Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gen. Musharraf's Economic Policies - 7

Syed Hassan Tanwir Wasti wrote:

What is the difference between MQM and PML-N,ANP all of them are now in provincial politics. First we have to decide who is our national leader. Potentail Islamic country is divided into languages and there is no national leader. PML-N Nawaz Sharif is very popular in Punjab only therefore he deserves to be a represantative of Punjab province only. If Nawaz Sharif is a national leader than I invite him to contest election from Nazimabad Karachi against a common Pakistani. If he wins from this constituency than he will be a national leader.

Dear Wasti Sahab,

President General Parvez Musharraf claims to be the Symbol of Federation and under his instructions Chaudhary Parvez Ilahi and Chaudhary Shujat Hussain played a very dirty game which was detrimental to the national unity under the very nose of a Military Regime which claims to Protect the so-called Ideological and Territorial Boundaries of Pakistan. I will not quote Indian News Papers. I will quote National Newspapers and please tell me after reading the news as to why the Treason Trial shouldn't be held against Musharraf, Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhary Parvez Ilahi for their playing with Fire i.e. Igniting Ethnic Hatred.

EC asked to take notice of controversial ad Thursday, January 10, 2008 By Mumtaz Alvi

ISLAMABAD: The caretaker government on Wednesday called upon the Election Commission of Pakistan to take notice of a highly controversial advertisement from the PML-Q, which appeared recently in the media about the non-Sindhis.

Caretaker Minister for Human Rights Ansar Ahmed Burney met the Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Qazi Muhammad Farooq and discussed the said ad with him and other issues regarding holding of the upcoming general elections. "Some parties are issuing highly prejudiced statements and particularly the ads given by a particular political party is against the people of Sindh," a government handout issued after the meeting said, referring to the minister's meeting with the CEC.

Reports said that PML of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain had given ads, asking all the non-Sindhis living in the province to provide the details of losses they suffered during the riots following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The party intended to compensate their losses.

After a strong reaction from all sides, the party the very next day removed the term non-Sindhis and said that Sindhis could also apply for the same. He urged the chief election commissioner to especially take notice of the ad, which smacked of prejudice and was a cause of hatred. The minister had earlier issued a statement against the recent advertisement, saying action would be taken against those behind this move.

On this, Qazi Farooq assured Ansar Burney that action would be taken in accordance with the law against those responsible for giving such an ad. When approached for comments, PML Information Secretary Senator Tariq Azeem told The News that the whole issue was misunderstood and that was why the next day, the ad was published with an illustration.

"Our party believes in Pakistan and not in Punjabis, Sindhis, Balochis Pakhtoons, Mohajirs or Seraikis.

We do not believe in distinction among the people of Pakistan. We follow the Quaid-e-Azam's ideals," the former minister maintained. Earlier, PML had given ads targeting Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians' leader Benazir Bhutto. The party promptly moved the Election Commission. But ultimately, the issue fizzled out without any further development except the ECP issued a notice to the PML. The party had responded to it and this was passed on to the PPPP and that was it.

PML ad campaign against Benazir backfires By Muhammad Ahmad Noorani

ISLAMABAD: A letter forged by an over-smart opposition leader against Benazir Bhutto 18 years ago, came back to haunt him on Wednesday when the ruling PML used it in an ad campaign against the PPP but in vain. A PPP spokesperson said Benazir Bhutto and the PPP would take firm legal action against the advertisement. The letter, said to have been written by PPP leader Benazir Bhutto to her friend Peter Galbraith in late 1990, was then circulated by the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) to defame Benazir Bhutto before the 1990 elections. The letter was forged by then opposition activist Naveed Malik, who now is an opposition leader.

The letter was used on Wednesday by the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) in huge half-page ads in different newspapers. A senior marketing expert said at least Rs 5 million was spent on the ad. The letter was first released by Naveed Malik, political adviser to the then Punjab chief minister, with the aim to demoralize PPP voters in the 1990 elections. The PPP lost by a big margin but later the polls were declared as massively rigged.

On Wednesday, Malik admitted that the letter had then been forged by the IJI but tried to wriggle out of the blame. He said as the advisor to the chief minister, he was misguided by certain elements working on a mission to damage Benazir's image and to help the IJI. Naveed said in a letter e-mailed to The News that he was suspicious about the integrity of the letter at the time of releasing it to the media. “Later, while investigating the facts, I came to know that there were certain elements working on a project to defame Benazir in the public.”

He said that this letter was in the custody of Ghulam Haider Wyne, the then PML provincial chief, in the office record of the PML Lahore, which is now under the control of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi. Munawar Anjum, a spokesman of Benazir Bhutto, told The News that Benazir never used letterheads titled "Mrs Benazir Bhutto" as stated on the said letter. He said that the name of Mr Peter Galbraith was deliberately misspelled as Gailbraith in the letter to evade legal action in case Mr Galbraith legally challenged it.

Galbraith was also the senior advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1979-1993 and not in the NDI as stated in the forged letter, Munawar further revealed. Munawar also disclosed a very interesting point that the said forged letter was full of grotesque grammatical mistakes, which could not be committed by PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto, a former student of Oxford. Munawar told The News that the PPP will take strict legal action against the defamation campaign against Benazir by the PML.

PML-Q Punjab alters ethnically exclusive ad By Amar Guriro and Qazi Asif

KARACHI: The PML-Q Punjab has amended the language of a controversial advertisement it published on riot damage compensation for non-Sindhis in Sindh, after a bad reaction from the southern province’s party leaders and workers. The advert now says Sindhis (in bold lettering) can also apply for compensation.

But the damage has been done. The PML-Q central leaders should find out who allowed the publication of a party advertisement excluding Sindhis from claiming damages in the post-BB assassination riots, argued the party’s Sindh information secretary Saturday.

A flurry of letters has made its way to the party’s chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. “The way the PML-Q started an advertisement campaign in such sensitive conditions is strange,” said Jafar al Hasan, president, PML-Q (Youth Wing) Sindh, who added that he and others registered their protest.

The PML-Q Punjab started the advertisement campaign in the national print media Friday. On the first day, four colored half-page advertisements were printed with news clippings, saying that people affected by the riots could apply for compensation. One of the news items said that during violence in Bin Qasim (Karachi) 12 girls were kidnapped and raped – however, it failed to mention which newspaper published the stories. “I don’t remember exactly which newspaper published this story but I think it was an Islamabad-based Urdu newspaper,” said Mian Abdul Sattar, senior vice president PML-Q Punjab.

“It is against the party’s basic manifesto and with such a move the PML-Q leadership is dividing the party workers ahead of the polls; that would be so dangerous,” said Ismail Rahu, a former minister and PML-Q leader. “I have collected the details of the losses in my district and most of the sufferers were Sindhis. Most of the petrol pumps, shops and vehicles
set on fire were not destroyed by Sindhis.”

Others argued that it was a PML campaign tactic. According to the PPP’s Syed Naveed Qamar, after Benazir’s assassination, the people sympathized with the PPP, something the PML-Q leaders were aware of.

The PML advertisement asked non-Sindhis in Sindh (Mohajirs, Pathans, Punjabis etc) to contact it with details of the losses they suffered in the riots after Benazir’s killing. The criticism was that the advert implied that Sindhis did not suffer any losses and were to blame for the rioting and looting.

Haleem Adil Shaikh has written a critical letter to the PML-Q’s central president Chaudhry Shujaat, asking for an unconditional apology for the people of Sindh. Shaikh, who is also a settler in Sindh, said that the advertisement ignored Sindhi people of Sindh. If the advertisement campaign was a mistake, then an inquiry should be conducted to find out who is responsible and who must apologize unconditionally to the Sindhi people, Shaikh wrote. If the advertisement was deliberate, then its aim was to cause linguistic and ethnic tensions. “There was a strong feeling that the party was only for the Punjab,” he said. Hafiz Tabassi, the media coordinator for the PML-Q Sindh, said that the letter had been sent to Shujaat already.

MQM condemns PML-Q’s ad campaign By Our Correspondent

NAWABSHAH, Jan 8: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has condemned Pakistan Muslim League-Q’s advertisement campaign as “it has given rise to hatred against non-Sindhis”. Talking to reporters from London by telephone at the press club here on Tuesday, MQM Coordination Committee Member Mustafa Azizabadi said Sindh needed unity and harmony at the moment.

He said the Muttahida had always stood for the rights of Sindh and opposed the construction of Kalabagh Dam while the PML-Q was in its favour. The MQM leader said that the activists of Pakistan People’s Party were in grief and a state of anger after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, but some miscreants capitalised on the mood by looting and burning public and private properties. Mustafa Azizabadi said Altaf Hussain had written a letter to Sindhi elders, sisters and mothers expressing sympathy with them.

He said that the MQM was making all-out efforts to compensate the people affected by the violence.

KARACHI: ‘Irresponsible’ PML-Q ads condemned By Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 9: The Women’s Action Forum on Wednesday condemned the murder of former premier Benazir Bhutto and held the state responsible for ensuring that due investigation and subsequent justice was provided for that crime. At a press conference held in the Karachi Press Club, Anis Haroon of the Aurat Foundation and representatives of various other rights groups gathered under the umbrella of WAF, said the “disgraceful series of disinformation” following the assassination of Ms Bhutto merited the highest degree of condemnation.

They particularly noted that WAF was offended by the media advertisements such as those issued by the PML-Q, giving “false inflammatory information” designed to fuel ethnic tensions. “This is morally irresponsible as well as unacceptable and WAF is shocked at the participation of Mehnaz Rafi, who is part of such campaigns of disinformation especially on the question of women,” said Ms Haroon.

The speakers condemned the mass arrest of PPP activists and other unwarranted lodging of FIRs against citizens in Sindh as an intimidatory act against basic human rights. They also condemned the setting up of complaint centres for compensation for the damage done after Dec 27 under the auspices of political parties rather than autonomous neutral bodies and also slammed the setting up of refugee camps in Lahore for people of Sindh affected by violence resulting from Ms Bhutto’s assassination.

WAF leaders demanded immediate steps to ensure fair and just investigation of Ms Bhutto’s murder and all previous acts of violence, including those witnessed on May 12 and Oct 18 in Karachi. “If this entails the assistance of international agencies such as the United Nations, it must be solicited immediately,” said one of the written demands handed to the media.

“If irresponsible defamatory comments and attempts are made by political parties and their representatives, then legal proceedings will be initiated against them, including the PML-Q’s recent advertisements.” They said the human rights abuses of arresting citizens without due process and access to justice must be stopped by the government with immediate effect. WAF leaders appealed to rights lawyers and activists to assist the victims.

They demanded that the government with the participation and involvement of civil society organisations be directly responsible for the submission of damage complaints in independent centres rather than relying on ‘parochial parties’ to run these outlets. They also asked to government to provide centres in the respective districts in Sindh rather than diluting the autonomy of Sindh by setting up camps in other provinces, “which is contradictory to humanitarian assistance with no other logical base”. The organisers later screened a video clip in which interviews of many people were shown in which they appreciated the hospitability of local Sindhis. In a shot, a train carrying 2,500 passengers to Punjab was stopped at Jalal Marri station near Tando Adam. It was narrated that all the passengers were provided shelter by the locals. Besides, they were provided with food and medicines during the three days of riots and all of them remained out of harm’s way.

Earlier PML-Q specifically after the death of Ms. Benazir Bhutto tried through newspaper advertisement to incite Ethnic Hatred for the sake of power and now they are playing more risky game.

A dangerous game

February 14, 2008 Thursday Safar 06, 1429

DOES Chaudhry Shujaat realise what a dangerous game he is playing? He and several PML personalities have met Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid fame and there are reports that the hard-line cleric is to be released. Whether or not he is guilty of any crime is to be decided by the court. But there are cases against him relating to his involvement in the Lal Masjid insurgency last summer. The ‘deeds’ of the brainwashed commandos wearing polka dotted kaffiyehs and led by him and his dead brother, Ghazi Abdul Rashid, have included arson, murder, kidnapping (including those of some Chinese nationals), illegal use of firearms, etc. Only a court can release him if it acquits him of the charges. Maulana Fazlur Rahman, too, visited him, and one of Abdul Aziz’s relations told a press conference that his family expected him to be released. On the eve of the general election?

Even though a ‘neutral’ caretaker government is in power, Chaudhry Shujaat heads what for all practical purposes is still the ruling party. Is he going to get Abdul Aziz out only to get some more votes? Maulana Fazlur Rahman’s voters will, of course, vote for the JUI-F, but the PML chief is seriously mistaken if he thinks the supporters of the MMA’s boycott group or those with a Taliban mindset will choose to vote for a party that, for good or bad, ordered the crackdown on the Taliban’s citadel and killed Ghazi Abdul Rashid. We know how the government made a political blunder by reopening the Red Mosque after renovating it. This gesture did not win it any laurels; instead, all that the government action did was to let the mosque re-emerge as the militants’ focus of attention. The moment he is released, the first thing Abdul Aziz will do is to visit the Lal Masjid, and once again it will become a shrine, a military headquarters and a madressah all rolled into one. More dangerously, his presence has the potential to re-ignite the rebellion with consequences that will not remain confined to Islamabad. The rebels in Fata and Swat, too, will consider this as their victory, and they may be emboldened into doing whatever they are doing at present with greater ruthlessness and ferocity in which civilian lives are of little value.

One can understand the panic in the PML-Q ranks because of all that has happened over the last few months, including the return and assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The only option Chaudhry Shujaat and his acolytes have is to tackle the PPP and the PML-N politically, fight a clean election, and accept its results. Freeing Maulana Abdul Aziz may perhaps — perhaps — give his party some votes, but one doubts if those votes will be in numbers that will swing the election results in the PML-Q’s favour. The consequences of Maulana Abdul Aziz’s release, if it is not the result of due process, will be disastrous for Pakistan.

Shujaat fails to woo Lal Masjid chief By Ahmed Hassan

ISLAMABAD, Feb 13: The head of Lal Masjid, Maulana Abdul Aziz, refused to accept condition for his release during a meeting with PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain on Monday and the matter will now be taken up again after the election.

According to sources, the maulana said that his release did not matter for him because he was ready for any sacrifice for the enforcement of Islamic values.

He asked the PML chief to strive for the reopening of Jamia Faridia which was closed during the Lal Masjid-Jamia Hafsa operation. He demanded that Jamia Hafsa should be rebuilt at the same place. He asked Chaudhry Shujaat to fulfil the promise of enforcing Sharia which was also part of PML’s programme.

The sources said the PML-Q chief wanted immediate release of Maulana Aziz and he met the cleric to persuade him to agree to a deal with the government. They said the PML-Q and the JUI-F had suffered a setback in electioneering, especially in rural areas as people blamed them for failing to stop killing of seminary students. A press release issued by the PML-Q president’s office claimed that Chaudhry Shujaat had discussed a number of proposals with Maulana Aziz and the latter had expressed confidence in Chaudhry Shujaat.

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