Asghar Khan to Tahirul Qadri

A Pakpotpourri Exclusive

General Mirza Aslam Beg

Former COAS Pakistan

English Letter Page2

The other day I saw on the  television , Tahirul Qadri’s hysteric declaration of his agenda to reform “the rotten lot of politicians” within three weeks, otherwise, he would lead a four million march to Islamabad, to demolish ‘Zardari’s citadel’, and like Mohammad Morsi of Egypt, will rise to capture reigns of the government and establish “his rule of law”. He hopes, that the Pakistan Army would be too wiling to offer support to his movement as it did, when Nawaz Sharif threatened to march towards Islamabad and the game was over before the ‘Long marchers’ could cross the Ravi Bridge. Tahirul Qadri is mistaken as he has lived long enough outside Pakistan than to correctly fathom the deep desire of the people of Pakistan, for change through the democratic process. The change is in the offing, as the care-taker government takes its place, in two months time. People have no stomach for any kind of undemocratic intervention as Tahirul Qadri, so vividly suggests – postponement of elections for the reforms to be carried out and to hold elections at an appropriate time. In fact, he is suggesting a Bangladesh model, and no doubt some of our political parties are ready to buy into the charade, he is conducting.


Having heard Tahirul Qadri’s agenda, I was reminded of Asghar Khan’s role in 1977, which paved the way for the military take-over. It is very interesting to read the contents of Asghar Khan’s letter to Ziaul Haq and the reasons put forward by him, which sound so very similar, though not so scholarly as the ‘Sheikhul Islam Tahirul Qadri has put forward. Asghar Khan’s letter reads:


Air Marshal (Retd) Asghar Khan’s




I am addressing this message to the Chiefs of Staff and the Officers of the Defence Services of Pakistan.


It is your duty to defend the territorial integrity of Pakistan and to obey all lawful commands of superior officers placed over you. To differentiate between ‘lawful’ and an ‘unlawful’ command is the duty of every officer. Every one of you must ask yourself whether what the army is doing today is ‘lawful’ activity and if your conscience tells you that it is not and you still carry it out, you would appear to lack moral fibre and would be guilty of a grave crime against your country and your people.


You should by now have realized that military action in East Pakistan was a conspiracy in which the present Prime Minister played a Machiavellian role. You know the circumstances in which military action in Baluchistan was engineered and how completely unnecessary this action has been. You are also probably aware of the utterly unnecessary military action taken last year in DIR in the North West Frontier Province. If you have any interest in national affairs, you must also be aware that during the election campaign the nation expressed its powerful disapproval of the present regime. Following the people’s rejection of the Government, you should have been surprised at the election results in which the ‘Pakistan National Alliance’ which could muster such overwhelming popular support, could only get 8 out of 116 seats in the Punjab. You must surely know that many people were not even allowed to file their nomination papers. Was it not too much of a co-incidence that no papers could be filed against the Prime Minister and all the Chief Ministers of the four provinces? That those who dared to try, ended up in spending a few nights in Police custody? One of them has still not been traced.


Those of you who were even remotely connected with duties in connection with 7th March election would also know of the blatant manner in which rigging took place; Of the hundreds of thousands of ballot papers of PNA candidates that had been taken out of ballot boxes and were found in the streets and fields of Pakistan following the election on 7th March. You would also have seen the deserted polling stations on 10th March, the day of the Provincial polls, following the call for boycott of Provincial elections by the PNA. Nevertheless Government media announced that an unprecedented number of votes had also been polled at the provincial election and the percentage was said to be more than sixty. Then surely you must have followed the movement which called for Bhutto’s resignation and re-elections in the country.


The coming out of women in thousands on the streets in every city and town with babies in their arms was a scene that no one will forget. These were the women who Bhutto claimed had voted for him. The movement proved within a few days that he and his government had been completely rejected by the people. The death of hundreds of our youth and the beating of our mothers and sisters was a scene that may well have stirred you to shame and sorrow. Have you ever thought why the people put themselves to so much trouble?


Why must mothers come out to face bullets with babies in their arms? Why do parents allow their children to face police lathis and bullets? Surely it is only because they feel that they have been wronged – that they have been cheated. That their basic right to ‘HIRE and FIRE’ their rulers has been denied them. They understood, when we told them the truth that the Constitution which you as officers of the Defence Services are sworn to defend had been violated. Article 218(3) of the Constitution of the ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’ says: “It shall be the duty of the Election Commission constituted in relation to an election to organize and conduct the election and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law, and that corrupt practices are guarded against”.


This, my friend, was not a just and fair election. Bhutto has violated the Constitution and is guilty of a grave crime against the people. It is not your duty to support his illegal regime nor can you be called upon to kill your own people so that he can continue a little longer in office. Let it not be said that the Pakistan armed forces are a degenerate Police Force fit only for killing unarmed civilians. How else can you explain the shooting of a spirited lad whose only fault was to show the ‘V’ sign to the army in Lahore the other day. The spirit of adventure; of defiance rather than servility needs to be encouraged in our youth and this unfortunate incident is a blot on the name of the army which would be difficult to wipe out. Similarly, shooting by the army in Karachi on an unarmed crowd is unpardonable. Didn’t you realize that the poor and hungry people of Pakistan, throughout the 30 troubled years of our history, had shown only love and affection for our armed forces? That they wept when you laid down arms in East Pakistan; that they have always prayed for your glory and have literally starved themselves and their children so that you all well fed and our Generals and Senior Officers can live a life that even their British and American counter-parts would not dream of. It pains me to say that, that love is now gone. Pray do not let it turn to hate. For should that happen, a tragedy would have occurred in the history of this nation which we in our life-time may not be able to undo.


As men of honour it is your responsibility to do your duty and the call of duty in these trying circumstances is not the blind obedience of unlawful commands. There comes a time in the lives of nations when each man has to ask himself whether he is doing the right thing. For you that time has come. Answer his call honestly and save Pakistan. God be with you.






Asghar Khan rejoiced, when Bhutto was hanged, and made a “horrible example for others.” Whose head Tahirul Qadri is now demanding? Make a guess.


Tahirul Qadri seems to be at the wrong end of history, in his demand to “save the country and not politics”. Pakistan came into being as a result of the political movement launched by Quaid-e-Azam. In 1971, Pakistan used the military power of the state to correct the political split, but failed. Now there is no other option, than to follow the path, the nation has set for itself i.e., fair and free elections, on schedule, so that the new democratic order takes its corrective course to remove the scars of the present order.

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  • zubair zubair  On December 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I see civil war after elections. If there ever was a country ripe for civil war, this is it. Every party has its own armed militia and with Tahir coming in the scene, Free use of arms can be expected. even now there is no law and order and arms seem to be freely available and used. Allah iss mulk ko hum logon say badcayay. Zubair

  • ahsan shah UK  On December 27, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Nice indeed

  • Moazzam Ali  On December 27, 2012 at 2:19 am

    Why Asghar Khan was not tried for inciting the Armed forces. Why does the Supreme Court does not take a suo moto notice of this treacherous act of Asghar khan.

  • SHOMU BHATTACHARYA  On December 27, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Yes-I agree–what Pakistan needs is political stability and that to democratically–Having seen the manner in which politicians across the board have been looting the country the time has come to elect upright, honest, patriotic and dedicated Pakistanis And-the Services and the men in uniform must remain truly apolitical and people must give peace a chance. Pakistan has suffered enough and a democratically stable Pakistan is also the need of the hour both for the Subcontinent and the world.

  • Ahsan Abbas  On December 27, 2012 at 2:21 am

    Fully agreed with Gen.

  • Nasim  On December 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    The people who have the power and wealth should come together and solve two basic problems.

    First is the terrorism and second is corruption. What I do not understand why they do not a stand for their own self interest.

    If the country stabilizes and economy is put back on track the people who will benefit the most are the current rulers.

    This reminds me about the history of British colonization. The British had less than 100000 people and they defeated the divided India by taking states one by one.

    Nasim Hassan

    Sent from my iPad

  • RIAZ KHAN  On December 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    After eating 100 rats the cat goes to Hajj! General Aslam Beg, one corrupt SOB is calling for Asghar Khan’s accountability. Just like in Turkish bath, all Pakistani politicians & generals are naked and corrupt to the core. Another clown Maulana Tahir ul Qadri after ten years stay in Canada & after becoming a Canadian national comes to PK on the behest of intelligence agencies. In case IK does not win there should be a back up plan for the establishment. Situation in PK is like watching “Three Stooges” movies except three stooges there are 180 million stooges! Pakistan Zindabad & PAK FAUJ PAINDABAD. Kashmir Pakistan Ki Shah Raag Ha! India Murdabad! Brigadier (Rtd) Islam udddin Islam

  • Arif Khan  On December 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    RK is RIGHT how come a measely general like Aslam beg lives in a mansion and has Million sin Ban accounts with a Rs35000 Pension.. Because he made Million sin illegal money from Iran by selling Nuclear secrets Arif He was in Cahoots with Benazir, Khan Sahib and Hamid Gul

  • Naeem Khan  On December 28, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Ridiculous comparison of Qadri with Asghar Khan (Man of dignity and honor)

    1: Asghar Khan’s letter was not addressed to Zia it clearly mentions ‘TO THE OFFICERS OF THE DEFENCE SERVICES OF PAKISTAN’
    2: Asghar Khan’s khan whole letter emphasis to follow the Lawful Command and throwing out and elected government is Unlawful Command

  • Thanks for finally talking about >Asghar Khan to Tahirul
    Qadri Pakpotpourri2’s Blog <Loved it!

  • Faisal Imam  On December 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    how do we get rid of corrupt pols?
    Pakistan can no longer afford it.
    how can we guarantee a free and fair election?
    The General passed around moneys to pols. He was a party to pollute the political scene.was it a criminal act against the people by depriving their right of vote?
    it happened in the last election. all the corrupt were installed.
    Does an election mean that all the favorites will be re-installed.
    Beg will not change at age 65+.
    we have to learn. we have to find solutions.
    we know the problem. we need the solutions.

  • a m malik  On January 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    If the elction ccommission flouts the constitution by allowing those not qualified as per art 62 and 63 of the constitution then why blame the army for flouting the constitution?!

  • Afridi  On January 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    It is a pity that anyone can twist history on the Internet, Asghar Khan’s letter told the armed forces not to follow unlawful command to kill innocent civilians, it’s about time people with vested interests and agendas stopped twisting it out of context and about time that misrepresentation of this letter stopped. Ridiculous

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