Tag Archives: parliament

Most countries have an army, the Pakistani army has a country!

Army and country – George Fulton

At first glance, the WikiLeaks revelations about the Pakistani army aren’t exactly, er, revelatory. So General Kayani and the intelligence agencies call the shots in Pakistan. Nothing new there, you may be thinking. Everyone knows that. Any foreigner arriving in Pakistan is soon pulled aside and told a couple of pithy lines about the army. One being that the three As run Pakistan — Allah, America and the Army. The other is that whilst most countries have an army, the Pakistani army has a country.

But reading the cables starkly in black and white, one is reminded how truly prevailing the army is to Pakistan’s society and long-term survival. The very institution that is supposedly designed to protect us is bringing Pakistan to its knees.

Let’s take parliamentary democracy. In theory we have one of those, with elected leaders to do our bidding, but WikiLeaks reminds us otherwise. Zardari wants to implement stiff sanctions on terrorist financing and close down terrorist training camps, but he can’t. Why? The unelected and unaccountable military and intelligence agencies won’t allow it. We are also told that Kayani planned to pressure President Zardari to resign and replace him with Asfandyar Wali Khan. Er, on whose authority? Sorry, old chum, but I thought that decision fell to the Pakistani people at the ballot box, not a man who wears spaghetti on his shoulders.

The cables also reveal the army’s support of the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t the faujis’ raison d’etre, it’s primary reason to exist, the first line in their handbook if you will, to protect us from enemies foreign and domestic? Or perhaps it’s to make cornflakes that taste of cardboard?

But the reason for the army’s support for the militants is of course our hatred of India. Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Afghan Taliban, despite their continuous killing of our own citizens, are apparently a vital part of our national security. Read that sentence again and it sounds like something from “Monty Python”. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Yes let’s threaten India by funding and supporting people who attack India and, er, ourselves. Good job.

In addition, the army’s paranoia and cold war thinking has stopped successive civilian governments from making any constructive attempts at long-term peace with India. An economic powerhouse that could bring thousands of jobs to Pakistan remains a foe, thanks to the faujis.

For too long the military/intelligence nexus has been immune to any sort of accountability or criticism. We can judge the judiciary, pillory the politicians and mock the media. But the army receives a free reign. The generals/admirals/air marshals — who can be as corrupt and venal as the political class — rarely receive similar press coverage, despite the fact that the army is the biggest private landowner in Pakistan. They run businesses, residential areas, schools and hospitals but somehow they largely avoid scrutiny. Funny that. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Watch : through what tools army get control on elected government & parliament

Senior journalist Rauf Kalsra is telling that how  payroll journalists and media unleashed their level best to salvage for their masters in GHQ. The talk show is in urdu/ Hindi.

Courtesy: DAWN News (Report with Arshad Sharif, 2 December, 2010)

via – ZemTV, – YouTube Link

‘Kayani influential on govt, parliament’

NEW YORK: WikiLeaks, citing a French official, in its revelations has also hit Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

The released documents alleged that COAS has influence on government and the parliament. It said that opposition of Kayani led to the conflict on Kerry-Lugar bill, adding that he is also responsible for refraining the government to change its policy over FATA. …

Read more : The News

More details : BBC urdu

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Courtesy: DunyaTV (Tonight with Najam Sethi, 30 November, 2010)

via ZemTV, – YouTube Link

PML-N leader, Saad Rafiqe is talking against an army general of Pakistan & Fouzia Wahab on the role of media

The language of the Talk show is Urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: Geo Tv News,  Capital Talk » YouTube

Via – Siasat -> Link

An apologist and fearful PPP

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

Courtesy: SAMAA TV ( News Beat with Meher Bukhari, guests Tahmina Doltana of PML-N and others, 9th Nov. 2010)

Via – ZemTVYouTube Link

Islamabad : The National Assembly appeared shocked : A lot of military activity on the Constitution avenue – The soldiers did not salute the national flag which is the duty of every uniformed Pakistani and they insulted a federal minister in his flag-bearing car

Two soldiers ‘train’ guns at minister
Chaudhry Nisar said he saw “a lot of military activity” on the avenue at the time, giving him the impression that “some four-star general” was coming to meet either the president or the Prime Minister.
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly appeared shocked to hear from opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday that two soldiers had insulted a federal minister in his flag-bearing car earlier in the day by training their guns at him at a checkpoint near parliament when a four-star general too was in the area.

The government acknowledged that this “serious” incident had happened, which Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Naveed Qamar said would be taken up with “appropriate authorities”.

Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, chairing the proceedings at the time, called for a report about what he called an incident of “highhandedness” before the house concludes its current session after four days.

But neither of the three men who spoke about the matter identified the minister involved in the incident, which the opposition leader said happened some time in the afternoon, when he also drove around 2pm through the Constitution Avenue, on which the Parliament House is located and where one of the checkpoints normally manned by police checks vehicles going towards the Parliament House as well as the nearby presidency and the Prime Minister’s House.

Also none of them named the general for whom troops came to control traffic, although Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani met President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday afternoon.

Chaudhry Nisar said he saw “a lot of military activity” on the avenue at the time, giving him the impression that “some four-star general” was coming to meet either the president or Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and that he was informed by some witnesses later on coming to his office in parliament about a minister’s car flying the national flag having been stopped along with other cars by two soldiers “carrying bandooks (rifles)” and controlling traffic at the checkpoint instead of police.

“The soldiers did not have the courtesy to salute the national flag… which is the duty of every uniformed Pakistani,” he said.

“The matter did not end there,” he said, and added that when the driver of the minister — who too he thought was heading towards the presidency or the prime minister’s house — “tried to move his car forward, the two soldiers trained their guns” (towards the inmates).

“Is it the national army or an individual’s army,” the opposition leader asked and stressed the troops had no business to assume police job. “If they stop me tomorrow, I will not stop.”
The army would enjoy the nation’s respect only if it complied with its constitutional duty of defending the borders, Chaudhry Nisar said, drawing cheers from his PML-N colleagues as well many PPP members.

Minister Naveed Qamar said it was a “serious matter” to stop the car of a minister with the national flag or of any elected member of the house and added: “The government takes it seriously. We will take up the matter with appropriate authorities.”

Read more : DAWN

More details BBC urdu

Khwaja Asif on Pakistan Army

Khwaja Asif shows Ainay Ka Doosra Rukh!

Khawaja Asif of PML-N revolts against Army Feudalism in a fascinating budget 2006/7 speech in National Assembly. Legislators shall respect such leaders so others can follow the EXAMPLE. The language of speech is urdu (Hindi).

YouTube Link- Link1, Link2

War between Judiciary & Executive in Pakistan

Call for end to bickering among institutions
HYDERABAD, Oct 20: Judiciary and Executive are two important pillars of a democratic society and the present split between the two is apt to creating disastrous situation for the state, if not checked early.
This and other similar concerns were expressed by the Sindh Democratic Forum over boiling political state of affairs ruling the country. The SDF, in a statement, criticized the national institutions of not resolving the basic issues of general public like growing inflation, increasing poverty, lawlessness, daily killings, unemployment, electricity problem and other allied issues instead were busy in bickering with each other over petty matters.
People had endured enough and now they want peace for which cooperation among national institutions was a prerequisite, it further stated.
Commenting over the midnight drama between the judiciary and the executive, it stated that perhaps it was for the first time in contemporary judicial history that a full bench was called on a rumour which has damaged the sanctity of justice.
The democratic-minded people feel the elected parliament a supreme body and because the 18th Amendment was passed by the representative of 16 parliamentary parties, therefore there appears no supra body which can challenge parliament’s decisions, said the SDF.
The coverage of court proceedings, judges’ statements, conservative comments by media and support of right wing political parties is portraying as if judiciary was being influenced by armed forces and they were trying to disband the present democratic setup, it further said.
The SDF appealed to superior judiciary to protect the cause of justice and avoid creating the impression as if it were against the elected parliament and democracy.
Judiciary being an important pillar of state and custodian of justice should give a shut up call to irresponsible statements of media, besides taking suo-motu notice against such utterances, it said.
Read more : DAWN

How easily we forget Nawaz Sharif’s attack on Supreme Court

Link

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Protesters halt Pakistani PM court case – BBC

The trial of Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has been halted after his supporters forced their way into the Supreme Court building in Islamabad.
Protesters shouted abuse against the Chief Justice, Sajjad Ali Shah, who was hearing a case of contempt of court, which could lead to the Prime Minister’s disqualification if he is found guilty. The court adjourned for the day.
The protest is the latest twist in the country’s constitutional crisis, which started over the appointment of five new judges to the Supreme Court.

Mr Ali Shah charged Mr Sharif with contempt after his outspoken criticism of the candidates. Mr Sharif responded by trying to remove him from office.

The two men are under considerable pressure from the country’s powerful armed forces to resolve the situation constitutionally.
Mr Ali Shah’s position in the court has become increasingly uncertain after an internal struggle emerged in the Supreme Court over his status. Four of his fellow judges in two separate hearings ruled he was suspended from office because he was not the most senior judge when he was appointed.
Friday’s trouble started when one of Mr Sharif’s Members of Parliament climbed over the gates in front of the court to get inside.
A crowd of a few hundred party supporters then began to follow him and, as the police and the security forces in riot gear stood by and did nothing, they pushed open the gates and ran into the court compound.
A few members of the crowd got into the court building and ran to windows and onto the roof of the entrance, chanting slogans against the Chief Justice.
Amid the commotion a court official ran to the courtroom and said the Chief Justice was in danger. The judges immediately adjourned proceedings and left the room.
Courtesy: BBC

These are very interesting times in Pakistan!

NROs, Honestly! – by Marvi Sirmed

MarviSirmed

These are very interesting times in Pakistan. There are accusers, there are victims, there are spectators, there is a mediator, and there is a decider. All of them, not so clean. But all of them set against the victim for something all of them are the culprits – Corruption! The civil society mainly comprising educated urban middle class is taking a position relatively simplistic, but at higher grounds morally. The media is caught up in their own game, which is mainly catering their business interests and strongly rooted right wing elements within its ranks. Political parties are grasping the opportunity to depose present set up to take its place sooner than they had anticipated. The DECIDER is a bit vengeful, and a bit obliged to the right wingers for their support during former’s bad days. So, the whole mesh can be deciphered in one sentence: the accusers are joined by the mediators and deciders to bridle the horses of the victim! This all being purely political, tends to catch on popular morality and sentiment of the have-nots. The spectators, thus, is rolling eyes on whatever is fed to them.

Continue reading These are very interesting times in Pakistan!

‘Parliament with unlimited powers can secularise state’

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was hearing petitions challenging the 18th Amendment on Monday, DawnNews reported.

A 17-judge full court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, was hearing petitions challenging certain clauses in the Amendment.

During the hearing, the federation lawyer said that the parliament’s powers were limitless.

Responding to that, Chief Justice Iftikhar said that limitless powers could secularise the country.

Read more >> DAWN

Indian Parliamentarian takes oath in Sindhi

MP Mavindra Singh
MP Mavindra Singh

Not only do many in Western Rajasthan (Eastern Thar) speak Sindhi as a native language, others Rajasthanis also know and prefer Sindhi to Hindi/Urdu. Member of Parliament (Rajasthan, India) Manvendra preferred to take oath in Sindhi which is recognized as one of India’s constitutional languages. Not only do many in Western Rajasthan speak Sindhi, the language and culture of all of Thar is very much like Sindh’s. People sing songs of Shah Latif in this area.. Mumali Raarno is a folktale from this area that is remembered through Shah Latif’s poetry in Sindh and all over Thar. Plenty of other MPs had their families cheering too from the Distinguished Visitors’ gallery. There was the Pilot clan — Sachin Pilot’s mother Rama, wife Sara Abdullah, sister Sarika and brother-in-law; Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra had his wife, mother, and brother cheering. The former finance minister himself preferred a relatively obscure seat in the Rajya Sabha gallery from where he could watch his son who took oath in Sindhi (as Rajasthani is not a recognised language, Manvendra later said).

Courtesy: –  Indian Express, Friday, June 04, 2004.

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Unfortunately, Pakistan not only refuses to recognize Sindhi as a national language of Pakistan and has effectively blocked the implementation of Sindh’s decision to use Sindhi as its official language in Sindh.

The apex court can not nullify the Constitutional amendment – Aitzaz Ahsan

Aitzaz Ahsan

Parliament empowered to change basic structure of Constitution: Aitzaz

ISLAMABAD: Former President of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Aitzaz Ahsan said the judiciary is under the Constitution, as it is applied to the judiciary as well, our sources reported Tuesday. He said the Parliament is empowered to change the fundamentals of the Constitution, adding the apex court cannot nullify the Constitutional amendment….Ahsan said, according to the Article-238, 239 no amendment in the Constitution can be challenged in any court, whatsoever; neither can the SC`s power to hear petition be challenged.

To read full article, please click here or click the following link of Pak Tribune.

Source – http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?226669

Chaos over Russian base rages through Ukraine’s parliament

KIEV: Opposition lawmakers hurled eggs and smoke bombs inside Ukraine’s parliament as the chamber approved an agreement allowing the Russian Navy to extend its stay in a Ukrainian port until 2042. Crowds of supporters and opponents scuffled outside the parliament building as deputies from newly elected Present Victor Yanukovich’s coalition approved a 25-year extension to the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s base in Crimea “Today will go down as a black page in the history of Ukraine and the Ukrainian parliament,” former premier Yulia Tymoshenko, no in opposition, told journalists inside parliament.

Do not criticize parliament very harshly

Don’t vilify parliament – by I.A. Rehman

Courtesy: Dawn

If the practice of abusing parliamentarians left, right and centre, started by authoritarian rulers, continues the transition to democracy will never be completed.

That the constitutional reform package should have come under attack in some quarters did not cause any surprise because the concept of democratic consensus is alien to Pakistan’s political barons. What is astonishing is the degree of freedom from good sense shown by some elements while demonising parliament.

Continue reading Do not criticize parliament very harshly

IAOJ editorial : Counter the undemocratic forces through joint struggle

The equation of the establishment of Pakistan is changing and a new equation of establishment (Security establishment + Power hungry judicial activists + segment of media & politicians) is emerging to power struggle with democratic forces of the country.

The history of democracy in different countries say that in initial stages, democracy doesn’t bring much but it give opportunities to different stake holders to discuss, involve, evolve and share ideas openly to move forward. If democracy empower continuing than it has a mechanism to bring astonishing benefits to the country and its people. Democracy has mechanism and dynamics to filter those who are not performing well or it helps them to re-aproach through democratic ways to new thinking and to carry some thing better and positive to the voters. This is the time for the parliament and democratic forces of Pakistan to do joint struggle against the undemocratic move, conspiracy or unconstitutional road map which may derail the democracy. Remember ones Winston Churchill was said that “Democracy is the worst system but it is the best system we have.”

How do you spell politics?

Naturaly, the common people don’t want war, but after all, it is the leaders of the country [establishment] who determines the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along with whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifist for lack of patriotism & exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”

-‘Herman Goering‘, Hitler’s Reich-Marshall at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII


[Adopt from Aamir Raz’s Facebook]

Developing a proper method of accountability- Watchdogs on the judiciary, parliament, executive, police, or for that matter

Issues to consider

–  Aqil Sajjad

I’m listing down some political issues that we should consider taking up now that the deposed judges have been restored. Each one of these issues is very important, and we need someone to take it up.

1. Judiciary and police reforms:

..Developing a proper method of accountability for the judges because the existing SJC structure is flawed. – Reforming the lower judiciary. – Police reforms

2. Devolution:

This is very important because devolution has the potential to open up opportunities for ordinary citizens to enter electoral politics. Union councils are small, and you can contest elections even if you are not filthy rich. Once you have been a union councilor, you can gradually go on to contest elections for bigger constituencies and move up in politics.

Things to do: convince the media to have more constructive discussions on devolution, and promote the idea to the people at large, so that it becomes increasingly difficult for any government to roll it back.

3. Intra-party democracy:

This requires engaging with the media and political party workers at the grass roots to highlight this issue.

4. Demanding live debates on local radio:

Due to the wider reach of radio, and considering the fact that TV channels can generally only talk about national issues, there is a real need for local city/district radio stations to come up and hold live debates on local issues. During elections, the election commission should even arrange for regular structured debates at the local level for all constituencies.

We need to highlight this issue and press the govt to remove unnecessary restrictions and giving live debates proper air time on govt-owned local radio stations.

5. Corruption:

Highlighting the need for a constitutionally independent NAB, which can investigate and prosecute corruption cases against anyone including those in power without political interference.

6. Provincial autonomy:

A first step should be to make an attempt to understand what people outside Isb, Lhr and Khi think and want…

7. Constitution revue:

Understanding our constitution, and then determining whether it really serves our needs even if it’s restored to the original 1973 form. Then figuring out the kind of amendments that are needed for the genuine empowerment of the people. Some of the earlier points related to judiciary reforms, devolution, NAB and provincial autonomy would automatically be a part of such an effort, but here the goal would be to have a comprehensive review of the constitution rather than a single issue focus.

8. A political party Watchdog:

Looking at things like

a. The extent of intra-party democracy. This should include how party tickets are awarded.

b. Whether the parties have proper think-tanks for policy formulation.

c. Whether the parties have competent people and intra-party mechanisms for bringing such people forward.

d. whether there are any intra-party mechanisms for accountability, how many members of the parties have criminal or corruption cases etc.

e. How many of the MNAs and MPAs elected on party tickets are lotas with a history of switching loyalties.

9. Media watch:

This can include things like

a. keeping an eye on the political connections of newspaper and TV channel owners, and making knowledge of such connections well known to the public;

b. keeping track of whether journalists are consistent in applying the same principle. Example: if someone said that Iftikhar Ch should be restored when he was first removed by Musharraf, then did they continue to propagate the same position when the PPP came into power or did they suddenly do a ‘lota’ on this?

c. rating various talk-shows on the diversity of guests they invite, so that our national discourse does not remain monopolized by a very small group of people.

d. Pointing out instances of yellow journalism.

10. Other watchdogs:

Watchdogs on the judiciary, parliament, executive, police, NAB, or for that matter, any regulatory authority, like PEMRA or SECP.

March 28, 2009