The army narrative: fiction

by Dr Manzur Ejaz

The fallacious super-religious-patriotic narrative has been created by the army to preserve its superiority in the Pakistani state for perks that are not available to any other armed forces in the whole wide world.

Once again it has been proved that no one can beat Pakistan’s army in turning a military defeat into a propaganda conquest for the people of Pakistan. After the 1965 debacle and 1971 surrender in East Bengal, the Pakistan Army has concentrated less on defending Pakistan and more on refining and perfecting the Machiavellian politics and techniques of propaganda to confuse and mislead the unsuspecting masses of the country.

The US’s Abbottabad operation was a colossal failure of the Pakistan Army because first it did not know if Osama bin Laden was living next door to an elite military academy — if one accepts their claim — and then who took his dead body away unless President Obama called President Zardari. Instead of explaining its incompetence on both accounts, the military took the propaganda offensive while seeking refuge behind the civilian leaders just like the 1971 defeat and Kargil disaster. Not only that, the army chided the poor elected politicians through General Shuja Pasha, Director General (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Parliament was forced to pass an army-pleasing resolution, which had no mention of terrorism eating up the country.

The Pakistan Army, with the help of gravely uniformed and corporate media, has created a narrative for all ills in Pakistan as a consequence of the US intervention in Afghanistan. The narrative claims that the US is forcing the country to fight its war on terror while Pakistan is offering huge sacrifices for nothing. The entire narrative is constructed to provide political cover to the army’s misplaced policy goals as well as to the Taliban, al Qaeda and jihadi groups. The fact is that Pakistan has neither helped the US’s war on terror nor has it done anything more than inflicting wounds to its own body that it categorises as ‘sacrifices’. The narrative is based on fallacies that need to be examined closely.

First, Pakistan has not been dragged into the war on terror by the US only. Pakistan had become a nursery of terrorists that led to international bombings, including the dramatic incidents of 9/11, which dragged the US into the war on terror. Of course, the US was the main producer of Islamic jihadis with Pakistani collaboration, but the seeds of Islamic extremism had been put in place by General Ziaul Haq much before the American participation. As a matter of fact, seeds of religious intolerance and extremism were sown in the early 1950s by passing ‘Qarardaad-e-Maqaasid’ (the Objectives Resolution).

Second, suicide bombings in Pakistan are not only due to Pakistan’s so-called cooperation with the US. Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other jihadis had no need to use violence in Pakistan because the state was not only accommodating them but was helping them to conquer Afghanistan by all means. The religious extremist forces were going to use violent means the day the Pakistani state stood in their way. The incident of the Red Mosque is cited as a trigger for the suicide attacks and that proves the point that armed Islamist forces were going to hit Pakistan if the state put any hurdle in their way. The process was accelerated because, under US pressure, it became difficult for the Pakistani state to accommodate the religious terrorists and hence suicide bombings were unleashed on Pakistan.

Third, Pakistan has not done more to stop religious terrorism than other countries because its doings are just partial remedies for its self-inflicted wounds. According to this part of the narrative, Pakistan has done more by catching and handing over more religious terrorists to the world community than any other country. But, why were all such terrorists found in Pakistan and not in any other country in the first place? Should other countries produce more religious terrorists and then hand them over to the US to compete with Pakistan? Naturally, more terrorists will be nabbed in a country where they are found. Therefore, this part of the establishment narrative is absolutely ridiculous.

Four, Pakistan will not become a safer place if it cuts its ties with the US. However, Pakistan can become a dreadfully silent place if Islamisation and Talibanisation is given a free hand to turn it into a primitive theocratic state. If the state or the other sections of society resist Islamisation in the country, violence will accelerate, destroying every institution of the state even after Pakistan distances itself from the US. Therefore, the US or no US, religious extremism is a reality in Pakistan and has to be recognised as such.

Continue reading The army narrative: fiction

ISI might have been involved in 26/11 strikes: Khan

NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s former foreign secretary Shaharyar Khan has acknowledged that ISI might have been involved in the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai — in the first-ever confession of its kind by a member of Pakistani establishment.

In an interview to an Indian TV channel on Saturday, Khan said that “low-level” ISI personnel may have been involved in the terrorist attack on Mumbai. Speaking against the backdrop of the disclosures made by David Coleman Headley about serving ISI officers — Major Iqbal and Major Sameer — Khan told the Indian channel, “I think there is no doubt that whosoever is this Major Iqbal is, was in touch with this man (David Headley),” he said. “I think I would certainly accept that,” he added.

Courtesy: TOI

via LUBP

Pakistani journalist found dead after reported arrest by intelligence agency – Toronto Star

By Rick Westhead, South Asia Bureau

NEW DELHI — The deadliest country to be a journalist in just got deadlier. Pakistan is reeling after news late Tuesday that journalist Saleem Shahzad’s body was discovered near his abandoned car in Islamabad. Shahzad, 40, went missing Sunday night, his family said, after he left his home heading for a local TV station.

Almost immediately after his disappearance, Human Rights Watch issued a release saying it had reason to believe Shahzad had been arrested by Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI. His body was found with signs that he had been tortured, according to local news reports.

Continue reading Pakistani journalist found dead after reported arrest by intelligence agency – Toronto Star

Moby Dick of strategic depth

by Farooq Sulehria

Old Eskimos had a clever technique for hunting wolves. They would plant a bloody knife in the snow. Lured by the smell of blood, the wolves would approach the knife and lick the blade, cutting their tongues. Without realizing that they were drinking their own blood, wolves would continue licking until they had bled to death.

The strategic depth doctrine Pakistan’s military adopted back in 1980s, is proving Eskimos’ knife for Pakistan. …

Read more: View Point

Chali hai rasm ke koi na sar utha ke chale!

Pakistan Journalist Vanishes: Is the ISI Involved?

By Omar Waraich / Islamabad

Excerpt:

Pakistan’s main news channels are reporting that Shahzad’s dead body has been found. One news channel broadcast what appeared to be a black and white image of Shahzad’s face. There were visible signs of torture..

While the ISI was said to have bristled at previous reports by Shahzad, his disappearance happened two days after he wrote a story for Asia Times Online that said that al-Qaeda had attacked a naval base in the port city of Karachi on May 22 after talks had broken down between the Pakistan navy and the global terrorist organization. In his report, Shahzad claimed that al-Qaeda had carried out the attack in retaliation for the arrest of naval officials suspected of links with the terrorist group.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2074800,00.html#ixzz1NwRiJriN
– – – – – – – –

More details: The News, BBC urdu

Begumpura …!?

‘Colony of wives’ thrives in Mississauga

by Raveena Aulakh

Ilmana Fasih was at a wedding in Mississauga when she suffered an emotional meltdown.

She remembers loud, lively music, table upon table of mouth-watering food and people chatting, cracking jokes. “I just started crying,” Fasih says. “I was feeling terrible that my husband wasn’t there . . .

“There were all these families while I felt so incomplete.”

That moment a year ago marked a new low in her life, concedes the 44-year-old, her voice breaking.

Fasih, who trained as a gynecologist in her native India, lives in Mississauga with her two teenaged children while her husband, Syed, works in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

They have been apart for more than two years, communicating mainly by phone and reuniting just twice a year.

“My husband is lonely and frustrated . . . (and) so am I,” Fasih says. “It’s a pretty bad situation we are in.

“Yes, I am one of the Begumpura types,” she notes wryly.

Begumpura is an Urdu expression (literally, “where women live”) used for the GTA’s “colony of wives” — some half-dozen neighbourhoods in Mississauga where hundreds, perhaps thousands, of South Asian women, most of Pakistani origin, live with their kids while their husbands work in the Middle East.

Many immigrate to Canada as families, but the men, unable to find work in their professions, eventually move to the Middle East. Others, already living in the Persian Gulf region, where the men hold high-paying positions, move to Canada to give their children a more promising future.

Continue reading Begumpura …!?

Babar Ayaz: reality check?

ROVER’S DIARY: Is it a blind spot or blindness to reality?

by Babar Ayaz

Excerpt:

While the military is selectively fighting the terrorist organisations and thousands of our security personnel have been martyred, they have not challenged the ideology of jihad. Thousands of mosques, madrassas and religious organisations are preaching jihad against the west and its allied governments in the Muslim countries

Terrorists who attacked the PNS Mehran on May 22 knew the ‘security blind spot’. At least that is what the Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the media soon after the operation. Further follow-up reports confirmed his observation. Now the entire media is asking how the terrorists knew about this ‘blind spot’.

The obvious conclusion is that the terrorists have some sympathisers inside the forces. This suspicion is further corroborated by the fact that the routes and timings of the naval buses, which came under attack a month ago, were seemingly also compromised by some insiders. The attackers on GHQ also had insiders with them. Musharraf’s assassination attempts were also done with insiders’ help. Salmaan Taseer was assassinated by his guard, abetted by his colleagues. So there is not one blind spot we are talking about. It seems that many people among our security establishment, politicians and journalists are ‘blind’ to the bigger reality. ….

…. A question can be asked here that if we were wrong to wage war against Afghanistan jointly with the US in the 1980s, then how are we right now to side with Washington’s war in Afghanistan? We should remember that Najibullah’s government survived about three years after the Soviet forces left. But we were the ones who trained and funded the Taliban to take over the government. We opposed the Afghan government, which wanted to turn its country into a modern democratic state, and imposed a Taliban government, which could only give them primitive medievalism.

And when it came to choosing sides, the same protégé Taliban government sacrificed relations with Pakistan and the future of Afghans to save Osama — a champion of a permanent Islamic revolution. We then started playing the double game and gave protection to the Taliban who are till today intruding into Afghanistan. They are the cause of the drone attacks. Sir, you remove them, these attacks will stop.

We continue to dangerously mix religion with politics. The Pakistani establishment also started using jihadi organisations to destabilise India — a major mistake because it was bound to boomerang sooner than later. So the people who think that terrorism is because of drone attacks and our involvement in Afghanistan should not blindfold themselves with narrow nationalistic gauze. They should face the reality that Pakistan is undoubtedly directly and indirectly involved in terrorist activities in our neighbourhood, using the jihadi ideology. The same ideology has been turned by the terrorist groups into the belief that the Pakistani establishment is a renegade of the Islamic jihadi movement. The same ideology is providing the terrorists support from within our security establishment.

So what is to be done? The security establishment should shun the jihadi ideology and support to such groups, closely monitor that in the name of preaching Islam its rank and file is not indoctrinated with hate mongering, and purge the supporters of these organisations. The politicians should take the ideological challenge and develop a communication strategy scientifically to convince the people that the terrorists have declared war against Pakistanis using religion, and that we have to stand united for building a modern, democratic secular Pakistan. This is not a war against terrorism; it is defending Pakistanis from terrorism. Nothing short of that will work now.

To read complete article: Daily Times

Former Military dictator Musharraf declared Absconder (Ishtihari) in Pakistan

– Benazir Bhutto murder case: Musharraf declared absconder

by Omer Farooq Khan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has been declared an absconder after a court in Pakistan’s garrison city of Rawalpindi accepted the interim chargesheet submitted by the investigation agency, which named the ex-president as an accused in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

Investigators of Pakistan’s leading Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted a chargesheet in Rawalpindi’s anti-terrorism court on Monday, listing Musharraf as one of the accused in the assassination of the former two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The court accepted the challan (chargesheet) after the testimony of police officials detained for alleged dereliction of duty over the assassination of the former PM. Former Rawalpindi police chief Saud Aziz and superintendent of police Khuramm Shazad were arrested last December after allegations were levelled against them for providing inadequate security to the former premier, hosing down the crime scene and destroying the evidence.

Courtesy: TOI

Journalist Saleem Shahzad goes missing – Days before his disappearance, Shahzad had authored an article that alleged links between navy officials and al Qaeda.

ISLAMABAD: Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan bureau chief of Asia Times Online, went missing Sunday evening, DawnNews reported.

Days before his disappearance, Shahzad had authored an article that alleged links between navy officials and al Qaeda.

Ali Imran, a Coordinator at the South Asia Free Media Association (Safma) in an email stated that Mr Shahbaz had left his house in Islamabad to participate in a television program but that he did not reach the TV station.

He did not contact his family and friends either, Mr Imran said, adding that Mr Shahzad’s mobile phone and car had not been traced yet.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

– – – – – – – –  – –

Missing journalist in ISI custody, says HRW

By Afnan Khan

LAHORE: The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has, through credible sources, learnt that journalist Saleem Shahzad is in custody of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), HRW’s Pakistan representative Ali Dayan Hasan told Daily Times on Monday.

Dayan remarked that the ISI remained a major human rights abuser in Pakistan and it frequently kept abusing and torturing those journalists it disagreed with. He further said the HRW had previously documented similar cases of abduction and torture on journalists by security agencies.

People close to Shahzad told Daily Times that he was picked up by officers of an intelligence agency who have promised through anonymous calls to release him soon. Shahzad, who was working as bureau chief of the Asia Times Online in Islamabad, was whisked away by unidentified people on Sunday evening when he left his F-8 Sector residence to participate in a television talk show. His mobile phone remained switched off and his car could not be traced.

People close to Shahzad stated that he had received numerous warnings from security agencies for his reporting in the past, adding that his recent reporting on the issue of terrorist attack on PNS Mehran might have become the reason of his abduction.

Meanwhile, a case has been registered against the unidentified kidnappers in the F-8 Sector Police Station.

Courtesy: DAILYTIMES.COM

http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20115\31\story_31-5-2011_pg1_2

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

by Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

n mainstream media and civil society there is, with a few exceptions, complete silence on the killings of the Baloch. It is time that we all realised that silence makes us a party to the crimes committed in the name of the ‘writ of the state’

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly” — Martin Luther King.

The inhumanly brutal, criminal and reprehensible killing of five Chechens including a seven month pregnant woman by the trigger happy Frontier Corps (FC) and police at Kharotabad checkpost eventually stirred the collectively comatose conscience of the Balochistan government to form a tribunal to investigate these brutal murders. The victims died in a hail of bullets fired from close range, collectively sustaining 21 bullets. I wonder if investigating the fact that the wounded were callously left to die while the FC and police concocted lies is in its ambit. ….

Read more : Daily Times

Democracy starts from home

– Democracy is the best revenge. Really?

Dr. Shazia Nawaz

I say a lot of things too. For example I say, “Going out in the sun can give you skin cancer.” But then I do not go out in the sun. I also say, “Daily cooking by women is a sheer waste of their time.” You guessed it right. I do not waste my time on cooking.

Clearly Pakistan People’s Party is not like me. They say that democracy is the best revenge, but do not have democracy right within their party. It is not only PPP, it is also Muslim league. Is Nawaz Sharif ever going to retire from being the party chairman? Should not there be a time limit for holding the position within the party? For our political parties, it’s not democracy, but it is dynasty. The child of a party leader is picked as a next party leader automatically. And that appointment is done happily. No questions asked.

When it comes to PPP, seems to me that the more you pretend to be in love with Bhuttos, the bigger leader you are considered in the party. Why such hero worship? Was Bhutto not just another man? Same goes for Jinnah and for our very own Allama Iqbal. Interestingly, we are very big on following the “ideology” of these leaders. Has Pakistan stopped producing brilliant minds?

Why do we have to follow the “ideology” of people who lived almost half a century ago? When we are not living in the same old world anymore, why follow the same old ideology? There is always a fight among liberals and conservatives about the “true ideology” of Jinnah. He wanted a Muslim state. No, he wanted a secular state for Muslims. Why does it matter so much anymore what Jinnah wanted? Has Pakistan stopped producing brilliant minds at all now that we cannot come up with new ideas to lead our country? If Jinnah said it, it is ALWAYS right. He cannot be wrong, questioned, or criticized. Same goes for our national poet Allama Iqbal (RA). Youth seems to follow blindly what our great poet said almost a hundred years ago. Things that he said when British ruled the world are not valid in today’s world anymore, where we do not have dynasties anymore, well, except for in PPP. Iqbal’s poetry was for oppressed people of India and Pakistan. Iqbal’s message was for that time.

Now the world has become a global village. Sadly, Iqbal missed out on the biggest invention of mankind, the internet.
Coming back to PPP, don’t get me wrong, Bilawal is adorable. And he knows how to give a speech. If you have not already, please watch the video in which he literally almost lifts his head off his neck saying, ‘ Sar chahe-yay, sar dain gay hum (if you need our heads, we will give you our heads)” I personally think that PPP has given enough heads already. Rest of those heads should stay exactly where they belong. On those rich necks.

Bilawal did not grow up in Pakistan. That might not make him less of a Pakistani though. Bilawal is very smart. He has good genes. But then, is it all about being good? Of course not. It is about being the best. When you pick someone to rule and lead your nation, you want the best person for the job. Was Zardari the best person for the job? Sure, he’s good. But did he compete with others to prove that he was the best person for the job? It is not a dynasty. It is democracy. Bilawal has to prove that he is the best person for the job. Sure, he is learning politics from his seniors as Farah Naz Isphahani said in her article recently. Just like kings taught their kids how to rule a country. The world has rejected kings’ rules. Now handsome kings are only good for watching and marrying. And for selling stuff in their name. Yes, I just bought the similar ring that Prince William gave to Kate. Of course mine is not nearly as expensive.

Continue reading Democracy starts from home

Egyptian Socialist Party: Political perspectives for Egyptian socialism

By the Egyptian Socialist Party

May 11, 2011 — After the Egyptian Revolution broke out on January 25, 2011, and successfully achieved its first goal of ousting the president and continued in its demand of toppling the whole corrupt regime, it was clear there was an urgent need to bring together all those who had the conviction that our country really needed transformation into a socialist society. A transition that would help improve the social and economic conditions of the toiling masses, and reverse the trend of the old regime to subject the country to the dictates of the Imperialist led International Financial Institutions. This meant there was an urgent need to create the Egyptian Socialist Party to bring together all those who had taken part in the revolution on an individual basis so as to unite their efforts, and crystalise their political and social perspective into a coherent strategy that would guide the people in the right direction. ….

Read more: Links International

PTI of Imran Khan justifying Suicide attacks and attack on Naval Base

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senior Vice President following the policy of Imran Khan to support Taliban and extremist organizations justifying Suicide attacks and attack on Mehran Naval Base in Karachi in GEO News Program Lakin arguing with Sana Baucha. Leader of PTI linking suicide attacks with Drone attacks, where as a matter of fact suicide attack history is older than 911 attacks on US.

Courtesy: Geo TV News (Lakin with Sana Bacha)

via Siasat.pk, YouTube

‘Musharraf disbanded army unit meant for Osama hunt’

Islamabad: A unit of Pakistan army commandos created to hunt Osama bin Laden was disbanded by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, former ISI chief Lt Gen (retd) Ziauddin Khwaja said. Khwaja, also known as Ziauddin Butt, said he had issued the directive for raising the unit after a meeting with Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar in Afghanistan. “We had set this unit after Mullah Omar showed his helplessness in getting to Osama,” Khwaja told The News daily. “This unit was demolished after Musharraf took over,” he said.

Courtesy: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/-Musharraf-disbanded-army-unit-meant-for-Osama-hunt-/788167/

We are still the prisoners of a culture of conspiracy and inferiority

Let’s stop blaming America

By DR. KHALID ALNOWAISER, ARAB NEWS

I AM a proud and loyal Saudi citizen, but I am tired of hearing constant criticism from most Arabs of everything the United States does in its relations with other countries and how it responds to global crises. No nation is perfect, and certainly America has made its share of mistakes such as Vietnam, Cuba and Iraq. I am fully aware of what happened when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the unprecedented abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. However, what would we do if America simply disappeared from the face of the earth such as what happened to the Soviet Union and ancient superpowers like the Roman and Greek empires? These concerns keep me up day and night. It’s frustrating to hear this constant drumbeat of blame directed toward the United States for everything that is going wrong in the world. Who else do we think of to blame for our problems and failures? Do we take personal responsibility for the great issues that affect the security and prosperity of Arab countries? No, we look to America for leadership and then sit back and blame it when we don’t approve of the actions and solutions it proposes or takes.

For instance, if a dictator seizes and holds power such as Egypt’s Mubarak and Libya’s Qaddafi, fingers are pointed only at America for supporting these repressive leaders. If the people overthrow a dictator, fingers are pointed at America for not having done enough to support the protestors. If a nation fails to provide its people with minimum living standards, fingers are pointed at America. If a child dies in an African jungle, America is criticized for not providing necessary aid. If someone somewhere sneezes, fingers are pointed at America. Many other examples exist, too numerous to mention.

I am not pro-American nor am I anti-Arab, but I am worried that unless we wake up, the Arab world will never break out of this vicious and unproductive cycle of blaming America. We must face the truth: Sadly, we are still the prisoners of a culture of conspiracy and cultural inferiority. We have laid the blame on America for all our mistakes, for every failure, for every harm or damage we cause to ourselves. The US has become our scapegoat upon whom our aggression and failures can be placed. We accuse America of interfering in all our affairs and deciding our fate, although we know very well that this is not the case as no superpower can impose its will upon us and control every aspect of our lives. We must acknowledge that every nation, no matter how powerful, has its limitations.

Moreover, we conveniently forget that America’s role is one of national self-interest, not to act as a Mother Teresa.

Continue reading We are still the prisoners of a culture of conspiracy and inferiority

Letter from Karachi, the capital city of Sindh

Letter from Karachi – by Jason Burke

Excerpt:

A new Pakistani everyman—Mehran man—is increasingly defining the country’s identity

…. Given the dysfunctional nature of Pakistani democracy, we cannot ignore Mehran man. Apart from anything else, the army is full of Mehran men. During a week I spent with the Pakistani army, the heritage of Sandhurst seemed largely restricted to the whitewashed stones aligned outside segregated messes for senior officers, junior officers, non-commissioned officers and other ranks. The links to America are more material—helicopters, jeeps and ammunition—but no more profound. Conversations with officers reveals that their understanding of Pakistan’s best interests differs radically from that which London or Washington would like them to have. As for the other pillar of non-elected power in Pakistan, a lot of bureaucrats drive Mehrans too, or at least did before being promoted.

All this poses problems for the west. Our policy towards Pakistan has long been based on finding the interlocutor who resembles us the most—Pervez Musharraf, Benazir Bhutto, now her widower—and then trying to persuade them to fit in with our agenda. But the people we are talking to are going to find themselves more and more cut off, culturally and politically, from those they lead, and less and less capable of implementing the policies that we want. Pakistanis are increasingly defining their own interests, independently of the views of their pro-western leaders. And Mehran man will soon be in the driving seat.

To read complete article: The Express Tribune

Pakistan – where is it heading?

by Syed Nadir El-Edroos

…. The fact of the matter is that China is not going to risk its $3 trillion foreign currency reserve and $250 billion annual trade surplus with the US, to make threats to Washington on Pakistan’s behalf. And in any case, China didn’t make any threat to the US, all it said was something to the effect that states shouldn’t interfere in other the US. And in any case, why do we need to play one country against another one to begin with? As for the ‘Afghan freedom struggle’, the Taliban are not exactly popular in Afghanistan, and are viewed as Pakistani proxies by many in that country. .

How about the Pakistani state, for once taking some responsibility and not placing all the blame on America? The Pakistani people expect its security apparatus to keep them safe, regardless of who the perpetrators or motivating factors are. The writer should stop peddling the fallacy that if the US leaves, terrorism will end. Do we really think that Punjab-based terroist organisations and sectarian outfits will care if the US leaves the region? Do we really think that groups, which want to establish a state in Pakistan along the lines that the Taliban imposed on Afghanistan will stop with their designs just because America has left?

Courtesy: Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2011.

Pakistan army generals are dangerously duffer, says Asima Jahangir, President Supreme Court Bar Association

Pakistan army generals are dangerously duffer, says Asima Jahangir, a leading Pakistani lawyer, advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, President Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and human rights activist, who works both in Pakistan and internationally to prevent the persecution of religious minorities, women, and exploitation of children.

Courtesy: SAMAA TV (In program Awaaz with Kamran Shahid, Asima Jahangir, Imtiaz Alam & Akram Sehgal, 29tth May 2011)

via Siasat.pk, YouTube

 

Pakistani politician, Syeda Abida Hussain calling Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan “LIAR”

Pakistani politician, Syeda Abida Hussain calling Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan “LIAR”.  Everyone knows Abdul Qadeer Khan apologized to nation on national media for proliferating nuclear technology to other countries. General Musharaf gave pardon to him after his apology. She is right, we should go with facts. The language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: Duniya TV (In Session with Asma Chaudhry, 28 May 2011)

via ZemTV, YouTube

Sindh known a Center of Peace and Tolerance is now ruled by Armed Gangs

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean

Although every one is shocked by the daring attack by Taliban on a Naval Air base in Karachi, an article in DAWN titled “Armed gangs outnumber police in Karachi” provides eye-opening statistics about other armed groups (http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/23/armed-gangs-outnumber-police-in-karachi.html in the same city.  According to the newspaper this assessment is by an American official. The article The following are some key data quoted in the article:

1. Sunni Tehreek (ST), organized itself on the lines of MQM and created a very strong armed group that is organized in small teams with commanders in many parts of Karachi. The article says that “it is disproportionately powerful because of the influx of MQM-H gunmen.”

2. There are several areas in Karachi where police would not enter and ISI folks show reluctance to go to those areas.

3. MQM is the largest such armed group with 10,000 active armed personnel and another 25,000 organized as a reserve force.

4. MQM-H has very strong armed presence in Landhi and Korangi.

5. The report says that although traditional PPP has avoided having any armed wing in Karachi, a significant number of licensed and unlicensed licenses are being being obtained by PPP workers and its armed presence in Karachi will soon rival to that of MQM.

6. The Awami National Party (ANP) has a large cache of personal weapons and soon Karachi will become the “the largest Pashtun city in the world.” The report further says that the “hard-line’ Pashtuns in the Sohrab Goth neighborhood.”

It is a very dark assessment that if true does not bode well for the future of  Sindh and it’s capital city of Karachi.

Reflections by an ex-army officer

by Masood Raja

We were told to avoid talking politics in the dining hall, as it was against the spirit of the army rules, General Zia, our then dictator, was canvassing the nation to gain support for his sham referendum. No general has left the service for Abbottabad episode. But then, our generals are known for losing half a country without feeling any remorse

Read more : ViewPoint

Is Imran supporting the Taliban? – by Naeem Tahir

Excerpt:

…. His political stance needs a careful and serious analysis. The main point of concern is that he has never taken a clear stand against the activities of the Taliban. Instead, he has been pleading for a ‘negotiated’ settlement, knowing full well that all negotiations and ‘peace’ agreements have been used by the Taliban for the purpose of consolidating and then continuing terror activity. He should have offered to negotiate himself if he was confident of this course of action. The failure of the infamous Swat agreements must still be fresh in the public memory. Imran has never supported the army action. This includes army action in Swat and in South Waziristan. He has not even condemned the attacks on army General Headquarters (GHQ) and, more recently, the attack on the Pakistan Navy Station (PNS) Mehran base.

On the other hand, he is prominent in demanding the blocking of supplies to NATO forces through Pakistan — a step which would help the Taliban. He is against drone attacks. It is true that the drones cause regrettable collateral damage but they also target the al Qaeda and its supporters. The Taliban also demand an end to drones. Imran is prominently part of anti-US campaigns. True that many American policies have been self-serving, but then it is our responsibility to protect Pakistan’s interests against any foreign country, not just the US. Just being against the US and the war on terror is again an indirect help to the Taliban. Most significantly, his calling the war on terror as an American war is the standard Taliban slogan. Over 30,000 Pakistanis have been killed due to the Taliban’s terror attacks. Is it still not our war?

Looking at these factors, one is forced to question: what side is Imran on?

He is agitating in Karachi against the supplies to NATO forces, and the drone attacks. He was active with the extreme Right in protesting against Raymond Davis’ release. He has been doing sit-in protests in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In fact, the PTI has been doing so many protests that it may be aptly called Tehreek-e-Ehtijaj. Imran’s group seems to be joining every protest and playing to the gallery.

This strategy has also given certain advantages to Imran Khan. Consistent ‘exposure’ is one of these. Perhaps more significant is the fact that he has won over a sizeable portion of the supporters of Nawaz Sharif. This support primarily comes from the Taliban or their sympathisers. So Imran Khan is obliged to toe their line. As a politician he realised that the white collar will not win him an election but the rightists may. They get together, provide street power as well as loud noises, and this works to collect crowds. Imran is the preferred choice of extreme Right also because of his energetic style, which is more convincing than that of Nawaz Sharif; his eloquence is impressive against Nawaz Sharif’s limited capability, and indeed Imran is a ‘fresh’ image as compared to the repeatedly tried image of Nawaz Sharif. He may find it very hard to risk alienating himself from this segment. He also likes to have them because it is quieting down the critics of his flamboyance and flirtations of youth.

Soon there will be the final stage when Imran may need to do some soul searching once again, and decide if he is going to flow with the tide of extremist groups or stand on his own and refuse to be their cover politician.

To read complete article: Daily Times

Terrorist arrested on ISI tip,in France

Indian national arrested in France on Pak tip

PARIS. French counter terrorism authorities, acting on an intelligence tip-off provided by Pakistan, have smashed a terrorist network headed by an Indian national, report well informed sources.

The French Police arrested the gang leader Mohammad Niaz Abdul Rasheed, a thirty-three years old Indian national from Madurai, from Charles de Gaulle Airport on May 10, as he returned from a recruiting trip to Algeria. Six of his accomplices were also apprehended, from various French cities concurrently.

According to sources, Mohammad Niaz, who lived in India till 2008, came to France by marrying a women bearing French nationality, ostensibly to acquire foreign naturalization. He had been radicalized by the age of 21 primarily on account of a backlash to the oppressive treatment of Muslims in Baral Pur and joined Manitha Neethi Parasai, an offshoot of the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and predecessor of Indian Popular Front (IPF).

Once in France he planned to create a terrorist organization, French Popular Front (FPF), on the lines of IPF model by creating a nucleus of young French jihadists to fight foreign troops in Afghanistan.

The first reconnoitering group comprising two French nationals, sent by the FPF and on their on way to Afghanistan was apprehended by the ISI in January this year from Lahore. The information passed by the Pakistani authorities resulted into the arrest of seven members of the FPF by the French intelligence, earlier this May.

According to observers, there is a strong possibility that Mohammad Niaz, working on the behest of RAW was attempting to infiltrate Taleban/al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan through the diversion provided by a French connection.

Courtesy: The News

Kitnay aadmi thay? — Char

by Waseem Altaf

Commodore Irfan-ul-Haq said that since they came at night hence they could not be effectively countered. Earlier on, the Air Chief complained that during Abbotabad operation the US choppers entered our airspace at night, hence could not be engaged. Well our armed forces should issue a communiqué to all our possible adversaries that all enemy incursions should take place during daytime so that they can be effectively intercepted.

One of the most memorable dialogues of the 1975 blockbuster Sholay was “kitnay aadmi thay” and in reply the bandit ashamedly says “do aadmi thay”, this response turns Gabbar Singh the gang leader, in a fit of rage, who then shoots the three cowardly dacoits.

The outlaws of “Sholay” faced two; the lead pair Veeru and Jai, while the fantastic four who conducted the Rambo Class operation on the night of 22nd May 2011, at Mahran air base were facing elements of 25th mechanized infantry division, navy commandos (SSGN), navy marines, Zarrar battalion of the SSG, rangers, elite force and the police, both deployed and in reserve.

The ground forces also enjoyed support of choppers from above. However those four guys whose average age was 20 mocked a brigade plus strength of the sixth largest army of the world for a good 16 hours. The planning, determination, execution and the level of motivation was simply superb. Two of them fought till death while the other two blew themselves up. None tried to flee and none surrendered. However before being liquidated they had transformed two P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft into pulp. The two machines cost rupees six billion while 10 personnel of the security forces were eliminated. Damage to any other installations is still being kept a secret. This was at the tactical level.

Read more : ViewPoint

– = – = – = – =

YouTube

Anniversary: What if Pakistan did not have the bomb?

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has spent the last few years confined by the Pakistan Army to one of his palatial Islamabad residences where he whiles away his days writing weekly columns in newspapers. This venerable metallurgist, who claims paternity rights over Pakistan’s bomb, says it alone saves Pakistan. In a recent article, he wistfully wrote: “If we had had nuclear capability before 1971, we would not have lost half of our country – present-day Bangladesh – after disgraceful defeat.”

Given that 30,000 nuclear weapons failed to save the Soviet Union from decay, defeat and collapse, could the Bomb really have saved Pakistan in 1971? Can it do so now?

Let’s revisit 1971. Those of us who grew up in those times know in our hearts that East and West Pakistan were one country but never one nation. Young people today cannot imagine the rampant anti-Bengali racism among West Pakistanis then. With great shame, I must admit that as a thoughtless young boy I too felt embarrassed about small and dark people being among our compatriots. Victims of a delusion, we thought that good Muslims and Pakistanis were tall, fair, and spoke chaste Urdu. Some schoolmates would laugh at the strange sounding Bengali news broadcasts from Radio Pakistan.
The Bengali people suffered under West Pakistani rule. They believed their historical destiny was to be a Bengali-speaking nation, not the Urdu-speaking East Pakistan which Jinnah wanted. The East was rightfully bitter on other grounds too. It had 54% of Pakistan’s population and was the biggest earner of foreign exchange. But West Pakistani generals, bureaucrats, and politicians such as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, feared a democratic system would transfer power and national resources to the East.

Denied democracy and justice, the people of East Pakistan helplessly watched the cash flow from East to fund government, industry, schools and dams in the West. When the Bhola cyclone killed half a million people in 1970, President Yahya Khan and his fellow generals in Rawalpindi’s GHQ could not have cared less.

The decisive break came with the elections. The Awami League won a majority in Pakistan’s parliament. Bhutto and the generals would not accept the peoples’ verdict. The Bengalis finally rose up for independence. When the West Pakistan army was sent in, massacre followed massacre. Political activists, intellectuals, trade unionists, and students were slaughtered. Blood ran in street gutters, and millions fled across the border. After India intervened to support the East, the army surrendered. Bangladesh was born.

That Pakistan did not have the bomb in 1971 must surely be among the greatest of blessings. It is hard for me to see what Dr AQ Khan has in mind when he suggests that it could have saved Pakistan.

Would the good doctor have dropped the bomb on the raging pro-independence mobs in Dhaka? Or used it to incinerate Calcutta and Delhi, and have the favour duly returned to Lahore and Karachi? Or should we have threatened India with nuclear attack to keep it out of the war so that we could endlessly kill East Pakistanis? Even without the bomb, estimated civilian deaths numbered in the hundreds of thousands if not a million. How many more East Pakistanis would he have liked to see killed for keeping Pakistan together?
Some might argue that regardless of the death and destruction, using the bomb to keep Pakistan together would have been a good thing for the people of East Pakistan in the long term. A look at developmental statistics can help decide.
Bangladesh is ranked 96th out of 110 countries in a 2010 prosperity index compiled by an independent London-based think-tank, the Legatum Institute, using governance, education, health, security, personal freedom, and social capital as criteria. Pakistan is at the 109th position, just one notch above Zimbabwe. By this measure the people of the East have benefited from independence. ….

Read more : The Express Tribune

BHRC (Canada) Protests in Toronto and Vancouver

Toronto, May 27, 2011 – Toronto and Vancouver chapters of Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada) staged demonstrations in front of the U.S. Consulates. …. The demonstrations held in Toronto and Vancouver, the two major cities of Canada, were jointly organized by Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada), International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (IVBMP), and the International Centre for Peace and Democracy (ICFPD). The participants in the demonstration came from all walks of life, particular the Baloch Diaspora, Kashmiris, Sindhis, and the progressive and secular elements in society.

Continue reading BHRC (Canada) Protests in Toronto and Vancouver

US Aid is being used to Kill Secular Balochs and Sindhis in Pakistan

– ‘US Aid is being used to Kill Secular Balochs and Sindhis in Pakistan’. Protesters Gathered in Front of Pakistan Consulate in Houston

Report by: Sikander Baloch

HOUSTON, MAY 27, 2011: Several dozens of Americans of Sindhi and Baloch origin gathered on Friday to protest in front of the Pakistan consul-general in Houston condemning …., Islamabad’s support to terrorist outfits and state terrorism against people of Balochistan and Sindh. The peaceful but vocal protest was held on Jones Road in front of the Pakistan Consulate in Houston.

Continue reading US Aid is being used to Kill Secular Balochs and Sindhis in Pakistan

Tuzk e Jahangiri

by Hakim Hazik

I am very sad today. I am crying. They have tacked the Suzuki Mehran Base and killed innocent innocent peepal and destroyed the Orions we loved so much, on which we had spent so much money. With this money the Shriek Chairman could have baught at least ten thousand Qingchis and opened at least three counts in Sweezerland.

Shriek Chairman has gan to Mascow. He has seen the Sukhois. He has ridden in the Ladas. Shahsab has gan to Peeking. He has seen the janyan madels of Qingchis and given the Cheeni brathers the punkha which they are going to change into the helicapter once again. Our determination as a nation should nat be underestimated. Democracy is the best revenge.

We will protect our ideology even if we have to eat grass. Feez Shaikh has pramised that the grass will be free of the (reformed) journal sales tax. However the IMF has opposed gornamint subsidies on grass as it can lead to distortions in the Free Market and add to the already huge current account deficit. Strauss-Kahn Sab has said that he will look sympathetically into the matter, as soon he receives his bail.

The Field Marshall has been quiet. I think so, he is depressed. He sent Pashasab to taak to the parliyament. He was not pleased when Choinisar started shouting mother sister. When the Field Marshall is depressed, Nawab Din Halwai says we should store bread and water. He thinks any thing can happen such as Kargil or 5th of July. May Allah (SWT) protect the bottom of the Ummah from the floggings of illegal dictators and innocent Secty Journals fram the dungeons of the Shahi Qila. Ameen.

There has been an outcry fram the free and independent media anchors, driven by a sense of selfless devotion to the freedom of press and a madest stipend fram the ISPR, that that we should provide spoat to our armed forces. I fully spoat this spoat. I gree that this is nat the time to put the ISI under the control of Malik Sab. This would lead to anarchy, chaos and disintegration and will shake the foundations of our ideology. It is our duty as a nation to accept the sovereignty of God and the ISI over every walk of life. Only then we can succeed in this world and the next.

I think so, we need a regional slooshan to the prablem of Fghanistan. We can sit down with our brathers in Central Asia, Roos, Cheen and Araan and ask the Mreecans to get out. That way we can keep our strategic depth without loosing our Strategic Deterrent. We can keep Hafiz Sab with Lashkar, Qani Sab with network, Headly Sab in Chicago, Mullah Sahib with Shura, and Maulana Sab with Jaish. In this way, my brathers and sisters, we can have our falooda and eat it too. …

Read more : ViewPoint

China’s Port in Pakistan?

China’s dream of Indian Ocean ports — the so-called string of pearls — is heightening geopolitical tensions in a rough neighborhood.

BY ROBERT D. KAPLAN

Pakistani officials have announced that the Chinese look favorably on taking over the operation of the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar close to the entrance of the Strait of Hormuz, and perhaps building a naval base for the Pakistanis there as well. The Chinese have apparently contradicted these claims, indicating that they have made no such decisions on these matters.

The fact that Pakistan should want deeper Chinese involvement with this strategically located port, even as the Chinese are hesitant to do just that, should surprise no one. Gwadar is where dreams clash with reality. …

Read more : ForeignPolicy