Of course, charging an ex-Chief of Army staff with treason will help us fight terrorism

 Published: April 1, 2014

After many hiccups and a long wait, the day has finally come and former president Pervez Musharraf has been indicted for treason. This is a new chapter in the history of Pakistan, for reasons both, good and bad.

However, before going into the reasons and the impact of this verdict, I think it is pertinent to recap the situation that led to the imposition of emergency on November 3, 2007 – the alleged violation of Article 6 of the constitution. Since the matter cannot be considered in isolation, let’s begin from the presidential reference against the former chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry.

The lawyers’ movement

The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) investigates charges against judges, as clearly mentioned in Article 209 of the constitution. The unrest began on March 9, 2007 when the then president filed a reference to the SJC on the advice of the then prime minister, Shaukat Aziz.

Sidelining Article 209, the lawyers’ movement made the SJC irrelevant. No one cared about the charges of nepotism, misconduct and corruption in the reference; rather, Iftikhar Chaudhry emerged as someone who stood against the dictator.

The irony was that he himself had supported this same dictator every now and then.

If you take a step back in time, you might remember the ruling of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on May 13, 2000 which claimed that Nawaz Sharif’s era was corrupt, ineffective and a ‘one man rule’, and hence, the overthrow of his government on October 12, 1999 was justified. Incidentally, Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of the judges in that 12-member court who favoured the military coup.

Not only that, he was also one of the nine judges who validated the Proclamation of Emergency dated October 14, 1999 and the Provisional Constitutional Order-I (PCO-I), as well as the referendum. In addition, he marked his presence in the five-member bench that validated the legal framework order issued by General Musharraf. He was also part of the five-member bench which passed judgment in favour of Musharraf’s uniform and the 17th Amendment.

Moreover, Iftikhar Chaudhry was the chief justice when the Supreme Court allowed Musharraf to be re-elected in uniform in 2007.

My question is, if the judgements stated above were wrong, why hasn’t the treason trial been initiated from October 12, 1999 against not only Pervez Musharraf but also Iftikhar Chaudhry and others who validated the coup and subsequent actions?

If these judgments are correct, there seems to be no reason for blaming Pervez Musharraf for the coup or calling him a dictator, especially when the Supreme Court itself allowed him to amend the constitution as well.

In retrospect, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had the golden opportunity to either reconcile and strengthen civil-military relations or initiate the trial of Pervez Musharraf over the military coup of October 12, 1999.

Unfortunately, he failed to do either.

By not pursuing the trial from October 12, he himself has endorsed the military coup, thereby accepting that he was guilty of hijacking from the ground. Hence, the decision of the Supreme Court validating the military coup stands tall, leaving no reason to consider Musharraf a usurper.

After being restored on July 20, 2007 the then chief justice adopted the confrontation mode with the executive and literally paralysed the government.

The chaos this resulted in provided an even playing field to the terrorists and the wave of suicide attacks began, mainly targeting law enforcement agencies. Keeping in mind the impending general elections and change in military command, it was a huge challenge to ensure a peaceful transition to the next elected government.

Law and order in 2007

Again, if we go back in history, the situation was extremely turbulent in the year 2007.

For one, there were the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) clerics challenging the writ of the state and threatening suicide attacks across the country. Then, there was an insurgency in the Swat district where the gang of a local cleric, Maulana Fazlullah, started beheading security personnel, killing lady health workers, banning polio vaccination campaigns and bombing girls’ schools and barber shops. There were suicide attacks on security check posts and on buses of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The Taliban announced the imposition of the Shariah in their territories and started public beheading.

There were at least 20 suicide attacks in 2007, mostly targeting military and security personnel. Then, there was a suicide blast at Islamabad Airport. The Punjab Minister for Social Welfare, Zil-e-Huma Usman was killed while there was an assassination attempt on the then Interior Minister, Aftab Sherpao.

Musharraf’s plane came under fire during the Lal Masjid saga and there was a suicide attack on the army officers’ mess in Tarbela Ghazi.

In the same year, Maulana Hassan Jan, who issued a fatwa against suicide bombings, was shot dead and almost 100 people were killed in sectarian violence in Parachinar in three days. A suicide blast took place in a mosque on Eidul Azha in an assassination attempt on the Interior Minister, Aftab Sherpao. He survived but more than 50 were killed in the attack.Then, a suicide blast occurred close to the residence of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Around 150 people were killed in the attack on Benazir Bhutto’s convoy when she returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007.

Quite understandably, the economy suffered terribly during this time. All this took place in 2007 with the general elections expected to be held at the end of the year. Hence, a peaceful, democratic transition was a huge challenge for the then government.

How did the government try to improve the situation?

Keeping in mind the above facts, there is no doubt that the country was in a state of emergency. The then Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz, wrote a letter to President Pervez Musharraf urging him to take measures to handle the situation. After in-depth consultations with all the stake holders including the prime minister, governors of all four provinces and top brass of the military and Corps Commanders, President Musharraf declared an emergency by exercising Article 232 of the Constitution of Pakistan to deal with the menace of extremism and terrorism.

During all this turbulence in 2007, the judiciary remained hostile towards the government and state machinery and kept releasing alleged terrorists. Hence, the judiciary was also addressed and the judges who didn’t take oath on the new PCO were dismissed.

Inaction at that time would have been suicidal for the country and since the constitution did not provide any solution to the situation, extraordinary measures had to be taken.

It must be remembered that Musharraf was holding dual office at the time. Announcing an emergency as an army chief doesn’t negate the fact that he was also the president. One must also remember that an emergency was imposed on October 14, 1999 by the army chief and the Supreme Court validated it.

After imposing the emergency, he held the constitution in abeyance for a limited time which was not a violation of Article 6 at that time. It was the 18th Amendment, introduced in 2010, which termed it an act of treason. Logically speaking, one cannot and should not apply it on November 3, 2007.

Another point to note is that a treason trial can only be initiated by the federal government while this trial against Musharraf has been initiated on the Supreme Court’s order. And yet, the treason trial has singled out former president for violating clause two of Article 6 without considering the aiders and abetters. There are serious concerns about the members of the special court as well, which need to be addressed for impartiality.

This trial is historical and the first of its kind in the country. Apart from all the ‘ifs and buts’, it is a fact that the former president not only returned to Pakistan, he also appeared in court against his doctor’s advice, surrendering to the rule of law.

Let’s hope that all measures of justice will be taken without any victimisation.

Following the thumb rule, the principal of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ should be given to those who don’t consider Musharraf responsible for treason. And it must be noted that while the country and military are in a state of war, the killers of 50,000 Pakistanis are ‘stakeholders of peace’ and we have spotted one traitor.

Rejoinder to Ansar Abbasi’s malicious and unsubstantiated report on Gen Musharraf’s farmhouse

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Electronic and Press Media in Pakistan is enjoying full freedom since former President General Pervez Musharraf adopted the unprecedented policy of liberation of media, which no one ever dared to take on in the history of Pakistan. From state controlled couple of channels in 1999 to more than 60 channels in 2008, it was no other than a ruler in military uniform that always supported and encouraged the freedom of Expression. It seems ironical that the same media later started calling him Dictator and crossed all the limits of ethics in toppling him from office of President.

Like politicians of Pakistan, media quite often also behaves with so much incivility and irresponsibility, which not only serves the purpose of disinformation to the nation but also brings irrecoverable damage to national interests. For few years, centre of gravity of media and political parties is to bring down former President General Musharraf by a well orchestrated and well sponsored campaign against him. No news story attracts the attention of the reader, if it lacks some scandalous ‘information’ about former President. It is quite evident that ‘someone’ is still paying media to make false perceptions.

On 23rd May, Daily ‘The News’ published a story by Mr. Ansar Abbasi with the title, “Documents reveal power scandal in Chak Shahzad palaces”, which was simply based on malicious reporting and twisted facts. On TV channels and internet blogs, it appeared as big story and spread much quickly. This one sided report was followed by the ‘Breaking News’ that former President has vacated the army house. To add sensationalism in the news, it was said that Army has forced him to leave the army house. It was further added that General Musharraf has brought an apartment in London and is not likely to return back to the country.

It was too much humiliating for all those who support General Musharraf and honour him as an honest leader and the man who always work for the ideology of ‘Pakistan First’. It was also so much sad and shattering for former President himself that he appeared on different channels and dismissed all such speculations. He said LOUD and CLEAR that he would live permanently in Chak Chehzad and is not going to leave Pakistan at all. He added that since the construction of his house was completed in Chak Shehzad, he moved out of official residence. On one question, he confirmed the news about his apartment in London and told that his future schedule for lectures in different countries and commitments for interviews is already well set. He has bought a flat in London to serve as a staying station during his visits. On one question he denied any role in killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti, saying he is ready to deal with the allegations levelled against him. He out rightly rejected any allegation regarding the rigging in the General Elections of 18th February 2008. He rejected the claim by PML-Q’s leadership that elections were engineered, calling this accusation totally baseless. When he was enquired about the allegation of acquiring electricity on cheaper rates, he rejected this false allegation, saying he abides law and never remains involved in such illegal act.

The next day spokesman for the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) clearified that new connection to the farmhouse is given as per the IESCO-Wapda rules without showing favour to any VIP. He said the contents of the news item were investigated and scrutinised, but no irregularity was found in provision of new connections to these farmhouses. There was no special concession in demand notices. (The News-24th May 2009)

This whole episode clearly depicts how irresponsibly the news reporters sometimes behave while making any story. Professional reporters always take versions of all the parties involved. Mr. Ansar Abbasi, unfortunately is too biased to practice this fundamental rule. We doubt he is probably paid to write such malicious reports, with half quoted and twisted facts. There is no freedom of media, without having feel of responsibility and sense of ownership.

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The given is the rejoinder to the malicious report of ‘The News’ by Mr. Ansar Abbasi.

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Written by Hammad Husain (Architect of Chak Shahzad farmhouse)

Mr Ansar Abbasi’s write-up in The News on 23rd May titled “Cheap electricity for Musharraf, ex-ISI chief and others” is a classic case of ‘hearsay’ journalism. Had the writer checked his facts, or at least taken the version of those he has callously accused, as a professional journalist is expected to do, his write-up would have been accurate. Mr Abbasi has claimed that “Gen Musharraf’s farmhouse was provided a free of cost transformer and other equipment in 2006”. This information is totally wrong. The correct fact is that a 25 kVA transformer was installed in 2003 right after Gen Musharraf bought the plot. On 25th Feb 09, as the house was nearing completion, an application was written to IESCO for upgradation of the transformer. A demand note was issued by IESCO on 11th March 09 titled “Extension of load and change of tariff”. A pay order of Rs 376,108 was deposited in the name of XEN(E), Islamabad-1 on 24th March and another pay order amounting to Rs. 102,000 was submitted as security deposit. Consequently, the old transformer was removed and a new 100 kVA transformer was installed. It is evident that instead of investigating the matter and verifying his facts, Mr Abbasi has depended solely on hearsay.

As far as the electricity meter is concerned, the published bill clearly shows the date it was installed (Dec 2003). The plot is in the P & V scheme of CDA where an agriculture meter D-2(1) is installed in routine (by default) till a house is built on the plot for permanent occupancy. The farmhouse was occupied a few days ago and the new meter with A-1(b) tariff (for residential use) is in the process of being installed this week in place of the old meter as per the above-mentioned demand note. The writer ought to know that exact electrical load is calculated and the purpose of the meter is clearly mentioned in all applications. IESCO installs meters after verifying the usage and loads and the customer does not have the option of choosing meters. (A-1(b) tariff is for heavy load and is more expensive than A-1(a) tariff that the writer mentioned in his story). Unfortunately, an unnecessary issue has been created out of a non-issue. After providing clarifications in today’s follow-up story, the writer still ‘stands’ by his story. It is easy to stand by a hearsay story, but it is difficult to stand by unverified and incorrect facts.

Hammad Husain

(Architect of Chak Shahzad farmhouse)

Lawyers’ Movement-The other side of story

(by Nayyar Afaq, 17th March 2009)
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March 2009 – On one hand, terrorism and extremism is getting their roots deep in society, while on the other, the country is suffering a worst form of financial meltdown. On one side, armed forces and intelligence agencies are getting maligned through international campaign, and on the other, an environment is getting set that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are not in safe hands. This time when nation needs to be united to face and defeat the challenges, there is a cat and mouse game in play among the political parties and a vast majority is considering Lawyers’ Movement as the only solution to the problems of Pakistan.

The time when a Long March and sit in (Dharna) for indefinite period was announced by the lawyers’ leaderships, and when a worst form of law and order crisis was setting up on roads, embarrassing Pakistan in the international community, government of Pakistan surrendered to the demands of lawyers, and announced for the restoration of Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry. It seems a right moment to make some enquiry of so called lawyers’ Movement.

This movement is based on the perceptions that Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry is the symbol of independent and free judiciary, and that all the mess is created by President Musharraf, who was not happy by him over his suo moto actions, and that the reference was forwarded by the Prime Minister Shoukat Aziz due to his personal grudges with Chief Justice, over the decision against Steels Mills issue.

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Steels Mills Issue-Unspoken facts:
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August 7, 2006- A day before the judgment of Steels Mills, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry rang the military secretary of President Musharraf and asked for a sitting with him at Army House to discuss the details of the judgment. President allowed him to come and also did call Attorney General of Pakistan. When all three sat together, President said, “I don’t know the legalities, but all what I would like to say is that you took suo-moto action against the privatisation of Steels Mills. I believe in the dignity and honour of the Supreme Court. So, whatever be the judgment, it must not lower your dignity and honour, but remember government is doing a good job for privatisation. Please don’t try to hamper this process.”

Then both the attorney General and Chief Justice discussed the legalities and came out with a mid way solution. Chief Justice himself told President Musharraf that a good via media is brought out and he is going to give this as a decision the next day. Then Chief justice went to the bench and told that President himself has decided to cancel the privatisation of Steels Mills. So, without any idea of betrayal, 12 member bench of Supreme Court gave exactly the opposite decision to what expected by the government.

In 1985, soon after being established, it was planned to increase the productive capacity of Pakistan Steels Mills Corporation (PSMC) to 2.2 million tons annually to make it economically feasible. Unfortunately, the successive governments did not take personal interests and concerns in this project and finally the debt over Steels Mills reached to 19 billion rupees till year 2000 and the amount required for increasing its productive capability reached more than 200 billion rupees. The biggest challenge after 12th October 1999 coup was to bring Economic stability in the country. Musharraf did manage to convince Shoukat Aziz to resign from City Bank and to come back to Pakistan and serve the homeland. The economic situation was like a nightmare. Foreign reserves were remained only 0.7 billion dollars and sanctions were upon Pakistan due to nuclear explosions. No one was willing to take ‘risk’ of investing in Pakistan. After military coup, the situation was even more difficult. It worried Shoukat Aziz, but he accepted the challenge. He made a win-win policy for economic revival. The core of the policy was deregulation, liberalisation and privatisation. It worked well, and a confidence of investors recovered in Pakistan. Even during those years after 9/11, when Pakistan and Indian armed forces were alert stand by on borders with eye to eye balls contact, investment did not stop coming in Pakistan and Stock Markets shown good trends. Things were going fine and in the positive direction, but the suo moto action by Chief Justice hampered the overall process by shaking the confidence of the investors.
The day when decision came out was surely very shocking for the government. President Musharraf himself had visited China and Saudi Arabia to convince them to invest on PSMC. Finally after many years, his efforts bore fruits and he got able to convince Saudi Arabia based Al Tawairqi Group of Companies to invest in PSMC. In May 2006, an open auction held in Islamabad and Al Tuwairqi Group submitted a winning bid of $362 million for a 75 per cent stake in PSMC. It was being privatized in the profit of $ 13 million (without solding the land of Steels Mills). Due to the opposite decision of Supreme Court, hundred million of dollars which were lying in our banks by Mr. Tuwairqi to invest on PSMC and to establish another steels mills were brought out of Pakistan. Disappointed by the decision, Mr. Tuwairqi told everyone to wind up and went out, as investing in this country is not safe. This was again a great shock for Pakistan’s Economy. Without wasting a single moment, President Musharraf rung up Mr. Tuwairqi and requested him not to change his mind for investing in PSMC. Unfortunately, after having a bitter experience of Supreme Court’s decision, Mr. Tuwairqi excused to invest on PSMC. This was what Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry did with the Economy of Pakistan, but his ‘media managers’ applaud his decision as his national achievement.

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Presidential Reference against Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP):
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Print and electronic media in Pakistan is used to remain very active and in search of any thrilling story soon after its independence given by President Musharraf. Mr. Ansar Abbasi (The News) investigated about the Chief justice and found that always a favour was given to his son Dr. Arsalan Chaudhry, directly by the orders of CJP himself, which were mostly not on merit at all. Due to unknown reasons, he did not public this story. However, he slipped his tongue in Geo’s famous ‘Capital Talk’ in early 2007. Kamran Khan, from Geo, also brought Dr. Arsalan on telephone call in early 2007, asking about the news against him. Dr. Arsalan, the son of CJP denied the news and told media that he is going to Court to defend these allegations. CJP anxious about media reports raised this matter to President Musharraf in his meeting with him on 13th February 2007. President instructed the investigation agencies to explore the realities behind these reports. The famous letter from Naeem Bukhari stimulated the issue even more. When the investigation completed, the findings were very shocking for President. They all were going against CJP. It revealed that not even the allegations of media about his son are true but also more serious findings were brought into notice of President Musharraf, including his personal corruption and greed for protocol, for which he was not entitled for. It all worried President. CJP had been used to visit President in his office and house many times, even with his family. There was nothing wrong in the personal terms and relations between the both. President Musharraf, at this moment, however had to decide what to select. Either he had to prefer personal relations or to follow the legal course of actions.

On 7th march 2007, Prime Minister Shoukat Aziz advised him to send the findings to Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) in the form of reference to decide for the fate of CJP. Justice Jehanzeb Rahim of Peshawar High Court also filed a reference against CJP in his letter to President. This was the time, when CJP highly informed about this progress, rung DG MI, Major General Mian Nadeem Ijaz on 7th March 2007, and requested him to get the copy of reference and to hand over it to him. Next day, CJP called Abdullah Yousaf, Chairman CBR in his chamber at Supreme Court to discuss the same issue of reference being filed by Justice Jehanzeb. CJP asked Chairman CBR to favour him by making clarification to president that he was not at fault over the allegations written by Justice Jehanzeb. On the same 8th march, CJP also rang military secretary (MS) of President Musharraf to arrange an urgent meeting with president the next day. Although President was due to leave for Karachi on 9th March, to participate in the Pakistan Navy exercise “Aman 2007”, but MS rescheduled the program and asked CJP to visit by 1130 hours on 9th March at camp office of the President’s secretariat. The same night, CJP rang DG MI to be present in camp Office to assist him. On 9th March, during meeting, President informed CJP about all the findings of investigations, and asked for the clarification of his position. President told CJP that he was going to forward the findings to Supreme judicial Council. Realising that the findings are embarrassing for CJP, he gave him a way out as a courtesy move, saying, “If you find the hearings of SJC below your dignity and honour, then you can resign to avoid the case.” CJP said that he would face the allegations in SJC and would defend himself. President then signed the reference and officially it was sent to SJC for hearings.

This was what happened. Unfortunately, the media and political parties developed strange perceptions and hype was created all around the country. No one on media ever read and present the material filed in reference. There were serious allegations against the CJP. Question is whether CJP above law? Should there be no forum for his accountability? Even President is not above law. There is a procedure written clear in constitution regarding his impeachment. The media and the lawyers of CJP escaped themselves out of hearings of SJC, by using the political and media fronts, making false perceptions. By claiming that a ’dictator’ sitting in ‘Army House’ has ‘summoned’ CJP and ‘threat’ him to resign, totally wrong environment is developed, which hijacked the minds of public, and a civil disobedience sort of movement is sponsored in streets and roads of Pakistan, labelled under ‘lawyers Movement’, powered by political parties and media.

Let us check whether President Musharraf had followed the constitutional path or not.
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Article 48
(1) – In the exercise of his functions, the President shall act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet (or the Prime Minister).
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Article 209
(1) There shall be a Supreme Judicial Council of Pakistan, in this Chapter referred to as the Council.
(5) If, on information [from any source, the Council or] the President is of the opinion that a Judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court,
(a) May be incapable of properly performing the duties of his office be reason of physical or mental incapacity; or
(b) May have been guilty of misconduct,
The President shall direct the Council to [or the Council may, on its own motion] inquire into the matter.
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Article 180
At any time when-
(a) The office of Chief justice is vacant; or
(b) The Chief justice of Pakistan is absent or unable to perform the functions of his office due to any other cause,
The President shall appoint [the most senior of the other judges of the Supreme Court] to act as Chief justice of Pakistan.
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So, what President Musharraf did was simply the constitutional route followed. There were media allegations about the misconduct of CJP. CJP even himself asked President to make enquiry about them. The investigations were being made. Prime Minister advised Mr. President to send the findings to Supreme Judicial Council. Under article 48 of constitution, President was bound to act upon the advice of Prime Minister. Meanwhile CJP himself asked to visit President at Camp Office of President’s Secretariat. CJP was informed about the findings. He was willing to face the charges in SJC. Under the article 209, it was mandatory for President to send the reference to SJC, which he did.

What was unconstitutional in all that? Is Chief Justice above law? Or constitution can be hijacked by the rallies and public movements.

Unfortunately, what happened next made the social fabric of our society turned towards the worst and more worst. Supreme Judicial Council started hearings. CJP and his lawyers escaped the hearings by few excuses. They claimed that the judges of SJC are biased against CJP, and hence they must be changed. Media started campaign that President has nominated his own judges in SJC which was clearly wrong and false perceptions. The SJC was composed exactly according to the constitution, including the acting Chief Justice, two next most senior judges of High Court and two next most senior judges of Supreme Court. Then highly politicised and vocalised Aitzaz Ahsan, being invited frequently on the media channels used every tactics to provoke the feelings of public against President Musharraf and turning public in favour of CJP. The issue was sub judice and it was the contempt of court to speak about such issues live on TV channels, but everyone utilised the media forum to stimulate the public sentiments towards the movement of civil disobedience. There happened a chaos and anarchy everywhere in Pakistan. President Musharraf said hundreds of times, that whatever be the decision, would be acceptable to the government. Taking this as a weakness of him, the highly politicised lawyers of CJP made such an environment that the hearings of SJC was stopped and the petition to stop its hearing was brought into the Supreme Court. Finally, after much mess, Supreme Court gave a verdict in the favour of CJP and he was reinstated on 20th July. Everyone applaud it well, not mentioning that Supreme Court had not given any importance to the charges filed under the reference. It was not fair at all, but being a verdict of Supreme Court, President Musharraf welcomed the decision.

Besides the ‘victory’ of reinstating CJP, the track record of so called ‘Lawyers Movement’ is so embarrassing. Let us have a brief over view how this ‘victory’ is being made and how throughout, lawyers have behaved;

1-Lawyers hijacked the accountability of CJP in SJC bypassing the Article 209.
2-Contempt of Court, being made every day by speaking live on TV channels against a sub judice issue.
3-Making allegations on the brother judges of biasness and personal interests just to escape the hearings of SJC.
4-Climbing at and breaking the gates of Supreme Court, just to pressurize the government and creating law and order situation by fighting with security forces and police.
5-President Supreme Court Bar Association Muneer A. Mailk forced the lawyers to join the so called Lawyers’ Movement by starting cancelling the membership of Bar Association of those lawyers who are not joining this brigade.
6-Attack on Khalid Ranjha (Government’s counsel) by lawyers when he was stepping out of hearing of SJC.
7-Attack on the car of Waseem Sajjad (Government’s counsel) by the lawyers when he was on his way to attend SJC hearing.
8-Attacking and beating a journalist by lawyers in the square of Supreme Court, just because he had published some material against the CJP.
9-Attacking and beating Advocate Naeem Bukhari in the quad of Supreme Court by lawyers.
10-When Prime Minister Shoukat Aziz went to submit the nomination papers of President Musharraf in Election Commission for Presidential elections 2007, lawyers surrounded the election commission, and Prime Minister remained under siege by these lawyers’ brigade for hours.
11-Throwing black poisonous acid on the face of Mr. Ahmed Raza Qasuri (Government’s Council) by a lawyer in the premises of Supreme Court. If he had no eye glasses on face, God willing, he might lose his sightedness.
12-Attack of hundreds of lawyers on Sher Afgan Niazi. God saved his life in this horrible incident.
13-Strikes by the lawyers of the courts. Common people are suffered by much inconvenience waiting for judges and lawyers to entertain their cases.
14-Long rallies (extending even to 40 hours) by CJP and lawyers turning a sub judice case to highly politicised campaign.

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After few days of apparent silence, the restored CJP again started making personal bravado against President Musharraf, security agencies and intelligence agencies. A long list of suo moto actions were made every day to paralyse the functioning of executive, legislative and law enforcement agencies. Knowing that people and media of Pakistan are supporting the actions of CJP, he did every possible thing to embarrass the government. Suo-moto action against the traffic jam in Karachi is just an example of the attitude of a person who has nothing to care about the ills growing in own judicial system. He did nothing for making improvement in the courts. Cases still were going for 20, 20 years but he did not take any steps for betterment. Once, Geo TV’s famous show “Gumnaam” showed a spy camera video of the case of bribery by one judge, but CJP did not take any action against this judge. On the other hand, the channel was charged by the contempt of court and asked to make open apologies. CJP did not take any notice of any of the illegal activities of lawyers, like beating and attacking on Naeem Bokhari or spraying of acid on Ahmed Raza Qasuri’s face. He did nothing to stop the illegal activities of Qabza mafia or No. 2 drugs etc. He never took suo moto actions against those militants who were threatening the barber shops or Cds shops. He never did care of those extremists who were blasting girls’ schools. Not caring of his own rallies, which even extended over 40 hours, he did take suo moto actions of traffic jams. Then, he started embarrassing the chiefs of intelligence agencies in courts. Once he said, “Not only you, I would even bring General [Musharraf] in my court.” He released first so called missing person after being reinstated, named Qari Abdul Basit, who was charged of the assassination attempt on General Musharraf. Supreme Court took suo moto action against Red Mosque operation. CJP in open and strong words spoke against President of this operation. Government, law enforcement forces and intelligence agencies were highly demoralised. Supreme Court started hearing the petition against the eligibility of President Musharraf to be a candidate for next term of President. Earlier, Supreme Court rejected the petition but later again started hearing the same like petition. Then, Supreme Court allowed President to be a candidate for Presidency, but bound the election commission not to announce the result. The sword of uncertainty remained hanging over the heads of the nation. After Presidential elections, Supreme Court tried to extend the decision by all possible excuses. It seems a mockery with the nation, that the hearing of petition against president’s eligibility was announced to be pending for even 10 days, just because one of the judges of the bench was going to attend the wedding of his daughter. Not only this, three times, CJP changed the compositions of bench listening the case of eligibility. It all was self evident that Supreme Court was simply planning not to allow President Musharraf to continue holding his office any more. Supreme Court was just delaying the decision against him till 15th November 2007, till the term of National assembly get completed and President Musharraf then had remained by no chance of making any amendment in constitution by the assembly. It all was nerve stressing and alarming for President. He had waited long for the full decision regarding the reinstatement of CJP to be announced by Supreme Court. Supreme Court was bound legally to release full decision in 90 days, but this period also passed without having the issuance of the full decision. Moreover, constitutionally Supreme Court was even not given by the mandate to entertain any petition against the President’s elections.
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Article 41 (Clause 6)
The validity of election of the President shall not be called in question by or before any court or other authority.
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Making the clear violation of constitution, Supreme Court was entertaining the petitions against President and was trying much to delay the decision till 15th November. Meanwhile, a bloody campaign of suicide attacks stimulated with so much acceleration in settled districts of Pakistan. Intelligence agencies and law enforcement forces were cornered by Supreme Court and all the fragments of the society. A form of civil war was going to develop in Pakistan. Government was in the state of semi paralysis. The general elections were near in few months. All the self exiled politicians were returning back to Pakistan with having strong lobbies behind in West. Under such state of affairs, ISI reported something very important and alarming. It was about the secret meeting of Aitzaz Ahsan with Mr. Khalil ur Rehman Ramday in the Geneva, Switzerland. This meeting was very meaningful in understandinmg what Supreme Court was planning to do with Musharraf. The case of eligibility of President was in court. Khalil Ramday was heading the bench. Aitzaz Ahsan was representing himself in court against the eligibility of Musharraf. It was legally very undesirable to set secret meetings between the judge and a lawyer. There were also various indications and reports about the foreign money involved to promote all that lawyers’ campaign. Reportedly this money was going to Aitzaz Ahsan through various channels, mostly including few NGOs and human rights’ activists. There were also the reports of Aitzaz’s undisclosed visits to India during all that campaign. Justice Rana Bhahwandas’s famous statement in very start of all that reference’s episode, “Soon, we would give good news to nation” was also something important to read between the lines.

All of a sudden, suspicions against the role of Pakistan in war against terror were being floated in international media. International community started speaking against Pakistan and starting asking for restoration of Democracy in Pakistan. To promote the dangerous agenda against Pakistan, ‘Newsweek’ magazine came out with a title story, “Most dangerous nation in the world is not Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s Pakistan”. Pakistan’s nuclear status was under a deadly threat. Ground field was well set to announce by world powers that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are not safe and that terrorists could take control of them. Although IAEA had already announced that chapter of nuclear proliferation is closed for Pakistan, but Benazir Bhutto coined a strange statement that she could allow the access of international agencies to Dr. A.Q. Khan and that she could allow American forces to operate in Pakistan’s tribal areas. On one side, a well planned campaign was going on, and on the other hand Economy of Pakistan started suffering negative trends for the first time in last many years.

President Musharraf tolerated all that but finally when he found that things are slipping away from the hands of Pakistan, and that inaction at that time would lead to total chaos and destruction and the irrecoverable damage to Pakistan, he finally decided to impose the state of emergency on 3rd November 2007. Judges were offered to take oath under new PCO. Many judges accepted this offer and many refused. Those who refused, including Iftikhar Chaudhry, started a new version of Lawyers’ movement.

Let us see what constitution allowed President Musharraf at that time.
…………………………………………………………………………………….
Article 232 (1)
If the President is satisfied that a grave emergency exists in which the security of Pakistan, or any part thereof, is threatened by war or external aggression, or by internal disturbance beyond the power of a Provincial Government to control, he may issue a Proclamation of Emergency.
Article 270 AA (3)
All proclamations, President’s orders, Ordinances, Chief Executive’s orders, laws, regulations, enactments, including amendments in the Constitution, notifications, rules, orders or bye-laws enforce immediately before the date on the date which this Article comes into force shall continue in force until altered, repealed or altered by the competent authority.
………………………
What more to be lost?
………………………

We must see what Pakistan has achieved so far and what has been lost after the campaign of lawyers. Unfortunately, it seems that we have lost everything, and achieved nothing. Pakistan’s Economy is out of business now. Pakistan is now on the list of most insecure countries. Pakistan’s institutions are breaking up. Rotten politicians are back on stage. Most corrupt and incompetent leadership is on the charge of government. Pakistan’s armed forces and intelligence services are maligned nationally and internationally. Pakistan’s nuclear status is at stake. What more wrong and what more horrible can be expected.

So far no movement or strong demonstration is made against the extremists and terrorists. Civil society and human rights activists are used to speak against them in very soft words, usually on TV screens, but not in roads. All the focus is to speak against former President, armed forces and intelligence services, which indirectly is meant to strengthen the anti-state elements. The duality of media political parties is well exposed since 2007. First, it was said that General Musharraf is not going to remove his military uniform etc, but he appointed new army chief. Then, was said that he is not going to lift state of emergency, but he lifted it up. Then, was said that general elections would be rigged for favourable results, but the entire world observed that elections were the most free, fair and peaceful. Media broke much news that former President is going to fly away Pakistan in 48 hours, but all was bogus. Then it was said that President is going to dissolve the assemblies, but even it did not happen. On the other hand, political parties are well naked as well. The same PPP, which supported Lawyers’ Movement with full energy, started speaking against this movement after being elected. Mr. Zardari signed thrice the agreements for restoration of judges, but then refused it. The time, when Lawyers’ Movement was having last breaths, the decision of Supreme Court regarding the disqualification of Sharif brothers, ignited it again. Things are crystal clear. Lawyers used the politicians and later PML-N used the lawyers for their vested interests.

All patriotic Pakistanis must open their eyes and must smell the conspiracy behind. CIA and RAW are fully active and involved behind all that mess. They had set well their assets in media to promote anarchy and disinformation in Pakistan. Media has done nothing in discouraging the extremism and terrorism. Media has promoted the international campaign more than them. The focus and concern is shifted from the issues of national interests. No one cares of the economic fall down. No one asked where the foreign reserve of 16.7 Billion dollars has gone down to 5 billion dollars in few months under democratic government. No one asks for the reason why we are forced to beg IMF. No one asks why Dr. Samar Mubarik had been forced to leave his seat. No one cares of the funds of Nuclear and missile research program being cut by more than 50 %. No one cares from where Baitullah Mehsud of Waziristan is getting satellite information and weapons and suicide jackets. No one is caring of the separatist organisations in Baluchistan. Media is not telling us that for 7 months, the funds of paramilitary and police of NWFP is stopped by the government and that Pakistan armed forces are supplying weapons to them. Media would never tell about the holiday being announced by Chief Minister Balochistan, Aslam Raeesani on 15th August 2008 to synchronise it with Indian Independence Day. Media is not focussing about the drones attacks on tribal areas. What media is speaking for is just about the lawyers’ movement. So that Pakistani nation never has been able to think of any other issues, which are far important for the sovereignty of Pakistan.

It’s all a psychological war. Nation must open their eyes. We must not been misguided by the propagandas and perceptions. Our enemies have played a dangerous double game. We must not give them any impression that Pakistan is going through a situation of civil war and disintegration. We must not suffer paralysis through analysis. We must stand for Pakistan armed forces in such state of affairs. Pakistan is not ready for British form of democracy. Pakistan is more important than democracy or constitution. Human rights, civil liberties, democracy and constitution are just the part of nation. Nation is not the part of them. We must safeguard Pakistan. Pakistan comes first.

Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry would back in his office soon as a chief justice, as announced by Prime Minister Gilani. PML-N’s pressure tactics win. Army Chief again has shown patience and resolution to avoid playing any role in politics. But game is not ended. It’s just a start. Time not always remain the same. Future would decide about it and about the role of Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry. There still are many constitutional and legal issues before CJ joined his office. Would he take oath under PCO? What would be the fate of those judges who have taken fresh oath PCO? Would he give the favour to those, who supported him or he would demonstrate the neutrality. Would he take the notice over NRO, when the case against it would start in Supreme Court? Would he take actions against those judges who took oath under PCO on 3rd November 2007? Would he like to reform the session courts, high courts and Supreme Courts? Above all, would he like to proof that the findings in Presidential reference were not correct and that he is not guilty of anything wrong. What if the disqualification of Sharif brothers remained hold? Would PML-N again start the violent campaign? What about those countries and the guarantees involved, which made reconciliation just before sit in (Dharna).

Let us end this article by the last words of letter of Naeem Bukhari to CJP,
“My Lord, we all live in the womb of time and are judged, both by the present and by history. The judgment about you, being rendered in the present, is adverse in the extreme.”

I am a soldier…‏

“I am a soldier. Pakistan runs in my blood…”
(General pervez Musharraf
28Th November 2008)

ہر لمحہ تیرے لءے بیدار رہا ہوں
بس تیری حفاظت کو تیار رہا ہوں
دشمن پہ لٹکتی ہوءی تلوار رہا ہوں
ایسوں کیلءے راہ کی دیوار رہا ہوں
یہ دیکھ کہ اب بھی انہیں للکار رہا ہوں
اس قوم کا میں سپہ سالار رہا ہوں
تو عشق ہے میرا میرا جذبہ ہے جنوں ہے
تو میری وفا، میری عبادت ہے سکون ہے

نیر آفاق

 

 

 

House on Fire

From A Brave soldier of Great Genereal Pervaiz Musharraf

(Published at www.longlivemusharraf.com)

 

It was 1995, while I was studying in Grade-9. In those days, the most difficult subject for me was English-B. In fact, I was miserably lacking the sense of playing with tenses, especially in essay writing. I still recall, my favourite essay was “A Picnic Party”, being convenient to handle and easy to learn. The day when I had to face the final exam of English-B, was full of prayers for “A Picnic Party” to come, but luck was not in favour. I received the question paper, and hold my head, finding “A House on Fire”. After few moments of despair, finally I opened the cap of my ink pen, and started dragging it on answer sheet. It was something like;

One night, we were sleeping deep in our home. At once, my sixth sense smelled something disturbing to occur. For few moments, I didn’t understand, what’s coming? Suddenly, I heard my father and mother screaming. I jumped out of bed, and my feet started searching something in dark. At once, door opened with an upsetting sound. My fathers rushed in and hold my arms to take me out of the room. I shouted, “My slippers!…” but he didn’t respond. Within few moments, I realised the situation. My house was on fire. It was mid-night, and no one else in neighbourhood was aware of the tragedy. Having no idea, who put our home in fire, we started putting water to fire, in buckets. It surely was a desperate attempt. By hearing our hue and cry, luckily someone called for ‘Fire Brigade‘. After 15 minutes, loud rattling sirens banged all around. Rescuing us, fire fighters risked their own lives and finally able to extinguish the fire. We all were grieved and disappointed badly of the loss, but somehow, were glad too on having no loss of life.

We spent the remaining night at our next door neighbour. My father, on finding me bare feet, said in a sad voice, “Son! I am sorry; I didn’t try to pick your slippers, because your life was more important for me than a slipper“.

After about 13 years, when I have turned into a strong young man, no longer worried of English-B, recalled that essay today, and felt a sense of wisdom in it. I would like to share that with you as well.

Pakistan is our Home. We, as a nation were sleeping deep. At once, we wake up and found our house on fire. Having no idea of our enemy who put it on fire, we shouted someone to safeguard our homeland, but that was a desperate exertion. So, Pakistan Army came to rescue us. After being rescued, we found a divergence of thoughts regarding that rescue action. Not everyone was so wise, like my father to prefer saving life, instead of searching for slippers. So, few were of the opposite opinion. Here, we can coin slippers (or other goods of the house) as a symbol for democracy (or constitution). We were very smart to welcome with open hands the military intervention years ago, realizing that nation is not a part of democracy or constitution, but truth is the other way around. We applause military leadership on securing the nation, of which democracy or constitution are the integral part. But after few years, we revised our thought process in favour of democracy. We missed the fact that house is yet on fire, and to kick the fire fighters out of it, rushing inwards for slippers would be terrible…….. We forget……. And now we have to bear its cost.

No wonder, after picking the slippers, we‘ll soon use them to hit our heads ……..

Survival of the fittest

From A Brave Soldier of

Great General Pervaiz Musharraf

(Published on August 26th, 2008 at http://Pak1stanfirst.com)

 

Have you ever studied Darwin’s “theory of Evolution”? For me, to some extent, it’s equally applicable to the international relations and all the conflicts. ‘Natural selection’ and ‘Survival of the fittest’, the leading axioms of it, also are accepted as a yardstick in the challenging game show among the nations, on every ground-Political or Economic. One must need to be smart enough and competent to survive in the second to second changing environment, knowing the art of making analysis of things happening on stage and behind the scene. One must be too quick in making right decisions at right time, and must be too smart to undo the mistakes if ever being made. The real test of nations (and leadership) comes, not when everything is going fine and smooth, but when things are deviating from normal course, and when perceptions are ruling over the facts.

 

We have faced well such challenging times, from the day one of the creation of Pakistan, which took a decisive turn regarding the aftershocks of Afghan-Soviet war. While, the conspiracy behind the crashed plane of General Zia-ul-Haq was still unfolded, we found USA saying ‘Good Bye’, and we are forced not only to feed the Afghan refugees, but also have to stand helplessly among the militant organisations, being covered under the label of Jihad. That was not the end. More difficult challenges were yet ahead. Nuclear tests, Kargil war, 12th Oct. 1999 plane hijacking, 9/11 aftermath, Daniel Pearl assassination, nuclear proliferation, 8th Oct. 2005 Earthquake, Balochistan insurgency, tribal areas mutiny, suicide bombers, extremism and non-stop threat of inflation……. all that are just few of the tags of the test for leadership along walking upon razor edge of making balance in relations with India, Afghanistan, United States and China.

After holding the most difficult offices for 9 years, finally General Pervez Musharraf has resigned. He is no more on board, to be used as a punch bag by media and political parties. Post-Musharraf era is to face harsh realities, rather allowing politicians and media to fabricate the facts. The nation already has suffered much of nerve-breaking distress. Now, we have no more prospects to waste in running along the vicious square of useless exercises on every front. It’s not the time to play politics, but to keep the national interests first.

 

We need to analyse the situation and to deal with the issues on emergency basis. Let’s have a quick look upon the challenges ahead;

 

1-Economic Front: From the state of complete default at late 90’s, Pakistan revived well its economy and even declared as the one of the fastest growing economies, with foreign reserves reached to 17 billion dollars from hardly 700 million dollars at 12th Oct. 1999, and growth rate reached to 7% for the first in our history. Over the years, our economy managed well the exchange rate of dollar to get locked between Rs. 60 and 61. In January 2008 issue, an international magazine ‘Economist’, has complimented the strong foundations of our economy by saying Pakistan as a safe haven for investment.

 

Regrettably, the situation has been reversed by 180 degrees after the revitalization of democracy in Pakistan. Now our foreign reserves are declined to hardly 9 billion dollars, and exchange rate of dollar up to Rs.77. Now, Pakistan looks no more a safe haven for investors. Foreign as well as local investors are packing to run away. Business community is waiting desperately for someone representing government to have sitting with them, and work out the reasons behind the economic collapse down, and the way outs of it.

 

The foremost and biggest challenge to Pakistan is to recover our economic indices, and to attract the investment back to Pakistan. Otherwise, the inflation and devaluation of currency would lead us to the end of everything……. everything, which one can imagine!

 

2-Writ of the state: Would you ever allow any stranger or enemy to jump down at your home and start killing your loving ones. If No, then why do we remain silent of those enemies of our loving homeland, who are openly challenging the writ of the state. We have to open our eyes regarding increasing threat of terrorism and extremism all around. We must bring them to an end. First, make a distinction. Terrorism is a global phenomenon of involvement of militancy, while extremism is linked with obscurantist views and indoctrinated mind set. Both need different strategies to deal with. A militant, being standing against the state must brought to justice by force. On the other hand, an extremist needs a different plan to subjugate. A wrong idea must be conquered by the true one. An old thought must be defeated by the newer one. A rigid ideology must be washed out by the flexible one. We must not forgive the anti-state elements, just because they are hiding themselves in the label of Islam. Killing the innocent people, blasting the girl schools, indoctrination of students of madrassas for suicide attacks, slaughtering our soldiers and crossing the border to make insurgency in Afghanistan is enough to expose their services to Islam. Enough is enough. It’s time to speak louder against them, instead of calling them mujaahideen.

 

Having said earlier, post-Musharraf era is to face the harsh realities, and not to play politics on the issues of our sovereignty. Brace the facts. Few days ago, soon after POF Wah cantt twin suicide blasts, which martyred about 100, Mr. Rehman Malik from interior ministry alarmed the nation, ‘‘we have only two options. Either to hand over Pakistan to Talibaans, or to launch operation against them.’’ Same sort of upsetting statement was coined by Prime Minister Gilani, few weeks ago, ‘‘there are foreigners hiding themselves in tribal areas, and are planning the deadly attacks. We don’t want to make any precedent for one more 9/11 to take place. We are fighting the war against terror in our own interest. Its not the war to please USA.’’ Chief Minister NWFP justified the same, ‘‘if militants keep on attacking the government offices and girl schools, why we allow them. The militants wouldn’t be forgiven by government, even if they surrendered.’’ Isn’t it the same outlook which Musharraf alarmed the nation again and again. What a shame for the politicians, if repeat once more, ‘‘Nation has rejected the Musharraf’s policies, in war against terrorism, by giving us the mandate.’’ Come on. Nation knows nothing, but one… that someone has badly fooled again in the name of democracy.

 

3-Democracy, but not demon-cracy: Yes, our politicians have already betrayed the nation enough in the name of democracy. We suppose democracy to be an exercise of having elections, in which we caste vote for some individual, representing some party. Fine enough……. but it’s time to analyse why such exercise always brings desperation and disappointment for the nation.

The political system in Pakistan is gripped by feudalistic mind set. We know, the same families are supposed to rule over us for decades… Bhutto, Sharif, Lughari, Mari, Mengal, Lashari, Bugti… blah blah… It’s a mafia. Go and observe. Their own people are like slaves to them. Having no penny in pockets, or bread in bellies, still they chant slogans for their feudal lords. After being elected, these lords never allow any developmental work in their own locality, and never allow any school to get operate, fearing to have conscience of people to wake up, which would one day deprive them of supremacy upon them.

 

When things get worst and going out of control, the army has to intervene in politics to safe the nation from further destruction. As a matter of fact, people always applause the army, calling them the saviour of nation, but after some times, again start demanding the democracy. The vicious cycle carries on, and the dreams are always cursed by the democracy. To make end to that exercise, we need to educate the masses, and finally to abolish the feudalistic culture. It’s easier said than done. To get out old tested (and failed) faces from our political culture, a good step was taken by earlier, to make graduation as mandatory to contest. Unfortunately this was later revoked. It must be brought back. The right to make policies for Pakistan and to pass the bills in assembly must not be given to undergraduate illiterates. Moreover, new political parties must be introduced to challenge the monopoly of few old parties. The new parties should be composed of new faces, most likely to be young, educated, and visionary and better not from the political background. Otherwise, it would be demon-cracy or damn-cracy under the slogan of Democracy.

 

4-Propaganda front: This is the multi polar world. Nothing now happens in isolation. Every bit of information now reaches to every spot of world within a fraction of second, by internet, newspapers, mobile phones and satellite channels. ‘Propaganda’ is now accepted as an art to manipulate things to achieve the desired goals. 24-7 media, now is considered as an important tool to stabilize or destabilize the nations.

Being fair, credit goes to General Pervez Musharraf, on giving full liberty to media for the first time ever in Pakistan. Now, having more than 70 private channels, we are in better position to educate and inform the masses. Now, with such a vibrant media, we need to make sure few things at media front.

 

1- To keep the national interests first.

2- To raise the morale of nation high.

3- To follow the facts, not perceptions (To be neutral).

4- To portray the positive image of Pakistan.

5- To act as a defence line to counter an international campaign against Pakistan.

 

Our nation has already suffered lot of trauma, due to the frequency of ‘Breaking News’ and ‘News-Justin in’ mostly featured by non-issues and rumours. It’s time to keep the national interests first. Our nation is already trapped badly in lot of miseries, and in vicious marathon to get ‘bread n butter’. No one has enough time to or resources to explore out the reality out of rumours. Its media, either electronic or press, which injects the perceptions in the minds of masses. Our nation has already been enslaved to pessimism and despondent thoughts. Its time to raise the morale of nation higher. Our media, unfortunately, has proved itself too biased in the hatred campaign against General Pervez Musharraf. Its time to follow the facts, not to build illusion of perceptions.

 

To put our Economy back on track, and to maintain the law and order situation, featured by the political stability, our media has to play its role, with a feel of responsibility. One sensitive graphical image or one embarrassing news on media, results in the stock market to crash, the next day, and delivers the negative image of Pakistan among international community.

 

Its not the time to clean our dirt live on TV channel, but its time for media to act as a defence line to secure the interests of Pakistan.

 

Now, in last, I would recall your attention again towards the leading axioms of Darwin’s theory of Evolution, i.e., ‘Natural Selection’ and ‘Survival of the fittest’. No nation is born slave or master. Nations evolve through difficulties. If one is capable enough to meet the challenges successfully, naturally get selected to the next level of competition and this struggle continues. In this competition, its only the fittest who survives.

Out of lot of challenges, I have picked only few. i.e., Economic front, writ of the state, Political front, and vibrant media front. All are dependent on each other. We have to work out on all these fronts strategically on emergency basis. We have no more time to waste. Otherwise, it would be too late