Tag Archives: Office

Armed men shoot at the offices of Pakistan’s Aaj TV

New York, June 25, 2012–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today’s attack on the offices of a Pakistani television outlet and calls on authorities to immediately investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.

At least four gunmen on motorcycles shot at the front of the Aaj TV building in Karachi at about 9 p.m., injuring two guards outside the station, the station’s staff members told CPJ. Aaj TV is a private Urdu-language outlet that covers domestic and international news. The guards are being treated at a local hospital, an Aaj staff member said.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban, told Agence France-Presse that his group claimed responsibility because it was angered that it did not receive the same amount of coverage as that given the government or army. The group also said that the attacks would continue if the outlet’s coverage did not change, Aaj reported.

Aaj reported that President Asif Ali Zardari and newly appointed Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf condemned the attack and said that the perpetrators should be brought to justice as soon as possible. Qaim Ali Shah, the Pakistani chief minister, has ordered an investigation and said the Aaj TV offices will be given protection, the report said.

“This brazen attack illustrates how the Pakistani press is under fire from all sides and for all manner of reasons,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Authorities need to do more than promise an investigation–they need to enforce the law to ensure that the flow of information is not dictated by violent forces.”

Wajahat Khan, a senior anchor at the outlet, told CPJ that the staff was very concerned about the health of the guards, but doesn’t intend to alter its coverage.

Pakistan has ranked as the most dangerous country in the world for journalists in 2010 and 2011, according to CPJ research. Last month, two journalists were killed, two others shot and wounded, and another attacked in police custody, CPJ research shows.

Courtesy: The Committee to Protect Journalists

What happens when organized crime takes office? The rise of the mafia states

Mafia States – Organized Crime Takes Office

By Moisés Naím

The Rise of the Mezzanine Rulers

Michael Crawford and Jami Miscik

Governments across the Middle East and South Asia are increasingly losing power to substate actors that are inserting themselves at a mezzanine level of rule between the government and the people. Western policymakers must address the problem systematically, at both a political and a legal level, rather than continue to pursue reactive and disjointed measures on a case-by-case basis.

Continue reading What happens when organized crime takes office? The rise of the mafia states

Handful of Baloch protestors in Geneva send Pakistan Military into panic mode.

Swiss, UK govts moved over Baloch leaders anti-Pakistan activities: FO

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office has moved the European countries providing asylum to Baloch leaders to make sure their soil was not used against Pakistan, Geo News reported.

Foreign Office Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit while replying to questions in his weekly press briefing here said, “Pakistan has raised this question with the concerned countries, adding a demarche has been issued to ambassador of Switzerland in Islamabad.”

Abdul Basit said Islamabad has also wrote to the relevant countries in this regard and was assured by them that their soil would not be used to hatch anarchy in Pakistan.

“We are cognizant of the developments in Balochistan and necessary steps have also been taken,” he added.

The spokesman said Pakistan s trying to handle the situation in the province politically adding “it is our internal issue and will be dealt with in accordance with the constitution and our own preferences”.

He said, “The foreign office and our missions abroad are engaged actively in order to ensure that this issue is not portrayed in any other context by the detractors.”

On the issue of Balochistan, the spokesman said Pakistan has been handling the situation politically in accordance with its own laws, priorities and constitution.

He also disclosed that years ago US embassy had applied for opening a consulate in Balochistan but Pakistan declined the request.

Continue reading Handful of Baloch protestors in Geneva send Pakistan Military into panic mode.

Pakistan’s Generals & Judges beg Memogate Millionaire to come

– Mansoor Ijaz’s visa application not yet received: Foreign Office

By APP

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday said its High Commission in London or any other consulate has not yet received a visa application from Mansoor Ijaz, a key character in the memogate scandal.

“We have not received a visa application by Mansoor Ijaz either at the High Commission in London or any other consulate,” said Foreign Office Spokesperson Abdul Basit in his weekly press briefing here at the Foreign Office Thursday.

During the proceedings of the investigative commission probing the memo scandal, Mansoor Ijaz’s lawyer, Akram Shaikh said that his client was not being issued a visa for Pakistan.

The commission directed the embassies in Switzerland and United Kingdom to issue a multiple visa to Mansoor Ijaz upon the receipt of his passport and application without other conditions.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

via » Twitter » TF’s Tweet

Pakistan’s Faustian Parliament – by Wajid Ali Syed

It was embarrassing enough for the people of Pakistan to find out that Osama bin Laden was living in their midst for years. Even more shameful was the realization that their politicians are incapable of questioning the security apparatus of the country. The masses rallied and protested and faced hardships for months to kick General Pervez Musharraf out of power. They voted the Pakistan People’s Party, the most widely-based and allegedly liberal party to power, believing that democracy has been restored.

Though the leader of the government, President Asif Ali Zardari has been blamed for everything going wrong in the country and is regarded as a corrupt individual, until now there has been a perceived upside that Pakistan is being led by an elected government and not a military dictatorship.

This illusion of so-called civilian supremacy silently burst like a bubble when the head of the ISI, General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, and the Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani were called before the parliament to answer for their incompetence related to the May 2 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. The agenda was to inquire about the U.S. attack and why the state security apparatus was unaware of Osama bin Laden’s presence.

But what happened during the closed door meeting revealed once again that the real power in Pakistan still lies with the army and the ISI, not the politicians.

It had been suggested that heads would roll, the foreign aid and the big chunk of national budget that the army receives would be scrutinized. The parliamentarians dropped the ball again and lost another opportunity to exert their authority over other institutions of the state. Once again it became clear who really runs Pakistan.

The last time a civilian government had an opportunity to put the army in its place was in 1971, following the Pakistan army’s defeat in the war that led to the loss of East Pakistan, which became Bangladesh. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan’s then-president and founder of the Pakistan People’s Party, got off to a promising start by placing former dictator General Yahya Khan under house arrest. He re-organized the Pakistan Armed Forces and boosted the military’s morale. But Bhutto also restored their hubris. Years later, his own appointed Army Chief, General Zia ul-Haq, would overthrow Bhutto’s government and send him to the gallows.

During Zia’s 11 year rule, the Russians invaded Afghanistan and withdrew. The army grew so strong that even after Zia’s death in a plane crash, the new chief of the military did not allow the democratically elected Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, to tour the country’s nuclear facility. She was labelled anti-Pakistan and an American agent.

It is ironic to witness that the opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), which was created with the support of the army to counter the PPP’s popularity, is now asking the tough questions about covert operations and the finances of the military.

By snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Pakistan’s ruling party, Bhutto’s PPP, is losing its chance to demonstrate leadership and moral authority. They failed to hold the army accountable for the thousands of civilians and security officers killed in the war on terror in Pakistan. They did not press the chief of the generously-funded army to explain how OBL could have lived in a military garrison town for six years.

These are the same parliamentarians who extended General Kiyani’s tenure. The same parliamentarians who extended ISI Chief General Pasha’s tenure. The boastful parliamentarians who had promised to leave no stone unturned roared like lions for the cameras but behaved like lambs behind closed doors.

It was reported that opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar tried to deliver a speech during the question and answer session, only to be snubbed by General Pasha in front of a full house. Pasha claimed that he ‘knew’ why he was being targeted by the opposition leader, alleging that Nisar had asked him for a personal favor, which he, as DG ISI, refused to extend. An embarrassed Chaudhry Nisar was said to have been taken aback as Pasha continued with his ‘counter-attack’.

Then the tail furiously wagged the dog. General Pasha reportedly offered to resign. Rather than demanding that the ISI chief step down immediately, apparently the parliamentarians did not accept his resignation.

The state run television channel could have returned to its heyday of running prime time programming that kept the country glued to their sets by recording that “closed door” meeting to broadcast later as a drama — or farce.

Some idealistic Pakistanis hoped that the U.S. would finally question the secretly played “double game.” After all, the U.S. supported extensions of Kiyani’s and Pasha’s tenures, claiming that keeping the chiefs in their positions would help to continue the war on terror in an orderly fashion. The U.S. abandoned the people of Pakistan by siding with the army once again, pledging support and failing to attach any strings or conditions to the military aid it provides.

Cowed by Kiyani’s and Pasha’s brazen displays, Pakistan’s parliament passed a resolution that drone attacks should be stopped and that the operations like the one carried out on May 2nd won’t be tolerated in future.

The parliament has an obligation to explain to the public not only how and why Osama bin Laden was living in Abbottabad, but why the Taliban continues to carry out its bloody operations, and why al Qaeda leaders have been given safe haven. The risk of allowing these questions to remain unanswered is that the military will gain more strength over the civilian government.

The parliamentarians who are supposed to represent the people of Pakistan abrogated their responsibility for the sake of staying in office for few more months, while at the same time making it clear who the country’s rulers truly are.

Courtesy: Wichaar

Af-Pak: a peace to end all peace —Dr Mohammad Taqi

Excerpt:

The continued aggressive posturing by the Pakistani establishment, albeit this time with a full civilian façade and on the pretext of seeking peace in Afghanistan, indicates that the already dysfunctional relationship between the US and Pakistan is literally on the rocks

“After the ‘war to end war’, they seem to have been pretty successful in Paris at making a ‘peace to end peace’” –Field Marshal Sir Archibald Wavell.

Lord Wavell, a commander of the British forces in the Middle East and later a Viceroy of India, had been commenting on the treaties bringing World War I to an end and the future shape of the post-Ottoman Middle East, but the mad dash towards ‘peace and reconciliation’ in the Pak-Afghan region over the last two weeks suggests that after a decade-long war, we too may be in for more turbulence, not tranquillity.

The very connotations of the terms truth, peace and reconciliation make it nearly impossible to say anything critical of — let alone contradicting — the process. But when the inimitable host of VOA’s Pashto service, Rahman Bunairee asked me last week to comment on President Asif Ali Zardari’s remarks in Turkey about opening up of a Taliban diplomatic office there, I found it difficult not to be cynical about the whole drama. “Since when does the president have such clout to determine Pakistan’s foreign policy, especially vis-à-vis Afghanistan,” I responded. Thinking of Wavell’s words, I added that what appears now to be a solution to a problem will likely be the mother of many larger problems to follow. President Zardari was speaking for the Pakistan Army and the so-called peace proposal — the diplomatic street address for the Taliban included — had been drafted in Rawalpindi. The civilians may have been acting it out, but the script is unmistakably Khaki. ….

…. In the Afghan memory, Pakistan, for three decades, has been part of the problem, not the solution. Each time that Pakistan has ‘sponsored peace’ there, rockets have rained on Kabul. Pakistan has miscalculated the Afghan and the US readiness to accept it as a partner in peace and the Gilani-Kayani-Pasha delegation to Kabul is being seen as a too-clever-by-half move to shoulder out the legitimate stakeholders. Unless Pakistan comes clean on the jihadist terrorists it harbours, any peace it sponsors will mean an end of all peace.

To read full article : Daily Times

Raymond Davis: fact & fiction – Najam Sethi’s Editorial

The case of Raymond Davis has outraged the imagination and sentiment of Pakistanis mainly because of a distortion of key facts by powerful sections of the Pakistani media. It has also become a vicious ping pong game between the PPP and PMLN governments, with both trying to score nationalist points regardless of the consequences for political stability and national security. Ominously, though, it has soured a troubled relationship between Pakistan and the US who claim to be “strategic partners” in the region. Let’s sift fact from fiction.

Fiction: Mr Davis “murdered” two Pakistanis. He shot them in the back, suggesting he was not threatened by them. They were not robbers. Their handguns were licensed. Fact: Two men on a motorbike, armed with unlicensed pistols, held up Mr Davis’ car. He expertly shot them through the windscreen, stepped out and took pictures of the gunmen with weapons as evidence of self-defense. Later, an autopsy report showed that four out of seven bullets had hit the gunmen in the front, confirming the threat to him. The criminals had earlier robbed two passersby of their cell phones and money.

Fiction: Mr Davis is not a diplomat because he doesn’t have a diplomatic visa or status registered with the Foreign Office. Hence he cannot claim diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Conventions. Fact: Mr Davis has a Diplomatic Passport. His visa application by the US State Department to the Pakistan Embassy in Washington DC of 11 September 2009 lists him as a Diplomat who is on “Official Business”. The US government has claimed diplomatic immunity for him. This is the norm. For example, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Spain in 1975, Haroon ur Rashid Abbasi, was granted immunity following discovery of heroin from his suitcase. Col Mohammad Hamid Pakistan’s military attaché in London in 2000, was caught having sex with a prostitute in his car in a public place. He invoked diplomatic immunity and avoided arrest. Mohammad Arshad Cheema, Pakistan’s First Secretary in Nepal, also invoked diplomatic immunity after 16kg of high inte4nsity RDX explosives were recovered from his house and he was suspected of being involved in the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC-814. And so on. …

Read more : Wichaar

Sacked employees attack KESC office

KARACHI: Dismissed employees of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) staged a protest in Karachi on Thursday against their lay-offs.

They attacked the KESC office near Defence Phase 4, demanding their immediate reinstatement. Angry employees damaged the office property and other KESC personnel. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Pakistan : Everyone his own master!

As creative fiction goes, this is unsurpassed. But it gives rise to the unfortunate perception that if this is the best our intelligence agencies can up with – organisations which claim infallibility and think of themselves as the first guardians of the national interest, superior to anything else – then, collectively, we are in deeper waters than we think.

by Ayaz Amir

This is the dispersal of power at its best: defence policy in the clutches of General Headquarters (GHQ) with no input at all from the federal government; the Supreme Court (SC), under the forceful leadership of the twice-restored Chief Justice (CJ), turning itself into an alternative centre of administration; and the government reduced to presiding over a state of administrative mayhem and colourful financial skulduggery.

To say that only defence policy is with GHQ is to do our most powerful institution a great injustice. Foreign policy, or its most salient aspects, is also being run from that holy of holies. Small wonder that no foreign visit to Islamabad is complete without a call on the army chief, Gen Ashfaq Kayani, who gives every indication of devoting as much time to ambassadors and foreign visitors as to his professional responsibilities.

The Foreign Office likes to take itself seriously but in truth it has been reduced to an adjunct secretariat of GHQ. …

Read more : The News