Saturday, 3 December 2011

Rolling Heads

Pakistan Army is invincible; except in wars against foreign aggression or local insurgents. In these two situations it is helpless. It acts like a wailing child who, in between his uncontrollable tears, threatens to tell mommy.

That’s what has been proved since Lal Masjid incident until now and before that in three and a half wars against India. Nevertheless, rest assured no matter what happens no general will ever lose his job because he blundered. He will lose his job only when he becomes a serious liability for other generals. Because it’s all business. Even then this general will enjoy full immunity from any legal proceedings. Point in case: Musharraf.

We quit 1948 war, left the task incomplete; we started and lost 1965 war and lied to the entire nation and perpetuated that lie by celebrating Defence Day on every September the 6th ever since. We lost half the country in 1971. We dug a hole ourselves in 1999 and got stoned in it; and stonewalled diplomatically. Tell me how many generals lost their jobs that can be historically acknowledged as a result of all these “little” incidents? Has any general ever been arrested or tried for any blunder causing thousands of civilian and military deaths?

After alleged killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad – which was a clear military attack on country’s soil, a declaration of war by US against Pakistan – the first thing military wanted the public to know was that “no heads will role”. Translation: “Do not expect any general to lose his job for such serious failure of intelligence and inability of the military to defend the sovereignty of the country.” Many politicians would have been more than happy to try and hang Raymond Davis if it weren’t for Pakistan Army’s everlasting bittersweet love affair with USA that saved their illegitimate child that killed two Pakistanis on Pakistani soil at point blank in cold blood. Davis killed two Pakistanis like cattle and guards of his jail cell were not allowed to carry their duty weapons.

After the deliberate slaughter of 24 Pakistani soldiers by NATO air power I do not expect any positive steps from military brass. Sooner than later everything will be business as usual. This Army is Alzheimer’s patient when it comes to USA and its allies. I truly believe that those 24 Shuhadaa had neither the weapons nor orders to defend themselves from NATO’s murderous aerial fire power. At this point the least the Army could do is roll the heads of General Kiayni and General Pasha and start an inquiry against them for not acting against foreign aggression.

The Oasis of Democracy

When it comes to undeserving flattery, our bureaucrats and diplomats do it with the utter stupidity of a court jester without realizing the kind of embarrassing position that their na├»ve attempts to secure their seats are putting Pakistan in. After all their appointment letters did not designate them national clowns. The latest example of such epic foolishness comes from our High Commissioner to UK, Wajid Shamsul Hassan, and his interview with CNN correspondent under the shadow of yet another national embarrassment – death of 24 soldiers by the NATO forces and Pakistan’s helplessness in its face.

During the interview when asked to comment on NATO attack on Pakistani outposts, Mr. Hassan found it important for “broader national interest” to kiss the stinky behinds of the rulers of the ruling party. Instead of highlighting grave diplomatic and military implications of such open aggression and its effects on Pakistan’s ever so fragile democracy, which is already crippled by perpetual corruption, he went on to call Pakistan “the Oasis of Democracy in the region”. The utter shock and disgust mixed with disbelief on the face and in the voice of the interviewer is impossible to describe in words. In a typical sarcastic tone, which can be observed in a western born female only, she queried, “Pakistan is the Oasis of Democracy in the region?”

Despite living in the UK and supposedly working as Pakistan’s diplomat over there, Mr. Hassan seemed unaware of vocal and tonal expressions of the locals as he looked completely unaffected by the obvious and razor sharp sarcasm in the voice and the words of the interviewer. He kept on talking, shamelessly. This whole part of his mindless rambling can only be translated as following: “Pakistan is the Oasis of Democracy in the region because Mr. Zardari is in charge of this democracy.” I have never seen such poor choice of words even by the world famous lingual disaster former president of US George W. Bush. Pakistani politicians are famous for losing wars in table talks. Now you know why. Diplomacy is a war of words and with such commanders at the helms of our frigates we are doomed to failure.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Don't Blame Rangers Only

Pakistan Rangers, a paramilitary force, has been accused of killing an "unarmed teenager" in Karachi. However, one should try to understand full context before quickly pointing fingers at Rangers. BBC Urdu has a 1:02 minutes long video which a close consideration reveals many clues that support Rangers' point view.

In the video, a young man is taken towards the paramilitary force personnel by an apparent civilian, who in a very frank manner waves something towards Rangers and says, "This is the gun and money". Upon close inspection one can clearly see that there is a hand gun wrapped in that piece of cloth - a standard practice in Pakistani law enforcement agencies to keep fingerprints safe. It appears that the young man is being accused of armed robbery, to which he seems to confess by saying, "It is a fake gun" and "I am forced (by circumstances)". Rangers clearly seem to be confused and a lack of proper training is apparent.

They, however, according to most reports, shot him on his limbs and he still succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. Did anyone ever stop to ask what kind of medical facilities were available in that hospital or how fast was he taken to the hospital or how many doctors were actually in the hospital.

When the whole system is broken, you cannot blame just one institution because it is easy to identify.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Salman Taseer Murder Justified

Since I have heard the news about Salman Taseer’s brutal murder I have been incessantly reading news and articles from Pakistan’s English language news sources which have been shedding light on this incident from all imaginable angles but one.

These English language journals, which are reputed to be leaning towards educated westernized public with very liberal tendencies, seem to be deliberately ignoring the root cause of this murder, elimination of which, if done on time, could have saved not only Mr. Taseer’s life but also the lives of so many other so-called liberals who were not news-worthy enough.

During more peaceful years in our country, the nation was, for the most part, preoccupied by a host of problems which could be summarized as corruption; which along with the resulting government incompetence has been costing Pakistanis lives in more ways than we can imagine. From roads to hospitals, from government offices to police constables on the street, from nursery classes in a government school to the offices of the prime minister and the president, the infusion and perpetuation of corruption and ignoring the problem as an inevitable part of living in Pakistan has been costing us lives. Do we have stats about how many Pakistanis are killed in easily preventable violent crimes? Do we have stats about how many Pakistanis are killed by police under the pressure from mafia, feudal lords and politicians? Do we have stats about how many Pakistanis are killed by the lack of health care, lack of medicines or counterfeit medicines? Do we have stats about how many Pakistanis are killed by unqualified doctors? Do we have stats about how many Pakistanis are killed by unhygienic water and food? Do we have stats about how many Pakistanis are killed by the lack of food because they can’t afford any?

Admit it or not, to most Pakistanis, Salman Taseer was nothing more than another stooge of corrupt, Mr. 10 Percent Zardari. Revelations about his affluent lifestyle outraged so many Pakistanis who are on the verge of suicides because of their economic and financial direness. Apathy towards the general public and swiftness of efforts to appease western powers in order to perpetuate their reign has been a signature of virtually all of Pakistani governments including the current one.

For decades, mullahs have been blaming the lack of Islamization for all the problems facing the country and have been attempting to present themselves as the ones who are able to bring about a utopian Islamic society. Until such a society is established, murder of anyone and everyone, according to theses contractors of religion, is perfectly justified. What if innocents are killed along with the “guilty”? You get three answers depending on the religious school of thought of the responder. They are guilty otherwise they must have survived; they are shaheed because their death was accidental; or no one is innocent. Pick one that suits your sectarian leaning. These mullahs and maulanas conveniently ignore the fact that the West has been dominating the entire world for about half a millennium now without any Islamization.

We Pakistanis have a mob mentality and this mob is tired of looking at the governments for the relief. Far too many heads are turning towards the imams of religious fanaticism, who seem to have a very simplistic but brutal worldview which bodes well with the decades of frustration and resentment boiling in the hearts of the public. The lava oozing from this volcano of the public is being streamed by the will of the venomous ulamas; for whom punishment for any disagreement is nothing short of murder.

This mob of turning heads is suicidal. By killing Mr. Salman Taseer they have merely stabbed themselves once more. In a society, where corruption and nepotism is a norm, where ruling elites have no roots in the very nation they are supposed to lead, where short term benefits for selected few always get preference over wider interests of the public, no leader can safely say that he is not going to be hit by the same boomerang with which he has been victimizing so many.

Taseer’s murder was justified not by any secular or Sharia law but by the lawlessness resulting from the corruption and incompetence in every rank and file of government. The very fact that a fanatic like Mumtaz Qadri was able to slip through the gapping holes in government's security apparatus and approach such a VVIP justifies the murder of Salman Taseer, late Governor of the Punjab.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

No Pardon for Asia Bibi

In a quest to appease overly secularized western powers that still identify with Christianity more than ever, late Governor of the Province of Punjab Mr. Salman Taseer didn’t give much thought to the consequential possibilities emanating from what he said and how he said it. Son of a highly respected poet and intellectual did not seem to care for the highly reputable legacy his late father left for him. His worst mistake in the wake of Asia Bibi case was not what he said about the so-called blasphemy law but what he tried to do. His worst blunder was to seek presidential pardon for Asia Bibi.

Given the detailed accounts of Asia Bibi case, the events thereon and onwards, I am very much convinced Asia Bibi is innocent of blasphemy in the true sense of and spirit of Sharia. After the quarrel with her Muslim co-workers who deemed her unclean despite the contrary verdict from Islam about the People of the Book (i.e. Jews and Christians), in the heat of heightened emotions, Asia Bibi might have let something slip that could be contrived into a blasphemous statement and given her Muslim co-workers an idea as to how to go after her with a legal tool which is so easy to abuse.

Nevertheless, under the Sharia law, if she was guilty of slightest slip of tongue, a simple official apology from Bibi will suffice to let her go as a free citizen.

Despite all of my speculative analyses, I still think she never said or did anything criminal under blasphemy law. A fair trial in higher courts can easily prove that. Then why do I say “no pardon for Asia Bibi” you say. It is because a presidential pardon under any condition implies a guilty verdict from none other than the President. A presidential pardon will jeopardize her life even more and possibility of her murder by any members of the public convinced of her being guilty clearly implied by the pardon - not to mention, extra judicial, unethical, illegal maneuvers to please the foreign powers - will be closer to becoming reality.

Asia Bibi should go through a fair trial and best way to help her for any sympathizers would be to grant her legal and financial help in her judicial case. The details of court proceedings and statements of involved parties should be widely made public through print and electronic media in order to draw a clearer and unbiased picture of the facts in the minds of general public of Pakistan. All the accusers should be brought to court and should be punished for perjury and false accusations after the acquittal of Asia Bibi. If possible, Islamic punishments should be implemented on accusers if they are found guilty of laying false accusations.