“The Invisible NRO”

 

Source: Dawn News

Sharif brothers accused of money laundering

Thursday, 12 Nov, 2009

Senator Ishaq Dar, while accusing Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif of money laundering, also implicated himself by confessing in the court that he had opened fake foreign currency accounts in different international banks. – File photo

ISLAMABAD: Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif have allegedly indulged in money laundering, according to one of their close associates and a high-profile PML-N leader, Ishaq Dar.

NAB Court documents have recently emerged which show that Senator Dar made some interesting revelations in an accountability court in April 2000.

The court was hearing the famous Hudaibiya Paper Mills case against the Sharif brothers.

The 43-page confessional statement of Senator Ishaq Dar was recorded on April 25th 2000 before the District Magistrate Lahore. Dar was produced before the court by the then Assistant Director Basharrat M Shahzad, of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Dar, in his statement had admitted that he had been handling the money matters of the Sharif family and he also alleged that Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shahbaz Sharif were involved in money laundering worth at least $14.886 million.

The statement by Senator Ishaq Dar is irrevocable as it was recorded under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Senator Ishaq Dar is a high-profile PML-N leader and has always been considered close to the Sharif brothers as his son, Ali Dar, is married to Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, Asma.

But in April 2000 the top PML-N leadership had hit a rough patch by then and some of their loyal lieutenants were busy developing a new political system for General (retired) Pervez Musharraf after his October 1999 military coup.

In this context, Ishaq Dar accused Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif of money laundering in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.

Interestingly, Ishaq Dar also implicated himself by confessing in the court that he – along with his friends Kamal Qureshi and Naeem Mehmood – had opened fake foreign currency accounts in different international banks.

He said that the entire amount in these banks finally landed in the accounts of Hudaibiya Paper Mills Limited.

Senator Ishaq Dar was the main witness against Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif in the case.

The Hudaibiya Paper Mills case is still pending in the National Accountability Bureau.

Since the statement made by Dar was recorded under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the statement has become a permanent part of the case against the top PML-N leaders.

If the case is opened again, the Sharif brothers may discover that the tightening noose around them was originally prepared by one of their own family members and trusted lieutenant Senator Ishaq Dar.—DawnNews

 

Xeno

Thief Shumila Rana

Thief Shumila Rana

“It’s a victory of justice” these were the magical words that PML-N’s MP  Miss Shumaila Rana uttered outside the LHC . Miss Rana was accused of credit card theft and was caught in act of crime by the CCTV whose footage was shown on national TV. I guess those words really define our society today, it is victory for someone but the question is , can it be called a victory for Justice?

Can present judiciary make unbiased decisions especially in the cases of  those who supported the cause of old PCO judges [these honourable judges took oath under PCO issued by General Pervez Musharaf when he dismissed the right wing bonapartist regime of Mr Nawaz Sharif and legalized his martial law, gave him the power to rule the country in uniform and to amend the constitution at his will and after first restoration allowed him to contest the presidential election in uniform]  like lawyers and political parties.
Let us take the case of Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday his brother the former attorney general of Pakistan an sitting MPA of PML-N from Toba Tek Singh his son (Raza Farooq) was made attorney general of Punjab against the established  criteria of competency and skill just for his and his family’s time tested affiliation  with the  Sharifs .

Can we expect the justice when uncle is a Judge with political views, [right wing] nephew Attorney general and father former attorney general and now a very important MP of  party in power. To find out an answer thankfully we don’t have to search hard. Justice Ramaday had answered that in one of his many television interviews [ A practice which itself is deplorable in British judicial tradition from which our judicial system has evolved] he said, “I never gave a judgment against Asif Ali Zardari  because my brother then the Attorney general was defending Nawaz Sharif government.” I have a problem with that Mr Ramaday because  justice delayed is justice denied, isn’t? If you were so sure Mr Asif Ali Zardari has done something wrong you should have convicted him

Old PCO judges remain in control

Old PCO judges remain in control

under the law. When you were not giving decisions in cases of Mr Asif Ali Zardari to prove the twisted logic of your impartiality, you were in fact hindering his release and his bail. Mr Asif Ali Zardari spent 11 years in prison without being convicted setting a record in judicial persecution. It was not you impartiality your honour, ill beg to say that the  truth is you never did that because it was not in the script that Saif-ur-Rehman had written. The plan was never to fight corruption , or to serve justice, rather it was to delay justice, to drag the cases for long time to keep Asif Ali Zaradari in jail during the prime of his married life to break the will of Ms Benazir Bhutto, to continue a media trial of Bhutto-Zardari family , to destroy their popularity hence finish the PPP.
The cases were fake and weak and you never would wanted to give your judgment and  your brother was buying time from your respected court for his brilliant colleague Mr  Saifur Rehman to manhandle and torture Mr Zardari , so that he breaks, either divorce Ms Bhutto or accept the allegations of massive corruption. [Mr Asif Ali Zardari was tortured in custody without any intervention from the courts, in one instance his tongue was slit using a sharp object, his also suffered a permanent spine injury due to torture]

He was kept in prison for 11 year to break him so that either he divorces

Benazir

Benazir

BB or accept the allegation, but he stood firm, when the Sharif  family ran away from the country like cowards , Mr Nizami of Nawa-e-waqat, one of the worse enemy of Bhuttos called Asif Ali Zardari Merd-e-Hur.
you can’t deny that  Sharifs are enjoying full support of judiciary in Punjab. Recently magistrates were appointed by Punjab government the appointment criteria was political support of PML-N, this was the clear violation of new judicial policy but no court acted. All the laws and morality comes into play only when PPP is involved, there is a lot of hue and cry against “jiyala judges” but when it comes to judges who are sympathizers of PML and JI not a single word is uttered.

The Pundits in Islamabad are already talking about regime change and “minus one” formula in Islamabad.Why Benazir and Asif Ali Zardari are not acceptable? The roots of it lies in the structure of Pakistani state, which have been called a “National Security State”.

The reason is BB was not part of national security state the idea which civil-military bureaucracy had carried forward since our first war with India in 1948. BB was termed as a threat to national security. Now let us determine theory of national security state.
• India is our enemy number one.
• America will give us funds, so that we remain a national security state because its in our interest and if we serve American interest its not problem as long India remains our enemy.

Now let analyze internal factors which protects national security state .

Military ,intelligence agencies , courts ,religious parties and right wing media  they roughly form what left wing analyst use to call “establishment” whose meaning has been distorted by the channel mafia. I remember in recent television interview of Mr Majid Nizami [editor and own of Nawa-e-waqt group one of the leading media business houses of Pakistan which controls Urdu and English news papers and  a television channel ]was saying we can never be friend with India and we should not waste our time we  should fire our all nuclear weapons towards India . what worse can happen in the process we are already dying because India has stopped  our water supply. A similar Media Pundit, Mr Javed Chaudhary always concludes his popular programme by saying “we can never be friends with India”.

Coming back to our original discussion why BB was a threat to a national security state .
Reason number one she never considered India as enemy number one , her  first state visit to India was first step towards normalization and thankfully Mr Rajiv Gandhi also rose to the occasion and acted very sensibly . This was a direct threat from BB to national security state because the whole Idea of national security state revolves around India (enemy ) .
Agencies never accepted BB olive branch towards India . Her first government was dismissed , her role in normalization and her meeting with Mr Gandhi was part of the charge sheet along with the allegation of appointing great Urdu poetess Fehmida Riaz, the “Indian agent” in minister of culture.  One of the first act of Mr Sharif’s government was to confiscate Miss Raiz’s passport and persecute her.

Now we are left with role of judiciary in protecting national security state.  BB’s government was overthrown on charges of corruption and judiciary endorsed that decision but the decision was different for Mr Sharif whose government was one of the most corrupt and repressive.

The Chief Justice which restored Sharif’s government was Nasim Hassan Shah, one of the judges who hanged Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He later confessed on tv , that his decision was flawed and motivated by anger.

His decision to restore Sharif’s government was hailed as a “judicial revolution” which destroyed the “doctrine of necessity” for ever. What happened after that is history

Forget about all this, General Hameed  Gul on national television had said BB was a threat to national security so he created IJI and funded it till the end.

Now one IB  chief Breg Imtiaz made stunning confessions on TV which proves that the establishment itself created ethnic tensions in Karachi by creating the stunt of “Jinnah Pur”. This led to brutal  military operation, the ethnic hatred it created still is burning Karachi. This shows how far this state can go for its security objective, even if it means to kill its own people.

So now we come to present situation president is not going to dissolve assemblies , the government of Pakistan Peoples Party despite all the propaganda and ill faith about it which exist in the Urban chattering classes has shown remarkable progress. Some things must be mentioned which this government achieved

1) It sent Pervez Musharraf home

2) Faced with the worse global economic meltdown whose scale and effect was unmatched in human history , Peoples Party government didnt let the country collapse. Not a single bank or big corporation sank in Pakistan.

3) This government was able to defeat Right wing on war against Taliban, its strategy of signing Nizam-e-Adel exposed Taliban and its supporters and for the first time public opinion in Pakistan shifted in support of war against Taliban

4) After Mumbai attacks, its was soley due to presence of democratic PPP government that India showed restraint. A war was avoided.

5) Benazir Income Support programme, may be inefficient and riddled with errors but it has sowed the roots of a welfare state in Pakistan. After 30 years of Neo Liberalization PPP government once again put the concept of “responsibility of state towards the poor” back on agenda. It is a great achievement.

This government cannot be defeated by political means, a martial law is practically impossible, establishment’s hope are on Yousaf Reza Gilani to persuade him to become the next Farooq Legari. I hope he will not follow his footsteps esp looking at his political fate. If this card fails they have only one card left. Its the judiciary
Only judiciary  can protect our national security state and they are in a position to bring down this government. Judiciary’s recent decisions on Nawaz Sharif and Hafiz Saeed have reaffirmed their comittment to the ideology of “national security state”.

if pakistaan and india becomes friends then from where army and intelligence agencies will loose all their strength. One needs to read Dr Ayesha Siddiqa’s landmark book to understand the real character of Pakistan Army

Pakistan cannot afford to live in illusions, the judiciary must understand that it should not try to control the democratic regime. It has to show impartiality which unfortunately is not visible any more!

Xeno is a Lahore based student of Engineering, his interests includes politics and history and he is a supporter of Pakistan Peoples Party

On April 22, 2009 i wrote an article in my blog on the “thuggery” which was being declared a revolution. “The Black Revolution” a clown called it. Ignorant of the movement of history and the socio-cultural compulsions, many people in Pakistan adopted a dogmatic stand citing ideology and principle in supporting the lawyers movement. They completely disregarded the “evolution” which took place in lawyers movement , from a liberal movement, it became an instrument in hands of Jamate Islami and the reactionary retired generals. In the article, “Delirium: My name is Black” i tried to relate fate of such “movements” in a societies which are in grip of anarchy. In such situations, are the rhetoric of “order” results in “disorder”, i utilized the example of “black shirts” of Italian Fascist movement which also took control in name of “order”, “law” , constitution and “national honour”. Today Nadeem Farooq Paracha has taken a similar line. I am really glad that some people in Pakistan are aware of the dangers

Shaheryar Ali

Nadeem F. Paracha
Sunday, 09 Aug, 2009. With Thanks: Dawn

Recent incidents remind one of the antics of Mussolini’s notorious gangs of rampaging thugs. — File Photo

Recent incidents remind one of the antics of Mussolini’s notorious gangs of rampaging thugs. — File Photo

Thanks to the entirely lopsided media coverage in favour of the lawyers’ movement and the somewhat nauseating superlatives used to decorate the stand of the deposed CJP and his merry band of lawyers, there was always a danger of the lawyers’ community at large seeing themselves as gallant heroes who were above the law — a law which, to them, now meant nothing more than an ugly ogre to be constantly attacked, insulted and spat upon.

Harsh words indeed for a community which played its part in making the country’s last dictator announce his resignation. But the truth is that the lawyers would have remained nothing more than a loud little tassel if not for the overwhelming help they got from an adoring media and mainstream political parties such as the PML (N), and earlier, the late Benazir Bhutto’s PPP.

The recent spat of incidents in which groups of lawyers unabashedly abused and physically attacked former ministers, police officers, journalists, low-grade bureaucrats and civil judges while still in their black coats reminds one of the antics of Mussolini’s notorious gangs of rampaging thugs called the ‘Black Shirts,’ who, too, after tasting populist applause, started considering themselves above the law, eventually becoming one of classic fascism’s most animated expressions.

Isn’t this not what has happened to a movement that (unlike Mussolini’s fascist spurring) actually stood for the rule of law, democracy, constitutionalism and justice?

Well, did it really?

To begin with, there is absolutely no doubt that in spite of the fact that the CJP had agreed to take the oath in 2001 under Musharraf’s controversial PCO, his decision to stand up against what he considered were unconstitutional moves by the General was a laudable act. But a democratic and progressive protest movement by the lawyers bemoaning the CJP’s removal by the dictatorship started to change colour the moment it was turned into an anti-Musharraf bandwagon by the PML (N) and the PPP.

Now, there is certainly nothing condemnable about this, because active mainstream political parties are supposed to make full use of such openings. However, this did turn the movement into becoming a lot more political in nature which in itself created another window, this time for fringe parties such as the Jamat-i-Islami and Tehreek-i-Insaaf and parties from the peripheries of Sindhi and Pukhtun nationalism to tumble in with all of their political myopia and cornered, reactive attitudes.

Add to this mix the overwhelming coverage and praise the movement got from the media, and you have in your hand an explosive breed of highly politicised lawyers with cringing delusions of grandeur that have now emerged in full flow months after the movement officially came to an end with the restoration of the honourable CJP.

The saddest part in this respect is the way even the sanest and most democratic

instruments of the movement have largely tried to simply mumble out their reaction to the acts of violence and harassment perpetrated by some of their colleagues.

They are more than clear and ear-splitting in their condemnation of Musharraf and Zardari, but even after the many acts of violence involving lawyers have been captured on camera and repeatedly run on mainstream TV channels, these once glorified harbingers of justice and rights have at best sounded sheepish or simply decided to ‘vanish’ from the radar of the media.

The leading lights of the culminated Lawyers’ Movement must realise that their movement without the participation of mainstream political parties and the media would have amounted to nothing more than a fly-like nuisance for the dictatorship.

And the (electronic) media, much of which is now rightly questioning the many shameful post-Movement acts of the lawyers, should learn a vital lesson from these episodes. Its over-enthusiasm for sensational coverage and the space that it gives to cranks whose ‘analysis’ are nothing short of hateful fatwas against those they dislike and superlative praises for those they adore, has merely created monsters.

These include certain religious extremists in the NWFP, the Lal Masjid terrorists, and now a big, bad batch of lawyers whose delusions of grandeur — that the media helped create — seem to have made them lose all contact with democratic decency and maybe even reality itself.

The victims of Gojra violence have been able to get the case registered. This happened due to the intense agitation by the christians who refused to bury their loved ones and put their bodies on the railway tract and blocked the railway traffic. The immediate intervention by President Zardari and the international pressure forced the pro Taliban government of Punjab to register the case!

The victims of Gojra have clearly implicated PML-N and the Punjab police for the violence. The PML-N city president of Toba Tek Singh has been nominated in FIR so as the highest level of police administration.

With this the Chief Minister of Punjab must take responsibility of the carnage and resign. The city president of his party and his police officers have been accused by the victims. Not a single word has been uttered by the  pseudo secular elite of Pakistan against Shahbaz Sharif.

Because the victims have implicated PML-N’s city office bearer as well as officers of Punjab police, its important that Shahbaz Sharif must resign so that victims can get impartial access to justice.

Shaheryar Ali

Report By: Online News Network

Case registered against 20 known, 800 unknown people involved in Gojra riots

GOJRA: City police Gojra has registered case against 800 people including DPO, DCO and city president PML-N Toba Teak Singh on seven charges including murder, attempt to murder and terrorism following Saturday’s violent incidents in Gojra.

The city police on the request of Church Bishop, Almas Hameed Masih registered case against 20 known and 800 unknown people under the section 462, 302, 380, 354, 295B, 149, 148 and 7ATA. The FIR bears the names of PML-N City president Abdul Qadir Awan, Tahira alias Machi, Bashir Kasai, Nomi Kasai, Moulvi Nisar, Maulvi Usman, DCO Toba Imran Sikandar Baloch, DPO Inkisar Hussain, Subhani, Khalid Panwala, Hamad, Latif, Mouchi Councilor, Qari Noor Ahmad Awan Colony, Faisal Butt, Jani and Noor Hussain. Earlier, the bereaved families of the victims staged protest against the killings by laying bodies of their loved ones on railway tracks. And demanded immediate arrest of the people responsible for the violence.

GOJRA_LHowever, the bereaved families end their protest after the Minister of Law Rana Sanaullah has shown them the photocopies of FIR registered in the police station and assured them strict action against the responsible of the incident. Senior provincial minister Raja Riaz Ahmad, Federal Minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, member Punjab assembly and provincial ministers were also present on the occasion. Meanwhile Angry protesters on Sunday burned more then 50 houses while dead bodies of seven people after post-mortem at Tehsil Headquarter Hospital were handed over to theirs heirs. Police has arrested more then 60 including 11 wanted culprits during several raids from last night.

According to details, four people who were burnt due to riots belonged to one family. As soon as the dead bodies reached in Christian colony people shouted slogans amid cries against government and expressed their hatred upon the murders tooth and nail. They said that RPO and DPO Toba Tek Singh are responsible for the heinous acts thus due to hollow claims we lost over lives and property.

The peoples who were arrested by police includes Maulana Abdul Khaliq, Qari Abid-ur-Rehman Shah from the ban organization Sippa Sahaba, Hafiz Imran from Jamiat Ahl-Hadis.

It must be worth mentioning that heirs of deceased urged that they will not bury the dead bodies until Chief Minister of Punjab visits Gojra in this regard.

Case has been registered against 17 known and 783 unknown people on charges including those of killing, attempt to kill and terrorism following Saturday’s violent incidents in Gojra.

Religious Bigot Shahbaz Sharif

Religious Bigot Shahbaz Sharif

The case was registered on the request of Church Bishop while the families of the victims staged protest against the killings by laying bodies of their loved ones on railway tracks.

The bereaved families demanded immediate arrest of the people responsible for the violence.

Rangers, who took control of the city, have started patrolling in Gojra. Strongly deploying the onslaught on a minority community in Gojra, a tehsil of Toba Tek Singh, which left many women and children injured and torched their houses, Federal Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti has asked Ulema and others leaders to play their due role to decrease the miseries of Christian Community.

On the special directives of President Asif Ali Zardari, he is visiting Gojra. While talking to host of journalists on Sunday he termed the incident as an instance of inhumanity and brutality adding that none who believes in welfare of people belonging to minority community can support such kind of menace.

He termed it an international conspiracy adding such people want to foil the image of Islam and Pakistan

Shaheryar Ali

Today in Lahore the Sri Lankan cricket team was ambushed by a dozen or so Jihadi terrorists. Pakistan TV showed footage of gunmen with rifles and back packs running in the streets of Lahore and firing indiscriminately. The Jihadis were armed with AK 47, hand grenades, rockets and rocket launchers.

The convoy was ambushed as it slowed down at a traffic circle near Lahore’s Qadafi Stadium. The Sri lankan sports minister stated that 5 players and their coach were injured in the attack. All of them remain out of danger. Spokesman for Punjab police acknowledged death of 5 police men in the attack.

Lahore attacks

Lahore attacks

It has also been reported that the Jihadis threw a grenade under the bus which fortunately failed to detonate otherwise the guest team would have been blown up. The Lahore attack in its operative mechanics looks remarkably similar to Mumbai attacks. The terrorists looked much trained. Those who have studied these attacks in detail can tell that it had the signature marks of LeT. The ISI controlled Wahabi group based in Muridkay Punjab.

The administrative head of the Punjab Governor Salman Taseer stated, “One thing I want to say, it’s the same pattern, the same terrorists who attacked Mumbai”. While the governor is saying what’s obvious but it’s not that simple. Who were the real attackers of Mumbai? , Governor Taseer knows better than what he has publicly stated. LeT is an ISI proxy; it was made, trained and funded by Pakistani agencies. When Pakistan joined United State’s War on Terror, LeT was protected from United States assaults by banning it and allowing it to operate with another name “Jammatuddawa”. When Mumbai attacks took place, it was clearly visible who was responsible for these attacks, the facts spoke for them but Pakistani establishment adopted a policy of denial.

Carnage

Carnage

We than wrote on this politics of denial and how it has resulted in the current crisis of Pakistan. We were abused and ridiculed not only by Islamists but also by the pseudo-secular self proclaimed vanguards of Pakistani patriotism. We had written than that the democratic regime of Pakistan is a virtual hostage of Pakistani establishment, which does these sorts of acts to increase pressure on it. A virulent anti-India line was taken under cloak of supporting the “democratic Pakistani regime”. In our article Pakistan at cross-roads: Democracy, Terror and Politics of Denial”, we had written:

“With a country in democratic transition, we often forget that policies of post-colonial states especially those like Pakistan which had taken Neo-fascist turn some time in their history [Zia era], cannot be reversed in few months. It needs a structural reform within the state itself. With a few months of PPP-ANP coalition such a structural reform has not yet occurred. Attempts to do such reform have been severely criticized by dominant classes in Pakistan and hence have to be abandoned. Attempts by PPP to bring ISI under political control were converted into a scandal by corporate media and its allies. Similar campaign is going on with the Pakhtoonkhawa issue where Right wing has openly come up in arms against government. These two issues represent the core issues when it comes to challenge the oligarchy. ISI has been blamed by almost all political forces in Pakistan for its attempts to control democracy and for spreading Jihad———In all this patriotic discourse, what we are forgetting is that it’s Pakistan not India which has more at stake. The first victim of this sort of patriotism, which subscribes to values of Oligarchy and its State and not to the values of people, will be democracy in Pakistan and this time the state, may not recover from its consequences. When Mr Manmohan Singh talks about “certain elements within Pakistan” being responsible for the attacks we are fast to condemn it. But are we that naive or suffering from collective amnesia. Have we forgotten that our agencies along with CIA supported insurgency in a country against a government which we recognized as legal government and had diplomatic ties with? For all the period of Afghan Jihad, our government at all international forums shamelessly maintained that Pakistan is “not interfering” in Afghanistan and our support is strictly moral and humanitarian in nature. Then any one who tried to warn oligarchy against it was termed as a “soviet agent” or “RAW agent”. Did our denial do us any good?—— Most of these organizations were allowed to operate by different names in General Musharraf’s time but were they were destroyed? Have Mureedke and Mansoora been shut down? Hafiz Saeed and Molana Masood Azhar serving time in prisons?” The article can be reached here

When I wrote this article most self proclaimed secularists were busy lecturing India and mocking Ajmal Kasab’s story, such was their contempt and self righteousness that they couldn’t find “Faridkot” on map of Pakistan. Within the few days Faridkot was on world’s map and lies of Pakistani establishment and so called patriots became a joke in International politics. Now Steve Cole, the Pulitzer Prize winner and famous investigative journalist has written an article in the prestigious New Yorker magazine. The article basically is about the “back channel” diplomacy between India and Pakistan which resulted in a near settlement of Kashmir dispute during General Musharraf. This brilliant expose confirms the position which we have long been taking that Pakistani establishment and ISI is using terrorism for gaining certain political and strategic objectives. One such objective is to weaken Peoples Party-ANP government. Cole in his article confirms what we wrote about mistrust between PPP government and ISI and also about it involvement in Mumbai attacks

“The historical ties between Lashkar and the Pakistani security services are for the most part undisputed; one book that describes them, published in 2005 and entitled “Between Mosque and Military,” was written by Husain Haqqani, who is currently Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States.——— On July 7th, a suicide bomber rammed a car loaded with explosives into the gates of India’s Embassy in Kabul, killing fifty-four people, including the Indian defense attaché. The United States intercepted communications between active I.S.I. personnel and the Taliban-aligned network of Jalaluddin Haqqani, which is believed by U.S. military and intelligence officials to have carried out the Kabul Embassy attack. Haqqani has a long history of collaboration and contact with the I.S.I.; he was also a paid client of the Central Intelligence Agency during the late nineteen-eighties—-Pakistan’s new civilian President, Asif Zardari, had entered into his own struggle with those in the Pakistani security services who favor the jihadis and covert war against India. Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party has fought the Army for power since the late nineteen-seventies; neither institution fully trusts the other, although they have sometimes collaborated. (Some P.P.P. officials believe that the I.S.I. may have been involved in Benazir Bhutto’s murder.)Last May, Zardari tried to assert civilian control over the I.S.I. by placing it under the authority of the Interior Ministry; the Army rejected this order, and Zardari backed down. In November, speaking extemporaneously by video at a conference in New Delhi, Zardari declared that Pakistan might be willing to follow a policy of “no first use” of its nuclear weapons, a remarkable departure from past Pakistan Army doctrine. Privately, in discussions with Indian officials, Zardari affirmed his interest in picking up the back-channel negotiations . Some Indian officials and analysts interpreted Mumbai as a kind of warning from the I.S.I. to Zardari—“Zardari’s Kargil,” as some Indians put it, meaning that it was a deliberate effort by the Pakistan Army to disrupt Zardari’s peace overtures. Several Pakistani and American officials told me that Zardari is now deeply worried about his personal security”

Steve Cole, the Back Channel, New Yorker March 2009

What has to be understood that in the final year of General Musharraf , even the “cosmetic anti terror” acts became unacceptable for Islamist section of Pakistani establishment which started open revolt [series of suicide attacks on Army and certain agencies ] and started supporting anti Mush political agitation. The lawyer’s movement which started as a non political, secular protest against dictatorship was linked with Right Wing. Now this cooption is complete. The Islamist section of establishment wants PPP out and restores the glorious Islamic jihadi era of Zia and his political son Sharif. Now let’s come to Lahore attacks. I agree with Taseer that it was done by those who attacked Mumbai, though he just like Hussein Haqani cannot explain this “who”. Punjab was a safe heaven for Taliban during Shahbaz Sharif ministry who was slowly Islamizing the province; He had turned a blind eye to Talibanization in southern Punjab, Lahore and other areas. Punjab police acted 24 hours later to implementation of United Nation’s resolution of banning Jamat-ud-Dawa [front of LeT], the result was Jihadies evacuated their offices in comfort and took all the record with them. The Supreme Court’s decision ended SS’s control over Punjab. The right wing political alliance and its masters in Pakistani establishment were and are hoping to topple Zardari regime in this unrest. Unfortunately for them, PML-N failed miserably to get public support. Their agitation was limited to 3 cities in central Punjab and even there it took shape of mob violence. The call of general strike failed. Streets went silent on 2nd day and PPP was able to mobilize its workers all over the country to protest on desecration of Benazir Bhutto’s monument in Rawalpindi. Even in Lahore which is considered hub of Sharifs PPP was able to conduct a big rally. Millions were mobilized in Karachi by MQM against PML-N. Mr Shaif couldn’t bring 1/4th of this crowd in Lahore. In Saraiki Multan and Baluch Quetta , PML-N armed goons had to run away due to clashes with PPP.

With the failure of political agitation and expected failure of long march due to strong arm administrative tactics of Governor Taseer , it became critical for certain invisibles to create unrest and the good old Jihadis did the trick. Weather its LeT or some other new name, the hands behind them is same. There should be no doubt about the motives of Lahore attacks and on its responsibility after listening to Ansar Abbasai’s attacks on Salman Taseer’s administrative failure and SS’s warning about possible “RAW attacks in Lahore. Now a rightwing and their secular patriotic counterparts will start a violent attack against India. This will further marginalize Peoples Party’s regime which will give in more to establishment’s demands. More chaos will be created and our beloved Qazi Hussein Ahmad and Nawaz Sharif both supporters of Sharia and Jihad will come to power. But I warn again that Pakistani state is so much over stretched due to organic decay and war between its different faction that it can no longer sustain this stress. Zardari may fall but Pakistan will not remain standing.

PS: With Lahore attacks every conscientious Pakistani should hold Jihadi sympathizer Imran Khan accountable for deliberately confusing the cricketing world and Pakistan by downplaying the issue of terrorism. Mr Khan declared that terrorists will not attack cricketers, Mr Khan I can just say “Shame on you”.

The article has been updated. Governor’s rule has been imposed on Punjab. Protest call by PML-N failed miserably all over the country and only sporadic incidents of mob violence and protest were noted in few districts of central Punjab. It should be a matter of concern for PML-N that virtually no reaction was noted in South Punjab, Sindh, Pakhtunkhaw and Baluchistan. The call of General Strike by PML-N was also met with usual failure, even Central Punjab didnt observe even a reasonable partial strike.

Shaheryar Ali

The initial reports coming from Pakistan suggest that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has passed a short order on different writ petitions challenging the eligibility of the right wing Sharif Brothers. The reports suggest that court has decided in the favor of the petitioners and have disqualified the Sharif Brothers. The implications of this decision are that Punjab is free from the highly centralized, Punjabi chauvinist and pro Taliban ministry of Mian Shahbaz Sharif. All control has shifted to the secular and progressive governor of Punjab Mr Salman Taseer.

nawaz-sharif1 Mr Shahbaz Sharif and Mian Nawaz Sharif both are convicted criminals, in a unconstitutional deal with the military dictator General Pervez Musharaf, both of them went into exile with a promise to stop participating in politics. The former Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Ch in his decision declared the deal “unconstitutional” thus paving the way of their return. Instead of going back to jail and completing the sentence Sharif brothers entered into political coalition with their political rivals the PPP. Despite the unprecedented media hype right wing PML-N of Sharif Brothers lost the elections. PML-N failed to get representation in 3 provinces and even failed to win a convincing majority in Punjab which according to the right wing cooperate media is center of their power. Refusing to accept the election results the Sharif brothers with help of shabby characters and political opportunists like Aitzaz Ahsan started an effort to politicize and divide the judicial bureaucracy. The plan was to bring Iftikhar Ch back to power and than get Mr Asif Ali Zardari disqualified and declare the entire “illegal acts of General Musharaf after 3rd November” null n void which included the “election” thus bringing the right wing back into power through back door

Nawaz-Qadeer deal

Nawaz-Qadeer deal

The cat was out of bag when Qazi Hussein Ahmad , Ameer of Jamate Islami today in his initial reaction to judgement said what was in their heart for a long time, that “we have always maintained that the general elections were unconstitutional”. This was the precise reason that PML-N and Aitzaz Ahsan and Co were bitterly opposing a “constitutional solution” to judicial crisis. The constitution plan would have given indemnity to certain acts of PCO like General Elections and NRO thus giving the democratic setup an immunity from Iftikhar Ch’s politically motivated and selective judicial activism. The shameful and so called “democratic and constitutionalist” lawyer movement put on stage murderous fascists like General Hameed Gul and notorious nuclear proliferator Dr Qadeer Khan on central stage.  Instead of asking Jamate Islami to  pay for the murder and genocide of East Pakistanis our secular democrats  gave Jamate Islami a central role in their movement.  The meetings of Air Marshal Asghar Khan and General Hameed Gul with Chief Justice Iftikhar Ch were reported in media and were commented on by progressive writers.  The Pakistani Right Wing has this long history of using unelected state institutions to subvert democracy, first they used Army, after General Mushraf the public opinion was strongly against Army hence they planned to use judiciary to control democracy. The plan backfired and the present judges fed up with constant abuses and threats by Sharifs acted and disqualified both Sharif brothers. Its not an act of establishment rather it was result of conflict of interests between two sections of Judicial Bureaucracy , the clash which took a personal turn due to Farah Dogar case and continuous use of personal abuses  against sitting judges by PML-N and a section of Lawyers . Whilst I considers the Judicial Bureaucracy of Pakistan , both section one in power and other out of power and on the lap of Jihadis as inherently corrupt, anti people and politically motivated , I  nevertheless welcome the outcome of this decision in Punjab which has resulted in fall of the pro- Taliban ministry. The media and all representatives of upper and middle classes of Punjab have tried to develop Shahbaz Sharif as a “great leader” of Pakistan, the facts unfortunately are very bitter. A virtual authoritarian Mr Shahbaz Sharif first act of government was to “re instate” the colonial mode of governance by restoring the “Babu Raj” of commissioners and collectors. He was leading a highly centralized government which was non democratic, the politicians were powerless, he hardly held cabinet sessions, and whole government was being run by him with the help of chief secretary.

Jihadis in PML-N

Jihadis in PML-N

This was the continuation of the highly centralized post colonial state which Muslim League built in 1947 and the mode of governance which has resulted in all the ills of Pakistan. With Mr Sharif’s non political and bureaucracy dominated government the Saraiki South Punjab which voted for PPP was increasingly becoming isolated. Already disenfranchised and in grip of Talibanization the inherent Punjabi chauvinism of Sharif was pushing Southern Punjab to the brink. A small example of Sharif’s inherent hatred of Saraiki people is the fact that the Prime minister Mr Yousaf Raza Gilani announced declaring Multan a “big city” in a public meeting saying that Chief Minister on his next visit will issue the notification. Next day Chief Minister visited Multan and to the utter disbelief of workers and labour activist of Multan refused to follow the PM’s order.

There was a virtual police state in Punjab, trade unions were harassed, protesting doctors were beaten up by police on his direct orders, his party was resisting the lifting of ban on student unions in Punjab. This despite the fact that Peoples Party Government had announced lifting the ban on trade and student unions. A more disturbing aspect was Talibanization of Punjab, situation was worse in neglected and isolated Saraiki Southern Punjab; Taliban put posters as far as Multan asking women not to come out of homes and ordering the music centers to shut down. Mr Shahbaz Sharif instead of checking this pushed their agenda forward just like the MMA government of NWFP. On his direct orders police burned CDs and DVDs on Hall Road Lahore, he banned stage dance in Punjab against which the dancing girls of Lahore held a strike. He ordered the administration to check “obscenity in name of Arts and Culture”. All this typical  right wing  hypocrisy of “Apply Sharia- on- every- one- apart -from -me“. Mr Sharif himself is known to be a Mujra Lover and tales of his flings with Herra Mandi’s dancing girls have always been in circulation.

If this continued we were afraid that South Punjab could have turned into next Swat.[It has all the ingredients  along with an adjoining tribal area] We welcome fall of Taliban Ministry in Punjab and we hope that a democratic government is formed in Punjab replacing the existing one.

Mr Nawaz Sharif after his statement of pushing things “beyond” dharna left nothing for imagination, with Punjab  government sponsored Long March , Islamabad was to be put under siege to cause either a fall of Gilani government or restoration of Iftikhar and subsequent judicial coup d’e’tat and fresh election. This is a crisis of Right wings own making, and contrary to popular middle class opinion , no sky will fall, there was virtually no people’s agitation in the 3 provinces and isolated cases of mob violence in central Punjab .   All they could do was to trample posters of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in front of Governor House under their feet forgetting it was her which in first place brought the Sharifs out of the trash bin of history when escaped to Saudi Arabia leaving people in grip of dictatorship.  We all know how active PML-N workers are when it comes to any “protest movement”  which is not state sponsored, we all remember 12 people who reached Air Port to receive Mr Sharif and when he was sent back against his wishes  and they couldn’t even secure a general strike in Model Town market the next day.

Hopefully peoples party will again invite Sharifs for negotiations on a  “constitutional package” which will give both parties some thing , people unfortunately will remain starving thats what Capitalist democracy in colonial countries is.

Dr Lal Khan is a Marxist political worker and analyst based in Lahore Pakistan. He was a hero of the student movement against the Islamic-fascist General Zia ul haq , sentenced to death he escaped to Europe where he joined the International Marxist tendency. He has lived and worked in India as well. A very well read man he is the editor of Asian Marxist Review. He has wrote many books amongst which “Partition and how it can be undone”, Kashmir;s ordeal the Marxist Perspective and “21 century Socialism” are worth mentioning. He has written an article on the situation in Pakistan which is worth reading as it disscusses some important issues which are being confused in Pakistan.

Pakistan – unravelling of the democratic farce Print E-mail
By Lal Khan in Lahore
Thursday, 15 May 2008
The resignation from the federal cabinet of fifteen ministers belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) PML (N) has exposed the fragile nature of the present ‘democratic’ set-up.

The ‘coalition’ based on the so-called “grand national reconciliation” has split just after 41 days in power. This coalition government was cobbled together under the auspices of US imperialism and the Pakistan state to stave off a looming crisis that threatened the whole system. But now this fragile coalition has collapsed ‑ another failure of the Pakistan ruling classes and imperialism. The Economist of May 10 gives a pessimistic picture of the situation:

“Pakistan is in a mess again. It is teetering on the brink of food riots, industrial lay-offs and strikes against daily 12- hour nationwide power cuts. The economy is slipping. Capital flight has taken nearly 5% off the value of the rupee against the dollar in the past few weeks. The war against extremists in the tribal badlands is going nowhere. Instability has returned to haunt politics.”

Ever since the return of Benazir on October 18 last year there have been mass upheavals and turbulence throughout society. Events have been unfolding in an explosive and unprecedented rapid pace.

Such was the severity of the upheavals that sections of the state decided to assassinate Benazir Bhutto on 27 December 2007 in Rawalpindi in an attempt to quell the rising tide of the masses, who had come out in a mass movement to challenge this rotting capitalist system. Food, shelter and clothing were their demands. They were yearning through this upheaval to get rid of the poverty, unemployment and misery into which they were being thrown by Pakistani capitalism. The wrath of the oppressed masses was evident in the reaction to the assassination of Benazir as the lava of mass anger and resentment poured onto the streets and Pakistan was virtually paralysed for more than 48 hours.

However, the PPP leadership refused to call a general strike against the postponement of the elections from the original date of January 8 of this year, which was done at the behest of US imperialism. The results of February 18 elections were meticulously engineered to suit the ruling classes and US interests. The PPP was made to win, yet it was the highest loser. Had the PPP got a two-thirds majority ‑ which was a foregone conclusion ‑ the rising tide of mass upheaval would have put such tremendous pressure on a PPP government that it would not have been able to fudge the basic demands of the oppressed who were supporting it.

Before, during and in the aftermath of the elections the State Department officials played the main role in manufacturing this right and left wing coalition set-up. The US ambassador in Pakistan, Ms. Anne Peterson, has been the most active and enthusiastic politician in this country ever since then. She has been interviewing every minister and has been dictating every little detail in the moves of this government.

The PML(N) finance minister immediately flew to Washington to get fresh economic instructions from the World Bank and the IMF. In spite of all this, the coalition has collapsed. The immediate “issue” was the restoration of the judges sacked by Musharraf.

On the other hand, the different factions within this retrogressive and redundant ruling class are vying for power. They are in conflict with each other as they all wish use this newly gained political power to get their huge loans written off and plunder whatever is left of the state and exchequer. In the brief history of Pakistan all regimes have indulged in this orgy of blatant corruption and nepotism.

But the real issue has been the unprecedented price hikes, the high rate of inflation, and the rise in poverty levels that have shaken society. In the first twenty-eight days of this new democratic set up, hailed by almost every body from US imperialism to the ex-left NGO’s, there have been more price hikes than in the last five years of the preceding regime.

Pakistan’s economy is now in a free fall. The highest ever inflation, trade deficit, current account deficit and worst ever macro-economic indicators are evidence of the rot and the terminal sickness of Pakistani capitalism. The economy is teetering on the verge of a sharp steep recession compounded by a global economic crisis. The rot is far greater than just the budgetary overruns and current account deficit. Pakistan’s economy faces high inflation, a global financial, oil and food crisis, energy shortages, capital flight, stagnant exports, falling foreign exchange reserves, a rapidly depreciating currency and decline in investment levels. The main brunt of this capitalist crisis has once again to be faced by the already impoverished toiling masses of Pakistan.

According to the officials of the World Food Programme more than half of Pakistan’s nearly170 million people are now short of food due to a surge in prices. According to the WFP survey, the “food insecure” had risen from 60million to 77million in March. But since installation of the present PPP led government food insecurity has risen at a horrendous pace.

The WFP report says: “There is a very big gap between the increase in prices and increase in wages… the purchasing power of the poor has gone down by almost 50 percent.” And that was in March. UNICEF says that 200,000 Pakistani children die annually because of unsafe drinking water, dysentery, diarrhoea, typhoid and gastroenteritis. Out of the 137 poorest countries Pakistan’s GDP percentage spending on education stands at number 134 and health at 137! Yet Pakistan is the 11th largest importer of arms and weapons of mass destruction.

The impact of this severe socio-economic crisis has implications for the state and politics. The widespread violence, civil wars and bombings ravaging Pakistan’s social fabric are a graphic example of this. Similarly, different institutions of the state are rotting and in a state of a rapid internal decay because of this crisis. Ultimately the intense instability of society is a reflection of this crisis. Imperialist exploitation and capitalist lust for more and more profits, further exacerbates these contradictions and intensifies turmoil.

The network of the media, the state and the politicians, under the patronage of US imperialism, tries to distract the masses from the real issues by raising and fabricating a series of non-issues. One of the main non-issues raised by these people has been the question of the Judiciary. In a country where 90% of the population does not have the money to buy food, how can they buy justice through the exorbitant fees of the lawyers and the courts?

The conflict between the judiciary and other institutions of the state are symptoms of the failure of Pakistan as a nation state. The mass upsurge after October 18 last year had cut across these movements and all the “civil society” gimmickry and had brought the real issues of deprivation, poverty and exploitation to the fore.

However, after using the masses, the PPP leadership betrayed the party’s own founding programme yet again and started playing the absurd game of “national reconciliation” to preserve the present exploitative system. Nationally they patched together a coalition with the right wing, especially with Sharif’s PML (N), the traditional party of the reactionary ruling classes. This coalition also included Islamic fundamentalists in the form of the JUI(F) and the ANP, the right-wing Pushtoon nationalists. The fact is that the unanimous vote of all the parties in parliament for the PPP’s prime ministerial candidate, Yusuf Raza Gillani (a former minister of the Zia dictatorship), was an indication of the fear of the ruling classes due to the threat they faced from the oppressed masses.

In the Sindh regional parliament the PPP leadership went a step further. They included 13 ministers in the cabinet from the MQM, the neo-fascist outfit based on urban Sindh. This organization has been responsible for the assassination of hundreds of PPP activists in the last two decades. In Balouchistan, where there are 63 members elected to the provincial assembly, 62 have joined the PPP led government in Quetta. In the NWFP (Pushtoonkhwa) the PPP is in coalition with the right-wing Pushtoon Nationalists, the Awami National Party. On 13th of May this so called liberal, progressive coalition government announces the imposition of Sharia law (the Islamic code) in different areas of the province. In Punjab, the largest province of Pakistan, the PPP is in a coalition government led by the PML (N).

The meaning of all these coalitions is that the PPP leadership wants to use them as an excuse, a shield behind which to hide, in order to carry through policies of aggressive capitalism. The PPP’s federal privatisation minister, Naveed Qamar, has announced the privatisation of 10% of shares of Pakistan Steel Mills. This was the most contentious privatisation in which the previous regime was defeated by the militant struggle of the workers led by the PTUDC. Now the PPP government wants to sell the Steel Mills off in several instalments. The PPP regime has also asked the Privatisation Commission to meet its $21billion annual privatisation target by June 30 of this year.

In reality the new PPP-led democratic regime is continuing the policies of the previous right-wing government. But the Pakistani economy and society is in a much greater crisis and these policies of so-called “trickle-down economics”, as dictated by imperialism, will only worsen the crisis.

In this worsening crisis, on the one hand there will be more turbulence and turmoil, but on the other hand another mass explosion is also a strong possibility. The workers in telecommunications, the railways, Water & Power and several other sectors of the economy, have started to move in protest demonstrations and rallies against these policies of the PPP-led regime. These protests will intensify in the coming period and a movement can explode on the industrial front as a reaction to the deceit and betrayal they have suffered on the electoral plane.

Although the Americans and other bourgeois strategists are trying to patch up the PPP-PML(N) rift, the crisis refuses to ebb. Even if they succeed, this artificial coalition would break down with an even greater bang sooner rather than later. Napoleon once remarked that you could do anything with bayonets except sit on them. The crisis is so intense and Pakistani capitalism is so rotten that the crisis is bound to get worse in the coming weeks and months.

This crisis will also provoke splits within the PPP itself. Although there is no real left wing in the top leadership of the PPP, the masses orientating towards the PPP are asking questions, getting angry, and yearning for change. And there is no solution without a socialist revolution. This was the main theme of the PPP’s founding documents written forty years ago. The leadership has breached that programme and manifesto more than once.

In spite of all this, the masses have clung to their traditions with utmost loyalty and innumerable sacrifices for three generations. How many times are they going to tolerate such betrayal again? Pakistan and PPP have entered a crucial period. For the masses capitalism has become intolerable. They are looking for an alternative socio-economic system. The advanced layers amongst the youth and workers are moving towards revolutionary conclusions. The social basis of fundamentalism is in sharp decline Nationalism is in a blind alley. Democracy on a capitalist basis is failing the masses.

If we look at the reality of the experience of this “democracy” for the toiling masses of Pakistan, Lenin’s definition in his brilliant work Proletarian Revolution and renegade Kautsky is extremely  pertinent. Lenin wrote:

“If we are not to mock at common sense and history, it is obvious that we cannot speak of ‘pure democracy’ as long as different classes exist; we can only speak of class democracy.

” ‘Pure democracy’ is the mendacious phrase of a liberal who wants to fool the workers. History knows of bourgeois democracy which takes the place of feudalism, and of proletarian democracy which takes the place of bourgeois democracy…

“Bourgeois democracy, although a great historical advance in comparison with medievalism, always remains, and under capitalism is bound to remain, restricted, truncated, false and hypocritical, a paradise for the rich and a snare and deception for the exploited, for the poor”.

The cohesion and discipline of the military has been seriously affected by the influx of finance capital. A military dictatorship, although not ruled out, could not sustain itself as in the past. The options for the ruling classes are vanishing rapidly. The forces of revolutionary Marxism, although modest, are gaining strength. It is no accident that on May Day 2008 there were twice the number of demonstrations led by the PTUDC as compared to last year.

For the liberal intelligentsia, civil society and ex-lefts, however, it is all doom and gloom. Pessimism and scepticism are luxuries for the few. We revolutionaries and the proletarian masses cannot afford such extravagant luxuries. For the masses it is now a struggle for survival and existence. This struggle can erupt into a revolutionary movement sooner rather than later. A strong Bolshevik-Leninist organization with a correct programme, strategy and Marxist leadership can become a mass revolutionary party and lead the oppressed toilers of this land to a socialist victory. And the revolutionary repercussion of such a victory shall spread far beyond the existing frontiers.