakistan.
“We have strengthened Pakistan. Maybe we haven’t strengthened the civilian side of Pakistan’s government. But there may have been a rot there that needs to be cleaned up. And if that rot is cleaned out, you might find a very strong Pakistan emanating out of this, in which the judiciary does what it’s supposed to, the military does what it’s supposed to,” he said.