Tag Archives: COAS

Husain Haqqani to leave Pakistan tonight

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani will be traveling to Abu Dhabi then to the US via a private airline. According to sources, Haqqani will be taken to the airport with a security escort provided by the Islamabad police.

On Monday, the Supreme Court lifted travel restrictions on Haqqani under the condition that he appear before the memo commission whenever summoned and should do so within four days of the notice.

Courtesy: The News

Via – News adopted from Facebook.

ISI, MI admit to deaths of four Adiala prisoners

ISLAMABAD – The counsel for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) directors general conceded before the Supreme Court on Monday that four out of 11 prisoners of Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi, picked up by intelligence personnel for investigation into their alleged role in the October 2009 attacks on General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, had died.

He said some of the remaining seven prisoners were in Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar and Internment Centre, Parachinar, thus he was unable to produce them in court. “No one is above the law and the prime minister also appeared in court when he was summoned,” the chief justice remarked. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez, directed the spy agencies’ counsel Raja Muhammad Irshad to file a reply explaining the circumstances under which the four prisoners died and produce the remaining seven prisoners in court on February 9. ….

Read more » Pakistan Today

Prime Minister dispels impression of giving extension to DG ISI

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani Sunday dispelled the impression of anything being said as regards giving extension in service to DG ISI with an aim to ‘improve matters’ with the army, Geo News reported.

“All these references (about granting of extension to DG ISI) are nothing but disinformation,” the Prime Minister said while talking to media men upon his return from Davos after attending World Economic Forum there. …

Read more » The News

The current Political crises in Pakistan – CPP’s analysis

By CPP

The Pakistan’s current political crises, is the most horrific tussle among its top institutions, has morphed grievous consequent deadlocks for the running of the affairs of the state. In order to understand its fundamental reasons, here, we would need to analyze its background circumstances.

1). The Pakistani military is no more a mere security agency , but an industrial and business corporation, in real terms. The economic and business positions of the army Generals, has over taken in many folds, the volume of the civilian business enterprises  on the basis of these economic interests, being a class in stalk ,the political privileges, advantages and access to power or supremacy over the political dispensation is for now realized to be an oxygen for them . Therefore , military, as a class no way can afford any civilian government to deliver things  independently without their prior approval .

2). Among ,the many businesses of the army, apart from industries and import -exports , “JEHAD” is adapted to be the most credible business corporation ,which has been for long greatly flourishing in leaps and bounds , under US imperialist’s patronage for the last 40 or so many years ,as a result almost all 5 stars Generals and Major Generals have turned billionaires and down to the rank of Majors ,have become Millionaires ,in quite short span of life.

3). The Obama’s administration ( democrats ), seems interested to work out some settlement for the Afghan issue, in order to cut down its colossal expenditures , there . They earnestly aspire for to have been successful in installing a US amicable government in Kabul, which would mean for the Pakistani Generals to wash off hands from the Jihad dividends . Consequently, the Generals have to resort, applying every means to keep up the past madcap policy on Afghanistan intact, so as to let the Jihad business go on . The present elected government, has opted, greatly, a US harmonious policy on this issue.

4). There is also, exists a profound contradiction between the army and the civilian government over the establishment of relations viz a vis, India concerned . The Pakistani government desires to normalize relations with India, which is a total opposite perspective to the basic policy stand of the Generals. Keeping the Kashmir issue alive at all costs to legitimate the false security apprehension from India, so as to justify the persistent un-auditable increase in military budget and its personnel strength . This is subject to keep intact the security state, status of Pakistan, through enhanced empowerment and role granted to play by the military institution.

Continue reading The current Political crises in Pakistan – CPP’s analysis

Panetta says he ‘felt’ Pakistan knew of bin Laden’s hideout

By Al Arabiya with Agencies

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta still believes someone in authority in Pakistan knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding before U.S. forces went in to find him, he said in a TV interview to air Sunday.

Intelligence reports found Pakistani military helicopters had passed over the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan where U.S. Navy SEALs discovered and killed bin Laden last year, according to excerpts of an interview Panetta gave to CBS News.

“I personally have always felt that somebody must have had some sense of what was happening at this compound. Don’t forget, this compound had 18-foot walls… It was the largest compound in the area.

“So you would have thought that somebody would have asked the question, ‘What the hell’s going on there?’“ Panetta told CBS.

The Pentagon chief said that concern played a significant factor in Washington not warning Pakistan officials of the impending raid: “it concerned us that, if we, in fact, brought (Pakistan) into it, that– they might…give bin Laden a heads up,” he said. ….

Read more » alArabiya

Mansoor Ijaz – A whistle blowing hero to some, a villain doing the Pakistan military’s dirty work to others

Who is Mansoor Ijaz? The US businessman behind Pakistan’s ‘Memo-gate’

A whistle blowing hero to some, a villain doing the Pakistan military’s dirty work to others, Ijaz is above all a mysterious anomaly.

By Issam Ahmed

Islamabad, Pakistan – A multi-millionaire American businessman at the center of a political crisis in Pakistan refused to travel to Islamabad Monday to testify before a Supreme Court commission, saying he feared for his personal safety. ….

Read more » csmonitor

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2012/0125/Who-is-Mansoor-Ijaz-The-US-businessman-behind-Pakistan-s-Memo-gate

DAWN Editorial on Memogate: Its “Time to move on.” “Eternal shame of all those involved in creating the hysteria.”

Time to move on

THE high drama over memogate has given way to low farce. Yesterday, the high-powered judicial commission formed to assist the Supreme Court ascertain the ‘origin, credibility and purpose’ of the memo tried several times to convince a reluctant Mansoor Ijaz to travel to Pakistan and appear before the commission. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

Pakistan Today – Pick-and-choose

Taking credit, avoiding blame

It was General Kayani’s strong warnings that prevented Nato strikes into Pakistani territory, claims the military. This is a cause for celebration. For it seems that the western forces in Afghanistan take heed to the Pakistani military chief’s warnings. This would, in turn, present a solution to the drone strikes, the latest of which we saw in the Datakhel area in North Waziristan on Monday. All the army chief has to do to stop them is to protest. Taking credit for one development means taking responsibility and blame for another.

There is, clearly, a lack of objective standards with which the military’s performance is to be evaluated. A pick-and-choose approach doesn’t hold water in any other government department, why should it here?

Much confusion persists, as always, on the role of the military. The military’s top spymaster, for instance, reportedly, met with former president Pervez Musharraf in Dubai the other day. Under what mandate did this meeting take place? The chief of an organisation that is tasked with counter-intelligence should not be going about liaising with political figures. If he can meet with the latter, then nothing much could be found wrong with the spy chief’s meeting with US national Mansoor Ijaz in London. It seems that the agency’s penchant for “political management” (as a former spy chief called it) has not ended.

Continue reading Pakistan Today – Pick-and-choose

!!?? “No permission of high command needed to retaliate” – Kiyani !!??

In a special meeting Chaired by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Pak Army is given orders to respond in a befitting manner to NATO force on any violation of territorial integrity. This decision of was taken in an extraordinary meeting of corpse commander two days ago after the NATO attack. 1. Army Chain of Command System has been dismissed for the time being to respond NATO. The officers on the front can take their decision as per demand of the situation. 2. The officers on front don’t need any orders to respond any attack on territorial integrity. 3. We should not forget the blood of Shaheeds.

Courtesy: DAWN News Tv

Via » Siasat.pk

The sword of Damocles

By Waseem Altaf

The present government adopted a policy of complete subjugation to the military and left no stone unturned to please the men in uniform. This stance of the civilian establishment was fully exploited by the military, and soon the pay package was doubled for the entire armed forces of Pakistan

Elected governments in Pakistan, despite mandate, light or heavy, from the people of Pakistan are forced to function under stringent conditionalities imposed upon them by the Pakistan army. A military dictator comes, overthrows a democratic government and disfigures the whole constitution with ‘two third majority’ flowing from the barrel of a gun. He destroys institutions and after playing havoc with the political system departs after receiving a guard of honor. Any political government which then assumes power has to first of all cleanse the filth spread by the khaki adventurer while seeking ‘two third majority’ in the parliament to undo the illegitimate additions in the constitution; and at the same time, making unconditional commitments that no incursions would be made in areas which remain the sole jurisdiction of the military. That virtually covers every aspect of our national life; from law and order to trade relations with India to growth of obscurantism to budget allocations to various sectors. ….

Read more » View Point

Assurance sought against removal of Kayani, Pasha

By Nasir Iqbal

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court asked the government on Friday to submit a written assurance on a petition filed in anticipation of a perceived move to sack Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and ISI Director General Lt-Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha against the backdrop of the ‘memogate’ fiasco.

The order was issued by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry when Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq rubbished the claim and said the government had no plans to remove the two top military officers.

The bench adjourned for two weeks the hearing on the petition filed by Advocate F.K. Butt.

The petitioner requested the court to issue a restraining order and stop the government from taking any step to remove or retire the two officers till the pendency of the case. The army chief will retire on Nov 29, 2013, while the ISI chief will complete his extended term on March 19 this year. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

Memogate-fame Mansoor Ijaz now says, Pakistan’s ISI is a Terrorist Organization

Pakistan’s ISI is a Terrorist Organization says Mansoor Ijaz, a Pakistani-American who is an influential link between American and Pakistani officials.

Courtesy: CNN » YouTube

A demand by Mansoor Ijaz to provide him presidential protocol (security) is ridiculous.

By Press Media of CPP

The memo gate Commission’s order of providing security to an American citizen, Mansoor Ijaz, by the Army battalion is ridiculous. The CC of CPP discussed this issue at party Central Secretariat today on 22-1-2012 and strongly protested on it. From: Engineer Jameel Ahmad Malik, Central Chairman of CPP.

A Hostage in Pakistan Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the U.S., is living under house arrest. The reason? He offended the country’s military.

By MIRA SETHI, Islamabad, Pakistan

There are forces in Pakistan that want us to live in fear—fear of external and internal enemies.” So warns Husain Haqqani, until November Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington and now a de facto prisoner of the Pakistani generals whose ire he has provoked. “But just as the KGB and the Stasi did not succeed in suppressing the spirit of the Soviet and East German people, these forces won’t succeed in Pakistan in the long run, either.”

I am speaking to Mr. Haqqani in a spacious room in the official residence of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, where the 55-year-old former ambassador—wearing a cotton tunic, loose trousers and white rubber slippers—has been living for weeks, mainly for fear that he might be assassinated outside. The living arrangements may seem odd for those unfamiliar with Pakistan’s fractured politics. But his fear is not ill-founded.

Continue reading A Hostage in Pakistan Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the U.S., is living under house arrest. The reason? He offended the country’s military.

BBC – “Will the generals and judges force the president from power?” Pakistan’s political soap opera – By Owen Bennett Jones

Pakistan’s political soap opera

By Owen Bennett Jones, BBC News

Islamabad – Earlier this week, Pakistan’s prime minister appeared before the country’s Supreme Court to defend himself against allegations of contempt – it is symbolic of a dispute that is on-going at the centre of the country’s powerful elite.

When great institutions of state clash, history is made. It is the stuff of school history lessons – the Magna Carta, the Star Chamber, the Great Reform Act – that kind of thing.

But while in the UK such milestones have generally been once-a-century type events, in Pakistan they have become a way of life. Constitutional crises have become business as usual.

This week Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was forced to appear before the Supreme Court. He was there to face contempt proceedings related to the president’s immunity from prosecution.

I will spare you the details. But as I sat in the court’s press gallery, I felt pretty sure that in 100 years, Pakistani school children would not be learning about the January 2012 contempt case.

Perhaps they will be studying something the Western journalists did not even know was happening: a debate between some clerics on what role Islam should have in the state.

But the court was colourful. There was the prime minister, alongside him his brilliant lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan and a throng of ministers showing solidarity.

And buzzing about all of them, the journalists – representatives of Pakistan’s new, irrepressible 24-hour news television culture.

For millions of Pakistanis, the constant wrangling of the elite has the quality of a TV soap opera.

I do not want to belittle the importance of politics. The failure of successive elected and military governments has left millions of Pakistanis highly frustrated. But still the TV news shows attract massive audiences – people both despair of their leaders and want to know all about them.

Because many of the political parties are little more than family businesses, the same names have been around for decades – with power passed from father to daughter, brother to brother, and so on.

All this is against a backdrop of corruption cases, the frequent imprisonment of politicians, the “war on terror”, suicide attacks, assassinations, US military incursions – there is so much going on.

Pakistani news anchors can pirouette from the big news such as “The Prime Minister’s Day in Court”, to the tittle-tattle – the affairs, the hair transplants, the family rows.

Will the generals and judges force the president from power?” …

Read more » BBC

Intrusion in executive’s domain? Pakistan Supreme Court asks govt to say in writing it will not fire Army & ISI chiefs!?

Govt has no intention of sacking Kayani, Pasha: AG

ISLAMABAD: During the hearing of a petition filed against a possible removal of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt-Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the government clarified that it had no intention of sacking the said officials, DawnNews reported.

Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq told the Supreme Court bench hearing the petition that the government had no plans to take such an action.

On the attorney general’s explanation, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry directed him to file a written reply after taking orders on the issue from the government. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

Geo News – Pakistan Army agreed to ‘do certain things (for me) they haven’t agreed to do for anyone else’, says Mansoor Ijaz

Mansoor Ijaz claims he has US support for Pakistan visit

By Murtaza Ali Shah

LONDON: Repeating his claims of receiving threats from Pakistani officials on a daily basis, US businessman Mansoor Ijaz, has said he had now been assured by the US government of its support during his forthcoming visit to Pakistan.

Ijaz, who claimed to have delivered a controversial memo against the army to US Admiral Mike Mullen in May last year and accused then ambassador Husain Haqqani of being involved in crafting it, also says he would travel to Pakistan but would not say when.

In an exclusive interview with Geo News, Ijaz said he offered Haqqani to stop “telling lies” about him (Ijaz) and he would stop telling “the truth” about him (Haqqani) but said the former ambassador did not “stop”.

“I had a conference call with the US State Department a couple of days ago. The US government will provide the support that they always do for US citizens,” Ijaz said in the interview in London.

“They (the US government) made their official position very clear and I made my reasons for going very clear. They understand it’s a high profile case and they understand I am a reasonably high-profile American citizen,” he added.

“And I think If, god forbid, anything goes wrong they will certainly be there to help my family make sure that things got sorted out. I am absolutely confident that the American government will do the right thing if something went wrong,” he said without elaborating what could possibly go wrong.

Ijaz has been summoned by a judicial commission in Islamabad on January 24 (Tuesday), which was set by the Supreme Court following petitions on the issue moved by the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders and others.

The American national of Pakistani-origin was issued a one-year multiple-entry visa by the Pakistan High Commission on Thursday evening. Ijaz said he would travel to Islamabad but would not reveal his travel plans.

Ijaz appeared seriously distrusting of Pakistan government claims about his security. “Part of the problem is that you have government officials that are threatening me on a daily basis and I find that a little bit strange that from one corner of their mouth they are saying that I’m secure and at the same time they are threatening me too,” he said.

He said it was not just his personal protection that worried him but rather he was more concerned about the security of his family, businesses, the entire infrastructure around his life.

“I have to make sure that all of these things are attended to. I can’t just get up and recklessly go and do whatever I want to do,” he said but added that he did not want to “put an overburden on the system in terms of my personal security while I’m there”.

Ijaz explained he was a family man with a lot of personal, business and social commitments and wanted to make sure that “certain things had been addressed” to give everyone “peace of mind” when he travelled to Pakistan.

Ijaz praised the memo commission for addressing his concerns. He also appreciated the Pakistan army, which he said, had agreed to “do certain things that they have not agreed to do for anybody else and I very much appreciate that. …

Read more » Geo Tv News

http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=31758

I will decide, which instituion will I prefer to appear! Mansoor Ijaz

I’m not Pakistani, I cannot be summoned: Mansoor Ijaz

Ijaz says he will decide whether he will appear in front of the committee or not.

By Web Desk

Excerpt;

The central character in the Memogate scandal, American businessman Mansoor Ijaz said on Friday that the parliamentary committee probing into the case cannot summon him because he is not a Pakistani national. …

…. The committee had summoned Ijaz on January 26.

Ijaz’s Counsel Akram Sheikh has confirmed that he will appear in front of the judicial commission investigating the Memogate scandal on January 24. Earlier on Thursday, Ijaz was granted a one year multiple-entry visa to Pakistan. The American businessman had visited the the Pakistan High Commission in London, where he was granted the visa. …

Read more » The Express Tribune

Benazir Bhutto on Pakistan’s Military Establishment and how the Generals undermine Democracy

From Syed Ali Dayan Hasan in London

The security apparatus has run amok

In her most candid interview since 1988, Benazir Bhutto, twice elected prime minister of Pakistan, reveals the extent to which successive civilian governments have been held hostage, and destabilised, by the ‘securityapparatus’ of the military. Bhutto, chairperson of the PPP — the single largest political party of the country — explains the helplessness of civilian governments in the face of Intelligence-inspired disinformation on the one hand, and ideologically motivated illegal activities of ‘rogue elements’ of the army on the other. She argues that the security apparatus of the country is out of control and that no government can hope to function smoothly unless these elements are brought under a formalised command structure that prevents them from taking on the role of a state within a state. There is much evidence to support Bhutto’s claims, including that of her adversaries — General Aslam Beg, General Hameed Gul and General Asad Durrani — all of whom conspired against civilian governments and have repeatedly gone on record to admit as much. “Blaming politicians alone for tarnishing democracy is actually less than half the story,” argues Bhutto. Here, she explains why.

Q. What do you think is the basic problem with civil-military relations?

A. The inability of the military tobow before the people’s will.

Q. Why is that?

A. The military’s view on security and government is at variance with the popular will. Pakistan is a federation but the armed forces distrust provincial units. They are scared of giving up power.

Q. So, what is the solution to this impasse in civil-military relations?

A. Either we have democracy or dictatorship. The military seeks a dictatorship or a controlled democracy to continue with their security agenda. They need the centralised state and a diversion of resources for that security agenda. For the first time, they are realising the difficulty of running the ship of state. I believe the solution lies in democracy and devolution. We should return to the roots of the Quaid. He founded Pakistan on the principles of federalism, autonomy and freedom. If we revert to this dream, we might devolve more power but we will be more secure.

Q. How has the army managed to present a discredited image of political figures, including you?

A. I dispute that they have succeeded but I agree that they have tried. There are two factors that explain this. One, political institutions are weak and have financial resources and organisational ability. Also, they are unable to communicate freely with the masses. This is because genuine political forces have been continually hunted by the establishment, and when you are constantly hunted, you have little time to organise. Second, because the army does give power to some politicians, it has divided the civilian popular base by holding out to those who cannot win — the promise of power without legitimacy.

Q. You have presided twice over a controlled democracy.What have you learnt from the experience?

A. There is a tendency in Pakistan, due to military dictatorships and one-man rule, to think that one person can make allthe difference. But in a democratic system, it is not just one person that makes a difference. A democratic, such as myself, functions within the confines of the constitution. We need a civic consensus on what a constitution should be and what constitutes freedom and plurality. I had to work on the mandate I was given and that is why I say that we did not achieve much. I had to work with the 8th amendment and a president who could sack the prime minister. In other words, some elements in the intelligence agencies used the president when they felt I was becoming too powerful. They never allowed us enough time to elect members of the senate which would have made my partyand the democratic forces — stronger. The real solution lies not with any individual. I can only give a clarion call. Then it depends on the masses whether they rally around that call to say that they want a constitution based on the supremacy of the will of the people and that the prime minister and parliament must determine national security and not the military.

Q. But then, if you had commanded a two-thirds majority and could have amended the constitution, a coup would have taken place against you ….

Read more » Scribd

http://www.scribd.com/doc/78809888/Benazir-Bhutto-on-Pakistan-s-Military-Establishment-and-how-the-Generals-undermine-Democracy#source:facebook

A must watch speech – Aitezaz Ahsan, a senior Pakistani politician on the floor of the Parliament

The language of the speech is urdu.

» YouTube

Why is Iftikhar Chaudhry destroying Pakistan?

by Bilal Qureshi

Every objective analyst who follows Pakistan has come to the same conclusion – Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is becoming a serious threat not only to the country, but also to the entire democratic system that is already under tremendous stress. In fact, it is pretty much established that some behind the scene players in Pakistan are interested in seeing ‘favorable’ people take over the government and these forces are perhaps using the Chief Justice as a tool to achieve their nauseating objective.

As pointed out by Wajid Ali Syed, It is indeed a sad commentary on Pakistan that when an army chief is asked to leave, he refuses and instead launches a coup. When the chief justice is sacked for his alleged corruption, he refuses to accept the decision of the government that appointed him and instead comes out on the streets with thugs (dressed as lawyers) and only calms down when he gets his way. Where is the law of the land? Why can’t an elected Prime Minister or an elected President appoint or dismiss people based on the facts that are before them? Why is everything in Pakistan political? We talk about chaos in Taliban controled areas, but our own people are responsible for the current mess because they refuse to accept anything coming from others – everyone wants to get his way at every cost. Isn’t it pathetic? Yes, it is.

Looking at Pakistan’s political landscape, one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to know what is going on between Iftikhar Chaudhry, Ashfaq Kiyani, GEO TV and Nawaz/Shahbaz Sharif and regretfully, I also know that it is not good for the country. The current government, which was elected democratically, is the target of pro-Taliban hate mongers and unfortunately for Pakistan, these forces of darkness and mayhem have found an willing ally in Iftikhar Chaudhry. But, any effort to destabilize the government would be considered an act of war, disguised asl activism by the majority, especially in smaller provices. And it doesn’t matter who is pulling the strings behind the scene– it is time to break the vicious cycle of musical chair that has been going on thanks to successive, but unnecessary ‘interventions’ by generals in Pakistan for decades. Otherwise, Pakistan would continue to be considered a failed state, a corrupt state, and a state which is not capable of producing competent generals or judges.

The current tension in Pakistan between Zardari and judiciary is the direct result of unconstitutional judicial activism and aggression by Iftikhar Chaudhry. And, sadly, the chief justice seems to believe that once he carries out the illegal, unethical, and unconstitutional orders of his masked masters (of removing Zardari), he (he the chief justice) will continue to be important, and relevant, (his desire to be the president of Pakistan is the worst kept secret in the county) but little does he know the history of Pakistan’s political establishment’s ability to use and dispose important figures. But, we all live and learn and he too will regret his current actions, but then, it will be too late.

So, where does Pakistan go from here, especially if Zardari, who is the democratically elected president of Pakistan, is removed from Pakistan? Well, nothing earth shattering is going to happen instantly, but according to Pakistan watchers, the winds of tragedy that are currently blowing in Baluchistan will not only gain momentum, but they will also engulf Sindh and N.W.F.P. As it is, Canadian and other Western military planners believe that by 2016, Pakistan as we know it won’t be there. I hope and pray that these people are wrong. At the same time, I also hope and pray that military, mullah, media and judiciary in Pakistan would realize the catastrophic impact of their current strategy of demonizing Zardari and his allies, and by extension, creating an environment in which people prefer to have stability over democracy. The scare tactics currently used by the evil nexus in Pakistan to overthrow the government could also force people, especially in smaller provinces to realize that their future with Pakistan is nothing but humiliation and slavery. Once this notion got going in smaller provinces, it would be hard to un-prove it. Remember Bangladesh?

Courtesy: » Foreign Policy Blogs

http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2010/02/13/why-is-iftikhar-chaudhry-destroying-pakistan/

Mr Prime Minister, I am proud of you

By Zainab Imam

After years of ambivalence towards him, I am now proud to call Yousaf Raza Gilani the prime minister of my country.

I admit that when he took oath, I was just as dismissive as anyone else. I thought he was another one of the pack — corrupt, incompetent and disloyal. And, on top of that, he seemed compliant.

And now, when the honourable Supreme Court has called him “dishonest”, I stand up and say that he is the prime minister and that he should not stand for this kind of treatment.

There is speculation that he will resign. Political uncertainty is such that between the time I take to write this and this comes into print, he may not be the prime minister. Who knows? And who cares?

After all, who cares that the world’s number one terrorist Osama bin Laden was in our midst for years, living a stone’s throw from the Pakistan Military Academy, where Army Chief General Kayani delivered a speech to graduating cadets weeks before Bin Laden was killed? Who cares that hundreds of terrorists who have killed and maimed thousands of Pakistanis are roaming free on the soil of this country? Who cares that another country, which calls itself our strategic partner in a long-drawn-out war that we’re losing, regularly kills our fellow countrymen, women and children in the tribal areas? And then some days, that same country kills our soldiers, too. Who cares?

Perhaps the honourable Chief Justice does. He who is correctly demanding that letters be written to the Swiss authorities and the money of the people is brought back to them. He who has held the prime minister responsible for failing to keep his oath but appears not to notice when the army and intelligence chiefs fail this country. He who takes suo motu notice over an individual carrying two bottles of alcohol in her travel bags but failed to do the same when Bin Laden was found and killed by foreign forces comfortably ensconced inside our territory, or when terrorists stormed the Pakistan Army’s headquarters in plain sight, or when American drones kill our own in our own backyard, or when hundreds go missing — and turn up dead — in Balochistan.

It took Prime Minister Gilani some time to find his voice. But now that he has, I stand by him. I do not know whether or not he will resign, but I know this that he does not need to until those whose job it is to secure Pakistan step down for failing to arrest the pervasive insecurity in this country; and until those whose job it is to be impartial conduct themselves in a manner that respects their oath.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2012.

ROVER’S DIARY: What’s the hurry to get the president out? – SDBabar Ayaz

The cost of intellectual dishonesty, dangerous foreign and national security policies and corruption done during the military governments has always been condoned retroactively

The game plan of the establishment — at the cost of the economy and people’s nerves — apparently is to get President Zardari out. They have a two-pronged strategy: one, playing on the prevailing perception that all the corruption starts and ends with the prime minister and president. So they should be declared corrupt by the courts and unfit to rule; and two, that he is a threat to national security if the commission declares that Husain Haqqani wrote or dictated the mysterious memorandum.

Removing the president constitutionally is difficult because a two-thirds majority is needed in parliament to impeach him. It is not possible at this stage in view of the interests of the coalition parties. Once the new members to the Senate would be elected on March 2, it would be more difficult as under Article 47, the constitution requires two-thirds majority of parliament — Senate and National Assembly — for impeachment. It says: “…the president may, in accordance with the provisions of this Article, be removed from office on the ground of physical or mental incapacity or impeached on a charge of violating the constitution or gross misconduct.”

Continue reading ROVER’S DIARY: What’s the hurry to get the president out? – SDBabar Ayaz

If there is a coup then double coup-maker Musharraf says he will stand by the army

In the event of a coup, will stand by army: Musharraf

NEW DELHI: Former president and chief of the All Pakistan Muslim League General Pervez Musharraf says that he is “reasonably sure” that the military will not resort to a coup but will support the army if it takes over, Indian newspaper The Hindustan Times has reported.

“I don’t think the army intends to take over. The environment is not at all conducive for the army to do so. I think the army understands that,” Musharraf told Indian journalist Karan Thapar at CNN-IBN’s show “Devil’s Advocate”.

But in the event of a choice between the civilian government or the military, Musharraf categorically stated he will side with the institution that he served until he shed the uniform to become the president of Pakistan. “I’ve been an armyman and I can never imagine being against the army … I am with the army, I will stand by the army.” ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Is the Judiciary really Independent?

by Mahmood Adeel

One of the bedrocks of a democracy is the existence of an independent judiciary. Article 25 of the Constitution guarantees that “All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law”. But is this actually the case? Or are some citizens given special preference, while others are treated as suspect before they are ever even charged with a crime? Unfortunately, several recent events point to a troubling possibility – that not all citizens are equal before the law, and even if the judiciary is independent of the elected government, it is not independent of certain unelected institutions.

When Mansoor Ijaz’s revealed his famous memo back in October, the nation understandably wanted to know the facts of the case. Parliament initiated an inquiry, but the judiciary stepped in and set up their own commission claiming to be an independent institution. When Asma Jahangir appeared before the Supreme Court in defence of Husain Haqqani, however, she received a reprimand from the Chief Justice for daring to present evidence that contradicted the opinions of military generals.

The chief justice said: “Instead of giving importance to our own people (COAS and ISI DG) why should we consider the James’ affidavit more credible. Asma said army chief’s team brought the memo issue to his knowledge and on that basis he submitted his affidavit. The chief justice said armed forces have rendered lot of sacrifices for the defence of the country and they have respect for Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

Continue reading Is the Judiciary really Independent?

Setting the house in order

By Saroop Ijaz

The difficulty of maintaining a pretence of conducting a profound analysis in Pakistan is that nothing ever ends. So the event one seeks to comment on is always underway hence, exposing the commentator to the real possibility of indignity in misinterpreting the happenings. The mayhem of the last few days is not over yet. It does, however, point out the fragility and precariousness of this architecture of democracy. It is almost as if this period of democratic governance is a momentary armistice, a feebly vulnerable interruption to the continuous military rule. Another disturbingly striking thing is the complete abandonment of core principles on the first sight of attack. In all fairness, none of this is unprecedented but it manages to make one cringe every time.

The prime minister is empowered to terminate the contract of a federal secretary and to comment on the conduct of the army and intelligence chief and for this reason it is hardly news worthy enough of interrupting the nation in frenzied tones. There has been some feeing of triumphalism and jubilation on being able to thwart or possibly delay a coup. Perhaps rightly so, yet the most recent episode is unique in the public manner in which the whole episode was conducted. Gone are the days where out of the blue, one will see a pompous general creeping out of nowhere and saying ‘meray aziz humwatanon’ on national television. This time, the intimidation and bullying was deliberately done in the full view of the public eye, the ISPR press release cautioning of “dire consequences” had the unmistakable slant of blackmail. The utter absence of embarrassment was unbelievable. It was like being subjected to the ISPR version of O J Simpson’s, “If I did it.” The response by the media and the politicians failed to ask the most basic question; did the ISPR posses any justification, legal or moral to threaten an elected parliament. Toni Morrison, once writing about the progress of African Americans in the United States said, “The question is whether our walk is progress or merely movement.” All this coming after four years of democratic rule, ours seems to be an awkward stationary wiggle.

If one is compelled to identify a positive coming out of this fiasco, it will probably be the fact that most of the media and major political parties refused to welcome the khakis. I have a mild suspicion that many of them did it grudgingly; it was the sheer impracticality of a ‘direct’ military takeover which guided their comments as opposed to any meaningful commitment to democracy. In any event, they merit whatever small congratulation is due. Nevertheless, whereas, it is a ridiculously easy and even intuitive question when asked to choose between an elected parliament and the khakis, I believe the real test lies ahead and not so far ahead. It would be if the same demagoguery is garbed in an intervention obtained through a judicial order or some other permutation of what has been somewhat suggestively named, ‘soft coup’. I have a feeling, the response by those agreeing to the abstract notions of democracy in such an event would be more of a waffle and exposing — I certainly hope I am wrong.

The prime minister has already formed the undesirable habit of displaying almost schizophrenic alternating bouts of gallantry and meekness. The ostensible reason is to avoid institutional conflict. It is not a ‘conflict’, it is capitulation in the face of assault, certainly not self-preservation in any long-term meaning. A lot of ink has been spilled (or at least the word processor equivalent) on how to set the civil-military balance incrementally right by people having considerably more expertise on such matters than myself. Yet, the answer to me, at least, is fairly simple. The prime minister should sack the army chief and the director general ISI for gross misconduct and insubordination. To put it at its harshest, their performance records, especially recently have been humiliatingly ordinary. Even otherwise, they cannot claim to be not given a fair innings, they have served, perhaps more accurately commanded for a period reasonably exceeding the normal. In any event, they have considerably overstayed their welcome. I know this proposal seems incredibly naïve even reckless, but I am afraid that needs to be done, even if it means staking the government on it. To romanticise it a bit, “Conscientious Objector” is a beautiful poem by Edna St Vincent Millay, some of its verses go,” I shall die, but/ that is all I shall do for Death/ I hear him leading his horse out of the stall/ I hear the clatter on the barn-floor/ ….But I will not hold the bridle/While he clinches the girth/ And he may mount by himself / I will not give him a leg up.”

I do not in any way suggest a literal scenario as terminally grim as that in the poem but Mr Prime Minister, at least, do not give them a leg up. Trying to maintain a wobbly equilibrium, a false feeling of reconciliation and shallow coexistence will not work, it never has, never does. In terms of basic economics, it is the case of Gresham’s law, the bad would drive out the good, if it is overvalued long enough with a clear preference. Negotiating or plea bargaining the way in and out of situations where you are strong-armed is not survival or diplomacy. It has now become a question of modalities and timing, rather than “if”. Stories both in real life and fiction are remembered inordinately by the ending. Albert Camus ends his La Peste (The Plague) by observing that though the plague was over and the city had returned to normalcy, “the plague bacillus never dies … that it can lie dormant in furniture and linen chests… perhaps the day would come when,… it roused up its rats again and sent them forth to die in a happy city”. Fire the two generals and make a point, the bogus feeling of security is going to end soon anyways.

The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore saroop.ijaz@ tribune.com.pk

Courtesy:  The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/321514/setting-the-house-in-order/

Lawyers can do little if judiciary bent upon sending govt home: Asma

By Rana Yasif

Former Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jahangir continues her criticism of the judiciary.

LAHORE: Continuing her criticism of the judiciary, former Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jahangir has said that there is little that lawyers can do if the institution is poised to send the government packing. “It is difficult to run a government if civilian institutions cooperate with the establishment,” said Jahangir ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Democracy or dictatorship?

Democracy or dictatorship?: Resolute Gilani paves way for govt resolution

By Qamar Zaman / Zia Khan

ISLAMABAD: Steady nerves and a pointed address.

The premier remained composed on Friday, despite a raring opposition and potentially wavering allies in the face of a deepening row with the military and the judiciary – and the government also managed to introduce a highly-anticipated resolution in the house.

The resolution was moved, symbolically enough, by the PPP’s thus far most steadfast ally, Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, amid a protest from opposition benches.

Before the resolution, addressing a special session of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said he would prefer going to the people over begging for the opposition’s support for a fresh vote of confidence in parliament.

“I do not need a vote of confidence,” Gilani said, adding that he was elected prime minister unanimously.

The session, it was widely believed, had been convened in the wake of the Supreme Court warning President Asif Ali Zardari and the prime minister of disqualification over the non-implementation of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) verdict.

But the prime minister snubbed the notion that his government was afraid of the NRO at the get-go.

“We have not come for the NRO. We do not need your support to be saved from the military and have not come for a clash of institutions. We have also not come to be shaheeds (martyrs),” the premier said, responding to the leader of the opposition’s query seeking a justification for the ‘emergency session.’

“Somebody should tell us the reason for convening this session and what you are afraid of,” the leader of the opposition, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, had said earlier.

We have to decide whether there should be democracy or dictatorship in the country … democracy should not be punished for our mistakes”. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Pro-democracy protest: Protestors threaten civilian unrest if govt toppled

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Civil Society Network and Center for Peace protested against the judiciary and army on Thursday, warning the two institutions of civilian unrest if they tried to topple the PPP led coalition government.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Abdullah Malik, advisor to the Punjab governor, said that “The participants sensing the current democratic to be in danger have decided to come out on the roads to show their solidarity with the democracy.”

He added that only people had the right to change the government through their vote in a democracy and not the judge or the generals.

PPP members along with prominent representatives of civil society demonstrated in favour of the current democratic government at the Liberty roundabout.

Participants warned the judiciary and army that if it tried to topple the PPP led coalition government by using the Memogate affair as an excuse, then the civil society will protest on the streets.

Civil Society Network and Center for Peace members, including IA Rehman, Hussain Naqi, Shah Taj Qizilbash, Abdullah Malik along with South Asia Free Media Association’s (SAFMA) Anjum Rashid, Imtiazul Haq, Shoaib Adil and Amina Malik participated in the demonstration.

Other PPP members at the protest included Deputy Parliamentary Leader in the Punjab Assembly, Azma Bukhari and Altaf Qureshi. …

Read more » The Express Tribune

Pakistan: a coup by other means

– Tensions between the army and Pakistan’s civilian government have boiled over into open conflict

By guardian.co.uk, Editorial

Messages were delivered in Islamabad on Wednesday. Through a megaphone. Minutes after the prime minister sacked the defence secretary, a retired general who acted as the army’s representative in government, the Pakistan army replaced the commander of the Triple One Brigade in Rawalpindi. This happens when a coup is about to be launched. The army chief General Ashfaq Kayani has called an emergency meeting of his principal staff officers for Thursday.

Simmering tensions between the army and Pakistan’s civilian government have boiled over into open conflict in the latest episode of a scandal dubbed memogate. A former ambassador to Washington was accused of having dictated, or solicited, a memo written by a Pakistani American businessmen to Admiral Mike Mullen, requesting his help in preventing a coup. The ambassador, Husain Haqqani, who denies knowledge of the memo, has been recalled and is effectively under house arrest in the prime minister’s heavily guarded residence, fearing for his life. Kayani and the head of the military’s spy agency, Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, pressed the supreme court in affidavits to investigate the allegations against Haqqani that could lead to treason charges. The prime minister said that these affidavits were “unconstitutional and illegal”. The military responded with a statement that darkly hinted at “potentially grievous consequences”.

What is happening is a coup by other means. The army has staged four coups in the past, but this time, its instrument is a blatantly partisan supreme court, which is attempting to force an elected government to resign. The timing of the traitor tag is not accidental. In March the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) could win control over the upper house of parliament and then – whatever happens to President Asif Ali Zardari and the PPP in the next election – the next government could not change the constitution.

Mr Zardari and the PPP government can be faulted for many things. The political charge sheet is long: incompetence, weakness, venality. They reacted terribly to the worst floods in living memory. They have pandered to fundamentalism over the blasphemy law rather than facing it down. A weak state has grown steadily weaker under their civilian control. Mr Zardari carries much personal baggage, which is almost certainly worthy of further investigation, but while president, he enjoys immunity from prosecution and he is right to face down the military. The place to oust an administration enjoying a two-thirds majority is at an election, and the people to do so are voters, not judges, generals or intelligence chiefs. Anyone who allows generals to remove politicians must be aware that the same could happen to them.

Courtesy: guardian.co.uk

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/11/pakistan-a-coup-by-other-means?newsfeed=true