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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Zainab bint Ali: The Symbol of courage and resistance to oppression





Recently in Syria the shrine of Syedha Zainab, the grand daughter of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was attacked and decried. All Muslims, Sunnis or Shia have condemned this heinous crime. Let's refresh our knowledge about this great courageous lady, the symbol of resistance against oppression and tyranny:
Video: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10064968/The-Telegraph-visits-Syrian-Sayyida-Zainab-mosque.html

SYEDNA ZAYNAB (May Allah be pleased with her) was the third child of Hadrat Ali bin Abi Talib and Syedah Fatimah (Razi Allah). She was born in Medina in the 5th year of the Hijra (i.e. 627-628 CE) on the 5th of Jumada al-awwal (although some traditions say she was born on the 1st of Sha'aban) (of the Islamic calendar). Zaynab was named by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) just as with her two elder brothers, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain.  Zaynab means "the adornment of her father" as a reference to Imam Ali. Zaynab lost her mother when she was only seven years old. She grew extremely close to her full brothers, the Imams Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali. She was married to her cousin Abdullah ibn Ja'far, a nephew of Ali (r.a).

At the death of the Muawiyah I, Hadrat Husayn was forced out of Mecca due to the assassins that were sent by Muawiyah's son Yazid I to kill Hadrat Husayn during pilgrimage; thus, Husayn went to Kufa by the invitation of the people of Kufa for him to claim the leadership of the Muslim community. Syedna Zaynab accompanied him, as did most of his household. After Husayn and all his 72 companions were brutally martyred at the Battle of Karbala, Syedna Zaynab was taken captive by the army of Yazid, Muawiyah's son and successor. Syedna Zaynab and the other survivors of Husayn's expedition, most of them women and children, were marched to Damascus, Yazid's capital, where they were held hostage. Tradition says that Zaynab, already in anguish due to the death of her brother Husayn and her sons Aun and Muhammad, was forced to march unveiled. This was an extreme indignity to inflict on a high-ranking Muslim woman, the granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Sermon of Syedha Zaynab (r.a) in the Court of Yazid

"O Yazid! Allah and His Prophet have said that committing sins and considering the signs of Allah to be false is ridiculing them. You deny the sign of Allah today and hold them in derision and have become happy, and recite poetic verses on account of the martyrdom of the children of the Holy Prophet, just as the polytheists of Makkah became happy and sang songs because of the martyrdom of some Muslims in the Battle of Uhud, and talk about taking revenge upon the Holy Prophet. This is how you become like them and how you have reached this stage? You have reached this stage because you have committed too many sins. Whoever treads the path of sin and persists in committing sins will, according to the verdict of the Quran, deny the signs of Allah one day and eventually will ridicule them and then deserve Divine punishment. O Yazid! Do you think that we have become humble and despicable owing to the martyrdom of our people and our own captivity? As you have blocked all the paths for us, and we have been made captives and are being taken from one place to another, do you think that Allah has taken away his blessings from us? Do you think that by killing the godly persons you have become great and respectable, and the Almighty looks at you with special grace and kindness? For this reason and on account of this wrong thinking you have become elated and arrogant. You have become boastful because you have seen that the matters have taken a turn in your favour. You have, however, forgotten what Allah says: 'The disbelievers must not think that Our respite is for their good. We only give them time to let them increase their sins. For them there will be a humiliating torment.'(3:178) O son of the freed ones! Is it justice that you keep your women and slave-girls in seclusion but have made the helpless daughters of the Holy Prophet ride on swift camels and given them in the hands of their enemies so that they may take them from one city to another. Why shouldn't Yazid be spiteful against us, it is he, who looks at us with hostility. You say with perfect intrepidity and without imagining that you are committing a sin: 'I wish that my ancestors who were killed in Badr had been present here today'. Then you strike Imam Husayn in his teeth with a stick in your hand! Why shouldn't you be like this, although you have done what you wanted to do, and have pulled out the roots of piety and virtue! You have shed the blood of the sons of the Holy Prophet and have hidden the brilliant stars on the earth from amongst the descendants of Abdul Muttalib under the clouds of oppression and injustice. However, you shall go before Allah soon. You shall meet your ancestors and shall also be taken to their place. At that time you will wish that you had been blind and dumb and had not said that it was a day of rejoicing for your ancestors. 'O Lord! Procure our right and take revenge upon those who have oppressed us'. By Allah you have pulled off your skin and cut off your flesh. You will soon go before the Prophet of Allah and will see with your own eyes that his children are in Paradise. It will be the day when Allah will deliver the descendants of the Holy Prophet from the state of being scattered and will bring all of them together in Paradise. This is the promise which Allah has made in the Holy Quran. He says: 'Do not think of those who are slain for the cause of Allah as dead. They are alive with their Lord and receive sustenance from Him'.(3:169)
O Yazid! On the day when Allah will be the Judge and Muhammad will be the petitioner, and your limbs will give evidence against you, your father, who made you the ruler of the Muslims, will receive His punishment. On that day it will become known what reward the oppressors earn, whose position is worse and whose party is more humble. O enemy of Allah and O son of the enemy of Allah! I swear by Allah that I consider you to be humble and not fit even to be reprimanded and reproached. But what am I to do? Our eyes are shedding tears, our hearts are burning, and our martyrs cannot come to life by our reprimanding and reproaching you. My Husayn has been killed and the partisans of Satan are taking us to the fools so that they may get their reward for insulting Allah. Our blood is dripping from their hands and our flesh is falling down from their mouths. The sacred bodies of the martyrs have been placed at the disposal of the wolves and other carnivorous animals of the jungle. If you have gained something today by shedding blood, you will certainly be a loser on the Day of Judgment. On that day nothing but your deeds will count. On that day you will curse Ibn Marjana and he will curse you. On that day you and your followers will quarrel with one another by the side of the Divine scale of Justice. On that day you will see that the best provision which your father made for you was that he enabled you to kill the children of the Prophet of Allah. I swear by Allah that I do not fear anyone except Him and do not complain to anyone else. You may employ your deceit and cunning efforts, but I swear by Allah that the shame and disgrace which you have earned by the treatment meted out to us cannot be eradicated. I thank Allah Who has concluded the task of the chiefs of the youths of Paradise with prosperity and forgiveness and accommodated them in Paradise. I pray to Allah that He may elevate their ranks and favor them more with His kindness, for Allah is Omnipotent".

Eventually Yazid released his captives and allowed them to return to Medina. The exact date and place of her death is not clear but it is probable that she died in the year 62 A.H. some six months after her return to Medina. The anniversary of her death is said to be either the 11th or 21st of Jumada al-Thani, the 24th of Safar, or the 16th of Dhu al-Hijjah. Her grave can be found within Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque in Damascus, Syria. 



There is a different view, with many Sunnis holding her grave can be found within a different mosque, also titled "Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque", in Cairo. The Fatimid/Dawoodi Bohra also believe in same. Their 52nd Dai Mohammad Burhanuddin made zarih for the shrine. They further believe that the Mausoleum of Zaynab-al-Kubra in Damascus is of lady Umm Kulthum bint Ali, younger daughter of Ali bin Abi Talib (perhaps caused by confusion between 'Sugra' & 'Kubra'), and the mausoleum of Zaynab bint Ali is in Cairo. There is history of Zaynab living in Cairo in her last days. [Allah knows best]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaynab_bint_Ali
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Monday, July 22, 2013

USA in Afghanistan - Endgame

Pakistan has been continuously advocating peace talks with Taliban and insisting upon finding a political solution, but Kabul regime and Washington preferred brute force in Afghanistan. Pakistan was also advised to follow suit and pressured to launch another major operation in North Waziristan (NW) and eliminate safe havens of Haqqani network.

Pakistan has all along helped Hamid Karzai regime and at no stage added to its problems by playing one community against the other. On Karzai’s request, Pakistan has deferred repatriation of 3.1 million Afghan refugees and has taken the major brunt of war on terror as a frontline state. Karzai however failed to reciprocate Pakistan’s goodwill gestures and has preferred to dance to the tunes of USA and India. He has been callously leveling serious allegations against Pakistan and has always preferred India over Pakistan and allowed RAW to use Afghan soil for covert war against Pakistan in concert with Central Directorate of Security (CDS) and RAAM.

While his attitude against Pakistan has always been frosty, his change in behavior towards his mentors is incomprehensible. Who doesn’t know he had sold his soul to America by agreeing to fight against his Pashtun countrymen? He was rewarded for his treachery by installing him as President in 2004. To earn additional favors and secret funds, he permitted intelligence agencies of five countries to use Afghan soil for waging covert war against Pakistan. On the advice of USA, he allowed Indian influence to flood into each and every department of his country and later on signed partnership treaty with India. He allowed use of drones and other deadly aerial weapons by occupation forces to slaughter Afghan Pashtuns at will.

He vitiated Pak-Afghan relations by singing Indian tutored song of cross border terrorism, alleging that Pak Army and ISI were in collusion with Taliban. He then sang the US theme of ‘safe havens’ and ‘do more’. He rejected Pakistan’s proposal of fencing or mining likely infiltration routes along the Pak-Afghan border but kept pressing Pakistan to stop the militants based in FATA from attacking targets inside Afghanistan. He corroborated US assertion that al-Qaeda’s top leadership including OBL was based in South Waziristan, Haqqani network in North Waziristan (NW) and Mullah Omar’s Shura in Quetta.

In his bid to enhance his importance, he assured US officials that he, his foster brother Wali Karzai and other confidantes had close contacts with large number of Taliban leaders and that sooner than later he will either be able to isolate hardliners led by Mullah Omar or bring them on the negotiating table. Establishment of Afghan High Peace Council (AHPC) under Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani was a step in that direction. He made several offers of talks and power sharing to Mullah Omar but could make no headway. Mullah Omar’s number-two Mullah Baradar was probably sent by Karzai to Balochistan to convince key Taliban leaders to return to Kabul and attend Karzai’s Loya Jirga in Kabul in April 2011. His arrest in Karachi in January 2011 upset Karzai. That year, ISI had arranged a meeting between US officials and Siraj Haqqani in Dubai but the US instead of cashing on it lost the opportunity because it tried to create divisions between the Taliban.

To get Baradar, Karzai changed his abrasive stance to that of amiability and he was often heard describing Pakistan as inseparable twin brother of Afghanistan. His artificial love withered away when Baradar was not released and Kabul was attacked by Taliban on September 13, 2011 and Burhanuddin Rabbani murdered a week later. Both the US and Afghan leaders blamed ISI for the attacks. Karzai removed the mask of friendship and thereon remained cross with Pakistan. 2011-2012 saw heating up of western border on account of cross border terrorism of Fazlullah’s men in Dir, Mehmand, Bajaur and Chitral from safe havens of Kunar and Nuristan. Kabul regime was privy to May 2 and November 26, 2011 incidents. These were ploys to pressure Pakistan to launch an operation in NW.

Doha initiative after making some progress fizzled out and US-Taliban secret indirect parleys got disrupted in March 2012 because the US failed to abide by the terms of agreement concerning release of five prisoners from Gitmo. Anti-peace talks lobbies had a hand in upsetting peace process. Disruption of indirect talks perturbed Obama administration but pleased Karzai who had expressed his strong reservations over the proposed opening of Taliban office in Doha. He felt he had been bypassed and ignored. He laid conditions that anyone wishing to have parleys with the Taliban will have to go through AHPC and not directly. To ease up tension, Pakistan ceded to US advice and released 20 Taliban prisoners held in its custody in January 2013 as goodwill gesture. However, warmth of this goodwill cooled down when the released prisoners instead of reporting to Chairman AHPC Salahuddin Rabbani reported to Mullah Omar.

In April 2013, Karzai confessed having received regular cash payments from CIA. Secret funds were used by him to win over Taliban leaders and also to augment covert war against Pakistan. Without his blessing, fugitives Maulana Fazlullah and Maulvi Muhammad Faqir could not have been accommodated in safe havens of Kunar and Nuristan. Karzai undertook a visit to India in May 2013 and requested for military hardware to meet ANA’s shortfalls. He preferred India over Pakistan for training of Afghan military and is now seeking arms from India and not from Pakistan and yet has the audacity to make complaints against Pak’s military establishment.

While signing Afghan-US strategic partnership agreement in May 2012, Karzai had consented to allow US military to retain nine military bases till 2024. However, for its authentication, Karzai will have to call a Loya Jirga as given in Afghan Constitution. Knowing that he will not be able to get approval, it is suspected that Afghan CDS is deliberately destabilizing Kabul by staging terror attacks in quick succession. This practice will continue for some more time with a view to justify postponement of elections scheduled in April 5, 2014 and to hold small Jirga under emergency in which only likeminded representatives of various tribes will be invited.

Of late, Karzai is behaving eccentrically. Except for India he is cross with everyone else. He is not altogether wrong in his apprehension that he is seen as a spent cartridge and Pakistan as a key country by USA. He was against Obama’s drawdown plan and felt highly disturbed when the US started seeking Pakistan military’s help to establish contacts with Taliban and to begin peace talks. To become popular, he made strong objections to civilian casualties by ISAF and asked the US to expedite handing over security to ANSF. He also pressed the US to expedite hand over control of Bagram prison to ANSF and rejected the idea of power sharing with Taliban by ethnically dividing Afghanistan.

Doha initiative was not to his liking particularly when he saw that he had no role to play in it. In sheer disgust he held Pak military and ISI responsible for his failure but felt relieved when Taliban opted out of peace talks. However, renewal of Doha process in June 2013 flabbergasted him and he sabotaged it by making hue and cry over flimsy issue of a plaque inscribed with ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ and Taliban flag hoisted on the political office. He described it as de facto recognition of parallel Taliban government. He reacted by suspending Afghan-US agreement on retention of military bases by US forces post 2014. In response, Obama has hinted at withdrawing the entire force by end 2014. The suggestion of abandoning Afghanistan as in 1989 must have disconcerted both Karzai and India. The duo is at the verge of falling into the hole it had dug for Pakistan.

Hamid Karzai’s eccentric behaviour - By Asif Haroon Raja: http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=213397

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Our` own little wars

EVERYONE knew how the drones came about,long before the Predators` route to Pakistan and elsewhere was acknowledged, and before some of us were able to bring ourselves to protest the loss of innocent lives by rising above our tolerance for collateral damage. `Things fall out of the sky all the time,` Mark Mazzetti quotes General Pervez Musharraf in The Way of the Knife at the outset of the chapter that recalls the first drone strike in Pakistan in June 2004 that killed Nek Muhammad.

Garlanded by the Pakistani administration one day and unwanted the next, Nek Muhammad was just one point on the long, treacherous road on which the interests of the two sides had converged. From Mazzetti`s account, it was business turning sour, at the beginning of which all Pakistan wanted was to make a few bucks and see America leave as fast as possible.

The Pakistani emphasis from the start, the book points out, was to distinguish certain elements within the Taliban from the `other` Taliban and Al Qaeda. The same good militantsbad militants strain that provided the reason for so much heated debate later on. `Musharraf hadn`t fundamentally shifted Pakistan`s foreign policy as mush as he had reprised a deal that General Muhammad Ziaul Haq ... had struck with the Americans in the 1980s,` Mazzetti writes. `Musharraf would help the United States get what it wanted in Afghanistan, and Pakistan would be paid handsomely.

The ties were destined to be strained and as rumours abounded and graduated to the statusof popular truth, everyone could sense the spy on the prowl, long before Raymond Davis hit Lahore big time in 2011. What Davis blew up was the thinnest veneer of secrecy wrapped around the new breed of CIA troubleshooters.

It was only incidental that he shot dead a couple of Pakistani citizens and was responsible for the death of another in the ensuing road accident, as also for the suicide of the widow of one of his victims.

The link was there for anyone to see even before the Davis incident ostensibly alerted the Pakistani security personnel to the presence of foreign boots on the ground. Only the blanks needed to be filled in. Along with the literature that has appeared before and since, Mazzetti`s is an assiduously compiled account that strings together some of the missing parts in the puzzle.

It is a substantive, engaging and even sympathetic account, but there is always room to expand the picture; and these days, new pieces come at a rattling pace. Not taking anything away from Mazzetti, a member of The New York Times team with a Pulitzer to his credit, given the speed at which secrets are revealed and allowed to be revealed, in time other information will come to the fore, taking us deeper inside the offices where policy is framed and new principles arrive to complete their span of life.

The operation thrives on something as basic as suspicion, of the enemies, of allies (in this case suspicion of Pakistan`s Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence) and before that, of the partners at home, as manifest in the frictions between the CIA and Pentagon that run through this book.

The CIA-Pentagon ties lead to duplication of work and confusion. But the prime question is: should intelligence agents, even soldiers, be allowed to act as assassins? After years of debate, the answer is as eerily simple as it must have been when man had his first conflict: it is the need that determines the means and everything is justified in a war, declared or covert.

The Way of the Knife is a tale full of intrigues and it bears witness to its due share of contradictions. The book begins with Raymond Davis, ex-Blackwater and now a CIA agent who the Americans finally manage to free from the grasp of their uneasy Pakistani allies upon payment of head money for the men he killed. On the other hand are the non-Americans who cannot be extended the same facility. Towards the end, Mazzetti discusses Dr Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani citizen the Americans wanted to rescue but couldn`t quite find a way to save from prison. Apart from a few million given to him as a`CIA source,` Dr Afridi gets from his CIA handler in Pakistan a warning of the impending danger. Apparently, it is some time later that he actually comes to know who he has delivered to the United States through his polio vaccination drive in Abbottabad.

Between Davis and Dr Afridi, Mazzetti makes a very readable presentation on the transformation or actually, a kind of restoration of the CIA from being just an intelligence-gathering network to an organisation assigned, under a presidential decree, the duties of taking out those creating trouble for America. It is no surprise that Abdul Qadeer Khan makes an appearancepretty early into the story, on the list with names such as Mamoun Darkazanli, `a Syrian who the CIA believed had helped organise the September 11 attacks,` who the Bush administration had `marked for death.``It was a cold, late fall day in 2001, just after President George W. Bush had signed a secret order giving the CIA power it had lost in the 1970s, after a series of grisly and sometimes comic revelations about CIA assassination attempts,` writes Mazzetti. This was soon after 9/11 and the agency had already progressed to a point where they could photograph Khan: `the CIA was making an eerie, unmistakable point: we can get close enough to take their pictures, so we can get close enough to kill.

This obviously required addressing the minor issue of violating another country`s sovereignty a violation that was essentially allowed the moment the embargo placed on CIA killers in the wake of the Iran-Contra affair many decades back was lifted by President Bush. In around the 12 years since the lifting of the ban, the newfound authority has been repeatedly put to use. Many known militants have been killed and, in rare, unavoidable cases, Americans have also been targeted. The collateral damage is yet to be fully measured but whatever has been reported signifies huge loss of life.

Equipped with journalistic licence, Mazzetti is not compelled to outright condemn the darker aspects of the war. He leaves that job for activists like Medea Benjamin, as also certain aspects of the story he may have chosen not to detail yet.

For instance, for a book focused so much on Pakistan and the `war on terror,` Mazzetti is not tempted to even give a cursory glance to the allegations spawned by the murderof Benazir Bhutto whose march towards another term in government was being viewed as having a direct impact on the `war on terror`. There is no mention of Bhutto in the book, not even a reference to how the American war-runners had reacted to her assassination, and only a fleeting glimpse of Baitullah Mehsud. This is surprising.

Nonetheless, Mazzetti is fair enough to help strengthen the negative opinion about the covert war no more than a computer game for those directing the drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen from the safety of their control rooms in the United States, and a throwback to the thrills of the cold war for the ones who direct foot soldiers such as Davis.

Nor does Mazzetti make an attempt to paint the ISI as the villain. Bar an occasional Pakistani military officer who has good memories of his work with the CIA in the troubled northwest, The Way of the Knife seems to draw heavily on American sources of information even when it is discussing events taking place in Pakistan.

Yet the bias has been contained to the American officials` doubts about their Pakistani partners, and the writer leaves it to the reader to trace the betrayal, and the extent of it.

General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani is the one man who inspires Mazzetti to give some personal details. Inevitably, once again the trail of cigarette smoke he leaves everywhere he goes has been found worth documenting. If that oft-cited habit is a symbol of something, the book doesn`t crack this long-running mystery for us. More categorically, Kayani is shown to be commanding quite a lot of respect from the Americans and his relationship with Admiral Mike Mullen is perhaps the least problematic of all ties discussed in frictions between the CIA and Pentagon that run through this book.

The CIA-Pentagon ties lead to duplication of work and confusion. But the prime question is: should intelligence agents, even soldiers, be allowed to act as assassins? After years of debate, the answer is as eerily simple as it must have been when man had his first conflict: it is the need that determines the means and everything is justified in a war, declared or covert.

The Way of the Knife is a tale full of intrigues and it bears witness to its due share of contradictions. The book begins with Raymond Davis, ex-Blackwater and now a CIA agent who the Americans finally manage to free from the grasp of their uneasy Pakistani allies upon payment of head money for the men he killed. On the other hand are the non-Americans who cannot be extended the same facility. Towards the end, Mazzetti discusses Dr Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani citizen the Americans wanted to rescue but couldn`t quite find a way to save from prison. Apart from a few million given to him as a`CIA source,` Dr Afridi gets from his CIA handler in Pakistan a warning of the impending danger. Apparently, it is some time later that he actually comes to know who he has delivered to the United States through his polio vaccination drive in Abbottabad.

Between Davis and Dr Afridi, Mazzetti makes a very readable presentation on the transformation or actually, a kind of restoration of the CIA from being just an intelligence-gathering network to an organisation assigned, under a presidential decree, the duties of taking out those creating trouble for America. It is no surprise that Abdul Qadeer Khan makes an appearancepretty early into the story, on the list with names such as Mamoun Darkazanli, `a Syrian who the CIA believed had helped organise the September 11 attacks,` who the Bush administration had `marked for death.``It was a cold, late fall day in 2001, just after President George W. Bush had signed a secret order giving the CIA power it had lost in the 1970s, after a series of grisly and sometimes comic revelations about CIA assassination attempts,` writes Mazzetti. This was soon after 9/11 and the agency had already progressed to a point where they could photograph Khan: `the CIA was making an eerie, unmistakable point: we can get close enough to take their pictures, so we can get close enough to kill.

This obviously required addressing the minor issue of violating another country`s sovereignty a violation that was essentially allowed the moment the embargo placed on CIA killers in the wake of the Iran-Contra affair many decades back was lifted by President Bush. In around the 12 years since the lifting of the ban, the newfound authority has been repeatedly put to use. Many known militants have been killed and, in rare, unavoidable cases, Americans have also been targeted. The collateral damage is yet to be fully measured but whatever has been reported signifies huge loss of life.

Equipped with journalistic licence, Mazzetti is not compelled to outright condemn the darker aspects of the war. He leaves that job for activists like Medea Benjamin, as also certain aspects of the story he may have chosen not to detail yet.

For instance, for a book focused so much on Pakistan and the `war on terror,` Mazzetti is not tempted to even give a cursory glance to the allegations spawned by the murderof Benazir Bhutto whose march towards another term in government was being viewed as having a direct impact on the `war on terror`. There is no mention of Bhutto in the book, not even a reference to how the American war-runners had reacted to her assassination, and only a fleeting glimpse of Baitullah Mehsud. This is surprising.

Nonetheless, Mazzetti is fair enough to help strengthen the negative opinion about the covert war no more than a computer game for those directing the drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen from the safety of their control rooms in the United States, and a throwback to the thrills of the cold war for the ones who direct foot soldiers such as Davis.

Nor does Mazzetti make an attempt to paint the ISI as the villain. Bar an occasional Pakistani military officer who has good memories of his work with the CIA in the troubled northwest, The Way of the Knife seems to draw heavily on American sources of information even when it is discussing events taking place in Pakistan.

Yet the bias has been contained to the American officials` doubts about their Pakistani partners, and the writer leaves it to the reader to trace the betrayal, and the extent of it.

General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani is the one man who inspires Mazzetti to give some personal details. Inevitably, once again the trail of cigarette smoke he leaves everywhere he goes has been found worth documenting. If that oft-cited habit is a symbol of something, the book doesn`t crack this long-running mystery for us. More categorically, Kayani is shown to be commanding quite a lot of respect from the Americans and his relationship with Admiral Mike Mullen is perhaps the least problematic of all ties discussed inthe book until Abbottabad happens: `Speaking from a phone outside the Situation Room, Mullen called Kayani and informed him of what had just happened.

`Kayani already knew the basics. Hours earlier, he had taken a call from one of his aides, who told him about vague reports that a helicopter had crashed in Abbottabad. Kayani`s first thought was that Pakistan was under attack from India ... By the time Mullen called Kayani the Pakistani general knew that Americans had been in his country.

Relating the break-up of that relationship, in the wake of the September 2011 strike on a US military base in Afghanistan`s province Wardak, is when Mazzetti`s passages mostly informed by fear, suspicion and irony take on a mellow hue. It is the one rare occasion where his roller-coaster and by and large matterof-fact narration is influenced by the sentiment of friendship: `The Wardak attack infuriated Mullen and convinced him that General Kayani had no sincere interest in curbing the military`s ties to militant groups like the Haqqanis ...

The Wardak bombing was, for Mullen, proof that Pakistan was playing crooked.` A few days later, in his final congressional testimony as the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Mullen, `whom Pakistani officials considered to be one of their few remaining allies in Washington, made that statement: `the Haqqani network acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan`s Inter-Services Intelligenceagency.

The relationship was dead; the two men didn`t speak again after Mullen`s testimony.

Each man felt he had been betrayed by the other.`

by Asha`ar Rehman; bureau chief, Dawn Lahore


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The Energy Challenge,Power Shrtage in Pakistan -Solutions

OVERCOMING Pakistan`s energy crisis has been proclaimed as the highest priority by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s government. The recommendations issued by the Pakistan asionary Forum`s energy experts at their Lahore meeting on June 30 constitute an excellent agenda for action.

The government has already acted on the first recommendation: to eliminate the so-called circular debt by paying Rs306 billion and promising to pay the rest of the Rs503bn that is owed by later this month.

The other proposals made by the experts for short-term action acceleration of recoveries, including from government institutions; stopping electricity theft; rationalising tariffs and medium-term steps to enhance energy efficiency could `save` up to 40pc of thecountry`s current power production.

This would be sufficient to meet the current demand.

The critical policy decisions, however, concern the selection of future energy options, their priority,magnitude and sequencing. These decisions will need to take account of technological, economic and political factors.

Wind and solar power can contribute to Pakistan`s generating capacity. But both still require significant subsidies to be economically viable, even if the tariffs are rationalised. The tariff offered by the previous government 17 cents per kilowatt hour was almost double the cost of producing energy from fossil fuels.

Pakistan should not sacrifice economic growth by resorting to the most expensive options first, while ignoring the more readily available and cheaper alternatives such as coal and hydropower. Wind and solar installations should be limited to regions such as Balochistan, interior Sindh and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas where electricity grids are unavailable and uneconomical.

Nuclear power will be essential in the long term to assure Pakistan`s energy independence. However, the capital cost of installing nuclear plants is high and the most advanced reactors from France, Japan and South Korea are unlikely to be sold to Pakistan. Once China develops the most advanced reactors, and Pakistan`s financial position is stronger, the expansion of nuclear power willbecome a realistic option for Pakistan.

The use of gas for power and home consumption is attractive for Pakistan, for three reasons.

First, Pakistan already has in place the extensive Sui gas distribution system.

Second, gas prices are likely to come down due to expanded supplies from shale gas exploitation by the US today and later by China and others. Third, gas is a relatively cleaner, low-carbon-emitting fuel as compared to other fossil fuels.

Until Pakistan discovers other gas fields to replace the depleted Sui reserves, it should look to gas imports at competitive prices to meet its near-term needs.

The Iranian pipeline is a rational option; but its realisation may continue to encounter objections from the US and others. It may therefore be wise for Pakistan to make the installation of a liguefied natural gas terminal for gas imports a high priority.

For the longer term, Pakistan`s bestoptions for power generation are hydro and coal.

Pakistan`s river systems provide the potential for almost inexhaustible power generation. The advantages of hydropower are self-evident: clean and cheap energy as well as flood prevention and improved irrigation. Most of the sites for the larger dams have been identified and considerable preparatory work completed.

Yet, due to misguided parochialism and pusillanimous leadership, Pakistan has tapped only a small fraction of this vast natural resource.

Some contracts, recently awarded to Chinese companies, appear to be stalled.

A crash programme should be launched for hydropower installation. Chinese companies appear ready to execute such projects and to provide a considerable part of the financing.

The failure to exploit Pakistan`s enormous coal deposits is equally monumental. Technical incompetence has played a major role in this failure. Some Western powers, while still utilising old and `dirty` coal plants, now oppose financing from international institutions for coal power in developing countries.

New technologies coal gasification and liquefaction can be utilise d for theextensive and efficient use of Pakistan`s several coal fields, including the giant coal deposits in Tharparkar. Yet, not a single ton of Thar coal has been mined.

Proposals from national and international companies are collecting dust in the Sindh Coal Authority`s filing cabinets.

Open proposals should be invited from interested companies and entrepreneurs for the exploitation of Pakistan`s coal fields and decisions made rapidly under the glare of public scrutiny. Meanwhile, the installation of coal-fired power plants should be accelerated. Until Pakistan`s indigenous coal becomes available, these plants can use imported coal since it is cheaper than oil or gas.

Pakistan`s energy policy will need to overcome certain political, institutional and financial obstacles. Resistance from vested interests will have to be countered boldly, and relief provided to the poor.

Competent and honest professionals should be recruited to execute specific elements of Pakistan`s energy policy.The responsibility for monitoring implementation would best be assigned to a high level independent commission rather than the line ministry.

At the operationallevel, it would be advisable to decentralise functions. A corporation controlling the state electricity grid is necessary but generation plants and local electricity distribution can be managed more efficiently by separate public and, preferentially, private players.

Financing for the energy plan will have to be generated from efficiency, tariff rationalisation and several other means, such as project financing from companies awarded the construction contracts (on the Chinese model); privatisation of state generating plants and distribution companies, such as the Karachi Electric Supply Company sell-off; and, most significantly, fiscal reforms to mobilise investments in energy infrastructure and power generation.

In the final analysis, success or failure will depend on the determination with which the government pursues the implementation of a clear energy plan, rewarding performance and penalising corruption and incompetence. Political indecision or technical confusion at this time could consign Pakistanis to live in even greater darkness. •

By Munir Akram: A former Pakistan ambassador to the UN.
http://epaper.dawn.com/~epaper/DetailImage.php?StoryImage=21_07_2013_009_006

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Who will be New Army Chief , COAS: critical decision coming up for PM

Before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s proverbial honeymoon period is over he will be faced with critical decisions like succession in the army command and rotating the ceremonial chair of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee among other services.

When these decisions are to be made, Prime Minister Sharif, who is in office for a record third non-consecutive tenure, will find himself at the same crossroads he has been at twice (in 1993 and 1998) – in fact thrice if his botched attempt to appoint Gen Ziauddin Butt as army chief in 1999 is also counted.

On both previous occasions he chose men (Gen Waheed Kakar and Gen Pervez Musharraf) who sent him packing months later. Nevertheless, the choices were relatively easier in 1993 and 1998.

He now has to look for a man who can deal with the multi-dimensional threats to national security, turn around the country’s fortunes in the fight against terror and, more significantly, work with the civilian leadership in redressing the civil-military imbalance believed to be at the root of many of the ills the country faces today.

Last but not the least, the new army chief also has to be in sync with Mr Sharif’s vision of normalisation of ties with India.

If his previous words are taken into account, the prime minister does not have a tough choice to make: “I’ll go by the book. I’ll go by the merit. Whosoever is the most senior would occupy the job. The next one, the next in line.”

This would give Mr Sharif a panel of three generals who would then be in service: Lt Gen Haroon Aslam, Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood and Lt Gen Raheel Sharif.

According to the rules, names from this panel would be sent to him by the defence ministry, which at the moment is headed by Mr Sharif himself.

Mr Sharif, who according to insiders will be cautious this time around in picking the next man, has already started screening the candidates. In this task he is being helped by the old duo – ‘heir apparent’ Shahbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar — that made the choice for Gen Musharraf in 1998.

The two have been meeting the people concerned and one such meeting that was noted by many was their visit to Rawalpindi Corps Commander Lt Gen Khalid Nawaz.

No one is privy to the discussions in the Chaklala Garrison. Is there a move afoot to grant Gen Nawaz an extension before he retires in October and subsequently make him the army chief or was the visit just aimed at consultations about the prospective candidates? No one can say with surety.

Gen Nawaz is a relative of Raja Zafarul Haq and belongs to a village — Nara Matore — located in the suburbs of the federal capital.

When silence is the order of the day in matters as sensitive as the selection of the next army chief, using simple arithmetic sequencing comes in handy.


Mr Sharif’s choice in 1993 was Gen Kakar who was then fourth on the seniority list and in 1998 he picked Gen Pervez Musharraf who was number three on the seniority list.

Can one say that this time around he would go for the man who would be number two (Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood) and technically also on the panel that would be presented to the prime minister.

The speculation that Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood would make it to the office is also supported by some ground realities. Gen Mahmood was earlier this year elevated to the coveted office of Chief of General Staff. Eight of the last 13 army chiefs had served as CGS prior to becoming a four-star general.

Gen Mahmood has served as Lahore Corps Commander which may go in his favour as the Sharifs are in favour of those who have worked in Lahore — an inclination that is reflected in their key bureaucratic appointments. And don’t forget the general too hails from Lahore.

Moreover, Gen Mahmood has remained military secretary to former president Rafiq Tarar.

Gen Mahmood comes from Baloch Regiment, the parent arm of Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and as a major general he had served under him in the ISI as deputy director general.

In Gen Mahmood’s appointment as the CGS, who is in charge of operational and intelligence matters at the General Headquarters, Gen Kayani has already indicated his personal preference, if one were to read it that way.

He also remained aide-de-camp (ADC) to former army chief Gen Aslam Beg, who was held responsible by the Supreme Court in the Asghar Khan case for creating the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad and engineering the 1990 polls. The 1990 elections brought Nawaz Sharif into power at the centre for the first time.

The other person, who is not much discussed among the likely Gen Kayani’s successors, but is seen as a safe choice by the Sharif camp is Lt Gen Raheel Sharif, who is currently Inspector General Training and Evaluation at the General Headquarters.

A careerist like Gen Mahmood, he previously served as Corps Commander in Gujranwala and held the prestigious position of Commandant Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul.

Gen Sharif is the younger brother of Nishan-i-Haider recipient Major Shabbir Sharif.

Curiously, very few are willing to bet on Lt Gen Haroon Aslam, even though he would be the senior most at the time of Gen Kayani’s retirement on November 28, provided the seniority list is not affected by any extensions.

Theoretically, he should be Mr Sharif’s choice if we go by: “The next one, the next in line”.

Gen Aslam is presently posted as Chief of Logistics Staff at the General Headquarters.

The current postings of Gen Sharif and Gen Aslam – slots that are seen in military service as positions where senior generals cool their heels prior to retirement — are why many do not consider them to be serious contenders for the slot.


Gen Aslam has had a brilliant career in military service where he remained Director General Military Operations, commanded Special Services Group (SSG) and then became Corps Commander in Bahawalpur, before being dispatched to the wilderness of logistics.

His role in Operation Rah-i-Rast (Swat), where he bravely took on Taliban insurgents in their stronghold of Peochar was and is widely appreciated.

His colleagues in the military simply say that “there are issues”, but throw no light on why a high-profile general has ended up in a dead-end job.

And if this was not a disadvantage enough, others feel that Mr Sharif may not have the stomach for another commando after his tryst with Gen Musharraf.

Other than Gen Nawaz, whom many are not counting on because his apparent retirement date comes before the succession takes place, the other dark horse in the race is Lt Gen Tariq Khan, Corps Commander of Mangla.

His fellows describe him as a ‘seedha fauji’ (a real soldier) and a hard-task master.

He successfully commanded counter-insurgency operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas as Inspector General of Frontier Corps.

Other than stories of his gallantry in confronting militancy, what also goes in his favour is that the Americans speak very highly of him. He is a recipient of US Legion of Merit.

The cornerstone of US policy of the PML-N government, according to a Sharif’s top foreign policy aide, is to reinvigorate the Pak-US military relationship.

Gen Khan’s choice could help the government’s goal of strengthening military ties with the Pentagon.

Besides, the battle-hardened general is seen by defence analysts as the government’s best bet to give fresh impetus to the fight against militancy and dealing with the challenges that could arise after the withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan.

Spymaster Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam (director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence) also holds an outside chance.

The other interesting move to watch would be the prime minister’s decision about the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The current Chairman Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne retires on October 6. The position is largely ceremonial at present and yet it has remained with the army for the past 16 years, even though in practice it has to be rotated among the three armed services.

The government is thinking about restarting the rotation, which may dent the oversized army clout.
By: Baqir Sajjad Syed: http://www.dawn.com/news/1030693/new-coas-critical-decision-coming-up-for-pm

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

رمضان میں قیامِ لیل اور تراویح Taraweeh Salah in Ramadan- History

تراویح: آں حضورؐ کا عمل
حضرت زید بن ثابتؓ کہتے ہیں کہ رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے مسجد میں بوریا کا ایک حجرہ بنایا۔ کئی راتوں تک اس میں نماز پڑھی یہاں تک کہ بہت سے لوگ آپؐ کے پیچھے جمع ہوگئے۔ پھر ایک رات لوگوں نے حضورصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کی آواز نہ سنی۔ انھوں نے گمان کیا کہ حضوؐر سوگئے ہیں۔ بعض نے کھنکارنا شروع کیا کہ آپؐ حجرے سے نکل کر ان کی طرف تشریف لائیں۔ آں حضوؐر نے باہر آکر فرمایا: مجھے تمھاری کیفیت معلوم ہے۔ مجھے یہ خوف ہوا کہ کہیں تم پر یہ نماز فرض نہ کردی جائے، اور اگر یہ چیز تم پر فرض ہوجاتی تو تم اس کو ادا نہ کرپاتے۔ اے لوگو! اس کو اپنے گھروں میں پڑھو۔ آدمی کی بہترین نماز اس کے گھر کی ہے، ماسواے فرض نمازوں کے‘‘(متفق علیہ)۔حضرت جابرؓ کہتے ہیں کہ رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے فرمایا: جب تم میں سے کوئی مسجد میں نماز پڑھے تو اپنی نماز میں سے کچھ حصہ گھر کے لیے بھی رکھ لے۔ اس نماز کی وجہ سے اللہ تعالیٰ اس گھر میں بھلائی کردے گا‘‘۔ (مسلم)
حضرت ابوذر غفاریؓ کہتے ہیں کہ ہم نے رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کے ساتھ روزے رکھے۔ آپؐ نے تراویح میں ہمارے ساتھ قیام نہ کیا، یہاں تک کہ صرف سات دن رہ گئے۔ ۲۴رمضان کی رات کو حضوؐر نے ہمارے ساتھ قیام کیا، یہاں تک کہ تہائی رات گزر گئی۔ جب چھے راتیں باقی رہ گئیں تو آپؐ نے پھر ہمارے ساتھ قیام نہ کیا۔ جب پانچ راتیں رہ گئیں تو حضوؐرنے پھر قیام فرمایا، یہاں تک کہ آدھی رات گزر گئی۔ میں نے عرض کیا: اے اللہ کے رسولؐ! کاش! آپؐ اس سے زیادہ قیام فرماتے۔ آپؐ نے فرمایا : آدمی جس وقت امام کے ساتھ نماز پڑھتا ہے یہاں تک کہ فارغ ہوجاتا ہے تو اس کے لیے ساری رات کا قیام لکھا جاتا ہے۔ جب چار راتیں باقی رہ گئیں تو آپؐ نے پھر ہمارے ساتھ قیام نہ کیا۔ جب تین راتیں باقی رہ گئیں تو آپؐ نے اپنے گھروالوں کو جمع کیا اور اپنی عورتوں کو اور لوگوں کو بھی جمع کیا اور ہمارے ساتھ کھڑے ہوئے۔ اس موقع پر ہمیں فلاح کے فوت ہوجانے کا خطرہ ہوا (یعنی سحری کھانے سے رہ جانے کا خوف ہوا)۔ پھر بقیہ راتوں میں قیام نہیں کیا‘‘۔ (ابوداؤد، ترمذی، نسائی، ابن ماجہ)
اس سے پہلے ایک روایت حضرت زید بن ثابتؓ کی ہے جس سے ثابت ہوتا ہے کہ رمضان کے ابتدائی ایام میں حضور اکرم صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے تراویح پڑھی۔ اس طویل روایت میں حضرت ابوذر غفاریؓ کہتے ہیں کہ حضور صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے رمضان کے پہلے ۲۴ دن ہمارے ساتھ قیام نہیں کیا۔ معلوم ہوتا ہے کہ دونوں روایتیں دو مختلف رمضان کا ذکر کرتی ہیں۔ حضرت ابوذرؓ جس رمضان کا ذکر کر رہے ہیں وہ بعد کا واقعہ ہے۔ اس روایت میں حضرت ابوذرؓ نے حضوؐر سے درخواست کی کہ کاش! آپؐ زیادہ قیام فرماتے جس پر آں حضور صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے فرمایا کہ جب آدمی امام کے ساتھ نماز پڑھتا ہے اور اس وقت تک ساتھ رہتا ہے جب امام سلام پھیرے، تو اس شخص کے لیے رات بھر کا قیام لکھا جاتا ہے۔ گویا اللہ تعالیٰ کا فضل اور اس کی عنایت اپنے بندوں پر ایسی ہے کہ رات کی نماز جماعت کے ساتھ امام کے پیچھے پڑھتے ہیں، یعنی فرض ادا کرتے ہیں تو اس کا اجر رات بھر کے قیام کے برابر لکھا جاتا ہے۔
حقیقت یہ ہے کہ اللہ اپنے کرم سے جتنا چاہے عطا فرما دے۔ اس کا اصول ہے کہ سزا دیتا ہے تو صرف جرم کے مطابق، اور انعام دیتا ہے تو اپنی رحمت کے مطابق، یعنی آدمی کی خدمت سے کئی گنا زیادہ۔ اس لیے حضوؐر نے فرمایا کہ آدھی رات تک ہم نے تمھیں نماز پڑھائی، یہی کافی ہے، اجر تو اللہ ساری رات کے قیام کا دے گا۔ پھر حضرت ابوذر غفاریؓ یہ بھی کہتے ہیں کہ جب تین راتیں باقی رہ گئیں تو آں حضوؐر نے اپنے گھر والوں، بیویوں، بچوں اور دوسرے لوگوں کو جمع کیا اور تراویح کی نماز پڑھائی۔ یہاں تک کہ انھیں اندیشہ ہوا کہ ہم فلاح سے رہ جائیں گے۔ پوچھا گیا کہ فلاح کیا ہے تو حضرت ابوذرؓ نے جواب دیا: اس سے مراد سحری کا کھانا ہے۔ معلوم ہوا کہ یہ راوی جس نے حضرت ابوذرؓ سے سوال کیا کہ فلاح کیا ہے کوئی دوسرا ہے۔ حضرت ابوذرؓ نے بتایا کہ قیام اتنا طویل ہوا کہ خدشہ ہوگیا کہ آج سحری کا کھانا مشکل ہی سے کھایا جائے گا۔ اس روایت سے یہ ثبوت بھی ملا کہ یہ پہلے رمضان کی طرح نہیں کہ جس میں آں حضوؐر نے تراویح کا انتظام کیا تھا، تو لوگ آپ کی آواز سُن کر جمع ہوگئے تھے اور اوائل رمضان میں تراویح پڑھی تھی، بلکہ اس بعد کے رمضان میں آپؐ نے اور لوگوں کو بھی جمع کیا اور گھر کے بال بچوں کو بھی جمع کرکے نماز پڑھنے کا حکم دیا۔ اس سے اس بات کا ثبوت بھی مل گیا کہ حضرت عمرؓ نے تراویح کا جو انتظام کیا تھا وہ خلافِ سنت نہ تھا۔ حضور اکرمؐ نے نہ صرف خود نماز پڑھی بلکہ یہ بھی ثابت ہوا کہ دیگر لوگوں کو جمع بھی کیا۔
حضور اکرمؐ نے باقی دن جو تراویح نہیں پڑھائی تو اس سے یہ ظاہر ہوتا ہے کہ تراویح فرض نہیں بلکہ سنت ہے۔ حضوؐر نے لوگوں کو جمع بھی کیا ہے اور نہیں بھی۔ لوگوں کو ازخود جمع ہوجانے سے روکا بھی نہیں، تراویح پڑھائی بھی ہے اور نہیں بھی۔ اس طرح آں حضوؐر نے اپنے عمل سے یہ بتا دیا کہ فرض، واجب، سنت اور نفل کیا ہیں۔ تراویح نفل ہے جس پر آں حضورؐنے خود عمل کیا ہے مگر اس کو لازم نہیں کیا۔

خلیفہ اوّل کا عمل
حضرت ابوہریرہؓ کہتے ہیں کہ رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم قیام کے لیے رغبت دلاتے تھے لیکن تاکیداً حکم نہیں دیتے تھے۔ آپؐ فرماتے تھے کہ جو شخص صحیح اعتقاد کے ساتھ ثواب کی خاطر قیامِ رمضان کرتا ہے اس کے پہلے گناہ معاف کردیے جاتے ہیں۔ پھر جب نبی کریم صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم رحلت فرما گئے تو حضرت ابوبکر صدیقؓ کی خلافت میں بھی یہ معاملہ اسی طرح چلتا رہا اور حضرت عمرؓ کے ابتدائی زمانۂ خلافت میں بھی یہی معمول تھا۔
اس روایت سے معلوم ہوا کہ خلیفہ دوم نے اپنے دوسرے نصف دورِ خلافت میں نمازِتراویح کو مساجد میں باجماعت ادایگی کی شکل میں اختیار فرمایا جو آج تک مسلمانوں میں رائج ہے۔ چونکہ آں حضوؐر نے اپنے ساتھ لوگوں کے جمع ہونے کو ناپسند نہیں کیا بلکہ ایک دوسرے موقع پر لوگوں کو قیام کے لیے جمع بھی کیا، تو ثابت ہوا کہ حضرت عمرؓ نے جو انتظام قیامِ رمضان کے سلسلے میں کیا وہ خلافِ سنت نہیں ہے۔

خلیفہ دوم کا عمل
حضرت عبدالرحمن بن عبدالقاری روایت کرتے ہیں کہ ایک شب حضرت عمر بن خطابؓ کے ساتھ مسجد میں گیا تو دیکھا کہ لوگ علیحدہ علیحدہ مسجد میں نماز پڑھ رہے ہیں اور کچھ لوگ ایک امام کے ساتھ نماز ادا کر رہے ہیں۔ اس وقت حضرت عمرؓ نے فرمایا: اگر میں انھیں ایک امام کے پیچھے جمع کردوں تو زیادہ بہتر ہوگا۔ پھر فیصلہ کر کے حضرت ابی بن کعبؓ کو امام مقرر کردیا۔ جب دوسری شب مسجد کی طرف آئے تو دیکھا اب لوگ ایک امام کی اقتدا میں نماز ادا کر رہے ہیں۔ یہ دیکھ کر حضرت عمرؓ نے فرمایا: یہ کیا اچھی بدعت ہے اور جس نماز سے تم غفلت برتتے تھے۔ یہ زیادہ بہتر ہے کہ تم قیامِ لیل کرو۔ خود حضرت عمرؓ آخر شب کے قیام کو ترجیح دیتے تھے اور لوگ اوّل شب کو قیام کرتے تھے۔

تراویح کی تعداد
حضرت سائب بن یزید روایت کرتے ہیں کہ حضرت عمرؓ نے حضرت ابی بن کعبؓ اور حضرت تمیم داریؓ کو حکم دیا کہ وہ رمضان میں لوگوں کو ۱۱ رکعت جماعت سے پڑھائیں اور امام ان سورتوں کی تلاوت کرتے تھے جن میں تقریباً سو آیات ہوتیں۔ طویل قیام کی وجہ سے ہم لاٹھیوں کے سہارے کھڑے ہوتے تھے اور مسجد سے ہماری واپسی فجر کے قریب ہوتی۔ (موطا)
حضرت اعرجؓ روایت کرتے ہیں کہ ہم نے لوگوں کو دیکھا کہ وہ رمضان کے مہینے میں کفار پر لعنت کرتے تھے اور امام سورۂ بقرہ آٹھ رکعت میں پڑھتے اور اگر وہ اس سورہ کو ۱۲ رکعت میں ختم کرتے تو ہم سمجھتے کہ انھوں نے نماز میں تخفیف کی ہے (ایضاً)۔حضرت عبداللہ بن ابوبکر روایت کرتے ہیں کہ میں نے حضرت ابی بن کعبؓ سے سنا ہے وہ فرماتے ہیں کہ جب ہم رمضان میں قیامِ لیل سے فارغ ہوتے تو خادموں سے کہتے کہ کھانا لانے میں جلدی کرو تاکہ سحری چھوٹ نہ جائے۔ ایک دوسری روایت میں اس طرح ہے کہ فجر (صبح صادق) طلوع نہ ہوجائے۔ (ایضاً)
نمازِ تراویح کے بارے میں اکثر احادیث میں قیامِ لیل کا لفظ استعمال ہوا ہے جو بجاے خود اس بات کی دلیل ہے کہ قیام کرنے والا حسب توفیق قیام کرے۔تعداد رکعات کا کوئی اختلاف نہیں ہے۔ مندرجہ بالا تینوں احادیث میں بھی مختلف تعداد کا بیان اس معاملے میں کسی پابندی کو ظاہر نہیں کرتا۔
غور کرنے سے معلوم ہوتا ہے کہ مقتدیوں کی آسانی اور رمضان المبارک میں قرآن کا دورانِ نماز پڑھنا اس بات کا متقاضی تھا کہ تعدادِ رکعات میں مناسب اضافہ کرلیا جائے تاکہ طویل قیام کے لیے لاٹھیوں کا سہارا نہ لینا پڑے۔ لہٰذا تراویح کے سلسلے میں جس قدر بھی اختلافی آرا سامنے آتی ہیں ان کی بنیاد پر کسی نص یا حکمِ رسالت کی نفی نہیں ہوتی۔(افاداتِ مودودی، درس حدیث مشکوٰۃ، باب الصلوٰۃ، مرتبین: میاں خورشید انور، بدرالدجیٰ خان،ص ۳۱۵۔۳۲۰)
سید ابوالاعلیٰ مودودیؒ

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Zardari rule -The worst period of Paksitan's history



"Even as the democratically elected government led by the PPP became the first civilian government to complete its tenure, one finds very little to cheer about its performance in office. This was evident on August 29, 2012 when Syed Munawar Hasan the Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer ridiculed President Zardari's claim of having served the cause of democracy. In a statement the JI Ameer had said that the corruption-smeared Zardari had driven democracy out of the country and that his four-and-a-half-years rule was akin to a period of the worst kind of dictatorship. "Zardari", Syed Munawar Hasan said, "was personally littered with corruption and the long list of his government's failures included US slavery, target killings, load-shedding, price spiral, lawlessness and a debt ridden economy". Many will not find fault with Syed Munawar Hasan's assessment as it became increasingly clear over the years that carte blanche to commit wrongdoings was allowed during President Zardari's period. This country was literally run into the ground and it was a story of continuous misgovernance, sorry neglect and wholesale apathy for the plight of the people, especially those who had voted the PPP into power. The people had hoped for a shift to more transparent and democratic governance with the coming into power of President Zardari in 2008, nine months after his wife Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. But that was not the case and four and a half years later, all these hopes remain unfulfilled, this is why the PPP faced miserable defeat in the general elections in the Center and three Provinces and has formed government only in Sindh. The once mighty political party that ruled over the hearts of the masses having roots all over Pakistan has now been relegated to the status of a regional political party by an angry and unforgiving populace. How unfortunate is that!

While a new chapter was added to the country's parliamentary history on June 10 when President Zardari addressed the joint sitting of the parliament for the record sixth time, most of the issues he highlighted (that the new government will now have to face) stem from the extremely ineffective PPP government that could not resolve them during its 5 year stint. For the benefit of readers I am reproducing my article "NOT A HYPOCRITE!"

Addressing Parliament for the 6th time, President Zardari spoke of everything under the sun but the two major problems that have brought Pakistan economically, politically and morally to its knees, nepotism and corruption. We are certainly not a failed state but Zardari and party put us well on our way to becoming a criminal one. Aesop (620 BC – 520 BC), a Greek slave of possibly Ethiopian origin to whom many fables through the centuries are credited, observed 2500 years ago in 550 BC, "we hang petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office". Persecuted and/or sidelined, precedents were set for public officials to not only wholeheartedly condone but expedite siphoning of public money. Money is not the only motivation for derailing evidence and prosecution thereof, fear of retribution can be. Chicago's Al Capone was guilty many times over for publicly committing murder, witnesses would never testify against him out of fear for their lives, he would laugh at them in court.

Al Capone was eventually incarcerated in a Federal prison for "tax evasion". While money and fear are both used to prevail over the media from airing the truth, the client-patron relationship in a feudal-type society like ours not only finds willing collaborators but even the honourable either become willing accessories or remain silent. If criminals function in the name of justice, justice becomes a crime. Trying to sustain democratic rule through the last 5 years, the Supreme Court (SC) tried, quite unsuccessfully, to use both reason and the Constitution to avoid force of necessity in establishing of the rule of law.

Claiming "immunity" from appearing before NAB in a corruption case, former PM Yusuf Raza Gilani also evaded questioning by Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) in the "ephedrine" case where his son's former associates have turned "approvers". Gilani's successor as PM Raja Pervez Ashraf delayed appearing before NAB pleading "sickness", in contrast the innocent are usually impatient about appearing sooner rather than later to clear their name of wrongdoing. These two gentlemen misused the PM's office to loot the public till to their heart's content, "Raja Rental" tried his best to outdo Gilani in his few months as PM, time and space did not allow him to match the "ecsta-tic" team effort of Gilani's entire family.

Shunting out officials of ill-repute appointed to the public sector entities wholesale, has the SC taken note of the constant pattern of criminality and held anyone responsible for appointing those having the "lowest common discriminator" of honesty and integrity? Who is going to account for the trillions lost? Names are seldom mentioned, the name of the person advising Zardari how to go about destroying a nation without really trying very rarely surfaces. From time to time planted news items eulogizing Salman Faruqi's services appear, Husain Haqqani is the master of the anonymous plant (like the one targetting me on April 21, 2013). Those who know the name of their father put their name to what they write, those who don't write anonymously.

What about the US$ 60 million believed have been laundered through Swiss Banks? Everyone seems focussed on the "letter to the Swiss", has anyone ever bothered to ask Asif Ali Zardari a straight "yes" or "no" whether the money in question has anything to do with him in any manner? Either the money is his or it is not, and if it is not how can he object if the country, of which he is President, claims it? The only public official in the land who doesn't declare his assets, the democratic hypocrisy is that no political opponent of note questions Zardari about this. Give credit to Bangladesh for uncovering the money-laundering of illegal wealth acquired by late Ziaur Rahman and Ms Khaleda Zia's two sons, Tariq and Arafat Zia was very honest, his despicable sons count among the most dishonest. Reportedly wealthy beyond compare, Zardari should take issue with Forbes (like Saudi Prince Talal did for understating his wealth) for not including him in the "Billionaires" list. Does he pay taxes, and if so, how much and in which countries? Our parliament seems to have given him democratic dispensation about payment of taxes and declaring his assets. Is there any quid pro quo here?

To quote my article "The Webmaster" dated December 22, 2011, (somehow it escaped editing), "PPP are great at spinning facts but spinmasters are far different from those who manipulate the web successfully for public perception. A webmaster's duties include devising and operating strategy, overseeing not just the technical aspects of governance but also management of the content thereof. In the political sense a "webmaster" controls the bureaucracy and runs a parallel government from behind the scenes. With absolute charge over all functions and functionaries, he overrides the democratic facade "as and when required", changing rules of business at will. Sharifuddin Pirzada was the "webmaster" for several military dictators in the "legal" sense, Tariq Aziz was useful to Musharraf more in the "political" sense." unquote. Zardari's "consigliere" Salman Faruqi casts a much wider web and manipulation thereof than Pirzada or Tariq Aziz. Operating mostly in shadows from within the Presidency gives Faruqi much more authority by perception. Answerable to no one but his "boss", the "webmaster" has become a law unto himself.

Calling in favours rendered by him during his service in critical bureaucratic appointments and cocooned from attribution, Faruqi has put every institution in the nation at risk. Does anyone believe that trying to put the ISI under the Ministry of Interior was Rahman Malik's brainchild? The ISI escaped this ignominy only when the military hierarchy decided that this was going too far. And whose "cover" did Husain Haqqani use for infamous Memo targetting the Pakistan Army? Salman Faruqi did not let up doing the Caretaker period, does anyone believe Caretaker PM Khoso had the capacity (or for that matter the inclination?) to make wholesale postings and promotions (reversed by the SC) during his short tenure? The convenient camouflage of the 18th Amendment will no longer work, that is why Zardari is suddenly "honey and sugar".

While the buck stops at President Zardari's desk for wrongdoing across the broad spectrum of governance, this ultimate bureaucrat insider meticulously and systematically destroyed the institutions of governance. Suspended in 1973 by Dr Mubashir Hasan, PPP's first finance Minister, for corruption, Faruqi's appointment as Federal Ombudsman was a very deliberate and contemptuous slap by Zardari to the name of truth and integrity. The august office still being occupied by such a dishonest man is a matter of shame for honest society, thankfully the SC has taken note of this abomination.

While one must commend the brazen aplomb with which a man accused of innumerable crimes addressed Parliament for the 6th time as an elected President, being cheered by his opponents in government about sums up the degraded state our society has sunk to morally. In any of Zardari's talks delivered anywhere as President, is there even one mention of "corruption", even in passing? One must give him credit for that. Unlike others who say what they do not mean and mean what they do not say, at least he is not a hypocrite!
By M. Ikram Sehgal Courtesy: Defence Journal



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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Failure poses a danger beyond Egypt

Even the most global events, those whose reverberations are felt far beyond their borders, are rooted in the specific and the local. This week’s coup d’etat in Egypt, the army stepping in to remove and then arrest the democratically elected president, is no different. The toppling of Mohamed Morsi had a hundred causes, many of them wholly peculiar to Egypt. A choice example: Morsi wanted to close all shops at 10pm, so that Egyptians would be fully rested in time for morning prayers. That didn’t go down well in famously nocturnal Cairo where, as the New Yorker put it, “there are still traffic jams at 2am and where internet usage peaks at 12.45am”.

Still, what happens in Egypt matters outside Egypt. The country is just too important to keep its upheavals to itself. Consider that one in four Arabs are said to be Egyptian, the ancient nation repeatedly setting the lead the rest of the Arab world follows. One example: within a decade or two of Nasser taking power in the early 50s, similar regimes were in place in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Sudan.

One analyst says that the implications of these latest events will resonate even further, reaching Indonesia, Pakistan and every place where Muslims form the majority. For this represents a deep blow not just to Morsi and the other Brotherhood leaders rounded up on the generals’ orders — some of them jailed in the very same prison that houses Hosni Mubarak and his sons. It strikes at a larger project, namely the creation of a modern and viable form of political Islam, one that aspires not merely to be a movement of protest, but capable of government. Granted a trial run on the biggest possible stage, that show has now closed after just a year.

What to make of this failure of the Islamist experiment? The hostile will give a smug shrug and say this was no surprise. Citing the conduct of the man who before Morsi was most regularly named as the potential model of moderate Islamism, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan — who last month crushed a wave of anti-government protests — they will sigh and regret without sincerity that this proves Islam and democracy are simply incompatible. They might repeat that oft-quoted nugget of cynicism, that in the Muslim world democracy means “one man, one vote, one time”. In this view, the Egyptian election of 2012 was always bound to be a freak event, never to be repeated.

Defenders of Islamism will say the problem lay not within, but without — that the Morsi brand of political Islam was denied the chance to prove itself, strangled at birth by the forces that took back control this week. In this version, the Brotherhood was cheated of power it had won fair and square.

Less straightforward is the view of those who dream of a secular, liberal democracy flowering in Egypt. Many are cheered by this week’s events: the theocrats have been scattered, their power-grabbing constitution suspended. Liberals might concede that, yes, this victory came about in strange fashion, delivered by the very armed forces they were demonstrating against 18 months ago. But there are coping mechanisms available to deal with such contradictions, denial chief among them. Note the message on the front of the al-Tahrir newspaper — “It’s a revolution... not a coup, Mr Obama!” — or the delicate term chosen by the Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif, who insisted this was not a coup, but a “deposal”. Yet this is to underestimate the danger of what has happened. To remove an elected president, to arrest a movement’s leaders and silence its radio and TV stations, is to send a loud message to them and to Islamists everywhere. It says: you have no place in the political system. It says: there is no point trying to forge a version of political Islam compatible with democracy, because democracy will not be available to you.

It is the same message sent in Algeria two decades ago, when Islamists were on course to win an election but were pushed aside in a military coup before they could take power; and similarly in Gaza in 2006, when Hamas won the votes but were internationally shunned. Except this week, the point has been rammed home in one of the largest, historically mightiest Muslim nations. Chatham House’s Nadim Shehadi worries that, after this week, “extremists will tell moderates, ‘Don’t even bother fighting elections. This is what happens to us if we win.’”.

In Egypt the peril is very clear, made vivid by Thursday’s fear, partly realised, that the pro-Morsi forces’ “day of rejection” would turn violent. The Muslim Brotherhood could, once again, be driven underground. It renounced violence long ago and few believe it will go back. But more radical jihadist voices — recall that at Al Qaeda’s helm is Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian — will now have a powerful rhetorical weapon. You tried the democratic route, they will say. And look where it got you.

The specific challenge for Egypt now is to somehow stop this pendulum swing from secular, military-backed dictatorship to illiberal democracy and back again, in which one set of masters seeks to replace entirely the other — typified by Morsi’s winner-takes-all approach to power. A more durable accommodation would surely recognise that Islamist and secular Egypt have to live together and share power. That will require the Muslim Brotherhood not to draw the conclusion that they cannot rule democratically, but that they cannot rule alone..
BY JONATHAN FREEDLAND: http://dawn.com/news/1023378/failure-poses-a-danger-beyond-egypt
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Great Journalist : میں ایک سورما صحافی ہوں : سید طلعت حسسیں

Renowned senior journalist Syed Talat Hussain exposes the intellectual, professional dishonesty and corruption of media and journalists in Pakistan. 
میں ایک سورما صحافی ہوں : سید طلعت حسسیں 


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