BANGKOK: Tens of thousands of Thai opposition protesters occupied major streets in central Bangkok on Monday in an attempted “shutdown” of the capital, escalating a campaign to unseat the embattled premier.
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BANGKOK: Tens of thousands of Thai opposition protesters occupied major streets in central Bangkok on Monday in an attempted “shutdown” of the capital, escalating a campaign to unseat the embattled premier.
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Go to Pakistan
PM tells Khaleda, accuses her of instigating army
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday accused the leader of the opposition of instigating the army to take over power unconstitutionally, sensing her defeat in the next election.
“Begum Zia could understand it very well that people of the country would not give vote to a corrupt party like BNP, and for her movement to protect the war criminals,” she said.
She (Khaleda Zia) must know that the situation of 1975 and 2013 are not the same, Hasina told a discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.
The premier said the BNP leader still believes in grabbing power by climbing on the shoulder of the army as she has no faith in democracy and public support.
Mentioning that the real face of the BNP leader has now got exposed before people, Hasina said “Go to your (Khaleda’s) ‘Pyara Pakistan’, you’ll feel good there,” reports UNB.
Western World’s opposition to Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline is seen as a reiteration of its economic interests and geopolitical hegemonic designs in the region
By Huzaima Bukhari & Dr. Ikramul Haq
In the face of threats of sanctions from the United States, President Asif Ali Zardari and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on March 11, 2013 launched the groundbreaking work on the 781-kilometre-long pipeline on the Pakistani side of the border. The Iran-Pakistan (IP) Gas Pipeline Project, initialed in 1995, has been facing perpetual opposition from the United States and its allies. Heads of both the countries, in their speeches at the occasion, reaffirmed their commitment to go ahead with the project “despite threats from the world powers”.
President Zardari said that the project would promote peace, security and progress in the region besides improving economic, political and security ties between the two neighbouring states. Stressing that the project was not against any country, President Zardari said such steps forging better understanding would also help fight terrorism and extremism.
President Ahmadinejad, while pointing towards foreign states and criticising what he called “their unjustified opposition to the project under the excuse of Iran’s nuclear issue”, said: “They are against Iran and Pakistan’s progress and have used the nuclear issue as an excuse”. He added, “We never expected [Western] companies to make an investment in this pipeline which guarantees progress, prosperity and peace in the region; if they don’t want to join this project for any given reason, they are not entitled to rock the boat and disturb the project”.
Pakistan on the completion of IP is to receive 21.5 million cubic meters of natural gas on daily basis. Faced with extraordinary energy crisis, Pakistan needs natural gas badly — its shortage has caused miseries to millions of Pakistanis and closure of industries. Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometres of the pipeline on its side. The Tehran-based Tadbir energy development group has undertaken all the engineering procurement and construction work for the first segment of the project. It will also carry out the second segment of the project and also extend the financing of $500 million to Pakistan. Iran and Pakistani are optimistic to complete the project by December 2014.
By Hassan Siddiqui
Karachi: The nationalist parties of Sindh have announced to observe PPP’s formation day (November 30) as ‘black day’ and lodge protest during the president’s address in Sindh Assembly.
Awami National Party, Functional League and opposition parties have agreed to support the protest. Moreover, chief PML-N, Nawaz Sharif has phoned Chairman Sindh Bachayo Committee (Safe Sindh Committee), Jalal Mehmood Shah and assured him of complete support on the issue.
The protest of nationalist parties seems to be against the controversial local government ordinance in the province.
Courtesy: The News Tribe
SANA Toronto Chapter met with Tim Hudak – (the opposition leader of Ontario), and other MPPs earlier this past evening at Chandni Banquet Hall, in Brampton, an adjoining city of Toronto. Mr. Hudak was briefed about SANA, Sindh, its culture and background. He was very happy to have met our delegation, and was interested in knowing more about SANA, The Sindhi Culture & Sindh etc,.
Thereon, we invited Mr.Hudak, as a Chief Guest for our next Toronto function. He thanked for such hospitality and promised that he would love to and would try his best to attend our gathering.
We also requested a follow up meeting with him in his Queens Park Office ( Provincial Legislation Assembly ), where SANA EC may present him, Sindhi Cap, Ajrak and may inform him about national issues as well.
EC Toronto, has always tried its best and has introduced SANA from Provincial level to Federal level. We hope and trust that one day, SANA will be a popular and a well-known organization in Canada at every level of Government.
Those who attended were, Rajesh Rathi, Vishnu Lohano, Ramesh Lekhwani, Kanwar Maheshwari, Khair Muhammad Kolachi, Dr, Hafiz Abro and Aijaz Kolachi.
ISLAMABAD: A petition challenging the Sindh People’s Local Government Act 2012 was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday, DawnNews reported.
The apex court admitted the petition, filed by Barrister Zameer Ghumro, for hearing on Nov 8.
Ghumro stated in the petition that the Sindh Assembly had violated the Constitution by passing the local government bill.
He also stated in the petition that the Sindh government had transferred executive powers to metropolitan corporations without having the power to do so.
The apex court admitted the petition for hearing and issued notices to Attorney General Irfan Qadir and Advocate-General Sindh Abdul Fateh Malik, for the hearing on Nov 8.
Previously, the passing of the Sindh People’s Local Government Act 2012 had received relentless resistance from the main opposition parties in the Sindh Assembly, as well the nationalist parties in Sindh.
Imran to launch campaign against resumption of Nato supplies
LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he was contacting other political parties for the opposition campaign against expected re-opening of the Nato supply routes to Afghanistan, DawnNews reported.
Talking to media representatives at the press conference at Zaman Park in Lahore, Khan criticised the parliament for its inability to implement the resolution regarding future rules of engagement with the United States.
He asked why Pakistan was compromising on its stand of not allowing the Nato supplies through its land-routes, ….
Read more » DAWN.COM
By Nusrat Javeed
Before hiring the services of Pakistan Army for launching a multi-pronged assault on troops of the ‘Evil Empire’ deputed in Afghanistan, Ronald Reagan needed some deceptive trappings of ‘democracy’ in Pakistan. General Zia facilitated him by inventing a consultative assembly in the early 1980s.
Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that he could only be removed by the Parliament and would accept the decision of the house.
Mr Gilani seemed confident during his speech in the National Assembly on Friday in the absence of Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who on Saturday announced that he would not let the prime minister to enter the house.
Gilani criticized Nawaz-League leadership for what he said their ego and said that Nawaz Sharif could not run the parliament as it was not an easy job.
“I challenge you to bring vote of no confidence against me if you have the courage,” Gilani said.
He said that he was punished for protecting the Constitution of Pakistan. He said that nobody other than National Assembly speaker could de-notify him.
The prime minister said that he would honour the decision of the house but would not accept conspiracies and would not let anyone to derail democracy in the country.
Gilanis said that the PML-N should look into results of Multan by-election in which the PPP won.
More details » BBC urdu
Extension in DG ISI tenure would be a deal with government, says Nisar
ISLAMABAD: If the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government extends the contract of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General Ahmad Shuja Pasha for a third term, then it would be considered as a “deal” with the government, said Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday.
Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad, Nisar said a possible extension would also make a case for government’s indictment.
In a press conference earlier, Nisar had said there are a lot of competent generals who are capable of filling this post, “and I hope that the army itself will devise a strategy to replace Pasha.”
He added: “During Pasha’s service, Pakistan witnessed massive intelligence failures such as the raid in Abbottabad; the Mumbai tragedy; the attack on Mehran Base Karachi; the Memogate scandal and Nato air strike on the Salala check post. It was unfortunate that despite all this, Pasha claims that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani stopped him from resigning his post, which is strange for us.”
The Opposition Leader had earlier in a press conference on Thursday said that other, competent Generals, ought to be given a chance to run the agency.
Courtesy: The Express Tribune
By Hussain Sinan
In the archipelago nation known for its beach resorts, Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed was forced to resign after the military clashed with protesting police dissidents. ….
Read more » CSMonitor
Rein in agencies, Nisar asks Gilani, Kayani
ISLAMABAD – Strongly criticising the role of agencies in the missing persons’ case, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday asked Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani to rein-in the intelligence agencies.
Responding to Nisar’s fierce criticism of the killing of four people who were in the custody of a spy agency and his demand of constitution of a court of inquiry by the government, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said a committee of the House could be constituted to look into the matter, but he proposed that as the matter was sub-judice, the court’s verdict should be awaited.
Gilani said all state institutions should work under their constitutional ambit and all institutions were answerable to parliament. He said the government would respect the Supreme Court’s order in the missing persons’ case. Speaking on a point of order earlier, Nisar announced that he would go to the Supreme Court on the next hearing of the missing persons’ case to express solidarity with the families whose relatives had been illegally abducted and killed by spy agencies.
He said a secret agency had dumped the tortured corpses of four people who it had abducted upon their acquittal from a court of law. Nisar also asked Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani to protect the honour and goodwill of the Pakistan Army and take notice of such incidents.
“This is a national army, not a mafia … General Kayani must stop such things which tarnish the army’s image,” he said.
PML-N MNAs chanted slogans of “shame, shame” over the killing of missing persons. Nisar added that it was a moral and constitutional obligation of all members of the parliament to raise voice in parliament for missing persons and against the atrocities of secret agencies and to appear in the Supreme Court to express solidarity with the families of the missing persons. “Whenever the government feels threats from agencies, the prime minister wastes no time in pointing out a state within the state, but in this case no government functionary has come forward to speak in favour of common citizens,” he said, asking the prime minister to rein in secret agencies and bring their heads before parliament so that lawmakers could hold them accountable.
Courtesy: Pakistan Today
ISLAMABAD: MNA from the ANP Bushra Gohar said on Thursday that DG ISI Shuja Pasha should resign in order to ensure a transparent investigation of memogate, Geo News reported.
Addressing the National Assembly, Gohar said Haqqani had resigned and presented himself for investigation in the case.
Replying to Gohar, Opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar said that it was the government’s job to take the resignation from DG ISI and he had brought this issue up repeatedly during the joint session of Parliament.
Courtesy: The News
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Courtesy: Geo Tv News » YouTube
– In Pakistani Media, the U.S. Is a Target for Acrimony
By SALMAN MASOOD
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The United States might still be weighing its options about how to deal with Pakistan, but many politicians, retired army generals and popular television talk show hosts here have already made up their minds that America is on the warpath with their country.
Such is the media frenzy and warmongering that popular talk show hosts have even begun discussing possible scenarios of how Pakistan should react if the United States attacks the country. One television news channel has even aired a war anthem.
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has called on a conference of opposition political parties and government’s allies for Thursday to discuss the crisis. The government is also enlisting allies.
Islamabad, the capital, has seen a flurry of diplomatic activity with the visits of Chinese and Saudi officials. The American ambassador, Cameron Munter, has also met with President Asif Ali Zardari and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir.
After meeting with Vice Premier Meng Jianzhu of China on Tuesday, Mr. Gilani said that “China categorically supports Pakistan’s efforts to uphold its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity,” an oblique reference aimed at the United States.
Earlier in an interview with Reuters, Mr. Gilani warned against any cross-border raids by American forces in Afghanistan. “We are a sovereign country,” Mr. Gilani was quoted as saying. “How can they come and raid in our country?”
Pakistan’s powerful army and intelligence chiefs, meanwhile, have conveyed their message through their posturing. Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the army chief, canceled his Monday visit to Britain, stoking a sense of crisis.
On Sunday, General Kayani led a meeting with his top military commanders. No press statement was issued, but leaks to local media outlets warned of a “stern response” to any attack on Pakistan by American forces from Afghanistan. ….
Read more → THE NEW YORK TIMES
By Meagan Fitzpatrick
Toronto: NDP Leader Jack Layton, who led Canada’s Official Opposition, has died at his Toronto home at age 61 after a battle with cancer.
Layton died peacefully early Monday, surrounded by family and loved ones, according to a statement from his wife, Olivia Chow, and his children, Sarah and Michael Layton.
“We deeply regret to inform you that the Honourable Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, passed away at 4:45 am today, Monday August 22. He passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family and loved ones,” the statement read.
Read more → CBC News
By the CNN Wire Staff
Tripoli, Libya (CNN) — The 42-year rule of Moammar Gadhafi appeared on the verge of collapse early Monday, with rebel supporters packing the same Tripoli square where regime loyalists had congregated for months.
These celebrations were in response to rebel inroads into the capital and news that Two of Moammar Gadhafi’s sons — Saif al-Islam and Saadi — have been arrested by opposition forces. Jumma Ibrahim, a rebel spokesman based in Libya’s western mountain region, said both were captured in Tripoli.
There was no immediate reaction from Libyan government officials to these claims. CNN could not confirm the arrests, and there was no documentation provided by the rebels to verify the report.
International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo also said Saif Gadhafi had been arrested and would be sought by court “for his participation in crimes against humanity (affecting) the Libyan people.” …
Read more → CNN
LAHORE: The Chairman of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan has said that opposition parties’ Grand Alliance is a fraud, SAMAA reported on Friday.
Imran Khan said while talking to the media in Lahore today that Nawaz Sharif cheated him twice in the past but now he will not allow it third time. …
Read more → SAMAA TV NEWS
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Faisal Subzwari (MQM) Talking about Nawaz Sharif (PML – N)
Courtesy: Samaa Tv (News Beat with Meher Bokhari) → YouTube
Courtesy: → ARY NEWS TV, YouTube
– The cold-blooded torture and murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad by “invisible agencies” roused the journalists of Pakistan to unite and demand an independent and credible commission of inquiry to unearth the facts and punish the perpetrators. A media “dharna” outside parliament in Islamabad was aimed at securing an independent supreme court judge to head the inquiry instead of Justice Agha Rafiq, the chief justice of the Federal Shariat Court, nominated by President Asif Zardari.
Two questions arose. First, why did the media unite in such an unprecedented manner in this case when it didn’t do so in the case of the sixteen journalists so far killed this year in Pakistan? What was so particularly frightening or significant about this murder that compelled the media to stand up and be counted? Second, why did President Zardari originally pick a “Zardari-loyalist” to head this commission? Was this aimed at shielding any slip up or criminality on the part of the PPP government? And if it wasn’t, who was President Zardari trying to shield and why?
The answers are straight forward enough. Saleem Shehzad had recorded his problems with the ISI and left a testament indicting it if he was harmed. He was writing a book exposing the inroads into the armed forces and ISI made by retired or serving officers sympathetic to Al Qaeda’s violent ideology. Such exposure was deemed irrevocably embarrassing to the national security establishment. It explained the lack of preparedness on the part of the military to defend and protect itself — as evidenced in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Abbottabad in recent times. It also confirmed the fears of the international community about the security of the nukes, triggering scenarios of pre-emptive action against them in the event of their seizure by rogues allied to Al Qaeda. When Saleem Shehzad went ahead and published his book, he had to be silenced.
That, at least, is the media’s perception of what happened to him and why. Thus the media banded together to demand accountability so that the same fate did not befall any other journalist. If this perception was wrong, an independent commission of inquiry should have been able to establish the innocence of the ISI and redeem its credibility. If it was right, the ISI had to be chastened and cleansed of such elements. What is wrong with this way of thinking? Indeed, when an attempt is made to hide the facts behind a stooge commission, such suspicions and perceptions take deep roots and protests are inclined to become more widespread and violent. If President Zardari hadn’t finally heeded the journalists’ threat and appointed Justice Saqib Nisar to head the commission instead of Mr Agha Rafiq, the media was all geared up to announce a blackout of all government news and military press statements and advice.
Much the same sort of trouble for the government and military may be forecast for another commission of inquiry pledged by parliament to uncover the truth behind the Abbottabad debacle. In this case, too, the military seems to have leaned on the weak PPP government to desist from seriously inquiring into the mishap because it would deeply embarrass the “national security establishment” and conceivably jeopardise its “strategic relationship” with its Pentagon counterpart in the United States.
In both instances, however, there is one critical factor that threatens to derail the unholy nexus between a weak government and an arrogant military that are clutching at each other for protection. That is the opposition lead by Nawaz Sharif. The PMLN stood solidly with the fearful media in the first instance and will back the outraged public in the second. No less significantly, the sympathies of the newly independent judiciary are with the media, opposition and public. This is an inherently unstable and precarious situation. Where do we go from here?
The military has no option but to press the strategic “Paradigm Reset” button. The media and judiciary have joined the stake holders’ club. The military must realize that it is no longer capable of “managing” or “manipulating” or “blackmailing” the twice-bitten opposition to do its bidding blindly. The media too has been empowered by a wave of “citizen-journalists” who cannot be repressed. There are 20 million internet users in Pakistan and 4 million Facebook freaks and Tweeters. This organic new species had defied the dictators of the Middle East and smashed their censors. It is destined to do the same in Pakistan.
The situation is fraught with dangers of unmanageable upheaval. The military must adjust its sights accordingly. If, for example, the US were to launch any new unilateral action that outraged the Pakistani media, opposition and public, the military would be caught in the eye of the storm. It won’t be able to resist the public pressure but it also wouldn’t like to be savaged by America. Thus it could be the biggest loser in the game. Forewarned is forearmed.
Courtesy: Friday Times
by Dr Manzur Ejaz
Pakistan’s socio-political system has reached a critical stage where the competition or confrontation between institutions is leading to an inevitable but unexpected change. An overwhelmingly agrarian Pakistani society has evolved into a multi-layered complex body where new urban middle classes have matured enough to play a role. If the dominant institutions of the military and political elites do not rapidly adjust to the changing reality, an unprecedented and disastrous situation can develop.
Whatever way we cut it, the incidents of the last month compelled the military to come to parliament and explain itself to the legislators and the public. Despite the chiding posture of General Shuja Pasha, this was a new development. But then, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani issued a long rebuttal, a public criticism, after the 139th Corps Commander’s Conference. In this comprehensive statement, he reasserted the military’s monopoly over defining the ideology and policy of the state of Pakistan. If one dissects General Kayani’s statement, part of it is the military’s claim to define the country as an ‘Islamic’ state and other parts are operational policies as to how the country is going to be run.
What General Kayani and the army do not realise is that the military’s monopoly over the Pakistani state was the product of a set of historical factors that have substantially changed. Now, other institutions of the state are maturing to the level that a new inter-institutional balance has to evolve or the state will wither away. …
… In the last decade, the media, as an institution, was rising and having an impact on different sectors of society. The movement for the restoration of the independent judiciary also showed that a vital branch of the state was gaining enough maturity. The way the PML-N acted as an opposition party was also another sign of the strengthening of democratic forces. Despite the incompetent PPP government and its non-cooperation with the judiciary or with the genuine political opposition, it is becoming clearer that a realignment of institutional balance is underway. Therefore, the military is facing other sets of forces that are different from the 70s. In this situation, the military can unleash ruthlessness to suppress the emerging forces or concede to them as a fait accompli. Maybe the military has read the tea leaves as an ex-COAS, General Jehangir Karamat maintains, but it has yet to be seen how far the military can withdraw itself from civilian affairs.
To read complete article: Wichaar
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.
By Rauf Klasra
ISLAMABAD: Though he spent a large chunk of the marathon session on the back foot, besieged by politicians, the chief of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency did come out of his shell to silence fiery Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Details of Friday’s closed-door session of a special joint sitting of Parliament continue to trickle out – with some interesting nuggets of information being narrated to The Express Tribune regarding an exchange between Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt-Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha and Chaudhry Nisar.
Reported yesterday was a fiery speech by Nisar against the military establishment – but it emerged, through fresh information, that the DG ISI did not just stand there and take the tirade.
Pasha, who has been at the receiving end of a number of fiery speeches by the PML-N leader over the last few weeks, is said to have shocked Nisar by replying in the same token.
Nisar is said to have risen out of his seat for his speech right as the question and answer session was to begin. But a “visibly angry” Pasha snubbed Nisar in front of a full house.
Pasha claimed that he ‘knew’ why he was being targeted by the leader of the opposition as of late – alleging that Nisar had asked him for a personal favour, which he, as DG ISI, refused to extend.
Since then, said Pasha, Nisar had launched a number of tirades against him in particular and the military in general. However, Pasha said he would not reveal what the favour was on the floor of the august house – but would if asked outside.
An embarrassed Chaudhry Nisar was said to have been taken aback as Pasha continued with his ‘counter-attack’. The DG ISI kept on grilling Nisar, asking the PML-N leader if he knew what the effects of his recent tirades had been. Pasha told the house that on a recent trip to the US he was told by CIA chief Leon Panetta in an important meeting: ‘Look, General Pasha – how can we trust you when your own country’s opposition leader is saying that you cannot be believed?’
– PPP, PML-N lash out at each other
Tempers flared in the National Assembly session on Monday as leaders from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) traded incendiary allegations against each other.
Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan gave a fiery speech, accusing both the military and civilian leaders of incompetence and deceiving the Pakistani people, demanding an independent national commission to investigate the events of May 2, when a US special forces unit killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a ‘black’ operation in Abbottabad.
“The nation wants to know how Bin Laden and his family lived in a highly fortified city,” said Nisar in his speech. “What sort of help did Pakistan extend to the US to reach him? We also want to know why the government remained oblivious of the 40-minute operation when all of Abbottabad city was awakened by it. What is the response time of our forces in case of such infringement of our borders?”
Nisar continued his streak of being unusually critical of the military and intelligence services, accusing them of being “asleep” during the US raid. He went as far as questioning the sincerity of the military in protecting the country’s ….
Read more : The Express Tribune
– Opposition leader alleges agencies involved in politics
He said he usually avoid criticising agencies but they were responsible for alliances and sit-in.
Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Ch. Nisar Ali said politicians without a single seat in assembly were staging sit-in on someone’s prodding.
He said he usually didn’t criticise agencies but they were responsible for alliances and sit-in. He demanded the prime minister should direct agencies to work in their legal framework. …
– Let us Unite to Uphold 18th Amendment including Devolution of HEC
By Khalid Hashmani
As more and more information comes out in the waning days of Higher Education Commission (HEC), most Sindhis are shocked to know that out of ten thousands (10,000) foreign and domestic scholarships that have been distributed by HEC so far, Sindh received only 892 (http://ejang.jang.com.pk/4-7-2011/Karachi/pic.asp?picname=99.gif). This amounts to about one third of the number that Sindh would have received even if the NFC award rules were applied. There is no province/ state or ethnic group anywhere in the world that has suffered as much as Sindhis have when it comes to scholarship opportunities in Pakistan. Instead of defending an institution that has denied Sindhis their due share in educational opportunities for so many years, we should be demanding trial of those officials who were responsible for denying Sindh its due share in scholarships. It is doubtful that an agency of such dreadful performance should even be given a role of standard setting and quality assurance. The Government of Pakistan should seriously consider creating a new agency with proper representation from each province/ state to oversee the jurisdictions that 18th Amendment allows at the federal level.
March 24, 2011 — People’s World — On March 15, the Communist Party of Egypt announced that after many years underground because of repression, it will be assuming open, public political activities once more. The announcement came after “an extensive meeting with all of its bodies” and was unanimous.
The original Communist Party of Egypt, the Hizb al Shuvuci al-Misri, had been founded in 1922 when Egypt was still a monarchy and very much under the thumb of British imperialism. The last king of Egypt, Farouk, was overthrown by an uprising of young army officers in 1952. Out of that revolution came the 14-year regime of Colonel Gamel Abdel Nasser, a radical nationalist who worked to break Egypt away from subservience to Western capitalist powers. In 1965, the Communist Party of Egypt merged into Nasser’s own movement, the Arab Socialist Union.
A number of former Communist Party activists dissented from this merger and formed their own independent journal, Al-Inisar (Victory), starting in 1973, which led to their re-founding the Communist Party in 1975. Under the governments of Anwar Al Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, the re-founded Communist Party of Egypt faced repression and was not allowed to run in elections. However, it did not disappear and did not abandon the struggle for democracy and socialism.
When the demonstrations against the Mubarak regime began earlier this year, the Communist Party of Egypt, working in unity with other left-wing dissident groups, quickly gained public visibility as a key voice in the secular opposition. Its February 1, 2011, proclamation read as follows. ….
Read more : Link International
by Imtiaz Ahmad,
While Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani announced a national mourning for the slain minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, many politicians and political parties in the country have chosen to remain silent on the issue. In the country’s parliament, a joint statement also could not be iss ued as many MPs refused to condemn the killing.
The main opposition parties, headed by the PML-N party of Nawaz Sharif, has remained strangely silent. Religious parties, which include the Jamaat-e-Islami party have termed the murder a plot to malign Pakistan.
A similar silence was seen when Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was shot earlier this year. After that killing, most political figures including Nawaz Sharif, and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, who is the chief minister of Punjab, stayed away from the funeral prayers of the slain governor.
“This silence is seen as an endorsement for the murder,” MP Asia Nasir, a Christian, said in parliament. Nasir also pointed to the picture of Muhammad Ali Jinnah hanging on one wall in parliament and told the assembly that it was a sad day for minorities.
Read more : Hindustan Times
By Aijaz Ahmed
The more unusual and astonishing was the participation of the “principled’ opposition leader, Ch Nisar Ali khan and his friendly discussion with ex-military dictator Musharraf’s ‘political adopted babies’ like Ch. Shujaat Hussain and Mushahid Hussain whom PML-N considers its enemies! The sole reason given by the PML-N was the discussion on political developments in of course the ‘national interest’! …
Read more : Indus Herald