On Ejaz Haider and his kudos to our saviours

by admin

Relatives are distressed as a man wounded in a grenade attack receives aid at a hospital in Peshawar; the attack on the eve of Ashura killed a toddler and wounded many others. PHOTO: AFP

The dominant narrative in the (ISI and JI dominated) Pakistani media is to congratulate each other, security agencies (police, rangers, army) in particular, on their ‘success’ in preventing terrorist attacks during the Ashura of Muharram.

Once against the official narrative emanates from our masters in the establishment and is uncritically recycled and propagated by their friends in Pakistan’s “free media”.

Take for example a recent op-ed by Ejaz Haider in Express Tribune (20 Dec 2010) in which he states:

kudos to those who developed and executed the multiple security plans to prevent terrorist attacks on Youm-e-Ashur. A nerve-wracking task of herculean proportions, cover as it did several cities across the country and provided security to thousands of mourners in dense areas where preventing a single person from sneaking up to a crowd and mounting a suicide attack required meticulous planning and execution to a tee and more — much more.

Not a single time in this piece, Mr Haider acknowledged nor paid tribute to those innocent Shias and Sunnis who were killed by sectarian killers of the Taliban / Sipah-e-Sahaba in Kohat, Hangu and Peshawar during the Ashura of Muharram.

This shows not only an acutely urban (Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad centric) bias of our media but also speaks of their pro-establishment tendencies.

Let’s offer a quick survey of the ‘success’ during the mourning days of Muharram:

19 Shia and Sunni Muslims massacred in Kohat
8 December 2010
1 Muharram

As usual, the ISI and JI dominated Pakistani media is distorting the fact. The Kohat attack today was clearly sectarian, aimed at a bus carrying passengers, most of them Shia but also some moderate Sunnis, who were travelling to the nearby tribal district of Orakzai, where Pakistan has encouraged displaced civilians to return after an anti-Taliban offensive.

According to daily Dawn:

A teenage suicide bomber killed 19 people at a busy Pakistani bus terminal on Wednesday, the third attack in three days as the country stepped up security for the holy month of Muharram.

The bomber blew himself up in Kohat, home to at least half a million people and one of the main garrisons for the Pakistan military, in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“It was a suicide blast. The death toll has risen to 17,” Kohat police chief Dilawar Bangash told AFP, adding that 25 others were wounded, seven of them seriously. (Death toll has risen to 19: DawnNews)

Police said the bomber blew himself up at the door of a bus carrying passengers to the nearby tribal district of Orakzai, where Pakistan has encouraged displaced civilians to return after an anti-Taliban offensive.

“We have found the head and legs of the suicide bomber,” said Bangash. The bus terminal is in Tirah bazaar, the main market in the town.

The attack coincided with the start of Muharram, which traditionally sees tensions rise between Pakistan’s majority Sunni Muslim and minority Shia Muslim community.

“It is true there were more Shias killed in the attack but there were a number of Sunnis also who died in the blast. So we cannot say who was the target,” said Bangash, adding the suicide bomber was aged 15 to 16.

https://pakistanblogzine.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/grenade-attack-in-peshawar-afp-640×4801.jpgarchives/32514

15 Shias massacred at Al-Zahra Hospital and Mosque in Hangu

10 December 2010
3 Muharram

A suicide bomb car bomb killed at least nine (update: 15) people in northwest Pakistan on Friday, police said, also leaving 28 others injured.

The bomb hit the main gate of the Al-Zuhra hospital and maternity center in Pass Kalay, a town in the district of Hangu, said Abdul Rashid Khan, the police chief in Hangu. The hospital and mosque cater to Shia patients and worshippers.

The blast damaged the mosque, two houses and two vehicles, he said. At least two children were killed.

Hangu sits next to Pakistan’s tribal region and is part of a region plagued by sectarian violence by extremist Deobandis and Wahhabis (Taliban / Sipah-e-Sahaba) against Shia Muslims.

The attack happened on the second day of Muhharam, one of the holiest days on the Islamic calendar, when violence and fighting is prohibited.

Source

At least 15 people were killed and over 20 others were injured on Friday when a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into an under-construction building of a hospital in northwest Pakistan, a media report said.

The commissioner of Kohat, Khalid Khan Umarzai confirmed “the suicide vehicle blast”, adding that “the authorities had received threats”.

On Wednesday, a suicide blast at a bus stand in Kohat city, a few kilometers away from Hangu, killed 16 people and injured more than 20.

Investigators said the blast, which damaged the hospital building, was a sectarian attack.

https://pakistanblogzine.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/grenade-attack-in-peshawar-afp-640×4801.jpgarchives/32868

Some of the dead were identified as Khalid, Muhammad Ali, Waqar Hussain, Hikmat Ali, Zohra Bibi, Bibi Maryam and Saleem Bibi. The injured included Faizan Ali, Khalique Raza, Wajid Ali, Jaffar, Samin, Asghar, Tufail Muhammad, Ikhtiar Ali, Arsalan, Wahabul Hassan, Mohib Ali, Asghar Hussain, Gulfam Hussain, Ali Asghar and police constable Dildar Hussain.

A Shia community leader Shireen Ali Shah said they had informed the local administration about the likely terror attacks on their Imambargahs and hospitals but no security measures were taken to protect them. He alleged the blast took place due to the negligence on the part of the administration.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=2592&Cat=13

Grenade attack in Peshawar, 1 killed, 28 injured

16 Dec 2010
9 Muharram

A grenade attack killed one child and wounded 28 people, including women and children, at a Muharram procession Thursday on the eve of Ashura in Peshawar, reported Express 24/7 correspondent Iftikhar Firdous.

“Twenty-five injured were brought to our hospital. There are women and children among them. One child is in a serious condition,” said Abdul Hamid Afridi, head of the city’s Lady Reading Hospital.

According to Express 24/7 correspondent Omar Farooq, three of the injured, including one child, were in critical conditions when they were brought into Lady Reading Hospital.

“It was a grenade attack,” Peshawar administration chief Mohammad Siraj told AFP, adding that police had failed to arrest the culprit.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/90936/live-updates-low-intensity-explosion-in-peshawar-procession/

http://tribune.com.pk/story/91232/muharram-procession-one-killed-25-injured-in-grenade-attack-in-peshawar/

Ashura attack kill nine in Hangu: police

December 17, 2010
10 Muharram

PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD: A mortar attack killed nine people, including women and children, in northwest Pakistan on Friday as Shia Muslims marked Ashura, the holiest day in their calendar, police said.

Mortars slammed into two houses in Hangu, a town that has been a flashpoint for sectarian clashes between Shia and Sunni Muslim communities.

They were fired from the neighbouring district of Orakzai, part of Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal areas with Afghanistan that Washington has branded the global headquarters of al Qaeda. “It was a sectarian attack. A total of four mortars were fired. The death toll is now nine,” Gul Jamal, a local police official said.

Several women and at least two children were among the dead. Officials said the dead included six Shias and three Sunnis. The injured were taken to a nearby hospital.

The attack occurred despite tight security measures put in place for the Islamic holy month of Muharram, which has often been marred by sectarian and militant violence against Shias. Hangu has witnessed several attacks on Shias in the past.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20101219story_19-12-2010_pg7_28

http://news.in.msn.com/international/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4711643

Suicide attack in Shikarpur
17 Dec 2010
10 Muharrram

Security forces gunned down a suspicious person who tried to enter the Ashura procession in Shikarpur along with a bag on Friday. The attacker managed to explode the grenade before he died, injuring four people, including a police official, in a village near Khanpur .

http://www.dawn.com/2010/12/17/security-guns-down-attacker-in-shaikupura-four-injured.html

Now, let us do the unpleasant part, the body count. I consider it necessary to deconstruct the ‘success narrative’ manufactured by the GHQ and propagated by their friends in Pakistani media.

1 Muharram, Kohat, 19

3 Muharram, Hangu, 15

9 Muharram, Peshawar, 1

10 Muharram, Hangu 9

Total deaths 44

I am aware that the actual number of deaths may exceed this figure as the total number of injured persons is quite high including several critically injured.

Thus my question is, would Ejaz Haider and his likes in Pakistani media feel any shame for recycling and propagating the urban- and “state” centric lies? Will they reflect for a moment on the damage the Teen Jeem (journalists, generals and judges) have caused to this unfortunate nation?

At the end of his piece, Mr Haider becomes obsessed with the monetary costs of suicide bombing and the security arrangements. He writes:

So far we have not monetised the costs; at least my inquiries in this regard have gone mostly unanswered. The direct costs are easier to calculate, the indirect more difficult. But the exercise is worth undertaking. What is clear, however, is that the cost will continue to rise until the mindset that desires to kill remains unchanged.

How conveniently he forgot to mention that the mindset that desires to kill is not to be found in religious madrassahs or the Tribal Areas, the mindset is located within the GHQ, judiciary and the media itself, and that the associated cost has not monetary but existential implications for this remainder part (post-1971) of the land we call Pakistan.

14 Comments to “On Ejaz Haider and his kudos to our saviours”

  1. A response to Ejaz Haider: Blatant lies and partial facts on Balochistan – by Sheen Alif

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/28471

  2. Harassment by SMS
    Ayesha Siddiqa

    In his column “Fabricated nonsense” (December 14), Ejaz Haider spoke about the intelligence of intelligence agencies. This was in reference to WikiLeaks and the argument was that the agencies might not be so dumb as to have taken part in the fake leaks. Why would they make such obvious mistakes? But then the simplest plot can be the most complex. Since the afternoon of December 12, I have been receiving phone calls from concerned friends and family members. The subject of concern: a baseless and vicious SMS being circulated against me. It seems like the work of someone who would have the power to access my phone call history and more. In typical agency style, the Ufone number, from which the message was sent, does not respond if you try to call back. I would personally like to glean all the information that the accuser seems to have against me.

    I would like to confess to Mr Haider that I thought the agencies could not be that stupid and that the fake WikiLeaks must have been the work of some intoxicated or angry Lone Ranger spook. Logically, the agencies should have the intelligence not to engage in such a vilification campaign at a time when they have their back to the wall due to the WikiLeaks revelations. Such an understanding of logic means that the agency walas should not have fired shots outside renowned columnist Kamran Shafi’s house in the middle of the night. In Mr Shafi’s case — the incident happened a few months ago — the explanation given by the chief spook was: why should we try harassing you when you are critical of us? A terribly sweet statement!

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/91632/harassment-by-sms/

  3. Back in 2008, this is how Ijaz Haider described his real agenda against democracy, electoral politics and politicians

    —-

    Kurd, Zardari and other political puzzles —Ejaz Haider

    It is not enough, as most people are today wont to say, that now-President Asif Zardari is responsible for this perfidy. That may be so but the question is: What kind of system (and I use the term loosely) would put Zardari where he is in order for him to make such mischief?

    Clearly, this question takes the problem beyond the person of Zardari into larger domain. Given that Pakistan’s largest political party has allowed itself to be led by Zardari and also actively supported him in his bid to become president of this country, any inquiry must then begin to look at the nature and composition of political parties in Pakistan.

    Such an inquiry, if it can determine that political parties are not evolved entities in any modern sense but work on the basis of organised patron-client relations at multiple levels, would then force us to rethink our current enthusiasm for “democracy” through existing political parties.

    Let me add here that scepticism over the quality of democracy does not a priori mean its rejection or a call for dictatorship. It simply means that we may drastically lower our expectations about what democracy can beget us and, in certain cases, also accept that “democratic” actions may be no different from dictatorial policies.

    But the inquiry cannot just focus on political parties, important though that is. It must also try to study society itself. What is it that makes people vote for such parties despite the crests and troughs of Pakistan’s politics. After all, people do vote for these parties. Is it because they have no choice or is there something atypical here, something peculiar to Pakistan?

    The implication of this argument is that we may have to go right down to the constituency to see how politics unfolds there — what are the linkages between the voters and the candidates at one level and between the candidates and the parties they represent at another. What are the pressing issues for the voters? Can we use the same benchmark for all constituencies, or will we have to study them on the basis of urban-rural, regional and any other divides to see where preferences lie and how they might unfold?

    Another course of inquiry can be linkages among various power players and their interests. It takes mere commonsense to realise that change is not just a function of desire to correct an imbalance but the ability to actually do so. That takes mobilisation, enough of it to mount a challenge to existing power structures and force them to concede to a demand.

    In democratic dispensations, social movements play such a role. Charles Tilly in fact observed that democracies play a role in encouraging social movements though all social movements may not voice democratic demands.

    Elections too play an important role. For instance, if we accept that Musharraf played ducks and drakes with the constitution and the judiciary and the political parties, opposed to Musharraf, were wedded to constitutionalism (in all its various manifestations), then the lawyers’ movement should have succeeded. But it hasn’t, not in the short term at least.

    This, then, means that “electoralism” expressed through existing political structures may not promise change.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20081031story_31-10-2008_pg3_2

  4. Is it a coincidence that our leading political analyst from Lahore Gymkhana follows the ISI’s line on an elected president?

    Zardari’s day out —Ejaz Haider

    The office of the president carries with it a dignity which must be preserved at all costs. And dignity is neither a function of pusillanimity nor of belligerence

    First it was Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani who drew much laughter during his maiden official visit to the United States. Now President Asif Ali Zardari has got the wits’ tongues in that country wagging.

    Disaster it seems is as soon begotten of unlettered under-confidence as semi-lettered over-confidence.

    Just like Zardari found Sarah Palin “gorgeous” and commented that if the handler from his entourage insisted on a long handshake for the cameras “I might hug”, he now thinks the world is a much safer place under President George Bush’s leadership.

    For the Palin comment we are told he didn’t know the mic was on which is clearly an apology not for having made the comment but the fact that the comment should have remained off the record. In a world where cameras on a cricket field can now pick up players tampering with the seam, sledging and adjusting their underwear, the president of a country needs to be a little more careful about what he says and where his hands go.

    Nothing is off the record.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008929story_29-9-2008_pg3_5

  5. And this masterpiece:

    Fuck you, Mr. President by Ejaz Haider
    Posted on August 20, 2010 by alaiwah

    by Ejaz Haider/ The recently sacked editor of Newsweek Pakistan and former Assistant Editor of Daily Times
    Ejaz Haider says he was only the “minor author” of this piece and the “100 per cent editor”, and the “major author” does not want to own up to it.

    —-

    Seriously, fuck you.

    Let us start with the basics. You are an asshole. A thief. An alleged murderer. And a scoundrel. And mind-blowingly incompetent to boot.

    The only reason you matter is because your equally incompetent, currently delusional, then dysfunctional, mother-in-law thought that you were such a lowly piece of shit that you would never get in the way of your late wife, also delusional, whose dowry included the most popular political party in Pakistan. Why she had such elevated expectations of a two-bit thug is beyond us. But still.

    After you had done your husbandly duties, the sensible thing for BB to have done would be to have had you shot. In fact, she should just had had your sperm frozen on day one and then had you tortured into the next dimension. But BB made many mistakes, marrying you being one class-fucking-A example.

    So long as BB was alive, you were an embarrassment. You stole with great abandon, from old and young, from the rich and the poor alike. You were, and remain, a fucking genius at stealing. And, surprisingly modest to boot. The world knew you as Mr. 10 per cent. You were maligned. The SGS Cotecna deal only called for a 6% kickback (as did the Agosta submarines deal). But, since BB was busy leading the masses, she needed a Luca Brasi to handle her business affairs. Division of labour, we believe, is what economists call it.

    In 1996, you went straight to jail and did not emerge for 8 years. Let’s give you your due. Eight years in jail is a bitch. But you sucked it up, took your torture with a straight face, and eventually scarpered off to Dubai as part of confidence building measures between BB and the General.

    Then the General got into trouble and the doors to Pakistan swung upon for BB. You skulked along in her wake, hoping not to get noticed. But you were there, lingering like the bouquet of a garlic-laden fart.

    In December 2007, Pakistan was blown apart when BB died. You played your cards right, fought for the Federation, faced down the Sindhi chauvinists and insisted that democracy was the best revenge. We began to have second thoughts about you. And BB’s mysterious will surfaced giving custody of her party, like a retarded teenager, to her darling husband. Most fucking convenient.

    The sympathy factor got the PPP the next election. And all the chootiyas in the party decided that their bread and butter depended upon their kissing your ass. So it became your party. And in the spirit of brotherhood that then prevailed, everybody said, hey let’s just make the fucker our President. He seems to have changed.

    Let us begin with the fact that you have not changed. You have always been corrupt. And you are still corrupt today. Let us now add to the corruption your amazing fucking arrogance, your oh-so-charming response to all opposition – mein unn ko lund pay likhta hoon – and your general I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. The funny thing is that we would still forgive you all of that because hey, you got elected President and let’s face it, nobody’s perfect. Deep down, we still felt that there was a part of your black heart which still cared about Pakistan.

    We were wrong. You don’t give a fuck about Pakistan. Pakistan is simply put, your bitch, yours to screw whenever you feel like. Aggay, pichhay, whatever.

    No person who gave a shit about Pakistan, let alone any sane person tasked with the job of pretending to be the symbol of the fucking Federation, would ever abandon Pakistan during the worst floods in its entire history. Something like 2000 people have died in those floods. Your only job is to care for them, to make sympathetic noises. And you failed to do your job for the simple reason that you don’t give a fuck about us.

    On top of the colossal stupidity of fucking off to England at a time of national crisis, there are the additional fuck-you factors. First of all, this was not a good time to go to England. Their PM just got done telling us to fuck off so going staying in London in a $12,000 per night suite was not the ideal response.
    And second, there is the whole Normandy chateau thing which just takes the fucking cake in this entire stupid goddamn episode. What fucking planet do you live in if you think that taking a private jet to your private fucking chateau is a good idea when Pakistan is facing one of the largest humanitarian crises in its entire history. This was not work. This was just a giant fuck you to us.

    And why, might we ask do you have to put out a press release telling everybody that the chateau has been in the Zardari family for the last 24 years. Oh really? So when your father was running the fucking Bambino cinema in Karachi in the mid-80s, he was also the owner of a 5-acre chateau in Normandy? Is there some secret Zardari clan which has been French aristocracy for decades? Seriously, how fucking stupid do you think we are?

    We are out of words now. We cannot comprehend the depth and level of arrogance in you. We just can’t. What we can say is this: fuck you Mr. President.

    http://alaiwah.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/fuck-you-mr-president-by-ejaz-haider/

  6. Don’t forget to include the Cafe Pyala expose on Ejaz Haider

    http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/2010/09/newsweek-editor-who-never-was.html

    SEPTEMBER 14, 2010

    The Newsweek Editor Who Never Was (Updated)

    We still have not managed to get our hands on the newly launched Newsweek Pakistan, which is probably coming out with its third issue as I write this. And for some unknown reason the magazine’s website continues to be nothing except an old ad. So we cannot really offer a considered evaluation of it just yet. All we do know is that the first issue’s cover, titled “The World’s Bravest Nation” (read Pakistan) over a black and white picture of a child affected by the recent floods, drew all sorts of praise from the usual quarters who heave a sigh of relief at anything remotely positive about Pakistan in the ‘international’ media these days.

    Newsweek Pakistan: The debut

    To be frank, however (and reiterating that I haven’t yet read the story itself), didn’t you find the cover a tad bit cynical? I mean, the globally circulated international parent magazine notoriously runs a story calling Pakistan “The Most Dangerous Nation in the World”, and its Pakistan franchise – which would only see distribution in Pakistan – takes the opposite tone? It helps to ingratiate it to the locals, sure, but it doesn’t really mean Newsweek as a whole has changed its stance, does it? Is that what is known as doing as the Romans do, in Rome?

    But Newsweek Pakistan has also had a number of distractions to contend with even before it hit the market. First of all, the Washington Post Company, which owned Newsweek, decided to dump its mounting liabilities with the magazine and sold it to billionaire Sidney Harman, who made his fortune selling stereo equipment, reportedly for $1. As a consequence of this sale in August, the editor of Newsweek, Jon Meacham, decided to leave his job, as did foreign policy whiz kid / enfant terrible Fareed Zakariya Zakaria. Zakariya Zakaria, who announced he would be moving to Time magazine, it should be mentioned, was one of the people who helped secure Iqbal Z. Ahmed’s A.G. Group (which owns Newsweek Pakistan) the franchise.

    Fareed Zakariya Zakaria: another casualty of the Newsweek sale

    The decision by Newsweek to launch a Pakistani franchise was made before the sale of Newsweek took effect, but it’s not clear how the change of management and top editorial staff will affect the Pakistani edition. Although Harman has said he would like to retain “most” of Newsweek International’s 325 employees, it is expected that there will be all sorts of cuts to recover the magazine’s heavy liabilities. Whether these affect operations in Pakistan at all may be moot (as a franchise, it’s probably paying royalty to the parent company to use its name) but Newsweek’s international coverage may be affected.

    As if this were not enough, Newsweek Pakistan’s first issue, scheduled to hit the stands on August 30, could not make it to the market on time. Apparently, the magazine – which had been printed outside Pakistan – got stuck at customs and it took more than two days to have it cleared. It only reached the newsstands on September 1.

    But all of these issues perhaps pale in comparison to the fact that the franchise lost one of its high profile editors (the Editor? we’re not sure) before the first issue was even launched. As we reported in March, former Daily Times news editor and The Friday Times contributing editor Ejaz Haider had been signed on with much trumpeting by Newsweek Pakistan. So it was a bit unsettling for the journalist community to discover in August that Ejaz Haider had already left his new job.

    We can now confirm the reasons that Mr Haider was asked to resign. Some of you might have come across a rather rude anonymous email letter / article that had done the rounds right after President Zardari took his infamous trip to his French chateau in the midst of the building floods crisis back home. Yes, the one titled “Fuck You, Mr President” which began thus:

    “Let us start with the basics. You are an asshole. A thief. An alleged murderer. And a scoundrel. And mind-blowingly incompetent to boot. The only reason you matter is because your equally incompetent, currently delusional, then dysfunctional, mother-in-law thought that you were such a lowly piece of shit that you would never get in the way of your late wife, also delusional, whose dowry included the most popular political party in Pakistan. Why she had such elevated expectations of a two-bit thug is beyond us. But still.
    After you had done your husbandly duties, the sensible thing for BB to have done would be to have had you shot. In fact, she should just had had your sperm frozen on day one and then had you tortured into the next dimension. But BB made many mistakes, marrying you being one class-fucking-A example.”

    Well, it seems this particular inflammatory diatribe was traced back to Mr Haider, who, according to this site (where you can read the entire text as well, we saw no point in reproducing it here), acknowledges at least being “a minor author” but “100 per cent editor” of the piece. (We cannot vouch for the credibility of these claims, but our sources have independently confirmed the reasons for Haider’s departure.) Understandably, the publishers of Newsweek Pakistan, known for their closeness to the target of the piece, were not terribly thrilled. Actually, to be fair, even without the top-level linkages, any publisher wishing to preserve their journalistic credibility, would have had to take action against Mr Haider.

    Ejaz Haider talking cleanly about politics on his Samaa TV programme

    It does seem strange that a journalist of Mr Haider’s experience and usually sober public temperament would have allowed his name to be associated with such a polarizing piece of foul-mouthed invective, no matter what the provocation. But then, who knows what forces possess people in the dark of night, which often lead to their undoing. Mr Haider is now back as a contributing editor of TFT.

    : : : UPDATE : : :

    Ejaz Haider Rebuts

    Ejaz Haider has written to us to rebut the claims of the above post. We reproduce here his email to Cafe Pyala in full and leave the matter for readers to judge:

    “Gentlemen: i write you apropos of your post…

    i don’t know who you are and what is your interest in putting out the such-gup contained in your piece which has been sent me by someone. i do hope this blogging helps you make some money. and if it does, do tell me how. on the other hand, if it’s a luxury, i envy you for being able to afford it.
    I had no idea until this stage that I was worth writing about. but strange are the ways of this changing world that even considers lady gaga an icon, so i shan’t waste my time on trying to figure out your motives, good or bad. nor do they matter to me, frankly. in fact, if you did want to write about me, one of you (assuming there’s more than one, and i could be wrong) could have, given your “range”, contacted me directly. i resigned from newsweek pakistan for my own reasons which have nothing to do with the piece whose writing is being attributed to me, though i must say that i forwarded it to several friends after tweaking it a little. in my private, punjabi moments i even agree with some of its contents. but i like to abuse in punjabi. far more satisfying. also, if i had written it, i would have happily bylined it. if you want my take on mr zardari, you can read it here http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-difficulty-of-staying-democratic/658873/
    i hope that clears up the issue. as for newsweek pakistan, i wish them well. best,
    Ejaz Haider
    Contributing Editor, The Friday Times”

    http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/2010/09/newsweek-editor-who-never-was.html

  7. I’m no fan of ejaz haider but the point of this article was simply that despite the prevention of a large-scale terrorist attack in karachi or lahore on ashura, the cost to the country of terrorism is always going to be high simply by virtue of there being a threat. i.e. the terrorists don’t have to do anything at all. what’s wrong with that, exactly?

  8. Here is an angry comment from my facebook page:

    Feisal H. Naqvi commented on your link.

    Feisal wrote: “Umm, my technical opinion is that you are a blithering idiot.

    Ejaz writes a piece congratulating the security forces for preventing an attack on Shias and you complain that he doesn’t acknowledge the Shias who have died?

    Seriously? You accuse Ejaz of circulating lies without identifying any lies in your piece. And then you tag your article “yellow journalism.” Have you no shame?”

  9. @ Rabia

    To offer kudos to those who prevented terrorist attacks on Ashura while ignoring the attacks on and before Ashura in Hangu, Kohat etc is tantamount to constructing and reinforcing a success narrative.

    Further, the cost of terrorism to the country may be greatly curtailed if the GHQ stops manufacturing and supporting jihadi-sectarian factories.

    In my view, his piece is urban-centric and establishment-centric.

    Your view is obviously different which I respect.

  10. What Rabia is not an ISI agent?

    ………….

    Editor’s note: Yasser Latif Hamdani (aka Tiberius), you will remain banned at LUBP because of your inability to have a civil discourse. You have been identified through your IP address.

    Shame on you for posting fake comments at LUBP. Shame on your mentors!

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/28745

  11. A speech writer is collecting money for his ex-employer:

    ایک گزارش جناب محمد رفیق تارڑ سے!…نقش خیال…عرفان صدیقی

    منصب صدارت سے فراغت کے بعد جناب رفیق تارڑ کبھی کبھار کہا کرتے تھے کہ ”میں اب بھی آئینی صدر ہوں“۔ یار لوگ اسے شگفتہ چٹکلے سے زیادہ اہمیت نہ دیتے تھے۔
    اب آیئے آئین کے بڑے ہی معروف آرٹیکل 44 کی طرف جو کہتا ہے کہ ”صدر کی میعاد ملازمت ختم ہوجانے کی صورت میں بھی وہ اس وقت تک عہدہ صدارت پر فائز رہے گا جب تک اس کا جانشین منصب صدارت نہیں سنبھال لیتا“۔

    صورتحال یہ بنتی ہے کہ سپریم کورٹ کے فیصلے اور مذکورہ آئینی شق کے حوالے سے صدر رفیق تارڑ 8ستمبر 2008ء تک اپنے عہدے پر فائزتھے۔ 9 ستمبر سے آئینی و قانونی طور پر منتخب صدر ، جناب آصف زرداری کا عہد صدارت شروع ہوا۔ بیچ میں پرویز مشرف نام کا کوئی شخص صدر نہیں رہا کیونکہ سپریم کورٹ کے مطابق منتخب صدر نے استعفیٰ نہیں دیا اس لئے کہ کسی دوسرے شخص کے صدر بننے کا سوال ہی پیدا نہیں ہوتا۔

    جناب محمد رفیق تارڑ سے التماس ہے کہ وہ عدالت سے رجوع کرکے 20جون 2001 سے 8ستمبر 2008ء کی تنخواہ اور مراعات کا مطالبہ کریں۔ 9ستمبر 2008سے وہ نئی شرح کے مطابق پنشن مانگیں۔

    جناب رفیق تارڑ اپنے لئے نہیں، تاریخ کے ریکارڈ اور کارخیر کے لئے متحرک ہوں۔ اگر وہ پرویز مشرف کا نام پاکستانی صدور کی فہرست سے نکالنے اور رفاہ و فلاح کا کوئی بڑا کام کرنے میں کامیاب ہوگئے تو ان کا احسان ہوگا۔ اور وہ دس سال آٹھ ماہ آٹھ دن صدر رہنے کے ناقابل شکست ریکارڈ کے حامل بھی بن جائیں گے

    http://search.jang.com.pk/details.asp?nid=492639

  12. Some comments from the Facebook:

    Feisal H. Naqvi

    Umm, my technical opinion is that you are a blithering idiot. Ejaz writes a piece congratulating the security forces for preventing an attack on Shias and you complain that he doesn’t acknowledge the Shias who have died? Seriously? You accuse Ejaz of circulating lies without identifying any lies in your piece. And then you tag your article “yellow journalism.” Have you no shame?
    Yesterday at 7:51am · Like

    Abdul Nishapuri

    Thank you, Mr Naqvi, for the comments. Ejaz is your personal friend and colleague, right?
    Yesterday at 9:02am · Like

    Ali Abbas Inayatullah

    ‎@Abdul, deliberate obfuscation has always been appreciated by our civil society types. The fact that we are gushing about a zero body count based on selective days and location is pathetic! This while those brave Pushtun who are combating the Taliban are being left to their fate even as our “assets” are still being protected. Thanks for highlighting the intellectual dishonesty that comes as no surprise. The Pushtuns who are stuck in a pincer movement between the Haqqanis and their protectors will appreciate your work Abdul.
    21 hours ago · Like · 2 people

    Arif Jamal ‎

    @Naqvi: You have every right to disagree but you can at least be civil. I read Ejaz’s piece several times and my conclusion is “WRITTEN BY THE ISPR AND OWNED BY EJAZ HAIDER.”
    18 hours ago · Like

    Sheen Alif

    ‎@Arif sb
    This Naqvi fellow is an advocate to EH, Everyone knows EH inclination towards Security Establishment narratives, reputed writer like Dr Ayesha has pointed to it in her several pieces. But I dont know why the able friend wont like to realise or acknowledge it.
    5 hours ago · Like

  13. Some more comments from Facebook:

    Asad Jamal

    @Arif: this is unfair to ascribe Ejaz’s article to ISPR without discussing the substance

    @Critcalppp: Ejaz’s article draws our attention to a very critical aspect of counter-terrorism strategies which we are yet to even start thinking about and we’l continue to ignore it at our own peril. I think an honest monetising of the costs of counter-terror and ordinary policing issues involving law and order should lead to, among other things, a huge cut in defence budgets and rightsizing of GHQ and allied institutions. Ejaz may have sounded pro- at times e.g. when he writes about Balochistan, but in this particular article he is actually helping us to move in the right direction. I ignore the first paragraph as just unnecessary. good luck!

    Arif Jamal

    ‎@Asad: I think it would be a grave mistake to ignore the first paragraph of EH article. That is the soul of the article and the source of this feverish debate. By saying “WRITTEN BY THE ISPR AND OWNED BY EJAZ HAIDER” I meant was they have similar opinion. I did not mean EH is on the payroll of the ISPR or the article was forwarded by someby from the ISPR. ISPR walas do not write such good Angrezi.

    Asad Jamal
    There are no quick fixes, be it blasphemy laws, or the fauj and ISI problem. Calm down, please.

    Abdul Nishapuri

    ‎@ Asad

    I agree there are no quick fixes. Yet, the onus is on us to keep challenging the urban-centric and establishment-centric narratives.

    Indeed one approach is if we can’t beat them, join them.

    Asad Jamal ‎

    @AN, agreed, but we need to refrain from labeling and taking hardened and “ideological” positions. I see these as first signs toward Macarthyism.

    Abdul Nishapuri ‎@ Asad

    Deconstructing and confronting through evidence is different from labelling.

    Indeed, those whose narratives are being deconstructed and whose interests are being compromised will cry foul.

    You may wish to read this excellent interview by Dr Ayesha Siddiqa.

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/33727

    also worth reading is comment # 5 in that thread.

    I consider it dishonest to condemn ‘unknown’ terrorists who are attacking our mosques, imambargahs, shrines, markets etc, and to condemn ‘unknown’ media persons who are recycling and reinforcing the (unknown) establishment’s narratives.

    This is particularly when we clearly know who the attackers are, who their trainers, abettors and protectors are, and who are propagating the establishment’s narratives in the mainstream and alternative media.

    For example, in his article Ejaz Haider seems concerned about the cost of suicide bombing and the security arrangements. Yet he failed to identify the GHQ as the single major source of jihadi and sectarian terrorism in the land of the pure, and that any counter-terrorism related costs could be greatly reduced if the GHQ says good bye to its Strategic Depth and Proxy Soldiers strategies.

    Abdul Nishapuri

    ‎@Ali Abbas

    This is from our Pushtun brothers and sisters of Kohat and Hangu to those who are celebrating the security establishment’s “success”.

    اب کس کا جشن مناتے ہو

    اس خواب کا جو ریزہ ریزہ ان آنکھوں کی تقدیر ہوا
    اس نام کا جو ٹکڑا ٹکڑا ان گلیوں میں بے توقیر ہوا

    اس پرچم کا جس کی حرمت بازاروں میں نیلام ہوئی
    اس مٹی کا جس کی حرمت منسوب عدو کے نام ہوئی

    ان معصوموں کا جن کے لہو سے تم نے فروزاں راتیں کیں
    یا ان مظلوموں کا جن سے خنجر کی زباں میں باتیں کیں

    ان نوحہ گروں کا جن نے ہمیں خود قتل کیا خود روتے ہیں
    ایسے بھی کہیں دم ساز ہوئے، ایسے جلاد بھی ہوتے ہیں

    احمد فراز

    (courtesy: Irfan)

    Asad Jamal ‎

    @AN
    again agreed, but then there are different points of view, and people may opt to achieve the same goals through different means some of which may be wrong to start with and others prove to be wrong with experience. I think taking our discussions to feverish heights doesn’t help especially when all or most of the participants are well-intentioned and meaningful. One may not agree with many of the arguments by Ejaz esp concerning the armed forces’ role but some do sincerely believe that we need to engage in tactical dialogue to resolve current conflicts. this view and the details may howsoever be flawed, I don’t think it helps to get involved in polemics. thanks

  14. His masters’ voice:

    http://www.thefridaytimes.com/24122010/page7.shtml

    North Waziristan is a bad idea

    Ejaz Haider

    The American idea that packing the punch against the Haqqani network – assuming that the network would offer itself as a concentrated target for the convenience of any superior force – would signal to others to come to the negotiating table is unlikely to happen.

    In this game Pakistan will be the loser. NWA is a place that does not just house the Haqqani network; it also has Haji Gul Bahadur, elements of the relocated Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, multiple Punjabi groups and remnants of Al Qaeda. Currently, these groups are geographically confined and to that extent isolated. If Pakistan goes after them, it will have to face multiple, negative consequences.

    One, the US wants Pakistan to go into NWA primarily to take out the Haqqani network which, let’s be clear, is no threat currently to Pakistani forces stretched because of fighting elements hostile to it. That situation would not obtain once the network knows that the Pakistani forces are coming after it. Its obvious strategy would be to link up with elements hostile to Pakistan and operating only against Pakistani interests.

    while use of force will make the various groups join hands, it will fail to translate into utility of force for the simple reason that the groups would disperse and spread out instead of offering themselves as a concentrated target for a superior force. That makes sense also because rather than losing too many men in pitched battles, they will disperse while retaining some fighters to engage advancing columns in combination with the use of area denial weapons like anti-personnel mines, anti-tank mines, IEDs and booby traps.

    This means that while they will try to slow down the advance and extract a heavy toll of advancing troops, they would not need to employ the bulk of their forces that are likely to extricate with the first signs of an impending operation.

    Pakistan would then be left with two negative fallouts: future operational linkage between the Afghan Taliban and the TTP and other assorted hostile groups; dispersal of these groups into other areas where they would lose themselves in urban populations and most definitely resort to urban terrorism as reprisal. The Haqqani network could relocate to other tribal and settled areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as well as move into Afghanistan.

    An operation against the Haqqani network will also activate other Afghan Taliban against Pakistani security forces which are already battle-stressed fighting the Pakistani groups affiliated with Al Qaeda. This means opening another front, currently dormant.

    Given all these negatives, the obvious question is: does this tactical move add up to a larger strategic picture? The answer is no.

    The writer is Contributing Editor, TFT. He can be reached at ejazhaider26@gmail.com

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