Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pakistan's Unknown (and probably untrue) History

As soon as I saw the headline 'How a jilted Karachi woman saved Pak-N programme' with Rauf Klasra's byline, I knew I would be blogging about it. The story far exceeds my already high expectations by combining illogic, implausability and a plot that would be rejected by the producers of James Bond for being too far-fetched.

The opening para provides a nice summary of what we should expect:

[A] shocking 30-year-old secret has been exposed. It reveals how a young woman college lecturer, feeling betrayed after a romance with a nuclear scientist of the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP), had given a lead to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 1978, which in turn had led to the dramatic arrest of 12 Pakistani scientists and engineers, planning to sabotage Pakistan’s nuclear sites at the behest of a superpower.

But the fun is in the details.

Brig Imtiaz recalled that as a lieutenant colonel he was posted as chief ISI Sindh in 1978. One day he received a telephone call from the sister of A K Brohi, who was a psychologist in Karachi. She informed him that she was treating a female young patient who was suffering from a disease called “secret concealment” wherein a patient could not be cured unless he or she shared this secret with someone.

So, this girl goes to see a psychologist. The psychologist, who apparently doesn't believe in honouring his patient's confidentiality, tells his sister that the patient has a secret she wants to share. I don't know about you guys, but as soon as I find out someone is keeping secrets my first impulse is to tell the ISI about it.

The lady doctor had confessed to Brig Imtiaz that she had failed to make the girl reveal the secret and thought maybe he could help her.

I doubt the lady doctor was so naive that she wasn't aware how the ISI makes people 'reveal' secrets. So this doctor thought torture was suitable treatment for a patient with psychological problems.

[T]he woman finally told him that she was carrying a very dangerous secret with her but made it clear that she would not share it even if she was killed.

Wow, her psychological problems go beyond "secret concealment" if she thinks it is possible for her to communicate from beyond her grave.

According to Brig Imtiaz, he could have easily picked her up and kept her in a safe house for a few days in isolation to make her reveal the secret but he did not adopt this traditional style of the intelligence officers. For a few days, according to his own version, Brig Imtiaz grappled with the dilemma of whether to wait or to just pick her up and try extracting information through traditional methods.

It's refreshing to see an ISI man willing to admit how routine torture is. Less refreshing is that he needed a few days to decide wheter to torture an innocent, traumitized woman.

It was during these days that one day while on his way to Clifton and driving by the consulate of a superpower, he saw a red colour Mazda car bearing a private number plate going inside at a very fast speed but he never really gave it another thought. But later, when he was sitting with the man in Clifton whom he had gone to meet, all of a sudden, his mind started working and he thought of the same red Mazda car and how it was allowed inside the consulate within a few seconds.

Okay, so you don't want to reveal which country this 'superpower' is. Fair enough, it could be either the US or the Soviet Union (although it doesn't require a particularly high IQ to figure out the superpower in question). And I suppose we could allow Brig Imtiaz to revel in his brilliance as a sleuth.

The woman told him that one day, when Munshi left for his office, he left his safe open. She looked at the half-open safe and could not resist the temptation to check its contents. She was startled to see piles of dollars inside along with some official secret files. These papers were related to Pakistan’s nuclear sites and installations.

Man, is this Munshi a half-assed spy or what. It took the ISI so long to find out he was hiding bribes and classified in a safe in his fucking office. And since he was a nuclear scientist, his office happened to be KANUPP, one of the most highly-guarded entities in the country. And he was stupid enough to leave the safe open with his girlfriend in the office? Brig Imtiaz should be weeping in shame that he only found out about this because the sister of the psychologist of the woman who knew about this got some cheap thrills at the idea of a psychologically-traumatized woman being tortured.

He asked her to help him get a key to Munshi’s suite so that he could himself inspect the stuff. She provided him the alternate key. With the help of a 70-year-old key-making expert Brig Imtiaz managed to open the foreign made safe...

Another dumbass move by Munshi. If you have evidence of treasonous activities hidden in your office, don't give your girlfriend the spare key. And correct me if I'm wrong, but is it normal to give your girlfriend the key to your office? Especially when you have enough shit hidden in there to guarantuee the death penalty.

It was revealed that actually the foreign secret agency had deputed five handlers from Washington to deal with the nuclear programme of Pakistan. These five foreign handlers included two girls, one of whose photos was seen by the heartbroken girlfriend of Munshi which made her jealous and she decided to take revenge.

Oops, we didn't mean to tell you who the 'superpower' was. But it's so difficult to narrow it down from the US and Soviet Union we thought we'd give you a clue by letting you know they were operating out of Washington. And another smart move by Munshi. Keeping the picture of a foreign spy in your wallet isn't going to hurt you down the line. By the way, since all this hapenned in pre-cell phone camera times, how exactly did Munshi get the handler's picture. Did she just hand it over to him or did he bring along a camera to one of their top-secret meetings and got her to pose. You know, just a little token for Munshi to remember her by.

Anyway, the story ends on a happy note, as all the spies are caught and punished and Brig Imtiaz honoured. All in a day's work.

A last bit of advice for Brig Imtiaz. Mike Myers is looking at scripts for the next Austin Powers movie. Give him a call.


SJV said...

ROTFL....just brilliant!

Ahsan said...

I got confused about half way through. This is why I don't watch soap operas; the plots are too complicated for my poor brain.

Naqiya said...


bubs said...


Previously on Love Untold: It's Nuclear!

The heroine found out that her nuclear scientist boyfriend Munshi was taking bribes from the US in exchange for nuclear secrets and cheating on her with some white chick. She found out about the spying because he left the safe in his office - to which she had a key - open and there were dollar and incriminating documents there. She was so traumatized by these twin revelations she went to see a psychologist, but didn't tell him what the secret was. The psychologist told his sister who told Brig. Imtiaz of the ISI. The woman refused to tell Imtiaz the secret. One fine day, he saw a red car rush into the US embassy. He traced the car, found out Munshi was the owner and magically connected him to the heroine. She broke down and told Imtiaz that Mushi was a spy who was cheating on her. Imtiaz caught Munshi and everyone else who was in on the plot. Turns out the white chick Munshi was sleeping with and whose photo he had in his wallet was actually his US handler.

Quite simple, really.

takhalus said...

considering it's brigadier imtiaz..are you surprised?

FJ said...

Q: What do Ekta Kapoor, NDTV and Rauf Klasra have in common?
A: Unintentional comedies

AKS said...


The same story was published in Jang and unfortunately for me my mother managed to read it early in the morning.

Trust me, the last thing you want to hear on the breakfast table when you're half asleep is your mother excitedly retelling this story.


Why the hell do we let complete dimwits like Brig. Imtiaz reach positions of power and influence?

Speaking of dimwits, yesterday I was listening to a 'nuclear expert' on ARY, who is a lecturer at the National Defence College. Says the nuclear expert:

"Our nuclear assets are safe, we have a state of the art command and control centre. A foreign superpower is speading lies about us and wants to take over our nuclear weapons / destroy us, etc. Our nuclear command center is much better than India's. We set up a command and control center within a year of the nuclear tests whereas it took India many years, as a result there is no chance of proliferation or of Taliban taking over our nuclear weapons."

Wasn't A Q Khan going around selling nuclear secrets well after the nuclear tests?

AKS said...


Minor correction.

As per the noble brigadier, it was not the psychologist's sister who contacted him, but the psychologist herself; she also happened to be A. K. Brohi's sister.

A. K. Brohi was a famous Pakistani lawyer who served as a law minister under various governments (including Zia's) and was an ambassador to India in the early 60's.


bubs said...

AKS: Thanks for the correction.
What I'd like to know is how Pakistan is so well-informed about India's nuclear command centre. If we know how much it sucks, can't we take it out?

AKS said...

They probably think they can. I mean they still like to imagine that they have a numerical and tactical advantage in the battlefield (1 Pakistani = 10 Indians; and Indians = Hindu = daal eaters = effeminate and cowardly).

By the way, doesn't it seem more plausibe to imagine Brig. Imtiaz and his ISI pals spying on A.K. Brohi and his sister? I mean, isn't that what the ISI actually does?

Kashif Rasheed said...

If this is an untrue story then Brig. Imtiaz should be investigated as to why such a maligning fabricated story was passed on. I doubt if its not a true story because this is such a sensitive issue for this country that it could not be taken as lightly as it sounds from few of the comments.

Junaid said...

Brilliant! I read the article in The News that day, and frankly it seemed to be nothing more than a publicity stunt. The story is worse than most Indian soaps - which is saying something. On the whole it brilliantly illustrates not only the intelligence of the men in charge, but also the role the media plays in Pakistan these days.

M.Dawood said...

Hey Guys
those who think its fake, try to understand this is 30 years back,it was not hi tech at that time, even if u ask ur parents about their childhood, it will seem unreal to you,isnt it? most of u guys were not even born 30 years back, so dont write gut feelings, first investigate and then write ur comments :)
There were some sections which I found illogical but you have to consider that its an old story. Gaps do some and now we live in such a fast age that its seems totally alien to us. anyways take care

May Allah save Pakistan