By Omar Waraich
…. Despite the court’s apparent determination to press ahead with the high-profile case, there is little prospect of Zardari’s government falling. If the court finds Gilani guilty, legal experts say, it won’t be any time soon. The case could drag on for the next few weeks, averting any sudden crisis. And in the event that Gilani is convicted, the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) can name a replacement and hold on to its coalition government. …
…. For the government and its supporters, the Supreme Court’s actions amount to little more than a judicial coup in slow motion. Casting a withering eye at the court’s record, they say that the judges have concentrated their ire against the government while mostly sparing the military and the political opposition. The PPP also has a history of the hostility toward the judiciary, stretching back to party founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s hanging in 1979 on a trumped-up murder charge. ….
…. The government also appears to be girding itself for the worst outcome, casting itself as a political victim — something that could help rally the ruling party’s base at the next elections. They are determined not to incriminate Zardari by writing the letter to the Swiss authorities. If Gilani is no longer able to remain prime minister, the PPP is discussing the possibility of appointing Makhdoom Shahabuddin, another politician from southern Punjab. If Shahabuddin ends up being disqualified, too, the PPP may use that “victimization” to enhance its standing in the politically crucial battleground of southern Punjab.
In a landscape where the army still bears the stains of Musharraf’s dictatorship, and where politicians are perceived as inept, distant and venal, the Supreme Court can claim a rare source of much-prized “moral authority.” When the prominent politician Mushahid Hussain was asked during a lecture in Karachi who was ruling the country, he said that it was the Chief Justice.
At the same time, many independent legal experts still see the court as tilting the playing field. Last month, when rumors coursed through Islamabad suggesting that the government could sack the military chiefs, the court demanded confirmation that no move would be made against the army. The move challenged the government’s prerogative of appointing military chiefs.
“The Supreme Court in Pakistan is a completely new axis that has emerged,” says Vali Nasr, professor of international politics at Tufts University. However, despite its decisions that favored the military establishment …..
Watch Top anchor person of Pakistani media, Mubashir Lucman on Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry
Mubashir Luqman is one of the top Pakistani anchor persons on TV. As is evident from the name of his program “Khari Baat” (Straight Talk) Luqman is known and revered for bringing out the truth in all its forms with the right amount of audacity and courage. He also writes regularly for the newspapers. Viewers of Mubashir Luqman’s programs are captivated by his hard-hitting questions and dauntless opinion. The language of the talk show is urdu.
The Lahore Bar Association (LBA) has banned Shezan drinks from subordinate court complexes on the basis that it belongs to Ahmadi
Things in our country are really moving from the absurd, to even more absurd. And most frightening of all is the hatred that flows with this madness. The latest example of this comes at the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) — where lawyers following a campaign led by the Khatme Nabuwat Lawyers Forum — have banned the sale of drinks manufactured by the Shehzan Company from canteens at all subordinate courts on the basis that it is an Ahmadi concern. This action takes discrimination against the Ahmadi community to new heights. We can only wonder if the instigators of this plot imagine that sipping the ‘offensive’ drink will in some way contaminate their minds, or alter beliefs. Everyone, after all, has the right to follow the religious philosophy they adhere to — and no drink can alter this. The real aim, of course, is to attempt to hurt the economic interests of the Ahmadis — who have through the decades been subjected to violence in all kinds of different forums, whether it is through physical acts such as murder or other means intended to prevent them from occupying a place as equal citizens in society. The Shezan Company has also been targeted before, during mob violence and through other such means.
The LBA president has said that around 100 lawyers voted in favour of the decision. It is frightening that a so-called ‘educated community’ of professionals could take a decision such as this. The evil of ignorance has obviously sunk deep within our society, leaving scars everywhere. The knives which inflict these wounds are carried by groups dedicated to spreading intolerance and campaigning against the minorities. The Ahmadis, of course, draw the special wrath of the forces committed to acting against them. When professionals such as lawyers, who should know more about justice than most, join hands with them, we can only wonder about the future of our country and ask what grim abyss we are headed for. The direction we have set out in does not augur well for the coming years — with this move also certain to hurt Ahmadi lawyers who practice at lower courts.
Courtesy: The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2012.
KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran khan said the case about ISI’s alleged role in distributing money among political parties is already in the Supreme Court, and as the proceedings will move ahead, things will become clear, Geo News reported Saturday.
While talking to the media at Karachi Airport, Imran Khan said that corruption is Pakistan’s biggest problem and urged the nation to stand united on the issue. ….
Read more » http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=34900
– 43 Years Ago, Pakistani Politicians Defended Treason, They Do It Again.
Submitted by Aurangzeb
We ignored Agartala conspiracy, released the traitors who broke up the country two years later. We are doing it again in The Memo case.
PTI will shoot drones down once in power: Imran Khan
By Ferya Ilyas / Iftikhar Firdous
SWABI / KARACHI: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan said that those in power should be embarrassed about the ongoing drone attacks that violate Pakistan’s sovereignty and kill innocent people. Following the rally, a grenade attack injured 16 people including eight officers and women. Imran Khan expressed his deep concern over the attack, and sympathised with the victims.
At a rally in Swabi, Imran said the PTI will not let US attack Pakistan via drone strikes and will shoot their drones down. ….
Read more » The Express Tribune
Top court summons Defense Secretary in missing persons’ case but too scared to summon army chief & DG ISI
Adiala missing prisoners: Produce the seven men on Feb 13, says SC
By Azam Khan
ISLAMABAD: After a day’s unsuccessful wait, the Supreme Court has ordered that the seven prisoners who went missing from Adiala Jail must be presented in person on February 13.
“Our order has not been complied with. The missing prisoners are in custody of the intelligence agencies,” Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said in Friday’s hearing. “Right now, we want to see the surviving prisoners. Later, we will investigate the circumstances in which the four deceased prisoners died and also fix responsibility.”
The court also summoned the defence secretary and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary in person at the next date of hearing. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governor was directed to present a report through the provincial chief secretary on the condition of the prisoners who are hospitalised in Peshawar and Parachinar.
The court also ordered the chiefs of Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence agencies and the defence secretary to produce the surviving prisoners safely before the court and file a compliance report with the Registrar Office.
Hearing was then adjourned till February 13.
Earlier on Friday, the court had told the ISI and MI chiefs’ counsel that the bench will wait till 7pm in the court until the missing prisoners are brought before the court.
The court had earlier directed the counsel of ISI and MI chiefs Raja Irshad that the missing prisoners be presented before the court after Irshad told the court that four out of 11 prisoners picked up from Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi, had died in custody, but of “natural causes”.
Resuming the hearing on Friday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry questioned Irshad, “Which authority considers itself above the law and is intervening in court’s matter.” The chief justice asked Irshad why court’s orders were not followed properly.
Irshad told the court that the prisoners were in poor health condition and that they could not be presented before the court. Justice Arif Khilji responded saying that if the patients should have been brought to the court even if they were to be brought on a “stretcher”.
In his defense, Irshad presented a letter to the court which entailed the details of the prisoners’ medical condition and stated that currently, they could not be moved out of the hospital.
The chief justice remarked that if the prime minister of Pakistan could be summoned to the court for not complying to its orders, then it does not leave room for anyone else to not obey court’s orders.
“Bring them [the patients] in helicopters, if they cannot be brought in cars,” said the chief justice.
The bench also asked the counsel of ISI and MI that why the patients were admitted in hospitals located outside Islamabad when there are “enough hospitals in Islamabad as well.”
The court said that an investigation could also be initiated against ISI and MI under Article 9 of the Constitution for not following the court’s orders. “This is a violation of fundamental rights of an individual. We have to determine the reason of the deaths,” said Chief Justice Chaudhry.
Justice Tariq Parvez observed that the whole world felt the gravity of the case and said that institutions in Pakistan “have done nothing about it so far.”
The civilians had been facing a court martial under the Army Act on charges of attacking the General Headquarters (GHQ) and ISI’s Hamza Camp base.
They were picked up from Adiala Jail by intelligence agencies after they had been acquitted of the charges by the court.
Courtesy: The Express Tribune
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More details » DAWN.COM
Baloch politicians and leaders share their vision of self-determination and freedom from Pakistani rule.
By Al Jazeera
In the rugged mountains of southwest Pakistan lies the country’s largest province of Balochistan. Far from the bustling cities of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad, this remote region has been the battleground for a 60-year-long insurgency by the Baloch ethnic minority.
“The Baloch people now live in a state of war. Every day, they face injustice. The army and intelligence agents kidnap our young, and we know nothing about them for years. The Baloch people live in a state of war. We will not accept any offers until we regain control over this land. They burn down our homes and then ask us for peace? We are not stupid.” – Baloch Khan, Baloch rebel leader
The ongoing conflict is often called Pakistan’s dirty war, because of the rising numbers of people who have disappeared or have been killed on both sides.
But the uprising against Pakistan’s government has received little attention worldwide, in part because most eyes have been focused on the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in other areas of Pakistan. …
Read more » al Jazeera
Balochistan: the ISI and the media – By: Dr Qaisar Rashid
Gradually, the relationship between the media and the ISI turned symbiotic and some quarters of the media took upon themselves the job of defending publicly every act of the ISI
Perhaps the world would have been a better place to dwell in if military solutions to political issues had been successful. In that case, there would have been no need of long-drawn political dialogues and negotiations since they consume time. If the Pakistan Army had solved the Bangladesh problem, its standing on Balochistan would have been valued. ….
Read more » Daily Times
I want to name names and point fingers, but I can’t. Honour among thieves and that sort of thing
I make my living off the evening news Just gimme something, something I can use, People love it when you lose They love dirty laundry …
Read more » Pakistan Today
By Kamran Shafi
…. The Prime Minister is again summoned to the SC on charges of contempt of court. By golly, the majesty of the Honourable Court when it comes to ‘bloody civilian’, elected leaders! When will those who disappear people, or those who imprisoned the judges in their homes also appear in court? …
Read more: The Express Tribune
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani will be traveling to Abu Dhabi then to the US via a private airline. According to sources, Haqqani will be taken to the airport with a security escort provided by the Islamabad police.
On Monday, the Supreme Court lifted travel restrictions on Haqqani under the condition that he appear before the memo commission whenever summoned and should do so within four days of the notice.
Courtesy: The News
Via – News adopted from Facebook.
By Samuel Rubenfeld
Businesses owned by militaries around the world pose unique corruption risks to the sectors in which they operate, a new report found.
The report, released Thursday by Transparency International’s U.K. Defence and Security Programme, looks at how military-owned businesses are structured, what the inherent corruption risks are for these firms, and why and how the countries have made reforms to their military-owned companies.
“Once the military begins to engage in economic activities, it is often difficult to end such practices. In most situations, corruption becomes rampant and a major problem which (sic) harms the state and the national economy as well,” the report said.
Introducing a profit motive into the military increases the chance for distraction, the report said. Looking at case studies in China, Indonesia, Turkey and Pakistan, the report found that distraction often leads to outright graft, and in the more extreme cases that manifests itself in the form of embezzlement of state funds, tax fraud and even brutal coercive practices on workers. …..
Read more : The Wall Street Journal
The Pakistan’s current political crises, is the most horrific tussle among its top institutions, has morphed grievous consequent deadlocks for the running of the affairs of the state. In order to understand its fundamental reasons, here, we would need to analyze its background circumstances.
1). The Pakistani military is no more a mere security agency , but an industrial and business corporation, in real terms. The economic and business positions of the army Generals, has over taken in many folds, the volume of the civilian business enterprises on the basis of these economic interests, being a class in stalk ,the political privileges, advantages and access to power or supremacy over the political dispensation is for now realized to be an oxygen for them . Therefore , military, as a class no way can afford any civilian government to deliver things independently without their prior approval .
2). Among ,the many businesses of the army, apart from industries and import -exports , “JEHAD” is adapted to be the most credible business corporation ,which has been for long greatly flourishing in leaps and bounds , under US imperialist’s patronage for the last 40 or so many years ,as a result almost all 5 stars Generals and Major Generals have turned billionaires and down to the rank of Majors ,have become Millionaires ,in quite short span of life.
3). The Obama’s administration ( democrats ), seems interested to work out some settlement for the Afghan issue, in order to cut down its colossal expenditures , there . They earnestly aspire for to have been successful in installing a US amicable government in Kabul, which would mean for the Pakistani Generals to wash off hands from the Jihad dividends . Consequently, the Generals have to resort, applying every means to keep up the past madcap policy on Afghanistan intact, so as to let the Jihad business go on . The present elected government, has opted, greatly, a US harmonious policy on this issue.
4). There is also, exists a profound contradiction between the army and the civilian government over the establishment of relations viz a vis, India concerned . The Pakistani government desires to normalize relations with India, which is a total opposite perspective to the basic policy stand of the Generals. Keeping the Kashmir issue alive at all costs to legitimate the false security apprehension from India, so as to justify the persistent un-auditable increase in military budget and its personnel strength . This is subject to keep intact the security state, status of Pakistan, through enhanced empowerment and role granted to play by the military institution.
By Al Arabiya with Agencies
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta still believes someone in authority in Pakistan knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding before U.S. forces went in to find him, he said in a TV interview to air Sunday.
Intelligence reports found Pakistani military helicopters had passed over the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan where U.S. Navy SEALs discovered and killed bin Laden last year, according to excerpts of an interview Panetta gave to CBS News.
“I personally have always felt that somebody must have had some sense of what was happening at this compound. Don’t forget, this compound had 18-foot walls… It was the largest compound in the area.
“So you would have thought that somebody would have asked the question, ‘What the hell’s going on there?’“ Panetta told CBS.
The Pentagon chief said that concern played a significant factor in Washington not warning Pakistan officials of the impending raid: “it concerned us that, if we, in fact, brought (Pakistan) into it, that– they might…give bin Laden a heads up,” he said. ….
Read more » alArabiya
By Waseem Altaf
The present government adopted a policy of complete subjugation to the military and left no stone unturned to please the men in uniform. This stance of the civilian establishment was fully exploited by the military, and soon the pay package was doubled for the entire armed forces of Pakistan
Elected governments in Pakistan, despite mandate, light or heavy, from the people of Pakistan are forced to function under stringent conditionalities imposed upon them by the Pakistan army. A military dictator comes, overthrows a democratic government and disfigures the whole constitution with ‘two third majority’ flowing from the barrel of a gun. He destroys institutions and after playing havoc with the political system departs after receiving a guard of honor. Any political government which then assumes power has to first of all cleanse the filth spread by the khaki adventurer while seeking ‘two third majority’ in the parliament to undo the illegitimate additions in the constitution; and at the same time, making unconditional commitments that no incursions would be made in areas which remain the sole jurisdiction of the military. That virtually covers every aspect of our national life; from law and order to trade relations with India to growth of obscurantism to budget allocations to various sectors. ….
Read more » View Point
“Blaming politicians alone for tarnishing democracy is actually less than half the story”- Benazir Bhutto’s interview to Herald (2000)
“Tomorrow they may decide to kill me because I know too much. But I want this on record so that one day, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, somebody goes back and says: What was happening in Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan?”
Nearly twelve years ago monthly Herald published this interview of Benazir Bhutto (taken by Ali Dayan Hasan). This is perhaps the most revealing interview that BB gave to a local publication. In the context of Pakistan in 2012, this interview remains most relevant. This introduction to the interview is most insightful as it echoes many themes that we are living through once again. Her successor, Yusuf Raza Gilani has made similar remarks on the floor of the Parliament. At least we seemed to have inched a little forward though the destination of democratic Pakistan remains rather elusive. ….
Read more » Pak Tea House
Intrusion in executive’s domain? Pakistan Supreme Court asks govt to say in writing it will not fire Army & ISI chiefs!?
Govt has no intention of sacking Kayani, Pasha: AG
ISLAMABAD: During the hearing of a petition filed against a possible removal of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt-Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the government clarified that it had no intention of sacking the said officials, DawnNews reported.
Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq told the Supreme Court bench hearing the petition that the government had no plans to take such an action.
On the attorney general’s explanation, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry directed him to file a written reply after taking orders on the issue from the government. ….
Read more » DAWN.COM
By D. Asghar
Looking back at 2007, people were under the so-called impression, that there was a genuine momentum, seeking the supremacy of the law in Pakistan. Granted that it is a novel concept, a nation that fails to respect, its basic law, called its Constitution, it was a far cry. Some think, that it was more of a “Go Musharraf Go” campaign in reality. It was cleverly dubbed as “struggle for the freedom of judiciary”, for a rather obvious reason. The strategy was to really unseat the dictator, who very cunningly usurped powers from an elected Prime Minister and promptly dispatched him to a ten-year-long exile to the Holy Lands. One has to sit in amazement and wonder, how could a citizen of Pakistan, otherwise convicted for a supposedly heinous crime of “hijacking a plane”, be awarded a speedy pardon and placed on an equally speeding jet, bound to the brotherly kingdom.
The honorable judiciary did not take any “suo moto” notice of such a fundamental violation of justice. Nor did they take any notice, when many Khaki men of honor, trampled over the ‘Constitution of Pakistan’. Again, what a travesty that our Supreme judiciary not only did not live up to the oath of their office at such instances, but aided and abetted in an otherwise illegal act.
The common theme invoked to white wash this otherwise act of treason by the generals was always the ‘Doctrine of Necessity’. What a necessity and what a strange solution! At all such occasions, the Khakis were truly at fault. Whatever justification was provided, it was.
Many able commentators have opined on this unique situation and rightly termed it as a deliberate build up of the ‘Security State’. The ‘Security State’ is provided ideological façade through the Muslim League.
Each time Khakis take over, they reinvent the Muslim League. Add a suffix [Quaid, Conventional, Council, Pagara, Junejo, Nawaz, Chatta, and so on…], and then place their surrogates at the helm of the re-invented Muslim League. General Zia-ul-Haq brought a Lahori businessman named Nawaz Sharif to the fore. Needless to say, he came up with a version of Muslim League, denoted by his initial N, as well.
The N League has had made its two stints in the government. One was dismissed by a ‘presidential coup’ engineered by the Khakis while the other directly conducted by General Pervez Musharraf.
By the way, the N League also has the distinct honor of sending its goons to vandalize the apex court of this nation. All because Mr. Sharif was miffed with the judiciary at one point, while he was in this glorious assumption, that he was the “Ameer ul Momineen.”
Amazingly, the same Military that created him at one point, sent Mr. Sharif packing too. All because Mr. Sharif was getting two big for his shoes. He decided to replace General Musharraf. A guy who perhaps was responsible for the “misadventure” in Kargil. Mr. Sharif opted for a fellow Kashmiri, General Butt. Ordinarily, it was within Mr. Sharif’s constitutional authority to do so, but he just totally forgot one golden rule. Never bite the hand that once fed you. Hence Mr. Sharif was deposed and incarcerated for acting too smart for his notoriety.
Come to think of it, the N League is the mother of all parties to the right. The rest of the religious and fundamental parties, are just there for the noise value. In reality, none of the others matter much, nor they have the ability to form any government. But clearly present to sing the chorus, as needed.
One was under the impression that Nawaz Sharif would have learnt his lessons by now. But politics is indeed a strange game. Nawaz Sharif who supposedly credits himself, for the restoration of deposed judiciary, seems to be back in action, playing for his former king makers. Fact is that, Mr. Sharif has realized, that he has to sing the Khaki tune to be back in Islamabad.
Read more » View Point
It seems like all eyes are waiting for a messiah to descend from the earthly heaven nicely tucked in Rawalpindi, and mistakenly called the General Headquarters …
… .To those who think a coup is the ‘be all end all’, and to hell with the constitution, I ask a simple question: has any prior coup eradicated any of the problems this nation faces? If the response is in the affirmative, then I rest my case. Do not just ask for a coup then. Order a super size coup. Heck, add jumbo size ‘sense’ and a gallon of ‘sensibility’ to the order as well.
Read more » Daily Times
Mullah Zaif says if Pakistan takes a part in peace talks, the efforts will be failed ….
Read more » BBC Persian (Farsi)
By Shehrbano Taseer
2011 was a bleak year for Pakistan — even by its own harrowing standards.
My father, Governor SalmaanTaseer, was assassinated by his own fanatical security guard in January for his stand on Pakistan’s cruel blasphemy laws, and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian in the federal cabinet, was gunned down in March allegedly by the Punjabi Taliban for holding a similar view. In April, five of the six men accused of gang raping village woman Mukhtar Mai on the orders of a village council of elders were set free by the Supreme Court. Since the sexual assault on her in 2001, Mai has braved death threats to have her victimisers punished. She has appealed the verdict, but the court, it is widely believed, is unlikely to reverse the acquittal.
In May, Pakistanis around the world hung their heads in shame as Osama bin Laden was found and killed in sleepy, sedate Abbottabad, a stone’s throw from our premier military academy where Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani spoke just weeks earlier declaring that the “terrorists’ back” had been broken.Then the tortured body of journalist Saleem Shahzad was discovered and suspicion fell on the country’s intelligence services. Pakistan had yet to recover from the devastation wrought by the 2010 floods when the August monsoons inundated Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and especially Sindh affecting tens of million of people. My older brother, Shahbaz, was kidnapped on August 26. It’s January 2012 now and he is still missing.
These are just some of the highlights from a ruefully eventful year. All of these events played out against the cacophonous discord that we have become accustomed to: target killings, routine disappearances in Kashmir and Balochistan, suicide bombings, riots decrying the overall economic condition of the country, protests mourning the loss of Pakistan’s sovereignty, the unsettling hum of rote learning at poisonous madrassas.
But there’s nothing that’s bad about Pakistan that can’t be fixed by what’s good about it. The narrative of lost hope is a tired one.
After the Arab Spring, the first question I was asked by journalists and interviewers was “When will it be Pakistan’s turn?”. General Zia tried hard to convince us that we’re Arabs, but we clearly are not. Watching Muammar Qaddafi’s bloodied and bullet-riddled body paraded up and down streets as protesters cheered, and seeing desperate dictators inflict violence on their own people, I realised that in many ways Pakistan is far ahead. Our transition from a dictatorship to a democracy was relatively smooth — no bloodshed, no political prisoners, no violence. And in 2010 — long before the Arab Spring — Pakistan’s nascent democracy returned the powers usurped by dictators back to parliament with the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, passed unanimously in parliament. As a people, we are more critical, more engaged. We believe in peaceful evolution of existing structures, not revolution. A record number of people have registered to vote in the upcoming elections and the deadline isn’t even up yet. We’ve snatched our democracy back and we’re not letting it go.
Mansoor Ijaz claimed CJ ‘owes’ Nawaz Sharif
RAWALPINDI: Although his guns are currently focused on former ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, the creator of the Memogate controversy, US citizen Mansoor Ijaz, has vilified or denigrated virtually every individual and institution in Pakistan at some point in time. Research into the writings of the controversial figure reveal that once he described the most respected Chief Justice in Pakistan’s recent history, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, as someone who “sadly, owes his return to power to Mr Sharif” –a reference to the PML (N) leader.
Mansoor Ijaz’s derogatory remarks about the honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan were slipped into an article titled, ‘A game changer for Pakistan-US relations’ published on the website of the International Center for Peace & Democracy-ICFPD in October 2010. In that article, Mansoor Ijaz claimed that “President Barack Obama had characterised Pakistan as the ‘cancer’ inhibiting US progress in Afghanistan. He went on to criticise the army, President Zardari, Mian Nawaz Sharif and the Chief Justice to conclude that American intervention was the only way things would change in Pakistan.
“The army, Pakistan’s only viable institution of governance, can’t decide whether it wants to nurture the Taliban so it can maintain strategic depth in Afghanistan or kill them so the money spigot continues to flow from Washington,” Mr Ijaz wrote. He added, “Pakistan’s vaunted intelligence services stand accused of harbouring America’s No. 1 enemy, Osama bin Laden, in northwest frontier border areas in the relative luxury of homes, not caves, by the very NATO officials they are supposed to be assisting in tracking down the terror master and his key aides.” (This was well before the US secret mission in Pakistan in May 2011 that resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad).
Institute for Defence Studies & Analysis (idsa) – Pakistan Military’s Desire to Slip Into The Driving Seat Once Again
By P. K. Upadhyay
Some very strange developments seem to be unfolding in Pakistani politics. A political dogfight between the civilian and military leaderships has been unheard off in the country’s history so far. The generals never had to air their differences with the political masters in the public as they are doing at present. When faced with a ‘defiance’ of their writ at any stage, the generals have always taken over power after booting-out the civilian government. …..
…. Then why this time around is General Kayani not able to push out the President and Prime Minister ….
….. Nawaz Sharief’s efforts to fish in troubled waters as also to move closer to the Army’s position on ‘Memogate’ ….
….. It was clear that the Army was reluctant to assume power and, at the same time, also reluctant to let the Zardari-led PPP government continue. It appears to have chosen the judicial route to hound out the government. Apparently, a deal between the Army and the Chief Justice of Pakistan allowed not just a renewed focus on the old National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) cases against Zardari and others, but also the setting up of a four-judge judicial enquiry into Memogate ….
…. Why is this unprecedented and uncharacteristic spat between the Army and the civilian government continuing? Apparently, the United States is a factor. Although, for the record, the US Administration and Pentagon had dismissed the memo to Mullen, they seem to have quietly acted on it by heavily leaning on the Pakistan Army. Despite the recent breakdown in their relationship, the US military still has a considerable hold over the Pakistan Army …..
…. Why is this unprecedented and uncharacteristic spat between the Army and the civilian government continuing? Apparently, the United States is a factor. Although, for the record, the US Administration and Pentagon had dismissed the memo to Mullen, they seem to have quietly acted on it by heavily leaning on the Pakistan Army. Despite the recent breakdown in their relationship, the US military still has a considerable hold over the Pakistan Army in the form of continuing supply of spares and other vital equipment, apart from training and intelligence cooperation. The Americans could have conveyed to Kayani and company that ousting the civilian regime in a coup would mean a total break in links, including the supply of spares and other wherewithal. The Pakistan Army cannot resist this pressure, since without using US supplied armour and attack helicopters, it cannot continue its operations against the Taliban in FATA or the Baluchi rebels in Baluchistan. Another inhibiting factor for Kayani and his generals could be the extent of penetration of the Army by jehadi elements. For sometime now, there appears to be a lull in clashes between Islamic radicals and the Army. While a let-up in US drone strikes (after the handing over of the Shamsi airbase) appears to be a significant facilitating factor for this lull, it cannot be the key trigger for it. The possibility of a JUI (F) brokered truce between the Army and Taliban should not be ruled out. The Army wants to preserve this truce for the present and, therefore, is reluctant to rock the boat by staging a coup at this juncture. It possibly fears that in case it ousts the Zardari government and becomes all powerful, that may have some destabilizing impact on the current truce with the Taliban. Lastly, Kayani and other senior generals may still not be out of the shock they suffered from the violent outbursts of junior officers after the Abbottabad raid. They recognize that the younger lot of Pakistan Army Officers does not come from traditional sections of the society known for its contempt for ‘civilians’ and their ways. These officers are the off-spring of former JCOs/NCOs of the military, as also the urban middle and lower middle classes, and may be harbouring a strong antipathy towards the bourgeois attitudes of their superiors.
This, however, does not mean that Kayani and company are going to let the Zardari-Gilani combine continue to spite them. Army backed judicial action against the regime is a strong possibility. ….
To read complete article » Institute of Defence Studies & Analysis (idsa)
- Exclusive: Ijaz told Jones three people prepared the “Memogate” document
By Josh Rogin
Mansoor Ijaz, the main figure in the “Memogate” scandal that is rocking the highest levels of the Pakistani political establishment, told his U.S. go-between Gen. Jim Jones in a private e-mail that there were three people who “prepared” the now-infamous memo, not just former Pakistani Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani.
LAHORE: Former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir condemned the judiciary on Wednesday, saying it has always approved military rules in the past.
She said if judges wanted a hand in politics, they should contest elections. Talking to reporters at the Lahore High Court, she said that Parliament, not judiciary, was the supreme body in the country.
The judiciary should not consider itself as all knowledgeable, Asma said, while expressing her reservations over many decisions of the Supreme Court.
The judiciary also disregards decisions of Parliament, she said, while pointing out the annulment of the parliamentary committee’s decisions on judges’ appointment.
She further expressed her inability to understand the SC’s January 10 judgment on the NRO non-implementation case. She said that while the NRO was a complicated issue, she never favoured it.
Asma regretted that state institutions were being politicised and added that no institution was clean.
Coup Coup hota hae wether it is military coup, technocratic coup, judicial coup or behind-the-scenes-coup
Why a Coup Is Unlikely in Pakistan
By Tom Wright
Is there a coup in the offing in Pakistan? Not likely, say former Pakistan military and intelligence officials.
There’s a lot of speculation of a military takeover amid rising tensions between army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
The tensions have their roots in the U.S. raid on a Pakistani garrison town in May, which lead to the death of Osama bin Laden. Pakistan’s army was not forewarned about the raid and was deeply embarrassed.
The emergence in October of a memo allegedly sent by Mr. Gilani’s Pakistan People’s Party-led administration to Washington in the wake of the raid, asking for U.S. help in forestalling a coup by an angered military, was the start of the current troubles.
Mr. Gilani, under army pressure, fired Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, for his alleged involvement in the affair. Mr. Haqqani denies the allegations. His removal was supposed to be the end of the affair, Pakistani military and civilian officials say.
But Nawaz Sharif, leader of Pakistan’s main opposition party, demanded a Supreme Court investigation of the memo.
The court’s probe, which is underway, has escalated tensions between the civilian government and army. Mr. Gilani says the investigation is politically motivated, and has blamed the military for bypassing the government in answering the court’s questions.
- Mansoor Ijaz’s visa application not yet received: Foreign Office
ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday said its High Commission in London or any other consulate has not yet received a visa application from Mansoor Ijaz, a key character in the memogate scandal.
“We have not received a visa application by Mansoor Ijaz either at the High Commission in London or any other consulate,” said Foreign Office Spokesperson Abdul Basit in his weekly press briefing here at the Foreign Office Thursday.
During the proceedings of the investigative commission probing the memo scandal, Mansoor Ijaz’s lawyer, Akram Shaikh said that his client was not being issued a visa for Pakistan.
The commission directed the embassies in Switzerland and United Kingdom to issue a multiple visa to Mansoor Ijaz upon the receipt of his passport and application without other conditions.
via » Twitter » TF’s Tweet
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani once again on Monday took what appeared to be a potshot at the military when he said affidavits submitted to the Supreme Court by the Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha on `memogate` were `unconstitutional and illegal`.
In an interview with the People`s Daily Online of China, which was released by the official Associated Press of Pakistan news agency, Mr Gilani said since the COAS and ISI DG had submitted their replies to the court without seeking approval of the competent authority under the rules of business, the statements carried no legal import.
`No summary seeking approval of the competent authority was initiated by the ministry of defence nor was any approval obtained fromthe defence minister,` the prime minister was quoted as saying by the APP.
The media wing of the prime minister`s secretariat confirmed the statement.
Soon after the APP released excerpts of the interview, it was picked by major news search engines and online editions of newspapers all over the world.
Some saw it as an obvious reference to the ongoing tension between the government and the military establishment. …
Read more » DAWN.COM
By SALMAN MASOOD and ERIC SCHMITT
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Just a few months ago, Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, brimmed with charm and confidence as he hosted lavish dinner parties for diplomats, generals, journalists and White House aides in Washington.
Now Mr. Haqqani is confined to the regal hilltop residence of Pakistan’s prime minister, tangled in a legal battle over a controversial memo that he says has put his life in jeopardy.
Hounded by what he and his supporters say is a vicious smear campaign by a nationalist, right-wing media, and fearful of being kidnapped or killed by the country’s powerful spy agency, Mr. Haqqani has spent the past five weeks sequestered in a guest suite in the premier’s residence overlooking the capital. He has left the compound just three times — twice for legal proceedings and once for a dental appointment — each time flanked by a heavy security detail.
As ambassador, Mr. Haqqani, a 55-year-old former journalist and Boston University professor, glided about Washington pressing Pakistan’s case to Congress and administration officials, and dropping news tips to reporters. Now he feels cooped up.
“I can go out for a walk, but it is essentially like a house arrest,” Mr. Haqqani said in an interview. ….
Read more » The New York Times
COMMENT: Nationalism, patriots and traitors – By Muhammad Ahsan Yatu
Those who differed with the rulers’ methods of running the state were declared traitors. No wonder within months after its inception Pakistan stood divided between the ‘patriots’ and the ‘traitors’. This divide still continues
These are difficult times for professional journalists in Pakistan. Eleven were killed last year in the line of duty. They were either caught in the crossfire of ethnic or extremist violence or targeted and eliminated by state and non-state groups for their political views.
Saleem Shehzad, for example, was abducted, tortured and killed last year and a commission of inquiry is still floundering in murky waters. He had exposed the infiltration of the armed forces by elements affiliated with Al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Several journalists from Balochistan have been killed by non-state vigilantes sponsored by state agencies, others have fled to Europe or USA because they had sympathies with the nationalist cause in the province. Some from Karachi have taken refuge abroad because they were threatened by ethnic or sectarian groups or parties.
Now an insidious campaign is afoot to target senior journalists who question the wisdom of the security establishment on a host of thorny issues. They are being labeled as “American-CIA agents”. This is an incitement to violence against them in the highly charged anti-American environment in Pakistan today. Consider.
If you say the military’s notion of “strategic depth” in Afghanistan is misplaced, outdated or counter-productive, you are a CIA agent.
If you say the military was either complicit or incompetent in the OBL-Abbottabad case, you are a CIA agent.
If you say that the civilians should have control over the military as stipulated in the constitution, you are a CIA agent.
If you say that the military shouldn’t enter into peace deals with the Taliban that enable them to reorganize and seize Pakistani territory, you are a CIA agent.
If you say that the drones have taken a welcome toll of extremist Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, you are a CIA agent.
If you say that the military’s annual defense budget, which amounts to nearly half of all tax revenues, should be scrutinized by parliament or the Auditor General of Pakistan, you are a CIA agent.
If you say that the one and same resignation criterion should be applied to both Ambassador Husain Haqqani and DG-ISI Ahmed Shuja Pasha – the former is accused of trying to influence the American government to back up the civilian government of Pakistan in its attempt to establish civilian control over its army and the latter is accused of seeking the support of Arab regimes for the overthrow of the civilian regime ( both accusations come from one and the same individual) – you are a CIA agent.
If you say we should construct a social welfare state in place of a national security state, you are a CIA agent.
If you say that fundamental citizens rights enshrined in the constitution cannot be violated at the altar of a narrow definition of national security defined exclusively by the security state, you are a CIA agent.
If you say that human rights violations in Balochistan carried out by the security agencies are as condemnable as the ethnic cleansing of Punjabi settlers by Baloch insurgents, you are a CIA agent.
If you say that Pakistan’s foreign policy should not be the exclusive domain of the military establishment, you are a CIA agent.
If you say that the Pakistan military’s conventional and nuclear weapons doctrine amounts to a crippling arms race with India rather than a minimal optimal defensive deterrence, you are a CIA agent.
If you say that the ISI is an unaccountable state within a state, you are a CIA agent.
If you say that belt-tightening measures to control budgetary deficits and inflation should apply to wasteful aspects of defense expenditures no less than to wasteful aspects of civilian government expenditures, you are a CIA agent.
If you say that the Supreme Court should pull out Air Marshal Asghar Khan’s ISI-Mehrangate 1991 case from cold storage and adjudge it along with the Memogate 2011 case, you are a CIA agent.
The irony is that the Pakistan military remains the single largest recipient of American aid in the last sixty five years. The irony is that all military coups in Pakistan have drawn legal and political sustenance from America. The irony is that the Pakistani military has signed more defense pacts and agreements with America than all civilian governments to date. The irony is the Pakistan military has partnered America in Afghanistan in the 1980s, fought its war on terror and leased out Pakistani air bases and Pakistan air space corridors to America in the 2000s, and sent hundreds of officers for training and education to America in the last six decades.
The greater irony is that all those liberal, progressive, anti-imperialist Pakistani citizens who have opposed US hegemony and protested American military interventions in the Third World all their lives are today branded as CIA agents by the very state security agencies and non state religious parties and jehadi groups who have taken American money and weapons and done America’s bidding all their lives.
Courtesy: Friday Times