"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Usman_Khalid
Full Name: Brig (R) Usman Khalid
User since: 20/Sep/2007
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Interpreting the News from Pakistan


By Usman Khalid


I have not written about the elections in Pakistan even though it has been an important story in the international press for several weeks. That is precisely my reason for not writing on the subject; I detect a kind of "˜Pakistan fatigue' setting in. I am writing a short piece today to help friends understand the "˜true meaning of the words spoken by the reigning sage in Pakistan "“ Ex General Musharraf soon also to be Ex President. This is what a columnist, Khurshid Anwar, has written:


 " When Musharraf said he would cooperate with the elected government, one did not imagine he would pull all stops to ensure that no viable coalition comes into being which would threaten his agenda. His definition of cooperating with the elected representatives is that he would get his "˜hamzaban' MQM to play the role of the spoiler.  

" The Mafia Don (Altaf Hussain) had a telephonic conversation with Asif Zardari for two hours, resulting in the withdrawal of the man, whose name I just cannot bring myself to write or speak (one of the master minds of May 12) from the prime minister race. Obviously the hidden hand behind these parleys is that of Musharraf. Now MQM will hold an "˜IOU' to be honoured by Musharraf whenever they want an enquiry blocked, or a pliant judge posted in the high court, or a governor appointed or some such innocent request.

" I wonder if the Americans have the slightest idea what their "˜Man in Havana' is up to, trying to derail the emerging democratic order. While we were debating whether the political parties had learnt their lesson from having been out in the cold for many years, we clean forgot to look what was cooking in the presidency."

The Americans sent the main movers and shakers of the State Department "“ Mr Negroponte and Mr Boucher "“ to Pakistan who arrived the day the new Prime Minister "“ Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani "“ was sworn in. Every one in Pakistan believes they came to put pressure on Messrs Zardari and Nawaz Sharif to keep "˜their man' in the Presidency and to disallow the restored judges getting back to work.  If that is really their agenda, the Americans should not be surprised that the people in Pakistan see them as an enemy just like India.


I hope the American do let their "˜Man in Havana' go out - disgracefully (by impeachment). That would be better for all sides. The Judges who have since been reinstated should resume work by an Executive Order that the Prime Minister can issue on 29 March "“ the day he gets a vote of confidence. America cannot indefinitely impede their return to work. But it stands to gain respect in Pakistan by endorsing their return.


Black Burqas of Jamia Hafza are already out on the roads in Islamabad while suicide bombers lurk in the shadows. There is a war of ideas out there. It can only be won by better and more convincing arguments. It is a war the Pakistanis have to fight themselves; the Americans have better keep out. But the elections in Pakistan do provide the USA the basis for an exit strategy from Afghanistan. Are there any wise men (or women) around?   

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