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Posts Tagged ‘Pakistani Politicians’

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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Afghanistan Base of Terrorism

Posted by yourpakistan on January 15, 2014

Afghanistan & Terrorism

By Brig Asif Haroon Raja / Opinion Maker

When war against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan was won by the Mujaheddin duly supported by Pakistan in 1989, the US claimed that the war couldn’t have been won without surface to air stinger missiles. In its view, stingers made the difference and forced the Soviets to beat a hasty retreat. In the ongoing war on terror in which the US for all practical purposes has lost the war and its forces are in the process of pulling out from Afghanistan and will depart by December 2014, the US is trying to project drone as the winning weapon against terrorism. It must not be forgotten that it is not the gun which matters but the man behind the gun. ISAF has the most sophisticated and lethal weaponry of all kinds together with latest technology but still couldn’t defeat the ill-clad and ill-equipped and under-strength Taliban. Drone has been selected as a choice weapon since it is unmanned and free of combat risks to US soldiers. Mounting casualties, suicides and loss of heart by NATO soldiers were the reasons to bank upon drones.

Had Pakistan not stood up against Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, nothing could have prevented Afghanistan turning into a satellite State of USSR and its Islamic identity, its tribal customs and traditions and historical heritage, all would have been destroyed. It cannot be denied that Afghanistan snuggled out of the stranglehold of USSR because of Pakistan’s momentous role. In its bid to save Afghanistan, Pakistan itself got entangled in innumerable problems. Wave of conspiracies, intrigues and terrorism ruined Pakistan’s peace.

War against the Soviets produced Jihadis in Pakistan and gave rise to Kalashnikov and drug cultures. Most of the Jihadis who took part in Afghan Jihad were from FATA and some parts of settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) like Malakand. Religious seminaries imparting religious training were converted into military training centres duly funded by CIA and Saudi Arabia. Since Jihadis came from other Muslim countries as well, camaraderie developed among them. A small force of about 500-700 from Saudi Arabia under Osama bin Laden supported by CIA also took active part in Jihad. This force was later named as al-Qaeda in mid-1990s. Read the rest of this entry »

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Opinion: Pakistan, Middle East and Beyond

Posted by yourpakistan on May 31, 2013

Pakistan & Middle East

by Tabish Hijazy

The concept of the Asian Century is taking its roots in the global dynamics. Not only in economic terms – as Asia has been playing a key role in the global economy since the last two decade – but more so in geopolitical and geo strategic terms. Asia is the center stage of global politics, making it the most underlying and strategically potent military zone in the world. The uncertainty of regional politics, owing to the heavy penetration of Western hegemony, makes the region highly volatile and susceptible to high intensity conflicts. Post 9/11, the Middle East and the South Asian region is witnessing a change in the traditional strategic blocks in contemporary times. New alliances with proposed regional blocks are emerging, while the existing ones are going through a complete reshape. American war adventurism is on the cusp of instigating new wars in the region whilst shutting other theaters, in a desperate attempt to salvage some pride.

The deep anarchy and chaos in Asia is unprecedented in history, instigated by the Western powers to gain military significance and, most importantly, to ensure their permanent hegemony around the world. However, the tide of history may turn against the U.S., with some major geo strategic changes around the corner that may eventually doom the sun of the U.S. completely and give way  to a new horizon for the Eastern civilization. Read the rest of this entry »

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الطاف حسین صاحب، کہیں آپکی پارٹی نہ ختم ہوجائے

Posted by yourpakistan on April 30, 2013

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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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Pakistan: Children of a Lesser Evil

Posted by yourpakistan on March 3, 2013

Pakistani Politicians

By Humayun Gauhar -Opinion Maker

Once again, Pakistan is being sacrificed at the altar of elections that don’t dispense democracy but ‘predatorocracy’ in which the system leaves the oppressed no choice but to elect their oppressors, the prey its predator. That’s the long and short of it. Now this predatory system is at flashpoint. Once again the danger is that it could bring the country to flashpoint too, just as it did after the 1970 elections. Thus we are trapped between two evils – hold elections and we have had it; don’t hold elections and we have had it. The people have to choose between the rock of one predatory party and the hard place of another. Elections can cause chaos; delay anarchy. We are in a difficulty, to put it mildly.

Wiseacres say that people get the governments they deserve. A genius proclaimed on TV that until the people improve and correct themselves their leadership would not improve either. How, in a country where the lowest priority is given to the human condition beyond politicians uttering syrupy statements that they don’t mean and forget the moment they are elected. It makes one want to puke. How, where a pittance is spent on education, where government schools are housed in chicken farms without clean drinking water or toilets, where headmistress force girl students to massage their legs and feet and if they don’t do it properly they are beaten on their hands with a big fat baton? How when the ‘education’ that is imparted is outdated and dysfunctional and the ‘teachers’ themselves need education. This while a chief minister doles out cheap laptops not to educate children but to get votes. It’s all about votes, votes and more votes by creating optics, optics and more meaningless optics. It’s pathetic many times over.

“As elections get nearer I’m still not sure that they will be held on time because of the frenzy of bloodletting that is feared, not against the system but myriad groups killing one another at greater pace. There could be an orgy of blood. But that too is part of the evolutionary process so let us learn our lessons. It matters not a whit who the caretaker prime minister is or who the chief ministers, though I am not so sure that they will all come out of it with their reputations enhanced.” 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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Posted by yourpakistan on February 12, 2013

Black Hole

By Brig Samson S Sharaf – Opinion Maker

By the time Pakistan’s present Parliament hangs its gloves, the economy will be in a tailspin. Barring untoward incidents that may cause a delay in the forthcoming election schedules, the presentation of the financial budget 2012-13 will be left to a new care taker government, in all probability an extension of the economic team already in place. Deprived of time and on-job expertise, it will be an uphill assignment to make major readjustments to an economy already melted and sunk.

The Debt Trap

The first challenge for the caretakers and the new government that comes to power after the elections will be the debt trap. Debt mismanagement by the present government during its tenure needs to be marked with five black stars. From 2008 to 2012, Pakistan’s total debt has jumped from Rs 6,037 billion to Rs. 12,002 Billion, a walloping 108% nearly doubling all that Pakistan borrowed in 61 years. This unprecedented borrowing was cleverly folded into the misleading term of Debt-GDP Ratio.

The government borrowed recklessly from external sources only to waste away into a completely mismanaged and corrupt system The benefits of this inflow could not be passed on to the people. External borrowing increased from Rs. 2,762 billion in the first 61 years to Rs. 4,364 billion in the past four years, an increase of 65%. As a departure from its Debt-GDP Ratio mantra adopted in the past, the government now appears to point realistically towards revenue generation capacity, forex reserves and export earnings. Given that Pakistani currency in the same period has shed 31 rupee against the dollar, this amount will continue to rise. As an option the government will borrow to pay loans. Another option would be to increase Pakistan’s exports and drastically cut out the import bills. In view of the recession, energy crisis, high cost of transportation and a big part of value added exports shifted to other countries, this is impossible unless the environments improve over successive years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Connecting the Dots Around Qadri

Posted by yourpakistan on January 25, 2013

Tahir Ul Qadri Long March Saga

PKKH Exclusive | by Faiqa Salman

There is always a bigger picture, bigger players and bigger interests. Let’s look at our scenario in the region. The Afghan US war is the most pressing global issue in the region and Pakistan is the key player that comes after Afghanistan in bringing stability into the land. US forces will be leaving Afghanistan in 2014. NATO and US presence depends on the Pakistan’s support alone. US could leave today but it yet needs a face saving excuse to exit along with other regional interests none of which could be achieved so far and it partly blames Pakistan for it.

Elections in Pakistan are just months away. Despite all of its funding in shape of the Kerry Lugar Bill, the USAID etc. to make the Zardari Government successful, the inept corrupt government failed public support in the country and as a consequence failing the US cause. As it happens, PPP however much incapable, is the only force in Pakistan that can harbor US interests completely. Whereas smooth democratic transition in form of PTI or the coalition of PMLN with other Parties like JI is more likely to be underway, any one of which may force US troops to retreat even before 2014 or may not cooperate with the US backed Karzai regime. 

So what is the situation of Pakistan that suits US and NATO presence most.

  1. PPP being elected once again or given extension for an unlimited period of time.
  2. An Interim Government that suits its goals.
  3. Pak Army occupied internally acting as US proxy fighting its enemies in the region.
  4. A new democratic government that watches US interests after it leaves.

So where did Dr. Tahir ul Qadri fit in. Let me stray away from the topic. Putting the pieces of the puzzle together, the mystery of his showing up abruptly reveals that there is a very careful planning behind the comeback, but what is behind the planning? Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakistan a Victim Of Geopolitics – Analysis

Posted by yourpakistan on December 28, 2012



By: Shabbir H. Kazmi

Since independence Pakistan has remained the focus of global and regional powers. The country is termed a natural corridor for trade ‑ including energy products ‑ gateway to Central Asia and landlocked Afghanistan. There is a perception that often regimes are installed and toppled in Pakistan by the super powers to achieve their vested interest. This is evident from cold war era to occupation of Afghanistan and from love and hate relationship with India to creation of Taliban (phantom now having many offspring).

At present Pakistan is facing extremely volatile situation, which has become a threat for its own existence. Fighting a proxy war for United States in Afghanistan for nearly four decade has completely destroyed the economic and social fabric of the country.

Pakistan is suffering from the influx of foreign militant groups getting funds and arms from different global operators.

Analysts say over the years Pakistan has been towing foreign and military policy of the United States, which has often offended USSR, China, India and Iran. Therefore, one needs to analyze Pakistan’s relationship with Afghanistan, India and Iran, enjoying common borders with the country. It may not be wrong to say that at present Pakistan doesn’t enjoy cordial relation with none of these countries.  Read the rest of this entry »

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