Tag Archives: Serious

Pak should take serious notice of Altaf’s remarks: UK HC

LONDON: British High Commissioner (HC), Adam Thomson has said that UK police have received countless complaints against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain’s remarks about detaching Karachi from Pakistan, Geo News reported. In a statement, the British HC said Pakistan should take serious notice of Altaf Hussain’s statement. Thomson further said that strict laws are followed in Britain against hate speech and spreading violence, adding the UK police is currently investigating Altaf’s speech.

He added that if anyone is found guilty, the accused can face imprisonment.

Our correspondent from London, Murtaza Ali Shah adds: Metropolitan Police say they are aware of complaints made about Altaf Hussain’s remarks from London but currently there is no investigation. A spokesperson says complaints are still being made and ‘we are looking into but no investigation yet.’

Courtesy: The News
http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-101048-Pakistan-should-take-serious-notice-of-Altafs-remarks:-UK-HC–

Indian rape victim dies in hospital

By HEATHER TAN

SINGAPORE (AP) — A young Indian woman who was gang-raped and severely beaten on a bus in New Delhi died Saturday at a Singapore hospital, after her horrific ordeal galvanized Indians to demand greater protection from sexual violence that impacts thousands of women every day.

She “passed away peacefully” with her family and officials of the Indian embassy by her side,” said Dr. Kevin Loh, the chief executive of Mount Elizabeth hospital where she had been treated since Thursday. “The Mount Elizabeth Hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff join her family in mourning her loss,” he said in a statement.

He said the woman had remained in an extremely critical condition since Thursday when she was flown to Singapore from India. “Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate over these two days. She had suffered from severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain. She was courageous in fighting for her life for so long against the odds but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome.”

The woman and a male friend, who have not been identified, were traveling in a public bus after watching a film on the evening of Dec. 16 when they were attacked by six men who took turns to rape her. They also beat the couple and inserted an iron rod into her body resulting in severe organ damage. Both of them were then stripped and thrown off the bus, according to police.

Indian police have arrested six people in connection with the attack, which left the victim with severe internal injuries, a lung infection and brain damage. She also suffered from a heart attack while in hospital in India.

Indian High Commissioner, or ambassador, T.C.A. Raghanvan told reporters that the scale of the injuries she suffered was “very grave” and in the end it “proved too much.

He said arrangements are being made to take her body back to India

The frightening nature of the crime shocked Indians, who have come out in their thousands for almost daily demonstrations, demanding stronger protection for women and death penalty for rape, which is now punishable by a maximum life imprisonment. Women face daily harassment across India, ranging from catcalls on the streets, groping and touching in public transport to rape.

But the tragedy has forced India to confront the reality that sexually assaulted women are often blamed for the crime, which forces them to keep quiet and not report it to authorities for fear of exposing their families to ridicule. Also, police often refuse to accept complaints from those who are courageous enough to report the rapes and the rare prosecutions that reach courts drag on for years.

Continue reading Indian rape victim dies in hospital

(SPLGO) 2012 is an apartheid act passed without due process

By: Khalid Hashmani, USA

My view we diaspora Sindhis should let everyone in Sindh, Pakistan, and rest of world know that (SPLGO) 2012 is an illegal act passed without due process and that it denies historic rights of Sindhis. For the time being, we should play a crucial role in creating awareness about this ill-conceived scheme among the following two groups:

1. Tell the heart-less PPP Assembly members that their action is a serious blunder which will hurt coming generations of people who live in Sindh and that they must go back to the Sindh Assembly and vote to withdraw this foolish regulation. We must make it clear to them that if they do not that as soon as possible, Sindhis will neither forget nor forgive them for this act of betrayal.

2. Create awareness in the general public of Sindh that (SPLGO) 2012 law undermines Sindh and will divide various ethnic people living in Sindh and keep rural Sindh under the shackles of poverty and dominance by urban and rural waderas/feudals. If PPP does not move fast to dismantle (SPLGO) 2012 immediately, we should play our role in encouraging them to vote for any one but PPP.

In doing so we must not align ourselves with any political party or a grouping of political parties. Our (SANA) actions should be transparent and inclusive and any appearance of supporting any faction must be avoided at all costs.

There are several actions that we can take but in the immediate future – for one we should call and write to PPP members to take immediate action to dismantle the ill-conceived action they took. We should also call other political and NGO leaders, writers, poets, teachers, student leaders, social writers, intellectuals, professors and other leading persons in Sindh and urge them to start and strengthen the movement to have one uniform system of local bodies in Sindh and restore equal rights for everyone who lives in Sindh.

I believe the above simple but focused actions will take enough of our time and encourage people of Sindh to rise on this critical occasion to force immediate annulment of (SPLGO) 2012.

As Netanyahu pushes Israel closer to war with Iran, Israelis cannot keep silent

Why aren’t ministers and defense officials standing up right now, when it is still possible, and saying: We will not be a party to this megalomaniacal vision, to this messianic-catastrophic worldview?

By David Grossman

Here’s a possible scenario: Israel attacks Iran despite the strenuous opposition of President Barack Obama, who is practically pleading that Israel leave the work to the United States. Why? Because Benjamin Netanyahu has a historical mind-set and a historical outlook under which, basically, Israel is “the eternal nation” and the United States, with all due respect, is just the Assyria or the Babylonia, the Greece or the Rome, of our age. Meaning: We are everlasting, we are an eternal people, and they, despite all their strength and power, are merely temporary and ephemeral.

Continue reading As Netanyahu pushes Israel closer to war with Iran, Israelis cannot keep silent

Rot at the top in America?

Are these the words of the all powerful …

By Omar

Rajiv Chandrashekaran’s new book (which I have not yet read, but have seen some excerpts and discussions on TV) seems to confirm that higher management levels of the US government are indeed seriously broken.

Breaking my recent moratorium on comments about subjects that I do not know very well, I will take this opportunity to burnish my Cassandra credentials. I have been saying for years that Amrika bahadur’s blundering effort in Afghanistan (especially above the military unit level…where the US army is second to none) are overflowing with so much fraud, chicanery and incompetence that if the American taxpayers knew about it even they would be shocked. Whatever the accuracy of various claims and whatever the bias introduced by Chandrashekaran’s liberal education or Washington Post insider status, the book does remind us that America is not really the evil superpower of Jihadi (or Hindutvadi for that matter) myth. Its a superpower closer to what William Burroughs may have imagined. Small men doing petty things and scared of being overshadowed or outfoxed by other small men..and wasting taxpayer money like there is no tomorrow.

Of course, to avoid any accidental identification with the Tariq Ali brigade, I would add that I am very well aware of the fact that the small men running Russia are ten times more thuggish, the ones in China are 8 times more corrupt and the ones in Pakistan, well, better left unsaid. ….

Read more » Brown Pundits

Via – Twitter

One suo motu too many – By: Tausif Kamal

Whenever some of our preconceived myths are shattered by a stark, unyielding and yet truthful reality, we tend to revert to denial and a refusal to face up to the facts as they are

The Supreme Court’s short order in the Arsalan Iftikhar case absolving the Honourable Chief Justice (CJ) without any investigation or examination of any evidence in the underlying imbroglio is premature. It is in fact contradicted by the Supreme Court’s own statement in this order: “…the Supreme Court (SC)…cannot judge the guilt or innocence of the parties without evidence or trial…” So how is this ruling not applicable to the CJ, who is so intertwined in this scandal being the father of one of the main suspects, and whose judicial power is at the heart of this corruption scandal?

This is in way to imply that the CJ is guilty but there cannot be an exemption from inquiry and investigation along with other participants and witnesses, for possible criminal violations based just on mere words of one of the parties. Who is Malik Riaz to give a clean bill of health to the CJ? It is strange that the SC is relying on the good word of Malik Riaz whom the former considers to be an accused fit to be prosecuted for some serious criminal offences under Pakistan’s criminal laws.

To contend that the media is maligning the judiciary by highlighting this scandal is to blame the messenger and not the message. Let us not be sidetracked, for now at least, by corruption in the media, which no doubt prevails, but which is less important than the imperative of our judiciary to have an unassailable reputation and an image above reproach. Conducting a thorough probe or inquiry of all those allegedly involved, including the Honourable CJ, will clear rather than tarnish the judiciary’s reputation and remove the dark clouds hanging over our most esteemed institution.

The nation has a right to know answers to such vital questions as how long the CJ knew about his son’s involvement with Malik Riaz and how many meetings the CJ had with Malik Riaz before the matter was seized through a suo motu action. The only other acceptable alternative to such an inquiry would be for the CJ to quit honourably in the larger interests of the judiciary and the country.

Continue reading One suo motu too many – By: Tausif Kamal

US contemplating reversal of its Pakistan policy

The United States is contemplating a total reversal of its highly ineffective Pakistan policy. This was stated by Prof Christine Fair, Assistant Professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A Walsh School of Foreign Service while delivering a talk on “The situation in the Af-Pak region” at Observer Research Foundation on June 4, 2012.

Frankly expressing her views from both Pakistani as well as American perspectives, Prof. Fair said that the US does not have a long-term policy for Pakistan, and the present practice of granting aid with the aim of fighting the roots of terrorism has not yielded any results. Consequently, despite fighting the Taliban, the US has inadvertently supported them while alienating the civilian population.

Prof. Fair said that the Pakistan’s decision to close ground supply routes for NATO troops in Afghanistan backfired as the NATO forces soon developed alternative air routes. This, in turn, led many Western leaders to recognise the futility of engaging Pakistan in the war on terror. She also pointed out that the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan further convinced policy makers in Washington of its duplicity.

Asked about the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s perceived lack of understanding about the situation in the West Asia and the Af-Pak region, Prof Fair said that presidential candidates learn very quickly once they take office. As an example, she pointed out Barack Obama’s similar naïveté four years ago and how he learnt and adapted his foreign policy within months into his presidency.

Prof. Fair said that President Obama is disappointed with Pakistan’s counter-terrorism performance, and that the US administration is contemplating containment to force it to abide to its obligations.

According to Prof. Fair, the futility of attempts to alter the pro-jihadist worldview of Pakistan’s foreign policy elite make a serious case of containment, which would hold Pakistan responsible for any terrorist attack with its ’signature’ on it.

Prof. Fair challenged the conventional wisdom that civilian governments in Islamabad are more responsible. She argued that past history suggests a linearity of foreign policy making between military and democratic regimes. This is compounded by a drastic transformation of the popular mindset towards fundamentalism and hatred against India.

Continue reading US contemplating reversal of its Pakistan policy

See this in backdrop of Libi’s killing – Pakistan conveys ‘serious concern’ over US drone strikes

Pakistan conveys ‘serious concern’ over US drone strikes

By Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday summoned the US charge d’affaires to the foreign ministry to convey its “serious concerns” over drone strikes, a ministry statement said, a move that could further escalate tensions between the allies.

The move came after Pakistani intelligence officials said that a US drone strike may have killed an al Qaeda leader, Abu Yahya al-Libi, in Pakistan’s northwest.

Drone attacks are a major sticking point in talks aimed at improving ties between Washington and Islamabad.

The foreign ministry had earlier called the attacks “illegal” and said they violated the country’s sovereignty.

Read more: droneattack
More details » BBC urdu
Via – Twitter.

A serious threat to the existence of Sindh and Sindhi Nation

By: D. K. Ratnani

Please read my below given details very carefully & I would like to highly recommend to office bearer of World Sindhi Congress (WSC) , World Sindhi Institute (WSI) & specially to Sindhi Association of North America (SANA), please include this important issue / topic in our agenda for upcoming SANA convention in New York to highlight this conspiracy against the people of Sindh.

News from Sindh says that NADRA have received over 15000 applications of Sindhi Hindus for their new passports.

Mean time Indian embassy have confirmed that over 5000 Sindhi Hindus have applied for Indian Visa’s.

There are hundreds of Sindhi Hindu families, who already carried Pakistani passport has migrated to India.

This is the result of FORCED CONVERSION OF SINDHI HINDU GIRLS.

Fanatics and Criminals like MIA Mithu has created this situation with FULL Support of Criminals,

This is A very Alarming Situation, Sindhi Hindus are Secular and The Real sons of Sindh.

Sindh has Suffered a lot after their forced migration in 1947 planed riots against Hindus in Karachi by the immigrants who had came from India.

IN THE RESULT DEMOGRAPHY OF SINDH HAS BEEN CHANGED BADLY.

IF WE DON’T STAND UP AND STOP THE HANDS OF ANTI HINDU CRIMINALS AND FANATIC’S!! than;

ALLA’A EEA’N M’A THEEAY JOU KITAA’B’N MEIN LIKHJEY,

TA HUWEE SINDH AIN SINDH WAR’N JEE BOLLEE!!

Sindhi Media and Civil Society MUST play their historical role to STOP crimes against Sindhi Hindus.

This is a Serious threat to the existence of Sindh and Sindhi Nation.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 31 May 2012

Mending fences: PPP cabinet body off to a bad start

By: Jan Khaskheli

SINDH – Karachi :- A Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) federal cabinet committee, which was scheduled to meet politicians, writers, intellectuals, and civil society activists in Sindh to allay growing resentment against the party, faced a number of impediments during a recent trip to Hyderabad, The News has learnt.

Contrary to the rumours, the committee did not meet with Awami Tehreek (AT) President Ayaz Latif Palijo, the man considered one of the main stakeholders in the politics of  Sindh. Palijo told The News that he demanded the committee to show its terms of reference to prove how serious they were in alleviating the grievances of the people of Sindh.

“Their seriousness can be gauged by the fact that they preferred to discuss a very important issue with a handful of civil society representatives instead of political parties,” he regretted. The committee was also boycotted by a number of writers and civil society representatives, who questioned the authority of the body. When the committee met with members of the civil society, only a handful of academics and two representatives of nongovernmental organisations were present on the occasion.

The majority of participants remained silent during the meeting, while the rest largely raised irrelevant issues such as the falling educational standards and water shortage.Veteran scholar and writer Mohammed Ibrahim Joyo, who was supposed to represent writers and the civil society, plainly refused to participate in the meeting. Similarly, the Sindhi Adabi Sangat (SAS), a literary body that claims running about 120 branches with hundreds of writers and poets, also boycotted the meeting.

“We had a number of demands to put before the committee, but we refused to attend because the organisers prohibited us from raising any controversial topic during the meeting,” SAS Secretary Dr Mushtaq Phul told The News.

A number of civil society representatives rued that the police were cracking down on nationalists. They also claimed that those, who tried to express solidarity with the victims of the Mohabbat-e-Sindh rally, had been “whisked away” by the law-enforcement agencies.

Many PPP activists have also expressed their reservations over their party’s silence on the attack on the Mohabbat-e-Sindh rally that left 12 people dead.

The spokesman for the Sindh United Party said his party has announced an all parties’ conference in Karachi, Sindh on May 29 in which all parties have been invited – except for the PPP and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. “They [the PPP and the MQM] are involved in the conspiracy to divide Sindh,” he maintained.

Although Sindh has traditionally been a PPP stronghold, the increasing political instability, the calls for the division of the province, the deteriorating law and order situation in the rural areas, the kidnapping and subsequent murder of political activists including Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz General Secretary Muzaffar Bhutto and the attack on the Mohabbat-e-Sindh rally have left much of Sindh disillusioned with the current leadership.

Courtesy: The News

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-111062-Mending-fences-PPP-cabinet-body-off-to-a-bad-start

Pushing the Sindh Against the Wall – DailyTawar editorial.

Translation By: Archen Baloch

Sindhi too has now started receiving its share of mutilated bodies of abducted people after Balochistan.

The bullet riddled body of Muzafar Bhutto, the leadere of Jeay Sindh Muthada Mahaz, was found at Goth Bukhari near Hyderabad bypass, bearing severe torture marks. He was abducted fifteen months back. The family of Muzafer Bhutto has alleged that the state security agencies are involved in his abduction saying that he was abducted on 25th Jan 2011from New Saeedabad.

Keeping in view the political circumstances, this tragic event can be viewed as a part of rehearsal that is constantly being repeated in Balochistan on daily basis. Previously, the death of JSQM leader Bashir Qurishi in mysterious circumstances is also being regarded as a wider part of the conspiracy against them by Sindhi nationalists.

Muzafer Bhutto’s political struggle has left indelible mark in the political history of Sindh. Previously Muzafer Bhutto was abducted by secret agencies and released after subjecting him with crippling tortures. His role in Sindhi national movement will always be remembered. Baloch nationalists parties too have expressed their unequivocal solidarity with Sindhi nationalists and describe the abduction and the killing of Muzafer Bhutto as the continuation of the same policy of “Kill and Dump” in Balochistan.

According to analysts, the beginning of appearances of mutilated bodies of Political workers in Sindh, shows that the rulers are in panic in Sindh too after Balochistan. Because the rulers seems to have resolved to crush every dissenting voice, no matter wherever it is raised. The rulers are afraid of the intensity of the political movements on moral ground.

The appearance of Mutilated body of Muzafar Bhutto would have far reaching consequences. Political analysts further believe that pushing Sindh against the wall will result in serious ramifications after Balochistan.

Courtesy: http://www.dailytawar.com/adaria_page/2012/May/24/ada.htm

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

In Pakistan, No Quick End to Islam Conversion Case

By DECLAN WALSH

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Hopes for the rapid resolution of a controversy over the conversion of a Hindu woman to Islam that has seized the Pakistani public were dashed on Monday, when the Supreme Court declined to decide the matter for at least three more weeks.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry ruled that Rinkel Kumari, a 19-year-old Hindu student who converted under disputed circumstances last month, should spend the next three weeks pondering her fate in protective custody, along with another Hindu woman in a similar situation.

During an emotional and sometimes rowdy hearing in a packed courtroom in Islamabad, the capital, Chief Justice Chaudhry noted that there had been “serious allegations of abduction and forced conversion” in both cases.

“Both ladies must have an atmosphere without any pressure to make a decision about their future,” he said.

Continue reading In Pakistan, No Quick End to Islam Conversion Case

Is America on the Verge of Theocracy? 4 Fundamentalist Ideologies Threatening U.S. Liberty

Extremists shape American politics to unabashedly pursue legislative policies that favor the rich and punish the poor.

Americans seem confident in the mythical notion that the United States is a free nation dedicated to reproducing the principles of equality, justice and democracy. What has been ignored in this delusional view is the growing rise of an expanded national security state since 2001 and an attack on individual rights that suggests that the United States has more in common with authoritarian regimes like China and Iran “than anyone may like to admit.” I want to address this seemingly untenable notion that the United States has become a breeding ground for authoritarianism by focusing on four fundamentalisms: market fundamentalism, religious fundamentalism, educational fundamentalism and military fundamentalism. This is far from a exhaustive list, but it does raise serious questions about how the claim to democracy in the United States has been severely damaged, if not made impossible.

Continue reading Is America on the Verge of Theocracy? 4 Fundamentalist Ideologies Threatening U.S. Liberty

Nothing to lose in Balochistan – but Balochistan

By Saroop Ijaz

Suppose one were to break a rule of a lifetime and take Rehman Malik seriously when he announced his intention of granting amnesty to Baloch nationalist leaders and went so far as saying that he will personally receive them on arrival. It is hard to miss the condescension and arrogance of the statement since it evidently fails to recognise the very basics of the conflict and treat this as a petty quarrel which can be muffled with assurances to a few individuals and attempts to rectify it with what comes across as some cheap pillow talk. More significantly, there is a clear implication in the statement which I am not sure Mr Malik completely grasps. To guarantee the end of violence and hostilities in future, has embedded in it the assumption that the guarantor would perhaps have a semblance of control over them. So, Rehman Malik has with one statement, used as a desperate measure, has attempted to take the blood and the guilt of decades of murder upon his hands. Hence, Rehman Malik cannot be taken seriously in this case, even if one does not mention Nauroz Khan Zehri.

Security establishment’ is becoming too hazy a term to ascribe direct culpability. It has become an oblique way of saying that the Pakistan armed forces and their subordinate agencies are using intense, non-stop and lethal violence upon the Baloch. Remaining on imprecise terms, ‘missing person’ is a case in point. It is a seemingly innocuous term summoning to mind the image of somebody absent from dinner or someone forgetting to pick someone up. Quite to the contrary, somebody did pick them up with the intention of torture and probably murder; it is abduction or kidnapping at the very least.

The apology and the assurance will have to come from the Army Chief, the DG ISI and the IG FC. And for it to mean anything, those kidnapped have to return ……

Read more » The Express Tribune

Bound by hatred of the US, Pakistan extremists and politicians join hands to shake government – Chicago Tribune

By: ASHRAF KHAN

Associated Press – KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Bound together by hatred of the United States and support for insurgents fighting in Afghanistan, a revived coalition of supposedly banned Islamist extremists and rightwing political parties is drawing large crowds across Pakistan.

The emergence of the “Defend Pakistan Council” movement has raised suspicions that the group has approval from elements in the powerful military and security establishment, aiming to bolster public support for a hardline position. The group’s rise comes as the military is trying to assert its position in renegotiating its troubled relationship with the United States and as Pakistan prepares for elections likely to take place later this year.

Some of the leading lights in the Defend Pakistan Council have traditionally been seen as close to the security establishment, which has a long history of propping up radicals to defend its domestic interests or fight in India and Afghanistan.

On Sunday, the group’s bandwagon rolled into Karachi, the country’s commercial heart.

Between 20,000 and 30,000 men gathered close to a monument to Pakistan’s founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, whose vision of a liberal, secular Pakistan is often contrasted to the rise of hardline, often violent groups in the country.

The star of the gathering was Hafiz Saeed, the head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a front group for Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group accused by India and the West of sending Pakistani militants by boat to Mumbai in 2008 where they killed 166 people in attacks on a hotel and other sites.

“We demand Pakistani rulers quit the alliance with America,” said Saeed, who was placed under house arrest after the Mumbai attacks but has slowly re-emerged in public, without a response from authorities. “There can be no compromise on the freedom and sovereignty of the country.”

Members of Dawa patrolled the rally, some armed with automatic weapons, others on horseback.

Also represented on stage and in the crowd were Sipah-e-Sahaba, a feared Sunni extremist group that has carried out scores of attacks on minority Shiites in recent years. Its members have reportedly formed alliances with al-Qaida operatives in Pakistan.

A large banner that hung over the stage read “Wake up, countrymen, break the shackles of American slavery.”

That anti-American message has been amplified by the Pakistani army since U.S. airstrikes along the Afghan border in late November killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The Pakistani army accused the U.S. of deliberately targeting the outposts, rejecting American assertions it was mistake.

Pakistan retaliated by closing its western border to NATO and U.S military supplies into Afghanistan, a key supply line for the war. Saeed and other speakers threatened civil disobedience if Pakistan reopens it. Their stance could hamper American hopes that Islamabad will quietly reopen the route in the coming weeks.

“We vow that the NATO supply will never be restored,” he said.

The alliance groups many of the same parties and clerics that banded together after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, capitalizing on anti-American sentiment. It formed a political alliance that won 50 seats in elections that took place in 2002.

The current government, which is broadly pro-American and doesn’t espouse political Islam, is under pressure from the courts and opposition parties. Elections are now seen as likely later this year, and the revival of the “Defend Pakistan” group appears to be a push by politicians grouped within it to win votes among the legions of Pakistanis who subscribe to Islamist views.

It could also be attempt by the army to put pressure on the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, which has repeatedly clashed with the generals since taking power in 2008 and has tried to get closer ties with India. The group has organized large rallies in several Pakistan cities; next week it plans a gathering in the capital, Islamabad.

Many of the speakers in Karachi rallied the crowds with warnings that Pakistan was under threat, and Islam its only defense.

Do you swear to fight back with Islamic spirit, honor and dignity if anyone, whether American, NATO, Israel or India attack Pakistan?” asked Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, head of a hardline school that has sent thousands of people to fight in Afghanistan over the last 10 years.

Jihad! Jihad!” the crowd roared.

Speaker after speaker also touted the army line on India, saying the neighboring country represents an existential threat to Pakistan. This stance justifies the security state that has been established since the two nations broke apart from the British-ruled subcontinent in 1947.

Liberals, democrats and peace activists have been trying for years to bring India and Pakistan closer together. But in the past, the army has funded and trained Islamic militant groups and their umbrella organizations to battle Indian forces in Kashmir, the disputed territory at the heart of the rivalry between the two countries.

The security establishment of this country desires that ultra-radical parties should be brought into politics so that their doctrine against India, America or Israel could be infused to the masses,” said Tauseef Ahmed, the head of the Mass Communication department at the Federal Urdu University.

Also at the Karachi rally was Hamid Gul, a former general who headed the country’s spy agency in the late 1980s when Pakistan and the U.S. were supporting militants in their fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan. He has since become a leading voice in the media against America and in support of the Taliban. Documents released by the whistleblower site Wikileaks alleged he retained ties to the insurgency there, a charge he has denied.

Ejaz Haider, a security analyst, said the security establishment should be “checked for serious dementia if it was using the council for its own purposes, given that many of its members have been linked to terrorism that is taking a deadly toll inside Pakistan.

Continue reading Bound by hatred of the US, Pakistan extremists and politicians join hands to shake government – Chicago Tribune

U.S. mind your business – Sherry Rehman

US congressional hearing on Balochistan ‘ill-advised’ move: Sherry Rehman

By APP

Rehman says govt of Pakistan strongly rejects the purpose and findings of the hearing.

WASHINGTON: Taking a strong exception to a United States Congressional hearing on Balochistan this week, Pakistan has termed it an “ill-advised” move that would be detrimental to the trust between Pakistan and the United States of America.

A Pakistan Embassy spokesman in Washington said that Pakistan’s Ambassador Sherry Rehman raised the issue of an exclusive hearing on Balochistan by US House Committee on Foreign Affairs in her meetings with the members of congress and senior officials of the US administration.

According to the spokesman, Rehman said that the government of Pakistan strongly rejects the purpose and findings of the hearing and considers it an “ill-advised and ill-considered” move that will have serious repercussions for Pakistan-US relations.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/334449/us-congressional-hearing-on-balochistan-ill-advised-move-sherry-rehman/

Let’s Talk Civil-Military, NOW!

By Marvi Sirmed

Atiqa Odho needs to change her name. Not only her name but also the prefix if she wants to avoid further humiliation that she possibly could not and would not want, just because she is a woman and does not bear the right prefix before her name. Brigadier Zafar Iqbal had both — the right name and the right prefix.

The good brigadier embarked on a PIA flight from Karachi to Lahore on Saturday night, intoxicated with the ‘sherbet’. The captain of the plane handed him over to the Airport Security Force (ASF) after the brigadier publicly harassed one of the female crew members. The ASF, obviously, could not hold him for more than a few minutes when they discovered the full name of the detainee. No wonder the news item merited just a few lines in Sunday newspapers. I am still waiting for the ‘suo motu’ and media-panic that we saw in Atiqa Odho’s case. Pertinent to remind here, Ms Odho was neither drunk nor did she harass anyone on the flight.

This points to two serious maladies of this society: one, a strong gender bias that women of this country have to endure everywhere, including the courts; and two, unjust and unfair partiality that society confers on the military. It is not only about an overly powerful military but also about an extremely weak civil society. It would be naïve to believe that civil society in Pakistan is powerful enough to foil any attempt to usurp power from the civilian entities. This is mainly because the military here never departed from power. Irrespective of who occupied the buildings of the Prime Minister Secretariat and the Presidency, the military always ruled in the country through its incontrovertible influence over political decision-making and social phenomena.

The way things happen in the court, and outside of it, memo scandal is a case in point. In the memo scandal, Husain Haqqani was treated as an accused by the media and society at large because the military thought so. Everything else had to be in sync with what the military wanted or at least, was perceived to be wanting. The same ‘evidence’ (the BBM conversations claimed by Mansoor Ijaz that took place between him and Husain Haqqani) implicated the head of the ISI who was accused in the same BBM conversations to have spoken to the leaders of some Arab states and gotten their consent to sack the present government. But no one from the media, politicians (even the ones who portray themselves as most committed to civilian supremacy) and the judiciary could ever point a finger towards General Pasha, the accused. Husain Haqqani was an easy target because he was not a general. Or even a brigadier.

Later, the chief of army staff and the head of ISI submitted their affidavits in clear departure of the government’s point of view — the same government that both of them are accountable to. The prime minister was openly criticised by everyone for calling this action of the two generals as unconstitutional. So much so that the media wing of the Pakistan Army, the ISPR, attacked the prime minister — their boss — by issuing a strongly worded statement warning the government of grave consequences and serious ramifications. So there were two statements, one by the chief executive of a country castigating his subordinate generals for unconstitutional actions, and the other from the subordinate generals threatening their boss with grave consequences. Guess who had to retract the statement? You got it right, it was the boss. The Islamic Republic is unique in its construction.

What can be more worrying for a people whose representative is humiliated by an agency that should be subordinate to the people. The agency, it is more perturbing, does so with popular consent. The absence of popular outrage amounts to consent if one could decrypt public reactions. We can go on endlessly criticising hungry-for-power generals, selfish politicians, corporate media and an ambitious judiciary, but what remains a fact is Pakistani society’s utter failure — rather refusal — to grow from a Praetorian state to even a half decent egalitarian democracy.

Continue reading Let’s Talk Civil-Military, NOW!

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/

Pakistan army warns PM Gilani

Pakistan army warns PM Gilani over criticisms

Pakistan’s military has publicly rebuked Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani over an escalating row.

The army warned of “serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences” after the PM criticised military leaders in a media interview.

Meanwhile, Mr Gilani has sacked his defence secretary, who is seen as having close ties to the military.

Tensions have been rising in recent months between Pakistan’s civilian government and military leaders.

The latest row is a serious source of instability in Pakistan, where the military has ruled for more than half the country’s history after seizing power in a series of coups.

Unconstitutional

On Monday Mr Gilani was quoted telling China’s People’s Daily Online that Pakistan’s army chief and head of intelligence acted unconstitutionally ….

Read more » BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16511826

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has issued a statement that the people of Pakistan, do not appreciate the meeting of the CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry of Pakistan with Mr Richard Holbrooke in his chambers!

We do not appreciate meeting of Chief Justice with Richard Holbrooke: Dr. Arif Alvi

By Ahsan Mansoor

The Secretary General of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has issued a statement that the people of Pakistan, do not appreciate the meeting of the Chief Justice of Pakistan with Mr Richard Holbrooke in his chambers on Friday.

We struggled long and hard for his restoration and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf does respect the Supreme Court, but for matters of dignity and norms the Chief Justice should not have met a political official of the US Government,

Continue reading Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has issued a statement that the people of Pakistan, do not appreciate the meeting of the CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry of Pakistan with Mr Richard Holbrooke in his chambers!

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

UN Security Council condemns Ashura attacks in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif reminded “States” to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council Press Statement on Afghanistan- SC/10474- Afg/380

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Vitaly Churkin ( Russian Federation):

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the abhorrent terrorist attacks on 6 December in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif causing numerous death and injuries.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the victims of these heinous acts and to their families, and to the people and Government of Afghanistan.

The members of the Security Council called on the Government of Afghanistan to bring those responsible to justice.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.

The members of the Security Council reminded States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their support for the people and the Government of Afghanistan.

Courtesy » http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10474.doc.htm

Shameful act against humanity: Three Sindhi Hindus killed in Pakistan

Three Hindus killed in Pakistan

Islamabad: Three members of the minority Hindu community were killed when unidentified persons attacked a village in Sindh province of southern Pakistan on Monday, officials said.

Another Hindu was seriously injured in the attack at Taluka Chak in Shikarpur district.

President Asif Ali Zardari took “serious note” of the attack on members of the Hindu community and directed authorities to immediately arrest those responsible and bring them to justice.

Zardari had sought an immediate report on the incident, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said. Zardari instructed Ramesh Lal, a Hindu parliamentarian from Sindh, to go to the village and convey his condolences to the bereaved families.

The President said it was the “moral and legal responsibility of the government to protect members of the minority community against vandalism and atrocities”.

Babar quoted Zardari as saying that the “law would take its course and the culprits will not go unpunished“.

Courtesy » ZeeNews

Psychology of a Tablighi

by Waseem Altaf

The tableeghis preach cleanliness but do we often see them cleaning their own dirty streets. They preach acquisition of knowledge, yet do we often witness tableeghis coaching science and mathematics to underprivileged children from their area …

Read more » ViewPoint

Human Rights commission of Pakistan (HRCP): Proposed Local Government System in Sindh – Combining elements of 1979 & 2001 Ordinances/ Acts

Background

Democratic governance is among one of the major concerns of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. HRCP believes that an important aspect of democracy is governance at the local level. In Sindh, the issue of local government has caused deep divisions among the stakeholders, particularly in Karachi, Sindh,  and led to the hardening of positions. This issue also demands urgency of settlement as the current arrangement, put in place through an Ordinance, will end on November 11, 2011. HRCP’s recent fact-finding into the causes of violence in Karachi indicated that the primary reason is a war of turf over who controls the city.

Continue reading Human Rights commission of Pakistan (HRCP): Proposed Local Government System in Sindh – Combining elements of 1979 & 2001 Ordinances/ Acts

Pakistan’s military and legislators plan peace talks with Taliban

– In the midst of bad and worsening relations with Washington, Pakistan considers new round of peace talks with Pakistan-based Taliban, arguing that ‘military solutions’ are making things worse.

By Owais Tohid

Excerpt;

……. But analysts believe that striking negotiations with Islamic militants will pose serious challenges. “We struck peace accords with militant commanders during the past and those blew up on our face,” says Peshawar-based defense analyst, retired Brig. Mohammad Saad. “Once you enter into negotiations, they [the militants] grow bigger than their size and start believing themselves as equal. The more the state talks to them, they will become a bigger problem in Pakistan.”

“Their agenda is different,” Brigadier Saad adds. “Their ideology is in clash with the norms and values of any modern civilized society.” …..

To read complete article → csmonitor

No justification for military takeover, says Asma Jehangir, the president of Supreme Court Bar Association

– No justification for military takeover, says Asma

By Nasir Iqbal

ISLAMABAD, Sept 23: One of the country`s most prominent human rights activists has expressed her serious concern on the poor performance of the federal and provincial governments, but has warned against this being used as a pretext by the extra-constitutional forces to derail the democratic process.

Asma Jehangir, who is also the president of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), told Dawn that under no circumstances issues like the deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi or elsewhere could provide justification for any kind of military intervention. However, her fear was that “if civilian governments do not put their house in order, they would soon be sent packing”. In any case, she said, such a move would be disastrous for the country, and could result in more bloodshed and anarchy.

Commenting on a recent media report of possible differences among the top military commanders, with some suggesting a possible take-over, ….

Read more → DAWN.COM

MQM in the way of plot against Pakistan: Altaf

– By Azfar-ul-Ashfaque

Excerpt;

…. The gist of the press conference was that Western powers were plotting the dismemberment of Pakistan, but the Muttahida had resolved to foil the design.

Repeated assurances were made to the armed forces, the Inter-Services Intelligence as well as the nation that the MQM was against conspiracies being hatched against the country.

Mr Hussain chose not to answer the serious allegations levelled by former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza against him and his party over the past fortnight, parrying a number of questions by reporters.

He concentrated on showing documents, maps and reports from the international media to strengthen his contention that international powers were working for the break-up of Pakistan.

Although he refused to pinpoint the international powers he was referring to, an allusion left no doubt: “The country which has the biggest influence in Pakistan is behind such conspiracies”. The MQM cannot fight such powers alone, Mr Hussain added. “There would have been no super power had the army, the ISI and the MQM got united.”

The MQM supremo accused the leadership of the Awami National Party of “misleading the Pukhtoons living in Karachi and Peshawar”. He even went to the extent of claiming that the United States had given millions of dollars to Asfandyar Wali for contesting the 2008 general election. ….

Read more → DAWN.COM