We have no control over ISI: Pak Defence Min


(Gold9472: But I know who does. The Central Intelligence Agency.)

Islamabad, July 20: Amid allegations that ISI and Military Intelligence (MI) kidnapped several people for interrogation, Pakistan's Defence Ministry has said it had no operational control over the two intelligence agencies and was unable to enforce court orders to provide information about those ‘abducted’ or ‘detained’ by them.

In a sworn affidavit filed before the Sindh High Court(SHC) yesterday, Defence Secretary General (retd) Tariq Waseem Ghazi said his ministry had no operational control over the ISI and MI and, therefore, it could not enforce the court's direction on both agencies in detention matters.

He was responding to the court's order over the detention of Munir Mengal, the head of Dubai-based TV channel 'Voice of Baloch'. Mengal was reportedly whisked away by intelligence personnel on his arrival in Karachi recently.

The Pakistan Army has also already informed the court that it too had no control over the two intelligence agencies, even though they were headed by top generals of the Army.

On July 11, assistant judge advocate general of Pakistan Army, Lt Col Mohammad Iqbal Sahboo, had submitted similar written remarks in connection with half a dozen petitions challenging disappearance and detention of political and religious leaders.

Ghazi yesterday submitted that the Defence Ministry could only pass on all directions received from the court for strict compliance, Daily Times reported.

The SHC bench comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Muneeb Ahmed adjourned the hearing on the petition when the petitioner's counsel Rashid A Rizvi sought time to go through the affidavit of the Defence Secretary.

In his affidavit, the Defence Secretary said ISI and MI, which were only under the administrative control of the Defence Ministry, were tasked to locate and produce Munir Mengal before the court, but both agencies maintained that he was neither apprehended nor was held in their custody as he was not wanted in any case.

Ghazi further submitted that both agencies had conveyed to the ministry that the task of locating or recovering missing persons did not fall under their purview and they did not have the mandate to check in such cases.

Petitioner Abera Mengal, wife of Munir Mengal, had claimed in a petition that her husband, upon his arrival in Karachi from Dubai on April 4, was cleared by the immigration authorities but arrested by some law enforcement agencies.