Tag Archives: Martial

The unholy troika

By D. Asghar

Looking back at 2007, people were under the so-called impression, that there was a genuine momentum, seeking the supremacy of the law in Pakistan. Granted that it is a novel concept, a nation that fails to respect, its basic law, called its Constitution, it was a far cry. Some think, that it was more of a “Go Musharraf Go” campaign in reality. It was cleverly dubbed as “struggle for the freedom of judiciary”, for a rather obvious reason. The strategy was to really unseat the dictator, who very cunningly usurped powers from an elected Prime Minister and promptly dispatched him to a ten-year-long exile to the Holy Lands. One has to sit in amazement and wonder, how could a citizen of Pakistan, otherwise convicted for a supposedly heinous crime of “hijacking a plane”, be awarded a speedy pardon and placed on an equally speeding jet, bound to the brotherly kingdom.

The honorable judiciary did not take any “suo moto” notice of such a fundamental violation of justice. Nor did they take any notice, when many Khaki men of honor, trampled over the ‘Constitution of Pakistan’. Again, what a travesty that our Supreme judiciary not only did not live up to the oath of their office at such instances, but aided and abetted in an otherwise illegal act.

The common theme invoked to white wash this otherwise act of treason by the generals was always the ‘Doctrine of Necessity’. What a necessity and what a strange solution! At all such occasions, the Khakis were truly at fault. Whatever justification was provided, it was.

Many able commentators have opined on this unique situation and rightly termed it as a deliberate build up of the ‘Security State’. The ‘Security State’ is provided ideological façade through the Muslim League.

Each time Khakis take over, they reinvent the Muslim League. Add a suffix [Quaid, Conventional, Council, Pagara, Junejo, Nawaz, Chatta, and so on…], and then place their surrogates at the helm of the re-invented Muslim League. General Zia-ul-Haq brought a Lahori businessman named Nawaz Sharif to the fore. Needless to say, he came up with a version of Muslim League, denoted by his initial N, as well.

The N League has had made its two stints in the government. One was dismissed by a ‘presidential coup’ engineered by the Khakis while the other directly conducted by General Pervez Musharraf.

By the way, the N League also has the distinct honor of sending its goons to vandalize the apex court of this nation. All because Mr. Sharif was miffed with the judiciary at one point, while he was in this glorious assumption, that he was the “Ameer ul Momineen.”

Amazingly, the same Military that created him at one point, sent Mr. Sharif packing too. All because Mr. Sharif was getting two big for his shoes. He decided to replace General Musharraf. A guy who perhaps was responsible for the “misadventure” in Kargil. Mr. Sharif opted for a fellow Kashmiri, General Butt. Ordinarily, it was within Mr. Sharif’s constitutional authority to do so, but he just totally forgot one golden rule. Never bite the hand that once fed you. Hence Mr. Sharif was deposed and incarcerated for acting too smart for his notoriety.

Come to think of it, the N League is the mother of all parties to the right. The rest of the religious and fundamental parties, are just there for the noise value. In reality, none of the others matter much, nor they have the ability to form any government. But clearly present to sing the chorus, as needed.

One was under the impression that Nawaz Sharif would have learnt his lessons by now. But politics is indeed a strange game. Nawaz Sharif who supposedly credits himself, for the restoration of deposed judiciary, seems to be back in action, playing for his former king makers. Fact is that, Mr. Sharif has realized, that he has to sing the Khaki tune to be back in Islamabad.

Read more » View Point

The (extreme) irony of it all

By Kamran Shafi

I hope Their Lordships who sit in the Honourable Supreme Court are duly noting the irony in, and the contrariness of, much that is going on in the country vis-a-vis themselves? I hope they see through the present shenanigans of those who were their enemies when Musharraf had turfed them out, and who have now suddenly metamorphosed into their staunch and faithful friends.

To get straight to the point, Shiekh Rashid ‘Tulli’ and Senator Tariq Azeem, newly self-appointed guardian angels of propriety and ‘rule of law’, newly sprouted halos around their heads, are waxing eloquent on virtually every Pakistani TV channel every evening about how the government should give due respect to the Supreme Court, or else Armageddon and Apocalypse combined, and worse, are around the corner.

‘Tulli’ says it like he always has: rudely and insolently and loudly warning the government of the hellfire and brimstone that awaits it in the matter of the contempt of court citations against the Prime Minister, while Tariq Azeem says in hushed and respectful tones how wrong it is of the alleged contemnors’ to have acted in the way that they allegedly have, and so on, pretending as if butter wouldn’t melt in his own mouth.

Yet a short four or so years ago, these same two, and other ministers in the Commando’s junta at the time, are on record stoutly supporting the dictator’s sacking of the very same judges they are today most stoutly defending. I might add immediately that both have the reputation of being apologists for the Deep State, ‘Tulli’ actually forecasting several army take-overs over the past four years. In his words, every so often: ‘Biggal (Bugle) bajnay wala hai! But more about his pretended(?) spokesmanship for GHQ and the Sipah Salaar tomorrow.

Indeed, Tariq Azeem was considered such an opponent of the restoration of the judiciary that he was beaten up as a sitting minister of state for information by the lawyers during a demonstration on Constitution Avenue during which heavy lathi-charge and tear-gassing were resorted to by the Commando’s government, badly injuring many lawyers including the brave and feisty Ali Ahmad Kurd, bless him. Azeem today is one of the foremost defenders of the rule of law? I ask you!

Continue reading The (extreme) irony of it all

Why is Iftikhar Chaudhry destroying Pakistan?

by Bilal Qureshi

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy: » Foreign Policy Blogs

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

Mr Prime Minister, I am proud of you

By Zainab Imam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pakistan is beautiful – and it’s mine

By Shehrbano Taseer

2011 was a bleak year for Pakistan — even by its own harrowing standards.

My father, Governor SalmaanTaseer, was assassinated by his own fanatical security guard in January for his stand on Pakistan’s cruel blasphemy laws, and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian in the federal cabinet, was gunned down in March allegedly by the Punjabi Taliban for holding a similar view. In April, five of the six men accused of gang raping village woman Mukhtar Mai on the orders of a village council of elders were set free by the Supreme Court. Since the sexual assault on her in 2001, Mai has braved death threats to have her victimisers punished. She has appealed the verdict, but the court, it is widely believed, is unlikely to reverse the acquittal.

In May, Pakistanis around the world hung their heads in shame as Osama bin Laden was found and killed in sleepy, sedate Abbottabad, a stone’s throw from our premier military academy where Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani spoke just weeks earlier declaring that the “terrorists’ back” had been broken.Then the tortured body of journalist Saleem Shahzad was discovered and suspicion fell on the country’s intelligence services. Pakistan had yet to recover from the devastation wrought by the 2010 floods when the August monsoons inundated Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and especially Sindh affecting tens of million of people. My older brother, Shahbaz, was kidnapped on August 26. It’s January 2012 now and he is still missing.

These are just some of the highlights from a ruefully eventful year. All of these events played out against the cacophonous discord that we have become accustomed to: target killings, routine disappearances in Kashmir and Balochistan, suicide bombings, riots decrying the overall economic condition of the country, protests mourning the loss of Pakistan’s sovereignty, the unsettling hum of rote learning at poisonous madrassas.

But there’s nothing that’s bad about Pakistan that can’t be fixed by what’s good about it. The narrative of lost hope is a tired one.

After the Arab Spring, the first question I was asked by journalists and interviewers was “When will it be Pakistan’s turn?”. General Zia tried hard to convince us that we’re Arabs, but we clearly are not. Watching Muammar Qaddafi’s bloodied and bullet-riddled body paraded up and down streets as protesters cheered, and seeing desperate dictators inflict violence on their own people, I realised that in many ways Pakistan is far ahead. Our transition from a dictatorship to a democracy was relatively smooth — no bloodshed, no political prisoners, no violence. And in 2010 — long before the Arab Spring — Pakistan’s nascent democracy returned the powers usurped by dictators back to parliament with the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, passed unanimously in parliament. As a people, we are more critical, more engaged. We believe in peaceful evolution of existing structures, not revolution. A record number of people have registered to vote in the upcoming elections and the deadline isn’t even up yet. We’ve snatched our democracy back and we’re not letting it go.

Continue reading Pakistan is beautiful – and it’s mine

People must stop pro-dictatorship forces from destroying democracy in Pakistan

By Khalid Hashmani

Multi-dimensional Tragedy

The non-democratic forces in Pakistan that include elements from military, judiciary and some their protege political parties are fast moving to take over Pakistan. The goal of their unholy alliance is to bring back dictatorship and impose their twisted views on the people of Pakistan. It is time for all those who wish to democracy to prevail and Pakistan to move towards the vision of 1940 resolution to fight back and prevent undemocratic forces to succeed in their evil designs.

Plot of deadly Consequences

The conspiracies to find a way of least resistance with minimal political backlash have been going on for some time. First, one of their operatives implements a set-up to lure former ambassador of Pakistan in USA (Husain Haqqani) into a plot to write a fake memo on the behalf of civilian government to the US government. The memo asks for help in case of a military attempt to topple the elected civilian government and help it to reduce the control of military over Pakistan’s decision-making process. In return, the civilian government allegedly promises USA to nominate international members of a commission and reduce the role of ISI in protection of nuclear arsenal of Pakistan. The writer of that memo (Mansoor Ijaz) then turns around and writes a story in a newspaper that he wrote and sent a letter to a US official on behest of the Pakistani ambassador. Immediately thereafter, the head of the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency (General Pasha) flies to meet Mansoor Ijaz to London and takes his statement without securing any authorization from the civilian government of Pakistan. After returning to Pakistan, the ISI General files that statement with the Supreme Court against the civilian government. The Supreme Court which has already hostile to the Civilian Government for the delay in restoring the former Chief Justice who was fired by former dictator General Musharaaf shows more than eagerness to move against the civilian government.

Mr Ijaz also alleged in an interview in December that soon after the Bin Laden raid, the Chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency (General Pasha) visited several Arab capitals in an attempt to secure their support for toppling of the civilian government.

In a move that many call as violation of constitution, the Supreme Court has appointed a commission for further investigation and actions. Many fear that it just a matter of few days when the biased court will give verdict against the democratically elected civilian government. This verdict that will be implemented by the military which appears to have developed the dislike for the present government for its attempts to secure control of foreign affairs and country’s security matters from the military.

Many Pakistanis strongly suspect that this plot is thinly veiled attempt by the hostile Supreme Court and present military leaders to push the current government from power. One commentator is quoted as saying You could say what we’re seeing is a slow and gradual coup taking place, eating into the moral authority of the civilian government.” Another Pakistani said “A national political crisis has been engineered on the basis of an unsigned memo, the contents of which are exceedingly unrealistic but have somehow compromised national security.”

The consequence if this deadly plot succeed would be that both President Zardari and former US ambassador, Husain Haqqani could face treason charges. The history of Pakistan’s high courts provides ample evidence that Sindhi politicians never receive justice from them. Like President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, this President Asif Zardari too could end-up in gallows.

Continue reading People must stop pro-dictatorship forces from destroying democracy in Pakistan

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

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

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

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

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

Read more » The Express Tribune

Dawn: Call the bluff – By Cyril Almeida

Excerpt;

….  if the PPP channelled the spirit of it founder and discovered an audaciousness on which success in power politics is sometimes built, it could sack its tormentor-in-chief, Gen K.

A suicidal move? Perhaps. But on such bets is history made, and unmade.

Let him stay, and a death by a thousand cuts is virtually certain. But maybe he prefers conspiracy to directness because he can’t find it in himself to pull the trigger on a coup. Why not find out?

Nonsense, many may argue. The court won’t let the orders stand. Probably. But a coup by another name is still a coup.

Why not call the bluff and see where the chips fall? History beckons. Live in the present and a miserable fate awaits.

cyril.a@gmail.com

To read complete article » Cyril Almeida

http://www.cyrilalmeida.com/2012/01/15/dawn-call-the-bluff-by-cyril-almeida/

Setting the house in order

By Saroop Ijaz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Institute for Defence Studies & Analysis (idsa) – Pakistan Military’s Desire to Slip Into The Driving Seat Once Again

By P. K. Upadhyay

Excerpt;

Some very strange developments seem to be unfolding in Pakistani politics. A political dogfight between the civilian and military leaderships has been unheard off in the country’s history so far. The generals never had to air their differences with the political masters in the public as they are doing at present. When faced with a ‘defiance’ of their writ at any stage, the generals have always taken over power after booting-out the civilian government. …..

…. Then why this time around is General Kayani not able to push out the President and Prime Minister ….

….. Nawaz Sharief’s efforts to fish in troubled waters as also to move closer to the Army’s position on ‘Memogate’ ….

….. It was clear that the Army was reluctant to assume power and, at the same time, also reluctant to let the Zardari-led PPP government continue. It appears to have chosen the judicial route to hound out the government. Apparently, a deal between the Army and the Chief Justice of Pakistan allowed not just a renewed focus on the old National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) cases against Zardari and others, but also the setting up of a four-judge judicial enquiry into Memogate ….

…. Why is this unprecedented and uncharacteristic spat between the Army and the civilian government continuing? Apparently, the United States is a factor. Although, for the record, the US Administration and Pentagon had dismissed the memo to Mullen, they seem to have quietly acted on it by heavily leaning on the Pakistan Army. Despite the recent breakdown in their relationship, the US military still has a considerable hold over the Pakistan Army …..

…. Why is this unprecedented and uncharacteristic spat between the Army and the civilian government continuing? Apparently, the United States is a factor. Although, for the record, the US Administration and Pentagon had dismissed the memo to Mullen, they seem to have quietly acted on it by heavily leaning on the Pakistan Army. Despite the recent breakdown in their relationship, the US military still has a considerable hold over the Pakistan Army in the form of continuing supply of spares and other vital equipment, apart from training and intelligence cooperation. The Americans could have conveyed to Kayani and company that ousting the civilian regime in a coup would mean a total break in links, including the supply of spares and other wherewithal. The Pakistan Army cannot resist this pressure, since without using US supplied armour and attack helicopters, it cannot continue its operations against the Taliban in FATA or the Baluchi rebels in Baluchistan. Another inhibiting factor for Kayani and his generals could be the extent of penetration of the Army by jehadi elements. For sometime now, there appears to be a lull in clashes between Islamic radicals and the Army. While a let-up in US drone strikes (after the handing over of the Shamsi airbase) appears to be a significant facilitating factor for this lull, it cannot be the key trigger for it. The possibility of a JUI (F) brokered truce between the Army and Taliban should not be ruled out. The Army wants to preserve this truce for the present and, therefore, is reluctant to rock the boat by staging a coup at this juncture. It possibly fears that in case it ousts the Zardari government and becomes all powerful, that may have some destabilizing impact on the current truce with the Taliban. Lastly, Kayani and other senior generals may still not be out of the shock they suffered from the violent outbursts of junior officers after the Abbottabad raid. They recognize that the younger lot of Pakistan Army Officers does not come from traditional sections of the society known for its contempt for ‘civilians’ and their ways. These officers are the off-spring of former JCOs/NCOs of the military, as also the urban middle and lower middle classes, and may be harbouring a strong antipathy towards the bourgeois attitudes of their superiors.

This, however, does not mean that Kayani and company are going to let the Zardari-Gilani combine continue to spite them. Army backed judicial action against the regime is a strong possibility. ….

To read complete article » Institute of Defence Studies & Analysis (idsa)

http://www.idsa.in/idsacomments/PakistanMilitaryDesiretoSlipIntoTheDrivingSeatOnceAgain_PKUpadhyay_130112

Must watch interview – Political activist, writer, and the author of “Chasing a Mirage” Tarek Fatah Blasts on the military-judicial establishment

Political activist, writer, broadcaster and the author of “Chasing a Mirage” Tarek Fatah Blasts on the military-judicial establishment in “Bilatakalluf TV” with Tahir Gora. The language of the interview is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: Rawal Tv (Bilatakalluf with Tahir Gora)

Tehelka – Coup & Memo: In the battle of nerves between the civilian and the military establishment he who can stay the longest, wins

Round 1 to the Civilian Government

In the battle of nerves between the civilian and the military establishment in Pakistan, he who can stay the longest, wins

By Mohammad Taqi, Columnist, Daily Times

EVER SINCE the controversial Memo in October 2011, allegedly seeking American help in case of a military coup, trouble has been brewing in Pakistan. The latest is the sacking of Lt Gen (retd) Khalid Nadeem Lodhi as defence secretary on 11 January by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. The civilian-military relationship in Pakistan is going through a churn. The military wants to get rid of President Asif Zardari. The Supreme Court allowed itself to be dragged into the situation through a PIL. But the elected Pakistani civilian government, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and its coalition partners are not going to give in without a fight. Under the circumstances, the sacking of Lodhi was inevitable. It sends a clear message in a long drawn out war of attrition that will ultimately decide which way the balance of civil-military relationship tilts.

The establishment has been speaking through press releases issued by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR). On 11 January, it issued a fourth statement criticising the government. Previously, the prime minister had retaliated by implying the army was trying to become a State within the State and had issued a visa to Osama bin Laden. That did not go down well. The civil-military relationship has not recovered from this blow, and relations are souring. The judiciary appears to be allied with the military establishment or at least feels that their interests are in confluence.

The army wants the current PPP dispensation to go, but a text-book coup d’état is not possible in the present day. With an active social media, a questioning press and Pakistan’s economic condition, it is not a feasible option. The army is frustrated and is making this public but with everyone harping on about democracy for so long, it’s not easy for anyone — not Kayani, not the top judge — to sack the present system. They might be facing allegations of corruption or bad governance, but you have to vote them out.

Gilani’s statement says the army chief and the DG, ISI, Shuja Pasha did not follow the protocol in the Memogate proceedings in court. The briefs the three filed with the court were diametrically opposed to the government’s position in the Memogate scandal. Constitutionally, the ISI is under the prime minister. The army chief reports to the president and also the PM via the defence ministry. The defence secretary made a statement in the court saying the government has administrative and not operational control over the army and the ISI.

Prior to that, Pasha met Pakistan-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz in London. The ISI is an intelligence-gathering and not an investigating agency. He brought back evidence that is now being made admissible in the civil court. Pasha went without the permission of the civilian leadership. The PM was informed through Kayani only after he returned.

Things would have been different a decade ago; the army would have toppled the government. Today, it’s a battle of nerves. Whoever blinks first, loses. So far, Gilani has not blinked, but his options are limited. Even if he fires Pasha and Kayani, he has to select from a pool of 200 generals, as he has no one in the PPP to replace him. Pasha’s head is certainly on the chopping block, but the PPP will not win this by a knockout, but on points. Taking it to the last round will mean they have won. As long as Zardari, Gilani and Hussain Haqqani — and the general public — stick together, the civilian government will prevail.

Courtesy: Tehelka.com

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main51.asp?filename=Op210112Round.asp

Democracy or dictatorship?

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

By Qamar Zaman / Zia Khan

ISLAMABAD: Steady nerves and a pointed address.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more » The Express Tribune

Judiciary always supports army rule, rues Asma

LAHOREFormer president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir condemned the judiciary on Wednesday, saying it has always approved military rules in the past.

She said if judges wanted a hand in politics, they should contest elections. Talking to reporters at the Lahore High Court, she said that Parliament, not judiciary, was the supreme body in the country.

The judiciary should not consider itself as all knowledgeable, Asma said, while expressing her reservations over many decisions of the Supreme Court.

The judiciary also disregards decisions of Parliament, she said, while pointing out the annulment of the parliamentary committee’s decisions on judges’ appointment.

She further expressed her inability to understand the SC’s January 10 judgment on the NRO non-implementation case. She said that while the NRO was a complicated issue, she never favoured it.

Asma regretted that state institutions were being politicised and added that no institution was clean.

Continue reading Judiciary always supports army rule, rues Asma

Zardari sub pey bhari..

By Omar Ali

Asif Ali Zardari’s astounding survival as President of Pakistan is captured well in this poem by Mohammed Ayub (Punjabi, with English translation).

A friend’s comment on this topic:

In an established liberal democracy, Zardari would never have come to power and probably would have been convicted. But so would be Nawaz Sharif. So would many associates of Musharraf and of Zia ul Haq. But I think one should give credit to Zardari where it is due. He was an accidental president but the way he handled himself and led his party after Benazir was killed was impressive. He tried hard to make a coalition with Sharifs and respected other political parties’ sphere. This tolerance of dissent was unprecedented in Pakistani politics. His biggest mistake was that he frittered away the good will by opposing the lawyers movement. His biggest achievement is the 18th amendment which if implemented fully will demolish the unitary centralised state. His failures are many but there are many others who bear MORE responsibility for those failures. If the economy has tanked, this should be laid at the door of our asinine generals who are responsible for the civil war that their trainees have started and the grandstanding they never tire off. I will sympathetic to Zardari because he is being singled out for failures that are not of his making in addition to his own. failures.
My own comments: I have a soft spot for budnaam Zardari. I wish he was just one shade less corrupt and his team was one shade more competent (and I REALLY wish he didnt have a team led by Babar Awan and Rahman Malik), but he is not the root of all evil. He has compromised with everyone including the army and does not deserve the endless invective against him….its like every corrupt and incompetent person in Pakistan (a nation built on corruption, like so many others) likes to think all problems will be solved if THIS incompetent and corrupt person leaves….and his foreign policy is orders of magnitude superior to the BS that flows out of GHQ. In fact, for decades GHQ has managed its domestic dominance by staying in a state of near-war and kidnapping and killing people for trying to undermine that narrative and here is someone who says let us trade and do business and just give me my cut…I think that is not ideal, but its superior to GHQ’s version of maintaining control… I am sure there are many many stories of projects shelved because capitalists dont want to meet his demands for money and prefer to wait till Uncle Jimmy and his friends in GHQ are back in full power…When the person in charge is from outside the main elite circle, his demands for an excessive cut do look painfully unfair …and maybe he IS too greedy and asks for more than Uncle Jimmy.. but his (President Asif Zardari’s) survival would be better for Pakistan than another coup or “behind-the-scenes-coup”..
And of course, the obligatory comment from Khalid Ahmed.
Courtesy » Brown Pundits

Coup Coup hota hae wether it is military coup, technocratic coup, judicial coup or behind-the-scenes-coup

Why a Coup Is Unlikely in Pakistan

By Tom Wright

Is there a coup in the offing in Pakistan? Not likely, say former Pakistan military and intelligence officials.

There’s a lot of speculation of a military takeover amid rising tensions between army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The tensions have their roots in the U.S. raid on a Pakistani garrison town in May, which lead to the death of Osama bin Laden. Pakistan’s army was not forewarned about the raid and was deeply embarrassed.

The emergence in October of a memo allegedly sent by Mr. Gilani’s Pakistan People’s Party-led administration to Washington in the wake of the raid, asking for U.S. help in forestalling a coup by an angered military, was the start of the current troubles.

Mr. Gilani, under army pressure, fired Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, for his alleged involvement in the affair. Mr. Haqqani denies the allegations. His removal was supposed to be the end of the affair, Pakistani military and civilian officials say.

But Nawaz Sharif, leader of Pakistan’s main opposition party, demanded a Supreme Court investigation of the memo.

The court’s probe, which is underway, has escalated tensions between the civilian government and army. Mr. Gilani says the investigation is politically motivated, and has blamed the military for bypassing the government in answering the court’s questions.

Continue reading Coup Coup hota hae wether it is military coup, technocratic coup, judicial coup or behind-the-scenes-coup

Pakistan: a coup by other means

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

By guardian.co.uk, Editorial

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

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

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

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

Courtesy: guardian.co.uk

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

Pakistan army warns PM Gilani

Pakistan army warns PM Gilani over criticisms

Pakistan’s military has publicly rebuked Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani over an escalating row.

The army warned of “serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences” after the PM criticised military leaders in a media interview.

Meanwhile, Mr Gilani has sacked his defence secretary, who is seen as having close ties to the military.

Tensions have been rising in recent months between Pakistan’s civilian government and military leaders.

The latest row is a serious source of instability in Pakistan, where the military has ruled for more than half the country’s history after seizing power in a series of coups.

Unconstitutional

On Monday Mr Gilani was quoted telling China’s People’s Daily Online that Pakistan’s army chief and head of intelligence acted unconstitutionally ….

Read more » BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16511826

Pakistan – We will not accept any unconstitutional act, says Yasin Azad

According to reports, Supreme Court Bar Association President Yasin Azad says they will not accept any unconstitutional act.

via » Twitter

News Reports and Press Clippings about Zardari Specific Judiciary

Pakistani Judiciary is nowadays very fond of quoting Quran and Hadith in any Detailed Judgement particularly if the case is related with Elected Member of the Parliament specifically Pakistan Peoples Party and Asif Ali Zardari. The quotation from the same Quran and Hadith are conveniently “ignored” rather “avoided” while dealing with other cases. ….

Read more » ChagataiKhan

http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/03/zardari-specific-judiciaryaccountabilit.html

Watch – Asma Jehangir speaks courage, clarity and truth on Dawn News Tv in her interview

ASMA JEHANGIR, Pakistan’s leading lawyer, former President Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion says she did not trust the commission formed by the Supreme Court to investigate the memo-scandal, alleging that the Supreme Court judges were under the [military] establishment’s influence. She says, ISI fear forced former Ambassador Husain Haqqani to stay at PM House. She said Supreme Court’s job to support citizens, uphold Constitution & fundamental rights not “national security”. The language of the interview is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy » Dawn News Tv (Memo Gate [Asma Jahangir Exclusive Interview withMatiullah Jan] 1st Jan 2012 – p4)

via » ZemTv » YouTube

TO WATCH OTHER PARTS OF THE INTERVIEW: CLICK HERE

Asma refuses to continue as Haqqani’s lawyer

ISLAMABAD: Renowned lawyer Asma Jahangir on Sunday refused to continue as former Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani’s counsel in the memogate case, DawnNews reported.

Asma Jahangir said that she did not trust the commission formed by the Supreme Court to investigate the memo-scandal, alleging that the Supreme Court judges were under the establishment’s influence.

Asma also told DawnNews in an exclusive interview that Hussain Haqqani feared the powerful spy agencies may force him into giving a statement. This fear was the reason behind the former ambassador’s stay at the prime minister’s house, she said.

Moreover, she said that the Supreme Court’s decision on the memogate petition was a victory for the country’s establishment. The law was being used to transform the country into a ‘security state’, she said.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

Asma Jehangir ( Lioness ) interview with Aljazeera.

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

Read more: Pakistani Siasat

CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry has Violated the Constitution

The language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: Express News Tv (Front line with Kamaran Shahid) » YouTube

Civilian authority has come under Pakistan Army: Asma Jehangir

Pakistan’s Supreme Court backs the country’s Military Establishment over the Civilian democratic government.

History will remember this as the dark day of Pakistan’s judiciary which has capitulated to the Military.

— o — o — o — o —

By Sidrah Moiz

ISLAMABAD: Counsel for former Ambassador to the United States Asma Jehangir, speaking in reference to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Memogate case, said that the civilian authority had come under the army and that it was a “dark day” for the judiciary. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune » YouTube

More details » BBC urdu

The story of Benazir Bhutto: A Tale of Tears

Courtesy: Front Line with Kamaran Shahid

Via » ZemTv » YouTube

— o — o — o — o —

If you watch the video of Imran Khan’s Karachi Jalsa, you will see Imran Khan coming to the venue by an Army helicopter and then escorted and surrounded by armed Army commandos. The Army and ISI provided full security to him, before and during the jalsa. A million dollar question is , where was the Army and ISI when twice prime minister of Pakistan, Chairperson of PPP, Benazir was speaking at Liaquat Park, Rawalpindi, a stone’s throw distance from GHQ? Why was absolutely no security was provided to her, even as is now disclosed by ISI that there was a specific plan to murder her? Was it because the generals perceived BB as a threat to expose them before the public?

Is their support of Imran Khan because Army generals think that he will get them out of the deep hole they have dug for themselves and get Talibans/ Jihadis and Americans off their backs, sustain their narrow destructive policies and that they can go back to their messes and golf courses and DHAs? [Above text is taken from Pakistani e-lists, e-groups, credit goes to TK for above piece]

Must read article – Imran Khan Jalsa in Karachi

The rise and rise of Imran Khan.

By Omar Ali

A few quick thoughts:

1. The campaign is well thought out and professional. It would be interesting to find out who all wrote the script.

2. People are indeed waking up, and PTI is indeed giving hope, but every time the people wake up it doesnt lead to where they think they are going (think about the millenarian excitement at the time of partition). The problem in any case is not the people or IK’s plan. Both are essential steps (if only partially understood) in a modern third world capitalist framework, and eventually the people/nation will indeed get there (they may think they are going elsewhere, but so did the people of China and see where they are today) but GHQ will have to be defanged along the way and taught new tricks. And one cannot underestimate GHQ and their genuinely problematic attachments to ideas incompatible with the needs of capitalist Pakistan … not so much from malign intent as from genuine lack of understanding (pak studies level BS is not just BS to them). Khan sahib is sincere, his followers are more than sincere, but the framework right now is only haflway there. Dangerous aspects of nazria e pakistan will have to be removed (quietly and surreptitiously, not the way I am saying it, I know), various groups will have to be accommodated or ruthlessly crushed (think Balochis, MQM, FATA, Jihadis) … all of which is doable, but not in this cycle by THIS tsunami. .. and all of which will include steps that may horrify some members of the excited middle class… Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Jahangir Tareen will not bring home the bacon.

3. There is indeed a new class of rich people in Pakistan and they need a more efficient capitalist country. They want to get together with PTI and GHQ and they think they will make Pakistan a stable capitalist country where property rights are secure (now that THEY own the property, thank you Hindus and Sikhs, and thank you current round of looting of public property, among other things). Its a necessary next step, but one has to be careful..who is writing the script? Many people are, but whose script has the deepest level of planning and muscle? GHQ.  They may still want to have their jihadi-nazria-e-Pakistan-irrational-anti-Indian cake and eat capitalism too….its tough to do that. They will have to kill some jihadis along the way and it wont be pleasant work. They will need much more Chinese money and that wont come without security for Chinese capitalists. Many eggs will have to be broken to make this omelette. And “resilient awam” will have to give some more “qurbani” (sacrifice) for the future greatness of Pakistani capitalists. Its true that our people are resilient, but not endlessly resilient.

4. I am NOT saying nothing good will come of this. People will get organized and get active. Many will get disappointed, but others will go on to new levels of effort and organization and understanding. How else do we learn? Just saying “this is not that dawn”…For various historical reasons, Chinese capitalism will be a bit more welcome than the Western brand, but its still capitalism and it has its own associated sacrifices…and the cultural and ethnic contradictions that have to be resolved will be resolved with very unpleasant tactics.

5. If you want a prediction, i think there is at least a 50% chance of IK being PM next year. And a 37% chance he could be assassinated some day to make way for Shah Mehmood Qureshi … in the best interests of the nation, mere aziz humwatno (my dear countrymen … standard refrain of martial law speeches in Pakistan).. and if PMLN and PPP are halfway capable, the job may turn out to be harder than today’s excitement makes it seem.

Courtesy » Brown Pundits

Geo Tv – Kamran Khan Exposes ISI Corruption

The language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: Geo Tv News (Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Saath, 26 Aug 2009)

via »  ChagataiKhan » YouTube

A former pupil of a Jamaat – Personal accounts of 1971

Personal accounts of 1971

By Ajmal Kamal

This month brings memories of what happened between December 1970 and December 1971 with us as a nation — or rather with the diverse groups aligned variously along all kinds of fissures trying to imagine themselves as a nation. Much has been written on those events in Pakistan, Bangladesh and elsewhere: from political analyses to cover-ups to attempts at apportioning the blame for one of the gravest man-made tragedies of the century. There are personal accounts too, but in most cases written by West Pakistani bureaucrats or military personnel who are usually more interested in painting themselves in a kind light than honestly recording what they observed. Or, they carry a heavy ideological baggage and are in a hurry to make their description look politically neat as per their bent.

Continue reading A former pupil of a Jamaat – Personal accounts of 1971