G-man: Up up and away!


He is being called the Pakistani Superman of Politics. If you like a new G-man kind of super hero from Pakistan. An artist has even visualized Prime Minister Gilani in a Superman like outfit (look closely).

The G-man is Pakistan's version of the Superman hero figure

What’s special about the G-man is that he only listens to his heart for what’s right or wrong even though the law of the land says otherwise. Yet the G-man is a humble servant of the people and respects the law because ‘saying’ otherwise will leave a wrong impression on children. This makes G-man a responsible and child friendly hero figure. Even kids will sometimes disobey their parents just like the G-man disobeys the Supreme Court. But its all right. For now up up and awayy!

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Is this the tipping point for Aitzaz Ahsan?


Pakistani public had by heart accepted the PPP politician Aitzaz Ahsan as a just and neutral leader for his front-line role in the cause for restoration of judiciary. Aitzaz Ahsan took the role despite knowing that it was his party’s government that he would be acting against. The same Pakistani people are today dismayed due to his recent support to the increasingly unpopular PPP Government against none other but the very judiciary that he successfully supported back to office. The Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry has been reported to distance himself from Aitzaz Ahsan in light of the recent, what the public is also terming, switch in loyalties.

Below is an English adaptation of a cartoon strip surveying the large shift in Aitzaz Ahsan’s stance over the case regarding Supreme Court orders to the PPP Government to write letter to the Swiss authorities for re-opening corruption cases against the sitting President Asif Zardari.

Veteran PPP Politician Aitzaz Ahsan and a key figure of the Lawyers Movement has recently put his public trust at risk by siding with the unpopular PPP Government

Below is the original cartoon strip in Urdu.

Aitzaz Ahsan to defend the PPP Government in Contempt of Court case

What remains to be seen is whether Aitzaz Ahsan will be able to reclaim the same public trust like he did when he played the controversial dual-roles of a veteran political leader of the ruling PPP and a key leader of the Lawyers Movement.

 

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The Horrors of Leon Panetta’s Hunch


American Defence Secretary Leon Panetta alleges that high ranking authorities within Pakistani Leadership were hiding Osama Bin Laden

Speaking to an American TV Channel American Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has revealed that the Obama Administration did not share in advance its covert military strike inside Pakistan to the Pakistani Government and the Pakistani Military because they had a hunch that the news would quickly travel to Osama Bin Laden to help him escape. Secretary Panetta continued to acknowledge that the Obama Administration and the Pentagon did not have any ‘hard evidence’ to support such views though.

This reveals a dangerous trend the United States has now established a track record of. This very hunch on behalf of the United States has seen tremendous pain and death for the Iraqi people. No Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) have ever been found in Iraq, the major cause of the American invasion. The decade long military occupation of Afghanistan by the United States has not made the situation any more stable for the Afghan people on the ground. The latest American attempt to over-power Iran over its energy oriented nuclear program now threatens to engulf the entire East Asian region including Pakistan and its neighbors including India and the Central Asian Republics (CARs) that comprise of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

What’s most terrifying is the thought that a ‘hunch’ has no pattern, no end and no sense of differentiation between right and wrong, friend and foe. It can be extremely beneficial and dramatically horrific. The world and especially the Asian countries can choose between living in fear or defending their sovereignty and people’s interest.

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Democracy’s Revenge on Pakistan


The Obama Administration wishes to see a certain brand of Democracy flourish in Pakistan. Former Ambassador Haqqani claims he resigned for the sake of Democracy in Pakistan. While President Zardari has time and again repeated the Late Benazir Bhutto’s saying ‘Democracy is the best Revenge’. All well and good but the question a common Pakistani is posing against this brand of ‘Democracy for Revenge’ is its inability to rectify the economic and security conditions of the masses.

While the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lead Federal Government has time and again demanded that its term in government be ensured to complete it has consistently failed on its promises to provide for the basic necessities of the common Pakistani: The sole rationale that justifies the continuity of a government. The sitting government of PPP has twice defaulted on its commitment to resolve the severe electricity shortfall which is equated at 1 watt supplied for every 2 watts demanded. Come winters in 2011 the energy shortfall got even severe with the practical stoppage of natural gas to homes and CNG fuel stations. Where the common Pakistani has suffered the most, critical damage has been sustained by the commercial sector with the massive closure of textile industry, a major export contributor, that provides jobs to hundreds of thousands. The textile sector is not the only sufferer though. The 8-14 hour electricity outage every single day of the week has significantly reduced the efficiency and productivity levels of the economy as a whole. Economic analysts have estimate a year on year loss of 3-4% GDP due to bad energy management by the current Government. Electricity and gas being the primary sources of energy to any country’s commercial engine are simply out of supply making Pakistan barely crawl into the year 2012.

With all this havoc being faced by the average Pakistani the PPP lead Government has been solely focusing on its political image and completion of its tenure in power that ends in early 2013. Is the PPP government gaining any political mileage out of its clinging with power? Seemingly not since PPP has  suffered serious political setback with the continuing resignations or dis-association by top PPP veteran leaders. Even the common masses including the PPP voters have publicly and on-media started to criticize the PPP Government. In-short the PPP’s brand of Democracy has indeed been the best Revenge but wrongly directed at the common man instead of undemocratic forces.

With 2012 being the election preparations year it seems highly unlikely that the public would be in the mood to hear any more promises from the PPP leadership. Surely enough the PPP leaders would avoid repeating their favorite political slogan thus far ‘Democracy is the best Revenge’. One cartoonist has his own way of visualizing how he interprets this now unpopular political slogan:

Democracy is the Best Revenge_Late Benazir Bhutto

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Afghanistan: Are the Americans in for a USSR like Defeat?


United States Administration succumbs to holding negotiating deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan

It may even be seen as a political defeat for the United States after tens years of its desperate struggle in Afghanistan. The recent announcement to unite against the American and NATO forces by different Taliban factions, both big and small, has dealt a severe blow to the American morale; especially after they had started to talk of exiting Afghanistan starting in 2014. Despite possessing the best military technology and highly trained fighting soldiers the Americans and their NATO allies have consistently failed in concluding their mission in Afghanistan against much less trained and inferior fire-power of the Taliban groups.

Could this mean another 10 years in Afghanistan for Americans and their NATO allies? Would the NATO allies be actually supportive of an extended stay in Afghanistan?

President Obama’s recent announcement at the Pentagon to maintain American ‘Military Superiority’ in the Asia Pacific region actually conflicts with the on ground reality. The more pronounced intent on behalf of the US Administration to establish direct negotiations with the Taliban are widely seen as a proof of the weakening American resolve to successfully conclude what they had started. Many Afghans see this approach as a face-saving effort by the failing American Military action in Afghanistan.

A USSR like defeat? Perhaps not in terms of casualties and but definitely yes in terms of the humiliation by succumbing to the Taliban factions that may seem to be smaller and less equipped but that have definitely reigned large in terms of leaving an impact on the American War that has led to further destabilization of the region.

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The Value of a Pakistani Soldier’s Life in American Dollars


The United States led NATO investigation into the military raid inside the Pakistani border with Afghanistan has come out with a conclusion that further strengthens Pakistani Government, Pakistani Military and Pakistani people’s opinion about America and NATO’s lack for respect for Pakistan’s sovereignty and now more so Pakistani soldiers’ lives. The American Government in Washington thought it best, probably taking from the Raymond Davis case, to offer monetary compensation to the families of the martyred and wounded Pakistani soldiers; 24 brave and loyal Pakistani men in uniform brutally killed by the US led NATO airstrike inside Pakistani border on the night between November 26 and 27, 2011.

USAID - A Pakistani Soldier's Life in Dollars

Would the Americans take the same deal if this situation was reversed? If the Pakistani forces ‘by-mistake’ killed 24 of American troops?! Probably not.

But thinking in retrospect such an incident was imminent with Pakistan’s deteriorating image as that of a ‘Sovereign’ state. The Prime Minister Gilani lead PPP Government did little than lip-servicing and attempting to gain political mileage by continuously ‘condemning’ the drone strikes in Pakistani territory. The United States and the NATO forces had already established a compromised image of Pakistani sovereignty due to the weak play by the country’s government. Has the PPP lead Pakistani Government shown a solid stance over drone attacks and American intrusion into Pakistan to capture Osama Bin Ladin, chances are that the November 26 deaths of the 24 Pakistani soldiers could have been averted.

The latest statement issued by the American State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner did acknowledge the blunder by the US led NATO forces but consistently fell short of a clear-cut, unconditional apology to Pakistan, the families of the martyred Pakistani soldiers and the Pakistani people; “We accept responsibility for mistakes committed by the US side in the Nato air strike incident”. Mark Toner went on to state that the US was ready to monetarily compensate families of the martyred Pakistani soldiers.

It seems that the Americans claiming to be Pakistan’s closest ally in their war on terror in Afghanistan haven’t quite yet understood the Pakistani people. The Pakistani people are being alienated to the Americans and their cause in Afghanistan with every single passing day. The Obama Administration has recently done more to damage rather than build Pak-American relations as evident from popular public sentiment widely covered in the local and international media. The question now is whether the Obama Administration will pay heed to this conspicuously visible dissatisfaction by the Pakistani people or will they continue with their isolated agenda that will dangerously polarize the regional situation both in regional and global perspectives.

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I am coming back to Pakistan in January 2012: The Musharraf Ultimatum


Former President of Pakistan and the Chairman of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) Pervez Musharraf has announced of his intentions to return to Pakistan in January 2012. He has further alerted his political opponents to gather all the proof on allegations that have been leveled against him since his resignation from office in 2008. Pervez Musharraf has since lived in London delivering lectures on Pakistan, Global Security, the South Asian Region and War on Terror among others across Europe and the USA.

Musharraf's Ultimatum: Says he will return to Pakistan in 2012

His alarm has certainly attracted attention since his political opponents and political heavy-weights took some time off from the ongoing Memogate Scandal to indirectly issue warnings to his ultimatum.

Nawaz Sharif is a bitter opponent of Pervez Musharraf due to his forced exile for 8 years

Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz suddenly issued a statement to the media that he will steadfastly pursue the killers of the late Baloch leader Akbar Bugti. Pervez Musharraf is alleged to have ordered Bugti’s murder as leveled by his political opponents.

Pervez Musharraf has defended himself on several fronts including the death of Nawab Akbar Bugti in a re-conciliatory military operation gone-wrong. The case of Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) is also frequently used by the political opponents of Musharraf to accuse him of the killing of hundreds of religious students during the military operation that Musharraf had authorized to release the public mosque in the heart of Islamabad from armed terrorists. The ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has also alleged that Musharraf was complicit in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto by way of not providing sufficient security to her. No charge however has been proven against Musharraf in the court of law. Imran Khan of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) has continuously criticized Musharraf of wrongly involving Pakistan in America’s war in Afghanistan. This political section accuses Musharraf of adopting US influenced regional security policies that have deeply hurt Pakistan’s internal security, alienated its own people from the Northern border areas due to American Drone strikes that have killed thousands of innocent civilians in those areas.

Pervez Musharraf’s return sure is not an easy decision. Come January it should be expected that Musharraf may change his plans at the eleventh hour. It is popularly believed that he will face grave threat to his life and extreme political criticism and resistance to participate in the upcoming 2013 general elections. For now Musharraf has given the Ultimatum of his return and the immediate political response in opposition to him hints at a hidden fear by the political opponents that he may actually come back.

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