--- On Mon, 4/6/09, Hassan Shabbir wrote:
This article was banned from publication in newspapers by the Zardari government as it has banned all articles by Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto.
I Told You So Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto
And why this columns was allowed to be published??? By the way where are the Quranic Verses which were quoted by Ansar Abbasi on Flogging in view of CJ Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry's suo moto notice against the alleged incident of Flogging in Swat. Would Abbasi Sahab like to answer??? I wonder what Ansar Abbasi's 'favourite religion - Islam' has to say about Asbiyat - Prejudice????
Sindh nationalists stand for return of judges By Shaheen Sehbai & Ansar Abbasi Monday, March 16, 2009
WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD: The US capital and the world is watching for the ultimate battle on the D-Day on Monday in what has now turned into a fatal fight to the finish between two personalities — President Asif Zardari and Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Only one will survive.
Zardari has all the power that anyone can muster in any country, but he also has the biggest stakes on line. His power grab in the last few months is not helping him and he is fighting a losing battle.
Iftikhar Chaudhry has no powers but he has the entire country behind him and that makes him the most powerful commander leading his troops to ultimate victory. His troops, Nawaz Sharif, Ali Kurd, Aitzaz Ahsan, the media, lawyers, politicians, rights activists and the people at large have been deceived so many times that no more promises or assurances of the Zardari camp carry any weight. Thus foreign guarantors are being sucked into the equation.
The Army, the ultimate protector of the external and internal security fronts, has been caught in a dangerous bind. While it was hard pressed fighting the terrorists and their creeping coups, President Zardari has opened a much wider and a potentially suicidal confrontation which had brought the entire country to a standstill, even before the long march could start or converge at a point.
The Army is in no position to fight such a divisive and extended war with its own people, for the interests of a few misguided and incompetent leaders who failed to grow into the large shoes they landed in, by the stroke of luck after the ultimate sacrifice of Benazir Bhutto.
While leaders like Maulana Fazlur Rehman are, in sheer desperation, trying to give the phenomenal rising of the people for a national cause the colour of a possible threat to the federation, all those leading the movement have repeatedly said the objective of their struggle is to attain the objective of reinstatement of Nov 2 judiciary and not to dislodge the present PPP government.
Mian Nawaz Sharif, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Imran Khan and the lawyers’ leadership have said in one voice that the government must listen to what the nation demands. The Jamaat-e-Islami chief has even asked Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to use his pressure on the government to meet the public demand for the independence of judiciary instead of exploiting such a situation for a military intervention to grab power, a la Ziaul Haq or Musharraf.
Given the public mood and the thinking of the political leaders military intervention is not possible and would be strongly resisted if foolishly resorted to. Critical mistakes have been made by Zardari-controlled war room, set up in the bunker inside the presidency.
When Punjab was forcibly taken over by the governor to physically stop the long march and the entire transport system, official and private, was hijacked to block every road, two days before the D-Day word was sent out that the Shahbaz Sharif government was being restored in a few days.
Given our bureaucratic mindset, the entire Punjab administration was paralysed that very moment because no officer, junior or senior, would take action against an ousted chief minister or his party, if he was to regain power in a few days.
Hence there are numerous reports that the Punjab police and the administration was helping the Sharifs break the barriers or even smuggle them in police vehicles to dodge orders of a governor who was about to be sacked. It is simple logic.
A senior government official, who drove to Islamabad from Lahore hours before the long march started towards Islamabad, reported the mood of the civil administration and the police in Punjab had changed altogether. He said officials were no more inclined to block the long march because they themselves had felt the change in the wind.
He claimed if a police force of 23,000 and other security personnel deployed in Lahore could not prevent the Lahorites from coming out on the streets despite the use of brutal police force and teargas, the long march would smoothly move toward Islamabad as the other districts do not have enough force to face huge crowds.
According to a report, high-ranking police officers, of SSP rank and above, rushed inside the Lahore High Court and made speeches, apologising to the lawyers and the civil society. They said whatever had happened was wrong and from now on they won’t be a part of it. Rich traders of Lahore also come to the high court and categorically blamed it all on President Zardari. People were not chanting ‘Zardari ko jana hoga!’, rather they were saying, ‘Zardari to gaya!’
Asif Zardari has always been in a hurry to blow up the system that he suddenly inherited 14 months ago. He has overstretched his desire to become ‘General’ Asif Zardari, following in the footsteps of Gen Musharraf, for whom he still carries a soft spot.
Zardari began where Musharraf had peaked in terms of power. He had everything going for him, a supportive people, a unanimous parliament, a friendly opposition, a lovable media, a world ready to help. But he could not grasp the opportunity or even fathom the critical role he had been swept in. His destructive politics has led him to the present pass.
The last card he has, and he has been saying this in private for some time, is the ultimate “Sindh card” which had been used off and on by Sindhi leaders when they were in trouble or cornered because of their failed policies or strategies. Zardari using the Sindh card would be an ultimate joke with the people.
Why this appears a last ditch desperate effort is obvious as his cronies and loyalists like Rehman Malik and the foxy Maulana Fazlur Rehman have started raising this bogey. Malik has been referring to the “East Pakistan like” situation whereas nothing like it exists on the ground.
Even in Sindh all the nationalists led my Mumtaz Bhutto, GM Syed Group, Rasool Bux Paleejo, the nationalists of other provinces including the Bizenjos, Mengals, Marris of Balochistan and even the coalition partners Bilors of Peshawar have been looking at the situation as a fight for an independent judiciary and not a threat to the federation. Most have been very vocal in support of the judges.
Zardari does not realise that he has pushed himself to the wrong side of the political, civil and intellectual spectrum. While everyone is clamouring for judicial independence, and everyone includes top judges, lawyers, politicians, journalists, even generals and bureaucrats, using the Sindh card would be nothing but an act of desperation signalling acceptance of defeat.
The argument that the PPP was being victimised once again will hold no water as the present shape of the Zardari-led PPP is not what Benazir Bhutto’s PPP looked like and stood for. Benazir Bhutto’s jiyalas are no longer jiyalas of Zardari, they have been sidelined and it has been proved beyond doubt that Zardari does not stand for what Benazir wanted or struggled for.
Thus all the Sindhi PPP and non-PPP stalwarts, including even Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Nawab Yousuf Talpur, the Jatois, Bhuttos et al, will not let Zardari use the Sindh card. It is in fact no card at all.