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Archive for category Pakistan’s Ruling Elite Feudals Industrialists

Racial profiling of Pashtuns by Brig. (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Racial profiling of Pashtuns

Asif Haroon Raja

Ali Wazir has posted a video clip on social media showing Punjab Police manhandling some persons. He has craftily given a twist to the story by projecting the Pashtuns living in Punjab as the victims. I am sure, he must have been handsomely rewarded by RAW or NDS for this villainous act which has raised the tempers of the Pashtun community. Imran Khan added fuel to fire by giving a color to anti-terrorism drive in Punjab as racial profiling of the Pashtuns. Opposition leader Khurshid Shah sprinkled more oil on the hurt feelings of Pashtuns. The Pashtun nationalists took to twitter to vent their anger. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly has passed a resolution demanding an immediate halt to anti-Pashtun campaign in Punjab and has warned of dire consequences if it is not stopped. Asfand Wali threatened to oust Punjabis from KP. Pamphlets are in circulation. Within no time, Afghan social media posted series of fake videos to paint Pashtuns as victims of Punjab vandalism. Altaf Hussain sitting in London also sung the same song. Liberal and progays Marvi Sarmad tweeted in favor of Pashtuns. The speed with which all of them have ganged up for a fake cause is quite intriguing. None bothered to see that the clip going viral on social media relates to a 15 years old incident in Baluchistan province and not Punjab, in which suspected Afghans were rounded up by the police. The clip seems to be cleverly doctored. Notorious Jibran Nasir is the main instigator behind racial profiling memo.

 

 

 

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Coming weeks are likely to witness the shrill exchange of hot words and accusations between the KP and Punjab governments, duly aggravated by social media, which is already working on someone else’s agenda. The purpose behind exacerbating ethnic feelings is to drive a wedge between the Punjabis and Pashtuns. The two communities have been at peace and enjoying most cordial relations in all the provinces and never picked up arms against each other. Pashtuns settled in Punjab do not wish to return to KP.  

The juvenile reaction of nationalist Pashtuns is a consequence of the nationwide operation Raddul Fasaad that was launched in the wake of a new wave of terrorism unleashed from the soil of Afghanistan in which targets were struck in all the four provinces and almost 200 people were killed. It was gathered that the handlers and facilitators in each incident were from inside Pakistan. The whole trail has been unearthed after arresting the accomplices. The security forces have no political axe to grind and go after terrorists only who have no religion or ethnic identity.    

The main objective of the operation is to destroy leftover hideouts/camps of terrorists both sides of the Durand Line, get hold of handlers, facilitators, carriers and financiers of terrorists, demolish sleeping cells and terrorists network in urban centres, choke funds and supplies by  further improving border management, and expedite implementation of 20 points of National Action Plan (NAP). This operation in which all the three services are taking part under a coordinated plan had been necessitated in the wake of dangerous agenda of enemies of Pakistan to destabilize, denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan. For the achievement of their sinister goals, they have been making all out efforts through paid proxies and propaganda war to make Pakistan insecure and to make CPEC less attractive for outsiders.

India has all along been resorting to subversive activities in Pakistan to breed misgivings, disenchantment and hatred between smaller provinces and Punjab on the basis of socio-politico-economic grievances, stir up provincialism by encouraging fissiparous tendencies, stoke ethnicity and sectarianism, widen religious divides and sharpen political polarization and befriend 5th columnists and disgruntled elements. India helped by its moles in Pakistan has been playing its role in making power centres fight with each other and in spoiling civil-military relations.

The purpose behind subversion is to keep Pakistan perpetually politically unstable, economically weak and internationally isolated and discredited. A segment of Pakistani media, NGOs, and pseudo-intellectuals on the payroll of foreign powers have been instrumental in sensationalizing weak points and undermining strengths.

Former NWFP was already in the grip of Pakhtun nationalism at the time of partition and Pakhtunistan stunt championed by Khan Brothers (associated with Indian Congress) and had the support of Kabul. The movement has still not died down since the likes of Asfandyar Wali and Mahmood Achakzai, helped by India and Afghanistan, carry forward this agenda. Billboards of ‘Greater Pakhtunistan’ were on display in KP during the last PPP rule. 

After successfully stoking Bengali nationalism and building hatred against West Pakistan in general and Punjab and Army in particular, India accomplished its mission of separating East Pakistan from the body of Pakistan in 1971.

RAW was next mandated to achieve similar results in Sindh and Baluchistan. Sindhi and Baloch nationalism were fueled in the two provinces to intensify hatred against Punjab and the Federation. RAW’s efforts gave birth to Sindhu Desh movement of Sindhi nationalists led by late GM Sayed in Sindh. Baloch insurgency led by Marris and Mengals in Baluchistan in the 1970s was a follow up of earlier rebellious tendencies of some Baloch Sardars and of Samad Achakzai in Baluchistan. Under the name of Baloch nationalism, settlers were targeted and forced to migrate. The Baloch insurgency was fully supported by KGB, RAW, and KHAD.

Having succeeded in subverting the Sindhis, RAW stimulated anti-Sindhi sentiments among the Urdu-speaking settlers in urban Sindh and pitted new Sindhis against old Sindhis, again on the basis of socio-economic grievances. Altaf Hussain established APSMO in 1978 and created MQM in 1984. RAW handed him the blueprint plan of Mujibur Rahman led Awami League, how to go about separating urban Sindh from rest of Pakistan and creating a new state for the Mohajirs. Altaf was glamorized and popularized among the Urdu speaking community as their hero. Besides blaming the Sindhis, Altaf and his disciples blamed the establishment and agencies for the woes of Mohajirs. This line was adopted to project the Mohajirs as victims and to hide fascist and terrorist activities of the MQM aimed at controlling Karachi and Hyderabad through terrorism. A stage came when the MQM militants indulged in bloody duels against the Sindhis and settlers from other ethnic communities in Karachi in the late 1980s. Three operations were launched in the 1990s to control MQM militancy.

After 9/11, FATA was created as a new conflict zone by RAW and its allied agencies to fan terrorism in Pakistan. TTP was created with an ostensible aim of demolishing the existing governing structure and replacing it with Sharia-based system and establishment of Islamic Emirate. The real aim was however to stoke chaos, pin down a sizeable portion of Army in the northwest, and destabilize the country. Despite launching several large size military operations such as Rah-e-Raast, Rah-e-Nijat and Zarb-e-Azb, and recapturing the entire space captured by the TTP and its affiliates, terrorism couldn’t be rooted out.

The reason is that Afghanistan that had been converted into a strategic launching pad for cross-border terrorism in Pakistan in 2002 is still fully operative. All the planners, executors and coordinators of covert war sit under one roof at Sehra Neward Intelligence Centre north of Kabul and their objectives against Pakistan remain unchanged. The other reason is the Pakistani power wielders providing protection and funds to the terrorists and the natural alignment of the religious right with the TTP and other so-called religiously motivated militant groups.

Former Army chief Gen Raheel was right in stating that terrorism cannot be rooted out unless financiers, handlers, and facilitators are taken to task and the nexus of financial terrorism, corruption and terrorism is broken. The military prong which achieved over 80% progress couldn’t achieve conclusive results because of the bases in Afghanistan and backing of terrorists by foreign patrons and local supporters.     

Baluchistan that was peaceful from 1979 to 2003, was made restive in 2004 and this time Bugtis were made to join the Marris and Mengals as well other Baloch nationalists to wage province-wide insurgency backed by RAW, NDS, CIA, MI-6, Mossad. Socio-economic deprivations were once again drummed up and Nawab Akbar Bugti was made into a hero to promote Baloch nationalism. Punjab was held responsible for the backwardness of the province. Mega development projects were objected to and the Army, FC and intelligence agencies demonized on the made-up allegations that they were responsible for the Baloch missing persons and mutilated bodies. Sectarianism was fanned by targeting Hazara community in Baluchistan.

In September 2001, Altaf residing in London since 1992, gave an undertaking to Tony Blair of MQM’s full support in the war on terror. From 2008 onward, the re-strengthened MQM undertook planned destabilization of Karachi, the economic hub of Pakistan, so as to further bleed Pakistan’s economy. A spate of target killings, kidnappings for ransom and extortion was unleashed and the daily score of target killers was 10-12. Altaf kept raising alarm bells about the threat of Taliban and Pashtun settlers to the peace of Karachi, which in actuality had been ruined by the Sindh ruling coalition of PPP, MQM, and ANP. Sindh had begun to die an economic death.

Karachi was stabilized after a targeted and intelligence based operation was launched by the Rangers equipped with police powers under Article 147 of the Constitution in September 2013. However, MQM which was mainly responsible for lawlessness made a hue and cry that the operation was not even-handed and was Mohajir focused. When the Rangers started nabbing the ones involved in financial terrorism and went after some in interior Sindh, the ruling PPP started creating impediments in the way of Rangers.

The RAW sponsored MQM in Karachi has got divided into four factions – MQM London, MQM Pakistan under Farooq Sattar, Pakistan Sar Zamin Party under Mustafa Kamal and MQM Haqiqi under Afaq. Its militant structure has been broken and Altaf is debarred from making speeches on phone to instigate violence. Altaf is now the most hated man in Pakistan and a red warrant for his arrest by Interpol has been issued. Ironically, he is now trying to portray himself as a friend of Pashtuns and is openly espousing the agenda of enemies to break Pakistan into pieces. He is equating Indian atrocities against Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir with Rangers operation in Karachi against Mohajirs. Like Mujib, he is threatening the government to stop operation Raddul Fasaad or else face annihilation of Army.  He is exhorting his followers to get ready for the final battle against the Army and is seeking another Gen Arora like General in India.   

PPP, MQM, and PTI demanded an operation in Punjab arguing that it was also prone to crime and terrorism. They quoted the presence of Punjabi Taliban, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Sipah Sahaba and Chotu gang in South Punjab. This demand was put in with an eye on elections in 2018, hoping that action against Punjabi militants will dilute the vote bank of PML-N in Punjab.

Punjab government expressed reluctance on the plea that law and order situation in Punjab was under control and developments works were proceeding smoothly.  It was owing to persistent demand of other provinces and the terror attack in Lahore on February 13th that it was decided to include Punjab in the ambit of operation Raddul Fasaad as well.

Some Inferences

As a result of RAW’s subversion, Pakistan had to face Sindhu Desh movement and MRD movement in interior Sindh, Mohajir movement in urban Sindh, Baloch separatist movement in Baluchistan, low-keyed Saraiki movement in southern Punjab, TTP insurgency in the northwest, and Balwaristan movement in Gilgit-Baltistan, each aspiring for a separate state outside the concept of Pakistan. Effective measures taken by the incumbent government, security forces and law enforcement agencies has taken the wind out of the sails of all the movements/insurgencies. 

Till 9/11, India was the support base for all the rebel groups/political parties in Pakistan. After the occupation of Afghanistan by the US in November 2001, Afghanistan has become the operational base. RAW has also been making use of Iranian territory for carrying out sabotage and subversion in Baluchistan and Karachi. Rajgarh and Ramgarh in Rajasthan continue to be used for dispatching supplies to the terrorists in Sindh, interior Baluchistan, and southern Punjab.

The proxies undertaking terrorism in Pakistan are the TTP, its breakaway faction Jamaat-al- Ahrar (JA), Lashkar-e-Islam, LeJ, Al-Alami, IMU and TTA based at Kunar, Nuristan and Nangarhar since 2009. RAW and NDS have outsourced terrorism and have circulated a menu-like price list to all these groups. Rupees 4 million is spent on a single suicide mission.

In Baluchistan, major proxies are BLA, BRA, BLF that used to operate from interior Baluchistan but now mostly operate from Spin Boldak and Lashkargah in Afghanistan. Their leaders espousing separatist agenda are housed by Britain, America, and Switzerland. A red warrant has been issued against Brahamdagh Bugti. Large numbers of Baloch fighters have voluntarily forsaken militancy and joined the mainstream thereby taking the steam out of the separatist movement. 

In Baluchistan, major proxies are BLA, BRA, BLF that used to operate from interior Baluchistan but now mostly operate from Spin Boldak and Lashkargah in Afghanistan. Their leaders espousing separatist agenda are housed by Britain, America, and Switzerland. A red warrant has been issued against Brahamdagh Bugti. Large numbers of Baloch fighters have voluntarily forsaken militancy and joined the mainstream thereby taking the steam out of the separatist movement. 

Baluchistan has weak border management and 95% of its territory is in control of ill-trained and corruption-prone Levies that are controlled by Sardars. Owing to over a dozen crossing points, it is more vulnerable to infiltration and requires concrete steps to prevent cross-border movement.  

Foreign agencies have been fishing in the camps of 3 million Afghan refugees residing in KP and Baluchistan since 1979 to find handlers and facilitators as well as saboteurs. They take full advantage of the porous western border with negligible border control mechanism. Apart from the socio-economic burden, unregistered among them have become a security hazard and has forced the government to expedite their return and also to verify them. Vested groups are however making hue and cry and making it into a political issue. Arrest and interrogation of suspected Afghan refugees are being mixed up with Pakhtun racialism.     

Daesh joined up with JA and TTP and has made Nangarhar as its base camp for fighting Afghan Taliban as well as striking targets and making inroads in Pakistan. Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, supervising the whole covert war against Pakistan had facilitated Daesh marriage with JA-TTP in 2015.

All bases of TTP and its affiliates have been busted in the northwest and so have the Farari camps in interior Baluchistan. Since the start of 2015, all acts of terror emanate from Afghanistan right under the nose of NATO and CIA.

Afghan unity government which is a puppet in the hands of Washington and Delhi has adopted a hostile posture against Pakistan. It is averse to border management since it will prevent cross-border terrorism and also expose its oft-repeated claim that instability in Afghanistan is owing to terrorism springing from Pakistan. It has taken no step to dismantle safe havens of TTP and JA, and to close down Pakistan specific India consulates filled with RAW officers, or to rein in NDS.

For the first time, Pakistan has changed its defensive posture to offensive defence and has struck JA and TTP terror camps across the western border with precision. Western border has been closed. Pakistan has handed over a list of 76 most wanted terrorists belonging to these banned groups to Kabul for their extradition.

 An equally aggressive posture has been adopted along the LoC in Kashmir, which India has intentionally kept on the boil to distract the attention of the world from its atrocities in occupied Kashmir, which is slipping out of its hands. Gen Qamar Bajwa has given a loud message that he means business.    

Safety of the CPEC and Gwadar seaport has been ensured by deploying a division size force, while the Marine Force of Navy has been mandated to guard the coastline, exclusive economic zone and the sea lanes in the Arabian Sea.   

Frustrated by the failure of multiple covert efforts including pitting Deobandis against Barelivis, the enemies of Pakistan have devised a new plan to trigger Pashtun-Punjabi ethnic war to fail Operation Raddul Fasaad.

Punjab government will have to ensure evenhandedness in the ongoing operation in Punjab to allay the fears that Pashtuns are being racially profiled. At the same time, leaders of smaller provinces should also behave responsibly and avoid pouring scorn on Punjab for petty political gains.

Ongoing efforts to denigrate and topple the elected federal and Punjab governments will serve the interests of enemies only and will do no service to the country. What is needed is unity of federating units and a joint strategy to eliminate the scourge of extremism and terrorism.

There is a direct linkage between the terrorists and terror financing. This financing has a direct linkage with Mega Corruption lorded over by the politicians, particularly in Sindh who are raping the economic hub of the country like parasites. The police, the bureaucracy, and the judiciary in Sindh are playing the role of facilitators. Their thorough politicization has blunted the system of accountability.

No effort is in hand to reform the police, bureaucracy and criminal justice system. Till these flaws are doctored, NAP implemented in real earnest, the operational base of Afghanistan neutralized, and the border is effectively guarded, the military prong at its own will not be able to root out terrorism.

Lastly, law enforcement agencies will have to further polish the systems of investigation, intelligence gathering and sharing mechanism and rapid response system to achieve tangible results.     

The writer is a retired Brigadier, a war veteran, a defence analyst, a columnist, an author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, and is the Director of Measac Research Centre. Email: asifharoonraja@gmail.com  

 

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Why Illegal PM Nawaz Sharif is Angry with National Accountability Bureau?

1- Jinnah vs Nawaz (1)

 

 

 

 

 

Why PM is Angry from #NAB

 

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Perception by Ayaz Fakir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perception

 

by

Ayaz Fakir

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Editor’s Note:
 
Pakistan’s Enemies may mis-read the Army’s bystander attitude towards Nawaz Sharif’s Tsunami of money laundering,transferring assets stolen from Pakistan to S.Arabia, UAE, UK, US, and EU.
 
 
 
 
The perception about the Army seems to have undergone a sea change in the last six months. From  revered saviours as they were seen by a huge majority, they are increasingly being viewed as “neutrals” as the state they are sworn to defend is being brought to its knees by just a few hundred people. And if things keep going the way they are, “neutral” will be the least offensive epithet to be slapped on the Army by the people of this country.
What if India attacks Pakistan today, and our Army adopts a position of neutrality? What should the Army be called then?? For what is happening today is unobstructed plunder of national wealth of a scale so frightening that the “enemy” will have done us in without the need to fire a single shot. And this corruption is surely reflected in our national debt whose figures cannot be denied, and which has put a lien on our sovereignty. How can the Army, the ultimate guardian of our state look impassively on, as the very foundations of the state are being eroded? What should the people, who sustain the Army, call such neutrality?
This is a strange scenario where the people who are destroying the country are hiding behind the Constitution, and where the Army which can bring about an end to this horror is also citing the same Constitution for its inaction and passivity.
Indeed, this was the very aim of this mangled Constitution i.e to give immunity to the robber barons of the land, while counting on the pusillanimity of those who lead its Army. This was the perfect legal recipe for the success of an operation designed to take down the state.
In states with a slightly higher quotient of patriotism, it is clearly understood that when it is a choice between the state and the constitution, it is for the state that a patriot stands. 
This is what Ataturk did not need being schooled about in 1919, while the German Generals of the Second World War needed to be schooled in a lot earlier than 20 July 1944.
When every solution for the salvaging of the state lies exhausted, and the last solution is the only one that remains, not resorting to this solution does not make one a “constitutionalist”, it makes one a deserter at a time when he was most needed by his country.

 

Indeed, this was the very aim of this mangled Constitution i.e to give immunity to the robber barons of the land, while counting on the pusillanimity of those who lead its Army. This was the perfect legal recipe for the success of an operation designed to take down the state.
In states with a slightly higher quotient of patriotism, it is clearly understood that when it is a choice between the state and the constitution, it is for the state that a patriot stands. 
This is what Ataturk did not need being schooled about in 1919, while the German Generals of the Second World War needed to be schooled in a lot earlier than 20 July 1944.
When every solution for the salvaging of the state lies exhausted, and the last solution is the only one that remains, not resorting to this solution does not make one a “constitutionalist”, it makes one a deserter at a time when he was most needed by his country.

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Deplorable role of our politicians by Asif Haroon Raja

 

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Deplorable role of our politicians

Asif Haroon Raja

Irresponsible behavior of our political leaders is causing irreparable damage to the nation. Their myopia has caused deep anguish to the people. Their selfishness broke the country into two. When Mujibur Rahman and 22 co-accused were arrested on charges of treason and secession in 1968, the politicians bailed them out. When Ayub Khan who had uplifted the fortunes of Pakistan sky high, agreed to all the demands of the opposition and called the Round Table Conference to find a political way out, power hungry ZA Bhutto failed the conference. While Gen Yahya gave all the political concessions and allocated heaviest development outlays for the eastern wing to appease the Bengalis, Mujibur Rahman chose to play the Indian game to become PM of Bangladesh and not of united Pakistan. ZA Bhutto added fuel to fire since he wanted half of the cake of power at all cost. Their obduracy and India’s disgusting role led to the break of Pakistan. Bangladesh broke away to become independent but has become a satellite of India.

Egotism and greed of nationalist politicians from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Sindh, later joined by Baluchistan nationalists blocked the construction of Kalabagh Dam (KBD), vital for the survival of Pakistan. Who doesn’t know that India was behind the ones opposing KBD and had doled out large amounts to achieve her sinister design? Today when India has built well over 60 dams on the three rivers flowing into Pakistan from occupied Kashmir and is hell bent to make Pakistan a water scarce country and a barren land, no one is holding the opponents accountable. India is now in a position to flood our rivers during flood season each year and control water during seeds sowing season. This strategy has been devised to bend nuclear Pakistan and force it to give up Kashmir and accept Indian hegemony if it wants to survive. But for the avaricious politicians who have sold their souls to the devil, India could never have succeeded in her designs. Thanks to Ayub Khan who constructed Tarbela and Mangla Dams and laid a network of irrigation canals, otherwise Pakistan by now would have been a drought stricken country and couldn’t have possibly pursued its nuclear program or maintained strong armed forces.

We know the architects of NRO and what price the beneficiaries had agreed to pay to get cleansed from criminal and corruption charges and secure power. We know the dream team of PPP-MQM-ANP-JUI-F formed by the US in March 2008 and how this chosen team went about giving Pakistan on contract to the adversaries of Pakistan. While all the PPP leading lights involved in mega scandals were given a clean chit, 8000 MQM leaders involved in heinous crimes were let off. This team played havoc with Pakistan in its 5-year rule. Besides minting money and reducing Pakistan into a carcass, the MQM in its bid to gain total control over Karachi and other urban centres of Sindh let loose a reign of terror in Karachi with the help of its target killers, extortionists, kidnappers. Railway was almost grounded by ANP minister. While all the economic indicators had gone into negative, all profit earning state corporations ran on oxygen, economy almost collapsed and debts doubled. Country was run by taking loans from IMF, World Bank, local banks and printing notes. PML-N tied to charter of democracy looked the other way.

Pakistan was seen as a breeding ground of terrorism, the most dangerous country in the world and a failing state. An impression had been built that Pakistan’s nukes were unsafe and likely to be snatched by militants and hence must be taken in safe custody. Pak Army and ISI were ridiculed by propagating that they were either in league with terrorists or were inefficient and were repeatedly asked to do more. Every Tom, Dick and Harry could whip Pakistan and our leaders took the insults and whips without a whimper. No country was prepared to invest even $ 100 in Pakistan and foreign investment had dried up. Pakistan suffered worst energy crisis and people had to endure 18-20 hours load shedding. There was acute shortage of gas, fuel and commodities. Corruption scaled new heights and was institutionalized. Nepotism was adopted and merit discarded. Cheats and crooks were preferred over honest people. Accountability was in name only since no one was held accountable under the name of national reconciliation. Even those sentenced to death were not hanged because of moratorium. Over 4000 terrorists arrested by the Army soldiers in combat zones were freed by the law courts. No criminal in Karachi involved in hundreds of murders was convicted and punished.

We remember how merrily our leaders accepted the Kerry Lugar Bill which in the garb of aid was designed to control Pakistan’s premier institutions and strategic assets. We also remember the Memo scandal and the devious role of our ambassador in Washington who had authored it at the behest of the top leaders in Pakistan. Hussain Haqqani had pushed in 7000 CIA and Blackwater operatives without seeking clearance from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ISI. Rahman Malik as Interior Minister served the vested interests of his local and foreign masters submissively and enabled Blackwater to establish itself in major urban centres. It has now been established that while MQM is closely linked with RAW, PPP leadership is involved in financial terrorism in Karachi and ANP connection with the Indian Congress is no secret. BLA, BRA, BLF are creations of MI-6, CIA, RAW and are serving their agenda to detach Baluchistan from Pakistan. Their absconding leaders are leading a luxurious life in London, Geneva and Washington. TTP is also a creation of foreign agencies and its top leaders are hosted by Afghan intelligence in Kunar, Nuristan, Nangarhar and used by RAW against Pakistan.  

Instead of building institutions and focusing on alleviating the sufferings of the poor, the politicians got involved in filling their coffers. While the PPP wasted all their energies in glorifying ZA Bhutto and Benazir and in demeaning Gen Ziaul Haq, the MQM and ANP lionized Altaf Hussain and Bacha Khan respectively. PPP and MQM kept fighting in Sindh but slept in one bed. Their insatiable greed and lust for big money and power, and their uncaring habit of displaying their wealth sowed the seeds of materialism and immorality. Their dishonesty stimulated culture of corruption. Their arrogant behavior and their lackadaisical approach and insensitivity towards the have-nots bred intolerance, resentment and further fueled religious extremism and terrorism. Their inefficiency crumbled the economy and accentuated joblessness and poverty. Lacking in vision and patriotism, and preferring self-interests over national interests, they remained engrossed in transferring wealth to Swiss banks and procuring property abroad and took little interest in education and in integrating the society as one whole, which is prone to divisive tendencies due to factors of regionalism, ethnicity, sectarianism, secular-Islamic divide and religious divides. Their corrupt practices became a key factor in disillusioning the youth and in going astray and in fanning provincialism.

These glaring anomalies can be attributed to a robber baron but certainly not to a Guardian. One can expect the callous feudal lord to commit such thoughtless acts but cannot be expected from a true leader and a well-wisher. The have-nots have been groaning under the weight of unbearable poverty and crying in pain for the last 69 years, but the ones sitting in the corridors of power and taking turns to loot the national wealth and resources are so smug in their high lifestyle that they either turn a deaf ear to their cries or pretend that they are doing a lot for them. Each time they stand for elections, they reach up to the have-nots and promise them moon, but no sooner they get elected through their votes they get disconnected from them. Having spent millions during election campaign, they consider it their right to plunder the national wealth. They forget the sacrifices rendered by the workers, tillers, farmers, laborers, artisans who keep the economic wheels of the country running irrespective of the odds.

Even under such insalubrious circumstances, the Army and ISI remained focused on battling with the foreign agencies supported terrorist groups in FATA and parts of KP and managed to recapture 17 administrative units from their hold in 2009 and retained them since the civil administration expressed its inability to takeover. Over 3000 security personnel embraced martyrdom in Swat and South Waziristan operations while the list of injured was much longer.

It is indeed ironic that well knowing that Pakistan has been cleverly trapped into a web of international conspiracy and the security forces are fighting an existential war since 2004, the politicians have brought no change in their behavior pattern and conduct. While the Army is at war and is shedding blood to safeguard the territorial integrity and sovereignty of motherland, and has demolished the last stronghold of TTP in North Waziristan, there is no change in the way of life of politicians. They are still making money, squabbling and indulging in intrigues. MQM followed by the PPP are trying to discredit the Rangers and fail the operation in Karachi since both want the axe to fall on smaller fish only and to spare the big fish. Sindh government is dragging its feet to grant extension to Rangers. They are doing so against the wishes of people of Karachi.

Disgruntled politicians in Sindh never hesitate from using Sindh or Muhajir card. There are some envious of progress achieved by Shahbaz, blaming Punjab for lack of development in smaller provinces. Punjab cannot be blamed for plunging the city of lights Karachi into darkness and soaking the streets with human blood. It is PPP which is creating hurdles in the implementation of National Action Plan and is now seeking judicial inquiry of Bacha Khan University terror attack. PPP is building pressure on the government to wind up Rangers operation in Karachi.

Look at how some political parties assisted by segment of media are opposing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a win-win project for both Pakistan and China since it helps Pakistan in getting out of the woods and China in developing its western provinces and in getting connected with South Asia, Middle East, Africa and beyond. The ones in the vanguard are Tehreek-e-Insaaf, ANP, PPP, JUI-F supported by Baloch nationalists. They are speaking the language of India which is hell-bent to scuttle CPEC.

While the $46 billion project is being viewed by the analysts all over the globe as a game changer for Pakistan as well as for South Asia, India is creating hurdles and has declared that it is unacceptable. Reason is that this project will bolster Pakistan’s economy and enhance its significance in the world and above all decisively demolish India’s plan to encircle Pakistan and her grandiose plans to become a regional and global power. India knows that politically stable, economically sound and militarily strong Pakistan will quicken the pace for liberation of occupied Kashmir from her clutches and then unravel Indian Union. Like India, the US is equally upset about CPEC since it will jeopardise its ambition to shift its strategic pivot from West Asia to Asia-Pacific, disrupt its plans to encircle its chief rival China and will thwart its plans to harness the mineral resources of Central Asia.

Since the CPEC has become a nightmare for India as well as USA because Central Asian Republics and some Gulf Countries have already got attracted towards it, the BJP regime has established a special desk of RAW at Delhi and allocated $300 million to scuttle CPEC at all cost. In addition, ex Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been given $30 million to keep Afghan base active for cross border terrorism in Pakistan. Indian National Adviser Ajit Dowal is the director of the operation and he is using multiple methods to achieve India’s ends. Heating up of LoC/Working boundary, false flag operations, threatening posture, and acceleration in acts of terror in restive zones of Pakistan through which western route passes, establishing a link between TTP runaway leaders and Daesh and straining Afghan-Pakistan relations were part of the gory plan. Having failed to disrupt the progress of CPEC and getting flabbergasted with the outstanding successes achieved by Operation Zarb-e-Azb in northwest, FC operation in Baluchistan and Rangers led operation in Karachi, India seems to have acquired the services of some political parties and anchors/journalists in Pakistan to do what she couldn’t do.

Their possible linkage with foreign agenda can be discerned from the fact that the first attempt to scare away the Chinese from undertaking this project was made through Dharna politics. People were led astray under the slogan of ‘change’. Negative politics delayed the signing of the CPEC deal by six months. Another trick employed was to spoil civil-military relations. After the failure of dharna to achieve its objective, complexion of Pakistan began to improve, and the CPEC project took off. Guided by outsiders, the detractors tried to make it controversial by raising the issue of ‘route’ under the pretext that Baluchistan and KP provinces would derive least benefits from it. They tried to mislead the people by asserting that original plan had been changed to benefit Punjab whereas the only route in the original plan was western. They insisted upon giving priority to western route over central and eastern routes. And when to their great disappointment this issue was amicably resolved by the PM in the All Parties’ Conference held in May 2015 that development of western route will be given top priority, they were left gaping and had to shut up for next six months.

They then waited for their patrons for the new theme to play up. To pick faults, they stated that the western route which is being constructed by FWO under the supervision and protection of Army is just a road. When they were explained that it was a four-lane Highway in continuation to KKH, they are now saying that a six-lane motorway along with all the allied facilities are required at the outset. KP CM is using threatening language; similar to the language used by ANP leaders about KBD. They fail to realise that CPEC is a 15-year long term project which has been entirely funded by China, and the one investing $46 billion has its own interests and security concerns and would like the venture to be profitable and not a liability. No one has ever invested this kind of money in Pakistan. As far as energy parks are concerned, which would consume $35 billion of the total amount, those would be decided in consultation with provinces and the latter will have to earmark places and acquire land. The opponents in their frenetic hatred for the ruling party to gain political mileage have started to sing the old song of “Punjab’, which was sung by the Bengalis and it is not difficult to ascertain as to who is the composer of the song.

The frustrated politicians know well that operationalization of CPEC and resolution of energy crisis by 2018 will sink their political ambitions to capture power in 2018 elections. To remain relevant and garner support of the public, they are ringing false alarm bells about CPEC and employing all sorts of dirty tricks to make it controversial and to dishearten the Chinese and oblige them to abandon the project. Their bleating impelled China to express its concern. In their mad frenzy, they do not understand that this opportunity that has come our way is a fate changer and if it slips away Pakistan will never be able to get rid of its external and internal debts and to remove socio-economic deprivations of smaller provinces and will continue to lurch from one crisis to another and remain vulnerable to conspiracies and foreign adventures.

While I agree that PML-N is not a party of angels and there are quite many feudal lords and crooks in it, the fact is that its performance is far better than the previous regime. It must be allowed to work and complete its tenure. If PPP led regime could be tolerated why not this one which is delivering. Let the people decide its fate in May 2018. Any turmoil in the political setup at this delicate stage when economy is yet to stabilize, energy crisis are yet to be overcome, and our adversaries are getting impatient to denuclearize and fragment Pakistan, will be suicidal. Talk of presidential form of government, national government, or the Army taking over power are unproductive suggestions at this stage. Meaningless tug of war will help our adversaries and not Pakistan. The critics must rationally analyse whether the present government has retrogressed or progressed after it took over.

Nawaz’s softness towards India, although highly unpalatable, may be tolerated. After all, Pakistan cannot afford tension on its eastern and western fronts. It is the duty of the government in power to keep the neighbors placated, particularly when our adversaries are provoking Pakistan intentionally. Pakistan’s chief focus should be towards improvement of economy. Economic prosperity alone will deter our adversaries. At the same time, ongoing operations in FATA, Baluchistan and Karachi must continue relentlessly and National Action Plan implemented in letter and spirit to achieve conclusive results. Besides the cancer of terrorism, the bigger cancer of corruption must also be cured. All this is possible only if civil-military relations remain harmonious, all institutions to perform at their optimum levels and provincial governments to concentrate on improving the socio-economic conditions of their respective provinces rather than blaming the federal government.

The writer is a retired Brig, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Director Measac Research Centre, Director Board of Governors Pakistan Thinkers Forum, takes part in TV talk shows. asifharoonraja@gmail.com          

 

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Pakistan: Leaders or Criminals By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

Pakistan: Leaders or Criminals

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By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

[At least 55 people were killed and more than 150 injured in a lethal suicide attack on the Pakistan side of Wagah border.]

Leaders with No accountability and No Shame
 

Pakistan is in ruins. The nation and its institutions, law and justice, commerce, thinking hubs, political governance all appear dysfunctional and self-contradictory. Eroding freedom of thought and action speaks of the missing accountability of the political elite. The nation is fast becoming a victim of the US planned blue-print being used in Iraq. Vengeful sectarian killings and dismantling of economic, political and moral infrastructures is used to incapacitate the nation by its own sadistic rulers. All fighting against each other to end the very existence by collective madness. The paid Pakistani political and security agents are instrumental in carrying out heinous crimes. Increasingly, and without any logical redress, common citizens are the targets of the political cruelty. No wonder, once conditions favorable to cruelty are established, it spreads like frightening wildfire. The governance demonstrates a dead-ended political conscience at the expense of the interests of the people. After a decade-old American entrapment in the bogus war on terrorism, the country has lost the energy and capacity to deal with any major problem of security or national unity. The foreign agenda is focused on breaking the moral and spiritual lifelines of the Pakistani nation by its own agents of influence. There are no brave and proactive politicians to stop the continuing political stagnation. The nation faces colossal disaster day in and day out but nobody is held accountable for the crimes. The Generals are convenient spectators and Nawaz Sharif is happy, the herd is politically manageable to complete his inherently fraudulent term of office as prime minister.

Daily blood baths of civilians go unabated, adding to the statistical record for lack of adequate security. The latest cold blooded murder of 55 innocent people at Wagha border and 150 or so injured adds nothing new to grieving citizens belief that Pakistan is governed by most inept, incompetent and corrupt people ever witnessed by an informed nation. No politicians assume responsibility for the protection and safeguard of life and property of ordinary Pakistanis. There is an obvious disconnect between the people and the political rulers constantly hated and feared by the masses. The conflicting time zones are widening in which ordinary people suffer versus the ruling elite breathe as daily civilian casualties continue to rise because of the Taliban attacks and targeted massacres of ordinary citizens. Whose failure is it, and who should be held accountable? Is the Pakistani security apparatus so incompetent and ill equipped that it cannot ensure public safety? Given the lack of accountability and lack of shame, there is nothing to prevent these political criminals from repeating their crimes. So the killings of the innocent civilians go unabated. Strange as it is, opposition activists raising voices against the Sharif regime are conveniently arrested and jailed, but not the Sharif brethren who kill the citizens at random and implement planned massacres. Those facilitating crimes against the people occupy positions of political leadership and even law and justice cannot question them. They are abetted by the political class, committed the greatest heist in history.
Assuming political power in Pakistan means supporting the king’s men of oligarchy. Nobody could dare to challenge their supremacy in the annals of public affairs. For almost three months thousands of people across wide spectrum of Pakistani society, were raising voices of REASON in Islamabad to imagine political change and to have the Sharif brothers held accountable for politically geared killings and death squads against peaceful demonstrators. The inaction contributes to the downfall of the country to obscurity and insanity often irreversible in time and space. This week, at Wagah international border, 55 civilians were cold bloodedly massacred by a group of Taliban. Reportedly 100 or more were critically injured. Sharif and military security officials have proven to be a failure to console the people in situation of emergencies and moments of pain and anguish.
A ‘Failed State’ or Quagmire of Political Insanity
Pakistan lives in self-inflicted turmoil of political and military intrigues – all deceiving all – all trying to gain their foothold in power either by attracting foreign interventions or creating catastrophic political hazards to dismantle the fabric of the originally Muslim nation. The stage actors want power and use it as a divine right of absolutism against the interests of the coerced masses. This set the stage for the gradual decadence of the meaning and purpose of the Pakistan Freedom Movement. The worst emerged when ZA Bhutto and General Yahya Khan refused to transfer power to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the majority East Pakistani leader after the 1971 national elections. They managed to kill several thousands of Pakistanis on both sides to retain power and ended up in humiliating surrender to India. Both betrayed the nation and both escaped the accountability. ZA Bhutto emerged as an absolute illegitimate leader of defeated Pakistan assuming the role of Martial Law administrator, President and later Prime Minister. Another military coup by General Zia ul-Haq got the US-other Western nation involved in military intervention to oust the Communist USSR from occupying neighboring Afghanistan and evolution of jihadist – Taliban struggle. In August 1988, Ms. Bhutto and her mother were reportedly responsible for the plane crash of General Zia ul Haq and Killings of 12 Generals and hundreds of others civilians including foreign diplomats. Subsequently, Ms. Bhutto and her mother were not charged with killings of so many precious lives but embraced as the first female PM. She was dismissed twice as corruption that knew no bound. Ms. Bhutto and Asif Zardari stole millions of dollars from Pakistan and were indicted by Swiss court on money laundering schemes. The $60. Million were never recovered by the national treasury. A crime-riddled political culture flourished in which these monsters floated freely. Nawaz Sharif was also dismissed twice on corruption charges. In 1999, he conspired to hijack a PIA incoming flight from SriLanka to Karachi in which the then COAS General Pervez Musharaf and 250 or more civilian passengers were traveling. Sharif had the plan to send the plane to India or to get it crashed. A military coup ousted Sharif and was tried on terrorism charges in a court law and exiled. General Musharaf and his colleagues traded-in Pakistan’s national interest including the nuclear program, and hundreds of innocent Pakistanis sold to populate infamous Guantanmo Bay terror prison in return for cash payments by George W. Bush. Musharaf lived in a $1.4 million newly bought mansion in London under British police 24/7 protection before returning to Pakistan. “Do Pakistanis have any sense of honor?” asked one British journalist of the Daily Telegraph. Would any honorable nation or country allow such criminals to reemerge as political leaders?
Pakistan Needs Educated and Intelligent Leaders to Cure the Political Curse
To imagine a progressive country, educated Pakistanis living abroad could be resourceful to transfer their knowledge and experiences for the good of the country and to strive for a Navigational Change. But how? Hold your breath! An American neurologist of Pakistani origin goes back passionately to serve the people. His clinic in Satellite town- Rawalpindi offers highly specialized systematic health care services to fellow Pakistanis. Even treats those who cannot pay the fee or medication bill. Thousands line up and day and night go to this clinic. The doctor starts getting warning messages from local ‘ghundas’ (rascals) asking for protection money. The doctor continues to work and informs the police. They too want their share of the protection money and do nothing. He complains to higher civic authorities upon getting death threats but nobody listens and does anything to ensure the safety of the doctor and clinic. One day hundred of patients get big surprise when they see the rampaged clinic and the doctor is nowhere to be seen. Lufhtansa Germany Airline flies to Lahore but does not change its crew over there. The fear of kidnappers demanding money haunts them all the time. What a Shame…. What a Shame … What a DISGRACE to a conscientious Pakistani that leaders of Pakistan’s Government cannot extend sense of security to a reputable international airline. No sensible person or global citizen will ever invest or travel to a country at the crossroads of daily bloodbaths, corruption and political gangsterism. Is this prevalent fact hard to grasp to any responsible person in Pakistan? Tourism is a lifeline to any developing nation like Pakistan. During the summer of 2013 under PM Sharif, 10 international tourists were cold blooded murdered by Taliban group near the K2 mountainous region. Is Pakistan that naïve and hopeless in security that it cannot protect the international tourists? Farzana Parveen would have liked to know why she was stoned to death right where law and justice were supposedly administered to have protected her at the Lahore High Court compound. Police were watching the horrifying killing. “Farzana Parveen Stoning Shames Pakistan.” (Asia Times: 6/2/2014). The terrifying scene portrayed in the global news media showed hundreds of spectators witnessing the most horrifying crime to human nature, not in darkness but in broad daylight, and right where freedom, human dignity, and honor of the citizens should have been protected – the Lahore High Court compound with police in attendance. It is incredibly shameful to be a Pakistani and to watch this inhuman atrocity out of the nowhere. Why the police did not offer protection to Farzana? Farzana’s soul must be wondering, why did society not protect her against this draconian act of violence? Where are the concerned citizens who claim to be believers – the Muslims who day and night talk about Islam as being the faith and value of their society? The Sharif brother’s investigation revealed nothing to hold the criminal responsible. In June, Karachi International Airport (“Pakistan in Quest of Political Change.” Uncommon Thought Journal, USA: 6/18/2014), was on flame under Talibans attacks. It was a devastating blow to the international image and security of Pakistan. Nobody resigned or was held responsible for failing to protect the airport. Could Sharif and the few complacent Generals assure the global community that Pakistan is a safe place to travel, study, visit and do business? If not, why not? The bogus assemblies, time killing discussions, Sharif and the few Generals are the people embedded with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things. They are part of the problem, not solution and have NO SENSE of the freedom, honor and dignity of the nation. There was no “peace process” between Pakistan and Taliban and there is no peace. Only the absence of peace, and the gnawing want for it, the desperation of the vanquished clearly visible on the mindset of public horizon.
There is a frightening trend of crime explosion across the nation. Daily killings of the civilians go unabated and unchecked by the security agencies. The blame game is centered on Talibans – the creation of the Bhutto family and the Generals. For almost two decades, Pakistan’s capacity for change has been badly fractured and its moral, intellectual and political consciousness derailed and undermined by the few. Bruce Riedel, one of President Obama’s advisors on Pakistan and the War on Terrorism (“Battle for the Soul of Pakistan” 1/4/2013, Brookings Institute and Centre for Middle East Policy), recently described the Pakistani rulers-both civilian and military: “Pakistanis cannot be trusted as they play dubious role, cheat and become double agents in War on Terror” and warns that: “The changes in Pakistan are unlikely to come peacefully and will have major implications for India and America. The stakes are huge in the most dangerous country in the world.”
Pakistan’s worst enemies are those who are unable to listen to voices of reason and peaceful activism for political change. The ruling elite and the people live in a conflicting time zone being unable to understand the meaning and essence of the Pakistan’s Freedom Movement. Pakistan faces multiple chronic problems which could undermine its future. To all concerned and thinking Pakistanis, the country needs a Navigational Change or we could end up losing our national freedom. What is the cure to the current problems? There is no magic pill to deal with all critical situations except a comprehensive new systematic approach for ‘Anew Pakistan.’ Few decades earlier, in “Pakistan: Enigma of Change” (Media Monitor Network, USA) and “Revisiting Pakistan Enigma of Change”, this author offered proactive vision for planned political change to evolve new institutions and new-age educated leadership for a sustainable future. For too long, the masses have experienced tormenting pains and political cruelty. Nawaz Sharif and his brother must be tried in a court of law for the killings of 14 civilians and injuring 80 peaceful activists at Minhaj al Quran Academy Lahore and stolen wealth. Despite evidence, the FIR against Sharif was not registered by police. Nawaz Sharif has no political integrity and must step down or take leave of absence. There is substantial evidence for the 2013 election rigging by the election commission members. Sharif would need a powerful jolt as criminals do not exit voluntarily from powerhouses. It will provide a logical breathing space for a planned and workable remedy to a highly critical political crisis and to enhance a sustainable Change goal. A new Government of National Unity should be formed under a non-partisan and non political leader of moral and intellectual integrity for a period of two years; a New Constitution should be framed with new public institutions under leadership of new generation of educated people; and then a new election could give meaning and clarity to the purpose of democracy and to transform the ideals of a progressive legitimate functional democracy. The Need is desperate for the Pakistani nation to think critically and see the Mirror and stand firm in raising voices of reason for accountability and political change. The people must ponder at past misconceptions and errors of judgments and to bring 21st century’s educated, proactive and intelligent young people into political leadership role and to safeguard the national interest, freedom of the nation and its future.
Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012.

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