Monthly Archives: April 2013

Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen Kayani Gives Important Statement on India and Islam

Pakistan’s army chief confirms India remains biggest threat; puts end to the idle secular-Islam debate.

EDITORIAL | 22 April 2013

“Pakistan’s army chief is a man of few words. And true to his style, he made a few calculated remarks over the weekend that touch on two hotly debated issues in Pakistan and among Pakistan-watchers abroad.

During a speech on the occasion of the graduation of the 127th Long Course of Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul, Gen. Kayani sent a direct warning to Indian generals.

For those who don’t remember, on January 11 and January 14, India’s air and army chiefs threatened military action against Pakistan over alleged violations of the ceasefire line in Kashmir. The crisis began a week before when Indian soldiers crossed the line and killed a Pakistani soldier.

It was quite obvious to observers that Pakistan wouldn’t risk an escalation on its eastern front when it is embroiled in the American mess on the Afghan border.

This was not lost on independent-minded Indians. One Indian analyst went as far as accusing the Indian military of creating ‘hype’ inside India over Pakistan. Another Indian commentator accused the Indian army of mutilating bodies of Pakistani soldiers.

At the same time, and a few days before this Indian escalation, a news report from Pakistan appeared to indicate that terrorism emanating from the Afghan border into Pakistan has forced the Pakistani army to no longer consider India as the biggest threat.

It appeared as if the Indian army generals concluded that Pakistan armed forces must be too weak now for them to be forced to make an admission they no longer considered India a threat.

As it turns out, the report from Islamabad about a change in the Pakistani military doctrine was based on some journalist’s overzealous reading into minor doctrinal modifications that led to a misinterpretation. [Background: a booklet published by the military added a chapter dealing with insurgencies on the Afghan border and described it as a major threat to Pakistani security. This was misinterpreted to mean Pakistan no longer saw threat from India.]

Watching Indian generals beat the drums of war across the eastern border, Pakistan remained cautious and refrained from responding in kind. Until this weekend.

“Pakistan is a peace-loving country,” Gen. Kayani told the cadets, senior Pakistani military officers and some defense attaches from several nations attending the ceremony at Kakul. “Our quest for peace is essentially based on a genuine desire to improve our lot and that of our future generations. Let no one see it as a weakness.”

Without naming India, he had a message for the generals across the eastern border. “We have exercised restraint in the face of some very belligerent statements in recent months. Let it suffice to say that Pakistan is fully capable of responding effectively to any threat.”

And if any Indian general was still in doubt over a change in Pakistani preparedness due to internal threats, Kayani ventured out to be more specific in his following words.

“Despite our current focus on internal security,” he said, “we remain fully prepared to defeat an external direct threat.”

The Indian threat is not limited to the provocative statements in January.

The Indian threat is also not limited to permanent [emphasis on permanent], large-scale Indian military deployments in close proximity to our borders.

There’s more. Toward the end of the decade, Indian generals developed a plan to mount quick incursions inside Pakistan and cripple its ability to retaliate. This plan was given the name Cold Start, inspired by Israeli army’s quick strikes into Gaza.

The Indian military was developing this plan even as American officials lectured Islamabad on the need to change its military policy because India posed no threat to Pakistan.

The Indian military has once before demonstrated that it will always seize any opportunity to attack Pakistan even without provocation. This happened in 1971 when Indian army exploited chaotic election in Pakistan, and low military preparedness, to launch an invasion in East Pakistan and help proxies break away the territory into what is now Bangladesh.

Gen. Kayani’s weekend statement has put the military’s India policy into perspective.

It also indicates a new level of confidence inside Pakistan armed forces after a decade of American war in Afghanistan had destabilized Pakistan and put the Pakistani military on the defensive. This is changing now and Pak Military is apparently on the rebound.

Gen. Kayani apparently alluded to this when he said during the same speech: “In our short history, we have overcome many a challenges that would have overwhelmed lesser nations. I am sure we can do it again.”

And then concluded on a positive note, “We are going through difficult times, but so has every other successful nation at some time in their history. Pak Army is fully committed to the cause and as always standing with the nation.”


Gen. Kayani’s other important carefully-worded statement was on Islam’s role in public life in Pakistan.

Here’s what the general said:

“Let me remind you that Pakistan was created in the name of Islam and Islam can never ever be taken out of Pakistan. However, Islam should always remain a unifying force.”

This is a landmark statement. Here’s why.

First, a number of politicians and commentators sympathetic to the PPP-MQM-ANP coalition government that just completed five years tried in recent days to make the coming election controversial through an organized attack in the media on the Ideology of Pakistan, and Pakistan’s existence as an independent nation.

These parties are perceived to be pro-American. The organized attack focused on Islam and called for adopting European-style secularism where religion is simply withdrawn from public life. But what the advocates of this theory forgot is that Europe’s history and its political and social circumstances cannot be replicated and planted in another country far removed from European culture and experiences.

This debate is also dangerous because it wastes a lot of public energy, confuses priorities, and creates unnecessary divisions and suspicions in the society.  Pakistan is quite capable of being a modern Muslim nation, just like Turkey, Jordan, Malaysia, Dubai, Egypt, Indonesia and others without the need to wage war against religion and alienate the religious segments of the population.

Gen. Kayani did well by making an emphatic statement about the centrality of Islam in Pakistan. This should serve to calm the nerves of religious Pakistanis who might see an attempt to attack religion in Pakistan and might be radicalized as a result of that.

So this is a message to the advocates of secularism to stop radicalizing religious-minded Pakistanis by waging this unnecessary war of words against religion in the hope of replicating a European example that does not fit here. And it is also a message to religious Pakistanis to relax, to stop seeing a conspiracy in Pakistan to end Islam’s central role in the lives of Pakistanis. It is also a message that all Pakistanis can and should coexist peacefully, those who are religious-minded and those who are not. This is a homeland for all and Pakistanis can and should respect each other.

Second, Kayani’s statement sends another message to religious Pakistanis. The message is simple: Islam unifies its followers and does not divide them. Sadly, Pakistani Islam is divided into sects whose names are not even known in the rest of the Muslim world. That’s how bad the sect-based divisions are in Pakistan. And extremists have flourished in all sects, leading to violent verbal and physical attacks. So, Gen. Kayani is sending a message: Islam in Pakistan should unify Pakistanis, not divide them.”

The Facts About Laal Masjid Operation and Propaganda on Electronic Media

If the facts about Laal Masjid are different from what all is being said on TV, then why the issue is being exploited and inflated beyond limits?

Akhtar Malik







The Unlawful Behavior of Lawyers in the Case of General Pervez Musharaf

By Liaqat Toor
mush“A very ugly incident transpired inside the premises of Pakistan’s Superior Courts when a dirty bunch of lawyers attacked and beat with shoes, the officially deputed guards of the former President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf. Most unfortunately however, the court did not take any notice of that attack, although when Ali Musa Gelani had been arrested by ANF from outside the court premises, in the notorious ephedrine case, the ‘honorable’ judges had jumped with shocking speed to claim that the sanctity of the Supreme Court had been violated and they ordered the ANF to produce the accused before them in less than one hour. And of course when that order was obeyed, the accused was granted a bail within minutes.
The most distressingly painful aspect of this episode of dishonor, is that the Commanding Officer of the two soldiers beaten by the lawyers, has so far done nothing to defend the dignity of his troops, nor has the DG Rangers moved, nor has the ISPR reacted to repeated and extremely insulting display of the ugly incident on Geo tv, nor any FIR against the lawyers has been registered in any police station ………… and nor have the ‘honorable’ judges jumped with their previous ‘on the record alacrity’ of coming to the rescue of ‘the oppressed’. The Interior Minister, Secretary Defense, COAS, Defense Minister and the Supreme Commander are all tragically mum on this despicable conduct of the lawyers. And most, most unfortunately, no political leader, prominent social figure or even pseudo intellectual has uttered one word in condemnation of the attackers. This indeed reflects the terrible degree of moral degeneration, that we as a nation have undergone over the years.
I think the DG Rangers should resign in protest if he can do nothing else and if the Interior Minister doesn’t budge, then GHQ should take up the case with the Supreme Commander for exemplary punishment to the lawyers involved and and also to the reticent Chief Justice of the the court where this crime has transpired. The trial of the lawyers must be completed within 72 hours and nothing short of that should be acceptable.
No compromise should be tolerated on this matter of common soldiers’ dignity. No, the honor of our soldiers is not for sale. It’s incumbent upon the Pakistani Nation to demonstrate that we are with the soldiers who defend us against every threat and are there to help us in every crisis, even to the peril of their lives. “

Politics of Violence in Karachi and Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf

By Akhtar Malik

17 April 2013

karachi_violenceThe political party that introduced the culture of violence in Pakistan was probably Jamat e Islami. With its baton – carrying (Danad bardar) youth Jamat e Islami would raid any social gathering like new year festival or a fashion show that was perceived to be ‘un-Islamic’ by them. The baton was probably not that lethal a weapon when compared with the Kalashnikov, which was introduced in the politics by MQM which stated taking routes in Karachi in 1985. There is no doubt that MQM was the pioneer of politics of violence in Karachi. All the political parties in Karachi now have a militant wing of their own. It is sad that these parties still deny it, despite of the fact that Supreme Court has also given their verdict on this issue. When the representatives of these parties come in the talk shows on media, they claim that they do not harbor any terrorist and that any operation against the terrorists should be carried out across the board. But when the criminals related to any political party are arrested the same leaders then put pressure on the government from behind the curtains, to get their criminals released.

This is what has been happening in Karachi for the past two decades. Whenever the activities of any group, particularly the MQM, would go beyond limits, the establishment of those times, in collaboration with the sitting political government, would start a cleanup operation in the city. This happened in 1992 and 1995. Military operation is never an appropriate solution to the actual problem. As a result MQM always staged a successful comeback through elections, declaring their party as an innocent and a victim of the state coercion. There is no denying the fact that political problems always need political solutions. Use of force is just a temporary and short term measure.

This government of PPP from 2008 to 2013 did not have the courage and political will to cleanse Karachi from the terrorists just because it depended heavily on the support of MQM. Without MQM the government of PPP would have collapsed in Islamabad. This was the bitter fruit of their notorious policy of reconciliation. As a result the Supreme Court had to take Suo Moto notice but the decision of the Court to disarm the militant wings of political parties and to finish ‘no -go’ areas, were never implemented by the government. Even now the caretaker government is just passing its time and is not serious on enforcing the writ of the state and rule of law.

The policies of violence, coercion and blackmail adopted by MQM, ANP and PPP have been well exposed before the public. With unfolding of the current events, even the supporters of MQM in Karachi and urban Sindh have been baffled. The political parties formed on the basis of race, language and sect always try to keep their vote bank intact through the barrel of the gun and by inculcating fear of being eliminated by other rival groups. The citizens of Karachi are not finding any way out to liberate themselves from the cruel clutches of these racial and linguist groups. As and when they are able to find any alternative with the assurance of protection of their lives, they will not hesitate to change their loyalties in favor a national level party.

Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) leadership has done an excellent job to adopt a policy of nonviolence. This policy though a slow-moving and enduring one, is showing its results. Apart from the general public even the media persons, journalists, human rights activists and the civil society campaigners are now all out to appreciate the party for its serenity, resilience, persistence and fortitude. These are the virtues that are hardly visible in any political party. These are the qualities that are going to further attract the masses. Some hawks in PTI may be impulsive to do something matching with the mood of the people and political culture in the country but the party is successfully towing its line of nonviolence. The mammoth Jalsa of 25 December 2011 in Karachi marked an important milestone in the political progression of PTI. The party was thus seen as a good substitute for MQM, ANP and PPP in Karachi, who had given nothing to this metropolis except for terrorism, target killings, kidnapping for ransom, ‘Bhatta Khori’ and land mafias. If the people of Karachi want to change their life and destiny for the better there is no other option than to refrain from casting their votes in favor of MQM, ANP and PPP. Obviously PTI is the only suitable choice for the people of Karachi. If they are tempted to vote for PML-N as alternative to PPP, they are going to repent it soon. PML-N after coming to power will again form an alliance with MQM exactly as PP did in order to ‘facilitate’ their governance. The results will not be different from what happened during 2008-13.

(The author can be reached at

Is This System Capable of Cleansing the Pakistani Politics From Corrupt People

The hope of cleansing the politics from the loan defaulters, tax evaders and hoarders of illegal money is fading away fast. The election day (11 May) is approaching but the Election Commission, the Supreme Court and the caretaker government do not seem to be serious about this vital issue. It appears as if the elections will be conducted as ‘business as usual’ and this poor nation will again be left at the mercy of looters and plunderers. The article should be an eye-opener for all those who have pinned high hopes with the coming elections.

Akhtar Malik

aik ka bees

Unnecessary and Wasteful Protocol of Government Functionaries in Pakistan

It is a wishful thinking of Javed Chaudhry that the caretaker government in Pakistan will make any law to curtail the huge and cumbersome protocol of the ministers, the government officials and their families. This can be done by a revolutionary government only.

Akhtar Malik