It was only matter of time before PML(N) would have capitulated to the name Pakhtunkwa. PML(N) knew it, ANP knew it, and the rest of the parties knew it as well; the outcry was all part of the political point scoring. Initially refusing to accept pakhtunkwa was form of point scoring by PML(N), it was making sure that the clear message was being sent to the people for whom it supposedly refused to accept the name in the first place. There was similar outcry when Shahbz Shairf begged Taliban to spare Punjab. The potential audiences got just the right message in these two situation– PML(N) voting base, despite loud protests by some.
All the provinces in Pakistan are not close to being homogeneous, but at the same time they have the name of certain linguistic or ethnic group residing in that province. Balochis are about 55% of Balochistan’s population, but the province is called Balochistan. Sindhish are about 59% of Sindh’s population, but the province is called Sindh. Punjabi are 75% of Punjab’s population–that is if one doesn’t count Seriakis’ as ethnic Punjabis, but the province is called Punjab. The similar is true for pakhtunkwa, Pakhtuns are between 65% to 75% of the province’s population, depending on who you believe, the estimates vary–in this sense people of pakhtunkwa rightly demand their province to be named after Pakhtuns, the majority ethnic group in the province.
Continue reading “PML-(N) leverages Pakhtunkwa debate for Votes in Hazara” »
Ufone has to its credit featured some funny advertisement spot for its TV commercials. More recently a certain Ufone ad was pulled off-the-air after a very brief run and is not even featured on its corporate website. As per the editors of Cafe Pyala this ad spot might have been too quickly pulled off-air “According to sources, the following Ufone ad was pulled off air (after a short run) because of grumblings from Those Who Matter over its portrayal of politicos”.
Silence of the Lambs
By Samad Khurram
Back in 2002, I was returning from Friday prayers when I saw an unusual gathering of singing and quasi-dancing Mullahs. Unusual because I had always assumed Mullahs to be against all types of Kuffar (Art). The amused crowd were listening to chants of “Taliban aa gayay, Taliban aa gayay”. I smirked. As if! Pakistan is a nuclear country with the seventh largest army. We’re safe.
The Mullahs’ songs have been answered – the Taliban indeed are coming. And with them the cowards are bringing a lifestyle that destroys everything Pakistan and Islam.
Continue reading “Silence of the Lambs” »
Guest Blog by Zermeen Amira
I have to admit I started the day on a fairly jubilant note having woken up after receiving an SMS from an overseas friend that the Chief has been restored (I had gone to bed by mid night having watched the political drama incessantly for the past few days and as a result getting reprimanded by my spouse). Today back to work, I have had enough of sweets to put on a few pounds in the next few days as it all metabolizes. As evening has progressed and the adrenaline rush has subsided I have started to ponder the events of the last 24 hours and all doesn’t seem to add up. Perhaps the merry making and jubilation is premature.
I am cautiously optimistic that all will be all right. However, it is still five days before the Chief is actually restored and that is an eternity in politics. Anything still can happen given that President Zardari still hasn’t been seen in public yet. Is he still wincing like a wounded dragon plotting his next move or has the remorse finally taken the better of his bare knuckled political instincts. No one knows. The news that has started filtering out in the evening of the 16th is not that great. Here is some text directly from TV channel ticker tape.
Continue reading “The morning after the revolution or was it?” »
I share with you an email circulated widely by journalist Afzal Khan today –
Its a worrisome analysis almost in line with my earlier post today morning – The Sharif’s are being seen to have been allowed free movement while lawyers and political leaders are being arrested country wide. This lawyers revolution is for now the beating pulse of a nation, little do they factor in the frustrations and the voices of the people
The email from Afzal Khan carried the title The deal is clinched, but the show will go on (Afzal Khan)
Continue reading “The Deal has been finalized, the show will go on, hero’s need to be made” »
I write this blog post early Sunday morning at around 5am, so my thoughts might not be all that coherent, but I feel some pressing points need to be shared before the Lahore stand off takes off in barely five hours from now at 10am on March 15th
- Shahbaz Sharif had a very urgent meeting in Islamabad last night [13th March] where he flew from Lahore to Islamabad [eye witness confirm], the talks were afoot that a few deals were being negotiated – namely the eligibility of Nawaz and Shahbaz would be settled, Shahbaz Sharif would then reinstated as Chief Minister and Governor Salman Taseer will be shown the door, in exchange the Sharif brothers will end the Long March with immediate effect. These basic issues were agreed upon by both sides [even the idea of ending the long march / defusing it], what remained a tackling issue was the exact process on how to reinstate Iftikhar Chaudhry. Shahbaz Sharif allegedly wanted solid guarantees and merely the ‘word’ of Zardari carried little weight, COAS Kiyani and Hilary Clinton were being propped up to foot the final claim but reassurances were not entirely satisfactory [or so we are told]. Shahbaz returned having not finalized the deal on the last point
- Gilani as off till the 13th March was playing a significant role in negotiations, but on the 14th was visibility out of the picture, he has been propped up by the US Government to play a more responsible role in settling this crisis, word is still out if he can or cannot deliver, but a few statement were made that gave good vibes to the public but it alone cant be the guage of the attitude behind closed doors
- None of the lawyers from other cities were permitted to leave their respective cities, Kurd from Quetta, Muneer Malik and Rashid Rizvi from Karachi.- But ironically Sharif brothers are given a free hand to move
- Lahore is allegedly clamped down any roads leading into or out of Lahore are effectively sealed
- But suddenly today early morning March 15 3:00am a convoy carrying Shahbaz Sharif from Raiwind breaks through a barricade and runs off onto the Motorway towards Islamabad
- Moments later news breaks out that hundred of police officers raid Rawalpindi bar thrash the lawyers sleeping there and are reported to have arrested 60 people
- March 15th will be the day of resistance in Lahore – to be strategically handled by the elder brother Mian Nawaz Sharif
- I honestly suspect this is a deliberate ploy to undermine the presence of Lawyers and other political parties while paving the way for PML-N to stretch their muscles in victory, lawyers being deliberately left on the sidelines, its possible that the only Lawyers that might make an visible appearance could be Aitzaz Ahsan & Hamid Khan arriving on the Constitution avenue, but with the sudden departure of Shahbaz Sharif from Lahore to Islamabad goes to suggest that he has full plans to hold the PML-N fort on the 16th March in Islamabad and would in all likelihood be the only person to really be allowed to make a big show
- Not that, it matters as long as there is the independence of Judiciary, but we must keep in mind that the NRO is not be debated and neither is the 17th amendment being talked about.
- Lets also not forget that the frenzy of the Long March only started after Shahbaz Sharif lost his Chief Ministership, and prior to that development, PML-N was on the fence playing second fiddle as it has continued to do so since Feb 18th with the Lawyers movement
Guest Blog by Yaseen Khawar of Pakistanic.com
Amy Goodman: Recently Pakistani border security forces have stopped American army to cross the Pak Afghan border and do an operation in Pakistani territory but Pakistan’s army open fire on their helicopter. How would you comment on this?
Tariq Ali: I think circumstances have become quite dangerous. It is the point of discussion in American administration since last year whether to do operation inside Pakistan’s territory but there is a strong lobby inside U.S administration which says that if U.S operated inside Pakistan it will benefit those elements against which U.S is doing operation.
Amy Goodman: How?
Tariq Ali: When pushtoon population of North West Frontier Province will see that America has started operation against them, they will join Taliban inside Afghanistan to strengthen resistance.
Continue reading “Tariq Ali speaks about Pakistan Current Situation” »
Guest Post by Samad Khurram
Friends and concerned citizens,
I am making public a few of my communications with Aitzaz Ahsan and his consolidated response to help put things in perspective. There have been a few questions that had been lingering in every one’s minds regarding decisions made at crucial junctions of the movement, Aitzaz’s decision to remain in the PPP – even when the party is the only hindrance in the restoration of the judges -, the end of the Long March and the lawyers silence on the casualties in the War on Terror and I hope this can address all of them. Many other answers are not part of these long emails but will be answered in due time.
I have been a part of this struggle only because I rationally believe in it. The decision is an informed, educated one so I have been constantly giving the leadership my input, criticizing whenever I think is appropriate but otherwise supporting them throughout. The decisions taken by the leadership itself have been very informed and well thought out and I would like to make some of the reasoning public as many people have had raised questions.
To start of I am making public my infamous, rather harsh email – that was even picked up in Off the Record by Kashif. It was written after talking to people following the end of the Long March and how things seemed very abysmal.It appeared unlikely that we would ever recover from the aftermath. Many of the things in the email were based on the collective sentiment of our activists who had come for a siege
However I become extremely occupied with things after the Ambassador incident and Aitzaz later wrote an article for me in the Newsweek to ensure I am not labelled into something I am not.
Continue reading “Aitzaz Ahsan explains his decisions” »
By Faisal Siddiqi
Is it time to write the obituary of the lawyer’s movement? Or will this lawyer’s movement never be defeated because history and truth (and some say, God) is on our side?. The aforementioned responses are the two opposite responses given to the current impasse in the lawyer’s movement. The former response suffers from opportunistic scepticism and the latter response from irrational optimism. What is required is to avoid both these extreme positions. The lawyer’s movement urgently requires to build on it’s achievements, to learn from it’s past mistakes and to objectively analyze it’s future challenges in order to determine it’s goals and devise a realistic strategy to achieve these goals. The lawyer’s movement can neither go home in despair nor carry on with the same old script and strategy of their struggle.
What, has been and is, the principle objective of the lawyer’s movement? To restore, enhance and preserve the independence of the judiciary from both executive and legislative domination. The battle ground for this objective has been the restoration, enhancement and preservation of independent judges. In striving for this principle objective of the independence of the judiciary, the lawyer’s movement has also been the warrior brigade for the intrinsically linked objective of constitutional democracy in Pakistan. One doesnot want to sound arrogant or blow one’s own trumpet but in terms of the aforementioned objectives, the lawyer’s movement has been remarkably successful and there seems to be no rational reason for scepticism or for irrational bouts of despair and despondency.
Continue reading “The Lawyers Movement – Achievements and Challenges” »
Guest Post by Saira Ansari
I’m very disturbed, disappointed and sick to death to see the amount of facebook’ers on my list who think Musharraf’s leaving has been a catastrophe for Pakistan. Just because a new evil, a.k.a Zardari, is in the house does not mean that the previous evil is now a good man. A “leader” as some say. That’s our problem – as an entire nation. We forget and we repeat our mistakes over and over again.
People left right and centre have been levelling accusations at me, and countless others like myself, that we support Zardari. Unfortunately no one takes out 5 minutes to ask if that is so. Let me save you the time…we don’t. And no, he is NOT democratically elected. Hierarchic / Monarchic rule within the party does not ensure a democratic candidate, so stop ranting that its democracy that’s bad. We, the people, have been cheated again. The actual institution has been wronged.
I will get hate messages and mail after this because I get them often for my stance. Those who know me well know my passion for this country and its welfare so at least I can’t be labelled for propaganda as my other friends and colleagues are. But I must have my say – whether or not you bother to read the entire note.
Guest Blog by Silence posted from Islamabad Observer
A perception is systematically being spread in West about Pakistan being a nursery for terrorists and with the recent unrest in Tribal regions of Pakistan, the western media has started a campaign to prove that a ‘civil war’ is going on in Pakistan and some have gone to the extent that Pakistan is going to fall in to hands of extremists just like Iran, in an Islamic revolution and her Nuclear weapons can go in to hands of terrorist, quite understandable, as this very fear was created and nourished by former dictator Pervez Musharraff to get western support for his illegitimate rule that if he steps down, the militants would take over and George Bush administration which wanted to keep Americans in a constant state of ‘fear’ marketed the idea to international community for its so called war on terror. “The main objective of the Islamophobes, particularly in the US media, academia and politics was pitting Muslims against each other. It was promoted in the name of a “war within Islam.” Soon after 9/11 the calls for a “war within Islam” intensified. Pakistan was the high value target long before the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, but undermining the Soviet Union was a priority. Focus shifted to Islam and Pakistan after the Soviet withdrawal. Taliban became the perfect scapegoat. Instead of helping the Taliban to correct their approach and ways to living by Islam, Muslims fully participated in demonising the Taliban. Operation 9/11 was planned. A war on Afghanistan was planned even before that. The country was invaded and occupied not just for the sake of occupying Afghanistan but for encircling the cooperating Pakistan as well. Write Abid Ullah Jan a researcher and Author of famous book, “The Musharraff Factor: Leading Pakistan to its inevitable demise”.
Weather it’s a civil war, an Islamist revolution or a “United States sponsored terrorism for oil” and part of plan of Neo-conservatives and American oil giants who want an access to energy rich Central Asia and want to use Afghanistan, NWFP and Baluchistan region till Indian ocean as a route for their energy supplies. American CIA with the help of Pakistani dictator General Zia ul Haq and Pakistani intelligence service ISI successfully turned Soviet-Afghan war in to Jihad or a ‘holy war”, the students from religious schools around the world were recruited with help of Muslim clerics by CIA and sent to tribal regions of Pakistan where they were trained by ISI and armed with sophisticated Americans weapons before sending them to join the ‘holy war’ in Afghanistan. In 1986, the Soviets troops were forced to withdraw from many areas because of heavy casualties and finally, under heavy international pressure managed by USA and huge losses in the battlefield, Soviet Union withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan in 1988.
Continue reading “Pakistan: A Revolution, A civil war or a United States sponsored terrorism?” »
Guest Post by Silence
Corruption and governance goes together in developing countries, especially the third world where democratic process is influenced by bloodline, money politics, feudalism, intervention of imperialist powers through military and religious exploitations. The process becomes more painful when the society is trying to develop from under develop, while profiled as ‘high risk investment zones’ these countries need investment for development, the clever investor who is aware of this fact bargains for softer terms and governments are unable to deny, the rules are relaxed and projects vital for survival of society are given to these investors, an example of this is can be the IPP’s in past Benazir Bhutto’s regime in Pakistan which was widely criticized at that time but proved to be a lifeline for Pakistan’s industry in following decade. It’s not a national interest which forces the governments to relax the rules, once relaxed in broader national interests, these rules become a tool for corruption and personal benefits, the prime examples are Pakistan’s defense agreements, where an Air Force Chief got kick backs of Billion of $ and many politicians like Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif multiplied their holdings, Shaukat Azaiz sold the national institutions for personal gains and was forced to stop from handing over Pakistan Steel and a PIA owned hotel in New York by Supreme Court and Pakistan Senate respectively, the father in law of former dictator Pervez Musharraff got the contract of elevated Rail track in Karachi for five times higher bid from national exchequer then the Chinese company offered and that too on soft loan basis.
Continue reading “Living with Corruption” »
GEO TV just reports that the Pakistan People’s Party has just announced their candidate for the post of the next President of Pakistan – now dont hold your breath….. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari.
The name itself sends a shiver down through anyone who has witnessed his previous tenures in power, now armed with the article 58-2-B he will hold this entire country hostage.
A testing moment for Pakistan, but sad part is Nawaz Sharif has just been given the royal boot in the arse, and taken for the joy ride of his lifetime
What probably does not surprise me, as I think I had predicted this scenario to the letter on my blog back in early January, barely seven days, after the assassination of Beanzir Bhutto when I penned the article
Guest Post by Amer Nazir
I have written many articles on chowk.com and teeth.com.pk – many of them satires aimed at Pervez Musharraf, making fun of him, despising him, humiliating him, hating him – and today, reading Cowasjee’s column in the Dawn (17 Aug)… I almost feel guilty!
But then the emphasis is on almost… One thing is confirmed though that Musharraf and me are today the most misunderstood men in the world… at least from my perspective…!
We both meant well… we both have been humiliated… I wonder what is wrong with this world… the world is cold, harsh and ungrateful… even, when both of us, I mean Musharraf and me, tend to cry out from roof tops that we are innocent….
I, a small man, achieved milestones in the Pakistani IT industry, made small contributions which though still remain unparalleled even today although six years have passed… but on the behest of my business partners, the rich fund belonging to 600 serving captains of PIA, I was accused of embezzling funds from my own group, and me and my family were persecuted for years and when after losing all that we had in terms of worldly gains, often hungry and desolate, I was allowed to leave Pakistan, finally my name was taken off the Exit Control List and I reached UK and was awarded humanitarian protection by the British government…. and now Musharraf is being accused of embezzlement as well… the British government is there for him also at this precise moment… but then Musharraf will not have to stand in a queue at the British Home Office to seek asylum…
Continue reading “Musharraf and Me” »