Tag Archives: Federal

Canadian Federal M.P. Kyle Seeback – Get Together with Sindhis

By: Aijaz Kolachi

Canadian Federal M.P. of the ruling party of Canada, Honourable Kyle Seeback, had a (lunch-gathering) at my residence, where EC and other well-wishers were present. The entire discussion was very through and useful and Mr. Kyle Seeback enjoyed to a great deal. The topics discussed were:

CIDA’s fundings for Sindh; National issues of Sindh; Human Rights.

Honourable M.P. assured us that, he will bring this to the notice of the Foreign Minister as well as, to the CIDA Minister. He also assured us that he will personally follow up with our requests and would try to get the information on the current CIDA Projects in Sindh etc.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, September 30, 2012

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PTI (Imran Khan)’s Dr. Awab Alvi’s dream is to blow the federal parliament of Pakistan

The language of the talk show is urdu.

Courtesy: SAMA TV (News Beas with Farah Idrees) » Twitter

Goodbye Pakistan Resolution, says JSQM chief

By Ammar Shahbazi

Karachi – As the nation celebrated the 72nd Pakistan Day with much enthusiasm across the country, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz chairman Bashir Qureshi bade “farewell” to the 1940’s Pakistan Resolution and demanded independence for Sindh.

Speaking at a rally, which was, ironically, organised on M A Jinnah Road close to the mausoleum of the founder of Pakistan, Qureshi said that Sindh contributed 80 percent of revenue to the federal budget and the Sindhis had therefore the right to make their own decisions.

He said that “Punjab has usurped the resources of Sindh in the name of Pakistan [and Islam]” and that there was no country named Pakistan in history. “Pakistan is not a country and Pakistanis are not a nation.” The JSQM leader said that for the past 65 years “the Punjabis have usurped the resources of Sindh.”

The party had announced an “Azadi March” on the 8th of this month and since Friday morning activists of the party, carrying their red party flags on motorbikes, private cars and trucks, had been reaching the rally site from various part of the city.

The activists were shouting the party slogan: “Tunjho Desh, Munjho Desh, Sindhu Desh Sindhu Desh” on their way to the rally. The rally caused a major traffic jam on Sharea Faisal bringing vehicles to a standstill.

Addressing a crowd holding the party flags, the JSQM chief said that the he believed that the Urdu-speaking people were part of the Sindh nation and that “their future lies in Sindhu Desh”.

On the issue of Balochistan, he said that the largest province of the country deserved freedom from Punjab’s hegemony as did the province of Sindh. He said his party did not believe in violence.

Delving into history, he said that the British merged Sindh with Bombay. Warning the people of Sindh, he said that the “enemies always have had an eye on Sindh’s quota”. Qureshi also warned that projects like Zulfikarabad City were a conspiracy hatched against the people of Sindh to turn them into a minority in their own province.

Courtesy: The News

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-99166-Goodbye-Pakistan-Resolution-says-JSQM-chief

Sindh accuses centre of unjust resource distribution

SINDH – Karachi: Sindh’s Minister for Finance, Murad Ali Shah, informed the Provincial Assembly of Sindh on Monday that the federal government was tending to unilaterally reduce Sindh’s share in the Gas Development Surcharge (GDS) and had fixed a formula for GDS distribution without consulting the province.

“The Chief Minister of Sindh and the finance department have written, cumulatively, around 20-25 letters to the federal government asking for transparency in the GDS matter,” he said, and added that in the year 2008-09, the federal government had reduced Sindh’s share in the GDS to Rs11, 328 million. “The federal government has not consulted the Sindh government while finalizing estimates for the GDS,” said the finance minister. He observed that Sindh had only started getting GDS since 1991. …

Read more » The News

Bangladesh and now Independent Baluchistan

by Syed Atiq ul Hassan

Pakistani politicians and army officials blamed people of East Pakistan as being burden on Pakistan’s treasury. They were called coward and beggars. Today, Bangladeshi economy is better than Pakistan’s. Today Bangladeshi Taka is better than the Pakistani Rupee in international market. Today, Pakistan is begging Bangladesh to play cricket in Pakistan with assurance to provide them full security so that the Pakistani image can be restored for holding international cricket events in Pakistan.

There is no question that the situation in Baluchistan is alarming and needs urgent attention….Military operation cannot be the solution – Pakistan should not forget what happened in East Pakistan.”

First East Pakistan to Bangladesh and now towards Baluchistan to Independent Baluchistan, political reasons may be un-identical but the tale of injustices; ignorance and autocratic behaviour of Pakistani establishment and civilian federal bureaucracy remain the same.

Continue reading Bangladesh and now Independent Baluchistan

Laws for language: If the British used Sindhi, why shouldn’t we, experts urge minister

By Z Ali

The bill called for using Sindhi for official correspondence and asked the National Assembly to grant it the status of a national language.

HYDERABAD: Encouraged by the consensus reached in the National Assembly over the 20th constitutional amendment, Sindhi writers and scholars lobbied for Sindhi, Punjabi, Balochi and Pushto to be acknowledged as national languages.

The representatives of the Sindhi Adabi Sangat (SAS), Sindhi Language Authority, Sindh Democratic Forum, author Muhammad Ibrahim Joyo and others met with the federal law and parliamentary affairs minister, Maula Bux Chandio, on Wednesday. They asked the minister to fight for national status for Sindhi in the National Assembly.

Dr Fehmida Hussain, the chairperson of the Sindhi Language Authority, asked the minister to form a language commission comprising officials, writers and scholars for the languages. However, Chandio, despite being receptive to their demands, expressed a lack of optimism about the passage of the bill in the near future.

“The federation is rife with misgivings,” he told the delegation. “First it will correct the structure before such a bill can sail through.”

The SAS launched a three-week long campaign from February 1 for the implementation of a bill passed unanimously by the Sindh Assembly in 1972. The organisations’ leaders, Mehrunissa Larik, Amin Lakho and Zaib Nizamani, want the enforcement of a 1972 bill. It called for using Sindhi for official correspondence and asked the National Assembly to grant it the status of a national language. “All the major languages of the provinces should be given national status,” said Larik. “Even the Britishers used Sindhi as an official language,” she claimed. The SAS will organise an event on February 21, which is International Mother Language Day, to press for their demands.

The National Assembly’s standing committee rejected a similar bill in May 2011, introduced by former MNA Marvi Memon. The names of Pakistan Peoples Party MNA Saeed Ahmed Zafar and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement MNA Iqbal Qadri have surfaced with objections to the bill.

But Chandio said that the bill lay with the constitutional committee. The standing committee on law and justice had scrutinised the bill. “It will get through,” he said, but did not say when. Some members in the Standing Committee opposed the bill, he added, but did not name them. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Pakistan – Federal Interior Minister Rahman Malik fears being killed

Malik fears being killed

Federal Interior Minister Rahman Malik has expressed apprehensions about his being killed adding that if he is murdered his son would ensure that his killers get what they deserve. Talking to media in Islamabad Rahman Malik strongly criticized Mulim League Nawaz ….

Read more » ARY News Tv

http://www.arynews.tv/english/Newsdetail.asp?nid=52966

Asma Jehangir ( Lioness ) interview with Aljazeera.

Husain Haqqani’s lawyer, Aasma Jehangir, speaks to Aljazeerah

Read more: Pakistani Siasat

One ship, three ministers, a dirty fight!

ISLAMABAD: (21 May, 2009) A multi-million dollar impending purchase of an old ship purportedly at an “inflated price of millions” for the Ministry of Science and Technology created ugly scenes in the federal cabinet meeting on Wednesday when three ministers blamed one another for the scam.

High-profile sources confirmed to our sources that Minister for Science and Technology Azam Swati and Minister for Ports and Shipping Babar Ghauri accused Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali of pressurising them to buy an old ship at an inflated price of millions, which otherwise was available at a much cheaper price. Swati and Ghauri blasted Sardar Assef in his absence in the meeting. Prime Minister Gilani has now summoned the deputy chairman to explain his position about the alleged scam that jolted the cabinet.

Talking to our sources, Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali strongly rejected allegations levelled against him in the federal cabinet meeting. The details, which he shared with this correspondent, give a totally new picture to the subject. He lambasted Azam Swati for pointing finger at him, arguing how he could be singled out in the matter that had nothing to do with him or his Planning Division. ….

Read more » Pak Tribune

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Civilian Govt. vs Generals : No hope of justice in memo case: Chandio

No hope of justice in memo case: Chandio

Federal Law Minister Maula Bukhsh Chandio has said he knows justice will not be done in memo case, a private TV channel reported. …

Read more » PakistanToday

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2011/12/no-hope-of-justice-in-memo-case-chandio/

Fai pleads guilty to working for ISI

By Anwar Iqbal

WASHINGTON: A US-based Kashmiri leader Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal charges of lobbying for Kashmir without registration and spying for the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence).

Mr Fai also acknowledged receiving money from the Pakistani spy agency through clandestine routes and causing revenue losses.

Pleading before the US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, Mr Fai conceded that he received at least $3.5 million from the ISI between 1990 and 2011. This resulted in a revenue loss of between $200,000 and $400,000 to the US government. …

Read more » DAWN.COM

The virus of Taliban has spread in Pakistan to the extent that even the federal minster for interior Rehman Malik pays homage to them!

Malik thanks Taliban for ensuring peaceful Ashura

Excerpt;

…. Speaking to the media in Islamabad, he said he was thankful to everyone, including the Taliban, for their cooperation in ensuring peaceful Ashura processions throughout the country during the 9th and 10th of Muharram. ….

…. Answering a question, he said that former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani’s name had already been put on the Exit Control List (ECL) as per the orders from Supreme Court.

Read more » DAWN.COM

More details » BBC urdu

Some constructive work by Pakistani Parliament – Congratulation to women of Pakistan & congratulation to all those parliamentarians who supported this women protection bill

NA passes women protection bill

By: Javaid-ur-rahman

ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly Tuesday unanimously passed ‘The Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Amendment Bill) Bill 2010’ to prohibit certain practices leading to exploitation and discrimination against womenfolk including marriage with the Holy Quran, giving a female in marriage or otherwise in Badla-e-Sulh, Wani or Sawara and depriving women of inheriting property.

The bill moved by MNA Donya Aziz was succeeded to get clearance in the third attempt, as the bill has twice been deferred in the last NA session (35th session) of private member day. The four clauses of the anti-women practices bill had been passed after thorough discussion. …

Read more » The Nation

Pakistan: An Unstable State?

Pakistan: An Unstable State? featuring Prof. Aasim Sajjad Akhtar

Event – (Two times – two locations) Thursday, October 13

1) 12-2pm at York University (HNES 140)

2) 6-8pm at the University of Toronto (Rm. 1200, Bahen Centre, 40 St. George St.)

While mainstream depictions of Pakistan are focused primarily on a narrative of war, terrorism and instability, there is much more to understand about the rich diversity of the peoples of Pakistan and their day-to-day struggles against oppression and exploitation — whether it is peasant farmers struggling against military landlords, or Baloch & Sindhi nationalists struggling against the central state for greater autonomy and independence. The Pakistani state, too, is a complex institution, with its varying mechanisms of establishing control and extending it. Join us in a discussion with Professor Aasim Sajjad Akhtar (Yale, SOAS) of Quaid-e-Azam University as he explores some of the complexities of state and society in Pakistan, and proposes lines of struggle and engagement for progressive change.

Co-sponsored by: Committee of Progressive Pakistani-Canadians, Forum for Democracy in Pakistan, South Asian Peoples Forum, Pakistan Development Fund, OPIRG Toronto

FBR confirms 24,000 containers missing from Karachi Port

by Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of Nato, ISAF and US Military containers have reportedly gone missing inside Pakistan during the last four years amid serious fears that many of these may have contained arms and ammunitions, which may have gone to terrorists.

Almost corroborating the grave charges levelled by PPP leader Dr Zulfiqar Mirza that a senior minister of MQM was responsible for these missing containers being in-charge of Ports and Shipping Ministry, sources in the Federal Board of Revenue say in addition to more than 24,000 missing containers of Afghan Transit Trade Commercial side, thousands of the unchecked containers belonging to Nato, ISAF and US Military had left the Karachi Port, but did not cross the Pak-Afghan border during the last four years. The sources, ….

Read more → The News

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

Rehman Malik likely to face removal

By AZHAR MASOOD, ARAB NEWS

ISLAMABAD: Powerful Interior Minister Rehman Malik is likely to get the boot, well placed sources told the Arab News here Wednesday.

Malik will be eased out of the federal Cabinet after he was alleged to have worked discreetly against Pakistan’s interests.

He has been accused by former Home Minister of Sindh from ruling Pakistan People’s Party, of “working on an agenda that leads to Pakistan’s dismemberment”.

Malik is involved in several graft cases and is out on bail to discharge his duties.

According to the sources, “President Asif Ali Zardari has decided in principle to get rid of Rehman Malik as he has become a political baggage after serious allegations levelled against him by a senior party leader Zulfikar Mirza.”

They were of the view that absence of Interior Minister in the crucial late night meeting chaired by Zardari was a clear indication that he would be relieved of his job. ….

Read more → ARAB NEWS

via → Siasat.pk

FEDERAL COURT OF CANADA HAS RULED A MEMBER OF MQM-A INADMISSIBLE TO CANADA BECAUSE MQM-A MEETS THE LEGAL DEFINITION OF TERRORIST ORGANIZATION.

…… [13] The immigration officer concluded that the applicant is inadmissible to Canada on security grounds pursuant to paragraph 34(1)(f) of the IRPA for being a member of an organization that there are reasonable grounds to believe has engaged in terrorism as referred to in paragraph 34(1)(c) of the IRPA. The applicant was a member of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement – Altaf (MQM-A), and there are reasonable grounds to believe that the MQM-A is an organization that has engaged in terrorism while the applicant was its member. ….

To read full Judgement → http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/en/2010/2010fc781/2010fc781.html

Zardari-MQM power?

By: Ali Nawaz Memon

President Zardari is afraid of MQM, he is sure that MQM can destablize his rule and he thinks people of Sindh are nothing. I have a feeling that even some of his ministers and members of federal and Sindh national assembly members do not agree with his thinking. But they are powerless before him. He has given them power single handily. They know that he can take away their power. May God forgive me for saying this, but, unfortunately, these PPP ministers and assemblymen do not see any other power in Sindh above President Zardari and MQM.

13th August 2011 strike may be an eye opener for President Zardari. People of Sindh and even some other groups have stood up against Zardari-MQM power. But “one day” strike is not going to mean anything. It has to be Tahrir square type of continuous action.

Then may be members of Sindh assembly will refuse to eat crow and change the former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, repressive, & discriminatory local bodies law and restore the previous status of Hyderabad and Karachi as districts West, East, South, North, Ibrahim Haidery, Lyari and Malir.

Please note: The writer is an author of “Sindh Development Thoughts” and he is also a chairman of Sindh Development Institute.

Courtesy: → Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, August 14, 2011.

PPP’s recent decision to revive former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, repressive, & discriminatory Local Government Ordinance 2001 is violation of its own Manifesto

– Translation by Khalid Hashmani, McLean

PPP’s recent decision to revive former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, repressive, & discriminatory, Local Government Ordinance 2001 is violation of its own Manifesto

An article published in Sindhi Daily Kawish, August 13, 2011 by Naseer Memon provides further analysis of the unpopular decision by PPP to to revive Local Government Ordinance 2001. Naseer makes the following key points:

1. PPP’s recent decision to revive former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, repressive, & discriminatory, Local Government Ordinance 2001 is violation of its own manifesto (refer to page 17 of the English version of People’s Party manifesto under “Local Government” section).

2. The argument by the PPP that their decision was simply in the sprit of respecting the mandate of a political party that won in the last local elections in some areas of Karachi and Hyderabad simply makes no sense. The mandate received on the basis of winning in local elections cannot supersede the provincial mandate.

3. Naseer asks to imagine how would have PPP and Sindhi masses reacted when former puppet CM of dictator Musharraf, Arbab Rahim’s government had made that decision. Indeed, they would called it treachery of the highest order and termed Arbab and other ministers in his cabinet as traitors.

4. The present government has not only failed to maintain law and order but does not even pay lip service to the notion of “merit”. The administrative matters such as hiring and job transfers are decided by corruption and influence-paddling.

5. The silence and poor performance by the leaders of Sindh PPP and the active Viceroy-like role played by Federal Minister, Mr. Babar Awan, created a feeling among Sindhis as if Sindhis have no say in how the province of Sindh is run.

6. PPP’s criticism of Sindhi nationalist parties and attitude that they have no right to criticize PPP since PPP won the last elections with overwhelmingly majority and that people did not vote for nationalist parties is inappropriate. Since the political party that Sindhis elected is not able to adhere to its own manifesto and properly represent people of Sindh, Sindh’s nationalist parties, Sindhi media, and Sindhi people have every right to criticize PPP. Indeed, they must urge Sindhi masses to remember who worked for their interests who did not when they go to the voting booths in the next elections.

Personally, I feel that it is very sad that not a single PPP official has expressed dismay or criticized this decision. I guess it must be so important for them to cling their positions than to resign to protest this dreadful decision of PPP.

Courtesy: Sindhi daily Kawish, 13th August, 2011.

Drinking liqour is not Haram – Federal Shariat Court

by Wichaar Desk

The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) has declared whipping for the offence of drinking as un-Islamic and directed the government to amend the law to make the offence bailable.

A full-bench of the FSC comprising Chief Justice Haziqul Khairi, Justice Salahuddin Mirza and Justice Fida Mohammad Khan gave the ruling on Thursday after hearing the arguments that the Holy Quran asks Muslims to stay away from liquor but does not specifically declares it Haram, or prohibited. ….

Read more → WICHAAR.COM

More details → defence.pk

Pakistani intelligence secretly funneled at least $4 million to a Washington lobby group whose leaders improperly lobbied U.S. officials over Kashmir

Pakistan funded Washington lobby group, U.S. says

Washington (CNN) — Pakistani intelligence secretly funneled at least $4 million to a Washington front group whose leaders improperly lobbied U.S. officials over the disputed territory of Kashmir, federal agents alleged Tuesday.

A Pakistani-American man who served as director of the Kashmiri American Council is in federal custody, while a second man accused of steering money to the organization is believed to be in Pakistan, the Justice Department said. The KAC director, Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, “acted at the direction and with the financial support of the government of Pakistan for more than 20 years,” an FBI arrest affidavit states.

One U.S. congressman quickly gave $4,000 donated by the two men charged in the case to charity, while another said he would consider a similar move if the source of the money was in question.

Fai and his co-defendant, Zaheer Ahmad, have been charged with conspiring to violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires lobbyists acting on behalf of another nation to register with the U.S. government. The charge carries a possible prison term of up to five years. ….

Read more → CNN

Nationalists seek ‘all provincial subjects’ for Sindh

KARACHI: Claiming that the 18th constitutional amendment has robbed the provinces of their rights and the centre has become stronger at the cost of the provinces, Sindhi nationalists have demanded that the centre surrender all provincial subjects to the provinces.

This claim was made by Sindh United Party President Syed Jalal Mehmoud Shah and the Sindh Dost Democratic Party chief Barrister Zamir Ghumro at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday. Other nationalists leaders who were present on the occasion included Shah Muhammad Shah, Dr Dodo Mehri, Ghulam Shah and Shahnaz Shah.

Reading out from a joint statement, Mr Shah said the parliamentary committee on the 18th amendment on the pretext of abolition of the concurrent list had taken away purely provincial subjects, including electricity, professions such as medical and engineering, and criminal law for the first time and had increased the entries of the federal lists from 67 to 74. …

Read more → DAWN.COM

Chronicles foretold – By Najam Sethi

– The cold-blooded torture and murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad by “invisible agencies” roused the journalists of Pakistan to unite and demand an independent and credible commission of inquiry to unearth the facts and punish the perpetrators. A media “dharna” outside parliament in Islamabad was aimed at securing an independent supreme court judge to head the inquiry instead of Justice Agha Rafiq, the chief justice of the Federal Shariat Court, nominated by President Asif Zardari.

Two questions arose. First, why did the media unite in such an unprecedented manner in this case when it didn’t do so in the case of the sixteen journalists so far killed this year in Pakistan? What was so particularly frightening or significant about this murder that compelled the media to stand up and be counted? Second, why did President Zardari originally pick a “Zardari-loyalist” to head this commission? Was this aimed at shielding any slip up or criminality on the part of the PPP government? And if it wasn’t, who was President Zardari trying to shield and why?

The answers are straight forward enough. Saleem Shehzad had recorded his problems with the ISI and left a testament indicting it if he was harmed. He was writing a book exposing the inroads into the armed forces and ISI made by retired or serving officers sympathetic to Al Qaeda’s violent ideology. Such exposure was deemed irrevocably embarrassing to the national security establishment. It explained the lack of preparedness on the part of the military to defend and protect itself — as evidenced in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Abbottabad in recent times. It also confirmed the fears of the international community about the security of the nukes, triggering scenarios of pre-emptive action against them in the event of their seizure by rogues allied to Al Qaeda. When Saleem Shehzad went ahead and published his book, he had to be silenced.

That, at least, is the media’s perception of what happened to him and why. Thus the media banded together to demand accountability so that the same fate did not befall any other journalist. If this perception was wrong, an independent commission of inquiry should have been able to establish the innocence of the ISI and redeem its credibility. If it was right, the ISI had to be chastened and cleansed of such elements. What is wrong with this way of thinking? Indeed, when an attempt is made to hide the facts behind a stooge commission, such suspicions and perceptions take deep roots and protests are inclined to become more widespread and violent. If President Zardari hadn’t finally heeded the journalists’ threat and appointed Justice Saqib Nisar to head the commission instead of Mr Agha Rafiq, the media was all geared up to announce a blackout of all government news and military press statements and advice.

Much the same sort of trouble for the government and military may be forecast for another commission of inquiry pledged by parliament to uncover the truth behind the Abbottabad debacle. In this case, too, the military seems to have leaned on the weak PPP government to desist from seriously inquiring into the mishap because it would deeply embarrass the “national security establishment” and conceivably jeopardise its “strategic relationship” with its Pentagon counterpart in the United States.

In both instances, however, there is one critical factor that threatens to derail the unholy nexus between a weak government and an arrogant military that are clutching at each other for protection. That is the opposition lead by Nawaz Sharif. The PMLN stood solidly with the fearful media in the first instance and will back the outraged public in the second. No less significantly, the sympathies of the newly independent judiciary are with the media, opposition and public. This is an inherently unstable and precarious situation. Where do we go from here?

The military has no option but to press the strategic “Paradigm Reset” button. The media and judiciary have joined the stake holders’ club. The military must realize that it is no longer capable of “managing” or “manipulating” or “blackmailing” the twice-bitten opposition to do its bidding blindly. The media too has been empowered by a wave of “citizen-journalists” who cannot be repressed. There are 20 million internet users in Pakistan and 4 million Facebook freaks and Tweeters. This organic new species had defied the dictators of the Middle East and smashed their censors. It is destined to do the same in Pakistan.

The situation is fraught with dangers of unmanageable upheaval. The military must adjust its sights accordingly. If, for example, the US were to launch any new unilateral action that outraged the Pakistani media, opposition and public, the military would be caught in the eye of the storm. It won’t be able to resist the public pressure but it also wouldn’t like to be savaged by America. Thus it could be the biggest loser in the game. Forewarned is forearmed.

Courtesy: Friday Times

via Wichaar

Former Military dictator Musharraf declared Absconder (Ishtihari) in Pakistan

– Benazir Bhutto murder case: Musharraf declared absconder

by Omer Farooq Khan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has been declared an absconder after a court in Pakistan’s garrison city of Rawalpindi accepted the interim chargesheet submitted by the investigation agency, which named the ex-president as an accused in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

Investigators of Pakistan’s leading Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted a chargesheet in Rawalpindi’s anti-terrorism court on Monday, listing Musharraf as one of the accused in the assassination of the former two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The court accepted the challan (chargesheet) after the testimony of police officials detained for alleged dereliction of duty over the assassination of the former PM. Former Rawalpindi police chief Saud Aziz and superintendent of police Khuramm Shazad were arrested last December after allegations were levelled against them for providing inadequate security to the former premier, hosing down the crime scene and destroying the evidence.

Courtesy: TOI

Then spoke Aafia

By Aziz Akhmad

I sat among the audience in the courtroom of federal judge Richard Berman, in Lower Manhattan, watching the sentencing proceedings of Aafia Siddiqui, on September 23.

Before Aafia Siddiqui spoke, her lawyer made what sounded, at least to me, a compassionate plea for a minimum sentence. She argued that Aafia Siddiqui was not mentally stable, or words to that effect, because of the impossible circumstances she had been through. That she needed professional care and compassion rather than a long term in prison. The lawyer concluded her plea by asking for a sentence not more than 12 years.

All this time, Afia Sidddiqui sat quietly, clad in a beige niqab, only her eyes visible. At times she would place her head on the table in front of her, as if not interested in what her lawyer was saying, or would stretch back into the chair clasping her head in both hands, as if exasperated. Soon after her lawyer finished, she stood up and asked the judge if she could say something. The judge said yes.

Then Aafia spoke. It was as if a dam had been breached; the words came gushing out of her mouth like a torrent. She spoke in a sharp voice and flawless English. Every once in a while she would pause and ask the audience, like a teacher in a classroom: “Do you understand what I am saying?” At one point the judge had to say, yes, we all understand you very clearly. Sometimes during the course of her speech she would break into a short, agitated laughter. Once, she even made a humorous comment about her trial referring to the court as Manhattan Institute of Theatrics, a pun on MIT, her alma mater.

She declared at the outset that she was not tortured or mistreated in jail (in Texas). She said if you hear people saying otherwise don’t believe them. She then quoted a verse from the Quran to the effect that when you hear something, verify it before you believe it. She said she was not mentally unbalanced, as her defence lawyers had tried to make out and that she did not trust them.

Several times she said she loved America and had no hostility against Americans or anyone. She also thanked the soldiers who, she said, did not harm or mistreated her daughter in captivity (in Afghanistan?).

Continue reading Then spoke Aafia

No Surprise, they can deny the 18th constitutional amendment but they cannot hide themselves from the people of oppressed constituent units of Pakistan

Dar resigns as deputy chief of commission

By Amir Wasim

ISLAMABAD: In what appears to be a face-saving move, Senator Ishaq Dar of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-N resigned on Wednesday as deputy chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Implementation of 18th Amendment.

In a five-page letter to Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Senator Dar cited differences over the devolution of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and transfer of assets and services of federal employees to the provinces as the main reasons for his decision.

Last week, the PML-N senator found himself in a difficult situation when reporters took him on during a news conference with the chairman of the commission, Senator Raza Rabbani, for defending the planned HEC devolution which was against the stance of his party. “I am not responsible for everybody in the party,” he said at the time. …

Read more : DAWN

Pakistan can no longer be ruled from Islamabad

National Integration – Masood Sharif Khan Khattak

Communication infrastructure, domestic tourism, undiluted provincial autonomy and bonding through the workplace play a vital role in the integration of a nation. Pakistan’s national integration has suffered immensely because these factors have never been crucially important to our leadership. Pakistan’s communication infrastructure is primitive, domestic tourism is non-existent, provincial autonomy only receives lip-service and bonding through the workplace is totally missing except in the armed forces. Uniform development across the country over the past sixty years would have solidly integrated the Pakistani nation but that did not happen due to absolute incompetence, poor leadership and corruption at all levels. The price Pakistan is paying for its neglect is in the shape of an internally disjointed nation forced to suffer the present-day indignities in the shape of terrorism and insurgency.

The political and military establishment must now understand that the military potential of any country is multiplied manifolds when it is backed by a nation that is well-integrated. An integrated nation can cover up for military shortfalls but military strength cannot cover up for the shortfalls of a nation that lacks integration and cohesion. The Soviet Union’s break-up in 1991 is an example that amply illustrates this aspect. Pakistan must, therefore, accord top priority to uniform development throughout the country in order to have a nation that can back its enviable military potential in a solid manner; if not, then all will be lost.

Nawaz Sharif deserves the credit for initiating the modern communication infrastructure of Pakistan that is so essential for the integration of a nation that lives in a country as big as Pakistan. The launching of the Lahore-Islamabad motorway by Nawaz Sharif in the early 90s was a huge step in the right direction. If the process had been initiated decades ago Pakistan today would have been a very cohesively integrated nation. …

Read more : PKcoluminist.com