Tag Archives: Nawaz Sharif

It is Surprising that PML-N Government Considers GEO Group and ISI at Par

Role of PML-N Government to Sponsor GEO TV Channel

Is this govt of the Noon hanging on our heads, really the govt of people of Pakistan? I am sure it is not. A leader, a party or a govt who cannot assess the importance of an institution of national defense (ISI) vis a vis a private media group and equates them to be at par, have no right to sit on treasury benches and decide the fate of 1900 million Pakistanis. It is dangerous and a risk for national security. 

A PML-N leader Uzma Bukhari explains the government stance on Geo/ ISI controversy. Please see this video link..

http://videos.arynews.tv/uzma-bukhari-says-geo-isi-equal-government/

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How Pakistan Army has been Abused by Politicians

THE USE AND ABUSE OF ARMY IN PAKISTAN
By Akhtar Malik  –  5 Aug 2013
“If you want to destroy a nation, just deprive them of two assets- their ideology and their armed forces”. Akhtar Malik

Latest-Pakistan-army-SSG-commando-wallpaper-and-pictureIdeology and the armed forces are vital for the survival of any nation. Ideology inspires will to survive and the armed forces thwart any external (and at times internal) aggression against the integrity of nation. Both these facets complement each other and one cannot survive without the other.

Since the creation of Pakistan in 1947 our enemies had been curiously working on the agenda to finish Pakistan. India had never accepted the partitioning of subcontinent and had always worked to dismember Pakistan. Nehru is on the record to have said that newly created state Pakistan will not survive for many years and will soon revert back to its ‘mother land’. The Indian-sponsored movements like Bengali nationalism, Sindhu-desh, Pakhtunistan and Azad Baluchistan were all meant to achieve the same aim.

Apart from attacks on the ideology of Pakistan there have been many lethal assaults on the armed forces of Pakistan, both from inside and outside the country. The analysts around the world had believed that the center of gravity of Pakistan lies in its armed forces, and no substantial gains against Pakistan can be acquired without damaging this prestigious institution of the country.

ZA BHUTTO CAMPAIGN TO HUMILIATE ARMY

The first ever well planned attack to undermine the armed forces of Pakistan was launched not by any foreigner but by one of our own political leaders- Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Being a young minister in the cabinet of President Ayub Khan he knew that he cannot achieve his aim of ruling Pakistan without decimating the Army. In 1964 Bhutto was instrumental in creating situation that led to India- Pakistan war of 1965. Bhutto was sure that Pakistan Army will not be able to endure a war with an enemy which was six times bigger and stronger. However Bhutto was baffled when Pakistan Army successfully beat back Indian attack on international border and emerged as the most respectable institution in the country. India was compelled to sign the Tashkent Declaration with Pakistan. The legendary tales of heroic deeds of armed forces have become the part of our folk songs and literature.

Duly frustrated by the failure of his scheme Bhutto quit the government, formed Pakistan People’s Party and launched a movement against President Ayub Khan. He told the nation that the President had sold the interests of Pakistan to India in Tashkent Declaration and that he will soon reveal the secret behind this deal- a promise which he never fulfilled.

General elections of 1970 gave another opportunity to ZA Bhutto to materialize his dream. The sweeping victory of Sh. Mujeeb ul Rehman from East Pakistan thwarted the ambitions of Bhutto to rule the country. He therefore acted in a very discordant manner by not accepting the mandate of Bengalis and prompted President Gen Yahya Khan to initiate military action against the ‘traitor’ Sh. Mujeeb and his party. The logical result of such action was the Indian military intervention and subsequent dismemberment of East Pakistan on 16 December 1971 and paved the way for Bhutto to rule the remaining part of the country. Pakistan Army was made to surrender in East Pakistan due to none of its fault, and the country was humiliated. The individual gallantry actions of our officers and soldiers who were made to fight a war under worst ever conditions will be written in golden words.

But Bhutto was as satisfied as ever. His body language and behavior would never show any resentment or dismay which a leader should display whose half of the country was lost. ZA Bhutto also took some other initiatives to molest the Army. He violated all the rules of merit and made Gen Ziaul Haq as Army Chief by superseding six general who were senior to him. Bhutto also opened a political cell in Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) thus paving the way for military interference in civilian politics- a practice that cost the nation heavily in times to come.

Bhutto committed rigging in elections 1977 in order to secure his rule. A mass agitation started against him. Bhutto refused to undo his mistakes and behaved in an arrogant manner. There is no doubt that Martial Law of Gen Ziaul Haq was an outcome of Bhutto’s apathy, lack of sensitivity fro people’s feeling and ineptness of his part to resolve crisis at national level. The result was that Pakistani nation had to bear with military rule for 11 years.

MISUSE OF ARMY DURING 1988-99

The period from 1988 to 1999 saw a musical chair play between Ms. Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. As and when one party would assume power the opposition would start a campaign to overthrow the government through conspiracies. Both of them used the Army to destabilize the sitting government. A popular stance of the opposition would be to ask Chief of the Army Staff to interfere and play his role as the country was at the brink of destruction. The politicians in opposition would conduct secret meetings with COAS and try to convince him to topple the government. All the four civilian governments were terminated either by the President or by direct intervention of Army. This was a severe blow to democracy due to ineptness of the politicians but at the end whole blame was placed on Army who allegedly did not allow democracy to prosper.

During his 2nd tenure in late 1990’s Nawaz Sharif also committed the same mistake. He made Gen Pervez Musharaf as Army Chief by superseding many senior and more capable generals and thus set the stage for his own downfall. The ‘Kargil Operation’ was the turning point in his relations with Gen Pervez Musharaf and the Army. I am not a supporter of Kargil operation and feel that it was an unnecessary adventure but I am also against any apologetic attitude of Pakistanis once this even had taken place.

THE KARGIL OPERATION AND ARMY BASHING

Our analysts say that Kargil was an uncalled for and unjustified intrusion in India. I ask how many ‘uncalled for’ and ‘unjustified’ intrusions have India launched against Pakistan in the past? Was Indian intrusion in East Pakistan in 1971 justified? Was unilateral occupation of Siachen Glacier by India in 1984 justified? So once Pakistan Army had achieved a tactical advantage in Kargil over its arch enemy, it should be seen in the backdrop of the peculiar relations between the two countries since 1947.

While bashing Pakistan Army on Kargil issue our intellectuals forget to mention factors which led to this event. No one goes into the depth of reasons which forced the whole episode. No one talks of the Indian intentions and placing of Indian 70 Bde in Mashkoh Valley contrary to its usual deployment in Srinagar Valley during winters and our preemptive move. No one highlights the absence of move of our strategic forces which encouraged the Indians to move all assets up and achieve the 15:1 parity. The role of Indian Artillery and Indian Air Force is totally over bloated. It can be gauged from the facts that a total of only 12 individuals sustained injuries on gun positions on the entire front of 400 Km and the IAF could knock out only 16 individuals and some stores through over 1500 sorties. One can have long sessions on this issue, I’ll leave it at that. My heart goes out to all those brave men and officers who roughed it out in those trying conditions. It’s easy to criticize and in hindsight everyone becomes a thinker. We never lost although suffered few casualties in withdrawal. Indians have accepted their casualties as 587 in this Conflict and very heavy losses of equipment and ammo. The Indians were short of 155 mm ammunition and they purchased from South Africa.

As I remember, Kargil area was occupied by India in 1971. This was no violation from Pakistan but a reply at a suitable time. Even if we are convinced that Kargil operation was a mistake this mistake should have been owned by Pakistan and justified at political and diplomatic level. We should have told the world community in 1998 that this ‘violation’ is similar to that committed by India in Siachen. And if India wants us to vacate Kargil they should also vacate Siachen simultaneously. That was not a difficult option. Recall the event when Indian Prime Minister Rajev Gandhi during visit to Pakistan in 1990’s committed with Ms. Benazir Bhutto that India will withdraw from Siachen. But when Rajev went back he telephoned Benazir and regretted his commitment on the plea that his Army Chief was not agreeing to withdraw from Siachen. When Indian PM could give that much weight to his Army Chief why couldn’t our PM? It was a total political and diplomatic failure on the part of our civilian government of that time who could not handle the situation with courage and dexterity.

On assuming power in 1999 Gen Pervez Musharaf visited India. A brief interview was conducted by a female host of ND TV of India with Musharraf where she asked him, ”Do you have any regrets about Kargil, now that you are such a welcome visitor in India?” Gen Musharraf smilingly gave her a very apt reply, ”Do you expect me to ever say that ‘Yes, I regret it’ ? If somebody was to ask Indian Prime Minister ‘Do you regret having divided Pakistan and made Bangla Desh?’, would he say ‘yes, we are very sorry’? How would you expect that I would regret?” Leaving aside all criticism of his policies I like the way Gen Musharaf rebuts such questions of our arch enemy.

THE MUSHARAF RULE AND DEFAMATION OF ARMY

The era of Musharaf rule saw the worst kind of criticism being unleashed against Pak Army and ISI, mostly due to wrong policies of the ruler. During this period the war on terror was brought on our soil which has so far resulted in over 40,000 Pakistanis losing their lives, including 5000 troops. The country suffered heavy financial loss and was set decades beyond in terms of economic development. The war and the loss still go on unabated. Pakistan Army became unsafe on its own soil. Though the fateful events of 9/11 had placed Pervez Musharaf at a sheer disadvantage but we feel that he could still have saved the country from the colossal loss with little better diplomacy and strategy.

DEMOCRATIC ERA AND ARMY BASHING

When Nawaz Sharif was ousted from power, he also became a so-called ‘anti establishment’ leader. During his exile to Saudi Arabia and as an opposition leader after the Elections 2008, Nawaz Sharif always remained at dagger drawn with the Army. He could not distinguish between the armed forces as a state institution and an over ambitious Army Chief, who topples the civilian government and enforces martial law. He equated both of them in one bracket.

After Elections 2008 the dignity and respect of the Army was rescued to certain extent by Gen Kiyani as Army Chief when he disengaged the institution from politics. Though the Army virtually got itself detached from civil affairs but the criticisam against it continued with full force.

The PPP government under Zardari was no exception to this Army-bashing. Though Mr. Zardari apparently maintained good working relationship with Army, mostly with an aim to prolong his stay in power, he was no less an evil as far as damaging this institution is concerned. Whenever he felt that his grip was becoming loose on state affairs due to his inept governance, he would usually divert the attention of the people by saying that ‘There is a conspiracy of pen (judiciary) and bayonet (Army) cooking up against his government”. The notorious Memo-gate Scandal and behavior of Zardari after Abbottabad Operation of the US against Osama bin Laden, are clear indicators as to how the highest functionaries of the state, including the Supreme Commander of Armed Forces have been conspiring to decimate the defensive strength and capability of Pakistan.

The writer can be reached at akhterhayatmalik@yahoo.com

MQM-PML-N ALLIANCE ANOTHER STEP TOWARDS STATUS QUO

By Akhtar Malik

27 July 2013

1003483_687225897958828_1052467147_nIn an unprecedented move PML-N delegation went to MQM center 90 and requested for MQM votes in favor their presidential candidate Mamnoon Hussain. MQM announced unconditional support to PML-N. The ruling party has also offered MQM to join the government in center.

This development has come as a surprise to many. To me this is the biggest political tragedy that has happened to the nation within just two months of the change of government.

PML-N had no compulsion of entering into alliance with MQM. The number game is clearly in favor of PML-N, both at government and presidential level. PPP has this compulsion hence they had to oblige MQM at the peril of Karachi and Pakistan. It was PML-N who had been the most aggressive critique of MQM, its politics of violence and its alliance with PPP. Even while framing Charter of Democracy, PML-N had placed the condition that no party will ever make alliance with MQM. Doing exactly the same thing after coming to power by the PML-N is not understandable.

Elections 2013, whatever their status regarding the allegations of rigging be, had given a golden opportunity whereby MQM was deprived of its nuisance value of political blackmail. At the federal level PML-N was having a comfortable majority and in Sindh PPP could make government without MQM. But unfortunately this opportunity has been smashed by the wrong initiative taken by PML-N.

The support of MQM to PML-N will never be unconditional. It will have its many tags attached to it as usual. May be that their governor in Sindh is being retained? May be that legal cooperation of Pakistan government with British police in Imran Farooq murder case will be blocked? May be that MQM is again given a free hand to play with the life and property of citizens in Karachi and to protect its criminal gangs from prosecution? And all this at what cost? Just few votes for the presidential candidate who could otherwise make to his office?

PML-N will have to give full justification of their U-turn in policy to their supporters and voters, who have entrusted them with power to see a meaningful change in Karachi situation. It is feared that we are heading towards another round of bloodshed, lawlessness, and destruction in Karachi. Najam Sethi has termed this move as ‘excellent political strategy’ on the part of MQM and PML-N. If this is excellent strategy then what was the notorious policy of ‘reconciliation’ of PPP? If such strategies are considered admirable then any ruler of the country will be justified to join hands with the criminals, decoits, looters, smugglers, exploiters, terrorists, kidnapper, murderers and miscreants to keep them happy. Those elements will be more than satisfied to enter into alliance with the government to enjoy protection of the state and will play havoc with the lives and properties of people with impunity.

PM Mian Nawaz Shareef will be expected to satisfy the people of Pakistan on this crucial policy matter.

Who Will Become the Next Chief of Army Staff in Pakistan

By: Arshad Sharif, Uploaded: 2nd July 2013

“ISLAMABAD: In the first hundred days of his third stint as the Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif has to take an important decision of making three new four star appointments, including  those of the Army Chief, Naval Chief and Chairman Joints Chief of staff Committee.

Holding the additional portfolio of defence minister, PM Nawaz Sharif will also be considering approving a major reshuffle in army top brass in the first week of October as CJCSC, General Khalid Shamim Wyne, and two Corp Commanders, Lt General Khalid Nawaz Khan and Lt General Muhammad Alam Khattak prepare to call farewell to arms.

This will set in a major reshuffle in the top military brass and lead to promotions for the posts of CJCSC and atleast five Corps Commanders before the retirement of General Kayani.
In a couple of detailed background meetings with journalists, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has ruled out taking any more extensions when his six year tenure as Army Chief comes to an end in November this year.

General Kayani is the only COAS who was given an extension of three years by a civilian government five months prior to his retirement in July 2010.
Aides close to PM Sharif believe the decision will be taken on “merit” and “seniority,” giving enough leeway to the government to pick the next COAS from amongst the top generals by considering the two criterions to judge the professional competence of the officer.
Sources in the PM Office say the matter of appointment of service chiefs is highly sensitive and all cards are being kept close to the chest by the PM.

However, discussions have taken place on the issue in close door quarters of the Sharif camp. Considering the way key appointments have been made in the civilian bureaucracy, it is doubtful if the PM has learnt any lessons of preferring loyalty over merit, with loyalty still being the top most priority for the Sharif brothers.

Loyalty was among one of the factors PM Sharif considered when his brother Shahbaz Sharif and trusted lieutenant Chaudhry Nisar advised him to overlook the seniority principle and appoint General Musharraf as the COAS in October 1998. The Sharif family had to pay heavily for the decision just a year later when his hand-picked general staged a coup d’état in October 1999 and put the then Prime Minister in the 16th century Attock Fort.
If the PM adheres merely to the seniority principle in appointing the next Army Chief, there is very little left to guess as to who will be the next Army chief.

If the seniority principle is applied sensu strictu, Lt General Haroon Aslam would be the senior most in October, followed by Lt General Rashid Mehmood.  Technically, any of the Lieutenant Generals could be appointed as the COAS but practically that is not possible.  The decision to appoint the COAS gets complex when seniority, career progression, professional competence, command abilities, general reputation and loyalty factors are considered in picking the next COAS.

Moreover, it might be under consideration if officers who have only five or six months left for retirement should be given three more years as COAS or officers who still have at least a year of service left should be appointed so that a new battle hardened cadre of officers run the affairs of the Army.

To better understand this decision making, following are the brief profiles of at least the top five senior most Lieutenant Generals, with the hope that the PM does not throw another surprise by going beyond the list of top five senior most three star generals in picking his next chief. If he follows such a course, it would set in a number of early retirements even for officers who have a few years of service left as they may not prefer to serve under someone junior to them.

1- Lt General Haroon Aslam: Lt General Haroon Aslam is a commando of the Special Services Group (SSG) of the Army who joined the Azad Kashmir Regiment in 1975 and the SSG in 1981.

Lt Gen Aslam enjoys a good professional reputation in the army. As GOC SSG in 2009, Lt Gen Aslam was amongst the first group of soldiers to land at the highest battle ground of Swat amidst heavy gunfire from militants. Leading from the front, Gen Aslam and his commandos managed to regain control of Taliban strong hold of Peochar in Swat after battles which could serve as lesson in world’s military history in high altitude mountain warfare.
Promoted as a Lt General in April 2010, he commanded the Bahawalpur Corps and was posted as Chief of Logistic Staff (CLS) in January this year.

His appointment CLS raised a few eyebrows in the drawing rooms where the most favouite past time of a few officers is to speculate about promotions and postings. CLS is generally considered to be an unimportant position to be elevated as the COAS, especially for someone who has been enjoying the limelight in all the important positions throughout his career, especially after October 1999.

In October 1999, the then Brigadier Haroon Aslam was serving as Director Military Operations and was part of the earlier meetings and plans to secure the PM House and the President’s House.

Like other officers who were instrumental in implementing the counter-coup, General Musharraf promoted Brigadier Haroon Aslam to the rank of a Major General in January 2005. Major General Aslam served as GOC Quetta and in April 2007 was given the important task of DG Rangers Punjab by Musharraf.  As DG Rangers Punjab, Lt Gen Aslam was instrumental in reaching a number of agreements with his Indian counterparts for release of prisoners and issues related to human and drug smuggling and coordinated patrolling of the international border.

If the decision to make CJSC or COAS is made purely on seniority principle, Lt General Haroon Aslam would top the list after retirement of Lt General Khalid Nawaz Khan and Lt General Muhammad Alam Khattak in first week of October.
However, the final decision will be made by PM Nawaz Sharif who is likely to hold the portfolio of the Defence Minister atleast till high level appointments are made in the defence forces.

Lt General Haroon Aslam is due to retire on 9th April 2014, approximately six months after October when the incumbent CJSC is due to retire.

2- Lieutenant General Rashid Mehmood: As far as promotions are concerned, Lt General Rashid Mehmood has been sharing the glory with Lt General Haroon Aslam on two important occasions, on the same day.

The then Brigadier Rashid Mehmood was serving in the United Nations when General Musharraf decided to promote him as a two star General in January 2005. Lt General Rashid and Lt General Haroon Aslam also shared the glory once again when General Kayani promoted both as three star generals in April 2010. However, similarity between the two top generals, who are being tipped to be the senior most in October for appointment as CJCSC and COAS, ends there.

Lt General Rashid is said to enjoy good reputation with the Sharif family, courtesy the former President Rafiq Tarrar and his stint as Corps Commander Lahore when he interacted with the Sharif brothers in official capacity. Lt General Rashid, who also served as Military Secretary to ousted President Tarrar, was given the strategically important post of Chief of General Staff (CGS) earlier in January.

Belonging to General Kayani’s Baloch Regiment, promotion of Lt General Rashid as CGS is being considered as Army Chief’s choice by the incumbent COAS as many an army chief was promoted from the same post including General Yahya Khan, General Mirza Aslam Beg, General Asif Nawaz and General Jahangir Karamat, to name just a few.

One of the reason given for Lt General Rashid being a hot favorite for the post of COAS is his stint prior to being the CGS as Corps Commander Lahore. The tenure as Corps Commander Lahore helped to create a good impression in the mind of Sharif brothers as junior Sharif frequently interacted with Lt General Rashid in his capacity as Chief Minister.

Prior to this, in the crucial and active phase of the war against terror, the then Major General Rashid Mehmood served as Deputy DG ISI to coordinate intelligence operations while some of his contemporaries were active on the war front and leading the troops from the front.

However, it is said that giving the important portfolio of CGS to Lt General Rashid, General Kayani has stacked the deck of cards favourably for an officer of his own regiment by giving him the prized position of looking after both military operations and military intelligence. In view of this, it is not difficult to guess the institutional recommendation might favor Lt General Rashid.

But it remains to be seen if PM Nawaz Sharif would decide to go by General Kayani’s choice and appoint Lt General Rashid as the COAS or pick his own chief for some other considerations of merit and professional competence other than the seniority principle alone.

Moreover, the PM will also have to consider the political fallout of appointing someone who served as Corps Commander Lahore when the same criticism is being faced in political and bureaucratic appointments.

Also, it is rare that two successive Chiefs are appointed from the same regiment. Till the PM takes the final decision, all the analysts are putting their bets on Lt General Rashid as the next successor to General Kayani or atleast to be the CJCSC. Lt General Rashid would still have five months of service after retirement of General Kayani on November 28, 2013.

3- Lt General Raheel Sharif: Third in the seniority list post October retirements, Lt General Raheel Sharif is younger brother of Nishan-i-Haider Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed.
Promoted as a Lt General in October 2010, he was first entrusted to command the Gujranwala Corps and later appointed as Inspector General Weapons, Training and Evaluation. As a two star general, he commanded the 11th division in Lahore and was later posted as Commandant Pakistan Military Academy Kakul.

It was a surprise for some when Major General Raheel Sharif was promoted as a three star general as it was thought he had already reached the peak of his career.

However, some sources say, Lt General Raheel Sharif is known to Lt General (retired) Abdul Qadir Baloch, a close confidante of PM Nawaz Sharif.

If the PM consults his cabinet for the suggestions, Lt General (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch is said to be favorable to an officer who served under him and is known as a simple career officer.

However, this relationship would not be given much weight when the PM takes the final decision based on considerations of merit, professional competence and dynamism to tackle the challenges of militancy and withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan. He is expected to retire in October 2014.

4- Lt General Tariq Khan: Winner of Sword of Honour in 55 PMA, Lt General Tariq Khan was promoted as a three star general in October 2010. An officer of Armoured Corps, he was serving as Inspector General FC Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before taking over as Mangla Corps Commander. Since his days as a Brigadier, Lt General Tariq Khan has an illustrious track record as a “fighting commander.”

Belonging to Tank in South Waziristan tribal Agency, Lt General Tariq Khan is credited with making significant gains in the war against militants in the restive tribal areas and making FC a fighting force to reckon with. He has tried to remodel the FC into quick reaction force commando units.

Officers and men hold him in high esteem for being with them on the battle fronts and his ability to quickly take decisions.

Anyone visiting the tribal areas and talking to army soldiers hears tales of valor of Lt General Tariq Khan, especially in routing out the militants from Bajaur, South Waziristan, Dir, Mohmand, Swat and Buner.

From 2008 onwards, when 14th Division was moved under his command from Okara to fight militants in Waziristan, the military made significant gains to reclaim the territory lost to militants.

Commanding the FC in the difficult operations to clear militants from Bajaur, Lt General Tariq Khan was found leading the operation from the front lines, standing with young Captains and Majors to clear Loi Sam and other areas in the militant strong hold on Pak-Afghan border.

In South Waziristan, he broke the myth of invincibility of militants and re-established the lost credibility of Army and FC as a fighting force in the area.

Prior to that, Lt General Tariq Khan commanded the First Armoured Division in Multan in 2006-2007 where he was posted following a successful stint as Pakistan’s representative in US Central command in 2004-2005.

Lt General Tariq is the only Pakistani Army officer in addition to General Kayani who was awarded the US Legion of Merit for his outstanding performance in joint Pak-US Operation Enduring Freedom. Prior to that, two Pakistani naval chiefs, Admiral Shahid Karimullah and Admiral Afzal Tahir had also received the prestigious award.

When it comes to pure merit, operational command, battle experience and professional work for uplifting the units, Lt General Tariq may be considered as a powerful choice by PM Nawaz Sharif.

If the PM decides to opt for Lt General Tariq, he would be able to ward of allegations and criticism of giving all important political and bureaucratic posts only to those who have some linkage with Lahore. Moreover, as the US and international forces withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, it would be beneficial to have a COAS who has hands on operational field experience of formulating policies to effectively deal with the menace of militancy and the larger issues involved in Afghanistan’s transition.

5- Lt General Zaheer-ul-Islam: Belonging to a politically well-established Janjua clan of Punjab, Lt General Zaheer-ul-Islam is currently the eyes and ears of the Army chief and the PM in his role as DG ISI. He has already served as Corps Commander Karachi before taking up the current assignment. Before being as Corps Commander Karachi,Lt General Zaheer-ul-Islam had served twice in ISI and also as Chief of Staff in Army’s Strategic Forces Command. Belonging to Punjab Regiment, Lt General Zaheer-ul-Islam would be fifth in the seniority list after the first week of October. It is doubtful if PM Nawaz Sharif would again appoint another ISI Chief as the Army Chief. However, the reports of his organisation may play an important role in helping the PM reach the important decision of appointing the new Army Chief.”

Who All Have Abrogated the Constitution in Pakistan

By Akhtar Malik

24 June, 2013

IS PERVEZ MUSHARAF THE ONLY ONE WHO ABROGATED THE CONSTITUTION?

16706-mush-1364625706-852-640x480Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef has announced in National Assembly on 24 June 2013 that Federal Government has decided to prosecute Gen Pervez Musharaf under Article 6 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Gen Pervez Musharaf, as the Army Chief, had abrogated the constitution twice; first in 1999 by toppling an elected government of NS and second in 2007 by imposing emergency plus and sending the judges of the superior courts into illegal custody. Obviously he has committed a grave offense that merits proper punishment under the law of land. He had voluntarily surrendered himself before the law in March this year to face all the pending cases against him.

But the question arises; is Musharaf the only one who has abrogated the constitution? Is no one else in Pakistan guilty of the same heinous crime? Let us have a quick analysis of the situation.

I am neither a supporter of Pervez Musharaf nor I condone this crime of high treason. I believe that Pervez Musharaf is responsible for majority of the ills and problems through which this country is passing today. But what about a large number of other people who are guilty of the same crime of flouting the constitution and still are enjoying immunity on one pretext or the other. Let us see how the constitution of Pakistan has been violated and desecrated time and again.

Article 11 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan says:

(1) Slavery is non-existent and forbidden and no law shall permit or facilitate its introduction into Pakistan in any form.

(2) All forms of forced labor and traffic in human beings are prohibited.

(3) No child below the age of fourteen years shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment.

Article 25 (1) of the Constitution says:

‘All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law’.

Article 32 of the Constitution says:

‘The State shall encourage local Government institutions composed of elected representatives of the areas concerned and in such institutions special representation will be given to peasants, workers and women’.

Article 38 of the Constitution reads:

‘The State shall-

(a) secure the well-being of the people, irrespective of sex, caste, creed or race, by raising their standard of living, by preventing the concentration of wealth and means of
production and distribution in the hands of a few to the detriment of general interest and by ensuring equitable adjustment of rights between employers and employees, and
landlords and tenants;

(b) provide for all citizens, within the available resources of the country, facilities for work and adequate livelihood with reasonable rest and leisure;

(c) provide for all persons employed in the service of Pakistan or otherwise, social security by compulsory social insurance or other means;

(d) provide basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, housing , education and medical relief, for all such citizens, irrespective of sex caste, creed or race, as are permanently or temporarily unable to earn their livelihood on account of infirmity, sickness or unemployment;

(e) reduce disparity in the income and earnings of individuals, including persons in the various classes of the service of Pakistan; and

(f) eliminate riba as early as possible’.

Tell me which government, ruler, leader or political party, since inception of the constitution in 1973 has:
• Taken steps to stop concentration of wealth in few hands.
• Provided facilities for work and adequate livelihood to citizens.
• Provided basic necessities of life like food, shelter, education, medical etc to its those citizens who are unable to earn.
• Reduced disparity in the income and earnings of individuals (rather this disparity has increased over the period of time)
• Made even slightest effort to eliminate Riba (interest)
• Ensured an equal and just treatment to all its citizens under the law.
• Eliminated slavery and forced labor. Even today there are private jails of feudal lords and sardars in Sindh and Baluchistan.
• Encouraged local governments. The military dictators had encouraged it but the democratic governments have always avoided this constitutional responsibility.

All the successive governments and their functionaries since inception of constitution in 1973 have continuously been abrogating the constitution with impunity. They have played havoc with the life, property, honor, dignity and respect of the citizens. They have kept the nation illiterate and prone to diseases. Instead of eliminating disparity of incomes they have created islands of prosperity through corrupt practices and nepotism. With ‘Thana’ and ‘Patwari’ culture and a corrupt electorate system, they have plunged the nation in worst kind of slavery, whereby the MNAs / MPs are no less than a demi gods for their people. Aren’t these rulers and political parties guilty of abrogating the constitution?

And finally Article 218 (3) of the Constitution reads:

‘It shall be the duty of the Election Commission constituted in relation to an election to organize and conduct the election and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law, and that corrupt practices are guarded against’.

Think over it. Have the elections been conducted in accordance with the spirit of constitution? Haven’t the corrupt, the tax evaders, the loan defaulters, the liars, the holders of fake degrees been given safe passage to contest elections and to make their way to assemblies? Haven’t the fake votes, the votes surplus to the registered vote been cast, the results on polling stations been withheld / delayed unjustly, the presiding officers been intimidated on gun point. Haven’t the polling stations in Karachi and elsewhere been made as ‘No Go Areas’ even for the media? All this happened right under the nose of the caretaker governments, the Election Commission, the Judiciary and the law enforcing agencies. So, aren’t these institutions guilty of flouting the Constitution?

Coming back to the crime of Pervez Musharaf, let us have a comparison. Pervez Musharaf abrogated the constitution to the extent of suspending some of its provisions related to the functionality of the parliament and the judiciary, that too for a limited period of time. These provisions had little to do with the daily routine of a citizen. A citizen is always obsessed with his safety and livelihood and is hardly concerned with suspension or functionality of few provisions of the constitution. On the other hand the successive governments in Pakistan flouted the constitution and made the life of a citizen miserable and unbearable. A common poor citizen has become so disgusted that he chooses to commit suicide and sell his siblings in the market, just to make his both ends meet. Ask any person on the street and he will tell you who all have committed more serious crimes in relation to the Constitution.

I am neither a fan of Pervez Musharaf nor a supporter of his policies. But all those who have violated and abrogated the Constitution should be brought to book and punished accordingly. Singling out one person from a crowd of criminals seems to be against the norms of dispensing justice.

Why Pakistan’s Next Prime Minister Nawaz Has Soft Corner for India

No Word On Indian Terrorism in Samjota Express attack, the Indian propaganda, and full support to Indian positions on Mumbai and Kargil.

 By ANSAR ABBASI | The News International | 10 May 2013

imagesPML-N chief and the generally anticipated next elected prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif’s recent statements on Kargil and Mumbai incidents have raised many eyebrows and are seen as crossing the red lines.

In his bid to appease India or vent his pent up anger on the military establishment, days before the May 11 elections, Mian Nawaz Sharif have gone to the extent of committing that if he returns to power he would share the reports of commissions on Kargil and Mumbai incidents with New Delhi.

Like his other leading competitors including the PTI and the PPP, Nawaz however did not touch the issue of Kashmir in his election campaign or in his media interviews. Instead, Sharif who has served as the prime minister of Pakistan twice, promised to share with India his government’s findings on Kargil and Mumbai attacks.

He also did not utter a word about Samjhota express massacre of Pakistanis; the latest heroic handling of the Indian government and its ruling Congress party of the dead body of condemned terrorist and killer of 14 Pakistanis – Sarabjit Singh; the tit-for-tat murder of Sanaullah, a Pakistani prisoner in Indian jail; the recent matrydom of some Pakistani soldiers by Indian troops etc.

While Pakistani security agencies have been talking of the Indian role (besides other international powers) to fuel terrorism in Balochistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif assured New Delhi, “If I become the prime minister, I will make sure that Pakistani soil is not used for any such designs against India.” Nawaz Sharif, whose second government was dismissed unconstitutionally by former dictator General (R) Musharraf in October 1999 following differences on the Kargil issue, recently reiterated his party’s old stance of setting up a commission on Kargil to fix responsibility, surprised many by going to the limit of assuring India that he would share the findings of the report with New Delhi. He was also quoted to have given similar assurance about the outcome of the commission on Mumbai attacks. These statements of Nawaz reflect his anger on the basis of his past experience with the Pakistan Army and the security agencies but he apparently lost the balance by giving such an assurance India that could not be in the interest of Pakistan and its defence establishment.

How can a leader of his stature announce that if he becomes the chief executive of the country he would share with the Indians what should have been purely our internal matter and pertains to Pakistan Army? Such a pro-India stance of Nawaz Sharif where he talks everything that pleases India but ignores all those issues that could place New Delhi on the defensive is beyond comprehension.

Any talk on part of Pakistan and any of its leading political personalities on Mumbai attack, which according to Indian propaganda was the work of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, the ISI, requires extra caution. But here too, Nawaz Sharif promises a probe and sharing it with India.

Despite all sorts of Indian propaganda, there has been no sharing of any substantial evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in the Mumbai attacks. The Wikileaks had even shown the US telling India that the latter has no evidence of Pakistan and its premier intelligence agency’s involvement in the Mumbai attack. India also implicates Hafiz Saeed in the Mumbai attacks but has not produced any evidence as such and because of the same reason Hafiz Saeed was released by the Lahore High Court after he was arrested soon after the Mumbai attacks.

While the political leaders are expected to understand the sensitivities involved in any such matter, President Asif Ali Zardari soon after his election as president of Pakistan had also shocked many here in Pakistan by telling India that Islamabad would pursue the no-first-use nuclear policy whereas Pakistan’s declared policy is of “nuclear deterrence”.