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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Fasi Zaka, Marvi Memon on GilgitBaltistan, Shireen Mazari on KalaPani, The real cause of MQM-PML hostility - Amir Mir

Fasi Zaka Has nailed this one on the head. Gated, walled, bunker mentality or cocooning, isloltaing, ghettoising, whatever words or phrases we use, those in power are removed from the real life and reality. Any wonder the poor man, the average Pakistani, the so called awam feels neglected?~t

In the bunker mentality that exists, in the rush to ensure that politics plays for personal patronage, what we are also losing is the ability for our legislators to actually be able to relate even remotely to the people they serve. Fasi Zaka

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani announced a package for Gilgit and Baltistan on August 29, 2009 but the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) has rejected this 'majority seeking' package. Based on consultations with party leadership and PML workers in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), the following reasons are being identified for the rejection of this package. For starters, no consultations were held with the PML president prior to the announcement of the package. The commitment given by the PM to PML in-charge GB and her GB cabinet delegation (on May 14, 2009), that the Northern Area Legislative Assembly (NALA) will be taken into confidence when package was formulated, was not honoured. Conceptually, NALA and KANA, the standing committee of the national assembly, were the two forums to get a democratic approval for the package which didn't happen. The GB Empowerment and Self-Government Ordinance 2009 is not acceptable since the PML believes in parliamentary supremacy where practice of ordinances and executive orders need to be discouraged. An Act should have been passed and constitutional protection given to this package. Marvi Memon on GilgitBaltistan,

Further, as the growing disaffection hits the more conscientious Pakistanis in officialdom, what should one make of the information (from frustrated police officials) regarding four Americans initially arrested on Aug 25 at FIA headquarters, Peshawar Morrh, Islamabad with unlicenced automatic weapons (seven MI-6) and no identification – although the arresting officials say they were "kala pani" (Blackwater) personnel around 14:45. When they were brought to the Margallah police station, SP Nasir Aftab, who had previously been serving in the diplomatic enclave, also arrived, followed by US embassy's security officer, a retired Pakistan army officer, Captain Ijaz. The latter abused and threatened the policemen and in front of SP Aftab had the four Americans, with no diplomatic identity, released from custody. When the SHO protested, SP Aftab also adopted Captain Ijaz's tone and later confessed he was helpless as he had orders from "above" for the release of the men. (This was reported in at least one major newspaper the following day.) Shireen Mazari

The present animosity between the Altaf-led MQM and the Sharif-led PML has more to do with the October 1998 murder of former Sindh governor Hakim Mohammad Said and the subsequent imposition of the Governorís Rule in the province by the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, rather than the 1992 operation clean-up, following which the two parties had mended fences and joined hands to form coalition governments in Sindh and at the federal level. The real cause of MQM-PML hostility- Amir Mir

And last, Ansar Abbasi's leg work covering the Jinnahpur reports from the dailies of that time here.


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