Sunday, August 13, 2017

Whither Pakistan?


Wording of the April 20 judgment clearly shows the utter frustration and chagrin of the three judges who seem to have been forced to change their concurrence with the other two who declared Nawaz Sharif unfit for premiership and membership of parliament. Next time round they managed to find the straw that breaks the camel's back. Bravo!  Justice could not have been done in the Panama leaks instigated corruption, fraud and misdemeanor cases which are still continuing if Mr. Sharif had remained in office and machinating tampering of records about his past misdeeds. The Chairman of SECP is already facing trial on that account.

Ironically, Nawaz Sharif missed completing his term for the third time by nearly a year keeping intact the record that no prime minister in Pakistan has completed his term. It is interesting that none of the parties whose governments were sacked by the president under section 58-2B of the constitution failed miserably in the follow-up elections, which means that they had lost their popularity and right to rule when they were sacked. Even this time every politician and educated member of the civil society had been asking Nawaz Sharif to resign but he clung to power like a leech until his sins took him down.
Areticle 58-2B was deleted in the 18th amendment and now voices are being heard from some quarters that Mr. Sharif who was disqualified under article 62-1F of the constitution is trying to muster the support of other corrupt politicians to abolish this law that requires the aspirant of a seat in the parliament to be just, honest and truthful. Indeed the constitutional provisions are inadequate as the Quranic standard of uprightness is given in Chapter 4 (An-nissa) verse 135 as below:

Although he owes his rise in politics and attendant accumulation of wealth to army generals, Mr. Sharif has been quick to forget favors and failed to get over the trauma of the death cell after a mutual overthrow dogfight which Gen. Musharraf won. This man, his family and his cronies simply hate the national army and seem to be prepared to compromise national security in a bid to discredit the army and establish his absolute monarchy.

Mr. Sharif’s animosity of the judiciary and judges dates back to his second stint as prime minister when he tried to amend the constitution to make MNAs totally subservient to him and the supreme court struck it down as bad law. According to Wikipedia “Chief Justice Sajad Ali Shah, however, continued to assert his authority and persisted in hearing Sharif's case.[85] On 30 November 1997, while the hearing was in progress, Sharif's cabinet ministers and a large number of his supporters entered the Supreme Court building, disrupting the proceedings.[85] The chief justice asked the military to send the military police, and subsequently struck down the Thirteenth (XIII) Amendment thereby restoring the power of the president.[85] But, this move back fired on the chief justice when the military backed the prime minister and refused to obey the president's orders to remove Sharif.[85] The prime minister forced President Farooq Leghari to resign, and appointed Wasim Sajjad as acting president.[85] After the president's removal, Sharif ousted Chief Justice Sajad Ali Shah to end the constitutional crisis once and for all.[85]This created severe sense of insecurity among the judges.

However, a couple of years later when Mr. Sharif tried to stage a coup against his own appointed COAS and CJCOSC Gen. Pervez Musharraf while he was on a flight back from Sri Lanka, the army turned against him and not only staged a counter coup but also tried him for attempted hijacking of Musharraf’s plane and sentenced him to death.
The judiciary took a sigh of relief and when Gen. Musharraf sought their blessing for a plan to rule the country for three years as military dictator keeping the constitution suspended, they willingly gave him a free hand which helped him to remain president until 2008. Looking back, it seems that Gen. Musharraf was not as brave or as smart as he thought himself to be. When asked by the Saudi King he surrendered Nawaz Sharif on condition that he would not interfere in Pakistani politics for 10 years.

In 2007 he was outwitted by Benazir Bhutto who after making a deal with the Americans that they would be allowed to bring personnel and equipment and have the use of Shamsi airbase to carry out drone attacks within Pakistan, promised to let him remain president if she was allowed to return to Pakistan and contest and win the elections in 2008. Nawaz Sharif was also allowed to return prematurely and his main function was to lead all honest and patriotic parties away from the election.

The 2013 general elections though certified by everyone to have been free and fair were actually heavily rigged. The rigging mainly took place in the secluded women’s polling centers. With poor security, weak administration and low turnover, these polling stations that were not very strictly monitored, provided ideal opportunity for bogus voting. In fact, Khwaja Rafique was caught on camera casting bogus votes in a women’s booth.

As of now both PMLN and PPP are anti-army, anti-judiciary and mired in corruption. It is imperative that a third political party with clean and patriotic leaders forms government in the next general elections which need to be really fair. To achieve this Imran Khan needs to recruit and train at least two polling agents for each polling booth in every constituency. Women polling agents need special training and should be in adequate numbers to ensure that rigging is prevented. Imran Khan also needs to have support of local vernacular TV and radio channels that have a lot of weight in forming public opinion in rural areas.




Monday, August 07, 2017

New Definitions August 2017


Surgeon: One who is a mixture of butcher and tailor with learned mind and noble heart.

Engineer: One who provides ease and comfort in defiance of nature.

Plumbing: Moving water sgainst veracity

Electricity: Lightning pumped through metal wire.

..


Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Dozen Gifts of 20th Century


1. Realization that we are moving without knowing our direction or speed.
2. Relativity to predict illusions of a moving observer.
3. Cinema to enjoy the illusion of motion.
4. Atomic bomb and ability to destroy all mankind, creating a prpetual sense of insecurity.
4. Removal of difference between art and obscenity.
5. Air transport.
6. Transistors, integrated circuits and electronic devices.
7. Television and passive enjoyment of sport.
8. Satellite communication and conquest of distance.
9. Internet and unlimited instant uncensored information.
10. Prevalence of virtual reality and adultration of truth.
11. Erosion of gender uniqueness.
12. Spectre of Israel and growth of religious extremism and intolerance.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

The Great Bluff



As the judicial probe of impropriety against prime minister Nawaz Sharif approaches its logical conclusion, there is a crescendo of noises by the ruling party that the imminent disqualification of their leader would apply brakes to the wheels of progress in the country. It is true that the motorcade of the prime minister’s daughter has grown from 3 to 15 vehicles and some highly cosmetic infrastructure development projects have emerged in Lahore which are of little use to the general public. There has been no improvement in education, health or water, gas and power supplies services. Crimes are as prevalent, roads are as unsafe and jobs are as scarce as before the PML(N) government came into power.

Let us look at some of the statistics.

1.       Power Supply: The government has been claiming that there has been tremendous economic and industrial progress as in the following tweet of the Defense and Power minister:




If you add the average generation and shortfall you get the total electrical power demand for the year in question. Simple arithmetic giver the average demand figures as follows:

Year                                         June 2012            June 2013            June 2016            June 2017
Total Power Demand               17070                   19742                 19684                  20841

This shows that there has been a growth of only 5.57 percent in 4 years ie less than 1.4 % annually which is even less than population growth rate. Thus there has been no growth in either industry or people’s standard of living. Actually there has been perceptible deterioration.

2.       Trade: The following trade data has been taken from the government website and tells a sad story of the utter failure of the businessman prime minister:

There has been a steady fall in the volume and value of exports over the last 4 year period and the government has done nothing to arrest the decline.  The textile and garment manufacturers have been running from pillar to post but have not had any success.

3.       Stock Exchange:  The success of Karachi Stock Exchange now Pakistan Stock Exchange has been told as the great achievement of the incumbent government. Here is the 5 year progress report taken from their own website:


Above chart shows that although the 100 index has been blown out of proportion, the number of listed companies has remained stagnant and a meager increase in base capital has taken place. The only IPO in 2017 so far was for an iron works owned by Sharif family.  During this period there have been about half a dozen upheaval and mini-crashes in which more than 4% market capitalization was lost in one day causing heavy losses to small investors.

4.       Currency Parity: When the present govt. came to power in 2013, the PKR-USD parity stood at Rs. 108. Mr. Dar played some quick tricks and brought it down to Rs.98 and touted it as a financial miracle. Soon afterwards heavy borrowings were made from WB and others and the parity was maintained at on average at Rs. 104 against the demands of exporters. Recently it jumped back to Rs. 108 and SBP declared that it reflects the current economic situation. The result of maintaining low parity is that Pakistani families that depend on remittances from family members working abroad have lost nearly 400 billion rupees in money exchange and textile and garments have become uncompetitive and reduced production and cut jobs. The only beneficiaries of this policy are those who have been sending their money abroad for buying properties in Dubai, Qatar and UK etc as they got more dollars for their Rupees.  It has also helped to show higher GDP in dollar terms to fool the world.

If one takes all above facts into consideration, it seems that the government of Mr. Nawaz Sharif has been working intentionally to harm national interests and the people of Pakistan. Take into account the Dawn story plant against the armed forces, the tirades against the judiciary and the family friendship with pm Modi and other Indians with deteriorating border situation and silence on the arrest of Indian terror mastermind one can’t help but wonder if the stage is being set for something like the French Revolution.

Swift justice and early elections may avert a disaster, I hope and pray.

..



Monday, July 03, 2017

Literal Islam


Sometime in early 1970s I watched the Shakespeare play Richard III in a theatre in his home town of
Stratford upon Avon. At the very opening, a character walked on the stage and facing the audience said, "I have chosen to be the villain." I was shocked. It was beyond my comprehension that someone would
voluntarily choose to be a villain. Now I know better.

Urdu translations of the Holy Quran I read in my childhood had marginal notes telling about the
circumstances in which verses were revealed or the incidents to which they referred. It created Awareness of Circumstantial implications of the Quranic injunctions. It was understood that you cannot pick a line from the Quran in isolation and assume it to be a universal statement. If you quote the Quran you should quote the whole passage with the background and explanations. The verse "kill in the path of Allah" has been used by opponents of Islam to propagate that Islam preaches violence and even some misguided Muslims believe that killing the opponents of Islam leads to the path of divine glory. That is a totally wrong impression and a sure way to lose the path of Allah.

The verse was revealed in a situation when Muslims, led by Prophet Muhammad, were travelling towards Makkah to perform a pilgrimage and were stopped by the infidels. It should be noted that the companions of the Prophet were restrained from violence and bloodshed unless allowed by him after receiving a divine revelation. As it happened on that occasion, nobody got killed as a peace formula was found.  In fact, even today all Muslims are restrained from violence and bloodshed unless faced with a situation similar to one for which the exception was made by the Prophet under divine guidance.


Unfortunately many translations of the Holy Quran, especially those in English now in circulation give the literal meaning of the verses without the necessary explanation leaving the reader to draw his own conclusions. Even worse is the case of Islamic madrassas and other organizations established mainly for financial considerations teach their students Arabic language so that they can understand what the Quran says literally without knowing the background and the historical significance of the texts. Not surprisingly, a lot of people are being led astray.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

The Origins of Religious Identity


Perhaps a tribal chief in some fertile valley found that during the idle time between crops, his people would become lazy. So he started the custom that during the idle season he would take them out to the riverside at sunrise and conduct a series of calisthenics exercises. As time passed, innovations were made and the calisthenics were combined with songs and chants. After the death of that particular chief, the practice was abandoned and forgotten. Many years later, drought and famine hit the valley and people started wondering why the calamity had befallen them. Sooner or later, somebody remembered that in the good old days of chief so and so they used to assemble by the river and greet the Sun with chants and rituals. In desperation, the practice was revived though in a modified form reconstructed from memory and conducted with a totally different spirit. Simply by coincidence the drought ended, but those people were convinced that the Sun was pleased with them and had changed things for them.

So started the religion of Sun-worship, and spread with local innovations; and the resolve of those who practiced it may have been strengthened by the ridicule of others. Perhaps, most worship rituals are meant to demonstrate a resolve that one has the moral strength to be oneself in spite of the ridicule or contempt of others.

Now let us consider how idolatry may have started. Somewhere in a river plane there was a village where people lived on agriculture and farming. Once in a few years the river would overflow its banks and cause flooding. Normally, on the first signs of approaching flood the villagers would move out to safer grounds with their valuables and cattle and return when the waters receded, repair their homes and life would continue with the land having become more fertile. One year, due to reasons not known to them there was a flash flood and water rose so quickly that the villagers could not move to safety and many cattle were washed away and children and infirm people drowned. When they recovered from the shock of the tragedy, a wise man among them suggested building a podium in the middle of the village large enough to accommodate the whole population and their cattle with stairs all around to facilitate quick sheltering. On top of the podium they also built a house where food and other supplies were kept for use in emergencies. The trusted wise man was also housed there as the custodian. The podium gradually became the centre of local educational and political activities and every year after harvesting the crops a feast would be held to consume the old food stock and replenish it with new stock. The village became safe and prosperous. After a few years the wise old man died and as a tribute the villagers placed his statue in the podium house and people would pay tributes to him by garlanding the statue at every annual feast. In due course people from other villages came to learn the secret of our model village and went back and built similar podia with temple and statue that was considered the guardian of the village. Imaginative minds made up all sorts of stories to impress other visitors.
.
x

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Origin of Politics



Anthropologists tell us that initially the human race consisted of hunters who had to compete with animals for survival. Gradually, humans learned and developed home-building and cultivation which enabled them to establish agricultural settlements. However, although farming fulfilled the needs for grains and vegetables, a section of the male population still had to go out hunting to provide meat. Thus the communities divided into two distinct categories, namely farmers and hunters. The farmers concentrated on growing crops, developing new techniques of agriculture and experimenting with new crops to increase their output to feed the growing population. The hunters, apart from killing animals in the jungle and bringing their carcasses home, tried to develop new tools, weapons and methods of hunting. Soon it was found that it was more convenient to catch or herd the cattle to their villages, pen them and kill them when needed – and get milk as a bonus.
Later when the art of animal husbandry was developed, the hunters found a new vocation in protecting the villages from wild animals and attacks from the hunters of other villages, resulting in the evolution of civil and martial factions within the villages. As time passed, new professions developed and artisans and traders also became part of the civilian community while the martial community organized itself into an army of sorts. It was also discovered that locating the animal pens in the centre of the villages reduced the chances of their loss to both human and animal predators.
Eventually, fortifications were built in the middle of the villages for safe-keeping of some of the crops and cattle, and most of the valuables of the villagers. Each fortification was, probably, manned by a respectable administrator, a team of record-keepers, and a group of armed hunters or soldiers led by the bravest individual in the village. As the population and prosperity grew, fortifications were built around the entire city and the central depositories were converted into royal palaces, thus creating city-states or capitals of kingdoms. At some stage in the ensuing history, greed and opportunism overcame the guardians of public assets. The custodians and the soldiers conspired and the custodians took control of all the wealth of the people, appointed a king from among themselves and began to rule with the help of the soldiers. The farmers and artisans were forced to pay a portion of their produce as taxes in return for protection from both internal and external predators. Frequent skirmishes were fought with neighboring villages to keep people in a state of insecurity. Naturally, the king and the soldiers were very unpopular among the people and ways had to be found to remove this feeling. The king sent his soldiers to plunder the nearby weaker villages and celebrated the victories with the civilians. After a few generations the original usurpation was forgotten and the king became the divine ruler and source of inspiration. The king's word became the law. It is interesting that even in those days the rulers had discovered the psychological principle that given a high enough state of stress caused by threat and insecurity the people would fantasize and persuade themselves to admire the person or group capable of protecting them, no matter how evil he might be or how much he debased them.


..

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Dr. Asim’s Bail


Dr. Asim Hussain was born in Karachi, Pakistan on 28 November 1953 to Ms. Ejaz Fatima and Mr. Tajammul Hussain, the founding members of the Dr. Ziauddin Group of Hospitals.
Dr. Asim Hussain received his early education from the Karachi Grammar School and later enrolled in the Cadet College, Petaro at about the same time as Asif Zardari. After serving a brief period in the Pakistan Army, Dr. Asim Hussain retired as a Lieutenant and chose to pursue the degree of MBBS. He graduated from Dow Medical College (now, Dow University of Health Sciences) Karachi in 1978 and went to Europe for further studies. He became a member of College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPS) in 1981 and continued his studies in Vienna, Austria.
He developed and expanded the hospital he had inherited until it became a teaching hospital and eventually a medical university. However, due to his political affiliation he also held the following positions:
·         Honorary Personal Physician to the President of Pakistan, since December 12, 2009
·         Advisor/Federal Minister Petroleum & Natural Resource from May, 2011 until May, 2013
·         Advisor to the Prime Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources/Federal Minister from November, 2008 until August, 2009
·         Chairman, National Reconstruction Bureau with the status of Federal Minister from May, 2008 until November, 2009
On the 27th of August 2015 Asim Hussain was detained by the Authorities in an ongoing operation within the city of Karachi launched by the Pakistani Army.
The charges against Dr. Asim range from providing protection and treating terrorists to embezzlement and corruption to the tune of Rs. 920 billion in course of his lucrative appointments.
I have never met him but have heard people talk about him. During Benazir’s reign as PM, steel products of Karachi’s Pakistan Steel Mills were sold officially @ Rs. 18,000/ton and in open/black market @ Rs. 30,000 per ton. The explanation given by the traders was that to buy any steel from the mills they first had to get a parchi or prescription form a certain doctor sahib after paying cash @ Rs. 6,000/ton.  The reason why nobody complained about this obvious extortion was that doctor sahib was a close friend of the first gentleman of Pakistan. Not surprisingly, the steel mill is now closed.
On March 29, 2017 Dr. Asim was released on bail, though his passport has been confiscated. For more details read Dawn.
It is interesting to note that whereas PPP leaders have been condemning the arrest and prosecution of Dr. Asim, the medical profession has kept quiet on the issue.



Wednesday, April 05, 2017

A D Khawaja


The Sindh Police (Sindhi: سنڌ پوليس‎, Urdu: سنده پولیس) is a Law enforcement agency established in 1843 under proclamation issued by Sir Charles Naipiar, who became the conqueror of the State of Sindh by defeating the forces of Talpur rules at battle of Miyani near Hyderabad on 20 March 1843. This was the first ever Police force established in the Indian subcontinent.[citation needed] Ever since its inception, the organization raised on the model of Irish Constabulary to maintain law and order and law enforcement in Sindh, Pakistan. The department serves an area of ~140,914 km2., and has about ~105,234 police officers and staff to serve in the department. As of current, Allah Dino (AD) Khawaja is the current Inspector-General who was appointed in 2016.[2]
In March 2016, A.D. Khawaja took charge as IG Sindh Police. He could retain the post for only nine months, he was sacked by the Sindh government, reinstated by court order and again sacked on 2nd April, 2017
Khawaja, then AIG, led a three-member fact-finding committee to inquire the allegation of corruption, illegal appointments in the police and a lack of transparency in allocation of cost of investigation to investigation officers. The findings of the reports led to the sacking of former Sindh IGP Gulam Haider Jamali over corruption charges.
The former IG Sindh Police Ghulam Haider Jamali was sacked in March 2016 after the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to probe the alleged corruption in Sindh Police.
Some other headlines about Khwaja are as follows:
KARACHI: In a setback to PPP-led Sindh government, the Sindh High Court on Wednesday issued a stay order against sending the provincial Inspector General of Police (IGP) A.D. Khawaja on forced leave. The order was issued on a petition filed by seven citizens including Karamat Hussain, the head of an NGO and singer-cum-activist Shehzad Roy….
KARACHI: The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Sindh, A.D. Khawaja, has sought an inquiry report from the SSP South regarding the reported firing incident in Karachi’s Delhi Colony on Friday on the vehicle of Faisal Vawda, a leader of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI). The IGP instructed that all the available evidences should be collected and…
KARACHI: The Inspector General of Police (IGP), A.D. Khawaja, on Saturday chaired a meeting regarding the upgradation of Madadgar 15. A statement said that the meeting also reviewed steps for effectively curbing crimes. It said that the meeting considered issues faced by Madadgar 15 such as response time, call connecting and prank calls etc and…
KARACHI: The Sindh Police is raising a new unit of 1500 personnel in the Counter-Terrorism Department that was set up after the initiation of the National Action Plan (NAP). This was informed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh, A.D. Khawaja, in an interview with the APP here. He pointed out that the new…
While rewarding a citizen for shooting a robber, Inspector General Sindh Police A.D Khawaja advised people of Karachi to use their licenced weapons in self-defense. Watch this report…
KARACHI: Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh A.D. Khawaja has said that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are very close to the killers of prominent Qawwal Amjad Sabri.
IG Sindh Police, A.D Khawaja claims that law and order situation has improved in Karachi with no sign of target-killing anywhere. Watch this report…

It is a fact that ever since A.D Khwaja took charge of Sindh police, there has been reduction in street crimes in Karachi and oppression of the poor by landlords in interior Sindh. The thing that seems to have broken the camel’s back is his recent order asking thousands of plain clothes men in police service to put on uniform and contribute in normal police service. Although it seems like a very reasonable action it reminds me of a conversation I had with a young Sindhi police officer many years ago. The young man was convinced that anything that happened under the supervision of the Chief Secretary and the IG had to be legal and honorable. So he described how in the small police station where he was posted plain clothes men used to deposit about three lac (300,000) rupees every day by extortion from street hawkers, encroachers gambling den and prostitution centre runners and other wrongdoers. According to him the money was divided into three parts according to some formula, and the Chief Secretary and IG’s representatives collected their shares. Of the money left with SHO, most was spent on delivering groceries and buying plane tickets for the families of “high officials” and “leaders”. Of course, there is also the question of boosting party coffers for the coming elections when votes may cost more than before. 

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Good Hindu in Kashmir


The following is a copy of a sensitive Indian's account and feelings about what is everyday occurrence in Kashmir as posted on facebook:



The following video is a graphic evidence of what Rahul has written:



video