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Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Beware the machinations of the establishment, Prime Minister Gilani.

What the devil…?
By Kamran Shafi
Tuesday, 28 Jul, 2009 (Dawn)

—APP/File photo
As for Mr Gilani, whose heart seems to be in the right place, one day he says ‘enough is enough’ as if he were about to look President Zardari in the eye and defy him on a host of matters, not least sacking certain Zardari loyalists from the cabinet. —APP/File photo
THERE is so much to talk about this week: the grave danger the IDPs face from the murdering, terrorist yahoos not a single one of whose leaders has been captured or killed; the Commando’s increasingly unbelievable absurdities; the attempt to drive a wedge between Zardari and Gilani; the Supreme Court hearing on the Nov 3 martial law against his own government by the Commando; and last but not least the Kargil fiasco, which the Commando is increasingly calling a great victory.

Kargil first then, and I have to report that it was extremely gratifying to see an Indian TV channel broadcast a programme in which there was an audience listening to, and questioning, Gen V.P. Malik the then chief of staff of the Indian army; a retired colonel who had lost a son in Kargil; the widow of a havildar; a retired young officer who was wounded in Kargil and was down categorised, and who therefore went back to college and joined the corporate world.

The person who impressed me the most was the general, who sat there and took harsh criticism from the audience which was again made up of some who had lost their near and dear ones in Kargil and retired soldiers. A bereaved mother of a captain actually shouted at Malik for not even providing proper boots for the army in Kargil. Indeed, some retired officers blamed the army (and therefore Gen Malik directly) for not standing up to the government and ‘lobbying’ for better service conditions.

The ISPR should collect all our Rommels and Guderians, sit them down in the GHQ auditorium, and show them a recording of this TV programme (aired on CNN-IBN, incidentally). They will see the humility, but also the gentle firmness with which Gen Malik answered the questions and the criticism; they will see how a former COAS of the Indian army spoke with respect when he referred to the Indian government as the preponderant power in the country.

Why pray, may one ask our army brass hats, can’t we have open discussions on what happened in Kargil? With the Commando absconding, the next senior generals involved with the operation could attend and answer people’s questions. Mayhap some mothers of those poor souls killed on our side should like to ask questions too. For example, why did we not, for weeks on end, accept that the dead being shown by the Indians to the world were our dead?

And here we have the Commando actually insisting that Kargil resulted in forcing the Indians to the negotiating table, blithely dancing around the Lahore Declaration signed by prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Atal Behari Vajpayee which Jawed Naqvi has so well written about in yesterday’s edition of this paper. The Commando is obviously not facing up to the truth, as he is wont to do most times.

Which is not all when it comes to Kargil. He now wants us to believe that Kargil which brought nuclear-armed India and nuclear-armed Pakistan dangerously close to an all-out war and made Pakistan an international pariah was a great victory for Pakistan! Beggars belief, this Commando, especially when, as mentioned in this space earlier, his best buddy Gen Anthony Zinni tells us otherwise.

Yes, what the devil is going on in Swat/Buner, even in Peshawar, let alone in Waziristan and the rest of Fata, where every indication seems to spell out only one simple fact: that the murdering terrorists still hold sway in vast areas of the northwest of our country. If Nato tankers are blown up in the upscale locality of Hayatabad, how in heaven’s name can the IDPs feel safe in Swat and Buner?

If, as evidenced by friends I can trust, the terrorist Mangal Bagh can shake down businesses in Peshawar itself by asking for protection money, how can anyone say the situation is anywhere near ‘under control’ in Swat? How underground could this terrorist be anyway, considering the blatant manner in which he is running his protection rackets?

Will no one wake up and do the right thing even now, and finish off these terrorists? Do our Rommels and Guderians not realise that we are running out of time?

As for Mr Gilani, whose heart seems to be in the right place, one day he says ‘enough is enough’ as if he were about to look President Zardari in the eye and defy him on a host of matters, not least sacking certain Zardari loyalists from the cabinet. And then to go on and repeal the dictatorial aspects of the 17th Amendment, i.e. to emasculate the presidency. Less than a week later his daughter writes a piece in the same newspaper, eulogising the young Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as a leader with vision. Why bite off more than you can chew, Mr Gilani?

Whilst one empathises with Mr Gilani completely, and while one wishes the 17th Amendment were repaired yesterday, one must caution both the president and the prime minister. Democracy is too new after the nine rollicking years that the Commando had, kicking this country about; the problems he has left behind, not least of which is the power crisis, are immense; law and order is non-existent, and baddies roam the land. This is no time for infighting.

To the president one can say that he has been misguided enough by the likes of Fauzia Wahab and Khosa and Awan, in whose acts one can see neither sagacity nor sense. The president should have, and I have said this before, held tightly to the friendly hand offered by Nawaz Sharif and both of them together could have long hence put the country firmly on the road to parliamentary democracy after ridding us of the awful legacy left behind by the Commando. It is not too late even now.

To the prime minister, this: please ask yourself how many people you can bring on to the streets of Multan on your own? You are a member of a political party which has a recognised and established leadership, by virtue of which you are where you are. Likewise for members of the PML-N and the MQM and the ANP: where would any one of them be without their parties and their leaders? Beware the machinations of the establishment, Mr Gilani.



Jahan Panah said...

It is high time to arrest dehshat nigar (yellow journalists) such as Ansar Abbasi, Irfan Siddiqi, and Dr Shahid Masood. They must be shipped to the Gitmo bay without late. They are much more dangerous than the Taliban because through their articles and TV commentaries, these persons are creating scores of suicide bombers operating in Pakistan and abroad.

Anonymous said...

Ansar Abbasi used his wife to plead the case for a government plot in Islamabad worth millions of rupees by falsifying and concealing information.

These official documents emerged after Ansar Abbasi, tried to hoodwink the public by returning a 250 square yard plot of the Punjab government.

According to the details gleaned from official documents, the self proclaimed moralist of Pakistani journalism Ansar Ahmed Abbasi, son of Mohammad Sajawal, sought from Musharraf regime a one Kanal (500 square yards) plot worth millions of rupees at throwaway price in Islamabad’s sector G-14 in 2004.

Ansar Abbasi was then the Bureau Chief of The News in Islamabad. He was among the few journalists who rushed to apply for the one kanal plot in sector G- 14 and subsequently deposited Rs125,000 with the Ministry of Information.

The government had established an eligibility criterion that only those journalists were eligible against three per cent quota for journalists who did not own any plot or house in the federal capital, Islamabad. It was to meant to provide roof to the journalists in dire need of shelter.

Ansar Abbasi did not care for this important clause and submitted an affidavit on oath knowingly, that he was giving a false oath on the Holy Book, Quran, not withstanding his self claimed righteousness and championship (read demagoguery) of Islamic values. Mr Abbasi concealed the information that he lived in a house in the most posh sector of Islamabad in House No 217, Street 100, Sector I 8/4 Islamabad.

This house is owned by Ansar Abbasi himself where he lives with his brother Ejaz Abbasi.Sources close to Ansar Abbasi say that Ejaz Abbasi acts as a front man for the acts of omission and commission of his journalist brother. The sources say Ansar Abbasi and Ejaz Abbasi have joint stakes in many a businesses including hotels and petrol pumps.

In the personal affidavit submitted by Ansar Abbasi to the Ministry of Information, he claimed that he did not have any house in his name at all. In the forms submitted to the Ministry of Information, Abbasi cleverly mentioned in the column where it was required to be mentioned whether he owned a house in Islamabad or not, that he had a shared property in I-8/4.

He did not mention that he actually owns a house. Had he admitted the ownership of his house, then he might have been deprived of his right to even apply for the plot. But he hid the truth from the authorities in the application form.

“Corruption of the best becomes the worst”

Ansar Abbasi’s craving for a plot on throwaway price shocked the officials at the Ministry of Information when he submitted an affidavit of his wife, Zeba Abbasi. He was the only journalist in Pakistan whose wife submitted the affidavit, literally kneeling down to beg for a plot for her husband in sector G-14. No other journalist ever submitted such affidavit of their better half.

In her affidavit, she wrote

“I, Zeba Ansar Abbasi, wife of Ansar Ahmed Abbasi NIC 6110-9436395-8 has been nominated by Ansar Abbasi, in respect of the plot to be allotted to him. In this regard, I undertake to bear all liabilities in respect of plot to be allotted to him, in event of his death without prejudice to the rights of the legal heir under the relevant laws”. (Mansoor Hallaj)

Anonymous said...

The Information ministry officials were dumbfounded shocked as according to them they did not expect Ansar Abbasi to become so crazy for a piece of land that he could even submit a false oath or an affidavit of his wife. The officials were taken aback to know that Mr Abbasi’s wife wanted the plot even in the event of her husband’s death and pay the installments after her husband’s death.

Snowball effect

But, Ansar Abbasi felt that despite his own affidavit and that of his wife Zeba Abbasi’s, he still needed to do more to convince the Musharraf regime to allot him one Kanal Plot in Sector G-14 of Islamabad. Therefore, he prepared another affidavit to get this plot.

This time, Abbasi narrated how he was inducted in the profession of journalism through some tabloid newspaper which was closed down soon after he joined it. Then he joined Pakistan Times, but interestingly, this too was closed down once Mr Abbasi became its part.

Now, Abbasi wrote that he did not have any experience certificates of these two newspaper papers which were the requirement to show that his experience in the journalism was more than 15 years to qualify for the plot. Thus, he could not produce those certificates of his relevant experiences.

In a laughable move, Abbasi however attached the “press cards” of Pakistan Times and Democrat to lay claim over the plot in G-14. To convince (read mislead) the government about his eligibility in his lust for the plot, Abbasi crossed the limits of absurdity as far as references are concerned. In a more laughable manner, Mr abbasi wrote the name of a photographer, Ishaq Chaudhry, to establish his credentials.

Had the editors of the closed down publications been alive, they might have confirmed or denied if they knew anyone by the name of Ansar Abbasi and if the closure of the publications was due to non-professional extremist instincts of Abbasi.

Abbasi was so desperate to get the government plot that he had even offered to produce some evidences in the shape of senior journalist of Dawn Mohammad Ilyas who according to Abbasi was the chief reporter of The Pakistan Times when he joined the newspapers. Sadly, after a few days of submission of third affidavit by Abbasi, Mr Ilyas also died.

Ironically, by a hand of fate or sleight of shrewdness, all the journalists Mr Abbasi mentioned as references had been died, except for photographer Ishaq Chaudhry.

A man’s heart deviseth his way, but …

The committee constituted by the government to scrutinize eligibility though believed the words of Abbasi but with a pinch of salt and recommended him for a category-II plot in G-14. A letter was sent to Mr Abbasi telling him that he was not eligible for the Category-I plot for which he had applied.

Upon this, Abbasi wrote back to Ministry of Information that he was ready to accept anything thrown at him, even if the category in which he was being allotted a plot was being down graded. (Mansoor Hallaj)

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