By: Asma Jahangir
THE masks are off and daggers drawn. Pakistan’s democratic process may once again become a part of history, leaving the world to wonder how we could so willingly poison ourselves in the belief that it would lead to better days.
Those in power have consistently let their people down — ruthlessly. But no one is being fooled. They may feel helpless in the face of manipulation by everyone trying to save their skins — the judiciary included — but as the courts have often held themselves the truth does eventually prevail.
In the meanwhile, the country is headed for another phase of political instability that may finally lead to yet another autocracy. Sense may prevail at the end, but in the process, many heads will roll and hopes will be demolished. These are sad days for Pakistan.
Continue reading Democracy under threat
We know the kind of influence Malik Riaz Hussain of Bahria Town has been famous for peddling: chummy with presidents and prime ministers, close links to all major political parties, ex-generals and air-marshals in his employ, leading champions of the fourth estate in his pocket, or at least beneficiaries of his largesse. We can even go a step further and for the sake of argument say that he is the biggest wheeler-dealer this side of Suez.
Continue reading Et tu Brute?
Pakistan: the sausage factory is becoming dangerously transparent
The latest scandal in Pakistan involves the leading business tycoon of the country spending (he claims) 340 million rupees on the son of the chief justice of Pakistan. Said tycoon Riaz Malik used to be a struggling contractor who hit paydirt with high-end housing colonies named “Bahria colony” (the name means “navy”…and some admirals are said to have sold him access to that name and the authority of Pakistan’s smallest armed force). Now one of the richest men in the country, Malik Riaz has been profiled in this documentary by TV anchor Sohail Warraich.
Suggested names for this scandal include “bahriagate”, “familygate” and, more originally (from lawyer Feisal Naqvi) “liti-gate”! Conspiracy theorists are busy trying to figure out if this whole thing was orchestrated by the army (unhappy over the chief justice’s asking questions about missing persons in Balochistan) or by Zardari or by the CIA and Mossad and RAW.
But whatever the details, one thing is clear to an outside observer. The walls of the sausage factory are becoming dangerously transparent. 11 retired generals work for Malik Riaz. Many admirals and generals smoothed his path to wealth. Many journalists are being accused of being on his payroll. And its not just this scandal. The son of the prime minister is accused of smuggling controlled substances. The brother of the almighty army chief is being targeted in a whispering campaign. Secret agencies, hidden camera videos, trips to Monte Carlo with mysterious women…its all out in the open or threatening to come out. All this has happened in other countries (well, maybe some of it has). but times are tough, the economy may tank, the security establishment has got itself into a fight with its traditional American patrons. There was never a real national ideology behind the claptrap taught in 6th grade. What will hold the center? These things can get out of hand.
Continue reading Brown Pundits – Pakistan; the sausage factory is getting exposed
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry has taken a suo moto notice against his own son Arsalan Iftikhar and Bahria Town’s Malik Riaz Hussain, following allegations leveled against them on a private news channel, DawnNews reported.
AG Irfan Qadir has also been issued a notice in this regard. A three member bench led by the CJP will hear the case today. The CJP issued these directives after allegations were leveled by a journalist on a private television channel. It was alleged that the CJP’s son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar was given up to Rs.400 million ….
Read more » DAWN.COM
Professor`s sacking brings students to streets
By Jamal Shahid
ISLAMABAD, April 4: Students of Bahria University on Monday protested against the unceremonious sacking of a professor.
Carrying placards with messages like “Save Bahria University from dictatorship” and “Oppression on campus,” the students chanted slogans against the university administration particularly its Rector Vice Admiral (retired) Mohammad Haroon for military style control and disrespecting the faculty member. …
Read more : DAWN
1,000 Pakistanis recruited for Bahrain forces
By Syed Irfan Raza
ISLAMABAD, March 20: More than 1,000 Pakistanis have been recruited to serve in the Bahrain National Guards, learnt on Sunday.
The recruitment has been made through the military-run Bahria Foundation and Fauji Foundation, which train the selected personnel before sending them to Bahrain.
Sources said that although the recruitment process had started much before the eruption of the current unrest in Bahrain, authorities have been continuing the process. The two organisations have been asked to complete the training process as early as possible. ….
Read more : DAWN
Benazir case: ex-director general of ISI faces interrogation
By Azaz Syed
…. In the latest challan submitted to an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi, paragraph 42 relates to the subject. “In this press conference the then DG, NCMC, not only announced the cause of death of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto but also declared that the terrorists belonged to Baitullah Mehsud, chief commander of TTP. The credibility of investigation of this case was affected by the premature press conference.”
… Interior ministry sources said they believed that Brig (retd) Cheema had acted only on the instructions of his immediate boss Kamal Shah who accompanied him at the ISI headquarters. They said the decision to address the press conference had been taken at a meeting held the same morning at the Rawalpindi camp office with the then president and the chief of army staff Gen Pervez Musharraf in the chair. Brig (retd) Ejaz Shah, the former chief of Intelligence Bureau and a trusted aide to Gen (retd) Musharraf, confirmed in his statement, a copy of which is also available with DawnNews, that the meeting had been held. “The intercepted CD and medical report was provided by the ISI. The briefing was given by DG-C to the participants.”
According to sources, the JIT has not yet interrogated Maj-Gen Naeem who is living in Rawalpindi and reportedly working at the Bahria Town.
Read more : DAWN