Senior Pakistan journalist and former chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (PEMRA), Absar Alam, known for his anti-military and ISI stance, especially against their meddling in politics and dictatorial policies, wrote a lengthy column on ISI’s honey trap strategies under the title “Business of Videos, Daughters of the Nation and a Painful Reality” on March 11.
The said column, covering the last nine years (since 2014), kicks off with anchor person Batool Rajput’s revelation about an ISI officer’s offer to work for the agency in the national interest and honey trap the Geo anchor and columnist Saleem Safi.
In the column, neither the name of Saleem Safi nor of the ISI colonel has been mentioned. In a tweet, Absar Alam disclosed Saleem Safi’s name on the latter’s willingness. Mediapersons active on social media have discussed this column extensively.
Besides exposing the ISI-PTI nexus, the article also exposed the extreme complicity of senior army and ISI officers in trapping and blackmailing young girls and making their videos to blackmail influential people, including diplomats. The columnist had been shot at outside his house in Islamabad in 2021, allegedly by ISI agents.
Decoding the honey trap strategy, Alam recalled that former army chief General Bajwa, immediately after getting an extension, called some anchors and told them that during a meeting with Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, he showed a video to him in which a woman indulged in immoral acts with a diplomat which are “unwatchable and inappreciable” in normal circumstances.
Gen Bajwa told Saqib Nisar “see what kind of efforts we have to make for ‘national interests’ to make others reveal secrets. Saqib Nisar was greatly impressed by Gen Bajwa’s competence and ability after watching the “sacrifice” rendered by the woman in the video for national service.
The said conversation between Bajwa and Saqib on the one hand is non-serious and height of indifference and moral decline but on the other hand, it becomes a painful reality, if it is taking place between the then chief justice and army chief who used to be guardians of fundamental rights, life, property and honour of the nation. And it had been mentioned by the army chief himself in front of anchors with pride, Alam noted, adding, “It is impossible for a sensitive person to turn a blind eye to it”.
“Is the feat, Gen Bajwa referred to only an incident or a strategy? Are the women, who are asked to give sacrifice Pakistanis or foreigners? What is the future of these women? Do such heinous and ugly plots have any space in our constitution, law, culture, moralities and religion?” he questioned.
Alam further discussed this matter from a wider perspective, recalling another instance when Imran Khan’s sit-in was expected at any moment in 2014.
Further, according to the columnist, a 23-year-old courageous female anchor of a famous TV channel called him in an angry mood and shared the modus operandi of honey-trapping.
The female anchor used to visit ISPR, ISI, various army-related operations and projects and programmes along with other journalists in different areas of KPK, Balochistan and Sindh.
In those days the campaign to propagate the narrative of Imran Khan through media and certain anchors and present him as Sadiq -o-Amin (truthful and honest), and malign Nawaz Sharif through allegations of being a thief, dacoit, corrupt, traitor, blasphemer and infidel was at their peak, the columnist noted.
Directors and producers of the project Imran realised that a male anchor and columnist working in a major TV channel (Geo?) while deviating from the dictated lines, was doing negative criticism of Imran Khan’s style of politics and the PTI government’s performance in KPK instead of doing positive reporting. Alongside, he also criticised the secret mentors of Imran Khan.
A plan to put this male columnist and anchor on the right track was finalised and an ISI officer, whose code name begins with the Urdu alphabet “Ain”, was given this important task.
One day Colonel “Ain,” told the female anchor that in view of her potential, she can prove an ‘asset’ to the country. That is why he approached her officially.
Besides continuing her journalistic work, she may also work for them (ISI), she was told. It is the best opportunity for her to be recognized for national service and be promoted, she was told further
For becoming a national asset, the female anchor was asked to make friends with the male anchor of a prominent television channel. She was to then strengthen this friendship to the “unwatchable and inappreciable” extent. “So that, we at this point could make an indecent video on the basis of which we could blackmail this male anchor to follow our line”, said Alam.
It was guaranteed that her face will not be exposed and no one could ever know that it was her, he added.
The female anchor said that Colonel “Ain” told this thing with so much confidence and businesslike manner as if it is not a big deal.”This shows what kind of efforts are made in our name and how the lives of daughters of the nation are destroyed after their exploitation,” said Alam.
After a few days, that officer (who has retired now) shamelessly made this offer again to the female anchor. The anchor refused and also informed the male anchor that such type of plan is being made against him.