Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pakistan Consensus Against Musharraf But Not Against Terrorists

Pakistani politicians, judges and media appear to be unified in their support of trying former President Musharraf  for treason under article 6 of Pakistan's constitution. Unfortunately, no such consensus exists to act against the murderous monster of terrorism which has its head in North Waziristan with its tentacles spread across the country. This raises several questions:

1. Do the politicians, judges and media in Pakistan see Musharraf and the military as a bigger threat than the Taliban terrorists and their sectarian allies attacking all institutions of the state and slaughtering innocent Pakistani citizens on a daily basis?

2. Can the monster of terrorism be contained by attempting to sever just a few of its tentacles here and there while leaving its head alone to thrive in North Waziristan and grow more tentacles to continue its terror campaign of murder and mayhem in all parts of Pakistan?

3. Does Pakistan really have sovereignty over FATA, particularly North Waziristan from where the TTP leadership regularly mocks the state institutions of Pakistan and flouts its laws and constitution?

4. If Pakistan is failing to assert and estalish its sovereignty in FATA, is it justified in claiming that the American drones are violating it?

5. Is it more important for the politicians, judges and journalists to settle scores with Musharraf and the military than to improve civil-military relations to unify the nation against the common enemy, the terrorists, attacking all of them?

6. Is the total lack of action by the Pakistani state to protect its citizens an indication of Pakistan fast becoming a failed state?

7. Do the politicians and the judges not realize that they risk looking impotent and ineffective in the eyes of the world by failing to protect the people of Pakistan from internal and external aggression? Are they not becoming the laughing stock of the world?

8. Do Pakistani politicians, judges and journalists want international investors, tourists and cricketers to return to Pakistan?

9. Can Pakistani economy recover and its energy crisis resolved without tackling the growing violence perpetrated by well-armed and well-trained terrorists who challenge the legitimacy of Pakistani state from their headquarters in North Waziristan?

10. Have Pakistani politicians advocating peace talk with the Taliban learned anything from ANP's experience of surrendering Swat to the terrorists in 2009? Do they remember the reign of terror unleashed by the Taliban after the ANP agreed to their demand to establish "Niazm-e-Adl" in Swat?

11. Have PML(N) and PTI leaders forgotten what the Taliban did to ANP leadership in the last few years after their 2009 deal in Swat? How the TTP systematically killed and removed many of ANP's top leaders from the scene? How ANP was completely wiped out in the last genreral elections in May of this year?

A wise person learns from others' mistakes, an average person from his or her own mistakes and a fool learns from no one's mistakes. What the Pakistani  leaders do now will determine who they are: wise, average or stupid!

Please watch the following video dealing with the above questions:

Nanga Parbat tourist massacre, No anti-terrorist strategy of Nawaz Sharif Government, No national consensus from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Nawaz Sharif's Silence on Taliban Terror in Inaugural Speech

Taliban vs. Pakistan

Yet Another Peace Deal and Shia Blockade

Taliban Insurgency in Swat

Musharraf's Treason Trial

General Kayani's Speech on Terror War Ownership

Impact of Youth Vote and Taliban Violence on Elections 2013

Imran Khan's Social Media Campaign

Pakistan Elections 2013 Predictions 

Why is Democracy Failing in Pakistan?

Viewpoint From Overseas-Vimeo 

Viewpoint From Overseas-Youtube 


Tabassum said...

NS is playing by the book, politically and legally he had to go to SC, if he had not done so everybody would have cried murder, this case will go on for another 6 months and than die on its own accord but most important is FP on which everybody future hangs. PTI stand of coming out from WOT is the sensible option to come out of this saga, but who will do so? I think DR Masood famous quip, talk talk fight fight will be the norm in near future until US goes out of Afghanistan, which I don't see in distant future. If u look at the picture below and the seating arrangement , things are going in right direction, keeping in mind the envoy was set to meet Sartaj Aziz and kyani but NS butted in and stole the

Riaz Haq said...

Tabassum: "NS is playing by the book, politically and legally he had to go to SC, if he had not done so everybody would have cried murder, this case will go on for another 6 months and than die on its own accord but most important is FP on which everybody future hangs...."

Neither Nawaz Sharif nor the Supreme Court are following the constitution in their pursuit of Muaharraf.

Nawaz Sharif did not go to the Supreme Court in this case; it was Supreme Court that demanded that Nawaz Sharif go after Musharraf....why? Because Supreme Court of Pakistan is made up of vindictive and bigoted judges seeking revenge, not upholding the constitution of Pakistan.

Let's remember what the high treason act of Pakistan says : “No court shall take cognizance of an offense punishable under this act except upon a complaint in writing made by a person authorized by the Federal Government in this behalf.”

The current case was not started by the govt; it was started with a complaint from Hamid Khan who has no standing in this case and yet the Supreme Court accepted it and demanded that govt try Musharraf in a completely unconstitutional manner.

Tabassum said...

Nothing will come out of this, just waste of time, SC had ample time in five years to give some solid decisions but it just wasted money and time of Pakistan playing to the gallery, same will be the end of this case money wasted end result will be Zilch

Riaz Haq said...

Tabassum: "Nothing will come out of this, just waste of time, SC had ample time in five years to give some solid decisions but it just wasted money and time of Pakistan playing to the gallery, same will be the end of this case money wasted end result will be Zilch"

Can Pakistan afford this huge distraction when there are so many bigger and much more urgent problems demanding the attention of Pak leadership...problems like terrorists causing daily carnage? Load-shedding? Stagnant economy? Lack of investment?

Imran said...

Its a very simple answer to all the questions- Pakistani politicians do not want to tackle the difficult issues. Dealing with terrorism is something they believe is a western problem. Its associated with Drone attacks. Naively they believe that the day Americans leave Afghanistan and drone attacks are suspended, the terrorism will die down as there won't be a enemy left to fight. Also, no politician wants to stand up to the Terrorists as they all fear for their lives… The problem is, you are already dead if you live in fear….

HopeWins Junior said...

It's getting worse. They are now killing infrastructure workers and policemen:

This will WORSEN the law & order and infrastructure deficit.

As for FDI, here is what the GLOBAL media are headlining for Pakistan.....


We can now forget about FDI and all that. Who will want to put their money in a country that generates such headlines regularly? Pakistan's image has been RUINED and will remain so for at least another generation.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report on sharp decline in drone deaths in Pakistan:

The number of reported civilian deaths caused by the CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan is at an all-time low, a report by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) stated.
According to the data mentioned in the report, the number of drone strikes conducted under Obama’s administration stands at 318, while the total number of strikes carried out since 2004 is 370.
These hundreds of strikes in Pakistan’s tribal region killed at least 2,500 people, 400 of whom are said to be civilians.
The report stated that around 200 children lost their lives in drone attacks.
The campaign carried out with the help of unmanned aircraft left around 1,100 injured.

There is said to be a steep decline in the number of US drone strikes in Pakistan; strikes are now at their lowest level since early 2008.
The average number of people being killed in each drone strike has fallen sharply too, an analysis of the Bureau’s data shows. On average, four people now die in each attack – just a third of the rate in the first six months of 2010.
TJIB data indicates that the highest casualties in the US drone war occur when the CIA carries out “signature strikes” – attacking groups of men judged to be behaving in a suspicious manner.
TBIJ is a not for profit organisation based at City University in London.

Anonymous said...

"Here's an ET report on sharp decline in drone deaths in Pakistan"

And yet killings by terrorists has only increased sharply after the new govt. Does that prove to numbheads that drones had nothing to do with killings.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Christian Science Monitor report on Pak talks with Taliban:

Despite the Pakistani Taliban’s recent deadly attack on 10 foreign climbers, many Pakistanis still want to hold talks with the group to end a decade long conflict that has killed more than 50,000 people, mostly civilians.

Pakistan has a broad consensus in favor of talking to the Taliban. A May 2013 Pew survey found only 35 percent support using the military against the Taliban, and 64 percent saw the US as more of an enemy than a partner. Anecdotal evidence since the attack indicates that’s still the view.

“Both sides are interested in peace due to the reason that the government wants to improve its rating among people,” says Mansur Khan Mehsud, research director at the Fata Research Center.

But the question is: How?

Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s new president, has repeatedly expressed his desire to sit down with the Taliban, also known as the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), but analysts say the hurdles are tremendous. It is highly unlikely that the TTP would ever recognize the current government as legitimate, or that the rest of Pakistan would accept the group's particular interpretation of sharia (Islamic law). Others say ending the US alliance – a major demand from the TTP – is untenable.

...some peace talk supporters say the TTP draws support from Pakistanis who resent their country's involvement in the US “War On Terror,” and talks won’t have any effect until Pakistan ends its alliance with the US.

“[If] this war keeps going on, [the TTP] wont stop,” says Sami ul Haqq, an influential cleric who runs Dar-ul-uloom Haqqania, a seminary in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa whose alumni include several of the Afghan Taliban's leaders.

The anticipated 2014 US withdrawal from Afghanistan will have a significant impact on the TTP, says Mehsud. The TTP exploits grassroots resentment of the US presence in Afghanistan, arguing the Pakistani state, as an ally of the US, is also a legitimate target.

Others say getting the TTP to stop fighting won’t be as simple as ending the US alliance, even if that were possible.

“There are apologists in Pakistan who say the Taliban are involved in terrorist activities because we are in league with the US ‘war on terror’,” says Asad Munir, who headed Inter-Services Intelligence in the tribal regions until 2005. “There is no confusion in the armed forces ... they have no doubt the Taliban are anti-Pakistan,” he says.

Even if the TTP's demands are untenable, some experts say simply getting them to the table might help stem violence in Pakistan.

“The process itself is important,” says Amir Rana, who heads the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies.

“When [the TTP] make demands, the government will be prepared to understand their mindset,” he says.

Suhail said...

By now you should not be putting up questions whose answers are very clear. If you're expecting the concerned quarters to answer, this will not happen so you need to make your own deductions. I'm giving below some answers to the questions you've raised:

1. Yes, they consider it a bigger threat to their agenda than TTP. Besides they are afraid of TTP so don't speak out against it but Musharraf is a soft target so safe to attack him. Taking on TTP will shorten their tenure and lifespan as well. Military is not with Musharraf so the target is Musharraf only.

2. No tentacles are being severed. Politicians, media and judges are only trying to make the most of it so long as they have some degree of authority and influence over the resources of Pakistan.

3. No, and it has never been.

5. It is moving towards a TTP state, if you still call it a failed state?

8. They would like to but it is not their primary concern, which is making money while the system lasts. Taking on TTP will shorten their tenure and life as well.

10. No. Like most Pakistanis, they think that they are immune of consequences which are only reserved for others.

11. They haven't considered the prospect. Like most Pakistanis, they think that they are immune of consequences which are only reserved for others.

HopeWins Junior said...

Even as everybody is busy prosecuting Musharraf and ignoring the continuing terrorist massacres, here is what the IMF is projecting for the next few years..

Getting quite close there, don't you think?

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "Getting quite close there, don't you think?"

What this ignores is the fact that Pakistan is a very resource-rich nation....natural resources ranging from a a large and growing middle class population to underground riches like oil, gas, copper, gold, etc.

It's only a matter of time before Pakistanis get their act together and these resources are developed and fully utilized to leave the rest of South Asia far behind.

Shaikh said...

@Riazbhai :
--> It's only a matter of time before Pakistanis get their act together and these resources are developed and fully utilized to leave the rest of South Asia far behind.

What is your time frame? Many countries are resource rich in Africa and many are resource poor like Japan or S. Korea.

Good governance and the most important resource of them all - LITERACY AND BASIC EDUCATION for the country's citizens is better than any resource under its soil!

Riaz Haq said...

Shaikh: "Many countries are resource rich in Africa and many are resource poor like Japan or S. Korea"

I agree, and that's why I mentioned Pakistan's large and growing middle class first and followed it up with natural resources from the ground second.

Read more about Pakistan's human capital at

Sadiq said...

"It's only a matter of time before Pakistanis get their act together and these resources are developed and fully utilized to leave the rest of South Asia far behind. "

What makes you think that if they failed miserably in the last 66 yrs, they will now do it in another 6 yrs.

Riaz Haq said...

Sadiq: "What makes you think that if they failed miserably in the last 66 yrs, they will now do it in another 6 yrs."

I disagree with your characterization. Pakistan has had periods of strong economic growth and social development in the last 66 years.

Pakistani economy grew at a fairly impressive rate of 6 percent per year through the first four decades of the nation's existence. In spite of rapid population growth during this period, per capita incomes doubled, inflation remained low and poverty declined from 46% down to 18% by late 1980s, according to eminent Pakistani economist Dr. Ishrat Husain. This healthy economic performance was maintained through several wars and successive civilian and military governments in 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s until the decade of 1990s, now appropriately remembered as the lost decade.

After a relatively peaceful but economically stagnant decade of the 1990s, the year 1999 brought a bloodless coup led by General Pervez Musharraf, ushering in an era of accelerated economic growth that led to more than doubling of the national GDP, and dramatic expansion in Pakistan's urban middle class.

Read more at the following:

Shaikh said...

The ground realities are quite different as depicted by your cartoon picture on the blog. Growth of madrasahs are directly attributed to poverty and militancy of which most Pakistanis are paying a big price. Economic growth has been below 4% for sometime now and at least 6% is needed to create opportunities for the growing population and mitigate unrest in society.

This is not my view. Follow IK and you will understand our dire condition today.

Anonymous said...

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Christian Science Monitor story on the leaked Abbottabad Commission report in Pakistan:

The report of a judicial commission investigating the life and times of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden while he hid in Pakistan criticizes the country's powerful security establishment as well as the former civilian government.

Among many of the report's findings, published in part on Monday morning in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper and later by Al Jazeera, is that the government was “negligent and complacent” in dealing with both Mr. bin Laden’s existence in Pakistan and the subsequent raid by a US Navy SEAL team. The judicial commission also said that the fact that a foreign intelligence network – the American CIA – had tracked down the Al Qaeda leader was “a case of nothing less than a collective and sustained dereliction of duty by the political, military, and intelligence leadership of the country.”

While the report painted a picture of wide-ranging incompetence across Pakistan's leadership, it significantly did not rule out the possibility of another explanation: that bin Laden was perhaps residing in Pakistan with support from current or former members of the government, military, and intelligence services. However, the commission said it could not find any conclusive evidence of such collusion with the Al Qaeda mastermind.


The report also underscores the civil-military imbalance that exists in Pakistan, and goes on to urge an end to the subservience of civilian leaders to the generals. The commission included a retired general among other prominent personalities, lending some weight to what is still a controversial stance here.

According to the leaked document, the last person to be informed about the raid was President Asif Ali Zardari, who is technically head of the armed forces. But the Pakistani military has long wielded considerable supremacy over the civilian government, and the previous Pakistan Peoples Party government (2008-2013) was no exception.

The then-chief of Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), gave scathing testimony to the commission regarding the government. The commission has recommended that defense and security policies be developed and implemented under civilian control, and calls “any deviation from the principle of civilian control” an act of treason. It is also fairly critical of the military’s ideology – circa 2000 – of revising and redefining its role.

Similar calls were made in the immediate in the days following the May 2011 raid, culminating in a closed-door briefing to legislators by the military and intelligence services that featured sharp retorts and questioning. Whether the release of the report will invoke the same sentiments of that era is hard to ascertain. The report – unlike other leaked documents – did not feature extensively on the prime time 9 p.m. news.

Still, retired Gen. Talat Masood told the Monitor that “the criticism [of the raid] has already taken place in a big way.”

“There is a great understanding of the imbalance that exists. It is part of Pakistan’s national life. Pakistan has been suffering the ill-effects and the consequences of this for years. The incompetence of both [the civilian government and the military] is also so evident," he says. "It is not just a question of how the Americans intruded – it was always a friendly border, but given the border skirmishes that have taken place recently between Afghanistan and Pakistan, they should look in that direction – but that Osama bin Laden was living there.”....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Reuters' report on possible divisions among the Taliban:

Pakistan-based Taliban sacked their spokesman on Tuesday for making remarks that angered their Afghan allies, in a move highlighting efforts to patch up divisions within the increasingly fractured insurgency.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), formed in 2007, is an umbrella group uniting various militant factions operating in Pakistan's volatile northwestern tribal areas along the porous border with Afghanistan.

Any further divisions within the movement are likely to weaken the Afghan Taliban's fight against Western forces there, making it more difficult to recruit young fighters and disrupting safe havens in Pakistan used by Afghan militants.

The Pakistani Taliban announced the dismissal of Ehsanullah Ehsan - an outspoken and prominent figure close to TTP's top brass - in a pamphlet distributed by militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan region on the Afghan border.

"He has made comments that have raised the danger of divisions between the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban," the pamphlet said.

"The Taliban are our foundation and (Afghan Taliban leader) Mullah Omar is our supreme leader. That is why, from today, Ehsanullah Ehsan is no longer our spokesman."

One TTP commander told Reuters that the Afghan Taliban were incensed when Ehsan told a local newspaper that U.S.-Taliban peace talks in Doha would have no effect on the TTP, suggesting that the two movements were "totally different".

"After Ehsan's damaging statements, the Afghan Taliban asked us not to use their stationery or their flag," he said by telephone from North Waziristan. "This is unacceptable for us."

Ehsan was replaced by Sheikh Maqbool, a man who is considered close to the Afghan Taliban and has spent much of his time since 2007 in Afghanistan.

But Ehsan's sacking could also signal yet another chink in the armor of the Pakistani Taliban itself, which last month lost its second-in-command, Wali-ur-Rehman, in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan, a militant stronghold.

The Pakistani movement has long struggled to formulate a unified set of goals, with some factions focusing on staging attacks against domestic military and civilian targets and others calling for deeper involvement in the Afghan cause.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a link to a video of Express News show "To the Points" with Saleem Safi and others confirming the effectiveness of US drones in killing in TTP leaders attacking Pakistan:

Sarah Rehan said...

Once a peaceful and safe country, Pakistan has sadly become an intimidating land of disasters. Last week, a terrible blast explosion occurred in Lahore's popular and traditional Food Street in Anarkali that cost 3 precious lives and left several seriously injured. In another incident about a month ago, 8 foreign tourists were shot dead in the northern areas of Pakistan. The terrifying terrorism stream in Pakistan can be attributed to certain reasons. These include explosive population growth, poverty, unemployment, Islamic religious schools, and a lack of vocational training institutes in the country...

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Time mag article on Malala Day in Pakistan:

Last Friday, Malala Yousafzai took to the podium at the United Nations. It was her 16th birthday, and her first major public appearance since the Taliban’s attempt to assassinate the Pakistani schoolgirl last October for her efforts to promote girls’ education. Traces of the near-fatal attack were still visible, as the disfiguring on the left side of her face showed. But as she demonstrated in a powerful and moving speech, her resolve had not dimmed.

Yousafzai issued a simple plea: she wanted the world’s leaders to offer children free and compulsory education. She said that she wanted to wage a war against illiteracy and terrorism, but had no use for the tools of violence. “Let us pick up our books and our pens,” Yousafzai urged. “They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” The audience, both inside the U.N. hall where she spoke and among the many who saw the speech live on television around the world, responded with tearful applause. Former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown hailed Yousafzai as “the most courageous girl in the world.”

Back home in Pakistan, however, the reaction was depressingly mixed. Yousafzai’s supporters were thrilled to see her defy the Taliban militants who tried to silence her. They were impressed by her message of forgiveness, saying that she did not “even hate the Talib who shot me.” Some of the country’s main television channels showed her speech live; most did not. There were a few politicians like former cricket legend Imran Khan who tweeted tributes to her bravery. But even as the world was marking “Malala Day,” as the UN had named it, the Pakistani government didn’t bother to register the occasion.

The most troubling were the many voices that denounced Yousafzai and her speech as “a drama” – a colloquial expression commonly used to describe “a stunt” or “a hoax.” When Yousafzai was shot nine months ago, there was widespread sympathy. On television, messages of solidarity were broadcast. Children in mosques, churches, and temples were shown holding candlelight vigils. But since then, the mood has turned dark, and Yousafzai has become the object of widespread and lurid conspiracy theories.....
It becomes more comforting to cast blame on “outside actors.” Incidents like the appearance of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who shot two men in Lahore in 2011, do end up lending some substance to these claims. It is perhaps inevitable that Pakistanis wonder how many other foreign intelligence agents lurk in the streets and bazaars. Enduring drone attacks, seen to kill many innocent civilians, have seen sharp rise in anti-American feeling. It is part of the reason why some spurned Yousafzai as a local hero. Her acceptance by the West led to her being rejected at home.

But a deepening sense of denial makes it difficult for Pakistan to confront its enemies at home. The new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said that it would like to negotiate with the Pakistani Taliban to end domestic terrorism. But the militants don’t appear willing to talk. In the few weeks Sharif has been in office, a reported 32 terrorist attacks have claimed some 250 lives. For that trend to stop, more Pakistanis will have to see past the conspiracy theories. It is impossible to take on a threat you refuse to see.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's the untold story in the British Daily Mail of Pakistan's unsung heroes in the battle to save their countrymen from Taliban savages who are seen by some Pak politicians as "brothers":

Captain Qasim Abbas had finished a six-month stint fighting the Taliban close to the Afghan border and was heading home to get engaged when the militants struck, ambushing his convoy, pitching his vehicle off a 90-foot cliff and leaving him with brain injuries that make speaking and walking a daily battle.
Abbas and the other soldiers recovering at Pakistan's only military rehabilitation hospital are a testament to the human toll from Pakistan's fight against Islamist militants. Their plight receives little attention from Pakistani politicians, possibly because they are afraid of associating themselves with an unpopular fight that many citizens see as driven by the United States.
'Fight, fight, keep fighting,' Abbas said slowly but with purpose when asked if he had a message for his colleagues still battling the Taliban. He raised his fist in the air to drive home his point.

Nearly 3,000 Pakistani troops have been killed fighting insurgents — more soldiers than NATO forces have lost in Afghanistan. Over 9,000 others have been wounded, many by buried bombs that blew off limbs and caused other life-altering injuries, the Pakistani military says.

Abbas fought with paramilitary special forces in the Orakzai tribal area during the first half of 2010 and was awarded a commendation by Pakistan's army chief for his role in seizing a strategic hilltop, said the soldier's brother, Maj. Usman Abbas.
The tall and lanky former army basketball player grew out his hair and beard during his deployment so he could blend in among the locals in the mountainous region near the Afghan border, said Abbas' brother. But his luck ran out when he was ambushed on June 21 of last year as he was leaving Orakzai to meet his future wife.
The attack left Abbas in a coma for six months, but he is now driven to recover. He spends three hours every morning in the hospital's gym trying to coax strength back into his arms and legs and overcome partial paralysis on the left side of his body.

The most common injuries the rehab hospital has had to deal with have been from homemade bombs the militants bury throughout the tribal region, said the head of the institute, Maj. Gen. Akthar Waheed. These weapons also pose the greatest threat to U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Captain Kaleem Nasar was part of an operation elsewhere in the northwest in January of this year when he stepped on a bomb. The explosion blew off one of his legs, and the other had to be amputated below the knee. He visited the rehab hospital recently so doctors could work on his artificial limbs.
Despite his injuries, he does not regret going to war against the Taliban and hopes he can return to active duty.
Waheed contrasted the lack of political attention in Pakistan with a visit he made to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the U.S. in April. He was there for only five days but saw a stream of officials and reporters come to the facility to meet with U.S. soldiers wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq, he said....
The hospital hopes to expand its capacity to 150 beds in the next few years from 100 today, said Waheed. He hopes this expansion will be accompanied by greater appreciation of what the soldiers have gone through.
'Any person who has given his limb, say his right hand, what is left with him?' said Waheed. 'His suffering is for all of life.