Tag Archives: rule

Immy, tell us what you want – by Dr Manzur Ejaz

Excerpt:

…. If the US stops drone attacks, can Imran Khan give the guarantee that the Taliban — ardent adherents of an anti-democratic political system — will stop coercing society into theocratic chaos? If he deliberates for a few moments on this prospect, he will be as silent as he has been about religious terrorism. So, does it mean that he is ready to turn Pakistan into a theocratic state? Probably yes, whether he knows/acknowledges it or not. In private conversations he has been an admirer of the tribal jirga system, which shows that the idealisation of tribal institutions has been part of his mindset.

Besides opposing the US intervention, his political campaigns have been criticising and exposing the ruling political elite. Again, we know what he does not want but we do not know what he wants the Pakistani socio-political system to be. Mysteriously, he has not been very vocal about the role of the Pakistani military in the disaster-ridden evolution of Pakistan. He has not articulated the genesis of the socio-political ills that have proliferated under military rule. ….

To read complete article → Wichaar

Banned group wanted Pakistan coup to make world Islamic

By Amir Mir

ISLAMABAD: Those questioning Brigadier Ali Khan and several majors of the Pakistan Army for their jehadi links believe the radicalised armymen had a violent agenda to overthrow the government and remove the current military leadership, for their pro-American stance, through a coup.

Investigations being conducted by the authorities following the arrest of over a dozen officers of Pakistan Army for their links with Hizbul Tehrir have revealed that the leadership of the banned group had actually marked Pakistan as a base from which it wanted to spread Islamic rule across the world.

The group recruits members from the urban, educated and professional segments of the society and is also known to have spread its influence in the military ranks in recent years. Hizbul Tehrir has managed to maintain its presence in Pakistan despite being banned following the July 7, 2007 London subway suicide bombings, conducted by four British nationals of the Pakistani origin who were indoctrinated by extremists belonging to militant groups like Al-Mohajiroun and Hizbul Tehrir. …

Read more: → DNA

via Wichaar

Kharotabad commission a whitewash, says Hyrbyair Marri

by Murtaza Ali Shah

LONDON: Baloch leader Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri has held Interior Minister Rehman Malik for being behind the recent wave of “kill and dump policy” in Balochistan.

Marri said Rehman Malik has been openly threatening to “crush” Baloch political parties and student organizations.Marri told The News that Malik had become hostile after his repeated requests made to Mr Marri to endorse the government package failed.

Speaking at a public meeting here, Marri said the special committee to probe the gruesome killings of five Chechens in Kharotabad is a whitewash and there is no chance the culprits will be brought to justice.

Speaking at a public meeting here, Nawabzada Marri, who lives in exile in London, said the killing of unarmed foreigners by FC in Kharotabad, Quetta on May 17 was an act of barbarism on the part of law-enforcement agencies. He said the killings exposed once again how the rule of law had vanished from the Balochistan province, leading to human rights violations on daily basis.

“Those responsible for the killings of women and children, professionals and intellectuals and the local people act with impunity. They have no regard for the rule of law,” Marri said, adding that no commission was formed to probe the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti and hundreds of Balochs killed so far. …

Read more: The News

I am ashamed of being the part of military dictator Ziaul Haq’s cabinet: Hashmi

I am ashamed of being the part of Ziaul Haq’s cabinet: Hashmi

Pakistan Muslim League –Nawaz (PML-N) leader Makhdoom Javed Hashmi said he wanted party chief Mian Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif to apologize to nation over their past mistakes.

Addressing National Assembly (NA) here with Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi in chair, he said a doctorate degree was required to fully comprehend the politics manifested by President Asif Ali Zardari.

Stung by the pang of conscience on siding with General Ziaul Haq in his government, Hashmi said he sought pardon from nation, National Assembly and the future generations, urging all the politicians including Sharif brothers to do the same.

‘I am ashamed of being the part of Ziaul Haq’s cabinet,’ said Hashmi.

He further said, ‘The country will fall apart if we do not seek pardon from the nation.’

Commenting on Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, PML-N leader said, ‘I think the national history has not witnessed a leader greater than Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.’

Hashmi said he wept at the assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto after the demise of his parents.

Read more : The Nation.com.pk

More details : BBC urdu

Pakistan can no longer be ruled from Islamabad

National Integration – Masood Sharif Khan Khattak

Communication infrastructure, domestic tourism, undiluted provincial autonomy and bonding through the workplace play a vital role in the integration of a nation. Pakistan’s national integration has suffered immensely because these factors have never been crucially important to our leadership. Pakistan’s communication infrastructure is primitive, domestic tourism is non-existent, provincial autonomy only receives lip-service and bonding through the workplace is totally missing except in the armed forces. Uniform development across the country over the past sixty years would have solidly integrated the Pakistani nation but that did not happen due to absolute incompetence, poor leadership and corruption at all levels. The price Pakistan is paying for its neglect is in the shape of an internally disjointed nation forced to suffer the present-day indignities in the shape of terrorism and insurgency.

The political and military establishment must now understand that the military potential of any country is multiplied manifolds when it is backed by a nation that is well-integrated. An integrated nation can cover up for military shortfalls but military strength cannot cover up for the shortfalls of a nation that lacks integration and cohesion. The Soviet Union’s break-up in 1991 is an example that amply illustrates this aspect. Pakistan must, therefore, accord top priority to uniform development throughout the country in order to have a nation that can back its enviable military potential in a solid manner; if not, then all will be lost.

Nawaz Sharif deserves the credit for initiating the modern communication infrastructure of Pakistan that is so essential for the integration of a nation that lives in a country as big as Pakistan. The launching of the Lahore-Islamabad motorway by Nawaz Sharif in the early 90s was a huge step in the right direction. If the process had been initiated decades ago Pakistan today would have been a very cohesively integrated nation. …

Read more : PKcoluminist.com

The ‘wealthy’ Pakistani generals

Pakistan has had a turbulent history. And it remains in turmoil with growing internal instability and rising conflicts with its neighbours. Despite the return to civilian rule, the politics of the country has remained closely linked to the military, one of Pakistan’s most powerful institutions. The generals while projecting their utility are virtually in control. Interestingly, while Pakistan suffers economic difficulties, frequent political crises and issues like unemployment, illiteracy and malnutrition, the top brass of the army is making huge amounts of money through the corporate sector and controls large tracts of real estate. The Auditor General of Pakistan revealed that the army is using government land falling in A-1 category worth 1.4 billion USD (Rs. 120.767 billion) for commercial purposes.

The one & only political party of Pakistan which has almost 7 Lacs (seven hundered thousands) armed & trained members paid by govt from tax payers money. “Army forcibly takes its resources from civilians”. It will tell you why politicians are weak in this country.  un ki koi sunta hi nahi.

Courtesy: via- Siasat.pkSouth Asia News – You Tube

Problems of Sindhi Nationalism – What way forward?

Written by Dr Beenish Shoro

Excerpt:

…. In Pakistan the national question exists in its worst form because Pakistan itself is an example of a failed nation state. Pakistan was created as a result of the partition of the Indian subcontinent as the British imperialists and the local/national bourgeois leaders feared that a united national liberation would not stop there but would move towards a social transformation that would overthrow landlordism, capitalism and the imperialist strangle hold. To avoid a socialist revolution they conspired and split the movement along religious lines that led to the reactionary and traumatic partition of a land that had more than five thousand years of common history, cultural and socio economic existence.

Pakistan was founded not as a nation state, but as a state made up of nationalities. Even the abbreviations which form the word Pakistan are a testimony to this fact. This corresponds to its belated character. … National oppression has been brutal and rough ever since the country came into being. ….

….the separation of Bangladesh, the inability to resolve regional and sectarian disputes, the inability to sustain a clear concept and direction to Pakistan’s Nationalism and finally failure to create a modern cohesive nation state.

Pakistan’s political system is dominated by elite groups. In addition it faces the dilemma of chronic military rule. ….

….Sindh, the southern most province of the state possesses one of the most varied demographical set-ups in Pakistan. There is a very fragile ethnic balance between Sindhis and non-Sindhis. After partition many of the immigrants from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in India moved mainly to Karachi, but also to Hyderabad, Sukkur and other cities of Sindh.

This massive influx of Mohajirs from India and other nationalities resulted in a greater control of people from this transmigration over the economy, jobs and posts in the state apparatus. Although this phenomenon had a greater impact on urban Sindh, the deprivation was felt also in rural Sindh especially amongst the Sindhi middle classes. The acquisition of State and other lands by Punjab Generals and other settlers further aggravated this feeling of national deprivation amongst the Sindhi populace. There are several other factors which fuelled these sentiments. ….

….At the heart of nationalist sentiments in Pakistan is the perception by non-Punjabis that the Punjabi nationality dominates the economy, politics, society and the state. There is considerable evidence to support this perception. First, Punjabis constitute a majority of the population, approximately 60%; second, they dominate the civilian bureaucracy and the military; third, the Punjab is by far the wealthiest and most developed province in the state. And this perception is ironically fuelled by governmental policies designed to assuage such perceptions. ….

…. G. M. Syed can rightly be considered as the founder of Sindhi nationalism. He formed the Sindh Progressive Party in 1947 and demanded provincial autonomy within a socialist framework. In 1953 he formed the SindhAwami Mahaz. G. M. Syed himself a middle sized landlord represented the grievances of that class as well. …

… There have been several movements in Sindh over the last 60 years but there are three very significant mass upsurges that shook the echelons of power in Islamabad. These are the movements of 1968-69, 1983 and to some extent that of 1986. All these movements had different intensities, character, orientation and motivations. …

Zia was the son of a Mullah who had migrated from Eastern (Indian) Punjab and was American-trained at Fort Bragg. His atrocities, his make up and his background were enough to provoke massive hatred from the masses in Sindh. Zia’s repression of the Sindh was no less than the brutalities of British colonialists inflicted upon the mass of the subcontinent and other colonies. All this unleashed a glorious movement of the Sindhi masses against the military dictatorship. Although this movement had significant nationalist overtones, fundamentally it was linked to the general class resentment against this regime.

The movement failed because the regime was able to foster ethnic and nationalist discord especially in urban Sindh and in other main cities and provinces of Pakistan. In Karachi the Pakistani state devised the instrument of the MQM, the Punjabi Pushtoon Ittehad, Islamic fundamentalists and other reactionary outfits to break the momentum of struggle that was developing along class lines.

Still the movement raged on. In such circumstances whenever national antagonisms coincided with class contradictions they became especially hot. According to the official figures 1263 innocent people were slaughtered by the army in rural Sindh while thousands more were injured. There are heroic episodes of resistance that have now become legends in Sindhi folklore. …

… In 1986 the movement in Sindh was actually the last nail in Zia’s coffin. …

… If we in Sindh should achieve “freedom” through the same phenomenon as in Bangladesh we may well get freedom from non-Sindhi capitalists, but we will be all the more cruelly exploited by Sindhi capitalists and landlords. These nationalists do not want freedom from poverty, misery, unemployment; they just want freedom to establish control over their own market where they could extract a huge surplus by squeezing the last drop of the workers’ blood.

The feudal landlords want freedom to exploit the peasants and working class …

… We will take revenge for the crime of partition of India through the formation of a Red Revolutionary Subcontinent. As Comrade Lal khan says, “The unification of the Indian subcontinent will be on a much higher plane than the 1947 Partition.” …

To read full article :→ Marxist.com

Devolution of HEC – the constitution must be respected

by Prof. Gul Agha

The constitution must be respected. The federal govt. can provide scholarships, research grants, coordination facilities, advisory boards, but it cannot control the administration of universities as it is against the federal nature of the state. This is how it is throughout the world in US, Canada, Germany and other democratic federal states. Educationists must respect and support constitutional rule.

Pakistan – Jinnah’s nightmare

Success and failure

By S. Akbar Zaidi

THE country which was considered to be a basket case in 1971, is today offering a mirror to others on how developing countries can become a development state and is being referred to as the `development surprise` of the 21st century.

At the same time, it has also ensured that democracy is developing as a strong and permanent alternative to military rule, under which it has had many years of painful repression.

That this overwhelmingly Muslim country is also constitutionally and increasingly in practice politically secular is also a lesson for other Muslim majoritarian countries to emulate. The Supreme Court struck down a 31-year-old constitutional amendment and restored the country to its founding status as a secular republic, banning the writings of some radical Islamic ideologues.

The country which in the mid-1960s was heralded as a role model for other developing countries, where the international press had praised its military-led development model no end, stating that it might just reach the levels of development achieved only by the United States, has just appeared as the world`s 10th most failed, or failing, state. On the course towards reaching this rather ignominious distinction, this country has also been called “the most dangerous place in the world”, and a “rogue state with a nuclear arsenal”.

Read more : DAWN

Syrian Troops Open Fire on Protesters in Several Cities

MICHAEL SLACKMAN

CAIRO — Military troops opened fire on protesters in the southern part of Syria on Friday, according to news reports quoting witnesses, hurtling the strategically important nation along the same trajectory that has altered the landscape of power across the Arab world.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators in the southern city of Dara’a, on the border with Jordan, and in some other cities and towns around the nation took to the streets in protest, defying a state that has once again demonstrated its willingness to use lethal force. It was the most serious challenge to 40 years of repressive rule by the Assad family since 1982, when the president at the time, Hafez al-Assad, massacred at least 10,000 protesters in the northern Syrian city of Hama. …

Read more : Wichaar

Israeli prime Minister Menachem Begin in a speech to the Knesset

“Our (Jews) race is the Master Race. We (Jews) are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, compared to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Other races are considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. Our earthly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves.”

– Israeli prime Minister Menachem Begin in a speech to the Knesset

[Israeli Parliament] quoted by Amnon Kapeliouk, “Begin and the Beasts,” New Statesman, June 25, 1982.

Courtesy: Begin Center Diary

http://begincenterdiary.blogspot.com/2009/05/correcting-misquotation-reputedly-by.html

Rally in Hyderabad against the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti

Sindh – Hyderabad : A large number of concerned citizens, civil society activists, lawyers, peace and human rights activists, writers, thinkers, academics and workers of political parties and think tanks gathered on March 3rd, 2011 for a public protest marches in Hyderabad to condemn the brutal murder of Shahbaz Bhatti.

They were raising slogans against fundamentalism, religious, ethnic and communal hatred and extremism and called upon the government to ensure writ of the state, rule of the law and constitutionalism in Pakistan.

Rally was jointly organised by Movement for Peace and Tolerance (MPT) and Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC)

 

Security Council Calls for War Crimes Inquiry in Libya

The U.N. Security Council called for an international war crimes investigation into “widespread and systemic attacks” against Libyan citizens.

By EDWARD WYATT

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday night to impose sanctions on Libya’s leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, and his inner circle of advisers, and called for an international war crimes investigation into “widespread and systemic attacks” against Libyan citizens who have protested against the government over the last two weeks.

The vote, only the second time the Security Council has referred a member state to the International Criminal Court, comes after a week of bloody crackdowns in Libya in which Colonel Qaddafi’s security forces have fired on protesters, killing hundreds.

Also on Saturday, President Obama said that Colonel Qaddafi had lost the legitimacy to rule and should step down. His statement, which the White House said was made during a telephone call with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, was the strongest yet from any American official against Colonel Qaddafi.

The Security Council resolution also imposes an arms embargo against Libya and an international travel ban on 16 Libyan leaders, and freezes the assets of Colonel Qaddafi and members of his family, including four sons and a daughter. Also included in the sanctions were measures against defense and intelligence officials who are believed to have played a role in the violence against civilians in Libya. …

Read more : The New York Times

PAKISTAN: Two more disappeared persons are extrajudicially killed in Balochistan to destroy evidence of abduction by law enforcement agencies

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that the bodies of two disappeared persons have been found in a remote area. The bodies bore bullet wounds and marks of torture. Both victims were abducted from Karachi, Sindh province at different times but their bodies were found together 500 kilometers near the Gwader district, Balochistan province. Both the bodies were lying side by side in an abandoned place. It was witnessed that both were abducted by persons in uniformed and in plain clothes that identified themselves to the onlookers as being from the state security agencies.

Disappearances in Balochistan have become the routine work of the Frontier Corps (FC) and state intelligence agencies. Since last year the law enforcement authorities have introduced a new trend in which they kill the disappeared person extra judicially so as to destroy any possible evidence of their involvement. …

Read more : AHRC

Fighting Nears Tripoli, Where Qaddafi Keeps Grip on Power

By KAREEM FAHIM and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

TOBRUK, Libya — Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya kept his grip on the capital, Tripoli, on Wednesday, but large areas of the east remained out of his control as the uprising against his 40-year rule spread to more cities.

Libyans fleeing across the country’s western border into Tunisia reported fighting over the past two nights between rebel and pro-government forces in the town of Sabratha, home of an important Roman archeological site 50 miles west of Tripoli. Thousands of Libyan forces loyal to Colonel Qaddafi have deployed there, according to Reuters.

“The revolutionary committees are trying to kill everyone who is against Qaddafi,” said a doctor from Sabratha who had just left the country, but who declined to give his name because he wanted to return. …

Read more : The New York  Times

Pakistan’s nukes: How many are enough?

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

The latest news from America must have thrilled many: Pakistan probably has more nuclear weapons than India. A recent Washington Post article, quoting various nuclear experts, suggests that Pakistan is primed to “surge ahead in the production of nuclear-weapons material, putting it on a path to overtake Britain as the world’s fifth largest nuclear weapons power”.

Some may shrug off this report as alarmist anti-Pakistan propaganda, while others will question the accuracy of such claims. Indeed, given the highly secret nature of nuclear programmes everywhere, at best one can only make educated guesses on weapons and their materials. For Pakistan, it is well known that the Kahuta complex has been producing highly enriched uranium for a quarter century, and that there are two operational un-safeguarded plutonium-producing reactors at Khushab (with a third one under construction). Still, the exact amounts of bomb-grade material and weapons are closely held secrets.

But for argument’s sake, let’s assume that the claims made are correct. Indeed, let us suppose that Pakistan surpasses India in numbers – say by 50 per cent or even 100 per cent. Will that really make Pakistan more secure? Make it more capable of facing current existential challenges?

The answer is, no. Pakistan’s basic security problems lie within its borders: growing internal discord and militancy, a collapsing economy, and a belief among most citizens that the state cannot govern effectively. These are deep and serious problems that cannot be solved by more or better weapons. Therefore the way forward lies in building a sustainable and active democracy, an economy for peace rather than war, a federation in which provincial grievances can be effectively resolved, elimination of the feudal order and creating a tolerant society that respects the rule of law. …

Read more : THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE

Unrest in Egypt: President Mubarak dissolves Cabinet after night of protests

Follow live streaming video coverage of the unrest in Egypt or read full coverage updated continually by CNN reporters worldwide.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Egypt’s major cities on Friday, prompting the government to deploy the army to keep the peace for the first time since unrest began Tuesday. Protesters are demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year-rule. Here are the latest developments as confirmed by CNN. …

Read more : CNN

Taseer — Champion of Secular Democracy

By Wajid Shamsul Hasan

The ghastly assassination of Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer is a great loss for the Pakistani nation, Pakistan People’s Party, President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and the government. He was brave, courageous and daring—a great man who spoke for the rights of the people including minorities. He was totally committed to the high democratic ideals and the egalitarian vision of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and martyred Benazir Bhutto.

Salman was held in highest esteem by the people who respected his boldness to proclaim loud and clear that he believed in liberal and secular politics. He was targeted for elimination for having defended the rights of minorities against the black and discriminatory laws introduced by dictator General Ziaul Haq to terrorise the people into submission to his totalitarian rule. …

Read more : PakMission-UK

Speech of Dr. Zafar Baloch (BHRC) to the conference on South Asia

The conference on South Asia was organized by International Center for Peace & Democracy (ICFPD) in collaboration with Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada). The conference took place at Hotel Radisson Toronto, Canada on December 11, 2010.

SOUTH ASIAN PERSPETIVE ON REGIONAL STABILITY THE ROLE OF THE STATE: DEMOCRACY, DICTATORSHIP, AND EXTREMISM

ICFPD

Following is the speech delivered by Dr. Zafar Baloch, president of Baloch Human Rights council (Canada) in the conference.

Continue reading Speech of Dr. Zafar Baloch (BHRC) to the conference on South Asia

Indian judges ‘no longer lords’

By Jyotsna Singh, BBC News, Delhi
Judges in India will no longer have to be addressed in court as “my lord” or “my lordship” – terms dating back to the days of British rule over India. …..
… Lawyers welcomed the move, with a top lawyer telling the BBC it was time to get rid of a “colonial hangover”. India won freedom from British rule in 1947.
“Maybe [such words] should have been given up earlier,” lawyer Subhash Kashyap said.
“It is perhaps psychological, like removing statues of former British governors and Viceroys in the country.”
Mr Kashyap added that it was also high time to meet a long-standing demand to change the dress code for lawyers.
Indian lawyers have to wear a tie and black coat, even in lower courts that often have no air-conditioning to counter the heat.
In a resolution passed on Wednesday, the Bar Council of India said the new rules for addressing judges would apply to all courts, including High Courts, local courts and tribunals.
The resolution comes after the Supreme Court recently ruled that it was for the bar council to decide on the matter.

Read more : BBC

Bangladesh Supreme Court bans religion in politics – when will this happen in Pakistan?

Bangladesh SC bans religion in politics

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s Supreme Court has reinstated a ban on Islamic political parties in the latest blow to ‘religious hardliners’ in the impoverished South Asian country, a minister said on Thursday.

In a detailed, 184-page verdict released late on Wednesday, the Supreme Court scrapped the bulk of the 1979 fifth amendment, including provisions that had allowed religious political parties to flourish and legalised military rule.

“Secularism will again be the cornerstone of our constitution,” law minister Shafiq Ahmed told AFP on Thursday.

After independence, Bangladesh’s first constitution made secularism a key pillar. Following a 1975 coup, the army-led government amended the constitution’s guiding principle to “faith in Allah” in 1979.

Religious parties, which were banned in the original 1971 constitution but legalised by the 1979 amendments, are now banned again as the above provision has been thrown out, said Ahmed.

“Islamic parties cannot use religion in politics any more,” he said.

In 1988, a second military-led government made Islam the state religion in the Muslim-majority nation.

“But following the scrapping of the fifth amendment, these later amendments can now be challenged in court,” Ahmed said.

In the verdict, which was issued in January but became trapped in an appeals process until Wednesday, the Supreme Court also declared the 1975-1990 military rule illegal, and recommended punishing military dictators, Ahmed said.

“This means that, in theory, any Bangladeshi citizen could initiate a lawsuit against a former military dictator,” he said, adding that the repeal of the amendment would also limit the possibility of a future military coup.

“It is a landmark verdict,” Supreme Court lawyer Shahdeen Malik, who is also dean of law at the private BRAC university told AFP, adding that lawmakers would now have to clarify how the verdict would be applied by law.

Since the Awami League’s landslide election win over the Islamist-allied Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in 2008, the government has cracked down on Islamic groups and parties.

Read more >> The News

Don’t blame the army for all Pakistan’s problems.

Land of the impure

Don’t blame the army for all Pakistan’s problems. Just most of them

The Economist/blogs/banyan

THREE score years and a bit after its founding, Pakistan—which means land of the pure—still struggles to look like a nation. Economically backward, politically stunted and terrorised by religious extremists, it would be enough to make anyone nervous, even if it did not have nuclear weapons. For these shortcomings, most of the blame should be laid at the door of the army, which claims, more than any other institution, to embody nationhood. Grossly unfair? If the army stood before one of its own tribunals, the charge sheet would surely run as follows:

Continue reading Don’t blame the army for all Pakistan’s problems.

Rules For Life

1. Pursue Achievable Goals, 2. Keep A Genuine Smile, 3. Share with Others, 4. Help Thy Neighbors, 5. Maintain a Youthful Spirit, 6. Get Along with the Rich, the Poor, the Beautiful, & the Ugly, 7. Keep Cool Under Pressure, 8 . Lighten the Atmosphere with Humor, 9. Forgive the Annoyance of Others, 10. Have a Few Pals, 11. Cooperate and Reap Greater Rewards, 12. Treasure Every Moment with Your Loved Ones, 13. Have High Confidence in Yourself, 14. Respect the Disadvantaged, 15. Indulge Yourself Occasionally, 16. Surf the Net at Leisure, 17. Take Calculated Risks, 18. Understand “Money Isn’t Everything”.

via Najamuddin Ghanghro

Court ban on Shrif brothers- A Sindhi prespective

A sad day for justice and democracy in Pakistan

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean

It is indeed a sad day for democracy and justice in Pakistan. Even though the policies of PML-N in general and Nawaz Sharif in particular have been anti-Sindhi and anti-provincial autonomy, the recent actions by the controversial judges of the Pakistan Supreme Court and subsequent imposition of Governor’s rule in Punjab should be unfit.

Taking one step forward to restore democracy and justice in Pakistan and two steps back does not bode well for the future of Pakistan. The same politics of agitation and supressing opposition of yester years continues to prevail, bringing Pakistan one step closer to becoming a failed state.

Feb 26, 2009

Civil society agenda & action plan

By Aziz Narejo, TX

It is true that an overwhelming majority of the civil society wants an end to the military rule and military intervention in civilian affairs. It wants the military to do its lawful duties and not to indulge in politics. It wants non-partisan judiciary. It also wants a non-partisan free press, rule of law, respect for human rights and an unfettered democracy.

It is also true that the stand taken by the majority of the higher judiciary led by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, a remarkable movement by the lawyers, a just struggle by the media men and women and the increasing awareness and activism among the masses have greatly strengthened the civil society. It is finally finding its feet and wants to be reckoned with but it still has a long way to go before it can play its due role.

In the present fateful situation a heavy responsibility lies on the shoulders of the civil society leadership, especially when the dictator has donned civvies (wolf in sheep’s skin) and is playing a farce in the name of elections. Soon we may have a civilian government working under the dictator and he may try to derail the lawyers and journalists’ movement.

To defeat the dictator’s schemes and to fulfill aspirations of all sections of the society including the common men and women, there is a great need for the civil society to come together, take a joint stand and launch a well-organized and coordinated movement. It is the duty of each and every citizen to participate in such a struggle.

I am writing this as an ordinary citizen to call upon the leaders of the civil society in Pakistan to help bring the civil society leadership on one platform. I request them to host a conference of the forward looking and progressive pro democracy elements to:

1. Discuss and possibly set a brief agenda for the civil society.

2. Prepare an action plan for a struggle to end military intervention in civilian affairs, establish democracy, rule of law and non-partisan of judiciary and media, reach a just contract between the federating units and make sure the supremacy of the will of the people and the parliament.

Why?

1. It is the most catastrophic and the saddest tragedy that Pakistan was hijacked at the time of its birth by the people and the forces that imposed centralism, denied the core principles outlined in the “1940 Pakistan Resolution”, rejected the inherent rights of the minorities in a state and paved the way for a few in the elite to control the destiny of the country. These forces were soon joined by the military establishment that eventually took over the apparatus and started dictating every one else.

2. The country has been under continued military domination for at least half a century now, at times under direct military rule and at other times under military dominated rule. It is interesting to see that the country has suffered the most when it had been under the direct military rule. It explains the ability and the competency of the military establishment.

3. The long military domination of the society has established the principle of “might is right”; it has polluted the minds of the people specially our youth, hastened the degeneration and retardation of the society, nurtured insanity and corruption, created a class of opportunists and collaborators and bolstered the feudalism in the country.

4. The uninterrupted 13-year military rule under Ayub and Yahya ended in the dismemberment of the country while the next military ruler Zia mutilated, disfigured and dismantled all the civilian institutions, nurtured extremism, sectarianism, terrorism, racism, use of force and left behind such deep scars that may never heal.

5. The present military ruler is no different from his predecessors and seems to be pushing the country and the people over the cliff and finishing off the job left behind by the earlier dictators.

His actions against judiciary, lawyers, media and other civil society activists are the most condemnable. Today the country is burning and an overwhelming majority of the people is outraged at his actions.

What to do?

It is the time that the civil society takes a stand and saves the people and the country from an imminent catastrophe. It is the duty of all the civilians to speak up and act. The things can’t be left to just the politicians and the political parties because:

1. The political parties have been severely weakened by the years of military domination of the society, which has subverted the political and civilian institutions.

2. It is simply beyond the much-hampered capabilities of any single political party or even an alliance of several parties to take on the might of the military establishment that it has acquired after the continuous domination of all spheres of political and economic activities in the country.

3. There is a gulf of mistrust among the politicians and between the masses and the politicians. The politicians lack credibility and stand divided and can not agree to a joint stand on their own.

In such a situation, it will help if a conference is called by independent civil society leadership. It may succeed in bringing all the pro democracy leadership together and agree to a joint action plan.

Such a conference should help and compliment the political parties and not compete with them and shouldn’t seek in any way to form a new or even an umbrella organization. It should strengthen the political parties and all other civilian institutions and organs.

We must understand that the fight is very important and at a very crucial stage. It is not the sole responsibility of the political parties to take up the fight. All the civilians, civil society organizations and institutions have to chip in and have to strengthen the political parties and other civilian institutions.

When?

Such a conference should be held as soon as possible. I hope the civil society leadership would take an immediate action on this appeal.

27/12/2007

Army Rule Prevents Pakistan from becoming a Nation

Seminar in Washington DC

By: Khalid Hashmani

Once again, Washington DC witnessed another interesting and informative session. The “Pakistan and Its Army: A Changing Relationship? ” event was held on Friday, September 28, 2007 and organized by the South Asian Program of Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. The key panelists at this event included Shuja Nawaz, author of “Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its army, and the wars within” and Colonel (ret) David O. Smith, Country Director for Pakistan in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Policy).

Mr. Shuja Nawaz, who is writing a new book on Pakistan Army, comes from a Pakistani military family and is a brother of a former Chief of Staff of Pakistan Army. He began with the statement that “Pakistan is a country that is still struggling to become a nation”. With the separation of half of the country in 1971, a divide between religious and moderate segments of Pakistan has allowed military to rule Pakistan.

He said that although the country was created in the name of religion, the founders of Pakistan were unanimous that it was not to be a religious state. The power of military has grown mainly on account of fear and relationship with India. In the past, people had utmost respect for Army and considered it a strong non-corruptible institution but with time people has come to see it as a one of the root causes of country’s problems. The successful military rules have left national institutions so weak that these institution cannot even work during civilian governments. He said that Army does not have any close relationship with religious elements or attached to a particular ideology. He called Army’s rule as “controlled form of democracy” in which a Parliamentarian form of government becomes more like a de-facto Presidential form of government. He criticized the increasing involvement of Pakistani military in running businesses and industries and said these involvements often lead to decisions that are counter to national interests.

Mr. Nawaz tried to convince that present day military is changing as it is no longer predominantly from the three districts of Punjab. He said that the current trends show that its composition mainly comes from those who are from large urban areas. To emphasize that Army is no longer a Punjabi Army he said that the recent figures show that recruits are being hired in all provinces. It is only after I questioned him about the numbers of native Sindhis and native Baloch in Army that he conceded that many of these recruits may have come from those families that migrated from India, Punjab, and Pakhtonwa and are now settled in Sindh and Balochistan.

Talking about the perception that Pakistan should adopt the Turkish model where military has a special role, Mr. Nawaz said that such a model is not going to work because neither the Pakistan Army is as homogeneous nor the people of Pakistan are passive any longer.

Comparing the past and current financial burdens imposed by military, he said that in 1965-70 period, Pakistan spent about 2.8% of GDP on military and in 1970-75, it grew to 4% compared to only 3% that went to the “development” expenditure. He added that today only 14% of all revenues remain available for investment on the social needs.

Talking about one of a critical “governance” changes that has occurred in Pakistan since the start of military rule was in the “warrant of Precedence”. Before Ayub Khan, the senior most military position was at the 20th position in the order of precedence and now the Chief of Staff is at the number one (1) position. He commented that not even periodic civilian regimes have tried to change this order precedence.

Mr. David Smith, started his remarks by saying that he was proud to have attended the Pakistani Army Staff College in Quetta. He said that like the US military, Pakistan Army too is ill prepared to deal with insurgency type of warfare as it requires decentralization in decision making, creativity, and taking risks. He added that “centralized” system has roots in the South Asian culture (from father to his son – to his son –) and poses the greatest challenge in successfully introducing serious changes. Citing an example from his stay the the Quetta staff college, he said that he was impressed with many things but felt that his fellow student did not show much creativity. Often in certain exercises, even though the students were told to think on their own and come up with own solutions, invariably, students came up with the “cookbook” solutions.

In the Question-Answer session. a member of audience citing the recent event where 280 soldiers including officers and one Lt. Colonel surrendered to insurgents without firing a single shot, asked if the Pakistani Army has lost its will to fight against stronger adversary. One of the panelists responded that the actual facts have not come out in public so we do not know the real story and added that newspapers quote some soldiers as saying that they could not fire on fellow Muslims because if they died in the return fire, they would not go to heaven. To which, another member from audience said, that such stories do not make sense as soldiers from the same Army did not hesitate in firing on and killing innocent Baloch men, women, and children who too were Muslims. In conclusion a panelist said that he would agree that we really don’t know who is being recruited and who is joining Pakistan military.

29 September, 2007

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups,