WHAT some former intelligence officials have recently told the media regarding security agencies' involvement in politics is highly disturbing. While the revelations concern the period from 1988 to 1992, it was maintained at least by one of the officials that interventions of the sort were fairly widespread under Gen (retd) Musharraf. Two former ISI officials, interviewed on a TV network, strongly differed over the issue of the Jinnahpur maps, one claiming that he had personally recovered them from an MQM office, the other maintaining these were altogether fake. A former official recounted how he visited Nine Eleven to advise the MQM chief regarding what kind of alliance he was required to support. While MQM leaders have maintained that the 1992 operation was supposed to target criminals inside rural Sindh, a former ISI official claimed that there were elements of the type in the MQM also. A PML(N) spokesman has maintained that the MQM not only knew about the 1992 operation, but had handed over a list of its opponents to the Corps Commander Karachi for action. On Friday, a former IB official was quoted by a newspaper as saying his boss had planned to register a high treason case against Benazir Bhutto and former IB chief Masood Sharif for leaking out Operation Midnight Jackal tapes and pressured him to act as an approver. There were also echoes of the earlier statement delivered under oath by Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani before the Supreme Court that he had disbursed a large amount of money in 1990 to a number of IJI politicians under the directions of the then COAS Gen Mirza Aslam Beg. Prior to operations conducted against the MQM during PML(N) and PPP tenures, there were reports in the media almost on daily basis regarding widespread lawlessness in Sindh. Besides crime in the rural areas, there were also reports of kidnapping, torturing and killing of political opponents in cities. PPP Interior Minister Naseerullah Babar had in fact maintained that Karachi being the industrial hub of the country, those indulging in crimes of the sort constituted a threat to the country which had to be removed. The MQM claims that those indulging in these nefarious activities were members of the Haqiqi Group created and supported by the agencies. There is a need to conduct a thorough probe to pinpoint the real culprits. On Thursday, MQM Chief Altaf Hussain demanded the setting up of an enquiry commission to probe the 1992 operation. What is required is a multiparty parliamentary commission for investigation of a more comprehensive type. While it should look into what has been happening in the past in Sindh, it should also conduct an enquiry into the security agencies' past activities and recommend measures to put an end to their involvement in politics on a permanent basis.