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Wake up Pakistan ! Presently the Muslim societies are in a state of ideological confusion and flux. Materialism, terrorism,...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Golden Era of Nawaz Sharif: A Glimpse [Urdu] By Hasan Nisar




میاں صاحب!مستقبل کی بات کریں...چوراہا …حسن نثار
کیا (ن) لیگ میں ایک شخص بھی ایسا نہیں جو اپنے لیڈر کو اک ایسی بات کی تکرار سے رو ک سکے جو بے بنیاد بھی ہے اور مضحکہ خیز بھی۔ میاں نواز شریف تسلسل سے یہ بات دہرائے جارہے ہیں کہ”تبدیلی“ لانے کے دعویدار تو جب لائیں گے لیکن ہم تو کب سے تبدیلی لا بھی چکے۔ ہم نے موٹروے بنائی، ایٹمی دھماکے کئے اور سبز پاسپورٹ کو سربلند کیا اور ہمارے زمانہ میں دہشتگردی کا نام و نشان نہ تھا یعنی میاں صاحب اپنے زمانہ کو ”سنہرا دور“ قرار دینے پر مصر ہیں اور نیوٹرل لوگ اس کا مذاق اڑارہے ہیں۔
لوگ پوچھ رہے ہیں کہ کیا یہ وہی سنہرا زمانہ نہیں تھا جب بھوک کے مارے چن زیب نامی اک پاکستانی نے آپ کے گھر کے سامنے کامیاب خود سوزی کی تھی؟ اور یہ عہد خود سوزی تھا ۔
کیا یہ وہی دور نہ تھا جب یہ سرخی بھی کسی اخبار کی زینت بنی کہ……”شیر آٹا کھا گیا“
کیا یہی وہ گولڈن پیریڈ نہیں تھا جب ”ریاض بسرا“ جیسی بلائیں اس ملک میں دندناتی پھرتی تھیں؟
اور کیا یہ اسی زمانے کی بات نہیں جب عدلیہ پر چڑھائی ہوئی اور اس کے نتیجہ میں کچھ متوالے نااہل قرار دئیے گئے؟ اور آج تک …”پھرتے ہیں میر خوار کوئی پوچھتا نہیں“ ۔
اور کیا یہی وہ زریں عہد نہیں تھا جس میں اک ڈکٹیٹر کے شب خون پر آپ کی حکومت کا تختہ الٹا گیا تو لاہور جیسے شہر میں لوگوں نے اس قدر مٹھائیاں تقسیم کی کہ سویٹ شاپس خالی ہوگئیں۔
کیا آپ کا دورہی وہ دور نہیں تھا جب ڈالر اکاؤنٹ منجمد کرکے ملکی معیشت کا بیڑہ غرق کردیا گیا تھا اور لاتعداد گھر برباد ہوگئے۔
کیا یہی وہ ”مبارک “ زمانہ نہیں تھا جب فرقہ واریت کا عفریت سرعام نمازیوں تک کا خون پی رہا تھا؟یہاں تک کہ خود ظل سبحانی اور قائد اعظم ثانی بھی قاتلانہ حملہ سے محفوظ نہ رہ سکے اور رائے ونڈ روڈ پر بال بال بچے۔
یہی دور تھا ناں جب سیاسی انتقام بذریعہ احتساب الرحمن ساتویں آسمان پر محو پرواز تھا جس کا ٹارگٹ بینظیر بھٹو نامی وہ خاتون بھی تھی جس کے ساتھ آپ نے ”میثاق جمہوریت“ پر دستخط فرمائے اور آج یہ دستاویز آپ کو بے حد عزیز ہے۔ آصف زرداری صاحب کی زبان پر بھی جمہوری داستان بھی تب ہی رقم کی گئی۔
کیا یہی دور نہ تھا جب ارتکاز طاقت کے شوق میں ہر طاقت کے ساتھ محاذ آرائی کو بڑھاوا دیا گیا جو”بارہ اکتوبر“ کا باعث بنا جس نے ملک کی چولیں ہلا دیں۔
پرویز مشرف پاکستان کے لئے ”بری خبر“ تھے تو اس بری خبر کو جنم کس نے دیا اور جنرل پرویز مشرف کس ”جینئس“ اور”وژنری“ کی چوائس تھے؟ اور کیوں؟
کیا ”پیلی ٹیکسی سکیم“ معیشت کے منکے پر ضرب کاری اک خالصتاً غیر اقتصادی اور سیاسی فیصلہ نہ تھا؟…سستی سیاسی مقولیت و شہرت کی اک بے حد مہنگی کوشش جس کی قیمت ملکی خزانے نے چکائی کہ اچھی سکیم میں ہمیشگی ہوتی ۔
کیا آپ بھول گئے کہ آپ کے سنہری یا آہنی دور حکومت کے دوران قیمتوں میں اضافہ کی شرح کیا تھی؟ فی کس آمدنی کتنی تھی؟ زرمبادلہ کے ذخائر کتنے رہ گئے تھے؟ اور بے روزگاری کا حال کیا تھا؟
کیا یکساں نصاب تعلیم جاری ہوگیا تھا؟ زرعی اصلاحات نافذ کردی گئی تھیں؟ ملاوٹ ختم ہوگئی تھی یا جعلی دوائیں بننی بکنی بند ہوگئی تھیں؟ پاپولیشن مینجمنٹ کی طرف توجہ دی گئی تھی یا لاء اینڈ آرڈر میں کوئی بہتری دیکھی گئی تھی؟ تھانہ کلچر تو آج تک سو فیصد وہی ہے حالانکہ گزشتہ چند سال سے پنجاب پر پھر آپ کی حکومت ہے؟ کوئی انقلابی زرعی پالیسی آئی تھی یا صنعتی؟ کتنے نئے چھوٹے شہروں کی بنیاد رکھی گئی تاکہ دیہی علاقوں سے شہروں پر یلغار کی حوصلہ شکنی ہوسکے؟ مقامی حکومتوں کا حال کیسا تھا؟ انتخابی اصلاحات ہوئی تھیں یا جعلی ووٹرویڈ آؤٹ کیا گیا تھا؟ دہری شہریت پر بین لگایا؟ عطائی ڈاکٹرز ختم کئے؟ میڈیا کا یہ سیلاب بھی مشرف صاحب کا تحفہ ہے ،آپ یا کوئی اور سیاسی ہوتا تو یہ ”جرم“ اور گناہ“ کبھی نہ کرتا؟ پینے کے صاف پانی کی کہانی کا انجام بھی”سرانجام“ ہے اور شرح خواندگی میں کتنا اضافہ ہوا تھا؟
میاں صاحب!
سچ تو یہ ہے کہ آپ… آپ سے پہلے اور آپ کے بعد کسی نے کبھی کسی حقیقی تبدیلی کے لئے کچھ نہیں کیا۔ بھٹو سیاست کو ڈرائینگ روم سے نکال کر چوراہے میں لایا جو واقعی خوفناک ”تبدیلی“ تھی اور اسی لئے وہ آج تک زندہ ہے… باقی سب ٹوپی ڈرامے اور سطحی سیاست یا ڈنگ ٹپاؤ دھندے اور گونگلوؤں سے مٹی جھاڑ کر شب دیگ پکانے کے مترادف ہے۔ آپ لوگوں نے تو آج بھی سیکورٹی کی آڑ میں سرکاری سڑکوں پر قبضے کرکے عوام کے رستے روک رکھے ہیں اور آپ کے روٹ ہی ختم ہونے میں نہیں آتے تو آپ سے تبدیلی کی توقع؟؟؟
اے امیر المومنین جیسے منصب کے امیدوار! بڑے لیڈر شخصیات اور واقعات سے ماورا ہو کر نئے موضوعات اور نئے عنوانات کے نقیب ہوتے ہیں۔موٹر ویز، ایٹم بم اور ائیر پورٹس سے نہ عوام کو علم ملتا ہے نہ علاج نہ عزت نفس…یہ”منزلیں“ نہیں بلکہ ان تک پہنچنے کے مختلف”رستے“ ہیں۔ قائدین اپنی قوموں کی اپ گریڈیشن کو ٹارگٹ کرتے ہیں۔ عام آدمی کو موٹر وے، ایٹم بم اور ائیر پورٹ سے کیا لینا دینا؟ایٹم بم آپ کی بے تحاشہ دولت اور غریب کی غربت کا محافظ ہے اور کیا یہ سب مل جل کر بھی اس کا مقدر بدل سکے؟ سو پلیز !ماضی سے نکل کر مستقبل کی فکر کریں، کوئی وژن دیں، کسی نئی حکمت عملی کااعلان کریں۔ آپ کی جلا وطنی جبری تھی اور لمبی بھی، میری جلا وطنی خود ساختہ تھی اور مختصر بھی…جو زخم آپ کو لگے مجھے ان کا بھرپور اندازہ ہے لیکن افسوس آپ کی سمت اور ترجیحات درست نہیں… ماضی پر جزوی مٹی ڈال کر کلی طور پر مستقبل پر فوکس کریں ورنہ سب کچھ”آؤٹ آف فوکس“ ہوجائے گا۔


http://search.jang.com.pk/details.asp?nid=584882
The Muslim world has the unique distinction of being ruled by the corrupt dictators and kings .The wave of people uprising for change, freedom, democracy and justice has swept across the Middle East. Pakistanis are however ...
The dilemmas of PPP and PML-N politics are even more alarming at another level: both the leaderships are family-based and increasingly ancestral-focused: both have been accused of and charged with massive corruption ...
Corruption in Pakistan is widespread and growing. In the latest Corruption Perception Index, the country is ranked the 34th most corrupt country in the world, up from 42nd last year. Recent polls reveal a pervasive culture of . ...
There are around 1200 elected members at federal and provincial houses in Pakistan , who are perceived to be corrupt. The figure of 1200 corrupt out of total population of 180000000 is very small, rather insignificant fraction ...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pakistan, at long last, may have found the leader it needs Imran Khan

The news that Imran Khan launched an anti-corruption manifesto at a rally of over 100,000 in Karachi yesterday, as a lead up to campaigning for the 2013 elections, filled me with a sense of hope. But a last hope, as Pakistan now hangs by a thread. From assassinations to suicide bombings, corruption to terrorism, little seems to be going well.
We forever ask ourselves why Pakistan struggles to find its feet and to develop into a great nation like its neighbour India, one of the world's leading economies. With an abundance of natural resources, human capital and powerful friends, it should be doing better. But those who control this country have always fallen at the hurdle of corruption. Propelled by ambition for money and power, its leaders do not consider the common people – 180 million of them – in their plans. Typically, people in Pakistan go into politics to make money, not to make a difference.

Statistically, Pakistan is a disaster: 24 per cent live beneath the poverty line; 70 per cent are under 30 and face very limited opportunities; 15 per cent are unemployed. Only 2 per cent of the annual GDP is spent on education, hence there are 6m primary school-aged children not enrolled. It has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world.

But after such depressing figures, can there be a light at the end of the tunnel? With elections in 2013, I ask myself time and again, will there be a different outcome, or will the charade of puppet leaders continue to stifle our prosperity? I believe this may be the turning point. Because for the first time in my life, there is a credible candidate who is everything a Pakistani politician is not: Imran Khan, the sportsman turned politician. What Imran brings to the table is something so extraordinary, that he may well be our best shot at good fortune. He has already satisfied any craving for recognition and wealth, becoming one of the most famous cricketers in the world and being hailed as a phenomenal philanthropist. He doesn't need to become the leader of Pakistan to line his pockets or rub shoulders with the famous.

He's the real deal. He has sacrificed much to be in politics. He lives fairly modestly, considering his achievements, and is probably one of the most dedicated servants of Pakistan – taking the time to travel the length and breadth of the country to inspire people not to give up, to assure them that someone is looking out for them, who understands them, their needs, their frustrations, their deficiencies and their potential. He is likened to many a common man in Pakistan, resilient, hard-working, just waiting for his break – and in 2013 he might just get what he has been waiting for.

So, all things considered, is Imran the country's last hope? For me, it comes down to evaluating the considered risk and return. If I was investing in someone to run Pakistan, would it be Imran Khan? Could he deliver the necessary change? I would say he is definitely an investment worth making.

James Caan is the Founding Chairman of the British Pakistan Foundation and a former panellist on the BBC's 'Dragon's Den'
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/james-caan-pakistan-at-long-last-may-have-found-the-leader-it-needs-6281803.html

MoreImran Khan Address: Karachi 25 Dec, Biggest gathering after Lahore: - All Updates Videos, Comments & Analysis
ادارتی صفحہ
 
Shareمیاں صاحب!مستقبل کی بات کریں...چوراہا …حسن نثار
کیا (ن) لیگ میں ایک شخص بھی ایسا نہیں جو اپنے لیڈر کو اک ایسی بات کی تکرار سے رو ک سکے جو بے بنیاد بھی ہے اور مضحکہ خیز بھی۔ میاں نواز شریف تسلسل سے یہ بات دہرائے جارہے ہیں کہ”تبدیلی“ لانے کے دعویدار تو جب لائیں گے لیکن ہم تو کب سے تبدیلی لا بھی چکے۔ ہم نے موٹروے بنائی، ایٹمی دھماکے کئے اور سبز پاسپورٹ کو سربلند کیا اور ہمارے زمانہ میں دہشتگردی کا نام و نشان نہ تھا یعنی میاں صاحب اپنے زمانہ کو ”سنہرا دور“ قرار دینے پر مصر ہیں اور نیوٹرل لوگ اس کا مذاق اڑارہے ہیں۔
لوگ پوچھ رہے ہیں کہ کیا یہ وہی سنہرا زمانہ نہیں تھا جب بھوک کے مارے چن زیب نامی اک پاکستانی نے آپ کے گھر کے سامنے کامیاب خود سوزی کی تھی؟ اور یہ عہد خود سوزی تھا ۔
کیا یہ وہی دور نہ تھا جب یہ سرخی بھی کسی اخبار کی زینت بنی کہ……”شیر آٹا کھا گیا“
کیا یہی وہ گولڈن پیریڈ نہیں تھا جب ”ریاض بسرا“ جیسی بلائیں اس ملک میں دندناتی پھرتی تھیں؟
اور کیا یہ اسی زمانے کی بات نہیں جب عدلیہ پر چڑھائی ہوئی اور اس کے نتیجہ میں کچھ متوالے نااہل قرار دئیے گئے؟ اور آج تک …”پھرتے ہیں میر خوار کوئی پوچھتا نہیں“ ۔
اور کیا یہی وہ زریں عہد نہیں تھا جس میں اک ڈکٹیٹر کے شب خون پر آپ کی حکومت کا تختہ الٹا گیا تو لاہور جیسے شہر میں لوگوں نے اس قدر مٹھائیاں تقسیم کی کہ سویٹ شاپس خالی ہوگئیں۔
کیا آپ کا دورہی وہ دور نہیں تھا جب ڈالر اکاؤنٹ منجمد کرکے ملکی معیشت کا بیڑہ غرق کردیا گیا تھا اور لاتعداد گھر برباد ہوگئے۔
کیا یہی وہ ”مبارک “ زمانہ نہیں تھا جب فرقہ واریت کا عفریت سرعام نمازیوں تک کا خون پی رہا تھا؟یہاں تک کہ خود ظل سبحانی اور قائد اعظم ثانی بھی قاتلانہ حملہ سے محفوظ نہ رہ سکے اور رائے ونڈ روڈ پر بال بال بچے۔
یہی دور تھا ناں جب سیاسی انتقام بذریعہ احتساب الرحمن ساتویں آسمان پر محو پرواز تھا جس کا ٹارگٹ بینظیر بھٹو نامی وہ خاتون بھی تھی جس کے ساتھ آپ نے ”میثاق جمہوریت“ پر دستخط فرمائے اور آج یہ دستاویز آپ کو بے حد عزیز ہے۔ آصف زرداری صاحب کی زبان پر بھی جمہوری داستان بھی تب ہی رقم کی گئی۔
کیا یہی دور نہ تھا جب ارتکاز طاقت کے شوق میں ہر طاقت کے ساتھ محاذ آرائی کو بڑھاوا دیا گیا جو”بارہ اکتوبر“ کا باعث بنا جس نے ملک کی چولیں ہلا دیں۔
پرویز مشرف پاکستان کے لئے ”بری خبر“ تھے تو اس بری خبر کو جنم کس نے دیا اور جنرل پرویز مشرف کس ”جینئس“ اور”وژنری“ کی چوائس تھے؟ اور کیوں؟
کیا ”پیلی ٹیکسی سکیم“ معیشت کے منکے پر ضرب کاری اک خالصتاً غیر اقتصادی اور سیاسی فیصلہ نہ تھا؟…سستی سیاسی مقولیت و شہرت کی اک بے حد مہنگی کوشش جس کی قیمت ملکی خزانے نے چکائی کہ اچھی سکیم میں ہمیشگی ہوتی ۔
کیا آپ بھول گئے کہ آپ کے سنہری یا آہنی دور حکومت کے دوران قیمتوں میں اضافہ کی شرح کیا تھی؟ فی کس آمدنی کتنی تھی؟ زرمبادلہ کے ذخائر کتنے رہ گئے تھے؟ اور بے روزگاری کا حال کیا تھا؟
کیا یکساں نصاب تعلیم جاری ہوگیا تھا؟ زرعی اصلاحات نافذ کردی گئی تھیں؟ ملاوٹ ختم ہوگئی تھی یا جعلی دوائیں بننی بکنی بند ہوگئی تھیں؟ پاپولیشن مینجمنٹ کی طرف توجہ دی گئی تھی یا لاء اینڈ آرڈر میں کوئی بہتری دیکھی گئی تھی؟ تھانہ کلچر تو آج تک سو فیصد وہی ہے حالانکہ گزشتہ چند سال سے پنجاب پر پھر آپ کی حکومت ہے؟ کوئی انقلابی زرعی پالیسی آئی تھی یا صنعتی؟ کتنے نئے چھوٹے شہروں کی بنیاد رکھی گئی تاکہ دیہی علاقوں سے شہروں پر یلغار کی حوصلہ شکنی ہوسکے؟ مقامی حکومتوں کا حال کیسا تھا؟ انتخابی اصلاحات ہوئی تھیں یا جعلی ووٹرویڈ آؤٹ کیا گیا تھا؟ دہری شہریت پر بین لگایا؟ عطائی ڈاکٹرز ختم کئے؟ میڈیا کا یہ سیلاب بھی مشرف صاحب کا تحفہ ہے ،آپ یا کوئی اور سیاسی ہوتا تو یہ ”جرم“ اور گناہ“ کبھی نہ کرتا؟ پینے کے صاف پانی کی کہانی کا انجام بھی”سرانجام“ ہے اور شرح خواندگی میں کتنا اضافہ ہوا تھا؟
میاں صاحب!
سچ تو یہ ہے کہ آپ… آپ سے پہلے اور آپ کے بعد کسی نے کبھی کسی حقیقی تبدیلی کے لئے کچھ نہیں کیا۔ بھٹو سیاست کو ڈرائینگ روم سے نکال کر چوراہے میں لایا جو واقعی خوفناک ”تبدیلی“ تھی اور اسی لئے وہ آج تک زندہ ہے… باقی سب ٹوپی ڈرامے اور سطحی سیاست یا ڈنگ ٹپاؤ دھندے اور گونگلوؤں سے مٹی جھاڑ کر شب دیگ پکانے کے مترادف ہے۔ آپ لوگوں نے تو آج بھی سیکورٹی کی آڑ میں سرکاری سڑکوں پر قبضے کرکے عوام کے رستے روک رکھے ہیں اور آپ کے روٹ ہی ختم ہونے میں نہیں آتے تو آپ سے تبدیلی کی توقع؟؟؟
اے امیر المومنین جیسے منصب کے امیدوار! بڑے لیڈر شخصیات اور واقعات سے ماورا ہو کر نئے موضوعات اور نئے عنوانات کے نقیب ہوتے ہیں۔موٹر ویز، ایٹم بم اور ائیر پورٹس سے نہ عوام کو علم ملتا ہے نہ علاج نہ عزت نفس…یہ”منزلیں“ نہیں بلکہ ان تک پہنچنے کے مختلف”رستے“ ہیں۔ قائدین اپنی قوموں کی اپ گریڈیشن کو ٹارگٹ کرتے ہیں۔ عام آدمی کو موٹر وے، ایٹم بم اور ائیر پورٹ سے کیا لینا دینا؟ایٹم بم آپ کی بے تحاشہ دولت اور غریب کی غربت کا محافظ ہے اور کیا یہ سب مل جل کر بھی اس کا مقدر بدل سکے؟ سو پلیز !ماضی سے نکل کر مستقبل کی فکر کریں، کوئی وژن دیں، کسی نئی حکمت عملی کااعلان کریں۔ آپ کی جلا وطنی جبری تھی اور لمبی بھی، میری جلا وطنی خود ساختہ تھی اور مختصر بھی…جو زخم آپ کو لگے مجھے ان کا بھرپور اندازہ ہے لیکن افسوس آپ کی سمت اور ترجیحات درست نہیں… ماضی پر جزوی مٹی ڈال کر کلی طور پر مستقبل پر فوکس کریں ورنہ سب کچھ”آؤٹ آف فوکس“ ہوجائے گا۔
 
Print Version
 



Monday, December 26, 2011

Treatment of Minorities [Non Muslims] in Islam & Pakistan: Debate

Karachi, too: Imran Khan's, PTI can put up a show

One doesn’t have to be a fan of the PTI to appreciate the party’s rally in Karachi. Despite the flurry of flags generally found in the city, despite all the talk about the city being divided along many lines, Karachi is woefully under-politicised in a number of ways. The culture of fear that has permeated the city generally prevents parties - other than the one that has the run of the place - from freely carrying out rallies, even if other parties do manage to gather crowds occasionally.
Yesterday’s was a free rally, not much fighting to get it organised, as opposed to Imran Khan’s earlier attempt at the same during the first stint of the lawyers’ movement. His team, it has to be commended, did a good job of zeroing in on its support base and utilising modern tools
to reach out to them, the use of Imran Khan’s pre-recorded invitation audio-messages being but one of them.
Rallies are flawed indicators of electoral performance. If a party can manage one, it has a good shot at the other. Not a sure shot. The Jamaat-e-Islami is a case in point; lots of street power that seems to vanish into thin air come election time. It is in this regard that a strength of the PTI’s can become a weakness. The PTI puts up too good a spectacle; an attendant, therefore, cannot be an assured voter. The Kasur rally, for instance, is not going to be let go of by political satirists any time soon.
The bulk of the actual voting class makes up its mind after being reached out to by local tier party activists who talk about local issues. An association with as unpopular a leader as general Pervez Musharraf was in ’08 did not prevent the PML(Q) from becoming the third largest parliamentary profile. This wouldn’t have been the outcome of flashy manifestos but assurances on dull, local issues.
Imran Khan has been drawing electables to his party of late. The urban middle-class fans of his party speak out against the inclusion of these tainted “old faces” little realising it is they and their affiliate lower support networks that will translate into votes, not rallies.
http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2011/12/karachi-too/


Explaining Pakistan: Politics of hate and ambition

The wave of radical protest movements sweeping across the world in the late 1960s registered strongly in Pakistan as well. Here, the mobilisation of working-class and student groups was part of a broader agitation against the unpopular Ayub Khan regime. Saadia Toor’s The State of Islam identifies that as a moment of revolutionary promise that remained unrealised and, in fact, marked the end of mass-based progressive politics in the country. A nostalgic regret for this turn of events appears as the animating force behind this book.

Toor sets out to examine the role played by the Left in Pakistan’s history, especially the vital contributions of leftist and progressive intellectuals in shaping national cultural institutions and the anxieties they aroused amongst the ruling classes.

The state’s attempts to marginalise and forcefully suppress leftist organisations began from the early years following Partition, and continued till a final assault was launched by Zia. Along the way, she also keeps reminding us of the evolving configurations of Pakistani nationalism, the place of Islam within them, and the power struggles that went into shaping these.

The best chapters of the book are those which focus on key aspects of cultural politics in the first decade following Pakistan’s independence, making good use of historical archives, including newspapers, government records and literary writings from the time. One chapter looks at the agitation in East Bengal over the issue of Urdu as the national language, and the
assumptions about Bangla, Hindu influences, and national loyalty that debates amongst the dominant West Pakistani elites reveal. The language question becomes illustrative of fundamental tensions within the Pakistani polity — a powerful central authority refusing to grant provincial rights in a federal state structure, a Muslim nationalism that renders illegitimate all expression of regional or ethnic cultural difference and has trouble incorporating non-Muslim minorities in its fold.

Another chapter presents a lively account of the Pakistani Progressive Writers Association that counted the leading lights of Urdu literature — Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Sibte Hasan, Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, among others — as its members and which was banned in 1954 (along with the Communist Party). In their literary journals, novels and poetry, these socially engaged intellectuals put forth a vision of Pakistani nationalism that offered an alternative to the official state discourse. Meanwhile an opposing camp of nationalist writers, which was allied closely with the ruling Muslim League, was busy attacking the progressives for everything from their socialism to their alleged lack of patriotism and disloyalty to the new state. The author delves closely into these spirited ideological battles over the meaning and contours of the Pakistani nation in those early formative years. In the end, the ruling elites used the coercive power of the state to neutralise the progressives and the perceived threat from the popularity of their radical ideas.

The twin strategies of repression and co-optation continued under the Ayub government in the 1960s, along with anti-communist propaganda and a state-sponsored modernist reinterpretation of Islam. There is an interesting description of official cultural policies from this period, such as the takeover of leftist publications, establishment of a Writers Guild, and promotion of a new literary ideology, along with voices of dissent, such as those of Faiz and Habib Jalib.

Too many pages of this slim volume, however, are spent presenting a standard fare of events and key turning points from the anti-colonial independence movement down to the Musharraf era. Much of this rehashed political history could have been treated as familiar background knowledge for readers.

The chronological approach of the book ends up obscuring the original research findings of the doctoral dissertation on which it is based.

The narrative is especially rushed after 1971, touching briefly upon Bhutto’s rise and fall, the geopolitical context and religious pandering of Zia’s military dictatorship, and the damaging legal framework put in place for the regulation of women and religious minorities. A few added insights in these later chapters come from the provocative works of feminist poets like Kishwar Naheed and Fahmida Riaz in the 1980s, and the conservative commentary on adult Muslim women’s right to marry that the court judgment for the 1996 Saima Waheed case contained. A sustained enquiry into the socialist rhetoric and grassroots appeal of the Pakistan People’s Party would have contributed significantly to the book’s argument about how culture matters. Instead, we are simply told that the radical promise of the party’s origins was replaced by an appeasement of vested interests and religious forces without fully understanding how or why that happened.

Throughout the book, the author clearly and explicitly states her sympathy for progressive causes. This only becomes a problem when political conviction becomes a substitute for careful analysis. For instance, the Jamaat-i-Islami is introduced
as a “neo-fascist” and “reactionary” party, and “reactionary” is a label applied frequently to the urban petit bourgeoisie, yet these are not terms which are explained anywhere. Nor are we told what it means to be a “liberal” in Pakistan. The nationalist intellectuals arrayed against the progressive movement of the 1950s are classified as “liberals” only because they shared the anti-communism of liberals in other parts of the Cold War world. This is the case even when members of this camp stake out positions against “the quintessential liberal [emphasis in original] values of ‘democracy’, ‘humanism’ and ‘pacifism’”. The epilogue contains harsh words for Pakistani liberals and their abandonment of mass-based politics, yet even here the confusion remains about who belongs to the category. If neither democratic principles nor support for rule of law define members of this group, then how is it even meaningful to refer to them as liberal (other than the mocking “lifestyle liberals” label)?

The book identifies and celebrates anti-imperialism as a central plank of progressive and leftist ideology, even arguing that a popular anti-imperialist sentiment is “always an important feature of Pakistani political culture”. Yet it fails to trace the process whereby the religious right appropriated and transformed this anti-imperialist position into a strident critique of the West, other than issuing a passing rebuke to liberals for failing to understand the difference between the two. For a book that aims to show the multiple meanings and political projects associated with Islam in Pakistan, there is surprisingly little attempt to understand the various parties and platforms that have made up the religious right over time. There is no doubt that the Jamaat-i-Islami has played an influential role in disseminating an Islamist ideology, especially within state institutions. But it has hardly been the sole carrier of Islamic ideas or mobilisations at every stage of Pakistan’s history, which is the impression one gets from reading this volume.

The book concludes with some over-simplified claims about the rise of Islamic militancy. On the one hand, it holds the Pakistani military and the American imperialist project responsible for the increasing radicalisation of Pakistani society. On the other, it paints any opposition to the agenda of militant Islamic groups as necessarily translating into support for the two above-mentioned war-mongering institutions.

A whole flurry of books in the post-9/11 period has come out attempting to explain Pakistan to the outside world. Similar grand ambitions surround The State of Islam and mar what could otherwise have been an interesting exploration of neglected
episodes in Pakistan’s cultural history.

The reviewer holds a PhD in Sociology and is affiliated with the Collective for Social Science Research, Karachi

The State of Islam: Culture and Cold War Politics in Pakistan (POLITICS)By Saadia Toor, Pluto Press, London, ISBN 9780745329918

http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/25/cover-story-explaining-pakistan-politics-of-hate-and-ambition.html

Importance of intellectual;s Voice

Religious intolerance, extremism, warmongering and violence in the name of religion and trampling of human rights reign, while the rich and the ruling have abandoned the people and their problems. Sadly, there are no towering figures as Voltaire to raise a voice against these vices and transform society like he had done in the 18th century Europe.





Intellectuals have always played a crucial role in society. These are people who are not concerned with the popularity of their views nor do they follow popular trends. On the contrary, they write and speak what they believe in and what is intended for the betterment of society. When intellectuals raise their voice against prevalent ideas, they are criticised and condemned but they continue their struggle relentlessly however controversial it may be. Voltaire, the French intellectual, was the champion of enlightenment and throughout his life he struggled for freedom of expression and human dignity and was against religious extremism and intolerance. He was a prolific writer and wrote over a hundred books, pamphlets and tracts.

He corresponded with European rulers, members of the aristocracy, other intellectuals as well as ordinary citizens, and wrote around 25,000 letters discussing political and religious issues. Eventually he was banished from Paris. Voltaire wandered from one place to the other for refuge but never compromised on his ideas despite suffering in exile. He settled down in an estate which he purchased on the border of France and Switzerland where people from all walks of life visited him.

Voltaire was born in an age of religious extremism when in Catholic France, there was no tolerance for protestants. On April 13, 1598 in Nantes, the French King, Henri IV (and Prince of Navarre), formally signed the document known as the Edict of Nantes. Even though the edict did not put an end to the pogroms and the persecutions, whose victims were Protestant believers in France, it did terminate what became known as the Wars of Religion, while legally (for a time at least) fixing the status of these reformers in the kingdom. It is to Nantes glory to have associated its name with one of the most far reaching acts of religious tolerance in history.

August 24, 1572 was the date of the infamous St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in France. On that day, over 400 years ago, began one of the most horrifying holocausts in history. The glorious Reformation, begun in Germany on October 31, 1517, had spread to France—and was joyfully received. A great change had come over the people as industry and learning began to flourish, and so rapidly did it spread that over a third of the population embraced the Reformed Christian Faith.

Voltaire favoured religious pluralism and believed that one religion or faith could make the society fanatic and narrow-minded. With two religions, people would slaughter each other in the name of faith. Only a society which had multiple religions would be tolerant and understanding of one another’s faith. In his writings, he emphasised on tolerance and condemned St Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, who had preached intolerance against non Christians.

Voltaire criticised the clergy when the church opposed inoculation against small pox, claiming it to be an intervention against the work of God. He supported inoculation and accused the priests of being superstitious. When there was an earthquake in Lisbon in which thousands of people died, the clergy called it divine punishment for the sinners but regarded it a blessing for the good people who died and earned paradise by the grace of God.

Voltaire opposed their views as he believed the earthquake to be a natural calamity.

Voltaire not only influenced the European society but also impressed the rulers by his views. He was invited by Frederick II of Prussia where he lived for three years but left in disappointment when he realised that he was only considered a decoration in the court and the implementation of his philosophy was not intended.

However, he continued to correspond with Frederick and discouraged him against wars in Europe, describing gruesome details of the battlefield where thousands of men died just to glorify kings and killers. He wrote letters to Catherine of Russia advising her to abolish serfdom and liberate the peasants. He vehemently opposed the French aristocracy who consumed wealth and made no contribution to society.

He remained anti-clergy throughout his life and argued that it was the priests and the religious people who created conflict, bloodshed and hatred in society while Hobbes, Locke, Newton, and Spinoza peacefully benefited humanity through their ideas and inventions.

In 1778, his 84th year, Voltaire attended the first performance of his tragedy Irène, in Paris. His journey and reception were a triumph, but the emotion was too much for him to handle, and he died in Paris soon afterwards. His body later on was transferred to the Pantheon which was built by the revolutionary government to honour its heroes.

Pakistani society is presently going through a similar process that France and Europe went through in the 18th century.
Religious intolerance, extremism, warmongering and violence in the name of religion and trampling of human rights reign, while the rich and the ruling have abandoned the people and their problems. Sadly, there are no towering figures as Voltaire to raise a voice against these vices and transform society like he had done in the 18th century Europe.
http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/18/past-present-the-intellectual-voice.html


Sunday, December 25, 2011

PM hits at Army but State Bank's Charge Sheet Against Govt- Wake Up Call

Pak PM Gilani hits out at army

Pakistan's political leadership is now on a collision course with military. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani accusing the military leadership of hatching conspiracies against the democratic set up in a speech to parliament, military extend support to democracy. Words of derogatory ill conceived speech by PM closely match with the contents of Memo. Analysis of seniors defence-political analyst ikram Sehgal is true reflection of sentiments, watch in this video.... 

Dear PM! 

In all civilised societies mlitary is subservient to the civilian political authority for the defence of country [not in private control to support their corrupt practices]. If 'Memogate' is true, then its a nasty effort by corrupt and incompetent people to keep defence forces under full control like PIA, Steel Mill, Railways and other strategic national assets, which are in doldrums, verge of collapse, causing national loss of loss of Rs100 crore/1000 millions per day. Hope Memogate is untrue but ...... 

There is simple formula to exercise authority, not merely legal authority but the moral authority which stems from honesty, sincerity, competence and exemplary leadership, which they seems to lack ..... Previously it backfired with Nawaz Sharif, besides his discomfort, the nation had to suffer in dictatorial rule for a decade. When Caliph Omar sacked celebrated war hero General Khalid bin Walid, Henry Truman sacked war hero General Dogulas Mac Arthur, they had great moral authority besides legal authority. Turkish PM example is fresh model. Civilian rulers of Pakistan have to develop such character if they want to exercise full authority over military, not seeking help from foreign powers. 
Watch Now Aaj kamran khan ke saath on geonews – 22nd december 2011
Aaj kamran khan ke saath on geonews - 22nd december 201     But Annual Report of State Bank of Pakistan is Charge Sheet against government on poor governance and performance


The State Bank has said institutional weakness at all tiers of the government — judiciary, civil services, law enforcers, regulatory bodies and accountability agencies — are directly responsible for poor economic growth in the country.

The SBP’s annual report, released here on Monday, showed a series of concerns surrounding the economy. It said most governance indicators had weakened in recent years and the business environment had been undermined by the institutional weakness. Pakistan fared poorly than its South Asian neighbours, the report observed.

“Both domestic and global factors are responsible, but we believe that domestic issues are more decisive and chronic. These include the collapse of fixed investment, acute energy shortages, urban violence and lawlessness, poor physical infrastructure and institutional fragility,” the SBP said.

“The issue of fixed investment merits special mention. Pakistan’s investment rate was only 13.4 per cent in FY11, which is the lowest since 1974.”

The SBP said it feared that a sharp reduction in development spending would continue to dampen the fixed investment and lower future growth prospects. Federal subsidies were three times higher than envisaged in the budget, which implied resource misallocation.

The report said that loss-making public sector enterprises continued to haemorrhage and drain scarce fiscal resources.
“Railways, PIA and Pakistan Steel are classic examples of the heavy cost of poor governance to the economy.”

In a recent study on the ease of doing business released by the World Bank, Pakistan slipped from 96 to 105, out of 183 countries evaluated, the SBP recalled. Out of 10 specific topical criteria, Pakistan scored poorly on the availability of electricity (at 166), followed by citizens who actually pay their taxes (at 158).

“Pakistan’s political leadership must take credible steps to stop the slide,” the SBP suggested.

It said that before the start of FY12, policymakers forecast 4.2 per cent economic growth against the SBP’s projection of three to four per cent. The report said the government would again miss the four per cent fiscal deficit target in FY12, with doubts on both expenditure and revenue targets.

The State Bank identified four interrelated issues — fiscal problem, specifically the lack of tax revenues, spillover of fiscal slippages on domestic debt and crowding out of the private sector, acute shortage of power and external sector — and said these needed urgent policy attention to break out of Pakistan’s current stagflation.

Analysing the previous year’s economic performance, the SBP said interest payments alone accounted for 32.8 per cent of government revenues, which meant a further squeeze on the government’s ability to use fiscal policy to promote economic growth.

However, Pakistan’s external debt remained comfortable, especially in the context of acute problems facing the Eurozone.
“The funding that Pakistan actually received during FY11 was largely utilised for the servicing of external debt,” the report added.

RELIANCE ON BANKS: It said the government’s heavy reliance on commercial banks not only crowded out the private sector, but also complicated the monetary management. As a result, the private sector credit only grew by four per cent in FY11 against an increase of 74.5 per cent in government borrowing from commercial banks.

“The immediate worry is a possible slowdown in our exports as the United States and the European Union are the primary destination for Pakistani goods,” said the SBP.

“We expect a current account deficit of 1.5 to 2.5 per cent of GDP, which is relatively small given our past performance.

However, the financing of this current account deficit can be challenging.”

The SBP projected a fiscal deficit of 5.5 to 6.5 per cent of GDP, with a bias on the upside for FY12. It expects inflation to be within a band of 11.5-12.5 per cent in FY12, which is broadly in line with the annual plan target of 12 per cent.
http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/20/state-bank-annual-report-institutional-weakness-behind-poor-economy.html
http://www.sbp.org.pk/reports/annual/arFY11/Contents.pdf

The Muslim world has the unique distinction of being ruled by the corrupt dictators and kings .The wave of people uprising for change, freedom, democracy and justice has swept across the Middle East. Pakistanis are however ...


Corruption in Pakistan is widespread and growing. In the latest Corruption Perception Index, the country is ranked the 34th most corrupt country in the world, up from 42nd last year. Recent polls reveal a pervasive culture of ...
While discussing corruption, it was pointed out that there are about 1200 politicians in the assemblies, why corruption by these 1200 people is discussed? Are there only 1200 politicians who are corrupt and no one else? ...
Corruption in Pakistan is widespread and growing. In the latest Corruption Perception Index, the country is ranked the 34th most corrupt country in the world, up from 42nd last year. Recent polls reveal a pervasive culture of . ...
There are around 1200 elected members at federal and provincial houses in Pakistan , who are perceived to be corrupt. The figure of 1200 corrupt out of total population of 180000000 is very small, rather insignificant fraction ...
Turkish Generals Resign: http://goo.gl/g8upk

Friday, December 23, 2011

Reflection of national Character

Loot and plunder started by top leadership has travelled down to masses. "FISH STARTS TO ROT FROM TOP [Brain]"
By Javed Chaushaey "Zero Point"


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Will democracy survive?

Some political leaders and parties have been trying to dislodge the federal government from its earliest days. Many deadlines were given by them for its removal which proved nothing more than false alarms. Now, it faces new pressures for ouster.

The federal government is not expected to collapse or knocked out by the Supreme Court or the military in the next two-three months, although uncertainty and confusion about its future will continue to prevail. The political situation will have to be reviewed then for making prediction for the period thereafter.

The federal government’s poor performance in governance and socio-economic development is undeniable. Some of its problems like the memo issue or political (mis)handling of the president’s illness reflect serious management problems with the federal government and the PPP. However, the circumstantial factors and the political and military dynamics can keep it floating, although it will drift from crisis to crisis.

The over-activism of the opposition, especially the PML(N), can keep the federal government under pressure but their twin agenda of puling-down the government and knocking-out President Asif Ali Zardari against the backdrop of the memo issue and the president’s illness is not likely to be realized soon.

The constitutional path to remove the federal government and the president is through the parliament. Alternatively, this objective can be achieved by sustained street agitation that completely paralyses the government. These options are not readily available to the PML(N) mainly because of three reasons.

First, the time for stopping the Senate elections (half of the Senate members will be elected in early March 2012) is running out. The PML(N) will have to move quickly to cause the collapse of the federal government so that the Senate elections are not held with the current party position in the national and provincial assemblies that gives a clear advantage to the PPP and its allies. Second, the PML(N) is virtually isolated in the political domain as it does not have the support of any political party. Other parties like the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) are opposed to the PPP but these parties are equally critical of the PML(N). The JUI(F) has an ambiguous disposition towards the PPP but it also stays away from the PML(N). This isolation has made it impossible for the PML(N) to remove the government through a vote-of-no-confidence in the National Assembly. Similarly, it cannot alone launch a sustained nationwide agitation against the federal government. Third, the PML(N) cannot be oblivious to the the rise of Imran Khan of the PTI because he has demonstrated his support in the areas of the Punjab that are regarded as the stronghold of the PML(N). It has to counter this pressure.

The PML(N) does not have enough votes in the parliament to oust the federal government and President Zardari. Therefore, it has lost interest in the parliament. It has taken its fight with the government on the memo issue to the Supreme Court, hoping the court proceedings will build enough pressure on the government to cause its collapse or the Supreme Court may reprimand the federal government or the president, making it difficult for them to stay on.

Some PML(N) and other opposition circles are hoping that the divergence between the federal government and the army/ISI on the memo issue would turn into such a breach that the federal government would collapse under pressure from the military.

Traditionally, the military has three options against the civilian government in Pakistan: overthrow of the civilian government and assumption of power; change of civilian government with another set of civilian leaders; and pursuing its professional goals and corporate interests from the sidelines, influencing policies and asserting its role quietly but decisively.

The direct assumption of power is not a practical option for the military. It increases its problems and diverts it from its current security priority of fighting religious extremism and terrorism and securing Pakistan’s borders with Afghanistan and India.

The army needs a civilian elected government more than ever before so that the latter owns its counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations and defends them at the international level. The military cannot alone fight terrorism, secure borders and mobilise support at the international level while at the same time ruling the country. The military will have serious problems in winning support for its direct assumption of power. It will have problems in securing international, especially American, financial support and military equipment.

In the domestic context, the PML(N) can support military’s political activism if it facilitates the achievement of the PML(N) twin agenda of removal of the federal government and President Zardari. The PML(N) and other opposition parties will oppose military rule if the military wants to hold on to power for an indefinite period or installs a government of technocrats for two or three years for rebuilding the economy and ensuring good governance. Further, after having lost power to the military, the PPP and its allies would project them as the martyr of democracy and they would, like other opposition parties, challenge military rule. Another problem is that Pakistan’s economic and societal problems have become so complex that no government can address them quickly. The military will get discredited on these counts like a civilian government. Its performance cannot be better than the civilian government.

The direct assumption of power and military rule is going to be more problematic in Pakistan than ever before. The Supreme Court is no longer expected to endorse such an act. Even if the military overcomes the challenge of the Supreme Court by abolishing its role under martial law, it faces another difficulty. When societal formations and voluntary social and political groups proliferate the military always finds it difficult to manage civilian affairs. The expansion of independent media and communication technology is also a deterrent for the army to expand its direct role.

The rational approach suggests that direct assumption of power by the military or removal of the civilian government under military pressure cannot be on the agenda of the military. It can function effectively from the sidelines.

Similarly, if some opposition leaders are expecting the Supreme Court to remove the elected government and the elected president they will be disappointed. This will amount to crossing the limits of the constitution which assigns the power of changing the federal government and the president to the parliament only.

Despite the poor performance of the federal government and periodic strains in civil-military relations, the elected-civilian is expected to muddle through the present crisis.



The writer is an independent political and defence analyst.http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2011/12/will-democracy-survive/


Air Marshal Nur Khan -A man of steel

THERE must be a hush in the extraterrestrial firmament as an unusual meteor blazes with tremendous velocity towards its heavenly abode. Air Marshal Nur Khan was my mentor, a leader whose body and soul were forged in tempered steel. There are few who have lived with such courage and conviction. He was the second Pakistani chief of the air force, but second to none. Excellence was never an option; it was an instinct he proved as he took PIA to the galaxy of the world’s best airlines. In July 1965 he returned to the air force to take over from Asghar Khan, and led the PAF with stunning success into the war of 1965, which he always exhorted as a senseless war perpetrated by unprofessional men at the helm. I knew him from the time he commanded the base at Mauripur (Masroor) and led a flypast of 100 F-86 Fighter aircraft on March 23. He wanted every fighter on the PAF to take to the air. It was near impossible. But he had the gumption to motivate the men in blue to achieve the impossible. The spectacle was witnessed by millions in Karachi in the mid-1950s, with Nur Khan leading, just before he left to take command of PIA.

His achievements as MD PIA were not limited to the airline. His contribution to Pakistan’s sports was epoch-making. He raised the standard of squash and hockey from the mediocre to world class. Pakistan emerged as world champions from the developing world to challenge the mighty First World.

Meanwhile, his individual courage was tested when a Fokker Friendship was hijacked and made to land in Lahore. When all negotiations failed, Nur Khan flew to Lahore and decided to take charge. To everyone’s bewilderment and admiration he entered the small cabin and physically overpowered the hijacker just as he fired his gun, wounding the air marshal. However, he was overwhelmed by Nur Khan.

The day he took over the PAF in July 1965, he discovered much to his chagrin and more so for Asghar Khan that neither had been told by president Ayub Khan or Gen Musa that thousands of mujahideen including Pakistan army commandoes had been launched to take Kashmir. He shot off to GHQ to confront Gen Musa, the army chief, asking why the PAF had been kept in the dark. Musa told him that the president did not want to escalate the limited operation and the PAF had to stay out.

Nur Khan had anxious moments knowing that the ill-conceived action would inevitably conflagrate. What would he say to the nation if the Indian Air Force (IAF) was to pre-empt and ground the PAF in a relentless air operation? The rest is history. But for his alacrity and strategic perception the PAF would been devastated by a numerically preponderant IAF.

Nur Khan put the PAF on red alert on Sept 1 as the army’s Operation Gibraltar came to a grinding halt and the Indians began a massive assault against Pakistan. In those moments Nur Khan was deeply concerned about the survival of the mujahideen force in the Kashmir valley with no hope for supply reinforcements.

Nur Khan ordered C-130 flights in the valley after consulting with the 12 Division command in control of the Kashmir misadventure. He boarded the first C-130 mission past midnight in inclement weather with a rudimentary radar, in total darkness in the treacherous valley. When Group Captain Zahid Butt overshot the drop zone, placed between high peaks on either side, he decided to abandon the perilous mission. Nur Khan peering over his shoulder asked him to make another attempt. This time the supplies were dropped on target.

Such was the audacity of the man in command of the PAF. The news propelled the morale of the PAF to incredible heights. Its performance in the 1965 war is written in glorious splendour.

I had the honour to fly with him as escort fighter during many missions he flew with my squadron based in Peshawar. He would arrive straight from his residence to our squadron, don his flying gear, order coffee and a hamburger, just like any young fighter pilot and off we went to the firing range at Jamrud.

Everyday he returned with incredible scores which the best pilots in complete form could hardly achieve. When I would tell him that he was going too low in the attacks, he would reply, “that is how you would need to attack the enemy in war”.

The war was not on, yet he was irrepressible and would wait for the ‘hit count’ and rocket results.

One day when I had to abort for aircraft malfunction, my flight commander escorted him to the range. When he returned he had already been informed by the range officer how many hits he had scored on the target. As he stood on the wing of the
Sabrejet he smiled and said, “Now you beat that bloody score, Haider.”

He had scored 100 per cent hits on the target. He had beaten my score. A record never broken by the very best anywhere to the best of my knowledge. That was my mentor, a man who considered nothing impossible and proved it with his excellence,
integrity and intrepidness. A legacy few air forces can boast to have inherited.

Farewell, my chief, I know you hated it when I wrote in my book that you were a maverick, but you know that I meant you were incomparable and lightening fast. You liked that. Pakistan’s history will place you on the highest pedestal of military leadership. May your heroic and noble soul rest in peace.

BySajjad Hyder, a retired air commodore: http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/18/a-man-of-steel.html
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Farewell Nur Khan
TO celebrate the life of Air Marshal Nur Khan let me quickly recall two encounters with him when he was the governor of West Pakistan (1969-70) and I was the district magistrate of Karachi.

Once on the way from the airport to the state guest house while I sat next to him (he never carried a police escort nor a spare car followed), the driver of his car went over the red signal at a traffic crossing. He shouted at him whether he was blind not to have seen the light turning from amber to red, and made him reverse.

On yet another occasion on the same stretch of road from the airport to the guest house the car broke down. I suggested, perhaps, it was time the ageing Cadillac was replaced. “We should think of repairing the car — it is good enough for my once-in-a-while visits to Karachi” was his reaction.

Those were the days when the students and labour were up in arms all over and Karachi university, in particular, was in a ferment. Against all advice, he decided to visit the university campus. As we came out of the office of the then vice-chancellor, old freedom-fighter Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi, we had to make our way through a jostling mob of students shouting their demands but in no way inclined to listen to him.

As it got rough, the police officials present there hauled him up into their open van and drove away. The governor had gone but a short distance when he came back.

Later a police official told me that as the governor noticed that the district magistrate was not in the van, he asked the driver to turn back and there he was to rescue me from the milling mob. On the way he said in jest: “I thought you were there to protect me”. The roles were reversed but he seemed to enjoy the experience.

In 1969 when my dear late friend and governor’s secretary, Nasrum Minallah, took up to him the proposal of my posting as Karachi’s district magistrate, he found it fit to mention that some elements might object to it for sectarian reasons. “If you consider him fit, all other considerations are irrelevant” was Nur Khan’s comment as Nasrum Minallah later told me. I stayed on for nearly four years through troubled times.

Nur Khan was succeeded by another wonderful soldier, Gen Atiqur Rehman. He, on his every visit to Karachi, did not ever fail to thank me for sending a water tanker once in a while to the house of his mother who lived in a dry part of the city.

More on that may be left to another occasion. The point to note here is that the corrupt politicians who revel in protocol and keep the people at bay by employing armed guards, pilots, escorts and blocking public roads should not be denouncing men like Nur Khan and Atiqur Rehman as usurpers or dictators. Public memory is short but their abiding concern is a frugal and caring government. Judgment is better left to history.

By KUNWAR IDRIS: http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/18/farewell-nur-khan.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nur_Khan