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Musharraf ?

Musharraf ?

By

Inam Khawaja

 

The facts about General (Retd) Syed Pervaiz Musharraf have not been correctly and fully reported in both Pakistani and international media. It is therefore necessary to put on record all the facts.

Musharraf’s father Syed Musharraf uddin was a graduate from Aligarh Muslim University. After graduation he joined the office of the Director General Civil Supplies Government of India in a clerical position. In 1947 he opted for Pakistan and was transferred to the newly established Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Karachi. In 1949 he was posted in the Pakistan Embassy Ankara. On his return from Ankara (in 1956) he progressed in his career retiring as a section officer in the Ministry of Foreign affairs. He was not a member of the Foreign Service.

 
 
 
 
 

Musharraf’s mother Begum Zehra Musharraf did her Masters in English literature from Indraprastha College Delhi. After the family’s return from Ankara she joined ILO in a secretarial position and retired in 1986-87.

Pervaiz Musharraf was born on August 11, 1943 in Delhi (Daryagunj). He was four years old when he came to Pakistan with his parents. He was home tutored by a German teacher in Ankara. He is fluent in English and Turkish. On return from Ankara in 1956 he attended Saint Patrick’s High School Karachi and passed the matriculation examination (not O level) in 1958 thereafter, he joined Forman Christian College in Lahore. He did not complete his degree just passed F.Sc.

Musharraf got married in 1968 to Begum Sehba Musharraf and has one son,
Bilal Musharraf, and a daughter, Ayla. Both are married with two

 

children of their own. His son lives in Boston. His brother also lives in the
United States. Both are US Citizens.

 Personal Likes

Musharraf is fond of designer suits (Armani), handmade shoes however; his recent pictures show that he has not kept up to date because he is wearing jackets with broad lapels!!  He smokes Cuban cigars, enjoys Pakistani music and the company of friends.

Army Career

 In 1961 he entered the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul as a cadet and was commissioned in the Pakistan Artillery in 1964. He is a graduate of the Staff College, Quetta, the National Defense College and the Royal College of Defence Studies, United Kingdom.

On 5, September 1965 General Court Marshal Proceedings were initiated against Musharraf for absenting from duty for a full week without permission but, were squashed due to the attack on Pakistan by India on the morning of 6, September 1965. As a result Musharraf escaped being cashiered from the Army and participated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Self Propelled Artillery Regiment and was awarded Imtiazi Sanad for gallantry. In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 he fought as a Company Commander in the SSG Commando Battalion.

He has commanded Regiments of Artillery, an Artillery Brigade and then went on to command an Infantry Division. He was promoted Lt. General in 1995 by Benazir Bhutto. In 1998 he was recommended for appointment as COAS by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in supersession of Lieutenant- General Ali Kuli Khan, who was the senior most and the second in line Lieutenant-General Khalid Nawaz Khan.

 

 

Relations with General Zia-ul-Haq

After General Zia-ul-Haq’s coup detate on 6, July 1977 Musharraf was chosen for special assignments, he served in District Martial Law Administration HQ. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 Musharraf was involved in the preparation of Mujahedeen for the Jihad in Afghanistan. Zia chose him to command the newly raised SSG base at Khapalu in Siachin area. In 1987 when Musharraf’s name came up for the post of Military Secretary to President Zia-ul-Haq his commanding officer wrote; “he is not at home with pomp and show”. This saved his life because Zia’s military secretary died with him in the air crash in August 1988.

Relations with Benazir Bhutto

In 1988–89, (as Brigadier) Musharraf proposed the Kargil infiltration scheme to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto but she rebuffed the plan.  After promotion Major-General Musharraf worked closely with the Chief of Army Staff as Director-General of Pakistan Army’s Directorate General for the Military Operations (DGMO). During this time, Musharraf became close to the Director General of ISI Lieutenant General Javed Nasir and had worked with him while directing operations in the Bosnian war. His political philosophy was influenced by Benazir Bhutto who mentored him on various occasions and he became close to her on military policy issues and India. During 1993–95, Musharraf repeatedly visited the United States as part of Benazir Bhutto’s delegations. It was Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman who lobbied for his promotion to Benazir Bhutto, and subsequently getting his promotion papers approved by Benazir Bhutto which eventually led to his appointment in Benazir Bhutto’s key staff. In 1993, Musharraf personally assisted Benazir Bhutto to have a secret meeting in the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, D.C. with officials from Mussad and the special envoy of Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin.  It was during these visits that Musharraf developed extremely cordial relationship with Shaukat Aziz who, at that time, was serving in a very senior position heading the global financial services of the Citibank.

After the collapse of the fractious Afghan government in 1994 Musharraf assisted General Babar and ISI in devising a policy of supporting the newly formed Taliban government in their war against the Northern Alliance.

 

His Failing Trait

Even a casual glance at what is in public domain reveals that he often acts impulsively without fully evaluating all the possible consequences of his impending action. A few of such well known acts are undernoted.

1)   Absenting from duty just before the war in September 1965.

2)   The 1998 incursion in Kargil.

3)   The reference against Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in March 2007.

4)   Declaring emergency on 3, November 2007.

5)   The NRO deal with PPP.

In all the above acts Musharraf did not fully evaluate the possible consequences of his action. In 1965 the Court Marshal proceedings were squashed due to the Indian attack on the morning of 6, September 1965. In Kargil India instead of seeking a settlement of Kashmir mobilized the full force of their armed forces. The Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry instead of resigning and accepting a fat job stood firm, the reference failed and he was restored. In declaring the emergency he ignored the Article 6 of the Constitution. With respect to NRO he ignored the possibility of PPP joining hands with PML (N) and initiating impeachment proceedings against him forcing him to resign and go in self exile.

True to form Musharraf returned to Pakistan against (reportedly) the advice of his well wishers and ignored all the cases pending in the courts. It needs to be noted that he has only been granted bail and has not been acquitted in any of these cases. Once again it appears that he ignored all the opinion polls and the fact that Musharraf now faces the tribunal under Article 6 of the Constitution.

November 19, 2013

 

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Tale of Musharraf’s Coup in 1999

Tale of Musharraf’s Coup in 1999

Courtesy: Pak Tea House

March 24th, 2013 |

 

Parvez Musharraf, ex-Dictator, landed in Karachi today, amid much fanfare(and while wearing a suicide jacket). He was ousted democratically on 18th August, 2008 and left the country. Pakistan has successfully completed transition from an elected government to a caretaker setup without direct intervention of the Military for the first time in its history. This does not mean we forget the history of military interventions and the disastrous consequences. To commemorate the arrival of Musharraf, we are posting account of his coup in 1999, in the spirit of the great Urdu Poet, Momin.

(Hamain Sab hai yaad zara zaraa, tumhen yaad ho kay na yaad ho)

This is an excerpt from Owen Bennet-Jones’ excellent book “Pakistan: Eye of the Storm”

On the morning of 12 October 1999, Nawaz Sharif finally made up his mind. His army chief would have to go. Like many Pakistani leaders before him, Sharif had surrounded himself with a tightly woven cocoon of sycophants. Family relatives and business cronies filled the key posts of his administration. The chief of army staff, General Pervez Musharraf, did not fit in.
Sharif had appointed Musharraf in October 1998 and quickly came to regret the decision. He regarded his army chief with distaste. The origin of the antagonism, which was mutual, lay in the snow-clad, Himalayan peaks of Kashmir. In the spring of 1999 Musharraf gave the final order for Pakistani troops to cross the line of control that separates the Indian and Pakistani armies in Kashmir. The soldiers, posing as divinely-inspired Islamic militants, clambered up the snowy passes that led to one of Kashmir’s most strategic locations: the dusty, run-down town of Kargil. Having caught the Indians off guard, the Pakistani troops made significant territorial gains. Tactically, the operation was a success. Politically, it was a disaster. As India cried foul, Sharif found himself in the midst of a major international crisis. And while General Musharraf had sent the troops in, Prime Minister Sharif was left with the unenviable task of getting them out. For three decades the Pakistani people had absorbed a steady flow of vitriolic propaganda about the Kashmir issue: Sharif ’s decision to withdraw seemed incomprehensible and humiliating. As the man who had defied world opinion and tested Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, Sharif had been acclaimed as a national hero.

As the man who pulled out from Kargil, he was denounced as a supine coward. Sharif ’s sense of resentment was acute. General Musharraf, he complained, had marched his men to the top of the hill without considering how he would get them down again.

The generals, though, were also unhappy. By deciding to pull out of Kargil without negotiating any Indian concessions in return, they argued, Sharif had squandered a militarily advantageous position and caused a crisis of confidence within the Pakistan army. After the Kargil withdrawal Musharraf faced a surge of discontent within the army. As he toured a series of garrisons he repeatedly faced the same question: ‘If Kargil was a victory then why did we pull back?’ Musharraf told his men that it was the prime minister’s fault and that the army had had no choice but to obey his order. It was a disingenuous response. Musharraf had been fully consulted on the withdrawal order and had raised no serious objection to it.

Sharif was never in any doubt that removing Musharraf would be a high-risk exercise. In 1993 Sharif ’s first government had been forced out of office in part because the military high command lost confidence in him. He was determined to avoid a repeat performance. Indeed, from the moment he took over as prime minister again in 1997, Sharif had devoted himself to making his political position impregnable.

On 8 and 9 September 1999 Sharif and Musharraf travelled together to the Northern Areas. They were to preside over a ceremony to reward the Northern Light Infantry (NLI) for its role in the Kargil campaign. Previously a paramilitary force answerable to the Ministry of Interior, the NLI was to be inducted into the regular army. The trip got off to a bad start when Sharif noticed the absence of the commander of the 10th corps, Lt. General Mehmood Ahmed. In the previous few weeks Sharif and Musharraf had undertaken two other trips to the Northern Areas and on both occasions Mehmood had been present. On this third occasion his absence was especially striking as the Northern Light Infantry was to be transferred to his command. Sharif knew that Mehmood would be a key figure in any coup against his government. Clearly, he should have attended the induction ceremony. As far as Sharif was concerned, there was only one explanation for Mehmood not being present: Musharraf was afraid he might be arrested by Sharif and wanted Mehmood away from the scene so that he could organise a response if the need arose.

On the evening of 8 September Sharif revealed his anxiety. General Musharraf was in the lobby of the Hotel Shangri-La outside Skardu showing off a new Italian laser-guided pistol to the information minister, Mushahid Hussain. As Musharraf was explaining how the pistol could never miss its target, the prime minister walked into the lobby. Aware of his fondness for high tech gadgets, Mushahid Hussain called Sharif over. ‘Have you seen this new pistol?’ he asked Sharif. ‘It’s remarkable.’ Uncharacteristically, Sharif did not ask how the pistol worked, but he did put one question to the army chief. ‘General’, he asked, ‘who are you aiming it at?’

As he considered the possibility of mounting a coup, Musharraf realised he would not be able to move without the support of all his corps commanders. He called them together in mid-September and raised the question of Sharif ’s competence. Although there was wide agreement that Sharif was not performing well, the generals decided that the army could not move without clear justification. But if Sharif tried to sack Musharraf, the corps commanders agreed, then they would act: to lose two army chiefs in the space of a year would be unacceptable. With this qualified backing Musharraf went back to Sharif and said he wanted to be given the full chairmanship of the joint chiefs of staff (at the time he was only acting chairman) and, to demonstrate his seriousness, he put the 111 Brigade on standby. It was an unmistakeable signal. 111 Brigade had been used for carrying out every previous coup in Pakistan. Three hundred troops, with a squadron of tanks, were posted at the army’s GHQ in Rawalpindi, just 10 miles from Islamabad. The troops were outside the normal chain of command and answerable only to General Musharraf himself.


Sharif ’s fears were confirmed by one of his few allies in the army leadership, the corps commander from the Baloch capital Quetta, General Tariq Pervez. The two men knew each other well: the general’s cousin, Raja Nadir Pervez, was Sharif ’s communications minister. A few days after the corps commander’s meeting, General Tariq Pervez warned Sharif that if he moved against Musharraf, the army would strike. Thoroughly unnerved, Sharif sought the help of his most trusted political ally, Senator Saif ur Rehman. The energetic senator had organised the triumphant corruption investigation into Benazir Bhutto and had blackmailed and bullied countless other government opponents. He now concentrated his efforts on Musharraf, putting a tap on his phones and monitoring his movements.

Sharif was furious that his few allies in the military were being sacked and demoted. It was now just a question of timing. The prime minister knew that Musharraf was due to be out of Pakistan in October to attend the fiftieth anniversary celebrations of Sri Lanka’s army. The army chief was due to return on 12 October; since he would be airborne for four hours, Sharif calculated, the army would be caught off-balance and left unsure how to react to his sacking. By the time Musharraf touched down, his removal would be a fait accompli and a new army chief would have taken his place. Sharif was relying on the element of surprise and felt constrained by his fear that he was being bugged. On 10 October he arranged a flight to Abu Dhabi ostensibly for a meeting with Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Nahyan. He took a very limited group consisting of his son Hussain Nawaz, his speechwriter Nazir Naji and the man he wanted to succeed Musharraf, the ISI chief General Ziauddin. Confident that any conversation on the plane could not be overheard, Sharif spent the entire flight talking to Ziauddin: the final plot was being hatched.

On the fateful day, Sharif knew he had to give the appearance of conducting business as usual. At 10.00 a.m. on 12 October he left Islamabad to make a routine political speech in the town of Shujaabad, near Multan. Before leaving, Sharif gave instructions that he wanted his defence secretary, Lt. General (Retd.) Iftikhar Ali Khan, to meet him on his return. He also scheduled an appointment with President Rafiq Tarar for that afternoon, giving instructions that the meeting should not be reflected in his official programme for the day. The prime minister again took a small group with him: Hussain Nawaz, Nazir Naji and the chairman of Pakistan Television (PTV), Pervez Rashid. When the plane landed in Multan, Sharif told Nazir Naji that he should remain on board for a discussion with his son and Pervez Rashid. All the crew, Sharif said, had been told to leave the plane and they could talk in confidence. Once the aircraft door was closed the three men sat down and Pervez Rashid asked Nazir Naji for his mobile phone. Sharif, he explained, could not afford any of the information he was about to divulge to be leaked. Naji was then shown a speech written in Hussain Sharif ’s handwriting that his father planned to give on television that evening. Although the punch line – the dismissal of Musharraf – was not included in the draft, it was clear that the speech would announce that decision. Naji then worked on the draft, translating it into Urdu.
Two hours later the prime minister’s plane was heading back towards Islamabad and when he touched down at the military airbase at Chaklala his defence secretary, as arranged, was there to meet him. As the two men were driven to the prime minister’s residence, Sharif declared his hand. The sacking of Lt. General Tariq Pervez, he said, ‘has started creating the impression that there is a gap between the government and the army which is not good for the security of Pakistan . . . I have decided to appoint a new army chief.’ The defence secretary was shocked: he could guess the army’s likely reaction. He suggested that the prime minister might want to discuss the issue with Musharraf but Sharif was adamant. ‘The time for this discussion’, he said, ‘is over.’
As the prime minister’s car drew up outside his official residence in Islamabad his principal secretary Saeed Mehdi was, as ever, on hand to greet him. Mehdi was already aware of the prime minister’s plans and Sharif now told him to prepare the official papers for the handover of military power. As he walked into his office, the prime minister confirmed that the new army chief was to be none other than the man he had wanted to appoint twelve months before, Lt. General Ziauddin.

As Sharif ’s officials got to work, General Musharraf had already completed his official programme in Sri Lanka and was preparing to board flight PK 805 which would take him back to Karachi, along with 197 other passengers and crew, including the pilot, Captain Sarwat Hussain. Because the army chief was on board there were extra security checks and the plane took off forty minutes late at 4.00 p.m. At the very moment Musharraf ’s plane was climbing into the sky, the man who confidently expected to replace him was reaching the prime minister’s residence. By the time Sharif went to see him at 4.20 p.m., Saeed Mehdi had completed drafting the official notification. It stated that:
“It has been decided to retire General Pervez Musharraf, Acting Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Army Staff with immediate effect. Lt. Gen. Ziauddin has been appointed as the Chief of Army Staff with immediate effect and promoted to the rank of General. Before orders to this effect are issued, President may kindly see”.

By 4.30 p.m. Sharif had signed the document. The deed was done.

He told Ziauddin to assume his command and went to the president’s residence to show him the notification. Perhaps aware that the army might not accept the change, and that Sharif ’s days might be numbered, Tarar displayed some of the political cunning that had enabled him to achieve high office. Rather than writing the word ‘approved’ on the notification, he employed the more neutral term ‘seen’ and signed it. With the formalities completed Sharif told Pakistan Television (PTV) to broadcast the news of Musharraf ’s sacking. It did so on the 5.00 p.m. bulletin. PTV was also told to take pictures of Ziauddin receiving his badges of rank.

Ziauddin was now the de jure army chief, but he knew that to become the de facto leader as well he would have to move fast. Rather than waste time by driving back to the ISI headquarters, he stayed in the prime minister’s residence and started making phone calls from there. He thought two men, the chief of general staff Lt. General Aziz Khan and the commander of the 10th corps Lt. General Mehmood Ahmed, were likely to offer him the stiffest resistance. Both were Musharraf loyalists who, within army circles, had been outspoken in their criticism of Sharif. Ziauddin decided to remove both of them. He called an old engineering corps friend, the quarter-master general Lt. General Akram, and offered him the job of chief of the general staff. Excited by his promotion, Akram said he would come straight round to the prime minister’s house. Ziauddin then called the man who had recently been removed by Musharraf, General Saleem Hyder. Hyder was playing golf and was not immediately available. Eventually the two men spoke and Hyder was offered General Mehmood’s job: 10th corps commander.

Having sorted out the two key posts, Ziauddin called round other corps commanders. Most were non-committal. They were in an awkward position: they did not want to repudiate the new army chief but were also aware that Musharraf loyalists might resist him.

While Ziauddin was trying to shore up his new position, the two men best placed to stop him, Lt. Generals Aziz and Mehmood, were playing not golf but tennis. They realised that there was a problem when both their mobile phones started ringing on the side of the court. The man who called them was the Peshawar-based Lt. General Syed uz Zafar. As the longest-standing corps commander, he was serving as the acting chief of army staff in Musharraf ’s absence. Consequently, Ziauddin had called him to tell him about his own elevation and Musharraf ’s sacking. But rather than simply accept Ziauddin’s statement as a fait accompli General Syed uz Zafar called Aziz and Mehmood in Rawalpindi. The second they were told what was happening Aziz and Mehmood held a brief conversation and decided to act. As one eyewitness put it, ‘I have never seen two senior officers move so fast.’ They sped to GHQ and, as they changed out of their sports kit, considered their options. One thing, they decided, was beyond doubt: they could not permit a change of army chief while Musharraf was out of the country. The first priority, then, was to get the news off PTV. The two generals dispatched Major Nisar of the Punjab Regiment, together with fifteen armed men, to the PTV building in Islamabad. He was ordered to block any further announcement about Musharraf ’s sacking. As the major set off, Aziz called a meeting of all available corps commanders and other senior officers at army headquarters in Rawalpindi. Some already knew what was up: they had received the telephone calls from Ziauddin. And with Mehmood and Aziz determined to resist Ziauddin’s appointment, the corps commanders decided to implement the decision they had taken in principle in September: Sharif had to go. Within minutes, the infamous 111 Brigade was ordered to do its job.

Unaware of the growing crisis, PTV continued to put out the news of Ziauddin’s appointment. The station’s managers first became aware of a problem when Major Nisar and his men rushed past the guards on the gate and stormed into the control room. The major ordered the PTV staff to block the news of Musharraf ’s dismissal. ‘Take it off ! Take it off !’ he yelled. Faced with fifteen armed men and a screaming major, the staff complied. At 6.00 p.m. Nawaz Sharif was sitting in the TV lounge of his official residence waiting for the news bulletin. But when it came on, he was dismayed that there was no mention of Musharraf ’s sacking. He told his military secretary, Brigadier Javed Iqbal, to go straight to the TV headquarters and find out what was going on. Sharif was now convinced that he had to prevent General Musharraf ’s plane from landing. Ziauddin agreed. He advised Sharif that if Musharraf were kept out of the country the army would have to accept his removal.
The prime minister picked up the phone and made a desperate attempt to save his administration. First he spoke to Aminullah Choudhry, the Karachi-based director general of the Civil Aviation Authority. A classic civil servant, Choudhry could be relied upon to execute the prime minister’s orders without hesitation. Sharif told Choudhry that flight PK 805 should not be allowed to land in Pakistan. Choudhry immediately called the air traffic control tower at Karachi: ‘Which international flights do you have coming in at this time? Is there any coming in from Colombo?’ he asked.  Having learnt that PK 805 was due to land within an hour, he ordered the closure of Karachi airport. Minutes later, the runway lights were switched off and three fire engines were parked on the landing strip – one at each end and a third in the middle. Choudhry also ordered the closure of PK 805’s alternate destination, a small rural airport in Nawabshah, 200 miles east of Karachi.

Back in Islamabad, Sharif ’s military secretary, Brigadier Javed Iqbal, an excitable man at the best of times, was manically preparing for his mission to the TV station. As he left the prime minister’s residence, he noticed a group of men from the Punjabi Elite Police at the gate. They were Shahbaz Sharif ’s personal bodyguards. He took the men with him and made the short journey to PTV headquarters. He arrived at 6.15 p.m. and went straight to the control room where he found Major Nisar with his fifteen men. ‘Disarm yourself immediately!’ the brigadier yelled.12 Major Nisar refused. The brigadier then drew a pistol and pointed it at Nisar’s chest. The Punjabi Elite Police and the Punjabi Regiment were moments away from a shoot-out. Nisar blinked first. He handed his gun to the brigadier and told his men to lay down their weapons. Within minutes the major and his men were locked in a room with an armed guard at the door. The jubilant military secretary ordered the Elite Police to shoot anyone who offered resistance and headed back to report his success to the prime minster. (Later, Brigadier Iqbal was to rue his actions. On 13 October he was arrested and charged with drawing a pistol on a fellow officer.)

With the TV station back under civilian control, the news about Musharraf ’s retirement was rebroadcast at the end of the 6.00 p.m. bulletin. Encouraged by this turn of events, Sharif renewed his efforts to keep Musharraf out of the country. He called a long-time political ally, the chairman of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Shahid Abbasi, and repeated his order that PK 805 should not land in Pakistan but be sent to Muscat or anywhere else in the Middle East. He did not give a reason but, having just seen the news bulletin, Abbasi wasn’t in much doubt about the prime minister’s motivation.

Both Choudhry and Abbasi, though, soon realised that a disaster was in the making. Officials at PIA’s operations department told Abbasi that the plane was 50 miles away from Karachi and lacked sufficient fuel to reach the Middle East. Choudhry’s staff at the Civil Aviation Authority had already reached the same conclusion. The plane would have to land in Pakistan. Aminullah Choudhry called the prime minster and told him.But, Choudhry subsequently claimed, Sharif was adamant: the plane must not land in Pakistan. Back at PTV headquarters, Major Nisar and his men were still being held under armed guard. When army officers at GHQ saw the news of Musharraf ’s sacking being replayed at the end of the 6.00 p.m. news bulletin, they realised something had gone wrong. A second army unit was despatched to PTV. At 6.45 p.m. another major, this time with five armed soldiers, asked the guards at the gate if they could enter the building. With the Punjabi Elite Police breathing down their necks, the guards refused to let the major through. Half an hour later, the major returned with a truckload of troops. Again he was refused entry, but this  time he would not be denied. With a flick of his wrist the major ordered his men to clamber over the PTV gate. Journalists who had gathered at PTV filmed the pictures that within hours were leading news bulletins all over the world. The Elite Police, realising they were outnumbered and outgunned, offered no resistance; some even put their weapons on the ground and sat on them. By 7.15 p.m. PTV was off-air. By then the coup was well underway. The first soldiers to reach the prime minister’s residence had arrived at around 6.30 p.m. Having secured the gatehouse, a major took fifteen men over the extensive lawns an and headed for the building’s main entrance. As the porch came into view, the major saw General Ziauddin on the steps with six plain clothes ISI officers. The major ordered the ISI men to lay down their weapons. They refused and General Ziauddin tried to persuade the major to back down. The major started trembling. He was, after all, disobeying an order from the duly appointed army chief. Beads of sweat poured down his forehead. ‘Sir’, he threatened Ziauddin, ‘it would take me just one second.’ Ziauddin, recognising that resistance was futile, told his men to lay down their weapons.

Once inside the prime minster’s residence, the soldiers soon found all the key figures of Sharif ’s administration. The prime minister, realising that he was about to be ousted, had gone to his private quarters to shred some documents. That done, he gathered with his brother Shahbaz and his son Hussain Nawaz to await their fate. General Ziauddin, his new chief of staff Lt. General Akram and other Sharif allies were also there. Having heard about Musharraf ’s sacking, Sharif ’s trusted ally Saif ur Rehman had gone to the residence. So had his brother, Mujib ur Rehman, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, who had turned up with his young son to congratulate Sharif on getting rid of Musharraf. With the residence secured, Lt. General Mehmood himself arrived and confronted Nawaz. ‘I was praying and hoping’, the general said, ‘that it wouldn’t come to this.’

 

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BEAUTIFUL KHUZDAR: IN THE HEART OF BALOCHISTAN

 

 

 

Pakistan Flag Lovers – Children saluting Pakistani flag at Khuzdar, Baluchistan – Display of Pakistani flag

Moola History        ….  

                    Valley of Moola occupies a significant geographical status due its strategic importance and central location. It has always been the suitable passage in ancient times to link India to Afghanistan and Central Asia. Owing to the fact not only  the local nomads usually going to Sindh from Balochistan (famous as Sindh khurasaan) in winter season for earning of livelihood sources, but also the renowned Army Generals, Invaders, Kings, ambassadors etc opted Moola pass for example Caractrus, one of the famous General of Alexander the Great in B.C, Mohammad Bin Qasim,s Army troops, Mir Noori Naseer khan while attacking Dehli ,Famous Mughul ambassador and general Ameer Mohammad Maasum Shah built a monument at Village pir lakka Moola . The valley is an integral part of the strategic and Defence It used to be the most suitable route in ancient times when mettled roads and vehicles were not available. The importance of the pass is so because its scenic beauty would fascinate and a
ttract the travelers and presence of population there would contribute in deciding to opt the track. Moreover, the Valley would be safest track due its strategic composition as there is a penalty of water flowing annually in the Moola River bed and the variety of different mountain rages which matter in Defense factor. The historical and cultural remains of the area provide evidence about human activities covering a large span of time.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

       

        

            

           

            

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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MUSLIMS WAKE-UP: Saudi Arabia to raze Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) tomb to build larger mosque


Saudi Arabia to raze Prophet Mohammed’s tomb to build larger mosque

 

Islam Message of Peace

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtyard of the Prophet Mohammed Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Medina (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)

Courtyard of the Prophet Mohammed(PBUH) Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Medina (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)

The key Islamic heritage site, including Prophet Mohammed’s shrine, is to be bulldozed, as Saudi Arabia plans a $ 6 billion expansion of Medina’s holy Masjid an-Nabawi Mosque. However, Muslims remain silent on the possible destruction.

Work on the Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, is planned to start as soon as the annual Hajj pilgrimage comes to a close at the end of November.  

“After the Hajj this year, in one months’ time, the bulldozers will move in and will start to demolish the last part of Mecca, the grand mosque which is at least 1,000 years old,” Dr. Irfan Alawi of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, told RT.

After the reconstruction, the mosque is expected to become the world’s largest building, with a capacity for 1.6 million people.

And while the need to expand does exist as more pilgrims are flocking to holy sites every year, nothing has been said on how the project will affect the surroundings of the mosque, also historic sites.

Concerns are growing that the expansion of Masjid an-Nabawi will come at the price of three of the world’s oldest mosques nearby, which hold the tombs of Prophet Mohammed(PBUH) and two of his closest companions, Abu Bakr and Umar. The expansion project which will cost 25 billion SAR (more than US $6 billion) reportedly requires razing holy sites, as old as the seventh century. 

The Saudis insist that colossal expansion of both Mecca and Medina is essential to make a way for the growing numbers of pilgrims. Both Mecca and Medina host 12 million visiting pilgrims each year and this number is expected to increase to 17 million by 2025.

Authorities and hotel developers are working hard to keep pace, however, the expansions have cost the oldest cities their historical surroundings as sky scrapers, luxury hotels and shopping malls are being erected amongst Islamic heritage. 

A room in a hotel or apartment in a historic area may cost up to $ 500 per night. And that’s all in or near Mecca, a place where the Prophet Mohammed(PBUH) insisted all Muslims would be equal. 

“They just want to make a lot of money from the super-rich elite pilgrims, but for the poor pilgrims it is getting very expensive and they cannot afford it,”

Dr. Irfan Al Alawi said.

 

A general view of the Prophet Mohammed Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Medina (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)

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    • A general view of the Prophet Mohammed Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Medina (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)

Jabal Omar complex – a 40 tower ensemble – is being depicted as a new pearl of Mecca. When complete, it will consist of six five star hotels, seven 39 storey residential towers offering 520 restaurants, 4, 360 commercial and retail shops.

But to build this tourist attraction the Saudi authorities destroyed the Ottoman era Ajyad Fortress and the hill it stood on.

The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimated that 95 percent of sacred sites and shrines in the two cities have been destroyed in the past twenty years.

The Prophet’s birthplace was turned into a library and the house of his first wife, Khadijah, was replaced with a public toilet block.

Also the expansion and development might threaten many locals homes, but so far most Muslims have remained silent on the issue. 

“Mecca is a holy sanctuary as stated in the Quran it is no ordinary city. The Muslims remain silent against the Saudi Wahhabi destruction because they fear they will not be allowed to visit the Kindom again,” said Dr. Al Alawi.

The fact that there is no reaction on possible destruction has raised talks about hypocrisy because Muslims are turning a blind eye to that their faith people are going to ruin sacred sites. 

“Some of the Sunni channels based in the United Kingdom are influenced by Saudi petro dollars and dare not to speak against the destruction, but yet are one of the first to condemn the movie made by non Muslims,” Dr. Al Alawi said.

Muslim pilgrims walk in the courtyard of the Prophet Mohammed Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Medina (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)
Muslim pilgrims walk in the courtyard of the Prophet Mohammed Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Medina (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)

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