Tag Archives: intrusion

DPC: a religious outfit with a political cover

By Durdana Najam

Why should the Pakistan Army borrow the mullah alliance to restore its image? Perhaps the language of Islam is the easiest to use as an exploitive tool for an emotionally charged Muslim community

The religious-politico parties have become active owing to the US’s increasing intrusion into Pakistan’s territorial precincts, the latest being the Salala checkpost attack that killed 24 soldiers in November 2011. The investigative report prepared by NATO, which revealed the determinants of the attack, termed the incident to be a joint sin committed by NATO and the Pakistan Army, suggesting that on a border as volatile as the one between Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal region, the rage of wrath can unleash itself at any time in any mode. Pakistan rejected the findings of the report, alleging it to be biased and obsessive. The attack irked even the government and, for a change, the NATO supply route was completely shut down — to this day. A parliamentary committee on national security is working to define new contours for Pak-America relations. In the meantime, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar is sending strong massages to the American government about the so-called sovereignty that we guard so close to our bosoms (depending largely on our whims and wishes).

The recent collaboration of 40 religious parties going by the name of Difa-i-Pakistan Council, comprising the likes of General (retd) Hamid Gul, Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, President Awami Muslim League Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq and the Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami, Munawar Hasan, geared towards defending Pakistan against foreign aggression, has raised national and international concerns, especially since the definition of foreign aggression from the point of view of Difa-i-Pakistan relates to none other than the US and India. ….

Read more » Daily Times

Pakistan’s army should go back to the barracks

By Najam Sethi

The Pakistan army’s vaulting mission to remain the most powerful actor in Pakistani politics has received irreparable setbacks in the last few years.

On the one hand, this is due to the onset of several new factors in the body politic determining the direction of political change in the future.

On the other, it reflects poorly on the ability and willingness of the army’s leadership to understand the far-reaching nature of this change and adapt to it seamlessly.

Pakistan’s future as a viable nation-state now depends on how the generals read the writing on the wall and quickly come to terms with it. Here is a checklist of recent failures that have downgraded the Pak army’s rating with Pakistanis.

(1) The army’s policy of nurturing anti- Americanism in Pakistan for leveraging its strategic relationship with the US has backfired and left it stranded in no-man’s land. It can’t let go of the US privately for purposes of economic rent and military aid extraction but it can’t embrace it publicly because of the rampant ‘Ghairat’ brigade of extremist Islamic nationalists that it has brainwashed.

(2) The army’s policy of nurturing the Afghan Taliban in private while appeasing the Pakistan Taliban in public has also backfired.

The Afghan Taliban are now negotiating directly with America while the Pakistan Taliban are waging an ‘existential’ war against the Pak army and civil society. PAK army’s relationship with the government, opposition, and media is at an all-time low.

The government has meekly folded before the army on every issue; but the army’s arrogant, intrusive and relentlessly anti government propaganda and behaviour is deeply resented.

The media is also wiser and critical about its manipulation by the army and ISI viz its Drone policy, the Raymond Davis affair and Memogate.

Question marks remain over its incompetence or complicity in the OBL affair, especially following recent revelations by former DG-ISI Ziauddin Butt that General Pervez Musharraf ‘hid’ Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad.

The murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad, followed by running threats to a clutch of independent journalists, is laid at the ISI’s door.

The ease with which terrorists have breached military security, as in the attacks on GHQ, ISI offices, military Messes, Mehran Naval Base, etc also rankle deeply.

Finally, the media is now speaking up and asking disturbing questions about the role of MI in the disappearances and torture of Baloch activists. Consequently, the media is loath to blindly follow the army’s ‘line’ on any issue any more. The PMLN, meanwhile, has gone the whole hog, openly demanding that the intrusion of the military in politics must be curtailed and the army’s overweening power cut to size.

If its ratings are falling, the army’s ability to manipulate politics to its ends is also diminishing. In the old days, the army chief was the most powerful member of the ruling troika that included the president and prime minister. Now the office of the president has lost its clout and there are two new and powerful contenders for say.

The first is the judiciary under Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry that has unprecedentedly pushed politicians into a corner for corrupt practices and the military on the defensive for being unaccountable (the Mehrangate affair of 1990, disappearances and murder of Baloch and Taliban extremists in captivity).

The second is the electronic media that is reaching tens of millions of Pakistanis and courageously raising their consciousness. Neither will countenance any direct or indirect military intervention in politics. Recently, in a bid to salvage some wounded pride, the army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, said that defense expenditure is a mere 18 per cent of the budget and not over 50 per cent as alleged by critics like Maulana Fazlur Rahman. But the truth is that defense expenditure is about 25 per cent of the budget after hidden ‘defense’ items in government expenditures like the military’s salaries and pensions, special project allocations, etc are unveiled and supplementary grants in any budgetary year are accounted for.

More to the point, it is about 50 per cent of all tax revenues in any year, which puts a big burden on the fiscal deficit. Gen Kayani also insists that the army is not involved in quelling unrest in Balochistan. But the fact remains that the Rangers and Frontier Corps who are in charge of ‘law and order’ in the province are directly commanded by army officers who report to GHQ even though they are formally under the interior ministry.

Continue reading Pakistan’s army should go back to the barracks

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

Contempt for America & love for Taliban: a lose, lose proposition!

Excerpt:

…  if Pakistanis really care for their sovereignty, then why don’t they object to the blatant interference by Saudi Arabia, Iran & various Emirates in Pakistani affairs & the intrusion by foreign warriors who use Pakistani soil to carry on their Jihad?

We see so many people killed & maimed in Pakistan so frequently by the Taliban. They use Pakistani soil to plan attacks around the globe & harbor terrorists in Pakistan. Why many people in Pakistan still express love for such barbaric killers? What message Pakistanis send to the world? The two don’t just add up nor do they envisage a win win situation for Pakistan.

To read complete article : Indus Herald

Kalabagh dam : they want to control the water of Sindh for Punjab

Hypocrisy

By: M. Khan Sial, Karachi

Some of our friends belonging to Punjab are bent upon proving that havoc brought out by recent surplus flood water in the country, could have been averted if the controversial Kalabagh dam in Punjab existed and release of fresh water in sea to check sea intrusion is wastage. This is technically wrong contention as nowhere in the world surplus flood water are deposited in normal dams like Kalabagh due to their technicalities. Further, if any effort is made to control sudden spate of flood water, it did not succeed as spate of high flood water washed out the whole dam. Further superb floods come after 22 years in Pakistan. If we presume the water of flood is absorbed in proposed Kalabagh dam, should we wait for 22 years to fill the dam after spending billions of rupees on its construction and maintenance?

Further, the experts in various seminars have expressed their views that site of controversial Kalabagh dam is in earthquake zone and also underground range of salt mines existed there. Since some people want to control the water of Sindh for Punjab, they are trying to spread misinformation. Sometimes, they call it release of water in sea as wastage despite in the 74 deltas of the world, fresh water is released to push sea water back. It is very unfortunate pro-Kalabagh dam lobby belonging to Punjab, are claiming they are only well-wishers of rest three provinces and also of the country whereas people of three provinces are not well wishers of their own provinces or country.

What hypocrisy! Such people are unable to tell why they remained mum on untimely demise of Indus delta? Why “Water Accord – 1991” after its signing on it and passing 19 years, was not implemented in letter and spirit? Internationally recognised IUCN has recommended release of 35MAF water downstream Kotri but mighty Punjab is not allowing this resulting in mass migration in the area and ruination of eco-system, increase of poverty and dangerous sea intrusion.

Continue reading Kalabagh dam : they want to control the water of Sindh for Punjab

Punjab’s guarantees on Kalabagh are only “show-piece”?

Need for consensus on dams

BY: MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL, Karachi, Sindh

DAWN

This is apropos of Khursheed Anwer’s letter “Consensus on dam” (June 18) which states: “Sindh has been guaranteed 2.2maf additional water from the Kalabagh dam, what more consensus do the politicians want?”

It appears that the writer has not been to the depth of the problem. In the “Water Appropriation Accord 1991”, at least a release of 10maf water for downstream Kotri was also guaranteed but was never implemented even after the passing of 20 years. So what is the use of guarantees when they were never implemented in letter and spirit but only worked as “show-pieces”?

The controversial Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal in Punjab was the original Flood Canal, but many times Punjab has released water unilaterally despite a severe deficit of water in Sindh. During the deficit, Punjab has taken its full share of water multiple times by force. This can be seen in the AGN Abbasi Report.

Had the water been released downstream Kotri, sea intrusion would not have inundated 2.4 million acres of valuable land in Sindh. According to the Sindh government, almost 80m acres of land are inundated by sea intrusion. The government of Sindh firmly believes that if the situation remains the same, the historical city of Thatta and also Badin would disappear within 20 years. This is all because the “Water Accord – 1991” which was accepted by Sindh with reservations was not implemented in letter and spirit.

Recently, the NFC Award, announced with consensus, showed that even guarantees given in the Constitution were not sufficient. The same happened when the Thar coal, which was a provincial subject, was taken up by the Centre against the constitution and a notification was also issued but after much hue and cry from Sindh, it was rolled back.

I suggest that those who are sincere supporters of the dam should first demand the following:

1. At least 10maf should be released downstream Kotri as envisaged in “The Water Accord – 1991”.

2. Sindh must be given its due share of water at Guddu.

3. The Flood Canal, i.e. the Chashma–Jhelum Link Canal, must be closed permanently except for the availability of excess water during floods.

4. The controversial Wapda must be dismembered as it had twisted facts and figures to support Punjab. Three out of four provinces are not happy with its performance and the prime minister called it a “white elephant” like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had once did.

5. All efforts must be made to save the Indus Delta as its ruination is bound to have environmental repercussions on Sindh. Only implementation of the Water Accord–1991 will guarantee this.

6. Punjab must admit the theft it committed on Sindh water and must pay compensation for it.

Sunday, 20 Jun, 2010

Courtesy:- http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/letters-to-the-editor/need-for-consensus-on-dams-060