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Posts Tagged Imran Khan

PM should step down until JIT completes probe, says Imran

Thief PM Nawaz Must Go Behind Bars For Life

PM should step down until JIT completes probe, says Imran

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Thursday has said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should step down until the JIT completes its investigation. 

Speaking to reporters following the Supreme Court verdict in the Panama Leaks case, Khan said Sharif no longer had any moral authority to continue as prime minister of the country.

“What respect will he have when a government officer calls the prime minister for a criminal inquiry,” he said.

Terming the verdict “a historic judgment in Pakistan’s history”, he said that all five members of the bench have rejected PM Sharif’s explanation of the money trail that led to his children’s offshore holdings.

“I demand Nawaz Sharif to resign today. Sharif should resign because he will not allow an impartial investigation,” he said.

“If Sharif is cleared in 60 days after the joint investigation team’s report, he can continue to serve as the prime minister, but at the moment he has no ethical right to serve on this position,” said the chairman of the PTI.

Imran said that only two of the institutions whose members will be part of the JIT fall under the Chief of Army Staff, while the rest come under the prime minister.

“Hence, he must resign immediately in order for an impartial investigation to be conducted,” said the PTI chairman.

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IMRAN KHAN— A FINE CRICKETER & A BOLD LEADER

IMRAN KHAN— A FINE CRICKETER & A BOLD LEADER

 

 

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For the very fact that no other politician has had the temerity to question the legality of the drone attacks, the validity of the election process, the moral courage to challenge a fascist party in its own backyard and to raise the issue of corruption in the dharnas…….. Do we want to live with the pathetic electoral process- where the irregularities, as they are being revealed daily, are mind boggling? Do we want to accept the killing of innocent children, women, men and older people as part of ‘collateral damage’ of the drone attacks? Do we want to be held hostage to a political party that believes in terrorizing the citizens of a whole city? And ultimately, if we want to control terrorism, we will have to address the upstream factors- and the complete and utter failure of the educational, health, law and order and justice systems of Pakistan. And if one man and one party is raising all the above issues and bringing them into our collective political consciousness, what is wrong with that? And what does it matter if the person raising these issues is a sportsman or a shopkeeper or a soldier or a businessman? As long as he is speaking the truth and challenging the status quo, he/she has my support Whether PTI survives or not without IK is a question we must leave for the future. All I know is that if the foundations of any party or an organization or an individual are based on ethics, morals and integrity, that party and that individual will leave a legacy for future generations. That is why we remember Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Nelson Madela and what they stood for. And that is why we do not remember Marcos, Shah or Iran, Idi Amin, Zia ul Haq and others like them

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Twilight of the old order – by Ayaz Amir

Islamabad diary :  Friday, December 12, 2014 

Twilight of the old order

Ayaz Amir

Dar’s announcing the government’s readiness for unconditional talks with the PTI is not the dawning of wisdom. If only it had been that. It is the government being left with no other choice, wisdom driven into its head first by the huge rally in Islamabad on November 30 and then the closure of Faisalabad on December 8. Had these not happened, rest assured there would have been no offer of talks. Laaton ke bhoot

The iron rod – sarya – has melted, imgres-5because Imran Khan and the PTI have proved tougher and more tenacious than at least I could have imagined. For what my opinion is worth, I have to say this that for years I did not take Imran seriously as a politician. How many times must I not have told foreign journalists out to make sense of Imran that for all his other qualities he lacked that fire in the belly which alone confers mass appeal?

That was then when he was a virtual lone ranger, aimlessly moving from one place to another without attracting too great a following, his celebrity status just that and not turning into instant political coinage. But he kept at it. I have said it before, permit me to say it again. A lesser man would have given up long ago, cursing his countrymen as an ungrateful lot into the bargain. Even after the 2013 elections when the PTI emerged as the second – or was it the third? – largest party, its gains were not much compared to the laurels won by the PML-N. And when Imran talked of the elections being stolen, and of reopening the account of four constituencies, who took him seriously?

And from outside my hotel window I saw the beginning of the Aug 14 ‘long march’ from Lahore and wasn’t too impressed. It was a rather bedraggled army setting out uncertainly for a quest it wasn’t too sure of. Then the container speeches, and the liberati and professional spoons (chamchas) of the ruling party, and armchair pundits – preening themselves on knowing the national mood better than anyone else – opening up with their jibes and sarcasm.

They made fun of the Reverend ATQ and they made fun of Imran Khan and gave the nation long lectures on democracy, at the same time hoarsely alleging that both Qadri and Imran had been launched by ‘secret hands’. Since when did our ‘secret hands’ become so clever?

Unbeknownst to the armchair warriors, the national mood was completely different. The crowds weren’t buying into the cynicism being ladled out by the experts. Through his daily speeches Qadri gave the nation a lesson in constitutionalism – in what the constitution really stood for. His workers – and let this never be forgotten – put the fear of God into that enlightened institution known as the Punjab Police. This was an important psychological breakthrough because with the Punjab Police demoralised – most notably on account of the Model Town massacre – the ruling setup felt vulnerable and defenceless, and therefore unsure of itself. The melting of the iron rod had begun.

The interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar — who has now made himself virtually invisible – experimented with the use of force on Constitution Avenue on the evening of August 30, with the use of brutal force against the protesters but to no avail. Hundreds were injured but the protesters, especially those of the Reverend’s party(PAT), held their ground. It was the police which had to retreat.

Out of necessity not choice the government had to come to its senses. That was the last occasion when force on such a scale was used in an effort to quell the growing agitation. In Faisalabad the PML-N tried roughneck tactics to stop the PTI but, as we have seen, this backfired. It is the PML-N which is licking its wounds.

What Imran gave the crowds and the nightly national TV audience he addressed was courage. The PTI was a ‘burger’ and ‘mummy-daddy’ party. If today the PTI worker is fearless it is because of the example set by his leader. Say what you will about him – and there is no checking the cynicism of the ‘liberati’ – he is tireless and has proved audacious, giving calls for rallies without preparation but the crowds justifying his confidence in himself by responding in unprecedented numbers.

I was sure that he wouldn’t be able to pull off the closure of Faisalabad, convinced he had overreached himself. But lo and behold the city responded to his call and the PML-N is still trying to figure out what hit it.

If for nothing else Imran Khan’s agitation would be worth the effort because of the huge participation of women and young girls in his rallies. When did such a thing happen in Pakistan before? Women sitting right in the heart of these jalsas with no fear of being touched or molested. In the context of Pakistani society this is a bigger revolution than any other.

Spare a thought for the ironies of history. Zardari had to become PPP godfather and president of the republic before the PPP could come to destroy itself as thoroughly in Punjab as it has managed to do. What Gen Zia and successive heads of the ISI could not achieve, Zardari has done.

The Sharifs had to come to power for the third time before the essential hollowness of what they stood for could be completely exposed. Imran Khan stands out the more when compared to the constant money-making and incompetence of the knights he is up against.

Musharraf’s coup saved the Sharifs in Oct 99 by making political martyrs of them. Champions of democracy…that’s what Musharraf turned them into. We have to thank our stars, the army stayed its hand in August this year because had it moved – as so many, including myself, thought it would – they would have become political martyrs again…their shortcomings, to put it no stronger than this, forgotten.

Certain breaches are irreparable. After Musharraf’s eclipse the demise of the Q League was a foregone conclusion, indeed an historical necessity. After Zardari’s ride in the chariot of Roman glory the PPP’s elimination in Punjab was unstoppable. Today nothing can arrest the decline of the N League because it represents a past, a period in our history, which is gone. The Sharifs were a counterweight to the PPP. That was their historical relevance, the reason they were nurtured by ‘secret hands’ and promoted to political prominence. They are no answer to Pakistan’s present problems.

One has to look the part. Can even their fervent admirers – let’s say the members of the professional spoon (Chamcha) brigade – swear in all honesty that they look the part of the nation’s deliverers? Pakistan can’t live for another three or four years on the basis of laptop distribution or the construction of more unwanted metro-bus services. That’s as far as their imagination runs. They can be elected to power for a fourth time but still their minds will not go beyond more laptops and more flyovers.

Pakistan has moved on. These are no longer the 1990s. In 1990 the ISI could distribute banknotes stuffed in suitcases to a long line of N League candidates. Would you catch it doing such a crude thing today? Pakistan needs a change of guard on the quarterdeck. It needs a new style of leadership. In the PTI jalsas you can see something new, something different: the fervour and even ecstasy of the crowds, the music and the swaying to it, the participation of different classes – the well-heeled and fashionable and the not-so-well-heeled – and above all the participation of women.

In the PML-N you have my friends Abid Sher Ali, Rana Sanaullah, Pervaiz Rasheed. Or Dar and Nisar and Saad Rafiq and Khawaja Asif….look upon them and tremble. Are they anyone’s idea of the future?

The PML-N’s best bet is to stop playing tricks with itself and others and go seriously for a judicial commission to look into election irregularities. And it better be quick at it or the storm which has already gathered will sweep all before it. Fresh elections are what the country needs. Let’s hope we get them somehow.

Email: bhagwal63@gmail.com

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Elections must be declared null and void for Pakistan to come on track.

 

Elections must be declared null and void for Pakistan to come on track.

,  a veteran columnist in Pakistan and editor of Blue Chip magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Those who say that the protestors are derailing democracy are too ignorant to understand that Pakistan has never had democracy, only a charade of it. 

Article 218(3) of the Constitution of the (not so) ‘Islamic’ Republic of Pakistan states: “It shall be the duty of the Election Commission to organise 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”.

The Election Commission’s overdue post-election report is damning. This is the evidence you need to know that the May 11, 2013 general elections were rigged, not least because they met none of these constitutional criteria of honesty, justice, fairness and lawfulness. Now we have found the fire behind the smoke. This report is the proverbial smoking gun’ we were looking for.

‘His Highness’ Nawaz Sharif, as the UN mistakenly called him, unwittingly but correctly reflects the man’s mindset. Now ‘His Highness’ – ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ – doesn’t have a toe to stand on, leave alone a leg. His legal and moral authority stands completely eroded, yet he hangs in there like a dictator whose legitimacy hangs by the flimsy thread of a Supreme Court judgment well after his ‘sell-by’ date. Like a dictator, he fears that if he resigns the demons will come visiting and he will have to undergo ruthless accountability. Not good for government in the short-term but very good for our political evolution in the medium-term as people keep learning the hard way and hopefully don’t make such mistakes again of following poor leaderships. The longer it takes the messier will Nawaz Sharif’s exit be.

How can the products of illegal elections – national and provincial assemblies, federal and provincial governments – continue to persist when they were illegally elected? The ECP’s report is a review of the opinions about the elections of the ECP staff and foreign observers comprising the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). One “stakeholder” told a newspaper: “the final report, prepared by the European Union’s Election Observation Mission and the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) – a coalition of over 30 NGOs working to observe the general elections – is a far more systematic and methodologically sound document in terms of analysis of the entire electoral process. However, this does not mean that the post-election report is a flawed document. In fact, it contains several instances, albeit anecdotal, of irregularities committed during the elections. But many of these are attributable to incompetence or lack of training rather than any organised conspiracy to rig the elections.”

Had Nawaz Sharif agreed to audit votes in four constituencies that Imran Khan initially demanded, this gridlock could well have been avoided. Imran went to every judicial forum available and was spurned

So there you have it, the smoking gun. Any degree of “incompetence or lack of training” forsooth, it was the ECP’s constitutional duty to overcome these eminently solvable problems and ensure that “the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law, and that corrupt practices are guarded against.” It failed signally. Why it did and how and what was the quantum of rigging and what the degree of lack of training and incompetence and who did it can be investigated and corrected later, but the May 11, 2013 elections should be declared null and void, electoral reforms conducted and elections held again after a population census five years overdue. Without a census and the updating of electoral rolls, the delimitation of constituencies and, if necessary, an increase in the number of seats in the national and provincial assemblies any new elections will also remain wanting. After Nawaz has gone, today’s slogan “Go Nawaz Go” should become “Accountability Before Elections, Reforms Before Elections” – ‘Pehlay ethisab, phir intikhab’ and ‘Pehlay Islahat, phir intikhab’. That has to be the logical conclusion. The fact is that Pakistan is further away from democracy than it ever has been. “Go Nawaz Go” conversely means “Come Democracy Come” for the first time ever.

Add this ECP admission to the government’s admission in the national assembly by its interior minister’s officially un-contradicted statement that 60-70,000 votes cannot be verified in any constituency and it is double certainty that elections were hugely rigged. Now you have a double-barrelled smoking gun. What more do you need? What are you waiting for? Some judicial commission to ‘prove’ that the ballot was rigged? What price a judicial commission when the then chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry with some retired judges and the judiciary’s returning officers in each constituency are accused of allegedly rigging elections? This is the chance for the Supreme Court to redeem its honour by taking suo motu notice of the ECP report and order the dissolution of the national and provincial assembles forthwith, fresh elections under a caretaker government and a reconstituted ECP comprising acceptable people who first and foremost are “sagacious, righteous, non-profligate, honest and ameen [trustworthy]…” before they can determine whether any electoral candidate meets these criteria as required by Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. All that is needed are “a few good men” and we can bring a 180-degree turn in Pakistan’s direction from the nadir to the zenith. Don’t tell me that Pakistan is bereft a few good men? There are ample, but our anti-democracy political system doesn’t let them emerge. To come to the surface they must have oodles of illegal wealth, lack of morality, be liars and have the ability to rig elections.

If the Supreme Court fails to discharge this duty, we will have bloody anarchy because the army quite correctly seems to be in no mood to intervene. Let the politicians and judiciary sort out their mess. However, if it comes to saving the state it will act for that is what it is sworn to do. The judges will then be racing to take oath under another provisional constitutional order and everyone will be casting their nets wide to find some connection to General Raheel Sharif – “his wife’s cousin was in school with my wife’s sister” and crap like that, looking to cultivate his friends and underlings. Don’t bleat then that you didn’t bring it upon itself.

Nawaz Sharif was party to the rigging because he was petrified of Imran Khan even before the elections. Once other parties saw what was happening, they too rigged the polls in their turfs. They overdid it. The die was cast. Not just Imran Khan rebelled, but every other party including Nawaz’s PML-N complained about wholesale rigging.

Had Nawaz Sharif agreed to audit votes in four constituencies that Imran Khan initially demanded, this gridlock could well have been avoided. Imran went to every judicial forum available and was spurned. Finally he decided to lead a march to Islamabad and start adharna in what the government has questionably designated the ‘Red Zone’ opposite state buildings until Nawaz Sharif’s resignation as prime minister. Ditto Dr Tahirul Qadri.

Qadri’s imminent return to do exactly what Imran was threatening and on the same dates made Gang Sharif even more fearful and witless. Morbid fear made them irrational. What followed made things worse: the Lahore massacre, hijacking of Qadri’s plane, blocking roads in Lahore, Islamabad and on the Grand Trunk Road, attacking Imran’s procession in Gujranwala, but the two marches got to Islamabad anyway, demonstrating the will of the people. When the people rise like a tidal wave there is no power on earth that can stop them. If the Grand Trunk Road could speak what tales it would have to tell, starting from the incredible Sher Shah Suri who built it, the first motorway in the world from Khyber to Calcutta, the greatest ruler our subcontinent has ever had. He also laid the foundation of the postal and revenue services and the mapping of India and gave land titles and for which the Mughals are wrongly credit by amateur historians. The Mughals only built upon these reforms as later the British did. What the Mughals were good at was pomp and panoply, building mosques, mausoleums and gardens, beautiful no doubt but they did precious little for the people. For those of you who imagine that the majority of the people of this subcontinent have ever known a decent living, the news is that they never have. Hopefully it will start now, but at the rate that we multiply like rabbits procreating ourselves to death, don’t get too excited.

Imran’s Plan-B has started unfolding. Qadri’s will soon. Imran is holding massive rallies in every major city and returning to Islamabad. They have shaken the government to its core

Good Lord. Where did I start and where have I gone? The dharnas have been going on since August 13. That’s a long time for anyone to still believe that this is not serious, that people have been misled and paid to come or there are ‘hidden hands’ behind them under the usual ‘London Plan’. Why give so much importance to a meeting? Would you call it the ‘London Plan’ when the name ‘Pakistan’ was announced in London’s Waldorf Hotel last century, and the five people involved conspirators? Denial only harms you, not the one you are denying. As Jesus said: “God, forgive them for they know not what they do” – or words to that effect.

Imran’s Plan-B has started unfolding. Qadri’s will soon. Imran is holding massive rallies in every major city and returning to Islamabad. They have shaken the government to its core. Some energy. I always wonder: Imran is only a couple of years younger than me, how does he do it? It is energy born of commitment, strong faith, incredible determination, un-purchaseability, courage, and above all belief that he is a man of destiny. Such people are not easily beaten, something that a businessman like Nawaz Sharif cannot understand because he believes that everyone and everything has a price tag. Thus he is facing Imran’s bouncers whistling past his nose at 90 mph. For how long can he duck and weave?

Nawaz may hang in there for a time, the protestors may go home but the movement will continue and reach its logical conclusion. The only way he can get out in one piece is by resigning or joining Imran Khan’s party, which would be quite a sight. The King leading the revolution against himself, what? Impossible, given the huge egos involved.

Ah, democracy. Those who say that the protestors are derailing democracy are too ignorant to understand that Pakistan has never had democracy, only a charade of it. The people’s success will usher democracy for the first time in this benighted country. Revolution, a much-abused word because it is least understood, has actually started. When you have the rich demonstrating for the rights of the poor, that is a mental revolution of an awesome kind. Democracy and revolution are work in progress, work that never stops, always evolves.

 
 
 

 

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Dharna Visit – A Lesson in Discipline & Organization under Two Great Leaders

 Islamabad  Dharna-  6 Sept 2014

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 My wife and I teach in Rainbow Foundation School. Fired by the appeal of Dr Qadri, we decided to do our bit. We talked to the students for donations – whatever they could for those men, women, children who are braving the weather and time for our future. The children responded far better than one expects from children. Next morning we had a pile of a variety of gifts – even personal toys, which was very touching indeed.

 On Saturday, 06 September 2014, with our car loaded with the neat packages clearly marked with contents, reaching up to the roof of the back seat, we left our house in Chaklala – 1,Rawalpindi at about 0645 in the morning. Not knowing the route,( poor Pindiites!), we took a few wrong turnings, and ultimately reached right into the Dharna camp from the Margalla Road side at about 0800 hours. This ia what we saw.

 All along the route, the police were very helpful. Seeing the load in our car, they would happily wave us on towards the correct direction without check or hinderance. The camp started from about three hundred metres from the Margalla road. There were numerous men about,with name tags indicating their party and assignment, wanting to enquire and direct. The camp showed activity, but surprisingly, no noise.  Considering that there were thousands and thousands of men, women and children about, this was the first pleasant surprise. We asked one of the persons where could we hand over the packages to some authorised to collect them. He walked in front of our car towards the nearest Control container.

 Driving through the camp we noticed various sights and stages of activities of early morning routines.People were shaking out their mattresses, spreading clothes out in the sun, which had happily come out after three days of continuous rain . There was a clear water mountain stream flowing through the camp, where people were washing up. Beyond, we could see a long row of toilets in containers. Nearer, we found lines of almost military discipline leading to a langar. Every one had his or her utensil and were being served breakfast by the caterer quite efficiently. On my asking whose party line was this one, the guide told me proudly “Sir, for eating time we are all together”! And I could scarves of both PTI as well as PAT in the same line. Very gratifying.

The nearest command container we came to, was the one we keep seeing on TV with Dr Qadri’s arms spread out and upwards. On asking to see someone in charge, some one came up introduced himself as Mr Ayub or Yaqub, who later on I was informed was, I think, an advocate! I said these parcels are from Rainbow Foundation School children, an Amanat, and therefore I need some photos so that I can put them up on the notice board for them to see. Within minutes he had organised 4-5 men with name tags who unloaded all the packages, lined them up, took out the toys , displayed them on top of the cartons, gor a press photographer . My wife acting as the press photographer, kept taking photos with my cheap camera. Seeing the pile of goodies, some women and men came up asking for an umbrella or warm Chador, but the PAT man in charge said no one would get anything here. “we have no authority do give out any thing. Dr Sahib will come at one o clock and personally distribute them. He will announce on the speaker who these are from”. And he didn’t. After the photo session, he asked my name and address, and the cartons were lifted up onto the container and stacked according to category. Very organised, very efficient. Being ex Army, I noticed, and was very pleased.

 Thereafter we went around and drove through. What we saw was a real eye opener, and, I would say, a confidence builder.

 In spite of all those thousands and thousands of Pakistanis of all casts and creeds and languages, having been in those unsettling conditions for over three weeks of sun and rains, there was no sign of fatigue, frustration or anxiety. People were calm and peaceful.

 Inspite of such close proximity for so long in trying circumstances ther was no sign of frayed nerves, of quarrels, disputes or even heated arguments. Every one had a peaceful and content expression. Pakistanis are great cribbers. There was no such sign anywhere. Which was great.

 The crowds had a high percentage of well to do, educated people amongst men as well as women. One group of young women that went past us were definitely teachers. We were told that the books, copies and pencils etc we had brought would be used in the schools for small children! So they already have schools going!

 There were tents, shaamianas, tables and chairs in small groups, some occupied some vacant. Men were seated on some quietly, discussing whatever. Women and children were moving freely. Their body language clearly depicted a sense of total security, which was pleasant as well as amazing, considering our normal culture elsewhere.

 Some entrepreneurs ahd set up shops and ‘khokhas’ doing roaring business, serving all sorts of wares from eatables to utility items, specially umbrellas!

 Considering the multicultural conglomeration of teeming mankind there, the calm and homogeneity was remarkeble, almost unbelievable. The whole area gave the impression of a hastily built mini city, well organised and self contained.

 The general impression exuded was “we have come to stay”. More importantly, I was impressed by the discipline, organisation, the calm determination, the sense of ‘doing the right thing’and self control of all the Pakistanis gathered there in such a small confinement.

 All because of just two good leaders who have given this cross section of so called unruly Pakistanis, a sense of direction and conviction and hope:  Hope of a new and better Pakistan.

 We came back full of confidence in these two leaders and confidence in the Pakistani nation. They have raised our hopes of a better future and dared us to take charge of our own destiny.

 We are both old people, well beyond seventy. We came back very happy. We hope to go again next weekend. Inshallah.

 May Allah bless these two leaders of ours with success. Aameen. 

If only the other so called ‘leaders’ could take lesson from them instead of piling ignorant ridicule on them

 

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