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/

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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/

Vote To Build Nation

A Pakpotpourri Exclusive 

By

Waheed Hamid

atm-voting-786071The Supreme court decision to award voting rights to Pakistanis living abroad is a step in right direction but possession and casting of voting right are two separate issues. The huge gathering of people on call of Imran and Tahir-ul –Qadri indicate an emerging and growing group of people who want a change. A change in agenda, a leadership which can lead them on path of Nation building and reject all those forces who have been part of self, institution and party building. There has been lot of debate on performance of politicians, Army, judiciary and  beauracracy, the main stake holders in past and their shortfalls have been amply discussed.  However, there has been negligible effort on highlighting any  achievement  which has made us survive for the last seven decades in what ever form we exist today. The phenomenon of blame game further flourished in vibrant media environment forcing many stake holders to play strictly defensive. The ones who were required to come out in aid of Nation building have become cautious with each stake holder leaving Nation building endeavors for the other to execute under fear of media criticism. History has proved time and again that progress lies in learning lessons from both negativity and positivity of the past. A quote from Roman philosopher  Cicero in 55 BC would tell us what history has for us but only if we want to learn, he said  “The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.”  Pakistan stands today in state of despondency mainly due to crisis of responsibility and leadership in most of the state organs. This difficult time does not only require patriotic but competent and bold leadership.

Governance in Turkey and its trend of continuous progress has serious lessons for us. They have established a clear relationship between progress and criticism. The political government delivered and surpassed all bench marks achieved by the non political  setups before they came out to criticize them. This provided a natural high moral ground to them to implement their decisions. The strategy of submission of our institutions and their efforts to remain away from politics with a view to provide space for development of democracy is a welcome step, however  at this point Pakistan still awaits to taste any worthwhile fruit for our Nation Building.   The latest Gallup survey says, Pakistanis’ trust in civilian government has nosedived and this remains the most important issue to be addressed.

Future of Pakistan now largely depends on the credibility and fairness of oncoming elections. The people have to deliver and ensure selection of the best possible patriotic and competent leaders. At this juncture along with the politicians the role of institutions and organs of the government is equally important. Where it is constitutional duty of judiciary to ensure that all institutions play their role within ambit of constitution and support the electoral process, it is moral obligation on part of  other organs and institutions to fully support this Nation building event.  The significance of these elections is much more than the natural and artificial calamities of floods , earthquake , terrorist attacks and other nation building projects where the institutions have been playing a role. The politicians, civil society, media and the government should take measures to ensure maximum turnout. The institutions which have to remain non political and yet support election have an uphill task but where there is will there is a way. Firstly, they must recognize that they themselves comprise of a huge vote bank themselves. There is a need to ensure that its own employs are motivated and facilitated to cast their vote . The government employees who get their earning from the money collected from  tax certainly have more responsibility towards accomplishment of voting as a nation building task.  Secondly , this vote bank which has a better education level be used to educate others to maximize cast of  votes in National interest.

Finland was the first nation in the world to give all citizens the right to vote and to run for office (in 1906). New Zealand was the first country in the world to grant all citizens the right to vote (in 1893), but women did not get the right to run for the election until 1919. Let Pakistan emerge the first country  in the world of democracies which took  practice of voting as a Nation Building task. The time has changed, mostly people call this a defining moment in our history. The regional and global environment demands a bold and out of box decisions coming from leadership at all levels. All efforts of the non political leadership must be seen largely in support of Pakistan and not in short term benefits for support of personality, party or institution.  The support of constitution in letter and spirit is of more importance than just reading the written lines . The energies need to focus on how we can increase the comfort level of Pakistanis and  guarantee them that their vote matters, their vote is counted, and that in the voting booth, their vote has a weight as that of any one at the highest portfolio.

Pakistan’s Death Trap?

Brig Samson Simon Sharaf (R)

SamsonBy the time Pakistan’s present Parliament hangs its gloves, the economy will be in a tailspin. Barring untoward incidents that may cause a delay in the forthcoming election schedules, the presentation of the financial budget 2012-13 will be left to a new care taker government, in all probability an extension of the economic team already in place. Deprived of time and on-job expertise, it will be an uphill assignment to make major readjustments to an economy already melted and sunk.

 

The Debt Trap

The first challenge for the caretakers and the new government that comes to power after the elections will be the debt trap. Debt mismanagement by the present government during its tenure needs to be marked with five black stars. From 2008 to 2012, Pakistan’s total debt has jumped from Rs 6,037 billion to Rs. 12,002 Billion, a walloping 108% nearly doubling all that Pakistan borrowed in 61 years. This unprecedented borrowing was cleverly folded into the misleading term of Debt-GDP Ratio.

 

The government borrowed recklessly from external sources only to waste away into a completely mismanaged and corrupt system The benefits of this inflow could not be passed on to the people. External borrowing increased from Rs. 2,762 billion in the first 61 years to Rs. 4,364 billion in the past four years, an increase of 65%. As a departure from its Debt-GDP Ratio mantra adopted in the past, the government now appears to point realistically towards revenue generation capacity, forex reserves and export earnings. Given that Pakistani currency in the same period has shed 31 rupee against the dollar, this amount will continue to rise. As an option the government will borrow to pay loans. Another option would be to increase Pakistan’s exports and drastically cut out the import bills. In view of the recession, energy crisis, high cost of transportation and a big part of value added exports shifted to other countries, this is impossible unless the environments improve over successive years.

 

Government domestic borrowing during the same period has jumped by 133% from Rs. 3,275 Billion to Rs. 7,638 Billion. This has been at the cost of private sector that has not been permitted to grow besides other factors that discourage investments and entrepreneurship. This has led to high levels of inflation and devaluation of the rupee against the dollar. Pakistan’s debt trap is complete.

 

The fact that despite its charter, the governor of the central bank is a political appointee lacking the wherewithal to challenge the government’s policy impacts particularly on the banking sector that can now ensure a bigger say in the government’s decision making by becoming a major stake holder. Effects of these strains on the public money are visible in the interest rates and cash starvation for local industries.

 

Corruption

Where has this amount of Rs. 5965 Billion borrowed by the government till June 2012 gone? As an estimate, this government has borrowed Rs. 33,139 against every Pakistani. Overall, it places every citizen of the country under a debt of Rs. 72,000 likely to grow by June 2013. Devaluation compounds debt. The situation forced a British MP to comment on the viability of donating tax money to a country whose majority of parliamentarians do not pay taxes. Chairman NAB commented that Pakistan looses Rs.6-8 Billion on daily basis to corruption. He has also alluded to recovering trillions of rupees in his leaked letter to the Presidency. This amounts to Rs. 2190-2920 billions per annum, many times more that Pakistan’s combined debt in the past four years. Why is the chief whip of Pakistan’s anti corruption campaign constrained to tame this huge corruption cycle, particularly to redeem his record as a soldier of integrity and high honour and someone who always stood up for civil liberties?

 

It appears that everything is worked to a plan. All appointees of constitutional positions have been appointed belatedly and in fits and starts after filling the lower positions with political appointees and moles. So once these apparently aging and honest heads are appointed, the pressures so generated are too much for them to absorb. Controversies are then generated through disinformation and selective leakages to create an inaction that suits the powers that be. As a result, entire organizations with constitutional mandates have become contentious. National Accountability Bureau and Election Commission of Pakistan are two prominent case studies. Tainted and harmfully suggestive information leaked to media invariably tempts it into hot breaking news and telemarketing. As a result, monuments of inertia and engines of corruption manage to shift the attention of the people to a point away from the eye of the storm. Just like the Chairman CEC, the Chairman of NAB has also contended that faced by corruption within, they alone are unable to act as Lone Rangers for the aspirations of the people.

 

With the figures quoted above, where is the Federal Board of Revenue and Provincial Revenue Departments? The fact is that they have miserably failed to bring tax evasion and non documentation to the book. They neither have the desire nor the will to book these huge slippages because of rampant corruption at all tiers. Sales Tax rather than become a Value Addition for documentation has been reduced to a consumer unfriendly levy used to bloat tax collection figures. Why is a country that cedes Rs. 2190-2920 billions per annum to corruption be unable to collect enough revenue to stabilize its budgetary deficits and currency?

 

Energy

It has always been maintained in these columns that Pakistan’s energy crises are artificial and selectively generated to exercise a deflationary control over Pakistan’s economy. This is what happened when in 2007, fuel subsidies were removed and circular debts allowed to pile. Pakistan’s growing economy was halted in tracks and manipulated to recede.

 

As a tip of the iceberg, a few months back, NAB succeeded in blocking the scandalous agreement of $5 billion between PSO and Bakri Trading Company over import of furnace oil. This commodity is utilized by the entire industry and IPPS that generate electricity. Any swing in the prices of this commodity has a direct effect on the consumers due to the pricing mechanism of OGRA. Considering that this was just one deal that caught the eye of NAB, it can be assumed that many more skeletons can be brought out of the cupboard. Lt. General (Retired) Shahid Aziz’ disclosures on media and his book  about a proverbial PSO investigation that broke the back of the camel is set to open a Pandora’s Box on the activities of the manipulated energy sector.

 

Pakistan State Oil is Pakistan’s largest energy company currently engaged in the import, marketing and distribution of products including fuels, petrochemicals and lubricants. It controls 78.2 % of the entire Pakistani black oil market and 54.3% share in the white oil market. Hence when PSO moves, the entire country shudders.

 

PSO has grown since 1974 through merger of Pakistan National Oil, Dawood Petroleum Limited and Premiere Oil Company to its present shape in 2004. As a government controlled autonomous organization, its role and efficiency is crucial to Pakistan’s energy sector eclipsing the two arms of the Sui Gas companies and Pakistan Petroleum Limited. Being the sole importer of petro chemicals, fuel and byproducts, its ability to negotiate pricing mechanisms at source and dissipate the same to its clients and consumers is therefore worth a scrutiny. Corruption can only work in concert with local refineries, petro chemical producers and OGRA. It is clear as daylight that the Ex Chairman NAB during his tenure had dared to look into these affairs to which Shaukat Aziz was very sensitive.

 

There are many mechanisms from imports to distribution including local products that can be brought into question regarding PSO. The entire cabal of cartels will need to be investigated. Outside experts and sources inside NAB believe that a complete investigation into this holiest of holy cow could result in misappropriations and recovery of over 30 Trillion Rupees. It is only then that an approximate slippage of Rs. 3,000 billion as opined by Chairman NAB begins to make sense. Hence the logic of multi dimensional pressures generated against Chairman NAB through diverse sources.

 

For any caretaker or interim government in Pakistan, debt trap, corruption and the energy sectors should be the main priorities. In the interim, the Supreme Court and Civil Society should put all its weight behind NAB to provide relief to an honest man trapped in alligator infested waters. Pakistan’s recovery could then be a matter of months.

 

Brigadier (Retired) Samson Simon Sharaf is a political economist and a television anchorperson.

Infighting Extremism & India

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By Waheed Hamid

india-flag-jpgThe Indian society leaps towards more understanding of human values and truth as it  matures its democratic culture after lapse of almost seven decades of its birth.  The uncultured ideology of having no ethics in war and enmity was rationalized and the civilization developed with expansion of space for Human Rights , ethics , rule of law and morality.  The developed world came up with rules for every game including war and the rights for prisoners. Most of this was refined and formalized by the culture of democracy. This culture has been tailored by conscience Indian writers, politicians, officials along with human rights organizations who keep raising their voices whenever they can in restricted environment of Hindu extremism. The strength, power  and control of extremist elements at times force the pillars of state to act on their demand .Recently,  Indian Prime Minister threatened Pakistan after the firing incident on LoC resulting in deaths of soldiers from both sides. Pakistan said unprovoked Indian firing has resulted in death of three Pakistani soldiers where as India blamed Pakistan for killing and mutilating the bodies of its two soldiers. Indian PM warned Pakistan of affected relations between two countries while talking in Jaypur he said “We have told Pakistan that this could affect bilateral relations. We want good ties, but Pakistan too needs to take steps in that direction. It is not possible just due to our efforts.”  All leaders of congress including Rahul Ghandi had to praise Manmohan Singh under extremist pressure. But brave writer like Karan Thapar wrote a thought provoking article in Hindustan Times. He questioned  the beheading and mutilation of an Indian soldier on the LoC even if it happened as per Indian claim. He writes that during a skirmish at Karnah, “Indian Special Forces responded by attacking a Pakistani forward post, killing several soldiers, and by the account of one military official which The Hindu could not corroborate independently, beheaded two.” What makes this claim credible is that it’s reported by military sources who not only ought to know but would not denigrate the reputation of Indian soldiers. He gives another evidence from an eye-witnesses Barkha Dutt who wrote  ‘Confessions of a War Reporter’, published in June 2001 by Himal, a well-known Nepalese magazine, Barkha Dutt recounted how she witnessed a decapitated Pakistani soldier’s head at Kargil.

On the other hand Indian Interior Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde , has put serious blames on Hindu Extremist Organizations supporting Pakistani claims. He said that “We have report that training camps of BJP and RSS are promoting Hindu terrorism. Hindu extremist organizations recruit Armed People. We are closely watching it.” At the AICC session in Jaipur, Shinde had accused BJP and RSS of conducting terror training camps and promoting “Hindu terrorism”.  Another leader Vijay Singh said that BJP demanded concessions for Prohit and others involved in Samjhota Express blasts. “We want to ask Lal Krishan Advani  that he took delegation for following Prohit’s case to Dr Manmohan Singh, Sushmaa Suraj was also part of this delegation, they went to follow terrorists they should be answerable and sorry for it“.  Mani Shankar completely agreed to Interior minister and said,“ its good that interior minister himself told this as it is not something hidden, everybody knew it but no one had the courage to speak.” The extremists even force the sports and cultural events to function under their desire.

Indian Kashmir, keeps suffering at the hands of  security forces. Meenakshi Ganguly, senior South Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch said that “It is extremely rare for the security forces in Kashmir to turn over one of their own to the civilian justice system,”. Over the past two decades, the conflict in Kashmir has left over 47,000 people dead by the official count. The Kashmir Solidarity Day is observed on 5 February each year since 1990 as a day of protest against unjustified Indian control. India has always denied the right of freedom to the innocent Kashmiri masses and tried to suppress their voice through extra judicial/mass killings, arbitrary arrests, ruthless and inhuman torture and sexual molestation using the instrument of Indian security forces. The evidence of unidentified mass graves in Kashmir is yet another dark chapter of human rights violations in IOK. To crush the Kashmiri movement, India has employed various techniques including black laws. Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act 1990 (TADA) and Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1990, (AFSPA) are enforced in Kashmir despite the fact that they contravenes the Indian Constitution and international law.  POTA empowers the authorities to hold the accused in detention for a period of 180 days without filing a charge sheet. The burden of proof lies on the accused and the prosecution can withhold the identity of witnesses. It also makes confessions made to the certain level of police officer admissible as evidence. These are all mind boggling illogical happenings but the path being set by maturing India leaves a ray of hope. The emerging vocal democratic elements of India and the world powers will have to stand for the human rights. They will have to see that slogan of bilateral solution should not become source of human sufferings.

 

The UN resolutions on Kashmir adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter remain legally binding on the parties. Article 25 also reiterates their obligatory nature. The Security Council under the UN Charter has the power to enforce its decisions and resolutions militarily or by any other means necessary; the powers that it has used during the Korean War in 1950 and in Iraq and Kuwait in 1991. The debate of legal status and obligations of the parties to the dispute under UN resolutions and that of the Security Council to have its resolutions implemented must culminate. The hope of a prosperous future of Pakistan and India and this region largely depends on solution of Kashmir issue. The turning tides of Indian maturity must realize this and the world powers should facilitate to put an end to all types of extremism.

India’s Cold Start Doctrine or Madness

By Brig Imran Malik(Retd)

_DSC0030India’s Cold Start Doctrine (CSD) is a Pakistan specific destruction oriented one essentially aimed at destroying Pakistan’s Armed Forces – its center of gravity. The Indians intend to inflict crippling degradation on them thus nullifying their viability as a competing and potent fighting machine.

The Indian Armed Forces opted for the CSD in the backdrop of the failure of General Sunderji’s utopian plans to attack Pakistan South of the Sutlej, cut it into two and then defeat it in detail. Those plans faltered due to the pedantic Indian mobilization system and a resultant failure to achieve strategic surprise. This allowed Pakistan to mount its response and defeat Indian strategic designs in time and space. These failures were repeated later.

The Indians thus needed a doctrine that would overcome these flaws, cut Pakistan to size before it could mount any meaningful (including nuclear) response and before the international community could intervene.

Thus the CSD was born in 2004.

The CSD stipulates that the Indian Armed Forces would launch synergetic joint operations in multiple thrusts (eight or so) on wide frontages. Each thrust will be launched by an Integrated Battle Group (IBG) comprising assorted combinations of armoured, mechanized, RAPID (Strike) divisions, independent armoured/mechanized/artillery/infantry brigade groups with supporting arms and services at compatible level. These IBGs would primarily be drawn from the Holding Corps (aka the Pivot Corps) up to two-thirds of their strength. Of their three Strike Corps the Indians are likely to employ at least two in these IBGs and retain one for strategic balance. Each IBG could thus muster strength of upto a Corps! These thrusts would be launched in conditions of complete air supremacy. The Indian Navy would conduct joint operations along the coastlines.

The Indian Armed Forces would aim to achieve strategic surprise, generate unacceptably massive multidimensional firepower and achieve their deliberately shallow land objectives without breaching Pakistan’s nuclear threshold and well before Pakistan’s conventional responses materialize.

A vast, multidimensional, modern and hi-tech arsenal is being collected, ostensibly in anticipation of India’s “anointed by the US role of a global super power,”  albeit its use against Pakistan is a foregone conclusion. If India wants to make any impact on the global level it must first free itself of this debilitating Pakistan Syndrome. To that end it must settle all its affairs with Pakistan including Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, water, trade, et al. This will neutralize all the centripetal tugs and pulls that the strategic environment in South Asia keeps exerting on it and pegging it down in its search for extra regional and global relevance.

However, India’s CSD is genetically flawed, predicated as it is upon outrageously fallacious assumptions.

The Indians intend to achieve strategic surprise. Pakistan is aware of the threat and has already taken steps to thwart it. It has already given the necessary forward bias to its deployments and posture thus reducing its reaction time. Amongst other tangible measures it has also unveiled a hi-tech short range tactical nuclear missile (Nasr) specifically meant for such an eventuality.

Further the CSD assumes that the Indian Armed Forces would be able to achieve their strategic objectives while remaining below Pakistan’s perceived nuclear threshold. This is an astonishing assumption! They can only stay below Pakistan’s nuclear threshold if they KNOW what, when and where it will be! And even if they knew where Pakistan’s military (and geographical, economic and political) threshold(s) of pain rested what guarantees do they have that these would not change during the course of the battle? These will fluctuate with the run of the battle and continuously create strategic uncertainties for India.

The Indians further assume that the Pakistanis would not react strategically till its thresholds were actually threatened or breached. On the contrary the Pakistanis will definitely consider all possible operational contingencies, including pre-emptive ones. The conflict could thus arguably assume nuclear dimensions even before a single shot has been fired in anger. India’s misplaced bravado could thus have disastrous ramifications (strategic restraint -?) for the subcontinent and beyond!

Further, India’s IBGs will attempt to overwhelm Pakistan’s defenses and its strategic responses at a very early stage in the battle. It is to be understood that Pakistan’s dependence on its nuclear assets is directly proportional to the differential in conventional forces of the two countries. In simple words, the larger the difference in the conventional forces of the two countries the greater will be Pakistan’s reliance on its nuclear arsenal. And the speed with which this difference in conventional forces starts becoming more and more tangible during battle, that much faster would Pakistan be forced to resort to its strategic assets. For Pakistan its nuclear arsenal acts as an equalisor – nullifying India’s conventional superiority in numbers and technology.

Even Pakistan’s conventional responses will be force oriented too. Pakistan will cause unacceptable destruction and losses to the aggressor’s military potential through the adroit use of terrain and massive multidimensional firepower. That in turn would set India’s pretensions to global status back by a few decades if not more; ironically, that would be the very thing they would have set out to forestall in the first place!!

The Indians seem to have misjudged Pakistan’s resolve as a nuclear power and the international community’s capacity to influence Pakistan when it is faced with existentialist threats. Nuclear weapons have actually introduced the balance of terror and mutually assured destruction (MAD) factors in the subcontinent. Both will act as the biggest deterrents to any impetuous, ill-conceived and militarily unsustainable expeditions emanating from the East. Pakistan’s declared nuclear policy needs to be heeded.

Instead of wasting time, effort, money and resources in pursuit of clearly unattainable and unrealistic strategic goals, India should aim at reaping the peace dividends of our respective nuclear prowess. It must settle down and resolve all outstanding issues with Pakistan. It must not fall for the lure and illusions of promised or borrowed greatness!

In all probabilities Pakistan would make such an adventure militarily, economically and politically unviable. India would be well advised to not start something it cannot control or finish effectively. The alternative will bring nothing but disaster for the region and the world at large.

 

The author is a retired Brigadier and a former Defense Attache to Australia and New Zealand. Currently  he is a Faculty Member with NUST (NIPCONS).

The article was directly sent to the Blog Moderator.

TEXT of Letter by Chairman NAB to President Zardari

On 28th January 2013 Copy of the Letter by Chairman NAB was released to the Media- addressed to the President of Pakistan: 

admiral_fasih_bokhari-nab_chairman-1Please accept my gratitude for supporting unhindered execution of my mandate. Large recoveries have been made (about Rs 25 Billion). The Prevention activity of focusing on the current procurement and projects of Rs. 1.5 Trillion to eliminate possible corrupt practices, and the disclosure of heavy daily wastage of revenue and state owned resources indicative of decade’s old systemic flaws is being addressed by the Government.
However I write to you at a critical juncture in the history of our country when our people anxiously await free and fair elections. At this juncture all political players appear unanimous and united to respond to the aspirations of their countrymen. There is broad consensus that non political players must not be allowed to derail the political process. The Military has made its position clear and firmly stands with the people.
I am constrained to observe and bring to your notice that the position of the Honorable Supreme Court, on this issue, remains clouded by actions that are bearing heavily on my mandate to strictly abide by the NAO in both letter and spirit, as the time for elections approaches.
The clear line between the recognized authority of the Supreme Court to monitor NAB investigations to the limited extent of ensuring fair investigation, and itself becoming involved in guiding investigations, appears to be becoming breached as a norm as the elections near. Contempt notices, verbal orders that differ from written orders, and insufficient time to prepare numerous progress reports, are placing extreme pressure on NAB personnel who appear before the Honorable Judges. There is even a danger that NAB personnel could lose their independence and are unable to carry out their investigations in an independent manner due to the pressure being exerted on them by the Honorable Supreme Court to proceed along lines which seem to be desired by the SC. In relieving this pressure, to safeguard their jobs, and so as not to displease the Honorable Court, there is danger of unfair investigation being resorted to. This phenomenon is observable in the investigation of very senior politicians of the government where orders, to even arrest them, have been issued on investigation reports of regional investigators that had yet to reach the Executive Board Meeting at NAB Headquarters that is chaired by me. This could be construed as a clear violation of the powers of the Chairman NAB, and to some degree circumventing the NAO which I am required by law to follow. The NAO in my view as it remains law passed by Parliament represents the will of the people and as such I am bound to follow it. The National Accountability Ordinance mandates that no reference can be filed until I have been allowed to exercise my mind, and decide that a clear case of criminality has been made out. I would be failing in my statutory duty if I shirk from upholding the law that I am mandated to protect. Let me assure you, Mr. President that I will not flinch from prosecuting whosoever may be identified as having committed a criminal act under the National Accountability Ordinance. All are equal before the law. The nation expects that there be no sacred cows, nor raging bulls.
I am constrained to also bring to your notice the revolt within NAB, clearly abetted by a certain section of the media that used the sad demise of Mr. Kamran Faisal to vilify me and some senior NAB officers. This section of the media appears to be acting as an intelligence unit influencing the public, and possibly influencing certain members of the judiciary. Long standing “stay” on taxes to be paid by this media house appears to be relevant also.This campaign, in which the role of the Honorable Supreme Court appears evident, is placing great pressure on me to please the Honorable Supreme Court in what could be seen as pre-poll rigging, and hurried unlawful action on my part.
Mr. President, I resigned my commission as Chief of the Naval Staff just prior to a Military coup rather than violate my oath to the Constitution. I was part of The Pakistan Ex Servicemen Association contingent that came on the streets protesting against the infamous 3rd November Emergency, and later for the movement for independence of the Judiciary. It is a sacred duty of every Pakistani to uphold, be guided by, and fiercely protect the Law and Constitution.
I fear that in the current direction that the Honorable Supreme Court appears to be taking, I will not be able to perform my independent statutory role. This situation needs to be addressed firmly in line with the aspirations of the people, and the clear mandatory provisions of the Law and the Constitution.

Although not directly within my mandate, as a citizen I am concerned about the current priority vital national interest (VNI) of achieving national cohesion before being able to address lower priority VNI such as HDI, Economic acceleration, infrastructure development, etc. Relevant state institutions must look carefully at the possible role of members of the judiciary, and a section of the media, in undermining state institutions, and the confidence of the people in the state itself.

The Ombudsman offices were established to also address human rights issues. The need to allow the Honorable SC to be diverted from its prime roles as the final Appellate and Constitutional Court may need to be addressed since ability to take Suo Moto notice of human rights cases can become an open license to undermine government, and may be taking time away from addressing the issues of judicial management of the current huge pendency of cases in our courts. In the absence of timely justice the people are forced to take the law into their own hands and their anger becomes focused on their governments. The essence of law is to provide a moral benchmark to society. That benchmark is sadly being lost by a judiciary that may be fast losing its own moral authority by relying on the contempt law, media, street power of lawyers, and unchecked violations of the Supreme Court Judges code of conduct.

For the well being of our people justice must be ensured, while protecting them from those who would callously allow “the heavens to fall”. Should these issues not be addressed expeditiously I will regretfully be forced to tender my resignation.