Tag Archives: Selective

Zardari once again the “political maestro” – the government that wouldn’t fall

The government that wouldn’t fall

By: Cyril Almeida

WITH all the paper and crayons the PML-N carried to parliament the past week, you’d think a Leaguer or two could have spared some time to write a little letter.

Dear Madam Speaker, The PML-N believes that a question has arisen that Yousuf Raza Gilani stands disqualified as a member of parliament under Article 63(1)(g) of the constitution for bringing the judiciary into ridicule as stated by the Supreme Court in its conviction of Mr Gilani for contempt of court on Thursday, April 26, 2012.

Accordingly, under Article 63(2) of the constitution it is required of you as Speaker of the National Assembly to forward the question of Mr Gilani’s disqualification to the Election Commission of Pakistan for a final decision.

With kind regards, The PML-N.

A letter short enough to be written with a crayon on the back of a protest placard and handed over to the Speaker during one of the PML-N’s noisy protests on the floor of the National Assembly.

A letter that would have triggered the only constitutional process for declaring Gilani disqualified.

But in seven days of protests until the Assembly session was prorogued Friday, the N-League avoided the legal route and demanded Gilani’s resignation instead.

Behind that choice lies a political calculation. Take the legal route and the N-League risks its anti-PPP message being buried under an avalanche of legalese. The technicalities of Article 63 — can the Speaker decide no question of disqualification has arisen? If so, is there any appeal against the Speaker’s decision? Wouldn’t the matter ultimately return to the Supreme Court for an inconclusive answer? — are confounding.

Better a simpler message that the electorate can understand: the prime minister is a convict, his boss is corrupt, the Supreme Court tried to do the right thing; ergo, the prime minister should resign.

However, catchy as the slogans may be and fun as charged-up rallies will be, they also betray the opposition’s impotence.

This was originally a fight between the PPP and the SC [Supreme Court]; the PML-N are Johnny-come-latelies. Once the court baulked at pulling the trigger, the N-League’s ability to force the very outcome the court wasn’t willing to force was always going to be limited.

The reality is that the fundamentals that have been in place since 2009 have not changed. And until those system fundamentals change, regime change isn’t going to happen.

Think of it this way. At the centre is the PPP, surviving through a combination of unexpected political acumen — Zardari the political maestro, anyone? Gilani the heroic defender? — and luck.

The luck is that surrounding the PPP, as with every other civilian government, are three traditional rivals — the political opposition, the judiciary and the army — who can agree that they don’t like the PPP but can’t quite bring themselves to work in concert to attain the desired outcome.

For reasons of history and politics and systems, to engineer the downfall of a government you need at least two of the three forces opposing the government to align. PPP conspiracy theories aside, this time that combination just refuses to emerge.

With memogate there was, briefly, an almost perfect alignment. The army raised the alarm over Haqqani’s alleged antics, Sharif petitioned the court to take notice, the court swung into action, drawing out the blunt affidavits from the army chief and DG ISI and just like that, everyone seemed poised to plunge the knife into the PPP.

But then Sharif pulled back. He realised that he’d been lured into a trap to make an army vs PPP fight look like a PPP vs everyone scrap. Next, the army relented when the PPP refused to budge and another chapter in their frenemy relationship had been inked.

The court was the one which had formally gone the furthest, setting up a high-powered commission to investigate the silliness that was Mansoor Ijaz and his claims, so it’s taken the longest to extract itself from a battle that its fleeting allies have long since abandoned.

For all their dislike of the PPP, the problem is that the presumptive allies are also suspicious of each other. Nothing new there but it tends to get forgotten each time a political crisis erupts.

Nawaz doesn’t like the army, the army doesn’t trust Nawaz, neither would want a judiciary that would make life difficult for them if they have to run the show and the judiciary knows that when push comes to shove, it’s usually the judiciary that’s trampled underfoot.

Continue reading Zardari once again the “political maestro” – the government that wouldn’t fall

Peoples’ right in democracy

Comment by: Manzoor Chandio

People have two rights in democracy… 1) forming a government through vote… 2) changing a government through vote… this country [Pakistan] has seen formations of governments through people’s vote, but never ever people have been allowed to exercise their prerogative of changing a government through vote… people’s this right has always been used by the establishment because it is afraid of giving the people power to change a government…they have removed governments through military power, presidential orders, judicial crisis/order, war-like situation… etc etc… establishing people’s power to change governments through vote is must for completing democracy…

Courtesy: Adopted from facebook

How PM conviction hysteria overshadows real security challenges

Has the threat diminished?

By: Huma Yusuf

POLITICAL hysterics resulting from the prime minister’s conviction and an equivocal Supreme Court sentence are currently overshadowing discussions about Pakistan’s security challenges.

Continue reading How PM conviction hysteria overshadows real security challenges

Is this Justice???

Pakistan Peoples Party Washington DC condemns the decision made by Supreme Court against elected prime minister of Pakistan Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani.

In their statement PPP said that PM was just following the constitution of Pakistan.

It also noted with disappointment that while no dictator had been punished for suspension and abrogation of the Constitution a democratically and terorist like Malik Ishaq had been granted bail but an elected Prime Minister had been sentenced for upholding the Constitution. They also criticize media’s role in being a cheer leader of right-wing, Islamist politicians and populist judges is an unfortunate departure from its often stated role of being a “fair and balanced” presenter of the news and of informing the public.

PPP demands Supreme Court to invest time in issues which are concern to Pakistan and its people such as Younas Habib case instead of becoming a tool to destabilize democracy in country.

The participants of meeting said that Mr. Nawaz Shrif must remember his past actions before suggesting PM to resign as it is not PPP who attacked Supreme Court but was Mr. Shrif and his party members. The participants also noted that it is about time for Sharif brothers to support democracy in Pakistan as federation and stop beating provincial band.

The meeting of the PPPUSA congratulated the Prime Minister over his stance in defending the Constitution.

Meeting was attended by:

Senator Mohammad Akbar Khawja, Ali Nawaz Memon, Sr.Vice President PPP USA, Syed Iftikhar Zaidi, Sr.Vice President PPP USA, Masood Zakria Ch., Additional Sec Gen PPP USA, Dr. Javed Manzoor President PPP USA, Jawad Shirazi, Sr.,Vice President PPP Washington DC, Mansoor Qureshi, Sec. General PPP Washington DC, Munirullah Butt, Syed Imran Zaidi, Sec. Information PPP Washington DC, Junaid M Choudhary, Ali Awan, Junaid Chudhry, Haider Asghar, Jaffer Shah, Nawazish Shah

Showing the red rug to the bull!

PM contempt: ‘Govt will comply if SC orders Gilani’s disqualification’

By Web Desk / Sumera Khan

Excerpts;

…. Privilege motion against SC assistant registrar

The government has decided to move a privilege motion against the assistant registrar of the Supreme Court for writing a letter to speaker of National Assembly to initiate an action against the prime minister under recently passed judgment by the apex court.

Terming the letter ‘illegal’, Law Minister Naek said that the letter in which Speaker of National Assembly Fehmida Mirza was directed to implement the SC’s judgment was an open violation of law. Naek added that the assistant registrar of the Supreme Court is not authorised to issue directions to the speaker of National Assembly.

“We will move a privilege motion against assistant registrar as the letter is illegal which was written as a clear violation of rules and procedures. He has directed the speaker of National Assembly to implement the court’s verdict at the earliest which is we believe is an offence to the parliament.”

Naek went on to say that, “The parliament’s privilege was disparaged by the assistant registrar’s letter to the speaker of National Assembly directing her in the prime minister contempt case.”

Read more » The Express Tribune

Gilani hits back at the opposition

By Nusrat Javeed

Before hiring the services of Pakistan Army for launching a multi-pronged assault on troops of the ‘Evil Empire’ deputed in Afghanistan, Ronald Reagan needed some deceptive trappings of ‘democracy’ in Pakistan. General Zia facilitated him by inventing a consultative assembly in the early 1980s.

Continue reading Gilani hits back at the opposition

The military-backed judges and a section of media and politicians acting against the PPP leadership as instruments of power and negotiation through the decades

A question of accountability

By Raza Rumi

The inevitable has happened. An assertive judiciary has convicted the prime minister even if the punishment was token — awarded for non-compliance of court orders. The prime minister’s counsel, Aitzaz Ahsan, has objected to the judgment saying that the punishment awarded was beyond the scope of his original indictment. There are multiple legal questions surrounding this decision and only the full judgment will clarify matters. However, it is the political ramifications of judicial assertion, which are of import in today’s Pakistan.

The PPP’s victim card — of being wronged by the establishment and the courts — is not entirely unfounded. Yet, this Supreme Court is not the court of the past. The lawyers’ movement (2007-9) allowed for an unprecedented populist backing to the courts and now many vested interests and groups deem the courts a natural ally in their own quest for independence, leverage and profits.

Public officials must be held accountable for their transgressions. This is vital for effective governance as well as for building legitimacy of democratic institutions. In purely technical terms, the Court’s decision is a welcome one. No longer can the executive be allowed to trample on judicial orders. After all, a letter to the Swiss authorities seeking the reopening of a case against President Asif Ali Zardari may have averted the crisis. Presidential immunity in the international and domestic laws is a given. However, in hindsight, this was a great opportunity for the PPP to underscore the fact that it is always the victim of selective accountability.

The cases against President Zardari and twice-elected Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto were registered by their political opponents, i.e., military-backed arbitrary presidents; and the main opposition party, which till 1999 was on the right side of the establishment. This context cannot be divorced from the legal aspects of the case. That said, at the end of the day the courts decide on issues of law and fact. The truth is that the Pakistani state has used cases against the PPP leadership as instruments of power and negotiation through the decades. This is why the perception within the PPP support base especially in Sindh (and now southern Punjab) is that the court’s verdict is not a ‘fair’ one given that other political parties and state institutions have gotten away with far worse.

As for the Supreme Court, it has done its job according to its interpretation of the Constitution and law. That, however, will not prevent the PPP from using the conviction to ramp up its support, especially with the next election around the corner.

Moving on, the role of some TV channels and anchors in acting as lawyers, judges and prosecutors has been most worrying. Legal issues require informed debate and political commentary requires objectivity. Both were missing before and after the Supreme Court verdict. This brings us to the vital issue of accountability of the new players in the power game.

The higher courts are accountable via the Supreme Judicial Council. The latter’s record has not been encouraging, as far as holding members of the superior judiciary accountable is concerned. Similarly, the media — or large segments of it — acts as if it is not accountable to any authority.

Continue reading The military-backed judges and a section of media and politicians acting against the PPP leadership as instruments of power and negotiation through the decades

BBC – How Gilani turned contempt case from catastrophe to triumph

By M Ilyas Khan, BBC News, Islamabad

Excerpts;

Slogans of triumph

….. For today’s hearing, the prime minister wore the Pakistani national dress — shalwar trousers, kameez shirt and shervani, a Nehru-collared black long coat.

Accompanied by his cabinet colleagues and allied party leaders, he drove up to the outer precincts of the Supreme Court building from where he walked to Courtroom No 4 where the trial was held.

He appeared in a relaxed mood as he waved to dozens of sympathisers who had gathered outside the court.

Within the court, after the guilty verdict had been read out to him, he completed his custodial term within the space of a single four-word sentence uttered three times over; “A submission, my lord.”

The rising bench paid him no heed.

Moments later, he walked out a free man, greeted by women activists of his PPP party with loud slogans of triumph.

So in a way, the high drama that surrounded the early stages of this trial ended in a whimper.

But did this come as a surprise?

For those who have kept an eye on the overall political, economic and security situation of the country, it didn’t really.

Scandal subsided

Over the past couple of years, a perception has been growing that the country’s top judiciary has been selective in its judgements, dealing harshly with the PPP leadership but being soft on the military and some opposition politicians.

The PPP, which has traditionally been mistrusted by the country’s powerful security establishment, bided its first three years in office lying low, trying to survive.

It decided to strike back in December when the memo scandal broke out.

This revolved around a controversial memo which a former Pakistani ambassador to the US was accused of having initiated, allegedly at the behest of President Asif Zardari, to invite US intervention to prevent a possible military coup.

When the Supreme Court took up the case, questions were raised over the role the military had played in bringing that scandal to the fore.

Subsequently, Prime Minister Gilani, in unprecedented remarks in late December, told the parliament that while the civilian government had stood side by side with the military in difficult times, “they (the military) can’t be a state within the state“.

Given the PPP’s potential to ignite protests across large parts of the country, the army apparently backed down, allowing the memo scandal to subside.

The contempt of court case against Mr Gilani appears to have met the same fate.

It came at the height of the PPP’s tension with the military and the judiciary.

It was centred on an earlier judgment of the court that asked the government to write a letter to the Swiss government to re-open a corruption case against President Zardari which had been closed.

The prime minister was charged with contempt for failing to write that letter.

Prolonged trial

As the memo case went on the backburner, the contempt case also began to lose steam.

From the early expectations of a quick and harsh judgment, the case eased into a prolonged trial that has stretched over three months.

Many believe that through its order today, the court has tried to put an end to an increasingly difficult situation and has left the matter of Mr Gilani’s disqualification to others, whoever they might be – the parliament, the media, the political opposition.

Continue reading BBC – How Gilani turned contempt case from catastrophe to triumph

Must read: ‘The path of isolation’ – by Asma Jahangir

PAKISTAN remains in the dog house of the international community mainly because its rulers refuse to accept that violence and conflict within the country are escalating and have serious ramifications for the entire region.

Pakistan’s friends fear a severe economic meltdown and there are widespread concerns over continuing corruption which has also partly impaired governance.

Amazingly, while militant non-state actors are knocking down our doors and have successfully solidified their networks, our civil institutions are busy rubbing each others’ noses in the dirt — perhaps for sound reasons but the rubbing is excessive.

Constant political bickering keeps policymakers, the media, the judiciary and the public distracted from the risks we face.

Corruption is rife in all governments and institutions. Sadly, selective investigations often remain inconclusive. Ironically, most of those accused of corruption brazenly say they have been singled out, rather than plead innocence and prove it too.

Continue reading Must read: ‘The path of isolation’ – by Asma Jahangir

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: Evolving Strength of Character – by Rusty Walker

If Pakistan needs a strong civil government, it will need a strong leader. If it looks for a heroic voice, someone who is courageous enough to take on a Justice system that has proven itself to be pro-Jihadi and anti-female, pro-rape, run by a Pro-Establishment, Chief Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry- this hero may well be Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s recent speech, covered in two stories in LUBP, deserves another look. He reflected his mother’s bravery, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, and her intelligent and fearless tone, unafraid to speak plain truth and stand up to injustice. His voice sounds like the voice of the people, and has a grassroots type manner of appeal. Unlike manufactured politicians like Imran Khan, Bilawal is not afraid to say the unpopular things. When Imran Khan vaciliated in his condemnation of the murder of PPP governor, Salman Taseer, it was PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who condemned it unequivocally.

Continue reading Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: Evolving Strength of Character – by Rusty Walker

American Marxism as a guide to action:

Marxist political advice and its discontents

By Omar Ali

Professor Vijay Prashad  is the George and Martha Kellner professor of history at Trinity college. He is also a prominent left wing activist. The two roles have different requirements. Here he tries to bridge the gap. 

Someone had commented on 3quarksdaily.com that this is “Another bucketload of gormless Marxist verbiage around a central anti-semitic core: forget the mountains of corpses and the decades of torture and oppression – Assad’s main crime is defined as “neoliberalism … and a practice of accommodation with both the US and Israel.”

That triggered the following comment (i have edited the original slightly for clarity)  from me: The real problem with neomarxist verbiage is not double standards or selective outrage, its the unbridgeable gap between being a professor and being an actor on the ground in a civil war in a faraway country.
Vijay Prashad as a professor in a first world University may eventually contribute to changing the way X or Y issue is framed in the mind of the elite, and that in turn will eventually have some impact somewhere in actual daily politics and political struggles but those are big “eventually-s”. Some professors are OK with that and focus on doing their research and writing their books and teaching their students in the hope that their analysis will eventually “trickle down”. But that (for obvious reasons) is not very satisfying for most of us. Hence the need to suggest practical courses of action in today’s clash, to pick sides, to “organize a relief column”. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your estimate of said professor’s wisdom and insight) this aspect of a professor’s work has near-zero real world relevance.
I don’t know how to fix this problem, but it does seem to be a real problem. Most right wingers are almost by definition closer to the ruling elites so maybe they dont feel the pain as much, but left wing professors are in a painful bind here..to have no opinion on proximate politics and wars seems silly, but to have an opinion that arises logically from their theoretical framework is frequently sillier, and any honest and good man may end up in Professor Prashad’s position. Its a real dilemma.

In an attempt to pre-empt misunderstandings, let me add:

1. My question is not about the details of his analysis.

2. Its about this scenario. Lets say Vijay is Vladimir Lenin. Well, in that case he is not only a theoretician (though he would like to believe that his superior understanding of theory informs his practice), he is an organizer, a rebel, a leader, a politician with day to day decision to make. Very fine nuances and very involved calculations will come into play. Many of those calculations will be very cynical. All of them will be locally bound by existing circumstances. Theory will have to give way again and again. But Vijay (probably not even in his own mind, but I don’t know him personally, so I cannot say for sure) is not Lenin. He is a professor. He does research, he writes books. He has theories. And he is part of a broader left wing academic current that has its own internal dynamics very far from the ground in Syria. I am saying I don’t expect him to say things that are too useful as guides to action.
3. What do you think?

Courtesy: Brown Pundits

Watch Top anchor person of Pakistani media, Mubashir Lucman on Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry

Mubashir Luqman is one of the top Pakistani anchor persons on TV. As is evident from the name of his program “Khari Baat” (Straight Talk) Luqman is known and revered for bringing out the truth in all its forms with the right amount of audacity and courage. He also writes regularly for the newspapers. Viewers of Mubashir Luqman’s programs are captivated by his hard-hitting questions and dauntless opinion. The language of the talk show is urdu.

» YouTube

Why is Iftikhar Chaudhry destroying Pakistan?

by Bilal Qureshi

Every objective analyst who follows Pakistan has come to the same conclusion – Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is becoming a serious threat not only to the country, but also to the entire democratic system that is already under tremendous stress. In fact, it is pretty much established that some behind the scene players in Pakistan are interested in seeing ‘favorable’ people take over the government and these forces are perhaps using the Chief Justice as a tool to achieve their nauseating objective.

As pointed out by Wajid Ali Syed, It is indeed a sad commentary on Pakistan that when an army chief is asked to leave, he refuses and instead launches a coup. When the chief justice is sacked for his alleged corruption, he refuses to accept the decision of the government that appointed him and instead comes out on the streets with thugs (dressed as lawyers) and only calms down when he gets his way. Where is the law of the land? Why can’t an elected Prime Minister or an elected President appoint or dismiss people based on the facts that are before them? Why is everything in Pakistan political? We talk about chaos in Taliban controled areas, but our own people are responsible for the current mess because they refuse to accept anything coming from others – everyone wants to get his way at every cost. Isn’t it pathetic? Yes, it is.

Looking at Pakistan’s political landscape, one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to know what is going on between Iftikhar Chaudhry, Ashfaq Kiyani, GEO TV and Nawaz/Shahbaz Sharif and regretfully, I also know that it is not good for the country. The current government, which was elected democratically, is the target of pro-Taliban hate mongers and unfortunately for Pakistan, these forces of darkness and mayhem have found an willing ally in Iftikhar Chaudhry. But, any effort to destabilize the government would be considered an act of war, disguised asl activism by the majority, especially in smaller provices. And it doesn’t matter who is pulling the strings behind the scene– it is time to break the vicious cycle of musical chair that has been going on thanks to successive, but unnecessary ‘interventions’ by generals in Pakistan for decades. Otherwise, Pakistan would continue to be considered a failed state, a corrupt state, and a state which is not capable of producing competent generals or judges.

The current tension in Pakistan between Zardari and judiciary is the direct result of unconstitutional judicial activism and aggression by Iftikhar Chaudhry. And, sadly, the chief justice seems to believe that once he carries out the illegal, unethical, and unconstitutional orders of his masked masters (of removing Zardari), he (he the chief justice) will continue to be important, and relevant, (his desire to be the president of Pakistan is the worst kept secret in the county) but little does he know the history of Pakistan’s political establishment’s ability to use and dispose important figures. But, we all live and learn and he too will regret his current actions, but then, it will be too late.

So, where does Pakistan go from here, especially if Zardari, who is the democratically elected president of Pakistan, is removed from Pakistan? Well, nothing earth shattering is going to happen instantly, but according to Pakistan watchers, the winds of tragedy that are currently blowing in Baluchistan will not only gain momentum, but they will also engulf Sindh and N.W.F.P. As it is, Canadian and other Western military planners believe that by 2016, Pakistan as we know it won’t be there. I hope and pray that these people are wrong. At the same time, I also hope and pray that military, mullah, media and judiciary in Pakistan would realize the catastrophic impact of their current strategy of demonizing Zardari and his allies, and by extension, creating an environment in which people prefer to have stability over democracy. The scare tactics currently used by the evil nexus in Pakistan to overthrow the government could also force people, especially in smaller provinces to realize that their future with Pakistan is nothing but humiliation and slavery. Once this notion got going in smaller provinces, it would be hard to un-prove it. Remember Bangladesh?

Courtesy: » Foreign Policy Blogs

http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2010/02/13/why-is-iftikhar-chaudhry-destroying-pakistan/

Why is Nawaz Sharif paving the way for military establishment through Supreme court?

PPP Needs To Re-evaluate It’s Policies

By Aziz Narejo

Excerpt;

…. Most analysts agree that the real Pakistani rulers since last 60+ years are now fed up with President Zardari [and PM Gilani] & that they are not willing to put Nawaz Sharif in the driving seat either. Why then Mian Nawaz Sharif has taken it upon him to dislodge Zardari/Gilani govt through Supreme Court? Does he have any false assurances or any illusions or is he unwittingly paving the way for military establishment’s hand-picked man, Imran Khan, to gain power?

Presence of Osama bin Laden next door to Pakistan’s premier military academy in Abbottabad was a smoking gun against military establishment. They kept lying. No accountability. When elected PMs wanted peace with India, they were either overthrown or sabotaged with conspiracies like the abortive Kargil offensive. When an elected president talked of an agreement on no-first use of atomic bomb & industrial zone on the borders with India, they planned terrorist attack in Mumbai. They have been defeated in all the wars with India but have conquered own country FOUR times & are eating away most of country’s budget & have become biggest industrial & commercial enterprise in the country.

They killed, raped & injured hundreds of thousands of people in Bengal yesterday & are repeating the same in Balochistan today, no questions asked. Murder of Bhuttos, Bugti & several more is on their hands.

Thousands have sacrificed for an end to military role but their sacrifices seem to have gone in vain as they again are staging comeback using anti-American bogey today. What a waste!

Courtesy » Indus Herald

http://indusherald.blogspot.com/2011/12/ppp-needs-to-re-evaluate-its-policies.html

Benazir Bhutto Criticised Pakistani Supreme court (Chief Justice Iftikhar Ch) for being Biased

» YouTube

With bin Laden gone, now’s the time to push Pakistan

By Fareed Zakaria

The killing of Osama bin Laden has produced new waves of commentary on the problem of Pakistan. We could all discuss again its selective policy toward terrorists, its complicated relationship with the United States and its mounting dysfunctions. But there is more to this opportunity than an opening for analysis. This is a time for action, to finally push the country toward moderation and genuine democracy.

So far, Pakistan’s military has approached this crisis as it has every one in the past, using its old tricks and hoping to ride out the storm. It is leaking stories to favored journalists, unleashing activists and politicians, all with the aim of stoking anti-Americanism. Having been caught in a situation that suggests either complicity with al-Qaeda or gross incompetence — and the reality is probably a bit of both — it is furiously trying to change the subject. Senior generals angrily denounce America for entering the country. “It’s like a person, caught in bed with another man’s wife, who is indignant that someone entered his house,” one Pakistani scholar, who preferred not to be named for fear of repercussions, told me.

This strategy has worked in the past. In 2009, the Obama administration joined forces with Sens. Richard Lugar and John Kerry to triple American aid to Pakistan’s civilian government and civil society — to $7.5 billion over five years — but with measures designed to strengthen democracy and civilian control over the military. The military reacted by unleashing an anti-American campaign, using its proxies in the media and parliament to denounce “violations of Pakistan’s sovereignty” — the same phrase that’s being hurled about now. The result was that the United States backed off and has conceded that, in practice, none of the strictures in the Lugar-Kerry bill will be implemented.

The military has also, once again, been able to cow the civilian government. According to Pakistani sources, the speech that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani gave at a recent news conference was drafted by the military. President Asif Ali Zardari continues to appease the military rather than confront the generals. Having come to power hoping to clip the military’s wings, Pakistan’s democratically elected government has been reduced to mouthing talking points written for it by the intelligence services.

There have been almost no marches to protest bin Laden’s death or the American operation, although one 500-person march in Lahore was replayed endlessly on television. The fundamental issue for Pakistan is surely not how America entered the country. The United States has been involved in counterterrorism operations in Pakistan for years, using drones and people. Rather, the fundamental question is, how was it that the world’s leading terrorist was living in Pakistan, with some kind of support network that must have included elements of the Pakistani government? How is it that every major al-Qaeda official who has been captured since 2002 has been comfortably ensconced in a Pakistani city? And how is it that any time these issues are raised, they get drowned out by an organized campaign of anti-Americanism or religious fanaticism?

Washington has given in to the Pakistani military time and again, on the theory that we need the generals badly and that they could go elsewhere for support — to the Chinese, for instance. In fact, the United States has considerable leverage with Islamabad. The Pakistanis need American aid, arms and training to sustain their army. If they are going to receive those benefits, they must become part of Pakistan’s solution and not its problem. With some urgency, Washington should:

l Demand a major national commission in Pakistan — headed by a Supreme Court justice, not an army apparatchik — to investigate whether bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders have been supported and sustained by elements of the Pakistani state.

l Demand that the provisions of the Lugar-Kerry bill on civilian control of the military be strictly followed or aid will be withheld.

l Develop a plan to go after the major untouched terror networks in Pakistan, such as the Haqqani faction, the Quetta Shura and Lashkar-i-Taiba.

In the longer run, as the United States scales back its military presence in Afghanistan, it will need the Pakistani military less and less to supply its troops in theater.

Pakistan’s civilian government, business class and intellectuals have an ever-larger role in this struggle. They should not get distracted by empty anti-American slogans or hypernationalism. This is Pakistan’s moment of truth, its chance to break with its dysfunctions and become a normal, modern country. The opportunity might not come again.

Courtesy: The Washington Post

Politics of land reform —Haider Nizamani

The agenda of redistribution of wealth and imposing ceilings on movable and immovable property would only appear credible when it includes all propertied classes. Failing that, the demand for selective redistribution would be hardly different from initiatives of selective accountability carried out by various regimes where the coercive arm of the law became a convenient way of political victimisation….

Read more : Daily Tiems

Are you ready for a ‘judicial murder’ of the PPP government?

“Judicial change”!

By Aziz Narejo

We have seen all kinds of weird politics and political ‘changes’ in Pakistan. We have seen serving PM’s murder; overthrow/ change of governments by first Governor General and then by the next GG; overthrow/ change of governments by presidents; overthrow/ change of governments by military generals; now are you ready for a ‘judicial change’ of the government?

We have even seen a ‘judicial murder’. If they can kill an elected PM, why can’t they just dispose off another elected PM? Pakistani Adliya zindabad!? …

The “independent” judiciary went after the judges who took oath under PCO in 2007 but they can’t go after the judges who took oath under PCO in 1999. They don’t like extensions of other government officials but extended services of chosen brother judges. They opened some cases settled under infamous NRO but can’t do so with thousands of criminal cases settled under same NRO because they don’t have the spine to take on the … MQM.

They can’t take up the Mehrangate scandal case, which is sitting on their desks right under their noses since so many years but they have declared ‘Jihad’ against a singled out culprit. May be they don’t like his teeth!

How about a suo motu action against the judges who legalized the Musharraf coup? That is a fit case of High Treason under Article 6?

Courtesy: Sindhi e-llists/ e-groups, September 27, 2010