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Posts tagged with: America

Pakistan morns the Death of Benazir Bhutto

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been killed in a suicide attack today in Rawalpindi outside the Liaquatbagh rally she addressed moments earlier. In all honesty, I was never a fan of her style of politics corruption but on hearing this sad news it leaves me and the entire nation in shock, quite literally forgiving her for everything, May Her Soul Rest in Peace.

As the country plunges into chaos with news of riots already afoot throughout Pakistan. Yes we will recover, yes the world will move on, but we will surely remember her ultimate sacrifice for Pakistan.

My analysis of who is to blame may be quite simple as we have been repeating the same thing over and over again – The Americans MUST stop their adventures and infiltrations into other countries and their war on terror has destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq and now Pakistan stands on the edge ready to plummet into darkness. This war on terror is a war of the Americans and NOT our war.

We Pakistanis Plead with the movers and shakers in United States to Please For Gods Sake Leave US ALONE

8-Page Advertorial in USA Today by Govt of Pakistan

An 8-page advertorial appeared in US Today on the 18th of December on PAKISTAN it was published by the United World Project Team in Pakistan and is sponsored by the a number of pro-Musharraf companies. Overtly it may seem to be an attempt to evoke positive energy for Pakistan but realistically its all geared up to boost the failing image of Musharraf and his attempt to woo in – not the Pakistani people, but instead an American vote of approval. The advertorial was also closely linked to the salvage team (Nasim Ashraf and Kashmala Tariq) [link], [link], [link] that was sent to the US for bolstering the sinking image of Musharraf.

It must be noted that practically a day before on the 17th of December hundreds of policemen brutally lathi-charged a group of citizens wanting to greet the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohd Chaudhry, the next day after the withdrawal of the so-called Emergency. It is after all, since 1999 and more specifically since 9/11 that Musharraf has continued to appease the American government to offer him one life-extension after another (despite all of their ‘half-hearted’ warnings) it seems that this time again he has yet again successfully wooed in the American vote of approval

For any Pakistani it should not be too difficult to see through this propaganda advertorial, but what worries me is maybe this in-your-face eight page advertorial might have helped temporarily patched up any misgivings between America and Musharraf. He continues to reign supreme while the rest of the country can go to hell

Download the 8-page US Today advertorial in PDF format HERE

Final Testimony to the US House Committee on Pakistani elections

Testimony by Mark L. Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on “Pakistani elections: Will they be fair and free or fundamentally flawed?

20 December 2007
Washington, DC

International Crisis Group LogoI want to express once again the appreciation of the International Crisis Group for the continuing attention of the Committee and particularly Chairman John Tierney and the other members of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs to U.S. relations with Pakistan and the performance of that government concerning democracy, Islamic extremism and terrorism.

This hearing asks whether the parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8th will be fair and free or fundamentally flawed. That question has to be asked now. Election Day will be too late.

The sad answer today is that Pakistans parliamentary elections will be fatally flawed unless political, electoral and legal conditions are rapidly improved. Today, conditions
to permit a fair and free election do not exist. It is December 20th- martial law was lifted five days ago and the election will be held in only eighteen days.

Election Day is the final act of a democratic drama. Act one requires objective and non-partisan rules and standards adopted and monitored by neutral authorities. Act two demands that parties are permitted to select their own candidates, candidates allowed to campaign without hindrance or intimidation, and a free press given unfettered opportunity to challenge, question, and report on candidates, parties and public issues including the illegality of emergency rule and the actions of President Musharraf and Pakistan security forces.
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ISI agents orchestrate a staged escape of Rashid Rauf

Rashid Rauf in PakistanAn article has been posted on Times Online UK which raises concerns that Pakistan’s secret service may have staged the escape of Rashid Rauf a few days back. The excuse / investigation presented by the Pakistani Police seems to be an utter farce when the explanation shows that a high profile prisoner was allowed to munch down at McDonald’s and then allowed unchained and unattended to offer prayers in a mosque, only to let him escape through the ‘other door’.

In December 2006 the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi found no evidence that he had been involved in terrorist activities, and his charges were downgraded to forgery and possession of explosives. It can very well be speculated that the government is now afraid that, if he were allowed to go back to the UK he would then be an utter embarrassment for the present regime since they had trumpeted and hyped his involvement in global terrorism

A brief Introduction of Rashid Rauf as posted on Wikipedia

Rashid Rauf, a dual citizen of Britiain and Pakistan, was arrested in Bhawalpur, Pakistan in connection with the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot in August 2006, a day before some arrests were made in Britain. The Pakistani Interior Minister, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, claimed that “he is an al Qaeda operative with linkages in Afghanistan”. He is said to be one of the ringleaders of the alleged plot. In December 2006 the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi found no evidence that he had been involved in terrorist activities, and his charges were downgraded to forgery and possession of explosives

TIMES ONLINE, UK: Friends of Rashid Rauf, the man wanted in Britain for last years Al-Qaeda plot to blow up transatlantic airliners, believe that he did not escape from custody last weekend but was kidnapped by Pakistans military intelligence agency (ISI). They fear he may be shot. Rauf was arrested in Pakistan in August last year at the same time as 25 men were held in Britain after police uncovered an alleged plot to blow up 12 airliners flying to the United States from Heathrow and Gatwick. The arrests led to widespread changes in airport security and a ban on liquids being taken onto planes in hand luggage.
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Pakistans Tyranny Continues – NY Times Op-Ed by Aitzaz Ahsan

free-aitezaz-ahsan_smaller.jpgAn Op-Ed article written by Aitzaz Ahsan which appeared on the Sunday morning New York Times website can be read here

The chief justice of Pakistans Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and his family have been detained in their house, barricaded in with barbed wire and surrounded by police officers in riot gear since Nov. 3. Phone lines have been cut and jammers have been installed all around the house to disable cellphones. And the United States doesnt seem to care about any of that.

The chief justice is not the only person who has been detained. All of his colleagues who, having sworn to protect, uphold and defend the Constitution, refused to take a new oath prescribed by President Pervez Musharraf as chief of the army remain confined to their homes with their family members. The chief justices lawyers are also in detention, initially in such medieval conditions that two of them were hospitalized, one with renal failure.

As the chief justices lead counsel, I, too, was held without charge first in solitary confinement for three weeks and subsequently under house arrest. Last Thursday morning, I was released to celebrate the Id holidays. But that evening, driving to Islamabad to say prayers at Faisal Mosque, my family and I were surrounded at a rest stop by policemen with guns cocked and I was dragged off and thrown into the back of a police van. After a long and harrowing drive along back roads, I was returned home and to house arrest.
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12 Human Rights NGO’s write to Condoleezza Rice

Twelve Human Rights Organizations write a detailed letter to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the grave situation in Pakistan. The 12 NGO’s signing the letter are

Amnesty International USA, The Carter Center, Freedom House, Global Rights, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, International Justice Mission, International League for Human Rights, Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights & Robert F Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights.

The letter is as follows
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A Demented Musharraf talks to Newsweek

Newsweek Online has published excerpts of an interview with General (retired) Pervaiz Musharraf taken a few days before the Martial Law was lifted. I share it with you since reading the entire interview one does get an eerie bone chilling sensation that Musharraf has completely lost his sanity and seems to be raging maniac out to seek revenge against those who dared question is authority. He actually makes no effort to hide his anger and instead tries to offer a some lame logical [demented] justification for all his wrong-doings. Most important point to note is that there seems to be little or no concern about the future of Pakistan, only toeing the ‘Anti-terrorism’ concept to suit his own personal vested goal and in effect keep America off his back. Don’t take my words for it, read the entire interview and be a judge for yourself, do share your comments but in my opinion there is definitely a loose screw in the mind of this psychomaniac

Pervaiz MusharrafNEWSWEEK: Is there a difference now that you have shed your uniform and relinquished your post of army chief of staff?
MUSHARRAF: On a personal note, I loved my uniform. From the national point of view, I don’t think there is a difference. I think the overall situation will be better and stronger. The army is being managed by a chief of staff dedicated to the job, and I will be president of Pakistan, and if the two are totally in harmony, the situation is better.

You will appoint the heads of the Army?
I will appoint the chief. The security services report to the president and the prime minister … The ISI [military intelligence service] reports to the political leaders.

Once there is a prime minister, how do you see power being shared?
The prime minister runs the government. Then there is a National Security Council chaired by the president that meets to review situations. But this is only a consultative body. There is no sharing of responsibility really.

You announced [that the state of emergency] will lifted on Dec. 15. Does that mean that the regulations recently imposed on the press will be lifted?
There are no restrictions on the press.
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Musharraf continues his rant ‘Former CJ was corrupt’

An article written by Javed Siddique in The Nation titled Former CJ was corrupt gives an interesting insight into how Musharraf believed that an elaborate conspiracy was being hatched to unseat him from the throne of the President of Pakistan. At first I wanted to leave the full contents of the article intact without any editing, but the more I read it, I get the urge to comment on each specific issue as my own rebuttal to all this hogwash. The rebuttal is being clearly demarcated in [italic parenthesis]

Article orginally written for The Nation by Javed Siddique titled Former CJ was corrupt

President Pervez Musharraf has said that besides former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice (R) Khalilur Rehman Ramday, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and Nawaz Sharif were involved in the conspiracy to block his way to become a constitutionally elected President. He said this while addressing the 18th Annual Banquet of the Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee (PAK-PAC) and its Board of Directors here [Islamabad] at a local hotel on Wednesday. President Musharraf claimed that Justice (R) Ramday and Aitzaz Ahsan held meeting in Geneva. “Today I want to disclose as to what conspiracy was being hatched to sidetrack democracy. [Hallelujah, pray tell us *looking onwards with a twinkle in the eyes anticipating for some juicy gossip*] He alleged that Justice (R) Ifthikhar was at the centre of this conspiracy. […geez is that all you got for us!!!]
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Questions for Musharraf and Bush – By Aitzaz Ahsan

Article published in The Washington Post
By John F. Tierney and Aitzaz Ahsan

One of us chairs a House of Representatives subcommittee tasked with oversight of U.S. foreign policy, and one of us languishes under house arrest after transfer from a Pakistani jail for the “heinous” and “seditious” crime of representing, in legal proceedings, the sacked chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

As members of the political opposition in our respective countries and as lawyers firmly committed to the rule of law, we have a few questions for our heads of state:

How will you address the increasing anti-Americanism in Pakistan in light of the growing, and not unjustified, perception among Pakistan’s democratic moderates that the United States is not willing to stand with the people of Pakistan against an increasingly authoritarian and anti-democratic government in Islamabad?
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Hina Jilani tells America – Elections Pre-Rigged, No Monitoring Needed

AFP Reports on the statements made by Hina Jilani, the special representative of the UN secretary general on human rights defenders – OTHER RELATED REPORTS – BBC, International Herald Tribune & School of Law at University of Pittsburgh

Hina JilaniA UN human rights envoy on Thursday told US lawmakers not to send any delegation to monitor the upcoming election in Pakistan, claiming that it was already rigged by President Pervez Musharraf. “There is no point in monitoring the elections or watching the poll — the rigging has already happened,” said Hina Jilani, a prominent Pakistani attorney who is also the UN special envoy for human rights defenders. She made the remarks after lawmakers at a Congressional hearing on the political crisis in Pakistan sought her opinion on the prospect of monitoring the January 8 polls to elect a new parliament.

Jilani, co-founder of the Human Rights Commission in Pakistan, charged that Musharraf, who was expected to lift a five-week-old state of emergency on Saturday, had already destroyed institutions such as the judiciary and the press. Fearing that the Supreme Court would disqualify him from running for re-election, Musharraf sacked and detained independent-minded judges and lawyers leaders who refused to accept his imposition of emergency rule. “Freedom of assembly is totally curtailed, freedom of expression is curtailed,” Jilani said.
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The NAB Diaries – Part One

Guest Post by Amer Nazir

Part Two of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
Part Three of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here

My name is Amer Nazir. I live in exile in London. It is a forced exile. I left Pakistan as soon as NAB took my name off the Exit Control List after a period of three years. If I had not left, probably I would have also disappeared forever like my best friend Ahmed Shujaudin a leading architect.

God willing and the Teeth Maestro permitting, I intend to write about my journey from a modest middle-class background to one of the top IT entrepreneurs of Pakistan before I fell to the extent that I became homeless. Once a familiar face in the so-called corporate social circles in Karachi it came to a point where no one was willing to take my phone call after all, I was a NAB accused. I was never to be convicted but it did not matter. The logic was straight forward. If Shuja had been kidnapped then surely Shuja must have done something terrible to cause it or else at least deserve it…

The scope of these four narrations hopefully to be published during the next four weeks is to narrate a very brief account of my business journey, my labour of love, after a briefest possible introduction of myself, the major space will be given to my NAB experience, the actual inside account, and the behaviour and the attitude of our kings of the castle.
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Musharraf’s covert Propaganda Being Handled By Self-Proclaimed Master of Deception, Ahmed Quraishi

Author of “Thesis” that US is Plotting Against Musharraf May Actually be an Intelligence-Connected Propaganda Consultant; Says on His Own Website that he Creates “Immaculate DeceptionTailored to Your Senses”

By Farid Alvie

Ahmed Quraishi’s ”enlightening” articles have been doing the rounds on the net of late. One can only describe him as Pakistan’s very own Bill O’ Reilly (with just as much credibility!). And like O’ Reilly, his most used weapon of choice is the tag of ‘traitor’ and ‘unpatriotic’ for anyone who criticizes the government (or perhaps just el presidente, the now retired generalissimo), be they politicians, journalists, lawyers, academics, human rights activists, former army officers et al. It seems Mr. Quraishi gets his inspiration (along with his fake American accent) from Fox News.

Even a cursory look at his website might help one understand Mr. Quraishi’s “unbiased, journalistic, analytical, and professional” approach to issues he so passionately addresses in his articles. Mr. Quraishi’s website is studded with countless gems that reflect the luminosity of his brilliance, breadth of vision, and intellectual maturity.
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The People – not just Civil Society – must Unite against the Common Enemies

An Interesting article posted on the Emergency Times Mailing list

By Yousuf NazarState of Pakistan>

There comes a time in a Nations history that the people must take charge of their own destiny. The issue now is not: boycott or participate in the elections. People want a just society, the Pakistani nation wants true democracy, and country needs its sovereignty back. None of the major players, the Establishment, Benazir or Nawaz Sharif or the Mullah-Military alliance can restore justice, democracy or sovereignty to Pakistan. The people and the people alone would have to fight this War for Pakistans Azadi. Let America and its puppets fight the so-called War on Terror.

We have been having elections since 1985 after Zia-ul-Haq imposed martial law in 1977 but virtually nothing has changed. It is even more ironic when some major newspapers publish meaningless and superficial articles with headings like “Let the people decide as if American intervention and Army do not exist. The business of the state and politics has become a mafia enterprise with the usual mix of big money interests and crime. This criminal enterprise has the active support of the Americans who find it convenient to use a corrupt instrument that a military dictatorship is. Either in its pure form or in a diluted form, that is, in a coalition with come corrupt politicians. Many developing countries have passed through this phase. But the will of the people ultimately triumphs. So we must not despair.
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Election Plan in Jeopardy – A Discussion

I am copying an email from discussion on the Mailing List Proud-Pakistani. Though I must agree that it may all boil down to be pure speculation but it does contain some interesting points worth pondering over

I’ve [the author of the email discussion] been trying to make head or tail out of the present election scenario and here’s some thoughts;

  1. 90% chances that elections would be delayed and PML (Q) is the only party other than MQM that knows the plan. If you notice that Chaudry’s have not held a single rally/jalsa since Shareef’s return and have been reduced to a drawing room party? Very unlike Chaudry’s not to compete with Nawaz Shareef in showing their strength in Punjab (where image is everything and people follow trend)? Money can bring crowds (different subject if they would vote for you…) and Chaudry’s have no shortage of that and are famous for being generous.

    BB might already have sensed it… Her schedule for election campaign has her booked in Sindh till Dec 31? That means no campaign in Punjab as it only leaves her with 6 days for Punjab….? I spoke to a PPP NA ticket holder and he said that we are lost at BB’s strategy (leaving for Dubai for her children when we need her here…) and because of her actions the ticket holders feel that something is up and elections would not be held.. Sidelining Punjab for a national party with interest in PMship is almost giving up on elections!

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