Politics

I told you so – imposition of martial law in Pakistan

Posted on November 7, 2007. Filed under: Chief Justice of Pakistan, Electronic media in Pakistan, Enlightened Moderation My Ass, Martial law, Politics |

I am not bragging but I did forsee this one coming. The imposition of martial law seemed imminent even two months ago.  Actually, fellow chai-lover Harris called it first in private conversation with me. We were talking after the Bhagwandas led bench had restored Ch. Iftikhar to the head of the apex court about the possible scenarios developing after that. He thought the CJ was going to over estimate his power on the street and go after Musharraf with a vengeance. That would have forced Musharraf to take stronger measures, read: martial law, to restore the pecking order. His argument was that Pakistanis as a whole are a people given to abusing power. Your age, gender, education, socio-economic background, political leanings, field of influence, …. none of that matters. They will abuse power for personal agendas.

And that is what Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and his merry court did for months. The ran amok. They put thousands of existing cases on the back burner and decided to become a thorn in Musharraf’s side. Their interests spanned all issues of media interest. If a story was on the news media one day, the court was taking suo moto notice of it on the second day. Be it the flooding and consequent traffic jams on Karachi roads after heavy rainstorms, price of tomatoes, shutting down of terrorist breeding madrassas, and what not. If cable news thought an issue was inflammatory enough, the court thought it was worthy of their interest. The court was infact trying to be popular with the ignorant masses who are swayed by these media hyped issues. I will go in detail of this false hype in the next posting. Seeking popularity by activism is the domain of the politician, not the court.

That president Musharraf ward it off for as long as he did is credit to him. That the ex-Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, brazenly led his motley crew of judges down the path of direct confrontation with the president shows his foolhardiness. Still, I think the president is not without blame in this year of crisis. He has managed to go back on too many promises and estranged too many of us in the silent majority who supported him through the last eight years. We have sat on the sidelines and wondered what exactly kept him from doing the needfull to move the country towards his promised land. Defeats and back paddling on one issue after the other has confused and disheartened the moderate majority of Pakistanis who want a prosperring and peacefull Pakistan. The biggest blow came with the ill advised attempt at removing the CJ. It has been a downward spiral since then. Again, I will compile these issues in a detailed chargesheet against Musharraf here in a post to follow.

And here we are. Two wrongs have made a massive wrong. Sadly, it seems there is not one person of honor and integrity left in the higher echlons of Pakistan. What we have is either dumb asses at best, or manipulative opportunists at worst. Oh, and I told you so.

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Is imposition of Martial Law a certainity now

Posted on September 10, 2007. Filed under: Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan, Politics |

Yes, I have let myself chuckle more than a few times at the drama that unfolded at Islamabad airport. I went to sleep late at night content that Nawaz was being flown to Attock jail. I woke up to find that a couple of hours after that drama, at the airport, he had been air-shipped to Jeddah.

I wish the government had allowed him to come. They should have tried him in the courts under the existing and, even, new cases. They should have tried him in the media as a habitual liar and cheat. They should have destroyed his political career. They should have imprisoned him. Instead, they have decided to ship him off.

This may just turn out to be a further ratcheting up of the confrontation between the apex judiaciary and the Presidency. Should the CJ take notice of this situation in detriment to the government, imposition of martial law would become almost a neccessary evil.

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Nawaz avoids jail time with another deportation, (another deal??)

Posted on September 10, 2007. Filed under: Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan, Politics |

Wow! that was some smoke screen laid down by the government. Just when it seemed that Nawaz was going to be in some jail, he has been deported back to the Saudis. It is being reported that he was shown his arrest warrants along with the original agreement that allowed him to avoid jail and live it up in Saudia. Now that he is back in Jeddah, one dares ask the question: did Naeja make another deal as soon as the warrant and prospects of imprisonment materialized in front of him. 

Chalo issi khushi mein special doodh patti for everyone. Ji aaya noo.

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The vulture has landed

Posted on September 9, 2007. Filed under: Islamabad, Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan, Politics |

pia777s.jpg

A PIA Boeing 777-200ER, flight number PK786, has landed at Islamabad International Airport. Onboard is Mian Nawaz Sharif. Ghundas like Liaqat Baloch, Raja Zafarulhaq, and the seditionist Javed Hashimi have been arrested. While Maulana Diesel Fazalur Rehman has been placed under house arrest. The couple of hundred idiots who came to welcome the bald vulture are being tear gassed on roads leading to the airport. Serves them right. Lets see, where Mian gidh is taken.

There are some reports that a Boeing 737 is sitting fueled and crewed, ready to deliver Nawaz Sharif to Saudia. It would be ironical if this is the same B737 that Mian ji had covetted so much alongwith other chumps who have been prime ministers of Pakistan, until Musharraf finally, gave it back to PIA permanently.

UPDATE: Well, somethings have become clearer. Naeja is not being deported outside. Instead he has been arrested on arrival as most thought would happen and is on way to jail in a helicopter.

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Islam is now safe in a country that is 97% muslim

Posted on May 8, 2007. Filed under: Enlightened Moderation My Ass, Politics, Talibanization, Useless Legislation |

Today a bill floored by MP Bhandara to alter the blasphemy laws, to provide equal protection to the prophets and founders of minority religions like Christianity and Buddhism on par with the protection provided to prophet Mohammad, was rejected and then verbally trampled upon by Sher Afgan (the federal minister for parliamentary affairs). Mr Bhandara had argued that all Pakistanis are equal citizens regardless of religious affiliations. Thus, he derived the notion that all religions of Pakistani citizens should have equal treatment under law and that all other religions be afforded the same protection against blasphemy that Islam currently enjoys in the country. Blasphemy against Allah (muslim god) and Muhammad(prophet of Islam) is punishable by death in Pakistan’s current Sharia inspired laws. If passed the bill would have made blasphemy against Jesus, Hindu dieties, or Buddha punishable by death.

These blasphemy laws have been proven in many cases to have been used to persecute non-muslims and Muslims alike. Many times the accusers have used these laws to exact revenge from enemies through law or mob-lynching. That second aspect is most worry some as there are many instances where people have been accused and lynched by mobs within minutes in the middle of roads. The passage of equal protection against blasphemy would have meant, religious minorities could just as well accuse their Muslim or non-muslim antagonists of blasphemy. They’ll be able to dish out as well as they have been taking.

Such a law would protect the remains of our Buddhist past as sacred, and prevent the destruction of Buddhist and Hindu statues and shrines from destruction at the hands of wannabe but-shikans(one who smashes idols). Prof. Adil Najam noticed one such instance of the destruction of our Buddhist heritage.

Instead of discussion, Bhandara was booed by the mullahs of the MMA opposition parties, and received a verbal thrashing from Sher Afgan. ‘This is the parliament of an Islamic state, not a secular one. No one can dare to present a bill here which hurts the sentiments of Muslims,’thundered Sher Afgan. Bhandara’s protestations that the bill would not hurt the sentiments of any Muslims, butwill only seek to protect the sentiments of non-muslims similar hurt were lost among the boos and brays from the parliamentarians. With no support from either the government or the opposition, the motion was rejected by the speaker.

Later, the MMAs’ bill of having Apostasy declared a crime punishable by death, was sent to committee after it received no objections from the government.

Curiously, the applicability of the death penalty for apostasy is going to be based on the sexual maturity of the accused. Thus, the punishment will be available for female offenders beginning at the age of sixteen and male offenders at eighteen. years old. I guess, when it comes to arbitrary laws this is as good as any other criterion. They certainly couldn’t have used a mental maturity test for this as that would have absolved the whole country of culpability. I haven’t yet found a report of any provisions for dealing differently with accused deemed mentally deficient. No insanity defence it seems.

There are provisions for those who repent. First time offenders may be forgiven by the court if the offender repents. Second and third time offenses may be punishable by two year jail term. Death upon the dumb-ass who commits the offence a fourth time. Women are treated differently, and in this case with a lighter final sentence. No death penalty for the serial apostate. A fourth offence shall earn her an indefinite sentence till she is rendered completely subservient.

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Does the MMA hold the trump cards

Posted on May 7, 2007. Filed under: Jamaat-e-Islami, JUI, Politics |

Here is a thought: To be elected the president needs the provincial assemblies of NWFP and Balochistan. Those are the domain of the MMA. The chief ministers of these provinces can ask the governors to dissolve the assemblies. The law of the land says: governors have to grant the petition and prepare for fresh elections. Should such a thing occur we will be short two assemblies. Not being a student of our constitution, I don’t know if there exists then the possibility, whereby the president can still get elected from the remaining assemblies. If not, that is a couple of swords hanging precariously above the door of his presidency.

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Was the whole Lal masjid issue an ISI produced drama?

Posted on May 3, 2007. Filed under: ISI, Jamia Hafsa Ninjas, Lal Masjid, Politics, Talibanization |

That question has been asked by numerous people. It is a natural question considering the heavy fisted treatment metted out to previous challengers to the Pakistani establishment. Civil and Military governments in pakistan have not been known to handle the threat of armed opposition lightly. And neither should they. Anarchists have to be dealt with severely to ensure peace on land. The Pakistani governments have gone miles further and have never flinched from bombing rebelious citizens. Be it East Pakistan, Balochistan, or Waziristan, we bomb resistance away. And then they bomb back. And we bomb some more, until they run out of collateral cassualties. With such background, many observers are puzzled by the current handling of the crisis in Islamabad.

The taliban at Lal Masjid and its associated madrasas, Jamia Fridiya and Jamia Hafsa, have certainly given enough cause to be dealt with severely.

  • They have illegally constructed a 5000 student madrassa on public land. 
  • They have been in illegally occupying a public childrens library for over three months now.
  • They have attacked, beaten, abducted, illegally confined for three days, and harrassed away a family of three women and a child from the neighbourhood.
  • They have abducted police men from the street, damaged police property, and held the abductees hostage as human shields.
  • They have threatened local businesses selling music and video CDs and DVDs with attacks lest they close down or change their business.
  • They have established a parallel court system, where they are the judge, jury, and executioners.
  • They have issued fatwa denying the Pakistan army soldiers, who die fighting taliban, the right of a namaz-e-janaza. They have gone even further praising the taliban who die in these encounters as the rightful shaheeds.
  • They have threatened the citizens of Islamabad and across the country with hundreds of suicide bombings if any action is taken against them for their crimes.

Just one of those complaints should have been enough to take action against these people. But we have a plethora of serious violations of law and nothing happens. Here is a few suggestion from Shakeel Anjum from The News.

  • They could be booked under Article 5 of 1973 Constitution, Section 3 of Illegal Dispossession Act 2005, Sections 124-A, 125-A, 506, of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and 6/7 Anti Terrorism Act (ATA), the report said.
  • The Section 3 (Illegal Dispossession Act 2005) says, “Whoever occupies a property without any lawful authority would be liable to punishment of imprisonment, which may extend to ten years and with fine”, the law book said. Section 124-A PPC says, “Whoever is found guilty of sedition would be liable to punishment of life imprisonment along with fine.”
  • 125-A (Sedition), PPC says, “Whoever by words either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise brings, or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards- the Federal or Provincial Government established by law shall be punished with imprisonment for life to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine”.

Instead of facing criminal prosecution, the mullahs and their brain-washed goons are seen holding court over the governments’ ministers. One idiot is attending brick laying ceremonies for the reconstruction of the demolished mosques. Even promising that the tax-payers will bear the expense. Another duffer goes around telling everyone that Jamia Hafsa is a non-issue, while the mullahs keep threatening the nation with hundreds of suicide bombings. The rhetoric from Lal masjid has been caustic enough for the governing bodies of madrassas to disassociate from them. These nutters don’t even have the support of other mainstream madrassas. Still, the government dithers.

Thus, the question, Why? Why have the taliban and talibaat of these madrassas been given a free pass to flay laws, and terrorize the capital city? Why hasn’t the government come down on them? Why hasn’t anybody been arrested or better yet killed?  

If anything the government has backed off and played dead. Recent news indicates the government has agreed to all of the illegal demands of the taliban. Being diplomatic and avoiding bloodshed in the capital is one thing. Being a refusnik and cowardly in the face of attack on the nation is another. And our generals have once again been found wanting in the ‘defending the homeland’ department. So what gives?

Lal Masjid and ISI headquarters don’t just happen to lie on the same road. They are co-travellers on the same path. Lal Masjid is where the military-mullah alliance was born and bred over decades. It is just too convenient to stage this topi-drama on Aabpara road. It might not be conspiracy, but it sure stinks like one.

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Dear General Sahib, please take off the uniform.

Posted on May 1, 2007. Filed under: Humour, Politics |

Our glorious leader, General Musharraf has said he will not take off his uniform until his re-election through the current assemblies. Politicos have pointed out the unconstitutionality of such a situation. They say an assembly cannot re-elect a president for a full second term. As if a military dictator, cum chief executive, cum president until someone kills him, cum chief patron of cricket, cum anything else he might fancy, is a constitutional position.

People who have read more books and write better essays seem stuck on these matters of constitutionality. But not me. Matters of religious dogma and political doctrine don’t hold my attention. The issues of the everyday life of layman are the real issues. The daily perils he faces are scarier than any so-called anti-islamic conspiracies. And that is why I am bothered by the General’s statement. I wonder how his stubbornness on this matter is going to effect the quality of life for those around him and those, whose lives he goads. Thus the following appeal to our glorious leader:

Sir, in the coming months there is going to be a lot of heat on you. Taliban terrorists, cunning politicians, even the trusty Americans are going to be on your case. You are already looking harrangued and your brows leaden with sweat. And then the real heat arrives. People sweat buckets even under shade in the Pakistani summer. And when the monsoons come, the country becomes one large steam room for weeks. The hot air is aromatized by the steaming human and animal feces littered on earth. Even the pretty girls stink in those months. Please Sir, reconsider your adamency on this matter. Take it off for a few hours when no one is looking. Maybe you can take off the uniform at night in the privacy of your bedroom. Have the first lady wash it and iron it dry while you take a well deserved and truly needed shower and scrubbing. I am confident, despite her recently luxurious life, begum Saba can still wash a shirt for you. And then you can put it back on when it is time to strut in front of your servant country.

Please sir, don’t make it any harder for the army to salute you. Their salutes, prod your salutes in answer and that lets escape whiffs from the underarms. In that regard may I also recommend a super strong deodorant. Mitchum claims its deodorant is so strong you can skip a day. I will vouch for that claim. I can FedEx you a couple months supply from costco for cheap. Daily showers at night, while begum sahiba washes the uniform and a liberal application of a medicated deodorant and you might just make all this bearable for yourself and the rest.

Please Sir, do the right thing. Do it for your wife and child. Do it for those who heed your commands without complaint. Do it for the country that serves you and the mighty army you command. Do it for yourself. Please think about taking off the uniform. We have had enough of this.

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Letter to General Musharraf

Posted on April 4, 2007. Filed under: Chief Justice of Pakistan, Politics, Talibanization |

I wrote a letter to General Musharraf today. I have intentionally kept it brief since I wrote it at work. I will write a detailed article (may be 100 since the issue is very big) at later stages.

Mr. President,

Today I want to write to you about an issue that has been bothering me for a while. I had sent you an e-mail regarding this subject before but I am sure you never got to read it and this e-mail will eventually fall on deaf ears too but I feel obligated to say something about it even if no one hears my cries.

Last week when you were on a trip to Saudi Arabia trying to find solutions for the problems of “Ummah” a menace was rearing its ugly head less than 5 kilometers from the presidency. The observers found it quite ironic that you were actively participating in the summit for long term peace in the Middle East while the lawlessness ruled the streets of Islamabad clad in burkas and wielding batons. In one afternoon the whole “soft image” you have been trying to promote throughout the world disappeared.

The nation has heard you numerous times promising the writ of the law being imposed. We have in fact seen the writ of the law doing wonders when it comes to manhandling the Chief Justice of the nation and torturing the innocent protestors who demand to know where their loved ones are but in this case no law enforcement agency had the courage to stop the blatant violation of the law. The whole nation was held hostage by a few fanatics living so close to the parliament.

Today in Dawn, the interview with the principal of the institution is a clear picture of what these extremist elements plan to do to our country. The principal openly admitted that his students have in the past gone to Afghanistan to take active part in Jihad and will go in the future as well since that is what they are taught there. My question to you sir is that what can possibly a two bit mullah have over the government that he can train jihadis practically a stone’s throw away from the Presidency and your government is unable to stop him? How can he wield so much power that his students can take over land and buildings in the name of protests and your minister has to go and assure that all the illegally built mosques will be built again? How can he mock and threaten the government on T.V and not a soul of law enforcement moves a muscle?

You need to take difficult decisions and eliminate this extremism now before it destroys Pakistan completely. Our children deserve a country free of religious zealotry and bigotry. If this trend continues like this then mark my words Pakistan will be at the receiving end of Tomahawk Missiles very soon and history will blame you for brining Pakistan to this point of no return when you had the power to slay the dragon of Islamic extremism.

You are standing at the fork of history that every leader before you reached at one point or another during his/her political career. There is a hard way to your destiny and there is an easy way. The ones who took the hard way left their legacies for all humanity to cherish. People like Julius Cesar, Jinnah, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Ata-Turk to name a few while the easy way is littered with graves of leaders no one remembers. You need to decide if you have what it takes to carry a nation on your shoulders to the bright future our people deserve or if you want to be a casualty of changing times never to be heard from again.”

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Yeh watan tumhara hai

Posted on April 3, 2007. Filed under: Politics |

Our first forray in the world of youtubing. Here is a popular milli nagma in the voice of the great Mehdi Hasan to convey the pearls of wisdom in the form of advice from our elders and our humble effort to potray our failure as a nation to live up to the message using images of Pakistan.

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