Tagged with " politics"
Aug 6, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

This can happen to you !

Excessive greed of power can lead to this!

Majnoon tore his clothes looking for Laila and while Mian Sahib tore his when he was praying for his erstwhile ladylove aka PM ki kursi.


It is the case of wearing old clothes after eating too many plates of Nihari and Paiye???

what does the public think?

Someone just pointed it out that the the picture is doctored (I personally don’t think so) and is in poor taste. Honestly, I do admit to have poor taste in most things, so I am guilty of that.

Aug 4, 2008 - Yousuf Raza Gilani    No Comments

Absolute disgrace

As far as moronic heads of government go, I never thought that we would ever be able to to Mian Nawaz Shariff, who seems to have miraculously polished his public speaking skills after cooling his heels in Jeddah and London.

PM Gilani has had quite a few blunders to his credit. The ISI fiasco and PTV national address are a few of the disasters in addition to various instances we have witnessed on TV where he was unable to read a written speech properly. Here he is, sucking up to George W., halting and bumbling while speaking for 70 seconds.Now that PM gilnai has abused the word “because” to death, I think the rest of us need to go easy on it. I would try and use it as less as possible as it now represent mental inertia and pathetic vocabulary.
In addition, he actually sought President’s Bush permission before speaking even after Bush introduced him to the press in DC, thats taking obsequious behaviour to an extreme new lows. Republicans should invite Pakistani prime minister to Washington more often, he actually makes Dubya look smart (and people thought it was not possible).

What a disgrace.
Jul 10, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

My way (Meray Mutabiq) or highway

Anyone who knows me know my affection for an affliction called Pakistan’s electronic media. Here is an article sent to me by a friend on erstwhile anchor and brand new chairman of state owned PTV. My friend Z and I have seen Dr Sahab and the man with no title but all the authority hand in glove in Islamabad and knew before any other official announcement that Dr Sahab is gonna jump Ship Geo for bigger and better options.

Here is the article

I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Shahid Masood in October 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks on The World Trade Centre, and coincidentally, just as ARY had started its London operations. PJ Mir already had his own show and Shahid Masood, it appeared to me, was vying for one.

The topic almost routinely under discussion in those inaugural weeks was understandably 9/11. I was asked to contribute as a guest panellist. Since I was a US-trained lawyer, I would be commenting on the legal ramifications of handing Osama over to US authorities. It seems like a pointless conversation now, but way back in the autumn of 2001, Pakistan was trying its level best to use its influence with and impress upon the Taliban the wisdom in handing Osama over and sparing the entire population of Afghanistan, northern areas of Pakistan and eventually the people of Iraq the misery of US wrath.

The panel discussion had four guests. Myself, Sherry Rehman (who had not at that point announced her political ambitions although the underlying signs were unambiguous), Dr. Shahid Masood and a fourth gentleman whose name I unfortunately do not remember so let’s just call him Mr. X. Clearly, Mr. X and I were the nobodies on the panel; Sherry and Dr. Shahid the stars. Who could have predicted then that seven years on Sherry would be our Information Minister and Dr. Shahid her PTV Chairman!

The show ran unfocused. Electronic media was just starting out and there was much confusion. Dr. Shahid was not initially meant to be a guest on the panel as he was “in house” but I soon realized that he filled in whenever a guest cancelled at the last minute. I am not sure whose place he was taking that day, but it soon became clear that the good doctor was ready and willing to talk about anything under the sun. So he was “an expert” on anthrax that October day.

As the show progressed, Mr. X and I got little air time for it was survival of the loudest. I, somewhat soft-spoken, was cut off in mid-sentence by Sherry, hoping that PJ would intervene and let me have my full say, but no such luck. Sherry carried on unabated till she found her match in Dr. Shahid. PJ posed the anthrax question, which Dr. Shahid dismissed instantly and carried on talking about what he wanted to talk about, the conspiracy against Muslims. Mr. X, forgive me for not remembering his name, described himself as a British Muslim and in his pre and post-program conversations seemed more distressed about the Turkish hijab-clad women who were denied admission into university than he was up to speed with Pakistan’s potential role in the war on terror. Mid-way through the program, PJ decided that none of his guests were up to the mark and so he called Lord Nazir and proceeded to talk about Kashmir.

In 2001, it was not fashionable to seek legal opinions on television shows so I had to wait till after the show to say what I wanted to say. Mr. X had left as soon as the show ended, annoyed, I think. But Dr. Shahid and Sherry lingered on, as did I, waiting for my ride to make it to the inconveniently located Acton studio. It was then that I discovered that Dr. Shahid was not a Ph.D. as I thought he may have been, but a medical doctor. Later, I discovered that all the doctors in our media are medical doctors and not Ph.D.s as they may want us to believe, whether it is Aamir Liaqat or Shaista Wahidi or of course Shahid Masood. Why would one want to retain the doctor title when one is not treating patients but a working journalist is beyond me, but I suppose its all part of leaving the right impression, or perhaps better said in Urdu, aks dalna.

Sherry had left the studio and I was still waiting for my ride. As I waited, Dr. Shahid and I continued our conversation. Dr. Shahid, I realized quickly from speaking to him, had an extremely right-wing bent of mind. The conversation drifted to Partition, and then Jinnah, to which I heard the most bizarre remark from Dr. Shahid. “Jinnah was a Parsi,” he said. Not that I think there is anything wrong with the Zoroastrian faith, but Dr. Shahid was clearly misinformed and I felt I must set him straight.

“Jinnah was a Muslim. He married a Parsi woman, but he was Muslim,” I told him matter-of-factly.

“No, Jinnah was a Parsi, I think,” Dr. Shahid still doubted my knowledge, and possibly his own.

“Jinnah was born in an Isamili household,” I told him, thinking perhaps that Dr. Shahid may be confusing one minority group for another, odd as it sounds, “but, as an adult, chose to espouse mainstream Muslim.” Dr. Shahid appeared confused at my statement and did not respond but looked on disbelievingly. Shortly after that, I left the studio but found it very difficult to fathom that Jinnah, whose name appears in the greatest Muslim leaders of all time, who created a homeland for millions of Muslims, would be mistaken as a non-Muslim by anyone, leave alone a Pakistani. I had met Pakistanis before who belittled Jinnah’s contribution or doubted his wisdom but never before had I met a Pakistani who actually thought that he was not Muslim. Dr. Shahid sure was special.

Short as our interaction was, I never forgot Dr. Shahid’s words and was hence never able to take him seriously. When he got his own show on ARY, I found it little different from Bill O’Reilly’s The O’Reilly Factor on FOX News. He was good at only one thing—sensationalizing issues, most often in the context of Islam versus the West or religious Muslims versus secular Muslims. Certainly there are issues in both those areas, but Dr. Shahid’s shows, barring occasional exceptions, lacked cogent analysis or appropriate cross-questioning, and played only to peoples’ emotions. I was therefore quite surprised when GEO took him on in a senior capacity. But I suppose sensationalism works and ratings attest to it.

In any case, when after a relatively short stint at GEO, Dr. Shahid has (literally) arrived at PTV, I am not in the least bit surprised that Dr. Shahid took the job but do wonder if the government knows what they have gotten themselves into. Previous PTV chairpersons were at least well-read individuals who knew Pakistan’s history empirically. Of course PTV has always towed the government line but many PTV-groomed journalists have cleverly and intelligently pushed limits to get closer to the truth. I am afraid that Dr. Shahid is not motivated by this journalistic ethos and his very opinionated (meray mutabiq) and almost jingoistic style is bound to clash with the government’s sooner or later, and for all the wrong reasons.

PTV has trained some of Pakistan’s best journalists, people like Talat Hussain of Aaj TV, and so many others. In spite of the fact that PTV’s approach was biased and skewed, it still had some visionary leadership that promoted learning and was meritorious enough to throw up talent that was later poached by the private channels. But with Dr. Shahid, objectivity and competence may no longer matter at all as it will be my way (meray muttabiq) or the highway.

Looking at it another way, in the past, for those Pakistanis interested in making their mark through electronic media there was no option but to go the PTV route. Therefore, by and large, those who opted for PTV were not doing so out of any loyalty to the establishment, but because that was the only outlet for their career aspirations. But today, with a mushrooming of private channels, choosing to go the PTV route, at least in as senior a capacity as Dr. Shahid’s, raises serious red flags with respect to his intentions and credibility.

In the run-up to his PTV offer, Dr. Shahid did a series on army generals who had held important portfolios but were now keen to speak out against the regime. The idea was a good one, for anyone who believes in transparency must acknowledge that the ways of the military and their post-retirement affiliations often go un-scrutinized. Yet, Dr. Shahid it appears was not interested in seeking the truth but only concerned with the spin, ensuring that he got the guests on his show only because he failed to cross-question them about their own potentially dubious roles in the past. By only showing one side of these critical matters that deserve the utmost scrutiny and objectivity, Dr. Shahid sent the right message to the establishment: I am danger man, court me or fear me.

His approach was structured to achieve the maximum personal gain for himself, not for his viewers. And in that he has been highly successful. His salary, variously quoted at Rs. 700,000 to Rs. 1,000,000 a month may be well deserved if the journalist in question is exceptionally good and working at a private network, but for PTV to pay that kind of money on taxpayers’ expense at a time when poverty worldwide and specifically in Pakistan is reaching new heights is in extremely poor taste. There is little doubt in my mind that this money, which rightfully belongs to the citizens of Pakistan, is being used to fund a man known for his ability to spin whose job it will be to work against the interests of the very people who are forced to fund him. The silver lining to all this is that it may not matter as much because the private media has come a long way. With competent journalists like Talat Hussain, Kashif Abassi, Nusrat Javed and Mushtaq Minhas around, perhaps the damage that Dr. Shahid can inflict may yet be contained.

Jul 8, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Be done with this confusion

Something that made a lot of sense to me – an Ejaz Haider column that was published in Daily Times

The Lal Masjid phenomenon manifests the tension and the confusion of this nation as nothing does; and the confusion is confounded by the lies mouthed by all concerned, including the media.

Let’s begin with the bombing of the police contingent in the closing moments of the congregation commemorating the “shuhada” of Lal Masjid.

If the people who were gathered at the mosque to venerate those who resisted the state and rebelled against it were and are right, then the man who blew himself up and killed the policemen and others should be hailed. He gave his life, just like the Lal Masjid rebels, for a higher cause, one, which, as the argument goes, even transcends the state.

By the same logic, those who attacked the mosque were wrong. They represented a state whose writ is unacceptable and, were one to employ the currently reigning exegesis in some circles, which must be fought because it is a battle of Right against Wrong — the faithful against the infidel. The state is apostate.

If, on the other hand, we think that the policemen met “shahadat” while performing their duty, the bombing was a dastardly act, the state is at war with some elements that want to subvert it from inside, then the Lal Masjid cannot be lionised — neither can those who died there fighting the state be considered heroes.

These are two different narratives; they are in conflict. Both cannot be right. One of the two, most definitely, is wrong and misplaced.

My intention here is not to judge either but simply to point to the absurdity of moving from one to the other as if they are compatible and part of a continuum.

What makes it worse is that all of us are making this mistake, some unwittingly, but most deliberately and wittingly. Those who know what they are doing belong to the media and the political leadership. They are mixing up the categories deliberately.

Let’s consider the probity of allowing the Lal Masjid conference to be held. What was the conference about? It was about those who died fighting the state. The current government’s act of allowing this conference to go ahead meant that it (the government) did not think that the act of commemorating those who fought the security forces and died in the mosque was wrong; corollary: those who died were right.

But if Lal Masjid was right and so are those honouring the memory of its heroes, then the current government is wrong too — as much in the wrong and apostate as the one that ordered the raid on the mosque. In which case, the current government should either not have allowed this conference to be held or if, as it did, it should simply step down to make way for the ideology represented by Lal Masjid. It cannot do both things.

The speeches at the conference, especially after the first session, called for acts and actions that go against the grain of state’s policies — for instance, in the tribal areas or in relation to Afghanistan. This means that the congregants actually believed in attacking the writ of the state and called upon all those sympathetic to their cause to do so. The bombing that happened, as it would have, was in keeping with the ideology propounded by the mosque.

Let it also be noted that the mosque has had links with sectarian organisations, the Taliban and Al Qaeda (the presence of cadres of banned sectarian organisations at the conference has been widely reported). It is no coincidence that within 24 hours of the raid on Lal Masjid, Ayman Al Zawahiri called upon the faithful to avenge the action; neither is it a coincidence that within 24 hours of Mr Zawahiri’s warning, security personnel at different points in the NWFP were hit with a spate of suicide bombings spread over almost a week.

So, what was the government thinking when it allowed the conference to be held and also allowed speakers to make speeches that go against the state’s writ? How will these elements challenge the state’s writ if not by attacking security forces and personnel who represent the state’s coercive arm?

The point is simple but I will reiterate it: either the state, as constituted currently, is wrong or the people challenging it are a menace.

The gem delivered by Rehman Malik, who advises the prime minister on internal security, is especially noteworthy for its idiocy. Bragging about security measures he asked the media what might have happened if the bomber had blown himself up among the congregants. Is Mr Malik for real? Does he really think the bomber would have blown himself up among his ideological kin and killed them?

The bomber attacked those he wanted to kill; he was avenging the raid. And, as always with such attacks, he proved deadly. I won’t be surprised if investigations reveal that he peeled off from the congregants to do his work rather than approaching the policemen from outside.

Now, to the media. Again, either the policemen are martyrs, having been killed in the line of duty or those who died in the mosque last year and also the man who blew himself up to kill the policemen. The media (reporters and anchors) cannot move between the two narratives as if they are mutually inclusive. If it was a “shuhada” conference then the man who killed the policemen was righteous and the policemen were representing the apostate state.

Let us decide, once and for all, what we stand for. If the nation really feels that Lal Masjid was right then damn the political parties, the current social contract and the United Nations. Let us lap up the ideology represented by Lal Masjid, sectarian organisations, the Taliban and Al Qaeda — yes, because they are all part of the same string.

If the nation is prepared to do that, nay spoiling to do so, let us chalk a new social contract, pray for the souls of all the suicide bombers, hail those who are fighting the security forces in FATA and the infidels in Afghanistan and be done with the state as it is configured today. The policemen, of course, had died in the wrong and in vain — just like every single security person who has fallen in this conflict has got killed in the wrong cause, defending an apostate state.

Conversely, if we are not prepared for the literalist exegesis that informs the millenarianism of the Taliban-Al Qaeda cadres, let us, for everyone’s sake including our own, stop glorifying them. Let us focus on the soldiers that have fallen rather than going on about the plight of the innocent “shuhada” of Lal Masjid.

We must also then realise that we are under threat; that these people are as much against our way of life as they are against the infidels west of Durand Line.

In which case, need it be said again that the government should not have allowed the crowd sympathetic to Lal Masjid to congregate in Islamabad, the capital city? Because the congregants’ narrative goes against everything the state and, by extension, this society stands for.

Let us decide and be done with this confusion, deliberate or unwitting.

Jul 3, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

People’s Party pushing favourites in cushy jobs

People Party is at it again – pushing friends and loyalists for lucrative appointments.

Questions have been raised in the Senate on the appointment of TV anchor Dr Shahid Masood as Chairman and Managing Director of the PTV.

PML-N Senator Saadia Abbasi, who had also raised similar questions on the appointment of another TV anchor, Mubashar Luqman, has moved a question in the Senate for investigation into the circumstances in which unprecedented financial benefits were offered to Dr Shahid Masood. Saadia was critical of some anchorpersons who, she alleged, used their media positions as stepping stones to bargain lucrative packages from the same people whom they criticised as anchors.

She said that as a senator, she was drawing a salary of Rs 31,000 per month, but asked why an anchorperson should be paid hundreds of thousands of rupees from the public exchequer. Debate on the issue is expected in the next session of the Senate, she added.

In addition to The News story, it has also been rumoured that apart from a lucrative package and perks, Dr Shahid Masood, who is said to be a close confidante of Mr. Zardari, will be getting a hefty share of the sponsorship revenue accrued by any programs hosted and anchored by him. If that is correct, it will be a first in television broadcast history of Pakistan.

In another news item, The News reports that the PPP-led coalition government is pushing favourites and party loyalists for important jobs.

This is being done in such a hurry that in some cases, private recommendation letters on the PPP letterheads are also being forwarded, along with federal ministers’ directives, to different government agencies. Such party letters today make part of official files.

These appointments are being made in addition to those being processed through the Task Force on Recruitment, which is seen as the latest version of the previously ill reputed Peoples Placement Bureau.

The Task Force, as reported earlier, is headed by two political appointees and close associates of Asif Ali Zardari, one of them enjoying the status of a federal minister. It primarily deals with BS-1 to BS-16 appointments in the government departments.

Official documents, including directives issued by some of the federal ministers, available with The News, show it is yet another crude method of appointment, proving that favouritism instead of merit and the rule of law was being followed.

In one case, Information Minister Sherry Rehman, who is also acting as the health minister, has recommended the appointment of a PPP supporter in London as adviser, special assistant or consultant to the health minister or “against any suitable post falling under the health ministry”.

On a PPP letterhead, one Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, deputy coordinator Peoples Business Forum, writes to the information minister on May 20: “Dear Ms Sherry Rehman: Dr Mukhtar Bhutto, a diehard PPP supporter, had close contacts with Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in London. Our Quaid also helped him in his medical studies in the UK. Dr Mukhtar Bhutto was a great support to me in my election campaign. I am forwarding his letter of request with his CV for your kind consideration for any suitable position with the request to kindly do the needful.”

The attached CV of the PPP supporter, which too is now part of official record, says: “I am a strong devotee of my beloved mother like the Pakistan People’s Party…” He sees the information minister as a “Roshan Meenar” for the party workers and hopes that he would not be disappointed and given the opportunity “to serve Pakistan and Pakistani, subsequently our Pakistan People’s Party”.

Following the receipt of the above recommendation, the information minister’s office formally referred the case to the secretary health under the signatures of Rao Tehsin Ali Khan, Director General, to information minister.

The recommendation letter of Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig and the CV of Dr Mukhtar Bhutto were also attached with the request formally referred to the secretary health. The letter issued by Sherry Rehman’s office on June 5 said: “Enclosed please find an application of Dr Mukhtar Bhutto, recommended by Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, Deputy Coordinator, People’s Business Forum, requesting for appointment as Adviser/Special Assistant/Consultant to the Ministry of Health or any suitable alternative in the said Ministry….”

Since the health ministry could not appoint adviser, special assistant or consultant on its own and without the approval of the prime minister, it forwarded the minister’s directive, along with attached recommendation letter and the CV to all programme managers and project coordinators, leading health projects under the health ministry, with the request that they should indicate the position as per qualification of the PPP supporter for his appointment.

In yet another case, a PPP MNA Tasneem Ahmed Qureshi approached the health minister with a request that a serving income additional commissioner Dr Malik Muhammad Khan Awan should be appointed in any of the leading health ministry programmes.

Despite the fact that inviting such political interference into service matters by a serving bureaucrat tantamounts to misconduct under the Estacode — the book of law, rules, policies, etc, governing civil bureaucracy — still Sherry Rehman’s Director General Rao Tehsin Ali Khan wrote to the secretary health: “Enclosed please find a self-explanatory request of Dr Malik Muhammd Khan Awan, Additional Commissioner, Legal-I, Large Taxpayer Unit, Lahore, on the subject above (Requisition of services of Dr Malik Muhammad Khan Awan from Federal Board of Revenue to Ministry of Health) noted above. The minister has desired that a report may please be sent to this office for the issuance of orders of the minister.”

The health ministry in this case too, referred the minister’s directive, along with the taxman’s application, to all programme managers and project coordinators under it to indicate the vacant position as per Awan’s qualification for onward submission of a report to the health minister (read information minister).

Sherry Rehman, when contacted, denied that she had issued any such directive to any government department. When asked that the directives were issued by her office under the signatures of her DG, she expressed her ignorance, saying, “Not that I know of.”

The information minister said that MNAs and others, including journalists, bring job requests to her but she never compromises on merit and seeks appointments only through the Placement Bureau (she probably meant Task Force on Recruitment).

While there are reports of several other ministers involved in similar practices, Sherry Rehman’s case is interesting for the reason that she is one of the foreign qualified ministers, who during her journalistic carrier, has been reflecting on the issue of merit, good governance and the rule of law.

In another news item, it is reported that Chief Minster of Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah is posting his favourites in different departments, forcing officials to ignore merit and obey his orders.

The News has learnt that Ghulam Muhammad Mangi, a chemical engineering graduate, has been posted as the superintending engineer (SE) in the Irrigation Department on the directives of the chief minister.

Ghulam Muhammad Mangi was working as deputy manager in the Sui Southern Gas Company. His brother, who is very close to the chief minister, asked Qaim Ali Shah to post Mangi at some key post in the Sindh government.

Accordingly, the chief minster posted Mangi as an SE in the Irrigation Department, while violating the rules. Sources said Mangi was a chemical engineer and had no technical knowhow of irrigation.

Pointing at another such appointment, the sources said the CM accommodated Akhtar Nabi Dogar, the nephew of a senior official, by posting him as the District Officer Works and Services.

They disclosed that Dogar was working as Deputy Operations Manager in Hesco. Being an electrical engineer, he had the proper qualification for the job he was doing. There is a recommendation of the Pakistan Engineering Council that graduates in chemistry, electronics, electrical, meteorology etc should never be posted on posts that require civil engineering graduates.

On the other hand, the Cabinet Division has also made the same resolve. The sources pointed out that Chief Minster Qaim Ali Shah, who had pledged to ensure transparency and not to indulge in any favouritism, political or otherwise, was also engaged in the same practice in which the past rulers were involved.

The CM is also using his discretionary powers, the sources said and quoted that he promoted a clerk of the Revenue Department and appointed him as Assistant Mukhtiarkar. Sources disclosed that the clerk, Mazhar alias Machar, was in charge of the CM House, Khairpur, and had been very close to Qaim Ali Shah.

Sources said the past rulers had also violated the rules to accommodate their favourites but the PPP government, which had announced to end that practice, was continuing the same. Sources also pointed out that the graduates in different disciplines were posted in Grade 17 in the Punjab, Balochistan and the NWFP but they were given Grade 11 in Sindh.

Whats remarkable is that all the news items are published in one day – July 3rd – if the People’s Party continue to go at this rate, any non PPP person will soon be out of the job to make room for democracy loving jiyalas, I love this country.

Jun 23, 2008 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

Modeling for beauty – Zardari style

While the city of Karachi celebrated Benazir Bhutto’s birthday over the weekend (of course at the cost of the tax payers of Pakistan), here is Mr. Zardari modeling for Mahrose Beauty Parlor.

Do you guys think Mahrose beauty parlor will have more clients now that Mr Zardari is modeling for them. Considering the transformation we have seen in the man, Mahrose should soon be making moolah faster than Mr. Zardari himself. Or is that not possible by any other mortal being?

Jun 16, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Fly on the wall

Saw this excerpt at Ali Jafri’s blog about how former President Clinton literally blew his top at Nawaz Sharif during a meeting 1999 after the Kargil fiasco. This is from the book, Engaging India – Diplomacy, Democracy and the Bomb, published in 2006, written by Strobe Talbot, the former senior U.S. Department of State official, who was in the room with Bill Clinton when the U.S. president received Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the then Pakistani prime minister, who came to see Clinton regarding the war in Kargil:

“Kargil War between India and Pakistan took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir. According to India the cause of the war was the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants into positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control, which serves as the de facto border between the two states. During and directly after the war, Pakistan blamed the fighting entirely on independent Kashmiri insurgents, but documents left behind by casualties and later statements by Pakistan’s Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff showed involvement of Pakistani paramilitary forces. The Indian Army, supported by the Indian Air Force, attacked the Pakistani positions and, with international diplomatic support, eventually forced a Pakistani withdrawal across the Line of Control (LoC).

At the height of the Kargil conflict, former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is said to have told then US President Bill Clinton that he was prepared to help resolve the crisis if India committed to settle the ‘larger issue’ of Kashmir in a specific time-frame, but the American leader snubbed him saying it would amount to a ‘nuclear blackmail.’ When Sharif visited Washington in 1999 to discuss Kargil with Clinton, he insisted, ‘I am prepared to help resolve the current crisis in Kargil but India must commit to resolve the larger issue in a specific time-frame,’ former US deputy secretary of State Strobe Talbot writes in his new book Engaging India – Diplomacy, Democracy and the Bomb.

Clinton came as close as I had ever seen to blowing up in a meeting with a foreign leader,’ and told Sharif, ‘If I were the Indian Prime Minister, I would never do that. I would be crazy to do it. It would be nuclear blackmail. If you proceed with this line, I will have no leverage with them. If I tell you what you think you want me to say, I will be stripped of all influence with the Indians.’ ‘I am not – and the Indians are not – going to let you get away with blackmail, and I will not permit any characterization of this meeting that suggests I am giving in to blackmail,’ Talbot writes, adding, Clinton also refuted Sharif’s accusation that the Indians were the instigators of the crisis and intransigents in the ongoing standoff. When Sharif insisted he had to have something to show for his trip to the US beyond unconditional surrender over Kargil, Clinton pointed to the dangers of nuclear war if Pakistan did not return to its previous positions. Seeing they were getting nowhere, Clinton told Sharif he had a statement ready to release to press that would lay all the blame for the crisis on Pakistan. ‘Sharif was ashen.’

‘Clinton had worked himself back into real anger – his face flushed, eyes narrowed, lips pursed, cheek muscles pulsing, fists clenched. He said it was crazy enough for Sharif to have let his military violate the Line of Control, start a border war with India, and now prepare nuclear forces (U.S. had received intelligence Pakistan was preparing nuclear forces for attack against India) for action,’ Talbot says in his book. ‘Sharif seemed beaten, physically and emotionally’ and denied he had given any order with regard to nuclear weaponry. Taking a break, Clinton spoke to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee over phone and told him what had happened until then. ‘What do you want me to say?’ Vajpayee asked. ‘Nothing,’ Clinton replied, he just wanted to show he was holding.”

Mr. Sharif may cry to death saying that he had nothing to do with Kargil and if we believe that he had nothing to do with Kargil despite his “heavy mandate,” then he should retire as a failed politician and head of government and do not seek a place in the parliament. What kind of PM would let his army chief run amok like this? As Ali Jafri has rightly pointed out: If Nawaz Sharif didn’t know about Kargil, why was he negotiating on Kashmir in such a confident way with Clinton?

Honestly I can soooo picture this meeting. Clinton red with rage, Mian Sahab red with shame and people like Talbot red with worry(Or is it the wrong color for worry), thinking about ways of ending the meeting before something really ghastly happened. I would have given anything to be a fly on the wall that day, really.

Jun 12, 2008 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

Sarkar Raj – Pakistan style

Here is another Member of National Assembly violating the law. The traffic police is busy convincing people to use the standardized number plates issued by the provincial government in yellow color with black letters. This number plate is the same color as car and has letters in silver italics.

Jun 5, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Bambi and wife

For a very good looking man with charm and flashy white teeth, Bambi’s wife is seriously scary.