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Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan Politics’

Pakistan’s Emerging Democracy or Hall of Shame

Posted by yourpakistan on September 5, 2014


PTI people & leadership protesting in front of Pakistan Parliament in Islamabad

By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD. / Opinion Maker

The nation’s capital is under siege for over two weeks. People want political change and justice to their grievances that is nowhere to be seen. The demonstrators are not hired agitators but real people standing for hard core moral principles and democratic values. Islamabad depicts chaos, extreme insecurity and frightening trend of political mismanagement and failed governance. PM Sharif was already on a life support system of his own making. Now, the oxygen tank is fast running out of the life maintaining system. Nawaz Sharif  has lost sense of direction and political maturity to see the mirror and to resign from the powerhouse gained by rigging the 2013 elections. Undoubtedly, Sharif lives in a matrix of lies. He does not have the courage to encounter a truthful statement. Informed Pakistani masses can tell the difference between the truth and a lie. The millions Freedom March to Islamabad is self-evident of this public awareness.

According to the DAWN news media report of 1st September, 3 political activists were killed and 450 demonstrators wounded by the police action. In a knowledge-based 21st century age of reason and people’s rights, the people are met by brutal force to change their thinking and motives for political change.

A reality check filters out the truth that Pakistan’s democracy faces formidable turbulent challenges even at its infancy without moving forward. When elections were held in May 2013, it signaled a glimpse of a proactive change-making impulse away from the four military coups’ previously consumed precious time and opportunities to bulldoze the imperatives of systematic political change to take roots on its own. Conscientious new generations of educated and intelligent Pakistanis look for hope and are desperate to evolve a system of institutionalized political change to ensure protection of human rights, freedom and dignity and respect for law and justice and a sustainable future. Not so, the traditional elite comprising of the old feudal lords and most being the by-products of military coups are tantamount to dispel any signs of freedom and human dignity out of the box. At stake is the integrity of Pakistan and its future under the old echelons of the few thugs and political conspirators.

Those who sabotaged the political change process include the Bhuttos, Zardari, Sharif and few infamous Generals producing the junk history. The so called politicians have stolen few adhesive labels from the contemporary history to claim political parties: The Muslim League (N), The Muslim League (Q) The Muslim League ( H), The PPP, The National Awami Party, The MQM and lot more. Analyzing critically, these turn out to be just titles, names and fake images carved out by individuals and small vested interest groups who could not find a place in people’s thoughts and inspiration for the good of Pakistan. Across the Pakistani public mind, they are no more than transitory migrating birds that come to grab political powers through intrigues and backdoor conspiracies and in some case with foreign powers keen to make Pakistan a satellite for their own strategic priorities. All rational calculations point out to a new people’s spirit and movement demanding peaceful political manifestation for the good of the country.

Pakistani nation faces many critical perils in its search for a peaceful democratic future. Read the rest of this entry »

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Future of Democracy in Pakistan

Posted by yourpakistan on March 16, 2014


Democracy has had a rough ride in Pakistan but the essentials, which fortify democracy, are clearly discernible on the national horizon, such as:

  • The civil and the military trust.
  • Our democratic ethos.
  • The Agents of change
  • End of dynastic Politics

Democracy in Pakistan

Mirza Aslam Baig – Opinion Maker

The Trust:

The trust was lost first in 1958, when the civilian government was dismissed by General Ayub. He was forced to abdicate in 1968, but handed over power to General Yahya Khan instead of Chairman Senate, as the constitution demanded. General Yahya after the 1970 elections promised to call the National Assembly session in early April 1971 at Dacca, but soon changed his mind, which resulted into the revolt and the military action, leading to fall of Dacca. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto lost trust when he summarily dismissed, both, the Army and Air Chiefs in 1973. The distrust shaped into open defiance by ACM Asghar Khan who urged General Zia to dismiss Bhutto government and hang him to death. General Zia obliged.

In 1988, when General Zia died in the air crash, we the three services chiefs restored the constitution within three hours of General Zia’s death and handed over power to the – Chairman Senate, with the promise that elections must be held in ninety days. Elections were held on 16 November 1988, and Pakistan Peoples Party emerged as the largest party. On 18 November, I invited Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to dinner and briefed her on all matters that she needed to know as the future prime minister. My purpose was to create the trust lost after the hanging of Bhutto by the military ruler. The trust lasted for about ten years, though shaken by 58-2(B), and was again lost when Nawaz Sharif summarily dismissed two Army chiefs and General Musharraf struck. General Kiani restored the trust by opting out of 2008 elections manipulations. Ever since a balanced level of trust has been maintained, now affirmed by General Raheel that, “The military will act under the policy of political leadership”. These are healthy signs. However, the way General Musharraf’s trial for high treason, is being over stretched, may well cross the level of tolerance, once again, upsetting the present balance of trust. Read the rest of this entry »

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PAKISTAN: THE POLITICAL-MILITARY CONTEXT

Posted by yourpakistan on September 3, 2013


Pakistan Political & Military Governments

By Brig Samson S Sharaf – Opinion Maker

Pakistan’s policy making over the past 65 years is influenced by Pakistan’s security concerns emanating from a hostile neighborhood. There are many reasons why security perspectives eclipsed socio-economic considerations thereby holding the country hostage to elites. Amongst them is lack of credible second tier political leadership post 1949, linkages between the residual political elites, bureaucracy and military high command and facilitation of a corporatocracy during the decade of progress. This elitist and exclusive culture deprived space for the evolution of a broad based popular and sustainable political order. A coterie of few held the entire nation hostage.

In the past five years the question of civilian supremacy over military attracted the liberal circles. Unfortunately, pot shots by illiterate commentators and a trending media relegated the entire discourse to acrimonious debates riding airwaves. Memo-gate is an example in which a peevish effort to garner US support to checkmate the army became public.

A realistic, balanced and mature approach to civil-military relations holds far more promise for the military corporate culture, exclusivism and professionalism than over indulgence in matters that are not its fortes. This is what all developed countries have achieved. South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey, Chile, Argentina and Mexico have grown to become world’s top economies after militaries have been successfully confined to their professional duties. This was not a result of one overawing the other; but because all parties had agreed to a common national agenda. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hydra Headed Monster

Posted by yourpakistan on July 6, 2013


Pakistan was created in the name of Islam

Pakistan’s leaders didn’t make it into an Islamic state in true sense because of battle between the secular’s and Islamist’s

by Brig Asif Haroon Raja – Opinion Maker

Hydra Monsters

For all practical purposes, Pakistan has been administered on secular system while Islam has remained in name only. Except for Gen Ziaul Haq, all our leaders were endowed with secular bent of mind. The reason is that Pakistan’s parliamentary system, law and system of justice, civil administration, police, military training doctrines and banking system were inherited from the British and no change has been brought in them. Most of our social customs have been adopted from Hinduism because of centuries old association with the Hindus in united India.

Various models of governance were tried in Pakistan but Islamic system was never tested. All systems miserably failed to alleviate the sufferings of the downtrodden. Gen Zia was close to introducing Shariah but he died mysteriously in a plane crash. Nawaz Sharif during his second stint in power tried to apply Shariah but he was prematurely booted out by Gen Musharraf. Democracy was given a chance for full five years from 2008 to March 2013, but it completely failed and disenchanted the people.

It is ironic that claiming to be Islamic Republic of Pakistan, our leaders do not pickup heart to adopt the system espoused by our Holy Prophet (pbuh) and his four Caliphs and instead ardently cling to Westminster democracy which has failed to satisfy the people. This unexplained reluctance is despite the fact that great majority in Pakistan being conservative yearn for Shariah. Children of the underprivileged receive education in Madrassahs where they learn Quran by heart. They become Hafiz in tender age but their level of comprehension remains low because of lack of education. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pirate Ship

Posted by yourpakistan on June 4, 2013


Pirate Ship

By Humayun Gauhar – Opinion Maker

Though Pakistan is being buffeted by wind and wave and caught in an impending Perfect Triple Storm, the worst thing to be is pessimistic. Those with Faith never lose hope, knowing that God knows best. Descending into hopelessness makes crashing onto rocks and icebergs inevitable.

Conversely, over-optimism based on nothing but wishful thinking is equally dangerous. Get realistic and base your analysis on facts good and bad. Start thinking for God’s sake. Take superficial media and social gossip with a pinch of salt. Think for yourself and think things through, putting your illusions, delusions, wish lists and prejudices aside.

If it helps, remember that the fundamentals of the US, UK and Japanese economies are even worse than ours. Where they are better is less bad leadership. But if their economic decline continues, centrifugal forces in the first two will arise too. After all man, not nature makes states if man thinks that under this particular dispensation his lot will improve. When it stops improving the justification for the existence of the state evaporates and it collapses to morph into other state or states or merge with other existing ones. Skeptical? Remember the Soviet Union and East Europe?

We are not a rudderless ship without a steering wheel. Our problem is that our rudder is alien and thus doesn’t work for our ship. It only works for its owners and top managers who are all pirates so such a ship suits them just fine. The hapless passengers keep sacking and reemploying the helmsmen regularly in a zero sum game, not realizing that they come from the pirates who have hijacked their ship of state. But now the question arises: are pirates good enough to steer and navigate the ship out of this Triple Storm and to where? The pirates’ destination is different, passengers’ different. The pirates are products of the same nursery of colonized minds that are intent on protecting and fortifying the man-eating iniquitous status quo that kills the passengers but enriches the owners. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakistan: Politicians Stand Exposed

Posted by yourpakistan on April 24, 2013


Pakistan Corrupt Politicians

Handlers of democracy are corrupt to the core

By Brig Asif Haroon Raja – Opinion Maker

Notwithstanding the long list of failings of political and military regimes, there were good points to brag about as well. It is unfortunate that the last coalition government had nothing to show and feel proud of. The period from March 2008 to March 16, 2013 will be remembered as the darkest periods of Pakistan’s chequered history. The last government is busy highlighting its so-called achievements through page-size ads in newspapers. It is however quiet on its loot and plunder which continued till its last day in power. As if five years of loot was insufficient to rob this poor nation, the outgoing looters passed laws authorizing the PM, Speaker National Assembly, Chairman Senate, Sindh Chief Minister and Speaker lifetime security and perks and privileges.

On the last day of its tenure, the outgoing government issued 70 CNG licenses; Speaker Fehmida approved 100% increase in benefits and allowances of all members of National Assembly; income of Speaker, Deputy Speaker, ministers and special assistants increased by 40%; entire staff of Ministry of Information given foreign postings; billions of rupees dished out and banks remained open to ensure transaction. It gives a glimpse of the lust and greed of parasitic rulers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakistan: Election Fever

Posted by yourpakistan on April 18, 2013


pakistan elections - political parties flags

By Brig Asif Haroon Raja – Opinion Maker

May 11, 2013 has been announced as polling day. Scrutiny of nominations papers has been completed and submission of appeals to election tribunals and their decisions ended on 16th. Final list will be issued on 18th. Election campaign will reach feverish pitch from 19 April. Notwithstanding the eagerness of the candidates and voters, security environment are not conducive for holding smooth, fair and free elections. Punjab is the only province where the security situation is not as bad because governance of Punjab government was far better than in other provinces.

Besides security concerns and fears that elections will be bloody, there is growing skepticism over the impartiality of caretakers and Election Commission (EC). Questions asked by the Returning Officers to ascertain whether the candidates fulfill the requirements of Articles 62 and 63 have generated a heated debate. The main objection is that focus should have been on financial impropriety rather than on testing candidate’s knowledge of Islam. Seculars are in ugly mood and are demanding scrapping of Gen Zia invented Articles in the constitution, not realizing that these were duly approved by the outgoing parliament while introducing 18th Amendment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Meeting between Nawaz Sharif & Pervez Mushara

Posted by yourpakistan on March 13, 2013


Nawaz Sharif & Parvez Sharif Recent Meeting in KSA

These days news about a meeting between Mr Nawaz Sharif and Gen (rtd) Pervez Musharaf in Saudi Arabia has hit electronic and social media. It is not blankly denied by either party. Speaking on a TV program, Maj. Gen (rtd) Rashed Qureshi and Ahmad Raza Kasuri had neither denied nor accepted it. As NS and PM both visited Saudi Arbia in recent months the observers presume a meeting must have taken place. They support their arguments primarily on the way Pervez Musharaf spoke in his last press conference about his return to Pakistan and the way his body language reflected his decision which was contrary to similar announcements previously.

By Dr Ghayur Ayub – Opinion Maker

One can look at this meeting against certain perspectives;

  • American perspective; Zardari who is known for pulling out gun from his hip at eleventh hour, shot the Americans in their back when he agreed to hand over Gwadar to Chinese and let Pak-Iran gas pipeline deal go through. Americans would do anything to kill these deals or at least put a break to them. Coming eighteen months are crucial for them when they leave Afghanistan. They don’t want to see Chinese holding the jugular vein of the world economy at Gwadar or let an under-sanctioned Iran supply gas to Pakistan.

  • KSA perspective; Saudis are weary of creeping Iranian influence in Arab world especially after ‘Arab Spring’. With opening of Pak-Iran gas pipeline they can see Iran not only spreading its tentacles towards nuclear Pakistan but in the process losing Pakistan as its trusted friend. They want to keep Iran politically isolated from Pakistan. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Magic Wand

Posted by yourpakistan on February 24, 2013


Pakistan Magic Wand

 By Humayun Gauhar

It was most uncharacteristic of former Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh to resign at the cusp of maybe elections. Speculation became rife. He is not the type to abandon ship about to reach port. His bosses like him. Conclusion: he must be the ruling party’s nominee for caretaker prime minister. For once, speculation is not off the mark.  But as the hackneyed adage goes, “There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip.”

The best outcome would be for Hafeez Shaikh as consensus candidate, else it would go to a multi-party parliamentary committee. If no consensus is formed there, names from the leaders of the House and the opposition go to the Election Commission for final decision. The EC is likely to select Shaikh, but you never know.

Whoever the caretaker PM is, if he is there only for 90 days his task sounds simple: to hold clean elections. But herein lies the rub, for the task is not so simple, not in a country riven by turmoil. There is so much bloodletting in large swathes of Pakistan that peaceful elections seem a pipedream. Then, our demographic profile is outdated because a population census was not held in 2008. How can you hold elections when you don’t even know how many people you have, their ages and addresses, the gender balance etcetera? Without a census you cannot delimit constituencies and create new ones to accommodate a larger population. Without up-to-date representation elections would be partially invalid ab initio.

Given this problem accompanied by political and economic turmoil and the urgent need for a fresh IMF programme that won’t come without a stable and sensible government, speculation is also rife that the caretaker might get a judicial extension to first undertake fast track reforms. The task then becomes even less simple. In that case Hafeez Shaikh is the best of the names being bandied about. He is young, honest, God fearing, humble, highly educated, well regarded in the international financial and diplomatic communities, understands both types of government, a consensus builder and peacemaker who likes to take everyone along because he doesn’t have an out of control ego. Read the rest of this entry »

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America’s Global Torture Network

Posted by yourpakistan on February 21, 2013


America Terror Networks

By Robert Scheer

The title, “Globalizing Torture,” says it all. This meticulous accounting of the network of torture chambers that the United States has authorized in more than 54 nations is a damning indictment that should make all of us in this country cringe with shame.

The report is a product of the Open Society Foundations, funded by international financier and philanthropist George Soros, who, as a young Jew, suffered through the Nazi occupation of Hungary and emerged from that experience an uncompromising fighter for human rights. That his lifelong goal to “foster accountability for international crimes,” reflected in his organization’s mission statement, now includes our government is a condemnation as awful as it is deserved.

When it comes to torture in the post 9/11 era, the record of the United States is so appalling that one must question our claimed abhorrence of the barbarism of other nations. In fact, the essence of our rendition program has been to outsource torture to those countries most sadistic in their use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” That is flattery of a most twisted sort.

For example, Syria, now universally condemned for its contempt for human life, was chosen as the site to torture Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen detained by U.S. authorities at John F. Kennedy Airport. The apology and financial compensation he received from Canadian officials is only one of three instances of governments apologizing, and that list does not include the United States.

Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt, known for its horrid interrogation tactics condemned in the Arab Spring uprising, was selected by the U.S. to interrogate Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, who “under threat of torture at the hands of Egyptian officials, fabricated information relating to Iraq’s provision of chemical and biological weapons training to al-Qaida,” the report states. That is the very misinformation that Colin Powell relied on in his U.N. speech justifying the Iraq invasion. So much for the evil rationalization for torture as a source of reliable information, offered in the propaganda film “Zero Dark Thirty.” Read the rest of this entry »

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