Chaudhry Nisar’s Charge Sheet

Chaudhry Nisar on Friday told the National Assembly that the statement of PM regarding Osama bin Laden is “a charge sheet against the defence forces”, and that “it might be used against the defence forces in an international forum or court”. An interesting statement considering his leader Nawaz Sharif told DG ISI Shuja Pasha to his own face, “where there is smoke there is fire”. An especially interesting comment considering Nisar himself has termed Pasha as untrustworthy, earning him a sharp response from the DG ISI. Chaudhry Nisar who claimed he had proof that ISI was supporting PTI. Chaudhry Nisar is also the one who has demanded Gen Pasha’s resignation twice already this year – once after Abbottabad and again a few weeks ago. If anyone has been building a charge sheet against defence forces, it’s Chaudhry Nisar.

But so what? Are military and intelligence agencies sacred cows? I guess the better question is, should they be? How are we supposed to be safe if we can’t ask hard questions of the very institutions that are supposed to be protecting us? The world’s most wanted terrorist was found in our own yard, everyone wants to ignore the obvious problems with that fact.

When PM Gilani spoke before the National Assembly, he was not the first person to ask the question, and he won’t be the last. In May, polling company Rasmussen Reports found that 84 per cent of Americans thought it was likely that some Pakistani official knew where Osama was hiding.

The new national hero Mansoor Ijaz, when he hasn’t been accusing the military of plotting a coup, has been all over the media insisting that Pakistan military was hiding Osama bin Laden.

Apparently even former DG ISI Gen Ziauddin Butt has said that there is evidence that the military his Osama bin Laden with the knowledge of Pervez Musharraf, Intelligence Bureau General Ijaz Shah and possibly current chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Kiyani.

I think with each of these accusers, certain facts must be taken into light – Mansoor Ijaz’s credibility is very much in question. Gen Ziauddin Butt arrested and imprisoned by Musharraf following his coup against Nawaz Sharif’s government, so he may be saying these things just to get revenge.

But if people are out there openly accusing the military of hiding Osama bin Laden, shouldn’t we have an investigation to prove them wrong? This is what I thought the Abbottabad Commission was supposed to be, but, as usual, it quickly swept away the difficult questions and has all but ignored the question of how Osama got here in the first place.

Any ‘charge sheet’ against the military will not come from the PM. Hiding our heads in the sand and pretending that these questions are not already floating all over the world does nothing to improve our image or our national security. Quite the opposite. Isn’t it time we put the questions to rest with a real inquiry? What do we have to be afraid of?

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