The Faces With & Behind the ‘Imported’ Revolution!

Arif Nizami

The cat is out of the bag, finally!

The bulletproof monk has thanked Allah for deliverance. The maverick cleric Allama Dr Tahirul Qadri addressing his “millions long march” in the heart of the federal capital has declared that the apex court having done half his job by ordering the arrest of the prime minister in the RPPs (rental power plants) case. The rest would be done once he is through with his dharna.
The cat is finally out of the bag. It is not in vain that Qadri has been invoking the military and the higher judiciary to “save democracy”. The Chief Justice of Pakistan has obliged by announcing the arrest of “Raja Rental” and his cohorts involved in the case.
By virtue of the timing of its verdict, the apex court has thrown a spanner in the works. The democratic system already shaky in the face of Qadri’s long march has been further destabilised.
The prime minister’s continuing in office will depend upon the attitude of the higher judiciary and the military. Merely on his own, the demagogue cleric cannot send the government packing.
So far as the military is concerned it is facing a tricky situation with India. Manmohan Singh in retaliation to skirmishes on the LoC (Line of Control) has sent a tough message to Islamabad.
The new visa regime that was supposed to be operative from Tuesday stands suspended. To add insult to injury, the visiting hockey team has been unceremoniously sent back to Pakistan.
Its hands full in dealing with an internal insurgency threatening the state from within the military has now to deal with an increasingly belligerent and sabre rattling Indian Army. The military is also playing a pivotal role in negotiating with the Taliban as a precursor to the end game in Afghanistan.
This is hardly the time for the khakis to overtly dabble in internal war games despite Qadri goading them: “Not only to make policy but also to act.”
Nevertheless the Allama’s nefarious agenda to get the system wrapped up through the courts and the military is now in the open. Efforts to sabotage the carefully nurtured system just a few weeks before general elections – going to be held for the first time under the aegis of a neutral and consensual caretaker government and an independent Election Commission – is indeed sinister. Nawaz Sharif has invited all major opposition parties for parleys at his Riawind residence. Naturally the PML-N supremo reckons that he has the most to lose. He thinks that Zardari has had his innings and now it his turn.
The PML-N rank and file believes that Qadri has been launched out of the blue to thwart Sharif. The game plan is simple – to introduce a long-term caretaker government to clean up the Augean stables in the name of accountability. This could mean disqualifying politicians across the board, including Nawaz Sharif and Zardari, with the blessings of the superior judiciary.
Throwing the two major political parties of the country out of the arena is going to be extremely dangerous. Unrest seen in major cities of Sindh, including Karachi Hyderabad and Sukkur is a precursor of things to come. It is obvious that Zardari painted in a corner, will not hesitate to invoke the “Sindh card”.
Similarly, dislodging a major Punjab based party in the name of accountability will galvanize the opposition parties against a fragile and synthetic caretaker government. Messers Qadri and Imran can call it “Muk Muka” but a two party system buttressed by coalitions of smaller parties is a reality of democracy in Pakistan.
Predictably former dictator Pervez Musharraf has endorsed Qadri’s agenda. He thinks his ‘true democracy’ was the real democracy. From his self-imposed exile he has invoked the military and the judiciary to play their role by sending the present democratic system packing.
It is obvious that those forces that cannot even win a union council election want to grab power through the back door. Notwithstanding the economic woes of the country and tales of corruption of our ruling elite, the mullah, military and the judiciary are no holy cows either.
It is indeed hypocritical of Qadri to invoke Imam Hussain (RA) offering his chest for the first bullet, himself hiding behind bulletproof screens. The FIA is probing the enormous funds he has spent on organizing, publicizing and sustaining his rally. It is ironical that Qadri holding a Canadian passport and rolling in millions of dollars wants to reform the system in favour of the masses – before his next trip back to Canada.

CROSS POST FROM PAKISTAN TODAY 16/1/2013

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Comments

  • pakmade  On January 16, 2013 at 5:12 am

    Its very strange that the people who have been criticising the corrupt system and mafia ruling this country and when some struggle came up against the system many people starting criticising the struggle by criticising Qadri and undermining the people and their demands. They are out there on the road since 13 Mar and taking all the hardships and suffering; not for themselves but for all who are sitting with their families and didn’t join the struggle. God give us strength and courage to go beyound the lip services and typing few lines of critic here and there on our personal preference and we should not take this struggle just an act of entertainment and discussion. We must stop criticising the struggle as long as they are out there and wait until and unless FOG get clear. It say,”when you can’t talk nice then don’t talk at all” and in Punjabi it says “CHANGI GUL NA ANDI HOWA THA MONH MUND RAKNA CHAHIAY”. We must honor those people who have gone out struggling against the system.

  • Ovais Mushtaq  On January 16, 2013 at 5:24 am

    A good article but it still leaves a lot of questions un-answered and lingering uncomfortably. I thought an article by Dr Shirin Mazari was also worth going through. If not already received/ read, it is goes as follows:

    Misgivings about TUQ by Shireen Mazari
    To:

    Dr Tahirul Qadri undoubtedly moved me on December 23, especially with the sea of green and white flags and the passionate resonance of the national anthem. We may be far from where we want to be, or should be, as a nation, but the passion and dream lives on in so many of us. Dr Qadri’s message touched a chord and the instinct was to join up in his caravan for change. After all, this was what had attracted me to the PTI until the “electables” invasion, traditional manoeuvring and takeover. Imran’s commitment to change was not the issue, but the means – of the same “electables” somehow becoming harbingers of this change – did somehow undermine the belief, notwithstanding the passion of the youth!

    So when Dr Qadri in his convincing manner offered yet another path to truly change the democratic political equation in Pakistan, it was difficult not to join in. But something held me back, and I can now identify three different levels of reasoning that made me decide to stay away. The first level was related to the assumptions underlying the march, regardless of the numbers! The idea of having a “people’s assembly” which would make decisions for the nation without itself having been selected by the people smacked of an arrogance that was discomfiting! After all, how could this “people’s assembly” represent the whole gamut of the Pakistani nation without having actually been given this mandate? Similarly, respected scholar though he is, Dr Qadri also has not been given a mandate to head such an assembly and make decisions on behalf of the people of Pakistan!

    At a second and perhaps most crucial level, I feel that, given the chaos and violence Pakistan is already experiencing, the means of bringing change matter. There is absolutely no doubt that the demands for electoral reforms through proper enforcement of the constitution are the need of the hour for Pakistan to rid itself of the corrupt politicians’ coterie ruling us. But the questions that came to mind are: One, why not use the Supreme Court and challenges through the ECP to ensure enforcement of constitutional provisions with regard to electoral candidates? Here Imran Khan’s example stands out in connection with bogus voters’ lists, as well as his pending appeals against pre-poll rigging.

    There is a system that works, if used properly. This usage also allows for strengthening of institutions like the judiciary and the ECP – thereby fortifying the roots of democracy. I feel Imran’s use of petitions to fight electoral corruption not only shows faith in the judiciary, thereby fortifying the institution, but has also borne positive results in the battle for electoral reform – although the war has yet to be won.

    Two, how can one man and his followers decide who is clean or pious? At the end of the day, if we believe in democracy then we must fight the battle against corruption and lawbreakers at the ballot box. Yes, rigging is a plague, as are the traditional political norms, especially in the rural areas; but if enough voices stand up against these evils, I believe things will change. We have never given the democratic system, flawed as it may be, a chance to take root. Too many dictatorial interventions in the name of “reform” have already cost this country a smooth evolutionary developmental process. In fact, this is a major reason why the corrupt, inept traditional “electables” succeed time after time in elections – because they are allowed to embrace political martyrdom instead of being exposed for the criminals that they are.

    Distasteful as it may be, we have to allow the system to continue and hope people will choose new faces, who will in turn bring reform to the electoral system through parliamentary legislation. We need a system of proportional representation; of unhinging the roots of support for corruption in politics such the misnomer “development funds,” and so on. But these changes need to come through letting the electoral system continue, which may make the task more daunting but it is the only legitimate way. Too many non-democratic interventions have already destroyed the fabric of this nation.

    Three, I feel very strongly about the whole issue of dual nationality and had written a letter to the CJ on the issue also. No matter how committed to Pakistan, dual nationality implies dual loyalties, especially in the case of the US naturalisation oath. If one wants to lead a political movement in Pakistan then commitment to this cause requires a renunciation of the foreign nationality. Not everyone agrees on this, but it is a conviction with me.

    At a third level, my misgivings are based on what I tend to call “connecting the dots.” The timing of Dr Qadri’s return; information flowing out from British sources that the UK High Commissioner to Pakistan visited Dr Qadri in Canada two or three times about six months ago; the growing belligerency of drones and Indian troops along the LoC, alongside an unprecedented increase in terrorism, especially in Quetta; the sheer money and organisational structure that suddenly became overt – just too many coincidences in terms of timeline. Some said the “establishment” was behind Dr Qadri, but I am not convinced on that count! However, external powers I suspect have a role, although I have no proof – simply an educated assessment of what is happening within Pakistan and in our region.

    We know the US seeks a favorable dispensation in Islamabad up to 2014 so that its withdrawal from Afghanistan can be smooth and the post-withdrawal scenario to its liking. A long-term friendly caretaker setup would suit them more than an elected government, especially since they are not sure what will happen in the next elections when there is no NRO and no “guarantors”!We also know how the UK played a lead role in the whole NRO game, so the same linkage can be taken as a given again. Banking on someone they recognise as a “liberal religious leader,” who has even sought to justify drones before December 23, they feel will allow them to bring the Pakistani nation on board. These are dangerous and false assumptions but it will not be the first time such miscalculations have been made.

    Too many questions to set the mind at ease over the agenda of Dr Qadri – a man to be respected for his scholarship. But if he is really concerned about the people of Pakistan then a march that would win support from all over the country would be a peace march to Quetta. Now, that would be a march I would join without hesitation. Till then elections and legal challenges to enforce constitutional provisions are the route to achieve change. The means do matter.

  • Baqar  On January 16, 2013 at 5:25 am

    In my opinion, there are multiple number of cats in the bag. So far, only one has appeared. Just wait till the fat lady sings.
    Baqar

  • Ghias uddin Babar  On January 16, 2013 at 5:28 am

    Dear Professor Sahiba,
    I am grateful for sharing this informative and thought provoking article.
    Yes, authors, intellectuals and academia are brain storming to solve this riddle
    of on going very critical and sensitive political scenario in Pakistan particularly in the context of Dr Tahir ul Qadri.
    Views and analysis of Mr Arif Nizami are highly pragmatic and relate to some serious fast changing ground realities both with in Pakistan and in its neighbourhood in Afghanistan alognwith the recent sinister attitude of India.
    Thanking you and sincere regards, babar

  • SHOMU BHATTACHARYA  On January 16, 2013 at 5:29 am

    Tha Quaid-e-Azam always wanted a secular and democratic Pakistan–and that is how it should be–having dharnas-morchas–long marches etc etc is all very fine-but if that does not groove into the political system of parliamentary democracy–then it will lead only to mob rule and chaos–and neither Pakistan and India can afford that. At all times the army must remain apolitical and it must always lead by example–Ayub’s Basic Democracy was no answer although the thought was good–Yahya did keep his promise to have elections but the result it seems were not too palatable for some including the man himself it seems- then came Zia with his Hudood ordinance–but that did not stop the corrupt ones including a few high ranking military officers raking in the moolah–Musharaff did try to curb the radicals and through his NAB catch all the looters–but he too failed when he tried to politically project himself as the great redeemer—Bhutto’s mistake of trying to get his rival Kasuri eliminated by his own created special force and his rigging of the elections made Zia order ‘Operation Fairplay—–the ISI’s hand in getting Nawaz Sharif as PM through ‘Operation Midnight—-was also uncalled for—–and to have had Benazir and her husband Zardari exonerated of all charges of corruption even after the famous Cotecna affair has also now backfired—-I think the people of Pakistan deserve a new set of dedicated, patriotic and honest politicians to guide its destiny and so does India too.

  • Ghani  On January 16, 2013 at 5:31 am

    If I was in place of Gen. Kayani, CHANGE would have been brought.” – Musharraf

    http://express.com.pk/epaper/PoPupwindow.aspx?newsID=1101727358&Issue=NP_LHE&Date=20130116

  • Talib Ruhi  On January 16, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Assalam alaikum,
    Please consider these points:
    1.Already we have had 2 imported PMs. No one objected!! NR Pakistanis are no less patriotic than the residents. Who is the judge??
    2.Most of the assets of the current politicians are in Foreign countries.
    3. Quote” Democracy is the best type of revenge”
    4. TUQ agenda is very clear and appealing.
    5. Current so called democratically elected representatives got elected thru 44% Fake votes.
    6.Most of the writers and tv anchors are mis-representing and misreporting on behest of the political parties who are all feudals. They do not speak for democracy but for self interest which can be anything material…
    7. The timings of SC verdit for the arrest of the PM has nothing to do with TUQ march..the case had already been under trials for a long time. However, it did give very strong boost to the morale of the participants of the long march.
    8. Very naïve arguments by the writer who is obviously writing on someone’s behalf whose interests are being hurt by the long march: These remarks are directed towards the writer of this article:
    A. Quote..” those forces that cannot even win a union council election want to grab power through the back door”..can this person not see the people who are here in hundreds of thousands young and old out in cold. This wrong and corrupt systems of elections needs to be overhauled in which more than 1/3 votes are fake. This is what people want.
    B. Quote..” .” It is ironical that Qadri holding a Canadian passport and rolling in millions of dollars wants to reform the system in favour of the masses”…What about those who had been members on parliament for over 4 years with dual nationalities thru wrong/fake declarations. He can not become the PM or even be elected to parliament unless he gives up his Canadian nationality..So come on, have a heart and conscience and do not try to fool people with your lies and wrong assumptions.
    9. What can you expect from AAZ as the president who had been internationally known as Mr. 10%. The nation has tolerated these leaders for 5 years. The current set up is crying wolf to maintain the status quo…PML-N have been waiting in que for their turn to do the plundering. This was destined to happen if the elections were done as per the existing system thru the suggested system of care taker govt. Hence, the change must take place.
    10. The govt. has grossly mis-handled the situation. If they were sincere they should have negotiated with TUQ right after his Dec 23 speech, named an acceptable care taker govt. announced the date for assemblies dissolution. Quoting constitution at places where it is in your interest only, is unfair…however, constitution is a man-made document not a “Saheefa” that can not be modified or amended in the interest of the people.
    May Allah swt show us Light and guide us to the right path. Amen!

    Regards
    Talib Ruhi

  • Viqar Abidi  On January 16, 2013 at 5:49 am

    The ” Conspiracy ” ! I am Totally for this theory, nothing happens in our country or about us in the World with out a hatched conspiracy. The media is conspiring to prove that TQ is a conspirator TQ is saying that there is a conspiracy to steal our coming election by the ” Muk Mukao” group of politicians. Now, the Supreme Court has also been made a willing partner of conspirators. Could we hear from some one who could just say that we should accept Good bidding even if it comes from a conspirator

  • Muhammad Zafar Chaudry  On January 16, 2013 at 5:53 am

    Of course, I’m with you , we should accept a good bidding even if it comes from a conspirator. However the conspiracy theory has been coined by petty stooges of Machiavellians , like Rahman Malik and Khaira. So say that the Supreme court has become willing partner of conspirators, is criminal act and must be taken to task. Such an ugly rationalization of ground realities is the game of the agents of vested interest and statusquo.
    Msc

  • usman ahmed  On January 16, 2013 at 5:56 am

    just the guesses nothing else. actually this all is happening due to the changing strategic situation in Afghanistan against the wishes of India.

  • Shamim  On January 16, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Everybody is talking about masses and corruption, people felt happy on Supreme courts decision about Prime Minister, unfortunately the common man is not affected. How about implementation of Chief Justice orders on quick dispensation of justice, are our lower courts effective, the civil judges and the Session courts?What about thana culture. Reforms are required there. The old politicians are already being replaced by younger generation who are mostly well read and educated abroad. Time would weed out the corrupt, There is hardly anyone who would point out financial corruption of Gen Zia ul Haq, but see how his son (Ijaz ul Haq) made money during his tenure, Most of his ministers and governors were also involved. Time demands that the masses must get quick justice and they should be able to go to a police station without fear.

  • Ahsan Abbas  On January 16, 2013 at 9:55 am

    We were already under a “Judicial Coup”

    Qadri sb has further strengthened it

    Love

  • Jamil Mukhtar  On January 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    His main difference from the man in London is that he is not a fugitive from law.

  • Zubair  On January 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Ladies and gentlemen
    If the present set is democracy, I pity this nation. No wonder we are going to dogs and every Tom Dick and harry is threatening us—-including the Sardars in the east and our own Muslim “brother” the mouse in the West. Democracy died in this country hen day Bhutto won elections.

  • CNU  On January 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Throwing the two major political parties of the country out of the arena is going to be extremely dangerous. Unrest seen in major cities of Sindh, including Karachi Hyderabad and Sukkur is a precursor of things to come. It is obvious that Zardari painted in a corner, will not hesitate to invoke the “Sindh card”.
    Similarly, dislodging a major Punjab based party in the name of accountability will galvanize the opposition parties against a fragile and synthetic caretaker government.

    Subhan Allah, what a reasoning? He should ask the Parliament to strike Articles 62 and 63 off the constitution. And for how long the country is going to be held hostage by different ‘cards’?
    CNU

  • GRK  On January 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    what ever imported fresh scholar and good orator demands may sound alarming,but in order to save the democracy continuation of PML N and ppp some how does not make any sense to me.grk

  • Dr.Jamil Rizvi  On January 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Madam what-ever you have written and almost all the media-anchors and journalist are of the same opinion ——– the masess are confused —— no good things had been delivered to the people of Pakistan in thew last 65 years when we look at other countries of our age ————— we faced two crucial war with India & which is again provoking on LOC , we lost half the country , our economy has derailed , industries are collapsed the agriculture is hacked , no electricity , no gas /CNG , no proper water supply ——- there is corruption every where , no one is spared (either in parliment , or in boots or otherwise) yes we as a citizen of Pakistan should not trust an imported person who will put us in all sort of further problems and himself fly back —- to from he came . WHAT IS THE SOLVE OF OUR MISERY AND PROBLEMS ==== in my opinion democratic system and election of dedicated representative ——– WHAT DO YOU THINK .

  • S.M.K Durrani  On January 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    The cat had always been out of bag. Everybody knew the netorious activities of this Chief Justice and his Tola, their dirty designs. Time and again people had been writing on his corrupt practices . All his life this Chief Justice had been a dubious & corrupt person. Those who had supported him whole heartedly against Musharraf are hiding their faces today. TQ is nothing but an Topi Drama agent .

  • a m malik  On January 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Dear Madam

    Your article spells out thoughts that have been purging my mind for the past two days. Yes – who and why Qadri has launched himself now? although what he says is appealing – the timings of all this shed some thing other than what is overt. He did met the HC in Canada, and Mr Rahman Malik also claims that he has been meeting some selected people in Dubai?!

    In my opinion Mr Qadri and the tension at the LOC is a clear indicator that there is a connect- possibly on the lines described by you. But perhaps it is local plan or with the conivance of the outside i.e CIA – the theme could be the extension in the stay of the most hated person in the name of Zardari – who I feel insulted to call him my President. The unsavoury opinion of Asma Jahangir is immaturish as she alays sees boots in her shadows.

    Having said that I am not quite sure of ur idea that let the system continue and it may throw some good people. No madam. I do not think so. Not so long as the present feudel class continues as also the industrial feudels or as long as there are no elections within a party with a built in mechanism to weed out the quetionable lots or the lower mentals.

    There is an alternate though. We normally follow US fellows like a slave .Then why not follow their system of governace while staying within the parlimentary system – the darling of the present looters. The system would be that none of the legislators i.e. MNAs and the senators – by law can become ministers. Instead the chief executive -meaning the PM- choses professionals to be cleared by a select committee to run the government. The job of the legislatures is to legistate and that is what they should be doing. Madam it will have two prong effects. The feudels will not stand for eelections for lack of any incentives and the chief executive will not be always under pressure to keep his majority. Trust me this will also eliminate corruption in a big way.

    regs

    am.

  • a m malik  On January 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Dear Madam

    Your article spells out thoughts that have been purging my mind for the past two days. Yes – who and why Qadri has launched himself now? although what he says is appealing – the timings of all this shed some thing other than what is overt. He did met the HC in Canada, and Mr Rahman Malik also claims that he has been meeting some selected people in Dubai?!

    In my opinion Mr Qadri and the tension at the LOC is a clear indicator that there is a connect- possibly on the lines described by you. But perhaps it is local plan or with the conivance of the outside i.e CIA – the theme could be the extension in the stay of the most hated person in the name of Zardari – who I feel insulted to call him my President. The unsavoury opinion of Asma Jahangir is immaturish as she always sees boots in her shadows.

    Having said that I am not quite sure of ur idea that let the system continue and it may throw some good people. No madam. I do not think so. Not so long as the present feudel class continues as also the industrial feudels or as long as there are no elections within a party with a built in mechanism to weed out the quetionable lots or the lower mentals.

    There is an alternate though. We follow US fellows like a slave .Then why not follow their system of governace while staying within the parlimentary system – the darling of the present looters. The system would be that none of the legislators i.e. MNAs and the senators – by law can become ministers. Instead the chief executive meaning the PM choses professionals to be cleared by a select committee to run the government. The job of the legislatures is to legistate and that is what they should be doing. Madam it will have two prong effects. The feudels will not stand for eelections for lack of any incentives and the chief executive will not be always under pressure to keep his majority. Trust me this will also eliminate corruption in a big way.

    regs

    am.

  • Shamim  On January 17, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Dear Madam,
    The Islamabad Long March Declaration of 17 Jan has shown that how Dr Tahir ul Qadri is now an active member of the Govt party with a greater say (The political wing ) generated out of Minhaj- ul- Quran.

  • Shamim  On January 17, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Leaving his representatives with President Zardari Dr Tahir ul Qadri would shortly leave with his family members back to Canada(Toronto), he would do so by the end of this month. Mission accomplished!!!!!

  • a m malik  On January 18, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I have no doubt left that Mr Qadri the meverick is a ploy of Zardari. Rest were all
    gambit tactics

  • a m malik  On January 18, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Regretably Mr Nizami is off the mark. This was not expected of a seasoned and polished journalist who heads an influential news paper. In the agreement-who has gained and who gave in- I am yet deciphering the agreement between Mr Qadri and the ex Prime minister. Now Mr Qadri must first go and convince the Canadians as to the reasons he got his immigration – fear of Talibans? By now most of the Pakistanis have fathomed the Nura Kushti between him and Zardari fellow.

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