You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Monday, December 31, 2007

BB, the controversy resolved

Channel 4 News has exclusively obtained dramatic new footage which shows in clear detail the moment of Benazir Bhutto's death.


I'm just wondering what does it mean if the international media is trying to pursue the case of the death and Pakistan's govt is trying to lie about it. Does it clearly mean, it was an inside job? Is Musharraf so stupid actually?

Pakistan; still the land of Kings and Queens and Slaves

By: Mohsen Ali (
The Author is a LUMS alumnus and currently pursuing PhD Computer Science in USA.

Harvard and Oxford educated Benazir wrote in her will that her husband would lead Pakistan Peoples Party. Yes my friend we still live in the land where democratic parties do not get their heads elected but have them selected.

But Zardari wants his 19 year old son should inherit PPP. Son that has not even stood for one election. Son whose education and life has been far away from the land of Pakistan. But King wants his son to be crowned. To enhance the claim of inheritance now his Son will not be Bilawal Zardari but Bilawal Bhutto Zardar.Now Mr. Bilawal will go for further education and after his education he will come back to take leadership command. Isnt it like fairy tale where prince goes for learning art of war and then returns to take back the throne.

I am not amazed by the PPP's top leadership's decision, they are old experienced players of politics who would have little sympathy in changing the status quo.But what happened to this 19 year old Bilawal who is continuing his education from Oxford? Has the education system failed to build any moral and ethical structure in him? I have always thought that young people of his age are more realistic and resilient to the glitter of corruption.

But how can I expect anything positive form the member of the family who got Prime Minister ship for 3 times and about their villages BBC best said

But there is little sign that the region has felt any benefit from living in the shadow of one of the country's most influential dynasties.

The poverty which blights rural Pakistan is striking and most people eke out their living in the scrubby fields.

The other thing that amazed me was silence from electronic Media, none of the them was even commented about this undemocratic act and its implications. Even Talat Hussain from AAJ Tv. kept mum about it.

They might be more busy in their duties, but even on some blogs respected writers and commenter's (for example have a look at were supporting that decision. General feeling you get from their messages is it is unfortunate but necessary to protect the PPP or some are saying they do not wanted it but if this happens they will support it.

They are fearful that party would break but with this decision what it would stand for? a dynasty of Bhutto's? We know its not temporary decision, he will not be temporary head till they hold some party elections. He announced his plans of completing his education and comeback to become active Chairman of PPP

All this night while news of crowing of new prince was unfolding, I was remembering the early days of Musharaf. That time also many educated people and respected intellectuals supported him calling him a lesser evil, defending his actions as necessary to protect country. They kept on protecting him even when people were dying in various parts of country.

Today when it looked like that civil society has finally stood against dictatorship. Today when it looked we could see evil as evil and will not close our eyes for momentarily benefits. I am horrified to know our minds are still slaves, slaves of our own fears.

Sometime its better to do right & just act, instead of doing wrong act that looks beneficial.

{On side note I must say Zardari's address on many times contained important things about stability of Pakistan, the way he defended Punjab and asked people to support for the federation, I was impressed. I feel the gesture of Nawaz Sharif played a very vital role in solidifying the feeling that Punjabis are with Sindhis. Its the first time I feel that existence of PML(Q) has been blessing, as all anger has been toward them and PML(N) was able to get sympathies of Sindhis for Punjab}

Undemocratic, democratic political parties of Pakistan.

Traditionally political affiliation of people of sub continent has been towards personalities rather than political parties. People tend to follow a person, whose personality and public face symbolizes his political ideology. This has, however led to undemocratic values among the democratic parties.

The party leadership more often than not enjoys an assured life-time leadership. The party is at the mercy of one man’s ideals, political abilities, vision and intentions.

When it comes to choosing the next leader for the party, which usually happens after the (usually a tragic and unnatural) death of former leader, rather than an election for party leadership, it is usually “announced” by the elders of the party. In order to keep affiliations of the party workers and general public intact, party usually “decides” to hand it over to some one next of kin of the previous leader.

In India Congress Party Chairman Nehru was succeeded by his daughter Indira Gandhi, who was succeeded by her son Rajiv Gandhi, who in turn was succeeded by his wife Sonia Gandhi.

In Bangladesh President Mujeeb-ur-Rehman was succeeded by his daughter. President Zia-ur-Rehman by his wife Khalida Zia.

In Srilanka President Premadasa was succeeded by Mrs. Premadasa.

In Pakistan, Muslim League’s presidency fell into lap of Miss Fatima Jinnah, sister of party president Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was succeeded by his daughter Benazir Bhutto.

It was more than evident that after the tragic murder of Benazir Bhutto, some other member of Bhutto family will be the new chairman of the biggest party of Pakistan. It turned out to be the young Oxford law student Mr. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

This decision has been accepted and welcomed throughout the country by party workers, who have swore their allegiance to Mr. Bilawal Bhutto, and hence the tradition continues.

I am in no position to criticize the decision of the PPP leadership, it was their decision to make, and according to traditional, not democratic, norms was more than expected. but I was just thinking that, If there’s no democracy within the democratic parties, how come they can work to instill democracy in this democracy deprived country?

Sharif Brothers enjoy dictatorial control over their PML-N, most probable candidate to succeed them will either by Mr. Nawaz’s son or Hamza Shahbaz , who by the way is contesting from a PML-N stronghold, Gwalmandi seat, forcing the loyal and party strongman former MPA Khawaja Sa’ad Rafique to contest from a weaker constituency.

PML-Q’s Chaudhry brothers share the spoils of military backing together and are preparing Moonis Elahi as the next ‘BiG’ boss of PML-Q, with all the Local Government Nazim’s campaigning exhaustively for him alongside Punjab Police for his current election campaign.

Jamaat-e-Islami, had a record of democratically electing its leaders, though then again for lifetime, as was the case of replacing Maulan Modoodi with Qazi Hussein after the earlier’s death. But now Rehana Qazi, daughter of Qazi Hussein happens to be the contender for the hot seat.

Mufti Sahab was replaced by his son Maula Fazlur Rehman as the leader of JUI.

ANP saw replacement of Wali Khan with his wife & later by their kin Asfand Yaar Wali.

Two relatively newer parties MQM & Tehreek-e-Insaaf are being led by their founders with totalitarian attitude. The de-facto party presidents, enjoy lifetime leadership of their parties.

There are many mal-affects of this tradition. In absence of democratic setup within the party, any suggestion or appeal from any party worker or group is easily vetoed by the leader. Sharp political minds always remain on the sidelines, as is the case with Aitzaz Ahsan, Javed Hashmi or Farooq Sattar. There can be no pressure group with in the party to persuade it or at least make it consider a different approach.

A political party represents an ideology, voters vote for it to give it a chance to implement that political ideology, to take the country into direction for which it promised during campaign, but does that really happen?.

I believe that the absence of democratic culture with in the political parties leads to dictatorial attitude of their leaders, who when came to power do things their own way, rather than their party’s way.

Isn’t it ironic that when they’re in opposition they tend to speak “our” language, when they come to power; they speak “their” own language?

A better start towards democracy might be introduction of democratic values with in the party, but, that seems a far cry. When will public representation and support be treated on democratic grounds rather than on “hereditary” grounds?