I stumble upon this video of a press conference of US President with Iraqi Prime Minister. I hope you would enjoy. Stay alert action will start all of a sudden.
You have been listening, watching and reading for the last three days all about the horrendous attacks on four of the Mumbai locations. The effect is devastating. It is definitely some thing to condemn.
You are getting all the latest news with pictures and videos from your TV channels so there is no need to go through that.
It is Friday morning in Mumbai. Indian TV channels and news websites are competing with each other to be the 'first' to tell its viewers and readers something 'new' irrespective of whether it is true or not. They have any evidence for that or not. All the Indian media is propagating that these terrorists came from Pakistan through two Pakistani merchant ships. Nobody gave the ship's names so that it could be verified. Their primary aim is to create some sort of suspense and drama to keep the viewers glued to their TVs. Good for them.
I think the most important thing is to find out who is behind these terrorists attacks. Who funded their operations. Unless and until we find that we can not successfully deal or eliminate with these terrorists whether they are Pakistanis or British as the Indian media is claiming. Whether they have came from Pakistan or where ever. It does not make any difference.
One of the techniques to deal with a situation when the truth is not known or there are too many variables then you use scenario planning technique.
You create possible scenarios of the situation. In this case, let us try to list some scenarios of possible supporters, origin of these attacks or simply who is behind these attacks.
1. Pakistan's President Zardari in an interview to Wall Street Journal of October 4, 2008 (for easy reference tenth paragraph from the top) made the following comments about Kashmiris.
He (Zardari) speaks of the militant Islamic groups operating in Kashmir as
"terrorists" — former President Musharraf would more likely have
called them "freedom fighters".
This Mumbai attack may be sponsored by Kashmiri outfit(s) to teach a lesson to Mr. Zardari.
2. This whole thing may have been planned by Pakistan to divert the attention of Pakistani people from domestic problems of rising food prices, energy crisis, law and order situation (terrorists in Pakistan can attack where ever they chose), economic problems, failing government with no writ in the NWFP etc.
3. Pakistani Islamic extremists may have sponsored these attacks to show they have the power and resources to attack out side the boundaries of Pakistan and create problems for Pakistan.
4. These attacks may have been supported by some Indian political or other entities who are fighting with the Indian government for different reasons.
5. These attacks may have been supported by any rival political party in India to create problems for ruling Congress Party.
These are just few ideas. This is not to blame or accuse anyone. You can add your ideas to it.
The most important thing is to locate, identify and provide necessary evidence about the "sponsors". Who provided the logistics and money. The terrorists, their nationality is not important here. It is important to the extent if they have used the territory of Pakistan then Pakistan is part of the problem and not the solution.
Indian Prime Minister is under immense pressure to explain how this attack happened. Why intelligence agencies failed. He has blamed Pakistan with out naming it. However, Indian Foreign Minister has categorically named Pakistan.
Pakistan is in the defensive position and very weak. President Zardari has nothing to show for he has done anything to curb extremis in his own country. So far government of Pakistan could not find and arrests the perpetrators of Marriot Hotel attackers in Islamabad. That is their total ability.
What you expect anything more from Pakistan.
Press Release No. 08/285
November 15, 2008
Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement on Pakistan today:
"IMF staff and the Pakistani authorities have reached an agreement
in principle on the key elements of an economic program to be supported
by an SDR 5.17 billion (about US$7.6 billion) 23-month Stand-By
Arrangement, subject to the approval of the IMF Executive Board. The
Executive Board is expected to meet to discuss the program shortly
under the Fund’s Emergency Financing Mechanism procedures.
"The Pakistani authorities have developed a policy package to help
the country meet its serious balance of payments difficulties. The
authorities’ program has two main objectives: (i) to restore the
confidence of domestic and external investors by addressing
macroeconomic imbalances through a tightening of fiscal and monetary
policies; and (ii) to protect the poor and preserve social stability
through a well-targeted and adequately funded social safety net. Both
objectives are an integral part of Fund support for Pakistan.
"The IMF is prepared to help Pakistan by providing a high level of
financial support on the order of 500 percent of the country’s quota in
the Fund. This support is part of a broader package that includes
financing from other multilateral institutions and regional development
banks. I would like to call on the donor community to work together and
act quickly to support Pakistan’s program in order to mitigate the
impact of the current economic difficulties on the poor and ensure an
adequate level of spending on development programs," Mr. Strauss-Kahn
Reuters has reported today quoting Shaukat Tarin, economic advisor to the Prime Minister that the agreement will be finalized within a week.
Tarin said the interest rate would be between 3.51 and 4.51 percent,
and payments would be due between the fiscal years 2011-2012 and
2015-2016. As part of the deal, the Pakistani government agreed to
reduce excessive borrowing from the central bank and boost its tax
base, but no cuts in defense is demanded by IMF.
Earlier there were rumors that IMF wants Pakistan to decrease the defense spending besides increasing the interest rates and eliminate the subsidies on fuel and power. Government of Pakistan has already complied with increased interest rates from 13 percent to 15 percent and removed the subsidies from fuel and power. That has already created an up roar against the Zardari government in Pakistan. Zaradri came to power to provide roti, kapra and makaan, (food, clothings and shelter). The problem is government is spending very lavishly on non-productive expenses and they are borrowing heavily from the Central Bank. Dr. Shamshad Akhtar stated that in her recent press conference that governemnt has to reduce their expenses. I don’t think Zardari and Gilani will listen to her but they will be forced by IMF.
Pakistan got this loan from IMF because of the blessings of the US government. Amercia had a big say in this deal. Zardari’s position is extremely weak in the country and outside the Pakistan. Nobody trusted Pakistan government becuase they did not have any action plan to show for circumventing the current financial crises in the country. Therefore, as a result Saudi Arabia, China and so-called Friends of Pakistan did not extend any financial help (loan in the form of cash) to Pakistan.
To establish some credibility at the beshest of US government, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International
Monetary Fund has mentioned in his statement that other donors should also come forward and help Pakistan. This is for encourgement to other donors that IMF will keep an eye on Zardari’s spending of loan money which other wise nobody trust him.
Are things going to get better in the country. Not really. All this IMF thing is done to avoid bankruptcy.
During this visit Indian and Qatari defense ministers signed a defence cooperation deal which an Indian official stated as "just short of stationing troops". The agreement includes joint training excercises, cooperation on counter terrorism intelligence and maritime security.
Gulf states have realised that India is the new name of power in South East Asia and they started developing relations with India. They already had very close economic and defense relations with India for many many years. As far as Pakistan is concerned it is a dead horse.
The only thing Pakistan is known now in the world is religious hatred, Islamic extremism and terrorism.
Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are dwindling by the day while Pakistan is struggling to get some cash from outside lenders. So far has not been able to get any cash.
Saudi Arabia has offered some help in the form of deferred payment for oil imports. In the mean time foreign exchange reserves are depleting very fast.
As of November 1, 2008 the total foreign exchange reserves in the country were US $6.758 billion said State Bank of Pakistan on Thursday. In this amount State Bank holds US $3.529 billion and rest of the amount US$ 3.228 is with the banks other than State Bank.
Foreign exchange reserves has gone down to more than half during the last one year.
Since beginning of the year State Bank has been intervening in the foreign exchange markets by pouring in dollars to protect the extreme volatility and dwindling exchange rate of rupees against US dollar.
This support given to rupee resulted in sharp depletion of
foreign exchange reserves. It did not succeed in stopping the rupee’s
Since January 2008 rupee has lost about 32 percent of its value against US dollar.
Political and economic uncertainty in the country has been another factor which effected rupee very badly. Government still don’t have any action plan to get the country out of economic turmoil other a loan under approval process from IMF.
At present one US dollar is around 80 rupees. It may go further down.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2008
A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission
In May of this year a Jirga, an illegal tribal court, was held against
a girl of 17 years in which she was declared as Kari (having had an
illicit relationship with someone). This was done, according to the
tribal traditions, to justify her earlier murder by members of her own
family. The Jirga was held at Hajna Shah Goth, Ahmedpur, Pir jo Goth,
Khairpur Mirs District under the chairmanship of Mr. Sain Allad Dad
Solangi, the head of the Solangi tribe of Sindh province.
According to the information, received only recently, after a land
dispute, Ms. Taslim Solangi, age 17, was pressured to ask her parents
to hand over all their property, including six acres of cultivated land
and cattle farms to her uncle. On her refusal the perpetrators abducted
her father, Gul Sher and detained him at his younger brother’s house.
At the same location on March 7, 2008, Taslim was subjected to the
cruellest possible ordeal. She was made to run before a pack of dogs
that bit at her legs until, exhausted, she fell to the ground where
they continued to maul her. She was subsequently shot by Zameer Solangi
in the presence of her father in order to intimidate him. Also present
were Mr. Karim Bux, who is also an uncle of the girl and a councillor
in local bodies. It was due to the influence of these persons that the
police took no action in the killing and land dispute. Later, in May
Mr. Karim arranged a jirga in order to justify the killing and obtain
impunity for all his brothers. The Jirga was conducted by Mr. Sain
Allah Dad, a powerful land lord of the Pir Jo Goth. Furthermore, Mr.
Abdul Qayum, a wealthy person of the area, was fined Rs. 400,000/= and
threatened by the killers and the elders of the tribe to confess to the
crime of having had an illicit relationship with Tasleem. He was
threatened with death if he refused to do so.
In the absence of rule of law and a proper prosecution system the
powerful people, who are at the same time representatives of people at
different levels, are enjoying impunity and using their power against a
very marginal section of the society. The family of Gul Sher has left
their house and village and all his property is under the control of
killers. However, as stated earlier, the police and people’s
representatives have taken no action in their support. The powerful
people know that police and law can be purchased at any price so they
enjoy the weaknesses of authorities.
The Asian Human Rights Commission urges the government to have a proper
investigation into the horrific murder of Ms. Tasleem Solangi on the
pretext of honor killing. The dreadful death of this innocent girl was
purely for the purpose of grabbing her father’s land. This is yet
another example of the use of honour killings in order to settle
The writ of the provincial governments is looking very weak before the
powerful and political personalities. The political expediency to get
more support from usurpers has weakened the legal systems of the
country. The government of Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Gillani should
take immediate action in this case.
The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental
organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The
Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.
Interior Ministry has issued very strict instructions to heads of all the security agencies in Pakistan including home secretaries, frontier corps, rangers and inspector generals of all the provinces to provide foolproof security to former President Pervez Musharraf.
According to the notification issued by the Ministry, it is mandatory to provide optimum security to the former president where ever he goes. The Inspector General of the province will be responsible for his security.
A bullet proof vehicle will be provide to former president along with the security escort on evacuated roads.
Interior Ministry and security officials will stay in contact with the former president all the times.
This notification was quite unexpected. What is the reason for issuing this notification at this time is not known. Either Pervez Musharraf is not satisfied with the present security arrangements or USA has shown some concern about his security. Recently, Richard Boucher US Assistant Secretary of State visited Pakistan. There was no news that he met former president but about the security of Pervez Musharraf may have come under discussion with the government officials.
When former president resigned it was part of the arrangement that Pakistan government will provide security to former president. Further, there was an understanding that no case will be raised against Pervez Musharraf. News published in the foreign media indicated that US, UK and Saudi Arabia are guarantors of this arrangement.
Press Trust of India has reported that on October 27, 2008 Pakistani troops fired rocket-propelled grenades and mortars at Indian posts along Line of Control in Kashmir state. According to this news 10 shells were fired in a half-hour period in the Poonch District. No casualties were reported.
Pakistan has not reported or commented on any such incident. Should we consider this incident anything significant? This is may be too early to say. Zardari was seeking good relations with India. In such situation starting such activities means what?
Did Indians attack Pakistan and now they are blaming Pakistan. I don’t know. However, such skirmishes are rountine things on Line of Control but the timings do not match with the intentions of both countries.
You have already heard the news about the 1000 kg suicide bomb blast in the heart of the Pakistan’s capital Islamabad in Marriott Hotel.
You can read the details of the news at daily Dawn’s website.
Sixty people have died and more than 250 have injured and more to come. This is till 1:00 AM September 21, 2008 Pakistan time. Incident happened on Saturday September 20th at around 7:15 PM Pakistan Time. It seems hotel was full with guests for Iftar.
Rahman Malik of Interior Ministry said they received an intelligence report yesterday that something is going to happen. He did not say much about the intelligence report or what action his Ministry took to avoid this incident. If I have to guess I would say the terrorists got them pants down.
This incident happened hours after President’s speech at the parliament not very far from this bomb blast site. This government was already weak and incapable to have a handle on country’s economic and other issues with which poor people are suffering. Definitely terrorists would take the advantage of government’s weakness. It seems they can choose the place and timings of their attack.
Unfortunately the government has absolutely no idea what to do with terrorism and how to stop it. They think Army can stop them. That tells you all. They don’t know where to start with this issue and where it will end. Asif Ali Zaradri and Yousaf Raza Gilani have no clue to the real issues. They have issued big statements and condemnation of the attack. Do you think terrorists are going to stop simply because Zardari and Gilani have condemned them.
Such attacks will help Zardari to divert the attention of people from real issues, that is lack of availability of daily commodities, out of control prices, 24 percent inflation, sinking economy. No policy on any issues. Our leading politicians were enjoying their time in Dubai and London. They never paid any attention and still they don’t pay any attention to people’s problems, i.e., electricity, water, deteriorating law and order situation in all parts of the country. This bomb blast is a proof of that. It seems terrorists can choose the place and timing of their choice.
Safety and security is the main issue for foreigners and foreign investment. Dollar closed at Rs. 78.25 (September 20, 2008) the lowest in the history of Pakistan. KSE Index is hovering around 9000. Before PPP and PML-N came to power the dollar was at around Rs. 60 for the last six or seven years. KSE Index was between 12000 and 14000 during this time frame. This is what this political government has given the people of Pakistan. These turmoil conditions were created by the PPP and PML-N for their personal benefits. They were telling us we only need to remove Pervez Musharraf rest will be ok. They are telling us this is victory of democracy.
Keep this democracy for your personal use and give the people atta, chawal, dal, cooking oil, vegetables and gasoline at reasonable prices people can afford to eat and live if they survive terrorist attacks.
Present state of anarchy has been created by these politicians, particularly PPP and PML-N along with Ziaul Haq. Just a couple of example. They promoted jihad. When jihad can be done against Russians and it is exactly according to Islam (all the political parties supported that) then why it will go against Islam when it is against Americans. Further extrapolation why jihad cannot be done against anybody these extremists are against.
Politicians supported religious extremism in the country. Just recently, when there was bomb blast at Wah Ordinance factory, Chaudary Nisar mentioned about the people got killed at Lal Masjid and he called them shaheed. He was standing besides Gilani when he made this statement. The people who collected and stored ammunition inside the Lal Mosque and Hafsa madrasa when they were caught and Army destroyed their hide outs they were declared shaheed by Chaudary Nisar of PML-N. Nawaz Sharif living in London at that time also showed sympathy with terrorists. What does this tell you. This was direct support of extremism. Iftikhar Mohd Chaudary then Chief Justice ordered under suo moto that government should pay compensation to these terrorists and build the building on government expenses. Just to remind you this site was owned by Ministry of Environment. Mullahs captured this land illegally when Nawas Sharif was in power and ruling the country. That was the support extremists were getting and are still getting. Not any religious party condemned the Lal Masjid incident including Jamat-e-Islami, Maulana Fazalur Rahman, Tehrik-e-Insaf and others. Now you don’t know who are the supporters of religious extremism. And where are their origins are.
Our politicians are hypocrites they support religious extremism when they want to get political mileage (against Pervez Musharraf in this case) then they look somewhere else for origins of extremism.
Either our politicians are totally ignorant they don’t know why and what is going on around or they are not honest.
You make the judgment and let me know also. Write your comments.
Are they going to have a head-on collision. It seems so.
Let us see what are their problems and how possibly they are going to tackle.
During the previous elections Nawaz Sharif had made very inflamed speeches against Pervez Musharraf. One of the issues he raised against Pervez Musharraf was removal of Iftikhar Chaudary then the chief justice of Pakistan supreme court. Nawaz Sharif and other politicians including PPP they did not have and still don’t have any action plan for the development of the country so they look for such things on which they can create a sort of agitation and gather the people and get votes. All these politicians use the same strategy. Basically they highlight an issue and present themselves as a solution.
Nawaz Sharif promised in a big way that if PML-N came to power they will re-instate Iftikhar Chaudary along with other judges.
After showing his first success of removing the president then came the second thing to re-instate the judges which seems now a stumbling block.
Nawaz Sharif wants to bring back Iftikhar Chaudary to achieve his own motives namely to get himself entitled to participate in the elections, and get decisions against Pervez Musharraf in future cases which may be brought in the supreme court later. This is to pacify his revenge.
Asif Zardari as such was not very interested in removing the president but when he saw the wind direction he joined the mob. Now comes the re-reinstatement of judges. Like any other Pakistani politician he looked for his personal benefit first. Though he was not very enthusiastic but he did not mind to join others to become champion of democracy. Zardari particularly did not want Iftikhar Chaudary to come back. He believes Iftikhar Chaudary is responsible for his extended stay in jail. Since Zardari has a enmity with Chaudary so he believes Iftikhar Chaudary may give a decision to void the NRO against which it became possible for Zardari, Shahbaz Sharif and others to participate in the politics. Zardari is not worried about Sharif or others but he is worried about himself. That is why you had heard before re-reinstatement of judges minus one or minus two etc.
Now it seems Zardari has stuck. Nawaz Sharif wants to bring Iftikhar Chaudary back for his own purposes and Zardari don’t want him because of his own concerns.
Iftikhar Chaudary – The Man in the Dispute
After getting out of the supreme court Iftikhar Chaudary participated very actively in anti-Musharraf rallies, political processions practically everything where he could blast against Musharraf. So he became a symbol of anti-Musharraf movement. When political parties saw this opportunity then Nawaz Sharif being the best opportunist grabbed the opportunity and joined them. Sharif got best of the both worlds, person who is anti-Musharraf and he can gather big mobs. Iftikhar Chaudary looked more like a politician then a displaced supreme court judge. Other supreme court judges like Khalil Ramday, Bhagwan Das and may be others associated themselves with different political views. So now politicians support the judges according to their mind affiliations and their political views.
What is Next? Any solution to this pollution?
Zardari needs Nawaz Sharif to keep his PPP in the government. On the other hand Nawaz Sharif has an upper hand at present. Zardari may lose the government, Sharif will not lose anything. In fact it will give boost to the popularity of Sharif.
Zardari may seek support of other parties to stay in power against some other deals.
This is the first issue they have faced and the cracks started appearing. There would definitely be more. Still both coalition partners are not agreed what procedure will be adapted to re-instate the judges, if they are going to re-instate.
A couple of possibilities.
They may cut a deal with Iftikhar Chaudary that he will not give a verdict against Asif Zardari and not participate in the cancellation of NRO if it comes in the court.
Iftikhar Chaudary may go back to his previous position but after a specified period he will be retired or he would resign.
Obviously these types of deals will not be made public so it is your imagination what you can think about other possibilities.
Are we heading towards fresh elections? May be too early to say but definitely we are heading with a faster speed towards head-on collisions. This is the first one. More to come.