Shocking: Unconscious girl brutally beaten by Egypt military

The blog-o-sphere is boiling at the cruel beating of a female protester by Egyptian military police, who continued battling protesters in Tahrir Square on Sunday. The clashes, into their third day now, have left 10 people dead and hundreds injured. ­The video uploaded on YouTube Sunday reveals the extreme cruelty of the country’s law enforcers during the crackdown. The army soldiers in full riot gear have been savagely beating a seemingly unconscious female protester with big sticks, kicking her and stomping on her chest. Security forces lashed out ruthlessly on armless civilians and burned down tents that had been put up by activists outside the parliament building to camp in protest against the military rule. The internet community therefore questions the methods of the military regime who took over power after the ousting of the ex-President Hosni Mubarak in February.

» YouTube

 

Pakistan’s president returns home: “Pakistan is our homeland that is where we will live and that is where we will die” I stand by this.

President Zardari

By Bolta Pakistan

This is the tweet by Asifa Zardari she wrote only a while ago: “Pakistan is our homeland that is where we will live and that is where we will die” “Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, President Asif Zardari , PPP & I stand by this.”

Courtesy: Bolta Pakistan, Facebook page (credit goes to Nusrat Javed)

‘Crimes’ of Asif Zardari – By Shiraz Paracha

President Asif Zardari

The military eliminated all Bhuttos because Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Murtaza and Shah Nawaz Bhutto did not accept dictation but Asif Zardari, a non-Bhutto, is no different than Bhuttos and this is the reason of generals’ annoyance with Zardari.

Generals are desperate to remove President Zardari through the Supreme Court as they believe that independent civilians cannot govern the land of the pure.

The military is after President Asif Zardari’s head because in him generals see a challenger. They want to punish the President because he is not a puppet. The military’s indignation at Zardari is rooted in the paranoia that only the military can save Pakistan and also it is the sole right of generals to set the contours of Pakistan’s foreign and defence policies.

Devious military minds have played the Imran Card to blackmail the opposition leader Nawaz Sharif. As expected the Sharif brothers panicked after leaks that the military was behind Imran Khan and that Khan would hurt Muslim League (N) vote bank, particularly in the Punjab Province.

Read more » LUBP

http://criticalppp.com/archives/66558

What American Think-Tank thinkers think about how Pakistan will evolve in future? Part 2

By Khalid Hashmani

Stephen Cohen said that a group of international scholars that included authors and ambassadors were simply asked to provide their insight in the following two questions:

How did they see Pakistan in the medium-term (5-7 years)? What were key factors that may shape Pakistan’s future?

Their answers became the chapters of the book.

Panel Two – 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM (Moderator: John R. Schmidt)

We have to win them over; we cannot destroy them with drones!

Pamela Constable, Staff Writer for Washington Post remarked that situation in Pakistan had been so fluid that she had to revise her recent books six times in the past few months. She also remarked that she struck by the extra-ordinary commonality of diagnosis, She continued that every contributor to the book seems to agree the bleakness about the future of Pakistan. Constable said that hope is always desirable but at the same time there are some bothersome developments. Media for one had shown extra-ordinary potential for bringing positive changes to Pakistan but it has not been as forward-looking and is paddling the most common denominator such as anti-Americanism and mute criticism of extremist attitudes. Similarly, the “judiciary” and the “Lawyer’s Movement” that had once shown that it would help bring positive changes has been a terrible disappointment as too have been backward looking and unwilling to bring about positive changes. Constable remarked, ” yes, most Pakistanis do not support terrorism, but have never been so anti-American”. Some of reasons for the worsening attitudes – emotional defense of Islamism, confusing messages from their leaders, and rise of growth of radical movement as seen in Punjab University. She concluded by saying “We have to win them over, we cannot destroy them with drones”.

Replying to a question, Constable said that the public opinion in Pakistan is getting more conservative and that will further impact the military. The newly recruited crop of officers is more militant and increasingly they will have more influence on decision-makers.

Army will decide National Security and Allocation of Resources!

Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy focused on the immediate (3-5 years) future of Pakistan. He said that we are seeing a creeping military dictatorship underway right now. It is not going to like Musharraf or Zia eras, but more settled, where decisions would be made by a collective leadership of few military men who will make all critical decisions against what broad population wants. The civilian façade will also go on with positions of President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and other showcases of a parliamentary form of government. Media will be active and alive as long as they do not seriously criticize military. Those who do will be eliminated. Judiciary will be able to do what they want as long as they don’t challenge military. Army will decide the key decisions on the matters of national security and allocation of resources.

Riedel said that many would say that this has been the case all along any way, however, at least in the last three years, the civilian government did attempt to take some decisions. He saw the current situation where the current civilian government including President is truly scared and intimidated. He said that the “Memogate” is another example of this. It is ironic that the “memo” that was supposed to prevent dictatorship is now being used to facilitate the arrival of military dictatorship. He said he hoped that the person who wrote the memo and wrote about it in the “Financial Times” could live with conscience in what they have done to Pakistan.

Talking about the settled way of military dictatorship in Pakistan, Riedel said it would be a South Asian model of how military rules Algeria. There, the military rules behind curtains and very few people who are key military officers who make decisions. It is not a single person who dictates but rather a collection of few senior officers. He further said that good news is that this in-progress event can still be reversed if Pakistanis want. However, if this is left on its steady drift it is going to be 5th military dictatorship in Pakistan.

Commenting on the War, Riedel said that NATO and the US are fighting a proxy war in Afghanistan. This is not a new phenomenon but has been since 2002. It is just that veils are now taken off. Riedel continued that the assassination of President Rabbani was a key milestone sending the message that they are in no mood to compromise. He said that Pakistan’s absence at the Bonn conference is the message from Pakistan that it is backing Taliban and does not want negotiations. The US/NATO and Pakistan are heading towards a collision. Riedel added that there are some built-in “breaks” but it is to seen if these “breaks” are strong enough to stop rapture.

Continue reading What American Think-Tank thinkers think about how Pakistan will evolve in future? Part 2

No respite: Pakistanis have a long way to go – the Evil Quad does not seem to learn from mistakes. Obsessive self-interest has made them lose touch with reality.

No respite – By Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

The establishment and the armed forces here do not seem to learn from their mistakes. Obsessive self-interest has made them lose touch with reality

Establishments never tire of exploring ways and means to perpetuate their rule. Interestingly, the word ‘establishment’ is generally used in Pakistan to refer to those who exercise de facto power; it includes the military high command and the intelligence agencies, together with the top leadership of certain political parties, high-level members of the bureaucracy and business persons that work in alliance with them. The military high command and the intelligence agencies form the core of the establishment and are its most permanent and influential components. The real power rests with its ‘most permanent and influential components’, i.e. the armed forces. All is not hunky-dory within the establishment as struggles occur, but the most organised and powerful part is invariably the winner. The media dutifully paves the way by creating hysteria or gloom.

Their think tanks search suitable candidates for implementing their policy aims. The only hitch is that their skewed ideas do not quite correspond to reality and always backfire; yet, unfortunately, they remain unaccountable and all powerful. Unaccountability and de facto power allows them to continue experimenting while the masses pay the price of their follies.

The fact that people, in spite of resentment, do not resist injustices gives the decision-makers a free hand in creating an irresolvable mess. Mumia Abu Jamal’s quote unequivocally illustrates the situation here: “When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is just, yet refuse to defend it — at that moment you begin to die. And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about justice.” Hoping for the ‘Arab Spring’ here is a fantasy.

People and institutions create problems by setting themselves delusional goals. While individuals pay with personal losses, the adverse consequences of institutional delusions are permanent, colossal and harsh for the people. The establishment and the armed forces here do not seem to learn from their mistakes. Obsessive self-interest has made them lose touch with reality.

Delusional thinking, however, is not new here; the civilian rulers in the initial days were obsessed with India and acquiring evacuee property and paid no heed to people’s welfare. They were then replaced by the army obsessed with the idea that ‘Mumlikat-e-Khudadad’ was an end in itself and there was no need to bother about people’s rights and welfare. Naturally the people suffered and continue to suffer. ….

Read more » Daily Times

Memogate: an attempt to thwart democracy, and threatening the representative system is an attack on sovereignty of the people of Pakistan

Civil Society of Pakistan’s stand on So-called Memogate

Civil society terms memogate scandal an attempt to thwart democracy; Says threatening the representative system tantamount to attack on sovereignty of people.

Karachi, Sindh – 17 December 2011: We, the representatives of the Civil Society including non governmental organisations, labour organisations, academia, women’s rights bodies, and media persons express deep concern over the current political situation in the country where a crisis is being manufactured on frivolous grounds, and is being referred as the so-called Memogate. This has the potential of subverting democratically elected Parliament and the Constitution.

It is time all conspirators against democracy and the sovereignty of the people be called to account. Sovereignty belongs to the people who have agreed to exercise it through their representatives in a federal, parliamentary, and a democratic system. Any attempt at arbitrarily altering this arrangement is tantamount to an attack on the sovereignty of the people. Various institutions of the state are supposed to function within their defined constitutional parameters and complement each other but they seem to be working at cross-purposes, to the determent of public interest.

We emphasise that the role of political parties and political leaders is to represent their constituents’ interests and arrive at negotiated agreements to differences in agreed political forums.

The role of state’s security organizations is to serve the people through stipulated constitutional arrangements, under the command of the executive, and not to define what is or is not in the national interest.

The role of the judiciary is to protect the rights of the citizens from arbitrary abuse of executive power, and not to itself become a source of arbitrary executive power.

The role of the mass media is to help citizens hold powerful interests groups within and outside the state to promote their legitimate interests and hold violators of rights accountable, and not to itself act as an unaccountable interest group.

In our opinion, parliament is the appropriate forum to discuss and investigate this issue and come up with findings.

We believe that any attack on the sovereignty of the people will be unjust. It will necessarily lead to conflict and must be resisted.

We appeal to the people of Pakistan to stand united and firm in support of democracy and to resist all attempts aimed at its subversion. The people of Pakistan have made great many sacrifices for the cause of democracy and they should not let any vested interests trample their right to have a democratic and an elected representative system run the country.

Continue reading Memogate: an attempt to thwart democracy, and threatening the representative system is an attack on sovereignty of the people of Pakistan

Dirty talk

By Saroop Ijaz

Excerpt;

…. The terrorists are fanatics who wish to destroy society and life as we have known it. The cliché “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist” is overrated and in any event they are nobody’s freedom fighter. If all this sounds as dreary sentimental nonsense and hollow distant bravado to you, remember it is in our self-interest to fight and defeat them. Any capitulation or one-sided peace deal with them is by its nature doomed to fail and once it does, they will come back with a vengeance as they did after Swat. The precedent of negotiating and ceding to the edicts of people threatening to kill is one which is susceptible to permeate and will be applicable to your local gangster before you know it.

Read more » The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2011.