Guest Post by Temporal at Baithak
I read this passage in a column by Anjum Niaz in the Daily Dawn of April 13, 2007. Interestingly, the link I had saved for her column in Dawn does not work. I googled and again I got the same link to her column –
By Anjum Niaz. Is a living chief justice meant to be as pious as Mother Teresa … My usage, therefore, of the word Amar Prem relates to your and my and the … (www.dawn.com/weekly/dmag/dmag19.htm)
but the link goes to another page. I can get her full column later. For now I would like to quote from Baithak Desi:
Do you know what Hussain Haqqani and Rehman Malik did the minute they became VIPs? Both the gentlemen reportedly descended on the basement of the NAB (National Accountability Bureau) in Islamabad and personally supervised the destruction of all the records dripping with evidence against them and their benefactor Zardari. They took the law of the land in their own hands. So now for Zardari to pontificate that CJP has become “political” is an oxymoron when he himself is not going strictly by the book. Anjum Niaz.
Some pressure must have been applied to retract the story. A denial was issued by Dawn quoting sources from the Interior Ministry. (Yes, Mr Rehman Malik is the de facto minister, acting as the Adviser to the PM for Internal Affairs and Narcotics Control.) But the News confirmed Anjum Niaz's story the next day.
There appears to be a linkage of this action with the way the newly installed government is behaving. Musharraf and Benazir agreed on NRO – National Reconciliation Order – a baptismal for past sins under US arm twisting. Under NRO, a majority of past graft, corruption and bribery charges would be withdrawn by the Musharraf Administration.
PPP agreed to US overlordship, ostensibly through President Musharraf. And as it appears both Musharraf and Benazir's political heir co chairman Zardari appear to have kept their end of the bargain.
Witness these recent developments from the new coalition government of Raza Rabbani:
The coalition accepted the appointment of Maj Gen Jay Hood (of the Qur'an desecration infamy) in the US Embassy at Islamabad.
- The coalition recalled Gen. Mahmud Ali Durrani, a protege of Shirin Taher-Kheli and a colleague on Balusa, as Ambassador to the Court of St. Bush and appointed him National Security Adviser to the PM Raza Rabbani (Shirin is also a neocon and knows Hussain Haqqani, Ayesha Siddiqua and others through IDSA and other fora.)
- The coalition appointed Hussain Haqqani, first as Ambassador-at-large and then as Ambassador-designate to the Court of St. Bush. Last week Blogger Pakistan ran a long, rambling article by Moin Ansari – Husain Haqqani:-Dangerous 5th Column or Selfish opportunist? which tried to establish Hussain Haqqani as a neocon at best and a neoconzix at worst.
- Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has "detached himself" from the Balusa Group according to Mariana Babar.
Shireen Mazari, columnist and Director General of Islamabad based Institute of Strategic Studies writes:
"The Americans have increased their intrusive activities on all fronts. We have had rising Predator and missile attacks from across the international Pakistan-Afghanistan border even as US-linked/supported personnel continue to occupy positions in the corridors of power. The Balusa Group members funded through an American, Shirin Taherkheli, are a key US investment in Pakistan's power echelons that continue to pay dividends for the US, and this is only one of the many influence-generating channels."
Even Ayesha Siddiqu, author of Military, Inc and a regular columnist who seldom agrees with Shireen Mazari here agrees with her assessment and writes:
"The PPP selected Washington's dream team to run foreign relations and national security. One is not sure that appointing Durrani as the National Security Adviser will do the job. The appointment (of Durrani) is in consideration of the general's close ties with the US Pentagon. Not to mention the fact that Durrani owes his intellectual growth to Shirin Tahirkheli, a Bush administration adviser and former senior official of the UN National Security Council".
The raid on NAB basement to retrieve and destroy incriminating evidence maybe an offshoot of the tripartite understanding between the Bush, Benazir and Musharraf.
It is little wonder that both Musharraf and Zardari pay lip service to an independent judiciary. The once vociferous media plays poodle. It is business as usual with some new faces.