I am sure many have heard and read about the Burqa clad women armed with sticks who were protesting in Islamabad. The set of images has been displayed across millions of websites showing yet another extremist element in Pakistan.
I have a slightly different take on the entire issue, but before you start rapping me on the knuckles read the entire post with the knowledge that I am not a FUNDO (Fundamentalist).
Try to understand the other side of the argument and also filter through conspiracy stories to better appreciate the issue at hand. Every Pakistani knows that the ISI and GHQ have a tremendous control over anything and everything that goes on in the country specially in ragards to the fundamentalist element in Pakistan hence nothing can be done without the expressive permission of these agencies. Additionally for this incident to have taken place ‘in Islamabad’ was enough to say that it was carefully orchestrated, if not a slap on their face. I think that the agencies probably had been stimulating the extremist element which ultimately boiled over leading bringing the women on the street. For non-Muslims reading this blog, burqa-clad women on the street is a big deal, as they are generally prefer to remain behind closed doors regardless of how frustrated one might be, for them to come armed with sticks is literally a jaw dropping incident.
For many years since Musharraf has perched himself upon the throne a number of blogger (including me) have been screaming that ‘all is not well within the country’ quite contrary to what has been drummed across the globe by Musharraf narrating some rosy GDP figures. Granted these figures have been verified by the global markets but in the seven years this GDP has only seen the rich-mans pockets, the rich continue to get richer while the poor, poorer. There is truly very minimal trickle down effect and the chaos and frustrations within the 95% of the population go on to prove it.
In my opinion, I feel the ISI / GHQ / Musharraf are the stooges behind this Lal Masjid uprising, the stimulus had been provided for sometime and the authorities choose to ignore the escalating problem and one fine day we saw our TV stations broadcasting the Ninja takeover. The frustrations eventually boiled over as they felt utterly helpless, after all the judiciary was in shambles, Police was definitely blind and the army was seen to be in liaison with the United States of America (an evil according to the fundamentalist class). These people then simply took matters into their own hands, I don’t argue if its the correct way to express your frustrations, but try for a moment to step into their shoes and think of a way to control your anger when the entire nation is in utter chaos, no judiciary, no police and literally no army, what do you do?
Had if, the CJP crisis not taken a turn for the worse this Lal Masjod crisis would have been the ‘perfect’ stage for Musharraf to show yet again his loyalty to the United States. Just a slight dexterity in handling the situation then he would have easily landed with a pat on the back and yet another blank check to cover his next post retirement pension plan.
To make matters even worse the government has gone to the extent of literally unplugging the LalMasjid.org website which was being used to promote the protest. A little investigation into the site goes to show that this website was barely created two months back on 19th Feb 2007 practically days before the CJP fallout. Unplugging the website was easy it was being hosted on a local server at Comsats and all it needed was a stern warning which quickly resulted in a complete shutdown. At the moment the website is completely dead and displays a ‘Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)’ error.
A trace-route from within Pakistan shows it as being blocked by COMSATS (PIE) servers where the site seems to have been taken down probably on the directives of the government and PTA is not blocking the website, it probably now does not need to get involved since a gag-order has already been issued to Comsats
LalMasjid.org Registrant Contact Information:
Name: Abdul Rashid Ghazi
Organization: Markazi Jamia Masjid LAL MASJID
Address 1: Markazi Jamia Masjid Lal Masjid
Address 2: Markazi Jamia Masjid Lal Masjid
Expiration Date: 2008-02-19 07:47:54
Creation Date: 2007-02-19 07:47:54
Traceroute from WITHIN PAKISTAN
traceroute to lalmasjid.org (188.8.131.52), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 FE-3-0-100M-CORE.nexlinx.net.pk (184.108.40.206) 0.786 ms 0.608 ms 0.700 ms
2 10.10.80.1 (10.10.80.1) 2.091 ms 1.264 ms 1.269 ms
3 lhr63.pie.net.pk (220.127.116.11) 1.807 ms 2.355 ms 1.751 ms
4 g5-0-0lhr63c1.pie.net.pk (18.104.22.168) 1.703 ms 3.703 ms 2.037 ms
5 pos1-1.rwp44gsrc1.pie.net.pk (22.214.171.124) 7.590 ms 7.367 ms 7.638 ms
6 rwp44.pie.net.pk (126.96.36.199) 7.219 ms 8.428 ms 8.270 ms
7 Comsats-fa0-1.iba1d1.pie.net.pk (188.8.131.52) 7.126 ms 7.884 ms 8.271 ms
8 184.108.40.206 (220.127.116.11) 13.174 ms 12.136 ms 13.264 ms
9 * * *
10 * * *
11 * * *
Traceroute from OUTSIDE of PAKISTAN
1 18.104.22.168 (22.214.171.124) 0.460 ms 0.300 ms 0.248 ms
2 ge-1-1-0-278.r00.stngva01.us.wh.verio.net (126.96.36.199) 0.425 ms 0.360 ms 0.326 ms
3 vl-5.r03.stngva01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (188.8.131.52) 0.587 ms 0.364 ms 0.323 ms
4 xe-4-0-0.r21.asbnva01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (184.108.40.206) 0.686 ms 0.739 ms 0.710 ms
5 ae-0.r20.asbnva01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (220.127.116.11) 0.552 ms 0.533 ms 0.537 ms
6 p16-0.uunet.asbnva01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (18.104.22.168) 1.642 ms 1.590 ms 1.590 ms
7 0.so-1-1-0.XT2.DCA5.ALTER.NET (22.214.171.124) 1.683 ms 1.731 ms 1.645 ms
8 0.so-6-0-1.XT2.NYC8.ALTER.NET (126.96.36.199) 7.483 ms 7.470 ms 7.493 ms
9 0.so-3-0-0.XR2.NYC8.ALTER.NET (188.8.131.52) 7.553 ms 7.554 ms 7.579 ms
10 182.ATM6-0.IG3.NYC8.ALTER.NET (184.108.40.206) 7.737 ms 7.528 ms 83.ATM6-0.IG3.NYC8.ALTER.NET (220.127.116.11) 7.491 ms
11 pctl-gw.customer.alter.net (18.104.22.168) 230.705 ms 230.672 ms 230.692 ms
12 pos1-0.rwp44gsrc2.pie.net.pk (22.214.171.124) 251.171 ms 251.575 ms 251.725 ms
13 rwp44.pie.net.pk (126.96.36.199) 250.594 ms 250.694 ms 250.662 ms
14 Comsats-fa0-1.iba1d1.pie.net.pk (188.8.131.52) 251.075 ms 251.020 ms 250.991 ms
15 184.108.40.206 (220.127.116.11) 255.203 ms 254.757 ms 254.471 ms
16 * * *
17 * * *
18 * * *
I simply object to the blocking of free flow of information as it only makes matters worse. The world must know both sides of the story, and blocking it goes to prove that the government has something to hide, some information which it does not want the world to read. Chalk up yet another strike against the government of Pakistan