Archive for ‘Featured’

December 31, 2010

Pakistanis shout for secularism, minority rights and end to Islamization

by admin


LUBP supports the following initiative and hopes that this movement spreads and grows all over Pakistan. Furthermore, while we applaud and support this development, we think it should be extended to:

1) Support for Baloch Human Rights which cannot be possible with an end to the Brutal Military Operation and presence.

2) The Continual Massacres of Pushtuns, especially the Shias of Parachinar by the State supported Taliban and their various Jihadi-Sectarian affiliates.    (Qudsia Siddiqui)

Pakistanis Shout for Secularism, Minority Rights and End to Islamization

Source: Baghi

People of Islamabad got together in front of the Parliament House on Dec 30, 2010 in order to protest against a highly discriminatory

read more »

December 31, 2010

Blasphemy laws: The shape of things to come – by Omar Ali

by admin

Taking Sides : The Liberals and the Right

The decision of a lower court to award the death penalty to a poor Christian woman accused of blasphemy has ignited a wide debate over Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Liberals have asked that the Zia-era blasphemy law should be repealed or amended because it has become an instrument of oppression and injustice in the hands of mobs and

read more »

December 30, 2010

GEO/Jang Group shameful tactics – by M Usama Kabbir

by admin

I just happened to visit the GEO-News website this evening and was quite startled to see something ! At a glace nothing looks wrong. But if we look carefully (I have encircled the text in red), while all other news

read more »

December 29, 2010

Bhutto di beti aai si – by Farhad Jarral

by admin

Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto's arrival in Pakistan on 18th October 2007. She was martyred by the military establishment of Pakistan on 27 December 2007.

میلے لاوو، جشن مناوو، فتح دے جھنڈے اج لہراوو

بھٹو دی بیٹی آئی جے

ظلم دیاں زنجیراں توڑن، مظلوماں دے رشتے جوڑن، دکھ دے دریاواں چوں گزر کے، اپنی جان تلی تے دھر کے


بھٹو دی بیٹی آئی سی، انج جان وی نذر چڑھائی سی، سارے جگ وچ پئی دھائی سی، بھٹو دی بیٹی آئی سی


پھانسی گھاٹ توں علم اٹھایا سی، نالے جنگ دا بِگل وجایا سی، جناں بچے اودے رلا دِتے، دویں ویر وی قتل کرا دِتے


اوھناں پنڈی گھات لگائی سی، اِک سازش لکھی لکھائی سی، سارے جگ وچ پئی دھائی سی، بھٹو دی بیٹی آئی سی


چہوی(٢٤) سال دی عمرے جنگ چڑھی، تی (٣٠) سال کفن سِر بن کے لڑی، نا او کارساز بمباں توں ڈری، سج دج نال مقتل وچ اتری


جدوں قاتلاں گل مکائی سی، روئی اتھرواں نال خدائی سی، سارے جگ وچ پئی دھائی سی، بھٹو دی بیٹی آئی سی


کِسے بے نظیر فیر آوناں نہیں، لوکاں عشق دا میلا لاوناں نہیں، چارے صوبیاں دی زنجیر بنی، نالے  ملک دی او تقدیر بنی


جِنے جِندڑی اودی بنائی سی، اونے اِنج دی لکھی جدائی سی، سارے جگ وچ پئی دھائی سی، بھٹو دی بیٹی آئی سی


آئی سی اِنج آئی سی، عمراں دی پئی جدائی سی


عباس اطہر




December 28, 2010

Dawn: A “cracker” of a job confusing the public with euphemisms – by Qudsia Siddiqui

by admin

Related article:

Attack on Shia students in Karachi: An ISI-Sipah-e-Sahaba production

After receiving the news of the blast at Karachi University, I quickly checked the news coverage including the “Breaking News” section of DAWN.

Here is how they reported it:

KARACHI: A blast reported at the University of Karachi on Tuesday was probably caused by a firecracker, police said.

“It was a low intensity blast and was caused most likely by a cracker,” Karachi police chief Fayyaz Leghari told Reuters.

Leghari said three people were wounded in the incident, though a senior university official estimated at least six.

“The blast took place outside the main cafeteria of the university and at least six people were wounded,” said Kaleem Raza Khan, registrar of the University of Karachi.

This is the first such incident at an educational institution in Karachi, though the campus often sees regular, violent clashes between rival student groups.

Leghari said Tuesday’s incident may be related to these rivalries but added police were investigating.

Last year, two suicide bomb blasts at the International Islamic University in Islamabad killed six people, including the bombers, and wounded at least 20.”(Source)


Reading this report, one would get the impression that this is simply a fire cracker accident that injured six university students. I wonder, was this some festival that they were celebrating; a belated Christmas, Jinnah day or some such sort.  Then there is a vague description of “violent clashes” between “rival student groups”

Who are these “student groups” ? Are they the dissident wings of the Bader Meinhoff or the Red Army Brigades?? “I love Miandad” vs “I worship Imran and His Holiness Chaudhary Iftikhar”.  How about MQM vs every other ethnicity of Pakistan!

The conclusion is even more interesting where a reference is made to two suicide bomb blasts at the “International Islamic University” thereby creating a causal link between that event and today’s.  Now I get it; it must be that damned “foreign hand”; that dark consortium of Jews, Hindus and Blackwater/Xe blonds, as we all know muslims can never do this and Islam had been targeted in the university blasts in Islamabad!!

Nope, as always, no details are provided. After all, that would be completely contrary to DAWN’s style of reporting; you know fudging and obfuscating facts, falsely linking two events and dishonestly presenting the sheer terror tactics of IJT and Sipah Sahaba as an equal force to its various victims.

There is NO reference to the facts that this was no fire cracker but an elaborate remote control bomb with bearings that was used to target Shias students. Ofcourse, the 20 that were injured was casually reduced to 3 and no mention was made of the fact that 2 are in serious condition.  Such insensitivity has become the norm for much of the media in reporting attacks on Shias and other minority groups and DAWN is hardly the exception.  On the contrary, its disgusting bias just shines through…

The more important context to this would have been the press conference by Shia cleric and activist outside the Press Club just days ago of the abduction of Shia youth by the ISI! Or the threatening SMSs that were sent to scores of Shias since the commencement of Muhurrum in early December.  No, such facts would hurt the reputation of DAWN as an establishment rag whose insensitivity for minorities is directly proportional to its fawning over the Judiciary and its dubious cause.

The irony of highlighting Jinnah, the SHIA founder of Pakistan, as the founder of DAWN escapes its ownership who themselves are allegedly Shia. Ingratiating themselves with the establishment is probably more lucrative for DAWN than honest journalism and caring for the plight of minorities.

Carry on DAWN, no one can do euphemisms better than you.  In doing so, you churn out the best de-contextualized reports that ensure that the establishment and its Islamofascist proxies will never be held to account for the crimes against the Pakistani people!

December 28, 2010

An account of invaluable services of the ISI to the nation – by Muhammad Ali

by admin

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency members of whom were found guilty of raping more than 35000 women in East Pakistan. 1386 members of the famous ISI were recommended to be trailed in the Hamood ur Rehman Commission’s report.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency which made millions of petro-dollars in the Afghan War. Tempering the myth of Jihad was an easy job on hand with lush green dollars. General Akhtar Abdul Rehman and Hameed Gull exported children of poor helpless mothers for the Jihad e Afghanistan when their own sons were studying in the United States.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency that sold Stinger Missiles received as an aid in the black market. Upon an inspection, the Ojhri Camp blasted out bringing the doom’s day for the citizens of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency which holds the prestige of looting the nation via Mehran Bank Scandal. Lt. Gen Asad Durrani the then DG ISI alone made 1.6 billion in the filthy trade.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency which took clothes off the Baloch Women. Zarina Marri, a Baloch school teacher was abducted by the ISI and gang-raped, she was further used as a humiliation tool for the Baloch Nationalists.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency which is involved in the human trade. General Pervez Musharraf exclusively explains in his books the norms of human trafficking. 500 U.S. dollars was the rate of each Pakistani citizen sold to the U.S. That included Dr Aafia Siddiqi and several others.

There is a lot more to say about the “Prestigious and Patriotic” role of he ISI but these facts might not ruin the show of our clowns in the blog-sphere.

“ISI is committed to defending our borders.”

ISI, the Inter Services of Intelligence, an agency which only holds political scandals on its credit sheet. ISI has on numerous occasions tried to subvert the elected governments. ISI is the name of a filthy political player.

ISI managed to create IJI, a right wing alliance to counter the Leftist Pakistan Peoples Party though an alliance of the Pakistan Muslim League and several religio-political parties including the Sipah-e-Sahaba, Jamaat-e-Islami and others. For this purpose, ISI used state money and resources to bring the fundamentalists on political front.

ISI tried to over-throw the elected government of Benazir Bhutto via Saudi riyals. ISI distributed huge sums of money in the right wing politicians to buy loyalties of pro-Benazir Bhutto parliamentarians.

ISI distributed millions in right wing politicians in order to ensure their victory against Benazir Bhutto.

ISI rigged the elections 2002 to ensure the victory of its divine master Pervez Musharraf. The ISI chief Lt. General Ehtashnm Zameer later confessed the fact in the Pakistani media.

A lot more can be written on what ISI’s real role is, but the clowns of the establishment in Pakistan’s mainstream and alternative media might find it hard to ruin their show.

I will just give a glimpse of what “ISI has done to protect the borders of Pakistan.”

ISI briefed the MO branch on the possible reaction of the Indian side on the Kargil Adventure. According to ISI India will at the most move forward with Special Operatives and try taking back the Tiger Hill. There are rare chances of application of artillery as India would try not to agitate Pakistan. Role of Air Force or Navy is beyond possibility grounds. India will never look forward to a full scale war. All these fables of ISI were flushed to gutter when India respond to Kargil drama with full might and Pakistan Army had to accept the bodies of it’s soldiers with humiliation.

Pakistan is under attack but by whom?

Pakistan is under attack by the filthy politically motivated generals of Pakistan Army and its political and jihadi operatives.

All the terrorists today were given birth by the Pakistan Army in early 1980s under the Riyal-Dollar umbrella. These mujahhideen of the past have turned blood sucking beasts of today’s Pakistan and Afghanistan. The lives of hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis go in the credit sheet of Pakistan Army.

Today Balochistan lies at the brink of demise. Thanks to Pakistan’s myopic generals, Balcohistan now does not see a way back. The genocide and rapes in Balochistan have yielded perfect results, Balochs are not ready to forget the humiliation they were served with.

“Ahmed Qureshi is a Patriotic Pakistani”

Yes Ahmed Qureshi, the ISI’s stooge in Pakistani media (along with other more refined operatives who keep on reinforcing the military establishment’s narrative on Taliban, India, drone attacks, politicians etc) is patriotic to the extent that he spends days and nights making up stories which have no farthest connection to reality.

In the words of this patriot:

“Yes we need to create more fake stories that appeal to the audience, like the one created about the Israeli Primer David Ben Gorian to have more guys attracted towards Pakistan.”

Sorry LUBP is not that patriotic we publish which is the truth!

“You people will be liable for high treason when a revolution comes”

I guess the clown brigade is once again looking forward to the politically and financially corrupt generals of the nation.

Let us prepare some lushing medals for Pakistan Army as their achievement sheet does not seem to end. Even a glimpse is hectic to watch:

1. Land Grabbing: The colonial tradition of land grabbing by military officers continued unabated during the past three years.

a) 111 armed forces men have allotted to themselves at least 400 or more kanals each of prime land in Bahawalpur and Rahimyar Khan districts, heart of Punjab, “to defend it from the enemy,” at the throw away rate of Rs 47.5 per kanal, while the real price in those areas ranges 15,000 to 20,000 rupees per kanal. Thus 35,000 kanals of land were distributed among 111 military men in one case alone. Theypaid 1,662,500 rupees at the nominal rate of 47.5 rupees per kanal, while the real price comes to 700 million rupees.

The list includes the names of:

· General Pervez Musharraf, Current President, 400 kanals in Nouabad village, Yazman, Bahawalpur.

· General Moinuddin Haider, Current Interior Minister, 400 kanals in Chak DB/43.

· General Aziz, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, 400 kanals in Chak DB/44.

· Lt. General Khalid Maqbool (Current Governor Punjab), 400 kanals in Chak 54/p.

· Major General Muzaffar Usmani (Later promoted to Lt General and retired recently as Deputy Chief of Army Staff Musharraf), 400 kanals in Chak 93/p.

· Lt. General Muhammed Afzal Janjua, 400 kanals in Chak 54/p

(i) 64 serving and retired officers of colonel to general rank got 400 kanals or more. They include:

10 Generals, 9 Lt. Generals, 16 Maj. Generals, one Admiral, one Air Marshal, 18 Brigadiers, 5 Lt. Colonels and 3 Colonels.

They paid 19,000 rupees for 400 kanals of land worth 400,000 rupees at market ratesif the land is unirrigated. The value of irrigated land in these areas is much higher.

(ii) 47 non-commissioned officers also got plots of agricultural land measuring 200 kanals or less.

Many of the generals have already sold their lots earning millions of rupees in profit at market rates, while others have turned into feudal lords with hired labor toiling for them.

b) Former Chairman of national Accountability Bureau Lt. Gen. Muhammed Amjad was allotted a 2-kanal (1000 sq. yd.) plot in Lahore, with a market value of 10 million rupees, against mere 800,000 rupees payable in 20 years. Invested in Defense Saving Certificates, those 800,000 rupees would multiply to 225 million rupees. He immediately sold half of the plot for 4.5 million rupees earning a profit of 8.2 million rupees on one plot.

c) General Musharraf has acquired a commercial plot, with the market value of 20 million rupees, in Defense Society, Lahore, for mere 100,000 rupees that he will pay in installments spread over 20 years. The General has neither showed this piece of land in his assets, nor sold it. If 20 million rupees are invested in the Defense Saving Certificates, they would grow up to about 500 million rupees. He owns several plots in other localities with a total market value of 200 million rupees. He has gifted a house with a market value of 20 million rupees to his daughter, which he has not shown in his assets. The 400 kanal agricultural plot that he got in Bahawalpur is also not mentioned in his assets.

d) The ISI has forced Environment Minister Shahida Jameel to allot 100 acres of land in the Margalla Hills National Park, one of the big attractions of the capital city. The agency wants to construct a new and “safe” Headquarter as well as, quite intriguingly, a housing colony for its officers. An official summary generated by Barrister Jameel’s ministry has been sent to President Pervez Musharraf, for an urgent decision. Initially the Environment Ministry response was one of alarm, as giving away 100 acres on these hills would almost destroy the whole area as a natural park, which needed to be preserved. When the ISI bosses learned about it, they immediately contacted the Minister and “convinced” her about the immediate need of 100 acres. The lady, naturally, could not resist the pressure. Again, the Generals would grab the best pieces for their homes.

e) Another 100 acres is being selected in Bahawalpur for the outgoing Naval Chief. Defense officials’ teams have been seen visiting Bahawalpur to select these 100 acres, while an offer had also been made to the outgoing Chief to become Pakistan’s Ambassador to Tunisia. The Chief wants to be Ambassador to France and his argument is that his force has a lot to buy from France, like the Augusta submarines his predecessor Admiral Mansurul Haq bought.

f) In a report, after a random check of 4 out of 11 military estate offices in 2000 –2001, Director General of Audit of the Defense Services has found close to five billion rupees loss caused by misuse of land, mismanagement and encroachments. According to an analyst, “the report is an outright indictment of the military, as it not only shows the monumental size of the lands acquired, but also the losses being caused are gigantic, compared to peanuts for which politicians are persecuted day in and day out.”

g) The Defense Housing Authority has been grabbing large chunks of valuable residential land at nominal prices around the country for the exclusive benefit of officers of the armed forces. For instance, in January 2001, the Sindh Governor bypassed the Sindh High Court stay orders, and permitted sale of highly valuable 200 acres of coastal land along Clifton, Karachi, at embarrassingly low rates to Defense Housing Authority. The land valued at market rate of Rs. 4,000/- per square yard was sold to Defense Housing Authority at Rs 20/- per square yard. Thus, the governor caused a staggering loss worth billions of rupees to the exchequer! An acre contains 4840 square yards. The real cost of 200 acres, multiplied by 4,000 per sq. yd. comes to 3.872 billion rupees

2. Defense Purchases: The submarine purchase scam involving Mansurul Haq is only a tip of the iceberg. Many more such deals with heavy kickbacks are hidden in the military closets. A large of deals for purchase of tanks, submarines, mine hunters, Mirage aircraft and army jeeps were signed through the Army Welfare Trust, Sheen Foundation and Bahria Foundation. It is estimated that various military officers pocketed commissions totaling 5.7 billion rupees in these deals.

a) A former NAB Chairman is reported to have written to the three service chiefs to provide records of certain arms deals, but NAB still awaits an answer.

b) The records could provide proof to the allegation that a former air chief Abbas Khatak received three million dollars (180 million rupees) in the purchase of 40 old Mirage aircraft for 120 million dollars. He is also accused of receiving kickbacks in deals for French missiles and Italian radars.

c) Another former air chief Farooq Feroze Khan is suspected of receiving 5 percent commission on purchase of 40 F-7 aircraft for 271 million dollars.

d) In 1996, Army bought 1047 GS-90 jeeps at 20,889 dollars per jeep, while the market price of the jeep was 13,000 dollars. NAB sources have been reported saying that some senior army officers pocketed 8.5 million dollars (510 million rupees).

e) The British Inland Revenue Services wrote a confidential letter to the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) in Islamabad to confirm a payment of five million pound sterling (450million rupees) in commission to an Islamabad-based Pakistani citizen who had acted as an intermediary between the British agent of an American company and the Pakistan Army for an 80 million pound sterling deal.

When summoned to the CBR in Islamabad for confirmation about the payment he had received from London, the Pakistani agent stunned the then chairman CBR Moinuddin Khan by acknowledging, unhesitatingly, that he had received the amount mentioned in the letter.

This shadowy businessman soon dropped a bombshell by disclosing that he got only 200,000 (2 lakh) pounds from the total payment of five million pounds (50 lakh pound) while the remaining amount was distributed among four senior officers of the Army. He also provided an actual breakdown of the payments and impressed upon the then CBR chairman that the then Chief of Army Staff had personally authorized the contract, meaning the COAS was also involved in corruption.

Within next few days a retired major general, who was the former Director General Weapons and Equipment (DGW & E) at the GHQ and had structured the deal with the American company through its British agent, approached the top CBR official and briefed him as how the disclosure and any probe into this deal would jeopardize the national security interest of the country.

After a flurry of activities between the CBR and some retired military officials, the CBR shelved the matter. This controversial deal is understood to be in the knowledge of the present military set-up, but there is nothing on the ground to suggest that it is being probed afresh

Around June/July this year, Pakistan Army awarded a contract for purchase of 1000 Hino trucks at $40,000 per truck, while the Gandhara Industries had offered Isuzu truck of same specifications at $25,000. As per standard procedures for bulk military purchases in Pakistan, no international tenders were invited but tender documents were sent to four pre-selected companies for procurement of 1,000 5-ton 4×4 trucks (ammunition carrier vehicle) by the director general military purchase on April 10. Gandhara Industries sources dispute the Army’s claim that their vehicle was not approved as 5-ton ammunition carrier. The Isuzu trucks were delivered to the Army for extended trial in February and after two months of trials the vehicle was finally short-listed and approved as 5-ton ammo carrier at the GSEEC meeting held on April 13. However, the top brass made final decision in favor of the Hino trucks. The loss to the national exchequer in this deal, at the rate of $15,000 per truck amounted to $15,000,000 (900 million rupees).

g) Pakistan Army’s purchase of more than 3,000 Land Rover trucks in 1995 had also generated controversy with the allegation that the owner of Sygma motors, which had supplied the vehicles, was closely associated with the then chief of general staff of the Pakistan Army. Corruption amounting to 2 billion rupees is alleged in that deal.

h) The Field General Court Martial (FGCM) sentenced former Naval Intelligence Chief Commodore Shahid to 7 years of hard labor, but former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Fasih Bukhari wrote off his sentence after three months, which he had spent in the comfort of his home. It is believed he was freed after he threatened to disclose many more shady deals including a 250 million dollars purchase of mine sweepers.

i) In April 2001, the Public Accounts Committee ordered court trial of 22 corrupt officers of Garrison Engineers (Army) Rawalpindi for causing over a loss of over one billion rupees to the national exchequer with dubious purchases and embezzlement. Defense Ministry officials present at the PAC hearing opposed publication of the culprits’ names, whereupon senior PAC member Lt. General Talat Masood (retd.) admonished them and said that hidden faces involved in corruption must be exposed.

A lot more will be provided on demand.

In the meanwhile, let us salute the saviors of the nation before we are beheaded by the patriot brigade!

December 28, 2010

MQM gives the Political Actors ventilator – by Ahmed Iqbalabadi

by admin

During the last one and half years, the MQM’s role has been nothing less than an enigma. They are part and parcel of the power structure of the country. They have federal ministries albeit not as many as they would have liked. They have a significant share of the power in Sindh with the incumbent governor probably the longest serving governor of any province in the country. They had the city government under their control while currently majority of the administrators in various towns are backed by them. They also have enjoyed unhindered access to the President.

In the process of reconciliation started by the late MBB and continued by President Zardari, a number of efforts have been made to appease the MQM. The thinking was clear: living in the same province, PPP and MQM were natural allies! Beginning with a visit to graveyard of MQM activists, President Zardari did what MBB may not have done. The first one and half years of the coalition with the MQM was smooth but then problems began to arise with the dissolution of the Local Bodies in Sindh. Off course, MQM’s control over the urban centers is exercised through control of the local governments and the dissolution of the same became an ego issue. Along with the dissolution started a wave of crime spree that not many have been able to pin down: target killing.  Who is behind these target killings is a million dollar question, but what is important is the people of Karachi and Pakistan are suffering. Killing of a few people shutters down the city. MQM can pinpoint the perpetrators as Pakhtoons backed mafias or Baloch gangsters, whereas the  other parties can point that to MQM goons for the killings, but  isn’t it possible that splinter groups within the MQM have been challenging the party bosses? Imran Farooq’s killing in the middle of a safe area of London and an earlier speculation that MQM may consider moving their central secretariat to Dubai can be considered harbingers  of internal MQM problems.

What the MQM has been able to do very well to ensure their control and divert attention to its internal issues, it has tried to become a popular party supporting what the mindless media is trying to do. Firstly was the matter of NRO, where the MQM chief asked the President to consider giving sacrifice and then MQM’s open opposition to the RGST. On both the matters, the political actors of Pakistan nee Kamran Khan, Shaheen Sehbai, Ansar Abbasi, Shahid Masood, Tariq Butt, Saaleh Zafir, Talat Hussain et al had been praying that the MQM leaves the coalition and somehow the PPP government is shown the door. Off course, then they can always say, “We told you so!” and prove to the world that “We are king-breakers, if not king-makers”.

MQM has announced that it is resigning from its two federal cabinet positions and may decide soon on the provincial government. One thing they have said is that they will still sit on the treasury benches. The decision was probably good than bad. There was another important piece of news that was a major reprieve for the government where the IMF has extended the Standby Agreement with Pakistan for nine months. Why this is significant: RGST will not be implemented in a haphazard way, allowing the government to take all stakeholders on board. The government has been trying to use a parliamentary mean of doing the same as reported by noted business reporter, Khurram Hussain. He says that during Nawaz Sharif’s second tenure,  

“In December 1998, President Rafiq Tarrar signed an ordinance raising the sales tax rate from 12.5 per cent to 15 per cent. The signature came a week after the government had been handed a laundry list of upfront actions required by the IMF board to extend a new loan to Pakistan.”

 

And continues in the same article that in the first year of Musharraf’s rule

“In the last week of May (2000), a tax survey had begun with the aim of distributing something like a million and a half forms in 13 cities across the country. Thousands of tax officials started canvassing homes, shops, businesses, industries and even schools. Accompanied by uniformed soldiers, they went door to door demanding information on the source and quantity of income, work address, number of members of the household, utility bills, and so on. Within days the ‘documentation drive’ as it was called, sparked a countrywide strike. On June 1 (2000), the first tear gas canisters were fired. Traders had taken out a small procession of a couple of hundred people in Multan that marched in the streets and chanted slogans against taxes and military rule. Rallies were banned in those days and the police baton-charged them, tear-gassed them, and took around 50 protestors into custody.”

 

Are we seeing any presidential orders? Are we seeing forcible registrations accompanied by military men? How much more accommodating as well as inclusive the PPP government can get?

I think all the political actors wanted the IMF to say bye-bye to Pakistan for their inability to impose the RGST. Their hope and game plan was: if the government imposes RGST, there will be protests, there will be strikes and the economy will be crippled or if the government didn’t impose the RGST, the IMF will exit and the PPP government will fail. It was an envisaged win-win for them. What they didn’t realize was that the effort of the government to bring in reforms in tax collection as well as making the necessary public opinion through parliament will be given a lot of weight. Now the government has at least nine months to bring all stakeholders on board as well bring things in order.

In his “report” of today, Ansar Abbasi has used the words that “MQM puts Gilani government on ventilator”.  I personally think it is not the government that has been put on ventilator, it’s rather the commentators, analysts and political actors who have been given a new lease of life by giving them a ventilator in times of loadshedding! Off course, now they can come on TV and talk about virtues of MQM and JUI and how they can assist the people of Pakistan by leaving this government and send it packing. 2011 will have a great beginning.

December 27, 2010

LUBP Interview with Olaf Kellerhoff, Resident Representative Pakistan at Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

by admin

Related Interviews:

Brief Introduction:

LUBP is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Mr. Olaf Kellerhoff Resident Representative Pakistan at Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

Olaf Kellerhoff has also worked as a Intercultural Mission Advisor at UNIFIL, Chief Target Audience Analysis at ISAF, Political Advisor at ISAF Chief Cultural & Religious Advisory Group at ISAF and Political Advisor at KFOR.

His profile on Linked in describes his expertise as follows:

– Conflict management & political consulting
– Communication for Islamic world
– Strong cross-cultural & language skills (viz. Farsi, Arabic, Turkish)
– Extensive mission experienced in post-conflict countries
– Creativity and communication
– Work style shaped by passion and reliability

LUBP: Olaf Kellerhoff, thanks for taking out the time to interview with us tell us something about your background and your experience as a representative of Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung?

Olaf Kellerhoff: First of all, dear Junaid, many thanks for your interest in our work here in Pakistan. That’s also why I joined the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) in 2008. I had studied Islamic History and International Relations and served as an Officer of the German Federal Armed Forces in many missions. Due to my interest and studies I had been working and living in several Muslim countries but until 2008 I didn’t know Pakistan. This country is one of the most fascinating places in the world for me. Consequently, I was very lucky when I received this job offer.

Since January 2009 I am the Resident Representative of our foundation in Pakistan. For me personally a fabulous experience. I enjoy my work and life over here and would even love to enjoy it more if the work doesn’t take its toll: just too many things to do and nothing should be delayed as it’s too important for the betterment of the country.

LUBP: Tell us something about your organization, its main objectives and work in Pakistan, especially in the promotion of liberal democratic politics and human rights?

Olaf Kellerhoff: A peaceful and progressive Pakistan – that’s what the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit (FNF) is committed to since 1986. Our team in Islamabad is part of a family with more than 60 branches around the world. The first President of Germany, Theodor Heuß, established the Foundation in 1958 and named it after his mentor, the German philosopher and politician Friedrich Naumann (1860–1919). Ever since we do not loose focus in our work for human and civic rights, democracy, rule of law and free market economy on the basis of the political philosophy of liberalism. Today, FNF belongs to the 200 leading think tanks of the world.
Our vision is an open society with equal rights for individuals in freedom with responsibility. Our mission is to strengthen civil society in a sustainable and professional manner. Therefore, we do not only fund, but first of all train, consult and interlink our partners. In Pakistan we work in joint partnerships with for example the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Shehri – Ciitzens for a better Environement, Society for Protection of the Rights of the Child (SAPRC) or Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) and few more. Thus, our partners and friends do their share as responsible and vigilant citizens for the bright future of Pakistan.

LUBP: The socialists and Islamists suggest that liberalism in Pakistan is an alien idea for the majority of the people, they portray that it is a grand western scheme to dominate third world’s market and eastern values? How do you view such claim/narrative?

Olaf Kellerhoff: Al-hamdu li’llah previous generations of the Pakistani people have been open minded: Imagine Islam being rejected as foreign import from the Arab Peninsula – or even worse as Arab scheme to dominate the Eastern markets or getting hold of the ressources in the Subcontinent! Islam is universal and so is liberalism. The one is a religion, the other a political philosophy – both complementing each other in a very suitable manner. This xenophobe attitude of some people demonstrates their ignorance in general but interestingly also in their claim as subject matter expert. So far, please excuse there might be, but I haven’t met any socialist or islamist who has real expertise on socialism or islamism.

Most likely, it is just the natural human fear of changes . Especially, in a world which is becoming more and more interlinked (it always has been global) and countries more competing with each other, the idea that you have to compete is not a very convenient one. There are a few countries which try to protect themselves by customs. Fine that works for one industry sector. The problem is that you as consumer and tax payer pay the price for it and you as an employee even might pay the price with unemployment. On the long run this sector gets less and less competitive. In other term the consumer/tax payer pays for a very few getting richer or at least defending their funds.

Similarily, it is natural and human that a religious functionary wants to keep his job and influence. Any change means a threat to his or her position. Accordingly, he or she will always argue against it. This is not unique in Pakistan or in Islam. This happened and happens all over the world. For example, the Syrian Intellectual Sadiq al-Azm has done acomparison once between Islamist and ultra-conservative catholicism: Almost everything was exactly the same: the same demands, the same arguments, the same opponents – just you had exchange the word Islam with Christianity.

Have a look for example at the negotiations of the Tehreek-e Nifaz-e Shariat-e Muhammadi (TNSM) for Swat in 2009. The claim of a Sharia court was not about the following sirat al-mustaqim of Islam, but giving jobs to quite untrained clientel. The legitmate wish of the Swati people for justice (as the State failed to deliver) was just too easy to exploit. Why should all the Army checkpoints be removed? Because each checkpoint diminishes the profit of contraband like mainly wood, cars, gems etc. Why should all NGOs leave immediately? Why was the Middle Strata of the Society threatened and made leave? Because every thinking person undermines the nonsense told by religious extremists. Unfortunately, to a good part they could succeed. Thinking persons are leaving – often not only Swat but Pakistan on the long run. Also this is an overall trend: Where do you find the best Islamic scholars? Mainly in Western countries where there are free to think, to talk, to publish. This not because these scholars have alien ideas but threaten by undermining the position of certain extremist groups. That’s very unfortunate as more thinking persons are needed – for the sake of Islam and the people. Or in the words of first Nobel Laureate Sully Prudhomme (1839-1907): Always can be found in the most intelligent humans the most liberal and in the most uneducated the most radical.

LUBP: In the current global economic crisis, we have seen European union stepping in to bail out countries in their fraternity. Possibly the good money was being spent to bail out bad investments. The bailouts have been in billions. Dont you think that developing markets like Pakistan would have been a destination for flows of funds? The europeans would have earned a better name and at the same time increased their influence in Pakistan which has been the forte of USA and middle eastern sheikhdoms?

Olaf Kellerhoff: Please excuse that I can’t see the point: Germany has donated 12,5 million Euro as emergency relief. Furthermore, additional 22,5 million Euro were allocated for food. Not to forget that the German share of European emergency relief is about 20 percent which comes on top of it. This equals around eight million Euro. And the German people have donated privately 160 million Euro (17,2 billion PKR). This is more than any other nation has given from the public. All this money comes directly to the people of Pakistan. Equally, we saved our currency. Not doing it would have had a major impact on world economy – with disadvantages to Pakistan, too.

LUBP: Pakistan is currently facing extremism, militancy and an anti-democratic establishment. What are the reasons for Pakistan not being a developed democracy? Are we the sole responsible for the present democratic crisis or the foreign players and their agenda is the biggest reason? Kindly also share your understanding about the nature of radical approach here, and suggest us ways to cope up with this overall menace?


Olaf Kellerhoff:Truly, I believe in self-responsibility. There will always be hampering factors or challenges for everyone. This could be ressources, could be interference from others and so on. But still you are repsonsible for yourself and blaming others does not help except for feeling better because of not feeling responsible (which is always more convenient). So, if the people of Pakistan want to have a functioning democracy – noboday says they have to have this wish – every citizen can work for it. Democracy has not come in history and will not come in the future as a ready-made gift to a people. Also once introduced but democracy remains a constant task.

If Pakistanis want democracy they should develop it by themselves – and also only if wanted seek help from outside. This would have the advantage not to make (bitter) experiences yourself but come out of the findings and bitter experiences of other people to better solutions directly.

Of course, the idea of democracy is a thorn in the eye of extremist and autocratic rulers (feudal lords included) who want to exploit for selfish reasons. Thus, they will always discourage it. If you don’t want to be exploited then the consequence is to take your responsibility as citizen and work for a functioning democracy.

LUBP: How do you view the recent liberalization of media here? And especially after the fake Wikleaks appeared on Pakistani main stream newspapers do you think Pakistani media is doing its job responsibly?


Olaf Kellerhoff:The Pakistani people can be very happy that it has a vast media landscape. Since its liberalisation it has extended so widely which is wonderful. What is natural in this quick development is that there was not time enough to train all the newcomers. So, many claim to be a journalist without being trained. Consequently, some journalists do not work properly, if not to say irresponsible. Therefore, we have developped with our partners FIRM – Free, Independent and Responsible Media. This is a programme designed especially for journalists in technical skills as well as in understanding and internalizing underlying values of responsible reporting.

The fake Wikileaks made it crystal clear that we are still far away from achieving our goal here. Just simple cross-checking – the basic rule of every journalistic research – would have made the fake obvious.

LUBP: Do you think Wikileaks is helping to to democratize the global world? or such sort of revelations are counterproductive?

Olaf Kellerhoff:Wikileaks is an interesting phenomena: So far, we don’t know how it will change the world on the long run. It is clear that it changes patterns and structures of journalism and to a certain extent also inter-state relationships. If Wikileaks democratises has to be seen. The Right to Infomration and the Freedom of Information, which is after the 18th amendment (Article 19-A) given to the people of Pakistan, is different in nature. This is really the “oxygen of democracy” as it brings light into bureaucracy and government what loyal citizens have paid taxes for. There every person has the right to know for example how his money has been spent. This is public information anyhow and has to be public. Some diplomatic, military and secret service information are not included in it. This is different from Wikileaks which focuses especially on this information which is confidential by nature. There is also a reason why it is confidential. So, not everything should be disclosed.

LUBP: Do you think global liberal world also requires the fundamnetal re-definition of terms like ‘sovereignty’ and ‘self-reliance’?

Olaf Kellerhoff:A liberal world is our vision. It will still take many years if not generations. It will not require a re-definition but souvereignity and self-reliance will be consequence of it not a precondition.

LUBP: kindly share with us ‘Germany’s experience of democracy and also tell us how we can transform Pakistan as a democratic nation?

Olaf Kellerhoff:Germany was a “belated” nation in terms of nation-building. Also the emergence was different from other countries and determines state and mentality of Germans until today. That means, due to the diversity it has a strong federal setup.

Furthermore, from the experience of the Weimar Republic (1918-1933) we know that a “Democracy without Democrats” does not work out. In Berlin of 1920s we had street clashes and targeted killings perhaps like nowadays Karachi. As a consequence political foundations like ours have been set up in order to train German citizens in democracy – a task we still fulfill until today. It is a model which has been exported since the 1960 very successfully. That is also the learning experience: democracy education. You don’t need not only trained politician but trained citizens who can perform their duties as citizens: citizens who know how to vote, who know how to be vigilant, who know how to protest in a peaceful way. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to indtroduce civic education in school curricula and to make it obligatory for each and every citizen – starting from the earliest years of life.

LUBP: What are your views and observations about the internal heterogeneity of Islam. Currently, Pakistani Muslims are faced with a wave of terrorism which is inspired by religious and sectarian ideology. How could this situation be improved?

Olaf Kellerhoff:Terrorism is a communication strategy of weak groups. Often there are legitimate demands behind but these groups have not learned how to express these demands in a peaceful way or if so are ignored. It is clear that you can not “bomb” a communication, in other terms a “war on terrorism” is not only by its words pure nonsense. The need of people has to be addressed on one hand and rule of law maintained on the other. A state has to deliver to its citizens. A government has to be in communications with its voters. A nation has to create opportunities and lead the way ahead for its people.

The ideology is secondary. Of course, persons in search of personal power will always prefer to exploit the obvious as this is much easier, i.e. in this case Islam. But Pakistan’s terror challenge is not about religion: extremist groups contradict and act antithetically against Islam. Most of its adherents are just simple dacoits in search for money and opportunities without any knowledge of nor interest in Islam. It is a personal challenge, a bigger jihad, to restrain from temptations of this world, instead of getting paid 12.000-15.000 PKR as an ordinary talib, driving around in brand new pick-up, and take things you always wanted to have – and even worse: suddenly being respeceted (or let’s say feared after intimidating people but gives you a sense of respect you might have been looking for). In other words: “That’s cool, man!” – especially compared to be just a simple law obedient Muslim and worthful member of your community.

Generally, heterogenity is richness. It can be a very fruitful learning experience when different groups are in communication with each other but it is a threat of those who want to command and control. It belongs to the inner logic that extremists create an “illusion of alternatives”. The Nazis did this, too: Either National Socialism or Bolshevik Chaos! Either believer or unbeliever. Either Muslim or kafir. But the world is not black and white, not only good guy or bad guy, not Muslim and kafir. There many different Muslims and almost forgotten is the category of ahl al-kitab. The “people of the book” are not kuffar, unbelievers. Extremists do not only – willingly or unwillingly (because in general they don’t know anything about Islam) – ignore this category but also have to declare Muslims who are not in line with them, who do not want to be controlled by extremists, kuffar. The takfir is part of the propagandist game extremists have to play.

So, what you could and should do as a citizen:

  • Get not trapped in the “illusion of alternatives”. Do not allow others to impose this question on you as this is not legitimate. It’s none of other people’s business what you believe in but between you and God.
  • Query whenever somebody comes up with simplistic explanations.
  • Don’t get into the blame game but look ahead how to solve problems.
  • Demand the state to deliver to all citizens – regardless region, religion or ethnicity.

Contribute to an open-minded, multi-cultural society. This is the richness of Pakistan and not it’s problem.

LUBP: Are the notions of human rights and democracy compatible with Islam?

Olaf Kellerhoff:Definitely, there is no contradiction but even more the obligation as a Muslim to follow human rights and democracy. There exist only very few differences between Islamic notion of human rights and Western concepts. Of course, I am well aware that different regimes in history and presence tried – with some success – to portray this in another way. For good reasons: each autocratic leader will loose his power in favour of power to the people. Obedience to human rights is very annoying to rulers. Accordingly, selfish leaders who want to impose their will on the people will continue to mock human rights and democracy.

LUBP: Your message for young Pakistani Liberals?

Olaf Kellerhoff:Live liberalism in practice! Be an example for others!
Unfortunately, the word liberalism is often misunderstood to that extent that someone who drinks alcohol and is hanging around with other women (or men in case of women) claims to be liberal. This is nonsense! Living liberalism means

  • to see other persons as equal, to pay them respect
  • to be responsible for yourself (often very unconvenient if you can not blame others)
  • to be responsible for your family, community and state
  • to act as a vigilant citizen
  • to obey rule of law and demand its implementation.
December 27, 2010

Garhi Khuda Bakhsh ka katba – by Nazir Qaiser

by admin



December 27, 2010

MQM decides to quit federal cabinet: Reuters

by admin

MQM decides to resign from the Federal ministries. Tonight its party night at houses of people like Kamran Khan, Shahid Masood et al; who were striving for this to happen for long.

MQM’s resigning from ministries however is a pressure ploy to see if the Government is willing to concede to its demands, that of more federal ministries & committee chairs and that of more provincial ministries, espacially that of Home minister Sindh. Which can be so decisive in the local bodies elections
MQM is specifically an agencies’ party, and this may be a sign of things to come. This resignation from cabinet may mark that all is not well for PPP led government, as far as agencies’ plan go. This hardly is a secret however.

The government in National Assembly, with MQM, is 16 seats short of a majority. But being a minority government doesn’t necessarily mean that the government would collapse automatically. The law making process would be difficult, but if the current policy of reconciliatory legislating is continued, then PPP may continue to pass the required laws. In any case, most of the day to day work is done through executive orders and secondary legislation, and as such this shouldn’t be perturbed by losing majority.

Most importantly, would the government fall if MQM sits in the opposition? not automatically. According to the constitution, to make the current government resign, there is need for a vote of no confidence. This is when a motion is passed in the Parliament and it is passed by the majority of the members. In that case, government’s survival is not to be decided by MQM but by PML-N. In this scenario, Nawaz Sharif’s statement of 26th December is vital, where he commented that he wouldn’t let the government fail.
This is a big victory for the negotiating team of PPP, who have this public commitment from the leader of the main opposition party. This may also been the reason behind PPP’s decision not to budge under MQM pressure, after JUI’s resignation. But in politics, nothing is set in stone, this is specially true for Pakistani Politics.

Current situation has however created a silver-lining where PPP is sure that no more back stabbers remaining amidst them in the coalition. MQM’s departure does create one immediate concern, and that is the law and order situation in Karachi – the party’s hub. MQM would create unruliness soon, this is given. The options of past have been from bringing in rangers and Army, to impost curfew and martial law. All these have led to MQM gaining greater political influence at the same time not making things any better. The other option of Political conciliation has led to MQM taking too much advantage of their position.
One possible way of this may be to use all the available resources to control the events and not let them escalate. Peace in Karachi and Urban Sindh is in interest of Government and not in MQM’s interest. They will try to make things worse. The PPP and its ally ANP, must be ready to bear the first strike and must ensure that this is known who struck first. They have available to them the 21st century’s devices, such as video cameras, that would have proof of such actions. Even then, government intervention much come when public consensus is build, much like the Lal Mosque. But unlike the Lal Masjid, the retaliation must be measured and proportionate. Aim being restoration of peace, not annihilation of the party. Government must control the narrative, and that must be that MQM have slipped back to old ways. A successful operation would see MQM calling cease fire very soon, especially when it becomes clear that no political gain could be had. Otherwise consequences would be dire for the city and economy of the country.
How do they resolve this quandary is main test of the Government after today’s developments.

December 27, 2010

Shaheed Benazir Bhutto: The Soul of PPP – by Aamir Hussaini

by admin

After the Judicial murder of ZAB, it was BB who was the life force for the young idealist activists of PPP. For these activists, often referred to as jiyalas, ZAB was a myth while BB was the current life force of the party. For the next 30 years after ZAB, it was BB who defined and lead the PPP.

Her journey starts under arrest by the Zia regime. The latter did his best to malign the young workers of the PPP who lead the MRD movement under the leadership of BB and Nusrat Bhutto. Towards this end, Zia used the political immaturity of the late Murtaza Bhutto and enlisted the help of ex-IJT activist, Salimullah Tipu in the staged hijacking of Peshawar-bound PIA plane from Karachi. The aim of this tyrant was to portray all jiyalas as terrorist and therefore de-legitimize the MRD movement and he used IJT activists like Tipu to penetrate the PSF.

Only Benazir stood in his way and exposed the dirty tactics of Zia and his coterie by ensuring that the MRD remained about democracy, federation and the aspirations of the masses. It was her genius to de-link the PPP/PSF and MRD from the staged hijacking master minded by Zia and it was this genious that allowed the party of young idealists to thrive.

After the MRD, Zia knew that the only way he could continue to take a hostage nation along his dark and bigoted path was to unleash the forces of fanaticism and fascism. He did the former by promoting sectarian elements starting from Jhang, Punjab. In Sindh, he cobbled together the MQM from prominent ex-IJT activists like Altaf Hussain and Farooq Satter.

Benazir is often accused of compromising on the ideology of the PPP; that much of this criticism comes from discredited traitor uncles who betrayed her father to the gallows speaks volumes. However, Benazir was a creative follower of her father and knew when to differentiate between relative and essential parts of Bhuttoism.

She proved herself on the Afghan issue where we can laud her creativity and foresight. The Afghan policy that she wanted was to respect the formation of an elected government and to end foreign interference in the affairs of Afghanistan. Even then, she could see the destructive effects of the Saudi Jihadism and wanted to save the youth from it. Benazir supported the UN peace initiatives in Afghanistan and in that regard; she ensured that the PPP would differentiate itself from the policies of the establishment.

Rare individuals have the ability to feel the pulse of emerging movements. Unlike many others on the Left, Benazir knew that the end of the Cold War would change the world radically. It was this ability that distinguished her from the rest of the civil society elites and other extensions of the Deep State. Similarly, it also distinguished her from compromised leftists like Tariq Ali whose support for the Taliban, Hamas and Hizbullah highlight that his thinking is still stuck in the Cold War while his purse is fed by the successors of Khomeini. Her education, travel and above all, her uncompromised intellect allowed her to see that the end of the Cold War dictated that a fresh political and economic approach was required. Liberal democracy, regional trade agreements and soft borders were the main features of this changed world and Benazir knew that Pakistan had to accept and adopt these new realities. When Benazir expressed that Pakistan needed a new political and economic vision, she was victimized by the PPP deserters and constrained by the perennial establishment after the 1988 elections.

The Presidency, Ministry of Finance and Foreign policy were off limits to her. Her efforts to initiate a lasting and transparent peace with India raised howls of protest from the Deep State; in their eyes this made her a traitor!

Nonetheless, Benazir realized that for Pakistan to emerge as a progressive, modern, enlightened and developed country, it had to be gently extricated from the clutches of the Deep State. Throughout her life, she actively and passively resisted the “Jihadi” adventurism of the security establishment, for whom this policy was a holy doctrine that the “bloody civilians” dare not change!

However, for Benazir, the end of the Cold War signaled the end of the “Crush India”, “Thousand Years War” and “Islamic Bloc” way of thinking. For her, it was about trade policies that would benefit the masses and not just the chattering elites. This was her vision when she presented the concept of Common Wealth of South Asian countries. Today, events have vindicated her progressive vision for which she was often derided as Pro West and Anti-Pakistan.

In espousing her progressive cause, she engaged in a decades-long struggle to campaign for the rights of women and minorities and provided tickets to minority members. Inspite of all the constraints placed on her by the establishment, she did her best to promote liberal change within the society and guide the electorate towards moderation and away from religious bigotry and fanaticism. She promoted the liberal and progressive sections within her party and did away with intransigent policies that alienated potential allies.

While the rest of Pakistan’s urban chattering elites are somnolent and awash in conspiracy theories, Benazir could see that 9/11 highlighted the growing cancer of extremism within the Muslims. Those who eulogize Hitler, Mawdodi and Khomeini can never be for peace and progress and Benazir did her best to promote a social justice agenda and guide people away from religious bigotry. In that regard, one can only appreciate the slogan:

“Bhutto-ism is our Destination and Benazir is our Leader”

Time has proved her right!

December 27, 2010

On Sadruddin Hashwani: Dr Shahid Masood's new financier

by admin

People support owner of Marriott hotel Sadaruddin Hashwani as he visits the site of explosion Sept. 20, 2008. A massive truck bomb devastated the heavily guarded Marriott Hotel in Islamabad killing at least 53 people and wounding at least 250 more.

Related article:

Disgracefully dismissed: Dr Shahid Masood fired from ARY TV

…….

Dr Shahid Masood flattering Hashwani

I am pleased to announce that I will be a colleague and a co-worker with some of you very soon in my capacity of ‘CEO and President’ for an upcoming Media Group. Mr. Sadruddin Hashwani leads this consortium of giants from the Middle East and Europe.

This Group, is a Media House that will bring out quality TV channels, Dailies and Periodicals besides establishing of Media University of international standard. But honestly none of this would really have been possible, if there was not a Group behind my dream.

In the forefront of this initiative is the man leading this Global consortium, whom I must thank for his having agreed to venture in this media enterprise. Mr. Sadruddin Hashwani a name you are all familiar with. Someone we have all come to respect as a man whose patriotism makes us proud, whose resolve makes us believe more in our own selves. A role model to have risen above the rest as a self made man who now wishes to set a precedence in media, reinventing, reinvigorating and reviving our industry bogged down by lethargy.

“I must admit that this introduction to Mr. Hashwani or the international consortium is no justice. And I fail in introducing them to the hilt that they deserve an introduction, but I do intend on introducing them in more details that I shall share with all of you soon….It is history in the making, it is a hard task. And I know. I am embarking upon a journey to redefine Media History in Pakistan as we know it. Never before, had a working professional in Media could dream of being a stake holder in equity in a big Media Group before, I am to set the precedence.”

Dr. Shahid Masood
President & CEO
Pearl Communications (PVT) Ltd
Shalimar 5 Agha Khan Road Islamabad

http://www.drshahidmasood.com/

……..

Who is Sadruddin Hashwani?

Sadruddin Hashwani is the Chairman of Hashoo Group (Established 1960), a diversified industrial groups in Pakistan with interests across tourism, travel, real-estate development, pharmaceuticals, IT, and oil and gas. Also, the Hashoo Group of Companies has in its fold, as owners and operators, the Pearl Continental Hotels and Marriott Hotels brands with presence in all major cities of Pakistan and Ocean Pakistan Limited, an Oil and Gas exploration and production company.

……

The Hashwani-CIA Connection

Bawa:

اس نئے میڈیا گروپ کو سمجھنسے کے لیے ہمیں سب سے پہلے اس گروپ پر سرمایہ کاری کرنے والوں کو سمجھنا ہوگا

اگر میری یادداشت زیادہ کمزور نہیں ہے تو یہ ہاشوانی گروپ وہی ہے جو اسلام آباد میریٹ ہوٹل کا مالک ہے اور جس نے اپنے ہوٹل میں امریکی فوجیوں کو اڈے قایم کرنے کی اجازت دے رکھی تھی اور اس ہوٹل کو طالبان نے بارود سے اڑا دیا گیا تھا جسمیں سینکڑوں پاکستان شہید اور کچھ امریکی فوجی مارے گئے تھے

کیا ان بے گناہ پاکستانیوں کا خون اس گروپ کے ہاتھوں پر نہیں ہے جس نے امریکی فوجیوں کو وہاں اڈے قایم کرنے کی اجازت دی

http://www.jang.net/urdu/details.asp?nid=305786

…………

The Hashani-Hamid Mir (ISI-MI) propaganda cell

Hashwani also happens to be a good friend of Hamid Mir although he later retracted the agency-made ‘news’ which he leaked to Mir:

ISLAMABAD, September 16, 2009 (Balochistan Times): Top Hotelier and Chairman of Hashoo Group and Marriott Chain of hotels, Sadruddin Hashwani has termed as incorrect and baseless the impression that he was shifting abroad due to President Asif Ali Zardaris pressure. It is wrong that I am shifting abroad due to pressure of President Zardari. There is neither any pressure on me from the President nor there has been any talk between them in this connection. It may be pointed out that a couple of days back when President Zardari hosted Iftar dinner for journalists, prominent Anchorpersons Hamid Mir told the President that Sadruddin Hashwani was propagating that he left the country because of the President. The President described this impression and Propaganda as baseless. At this the President asked his staffers to connect him with Hashwani in Dubai but the staff could not succeed. Then President Zardari asked the security personnel to bring in the mobile set of Hamid Mir and asked him to get him connected with Sadruddin Hashwani. When Hashwani came on line, he informed the President that there was no truth in the report that he(Hashwani) left the country because of President Zardari. At this the President handed over the set to Hamid Mir who also spoke with Hashwani on the occasion. It may be recalled that Sadruddin Hashwani along with his family shifted to Dubai last month. During this period he had been giving impression to important political leaders and elites that he shifted abroad due to pressure from Aiwan-e-Sadr but now he is denying this impression.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Hashwani+denies+he+shifted+to+Dubai+under+pressure+from+President…-a0208071721

…………

Venturing into a profitable business: Hashwani’s shrewd (political) investment in Pakistani media

smsupportmovement:
ڈاکٹر شاہد کی رونمائی ، نئی پتلیاں میدان میں

ہاشوانی گروپ کا میڈیا بجٹ

آؤ آؤ ڈاکٹر شاہد مسعود لے لو

مکر کی چا لوں سے بازی لے گیا سرمایہ دار ، جیب میں مال ہے اور بھی جائیں گے دیکھو کون جیتتا ہے ایکسپریس والا سرمایہ دار یا جنگ والا یا ہاشوانی

آؤ آؤ حکومت کو گا لیا ں دو ، مال پھر ہی بکے گا ، ریاست کمزور ہو گی تو ملٹی نیشنل طاقت ور ہو گی

آو جمشید دستی کو گالیاں دو ، تندور کی روٹی کھاتا ہے ، برگر کیوں نہیں کھاتا

آؤ نواز شریف کو گالیاں دو سری پائے کیوں کھاتا ہے

برگر امریکہ کا ہاشوانی امریکہ کا ، شاہد مسعود امریکہ کا پاکستان امریکہ کا رہے نام امریکہ کا

مکر کی چالوں سے بازی لے گیا سرمایہ دار ، پہلے ریڈیو اور ٹی وی کے ذریعے مال بیچتا تھا ، ٹی والوں کو پیسے دو کچھ بھی کہلوا لو

ٹی وی والا گوالے کے دودھ کو زہر ثابت کرتا رہا پھر پتہ چلا کہ سرمایہ دار پیکٹ کے دودھ میں فارمولین ڈالتا ہے

اب سرمایہ دار نے سوچا ہے کہ ٹی وی چینل بنالو ، مال بکے گا بھی اور حکومت پکڑے بھی نہیں جو پکڑے گا آزاد میڈیا اور آزاد عدلیہ اس کو حکومت سے نکا ل باہر کرے گی

کوئی سوال نہیں کرتا کہ صدر الدین ہاشوانی صرف پیزا ہٹ ، مکڈونلڈ اور کے ا یف سی کی رائلٹی میں کتنا پیسہ باہر بھیجتا ہے اس لیے کہ شاہد مسعود جیسوں کی تنخواہ اس سے ملتی ہے

کمال کا دھوکہ مال امریکہ کا نام طالبان کا ، بغل میں امریکہ منہ میں طالبان ، واہ رے میرے شاہد مسعود

اور وہ کون تھا جس نے ٹی وی پر بتایا تھا کہ صدر الدین ہاشوانی کی آرمی چیف سے بھی ملاقات ہوئی تھی ، رہے نام امریکہ کا رہے نام آرمی کا، رہے نام ہاشوانی کا جس کا ہر منصوبہ کسی امریکی چین کا حصہ ہے

رہے نام طالبان کا کہ یہ بھی ایک امریکی چین ہی ہے

لے لو امریکہ کا مال
لے لو شاہد مسعود
لے لو طالبان

………….

Petition to The Hashwani Group

Source: http://www.petitiononline.com/5tgb7ujm/petition.html

To: The Hashwani Group
HOW MUCH DOES YOUR STAY AT THE PEARL CONTINENTAL COST YOU?

Because the workers who clean the rooms, make the meals and run the hotel only get Rs. 7800 per month for nine hour shifts each day. And, when they tried to organize a union to fight for their rights, some were fired and others thrown in secret prison on false charges. 150 of them are now occupying the basement of the Pearl Continental Hotel to demand that its owners, the Hashwani Group, abide by the law. This is following an attempt by the PC to fire four workers, all union activists. Food has become scarce while they have been on strike and management has refused to allow outside deliveries to be made.

The current Human Resources Director at the PC is a retired Major Zia Jan who came to the PC after busting a union at the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC). Major Zia recently told the striking workers that they ought to be ashamed of themselves for fighting the PC.

The workers are being filmed and monitored by security. They are afraid that they will soon be subject to Ranger or police brutality. The families of the workers who protested outside the hotel in solidarity have already been baton-charged by the police.

We, the undersigned, demand that the PC Hotel abide by the law and accept the workers’ demands, which are as follows:

1. GIVE US OUR JOBS BACK!

Firing of union activists while negotiations are ongoing is illegal.

2. RECOGNIZE OUR UNION!

The courts already do. It’s time for the PC to abide by the law.

3. COME TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLE!

The PC refuses to negotiate the charter of demands. The 2002 and 2006 demands are still pending.

For more details and updates as they become available, please see: http://progpak.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/pc-workers-occupation/

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

…………..

The Hashwani-CIA connection

ہوٹل میں امریکی فوجیوں کا پراسرار آپریشن! کیا حملہ ان فوجیوں پر تھا؟

Source: Jang

اسلام آباد(انصار عباسی) ہفتے کی شام جب میریٹ ہوٹل پر حملہ کیاگیا تو کیا اس وقت وہاں امریکی میرین فوجیوں کا کوئی خفیہ آپریشن جاری تھا۔ اگرچہ کوئی بھی شخص اس کی تصدیق نہیں کرتا لیکن ایسے بہت سے واقعاتی شواہد ہیں جن کی بناء پر یہ کہاجا سکتا ہے۔پیپلزپارٹی کے بہت سے ارکان قومی اسمبلی اور انکے دوستوں کی شہادت کے مطابق امریکی سفارتخانے کے ایک بہت بڑے سفید ٹرک سے فولادی بکس اتارے گئے اور انہیں میریٹ ہوٹل کے اندر منتقل کر دیا گیا ، یہ واقعہ اسی رات پیش آیا تھا جب امریکی ایڈمرل مائیک میولن وزیر اعظم یوسف رضاگیلانی اور دیگر سے ملے تھے۔ ہوٹل کے دونوں مرکزی دروازے بند کردیئے گئے تھے اور امریکی میرینز کے علاوہ کسی کو ٹرک کے قریب جانے کی اجازت نہیں تھی ۔یہ فولادی بکس ان اسکینرز سے بھی نہیں گزارے گئے تھے جو کہ ہوٹل کی لابی کے داخلی راستے پر نصب تھے ، مبنیہ طور پر ان بکسوں کو ہوٹل کی چوتھی اور پانچویں منزل پر منتقل کر دیا گیا۔ پیپلزپارٹی کے دیگر بہت سے ارکان پارلیمنٹ کے علاوہ رکن قومی اسمبلی ممتاز عالم گیلانی بھی اپنے دو دستوں سجاد چوہدری ،پیپلزپارٹی کے ایک رہنما اور بشیر ندیم نے پراسرار سرگرمی کو دیکھا اور اس پر انہوں نے اعتراض اور احتجاج بھی کیا۔ایک ذریعے نے دی نیوز کو بتایا ہے کہ نادیہ ریسٹورنٹ میں ضیافت کے بعد آدھی رات کو اپنے دوستوں کے ہمراہ ہوٹل سے روانہ ہورہے تھے تو انہوں نے امریکی سفارتخانے کا ٹرک ہوٹل کے مرکزی گیٹ کے سامنے کھڑا ہوا دیکھا، ہوٹل کے اپنی سیکورٹی سمیت کسی شخص کو ٹرک کے قریب جانے کی اجازت نہیں دی گئی، ہ ہی ان سے اتارے جانے والے اسٹیل باکسز کو ہوٹل کے اندر لے جانے کیلئے اسکینرز سے گزارنے کی اجازت دی گئی۔پیپلزپارٹی سے تعلق رکھنے والے ان تین دوستوں نے جو پریشانی کی حالت میں مرکزی دروازے کے سامنے کھڑے تھے نے معاملے کی بابت دریافت کیا تو انہیں بتایا گیا کہ مشکوک قسم کے بکس ہوٹل میں لے جائے جارہے ہیں اور انہیں ہوٹل کی چوتھی اور پانچویں منزل میں منقتل کیاجارہا ہے۔ ممتاز عالم کو امریکی میرینز اور ہوٹل کی سیکورٹی دونوں پر غصہ آرہاتھا نہ صرف اسلئے کہ انہیں باہر نکلنے میں تاخیر ہورہی تھی بلکہ سیکورٹی کی ان خامیوں کی وجہ سے بھی جو کہ انہیں نظر آرہی تھیں۔ ان کے احتجاج پر امریکی میرینز نے کوئی توجہ نہیں دی اور ہوٹل کی سیکورٹی کے وہ لوگ جن سے انہوں نے رابطہ کیاوہ بے بس نظر آرہے تھے۔ ممتاز عالم نے ہوٹل کے سیکورٹی عہدیداروں سے کہا کہ وہ ہوٹل اور اسکی سیکورٹی کو خطرے میں ڈال رہے ہیں۔ انہیں یہ کہتے بھی سنا گیا کہ وہ آئندہ کبھی اس ہوٹل میں نہیں آئیں گے۔ انہوں نے اس معاملے کو پارلیمنٹ میں اٹھانے کی دھمکی بھی دی۔کسی کو یہ تو معلوم نہیں کہ آیا پیپلزپارٹی کے اس رکن قومی اسمبلی نے اس پراسرار رات کے بعد پھر ہوٹل کا دورہ کیا یا نہیں لیکن ان کے بھائی امتیاز عالم جو کہ ایک سینئر صحافی ہیں وہ دھماکے کے وقت اسی ہوٹل میں تھے۔امتیاز عالم خوش قسمت تھے کہ اس دھماکے سے بچنے میں کامیاب ہوگئے اور مشکل سے ہی سہی لیکن بھرپورتاریکی میں ہوٹل سے باہر نکل آئے۔ ایک لفٹ جسے وہ استعمال کر رہے تھے وہ اس وقت زمین پر آگری جب انہوں نے زور لگا کر چوتھی منزل پر دروازہ کھولنے کی کوشش کی او ر وہ اس سے نکل آئے۔

………

Report: U.S. Planned to Buy Bombed Peshawar Hotel

By ROBERT MACKEY

June 9, 2009, 6:41 PM

Source: NYT


Pakistan’s Geo TV aired security camera video showing how the attackers struck the Pearl Continental hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday. After armed militants fired at security guards, a car and a truck loaded with explosives sped towards the hotel. In the bright flash after the explosion, the militants could be seen at the perimeter of the complex.

As a colleague here at The Times points out, the Pearl Continental hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan, which was partly destroyed on Tuesday by a massive car bomb, is well known locally as a meeting point for not just wealthy Pakistanis, foreign aid workers and journalists but also intelligence agents. In other words, it is the sort of place a modern-day Graham Greene novel might be set, with security so tight that even the lifeguards at the hotel pool are armed with AK-47s.

Given that reputation, the hotel was an obvious target for militants — even before a report surfaced two weeks ago that the United States was planning to buy the hotel as part of a plan to greatly expand its diplomatic presence in the city. As the Press Trust of India reported on Tuesday, the Pearl Continental is currently owned by Sadruddin Hashwani, who also owns the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, which was bombed last September, resulting in more than 50 deaths.

According to a report by Saeed Shah and Warren P. Strobel of McClatchy Newspapers, the hotel was apparently at the center of an American plan to establish a long-term presence in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province:

A senior State Department official confirmed that the U.S. plan for the consulate in Peshawar involves the purchase of the luxury Pearl Continental hotel. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. […]

Peshawar is an important station for gathering intelligence on the tribal area that surrounds the city on three sides and is a base for al Qaida and the Taliban. The area also will be a focus for expanded U.S. aid programs, and the American mission in Peshawar has already expanded from three U.S. diplomats to several dozen.

In October 2001, a report in Time magazine described how the Pearl Continental fit into the cloak-and-dagger atmosphere of Peshawar, the city “where the terrorists meet, form cells and deploy — and where access to the closed world of the Taliban begins. Bin Laden’s foot soldiers regularly slip through the walled enclaves and jostling bazaars to recruit jihadis or send out instructions. Taliban fighters float through to spy and resupply. Every Afghan faction has its representative in some dim house. Intelligence agents linger in the lobby of the Pearl Continental Hotel, where the phones are tapped and drivers let fall scraps of information.”

As with the attack on the headquarters of the Pakistani intelligence service in Lahore on May 27, the bombing on Tuesday seems to have taken place at a site that militants knew to be central to the operations of the intelligence agencies fighting to defeat them.

……….

Peshawar PC Hotel Blast: Where is Hashwani

Source: fkpolitics

Remember after the Marriott blash, Hashwani, the owner of Marriott and the PC Hotel chain in Pakistan, was all over the TV channels and his picture splashed in all the newspapers. But after last night’s blast at PC Peshawar, there is no sign of him. Curious isn’t it?

Is it because he is NOT the owner any more? Reports are PC, Peshawar was “sold” to the Americans some time back and is the center for their intelligence agencies for the whole area. It was reported by at least one channel (SAMAA TV) that the 3rd and 4th floors WERE completely under American control (just like Marriott where it was the 6th and 7th floors). Further credence is given to the report by the fact that a “tender notice” has already been issued for another PC in Peshawar (Hayatabad). Now why does a smaller city like Peshawar need TWO PC hotels when much bigger cities like Karachi and Lahore have only one?

According to that earlier report, plans were for complete take over of the current PC by the Americans in the coming days, leaving Peshawar with out one. Hence the plans for constructing a new one….

So suggesting this was “a random act of violence” is completely preposterous. PC being the “US Intelligence Headquarters” was common knowledge in Peshawar so an attack there was all but expected sooner or later. The blame for civilian deaths and injuries falls squarely on the government for allowing Americans to set up a base there despite having the example of Marriott before them.

BTW: Americans knew something was up. The following is from last week:

The advisory issued on Tuesday instructs US government personnel to cancel all travel to and from Peshawar for the next 24 hours in response to a security threat.

P.S. The story being spun by the media is that the foreigners there were all UN or NGO workers who were there to help the IDPs. Hogwash, I say. I am sure this is true of a few but I say shame on them for wasting all that money on their stay in a five-star hotel when that money could be better spent on the IDPs.

UPDATE #1:
Hashwani has finally shown up talking tough and claiming: “Despite the losses, I will make the (Pearl Continental) operational in two months just as I reopened the Marriott in three months.” Well, sure he “reopened” Marriott but I am told no one goes there (except his old clients ;-) perhaps.) The same will be the case will this one. Only foreigners will be there and it will continue to be a target. Wonder just how much bigger the “no-go area” would be around the hotel now. Kind of kills the will to go there anyways. So I guess the new owners will have it all to themselves sooner than planned. Or was this the plan in the first place?? ;-)

(I still believe Hashwani has handed it over to the Americans and they “own” it, just like they own him….)

Update #2:
Well, here is where most of the money for rebuilding PC is going to be coming from:
US to spend $1 billion on embassy expansions in Pakistan, Afghanistan
But more significant is this bit from the story that confirms what i have been saying:

BUYING THE PEARL IN PESHAWAR

A senior State Department official confirmed that the US plan for the consulate in Peshawar involves the purchase of the luxury Pearl Continental hotel. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

The Pearl Contintental is the city’s only five-star hotel, set in its own expansive grounds, with a swimming pool. It’s owned by Pakistani tycoon Sadruddin Hashwani.

Peshawar is an important station for gathering intelligence on the tribal area that surrounds the city on three sides and is a base for Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The area also will be a focus for expanded US aid programs, and the American mission in Peshawar has already expanded from three US diplomats to several dozen.

In all, the administration requested $806 million for diplomatic construction and security in Pakistan.

“For the strong commitment the US is making in the country of Pakistan, we need the necessary platform to fulfill our diplomatic mission,” said Jonathan Blyth of the State Department’s Overseas Buildings Operations bureau. “The embassy is in need of upgrading and expansion to meet our future mission requirements.”

A senior Pakistani official said the expansion has been under discussion for three years. “Pakistanis understand the need for having diplomatic missions expanding and the Americans always have had an enclave in Islamabad,” said the official, who requested anonymity, because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. “Will some people exploit it? They will.”

Any doubts??? :)

Note: DO pay special attention to the statements:
$736 million to build a new US embassy in Islamabad…The scale of the projects rivals the giant US Embassy in Baghdad, which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of $740 million.”
AND
“The embassy is in need of upgrading and expansion to meet our future mission requirements.”

So you know what’s coming….

And this DOES CONFIRM the statement made by me earlier i.e. that:

  • PC HAD ALREADY BEEN SOLD TO THE AMERICANS
  • PC IS THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS

So no tears here…Just applause

December 27, 2010

Benazir Bhutto shaheed ke liye – by Nazir Qaiser

by admin


December 27, 2010

My memories of BB’s assassination – by Ahmed Iqbalabadi

by admin

It was a Thursday, last weekend of 2007. I had my wife’s family visiting us in Dubai. With the election campaign going at full throttle, I had planned to be in Karachi on 4th of January 2008, allowing me to cast my vote and hopefully celebrate a PPP victory. Thursday being weekend in Dubai, the plan was my family will come to my office in a cab and we’ll all go together after I got off from work to Global Village. The visiting kids were very excited and I was looking forward to a hectic  but pleasurable weekend.

It was at 5.15 pm that I got a call from a friend saying Rawalpindi has had an attack. I checked on a website and it said PML-N Rally attacked, 4 killed. I said yeah unfortunate that there was an attack on a PML-N rally. He said, “nahee nahee, check karo Benazir par attack hua hay!”. One click of refresh said “Attack on Benazir rally, Benazir injured!”. Oh my lord!!! I just switched to BBC on the office TV and it said “Benazir attacked, while unconfirmed sources say that she may have been critically injured”. I immediately called up my mother in Karachi. All she said was “Yeh nahee ho sakta hay” and then the line dropped. With my eyes on the TV and ear on the phone, the worst possible fear came true within seconds “Benazir Bhutto Assassinated”. In 10 minutes time, the whole world had shaken. Pakistan had lost its leader. I had lost my leader. I prayed Maghrib and for her departed soul and walked out of the office. My family was waiting for me on the ground floor of the building. They had heard the news on radio. Everyone was so quiet. We just sat in our car and went back home. There has never been so much silence in my car. All the way I kept ringing my mother. There was no response. My youngest brother was at home, then 15 years old. He was all alone. I asked him where ammi was and all he said was “She was going to Bilawal House”. During this time, all the rioting and looting had started. So Benazir’s assassination and my family members safety worried me further. It was after 4 hours that I got confirmation that my mother was safe.

When we got home, all we did was watch TV and pray for her departed soul. Geo was running the minute by minute coverage and off course flashbacks of her life and her speeches. They also ran the episode in which Sohail Warraich spent a day with BB in London for his program “Aik din Geo kay saath”. Amongst the many questions asked, Sohail Warraich asked her that “aap Pakistan kee itni bari leader hayn, phir bhee London aur Dubai meyn rehna pasand kar rahee hayn. Iss kee koi khas wajah?”. She responded like a mother and said “Yeh shayad Allah ko manzoor hay kay mayn apnay bachon kay saath thora waqt guzar pa rahee hoon aur unn ko bara hota dekh rahee hoon”. On this response, I couldn’t stop crying. The charismatic leader was no more with us. Only her memories were. May she rest in peace forever.

She knew the dangers that faced her. She didn’t shy away from them. She looked at her death all the time and was prepared for it. On her death, all those who had hounded her i.e. the press, media and establishment started calling her a “Shaheed”. Her hounding still continues. Her family’s hounding continues. Her party is still victimized even though in power. They can hound her name, her party and her people but they cannot eliminate them.

December 26, 2010

A flashback of the Benazir Murder – By Taha Kehar

by admin

On the evening of 27th December, 2007, we edged along the crowded Shahrah-e-Faisal in Karachi. A cold winter breeze drifted in from a car window that had been left open for ventilation. Air-conditioners were a redundant luxury now that the temperature had plummeted to a cold extreme. And yet, there was a strong undercurrent of political friction that constantly reminded us that we were living through an era of sweeping changes.

There was a flood-tide of expectations from the forthcoming elections.

Optimism was virtually a non-entity as suspicion governed thought-processes. Many judicious observers had gone to the extent of stating beforehand that the elections would be rigged, damaging the political process entirely. However, not everyone was thoroughly convinced.

Against this backdrop of uncertainty, we drove leisurely towards our destination – the house of an ailing grand-aunt. But before we knew it, things took an unpredictable turn. A phone call announcing Benazir Bhutto’s murder left us astounded. The instinct of self-preservation prodded us to turn back.

Political murders were catastrophic events, particularly in turbulent countries like Pakistan. They could trigger a spate of socio-economic uncertainties. Mob tendencies would grow fearfully extreme and life would reach a standstill.

But there was a general consensus that this assassination had greater symbolic significance than any other mission of sabotage. To some it implied the derailment of democracy and to others it indicated the growth of radical Islam. In a sense, the murder had been expected much before Benazir Bhutto had returned to Pakistan to rally support for her political goals. Unfortunately, no one had anticipated it that evening.

As we drove homewards, fear enveloped my mind.

How could life be so brittle? I asked myself.

Here was a woman who had floundered for the upkeep of social justice, equality and the restitution of democracy. In the months following General Zia’s totalitarian takeover, she emerged as the true embodiment of righteousness when she untiringly fought to claim justice for her father. Her efforts may not have been of much avail but they steeled her to confront countless adversities she faced during her years in and out of public office.

How could moral courage that was obtained through several years of a dismal struggle be thwarted in a single explosion? More importantly, how could death justify a divergence of political opinion?

It was these questions that plagued my thoughts that night as the trepidation of Benazir’s murder turned into resignation. Their urgency astonished my sixteen-year-old mind. I felt the restive urge to understand this murder. But I knew that facts would not offer an accurate representation of its purpose. They would simply provide a string of politically motivated excuses for this heinous crime. All I could decipher in those brief moments was that life was precious. One simply could not divest it from anyone. It seemed so futile, so completely immature.

As the hours passed, I continued to ponder over this. But on a more pragmatic level I was convinced that no one in a world ravaged with political violence would understand this. Thus, I endeavoured to seek answers for myself. In a frenzied spurt of agony, I walked to my desk, equipped myself with a pen and several reams of paper and began to write.

Initially I had contemplated a lengthy perusal of the many manuals on Pakistan’s history that had been tucked into a book shelf but the ideas came across as absurd. After all, how could something as fragile as death be explained through politics? Did it not surpass its influence?

I was certain that it did. And so, I chose to write in an attempt to immortalize Benazir’s life. I realized that so long as her life had been productive, the idea of its denouement would not seem bizarre. In fact, it would make death seem like a necessary phase of respite.

Moments later I was prepared with a poem that celebrated the life and times of a courageous woman:

Enthused by that graceful soul,

We throng to her sepulchre in cries and doles.

Our mind eclipsed in disbelief,

As her mission remains adjourned.

We recall those hours, unsightly and grim,

When she willingly floundered, fulfilling our whim.

She decreed for us the bounties of liberation,

Vowing to succour this poverty-stricken nation.

In a mesh of foreboding, she slithered to our rescue,

Wallowing in our woes; exulting when necessary,

Until her demise forced her to eschew.

Now, the Empress of Sindh, a saviour and kin,

Is ensconced in a mausoleum of martyrdom.

As melancholy hymns permeate in hopeful dins,

We wail and wait akin.

December 26, 2010

Murder of Hope – by Suleman Akhtar

by admin

The dead besiege me with every new day

And ask me, “Where were you? Give back

To the lexicon all the words

You offered me”

And let the sleepers sleep without phantoms in their dreams!

The dead teach me the lesson: there is no aesthetic beyond freedom

Yeh Bhutto sahib ki beti hai” (She is daughter of Mr. Bhutto) – With these words my father introduced her to me by pointing out when she was giving a fiery speech on stage. That was an autumn evening of 1993 and she had come to my city in order to campaign for her party candidate. Though, at that time, I wasn’t mature enough to discern the significance of shibboleth -Zinda hai Bhutto zinda hai- being chanted in a rhythm by the crowd present there but, that whole panorama of reverence and homage for her and her father did lead me to materialize a conception that some Messiah had come.

That was Bertolt Brecht who, once, had said “Unhappy is not the land that breeds no hero but pity the land that needs heroes”. The land, we all belong to, has always been so lamentable and unfortunate with longing for heroes who would come one day and take away the centuries’ old miseries of inhabitants of this region. This has become a widely persisting norm to attribute gods like excellencies to common human beings. This sense of longing and yearning for Messiahs roots in the wretched conditions of human life –an emblem of this part of planet earth- and also metaphysical subjectivism that belongs to realm of religion rendering it highly viable for idols and paragons that are perceived as rulers of destinies.

And then the sparkling noon of October the18th, 2007. Her plane kissed the soil of her homeland and millions of ‘wretched of the earth’ were present outside Karachi Airport to greet and watch single glimpse of their Messiah -the sight for sore eyes for those who had longed for her and a dreadful scene for her adversaries- she came(out of plane), she saw and she wept with joy. There were Sadqa offerings (animal sacrifice) to ward off evil eyes, there were celebrations and rejoicings –mere pleasance- and at the midnight, amidst all those pleasures, there was blood, flesh and fire.

‘Cult’ is the most malignant expression of despotic regimes which is widely maneuvered by tyrannical administrations to impose the specific state agenda in the name of love for homeland and some state figures. In subcontinent, the articulation of this expression is more rigid and influences wider areas of implications, be it religion, politics, art or general attitudes. Traumatized people, who have never been allowed to endeavor for betterment of their own miserable conditions under mighty empires and colonial oppression, are highly leaned to submissive attitudes. This is, taking into account the general inclinations, the most lenient disposition of locals to follow someone-standing-for-them against all possible odds.

She was unstoppable. The journey started from the banks of Indus where a saint sleeps and offers hope to those in dire need. She had never forgotten the saint and at every stop of her expedition she reiterated the message of saint, “I have brought with me the message of peace from the shadows of Sehwan Shareef, be my arms to spread this!”. That was in Hyderabad where she disintegrated all the strings, if any, attached to her return and shouted at top of her voice, “Behold! You, who yearn for your rights, need to snatch them from the hands of tyrants.” Advancing and marching forward, she was approaching the destination with hundreds of thousands of ‘untouchables’ behind her. And the destination-the last hilly corner of Punjab- where the act finished and curtains fell with tragic ending of heavy bloodshed and sprinkles of red flesh.

From Dara Shikoh to Benazir Bhutto, history of this region marked with the red sanguinary traces of blood. Messiahs of downtrodden who raise the flag of humanity and justice have always been a dreadful dream for tyrants who consider them as obstruction in the way of implementing their despicable agendas. These despots may change their face with flow of time from absolute kingships to treacherous Generals but agenda remains the same. Generations have borne the brunt in the form of horrendous poverty, distressing living conditions and sustained oppression; and still craving for betterment in their miserable conditions. Hereditary politics or other way around is not the question at all but query of the hour is that who will extricate this race from centuries’ old misery if not the people themselves?

Hope had been demolished. Messiah had gone to the howling wilderness of ‘Garhi Khuda-Baksh’. On that day, I saw my father crying for the very first time in my life. That was mourning of a whole generation that couldn’t get rid of centuries’ old misery. Concurrently, I felt some drops of warm water lurking down my cheeks. Whatever, I belong to the same race after all and now it’s my turn to bear that burthen of misery on my shoulders and endeavor to throw it away.

December 26, 2010

Am’n Ki Woh Devi: A Tribute to Benazir Bhutto – by Shoaib Mir

by admin


On Benazir’s 3rd Death Anniversary
By Shoaib Mir

Larrti rahi woh umr bhar
Awam ke leay
Amn ki woh devi
Char subon ki zanjeer

Shahadat ko jis pe fakhr
Tha zindagi ko naaz
Beti woh Zulfikar ki
Ghareeb ki shamsheer

Ubhra hai issi dard
Se umeed ka sooraj
Iss khoon se mitt ja’ay
Kaash ghurbat ki lakeer

Jamhooriat hai behtareen
Badla, yeh uska quol
Har fa’el uska tha
Iss mulk ki tauqeer

Paida tau roz hoti
Hayn baitiyan yahan
Kab hogi paida phir
Aik aur Benazir?

December 26, 2010

Benazir Bhutto, Why she was martyred? – by H.A. Khan

by admin

The month of December is felt as a very lovely month as winter season is in its full swing with a feeling of joys and happiness and with warm sentiments all around Pakistan. But 3 years ago we had witnessed this day to be remembered as the historical black day in the history of my country when the most beloved leader of millions hearts and masses was martyred in Rawalpindi.

Benazir Bhutto the BB Sahiba is always remembered as the most visionary and the courageous leader in the history of global politics. We cannot find a single example of a women politician with so much grace and vision whom had been greeted by the toiling and poor working class of Pakistan not once but twice as when she was welcomed by 1 million people in Lahore in 1986 and then by 3 million in Karachi in 2007. Such was the charisma and vision of great BB Sahiba and the warm connectivity of masses with her.

Our great Marxist teacher Comrade Dr. Lal Khan truly said that people didnt went to see BB Sahiba in Karachi rather than to make her felt about their miseries and problems with whom they were being faced at that time, further he said that the so called deal with US and Pakistan’s powerful power sections was torned by the masses under their foot on that day and that presence also had made BB Sahiba more courageous and more confident with her people.

Now today when i see that still investigations are going on and still PPP masses and workers are desperate to know about the names of the killers, it make me a bit surprise that why we are still not have the courage to say truth, having said that i know why BB Sahiba was martyred and some reasons can be given.

1- She was martyred because that so called deal was torned by the 3 million people under their feet on 27 Dec, 2007.

2-She began to radicalize and moving on that way of radicalization principles on which PPP was formed in 1968-69.

3- The slogans of socialism could be heard all over again.

4- People felt themselves to be empowered again with their strong determination and voices.

5- The US imperialism and powerful sections of Pakistan felt BB Sahiba as a threat to their imperialist and capitalist agenda.

6- She began to talk for the common people and their interests rather that the interests of imperialism.

7- She had refused to work for Imperialist and capitalist agenda and determined to take Pakistan towards the progressive nation.

8-She had refused to bow in front of the rigid and Islamic forces and shown strong strength to fight against the talibanization.

9- She had reiterated to clean the process of talibanization from the soil of Pakistan as she commented in her last speech in Rawalpindi.

10- She had told to take Pakistan as a great nation as the progressive nation with all power.

11-She had been changing herself with the lines of radicalization and to follow the footsteps and slogans on which PPP was formed in its true spirits.

I miss you a lot BB Sahiba and i know that one day the sun will rise with the light when those dreams and hopes will be fulfilled in their true spirits for which you and the masses of my country had seen together and sacrificed their lives together for this great mission.

THE DREAM OF HOPE, BB SAHIBA, WE SALUTE YOU.

THE DAUGHTER OF THE EAST AND THE QUEEN OF HEARTS, WE SALUTE YOU.

December 26, 2010

Benazir Bhutto: an iconic figure – by Tauqeer Abbas

by admin

The 3rd death anniversary of a blazing fire of truth, a beauteous blossom of love, a soothing balm of peace, highly experienced lecturer, one of the best decision makers, esteemed, much-loved, daughter of the East Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto will be observed with the renewed commitment and pledge to strengthen the democratic institution in line with the vision of one of the greatest leader of this subcontinent.

The daughter of Pakistan is no more with us but is a guiding star for the generations to come. It was her unprecedented determination and sacrifice for nation. Her commitment towards people was spotless that she did not let her own misfortunes position in her way. Mohtarma Shaheed will always be remembered in world politics because of her
political acumen and leadership qualities. History of our region cannot find any other example of a leader who climbed to such eminence.

Benazir Bhutto Shaheed in her address to a rally at Liaqat Bagh Rawalpindi, Thursday, 27 December 2007, said

“My sisters and brethren, you have given a great honor to your sister. Twice you elected me as the prime minister; it is no longer important if I become the prime minister for the third time; what is important is that I have risked my life while coming back; but I had to return because my country is in danger. I feel that the people feel concerned about the country’s circumstances. That is why I have returned home; I have come to you to say that your sister needs those who are brave; who are courageous and who are faithful to the national flag; the flag of our motherland and the flag of the Pakistan People’s Party. I need your support in the work for the security and integrity of Pakistan; let us join hands to steer the country out of the crisis and rid the country from those who have endangered its security”.

Today we live a better life in many aspects but question arises what are the reasons behind it? Many times we hardly realize what others had done for us. I would consider it momentous to quote Mohtarma again, she said: “Some
people may not understand why I left a comfortable life and faced these threats. So many people have sacrificed much for so many things, so many died and so many see me as the hope of liberty. Now, I cannot run away from the battle. Dr. Martin Luther King’s phrase comes to my mind: “Our lives end when we keep our silence in important issues.” And I confide myself to my own people by my belief on God.”

Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed had the extraordinary nobility to become the 1st Prime Minister of an Islamic country and had an honor to be included in hundred world leaders, whose speeches have been included among hundred speeches. She endured all sorts of hardships she had to face tragedies like martyrdom of her father, her brothers, threats to her life, still she lived out what she sermonized. She recuperated after every blow with new commitment, strength, and willpower. She really motivated people and maintained their hopes during the era of dictatorship. She was of the view that if you turn your pain into strength, you can conquer world with this strength.

Benazir Bhutto was of the view that the continuation of democratic order and establishment of good governance was the only way to ensure nation’s well being. Shaheed Mohtarma once said “The politics of violence is the dire enemy of the hopes, the dreams and the ambitions of our people”. In reality, she is the founder of politics of reconciliation and harmony. At then National Defense College, she said in a speech: “The basic elements which define my vision of Pakistan are: a modern, enlightened, social democracy based on federalism and parliamentary form of government”. She represented an idea of human liberation, empowerment of common man and a welfare state.

There are very few people who become eternal after their deaths and without any doubt Benazir Bhutto fits in that category. She is a heartthrob of millions and rules their heart and minds. We should learn lesson from her life, which is a unique role model for people of entire world. Her name would be testified in golden words in the annals of history. She will be remembered by history for so many things like unwavering resolve, courage, ability to forgive etc. Be it workers, laborer, students, teachers, lawyers and women, PPP has got the sole honor of having its deep roots in all section of society. She may not be with us today but her vision continues to lighten our path, the principles remain for which fought and gave her life.

“Individuals can be killed but not ideas. Ideas live in the hearts of minds of men and women”- Benazir Bhutto Shaheed

December 25, 2010

My Media or Thy Media – by Saad Raz

by admin

My fellow countrymen

I am an overseas Pakistani, having settled abroad since the last few years. I now live in a multicultural society in Canada.

And when I compare my country of birth to that of my adopted country, I feel highly satisfied. By the grace of Almighty Allah our country Pakistan does not have any issues of freedom movements as such, other than a few unhappy extremists groups.

These groups are nothing more than salt in the flour, whereas on the other hand once we interact with Sardars(SIKHS) abroad, they really enjoy to discuss the topic of Khalistan, a freedom which still remains in the hearts of Sikhs.

Other than this there are so many freedom movements emerging every day, making things ominous. The plus point of our neighbors is that their media always portray the image of a united India. They are true nationalists. On the contrary, the dilemma with our nation is that our media demonstrates nothing but disaster in our country. If you read a newspaper or watch a political talk show, you would think that there are dangers to our country and to the democratic government.

This line of action leads the nation to nowhere, but it is instilling disappointment and peculiar situations within people. It is just like the last nail in the coffin.

I would request the media to be positive. How, how could this be possible that nothing good has been happening in the country?

How come there is no progression amongst the people and in the country? If not us then who else shall be responsible for the chaos that’s taking place presently. Democracy is like an infant kid in our house. Once its young its bound to make mistakes but by the time it gets older it will get more mature and responsible.

Please let the democracy flourish in our country. We have had enough non-democratic elements at the helm of our affairs and we gave them room, accepted their mistakes, so why not give time to democracy, which is government by the people, for the people and of the people.

Long live democracy!