Archive for ‘Blogs Cross posted’

October 10, 2012

Malala Yousufzai sok daa? by Murtaza Haider

by Syed Haider Karrar

Malala Yousafzai

At 14, she is more courageous than I or Ghulam Ahmad Bilour will ever be. The Minister for Railways caved in recently to the Taliban to have his name struck from the Taliban’s hit list. Malala Yousafzai, however, stared down the Taliban until the very moment they shot her in the head yesterday.

While I write to express my disgust with the extremists from the safe confines of a Canadian

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October 8, 2012

Imran Khan, knowingly or unknowingly ‘Taliban’ Khan by Ibrahim Pataudi

by Syed Haider Karrar

Imran Khan          

Imran Khan is guilty of one of two things. He is either guilty of deliberately and knowingly legitimising the Pakistani Taliban as a political force for what he perceives to be his own populist gain, or he is guilty of colossal naivety and unintelligibility.

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October 8, 2012

Mr.Khan- a Better Player than Politician by Affan Khan

by Syed Haider Karrar

Imran Khan
Imran Khan the name that has once again become the topic of almost all drawing room discussions. There is not a single gathering where Mr. Khan is not talked about. The discussions have varying views regarding him, many feel that he is the next Prime Minister and the only hope we as a nation are left with, while others feel that the roar will soon be over and the so-called tsunami will settle down and Khan will disappear.

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October 6, 2012

PTI march: Is peace real objective of Imran Khan? by Ismail Khan

by Schimi

IK addressing a press conference

Few people outside South Waziristan knew Kotkai — a mesh of small hamlets strewn across a hilly area — until, of course, PTI chairman Imran Khan announced his plans to hold his peace rally against CIA-operated drones in Pakistan’s tribal borderlands.

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March 23, 2012

Tahaffuz-e-KhatameNabuwwat: Killing of Ahmadis be allowed through legislation – Pakistan

by Schimi

According to news accounts reported in Pakistan’s Urdu newspaper, Daily Express, an anti-Ahmadiyya conference held in Lahore by Khatima-e Nubuwwat Tahafuz Majlis ended with demands that killing of Ahmadis be allowed through legislation.

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December 31, 2010

She died as her father did: Bravely – by Tarek Fatah

by admin

Source: Counter Currents
First publication date: 28 December, 2007

It was the summer of 1966. We were mere teenagers meeting Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who had just resigned as Pakistan’s foreign minister and was about to launch a new left-wing political movement, the Pakistan Peoples Party.

Sitting in the front yard of his sprawling Karachi mansion, he engaged us in a lively discussion about Islam, democracy and socialism, while

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December 29, 2010

Hindus' contribution towards making of Pakistan – by Sophia Ajaz

by admin

We talk about minorities in India but are strangely unaware of the existence of the same in neighbouring Pakistan.

Even before Independence Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Jews and Christians existed in undivided India. There was large scale migration/exodus post partition (gadar) on either side. Despite being unofficially classified as ‘terror state’, where cricket with India is played on a war level and religious tensions abound (even among Muslims like Ahmediyas, Baha’i, Muhajirs and Shia-Sunni), there is a section among minorities that has carved out a niche for themselves and contributed to the making of Pakistani state and bringing it honours. The country too has honoured them.

“Hindu” is derived from Sindhu (Indus river considered holy) in Pakistan. The land has played an important part in the origin of Hinduism. Hindus may be small numerically (once 20%, now they are mere 1.85%) but Pakistan has fifth largest population. Sindh played an important role in Mahabharata. Legend has it that Lahore city was founded by Luv and Kasur by Kush (both sons of Ram). Cities Peshawar and Multan have Sanskrit roots. Hindus’ contribution towards the making of Pakistan can never be negated.

It is not the majority but the minority communities that shape any country. India was partitioned into East Pakistan (Bangladesh in 1971) and West Pakistan (now Pakistan). Strangely a country formed on religious divide is not called Muslimstan/Islamistan (a la Hindustan) but Pakistan (Pure Land).

The word PAKISTAN was coined in 1934 as Pakstan by Choudhary Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan movement activist, who published it in his pamphlet Now or Never. The name is a portmanteau of PAKISTAN, who live in the five Northern Units of British Raj — Punjab, Afghania (now known as North-West Frontier Province), Kashmir, Sindh, and Balochistan.” This may today be based on eight provinces: Punjab, Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Sindh, Federal Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and NWFP.

In 2005, speed-skating champion Sanjeev Bhatnagar filed a PIL to delete Sindh from Indian national anthem Jana Gana Mana and substitute it with Kashmir. Sindh was no longer a part of India, as it was part of Pakistan since Partition of 1947. Opponents said Sindh refers to Indus and to Sindhi culture, and that Sindhi people are an integral part of India’s cultural fabric. The Supreme Court of India declined to change the national anthem and the wording remains unchanged. Surprisingly, in Pakistan, no one decried Iqbal’s Saare Jahan Se Achchha Hindustan Hamara.

Indian Muslims differed on singing of national song Vande Mataram over meaning of ‘vande’ that could be either salutation or worship. Many Indians still add to the Indian national pledge “India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters (except one.)”

Former President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, was born in the Nagar Vali Haveli in Daryaganj, Delhi, India. Pakistan’s first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan was born in Karnal (now in Haryana). The 7-year longest-serving Governor and martial law administrator of Pakistan’s largest province, Balochistan, General Rahimuddin Khan, was born in the pre-dominantly Pathan city of Kaimganj, which now lies in Uttar Pradesh. General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who came to power in a military coup in 1977, was born in Jalandhar, East Punjab. The families of all four men opted for Pakistan at the time of Partition.

Bollywood actors like Prithviraj Kapoor (Samudri, Faislabad), Raj Kapoor (Peshawar), Dev Anand (Shakargarh, Gurdaspur, Punjab), Sunil Dutt (Khurd, Jhelum, Punjab), Raaj Kumar (Balochistan) were born in Pakistan. Indian politicians Manmohan Singh (Gah, Punjab), IK Gujral (Jhelum Punjab) and LK Advani (Karachi) too were born in Pakistan. Cricketer Lala Amarnath was raised in Lahore.

Recently Kareena Kapoor (great grand daughter of Prithviraj Kapoor) set a new benchmark by being the modelling face of Pakistan. She charged a cool Rs 3 crore to Firdaus Cloth Mills to launch their lawn summer collection shot in Dubai. Money makes her face west to her ancestors’ birthplace. Even Bollywood movies have paid their own tribute to Pakistan apart from the war and sports sagas. Consider Lahore (1949, Nargis, Karan Dewan), Lahore (2010) and Shoot On Sight (2008, Om Puri). Pakistanis too made Khuda Ke Liye (2007, Naseeruddin Shah) and Ramchand Pakistani (2008, Nandita Das).

The founding fathers of Pakistan had their ancestral roots in Hinduism, who were all converts from Hinduism. M A Jinnah (71, I Governor-General of Pakistan) was born to Mithibai and Jinnahbhai Poonja, who moved from Gujarat to Sindh. His grandfather was Poonja Gokuldas Meghji, a Hindu Bhatia Rajput from Paneli village, Gondal state, Kathiawar. Jinnah’s ancestors were Hindu Rajput who converted to Islam.

Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s (60, national poet of Pakistan and writer of Saare Jahan Se Achchha) father Shaikh Nur Muhammad was a prosperous tailor. His grand father Sahaj Ram Sapru moved to Sialkot after conversion to Islam.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (51, PPP founder, 4th President, 9th Prime Minister) was born to Khursheed Begum née Lakhi Bai and Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto. Sir Shah, the son of Ghulam Murtaza Bhutto, was born into a Rājpūt family that had accepted Islām.

Jagannath Azad (86, Isa Khel, Punjab) was a prominent Urdu-speaking Hindu academic who wrote the first national anthem (Qaumi Tarana) of Pakistan.

Ae sarzameene paak (Oh land of Pakistan)
Zarray teray haen aaj sitaaron se taabnaak (Stars themselves illuminate each particle of yours)
Roshan hai kehkashaan se kaheen aaj teri khaak (Rainbows brighten your very dust)
Ae sarzameene paak (Oh land of Pakistan).

In 1947 Jinnah commissioned him to write it. It was used for about 18 months despite competition from rival BT Baghar:Jinnah wanted the anthem to be written by an Urdu-knowing Hindu to sow seeds of secularism. Azad later migrated to India.

In 1950, Pakistan Government adopted a new national anthem Pāk sarzamīn shād bād (Blessed be the sacred land) written by Hafeez Jullundhri (82, Jalandhar, Punjab). Jullundhri, an Indian by birth, also wrote Kashmir anthem/song Watan Hamara Azad Kashmir. He also wrote the famous poem Abhi Toh Main Jawaan Hoon sung by Malika Pukhraj and translated by Yogesh Sethi.

(Pakistan pop band Vital Signs’ song Dil Dil Pakistan Jan Jan Pakistan (1987) became famous as a patriotic song, giving it the status of Pop Anthem or Second National Anthem of Pakistan. In BBC poll (2003) for top 10 most famous songs of all time, Dil Dil was placed third.)

Pakistan’s song is “Pakistan Zindabad, Azadi Paendabad”.

Minority Hindus have played a significant role in making a name for themselves and bringing laurels to the country historically, culturally and politically. Anop Ravi (cricketer), Bherulal Balani (politician), Rana Bhagwandas (former acting Chief Justice Of Supreme Court), Krishan Bheel (politician), Ashok Chandwani (India-born, Pakistan-bred, Canadian journalist), Anil Dalpat (first Hindu to play test cricket), Brojen Das (East Pakistan first Asian to swim across English Channel four times), Dhirendranath Datta (East Pakistan lawyer politician), Sobho Gianchandani (social scientist, writer), Khatumal Jeevan (politician), Jogendra Nath Mandal (first Minister of Law & Labour), Danish Kaneria (cricketer), Lal Kumar (cricketer), Amar Lal (Prime Minister’s advisor to minority affairs), Ramesh Lal (PPP politician), Deepak Perwani (fashion designer), Naveen Perwani (amateur snooker player), Rajesh Ramesh (cricketer), Haresh Sharma (playwright, born in Singapore to Pakistani parents), Rana Chandra Singh (politician), Rana Prasad (Soda Rajput ruler) and Surendar Valasai (first journalist in English).

Harcharan Singh is the first Sikh officer to be recruited in the Pakistan Army on 27 October 2007. Raja Tridev Roy is a former raja of the Chakma tribes Chittagong in Bangladesh and a Pakistani writer, religious leader and politician. He is a federal minister for life and lives in Islamabad and leads the Pakistani Buddhist community. Prominent Parsis, who have contributed towards Pakistan are Byram Dinshawji Awari (businessman), Minocher Bhandara (businessman), Ardeshir Cowasjee (columnist), Aban Marker Kabraji (biologist, scientist), Jamsheed Marker (diplomat), Deena M Mistri (educationist), Dorab Patel (former Justice of Supreme Court), Bapsi Sidhwa (author) and Godrej Sidhwa (religious instructor).

Pakistan’s first Christian Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court was Justice A. R. Cornelius. Distinguished fighter pilot in the Pakistan Air Force is Peter O’Reilly. Cricketer Yousuf Youhana has recently converted to Islam and is called Mohammad Yousuf. In Britain, the Bishop emeritus of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali is a Pakistani Christian. Anthony Theodore Lobo (bishop), Joseph Coutts (bishop), Joshua Fazl ud Din (bishop), Jia Ali (model, actress), Martin Bashir (journalist), Cecil Chaudhry (fighter pilot), Michael Chowdry (businessman), Alvin Robert Cornelius (Chief Justice of Supreme Court), Antao D’Souza (cricketer), Gulshan Esther (author), Rachel Gill (model, actress, TV host), Mekaal Hasan (musician, record producer), Irene Perveen (singer), Esther John (nurse), Suneeta Marshall (model), Michael Masih (footballer), Wallis Mathias (cricketer), Mervyn L Middlecoat (fighter pilot), Indu Mitha (Bharatnatyam exponent), A Nayyar (singer), Julius Salik (activist) and Duncan Sharpe (cricketer) are other prominent Pakistani Christians. Karachi synagogue’ leader Abraham Reuben became a councilor on the city corporation in 1936.

Source: Booksie

December 28, 2010

Necessity Pushes Pakistani Women Into Jobs and Peril – by Adam B. Ellick

by admin

Cross Posted from: New York Times

A supermarket provides transportation to female employees to protect them from harassment.

Rabia Sultana at McDonalds in Karachi

Her conservative brother berated Ms. Sultana for damaging the family’s honor by taking a job in which she interacts with men — and especially one that requires her to shed her burqa in favor of a short-sleeved McDonald’s uniform.

Then he confiscated her uniform, slapped her across the face and threatened to break her legs if he saw her outside the home.

Her family may be outraged, but they are also in need. Ms. Sultana donates her $100 monthly salary to supplement the household budget for expenses that the men in her family can no longer pay for, including school fees for her younger sisters.

Ms. Sultana is part of a small but growing generation of lower-class young women here who are entering service-sector jobs to support their families, and by extension, pitting their religious and cultural traditions against economic desperation.

The women are pressed into the work force not by nascent feminism but by inflation, which has spiked to 12.7 percent from 1.4 percent in the past seven years. As a result, one salary — the man’s salary — can no longer feed a family.

“It’s not just the economic need, but need of the nation,” said Rafiq Rangoonwala, the chief executive officer of KFC Pakistan, who has challenged his managers to double the number of women in his work force by next year. “Otherwise, Pakistan will never progress. We’ll always remain a third-world country because 15 percent of the people cannot feed 85 percent of the population.”

Female employment at KFC in Pakistan has risen 125 percent in the past five years.

Several chains like McDonald’s and the supermarket behemoth Makro, where the number of women has quadrupled since 2006, have introduced free transit services for female employees to protect them from harassment and to help persuade them take jobs where they may face hostility. “We’re a society in transition,” said Zeenat Hisam, a senior researcher at the Pakistan Institute of Labor Education and Research. “Men in Pakistan haven’t changed, and they’re not changing as fast as our women. Men want to keep their power in their hand.

“The majority of the people here believe in the traditional interpretation of Islam, and they get very upset because religious leaders tell them it’s not proper for women to go out and to work and to serve strange men.”

More than 100 young women who recently entered service jobs told of continual harassment.

At work, some women spend more time deflecting abuse from customers than serving them. On the way home, they are heckled in buses and condemned by neighbors. It is so common for brothers to confiscate their uniforms that McDonald’s provides women with three sets.

“If I leave this job, everything would be O.K. at home,” Ms. Sultana said. “But then there’d be a huge impact on our house. I want to make something of myself, and for my sisters, who are at home and don’t know anything about the outside world.”

So far, the movement of women into the service sector has been largely limited to Karachi. Elsewhere across Pakistan, women are still mostly relegated to their homes, or they take jobs in traditional labor settings like women-only stitching factories or girls’ schools, where salaries can be half of those in the service industry. Even the most trailblazing of companies, like KFC, still employ 90 percent men.

Pakistan ranked 133rd out of the 134 countries on the 2010 Global Gender Gap Report’s list of women’s economic participation.

While there is no reliable data on the number of women who specifically enter the service sector, Pakistan’s female work force hovers around 20 percent, among the lowest of any Muslim country.

Some women, like Saima, 22, are forced to lead secret lives to earn $175 a month. Her father’s shopkeeper’s salary does not cover the family’s expenses. Without a university degree, the only job Saima could find was at a call center of a major restaurant’s delivery department. But she impressed the manger so much that he offered her a higher-paying waitress job at a branch near her home.

She reluctantly agreed, but pleaded to be sent to a restaurant two hours away so she would not be spotted by family members and neighbors.

After three years, her family still thinks she works in the basement of a call center. On several occasions, she served old friends who did not recognize her without a head scarf. Her confidence has soared, but she is overwhelmed with guilt.

“I’ve completely changed myself here,” she said in the corner booth of her restaurant before her co-workers arrived. “But honestly, I’m not happy with what I’m doing.”

The women interviewed said they had to battle stereotypes that suggested that women who work were sexually promiscuous. Sometimes men misinterpret simple acts of customer service, like a smile. Fauzia, who works as a cashier at KFC, said that last year a customer was so taken with her smile that he followed her out the door and tried to force her into his car before she escaped.

Sunila Yusuf, a saleswoman who wears pink traditional clothes at home but skintight jeans at the trendy clothing boutique in the Park Towers shopping mall, said her fiancé had offered to pay her a $100 monthly wage if she would stay at home.

“He knows that Pakistani men don’t respect women,” she said.

Hina, who works the counter at KFC, said her brothers, who also work fast-food jobs, worried that she had become “too sharp and too exposed.”

“They can look at other people’s girls,” Hina said with a grimace. “But they want their own girls hidden.”

Mr. Rangoonwala, the KFC Pakistan executive, said: “Unfortunately, our society is a hypocritical society. We have two sets of rules, one for males and one for females.”

For Fauzia, the hardest part of the day is the 15-minute walk through the narrow alleys to reach her home. She wears a burqa to conceal her uniform, but word of mouth about her job has spread. Neighbors shout, “What kind of job is this?” as she briskly walks by with her head down.

As a solution, some companies spend up to $8,000 a month to transport their female workers in minivans.

A federal law, citing safety concerns, prohibits women from working after 10 p.m. It was extended from a 7 p.m. deadline last year.

Most companies, however, are unwilling to absorb the extra cost of employing women. Even most stores that sell purses, dresses, perfumes and jewelry do not employ women.

Kamil Aziz, who owns Espresso, the city’s most popular coffee chain, said he made it a point not to hire “the other gender” because women could not work the late shift and the turnover rate among women was higher. He said he also did not want to invest in separate changing rooms.

Nearly all of the 100 women interviewed said marriage would end to their careers. But many of them saw benefits along with the hazards.

Most women said that they had never left the house before taking a job. Many spent the first five months missing buses and getting lost. When they first arrived at work, they stuttered nervously in the presence of men.

Now they know better.

“I’ve learned never to take what husbands say at face value,” said Sana Raja Haroon, a saleswoman at Labels, a clothing boutique where men sometimes slide her their business card.

But the employed women are also approached by admiring young women who want to follow their lead.

“Girls envy us,” said Bushra, a KFC worker. “We are considered the men of the house, and that feels good.”

Huma Imtiaz contributed reporting.

December 28, 2010

Visionary vs Reactionary – Hussain Shaheed Suhrwardy

by admin

How does one differentiate between a visionary and a reactionary politician? By reading the excerpts of the speech of former Pakistani Prime Minister, Chief Minister of the United Bengal and founder of Awami Muslim League which later on became the Awami League, Hussain Shaheed Suhrwardy, at the occasion of passing of the 1956 constitution, you will be able to realize the same. Suhrwardy was the leader of the Opposition in the Constituent Assembly. His words said 54 years ago, do they resonate something? Ask yourself.

5th Prime Minister of United Pakistan


The Speech of Mr H. S. Suhrawardy as Leader of the Opposition on The Constitution

National Assembly, 31, 1956


… It is indeed a great pity that the Constitution has not received that degree of support which the framers of the Constitution thought they will be able to get through the medium of persons, whom, they believe, represent their country. But unfortunately it has been found wanting. What after all is the purpose of this Constitution? What after all is the purpose of the general election thereafter? It is to ensure political stability. That is the main function. When the Honourable Members form the other side of the House said that let us have a Constitution of any kind whatsoever, that doest not solve that problem of political stability which is absolutely necessary today for Pakistan. If the Constitution is of such a nature that it will be brought into the arena of party politics again it will be considered a matter for election propaganda. Thus we have not attained that political stability through which we can start for the purpose of serving the interests of the country. Therefore, Sir, Political stability is the most important item before us and it is then not by framing a Constitution, will you attain that prestige in the international world which you think, you will attain, but you will attain it only if there is political stability in the country because it is to that, that the international world looks whether you are capable of yielding those fruits that you promise that you will be able to yield.

Sir, I had recently been to East Bengal for the purpose of assessing for myself whether the opposition that we heard in the papers and voiced on the floor of this House was a mere paper opposition or was it really grounded in the will of the people. I have, Sir, no hesitation in stating that people of Bengal are greatly perturbed.

The people in East Bengal have no confidence in the Ministry here or in the Constitution prepared by them and they desire that adequate provision should be made in the Constitution for their welfare and development and this matter should not be left to the administration or maladministration of the Ministry. The feeling there is of such a nature that it is extremely doubtful if the Ministry of that place can withstand the pressure, as is borne out by the fact that it hesitates to call a meeting of the Legislature and put its confidence to the test … in approaching constitutional proposals, I do so with only and objective. It must ensure and promote the stability and integrity of Pakistan. To me and my party, all of us residing within Pakistan as its citizens and subjects are one nation, namely Pakistani Nation, irrespective of the provinces or the regions from which we come, irrespective of the origin, of our race, and tribe, irrespective of the religion, caste or creed. We are one State and we are one people. … To my mind, Sir, as a Pakistani, I say that I cannot visualize any period of time when there will be secession between the two wings of Pakistan. I cannot conceive even the idea of secession. We have got to live together. … what keeps us together is this: the realization that neither part of Pakistan can live without the other. We are dependent upon each other in a hundred thousand ways and therefore it will be fatuous on the part of any one to say “Let us seek our own destiny elsewhere without the help and co-operation of the other:. …To me the development and the understanding is necessary on both sides. East Pakistan is as much concerned with the welfare of West Pakistan and Pakistan as I hope the West Pakistan is concerned with the welfare of East Pakistan and Pakistan as a whole, but then if you really have a genuine desire to reach a mutual settlement which is absolutely essential for the governments of East Pakistan and West Pakistan, we must get together as soon as possible, instead of fighting each other, even on the floor of this House. …There is no denying the fact that there has hardly been any development in East Bengal worth the name, compared to the development on this side of the country. We wish this country well. We are happy that it has been developed. After all while Pakistan is being strengthened it is advisable if both the wings are developed equally and it would certainly be weakened if one side is developed only and the other remains undeveloped. But surely the people from East Bengal too have the right to come forward and claim some consideration form you. Surely, they have got the right to come and say that during all these years East Bengal has been impoverished in several ways. I do not want to juggle with figures. These things are facts which are before us. There has hardly been any development in that part of the country. By putting a jute mill in that wing you think that is sufficient development for 4 crores of the population that are living between wind and water, whose subsistence is so low that the slightest alteration in prices pushes them to starvation. Mind you the British Government did not take a piece out of India for the administration of India. They took nothing from here to England for that purpose and the money that went from here went as interest on the capital in business or trade. Has it been forgotten that the main brunt of our charge against the British was that our country was getting impoverished because money was being sent out of the country to England? And this is exactly what, unfortunately, is happening in East Pakistan. Money is going out from there and it is not being replenished; our people, there, are getting poorer and poorer.

… Sir, the resources of East Bengal have been utilized for the purpose of the development in this part of the country but the development of East Bengal could proceed side by side. East Bengal is riverine. Canals have been dug here but we have got natural rivers. What is the position of the rivers there? Could not attention be paid to cleaning the silted rivers and canals? Today the position is East Bengal is very distressing and I am very much alarmed.

… And, after all, can it be denied that we have received considerable foreign aid from various sources, and that we are receiving that foreign aid and can it be denied that hardly a small percentage of it has been spent on East Pakistan.

If it is a case of foreign aid, surely both the wings have a right to take the benefit of it. Then, Sir, there is another matter over which the people of East Bengal feel and that is the question of defense and of bases, Sir, I would not go into the question of strategy; that is a matter that the army should look after. But I will maintain that the people in East Bengal can be trained to be a fine military force as they were in the old days. It was the Bengal regiment that created a reputation for itself long before the other regiment, possibly about the same time as the Madras Regiment, created a name for itself. Now here something could be done; some attention could be paid to the military training and whether you produce soldiers or not, whether East Bengal can be defended or not against aggression in East Bengal, whether West Pakistan can be defended only in West Pakistan, these are matters into which I will not enter but this much I am certain that every patriotic citizen desires that he should be associated with the defense of his country.

… After all East Bengal is not such a backward area as to have justified all this under-development, that you say, that people are not coming forward and there is nothing there as if the people are primitive or something to that effect. There is absolutely so justification for this view.

… Now, let us come to the provisions of this Constitution. Is it really honestly and improvement on the 1935 ACT? I can hardly see that it is so in any respect. The lists are there as they were before, powers are there, just as they were before. You have merely called if Federal Constitution, whereas it was not federal previously. But same lists existed; there had been some modification but the same list I, List II and List III are there. In the days when India was a unitary Government you still had the same lists I, II and III and so what is the difference that you can show from the Government of India Act. You can say that the residuary powers have been given to the Provinces under this constitution. But what are residuary powers? Do they ever come in for exercise? The lists have been framed by persons who are expert in Where, Sir, You have differed from the 1935 Act, it has always been done to the determent of democracy and against the interests of this country. May I just point out a few instances and then ask you whether you should not make some efforts to bring it into line with progressive thought?

Take the case of the powers of the President … You have given to the President the powers of the British sovereign as they stand of late. The British sovereign has supreme Powers, but there is, in Britain a Convention, Convention which no sovereign may dare to break. It is an unwritten convention and the powers of the sovereign are unwritten. No sooner you put that down in your book, no sooner you put that down in the Constitution, no sooner that becomes justice able, that convention will be thrown overboard. You cannot rely upon them in law and in order to enforce conventions you cannot rely upon them in law; you have got to go through the process of chaos, disturbances and revolution and I would certainly not like to go through that process. Better far that you should not define the powers of the President in so far as that of the British sovereign, or, if you define them, then also define them with those conventions by which those powers are circumscribed. I think, Sir, with regard to the dissolution, viz, the power of the President to dissolve an Assembly when he is of the opinion that the Ministry has lost the confidence of the country, I think Sir, that this thing is so obviously ridiculous that I am sure that the Government will either withdraw it, or place something else a bit more reasonable. To leave it to the President to judge about the possibilities that you have lost the confidence of the country is fantastic in a democratic Constitution. Yes, if he thinks that a present Ministry presides, then, some powers might be invoked, but to go and dissolve the legislature on that ground because they have lost the confidence of the people is a vastly different matter. Then, Sir, a very very important power has been given to the President which will override the entire Constitution, viz, power to declare emergency. All the power to declare an emergency is vested in the President……

… Then, Sir, let us take another provision in this constitution, viz, that of fundamental rights. Why these fundamental rights have been absolutely put down in the Constitution if provisos were a necessary attachment to them. If these fundamental rights have got to be hedged round with all kinds of provisos, circumscribed by this under these circumstances, that under those circumstances, as so on, what is the use of these fundamental rights? You have taken them from the Indian Constitution…

The Honourable Mr I. I. Chundrigar : I have taken them from some other document.

Mr H. S. Suhrawardy: Some other document, possibly, but, then the Indian Constitution must have borrowed them also from some other document and therefore, they are of the same pattern and same origin, but I have very great doubts whether the Constitution from which the Honourable Member took these fundamental rights contains all those provisos and hindrances which have been enshrined here. I have compared it even with the Indian Constitution. The then Constitution has certain provisos, had certain restrictions but it is very very important word, viz, “reasonable”. There were reasonable restrictions and as soon as that word is put in well, that word “reasonable” has been left out – nobody can do anything which the rights guarantee in so far as they can be invoked in a court of law, but, if in the Constitution you have reasonable restrictions and the word “reasonable” becomes justiciable, at once the courts will then be in a position to say – if the legislature put down the reasonable restrictions in the fundamental rights – that these are unconstitutional because they are not reasonable. Therefore, sir, please do not delude us by putting this word that you have been able to put in the fundamental rights. The fundamental rights are of no value at all …

… But then, Sir, there are also certain hiatuses in these Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles which I hope will be filled up. I do not find anything either in the Rights of Directive Principles to look after the interest of the agriculturists and labour, and to prevent them from exploitation. There is a general clause; an attempt, I believe, will be made to promote the social and economic well being and so on, of the people, and to adjust relationship between landlords and tenants and between employers and labour. Sir, that is not enough either as a Directive Principle or a Fundamental Right because we do maintain that the cultivator, the man who produces the foodgrains should be the owner of the land which he is tilling (Applause). This should be provided for in our Constitution. At least this should be the aim of this Government…

…Then there is another hiatus which should also be filled up namely, that local self-government should be promoted. The time is fast coming when a certain degree of decentralization with the energies of our people should be harnessed for the benefit of the nation. This Sir, in my opinion is of great importance, every nation today that is rising in stature has been able to infuse the people sufficiently to ensure either co-operation in nation-building. This can only be done if the people feel that they are part and parcel of the Government and of the nation. Their energies can only be harnessed if local self-government seeps down to the village and generally makes the Village Panchayat the backbone of our administrative economy. Sir, there can be no doubt that we have wonderful material. I maintain that there is hardly any country, that is so well equipped with human material, with persons who are capable of great sacrifices and great endeavours than, fortunately this country of Pakistan. I hope, Sir, that attempts will be made to bring them together and raise in them that patriotism for the country which can only come if they are made part of the administration.

… I am amazed to find, Sir, that openly and blatantly in the Constitution you have sanctified preventive detention and detention without trial. I am amazed that anybody at this stage in this country should have lent his support to it. You will find, Sir, that even in the case of an ordinary criminal he has to be placed before a court within 24 hours and the grounds of his detention have got to be supplied to him, but in the case of a person who is arrested and detained without trial, there is no clause whatsoever that he should be produced before a magistrate or that the grounds of his detention should be supplied to him. Apart from that, Sir, apart from the question whether grounds of detention should be supplied to him or not, what do we find? We find there that in every case the person whom you have detained has been detained for an ulterior purpose, for political reasons, not for any crime that he has committed; or if he has been detained for a crime, the crime is such that he can be tried for it under the ordinary criminal law.

…Sir, that if you want to establish the rule of law, this preventive detention must be done away with. With regard to what has been done to one of the Honourable Members the world must know, Sir, as it is a matter of the very greatest importance.

Honourable Deputy Speaker: The world will know about it at the proper time.

Mr H. S. Suharwardy : This is the proper time. A communication was addressed to the Speaker to the effect that the Honourable Member had been arrested and he was secluding himself from arrest, that he was keeping away and that he was arrested and thereafter that he was arrested for his participation in a prejudicial act. Possibly it was stated that for his participation in the strike of the Police… (interruptions).

…Now, Sir, there were other problems that came up. There was nothing in the Constitution regarding them, not even in the Directive Principles – regarding the principle of giving military training and establishing military bases for purposes of giving to the people of East Bengal encouragement to come forward and to take part in the defence of their country. There is nothing regarding foreign exchange. There is no provision to say that there shall be development side by side and in equal measure. There is nothing regarding Services and so on. What is the use of this Constitution? This Constitution has shelved all the problems and all that it has got is certain number of clauses taken from the Government of India Act, 1935 and wherever they have departed from it, woe to this country.

…Now, Sir, we come to the question of provincial autonomy. It is a matter on which you cannot come to a finality here. At the same time you have to consider that if the two wings – East and West do not come to an agreement, what should be done. I feel, as I have pointed out, that the ruling party of West Pakistan want to have and eat the cake.

They have taken their party in the constitution over and over again. They have pointed it out that this shall stand even if the number of members increases in the National parliament. I am sorry to state that all that goes with parity has been ignored by them. I maintain that the people of Bengal would not have accepted parity had it not been coupled with regional autonomy. This was the thing which was placed before them; One group in one part should not dominate over another group in another part: everything should be done by agreement and by a process of give and take and not by force. For that reason there should be equality. Obviously, West as a nation, as a group was pinched against the East as a nation or as a group. I am using the word “nation” in the loose sense and not in the sense of Pakistani nation. Therefore, in as much as they were separated on account of distance they must have regional autonomy. That was the basis of parity and the further basis of parity was that if Bengal was to speak, it should speak together and for that we must have join electorate.

Now, I come to a very difficult and very dangerous point, dangerous for me. That is the provision that the Republic of Pakistan shall be called the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Sir, it is to us on this side of House to say that we believe in Islam to the core, as we do, as we are all Muslims and we hope that we shall always behave as such and we hope that the combined intelligence of the representative of the people in various legislatures that will be established will be able to impress upon this country Islamic ideals, Islamic conduct, Islamic laws. I cannot conceive that any law passed by any legislature in a country where the Muslims are in such an overwhelming majority, the complexion, the flavour, the bias of the laws can be anything but Islamic, then why do you call it Islamic Republic, is it because you have not attained that position? Islamic Republic means that you have established and Islamic Republic, not that it is an objective. If it is an objective, then put it in your objectives. Put it in your fundamental rights; put it in your directive principles; but you are not an Islamic State, that is absolutely certain, and everyone who has spoken on this subject, whether he is an antagonist or the greatest protagonist of it, has said that this is not an Islamic state and we have got to go very far in order to make it an Islamic State. Then why try and delude people and the world at large? Why try to delude the Islamic world that you have succeeded in forming an Islamic Republic which you have not. You only have it that you are doing so just for the purpose of giving encouragement and for the purpose of placating that opinion which say that you must have an Islamic state. Nobody wants that it shall not be an Islamic state. But my objection today is not that; my objection today is that do not call it an Islamic State until you have made it an Islamic State….


…Let there be the constitution working according to the principles of Islam with all these various social and economic and political structure, that is so much the better. That is a desirable aim. Then we have to see who will decide what is Islam and what is not. In accordance with what principles you propose to decide it? Who are going to be the interpreters of it? Already these Ulemas are forthcoming and claiming that they shall be the last word about the constitution. The constitution shall be what they think to be Islamic constitution and people, whatever they say, must listen to them. Sir, you have provided in the constitution that groups of Ulemas should meet together and compile what the Quran and the Sunnah ordain. You are calling upon them to meet and place this before them. How to avoid the clash? I congratulate the Honourable Prime Minister in doing a wise thing, in making this House the final authority in the matter. I also congratulate him in not making these laws justifiable. There will be such tremendous confusion; there would have been if this was done and we would have started bringing about chaos in Pakistan, but I would like the Honourable Prime Minister to realize what ultimately will happen.


Here are these gentlemen held high up in their glory because they have formed an Islamic State. They know perfectly well that it is not Islamic; they know it that it is not so and they at the same time welcome it because it is a thing which cannot be got rid it. They know that it is not Islamic and they know that this gives them a certain recognition – a certain recognition in the Constitution. Sir, it is proposed that after a year, more or less, a certain committee will be set up which will consider these various laws and what should be done for the purpose of bringing our laws into conformity with the Quran and the Sunnah? Thereafter, the matter will come to the legislature and the final verdict will be that of the legislature. Do you think that is possible? Do you think that there will be smooth sailing and things can be done so easily? Suppose that the Ulemas come forward and give an interpretation of the Quran and the Sunnah which as we have seen Ulemas are not always giving in the right manner, suppose they do so and then, will any legislature thereafter dare to go against it? Will not those persons who have been put on the top be able to go round and say that there is the legislature which has turned down the injunctions of the Quran and the Sunnah as conveyed by such reputable persons as our Ulemas? Will not the lives of those legislatures who turn round and say that be worth a moment? You will get fanatics rising up for the purpose of attacking any of those persons who may come forward against it and what kind are we going to surrender ourselves to these gentlemen who give ‘fatwas’ in order to suit the occasion. Only the other day rose up and said that anybody who does not vote for the Muslim League becomes a Kafir – so, we all became Kafirs? Did we not hear them in the last general elections in East Bengal when these Ulemas, these Peers, these Molvis, these Mullahs stated that if you do not vote to the Muslim League, all your wives will be divorced.


I would not say any more but you kindly refer to that most valuable document, the Munir Report where the learned Judge has pointed out that there is no one amongst the Ulemas who could give a correct definition as to what is Islam and who is a Muslim and we really do not know where we stand…

Source: Chronicles of Pakistan, The Republic of Rumi

December 27, 2010

Strategic links between jihadi terrorists and Pakistan's military establishment

by admin

Related Article:
Dawn News Reporter – Pakistan Military’s support for militants

یہ پوسٹ جولائی ٢٠١٠ میں ڈان نیوز سے نشر ہونے
والے پروگرام رپورٹر کی دوسری قسط پر مبنی ہے. پروگرام کی ریکارڈنگ اور اہم نقاط کے اقتباسات پیش خدمت ہیں.٣٢ منٹ دورانئے کی یہ بحس پاکستان کے دفاعی اداروں میں جہادیوں کے اثر و رسوخ اور انکی سرگرمیوں کو سمجھنے کے مددگار ہے.

شرکا گفتگو

ائیر وائس مارشل شہزاد چوہدری

زاہد حسین – فرونٹ لائن پاکستان کے مصنف

ائیر مارشل مسعود اختر

ویڈیو کا پہلا حصہ

ویڈیو کا دوسرا حصہ

ویڈیو کا تیسرا حصہ

ویڈیو کا آخری حصہ

پاکستان فوج کے عسکریت پسندوں کے ساتھ مبینہ رابطے

حسین حقانی اپنی کتاب ‘پاکستان : ملا اور ملٹری کے درمیان’ میں لکھتے ہیں کے پاکستان فوج کے جہادی تنظیموں سے رابطے سٹرٹیجک ہیں اور اسی وجہ سے جہادیوں کو سرپرستی ملی اور وو پروان چڑھے

آمر میر اپنی کتاب ‘جہادیوں کا اصلی چہرہ’ میں لکھتے ہیں کے پاکستان فوج کے تقریباً پانچ جہادی تنظیموں سے تعلق رہے ہیں جن میں جہاد اسلامی، لشکر طیبہ ، لشکر جھنگوی، جیش محمّد اور حرکت المجاہدین شامل ہیں

ڈان نیوز کی ٹیم نے ٨ جولائی ٢٠١٠ کو انٹر سروسز پبلک ریلشنز (ISPR) کے سربراہ اطہر عبّاس کو ای میل بھیجی کے وو بتایں کہ کیا فوج میں جنداللہ نامی تنظیم کا وجود رہا ہے ؟ اور اگر ہاں تو وو لوگ کون تھے اور انکے خلاف کیا اقدام اٹھائے گئے . نہ تو اس ای میل کا کوئی جواب موصول ہوا اور نہ ہے انہوں نے انٹرویو کے لئے وقت دیا

ڈان نیوز کی تحقیق کے مطابق

فوج کے دو جونئیر افسران نے فروری 2000 کو کوئٹہ میں جنداللہ نامی جہادی تنظیم کی بنیاد رکھی. انکے جہاد کے پرچار سے متاثر ہو کر جلد ہے چھاؤنی کی مختلف یونٹوں کے ٣٠ فوجیوں نے جنداللہ مے شمولیت اختیار کر لی. انہوں نے باقی یونٹوں سے چندے کی وصولی کا کام بھی کیا اور اسکا کچھ حصہ افغانی طالبان کو بھی بھیجا کرتے. فوج میں پھیلنے کے لئے انہوں نے پاکستان ائیر فورس مونگلی بیس کے افسران سے تعلقات استوار کئے. انھوں نےجیکب آباد ائیر بیس کے علاوہ جنرل مشرف پر ٢٠٠٣ میں دو حملوں کی منصوبہ بندی بھی کی. پاکستان ائیر فورس کے ایک سربراہ کا کہنا ہے کہ انٹر سروس انٹلیجنس (ISI) کی طرف سے انکو جیکب آباد حملے سے متعلق کوئی معلومات نہیں دی گیئں تھیں. جنداللہ کے کالعدم تنظیم جیش محمّد سےقریبی روابط رہے اور انہوں نے فوج اور ائر فورس کی مختلف یونٹوں اور رجمنٹوں مے اثر و رسوخ قائم کر لیا. جیش محمّد نے جنداللہ کے کارکنوں کو بالاکوٹ میں تربیت دلوائی اور انکی مالی معاونت بھی کی. جنرل مشرّف پر حملے کے بعد فوج سے جنداللہ کا اس حد تک خاتمہ کیا گیا کہ انکے بہت سے کارکنوں کو گرفتار کیا گیا. ان کو سزا تو دے دی گئی پر ان تنظیموں کا وجود اب بھی ہے اور یہ اپنا جہادی لٹریچر دھڑلے سے چھاپتے اور پھیلاتے ہیں

لیفٹننٹ جنرل حامد نواز پروگرام سے اٹھ کر چلے جاتے ہیں

عوامی رائے :
افغان جنگ کے دوران پاکستان آرمی نام نہاد جہاد میں پوری طرح شامل تھی اور طالبان سمیت تمام جنگجوں سے اسکے تعلقات تھے. مگر ٩/١١ کے بعد صورت حال بدل گئی اور آج یہ نوبت ہے کہ فوج اپنے ہی پیدا کئے ہوے بچے سے لڑ رہی ہے

حکومت کو فوج کے بجٹ اور جہادی تنظیموں کے فنڈس کا احتساب کرنا چاہیے اور نظر رکھنی چاہیے کے یہ فنڈس کہاں سے آتے ہیں اور کہاں جاتے ہیں

ایجنسیوں کے طالبان یا مجاہدین سے تعلقات ہونا کوئی تعجب کی بات نہیں ہے

افغان جہاد کے دنوں میں پاکستان فوج اور مجاہدین نے مل کر جنگ لڑی اور جیتی. اس دور کے فوجی افسران اب یا تو ریٹایر ہو چکے ہیں یا ہونے والے ہیں. انکے ذاتی طور پر اپنے پرانے مجاہدین ساتھیوں سے تعلقات ہو سکتے ہیں پر جس طرح بین ال اقوامی میڈیا کہتا ہے وو غلط ہے

امریکا کے افغان طالبان سے گہرے روابط ہیں جو پاکستان آرمی اور طالبان کے روابط سے کہیں مضبوط ہیں. انکے تعلقات افغان جہاد کے دنوں سے ہیں

پاکستان کے دفاعی اداروں اور ایجنسیوں کے کسی شدّت پسند جماعت سے کوئی تعلقات نہیں ہیں. وو صرف ملکی دفاع اور قومی مفاد میں کام کر رہے ہیں. فوجی افسران جن پر ہمارا لاکھوں روپیہ خرچ ہو رہا ہے، ان میں سے درجنوں شہید ہو چکے ہیں. اگر انکے روابط جہادیوں سے ہوتے تو ان جہادیوں کا شکار فوج کیوں ہے ؟

زاہد حسین کہتے ہیں کہ بھارتی طیارہ ہائی جیک کیس بھی جیش محمّد سے جڑا ہے. اور اس واقعے کے بعد اپنے دیکھا کہ مسعود اظہر نے کھلے عام کراچی میں ایک بارے مجمے سے اجتماع میں خطاب کیا

میزبان کا سوال: ضیاء دور میں تو فوج میں جہادی تربیت اور مذہب کا استمال عام تھا . کیا مشرّف دور میں اسمے کوئی تبدیلی آئی ؟
جواب میں شہزاد چوہدری کہتے ہیں کہ مذہب کا استمال تو پاکستان بنانے کی تحریک میں بھی ہوا. اسکے بعد ١٩٤٨ کی پاک بھارت کشمیر جنگ میں بھی جناح نے قبائلیوں کے لشکر تیار کروا کر انسے جنگ لڑی. اسی طرح ١٩٦٥ میں آپریشن جبرالٹر ذولفقار علی بھٹو اور جنرل اختر علی ملک کا نظریہ تھا جسکے مطابق آپنے یہ کہا کہ ہم غیر ریاستی فوج یا جہادیوں کو استمال کر کہ کشمیر میں قدم جمایئں گے

ائیر مارشل مسعود اختر کہتے ہیں کہ ضیاء الحق کے زمانے کا ایمان، تقویٰ، جہاد فی سبیل اللہ ایک نظریے کے طور پر بوہت مقبول ہوا. مشرف نے ٩/١١ کے بعد یو ٹرن لیا مگر اس نظریے کے اثرات اب تک باقی ہیں اور انکو زائل ہونے میں وقت لگ رہا ہے. ان لوگوں کا یہ نظریہ تھا اور ہے کہ یہ ملک انتہائی دایئں بازو کے لوگوں کے لئے بنا ہے

زاہد حسین کہتے ہیں کہ پاکستان کا مقصد اور اس سے منسلک مباحث تو پاکستان کے وجود سے ہے شروع ہو گیئں لیکن ریاستی اکثریت کا نظریہ ١٩٨٠ کی دہائی میں زور پکڑنا شروع ہوا. سوویت قوت کے خلاف عوامی راے بنانے اور لوگوں کو لڑنے کے لئے آمادہ کرنے کے لئے اسلام کا بڑی بے رحمی سے استمال کیا گیا. یہ تجربہ کامیاب رہا اور دنیا بھر کے مسلمان ملکوں سے لوگ جہاد کے لئے آ پوھنچے مگر اب وہ ہمارے قابو میں نہیں ہیں. جہاد کا ریاستی پالیسی کے طور پے استمال ضرور رہا ہے مگر اسکی بنیاد نظریاتی نہیں بلکہ سٹرٹیجک (حربی) تھی.

سوال: مشرف پر حملوں کے سلسلے میں ائیر فورس کے ١٠٦ افسران برطرف کے گئے اور ٥٧ فوجی بھی اسی سلسلے میں پکڑے گئے. ان لوگوں میں ان رجحانات کی وجہ کیا تھی ؟

ائیر وائس مارشل شہزاد چوہدری کہتے ہیں ١٩٧٩ سے ١٩٨٩ تک پاکستان فوج اور امریکا نے جہاد، اسلام اور جہادیوں کا استمال کیا اور مقصد پورا ہو جانے کے بعد انکو لاوارث چھوڑ دیا. یہ ایک ناکام پالیسی کا نتیجہ ہے کہ آج وہی ہمارے گلے پڑ چکے ہیں. ہمارے ملک میں کل ملا کر ٣٠،٠٠٠ اموات ہو چکی ہیں اور ان میں سے فوجیوں کی تعداد تو تقریباً ١٩٦٥ کی جنگ کی شہادتوں کے قریب پوھنچ گیئ ہے

حملوں کی پلاننگ کرنے والوں فوجیوں کے وکیل کہتے ہیں کے ان ٦ لوگوں کے خلاف ٹھوس ثبوت دستیاب تھے جو کورٹ کو دیے گئے. پاکستان ائیر فورس میں مذہبیت کا رجحان باقی دفاعی اداروں سے زیادہ ہے.
ائیر مارشل مسعود اختر کہتے ہیں پاکستان فضایہ میں جہادیوں نے اس لئے گھسنا پسند کیا کیوں کہ وو جانتے تھے کہ یہ لوگ باقی دفاعی اداروں کی نسبت زیادہ ماہر اور کاریگر ہیں اور ہر قسم کے ہتھیاروں سے اچھی طرح واقف ہیں. ہم نے ان رجحانات کو ختم کرنے کے لئے اقدامات اٹھایئں ہیں. ہم تمام افسران اور فوجیوں پڑ کاری نگرانی رکھتے ہیں. بھرتی ہونے والوں کے لئے ہم نے سخت نفسیاتی ٹیسٹ بنایا ہے. ہم کوشش کر رہے ہیں کہ فوجیوں کو قرآن کی ہدایت کے مطابق وسط کا راستہ دکھائیں. ہم انکو یہ بھی سمجھا رہے ہیں کہ امیر کی اطاعت ضروری ہے، یہ قرآن اور حدیث میں بھی ہے.

فوج کے ایک معلم جو جمعہ کے خطبے دیتے ہیں کا کہنا ہے

افغانستان پر امریکی حملے کے بعد ہمیں کہا گیا کہ اپنے افغانستان کا ذکر نہیں کرنا. لیکن کچھ دیر بعد جب حالات سخت ہوے تو مجھے کمانڈنگ افسر نے بلا کر کہا کے ہر یونٹ میں جا کر ایسا لیکچر دو کہ ہمارے جوانوں کو آگ لگ جائے اور لیکچر کا موضوع صرف جہاد ہونا چاہیے. حالانکہ پہلے مجے اسی سے روکا گیا تھا.

زاہد حسین کا کہنا ہے کہ اس چیز کی کبھی بھی اجازت نہیں دی گئی کہ جہادی فوج میں اپنا راستہ بنایں مگر عسکریت، جہاد اور اسلام کا استمال ریاستی پالیسی ضرور رہا ہے. اسکے اثرات فوج پر پڑے. ائیر وائس مارشل شہزاد چوہدری کہتے ہیں کہ دہشت گردی اور مذہبیت وہ دو ازدہے ہیں وو آگے چل کر اس ملک کو کھایئں گے.

Source: Roshni

December 25, 2010

Jinnah and the Islamic State – Setting the Record Straight – by Pervez Hoodbhoy

by admin

What did Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, want for the country he was destined to create in 1947?

This essay originated from my lecture in Karachi in 2007, delivered at the invitation of the Jinnah Society in cooperation with the Oxford University Press of Pakistan.

What did Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, want for the country he was destined to create in 1947? Surely I cannot say anything new on this venerable and much-discussed historical subject; the experts know much more. But, as we approach Pakistan’s sixtieth anniversary, the matter of Jinnah and the Islamic State is still a hot one. It is confounded both by the wishful thinking of my well-meaning liberal friends, as well as conveniences invented at different times by Pakistan’s military, political, and religious establishments. Therefore, it seems to me that objectivity, honesty, and clarity are still desperately needed if we are to clean out old cobwebs and chart a new course for the future of our country.

What is Pakistan all about? For decades, Pakistani school children have grown up learning a linguistically flawed (but catchy) rhetorical question sung together with its answer: Pakistan ka matlab kya? La illaha illala! [What is the meaning of Pakistan? There is no god but Allah!]. They have been told that Pakistan’s raison d’etre was the creation of an Islamic state where the Sharia must reign supreme.

Surely this has had its effect. A recent survey by the World Public Opinion.Org (April 24, 2007) found that 54% of Pakistanis wanted strict application of Sharia while 25% wanted it in some more dilute form. Totaling 79%, this was the largest percentage in the four countries surveyed (Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia) .

But was sentiment for Sharia and the Islamic State strong in 1947 among those who fought for Pakistan?

Mr. Jinnah’s thoughts inevitably enter the argument. This, of course, does not necessarily mean that Pakistan was, or is, obligated to become the fulfilment of his vision. Pakistan is much more than Jinnah and it will eventually go in the direction that its people want it to go. But it certainly is of the greatest intellectual and historical interest to ask two key questions:

a) Did Jinnah want Pakistan to be a Muslim majority state where individuals, whether Muslim or otherwise, would be free to live their lives more or less as they do in countries in the rest of the world?


b) Did Jinnah want an Islamic state? And, if so, what was his understanding of such a state.

These have always been loaded questions with various sides making excellent arguments for their own purposes. But it is time to stop cherry-picking and, instead, scrutinize the totality of Jinnah’s words and actions. Else, at the end of the day we shall end up merely reaffirming our existing preferences and prejudices .

To be sure, a dispassionate examination of Mr. Jinnah’s positions has been unusual in Pakistan because of the ideological needs of the state. Truth was an immediate casualty when General Zia-ul-Haq brought his new Islamic vision of Pakistan in 1979. Immediately thereafter, Mr Jinnah had to be entirely resurrected and reconstructed as an Islamic – rather than Muslim – leader.

This task challenged even the best of spin-masters. As perhaps the most Westernized political leader in Indian Muslim history, Jinnah was culturally and socially far more at ease with the high society of cosmopolitan Bombay and metropolitan London than with those who he led and represented. His Urdu was barely understandable. Nor were his culinary tastes quite those of strict Muslims. But the authorities of Pakistan Television took this, as so much else, in their stride. So, in the 1980’s, a steady stream of profound pieties emanated from a stern, sherwani-clad man who filled television screens across the country. Gone were his elegant suits from Seville Row, as was any reference to his marriage to a Parsi woman. Mr. Jinnah had miraculously morphed into a deep-thinking Islamic scholar.

An interesting consequence of the deliberate state-organized obfuscation was that many Pakistani liberals concluded that the truth must have been the very opposite. They insisted that that, in fact, Jinnah had envisioned Pakistan as a secular, but Muslim majority, country. As proof, they point to two of his oft-quoted speeches that suggesting a secular outlook. Delivered just before, and after, Partition, these had been slyly concealed from the public media during the Zia years:

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State…. You will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.

Courtesy: Chowk

December 25, 2010

Israeli–Palestinian conflict: Facts not to be ignored – by Nayyer Khan

by admin

Courtesy: Naya Zamana

December 23, 2010

A post on how to bring to end the conflict in Afghanistan – by TLW

by admin

Specially contributed to the LUBP, this post was first published at These Long Wars blog

Pakistan, Iran and Russia. The middle one completely hated by the US, the former and latter, sort of trusted. Russia must bring pressure to bear on it’s guys, remnants of the Northern Alliance, the Iranians have influence with the people who control Herat, and Pakistan has some very obvious links with the Taliban. All three agree, they don’t fight once the US leaves.

Chinese money is already in Afghanistan.

I don’t think they want to annex Afghanistan.

But the Chinese would like “stability” in Afghanistan.

India can continue to build roads, electricity poles,

Now there are a million things that could go wrong with a plan like this. The Order of Battle For Jihadi Islam Across the Durand Line covers the obvious suspects.

But as well as them, there are more people who can make things go off the rails.

1) The Pakistan military may either become expansionist (through it`s Taliban allies), the officers may be “swept along” by Taliban victories and want to let the Taliban move forward, or the Indian presence may be too provocative (prove to be an easy target), or the Indians may seem too powerful, and the Pakistanis just start attacking them wantonly, precipitating a Taliban drive for power.

2) Younger commanders on the ground start doing their own thing (killing opponents) whilst paying lip service to Mullah Umar (still in Pakistan). Sort of like how MQM sector commanders say they listen to their leaders at the top of the party, but kill local rivals nonetheless, physically strengthening the MQM’s position, whilst simultaneously threatening a larger war with either the government, the ANP or the PPP. The younger Taliban commanders could start killing off local rivals, threatening an escalation to a larger war.

3) The Americans may simply go apeshit at the prospect of peace at the hands of the Iranians and Russians. Although why they would scuttle this only as a matter of pride or irrationality is inexplicable, although expectable considering their past involving Iraq 2003.

4) There is also the fact that the success of the Taliban in Afghanistan was bought on the backs of regiments of Pakistani soldiers who were ordered to use their mechanised equipment, and provide close air support to the Taliban. It was this developed military approach that bought the Taliban success against the Northern Alliance. How easy or difficult would it be for the Pakistan Military to restart such a program, where they bought their equipment into Afghanistan and used it to pound the Afghan National Army until it collapsed?

There are possible answers to these troubling scenarios.

1) Pakistan has suffered multiple casualties at the hands of religious extremists; there may be little tolerance for more religious nutjobs to take the helm of Afghanistan, killing fellow Afghans AFTER the US withdraws.

2) The Afghan Taliban may keep themselves “together” (or as much together as a disparate guerrilla movement can) and the younger commanders may be reeled in by the now, very old, 90’s Taliban leadership, who *might* be feeling tired of war. That is a big *might*. Much of the senior leadership has fought in the Soviet-Afghan Jihad, the Afghan civil war, and now the US occupation of Afghanistan. They have faced down the Warsaw Pact, all manner of other Afghans and NATO. It just might be possible that they may be feeling tired of war. A wild card would be the question, would Pakistan provide the same sort of all around military support for a new drive by the Afghan Taliban? I will adress that as well.

3) The Americans cannot possibly be this stupid, as to toss away peace in Afghanistan, especially when they give the impression of being trapped there, and news leaking out constantly of them negotiating with the Taliban. Even fakers like the silly greedy “Mullah” Mansoor, of Quetta shopkeeping fame. Now the Americans are pounding the Afghan border and Khyber Agency in frustration, whilst the young commanders are quietly in hiding.

4) This is the hardest, would the Pakistan military bring in it’s artillery, tanks and close air support to aid the Afghan Taliban. You’re asking me to predict the future, and to be honest, maybe, one could hope that not this time around. The Pakistan military must be reminded of it’s mental limitations, it’s capacity for stupidity at every turn, and told to keep away from adventures in Afghanistan. For God’s sake, tell them to look at their casualty lists for just the last three years.

Peace in Afghanistan, and the regularisation of FATA’s status (possibly as a separate province, but also possibly as a place where regular law applies, that could join Pakhtunkhwa) must be made a serious, serious policy plank of the PML-N, the PPP, the ANP, the MQM and just about every Baloch political organisation that exists. Only together can they make the Pakistan military comply. I appeal to the PPP, the PML-N, the ANP, the MQM, and the electoral competitors of Balochistan to pressure and fight towards this. It is our future.

December 21, 2010

The Shia Question – by Imran Khan

by admin

Related article:

What can Pakistan and the entire world learn from Pakistani Shias?

Cross-posed from I Opyne

The term “Jewish Question” has been used in a variety of ways, but its most common usage has been an anti Semitic one; where it refers to all the “problems” that have been created because of the mere existence of the Jews. It was the Nazis who proposed a “final solution” to this question, a solution that they carried out in the death camps of Nazi Germany.

If you are a Sunni in Pakistan, it is very often that you might hear of “problems” such as; the Shia domination of decision making in our country, as well as their “perversion” of Islam. The spectrum of reactions to our very own “Shia Question” perhaps varies as much in Pakistan as the reaction to the Jewish Question used to vary in Europe. There are those who are just uncomfortable with the importance of Shias in our society while there are others who suggest solutions that are no different from those of the Nazis.

The 9th and 10th of Moharram this year passed by relatively peacefully, apart from one grenade attack in Peshawar,  the main processions dispersed safely through out the country. But the run up to the final days was marked by violence as well as the spoiling of some major terrorist plans. On December 11th, 15 people were killed when a truck bomb hit an Imam Bargah in Hangu, while terrorist plans were spoiled in KarachiDI Khanand Quetta, that could have resulted in similar carnages as past years.

Shias in Pakistan account for around 15 to 20% of our Muslim Population, and constitute the second largest concentration of Shias in the world, Iran being the largest. According to one source our Shia minority is estimated at 30 million and surpasses the number of Shias in Iraq.  If one is to look at the history of Pakistan; our most iconic leaders have belonged to the Shia community. The Founding Father of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a Shia and so is our most popular political dynasty, i.e. the Bhuttos. It is safe to say that the Shia beliefs of these icons of Pakistan’s political history never mattered to their overwhelmingly Sunni following.

However, things began to change during the 80s, resulting in a horrific increase in sectarian violence. According to thedatabase at South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP); in 1989, 18 people were killed in sectarian violence, during 1999 that figure rose to 86, while this year we lost a staggering, 496 people.  A report by the International Crisis Group that came out in 2005, states that around 70% of those killed in sectarian violence since 1985, belonged to the Shia community, the report further noted that presently Shia militancy in Pakistan is mostly a reaction to Deobandi militancy.

So what happened? How did a Sunni Majority Pakistan that flocked to the cause of a Shia Quaid-I-Azam and a Shia Quaid-I-Awam fall into this hopeless spiral of senseless killings? The answer lies in the Afghan Jihad, and the form our decision makers chose to sponsor it in. The rigid Wahabi interpretation of Islam, that was the driving force behind the morale of the Mujahideen, also had a very serious anti-Shia bent to it. The fatwas declaring Shias as Kafir came out during the heydays of the Afghan Jihad, the cannon fodder that was prepared for the war in Afghanistan came back to seek new infidels and found them in the form of Shias. Saudi support for the propagation of this hate was crucial, as Pakistan became the battleground for the cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The recent increase in attacks on Shias is a reflection of the growing strength of the Taliban. Thinking purely in terms of Pakistan’s national and strategic interests; if the “good” Taliban are those who simply concentrate on Americans and Afghans, and pose no harm to Pakistanis, then according to this definition, there are no good Taliban, as they all consider these 30 million Shia Pakistanis as wajib-ul-qatal, i.e. dead men walking. Our Taliban apologists in the media as well as politics, who bend over their backs in explaining the Taliban position as that of reactionary freedom fighters, completely ignore the Taliban hatred of the Shias, which is an essential part of the Taliban belief system and is not a reaction to any invasions.  Call them good or bad, a stronger Taliban would simply translate into even more violence against the Shias of Pakistan.

In the wake of attacks on Moharram processions many have expressed disdain about the need for carrying out these processions in the first place. It is believed that these processions are attacked because they offer themselves up for attacks. Well, the same logic could be applied to Juma congregations, just like Sunnis would still go to the mosque despite 180 deaths due to attacks on mosques this year, the same way the Shia would take part in Moharram processions, faith being the motivating factor in both situations.

But, the solution to this problem does not lie in curtailing religious freedoms; it lies in having an unbiased approach to this issue. The rising popularity of the Shia hating Taliban in a Sunni majority Pakistan, is a clear indication of how our biases are making us look the other way.

Appeared in Pakistan Today on the 21st of December 2010.

December 21, 2010

Afghan peace, attacks during Ashura and the fake Wikileaks – by TLW

by admin

Specially contributed to the LUBP, this post was first published at These Long Wars blog

If there is one thing that has “obsessed” me over the last few days of being too farigh over the internet, it’s Afghan peace. Specifically, what-the-eff’s going to happen when the Americans leave, how the Americans will leave, and whom will they empower when they leave. It’s a depressing topic to broach. The actors who can screw it all up are well outlined in my Foreign Policy lifted Order of Battle for Jihadi Islam across Pakistan and Afghanistan, and our old familiar friends in the Pakistan military establishment and their intelligence hands. Sigh. Anyway, I made the google rounds to see what we can come up with and the google God was not favourable.

God was also not favourable during Ashura, with some random jerkoff throwing a grenade in Peshawar at a procession, and now we have a mortar attack in Hangu. Not unrelated is the atmosphere of intolerance peddled by our religious extremists, and the toleration and manipulation of these intolerants by our establishment.

I cam up with articles related to old peace talks with narco-terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar dating from June-July, the text’s of a “possible” peace deal, articles about talks about talks from October-November (which we know is related to the ultra-fake Mullah Mansoor) and something by Arnaud de Bochgrave that had promise, but died half way through. And speaking of died halfway through (keeping his role in bombing Serbia in the late-nineties in mind) R.I.P Richard Holbrooke.

RIP Richard Holbrooke 1941-2010

You know, I have a theory. That anybody who works, mind, body and soul to actually change Pakistan can actually die from over-exertion. My exhibit A for that was Mohammad Ali Jinnah, now exhibit B just might be Richard Holbrooke. And sometimes the sincerity of that effort gets people killed. Exhibit A, B, C and D are of course, Liaquat Ali Khan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. They were killed by enemies of the reform they promised. Except maybe Zia, who was killed possibly by people inside the army sick of him and his clique tying up promotions. But I digress. RIP Mr Holbrooke, nice to hear you were talking about Af-Pak peace right uptil the last minute. Even if it may have been jokes, peace is what we need to get to.

Anyway, coming back to the Fakileaks, which I`m sure drew you into this whole blog piece, my point is that any weird behaviour by our military establishment has to be looked at in the context of the eventual withdrawal of US forces and what they might leave behind in Afghanistan, the response of the psychopaths who have taken control in FATA, and the potential for greater chaos in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Althought let`s see how Ashura day`s toll of attacks turns out, it could be a bellweather for how raring the fanatics are to have a go inside Pakistan. Reports out of Karachi indicated a police administration in hyper-drive to try and control as many fanatics as possible. By the end of the day we will know if they succeeded. And beyond that, a question has to be asked of whether the militants themselves have been intimidated into pulling a strategic retreat to avoid ruining their oh-so-Stirling reputations. The militants by my account may not want to call “too” much attention to themselves. But of course there are random hotheads like the jerk who threw the grenade, and the one who lobbed the mortar.

Anyway, returning *again* to Fakileaks (sigh) there was Cyril Almeida’s article which I went to first thing on Dawn, and lo and behold my surprise when I saw it repeated on Five Rupees by Ahsan. Cyril Almeida’s piece nicely referenced YRG’s smalltimey-ness in the PM Gillani Vs PM Fahim debate. The second article Ahsan referenced was a piece by Azhar Abbas (the one who works for Geo, and his brother is *the* military spokesman of the ISPR). I had skimmed the article as it had been linked to in the twitterverse, and the tweeple tweeting it used it as an explanation for why Zaid Hamid was suddenly back on the scene. In that article though, there were a few responses that stuck out at me:

“Maliha Lodhi, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the UK and US saying that “There is acknowledgement in private about mistakes made in the past. But it is not translating into a long term strategic plan”.

To this I say “Of Course!” Pakistan needs a long term strategic indigenous plan, because dammit, its not like that the religiously fanatic folk aren’t thinking long term.
Returning back to what Azhar Abbas said:

“Our policy on the drone attacks is very clear and I don’t think there is any change in the policy, though for public consumption the government and the establishment will continue to oppose the attacks in the media,” said Mushahid Hussain.

Lodhi is even more critical of this style of policy. “No government can afford to have a covert policy of cooperation and overt position with the public, which is at odds with that policy,” she said.

This cognitive dissonance within the government’s own body is what creates the atmosphere for things like the Fakileaks scandal to be concocted.

But the big question is: Is it really a tactical move? Or is this the main strategy and the fight against extremism merely a tactical diversion?

This I’ll come back to later. Continuing:

Although, the intelligentsia, including media persons in Pakistan, are quite divided along ideological lines, WikiLeaks’ exposes are further crystallising this tendency. But the most disturbing aspect is the way Pakistani power brokers are trying to promote a particular mindset.

First off, the phrase intelligentsia is a little bit too high brow for Pakistan. It’s more like, “What’s been left”, after years of Ziaism, societally enforced lip service to Islam, 3 and a half decades of overt military rule, and a constant state of low intensity violence. But my bitterness digresses. In this little media/coffee klatch bubble of dueling electrons, dependent on black/grey fortunes or corporate/state enterprise jobs, yes, there has been a clear cleavage down the middle between those who want to live in a normal country and those who are materially satisfied but religiously conflicted with the current situation.

Many observers believe that in the days to come, one should again expect a rise in the extremist mindset.

Somebody said that would explain Zaid Hamid’s re-invigorated presence online and on television.

This will not just be restricted to the print media or TV screens, but will be visible on the streets of Pakistan as well.

Hello JI rallies on blasphemy.

It may be a welcome sign for those who wanted it as a tactical move.


But the coming months and years will tell us how flawed a move it is. General Zia is not here to see the monster he had created that had devoured hundreds of innocent lives.

We know.

His policy has divided and damaged our society almost beyond repair.

Tell us more.

The current policies will only make the situation worse for Pakistan.

Well then we need to stop fighting over faking cable and get to work on some sort of Afghan peace plan. There are Arab strategists thinking ten, twenty years down the road on how to build a khilafat in Pakistan. The more serious quote is this:

“Or is…the fight against extremism merely a tactical diversion”

This is the part that disgusted, and partially scared me. Is the fight against extremism a diversion just so that the military can shelter Mullah Umar, possibly Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Osama Bin Ladin? If a hemped up Californian Christian hippie can feel he’s getting close enough to be a few valleys in Chitral away from OBL, this tells you FUCK loads about what the hell our Military Establishment may be hiding or purely ignoring. Considering that Mullah Umar may have direct support from some of the JUI-F types, but Osama Bin Ladin and Ayman Al Zawahiri are providing direct inspiration for the sectarian terrorism in Pakistan. Is the Pakistan military establishment receiving money from the Saudis and Gulf to ignore where these people are hiding? The number 1 and 2 of Al Qaeda are criminals and murderers of Pakistanis. If as Ghost Wars says, that OBL travels with an entourage of a hundred stateless Arabs, Central and South Asians Muslims, arranged in concentric layers of security then it is very likely that, if our military hasn’t been beaten back by it, it has certainly run into it a couple of times.

Although, to be honest, I have to wonder about knowledge of militant activity down the chain of command. The last commander of XI Corps (the Corps that did all the fighting in Swat and Waziristan) lost his son in a gun-and-suicide attack. I am not trying to be insensitive when I bring this up, but it is a fact that has to be faced. Does this mean that he might have known where Ayman Al Zawahiri and Osama Bin Ladin were and did not act? Wow, that would take a lot of gumption.

It’s facts like these that put a two-by-four into speculation that the Pakistan military is only acting against militants tactically rather than strategically. Of course going against militants strategically would mean trying to clean up Madrassahs, the JUI-F, the JI and a host of other publicly appearing promoters of religious extremism. It would also mean giving Mullah Umar, and much of the Quetta Shura, and men in various managerial positions of various formerly Kashmir-centric groups the AQ Khan treatment.

The A.Q Khan treatment where we skip the public apology and appearing in public part and move straight into indefinite home detention, with restricted movement and little hope of leaving the area. This way these gentlemen do not get kidnapped, caught and made to squeal (on the Pakistanis) by various Indian or Western intelligence agencies. And the little boys, and boy-brained-men, they commanded have to all be accounted for, put on lists, and be educated/re-educated/de-programmed. Some with blood on their hands would have to be forced through the judicial system, while some others who escape and start killing (as they have been doing now for the last three years) would have to be killed, or threatened with death if they threaten to kill.

That would be Pakistan taking it’s strategic priorities seriously. Only part of this has happened, and that too haphazardly. This in a way belies claims by Indians, or worries by Pakistanis that the attacks on militant strongholds in Hamaa, I’m sorry, Swat and Waziristan, were not war crimes with no justification, or military displays to distract the west . No. Up till this moment in time, December 2010, they appear to be war crimes that had a purpose. To kill people who were set on the course of destroying everything left in Pakistan. It will be up to the Pakistan government’s capacity to rebuild, restore and re-autonomise the local populations of the regions that we had to invade and kill Taliban in, to make sure that the lives lost were not lost in vain.

In the meantime, as we demonstrated at least in the major cities, we have a minor moral victory, with Ashura passing “peacefully”, but this sort of tactical thinking has to stop. We have to move beyond the tactical thought processes into a strategic offensive against the sources of extremism within our country, primarily the lack of control of our security forces, and the aid that provides to religiously inclined assassins. Civilian security forces must be strengthened, expanded and aided in their evolution, maturisation and sophistication. Simultaneously, it will have to be public movements of Pakistani people, in concert with their political parties that take control of their public bodies. And looming above and beyond this, will have to be a plan for peace along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and in Afghanistan itself.

Enough people have died, either violently or from the bad health that this region’s bad politics resonates with. Even if their leaders and friends are men and women with moderate amounts of blood on their hands, there is time and there are resources to control the situation, create an environment for a succession to a new generation of leadership, and prevent the situation from crossing a moral event horizon.

Source: Chapati Mystery

RIP Richard Holbrooke

RIP Hangu Six

RIP Karam Abbas

December 19, 2010

Abbas brothers II: Why I wrote on them – by TLW

by admin

Related articles:

The Abbas brothers: A depressing tale – by TLW

The ISI media’s two pronged strategy: From Ahmed Quraishi to Azhar Abbas

I am a questioning sort of person. I question that which makes me curious, or that which piques my interest, yet I do not understand. And a certain blog piqued my interest. A reader of mine is a google follower of this blog by a certain, former employee of Dawn.

The blog, aside from tapping into the massive trope of Pakistan being nothing but a “land of terror” (which plays into a deeply impoverished view of Pakistan, reducing a much, much more complex land into the bare idea of angry bearded Muslims, and non angry, non bearded Muslims), made a swiping reference in every other post about a man whom I would presume was the writer’s former boss, Zafar Abbas. And every third or so post would make reference to Mr Zafar Abbas being the brother of General Athar Abbas of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR- the military’s PR department).

That blog, and that employee were, to put it politely, a few cards short of a full deck. It is the policy of me and my blog, when I come across what could be real out and out psychological damage, to keep quiet and back away slowly. Which is what I did. The author of that blog even referenced his own psychological situation, confirming what one suspected about him as a mentally damaged human being. That blogger even admitted being in such a precarious psychological state, and described his current conditions as that of a classic shut-in. So I skimmed and backed away slowly. And I realised as I closed the browser window that this lunatic had 37 google followers, and all I could muster were 9. Wow; even an out and out nutjob had more readers than me.

Or maybe it was just that he was realising the situation of current mainstream middle class Pakistan. Quoth Nadeem Farooq Paracha’s twitter:

Conspiracies theories are not theories, but a fact in Pakistan. Elvis is alive in Waziristan – thus the drone attacks.

I’m afraid that Nadeem Paracha may be too close to the truth.

As for this gentleman and his blog, they shall remain unnamed. I don’t want any strange google results for/from him leading to me. If you have any doubts about how annoying skewed Google results are, ask the folks at Five Rupees blog about their “Aunty” problem someday. I do not wish to skew my google results into any acknowledgement of this man’s lunacy. For all I know, he may have gotten fired from Dawn because his English writing skills stink. Seriously speaking, the grammar of his blogposts was atrocious, and this was a man who claimed to have been employed by what could be called Pakistan’s premier English daily. Standards of grammatical correctness had been slipping at Dawn, but he who shall remain unnamed used some really lousy English on his blog.

Moving beyond this man who was singularly obsessed with the Abbas brothers, and their “possible” role in getting him fired, many people had randomly mentioned this band of brothers who seemed to have reached top journalistic positions in one industry at the same time. Random comments on the Cafe Pyala page, conspiratorial ones on the LUBP page, and random tweets on this subject. Cafe Pyala, I especially feel sorry for, because as anonymous journalists writing about the media industry from inside it, they probably got too many requests to write on more than they even wished to broach. And since there is so much overt and covert corruption in Pakistan, there is sadly no dearth of negatively painted stories for them to cover. Why cover an obscure bunch of brothers who had a massive coincidence of luck, where all of them occupy important positions in various media producing groups (even the ISPR counts as this) at the exact same time in history. Better to go after their bosses, especially as working journalists, the Cafe Pyala-walas actually have an easier time getting dirt on the media owners that a “civilian” could not easily come by.

But that still leaves this very interesting story of these brothers in high positions across media companies at the same time…

So last month, I found myself home from a social engagement that had ended a little too early and I was feeling a little p-o’ed about.

Maybe writing would help. So I did. And then the idea of taking Critical PPP on their offer to publish anything if it was worth it popped into my mind. And all those very interesting internet comments on the Abbas Brothers looked like a question worth asking about.

So why not be original? A critical look into the ethical implications of hiring a group of brothers into senior positions in a somewhat influential media industry, whilst their brother is in charge of the establishment’s military media mouthpiece, in the middle of a war?

Sounded nice. And I think it was.

And in the back of my mind there was a voice that said some part of it won’t fit into the story. What part? Oh yeah, the one about the crazy ex-employee. Let’s just focus on the bosses. And in an evening’s haze of exhaustion, to keep it simple that is what I did.

But you the reader, I believe deserve to know about the unhinged employee and his blog that is out there. I will not link directly to it myself. But you can go search for it yourself. As for me, the depressing story of the Abbas brothers ends here. I’ve had enough of trying to dissect psy-ops. It’s back to the messiness, of real blood and guts ethnic warfare in Pakistan for me.

I’ll leave the propaganda and counter propaganda to the hacks, shrinks and various headjobs of the world.

Specially contributed to the LUBP, this post was first published at These Long Wars blog

December 19, 2010

Pakistan's powerful religious right: How Islam has shaped modern Pakistan – by Urmila Venugopalan

by admin

It’s Unfortunate that native Sufi Islam in Pakistan has become threatened by Wahabi Islam(Saudi Arabia’s official Islamic ideology), especially in many areas of the northwestern area and southern Punjab. The mordancy, of course, is that Wahabism was imported into Pakistan by the state and nurtured through radical education.

The Article below depicts an interesting case study in the history of radicalization in Pakistan. There is a gradual replacement of liberal, tolerant, and syncretic Sufi Islam with conservative, intolerant, and fascist Wahabi Islam in Pakistan over the past 30 years.

Thanks to the long military rules and security-intelligence establishment’s ill-conceived policies of strategic depth and bleed India’ that also disturbed the traditional religious fabric of the land by challenging the prevalent Sufism in the area. Most Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan have embraced the puritanical and radical Wahabi brand of Islam. These new Wahabis with Saudi Arabia backing have not only waged a jihad against the western “infidels” but also against the believers of Sufi Islam.

Fodder for the Taliban

Pakistan’s powerful religious right – How Islam has shaped modern Pakistan -by Urmila Venugopalan

Islamist parties and organizations across Pakistan are warning of anarchy if the civilian government attempts to repeal the nation’s strict blasphemy law and pardon Asia Bibi, an illiterate farm worker who was sentenced to death last month. Following Bibi’s sentencing, on Dec. 12 a doctor in Pakistan’s Sindh province was arrested on suspicion of violating the same controversial law.

An understanding of the religious right’s rise, particularly its powerful role in the Islamization of the country and its laws and the group’s continuing significance, highlights one of the key challenges to Pakistan’s stability.

This is a puzzle that has played a major role in the US government’s failure to force or persuade the Pakistanis to eliminate the safe havens for the Taliban and al Qaeda across the border in Afghanistan, where America has been embroiled in a nine-year war that started after the Sept. 11, 2001 destruction of the World Trade Towers in New York and so far has cost nearly 1,500 NATO troops’ lives.

The influence of such parties is all the more striking given their lack of a popular support base comparable with the mainstream secular parties. Although Pakistan remains on the whole a largely conservative country, the most recent general elections, held in February 2008, produced a resounding defeat of the Islamist parties.

Nevertheless, the religious right has succeeded in blocking or diluting any attempt to reform discriminatory Islamic legislation, including the blasphemy law. This is because over the years, politically expedient alliances with the military have afforded Islamist parties a level of authority and influence that is disproportionate to their electoral clout.

The religious right and the army have come together at various times in Pakistan’s recent history. Under the rule of both Zia ul-Haq and Pervez Musharraf, the military has allied with conservative religious groups with the shared objective of undermining the secular mainstream parties, namely the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

For example, during the 1980s, General Zia’s allies included the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and orthodox Sunni political parties such as the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) among others. Both the JI and JUI were the military’s main partners during the Afghan jihad, helping to recruit and indoctrinate foot soldiers for the anti-Soviet campaign. During this conflict, JI and JUI-operated madrassas in the northwest of Pakistan, near the Afghan border, became primary recruiting and training grounds for jihadi forces. The JI also became an important ally in domestic politics. Indeed, the general’s Islamization drive at home was aimed at legitimizing his rule, winning the support of JI and other religious parties, and marginalizing the PPP-led secular opposition. This resulted in a raft of amendments, which institutionalized discrimination against minority communities such as non-Muslims and Ahmadis, a marginal Sunni sect, and women.

Similarly, Musharraf’s desire to crush his main opposition, Benazir Bhutto’s PPP and Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N, prompted him to back and empower the Muttahida Masjlis-e-Amal (MMA). This six-party Islamist alliance was led by the JI and the JUI-F, Fazlur Rehman’s Deobandi (a puritanical Sunni sub-sect) faction of JUI. Rigged elections in 2002 saw the MMA gain control of the North-West Frontier Province and become the main coalition partner of Musharraf’s party in Balochistan. In NWFP, in particular, the MMA pursued extensive Islamization policies, while at the same time voting for Musharraf’s substantial constitutional amendments and his continuation as president. Musharraf’s courtship of the religious right for political ends allowed Islamist parties an unprecedented level of political influence, allowing it to derail several intended reforms.

Further, their association with jihadi groups continued to grow. In fact, according to the International Crisis Group, JI madrasas “have long maintained links with jihadi organizations” and Fazlur Rehman’s party “made no attempt [when it was in power] to hide its support for the Afghan Taliban with JUI-F madrasas recruiting and training Afghan and Pakistani Pashtuns for the Taliban.”

In addition to military patronage, particular Islamist parties such as the JI have been able to sustain their influence because of their robust internal organization. For example, JI’s notorious student wing, the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba – which has a strong presence in mainstream universities and high schools – as well as the group’s vast network of madrassas, provide the party with its significant street power. This is underpinned by strong relations between the party base and its leadership, a characteristic that is sorely lacking within the ranks of the PPP and PML-N.

The JI-led street demonstrations are, at the very least, extremely disruptive, especially in major urban centers such as Karachi, and have the ability to derail reform efforts. The secular parties, despite their strength at the ballot box, have been reluctant to roll back the blasphemy law and other discriminatory legislation for fear of a backlash from the religious right.

The threat to stability posed by the religious right is not, however, restricted to violent street protests. Indeed, a dangerous by-product of the blasphemy and anti-Ahmadi laws – which are based on orthodox Sunni interpretations of Islam – is that they have encouraged religious and sectarian extremism. According to the defense publication Jane’s, “these laws, and the general climate they create, provide fertile turf for radical sectarian groups like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, Jundallah, Jaish-e-Mohammad and others.” Inter-sect violence in the form of attacks on Shias by radical Deobandis comprise the bulk of terrorist incidents in Pakistan, followed by intra-sect hostility in the form of targeted killings of Ahmadis and, to a lesser extent, Barelvis, a rival Sunni sub-sect.

Regardless of how Asia Bibi’s case plays out, unless the blasphemy and other such discriminatory laws are repealed, the religious right will continue exploit them to advance a narrow ideological agenda. Indeed, a holistic appreciation of Pakistan’s extremist threat is incomplete without understanding the impact of Islamist parties on the country’s complex religious landscape and polity.

Source: Asia Sentinel

December 18, 2010

Shouldn’t General Kayani step down? -by Yousuf Nazar

by admin

I have followed the VikiLeaks revelations relating to Pakistan with a yawn but was amused by how papers like the Jang, the News, the Express Tribune, the Nation, and some others rushed to print and splashed agencies’ planted material across their front pages even when the source was questionable and had dubious credentials to say the least. Some of these newspapers are so lazy that they have been publishing foreign news wire (e.g. AFP)  reports covering the visit of Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao to Pakistan.

There was hardly anything earth shaking in the cables of the US Embassy in Islamabad. For me personally, it was a vindication of the views I have expressed in the last four years. It is hardly a revelation that Zardari sought support from Americans. He has done so publicly, I have to add, without any shame.  But the pains taken by Nawaz Sharif and Maulana Diesel  to position themselves as ’pro-American’  and offer their good services are hilarious.

For those who have been shouting ‘this is our war’, the truth may been a wake up call. It is Pakistani establishment’s double game. So if Pakistanis want to root out extremism, they must fight the military establishment for outsourcing the so-called defence of Pakistan to criminal militias of all colors and shades.

The “experts” like Gen (rtd). Talat Masood and Prof. H. A. Rizvi should probably retire and anchors like Shahid Masood should leave journalism. But then this is our great ‘land of the pure’. If the politicians and the generals have no principles or self-respect, the experts and some of the ‘media stars’ are no different.

But I want to discuss the role of the top Army leadership. The defenders of Pakistan’s ‘territorial and ideological’ frontiers have been meeting the US Viceroy in Pakistan on regular basis and discussing domestic politics and their secret meetings with Israelis among other matters.

The most disappointing revelation was not how General Kayani has been deeply involved in domestic politics but how closely he had been interacting with the US Ambassador, seeking her views, and in effect, secure her blessings.

Please read the following excerpt from a cable dated March 12, 2009 sent by Ambassador Anne Patterson:

“During Ambassador’s fourth meeting in a week with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Kayani on March 10, he again hinted that he might, however reluctantly, have to persuade President Zardari to resign if the situation sharply deteriorates. He mentioned Asfundyar Wali Khan as a possible replacement. This would not be a formal coup but would leave in place the PPP government led by PM Gilani, thus avoiding elections that likely would bring Nawaz Sharif to power. We do not believe Army action is imminent. We do believe Kayani was laying down a clear marker so that, if he has to act, he can say he warned the U.S. in advance and gave us ample opportunities to pressure both sides to back down. Kayani is trying to leverage what he considers predominate U.S. influence over Zardari, instead of seeking a direct confrontation that could provoke an unhelpful civil-military clash.”

That our Army chief met four times during one week with the American envoy to discuss the issue of the reinstatement of Iftikhar Chaudhry and political confrontation that erupted between Zardari and Nawaz Sharif following the former’s schemes to disqualify him would have been enough in some other country as a reason enough for the Army Chief to step down. But not in this land of “Allah, America, and Army.” Kayani was sounding out the US if it would be ok to dislodge Zardari and replace him with Afsandyar. He obviously did not get a green signal because Zardari is still very much there and most likely will be around till the US Viceroy signals otherwise to the GHQ.

Source: State of Pakistan

December 17, 2010

The fall of Dhaka: a personal narrative – by Hassan N. Gardezi

by admin

December 16, 1971 was a gray and chilly winter day in Canada. We had just turned of the TV after watching the ritual of Gen. (Tiger) Niazi surrendering East Pakistan to an Indian commander displayed on the evening news when phone rang. It was Islam Waheed, a university student from Pakistan and a left political activist. He wanted me and my colleague Dr. Feroze Ahmed to come to Montreal as soon as possible and talk about the political situation back home at a meeting of the metropolitan city’s Pakistani community. The two of us took a flight from Sault Ste Marie[i] on the 18th, reaching Montreal in the evening. From the airport we were driven directly to the McGill University where a large room was full of Pakistani expatriates and their families.

From previous experience I must admit that our compatriots had not been inclined to take our “leftist” ideas seriously, but on that evening a large gathering of them seemed to be waiting very anxiously to hear us speak. They wanted to know what had happened to Pakistan and why it happened.

Feroze spoke first. The gist of what he said was that the defeat of the Pakistan army at the hands of India was not the defeat of the people of Pakistan. The elitist rulers of Pakistan had kept the people in deception in order to serve their own interests. They had been too busy in manipulating the system to keep their hold on power, instead of caring for the integrity of Pakistan. He warned that the unity of Pakistan cannot be maintained by emotionally charged sloganeering and authoritarian rule of the central power elite. We expatriate Pakistanis, he said, will have to do more than engaging in seasonal demonstrations of patriotism. What is needed is a coolheaded and critical understanding of political and economic issues confronting our country. Pakistan’s unity and integrity can only be preserved by basing it firmly on the principles of equality, social justice and popular participation. Pakistan cannot be protected by the strength and supremacy of its armed forces alone.

When I was called upon to speak a Punjabi lady in the audience stood up with tears in her eyes and said, “Before you begin, I want to know if Indra Gandhi is going to annex the rest of Pakistan as well?” To appease such fears, I had to point out that Prime Minister Gandhi was not so foolish to annex Pakistan and thereby put around her neck a chain of troubles forever. It may have been possible to create a unified independent India at the time of the withdrawal of British rule with agreement between the different political parties, but too much has happened since that moment, including the holocaust of partition, for the people of Pakistan to ever reconcile to integration with India, particularly a forced one.

The discussion then turned to the principles of federalism and how the ruling class of Pakistan at the centre had violated these principles by not only refusing to share governing authority with provincial units but using brute force to suppress their legitimate cultural identities and economic aspirations.

This type of discussion and dialogue continued for some time even after the end of the formal meeting in smaller groups, until everyone stepped out into the snowy night of Montreal. We too left and reassembled at our host’s place for late night snacks and conversation. We were joined also by two Bengali sailors who had jumped ship at a Canadian port after army action was launched in their province of East Bengal on March 25, 1971.

While we sat chatting, someone brought the latest issue of McGill Daily, the university’s student newspaper for circulation in our small group. It carried an interesting report of an earlier meeting of our compatriots held on the campus on December 4, a day after Pakistan had launched an air strike against India from the West in retaliation against Indian army’s invasion of East Pakistan. According to the student newspaper report the organisers of that meeting had invited Mr. A. K. Saadi an emissary of the government of Pakistan to address the audience. But as soon as the meeting started the entire building began to resound with the call to prayers, azan, and soon thereafter two men entered the meeting room waving Pakistani flags and announced that the meeting was adjourned for the evening prayers. After the prayer break the meeting was reconvened but the guest speaker, Mr. Saadi, was missing. While some people went looking for him one of the organizers took the floor and launched a passionate speech attacking Soviet Premier Kosygin, Mao Zedong, Indra Gandhi and Gen. Yahya Khan.

Mr. Saadi was eventually brought back to the meeting and after a long introduction started his address by expressing his worries at the political situation back home, but before he could get very far with his address, another call for prayer rang out in the building, this time for the night (asha) prayer. The meeting was adjourned for another break, but this time Mr. Saadi disappeared without a trace. People who had some questions for him were left frustrated. Two of the organizers got into a heated argument and had to be separated by others before coming to blows.

This newspaper account of the earlier meeting obviously stood in sharp contrast to the proceedings of the one we had just attended. The flag waving patriotism, the religiosity, and the combativeness displayed in the earlier meeting was quite amazing. Was all this indicative of something about our national character or could it be attributed to isolated behaviour of a few individuals carried away in the excitement of the news of extraordinary events occurring in Pakistan? And what about the calm and tolerant, almost penitent, mood we had encountered in our meeting? Had our fellow Pakistanis learned a lesson of realism, mutual respect and humility after the dismemberment of their beloved Pakistan? Time flew by as we pondered these questions through the long winter night.

Finally someone came up with the bright idea of getting some sleep. Our host took us upstairs to show us to our beds. Still wide awake, I walked to the window to take a look outside. There was no sign of life on the street below. Montreal, the city of over 5 million people, had gone to sleep. Snowfall had tapered off. A few tiny white flakes were visibly flurrying around the street lamp. That for a moment brought to mind a familiar image of the rainy summer seasons in Pakistan – the frantic dance of those winged insects around street lights till they dropped dead by hitting the hot light bulbs again and again.


If someone would ask me today, what have you learned since that night in Montreal 39 years ago? I will have to say that I now know the answers to the two questions that had arisen that night.

  1. Yes, flag waving patriotism, religiosity, and combativeness are very much part of our Pakistani national character.
  2. No, we Pakistanis never learned the lesson of realism, mutual respect and humility from the fall of Dhaka.

I leave it to the readers to imagine were this is going to lead Pakistan and its people.

Courtesy: Viewpoint

December 16, 2010

Pakistan Peoples Party: Listen to the dissenting voices – By Aamir Hussaini

by admin

کارکنوں اور قیادت میں بڑھتے فاصلے

کیا پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی تقسیم کی طرف جا رہی ہے؟

پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی بلوچستان کے صدر سردار لشکر رئیسانی نے دوسری مرتبہ اپنا استعفیٰ پارٹی کے شریک چیئرمین آصف علی زرداری کو ارسال کر دیا ہے۔ اس استعفیٰ کی وجوہ پر روشنی ڈالتے ہوئے سردار لشکر رئیسانی نے صحافیوں کو بتایا کہ بلوچستان میں پارٹی کی تنظیم نو نہیں ہو سکی، پارٹی کے وزرا کارکنوں اور عہدے داران کا احترام نہیں کرتے۔ جبکہ رئیسانی نے آغاز حقوق بلوچستان پیکیج پر سست رفتاری سے عمل درآمد پر بھی شدید احتجاج کیا۔ پیپلزپارٹی کی تنظیم نو کے حوالے سے کام شروع نہ ہونے اور پارٹی و حکومت کے درمیان بڑھتے ہوئے فاصلوں کے حوالے سے سیاسی حلقوں میں بحث و مباحثہ بہت تیزی سے آگے بڑھ رہا ہے۔

پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی کے سنٹرل ایگزیکٹو کمیٹی کے ایک رکن نے نام نہ ظاہر کرنے کی شرط پر ”ہم شہری“ کو بتایا کہ آصف علی زرداری نے جب سے صدارت کا عہدہ سنبھالا ہے تب سے پی پی پی کی تنظیم نو کے حوالے سے فیصلہ کن اقدامات نہیں اٹھائے جاسکے۔ اس کارکن کا کہنا تھا کہ شریک چیئرمین آصف علی زرداری کے قریبی رفقا کے مشوروں کی وجہ سے سنٹرل ایگزیکٹو کمیٹی، فیڈرل کونسل، صوبائی کونسلیں عضو معطل ہو کر رہ گئی ہیں اور تمام بڑے اور اہم فیصلے ”کور کمیٹی“ کر رہی ہے جس کی پی پی پی کے آئین میں کوئی گنجائش نہیں ہے۔ فیڈرل کونسل کے بعض اراکین نے ”ہم شہری“ کو بتایا کہ کونسل کا تین برس میں صرف ایک مرتبہ اجلاس بلایا گیا ہے، اس کے بعد سے آج تک کونسل سے مشاورت کی زحمت نہیں کی گئی۔

پنجاب پی پی پی کی صوبائی کونسل کے اکثر اراکین نے شکایت کی کہ پارٹی قیادت ان سے رابطے میں نہیں ہے اور پنجاب میں تنظیمیں عدم فعالیت کا شکار ہیں۔ پی پی پی کی سنٹرل ایگزیکٹو کمیٹی کے اندر بے اطمینانی اور بے چینی کی فضا صاف دیکھنے کو مل رہی ہے۔ ”ہم شہری“ سے بات کرتے ہوئے اسرار شاہ، جن کی دو ٹانگیں وکلا تحریک کے دوران خودکش بم دھماکے کی نذر ہو گئی تھیں، نے کہا کہ ان کو شوکاز نوٹس جاری کیے بغیر معطل کر دیا گیا۔ جبکہ سردار سندھو کو بھی یہی شکایت ہے۔ سینیٹر ڈاکٹر صفدر عباسی نے کہا کہ غیر جمہوری طرز عمل پارٹی کے اندر ترقی پا رہا ہے۔ پارٹی تنظیموں کو بائی پاس کر کے فیصلے دیے جا رہے ہیں۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ انہیں شوکاز نوٹس دیے بغیر معطل کر دیا گیا۔ جبکہ حالیہ دنوں میں ابن رضوی اور سابق ایم این اے سردار خالد سلیم کی بنیادی رکنیت ہی ختم کردی گئی۔ یہ دونوں پی پی پی کے انتہائی پرانے کارکن اور محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو کے بااعتماد ساتھی خیال کیے جاتے تھے۔

دو سال گزرنے کے باوجود پیپلز پارٹی صوبہ سندھ، صوبہ پنجاب اور صوبہ خیبر پختونخوا کے صدور کا اعلان نہیں کرپائی ہے۔ جبکہ تین سال گزرنے کے باوجود پی پی پی میں رکنیت سازی، تنظیم نو، انتخابات کا اعلان نہیں ہوسکا ہے۔” ہم شہری“ نے اس حوالے سے پی پی پی کے مرکزی جنرل سیکرٹری جہانگیر بدر سے رابطہ کیا تو ان کا کہنا تھا کہ تمام کام اپنے وقت پر ہوں گے لیکن انہوں نے معطل یا خارج کیے جانے جیسے اقدامات کا بھرپور دفاع کیا۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ پارٹی پالیسی کے خلاف عمل یا بیان بازی قطعاً برداشت نہیں کی جائے گی۔ اس پر جب بے نظیر بھٹو کی سابق پولیٹیکل سیکرٹری ناہید خان سے جواب مانگا گیا تو ان کا کہنا تھا کہ پارٹی پالیسی وہ ہوتی ہے جو پارٹی کے پالیسی ساز اداروں میں بیٹھ کر طے کی جائے۔ جہانگیر بدر بتائیں کہ محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو شہید کے قاتلوں کی گرفتاری کے مطالبے پر مبنی جلوس یا مظاہرے کیا پارٹی پالیسی کی خلاف ورزی ہیں؟ پیپلزپارٹی کے کارکنوں کا وزرا کی بدعنوانی اور کارکنوں کے احترام نہ کرنے پر احتجاج کون سی پارٹی کی خلاف ورزی ہیں۔ یہ اختلاف رائے کا گلہ گھونٹنا ہے اور پارٹی کے اندر جمہوریت ختم کرنے کے مترادف ہیں۔

بعض تجزیہ نگاروں کا خیال ہے کہ پی پی پی حکومت کے اندر تقسیم کے آثار نظرآرہے ہیں۔ وزیراعظم یوسف رضا گیلانی سے وزیر خارجہ شاہ محمود قریشی، وزیر تجارت مخدوم امین فہیم، وزیر دفاع چوہدری احمد مختار کے فاصلے بڑھ رہے ہیں اور یہ وزرا اپنی اپنی لابنگ میں مصروف ہیں۔ جبکہ دوسری طرف ورکرز کی ایوان وزیراعظم سے دوری میں بھی اضافہ ہورہا ہے۔ وزیراعظم یوسف رضا گیلانی پر پی پی پی کے کارکن ذوالفقار علی بھٹو پر تنقید کی وجہ سے سخت ناراض ہیں۔اس ناراضی کا ایک اظہار لاہور پریس کلب میں روسی بالشویک انقلاب کی سالگرہ پر منعقدہ پیپلزلیبر بیورو کی ایک تقریب میں دیکھنے کو ملا، جس میں پیپلز لیبر بیورو کے مرکزی انچارج چوہدری منظور، وزیر محنت اشرف سوہنا، صوبائی صدر سمیع اللہ خان سمیت پی پی پی کے عہدے داران اور ورکرز نے حکومتی پالیسیوں اور وزیراعظم یوسف رضا گیلانی پر سخت تنقید کی۔ بلکہ یہاں تک کہا گیا کہ پارٹی پر ضیا الحق کی باقیات کا قبضہ ہو گیا ہے۔

پیپلز لیبر بیورو کے سابق مرکزی انچارج عبدالقادر شاہین اور سابق سیکرٹری جنرل پنجاب، پی پی پی چوہدری غلام حسین نے کہا کہ انہیں یہ دن دیکھنا پڑے ہیں کہ ذاتی دوست اور ذاتی وکیل سینیٹ کے چیئرمین بنادیے گئے ہیں جبکہ پارٹی کے دیرینہ کارکن دھکے کھارہے ہیں۔ اصول پرست جمہوری سیاست کو ترک کر کے موقع پرستی کو اوّلیت حاصل ہو رہی ہے۔ چودھری غلام عباس کا کہنا تھا کہ اکثر وزرا تو انہیں نہیں پہچانتے، غریب کارکن کو کیسے پہچان پائیں گے؟

پیپلزپارٹی کے سب سے کم عمری میں مارشل لاءکے حکم نمبر19 کے تحت سزا کاٹنے والے اور روس جلاوطنی کاٹنے والے اعظم خان، جو اب 50 سال کے ہو چکے ہیں، کا کہنا یہ ہے کہ انہیں پارٹی نے بری طرح سے فراموش کیا ہے جبکہ پارٹی میں ایسے چہرے غالب آگئے ہیں جو کارکنوں کو نہ تو پہچانتے ہیں اور نہ ہی انہیں معلوم ہے کہ پارٹی کا کلچر کیا ہے۔

سیاسی تجزیہ نگاروں کا کہنا ہے کہ شریک چیئرمین آصف علی زرداری کو پارٹی کے اندر بڑھتی اختلافی آوازوں پر کان دھرنے کی ضرورت ہے اور تنظیموں کو فعال بنانے اور ان کے حکومتی عہدے داروں سے رابطے میں حائل روکاٹیں ختم کرنے کے لیے اپنا کردار ادا کرنا ہو گا وگرنہ حالات پی پی پی کے اندر شہید بے نظیر بھٹو دھڑا سامنے لائے جانے کی طرف نکل جائیں گے اور یہ صورت حال پی پی پی کے مخالفین کے لیے بڑی مثالی ہوگی۔

بشکریہ: ہفت روزہ ہم شہری