Integrating the tribal youth into national mainstream






By Dr. Raja Muhammad Khan

It is a considered fact that youth of a nation is the basic driving force in the social uplift and national development. The Tribal youth, mostly aging between 12 to 35 years constitutes over 53 % of the total FATA population. The existing youth of FATA has been brought up in an environment which is marked by militancy either in the form of promoting the US agenda through global Jihad against Soviet invasion of Afghanistan throughout during 1980s or the ongoing global war against terrorism, following the incident of 9/11. Majority of the youth became either victim or part of militancy under unavoidable circumstances existed ever since once used by the local as well as by the foreign militants for their vested interests. Their retrieval and putting them back on the right track would require a gigantic exertion. Because of unemployment and the so-called religious motivation, a majority of them became hard-core militants and still a vast number might be looking for an opportunity to fall on either side. The opportunity must be ceased to bring them back, before they became party to militants. Irrespective of the wherewithal, there are inveterate indications that these militants have plethora of capital to take into service the unemployed youth of FATA. Inopportunely, over the past few years, there has been a gradual increase and spread of militancy with a worsening law and order situation in the Tribal region. It is feared that if appropriate measures are not taken, the current adolescent generation will also get into the control of cantankerous in the days to come. The situation may be manageable today but if we allow this crisis to linger on without taking due cognizance of upcoming generation, it might get shoddier, compelling us to play in the hands of militants. Thus, there is a pressing need for the concurrent engagement of tribal youth aging from 6-35 years in three broad clusters as mentioned below. The critical cluster of the youth having age from 6-12 years, requires instant consideration. In order to exonerate from Madrassa culture, there is a need to provide an alternative option of education to this group of the youth. Although there exists 5,344 educational institutions in the tribal areas, but owing to the inauspicious law and order situation, majority of them remain close. In order to ensure a smooth conduct of formal educational process, a group of volunteer youth from the area; preferably one per family ought to be chosen with the consent of their parents and educated in the good public schools located elsewhere in the country with boarding and lodging amenities to be borne by the Federal Government. Such an experience has met success in the recent past, once a limited group of youth was put through the basic education in Army Public schools at Peshawar, Bannu and Kohat. While majority of these students might be put through the normal and technical education, the glowing students may be segregated and provided an opportunity to go for higher professional education like engineering, medical or information technology. Though it is a long-term investment, however if tailored correctly, this class can change the fortune of FATA in the future. Following the basic group, the next category of the youth is of the age bracket from 13-18 years. There is a need that youth of this crucial age bracket from all over FATA may be registered and given technical training in various fields. This is the most susceptible age group available to be exploited by terrorists and militants. This group may be trained for a small duration, to have basic know how or to obtain diploma in various technical trades, followed by on job training. At government level, there must be made sufficient funds available for extending services to this class of youth either through already available technical institutions or else mobile technical institutions may be established temporarily in the settled areas. The arrangement must cater for their boarding and lodging as well. Even small stipend as an incentive for the duration of training may also be provided to the trainees. Progressively this provision may be converted into permanent feature. In order to bring a consistency in this effort, necessary arrangements must be made for quick employment of the qualified youth, so that they are not drifted back. The likely areas in technical education may include; agriculture, transport, provision of civic services, small, medium and heavy industry, etc. Depending upon the level of skills, some of the qualified individuals could also be inducted in technical branches of law enforcement agencies. Quite a number of them could be given interest free loans to purchase tractors, etc. and also to run their independent small setups. Better-qualified youth may also be considered for nursing and teaching in their areas of expertise. Unfortunately, owing to successive oversights and being out of work, a number of the mature class of tribal youth, now aging from 18-35 years, has become party to the militants. Nonetheless, it is not impracticable to convert this category into a productive class, but surely more time would be needed to change the perception of this mentally hardened cadre through inducement packages and provisioning of alternative means of earning. Upon their segregation from militants they can be given loans to setup their small business. They may be employed for building of communication infrastructure, civics facilities and establishment of other resource bases alongside the skilled manpower. In this way they would be engaged mentally as well as physically towards a positive input, rather becoming available for exploitation by militants. Besides the proposed stratagem for revitalization and assimilation of tribal youth into national mainstream, there is an urgent need that the existing educational institutions should be rejuvenated with enabling environment for the youth to fearlessly resume their educational sessions. Parents should be convinced to send their children to schools. Shortages of teachers should be made-up from settled areas of the NWFP or other parts of the country. A similar effort is required for basic health services and civic facilities. Besides, an enormous strength of tribal youth otherwise peripatetic without any job should be gradually inducted into Frontier Corps, local police or Khasadar forces. It will serve double purpose; one, Pakistan Army would be relieved of the extra yoke and two; a lot of local youth would be able to get decent jobs, which will curtail the youth's unemployment dilemma. The quandary likely to be confronted is, whether these militants would let this integration of youth to go on by government functionaries under the prevailing flimsy situation. It is appreciated that a lot of spadework would be required to undertake this gigantic task of integration of youth into the national main stream. Hard core militant organizations would go all out to obstruct this integration. Moreover a lot of protective measures would have to be taken in selection and moving the youth to the pre-designated institutions or to human resource bases. To take care of this aspect, initially there would be requirement of dedicated security arrangements for the families of all those youth, who voluntarily opt to be integrated into the national main stream. The current presence of security forces in the region will be helpful in this regard. However the khasadar force and Frontier Corps may be considered to cater for this aspect on the long run. drmk_edu@yahoo.com
Saved from: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=ar&nid=824&ad=28-03-200
Dated: Saturday,March 28, 2009, Rabi-ul-Awwal 30, 1430 A.H.

Nawaz Sharif, a reliable partner?

BY M WAQAR
It will be disastrous for Obama administration if ,Washington thinks that Pakistani opposition leader, Nawaz Shrif can be a reliable partner of Washington in fighting Taliban. Nawaz Sharif is not only a corrupt politician he has sympathies with Osama bin laden, Alquida and Taliban. According to a former ISI official , Nawaz Sharif met OSAMA BIN LADEN and received funds from him, he met OSAMA three times and desperately asked for financial assistance. Bin Laden, who had offered him money to topple the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government of BENAZIR BHUTTO in 1990. Al Qaeda head wanted the “secular” PPP government overthrown to ensure that Pakistan continued supporting the Afghan “jihad” and LADEN was against a woman ruling Pakistan. . Nawaz met Osama thrice in Saudi Arabia ,this meeting was arranged by former ISI official Khalid Khawaja . Nawaz sharif was hoping for a grant of Rs 500 million. Although Bin Laden gave a smaller amount, Khawaja said that he arranged for Sharif to meet the Saudi royal family, which pledged political support for him and kept its word until he was dislodged by President Pervez Musharraf in 1999 . Nawaz has been an ardent supporter of Taliban. I am afraid that his coming to power at this critical juncture will be bad news for Pakistan, because Pak is already facing Taliban mutiny. Sharif is on record stating he would prefer Pakistan to be run like the Taleban ran Afghanistan, and we all know how well that turned out. Sharif's reckless embrace of religious extremism led him to try and impose Sharia (Islamic law) on Pakistan in 1998 and declare himself "Amirul Momineen" (Leader of the Faithful/Believers). Sharif has a long history of aligning with extremist religious groups, jihadists, and the Taliban. Sharif's desire for power is even greater than his respect for innocent life. Convicted for hijacking, he put the lives of 198 people on a plane in jeopardy by refusing to allow it to land. Also, Sharif funneled terrorist gunmen into disputed areas of Kashmir in 1997, risking not only the lives of innocent civilians there, but open war with its larger neighbor, India.  Beyond the blood on Sharif's hands, his corruption and that of his brother are on a vast scale. At the time of his removal from office, Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shabaz had looted approximately $60 million from people of Pakistan, via their personally owned companies. Pakistan, a developing nation, struggling to bring economic growth, education, and basic services to tens of millions of poverty stricken citizens, cannot afford the greed and avarice of Nawaz Sharif. The March 25, 2009 piece in the NY Times, Nawaz Sharif is portrayed as someone the U.S. and Pakistan can possible reconsider as a leader that can guide Pakistan through a challenging period. In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. In the 03-25-09 NY Times article, two important questions are asked: Can Mr. Sharif, 59, a populist politician close to Islamic parties, be a reliable partner? Or will he use his popular support to blunt the military's already fitful campaign against the insurgency of the Taliban and Al Qaeda? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding NO. History has shown where Nawaz Sharif stands on these issues, he stands for religious extremism, alliances with terrorists, and the undermining of secular rule in Pakistan, to the detriment of its citizenry and the country's neighbors near and far. With the Taliban and Al-Queda taking active refuge in Pakistan, engaging in recruitment there, and basing attacks in Pakistan and across the border into Afghanistan, Nawaz Sharif is the last person that can be relied upon to control or eliminate these destabilizing and dangerous groups. Sharif's support for these extremists goes beyond admiration and rhetoric, he as personally assisted them in their quest for power, At the end of the 1990's, under the leadership of Sharif, the economy of Pakistan suffered immensely. In regards to Afghanistan, Sharif's support of the Taliban within Afghanistan, and allowing them to draw operate and draw support from area's within Pakistan itself, thus adding their destabilizing influence to an already fragile political environment. Sharif's lust of power, and his willingness to damage Pakistan's future, area toxic mix for the people of Pakistan, and for it's neighbors. There is a  long tale of Nawaz’ corruption ranging from Yellow Cab scheme, to Motorway project and from Raiwind palace to LDA plots. As a protege of Zia ul Haq, the dictator who controlled Pakistan in the 1980's, Sharif's anti-democratic tendencies were already in bloom. Sharif's own power base in Punjab was built by bribery and favoritism along with pandering to religious extremists .  The greatest outrage, in retrospect, is Sharif's alliance with Osama Bin Laden. In Sharif's battle against Benazair Bhutto, Bin Laden's funds helped orchestrate the removal of Bhutto from power. Bin Laden knew he needed to secure at least neutrality if not outright support from Pakistan in his goal to turn Afghanistan into his own personal terrorist training camp. Sharif was Bin Laden's man for this mission, at once corrupt enough to take the money, and oblivious enough to not grasp the horror he helped unleash on the world. By the time Sharif was forced from power, it was too late. Bin Laden's network had struck. He used Lawyers movement for his political gain, Nawaz Sharif’s reason for supporting Iftikhar Chaudhry was to get back at Musharraf, a glorified version of kindergarten revenge. Nothing more. Mr. Sharif’s purpose is to grab the federal government. He believes his right to rule Pakistan was snatched away from him in 1999 and he wants it back.  Lawyers’ movement was hijacked for dirty political tricks by Nawaz and other opportunist politicians in Pakistan. The lawyers’ movement managed to get quite a bit of the attention of the educated class and the media, because of its high claims of standing by principles and reinstating an independent judiciary and people from all walks of life supported that while politicians like NAWAZ,IMRAN,QAZI were just creating chaos. Whether it is Zardari or Sharif, both are incompetent . Both are products of dynasty politics, and neither of them deserves any share in the running of anything…be it the party, or the country. The only thing they can do for the country is to leave it alone, but that is too much to ask. So those who think that Mr. Sharif is a ray of hope … think again. He offers nothing different. He is a part of the same dirty system that brought us here in the first place. President Obama will make an even greater mistake (than George Bush’s Iraq adventure) if he sides with NAWAZ SHARIF.

Analysis: Democracy within parties


—Rasul Bakhsh Rais

Hybridism is an important feature of Pakistani politics, and largely explains the ability of military and civilian rulers to stay in power and justify their rule. They combine elements of democracy and authoritarianism, and present that hybrid as ‘genuine’ democracy

Family-based politics is one of main features of the political system of Pakistan, and also one of the factors adding to its political crises. It is this aspect of Pakistani politics that makes it dysfunctional and causes imbalance between the various institutions of the state. It is also a major source of political confrontations, the likes of which we are witnessing today, as it is the personal interests of the party boss or his vision for his party and the country that determine the party line and its policy orientations. Above all, this affects how politicians understand democracy and rule of law.

All political parties have a dynastic character. This includes the mainstream national parties as well as the ethnic-regional parties. Other, smaller parties that may appear free of the domination of a single family were, and are being, run by individuals in a dictatorial manner.

Pakistan cannot make the transition to democracy without a competitive party system, which fortunately started to develop in the colonial days. Parties are indispensable to how we translate the idea of popular sovereignty into representative governance. It is also true that the political parties of Pakistan, whatever their ideological and policy leanings, have a certain support base without which they could not have survived repeated attempts by the military to fragment and destroy them.

Each Pakistani party has a unique political identity as well as a recognisable ideological orientation, regardless of the degree to which it has faded. The country can be rightly proud of the multiparty structure of its politics, which is also a reflection of the multicultural character of Pakistani society.

However, these parties have not been able to meet the public’s expectations. Students and analysts of Pakistan’s politics generally refer to feudal culture, and family- and caste-based politics to explain political instability, confrontation and the failure of democracy in the country. The main weakness, thus, is the absence of democratic culture within the political parties of Pakistan. Regular military interventions for various reasons are another reason for the country’s enduring political crises, as they disrupted civilian rule and also caused decay of institutions and the political process.

Developing a party system with a good degree of internal democracy could repair the damage caused by military interventions. It is unfortunate that periods of civilian rule in the country under the main political parties have not been very different in attitude and behaviour from the military rulers. Both demonstrated two common traits: personalised rule and hybridism. First, party leaders in power have acted within the party like dictators, taking arbitrary decisions based on their own whims rather than the collective wisdom and opinion of the party rank and file.

Hybridism is an important feature of Pakistani politics, and largely explains the ability of military and civilian rulers to stay in power and justify their rule. They combine elements of democracy and authoritarianism, and present that hybrid as ‘genuine’ democracy. One the one hand, there is freedom of expression, open politics and protection of fundamental rights; and on the other, these freedoms have a marginal influence on decision making, policy formulation and administration. Party leaders of the PPP, the PMLN and the PMLQ have formed governments in the past without embracing democratic principles in running their parties or their governments, and the experience of the ethnic/religious parties is no different.

Parties in Pakistan are thus like family businesses, with the dominant families protecting their interests. This dynastic party system could transform itself like the Congress party in India; this could only happen if leaders felt secure enough to share power at different levels within the party structure and in the different tiers of their governments.

Beyond the party, personal/family domination damages governance, rule of law and democratic culture by reducing the country’s politics to a clash between egos and party interests. If any coalitions do get formed, they are based on political convenience rather than any ideological or policy compatibility. This leads to further destabilisation of the political system.

There are two other important dimensions of the undemocratic political party culture of Pakistan that foment political crisis: regular reneging on political commitments; and betraying pledges made to the electorate. Party leaders behave this way thinking that they can get away with it, since neither state institutions nor the electorate hold them accountable for their failures or misdemeanours.

The present crisis, too, is due to this traditional mindset of the supreme political bosses of the parties, especially those in power at the centre today. The harbour the delusion that they can keep the judiciary subordinate, pack the courts with party loyalists, then use these courts as instruments of political manoeuvring, and attack rival parties’ interests with impunity. This is what has resulted in the ongoing clash between the PMLN and the PPP in Punjab, in particular.

Traditional leaders like the PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari and his non-political advisors fail to recognise that Pakistani society has changed. There is, in fact, a generational change reflected in the vision and aspirations of the younger generation and the vastly expanded professional and middle classes; they now see themselves as real stakeholders in the affairs of state and society in Pakistan.

There is now a big gap in the cultural orientation and worldviews of the new Pakistani classes and the old-fashioned political leaders. Rooted in new social realities, there is an emerging democratic coalition that cuts across ethnic, regional and party lines. This movement simply wants a government subservient to the law; whosoever is in power should be constrained by and held accountable under the Constitution.

Victory of this non-partisan social movement may resolve the long-running crises of Pakistani politics, as party leaders may be forced to respect the law and accept constitutional restraints on the exercise of political power, and may realise that running parties like despots and manipulating the political system will only perpetuate confrontations.

Pakistan has entered a decisive phase in its politics, with a struggle between democracy and authoritarianism. There is hope, however, that counter-authoritarian forces are stronger than ever before and have gained enough momentum to overcome the old order and the authoritarian party bosses.

Dr Rasul Bakhsh Rais is author of Recovering the Frontier State: War, Ethnicity and State in Afghanistan (Oxford University Press, 2008) and a professor of Political Science at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. He can be reached at rasul@lums.edu.pk

PESHAWAR THROUGH THE AGES...










The Peshawar, capital city of the NWFP(PUKHTUNKHWA) province, is believed to have existed two thousand years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. Peshawar derives its name from Sanskrit word Pushpapura meaning city of flowers, since the valley abounds in flowers and orchards.
Apart from the Got Khuttree's ruins, ancient religious scriptures as well as the writings of famous travellers including Herodotus (5th century BC), throw ample light on the profile of Peshawar city as well as its surrounding valley. The city and its surrounding valley was invaded by scores of invaders from across the Hindu Kush mountains range, mostly through the world famed Khyber Pass.

In the Peshawar valley near the town of Charsda, about 30 KMs north-east of Peshawar city, a cluster of imposing mounds, have been found which are considered to be the most important archaeological sites. The site which has been identified as Pushkalavati, the Pre-Kushan capital of Gandhara, was overrun by Alexander's troops after a siege of 30 fsyd.

Similarly is the Peshawar valley, Shahbaz Garhi, the small village of the Peshawar valley is believed to be the site of ancient city of Varusha. On the Southern side of the village at the edge of a hill are Ashoka's rock edicts 14 in number on two large boulders, in Kharoshti scripts of Gandhara urging people to follow the code of religion as well as instill tolerance, non-violence and respect to the monarchy.

Another important historical place in Peshawar valley is Chanako Dheri which means glazing mound. The site houses, a hall, a lake and a base of a stupa. The valley also has in its fold the World Heritage Site of "Takhti-i-Bhai" which is located over 80 KM north-east of Peshawar. The site's fame is due to the existence of remains of monastery on top of a 160 meter high hill dating back to 2nd century AD, with fragmentary sculptures in stone and stucco indicating highly developed sculptural art of the era. Further 20 km north of Mardan city, the 2nd biggest town of Peshawar Valley, is a small village at an elevation of 122 meters which houses a big complex containing a beautiful monastery and the main stupa, round in shape, surrounded by closely packed chapels. The complex also has a meeting hall, monks' quarters as well as visiting monks and scholars quarters. According to renowned archaeologist, John Marshell, the circular stupa is one of the earliest from the Gandhara period.

At the periphery of Peshawar valley, the site of Hind, pronounced as Wai-hind and Udak Bandapura in ancient history is a village located 22 KM north of Attock in the Swabi district. The village, within, the ruined walls of old fortification is thought to have been the resting place of victorious army of Alexander. Excavation for ancient sites in Peshawar valley is still going on with many thousands artifacts representing ancient civilization have been shifted to 100 years old Peshawar Museum for better preservation.

The tribes inhabiting in the Peshawar and its surrounding valley are thought to have embraced Islam in late 7th and early 8th century AD. An Arab missionary Khalid Bin Abudllah who settled in the area is thought to be the first to have spread the message of Islam among the valley's inhabitants. The Zenith of the Muslim era in the valley is mainly attributed to be Mughal period. At the downfall of the Mughal dynasty the Peshawar and its surrounding valley remained under the control of Afghan Kings from 1744 to 1826 AD when the Sikh ruler of Punjab from the east captured it in 1826. However, eventful short lived rule of the Sikhs and in 1840, British under the command of Sir Walter Gilbert took over and ruled the valley until the independence in 1947. Ghanta Ghar: City's gates: Chowk Yadgar: Bala Hisar Fort: Mahabat Khan Mosque: and Gurdwari Bhai Jogian Shah are some important historical places of their rule.

Qiswa Khawani Bazar: Qisawa Khawani (the street of story tellers) was called by Sir Herbert Edwards, as picadilly of central Asia. In ancient times, it was a throbbing market when travellers and traders of yore regaled each other with tales of incredible journeys. While telling stories, they shared a bubbling Hukah or sipped tea in the shade of bazaar shop fronts.

In a nutshell, the city of Peshawar and its surrounding valley's uninterrupted glory and fame had never receded into oblivion. The city with unique architecture, sprawling streets, lush green parks, modern communication network and historical buildings, is considered to be the gate way to Afghanistan and Central Asia as well as transit point to the snow capped valleys of Chitral and northern Pakistan.

Brutal ancestor inspires prince to be the next iron man of Afghanistan









The great grandson of Afghanistan's legendary Iron Amir – who once forced an adulterous man to eat his mistress – has joined the race to be the country's next president. Prince Abdul Ali Seraj, who opened Afghanistan's first nightclub in the 1970s, says it is time to launch "psychological warfare" against the Taliban and reclaim Islamic law from the extremists. He insists Afghanistan needs a "change candidate" because President Hamid Karzai has failed.

His great grandfather Abdur Rahman Khan ruled from 1880 to 1901, massacring tens of thousands on the battlefield, while executing and torturing hundreds more who he suspected of dissent. He made slaves of an entire province, yet he is fondly remembered inside Afghanistan as one of the few rulers in the last 250 years to unite the country's tribes.

Prince Ali fled Afghanistan in 1978 after a communist coup, disguised as a hippy. He returned in 2002 after the Taliban regime collapsed, and says Abdur Rahman is his hero. "Afghan-istan needs a strong leader," he said. "Afghan people have never rallied around policies; they have rallied around people."

He owes his life to a bunch of stoned Australian hippies who smuggled him out of the country in their bus. They even gave him a guitar, as a disguise, when secret police boarded close to the Pakistan border. "I had no idea how to play a guitar," he said. "But they just told me to strum it whenever they did, so I did." He left behind a string of businesses including Kabul's first disco, called 25 Hours, a bowling alley and a Chinese restaurant.

Echoing his great grandfather's nickname, he said the president needs an "iron fist". "Afghanistan needs a ruler with two heads," he said. "He needs compassion for 95 per cent of the people, and an iron fist for the other five per cent – the terrorists, al-Qa'ida and corrupt officials."

The Amir was famous for the ruthless punishments meted out to anyone who disobeyed him. He claimed he was chosen by Allah and allegedly strangled a mullah who accused him of betraying Islam by accepting British subsidies.

The Taliban make similar claims about Hamid Karzai's government, which is largely dependent on foreign aid.

The Amir kept the sons of his provincial governors hostage in Kabul, to guarantee their fathers' loyalty. If tribal chiefs erred, his army dragged them back to Kabul in chains.

Today, President Karzai is often accused for failing to rein in his own brother Ahmed Wali, who is a tribal leader in Kandahar and head of the provincial council. He is widely suspected of controlling a billion dollar heroin trade. "Karzai is weak," fumed Prince Ali. "He can't even control his own brother, how can he control a whole country?"

Abdur Rahman's worst punishments were saved for adulterous couples, according to the specialist historian Bijan Omrani. "In one case a woman was boiled to a broth which was then fed to the man before his execution. Cannibals, according to Islam, are incapable of entering Paradise," he wrote.

Prince Ali insists he is a reluctant candidate, pressured into running by the tribal elders who support him. He is president of the National Coalition for Dialogue with Tribes of Afghanistan. A report he issued warned: "At the current rate of decline, support for the coalition forces is likely to have evaporated by early 2010. We could then be faced with the prospects of a nationwide jihad."

His uncle was the modernising King Amanullah who introduced girls' schools, outlawed torture, and let women unveil in Kabul. He fled Afghanistan in 1929 amid a conservative revolt. Prince Ali is also a distant cousin of the late King Zahir Shah, who tried to turn Afghanistan into a democracy. He was exiled in 1973, amid a conservative coup.

"Trying to force fit Afghanistan into a Western template is likely to arouse resistance and risk failure," Prince Ali warned. "Afghan history has plenty of examples where reforming zeal has foundered on the rocks of conservatism."

PRESIDENT OBAMA ON JAY LENO

NAWAZ SHARIF TAKE A CHILL PILL






M WAQAR
Well I been talking about revolution in Pakistan since high school, and I always hoped that someone should take power in Pakistan and have fire squad and shoot all the politicians, elite and bourgeois in Pakistan , but its really funny to hear this great word ,’’REVOLUTION’’ from Mr. Nawaz Sharif . His revolution is for himself not for Pakistani people, he wants a revolution so he can become Prime Minister and lets not forget that Nawaz was PM not once but twice, so what happen then ,he had all the power and he could change Pakistan , he could get rid of what he is talking about now . It is obvious that Nawaz Sharif is playing a dangerous game using Punjabi ethnicity for his political gains in Pakistan and he is not alone ,Imran Khan even wants to use Taliban for revolution . Nawaz Sharif in Jhelum , asked people to rise and “get ready to make sacrifices for a revolution” and “come out on the streets to change your destiny”. Then he says ,’’ PPP has been perfidious in getting me disqualified, and because I cannot wait until the next elections to trounce the PPP, you, the people, should help me do it.’’ If anyone thinks Mr Sharif’s idea of “revolution” goes beyond this, he/she should get the Nobel Prize for Misplaced Optimism. Nawaz Sharif is once again trying to revive Pujabi chauvinism in Pakistan ,’’ Jaag Punjabi Jaag Teri Pag Noon Lag Gaya Daagh. “” Obviously what Nawaz Sharif promised the nation, was not a revolution in the real sense but merely a regime-change to his liking.
Nawaz Sharif talks about NRO but he forgets about his agreement with dictator Musharaf, he talks about judiciary but forgets his attack on supreme court, he talks about media but forgets what he did to Rehmat Shah Afridi of FP ,Jang Group and others, he forgets what he did to Junejo. He talks about democracy but he forgot it while making forward block .Nawaz Sharif needs power and his style of revolution for power and money . Where was his revolution when  Nawaz Sharif spent his time at Surror Palace in Jeddah and then in England and poor Pakistanis were selling kids and kidneys ? Sharif was indicted for criminal charges, and was allowed to go without facing the charges against him. Now he is back, but he did not face his criminal indictments. In the USA people who are under indictments for felonies can be told not to hold offices until the indictments are either cleared, or the person or persons are found not guilty in a trial.
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 .


Pakistani Politicians have no moral values and principles, when Nawaz was PM, JI Amir Qazi Hussain Ahmad told his supporters that , ‘’ "Nawaz and Pakistan can't co-exist," but for creating disturbance Qazi joined his hands recently . The entire Pakistani political class is composed of thieves waiting to stab each other in the back given the slightest opportunity, in order to feed like pigs at the trough, looting the public coffers instead of working for Pakistan's betterment. What hope can the common Pakistani have?
Democracy can not work in Pakistan unless and until the country gets rid itself from the culture of dynastic rulers, feudal lords, capricious, greedy rich politicians and military generals who have monopolized and manipulated Pakistan for the last sixty one years for their personal interests. These corrupt politicians have now the last chance to save Pakistan from collapsing if their intentions are honest and patriotic but if as always in the past, they are only interested in the thickness of their wallets; the country is doomed as it is surrounded by enemies within and around its borders. Pakistan is sinking into a deep hole dug by the corrupt politicians who quarrel incessantly about anything and everything and can never agree on anything, and that is the biggest tragedy of Pakistan.  The Pakistanis are sick and tired of politicians’ never ending squabbling, reminiscing their past, each other failures and never discussing what they could do for the country in the future. They are stuck in the past and if you were watch them on TV; all they would do is to discuss the present, past, and ignoring the fact that each one of them is responsible for the gradual fragmentation of their country. Pakistan does not need to be told by the foreigners what to do with their internal and external affairs and all they need is to resolve their disputes, petty squabbles and to stand united to faces internal and external threats. Pakistani politicians must grow up to be men if they wished to save their country from breaking up into many pieces. They must look at Iraq and learn a lesson that their kitchen politics will lead them into a quagmire and sink their country with them. Pakistanis do not need buttery words, false promises, false direction, false hopes and dreams from these inept perennial squabbling politicians.  It is imperative to put in place a system that would require end of dynastic, elitist, feudal and generals ruling the country . Democracy is a delicate system of governance that can be sustained only if the political class fully subscribes to and implements its basic norms in letter and spirit. The use of violence in the name of exercising the democratic right to protest shows a lack of understanding of the spirit of democracy. It was disappointing to watch the PMLN leadership discard the democratic framework and call upon its workers to take to the streets to voice their anger against the Supreme Court judgment that disqualified the Sharif brothers from holding public office. Perhaps the PMLN leaders think that democracy is relevant only to the extent that it facilitates the achievement of their partisan political agenda.

Wahhabi radicals are determined to destroy a gentler, kinder Islam

Rahman Baba, "the Nightingale of Peshawar," was an 18th-century poet and mystic, a sort of North West Frontier version of Julian of Norwich.

He withdrew from the world and promised his followers that if they also loosened their ties with the world, they could purge their souls of worries and move towards direct experience of God. Rituals and fasting were for the pious, said the saint. What was important was to understand that divinity can best be reached through the gateway of the human heart - that we all have paradise within us, if we know where to look.

For centuries, Rahman Baba's shrine at the foot of the Khyber Pass has been a place where musicians and poets have gathered, and his Sufi verses in the Pukhtun language made him the national poet of the Pathans. As a young journalist covering the Soviet-mujahideen conflict I used to visit the shrine to watch Afghan refugee musicians sing their songs to their saint by the light of the moon.

Then, about 10 years ago, a Saudi-funded Wahhabi madrasa was built at the end of the track leading to the shrine. Soon its students took it on themselves to halt what they saw as unIslamic practices. On my last visit, I talked about the situation with the shrine keeper, Tila Mohammed. He described how young Islamists now came and complained that his shrine was a centre of idolatry and superstition: "My family have been singing here for generations," said Tila. "But now these Arab madrasa students come here and create trouble.

"They tell us that what we do is wrong. They ask people who are singing to stop. Sometimes arguments break out - even fist fights. This used to be a place where people came to get peace of mind. Now when they come here they just encounter more problems, so gradually have stopped coming."

"Before the Afghan war, there was nothing like this. But then the Saudis came, with their propaganda, to stop us visiting the saints, and to stop us preaching 'ishq [love]. Now this trouble happens more and more frequently."

Behind the violence lies a long theological conflict that has divided the Islamic world for centuries. Rahman Baba believed passionately in the importance of music, poetry and dancing as a path for reaching God, as a way of opening the gates of Paradise. But this use of poetry and music in ritual is one of the many aspects of Sufi practice that has attracted the wrath of modern Islamists. For although there is nothing in the Qur'an that bans music, Islamic tradition has always associated music with dancing girls and immorality, and there is a long tradition of clerical opposition.

At Attock, not far from the shrine of Rahman Baba, stands the Haqqania, one of the most radical madrasas in South Asia. Much of the Taliban leadership, including its leader, Mullah Omar, were trained here, so I asked the madrasa's director, Maulana Sami ul-Haq, about what I had heard at Rahman Baba's tomb. The matter was quite simple." Music is against Islam," he said. "Musical instruments lead men astray and are sinful. They are forbidden, and these musicians are wrongdoers."

Nor were Sami's strictures limited to the shrine's music: "We don't like tomb worship," he continued. "We do not pray to dead men, even the saints. We believe there is no power but God. I invite people who come here to return to the true path of the Qur'an. Do not pray to a corpse: Rahman Baba is dead. Go to the mosque, not to a grave."

This sort of madrasa-driven change in attitudes is being reproduced across Pakistan. There are now 27 times as many madrasas in the country as there were in 1947: from 245 at independence, the number has shot up to 6870 in 2001. Across Pakistan, the religious tenor has been correspondingly radicalised: the tolerant, Sufi-minded Barelvi form of Islam is now out of fashion in northern Pakistan, especially in the NWFP, overtaken by the rise of the more hardline and politicised Wahhabism.

Later, I returned to the shrine and found Tila Mahommed tending the grave. Making sure no one was listening, he whispered: "We pray that right will overpower wrong, that good will overcome evil. But our way is pacifist," he said." As Baba put it,

I am a lover, and I deal in love. Sow flowers,
So your surroundings become a garden
Don't sow thorns; for they will prick your feet.
We are all one body,
Whoever tortures another, wounds himself.

I thought of this conversation, when I heard that the shrine of Rahman Baba had finally been blown up on Thursday, a few hours after the Sri Lankan cricketers were ambushed in Lahore. The rise of Islamic radicalism is often presented in starkly political terms, but what happened in Peshawar this week is a reminder that, at the heart of the current conflict, lie two very different understandings of Islam. Wahhabi fundamentalism has advanced so quickly in Pakistan partly because the Saudis have financed the building of so many madrasas, which have filled the vacuum left by the collapse of state education. These have taught an entire generation to abhor the gentle, syncretic Sufi Islam that has dominated south Asia for centuries, and to embrace instead an imported form of Saudi Wahhabism.

Sufism is an entirely indigenous Islamic resistance movement to fundamentalism, with its deep roots in South Asian soil. The Pakistani government could finance schools that taught Pakistanis to respect their own religious traditions, rather than buying fleets of American F-16 fighters and handing over education to the Saudis. Instead, every day, it increasingly resembles a tragic clone of Taliban Afghanistan.
William Dalrymple 's Last Mughal won the Duff Cooper Prize and the Crossword Indian Book of the Year prize.
williamdalrymple.com

Beating of war drums




EDITORIAL FRONTIER POST
PPP, too, has declared war. The PML (N) was already on the warpath. And with their beating of war drums, the two have demonstrated conclusively how unsurpassable are their leaderships in intellectual bankruptcy, how unbeatable are they in immaturity, how incomparable are they in stupidity, and that they are no statesmen, not even politicians, but mere operators driven by their power lust. The nation’s true leaders they are not; slaves to their own selfishness they actually are. Not that the people were any much impressed by their alliance. A marriage of convenience they had said it was. Neither, they averred, was sincere to the other; both they perceived were deceiving each other. Parting of ways, anyway, is not an unheard phenomenon. Even in functional democracies, political alliances do break up. But were these times for these two to separate and declare war? Weren’t it these times to get united, not get divided; to reconcile, not fight, and to engage, not disengage? Aren’t we in the clutches of a deadly extremism vilely threatening to destroy us to the roots and make a Somalia of us? Aren’t lawlessness and criminality of all brands evaporating the little bit of sense of security our people are left with? Aren’t foreign investors getting increasingly scared of doing any business with us? Aren’t we in the thicket of a declining economy and living on foreign loans and doles? And aren’t outsiders from one to all proclaiming that we on the way of becoming a failed state, if not have we become already? So what is that has impelled these two parties’ leaderships to act so irresponsibly as have they? Of course, both have their cheerleaders, who do cheer. But it is only jeers, and in bucketfuls, that the street has for both the two. So blemished and culpable is their track record that neither has a moral ground to strike the posture of grandstanding as are they doing now. So ugly is their past that the street hates even to spit at it. And they are making it uglier with the day with their petty politics and power plays. Sure, their respective cheerleaders, in the media and in the intelligentsia, have hit the field, defending the indefensible. Some are frighteningly raising the spectre of jackboots marching in to roll up the democracy shop? But what democracy? We are no democracy; we are a plutocracy, pure and simple. What we have is a rule of the elite for the elite and by the elite. A democracy of the people for the people and by the people we palpably are not. Had we been one, these aristocrats would have dared not to play with the destiny of this nation’s mostly hapless 160 million people as playfully as they are? Still, this country is no personal property of anybody’s mama or papa; neither Asif Zardari’s nor Nawaz Sharif’s. It is owned by these heartlessly robbed and plundered 160 million people on whose sweat and blood have they stashed mountains of cash in foreign banks and built to themselves palatial homes and flourishing businesses abroad. And they are no people’s men; neither Zardari nor Nawaz. Had they been, neither would have had so deeply fractured poll mandate as they have, particularly Nawaz who couldn’t come out from the contest even as Punjab’s sole spokesman and subedar, although his fawning cheerleaders misleadingly project him to be a national leader which the election showed he was not. Even Zardari saw his PPP in the election being marginalised in Balochistan, trailing far behind in Punjab and Frontier, and cobbling up a tottering minority government at the Centre. So this puerile talk of their credentials of being national leaders should stop. Had indeed we been an emancipated democratic polity and had there been no aristocrats and oligarchs to dictate their enslaved constituents’ choice, the poll outcome would have been not what it was. There would have been other faces and true leaders in the real sense to lead this nation. Yet since the lady luck has smiled on these two, they must behave, and make not this land their abominable clashing egos’ battleground and this nation their silly fight’s unwilling victim. It is no participant in their selfish warfare. And spare it they must of this unwanted atrocity. Pull back they must even now, keep the street calm and start attending to the gigantic challenges confronting the nation internally and externally, lest they are thrown out by an angry people in the history’s dustbin for good.

Explosions at the tomb of Afghan Poet Rahman Baba


By-Zar Ali Khan Musazai
This was shocking news to hear that terrorists and miscreants bombed the holy tomb of the Pashto language greatest mystic poet Rehman Baba situated in Hazar khwani village of Mahmand tribe of Pashtun/Afghan in the south of Peshawar city. It was about 5pm when my eyes suddenly opened due to a big bang of the explosion. It does not mean that I was lying near to the site where this unfortunate incident occurred, but actually the intensity of the explosion was so severe that it shook the suburb of the Peshawar city and the sound could be heard at a distance of more than 8-9 kilometers in radius of Peshawar from the shrine of Rehman Baba. This was further shocking when I was called by one of friends in morning that the big bang we heard in dawn was of the terrorist explosion went off in the mausoleum of Baba. This unfortunate tragic news saddened me a lot and immediately thought that miscreants who committed this heinous crime could not be named as Pashtun, Muslims and human being. Such unlucky and mean terrorists committed a crime which could not be pardoned at any cost. Rehman baba is a mystic poet of Pashto language who preached love, humanity and fraternity in the world. He taught people to spread message of peace and humanity. He asks people to learn to be human being. Pashtun/Afghan all over the world shows him great respect and reverence and there is no single Pashtun who will oppose him. He is a person who has no enmity with no one and he is respected by all and sundry alike. Baba in Pashto language is one who is the most dignified personality among the Pashtun/Afghan and Rehman baba comes at the top of such list of the Pashtun. Besides, Khushal Baba, Mirwais neeka (Baba) and Ahmad shah baba are the dignified and greatest personalities of the Pashtun/Afghan nation. These are the persons who have made place in the hearts of Pashtun and have made the history. Any one dares to show disrespect to the said personality’s means that he/she invites wrath and rage of the Pashtun/Afghan. The unfortunate incident happened to the grave of Rehman baba caused great unrest and angered Pashtun / Afghan and his followers. This is intolerable. Pashtun show respect to the graves of the people and wish other to respond in same manner. Bombing tomb of Rehman baba means a clear declaration of war against Pashtun/Afghan. Pashtun are being burnt in fire for last 30 years in fire. Their houses destroyed, schools and colleges demolished, hospitals ruined, roads and entire infrastructure bombed and made debris. Pashtun children were made ignorant and illiterate. The purpose behind was to get this nation forget its past history, its culture, its language, its leaders, its politicians, its Mashran, its religious entities, its poets, its heroes, its brave deeds, its land and national cohesion and Unity. This is our past and we are proud of it. We are proud of our history, culture, language, geography, poets, politicians and their brave deeds and never repent what our elders have done. For last 30 years on one pretence or other Pashtun/Afghan have been forced to forget their history and leave their culture and adopt the orthodox and fundamental type of dogmatic belief which has no relation with religion Islam rather it is a particular belief of Arabs. This exercise is being practiced by some misled and strayed minds and wish to destroy all what shows a little bit difference with their particular kind of dogma. People need to show tolerance and endurance. Every one should have to have a courage and steadfastness to stand boldly and face this storm which has been hitting the heads of Pashtun since long. But unfortunately such inhuman deeds are being performed by the state agencies and support these for the ulterior motives under a well cooked conspiracy to defame the Pashtun nation for being named as terrorists. The culture of Pashtun is at stake. Pashtun singers/Artistes are kidnapped by militants and get released on the condition that they will be bound to go to Lahore, a city of Punjab where they will have to spend 120 days in Tableegh(A preaching Islamic religious group of Lahore brand ). Among them who is unwilling to go to Lahore then he/she is intimidated to the extent that leaves the country and settles abroad. One who sings for Pashtun, he is punished and orders him to forsake singing? When poets and singers are disrespected and discouraged how language and literature will be promoted. This will destroy the Pashtun/Afghan nation. All Pashtun intellectuals, Poets, Politicians, Literary minds, students, teachers, Journalists and Pashtun belonging to all walks of life should have to wake up from deep slumber to protect their past, brighten the present and leave good for future posterity.

(The writer is Chairman Pashtun Democratic Council.)

REHMAN BABA POETRY






Sow flowers so your surroundings become a garden
Don’t sow thorns; for they will prick your feet

If you shoot arrows at others,
Know that the same arrow will come back to hit you.

Don’t dig a well in another’s path,
In case you come to the well’s edge

You look at everyone with hungry eyes
But you will be first to become mere dirt.

Humans are all one body,
Whoever tortures another, wounds himself.

Attack on Rehman Baba is attack on Pashtun identity






Editorial:
DAILY TIMES
On Thursday, terrorists from Khyber Agency blew up the mausoleum of the great poet of the Pashtun and put the state of Pakistan on notice once again about their intent against Pakistani culture. The tomb of Rehman Baba was rebuilt as a complex in 1994 and it included other tombs of great Pashtun cultural icons, such as Akhund Darweza. The Taliban had come to the mausoleum and told the devotees that saying namaz at the mosque attached to the grave was “haram”. The administration knew that a strike would take place but did nothing.Rehman Baba (1632-1707), who appeared on a Pakistani postage stamp in 2005, is an acknowledged cultural symbol of the Pashtun and Afghan people. While Khushal Khan Khattak (1613–1689) stands together with him as a classical foil, Rehman Baba has moved the soul of the Pashtun far more. He also stands at the root of Pashtun nationalism and has been adopted in the past by all kinds of secular and conservative movements. He marks a significant phase in the development of Pashto language and his lines are often quoted spontaneously by the speakers of the language. The various schools of thought in the Sufi tradition like the Naqshbandiya, Chishtiya and Qadiriya have claimed him as their own, so great was his appeal among the masses.In Pakistan, religious culture has been traditionally represented by the Sufi tradition. The culture of the elite, represented by painting, architecture and calligraphy, doesn’t touch the masses whose way of life is reflected more accurately in the collective celebration of Islam’s mystical heritage. The Sufi taught the people how to link their faith with their entertainment and imbue their culture with their religious belief. It is often said that many of the Muslims of the region of Pakistan were brought inside the pale of Islam by the Sufi who sang of Allah’s divinity in the music and dance he inculcated among them, composed in the classical tradition.It is this culture of the masses that has been targeted by Talibanisation, a new faith born out of the terrorist coercion of Al Qaeda which is steeped in the anti-mystical Saudi-Wahhabi Islam. The trend towards anti-culture extremism, however, is seen across the Islamic world, much aided in the 1990s by Saudi investment in the spread of the Wahhabi faith. Pakistan’s culture has also been under assault from the Taliban who target the dominant Barelvi school of Pakistani Hanafi jurisprudence as representing the “impure” faith. In 2006, a large congregation of Barelvi clerics and leaders was suicide-bombed in Karachi where, too, scores of Barelvi mosques have been grabbed by the more powerful Deobandis.Pakistan committed cultural suicide when it allowed a purely Deobandi jihad in Afghanistan after 1996, empowering jihadi militias increasingly under the influence of Al Qaeda. Those who planned this strategy were devoid of any sense of culture. This was helped by the fact that Pakistan’s Constitution is silent on culture, most probably because the framers, bedevilled by clashing linguistic and regional identities, were unwilling to define it. Today, the violence of terrorism is expressed through its assault on culture, on entertainment in general, on female education, and the destruction of cultural landmarks.In Khyber Agency, the Sufi tradition was defeated and ousted by the Taliban as the state stood by and watched. The Sufi leaders fled the agency and left the field open to the extremists. In Swat, a Sufi leader was killed and later exhumed from his grave and made to hang in the city square. Without the refinement of culture, Pakistan is a rudderless society characterised by extremism. The masses are deprived of all collective celebration and are losing their male children to the Taliban as suicide-bombers. The Sindhi, whose mysticism-based culture is still intact in the interior of the province, is yet to appear as a suicide-bomber in the service of Al Qaeda. But even that could change in the face of relentless assault by the Taliban and the desperate secession of the writ of the state.

NAWAZ SHARIF........HYPOCRITE


M WAQAR
I am surfing the net for latest global news and I read Govt of China opened their congress session in which their President is reading progress report and talking about China’s future and what Govt can do for citizens progress and their future, development etc, In America President Obama and his team working hard to fix current economic problems and making moves for better lives of Americans, Same going on in Russia, Latin America , Europe etc, where elected officials are discussing problems, solving problems etc. Then I read about Pakistan, where innocent people getting killed, Taliban kidnapping and beheading foreign workers. Govt seems helpless and clueless, seems like there is no law and order, there is elected Govt but I don’t read in news that they are discussing how to take care of their voters problems, how to get rid of load shedding etc, citizens are on their own, they are selling kids and kidneys, none of elected officials talking about creating jobs, building educational institutions ,controlling poverty, health benefits for citizens etc. Where is the discussion about the higher education in Pakistan? How are the top notch scientists, engineers and doctors going to be trained? When will govt start pouring funds into these fields? There is also EDUCATIONAL FAILURE in Pakistan, a country with over 40 million illiterate people can’t progress and develop . The lack of modern schools and scientific education shows no potential for Pakistan to develop economically or politically in the future. Pakistani elite betraying the better educated parts of its population and turn itself into a backward nation, and they are doing it so they can rule and no one can question them .Pakistan as a nation is failing miserably and corrupt and opportunist politicians and power hungry Generals are responsible for that. If Pakistan is bankrupt ,even all the loans from IMF, World Bank, Paris Club, London Club, overt and covert aid from US, and repeated refinancing of the debt have not worked because all that aid was stolen by Pakistani elite, politicians and Army Generals. Today we see POLITICAL FAILURE in Pakistan because of The military coups, suspension of constitutional law, murders of Bhuttos , reveal no evidence of a modern political culture or democracy and none of the politicians of this country were sincere to help growing that political culture in Pakistan, Pakistani politicians have no agenda for growth or development; no plans for health and education meaningful. Most of the Politicians lack qualifications, experience and even commitment to tackle the problems of the Country. Politics and power dominates their agenda and real issues of poverty, illiteracy and disease do not fare in their book. Anyone who expects them to lead the country to peace and prosperity must be dreaming. The representatives of the people need to pass certain tests of eligibility. Character, ability, a sense of responsibility and experience are necessary ingredients of that eligibility, but in Pakistani Politics we don’t see that, there was marriage of convenience between Zardari and Nawaz but that marriage did not work from day one, Nawaz Shariff loves to destabilize democracy and there is a long list of other politicians who share his fantasy of playing ugly role in failing Democracy. Nawaz Shariff is keep talking about Justice Iftikhar but he forgets that he was involved in attacking supreme court of Pakistan, on the other hand I think it will it be better for Justice Ifthikah to join PML(N) OR make his own political party because I am pretty sure that if Nawaz gets power, he will not reinstate him because Nawaz hands are not clean either. Nawaz Sharif is a big hypocrite. He had the Supreme Court physically attacked on 28th Nov 1997 but is now standing up for the independence of the judiciary just because he hates Musharraf. And another thing is that whatever these politicians want becomes the solution to everything. They wanted democracy, it was the "solution to everything". Now they want judiciary, it is the "solution to everything". Nawaz Sharif , talks of independence of judiciary but before doing that ,at least he should eliminate the culprits of Supreme court attack case from his party. A few months ago he categorically said the reinstatement of the judges is the most crucial issue facing the people of Pakistan. (Actually, I'm pretty sure the food and electricity crises are the most crucial issues facing the people of Pakistan. Then comes the threat of militancy and terrorism. You've got to put inflation in there too. Pakistani politicians have double standards, lets put it this way, Nawaz was after the daughter of chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar but Nawaz forgets that  Rules were bent in 1991 to admit Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Mariam Nawaz to King Edward Medical College in Lahore . According to reports Mariam was a grade-B student in matric and FSc and scored 580 out of 850, and 767 out of 1,100 in the two exams in 1989 and 1991 respectively , Clearly, she did not qualify for admission to the KEMC on open merit. She was admitted to the Army Medical College in Rawalpindi and was migrated after only a month to the KEMC, which she left without completing her degree it was ‘almost comical’ that having done something similar, the Sharifs were pointing fingers at the chief justice. PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif wants CJ Abdul Hameed Dogar to resign over allegation that his daughter received undue favor for admission in a private medical college, but he is yet to offer an apology for his own daughter Mariam actually receiving such favor for enrolment in a public sector medical college in 1991 ,I am not defending what DOGER done but all this corrupt Pakistani elite is in same boat. Its also interesting that Nawaz called Zardari worst then Musharaff but Nawaz forgets that his mentor (Dictaor Zia) was the worst dictator in Pakistan and he is no less than him. How will you promote the merit, Mr.Nawaz, you have yourself reached here on Zia's lap .We are fool to expect you anything. Mr Nawaz Sharif, people of Pakistan beg you to please not to destabilize country. People know in any hour of trial, you have your Palace and business in Saudi Arabia and you will flee in minutes but Pakistanis do not have any other place to live. Please stop playing your heinous designs and let us save PAKISTAN . So called politicians likeNawaz Sharif ,survive in politics based on their wealth and fudel background, lets not forget that majority of these politicians forefathers betrayed their nation and helped ENGLISH masters to rule Indian subcontinent . When Nawaz was leaving for Saudia Arabia, where was his pain for people of Pakistan or even of people of his own party. He left them all in crisis to have holidays in Saudi Palaces. He has been financing so called Jihadis and took funds from OSAMA to run his election campaign. In fact his political father Zia has laid all seeds of religious fanaticism. ,Benazir has lost her life ,even Gen Musharaff narrowly escaped two life attempts, ANP leadership suffered, but Do you know any leader of PML(N) to whom militants have posed life threats? If now after his political summersault he begins to believe that the problem lies in our home, Why didn’t he join hands with Zardari to crush out the militants? An indeed example of hypocrisy Nawaz Sharif . It was disappointing to watch the PMLN leadership discard the democratic framework and call upon its workers to take to the streets to voice their anger against the Supreme Court judgement that disqualified the Sharif brothers from holding public office. Perhaps the PMLN leaders think that democracy is relevant only to the extent that it facilitates the achievement of their partisan political agenda. What are the implications of street agitation for the capacity of the government to cope with religious extremism and militancy? PML-N of Nawaz loves to create problems, His party is also involved in making wrong statements on PUKHTUNKHWA name issue and are trying to divide people in Pukhtunkhwa. Nawaz Sharif is playing innocent now but does he remembers what he did to media when he was PM ?Rehamt Shah Afridi of the Frontier Post was sent to prison because FP was telling the truth about Nawaz regime .Mr. Afridi, who was imprisoned by Nawaz because his work was harming the interests of the powerful Punjabi mafia and corrupt.  Mr. Afridi was imprisoned because of his peaceful expression of his beliefs during Nawaz Sharif era of corruption. The press faced intense repression during Shariff's second term .In June 1997, Humayun Fur, Peshawar bureau chief of the daily Mashriq, was detained under charges of "anti-state" activities and sentenced to five years in jail by a military court on 9 September 1997.On 8 May 1999, Najam Sethi, editor of the Friday Times, was arrested in Lahore and held without charge for nearly a month by Inter-Services Intelligence. The government finally charged Mr Sethi on 1 June 1999 with sedition, promoting communal enmity, condemning the creation of Pakistan and advocating the abolition of its sovereignty, and violating the Prevention of Anti-National Activities Act. Two other journalists M.A.K Lodhi of The News International and Hussain Haqqani, an opposition leader and columnist for The Friday Times and daily Jang were also arrested. Rehmat Shah Afridi, editor of The Frontier Post, was arrested in April 1999.Nawaz Shariff who as the Prime Minister of Pakistan for two terms i.e. from 6 November 1990 to 18 July 1993 and 17 February 1997 to 12 October 1999 was responsible for gross human rights violations. During the first term of Shariff, even human rights defenders were oppressed. On 1 April 1993, three staff members of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, including its director, I.A. Rehman, were detained by police and documents were confiscated from the HRCP's office. Nawaz Sharif had a history of terrorizing professional journalists.   Before becoming PM he was a major share holder along with his brother and cousins of Ittefaq Group, having assets well in excess of £50m in the 90's. However he got richer when he took commissions from foreign companies for construction in Pakistan. He build the first motorway and many new roads and took heavy kickbacks. He then also stole $100m from the Iqra funds, he started a new scheme "Ghar Apna" in which he again looted around $40m, the "Mulk swaaro" scheme involving public & govt. money collections to help pay Pakistan's debts; also was pocketed .Nawaz Sharif is an autocrat with no relation to democratic norms and traditions. His each tenure in the helm of affairs was more dishonest than the previous one. His malpractices not only swayed away the economic structure of the state but also made the lives of poor disastrous . Unfortunately none of Pakistani politicians are interested in progress of their country and people. Pakistan belongs to its people and not to the bunch of rotten corrupt politicians that have come and gone. Pakistan has been resilient enough to withstand the onslaught of corruption year after year for 62 years running, watching one tyrant after another make his own heaven on earth. Nawaz sharif and other politicians have no sense of responsibility, his call for civl dissidence was not only irresponsible but also selfish just like one religious party leader FAZAL REHAMAN told his supporters to pick up arms if Islamic system not enforced in the country, do these politicians know what they are talking about? Are they aware of the situation Pakistan is in? Or they are just selfish and for their political gain they can do and say anything ? Pakistan needs new generation of politicians who are not family members of past hypocrites, dictators and traitors , Pakistani political parties never developed into viable institutions capable of generating leadership. There are talented emerging politicians in some political parties of Pakistan but they stand no chance of occupying their party top slots.  Only the educated people can help break the choking grip of wealthy, autocratic feudal politicians. In Pakistan the military has been part of the problem because it has been encouraging the monopoly of a handful of politicians in the country, perpetuating a troubled system and never encouraging its replacement with a better one.  The prevalent feudal system of Pakistan is the main obstacle in the progress of the country and the prosperity of the people. Since the creation of Pakistan the Pakistani people are left at distant from the corridor of power so that the ruling elite can do what they wanted to do in favour of their interest, leaving the Pakistani people at the mercy of circumstances. As this policy is denial of right of Pakistani people to rule their country according to their aspiration and desire to build this country, which can provide equal opportunity to all without any discrimination for the establishment of welfare society.  It would be wrong to blame Pakistan army alone for having usurped power for more than half of its life. It was in fact feudal corrupt politicians that facilitated first martial law in Pakistan and again in 1999. How long shall we suffer? How long the future of our coming generation will be at stake. With a population of over 160 million, Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and the second most populous country with a Muslim majority. However, the country faces significant development challenges, with one in 10 children dying before their fifth birthday, and 50% of adults classed as illiterate, no clean drinking water, load shedding and so many other countless problems Pakistanis face everyday.  Pakistani politicians failed to develop stability in Pakistan, because they lack an all-Pakistan vision.
By the age of 62, a COUNTRY - like a man - should have achieved a certain maturity. After decades of existence we know, for good and for bad, who we are, what we have done and how we appear to others, warts and all. But unfortunately, Pakistan remains curiously immature, a Country with less then 50% rate of literacy can’t bring political wisdom that usually accompanies age. Therefore ,Pakistanis needs to wake up , stand up for their rights and reject these corrupt and failed politicians.

Who will save Pakistan?



The attack on Sri Lankan cricketers underlines the risk to an already fragmented state of becoming an international outcast

Simon Tisdall
guardian.co.uk.

The audacious attack on Sri Lanka's cricket players as they travelled through Lahore has underscored fears that politically fractured, economically destitute and militarily challenged Pakistan, if not already a failed state, is heading rapidly towards the status of international outcast.

The virtual certainty that Pakistan's days of hosting Test cricket are over for the foreseeable future is the least of the country's problems. The attack in the heartlands of the Punjab, the army's traditional stronghold and the most populous province, looked like a deliberate throwing down of the gauntlet to army chief of staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

It is barely six months since the democratically elected civilian government of President Asif Ali Zardari succeeded in ousting General Pervez Musharraf, a Kayani predecessor who had ruled the country for nearly a decade following a 1999 coup d'etat. But Zardari and his Pakistan People's party (PPP) are mired in domestic controversy and appear increasingly unable to manage Pakistan's multiplying problems.
Kayani has vowed to keep the military out of politics, a pledge he reportedly renewed during talks in Washington last week on a new, combined military and political strategy for what the Americans call "Afpak" – Afghanistan and Pakistan. But the Obama administration's confidence in Zardari, as with the Afghan leader, Hamid Karzai, is wearing thin.

If Kayani and his fellow generals felt obliged to step in "for the good of the country", then Washington, more concerned about defeating the Taliban and al-Qaida than preserving a democratic system that daily appears to be more and more of a travesty of itself, might well go along. After all, it wouldn't be the first time.

Like other Pakistani commentators, author and journalist Ahmed Rashid pinned blame for the attack against the Sri Lankan team squarely on Islamist militants with whom Pakistan is fighting a spreading battle along its north-western flank. Involvement of Baluchi separtists or Tamil Tiger renegades from Sri Lanka itself was largely discounted.

There was also broad consensus about the purpose of the attack, which was widely compared, in terms of tactics and aims, to that carried out by the Punjabi group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, in Mumbai last November. "I think this is a deliberate attempt to undermine the government at the time when there is a huge political crisis in the country," Rashid said. "They are trying to create a vacuum of power in which eventually they can take over."

If internal chaos is the aim of the jihadis, they are being ably aided and abetted by Pakistan's mainstream politicians. It is only a year since civilian governance returned to Islamabad, with the principal parties promising to work together.

That was then. The vicious infighting now under way between Zardari's PPP and Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League is strongly reminiscent of the epic battles between Sharif and Zardari's murdered wife, Benazir Bhutto, that led directly to Musharraf's coup. If unchecked, it may not only encourage the militants; it may also open up a path to power to Pakistan's religious parties, in alliance with or separate from Sharif.
Last week's supreme court ruling barring Sharif, and his brother, Shahbaz, chief minister of Punjab, from elected office, was widely seen as a political putsch engineered by Zardari. His decision to sack Punjab's government and imposed direct rule recklessly upped the ante even further. Now the Sharifs and their angry supporters are planning to lead a massive protest march on the capital on March 12.

The march will commemorate the dismissal two years ago of the chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who Sharif says should be reinstated. It is being organised by a lawyers movement but will also be supported by Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamist party which wants sharia law adopted throughout Pakistan. This is an unholy alliance, even by Pakistani standards. The potential for a violent confrontation, and for a further, possibly fatal weakening of Zardari's grip on power, is not inconsiderable.

The president's authority is already under fierce fire on several other fronts, not least the impenetrable north-western tribal areas where Pakistani Taliban groups are variously reported to have formed an alliance to fight Nato in Afghanistan, to be in the process of reneging on a recent truce, or to be giving up the fight in agencies such as Bajur.

This confusion is typical in a region where alliances shift as quickly as the winds blowing off the Hindu Kush. But one thing is certain: the government in Islamabad is not in control of events and, more often than not, is a victim of them. For instance, Washington's anger at the peace deal in Swat allowing the introduction of sharia law there is tempered by the expectation that, like previous agreements with the ungovernable Pashtun hill tribes stretching back to the days of the Raj, it will not stick.

The US is offering massive new infusions of economic aid, in addition to conditional military assistance, to help root out the jihadi menace. But at a time of growing febrility, there's little doubt US pressure, increasing under Barack Obama, is also making matters worse, at least in the short term.

The rise in cross-border attacks by US forces using Predator drones armed with Hellfire missiles since Zardari took power has further alienated tribal leaders and encouraged radicalisation, Pakistani officials say. Washington argues the policy is necessary in the absence of better answers from Pakistan. Critics say Zardari has secretly sold out the country's sovereignty in return for Obama's support.

Pakistan's economic troubles, compounded by a fast expanding population, chronic poverty, high unemployment, and lack of education, have added to a sense that the country is isolated and in danger of imploding. Islamabad was obliged to accept a $7.6bn emergency IMF loan package in November. It may yet need much more to stave off collapse.

Heightened tensions with India following the Mumbai attacks, friction with Afghanistan's government over security, China's rising alarm over its neighbour's predicament, and international worries about the safety of Pakistan's unregulated nuclear weapons stockpile form the wider context to this dramatic, apparently ineluctable descent.

Pakistan's disintegration, if that is what is now being witnessed, is a tragedy of Shakespearean dimensions, a riveting spectacle, and a clear and present danger to international security. But who in the world can stop it?

Zardari's War




Pakistan's president is finally turning his sights on his most bitter foe. The trouble is, it's not the Taliban or al Qaeda he's after -- it's his chief political rival.
Family feud: Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari's rivalry threatens to overshadow the fight against terrorism.
Last week, Washington was abuzz with a remarkable act of three-way diplomacy. Upbeat Pakistani and Afghan delegations streamed in and out of government offices, enjoying the rare experience of being included in the United States' policymaking process.

Unfortunately, back in Pakistan, politics was taking a nasty turn, one that could be far more consequential than any of the meetings in Washington.

This time, it wasn't Islamist militants or al Qaeda stirring up trouble. Rather, Pakistan's government -- elected in the wake of former President Pervez Musharraf's resignation -- has gone to war with itself.

The country's Supreme Court is once again implicated in the action, having disqualified from office the leaders of Pakistan's main opposition party: former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother, the sitting chief minister of Punjab. Soon after the court's decision, President Asif Ali Zardari imposed governor's rule, effectively placing his own man in charge of his country's most populous and politically dominant province.

In response, the Sharif brothers accused Zardari of manipulating the court and have vowed to take their case to the streets. This is no idle threat. According to public opinion surveys, Sharif is now Pakistan's most popular politician. His party, the Pakistan Muslim League (N), might well succeed in mobilizing violent street rallies that would test the capacity of state security and could even deliver a deathblow to the coalition government in Islamabad.

In short, Pakistan's major political leaders are now in a no-holds-barred contest for political power. The time for unity and compromise appears to have passed; the era of stable democratic governance (and a loyal opposition) was fleeting.

Where does this leave U.S. President Barack Obama's bid to revive flagging U.S. fortunes in the region? As long as Pakistan's political leaders are struggling for their own survival, they will have little time for fighting the Taliban along the Afghan border or for rooting out the networks of extremist militants like those who attacked Mumbai last November. And as long as Pakistan's politics remain deeply unsettled, the United States will have a hard time building sustainable partnerships to confront the region's underlying challenges, from poverty and poor education to inadequate judicial and security structures.

Despite the claims of Pakistan's many conspiracy theorists, the United States cannot dictate political outcomes in Islamabad. Judging from the recent history of Bush administration efforts to navigate the messy end of the Musharraf era, Washington's leverage in the tussle between Zardari and Sharif will be limited. Still, the Obama team should be clear on the potential outcomes of this political clash and should do its utmost to avoid the worst.

At the moment, U.S. diplomats are most likely trying to help put a lid back on the crisis, urging both sides to retreat from battle and identify a compromise that could keep partisan competition out of the streets and inside the constitutional process. To the extent that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Special Representative Richard Holbrooke can support this effort, they should; a Zardari-Sharif compromise is unquestionably Washington's most appealing outcome.

But three other, less pleasant outcomes are now more likely. First, Zardari could succeed in quelling Sharif's protests, effectively sidelining his primary opponent and consolidating his own national standing. Second, Sharif could leverage street protests and existing cleavages within Zardari's party to claw his way to power. Third, destabilizing violence and prolonged political uncertainty could convince the Army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, to reassert control and sideline both civilian contenders.

Of these outcomes, the Obama team will find it most natural to resist the third -- return to military rule -- having just witnessed the perils of undemocratic governance and knowing that it would throw a major wrench into plans for a closer partnership and increases in U.S. assistance. Washington should encourage Kayani to keep his men in the barracks, but if the violence gets out of hand, U.S. entreaties will fall on deaf ears. The United States must therefore prepare for that unwelcome contingency by formulating a list of its highest-priority demands for any new military regime, including, but not limited to, a timeline and plans for Pakistan's return to constitutional democracy.

And there might be even worse things than military rule in Pakistan. Sharif's well-publicized Islamist ties may not determine his policies, but from a U.S. perspective they are troubling. Washington should work to avoid the worst-case scenario, in which a Sharif-led government would curtail partnership with the United States in ways that undermine critical U.S. counterterrorism goals. To some degree, Sharif's behavior will depend on whether he feels resentful or threatened by the United States, on which political allies he brings with him to Islamabad, and on how he conducts relations with Pakistan's top military and intelligence leaders. If Sharif's stock continues to rise, Washington should move quickly to share its primary strategic concerns with him directly and then assess his response accordingly.

If, on the other hand, Zardari weathers the immediate political storm, his government could veer dangerously toward unconstitutional and illiberal measures to ward off waves of popular protest. Washington's too-close association with an unpopular or repressive Zardari regime would prove no more effective than its recent association with Musharraf. Obama would then need to strike a difficult balance between closer bilateral cooperation on issues of common interest and the appearance of overdependence upon Zardari and his party. In particular, the Obama administration might need to rethink or condition apparent plans for vast increases in nonmilitary assistance, a policy intended to support Pakistan's ongoing democratic transition, not civilian authoritarianism.

There are many situations around the world bidding to become Obama's first major foreign-policy trial. But addressing the political drama in Pakistan -- a nuclear-armed state whose cooperation on the war in Afghanistan is essential -- should be high on his agenda. At the very least, the Pakistani turmoil will test the new administration's ability to avert or mitigate a crisis while it plots a comprehensive strategy for one of the world's most dangerous and complicated regions.