Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Rise and fall of Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan - Part 2


When the Jamaat was formed in 1941, in sub continent, the Muslims compared to the Hindu populace were impoverished, less educated and less powerful. This was because, unlike the Hindus, the Muslims had never embraced the idea of acquiring English education and of recognizing British authority in sub continent.

Since 1857, the British authority saw Muslims as trouble makers and Muslims felt vice versa as Englishmen had snatched the power from Mughals who were -somehow- termed as Muslims rulers. Hence, the Muslims did not have either the British education or the British favour and were neither able to acquire power nor prosperity. Syed Vali Reza Nasr, reports an incident, in the biography of Maulana Maududi, that in 1937 in which Maulana shared a compartment with the then Chief Minister-designate[1] of Bombay B.G. Kher, after which he became convinced to launch a movement against Hindu high-handedness.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Rise and fall of Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan - Part 1


Despite over half-a-century of its existence, the Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan is at cross roads. Its mixed record of success & failure includes survival in the face of state repression during Auyb martial law, worse political decision making such as active role in the formation of Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) -a political alliance formed in 1990 to topple the govt of Benazir Bhutto- or providing legitimacy to Pervaiz Musharraf’s Legal Framework Order (LFO) using the platform of Mutahidda Majlis e Amal (MMA) but a general failure in an attempt to gain power reins avowedly for the Islamization of Pakistan, are common causes to eye on.

A brainchild of the great Syed Abu A’la Maududi, the Jamaat was initially a  movement of immense potential, but neither was it able to reach its goal nor was it able to follow the plan of its founding-father who had laid down for it, decades before.

Friday, January 13, 2012

11th January 2012 - a day to be remembered in Pakistan's democratic history!

By Dr. Nadia Khan

11th January 2012 was one of the most sensational & dramatic day in Pakistan ’s political & media history. The day started with the news of press release issued by ISPR responding about the allegations of Prime Minister Gilani, in which he had said to a Chinese newspaper, that in course of memo gate ‘the replies of Army Chief & DG ISI directly to Supreme Court are not in sink with law & constitution.’

The root cause of all this is the memo gate; that has started by Mansor Ijaz, an American businessman & columnist, when penned down an article about the help sought by Pakistan’s former ambassador to US, Hussain Haqqani after the killing of Osama Bin laden on 2nd May 2011 by American seals in Pakistan. Last 60 years political history of Pakistan reveals that civilian govts are always under pressure by the military establishment. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Imran Khan – first victim of his own Tsunami!


The career of Imran Khan, a cricketer turned politician, is full of colours, contradictions, and controversies. Since his debut in cricket in 1971 initially, and later in 1976 onward, he became known as a socialite due to his non-stop partying at London nightclubs such as Annabel's and Tramp and further gained notoriety in London gossip columns for romancing young debutantes such as Susannah Constantine, Lady Liza Campbell and the artist Emma Sergeant. Then came Sita White; her paternity claim in NY court of law for Tyrian Khan, to be the daughter of Imran Khan, that fully exposed the former World Cup winner in the eyes of common Pakistanis beside being his philanthropic work of Shaukat Khannum Hospital.

With this flamboyant past, he entered the politics in 1996 with emphasis on anti-corruption policies, formed Pakistan Tahreek e Insaaf (PTI) and tried to broker a deal with the then dictator, Pervaiz Musharraf to take the powerful portfolio. It didn’t work well even with all foreign blessings; hence he walked out from National Assembly (2002-7) where he had only one seat. Partially his involvement in Lawyers Movement, to restore Ifthikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, had given PTI & himself a life line to take some ground in active politics & gain some popularity. His initial stance over missing persons, Dr. Afia Siddiqui’s disappearance, her unlawful detention & then single-sided trial in US, drone attacks in tribal areas of Pakistan, and louder voice over Baluchistan issues, have transformed him from power-hungry aristocratic drawing-room politics to people’s politics!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Imran Khan & Missing Persons - Part 2

Imran Khan and forgotten souls!

Another most critical missing person case relates to Dr. Afia Siddiqui. She was disappeared in Karachi in March 2003 and resurfaced in Afghanistan in 2008, after 5 years, framed with attempted murder of US personnel and taken to the US. She was sentenced for 80 years, a maximum sentence of life in prison, means the world will not see her as a free person in her life again. She is also known as prisoner 650. Her eldest son Ahmed was released in 2008 and in April this year a 12 year old girl, Maryam, was mysteriously left outside the family residence in Karachi. We still do not know about her youngest son Suleman who was 6 months old at the time of the abduction.

Yvonne Ridley, a notable convert-journalist from UK, since 2008 and was the first to discover the presence of women prisoners in Bagram - this was at a time when no one even knew of any women prisoners in Bagram especially Dr Aafia. However after extensive investigative work by Yvonne Ridley and her team, the truth was uncovered in 2008. In 2008, it was discovered that there is a female prisoner 650 who so happened to be Dr Aafia.

Beside Yvonne, there were also supportive statements from Caroline Lucas MEP, Green Party Leader and from Gareth Peirce. Caroline Lucas said that "the circumstances surrounding Aafia's disappearance and subsequent seven year incarceration reveal the shambolic sate of the US criminal justice system....I therefore lead my full support to the Justice for Aafia Coalition." Gareth Peirce said that ''realize the true horror of the circumstances in which a defendant who awaits trial under Special Administrative Measures is held in the USA , entirely isolated, in a cell just 7 by 12 feet with a moulded concrete bunk. No contact with another person. Never to see the light of day.... This is a case that cries out for a return and with the greatest speed, to her own country now for Aafia Siddiqui".

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) & its Chairman Imran Khan has been at the forefront of highlighting Dr Aafia's issue as well as the missing people issue. Imran Khan in one of his speech had demanded that “the Government of Pakistan tell us how Dr Aafia ended up in Afghanistan with her three children; how can a frail woman attack US marines; why has the Government of Pakistan not taken any active measures to bring her back home to face any trial. The Government needs to expose those who have aided and abetted the kidnapping of Dr Aafia,” while he was referring Pervaiz Musharraf govt. After that he has asked PTI members to actively participate in demonstrations, vigils across the globe. Upon his directive Mohammad Kassam, member of PTI UK was one of the several people who had kept the 7 day vigil outside the US Embassy, spending up to 20 hours in the wet weather of London.

In recent days, the world has witnessed that the former foreign minister of Pervaiz Musharraf regime who has joined PTI, while addressing one of the public meeting was sitting next to Imran Khan at the stage where as down, among the crowd, there were one or two flags showing few slogans about the release of Afia Siddiqui but Imran Khan didn’t utter few words about Dr Afia’s case or her release from US custody!

Time has changed; a leader is born & gained popularity by using these burning issues and now no need to look upon these forgotten souls!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Imran Khan & missing persons case - part 1

Imran Khan & missing persons - part 1

In the beginning Imran Khan has started taking side of all those who were trying to find the whereabouts of missing persons in Pakistan. Till the end of Pervaiz Musharraf era, he was seen in many of these protests on streets and in the corridors of law where was appeared as their staunch supporter. Be it Dr. Afia or Ms. Amna Junjua or missing youngsters of Balochistan, Imran Khan was there in many of the protests, public meetings or press briefings. Since then he turned himself as the 3rd political force in Pakistan by himself, or by his hidden partners, he is seen away from this cause.

If you want to know how brutally Pakistani spy agencies treats fellow Pakistanis, you must meet Amna Janjua. An intelligent painter and interior designer, lives in Rawalpindi – probably few kilometers away from agencies offices where her husband, Masood Janjua was kept “disappeared” for number of years until handed over to Americans or still his whereabouts are unknown. It is a scandal and a disgrace especially for those who are being named as “the guardians of Pakistan” no matter the most wanted man was residing also few kilometers away from them and they “didn’t know his whereabouts,” and, of course, Amna tried to find his husband where ever she could, in last 7 years, all the way up to the President but no luck! Around 8,000 of Pakistan's missing citizens, men, for the most part, seized from their homes or from the streets by cops and soldiers on the orders of spies and intelligence agents and Americans working in Pakistan since 9/11. Only in Lahore alone, there are 120 "torture houses" just for the people missing in Punjab. “Their shrieks of pain from the basements could be heard by residents – who complained only that the buildings might provoke bomb attacks. In Pakistan today, preservation counts for more than compassion,” writes Robert Fisk.

Masood Janjua was 44 when he was "disappeared" on 30 July 2005. He ran an IT college and a travel agency, the father of two boys – Mohamed and Ali, and a girl, Aisha. He just never came home. Nobody saw what happened. Amna, who was 40 at the time, glows when she speaks of him. "We were so extremely close, so happy, our world was so heavenly – we were always visiting friends, having parties at home. He was so caring and kind to our children, so affectionate. That he should be taken from me! I think it was a very big mistake that they did. But when they do it – like this – they never say they were wrong."

Who are these "they?" Everyone you talk to would refuse to answer about this “they” because it could provoke "them" to undertake a quick execution. "They" is the Inter-Services Intelligence. "They" is military intelligence. "They" are the Americans, some of them present – according to the few "disappeared" who have been released – during torture sessions. The Defense of Human Rights Pakistan (DHRP), the movement which Amna founded with 25 other bereft families, has gathered evidence of English-speaking interrogators who calmly ask victims questions during their torment. Amna lives in a military district of Rawalpindi, beside an old British barracks, where US soldiers are observed in Pakistani uniforms – sometimes female American soldiers dressed, so she says, in the uniforms of Pakistani military paramedics, as it observed during the days of former military dictator Pervaiz Musharraf.

Could Imran Khan dare to continue his support for DHRP in coming days even when he would gain power corridors with the help of his ‘friends?’