Sunday, January 31, 2010

Panacea to solve present problems

Panacea to solve present problems

By Fakhruddin G Ebrahim

I am a beneficiary of Pakistan. Whatever I have achieved or acquired is because of Pakistan. Therefore, if I sound ‘Jazbati’ or upbeat, you will please excuse me. There is a lot of despondency and despair visible in Pakistan and it is not without any basis. Most of the people I meet are deeply concerned and asked me what is happening and what is going to happen. The very fact that such a question is being put makes me unhappy.Let me start from the beginning to understand the present. Constitution is the ‘ROOH of a nation’ and an independent Judiciary is its heart. It is the Constitution which ensures well being and fundamental basic rights of its people.In a federation like Pakistan, where one unit is larger than three others combined together it is the Constitution that holds the country together. The vital importance of the Constitution cannot, therefore, be underestimated; we call it the basic law, the fundamental law - the mother of all institutions. We wasted 26 long years before we gave the country its fundamental law, the basic law - the consensus 1973 Constitution. And prior to that we shot one prime minister who had played principal role in the creation of Pakistan; lost more than half the country without shedding even a silent tear and committed judicial murder of another prime minister ZAB, the author of 1973 Constitution.And look what we have done to this Constitution, notwithstanding its Article-5, which states that it is inviolable duty of every citizen of Pakistan, whether residing in or out of Pakistan, to obey the Constitution. Its Article-6 provides that abrogation of Constitution is high treason. Notwithstanding this article, one military dictator General Ziaul Haq considered the basic law a trash of paper and ruled the country in its total violation for over 10 years and in the process murdered the first elected prime minister of Pakistan - the author of 1973 Constitution. He amended the Constitution according to his whims. In fact, he mutilated and deformed the Constitution.This was followed by yet another decade of military rule under General Musharraf, when the basic document was held in abeyance, as was earlier done by General Ayub, make the judiciary subservient. Right from 5th of July 1977 upto 3rd March 2008 we had military judiciary axis. It may be noticed that in real terms, only two general elections were held under the 1973 Constitution, firstly, by ZAB and secondly, by Musharraf, the latter on his own terms. Of course there were four elections held in-between when Benazir and Nawaz Sharif each won twice, but they were not allowed to complete their terms and to my mind, therefore, these elections are to be ignored.Just imagine, 60 years of Pakistan and only two general election! In other words, we halted political process and people were deprived of their right to choose their own representatives. There are no born democrats and political workers were denied existence by suppression of trade unions and the student unions. The political process that started in February 2009 must continue and military rule must be eliminated for all times to come. We are fortunate that we have today not only an independent judiciary, but that judiciary has ordained that hereafter there will be no abeyance or abrogation of the Constitution much less its validation. There is, therefore, no room for military intervention or military adventure.The fact that we have a “Luli Langri” democracy today should not come to us as a surprise. We never had, except for one occasion, sustained political process, which is a must for political and economic empowerment of people. It is political process, alone which results in political stability and economic progress, which alone ensures the people their basic rights. We were denied our rights and the occasions to fight for our ordinary human rights much less rights guaranteed under the Constitution.The recent decision of the Supreme Court on the Army Welfare Trust Plot at Karachi is a great step forward. For the first time the Supreme Court has, amongst other things, invited our attention to the forgotten Article-38 of the Constitution which obliges the government to give us good governance for the welfare of the people. There will be no life after democracy, if Article-38 is not implemented. A lot of controversy has been raised on NRO, on the question of appointment of judges and the relationship between the executive and the judiciary. To my mind, judiciary and executive are two pillars of the same building and there is no room for any conflict.Why should raising of these issues be of so much concern that fear is being expressed, that these issues will have disastrous consequences and that we will have reached a point of no return. Each organ of the state must perform its function in accordance with the Constitution, for, after all, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The NRO judgment must be implemented in letter and spirit un-conditionally. All that is required is that action be taken in terms of the judgment, namely, the government must commence actions within the country and in relation to cases pending abroad, forward a copy of the Supreme Court judgment with a request that the cases, if closed, may be re-opened. It is upto the foreign courts then to take action permissible under the laws in force in that country. In so far as the cases within Pakistan are concerned, unless President Zardari waives immunity he will have protection under Article-248, but in so far as foreign courts are concerned, his request, if any, will be dealt with in accordance with laws in force in that country. As to appointment of judges and the controversy raised in relation thereto, what is needed is honest implementation, without any ifs or buts and without any mental reservations.

One view is that the best judge is the chief justice. While the other is that seniority must prevail in appointment of judges. These differences can always be resolved, if not by past precedents, by laying down new precedents, which eliminate discrimination - the mother of all evils.That, however, is not the end of the matter, for we have larger problems affecting the people of Pakistan as a whole. Some people say that nearly two years have passed and we do not see any ray of hope. No doubt people have a right to be impatient. After all we have denied them their right to good governance for decades and they have, therefore, right to be impatient. They want results, promised by the leaders. They are demanding their long denied rights. We must try and appreciate their impatience. Some people say that most of these problems would not have arisen, if Mr Zardari had not been the President of Pakistan. Irrespective of its truth or otherwise, the fact remains that election of Mr Zardari as President was, if not unconstitutional, against the spirit of the Constitution. A president is president of Pakistan. He represents the unity of the nation. He should not belong to, much less be leader of, a political party, which is effectively in power. Furthermore, there is talk of balance of power between the president and the prime minister. This negates the 1973 Constitution and gives an impression that 17th Amendment is not altogether irrelevant. The 17th Amendment must go. Look at the problems created in Punjab by the discretionary power used by the president in appointing - to say the least, not so independent governor. The concurrent list must go immediately to empower the provinces. These are not new demands, they have already been agreed to by the premier parties including the most respected Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto that these amendments, introduced by General Musharraf, should be eliminated from the Constitution. Why have these amendments been linked to other amendments which are controversial which has resulted in inordinate delay. It is said that the requisite majority in the National Assembly is not available. If these amendments are immediately introduced, we will know, who stands where and we will be able to distinguish between democrats and so-called democrats.Our experience, past and immediate present, require following steps to be taken:-1. Open government. A new freedom of Information Act with meaningful provisions. Open government equally for the benefit of government for there will be no room for unfounded allegations against the government; 2. A general amnesty to all Pakistanis, more particularly the holders of public office and their dependents to bring back all their foreign assets within a specified time and failure to do so to result in punishment, minimum 15-year rigorous imprisonment; 3. No out of turn promotion, seniority to be respected. 4. Military to be treated like any other departments of government with no right to carry on any business, not connected with military requirements. 5. No allotment of plots to holders of public office;6. Holders of public office to be given locally assembled cars;7. Re-introduction of Wealth Tax;8. Re-introduction of Capital Gains Tax;9. Compulsory voting; 10. Defamation Law (Section 500 PPC) to be restored, amendments made by Zia to be deleted;11. No extension in service; 12. Visible reduction in Govt. expenditure. All information relating to expenditure made available to the public; 13. Cabinet to consist of no more than 15 Ministers;14. Minimum foreign trips; 15. No leader in exile;16. No ostentatious living;17. Every holder of public office to file copies of their income tax returns to which every citizen will have access with liberty to raise objections;18. FBR to publish list of all tax payers, occupation or profession wise.19. Discretionary funds to be disclosed including how the same is spent; 20. Since people have been deprived of their right to vote for too long, the life of their assemblies should be four years instead of five years.21. No nominated woman’s seat in the National Assembly. Women seats to be filled in by the female voters with liberty to women to contest general seats. 22. Genuine autonomy to institutions;23. Equal compulsory education to all to be achieved within a specified time;24. Expenditure incurred on holders of public office to be disclosed from time to time, not less than once a year;25. Duty of the government to provide gainful employment and necessities of life at reasonable prices; A time to be specified within which this obligation will be performed; The aforesaid suggestions are not new. It is equally known that good governance is possible only if the government implements above suggestions. Government expenditure to be reduced to the minimum to enable achievement of above objectives.The aforesaid suggestions are made in all humility. It is my considered view that since we have denied these rights for so long while the rich have become richer, the delay in its implementation will only augment our problems and Pakistan will have lost its meaning - just a dot on World Atlas.It is the duty of the press and the civil society to press for realization of the above demands. At least there should be effective think tanks, who can analyse the aforesaid demands with a view to its possible implementation at the earliest. We can no longer afford to remain silent. In the past we have done no more than ‘Tabla Bajana’. Now is the time to carry out our inviolable duty to obey the Constitution, as provided in Article-5 of the Constitution and insist upon the government to take serious note of Article-38 of the Constitution.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Root of Our Ills – Guest Post by Tariq « CHUP! – Changing Up Pakistan

The Root of Our Ills – Guest Post by Tariq « CHUP! – Changing Up Pakistan (Click to read the full Blog Post)

My Comments: I don't know how I missed this earlier while debate was on. It got my attention because of title - The Root of Our Ills - and listed under TOP POSTS. I wish there was a HOPELESS POSTS category also to list this post their.

All institutions in Pakistan are at the moment deteriorated to the extent that one can easily believe their non-existence. The Army is the least damaged and strongest of the weak institutions. That is why they always come forward and fill the GAP created by corrupt and inefficient politicians and bureaucrats. They are forced to fight "wars" against their "own bad people" by Man in Charge (could be one of their military man turned Statesman) - be it was in East Pakistan, Sindh or Baluchistan.

I think this debate went to weeds while searching for Roots. The root cause is lack of loyalty with a Common Cause - or let's say even Absence of a Common Cause. The cause in corporate lingo is Mission.

I believe our national Mission at the moment is Self Interests. Be it a self interest of a corrupt politician or a General or a institution. We are not thinking and acting like One Nation - One cause. We are so divided and all moving to different directions with different motives and all finger pointing all others for moving in wrong direction.

COME to one RIGHT PATH. This is a solution of all our ills and AVOIDING it is The Root of Our Ills.

All who matter need to sit together and agree on ONE RIGHT PATH for this nation. Until then all are wandering in Lost Wilderness and causing more and more Chaos for this Confused Nation and blame game is the only game Pakistanis are winning at the moment.

P.S. The cricket wins were a smoke screen consolation wins for this deprived and desperate nation but Kangaroos have also stolen that away. Now we need to play some paper tigers like Bangladesh to come out of Loss depression.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

40 Ways To Relax and Recharge Your Batteries - by Dumb Little Man

40 Ways To Relax and Recharge Your Batteries - by Dumb Little Man

Visit the above Link. The "Dumb" little man has good tips for life.

Do Earthquakes show God's displeasure with victims?

The title QUESTION came to my mind reading Kalsoom's following Blog post;

CHUP! – Changing Up Pakistan

Brings Us to Our Knees

My Comments: As good human beings, we all tend to be sympathetic and helpful all in distress. We have seen this over and over. These natural calamities reminds mankind how weak and helpless they are despite all the technological power at their hand. Misery like Earthquake doesn't show God's displeasure to victims and others who are safe, not necessarily Lord is happy with them. JUDGMENT day verdict will be FINAL and these earthquakes are reminders of THE DAY. The Holy Quran repeatedly reminds us of The END. The following verses from Chapter 39 (The Throngs - Al Zumar) describes about THE DAY and aftermath;
And [on that Day,] the trumpet [of judgment] will be sounded, and all [creatures] that are in the heavens and all that are on earth will fall down senseless, unless they be such as God wills [to exempt]. And then it will sound again - and lo! standing [before the Seat of Judgment], they will begin to see [the truth]! (68) And the earth will shine bright with her Sus tainer’s light. And the record [of everyone’s deeds] will be laid bare, and all the prophets will be brought forward, and all [other] witnesses; and judgment will be passed on them all in justice. And they will not be wronged, (69) for every human being will be repaid in full for whatever [good or evil] he has done: and He is fully aware of all that they do. (70) And those who were bent on denying the truth will be urged on in throngs towards hell till, when they reach it, its gates will be opened, and its keepers will ask them, “Have there not come to you apostles from among yourselves, who conveyed to you your Sustainer’s messages and warned you of the coming of this your Day [of Judgment]?” They will answer: “Yea, indeed!” But the sentence of suffering will [already] have fallen due upon the deniers of the truth; (71) [and] they will be told, “Enter the gates of hell, therein to abide!” And how vile an abode for those who were given to false pride! (72) But those who were conscious of their Sus tainer will be urged on in throngs towards paradise till, when they reach it, they shall find its gates wide- open; and its keepers will say unto them, “Peace be upon you! Well have you done: enter, then, this [paradise], herein to abide!” (73) And they will exclaim: “All praise is due to God, who has made His promise to us come true, and has bestowed upon us this expanse [of bliss] as our portion, so that we may dwell in paradise as we please!” And how excellent a reward will it be for those who laboured [in God’s way]! (74) And thou wilt see the angels surrounding the throne of [God’s] almightiness, extolling their Sus tainer’s glory and praise. And judgment will have been passed in justice on all [who had lived and died], and the word will be spoken: “All praise is due to God, the Sustainer of all the worlds!” (75) May ALLAH keeps us on THE RIGHT PATH and be pleased with us. Amen!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Do you think Pakistanis should be excluded from new US airport security measures? Forum » Blog Archive » Guilty until proven innocent (Click to read Blog)

My following Comments "may offend some":


  1. MOHSIN MEER says: January 15th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Do you think Pakistanis should be excluded from new US airport security measures?

    No! If Pakistanis have some self-respect left they should stop going US but stop whining. They deserve the humiliating treatment by virtue of “their actions”. The “outcry” and “begging” will not waive them from “watchful list”. If they still can’t survive without visiting US then what is wrong in screening.

A Tale of Two Generations

I for instant – Our Next Generation « Shaista Thinks…. (Click me to read the very special thought provoking Blog)

My Comments:

January 15, 2010 at 8:53 am

Shaista – I enjoyed reading your another master-piece and of a level like reading – A Tale of Two Cities. So here is a Tale of two Generations. Yes, every generation is technologically better than the past and they should be to survive in their age. But are they also having better values and ethics? That is a crucial question. The individual kids – likes of your son – will have it – thanks to Ideal Mothers like you. But on a whole each new generation heralds – End of Innocence and Advent of Cruelty – in a “evolutionary” way. The decline of heritage is absolute but rise of Tech and abundance of Tech Toys is obvious. But as long the women of your substance are there, the hope is alive – YOUR SON WILL BE SAVIOR from curses of Godless Technology and he will one day find OUR THIEVES on Google or get an Idea from BING – how to save Mother’s assets. My prays for him to be a savior of our Motherland and her wealth. May ALLAH bless you both and all good Pakistanis and let all be Good Pakistanis. Excellent (no! Outstanding Blog – preserve yourself and keep our hopes alive)

I also liked the following Comments on Shasta's Blog.

  1. 2 Sam
    January 15, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Even in today’s digital world, I am very proud to say that my kids barely watch tv during the week. Internet is allowed for only 30 minutes and the rest of the time is spent eating mom’s brains out! We do try going bike riding and also sometimes kick the soccer ball in the garden. My kids are 9, nearly 7 and 1 I know this will change soon…I cherish it while it lasts :P


Thursday, January 14, 2010

PAKISTAN: Corruption & Culture

Ayeshah Alamayeshahalam Today on Breakfast At Dawn we get to meet Ejaz ul Hassan, a well known artist, interesting history and on the think tank for culture with PM

Monday, January 4, 2010

Best Pakistani Quotes of 2009

The BOLD ones by DAWN were good ones;

What do you think were the most memorable words uttered in Pakistan in the past 12 months?

January: “Why would she leave it to me if she didn’t think I was fit enough?” President Asif Ali Zardari in an interview with journalist Christina Lamb on Benazir Bhutto bequeathing control of the PPP to him in a controversial 17-page will.

February: “It’s not a judicial decision, it’s an edict….It amounts to stabbing me in the back.” PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif alleging that the Supreme Court’s decision to make him and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, ineligible to contest elections or hold public offices was ordered directly by President Zardari.

March: “I restore the deposed chief justice and others according to the promise made by me and the president.” Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani announces the reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary who was deposed by former President General Pervez Musharraf.

April: “We direct that till final disposal of the main petitions under review, the operation of February 25, 2009 shall remain suspended and the petitioner (Shahbaz Sharif) shall assume the chief minister’s office with immediate effect.” The Supreme Court restores Shahbaz Sharif as Chief Minister of Punjab.

May: “The medical board has reported that Shoaib Akhtar was suffering from genital viral warts and the wound needs further care and treatment for a minimum 10 days for the purpose of healing and to achieve skin cover.” The PCB on why cricketer Shoaib Akhtar was dropped from the Twenty20 team.

June: “I’m not in favour of American broadcasting, I am in favour of strong broadcasting by independent stations like [Radio Buraq]…. There’s not going to be an American radio station in western Pakistan.” US Special envoy Richard Holbrooke on how the US intends to win the information war against the ‘FM mullahs’ in the Frontier province.

July: “So long as Article 6 (high treason) is part of the Constitution, parliament is debarred from even condoning unconstitutional acts of (a) usurper, what to talk of validating, affirming and adopting the same.” The Supreme Court declaring General Musharraf’s November 2007 emergency rule and any future endorsements of military takeovers illegal and unconstitutional.

August: “This is one hundred per cent. We have no doubt about his death…..he is dead and buried.” Pakistani official announcing the death of the chief of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed by a US Predator drone attack.

September: “ Mujhay yeh pata hai, mainay kamaskum Heera Mandi se nahi shura kiya tha. Itna mujhay pata hai…. Mera career as a prostitute start nahi howa tha. Mujhay is baat ka fakhr hai .” [I know that, at least, I didn’t start from Heera Mandi. I know this much: my career didn’t begin as a prostitute. I am proud of this fact.] Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan in a heated on-air argument on a televised talk show with PML-Q member Kashmala Tariq who previously had called the PPP minister a ‘lota’ in reference to her defection from the PML-Q to the PPP.

October: “No security-related assistance may be provided to Pakistan in a fiscal year until the Secretary of State, under the direction of the President, makes the certification (that) … the Government of Pakistan has made progress on matters such as ceasing support, including by any elements within the Pakistan military or its intelligence agency, to extremist and terrorist groups, particularly to any group that has conducted attacks against United States or coalition forces in Afghanistan, or against the territory or people of neighboring countries.” Conditions stipulated in the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 (the Kerry Lugar bill) on limitations of military aid to Pakistan. “Pakistan is a sovereign state and has all the rights to analyse and respond to the (terrorist) threat in accordance with her own national interests…. The forum expressed serious concern regarding clauses impacting on National Security.” Statement issued by the public relations wing of the Pakistani military on the Kerry Lugar bill in a meeting held by Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Perwez Kiyani.

November: “We will be the back after right… we will be the back after right short break… ye toilet kitna duur hai… can we rehase… reharse… rehearsal.” Secret footage showing Pakistani actress Meera attempting to speak English in an interview she’s conducting with fashion photographer Tapu Javeri.

December: “We would again become Pakistan’s brother if Pakistan ends its support for America.” Pakistan Taliban commander Walilur Rahman

“ Corruption peh hamara haq nai hai? Auron ka hai. Yeh to culture ban chuka hai. Agar jo nai karta wo nuksaan karha apna. Hazaar meh se ek admi corruption nai karta, wo to apna nuksaan karta hai .” [Don’t we have a right to corruption? Others do. This has become a culture. Whoever doesn’t do it, they’ll find they’re ruining themselves. In a thousand, if one man doesn’t do corruption, he’s ruining himself.] PPP minister Sardar Abdul Qayum Jatoi in a current affairs show interview. .

Friday, January 1, 2010

CIA takes a big hit in Khost | Pakistan | News | Newspaper | Daily | English | Online

Click the Link to read the News Item:

CIA takes a big hit in Khost | Pakistan | News | Newspaper | Daily | English | Online

My Comments:

This is very sad. So many lives lost on new year. Just imagine the feelings of families who lost their dear ones. May ALLAH gives sense to all and bring peace in region & whole world. Poor Afghans have also suffered a lot in this invasion of their country. Only a day before Foreign troops dragged 10 civilians from homes and shot them dead. Americans have no moral ground to "win this war". They may claim one but it is not winning the hearts and minds of people. It is just escalating CHAOS in the region.
Case for Iran's Civil Nuclear Program
One often hears that Iran's real purpose for pursuing nuclear technology is to develop nuclear weapons. These claims are politically motivated and are based entirely on hatred and distrust towards the region and its people.
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