Ahmad Shuja Pasha

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named Ahmad Pasha, see the Ahmad Pasha navigation page
Lt. Gen.
Ahmad Shuja Pasha
احمد شجاع پاشا
Ahmed Shuja Pasha, January 2003.jpg
Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence
In office
October 2008 – March 2012
Preceded by Nadeem Taj
Succeeded by Zaheerul Islam
Commandant Command and Staff College Quetta
In office
April 2005 – April 2006
President Pervez Musharraf
Preceded by Maj Gen Mohsin Kamal
Succeeded by Maj Gen Khalid Nawaz Khan
Personal details
Born (1952-03-18) 18 March 1952 (age 63)
Sialkot, Punjab Province, West-Pakistan
Military service
Nickname(s) General Pasha
Allegiance Pakistan Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Army
Years of service 1974–2012
Rank OF-8 PakistanArmy.svg Lieutenant-General
Unit Frontier Force Regiment
Commands 8th Infantry Division, Sialkot
Command and Staff College, Quetta
DG Military Operations (DGMO)
United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone
Command and Staff College
Battles/wars Sierra Leone Civil War
War in North-West Pakistan
Awards Hilal-e-Imtiaz

Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha (Urdu: احمد شجاع پاشا‎), HI(M) (born 18 March 1952) was the Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's main intelligence service, from October 2008 until March 2012.[1] He was due to reach the age of superannuation on 18 March 2010, but has received one extension.[2] His tenure was extended by a year, until 18 March 2012 when he retired.[3] Pasha has been replaced by Lieutenant General Zaheerul Islam.[2] In 2011, Ahmad Shuja Pasha was named as one of the 100 most influential people by Time Magazine.[4][5]

Army career[edit]

Pasha joined the 49th Long Course at Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Frontier Force Regiment, in 1974. He has commanded an infantry battalion, a mechanized infantry brigade and has served as the Chief Instructor of the Command and Staff College of the Pakistani Army.[6] From 2001 to 2002, General Pasha served as a Contingent and Sector Commander of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone.

Pasha was promoted to Major General in January 5 2003,[7] and posted as GOC 8th Infantry Division in Sialkot. From there in April 2005, he was sent as Commandant Command and Staff College in Quetta.[8] From April 2006 to October 2008, Pasha served as the Director General of Military Operations at the Army headquarters overseeing all military engagements in Waziristan, Swat and other tribal areas.[9]

In October 2007, Pasha was selected as Military Adviser to Secretary-General of United Nations. However, due to his commitments as DGMO he never joined the UN.[10]

ISI appointment (2008–2012)[edit]

The newly elected civilian government of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani tried for two months to gain control of the appointment for the director of the ISI as well as place the agency under the administrative, financial, and operational control of the Interior Ministry.[11] However, the attempt failed when Chief of Army Staff, General Kayani appointed Pasha on 29 September 2008.[1][12] Pasha’s prior post was responsible for planning operations against Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in the FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces of Pakistan, signaling a reorientation from the ISI's traditional Kashmir/India focus.[13] Pasha was appointed director of the ISI at Washington's behest;[14] Pasha is closely allied to General Kayani, the CIA, and holds anti-Taliban views.[12][14] The United States Government had pressured Pakistan to replace Lieutenant-General Nadeem Taj, the prior chief of the ISI, whom they claimed as "double dealing" with militants with a more acceptable candidate like Pasha.[15][16] Additionally, Pasha’s appointment was part of a wider Chief of Army Staff reappointment shake-up that solidified General Kayani’s loyalty among the military as all prior appointees were done by former President and Chief of the Army Pervez Musharraf.[1]

Pasha retired as Director General ISI on 18 March 2012 and was succeeded by Zaheerul Islam.[17]

2008 Mumbai attacks[edit]

In the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the Indian media reported that President Asif Ali Zardari had instructed Pasha to go to India to share intelligence after a request from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,[18] which would have constituted the first time a head of the ISI traveling to help the investigation of a terrorist attack.[5] Under pressure from the Pakistan military, the decision was reversed within a few hours.[19]

In September 2009, he made another public outreach toward India, attending an Iftar hosted by Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Sabharwal.[20]

The Memorandum Affair[edit]

Main article: Memogate (Pakistan)

Gen. Pasha was involved in the Memogate controversy in 2011–2012 in which an American businessman, Mansoor Ijaz alleged that a senior Pakistani diplomat, former Amb. Husain Haqqani, had asked him to deliver an unsigned memorandum to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time. The memorandum sought help of the Obama administration in the wake of the Abbottabad raid during which U.S. Special Forces killed Osama bin Laden. It asked the U.S. to help avert a military takeover of the civilian government in Pakistan, as well as assistance in executing a Washington insider takeover of the government and military apparatus of Pakistan.

On 10 October 2011, the London Financial Times published a Comment article[21] in which the existence of the memorandum was disclosed,[22] arguing that Pakistan's intelligence services were responsible for fueling jihadist insurgency in the country. On 22 October 2011, Pasha met Ijaz at the London Intercontinental hotel. The meeting lasted 4 hours, and started a chain of events that ended in a Supreme Court investigation of the Memorandum's origins, authenticity and purpose.[23]

During the London meeting, Pasha was presented with evidence in the form of BlackBerry handset exchanges, written notes and call logs that pointed to the involvement of the senior Pakistani diplomat in the matter.[24] Haqqani continues to the present to deny any involvement in the origins, purpose or authenticity of the Memorandum.

On 5 April 2012, Pasha agreed to appear before the Judicial Commission constituted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to examine the available evidence in the memorandum affair. He testified that during the meeting in London, he was shown the same evidence as had appeared during the course of the previous three months of hearings and that he believed the evidence to be factual and authentic. He did not waiver in his stance about the purpose, origin or authenticity of the memorandum.

In June 2012, the Judicial Commission released its final conclusions and found that the alleged memorandum was authentic and that former ambassador Husain Haqqani was its "originator and architect". The report said he had in fact sought US support through the memo and wanted to head a new national security team in Pakistan. The report also stated that Haqqani was not loyal to Pakistan as he had left the country, had no material assets in Pakistan and was now living abroad. The Supreme Court, upon hearing the report in session, ordered the former ambassador to appear before the bench. The process of repatriating Haqqani to Pakistan for his appearance in front of the high court continues to the present day.[25]


  1. ^ a b c "Kayani shakes up army command". DAWN.com. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2011.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "shakeup" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b "ISI chief, four commanders retiring this year". DAWN.com. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2011.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "retire" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ Khan, Sumaira. "Pasha retires: A look back at the man behind the ISI mask – The Express Tribune". Tribune. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Ahmed Shuja Pasha: Intelligence Chief". Time.com. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "ISI chief may visit India to help probe". Hindustan Times. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  6. ^ Chief Instructors Command and Staff College Quetta Retrieved 7 July 2015
  7. ^ "19 brigadiers promoted". DAWN. 25 January 2003. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Commandants Command and Staff College Quetta Retrieved 7 July 2015
  9. ^ "Pakistan Picks New Chief For Intelligence Agency". Washington Post. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "Editorial: Welcome change of guard at ISI". The Daily Times. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Perlez, Jane (30 September 2008). "Pakistani Army chief names new head of spy agency". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  13. ^ Farhan Bokhari. "Anti-terror chief ousted in Pakistan" Financial Times, 30 September 2008
  14. ^ a b "The fight goes on, militants tell Pakistan". Asia Times Online. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "ISI chief urged to quit as battle rages at border". The Australian. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "US behind change of guard in ISI?". The Times of India. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  17. ^ "Lt Gen. Zaheerul Islam appointed DG ISI". The News. Retrieved 2012. 
  18. ^ "Pakistan to send ISI chief to India". GEO Pakistan. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  19. ^ "DG ISI representative to visit India: PM". GEO Pakistan. 29 November 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  20. ^ "ISI chief at Indian High Commissioner's 'iftar' makes headlines". The Economic Times. 11 September 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  21. ^ Ijaz, Mansoor (10 October 2011). "Time to take on Pakistan's jihadist spies". Financial Times. 
  22. ^ "Secret memo on Pakistan to Adm. Mike Mullen". The Washington Post. 17 November 2011. 
  23. ^ "Order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan" (PDF). 30 December 2011. 
  24. ^ Ahmad, Fasih (20 November 2011). "When Mansoor Ijaz met Shuja Pasha". Newsweek Pakistan. 
  25. ^ "Haqqani sought US support through memo". The News International. 12 June 2012. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Nadeem Taj
Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence
28 September 2008 – 18 March 2012
Succeeded by
Zaheerul Islam