Ahmad Rashid rose to prominence after the Marxist-leninist insurgency in Baluchistan. He was part of the marxist nucleus which was fighting in Baluchistan. Another young man in this group was Najam Sethi who along with Tariq Ali are considered first of the “New Left” in Pakistan. Those who introduced Trotsky’s writings for the first time in Pakistani Left wing (which was hard core Stalinist and Maoist in those days). Both Rashid and Sethi soon quit being revolutionaries and emerged as seasoned political commentators and analysts operating in the “Post-marxist” paradigm. Amongst them Rashid is more academic, his work on Taliban and United States policy towards Afghanistan and central Asia is considered authoritative. He is perhaps the most objective analyst on Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the following article he puts Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti’s murders in perspective . While its fundamental to criticize the role of military establishment the abject surrender by Zardari regime should never be underestimated. Its the vacum being left by the weaker “political establishment” which is being filled in by the proto-fascist elements.  This sense of proportion is lacking in most progressive analysis coming from Pakistan but Ahmad Rashid’s highly analytical mind superbly achieves this balance. This is without any question one of best writing on recent crisis of Islamic Republic.

Shaheryar Ali

 

Ahmad Rashid : New York Review of Books Blog (With Thanks)

The assassination on Wednesday of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Minorities, killed in broad daylight in Islamabad by four gunmen, is one of the most shameful acts of political violence committed by Pakistani extremists. That it comes just two months after the murder of Salman Taseer, the Governor of Punjab and one of the country’s leading liberal voices makes it all the more chilling. Yet the government and state’s reaction to the two killings has been even more shameful—raising the disturbing possibility that extremism is still being used by the security services in its efforts to oppose Western policies in the region.

The 40-year-old Bhatti was a Roman Catholic and the only Christian member of the cabinet of Prime Minister Yousf Reza Gailani. It was a death foretold. Taseer had been assassinated for his courageous struggle to amend Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which has been used to persecute minorities—a struggle to which Bhatti had also dedicated himself. Bhatti made a videotape some months ago that he wanted released to the BBC if he was killed. In it he said he would carry on the campaign to amend the blasphemy law.

“I will prefer to die for the cause [of defending] the rights of my community rather than to compromise on my principles,” Bhatti said in the tape. “The forces of violence, militants, banned organizations, Taliban and al-Qaeda, want to impose their radical philosophy in Pakistan and whosoever stands against it, they threaten him.”

Bhatti knew his life was in danger; he had been threatened repeatedly in recent weeks and had asked the government to provide him with security and a bulletproof vehicle. But even after Taseer’s murder, the government did nothing. Like Taseer, he ended up riddled with machine gun fire—though it is unclear whether a security detail might have helped, since Taseer was shot dead by his own bodyguard, a highly trained police officer. In both cases, the killers have come from a culture that has grown increasingly intolerant in recent years, abounds in conspiracy theories, and wrongly interprets Islam solely in terms of jihad and violence.

As leaders worldwide—from the Pope to Hillary Clinton to Nicolas Sarkozy—strongly condemn Bhatti’s murder, the reaction of the Pakistani government has been vapid. No action has been taken or promises made to curb the freedom of violent extremist groups, who have hailed both murders and who have meanwhile been staging daily street demonstrations in Lahore to demand the death sentence for Raymond Davis, the American CIA agent who is now in Pakistani custody after killing two Pakistani men believed to be agents for the army’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). (Davis was part of a secret team working in the country; the exposure of his activities puts further strain on the uneasy alliance between the US and Pakistan.)

For its part, the army has so far failed to express regret about either Bhatti’s murder or Taseer’s. The army chief General Ashfaq Kayani declined to publicly condemn Taseer’s death or even to issue a public condolence to his family. He told Western ambassadors in January in Islamabad that there were too many soldiers in the ranks who sympathize with the killer, and showed them a scrapbook of photographs of Taseer’s killer being hailed as a hero by fellow police officers. Any public statement, he hinted, could endanger the army’s unity.

Behind this silence lies something more sinister. For decades the army and the ISI have controlled the extremist groups, arming and training them in exchange for their continuing to serve as proxy forces in Afghanistan and Kashmir. But in recent years, the army has lost control of them and they are striking targets of their own. Yet the army has refused to help crack down on its rogue protégés—despite the fact that extremists have increasingly attacked the army and the ISI itself, and at least 2,000 military personnel have died at their hands in the past five years. This is all the more ominous in view of the resources the military commands: half a million men, another half a million reserves, 110 nuclear weapons (according to US media estimates) and one of the largest intelligence agencies in the world, the ISI, which has an estimated 100,000 employees.

If the army has now surrendered any willingness to take on the extremists, the political establishment had already given up long ago. Prime Minister Gailani and President Asif Ali Zardari head the Pakistan People’s Party, the largest national party in the country—some would say the only national party left. Zardari, as the husband of slain leader Benazir Bhutto, is no stranger to extremism himself, and his populist base has traditionally voted for the party’s anti-mullah, anti-army and pro-people policies. Unfortunately those principles were abandoned by a series of corrupt and ineffectual leaders, and the PPP today is not even a shadow of what it once was.

Zardari has backtracked on foreign policy goals such as improving relations with India and Afghanistan, as well as on domestic efforts to curb the power of the extremists and impose new taxes—on almost everything that may have helped Pakistan move towards becoming a modern state. There is no doubt that the army has tried to thwart the civilian leaders at almost every turn—but rather than resist or resign, the politicians have just been brow beaten into compliance and abject submission.

As a result, there is a vicious double game playing out in the streets, fueling the tensions that resulted in Bhatti’s death. The security agencies have unleashed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LT)—the largest and most feared extremist group in Pakistan, which was behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks—on to the streets of Lahore. The group has been banned by the US, Britain and the United Nations and supposedly by Pakistan too. LT stalwarts have been demonstrating daily outside the US consulate to ensure that Raymond Davis—who was apparently charged with monitoring their activities—hangs. By giving free reign to such banned groups the security agencies may have inadvertently signaled to all extremist groups, including the sectarian groups who hate Christians, that they are free to take the law into their own hands. What is behind this complex and mind-boggling strategy? It is all part of a wider cat and mouse escalation between the US and the Pakistani military. The army wants to control any future peace talks that the US may have with the Taliban, so that the army’s aims for a future pro-Pakistan Afghan government in Kabul are met. Its leaders also want to make doubly sure that any long-term American arrangements do not leave Pakistan’s rival India in a stronger position in Afghanistan.

So far the US seems unmoved; and it has already circumvented the ISI to start indirect peace talks with some Taliban. One consequence is that the military are allowing extremist groups considered anathema to the US on the streets. This is also why Davis is not being freed, and why US-Pakistan relations are at their worst in many years. In the meantime, the army and the government continue to receive about $3 billion a year in US military and economic aid.

On March 3, Senator Bob Corker, who recently visited Islamabad, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he found Pakistan “the most disheartening place in the world to be, where you are talking the type of relationship that we have.” He added, “I think that in many ways we get played like a piece of music” by the Pakistanis.

The ISI may well be playing the Americans, but it does so at the cost of steadily ceding ground to the extremists. Right now Pakistan is becoming a place where there is an army without a country.

 

Source: http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2011/mar/04/army-without-country/

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This appeal is from “Citizens of Pakistan”. I have always raised my voice on Baloch issue, my readers know about it. I have reservations on the ideology and working of SACW . First of all Pakistan has got no “citizen”, an Ahmedi is not citizen a woman is not citizen.  I think we dont need to be apologetic, Muhammed Ali Jinnah was not a “champion of  Kalat’s freedom” that is not right. The facts given are right but context is not clear. Mr Jinnah did plead Kalat’s case. He was attorney of Khan of Kalat and was receiving fee for that. It was Muhammed Ali jinnah who annexed Kalat once he received a telegram from Commonwealth office in London warning Pakistan about dangers of “independent Kalat”. Apparently Jinnah didnt see any conflict of interest in his role as attorney of Kalat and later Governor General of Pakistan when he adopted the same policy against which he fought on behalf of  Khan of Kalat. we dont need to make Jinnah champion of  every thing , especially not of Baloch cause because it simply will alienate Balochs further who know these things on their finger tips. The appeal can be reached here.

Shaheryar Ali

We the citizens of Pakistan must express solidarity with the people of Balochistan

Dear friends,

Balochistan is burning and needs our special and urgent attention. For the fifth time the people of Balochistan have been forced to take up arms as an expression of defiance against their continued exploitation. Each time the state of Pakistan embarked on military action to crush the resistance rather than to seek a reconciliation with the Baloch.

The state atrocities on the people of Balochistan have now reached unbearable proportions. So many have faced extrajudicial killings. Thousands of young men have disappeared at the hand of state agencies. Common people are being humiliated everyday by the Pakistani law enforcement agencies. Most young men in Balochistan have become totally alienated from Pakistan. If we continue to keep quiet we will commit a gross injustice to our Balochistani brothers and sisters. We must speak up now.

We the citizens of Pakistan must express solidarity with the people of Balochistan. The enclosed statement is meant to do just that. It also suggests steps that we the citizens feel the government must take in this regard.

We are approaching you to seek your help in this campaign.

A web-based signature portal is also being created. But we are all aware that as a vast majority of Pakistani citizens do not have access to such portals. Hence a need for signatures on a printed statement. The statement is in both English and Urdu, and we would deeply appreciate if some friends translate and print it in other languages, and get signatures.

Please join the campaign by collecting the maximum possible number of signatures on the statement, beginning with the members of your organization but also reaching out to as many others as possible. After obtaining these signatures, please mail the signed copies of the statement to the address printed at the bottom of the statement (P. O. Box 3395, GPO Islamabad).

Please read below some facts about Balochistan that highlight the reasons underlying the intense resentment among the common people of Balochistan.

Economic Deprivation of Baloch People

  • 18 out of the 20 most infrastructure-deprived districts in Pakistan are in Balochistan.
  • The percentage of districts that are classified as high deprivation stands as follows: 29 per cent in Punjab, 50 per cent in Sindh, 62 per cent in the NWFP, and 92 per cent in Balochistan. If Quetta and Ziarat are excluded, all of Balochistan falls into the high deprivation category. And Quetta’s ranking would fall if the cantonment is excluded from the analysis.
  • The percentage of population living in a high degree of deprivation stands at 25 per cent in Punjab, 23 per cent in urban Sindh, 49 per cent in rural Sindh, 51 per cent in the NWFP, and 88 per cent in Balochistan”.
  • Province’s 48 percent of the total population lives below poverty line whereas 26 percent in Punjab, NWFP 29 percent, and 38 percent urban and 27 percent rural population in Sindh.
  • The national literacy rate in Pakistan is 50 percent, the province has 23 percent literacy rate with only 7 percent female literacy rate.
  • Only 4 out of total 30 districts have gas supply while the province has been a major producer of gas for the total domestic, commercial and industrial needs of the country from early 50s. The capital of the province, Quetta, was provided gas in 1986.
  • 78 percent population has no electricity.
  • 79 percent has no gas facility while the province has a very low gas consumption of the country especially as compared to 64 percent of Punjab.

Mega development projects

  • The local population remains largely deprived of the benefits of mega development projects such as Gwadar port, Mirani dam, Kachhi canal, coastal highway, cantonments, and Pasni oil refinery plant etc.
  • Mostly outsiders benefit from such development schemes. The province has witnessed an influx of more than 5 million people to Gwadar port and other development areas.
  • Non-Baloch technicians and workers are hired while Balochs are only hired as unskilled workers.
  • Out of 1200 employees at Saindak copper-gold project, only 50 belong to Balochistan. Similarly, 130 engineers from Balochistan were trained at Karachi to be employed at Gwadar Port but they were denied jobs.
  • Land developers and investors from outside Balochistan are allowed purchase of Balochistan land.

Conflict-generating history

  • The current military operation in Balochistan is the fifth in the series. The first one was in 1948, the second in 1958, the third in 1962, the fourth in 1973. All the operations were to curb resistance to interference from the Central Government.
  • Historically, Balochistan or Kalat has never been a part of Indian state.
  • After the British conquered a part of the State of Kalat in 1839, the British pledged to respect the independence of Kalat and also gave it subsidies to maintain local loyalty for protecting British interests.
  • Mir Ahmed Yar Khan and the people of Balochistan supported the movement for the creation of Pakistan but at the same time they envisioned Kalat as a separate, independent and sovereign state after the departure of British from India.
  • Quaid-I-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah himself was the champion of independence and sovereignty of Kalat. In 1946, Mr. Jinnah pleaded before the Cabinet Mission for complete independence and sovereignty for Kalat as it existed before the agreements and treaties of 1841, 1854 and 1876 with the British. The Marri and Bugti Tumandars also joined the plea demanding their regions to be included with the Kalat federation. Quaid-i-Azam won the case.
  • Thus Kalat and Pakistan signed a standstill agreement on 4th August 1947 in which Pakistan recognized Kalat as an independent sovereign state, while future relations between Kalat and Pakistan regarding defense, external affairs and communications were to be negotiated later.
  • While Pakistan announced its independence on 14 of August 1947, Kalat announced its independence on the very next day, 15 August 1947.
  • But soon after independence, Kalat was pressurized to merge itself with Pakistan in the ‘interests of both’.
  • The Khan of Kalat refused to agree and tabled this desire of Pakistan in the Kalat State Houses of Parliament, Dar-ul-Umra and Dar-ul-Awam, which unanimously refused to merge Kalat with Pakistan. However they partially agreed to have an agreement with Pakistan for having a joint currency, defense and external affairs while keeping Kalat an independent and sovereign state.
  • The members, however, pledged to strongly resist any coercive action from Pakistan even with force.
  • Pakistan illegally annexed Kalat’s sub-states Makran, Kharan and Lasbella.
  • Pakistan ordered its garrison commander to invade Kalat and keep the Khan under house arrest until he signs the document of annexation.
  • Khan eventually went to Karachi and signed a controversial but conditional merger document with Pakistan on 27th March 1948 in his personal capacity despite strong opposition of both Kalat legislators.
  • This forced annexation gave birth to this conflict erupting in a low-scale resistance in Kalat led by the younger brother of Khan, Agha Abdul Karim, who was governor of Makran that had been part of Kalat for 300 years. However, the rebellion was overcome by military as the resistant leaders were arrested over a deceptive agreement on Holy Quran but were imprisoned as well as fined. Agha Karim spent seven years in prison.
  • In a personal meeting in 1958, President Iskandar Mirza asked the Khan of Kalat to mobilize sardars for the restoration of the Khanate of Kalat., and then on the pretext of this activity, sent in Pakistan Army under the command of Tikka Khan. The army arrested the Khan and sent him to an internment in Lahore. As soon as Ayub Khan took charge, he sentenced Prince Karim to another 14 years of jail term. In May 1959, Nawab Nauroz Khan Zehri came down from mountains on assurance of amnesty on Quran. He was immediately arrested together with his sons and grandsons and sent to Hyderabad jail, where they were tried for treason. Seven of his associates, including his sons were sentenced to death and hanged in Hyderabad. The ninety years old Nawab Zehri died in captivity in Hyderabad.
  • In 1962, Ayub Khan sacked Ataullah Mengal, Nawab Khair Bukhsh Marri, and Nawab Akbar Bugti from their hereditary positions as sardars of their tribes. This led to resistance, which was again quelled with an army action, arrests, long incarcerations, etc.
  • From this resistance emerged a movement (1962 to 1968) which resisted the one unit regime imposed by Ayub Khan in West Pakistan to provide population parity between the two wings of the country. One unit was finally disbanded in 1969 and Balochistan gained the status of a province in 1970.
  • Another resistance started in 1973 when the federal government of Z. A. Bhutto sacked the elected government of Balochistan on the flimsy charge of conspiracy against the state. The Army again went in to crush the resistance, but this time with the help of the Shah of Iran, and using most sophisticated equipment including helicopter gunships. It was the bloodiest conflict. The resistance ended when General Zia ul Haq’s military dictatorship announced a general amnesty in 1978.
  • The current resistance and military action started during the military dictatorship of General Musharraf in response to the assassination of Nawab Akbar Bugti.

Shaheryar Ali

091028125531_mast_fm226Today is the third day of censorship being imposed on the BBC in Pakistan BBC news goes on air throughout Pakistan via a series of privately owned FM networks. With the explosion of private TV channels in Pakistan, the standards of journalism have a suffered a great deal. An ideological media fuelled by militant Islamism and Pakistani nationalism is on an ideological crusade in Pakistan whose first victim has been “objective reporting”.

Pluralism and democracy has been completely lacking in the local free media of Pakistan. All the news papers and TV channels have exactly same editorial policy. One gets the feeling he or she is reading sameBBC-Urdu news again and again. Most of it is objectively incorrect. Most of this media has been fiercely loyal to the policies of Pakistan’s ruling oligarchy. It may take sides on different issues which represent the interests of different factions of oligarchy depending on the Right wing and Pakistani Nationalist dominated press’s opinion of whose “patriot” and whose not but when it comes to broad general interest of the oligarchy inform of the ideological boundaries of state, the media is wholly partisan without any significant exception. The mania against India, denial on state involvement in nuclear proliferation and Islamic fascism, denial of existence of anti colonial struggles like those in Balochistan and Pakistani occupied Kashmir [written and Azad Kashmir or Free Kashmir in all Pakistani media] are to quote few examples where all Pakistani media has exactly same opinion to express, the opinion of Pakistani ruling elite and its state institution

Censorship_Press_Obey2Pakistani authorities always had a problem with the BBC. From the day BBC had collaborated with the local FM radios to increase its coverage in Pakistan; it is being opposed by Pakistani authorities in one way or another. There is usual bureaucratic red tape which always comes in handy when Pakistan wants to censor the BBC. This contract is incomplete and this rule has been violated bla bla bla. The real reason is that Pakistani authorities are fearful of objective reporting. Being a Lefti I am no fan of BBC, but unfortunately the standards of journalism have been deteriorated to such an extant in Pakistan that BBC appears to be the most objective news source in Pakistan. That’s a pity but that’s a fact!

The real crime of BBC is not what is officially being cited, i.e. violations of laws and procedures because if “Rule of Law” was such an important issue in Pakistan, it would have checked the local news channels as well. According to the society for Alternative Media in Pakistan, all news channels in Pakistan are in violence of PEMRA law through which they were granted licenses. None of them have deposited amount fixed in law of their annual income in treasury which they were bound to do so. These news channels do not go off air because they are doing state propaganda to a vulgar extant. BBC does that too, but it tries to maintain at least an illusion of objectivity, even that is not acceptable to Pakistan. The crimes of BBC are:

 

Reporting on Balochistan:  The coverage of BBC Urdu service on Balochistan cannot be called pro-people or pro-Bloch by any means, its crime is that its “reports” about Balochistan: Which no one else does in Pakistan. It tells that people are dying, some people are demanding freedom. Its will give opinion of the resistance as well that of government.

Coverage of Divergent views on Judiciary, Army, Nuclear Issues and Taliban: This along with the views of state institutions and other parties

 

Like laws apply differently to two chief justices who broke the law and took oaths of loyalty to same military dictator, depending on whom Jamate Islami and the Right supports, Laws apply differently to BBC and Geo in Pakistan. What’s going on Pakistan against BBC is a hideous press censorship. Even more hideous is the role of Pakistani media which cries foul every time it’s touched but is silent on the continuous censorship of Baloch press and the BBC. Same goes to most Pakistani bloggers, the stalwarts of secularism and Jinnah’s vision who also don’t see anything which is on the wrong side of this Post-colonial state. None wrote any thing against continuous harassment, closure and censorship of Baloch press and now of BBC.

We have not learned anything

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Shaheryar Ali

Some Theoretical Considerations: Death of Pluralism

“The article is intended to be the theoretical first part of a series of article on the suppressed cultural identities[A Pakistan you never knew] in Islamic Republic of Pakistan, One on the fate of Pakistani Jews has already been published and can be reached here

A couple of years back I was reading a research report by a very intelligent Pakistani academic who works for the International Crisis Group, Dr Samina Ahmed on the rise of sectarianism in Pakistan. Being trained in the progressive tradition myself I was familiar with the theoretical framework in which Dr Ahmed operates, state and its origin, adaptation of an ideological character by the state, cold war and Jihad etc. What strike me and infact fascinated me was a passing remark by her on working ideology of all sectarian groups of Pakistan, she wrote they all operated on the “principle of exclusion

This was a remarkable observation if one wants to understand the ideology of sectarianism and a sectarian state. States are not just material institutions of economy and violence, state has an ideological aspect as well. Structures of the state create a significant influence on super structures of the society on which it is maintaining control. That means through different ideological institutions, states create culture and patterns of thoughts which help the state to keep control [Gramsci and Althusser]. It has been explained as a mental condition in which a slave thinks and takes his slavery to be a state of “freedom”. This intervention into ideology or the “ways of thinking” became the obsession of western Marxists who were trying to understand failure of revolutions in the Western Europe. A series of whole new disciplines emerged like critical theory and cultural studies which focused on the ideological and cultural aspects of state and/or capitalism

As postmodernism became more influential in universities of Europe and North America, the critique was extended to a similar analysis of “reality” [Baudrillard] and alterations in human perceptions by Capitalism and state/super state. The ideological foundations of Pakistan state [not to be confused with official “Pakistan ideology”] lie in the communal/nationalist strife [Saigol,Rubina] which presumed an “absolute difference” between Hindus and Muslims. Jinnah put forward an argument which utilized “cultural difference” as base of civilization, which differentiated Indian Muslim from Indian Hindus with whom he shared same ethnicity and language [Bengali speaking muslim became part of a different civilization and nation than Bengali speaking Hindu from whom he originated in the first place through conversion]. Hindu and Muslim emerged as grand identities which were rhetorical in entity as demonstrated by the work of great Indian historian Romila Thaper, that before British Colonialism term Hindu or Muslim were rather meaningless in the sense that they didn’t constructed a unified socio-political identity. With the professed anti-clericalism and modernism of founding fathers of Pakistan, ideological intervention became all the more important and a unified cultural umbrella needed to be constructed to legitimize the claim of “distinct civilization”. This logically meant to suppress the ethnic, national and indigenous identities to construct the “Muslim identity” only through which survival of Pakistan was envisioned.

JinnahA study of discourse emerging from ruling elite of Pakistan, the PML and colonial administration which they inherited from Colonial administration suggest an obsession with monism themes as opposed to pluralism. Jinnah’s slogan of “Unity, Faith and Discipline” itself speaks of need to “unify and control”. The slogan relates more to ideologies of totalitarian regimes of Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany than to the Liberal tradition of Western Europe to which Jinnah is said to be trained in. Ethnic identities became the “others” of Muslim identity and as a result an existential threat the new state. The question of national rights was diverted by Jinnah’s stern warning against the “evil of provincialism”, the need to construct a “unified culture” so strong that a man as modern as Jinnah who took up the case of muslim socio-cultural rights in India, stood in Dacca and thundered “Urdu Urdu and only Urdu!” a language which was not the language of even 0.2% of Pakistanis at the time Those who demanded an equal status of Bengali along side Urdu were to called traitors and communists. After Jinnah’s death things became worse and PML which lacked any popular base in East and West Pakistan joined hands with Clerics and Islamic Fundamentalists whom Jinnah thoroughly despised. Jinnah’s handpicked Prime Minister Nawabzada Khan Liaqat Ali Khan, a member of feudal aristocracy passed the Objectives Resolution and state acquired an ideological character.

The ideological apparatuses of the state in form of media, mosques,

174_NpAdvHover

Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung

universities and colleges started molding the minds of people. Considering one to be a Bengali or Punjabi was something like treason, same was the case with being Muslim. In British India Muslim was a broader and loose cultural identity which related more to practice of circumcision and burial of dead as opposed to cremation. Different sects of muslims existed and considered their sect to be true version of Islam but due to neutrality of the state didn’t operated on the “principle of exclusion”. The party which took up the issues of muslim socio-political and cultural rights in British India, the All India Muslim League comprised of “muslims” which were distinguishable by their heterodoxy not their orthodoxy. Sir Aga Khan was the president of All India Muslim League who was the Imam of Ismilies which were engaged in a bloody struggle against Sunni and Twelver Shias for more than 1000 years and who were considered “apostates” by clerics of both mainstream sects. Muhammed Ali Jinnah also belong to the Ismaili faith but later converted to more mainstream Twelver Shia faith but was a non practicing muslim by all standards. Many important leaders like Raja Sahib of Mehmoodabad were twelver Shias. Sir Zaferullah Khan was Ahmedi or Qadiani. Dr Allama Muhammed Iqbal was a revivalist who was opposed by Sunni orthodoxy and was rumored to be a Ahmedi as well the controversy ended when he denied these claims by writing an article in Statesmen condemning Ahmedi faith. [Controversy still exist weather he was Ahemdi for some part of his life and even after condemning Qadiani faith he considered Lahori group of this faith as part of muslim community]

Nawab Bahaduryar Jang another prominent leader of All India Muslim League belonged to “Mehdivia” sect. a sect similar to Ahmedies which considered pious saint Syed Muhammed Jonpuri as the Mehdi. Due to this heterodoxy and professed modernism of All India Muslim League the muslim clerics were bitterly against it. But this was to be changed when this movement was to end in formation of the “Muslim Homeland” [Not an intention of Jinnah according to some historians, most notably Dr Ayesha Jalal]. With the formation of Muslim homeland the question “Who is Muslim?” acquired a phenomenal character. Before partition as we have said earlier this question was not very relevant because of its oppositional character to the rival identity “The Hindu”. After partition of India on 15th August 1947 all this changed. Muslim identity lost its contrasting “other”, a “moth eaten Pakistan” meant that its founding fathers were already paranoid about its chances of survival; the land which they got was hub of forces which opposed partition of India. Punjab was firmly in grip of feudal, with which Jinnah forged an alliance to make Pakistan, the Unionist Party held power in Punjab. All India Muslim League lacked support and organization in Punjab, the “salariat” class which was motivating the struggle for Pakistan was weakest in Punjab [Alavi,Hamza]. NWFP the province of overwhelming muslim majority despite best efforts of Jinnah stood with Bacha Khan and Indian National Congress. The 1946 elections which were held to decide the issue of muslim representation saw defeat of Muslim League despite support from the British in the NWFP. In Bengal muslim league held popular base but it was due to independent minded progressive leaders whom the central leadership didn’t trusted, Hussein Shaheed Soherwardi, AK Fazel-e-Haq, Molana Bhashani all were to be purged along with all mass base! Jinnah had to lean heavily on “socialism”[He went as far as declaring Islamic Socialism to be guiding ideology of Pakistan in Chittagong] to gain currency in Benagal but his negotiations with the Americans in 1946 had already decided Pakistan’s future alignment with “Anti-socialist block”. Bengali was suppressed, NWFP government dismissed, the party banned and its news paper “Pakhtoon” suppressed [start of press censorship in Pakistan, all this happened in first year of Pakistan]. The party headquarter was bulldozed and police opened fired on unarmed party workers at Barbra killing hundreds of Pushtoons, this despite Bacha Khan’s oath of loyalty to Pakistan. In Sindh , GM Syed had already left Muslim League depriving it of much popularity, the loyal faction of  Sindh League was  also disenfranchised when Jinnah dismissed Sindh government as well when CM opposed  partition of Sindh [separating Karachi from Sindh] This would be the start of never ending Sindhi-Mohajir conflict. Balochistan had to be annexed by force when upper and lower houses of Parliament of State of Qalat explicitly rejected proposals to join Pakistan. Khan of Qalat signed the document of accession but wrote himself that he didn’t have the authority to do so.

All these events which took place in first years or couple of years after birth of Pakistan unfortunately counterpoised “Muslim identity” against the local identities which also represented political opposition to Pakistan’s ruling elite. It became a rule to suppress any expression of cultural identity other than the official “Muslim” one. This was to be what I call “death of Pluralism” in Pakistan. After deciding the fate of national identities, the project of defining “muslim” came on agenda. Death of Jinnah accelerated the process and state’s alliance with fascist theorist Abul ala Maudaudi emerged. He gave a series of lectures on Radio Pakistan on Muslim Nationalism. Objectives resolution was passed, later Anti Ahmedi agitation started, the anti clerical vanguard in state tried to give a final resistance to the clerics. Justice Munir’s report tried to put clerics at their place but it was too late. A unified and oppressive muslim identity emerged which put all heretical muslim sects in a continuous state of fear of being declared “apostates”. The irony of history is that with this most of the founding fathers of this country also joined the ranks of “apostates” All alternative cultural expression vanished from the country, the Hindus, the Jews, Homosexuals, Heretics, Nationalists all had to face “cultural Holocaust” After Ahmedies Shias were targeted and now Bravelies are trying to protect their “islam” from muslims

3444889518_d5a97723e3

Sir Zafrullah Khan

Shaheryar Ali

It was a pleasant evening and I was conversing with a progressive intellectual of Pakistan who was a Marxist revolutionary during the revolutionary times and now is a billionaire who runs an empire of NGOs through out Pakistan.  After the collapse of Soviet Union it was quite easy for these “revolutionary” intellectuals who literarily had no roof over their heads to sell their skill and talent to the international donors, a slight twist of language which converted “bourgeoisie” into elites did the trick and now most of them are richer than fellows of traditional propertied classes who were once their main declared enemy.

My dear friend was deeply distressed over the latest developments in Pakistan. The epic drama of entrenching and hostage taking in the General Headquarters of Pakistan Army in the Garrison town of Rawalpindi had pushed him beyond the limit. Playing with his glass of red wine which he had brought from France where he went to attend a conference on “Poverty alleviation”, he said to me, “Your country will become Afghanistan, this conflict will continue for at least 20 more years”. “They entered the GHQ. Killed a brigadier and took men hostage remained there for 24 hours” he continued. “It’s the damn headquarter, the heart of our defense establishment, can any one imagine such an incompetence? Where were the mighty ISI and MI” he kept lamenting. “The state of our state has been exposed in front of the whole world, our guardian cannot guard themselves” he sipped his wine, which perhaps didn’t soothed him at all. “Did you hear that press conference by Nawaz Sharif?” he asked me.

Whats there to listen? I said “Lier Lier bloody lier , he is a damn bloody lier” he threw away the glass. His sculptured face though showed the shadow of age but held its old mystique. His cheeks were now the colour of wine he was drinking. I wanted to remind him of his empire’s support of Judicial movement and his praises of “progressive Shahbaz

Black Coats/Black Shirts

Black Coats/Black Shirts

Sharif” and his great administrative skills. These skills are clearly evident from Aata to Sugar crisis and attacks on Police Training center, which has become a ritual of the sort by the terrorists. I wanted to remind him about his praises of Sharif’s principle stand on “judiciary”. “Did you by any chance manage to read the decision of Lahore high court on the petition challenging the arrangement of leasing thousands of acres of land in Seriki southern Punjab to Saudi Arabia?” I asked him. “Yar is that the issue?” Southern Punjab is being talibanized , you know its become the den, I have just seen the mighty complex they are building in Bahawalpur.” He informed me. Yes I know, from Taank and DI khan, they enter Bakher and from there spread to whole Seriki wasiab, there are sleeper cells in Kabirwala , Mianchannu , Multan, they have been  piling up explosives for more than a year now. One depot of theirs exploded accidentally in Mianchannu demolishing the entitle village, I know whats going on in Bahawalpur, I also know why in certain mosques in this entire region study circles of university students are being conducted these days., I also know once again slogans of “Kaffir Kaffir Shia Khaffir” are being visible on the walls of this region” I said.

“And you still want to bash the judiciary instead of highlighting the real issue” he asked me. I thought about the state of distress my elder friend was in, the dream this generation saw of equality and change which shattered in front of them; they changed the course, compromising with western powers they took up the agenda of democracy, reformism and secularism, which too was failing in front of them. Taliban appeared as a ghost from their past to haunt them. “I am highlighting the real issue, though you may not acknowledge it” I commented. “You were also carried away by your dear friend Aitzaz Ahsan’s poetry—- Adel bina jamhoor na ga” I said sarcastically. “I am bashing judiciary but what Ali Ahmad Kurd is doing?” now the “azad manish judges are pharaohs eh? I took a sip from my glass and continued , “problem is my friend, you don’t have to attend namaz-e-janaza of murdered Bloch leaders, every second day in Quetta and face the angry eyes of Baloch nationalists who supported the judicial movement believing Ali Ahmad Kurd and Aitzaz Ahsan that it will result in rule of law” I said . “You don’t have to go through that ordeal every second day but Ali Ahmad Kurd

Honourable Chief Justice LHC

Honourable Chief Justice LHC

has too, he has to answer those in Quetta for those the murderous character of this state was not transformed into a Matriarchal one as Aitzaz Ahsan promised”. I went on. “and as for the dreams of Jinnah’s Pakistan and secular revolution you guys were bringing in imamat of Aitzaz Ahsan, General Hamid Gul and Qazi Hussein Ahmad, I just want to ask you why every sectarian monster incarcerated in Punjab has been released  in the past few months, the same monsters who are now entrenching in southern Punjab”. I asked him.

Judicial Revolution in Jinnah's Pakistan

Judicial Revolution in Jinnah's Pakistan

“One can’t accept an institution of a state to transcend the ideological boundaries of the state, they have a limited operative space Sherry” his face became redder. “ahan than what was the fuss all about my friend? What was the nonsense about revolutions and long marches, what was all that, last time I checked its called de-contextualization, you guys misled the public opinion exhausted the energy of the people to bring change and pushed them into disillusionment”. My voice raised a little and he winced. I helped myself to bar and put some orange juice in the glass and splashed a liberal amount of Vodka in it. I gave the glass to my friend; this will be soothing I told him. “The link between Punjabi sectarian organizations and Al Qaida has long been established. They were the first to join Al Qaida in Pakistan; they are the most advance tendency of extremism in Pakistan. They have demonstrated their ability by attacking Mumbai, GHQ and ISI instillations, why than they were being released by judiciary?”  I asked him. “You know Lahore High Court has made United Nation and Government of Pakistan ban on LeT practically ineffective. Now they have ordered the government to withdraw all cases against Hafiz Muhammed Saeed. Before that they released many people of other sectarian organizations , Supreme court of  Pakistan released Molana Aziz the monster of Lal Masid and he toured the whole southern Punjab with police escort instigating jihad. Only in Taunsa 300 burqa clad girls with strips of “Sharia or death” around their heads got their names registered with Aziz, this happened with the chants of “Jan Jan Taliban” now I was angry. “I hope Junaid Jumshaid and Aitzaz Ahsan will release a joint album of “Jaan Jaan Taliban and Riyasat ho gi maa ke jesi—adal bina jumhoor na ho ga” I taunted him.

“The judiciary in NWFP is giving similar concessions to Sufi Muhammed, his sons who were combatants in Swat were released what non sense is this? You people want more bloodshed in Swat? “Half a dozen or more poor human beings were burned alive in Gojra, the city PML-N chief, the police and these sectarian thugs burned people alive, our restored judiciary which was supported by NGOs and Human Rights brigade instead of acting on behalf of victims supported Blasphemy laws, the most honorable chief justice pledged to protect the Blasphemy law and to protect Pakistan from “conspiracies of Hindus and Jews” that according to the news paper reports” I told him. “Do you people have any decency left? Now you are crying over talibanization? You want me to curse Fazal-ul-reham and Zardari and mullahs, my dear friend you people are equally responsible. You brought back right wing partisans in judiciary and they have purged every liberal one” I continued.

Vodka had done the trick, my friend was now calm. “Ghulam Rasool!” he called his servant and clapped. “Yes Sir” he said. “Start the stereo”  “Janab what will you like to hear” he asked. My friend closed his eyes for few minutes and than said “Ub ke hum bichre tu shahid kabhi khabo mein millen— Sherry baba likes Ahmad Fraz” he told him and smiled. Servant knew well enough and soon the room was echoing with the voice of Hussain Hazervi.

“Wazirstan mein operation shuru ho gaya “the servant informed us. “Very good” he said. I had already read the International Crisis Group’s report on the expected failure of the operation and Army’s pact with two Taliban groups so was rather worried! “You havnt learned anything” I said. I took a big gulp from my glass and started listening to the wonderful ghazal

Nasha bherta he sharabe’n jub sharbo’n mein mile’n. But my nasha was already gone——-

Shaheryar Ali

It was a fine evening when Raza Rumi told me about the idea of the new blog-zine Pak Tea House which he was launching. He wanted me to write for it. I had never written anything before for the public but his encouragement led me to join Pak Tea House. My article was one of the first published in Pak Tea House. Raza Rumi knew perfectly well that i was an opinionated young lad. I was experimenting with new rhetorical strategies to de- stabilize the dominant discourse emerging from the the Islamic world and Pakistan. Things went well till Raza Rumi handed over the blog to Mr Yasser Latif Hamdani. A dogmatic Pakistani nationalist with obsessive hatred of Gandhi, Bacha Khan, Karl Marx and any thing Left. His highly dishonest interpretation of progressive writers and his outright bigoted attacks on freedom fighters led to the initial disagreement but i continued writing. Things got worse when Raza Rumi’s “progressive blog” became outright McCarthiest . It has the great honour of “reviving” the McCarthy era’s terminologies like “Pinkos”. All these titles like “communist”, “pinko”, etc etc are used on dissenting voices. Any one who dares to disagree with the great temple of Jinnah now built at Pak Tea House becomes a traitor.

I dont find Mr Hamdani worthy of a response since i dont engage myself with bigots. My earlier letter of protest to Raza Rumi can be reached here and will explain the back ground to my readers. The rebuttal has actually made me laugh. I can understand the pain and the frustration. The secular elite of Pakistan always had a strange dogmatic remedy for troubles of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It was to blame it on “India”. Curse Gandhi, Nehru, Congress, the Soviet Union, the “commies” etc etc

The failure of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the success of India have made our patriotic elites delusional. Jinnah’s Pakistan is one of the greatest mythological retreats these people have. The facts unfortunately dont change. The cancerous patriotism which wants us to love the cancers we have because its our own has already destroyed this country. The drum beating of partition histories, or highly selected versions of it, does not change the reality. It doesn’t. India is a functioning secular democracy with a really independent and and pro- rights judiciary. Pakistan on the other hand is the text book case of failed or failing state. Ruled by military dictators, the neo fascist state has committed genocides in East Pakistan and Balochistan.

I can understand the frustration, when Pakistan’s president, its Prime minister, its Chief Justice all sit in line and are taught governance by Ambassador Hoolbroke. Begging money around the globe, the state and its politics has always been micro managed by United States of America. With Obama’s new policy of bracketing Pakistan with Afghanistan, i can understand the pain and frustration. Patriotism is not covering all these hideous facts; rather it is to highlight these so that change can come. The Jinnah’s Pakistan where editors of Pak Tea House live is so shining and perfect that it doesn’t need any change.

Late Eqbal Ahmad once commented on the Neo-Fascism, one of the defining characters of Neo fascist states was their obsession with the cold war and its rhetoric. These people still live in the time of cold war. The mantra of Pinko, commies, Marx all represents the same case! The articles on which the gentleman has commented had nothing to do with Marx, Marxism, and its theory or practice. How much Marxism do these people know is evident from the quality of articles on Marx which they publish. All this is identity paradox of these people; want to be Lefti for romantic reasons but have hatred for the left. This man even once declared Faiz Ahmad Faiz as “military collaborator” repeating the notorious charges brought up by Liaqat Ali Khan’s government which brought about one of the bloodiest read scares.   Champions of secularism maintain Afghan Jihad as “one of the most glorious Jihad” of 21 century. One is surprised to hear this especially looking at what Pakistan is going through today that any self styled patriot could say any thing like that. But its fact, not only this, the creation of Islamic fascist monsters and mercenaries to infiltrate Afghanistan is also appreciated. The only objection he has to it  is that Pakistani state couldn’t control it. These democratic and secular values I fail to understand, I abhor them and will continue to do so.

Why my writing is so objectionable to these clowns because I highlight the ironies and fallacies of the grand propaganda mechanism at work in Pakistan in name of history, political science, nationalism etc etc. Its not very far back when this man was cursing India after Mumbai attacks. He denied the existence of Ajmal Kasab. He even went as far as denying existence of Faridkot in Pakistan. I even than wrote that politics of denials will not work. The whole world than saw the shame and humiliation which these hawks brought to the nation when press in United Kingdom and later Daily Dawn exposed Ajmal Kasab and FaridKot . Not only this but ironically they had written that the place was indeed liked a “Jihadi factory” and a recruiting ground for LeT. Writing dogmatically in grip of passion result in irrational swings , Asif Ali Zardari was his hero, he was foolishly writing qaseedas of him all for the wrong reasons, now he is on his hit list again for all the wrong reasons.

Facts speak for themselves, that’s why I understand the frustration, the resultant abuses and witch hunts, when I was writing on administrative failure of Shahbaz Sharif in Punjab, I was writing on how due to his policies and his government’s continuous support to religious fanatics will push Southern Punjab to calamity. Today whole world is crying about Southern Punjab. My continuous warnings on Southern Punjab becoming the hub of religious extremism are now haunting the whole country as a specter. He was than busy writing qaseedas of Shahbaz Sharif as champion of progressive cause. Later it was discovered that his government was sponsoring violently bigoted anti ahmedi and jihadi organization Tehriq e khatam e nabuat. Now he once again had to swing back on his position. Ahmadi children are being incarcerated in Punjab on his orders, no court has intervened. His administrative skills, even Ayaz Amir , who is the sitting MNA of  PML-N has now written 4 times on governance and administrative style of Shahbaz Sharif criticizing it as highly centralized, populist and leading to administrative disaster. But these clowns who pose as secular and do politics in laps on Jamate Islami and PML-N like the scoundrel Aitzaz Ahsan have lost all insight in their delusional dogmatism.

When history slaps I know it stings a lot so I can understand the frustration, the judicial movement, I had long maintained that nothing will change and its all a right wing political agenda with a constitutional rhetoric. I had pointed out in the start of the movement that the slogans of restoration of constitution and restoration of judiciary are reactionary slogans; one should speak of “reformation of constitution” and “reformation of judiciary”. I was writing that the constitution of Pakistan itself is cause of these problems. At that time we are also abused by these clown, now they understand that Chief Justice has to work within the constraints of constitution given by PPP.  We were saying that all along that instead of sitting in the laps of Jamate Islami and PML-N and General Hamid Gul these secular clowns should protest for a greater cause! To bring about a new social contract. The right wing was defeated and would have easily come on table but they brought them back to position of strength.  When Aitzaz Ahsan and his cronies were singing the songs of this constitution on tv 24./7didn’t this fact crossed their mind?  The proud “constitutional movement” didn’t realized which constitution it is following? Other day I heard one such clown on TV saying our movement has made 73 constitution so popular that now even the street people know its clauses! Now suck on these clauses!!

I can understand the frustration, history has slapped them on their faces, the ISI managed Black Revolution, couldn’t live for even few days!. The extra judicial murders of Baloch leaders exposed the character of restored higher judiciary once again. What change did it brought when still FIR of the martyred leaders could not be registered? According to the Asian Human Rights Commission’s report, Pakistan Army is holding Baloch women in torture cells and using them as sex slaves. The commission has published numerous reports of such nature and they have widely been read in legal circles in Pakistan. The case of Zarrina Marri , have specially been highlighted again and again by the commission as well as the progressive political workers. According to the commission Miss Marri is being held in a torture cell run by Pakistan Army and being used as “sexual slave”. Why Supreme Court of Pakistan is blind to this sort of state terrorism?

I can understand the frustration of these thugs very well. The failure of judicial revolution has become so obvious that its embarrassing. If any one is not delusional and not living in “Jinnah’s Pakistan” its evident to him like July’s sun. Not only it’s the failure of mythological rhetoric of non existent Pakistani nationalism, it is turning into a crisis which could destroy the whole democratic transition. Take the example of Mr Ayaz Amir, famous intellectual and MNA of PML-N, one of the most active supporter of Judicial movement, his latest column is a lament of all what’s going wrong in the Supreme Court. The intervention by Supreme Court in matters of executive especially in taxation resulted in even him reprimanding the judges! I had already pointed out in my writing this trend of ignoring “Trias Politica” by Supreme Court. The honourable judges are not at fault, they have been continuously pushed towards politics by these clowns who have these disastrous theories about “Jinnah’s Pakistan”. Their agenda is now a civil Martial law of a kind, non democratic government of technocrats [these clowns themselves]: An experiment which had already failed in Bangladesh.

His most honourable lordship the Chief Justice of Pakistan whose Soumoto notices have now acquired legendary status. His lordship takes interests even in minute of issues and resolves them. One latest example of judicial activism after restoration is “protecting the chicken of Islamic Republic of Pakistan from eating pork”. The great reward his lordship will have in court of All mighty Allah for this great deed. Chicken have now been saved from eating pork the most evil animal, by eating pork perhaps chicken of the Islamic republic underwent some organic change [reminds me of the great theoretical debates on nature of Transubstantiation in Europe in heyday of Church of Rome] and these pork-eating-chicken when consumed by the pious men of land of pure could destroy the Islamic credentials and abilities.

The secular clowns rejoice on triumph of Jinnah’s Pakistan and black revolution, I am in midst of spiritual ecstasy, our nation has found the Momin of Iqbal , rejoice Tahirah Abdullah and Aitzaz Ahsan and Pak Tea House, his lordship said: “Pakistan is an Islamic nation. In an Islamic country, we cannot grant the permission to feed haram meat to people. It brings disgrace to the nation.’’ Lets us all curse Gandhi, Congress, Bacha Khan and Communists, Pinkos faggots, who were feeding nation pork. I am sure now that Aitzaz Ahsan and other secular clown can sit in Jinnah’s Pakistan drinking Whiskey and eating Halal [?] chicken, we are closer to [?] our secular utopia

I am condemnable, indeed should be hanged because I dare to ask these elitist thugs high on wine of Jinnah’s non existent Pakistan and in grip of violent anti communism of cold war and McCarthy eara, that the Blochs women who are being treated as sex slaves and the Ahmedi children in dungeons of SS’s Punjab police worth even less than Chickens of the Islamic Republic??? My only fault is  this.

Mein zeher e hilahul ku kabhi keh na saka Kand!

Asian Human Rights Commission has identified 52 torture cells in Pakistan maintained by ISI , Pakistan Army, FIA and other state agencies where political workers and activists are continued being tortured, those in these torture cells are unlucky , the chicken of Islamic Republic have more rights than these poor people. This is my crime to raise the non convenient facts, to ask bitter question for which I am labeled commie, Pinko, traitor. But I will keep asking this question.  I abhor these cancers I will never accept these evils in name of patriotism. They say patriotism is a scoundrel’s last resort. They killed Hasan Nasir because according to them he was not patriot. Faiz and Fraz were also traitors in their eyes.  These witch hunts are not new for us. We will keep fighting.

Bala se hum ne na dekha tu or dekhen ge

Faorough e gulshan o soat e hazar ka mosam

Last but not the least, today when Prime minister of Pakistan is about to have a crucial meeting with his Indian counter parts, the hero of these scoundrels Mian Shahbaz Sharif’s government has dissociated itself from the appear against the release Hafiz Saeed, the monster of Muridkey [whose agent Ajmal Kasab was defended by these thugs who couldn’t find Faridkot on Pakistani map] in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. This clearly is to sabotage the meeting and keep Saeed out of jails. One more act of patriotism perhaps!!

Finally to my friend Raza Rumi, since after publicly protesting against the editorial policy of PTH I had stopped writing for PTH. There were exceptions to it because I contributed occasionally on his insistence. He knew all the back ground; he knew perfectly well that I am not the only writer who has suffered at PTH witch hunt. Despite my numerous pleadings, he didn’t remove my name from PTH list of contributors. I kept doors open tried to maintain a courteous relationship but my friend didn’t showed the grace worthy of his stature. He let his blog repeatedly being used by those who have a personal agenda against me. He could have taken his agenda on his personal blog.  I was Part of the PTH team and being one of its co editors for a long time, he failed to protect my interests. The failing standards of editorial borad can be seen from the fact the rebuttals are being published without giving links to the articles I wrote. What is ironic is that lies and distortions are being allowed, one such statement is PM Gilani being one of the largest land owners of Southern Punjab. He is not even a modest land owner of Multan. They were earning their lively hood by running beauty parlors, schools n stuff in Multan. The largest land owners of Southern Punjab are Gardezis, Qureshies, Khakwanis, Makhdooms of Rahim Yar Khan etc. Association with Pak Tea House has now become one of the bitterest experiences of life. I had an idea about that, in post modern conditions the modern tendencies have become reactionary. When I wrote my first article for Pak Tea House[it was one of the first articles to be published in PTH] I predicted it. But I had no idea it will become so dirty. Thans Raza for every thing. I hope now you will remove my name from PTH

Pak Tea House: A Coropreal Being No More. November 7, 2007.

“Hello “world!”. A very simple line it appears to be but it haunts me. What is the world? World was understood either as “A totality of Objects” or “A totality of Facts”. There was a world, where we use to have a “Pak Tea House”, which enjoyed a corporeal being.

A solid real object that was alive, living and healthy. Objects float in time and time is condensed in epochs which determine the spirit of objects. The epoch we entered had a peculiar spirit. It enchants and bewitches . The objects are reduced to their use value, loosing their corporeal being and solidity to a mere exchange value, becoming ghosts”

The De-Realiztion is Complete!!

For last two years people of Pakistan have been listening to lectures on “rule of law”. “justice”. “human rights”,  by PML-N. All of our great liberals and progressives kept dancing on Sharif’s beat. When honourable justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was restored, it was equated to a “new dawn” similar to that of 14th August 1947!

Opportunists like Aitzaz Ahsan and Tahirah Abdulla kept confusing the intellectual class by their theories and pushed them all in the basket of Right Wing.

Ahmedi Kids remain in jail, untouched by “Justice Revolution” so as 80% of Pakistani population which lives on less than 2 dollars a day! But Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif got justice, their lawer Abid Minto didnt even have to speak much, he was given a month leave of absence as well. Aitzaz Ahsan thank you very much! we got justice and Jinnah’s Pakistan. In front of these great achievements , bodies of martyred Balochs hold what meaning? What if they are still waiting for judicial intervention to get the FIR registered!!

One more evidence of Shahbaz Sharif’s good governance. Thankyou very much Aitzaz Ahsan and Tahirah Abdulla

Shaheryar Ali

20 May 2009
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PAKISTAN: Love marriage greeted by the torture of a family; one girl is abducted by a Punjab MP

ISSUES: Torture; abduction; illegal detention; disappearance
——————————————————

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information that six members of a family, including three women and one young girl, were arrested on the instructions of a member of the Punjab provincial assembly (and Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N) in retaliation for a love marriage. All have been tortured severely by police in custody, with one man unable to walk. A seventh member of the family, a sixteen-year-old girl, has not been seen or heard of since her arrest, when she was sent away in a car with the parliamentarian. The AHRC believes she is in danger of being raped. Two men and one woman remain in Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi.

CASE DETAILS: (As related by the victims and local NGOs)

Miss Kulsoom Baloch, 25, belongs to a wealthy industrial family in Islamabad, which owns cotton mills and has ties to parliament. Her cousin Mr. Iftekhar Ahmed Baloch is a member of the Punjab assembly (MPA) and is a parliamentary secretary. The AHRC has been informed that Khulsoom’s family were enraged by her decision to marry Mr. Fazal Abbas, 29, who is from a less wealthy family. The pair were married in Sarghodha–Abbas’ home city 400km away–in a civil court on March 22, 2009.

On April 25 a First Information Report (FIR: a document of complaint) was filed against Abbas at the Airport Police Station in Rawalpindi (Punjab province) by Kulsoom’s brother, Mr Mehmood Ur Rehman. It charged Abbas with the girl’s abduction and rape, and the theft of her jewelry and cash.

Early the next morning Baloch, the MPA, with Mehmood Ur Rehman and Kulsoom’s brother-in-law Mr. Nasir Khan Baloch, along with Mr. Basheer, an assistant sub inspector (ASI) and other police officers, raided the house where Kulsoom was staying. She was beaten severely by each member of the raiding party and asked for the address of her husband’s office. Neighbors intervened and Kulsoom managed to escape.

The same group of men then visited the house of her in-laws in Iqbal colony, Sargodha. They forcefully entered the home and badly beat the women and girls there, asking again for the address of Abbas’ office. After some time, officers and the MPA arrived at the house with Abbas, who was reportedly bruised and bleeding.

They then forced Abbas and his sisters, Mrs Riffat Rani (wife of Shafiq Dogar); Miss Nadia, 19, who is a national badminton champion; Miss Shazia Riaz, 16; and Miss Nazia, 12, into three private cars. Shazia Riaz was loaded into a car with Iftekhar Ahmed Baloch, and has not been seen or heard from since.

At Airport Police Station, Rawalpindi, 400 km away, our reports allege that the three women and Fazal were badly and systematically beaten by Station House Officer (SHO) Mr. Choudhry Safdar and Assistant Sub-Inspector, Mr. Basheer. Basheer reportedly told Nadia that if she were to become his ‘friend’–suggesting some kind of sex act–he would give her certain concessions. The women’s clothing was torn, their hair was pulled and they were thrown against walls. The officers continually asked them where their daughter-in-law Kulsoom was hiding.

Baloch, the MPA, visited the station twice during that period, telling the women that unless they could lead the police to Kulsoom, he would never release Shazia from his personal custody.

After three or four days the women were produced before Mr. Azmat Ullah, a civil judge in Rawalpindi for remand and were charged with aiding the abduction of Kulsoom when she married their brother. Remand was granted, and the judge ignored the girls’ claims that they had been severely tortured. Nadia also tried telling the judge that since she was the national badminton champion he should consider the pride of the nation; he reportedly laughed at her.

In the meantime, on April 28, officers at Brana Police Station, Jhang, Punjab arrested Mr. Shafiq Dogar, the husband of Fazal’s elder sister, and charged him with stealing. The case was filed the next day. This police station lies in the electoral constituency of Iftekhar Ahmed Baloch, the MPA. On May 3 Dogar was taken by ASI Basheer of Rawalpindi and two of Kulsoom’s brothers, Mehmood ur Rehaman and Saif ur Rehman to the Airport Police Station, where he was beaten so badly he lost the use of his legs. He believes that they are broken, but has been given no medical care. On May 12 Dogar was produced in a wheel chair before the same civil judge, Mr. Azmat Ullah, who showed the same indifference to his injuries. He was released on bail for charges of theft, but remanded further on a new charge of aiding Kulsoom’s abduction.

After Dogar’s arrest on the 28th his wife was released from custody. Nadia and Nazia were released on bail on May 6, but when their mother, Mrs. Nasrin Akhtar, 50, collected them at Adiala jail in Rawalpindi, she was arrested. She was taken to the Airport Police Station and beaten by the same SHO and ASI, and bears the torture marks on her back and hands. She is currently in Adiala jail on the orders of civil judge Azmat Ullah.

The family have filed a case regarding the illegal arrest and torture, however the continuous arrest of family members and threats from the Baloch family have sent them into hiding across Pakistan, and they are unable to pursue their case.