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]

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mumbai bloodbath, apparent winners and loosers.

Sometime after 9/11 I had the honor of traveling with Prakash Singh, a cloth merchant and resident of Kashmore, Sindh. In our discussions during the train journey from Sukkur to Lahore, 9/11 attacks came up naturally. He gave me a simple anecdote, “ just wait and see who benefits from it the most ? one who does, has more probability of being behind it than anyone else! “

If I take myself back to 27th November, and try to weigh the events in light of Prakash's anecdote, I find myself seeing these events in a different perspective.

Victims and their families are no doubt the ones who suffered the most. Victims include the public and security forces personnel. Close to 200 deaths and 400 injured is a huge toll. Multiply that with the same number of families and extended families, you end up with a number running into thousands.

Mumbaikars in general, have lost a lot. Mumbai just like Karachi, is a place where most things at the end get measured as good for business or not good for business. Theses events have certainly affected livelihood of the residents of Mumbai, currently the world’s most populous metropolis.

Indo-Pak relations are the most hit in the bigger picture. A decade’s worth of efforts and CBM’s from both sides have been undone in a matter of 59 hours. I suspect that now there will be quite some time before No I wont work in hate films will be the headline of Bollywood celebrity magazines, and Friendship Cup cricket series will be held. Already I see people getting back to pre-Kargil frame of mind with regards to the people on the other side of the border are concerned.

President-elect Obama had given a clear signal that India & Pakistan need to resolve differences on Kashmir issue, it was the word in grapevine that Pakistani Foreign Minister’s visit to India & Pakistani presidents’ Kashmir belongs to the people of Kashmir video conference with the Indian journalists a few days back, was part of that chain. Now I think we can safely assume, this whole initiative will be thrown out of the window.

Ironically, the investigation team, probing into the Samjhota Express arson incident was killed in Mumbai railway station attack, which was probing into Indian Army‘s involvement in the incident. The attackers fled without a scratch. This has already led to many Pakistani’s belief that the attacks were totally or in part staged to get rid of the investigators, as it would have brought ill-fame to the mighty Indian Army. An event similar to what we are very much used to here in Pakistan.

Keeping in mind that Mumbai is the commercial capital of India, and the attacks have struck the business elite of the city, the ramification for Indian economy might be ten-fold. A visiting head of a business corporate from Japan, representatives of a European business delegation, people close to film industry have been killed in attacks. In this time of global economic recession, the problems for India might be multiplied.

The right-wingers from both the India & Pakistan are the ones who will make the most out of it. Already people like Mr. Modi, CM Gujrat have spun into action, and are in spotlight with exchange of heated comments regarding the neighboring country. The fingers have been raised on banned outfits that is lashkars & jaish in Pakistan, it will certainly help them ramp up their public acceptance once again and they might be operating & recruiting out in the open.

ISI & RAW are once again back in the action. The two agencies have been pretty busy in the past half a century scroing points against each other. Sometimes it was ISI training and sending people to East Punjab & Kashimr, other times it was RAW with its training camps in Bhoj sending trained people to disrupt life in Karachi and activities in Afghan consulates. Both of them had to shun their activities, surprisingly so during early 2000’s when there was a military government here in Pakistan and BJP was ruling in Indai. Now, I guess the ball is back in the Intelligence agency’s court, rather than being in Parliaments or Presidencies.

At the end, the biggest looser is the average person, living in India or Pakistan . With Pakistan spending a hefty amount, more than it can afford to, on the military, the needs of an average person are usually ignored. India on the other hand having a fair portion of the soon to be biggest population in the world living far below poverty line, had to invest in its nuclear arsenal and spend billions of dollars annually to buy arms from France & Russia to provide for its army. The amount both the countries have spent on their respective military machines over the post-colonial erra is huge, and is often the very reason that they could not address and provide for the needs of the poor of the region.

Mumbai Attacks and Indian Stupidity

Fahad Fazl sent a message to the members of Pakistan Tehreek i insaf on Facebook.

Subject: Mumbai terror Attacks

First of all i will strongly condemn these brutal attacks on mumbai.

Recently an indian Army officer is found guilty of planning terror attacks on a train in india, the train name is Samjhota express which operate between india and Pakistan. In this train attack mostly Pakistanies were killed on indian side of region. And some army officers who are having some connections with hindu extremist organizations are found guilty.

Currently there are seperatest movements going on throughout india. India has around 600 districts out of which more than 200 districts have their sepratist movements. Every year thousand of people die in india in result of clashes between these movements and indian government. None of these movement has any link to PAkistan.

The point which i am trying to make is that india has so much terrorist movements in their homeland and still they are blamming on Pakistan without having any evidence.

On the otherside if we will see Pakistan's, they never pointed fingur towards india even after having very solid evidence of indian involvement in Balochistan and NWFP. It also doesnot make sense that why india has opened more than 25 offices in afghanistan along the pakistani border, it clearly shows that india is sending insurgents from Afghanistan side into the Pakistan who are de-stabilizing the tribal region of Pakistan and also inside Pakistan. There is a large increase in suicide attacks inside PAkistan, which is all due to that insurgency from Afghanistan side. But even having so many casualties in these suicide attacks for example the suicide attack of Marriot hotel destroyed whole hotel and killed alot of innocent people, Pakistan never blamed india because Pakistan want good diplomatic relations with India. But on the other side india never wants some good relations and always tried to invoke Pakistan by putting more and more terrorist inside Pakistan. These terrosit make
an excuse for USA to do more drone attacks inside Pakistan and US also want Pakistan to do military operations in tribal regions to kill alot of innocent civilians and at the end Pakistan suffers from all sides.

I was listening to BBC most of the time and i saw one common thing in Indian and International media that they all are pointing their fingures towards Pakistan without having any evidence.
So it looks similar to 9/11 when american media started blaming Alqaida and Taliban immediately and then whole international media did the same and then they wage a war against Afghanistan.
I think this mumbai attacks are also similar kind of practice and they want to build a case against Pakistan to wage war might be from western borders in tribal region or might be from eastern borders.

At this very moment Pakistanies should get ready for any kind of Indian stupidity and this time India will not be alone, all the western (US and NATO) will be along with india. So what i see unfortunately it seems that Pakistan is once again going to have some hard time. But inshAllah we will manage to get out of it. Be United, be faithful to your country and be desciplined thats all we need.

For people from other countries i just want to show the real ground truth and real situation to all of you. I hope you will not close your eyes and will not believe only on the media which is always biased. I hope you will look into all details and then will decide who is right and who is wrong. Unfortunately all the international media is always following a guideline given to them and they never do critical analysis of the situation.

Thanks for spending time to read this article
Long Live Pakistan

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The blame game is on! South Asia walking on a thin line,once again!

The fabled 'foreign hand' is behind the recent bloodbath in Mumbai, once again South Asian politicians use this time tested term. I wonder why is it used so fluently and why do we, the people on the both sides of the border, buy it on a regular basis ?

It was only a few days ago that I commented on a blog run by an Indian blogger that

" for the first time in our lives we see that less and less Indian films are being made with anti Pakistan propoganda, & even lesser anti-India sentiments in the 50 plus Pakistani TV channels. When Jammat-i-Islami and Pakistani Maulana's on the one side and BJP and the likes on the other are not airing anti-Indian sentiments, when our PM or President is not playing the 'Indian'/'Pakistan' card anymore, when TV,papers, blogs have nuetral stance towards towards each other, it definitely means things are getting humane, and once can hope for the best. "

But I am afraid, the blame game started in the after math of tragic Mumbai terrorist attacks is taking the whole of South Asia back to square one. As if this region and the two countries did not had internal problems of high magnitude already, I worry that we may be drawn, yet again, to the cross border fueds, verbal and actual.

I do not know what the Impression of Pakistan and Pakistani people is in India, but one thing is for certain that there never has been a hate activity from the civil society of the both countries. There always were the hawkish politicians, religious right wingers, conservative newspapers, short sighted media producers which made being patriotic in lieu with being anit-Indian or anti-Pakistani.

The recent events with which the Mumbaikers had to go through, were certainly targeted towards, terrifying and intimidating them in specific & Indian population in general. It has probably hit the Indian society where it is most fragile, the ethnic religious divide. It is now known that the terrorist were of Muslim origin, a couple of them of Pakistani origin. Demolition of Babri Mosque, Killing of Indira Gandhi, Burning of Hindu pilgrim trains have already led to unrest and carnage of huge proportions.

If possible, I would just like to convey my condolence to citizens of Mumbai, that we condemn these attacks. People in Pakistan do not approve of it, and neither do they are celebrating. The effort current Pakistani government is making, is to send out a message that Pakistan on official or public level is not involved in it, at all. If some high wired self proclaimed righteous group has used Pakistani soil to do this, lets find them and bring them to justice together. We are trying to cope up with this menace as well.

The 'foreign hand' has in past and might as well in future find itself used on the both sides of the border. One thing is for sure, it helps politicians on the both sides to cover their tracks. It helps conceal their inability to counter these problems. Nawab Akbar Bugti, a nationalist Balouch Sardaar, was killed in Baluchistan and military found a few thousand dollars in cash lying there besides him, clearly indicating he was an 'agent' of the 'foreign elements'!

I remember the view of certain government functionaries and pro-government reporters regarding the resurrection of Student movement in aftermath of Nov. 3. It was stated that the 'foreign element' was active in instigating the students to protest against the Musharraf Govt. We laughed our tails of at this comment.

Pakistani people have been a victim of violent activities from a long time. Sometimes at the hand of its own military, the Dhaka Medical College massacre in 1954, 'operation search light' in current day Bangladesh in 1969, Military operation in Baluchistan 1974, Military operation in Sindh 1994, The current military operation in Baluchistan and tribal areas since 2001. And sometimes at the hands of terrorist activities that have shaken the already fragile social fiber of this nation i.e. one after the other serial bomb blasts in Peshawar and adjoining areas during more than a decade of Afghan war, the heightened sectarian violence of late 1980's and early 1990's, the unrest and communal motivated violence in Karachi for most of mid 90's and then came the grand 'war on terror' and we were on the receiving end of a continuous salvo of suicide and car bombings. The painful ordeal of People in Swat, the unrest in tribal areas, bombings in Islamabad and Lahore.

So with all our previous experiences with similar incidents, we can, to an extent, realize what people in India might be going through. Whenever a tragedy like this strikes a nation, it shifts to an aggressive stance, politicians, in order to thwart the pressure upon them and to convey a message that something is being done are quick to blame it on the 'foreign hand', we have been a victim to this term before, I hope that this time around we don't fall prey to it. Because if we do, we are back to the hate culture that was bubbled down in the past decade, and that could be a biggest obstacle in progress, that more than a quarter of the world's population living in South Asia requires to survive.

Shocking Mumbai terror attacks : Oberoi , Taj Mahal Hotel & Chabad (Nariman) House secured

The world witnessed one of a kind terrorist activity in Mumbai, india. Painfully shocking and equally baffling attacks led to over 160 deaths and hundreds injured. From RiseOfPakistan blog team, LUMS students & Alumni, and Pakistani' s in general we console the families of the dead and the citizens of Mumbai. The heinous terrorist attacks aimed at destroying the urban fibre of one of the bigget and busiest cities in the world, and certainly to terrify and intimidate soon to be most populace nation, are tragic, deplorable and condemnable.

No city can probably brace for such an organised and disruptive activity. Mumbaikers as well as us watching the tragedy unfold on TV, were no doubt shocked beyond imagination. It's a sigh of relief to know that, finally, the painful ordeal is over.

Brought up in Karachi during troubled 90's and being in Lahore/Islamabad during the current wave of terror attacks, one can relate to what the Mumbaikers went through. It was certainly harsh and terrifying. If compared, hat happenned in Mumbai, to what our cities had been through, this single incident probably surpasses any individual terrorist activity. I just hope that its the end of this kind of experience for the people on the other side of the border, and they dont go through the continous and serial attacks that we are going through these days.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ISI closes the 'political cell'; Atlast it happened, a sigh of relief!

Mateen Haider of Dawn News, in an article on 23rd Nov. reported that the infamous 'political wing' of ISI has finally been closed down! It has been followed since by an editorial the next day.

I must say that this draconian, allegedly autonomous wing of the ISI, has been involved in making and breaking of the governments and political alliances. Specially the musical chair rounds of 90's when we saw 9 civilian and caretaker governments, and the icing on the cake with a military coup.

It is believed to have been operational by the self proclaimed Field Marshal, Gen. Ayub Khan. The questionable use of force by his Governor West Pakistan in forcing a favourable election result against Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah. Gen. Yahya used it against the Bengali public and politicians, It was taken a step further and formally ordered by the late premier Z.A. Bhutto, who had no ear for criticism to force opposition members down. It rose to its peak during the Gen. Zia's dark 11 years. The making of a favourable 'Majlis-e-Shura', an unelected parliament of the Industrialists and Landlords,and to trace the anti-Islamic 'culprits' and punish them( lashed and hanged ) publicly,most of which were the 'leftist' labour and student leaders. Then the breaking of 1988 PPP government and sponsoring the effort to make 'IJI' and election rigging in its favour was confirmed by Gen. Mirza Aslam Baig under Oath. The most recent and popular election muddling by it was in the 2002 elections to help the pro-Musharraf PML-Q secure seats, with the help of Local Governments.

I must mention here that, Ardisher Cowasjee, of one of the senior journalist in Pakistan, has been writing periodically about this wing of ISI's, not to mention that he has taken the toll for doing so (remember the anti-Pakistani, pro-American, unfaithful Zorastrian propoganda ?). A few links from this very writer showing the rubber band nature of this cell:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pre-printed 'sifarish' letter. A step above yellow slips and phone calls :)

Probably being akin to sitting PM, she knew that there will be a lot of people requiring that, specially in our rural setup,


source: we thank a fellow countryman for mass emailing it!

A story related to this letterheas has been posted in 'The News'

Amusing reactions to the letter include:

" The spouse of Mrs Nargis Makhdoom said that his wife did not write such letters and that he was an additional secretary in the National Assembly and he could have written a better letter with better results. He said that someone else was misusing the name of his wife. "

" if Nargis Makhdoom had printed such a letterhead, then she had not sought prior permission of the PM for this (Should he be even asked to permit such a letter head?). He asked for a fax copy of the letterhead. However, he did not react when a copy was faxed to him. "

" Three mobile numbers are mentioned on the letterhead and the PS to the sister of the PM confirmed that one of them was of Nargis Makhdoom. The other numbers are of her son and personal secretary. The telephone number of her home is also correctly mentioned in the letterhead. "

Friday, November 21, 2008

Endless War? Why winning is for losers.

source: piece by David Kell on

The magical thinking behind the ‘war on terror’ has allowed a radical disconnect between problem and solution - most glaringly, between 9/11 and attacking Iraq. Hannah Arendt noted in The Origins of Totalitarianism that it can be very attractive when leaders offer solutions with a degree of certainty; the illogical nature of the proposed ’solution’ (for example, eliminating the Jews as a remedy for Germany’s military and economic problems) does not necessarily make it any less attractive. Arendt also noted that the need for certainty may be particularly intense in circumstances where people’s own economic and social circumstances are precarious; she suggested that part of the appeal of fascism was that the identification of a clearly-identified enemy - whilst frightening - was less frightening and less disorienting than a world in which the source of insecurity remained obscure.

That analysis resonates today. In his book What’s the matter with Kansas?, Thomas Frank provides a revealing case-study of how economic insecurity has fed into support for Bush and for right-wing politicians more generally. Frank argues that in Kansas (and, by extension, much of middle America), a longstanding hostility towards big corporations has been displaced into a ‘backlash’ politics that includes hostility towards foreign enemies, towards a range of ‘outgroups’, and towards the forces (like science, evolution, secularism and pluralism) that seem to undermine old and comfortable certainties. read complete post .....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Abraham Lincoln says.......

a) Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose - and you allow him to make war at pleasure.

sounds familiar..........?


b)Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.

how unacceptable of an American President...........


c)As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.

some idea, thankfully its not heard nowadays, otherwise how we could have the New World Order......

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sangota school no more there ........

source: A dear friend & a colleague, from Swat shared this poem & video. To reach out to many more, here it is.

This time I visit the shady town,
I see no smiles but faces frowned.

The little girl has asked me too,
where will she go for things to learn.

If they will come
and you will let the schools to burn.

O little girl, your little wish ,
your little prayers
will make amends and do repairs.

your little step to that old school
will make us smile and make us rule.

O God,
the winter snow has covered the mountain's peak.
in our favor, we request you to speak.

O God,
they are evil let them know,
with punishment and a vow.

Video Link: (couldnt embedd it in blog post, for unkown reasons)

A summarized translation of the Pushto voice over:

"It was the best School in Swat made in 1965 known for its Discipline, quality of teaching and all the traits a good school has. It was a sanctuary to 1000 students and over. People would be proud of admitting their kids in this school. This school produced many doctors, engineers, scholars, ambassadors & politicians. But the most important thing is that it is one of the hundreds of schools burnt down or blown up."

Summarizing what the burqa clad student said: " They haven't destroyed the school, They have destroyed future of over 1,000 students. If you blow up Govt. Schools, who will provide for our education? "

in response to 'Things will get better in Swat' comment.......

Things wont get better unless people in Swaat are empowered themselves. Ever since it's annexation to NWFP, the employment opportunities, state services, educational institutes, industry, communnication, infrastructre, precious stone mining, the standard of living in general and the blood line of the valley, tourism, have been neglected. More and ... Read Moremore locals have to get out to major cities in search of these basic amenities of life.

Now the law and order. It has been bitterly used as a showcase for the western world by the previous military govt. that how big a threat the religious extremist are, not doing anything until the new Gen. took office. Unlike rest of the province, Swaat has no gun culture, no local jirga or civilian vigilantees. The local police was and still is too weak to encounter organised terrorism. Military presence is a temporary solution, which gives the other party a pretext to attack the peace loving people of valley.

Girl schools are nothing but symbolic targets. They are actually attacking the way of life people have adopted there which includes letting there girls get educated and become more contributing members of society.

Swaat used to be the most modern, progressive and peaceful of all states in sub-continent. Untill removal of its statehood, life there thrived. People had embraced a way of life which helped them progress. They left every one in that vicinity far behind both in cultural & economic progress. And, that is the reason for attacking, demolishing Swaat's way of life. The message is clear, 'Remain whatever you are like, Dont let your girls study, dont embrace the hospitals & roads, dont let someone use a computer,if you do like the Swatians did, you'll not be left alone.'

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pakistani students shun Salman Taseer

Pakistani students shun Salman Taseer; tell him to stop anti-Pakistan campaign

Pakistani Law Students today have done what the our elected members of National Assembly and the those in lucrative government offices have been unable to do so far: condemn Salman Taseer on his anti-Pakistan activities.

The governor, who is also chancellor of the varsity, was the chief guest at its first convocation held here on Monday. Students of University of Sargodha were invited to receive their diplomas from the Governor. But instead of sucking up to the governor, like many do, the students had in mind the anti-Pakistan statements and activities of Salman Taseer.

The governor and his huge entourage were expecting a warm welcome as funds had been distributed in this regard. But to their surprise the students refused to accept their degrees from Governor Salman Taseer. Their message was clear: stop anti-Pakistan and anti-judiciary activities as they will not be tolerated by the people of Pakistan.

The law students boycotted the convocation proceedings, while a group of lawyers staged a sit-in in front of the varsity's main gate to express solidarity with them.

The lawyers chanted slogans against the governor who, according to them, used derogatory language against the patriotic legal fraternity of Pakistan. They also marched from the district bar to university campus carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans against the governor and President Asif Ali Zardari.

The whiskey ridden Taseer did not quite comprehend what hit him. While he, like always, had covered his eyes, the shock in them could be seen from miles.

The unfortunate part is that none of the 80 or so Pakistani news channels highlighted the incident. Why did we allow private Pakistani channels in the first place? Why did we fight for freedom of media from Musharraf? Wasn't it to project the demands of Pakistanis? If this was the Indian media, if this was the Chinese media, if this was the Iranian media, if this was the Arab media, if this was Turkish media, this incident would have been repeated at the top of every news bulletin for the day.

Not only did Salman Taseer's Chamcha Times or Business Plus did not cover it but neither did any of the free channels. Is this the freedom of media Sherry Rehman boasts about?

I hope some of the defeatist 'liberal' Pakistanis working for television news channels might be reading this. If you know someone there, please admonish them. We need to make sure the voice of Pakistanis is heard.

It is sad that ordinary Pakistanis will always be more nationalist and patriotic than their so-called 'liberal' intellectuals and their non-intellectual politicians. Only Dawn covered part of the story which can be seen here.

But students of Sargodha Law College, no matter what, we are proud of you. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, you are moments away from restoration.

Source: Emergency mailing list