Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turncoat (Lota) Shafqat Mahmood with Imran Khan!

If you think Imran Khan to be a super saint who will only allow saints to join him, think again. Granted IK is untainted, untried and unfamiliar to statecraft, he alone cannot save Pakistan as many of us, me included, wish. Even if he is the messiah we have waited for, where does he get his team of disciples from? People who could be called true to life, true to reality, true-dealing, true-devoted, true-disposing, true-souled, true-spirited and truehearted. I can wager right now that none can pass the truth test. Old skeletons rattle in their closets. Open and they will fall out in plenty. We already hear of old guns, who served dictator Musharraf loyally, wanting a trip to New Atlantis on IK’s wooden ark. He’s the Noah and these fellas are the herd who want to be saved from the Great Flood. Better for IK to let them drown. Here’s a sample of the menagerie that the cricketing legend may collect. That chap with flashing eyes and foul temper, Musharraf’s former Faisalabad-bred law minister, and people who advised the Gen to sack the Chief Justice; retired generals who kowtowed to their chief but stabbed him. Pretty Pollies dressed to kill but empty-headed. Bribable bankers and expert book-fiddlers. Sleazy businessmen with sleaziest deals. I don’t need to direct you to the junkyard where the gangsters await recycling. You know them well, but does IK? Don’t forget, Pakistan is a country whose leaders lack shame, memory and brain. Old recycled crooks are always available for rehire and resale. Reference: View from US: A rally does not a victor make Anjum Niaz November 20, 2011 First to join the PTI was columnist Shafqat Mahmood, who has been former PPP senator, a caretaker minister in president Farooq Leghari’s cabinet and finally minister during Pervez Musharraf’s regime. He invited Khan to his residence to announce his decision to join the PTI. Mahmood said the law and order had collapsed and corruption knew no bounds. “In such circumstances only a clean and upright leadership can save the country and Khan is the only leader who fits the frame. He is a clean leader and no one can question his integrity,” he told media men who gathered there. Khan, on his part, welcomed the new entrant to the PTI, saying that “time would prove his decision right”. Currently, the leadership of both main parties is vested in two families, who have turned into “political mafias, anointing their kids for leadership and it is very crucial to clear politics of them if country has to prosper”, he said. Mahmood has of late been very close to the PML-N leadership and has reportedly been a consultant on many projects in the Punjab government. The PML-N was expecting him in the party because of his closeness to the Punjab chief minister and party president Nawaz Sharif. Both of them have been his supporters despite reservations of many second ring leaders. “It is hugely embarrassing for the PML-N leadership, which has been acting on his advice on many issues and receiving assurances of sincerity,” says a party leader. With him jilting the PML-N, Nawaz and Shahbaz must have felt personally betrayed, he claimed. REFERENCE: Imran greets five new entrants to PTI Ex-senator, others on PTI bandwagon Our Correspondent Thursday, November 24, 2011

With utmost humility and respect: Fast Rewind to refresh the Memory of my former boss i.e. Mr Masood Sharif Khan Khattak who also has recently joined this bandwagon (Bhan Mati Ka Kunba) i.e. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan Justice Party) and I hope he would appreciate that one of the colleague i.e. (Shafqat Mahmood) of his and this nation's tormentor i.e. Sardar Farooq Laghari, is now Mr. Khattak's party colleague and it means whatever Laghari did was right and what Laghari did is as under:

He is Masood Sharif Khan Khattak, better known as Major Masood Sharif, director-general of the Intelligence Bureau in PM Benazir Bhutto’s second term. He has asked a significant question: if a public servant adequately met a challenge to the state by terrorists, and, risking his life, overcame the gruesome horror, and was then punished for it by dismissal from service, who will want to take up any future challenge to the state? To worst patch of terrorism that Pakistan has ever faced, says Masood Sharif, was in Karachi during 1984-95. Peace and the writ of Pakistan were finally restored in that city in 1995-96 through essentially an IB-spearheaded operation under his command. For the people of Karachi there is no need to repeat what they went through all these years. On August 14, 1996, President Leghari conferred the Hilal-i-Shujaat on Masood Sharif and on Saeed Khan, IGP, Shoaib Suddle, DIG Police, and Major General Muhammad Akram, DG Rangers. But what happened after the fall of the PPP government in November 1996? Leghari, on the advice of PM Nawaz Sharif, in an act unprecedented as well as contemptible, withdrew the awards from the three civilian officers but did not have the guts to do the same to the military general. Masood Sharif was held in Karachi jail for three years. No charges could even be drawn up against him, and was finally released on bail by the Supreme Court. In the process he was humiliated, insulted and tortured, his family literally thrown out of government accommodation, and he was dismissed from service without a trial. All because he was considered close to Benazir Bhutto. Asks Masood Sharif: “Where was the state that I had defended against terrorism when I and my family were meted out a treatment that was disgraceful and utterly humiliating? While I defended the state when it was vulnerable, the state did not defend me when my family and I were vulnerable and needed to be defended against vicious and vindictive people.” This was a sample, though a very cruel and base sample, of what an officer can face from the successors of a political regime which he tried to serve to the best of his ability. As a retired public servant, all that I can say is, “May the Almighty protect the services from such victimization.” REFERENCE: Victimized for loyalty By Hafizur Rahman April 10, 2002 Wednesday Muharram 26, 1423

Masood Sharif Khattak does not agree with me. He has joined Imran Khan whom he addresses reverently as the “Party Chief”. Before he joined, I asked Khattak in an email if he would still support him should IK usher in trainloads of crooks? Calling my question “hypothetical,” Khattak fired back, “I have unflinching confidence in Imran Khan that, no matter what the political costs may be to him, he will never accept crooks in the fold of the PTI. Acceptability of crooks in the PTI is an impossibility in the light of my understanding of the PTI and its dynamic chief Imran Khan.” Khattak began his career in the army. The last post he held was as the chief of Intelligence Bureau during BB’s second term. When her government fell, he was thrown in jail. Later, he was made a member of the central executive committee and a vice president of PPP. He was known to be close to the former first couple but had a falling out weeks before BB’s assassination. REFERENCE: View from US: A rally does not a victor makeAnjum Niaz | Opinion | From the Newspaper November 20, 2011 Judge Asif from today by By Masood Sharif Khan Khattak - Former Director General Intelligence Bureau

Turncoats (Lota/Badhna) in Imran Khan Party
Saturday, November 26, 2011, Zil Hajj 29, 1432 A.H. (Daily Jang)

As for 'entitlement' and 'discretion,' we can do no better than to read what Senator Shafqat Mahmood wrote in a Karachi daily yesterday on the subject of Mian Nawaz sharif, former chief minister of Punjab, and twice our prime minister: "When he was, in his own words, the Prince of Punjab, his executive style was reminiscent of a medieval lord rather than a modern chief executive of a Third World poverty stricken province. He increased his discretionary grant - spending money given to the Chief Minister by the provincial treasury - from Rs one lac to Rs 9 crores per annum. And this he distributed with gay abandon. I was then Additional Secretary Finance in the Punjab, and the details of his expenditure passed through my hands. He would go around with pockets full of money. If a waiter served him well in a restaurant, he would give him a twenty thousand rupee tip. A barber who pleased him would get Rs one lac. The Lahore Gymkhana pavilion attendants, where he played cricket, got similarly large amounts. All, we must remember, state money not his own. "Many of you may think that I cannot be serious. Believe me, I am. The records are available in the Finance Department of the province for all to see. There were thousands and thousands of entries to nameless, faceless people who had caught his fancy for one reason or another. He was munificent and large-hearted. He gave and gave. There is no doubt in my mind that he enjoys dispensing these favours. He was equally large-hearted with state land. Hundreds, indeed thousands, were given plots not only in Lahore but in Rawalpindi and many other cities of the provinces. Most of these were legislators, including many who are now luminaries of his cabinet and his party. But, this generosity was not confined to them. Many others, including social acquaintances, civil servants, and personal attendants were the lucky beneficiaries." REFERENCE: Betrayers of our trust Ardeshir Cowasjee DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 8 May 1999 Issue : 05/19

Sardar Tummandar Farooq Laghari Caretaker Cabinet (1996)

1. Mr. Sahibzada Yaqub Khan Foreign Affairs

2. Syed Abida Hussain - PML(N) Education, Science & Technology

3. Mr. Muhammad Zubair Commerce

4. Shahid Hamid Defence and Establishment

5. Umar Khan Afridi Interior, Narcotics, Federal Minister of State Investigation of Frontier region
and Kashmir affairs.

6. Shafqat Mahmood - PPP Food & Agriculture and Livestock

7. Sadiq Nawaz Khan Awan Industries and Production

8. Javed Jabbar Petroleum and Natural Resources

9. Irshad Ahmed Haqqani Information & Broadcasting

10. Senator Faridullah Khan Religious Affairs

11. Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim Law and Justice

13. Shahid Javed Burki PM's Finance Advisor

14. Abdul Ghafoor Jatoi Commerce

15. Mohammad Afzal Khan Health, Population Welfare &

16. Subedar Khan Mendokel Housing & Works

17. Amanullah Khan Gichki Local Bodies

Reference: Exit of Benazir by Moosi Raza Nov, 1996

In a recent PTV discussion, three ministers of the caretaker regime, Messrs Shahid Hamid, Shafqat Mahmood and Irshad Haqqani, responded to these concerns along different lines. Haqqani's thesis was interesting and perhaps central to the caretakers' operative framework. Essentially, he said, politicians fluffed it after the restoration of democracy in 1985. More so, the governments that came in after 1988 let the people down. Further, accountability today is a widespread demand and it has to be decided if the country is ready for yet another government of the same kind of performance if given "a 100 per cent free hand." Society's imperfections are reflected in the legislature and as such the legislature to be elected will again be far from perfect and not very different from the last four, despite the steps that the caretakers have taken. Hence, according to Mr Haqqani, people have started seeking an arrangement that can bring collective wisdom to bear on issues pertaining to important matters of state. In other words, what we have here is a prescription for restraining the next government as well as the legislature since we expect these to perform as badly as the last four have done. And since the politicians are the ones to have let the people down, it is clear that the political wing of the CDNS will not be the one supplying most of the wisdom.  Mr Shahid Hamid, a man of few words, restricted himself to emphasising the advisory nature of the CDNS. He did not say why in that case there was such a rush to form this body and why it could not have been left to an elected government to do the needful. On another occasion he also suggested that the CDNS was aimed at providing substance to the position of the president under the Constitution. Even if his reading of the Constitution on this point were to be accepted as accurate, it is difficult to see how 'substance' could be provided without a 'substantial' amendment to the Constitution. Senator Shafqat Mahmood asked an interesting question: in effect, are we to let the country collapse while we pursue some abstract democratic ideal? Of course, the corollary of this rhetorical question is that less democratic strategies will ensure that the country will not collapse. Obviously, this is tenuous logic. But in a sense this is the heart of the problem that the nation faces on the eve of its 50th birthday. Yes, democracy has not delivered. We are now running out of options as well as time. And people find it increasingly difficult to believe that a democratic process which allows for the most phenomenal excesses of corruption as well as incompetence and suffers from a profound absence of institutional content will in the fullness of time transform itself into the kind of framework that nations need to realise their potential and shape their destiny. But how does involving the army and giving it a much greater role in governance take it any nearer to our goal? REFERENCE: CDNS: a supra-cabinet   Abbas Rashid DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 16 January 1997 Issue : 03/03

Off The Record 3/24/11 - P1

Off The Record 3/24/11 - P2

off The record 3/24/11 - P3

LAHORE, Sept 29: Punjab Information Minister Shafqat Mahmood has in terms of clause 9 of the  appointment of Provincial Ministers and Oath of Office Order's Order No 8 of 1999 resigned from the office of a provincial minister, says an official handout issued late on Friday night. The governor has approved the resignation of Mr Shafqat Mahmood from the office of a provincial minister. REFERENCE: DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 2000 Issue : 06/

THE departure of Javed Jabbar, the minister of information, on October 14th, followed three days later by that of the agriculture minister, Shafqat Jamote, has prompted some troubling questions about how Pakistan’s military leaders see its performance and want to run the government. Two weeks earlier, Shafqat Mahmood, the liberal-minded minister of information of Punjab province, “resigned”, citing “personal reasons”. Privately, the generals blame their media managers for “failing to project the achievements of their regime”. REFERENCE: Pakistan Dejected ejected Oct 19th 2000 | LAHORE | from the print edition

Snow White Mr. Shafqat Mahmood on Taliban and American Policy in the Region

The Taliban are crumbling faster than cardboard shanties in the path of a storm. Promises of fierce ground battles, that churned the blood of many a chest thumper in Pakistan, are now drifting helplessly in the dust laden Afghan wind. It is not over yet, not by a long shot, but what remains is a mopping up operation. Scattered over rural Afghanistan, the Taliban residue and their foreign volunteers will be picked off slowly but surely. It is sad in a way although I have no love for the Taliban or what they stood for. Much of this could have been avoided if they were less cocky or more rational or more ready to be a part of the world. If they were all these things, though, they would not be Taliban. People who are ready to blow up ancient Buddhist statutes because they are idols or whip women because their ankles are showing or force every man to keep a six-inch long beard, do not live in the same world as you and I. A particularly poignant moment for me as Kabul fell, was the playing of music from a truck mounted loudspeaker. If the ordinary and trivial becomes special and significant, there is something terribly wrong with the world. And there was a lot wrong with the Taliban's world. The image of young Afghans queuing up to get their beards trimmed makes this point more eloquently than a thousand or a million words. The liberators of Kabul are not the Dad's Army either. Within their ranks are some of the most blood thirsty tyrants ever encountered in the tragic Afghan history. Yet it is a sign of the times that many ordinary Afghans let out a collective sigh of relief when the Taliban departed. So let no one mourn the Taliban. They are not synonymous with the Afghans. They were freaks of history and will hopefully be consigned to that special place where other such oddities are kept. REFERENCE: Afghanistan and our future Shafqat Mahmood The writer is a former Senator and a former federal and provincial minister Nov 16,  2001

Imran Khan in Jawab Deyh - 1 (GEO TV 3rd Jun 2007)

Some of our armchair warriors are not finished though. Retired Generals Hamid Gul and Aslam 'strategic' Beg are calling the Taliban disappearing act a brilliant tactical manoeuvre. Earlier they predicted fierce land battles and now, without an apology, they see the spectre of a long drawn out guerrilla war. Do not forget that one of these gentlemen declared Saddam's 'mother of all battles' as another Vietnam. Having had such a comeuppance, he should have taken an eternal vow of silence. No such luck. The sad part is that some newspapers still bother to give space to his never ending bombast. Others like Qazi Hussain Ahmed also need to pause and do a rethink. If the Taliban were representative of all the Afghans or even of the Pashtuns they would not have crumbled so quickly. The fact is that they were a small slice of Afghani society and had gathered momentum only because of unending conflict and depravity of the warlords. When their true face was revealed most of the Afghans grew to hate them. It must also be remembered that if Afghans hate foreigners on their soil, they must have also grown to hate the Arabs, the Chechens, the Pakistanis and others who had flocked to Osama and the Taliban. It did not require a major calculation for the Afghans to see that at least some of their difficulties were because of the foreigners. It is instructive therefore that the Northern Alliance soldiers make it a point of executing the outsiders, who surrender, but spare the Afghans even if they are Taliban. REFERENCE: Afghanistan and our future Shafqat Mahmood The writer is a former Senator and a former federal and provincial minister Nov 16,  2001

Imran Khan in Jawab Deyh - 2 (GEO TV 3rd Jun 2007)

The heat of the battle may be over but the political headaches have already begun. Putting together a broad based government, which by definition should be majority Pashtun, is not going to be easy. While there are definite problems ahead, some of us are becoming overly anxious about the Afghan government of the future. Yes, it was a mistake of our intelligence not to have a link to non-Taliban forces and I hope we have learnt a lesson. But, it is not the end of the world either. We must have faith in our intrinsic importance for any Afghan government. Most of Southern and Western Afghanistan has already become a common economic market with us. Pakistani goods such as wheat, edible oil, toiletries, POL products, cloth and a host of others are a staple in Afghan markets. Our currency is a legal tender there. This integration of markets is a necessary bond between us and Afghanistan. Geography still dictates that we provide the nearest port to Afghan goods. In fact Afghan transit trade has become a headache for us and a bonanza for Afghan governments. We are also a host to millions of Afghans, whether we like it or not. No future Afghan government can afford to be an enemy of ours. It may not be a bosom buddy but then no Afghan government has ever been one. A businesslike relationship is the best we can hope for and this will happen. We must also have faith in the strength of our armed forces. Internally we may have mixed feelings about them because of their political role but externally we must understand that they can deter any aggression. No Afghan government will risk a conflict with us because they know our strength. So, while there may be a rocky road ahead in the near term, the long-term prospect of coexistence with future Afghan governments is not bad. REFERENCE: Afghanistan and our future Shafqat Mahmood The writer is a former Senator and a former federal and provincial minister Nov 16,  2001

Imran Khan in Jawab Deyh - 3 (GEO TV 3rd Jun 2007)

There is also an apprehension among some people that our love affair with the Americans is about to end. The logic is that after the collapse of the Taliban, we are no longer required. Some even think that we are going to be the next target of American aggression. This is all nonsense. I have no brief for the Americans, and certainly no information, yet is not difficult to see what lies ahead. States come together because of shared interests. I do not see American interest in this region diminishing. Therefore, their interest in us and ours in them will remain. The simple fact is that the American are here to stay. They have not gone to all this trouble just to defeat the ragtag Taliban or even to root out Osama. These are valid targets but there is also a long-term strategic/economic objective. Central Asia has the largest untapped reservoir of oil and gas in the world. The best way to transport this to European and American markets is through Afghanistan and Pakistan. To do this, American companies have been trying to build a pipeline for many years now. After Afghanistan has been pacified, this will become a major priority. I do not believe that Americans would have bases either in Pakistan or Afghanistan but they will have some presence in Central Asia. More importantly because of economic and strategic reasons, they will stay engaged with this part of the world. This engagement dictates that they will continue to want a friendly Pakistan. They will also want Pakistan to remain stable and this can only happen if we are economically viable. Therefore, American assistance, and help with the international financial institutions, will remain. REFERENCE: Afghanistan and our future Shafqat Mahmood The writer is a former Senator and a former federal and provincial minister Nov 16,  2001

Imran khan in Jawab Deyh - 4 (GEO TV 3rd Jun 2007)

When President Bush and Colin Powell and even Tony Blair say that we are here for the long haul, they mean it. They will remain with us not because they love us, but because their economic and strategic interest demands it. Of course, this engagement would have other repercussions; some good, some bad. If the balance has to be towards the good, we will have to play our cards right.
No outside power can take us out of our difficulties, if we are not determined to help ourselves. This government has done well to keep the focus on the economy but a fundamental social problem would also have to be addressed. We cannot have three systems of education, deeni madaris, Urdu medium schools and the elite English medium. This will keep dividing our society. We need to have one system of education for everyone. Rich, poor, liberal, orthodox, Shia, Sunni, Wahabi, Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi and Pushtun, would all have to be weaved into a common thread of education. Only this will heal the fissures in our society. We also need to sort out the extremists, the sectarian terrorist, the fascists hiding behind religion, and others of such ilk, who destabilise our society. One way to counter them is to rid them and the country of weapons. If we begin to do some of this, we would on the right road. If we are doing right, the help of our friends from abroad will make a difference. Otherwise no amount of aid can do any good. I stick my neck out to say that I am optimistic about the future. I really think that Pakistan came to an important crossroad and took the right decision. If we follow this up with correct policies only good lies ahead. REFERENCE: Afghanistan and our future Shafqat Mahmood The writer is a former Senator and a former federal and provincial minister Nov 16,  2001

The current FOI Ordinance was drafted under the Proclamation of Emergency of 14 October 1999 and is empowered under the Provisional Constitution Order, No’s 1 and 9 of 1999. A brief examination of the history of freedom of information in Pakistan reveals that this is the second draft ordinance on the issue in the last three years. In 1997, a committee including the present Federal Information Minister, Javed Jabbar, Punjab Information Minister, Shafqat Mahmood, and chaired by the then Minister of Justice, Irshad Haqqani, drafted a freedom of information ordinance. The ordinance was believed to contain serious flaws and was roundly criticised by media organisations. Since 1997, the proposal for a freedom of information ordinance has been held in abeyance until this year when the present FOI Ordinance was drafted and presented to organisations inside Pakistan for their review. REFERENCE: PAKISTAN: Interim IPI Report on the Pakistan Freedom of Information Ordinance This report examines the draft Freedom of Information Ordinance, 2000 (FOI Ordinance) in light of international standards regarding freedom of information and whether the intended ordinance may have consequences for freedom of the media. 01.09.2000 Scroll down to the end of the report to see the text of the draft Freedom of Information Ordinance, 2000 (FOI Ordinance) and IPI letter to General Purvaiz Musharraf

Mansoor Ijaz is Imran Khan's Friend.

Ijaz is the same person who called for declaring the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) a terrorist organisation, Haqqani was quoted as telling the president. A few days later, the same person then reportedly met the head of ISI Lt. General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Haqqani reportedly added. “What does this indicate?” he was quoted as rhetorically asking the president. Haqqani, sources added, also referred to a statement of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan on October 30, where he was implicated in the scandal for the first time. “I was summoned on November 15 … how could Imran know about it on October 30,” Haqqani was quoted as saying. REFERENCE: Memogate: Adamant ambassador set to face troika By Kamran Yousaf Published: November 21, 2011

Snow White Shafqat Mahmood having violated the article 6 of 1973 Constitution with General Musharraf by taking oath as a Minister in Punjab in 1999/2000 in an Illegal Military Regime and yet Mr. Shafqat Mahmood has the audacity to Lecture all of us on General Mirza Aslam Beg's Mess. He is least bothered to explain the support his present Imran Khan gave to a PCO Judiciary, War on Terror and Musharraf Martial Law. Imran Khan's Alleged Principled Stand & General Musharraf's Fraudulent Referendum. Imran Khan hailed PCOed Judiciary! Imran Khan's Support: Then Musharraf Now Taliban!

The history of this much abused country is being churned to let the scum rise to the top. And what nuggets of filth are floating up -- military-made political parties, midnight jackals, cash for elections, Karachi operations, agency this and agency that. Is this the Pakistani version of a truth and reconciliation commission? The 'truth' being dished out has more slants than a right-angle triangle and it is certainly not leading to any reconciliation. The million-dollar question is where all these worms crawled out of? Have they rolled down the presidency, as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) alleges or have they emerged from the irritable bowel of an over-active nine zero? Whoever has unleashed them has no care for the ascetic discipline of the holy month because they make for a juicy and spicy fare. It is easy to choke on Brigadier Billa because he is truly unsavoury. But let us admit to a secret vice; he has stories to tell. And stories are interesting even if they come from the mouth of someone you would ideally like to see begging for mercy, hanging upside down a pole The question of the month though is -- and it has been asked often enough -- let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I don't see a mad rush for the quarries and the reason is simple. The elite of this country has much to seek forgiveness for. We are all sinners literally and metaphorically. The politicians top the list because they flaunt their sins publicly or maybe we scrutinise them more fearlessly. They are vulnerable because their passion for fame and fortune makes them impatient. It is not a pleasure they want to defer and end up becoming easy targets for manipulators. The Hameed Guls and the Billas of this world thrive in this milieu. They have guns and cash. While the politicians are more visible, their sins in the larger scheme of things are relatively innocent. They make money and are unprincipled but their impact on the nation is more through happenstance than design. The sins of some people in the military have been more sinister, more egregious and more damaging to the nation. It is they who need to be exposed. In my reading of post-Zia history, there is no greater sinner than Aslam Beg. By his actions after Zia's death and indeed throughout his tenure of office, he caused great harm to this nation. He did not let democracy settle, manipulated parties and politicians and corrupted them, brought governments down, indeed did everything he possibly could to create circumstances for his ascent to power. He failed but in the process, he hurt us badly. It is easy to blame Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) because he had his share of sins but without Aslam Beg goading him on, much of what GIK did would not have happened. It was Beg who asked Hameed Gul to form the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) and stop Benazir and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) from coming to power. When he could not stop it, it was he who led the media and dirty-tricks campaign to undermine it and bring it down. Let us keep our biases aside for a minute, ladies and gentlemen. Whether we like Benazir Bhutto is not the issue here and more importantly, let us suspend our knowledge of what she did later. However, in 1988 she was not only the most popular leader in Pakistan but an international celebrity. She was an Aung San Suu Kyi like figure whose father had been murdered and who had suffered much hardship. There was not a hint of the taints that later followed her. If Beg and his cohorts had been patriots, they would not have formed the IJI to stop her. Afterwards when she still made it to power, they would have seen her as an asset to Pakistan. They should have gone to her and said "Madam, you are inexperienced but we will help you run the government. Your international image is a great plus for the country and we want you to repair the damage to our global reputation after Zia's draconian dictatorship." They did nothing of the sort. They started to sully her image and taint her reputation from day one. She indeed had her faults and made their task easier but she should have been guided. Instead, they launched operation midnight jackal, engineered a no-confidence move against her, got the MQM to take on the PPP in the streets of Karachi, thwarted the Pucca Qilla operation, which was leading to the capture of a huge cache arms stored by terrorists in Hyderabad, and then prevailed upon GIK to dismiss her government. This not only hurt Pakistan but derailed democracy. Had a single civilian government completed its tenure and transfer of power taken place through constitutionally scheduled elections, we would have been on our way. But Beg would not allow this. It was not without purpose. His plan was to first destroy the reputation of Benazir, bring her government down, and then do the same to Nawaz Sharif. Once all politicians had been damaged, he thought, his ascent to power would become easy. Consider this. After the Benazir government had been dismissed in 1990, he distributed money and did everything to make an IJI government come into power. Yet no sooner had Nawaz Sharif taken over, he was conspiring against him. I know this personally because I saw it happen before my eyes. Nawaz Sharif had taken over in perhaps October or November and by December, officers of military intelligence were making contact with the PPP to instigate it against the government. Not only that, Beg deliberately started to undermine Nawaz by taking a position different from that of the government during the First Gulf War. His agents, largely serving military officers but also some of his friends, principally one Lahore-based businessman, started to goad the PPP to take on the Nawaz Sharif government through street power. The purpose was to create enough trouble to make it possible for Beg to take over. Fortunately, for us, his time ran out and Ghulam Ishaq Khan trumped him by appointing a new army chief, two months before his term of office was to end. This was unprecedented and the only reason it was done was to make him a lame duck and thwart his ambition for power. Beg left with much regret but a legacy of bitterness was created that tainted the entire decade of the 90s. Democracy could not settle after that. Benazir and the PPP eventually managed to bring Nawaz Sharif down through Ghulam Ishaq Khan and PML N paid the compliment back by launching various movements during Benazir's second term in office. It then supported Farooq Leghari in the sacking of the second PPP government. This merry-go-round continued until Musharraf threw the whole lot out in 1999. End of democracy phase one. A new phase has started. What will this bring? REFERENCE: How Aslam Beg damaged a nation Shafqat Mahmood Friday, September 04, 2009

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