Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jang Group/Ansar Abbasi Exposes Corruption of "Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA)".

ISLAMABAD: The MQM is keenly watching the situation arising out of the unexpected departure of the JUI-F from the coalition and if the decision is not reversed, the MQM would be encouraged to decide its future on similar lines. Senior MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar said that the party’s Rabita Committee was meeting in Karachi on Wednesday evening to discuss the fast changing political situation. The JUI-F’s departure from the coalition, overall political situation and the attitude of the PPP towards the MQM, are the three main points to be discussed by the Rabita Committee. If the MQM follows the JUI-F’s footsteps, it would mean imminent collapse of the Gilani government. A PPP source claims that the government may opt to impose emergency if it loses the majority support.

Ansar Abbasi [JANG GROUP] Exposes MMA & Maulana Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F ) Part 1

Watch Capital Talk – 12th November 2008
Ansar Abbasi [JANG GROUP] Exposes MMA & Maulana Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F ) Part 2

Watch Capital Talk – 12th November 2008

However, this report has not been confirmed from any reliable source. In case Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani loses the majority’s support in the National Assembly, the PML-N would not save the regime from collapsing and instead it would support any new political initiative based on principles of promoting good governance, eradicating corruption and reviving the economy. The PML-Q has also indicated that it would let the Gilani regime fall.

Ansar Abbasi [JANG GROUP] Exposes MMA & Maulana Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F ) Part 3

Watch Capital Talk – 12th November 2008
Ansar Abbasi [JANG GROUP] Exposes MMA & Maulana Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F ) Part 4

Watch Capital Talk – 12th November 2008

Most political players are, however, unsure if Maulana Fazlur Rehman would stick to his decision or not. Almost everyone, who has been approached regarding the JUI-F’s exit, wonders if Maulana could stay outside the government. Spokesmen of both the MQM and the PML-N are saying that they are closely watching the situation arising out of JUI-F’s shocker. Ahsan Iqbal is of the view that his party has no love lost for the Gilani regime, so the question for supporting the government from collapse does not arise. Iqbal said that the PML-N would not enter into any game of power politics but would support any political initiative based on principles of curbing corruption, promoting good governance and reviving the economy of the country in the best interest of democracy and the people. Mustafa Azizabadi, the London based MQM spokesman, said that the Muttahida was keenly watching the situation. He said his party would weigh different options. He sounded really bitter on what the PPP Sindh Home Minister Zulfikar Mirza had said about the MQM a day earlier in Karachi. The MQM, whose differences with the PPP, have never been settled despite their 32-month-old coalition, are finding it really difficult to survive as coalition after the MQM opposed the NRO in late 2009.

Ansar Abbasi [JANG GROUP] Exposes MMA & Maulana Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F ) Part 5

Watch Capital Talk – 12th November 2008

The MQM took on the government for alleged breach of riverbanks by the PPP ministers in Sindh to save their properties and Muttahida’s opposition to the RGST furthered the gap between the coalition partners. The power politics of Karachi always served like fueling the fire but Zulfikar Mirza’s Monday’s speech was too harsh to be easily swallowed by the MQM leadership. Dr Farooq Sattar said that the Rabita Committee of the party was meeting on Wednesday evening to discuss the situation and decide the future line of action. In these situations, the PPP may try to woo the PML-Q but Q’s spokesman Kamil Ali Agha told ‘The News’ that his party would never support the Gilani government if a vote of no confidence was brought against it. He, however, believed whatever was happening was a pre-planned conspiracy to demolish the whole democratic system. “I don’t think that the stage of vote of no confidence will ever come as the PPP will succeed to take down the system with it,” Agha said. REFERENCE: All eyes on Maulana Fazl, Altaf Hussain, Ch Shujaat Wednesday, December 15, 2010 By Ansar Abbasi

Wednesday, December 15, 2010, Muharram 08, 1432 A.H

Just a few days back the same "Sanctimonious Ansar Abbasi" and Jang Group had to say this on Maulana Fazlur Rehman through WikiLeaks which was used by Ansar Abbasi shamelessly.

ISLAMABAD: Against his public perception of being an anti-American, Maulana Fazlur Rehman is reflected in a cable released by WikiLeaks as a frequent and cooperative American interlocutor, who professes his support for cooperation with the United States. The JUI-F leader has been described in the secret US cable as “more politician than mulla”, and “a frequent and cooperative interlocutor” with the post (US Embassy Islamabad). The Maulana is also shown as professing his “support for cooperation with the United States.” US embassy’s CDA Peter Bodde wrote in his April 3, 2008 cable, released by WikiLeaks, that Rehman, more politician than mulla, has been a prominent and legitimate figure in Pakistani politics since the 1980s. He “has publicly denounced terrorist attacks, but prefers to use negotiations rather than military force against militants. Although he is known to have contacts with Taliban and their sympathisers, he has negotiated with religious militants on the government’s behalf, garnering him criticism from the more hard-line religious sectors.”

The primary purpose of the message was to request the FBI to recall information about Fazlur Rehman, which indicated that an individual “Fasilur Rehman” believed to be associated with Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) is behind the March 2008 bombing in Islamabad. The cable said that the information suggests that Fasilur Rehman refers to political party leader Fazlur Rehman of the JUI-F. The embassy “requests that FBI recall this information from all hardcopy and database records due to discrepancies and errors in the report.” It noted that prominent Pakistan politician Fazlur Rehman is not associated with the JI, but instead leads his own political party, the JUI-F. From 2002-2007, the two parties allied with other religious parties in the coalition Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA). However, the JUI-F and JI retained separate leadership structures as well as separate political objectives and methods, it said.

The cable said that Fazlur Rehman’s JUI-F is a conservative Deobandi religious party that has recently joined the new Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led government. The JI is a religious party that appeals to a narrow sector of the educated, conservative urban middle class. JI, which has a vibrant student wing, began as a movement for social change based on Sharia. “The JI party policy does not support violence as a means to achieve their political agenda, however, the party quietly has supported Jihad in Afghanistan and Kashmir by providing recruits from their student corps. The party does not support violence perpetuated within Pakistan, such as the recent attack on the restaurant in Islamabad. In addition, Fasilur Rehman and Fazlur Rehman are extremely common Pakistani names, making it impossible to accurately identify the individual with the prominent JUI-F politician.” In an earlier cable, the WikiLeaks showed the Maulana approaching the then US Ambassador Anne Patterson to become the Prime Minister. It was revealed that the leader of the country’s most fiercely pro-Taliban religious party, hosted a jovial dinner for Patterson at which the Maulana sought her backing to become prime minister and expressed a desire to visit America. Maulana-like Maulana’s lieutenant Abdul Ghafoor Haideri acknowledged that “All important parties in Pakistan had to get the approval of the US (to get power).” Fazl keeps regular contact with US embassy, says cable By Ansar Abbasi Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010, Zilhajj 30, 1431 A.H

If that was not enough Group Editor, The News, Mr Shaheen Sehbai had filed this on MMA while Mr. Sehabi was in Exile in USA [after being fired by Mir Shakil ur Rehman - Owner Of Jang Group of Newspapers]

As per Mr. Shaheen Sehbai [A correspondent in The News International in Pakistan had written]


WASHINGTON DC, July 19, 2005 ISSN: 1684-2057

A Madrassa near Peshawar, Capital of NWFP

Top MMA Leader Tries to Convince Pentagon, NSC on Hardline Islamic Law

Special SAT Report

WASHINGTON, July 19: As the guest of a Christian organization which calls itself “a Think Tank with Legs”, the Chief Minister of Pakistan’s North-western Province, NWFP, Akram Khan Durrani, has used the legs of the think tank to reach the Pentagon and Washington’s thinking elite. And the Opposition religious coalition, Muttahida Majlis Amal (MMA), leader has been preaching the US decision-makers a word or two about the controversial Hasba Act, the recently passed law which, critics say, means Talibanization of Pakistan. It is being introduced by the Provincial Government to appeal to its conservative constituency in the backward province before the Local Government elections later this month.

It is the Law against which the Federal Government of General Pervez Musharraf has petitioned the Supreme Court of Pakistan claiming it was against the Constitution and should be declared null and void. The MMA says it will contest forcibly in the SC.

“Yes I visited the Pentagon and gave them a copy of the Hasba Act,” Durrani (above) told the South Asia Tribune on Saturday night, explaining that it was not at all odd that he was trying to convince Washington that the Act was not meant to Talibanize the Pakistani society.

Durrani has been in Washington from July 9-19 as guest of Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) which, according to its web site, was “created to develop sustainable environments for religious freedom worldwide, and to inspire and equip emerging leaders with faith-based methodologies of engagement.”

Founded by Robert A. Seiple, the first-ever US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, “IGE uniquely combines strategic analysis with an operational component that seeks solutions to complex political and religious problems in difficult parts of the world.”

“In this age of widespread religious conflict, pluralism, and change, finding such solutions requires a deep understanding of geopolitical realities as well as an approach that is "shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves," the web site of IGE says.

To meet this challenge, IGE partners with governments, religious organizations, scholars, practitioners, and international advocacy groups to take on innovative projects that strike at the root of religious intolerance and educate emerging leaders to take religion seriously in their consideration of international affairs.

“We're a "think tank with legs," or if you're feeling less poetic, a "think-and-do-tank." What does that mean? We recognize that thinking is simply our initial step. We're also committed to praying and acting on the basis of our thought and research,” the IGE web site explains.

Chief Minister Durrani has been in Washington with his three sons, one Principal Officer and an Interpreter, all hosted by IGE for 11 days in the US capital and New York. “I had a wonderful trip, my children also saw America and we had good meetings with National Security Council and Pentagon officials. I gave every one a copy of the Hasba Act,” Durrani told the South Asia Tribune.

The religious leader from the radically Islamized province has been trying in all his meetings to convince the Americans that his party was not as radical as perceived and they could do business with the Americans on the same terms as any one else.

But as a slip of his tongue in one of the TV interviews, Durrani claimed that after he explained the provisions of the Hasba Act to Pentagon officials, they almost approved it and gave a green light to go ahead. But he quickly stopped making the remark to other media channels and when he was specifically asked by South Asia Tribune whether he was able to convince the Pentagon, he was non-committal and said it was for Pentagon to give their opinion.

He was asked whether the Hasba Act, now in the Supreme Court of Pakistan after it was challenged by the Federal Government as violative of the Constitution, would still be pursued if the Court ruled against the MMA, and whether MMA would accept the Court decision, Durrani was a little uncomfortable answering the question saying “Let us think positively as our legal brains have studied the Act in detail and they can successfully argue that it does not come into conflict with the Constitution.”

Durrani was, however, almost sure after his round of meetings with think tanks and NSC/Pentagon officials in Washington that his Government in NWFP would not be dismissed by General Musharraf because of the Hasba Act.

“I did say that we will wreak havoc if Governor’s Rule was imposed, but I am sure that stage would never be reached as we have worked with the Center on many sensitive issues in the past and reached a mutually acceptable solution,” he said.

But Durrani could not convincingly respond to the question that by bringing up the Hasba issue at this stage, the Opposition MMA had actually played into the hands of the Musharraf Government and diverted the focus of national politics from the up-coming unity talks and a possible alliance between the MMA, PPP and PML-N on the more basic issue of getting rid of a military dictator.

“We are talking to the Opposition parties for a joint struggle at the Federal level but provinces can legislate and opposition to local laws does not mean we would stop talking to each other at all levels,” he said.

Yet the fact is that MMA has hijacked the national agenda by introducing and passing the Hasba Act in a hurry which prompted other major parties including PPP to sharply attack the MMA and condemn it. No one would have been happier than General Musharraf with this political move.

And MMA itself is almost in a win-win situation because if the Hasba Act is enforced, they will have a new Islamic Police at their command which can ultimately be used politically against the Center and other political opponents. On the other hand, if the Act is not allowed by the Supreme Court or if the NWFP Assembly is dismissed, MMA would emerge as “martyrs of Islam” and would be able to recruit more supporters for its hardline policies.

Issue No 12, Oct 07-13, 2002 ISSN:1684-2075

Hear the Qazi Interview in Real Audio

(We apologize for poor quality of sound)

MMA leader talks to South Asia Tribune and talks tough

Qazi warns of big turmoil if power not given in NWFP

Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON: The leader of the wildcard anti-Musharraf religious alliance, which upset all calculations and expectations in the Pakistan general elections on Oct 10 by winning a huge number of seats in National and provincial assemblies, warned on Saturday there would be “big trouble” if his party was not given power in the sensitive provinces bordering Afghanistan.

“There will be great turmoil, a huge crisis (‘Buhat Bara Fassad Barpa Hoga Phir’). If they will not hand over the Government to us. How will they control the province. They have to keep law and order, it is a sensitive province,” Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Amir of Jamaat Islami told the SA Tribune on telephone.

“After such a heavy mandate how is it possible not to give us the Government. We have not been brought by the Army or the Establishment. It is not possible to push us away by twisting our ears. We have masses supporting us and we have come through the democratic process. And we have not done anything as yet to cause any panic.”

But the astute politician from Peshawar assured everyone that there was no need to get scared of his party. “There is no reason to be scared. We have been part of the political process all the time. Our component parties JUP and JUI have also been part of the Democratic process. There is no political party in Pakistan with which they did not have a political alliance. So there is nothing to be worried or scared,” Qazi said.

Asked about any major change in Pakistan’s foreign policy with the emergence of his group as a big force, Qazi Hussain Ahmed said: “Even if there is any change in policy it will come through the Parliament.” But he said if people do not want foreign troops on their soil, then what is wrong with it. "Why should these troops be there," he asked referring to the presence of US troops in NWFP and Balochistan.

He asked the United States and the Military Government in Pakistan to respect the opinion of the people. “We have not come through the barrel of the gun. We have been elected by the people and we will respect their opinion. This opinion should be respected by by the United States and also General Pervez Musharraf,” he said.

Qazi dispelled reports that his administration in NWFP would follow the Taliban and force women to wear head gears. “The Western Media is doing this (spreading this propaganda). I have said this in public meetings that our Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) never punished any woman because she did not wear a ‘Chadar” on her head.”

“I said this before all Ulema. Can any religious leader tell me if the Prophet or the Caliphs punished any woman because she did not cover her head. We prefer changes through persuasion, education and teaching respect and moral values. They (US) made so much efforts to end the Taliban rule in Afghanistan. They were thinking that the day the Taliban are gone, all women will throw away their “burqas” or clothes. Go and see it you will not find one women without a burqa,” he said.

Qazi kept the doors of an alliance and understanding with both the leading political parties in the National Parliament open and said he had received a call from the PPP leader Mr Amin Fahim for talks. “But all our options are open,” he stressed.

Following is the full text of the Interview:

Q: Why is the Government or Establishment scared of you and your Alliance policies?

A: I don’t know. There is no reason to be scared. We have been part of the political process all the time. Our component parties JUP and JUI have also been part of the Democratic process. There is no political party in Pakistan with which they did not have a political alliance. So there is nothing to be worried or scared.

Q: Can you give an assurance to the Government that there would be no major change in the foreign policy of the country, if you join in?

A: Even if there is any change in policy it will come through the Parliament. We have not come through the barrel of the gun. We have been elected by the people and we will respect the opinion of the people. This opinion should be respected by the United States and also Pervez Musharraf.

Q: There is an impression gaining ground that your government will be a hardline, Taliban-type administration in NWFP?

A: This is a wrong impression. We would be working strictly according to our Constitution and will try to implement it.

Q: Would ordinary people feel any difficulties and should they be concerned about (your policies).

A: What difficulties are you talking about. We have not come to create difficulties. We will try to provide them relief.

Q: What kind of a government will you run in NWFP and Balochistan?

A: What kind of a government do you want?

Q: People want a Government which can provide security, improve law and order, provide jobs.

A: We will provide all this. You know us well. We will not create problems for the people.

Q: Who is spreading these stories that you will run a Taliban-type government and force women to wear Hijabs?

A: The Western Media is doing this. I have said this in public meetings that our Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) never punished any woman because she did not wear a ‘Chadar” on her head. I said this before all Ulema. Can any religious leader tell me if the Prophet or the Caliphs punished any woman because she did not cover her head. We prefer changes through persuasion, education and teaching respect and moral values. They (US) made so much efforts to end the Taliban rule in Afghanistan. They were thinking that the day the government is gone, all women will throw away their “burqas” or clothes. Go and see it you will not find one woman without a burqa.

Q: You have been quoted as saying that all US bases would be removed from NWFP when you come into power. Is this correct?

A: If our people do not want that foreign troops should be present on their soil, then what is wrong with it. Why should these troops be there?

Q: Has anyone in the Government or President Pervez Musharraf contacted you so far. Any message of congratulations or any communication at all?

A: There has been no communication so far but other people have been congratulating us.

Q: What conclusion are you drawing from this lack of communication?

A: Well it is still early. The final official results are not even out as yet.

Q: What is your final position in the House?

A: It is 3rd after PML-Q and PPPP. We have so far got 55 seats in the National Assembly.

Q: Is there any communication between your party and the PPP so far?

A: Yes we have received a telephone call from Mr Amin Fahim of PPPP who expressed the desire to meet me.

Q: Will you meet him and is there any possibility of an understanding with the PPP?

A: You know everything about us. You know what we agree on and on what issues we differ. Yes I will meet him.

Q: In the new situation any party will find it difficult to form a majority. You have got the balancing power?

A: All the parties in the National Assembly can gang up and join hands against us as well.

Q: Are you ready to sit in the Opposition and face all of them?

A: Why not, we will not compromise on our principles.

Q: There have been some reports and comments about differences within the MMA. Would you like to comment?

A: There is nothing like this. There is complete confidence, understanding and solidarity in all the parties.

Q: Are there any meetings planned?

A: Yes we will first hold MMA meetings. We have summoned a meeting on Tuesday (Oct 15, 2002).

Q: Are any independents talking to you for joining the MMA?

A: Yes they are.

Q: Do you think you will be handed over the Government in NWFP?

A: Why it will not be given? We have a majority.

Q: If there is any hurdle or disturbance (‘gar bar’) what will be the reaction?

A: What ‘gar bar’ can be done. Will they have fresh elections? What can they do?

Q: Is there any chance of Governor’s Rule in NWFP? Is there any talk about it?

A: No there is no chance and there is no possibility of Governor’s Rule. Otherwise there will be great turmoil, a huge crisis (‘Buhat Bara Fassad Barpa Hoga Phir’). If they will not hand over the Government to us how will they control the province. They have to keep law and order, it is a sensitive province. After such a heavy mandate how is it possible not to give us the Government. We have not been brought by the Army or the Establishment. It is not possible to push us away by twisting our ears. We have people supporting us and we have come through the democratic process. And we have not done anything as yet. Why are you getting so panicky. We are in touch with the officials here.

Q: How are these officials responding to you?

A: They are our friends. We have been together. We meet each other. No body is concerned that we will come into power.

Q: So you think power will be transferred to you smoothly?

A: Yes Inshallah. It will be done in a very friendly atmosphere. In an atmosphere of love. There is no tension here at all. Those who have lost here have also congratulated us. They are also ready to cooperate with us. Whether it is PPP, ANP or PML, all are happy that there has been a change.

Q: What is the position in Balochistan and are you in a position to form a Government there?

A: MMA is the largest party in Balochistan. We are talking to others to form a government. There are small parties and groups and we have to seek them out.

Q: Can you join a coalition with PML-QA in the Center?

A: All options are open at this point.

Q: But General Musharraf has not talked to you as yet although you have the balancing power?

A: I think he has not talked to any one.

Q: Why is it so, his reaction should have come by now?

A: He will make a speech, as he had said before the elections.

Q: There are serious concerns here in the US media, some are calling your victory as a Fundamentalist coup, what do you say?

A: Why is it. Do they not believe in the democratic process. People are happy here. If there is any complaint, we have one, in which we were denied a winning seat in Karachi. The results were delayed.


Issue No 18, Nov 18-24, 2002 ISSN:1684-2075


How the Establishment is reacting to the surprise MMA Victory

Aasim Sajjad Akhtar

Very few people are likely to say that they accurately predicted how well the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) would do in the general election. Indeed, most people were quite shellshocked – at least initially – at how many seats the MMA actually won.

And while the country as a whole continues to experience a limbo state in which the level of interest in who actually forms the government decreases by the day, it is worth it to consider how the establishment itself has reacted to the MMA establishing itself as a contender for state power.

There seems to be relative consensus amongst most objective observers that systematic attempts were made to marginalise the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (N). To the extent that it was possible, the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) was the benefactor of the military’s attempts to ensure that its influence in government remains intact.

That said then, only a massive intelligence failure could explain the MMA sneaking in through the backdoor. But such a massive intelligence failure is unlikely. So, without propagating any more theories about the way in which outcomes were engineered, the fact is that there are a lot of questions that hang over the entire exercise, and whether one should really be that surprised about the MMA’s success.

It is possible (although unlikely) that there was less interference by the agencies than has been suggested. But the very fact that this sort of drama now seems to have become an integral part of the election process is incredibly disturbing. There are many possible permutations of how the elections were manipulated, and what the eventual outcome will be. If we did not already know that there is a serious problem with what has been termed – to give just two examples - “guided democracy” and “sustainable federal democracy”, we are now aware of just how farcical things have become.

The weeks after elections have given us the wonderful opportunity to witness even more horsing around than took place before elections. There have been new twists reported in every morning newspaper, and the whole spectrum of potential political alliances seems to have been exhausted. Between the three parties who have been at the forefront of this almost comical topi drama, there has been no shortage of playacting and posturing. And at the end of the day, the one and only thing that remains clear is that the parties that eventually come together to form the national government will still be answerable to big brother in uniform.

And so the state’s date with a crisis of legitimacy seems to have been set. At times such as these, one might expect mortals to rise to the occasion, to commit to extraordinary acts. But even if we cannot expect a unique response from those in positions of responsibility, perhaps we can rely on good old-fashioned long-term interest to inadvertently help us out of a bad situation. Ultimately, given the military’s continuing banter about continuity of its so-called reform agenda, it is difficult to expect that government will provide anything new in the coming months (or years if this government actually lasts). Following from this, it would not be surprising if the general public starts to feel even more desperate than it already does. And so is likely to come more disgust, disillusionment, and possibly even agitation-inducing anger.

That being assumed, it would be left to the third party, the one that stays out of government, to, quite crudely, capitalize on the likely public support that will follow opposition of what will essentially continue to be an anti-people agenda. This is precisely what the MMA did in this election. The state was pushing people to the margins after having already alienated them by supporting the demolition job of Afghanistan, and the MMA simply had to fuel the simmering discontent (notwithstanding what now almost everyone affectionately refers to as pre-poll rigging). Therefore, the third party should really be thinking at least as much about being in the opposition as about being in government.

After all, if and when elections come around again, one could well expect the electorate to hand the protest vote to the third party just as it did to the MMA this time around (the pre-poll rigging qualification again here). While all of this is merely hypothesizing, the practice of power politics has as much to do with perception as anything else. And so the third party would do well to think about how much it has to gain in the longer-run by staying out of government, perhaps engaging in more people-centred politics, and then really making a go at it the next time around.

Being in the opposition – whether in a formal parliamentary democracy or by way of a radical political movement - is an art, a form of politics that has all too often been overlooked in this country, as has any other practice of politics that has not involved the establishment and patronage. In the opposition, political parties are usually more willing to articulate democratic principles and support what can become populist struggles, especially in a country like Pakistan, and especially while the global tidal wave of unresponsive market-oriented electoral politics persists. So it is not even necessarily a question of making the more principled decision, but one of making the more logical decision as far as long-term interest.

Who will the third party eventually be? The PML (Q) secured itself a place in government a long time ago. In the interests of democracy and long-term stability, it may well be that the PPP would be the best candidate for the job. Benazir Bhutto would do well to think back to 1988 and her willingness to take office despite the clear influence she knew the military would continue to have on her government. The compromises of 1988 set the tone for the next 11 years, and in actuality, that saga continues today. If Benazir is truly convinced that Pakistan needs to move away from army-controlled government, then now would be the time to make a definitive move.

In the final analysis however, all parties seem willing to discard the baggage of principled positions in the interest of capturing state power. But Pakistan needs something more than this to have any hope of resuscitating this bad excuse for democracy. Even if the PPP ends up the third party and in the opposition by virtue of being frozen out, one hopes and expects that it will provide a spark to what will otherwise become an even more lifeless political process. Regardless, it is only when some robustness is introduced into this entire process that we can genuinely expect forward movement.

There are other considerations such as the fact that the MMA’s vote came almost exclusively from NWFP and Balochistan, and that the United States and the Western world at large have as much influence and interest in all of this as anyone else.

These issues are critical to the entire equation, the former reflecting an increasing ethnic divide within the country as well as the establishment’s conviction that Punjab politics is the only politics that matters (in terms of this being where the PML (Q) was given the real push), and the latter the loss of sovereignty of the state in general. But in many ways, being able to do something about these negative trends is contingent on acknowledgement that the perennial experiments with military-monitored politics have badly failed the country.

And then, somewhere down the line, we can start thinking about who actually comprises our political parties, if and how they represent our interests, and what we need to do to make them more responsive.

The military’s long-term romance with the affairs of the state has meant that our mainstream parties remain hostage to specific interest groups, groups that develop on-off alliances with the establishment to secure state power. Once this unfortunate pattern is disrupted can the people of this country finally start to think about actually getting something out of the electoral process.

Mr Shaheen Sehbai, Ansar Abbasi, Rauf Klasra have forgotten while being Sanctimonious that what they all used to contribute for SOUTH ASIA TRIBUNE. Mr Shaheen Sehbai (former correspondent of Daily Dawn; former editor of The News; ex Director News of ARY ONE TV Channel; former director of GEO News Network; and presently Group Editor the News), escaped from Pakistan to save himself from the so-called wrath of the establishment headed by General Musharraf, after the controversy surrounding his story about the murder of Daniel Pearl. It was apparently simply to obtain the Green Card for himself, and his family in the United States. Mr Sehbai then started to run a web based news service, i.e., South Asia Tribune, funded through dubious sources, but he suddenly reappeared and closed his website. During his self-imposed exile in the USA, he used to raise hue and cry against the military establishment that he and his family members’ life was in danger, but the so-called danger suddenly vanished after the whole family getting the Green Cards. He then returned to Pakistan and that too under the same Musharraf regime, and joined ARY TV channel, then GEO, and then the News, where he is presently working.


WASHINGTON, October 17: Dear Readers, this is the final piece on the South Asia Tribune, as this site is now being closed for good. I understand that it may come as a rude shock to many and may create despair and depression for all those who had started to look up to SAT as a beacon of courage and resistance, but this decision has been based on many factors, which I will explain briefly. SAT would be on line for the rest of this month, till the end of October. On November 1, 2005 it will disappear from the Internet. All those who may be interested in keeping a record of any SAT article or report can save it any time before that date. REFERENCE: The Final Word from theSouth Asia Tribune By Shaheen Sehbai WASHINGTON DC, Oct 17, 2005 ISSN: 1684-2057


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