Ansar Abbasi advises Nawaz Sharif to refrain from reconciliation.
He suggests that politics of reconciliation can be devastating for the country. Really? Good bye, democracy. Welcome, military dictatorship. Whose agenda are you serving Mr. Abbasi?
All the king’s horses together against democracy?
Here is how a life-time ISI stooge Roedad Khan spits his venom against the democratic government:
To the barricades! To the barricades!
Monday, March 09, 2009
Euripides said: “Whom the Gods destroy, they first make mad.” Just when you think our situation couldn’t possibly get worse, Mr Asif Ali Zardari manages to get it down another notch.
Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009, will be remembered as a day of infamy in the history of Pakistan. On that day, Mr Zardari committed an egregious folly. He exploited the power of his office to overturn the express will of millions of people in Punjab and stabbed Pakistan’s fledging democracy in the back. Consequent upon the highly controversial decision of the Supreme Court, declaring Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif ineligible to contest elections or hold public offices, he, illegally, imposed Governor’s Rule in Punjab – a decision that has plunged Pakistan into deeper political turmoil as it grapples with an escalating insurgency.
Today, say Pakistan and what comes to mind: anarchy within, irresistible pressure from without, a country cracking up under outside pressure, a proxy war, pervasive fear and sabotage. Perhaps no place on earth more closely resembles Hobbes’s description of a state of nature in which life is “nasty, brutish and short.”
I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, that Pakistan is on the edge of the abyss. There is an element of dread in the air. Today Pakistan is trembling with anxiety about its future.
Against this grim backdrop, Mr Zardari’s ascension to power has caused panic among the people. Thrown there by accident, he is grotesquely unsuited for his new position. With General Musharraf’s exit, we thought we had reached the summit. Alas! After two years of hard struggle, we are back to square one, like Sisyphus, whose punishment in Hades was to push uphill a huge boulder only to have it tumble down again.
On March 9, 2007, a judicial earthquake remade the political terrain. From that day and from that place (Army House), began a new epoch in the history of Pakistan. It was a painful day for anyone who wore the nation’s uniform or who wanted to be proud of the Pakistani army. On that day, General Musharraf made a fatal move against Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Napoleon needed the Terror, Caesar needed the Gallic Wars, Churchill needed the Nazis, and Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry needed General Musharraf to be raised to the greatness each achieved.
All revolutions need a symbolic beginning. In France, it was the storming of the Bastille. In Russia, it was the capture of the Winter Palace. In the United States of America, Rose Louise Parks made history by refusing to give up her seat on the Cleveland Avenue bus to a white man. Her courageous act touched off a 381-day boycott of the city’s bus system, led by Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., and is now considered the beginning of the American civil rights movement. With her simple act of courage, she changed history. All that Chief Justice Iftikhar did was to refuse to resign and decide to fight back and defend himself. With that he changed the course of Pakistan’s history.
March 9 also saw the return of political passions which had long been dormant. This was the moment when Pakistan lifted its head and began to fight back against the military ruler. The Bar and the Bench joined hands, for the first time in the history of Pakistan, and triggered a revolution. The presence of thousands of enthusiastic lawyers and members of civil society on the Constitution Avenue, protesting against the suspension of the Chief Justice and demanding his reinstatement, supremacy of the Constitution, independence of the judiciary, rule of law, was indeed exhilarating. They are not led by political leaders. Their struggle is not a contest for power. It is an unprecedented struggle, with Chief Justice Iftikhar as its symbol, to challenge despotism and restore the independence of the judiciary and rule of law. While political leaders are dithering, the Bar and the Bench are making history. Today, they are, in the words of Marx, the bulldozer of History and are writing a page of history that will be read and admired by their children and their children. A window of hope has opened for Pakistan. Few persons but those who were present on Constitution Avenue could comprehend how it galvanised everybody and rekindled hope.
Today the good news is that General Musharraf has been hounded out of office and thrown into the dustbin of history. The bad news is that Mr Zardari, his democratic successor, seems to have entered into a Faustian bargain with General Musharraf to pursue his agenda. God protect us all.
Here in the Capital, a sense of high intensity chaos prevails. Islamabad is once again preparing for a showdown. The stage is set for a collision between those who are fighting for the reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Choudhary and Rule of Law and those who represent the forces of darkness and oppose them. In this Manichean struggle, you are either with the people or against them. You have to choose sides. To march at their head and lead them? To stand behind them, ridiculing and criticizing them? To stand opposite them and oppose them? Every citizen is free to choose among the three; but by force of circumstances they are all fated to make their choice quickly. Well countrymen, we must hang together or we shall assuredly hang separately.
For members of the intelligentsia living under this authoritarian regime, not to be politically rebellious is, in my view, a moral abandonment of their social post. Members of civil society – doctors, engineers, journalists, writers, academia, civil servants, must be implacable opponents of despotism. People detest those who remain passive, who keep silent and love only those who fight, who dare. It is as simple as that.
Mr. Asif Ali Zardari’s Presidency is condemned to infamy. That is for sure. He has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. He alone is responsible for the mess we are in today because it is he who drives the train. Why not reinstate the deposed Judges, repeal the 17th amendment and restore the statusquo ante? Why not make this long traumatized country normal again? Let Pakistan be Pakistan again. Let it be the dream it used to be, a dream that is almost dead today.
It is time to turn the page. The time to hesitate is through. This is a moment of great hope for Pakistan. Don’t let it turn into a national nightmare. There is no half-way house. As we approach the endgame, the nation has to decide between two conceptions of politics, two visions for our country, two value systems, two very different paths: democracy or dictatorship, confrontation or collaboration.
One man, one man alone, is responsible for the mess we are in today. At this time, all those who see the perils of the future, whatever their political orientation, must draw together to pull our country back from the edge of the abyss. We need to reinvent Pakistan. Our ship of state has hit rough waters. It must now chart a new way forward. If we do not act, and act now, the mess we are in will get even bigger, deeper and taller. We are standing on a “burning platform”. If we don’t work quickly to extinguish the blaze, the country and all of us in it would sink into the sea.
200 years ago, America faced the same problem as we do today. “Our worst danger”, Hamilton warned, “comes from dependent Judges. We ought to resist, resist, till we hurl the tyrants from their imagined thrones”. The lesson of history is never flinch, never weary, never despair, if your cause is just. Citizens! To the barricades! To the barricades! (The News, 9 March 2009)
The writer is a retired federal secretary. Email: email@example.com. www.roedadkhan.com
Here is how Abbasi’s own newspaper, The News, analyses the situation in Pakistan:
Monday, March 09, 2009
Even though efforts to ‘reconcile’ the PPP and the PML-N continue, it seems apparent that Mian Nawaz Sharif has now opted for the path of open confrontation. His charged speech in Lahore spoke of ‘revolution’ and ‘justice’ and of the manner in which he had been betrayed. Sharif’s harsh attack on President Zardari and his call on people to join the long march to Islamabad would suggest that there is now no going back from the brink. The success of the PML-N-called strike across Punjab, where almost all shops remained closed Friday, also indicates that many in the province have opted to put their faith squarely behind Sharif. In Islamabad meanwhile, it is reported that at high-level meetings, discussions are on about how to handle the protest planned by lawyers, which now has the backing of a major political party. Many fear chaos. People have begun stocking up on food items. All this is all the more alarming as it comes at a time when the dreaded tread of army boots can be at least faintly heard somewhere in the distance.
In the following op-ed Ejaz Hafiz Khan discusess the “un-“intended conseuqneces of the politics of Long March and agitation:
Also read the following op-ed by Hamid Akhtar: PNA revived, is it revival of Tehreek-e-Naizam-e-Mustafa or IJI? Both were funded and supported by the ISI:
PPP’s advice: Instead of street politics, we must attempt to reconcile through negotiations:
Onus is on Nawaz Sharif
The trio of “reconcilers” now clearly led by the JUI’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman says the PPP government and the PMLN may yet back off from their fatal clash. Maulana Fazlur Rehman is reported as having communicated a vital message from President Asif Zardari to the chairman of the PMLN, Raja Zafarul Haq. Some reports say the message contains details of the proposed “18th Amendment” that would “restore” Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and resolve other issues too.
There are a number of issues that are centre stage, some of them obfuscated by partisan debate. It is possible that an announcement about the reinstatement of Justice Chaudhry would deprive the Long March of much of its justification, but the Sharifs also want Governor’s Rule in Punjab removed and the pre-Feb 25 PMLN government headed by Shahbaz Sharif restored. Needless to say, all this can only be done via a constitutional amendment and a presidential “pardon” for the Sharifs. The return of the provincial assembly, once the fear of the Long March is gone, would restore the political status quo.
“Reconciliation” can lead to the end of the “crisis of credibility” over Justice Chaudhry. The incumbent Chief Justice AH Dogar retires some days after the beginning of the Long March. Justice Chaudhry’s reinstatement can be announced in advance, stipulating the actual date on which he will reoccupy his chair at the Supreme Court. The National Assembly can be convened immediately and the 18th Amendment can be passed quickly, providing the assurances that both Mr Sharif and Mr Zardari need and guaranteeing that Mr Chaudhry will not be able to act as a destabilising and politically partisan chief justice.
But will reconciliation come to pass? Yesterday, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Secretary-General of the PPP, announced an end to the initiatives for reconciliation, saying that Nawaz Sharif was unbending. Yesterday, too, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi met with Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer and said the PPP and the PMLQ would form a coalition government after March 11 if the PMLN would not do so. The dye is cast.
If Mr Sharif insists on using street power to achieve his party-political objectives instead of political discourse and compromise, which are essential for the working of democracy, then Pakistan will be in trouble. Indeed, if non-state actors wanting to sow the seeds of anarchy infiltrate the Long March and precipitate violence, there is no knowing how the state and government will respond and unravel. The onus of unleashing violence will then be squarely on Nawaz Sharif. (Daily Times, 9 March 2009)
A sane advice:
A possible solution
Monday, 09 Mar, 2009
HURTLING as this country is towards the brink of political chaos, there is still time for the politicians to slam on the brakes and reverse course. At the moment though none of them appears to want to do so. The Sharifs have sounded the clarion call for Punjab to rise up, the PPP is busy with the mischief of cleaving forward blocs from the PML-Q and PML-N, and the PML-Q is allowing itself to be courted by both sides while its intra-party divisions refuse to die down. If not stopped immediately, the chain of events triggered by the ouster of the Sharif brothers from electoral politics and the imposition of governor’s rule in Punjab will surely end in tears for everyone involved.
The simplest way to defuse the present crisis would be to withdraw governor’s rule, allow the PML-N to prove its majority in the Punjab Assembly and use the collective will of parliament to pave the way for the Sharifs’ return to electoral politics. Yet, notwithstanding the Sharifs’ fierce assaults on President Zardari, what makes that unlikely for now is the lawyers’ long march. The fear of the PPP will be that even if it reverses course in Punjab, the PML-N and the lawyers will still try to bring down the government in Islamabad. That may be directly attempted by besieging parliament and threatening a violent stand-off until the powers-that-be pull the plug on the federal set-up. Or it may be indirectly attempted by insisting the deposed chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry be reinstated and having him then tear down the edifice of a government that he has made clear is in some ways a continuation of the Musharraf era.
So, if a confrontation on the streets is to be avoided and the crisis resolved within the parliamentary chambers, the key to the solution is the PML-Q. A report in this paper the other day suggested that the PML-N and the PML-Q may be set for a reunion, a result which, from the point of the present crisis, may allow all the protagonists to keep the transition to democracy on track. Because of the PML-Q’s strength in the various assemblies, a union between the two PMLs would greatly simplify the numbers game. In Punjab, a combined PML would have a secure two-thirds majority. In the National Assembly and the Senate, the present coalition government’s simple majorities in both houses would not be turned. Moreover, the PML-Q, which is a partner of the PPP in the Balochistan government, could act to cool temperatures between the PML-N and the PPP in a bid to protect its interests in the various assemblies. But will sense prevail? It must if Pakistan is to overcome this crisis, though at the moment that appears distressingly beside the point for the politicians. (Dawn, 9 March 2009)
Some relevant comments:
Aamir Mughal said…
Shaheen Sehbai, Ansar Abbasi and Ahmed Quraishi – 1
ISLAMABAD, Dec 10: The exile of the Sharif family to Saudi Arabia
following the pardon announcement by the government, has deprived
the Raiwind dwellers of their 15 assets, worth billions of rupees.
A spokesman for the government, Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi, told Dawn
on Monday that almost 80 per cent of the Sharifs’ property had been
“taken over” by the government.
According to Mr Qureshi, the 15 assets that have been taken over by
the government in return for providing a safe “exit” to the Sharif
family include Rs300 million in cash; industrial assets including
Brother Steel Mills; Ilyas Enterprises; Hudaybia Paper Mill;
Hudaybia Engineering Company; Hamza Spinning Mills; residential
property including the Model Town bungalow; three houses at Mall
Road Murree; property at 135 Upper Mall Lahore; a plot at Model
Town Lahore; a plot at Upper Mall, Lahore; agricultural property
including 10.2 kanals of land at Khanpur Sheikhupura Road Lahore;
41 acres and 7 kanals of land at Sheikhupura; 14.2 kanals of land
and another 35 kanals at Bhaipharu in Chunnian and 88 kanals of
land at Raiwind.
The Raiwind palace of the Sharif family, which ruled the country
for almost 15 years, has however not been confiscated by the
Mr Qureshi dispelled the impression that there had been any
underhand deal between the government and the Sharif family. He
said the government had simply responded to the repeated mercy
petitions filed by the Sharifs.
Contrary to what the Sharifs were pretending before the public and
in their statements to the media, Mr Qureshi said they had been
writing to the government including the chief executive and the
president, appealing for pardon.
“We were receiving their requests for mercy in the past three to
four months particularly after the courts handed over decisions
against Nawaz Sharif,” he said.
These requests were renewed recently following Nawaz Sharif’s
reported ailment. Mr Qureshi stated that since the chief executive
had repeatedly said that he was not vindictive so he recommended to
President Tarar that the imprisonment of the Sharifs be pardoned
and turned into exile while the rest of the punishments including
fines, forfeiture of property and disqualification should stay.
When told that the people in streets felt as if they had been
betrayed by the government for allowing a safe exit to the Sharifs,
the government spokesman said, “the government has actually taken a
compassionate view of the situation and converted the imprisonment
Qureshi dispelled the impression that a “deal” was ‘brokered’
either by a Saudi prince or was the exit the consequence of Saudi
ISLAMABAD, Dec 9: President Rafiq Tarar has pardoned former prime
minister Nawaz Sharif’s 25-year jail sentence but exiled the former
prime minister and his family, a government announcement said in
the wee hours of Sunday.
“On the advice of the chief executive, the president of Pakistan,
according to law has pardoned Nawaz Sharif’s remaining jail
sentence while the rest of the punishment awarded by the honourable
courts, which includes fine, forfeiture of property and
disqualification from public office would remain in place,” the
“Nawaz Sharif and family have been exiled to Saudi Arabia. This
decision has been taken in the best interest of the country and the
people of Pakistan,” it said.
The former prime minister was awarded 14 years’ imprisonment on
corruption charges, fined Rs20 million and disqualified from
contesting election for 21 years. Mr Sharif, who was removed by the
army in a bloodless coup, was sentenced to life imprisonment on
charges of hijacking the plane in which General Pervez Musharraf
was travelling. He had appealed in the high court, which had
rejected the plea. He was fined Rs500,000 and forfeiture of
property worth Rs500 million.
The official announcement said that Nawaz Sharif and his family had
been appealing to the chief executive and the president of Pakistan
requesting clemency. They had also filed a petition requesting for
waiver of punishment awarded by the Sindh High Court and the
accountability court in the helicopter case.
“Nawaz Sharif and his family had pleaded his falling health and
need of specialist medical care urgently requesting that he may be
allowed to proceed abroad for treatment. The Sharif family had also
submitted that they be allowed to accompany him,” the announcement
SAUDI ROLE: Indirectly admitting that the deal had been brokered by
Saudi Arabia, the announcement said that recently, Pakistan’s
closest friend Saudi Arabia offered the Government of Pakistan to
accept the Sharif family for medical treatment on humanitarian
grounds if exiled to their country.
Sources said that Saudi defence minister and former intelligence
chief Prince Turki Al Faisal, arrived in Islamabad “this morning on
a special plane and held detailed talks with the military
government officials as well as with Begum Kulsoom Nawaz at the
residence of Saudi ambassador to Pakistan.
The Saudi prince, according to Raja Zafarul Haq, also met Nawaz
Sharif in Attock jail this afternoon along with Begum Kulsoom
Nawaz, to give final touches to the deal. Nawaz Sharif, according
to latest reports, has been brought from Attock Fort and admitted
to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi.
Sources in the Pakistan Muslim League claimed that Nawaz Sharif was
averse to leaving the country but his son Hasan Nawaz, who is now
in London, has played a decisive role in convincing his father to
accept the deal.
These sources said that under the deal, Nawaz Sharif and his family
would not return to Pakistan for 10 years. The deal has fuelled
speculations about the restoration of the suspended assemblies.
However, some political analysts believe that an interim political
structure will be established in the country and the army will step
down after ensuring “due share” in the new political structure.
ISLAMABAD, Dec 13: Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf has
said that the decision to pardon Nawaz Sharif has been taken in the
larger national interest and in consideration of a request made by
Pakistan’s closest and brotherly country Saudi Arabia.
He expressed these views on Wednesday while briefing the federal
cabinet on the government action of pardoning the former Prime
Minister. Official sources said that the CE defended his decision
and said that time had come to bring to an end the politics of
revenge and confrontation. He said he did not have anything
personal against anybody and that the nation should be saved from
the confrontational course.
Official sources said that most members of the federal cabinet
requested the chief executive to make public Mr Sharif’s request
However, these members endorsed the government decision on the
matter and felt that the move would reduce polarization and bring
about harmony on the political scene. The chief executive, who
presided over the meeting, said though the presidential pardon
remitted the former prime minister’s rigorous imprisonment, it did
not waive off his disqualification from holding political office
and the imposition of fines.
The sources said that Gen Musharraf pointed out that now the
economy of the country would improve, bringing relief to the common
He said the action would boost the stock market which otherwise had
been showing a downward trend for the last many months.
He said he had earlier briefed the corps commanders on the release
of Mr Sharif and told them that his decision would improve
political climate in the country.
The sources said that CE told the meeting that it was wrong to say
that Mr Sharif did not seek pardon as had been claimed by some
members of his family. He agreed with the cabinet members that the
deal should be made public to dispel such an impression.
He said the government was considering making the deal public,
adding that the action had been taken with good intentions and he
had full support of his senior military colleagues. The sources
said that the CE told the meeting that his military colleagues had
endorsed his views that the country needed to be rid of the
politics of confrontation.
The chief executive said those who thought that the government had
lost its credibility or become weak because of the action were
wrong. The CE assured the cabinet members that he would continue to
take them into confidence on all major national and international
The cabinet approved ratification of the agreement establishing an
Advisory Centre on the WTO law.
The cabinet kept in pending the issue of eight to 10 per cent
increase in the prices of petroleum products and the matter would
now be discussed in the next meeting.
ISLAMABAD, Dec 20: Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf on
Wednesday, justified his decision of sending Nawaz Sharif into
exile, saying it would usher in an era of political harmony and
The General divided his hour-long speech to the nation on radio and
television in two parts — justifying his action of sending Nawaz
Sharif and his family into exile in the first half and explaining
his government’s devolution plan in the second.
Dressed in commando uniform, the General spoke in Urdu using
English sentences excessively, in what appeared to be an attempt to
reach the international audience simultaneously.
The CE also accused both Nawaz Sharif and Ms Benazir Bhutto of
working against the military government’s “devolution plan” and
gave an impression as if the decision of sending Nawaz Sharif was
indirectly related to this issue as well.
He said: “There must have been some good reason that I took this
decision.” He, however, did not explain those reasons. “There is a
difference between a popular decision and a correct decision,” he
said indirectly saying that his decision was correct.
The CE also accepted that a Saudi prince had intervened to seek the
release of Nawaz Sharif.
Accusing the Nawaz and Benazir governments of institutionalizing
corruption, he said, “all institutions were corrupted by the two
parties, I will not name those institutions because all of you
understand what I mean.”
Ignoring the basic principle of politics that today’s foes could be
friends tomorrow, the General accused Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz
Sharif of trying to join hands.
Without naming them, he said: “Two political leaders, Pakistan’s
political stalwarts, who hated each other till yesterday, were
shamelessly trying to join hands in an attempt to jointly loot the
country, if anything had been left from looting.”
Similarly, he also regretted that veteran politician Nawabzada
Nasrullah Khan (without naming him) had been helping and supporting
these leaders to come closer and once again loot the country.
Defending his decision, the General claimed that it had been
appreciated and acknowledged internationally.
On the issue of dealing with political leadership, General
Musharraf took a completely different line from what was taken by
his predecessor General Ziaul Haq, who had sent a deposed prime
minister to the gallows.
“Extreme actions against the political leaders do not go well with
the international community as such (extreme) actions are
considered (a sign of) backwardness and rigidity,” he explained.
“Besides they (extreme actions) have a negative impact on foreign
He indirectly hinted that several investment-related issues were
also linked with this decision and especially mentioned that the
long-standing dispute with Hubco, whose majority shares are owned
by a Saudi national, was resolved after sending Nawaz Sharif into
Similarly, he said, since sending Nawaz Sharif into exile, many
international investors had shown great interest in the purchase of
NEW YORK, Dec 17: General Pervez Musharraf’s decision to let former
prime minister Nawaz Sharif go into exile “is only part of the
disillusionment with his rule, which was initially greeted with an
almost giddy hope that a tough-guy military man could whip the
country into shape,” the New York Times said in an article on
“Mr Musharraf promised nothing short of Pakistan’s moral and
economic rejuvenation when he took power, but he has found it very
difficult to deliver, particularly on people’s bread-and- butter
hopes. At a time of political uncertainty, both foreign and
domestic investment in the country have lagged,” the newspaper
The New York Times observed that “already Gen Musharraf is feeling
the discontent of the public and the press, largely because there
is an absence of fear about speaking out against his government”.
It also noted that “the military dictators of earlier eras crushed
dissent. But the current rulers have tolerated scathing press
criticism. Perhaps it is because Gen Musharraf is more liberal. Or
perhaps it is because they fear a crackdown would up- end their
cooperative relationships with international lenders on whom
Pakistan depends financially”.
“Fourteen months into Gen Musharraf’s rule, the military – often
described here as Pakistan’s last viable, effective institution –
stands demystified. Most people still credit the general with good
intentions, but he is often depicted as a bumbler whose government
has been too weak to halt sectarian killings or to stand up to
Islamic fundamentalists,” the paper said.
However, the New York Times said that “the general has one big
thing going for him: the lack of an inspiring civilian leader to
challenge him. Benazir Bhutto, who was Mr Sharif’s main national
rival for power, has been convicted on corruption charges and is
living in London. And now the general has removed Mr Sharif from
Pakistan – and in such a way that Mr Sharif’s character has been
The paper says that “members of Mr Sharif’s party, the Pakistan
Muslim League, say he was a man accustomed to a life of luxury and
power who apparently could not tolerate the rigours of prison life.
He had always had it easy. He rose to positions of power in the
1980s with the backing of the military. He and his family amassed
fabulous wealth during his time in office”.
“He loved being chauffeured in a black Mercedes. He had a taste for
expensive watches and fancy shoes. Before the coup, he was close to
moving into a 22-room mansion with stuffed lions and rococo
furniture,” Shaikh Rashid, a former minister in Sharif’s cabinet,
told the New York Times.
20 MARCH 2009 19:01
Aamir Mughal said…
Ansar Abbasi: Nawaz Sharif must refrain from political reconciliation with the PPP.
I forgot to mention earlier that the house in which Aitzaz Ahsan lives was built by Former Deputy Director FIA, Ahmed Riaz Sheikh in mid 90s and Fascist Weekly Magazine Takbeer used to publish this after Farooq Laghari dismissed second Benazir Bhutto government in 1996. Recent news against Ahmed Riaz Sheikh by Ansar Abbasi in The News International is just an effort to settle some old score.
PML leaders being excluded from Ehtesab process by Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD, April 25: Government agencies involved in the accountability exercise are said to be avoiding the processing of cases of alleged corruption or misuse of authority against members of the ruling PML, it is
Investigations into the working of the Ehtesab commission and the interior ministry which are directly concerned with the accountability process under a statute, show that neither of them has been processing the references against PML leaders. According to sources, the two agencies have even been told to lay off certain cases.
The sources claimed that some of the top PML leaders against whom
references had been pending were Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sindh Chief Minister Liaquat Jatoi, Punjab Assembly speaker Pervez Elahi, former chief minister of the NWFP Pir Syed Sabir Shah, former Balochistan chief minister Zulfiqar Magsi, and former Punjab minister Raja Ishfaq Sarwar.
Besides, a case against the NA deputy speaker, Jaffar Iqbal, was referred by an advocate from Multan to the Ehtesab Commissioner. But the commission has denied having received any formal reference in this regard.
A commission source, however, told this correspondent that the reference had actually been sent to the commission and it had been redirected to the provincial anti-corruption department for verification of the allegations.
The Ehtesab Commission has so far referred a total of 54 cases to special benches of the high courts for trial. These include only two references against the PML leaders Chaudhry Sher Ali (MNA) and Jam Mashooq Ali
(MNA). But both had been sent to the high courts much before the present government came to power.
It is learnt that the agencies concerned have been told to keep a low profile in some cases involving bureaucrats and other top officials. The case of Raana Sheikh, former MD, PTV, for instance, has been pending with the interior division but they have been asked not to send it to the Ehtesab Commission, interior ministry sources told dawn.
Later, the Accountability Cell of the PM s Secretariat suspended all these officers except the two Ahmad Riaz Shiekh and Chaudhry Sharif. The FIA administration, the sources said, wanted to move against these two officials but they had not only been saved but the authorities had also been asked to process the case of promotion of one of them.
According to one source, these officers have set the condition that they will only go to FIA if the incumbent director general is removed.
ISLAMABAD, Dec 12: The government did not consult the cabinet but
took into confidence the military elite while granting pardon to
Nawaz Sharif and sending the family into exile.
A well-placed government source confided to Dawn that the dramatic
decision had been taken purely by the men in uniform.
The matter was discussed in the closed circles of the military
before being put to the corps commanders at their two-day meeting
Asked whether the matter was placed before the cabinet, the source
said: “No”. It was too sensitive a matter to be discussed by the
cabinet, he added.
The military elite’s support to the idea came when it was explained
that the pardon and the exile was being allowed following Saudi
It was said that the Saudi government had given assurance that the
Sharifs would not take part in politics “for quite some time”.
“Besides, the Sharifs, too, had given the undertaking in writing
not to take part in politics,” the source said.
Asked how Saudi Arabia would prevent any of the Sharifs to travel
to London and issue political statements from there against the
military regime, the source said: “If the Saudis can get the
Sharifs freed, they can also make them behave accordingly. They
(the Saudis) are very strict in their commitments.”
The source, however, refused to accept that there was any Saudi
“pressure” on the government to get the Sharifs off the hook.
In reply to a question, the source said that those exiled to Saudi
Arabia would remain there. “If anyone of them goes to some other
country he would be bound to come back to the country of exile,”
the source said.
“We have the best example of Idi Amin who lives in Saudi Arabia
with his 19 wives but as a completely non-political entity.”
Persuading the government for pardon, the Saudi authorities had
said that not only would it be an Islamic act to set Nawaz Sharif
free after the payment of Qisas but it would also be politically
helpful to the military regime.
“We were told by the Saudis that they had also tried to get
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto freed but Pakistan’s response in negative had
plunged the country in an unending political turmoil,” the source
He stated that the military government was expecting that the
departure of Sharifs’ from politics would set things, particularly
economic situation, right for the country. The government, he said,
hoped that the present state of “shock” and “uncertainty” would not
“Don’t you agree with the idea of throwing the dirt out to get the
house in order,” the source commented.
Gen (retd) Shahid Hamid has also seen considerable decline from the peak that this prestigious institution had seen during the days of late Lt-Gen (retd) Jamshed Gulzar Kiani.
The Reality of General Jamshed Gulzar Kiani:
Lt General (retired) Jamshed Gulzar Kiani [Former number 2 in ISI in 1999 and Corps Commander, and Chairman FPSC]
For your kind perusal,
“What a nonsense that a retired soldier could not differentiate between chemical weapons and phosphorous grenades. The retired general in fact needs a new course to know the difference between the two,” Qureshi said. He said if Lt Gen (R) Jamshaid Gulzar Kiyani had reservations against the Kargil operation, he should have the courage to speak against the same. He never uttered a word then. He also came up with double talk on briefing the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the Kargil operation and asked as to why Mr Kiyani did not resign if he was true to his claim. “This gentleman availed every offer during the last eight years by remaining on key posts including corps commander and chairman Federal Public Service Commission but has now chosen the other path for some ulterior motives. He did not talk from his head but it reflected that he was speaking for someone else,” charged the presidential spokesman. 
The real reason behind this sudden love of Lt General Retd. Jamshed Gulzar Kiyani for Constitution, Civil Liberties, Democracy, Rule of Law, and Independent Judiciary in Pakistan is nothing but Monetary Benefits for the Ex Servicemen Society and hiding the Criminal Past of many in Servicemen Society. These men have earned Millions if not billions under the same General Musharraf whom they want to try for treason. General Jamshed never mentioned Operation Cleanup in Baluchistan [aren’t these Baluchs Pakistanis? and by mistake they also happen to be Muslims as well] particularly the Extra Judicial Killing of Sardar Akbar Bugti [if he was guilty then he should have been put on trial even in the Military Court]. General Jamshed restricted himself to Lal Mosque and Kargil [isn’t Baluchistan in Pakistan?], why? Does military training snatch the sense of history, passion, and mercy.
So, the onlookers have to be careful in distinguishing between the need to investigate the Kargil crisis and the actual intent of people like Gen Jamsheed Gulzar Kiyani and others in telling the story now. The good general sat silent all these years enjoying his stint as head of Fauji Foundation’s company Marri Gas and then as the chairman of the Federal Public Services Commission. The question is that why didn’t he ask any question then? The retired officers defended the economic, political and social power of the armed forces and defended the organisation’s control of the state. They even mentioned the military’s right to ten per cent jobs as granted by the constitution which is an absolute fallacy. The ten per cent quota was granted by Gen Ziaul Haq and is mentioned in the Establishment code of the government and not in the constitution.
DATELINE ISLAMABAD: Angry old men [June 15, 2008, Daily Dawn Sunday Magazine] By Anjum Niaz
An ex-servicemen society has been launched. Alas, a watering hole has been provided for these endangered species who fear extinction unless they strut about and flap their tired old feathers trying to make waves.
Do men have a bad hair day? The four I watched last week on television certainly appeared as having one. Getting into each other’s hair, the quartet exposed itself to being men of straw and not steel as they have always tried portraying themselves.
Bereft of uniform and all the trappings that go with an army general, they came across churlish, even infantile. Why do retired generals get hardened and macabre? Why do their eyes turn flinty and laser hate, venom and anger? Why do they dye their hair boot-polish black? Why do they blow dry it? Why do some (Pervez Musharraf and Rashid Qureshi) wear their hair in a bouffant while Gulzar Jamshed Kiani prefers a funny mop that sits uncannily on his forehead?
Looks aside, what’s in a name? Plenty! President Musharraf and his spokesman, hawk-eyed General (retd) Qureshi beat one point to death last week: why had Jamshed Gulzar (JG) decided to add the suffix Kiani after his name? Both said that since the real McCoy was a Kayani, as in Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, JG of late started calling himself JGK! Imagine the ‘impudence!’ Musharraf went to the extent of saying that this chap who is now calling for Musharraf’s impeachment came from a humble background and it’s the army that gave him distinction. JG must not forget his pedestrian antecedents. Ahem… Musharraf himself comes from a similar background.
The last general under discussion is Hamid Gul. He always looks and acts very angry. What’s his problem? Other than making umpteen TV appearances and putting himself on a pedestal, high above everyone else, what great service has this general done ever since he left the army? Sinister things happened when he was at the helm. Sketching doomsday scenario is all this one can do.
An ex-servicemen society has been launched. Hurrah and three cheers! Alas, a watering hole has been provided for these endangered species who fear extinction unless they strut about and flap their tired old feathers trying to make waves. Leading this retired pack are retired generals Faiz Ali Chisti (whose name sent shivers down our spines during Zia days); Aslam Beg (an arrogant iconoclast) and Asad Durrani (slippery as an eel).
These men have skeletons rattling in their cupboards and the one who has threatened to open up their cupboards to show us the skeletons is none other than Pervez Musharraf. He says it’s a long tale consuming “weeks of revelation” on these ‘unsavoury’ characters and the ‘dirty role’ they played while in service.
The million-dollar question: who will beat whom to the finish line? Will it be this pack of angry old men who will tear away the veneer behind which the president currently squats to gloat or will it be the president who will knock each down with evidence of wrongdoing that these men may find difficult to defend? They may go back to their holes with tails between their legs?
My educated guess is that Musharraf’s war chest against them is empty. It’s hollow. Otherwise by now spokesman Qureshi would have leaked out some dirt to his favourite hacks. Nothing has been forthcoming from the presidency. Which may mean there’s nothing to reveal.
Remember the references Musharraf filed against Iftikhar Chaudhry? In the end all that dope that the agencies had collected and photographed on the CJP got thrown out by the 13 member bench headed by Justice Ramday (who paid for his act of defiance by being sacked). Not only that, Justice Chaudhry was reinstated and brought back as the CJP in style. One hoped Musharraf would quit after this defining defeat. But he stayed and dug a dagger in the CJP at the first chance he got on November 3, 2007. Hell hath no fury like an old man scorned.
The CJP will not rest unless he’s restored the second time round; Pervez Musharraf will not rest unless the CJP is history; JG Kiani will not rest unless he’s given another stint as the chairman, public service commission or some other such commission; the restive retired generals will not rest unless they are sent to foreign lands as our ambassadors, or made advisers or given consultancies to keep them out of mischief.
There’s another category of species in danger of extinction. Let’s bring them in as they gasp for breath and cling to any straw that can give them a ride through the corridors of power once again. These are men who represented us abroad. When in service, so busy were they serving the man in uniform, i.e. General Pervez Musharraf, that they had no time to deal with ordinary folks like you and me.
Today, they have all the time to blast Musharraf because they want to remind Asif Zardari that they can still play a role should he have some slots vacant for them. Former foreign secretaries Shamshad Ahmed Khan and Riaz Khokhar are in the forefront organising a group of retired diplomats to rise up and be heard.‘Play it again, Sam’ but save us from the fury of old men scorned. They don’t make a pretty picture.