Tag Archives: right

Abolish the death penalty

‘The death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state. This cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment is done in the name of justice. It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We oppose the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner.’

There is a hope. We are getting closer to a death penalty-free world.

Read more » Free Thought Blogs

Indians & many in Pakistan also want President Zardari to act firmly against jihadis.

WELCOME MR PRESIDENT

By Vikram Sood

Benazir Bhutto made five pilgrimages to the Dargah Sharif of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, the last being in 2005. She wanted to visit one more time in 2007 but this did not materialise. Instead, she went home to Pakistan to a tumultuous welcome but ultimately to become yet another Bhutto martyr. Her friends had cautioned her that her return to Pakistan could be dangerous for her but Benazir insisted that the country needed her. Quite apparently, there were powerful figures in her country who did not want her alive. So she became the fourth Bhutto to die a violent unnatural death.

Continue reading Indians & many in Pakistan also want President Zardari to act firmly against jihadis.

The Future of History – By Francis Fukuyama

Can Liberal Democracy Survive the Decline of the Middle Class?

Stagnating wages and growing inequality will soon threaten the stability of con­temporary liberal democracies and dethrone democratic ideology as it is now understood. What is needed is a new populist ideology that offers a realistic path to healthy middle-class societies and robust democracies.

Something strange is going on in the world today. The global financial crisis that began in 2008 and the ongoing crisis of the euro are both products of the model of lightly regulated financial capitalism that emerged over the past three decades. Yet despite widespread anger at Wall Street bailouts, there has been no great upsurge of left-wing American populism in response. It is conceivable that the Occupy Wall Street movement will gain traction, but the most dynamic recent populist movement to date has been the right-wing Tea Party, whose main target is the regulatory state that seeks to protect ordinary people from financial speculators. Something similar is true in Europe as well, where the left is anemic and right-wing populist parties are on the move.

There are several reasons for this lack of left-wing mobilization, but chief among them is a failure in the realm of ideas. For the past generation, the ideological high ground on economic issues has been held by a libertarian right. The left has not been able to make a plausible case for an agenda other than a return to an unaffordable form of old-fashioned social democracy. This absence of a plausible progressive counter­narrative is unhealthy, because competition is good for intellectual ­debate just as it is for economic activity. And serious intellectual debate is urgently needed, since the current form of globalized capitalism is eroding the middle-class social base on which liberal democracy rests.

THE DEMOCRATIC WAVE

Social forces and conditions do not simply “determine” ideologies, as Karl Marx once maintained, but ideas do not become powerful unless they speak to the concerns of large numbers of ordinary people. Liberal democracy is the default ideology around much of the world today in part because it responds to and is facilitated by certain socioeconomic structures. Changes in those structures may have ideological consequences, just as ideological changes may have socioeconomic consequences

Read more »Foreign Affairs

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/136782/francis-fukuyama/the-future-of-history

Imran Khan’s security state – DAWN

By Huma Yusuf

THERE has already been adequate kerfuffle around the appearance of PTI senior vice-president Ejaz Chaudhry at the Difaa-i-Pakistan Council’s rally in Karachi.

This is the latest demonstration of PTI’s tendency to cavort with the religious right and extremist groups. Imran Khan himself delivered a message via his envoy at the DPC’s Lahore rally in December. Previously, Chaudhry has attended rallies with Jamaatud Dawa’s Hafiz Saeed. And flags of the banned SSP have been raised at many a PTI rally. The further right the Great Khan and his party stray, the more defensive his supporters become. It is high time that defence was analysed. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

U.S. resolution for independent Balochistan

A US resolution for independent Balochistan

Baloch are divided between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan: Rohrabacher

They had the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country, says resolution

A US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has introduced in his country’s Congress a resolution seeking the right of self-determination for Baloch in Pakistan.

The resolution called as the House Concurrent Resolution in the US House of Representatives and co-sponsored by Representatives Louie Gohmert and Steve King calls for sovereign country for the people of Balochistan.

A week ago, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher had also chaired a Congressional committee’s hearing on Balochistan. His move is likely to affect Pakistan’s relations with the US. Both the countries are already sharing difficult relationship after the NATO attack on Pakistani post. Pakistan in reaction had suspended NATO supplies to Afghanistan.

The resolution says hat revolts in 1958, 1973 and 2005 indicate continued popular discontent against rule by Islamabad, and the plunder of its vast natural wealth while Baluchistan remains the poorest province in Pakistan.

The resolution further adds there is also an insurgency in Sistan-Balochistan, which is being repressed by Iran. The people of Balochistan, it said were divided between Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan and they had the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country and they should be afforded the opportunity to choose their own status among the community of nations, living in peace and harmony, without external coercion.

Media reports said Rohrabacher, who is also the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations also issued a statement from his office which said, “The Baluchi, like other nations of people, have an innate right to self-determination. The political and ethnic discrimination they suffer is tragic and made more so because America is financing and selling arms to their oppressors in Islamabad.”

The press release further added that Balochistan is “rich in natural resources but has been subjugated and exploited by Punjabi and Pashtun elites in Islamabad, leaving Baluchistan the country’s poorest province.”

WASHINGTON: TP MD, Feb 17, 2012

Courtesy » The Point – Voice of Sindh & Balochistan

http://www.thepoint.com.pk/world97.php

PETITION: Stand Behind President Obama’s Budget

By Iqbal Tareen

President Obama just sent his budget plan to Congress. It would ensure that the top 1% pays their fair share.

As President Obama said in his State of the Union:

“Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes… In fact, if you’re earning a million dollars a year, you shouldn’t get special tax subsidies or deductions…

Now, you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.”

Sign our petition to stand behind President Obama’s budget  to end special tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

SIGN THE PETITION: http://dccc.org/Budget

Shaikh Rasheed’s views about the top judge Iftikhar chaudhry

This interview was aired on Business Plus TV in 2008. Conducted by Syed Ammar Yasir Zaidi.The language of the interview  is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: Business Plus Tv » YouTube

Husain Haqqani Confined in Pakistan Amid Legal Battle

By SALMAN MASOOD and ERIC SCHMITT

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Just a few months ago, Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, brimmed with charm and confidence as he hosted lavish dinner parties for diplomats, generals, journalists and White House aides in Washington.

Now Mr. Haqqani is confined to the regal hilltop residence of Pakistan’s prime minister, tangled in a legal battle over a controversial memo that he says has put his life in jeopardy.

Hounded by what he and his supporters say is a vicious smear campaign by a nationalist, right-wing media, and fearful of being kidnapped or killed by the country’s powerful spy agency, Mr. Haqqani has spent the past five weeks sequestered in a guest suite in the premier’s residence overlooking the capital. He has left the compound just three times — twice for legal proceedings and once for a dental appointment — each time flanked by a heavy security detail.

As ambassador, Mr. Haqqani, a 55-year-old former journalist and Boston University professor, glided about Washington pressing Pakistan’s case to Congress and administration officials, and dropping news tips to reporters. Now he feels cooped up.

“I can go out for a walk, but it is essentially like a house arrest,” Mr. Haqqani said in an interview. ….

Read more » The New York Times

Troublemakers every where!

Hindu group ‘flew Pakistan’s flag to create tension’

LAHORE: Six members of a right-wing Hindu group have reportedly been arrested in India’s southern Karnataka state for raising Pakistan’s national flag on a government building. BBC quotes police as saying that the arrested men belong to the Sri Rama Sena group. The flag was raised in Sindgi, near Bijapur, on January 1, leading to angry protests by Hindu organisations and the stoning of a Muslim prayer hall. Police say Sri Rama Sena was trying to create “communal disharmony” in an area with a sizeable Muslim presence. Sri Rama Sena is a fringe group that claimed responsibility for attacking women outside a pub in the coastal district of Mangalore in 2009, saying that allowing females in pubs was against Indian culture. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Charan Reddy told BBC that the situation in Sindgi was “now peaceful”. “It seems they were out to create communal disharmony,” he said. Hindu organisations had called for strikes in a number of towns around Bijapur to protest against the flag-raising. However, IGP Reddy said police investigations had led them to members of the Sri Rama Sena, a group founded by Pramod Muthalik after it broke away from the Bajrang Dal, an affiliate of the long-standing Hindu nationalist organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Muthalik is the leading suspect in the attack on the women in Mangalore. Former chief minister and Janata Dal Secular party leader HD Kumaraswamy said of the flag-raising, “It is such a shame. I blame the RSS and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the incident. They want to divide society on religious lines.” daily times monitor

Courtesy: Daily Times

http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=201216\story_6-1-2012_pg7_4

Marvi Sirmed remembers the day they killed Benazir Bhutto

BAAGHI: Remembering Benazir Bhutto, personally! – By Marvi Sirmed

One wonders what potent challenge she posed to the establishment that they had to invest all their might, money and resources to gather all the opposing political parties on one platform against BB’s PPP

“Is she okay?” I was screaming at the top of my voice on the phone with my husband while madly driving towards General Hospital, Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007. “It is over, Marvi,” my husband cried and the line disconnected. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, twice prime minister of Pakistan, had paid the highest price anyone could ever pay for continuing to engage with people and carrying on with the democratic process.

It has been four years since BB, as she was commonly called, has left us but there has not been a single moment in the crisis-ridden politics of Pakistan that she was not missed. Without going into the achievements and failures of her governments, I just want to remember her as she was — a strong leader with a political vision not paralleled by any living politician. The struggle that she chose for herself when she was just 23 years of age was not an ordinary one. At a broader level it entailed dealing with an all-powerful military dictator, being imprisoned and later exiled, losing family, organising the most popular political party of the country during the worst times of persecution, etc.

At a personal level it posed many additional challenges to a young Pinky. Her being a woman never hindered her; so much so that when the forces opposing her tried to use her biology against her, she turned it around. When she was expecting Bilawal, they announced elections around the dates they thought she would be in maternity. I cannot forget her coming to the political rallies with her intravenous drip in her hands. She later wrote in her book, Daughter of the East: An Autobiography, that Begum Nusrat Bhutto, her mother, had advised her to never let her physiological issues come in her way. When she was expecting Bakhtawar during her premiership, the crisis was once again carefully chosen to coincide with the dates of her delivery. She did not make herself absent from her office for more than 48 hours.

All through her political life, she struggled against the hegemony of the oppressive deep state that used every jape that they could, and from right-wing rhetoric that was nauseatingly misogynist and anti-people. From scandalous attacks on her character, assaulting family, facilitating all odd political characters of the country that had only one common thread among them — hatred of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Bhuttos — the establishment put to use every antic. What they could not do was separate BB and the people. When I was growing up, I did not understand the love people had for her. I was in high school when BB came to power for the first time. I did not even pass my higher secondary when her government was dismissed on charges of corruption. Like every youngster, I hated corruption but was amazed to see people from the lowest of the lower strata who were crazy for BB and her PPP. In an industrial exhibition in Lahore, I met an artisan woman selling her handmade fans. She had woven BB’s picture on one of the hand-fans. She broke into tears while telling me how every cruel oppressor in this country has joined hands to bring BB down.

At the Lok Virsa last year, I met a family from southern Punjab who had brought their snakes and were showing snake tricks to earn meagre money. One of their children was wearing a locket bearing BB’s picture. The woman of the family was swearing against Musharraf, the army, feudals and extremists who had snatched their beloved leader. The anger in her voice was so intense that I for once thought she must be a blood relative of BB. She was not.

I recall women of my own family when BB took oath as the prime minister in 1988. My family, being a landholding Punjabi orthodox religious family, has been strongly against a progressive and socialist Bhutto. The men in our family frequently borrowed right-wing arguments against a woman head of the government being un-Islamic, while equally conservative and religious women including my grandmother vociferously confronted the argument. It was amazing to see these women drawing power from a woman prime minister with whose political views they did not even agree. Our village women, very conservative in religious and cultural views and who were made to believe that the PPP was an anti-religion party, could not help loving BB. Women, I can still remember, got new dreams of playing a powerful role in society.

Her struggle did not end when her party came to office in 1988. Seeking office was incomplete without power, which still rested with the all-powerful establishment that had delayed nominating her as prime minister despite her party’s clear majority. They did never rest after that. One wonders what potent challenge she posed to them that they had to invest all their might, money and resources to gather all the opposing political parties on one platform against BB’s PPP. Her clear-headed vision that led the country throughout the years of crisis distinguished her from the rest of the lot who started appearing pygmies in front of her.

My last meeting with her was in November 2007 when she calmly heard our criticism on various recent decisions that we thought would give a lease of life to a dictator. How patiently she heard, how diligently she took notes and how sagaciously she responded to every single concern of ours. When she arrived in October 2007, she had changed in many ways. One could see the strength of her resolve seeing a sea of people ready to sacrifice their lives for her. Despite strict security warnings, she would not stop from going to the hospital to visit the survivors of the October 18 terrorist attack on her rally.

Prior to that, she was the only leader among the entire bunch of expedient politicians of Pakistan who spoke openly against terrorists and their apologists. She was the only leader who tried to lead people’s opinion against the militants who had forced the tragedy of Laal Masjid (Red Mosque), instead of criticising the military action against the militants or terming the Laal Masjid militants as ‘innocent students’ like almost every politician did.

The unusual courage she displayed was not without a vision of possible consequences. She knew the price she might have to pay. Nothing deterred her. She went on and lived up to every challenge. And boy, what a life she lived! Salutes to a leader par excellence, to a woman with unfathomable courage and resolve, to a politician of exemplary vision, to a committed democrat who never failed the test of pragmatic and inclusive politics. Rest in peace BB. Pakistan misses you.

The writer is an Islamabad-based commentator on counterterrorism, social and political issues. She can be reached at marvisirmed@me.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/marvisirmed

Courtesy » Daily Times

Dawn: Nadeem F. Paracha on the shadow of 1980s thinking on Pakistan’s military establishment

Thick muck – By Nadeem F. Paracha

The parameters and paranoia of the bygone Cold War just refuses to evaporate from the psyche of Pakistan’s military-establishment. That war might have folded with the folding up of the Soviet Union in 1991, but it seems Pakistan’s military-establishment is still largely stuck (albeit willingly) in the thick muck that this war threw up in this region in the 1980s.

Continue reading Dawn: Nadeem F. Paracha on the shadow of 1980s thinking on Pakistan’s military establishment

Former Pakistan Army Chief Reveals Intelligence Bureau Harbored Bin Laden in Abbottabad

By: Arif Jamal

In spite of denials by the Pakistani military, evidence is emerging that elements within the Pakistani military harbored Osama bin Laden with the knowledge of former army chief General Pervez Musharraf and possibly current Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. Former Pakistani Army Chief General Ziauddin Butt (a.k.a. General Ziauddin Khawaja) revealed at a conference on Pakistani-U.S. relations in October 2011 that according to his knowledge the then former Director-General of Intelligence Bureau of Pakistan (2004 – 2008), Brigadier Ijaz Shah (Retd.), had kept Osama bin Laden in an Intelligence Bureau safe house in Abbottabad. In the same address, he revealed that the ISI had helped the CIA to track him down and kill on May 1. The revelation remained unreported for some time because some intelligence officers had asked journalists to refrain from publishing General Butt’s remarks. [1] No mention of the charges appeared until right-wing columnist Altaf Hassan Qureshi referred to them in an Urdu-language article that appeared on December 8. [2]

In a subsequent and revealing Urdu-language interview with TV channel Dawn News, General Butt repeated the allegation on December 11, saying he fully believed that “[Brigadier] Ijaz Shah had kept this man [Bin Laden in the Abbottabad compound] with the full knowledge of General Pervez Musharraf… Ijaz Shah was an all-powerful official in the government of General Musharraf.” [3] Asked whether General Kayani knew of this, he first said yes, but later reconsidered: “[Kayani] may have known – I do not know – he might not have known.” [4] The general’s remarks appeared to confirm investigations by this author in May 2011 that showed that the Abbottabad compound where bin Laden was captured and killed was being used by a Pakistani intelligence agency (see Terrorism Monitor, May 5). However, General Butt failed to explain why Bin Laden was not discovered even after Brigadier Shah and General Musharraf had left the government.

General Butt was the first head of the Strategic Plans Division of the Pakistan army and the Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) under Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1990 to 1993, and again from 1997 to 1999. Sharif promoted General Ziauddin Butt to COAS after forcibly retiring General Pervez Musharraf on October 12, 1999, but the army’s top brass revolted against the decision and arrested both Prime Minister Sharif and General Butt while installing Musharraf as the nation’s new chief executive, a post he kept as a chief U.S. ally until resigning in 2008 in the face of an impending impeachment procedure.

Brigadier Shah has been known or is alleged to have been involved in several high profile cases of terrorism. The Brigadier was heading the ISI bureau in Lahore when General Musharraf overthrew Prime Minister Sharif in October 1999. Later, General Musharraf appointed Shah as Home Secretary in Punjab. As an ISI officer he was also the handler for Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was involved in the kidnapping of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002. [5] Omar Saeed Sheikh surrendered to Brigadier Shah who hid him for several weeks before turning him over to authorities. In February 2004, Musharraf appointed Shah as the new Director of the Intelligence Bureau, a post he kept until March 2008 (Daily Times [Lahore] February 26, 2004; Dawn [Karachi] March 18, 2008). The late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto accused Brigadier Shah, among others, of hatching a conspiracy to assassinate her (The Friday Times [Lahore], February 18-24).

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistani top military brass had serious differences on several issues. One of the most serious of these concerned Pakistan’s relations with Osama bin Laden. However, the disastrous1999 Kargil conflict in Kashmir overshadowed all of these. General Butt says that Prime Minister Sharif had decided to cooperate with the United States and track down Bin Laden in 1999. [6] According to a senior adviser to the Prime Minister, the general staff ousted Sharif to scuttle the “get-Osama” plan, among other reasons: “The evidence is that the military regime abandoned that plan.” [7] General Butt corroborates this. In his latest interview, he says that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had constituted a special task force of 90 American-trained commandos to track down Bin Laden in Afghanistan. If the Sharif government had continued on this course, this force would likely have caught Bin Laden by December 2001, but the plan was aborted by Ziauddin Butt’s successor as ISI general director, Lieutenant General Mahmud Ahmed. [8]

Arif Jamal is an independent security and terrorism expert and author of “Shadow War – The Untold Story of Jihad in Kashmir.”

Courtesy » TheJamesTown.Org

http://www.jamestown.org/programs/gta/single/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=38819&cHash=b3da5dd4a1af2664ec4821b405dae77b

Fishy & dramatic overdrive on the basis of a letter – Will Kamran Shafi’s letter also be converted into a petition?

Memogate: New notices issued to President, Prime Minister, DG ISI

By Faisal Shakeel

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Saturday issued notices to President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha on a letter – which has been converted into a petition – expressing concern over the security of the citizens of Pakistan on the presumption that the government and the president were involved in the Memogate affair.

A Canada-based Pakistani, Shafqat Ullah in his letter said: “If contents of the letter are true then each and every Pakistani is at security threat because of the present government. This government is not safeguarding the interest of its own people and departments but it is securing the interest of other nations or enemies of Pakistan.”

“This is an anti-state act and how come a person involved in this matter is sitting on the key post of Pakistan and is supreme commander of Pakistan forces,” Shafqat wrote.

“As this (Memogate affair) is directly related to the security of Pakistan and armed forces of Pakistan… so it is a matter of national security and national interest. Our national security is at stake now and politicians are just making fun of each other by asking so called committees to probe the Memogate affair,” the letter said.

“The committees will delay the outcome rather than (doing) justice.”

“My family members are in Army and all family members are in Pakistan so I feel insecure from this government as they can invite our enemies to kill us,” the letter stated.

The chief justice converted the letter into a petition and listed it for hearing along with the Memogate case.

Read more » The Express Tribune

Pakistan’s Modernity: Between the Military and Militancy

By Ayesha Siddiqa

In Pakistan economic progress does not automatically translate into liberal progressive modernity mainly due to the nature of the state. Pakistan’s modernity is structured along two axes: neo-liberal nationalism and right-wing radical nationalism. While the neo-liberal nationalism axis depicts an authoritarian and top-down model of economic and political development marked with the expansion of a national security-obsessed middle class and ruling elite, the right-wing radical nationalism axis denotes the growth of religious radicalism and militancy as symbols of geopolitical modernity that are anti-imperialist in nature. This analysis argues that liberalism is one of the many consequences of modernity, but not the only one. The meeting point of both trajectories has resulted in turning Pakistan into a hybrid-theocratic state which encapsulates a mix of economic neo-liberalism, pockets of social liberalism, formal theocracy and larger spaces experiencing informal theocracy.

View Full Article » http://epw.in/epw/uploads/articles/16890.pdf

Help me in petitioning against Gen. Aslam Baig

Open letter to Gen Aslam Baig

Dear Aslam Baig Sahib,

I heard you talking in a TV programme sometime back, where you once again disputed your role in forming the IJI and your involvement in the Mehrangate Scandal to the sheer shock of the audience. Sir, I will be short and precise in whatever I write because I am traumatised at what you said in the court of law and that too under oath of the holy book.

Let me remind you general to what you said in the Supreme Court in 1997 (Human Rights Petition 19/96 filed by Air Marshal Asghar Khan). Aslam Baig Sahib, your quotes from the SC records are “the money was donated by Younas Habib. The ISI was acting under the directions of higher authorities. As chief of the army staff at that time, when I was informed of this matter, my only concern was that the money received by the ISI was utilised properly and an account was maintained and beyond that I had no concern with the money…” Referring to the amount raised by the ISI for possibly helping right-wing political parties.

But, your astounding claim that you only “over-looked” the operation was rebuffed by your own ISI chief during the time, General Asad Durrani, who filed an affidavit in response to your rather, innocent claim. Gen Durrani, who later in 1996 became our ambassador in Germany, when approached by the SC, wrote an affidavit, confirming that he had received instructions from COAS General Beg (you) to provide ‘logistic support’ for the disbursement of donations made by certain ‘businessmen of Karachi’ to the IJI election campaign of 1990, and was told that the operation had the blessings of the government rebutting your claim that you acted only as a ‘watchdog’.

General Beg, Iqbal Haider who is now a human rights activist, defended General Nasurullah Baber and in a recorded statement (record could be verified by the SC registrar) said, “The ISI was involved in politics”. Lt General Hameed Gul, a former ISI chief, was on record as having boasted that it was he who created the IJI, and another ISI chief, Lt General Javed Nasir, had taken credit for creating the MQM Haqiqi.

Supplementary to this in an another affidavit filed by Gen Babur in the SC (HRC 19/96) included Asad Durrani’s (your ISI Chief) confidential letter to the late Benazir Bhutto which read, “My dear prime minister, A few points I could not include in my ‘confessional statement’ handed over to the director, FIA. These could be embarrassing or sensitive. (a) The recipients included Khar Rs 2 million, Hafeez Pirzada Rs 3 million, Sarwar Cheema Rs 0.5 million and Mairaj Khalid Rs 0.2 million. (b) The remaining Rs 80 million were either deposited in the ISI’s ‘K’ fund (60m) or given to director external intelligence for special operations (perhaps the saving grace of this disgraceful exercise. But it is delicate information.) [Noted in the margin of this paragraph, by the writer in his own hand: “This is false. The amount was pocketed by Beg (Friends)”]

“If the idea is to put Gen Beg on the mat: he was merely providing ‘logistic support’ to donations made by a community ‘under instructions’ from the government and with the ‘consent’ of the military high command. In any case; I understand he is implicated in some other deals in the same case…” Asad Durrani claimed. Fair enough, but money worth Rs 60 million that was supposed to be made to the ISI’s K Fund went to your pockets. General Baig, this is serious, because as per your own ISI chief, “you” and “your friends” pocketed the money.

And friends, sir? Apparently, Naseerullah Babar also filed in court a copy of a bank account sheet headed “G/L Account. Activity Report. Account 12110101 G Baig (sic)” The column heads read “Transaction, Date, Particulars, Debit, Credit”.

The numbered transactions took place between October 23, 1991, and December 12, 1993. The first transaction listed was “Cash-PO Karachi Bar Association A/C Gen Baig (sic.), debit, Rs 505,680” (advocate Mirza Adil Beg, Aslam Beg’s nephew, the then president of the KBA, confirms that the KBA received the money). In January 1992, $20,000 was sold @ 26.50 and Rs 530,000 was credited to the account. Thereafter all debits: “Arshi c/o Gen Baig (sic.) Rs 290,000; Cash paid to Gen Shab Rs 240,000; Cash Friends Rs 100,000 [Aslam Beg’s organisation, FRIENDS, Foundation for Research on National Development and Security]; Cash TT to Yamin to pay Gen Sahib Rs 300,000; Cash TT to Yamin Habib Rs 1,200,000 ; Cash Friends Rs 100,000 ; Cash Friends Rs 100,000 ; Cash paid through YH 1,000,000 ; Cash Friends TT to Salim Khan Rs 200,000 ; Cash Rs 100,000 ; Cash Towards Friends Rs 500,000 ; Cash Asif Shah for Bungalow Rs 35,000 ; Cash Friends Rs 100,000 ; Cash Friends Rs 100,000 ; Cash TT through Yamin for Friends Rs 100,000 ; Cash paid to Fakhruddin G Ebrahim Rs 200,000 [he confirms having received the money from General Baig as fees and expenses for defending him in the contempt of court charge brought against him – PLD 1993 SC310] ; Cash paid through TT to Yamin for Friends ; Cash paid to Fakhruddin G Ebrahim Rs 128,640 [he confirms receipt for fees/expenses for contempt case] ; Cash Guards at 11-A Rs 10,500 ; Cash TT for $240,000 Fav Riaz Malik to City Bank (sic) New York Rs 6876,000 ; Cash Friends Rs 100,000; Cash Guards at 11-A Rs 10,500 ; Cash Major Kiyani Rs 10,000; Cash mobile phone for Col Mashadi Rs 28,911 ; Cash TT fav Qazi Iqbal and M Guddul Rs 300,000 ; Cash Major Kiyani Rs 10,000 ; Cash TT to Peshawar Rs 300,000 ; Cash deposited at Karachi A/C EC [Election Commission] Rs 300,000 ; Cash Guards Rs 24,000 ; Cash TT to Quetta Rs 700,000 ; Cash mobile bill of Col Mashadi Rs 3,237 ; Cash TT to Peshawar Br Rs 400,000 ; Cash deposited at Karachi Br Rs 400,000 ; Cash Guards Rs 11,520 ; Cash TT to Peshawar for EC Rs 200,000 ; Cash TT to Quetta for EC Rs 200,000 ; Cash Guards Rs 5,760 ; Cash Major Kiyani Rs 5,000 ; Cash A/C Guards Rs 8,640 ; Cash th YH Rs 200,000 ; Cash A/C Guards Rs 5,760 ; Cash TT to Salim Khan Rs 100,000.”

General Aslam Baig, its about time you come clean on the allegations and apologise to the nation for not only laundering the nation’s tax money, but artificially forming a right-wing political party, or face Article 6. It is also the duty of the SC to take up the petition of Air Marshal Asghar Khan and take it to its logical conclusion.

Warm Regards,

Ali K Chishti

Courtesy » Daily Times

Source – http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\10\12\story_12-10-2010_pg7_23

Imran Khan – hollow hoopla and the Evil Quad

VIEW: Imran’s inane ideas – By Elf Habib

Excerpt;

….. His elixir to cure the police, patwari (land record officer) and court cultures was equally naive. Representative sheriffs could mean even more mistrust and vengeance among the local clans. In our society, the lack of tolerance and a dignified deference to the rights and authority of a winner through a democratic election are vividly exemplified not only by Imran’s own continuous and cantankerous confrontation but also by the excessively inflated Sharifs. The local government system has not yet effectively evolved even at the district level and extending it to the thanas (police stations) would further erode their impartiality at the initial routine cognizance and investigation steps. The patwari culture is already being phased out through computerisation while his assertions to stop the ‘sale of justice’ in the courts was contradictory to the claims of an independent judiciary as the responsibility of inefficiency and corruption in the lower judicial tiers evidently rests with its higher tiers. The rest of his address was merely a volley of threats to stir further discord and disturbance, including a movement of civil disobedience. Imran Khan’s speech failed to present any vision or viable new option that the masses, mauled by inflation, inadequate income and amenities, so anxiously yearned for. There is of course an evident new option to save Pakistan by making the people the real pivot of state policies, shedding the decades-old obsession to match the military might of a far larger neighbour, seeking strategic depth in alien lands through proxy demons and neutering all shades of terrorism through a sincere and active coordination with the international fraternity. It involves an extensive and symbiotic interaction with the advanced world to acquire excellence in engineering, science, technology, manufacturing, marketing and social welfare imperatives. But leaders like Imran Khan, invariably perceived to have been propped up by the establishment to keep the PPP and the PML-N players in proper allegiance, would perhaps never strive for this option.

Read more » Daily Times

The dubious left – By Nadeem F. Paracha

Excerpt;

….. Benazir too always treated the PPP as a social democratic party. On her return from exile in 1986 when millions arrived to support her bold challenge against the pro-US dictatorship of Ziaul Haq, Dawn reported how during a mammoth rally in Lahore when some PPP radicals began torching a US flag, Benazir asked them to stop. And let’s not even get into how those media men who scorn at today’s ‘establishmentarian PPP’ and lament the loss of Benazir were the loudest in their condemnation of her being a ‘US stooge’ when she returned in 2007 to challenge Musharraf’s regime.

The truth is the PPP today is quite like what it has always been, i.e. a roller-coaster political soap opera involving bickering comrades, populist, joyous eruptions and heartbreaks. In other words, it is still very much a party that continues to reflect the emotional and intellectual disposition of its founder, Z A Bhutto: spontaneous, reckless and intriguingly, but at the same time highly pragmatic and somewhat Machiavellian.

Read more » DAWN.COM

U.S. has the right to attack inside Pakistan. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin

Courtesy: Geo News Tv » Siasat.pkYouTube

Ahmadis expelled from school

By Shamsul Islam

FAISALABAD: At least 10 students, including seven girls, and a female teacher were expelled from Chenab Public School and Muslim Public School, Dharanwali area of Hafizabad, for being Ahmadis.

“It is extremely unfortunate that my daughters are being deprived of the most basic and fundamental human right such as education … all because of religious intolerance,” Khalil Ahmad, whose three daughters were expelled, told The Express Tribune. “I have no alternative to ensure that their education continues,” he added.

What about the constitutional provisions which ensure equal rights for all? What about the rule of law that says no discrimination can be made on the basis of faith, race, cast and creed, he questions. …

Read more » The Express Tribune

We will fight with full force all conspiracies against the unity and sovereignty of Sindh

– Declaration of Grand Sindhi event at Karachi, Hyder Manzil.

We, the representatives of political parties, intellectuals, writers and Civil Society members representing various cross sections of the population of Sindh have met today and deliberated on the vital issue of unity and integrity of Sindh torpedoed by the PPP government

Continue reading We will fight with full force all conspiracies against the unity and sovereignty of Sindh

Are we innocent?

by I. A. Rehman

THE carnage in Norway last Friday shocked the world’s conscience. It has also posed some extremely tough questions for European societies, the world’s Muslims in general, and the people of Pakistan in particular.

Europe will do itself and the world at large great injustice and harm if it dismisses the matter as the isolated work of a deranged mind. It must look deep into the factors that led to Anders Behring Breivik’s reliance on perverted intelligence.

The unpardonable doings of Al Qaeda, the other so-called jihadists and Muslim megalomaniacs have certainly contributed to the spread of Islamophobia in Europe and other parts of the western world, but it would be wrong to limit the list of culprits to them. It may be necessary to probe the extent to which the tone and tenor of the war on terror may have contributed to the growth of both militancy in parts of the Muslim world and reckless Muslim-bashing in the West. The idea is not to shift blame from one party to another, it is only a plea for keeping the indigenous sources of terrorism in Europe also in mind.

The world cannot possibly forget the rise of European fascism that built its power by fanning racism and persecuting certain religious and ethnic communities (Jews and Blacks). Nazism is a disease many parts of Europe are still afflicted with. The Norwegian people themselves have had anxieties about neo-Nazi and other extreme-right gangs for more than a decade.

These facts make it necessary for European societies to take note of elements who may be exploiting the public sentiment against terrorists and immigrants to impose on them new and more horrible forms of right-wing tyranny.

The leaders of Islamic thought and Muslim public opinion on their part cannot shun reality by simply telling the Europeans to put their house in order. Nor can they get away by declaring that terrorists constitute a small minority among Islamic scholars and lay Muslims both, however true this statement may be. ….

Read more → DAWN.COM

Via → WICHAAR.COM

Veena Malik: India is where I make money

By Omar

Interestingly (or perhaps not so interestingly), she is likely to be attacked by right wing nuts in India as well. Irreligious and non-conformist Pakistanis who become too comfortable in India have not always been welcomed by the Hindu right (Adnan Sami, Fehmida Riaz, etc).

Poet Fehmida Riaz was hounded out of Pakistan in the 1980s and found shelter in India for 7 years, but was sometimes attacked by right wing Hindus there as a Pakistani agent (in Pakistan she was subsequently fired for being an “Indian agent”, though of course it was actually because she was a Benazir appointee and Benazir had been dismissed from office by the deep state). She wrote a nice little poem about finding an almost mirror image fatwa-happy nationalism in India:

Naya Bharat (New India)

Tum bilkul hum jaisey nikley

ab tak Kahan chupay thay bhai

Voh moorkhta, voh ghaamarpan

jis mai hum nay sadi gawaee

Aakhir pahunchi duar tumhaarey

Aray badhai bahut badhai

You turned out to be just like us; Similarly stupid, wallowing in the past, You’ve reached the same doorstep at last. Congratulations, many congratulations.

Afreyt dharm ka naach rahaa hai

Qaim Hindu raj karo gay

Saarey ultey kaj karogay

apna chaman taraj karogay

Tum bhee baithey karogey sochaa

Kaun hai Hindu, kaun naheen hai

Tum Bhi Karo gay Fatway Jari

Ek jaap saa kartey jao

Barham Bar Yehi Dohrao

Kitna veer mahaan tha Bharat

Kitna Alishaan tha Bharat”

You will establish “Hindu raj”, you too will ruin your own garden. You too will sit deep in thought and ponder, Who is Hindu, who is not. You too will issue Fatwas Keep repeating the mantra like a parrot, India was the land of the brave”, India was so magnificent

(translated by Khushwant Singh, with some correction by me in the second part)

Courtesy: → BrownPundits

Enemy within!?

Christian Jihad? Why We Should Worry About Right-Wing Terror Attacks Like Norway’s in the US

By Frank Schaeffer

There is a growing movement in America that equates godliness with hatred of our government — in fact, hatred of our country.

The Norwegian police on Saturday charged a 32-year-old man, whom they identified as a Christian fundamentalist with right-wing connections, over the bombing of a government center and a shooting attack on a nearby island that together left at least 91 people dead.

In my new book “Sex, Mom and God” I predicted just such an action. I predicted that right wing Christians will unleash terror here in America too. I predict that they will copy Islamic extremists, and may eventually even make common cause with them.

There is a growing movement in America that equates godliness with hatred of our government in fact hatred of our country as fallen and evil because we allow women choice, gays to marry, have a social safety net, and allow immigration from other cultures and non-white races. ….

Read more → AlterNet

Christian Taliban – Norway shooting suspect Anders Behring Breivik?

Who is Norway shooting suspect Anders Behring Breivik?

Norwegians are mourning the victims of a massacre at an island youth camp and a bombing in the capital Oslo. At least 85 people died when a gunman opened fire at the Utoeya camp on Friday, hours after a blast in the government quarter killed seven. Police have charged, a 32-year-old Norwegian man, with both attacks. The BBC’s Frank Gardner reports on the man at the centre of the investigation.

Courtesy: BBC

Rolling back the tsunami – Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Excerpt;

…. The state, its institutions and luminaries here are complicit in the spread and sustenance of fundamentalism because they were the immediate beneficiaries and without it could not have sustained themselves; it is only now when this tsunami is engulfing them that they are having second thoughts. The fundamentalist ‘brainwashing’ here is societal and if this tsunami of fundamentalism is to be rolled back it has to be tackled on a similar scale. Pebbles of de-radicalisation are not going to stem this tsunami.

The remedy, which may take a generation or more to take effect, is adopting a secular constitution like Bangladesh, curbing the media channels spewing hatred in name of religion, allowing nations the right to self-determination, disempowering the army, shunning ‘strategic depth’ and ‘assets’, ensuring transparency in governance, revamping education curriculum, banning loud speakers and keeping madrassas in check. But I ask the impossible. They simply will not move an iota from their established lucrative position and will readily take down all with them; this tsunami will haunt the world for a long time.

To read complete article → Daily Times

The military’s morass

By: Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi

Excerpt;

The Pakistani military faces a complex and unusual situation. Traditionally, the military is the most powerful and autonomous state institution in Pakistan. However, a host of events in May-June 2011 have compromised its clout against the backdrop of aggressive criticism by political, religious and societal groups. The most interesting facet of the current propaganda onslaught against the military is that its traditional supporters, Islamists and the political right, are leading the anti-military drive. …

…. If Pakistan is to continue as a strident nuclear power with a strong military to confront India, assert its primacy in Afghanistan and liberate Kashmir, military considerations and priorities will dominate civilian considerations. There is a need to change the mindset and the vision of Pakistan from a powerful regional player to a humane democracy that gives the highest priority to the needs and aspirations of the common people at the operational level. The sole guiding principles should be welfare of the people and a secure future for them in a stable, tolerant and plural Pakistan under a democratic constitutional dispensation.

However, it cannot be denied that the military itself is responsible for some of the current problems. In a bid to sustain its primacy in Pakistan, it has engaged in shrewd manipulation of political forces. It is known for bolstering some political and religious groups. Now, all these groups and their Islamic discourses are haunting the military. ….

…. The army and other services should enforce their rules strictly for engagement of service personnel with civilian groups and especially political and religious entities. The personnel’s interaction with the civilian sector under the cover of Islamic dars or zikar as well as their participation in the annual congregations of religious and sectarian groups should be monitored closely and discouraged in unequivocal terms. These meetings provide a good opportunity to militant and religious activists to penetrate the armed forces.

The military needs to return fully to professionalism and reemphasise that Islam and professionalism go together. Any activity inspired by a religious group, even at the personal level is the negation of professionalism and weakens the military as a professional and disciplined force.

To read complete article → PakistanToday

Christian Taliban – a doomed attempt to compete with Muslim Taliban

Fighting the Culture Wars With Hate, Violence and Even Bullets: Meet the Most Extreme of the Radical Christians

By Alex Henderson

From the Army of God to the Hutaree Militia to Gary North and his Christian reconstructionists, radical Christianity is alive and well in the United States.

If there is one name some residents of Amarillo, Texas wish they could forget, it’s Repent Amarillo. Based in that North Texas city, Repent Amarillo is a militant Christian fundamentalist group whose antics have ranged from staging a mock execution of Santa Claus by firing squad to posting a “spiritual warfare” map on its Web site that cited a Buddhist temple, an Islamic center, gay bars, strip clubs and sex shops as places of demonic activity.

Repent Amarillo is also infamous for mercilessly harassing a local swingers club called Route 66. Throughout 2009, members of Repent Amarillo made a point of showing up at Route 66’s events, where they would typically wear military fatigues, shout at Route 66 members through bullhorns and write down the license plate numbers of people attending the events. After finding out who the swingers were, Repent Amarillo’s members would find out where they worked and try to get them fired from their jobs (according to Route 66 coordinator Mac Mead, at least two members of the club lost their jobs because of Repent Amarillo). ….

Read more: → AlterNet

They’re blood thirsty now

The Good Old Days of Fatwas and Anita Ayub

by Dr. Shazia Nawaz

I was reading an article the other day in which a female writer explains that how women too are going to get male virgins in heaven. While I found the article interesting and entertaining, it reminded me of Anita Ayub. Anita Ayub was a model and an actress in Pakistan in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. She also worked in an Indian movie called ‘ Pyar Ka Tarana’. Legend has it that she fell in love with a Sikh, married him, and moved to India. I don’t know if there is any truth to this news or not. Anita was a beautiful, smart, and intelligent model with serious lack of talent. She said things those days that most Pakistani women were not allowed to say. She did things those days that most Pakistani women were not allowed to do.

She got quite a few Fatwas (religious condemnation to be killed) against her. It has been a hobby of our mullas to give Fatwas for centuries. But things were not this bad in the 1990’s. I call those days “good old days of Fatwas”. When moulvi hazarat gave a Fatwa those days, few fanatics sent you death threats, you apologized, they forgave you. Everyone moved on and nobody got hurt.

Who knew that one day the Zia-ul-Haq era would be considered a relatively peaceful era!

Years ago when I was just a child, I heard that Anita Ayub had asked a very bad question, “If men are going to get hoors (virgins) in heaven, what are women going to get?”

I remember my mom commenting on Anita’s morality and mentality in a not so complementing manner. My teenage mind was confused. The question did not seem that unreasonable to me. Risking judgment on my own morality and mentality, I asked my mom if there was an answer to Anita’s question. My mom said very understandably that in heaven women would become hoors themselves. Asking any further questions meant asking for God’s wrath. This is where we are stopped. When you do not understand it, asking any further questions is a sin.

So, moulvis of Pakistan issued a Fatwa against her. Next week, Anita’s apology was published with the explanation that this is not what she meant. How could she possibly question the divine laws? The matter indeed ended. Mullas put her episode of temporary insanity (or logical thinking) behind. So this is what I call good old days of Fatwas. When you spoke your curious mind, few good moulvis actually tried to explain things politely, few gave Fatwa, you apologized, and you got to live.

Mercy no more my friends! Forgiveness no more. Asia Bibi has apologized a million times. Salmaan Taseer gave explanation after explanation that he did not mean to defend a blasphemer, but a weak and poor woman. They did not listen. They’re blood thirsty now. Now those good old days of Fatwas are over. …

Read more: LUBP

Pakistan: the situation inside

The natives getting restless – by Mujahid Hussain

The anti-Army feelings among the influential political parties, religious and jihadist parties and outfits are increasing in the traditionally pro-Army province of Punjab. The failure of the Army and the Central Government in Balochistan is calamitous. The extremism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has not been beaten

Recent events have caused the army and its intelligence wing to be exposed to criticism in a manner never seen before in this country. This estrangement does not apply to the religious right alone anymore, who were already angry because of their one dimensional view on the war on terror. Both the religious and the left wing parties have felt emotions of betrayal and anger towards the army for different reasons. The liberal intellectuals who support the army in the war on terror, have expressed concerns about the duplicity and the modus operandi of the intelligence agencies.

Usama Bin Ladin’s death in Abbottabad, Mehran Base Attack, successive drone attacks, and now the killing of a youth by the Rangers in Karachi in public, has caused the decibel levels to rise as never before.

The less than complimentary views about the army expressed by Asma Jahangir, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and the torch bearer of Human Rights, has created a new situation. The reaction of the military top brass has been to rely on its carefully nurtured constituency in journalism, politics, establishment and other vocal segments of the society, to stick to the well rehearsed standard narrative, offering the usual rewards in return.

On the other hand, Nawaz Sharif intends to exploit this situation, for he knows full well that his rivals are weak and that internal and external factors may allow him to gain political ascendancy. There is no evidence coming to the fore that the army has grasped the significance of the change in the public mood and increasing disillusionment among its traditional supporters.

It does not seem that the army has yet decided to curtail its role in politics. History, however, is full of ironies. The coziness with the Army that was the preserve of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Group [PML-N] is now enjoyed by the Pakistan Peoples’ Party [PPP], given expression through the statements of Rahman Malik, Babar Awan, and Firdous Ashiq Awan. All three are new PPP faces whereas the traditional party leaders have lost their pre-eminence. On the other hand, the PML-N members are moving towards the role played by the PPP workers during and following the Zia regime. Jamaat-e-Islami [JI] has lost favour and Imran Khan has stepped into its shoes.

Whereas the brittleness of the state has become obvious in these circumstance, its only stable institution, the Army, is also facing retreat and uncertainty. The situation in the tribal regions is a stalemate. The anti-Army feelings among the influential political parties, religious and jihadist parties and outfits are increasing in the traditionally pro-Army province of Punjab. The failure of the Army and the Central Government in Balochistan is calamitous. The extremism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has not been beaten. In Sindh, the increasing unrest in cities is not a good omen for all unitary forces including the Army even though there is no prominent movement in the rural Sindh. …

Read more: ViewPoint