Archive for the 'Random Thoughts' Category

Pakistan: Why Kayani needed to speak?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Recently, General Kayani issued a statement asking Washington not to intrude into our territory and let Pakistan army do the jobs as and when considered necessary. He unambiguously stated the “terms of engagements” and referred to his recent meeting with Admiral Michael Mullen.

Kayani said:

The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country would be defended at all costs and that no external force is allowed to conduct operations inside Pakistan…the right to conduct operations against the militants inside one’s own territory is solely the responsibility of the respective armed forces.

Why Kayani needed to respond to US frequent intrusions? Why our newly elected president did not utter a word about it? Why our Prime Minister considered only passive support to Kayani’s statement? Why no strong support came to Kayani’s statement anywhere from govt.?

In one of my previous posts, I wrote about US replacing Musharraf with PPP to pursue its regional agenda more actively. Does this mean that PPP govt. – after showing exit to Musharraf – was actively following the US agenda and Kayani had to intervene? Does this mean Kayani will be new obstacle for US – like Musharraf?

Why our Prime Minister and Defense Minister needed to rebuff Kayani by saying:

We cannot wage war on U.S.


A letter to Paki Govt

Monday, July 14, 2008

Prime Minister of Pakistan
President Of Pakistan
Co-Chairman Pakistan People’s Party
Federal Finance Minister
Dear Sirs
Thank you so much for increasing the prices of petroleum products, after the shortage of edible commodities this increase is like a cold breeze in hot summer, specially your new gift to the nation at the start of the fiscal year 2008-09 by increasing the CNG prices to 31%, we as a nation sincerely appreciate your efforts to support us.(revised to 16% approximately- Million of rupees  of poor paki people has been looted in a day.
Dear Sirs, we further suggest the following measures to be taken in the broader interest of the nation as soon as possible, the way the nation is enjoying the following benefits, is not the right of this nation and it also hurt your efforts for the stability of economy.
Your kind attention to the following will help to strengthen the economy of the country;

  • Breathing – The tax may please be imposed on breathing.
  • Eating – The tax may please be imposed on the eating 2 meals a day, (Because of the strong economy now the nation do not afford to eat 3 meals).
  • Drinking of Water – The tax may please be imposed on drinking more than 2 glasses daily, additionally taking bath more than once a month should be Taxed
  • Clothing – Wearing Cloths may please be taxable and additional tax on changing the suits/shirts on daily basis.
  • Travelling – Journey through the public transport should be allowed once a day, means if someone comes to work by bus/rail he should not be allowed to use the same for going back, when the nation will start to walk back to homes it will help to keep them healthy.
  • Birth – Tax may please be imposed on the birth of every child, the tax should be the 10% of the monthly wage rate of the father and if the mother is a working woman, she will also have to pay 10% of her wage, it is also suggested that this tax should be increased 20% to 30% on every additional birth.
  • Death – A death tax may please be imposed on every person who dies, an additional tax is also suggested to the suicidal or accidental death.

There are so many other items that are still identifiable and we will try to let you know as soon as we realize the taxability of those.
Now at the end we recommend to award “Nishan-e-Haider”, “Tamgha-e-Khidmat” to the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Shaukat Aziz and his team for the efforts they made to revive the dying economy of Pakistan.
An increase of 100% in the packages of Members of Assemblies / Ministers and other officials is also suggested, it will help them to serve the nation better, after all we have to take care of the interests of the nation.
Thanking you in advance
Pakistani Nation

Courtesy Shakeel for forwarding this :)

Pakistan: Supremacy of Constitution and Musharaf’s Trial

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I never been a law student, neither I happened to read “Constitution of Pakistan” nor I had any idea about what our Constitution is. This was until I heard our “populist leaders”, “ex-servicemen” and some “popular analysts” calling shots that Musharaf be trialed of high treason for abrogating the Constitution. Though I always believed and do believe in supremacy of law and also believe that a Constitution is the highest law of any state, but this made me a little curious to find out what makes a Constitution so important that a person can be trialed of high treason if he abrogates it.

Reading Constitution I find, a constitution is a codified written document that details the system of governance, establishes the rules and principles, it defines the duties, powers and procedures of a government, it also separates the power (generally) into three branches: executives, legislatives and judicial; important but not so important until I find it also guarantees the basic human rights to the people. Under the 1973 Constitution, Fundamental Rights include security of person, safeguards as to arrest and detention, prohibition of slavery and forced labor, freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom to profess religion and safeguards to religious institutions, non-discrimination in respect of access to public places and in service, preservation of language, script and culture. The judiciary enjoys full supremacy over the other organs of the State. Comparing constitution of Pakistan with constitutions of some other developed countries, I was gladly surprised to see that our constitution guarantees the same (or similar) rights to the people as constitutions of these developed countries do. And (sadly) still the fundamental human rights are widely violated in Pakistan.

Looking further, I also find that there have been 17 amendments in our constitution since it came into effect in 1973; Z.A. Bhutto (the founder of 1973 Constitution), General Zia, Nawaz Sharif and Pervez Musharaf all amended this constitution just to grab more power in their hands. They all distorted our constitution to become “democratic dictator” or to indemnify their “dictatorial actions”; none (or very few) of these amendments adds anything good for fundamental rights or for better governance.

Agreed that, as per constitution in effect now, anyone who has ever abrogated the constitution should be trialed for high treason.

Article 6: High treason
(1) Any person who abrogates or attempts or conspires to abrogate, subverts or attempts or conspires to subvert the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.
(2) Any person aiding or abetting the acts mentioned in clause (1) shall likewise be guilty of high treason.
(3) Parliament shall by law provide for the punishment of persons found guilty of high treason.

As per Article 6(1) both Musharaf and Zia should be trialed for high treason.
But then by Article 6(2), judges who validated 1977 Martial Law, 1999 and 2007 Emergency should also be trialed – this includes the icon of Justice CJ Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary and others demanding the “rule of law”. Those Generals – who are so loud now a day and – who aided Zia and Musharaf should also be trialed; this includes so vocalist Gen. Chishti, Gen. Gulzar Kiyani, Gen. Durrani, Gen. Moin-u-din, Gen. Gul, Gen Baig and others. And how about those who were part of Zia and Musharaf’s regime and helped them to govern for years (like Nawaz Sharif, Ch. Shujahat)? Shouldn’t they also be trialed for high treason? If we want to set an example for future then all these should be trialed (not only Musharaf) under Article 6 or else it will only be“revenge” and not the accountability.

And then looking at the constitution I also find the following articles.

Article 9: Security of Person
No person shall be deprived of life or liberty save in accordance with law.

Article 10. Safeguards as to arrest and detention.
(1) No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest, nor shall he be denied the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice.
(2) Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before a magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest, excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the nearest magistrate, and no such person shall be detained in custody beyond the said period without the authority of a magistrate.

Article 11. Slavery, forced labour, etc. prohibited.
(1) Slavery is non-existent and forbidden and no law shall permit or facilitate its introduction into Pakistan in any form.
(2) All forms of forced labour and traffic in human beings are prohibited.
(3) No child below the age of fourteen years shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment.

Article 14. Inviolability of dignity of man, etc.
(1) The dignity of man and, subject to law, the privacy of home, shall be inviolable.
(2) No person shall be subjected to torture for the purpose of extracting evidence.

Article 38. Promotion of social and economic well-being of the people
The state shall:
a) Provide basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing. housing, education and medical relief, for all such citizens, irrespective of sex, caste, creed or race, as are permanently or temporarily unable to earn their livelihood on account of infirmity, sickness or unemployment;


I do not blame the “dictators” as they came into power unconstitutionally and nullified the constitution; for which they should be trialed. However, I am right to ask our “constitutionally elected” politicians as to what they have done to put aforementioned articles in practice.

Innocent people were being tortured in police stations, dignities of people were being humiliated, privacy of homes was being invaded, underage children were being forced to labor, individuals were being detained in police stations illegally and without being produced before a magistrate, unsheltered poor were dying with hunger; this all was happening when these “believers of constitution”, our “honorable” politicians, champions of democracy were “legally elected” and governing this country, when they were residing in “Prime Minister House”, it all was happening before Zia and Musharaf; and is still happening. Nothing, literally nothing, was done to implement any of above mentioned articles of “their” supreme constitution by any of our “beloved” politician. As the head of the government, it was responsibility of every “elected” Prime Minister to implement these articles, to make sure basic rights of people that are defined in the constitution were not being violated.

They passed 13th amendments to remove “article 58-2(b)” (president’s power to dissolve assembly) but they couldn’t replace “No child below the age of fourteen years shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment” with “No child below the age of fourteen years shall be engaged in any employment”. While in power, they filled their bank accounts and multiplied their business wealth but did nothing (or very little) for “Article 38: promotion of social and economic well-being of people”. Police stations were used to force down the political rivals rather to provide security to the public.

Today’s constitution is not acceptable to these politicians and they consider Musharaf as “unconstitutional” president. They want Musharaf to be impeached and constitution to be “restored” as it on 12th October 1999 (when Musharaf took over). They want Musharaf to be impeached not because he is unconstitutional (although they say this and make us believe on this too) but only because:
1. Today’s constitution gives more power to President and not to Prime Minister.
2. PPP wants to install his own President so that it can enjoy the powers of President.
3. PML (N) (read: Nawaz Sharif) wants revenge from Musharaf and wants him to be trialed in court.

They say constitution is distorted by adding “unconstitutional” amendments therefore they don’t accept this constitution. If this constitution is amended to transfer power from President (read: Musharaf) to Prime Minister or it is restored as it was on 12th October 1999 then:
1. PPP doesn’t mind Musharaf sitting in President House with all his power clipped.
2. PML (N) (read: Nawaz Sharif) still wants revenge from Musharaf and wants him to be trialed in court.

In either case, PPP is happy to indemnify Musharaf’s unconstitutional actions on 3rd November 2007. However, PML (N) will not do this because then it cannot demand for Musharaf’s trial for abrogating Constitution; especially when his “unconstitutional” actions on 12th October 1999 have been validated by both Supreme court followed by 17th Amendment passed by previous parliament.

Having said this all, all these “principled” politicians participated in Election 2008 under same constitution that they don’t accept, they took oat under same constitution, and their Ministers took oak from same “unconstitutional” president and from governor appointed by same “unconstitutional” president. They did everything under the very same constitution that they do not accept; they followed everything put down by “unconstitutional” president as long as it was in their benefit.

Supremacy of constitution cannot be attained by rejecting only those articles that do not benefit us; it cannot be achieved by getting only one person on trial for abrogating the constitution. IF we need “Rule of Law” then we need to implement all of its Articles in its true sense, our politicians need to stop using it just to hang on the power and stop adding amendments to it only to grab more powers. And above all our leaders need to stop “exploiting” the public in the name of supremacy of constitution when they themselves don’t believe in it; they believe in only what benefit them.

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Pakistan: Election 2008, was it a revolution?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

18th February 2008, they day when Pakistanis voted for 8th time; some voted for whoever gave them more money, some favored their castes and voted, some were too scared to vote for anyone else but the “influential” candidate. Some were “hari” or “mazary” so they didn’t have much choice to vote for anyone except for their “feudal master”, some voted for whomever their family head told them to vote for and some couldn’t even vote as they found their vote casted before they went to polling station. Some, I believe, did vote for Democracy and to elect a new Prime Minister of Pakistan. However, around 60% of registered voters preferred to sit at home and not to vote for anything.

These are realities of Election 2008 that everyone knows yet our so-called leaders, analysts, TV-hosts and commentators called the election results a “revolution”. Why? Just that pro-Musharaf party did not win the elections hence results are a “revolution”? Does revolution only mean change of faces?

How we can bring a revolution when we ourselves are corrupt. When we don’t stop at the red traffic signal, when we are caught driving without license and offer “chai-pani” (bribe) to a constable before he gives us ticket, when we feel no hesitation in parking our cars right-under the “no parking” signs; we are being corrupt. When we bribe to get a legal driving license illegally, we are being corrupt. We are being corrupt when we pay someone just to bypass a queue and get our work done. Everyone around us is corrupt in his own capacity and in his own way; everyone from very poor to very rich, from a taxi driver to Mercedes owner, from vegetable seller to a landlord, from a worker to a factory owner, from a student to a principal, from a lower division clerk to a manager, from a daily wages labor to a full-time permanent govt. employee. We all, whenever and wherever we get a chance, deceive others, take advantage of others, benefit ourselves dishonestly and are corrupt in our own way. We are so in habit of these small (are they really small?) corruptions of ours that it has become a second nature of us; we don’t even consider it as corruption.

Our actions don’t speak what we preach about. We teach our kids to not lie but when a friend calls, we ask our kids to tell him that I am not home. We curse about India all day and then in the evening we watch Indian movie with whole family. And when our kids start talking like “taporis”, when they say “Fir” instead of “Phir” and “Khhoon” instead of “Khoon”; we blame India for infiltrating into our culture. We talk about helping poor but then we don’t pay our servants salaries on time. We criticize our govt. for poor public services but then we don’t bother paying any tax. We call ourselves Pakistani and celebrate Independence Day but, in rallies on 14th August, we hold flag of our Political Party and not of Pakistan. We disapprove our system for being corrupt and then we suborn the same system where it benefits us. We talk about equality and then we don’t like our kids to study in same schools where poor people’s kids study.

We are so much intolerant that we don’t have any place for having difference of opinion. If someone has same opinion as we do, he is patriotic like us or else he is disloyal to the country; no matter how factual and true his opinion is. We only believe in what we think; others either must agree to us or should get a label of “American agent”, “Non-Muslim”, “Unpatriotic”, “Dictator’s Ally” or “Not a true Muslim”. (And, funny, yet we want “Democracy”. Doesn’t it seem like Dictatorship?). More of our intolerance is that we don’t do this only to other nations or countries as Pakistanis; we do this as individuals, as small groups – groups that we are divided into for speaking different languages, having different casts & sects, for our geographical backgrounds, for our political affiliation. Every group (or individual) is our rival if it doesn’t agree to what we believe; there is no question about us agreeing to anyone who doesn’t belong to our group even if he is right. When we disagree with someone we just go out to the street and burn the buses, cars, public property, we block roads, we forcibly shut down the markets; this is our way of “peaceful” protest.

We do all this and then justify ourselves by putting blame on our system, rulers, leaders and anything but ourselves. We all are corrupt, hypocrite and intolerant and I do not believe that corrupt, hypocrite and intolerant people can bring revolution in any society, no matter how they voted and who they voted for.

Revolution is not the name of replacing corrupt rulers with other corrupt rulers. Revolution is the name of a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving. And we cannot bring Revolution unless we change our behaviors, unless we change the way we think at individual level.

Though its been 60 years we have been doing this as Pakistani but its still not too late to think about self-accountability and forget about the “accountability for revenge”, its not too late to change our behaviours, its not too late to become a Nation and put our small groups/political parties behind, its not too late to become realisitic and less emotional. No one ever helped us and will never help us unless we start helping ourselves; so far we have just blamed others for our own mistakes but now is the time to learn from our mistakes.

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