Tag Archives: Causes

Pakistan, courts Islamometer

Islamo-meter in the courts…and Anjuman Shahzadi

By Omar Ali

Back in the 1980, General Zia was “Islamizing” Pakistan, primarily by having several thousand people flogged (mostly for political offences..including a barber in,if i remember correctly, Faisalabad, for putting up Zia’s picture as one of the available hairstyles). I happened to chat with Sharif Sabir Sahib, an observant, reasonably orthodox Muslim (known as “Molvi Sharif Sabir”) and a great scholar of Punjabi (who also taught Persian). I asked him what he thought of this Islamization? He said “son, take an islamo-meter to the district court. The day it registers an even slightly positive reading, I will personally wash Zia’s feet with rose water”. Of course, both of us knew this was a safe bet.

Osama Sameer surveys how things look in the district courts today, further down the winding road that is taking us away from British India and towards Pakistan, fortress of Islam.

I am not posting this to help “the world understand us better”. How “the world” understands us is the least of our problems. Frankly (and I hope this does not strike anyone as rude) that is the sort of bullshit that buffoon Musharraf was known for. The idea that “the world” has misunderstood our lovable self. That if we can somehow “promote our soft image” (this was a phrase Mushie used several thousand times) and show the world that we paint trucks, we pray in petrol stations, we walk half naked down catwalks, then all will be well. I think this whole shtick is meaningless in the larger scheme of things. The world that matters (the people who start wars, sell oil, buy countries) doesnt care about any of that and neither do most Pakistanis. All of that is neither problem nor solution. Even the s0-called “ideology of Pakistan” (which i attack at every opportunity and Samosa and Riaz Haq sahib will defend till they have something more urgent to do) is a problem mostly because taking it seriously causes other, more real problems. If we can confine it to schoolbooks (preferably grade 5 and below) we can safely ignore it.

btw, If the world wants to understand ”moderate Islamic Pakistani” closer to street level, here is a Pakistani Mujra (an art form slightly older than catwalk modelling) by Anjuman Shahzadi, complete with “Hajji brothers” logo proudly displayed in the background (Hajji means someone who has been for Haj to Mecca). She died last year, apparently of infection and diabetes. Who knows.

She could be incredibly crude:

Read more » Brown Pundits

On Bhagat Singh, his vision and Jinnah’s support for his struggle

A few days ago, Irfan Habib, a noted researcher and author of TO MAKE THE DEAF HEAR – Ideology and Programme of Bhagat Singh and His Comradessent his thoughtful piece on the legendary Bhagat Singh.

Incidentally, Bhagat Singh was hanged on Pakistan’s Republic Day – March 23 though nine years prior to that – in Lahore – thereby adding another dimension to the symbolism of March 23 for Pakistanis. Bhagat Singh for his principles, struggle for just causes and valour is a shared hero.

I am quoting some of the passages from Habib’s article below. Citing a Tamil newspaper editorial of 1931, Habib writes:

Continue reading On Bhagat Singh, his vision and Jinnah’s support for his struggle

Canadians losing faith in religion

– Many link traditional institutions with religious conflict, survey finds

By Teresa Smith

It’s no secret fewer Canadians attend church today than 20 years ago, but what may be surprising is almost half of Canadians believe religion does more harm than good, according to the results of a survey conducted by Ipsos Reid.

Explanations from experts vary – from fear of extremists and anger toward individuals who abuse positions of power, to a national “forgetting” of Canadian history.

“In the past few years, there have been several high-profile international situations involving perceived religious conflicts, as well as the anniversary of 9/11, and I think when people see those, it causes them to fear religion and to see it as a source of conflict,” said Janet Epp Buckingham, associate professor at Trinity Western University in Ottawa.

Religion seems to be a key player in many of today’s top stories, from stand-alone events – such as the 2005 riots in the suburbs of Paris linked to the French government’s proposed burka ban, and rightwing Christian Anders Behring Breivik’s shooting rampage in Oslo, Norway – to more drawn-out sagas, such as child abuse in the Catholic Church, and the perception that Christians are constantly campaigning against gay marriage and abortion. ….

Read more:→ http://www.timescolonist.com/life/Canadians+losing+faith+religion/5420900/story.html#ixzz1YUqS2IDX

 

We need multiple measures to start a return: Mobarak Haider

by Waseem Altaf

The forces of chaos and disruption will not agree on anything less than absolute power. Unfortunately the world community will have to act. We are moving in a direction where our case might resemble that of Japan and Germany in Second World War

“Tragedies darken when their victims refuse to understand the causes. Intellectual failure has thus been the principle deficit; which means the so-called men of intellect are to blame” says Dr. Mobarak Haider. A political activist, scholar and renowned writer of English and Urdu, Dr. Mobarak Haidar was born and brought up in a traditional Muslim family of Pakistan. Mobarak received extensive Islamic education, graduated with Arabic. He earned his masters in English Literature, and taught in different colleges.

He was sent to jail several times by Pakistan’s Martial Law dictators as a political activist for democracy and human rights since 1967. Haider is member of HelpIntgrate, a group of activists working for the integration of Muslims with the modern societies. His books include ‘Tehzibi Nargasiat’ (Cultural Narcissism) and “Taliban: The Tip of A Holy Iceberg”. Excerpts:

Do you agree that Pakistani state as well as society is degenerating? If yes, what are the indicators?

Yes, unfortunately, that is true. The indicators are: 1) Rapid Ideological drift of vocal and dominant classes to a medieval concept of governance and society, 2) Ever-hardening ban on dialogue and debate, even organised physical elimination of dissent, 3) Chaotic exclusiveness in personal and institutional conduct, 4) Absense of the will or willingness to negotiate that chaotic exclusiveness, 5) Wild growth of armed non-state forces, 6) Paralysis of the state and society’s will to fight these forces, 7) Free fall of economy, incorrigible energy crisis, and an ever-deepening indifference of the state and its institutions toward economic and intellectual problems, 8) Systematic erosion of trust and prestige of democracy and political institutions, 9) A foreign policy of self-righteous isolation leading to a potential suicide blast, 10) Absence of a leadership with vision and prestige enough to halt the disaster. …

Read more → ViewPoint

Time to change

– Time to change: ‘Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah’

by Shiraz Paracha

Excerpt:

India centric mindset of the Pakistan military is one of the root causes of Pakistan’s problems. From generals to soldiers most men in the armed forces are paranoid about India and some have racist tendencies, too. …

…. Some young officers of the Pakistan armed forces are genuinely embarrassed by the growing criticism of the armed forces. One major general of the Pakistan Army asked me recently, “We want to build a soft image of Pakistan”.

I responded to the soft-spoken and cultured gentleman by saying: “Please, replace ‘Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah’ as your motto. A change of motto would be a symbol of a wider change of mind and perception.

To read complete article → LUBP

Anti-American Coup in Pakistan?

By Stanley Kurtz

The Washington Post and New York Times today feature above-the-fold front-page articles about the deteriorating situation in Pakistan. Both pieces are disturbing, the Times account more so because it explicitly raises the prospect of an anti-American “colonels coup” against Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. With all the bad news coming out of this part of the world, and plenty of trouble here at home, it’s easy to ignore stories like this. Yet these two reports are among the most alarming and important we’ve seen in a long string of bad news from Pakistan and the Middle East.

Both articles make plain the extraordinary depth and breadth of anti-American sentiment among the commanders and the rank-and-file of Pakistan’s army. While America’s insistence on keeping the bin Laden raid secret, as well as our ability to pull it off without Pakistani interference, are the immediate causes of the anger, it’s obvious that a deeper anti-American sentiment as well as some level of sympathy for al-Qaeda are also at work.

Even now Pakistan’s army is forcing American operations out of the country. They have blocked the supply of food and water to our drone base, and are actively “strangling the alliance” by making things difficult for Americans in-country.

Unfortunately, it’s now time to at least begin thinking about what the United States should do in case of either an overt anti-American coup within Pakistan’s army, or in case Kayani himself is forced to effectively break relations. Although liberation from Pakistan’s double-game and reversion to honest hostility might come as a welcome relief to some, I see no good scenario here.

Should anti-American elements in Pakistan’s army displace Kayani, they would presumably hold our supply lines to Afghanistan hostage to a cessation of drone attacks. The step beyond that would be to cut off our Afghanistan supply lines altogether. Our minimum response to either of these moves would likely be a suspension of aid (on which Pakistan’s military is now dependent) and moves to provide India with technology that would give them major advantages over Pakistan. Pakistan may run eagerly into the arms of China at that point.

These developments would pose many further dangers and questions. Could we find new supply lines, and at what geo-strategic price? Should we strike terrorist refuges in Pakistan, perhaps clashing with Pakistan’s own forces as we do so? Would Pakistan actively join the Taliban to fight us in Afghanistan? In short, would the outcome of a break between America and Pakistan be war–whether low-level or outright?

There is no good or easy answer here. If there is any single spot it would be hardest for America to walk away from conflict, Pakistan is it. Bin Laden was not alone. Pakistan shelters our greatest terrorist enemies. An inability to strike them there would be intolerable, both in terms of the danger posed for terrorism here in the United States, and for the safety of our troops in Afghanistan.

Yet the fundamental problem remains Pakistan’s nuclear capacity, as well as the sympathy of many of its people with our enemies. Successful clashes with Pakistan’s military may only prompt sympathizers to hand nuclear material to al-Qaeda. The army is virtually the only thing holding Pakistan together. A military defeat and splintering of the army could bring an Islamist coup, or at least the fragmentation of the country, and consequent massive expansion of its lawless regions. These gloomy prospects probably explain why our defense officials keep counseling patience, even as the insults from Pakistan grow.

An important question here is just how Islamist the anti-American elements of Pakistan’s military now are. Is the current trouble primarily a matter of nationalist resentment at America’s killing of bin Laden, or is this a case of outright sympathy for al-Qaeda and the Taliban in much of the army?

The answer is probably a bit of both. The difficulty is that the precise balance may not matter that much. We’ve seen in Egypt that a secular the military is perfectly capable of striking up a cautious alliance with newly empowered Islamist forces. The same thing could happen in Pakistan in the advent of an anti-American military coup. Pakistan may not be ethnically Arab, but it’s continued deterioration may be the unhappy harbinger of the so-called Arab Spring’s outcome, I fear.

At any rate, it’s time to begin at least gaming out worst-case scenarios in Pakistan.

Courtesy:  National Review Online

Via Wichaar

Maududi: Islamisation Will Destroy Pakistan

Syed Farooq Haider, a son of Maulana Maududi. The language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: The Express TV (Front Line with Kamran Shahid and Farooq Haider)

via Wichaar, YouTube

Failure of Leadership in Pakistan

Review by Azhar Ali Shah

In oder to understand the root causes of the failure of leadership and parliamentary democracy in Pakistan, I will be sharing some important articles, for your comments and interaction. The idea is to detect the main causes of the faults and propose the remedy based on consensus of all of us. At the end we would try to synthesize these discussions in the form of a publishable document which could provide the bases for starting a public campaign for the implementation of political reforms in Pakistan.

To begin with, I am presenting my review of the Khalid bin Sayed’s article (Click here to read, COLLAPSE OF PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN ). This article provides some of the description of political setup during the very 1st decade of Pakistan and observes that it was Punjabi Machiavellianism (the political doctrine of Machiavelli: any means (however unscrupulous) can be used by a ruler in order to create and maintain his autocratic government) that caused the collapse of parliamentary democracy. The author then comments on the performance of the military regime and how it was dealing with politicians, civil servants and common people. The whole article is worth reading and is available online a: http://www.jstor.org/pss/4323166 .

Collapse of Parliamentary Democracy in Pakistan

Kahild bin Syed, Middle East Journal,Vol. 13, No. 4, Autumn, 1959

Review by Azhar Ali Shah
This article begins with the description of parliamentary democracy and its success in homogeneous communities. The article questions whether democracy could be a way of life in a country like Pakistan (consisting of heterogeneous communities)? It cites examples of Pakistani leaders (both at center and provinces) who flouted democracy and took arbitrary actions but there was no rally by any party/leader to defend the sovereignty of parliament!

Continue reading Failure of Leadership in Pakistan

When Gen. Zia imposed Arabic

by Dr. Masood Ashraf

The role of national languages in defining and articulating national identities is a hackneyed subject, but, somehow, the privileging of learning a sacred language has not been explored much in the debates on nationalism. In this brief article, I intend to draw attention to the rise of Arabic studies in Pakistan and its long-term consequences for the Pakistani public sphere.

In his 1983 book Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson provides three major causes for the waning of the pre-national empires and the rise of modern nation-states. One of the reasons, according to Anderson, was the rise of vernacular languages in place of what were considered the sacred languages, Latin and Arabic included. I have long maintained that Anderson misses the point as he only looks at the official use of these languages and not about the symbolic aspects of their power. In case of Arabic, for example, while it never was the official language of Muslim India, it still remains a language that wields immense symbolic power. …

Read more : ViewPoint

Gaddafi: Running on Crazy

by Mona Eltahawy, Columnist for Al Masry Al Youm, Al Arab

NEW YORK – If Tunisia kicked down the door of the Arab imagination by showing it was possible to topple a dictator, Egypt drew a blueprint of non-violence for the house of revolution that detailed how to demolish a stubbornly entrenched dictator; and now in Libya a mad man is trying to burn down the entire house rather than face eviction.

For 42 years, Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s antics have blinded too many to a brutality they finally see on full display as he desperately tries to quash the most serious uprising against his rule. If too many chose to not see, Libyans have known all too well.

Half the struggle for Libyans has surely been getting the world to move beyond Gadhafi the Clown, a role he seems to have uninhibitedly embraced. Who hasn’t been distracted by the eclectic wardrobe, the Kalashnikov-armed female bodyguards, and the tents he would pitch at home and abroad for talks with officials.

A source of embarrassment for Libyans, Gadhafi has never been a joke: disappearances, a police state, zero freedom of expression and poverty for at least a third of the population of country tremendously wealthy thanks to oil.

For years, Gadhafi squandered that wealth on causes and radical violence abroad that he chose because they epitomized the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” school of diplomacy. In 2003, just as the U.S. became mired in Iraq and its non-existent weapons of mass destruction, Gadhafi realized no one was scared of him anymore and voluntarily gave up his weapons of mass destruction programs.

When the world has paid attention to his crimes it has invariably been to those against non-Libyans such as the mid-air bombings of a French airliner over Niger and of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland. Once he compensated families who lost relatives in those attacks, Gadhafi became persona grata and money and business deals came in, along with high-level dignitaries. …

Read more : Huffingtonpost

Pakistan’s populist judges : Courting trouble

– An overactive judiciary might undermine a fragile democracy

PAKISTAN’S chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, is riding high. At a time when most of the country’s political leaders are despised as venal, lazy or inept, its senior jurist is held in esteem. People tell pollsters they trust him more than anyone. They cheer his efforts to take on the corrupt and hapless president, Asif Ali Zardari. Yet Mr Chaudhry may be crossing a line from activist judge to political usurper.

His judges pass up no chance to swipe at the government. Mr Chaudhry spent months trying to get Swiss officials to reopen a corruption case that could have toppled Mr Zardari (in Pakistan, criminal proceedings against a sitting president are prohibited). After that failed, the courts took up a thin-looking case in which the president is accused of unconstitutionally holding an office for profit. That looks vindictive: the office in question is his post as head of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party.

The courts quickly adopt populist causes, especially those that squeeze Mr Zardari. After an American diplomat shot dead two men in the street in Lahore last month, the mother of one victim appealed for justice on television, saying that she would trust only Mr Chaudhry to help. The High Court in Lahore promptly ordered that the diplomat, who had been arrested, must not be allowed out of the country—even if the government were to rule that he had immunity. In this case, as in many others, the judges have shown themselves to be able self-publicists. Their stance has won approving coverage.

And on the country’s illiberal but widely popular blasphemy law, the Lahore High Court intervened to forbid the president from issuing an early pardon to anyone convicted by lower courts. Before the murder last month of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab and critic of the blasphemy law, Mr Zardari had told him he was planning such a pardon. The courts seem set on boxing him in. …

Read more : The Economist

Speech of Dr. Zafar Baloch (BHRC) to the conference on South Asia

The conference on South Asia was organized by International Center for Peace & Democracy (ICFPD) in collaboration with Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada). The conference took place at Hotel Radisson Toronto, Canada on December 11, 2010.

SOUTH ASIAN PERSPETIVE ON REGIONAL STABILITY THE ROLE OF THE STATE: DEMOCRACY, DICTATORSHIP, AND EXTREMISM

ICFPD

Following is the speech delivered by Dr. Zafar Baloch, president of Baloch Human Rights council (Canada) in the conference.

Continue reading Speech of Dr. Zafar Baloch (BHRC) to the conference on South Asia

“Why democratic system is weak in Pakistan: Causes and Solutions”

by Jamil Hussain Junejo

Executive Summary – Pakistan has been in quest for stable democratic system from its very inception.The process of its democratization has been slow and passive. Its nature has remained fragile. It has been showing high vulnerability towards non democratic interventions. Besides, it has been easily falling prey to non civilian forces. As a result, Pakistan has been continuously failing to offer what a democracy promises. Such pathetic scenario has various reasons behind it at all three levels: State, government and society.

Continue reading “Why democratic system is weak in Pakistan: Causes and Solutions”

What is depression?

Depression is common illness that affects 20- 30% of world population. Depression can change a person’s thoughts, feelings, body and behaviour. It is treatable.

Common Symptoms & Signs: There are many symptoms associated with depression including: Feeling depressed, sad or empty most of days. The person no longer interested in or enthusiastic about things normally like to do. Lost interest in sex. Often feel agitated, restless or irritable? Feeling of helpless. Experiencing weight loss or gain or change in appetite. Feel tired or have little energy. Feeling of worthlessness. Feeling of guiltiness. Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions. Have recurring thoughts of death or suicide. Feeling of anxiousness. Have low self-esteem. Using alcohal or drugs to deal the problems. Productivity decreased. Problems with morale. Problems with cooperating. Frequently absent from work. Frequently experience unexplained aches and pains.

Causes of depression: Different theories about the causes are as following: Genetic- it runs in your family, Childhood circumstances, Biological causes- changes in body chemistry, prolonged periods of stress, Personality/attitude- pessimism, low self-esteem or worry can increase your vulnerability, other chronic medical conditions- such as stroke, heart disease, thyroid disorder, diabetes and sleep apnea. The consumption of sugar also contribute to multiply the depression. Typically these factors are interwoven and more than one may give to depression.

CHASHMA, MAIN CAUSE OF INDUS ARIDNESS

By Dr Ali AKbar Dhakan

In 1989, I visited Chashma Canal about 40 kms away from D.I Khan in NWFP towards north and 25 kms from Mianwali towards west in the punjab province… At the distance of one furlong from the gates upstream, I wondered to see that the water touched the tops of the gates and it looked as if the gates were about to break as all the gates were closed and no drop of water was flowing downstream of the gates looked dry and arid.So at that time I felt that the whole water of the canal was used as the reservoir at the upper side of the project in the Punjab and the Indus river remained arid and dry not during only the off season or winter but also during the season of summer or abkalani period. It is because of closure of all gates downstream, the shortage of water occur in the Indus River making the Sindh land barren and arid even during the summer season when the water in greater quantity flows due to melting of snow in all the mountainous areas of Pakistan.The chashma Barrage wet land site located Indus monsoon Forest comprises of a large barrage, a water storage reservoir and a series of embankments, serving as flood bounds which divides the reservoir into five shallow lakes at low water level Chashma Hydro power project is located on the right abutment of Chashma barrage on the Indus River near the village Chashma in the Mianwali district about 304 Kms northwest of Lahore. The project was estimated at Rs.18 billion including foreign exchange component of more than Rs.9 billion.Not only the constructing left Bank project, the water became very much scant in the downstream Indus river but it became more harmful for the Sindh when the Chashma right bank irrigation project was started in 1970 with a feasibility study by WAPDA to irrigate 14174 hectare in D.I Khan(NWFP) and 7075 hectare in D.I Khan Punjab.The actual construction of the canal was started in 1978 and completed in 1987.The other reason of shortage of water in Indus River was the Taunsa Barrage on the river Indus which was completed in 1958 to divert water to two large areas on the left and right banks of the river making irrigated agriculture possible for about 1.18 Mha of this arid landscape in Punjab province. These both projects of Irrigation on Indus river are the main reasons for making the Indus River arid and dry and have turned the Sindh Land barren and uncultivated since 2-3 decades.It is why the whole bed of the Indus River has been heaps of sand and created problems of cultivating and producing various seasonal crops in whole Sindh.Not only these two projects have been proved harmful for Sindh but the Indus basin Treaty with India in 1960 by the first Dictator regime of Pakistan under the leadership of Ayub whose Marshalaw caused the breakup of the country after his ruler ship of 10 years.

Continue reading CHASHMA, MAIN CAUSE OF INDUS ARIDNESS

Causes and Consequences of Extremism in Pakistan

Report Prepared and Circulated by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, US
Highlights from Washington DC Seminar on “Causes and Consequences of Extremism in Pakistan”
Washington, DC – February 8, 2009: Last Tuesday (February 3), United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) organized a seminar on the “Causes and Consequences of Extremism in Pakistan” at Washington DC offices. Continue reading Causes and Consequences of Extremism in Pakistan