Dissent is essential to any state. It helps reflecting upon the policies employed by the state, to correct them and to improve upon them. With dissent comes tolerance. The two can’t exist without each other. And once a state becomes abhorrent to dissent, what follows is violence.
Now lets come back to Pakistan and reflect. Saleem Shahzad, a correspondent of Asia Times Online was killed just days back. We don’t know who are perpetrators of this heinous crime. But we do have some pointers. What pointers: Well, HRW and HRCP both point toward the state.
Read more here
By Adnan Syed
The existential threat comes from disowning the democratic structure, giving up on it and looking yet again for another instant messiah in face of tremendous adversity and hopelessness.
We were wrong in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1990s when the elected governments were overthrown. And if we continue with our mindless obsession with artificial stability, we would be wrong in 2010 yet again.
Filed under Army, baluchistan, Constitution, Democracy, Judiciary, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Politics, poverty, public policy, Rights
The colossal humanitarian tragedy and the imminent economic meltdown, will now shape a new Pakistan or rather, exacerbate its predicament in the months and years to come. Pakistan’s chronic political instability, structural economic constraints and a warped national security policy are all going to be affected by the unfolding drama of the national disaster, perhaps the severest, in the country’s history. Whilst the challenges have snowballed within a short duration of ten days, the response of the Pakistani state and society underline extremely dangerous trends and make us wonder about future of the country, as we have known it for the last 63 years.
Pakistan had reverted to quasi-democratic rule after a decade of dictatorship in March 2008. Since the resumption of the electoral process in February 2008, the traditionally powerful unelected institutions, had acquired both legitimacy and unprecedented powers. The power troika of the 1990s had transformed into a quartet comprising the army, judiciary, the media and the civilian government which was represented by a ‘discredited’ president who has been a constant punching bag for the unelected institutions of the state.
PTH strongly condemns this act of barbarity and tragic persecution of Balochi leadership. We cannot afford to let this continue. About time, the Balochistan package is fully implemented and widened in its scope. We have to redress all genuine grievances of this troubled province and instead of looking for a foreign hand, analyse where we went wrong. If the Balochis are with Pakistan, no foreign hand can be successful. This would the beginning of a new chapter in our federal history. We are posting a press release by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan that makes pertinent points and gives a way forward for the rulers. We cannot allow the elimination of representative voices. Raza Rumi
Jalib’s murder a blow to national integrity: HRCP Continue reading
The Stunning Investigative Story on the Birth of Balochistan Liberation Army
By Tariq Saeedi in Ashgabat, Sergi Pyatakov in Moscow, Ali Nasimzadeh in Zahidan, Qasim Jan in Kandahar and SM Kasi in Quetta
MARCH 1: Deception and treachery. Live and let die. The ultimate zero sum game. Repetition of bloody history: Call it what you may, something is happening in the Pakistani province of Balochistan that defies comprehension on any conventional scale.
Four correspondents and dozens of associates who collectively logged more than 5000 kilometers during the past seven weeks in pursuit of a single question – What is happening in Balochistan? – have only been able to uncover small parts of the entire picture.
However, if the parts have any proportional resemblance to the whole, it is a frightening and mind-boggling picture. Every story must start somewhere. This story should conveniently have started on the night of 7 January 2005 when gas installations at Sui were rocketed and much of Pakistan came to almost grinding halt for about a week. Or, we should have taken the night of 2 January 2005 as the starting point when an unfortunate female doctor was reportedly gang-raped in Sui. However, the appropriate point to peg this story is January 2002 and we shall return to it in a minute.
Actually, the elements for the start of insurgency in Balochistan had been put in place already and the planners were waiting for a convenient catalyst to set things in motion. The gang-rape of 2 Jan, around which this sticky situation has been built, was just the missing ingredient the planners needed.
Two former KGB officers explained that the whole phenomenon has been assembled on skilful manipulation of circumstances. We shall keep returning to their comments throughout this report. Continue reading
Filed under baluchistan, Islamabad, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, quetta, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism, violence, war, Zardari
By Nadeem F. Paracha
1. Asif Ali Zardari is the devil incarnate.
2. The Pakistan Army is the saviour.
3. The Taliban are resisting American imperialism.
4. We hate American foreign policy unless it suits us. We are against American imperialism if it means we have to ditch the Taliban as that would be against the aspirations of our founding father, Mohammed Bin Qasim. We will no longer shop at Marks and Spencer because they are somehow connected to Israel. However, that does not mean we will switch off our computers and cell phones whose chip technology has been made possible due to major contributions from Israeli scientists. Continue reading
Filed under Al Qaeda, Army, baluchistan, Benazir Bhutto, Democracy, FATA, Humour, India, Iran, Islam, Islamabad, Kerry Lugar Bill, Pakistan, Punjab, Punjabi, Religion, Taliban, USA, War On Terror, Writers, Yusuf Raza Gillani, Zardari
…the more they remain the same
The ISI – a proxy for the Army, since Z.A.Bhutto’s creation of ISI’s infamous Political Cell – seems to be making it clear that it (too) is beyond accountability. After Malik Qayyum tried to show he still had some nuisance value by declaring to Hamid Mir that ‘a former head of a powerful intelligence agency had confirmed to him that (the missing person) Mr Janjua was dead’, there were news items about the police (possibly) investigating a handful of former and serving intelligence and army officers in relation to missing persons. Mrs Amina Janjua promptly responded to the possible muddying of the intelligence agency’s name by writing to The News.
She declares in this letter that she does not seek investigation against any ‘valuable’ national agency and does not wish their ‘good name’ to be called into question. She still considers her quest for justice for her missing husband to be noble, just as noble it would seem as she considers our national agencies to be. She declares that she holds the US responsible for her family’s woes and only seeks justice against the US… in a Pakistani court, one must add.
Both the petitioner and the court had a very different view of the same state and its agencies under the dictator Gen Musharraf. The tone and tenor with which this view was expressed was very different too. Indeed, one of Musharraf’s (completely fake) complaints against the SC was that it ‘had been setting free suspected terrorists’.
Mrs Janjua need not have bothered writing the letter. The 3-member SC bench had already declared, back in February, that the court “will not examine evidence against intelligence agencies in the missing persons’ case.” I guess she just wanted to make sure. Continue reading
Filed under Activism, Al Qaeda, Army, baluchistan, Citizens, Democracy, human rights, journalism, Judiciary, Justice, Pakistan, Taliban, USA, War On Terror