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REVELATION: Election 2013 – The Juggernaut

            REVELATION: Election 2013 – The Juggernaut



1.  PML-N, PPP agree to appoint their own provincial members of EC   

2.  Iftikhar Chaudhry/Khalil Ramday appoints ALL returning officers  
3.  ALL presiding officers appointed by Secy Education of Ex-Punjab govt under Najam Sethi   

4.  Ballot papers PRINTED in private presses   

5.  Fake ballot papers distributed to peripheries and closely contested constituencies
6.  Upto 800% votes cast in some rural constituencies. Most suburban polling stations polled above 90% votes while national average was 56% with 62% in urban centers.
7.   Geo-Judiciary Nexus. Mir Shakil’s channel was tasked to counter any allegations.   

8. Chairman NADRA’s daughter harassed by PML-N goons and multiple cases framed against him as evidence of 1000s of unverifiable votes started pouring in.   

8.   Why was mostly Punjab affected?   Ans: Because that’s where PML-N has a provincial govt for last 5 years and they appointed and managed all presiding officers and ROs.   

9.   Magnetic ink was deliberately not issued to make the verifiability issue a plan B. Surprisingly no persons have been blamed or punished for the absence of this ink.  

10.  A nincompoop like Fakhru Bhai was appointed to oversee elections who sat with COAS for 3 hrs and failed to identify his august guest. 

11. Riaz Kayani, the man who acted as deputy CEC in Islamabad as Fakhru stayed at Khi and oversaw all the details  

12. The law officers were hired for election tribunals by Punjab Govt and are all contract employees   

13. Vote recount fee was set at Rs 15/vote which means millions of rupees just for recounts  


1. Asif Zardari & Nawaz Sharif, the evil twins 

2. CJ Iftikhar Ch, the liar 

3. His henchman, Khalil Ramday, the corrupt 

4. Fakhru Bhai, the idiot 

5. Riaz Kayani, the villain 

6. Election Tribunals, the pantomime

7. Mir Shakil ur Rehman, the trumpeter  


A loss of faith in election process by thousands of Pakistani youth can only lead to their conversion to more zealous and extremist ideologies or a total indifference. What a shame! 


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Sharif in Wonderland

IT may have not been difficult for Nawaz Sharif to reclaim the top position. But he certainly does not appear comfortable there. His morose demeanour portrays a man in deep agony, inspiring little confidence in the nation he is supposed to lead.
It was a rare moment in recent months when he was seen smiling in public, curiously enough, during the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry last month.
Mr Sharif’s first 80 days in his third term in office have not been promising enough to build public confidence in his government. His much-delayed first address to the nation lacked focus and direction. His tentative approach and indecision on almost all key policy issues has reinforced the state of inertia afflicting the republic. 
Now almost at the end of the honeymoon period, the government does not have much to show for its performance. The prime minister’s dithering is proverbial. Several key diplomatic and government positions are lying vacant because he cannot make up his mind. Mr Sharif has never been known for the delegation of powers, but the situation seems to have worsened this time with him keeping several key portfolios such as foreign, defence and commerce for himself. 
The rest are the same old faces, part of the previous PML-N administration some 13 years ago, thus bringing no new vision or ideas relevant to a radically changed domestic and external environment. 
His unwillingness to induct new blood illustrates Mr Sharif’s old cliquish style of governance. The consultations on important matters are restricted to close family members and a few trusted hangers-on.
It is a government running in neutral gear. There has not been any substantive move yet to implement the party’s much-touted reform agenda. 
Take for example, the economy, said to be on top of Mr Sharif’s priority list. There seems to be no clear policy direction. Despite his comfortable majority in the National Assembly, Mr Sharif is not willing to take the tough decisions urgently needed to put the economy back on track. It is ad hocism at its worst. 
In last week’s address, the prime minister spoke at length about what had gone wrong, but nothing on what is to be done. Reforming the taxation system certainly does not seem to be Mr Sharif’s priority. That was quite apparent from what he said in an interview to London’s Telegraph last week: “I have not yet discussed this matter because … these are very initial days.” So how long will it take for Mr Sharif to think about this critical issue? 
Mr Sharif has also hinted at cutting income and corporate taxes. “We will have to lower the taxes in the country, the income tax, the corporate tax and all the taxes,” he told the Telegraph. With the tax collection now accounting for less than 9pc of GDP, one of the lowest in the world, cutting taxes for the rich, without widening the tax base, is a recipe for disaster.
Mr Sharif’s government has already agreed to a $5.3billion IMF bailout package that will give breathing space to Pakistan’s ailing economy. The programme also requires Pakistan to bring down the whopping fiscal deficit. But can this be possible without radical tax reforms? Given this situation, the government will find it extremely difficult to comply with the terms of the IMF programme.
Mr Sharif appears much more conflicted and confused on the issue of terrorism. A large part of his address last week was devoted to the human and financial cost of rising militancy. He was right when he said that political stability and economic development is not possible without eradicating the menace. But his resolve seemed to weaken when it came to the issue of taking action against those challenging the state’s authority. 
While holding out the possibility of a military option, Mr Sharif still seems to be hung up on the idea of a negotiated peace deal with the militants. What he does not realise is that such an approach has not worked in the past and there is no hope of it succeeding this time either. While the Taliban have made it very clear that they are prepared to talk only on their terms, the government seems to be hell-bent on placating them. 
The government’s desperation to appease the Taliban was evident from the comment made by Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan during a TV interview that the previous administrations were not sincere in negotiations. He ruled out the use of force against the militants saying that dialogue was the only option. 
Such remarks not only legitimise the terrorists, they may also weaken the resolve of our security forces battling them. The minister does not even want to have preconditions for the so-called peace talks. Nothing could be more defeatist than this. 
There is an increasing perception that Mr Sharif is willing to reconcile with the militants as long as they spare Punjab from terrorist attacks. The reported divide between the Punjabi Taliban and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan over Mr Sharif”s offer for peace talks lends credence to the prevailing impression. Many believe that the prime minister has put on hold the hanging of two convicted members of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi after the threat from the Punjabi Taliban. The group threatened to target top government leaders if the men were executed. 
So, it was not surprising that the group welcomed Mr Sharif’s peace talks offer after the suspension of the execution order. Buying peace for one province at the cost of the country’s stability is certainly not going to work.
One expected that the third Sharif government may have learnt from past mistakes and would bring political stability to the strife-torn country. But the performance of the government so far does not instil much hope for the future. Mr Sharif needs to come out of his Wonderland before the situation becomes irreversible.


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USA responsible for making Pakistan most dangerous country

USA responsible for making Pakistan most dangerous country


Asif Haroon Raja




The US leaders and media often cite Pakistan as the most dangerous country in the world. If it is true, it didn’t attain this status at its own. Outsiders are responsible for making Pakistan a nursery of terrorism, or epicenter of terrorism, as recently described by Manmohan Singh, or the most dangerous country. Ironically, the ones responsible for converting a law abiding and peaceful country into a volatile country are today in the forefront censuring it. Till the onset of Afghan Jihad in 1980, Pakistan was a moderate and nonviolent country. It did suffer from the pangs of humiliation for having lost its most populous East Pakistan and  grieved over non-resolution of Kashmir dispute pending since January 1948 UNSC resolution. Both wounds had been inflicted upon Pakistan by its arch rival India. Pakistan had to perforce go nuclear in quest for its security because of India’s hostile posturing and nuclearisation.


Invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by Soviet forces in December 1979 brought five million Afghan refugees in Pakistan. These refugees disturbed the peace of Frontier Province and Balochistan where bulk got permanently settled. 2.8 million Afghan refugees have still not returned to their homes and besides becoming an economic burden, have posed serious social and security hazards. Foreign agencies carrying an agenda to destabilize Pakistan have been recruiting bulk of terrorists from within them.


Once the US decided to back proxy war in Afghanistan, CIA commissioned thousands of Mujahideen from all over the Muslim world and with the assistance of ISI, motivated, trained and equipped them to assist Afghan Mujahideen in their fight against Soviet forces. Large number of seminaries imparting religious training to the under privileged children were tasked to impart military and motivational training as well and prepare them for Jihad. FATA and Pashtun belt of Balochistan contiguous to Afghanistan were converted into forward bases of operation from where young Jihadists were unleashed. For next nine years the youth were continuously recruited and launched to fight the holy war against evil empire. Saudi Arabia became the chief financer of Jihad. It provided heavy funds to Sunni Madrassahs only. ISI took upon itself as the chief coordinator of the entire war effort while CIA restricted its role to providing arms, funds and intelligence only.


The whole free world led by USA enthusiastically applauded the heroics of holy warriors and none cared about astronomical fatalities and critical injuries suffered by them. The maimed for life, widows and orphans were patted and told that it was a holy war fought for a noble cause and huge rewards awaited them in the life hereafter. The single point agenda of the US was to defeat the Soviet forces with the help of Muslim fighters. Not a single soldier of any country including Pakistan took part in the unmatched war between a super power and rag-tag, ill-clothed and ill-equipped Mujahideen.


None bothered about the ill-effects this long-drawn war will have upon this region in general and Pakistan in particular acting as the Frontline State. Although Pakistan was only supporting the proxy war and was not directly involved, but it remained in a state of war and it faced continuous onslaughts of KGB-RAW-KHAD nexus as well as attacks by Soviet trained Afghan pilots and soldiers in the form of air assaults, artillery barrages and missile/rockets attacks.  Throughout the nine-year war, Pakistan faced twin threat from its eastern and western borders. By virtue of occupation of Wakhan corridor by Soviet troops, USSR had become immediate neighbor of Pakistan and had hurled repeated threats to wind up training centres and stop meddling in Afghanistan or else be prepared for dire consequences. Moscow’s age-old dream of reaching warm waters of Arabian Sea through Balochistan haunted Gen Ziaul Haq, but he stoutly held his ground. Pakistan’s relentless support ultimately enabled the Mujahideen to achieve the miracle of the 20th century. They defeated the super power and pushed out Soviet forces from Afghanistan in February 1989.


All foreign Jihadists who had come from other countries were not accepted by their parent countries. They had no choice but to stay put and get settled in Afghanistan and in FATA since they had collectively fought the war and had developed camaraderie with the Afghans and tribesmen. The US who had enticed and displaced them and used them as cannon fodder to achieve its interests was morally bounded to resettle them. It was honor bound to help Pakistan in overcoming the after effects of the war. FATA that had acted as the major base for cross border operations deserved uplift in socio-economic and educational fields. Afghanistan required major rehabilitation and rebuilding after its devastation. Nothing of the sort happened.


The US coldheartedly abandoned Afghanistan, Pakistan and Jihadists and instead embraced India which had remained the camp follower of Soviet Union since 1947 and had also partnered Soviet Union in the Afghan war and had vociferously condemned US-Pakistan proxy war. This callous act opened the doors for religious fanaticism and militarism. Pakistan suffered throughout the Afghan war and continues to suffer to this day on account of the debris left behind by Soviet forces and proxy war. By the time last Soviet soldier left Afghan soil, Pakistani society had got radicalized owing to free flow of weapons and drugs from Afghanistan and onset of armed uprising in occupied Kashmir.


Pakistan’s efforts to tackle the fallout effects of the war got seriously hampered because of harsh sanctions imposed by USA under Pressler Amendment in October 1989 and political instability throughout the democratic era from 1988 to 1999. Besides, Iran and Saudi Arabia started fuelling sectarianism in Pakistan throughout 1990s in a big way. Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan and Majlis-e-Wahadat ul Hashmeen were funded by Iran and Sipah-e-Sahabha Pakistan, now named as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (Sunni Deobandi) were supported by Saudi Arabia, which gave rise to religious extremism and intolerance and sharpened Shia-Sunni divide. Masjids and Imambargahs as well as religious clerics were incessantly attacked by the zealots of two communities. Threat of sectarian violence that had become menacing in Punjab in 1997-1998 had to be dealt with sternly. But the Punjab Police operation had to be curtailed because of severe pressure from Human Rights activists and NGOs on charges of extra judicial killings. Resultantly, the disease remained uncured.


Unseating of democratically elected heavy mandate of Nawaz Sharif led government by Gen Musharraf and the latter opting to ditch Taliban regime and to fight global war on terror at the behest of USA energized anti-Americanism, religious extremism and led to creation of Mutahida Majlis Ammal (MMA), an amalgam of six religious parties, which formed governments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. MMA on the quiet nurtured extremist religious groups that were also funded by foreign powers.


The fact that after 9/11, the US chose Pakistan to fight the war as a Frontline State is a clear cut indication that Pakistan at that time was viewed as a responsible and valued country and not a dangerous country. However, Pakistan’s nuclear program was an eyesore for India, Israel and USA. The planners had made up their minds to intentionally create anarchic conditions in Pakistan so that its nukes could be whisked away under the plea that it was unstable and couldn’t be trusted.


The initial attempt towards that end was to first allow bulk of Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders and their fighters to escape to FATA from Afghanistan and soon after forcing Pakistan to induct regular troops into South Waziristan (SW) to flush them out. This move created a small rivulet allowing terrorism to seep into FATA, which kept gushing in because of RAW led and CIA backed covert war at a massive scale and turning the rivulet into a river. Likewise, another rivulet was created in Balochistan. Concerted and sustained efforts were made to destabilize FATA and Balochistan and gradually sink Pakistan in sea of terrorism. Six intelligence agencies based in Kabul kept sprinkling tons of fuel on embers of religious extremism, sectarianism, ethnicity and Jihadism.


The US instead of helping in resolving Kashmir dispute misguided Gen Musharraf to forget about UN resolutions and float an out of box solution and try and resolve the dispute in accordance with the wishes of India. In order to woo India, Musharraf gave it in writing that he will not allow Pakistan soil to be used for terrorism against any neighboring country including India. While making this commitment unilaterally, he committed the fatal mistake of not imposing this condition on India. To further please USA and India and make the latter agree to sign peace treaty, he bridled all Jihadi groups engaged in Kashmir freedom struggle as well as in sectarianism. He also allowed India to fence the Line of Control. These moves did please India but angered Jihadis and sectarian outfits and in reaction, they hastened to join Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and turn their guns towards Pak security forces dubbed as mercenaries of USA fighting US war for dollars.

But for phenomenal clandestine support by foreign powers to the TTP in the northwest and to the BLA, BRA and BLF in the southwest, extremism and terrorism could have got controlled after major operations launched in Malakand Division including Swat, Bajaur and SW in 2009 and minor operations in other tribal agencies. The disarrayed network of TTP was helped to get re-assembled and regrouped in North Waziristan and that of Maulana Fazlullah in Kunar and Nuristan in Afghanistan. As opposed to good work done by Pak security forces in combating and curbing terrorism in Pakistan, the US-NATO forces operating in Afghanistan along with Afghan National Army kept making one blunder after another and in the process kept sinking deeper and deeper into the quagmire. Rather than correcting their follies, they chose to make Pakistan a scapegoat and declared it responsible for their failures. Rather than doing more at their end, they asked Pakistan to do more which was already doing much more than its capacity.


Since the aggressors underestimated their enemy they took things too lightly. Their intentions lacked sincerity and honesty and their stated objectives were totally different to their actual unspoken objectives which were commercial in nature. Above all they had no legitimate grounds to destroy a sovereign country and uproot its people which had played no role in 9/11. As a result, rather than devotedly fighting to win the war in Afghanistan, the assailants got deeply involved in drug business and other money-making schemes. The ruling regime led by Hamid Karzai became a willing partner in such shady businesses. American security contractors, defence merchants, builders and intelligence agencies started multiplying their wealth and lost their moral and professional ethics. Other than materialistic ventures, they got more involved in money-spinning covert operations against Pakistan, Iran, China and Middle East than in fighting their adversary. Taliban and al-Qaeda combine took full advantage of their self-destructive activities and opening of the second front in Iraq. After regrouping and re-settling in southern and eastern Afghanistan, they started striking targets in all parts of the country. War in Iraq helped al-Qaeda in expanding its influence in Arabian Peninsula and turning into an international organization.


The US has made a big mess in Afghanistan, in Iraq and in Libya and is now making another mess in Syria. It has lost the confidence of its most allied ally Pakistan by mistreating and distrusting it. Having lost on all fronts because of its tunnel vision and mercantile greed, it now wants the most dangerous country Pakistan to ignore the raw deal it gave all these years and to not only help ISAF in pulling out of Afghanistan safely but also to convince the Taliban to agree upon a negotiated political settlement. At the start of the Afghan venture, Pakistan was chosen by Washington to ensure success and in the endgame Pakistan is again being relied upon to bail it out of the mess. In the same breadth, the US is unprepared to cease drone attacks in FATA despite repeated requests that drones fuel terrorism. It is still focused on carving a lead role for India in Afghanistan. It is not prepared to stop its interference in internal affairs of Pakistan or to dissuade India from destabilizing Balochistan. Whatever socio-economic promises made are futuristic in nature and tied to conditions. US media and think tanks continue to demonize Pakistan. Its tilt towards India is too heavy and prejudicial behavior towards Pakistan conspicuous.


As a result of the US skewed policies with ulterior motives, Pakistan is faced with the demons of ethnicity, sectarianism, Jihadism, religious extremism and terrorism. While TTP is aligned with about 60 terrorist groups, in Balochistan there are more than two dozen terrorist groups. In Karachi, other than armed mafias, political parties have armed wings and are involved in target killings. Rangers and Police are engaged in targeted operation in Karachi and are producing productive results. 150,000 troops combating the militants in the northwest enjoy a definite edge over them. Major parts of Frontier Corps, Frontier Constabulary, Levies and Police are fighting the Baloch separatists and sectarian forces targeting Hazaras and have contained anti-state forces. All major cities are barricaded with road blocks and police piquets and yet terrorists manage to carryout acts of terror. The miscreants are fighting State forces with tenacity because of uninterrupted financial and weapons support from foreign agencies. Once external support dries up, their vigor will wane rapidly and sooner than later they will give up fighting.


With so many grave internal and external threats, most of which were invented and thrust upon Pakistan by foreign powers and duly exacerbated by meek and self-serving political leadership, Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani’s hands remained full. He has saddled the COAS chair for six years and during this period he had to face many a critical situations. It goes to his credit that he handled each crisis competently, astutely and honorably. During his eventful command, he tackled the challenge of terrorism, which he rightly described as the biggest threat to the security of Pakistan, boldly and produced pleasing results. Above all, he kept the morale of all ranks in the Army high and earned their respect and admiration. The list of his achievements is long and I have been highlighting those in my articles off and on. His successor has so far not been named but whosoever replaces him will find it difficult to fit into his shoes. I am sure he will breathe more freely and relax once he retires on November 29, 2013. We thank him for his laudable contributions and wish him sound health and happiness in all his future doings. Let us hope and pray that this senseless war comes to an end at the earliest, putting an end to chirping tongues deriving sadistic pleasure in describing Pakistan as the most dangerous country.


The writer is a retired Brig, defence analyst, columnist, historian and a researcher. [email protected] 

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