Zardarigate: Who’s Afraid of Judiciary?

Guest Post by Temporal at Baithak

I read this passage in a column by Anjum Niaz in the Daily Dawn of April 13, 2007. Interestingly, the link I had saved for her column in Dawn does not work. I googled and again I got the same link to her column –

ISLAMABAD DATELINE: Amar Prem -DAWN Magazine; April 13, 2008

By Anjum Niaz. Is a living chief justice meant to be as pious as Mother Teresa … My usage, therefore, of the word Amar Prem relates to your and my and the … (

but the link goes to another page. I can get her full column later. For now I would like to quote from Baithak Desi:

Do you know what Hussain Haqqani and Rehman Malik did the minute they became VIPs? Both the gentlemen reportedly descended on the basement of the NAB (National Accountability Bureau) in Islamabad and personally supervised the destruction of all the records dripping with evidence against them and their benefactor Zardari. They took the law of the land in their own hands. So now for Zardari to pontificate that CJP has become “political” is an oxymoron when he himself is not going strictly by the book. Anjum Niaz.

Some pressure must have been applied to retract the story. A denial was issued by Dawn quoting sources from the Interior Ministry. (Yes, Mr Rehman Malik is the de facto minister, acting as the Adviser to the PM for Internal Affairs and Narcotics Control.) But the News confirmed Anjum Niaz's story the next day.

There appears to be a linkage of this action with the way the newly installed government is behaving.  Musharraf and Benazir agreed on NRO – National Reconciliation Order – a baptismal for past sins under US arm twisting.  Under NRO, a majority of past graft, corruption and bribery charges would be withdrawn by the Musharraf Administration.

PPP agreed to US overlordship, ostensibly through President Musharraf.  And as it appears both Musharraf and Benazir's political heir co chairman Zardari appear to have kept their end of the bargain.

Witness these recent developments from the new coalition government of Raza Rabbani:

  • The coalition accepted the appointment of Maj Gen Jay Hood (of the Qur'an desecration infamy) in the US Embassy at Islamabad.

  • The coalition recalled Gen. Mahmud Ali Durrani, a protege of Shirin Taher-Kheli and a colleague on Balusa, as Ambassador to the Court of St. Bush and appointed him National Security Adviser to the PM Raza Rabbani (Shirin is also a neocon and  knows Hussain Haqqani, Ayesha Siddiqua and others through IDSA and other fora.)
  • The coalition appointed Hussain Haqqani, first as Ambassador-at-large and then as Ambassador-designate to the Court of St. Bush. Last week Blogger Pakistan ran a long, rambling article by Moin Ansari – Husain Haqqani:-Dangerous 5th Column or Selfish opportunist? which tried to establish Hussain Haqqani as a neocon at best and a neoconzix at worst.
  • Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has "detached himself" from the Balusa Group according to Mariana Babar.

    Shireen Mazari, columnist and Director General of Islamabad based Institute of Strategic Studies writes: 

"The Americans have increased their intrusive activities on all fronts. We have had rising Predator and missile attacks from across the international Pakistan-Afghanistan border even as US-linked/supported personnel continue to occupy positions in the corridors of power. The Balusa Group members funded through an American, Shirin Taherkheli, are a key US investment in Pakistan's power echelons that continue to pay dividends for the US, and this is only one of the many influence-generating channels."

Even Ayesha Siddiqu, author of Military, Inc and a regular columnist who seldom agrees with Shireen Mazari here agrees with her assessment and writes:

"The PPP selected Washington's dream team to run foreign relations and national security. One is not sure that appointing Durrani as the National Security Adviser will do the job. The appointment (of Durrani) is in consideration of the general's close ties with the US Pentagon. Not to mention the fact that Durrani owes his intellectual growth to Shirin Tahirkheli, a Bush administration adviser and former senior official of the UN National Security Council".

The raid on NAB basement to retrieve and destroy incriminating evidence maybe an offshoot of the tripartite understanding between the Bush, Benazir and Musharraf.

It is little wonder that both Musharraf and Zardari pay lip service to an independent judiciary. The once vociferous media plays poodle. It is business as usual with some new faces.






14 responses to “Zardarigate: Who’s Afraid of Judiciary?”

  1. nota Avatar

    Really disappointed Dawn would remove the story, even after having confirmation from The News. By the way Anjum says she read the story in Daily Times Islamabad edition right after the two were appointed (March 27). So if anyone has Daily Times Islamabad edition lying around for the following week (March 28-April 23) I would request them to go through and find the story and confirm it.

    On the Judiciary front here are the Latest PPP’s doings:
    While <a href="; rel="nofollow">Aitzaz has decided to run in the by-elections while retaing the SCBA post</a>, PPP’s darling lawyer <a href="; rel="nofollow">Latif Khosa has vowed to stop him from doing so</a>. And while I was delighted to hear Justice Fakharuddin G. Ibrahim was writing the draft resolution for the restoration of justices, now I hear <a href="; rel="nofollow">Ibrahim’s draft has been tinkered with</a> by the likes of L. Khosa. One of those "improvements" is ALL of the Nov 3 PCO judges will be retained. Let’s wait and see what "surprises" lay ahead. According to <a href=",25197,23560925-2703,00.html&quot; rel="nofollow">The Australian</a> that Zardari, with the help of US, is trying to have CJ Chaudhry shipped to the International Court of Justice in the Hague. Nice way to get rid of him, isn’t it: this way Zardari can claim "What a great honor blah, blah, blah"…

  2. nota Avatar

    Is there any way to get the “original” draft resolution written by Justice Fakharuddin G. Ibrahim? Would be nice to have to compare to one that eventually comes out after going through the PPP grinder.

  3. nota Avatar

    Good to know Dawn has not removed Anjum’s “Amar Prem” column. It has just moved to the archive.
    Permanent Link

  4. Wasiq Avatar

    This whole story is nothing but conspiracy theory weaving. Once NAB is required by law (NRO) to end the cases who needs to do anything lese with the case records? The records are already copied many times over so removing the makes no sense. And while some dentist types get all excited about these cases, anything that did not result in a conviction in eleven years is unlikely to yield much now, after being withdrawn and submitted on political grounds several times over.

    Anjum Niaz has personal issues with Husain Haqqani. Some time back she wrote that she could not understand why New York Times turns so frequently to Haqqani for comments. She also called New York times the Jew York times so you can guess how enlightened she is.

    The News story cited above makes no mention of detsruction of records, only of a call by an Ambassador-at-Large to check on the status of cases that would end through NRO any way.

    There is no mention in The News of Rehman Malik. There are two ambassadors at large: Salman Faruqi with his office at PM secretariat and Haqqani with office at Foreign Office. The News story says as much. If Salman Faruqi called NAB from the PM Secretariat to check on his cases what is the big deal?

    Now, Haqqani has no NAB cases against him. If it was Zardari’s cases he was worried about he could ask many people to deal with the matter and Haqqani did not need to go in person to NAB as per Anjum Niaz’s assertion to deal with the records of cases. Haqqani is the diplomatic negotiator/strategist for the Bhutto-Zardari family, not their lawyer.

    Elementary, my dear Watson, only if you take off your Zardari-hating blinkers and show some respect for the fact that the people have voted for the party led by the man.

    Pakistan is in reconciliation mode. Judges are about to be restored. The politicians are outwitting the dictator. This is no time to get carried away with rumor and innuendo spread by past apologists of Musharraf’s rule.

  5. Wasiq Avatar

    Oh! and Musharraf’s interim government, not the coalition government, accepted Brig. Gen Hood’s appointment to Pakistan. Check the dates.

    Shireen Mazari holds a government job, appointed as DG IISS by Musharraf. Now she finds a three-week old coalition’s policies towards the US as being under US influence but said little of Musharraf’s kowtowing to the Bush administration for the last 8 years.

    Talk about agendas. These guys just dont like dmeocracy. Simple.

  6. Phil Avatar

    Wasiq, this is not democracy. But thanks for the enlightening comments and information.

  7. Saad Usmani Avatar
    Saad Usmani

    Following is the link to the above mentioned story…

  8. MALIK AMAM Avatar

    excatly what is happening as i heard sheik rashid predicting the future on ary oh man its seems like he was telling the truth .but WTF we all know these people behave when they come in power they become blood sucking zombies.

    and by the way why is this a big shocker to some bloggers u should accept this with ur eyes close

  9. ibrat Avatar


    What a wonderful idea. Since NAB is not needed so the records should be destroyed and one of the reason you quoted is that since these records are already copied over, its ok to be destroyed.

    Well, I don’t know about the dentist, but you seem eager to save Hussain Haqqani and hid God Father, AZ.

    As for your comment…
    show some respect for the fact that the people have voted for the party led by the man

    Do you suggest that we “GHOL KAI PEE JAIN” every pill that is offered in the name of “DEMOCRACY”

    I’m waiting for the Judges to be restored and I konw the whole Pakistan is waiting. But does that mean that we keep our eyes closed and our conscience asleep and hope that our saviour Zardari will rise up and play the long awaited Imam Mahdi.

  10. khobar Avatar

    Zardari impressed the world by adopting a statemsman attitude in the aftermath of assassination of Mohatrama Benazir Bhutto but recent statements have dismayed many. His dillying dallying regarding reinstatement of deposed Justic Iftikhar Chaudhry and his brother judges is very upsetting. From someone who, heads a popular party and whose roots are in the people behaves as if he is from the establishment. He may or may not realise this but vast majority of people who voted for PPP are thoroughly disappointed.

    His enthusiasm to bring MQM into the fold is dismaying Sindhis. PPP has been given a clear majority by people of Sindh by sindhis and non sindhis. He should have now realised that MQM is party of blackmailers and extorsionists. The history is replete with atrocities committed by MQM. People have not forgotten 12th MAy incident and here comes another episode of MQM’s brutality on 9th April.

    MQM is demanding 40% ministries. Can anyone understand this preposterous demand? Altaf Hussain has been saying that 2.5 million votes were cast in favour of MQM. The whole world knows, and the report from International observers is out, that MQM was responsible for rigging on many seats. The actual number of votes cast are much less.

    If at all PPP is keen to share power with MQM then it should not be given more than 4 ministries in SIndh and one ministry in the centre.

  11. Tahseen Alam Khan Avatar
    Tahseen Alam Khan

    It seems a personal grudge is being setteled. Mr Zardari has become more then personal on this issue. His interview with Dr Shahid Masood potrayed the correct picture of his personality, his tall and mighty claims did not impress us. Those leaders who are not for the restoration of Judiciary public will reject them once for all.

  12. Aamir Mughal Avatar

    It seems a personal grudge is being setteled. Mr Zardari has become more then personal on this issue.[Tehseen]


    Not at all, its all business.

    GEO TV, Kamran Khan and the Lies of Dr Shahid Masood

  13. Aamir Mughal Avatar

    It seems a personal grudge is being setteled. Mr Zardari has become more then personal on this issue.[Tahseen]


    Not at all, its all business.

    GEO TV, Kamran Khan and the Lies of Dr Shahid Masood