Written by Lal Khan in Lahore Tuesday, 22 December 2009

With thanks: International Marxist Website

After years of military dictatorships followed by sham democracy, the situation in Pakistan has reached such a point that the masses are yearning for radical change. Their suffering is immense as the people at the top continue to enrich themselves at the expensive of the workers and peasants, collaborating with imperialism as it rides rough-shod over the people of Pakistan. Everything is moving to an inevitable revolutionary explosion.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court in its verdict of 16 December, 2009 declared the notorious NRO null and void ab initio. The National Reconciliation Ordinance of October 2007 was promulgated by the then President of Pakistan General Parvaiz Musharraf. It was the outcome of a deal he had struck with Benazir Bhutto, life Chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party in a covert meeting in Abu Dhabi. The deal was brokered by the United States and Britain. The aim was to create a new setup that could facilitate the imperialist war and other interests in this turbulent region.

According to this ordinance all cases of politicians including corruption, murder, extortion, kidnappings and other heinous crimes would be withdrawn. Some of the major beneficiaries are now in power including Benazir’s widower Zardari, now the President of Pakistan and some of his most sinister ministers. The other main beneficiary is the Muteheda Qaumi Movement, MQM, whose leader, an absconder resident in London for several years, and its other leading figures were facing charges of murder and other crimes. The MQM is a mafia-type organisation with neo-fascist tendencies and its main ideological baggage is based on ethnic conflict.

The present democratic dispensation is the product of such a nefarious design. After Benazir’s assassination in December 2007 Musharraf’s fate was sealed. The plan B came into action and Zardari having a long standing relationship with US officials was catapulted into the presidency with his firm assurance that he would be more subservient to the Americans than Musharraf or Benazir could ever have been. The Electoral College for this election are comprised of members of the National and provincial assemblies who were elected in the February 2008 elections, the results of which were tailor-made in Washington to serve the imperialist strategies.

Ironically this unanimity, or “reconciliation”, between all the parties in Parliament was prompted by a collective fear on the part of these representatives of the ruling class in the wake of the beginnings of a mass movement that they witnessed on the arrival of Benazir from exile in Karachi on October 18, 2007 and later after the explosion of the wrath of the workers, peasants and youth at the news of her assassination on December 27, 2007. After a long period of suffering, the oppressed in Pakistan had risen up in the hope that the leader of their traditional party, the PPP under Benazir Bhutto, would be a beacon of change and free them from the unrelenting misery and distress.

The Americans had already done their homework with the PPP leaders, who mainly come from the moneyed classes, to divert this outburst into a democratic election and façade of “democracy”. These leaders drowned the mass anger and revolt in sorrow and despair. They refused to call for a general strike for the elections to be held on the scheduled date of January 8, 2008 and blocked the movement. This gave an opportunity to the Pakistani state and its imperialist masters to regroup their forces and stave off the threat of a revolutionary upheaval.

The Military in Pakistan has ruled directly for more than half of the country’s 62 years of chequered history. All the military regimes were supported and propped up by US imperialism. During the “democratic” intermissions the plight of the masses continued to deteriorate. After the first decade (1947-58) of democratic regimes, such was the crisis that when Martial Law was imposed by Field Martial Ayub Khan there was even a sense of relief amongst several sections of society.

Ayub Khan had the impertinence to say in one of his initial statements “we must understand that democracy cannot work in a hot climate. To have democracy we must have a cold climate like Britain.” General Ayub told the first meeting of his cabinet, “As far as you are concerned there is only one embassy that matters in this country: the American Embassy.”

The Ayub dictatorship embarked upon an ambitious economic, agrarian and industrial programme in the 1960s, mainly sponsored by “US Aid” and the World Bank. Although Pakistan achieved its highest growth rates under Ayub, Keynesian economic policies failed to improve the lot of the masses. The aggravated social contradictions exploded into the revolution of 1968-69 that was fundamentally of a socialist character. [See Pakistan’s Other Story-The 1968-69 Revolution].

The failure of the existing left leadership to give a clear revolutionary programme and perspective to the movement resulted in the rise of the Populism of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Due to the absence of a Bolshevik-Leninist revolutionary party the revolution was lost. But it did shake the whole of South Asia. The ruling classes initially tried to impose Martial Law again. However, its failure to curb the tide resulted in the first elections based on the adult franchise in 1970 where the PPP became the largest party in West Pakistan.

Having failed to curtail the revolutionary wave that pierced through the ballot, ultimately the ruling classes resorted to a war with India, which led to the break-up of Pakistan and then Bhutto was given power who, forced by the pressure of the masses, initiated radical reforms from above, but only to exhaust the revolution brewing below.

Bhutto’s elected left reformist government was subsequently overthrown by a military coup led by General Zia ul Haq in July 1977, who later hanged Bhutto at the behest of US imperialism. The eleven-year brutal dictatorship of Zia was perhaps the most traumatic period for the working masses in Pakistan. In connivance with the Americans, Zia propped up and unleashed the beast of Islamic fundamentalism to crush the left. The continuance of that grotesque monstrosity is what produced the present day fundamentalist terror that is ripping apart the social fabric of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Zia Dictatorship began to crumble after another upheaval on the return from exile of Bhutto’s daughter Benazir in April 1986. The contradictions in the already weakened dictatorship were thus sharpened. General Zia’s plane was conveniently blown up in mid air in August 1988 – some have speculated that this may have been done at the request of the Americans, whom the megalomaniac and insane general had begun to “disobey” seeking his own personal agenda.

From 1988 to 1999 there was another democratic interlude, where Benazir and Nawaz Sharif alternated in short stints of rulerships. This period was marred by an orgy of corruption, incompetence, spiralling economic decline and chaos. General Musharraf took power in a bloodless coup by overthrowing Sharif. Musharraf then introduced a “quasi-democracy” in 2002 but the 9/11 episode in the USA once again made another dictator another main American collaborator. This time the façade was not against communists but we had the so-called “war against terror”.

Musharraf’s demise and the regime that ensued once again brought unprecedented agony and pain for the people of Pakistan. History has turned full circle. This vicious cycle of Pakistan’s political superstructure – dictatorship to democracy and back to dictatorship ‑ has brought no respite to society. Only the suffering has intensified. In reality this is a reflection of the ongoing social and economic crisis built into the foundations of this tragic country.

The Pakistani ruling class after its independence from direct British rule came onto the scene of history too late and with this came an inability to develop the economy. It was a weak class even at its inception. It could not produce enough surpluses for its profits and capital needed to tap the resources of the country and carry out its historical role of the national revolution that its pioneers had envisaged. It adjusted itself accordingly, and its survival depended on the one hand by being subservient to imperialism and on the other allying itself and compromising with the landed aristocracy created under the Raj. The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, as early as November 1947, less than three months after the formation of Pakistan, had sent his emissary to Washington asking for a $2bn loan. The response he got was a mere $10million of loose change.

The failure of Pakistan’s ruling elite is evident 62 years later. None of the national democratic tasks have been completed. Several agrarian reforms have failed to abolish feudalism. Pakistan came into existence not as a nation but as a state comprising different nationalities. National oppression continues and the national question has become a festering wound on the body politic of this country. The task of the formation of a modern nation state is far from being achieved and will in fact further deteriorate with the impending crisis. This state of incompleteness of the tasks has wrought havoc on the social and economic life of Pakistani society.

The social and political infrastructure is in a state of collapse. “National sovereignty” is a farce and hardly anybody believes in the state’s independence. Imperialist intervention and domination is on a greater scale today than it was in 1947, the year of Pakistan’s creation. Except for a few years under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, all the finance ministers have been employees of the World Bank or other imperialist financial institutions.

Now the US is even trying to control sections of Pakistan’s armed forces and intruding its military corporate contractors to take over “security” in several vital parts of the country. These include former Blackwater now XE securities, DynCorp and others. An embittered general described the strategic relationship as Americans using Pakistan as a “condom”. The conflicts within the army are also the result of this aggressive hegemony being thrust into the Military’s domain. This is already giving rise to bloody conflicts among different agencies and sections of the armed forces representing black money and other sections of finance capital. This conflict is being waged covertly at the present time. But if a desperate imperialism faces an impending defeat in Afghanistan and tries a partial US occupation of NWFP (Pushtoonkhwa), it could even trigger a severe crisis in the army already under strain from carrying out the CENTCOM instructions on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The fallout could have catastrophic consequences.

Similarly the severe crisis of Pakistani capitalism has failed to develop a parliamentary democracy. The Pakistani ruling class, in the wake of its economic failures turned to plunder of the state at an early stage. They pay less than 10% of total taxation revenues. The real burden falls on the working class who are forced to pay more than 80% of the revenues through indirect taxation. The capitalist class steals electricity and gas, while billions of dollars of bank loans have been written off. According to the figures presented before the Supreme Court of Pakistan, a small section of these leeches’ annual corruption exceeds Rs. 500 billion (US$6.2bn). Most of this money is stashed away in western banking havens.

As this process started to become more and more evident, the army, the most powerful instrument of the state, started to become part of this evil nexus of plunderers and usurpers. The drug-funded and US/Saudi sponsored Afghan Jihad brought even greater loot to the coffers of the generals. Other institutions of the state and society including the judiciary, the bureaucracy and the media joined in this orgy of corruption. Hence, whenever there was a political crisis (conflict of the civilian plunderers) the military moved in to quell the rot. The dictatorships bred more corruption and as they began to lose their grip democracy was introduced ‑ the main reason being the growing danger of a mass revolt that is provoked by these repressive regimes.

Although even a bourgeois democracy is a progressive step forward as compared to military dictatorships, the exploitative system that the military rulers intervene to salvage remains intact. In Pakistan this crisis-ridden system again creates a political instability that reflects the burning economic turmoil. The army and state are not a class, but in the last analysis the economic and social conditions determine the nature of the regime that is needed by the ruling class to preserve the system of exploitation of labour. Comrade Ted Grant elaborated on this in 1949 “The state by its very nature is composed of a bureaucracy, officers, generals, heads of police etc. But those do not constitute a class; they are the instrument of a class even if they may be in antagonism to that class. They cannot themselves be a class.” (The unbroken thread, pp.235).

In Pakistan the irony is that time and again the masses have risen up against the dictatorship, fundamentally to overthrow the yoke of exploitation and misery inflicted upon them by this vicious system of class rule. When they were allowed even to make half a choice through the ballot-box they propelled the PPP to power. Yet their hopes have been dashed time and again by the PPP in government in the short span of less than 40 years. The toiling masses have been loyal to their tradition for generations. The ruling class only allowed the PPP into the corridors of power to dissipate the mass upsurge. Above all the ruling class, the state and the imperialists have used the capitulating leaders of the PPP to carry through cuts, privatisations and other drastic anti-working class measures. They could not have achieved so much with the right-wing governments of Sharif, etc., but even under the dictatorships they combined caution with repression.

However, at least in the 1970s the PPP government did carry through some reforms for the betterment of the impoverished masses. In the later PPP governments since 1988 such was the crisis of Pakistani capitalism that there was no room for even minimal reforms. The PPP governments carried through right-wing policies and actions. Paradoxically, privatization and other policies of counter-reforms were introduced at the behest of imperialism by the PPP government in 1989.

The present theory of “reconciliation” initiated by imperialism is the most blatant and insidious form of class collaboration. Policies like the Public Private Partnership (PPP) are a deceptive and poisonous methodology to blunt the class struggle, deceive and corrupt the workers. Such privatization devastates the workers who fall into this treachery of “ownership” of factories from which they are themselves fired to sustain profits. The shares of “ownership” are turned into trash by the speculators on the stock markets and the impoverished workers become bankrupt and are forced into starvation and drudgery.

As the crisis worsens, the ruling class and the establishment come to the conclusion that the potential of a PPP government to carry out the policies to preserve capitalism have become exhausted, and they use the state to kick out PPP governments. If the Army is not in a position to carry out this act, then the other vital organ of the state, the Judiciary comes into play. After all, both are the sacrosanct pillars of the state.

As the PPP is a populist party it lacks democratic structures, with no democratically elected bodies and no revocability of the leadership. Hence an atmosphere of pusillanimity and conformity prevails inside the party where compromises and deals are the prerogative of the leader alone. The working masses have no alternative yet. Hence the right wing regime and dictatorships only prevail until the masses are in a state of disillusionment and despair due to the shattered hopes from the previous PPP government. At the same time the PPP leadership in its quest for power again, using the force of tradition tries to mobilise the masses. The slogans and programmes of every campaign are carefully calculated by the experts and advisors of the PPP leadership.

However, it is very difficult to control the masses once they are mobilized and are on the move. This forces the leaders to radicalise their slogans as the pressure from below mounts. Dialectically this further emboldens the masses and forces the traditional leaders to further move to the left and begin to defy the state. Sections of the state become terrified by this surge and in desperation resort to the most atrocious measures.

This was the dynamic and the intensification of the movement in the autumn of 2007 that led to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The experts who were promoting the interests of the status quo failed to handle this situation that was rapidly spiralling out of control. In ordinary times they try to use ideas and tactics, from left reformism to democracy, to the slogan of “food, shelter and clothing”. But they ensure that the party’s founding programme that calls for revolutionary socialism remains hidden from the rank and file and the workers and youth who are the main basis of support for the Party. It has in fact been buried by the leadership for more than two decades. Actually it is very awkward and embarrassing even to mention the word “socialism” in the meetings of the various tiers of the leaders.

Most if these present-day leaders have never read the founding documents of the PPP. This documents clearly states, “The ultimate objective of the party’s policy is the attainment of a classless society which is only possible through Socialism in our times”. The irony is that the initial revision of this programme was given the vulgar expression of a “multi-class party”. The latest version of this form of class collaborationism is “Reconciliation”. Often such discourses have led to the tragic assassinations of the most charismatic leaders of the PPP.

Chairman Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in his last book, “If I am assassinated”, had clearly warned about the catastrophic consequences of these class collaborationist digressions and even stressed upon the role of this ideological deviation in the imposition of Zia’s brutal Martial Law and as a cause of his own ordeal and assassination. Yet the next generation of the PPP leaders have not learnt anything from his last testament. And as the old saying goes, “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. How tragically the subsequent events have proved this to be so pertinent. But for how long will the masses continue to adhere to this tradition?

The present PPP-led coalition government based on the theory of “reconciliation” has meant havoc for the masses. In just two years of its existence, price hikes, increases in unemployment, lack of healthcare and education, deprivation, shortage of electricity, water, flour, sugar, petroleum products, gas, etc., have been astronomical. The level of poverty has risen sharply. Wars are raging in large areas of the country. Terrorism, fear, uncertainty and insecurity stalk the land. Suicide bombings and terrorist carnage has turned society into a living hell. The Americans are using the Pakistan Army and the state to fight their wars for strategies and interests that have been given false names and objectives. The PPP is in government but they are not the ones calling the shots. In this caged rulership they are being used to execute policies to further the vested interests of the imperialists and the ruling elites.

The crisis of the state and society has reached such proportions that even the serious bourgeois analysts are terrified of the consequences. They confess today what they could not even imagine in the past. An article in The Dawn says the following:

“Pakistan’s biggest tragedy… has been the axis of trouble between America, Pakistan army and the religious parties… until and unless the axis is broken… the so-called democratisation of Pakistan will not bring peace or prosperity to the latter’s 170 million people, nearly eighty percent of whom live below the poverty line of $2 a day. The army has no incentive to break the axis of trouble (a legacy of the great game) because it thrives on the perpetuations of conflicts in the region and the largesse it receives from the United States. Pakistan had been cursed by the civilian and military leaders who are too eager to follow the US agenda…

“…Politics has been demonised to degrees that save for the incompetent and allegedly corrupt individuals like Mr. Zardari or Mr. Nawaz Sharif or creations of the establishment like Altaf Hussain (MQM) or Maulana Fazalur Rehman, few wish to navigate the treacherous and murderous waters of Pakistani Politics.”

In this crisis-ridden condition the masses have been persistently imbued with the illusion that the judiciary would be the source of their salvation. This notion has been instilled not just by the right-wing politicians, the Islamic fundamentalists, the corrupt and reactionary bourgeois media but also by the left parties and groups. The restoration of the so-called “free” judiciary has not only failed to give any respite to the impoverished millions but has miserably failed to solve even petty issues like sugar shortages, petroleum prices, etc., and has been exposed to be impotent and ineffective. Its ‘suo motto’ actions have proved to be deceptive and farcical. The masses in their experiences of life know that not only justice is ridiculously expensive but it is corrupt to the core. The article in The Dawn further elaborates and exposes the role and character of Pakistan’s Judiciary.

“An independent Judiciary is an oxymoron in current objective conditions. The so called revolt by some in the judiciary against Musharraf was the manifestation of the power struggle inside the establishment. The judiciary is as much part of the collapsing Pakistani state structure as some of the big media personalities. The ugly reality is that the business of that state and policies has become a mafia enterprise with usual mix of big money (read business, drugs, land) interests and crime. This criminal enterprise has the active support of the Americans who find it convenient to use a corrupt instrument that a puppet state is, be it military or quasi military…

“…Until and unless a movement emerges that appeals to popular sentiment and represents the people’s real aspirations to create a genuinely democratic state, Pakistan’s chance of survival in its current state are grim.” (The Dawn, 5 December 2009)

We have quoted this article at some length because it graphically exposes the gravity of the situation. And that exposure is in the most important and traditional paper of Pakistan’s ruling class. The present ruling class are crying hoarse about democracy. They equate every solution of every problem to “democracy”. The din has now escalated to a deafening crescendo. Yelling about democracy at the top their voices round the clock, on the television, in the newspapers, every political party with ideologies ranging from Islamic fundamentalism to the nationalists, to the liberal and so-called ‘secular democrats’, has been issuing an agonising, monotonous and annoying message for the masses. The PPP leaders are the most tedious and raucous. The masses being thrust in the abyss of misery, poverty and disease have become sick and tired of this democratic demagogy, constitutional and legalistic wrangles and all this hypocritical nonsense of “national” interests’ with its decayed and treacherous patriotism.

Democracy is not a social system. It is a methodology used in different varieties in different social systems in history. From that of the Roman republic to the Athenian model and from the Asiatic despotic democracy to the shura of Islam this method of rule has gone through various forms and shapes. The masses in Pakistan have only experienced the worsening of their misery and pain under this “democracy” of finance capital and free market economics. The genuine democracy of the workers and the toiling masses can only be accomplished by the overthrow of this yoke of dictatorship of the financial oligarchy. The conditions on the ground and what the masses think represent a death knell for the upholders of this system. In a recent British Council report of s survey on Pakistan called “Next generation”, the following inferences have been drawn.

The young respondents who participated in this survey are deeply disillusioned with only 15 percent believing that Pakistan is moving in the right direction; 72 percent feel they are worse off than they were a year ago. Given this level of despair it is hardly surprising that only two percent are members of any political party. Just half of them are bothered to get themselves enrolled in the voters list and only 30% voted in the last election. Only half of young Pakistanis enter primary schools and a quarter go on to receive a secondary education. Less than five percent get a higher education of any kind. The conditions in hospitals and other basic facilities are even worse. Seventy eight percent of the population is forced into semi or non scientific medication. They simply can’t afford proper treatment. But this despair and apathy is not going to last forever.

The masses are fed up with most political and ideological tendencies and ideologies on the horizon. All present “solutions” that are within the confines of this rotting capitalist system. The masses are fed up with the Islamic parties and religious fundamentalism. The surge in terrorism has eroded their support drastically, which was not much anyway. They pose no alternative. The pro American stance of the nationalists and their love for a free market enterprise seals their fate of getting a mass social base. Liberal democracy with its rampant corruption, its betrayals and lumbering of the economic crusade upon the shoulders of the population has repelled the masses. There is a widespread revulsion towards these political trends and parties. Meanwhile, the army is going through internal conflicts that have fractured its cohesion and discipline. The escalation of war will further ignite dissent within the armed forces. The judiciary is being rapidly exposed. It sacrosanct image imposed by the media will further erode as deprivation and want intensify. It won’t and can’t solve any problems of the masses.

The PPP government is being targeted by the media. The Muslim League’s and Sharif’s party is facing a downward economic spiral. The only outcome of the policies of the present PPP government is that they are repaving the way for the right wing. If the Sharifs fail the right will bring in another alternative. But even the removal of the PPP government will not quell the rot. The crisis will further aggravate. Even if the ruling class and the Americans try to install a new military dictatorship it will be a very dangerous move for the system itself. It’s not the same military and it’s not the same times. Even Musharraf’s dictatorship seemed to be a picnic compared to the strong dictatorship of Ayub Khan or the brutal and ferocious military rule of Zia Ul Haq.

A new dictatorship may be very repressive to begin with but would be very fragile and would not last long in the present conditions. Bourgeois democracy has failed to deliver. The system is rotten to the core. It cannot take society forward. The extreme crisis of the system reflects the elements of barbarism raising its ugly head in several parts of Pakistan. Without a socio-economic transformation the country is doomed. Its breakup is not the most likely perspective but if at all it should happen, the bloodshed and devastation would be unprecedented. Its existence in the present form will be a continual aggravation of crisis and instability. The only way forward is the overthrow of this system through a socialist revolution.

There are innumerable left groups and parties. But they are miniscule and confused. They unite to break up into more sects that merge and then reunite again, without considering the ideological and theoretical basis or clear perspective and aims. They unite for ‘revolution’ without agreeing upon even the basic character of the revolution.

The PPP’s present leadership has been discredited to the extent that their regaining of social base in the coming period is unlikely. According to the Forbes magazine, Zardari is amongst the ten richest heads of state. He has even more wealth than the Queen of England. But that is not the end of the PPP. In spite, and despite, of its leadership the masses will not let go of their tradition without a fight. This time there is a far greater possibility that the leadership will be challenged as the party yet once again fills up in the wake of a fresh movement of the masses. But this time the challenge will come on an ideological basis. The Socialist foundations will come to haunt the present corrupt leaders and their cronies. There will be a huge ferment in the ranks.

The perspective of the movement is not just the only hope for the survival of this society but it is a reality unforeseen in the doom and gloom of those whose ideas were defeated by historical events. New generations have grown up since the fall of Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. They are yearning for change. Once they enter the arena of struggle a revolutionary wave will spread across society. Its reverberations will be felt among the trade unions, students, youth and the poor peasants. It will have an impact in the PPP as we saw the impact of the masses in the psychology of the leadership in the autumn of 2007.

If an organized Marxist tendency is quantitatively and qualitatively developed in time then another accidental leadership or demagogic individual being prepared by the state will not be able to hijack the PPP and divert and betray the movement again. A massive upheaval that would erupt out of such atrocious conditions and smash seemingly formidable obstacles will be even more forceful and militant than what we saw in 1968-69. The Marxists, if they are present as a substantial force armed with firm ideological understanding and profound methodology of revolutionary socialism, at the onset of such an upsurge will be able to illuminate for the workers, peasants and youth a clear path and a destiny they have yearned for generations. The victory of revolutionary socialism in Pakistan would not just destroy barbarism, but would have revolutionary repercussions far beyond these artificial borders.

Advertisements

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

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

Mubarak Ali

Every generation has its own dreams and vision which it wants to accomplish without interference. Not imitation but freedom is required to build a new world. Therefore, an attempt should not be made to repeat but to make new history. People should be liberated from the shadows and allowed to flourish in a free society. Great leaders should be respected but not worshipped.

Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had all the qualities and characteristics in his personality which go into the making of a myth. He was reticent, reserved, kept his personal matters secret, behaved coolly and proudly and was not warm towards anybody. Thus he created a halo of awe and fear around himself.

JinnahSri Prakash, the first Indian High Commissioner to Karachi, in his book Pakistan: birth and early years gives an account of a reception which was given by the Governor-General of Pakistan, just after Independence to the diplomatic corps. It was also attended by the party leaders and bureaucrats. According to his version, Mr Jinnah was sitting at a distance alone on a sofa and called one by one those he wanted to talk to. He exchanged notes with each one of them just for five minutes. To the High Commissioner, he appeared a lonely man, averse to people. His serious and sombre expression made all those who interacted with him uneasy in his company.

This conveyed the impression that he was the final authority in every matter. The Muslim League and its leaders were merely rubber stamps. His image of being the sole spokesman of his party and people created a number of myths. For instance, the myth about his serious illness which is recounted by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre in their book Freedom at midnight fascinates everybody and compels readers to take it seriously. The version of their story is:

“If Louis Mountbatten, Jawaharlal Nehru or Mahatma Gandhi had been aware in April 1947 of one extraordinary secret, the division threatening India might have been avoided. The secret was sealed onto the gray surface of a film, a film that could have upset the Indian political equation and would almost certainly have changed the course of Asian history. Yet, so precious was the secret that that film harboured that even the British CID, one of the most effective investigative agencies in the world, was ignorant of its existence.”

These were the X-rays of Jinnah diagnosed as a TB patient. The authors, after creating a suspense, further write that: “The damage was so extensive that the man whose lungs were on the film had barely two or three years to live. Sealed in an unmarked envelope, those X-rays were locked in the office safe of Dr J.A.L. Patel, a Bombay physician.”

On the basis of the story, Jinnah emerged as the one on whom depended the whole movement of Pakistan. The story further becomes interesting when a Hindu doctor kept the secret at the cost of Indian unity. His professional integrity was more important than his political inclinations.

In 1997, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of India-Pakistan Independence, Patrick French published a book, Liberty or death. After his own investigation, French refutes the whole story narrated by Collins and Lapierre. According to him: “The idea that Jinnah’s poor state of health was a closely guarded secret is absurd: it was referred to in the press at that time, and it is obvious from photographs taken in the mid-1940s that Jinnah was unwell.

Moreover, the reduction of the Muslim League’s wide popular backing to the whim of one man’s ‘rigid and inflexible’ attitude is indicative of the way that Pakistan history has been traduced. A second problem with Collins and Lapierre’s story is that it is not correct. Jinnah did not go to Bombay in May or June 1946, since he was busy in negotiating with Cripps in Simla and New Delhi. Nor did he have a doctor by the name of J.A.L. Patel. Although it is possible that Jinnah had tuberculosis in 1946, there is no evidence among his archive papers to support the theory.”

However, Jinnah himself on many occasions expressed the view that he was the sole creator of Pakistan. In one of his famous quotes, he said that he and his typewriter made Pakistan. The statement disregarded the efforts of his colleagues and the other Muslim League leaders in the Pakistan movement. It also downgraded the people’s participation in the struggle for a separate homeland.

There is evidence that he did not think highly of the leaders of the Muslim League. He found them mediocre and not capable of leading the nation. Perhaps, that was the reason that Jinnah, knowing his fatal illness, accepted ‘the moth eaten and truncated Pakistan’. The later history of Pakistan vindicates Jinnah’s assessment of the Muslim League leaders who miserably failed to solve the problems of a nascent nation.

The failure of these leaders has boosted Jinnah’s image as a superman. He overshadowed everybody. The nation also paid respect to him by naming universities, colleges, airports, roads, hospitals, and institutions of different kinds after him with the result that a citizen of Pakistan feels his presence every where in the country, wherever he goes.

Moreover, his image as a “Great Leader” (the Quaid-i-Azam) is presented in the textbooks to mould the mind of the young generation encouraging them to follow in his footstep. Scholars are eulogizing different aspects of his life. A film is screened to counter the film Gandhi in which Attenborough distorts the image of Jinnah. These efforts have made Jinnah sacrosanct. Any criticism of him is regarded a treason. He has become a paragon of super human virtues, beyond all weaknesses normal in human being.

The reverence accorded to him is such that mere association with him catapults a person from a humble position to the rank of freedom fighter. People take pride in their claim to have shaken hands with him (though he avoided shaking hands with people), or having seen him, talked to him, or merely attended his public meeting. The rulers of Pakistan, realizing the impact of his association, create myths of their links with him. Z.A. Bhutto claimed that as a student he wrote a letter to the Quaid – it is not known whether he replied to that letter or not, Zia’s sycophant bureaucrats discovered a diary of Jinnah (that was the time when Hitler’s diaries were discovered and later on proved false) which disappeared along with him.

Nawaz Sharif, assuming to follow in his footsteps, called himself ‘Quaid-i-Sani’ (the second leader). One such similar example is found in the history of France when Napoleon III made an attempt to revive the image of Napoleon I in order to legitimize his authority. Marx jokingly comments in The eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte that “Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.” Nawaz Sharif’s self-given title proves it.

Jinnah has become such a symbol of wisdom in the Pakistani society that people visualize Pakistan with his reference. His vision, his agenda, his dream and his ideals, all remained unaccomplished because he died soon after Independence. It is commonly believed that had he lived some more years, the history of Pakistan would have been different. There are few nations which rely so heavily on one individual.

No doubt, Jinnah was a great leader of his people. He was a man of integrity and honesty, but to idealize him to such an extent as to preempt the emergence of another rank of leaders out of his shadow is strange. Every generation has its own dreams and vision which it wants to accomplish without interference. Not imitation but freedom is required to build a new world. Therefore, an attempt should not be made to repeat but to make new history. People should be liberated from the shadows and allowed to flourish in a free society. Great leaders should be respected but not worshipped.

Thanks to Asif Ali Zardari’s intervention, the media black out of Anti Christian pogroms in Gojra has ended.  Shahbaz Sharif’s “great administrative skills” fully exposed. The law enforcing agencies which are now ordered to attend the monthly district meeting of PML-N through a written directive stood silently when muslim mob burned down 50 homes of Christians and looted 100 more. 9 Christians have been killed , more feared dead as the rubble is removed. It must be noted that the Muslim mob refused to allow the fire brigade to save burning human beings. The violence was instigated from a mosque  under control of a “banned” organization [Banned organizations enjoy state patronage in Islamic Republic especially the Islamic Republic of Sharifistan]. The violently bigoted pro Taliban Rana Sanaullah visited the area and i am sure like past he will see “Indian hand” behind it. Mr Sanaullah and govt of Punjab has seen Indian hand in almost all islamic terrorism.

The government of Punjab has systematically supported Jihadi and sectarian organization. Please raise your voice to save Pakistani Christians because the stalwarts of Jinnah’s Pakistan are busy celebrating the “historic” decision where the old PCO judges , pardoned their own high treason and kicked out new PCO judges and once again implemented the doctrine of necessity [as conceded by Justice Tariq of lawyers movement]. The comrades of the black revolution are busy in their thuggery in Lahore [Lawyers have started gangsterism after their success in Lawyers movement].No one is there to see whats happening to Christians after the “daily revolutions of Pakistan-———

Shaheryar Ali

Pakistan Christian Post Reporting:

Pakistan: August 1, 2009. (PCP) It was an other day of mourning for Christians when Muslim mob attacked at Christian Town and gunned down 9 Christian women, children and men and burnt down 50 homes in Gojra.
The first was identified as Inyat Masih among dead and fleeing Christian of Gojra are hiding to save life to identify other dead Christians.

The march of Muslims started from Railway Station Gojra at 12:00 noon today was attended by thousands of local and from near by villages marched towards Christian Town. The Christian Town Gojra is residence of two thousand Christian families who settled here over fifty years.

When Muslim marchers approached Christian Town, some two hundred Muslims hiding their faces with traditional Islamic scarf opened fire on Christian houses.

Protesters

Protesters

The Christian fled from home but who trapped were executed by face covered Muslims with automatic firearms. The Muslim attacker looted 100 homes and set on fire more than fifty Christian houses.

These Militants used a particular type of chemical which is hard to extinguish to burn Christian homes This chemical was used first in the village of “Shanti Nagar” which was set on fire in February 1997. Later this chemical was used in “Sangla Hill Town” and recently used to burn 60 homes of village Korian on night of July 30, 2009.

Sunny Gill based in Karachi told PCP that he called his relatives in Gojra on their Cell Phone after watching news of attack on a local TV channel and they were crying and telling “they have burnt whole colony and they have no shelter to stay in Gojra now” They are very far from Karachi and do not have money to reach to him in Karachi. There are hundreds of Christians stranded and in hiding in Gojra and near by villages.

According to information of PCP, received by calls and e-Mails by relatives of Christians of Gojra, 4 women, one child and 4 men are dead due to gun shots and many have burn injuries.

According to news agencies, four women and one child were burnt alive by Muslims and burnt dead were received by federal Minority Ministry.

Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC have condemned statement issued by a minister in Punjab government that “ Muslim marcher were peaceful and some one shot fire on rally to ignite anger among them”

Dr. Nazir S Bhatti expressed concern on media reports which reported attackers to be Sunni Muslims because Christians had always cordial relation with Sunni Sect of Muslims in Pakistan. Such reporting can flare up riots which Christians are not bear to afford because Christian do not guns to protect them.

“PCC demands Punjab government to adopt strict security measure to main law and order to ensure safety of life and property of Christians.

Picture Credit: BBC Urdu

Couldnt resist the temptation, i have been long writing that Pakistan’s Army’s operation in Swat is just a PR exercise to improve their standing Amongst the people of Pakistan. Dr Samina Ahmad of International Crisis Group had also repeatedly warned people about this. She warned people against beating Army’s drum and the need to limit Army’s role in humanitarian activities in Swat. After killing innocent people and displacing 2.5 million people, creating ethnic hatred in Sindh between Pashtuns and Sindhis and providing safe escape to Taliban and spreading them all over Pakistan, in guise of operation: The notorious Taliban leader Mullah Fazalullah today contacted BBC. Yet another monster Muslim Khan the spokesman of Taliban also talked to the BBC. Not only they are well but they are running their Sharia Justice. They have “pardoned” 5 politicians and threatened others. The legendary Taliban radio was also heard in Swat again according to reports The secular clowns who were beating Army’s drum and cursing anyone who tried to point out that Army is main supporter of Taliban. Even  if thats not the case [suppose], these “patriots” [read establishment stooges] should worry about the professional capabilities of Pak Army who could kill a single Taliban top leader and couldnt block a FM radio Now keep cursing India, Gandhi and ANP. Welcome to Reality l FACT:  During the  Swat operation  , one of the most glorified military operation of Pakistan Army, Not a single Top Taliban leader was either arrested or killed. the estimated number of Taliban in region was approx 6000. 2.5 to 3 million people were displaced whose life has been ruined. Long Live “Jinnah’s” Pakistan

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!!