July 6, 2008


Filed under: MILITARY RULE,NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 11:56 pm
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JULY 07, 2008


July 5, 2008


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JULY 06, 2008

June 10, 2008


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JUNE 09, 2008


May 25, 2008


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MAY 25, 2008

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MAY 26, 2008

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Filed under: NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 1:35 am
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MAY 25, 2008

Musharraf should not be allowed safe exit: ex-generals

Filed under: NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 1:30 am
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MAY 25, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008
By Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD: As many as 26 senior retired Army officers, some of them teachers of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, boldly demanded on Saturday that a safe exit to Musharraf must not be provided.

At a news conference, they said Musharraf should be held accountable for the Kargil debacle and the coup against the Constitution of Pakistan on October 12, 1999. The ex-Army officers also demanded that former prime minister Shaukat Aziz should be brought back to Pakistan to face an inquiry into the massive financial scams of wheat, cement, steel mill, stock exchange, writing off billions of rupee loans and many more.

Shaukat should also be held responsible for the worsening economic situation of the country, they said. After long deliberations, the retired Army officers demanded of the government to order an independent inquiry to fix the responsibility of Musharraf’s actions during the last eight years. They asked President Musharraf to immediately resign as the president and quit the Army House as now he was the single source of all the problems and palace intrigues, which were weakening and destabilising Pakistan.

The unexplained absence of the former Army chief General (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg from the venue of the meeting surprised everyone, as he had earlier given his word to the host to attend the meeting and become a part of the decisions.

But, at the last moment, General Beg could not join his former Army colleagues who had gathered to support other political parties and civil society to pressurise Musharraf to quit.

At least, 26 senior retired generals attended the meeting at the residence of Brig (retd) Mahmud though invitation was extended to about 36 officers. However, some invitees, including General Ali Quli Khan, General Talat Masood and others, who could not attend the meeting, told the participants that they fully supported their demands.

The meeting also took the following decisions:

1. No safe exit should be given to Pervez Musharraf. He should be held accountable for all his actions, which include abrogation of the Constitution and other matters, including Kargil. An independent inquiry be held to fix the responsibility of his deeds, during the last eight years.

2. We support the civilian control of armed forces but recommend that checks and balances be ensured so that the armed forces are not politicised.

3. Vacation of the Army House by Musharraf is a step in the right direction, which should have been done long ago. This is giving a wrong signal to the people, as if the Army is supportive of his unconstitutional deeds.

4. Restriction on AQ Khan should be lifted and he should be allowed to resume all his normal activities.

5. We urge to bring back Shaukat Aziz to face an independent inquiry on wheat, steel mill, stock exchange, writing off loans and other issues. He is mainly responsible for the worsening economic situation of the country and be made to account for his actions.

6. If any steps similar to November 3 are taken by Musharraf to destabilise the present political process, these will be resisted by ex-servicemen in association with civil society and lawyers� community and political parties.

7. He should, therefore, bow down before the will of the people and stop using the presidency for further intrigues. We urge that missing persons be traced and the process initiated by the chief justice earlier be further progressed.

8. Problems of common man be addressed by the government to provide essential relief to them.

9. The Working Group further decided that it would support the lawyers� movement actively. In this connection, the committee has been made to liaise with the legal community.

May 24, 2008

Filed under: NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 1:55 am
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MAY 24, 2008

May 20, 2008

Shame, all around

Filed under: NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 10:35 pm
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MAY 20, 2008
By Kamran Shafi
Sadly, a suicide bombing targeted the Punjab Regimental Centre bakery in the PRC market in Mardan, killing upwards of 14 people, most of them soldiers, and leaving many injured seriously, some maimed for life.

How many reams have been written about the complete inappropriateness of the army indulging in the retail business? What in heaven�s name have we made of this army? Rather than making political statements might one ask Ashfaq Kayani to please shake it awake, pull it out of the shops and the bakeries and the tikka joints and the real-estate agencies, and train it to do the job the nation pays it for? And while he is at it, to please initiate the shelving of the grand plans to build a new GHQ in Islamabad, an utter and huge waste of the country�s very meagre resources?

While we are on the subject of the army, may one ask the Punjab government to reclaim Birdwood Barracks in Lahore, which are up for auction by the Military Estates Officer for a reserve price of Rs500m being of no further use to the army, and turn it into a park for the citizens of the congested city of Lahore?

And may one ask the cabinet division to immediately issue a notification to the effect that no ministry can do as it pleases with lands under its present use. That all lands in the use of the various ministries are lands belonging to the GOVERNMENT of the country/of the province concerned, merely lent to the particular ministry for use. When that use is over it is the government that must decide what to do with the land, e.g., sell it for providing clean drinking water to, say, Karachi city.

It is preposterous that such lands are considered the ownership of the service concerned particularly of the all-powerful army. As an aside, when pressure built up on the Commando not to go ahead with the new GHQ, he had the gall to say the army would finance the costs by selling �land of the army� (such as Birdwood Barracks)! He even had the effrontery to say that the army would give 25 per cent of the sale price to the government! I ask you! Is the Pakistan Army a department of the GOP or is the GOP a department of the Pakistan Army?

Let�s go elsewhere and spread the shame about. Shame, too, on those who have been advocating for some time, even before the coalition was formed at the centre, that the PPP make a compact with the PML-Q, or “Qatil” League, as it was named by Asif Zardari after Benazir’s horrific murder � and such other independents and odds and you-know-whats who are amenable to pressure, and cobble together a government in the Punjab to the exclusion of the majority PML-N.

And on those that advocate the forming of a coalition between the PML-Q, the MQM, the ANP and the JUI-F at the centre too, to the exclusion of the PML-N which is the second-largest party in the National Assembly. In both enterprises, the dirty hands of the former Army House, now the President�s Lodge, and of the Mother of All Agencies are more than visible.

Well, much shame on them, and if the People’s Party is even thinking of such an arrangement, on it, too. For, does it not remember how it and its workers felt when its majority in the 2002 Sindh Assembly was stolen by the Commando and his sidekicks and a government of odds and you-know-whats was imposed on the people of Sindh?

Has the People’s Party forgotten so soon the travails visited upon its workers by the criminal enterprise that was rudely cobbled together, and which ruled Sindh for well on five years, ignoring the mandate of the people? Does it so easily forget its own democratic roots just because the Commando and his underwriters want it to travel on the undemocratic course?

Does the People’s Party forget that, again in 2002, when the Commando and his handmaiden, the corrupt and venal state of Pakistan, conspired to steal the slot of leader of the opposition from it and gift it to the then mullah-military alliance, a whole lot of us protested repeatedly, that the dictator and the ISI should stay out of the National Assembly such as it was.

Does it not recall that at the time, it was fully supported by most of us who write on politics in the national press, and that the Commando was criticised for the ill-intentioned dictator that he was, keeping the people he could not abide out, by hook or by crook, and bringing in his buddies in their place?

The PPP should remember its own travails, and always do the right, not the expedient, thing, if it is to survive � and be respected � as the national asset that it is. It must set an example for others to follow, not do things that have been done by autocrats and which have failed those that did them. Witness the 2008 referendum against the Commando and buddies please.

To end I have to say that to explain a matter in the simplest terms is to understand it in a flash. A reader who calls himself simply Ali explains the judicial tamasha (for what else can one call it?) thus:

The dismissal of judges is like a dacoit occupying a house on gunpoint which has no legal or constitutional status. The PPP�s formula of restoring the genuine judges and keeping PCO judges is like the government saying that while it wants to give the house back to the real owner, it doesn’t want to disturb the dacoit and that the real owner should show flexibility and share the house with the dacoit.�

Are you listening Asif Zardari and Farooq Naek?

May 19, 2008

Musharraf and the Army

Filed under: NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 12:34 am
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MAY 10, 2008


PRESIDENT Pervez Musharraf’s relationship with the Army is both close and not clear. Like any close relationship, it defies definition. Former ISI chief Lt Gen (retd) Hameed Gul is one of those who has reacted to this and requested that President Musharraf follow through and accept the consequences of his retirement from the Army. The primary consequence is having a date fixed for his vacation of Army House, which General Gul has mentioned in his reaction to General Musharraf’s address at the Azad Kashmir Regiment’s regimental darbar. General Hameed Gul has said that it is incumbent on present COAS Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to give General Musharraf the date when he must vacate the Army House. Presumably, General Musharraf would move over to the Presidency in Islamabad, and would let General Kayani, with family, move into Army House.
General Gul’s statement has highlighted an irregularity that has been silently condoned since General Musharraf bowed to foreign pressure and retired, just before being elected President for a second term by the Parliament which has been replaced by the February 18 election. Though supposedly retired, by continuing to occupy Army House, General Musharraf goes on giving the impression that he still has some relationship, greater than that of an ex-COAS, with the Army, which is still to be counted as bolstering his rule in the face of the popular mandate against him. Supposedly, Army House has been secured against the terrorist threat against General Musharraf, and this would have to be done all over again if he and his family were to make the move. However, first of all this explanation does not wash. Second, it is as easily done as the original exercise. Third, it would give the now-empty Presidency an occupant.
It is not only General Kayani who is responsible; he could be seen as having a personal stake in the matter. The intervention of the minister responsible could play a very effective role in this affair, which is both important symbolically, and which involves families.

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