Discussion: Zia-ul-Haq died due to explosion in mango boxes?
- August 17, 1988. Pakistan’s Bahawalpur Airbase. Time forty six minutes past three in the afternoon. The US-made ‘Hercules C-130’ aircraft started running on the runway for take-off.
General Akhtar Abdul Rehman, the chief of the Pakistani Joint Chiefs of Staff, Arnold Rafael, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, General Herbert Wassam, the head of the US Aid Mission in Pakistan, and other senior officers of the Pakistani army were sitting on the plane with General Zia-ul-Haq.
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General Zia went to Bahawalpur to see the test of the new American tank ‘Mi Abrams’. Initially he did not want to go there, but some officers of his army insisted on him that he must go there.
General Zia-ul-Haq’s son, Ejazul Haq, told the BBC: “In those days, he had a certain kind of predilection on traveling. He was warned about Vazire-Dakhila. There was no desire. Later I came to know that some of his colleagues had forced him to go there, because there was a huge plan for Sabotage. He even told the people close to him that these people did not know why Calling me every day, insisting that I need to appear for this test when DG Military Operations or DG Technical Training or Vice Chief of Army Staff could also go there.
- Pakistan’s most important plane missing
The cockpit of Pak-1 was commanded by Wing Commander Masood Hasan, who was chosen by General Zia-ul-Haq himself for this responsibility. As soon as the plane was fully in the air, the control tower at Bahawalpur asked Wing Commander Masood Hasan a routine question, ‘Give your position.’
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Masood replied, ‘Pak-1 stand by.’ After this Masood became silent. The control tower tried to contact him… but all proved in vain. Pakistan’s most important aircraft Pak-1 was missing within minutes of take off.
- General Baig inspected from above
But in the meantime, some villagers, about 18 km away from the airbase, saw in the sky that Pak-1 was going up and down in the air in a roller coaster style. After the third loop, he fell straight into the desert on his nose and a ball of fire spread all around.
The time was fifty-one minutes past three. Around the same time, Lieutenant General Mirza Aslam Baig, the deputy chief of the Pakistani army, took off in his small turbo jet from the Bahawalpur air base. Within minutes he was over the spot where the wreckage of General Zia’s plane was burning. He circled the place from above and ordered his pilot to go to Islamabad.
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General Aslam Baig recalls, “My plane took off about five-seven minutes after General Zia took off. Within minutes I got the news that General Zia’s plane had crashed. When I passed over I saw Saw that the ship has crashed on the bank of the river. Some of our men had reached there. I contacted them to know the details. They said everything is over.”
“No one is left alive. Then we kept thinking that if we go back to Bahawalpur… come and go… we will get helicopters from there again… and then there was no facility to take off from there in the evening. When I thought that we should go to Islamabad immediately. Brigadier Jehangir Karamat was also in our ship at that time. We also asked him what to do? He also said that it is better that we go back to Pindi, because we did not know what It is going to happen.”
- death of important person
On the other hand, such rumors started spreading in Islamabad that some very important person had died. At that time TCA Rangachari was the Deputy High Commissioner of India in Islamabad.
He told the BBC, “This crash happened in the afternoon. Soon after I got the news that it had happened. That day was the ‘reception’ of Indonesia’s national day. At the Indonesian Embassy we saw someone from the US Embassy. Didn’t come. Even very low level officials had come from Pakistan side. This thing was officially confirmed at 9 o’clock in the night when it was announced on Pakistan television.”
- suspect the CIA
After Zia’s departure, elections were held in Pakistan and Benazir Bhutto came to power. But this did not end the questions that after all what happened with Pak-1 that it fell on the ground? Benazir himself wrote in his autobiography ‘The Daughter of the East’ that Zia’s death was an act of God.
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The US sent a team of US Air Force officers to Pakistan to investigate the accident. American investigators told Raphael’s wife Ellie Raphael and Brigadier General Wassam’s wife Judy that the cause of the accident was technical. On the other hand, Pakistani investigation found that this accident was due to conspiracy and found evidence of tampering with the ‘elevator booster package’ of the aircraft. I had asked the then ISI chief Hameed Gul before his death, who do you think could have been behind this accident.
His reply was, “There is no doubt that he was murdered. It was not an accident. The investigation that was conducted also said the same thing. I have been saying in all my analyzes that my finger is pointing towards America. Arise, very good, because it benefited them. They ‘de stabilized’ Pakistan and from that time till now our condition is visible on Zawal. As far as ISI is concerned, there is no good news in it. It was his failure.”
“But the ISI was apparently telling the President’s Office through its khut that the President’s ‘movement’ should not take place and that his life is in danger. We were getting some indications that many women are angry with him. Mr. Junejo’s After he removed the government, he started talking about Shari’a Nafaz and because of this, the Maghrib was quite shocked and we thought that the Ghaliban was trying to do some ‘body blow’ or some such incident somewhere. Will be.”
- The US ambassador was also on board the plane.
But Anand Kumar Verma, the head of Indian intelligence agency RAW at that time, believed that the CIA did not have enough reasons to remove Zia and then should not forget that the US ambassador to Pakistan was also on board the plane.
Verma told the BBC, “The CIA was not interested in getting Zia-ul-Haq out of the way, but the CIA was getting help from them in Afghanistan. They didn’t need to take drastic measures and the CIA acted like this.” Now does not because they need the approval of the President for this kind of work.”
- Suspicion of Xia’s fellow generals
Some people also believe that there could have been general dissatisfied with General Zia behind this and the way General Mirza Aslam Baig flew from Bahawalpur in a different plane and went to Islamabad instead of going back to Bahawalpur as soon as he came to know about the accident. But too many fingers were raised.
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Ijaz-ul-Haq, the son of General Zia-ul-Haq, told the BBC, “Even after such a big accident, you are taking off and going over that area to take stock of it through your preparations. It is a ‘norms’. It comes inside that in your Sadar- Pakistan, your Chief of Staff has such a big accident and close to 29 of your comrades die in it and you didn’t bother so much that you would get down there and check yourself. That I should reach Islamabad and after reaching there he intended to take over. But then Sadar Ghulam Isaac Khan and his accompanying Air Chief said that only Jamhoori or Aani way will do.
- Violation of rules by Zia
When I put these facts in front of General Aslam Baig, he vehemently denied it. He said that General Zia himself was trying to put him in the plane, but then he said that you have brought your own ship… you come in it.
General Baig said, “The way is that when the ‘Chief’ is coming, I have to receive them. If I go on the same ship, how will I receive them? So I went first, received them, tanks ‘Demonstration’, stayed with him. We used to have a principle that ‘We didn’t want to put all our eggs in one basket’, that is, we all senior officers will not go together in a ship or a helicopter. But General Zia He himself used to ‘Violet’ this principle. He had a habit of telling whomever he liked, ‘Come and sit’ Was.”
- Intelligence talks between India and Pakistan on Siachen
On the other hand, in 1988, Anand Kumar Verma, who was the head of the Indian intelligence agency RAW, revealed to the BBC that very few people know that at the time when Zia died, India and Pakistan were very close to finding a solution to Siachen. Zia was removed because some people did not want any agreement between India and Pakistan.
Verma said, “Zia died when very important talks were going on between India and Pakistan and she had gone too far. Talks were being held on the initiative of Pakistan to resolve the Siachen issue. About this In India, only Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and a couple of his advisors knew about this. Negotiations were in their final stages and Zia had approved it. But they also had to get the consent of their Corps Commanders. I think later The people who had flagged him in I thought that perhaps a wrong thing had been done. He had to be stopped somehow and they also succeeded in stopping him. Some people also believe that if things go ahead, then General Both Zia-ul-Haq and Rajiv Gandhi could have got the Nobel Prize.”
- KGB and RAW also suspected
It was also discussed in some circles that KGB or Indian intelligence agency RAW could also be behind this. When I put this question in front of the then ISI chief Hameed Gul, he said, “RAW was a raw organization at that time. Can be thought about. But he had to do it, why would he do it at that stage? When the KGB was stuck, he would have made this decision before Russia had to decide whether to stay or go to Afghanistan.”
- Many mistakes in investigation
Ijaz-ul-Haq, the son of General Zia-ul-Haq, is not at all dissatisfied with the way the whole matter was investigated. According to him, instead of investigating them, an attempt was made to suppress the matter.
Talking to the BBC, he said, “Judicial inquiry was conducted by Justice Shafiur Rahman into this incident. He wrote in his report that it was a ‘sabotage’, but till the time there is no criminal investigation into the matter, we will not take up the matter.” Can’t get to the bottom of it. He presented an incident that the wreckage of the ship was kept in an airforce hangar. An officer in Multan told him that someone may have shot a missile from below on Zia’s plane because The hole he had was on the inside, as it is due to the ‘impact’ from the outside. When he approached the airport to see it, he was told that the ‘tail’ of the ship was in the airport hangar. But when he reached there for investigation after 40 hours, it was removed from there and later immediately the debris was sold for scrap.”
- Nerve gas in mango boxes
Another theory is that VX nerve gas was placed in Zia’s plane along with mango boxes, causing the pilot to faint and lose control of the plane.
General Aslam Baig says, “The ‘exploding mangoes’ that are talked about were kept by his personal secretary General Mahmood Durrani. Then you will be surprised to know that the day I reached Islamabad, I started listening to it. Said that General Aslam Baig is responsible for this. Such rumors spread only when it was decided in advance that they have to be spread. You know that during this war the largest network of CIA was in Pakistan. It was his job to spread rumours. No one else could do this work. ‘The Wanted A Decoy’ is how someone can be blamed and they don’t get blamed.”
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So far no investigator has tried to unravel the mystery by gathering all the suspects in one place, as the truth may have proved too bitter for some and uncovering the mystery could create problems for this already sensitive area. gives.