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Posts tagged with: Army

GHQ to Islamabad

Published in The Nation
by M. Ashgar Khan

The shifting of the Army’s General Headquarters from Rawalpindi to Islamabad has been planned for some time and was given a fresh impetus during 2007. We have not been told what the total financial burden of this move will be but the cost of land alone at the prevalent rates in Islamabad is about Rs 100,000 to Rs 120,000 per sq yard.

The army would, of course, not be required to pay this amount for the land to the CDA but the CDA could earn this amount if they were to sell this land to civilians for residential or commercial purposes. The expenditure involved is believed to be more than the total Defence Budget of Pakistan for the current year and many times more than the education budget of the country. In a country where millions do not get a square meal a day, where we are woefully short of schools and medical facilities and where even clean drinking water is not available for the ordinary citizen, to spend such a large amount on moving an existing facility a few miles cannot be justified.
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Pakistan; The Ongoing “Soft Revolution” towards a “Welfare State” – Part II

Guest Post by Silence
Part I of this series can be read here

The first Cultural Revolution in history of sub-continent was the Sufi movement, from the 13th century A.D. Sufism increasingly attracted the creative social and intellectual energies within the community and with the passage of time it acquired new dimensions and began to deal with the mundane aspects of life as well to free religious thought from the rigidity imposed by Mullah and to move away towards rural areas from the evil and debilitation effects of wealth, monarchy and bureaucracy concentrated in big cities.

The character of Sufi movement was such that if did not require official patronage or military protection and it also proved a serious challenge for both feudal and Mullahs however the movement was hijacked by converting the graves of Saints in to shrines, feudal patronized these shrines by donating lands to the caretakers and a new class of “Peers” emerged which was pro-establishment.

These peer’s who had actively helped British or had remained neutral now emerged and filled the vacuum of the empty places of nationalist Indians and as leaders of Muslim public opinion.
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Pakistan; The Ongoing “Soft Revolution” towards a “Welfare State” – Part I

Guest Post by Silence

A welfare state is a government that provides for the welfare, or the well-being, of its citizens completely. Such a government is involved in citizens’ lives at every level. It provides for physical, material, and social needs rather than the people providing for their own.

The purpose of the welfare state is to create economic and social equality or to assure equitable standards of living for all, access to justice, freedom of faith, freedom of speech and transparency in decisions of executive.

The welfare state provides education, housing, sustenance, healthcare, pensions, unemployment insurance, sick leave or time off due to injury, supplemental income in some cases, and equal wages through price and wage controls.

It also provides for public transportation, childcare, social amenities such as public parks and libraries, as well as many other goods and services. Some of these items are paid for via government insurance programs while others are paid for by taxes.
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The Ex-Servicemen and Bureaucrats & Their Consicence

Guest Blog by Temporal from Baithak

Geo has been repeating that interview with retired gen. Kayani. Recently the ex-servicemen have been flexing their muscles. Troubling consciences are known to strike at men and women of good will at all times. Even ordinary mortals like you and me are troubled and stricken with conscience generated guilt and remorse at odd times.

But am intrigued with one odd phenomenon. All the recent public displays of conscience by the retired army personnels and bureaucrats have invariably been against the Musharraf administration.

Do you not find this odd? I mean, all these fine men are ex-servicemen (and bureaucrats) – “retired” after having “served” the nation – then they also served as parachuted civilian administrators in the higher echelons. I am sure they must have seen other wrongs and injustices perpetrated by the high and the mighty in the course of their “illustrious” careers. How come their conscience only bothers them about the Musharraf administration?

Or are they oblivious to the other ills of the society they lived in? How come they hold their peace and silence over other gave issues that we read about, that we discuss, that we notice everyday? Feudalism, karo-kari, watta-satta, petty jirgas handling out capital punishment, petty lords with armies and jails, the drug mafia, the parochial mafia, the vigilant arbitrariness, the suicide by mothers with their children, the collection of bhattas, pollution and increase in lung diseases, absence of schools and medical care in rural areas, their own “purchases” of plots of lands at throw away prices… this is a never ending list.

Why are the “ex-servicemen” conscience dumb stricken with other “issues”?

Explosive Shahid Masood Show exposes Musharraf

no mercy Go MusharrafIn the recent weeks Dr. Shahid Masood’s Meray Mutabiq Show has been very revealing, barely a week back Dr. Masood had pulled the cart out of the bag when he brought Steel Mills Ex-Chairman to expose the corruption of Shaukat Aziz, but today (June 2nd) he was able to pull yet another cat out of the bag bringing Lt. General (r) Jamshed Gulzar Kiyani the ex Core Commander of Rawalpindi the famous 111 Brigade, which has generally been the historic the stronghold of power in Pakistan.

The two hour casual discussion was far more revealing then ever imaginable where the ex-army man talks about issues regarding the Coop of 1999, Kargil issue, 9/11 events and the negotiations with the US, the missing persons issues, Lal Masjid incident where he confirmed the reports that the Army used Phosphorus Grenades on Children. Simply said the show was explosive and revealing.

Watch the two part online video on Pakistan First (will update the post once the video is available)
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Defeating the mind set

Guest Blog by Amjad Malik

People of Pakistan are elated by coming nearer to the fall of General Pervez Musharraf and considering it a beginning of a new era where rule of law, constitutionalism and justice prevails. They consider this as an end of the status quo, dictatorship, and rule of establishment, however they are hardly aware of the fact that General Musharraf was just a pawn, a little piece of a big jig saw puzzle and the matrix of might is laughing aloud standing on the side disassociating themselves cleverly from the dying man and the dead regime. We are just proud of politically killing a sales man only by 18 Feb polls. People felt the same at the fall of founder of this matrix Gen. Ayub Khan, or Gen. Zia and now they are falling into a trap with the fall of Gen. Musharraf. Nation needs to defeat the mind set of a class which assumes a role to govern this 160 million people by might without any lawful civilian and constitutional authority and it secures dubious authenticity sometimes on the name of referendum and sometimes by the likes of Justice Munir, Irshad Hassan Khan and justice A H Dogar. Our short history is full of these names.
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All The President’s Men

by Afzal Khan
Islamabad May 24

Musharraf keeps his strangle hold on the governance

Musharrafs version of Democracy in PakistanIslamabad May20:”We want governance and not just government”, PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari had bravely declared soon after elections. Unfortunately for him, that runs counter to Gen. (R) Pervez Musharraf’s concept of shedding the authority he had usurped in 1999 and has retained much of to date, February 18 elections notwithstanding.

In November 2002 while swearing in Zafrullah Jamali as Prime Minister, Musharraf declared that he was “transferring responsibility” (not power) to his protégé. Thus he ushered in a unique era of a dangerous dichotomy where the person to be held responsible for everything did not exercise any real authority while the one who held all levers of power, was neither responsible nor responsive to anybody.

What we have at present is, in fact, another hybrid structure in which there is further dichotomy within the present dispensation. After initial shock on February 18 that left him in a stupor for some weeks, Musharraf has recouped and appears steadily returning to the driving seat. “The Presidency has energized”, says Musharraf’s inveterate foe, Nawaz Sharif, in utter frustration over the way things have shaped up in recent weeks. Quite often, Musharraf seems to be setting the agenda for the PPP on critical issues with the benign pat from the US. This is seriously compromising PPP’s enlightened interests and diluted the popular mandate.
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Pakistan Hood’winked

Maj Gen Jay W HoodIt was back in April when Moin Ansari of the Rupee News Blog trumped us with the news that the Commandant of Guantanamo Bay Prison, Maj Gen Jay W. Hood had been sent to Pakistan. It does not take a genius to figure out that Guantanamo Bay was a major goof-up by the American forces, there were reports of desecration of the Holy Quran, Human Rights Violation and reports of blatant prisoner abuse. Apparently General Hood is lauded for his efforts at Gitmo, I wonder if this is the level of treatment that deserved a standing ovation in Washington I fear for the worst when he comes to Pakistan and tries to excersise his control over us.

An article written by Ishtiaq Baig on April 16th 2008 expressed similar sentiments

It is sad for Pakistan that America has nominated such a controversial person as its defence representative, one whose uniform is stained with the blood of Muslims. Under international law, Pakistan has the right to refuse the appointment of such a controversial person. Now that the new democratic government has come into office, perhaps Islamabad should request Washington to review its decision and in fact should tell it that it will not accept General Hood. We may not have been able to stop General Hood from desecrating the Holy Quran but we can at least stop him from coming to our country.

While Moin Ansari also reacted with some truly heart felt emotional words

It is disgusting to hear that General Jay Hood, the monster of Gitmo would be in the US Embassy in Islamabad. Was he the proposed person to take charge of the Nuclear Command of Pakistan? Will he monitor the renditions and transfer of prisoners. Whose idea was it ot put a lightning rod in the diplomatic enclave with “ah bail mujhe maar” (Bull come and hit me). Was it necessary to put General Hood in a sensitive areas. Does Hood no tknow how much people hate what went on in Gitmo? This was the worst blunder the new government made. It has since been rectified and the General’s appointment in Paksitan has been rejected

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