Monthly Archives: March 2013

Tariq Pervez: The Justice and now the caretaker

By Faheem Wali JusticeIn what is a positive precedent Justice (retd) Tariq Pervez has been unanimously chosen as Caretaker Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkwa in the run up to the 2013 general elections. The move by the Awami National Party dominated provincial government in consultation with other opposition leader was the first attempt in the post 18th amendment constitution of Pakistan. Previous caretaker Chief Ministers were appointed or agreed outside the democratic system and in some cases openly hostile to the previous elected governments.

This is in stark contrast to the other provinces where counterparts are still busy in wrangling over a simple Constitutional requirement. Both Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Chief Minister Amir Haider Hoti and leader of the opposition Akram Khan Durrani needs to be appreciated for displaying political maturity and acumen.

Justice Tariq was born on 15th February, 1948 at Peshawar, in the house of Muhammad Sarwar Sulemani, a known educationist and reputed poet of his times who authored number of books.

Tariq Pervez, born second amongst his six brothers, has done his Matriculation (SSC) from Government High School no 1, Peshawar city and graduated from Government Degree College in 1968. He was awarded LLB degree by Khyber law college, University of Peshawar in 1971.

After completing his LLB and undergoing the requisite apprenticeship, he was enrolled as an Advocate at District courts Peshawar in 1972. Known for his hard work, he soon caught attention of the criminal litigants, a practice wherein he flourished by leaps and bounds under the watchful eye and Guidance of Barrister Zahoor ul Haq, a lawyer, informally considered to be the best criminal lawyer Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ever had.

Tariq Pervez was not only famous for his legal acumen and grasp over criminal jurisprudence but displayed his leadership qualities by remaining Vice President Peshawar High Court Bar Association(1980) and elected its President in 1996. A year earlier to his elevation as judge of Peshawar High Court during Malik Meraj Khalid’s caretaker cabinet in 1997.

Young lawyers used to learn a lot while attending his court from his academic remarks and queries he used to raise during course of hearings. Even in his tiring concentration towards issue involved, he won’t miss any opportunity of throwing a blinder bringing smiles on faces of the audience. Like, once he taunted well known senior Lawyer Latif Afridi while allowing bail application by saying ,”jo shakhs boorha ho,ganja ho,langrha ho woh tu adalat mein behis bhi nahin ker sakta,bhaag ke kahan jayega” (a person who is old, bald and lame can’t even argue his case, how can he run away from law). Latif himself having enormous sense of humour took the comment about his age with an equal degree of humour. On another occasion, in a contested civil case, after hearing the counsels at some length, he asked the parties to swap Counsels because he could not tell who was arguing for what and adjourned the case.

Apart from his normal judicial work he is an accomplished administrator included, member of administrative committee, head of Bar Council enrolment committee, Chairman judicial service tribunal, in addition to heading circuit benches of Dera Ismail Khan and Abbottabad respectively.

Tariq Pervez’s real time in the spotlight came when after 3rd November 2007 and the emergency was imposed by President General Pervez Musharraf. As Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court true to his reputation he became first ever chief justice of Peshawar High Court to refuse oath under Provisional Constitutional Order and joined movement for restoration of law and the constitution.
At a stroke those designed to impart justice were on roads and rallies to seek justice for themselves. Like most of his peers, he also used to be a speaker in all such functions arranged by lawyers across the country. Grabbing every opportunity, he displayed such oratorical skills that would keep his audiences spell bound.

He was eventually restored on 5th of September 2008 by the elected government he was elevated to the Supreme Court and withdrew from controversy thereafter mostly maintaining a low profile before retiring early this year.

Justice Tariq Pervez is passionately remembered and revered by legal community for his steadfast and clear approach towards dispensation of justice and his unflinching support for democratic principles and rule of law. Now he faces an even bigger challenge with taking on the role of the caretaker Chief Minister he faces the task of maintaining law and order in a province that has been hit by the consequences of large scale militant attacks. While at the same time ensuring free and fair elections are held in a relatively peaceful manner.
The writer is a practicing advocate from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

CROSS POST: http://www.qissa-khwani.com/2013/03/tariq-pervez-justice-and-now-caretaker.html?m=1

Advertisements

Know Thy HERO Muhammad Mahmood Alam “M.M Alam”

M.M AlamISLAMABAD 18 MARCH, 2013: Air Commodore (Retd) Muhammad Mahmood Alam, Sitara-i-Jur’at (with Bar), a veteran of 1965 and 1971 wars and world renowned ace pilot of PAF, after prolonged illness, breathed his last at PNS Shifa (Hospital), Karachi today. He was 78.

Air Chief Marshal, Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force has expressed his grief on the sad demise of the iconic legend and a national Hero M M Alam. The Air Chief further said that any chronicles on the World’s Aviation Hall of Fame or accomplishments of Pakistan Air Force would remain incomplete without the mention of Air Commodore (Retd) M M Alam. A daring fighter pilot, Top Gun of his own class, war hero, scholar par excellence, a patriotic Pakistani and a committed professional, M M Alam was an icon and a role model not only for the PAF airmen but also for the Muslims across the world.

M M Alam, was born on 06 July 1935 in a well educated family of Calcutta, British India. Having completed his secondary education from Government High School, Dhaka, in 1951, M M Alam joined PAF in 1952 and was granted commission on 2nd of October, 1953.

During his service career, Alam underwent many courses including Fighter Conversion Course, F-86F Familiarization Course, Fighter Leader Course, PAF Staff College Course, Orientation Training Course-USA and Royal College of Defence Studies Course – UK.

His major appointments included Air Gunnery & Tactical Instructor at Fighter Leader School, Officer Commanding No 11, No 5 and No 26 Squadrons, Director Operation Research, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Flight Safety) and Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Plans) at Air Headquarters. He also served in Syria on deputation.

HE WAS A TERROR IN THE SKY

8141    During Indo Pak war in 1965, Squadron Leader M M Alam, while Commanding No 11 Squadron at Sargodha, shot down 02 and damaged 03 Indian Air Force aircraft on 6th September, 1965. On this act of outstanding bravery and heroism, he was awarded with Sitara-i-Jur’at (gallantry award). 7th September 1965 is the day when M M Alam rewrote the history of Air Warfare by setting new records while defending Pakistan’s Airspace against the aggressors. He shot down 05 Hawker Hunter fighters of Indian Air Force, in air-to-air combat by shooting down five Indian aircraft in less than sixty seconds, the first four within a span of 30 seconds only. For such an awe inspiring feat of gallantry, M M Alam was again awarded Sitara-i-Jur’at (with Bar). Govt of Pakistan also paid him a befitting tribute by naming one of the prominent roads in Gulberg, Lahore after his legendary name.

His funeral prayers would be offered at PAF Base Masroor, Karachi at 1700 Hrs today. He would be buried with full military honours at PAF graveyard Masroor Air Base.

A CROSS POST: http://www.mediapoint.pk/know-thy-hero-muhammad-mahmood-alam-m-m-alam/

This is Ishq, this is junoon !! Pak Sarzameen Paindabaad !!!

A Pakistan  Army soldier who lost his legs in war against TTP Khawarij, ( anti-Pak Militants) runs with the flag he so gallantly defended, MashAllah !!!

 

Janoon

Strategic Dynamics of Gwadar and the IPGPL

_DSC0030By Brig Imran Khan(R)

The geopolitical landscape of the Af-Pak Region (APR) and South Central Asian Region (SCAR) is about to undergo a massive transformation. As the US/NATO/ISAF Combine prepares to egress new regional alignments are emerging with serious geopolitical, economic and strategic connotations.

This change is manifested by two dynamic events with global implications. Firstly, Pakistan and China have closed a deal on Gwadar. Secondly, unconvinced of the energy alternatives offered by the US, Pakistan has formalized an agreement and understanding with Iran on the Iran Pakistan Gas Pipe Line (IPGPL), a US $ 4 billion oil refinery at Gwadar and 1000 MW of electricity – much to the consternation of the US and its allies.

Is Pakistan pre-empting another US desertion – a la 1989?

US policy failure in the APR and the SCAR is apparent. Its writ has clearly weakened, its Afghan Campaign has gone awry and its driven urgency to egress is symptomatic of its defeatist mindset. Terrorism still thrives and rudderless attempts at negotiations with the Taliban appear stillborn. The overall Afghan internal situation stays unresolved. India – its “potential plenipotentiary” is not even remotely relevant to the APR much less in control of it. It just wretchedly wallows on the periphery waiting pitiably for glory and greatness to be thrust upon it.

The US is thus set to lose its most dominating and central position in the SCAR – Afghanistan!

The remnants of the US/NATO/ISAF (13-14000 troops) and mercenaries like Blackwater, Xe will not be enough to secure western interests in the region. However, in cahoots with the CIA-MI6-RAW-MOSSAD-NDS Combine their capacity and reach to create mischief would still be significant and multi-dimensional. Their collective main aim could thenceforth be to deny this strategic space (Afghanistan, APR) to any regional power or bloc – China, Russia or the SCO. Furthermore, they will move to keep the region destabilized, create fissures within it, generate upheavals, stoke uprisings, encourage terrorist activities, cause wanton destruction and widespread mayhem and challenge the emergence of a unified regional alignment/bloc. They will try to sabotage the various efforts that the regional countries make to integrate their respective economies through mutually beneficial joint projects. They will raise the tempos to destabilize Pakistan and Iran even further.

As an unintended consequence of these developments (Gwadar, IPGPL), the US-Israeli decision on Iran could be ominously hastened!

Pakistan however will be their main quarry! And the battlefields will be Pakistan at large, Karachi and Balochistan in particular.

US and its allies must be viewing this convergence of Chinese, Pakistani and Iranian strategic and economic interests in Gwadar and Balochistan with extreme trepidation. In one fell swoop the Straits of Hormuz and the Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs) to and from the Persian Gulf have come under Chinese oversight. Furthermore, regional economies are getting integrated “independent” of western influence and domination. The prospects of a network of oil and gas pipelines (IPGPL, even TAPI) flowing from the ME and CARs to Pakistan and China are that much brighter now. However India, due to its short-sighted policies, might end up losing access to all fossil fuel pipelines and trade routes to Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, CARs, Russia and Europe – even Xinjiang, western China.

The US Administration will react as per its laws on the issue and the reality of Israeli lobbies and political dynamics within its body politic. It will exert pressures through at least five tiers – the UN, the EU, allies like the Arab states, Japan, Australia, India, etc, bilaterally itself and through the IFIs like the WB, ADB, IMF, et al. It is likely to pend its own bilateral sanctions till the Afghan imbroglio is conclusively brought to a closure and the US/NATO/ISAF Combine has safely egressed from the region. Thereafter, it is likely to start turning the screw itself, too.

Pakistan is thus likely to face multidimensional pressures for the “sins” of Gwadar and the IPGPL. However, it would be wary of the efforts of these foreign intelligence agencies to further destabilize it. Karachi, its economic hub is already under relentless terrorist attacks – foreign inspired, aided, and funded. Gwadar and the IPGPL will receive particular attention, too. RAW has its “consulates” along the Pak Afghan border and will react with customary bitterness. MOSSAD, which infiltrated the Jundullah posing as CIA, will be super active too particularly along the Iran-Pakistan border. CIA-MI6-NDS will have their own axes to grind. All activities for further development of Gwadar and the IPGPL will come under severe terrorist attacks. Diplomatic and economic pressures too will be generated. Western think tanks and known western hawks on the Balochistan issue will be encouraged to hold conferences and mold international opinion favorably.

Pakistan therefore must brace itself to foil these inimical interior and exterior maneuvers.

Pakistan needs to set its own house in order first. Elections and transfer of power must be expeditious and peaceful. The new Government should engage the terrorists directly and with a clear end state in mind. The LEAs (Police, Rangers, FC etc) must be further trained, reorganized and special counter terrorist units be raised within them. A series of battalion/wing strength cantonments be built along the length of the IPGPL from which the LEAs could sally forth to patrol and secure the areas. A special aviation task force comprising an RPV unit as well as a heli-borne Quick Reaction Force should be created to deter and crush all subversive activities against Gwadar or the IPGPL. The capacities of our intelligence agencies must be enhanced appropriately.

Concurrently, Pakistan must launch a pre-emptive diplomatic offensive to assuage the concerns of the Arabs, the EU and the US. It should seek to act as a bridge between the Arabs and Iran.

Gwadar and the IPGPL are clearly in Pakistan’s supreme national interests and must be pursued. Pakistan, China and Iran should continue efforts to integrate other regional countries into a mutually beneficial multi-dimensional bloc as well.

All said and done, Pakistan must stay the course – come what may!

 

The author is a retired Brigadier and a former Defence Attache’ to Australia and New Zealand. Currently he is on the Faculty of NUST (NIPCONS).

Hazaras:”Nero Fiddles as the Rome Burns?”

By Brig Mehboob Qadir (R)

Shias in Pakistan are a sizeable religious minority who have lived among Sunni main mass in perfect harmony since centuries. One Processionwould not really know or bother to find out who was a Shia or a Sunni till Muharrum, the month of Shia mourning arrived. Shias would wear black clothes and move about with a sense of grief and loss commemorating the great martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his companions at the hands of an absolute despot. It used to be over as the month ended, more or less and then normal business of life resumed in the neighborhood. As Sunnis we would respect and empathize with Shia mourners in many local but graceful ways.We would attend their majlis ( a recitation of tragic events ) , consume post majlis food  distributed in the venue  and set up drinking water stalls en route the mourning processions. Similarly for at least the ten days of Ashur(end of the month) we would not play music, buy new clothings or any major new thing, hold any festive event like weddings etc and avoid wearing  freshly tailored or showy bright clothes.

All this and much more was done naturally and not under any special instructions by any lofty Allama or a Shaikh ul Islam. We would be deferential to the Shia sentiments because we were taught it was decent, humane and expected. None hated or disliked anyone for the shade of his belief ,particularly Islamic faith. There were many subsects and schools of fiqah that were subsisting together with the main ones without any difficulty. Ahmadis were very well adjusted and so were Ismailis and the like. Wahabis were few and far between and generally distanced from  socially because of their unsettling kind of belief. Hindus, Sikhs,Christians, Parsis and a tiny number of  Jews were handled tenderly lest their sensibilities are touched. It used to be such a wonderful sight to see local  Sikh businessmen sitting side by side among the fierce Afridi traders in theTorkham bazaars.

Most regrettably perceptions have moved away from realities in case of Pakistan and that is our real and abiding loss. There were no fatwas for beheadings, no faith charged processions and least of all sectarian or communal murders.The best and most well behaved class fellow in my class in Loralai was a handsome Hindu boy call Ramesh whom I understand rose to heights in the Civil Service of the country.During college days my best friends and  brighter students were mostly Ahmadi boys with whom  a life long relationship remains. Their sense of duty,integrity and dependability  used to be amazing.

Then came the  notorious and ,in the hindsight, catastrophic anti Ahmadi riots of 1953 in Lahore particularly.These were archestrated mainly by the Jamaat e Islami’s Maududi and The Majlis e Ahrar e Islam‘s firebrand Deobandi mullahs.Ahraris were typically opposd to Pakistan like Maududi and hated Ahmadis.The army quickly and effectively put them down and sentenced these characters to death that was later commuted to jail term. Sorrowfully more than 200 Ahmadis were killed and huge property gutted in that madness.As an evil consequence all such bigoted religious elements began to band together first as opposition to Ahmadis but eventually expanded to other shades of belief less their doctrinal gurus, the Wahabis. Shias were the natural next minority as it irked the unforgiving breed of mullahs with in the Sunni main mass and who better than the Deobandis and their chief patrons and ideologues ,the nettlesome Wahabis. This toxic lava began to simmer but was controllable till two demons of destruction swept down upon the region in general and Pakistan in particular. As if coordinated, the Soviets invaded Afghanistanin 1979 and nearly simultaneously Ayatullah Khomeini descended upon Iran.This was the beginning of a mutually reinforcing and assured destruction of  broad and beautiful balance in faith in Pakistan.Late General Zia espoused the cause of Afghan resistance and repainted it as Jihad under the twin persuasion of Saudis followed by the US.That stratagem also assured flow of dollars and relifing of his faltering regime against the rising popular opposition to his  disgusting medieval style rule. On his beck and call was again the abrasive Deobandi-Wahabi  combine, unfortunately. These wicked twains were to later bring Pakistan and its people to tremendous harm and grief. That is what happens when one feeds vipers like these in the back yard.

Khominite take over of Iran enthused Shias to their dream of Mahdavi world dominance while Soviet invasion helped Saudis realize their dream of universal jihad albeit not in their land but safely in Afghanistan-Pakistan. There could have been nothing more auspicious for them, than having a tin pot dictator ruling Pakistan and looking for some kind of legitimacy .In this lava crater of regional upheavals the Hazaras of Afghanistan and Quetta were caught in a vice not of their making but thrown around them by the tragic twists and turns of history.Pakistan was already seething with sectarian divide, Ahmadis had been declared as non muslims by late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto under pressure from religious lobby in 1976.Time was ripe for a Wahabit- Deobandi ascent in Pakistan just as the petro dollars began to flow in while Late Zia was already teetering over the sectarian edge.

Afghan war of freedom from Soviets and concomitant Khominite revolution in neighboring Iran helped to pitch Sunnis against Shias in strange ways. Khominite zeal scared and startled the Sunni Peninsular Arabs. Soviet invasion provided Saudis a golden chance to paly out their Wahabist fantasy of jihad against an atheist super power.Eventually the two mutually repulsive fantasies pitched Shias against Sunnis in our region and the bolt actually fell upon Shia Hazaras in Afghanistan, in Quetta and elsewhere inside Pakistan. In a short while we will see how, but before that a bit of historic perspective is in order.

Hazaras had been truly the proverbial children of a lesser God in our region. Anywhere else in the world they could have been a power house of industry, culture, education and great civic sense.In other words they are a potential engine of tremendous social uplift.They are descendents of Mongol warriors who were accompanied by their Eurasian households when Chengiz Khan laid siege to Bamyan in 1221.After its capture they settled down and proliferated . Their robust resistance to assimilation into Afghan melting pot of races has turned out to be their biggest but unintended  fatal fault.

Babur,the Mughal Emperor had noted Hazaras inhabiting Hazarajat west of Kabul as far as Ghor, Ghazni and Quetta in 16th century. That was just about the time when under Safavid influence they converted to Shiism, a leap which unfolded dreadfully three centuries later.It was 1890 and fierce Amir Abdur Rehman ruled over Afghanistan. Hazaras decided to side with the King’s rebel cousin. They were routed .Their men were imprisoned, , many were brutally executed and properties confiscated arbitrarily. The atrocities continued forcing Hazaras to revolt again in 1892 and yet again in 1893.Amir’s retribution was swift, barbaric and bloody. Thousands of Hazara men, women and children were sold off as slaves in the markets of Kabul and Qandhar.

Amir Abdur Rahman’s relentless repression firmly sowed the seed of abiding hatred between Hazaras and Afghans for all times to come.Thirty five thousand families fled to Northern Afghanistan, Mashad and Quetta displacing almost 60 % of the whole ethnic population. Short of Partition , this should be the most horrific exodus of an entire people in the region’s history. Hazaras had finally and decisively become unwelcome among Afghans, particularly  Pushtuns on three counts. They came as conquerors and settled down on prime lands in Hazarajat .Much against the Sunni mass preference they converted to Shiism thus permanently creating a pro Iran enclave dangerously close to the Pushtun seat of power in Kabul. Lastly they kept their distinct identity and never assimilated. As a rule history does not forget nor forgives collective mistakes made by the races or nations which confront them eventually and draws retribution, often horrible.

                            2

When Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the society quickly disintegrated into a number of resistance groups, disjointed and disparate. While most of the Pushtun resistance regrouped in Pakistan for a guerilla war ,Hazaras reached out to Iran which effectively disentitled them to material and financial help from US-Saudi- Pakistani troika. However by 1984 determined Hazaras liberated Hazarajat with Iranian help much before the displaced Pushtuns could reclaim any significant territory inside Afghanistan. They went on to align themselves with what came to be later known as Northern Alliance. Thus got  planted in a hostile politico-military camp against Taliban/Pushtuns. Taliban extracted their gory revenge by butchering Hazaras in Hazarajat and Mazar e Sharif when they came to power in 1994.More migrated to Quetta. Tragic but bound errors were piling up in a conspiracy of manslaughter against hazaras.

Meanwhile in Pakistan late Zia sponsored vile Shia-Sunni divide had become bloody and militant. Sipah e Sahaba( Lashkar e Jhangvi’s mother root) and Sipah e Mohammad had already arrayed against each other country wide and were contaminating the whole society. As a result persecuted and hunted Hazaras were not to have safety in Pakistan too.

Taliban were defeated and dispersed by US forces in 2002 with the help of Northern Alliance and forced to seek refuge in their old haunts in FATA and Quetta Valley. That united the deadly ire of Afghan Taliban with that of hostility to Shias by Lashkar e Jhangvi.Hazaras in Quetta were an easy and  hapless prey in their miserable  and isolated refuge with no where to go from there. This was a very unfortunate coincidence of circumstances and utter oppression of history against Hazaras, completely and criminally missed by the governments in Pakistan. Simultaneously Hazaras were unable to apply course corrections to their centuries old ethnic orientation. Meanwhile for the successive civil and military federal governments in Islamabad, Balochistan had become a political and administrative back water unworthy of any serious,long term attention. For this national myopia and culpable neglect we are going to pay a horrendous price as much more is still to come .Sorrowfully no lessons seem to have been learnt. Of this  extensive national criminality, abandoning Hazaras to  defend themselves against the unholy alliance of blood thirsty Taliban and the  sectarian blind bats  is but one element .Thus it seems the stage was set for a fresh round of Hazara persecution, this time in Pakistan.

Deobandi militants and sectarian killers began to infiltrate into Balochistan setting up bases at strategic locations while the weak kneed administrations , both at federal and provincial levels either acquiesced or simply colluded. Another unfortunate factor that added to the deadly brew has been that these sectarian barbarians were able to prevail upon secular minded Brahvis to join their evil fold and began to operate from their areas with an unprecedented liberty of action. There is reported to be a Middle East funded Madrassa of radicals right at the mouth of the Mastung valley just as one exits Lak Pass.This  sectarian rattle snake pit is most likely responsible for  firing squad like repeated executions of Hazara pilgrims travelling in buses through Mastung plain, to and from Iran in the recent past.

Continued Afghan war glued US and West’s focus to Afghanistan.That naturally drew their attention , among other things, to the sad plight of Hazaras in and around Afghanistan. They were quick to realize that Hazaras were not only hunted for their ethnicity and religion but  were also geographically  locked in.That meant their extermination was almost guaranteed. Pakistan ,their foster country had already achieved the dubious distinction of being minority intolerant as a result of  venom spewed by Zia’s  mad mullahs. Hindus were slowly migrating to India and Ahmadis to Canada and US, but Hazaras had practically nowhere to go. This must have caused a powerful pull on the West’s collective conscience and mercifully they opened their doors to this  talented but threatened race. Today Hazara diaspora is found in US, UK, Australia, Iran, New Zealand, Sweden and Norway.

While travelling to Malaysia in 2011 I touched down at Bangkok airport. There in the departure lounge I found a bunch of Hazara families awaiting flight to Australia. All ages of men ,women and children huddled together in a palpable suppression .They sat there with a sense of relief but their faces were still distressed . Their body language was that of disbelief, apprehension and caution. Their glances betrayed the pain and pangs of years of persecution, killings and displacement. But also a longing for a secure future in an alien land. I could well be imagining too much but that is how I sensed what they must have felt. Quietly I bade them farewel and a safe journey into an uncertain future in a kindly Australia. Once there ,they are not going to be the same ever, but will surely enrich the Australian society.

With the exodus of this hardy, neat and sociable people will also depart our already bankrupt constitutional, moral and human responsibility to protect and help our fellow citizens regardless of their race and creed. Our unpardonable insensitivity and acute lack of courage to stand up against the sectarian monsters and Taliban demagogues is chronic and sickening. These daisy cutters will soon turn inwards and then fence sitters like us and those feeling  otherwise cozy will also be cut down as mercilessly as Hazaras today. These wild beasts  have got used to spectacular massacres like the ones they perpetrated against Hazaras at Alamdar Road last month and in Hazara Town on 17th Februry.They would sadistically like to re enact where possible.

In this  hugely sorry state of affairs , conduct most unbecoming had been that  of the provincial government and in that its insane looking ex Chief Minister whose brain seemed as incoherent as was his speech. This man had been a patently deplorable character who had literally thrown the whole province to the wolves. He seemed to have no love lost for Hazaras and non locals and made no visible attempt to protect either. There could be nothing more heartless than his infamous remark when asked why wouldn’t he return to Quetta from London when bereaved Hazaras in Quetta were sitting in protest under the open skies along with close to a hundred dead bodies slain in a terrorist attack at Alamdar Road. The going temperature in Quetta then was nearly sub zero and weather bone soaking rainy. He replied ‘I can only send them tissue papers to wipe their tears’ or such words. This awfully ridiculous man epitomizes our own pathological national insensitivity.

Has anyone ever bothered to listen to the very strong hum in the crowd  which seems to say that for every other kidnap for ransom and forcible occupation of property in Quetta the trail invariably leads to Raisanis. It was also a common knowledge that the CM’s kinsmen were running Kangaroo courts to settle ,for a hefty sum, disputes of property, inter family feuds and shady business transactions in and around Quetta. The crowd  also disdainfully  questions how the palatial houses  came up with in last five years inside the otherwise humble Raisani compound? Who in his right mind could expect these robber barons to protect life and property of already besieged Hazaras?? ThePakistani  State had lost its moral authority to rule long ago when it abdicated her constitutional responsibilities to the likes of Raisanis and knelt before the Lashkar e Jhangvi  barbarians.

 

The Truthers of Pakistan

By HUMA YUSUF

Editors’ Note Appended

LONDON — As the security situation in Pakistan continues to deteriorate, trading conspiracy theories has become the new national pastime. Nothing is more popular on the airwaves, at dinner parties or around tea stalls than to speculate, especially about American activities on Pakistani soil.

According to many Pakistanis, the C.I.A. used a mysterious technology to cause the devastating floods that affected 20 million people in 2010. Washington had the teenage champion for girls’ education, Malala Yousafzai, shot as part of a campaign to demonize the Pakistani Taliban and win public support for American drone strikes against them. The terrorists who strike Pakistani targets are non-Muslim “foreign agents.” Osama bin Laden was an American operative.

 

The Pakistani penchant for conspiracy theories results from decades of military rule, during which the army controlled the media and the shadowy Inter-Services Intelligence agency controlled much of everything else. The lack of transparency and scarcity of information during subsequent democratic rule has further fueled rumors.

Mostly, however, conspiracy theories persist because many turn out to be true.

A few years ago, Pakistan’s independent media denounced the presence in Pakistan of C.I.A. agents and private security firms like Blackwater. While U.S. and Pakistani government officials denied any such infiltration, private television channels broadcast footage of the homes of Westerners, allegedly Blackwater agents. One right-wing newspaper, The Nation, even named one Wall Street Journal correspondent as a C.I.A. spy, forcing him to leave the country. (The allegation was false, and the reporter now works for The New York Times.)

For a time liberal Pakistanis condemned this as a witch hunt and decried poor journalistic ethics. But soon the international media disclosed that Blackwater was in fact operating in Pakistan at an airbase in Baluchistan used by the C.I.A.

Then it was revealed that the American citizen who shot and killed two Pakistanis in Lahore in January 2011 — an American diplomat, the U.S. government claimed initially — turned out to be a C.I.A. agent, just as many conspiracy theorists had surmised.

And what about those U.S. drone strikes targeting militants in Pakistan’s tribal belt? It turns out those suspicious Pakistanis were right to imagine that their own government was complicit. That became clear when, in November 2011, to protest a NATO airstrike that killed Pakistani soldiers near the border with Afghanistan, the Pakistani government ordered the C.I.A. to leave the Shamsi airbase in Baluchistan, from where the drone attacks were being launched.

ZHOther rumors concern India, Pakistan’s long-time rival. Zaid Hamid, a jihadist-turned-policy analyst, alleges that the Indian spy agency R.A.W.funds and arms the Pakistani Taliban. Some Pakistani officials accuse New Delhi of facilitating the separatist insurgency in Baluchistan.

This paranoia was confirmed this week by Chuck Hagel, the new U.S. secretary of defense. A video clip from 2011 that circulated during his confirmation hearings shows Hagel claiming that India uses Afghanistan as a “second front” against Pakistan and “has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border.”Hagel

The allegation outraged the Indian government and undermined liberal Pakistanis who believe India wants a stable Pakistan and support improved bilateral ties. Meanwhile, of course, it validated those conspiracy mongers who have long warned that India wants to culturally subsumecolonize or destroy Pakistan.


 

Huma Yusuf is a columnist for the Pakistani newspaper Dawn and was the 2010-11 Pakistan Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

 


Editors’ Note: March 1, 2013

This version of the post clarifies that the allegations made by a Pakistani newspaper that a Wall Street Journal reporter was a C.I.A. spy were false.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/the-truthers-of-pakistan/