Washington: Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who is at the centre of the “memogate” controversy, has alleged that ‘S Branch’ of Pakistan’s military-run ISI is so powerful that it can’t be controlled by anyone and wants the US to take the lead in leashing it.
Saying that the branch along with CT (Counter-terrorism) section were critical wings of the ISI, Ijaz alleged that the S Branch conspires intervention in other countries like Afghanistan as well as manipulate elections, politicians and
groups within Pakistan.
The businessman was recently in the news after he made a sensational disclosure that he submitted a memorandum to the then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, allegedly on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari, that was highly critical of the Pakistan Army and the ISI.
Zardari has denied having any knowledge of the said memo.
“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,” Ijaz told Fareed Zakaria of the CNN in an interview.
“They do a lot of political interventions in their own country. You know, there are many times when it has been reported in the past and authentically reported and authoritatively reported by the Pakistani press that S branch was involved in manipulating elections and doing things of that nature inside Pakistan,” Ijaz said.
The US-based businessman, against whom Islamabad has asked Washington to take action, has said that S Branch “was an organ of the state that nobody can 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.”
“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.
The United States has done this in Iran,” he said.
Ijaz said that the Americans had been very hard on similar organisations worldwide and wanted Washington to take the lead in reining in the ISI.
The Pak-American businessman claimed he has been involved in different operations in Pakistan for a very long time. ”I helped Benazir (Bhutto) come back together with the Clinton administration as a part of the larger
Pakistani-American community,” he said.
“I, as you know, was deeply involved in trying to broker a ceasefire in Kashmir. And during these various interventions that I tried to effect in Pakistan, what we found out in almost every single case was that there was a political motivation and a political interference by the ISI,” Ijaz claimed.