‘Pak govt washes it hands off MoD reply to SC’

The secretary`s reply also stated that the ministry could not submit any reply on behalf of the army or ISI.

Updated: Dec 23, 2011, 17:57 PM IST

Islamabad: A day after Pakistan`s Ministry of Defence surprised everyone by writing to the Supreme Court
that that the Army and the ISI was not under its control, the
government seems to be washing its hands off the matter.

"A top official of the federal government on Thursday
disowned a controversial reply filed by the ministry of
defence (MoD) submitted to the Supreme Court late Wednesday,"
The Express Tribune daily reported today.

The reply submitted on behalf of the secretary of the
Ministry of Defence created a stir by stating that the Army
and the ISI was not under its control, the daily said.

The secretary`s reply also stated that the ministry could
not submit any reply on behalf of the army or ISI.

However, the unnamed official told the daily that they
didn`t know on whose instructions the defence secretary was
acting but it wasn`t the federal government.

Had the government intended to submit a reply, it would
have done it on its own instead of routing it through the MoD,
they said.

Besides, he said, the reply should have been forwarded to
the Supreme Court through the Ministry of Law, Justice and
Parliamentary Affairs or the office of the Attorney General of
Pakistan which it wasn`t, the daily reported.

Earlier, the attorney general`s office had submitted the
replies of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign
Affairs to the Supreme Court.

In both the replies, the ministries reflected the federal
government`s stance: dismiss the petitions against the
memogate affair.

The official said the ministry secretary did not need to
refer to the filing of the replies of the ISI and the army
because it was not under the court order to furnish such
replies.

He added that the court had asked only the federal
government, US businessman Mansoor Ijaz and former Ambassador
to the US Hussain Haqqani to "accept or deny" the replies
filed by the army chief Gen Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, ISI DG
General Ahmed Shuja Pasha and others, the report said.

PTI