Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Brigadier Ijaz Shah

In today's New York Times, Nicholas Kristof writes that rape survivor Mukhtaran Bibi is being threatened for speaking up, especially to a international audience.

The allegation goes as follows:

The threats have come from high up. Brig. Ijaz Shah, a buddy of President Musharraf's, traveled to Lahore in December to deliver a personal warning. He met Dr. Amna Buttar, an American citizen who has interpreted for Mukhtar in the U.S. and heads a Pakistani-American human rights organization that is supporting her (www.4anaa.org).

According to Dr. Buttar, Mr. Shah started by defending the president's record on women's rights. But then, alluding to a planned visit by Mukhtar to New York, he added: ''We can do anything. We can just pay a little money to some black guys in New York and get people killed there.''

Who is Brigadier Ijaz Shah?

On bharat-rakshak, the following was traced by laxmibai:

Here are some more dots to be connected on Brig(R) Ijaz/Ejaz Shah.

In end-February 2004, Ijaz Shah was appointed by Gen. Musharraf as the new Intelligence Bureau chief.


In 2003, Ijaz Shah was mentioned by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

MARCH 10, 2003

Ilyas Mehraj, Weekly Independent
Weekly Independent

Punjab Home Secretary Ejaz Shah telephoned Mehraj, publisher of the Lahore-based, English-language newspaper the Weekly Independent, and warned him, "Enough is enough. ... The Punjab government has finally decided to proceed against your newspaper for working against the national interest," according to an account published by the weekly. Shah denies making these remarks and told CPJ that he did not speak to anyone at the Weekly Independent that week.

The Weekly Independent's editor told CPJ that Shah—a retired army brigadier, former head of the Punjab division of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence, and a close associate of President Pervez Musharraf—advised Mehraj to "roll back" the weekly's operations if the journalist wanted to stay in business and stay safe. Shah allegedly criticized the newspaper for writing against the army and warned Mehraj to consider the example of Rana Sanaullah Khan, an opposition politician who has been twice arrested and tortured in custody for his criticism of Pakistan's military government.

Brig (R) Ijaz Shah was Home Secretary, Punjab on February 5 2002 when Omar Saeed Sheikh, implicated in Daniel Pearl's kidnapping, surrendered to him. Omar Sheikh's surrender was announced only a week later. (Ijaz Shah had been in regular touch with Omar Sheikh after Sheikh's release by India in a hostage-swap deal to end the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane to Khandahar in December 1999, soon after Gen. Musharraf took power in a military coup).

What Gen. Musharraf said about Daniel Pearl and his murder soon after:


"Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says that the murdered US journalist Daniel Pearl was "over-intrusive" in his pursuit of a story. General Musharraf said in Islamabad that the murder was unfortunate, but journalists needed to be aware of the risks they face and act accordingly."


"Pakistan's president has said that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, whose killing at the hands of kidnappers was confirmed last month, had been "over inquisitive" and got "over-involved" in pursuing his story."

More here on the connections between Omar Sheikh and Ijaz Shah:

A couple of snippets:

In June 1994, he[Omar Sheikh] begins kidnapping Western tourists in India. In October 1994, he is captured after kidnapping three Britons and an American, and is put in an Indian maximum-security prison, where he remain for five years. The ISI pays a lawyer to defend him. [Los Angeles Times, 3/9/2002; Daily Mail, 8/16/2002; Vanity Fair, 9/2002] His supervisor is Ijaz Shah, an ISI officer. [Guardian, 8/16/2002; Times of India, 4/12/2002]

A US grand jury secretly indicts Saeed Sheikh for his role in the 1994 kidnapping of an American. The indictment is revealed in late February 2002. The US later claims it begins asking Pakistan for help in arresting and extraditing Saeed in late November. [Newsweek, 4/13/2002; Associated Press, 3/26/2002] However, it is not until January 9, 2002, that Wendy Chamberlin, the US ambassador to Pakistan, officially asks the Pakistani government for assistance. [Associated Press, 3/24/2002; CNN, 3/24/2002; Los Angeles Times, 3/25/2002] Saeed is seen partying with Pakistani government officials well into January 2002. The Los Angeles Times later reports that Saeed “move[s] about Pakistan without apparent impediments from authorities” up until February 5, when he is identified as a suspect in the Daniel Pearl kidnapping. [Los Angeles Times, 3/13/2002]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For your info. sometime in 2004 Brig. Ijaz Shah was nominated as Pakistan's High Commssioner to Australia but was rudely rejected by the Australian Govt. and having eaten humble pie he was then posted as ambassador to Indonesia.

link: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050113/edit.htm

Shah is one of Musharraf's beloved sidekicks. Musharraf deliberately rubbed Australian noses in embarrasment by taking Ijaz Shah along with him on his offical trip to Australia in 2005. Ijaz Shah was a guest at the Governor General's House at the official state dinner held for Musharraf

link: http://www.gg.gov.au/textonly.php?startdate=2005-6-1