Politics

051@Ninezero

 

It seems Pakistani establishment has successfully been able to wipe off the infamous “MQM factor” from Urban Sindh especially in Karachi.

Although the party’s future is still unclear yet currently MQM is engaged in toughest ever political battle on all fronts with establishment,  Federal and provincial Governments, rival political parties and media not for the survival of its rock solid vote bank but for its very existence.

Right after MQM’s Supremo Altaf Hussain’s controversial statement during hunger strike and violent protest on media outlet, one of the most senior Leaders of the party Farooq Sattar along with local Rabita Committee under severe pressure decided to rebrand the party and quickly came up with the solution of disassociating MQM Pakistan from Altaf Hussain until his health conditions get alright.

Although Altaf Hussain apologized for his Anti Pakistan remarks and excused for venting out his anger against the undeclared military operation on MQM continuing for more than 2 years that include arrests of elected mayor and political workers, disappearance of political workers, demolition of party offices, media ban, ban on collecting hides, Zakat and Fitra, continuing charity services as well as all sort of political activities including removal of posters and banners of the MQM founder.

So far things are not alright for MQM but after the announcement of revamp there is a fair chance that party will be given some space to fresh start its political activities from scratch but once it wins the power center’s trust by disowning criminals within their ranks.

MQM no doubt is 2nd largest political party of Sindh province that represents urbanized population, it should be allowed to continue its struggle peacefully.

Attempts to arm twisting of the party from different power circles might backfire and the MQM sympathizer instead of opting for ‘recently planted alternatives‘ would further inclined towards MQM.

During entire military operation MQM has shown remarkable resilience and never attempted to counter security forces at any level unlike Balochistan, and North West where there is a full-fledged war going on.

On the other hand MQM and its leaders should try to win confidence of the high ups and think what’s wrong have been made from their part and immediately address the most common criticisms which is only possible if both parties sincerely engage in sustainable dialog process.

Just like other political parties of Pakistan, the legitimate and elected representatives of Karachi  should also be allowed to rule their electoral territory and contribute their share in development of the nation.

Ps: 051 is RWP/ISB Phone code while Ninezero is known as MQM Headquarters in Karachi.

 

Maalik vs Democracy

Mixed responses coming in from different school of thoughts on recently banned controversial political-thriller Maalik. Those in support of ban have an issue with deliberate ethnic profiling of Sindhis and Baloch people depicted as oppressors while Punjabis and Pakhtoons shown as saviors. The other objectionable issue is killing of Minister by his own guard who in the movie is portrayed as Hero reminds the Mumtaz Qadri episode and occurrence of violent incidents afterwards.

On April 26, 18 days after releasing the film was banned by Sindh Board of Film Censor, Government of Sindh. However, the Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah intervened and asked the ministry not to issue it as it would be ‘against the freedom of expression but very next day, The Federal Government has banned Maalik nationwide in a notification.

Just like any other controversy Pakistani media got an issue for a couple of weeks and they are inviting politicians, actors, journalists and civil society to discuss ban on Maalik, the movie.

Apparently Journalists, politicians and civil society seems to be on same page and agreed that the movie contains controversial and sensitive nature of subject but actors and a handful of journalists (claim to be patriots) defying the ban under the garb of freedom of speech. Completely ignoring the fact that the same journalists cannot touch “Holy Cows” corruption in their very programs.

To ban Maalik or not is another issue but in larger perspective recent curb by Government of Pakistan exposed their vague and confused policy on freedom of speech. Seems just like other state of affairs they simply have no clear strategy on what to allow on media and what not.

Sometimes Pakistani Government set bench marks allowing freedom of speech to an extent that prisoners from the death cell come on media and record confessional statements and that too without bringing into the knowledge of interior minister and sometimes the same Pakistani Government blacks out MQM supremo Altaf Hussain from coming or issuing any kind of statement on media at all.

In my opinion movies on controversial subjects should be screened in Pakistani cinemas but the policy should be for all.

Selective censorship in cinemas, Tv programs or even on over all media appearances would push Government into more trouble since toeing policy on freedom of speech from “Power houses” of the country would ultimately bring down the so called democracy and its genuine custodians.

What Mustufa Kamal means to Karachi politics

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It seemed to be a real big day when all TV channels showed ex-mayor of Karachi Syed Mustufa Kamal’s unusual footages coming from Airport with the then deputy conveyor Anees Qaimkhani. As usual people who live in other parts of the country hoped that MQM cannot survive this dent and will suddenly collapse.

We in Karachi equally curious and logged on news channel websites to live stream the events concerning Kamal’s moves who rejoined politics as a separate entity after 3 year break,  during his Press conference he was supposed to reveal why he left MQM, why he came back to Karachi and what would be his next move. Although he spent about 3 hours maligning MQM with no clear future plans.

After few days Dr. Sagheer seen sitting in press conference with Kamal and Qaim Khani repeating the same grudges, so far no concrete development is seen in the newly formed group except inclusion of ex MQMers in new party, a part from membership drive we hear about same old MQM-RAW (Indian Spy Agency) relations, Altaf Hussain consumes alcohol, target killing and ransoms, Baldia factory fire etc.

Before Mustufa Kamal, it was Zulfiqar Mirza, Saulat Mirza, Nabeel Gabol, Afaq Ahmed, Rao Anwar and many other prominent personalities showed up on Tv channels after regular intervals and toed the same line.

So far there is a divided opinion on Mustufa Kamal among different political parties and majority of them believes he has no future at least in Urban Sindh politics.  Pakistan People’s Party, Jamat e Islami and PML N doubting intensions of ex-mayor and demanding proves of his allegations on MQM.

Contrary to general opinion Imran Khan and PTI’s top leadership see Mustufa Kamal as a ray of hope to counter MQM but Ali Zaidi in-charge PTI Karachi and other second tier leadership seems to be unhappy with PTI’s top leadership especially Jahangir Tareen’s statements and questioning their support since PTI would virtually wipe out from Karachi if Mustafa Kamal sets foot in politics and it will become PTI vs Mustafa Kamal Party.

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Many PTI followers praising Mustufa Kamal and wanting him to control Karachi, this unconditional love for ex-Mayor at some point is worrisome for PTI Karachi leadership which seems on different page altogether, and it is true to some extent since PTI top leadership is unaware of dynamics of this city and its politics and any irresponsible statements or rhetoric by Imran Khan or Jahangir Tareen might backfire and put Ali Zaidi & Co in deep trouble.

Time will decide if PTI’s top leadership is rightly playing its cards or should they pay heed to Ali Zaidi’s concerns.

So much so, at this point of time Mustufa Kamal is busy giving interviews to TV channels and trying to extract support from MQM but at the same time negating any possibility to join hands with PTI.

MQM being the victim of repeated attacks on its credibility and style of politics has decided to wait and see and refusing to discuss this episode on media perhaps following the strategy to focus issues related to their party and public interests.

MQM sees its supremo as a Kingmaker and believes without his support no party member can prosper or deliver.

Mustufa Kamal’s strength was his performance during the time of his mayor ship as a result when local bodies system wrapped up, the mayor had no work to do but was promoted as senator and given top rank in party by Altaf Hussain.

Why Mustufa Kamal came to Pakistan and maligned MQM is another question but what most of the Karachites think if the ex-mayor really wanted to deliver something to the people of Karachi after three years as a separate entity couldn’t he do a decent press conference highlighting his strengths and future plans rather than MQM’s weaknesses.

 

18 mind blowing quotes by Pakistani politicians in 2013

I could see improvement in politician’s behaviour and they have stated owning their statements.

Last year, our nation went through many a tragedy. From being held hostage by terrorists to being engulfed by sectarian violence, the terror spree has gone on without any breaks.

In this madness, we have had our politicians providing us their ‘pearls of wisdom’.

While this year we have missed the late Pir Pagara, Zulfiqar Mirza, Pervez Musharraf, Rehman Malik and the like, who had given us truly memorably comments regarding national security in the past, I was still able to collect some quotes which managed to become top headlines.

Here is how our leaders and politicians have shared their valuable opinions on issues of key importance to Pakistan and its people.

 

Diesel syndrome

“Even a dog killed by America is a martyr” – Maulana Fazlul Rehman (Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam)

Maulana Fazlu Rehman’s brief statement on killing of banned TTP’s commander.

 

Guerrilla alert

“We are not going to succeed because Taliban are masters of guerrilla warfare” – Imran Khan (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf)

On killing of the TTP chief, Imran Khan warned the nation and Pakistan Army against the Taliban’s tried and tested warfare strategy.

 

TTP Pvt Ltd

“Allow the Taliban to open offices in Pakistan” – Imran Khan (PTI)

Imran Khan’s demand despite knowing the fact that Taleban in Afghanistan are fighting a war against external forces unlike TTP attacking Pakistan Army and own people.

 

Killer apps

“Dear burgers, sorry about Skype/Viber/Whatsapp. Excuse us while we catch some terrorists and save some lives. SMS for 3 months” – Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (Pakistan Peoples Party)

This surprising justification came from Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, when the Sindh government decided to ban different online communication apps.

 

Basant in Karachi

“Pakistan had won freedom from Britain in 1947 but our Karachi is still a colony of London. We’ll cut the kite controlled by phone calls from London” – Bilawal Bhutto (PPP)

Bilawal enlightens the youth on how Basant should be celebrated in Karachi.

 

Ministry of Fear

“The TTP should be given religious ministries in the federal and provincial cabinets as a good will gesture.” – PTI Central Vice President, Mian Mukarram Shah  (PTI)

In an attempt to protect the nation from the wrath of Taliban, the PTI vice president came up with the remarkable demand of distributing religious ministries to the banned TTP group.

Question of tamasha

Tamasha not an un-parliamentary word” – Chaudhry Nisar (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz)

The interior minister, after a thorough research, claimed that the word ‘tamasha’ (performance) had been used 45 times during the last five years in the parliament and no one had objected.

 

Call of duty

“Those people who are protesting – and grandstanding – near Three Swords – I don’t want to fight or quarrel but if I order my supporters now, they will go to Three Swords and turn them in reality”. – Altaf Hussain (Muttahida Qaumi Movement)

The MQM chief warned his opponents to either accept the election results or get ready to face the consequences.

 

From Britain, with love

“Even Jinnah held a British passport and took oath of allegiance to the then British King, George VI” – Altaf Hussain (MQM)

The MQM chief reminded the nation about the passport carried by the father of the nation, giving a lesson which seldom history teachers ever impart to their students.

 

An Ajrak wedding

“A wedding reception at Sindh Assembly is not a big deal” – Agha Siraj Durrani (PPP)

Agha Siraj Durrani concluded the debate by endorsing wedding receptions at the Sindh Assembly as no big deal.

 

A swift solution to all our problems

“Democracy has failed and martial law should be implemented in Pakistan.” – Syed Faisal Raza Abidi (PPP)

After witnessing the democratic government’s performance, former PPP Senator Syed Faisal Raza Abidi revealed his swift and easy solution to all of Pakistan’s problems.

 

Terrorists, by invite only

“We did not invite Osama bin Laden to Pakistan, or even to Afghanistan” – Yousuf Raza Gillani (PPP)

Former PM Yousuf Raza Gillani while defending Pakistan to the international community.

 

Seeing eye to eye

“I’ll see how anyone arrests me. The NAB (National Accountability Bureau) chairman is himself summoned, how can he summon me?” Yousuf Raza Gillani (PPP)

Former PM Yousuf Raza Gillani defends himself against corruption charges.

 

Rebel, much?

“Nawaz Sharif was, and remains, my leader, as I hold him in high esteem” – Jawed Hashmi  (PTI)

Jawed Hashmi showed complete faith and respect in his ex leader, whom he left because he was not in agreement with his ideologies in the first place. Okay, now I am confused.

 

The martyr debate

“Hakimullah was a martyr” – Munawar Hasan (Jamaat-e-Islami)

Munawar Hasan, chief of JI, gives the title of martyrdom to the TTP chief, ignoring the sacrifices of hundreds of Pakistani soldiers.

 

Of allegations and ideas

“Punjab University’s vice chancellor is a playboy type person” – Fareed Paracha (JI)

JI leader Fareed Paracha calls Punjab University vice chancellor a ‘playboy type’ because of his liberal ideologies.

 

Rumour has it

“Veena Malik is a bloody liar. Does she deserve coffee? I hate her.” – Shaikh Rasheed

Sheikh Rasheed reacts aggressively when a ‘coffee invitation’ to Veena Malik goes public.

 

Jail Break

“I think K-P government should resign on the failure despite having report of the exact date. I do not know what the K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, this teeli pehlwan (thin fighter), was doing” – Rana Sanaullah – (PML-N)

Rana Sanaullah shows his anger on the K-P chief minister’s helplessness over the Dera Ismail Khan jail break.

 

These were the most unquotable quotes by our leaders in 2013 and each comment had its own entertainment value – irrespective of how repulsive they might have been.

This also highlights one very important thing – our leaders really need to start practicing the age-old advice of weighing ones words before speaking them. It would do them well to follow it.

 

Team PTI’s unrealistic electioneering

Echoes of Naya Pakistan can be heard all around including the airwaves, social media and various tv channels. Kaptaan is doing Jalsaas across Pakistan and team PTI educating voters all over through election offices but unlike  Imran Khan’s tall claim of conquering Karachi we see no political activity in the most educated city of Pakistan.

Inspite of fielding candidates from Karachi’s all constituency there is hardly any PTI presence in metropolis – the party workers physically seem inattentive in Urban Sindh.

It is also noted that PTI who twice did huge Jalsas in Karachi is not even considered by the MQM in upcoming elections as they think their faithful and educated voters not going to change their mind for the party who seems least interested in the City.

If Insaafians  really planning to create Naya Pakistan on Facebook while MQM, and ANP workers literally losing lives to turn nation into a liberal and progressive Pakistan then it would be a sheer disappointment for their captain in Karachi as election 2013 are not going to be contested virtually.

Let alone camps, Karachites hardly see any banner or posters of PTI in the city which gives an impact that Karachi is least important in the PTI’s priority list and they are mainly focusing on Punjab or precisely PML N’s constituencies to win over as due to Punjab’s population, whoever scores majority will be in a good position to make Government or strong opposition.

The people of Karachi looking for an extremism free nation, the nation which could confront fanatics eye to eye. If PTI is ready to slash extremism its workers must bravely come out on the streets and condemn religious terrorism — else results in metropolis would not be different.

Tehreek-e-Insaaf workers have to work day and night in the right direction to keep party in limelight but if PTI sticks to its Punjab centric strategy and even secures majority, the nation would see no difference between the Nawaz Shareef and Imran Khan but a mere face change. If PTI claims to be a national party it must physically work hard to feel its presence across Pakistan.

It is also believed that PTI workers other than Punjab are more active on social media than to work genuinely on ground. Indeed no one can deny the importance Social Media but its just one factor to influence voters. Educating the voter and establishing presence physically always makes an impact on the people since elections being contested through ballot not Facebook.

What’s the status of PTI in Sindh, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan and South Punjab speaks volume about PTI’s strategy towards upcoming elections.

While entering Peshawar a visitor happens to see billboards of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital  but apparently PTI has no concrete slogan to sell for KPK. The problem of KPK is not drones but day to day terrorism and poor economical conditions however Imran Khan finds stopping drone the only solution to all problems.

Why Imran Khan doesn’t speak against militancy, economic condition of KPK and over all misery of province is another question needs to be addressed by him.

In Balochistan there is no drone issue it’s purely an issue of Baloch rights likewise PTI has not come up with any solution for Balochistan as well nor do we see party presence there.

In short if Khan is eyeing Punjab to win upcoming elections, he might cut few Punjab seats but end up on being loser.

Its high time for 1st, 2nd and 3rd force to stop focusing one province but work diligently to secure rest of the nations’ seats as well, since Naya Pakistan would be fueled by everyone not one province.

Holy Cow vs. Cash Cow

A day after intimating to public “bombs-like” evidences against the son of the PCO Chief Justice – Unlike ex Chief Minister Sindh Zulfiqar Mirza who despite heavy media coverage and holding Holy Quran in his hand could proof nothing, Malik Riaz, the real estate tycoon holding the same book presented evidences to the Supreme Court that he  had paid a whopping Rs 342.5 million to Arsalan Iftikhar, who he claimed was running the judiciary like a “don”.

Call it Bahriagate or Familygate, one thing I liked about the whole Malik Riaz vs Arsalan Iftekhar episode is finally we have ‘judiciary’ to talk about. Earlier the anchors, journalists and the nation in general had only politician to target but the reemergence of Arsalan Iftekhar has given Pakistani media and common people a chance to thoroughly examine the so called Holycow.

In past corruption within judiciary especially in lower courts had conveniently been ignored under the garb of supremacy of judiciary but not now. The time has come to call spade a spade, thanks to Musharraf for setting the media free.

This time, the cash cow, Malik Riaz has come up with various allegations against Chief Justice’s son although top judge was aware of the scam for six months but by the passage of time as the case further unfolds we would be able to know why Chief Justice never took action on his son’s alleged corruption cases.

Arsalan Iftekhar is not new to the scandals. Earlier the then President Pervez Musharraf leveled allegations against him but none of them proven due to the politically charged environment during (in) famous Lawyer’s movement.

 Though apparently the case has nothing to do with CJ and to keep the judicial process fair and transparent Chief Justice is asked to distance himself from the case however to an extent this historical scandal is connected to him since it gives one hope to think that the chief justice has impartially taken action against the reports of his son’s alleged involvement in corruption and that the country is moving towards a progressive society where the elites are also reprimanded, if found guilty.

On the other hand political parties including PPP playing their cards wisely by silencing themselves except the pointscorers PML N and PTI jumped into the already  subjudice matter.

In his first public statement, Imran Khan “extended” his support to the judiciary in the alleged corruption scandal of Arsalan Iftekhar and said that the sequence of events clearly shows that the target of the entire “conspiracy” was the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as a result BBC URDU without wasting time exposed Imran Khan for enjoying financial support for PTI Lahore rally by Malik Riaz.

Our politicians need to understand the sensitivity of this case, its hightime for them to act mature and monitor the entire process with honesty since nation is in the process of change. Not the change that we hear in political Jalsas but the real one that is going to decide fate of many politicians, businessmen and above all “Holy cows”.

Rehman Malik tops 2011 ‘Hall of Shame’

Be it Veena Malik, Shoaib Malik, or Rehman Malik, there is one thing I have realized; it’s not easy being a Malik in Pakistan.

The Maliks of Pakistan are forever surrounded by controversies. Despite stiff competition amongst politicians and artists who struggled to top the “hall of shame, 2011,” guess who has managed to secure the first position once again? Our very own, very dear, very entertaining, Dr Abdul Rehman Malik. To acknowledge his outstanding performance, he has even been awarded a PhD degree by the Syndicate of Karachi University in recognition of his “matchless services to the country.”

Some of his golden words uttered during the year 2011, that range from outlandish to hilarious, are listed as follows:

1) Statement: “If someone insulted Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), I, too, would shoot him”.

Event: On the assassination of Salmaan Taseer. The government responds in a way the authorities are supposed to: by promising the laws would stand, but Rehman  Malik comes up with this bizarre statement instead.

Look my dear friend, who knows one fine day some Qadri pops out of my convoy and kill me for XYZ reason under the garb of blasphemy law, would any media man come to rescue me?

2) Statement: “I am thankful to the Taliban who did not carry out any attack on Shia Muslims and showed respect to their rituals.”

Event: During the event of Ashura, Rehman Malik passed another shocking statement to the media. He actually thanked the Taliban for not attacking Shia processions! And no, he did not stop there. Rehman went on to say that he had appealed to the Taliban, asking them to spare the processions of Shia Muslims, and that he was grateful that they  responded positively to his appeal.

My friend, we must not pass sweeping statements on Taleban, like us they are human too. Shouldn’t we thank them for sparing us for at least one day, isn’t it a good deed?

3) Statement: ”The Tablighi missionary centre in Raiwaind is the breeding ground for extremism and terrorism in Pakistan as the centre has a major role in brainwashing the extremists.”

Event: Rehman Malik made this statement to the audience at the security think-tank International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) while speaking on the topic of ”Countering Extremism in South Asia’.

You need to watch movie “Khuda Kay Liye” and listen to Naseeruddin Shah closely, he says “Islam main Darhi hai, Darhi main Islam nahin”, now try to figure out what I mean.

4) Statement: ”If Google and Youtube do not help the Pakistan government, then Pakistan reserves the right to block these services to prevent terrorists from using it”.

Event: The Interior Minister when talking to the media at the FIA headquarters, urged the internet service providers to extend their help to the government for exterminating the menace of terrorism from the country.

I have warned Government of Googlistan and Republic of Youtube to cooperate with Pakistan at their best and they have agreed to keep a strict eye on terrorists using their web space to disrupt Pakistani soil. We will not spare them.

5) Statement: ”I had given a warning yesterday that there should be no match-fixing. This time I am watching it very closely. If any such thing happens we will take action”.

Event: Before the World Cup semi-final against India, Pakistani cricketers were warned beforehand not to indulge in any match-fixing by the Interior Minister Rehman Malik who said he was keeping a “close watch” on their activities.

My every statement has a philosophy behind it; we kept a close eye to watch players and didn’t let them match fix. They win, lose or even play under pressure due to my policing is not my headache. I want results.

6) Statement: “PML-N had embraced Osama bin Laden and was responsible for bringing Osama bin Laden from Egypt to Pakistan for his treatment”.

Event: Speaking at the National Assembly, Malik denied opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar’s claim that the government was sleeping while the US operation was carried out. He lashed out at PML-N for bringing Bin Laden to Pakistan.

All of you talk about 100 suitcases Nawaz Shareef brought to Saudi Arabia but forgets what he brought from there; Osama Bin Laden was packed in one of those suitcases, I will tell you the whole story at the “right time”.

7) Statement: ”Extortionists should quit extorting and leave the city”.

Event: Talking to the media after addressing a ceremony held at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, Interior Minister Rehman Malik warned the extortionists and target killers to quit and leave Karachi else stern action will be taken against them. I bet they were scared.

Stupid warnings always work in my case; good extortionists would listen to me and leave the city, while “bad apples” will be left with no option but to disappear as well.

8) Statement: ”When it is reported that 100 people were killed due to target killing, investigations reveal that only 30 were its victims while 70 others died at the hands of their wives or girlfriends.”

Event: During the press conference in Quetta, when target killings were on an all time high in Karachi, the Interior Minister said that the reported figure of deaths due to target killing were not accurate because half the men were killed by the women in their lives. Now that’s some imagination Mr Malik has there. Too many action-thriller films I would say.

Along with Interior ministry I am given a task to handle “internal affair ministry” as well.

9) Statement: “They were wearing black clothes like in Star Wars movies, (one) with (a) suicide vest. They had small beards and two of them were between 20-22 years old while the third who blew himself up was about 25.”

Event: This classic comment erupted from Malik’s mouth when he was talking to the media after the PNS Mehran attack. Our dear Interior Minister came up with another bizarre analogy and compared terrorists’ outfits to Star Wars characters. Told you he was into action flicks and stuff.

One of your private Tv channels portrays me as Chulbul Malik but I proved them I am a Starwars Freak.

10) Statement: “All ground intelligence shows that Ilyas Kashmiri is dead. What I can say is that there is a 98 % chance he is dead”.

Event:  Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the media that although he had no physical proof, he was ’98 % sure’ that senior al Qaeda operative Ilyas Kashmiri was killed in a US drone strike in South Waziristan. Let’s add clairvoyance to his list of countless other outstanding traits, shall we?

You won’t ever see me boasting about percentages or issuing loose statements.Can’t do much about this, I am a Maths Man too.