The Pakistan Coup detat of 1958: Part III

You can read: ‘The Pakistan  Coup detat of  1958: Part 1 on by clicking the link: http://pakpotpourri2.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/the-pakistan-coup-detat-of-1958-part-i/

You can read: ‘The Pakistan  Coup detat of  1958: Part 11 on by clicking the link: http://pakpotpourri2.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/the-pakistan-coup-detat-of-1958-part-ii/

Naveed PicNaveed Tajammal

Before proceeding further we must analyses the mess our founding fathers had created and how the Gang manipulated and delayed the Constitution making-and later abrogated it-when and where  it suited them. The Independence Act of 1947- Had clearly laid down a quasi-federal parliamentary system-Section 8 laid down for the both the new states a ruling, that until the constitution was farmed, the interim arrangements for the country would be as laid down in GOI Act of 1935,and the this Act’ was based on the Report of Simon Commission ,published in two volumes in May 1930.Which had been vehemently resisted by Public at large since its inception in 1928,The Act of 1935 had 321 sections with 10 schedules and was custom made for the British Indian Empire’s shenanigans, lastly it was the longest ever legislation passed by the British Parliament. But Remember it was made for the never ending rule of the Empire-Second World war had yet to come. These were the carrots put before the public from time to time to defuse a alarming situation, when it reached a peak.

Now we must study briefly about the Constituent Assembly which was first convened on 11 Aug 1947-The members of this August Assembly were those who had been elected in the General Elections of British Indian Empire in 1945/46.After the end of 2nd world war in Asia on 02 September 1945 and final surrender of Japanese forces in Burma on 13 September 1945-On the 19th September 1945-The then Viceroy-Lord Wavell  of the British Indian Empire announced that the General Elections, would be held between December 1945 and January 1946-and would cover both the seats for the Central and Provincial legislatures-the end result was that, the Muslim League could form its ministries only in Bengal and Sind Provinces-Punjab was with a coalition, of Congress, unionist and Sikh Alkalis’ NWFP and was with Congress till Aug 1947-It were these elected members-who had opted to stay back after 14 Aug 1947 in both the wings who became the members of our  future constitution making mechanism-Having Constituted this Constituent Assembly, everybody got busy in the newly created state of Pakistan, enjoying the perks and so were these members who were entrusted and they willfully delayed the Constitution making till this Constituent Assembly was dissolved on 24 Oct 1954-each group had its own vested interests in the delay.

It was not until 23rd March 1956 that a new constitution could be introduced. The priority of making a constitution it seems was never a priority. Our Anglophile ruled supreme and preferred living under their Queen.

 The constitution of India was adopted on 26 November 1949-which made it in a sovereign state, however it came in effect on 26 Jan 1950-[the date 26 January- was adopted by the Ruling Indian Congress party, because on 26 Jan 1930-the congress had made the declaration of Indian Independence].After this date India ceased to be a Dominion of the British Crown.

Whereas the best that could be done by our Constituent Assembly members tasked with making our Constitution-was to pass the Objective resolution on 07 March 1949,which was supposed to set the frame work for the future constitution. Shortly thereafter on 12 March 1949,the Assembly appointed a Basic Principles Committee [BPC]-which further made three more Sub-Committee’s each heading the following three [1] The Federal Constitution and distribution of power [2] Franchise [3] The role of Judiciary. It was only on 07 September 1950, that the BPC presented its interim report that too was the work of the First Sub-Committee, which submitted its recommendations on a proposed Federal structure. Addressing a rally in Lahore on October 14, 1950, Maulana Maududi demanded its dissolution, arguing that the ‘Lamp-post legislators’ were incapable of drawing up an Islamic constitution.

The political canvas of Pakistan in the post 1947 era was overshadowed by feudal’ fattened by the departure of the Hindu and Sikh money lenders who had them in their vice grip-and likewise, after the departure of the Hindu and Sikh larger landowners, these former Crown lackeys had put their claws in their properties as well Liaqat Ali Khan instead of addressing the issue as had the Indians done-by doing away with their 545 States and such like lot-joined the Mafia, for his own survival & after the death of Mr. Jinnah things worsen. The result of his weakness proved disastrous for the country-As he failed to give a constitution to the country. However, Liaqat Ali Khan as was seen manipulated the same constituent Assembly where it suited him-and served his ends-as was seen in the case of officers involved in the Coup of 1951-A Bill to try these Army Officers was introduced in the Constituent Assembly on 13 April 1951-termed as ‘The Rawalpindi Conspiracy- Special Tribunal Bill’. On the morning of 16 April it was passed-but not before a heated discussion on it-by the opposition members. According to the opposition, all from the Bengali leaders- led by Mr. Dhirendranath Datta, that, ”it abrogated the rights of the accused, which was contrary to the normal laws’- the Bill was a mockery to justice, on a point of order Dhirendranath, further stated, being a lawyer himself, that, ‘This bill was out to amend provisions of Code of Criminal Law procedures, the Evidence Act and the Army Act, therefore, it came under the competence of the Federal Legislature and certainly Not under the propriety of the Constituent Assembly-as had been had wrongly done so, with mala fide intentions. Dhirendranath further argued that, ‘under the Constituent assembly of Pakistan procedure rules, a bill could be introduced in the Constituent assembly for purpose of making the constitution or amending the Independence Act or amending the Government of India Act 1935,which was adapted in Pakistan, as an interim constitutional framework of the country.

The crux of all these shenanigans by Liaqat Ali Khan which resulted in bulldozing the fundamental rights was the First of its kind-and totally at variance with the prevailing liberal laws current in the country till this Act was enforced.

This Act abrogated the rights of the accused, it relaxed the standards of prosecution evidence and laid stringent trial procedures to suit the prosecution side alone.

All this was done at the expense of sound principles of criminal administration and the so-called Democratic Government of Liaqat Ali Khan in our formative period of independence-the end result was that it set the First Tradition of bad governance and a total disregard for the human fundamental rights.

And so it became the foundation of each successive regime Military or Civil to twist and turn laws to make more repressive laws, rules and practices so started a chain of perverting policies in our politics-which resulted in perverting the course of justice.

The constitutional vacuum left by Liaqat Ali Khan strengthened the hold of feudalism and bureaucracy on the country-Both groups were Fascists in their outlook and paid only lip service to the central state-After the death of Liaqat Ali khan-in his shoes stepped Ghulam Mohammad and his buddy Iskandar Mirza both were bureaucrats turned politicians and hovering in the background in his sly manner remained Ayub Khan,-Sadly the Bengali Group led by Kh.Nazimuddin who technically represented the Majority was  outmaneuvered  by these three clever manipulators, each one bidding his own time to strike Khawaja Nazimuddin though a good man was  made a scape goat-by a conspiracy hatched between the trio-as the day Liaqat Ali Khan had died Ghulam Mohammad was in Rawalpindi-and Khawaja Nazimuddin was in Nathiagali -and instead that the successor of Liaqat Ali Khan be chosen by the party in power, Ghulam Mohammad the finance minister became the Governor-General and the Governor General was demoted and became the Prime Minister-all this was done by an announcement, that the cabinet had so decided. Kh. Nazimuddin suffered as he had not bothered to establish his networking in the bureaucracy nor in the Army-and had neither any influence over industry and trade of the country, which from the inception of Pakistan had been ‘monopolized’ by ‘Khojas’ & ‘memos’ from Maharashtra and Gujrat, who were mostly resident in Karachi and Decca followed by the Delhi Saudagara’an  Mafia and the balance were the hide & skin merchants of Bengal, Madras and Bombay presidencies who all had timely flocked in to do the pickings- They all had their mentors in both the wings-so Kh. Nazimuddin was left high and dry.

 

Meanwhile serious political unrest had been brewing up due to chronic food shortage, which were the result of the economic policies of Ghulam Mohammad who was serving many masters-All these setbacks were now attributed to Kh.Nazimuddin-and he was openly being called as the ‘Quaid e Qillat’ [Leader of scarcity].meanwhile Ayub Khan,  Iskandar Mirza and Ghulam Mohammad played their games-The start of 1953 saw widespread disturbances in the country-resulting in the imposition of Martial Law-a situation which could have been handled as was seen in Karachi-on 21st January 1953,when a deputation of Ulema authorized by ‘Majlis-i-Amal ‘constituted by All Pakistan Muslim Parties Convention held in Karachi from 16th to 18th January 1953,delivered its ultimatum to Kh. Nazimuddin to declare the Qadiani as a non-Muslim minority and inclusive of Ch. Zafrullah who was the Foreign Minister and as well all those in Civil & Military Services of the same creed be removed from the offices within one month. Otherwise they would resort to direct action. However in a meeting held on 27 Feb 1953 it was decided to reject the ultimatum and to arrest the prominent members of the Majlis- i- Amal in Karachi and from various parts in the Punjab.

 Iskandar Mirza being the Secretary Defense was the leader- and Ayub Khan seeing the situation ideal- both pressurized Kh. Nazimuddin that Martial Law be imposed in Lahore-taking his consent Iskandar Mirza ordered the Deputy Chief of General Staff, General Musa Khan to dispatch the Sialkot Division to Lahore to reinforce General Azam Khan, military occupation of Lahore took place on 6th  March 1953,Governor General Ghulam Mohammad replaced Mumtaz Daultana as the chief Minister and Malik Feroze khan Noon took over, subsequently, he asked Kh.Nazimudin to resign which he refused on 17 April 1953.And so Ghulam Mohammad used the Section 10 of Government of India Act of 1935,by announcing ,that, he was pleased to dismiss his Prime Minister Kh.Nazimuddin appealed to the Queen of England  as the constitutional Sovereign of Pakistan-and his plea fell on deaf ears.

Kh. Nazimuddin was treated thereafter very shabbily, and on the Advice of Ch. Zaffarullah the F.M. Mohammad Ali Bogra who was the Ambassador in Washington and a Bengali was recalled and installed as the Prime Minster. on this installation H. M. Abbasi one of the most outstanding journalist of his time writes-in his book -which is a collection of his articles,’Over a Cup of Tea’ page-264,’…..Ghulam Mohammad after sending away Kh. Nazimuddin got his stooge Mohammad Ali Bogra in his place. When he tried to show a little independence, Iskandar Mirza and Ayub Khan received him at the Airport, and took him to the Governor-General House treated him roughly long enough to make him promise to do everything they ordered”.

It should be pertinent for the readers to know of the sincere  efforts of the brother of Ayub Khan-Sardar Bahadar Khan in building the career of Ayub Khan-Iskandar Mirza remained throughout his civil service career in NWFP and was D.C. of  Hazara and Peshawar District’s ,and Sardar Bahadar after getting his L.L.B degree from Aligarh ,joined the Muslim League-and was elected in a by-election in 1939 from Haripur and in 1942 he was the  speaker of NWFP Assembly and was re-elected in the 1945/46 General elections, The Indian National Congress under Dr. Khan Sahib won the 1946 elections despite a strong showing by the Muslim League The first session of parliament was summoned on 12 March 1946 under the Chairmanship of Sardar Bahadur Khan while Nawabzada Allah Nawaz Khan was elected as Speaker and Lala Girdheri Lal as Deputy Speaker on 13 March 1946..After 14 Aug 1947 He had joined the Govt. of Liaqat Ali Khan as the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth Relations and Communications in 1949 he was promoted to be a  Cabinet Minister. And later, He served as Minister for Communications in the cabinets of multiple Prime Ministers: After demise of Liaqat Ali Khan he joined the Govt. of Kh. Nazimuddin, and as well the Govt of Mohammad Ali Bogra as a Cabinet Minister throughout their tenures- he was the Agent to Governor General of Balluchistan from 08 November 1954 to 19 July 1955.and later was made the Chief Minister of NWFP a office he held till 14 Oct 1955,when it was merged in one unit. After the 1962 Elections he became the leader of opposition in the National Assembly-Thus Ayub Khan had his own kitchen opposition-Therefore one should understand who the actual mentor of Ayub Khan was. About his active role in politics, the glimpse can be seen of his manipulation, the readers are advised to read, ‘Mohammad Ayub Khuhro’ published by Ferozesons in 1998.

[To be continued...]

The Pakistan Coup detat of 1958: Part II

A Pakpotpourri Exclusive

You can read: ‘The Pakistan  Coup detat of  1958: Part 1 on by clicking the link: http://pakpotpourri2.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/the-pakistan-coup-detat-of-1958-part-i/

Naveed PicBy Naveed Tajammal

As stated before there were no cogent reasons for both the coups i.e that of 07/08 Oct & 27/28 Oct 1958-Other than sheer greed for more power. If you even take a cursory glance at the development, between 1947 & 1958 it proves how, the later false the propaganda was done by the Ayub Khan Regime to show its Golden 10 years-[1958-1968]The first phase of development, was complete by 1958,indeed Robber Barons had been created with free funds. However, the Industry had come up-literally from a ground zero like position- Do keep in mind that two 5 Year plans, from 1947 onward had been planned till 1960-and funds ear-marked The data below just gives glimpse of a few salient features.

In 1947 at the time of our Independence our total textile industry had only 177,418 spindles and 4,824 looms in 1958 there were 1,844,000 spindles and 28,000 looms. Although Pakistan was harvesting 6 million bales of raw jute in 1947-All jute was sent to Calcutta before independence where partly it was processed and the rest sent within the British Empire’s industrial units abroad. Likewise all other produce of East Bengal, which was surplus to its requirements was again sent to Calcutta-and it would not be an exaggeration, that the prosperity of Calcutta as the Capital of former British Indian Empire had been built on the exploitation of the resources of East Pakistan [East Bengal].

East Pakistan which did not even have a single jute loom in 1947-had  by 1958-8,000 jute looms and which were producing 1,50,000 tons of jute manufactures. The port of Chittagong was so small that it could only handle 0.5 million tons per annum, in 1958 it was handling 2.5 million tons. As the port of Chittagong was built almost anew with new quay walls, new cranes and new goods sheds, the project had cost $ 20 million, work on the new Chalna port ,later it was shifted to Mongla in East Pakistan ,and work was finished in 1954,and was taking almost one million tons of goods. The raw cotton produced in West Pakistan regions in pre-Independence was fully transported to Bombay-Ahmedabad and Cawnpore Finished cloth was re-shipped, from these three cities for local consumption.

In 1947-there was not a single spindle producing woolen goods-by 1958,there were 13,700 spindle producing about 18 million lbs. of woolen yarns-which were equal in quality with imported woolen cloth. There was only one hydrogenated oil factory producing 2,500 tons of vegetables product. In 1958 there arose 6 more factories producing 20,000 tons per annum. Sugar produced in West Pakistan in 1947 was 7,932 tons, by1958 the production was 123,558 tons. In East Pakistan 5 mini sugar mills were producing 23,061 tons of sugar, by 1958 with an addition of 3 large sugar mills there was a addition of another 30,000 tons.

There was no cigarettes factory in Pakistan in 1947-by1958,Six new factories were set up in West Pakistan and two in East Pakistan-total cigarettes production was 7469.7 million. In East Pakistan Karnaphuli Paper mills ,established by PIDC had come in production by 1953 producing 30,000 tons, the biggest than in Asia-though it is amazing why Ayub Khan, handed away on a platter, this unit to the Dawood group in 1964.

Beco was set up in 1951-At Badamibagh Lahore, with the help of European & American technology it had started producing high quality machine tools, pumps, power looms, concrete mixers cranes, power presses, electric motors ,by-cycles, steel rolled products, electric transmission towers and structure & general fabrication. Local indigenous mechanical & electrical units had started the manufacture of 20 H.P. Centrifugal Pumps-along with 20 H.P. Electric Motors, and electric fan industry too had emerged, and other electric goods were also being made. In Karachi production of electric cable manufacture and electric bulbs had started, the German Firm A.E.G had set up a unit which was making electric motors, transformers and other heavy electric gear, a Swedish firm was producing packing material and packages for cigarettes, tea and pharmaceutical industries, American General Mills had set up a plant in Karachi to produce gum of local raw material. Glass industry too had emerged in both the wings, inclusive of sheet glass. The cement production in 1947 was barely 325,000 tons by 1958 it was producing 1,000,000 tons. Two of these new factories had been financed through the Colombo plan-and generous aid given by Governments of Canada and New Zealand. And were producing under Maple Leaf & Zeal-Pak Cement-and were being expanded as per the second 5 year plan to add 200,000 tons more in the total Cement production.

Plastic, pencil, high grade board, card board etc etc industries had started their production much earlier in 1950′s,Assembly plants for cars, trucks, radios etc had already been set up. The Sports goods industry had done a tremendous work and expanded very fast by 1958 was earning in those days value of dollars-$ 2.70 million. Pharmaceutical industries had been set up, some were manufacturing drugs and others repacking them-all the same the industry had started to work, a Penicillin plant was under erection, whereas the D.D.T plant was already in production, both the plants had been financed by UNICEF, as to the role of multinational companies like I.C.I had been operating the soda ash plant at P.D. Khan ,in 1944,however it was in 1952 that they started fully investing in Pakistan, Unilever had set up its main plant in Rahim Yar Khan in 1948-with it came its wide range of soaps and detergents and Ghee and oil products. Plants producing caustic soda were set up. Sulphuric acid plants were set up in both wings, with plant producing Alum, the fertilizer production of ammonium sulphate had reached 50,000 tons. Two more plants in both the wings were under erection and installation and each would produce 100,000 tons, thus bringing total to 250,000 tons.

Bayer’s multinational company was in process of setting up its plant of basic dyes. Many small cottage industries had sprung up. Handloom textiles were being exported to U.S.A. The Pakistani-Surgical instruments, too had established their market in the world.

The Government of Pakistan had already established in collaboration with foreign firms two industries, the First being the Security Printing Press, with the help of De La Rue’s as partners, this press had started the printing of our currency notes-The second was a collaboration with Siemens to produce telephone instruments and telephone exchanges. Vegetable oil total production had reached 100,000 tons by 1958.Sui Gas pipe line till Karachi had been completed by 1955, another had reached Multan, and this line was laid to feed the Multan Electric Company and the Fertilizer Plant. And the third had been earmarked for Lahore and Lyallpur [Faisalabad]-A small natural gas pipe line had been laid extracting gas from the oil fields of Rawalpindi region and was supplying 6 million cubic feet of gas per day. In East Pakistan the major share of Gas was being utilized by the Fertilizer plant, and Cement Factory at Chhattak. The production of gypsum arose from 1947 [15,866]to 64,064 tons in 1958,coal production arose from 358,000 tons to 516,000 tons, limestone from 341,000 to 913,900 tons, crude petroleum from 13.2 million Imp Gallons to 76.9 million Imp Gallons. Negotiations with different foreign, companies were under way to set up an Oil Refinery.

At the Time of our Independence due to War efforts and maximum bulk of transportation done via the Railways-and the British seeing the changing tides after 1945 had stopped investing in this sector-The  track and rolling stocks had suffered very badly and were considerably run down-Pakistan after 1947 had to undertake a large scale urgent repairs programme-Pakistan obtained two loans of $ 27.2 million and $31.1 million from International Bank for Reconstruction and development, and with these loans had bought diesel electric engines, wagons, carriages and track material-in addition USA also assisted the Railways by financing the purchase of diesel electric engines. The Govt of Australia too gave in AID a large number of diesel electric engines-It had been envisaged that a further $ 140 million  was required to fully restore the Railways because of neglect and usage in the 6 years of second world war.

It would be interesting to note that in 1948/49 the goods carried in East Pakistan Railways were 3,838,000 tons in 1956/57 they were 4,603,000 tons, in West Pakistan the Railways carried ,in 1948/49 6,356,000 tons and in 1956/57 it was  10,866,000 tons, the passenger traffic in East Pakistan in 1948/49 was 67,500,000 and in 1956/57 it had increased to 86,783,000,in West Pakistan it was 71,654,000 in 1948/49 and by 1956/57 it had increased to 95,535,000.It was a dedicated team work of Railways that in spite of faults within they carried on the their Job.

Pakistan hardly had any Shipping in 1947-the gross tonnage was 6,000 tons, by 1958 it was near 162,370 tons, in 1957/58 Pakistan had acquired 10 ships with 64,629 tonnage. As the distance between Karachi and Chittagong was 2500 miles the need for Airway Cargo was felt so a fleet of super constellations was operating 8 services/week by 1958,for flight passengers, there was an addition of 5 new viscount planes, out  of which 3 were already in service.

Post, telegraph and telephone services had been upgraded substantially since Independence, The assets in 1947 were only 36.5 million rupees, by end of 1957, they had arisen to 244.8 million rupees. There were only 15,000 telephone connections in 1947 by end of 1957 there were 56,000.

At the time of Independence there were only a few banks registered in Pakistan, except for Habib Bank, other banks were very small having a total capital of no more than two million rupees. National Bank of Pakistan was started by GOP in March 1950-The Govt was using this bank for financing of food grains and it was helped by the State Bank with funds, the deposits of NBP stood at 755 million rupees in December 1958.

Soon after Independence 8 million refugees migrated to Pakistan and those who left were less than 5 million, it was these 8 million who had to be adjusted. The GOP set up a Refugees Rehabilitation Finance Corporation by an Act of Parliament, a total of 40 million rupees was loaned to these refugees to establish them in small trades and industries besides the lion share of lands and properties which came under evacuee properties.

Karachi as per 1941 Census had 400,000 people, even in 1947 it had swelled to 4.5 Lakh only, by 1957/58 it was hovering at 1.78 million. When GOP decided to make Karachi as its capital it had neither accommodation nor offices. The GOP set up a HBFC [House building finance corporation] till 1958 it had given loaned out 52.8 million rupees. To finance industries PIFC [Pakistan Industrial Finance Corporation] was established by 1958 120 million  rupees, had been given to borrowers.

PICIC [Pakistan Industrial Credit Investment Corporation], had been established likewise-The International Bank had given it a loan of $4.2 million. U.S Govt gave it three million rupees while U.K. gave three million and Japan two million, as industry grew USA gave a further loan of 30 million rupees, and State Bank injected another 30 million rupees.

Numerous Co-operative Banks and Co-operative societies had been established all over the both wings. Agriculture Finance Corporation had been established in 1953, by 1958 it had loaned out 14.7 million rupees. As Pakistan had 100,000 villages it was felt that Agriculture Bank was needed so in 1957, this Bank was established.

A Land Reform Commission was established in 1957 and in Jan 1958,the Commission presented its report to the GOP, after one week deliberation the GOP accepted the recommendation, The Commission had ruled a law, by which compensation was to be given to the landlords on a sliding scale, the smaller the landholding the better the compensation, the commission had recommended,500 acres of good irrigated land or 1000 acres of un-irrigated  to each landlord-The surplus land of landlord was to be distributed to the tenants, who were to pay the price in easy installments, and become the owners, to stop the fragmentation of land, a minimum holding of 50 acres was fixed which could not be reduced either by gift or sale [Agriculture-Ch v, ''Ajj Aur Kul''-Syed.Amjad Ali,1959.]

After Independence Pakistan became, what USA had faced in the 19th century, because of the Gold Rush -all small time Muslim-traders spread throughout the length and breadth of British Indian Empire even from Burma and Singapore Converged into both the wings-Gustav F Papanek, the author of the book, ‘Pakistan’s : Development-Social Goals & Private incentives’ Harvard University -1967,who had interviewed the Top 100 people in our Industry in 1958/59,amongst them were the famous 22 Families too, found that only 17 out of 100 had some experience of Running a industry-rest were all Traders and exporters, mainly of Hides & Skins.

Gustav Papanek-remained associated with our Planning Commission from 1954 onward-as the Project Field Supervisor to the Harvard Advisory Group attached with the Planning Commission.

Massive concentration of wealth the coffers of a few about which rumours,had been circulating since mid-1950′s,became a reality, after the report of a Credit Inquiry Committee of State Bank of Pakistan, revealed that, in all, only 222 individual depositors in both the wings were making use of 2/3rd of the total credit facilities offered by the banking system, earlier Gustav Papanek too had observed that out of total 3,000 firms/companies established in Pakistan since 1947 till late 1950′s-Only 24 out of 3000 Controlled nearly half of the Industrial Assets within Pakistan. The massive industrialization done between 1947 from ground zero like conditions till Ayub Khan took over, resulted in utter chaos under his Thumb Rule-Ayub Khan became a puppet in their hands-the result was that between 1959 to 1965 these few families had gained total monopolies in our country-it was then that Dr. Mahboob ul Haq had made his famous speech in Karachi in 1965,being the Chief Economist with the Planning Commission, he had stated that Pakistani economy was dominated by just 22 odd families who owned 66 % of the total industrial assets,70 % of insurance & 80 % of the banking.

This concentration of wealth became one of the causes of effective slogans raised by separatists of East Pakistan and was,also the political slogan of  ZAB & his PPP, which led to badly handled-Nationalization.

[To be continued]

No pot shots at media

BY 

ArticleYAAMajor Amir left Taliban Talks in April this month. What caught my eye though was the reason why he decided to do so. The reason was ‘media hype’ created.(Pakistan Today April 29, 2014) “ The government peace process with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan(TTP) suffered a major blow as a key player of the dialogue process , Major® Mohammad Amir, quit the dialogue process in protest against the ‘unabated media hype’ created by some members of the Taliban negotiating panel  for ‘personal projection’ and ‘party agendas’ reports the newspaper. The report continued to share, “Making premature announcements about the release of prisoners and alleging that the government’s negotiators did not make demands for release of civilians held captive by militants may further damage the confidence-building measures.”

The news did not come as a surprise. Something like this was anticipated as pointed out in my op-ed published March 3, 2014.  I had categorically pointed out the possibility of a media hype and its cascading effects, “The failure of recent talks may have been a result of b) Reporting of every ongoing step or lack of it in media, making rigidity of positions inevitable.”

We need to look at the picture here closely without taking pot shots at the media. The picture reflects certain facts. Fact one is that any media on commercial basis depends largely on advertising given to the channel. The reason I choose to focus more on the electronic medium of communication is simple. In today’s world, electronic media has emerged as the main opinion maker. In a country like Pakistan, with low literacy rate, television is not only accessible but viewed across the different income and education strata.

The competition between channels is vicious. Higher the viewing the higher the rating. Higher the rating, higher the commercial success and advertising benefits. The game revolves around finances, pure and simple. News has generally speaking become more sensationalized tailored to gain more viewers. A very interesting observation is the negligible difference in style between newspaper and television journalism in Pakistan. In newspaper writing, words must resurrect the happening for the readers. The written communication both in form of news and views must convey in words the details that cannot be shown in celluloid as on television. This style is suitable owing to the nature of the medium of communication. However, one observes the same style being followed on television whereas the viewer can see an event live or recorded. The viewer can see an event happening and can gage the enormity or impact of an event, the body language of participants so on and so forth. However, we see the newscaster translating the visual happening in great depth and detail that is unwarranted for the visual medium of communication.

When a news channel runs 24/7 it needs news to telecast. The over indulgence of “breaking news” whether or not it merits the label has become a norm. In case of any event happening, most channels will be in variance with each other in case of numbers reported of let’s say; casualties. In the hurry to release the news, verifying news may often be ignored. In order to generate interest of the public, checks by the organization based on comprehensive editorial policies is mandatory. Does the need of editorial policies get nudged out owing to a desire for increased ratings? Who suffers in the end?

This brings me to yet another question. Where do we teach media ethics to our journalists we expect them to practice? Yes, we teach it as a mandatory course as part of syllabus of Mass Communications but how many enter the field after a masters or a bachelor’s degree in the subject? How do they learn? The answer is they don’t.  I quote from my book; ‘A Comparative Analysis of Media and Media Laws in Pakistan,’ from the chapter of electronic media, “There is a strong tendency by the media to reflect and keep on reflecting, thereby sensationalizing issues, till something juicier comes along, on murders, kidnappings, rapes. Showing the relatives of the victims beating their chest crying, wailing.  This kind of news are sought and covered, not because of the national importance but because it is thought, it will attract better viewership. Poor coverage of important issues is another. Converting non-issues into issues unfortunately happens. Earlier, I had mentioned what is in public interest and what the public may want to see can be mutually exclusive of each other. The “real” issues take a hit and are often relegated to the back burner because “issues” that may be either non-issues or minor issues are promoted as “the” issues. If talk shows are being aired, incessantly, they would more often deal with petty bickering, screaming matches between opponents invited, also leading to colorful exchange of abuses, rather than policy matters or a constructive discussion.”

The purpose here is not to take pot shots at media. Not at all and I do beg your pardon if such an erroneous impression is created.

PEMRA Ordinance 2002, Clause 20 sub clause “(b) ensure preservation of the national, cultural, social and religious values and the principles of public policy as enshrined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.” However, how do these ideals translate into the job description of a programme editor? Or a camera- man? Or a reporter? In the absence of any one to translate them either in form of an effective editorial policy and in the shape of training; it does not.

The important thing to understand is; greater freedom to voice opinion demands greater responsibility. Freedom to voice opinion world over is marked with certain universally acceptable limitations like hate speech, racism, defamation, copyrights, incitement to offence, obscenity, profanity, perjury, treason, invasion of privacy, abetting terrorism so on and so forth.  There is nothing like an open ended cheque without any limitations. Freedom of expression, like any other liberty, brings with itself a very heavy responsibility, on the shoulders of all of those exercising that right and in particular upon those who are placed in positions to influence policies, impact and form public opinion. Free media; yes! But a responsible free media please.

William O. Douglas of the Supreme Court of the United States in the judgment of Beauharnais v. Illinois, 342 U.S. 250, 287 (1952) recorded, “The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.”

The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled ‘A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan.’ She can be contacted at: yasmeenali62@gmail.com and tweets at @yasmeen_9.

Published in Pakistan Today on 6/May/2014

Death of integrity

BY 

ArticleYAA

Without exonerating culprits, we need to ask ourselves a question: Do we possess the integrity we demand of our politicians?

 

We lament the increasing lack of integrity in our leaders. From submitting fake degrees to the ECP (in many cases) to scams of all shades and hues, the list is endless. Every stone turned reveals one. Without exonerating culprits, we need to ask ourselves a question: Do we possess the integrity we demand of our politicians?

Urban Dictionary gives an extremely interesting definition of integrity, ‘Doing the right thing even when nobody’s looking.’ On a more formal note, it offers another definition, ‘Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.’ Ethical code is generally defined as, ‘a system of principles governing morality and acceptable conduct,’ and a moral code as, ‘the quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.’

For example, stealing, killing, lying, cheating are deemed as ‘bad conduct’ worldwide. Adrian Bishop, in a paper, ‘Moral principles defined: a decision-making perspective,’ shares, ‘One does not try and define what morality is, but one defines it by what it does.

Moral values are how one actually measures the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, positive and negative actions. This definition helps to distinguish between moral values and moral virtues. The latter, often quoted as moral values, are characteristics such as bravery, patience, altruism, generosity, prudence and so on, which affirm who the person is, whilst morality concerns itself with defining what the person should do.’

Warren Buffet, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said it best, “In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first one, the other two will kill you.” A person’s dishonesty will eventually catch up to them. It may not be today, and it may not be for many years, but you can rest assured that at some point there will always be a reckoning.’ (Forbes, 11/28/2012)

Coming back to the question; if integrity is about adhering to an ethical and moral code, how do many of us actually prescribe to it?

From the lowest level to the highest, corruption, lack of moral and ethical values seems to have replaced integrity. Of course, this is not true of everyone but in general terms seem to be true. Take a look around you. You will see innumerable examples in your daily lives. Going to grocery shopping – each shopkeeper selling vegetables will have a different rate for the same produce, often swinging wildly from Rs15/- a kilo to Rs45/-. Everyone tries to convince ‘Baji’ that the difference of price owes to a better quality of goods he alone is selling. How many times, those working have sent false excuses for not showing up for work? How many times, with unwanted guests turning up at our doorstep have been sent away with a false message sent through the servant that, ‘Sahib is not well and resting’ or the like – often in full hearing of giggling and amused offspring? How often do we grease the palms of people in different departments to get the work done; yes often for legitimate work too – because otherwise it will not be done? The list is endless and I can go on and on. But I guess you get the picture.

From the lowest level to the highest, corruption, lack of moral and ethical values seems to have replaced integrity. Of course, this is not true of everyone but in general terms seem to be true.

Does the ability to observe ethical and moral code and have integrity related in any way to observing laws? I think it does. Law is, by and large, a lot of common sense aimed to look after and preserve the rights of individuals within the society, supporting the ‘good conduct’ and opposing the ‘bad conduct.’ Organizations dealing their consumers and markets with integrity win their trust. Dan Akerson, chairman and chief executive officer of General Motors, in his ‘Leadership Message’ to the company’s employees in 2011 says, ‘Acting with integrity is something we must live every day at GM, and the current business environment makes it more important than ever. It means honest and accurate reporting of our performance. It means careful attention to our internal controls and policies. It means understanding and complying with our legal responsibilities. And, it means competing by the rules and making sure our actions match our words.’ In other words respecting the law in countries it is operating and respecting the law/policies to be followed within the organization.’

The constitution of Pakistan in Article 63 laying out disqualifications of a member of parliament states that a person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen if ‘he has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for propagating any opinion, or acting in any manner prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan, or the sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan, or morality, or the maintenance of public order, or the integrity or independence of the judiciary of Pakistan, or which defames or brings into ridicule the judiciary or the armed forces of Pakistan, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release.’ Yet another clause of Article 63 states the person may not be chosen if he has been, on conviction for any offence involving moral turpitude and sentenced for a period of two years unless five years have passed since ending of serving of the said sentence. Black’s Law Dictionary (1891-1991 Pg 1008) defines moral turpitude as, ‘The act of baseness, vileness, or the depravity in private and social duties which man owns to his fellow men, or to the society in general contrary to accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man.’

Things are not isolated. They are intertwined, overlapping and encircling one another. Laws are but an endorsement of supporting the good acts within the moral code of behaviour. The question then arises: Why do wrong acts go unpunished? Why are certain people perceived to be above the law while the same law deals harshly for the same crime with others?

This by no long shot means to imply a wrong becomes a right by virtue of this. What it does mean is, with a lack of respect for law, with a lack of respect for following a moral and ethical code of conduct and with a system in which each clog serves itself and its own, ignoring the ‘social duties which man owns to his fellow men, or to the society in general contrary to accepted and customary rule of right,’ the level of integrity has been allowed to slip and go unchecked.

It is here the role of strong leadership comes in play. A strong leader must support and implement laws, stand head and shoulders above corruption and be seen to be a man (or woman) of unimpeachable integrity. USIAD states on its SITE, ‘Fragile states are also characterized by weak policies, institutions, and governance.’ This will inevitably negatively impact different areas of lives of the common man creating anger and frustration. It will lead to more flaunting of laws at all levels.

A choice has to be made between good conduct and bad conduct.

Cross post from: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/04/28/comment/death-of-integrity/

The Pakistan Coup d’Etat of 1958: Part I

Naveed Yajammal

A Pakpotpourri Exclusive

Naveed PicOne does not find much written on this aspect, but this much is evident that the Gang which took over from within the old Gang hierarchy-did so for personal survival instincts and not for any nationalistic motivation or such like  a noble cause.  Should one read the ‘British Papers’ declassified  & published by Oxford Press, covering unfortunately only the selective period as compiled by  Roedad Khan[[retired former  senior-civil servant]who for reasons best known to him chose selected demi-official letters; from this treasure trove of hidden knowledge. Even than one can get the drift of the gist of the manipulations which led to final exile of Iskandar Mirza & Nahid Mirza from the power corridors. Most of this information which will be highlighted in the parts of this article is that, which Sir Alexander Symons’s H.C.at Karachi sent to the Whitehall, as one reads one finds that Alexander Symons had full confidence of both Iskander and Ayub, an art by itself or that of a seasoned diplomat, and perhaps it was because both were products of Sandhurst and trained or indoctrinated to a system created by the British. So one finds the Whitehall at ease with them. As one can glean if not from before but definitely from 1947 onward Iskander Mirza and Ayub Khan were soul mates.

Each one covered the other-both were master manipulators, The only third person who remains in background  & yet plays his role is  the chief justice Mohammad Munir. He gave legitimacy to the Byzantine intriguers reborn. Ghulam Mohammad as Governor-General outwardly a strong man remained the front man after the assassination of Liaqat Ali Khan. The puppet masters were both Iskander and Ayub. Both  are seen moving in the directions as given to them by their mentors, as without their tact approval they did not move-as will be explained subsequently in this article.

One fails to find any logical cogent grounds for the coup d’état of 1958, there were no imminent National crisis which had asked for such a drastic action. The later claim by Ayub khan’s junta that the coup d’état was a logical conclusion, as the country was on brink of disintegration is false and utter rubbish, and has no factual basis, other than a  rhetoric. Ayub and Iskander became a lethal team, and had not Iskander Mirza taken Ayub under his tutelage, Ayub would never have become what he became.

As is evident by these dispatches  referred above, if read closely, It was always Iskander a shrewd man and not a plaything in the hands of the Army. It was Ayub who had always sought cover behind Iskander Mirza. Do keep in mind that it was Iskander Mirza and Not Ayub who had abrogated the Constitution on the night 7/8 Oct 1958 earlier, in the phase one of the later 1958 coup d’état, which came 20 days hence on night 27/28 Oct 1958.It was Iskander Mirza who had nominated Ayub as the new designate Commander in Chief after the Death of Maj. Gen Iftikhar Ali and Brig Sher khan in the air crash.

This meteoric rise of an unknown Officer with no war laurels to support nor any worthwhile achievements, to show was indeed hand-picked, & in almost 5 years from a Major he arose to become a full General-[1945-1950].As per the Press Communiqué issued by the Defense Ministry under Iskander Mirza on 06 Sept.1950, which announced the selection of by the Governor-General. Kh. Nazimuddin of Maj. Gen Ayub Khan as the First Pakistani C in C to replace General Sir Douglas Gracie on his retirement.

The British held Iskander Mirza in high esteem till his end, as is evident by the courtesies extended to him by the British Government, these contrast very sharply with the Shabby treatment shown to Iskander Mirza by Ayub Khan who was in reality was, his created protégé.

But like it is said, ‘There are No permanent friends. Only permanent interests”.

And it is ironic that London and its Whitehall was every ready to do business as usual with Ayub Khan, after Iskander Mirza was exiled, later when the time came & the cycle took its full turn, after 25 March 1969,a tactful oral message was sent to Ayub Khan in the aftermath, by the British Govt, but it was business as usual with Yahya Khan. Here it maybe pertinent to remind the reader that Ayub by handing the power to Yahya khan had violated his own 1962 constitution, the power should have been transferred to Civil & not Military.

Soon after in Jan 1951 when Ayub Khan took over the Command of the Army, in a month, the Rawalpindi Conspiracy case was detected. Both Iskander and Ayub were tasked to interrogate the informer and so followed by a witch hunt, Army came under the yoke of both these two; Police under Qurban ali Khan the I G of Punjab was given a full mandate to cover the whole country and locate any one they found needed. The CID Punjab with Maj Gen Hayauddin as the chief liaison officer from the Army having his own axe to grind did the needful, to remove from the Army unwanted elements or subdue others. Yes men were encouraged later to rise and strong men retired. The precedence set by Ayub Khan created the great divide within the Army of the Uniformed Babus’ who rose to higher ranks and the Field Officers who fought wars, but were sent home later. In late 1952,Iskander Mirza led a military delegation to Turkey, Ayub was part of the entourage here as per pre-arranged plans both jointly met the American Under-Secretary for Defense. Finding Americans receptive Iskander Mirza sent Ayub khan to USA. This followed a return fact finding visit by a U.S. mission. Ayub Khan cunningly was developing his own personal relations with the Americans, as subsequent events speak by themselves.

In April 1954,general elections were held in East Pakistan, the Muslim League was totally routed and riots erupted all over the country. Admanjee Jute Mills at Naranganj under the bloodsucking new elite of industrialists with very  high level of cheap labor neglected and treated as slaves became the center of resistance,500 men alone in this jute mill died in the ensuing riots, Prime minister Mohammad Ali Bogra appointed Iskander Mirza as the new Governor of East Pakistan. Iskander Mirza it must be borne in mind was tethnically  a Bengali and spoke Bengal so he quickly got the situation under control, the centers of trouble were found to be University of Dacca, Colleges at Sylhet & Rajshahi.  Both the colleges were reformed & the Dacca University moved to a new campus 25 miles away from the main city of Dacca. In Aug 1954′ came heavy cyclonic rains and floods, 15000 square miles of coast land and riversides were flooded. Over 10 million people were left homeless. The Army & Air force moved in, as did American Agencies on the behest of Iskander Mirza move in and shortly the issues were handled-this gave huge impetus to the prestige of Iskander Mirza.

In West Pakistan the Governor General Ghulam Mohammad and the Prime Minister were on each other’s throats. On 21 Sept 1954, while Ghulam Mohammad was on the his usual northern tour a Legislative Coup took place in the Constituent Assembly which was aimed at rendering The Governor General powerless, by virtue of this new amendment the Governor General could only Act on the advice of the Prime Minister. Glulam Mohammad rushed back and started his own power politics in cahoots with Ayub Khan’s support.

Iskander Mirza’s son quotes this in his book,’From Plassey to Pakistan, ‘That earlier Ayub Khan had made his intentions known to John K.Emmerson the chargé d’affaires U.S Embassy Karachi, while the Ambassador Hildreth was away in USA for his daughter’ s wedding, and quotes a de-classified Top Secret Telegram no.474 dated Oct 06 1954.addressed to  the U.S Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, ”In conversation General Ayub today with General Sexton only other person present. Ayub Khan said he did not like present political situation …….Ayub said, If some action was necessary ‘hope you [the U.S] will understand…He reiterated ‘something would be done.”No mistake he meant Military would take over if necessary. Ayub asked that this conversation should not be mentioned to any Pakistani or Britisher.”[Reference to British deemed that in a Common wealth country the Head of State was appointed by the King/Queen of Britain and it was High Treason under the law of what he was thinking to do].

And it is fact that Ayub was under extreme threat himself as the Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Bogra had categorically-stated that No extension would be given to Ayub Khan in Jan 1955.

M.B Khalid was the Principle Assistant of Ghulam Mohammad since 23 Aug 1952 and remained in this slot for the next 16 years till 1968,having served Under Iskander Mirza and Ayub Khan as well, he published his autobiography in 1988,in Urdu, Khalid in his opening chapter gives the narration of the final day of departure from the Governor-General House  by Ghulam Mohammad, by 1955 even after manipulating the law and making Chief Justice uphold his decision of dissolving the Constituent Assembly. Iskander Mirza and Ayub khan felt that he must now leave, as he had served his end, so that day- the route from the Governor General  House till Clifton house of the daughter of Ghulam Mohammad was lined up on both sides by Army contingents and bands to bid him his final farewell. Iskander Mirza was seen hovering all over  & supervising all minor details as he was to take over-as the new Governor General, and as Ghulam Mohammad was made to sit in the limousine, Iskander told  A.B Khalid and an ADC to accompany the outgoing Governor General. While Iskander followed in the limousine. On reaching the House after getting salutes throughout the journey as he entered his daughter’s house; Ghulam Mohammad broke down and started weeping seeing the small room or his eventual fate. Dr.Khan Sahib and Ch. Mohammad Ali who had reached earlier stood at a respectable distance. However a faint victorious smile lingered over the face of Iskander Mirza who was constantly assuring him that all will be well and he would remain loyal to him, and cater for all his needs, and he need not worry, and that his decision of resigning was a good decision and in the ultimate National interests.

In the continuation to all this, he narrates how  this one time powerful man had called in Khawaja Nazimuddin  the Prime minister on an immediate  notice and dismissed him, as soon as he entered his office. As Khawaja left for his car Ghulam Mohammad had watched him go. Meanwhile all his escorts had been withdrawn in a pre-arranged move and the Flag of Pakistan also removed from his official car and only a driver remained to open his car door-and Khawaja Nizamuddin had been the Prime minister just-15 minutes back.

With passage of time and declassifications and new evidence emerging in shape of books, one finds that behind all these manipulations stood Iskander and Ayub till each met his own Fate.

A B Khalid further states that it was in early afternoon of 07 Oct 1958 that the personal servant [Abdul Sattar]of Iskander Mirza came with a urgent message for him and Nusrat- ud-din, as they both shared the same office that Sahibjee says that both of you be back in office by 5 pm as some urgent matters are in offing and need to be typed. Khalid adds that on reaching at 5 pm they both had tea and discussed normal issues and at around 6.30 pm walked in Major Gen. Sher Bhadaur with a brief case which he opened and started giving out drafts of the letters to be typed by both him and Nusrat[who was the Principle secretary of Iskander Mirza]and Gen. Sher Bhadaur sat on a chair not allowing any one to enter or receive any phone calls. To the extent that even carbon papers were supplied from his brief case. Meanwhile outside in the long corridor Iskander Mirza paced to and fro and chain-smoked and it was by 9.30 pm that typing ceased. The first paper was a proclamation’ in which the constitution stood abrogated National and Provincial Assemblies stood dissolved and the Cabinet dismissed. The second paper was the appointment of General Ayub Khan as the Chief Martial Law Administrator. The third paper dealt with personal messages to the vital Head of States. The Fourth was urgent Letters to Ambassadors of vital countries to visit on receipt of these letters immediately the President House [old Gov. Gen House].

After the typing had ceased and letters checked for any errors all three proceeded to the Military Secretary Office i.e Colonel Nawazish Ali. Shortly later walked in Iskander Mirza and checked the letters. Thereafter walked in Gen. Ayub khan accompanied by Gen. Burk and  Gen. Azam Khan all three saluted Iskander Mirza then Ayub khan said; ”Everything is okay’ Sir-Operation is complete”.

They all shook hands and congratulated each other over the flawless operation, on this note walked in five waiters each with Bottles of whiskey/soda and glasses. Iskander Mirza with a smile on his face after a few sips asked Gen. Ayub, ”Ayub, will I be alive tomorrow?”

Ayub Khan walked up to him and put his arm around his back and held him. The dinner was served at 11 pm and thereafter Gen Sher Bhadaur took Nusrat and Khalid away to their offices and shortly after this started a long queue of visitors, including the Ambassadors. Drinks flowed and cigar smoke hung heavy in the air while periodic heavy laughter rang in the hall ways till early morning hours.

[To be continued...]

An Inquiry in Cabballa or En Suf- Jewish Mysticism

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

Naveed PicBy Naveed Tajammal

After the Fall & Destruction of the Jewish state-at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar [ 587BC]and their captivity-The Jew’s dispersed, however they did revolt thrice under the tyrannical rule of the Roman Emperors-all the revolts ,failed and ended with very heavy loss in utter disasters.  In the period between the captivity and till the first Jewish -Roman-revolt [66-73 AD]not many Learned men of this faith were left-The sole issue which raged in this period between the Jew’s was over the Oral Traditions, the number of these Traditions had increased to an extent that by the start of the First Century AD-the Jewish writers, had started referring them under distinct heads-With it came voluminous commentaries-The Confusion which arose from these numerous commentaries became the source of many schisms within Jewish faith-Rabbi Hillel [d-7 AD] spent a life time confirming the authority of each alleged Tradition- and it was Rabbi Jehuda [Born-135 AD] who spent 40 years making a new Digest of the Oral Law-so emerges the Misha or the First Talmud [200 AD].

The book ‘Misha’-covered or Comprehended all the laws, institutions & rules of life beside the ancient Hebrew scriptures. From the third century AD this book became a sacred book-however it too had defects and did not cover all ‘Ecclesiastical Laws [Synagogue [Jewish temple] & those covering the Jewish clergy] and need was felt on more commentaries-which were completed by Rabbi Jochanam ben Eliezer who wrote the ‘Gemara’ [350-400 AD] this book-or the Jerusalem Gemara-which differed from the later Babylonian Gamara-of Sixth Century AD-The Jewish Religious Schools ‘Yeshiva’ beside teaching the rites & rituals, also taught ecclesiastical precepts of Law-in these very Schools were also taught in the latter period a mystical traditional doctrine-called ‘Cabbala’-The Jews who followed these rites claimed that they had been passed down from Ezra[the scribe] /Musa/Ibrahim and Prophet Adam.

To give antiquity to their beliefs, under these ancient names books like ‘Sepher Happeliah’ ‘The Book of Wonders’ Sepher Hakkaneh,’The Book of Pen’ and Sepher Habbahir. ‘The book of light ‘were quoted-The book ‘s were attributed to Prophet Elias-having been told to Rabbi Elkanah. These books-opened to a true believer [cabbalist]many hidden doctrines- mystical commentaries on Divine Commands and more minute deeper sublime mysteries-

Two Individuals are alleged to have been conspicuous in explaining the Cabbalistic  philosophy-Rabbi Akibha [author of  the book,'Jezirah'] & Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai- [author of the book ''Sohar/Zohar']-Rabbi Akibha had his  own Jewish religious school [Yeshiva] at Lydda or Diosopolis-The Jews of Palestine in those times said that ,’God had revealed to Akibha’,what he had concealed from Moses’’. So a sacred sanctity was given to him-it was in his times that a imposter arose-called ‘Bar Cochbas’ who claimed himself to be a ‘Messiah’ and promised the Jews that he would free them from the Roman Yoke-Rabbi Akibha espoused his cause-and Jews from all over flocked under the banner of Bar Cochbas’.After a few success the better organized Roman Army had the Jew’s on the run-finally they took refuge in the Fort of Bather-situated on a strategic valley ridge overlooking the Jerusalem-Bet Guerin Road-The Roman siege lasted  Three and Half Years-In the end all were taken prisoners and put to sword-However Rabbi Akibha and his son were flayed alive-

The alleged author of ‘Sohar or Zohar [Brightness] -Simeon ben jochai -was also a disciple of Rabbi Akibha however he fled before-to a cave and lived in it throughout these times-according to Jewish historians he received ‘revelations’ in the Cave and later Simeon, delivered the same verbatim to his Disciples-and so came the book-Zohar.

This book according to Cabbalist contains a summary of the Cabbalistic Philosophy-expressed in obscure hieroglyphics & allegories. What the best part is that-No Jewish writer has made any mention of this book prior to the 13th Century AD. This facet will be discussed later-however authenticity and date of compilation of ‘Zohar’ aside- but the doctrine & method explained in the book  bear a evident mark of antiquity that-too debatable as to how far back-but it is evident that it is in a way a revival of old Egyptian and Buddhist, rite and ritual based doctrine, which does ingress in the other two religions -Christianity and Islam in their later periods- One rationalistic reason why very little reference is found in the actual mainstream Jewish writings of this doctrine can be, that, as this was based on mysteries and sacred numbers- ‘Temurah’,like the  Islamic-’Abjad’ . The Cabbalistic -Temurah comes in three different versions-[i] Atbash-replaces the first letter of Hebrew alphabet with the last and each letter has a numeric value-[ii] Argad-replaces each letter with the preceding letter-[iii] Albam-First letter is replaced by the 12th letter, and the second letter by the 13th and so on-  Other methods used like Temurah-are Gematria-and-Notarikun. The objective being to mystify and mislead the public at large.

Reverting back to the point discussed above as to why no reference is found in the Jewish texts earlier-on the subject of Cabala can be-that, as these mysteries and meanings differed from the doctrine of the Jewish religion preached from the ‘Pulpit’ and was confined to a selected entrusted few-who were initiated under a solemn oath of secrecy.

The result was only a few persons would venture to commit these things in writings because of the fear of being declared as heretics. And those few books written were concealed from public inspection, In any case they had been written in a cryptic code-only those who knew it could decipher it. The majority of Jews were always involved in their own internal wars over the Interpretation of Torah-or the Oral laws of  Prophet Moses-

It was only in the emergence of the Islamic rule that we see a revival of  the Jewish thought ,as the Muslim rulers became patrons of philosophy . In the 10th century AD, Jewish schools of teaching again started to flourish in Sora & Pumbeditha-[Iraq regions] Rabbi Saadias Gaon-a native of Egypt in 927 AD took over Sora-and wrote the book ‘The philosophers stone’-which is cabbalistic ,he also wrote-’A compendium of Jewish Philosophy-likewise many other schools opened up under different Rabbi’s-Later they were found with passage of time polluting the Islamic thinking by providing various interpretations, in line with their own cabbalistic rite and rituals-so started their persecution -and they fled to Spain-where we find that by 12 century AD-Talmud being translated in Arabic-Cordoba in Andalusia next became their center. In crux two methods remained part of the teachings amongst the Jews-’Exoteric, or that of Public and the other-’Esoteric’ the hidden as in the cabbala- The exoteric was taught openly in all Jewish schools, and was part of all public debates-but, the esoteric which dealt with mysteries of divine nature [cabbala] was only taught or talked within a confined circle under strict rules in the manner of old Pythagorean or old Egyptian rites.

It were the ‘Maimonides’ [The followers of Moses ben Maimon [1131-1201 AD] of Cordoba Spain who reduced the articles of Jewish faith to 13 articles. Cabbala from the root word ‘ Cabbal’ means to receive-therefore is a term given to system of Theosophy [which means-those forms of philosophic & religious thought which claim special insight into divine nature and its constitute moments or processes-The histories of all great religions and philosophic movements show them as developments of an evolutionary process, arriving at their accepted dogma's through long periods of contention between numerous tendencies & cross currents, resulting in some cases in a compromise, added with a little confusion-so is the story of theosophy as well-but, believer will believe in anything such is human faith-based on the human mind.

The Cardinal Doctrine of Cabbala embrace the nature of the Deity, the Divine emanations or Sephiroth; the cosmogony ,the creation of angles and man, their destiny and the import of the revealed law-According to this esoteric doctrine, God,who is boundless and above everything even above being and thinking, is called 'En Suf'-He is the space of universe containing ,but, the universe is not his space-without getting in the doctrine of the Sephiroth-and its Ten-aspects. According to 'Zohar' the universe consists of four different worlds-each of which forms a separate Sephiric system of a decade of emanations.

In crux cabbala has been condemned and nowhere more strongly than among the Jews themselves-Jewish Orthodoxy found itself attacked by the more revolutionary aspects of mysticism and its tendencies to alter established customs-The Jewish clergy denied the possibility of anything unattainable by reason, the spirit of cabbala held that the Deity could be realized, and it sought to bridge the Gulf.

The most amazing aspect of all was that.  Among best-known non-Jewish exponents of the cabbala was ,the Italian Count- Pico di Mirandola [1463-1494]-who had placarded nine hundred theses of Cabballa. In Rome, and had stated to defend each one of them in presence of all famous European scholars, and had agreed to pay for their travelling expenses-his maxim was ‘No Science yields greater proof of the divinity of Christ than magic and the ‘cabbala. ‘Count Mirandola had so convinced Pope Sixtus of the paramount importance of the Cabbalas an auxiliary to Christianity that his holiness exerted himself to have the cabbalistic writings translated into Latin for use of Divinity students. With equal zeal, did Johann Reuchlin [1455-1522] exercise a magical influence on Pope Leo x, and the early reformers too were captured by the charms of cabbala. Thus cabbala linked the old scholasticism-with the new independent  inquires in learning and philosophy after the Renaissance-

Now we come to the critique on Cabballa;

1] The ‘Sipher Yesirah’,or ‘book of creation ascribed to prophet Ibrahim and to the Rabbi Aqiba its essential elements maybe of 3rd or 4th century AD but not beyond 9th century AD.

2] The ‘Bahir’ or Brilliant’ ascribed to Nehunyah[ 1st century AD]  is now confirmed to have been written  by the teacher of Nahmanides  i.e Ezra or Azreil [1160-1238 AD].

3] The ‘Zohar’, ‘or ‘Shinning’ is a commentary on Pentateuch- [five books of Prophet Musa-]and divided in 52-lessons.It begins with, the exposition, ‘let there be light’ and includes 11 dissertations [1] Additions and supplements [2] Mansion & Abodes, giving minute details of structures in paradise and hell.[3] The Mysteries of Pentateuch-[4] The Hidden interpretations-’deducing esoteric doctrine from the narratives in the pentateuch.[5] The faithful Shepherd-this book is ascribed to Prophet Ilyas and Rabbi-Simon ben Yohai.[6] The Secret of secrets’-which is  a detailed-treatise on human Physiognomy and Psychology.[7] The Aged-A discussion between Prophet Ilyas and Simon on the doctrine of transmigration.[8] The book of secrets ‘discourse on cosmogony and demonology-[9] The Great Assembly-of the disciples.[10] The young man-discourses by young men of superhuman origin and on mysteries of ablutions [11] The small assembly-a discourse by Simon to Six surviving disciples.

Conclusion-

The book Zohar-is portrayed by the Cabbalist to have been written by Simon ben Yohai in the aftermath of the revolt of Bar Cochbha and flaying alive of Rabbi Akibha by the Romans- 137 AD and that it was discovered in a Cavern in Galilee where it had been hidden for a thousand years-but reality is different-it seems to be a compilation of 13th Century AD-on the following Grounds ;

[a] The ‘Zohar’ itself praises most fulsomely Rabbi-Simon, its reputed author and exalts him above prophet Moses.

[b] The book mystically explains the Hebrew vowel points which, it did not have till the Jewish grammarians did so-in 570 AD.

[c] The compiler borrows two verses from celebrated hymn called ‘The Royal Diadem’, written by Ibn Gabirol who was born in 1021AD.

[d] It mentions the capture of Jerusalem by the crusaders and the re-taking of the holy city by the Muslims.

[e] It speaks of a comet which appeared at Rome on 15th July 1264.under Pontificate of Urban iv.

[f]  By a slip the Zohar’ assigns a reason why its contents were not revealed before-5060-5066 A.M i.e 1300-1306 AD.

[g] The doctrine of En Suf and Siphiroth was Not known before 13th century AD.

[h] The very existence of Zohar was unknown prior to 13th century.

[j] Hence it is has been discovered that it was a Moses de Leon[died-1305 AD] who had first circulated the idea of Zohar and sold the book after its publication-

Sources of this article for any further study are;

-The History of Philosophy by Johann J.Brucker translation by William Enfield, London 1791   Vol. I & Vol. II.

-The Encyclopedia Britannica 9th edition Vol. xii [1875-1889]

-Chambers Encyclopedia Vol ii.1895.

-The Encyclopedia Britannica 11th Edition Vol. xv.[1911]

Whither rule of law?

Yasmeen Aftab Ali

ArticleYAALegally, the rule of law requires, “the government to exercise its authority under the law. This requirement is sometimes explained with the phrase “no one is above the law.” The rule of law requires the government to exercise its power in accordance with well-established and clearly written rules, regulations, and legal principles. “It may be specifically defined as, “A legal principle of general application, sanctioned by the recognition of authorities, and usually expressed in the form of a maxim or logical proposition. Called a ‘rule’ because in doubtful or unforeseen circumstances is a guide or norm for their decision. The rule of law sometimes called the supremacy of law provides that decisions should be made by the application of known principles or laws, without the intervention of discretion in their application.” (Black’s Law Dictionary Pg 1332: 1891-1991)

Pakistan is facing its greatest challenge in face of growing domestic insecurity. Militancy and terrorism has mushroomed. This in turn is having a negative cascading impact on the economy. The lives of citizens of Pakistan are no longer secure. The culprits are hardly, if ever nabbed. Rule of law is sacrificed at the altar of appeasement, failure to formulate cogent policies or simple inefficiency.  Democratic nations ensure the rule of law. It is the states that hold democracy dear that must implement it. Lip service to democratic norms while ignoring the on ground implementation of rule of law simply cannot continue indefinitely.

In a country where provision of electricity is becoming a luxury; theft of the same has become an accepted practice. Scams by the dozen are unearthed and lost in folds of time. No one knows, in many cases, what became (if at all) of those party to a crime.

If there has to be a rule of law; the laws must be clearly defined and the implementation must be ensured. Having legislation alone is simply not enough. The people at helm of the organizations that determine implementation must not be political appointees. Merit and relevancy to area of work must be ensured.  Rule of Law presupposes the existence of certain requisites, in absence of which a claim to existence of rule of law becomes a sham.

First; laws must be clear and unambiguous. There must be awareness of the existing laws with the masses. Unfortunately, Pakistan has a low literacy rate therefore not many are aware of existing laws and the rights that accrue to them under given situations.  Illiteracy also leads to acts that are in conflict with the laws of the land. For example in 2012, on orders of the Supreme Court, a fact-finding mission was sent to Kohistan. It was alleged that five women were killed on orders of Jirga ‘for the ‘crime’ of singing and dancing at a wedding in the alleged company of men.’ (Published June 7, 2012) An interesting point is raised by SIHRG; a group has an interest in all areas of South Asia, “The Federal Sharia Court in particular effectively creates a parallel Islamic jurisdiction. It has the power to review laws for their compatibility with Islam. It is also a quasi-legislative body: it can pass judgments requiring Parliament to make changes to the law and if Parliament fails to do so within a given period, the FSC’s judgment acquires the force of law.”(Title: Rule of Law in Pakistan)

Second; law must apply to all equally. No one must be seen to be above the law. Not only this does not happen on ground as the very rich and powerful may be awarded leniency which the under-privileged may not; gender bias also exists which makes the  equal application of law a dream. According to a paper by Justice (R) Fakhrunisa Khokhar, “The rule of law must be applied equally to all persons so as to ensure that all individuals enjoy equal rights irrespective of race, color, creed or sex. Justice means equality of all persons in their legal and human rights.”  Article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 also safeguards the right;

25        Equality of citizens.

(1)       All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.

(2)      There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex.

(3)      Nothing in this Article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the protection of women and children.

Third, the fundamental rights of the citizens of Pakistan must be protected at all cost. Covering many aspects it is composed of 20 Articles from 8 to 28. If they are not and there is lack of justice or delayed justice, the right to profess religion and to manage religious institutions in curtailed, there is no safeguard of property, if there is lack of right to education, if there is discrimination in respect of access to public places so on and so forth there will be hatred between different religions and different sects within a religion leading to unlawful acts like open clashes, murders and kidnappings.  By citizens it is meant every individual holding a Pakistani citizenship. It precludes religious affiliations.

Fourth; there must be accountability at the public service level. All individuals who hold a public chair must be accountable. Here Article 184(3) in which the Supreme exercises suo moto powers in matters of public importance comes into play. One definition of suo moto says, “In law, sua sponte or suo motu describes an act of authority taken without formal prompting from another party. The term is usually applied to actions by a judge taken without a prior motion or request from the parties.” The word literally means “on its own motion.” If ministers and other highly placed public officials are deemed to be above the law-the law shall become a farce.

Fifth, every citizen must be awarded justice for any grievance swiftly and without exorbitant cost involved. Citizens must know that they have a legal recourse to a grievance. For this it is important that justice must not only be done but also seen to be done. In a leading benchmark case R v Sussex Justices [1924] the famous principle of Jurisprudence was laid down, ‘Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.”

Pakistan has become a hotbed for sectarianism, militant outfits and extremism in pockets. These pockets are a threat to the peace loving citizens of Pakistan. From Benazir Bhutto to Salman Taseer; the targeting has now spread to anchorpersons.

Dale Carpenter an American legal commentator in Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas says, “If citizens cannot trust that laws will be enforced in an evenhanded and honest fashion, they cannot be said to live under the rule of law. Instead, they live under the rule of men corrupted by the law.”

The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan. Her email is: yasmeenali62@gmail.com and tweets at @yasmeen_9

This is a cross post from Pakistan Today of 22nd April 2014

 

 

 

 

Eluding Peace

ArticleYAAPeace is a state desired not only on a personal level but also on national level and in relationships between nations. Yet it continues to elude at all levels. On a very general level it may be defined as, ‘freedom from disturbance; tranquility.’ Yet, how many of us, at an individual level have ‘complete’ peace? Not many, is my bet. Each one of us has those gray areas in our lives that perturb us. Relationships can be marred by various differences.

Then there is the national peace we hanker after, especially in today’s Pakistan. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as, a) ‘a state in which there is no war or fighting b) an agreement to end a war and c) a period of time when there is no war or fighting. In a country fraught with differences that have reached a boiling point, any difference to approach is dealt with extra-judiciously. A country with citizens and those residing within (they may not be citizens), armed with the latest state-of-the-art weapons with little or no accountability, taking law in their hands settle scores. The culprits are either not nabbed or go unpunished. The writ of the state has been negatively affected as a result.  Root causes of lack of peace, leading to terrorism are many like injustice, increasing levels of social gap, economic disparity with the rich accumulating more and more wealth and the poor falling to sustenance level or below, lack of equal opportunities to better one’s social standing, rampant corruption that has seeped into every level of the society, increasing radicalism resulting from politicizing religion etc. Religious conflicts have increased over time, deepening rather than lessening. Unfortunately, since 2001, religious conflicts owing to armed factions has become a huge security threat to the nation; in particular its innocent citizens. A difficult-to-manage border situation with Afghanistan does not help.

Unfortunately, various governments that have come and gone have not really processed through the issues to move towards a logical solution. A short term and long term plan has been consistently missing, marrying a political and social approach towards addressing the issues at base level. If at all, there has been an effort to address an issue, at best it has been at a superficial level. A friend argued this is so because governments have been dismissed repeatedly, take-overs by the Army been a regular feature of Pakistan’s checkered past. I respectfully disagree. Though the fact so stated, cannot be denied, it is also a fact that the civilian governments formed to rule have failed to develop a blueprint to the effect, what to speak of taking the first step towards any implementation that even came close to addressing the issues briefly touched upon.

The challenge that faces the Pakistan government is to reorient the people of Pakistan ideologically. This is a more uphill task than original orientation. It requires more focused, more determined approach towards clearing up of the fog enveloping the society. There is, in many pockets, a genuine confusion. This confusion is often channelized by vested interest groups into acts of hate having a negative cascading effect on the society. Arshi Saleem Hashmi, Senior Research Analyst, Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad in his research paper published way back in 2009 states, ‘The real clash is not between Islam and the west, as projected, but between the orthodox and the moderates. The key question is how far the new generation will be different from the one lost to orthodoxy and militancy. Pakistan’s inability to control radicalization limits its capacity to engage in a sustained struggle to control extremism and terrorism and revive the pluralist and tolerant spirit of Pakistan’. He just about hit the nail on the head here. He suggests, ‘Pakistan needs to emphasize the synthesis of culture and religion rather than be influenced by “Arabization” to prove its true Islamic credentials’. I could not agree more. In my earlier articles I have always promoted support to all cultures, religions, sects within under the umbrella of Pakistan. Appreciation of the differences that enriches the society.  Former President FW De Klerk to the Rotary Reunion Conference Cape Town, on 04 February 2011 rightly said, “The main threat to peace during the 21st century will come from the inability of states to manage relationships between ethnic, cultural and religious communities.”

Then there is peace sought at international level. J. Kirk Boyd; a lawyer and professor at the University of California in his article on peace (excerpted from 2048: Humanity’s Agreement to Live Together; on May 11, 2010) writes, “Religious diversity also lies at the root of some of the ongoing conflicts in the world. Ongoing tensions in India have their roots in the unresolved conflict between Moslems and Hindus in Kashmir and elsewhere in the sub-continent. Differences between Hindus, Moslems and Sikhs in India; and Moslems and Christians in Nigeria and Sudan all create volatile situations that can explode into violence and terrorism at almost any time…. The age of the single culture, single language state is over. Two thirds of the world’s 200 countries have minorities comprising more than 10% of their populations. Cultural and ethnic minorities now comprise more than 900 million people throughout the world – one in seven of the human population… Everywhere populations are becoming more multicultural. Throughout the world people are on the move, legally or illegally, across borders, across continents and across oceans.”

The problem surfaces when one or more nations become more equal than equal. They take over the moral responsibility of making a determination as to who is right and who is wrong. Not stopping at that, they then launch upon a course of action to punish the ‘wrong doer’. This responsibility is left best to the relevant world forums without being subjected to external influences. Sometimes, one or more religious, ethnic groups overshadow others marginalizing space for their freedom. This too leads to chaos.

In a world riddled with conflict, there must be an effort to move towards a harmonious one. Peace however, cannot be imposed by pressure, threats and bullying. This has to be achieved with patience, setting of specific time related goals, addressing issues at grassroots level.  Thor Halvorssen, President of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation and founder and CEO of the Oslo Freedom Forum in his article writes, “Meaningful peace is never based on coercion between nations. It is based on open international communication, and problem-solving through non-violent channels. Such a network can only exist when its individual pieces are free.” (Forbes Magazine 12/09/2011) Nations must stop viewing issues through a narrow prism with self-interest first.  One country cannot be allowed to get away with a wrong as the world criticizes another for the same. He further shares, “If we are to achieve meaningful peace, the foreign policy of free governments and the cultural export of free societies must: help build civil society, establish rule of law, secure individual freedoms, spark economic development, separate religion and government, secure freedom of thought and belief, and expose human rights violations.” Agreed with Thor!

Nations world over must decide; how long will peace elude them?

The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan. Her email is: yasmeenali62@gmail.com and tweets at @yasmeen_9

This is a cross post from Pakistan Today published 15 April 2014.

Afghanistan elections and Pakistan

ArticleYAAThe question deals less with which candidate wins the presidential race and more with the legitimacy and acceptance of the election results by the multiethnic population of Afghanistan. The Afghan election system follows that of the French. There are a total of 11 candidates in the run and it is not possible for any one of these aspirants to get more than 50 per cent of total votes. This will mean the two candidates getting the highest votes will be pitted against each other in the second round. The process of declaring an ultimate winner can take a few months if one takes into consideration the disputes erupting as a result of ballot complaints. The second round of two leading contestants will take minimum six weeks from the date of the first, or even more.

The question that is important here is whether or not the Uzbek, Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Nuristani, Pamiri, Aimak and others will accept the result or will Afghanistan descend into civil war. The latter is most likely. The apparent stronger candidate Abdullah Abdullah, previously Karzai’s foreign minister, resigned and in 2009 had emerged as a serious contender to the Afghan President post. He garnered enough votes to make it to the second round. However, he does not command Pashtun support in Afghanistan. Hence, any opposing contender of his, assuming there is a second round will walk away with the Pashtun votes for the simple reason that Abdullah will not be acceptable to them.

The Afghan National Security Forces are not strong enough to counter a full blown insurgency. Although in most areas, the local forces are responsible for maintaining law and order, the international forces do patrol to support them in certain areas upon request. Let us not forget a doggedly continuing insurgency continues in the eastern and southern part of Afghanistan as I write.

Afghanistan is going to face shortage of investment, security back-up support, collapse on the front of transportation and reconstruction upon the international forces leaving its land. There will be a dire need to focus on long term sustainable programmes based on strengthening the economy. This can only follow a peaceful transition of power, or at least near peaceful.

Afghanistan will no longer be recipient of heavy international aid to restructure its economy. It needs to develop production sectors, looking for markets to sell their wares inside and outside Afghanistan. But, as Pakistan’s example teaches us, economic stability relies on secure environment. Killings, insurgency and related security instability can effectively make the capital take flight outside the borders.

The Afghan ground will be fertile for Taliban with the international forces out of the picture. Russia, Iran and India will support the anti-Taliban forces;India’s investment in Afghanistan is a whooping US $2 billion in development aid and has a huge stake there. In 2011 both countries had signed an agreement to the effect that India will train and equip the Afghan Security Forces. Afghanistan’s importance for India is further emphasized by Rupakjyoti Borah and Panditdeendayal in their article. “Afghanistan is important for India’s energy security. Afghanistan is India’s gateway to energy-rich Central Asia – the US$7.6 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline is scheduled to start bringing natural gas from Turkmenistan to India by 2017… India has a big economic stake in Afghanistan. It owns the mining rights to three of the four blocks of the Hajigak iron ore deposits, west of the capital city of Kabul, and has funded the construction of the 218 kilometer Zaranj-Delaram road in Afghanistan, which gives landlocked Afghanistan access to the sea via Iran. India uses the Iranian port of Chabahar to ferry supplies to Afghanistan because Pakistan refuses to give India access overland to Afghanistan.” (Published August 6, 2013)

Iran on the other hand is using media in Afghanistan with an aim to gain stronger influence. “Nearly a third of Afghanistan’s media is backed by Iran, either financially or through providing content, Afghan officials and media groups say. Iran spends $100 million a year in Afghanistan, much of it on the media, civil society projects and religious schools, says Daud Moradian, a former foreign ministry advisor who now teaches at the American University in Kabul.” (Reuters, May 24, 2012)

On the Russian front, Karzai offered unequivocal support to Russia in it annexation of Crimea. Russia is viewed as a natural ally to Afghanistan in the changing geopolitical scenario. Russia has not forgotten Pakistan’s role in supporting USA vis-à-vis Russia in the 1980s. China has supported Pakistan principally, whereas Russia has done the same for India. A tricky situation by any given standard.

Pakistan is in a noose. On the one hand it needs to deal with militant outfits on its soil. There are no two ways to go about it. On the other hand, in the evolving situation next door, with a next to impossible border to manage between the two countries, there is a strong chance of the Afghan soil being used to organize attacks within Pakistan by the militants rather than the other way round. A report by Stratfor states, “Pakistan has hoped a negotiated settlement between the United States and the Afghan Taliban ending the insurgency in Afghanistan would eventually help Islamabad deal with militants on Pakistani side of the border.” (April 15, 2013)

One interesting point the report raises is, “If the Afghan Taliban are not part of a broad-based coalition government in Kabul, Pakistan will face serious difficulties in getting a handle on its own Taliban rebels. This explains why Pakistan has been pushing for a balance of power between the Taliban and anti-Taliban forces.” However, with Taliban not having participated in the 2014 elections, such participation is not possible. Being a militant group and being a politically organized party are two different things altogether.

So what does Pakistan do? It has landed itself in a situation where they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. There is no perceived ally with which Pakistan can associate itself or rely upon to counter this situation. Allying itself with Saudi Arabia in this volatile situation may well lead to more complications for obvious reasons. The argument between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ Taliban will not hold. Let us be clear that the standing between Pakistan and Taliban (earlier called the Mujahideen) is a different and difficult one than when created to counter Russian influence in Afghanistan. Policy making in Pakistan is divided owing to a mix of extreme right, right, moderate and left legislators.

Author Mike Malloy rightly said, “Afghanistan – where empires go to die.”

One sincerely hopes it does not drag down Pakistan with it.

CROSS POST: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/04/07/comment/afghanistan-elections-and-pakistan/

Roadmap of talks with Taliban

Militant outfits must shun terrorism for good

ArticleYAAHere it is: the first talk between the newly formed committee of the government and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan took place a few days ago. The government’s team was headed by Secretary Ports and Shipping Habibullah Khan Khattak. The three members of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan were headed by Maulana Samiul Haq. Some members of TTP Shura were also in attendance. According to a local newspaper report the venue was the house of one Mohammad Jamil, a retired Levies subedar in Bilandkhel area.

The same report states the talks revolved around two points; first, extending the ceasefire between the government and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and second, release of detainees who may technically be deemed as ‘non-combatants’. All this leaving aside, for the time being the ethical question as to whether or not talks should be held with those who have committed crimes against the state.

Let us examine the situation at hand and where it can go from here.

First, the government must have a blueprint of its own objectives and advantages to be extracted from the talks. There is a difference between walking into negotiations with no point-by-point objectives, going with the tide so to speak and going in with clear cut objectives. In the former scenario, the situation is fluid and the government committee may end up appeasing the militants rather than gaining much in return and in the latter situation the government can contain terrorism.

Terrorism by the non-state actors has impacted the society causing great loss to lives having a cascading negative effect on the economy of the country. Pakistan must focus on developing its economy, on restoring sustained power at both domestic and industrial levels among myriad other issues – including terrorism. The causes that provide a fertile breeding ground to terrorism can no longer be brushed under the carpet and must be dealt with a firm hand.

Second, the government committee must bring in a broader picture into the talks if any agreement has to sustain over a period of time. Releasing prisoners and extending ceasefire though can be a start, a beginning at best, but nothing more. This too must be agreed to and acted upon only if certain understanding on broader issues is reached first. Should this not happen, once these short term steps are taken, Pakistan may well be back to square one.

The government must aim first towards a permanent end to terrorism by the militant outfits. Now, if some outfits support the peace talks and adhere to refrain from terrorist activities while others continue with the terrorist activities it not only sabotages the process but also raises the question on the authority the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan committee members’ exercises over other splinter organizations. What must be clearly laid out is that if TTP committee has entered into talks with the government they must squarely accept the responsibility for any deviants and must deal with them with a very strong hand themselves while providing conclusive proof that it was so done, in order to build up a confidence level with the government.

 

Of course, the possibility that peace talks are being used by TTP to gain time till the regional geopolitics is clearer cannot be ignored. In which case, you just need to trash this piece!

 

Can the TTP commit on a permanent basis that these militants will never use the weapons against Pakistan and her innocent people who have been the victims of hate? Can the government convince the militants to lay down their arms? Who then will ‘hold’ these arms? Will they be turned in? Will they be retained by TTP leader(s)? These questions are of paramount importance in practical terms. These also define the long term thought process of the TTP.

Will the government in these talks be looking at complete outfits’ numbers in different areas and developing a programme to induct them into the mainstream? If not, what are these members supposed to do even if a ceasefire on some permanent basis is achieved? What is their future – a standby army, too tempting for vested interests not to use it at some point in time?

The government must also determine in its objective plan, what exactly it plans to give away in exchange for peace on a permanent basis. If the TTP and its affiliates want an agreement to secure peace inside and outside Pakistan, they will demand their pound of flesh. What exactly is that pound of flesh? Can the government afford to deliver? If it can deliver, what guarantee will the government ask for, so that the promise will be kept? This is a loaded question however you may look at it.

Of course, the possibility that peace talks are being used by TTP to gain time till the regional geopolitics is clearer cannot be ignored. In which case you just need to trash this piece!

Coming to the two points discussed in the maiden meeting, the TTP members’ committee has demanded that the government is allegedly holding 400 members of theirs as captive while refusing to release sons of both (former) PM Gilani and (late) governor SalmanTaseer. The government needs to put together a complete list of all (if any) abducted and put it on the table, not just two.

In a more recent development, Chaudhry Nisar has chaired Taliban and government committee meeting. Chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) and head of the Taliban negotiation committee, Maulana Samiul Haq is quoted by a local newspaper, “the agenda for the next round of direct talks with the Taliban will be worked out after the government makes its stance public… The Interior Minister has sought some time,” he told the mediamen.”

In any negotiation, there are minimum two parties involved. Each must give some and take some. No negotiation of any nature can be one-sided. Definition of negotiation is, “to deal or bargain with another or others, as in the preparation of a treaty or contract or in preliminaries to a business deal.” In any given treaty, contract or bargain, it is unreasonable to expect that interests of one party should be completely ignored at the expense of the other party.

Ram Dassa, known spiritual person of USA, said about negotiations, “We’re fascinated by the words – but where we meet is in the silence behind them.”

Tailpiece:

“Investigations into the March 3 Islamabad Judicial Complex attack that killed ten people and the March 21 twin bombings in Peshawar that killed 20 people have concluded that these assaults were ordered by the TTP top brass which were then planned and executed by four Taliban commanders – Qari Mansoor and Mufti Hasan from the Mohmand Agency, Hafiz Daulat from the Orakzai Agency and Abdullah from the Khyber Agency. According to well-informed sources in security agencies, those investigating the three terrorist attacks (claimed by the little known Ahrarul Hind) have been able to collect credible evidence which shows that these assaults had been ordered by none other than the fugitive TTP ameer Mullah Fazlullah in a bid to further erode the authority of the government especially at a time when it was holding talks with the Taliban.” (Published March 28, 2014)

This is a cross post from: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/03/31/comment/roadmap-of-talks-with-taliban/

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 100 other followers