The language of the video clip is urdu (Hindi).
Courtesy: via Facebook » YouTube
The language of the video clip is urdu (Hindi).
Courtesy: via Facebook » YouTube
Books by American academics, officials and journalists on India and Pakistan almost invariably portray reluctance of the authors to call a spade a spade. They underplay the serious global implications of Pakistan’s links with radical Islamist terrorist groups and the dangerous role of these groups within Pakistan and beyond its borders, particularly in India and Afghanistan. Bruce Riedel is different. He is an American specialist on the Middle East, South Asia and counter-terrorism, with 29 years’ experience in the CIA. He has also served four presidents in the White House.
Riedel’s new book, Avoiding Armageddon: America, India and Pakistan to the Brink and Back, is a colourful and interesting account of the imperatives, twists and turns of America’s policies, especially since the days of World War II and the subsequent partition of the sub-continent in August 1947. While the birth pangs of the partition, the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir and the India-Pakistan conflicts of 1965 and 1971 are covered factually and impartially, it is important for all those interested in the geopolitics of India’s neighbourhood to read and absorb Riedel’s analysis of how the US cultivated Pakistan’s military dictator, General Zia-ul-Haq, to “bleed” the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. In the process, America made Pakistan a playground for radical Islamist groups worldwide, which undermined security and stability within Pakistan and across its entire neighbourhood.
General Zia laid the foundations for Pakistan’s ambitions to make Afghanistan a radical Islamic state and the epicentre for global jihad. Over 80,000 Afghans were armed and trained by the isi during the Zia period, with an aim of ending Afghan territorial claims on Pakistan and eliminating Indian and Soviet influence there, while also making Afghanistan “a real, Islamic State, part of a pan-Islamic revival that will one day win over the Muslims of the Soviet Union”. Riedel reveals how General Zia used the Afghan conflict for carrying his enthusiasm for jihad into Jammu and Kashmir, following a secret meeting with Kashmiri Jamat-e-Islami leader Maulana Abdul Bari in 1980. Riedel also reveals Zia’s role in fomenting terrorism in Punjab in the 1980s. He exposes US duplicity in rewarding Pakistan in the 1980s, by deliberately turning a blind eye to its nuclear weapons programme.
Riedel explains how short-sighted American policies promoted Wahhabi-oriented radicalisation in a nuclear-armed Pakistan. These policies also increased the dominance of the army, weakening democratic institutions. They led to the emergence of global links between radical Islamist organisations in Pakistan and Afghanistan and their counterparts across the world. The Kargil conflict is discussed in detail, as is the military standoff that followed the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament. Riedel is unsparing on the links of the isi with the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). He dwells on the nexus between isi-supported terrorist groups like the let and the Jaish-e-Mohammed, with the Taliban and with groups like the al Qaeda and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The book commences with the 26/11 terrorist strike on Mumbai. The actions of the let and its chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and their terrorist links are clinically analysed. Riedel describes how the tentacles of the ISI extend from the let to the Taliban and jihadi groups worldwide.
Riedel spells out two nightmare scenarios. The first is a takeover of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons by terrorists. The second nightmare he alludes to is a 26/11-type terrorist attack leading to nuclear escalation, after an angered India responds militarily.
Has Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law become a political tool in the hands of religious conservatives?
We will be discussing Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law with journalist Shehrbano Taseer whose father – Punjab governor Salman Taseer – was killed for speaking out against it.
The killing ignited a debate in Pakistan with many critics calling for the law to be amended or scrapped, saying it was being used to victimise liberal politicians and religious minorities.
But extremist groups have celebrated Taseer’s killer, calling him a hero who is defending Islam.
So has the blasphemy law become a political tool and should it have a place in today’s Pakistan?
Also joining the discussion will be Asma Jahangir, a well-known human rights activist, and Amjad Waheed, an Islamic scholar.
Read more : ALJAZEERA
Governor Punjab Salman Taseer’s murder is a result of rising extremism and fanatisicm in the country. Shutting our eyes to problems of intolerance, extremism and fanaticism will not help the problem go away. In this episode of Reporter, Arshad Sharif tries to find out if the media, judiciary, lawyers and society at large also have a role in promoting extremist tendencies in Pakistan. The language of program is urdu/ Hindi.
The chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Hussain Chaudhry, has taken suo motu notice against the murder of governor Punjab, the late Salman Taseer. …
Read more : CHOWK
Fatehyab Ali Khan passes away
KARACHI, Sept 26: President of the Mazdoor Kissan Party Fatehyab Ali Khan passed away in a local hospital on Sunday. He was 76. … He was admitted to Aga Khan Hospital on Sept 23 after suffering a cardiac arrest. …
… He also played an important role in the Movement for Restoration of Democracy during the Gen Zia-ul-Haq regime….
Read more >> DAWN
(RTTNews) – Suspected Islamist militants shot dead two Christian brothers charged with blasphemy in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad, 260 kilometers south of the capital Islamabad on Monday, reports said.
The incident occurred as the duo–Pastor Rashid Emmanuel and Sajjid Emmanuel– was being taken back to jail after an appearance at a local court in connection with the case.
It was on July 2 that the two were arrested by the police after Muslims accused them of making blasphemous remarks on the Prophet (pbuh) in pamphlets.
Strangely, the names of the two accused are said to have been printed at the bottom of the pamphlets along with their phone numbers. Further evidence of the charges being ‘trumped up’ came to light as handwriting experts found that the writing on the pamphlets did not match either that of Rashid’s or Sajjid’s handwriting.
Critics of the blasphemy law– first introduced by former Pakistan President Gen. Zia-ul-Haq to woo ultra-conservative sections of the Pakistani society—have long held that it was being misused to settle personal scores.
A recent report from the US State Department on religious freedom in Pakistan says it had become a convenient tool for persecuting the country’s religious minorities.
The mountains that were climbed to get to Canada – By Natasha Fatah
Before I was born, my father was in and out of prison for leading demonstrations against Zia-ul-Haq’s military dictatorship.
In his mind, and that of many other liberals, Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq was threatening to turn Pakistan from a progressive, exciting country into a conservative, dogmatic Islamic republic.
At that point, the dictatorship was winning, so for the safety of his family my father left Pakistan.
I don’t think he wanted to leave, but we ended up spending years in Saudi Arabia and Holland. Then my younger sister came along and my family waited for a safe opportunity to return to Pakistan.
But that return was never to happen.
Eventually, we made our way to a new home in Canada. It was the best decision our family ever made. Canada is our Promised Land.
There is a funny thing about the idea of a promised land — it’s about the place that you end up, but it is just as much about the environment you are trying to escape.
Whether it was the Jews in the Bible trying to rid themselves of the tyranny of the Egyptians, or African slaves in the American South — people flee to this sometimes vague notion of freedom. Away from whatever it is that harms them and towards opportunity and dignity. We don’t always know where that promised land is, but we know it when we find it.
Read more >>- CBC
– Iqbal Tareen, Washington, DC
People of Sindh clearly see a Noora Kushty in conflict between PML (N) and MQM. Politically naive people couldn’t get the drift of MQM at all. MQM excels in “Use and lose” game. In my book “Harvest will come” I had predicted that MQM will stab PPP in the back because Nawaz Sharrif and MQM have common family tree going all the way to Zia-ul-Haq. Combined with all other rightist parties this is another IJI, which is once again engaged against a party that was not manufactured in GHQ. Many so-called “progressive and people friendly activists” have been taken for a ride.
Zia’s Investment in religion
During late 70 and almost all 1980s (till 88) Zia and his companions earned dollars through two main sources: drug trade and selling Pakistani youth to America’s Afghan war. People would be interested to know what the society got in return? To know please read the following BBC news:
This is really a terrible face of religious hatred by socalled educated ones against the society.
Brigadier Imtiaz “Billa”, former chief of Intelligence Bureau, said US along with ‘internal powers’ in Pakistan assassinated general Zia-ul-Haq.
Islamabad: US and “internal powers” were behind the 1988 plane crash that killed General Zia-ul-Hq, who ruled Pakistan from 1978 till his death, a former Pakistani spymaster has claimed. Imtiaz Ahmed, a former chief of the Intelligence Bureau, said the US collaborated with “internal powers” in Pakistan to assassinate Zia. Imtiaz “Billa” who also served in the ISI, has shaken up political parties with revelations of huge payments allegedly made by the Inter-Services Intelligence to strengthen the opposition to former premier Benazir Bhutto in 1990.
Only ‘Billa’ can tell why
By Zaffar Abbas
Courtesy: Daily Dawn, Tuesday, 01 Sep, 2009
ISLAMABAD: Brigadier (retd) Imtiaz Ahmed, or others like him who served in the security services over the past three decades, may alone know the real reason for re-igniting the controversies regarding their role in the making and breaking of political parties, alliances and governments, and of institutionalising corruption in the country’s politics.
By Tahir Hasan Khan, Karachi, Sindh
Courtesy: The News, Monday, August 31, 2009
Brigadier (Retired) Imtiaz, also known as “Billa” is not new for the people of Sindh. He was Sindh ISI chief when political activist Nazeer Abbasi was murdered and a PIA plane was hijacked in early 80’s. The purpose of the murder of political activist Nazeer Abbasi was to warn political workers and the hijacking incident was to sabotage the MRD (Movement for Restoration of Democracy) action launched against Gen Zia-ul Haq. As a result of his work, Billa was promoted as brigadier in the army.
By Nadeem F Paracha
Student politics in Pakistan has had a history of mixed fortunes and shades. Though extremely tumultuous, it is also a history of rich democratic traditions. Before student unions were banned by the Zia-ul-Haq dictatorship in 1984, their activities were conducted through regular annual elections in universities and colleges.
by Manzoor Chandio, Karachi, Sindh
The writer works in Daily Dawn and he can be reached at email@example.com
Zia gave Pakistan brutal gifts of Taliban and Muslim League. Renowned writer and columnist Ms Ayesha Siddiqa has written a very informative article titled ‘Zia’s children’ in The News (April 5, 2009).
According to her, “the application of Sharia is extremely complex as it entails a stringent mechanism for evidence. For instance, a witness has to meet certain conditions.
by Prof. Nadeem Jamali
My childhood in Karachi, during Gen. Zia’s rule, the government organized massive celebrations on each independence day. Citizens of Karachi in particular — mostly non-Sindhis- participated in these celebrations enthusiastically, with Pakistani flags everywhere.
In our Sindhi home, we were not done mourning Bhutto’s hanging. Seeing my father sitting in dark, with tears in his eyes was very difficulty. I had cut out black and white pictures of Bhutto from the newspapers reporting his death, and put them in frames all around the house.
P*** flags were not allowed in our house. We were Sindhis, not Pa****. In the GOR (Government Officers Residence) neighborhood on Bath Island, our apartment stuck out as a home that did not celebrate independence. To me and my brother, just over 10 years old children, this was not fun. It was isolating. It was also frightening at times. On one occasion, some kids in the neighborhood, after visiting our home for a birthday party and noticing the un-Pakistani life style, threatened to report our family to the martial law government… Our father laughed it off, but we children were nervous. But August 14th came around, more than anything else, we felt a sense of isolation, of not being part of something celebratory going on all around us, of missing out.
So, one year, we pleaded with our father to let us bring some Pa**** flag decorations to hang from our balcony. After some initial resistance, he relented, perhaps appreciating what the children were going through. It was great fun. Our balcony looked beautiful. It no longer looked like a balcony of sourpusses. We were like everyone else, one with our neighborhood, joined in a celebration.
I don’t remember the exact reasons, but when the next year’s independence day came, we children did not feel like getting any P*** flags. Perhaps we had grown up a bit and realized that there were things more important than being part of a celebration. .. the enemy’s celebration. Or perhaps the MRD movement had begun.
Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups.
by G. N. Mughul
KARACHI: It is interesting to note that President Asif Ali Zardari, is fifth Sindhi, holding a vital position in the set-up of Pakistan, against whom PML(N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif rebelled all along his political career since 1988 till today due to one reason or the other.
The first victim of Mian Nawaz Sharif’s style of politics was soft spoken Sindhi Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo. Junejo was dismissed as Prime Minister of Pakistan by the then Military dictator Gen. Zia ul Haq after an enquiry ordered by the then Prime Minister Junejo in to the causes of the famous Ojhri Camp explosion against the wishes of the Military dictator. When Mohammad Khan Junejo was removed from the office of Prime Minister, he also held the office of President, Muslim League. It was early 1988. At that time Mian Nawaz Sharif was attached with Punjab Government and was rather President Muslim League Punjab. At that time Mian Nawaz Sharif used to be known as blue eyed boy of Gen. Jilani and Gen. Zia ul Haq. Immediately after the removal of Mohammad Khan Junejo as Prime Minister of Pakistan a meeting of the general council of Pakistan Muslim League was called in Lahore. According to the circles close to Junejo group, a majority of those invited to attend the said PML session was recommended by Mian Nawaz Sharif. In this meeting Mohammad Khan Junejo was also removed from the office of the President PML. Afterwards, PML was bifurcated in to two groups viz PML(Junejo group) and PML (anti Junejo group). Hamid Nasir Chattha sided with Junejo and remained with him till the death of Junejo. Afterwards, Junejo group was headed by Hamid Nasir Chattha and with the passage of time Junejo group was renamed as PML(Chattha Group).
The second victim is reported to be
Pir Pagaro. When attempts were made by PML Punjab group headed by Mian Nawaz Sharif to rebel against Pir Pagaro, Pir Pagaro also dissociated from that PML and formed his own group called since then as PML(Functional group). First Secretary General of PML(F) was S. M. Zafar.
In 1988 general elections held after the death of Gen. Zia ul Haq in a plane crash, PPP headed by Benazir Bhutto captured majority of NA seats even in Punjab. At that time Provincial polls used to be held two days after national polls. In the meantime, Nawaz Sharif camp raised the slogan of ” Jag Punjabi Jag – Terey Pag nu lag gaya dagh” and aroused the parochial feelings of the people of Punjab against a Sindhi leader of PP. The said attempt succeeded to the extent that majority Provincial Assembly seats in Punjab were captured by PML(N). As the result, PP formed Government in centre with Benazir Bhutto as the Prime Minister and PML(N) formed government in Punjab with Mian Nawaz Sharif as Chief Minister.
The later developments bear testimony that Nawaz Sharif’s Punjab Government did not recognize Benazir Bhutto as Prime Minister of Pakistan and the then Punjab Government virtually rebelled against PP Government in centre in almost in each field to the extent that whenever Benazir Bhutto, as Prime Minister, visited any area of Punjab she was not provided due protocol by the Punjab Government of Nawaz Sharif.
Courtesy: The Frontier post, March 12, 2009