Tag Archives: Ideology

Democracy starts from home

– Democracy is the best revenge. Really?

Dr. Shazia Nawaz

I say a lot of things too. For example I say, “Going out in the sun can give you skin cancer.” But then I do not go out in the sun. I also say, “Daily cooking by women is a sheer waste of their time.” You guessed it right. I do not waste my time on cooking.

Clearly Pakistan People’s Party is not like me. They say that democracy is the best revenge, but do not have democracy right within their party. It is not only PPP, it is also Muslim league. Is Nawaz Sharif ever going to retire from being the party chairman? Should not there be a time limit for holding the position within the party? For our political parties, it’s not democracy, but it is dynasty. The child of a party leader is picked as a next party leader automatically. And that appointment is done happily. No questions asked.

When it comes to PPP, seems to me that the more you pretend to be in love with Bhuttos, the bigger leader you are considered in the party. Why such hero worship? Was Bhutto not just another man? Same goes for Jinnah and for our very own Allama Iqbal. Interestingly, we are very big on following the “ideology” of these leaders. Has Pakistan stopped producing brilliant minds?

Why do we have to follow the “ideology” of people who lived almost half a century ago? When we are not living in the same old world anymore, why follow the same old ideology? There is always a fight among liberals and conservatives about the “true ideology” of Jinnah. He wanted a Muslim state. No, he wanted a secular state for Muslims. Why does it matter so much anymore what Jinnah wanted? Has Pakistan stopped producing brilliant minds at all now that we cannot come up with new ideas to lead our country? If Jinnah said it, it is ALWAYS right. He cannot be wrong, questioned, or criticized. Same goes for our national poet Allama Iqbal (RA). Youth seems to follow blindly what our great poet said almost a hundred years ago. Things that he said when British ruled the world are not valid in today’s world anymore, where we do not have dynasties anymore, well, except for in PPP. Iqbal’s poetry was for oppressed people of India and Pakistan. Iqbal’s message was for that time.

Now the world has become a global village. Sadly, Iqbal missed out on the biggest invention of mankind, the internet.
Coming back to PPP, don’t get me wrong, Bilawal is adorable. And he knows how to give a speech. If you have not already, please watch the video in which he literally almost lifts his head off his neck saying, ‘ Sar chahe-yay, sar dain gay hum (if you need our heads, we will give you our heads)” I personally think that PPP has given enough heads already. Rest of those heads should stay exactly where they belong. On those rich necks.

Bilawal did not grow up in Pakistan. That might not make him less of a Pakistani though. Bilawal is very smart. He has good genes. But then, is it all about being good? Of course not. It is about being the best. When you pick someone to rule and lead your nation, you want the best person for the job. Was Zardari the best person for the job? Sure, he’s good. But did he compete with others to prove that he was the best person for the job? It is not a dynasty. It is democracy. Bilawal has to prove that he is the best person for the job. Sure, he is learning politics from his seniors as Farah Naz Isphahani said in her article recently. Just like kings taught their kids how to rule a country. The world has rejected kings’ rules. Now handsome kings are only good for watching and marrying. And for selling stuff in their name. Yes, I just bought the similar ring that Prince William gave to Kate. Of course mine is not nearly as expensive.

Continue reading Democracy starts from home

G. M. Syed’s Birth Day in Jail, Living With Enemies, Palijo’s Ideology, Life in Jail

Notes From My Memory, Part VIII: G. M. Laghari, Syed’s Birth Day in Jail, Living With Enemies, Palijo’s Ideology, Life in Jail

By Mir Thebo

Excerpt:

…. Living with ideological enemies: It is very difficult to live with an ideological enemy in one compound especially when there is just no way to avoid or escape him. And what do you do if that ‘ideological enemy’ is Rasool Bux Palijo who is always eager to pinch you with sharp and dreadful remarks? When we were in jail together (1968), as I mentioned in my previous note, R. B. Palijo came with the idea on 17th January to celebrate G. M. Syed’s Birth Day! I thought it was his ploy to criticize and condemn us [Communist Party (CP)] on the national question. Palijo arranged a birthday cake and some refreshments for the day. We all sat together including two muhajir comrades and paid rich tributes to Saaeen G. M. Syed.

When my turn came to speak, I compared Syed with other historical personalities like Dr. Sun Yat Sen, (Chinese nationalist leader, who played a great role in 1911 Chinese nationalist revolution, which overthrew the Qing dynasty in China), Jawahar Lal Nehru and Khan Ghaffar Khan. When Palijo’s turn came, he brutally attacked my comparison of Syed with those leaders and said, ‘Syed is far above than these leaders. Mir has tried to minimize G. M. Syed’s stature and his role.’ In rhetorical manner, he continued: ‘G. M. Syed is equivalent to Marx, Lenin and Mao’. He said: ‘these people don’t know how great G. M. Syed is’. I was flabbergasted by Palijo’s remarks. We knew how Palijo used Syed’s personality for his own narrow political interests. He himself knew very well the place of Syed. But, alas, that has been Palijo’s style all along.

R. B. Palijo’s political ideology: For political purposes, Palijo used Mao Tse-Tung whose little red book was

compulsory for every Chinese to carry during the cultural revolution (1966 to 1976) otherwise one will be labeled as counter revolutionary or an agent of the enemy. Thousands of people were persecuted especially the writers, intellectuals and middle class people. They were ruthlessly taken from their homes in the cities and were uprooted and sent to far-flung rural areas. They were humiliated under the guidance of the so-called vigilant party committees and people were forced to confess that they were anti-party and reactionary to bring them to shame in the public. Same thing was practiced in the Soviet Union during the Stalin period. They called it ‘The Great Purge’ to purify the party and the society.

Palijo found it easy to convince his workers through this sacred red book that all are enemies except his party people and that he can expel any leader or worker in the name of the great cause or the party. The same practice was common in our party too. It was actually a common practice in 3rd. world countries. Therefore almost all parties were divided in many groups and during that period Euro Communism emerged. The Western European parties denounced the Soviet system of one party rule and the dictatorship of the proletariat and the concept of democratic socialism and multi-party system emerged. New ideas emerged in 1980s in the Soviet Union too. They were called Glasnost and Perestroika (openness and restructuring) and M. Gorbachev declared a famous quote for the liberals that ‘Man is above the Ideology, the ideology is not above the man’. Those who are still Marxists and glorify the former USSR, consider Gorbachev the traitor and the one who brought down the grand empire of the UNION OF THE SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC.

Palijo brought Mao’s thoughts to his workers and Sindhi peasants and mixed it with Sindhi nationalism and formulated the idea of a Chinese model revolution in Sindh and repeatedly told his innocent workers the famous quote of Mao that “all political power comes from the barrel of the gun”. But Mao’s revolution was typical Chinese revolution. Mao didn’t copy the Russian model and he was against Russia. Both the communist powers even went to a war in 1969 over some piece of land along one of the longest international borders between the two countries although they both believed in the ideology that in future states will wither away and only universal communism will prevail. More funny thing is that it was America, the big capitalist enemy, who stopped Russians from attacking Chinese nuclear installations and Russians backed off (US journalist Harrison Salisbury reported that Soviet sources implied a possible first strike against the Lop Nur basin nuclear test site; and military documents of the time indicate that the USSR had more nuclear-attack plans against China than against the US. The United States warned the USSR against launching a nuclear strike against China. WIKI). Mao didn’t use even Marx very much. He brought the revolution in his own way as he convinced Chinese people how to fulfill difficult task through this old Chinese saying, ‘The foolish old man who moves the mountain’. ….

To read complete article: Indus Herald

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

A Primer on Class Struggle

by Michael Schwalbe

When we study Marx in my graduate social theory course, it never fails that at least one student will say (approximately), “Class struggle didn’t escalate in the way Marx expected. In modern capitalist societies class struggle has disappeared. So isn’t it clear that Marx was wrong and his ideas are of little value today?

I respond by challenging the premise that class struggle has disappeared. On the contrary, I say that class struggle is going on all the time in every major institution of society. One just has to learn how to recognize it. …

Read more : Common Dreams

Pakistan remains a military-dominated rentier state

Failed state or Weimar Republic?

Pakistan remains a military-dominated rentier state, still committed to American and Gulf Arab alliances

By Omar Ali

A friend recently wrote to me that Pakistan reminded him of the Weimar republic; an anarchic and poorly managed democracy with some real freedoms and an explosion of artistic creativity, but also with a dangerous fascist ideology attracting more and more adherents as people tire of economic hardship and social disorder and yearn for a savior. Others (much more numerous than the single friend who suggested the Weimar comparison) insist that Pakistan is a failed state. So which is it? Is Pakistan the Weimar republic of the day or is it a failed state?

Continue reading Pakistan remains a military-dominated rentier state

THINKING ALOUD: The return of extreme ignorance and evil

THINKING ALOUD: The return of jahiliyah – Razi Azmi

With the known ‘infidels’ out of the way, religious fundamentalists needed new enemies to keep their fires stoked and their hateful hunger satiated. So they turned on themselves, creating a whole new set of heretics, apostates, blasphemers and infidels

At a time when enlightenment is seeping through the Islamic heartland in the Middle East, jahiliyah (stubborn arrogance) is taking Pakistan by the throat. If the founder of the country, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, were alive today, he would live in fear, like the millions of others who share his secular ideology.

Murderous thugs control the country in the name of Islam, from Khyber to Karachi and from Lahore to Lasbela. This is no accident; it has been a long time coming. The chain of actual events and the process of constitutional and mental regression that have led to this can be traced back to Pakistan’s beginnings.

Intolerance and bigotry first began to creep rather innocuously into Pakistan’s body politic with the passage of the Objectives Resolution under Liaquat Ali Khan. It gathered pace under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s politically expedient concessions to the Islamists. Ziaul Haq’s constitutional amendments and propaganda on the pretext of Islamisation turned it into a fearsome juggernaut. …

Read more : Daily Times

Habib Jalib – Aisay Dastoor Ko Main nahi manta

IN LOVING MEMORIES OF THE POET OF THE OPPRESSED PEOPLE …HABIB JALIB,….WHO LEAVES US 1993 BUT STILL ALIVE IN OUR HEARTS AND EACH & EVERY RESISTANCE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE AGAINST DARK FORCES. Habib Jalib, Main nahi manta and Zulmat ko Zia kia likhna. Habib Jalib (born 1928 – died March 12, 1993) was first imprisoned during the martial law regime of Ayub Khan due to his defiant views on Ayub Khan’s capitalistic policies. He wrote his legendary poem “Dastoor” (System) during those days.

In 1972 when the Peoples Government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto came, many of his colleagues were able to hit fortunes. He, on the other hand, kept his integrity and stuck to ideology. As a result, he was imprisoned again along with other leftist thinkers like Mukhtar Rana and Meraj Muhammad Khan.

During General Zia-ul-Haq’s dictatorship, Jalib joined movement for Restoration of democracy (MRD).

In 1988, General Zia-ul-Haq died in air crash and general elections were held. Benazir Bhutto came into power and released Habib Jalib. Fortunes were distributed to those who supported the government rather than those who supported democracy. Disappointed at the state of the nation, when asked if he felt any change after democracy, he said, “Haal ab tak wahi hain ghareeboan kay Din phiray hain faqat waziroan kay her Bilawal hai dase ka maqrooz paoon nangay hain Benazeeroan kay

Benazir lost power in 1990 to Nawaz Sharif, in 1993 Habib Jalib died. His family refused a government offer to pay for his funeral expenses.

After his passing, Qateel Shifai expressed his sorrow and grief in these words: Apney sarey dard bhula kar auron ke dukh sehta tha Hum jub ghazlain kehtey thay wo aksar jail main rehta tha Aakhir kar chala hi gya wo rooth kar hum farzanon se Wo deewana jisko zamana Jalib Jalib kehta tha.

Books – Sir-e-Maqtal, Zikr Behte Khoon Ka, Gumbad-e-Bedar * Kulyaat e Habib Jalib.

You Tube

Russia Weighs What to Do With Lenin’s Body

By C. J. CHIVERS

MOSCOW, Oct. 4 – For eight decades he has been lying in state on public display, a cadaver in a succession of dark suits, encased in a glass box beside a walkway in the basement of his granite mausoleum. Many who revere him say he is at peace, the leader in repose beneath the lights. Others think he just looks macabre.

Time has been unkind to Lenin, whose remains here in Red Square are said to sprout occasional fungi, and whose ideology and party long ago fell to ruins. Now the inevitable question has returned. Should his body be moved?

Revisiting a proposal that thwarted Boris N. Yeltsin, who faced down tanks but in his time as president could not persuade Russians to remove the Soviet Union’s founder from his place of honor, a senior aide to President Vladimir V. Putin raised the matter last week, saying it was time to bury the man. …

Read more : The New York Times

If the situation is not checked very quickly, someone may soon write an epitaph of Pakistan

Pakistan: A country created & being destroyed in the name of religion

by Aziz Narejo

It was not long ago when some Indian Muslim leaders had gathered in Lahore and had adopted a resolution at their meeting to demand a brand new country in the name of religion. They systematically created a mass frenzy in the support of their demand and finally achieved what they wanted – ‘a brand new country in the name of religion’. It was born in a pool of blood and was accompanied by the misery and the mass migration on a scale never seen before in the Sub-Continent.

But creating hysteria and dividing population in the name of religion was very easy compared to running and managing a new country. The leadership failed at all levels – and in all sections of the society. The rot started early. They couldn’t bring the country to the people. Couldn’t keep it together. Couldn’t agree on a Constitution or a form of government. First it was Mullahs, feudals and bureaucrats. They were soon joined by the military, which lost no time to enslave everybody else. It became the ‘praetorian masters’, the ‘powers that be’ and the ‘establishment’. The military became the ultimate master of the destiny of the country.

To stop the people from getting their due rights, the establishment created a fake ‘ideology of Pakistan’. When pressed to accept demands of the people, especially from the eastern wing and the smaller provinces, it first created One Unit and then encouraged the rightists to fight the progressive elements and the people of various nationalities demanding their rights. The religious right and the establishment would readily dub them unpatriotic, anti-state, anti-Islam and enemies of the country.

What was the result? They lost half of the country in just 24 years. They still didn’t learn. Created some more monsters in the name of religion and ethnicity. Today everything seems out of control. The rightist groups, which were supported in the name of religion to fight the nationalist and progressive elements in the country and to wage proxy wars on the borders and in India and Afghanistan, have started working on their own agenda. They now think they are in a position to claim the whole pie – ‘why settle for less’?

These groups hold the whole country hostage now. They have made the governance impossible and the country is fast moving to complete anarchy. The establishment still seems to be oblivious of where these groups may take the country and what havoc they may create. It still supports part of these groups considering them as its ‘strategic assets’.

Along with the establishment, some in media and other sections of the society have also developed soft corner for the rightist groups. They think that country could be brought together in the name of religion, which can actually never happen. Religion as it is today can only further divide an already divided country. It may create some more fissures and chaos. Most of the religious groups and parties are at loggerheads with each other and frequently issue edicts dubbing the followers of rival sects as infidels and liable to be eliminated.

Country is clearly on a path to self-destruction. Many of the people would still not realize the seriousness of the situation. They are in the constant state of denial and blame every misfortune either on America or India ….

Read more : Indus Herald

Some interesting anecdotes from Mr. Suleyman Schwartz

From San Francisco to Sarajevo – by Michael J. Totten

Stephen Schwartz was raised a communist in the San Francisco Bay Area and once worked for the Cubans. Then he became a Republican and converted to Islam in the Balkans. When he’s not busy with his duties as the director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, he writes books and articles for magazines like The Weekly Standard.

His analysis of the Middle East and the Muslim world generally is more fresh and interesting than that of most. He is the first Westerner to use the word “Islamofascism” to describe the “use of the faith of Islam as a cover for totalitarian ideology,” and he did so not as an “Islamophobe” but as a Muslim believer. Those who yearn to hear from moderate Muslims, and those who have somehow convinced themselves that the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood are the moderates, really need to hear what he has to say.

MJT: So, what are your thoughts on Egypt?

Stephen Schwartz: Well, during the first two weeks most of the usual chatterers had no chattering to do. Everybody was stunned. Nobody had an answer. A lot of what should have been said was considered politically incorrect. Nobody for the first two weeks wanted to say there weren’t just two alternatives in Egypt, Mubarak or the Brotherhood. There were three alternatives—Mubarak, the Brotherhood, and the army which really rules Egypt.

Egypt has been controlled by the army since 1952. In certain kinds of countries the military takes over because it’s the only stable force. But in other countries the army is more ideological. Some of the armies in these latter countries develop a political ideology that I and a few other people have called the concept of the “army-party,” meaning the army acts as though it were a political party. It’s not simply a matter of a military dictatorship or a regime based on a militaristic or fascist party, and it’s not always necessarily an ideological phenomenon, but the army acts as a political party. It acts as a political force, and it acts as a political arbiter.

MJT: Like in Turkey, for instance.

Stephen Schwartz: Turkey is an example. There are lots of examples in Latin America. Argentina was an example. Algeria and Egypt are examples.

MJT: And Pakistan.

Stephen Schwartz: Yes, and Pakistan. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Egypt has an army-party.

MJT: It does.

Stephen Schwartz: So it’s not a question of Mubarak or the Brotherhood. The army will not, I think, permit the Brotherhood to take power, but the army will shuffle things in some ways. There may not be much of a change at all. When Mubarak said he wouldn’t run in the next election, well, the election is seven months away. How do we know there will be an election?

I’m for democracy throughout the world. I want bourgeois democracy everywhere. I’m an activist for it, but I’m also cautious about euphoria. I think a lot of people have been swept away by hope in the Egyptian case. They think this is the beginning of the great Arab transformation, but they don’t notice that there are few political alternatives in Egypt. There’s no labor-based party. There’s no bourgeois party. There are no parties representing particular social and economic interests.

The most important point, in my view, is that Iran and Saudi Arabia are two countries where democratization, or, at least, popular sovereignty, means leaving Islamist ideology behind. The problem with Egypt is that democratization, to a certain extent, represents a leap into the void. The Egyptians haven’t yet learned about Islamist ideology, through experience, what the Saudis and especially the Iranians have learned. We don’t want them to have to learn it.

MJT: But how are they going to learn it without learning it?

Stephen Schwartz: They can learn it by looking at the experiences of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan. They don’t have to suffer it in their flesh. People in the West rejected Communism without having to live under it, thank God.

The other problem is that the weight of corruption and despotism in Egypt is so heavy and has persisted for so long. I often compare Egypt with China in this sense.

Democracy in Iran could lead to social reform in Saudi Arabia and a stiffening of the resistance to radicalism in Pakistan. It could conceivably change the whole Muslim world.

MJT: The Arab world doesn’t look up to Iran or Pakistan.

Stephen Schwartz: No.

MJT: Arabs do look up to Egypt, though, and in different ways to Saudi Arabia.

Stephen Schwartz: If Iran becomes democratic, if the Iranians overthrow the clerical state as we should all hope and pray for every day, there will be a tremendous impact in Saudi Arabia.

MJT: You think?

Stephen Schwartz: Absolutely.

MJT: What kind of impact would you expect?

Stephen Schwartz: If Iranians overthrow the clerical state and put Islamist ideology behind them, they can move quickly along the path of democracy and stability. Iranians are very well educated, very sophisticated.

MJT: The Saudis don’t seem to be so educated and sophisticated about democracy. ….

Read more : http://pajamasmedia.com/michaeltotten/2011/02/14/from-san-francisco-to-sarajevo/

Pakistan : Not revolution but anarchy

– Not revolution but anarchy

by Waseem Altaf

Revolution refers to drastic change in thinking and behaving in the cultural, economic and socio-political context.

Socio-economic deprivation or gross disparity or conflict of interest among competing groups causes frustration which leads to aggression. The aggression so caused is channelized by leaders who symbolize an ideology. A critical mass of the population is necessary who are supportive of this ideology.

Today people in Pakistan are frustrated. This has caused aggression. The manifestations of this aggression are visible everywhere. The irritability of the common men, show of force and inflammatory speeches in public rallies, ever increasing crime rate, intolerance and impatience are all indicative of this aggression. However there is no such leader who has an ideology and who enjoys the support of a critical mass of the population which can bring about a revolution in this country. Hence the thought of revolution becomes even more irrelevant in a country where there are so many ethnic, social, political and religious divides with no leader enjoying mass support at the national level.

However this country is fast drifting towards a change. Let us see what the present state of the nation is:

Today it is not the government, the parliament, the media, the judiciary or even the army which calls the shots but the firebrand mullah in the streets who determines the tone and tenor of the statements and initiatives emanating from all the so called pillars of the State. Sherry Rahman has withdrawn the blasphemy bill, informed the Prime Minister on Wednesday 2nd of Feb. Sitting ministers either support the stance taken by the mullah or remain silent. While it is Mumtaz Qadri versus the State, the case has been shifted to Adiala jail for proceedings as the State does not feel secure in an open court in Islamabad. Last time the public prosecutor could not attend the court as the jail premises was thronged by Sunni Tehrik supporters of Mumtaz Qadri.Today the conduct of the Parliament is determined by the mullah as in the Senate, it was not allowed to say fateha for Salman Taseer in response to a resolution moved by Senator Nilofar Bakhtiar. Even the liberal MQM members refused and not a single member of PPP rose to support the resolution. …

Read more : View Point

Egyptian uprising. Democracy & Freedom for All!

We are with our brothers and sisters in Egypt. We Salute you and want you to know that we are by your side in this struggle against Tyranny. Be strong, we are with you. The whole world is watching you and it is by your side. Dictators of the Arab world listen the voice of the people. People will Prevail, and Tyrants in the Arab world will Fall. We are with you People of Egypt.

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Egypt is bruised, but not broken

By SALIM MANSUR, QMI Agency

History lessons are useful, and when events are in flux it is the past that can shed light on what the future might hold.

Autocracies, as I have indicated in recent columns, have shelf life. But there are caveats in any generalization, and the shelf life of any particular autocracy could get extended beyond its expiry date.

The current crisis in Egypt erupted with surprising speed for President Hosni Mubarak. The public demonstrations demanding an end to his 30-year rule has undermined him and very likely, as he has himself indicated, will end his presidency. …

Read more : TORONTO SUN

Blasphemy Law: Mullahs fighting each other for political gains

Blasphemy Law: Mullahs fighting each other for political gains (2 JI) – Wichaar Analysis

The prime mover of TNR is Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), the mother of most theocratic and extremist religious trends. JI is another case of fake contender of ideology of Pakistan. The party opposed the creation of Pakistan tooth and nail and issued fatwas against Mohammad Ali Jinnah. By the way it got foothold in Punjab courtesy of Allama Mohammad Iqbal. A landlord Chauhdry Barkat Ali had asked Allama Iqbal to recommend a suitable Islamic organization who can take his estate in Pathankot. Allama Iqbal recommended Maulana Maudodi and this is how JI expanded its base in Punjab. This one of the reason that I feel that JI cadres and Taliban are Iqbal’s ‘Shaheens.’

Presently, JI is competing for influence for itself but that is its secondary goal versus Fazalur Rehman whose main goal is political power. For JI, TNR is a vehicle to keep religious parties united and to slowly dismantle what is left of the secular institutions of the state. Taliban and other jihadi groups very well fit in its strategy to undo the system. Therefore, while Taliban and other jihadis keep the state engaged with guns JI provides a political cover to them. …

Read more : Wichaar

Many in Pakistan Fear Unrest at Home

By JANE PERLEZ

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Protests over crippling prices and corrupt leadership are sweeping much of the Islamic world, but here in Pakistan this week, the government blithely dismissed any threat to its longevity or to the country’s stability.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani insisted that Pakistan was not Egypt or Tunisia. “Our institutions are working and democracy is functional,” he said. The economy, while under pressure, is not in crisis.

But while Mr. Gilani appeared unruffled, diplomats, analysts and other Pakistani officials admitted to unease, and conceded that Pakistan contained many of the same ingredients for revolt found in the Middle East — and then some: an economy hollowed out by bad management and official corruption; rising Islamic religious fervor; and a poisonous resentment of the United States, Pakistan’s biggest financial supporter.

If no one expects Pakistan to be swept by revolution this week, the big question on many minds is how, and when, a critical mass of despair among this nation’s 180 million people and the unifying Islamist ideology might be converted into collective action.

Some diplomats and analysts compare the combustible mixture of religious ideology and economic frustration, overlaid with the distaste for America, to Iran in 1979. Only one thing is missing: a leader.

“What’s lacking is a person or institution to link the economic aspirations of the lower class with the psychological frustration of the committed Islamists,” a Western diplomat said this week. “Our assessment is: this is like Tehran, 1979.”

Mr. Gilani is right in that Pakistan held fairly free elections three years ago, when the democratically based Pakistan Peoples Party, led by President Asif Ali Zardari, won.

But the return to civilian government after a decade of military rule has meant little to the people because politicians have done nothing for voters, said Farrukh Saleem, a risk analyst and columnist in The News, a daily newspaper.

As it has been for all of Pakistan’s more than 60 years of history, Parliament today remains dominated by the families of a favored few, who use their perch to maintain a corrupt patronage system and to protect their own interests as Pakistan’s landed and industrial class. The government takes in little in taxes, and as a result provides little in the way of services to its people.

“Ninety-nine percent of Pakistanis are not affected by the state — it doesn’t deliver anything for them,” Mr. Saleem said. “People are looking for alternatives. So were the Iranians in 1979.”

There is little question that the images from Egypt and Tunisia are reverberating through Pakistani society, and encouraging workers to speak up and vent frustration in ways that were unusual even three months ago.

“There’s no electricity, no gas, no clean water,” said Ali Ahmad, a hotel worker in Lahore who is usually a model of discretion. “I think if things stay the same, people will come out and destroy everything.”

When a young banker in a prestigious job at a foreign bank was asked if Pakistan could go the way of Egypt, he replied, “I hope so.”

At the core of Pakistan’s problem are the wretched economic conditions of day-to-day life for most of the people whose lives are gouged by inflation, fuel shortages and scarcity of work.

They see the rich getting richer, including “the sons of rich, corrupt politicians and their compatriots openly buying Rolls-Royces with their black American Express cards,” said Jahangir Tareen, a reformist politician and successful agricultural businessman.

Food inflation totaled 64 percent in the last three years, according to Sakib Sherani, who resigned recently as the principal economic adviser at the Finance Ministry. The purchasing power of the average wage earner has declined by 20 percent since 2008, he said.

Families are taking children out of school because they cannot afford both fees and food. Others choose between medicine and dinner.

A middle-class customer in a pharmacy in Rawalpindi, the city where the powerful army has its headquarters, told the pharmacist last week to sell him only two pills of a course of 10 antibiotics because he did not have enough money for groceries. …

Read more : The New York Times

Hundreds of Sindhi-Americans Gathered in Houston to Pay Tribute to Their National Leader

Condemned the religious intolerance and human rights violations in Pakistan

HOUSTON, TX, USA. Tens of hundreds of Sindhi-Americans gathered in Houston on Saturday, January 15, 2011 to commemorate the 107th birthday of Mr. G. M. Syed, a national leader of the Sindh who waged a nonviolent struggle against religious fundamentalism and for freedom.

Sindh is home to the ancient Indus (Sindhu) Valley civilization and is now a unit of Pakistan. A vibrant Sindhi-American community numbering in the tens of thousands lives in various U.S. cities. More than 30 million Sindhis live in Sindh today. Sindhis are supportive of democracy and secularism and have been marginalized by security establishment of the country and its religious extremist reactionary ideology.

Continue reading Hundreds of Sindhi-Americans Gathered in Houston to Pay Tribute to Their National Leader

Pakistan’s Road to Disintegration?

Interviewee:
Stephen P. Cohen, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Interviewer:
Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor

In the first few days of this year, Pakistan’s coalition government was thrust into crisis after losing a coalition partner, and then a top politician–Punjab Governor Salman Taseer–was assassinated. A leading expert on the country, Stephen P. Cohen, says these incidents are symptoms of the profound problems tugging the country apart. “The fundamentals of the state are either failing or questionable, and this applies to both the idea of Pakistan, the ideology of the state, the purpose of the state, and also to the coherence of the state itself,” Cohen says. “I wouldn’t predict a comprehensive failure soon, but clearly that’s the direction in which Pakistan is moving.” On a recent trip, he was struck by the growing sense of insecurity in Pakistan, even within the military, and the growing importance of China. …
Read more : COUNCIL on FOREIGN RELATIONS

Mullah Shahi and their opponents – by Dr. Manzur Ejaz

What are it that Mullah Shahi has and their opponent don’t have:

1. Mullahs have a concerted ideology which may be called twisted, but they have it. Their opponents do not have a central ideological theme: they are collection of individualists who are against Mullah Shahi due to different reasons.

2. Because of ideological strength Mullah Sahi has people who are willing to sacrifice their life for their cause. Their opponents do not have such committed people.

3. Mullah Sahi has been supported by Pakistani state in organizing themselves and through an educational system that produces pro-Mullah Shahi crowd. Now, Mullah Shahi may not need state support and function on its own.

4. Pro-Mullah Shahi mass has infested all the state institutions including all kinds of security agencies. Therefore, Mullah Shahi has a significant control over the state with or without Islamabad’s help.

5. The new rich class, backward in its world outlook, is more likely to fund Mullah Shahi than its opposing modernist forces (if there are any).

6. The liberal minority–that is what it is–has no commitment to enlightened ideals. They are just a small crowd of ever-mourning people.

Courtesy: http://www.wichaar.com/news/285/ARTICLE/23516/2011-01-07.html

16th December 1971 the day of the demise of two nation theory

Fall of Dhaka: Independence of Bengalis

by Zulfiqar Halepoto, Hyderabad, Sindh

16th December 1971 was the day of the demise of two nation theory, a fake theory to control a land under the so-called ideology of one Muslim nation.

Bengalis fought against the illegal, unconstitutional and immoral domination of civil and military establishment of West Pakistan. A very progressive federating unit brawled against the political and economic disparities. Bengalis refused to live a slaves’ life.

We still have time to save rest of the Pakistan by accepting the fact that Pakistan is made of five historical nations and centuries old civilizations. Rest of the country should declare Sindh, Punjab, Pukhtoonkhwa and Balochistan as sovereign federating units as promised in 23 March, 1940 Lahore resolution.

December 16th is a day of inspiration to fight against the civil and military establishments/ dictatorships, who want to make us a garrison state, and we have to continue our struggle to make Pakistan a true federation.

To read more about Bangladesh – Wikipedia

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists.

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– More about Fall of Dhaka – BBC urdu

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

The Man Who Knew The Future Of Pakistan Before Its Creation – Abul Kalam Azad’s predictions about Pakistan – all correct

THE MAN WHO KNEW THE FUTURE

by Shorish Kashmiri, Matbooat Chattan, Lahore

Congress president Maulana Abul Kalam Azad gave the following interview to journalist Shorish Kashmiri for a Lahore based Urdu magazine, Chattan, in April 1946. It was a time when the Cabinet Mission was holding its proceedings in Delhi and Simla. Azad made some startling predictions during the course of the interview, saying that religious conflict would tear apart Pakistan and its eastern half would carve out its own future. He even said that Pakistan’s incompetent rulers might pave the way for military rule. According to Shorish Kashmiri, Azad had earmarked the early hours of the morning for him and the interview was conducted over a period of two weeks. This interview had published Kashmiri’s own book Abul Kalam Azad, which was printed only once by Matbooat Chattan Lahore, a now-defunct publishing house. Former Union Cabinet Minister Arif Mohammed Khan discovered the book after searching for many years and translated the interview in English.

Excerpt :

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: The Man Who Knew The Future Of Pakistan Before Its Creation

Muslims must realise that they are bearers of a universal message. They are not a racial or regional grouping in whose territory others cannot enter. … But today the situation is worse than ever. Muslims have become firm in their communalism; they prefer politics to religion …

The factors that laid the foundation of Islam in Indian society and created a powerful following have become victim of the politics of partition….

Read more : Scribd

Kashmir: Of Azadi, Geelani, and ‘beti’ Arundhati

by S. Arshad
Irrespective of whether they are booked for treason or sedition or not at the moment, the Kashmiri separatists achieved one thing. They succeeded in taking their ‘war for azadi’ out of Kashmir and roping in the support of other disgruntled sections like the Naxals and of course, of beti Arundhati as called fondly by the ‘Qaide Inquilab’ Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

How this ‘unholy’ alliance is going to benefit the Kashmiri separatists and the Naxals is anybody’s guess .Political analysts are baffled by the bizarre bonhomie between the two movements that do not recognise the state of India. While the Naxals believe in bringing about a violent coup to establish the rule of the proletariat based on Marxist-Leninist ideology that believes that religion is the opium of the masses, the Kashmiri separatists want to get independence from India to establish Nizam-e-Mustafa (Islamic system) in Kashmir.

Another disturbing report says that the ISI has advised some Kashmiri separatist leaders to make inroads into Naxal ranks. Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s conference in Delhi clearly seems to be a concerted effort by Geelani and his ilk along the ISI directives. And he seems to have achieved some success in it. If this is true then the government should take this development very seriously and nip this unholy alliance in the bud ….

Read more : newageislam

War games – by Dr Manzur Ejaz

 

Despite internal frictions, Pakistan’s ruling elite is still wedded to a non-workable religious ideology, which is supposed to provide the central thread for the survival of the country. The public is fed on such illusions that it does not see any contradiction between begging from the world and conquering it at the same time. …

 

Read more : Wichaar

Why Pakistan keeps exporting jihad

By Fareed Zakaria

Washington Post

Faisal Shahzad, the would-be terrorist of Times Square, seems to have followed a familiar path. Like many recruits to jihad, he was middle-class, educated, seemingly assimilated — and then something happened that radicalized him. We may never be sure what made him want to kill innocent men, women and children. But his story shares another important detail with those of many of his predecessors: a connection to Pakistan.

Continue reading Why Pakistan keeps exporting jihad

Pakistan : The gravity of the problem

by Dr. Manzur Ejaz

WASHINGTON DIARY: The gravity of the problem

Courtesy: WICHAAR

Investors were avoiding Pakistan even before the Taliban threat and they will remain so even after the Taliban are gone. Pakistan has multiple problems that repulse the foreigners, whether they are investors or tourists

I ran into Mr Eric Lawson, an investor, in a conference organised by a Pakistani group. My unusual take on Pakistan’s troubles intrigued him quite a bit and he asked me to get together sometime. After six months, out of the blue he called me and invited me over for dinner in a downtown Spanish restaurant.

I have passed from that street hundreds of times but I never noticed the Restaurant Hispania where a bottle of wine can cost up to $ 500 or above. Mr Lawson, noticing my shocked state of mind, laughed and told me that most of the people around us were from the World Bank and IMF being dined-wined and wowed by developing world governments. This restaurant runs on the loan/aid money given to developing countries or people like me who make money in those countries in other ways, he added.

After we were settled, he asked me as to what was going on in Pakistan and if the military could eliminate the Taliban insurgency. I told him that I was reasonably optimistic that the military will prevail because it was their creation. In the past, the military was not confronting them sincerely because of their misplaced fairytale policy of getting strategic depth in Afghanistan. Now, the military has learnt the lesson as suicide bombings kill people near the capital of Islamabad. I further added that I hope investors like you can return to Pakistan, and ended my explanation with a smile.

“No, you are wrong here. I hope your optimism is realistic as far as the Taliban are concerned. But the Western investors are not going to return to Pakistan even then. Investors were avoiding Pakistan even before the Taliban threat and they will remain so even after the Taliban are gone. Pakistan has multiple problems that repulse the foreigners, whether they are investors or tourists,” he told me.

“I know there is immense corruption in Pakistan and foreigners do not know how to deal with it. But so are most of the developing countries where the US and European investors and tourists readily go. What is special about Pakistan other than this?” I asked.

He became a little frustrated and impatient and promptly busted out “No, this is where Pakistanis do not get it. We all know about corruption in the developing world and we know how to deal with it and make money. But Pakistan’s problem is Islamisation and restrictions on personal liberties and most aspects of entertainment that we consider a necessary part of life. Why would we go to a prison-like country to make money when we have better choices all around? Why not to go to India or China where we can make money and enjoy life as we like to.”

I could not fully appreciate his highly negative characterisation of Pakistan and could not resist rebutting in pointing out: “If you are talking about unavailability of alcohol, you as foreigners can buy it from any five-star hotel. Oh, and if you are talking about other entertainment, that is also arranged easily.” To keep the atmosphere pleasant, I joked, “By creating some hurdles in your way, we provide you the chance to save some money.”

He was more upset now and almost yelling “You guys will never understand us. We make money to spend it not like you guys who earn to horde. This is why we progressed and you did not.” He went on, “To answer your take on alcohol and so-called other entertainment by which you probably meant prostitutes, I will say we are neither addicted to alcohol or prostitutes. We enjoy these things as you enjoy tea and company. The difference may be that we have female friends along with males, which is rare in your societies. Buying alcohol from five-star hotels feels just like stealing and drinking like thieves. We want to go out to bars of different kinds where we can see and meet different types of people and enjoy their company for a while.”

I was more perplexed than ever and did not know how to respond to him. After having lived three decades in the West I knew what he was talking about. But for face saving I threw my last argument, “Pakistan is not the only ideological state. Israel, Saudi Arabia and some others are ideological too and you do business in those countries.”

He laughed whole-heartedly and said, “Thank you. I was expecting this excuse much earlier. This is a favourite excuse Pakistanis use. But let me tell you that Israel may be too cruel for Palestinians, but it is an open society like any European nation. Saudi Arabia can afford any ideology because of its oil wealth and tribal society. Furthermore, not many investors go there except oil companies and the Saudis have created free zones for foreigners that Pakistan cannot. Your society is very poor but relatively open-minded. You can neither feed them like Saudi Arabia nor create islands for foreigners because society is very vocal. You are stuck by imposing an ideology that you cannot afford. Therefore, you will remain stuck even after the Taliban are gone. And, the worst part is that even intelligent people like you do not appreciate the gravity of the problem.”

Continue reading Pakistan : The gravity of the problem

THE DAWN OF REAL DEMOCRACY

By Wajid Shamsul Hasan, London

London, August 14: When I unfurled Pakistani flag on the Independence Day at Pakistan High Commission in London I was overwhelmed by a strange feeling of happiness that I never had before. Every one of us present on the occasion realised that this time Independence Day was being celebrated at the dawn of real democracy in Pakistan.

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