Trying to reduce us to nothingness

By Dr. Shireen M Mazari
The present rulers have certainly tried to reduce Pakistan to a joke in the eyes of the world. Here we are confronting one of the largest natural disasters of the world, as even the UN has conceded, and our President has been busy frolicking in Europe with his team of loyalists who are giving out lies, half-truths and propaganda – in fact anything to conceal the truth. Take for instance, the claim that the President’s trip to the UK was an official trip. After being asked through an email from a Pakistani journalist, whether this was the case, the British Foreign Office spokesperson, Natasha Khan, responded (August 6th) with this one-liner: “President Zardari is not on an official state visit.”

President Zardari himself claimed that he was in the UK to develop trade links with the international community but ended up having only one official meeting – and that to with PM Cameron, not any trade delegation. As for the Marshall Plan he claims he got the UK to agree to, only he seems to be aware of it as there has been nothing coming out from the British government and apparently all that has happened is that we once again pleaded with the Brits to take up the case of access for Pakistani exports to the EU markets with Brussels.

Meanwhile, costs aside – and those too are substantial given the nightly rate at the London five star hotel the President and his entourage stayed at, plus the costs of the chartered flight to Birmingham, plus the costs of the dozen or so luxury limos that were hired and thousands of pounds paid for the hiring of the International Convention Centre in Birmingham and so on – it is what was said and left unsaid that was truly damaging for Pakistan. The first issue is of course the most critical – the unsubstantiated accusations uttered by UK Prime Minister Cameron in India against Pakistan, and his refusal to retract or even modify them. One had expected that at the very least President Zardari would take this issue up since he not only refused to cancel his trip, but also refused to cancel his meeting with Cameron. Unfortunately, in his meeting with Cameron, no protest was registered. To make matters worse, President Zardari actually seemed to be in agreement with Cameron’s remarks because in an interview given later to The Telegraph (August 7th), he made a reference to rogue spies when talking of the ISI whom he said were a thing of the past. So effectively he was echoing what Cameron had said, but to show how he was making the difference he added that he had full control over the intelligence agencies and only now “everybody is completely accountable!” So if the Pakistan nation or any state institution was expecting a strong defence against the Cameron remarks they were not going to get it from the Presidency! In fact, President Zardari did not even take up the issue of the Pakistani students who were arrested on alleged terrorist charges and then found not to be guilty but were still deported – thereby having their future all but destroyed. Yet, we heard nothing on this count either from President Zardari. If he saw the ISI guilty as charged by Cameron, surely he could have pleaded the cause of these innocent Pakistani youth at least?

It is no wonder, then, that the British political elite can ride roughshod over Pakistan and the British media can go to town ridiculing and lampooning the Pakistani head of state. Even someone who is considered a friend of Pakistan like Baroness Wasti made a strange defence of Prime Minister Cameron’s remarks in an article by declaring that friendship “is meaningless unless you can be honest with each other!” That is true but does honesty demand that you publicly level unsubstantiated allegations against your friend in the territory of the foe of that friend? Where was the mutual respect Wasti talked about in Cameron’s remarks and subsequent reiteration of that position? However, given President Zardari’s absurd remarks about the UK-Pakistan historical relationship – and one only has to go throw the history of Partition to realise this – obviously even Baroness Wasti feels she can pull a fast one on Pakistan while defending her Party leader and Prime Minister!

President Zardari’s tragedy is that no one is Pakistan, save his own loyal band, was in a mood to take the cudgels up in his defence or at least against the manner in which he was treated in the UK. After all, he defied his suffering nation to go on this jaunt at a time when he should have been offering succour and support to his flood-ravaged people. It is our tragedy that our leaders are in no mood to defend Pakistan, its people or its institutions against the negative agendas of external foes posing as friends. In fact, since successive governments have allowed the US to kill our people while violating our sovereignty at will, one can conclude that neither the previous uniformed dispensation nor the present civilian democratic dispensation is prepared to take up the cudgels for the Pakistani nation against the US and the agenda of the Indo-US nexus. As for the UK, it never befriended Pakistan, especially on the issue of Kashmir and if our leaders are not well-versed in our history, they need to get rid of this critical deficit. That is the only way they will finally realise who has truly been Pakistan’s friend in our times of need. Read more of this post

Zardari Faced Shoe Attack in Birmingham


A demonstrator holds a shoe up to to a manipulated photograph of President Zardari of Pakistan outside of the International Convention Centre in central Birmingham on August 7, 2010 as the Zardari speaks to supporters during a visit to England. President Zardari has faced criticism for leaving Pakistan to promote his son's political campaign while the country faces a national crisis due to severe flooding. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal

BIRMINGHAM, England — A protestor threw a shoe at President Zardari in protest at his decision to visit UK despite PM Cameron’s insulting comments and the floods crisis in Pakistan. More information to follow on this, including video.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari was to attend a rally here Saturday as protesters demonstrated against his presence in Britain during the flooding disaster back home.

Zardari was due to speak at a political event in Birmingham, central England, for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) members and leading figures in the Pakistani community in Britain.

Hundreds of demonstrators from various standpoints gathered outside the International Convention Centre venue in Britain’s second city, chanting and waving placards.

It comes the day after Zardari held talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron, when the pair agreed to step up their anti-terror cooperation following Cameron’s controversial claims about Pakistani attitudes towards terrorism.

With the flooding disaster affecting up to 15 million people in Pakistan, Zardari has come under fire from some quarters in Pakistan and Britain for continuing with his trip to Europe during the crisis.

Some demonstrators held up shoes to pictures of Zardari, while others held placards reading “1000s dying, president is holidaying”, “Thousands killed, millions homeless, what president is laughing for?” and “Are the Zardaris enjoying England while Pakistan drowns?”.

Mohammed Khalil, a local official from the Tehreek-e-Insaf party headed by former Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan, was among those protesting against Zardari.

“His own people are dying for food, there’s calamity there,” he told.

“He should be there organising for his own people. Instead he’s here with so many people. The government is paying all the expense for that. That money should be spent on the people of Pakistan, not on himself.”Taji Mustafa, from the Hizb-ut-Tahrir organisation, said Pakistanis were outraged.

“There is no self-respecting leader in the world who in this time of dire national crisis, while people are drowning, he is drowning in enjoyment, he is drowning having lavish dinners in the company of his die-hard supporters,” he said.

Wajid Ali Burkey, a PPP business forums coordinator in Britain, defended Zardari as he went into the event. “In the last 70 years we have not had such a disaster. But I don’t think the president being there or not being there would have made any difference,” he said. The demonstrators “have a right of opinion to believe he should not have come, but I personally believe it is very important.”

The PPP is co-chaired by Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

A PPP spokesman had said Bhutto Zardari would attend the Birmingham event and might speak at it but the 21-year-old on Saturday denied the rally was meant to launch his political career as he opened a donation point at the Pakistani High Commission in London.

The Oxford University history graduate vehemently defended his father’s visit to Europe. “He’s doing the best he can and what he thinks is best to help the people of Pakistan” he said.

One protestor threw a shoe at President Zardari during his address to the conventionin in protest at his decision to visit UK, despite PM Cameron’s insulting comments and the floods crisis in Pakistan.

Must see:

– Zardari shoe-hurling game introduced on Internet

FaceTweet it!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

A revolution?

By Marvi Memon

These days there is a lot of talk about revolution and a change of system. I see it as a control-alt-delete button on the keyboard. A clean up action of sorts where a new benchmark of what is acceptable in politics needs to be set up. The constitution is fine. So is parliamentary democracy. The problem is that no one sticks to the system. How does one ensure zero tolerance for wavering from the system? Simple — by ensuring that when there is a wavering from set rules, people are punished according to rules.

There is a common joke going around Islamabad these days: hang a few hundred politicians and this country will be fine. What this seems to suggest is that the politicians are the core problem. I feel that the responsibility lies on the politicians to govern since they are responsible for the fate of millions.

What should one expect from politicians? That they will make good laws and implement them. That they will create an Islamic, social welfare state. That they will rule in an egalitarian way. That if they have clean water to drink themselves, they won’t sleep until they have found a way to provide each Pakistani with clean drinking water too. That if they have access to education and basic health units, they will ensure that each Pakistani has the right to education and health facilities too. And until we don’t give the basic amenities to the poor, we have no business wasting each other’s time politicking.

There is a long list of revolts, rebellions, and revolutions in world history. They happen when people reach the peak of the minimum acceptable level of humiliation and are ready to turn out those responsible for their misery. Read more of this post

Abusing the living and dead

By Dr James Zogby

I am not easily shocked. I’ve been doing this work for too many years and I’ve seen too much to become outraged by the bad behaviour or acts of indecency or inhumanity. But two stories that recently came across my desk were so disgraceful, and in some ways dangerous, that I feel compelled to write about them. Both featured players in the Middle East crassly abusing the living and the dead.

The first of these involved Israel’s Mossad and a practice they used to secure a fraudulent passport for one of their agents who participated in the January 19, 2010, assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

Germany’s law offers citizenship and a passport to the descendants of pre-World War II, especially the German citizens of Jewish faith who were forced to flee the country to escape the horrors of the Holocaust. Taking advantage of this provision, a Mossad agent claiming to be Michael Bodenheimer, the grandson of a German Jewish survivor, secured a German passport which he later used to enter the UAE where he was involved in the murder of al Mabhouh.

A few weeks back the Jerusalem Post reported that the real Michael Bodenheimer, an Orthodox Rabbi who emigrated from the United States to Israel, claimed that his identity had been stolen by the Mossad agent, and that he had “never asked for a German passport…[and] never had one.” The real Michael Bodenheimer and his family were, of course, concerned that their name was implicated in an assassination. More than just this abuse of one innocent citizen, there is the concern with the Mossad’s cavalier abuse of the German citizenship provision. Israel’s behaviour in this regard is dangerous. It put the real Michael Bodenheimer at risk while casting suspicion on an entire class of people, Jews who have in the past, and who may in the future, seek German citizenship. As such, it callously exploits those who were murdered and the descendants of those who survived.

Then there are the recent revelations about the Iranian woman who was murdered in the demonstrations that erupted protesting last year’s Iranian elections. The woman, Neda Agha-Soltan, quickly became internationally recognised as a martyr and symbol of the “Green Revolution”. Her face was used on CNN and BBC and plastered on the front pages of newspapers around the world where it appeared with the tagline The Angel of Iran. This photo was picked up by the Voice of America and spread to Iran where it appeared on posters and T-shirts.

The story is true, Neda Agha-Soltan was murdered, but the picture that spread virally is not of her. Careless journalism, to be kind, picked up the Facebook photo of one, Neda Soltani, a quite lovely Iranian teaching assistant and student of English Literature at Tehran University. Despite the mistaken identity, the photo stuck.

A piece on Foreign Policy’s website last week carefully traces not just the carelessness that led to the mistaken identity, but more disturbingly the consequences for the living Neda who is the innocent victim of this error. As she sought to reclaim her identity and her face, the Iranian regime claimed that “Neda lives”, that no murder had been committed. When she went online demanding that her picture be taken down, she received threats and abusive responses from supporters of the revolt who argued that she was threatening to deny their cause the martyred Angel of Iran. Read more of this post

Barbarity of Indian Army in Indian Occupied Kashmir

Indian atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir From Jan. 1989 to May 31, 2010

  • Total Killings* = 93,241
  • Custodial Killings = 6,969
  • Civilians Arrested = 117,117
  • Structures Arsoned/Destroyed = 105,845
  • Women Widowed = 22,726
  • Children Orphaned = 107,347
  • Women gang-raped / Molested = 9,912



Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

India tops heroin consumption in South Asia: UN

ISLAMABAD: A report compiled by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has ranked India on the top for consumption of heroin among the South Asian nations.

According to the report, India consumed 17 metric tons (mt) of heroin in 2008 while the current consumption is estimated in the range of 65-70 mt.The production of Opium, which forms the raw material for subsequent refinement to heroin, is totally indigenous.

The UN report has confirmed that no foreign sourced opium has been sized nor reported as trafficked into India “Consequently, such a consumption level (6% of the estimated global total) would require the illicit cultivation of some 1500 – 2000 hectares of opium poppy on Indian territory” the report said.

The heroin produced by India is also finding its way into the neighboring countries where its demand is rising.

According to official reports from the governments of Nepal and Bangladesh, almost all the heroin consumed in these countries originates in India. The UN has recommended in-depth heroin consumption and trafficking study to be carried out in India.

According to observers Indian sourced heroin is not the only worry of its neighbors; smuggling of chemicals necessary for heroin production has turned for them into a major threat.

India has become one of the largest producers of acetic anhydride, a chemical that is basic in production of heroin. Several cases of smuggling of significant quantities of this chemical have occurred in the recent past.

In fact India monopolizes the sourcing of these chemicals to Afghanistan where laboratories run by warlords, affiliated to India, are churning out 380 mt of heroin per year destined for the global market, say observers. –ARY

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

A wake up call

Add to Google Buzz

IBN-E-REHMAT:
Individual or national dreams can only be built with planning and right course of actions. If someone is keen to build a house, he will first think about the budget, determine the location to buy a plot, its size, design, covered area, choice of the contractors etc. His list may have several questions, some of them even riddled with fears about the dirty business tricks, official bottlenecks and finally his string of decisions. Similarly in the politics of hostility, the enemy prepares its master plan, based on his objectives, followed by the course of actions to execute all the tasks. But secret war demands a different set of action, stitched with bits and pieces, without being conspicuous, to ensure complete secrecy not to be intercepted or catching the attention of the intelligence.

This list may include such jobs which ultimately converge on a one-point agenda like the disintegration of Pakistan by first fomenting insurgencies, generating economic turmoil, tightening the noose around the necks of peoples of certain communities, to trigger a chain action, as recipe of an invisible warfare. If we prepare the list of all such tasks, it might run into hundreds. An intrigue, India played in former East Pakistan. Now Balochistan, Swat and FATA are its targets. Has our counterintelligence failed to detect? But our masses need to be educated. The purpose of this exercise is to highlight just one or two such moves to create awareness about the times to come. How one stroke by the enemy like the water issue can open up a Pandora’s Box for many other troubles – leading to the collapse of the whole edifice of our polity?

The list of such dirty acts by India to inflict harm to our dear country is quite long. If we sit and meditate all the mischief which the enemy has planned and executed during the last three years, it might require many volumes, to assess losses of human life and property during the suicide bombings, and the burning and looting spree in various parts of the country. Still worse, it (the enemy) might have even shifted the blame on some other country to avoid international condemnation. To start with the simple proposition, let us first start with the political dynamic that engulfed the business nerve centre of Pakistan, Karachi, a couple of weeks ago, as target killings helps the enemy to create chaos, an unfavourable climate for investment and inflict heavy losses beyond anybody’s guess. At the same time, it has also generated mistrust and eliminated the people, who our foes regarded as obstacles in their jobs.

At the same time, the list of any country’s vulnerability is also long. But the tragedy is that New Delhi intends to spare no event to cause as much damage as it could. There is no comparison between the loss of human life and property that Pakistan has had to sustain as a result of Indian machinations and the Indian claims in the Mumbai mayhem. Nobody can deny the fact that blowing up trains, setting public property on fire, target killing of innocent civilians and playing havoc with the security personnel is not the handiwork of any Pakistani, but the enemy’s agents.
Read more of this post

United we stand, divided we fall!

Add to Google Buzz

Nosheen Saeed:

On 14th August 1947, Pakistanis achieved their cherished goal of freedom and established Pakistan as an independent sovereign State, where they could live freely with honour, dignity and self-respect. God blessed Pakistan with enormous wealth, resources, potentialities and possibilities. To utilize these gifts, God provided talented, committed and enterprising people, possessing a vision, ability and devotion. Every Pakistani had the opportunity to contribute towards his homeland by serving it honestly, sincerely and selflessly thus leading his homeland towards progress, prosperity and development.

The early departure of Quaid-e-Azam left Pakistan in a state of quandary. Every successive government was worse than the other; each blamed the other for its deceptive and destructive policies. The previous being the devil and the current pristine. This tug of war weakened institutions and law and order. Intolerance grew giving birth to sectarianism and discrimination between caste, creed and communities. Government after government shelved national wellbeing and worked towards personal and vested interests. Those who were against the creation of Pakistan became the ruling class. To perpetuate their rule, they trampled fundamental law, morals, values, principles, traditions, discipline and code of conduct.

The issues held dear by the Quaid, national integrity, social justice, faith and supremacy of law were shrouded. The Quaid’s image was modified to suit the dubious ends of our time tested, tried and failed politicians. This cliché took over the State and ruled over it like a colony imposing its rule on the slaves – hapless people. Lacking originality, vision, sincerity and having no notion of governance, leave alone good governance, unleashed a reign of confusion. Our social and religious ideology succumbed to pressures and quick fixes. Consequently, it was misconstrued and adjusted according to circumstances. Democracy suffered at the hands of civil and military oligarchs. A reign of corruption, favouritism and personal aggrandizement was unleashed, killing merit, competence and professionalism. Infringement and contravention sowed the seeds of provincialism and sectarianism. Instead of galvanizing the people towards national integrity and following the Quaid’s motto of unity, faith and discipline, dissension and diversion, set in. Loot and plunder of the State’s riches continued by mercenaries, the rich became richer and the poor became poorer thus with the passage of time an unbridgeable gulf between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ widened.

The Quaid found it painful to see the curse of provincialism holding sway over Pakistan. It was imperative to get rid of this evil which he considered a relic of the old administration when people clung to provincial autonomy and local liberty of action to avoid British control. After the creation of Pakistan, having one’s own central government, it was a folly to continue to think in the same terms. This is truth easily forgotten by people who begin to prize local, sectional or provincial interest above national interests. In the words of the Quaid, “Local attachments have their value but what is the value and strength of a part, except within a whole.” He further emphasized, “Our duty to the State comes first; our duty to our province, to our district, to our town and to our village and ourselves comes next.” On another occasion he stated, “You must learn to distinguish between your love for your province and your love and duty to the State as a whole, our duty to the State takes us a stage beyond provincialism. It demands a broader sense of vision and greater sense of patriotism.” He asked to pause and consider before taking any step whether it would be conditioned by ones personal or local likes or would be determined by consideration of the good of the State: “Representative governments and representative institutions are no doubt good and desirable, but when people want to reduce them merely to channels of personal aggrandizement, they not only lose their value but earn a bad name.” A bright future lay ahead if individuals, both officials and non-officials, play their part and work in this spirit. Pakistan would emerge as one of the greatest nations of the world.

While talking on the subject of sectarianism, the Quaid declared, “If you want to build up yourself into a Nation, for god’s sake give up this provincialism. Provincialism has been one of the curses; and so is sectionalism – Shia, Sunni etc.” He warned the Nation not to fall into the trap of the enemies of Pakistan who were unfortunately Muslims financed by outsiders.
Read more of this post

What a way to grab all for the family, Mr Ambassador!

Add to Google Buzz

Usman Manzoor | The News

New Pakistani Envoy to Syria “Invades” School With Family!
The new Pakistani ambassador to Syria, appointed by President Zardari, has summarily sacked the entire staff and faculty of the Pakistan International School in Damascus and appointed almost all his immediate family members for a collective monthly salary of $38,000 (Rs3.2 million).

The sacked teachers and staff members of the school run by the embassy, who were removed for no reasons and without any prior notice, have been compelled to go into litigation against the Pakistan Embassy, The News has learnt.

The Pakistan International School in Damascus (PISOD) is run by the embassy of Pakistan but within five months after the arrival of new ambassador, Aminullah Raisani, in September 2009, the management and faculty of the school was changed altogether without giving any reason and the school was stuffed with the relatives of the ambassador.

According to the list of newly inducted teachers Saeeda Yasmeen Raeesani has been appointed as Principal. She is sisterof the ambassador and is drawing $6,500 per month as salary while the previous principal Syed Tauseef Bokhari was getting $2,500. Another sister, Ms Abbas, has been appointed as Urdu teacher for $3,500 per month.

Two daughters, Amna Aminullah Raeesani and Quratulein Aminullah Raeesani, have been appointed as teachers. These two are getting $3,000 per month as salary while the school was paying only $1,700 for the same job to previous teachers.

Mohammad Ishaque, brother-in-law of the ambassador, has been appointed as accountant for $3,500 per month while the same job was previously with one Imran for just $900 a month. Attique-ur-Rehman and Syed Muhammad Ali, ambassador’s nephews, have been appointed as business teachers for $3,000 a month while the same job was done for $1,500 only before September 2009.

Nayla Atiq, granddaughter of ambassador’s sister, is working as Maths teacher for $3,000 a month while her predecessor was drawing $1,700 a month as salary. Ali Abdullah, the son-in-law of ambassador’s sister, and Muhammad Ahsan Shafique, ambassador’s cousin, have been appointed as teachers for $3,000 a month while their predecessors were drawing $1,500 a month.Another cousin of the ambassador, Rasheed Chattha, has been appointed as biology teacher for$3,500 a month while previously Ms Manal Sileman was doing the same job for $1,500 a month.

Dajjal (Antichrist), A Person or A System



Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

%d bloggers like this: