Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shaheen Sehbai VS Ayaz Amir & Jang Group of Newspapers.

Mr Shaheen Sehbai, the Group Editor, The News International (Jang Group of Newspapers) had written in the year 2000 that, "Every one in the present morally, intellectually and financially depleted Pakistan --the print media and its well-entrenched "gurus" among the foremost --- is shouting from the roof top for accountability of every one else.Yet no one has seriously demanded, nor does any one appear to be contemplating, any accountability of the media itself. The peers, naturally those who come out unscathed and "clean", should sit down to formulate lists of those who have been publicly demonstrating a lack of intellectual, moral and professional integrity. Big names like Minhaj Barna, Mushahid Hussain, Maleeha Lodhi, Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Nazir Naji, Ataul Haq Qasmi, Ayaz Amir, Hussain Haqqani, Irshad Ahmed Haqqani, Najam Sethi, Nasim Zehra, Jamiluddin Aali and many others who sought or accepted political, diplomatic or government jobs, or joined political parties as activists, should be asked to explain why they did not quit journalism to do so and why they continued to use the profession to get, keep or regain lucrative jobs or positions of power. How do they retain, or claim to retain, their objectivity and credibility, once they have demonstrated their political ambitions. In the least they should have apologised to the profession". REFERENCE: Who will Bell the Bad, Fat Cats? by Shaheen Sehbai January 5, 2000 Shaheen Sehabi on the Accountability of Media/Press.

Ayaz Amir is a renowned Pakistani journalist, and is a newly elected Member of National assembly in Pakistan''s Parliament. He is most famous for his columns in the newspaper Dawn. He is also known as a politician. His columns are critical of the Pakistan army''s role in politics throughout the history of the country. He is considered to be liberal, arguing passionately the case for rule of law, democracy, and an end to failed military rule along with extremist versions of Islam. In recent years he has written some controversial stories about the 1965 war with India. His articles are humorous yet spot-on, capturing the essence of scandals in the brewing. He has recently joined the newspaper, The News International, which is owned by Jang Group of Newspapers, another national English daily widely circulated. In parliamentary elections, held on February 18th, 2008, ayaz amir won a seat in the National assembly contesting from Chakwal (Punjab province), representing the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)or PML-N. Ayaz amir was a captain in Pakistan army who resigned/released his commission. He remained an MPA in the Punjab assembly representing Chakwal. REFERENCE: Profile : Ayaz Amir Ayaz Amir Corner, The Dawn, (Archives of his articles from 1999 onwards)

Mr Ayaz Amir is condemned by Mr Shaheen Sehbai for lacking intellectual, moral and professional integrity and Mr Shaheen Sehbai also alleged that many journalists [that includes Mr Ayaz Amir] sought or accepted political, diplomatic or government jobs, or joined political parties as activists, should be asked to explain why they did not quit journalism to do so and why they continued to use the profession to get, keep or regain lucrative jobs or positions of power.

Mr Shaheen Sehbai is hellbent to give importance to Musharraf's negative comment [in Seymour Hersh's Story DEFENDING THE ARSENAL - In an unstable Pakistan, can nuclear warheads be kept safe? by Seymour M. Hersh NOVEMBER 16, 2009] on Zardari [I wonder where has gone the wish of Journalists of Jang Group of Newspaper for Musharraf's Trial for violating article 6 of 1973 Constitution]. Now read what Ayaz Amir had to say about Musharraf on the web based magazine South Asia Tribune which was owned by the same Shaheen Sehbai who is nowadays busy to convince people of Pakistan that "Musharraf's statement against Zardari is a Cardinal Truth". REFERENCE: Hersh claims US nuke team already in Islamabad By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir Sunday, November 15, 2009 GEO TV: National Interest, Seymour M Hersh, Shaheen Sehbai & Dr Shahid Masood. URDU TEXT OF MUHAMMAD SALEH ZAAFIR'S REPORT FILED IN DAILY JANG [TO PROMOTE ANTI PAKISTAN SEYMOUR HERSH].



Blundering Musharraf Beginning to Lose His Balance By Ayaz Amir WASHINGTON DC, Sept 26, 2005 ISSN: 1684-2057

ISLAMABAD, September 26: If a picture is worth a thousand words, a single cannon shot as fired by Pakistan’s soldier-president on the subject of rape and Canadian visas is worth a thousand images. The next time he waxes eloquent about enlightenment and moderation his own words as spoken to the Washington Post will come back to mock him: “You must understand the environment in Pakistan. This has become a money-making concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped.”

This was during his New York visit hailed by official trumpeters — no shortage of the kind in Pakistan — as a huge success. (How does this breed define success?) Worse was to follow. Realizing his blunder, Gen. Musharraf went on the defensive, saying he had said no such thing. Indeed that he would have been stupid to say it. (“True,” as Nicholas Kristoff of the New York Times commented.)

The Washington Post, careful in such matters, checked its tapes and confirmed Gen Musharraf made the remarks and was accurately quoted.

It also quoted his remarks about Dr Shazia Khalid (the lady raped in Sui allegedly by an army officer): “It is the easiest way of doing it. Every second person now wants to come up and get all the [pause] because there is so much of finances. Dr. Shazia, I don’t know. But maybe she’s a case of money (too), that she wants to make money. She is again talking all against Pakistan, against whatever we’ve done. But I know what the realities are.” Phew. You’ve got to be really tacky to talk like this.

Gen Musharraf wants to project a ‘soft’ image of Pakistan. But he’s almost suggesting that Pakistan is the quintessential land of the purpose-built rape (Canada should be flattered). And when questioned, he gets angry, very angry, losing his cool before a gathering of Pakistanis in New York.

According to a Dawn report: “Provoked by a single question, the president allowed an event held to promote his government’s pro-woman policies to degenerate into a bout between himself and part of the invited audience... ‘I am a fighter, I will fight you. I do not give up and if you can shout, I can shout louder’...Responding to (a) woman’s charge that he had retracted his interview to The Washington Post, (he) said: ‘Lady, you are used to people who tell lies. I am not one of them.’ When a woman raised her voice to ask a question, the president said: ‘Are you a Benazir supporter?’” How does Benazir come into this?

“When the altercation began to get uglier,” Dawn added, “Pakistan’s ambassador to the US Jehangir Karamat, who was Gen Musharraf’s senior in the army, approached the podium and moved the president away by gently patting his shoulders.”

Not to worry, however. Condi Rice has just issued another certificate of excellence to the general, saying that while Pakistan is not a complete democracy, Musharraf is an extraordinary man. Indeed he is.

Tempting though it may be to say so, Gen Musharraf’s remarks are not typical of any standard Pakistani male mind set. Pakistani men, even those lacking a staff college education, don’t go around suggesting that Pakistani women invite rape for financial or travel benefits. The general’s remarks are his own and they reflect the mind of a person who (1) is answerable to no one for his thoughts and actions; and (2) speaks too much and too often.

When you are overly fond of giving interviews, when the notion of brevity being the soul of wit is almost alien to you and when you regularly display a penchant for unscripted dialogue, don’t be surprised if you sometimes get it wrong.

In fact, the unscripted or unrehearsed remark has been the bane of Pakistan under Gen Musharraf. At Agra for his famous breakfast meeting with Indian newspaper editors Musharraf went in unprepared and since the one subject all Pakistanis can talk about eloquently even without any preparation is Kashmir, it was about Kashmir that he spoke. There were many reasons why the Agra summit collapsed but one reason lay in that early morning eloquence.

If only that tough stance had lasted. It didn’t. During the course of a Reuters’ interview, Musharraf made the startling proposal that for the sake of flexibility Pakistan could go beyond the UN resolutions on Kashmir. The wages of one-man rule: the entire basis of Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir ditched or diluted through this single off-the-cuff remark.

One man says ‘yes’ to Colin Powell on the telephone post-Sep 11 without any institutional discussion of what Pakistan’s negotiating position should be. When the Americans are preparing to invade Iraq they ask for Turkish cooperation, but the Turks, even though staunch American allies, put a stiff price on cooperation (eventually too steep for the Americans to accept).

Not so Pakistan which thanks to military rule can afford to leap first and look afterwards. Gen Musharraf’s uniform is his body-armour. But it’s also a great convenience for the Americans. As long as Afghanistan is on the boil and they want Pakistan to deliver more, they wouldn’t be too concerned about the finer points of democracy.

Remember the time when a Pakistan aviation team was in Delhi negotiating the resumption of air links between the two countries. The Pakistani side was looking for some assurance that India would not summarily sever air links as it had done in 1970 and again in 2001 after the terrorist attack on the Indian parliament. While discussions were yet to be concluded, Musharraf, addressing a gathering of Indian businessmen in Islamabad, announced Pakistan’s readiness to resume air flights. Our aviation team wouldn’t have been amused.

This adhocism is evident elsewhere too in dealings with India. India shows no flexibility on concrete issues — Siachen, Baglihar, Sir Creek, etc. The Musharraf-Manmohan Singh meeting in New York is, for the most part, an exercise in futility. Yet, as a measure of the tight fix Pakistan has got itself into, it is Musharraf, rather than anyone from India, who is at pains to suggest that India is showing flexibility. What a curious reversal of roles.

And what evidence does Gen Musharraf cite in support of his contention that India is being flexible? That the Indian prime minister has accepted his invitation to visit Pakistan. Should one laugh or cry at this revelation? This was the fourth time in the past one year that the Indian prime minister was being ‘requested’ to visit Pakistan. Each time the invitation is graciously accepted but no dates are set. Pakistan has never lowered itself so much to please India, a string of unilateral concessions — from the Jan 4, 2004, joint statement to the misguided offer of bypassing the UN resolutions — for little in return.

But there’s a reason for all this. Irfan Siddiqui in Nawa-i Waqt puts it well: “From Agra to New York, a single story is being repeated. Five years ago Vajpayee got upset because we spoke of Kashmir as the ‘core issue’. Today Manmohan Singh is upset because Gen Musharraf mentioned Kashmir in his address to the UN General Assembly. The basic fact is that whether it is Vajpayee or Manmohan Singh, no Indian prime minister dare show any flexibility on Kashmir. In India democracy is supreme and about democracies the worst thing is that no matter however powerful an individual, whatever high office he holds, he cannot ignore state institutions or stray even a hair’s breadth from established national positions. This is only possible where, instead of institutions, there is one-man rule, where the opinions of an individual become national policy and where every kind of U-turn and somersault becomes a part of everyday existence.”

Gen Musharraf’s thoughts on rape, therefore, are not an aberration. Nor can they be attributed solely to the male chauvinism prevalent in our society. They reveal a problem of psychology: The helmsman in a dictatorship, [especially of the tin pot variety] beginning to lose balance. This should come as no surprise, six years of unchecked power being enough to turn anyone’s head.- Courtesy Daily Dawn, Karachi.

From Bottled Milk to Defence, We Need New Priorities By Ayaz Amir WASHINGTON DC, July 30, 2005 ISSN: 1684-2057

ISLAMABAD, July 30: Beset by problems, harried by our own confusion, we can’t go on like this forever, lurching from one uncertainty to another, internationally criticized for every sin under the sun. The time has come to cut through the nonsense and reach for the substance of things. Small things first. Why after 57 years of uncertain statehood are we still obsessed with sect, caste and creed? Enough of Maliks, Choudhries, Rais, Raos, Sardars, etc: enough of castehood or tribal denominationalism. No country sports more useless honorific titles than we do. Being a Pakistani should be good enough for all of us.

Hence time to send notions of caste/creed swimming down the waters of the five rivers. From all official documents the requirement of having to fix your faith, sect, sub-sect or caste should at once be erased. On pain of punishment and disqualification, no government servant, military person or public representative should draw attention to these primitive distinctions.

While we are at small things, an immediate and total ban on that most hideous symbol of the modern age: the plastic shopping bag. No ifs and buts, this should be done at once considering how all things plastic are blighting the national landscape and clogging the republic’s water channels, big and small.

Mineral water in plastic bottles is fast becoming a national affliction too. Hydrogenated cooking oil (manufactured ghee) is a bad enough thing in itself. If its use is allowed to go on unchecked we’ll soon have the highest rate of heart disease in the world. But to think that some ghee manufacturers market this pestilence in plastic buckets. Henceforth this should be a non-bailable offence.

Even milk and fruit juices should come in glass bottles. Mountaineering expeditions should face the strictest penalties if they spread litter on the mountains. On flights to Pakistan it should be mandatory to announce that drugs and plastic bottles are forbidden items in Pakistan. If we can’t make Pakistan a land of milk and honey, we can at least do our bit to keep it clean.

On to other things. Reform of education, an end to the cocktail of education systems we have in Pakistan, must be the first priority of the republic.

If we are seeking to forge a single nationhood — although given the stupidity of some of our actions serious doubts must be entertained on this score — then it follows that from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea, from the hills of Balochistan and Pakhtoonkhwa to the plains of Punjab and Sindh, there must be one education system for all Pakistani students, one syllabus, a common examination system, and, in the fullness of time, when the Lord of the Worlds smiles on this country and its people, a glass of pure milk at state expense, at eleven in the morning, for every student.

No O and A levels. India did away with O and A levels back in 1965. What blowback effect of retarded colonialism makes us stick to them? For Pakistani nationals no going to American schools in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. No madrassas for they militate not so much against reason — although they do that too — as against the requirements of a single nationhood. It is futile to think of reforming the madrassa system. Some things are unreformable, this being one of them.

The great Abdus Salam, the only Pakistani winner of the Nobel Prize (in physics or any other subject) was a product of the matriculation system. We need more Salams, a whole army of them, in our schools and universities, and not a generation of confused western clones who think that cool is talking with an American twang and sporting a funky hairstyle.

By all means wear what you want and have your hair cut the way you want but remember that to be educated in the real sense is to be cool. To be a top gun mathematician or physicist is to be cool. To hear a Beethoven or Mozart tune and be able to name it is cool.

Classical music, subcontinental and western, should be a part of the national curriculum. There should be a national orchestra for symphonic and operatic music in Islamabad, preferably in the pseudo-Mughal structure on Constitution Avenue which houses the Prime Minister’s secretariat. If there is any accountability at the gates of paradise, Nawaz Sharif should have a hard time getting in if only because he was the prime mover behind the erection of this astonishing structure: neither much Mughal nor anything else, just an enthusiastic celebration of official Pakistani taste gone wild (and vulgar).

And who do you think did the interior decor of this center of Pakistani governance? A Benazir cousin. Some people have all the luck. Judging by the state of the furniture inside you get an idea of the killing this enterprising person must have made. Anyway, handing over this structure to the national orchestra will be some atonement for the architecture. And never mind if the orchestra is out of tune in the beginning. Such things take time to improve.

The supremacy of science and reason, an end to the mumbo-jumbo of superstition, a proper reverence for the arts, excellence in music, achievement in sport, the liberation of Pakistani womanhood (a priority task given the sorry state of Pakistani manhood), an all-round refinement of culture (culture, not F-16s, being destiny): we could make room for these things by taking out all the useless lumber with which our national faculties are clogged.

Pakistani education should be on the lines of Cuban education: free, totally free, for everyone, based on solid foundations and aspiring for the stars. The Cubans are ahead of America in some branches of medical research. That should be our aim, having the best education system throughout the lands of Islam, the best colleges and universities in Asia, and once near this goal, the need to shore up national pride with such symbols of military prowess as expensive tanks, submarines and aircraft will disappear.

No one could have been beaten more thoroughly than the Germans and Japanese in the Second World War. But even when their cities lay in ruins they retained the gift of knowledge and scientific expertise and not so much with money as with their mastery of science and technology did they rebuild their countries.

After education, health care, no shame leaving deeper scars on Pakistani pride than the state of our hospitals. Not fancy state-of-the-art facilities, just enough to provide basic, essential health care to every Pakistani in need.

Where do we get the funds for these massive enterprises, for restructuring education and health are major undertakings? Well, we seem to lack no funds when it comes to defence and stupid luxuries for the ruling classes. We can’t do without defence, not in this world and not in our region, there being too much turbulence and uncertainty around. But we can reorder our priorities, rethink defence strategy in order to rely more on trained manpower and a committed national militia than expensive weaponry, all of which, in any case, we cannot afford. We should not match India item for item for down that road lies fiscal exhaustion.

It is not even certain that with this extravagance we get the kind of defence we need. The ability to fight 17-day wars and then look for international mediation to broker ceasefires doesn’t amount to much value for money.

The Iraqi people are giving the American occupation army a tough time not through the use of armour or air power but grit and valor, and the skill to use low-cost weapons. In weaponry the Viet Cong were no match for the Americans but they gave them the most resounding defeat in American history. We need to think on these lines instead of reinforcing the failures of the past.

Restoring the republic’s mental equilibrium will remain incomplete if General Ziaul Haq’s religious laws — all products of expediency — the changes he brought about in the penal code and the Constitution, are not repealed altogether and in one go. The great dictator brought darkness to this land. If we are to switch on the lights, we must undo his legacy. Or our brave talk will be just that — words floating in a void.- Courtesy Daily Dawn


Please keep one thing in mind while going through the article below that Mr Shaheen Sehbai had complained about the Falling Standards of The News International in 2002 [the standards fell when Mr Shaheen Sehbai resigned during Musharraf's Tenure in 2002] now standard of The News International has again risen since Mr Shaheen Sehbai again joined and now it can be compared with The New Yorker/ The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Mr Shaheen should review his statement that "journalists lacking intellectual, moral and professional integrity and Mr Shaheen Sehbai also alleged that many journalists [that includes Mr Ayaz Amir] sought or accepted political, diplomatic or government jobs, or joined political parties as activists, should be asked to explain why they did not quit journalism to do so and why they continued to use the profession to get, keep or regain lucrative jobs or positions of power. Mr Ayaz Amir [MNA -PML-N] often contribute as a columnist for The News International and that too when Mr Shaheen Sehbai is Group Editor of The News International]

Ayaz Amir's recent columns in The News Internationa - Jang Group of Newspapers.

Ghosts that won't go away 13-November-2009, What further trials for a sorely-tried nation? 6-November-2009, The higher direction of war: where is it? 30-October-2009, A make-or-break moment for Pakistan 23-October-2009, Democracy under a cloud 16-October-2009, Folly beyond comprehension 9-October-2009, Kerry-Lugar: bill or document of surrender? 2-October-2009, Reversing 800 years of history 25-September-2009, Too much politics, too much hypocrisy 18-September-2009, Who's more powerful, Taliban or the sugar barons? 11-September-2009, The death wish of the Pakistani political class 4-September-2009, What wealth and aristocracy should mean 28-August-2009, Growing up, and acquiring new habits, takes time 21-August-2009,

Aug 14 and the perpetually carping brigade 14-August-2009, Writing of history or triumph of amnesia? 7-August-2009, Battle of the flyweights: PM vs president 31-July-2009, Hurtling towards another night of the long knives 24-July-2009, Hurtling towards another night of the long knives 23-July-2009, Why so impatient with democracy? 17-July-2009, Their lordships overstep the mark 10-July-2009, Making things happen in Punjab 3-July-2009, What are our soldiers dying for? 26-June-2009, What's Pakistan being taken for? 19-June-2009, Leadership 12-June-2009, Changing the way we have been 5-June-2009, The enemy is us 29-May-2009, Pakistan's first (or rather second) true war 22-May-2009, Hope among the ruins 15-May-2009, Pakistan being short-changed again 8-May-2009,

Who will teach the army the virtues of the long haul? 1-May-2009, Adrift and lost, Pakistan awaits a miracle 24-April-2009, Wages of fear and appeasement 17-April-2009, If only words could do the trick 10-April-2009, For the PML-N, the challenge of history 3-April-2009, Battle for Pakistan 27-March-2009, Doctrine of the hundred onions 20-March-2009, Endgame Zardari; or goodbye to all of this 13-March-2009, Waters too deep for us 6-March-2009, So what else did anyone expect? 27-February-2009, Swat: doctrine of necessity (in its purest form) 20-February-2009, Missing the essence of Talibanism 13-February-2009, Country burns, political class fiddles 6-February-2009,

Seeking enlightenment, a way out of the confusion 30-January-2009, Opportunity to rewrite the script: are we up to it? 23-January-2009, Punjab and the study of Ranjit Singh 16-January-2009, A second Junejo in the making? 10-January-2009, If Stalin's ghost were to come to Pakistan 2-January-2009, India not the real enemy; militancy is 26-December-2008, Winter less of discontent than of gloom 19-December-2008, Degrading… but do we have a choice? 12-December-2008, Indian tragedy, Al Qaeda triumph 5-December-2008,

A safe prediction 28-November-2008, Islamabad diary 21-November-2008, A president proving all too true to himself 14-November-2008, Obama's test and ours 7-November-2008, Blackcoats do it again 31-October-2008, Is there anything more to see? 24-October-2008, Our priceless talent for wasting time and money 17-October-2008, Of Pakistani bondage 10-October-2008, Whose war? America's or ours? 26-September-2008, Confusion of the lambs 19-September-2008, Army chief speaks; where's the president? 12-September-2008, What's all the fuss about? 5-September-2008, Savouring the ultimate irony 29-August-2008, One game over, a new one begins 22-August-2008, For God’s sake, leave 15-August-2008,

Why it's hard to believe these Napoleons 8-August-2008, Dealing with pygmies, yearning for heroes 25-July-2008, The gathering tempest 18-July-2008, Arrest this rot, please, if Pakistan is to be saved 11-July-2008, Can the Taliban be defeated? 4-July-2008, Islamabad diary 27-June-2008, Their lordships should call it a day 20-June-2008, Pieces which don't fit 13-June-2008, The ecstasy of kicking the down and out 6-June-2008, Expecting miracles from jackasses 30-May-2008,

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