Archive for October, 2009

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Musharraf supports army operation in Waziristan

October 19, 2009

By Masood Haider
Tuesday, 20 Oct, 2009

NEW YORK: Former president Pervez Musharraf has applauded the military offensive to flush out the Taliban and other militants from South Waziristan, saying that it was ‘very much needed’.

President Pervez Musharraf‘I support what the government and army are doing to eliminate the threat of terrorism and extremism,’ he told a select crowd at a dinner hosted by members of the Pakistani-American community at a hotel in the borough of Staten Island on Sunday night.

Most Pakistani media was barred from the event, except two TV channels which, according to sources, had been approved by Mr Musharraf.

The organisers allowed only pre-approved questions to be asked.

Answering a question about his return to Pakistan, he said he would wait and see how the situation evolved in the wake of army operation.

Former chief of the army staff Gen (retd) Musharraf said that growing insurgency, especially the recent spike in suicide bombings, had put Pakistan in a precarious situation.

Moreover, the country’s economy is not picking up and remains in a bad shape.

He said that the only way forward for Pakistan was to have a ‘real functional democracy, with good governance’.

About the situation in Afghanistan, he said Washington had made three mistakes from 1979 to 2009. He repeated a well-known fact that in 1989 the US abandoned some 35,000 battle-hardened Mujahideen after the Soviets had been driven out. These people formed the nucleus of what would become Al Qaeda. Pakistan, which helped the US in creating those fighters, was left high and dry at that stage.

The United States, he added, was also wrong when it refused to recognise the Taliban by opening its mission in Kabul. In doing so, the US threw away a chance to influence them, and paved the way for Al Qaeda to become influential.

The United States also made a mistake by allowing the Northern Alliance, made up of ethnic minorities, to gain influence in the post-Taliban government, instead of making more concessions to the Pashtun majority, he said. The way to resolve the Afghan crisis was to access the Pashtuns and hold dialogue with them.

Source: DAWN

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Pakistan’s American Ambassador

October 17, 2009

Section: Letter to the Editor, PAKISTAN OBSERVER

By Mr. Ahmad Subhani

Hussain HaqqaniDr. Ghayur Ayub’s satirical remarks made in his letter, “The Big Question”, in to-day’s Pakistan Observer are sober as well as hilarious. Mr. Hussain Haqqani’s role enacted so far, gives the impression that he is serving American interests more in Pakistan than serving Pakistan’s interests in America. His meaningful contribution at drafting the Kerry- Lugar Bill, as hinted by Dr. Ayub, is an instance to quote. There is no surprise in it, though. Her leader, Benazir Bhutto, on the eve of her return to Pakistan in December, 2007, from her self- imposed exile abroad, issued a statement to the effect, that she would see to it that the foreign stake holders be afforded access to Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan and Pak nukes. In today’s news- papers, another PPP stalwart, Mr. Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Pakistan’s High Commissioner in U. K., has advised Pakistanis that the said bill is going to” help democracy in Pakistan”. One is at a loss to understand as to how and which democracy the bill is supposed to promote—Z. A. Bhutto’s, Benazir’s, Nawaz Sharif’s or Zardari’s? This hapless nation is already fed up with a hotchpotch of civilian and dictatorial models enforced in Pakistan in the name of “democracy”. Masses groaning under the crushing burden of ever deepening poverty and deprivation are interested in only and only in a system that guarantees them riddance from their present agony. Unfortunately, none of the so called democratic or dictatorial systems enforced here from time to time, has brought them any succor. False promises and hollow sloganeering, is not going to turn the tide. Rulers must focus their efforts and energies at initiating concrete action, to salvage the devastated economy and improve the horrible law and order situation without which no improvement is possible.

Source: Pakistan Observer

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Baluchistan Imbroglio

October 16, 2009

Section: Letter to the Editor, PAKISTAN OBSERVER

(Mr. Ahmad Subhani)

A Feudal TerroristKnowledgeable Pakistanis will disagree with many a point raised by Syed Khan Baloch in his letter captioned, “Baluchistan Amnesty” (Pakistan Observer of the 20th instant) that Baluchistan is the least developed province of the country, no body denies. However, the fact why it is so, is attributable to two main factors: one, its neglect by the successive governments; two, geographical location of the province —- a vast arid  land located in a far -fetched part of the country, very thinly populated, perennially suffering from scanty rainfall coupled with scarcity of other water resources. The said state of affairs in not making of the last sixty-two years, rather this legacy goes back into distant past. Another important factor that has bedeviled Baluchistan’s progress all these years, is the presence there of feudal system in its worst form that has retarded its development process. Feudal sardars like, Bughtis, Marris, Mengals etc. whose stranglehold over the masses in their areas of influence is complete, in pursuit of their selfish interests, put breaks, even through use of force, to all developmental activities  like building of infrastructure, schools, hospitals etc. that has to  take place in their areas. Their said illegal activities have constantly challenged the authority of the Govt. and undermined writ of the State. That is why, during Z.A. Bhutto’s and Pervez Musharraf’s reign, military action had to be taken against the culprits.

The foregoing explains why Baluchistan has remained a backward region, giving rise to complaints and grievances with regard to the poverty and deprivation of its inhabitants. This situation has been fully exploited by the anti-state elements, particularly by our arch enemy India in collaboration with Afghanistan and others. Some of our feudal bigwigs like, Akber Bughti, in connivance with and duly aided and abetted by our said enemies, took recourse to destroying  national assets like, sui gas installations, bridges, railway tracks, trains and other infrastructure. They even attacked security staff and army personnel. Leaving that aside, the Govt. of Pakistan did realize, though belatedly, that Bachistan urgently needs more attention and resources to achieve its potential. Accordingly, concerted efforts were made during the last eight years or so by the previous Govt. and a number of projects, including major ones like, Gawader port, Coastal Highways, Mirani Dam were constructed. I suggest, that Syed Baluch Khan, may go through  letter, captioned, ”Destabilizing Baluchistan” appearing in the same issue of the Pakistan Observer, wherein a true picture of what has transpired  in that province has been portrayed, quite realistically. The present Govt.is also seized with the matter and hopefully, concrete steps would be taken to accelerate pace of development in the province.

Source: Pakistan Observer

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Of myth and reality

October 16, 2009

By Mr. Ahmad Subhani

Myth vs RealityMr. B. A. Malik in his article titled,” Myth and Reality of Pakistan” (P. O. 28-9-2009), has specified certain myths, which according to him, have DEFINED the psychology of the nation since its inception” .Everyone has the right to express his opinion on any issue of his liking. Mr. Malik has done so on certain “ major myths”, as he has put it, in his said write up .I would like to avail this opportunity to offer my point of view on some of his perceptions that I do not find in consonance with the realities on ground.

Democracy: It is not correct to say that, “Pakistan is unfit for democracy because people don’t understand this concept….” On the other hand, you will hardly find people who do not favour a democratic system for Pakistan. However, the bone of contention is which type of democracy suits the genius of its people? West Minister Abbey style democracy which was a legacy of our past British rulers, has failed to click over here. Other varieties of democracy experimented here like basic democracy, mixed or quasi-democracy etc. too has failed to deliver. A number of elections under the afore-said systems held since 1947 also have not produced the desired results .The greatest impediments in the way to establishing a genuine democratic rule in this country, are (1): rampant illiteracy among the populace and (2): the feudal system which has been in vogue here since 1947. The feudal elite having complete hold over great majority of impoverished and ignorant masses, have invariably hampered their right to free franchise. In view of the same, it is being increasingly felt, that what Pakistan needs is a democratic system that is tailored according to its peculiar circumstances and needs.

Constitution v/s Country: I am of the firm opinion that country gets preference over its constitution. Constitution is framed for the country and not the Vice a Versa. It is as simple as that. So if the two are somehow tied up, the country must get the priority. The much maligned, “Doctrine of Necessity”, acts as a rescuer in such Mix Ups.

Media Freedom: It was acknowledged even at international forums, that the media freedom allowed by the previous Govt. was unprecedented in the annals of Pakistan. To term that achievement as “Non Sense” and “dictatorship and press- freedom do not match”, is a slander.

GENERALS: Nobody has claimed that the Pakistani generals Alone are real champions of national interests. It seems as if here the writer’s imagination has run wild. The charge is too flimsy to merit serious consideration.

Ayub’s and Musharraf’s books : on going through the books authored by Ayub Khan and Pervez Musharraf, I failed to find any Worth While distortion therein. Rather, the texts of the books depict a fairly realistic picture of the then prevailing conditions. To call the contents of the books as, “historical distortions with abandon” is a distortion in itself.

Pakistan’s Dismemberment: To deny the stark reality, also so recognized internationally, that India dismembered Pakistan in 1971, no sane person, least of all a patriotic Pakistani, can subscribe to Mr. Malik’s contention, that “India did exploit the opportunity of the century but our own blunders primarily led to this colossal debacle”. I wonder, if he is not unwittingly, legitimizing India’s said despicable act?

Kashmir dispute: Even the big powers namely ,U.S.A., Great Britain , who have all along been siding with India, have after long last , admitted openly that peace in South Asia is not possible without an amicable settlement of the Kashmir dispute. Mr. Malik calls this issue as,”out-dated stereo-type” How strange!

Nuclear Arsenal: That it is a guarantee for Pakistan’s security has been amply proved by the year-long standoff of the million strong Indian and Pakistani armed forces at the Pakistan border in 2001-02. India was hell- bent to invade Pakistan, but it is latter’s nukes that thwarted her nefarious designs. But Mr. Malik has the temerity to say that nuclear arsenal provides no such guarantee.

American Interference: His outright denial of’ continually increasing American interference in Pakistan’s affairs is beyond our humble comprehension. How can he remain ignorant of this widely known development? Finally, he has acclaimed the performance of the incumbent Govt., lawyers, judiciary and others, which I feel, is the result of his misplaced optimism. Frankly speaking, during the last one year and half that the present rulers have been at the helm of affairs, Pakistan has degenerated into its worst ever crises in all spheres of national activity. I don’t want to go into details as all are well aware of it. Suffice it to say, that all economic indicators that were made positive during the previous Government’s reign, have become negative now.

Proverbial begging bowl that was broken by the previous regime is again in the hands of the present Govt.’s emissaries who are trotting around the world seeking more and more alms but which are hard to get by as the credibility of the incumbent Govt. has touched rock bottom. And lately, Pakistan has been relegated to the status of one of the failed States of the world. In the face of all this, Mr Malik’s lambasting the previous “dictatorial” regime (which, in fact, had done a great deal for this country), and offering accolades to the present one that has put to naught all that had been achieved earlier, is something beyond one’s comprehension.

Source: Pakistan Observer

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