ISI chief offers to resign after severe criticism: Reports

Last Updated: Saturday, May 14, 2011 - 00:49

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Inter-Services
Intelligence chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha on Friday purportedly
offered to resign after parliamentarians criticised him for
lapses related to the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden last
week, according to media reports.

Earlier, Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said
Pasha had "surrendered" himself to the parliament so that he
could be held accountable for any lapses.

Pasha`s dramatic announcement came during an in-camera
joint session of both houses of parliament that was briefed by
military officials about the operation by US special forces to
kill bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2.

TV news channels quoted their sources as saying that
Pasha had offered to quit after being cornered by lawmakers
from the main opposition PML-N and the ruling Pakistan
People`s Party.

An emotional Pasha said he was ready to resign if
parliament asks him to do so, the channels reported.

Leader of Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, a senior
leader of the PML-N, reportedly had a heated exchange during
the session that began at 3 pm and continued for over six
hours.

Tehmina Daultana, another senior leader of the PML-N,
reportedly accused Pasha of meddling in politics.

The news channels further reported that some
parliamentarians shouted "Shame! Shame!" as the ISI chief, a
close aide of army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, was
questioned by lawmakers.

Pasha reportedly said that mistakes had been made but
he had not erred knowingly. He also reportedly apologised to
the people and parliament.

There was no official word on the development.
Speaking to the media while the session was underway,
Information Minister Awan said: "Clearly, the Director General
(of the) ISI surrendered himself to parliament and said he was
ready to appear before the Pakistani Prime Minister or
parliament or any commission as he considers himself
accountable".

Awan quoted Pasha as saying that he was ready to face
the consequences of any "negligence or intentional failure"
linked to the US raid.

Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani attended the joint
session of parliament that was briefed by the ISI chief,
Deputy Air Vice Marshal Asim Suleman and the Director General
of Military Operations.

The briefing was followed by a question-and-answer
session.

The military and the government are facing
embarrassing questions after the US raid against bin Laden
brought to light the fact that he had been living for years in
a garrison city that is home to thousands of soldiers and
several key military institutions.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, May 14, 2011 - 00:49

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