Archive for the ‘Pakistan’ Category

Awake, arise or be forever fallen!

October 2, 2011 Leave a comment

By Engr Nasir Jamal

Pakistan was to be a country where the Muslims of the subcontinent could fashion their lives according to the principles of Islam. This was the driving force behind the idea of the Two Nations Theory. The Hindus aimed at dominating the political power once the British left. The Muslims leaders jolted by the upcoming bleak future for their community voiced their concerns by demanding a separate homeland.

It is an irony of fate that the country that was achieved in the name of Islam and the Muslim ideals was made to suffer badly in the name of Islam. The Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had spoken clearly in his speech to the constituent assembly on 1947 that every man will be an equal citizen of Pakistan. He had said in unequivocal terms that “in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”
It is unfortunate that the Quaid-i-Azam could not live long enough to put the country on the road to progress and prosperity. The dream seen by the leaders of the Pakistan Movement turned sour, and political power fell in the hands of feudal lords and corrupt civil and military bureaucrats. The dirty game political intrigues and conspiracies that started soon with the death of the Quaid-i-Azam has never stopped.
It was the result of one such courtly intrigue that General Zia sacked the elected government in 1977 and continued to cling to power until 1988 when he died as a result of a plane crash. It was during the oppressive regime of General Zia that the Union of Soviet and Socialist Republics of Russia (USSR) invaded and occupied Afghanistan. The jihad was imposed on the people of Pakistan. It is interesting to note that it was the western powers that called for a holy jihad against the Russia.
Dollars began to come, and we all know it very well how General Zia rejected the money earlier given for the services rendered to the western interests as the “peanut.”
It was during those days that Pakistan saw an exponential increase in madrasahs where training for jihad was given. The trained jihadists were sent to Afghanistan to fight a proxy war for the US and other allied power. The USSR finally withdrew from Afghanistan in 1988 and with this the involvement of the United States and other western powers also came to sudden end.
The jihad soon spilled over in Pakistan and armed groups started challenging the writ of the government in the tribal agencies and other areas where they had influence. With the absence of the perennial flow of dollars from the United States, these groups started criminal activities such as kidnappings, extortion and smuggling. It is unfortunate that these heavily armed groups that had fought a proxy war for the US were used by certain unscrupulous elements in our country for achieving some short-term objectives.
One such group that has shot into prominence recently is the Haqqani network. Top ranking officials of the United States have alleged that the Haqqani network headed by Jalaluddin Haqqani is being used by the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI to wage a proxy war in Afghanistan. Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff has directly accused the network for its role in the deadly attack on the US embassy in Afghanistan.
Threats of a conflict with the United States, the only superpower in the world, cannot be ruled out under present circumstances. Some are saying that the United States must be told clearly that Pakistan is a sovereign country and hence any adventurism on the part of the US will be counter-productive. But can we become too straightforward to a country on whose benevolence and financial aid we are always beholden?
It is time that the leaders of Pakistan in general and the people of Pakistan, in particular, think deeply as to how they want to run the country. It is obvious that we as a nation and a country have been making serious mistakes in the past. The seeds of religious intolerance, extremism, bigotry and hatred have brought forth bitter fruits. We allowed ourselves to be misled by petty Islamist slogans, and the situation has come to such a sorry pass that here in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan the Muslims are killing the Muslims without any compunction.
Pakistan that had to emerge as a leader in the Muslim world perhaps in the fields of education and science has become a seething cauldron of religious extremism and hatred. Intolerance has grown to such an extent that innocent people are put to death for having a different point of view. The bloody murder of Governor Salam Taseer is the Punjab is a sharp reminder of the pervasiveness of the extremist elements in our society.
The Taliban were called as “our children” by some of our leaders. They used to take pride in their creation. They have now become a killing machine devoid of any common sense and regard for Islam and its noble principles. They have been killing innocent people in Pakistan without any remorse. Suicide bomb blasts have become so commonplace and we as a nation have become so hard-hearted by the frequent occurrences of such deadly attacks that we do not give much importance to them unless the death count is very high.
The Taliban have spread their evil presence in the settled areas of the country as well. Even big cities like Karachi have become a breeding ground for new recruits. Recently, a report was published in an Urdu newspaper published simultaneously from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad that the Taliban have strengthened their positions in the metropolitan city of Karachi. The report made a startling revelation that the target killings in the Karachi were deliberately started in order to divert the attention of the law-enforcing agencies.
The presence of the Taliban in Karachi and their ever increasing influence in certain areas should be an eye-opener for the people that have real power in the country. The threat was forewarned, but it was not given due attention because of political expediency. A large number of Taliban commanders with heavy cache of arms have been arrested from various areas of Karachi. No wonder that the highly sensitive Mehran base of the Pakistan Navy was attacked in such a planned manner, and the assailants were able to inflict heavy damage to the navy installation. Our enemies are closing in on us from all sides. They are propagating in the world that the religious extremism is growing in Pakistan unboundedly. The world is being told that the nuclear weapon in Pakistan can fall in the hands of religious extremists who could use it against western targets. Here in Pakistan we tend to live in a state of denial. We deny and safely assume that the threat does not exist at all. Awake, arise or be for ever fallen!

The writer can be reached at

Of Past and Present Accusations

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment

BY Engr. Nasir Jamal

Former Home Minister of Sindh Zulfiqar Mirza levelled a number of serious allegations against Muttahida Quami Movement in his highly publicized press conference on 28th August 2011. Mirza holding the Holy Writ in his hands claimed that there were JIT reports against the MQM workers who were involved in targeted killings in Karachi, he condemned Rehman Malik as a compulsive liar and held him responsible for the unabated targeted killings in Karachi.

Mirza asserted that the MQM was directly responsible for the murder of the journalist Wali Khan Babar. He also spoke about his meeting with the MQM leader in London in which the MQM leader allegedly spoke about a US plan for breaking Pakistan, which was being supported by Altaf Hussain.

Mirza showed a letter allegedly written by Altaf Hussain to the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair committing a number of things in exchange for favours such as share in governance and government employment. The letter also had a point about disbanding the premier intelligence agency of the country – the famous ISI.

Soon after the press conference by Mirza was over the electronic media went into frenzy and started debating the contents of the press conference in overstretched programmes. Questions were raised and fingers were pointed at the MQM and some did not even hesitate to condemn the MQM without getting their point of view in their zeal to outdo others.

It has been argued in the press, and the electronic media that the JIT reports against the MQM workers suspected of being involved in the targeted killings are genuine. Innocent until proven guilty is the basic principle of the judicial system, but perhaps it does not apply to the workers of the MQM. The MQM worker can be condemned of anything without a semblance of proof and then ferocious operations are launched to teach them a lesson.

The MQM was accused of the infamous Jinnahpur conspiracy to break Pakistan during the repressive military operation that started against the MQM in 1992. Journalists from the Punjab were flown into Karachi to show maps of Jinnahpur allegedly discovered from the MQM offices. The MQM was dubbed as an anti-state party and mere affiliation with the MQM was made a crime. It was in August 2009 that two senior army officers came on TV channels and said that the maps were fabricated. This was done with a view to create a justification for the operation against the MQM and to subdue the sympathy wave that could have been generated in view of killings and torture of the MQM workers. Obviously no one has sympathies with the traitors.

It took nineteen years before someone had the moral courage to accept that the charge was unfounded but during these nineteen years the loyalty of a people towards the state was held in question. A large number of guiltless people had to pay the price of this baseless charge with their blood. Many became displaced in their own city, and many had to leave for foreign countries in order to escape the state persecution.

Hakim Said was killed on 17th October 1998. Conspiracy theories splashed across the newspapers within no time, and the MQM was accused for the brutal murder. Hakim Said was a noble soul, and his murder evoked universal condemnation across the country. Another fierce operation started against the MQM. Chief of the then Intelligence Bureau Brig Iqbal Khan Niazi appeared on TV channels on 22nd July 2010 and said that the MQM was falsely accused by the government in order to create a justification for an operation against it. It took nearly twelve years for the reality to come out, but the MQM was made to suffer during this period for crimes which it had not committed.

Let’s now turn to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) reports pointing fingers at the MQM and its workers. If the charges against the MQM workers are genuine and there is incontrovertible evidence to substantiate the charges, why are the cases not being brought at the proper forum in order to convict the accused? If the JIT reports are based upon facts, they should be produced in the courts and let the law take its own course. But perhaps those who have made these JIT reports know it very well that they will be torn to pieces if they dared to produce them in the courts. Mirza also knows that nothing can be proven on the basis of confessional statements that are extracted through physical torture. Even the courts do not give much credence to such statements.

The MQM was accused of direct involvement in the gruesome murder of Wali Khan Babar. There must always be a motive for a murder. No one kills anyone without any reason. This murder has been foisted upon the MQM only because the unfortunate journalist was killed by the ruthless killers in Liaquatabad. But what could be the possible reason? Was he doing any story that could have troubled the MQM? A number of journalists and anchor persons hurl accusations at the MQM and make severe criticism of the MQM, but they work freely. Babar was doing covering the operation against the drug traffickers in Pahalwan Goth. He had never run any story for which the MQM might have felt any grudge towards the ill-fated journalist. If only our journalists had shown a little professionalism in this case, the killers could have been exposed.

A lot has been said about letter allegedly written by the MQM leader Altaf Hussain. Certificates of treasons are being distributed once again. Traitors, Indian agents, American agents, go back to India. This is what we have been seeing in various comments made on the news stories and social media. Altaf Hussain is being accused of treason for asking the British Prime Minister to disband the ISI but what about the national leader who wrote to a US senator asking him to use his influence to stop the military and economic aids to Pakistan. What about the appeal to ask the Indian Prime Minister to engage the Pakistani army on the borders.

If what was written to the US senator does not amount to treason nothing else can. But here perhaps the sons and daughters of the soil can get away with almost anything. Those who made innumerable sacrifices for the country have become immigrants and those who offered unquestioned allegiance to the British have become the inheritors of the Quaid-i-Azam.

The immigrants from the minority provinces or Mohajirs as they are called were a scattered lot before the MQM. Altaf Hussain gave them a political thought and strengthened them into a bond of unity and discipline that had no parallel in the history of the country. The feudalistic ruling clique does not like the political ideology of the MQM to take root in the country because it would mean an end to their tenacious grip on power in the country.

Every now and then, they raise a dust storm against the MQM. Conspiracies after conspiracies are hatched to deprive the Urdu-speaking people of their political rights. How long will this continue? They call Altaf Hussain a traitor. But they called Mujeeb a traitor as well. The Bengalis were despised and hated although it was in Dacca that the Muslim League was formed in 1906, and it was a Bengali who proposed the Pakistan Resolution.

The distribution of these certificates of treason must stop immediately. Pakistan belongs to everyone. Pushing an entire segment of the population to the wall is bound to produce friction in the body politics. The only way to remove these ever increasing frictions is to give the people their legitimate rights. Let the people feel free to pursue their political aspirations. Let the people be the judge of what is right and what is wrong.

Let no leniency be shown to the criminals. Let them be hanged and let them be hanged high so that others may take heed.  But the charge must be proved before condemning as guilty.


%d bloggers like this: