Tag Archives: Authority

Questions Surround New Supreme Court Order Disqualifying Prime Minister

The Supreme Court of Pakistan removed the Prime Minister in what is known as a “short order” – essentially a court order lacking a full explanation. These orders often begin, “For reasons to be recorded later…” – a practice that seems the beg for abuse and controversy – and then proceed directly to ordering some specific action on the part of an individual or institution. In this case, though, the specific action was not given until almost two months later – and made retroactive.

On April 26, the Supreme Court issued an order “for the reasons to be recorded later” that found then Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani “guilty of and convicted for contempt of court.” The Supreme Court did not declare the Prime Minister disqualified from office and sentenced him to a symbolic detention of about 30 seconds.

The Supreme Court having chosen not to disqualify the Prime Minister, the issue was then taken up by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Fehmida Mirza, who ruled that Mr. Gilani was not disqualified. That was last month.

Today, nearly two months after the Supreme Court issued its controversial conviction, a new short order, “for reasons to be recorded later,” was issued by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry – this time declaring that “Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani has become disqualified from being a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)…on and from the date and time of pronouncement of the judgement of this Court dated 26.4.2012…”

This raises several very interesting questions. If the Prime Minister was disqualified pursuant to the Supreme Court’s order on April 26, why did they wait until June 19 to say so? Some have suggested that the Supreme Court was giving the Prime Minister the opportunity for appeal, but this is doubtful for a number of reasons: One, the Supreme Court could have declared the Prime Minister disqualified and then stayed the order pending appeal. But more to the point, to whom would the Prime Minister have appealed? The original order was given by a 7 member bench of the Supreme Court – there was no higher authority to appeal to.

Then there is the matter of the ruling by the Speaker of the National Assembly. If the Supreme Court had determined that Mr. Gilani was disqualified as of April 26, why did they allow Dr. Mirza to proceed with deliberations and a ruling on Mr. Gilani’s status as parliamentarian? If the Supreme Court believed that Dr. Mirza did not have the authority as Speaker of the National Assembly to issue such a ruling, why did they not issue an injunction stopping the Speaker from carrying out the act?

While these questions remain unanswered, at least until the Supreme Court delivers more than the two pages made available today, they suggest very troubling possibilities. By allowing Mr. Gilani to continue serving as Prime Minister for months, the Supreme Court has created a policy nightmare for Pakistan. Making the disqualification retroactive to April 26 means that any decisions made by the government since are effectively nullified. Pakistan has, essentially, been operating without a government for over 8 weeks.

Moreover, by allowing the Speaker of the National Assembly to deliberate and issue a ruling without comment, only to nullify that decision weeks later, the Supreme Court has undermined the authority of parliament and created confusion about fundamental issues of separation of powers and constitutional authority. What government official can now carry out their duties without the fear of Supreme Court action if the Chief Justice does not like the outcome.

This gets to what is perhaps the most troubling question of all – would the Supreme have issued this new order had the Speaker of the National Assembly herself disqualified Mr. Gilani? In other words, is Pakistan’s Supreme Court acting pursuant to due process or desired outcomes?

Courtesy: http://americansforpakistan.com/2012/06/19/questions-surround-new-supreme-court-order-disqualifying-prime-minister/

Via – Twitter

Pakistan heading towards anarchy, cautions author

By: Reuters

Excerpts;

…. Pakistan’s escalating problems are rooted in its reliance on US aid, its complex politics, the government’s lack of control over both its military and intelligence service and its failure to protect minorities and secure regions controlled by the Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups, the book maintains. That spells more trouble for Washington if such groups gain further control in a nuclear-armed country where the military now largely controls foreign and security policies and has taken the lead in relations with the United States, he said. “Pakistan has all the potential of becoming a failing state,” Rashid, 63, said in an interview, explaining the title of the book that follows bestsellers including “Taliban” and “Descent Into Chaos” that were translated into dozens of languages. “I feel very much that the lack of state control, the lack of state authority is going to mean there is going to be increasing anarchy in many different parts of the country,” said Rashid, who has received numerous death threats and was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the top 100 global thinkers. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

How to say yes to online censorship

By Jahanzaib Haque

Excerpt;

….. The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) must issue a list of the blocked websites with explanations for who blocked the site and for what reason, under which law, along with the length of the ban. No ban should be put in place without court approval and due discourse with independent entities set up to safeguard the rights of the citizens. Any ban on a site should be preceded by a prior warning sent to the webmaster, possibly including a two/three strike system. A notice of an implemented ban should be sent to the site owners and announced publicly and there should be a clearly established system for challenging the ban.

As yet, the PTA and the government have made no overtures to suggest they want to be held accountable or want to develop a system after consultation with the citizens they serve. Till they do, the ongoing and upcoming censorship of the internet in Pakistan must be fought tooth and nail.

Read more: The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2012.

The supreme court on the army and ISI chiefs’ removal

By Nasim Zehra

Excerpt;

….. The prime minister is within his constitutional authority to remove the two chiefs, and therefore under what law would the Chief Justice of Pakistan interfere in the prime minister’s authority and ask for a no-removal guarantee by the latter? Giving such a guarantee would clearly restrict the constitutional powers given to the elected prime minister. Was the CJP overstepping his constitutional mandate? The CJP can re-interpret or use his own discretion, but not without undermining the Constitution.

Such an action by the CJP could set a dangerous precedent and could undermine the recent thawing of government-army tensions. The Chief Justice of Pakistan is humbly advised to re-trace his missteps on this matter. Meanwhile, the government would be ill-advised to give in writing that it will not remove the army and the ISI chiefs.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2012.

Civilian authority has come under Pakistan Army: Asma Jehangir

Pakistan’s Supreme Court backs the country’s Military Establishment over the Civilian democratic government.

History will remember this as the dark day of Pakistan’s judiciary which has capitulated to the Military.

— o — o — o — o —

By Sidrah Moiz

ISLAMABAD: Counsel for former Ambassador to the United States Asma Jehangir, speaking in reference to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Memogate case, said that the civilian authority had come under the army and that it was a “dark day” for the judiciary. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune » YouTube

More details » BBC urdu

Pakistan Defence Pvt Ltd – By Gulmina Bilal Ahmad

The very fact that these banned organisations are still working so openly in our society, without any fear or even a slight concern for the rule of law and state authority, makes evident the will of the authorities to tackle extremism

Generally throughout the entire history of Pakistan, the defence budget has been continuously increasing. Particularly in the last decade the budget allocated to defence expenditures has witnessed enormous growth, from $ 2.5 billion in 1999 to around $ 5 billion in 2011. The reason cited by defence experts is the various external and internal threats, especially evolving after 9/11 and the initiation of the war on terror. The finance for this growing expenditure is supported through the earnings of the citizens of Pakistan. Let me make it clear to everyone that here I am not making a case against the budget allocated to the security of the country, as security is the foremost issue for Pakistan nowadays. My concern is that if the people of Pakistan are contributing for the defence budget and are willing to sacrifice the financial requirements of other sectors for safeguarding the country, then they also have the right to know what policies are being employed by the security apparatus for this purpose.

Pakistan has been outsourcing its defence activities to civilians or non-military groups since the outset. Starting from the war in Kashmir immediately after independence, during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Kashmir movement and finally in the current war on terror where tribal lashkars (militias) are being formed to battle militancy. Numerous platforms have been invented in various eras according to requirements, whether it is the Pak-Afghan Council, Muttahida Jihad Council or the latest talk of the town, the Pakistan Defence Council (PDC). This last mentioned amalgamation of right-wing mainstream political parties and banned militant outfits has received colossal limelight in the aftermath of the NATO attack. The recent rally held in Lahore on December 18 by the PDC was attended by thousands and was under the very symbol synonymous with the sovereignty of the country. The rally was not only attended by mainstream political figures but also the leaders of banned terrorist organisations. Ijazul Haq, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, General Hamid Gul and Syed Munawar Hasan shared the stage with Hafiz Saeed, head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). The reason for the sudden rise of these organisations is very simple. As I mentioned in my previous article, these militant outfits are pouncing on the opportunity to exploit the sentiments of the already enraged citizens for their own vested agenda to regain their foothold. ….

Read more » Daily Times

Pakistan army or Real estate developers?

Paradise city: DHA City masterplan unveiled to real estate agents

By Saad Hasan

KARACHI: On Wednesday at exactly 10 am, the master plan for the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) City Karachi or DCK was revealed to real estate agents and investors.

The residential project is located 56 kilometres from the city and is being constructed at the cost of one billion dollars. It is spread over 11,640 acres of land and will be self dependent for water and electricity – at least when the first batch of owners build their houses in the next four years.

While referring to the 25,000 plots sold in 2010, DHA Administrator Brig. Aamer Raza Qureshi said that by going public with the master plan, he hoped that the people would start paying up their installments. He added that they still hadn’t received around 30% of them. The project is expected to attract a total investment of over three billion dollars ….

Read mroe » The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/310149/paradise-city-dha-city-masterplan-unveiled-to-real-estate-agents/

Questions raised, Asma said she was baffled by Pasha’s meeting with Ijaz. “I don’t understand his interest in the Memogate affair,” “Under whose authority did he go abroad?” referring to the permission Pasha had required from the prime minister? Pasha must have resigned after 2nd May incident. Supreme Court must take action against Pasha.”

Questions raised: Pressure on Pasha

ISLAMABAD: The rhetoric against country’s top spymaster has increased in recent days – that too from a number of quarters.

Asma Jahangir, the counsel for former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, said on Monday that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Shuja Ahmed Pasha “should have resigned immediately” after the May 2 raid in Abbottabad that killed Osama bin Laden.

Speaking to the media after the Memogate case hearing, Jahangir said she did not understand why the DG ISI felt the need to travel abroad in order to investigate the matter. Jehangir also questioned Pasha’s meeting with Mansoor Ijaz.

Asma said she was baffled by Pasha’s meeting with Ijaz. “I don’t understand his interest in the Memogate affair,” she added.

Under whose authority did he go abroad?” she said, referring to the permission Pasha had required from the prime minister. Ijaz, in his reply, had stated that Pasha told him that he was meeting him with the knowledge of the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Petition against Pasha

Communist Party Chairman Engineer Jamil Ahmed Malik has also applied pressure on General Pasha. On Monday he pleaded with the Supreme Court to take action against the ISI chief for allegedly meeting Arab rulers.

Filing a petition in the SC on Monday, Jameel asked the court to remove Pasha, claiming he has lost the right to remain in service after his involvement in the Memogate affair.

Jamil said that, although reports regarding Pasha’s meeting with senior Arab leaders were carried in the press, neither ISPR (Inter Services Public Relations) nor Pasha had contradicted them. In the ‘Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto versus President of Pakistan’ case, the SC had decided that “facts given in newspapers, having not been denied, would be considered as undisputed fact”, Jamil said.

Jamil’s argument, therefore, is that news on the meeting indicated that Pasha and the army were involved in politics, which was contrary to their oath under Article 244 of the Constitution. He added that the SC in a 2004 case had barred all government employees from taking part in politics during service. “…the ISI chief has hatched a conspiracy against an elected government and the president and he deserves a court martial under the Pakistan Army Act, 152,” Jamil said. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Pakistan: Government a toothless tiger, says Asma

By Monitoring Desk

Asma Jahangir, Former Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jahangir on Saturday termed the government a “toothless tiger” as it lacked moral authority and power.

She had earlier talked about the judiciary in the same manner as according to her, it also “does not entertain any moral authority because its decisions are not acted upon”.

Asked in an interview in Samaa TV programme Zer-e-Behas hosted by Pakistan Today Editor Arif Nizami about the reason she had decided to represent Husain Haqqani in the SC, she said she had earlier been approached by Haqqani to plead his case which she declined, but subsequently changed her mind when no lawyer was ready to take up the case. Asked to substantiate her point why the judiciary lacked moral authority and was media-driven, Asma said the judiciary ran on the principle of moral authority which was the basis of its power. She also said there was no similarity between the Watergate scandal and the memo issue. “This is called showing way to others.”

She said because the judiciary was not an elected institution, it should avoid indulging in controversies. To her “the standard should be the same for everyone. If some Allah Ditta approaches the judiciary, he should get the same treatment meted out to Nawaz Sharif.”

Read more » Pakistan Today

Pakistan – Multan airspace shut for all flights

KARACHI: Multan airspace has been shut for all flights, sources said. No flight was allowed to enter the area surrounding Multan for two hours.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) when contacted regarding the situation, refused to tell the reason of Multan airspace closure.

Geo news correspondent Tariq Abul Hassan told that two flights were not allowed to enter the area and directed to change their direction while another flight coming from Lahore was sent back. Meanwhile, another flight from Hyderabad landed at Sukkur.

Courtesy: The News

FACTS ARE FACTS – The Untold Story of India’s Partition. By WALI KHAN

Translation by Dr. Syeda Saiyidain Hameed

Second Edition, November 2004

Excerpt;

[ page 194 & 195] … Pakistan was a different story. The Muslim League had taken no part in the country’s freedom. They never launched any movement or struggled for freedom. So engrossed were they in opposing the Congress Party that they sought British help in fulfilling their objective. The British were aware that in the whole of Pakistan there was only one organisation which had participated in the struggle against British imperialism, the Khudai Khidmatgars of the North West Frontier Province. The British and the Khudai Khidmatgars were naturally not kindly disposed towards each other. On these two scores, the MuslimLeague and the British were on common ground; therefore, whoever opposed the British, was also opposed to the Muslim League. Consequently, a Muslim League Government was expected to fall in line with the British, and would allow the British to use it in taking revenge on behalf of the allies. The British viewed Pakistan as a totally new country, which would take a while to stand on its own. For years to come the Government of Pakistan would have to look up to the British for assistance. Another reason for British complacency about Pakistan was that her rulers were not locally born, but had migrated from India. They were immigrants who did not have their roots in the new country. Their authority was derived from the Muslim League. Based on empirical evidence the British realised thatthe Muslim League could not acquire political power even inMuslim Punjab. It is axiomatic that if a political party is not properly organised and disciplined, the political power slips outof its hands and passes on to the bureaucracy. The Governmentof Pakistan did precisely what the British had expected them to do. Almost all key positions were given to the British. Whenthe names of the new Governors of the Provinces were announced, with the exception of Sind all the provinces hadBritish Governors: (1) Sir Frederick Bourne, East Bengal; (2)Sir Francis Mudie, Punjab; (3) Sir George Cunningham, NWFP; and (4) An Englishman as Agent in Baluchistan. Sir Ghulam Husain Hidayatullah was the only Pakistani, who was appointed the Governor of Sindh. This appointmentwas made because the capital of Sind was Karachi which alsohappened to be the capital of Pakistan. The Government Houseof Sind was occupied by Jinnah, the Governor-General of Pakistan. Therefore another residence had to be arranged for the Governor of Sindh!The British were appointed the Chiefs of the PakistanArmy, Air Force and Navy: (1) General Sir Frank Messervy,Commander-in-Chief, Army; (2) Air Vice-Marshal Perry Keane, Chief of Air Force; and (3) Rear Admiral Jefford, Chief of Naval Staff …

[page 199] It is curious logic that when we participated in thestruggle for freedom with the Congress against the British rule, the gutless Muslim League leaders used to taunt us by calling us the children of the Hindus. Now when the Hindus have left behind properties worth crores of rupees, those very leaders are the first to arrive, take possession of them, and assert their right on them. ….

Courtesy: scribd

http://www.scribd.com/doc/73921691/Wali-Khan-s-Book-Facts-Are-Facts-The-Untold-Story-of-India-s-Partition-in-1947

A Pakistani Christian student’s question to the High Court

Is a Pakistani Christian equal to a fellow Muslim?

“A young Pakistani student belonging to the Christian faith has posed an interesting question through a petition in the Lahore High Court. The question is: Am I, a Pakistani Christian equal to a fellow citizen who is a Muslim ? For those of the readers who missed the news item reported by an English daily, this young student belongs to a low income group, is a practicing Christian and extremely bright. She has been competing to get into the King Edwards Medical College but was beaten on the list by 20 marks by a Muslim student who got the extra 20 marks for being Hafiz–e-Quran. So, now this young Christian girl has filed a plea in the Lahore Court declaring that she and the Muslim student had equal marks but the latter got the advantage of religion. The young Christian student claims that “this is discrimination against religious minority students and a violation of fundamental rights granted by the Constitution of Pakistan.” The petition admitted by the Lahore High Court demands that either the LHC should rule to abolish the policy or should declare that a parallel policy should be made to award twenty additional marks to religious minority students on the basis of their religious knowledge. Fifty eight years after the creation of the country to ask such a question through the courts is both tragic and hopeful”.
Constitution of Pakistan, Part II, Chapter -1, Fundamental Rights, Article 22 says:-

(1) No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or take part in any religious ceremony, or attend religious worship, if such instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own.

(2) In respect of any religious institution, there shall be no discrimination against any community in the granting of exemption or concession in relation to taxation.

(3) Subject to law: (a) no religious community or denomination shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination in any educational institution maintained wholly by that community or denomination; and

(b) no citizen shall be denied admission to any educational institution receiving aid from public revenues on the ground only of race, religion, caste or place of birth.

(4) Nothing in this Article shall prevent any public authority from making provision for the advancement of any socially or educationally backward class of citizens.

Read more » Pak Tribune

Malik offered US all NADRA record: WikiLeaks

SINDH – KARACHI:  Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik, back in the day, had offered US all the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) record so that it could easily track anyone who it suspected to be involved in terror-mongering, WikiLeaks revealed.

Detail has it that Rehman Malik as a token of tanks for aiding Pakistan came up with the offer of transferring Nadra’s record of millions of Pakistanis to US spy agencies. He also suggested signing an agreement with US to make it look legal and save the Pakistan Peoples’ Party government from any embarrassment to boot.

Courtesy: → The News

Pakistan targets cities in North India

by Wichaar

Karachi, July 25 (TruthDive): A report in the media states 25 more nuclear missiles are to be added by Pakistan with a range of 700 -1000 kms to keep parity with India. This means most of the cities and nuclear establishments in North India are vulnerable to attack.

Reproduced below is the media report: If the government successfully achieves its target, this would be the highest number of missiles Pakistan had ever produced in a year. These air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles would be able to hit a target at a distance between 700 to 1,000 kilometers, which would put nearly all major Indian cities within their range.

Sources said the plan was in line with Pakistan’s official policy of having what is rhetorically called ‘maintaining a minimum deterrence’ especially against India. They added that the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) — a high powered body that oversees Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal — was also supervising the production of new missiles.

The SPD works under the National Commands Authority (NCA) that is headed by the prime minister and has all services chiefs as its members. Sources said it was in one of the recent NCA meetings that SPD briefed the authority about the plan that envisaged the production of highest number of missiles ever in a year.

The disclosure comes on the heels of reports earlier in the year that Pakistan was rapidly adding to its nuclear arsenal and the number of its warheads might have surpassed France.

Officials in Islamabad have denied those reports but insiders said Pakistan has been ‘watching closely with concern’ India’s increasing nuclear cooperation with the United States and France.“That is the benchmark… if we see something happening in India on this front, naturally we react and we have to,” said another official.

Courtesy: → Wichaar

PEMRA issues notices to 4 TV channels for provoking anti-national sentiments

ISLAMABAD, Jun 3 (APP): Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Friday issued notices to Geo News, Dawn News, News One and Dunya News for being irresponsible and provoking anti-national sentiments among viewers by sensitizing events unnecessarily. According to a PEMRA press release, some of the talk shows and programmes of these channels were observed in violation of Section 20 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 read with Rule 15 of PEMRA Rules 2009 and clause (1) (d) (g) (h) of Code of Conduct set out in the Schedule-B of PEMRA Rules 2009.

After the PNS Mehran tragedy, it was being observed that some news channels were not realizing their journalistic responsibility and ethics towards society, institutions and country. Some news channels even went overboard in maligning role of security agencies, armed forces and state institutions.

For instance, Geo News televised interview of an alleged eye witness of PNS Mehran attack and created undue sensation and hype

Continue reading PEMRA issues notices to 4 TV channels for provoking anti-national sentiments

Pakistan’s Faustian Parliament – by Wajid Ali Syed

It was embarrassing enough for the people of Pakistan to find out that Osama bin Laden was living in their midst for years. Even more shameful was the realization that their politicians are incapable of questioning the security apparatus of the country. The masses rallied and protested and faced hardships for months to kick General Pervez Musharraf out of power. They voted the Pakistan People’s Party, the most widely-based and allegedly liberal party to power, believing that democracy has been restored.

Though the leader of the government, President Asif Ali Zardari has been blamed for everything going wrong in the country and is regarded as a corrupt individual, until now there has been a perceived upside that Pakistan is being led by an elected government and not a military dictatorship.

This illusion of so-called civilian supremacy silently burst like a bubble when the head of the ISI, General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, and the Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani were called before the parliament to answer for their incompetence related to the May 2 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. The agenda was to inquire about the U.S. attack and why the state security apparatus was unaware of Osama bin Laden’s presence.

But what happened during the closed door meeting revealed once again that the real power in Pakistan still lies with the army and the ISI, not the politicians.

It had been suggested that heads would roll, the foreign aid and the big chunk of national budget that the army receives would be scrutinized. The parliamentarians dropped the ball again and lost another opportunity to exert their authority over other institutions of the state. Once again it became clear who really runs Pakistan.

The last time a civilian government had an opportunity to put the army in its place was in 1971, following the Pakistan army’s defeat in the war that led to the loss of East Pakistan, which became Bangladesh. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan’s then-president and founder of the Pakistan People’s Party, got off to a promising start by placing former dictator General Yahya Khan under house arrest. He re-organized the Pakistan Armed Forces and boosted the military’s morale. But Bhutto also restored their hubris. Years later, his own appointed Army Chief, General Zia ul-Haq, would overthrow Bhutto’s government and send him to the gallows.

During Zia’s 11 year rule, the Russians invaded Afghanistan and withdrew. The army grew so strong that even after Zia’s death in a plane crash, the new chief of the military did not allow the democratically elected Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, to tour the country’s nuclear facility. She was labelled anti-Pakistan and an American agent.

It is ironic to witness that the opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), which was created with the support of the army to counter the PPP’s popularity, is now asking the tough questions about covert operations and the finances of the military.

By snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Pakistan’s ruling party, Bhutto’s PPP, is losing its chance to demonstrate leadership and moral authority. They failed to hold the army accountable for the thousands of civilians and security officers killed in the war on terror in Pakistan. They did not press the chief of the generously-funded army to explain how OBL could have lived in a military garrison town for six years.

These are the same parliamentarians who extended General Kiyani’s tenure. The same parliamentarians who extended ISI Chief General Pasha’s tenure. The boastful parliamentarians who had promised to leave no stone unturned roared like lions for the cameras but behaved like lambs behind closed doors.

It was reported that opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar tried to deliver a speech during the question and answer session, only to be snubbed by General Pasha in front of a full house. Pasha claimed that he ‘knew’ why he was being targeted by the opposition leader, alleging that Nisar had asked him for a personal favor, which he, as DG ISI, refused to extend. An embarrassed Chaudhry Nisar was said to have been taken aback as Pasha continued with his ‘counter-attack’.

Then the tail furiously wagged the dog. General Pasha reportedly offered to resign. Rather than demanding that the ISI chief step down immediately, apparently the parliamentarians did not accept his resignation.

The state run television channel could have returned to its heyday of running prime time programming that kept the country glued to their sets by recording that “closed door” meeting to broadcast later as a drama — or farce.

Some idealistic Pakistanis hoped that the U.S. would finally question the secretly played “double game.” After all, the U.S. supported extensions of Kiyani’s and Pasha’s tenures, claiming that keeping the chiefs in their positions would help to continue the war on terror in an orderly fashion. The U.S. abandoned the people of Pakistan by siding with the army once again, pledging support and failing to attach any strings or conditions to the military aid it provides.

Cowed by Kiyani’s and Pasha’s brazen displays, Pakistan’s parliament passed a resolution that drone attacks should be stopped and that the operations like the one carried out on May 2nd won’t be tolerated in future.

The parliament has an obligation to explain to the public not only how and why Osama bin Laden was living in Abbottabad, but why the Taliban continues to carry out its bloody operations, and why al Qaeda leaders have been given safe haven. The risk of allowing these questions to remain unanswered is that the military will gain more strength over the civilian government.

The parliamentarians who are supposed to represent the people of Pakistan abrogated their responsibility for the sake of staying in office for few more months, while at the same time making it clear who the country’s rulers truly are.

Courtesy: Wichaar

Behind ‘Rising India’

Behind ‘Rising India’ lies the surrender of national dignity

From India’s prime minister down, the rotten state of the world’s largest democracy has been exposed for all to see

Even the racketeers of Pakistani military and intelligence appear dignified when compared with the Indians stampeding to plant kisses on US behinds!

by Pankaj Mishra

Food prices become intolerable for the poor. Protests against corruption paralyse the national parliament for weeks on end. Then a series of American diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks exposes a brazenly mendacious and venal ruling class; the head of government adored by foreign business people and journalists loses his moral authority, turning into a lame duck.

This sounds like Tunisia or Egypt before their uprisings, countries long deprived of representative politics and pillaged by the local agents of neoliberal capitalism. But it is India, where in recent days WikiLeaks has highlighted how national democratic institutions are no defence against the rapacity and selfishness of globalised elites.

Most of the cables – being published by the Hindu, the country’s most respected newspaper in English – offer nothing new to those who haven’t drunk the “Rising India” Kool-Aid vended by business people, politicians and their journalist groupies. The evidence of economic liberalisation providing cover for a wholesale plunder of the country’s resources has been steadily mounting over recent months. The loss in particular of a staggering $39bn in the government’s sale of the telecom spectrum has alerted many Indians to the corrupt nexuses between corporate and political power. …

Read more : guardian.co.uk

Renowned Sindhi historian Dr. Nabi Bux Baloch passes away

HYDERABAD: Renowned historian and research scholar of Sindh and Pakistan, Dr. Nabi Bux Baloch passed away on Wednesday. He was 94. He was born on December 16, 1917, in Jaffer Khan Laghari village, Taluka Sinjhoro, Sanghar District. He was scholar of Sindhi, Persian, Arabic and Urdu languages. He was author of a number of books on Sindh history, and about 42 volumes on Sindhi Folklore. He also compiled and published Sindhi dictionary in five volumes. Moreover, he compiled Sindhi-to-Urdu, Urdu-to-Sindhi dictionaries co-authored with Dr. Ghulam Mustafa Khan. He has compiled works of Classical Sindhi poets including Shah Inayat, Qadi Qadan, Khalifo Nabibakhsh, Hamal Faqir and compiled works of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai in ten volumes. He rose to the positions of the first Dean of Education Department and Vice-Chancellor of University of Sindh. He also worked as first Chairman of Sindhi Language Authority and Chairman of Allama I.I. Kazi Chair. His works in Sindhi Language has been published by Sindh Moti Manik Tanzeem Hyderabad and Institute of Sindhology, University of Sindh.

Creative Destruction!

Egypt’s Revolution-Creative Destruction For A ‘Greater Middle East’?

The G8 Map of Washington’s Greater Middle East extends right to the borders of China and Russia and West to Morocco

by F. William Engdahl

…….. Will it work? At this writing it is unclear what the ultimate upshot of the latest US-led destabilizations across the Islamic world will bring. It is not clear what will result for Washington and the advocates of a US-dominated New World Order. Their agenda is clearly one of creating a Greater Middle East under firm US grip as a major control of the capital flows and energy flows of a future China, Russia and a European Union that might one day entertain thoughts of drifting away from that American order.

It has huge potential implications for the future of Israel as well. As one US commentator put it, “The Israeli calculation today is that if ‘Mubarak goes’ (which is usually stated as ‘If America lets Mubarak go’), Egypt goes. If Tunisia goes (same elaboration), Morocco and Algeria go. Turkey has already gone (for which the Israelis have only themselves to blame). Syria is gone (in part because Israel wanted to cut it off from Sea of Galilee water access). Gaza has gone to Hamas, and the Palestine Authority might soon be gone too (to Hamas?). That leaves Israel amid the ruins of a policy of military domination of the region.” [28]

The Washington strategy of “creative destruction” is clearly causing sleepless nights not only in the Islamic world but also reportedly in Tel Aviv, and ultimately by now also in Beijing and Moscow and across Central Asia.

Read more : GlobalResearch.Ca

F. William Engdahl is author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order. His book, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order has just been reissued in a new edition. He may be contacted via his website, http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net.

Pity Pakistan is close to imploding?

Jesters and destinies —Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Whenever armies become unanswerable to the state and become a ‘deep state’, the irreversible rot sets in and results in the disintegration of the state they are supposedly safeguarding and protecting.

In his book, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) tells about a Roman emperor who, angered by the actions of his favourite jester, orders that he be put to death. The jester, hearing this, mournfully shakes his head and says that a wish of his would remain unfulfilled. Inquisitive, the emperor inquires and after some persuasion the jester tells that he has the knowledge and the ability to teach the emperor’s favourite black stallion to speak.

The emperor asks how long would it take and is told a year is enough. The death sentence is temporarily waived and the condemned jester allowed to fulfil his promise. The jester’s well-wishers tell him that he has committed a great folly as there was no way that he could make the stallion speak. He replies, “There is a possibility that in the intervening time I may die a natural death or maybe even the emperor could die and I would be free. Moreover, a year is long enough a period; who knows, the black stallion may learn to speak.”

Sixty-three years are a long enough period to change destinies but it seems the jesters here who took up the task were incompetent, corrupt and dishonest to the core, whose concept of a tryst with destiny remained limited to accumulating power and pelf for their dynasties. They neither had compassion for the people nor the wisdom to understand that they were establishing the groundwork for the eventual catastrophe. They felt if they could muster the support of their various masters and mentors for undisputed authority and power to rule, then for all intents and purposes the masses and their problems were irrelevant. They simply ensured by deceit and fraud that loans would continue to pour in to make their lives luxurious even if that meant burdening the people with irredeemable debts. These jesters have brought this place to this pass and the only route open is the way down. …

Read more : Daily Times

DHA: authority within authority

PML-N to oppose DHA bill in parliament

This draft is not only repugnant to basic tenant of the constitution but is also against the provincial autonomy, laws of Pakistan and international agreements,” said PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

ISLAMABAD: The Defence Housing Authority (DHA) bill may not be enacted into law as the main opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has decided to vehemently oppose the bill whenever it comes to the parliament.

“Whenever this bill is tabled before the National Assembly, Muslim League (N) will play its historic role by opposing it,” said the N-League spokesman on Thursday. …

Read more : DAWN

Most countries have an army, the Pakistani army has a country!

Army and country – George Fulton

At first glance, the WikiLeaks revelations about the Pakistani army aren’t exactly, er, revelatory. So General Kayani and the intelligence agencies call the shots in Pakistan. Nothing new there, you may be thinking. Everyone knows that. Any foreigner arriving in Pakistan is soon pulled aside and told a couple of pithy lines about the army. One being that the three As run Pakistan — Allah, America and the Army. The other is that whilst most countries have an army, the Pakistani army has a country.

But reading the cables starkly in black and white, one is reminded how truly prevailing the army is to Pakistan’s society and long-term survival. The very institution that is supposedly designed to protect us is bringing Pakistan to its knees.

Let’s take parliamentary democracy. In theory we have one of those, with elected leaders to do our bidding, but WikiLeaks reminds us otherwise. Zardari wants to implement stiff sanctions on terrorist financing and close down terrorist training camps, but he can’t. Why? The unelected and unaccountable military and intelligence agencies won’t allow it. We are also told that Kayani planned to pressure President Zardari to resign and replace him with Asfandyar Wali Khan. Er, on whose authority? Sorry, old chum, but I thought that decision fell to the Pakistani people at the ballot box, not a man who wears spaghetti on his shoulders.

The cables also reveal the army’s support of the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t the faujis’ raison d’etre, it’s primary reason to exist, the first line in their handbook if you will, to protect us from enemies foreign and domestic? Or perhaps it’s to make cornflakes that taste of cardboard?

But the reason for the army’s support for the militants is of course our hatred of India. Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Afghan Taliban, despite their continuous killing of our own citizens, are apparently a vital part of our national security. Read that sentence again and it sounds like something from “Monty Python”. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Yes let’s threaten India by funding and supporting people who attack India and, er, ourselves. Good job.

In addition, the army’s paranoia and cold war thinking has stopped successive civilian governments from making any constructive attempts at long-term peace with India. An economic powerhouse that could bring thousands of jobs to Pakistan remains a foe, thanks to the faujis.

For too long the military/intelligence nexus has been immune to any sort of accountability or criticism. We can judge the judiciary, pillory the politicians and mock the media. But the army receives a free reign. The generals/admirals/air marshals — who can be as corrupt and venal as the political class — rarely receive similar press coverage, despite the fact that the army is the biggest private landowner in Pakistan. They run businesses, residential areas, schools and hospitals but somehow they largely avoid scrutiny. Funny that. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Could GHQ tell us what happened to the inquiry into the alleged firing squad and beating videos which are even now doing the rounds in emails and on the Internet and bringing our country a bad name?

A matter of shame – By Kamran Shafi

I WAS much ashamed as a former soldier to read what ensued when a sessions court in Karachi cancelled the pre-arrest bail applications of certain serving and retired officials of the National Highway Authority (NHA) in the case of the collapse of Karachi`s Sher Shah Bridge.

The former chairman, Major General Raja Farrukh Javed, during whose tenure the bridge was built and which collapsed within weeks of its opening by none other than the Commando himself, ran away from the City Courts premises!

In the words of Paul Drake, the fictional private detective who helps Perry Mason solve his cases in Erle Stanley Gardner`s thrillers of yesteryear, the great general variously “took to his heels; vamoosed; went on the lam; broke his bond” etcetera, and made his escape from the court. It is pertinent to note that the news report also said that the major general “managed to escape from the court premises very easily”. I ask you! What absolutely disgraceful behaviour. patwaris havaldars

One should have thought that and police and others of their ilk did this sort of dishonourable and cowardly thing and not full-blown generals of our great army that has lorded it over us for more years than I care to remember and which is even now baring its fangs at the `bloody civilians`. If he had done nothing wrong, Maj-Gen Javed should have stood his ground and argued his case in court.

Although the Sindh High Court did a couple of days later grant Maj-Gen Javed and another person named on the FIR pre-arrest interim bail, some immediate questions nevertheless present themselves: Was his getaway facilitated? Where is he now? And, most fundamentally, why did he do what he did?

Be which as it may, and because these questions are now being asked by citizens of this poor country who cannot escape from the law “very easily” themselves as evidenced by letters to the editor, even of this newspaper of record, it falls upon the army administration to make its position clear in terms of bad conduct by retired officers. The army has been abused enough by fortune-seekers and carpet-baggers and petty Napoleons; it is time that the high command sent the message that it will not tolerate un-soldier-like behaviour, even by retired personnel, any longer.

And while it is at it, could GHQ tell us what happened to the inquiry into the alleged firing squad and beating videos which are even now doing the rounds in emails and on the Internet and bringing our country a bad name? As one has said before, those alleged happenings could well be the handiwork of Pakistan`s enemies, but it would help if we knew the truth. ….

Read more : DAWN

Sindh Assembly passed a unanimous resolution for WAPDA’s rotational chairmanship with representation of every province

SA passes six resolutions

* Representation of all provinces in WAPDA’s Board of Directors stressed

By Masroor Afzal Pasha

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly (SA) passed a unanimous resolution on Wednesday for the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)’s rotational chairmanship in all provinces with representation of every province in WAPDA’s board of directors (BoD). …

Read more : Daily Times

Punjab – Sindh : Troubled waters

Sindh

Editorial : Troubled waters

With both the Punjab and Sindh holding firm on their stance over the controversial opening of the Chashma-Jhelum link canal, which has led the member of the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) from Sindh and the federation to ready their resignations, the prime minister has been forced to intervene. He will be attempting to pour oil over the churning waters. But even as he does so, there seems to be a realisation that the structure of Irsa may need to be altered to prevent the periodic tidal waves that erupt and threaten to cause a great deal of damage.The orders issued by the member from the Punjab, who is also acting chairman of the authority, would serve the interests of his province but damage those of Sindh by reducing flow down the Indus. To rub salt into wounds, the Punjab has now sought additional water through the canal. There is quite evidently an element of selfishness in the way water is demanded by each province, heedless of the needs of others. The battles between the Punjab and Sindh represent nothing new. But if we look at the matter realistically and dispassionately, it seems almost inevitable that this will happen. The Punjab, as the majority province, has not been known for its sensitivity to the concerns of others. And hence the current acrimony on this issue, with the smaller provinces clearly feeling discriminated against.

Read more >>- The Express Tribune