Shining India: How to control rapes & killings

By Zaheerul Hassan

On 9th March 2013 United States has honoured the Indian23 years old psychotherapist who was brutally murdered after a gang-rape in a bus in New Delhi in December 2012. The young student, who has become known simply as Nirbhaya or fearless, was awarded the US International Women of Courage award posthumously. At this occasion US Sectery John Kerry told the participants of the ceremony that bravery of the lady student inspired millions of men and women to come together with a simple message No more,. We never imagined that the girl we thought was our daughter would one day be the daughter of the entire world, her parents wrote in a message to the ceremony that was read out by Kerry.

In fact, awarding nine women for their courageous actions is not the solution of curtailing crimes against women till the time organizations of human rights and supper power do not condemn and force Indian rulers to stop state terrorism and violence against women in Kashmiris, Maoists, Tamils and Nagaland.

On 31 December 2012, Annie Banerji also mentioned in Reuters Rape Report that in this year on average every 20 minutes in India. Annie further added that just 26 percent of the cases resulted in convictions, according to the National Crime Records Bureau, which registered 24,206 rapes in 2011, up from 22,141 the previous year.

Ghaziabad police chief Nitin Tewari also confirmed that on 7 March in the latest case of sexual violence has a 19-year-old woman was abducted by three men in an auto-rickshaw, robbed her cash, cell phone and gang-raped in New Delhi’s suburb of Ghaziabad. The woman said she yelled for help as auto drove through several police check points but no one helped. The suspects threw her out near a highway after assaulting her in a secluded area, police said.

Media have compared the incident to the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student in December that sparked massive street protests and demands for stricter laws against sexual assault, which has a high incidence rate in India.

According to the NDTV, report in the same week , three-year and 12 years old girls were l was kidnapped and raped in the southern state of Kerala and in a school in the central city of Nagpur.

Notably, in most of the cases girls under 18 have been raped and assaulted sexually just in India capital in the last week of February 2013.

On 10 February 2013, New Indian express initiated a very alarming picture of Indian society. The report reveals that domestic, local intellectuals and writers, the Western media has almost declared India as a semi-barbaric society. And now the world is asking whether India is a nation of rapists and killers of women. Only facts, not words, can answer this question. The report further states, What a certificate for a rising India that the National Intelligence Council of the US in its report released four days before the Delhi rape had predicted India to become one of the three world powers by 2030

In fact, Indian society is probably devoid of senses of cultural society and Western Media has opined that rapes are something that only happens in India. In this connection, BBC reports is also very shocking in which statics shows that a woman is raped in Delhi every 14 hours, which equates to 625 a year, in England and Wales which has a population 3.5 times that of Delhi, the proportion is four time larger: 9,509 against Delhis 625.

On 5 August 2012, Gitika Sharma 23 former air hostess has committed suicide by hanging herself at her residence in Ashok Vihar in North-West Delhi. According to the reports late Gitika Sharma has named Haryana minister Gopal Kanda in her suicide note. The police confirmed in their investigations that allegations leveled against the minister. According to the Gitika friend, she has been even asked to establish sexual relations by the minister. The girls family too alleges that she was mentally and physically tortured by Mr Kanda.

It is mentionable here that very sexual harassment has become a very common phenomenon in India as compare to others Asian countries. 24% self staff of female gender has carried out suicide because of sexual abuses.

The Indian Army too has been rocked by series of corruption and discipline cases in recent years, with land, liquor, sex, and other scams involving General officers. Even females working in armed forces have been sexually assaulted. In this connection, numbers of cases have been registered by their seniors and colleagues.

Indian media reported that females along either side of Indo-Myanmar, Indo- Bangladesh and Indo-Nepal borders are also victims of forced rapes by frustrating Indian soldiers. It is high time that over 20 senior officers (Brig or above) faced charges of corruption, moral turpitude in past 4 years.

Maj Gen AK Lal, dismissed after proven guilty of sexually assault a junior woman officer. In Jul 09 Capt Poonam, ASC, has alleged 3 officers for mental sexual harassment. But unfortunately the same lady has been thrown out of army. Again on 03 Jun 10, Engr-in-Chief Lt Gen Nanda, was asked by Indian Army chief to quit on molesting the wife of his Tech Sectary but Gen has been made clear through local type inquiry.

Analysis of above mentioned cases reveals that so called pro-westerns minded scholars and pundits of bollywood are promoting violence through screen, print and electronic media. Poor people and young generation get impressed from the violent actions and adopt shortcuts for improving the life style and ill satisfactions. Robberies, fraud, sexual harassment against female employees and raping young girls have become the common features of degrading Indian society.

Increasing crime ratio can be controlled if Indian government is willing to pay heed to the actual problems of the society rather than posing glorious picture of Indian masked society. There is a need to take ruthless actions against corrupt mafia of armed forces, intelligence agencies and political elite. Global associations of human rights should condemned ruthless brutality against women and should launch an organize campaigns for protection of women rights in Kashmir, Tamils, Maoists territory, border areas, and rest of India.

Broadcasters provide children a platform to discuss a better world

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: Broadcasters around the country will provide children and adolescents the opportunity to share their hopes, dreams and aspirations about their future in a better world to contribute to the United Nations debate on the post-2015 development agenda.

UNICEF and leading broadcasters in Pakistan will celebrate this years International Childrens Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) falling on 3 March by involving young people in discussing priorities for the future through specially produced ICDB programmes.

This years theme Our World, Our Future syncs with the theme for global consultations led by the United Nations to discuss the post-2015 development agenda.

I am so impressed by the vision and confidence of children and adolescents in Pakistan and I am confident they will have a great many ideas and opinions that will contribute to the global debate on the future development agenda and the vision for the world that these young people will continue to live and work in. With nearly 90 million young people in Pakistan, the collective voice will be important on the global scale and we must harness the wide range of expressions that exists. Working with leading broadcasters in Pakistan is a great opportunity to realize this opportunity, said Dan Rohrmann, UNICEFs Representative in Pakistan.

Over the years, broadcasters in Pakistan have helped UNICEF immensely to bring children and the realisation of their rights to the forefront of the national agenda. Giving children, especially the underprivileged and marginalized, the opportunity to talk about changing the world into a better place, boosts their confidence and self-esteem. Their views would form part of the inputs being compiled from Pakistans perspective to feed into the global development process.

The International Childrens Day of Broadcasting is an international event where, on the first Sunday of March every year, thousands of broadcasters in more than a hundred countries help children to be directly involved in radio and television programming, production and presentation. As a result, children share experiences with their peers, and give voice to their hopes and dreams.

UNICEF takes this opportunity to thank the media, particularly all leading broadcasters in Pakistan, who are supporting this years International Childrens Day of Broadcasting.

The current situation of Balochistan

Special Report by Brig. (Retd) Usman Khalid: This is a brief Talk of the Town Report compiled for those interested in Balochistan. Significant developments are listed hereunder

1. Law and Order Situation, 1- 4 Nov. Two men were killed on the first day of the month, one at Mastung and the other in Hub. Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind, the only MPA in Opposition in Balochistan Assembly, appeared before the SC to get relief from the BHC sentence of life term. On orders of the SC, he was arrested, and bailed out the next day. He claimed that the CM had falsely accused him of a murder as they had old enmity. On 2 Oct, a Brahui shopkeeper in Khuzdar, selling Iranian smuggled petrol in drums was shot and killed due to tribal enmity. The firing set the petrol drums on fire resulting in the death of 18 persons mostly women and children, and many more were injured. TPPs statement to invite the nationalist and separatist parties in Balochistan to continue struggle in an Islamic way was prominently published by local papers. Senator Mohabat Khan Marri stated that the so-called missing persons are actually working as foreign agents busy in terrorism. In two incidents of mines explosion one woman and a child were killed in Dera Bugti area. On 2 Nov, the PM announced in the presence of CM the continuation of subsidy for agricultural tube wells in Balochistan, endorsing the CM against the orders of the SC. 7000 tents reportedly arrived in Jaffarabad for the flood affectees. However, 5 million people are reported to be affected. On 4 Nov, three Punjabis travelling from Iran were killed near Mand, Turbat, and three persons were killed in Quetta by unknown killers. There has been some reduction in crime in Quetta. IGFC attributed it to Police-Powers given to FC in the City.

2. SC and Provincial PPP Regimes Tussle, 1-30 Nov. Due to the failure of the provincial government to enforce law and order, the SC through an interim order on 12 Oct had declared that the PPP government had lost constitutional authority to rule Balochistan. On 2 Nov, during a hearing where the CM, a few of his ministers and the Interior Minister Rehman Malik appeared, the SC upheld its Interim-Order of 12 Oct and ordered the stoppage of development funds amounting to Rs.24 billion to the Govt of Balochistan. The Federal Govt as well as the CM seemed adamant to defy the SC order. Rehman Malik tried to downplay the gross lack of law and order in Balochistan and accused TTP, BLA and Jundullah having a nexus resulting in anarchy. Some MPAs/Ministers of the PPP and ANP have taken position against the CM while most of them are still supporting him. CM Raisani called on the Punjab CM on 3 Nov but no sympathetic statement appeared. HRSP demanded governors rule in Balochistan while Jamat-i- Islami demanded immediate polls. Governor Magsi summoned the PA while the Speaker Bhotani was against it due to SC Interim Order. The Governor apparently sided with the Federal Government and then left for Karachi on leave. As Acting Governor Speaker Bhotani cancelled the meeting on 13 Nov. However, the Deputy Speaker Mattiullah from JUI called the session of the PA. On 13 Nov, some 64% members showed up and reposed confidence in the CM. CJ was criticized for trying to employ now-defunct article 58-2B for dismissing the PA. However, Speaker Bhotani said that the Government of Balochistan had lost Constitutional authority to rule. On 20 Nov, the CJ expressed great appreciation for Parliamentary Democracy and said, that he did not slate the PA; his judgment was against the Provincial Govt. He ignored the fact that every member of Balochistan PA was either a minister or an advisor. He gave a new date of 5 Dec for hearing the Balochistan Anarchy Case. By the end of the month, the CM was still the C and the CJ seems to be looking the other way. Federal Govt including the senior Army Command in Quetta are publically supporting the CM but the province now appears to be run more by the CS and HS rather than the ministers, in a kind of semi-governor rule without saying so.

3. Statements of COAS and the CJ, 5 Nov. Two statements made by the COAS and CJ on 5 Nov have become the centre of nation-wide discussion. Army Chiefs statement was interpreted by many as the last warning for the SC, the government and the media to realize the gravity of the national environment and stop demoralizing the Army which is fighting a war against insurgents supported by major adversaries. CJ declared the judiciary was the ultimate power to which all must submit. A debate has started with many feeling that the judiciary wittingly or unwittingly has become yet another instrument of Pakistans enemies who have been trying to revile the Army and the ISI. There is disquiet among officers and men who feel that their sacrifices are being sidelined in the power-play in which the SC and the government are indulging in against the Army. The animosity of CJ, Nawaz Sharif and the PPP regime against the Army, albeit for different reasons, is destabilising the country. All three are trying to discredit the Army and humiliate its leadership by regularly questioning the integrity of senior Army commanders, some long after their retirement. The Media, long suspected to be under foreign influence, is the vanguard of the vilification campaign even though its integrity is regularly being questioned. Even those against Martial Law are now saying that a national government by eminent non-politicians rather than the election is the need of the hour. Otherwise, the four forces in conjunction with USA and India would undermine national cohesion and security. The CJ is now a loud voice in that campaign. Media anchors and column writers regularly accuse the Generals and the military mindset to be the cause of all the problems of the country and the failure of democracy. Even some ex-servicemen have joined the campaign. A retired Lt Col practising law in Rawalpindi filed a case against the service extension given of the COAS which the Islamabad High Court promptly accepted. On 15 Nov, the Bar Council of Rawalpindi gave an extremely offensive statement against the Army demanding reduction in number of general officers while raising slogans in favour of the CJ. On 20 Nov, a columnist writing for Jang newspaper opined that the CJ is preparing ground for dismissing the COAS. CJ is making daily statements saying constitution is supreme and that every institution should work within its boundaries.

4. Law and Order Situation, 5-7 Nov. IGFC distributed cheques amongst 400 families of FC Martyrs (Shuhada) in Quetta, all belonging to KP while eulogising the sacrifices of the force. Three men, two of them Shia/Hazaras were killed in City by unknown assailants riding motorcycles. The same day, three men were killed in Turbat area. On 6 Nov, three more Shia/Hazaras and a passerby were killed in Quetta. The CM and the PM announced continuation of subsidy for agriculture tube-wells thus addressing unrest in Zamindars. The Doctors strike being observed against the abduction for ransom of their colleague kidnapped 22 days ago continued. Commander Southern Command, Lt Gen Alam Khan Khattak along with IGFC visited Dalbandin on 7 Nov and addressed the Baloch/Brahui elders. While highlighting the services of the Army and FC he also made it clear that anti-Pakistan law breaking elements would be dealt with severely. Federal Minister Umar Gorgej presented welcome address. In the last five years, this is the third visit of the Commander Southern Command and his first visit to Baloch/Brahui areas. The re-election of President Obama was viewed with disinterest. President Obama has been sucha disappointment that even the insurgents looked after by CIA/MI6 were disdainful of the US elections.

5. SC Hears Petition Against Media Accused of Maligning Armed Forces, 6-Nov. A Three Member Bench headed by the CJ heard a petition accusing the media of maligning the armed forces and demanding regulation and implementation of PEMRA laws. The SC postponed further hearing without giving notices to the anchors accused in the petition.

6. Law and Order Situation, 8-16 Nov. Three men, two Shia/Hazaras were killed on 8 Nov in Quetta. The PM visited Gwadar on 8-9 Nov and along with CM inaugurated a new road. He emphasised unity but ignored the SC verdict of the provincial government having lost the constitutional right to rule. On 10 Nov, three Shia/Hazaras were killed in Quetta. Hazaras blocked the roads for some time in protest. A Madrassa student from Zhob, who was killed in Karachi, was buried on 11 Nov. Zafarullah Jamali, the former PM accused Sindh for diverting rain water and causing flood in Balochisatn. Ahmadan Bugti, MNA from Dera Bugti was attacked and injured by a small bomb hidden in his shoe. BRA (indeed the BLA, which uses different names) headed by Brahmdagh Bugti claimed responsibility. Two days later, a son of the spokesman of BRA was killed in Noshki. On 12 Nov, three Shias were killed in Mach. Two more persons were killed one in Turbat area and the other in Quetta. Two oil tankers were torched near Mastung. Talal Bugtis house was surrounded by FC and Police for a few hours. However, other than a protest by Talal, nothing has been reported. On 13 Nov, a remote controlled bomb was exploded when FC convoy was passing on Air Port Road; two were killed and seven injured. At least 16 persons were injured in a grenade attack on the bus stand in Hub. PPP Balochistan has declared provincial government unconstitutional. The next day the PM summoned the PPP BA member. Pillion riding has been banned. On 14 Nov, Home Secretary visited Dera Bugti, a first visit by a senior civil servant in several years. On 15 Nov, 1st Muharram, motorcycles and cell phones use was stopped in the province. Three persons, one in Panjgur who was a school teacher, one each in Uthal and Quetta were killed probably by militants as no complaint or protest was made.

7. Law and Order Situation, 17-21 Nov. Two FC soldier were killed in Zhob in a bomb attack. IGFC lauded the sacrifices of the FC for capturing a huge cache of arms and ammunitions from Zhob. Pillion riding has been banned in Quetta. Ulema and students of Madrassas in Quetta took out a huge procession to commemorate the death anniversary of Hazrat Omar Farooq. This is a new trend to match the Moharram processions. The Doctors strike against kidnapping of Dr. Saeed, almost a month ago continues. They even refused to perform duties during Moharraum. A journalist of a private TV channel was killed in Panjgur on 19 Nov. No one claimed responsibility. The press club of Panjgur was closed for an indefinite period. Some 60 Doctors on strike were arrested and jailed after several hours of fight with the Police. The Provincial Government borrowed 40 doctors from the Army to run emergency services. Four rockets were fired by militant Marri tribesmen on FC check-post in Barkhan. A large number of weapons were also reportedly missing from Police armoury in Barkhan. Bombs were recovered from Dera Bugti area by FC.

8. Law and Order Situation, Attack on Childrens Bus/Army in Quetta, 21 Nov. A roadside IED was exploded with remote control when Staff College Bus carrying children and female teachers from schools in the city was returning in the afternoon. The full force of the explosion was absorbed by the army guards open pickup leading the bus. 3 soldiers and 2 civilians were killed while 28 were injured. The School bus was undamaged and was driven away giving an impression as if it was not the target. The explosion took place near Killi Ismael which is inhabited by Baloch/Brahuis. No Baloch/Brahui leader condemned the attack. The so-called BLA claimed responsibility. Police/FC also did not carry out the usual search and arrests in the area, possibly due to Moharram commitments.

9. Doctors Strike and Armys Help Through CMH Quetta, 21-30 Nov. Civilians deprived of the medical support due to the doctors 36 days long strike took to streets in Quetta while the courts were processing bails of the arrested doctors. On request of the CM, CMH Quetta established Emergency Cell for civilian patients and started providing round the clock free medical services. During the first 24 hours over 1,000 patients had been treated and 100 had been admitted. However, no private TV channel mentioned this even in passing. The CM announced stoppage of salaries of striking-doctors. Doctors working at private hospitals were stopped and in the process several unauthorized hospitals were discovered. CMH is now overcrowded by patients from the civil. CM also visited the CMH on 27 Nov while Emergency Wards in Civil hospitals started working. On 28 Nov, Dr. Saeed who had been kidnapped some 43 days ago was released by unknown kidnappers who were paid ransom by unknown persons. CM visited Dr. Saeed to sympathize with him. Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and Young Doctors did not call off the strike as they feel the GoB has done nothing to improve their security. Meanwhile the CM is pressurizing the doctors to vacate their official residences. The strike continues.

10. Law and Order Situation, 22-27 Nov. Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) at Sibi sentenced 4 terrorists to death who had set a bus at fire near Sibi killing 12 including women and children. This is the first such punishment awarded for terror related crimes in over 5 years. On 23 Nov, FC intercepted a vehicle coming from Chaman laden with explosives. An IED was defused near Sui. A man each was killed by unknown gunmen in Quetta, Dera Bugti, and Pasni and Nasirabad area. On 10 Muharram, 25 Nov, Quetta and small towns of province were brought to a standstill through blockade of roads, closure of shops and official holiday. Motorcycles use was banned and cell phones blocked for 3 days. Ashura passed peacefully. IGFC addressed the officers and soldiers and praised their efforts for maintaining peace, especially in Quetta. PKMAP, a Pashtun nationalist party, has been protesting that armed Baloch/Brahuis have been threatening Pashtun contractors and workers in Baloch/Brahui areas. This is the first public protest of the kind where serious conflict is now visible between the Baloch and the Pashtuns, the two major ethnic/racial groups.

11. GoB Buys an Executive Jet Plane for CM; Senate Demands Accountability. The GoB, which barely collects revenue of Rs.4 b per year, has purchased a new executive jet for Rs.1.6 billion which seats 8. The stories of gross corruption in GoB are very common. However, after 18th Amendment, the provinces are truly autonomous, i.e. they have no checks and balances other than the PA, which itself is corrupt and incapable of ensuring checks and balance. Accordingly, the Senate Standing Committee for Finance had asked for review of Balochistans Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) from 2002 to 2012-13 on 5 Dec. The CM has termed it unconstitutional interference in Provincial Autonomy and refused to send anyone for the hearing. The impact of Rs.162 billion budget, huge jump from usual Rs.70 b, is not at all visible in Balochistan. Every penny of the taxpayers money spent during PPP rule must be audited.

12. Law and Order Situation, 28-30 Nov. An Apex-Committee headed by the Governor and attended by CM, Commander Southern Command, IGFC, senior Army/Police officers, the CS and HS met to resolve Balochistan problems. This is the second such meeting in the wake of the SCs Interim-Order, in about a month. In GoB, the CM now seems to be under the Governor and Army high command in the province is visibly present. The Meeting announced special concessions and incentives for militants. Two Turkish nationals, on their way to Afghanistan, were kidnapped near Quetta on 29 Nov. The same day a grenade was thrown at a shop in Quetta but no causalities took place. Two rockets were fired at FC check post in Mashkay, West of Khuzdar. Despite the ban by BHC, wall chalking continues unabated. On 30 Nov, two children were injured while playing with a toy bomb in Quetta city. Jamaat-as Sunnat-wal-Ahle-Hadis, a new religious party which has lately become very visible, took out a peaceful procession in Quetta to protest against kidnapping of the principal of Salfia College, which it runs.

Comments

Law and order situation continues to be dismal although some reduction in crime and insurgency/militancy is visible. Baloch/Brahui insurgents are continuing to kill pro-Pakistan Baloch/Brahuis, Punjabis, FC, Policemen and soldiers. None of their leaders condemn it. BLA with various names keeps claiming responsibility for sabotage and terror activities. Men and women in Balochi dress almost daily sit in Press Club with placards condemning killings of Baloch by Agencies and demanding recovery of missing persons. While there is continuous propaganda against Pakistan and Army/FC, only IGFC, CS and HS try to counter it in that order. Politicians are quiet.

The reduction in anarchy and militancy seems to be due to disappearance of ministers from governance, a semi-governor rule, bureaucracy running the province, FC using Police-Powers in Quetta operating efficiently and the Army Commanders becoming visible again. Other reasons may also include induction of civil officers from KP, possible direction from CIA/MI6 to insurgents/militants to go slow in view of the Afghan situation and Moharrams tight security. However, peace and rule of law is still a distant dream.

The CMs tussle with the SC and the Senate reveals serious flaws in the constitution. The 18th Amendment has converted the country into a Confederation with little federal control over the provinces. Balochistan, collecting only about Rs.4 billion in revenue has a budget of Rs.162 billion with no one to check the legitimacy of expenditure. Buying an executive jet for nearly half the total revenue of Balochistan is as seen as criminal breech of trust. The PA members being the beneficiary themselves are incapable of appropriate checks. The Federal government is no different; it is helping sustain anarchy in Balochistan.

The method of no-confidence motion to remove the CM in Westminster style Parliamentary Democracy does not work in a tribal/feudal culture where the elected persons are purchasable and opposition does not exist. The SC after deliberations had declared the CM and his government to have lost its right to rule due to gross inefficiency. However, the federal government ridiculed the CJ and the judgment failed to remove the CM and his government. Indeed, the PA as well as the PM has brazenly supported the CM thus committing contempt of SC. The CJ should hold all members of the PA, the CM and PM in contempt.

Unless drastic steps are taken, the status quo will continue. The same MPAs will get elected in next election due to tribal culture, sardari system, lack of education, abject poverty and election-rigging. Another CM may be in chair but poor governance would continue because absence of ethics and accountability. In such an environment a more corrupt PA will emerge which will promote even more corruption. Without assertive governance insurgency/militancy and crime will continue. The people of Balochistan demand no election until accountability process is completed and the constitution is suitably amended.

The CJ with the support of a Full Bench and the Army can take another suo motu notice, hold the PM, CM and entire PA in contempt and order an interim government to be run by technocrats for three years. There are reasons also for similar arrangements nation-wide. There is growing feeling that the system be changed by a referendum to introduce Presidential system and to impose tight control over GoB expenditure. Without such fundamental changes, corruption and anarchy would continue to prevail. The Armed Forces should support, even champion, such changes in the interest of national security.

The mother of all problems in Balochistan is lack of good governance. There is no enforcement of law and order by the government. There is no attempt at countering insurgency/militancy. Merit, justice and fair play are absent. Huge funds provided by the federal govt are squandered by the CM and MPAs on themselves. Courts are helpless, lower courts are like the civil bureaucracy, corrupt to the core and afraid of the retaliation by the criminals in positions of authority or heading a tribe. Insurgency has been met with constant appeasement and begging the terrorists sponsored by CIA, MI6 and RAW to come down from the hills, while they are enjoying in urban areas and foreign countries the largess of Western countries. Even telephonic addresses and wall chalking promoting anti-Pakistan drives have been allowed by the provincial govt. Pakistan flag has been disgraced. Racial/ethnic/sectarian amity is eroding fast.

Education, medical and civic facilities have been grossly degraded. Cheating and proxy exam-taking have become common. Teachers from other provinces have been killed or have left. Most locals are incapable of teaching being political appointees and fake degree holders. The socio-economic future for Baloch/Brahui areas is dark. Under PPPs rule, as before, all government employees/labour keep agitating or going on strikes for one reason or another, often demanding unwarranted concessions. No public servant is punished. Those punished even years ago, have also been re-instated. Appeasement, corruption in money and decision-making has become the scarlet-thread of governance and administration in Balochistan.

The Balochistan Issue so commonly debated and the pain of which is felt acutely all over the country, is understood by so few. The pain being felt by the people of Balochistan and shared by every one in the country can disappear in a matter of weeks if the governance and administration can be efficient, effective and fair.

Do not distort the image of Armed forces

By Sajjad Shaukat: New debate has started in our media, after the statement of Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani who said on November 5 that no individual or institution has the monopoly to decide what is right or wrong in defining the ultimate national interest, adding that armed forces draw their strength from the public support. Therefore, any effort which draws a wedge between the people and armed forces of Pakistan undermines the larger national interest.

He explained, As a nation, we are passing through a defining phase. We are critically looking at the mistakes made by all of us in the past and trying to set the course for a better futurestriving for the rule of lawno one is guilty until proven.

He further stated, We all agree that strengthening the institutions, ensuring the rule of law and working within the bounds of the constitution is the right wayconspiracy theories based on rumours which create doubts about the very intent, are unacceptable.

Earlier to the statement of Gen. Kayani, Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry stated on the same day that the Supreme Court has ultimate jurisdiction and as a protector of the constitution, a heavy responsibility lies upon its judges to uphold the constitutional predominance and its supremacy over all other institutions and authorities.

Chief Justice elaborated, Gone are the days when stability and security of the country was defined in terms of number of missiles and tanks. Today, the concept of national security has been redefined as a polity wherein a state is bound to provide its citizens with overwhelming, social security and welfare.

He further said, The present day Supreme Court has been restored to its original position by unprecedented struggle of lawyers, students, media persons and civil society.

Like Gen. Kayani, he also pointed out, This judiciary has been trying to rewrite the history of the country by not only atoning sins of the past but also setting up new precedents ensuring rule of law and fundamental rights as enshrined in the constitution. But, during a hearing on the medias role, Chief Justice again remarked on November 6 that no one should be mistaken as the final decision lay with the Supreme Court.

In this respect, political experts and defence analysts have opined that Gen. Kayani did not name the Supreme Court, but his statement was about the latter and media which have perennially been distorting the image of Pakistans Security forces and its intelligence agencies. However, these statements need realistic analysis in accordance with the ground realities.

Since the apex court has been taking notice of various cases, without grasping realities, our politicians and media have manipulated every issue and case like the Memogate case, Mehrangate verdict, NRO case, missing persons of Balochistan, law and order situation in Karachi, military operation in North Waziristan, incident of Malala Yousafzai etc., to tarnish countrys key security intuitions, and by creating a rift between Pak Army and general masses. The leaders of the PML (N), Jamat-i-Islami and PTI have perennially been criticising the Pak Army and ISI to increase their vote bank by misguiding the common men. While our media anchors and so-called human rights groups also disrepute countrys security agencies by manipulating one or the other issue. In these terms, political leaders become unintentional victimbenefiting the external plotters, while some of our media commentators are on the payroll of anti-Pakistan powers.

Particularly, corruption of our politicians has exposed on October 19, this year when in its judgment in the Air Marshal (r) Asghar Khan case, the Supreme Court of Pakistan directed the government to take action against former Army Chief Gen. Mirza Aslam Baig and former Chief of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Gen. Asad Durrani for distributing millions of rupees among anti-PPP politicians in the 1990 elections. But the Court left it to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to initiate investigation against all the politicians who received money. In this context, Imran Khan remarked on October 19 that all these politicians will become innocent through a bribery-deal with the FIA. In these terms, the Court has indirectly taken a lenient view of the political leaders, especially Nawaz Sharif of PML-N who had played a leading role in restoring the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to his present seat.

Meanwhile, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on October 31 issued summons to three retired generals, namely, Lt. Gen. Javed Ashraf Qazi, Lt. Gen. Saeeduz Zafar and Maj-Gen. Hassan Butt for accusing them of illegally sanctioning railway property to the Royal palm golf club, which resulted in losses of billions of rupees to the Pakistan Railways.

On the other hand, Gen. Kayani did not interfere in these cases, relating to army, but recently, made a new precedent in the history of Pakistan by taking action against the three high-ranked officers of the National Logistic Cell (NLC), namely, Lt-Gen. Khalid Munir Khan, Lt-Gen. (r) M. Afzal Muzzafar and Maj-Gen. (r) Khalid Zaheer Akhtar who have been accused of being involved in a multi-billion scam and have been taken back in active service so that they may face court martial.

Instead of appreciating Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, our internal entities are creating stereotypes among the general masses regarding the Pak Army. They have also been raising false allegations of corruption against the Army as an institution. But, fact is that if any army soldier involves himself in any such malpractice, it is his individual act.

As regards the Supreme Court, while hearing petition regarding deteriorating law and order situation in Balochistan, the Court on October 31 declared that Balochistan government lost its authority in the province. In this regard, during a number of subsequent hearings, the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry held ISI, Military Intelligence (MI) and Frontier Corps (FC) responsible for extra-judicial killings and missing persons of Balochistan. And he also agreed with Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal, the head of the Balochistan National Party who raised similar false allegations. Chief Justice ordered that all the disappeared people should be produced before the court, military operation in the province should be stopped and proxy death squads formed by the ISI and MI should be disbanded.

But, the federal government and the armed forces in a joint statement to the Supreme Court rejected all these misperceptions.

In this respect, the honourable Chief Justice and other internal entities of Pakistan must know that the reality behind the worsening circumstances and the missing people of Balochistan is that secret agencies like CIA, RAW and Mossad which have well-established their collective network in Afghanistan are in collusion, and have perennially been supporting bomb blasts, suicide attacks, abductions, target killings, ethnic and sectarian violence in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups such as Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundollah (Gods soldiers), and other Baloch feudal lords (Sardars) to dismember Pakistan for their strategic designs. Their subversive activities have resulted in missing persons in Balochistan, for which BLA and other separatist groups have claimed responsibility.

Unilateral approach of the present apex court could also be judged from the fact that on November 1, while resuming the hearing of Karachi law and order case, the Court said that it would be better, if the rangers are sent to borders and money should be spent on police performance in the city.

Besides, Supreme Court conducted the case of contempt of court against the ex-Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani regarding NRO in relation to writing a letter to the Swiss authorities. But Gilani refused it as he could not do it in accordance with the constitution. Nevertheless, the Court passed a verdict against him, while parliament is supreme, which could supersede the order of the Supreme Court. In this context, on November 6, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Qamar Zaman Kaira stated No doubt, the Supreme Court is the apex court, but when we talk about supreme institution, the parliament is the supreme institution as per the constitution. Besides, PPP leader advocate Babar Awan also became the target of contempt of court.

Here, question arises as to why no contempt of court was launched against the counsel for former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqanim, Asma Jahangir who said on December 30, 2011 about apex courts order that it was a dark day for the judiciary, and she was forced to think that whether it was the judiciary of the people.

Nevertheless, it is due to the phenomena created by the Supreme Court, some irresponsible politicians and media anchors that they themselves including general masses have forgotten the services of the Pak Army during floodsparticularly during the Earthquake of 2005, entailing restoration of law and order, resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) on a number of occasions and so on. Notably, during his regime, when WAPDA was going to bankrupt, the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had invited the army to manage its affairs. By collecting revenue on electricity bills, armys personal saved WAPDA from bankruptcy.

Besides, Pak Army ejected the Taliban from Swat, Dir, Buner and other adjoining areas through military operations. Even, now these forces are coping with the Taliban in some tribal areas by sacrificing their own lives for the security of the country. In Balochistan, Army established a number of schools and colleges including technical institutes, while providing military training to the Baloch people to bring them in the mainstream of the country. Notably, ISI have captured many militant commanders, foreign agents, and thwarted the subversive acts through pre-arrests of terrorists.

Gen. Kayani who is still acting upon the principle of non-interference in political affairs stated on December 23, 2011, The Pakistan Army has and will continue to support democratic process in the country. While stressing upon national unity, Gen. Kayani explained on June 9, 2011, Any effort to create division between important institutions of the country is not in national interestthe people of Pakistan whose support the army has always considered vital for its operations against terrorists. Recently, he repeated similar views about speculations of military operation in North Waziristan.

At this critical hour, Pakistan has been facing multiple crises of grave nature, and subversive activities supported by the foreign-backed insurgents. So, instead of distorting the image of security forces in the tone of anti-Pakistan external elements, our political parties, media, NGOs and Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry who is, indirectly, encouraging these entities through his partiality are suggested to show realistic approach by creating selfless unity among the security forces, politicians and people.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.

Obama administration is attacking journalists in USA

Written by Dan Froomkin for Nieman Watchdog: It’s a particularly challenging time for American national security reporting, with the press and public increasingly in the dark about important defense, intelligence and counterterrorism issues.

The post-post-9/11 period finds the U.S. aggressively experimenting with two new highly disruptive forms of combatdrone strikes and cyberattacksfor which our leaders appear to be making up the rules, in secret, as they go along.

Troubling legal and moral issues left behind by the previous administration remain unresolved. Far from reversing the Bush-Cheney executive power grab, President Barack Obama is taking it to new extremes by unilaterally approving indefinite detention of foreign prisoners and covert targeted killings of terror suspects, even when they are American citizens.

There is little to none of the judicial and legislative oversight Obama had promised, so the executive branch’s most controversial methods of violence and control remain solely in the hands of the presidentpossibly about to be passed along to a leader with less restraint.

More than a decade after it started, we still have no clue how much the government is listening in on us or reading our e-mail, despite the obvious Fourth Amendment issues.

And the government’s response to this unprecedented secrecy is a war on leaks.

No Help From High Places

After past periods of executive excess, the Fourth Estate was certainly more robust and arguably more persistent, but it also found natural allies in the other branches of governmentparticularly Congress. By contrast, over the summer of 2012, the publication of a minimal amount of new information regarding drones, cyberwarfare and targeted killings incited bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hillnot to conduct hearings into what had been revealed, but to demand criminal investigations into the leaking.

That’s how Congress has been ever since the terrorist attacks 11 years ago. “We never got our post 9/11 Church Committee,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists’s Project on Government Secrecy, referring to a special investigative Senate committee that held hearings on widespread intelligence abuses after the Watergate scandal. “What we’ve got instead is the intelligence oversight committee drafting legislation to penalize leaks.”

In the interim, the White House has been plenty busy using the draconian Espionage Act of 1917 to pursue leakers. Despite his talk about openness, Obama has taken the unprecedented step of filing espionage charges against six officials accused of leaking information to journalistsmore than all previous administrations combined.

And James R. Clapper, Jr., the director of national intelligence, recently directed that employees under his command be hooked up to lie detectors and questioned about their contacts with journalists and about unauthorized leaks to the media.

Whatever restraint existed inside the executive branch seems to have been overwhelmed by a national security apparatus that has swollen to enormous proportions since 9/11. “There has been no similar strengthening of bureaucracy protecting civil liberties and transparency,” noted New Yorker writer Jane Mayer. “When the national security community is militating for leak investigations, there is much less pushback than pre-9/11.”

Abramson’s Concern

Mainstream media leaders are critical of the government’s aggressive posture, which they see as threatening First Amendment rights. At the annual conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors in June, New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson made the case that the very leaks that seemed to inflame officials the most were also the most essential.

“Cyberwarfare is a new battlefield, where there are no agreements regulating the use of malware viruses,” she said. “So doesn’t the public need the information to evaluate this new kind of battle, especially when it’s waged in its name? Furthermore, when the existence of drone and cyber attacks are widely known but officially classified, informed public discussion of critical questions is really stifled.”

There are in fact so many obvious, unanswered questions about both of these new weapons of warfare, most notably: What happens when other people use them on us, saying we set the precedent for their use? In the case of drones, does their use require a declaration of war or at least an authorization of the use of force? And how many civilians are they killing?

Abramson warned that “the chilling effect of leak prosecutions threatens to rob the public of vital information,” as sources fear legal retribution and reporters fear being subpoenaed and possibly even prosecuted themselves.

“Several reporters who have covered national security in Washington for decades tell me that the environment has never been tougher or information harder to dislodge,” Abramson said. “One Times reporter told me the environment in Washington has never been more hostile to reporting.”

The Drake Effect

One of the Obama administration’s early attempts to prosecute whistleblowers for espionage ended in defeat and disgrace. Prosecutors had filed 10 felony charges against Thomas Drake, a National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower who allegedly provided classified information about mismanagement at the NSA to a Baltimore Sun reporter. But days before the trial was to start, the government dropped the charges and settled for Drake pleading guilty to a misdemeanor. The judge called Drake’s four-year persecution by the government “unconscionable” and said that it goes against “the very root of what this country was founded on against general warrants of the British.”

But Aftergood said the Drake case had a profound effect on the intelligence community nonetheless. “I think there’s a new level of paranoia within government about unauthorized contacts with the press,” he said. “In every significant sense, the government won, because it demonstrated the price of nonconformity.”

Drake agreed. “It was very clear that they wanted to send the most chilling of messages, and that chilling message has been received,” he said. Among former colleagues, Drake said, “there are those who will not talk to reportersand we’re not even talking leaking, we’re just talking talking.”

Ron Suskind, one of a handful of journalists who did exceptional national security reporting during the Bush eraparticularly in his 2006 book “The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11″argues that the government’s strategies to prevent leaking have suddenly become much more aggressive and effective. “It’s making it more difficult to get that information the public truly needs to know,” he said.

The increased dependence on e-mail and the government’s enhanced surveillance abilities are also a factor, Suskind said. “In the old days, you could call someone up on their kitchen phone. You were pretty much OK unless [FBI director J. Edgar] Hoover knew which line to tap. Now you have to be extra careful.”

And Suskind said that the fear of getting caught is now heightened because so many intelligence officials are counting on entering the hugely lucrative world of intelligence contracting once they leave public service.

Before 9/11, the private intelligence/national security complex just “didn’t have that kind of money,” Suskind said. But now, it provides “the soft cushion that awaits almost every official inside government with a security clearance.”

The Government View

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd rejected the media narrative of a government assault on the press. “The media obviously is an interested partyor a biased partyin these matters,” he said.

“Whenever the Justice Department conducts an investigation relating to leaks of classified information to the media, it seeks to strike the proper balance between the important function of the press and law enforcement and national security imperatives,” Boyd said.

But, he insisted: “When classified information is improperly disclosed to the media by a person who has no authority to disclose it, that’s illegal.”

Boyd also denied that whistleblowers are being targeted. “On some of the cases, it’s clear that the officials that we’ve accused are not blowing the whistle on anything,” he said.

The six people the Obama administration has charged under the Espionage Act are Drake, who was definitely a whistleblower; Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of leaking thousands of documents to the website Wikileaks; John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer who spoke out about torture and is charged with allegedly disclosing the names of CIA officers and their role in interrogations to reporters; Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer charged with leaking information about a botched plot against the Iranian government to The New York Times; Stephen Kim, a former U.S. State Department foreign policy analyst charged with disclosing information about North Korea’s nuclear program to a Fox News reporter; and Shamai Leibowitz, a former FBI linguist convicted in May 2010 of disclosing wiretaps of the Israeli Embassy in Washington to a blogger.

Fighting Secrecy

What’s as dangerous as the dearth of “unauthorized” leaks is the prevalence of the “authorized” kind. During the Bush years in particular, highly selective leaks from the vice president’s office regularly spread consequential and misleading national security information, through the conduit of devoted reporters.

After vice presidential aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice related to the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity as a covert CIA operative, Mark Feldstein, a journalism professor at George Washington University, told the New York Times that the journalists involved were “not fearless advocates but supplicants, willing and even eager to be manipulated.”

Suskind said he thinks there need to be more reporters on the national security beat. “We are having trouble mustering the muscle, the bodies, to get the goods,” he said.

And they need to be tougher. Walter Pincus, the veteran national security reporter at The Washington Post, said modern news organizations are so eager to be seen as evenhanded that crusading journalism is frowned upon. “The industry has been mau-maued,” Pincus concluded. “We’ve been neutered.”

In the Spring 2008 issue of Nieman Reports, investigative reporter Ted Gup suggested that news organizations dedicate a beat to secrecy. Now, in order to create a cycle of repeated disclosures and sustained public interest in drones and cyberwarfare, perhaps reporters should be put on that beat full time.

Suskind said there would be a payoff from major national security revelations beyond the obvious public service. “The big disclosures still drive the global news cycle,” he said. And if news organizations are trying to differentiate themselves in the new media climate, well, “this is the way they get to prove their case that they’re still valuable that they’re indispensable.”

Dan Froomkin, who previously was deputy editor for NiemanWatchdog.org, writes about watchdog journalism for Nieman Reports. He is senior Washington correspondent for The Huffington Post.

(Thomas Drake, a former National Security Agency executive, is one of six people the Obama administration charged under the Espionage Act. Photo by Timothy Jacobsen/The Associated Press.)

PFUJ satisfied over Khabrain Group Resolution

PFUJ satisfied over amicable resolution of Khabrain group crisis?

Media Release
PFUJ Secretariat

ISLAMABAD Nov 8: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has expressed satisfaction over amicable resolution of Khabrain group crisis which was emerged following en bloc protest resignation of over 70 workers of the group for non-payment of their salaries.

Article Source: http://www.markthetruth.com/press-releases/187-pfuj-satisfied-over-khabrain-group-resolution-.html

PFUJ on 7th Wage board Award

Media persons appealed to Supreme Court to take Suo Moto notice of non implementation of 7th Wage board Award Case

Media Release

PFUJ Secreteriat

Islamabad, Nov. 2 :- The Supreme Body of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has regretted that the Supreme Court of Pakistan and respective High Courts took a number of cases for adjudication on its extraordinary powers of taking suo moto notice but took no notice to the hue and cry of the media persons who are moving from pillar to post to seek justice, viz-a-viz implementation of the 7thWage Award.

Article Source: http://www.markthetruth.com/press-releases/179-pfuj-on-7th-wage-board-award.html

Media & Anti State Propaganda

 

Source: http://www.markthetruth.com

By Zaheerul hassan

Media is an instrument of war and peace, which is being exercised by every nations to mould the situations for the purpose of acquiring desired results, assist in revisions and making Foreign Policy, breaking status quo, making/changing the opinion of masses, protecting national and international interests, helping in economic growth by displaying positive picture of the policies, last but not the least indicating flaws in government policies/actions with a view to remove the bugs and suggest measures to improve. The lethal exploitation…

Read full article at http://www.markthetruth.com/pakistan-today/33-media-a-anti-state-propaganda.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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