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Posts tagged with: India

The NAB Diaries – Part Three

Guest Post by Amer Nazir

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

It is with a heavy heart that I write today. My condolence to her immediate family and to all who looked up at her and I fear for the consequences that face my country if things are not sorted out with maturity and dignity even now.

I read two newspapers while travelling the London underground on that fateful day, the Evening Standard and the Daily Mirror… and I could not believe my eyes. Both gave out the same message. Apart from the usual sympathy shown to a victim of violence, all of a sudden, almost overnight to be exact, a new verdict had emerged that she never was a solution for Pakistan…

Coming from the west it was a surprise, there seemed an indecent haste to dismiss her as a political leader of any significance whatsoever even before she was buried. More was written about the corruption in her time. It is not to say that there werent occasional mentions before but never were they so outright and blatant…
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Salman Ahmed shares his views on Benazir Bhutto’s assassination

Salman Ahmed a very prominent musician in Pakistan shares a short commentary on Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, I reproduce his email verbatim

Despite my critical view of her as a politician, I’m saddened by the loss of Benazir. For the sake of our collective conscience and the nation’s self respect we need to know immediately who was behind her assassination. The govt’s version of events are pure fantasy, a full independent and credible inquiry is required to get to the bottom of this. Having said that, when there is no system of justice and no credible electoral process desperate people will remove Political candidates through desperate measures… The corrupt system helped create these suicide bombers and assassins… they will continue to create havoc until social justice is finally addressed.

Feudal politicians like Benazir, who presented herself as a “modern leader”, still continued the essence of the subcontinent’s colonial rule during her two times as prime minister. The nexus between the Pakistani feudals and our military are the reason why India has left Pakistan so far behind while we continue our confused, corrupt and clumsy spiral to disaster. Whats shocking is that PPP veteran politicians are brushed aside while power stays within the Bhutto clan. Bilawal and Zardari, are a slap in the face of democracy in Pakistan. This is not democracy, its a monarchy and the poor people of Pakistan pay for it with their lives.
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Sunroof injury couldn’t kill Bhutto: Toyota official – ?

It is being reported in Daily News & Analysis that an official of the Toyota company that manufactures the vehicle states that “We are convinced that it can’t be a lever (that caused the fatal head injury) but we are still looking into more details,” According to the official, the lever could not have caused the head injury as it was installed inside the vehicle and was at least six centimeters from the edge of the sunroof. At the same time, he did not dispute the fact that there could have been bloodstains on the lever. “This is understandable. If she was hit in the head by a bullet, bloodstains could have been left on the lever.”

Reading the entire news report and looking at the official pictures of the Land Cruiser which was being used by Benazir Bhutto one tends to wonder if this vehicle was actually bullet proof?. If it were, then were the modifications made by Toyota themselves, I could be wrong but armor plating and bullet proofing is is done by outside contractors and generally not undertaken by the manufacturers themselves.

Would any of the readers here care to speculate on this issue as I feel its an issue that needs to be thought out as it remains the ‘official version’ of the slaying of the PPP Chairperson in Rawalpindi, as presented by the Government of Pakistan. Though the story stands in some conflict with the some pictures that were first published on this blog

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Comedian of the Year

The article titled ‘Comedian of the Year’ was written by Ahmad Faruqui for the pages of Daily Times but the editorial board found this ‘unsuitable for publication’. In an effort to get the word out Ahmad Faruqui has shared his article via emails and briefly introduces the writeup

‘I have been writing for Daily Times since it began publication in April 2002. Attached is the first column of mine which they have rejected because it is too personal. I expected that the column would be a personal reflection by Faruqui on some taboo social subject…. But it turns out that the “person” in question is none other than “President” Pervez Musharraf.’

Is this the free and independent print media that Musharraf so proudly claims to have ‘not touched’ – or is this the New Face of Controlled Media in Pakistan (read more on the new face of Mujahid Baralvei at CNBC)

Comedian of the year
by Ahmad Faruqui

TIME magazine has declared Vladimir Putin as Man of the Year. We don’t know whether our own Pervez Musharraf was in the running. He did not make it to the short list. It is quite likely that they put him on another list and he ended up being declared “Comedian of the Year.” On the global stage, Musharraf is the undisputed king of dark comedy. But mind you, this is very different from the slapstick humor you might see on the Monty Python show. Musharraf’s comedic device is the utterance of non sequiturs with a stern demeanor. And it is this austere visage almost bordering on anger that imbues his acts with an inimitable touch.
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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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The NAB Diaries – Part Two

Guest Post by Amer Nazir

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

Part One has already been published by Teeth Maestro last week and which was subsequent to a letter written by me to the Chairman NAB requesting for either his resignation or else for him to justify NABs actions by making the details of this case public. A continued silence from him can only confirm that integrity is not a requirement in Pakistan for the role of Chairman NAB. And that NAB does not have any right to hold accountability since it is corrupt itself…

The other objectives of these diaries are also straight forward. One only needs to read the local and International press to realize that the army is yet being made to seem as a better option. Corruption by the politicians is cited as the reason. The third and the most important consideration, the common man, is never brought into the equation. The debate remains between the army and the politicians almost as if the thought of such a comparison was appropriate… The issues most under discussion are nuclear weapons and terrorism, the common man still does not figure as much…

In a civilized society a single miscarriage of justice that concerns a common man is highlighted as much as the news of a celebrity. Prime Ministers are made accountable, systems are changed, it does not matter whether it is Labour which is in power or the conservatives, the fundamental principles of governance reign supreme.
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Jadoogar of Jeddah [aka Sharifuddin Pirzada], Dirty Business all Over Again

The New York Times just recently published an article titled ‘On Retainer in Pakistan, to Ease Military Rulers Path’ which looks into depth at the involvement of Mr. Sharifuddin Pirzada in helping General (retired) Prevaiz Musharraf in blatantly uprooting the constitution and enforcing a state of Emergency on November 3rd. This aged lawyer at 84 has been at the heart of quite a large number of political upheavals in Pakistan that one tends to get numbed with the thought as to how devilish this guy could actually get masterminding the the raping of the same constitution which he at one time upheld. It is no surprise that this counsel is oft referred to as the Jadoogar of Jeddah (The Magician if Jeddah) too many hidden skeletons that one cant even begin to start. Until this read his latest concoction served to the people of Pakistan

On Retainer in Pakistan, to Ease Military Rulers Path
By Jane Perlez Published at The New York Times

At 84, Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, mysterious, influential and scorned by Pakistans protesters, fixes things when military rulers take over here, scripting temporary charters and new oaths of office as constitutions are shredded and judges dismissed. Mr. Pirzada is the lawyer for President Pervez Musharraf, who turned to him when he decided he would get rid of a Supreme Court that was threatening to derail his re-election for a second term. By Mr. Pirzadas account, delivered as he sat on a brocade-covered couch in his living room, he met with Mr. Musharraf and his cabinet on Nov. 2, the day before martial law was imposed.
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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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Open letter to BB: Why I left PPP

A lengthy but interesting letter shared on the Emergency Time Mailing List, worth reading to understand the frustrations faced by a PPP supporter

Dear Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, Assalam alaikum.

After resigning from the basic membership of the Pakistan Peoples Party on 27 Nov, 2007, I am writing this letter to you elaborating my views, as a common Pakistani, on some burning issues confronting Pakistan today and how these issues, in my opinion, need your attention as a national political leader. Keeping my past association with the PPP, and with you, I assumed that I do have the privilege to write this letter, irrespective of how variant my views maybe with the current stance/political posture of the PPP.

This letter will also be sent to all those who received my email addressed to you when I tendered my resignation on 27 Nov, 2007. Thus, this letter is an open letter which I am constrained to write because of the numerous emails and phone calls that I received in response to my resignation from the basic membership of the PPP. All those Emails and phone calls urged me to state the reasons that forced me to resign from the PPP. Every one of them said that as Pakistanis they had a right to know, especially so, in the given political crisis prevalent in the country. Respecting their viewpoint I had to make this letter an open letter.
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This, that and the other – Ardeshir Cowasjee

A very interesting article written by Ardeshir Cowasjee printed in Dawn 9th Dec

Having written a column for this week, but having no desire to be carted off to jail or to suffer any physical inconvenience not being a street fighter and, besides, not having too much time left to me I consulted my lawyer and asked him to vet it.

He is young, wrinkled with pragmatic wisdom. His advice: Scrap it! You have no rights at present. You can be picked up by the dreaded men of the agencies, you can be harassed, even tortured, and surely jailed. To so do, they can take you into custody from anywhere your house, your club, a friends house, your park handcuff you, tie you up, put you into solitary confinement, starve you in other words, enlightened moderation. We, your lawyers, will have to fight like King Leonidas against the Persians at the Pass of Thermopylae attempting to stave off enlightened moderation. It is far better to sit at home, stay away from your PC, and enjoy the company of friends in this fair weather.

Then I asked whether my animals were safe my dogs, my cat, my cockatoo. I was told that as they are my property they cannot be arrested but they can be killed. In fact, they have more rights than I do. At least they cannot be picked up. But, and a big but, who will hear you if you are caught?
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Pakistans Rich List of 2008

Short-listing Pakistan’s most influential business magnates or Groups has never been an easy task because there are the people who have been very powerful in nearly every regime that has held this country’s reins since the last 60 years and then we have had those seasonal species that maneuvered their voice to be heard better than most within the power corridors, but later vanished into the oblivion for one reason or the other. We have selected only those tycoons who have made their presence felt for a better part of country’s history, have earned consistently, have been setting up units at regular intervals or have been legends in stocks, currency or real estate business.

The list excludes many names that have previously qualified and all of Pakistan’s most prominent feudal land lords who would definitely make it to the top 10, expect the few land owners which have declared their assets and work force and registered with the CBR Islamabad. In order to promote the new and “unknown” Pakistani magnates we have excluded in previous entities.

Unfortunately, our extensive research does not currently include the names of a few stars that shone brightly amidst the galaxy of the influential creed of yesteryear like C.M.Latif of BECO- the Steel Man of Pakistan- who did make a lot of name once, but then got gifted with contentment somehow, although the late business wizard got very badly hit by Bhutto’s nationalization of 1970 which had inflicted an astounding thud to everybody in business then. Had it not been the case, many of our tycoons may well have managed to gain the kind of status greeting the likes of Birlas and Tatas in India today, if not the one saluting Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. Among these gifted individuals, you will find politicians-turned-businessmen, businessmen-turned-politicians or even the businessmen-cum-politicians. With malice towards none and with no intention to decorate somebody, We thus takes the pride of announcing these names. We hope this document will go a long way in serving as the most authentic endeavor of its kind for a very long time to come. It has been prepared very carefully in consultation with leading real estate barons, stock moguls, business leaders of virtue and senior bureaucrats at the Central Board of Revenue.
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Musharraf’s Economic Deception – Part 1

Guest Post by Dr. Tariq Naeem

General Musharraf took over the reigns of power in 1999 from Nawaz Sharif with the Pakistan economy on the verge of bankruptcy. So desperate was the situation Nawaz Sharif toured the world visiting Pakistanis with a begging bowl requesting them to invest in Pakistan due to the sanctions imposed on Pakistan for carrying out nuclear tests. Incoherent, short-term policies had resulted in a minority of people benefiting immensely, who incidentally were directly linked to the Sharif family.

Both the IMF and the World Bank have consistently praised the Musharraf government for solid macroeconomic recovery and saving the Pakistan economy from the brink of economic collapse. They cite the $128bn generated under his tenure. Many commentators are eager to explain that the Musharraf government has made substantial macroeconomic reforms since taking over the economy in 1999. The argument of the few Musharraf loyalists being that he has brought a degree of stability to Pakistan that the country never knew under civilian rule.

Part 1 of this two part series will assess this claim and analyse the current state of Pakistan’s economy which shows it is in a far more precarious position:
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The Path of a Patriot

Guest post by mhb

Opposing General Pervez Musharraf is not a cause worth endorsing solely by itself.

General Pervez Musharraf is not the man he was when he first usurped the seat of Pakistan’s government. Over time as his political age has advanced, he has undergone a staged metamorphosis: from an amateur idealist, to a practitioner of temperate Realpolitik, and then finally to an outright Machiavellian Prince.

It will be profoundly self-righteous of any single one of us to contend with authority that if exposed to the General’s temptations – the troika of International interests, institutional weaknesses and a manipulatable judiciary – we ourselves would not succumb to a similar fate. Opposing General Pervez Musharraf is therefore akin to focussing on the proverbial symptoms of a malady, and not its root, when in fact ours should be a struggle against the method of perpetuation of our affliction and not its recurring product. We are merely opposing a masque today.

It is high time that we question our motives before treading any further with placards in hand and slogans on tongue. The return to democracy we yearn for today can potentially be a rude awakening since General Pervez Musharraf’s successor in the wake of an all-pardoning National Reconciliation is set to be Ms. Benazir Bhutto. Notwithstanding those forgotten corruption charges of fraudulently amassing roughly $1.5B of the nation’s wealth[1], she is a more vociferous representation of strategic international interests than the General; she is the proverbial soldier of fortune.
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Imran Khan’s Hunger Strike

Mr Imran Khan the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has gone on hunger strike for the restoration of the judiciary in Pakistan. He is in under arrest in D G Khan prison and has been charged with treason and terrorism, an offence which can be tried under a military court and he can be sentenced to death. With this, the struggle in Pakistan is entering a very significant stage.

Going on hunger strike is the most effective non-violent political strategy used in the world where a confined individual, can do no more but challenge the status quo by putting his own life at stake. The most celebrated hunger strike was that of the prisoners of the Irish Republican Army led by Bobby Sands. They went on a no-food no-water hunger strike and died after 59 to 73 days. They had willed that their family will not agree to drip feeding also even after they became unconscious. Although ten men died during the course of the hunger strike, thirteen others were taken off hunger strike, either due to medical reasons or after intervention by their families. Many of them still suffer from the effects of the strike, with problems including digestive, visual, physical and neurological disabilities. Mahatma Gandhi frequently went on hunger strikes but he never went beyond 21 days. He
drank water and fluids during this period and used it as an effective tool for independence of India along with Jinnah’s legal battles.
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ABN Chicago with Dr. Shahid Masood

This week, Asian Broadcasting Network (website blocked from Pakistan) interviewed two icons of the South Asian media. The first interview is of Mr. Ameen Sayani, a renowned Indian Music Presenter of the famed “Geet Mala”.

This interview was followed by an exclusive Interview of Dr.Shahid Masood, renowned TV journalist , views and news fame, Meray Mutabiq which was his first interview after the closure of GEO TV and of course his show. and it seems he did his show Meray Mutabiq on Radio

Dr.Shahid Masood’s Interview
Download MP3 (24MB)

Ameen Sayani
Download MP3 (9MB)