Osama Bin Javaid's Blog

ZulfiLeaks: MQM Secretariat address

Address on MQM.org

Address on MQM.org

MQM International Secretariat Address on Altaf Hussain's Letter

MQM International Secretariat Address on Altaf Hussain’s Letter

MQM International Secretariat Address on WhoIs Search (Note the address on top)

MQM International Secretariat Address on WhoIs Search (Note the address on top)

MQM International Secretariat Address WhoIs Search URL

MQM International Secretariat Address WhoIs Search URL

MQM says the address is incorrect on Altaf Hussain’s letter to Tony Blair that was provided by Zulfiqar Mirza. Interestingly the same address on MQM.ORG is registered till 2014. MQM’s secretariat address on their official website is 54 – 58, First Floor, Elizabeth House, High Street Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 7EJ, United Kingdom while the address on the letter is 70 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5ES. The latter address is registered to handle MQM’s official website.

The address is also present on a press release on MQM.org http://www.mqm.org/English-News/Dec-2000/news001208a.htm

In case it is removed:

The header is — MQM SEEKS VIEW OF THE WORKERS AND PEOPLE WHETHER TO REMAIN PART OF THE ALLIANCE FOR RESTORATION OF DEMOCRACY (A R D).

Dated: Karachi-8 December 2000
The address says — The workers and the public could also send their views to the MQM International Secretariat, London on the following address. MQM International Secretariat
70 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5ES, United Kingdom.
Phone No: 00 44 20 8358 9000, Fax. No: 00 44 20 8905 9527
Email:
mqm@mqm.org

As the guns of Karachi continue to incinerate, the torture on the streets is ongoing and innocents continue to fall; so does the bickering between the power echelons. The PPP and the MQM are the beneficiaries of the Karachi vote bank and so are responsible for its tribulations. In the past nine months at least one person has been killed every hour on the streets of Karachi – NON STOP! Someone, somewhere must feel the pain….as my city continues to bleed!!!

 

PS: Here is the full letter…worth reading

 

AltafLetter

For the record; The infamous Benazir-Peter Letter

Here is the letter MQM’s Mustafa Kamal referred to and  an email I received from Peter Galbraith (Not Gabriel) when I came across this letter. Peter Galbraith calls it a forgery and a crude hoax. I had forgotten about this until today when Mr Kamal made a reference to this letter asking why the media doesnt pick on this and continues to play on Zulfiqar Mirza’s allegations that Altaf Hussain wrote a letter to Tony Blair offering him support of thousands of followers. I havent heard from Mr Blair’s office yet but will share it as soon as we can verify or deny the contents of the letter.

From: Peter Galbraith <>
To: Osama Javaid <>Dear Osama,

This letter was exposed as a crude hoax 20 years ago. I cannot imagine why this forgery is being recycled today. There are many obvious signs of forgery and I won’t go through all of them. But, here are a few:

1. The forger misspelled my name. It is “Galbraith” not “Gailbraith”. Benazir and I were very close friends. She was also very close to my family, including my father who was a well known personality at Harvard and in South Asia. It is impossible that she would misspell the Galbraith family name.

2. I worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1990, and have never worked for the National Democratic Institute. Benazir knew this very well since she had practically lived in my office at various times in the 1980s.

3. Benazir was a Pakistani patriot who never advocated cutting off aid to Pakistan and would never have wanted Indian troops on the Pakistani border.

I was amazed that there were journalists and editors in Pakistan who actually fell for this hoax. I am sure you and Dawn are sophisticated enough to spot this obvious fraud which leads me to wonder why you have written me about it.

All the best

Peter Galbraith

Of “STEALTH” swimsuits and defence through press releases…

Cassius said in Julius Caesar, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars — but in ourselves…”

A spokesperson of the ISPR has strongly refuted reports in the media quoting unnamed US sources that elements in Pakistan security forces tipped off terrorists helping them to escape the purported IED factories in Waziristan. This assertion is totally false and malicious and the facts on ground are contrary to it. Explaining further the spokesperson said that intelligence information was received regarding four compounds suspected of being used as IED making facilities. Operations were launched on all. Two were found to be used as IED making facilities and have been destroyed. Information on other to proved to be incorrect. Some persons have been arrested and they are under investigation.

Why is it that these claims are repeatedly being made? Why is the Pakistani military establishment under the microscope after the Abbottabad incident? How many of us were surprised when the actual story surfaced alleging Panetta showed the Pakistani military of the militant factories CIA tipped them about and then before they could attack, militants fled.

PNS Mehran was a classic example where the finger pointers forgot that it was their own inefficiencies that led to the attack and failure to protect their assets. Why was there a 50 yr old barbed wire protection for billions of rupees of taxpayers money? why werent there CCTV cameras? why weren’t the checkposts manned? why did no one pay heed to the previous attacks on navy? why was there no intelligence? why were the lights switched off rather than everything being lit up to identify attackers?

Stop pointing fingers and identify your failures first. Not saying that the US and India might not take advantage but unless you plug the loopholes, everyone else will take advantage too.

This the message forwarded by a friend from a US-fault-finder…

Where do we go from here?!

I met an officer of my unit at a wedding on Sunday 29 may ’11.  As my unit is in Malir, I asked him if he had any knowledge of the Mehran attack. He said, his company was the one called in for the operation as it was on rapid deployment force duty. He gave me a blow by blow account of what happened. I shall only give the gist of what he said.

The runway of Shahrah e faisal is shared by the Navy as well as the PAF. The runway is the dividing line.

At the perimeter of the naval base is a nullah about 15-20 meters wide. This is full of shrubs and trees and bushes.  The terrorists had parked their vehicles about two KMs down and walked along the far side of the nullah. At exactly 90 degrees from the Orions they built a proper infantry fashion Assault Bridge. They crossed the nullah over the assault bridge, and  made a bee line to the Orions. Four of the attackers went round from the PAF side and took up positions facing the Orions, across the runway.

They fired all the seventy rocket launchers they had brought onto and into the two parked Orions. The destruction was total. The officer said except for two pieces of tyres of  an aircraft which he saw, everything else was total ashes.

The attackers had come in totally undetected. When they fired the rockets simultaneously, the local naval security forces rushed to the point. They ran in along the runway. The firing went on for about 12-15 mns. Immediately after the fire the attackers on the Naval side withdrew across the assault bridge and disappeared. No one knows how many they were. Figures quoted are only conjectures.

When the local security forces rushed along the runway, they inadvertently cut off the route of withdrawal of the four attackers. And a cross fire started between the two sides.

In the meantime, this officers company had reached the mehran base by about 11 pm. However, they had orders ‘from above’, to not to enter the base. They could hear the firing but were not allowed to move in.

At 1:30 in the morning they were allowed to move in but were prohibited to open fire. At this stage I asked him if they had been sent in to sell pakoras! He was quite cut up and said the troops were very upset about it too. But their orders were very strict – no fire.

By this time all fire had stopped before they were allowed to move in.

They knew that four attackers were still there in the PAF area. An area search was carried out but no one was found because of the night. After first light along with the Zarrar company of SSG the grounds were scoured. An officer with a jawan were searching for a lost magazine, as they neared a large bush, they were fired upon. The sepoy was injured. The officer fired back and killed the attacker. Thereafter three more were killed in an exchange of fire. No more bodies were found

While this company was being held outside the Base, the officer said he saw Rahman malik on the TV giving a running commentary on the action as if he was standing in the witness stand!! He also stated that before they were allowed in, RM was announcing very happily “all the terrorists have escaped. No one has been killed or captured”. The troops and officers were all aghast at his attitude and his glee!!

All the weapons and equipment found on the site and attackers was of Russian origin.

The attackers were in the middle of two bases and all the aircraft of the PN and PAF were within their beat. They could have destroyed or incapacitated most of the PAF aircraft and helicopters including Lamas. But nothing else was touched.. They had concentrated their total fire power onto the total destruction of the two Orions only.

The Americans on the base were flown out the same night.

I have tried to reproduce what the officer said, verbatim.

My observations.

These Orions had been used for surveillance in Baluchistan where the Americans are actively involved in terrorist activities. All their activities were monitored and the wireless messages were recorded. This is the capacity of the Orion. And therefore that could have been a great embarrassment for the Americans if it leaked out. Hence the Orions had to be destroyed so much that the recorders and black boxes were destroyed too along with the nefarious evidence.

The attackers came direct onto the two parked Orions because they were guided through Satellite GPS. The Americans at the base were acting as FACs to direct them. They had finished their jobs and were no longer required. Their safety demanded they be not available for any interrogation etc.

RM was in charge of the operations, and thus the peculiar orders to the army unit,  ostensibly for the safety of his American friends

Another revealing news I got was that the Americans are paying USD 500millions each annually to Asif, Rahman and Nawaz  Sharif to keep their mouths shut and look after US interests. One of the bankers being quoted said he had been involved personally in the transaction of $500 M in the case of Nawaz!

The photo of one attacker killed shows a full tattoo on his left arm fro stout shoulder to hand. This excludes the person being a Taliban, a Muslim, Pakistani or even Indian. Its not part of our culture. Russian or Europeans would have a single tattoo. The full arm or body tattoos are only American culture. Draw your own conclusions.

I thought you should know.

( Name removed )

 

Can we just stop blaming other and fix our own problems first. How long before we are mature enough to  take responsibility for the ambit we’re responsible for. Maybe we all should read Cassius’ comments again…

 

Brutal Killing in Karachi – The SC Verdict

SC HEARS SUO MOTU CASE NO. 10 OF 2011 REGARDING BRUTAL KILLING OF A YOUNG MAN BY RANGERS IN KARACHI.

A five member bench headed by Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan
Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other Hon’ble members of the Bench Mr.Justice Javed Iqbal, Mr. Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, Mr. Justice Tariq Parvez and Mr. Justice Amir Hani Muslim heard the Suo Motu Case No. 10 of 2011 regarding brutal killing of a young man by Rangers in Karachi.

Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq, Attorney General for Pakistan, Mr. Shafi Ahmed Memon, Additional Adv. General Sindh, Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Secretary Interior. Mr. Abdul Subhan Memon, Chief Secretary, Govt. of Sindh, Mr. Fayyaz Ahmed Leghari, Provincial Police Officer Sindh, Mr. Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry, Director General, Pakistan Rangers, Mr. Muhammad Riaz-ud-Din, Acting Home Secretary Sindh and Mr. Anwar Subhani, Acting AIG (Legal) appeared before the Court on Court notice. The Bench disposed of the matter by the following order:-

“Pursuant to incident of murder of one Sarfraz Ahmed at the hands of Sindh Rangers in the vicinity of Benazir Park, Block-VI, Gate-II, Karachi, video clips were shown by most of the prominent TV Channels, same have been watched in Court today, which prima facie establish that about 5/6 persons in uniform initially caught hold of Sarfraz Ahmed (deceased) from his hairs and thereafter one of them opened fire, due to which Sarfraz Ahmed sustained injuries and fell down, crying for his life, begging them that he should be removed to hospital.

2. Unfortunately, none of the police and Rangers officials present on the spot helped the deceased Sarfraz Ahmed (then injured) as a result whereof he succumbed to injuries in their presence. The manner, in which the death of Sarfraz Ahmed deceased has occurred, clearly indicates barbarism because once he had been overpowered, as it is evident from the video clips, he was not to be fired upon in any case and at the best the Rangers personnel could have handed him over to the police, if there was an allegation of his being involved in the commission of some offence.

3. In order to conceal/smokescreen the highhandedness of both i.e. Rangers and Police, with the connivance of each other, they registered FIR No. 225 of 2011, on 08.06.2011 at Police Station Boat Bason, District Town Clifton at 7.30 pm, against the incident that took place at 5.15 pm on the complaint of one Afsar Khan son of Gul Mohiuddin under Sections 393/353/324 PPC. As per the version of the complainant, a person armed with a pistol threatened one Alam Zeb and his wife, statedly in front of the complainant, to hand over whatever valuable they have got with them and during this, the Rangers posted at the place reached there; on seeing the Rangers the dacoit ( ) /deceased, opened fire with intention to commit their murder; therefore, the Rangers also opened fire in their self defence due to which the dacoit sustained injuries on his body and the pistol in his hand also fell down; his name was learnt to be Sarfraz. The complainant further stated that the injured dacoit was shifted to Jinnah Hospital in the CHEEPA Ambulance. His claim was that as the said Sarfraz had demanded money on gunpoint and had intervened in the official duty of the Rangers and had also extended threat to their life, as such case may be registered.

4. The above FIR was followed by another FIR No.226 of 2011 of same Police Station dated 08.06.2011 at 7.45 pm. under Section 13D of the Arms Ordinance, with regard to pistol, allegedly recovered from the deceased with magazine with three rounds and as the same was without licence, therefore, a separate case was registered against him.

5. After registration of these FIRs, on 09.06.2011 at 00.30 (midnight) FIR No.227 of 2011 was registered under Section 302/34 PPC at the same Police Station on the complaint of Syed Salik Shah son of Khameen Shah, wherein he deposed that on coming to know that his brother Sarfraz Ahmed had a quarrel at Benazir Park, where the Police and Rangers were present, he went to Boat Bason Police Station and met Zulfiqar, SI, who informed him that his brother has been injured, therefore, he had been shifted to Jinnah Hospital; when he (the complainant) reached Jinnah Hospital, he found his brother’s dead body lying in the Emergency. According to the contents of this FIR, he named two persons i.e. Muhammad Afzal and Shahid Zafar alongwith their other colleagues and two unknown persons to have committed the murder of his brother; therefore, action according to law may be taken.

6. The narration of above facts regarding FIR are entirely contrary to the video clips played in Court, as it is evident therein that one person had got hold of Sarfraz who was empty handed; that person pushed Sarfraz towards the Rangers present near a vehicle parked over there; the Rangers present overpowered him and they directed him to face upward; during this course he was caught hold from his hairs and collar of the shirt, there was a commotion that “he is the same person” and he was then moved by pushing him towards the Rangers; in the meantime, one of the Rangers personnel fired upon him as a result, he got injured and fell down and started crying, begging Rangers personnel that he should be shifted to the hospital but all the Rangers officials present over there had been watching him; meanwhile the blood started oozing out from his injuries and he succumbed to the injuries while lying in the pool of blood.

7. The Police although had registered the FIR No. 225 and FIR No. 226 of 2011 but have not stated a single word about the death of Sarfraz and in a clandestine manner stated that he had been shifted to Jinnah Hospital as injured. Even subsequent thereto, no case was registered about this murder by the police officials, until his brother Syed Salik Shah came to Police Station and got registered the case at 00:30 (midnight) on 09.06.2011 till such time the complainant had limited information about the occurrence as mentioned hereinabove.

We may mention here that it was not only the duty of the police concerned but of the Provincial Police Officer as well as Director General Rangers, to take notice of the matter, as they must have learnt about the incident which was widely aired by the electronic media and there was a lot of hue and cry regarding this incident; furthermore the family of the deceased alongwith other citizens had also started raising voice against highhandedness of these law enforcing agencies. Surprisingly, when the case vide FIR No.227 of 2011 was registered, even then except two persons, whose names were mentioned in the FIR lodged by the complainant, the custody of remaining persons, who were very much visible at the scene of crime, were not handed over nor the police demanded them for the purpose of investigation. As far as the awareness of the incident is concerned, it was very much available on all TV Channels.

When we enquired from the DG Rangers, he admitted that because only two persons were nominated in the FIR, therefore, their custody was handed over; as far as the other Rangers personnel present on the spot are concerned, according to him, they are in the custody of the Rangers. This conduct on the part of the Police as well as Rangers does not seem to be above board. When such a heinous crime has been reported by the electronic media/TV Channels, they should have come forward with all fairness and should have got arrested all the persons, who were involved in the case.

8. We do not know about the status of investigation because the things have been mixed up deliberately by the Police while registering the FIRs in the manner as it has been discussed hereinabove and this is nothing but a device to save the persons, who are apparently seems to be involved in the commission of the offence. We do believe that under the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, it is the State who is responsible to provide protection and safety to the life of all its citizens, but in the instant incident facts are other way round i.e. negation of Article 9 of the Constitution.

9. Accepting for the sake of argument that the deceased was involved in some criminal case, which apparently seems to be incorrect, the Rangers had no authority to open fire upon him. Reference in this behalf can be made to Mehram Ali v. Federation of Pakistan (PLD 1998 SC 1445), wherein this aspect of the case has been discussed by this Court by clearly stating that under Section 5(2)(i) of the Anti Terrorism Act, 1997, the Rangers have no authority to open fire.

10 the meeting with the Prime Minister in some other matter. Before leaving for the meeting with the Prime Minister, the Chief Secretary stated that he admits that the present incident is a case of utter violation on the part of these law enforcing agencies to enforce law and he surrenders before this Court for the incompetency of these law enforcing agencies in this regard. He assured that protection to the life and property of the cameraman of a private TV Channel “AWAZ”, who had prepared the original video of the incident, shall be provided. In view of his statement, we direct him to do the needful. Mr. Riazuddin, Acting Home Secretary, Government of Sindh, present in Court, had placed on record a copy of the notification dated 3rd February, 2010; however, this notification is silent about powers that have been conferred upon the Rangers and the manner in which the same has to be exercised.

11. When we enquire from the Provincial Police Officer about the progress of the case, surprisingly he gave reply that today remand of the two accused persons shall be taken and then the investigation will start; whereas the DG Rangers pointed out that two empties shell, fired from the service rifle by an accused, have been handed over to the police today at about 9.00 am alongwith his service rifle. Similarly, the custody of the two accused has been given yesterday at night whereas the custody of the remaining officials as well as the persons, who were Incharge of the Company has not so far been handed over.

12. From the above noted facts and circumstances, it is not difficult to visualize that how this incident had taken place and the manner in which both the high-ups i.e. of the Police and the Rangers, had dealt with the same. It is a classical case of highhandedness of the law enforcing agencies and instead of feeling sense of responsibility and showing uprightness and honesty, they are, even today, concealing the facts while appearing before this Court. Therefore, under these circumstances, we apprehend that the investigation of the case would not be conducted properly and impartially, in presence of both these senior officers i.e. Mr. Fayyaz Ahmed Leghari, PPO Sindh and Mr. Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry, DG Rangers (Sindh), as such through Attorney General for Pakistan, we direct that they should be posted out within a period of three days and in the meantime some alternate arrangements should be made. However, if after three days, the notifications in this regard are not issued, it is directed to withhold the salaries of above two officers as they would not be entitled for the same till the notification of their posting out is not issued. This part of our order shall be enforced/implemented by the Secretary Interior by proceeding according to relevant rules. Meanwhile, Mr. Sultan Khawaja, DIG Karachi, who is statedly a reputable officer, is directed to take over the charge of the investigation against all the culprits and complete the same within a period of seven days, by applying all appropriate provisions of law as the matter seems to attract prima facie Section 7 of the ATA, 1997, and shall send up challan before the Court of competent jurisdiction. He shall also submit progress report of his investigation to the Registrar of this Court for our perusal in Chambers.

13. The Court seized of the matter shall decide the same by conducing trial on day to day basis, by not taking more than 30 days, without being influenced in any manner from the instant proceedings. Ultimate result of the trial shall be communicated to the Registrar of this Court for our perusal in Chambers.

This Suo Motu Case stands disposed of accordingly.”

SHUT UP OR DIE

A dear friend, a bold journalist a brave man was killed in pursuit of the truth. Saleem Shahzad leaves behind three children and a widow. The mourners under their wails and tears still have no clue why was their father killed. Since his abduction from Pakistan’s fortified federal capital to the discovery of his bruised mortal remains, the message is to hammer home the chilling threat to all those who strive to inform.

Rest in peace, we will not be silenced.

UPDATE:

After a successful 24 hr sit in by journalists demanding justice, the ineffective government made matters worse. The journalists from all over Pakistan demanded a judicial inquiry by appointing a judge who refused to head the investigation because the GOP didnt bother to ask the chief justice before appointing one of his subordinates.

On June 17, the ISPR released the following statement after Asma Jehangir said data of calls and texts from Saleem Shahzad’s mobile was wiped out by the ISI.

“Spokesperson of ISPR voiced concern on unfounded and baseless insinuation’s being voiced in a section of print and electronic media against ISI in regard to murder of Journalist Saleem Shahzad. Such negative aspersions and accusations were also voiced against ISI in some previous cases but investigations proved those wrong.
The spokesperson strongly supported   formation of a Commission to investigate the murder of   Journalist Saleem Shahzad. The case must be investigated thoroughly and facts made known to the people, the spokesperson concluded.”

 

Here’s what happened earlier …

 

Missing people in Pakistan have become a sad reality. Wikileaks has revealed that DEMAND TO ACCOUNT FOR MISSING
DRAWS LIMITED GOVERNMENT COOPERATION

“….The Supreme Court’s activism on the issue is a brave and encouraging start, but there are a number of obstacles that will make solving the problem a serious challenge. Interior Ministry and Attorney General’s office must rely on information from Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agencies to comply with the Supreme Court’s order. So far, this pressure has generated a few releases — often abrupt affairs, in which detainees have reportedly been pushed out of cars, confused and disoriented, and left to find their way home. It remains to be seen whether the Court’s scrutiny will have a lasting effect on the way the intelligence agencies do business.…”

Here is a compilation of a very well articulated response by the Newspaper Society and the rest of the world on the sad demise of Saleem Shahzad, a courageous journalist. Will there be action, I doubt it, but still all we have are words as our weapons

STATEMENT OF PRESIDENT OF APNS

A leading newspaper publisher in Pakistan and the president of the nationwide newspapers body has reacted sharply to charges by the Inter Services`Intelligence Agency (ISI) that allegations by Human Rights Watch of the intelligence agency’s involvement in the murder of Pakistani journalist Salim Shahzad were “baseless” .

It has come to my notice that a spokesman of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) while speaking to the official national news agency in Islamabad yesterday has questioned the “baseless allegations” leveled by Human Rights Watch on the basis of an E mail from Salim Shahzad, the Bureau Chief of the Hong Kong based Asia Times Online, in their possession . Mr Shahzad was mudered three days ago near Islamabad after being abducted by unknown persons.

“I wish to state on record that the e mail in the possession of Mr Ali Dayan, the monitor for Human Rights Watch (HRW) stationed in ,Lahore Pakistan, is indeed one of the three identical E mails sent by Mr Shahzad to HRW , his employers (Asia Times Online) and to his former employer, myself . I also wish to verify that allegations levied by HRW at the Inter services Intelligence (ISI) are essentially in complete consonance with the contents of the slain journalists E mail ”

“In their denial issued Wednesday an anonymous spokesman from the ISI has questioned the “baseless allegation” leveled against ISI by Mr Dayan of HRW. I wish to state on the record for the information of the officers involved in investigating journalist Salim Shahzad’s gruesome murder, that the late journalist confided to me and several others that he had received death threats from various officers of the ISI on at least three occasions in the past five years. Whatever the substance of these allegations , they form an integral part of Mr Shahzad’s last testimony. Mr Shahzad’s purpose in transmitting this information to three concerned colleagues in the media ,was not to defame the ISI but to avert a possible fulfillment of what he clearly perceived to be a death threat. The last threat which I refer to was recorded by Mr Shahzad by e mail with me, tersely phrased as “for the record”, at precisely 4.11 am on October18,2010, wherein he recounted the details of his meetings at the ISI headquarters in Islamabad between the Director General- Media Wing (ISI) Rear- Admiral Adnan Nazir, with the Deputy Director General of the Media Wing, Commodore Khalid Pervaiz, also being present on the occasion.

The ostensible agenda for this meeting was the subject of Mr Shahzads’s story of Asia Times Online with respect to the Pakistan government freeing of senior Afghan Taliban commander, Mullah Baraadar. Mr Shahzad informed the senior officials that he story was leaked by a intelligence channel in Pakistan, and confirmed thereafter by the ” most credible Taliban s source” . The senior officials present suggested to Mr Shahzad that he officially deny the story, which he refused to do, terming the official’s demand as “impractical”

The senior intelligence official was “curious” to identify the source of Mr Shahzad’s story claiming it to be a “shame” that such a leak should occur from the offices of a high profile intelligence service. Mr Shahzad additionally stated that the Rear -Adimral offered him some information, ostensibly “as a favour ” in the following words : ” We have recently arrested a terrorist and have recovered a lot of data, diaries and other materials during the interrogation. The terrorist had a hit list with him . If I find your name on the list I will certainly let you know.”

Mr Shahzad subsequently confirmed to me in a conversation that he not only interpreted this conversation as a veiled threat to his person. He also informed me that he let an official from the ISI know soon thereafter that he intended share the content of this threat with his colleagues ..

As President of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and as head of Pakistan’s leading media group I consider the the security of journalists to be of paramount importance. At present the APNS has officially committed itself to the creation of a national body for the investigations of serious threats to the lives of journalists, a body which the Committee to Protect the Journalists in New York, and other leading organizations in the Pakistani press and human rights bodies have promised to lend vigorous support to. Pakistan has one of the high rates in the world for journalists killings and such an environment is inimical to the functioning of democracy . The government and the intelligence agencies should take the investigation into Mr Shahzad’s murder seriously and examine his last testimony closely.

Whether the Oct 18th incident itself or his last article in the Asia Times Online ,that alleged Al-Qaeda penetration of the security curtain for Pakistani Naval establishment in Karachi hastened his murder is for the official investigation to uncover. And nobody not even the ISI should be above the law”.

Hameed Haroon
PRESIDENT
ALL PAKISTAN NEWSPAPERS SOCIETY
KARACHI

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) fully backs a call by its affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), for the Government of Pakistan to establish by June 10 a judicial commission to investigate the disappearance and murder of Syed Saleem Shahzad.

PFUJ president Pervaiz Shaukat said journalists from throughout Pakistan would assemble in Islamabad and stage a sit-in at the Parliament if the commission was not set up by this date.

The deadline was set at a meeting of senior union leaders and journalists in Islamabad on June 2, where the PFUJ also sought unity with the All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS).

APNS president Hameed Haroon issued a statement on June 2 in which he confirmed Shahzad had reported receiving threatening messages on at least three occasions, allegedly from members of the intelligence arm of the Pakistan military, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

“Whatever the substance of these allegations, they form an integral part of Mr Shahzad’s last testimony,” Haroon said in his statement. “Mr Shahzad’s purpose in transmitting this information to three concerned colleagues in the media was not to defame the ISI but to avert a possible fulfilment of what he clearly perceived to be a death threat.”

The head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Zohra Yusuf, was reported as saying that although there was no conclusive evidence, “circumstances seem to point to state security agencies because there have been other cases where journalists have been picked up”, according to Reuters.

The ISI denies involvement in the murder of Shahzad, 40, who disappeared in Islamabad on May 29. Shahzad’s tortured body was found on May 31 at Mandi Bahauddin, about 150km southeast of Islamabad in Punjab province.

On May 27, Shahzad published on Asia Times Online an investigative report into alleged links between Al-Qaeda and Pakistani naval officials. It was to be the first of a two-part series. However, an editor’s note on the website says Shahzad had not completed the second part of his report and it will therefore not be published.

“The IFJ commends the courage of journalists in Pakistan at this distressing and dangerous time,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said. “We and journalists around the world will not rest until all murderers of journalists in Pakistan are brought to justice.”

Black flags have been hoisted at union offices and press clubs throughout the country, and PFUJ members will conduct a protest outside the Parliament today.

Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online, for whom Shahzad was the Pakistan bureau chief, is establishing a trust fund for his wife Anita and three teenage children.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

The United States strongly condemns the abduction and killing of reporter Syed Saleem Shehzad. His work reporting on terrorism and intelligence issues in Pakistan brought to light the troubles extremism poses to Pakistan’s stability. We support the Pakistani government’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.
We remain committed to helping the government and people of Pakistan as they work to bring peace and stability to the country.

Chairman Kerry Washington, DC

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) issued the following statement on the death of Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Asia Times Online’s Pakistan Bureau Chief:

“I was deeply shocked and saddened to hear about the recent abduction and murder of reporter Syed Saleem Shahzad. His reporting on critical national security and intelligence issues helped shed light on the difficult challenges confronting the region. His death is a blow to Pakistan’s fragile democracy and a chilling reminder of the dangers journalists continue to face in Pakistan. I hope that the Pakistani government’s investigation into his murder will be as a thorough as possible to hold those responsible accountable and deter another crime against members of the press.”

BRITISH Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

“I was shocked to hear of the abduction and killing of Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shazad. He courageously reported on the terrorism and extremism which has caused so much suffering to the people of Pakistan. His death highlights the dangers faced by those working for a stable Pakistan and our thoughts are with his family at this time of grief.

“I welcome the announcement of an investigation. It is vital that this is thorough and transparent and that those responsible are brought to justice.”

Joint Action: Pakistan – Thirty-five organizations call for murder investigations in Pakistan

Thirty-five organizations call for murder investigations in Pakistan

The International Federation of Journalists and 33 other members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), including co-author the Committee to Protect Journalists, endorsed the following letter at IFEX’s General Meeting held in Beirut, Lebanon on May 30 and 31. The letter was also supported by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.

Mr Asif Ali Zardari
President, Islamic Republic of Pakistan,

Mr Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani
Prime Minister, Islamic Republic of Pakistan

CC:

Mr Rehman Malik
Minister for Interior

Dr Firdaus Ashiq Awan
Minister for Information and Broadcasting

General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
Chief of Army Staff

1 June 2011

Dear Mr President, Honourable Ministers and General Kayani,

RE: Journalists and Press Freedom Groups Call for Murder Investigations

We the undersigned members and partners of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) are writing with respect to express our deep concerns for the safety and welfare of journalists and media workers in Pakistan.

Representing the international community of journalists’ organisations and press freedom defenders gathered in Lebanon for IFEX’s bi-annual conference, we urge the Government of Pakistan and its law-enforcement and security agencies to take immediate and firm action to implement all appropriate measures to protect media personnel and to prosecute murderers of journalists in Pakistan.

In 2011, the tragic toll of dead and injured journalists and media workers placed Pakistan ahead of Iraq and Mexico as the world’s most dangerous country for journalists and media workers.

The killings have continued into 2011, with at least three journalists murdered in targeted attacks, including the killing of Nasrullah Afridi in Peshawar on May 10 and Syed Saleem Shahzad, whose body was found just yesterday.

We are deeply disturbed by Shahzad’s brutal murder, following his abduction in Islamabad on May 29. We note reports by Human Rights Watch that the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) may have been involved in his disappearance. We also note the potential connection between Shahzad’s murder and an article he published on May 27 about alleged links between Al-Qaeda and Pakistan Navy officials. We appeal to the Government of Pakistan and its security agencies to move with utmost urgency to identify Shahzad’s killers and bring to them to justice.

We fully appreciate the great difficulties confronting all people in Pakistan at this time. However, we also know that Pakistan has the resources and expertise to conduct credible investigations into murders of journalists and to bring culprits to justice.

Yet this is not happening and a culture of impunity prevails. Of all the murders of journalists in Pakistan over many years, the identification and prosecution of culprits has occurred only once in recent memory – in the internationally high-profile case of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

Pakistan’s law-enforcement authorities and security agencies at the provincial and federal levels have consistently failed to show the will to conduct full and proper investigations into all other murders of journalists in Pakistan.

Just a few examples where reports of investigations into murders are long overdue include the following:

• Hayatullah Khan, murdered, June 2006 in North Waziristan, after being abducted in December 2005.
• Allah Noor, murdered, Wana, February, 2005.
• Chishti Mujahid, murdered, February 2008, Quetta.
• Abdul Razzak Johra, murdered, Mianwali district, Punjab, November, 2008.
• Musa Khan Khel, murdered, Swat, February 2009.

The highly publicised investigation carried out by Peshawar High Court Judge Mohammed Reza Khan shortly after the killing of Hayatullah Khan has never been made public, despite repeated calls from the PFUJ and international media support groups.

In April 2009, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and its district affiliates urged your Government to set up a judicial commission to investigate the murder of Khan Khel. This followed an independent investigation by the Khyber Union of Journalists and the PFUJ after local authorities failed to initiate their own inquiry. We await results in this case.

In early 2010, the then Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Sumsam Ali Bukhari, acknowledged that Pakistan’s authorities and Interior Ministry had a responsibility to identify and arrest suspects. He gave an assurance to PFUJ members that the Sindh Government had been instructed to conduct a thorough investigation into the killing of Ashiq Ali Mangi in Khairpur, Sindh province, in February 2010. We await results in this case.

With respect, we remind you that your Government has a responsibility to protect and defend the rights of journalists and the media, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1738.

As a signatory to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and to the 1997 Additional Protocol on the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), the Government of Pakistan and its security forces are obliged to ensure the protection of journalists as civilians.

Article 13 of Protocol II states: “The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.”

The 2006 Security Council Resolution, which stresses the civilian status of journalists reporting in war zones and crisis areas within national borders, stipulates: “… that all parties to an armed conflict comply fully with the obligations applicable to them under international law related to the protection of civilians in armed conflict, including journalists, media professionals and associated personnel.”

Under the laws of Pakistan, the federal and provincial governments have a duty to require that law enforcement and security authorities utilise appropriate and transparent policing and judicial means to fully investigate all murders and disappearances of journalists.

We fully support the PFUJ in its recent request to Minister Malik to initiate and oversee a comprehensive inquiry and report into the killings of journalists in all of Pakistan’s provinces. We look forward to full public disclosure of all evidence and official records.

We further call on you to work with the PFUJ and Pakistani and international media support groups to establish an independent taskforce to act promptly on the findings of the Malik inquiry, including through the pursuit of full and proper investigations and prosecutions of cases.

Again, we respectfully request that you use your authority to reverse the culture of impunity and act on the grave concerns held by the international community of journalists and press freedom defenders for the welfare of our colleagues in Pakistan.

In the absence of investigations and the prosecution of offenders, the State is failing to provide the necessary deterrent to those who would use violence to silence and intimidate journalists and restrict the right of all people in Pakistan to information.

Yours Respectfully,

The Undersigned

1. Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (Alliance of Independent Journalists)
2. Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
3. ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression
4. Association of Caribbean Media Workers
5. Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
6. Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
7. Center for Media Studies & Peace Building
8. Centre for Independent Journalism
9. Centro de Reportes Informativos sobre Guatemala
10. Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
11. Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
12. Freedom Forum
13. Freedom House
14. Free Media Movement
15. Globe International
16. Hong Kong Journalists Association
17. Independent Journalism Center
18. Index on Censorship
19. International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
20. IPS Communication Foundation
21. Maharat Foundation (Skills Foundation)
22. Media Foundation for West Africa
23. Media Institute of Southern Africa
24. Media Rights Agenda
25. Media Watch
26. Mizzima News
27. National Union of Somali Journalists
28. Observatoire pour la liberté de presse, d’édition et de création
29. Pacific Islands News Association
30. Pakistan Press Foundation
31. Public Association “Journalists”
32. Southeast Asian Press Alliance
33. South East European Network for the Professionalization of the Media
34. Thai Journalists Association
NON-IFEX MEMBER SIGNATORY:
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ)

SAUDI ARABIAN INVOLVEMENT IN PAK AFFAIRS

The latest wikileaks cables reveal that the Saudi monarch, King Abdullah believes that former military dictator Gen Retd Musharraf may be the best option for Pakistan’s security. Saudi intelligence chief frankly tells the americans about Saudi preferences: “Prince Muqrin said that while the King considers both Sharif and Musharraf friends, he considers Musharraf the better person to handle anti-terror issues.”

The candid behind-the-scenes details of Mr Sharif’s return to exile in Saudi Arabia shared by Prince Muqrin with the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ford M. Fraker, are documented in a secret cable from the US consulate in Jeddah on Sept 12, 2007.

Delving into the complexities of Pakistani politics, Prince Muqrin also “speculated that there is probably an agreement between Sharif and the Pakistani Chief Justice, adding that if the Chief Justice grants Sharif the right to return to Pakistan and Sharif wins, the Chief Justice will become President.”

The Saudi prince went on to state “that he is almost certain the Chief Justice will side with Sharif, noting that he believes the run-up to the November election will be tense.”

The cable reveals that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif “thought he might be arrested” upon his return to Saudi Arabia after deportation from Pakistan on Sept 10, 2007, but Prince Muqrin, Head of General Intelligence Presidency, Saudi Arabia, gave Sharif “two options — he could either stay at a palace that had been prepared for him, or at his home. He opted to go to his home.”

“During Ambassdor Fraker’s meeting with Prince Muqrin, the Prince first summarised the ten-year agreement, brokered by Rafik Hariri, under which Sharif would live in Saudi Arabia and refrain from participating in Pakistani politics. He added that there was a verbal agreement that after five years, they would hold negotiations to consider reducing that ten year period,” according to the secret cable.

Prince Muqrin went on to describe “how Saad Al-Hariri warned Sharif not to return to Pakistan, but how Sharif disregarded the warning and went anyway.”

After Sharif’s forcible return from Pakistan to Jeddah, Prince Muqrin received the former Pakistani prime minister at the airport at which point the two discussed where Mr Sharif would stay.

Prince Muqrin also told Sharif that there would be “some restrictions” on his activities “for a short while, at least through the November elections, to reduce the likelihood of inciting rioting among his supporters in Pakistan.”

Ambassador Fraker was also told that “Sharif will remain in Saudi Arabia until after the Pakistani elections in November.” Sharif eventually returned to Pakistan on Nov 25, 2007, by which point elections were to be held in early 2008.

“The Prince explained that, as in Lebanon, the Pakistani constitution requires individuals working within the government to be outside government for two years prior to becoming President. Therefore a constitutional change would be required for Musharraf to become President.”

In a previously released cable from 2007, the Saudi ambassador to the US, Adel al-Jubeir boasts “We in Saudi Arabia are not observers in Pakistan, we are participants,”. A senior US official later bemoaned as “negative” the Saudi influence. Al-Jubeir added that for the SAG, stability in Pakistan is an essential strategic matter. Since Pakistan possesses both nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles, from the Saudi point of view, the policy choice to be made there boils down to a drastic choice: “We can either support Musharraf and stability, or we can allow bin Laden to get the bomb, “he told the Charge’.

In another cable from November 2008 by Bryan Hunt, the then Principal Officer at the US Consulate in Lahore, was based on information from discussions with local government and non-governmental sources during his trips to the cities of Multan and Bahawalpur.

Quoting local interlocutors, Hunt attempts to explain how the “sophisticated jihadi recruitment network” operated in a region dominated by the Barelvi sect, which, according to the cable, made south Punjab “traditionally hostile” to Deobandi and Ahl-i-Hadith schools of thought.

Hunt refers to a “network of Deobandi and Ahl-i-Hadith mosques and madrassahs” being strengthened through an influx of “charity” which originally reached organisations “such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Al-Khidmat foundation”. Portions of these funds would then be given away to clerics “in order to expand these sects’ presence” in a relatively inhospitable yet “potentially fruitful recruiting ground”.

Outlining the process of recruitment for militancy, the cable describes how “families with multiple children” and “severe financial difficulties” were generally being exploited for recruitment purposes. Families first approached by “ostensibly ‘charitable’” organisations would later be introduced to a “local Deobandi or Ahl-i-Hadith maulana” who would offer to educate the children at his madrassah and “find them employment in the service of Islam”. “Martyrdom” was also “often discussed”, with a final cash payment to the parents. “Local sources claim that the current average rate is approximately Rs 500,000 (approximately USD 6,500) per son,” the cable states.

The cable sent to the State Department stated that “financial support estimated at nearly 100 million USD annually was making its way to Deobandi and Ahl-i-Hadith clerics in south Punjab from organisations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ostensibly with the direct support of those governments.”

Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead — ‘huh’ said Pakistani leadership

A massive failure on Pakistan’s part – I was nodding in agreement with CIA’s Panetta when he said either they (Pakistani govt, army, intelligence) are incompetent or involved; there is no third plausible explanation. For years we’ve been told that the military and the air force are well prepared to guard Pakistan’s borders; Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda are not in Pakistan; We are fight someone else’s war; There are no good Taliban; The US trusts us etc etc. The stark contrast between each statement and Pakistan are making conspiracy theorists wildest dreams come true. Conspiracy theories after Osama Bin Laden’s death have been doing the rounds. Here are a few questions some real, some stretching imaginations and some plainly comical.

1. Are the stories about links between Osama, Omar Saeed Sheikh, ISI, and the CIA are a decade old?
2. Are the fuzzy facts of the recent Bin Laden killing accurate?
3. Who ordered to shoot Bin Laden in the head and dump his body in the sea?
4. Will AlQaeda” seek revenge?
5. Are the 5 videos released by Pentagon real or fake? When were they shot?
6. Is it Osama Bin Laden watching his own video or is it someone else?
7. Will face another humiliation if Nukes are taken away in a dark night?
8. How capable is the PAF as Air Defence command had no coverage on the Western sector?
9. Did the US use hi-tech stealth helicopters?
10. Will Pakistan hand back Osama’s wives and evidence capture from the abbottabad compound?
11. Did Osama resist arrest?
12. WERE THE SEALS PERMITTED TO LEAVE ?
13. Were the 2 airborne PAF F-16s not allowed to engage?
14. Are Pakistan’s nuclear assets well guarded?
15. Is Osama really dead? Was he dead in 2002? goo.gl/9LaHa
16. Why does the U.S. account of the attack keeps changing?
17. Why the fishy decision to bury him at sea – Muslim ritual, or deep-sea coverup?
18. Do those who don’t believe Obama was born in the U.S also don’t believe Osama was killed in Pakistan?
19. Did The U.S. just stage a fake attack to make us think they did?
20. Did Obama do it to trump Donald Trump who’s been questioning Obama’s birthplace?
21. Was Osama killed, but not when they say he was?
22. Why now?
23. Did the U.S use Osama’s terror to launch the Global War on Toothpaste, sunscreens, face creams and murderous moisturizers?
24. Was Osama killed but not HOW they say he was. Was the attack botched?
25. Was Osama just a secret agent? Were the 9/11 bombings really a U.S. government operation led by Osama?
26. Did the CIA killed him because Osama knew too much, so they went to Pakistan to silence him permanently?
27. Who gave the order of an assassination rather than a capture and trial?
28. Why isn’t there a photograph of bin Laden’s body?
29. Was he actually buried at sea?
30. Was Bin Laden transported from Pakistan to Afghanistan for DNA analysis, then was taken to be buried somewhere in the northern Arabian sea?
31. Was the U.S. govt afraid that the gravesite could be used as a shrine?
32. When will the exact location of Bin Laden’s final resting place be known?
33. Why is there a lack of photographic evidence?
34. Why did the killing happen at the eighth anniversary of President George W. Bush’s so-called “Mission Accomplished” speech?
35. Is this coincidence an opportunity to use “Mission Accomplished” as a rallying cry or a carefully planned public relations act?
36. Did Bin Laden originally deny having any involvement in the 9/11 attacks?
37. DID the 2001 video released by Pentagon show a man Pres Bush believed was bin Laden confessing to planning the attacks?
38. Was it really his sister as Osama was identified through facial recognition and DNA provided by the brain of his deceased sister?
39. Why did killing coincidentally happen as it was the beginning of Zombie Awareness Month?
40. Why was living near the capital city, beside a training academy; undetected by military forces?
41. Why aren’t there any videos or REAL interviews after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001?
42. Why did the Americans not take Osama‘s wives?
43. Who will lead Al Qaeda?
44. ………

Do you have any unanswered questions???

Cannibals

Can you imagine. Now after nearly a decade in the profession, I can finally say WOW! I didn’t think this could happen but yes Cannibals are for real. Yesterday we broke a story about a family that feasts on fresh human corpses. They confessed to have been at it for the past decade. No they did not do it due to lack of money or hunger, they are a sick sick bunch. Apparently they had been gorging on human flesh for well over a decade and when the death count was low in the village, they ate stray dogs. They were caught after the police traced footprints from a grave. The complainants had buried a 24 year old woman the night before and found the desecrated grave the next day. Local correspondent says they used chemicals to dissolve hair and teeth but ate the rest. So many questions have been asked during various conversations, let me jot down a few.
– did the kids do it?
– would they eat themselves postmortem?
– how did they do it for a decade without being noticed?
– are there others involved? maybe a whole hollywood style community of human flesh eaters?
– do they have extra powers after eating humans for so long?
– how did they cook the meat?
– were the desserts extracted from the corpses as well?
– so the neighbours never suspected?
– did they kill people as well, what about the missing people of the area or unsuspecting travelers?
…. will investigate further and keep you updated on this surreal story.

Here’s AFP’s account

Pakistani police said Monday they had arrested two middle-aged brothers on suspicion of stealing and eating human flesh in an investigation into cannibalism that has shocked a remote town.
“We arrested the two men from Kohar Kalan village on Sunday after it was revealed they had been stealing bodies from graves and eating them,” local police officer Abdul Rehman.
He said police acted after the parents of a 24-year-old woman, who died of cancer, complained that her body went missing after being buried on Saturday.
Rehman said the suspects, both in their 40s, stole the body from the grave near the town of Darya Khan, 300 kilometres (190 miles) south of the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
“The two men, who are brothers, confessed to police that they had been pulling out bodies for the past year.
“We also recovered the body of the girl with a missing leg, which the two men said was eaten by them,” the official said.
District police officer Humayun Masood Sindhu also confirmed the arrests and called the case “the most horrible” of his entire career.
He said police found the body of the 24-year-old woman in a sack and confiscated an axe from the house where the suspects were living.

THE KING’S SPEECH

Another successful speech by President Zardari with no opposition to contest any of his claims.  Also attached are the Here’s the text …

——————–

BISMILLAH- IR- RAHMANIR-RAHIM
Madam Speaker

May I at the outset, strongly condemn, on behalf of the people of Pakistan and on my own behalf the deliberate de-sec-ration of the Holy Quran by a fanatic in Florida.

We condemn this act in the strongest possible words

It is a serious set back, to the efforts at promoting harmony among civilized communities throughout the world.

I call upon this august House to adopt a RESOLUTION urging the UN We call upon the UN to address this issue for the sake of harmony and peace in the world.

Madam Speaker!
Honorable Members of the Parliament!
AssalamoAlaikum!

I am thankful to Allah for the honor, to address this august house at the beginning of its fourth year.
It is a great honor for me to share your achievements during the past years and the hopes and aspirations for the future.

Let me begin by paying tributes, to all our martyrs who have laid down their lives, in fighting militancy and extremism.

To our sons and daughters in the armed forces, the law enforcement agencies and the citizens, who have bravely stood up to forces of extremism and violence.

Madam Speaker

I wish to congratulate each and every member of the Parliament, and all the political parties —those in the government and in the opposition— for the unanimous passage, of the 18th and 19th Constitutional amendments.

The restoration of the Constitution, given by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, had been a dream of our people.
We made the dream a reality.
Many in our history have talked change.
But we have not merely talked; we accomplished change.

Madam Speaker

Returning power from dictators to the people was the core of our promise.

Rarely in history has a leader abdicated power by his own free will.

My head bows in gratitude before Allah, for giving me the strength, to give up powers that had been usurped by dictators.

It is now our great responsibility, to use the powers wisely.

Madam Speaker

From our very first days in office, we inherited multiple problems.

These were problems of;
-An ailing economy,
-Rising militancy, and
-Growing extremism.

But three years is a long enough period to demonstrate progress.

We have brought the economy back on track; in our villages and in our cities, in our provinces, in FATA in Azad Kashmir and in Gilgit Baltistan.

We must create opportunities for our youth.

And give hope to the people.

Madam Speaker
When the present government took charge we were a food deficit country.

Rising inflation, power shortages, worldwide recession and falling remittances compounded the situation.
The fight against militancy and the unprecedented floods last year further worsened it.

According to the Damage and Needs Assessment, the overall damage to our economy, is nearly 10 billion dollars.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the flood victims.

The government has embarked upon a comprehensive plan, to address the economic challenges.

The plan includes:
-Reduction in non-development expenditure to cut expenses,
-Reforms in power sector,
-Restructuring of public sector enterprises,
-Incenti-vizing remittances and
-Special programs for poverty alleviation.

Making tough decisions is the responsibility of leadership, no doubt.
We are not afraid to lead; and we know the way.
The government reduced the cabinet size.

The subsidy regime has been rationalized.
Tax reforms have been introduced, to mobilize resources.

The tax net is being expanded, through introduction of the Reformed General Sales Tax.
For the first time a social safety net has been created, through the Benazir Income Support Program.

Madam Speaker

The 7th NFC award after a gap of 19 years has been a major achievement.
As a result, over 300 billion rupees of additional revenues have been transferred to the provinces.

The provinces have been given the right, to collect GST on Services.
Collection of direct and indirect taxes has increased, by eight percent and 12.5 percent, respectively.

In 2007 foreign remittances were 6.4 billion dollars.
These have increased and set to cross the 11 billion dollar mark this year— a record for now.
Foreign Exchange reserves have reached 17.5 billion dollars- –also a record for now.
An allowance equal to 50% of basic pay has been given to every federal government employee.
Medical allowance for employees and pensioners has been increased from 15 to 25 percent.
The Pay and Judicial allowance of the superior Judiciary have also been considerably enhanced, to attract new talent

Madam Speaker

In the memory of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto the cause of women empowerment and poverty reduction is very dear to us.

Over 74 billion rupees have been dis-bursed to the poor beneficiaries, through the BISP.

Mobile Phone Banking has been launched, for the transparent transfer of benefits.

A scheme of soft loans, of up to 300,000 rupees for setting up of small businesses, has been launched.
BISP has provided relief to over 4 million poor families, including IDPs, flood victims and the victims of bomb blasts.

More than 90% of adult population, has been issued ID cards.

It is a leap forward towards documentation.

Fair and free elections lie at the root of genuine transfer of power, to the elected representatives of the people.

Credible, accurate and complete voters’ list is the foremost require-ment, for free and fair elections.

I commend the maturity, with which all political parties have agreed to address this issue, and remove once and for all, the stigma of rigged elections, through bogus votes.

A Bill to make ID cards mandatory for voters registration and polling has been introduced.

This along with Electronic Voting Machines will bring transparency in electoral process.

Madam Speaker

Under the leadership of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, polio was almost eliminated.

Unfortunately, it has once again spread across our land.

The Prime Minister has launched, an emergency Anti- Polio plan, to eliminate this deadly disease by the end of 2012.

This is a national effort.
I wish to commend the Prime Minister, the political leadership of all parties, in all provinces for their efforts.

Madam Speaker

Through the 18th Constitutional Amendment, education and health have been devolved, to the provinces.

A historic amendment has been made to the Constitution, to promote education, as never before.
Education has been declared, as a basic and enforce-able right, for children aged 5 to 16 years.
Not a privilege, but a basic right.

Education is now a moral obligation of the state.
Not just for the children of the rich, but for all the sons and daughters of Pakistan.

2011 has been declared as the ‘Year of Education’.

This is not just symbolic, nor mere rhetoric.

Madam Speaker

Pakistan’s economy has historically been hit by power shortages.

A major reason for it is, the absence of continuity in policies.

Energy sector has suffered, because policies were thoughtlessly reversed.

I call upon the business community, to give ownership to the economic policies, regardless of which government gives the policy.

Urgent steps have been taken to meet the energy challenge.

More than 1,800 MW of power has been added to the national grid during the last two years.

Alternate energy sources including wind power are being exploited..

To exploit vast Thar reserves, work on a pilot project has started.

Work on 970 MW Neelam Jhelum Hydro project is in progress.

Next month will take place, the ground breaking of the 4500 MW Basha hydel project.

The up-gradation of Tarbela will be completed, by end of this year.

Despite floods, agriculture has registered progress.

From wheat importing, Pakistan has become wheat exporting country.

Six lac tons of wheat has been exported thus far this year.

We expect to achieve target of 15 million bales of cotton during 2010-11
Rural economy has greatly benefited.
Our exports are expected to exceed 24 billion dollars this year- again a record for now.

Madam Speaker

The government has taken steps, to restore dignity and honor to labor.

After restoring over 7,000 sacked employees, it decided to regularize contract employees.

Minimum wages of un-skilled workers has been increased, from 4,600 to Rs. 7,000 per month.
Now the workers have the right to seek legal remedies against dismissal.

A worker can no longer be dismissed from service without cause, as was the practice in the past.

In the name of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, an Employees Stock Option Scheme has been introduced, transferring 12% shares to workers, in state run enterprises.
It will benefit 500,000 families.
Workers will also be given representation, on the Board of Directors.

They will have a say, in the management of their enterprises.

Madam Speaker

Under the privatization policy of the coalition government, the outright sale of national assets and institutions, will not be allowed.

Our policy is based on, Public-Private partnership.

Shares will be offered for sale, through stock exchanges.

The year will go down as exceptional, in the history of the Parliament.

It will be remembered as the year when the democratic Constitution was restored.

It will also be remembered for passing important legislation, for the protection of women, children and the needy.

Twenty Acts of Parliament were passed during the last year.

The Prime Minister attended the sessions of National Assembly for 99 days— a record for now.

A caucus of women Parliamentarians on Peace and Reconciliation was held.

I wish to congratulate the Prime Minister, you Madam Speaker and every Member of Parliament for this performance.

Madam Speaker

We believe in transparent, and across the board accountability of all.

A draft Bill is already in the Senate.

Reforms in FATA, and amendments to the FCR, have been finalized.
Recently major political parties joined hands, to endorse the reforms, and demand their immediate implementation.

I congratulate the political parties on this consensus.

I assure you that the reforms announced on August 14, 2009 will soon be implemented.
The status of Kala Dakka in Pukhtoonkhwah, has already been changed, from PATA to settled area.

The UN Commission of Inquiry in the assassination of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto has submitted its report.

Subsequent to this, a new challan has been submitted, before the trial court.

The family of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and the Pakistan Peoples Party do not believe in revenge.

While the individuals involved will certainly not escape punishment, we aim at defeating the mindset, that was behind her assassination.
As she herself so famously said, “Democracy is the best revenge.”

We condemn the murders of Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti.

We will avenge the martyrdom of heroes of democracy by defeating the mindset that preaches violence and hatred.

We must be true to our principles, and we must be strong.

Being strong means, denouncing what is wrong.

And violence, hatred, extremism and intolerance are wrong.

We are committed to protecting the rights of the minorities.

The government is earnestly addressing the issue of missing persons.

A Commission has been set up, which has also finalized its report.

I wish to commend the Shaheed Benazir Democracy Institute and all those whose efforts have contributed to it.

Madam Speaker

Pakistan’s foreign policy is aimed at,
-Advancing our national security,
-Promoting peace and economic agenda, while
-Safeguarding national dignity, sovereignty and independence.
We seek trade, not aid.

We have revived trans-regional energy projects.

Cargo train service between Pakistan and Turkey —called  Gul Train— is being upgraded.

With the United States, we remain committed, to building a long-term partnership, based on mutual respect, mutual interest and sovereign equality.

Our strategic cooperation with China continues to grow from strength to strength.

Relations with Afghanistan have undergone a sea change.

For the first time Pakistan has engaged with the European Union at the Summit level.

Two Pakistan-EU Summits have been held so far.

Long term cooperation with the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain has helped advance our economic agenda.

Full spectrum dialogue process has been resumed with India.

We seek a just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions while respecting the aspirations of the people of Kashmir.

Negotiations are underway for a Pakistan-GCC Free Trade Agreement.

Pakistan’s relations with Iran too, have improved.

We have upgraded our relations with Japan, to a comprehensive partnership, for peace and development.

We are profoundly saddened over the tragedy unleashed by natural disaster in Japan.

I wish to express the great sympathy of the people of Pakistan, to Japan in their hour of grief.

The tragedy has also brought into focus, environmental issues connected with nuclear energy.

Madam Speaker

We will fight the militants to the finish. We will not back down.
We will ensure a modern and moderate Pakistan, the Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah

We cannot permit the use of our soil, for terrorist activities, against any other country. We will not.

The fight against militancy may be long and bitter.

But we have no other option except to win.

Win we will. And soon Insha’Allah.

Madam Speaker!

We will uphold, the supremacy of the Constitution and the Parliament.

We will not permit any one, to usurp the powers, that rightly belong to the Parliament.

We believe that all state organs, should work within their parameters, as laid down in the Constitution.

The restoration of the Constitution shows, that if we rise above politicking, we can deliver.

Let us strive to keep our egos aside.

Let political forces stop challenging each other, merely for political point scoring.
It only weakens democracy in the long run.
The task of the leadership is to unite; not divide

We believe in reconciliation, and not confrontation.

I commend the Prime Minister, for pursuing the policy of reconciliation and consensus, given by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

We have achieved consensus on constitutional reforms.

Now we need to build consensus on resolving issues like,
-Energy shortage,
-Circular debt;
-Taxation reforms;
-Restructuring of public sector entities, and
-Documenting the economy.

Madam Speaker

These are the problems which the future generations will inherit, if not addressed through collective wisdom now.

We need to build a national consensus on these issues.

Tough decisions must be taken together.
I invite all political parties for a national dialogue; sooner rather than later.

As Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto wrote in her last book, just days before her assassination:

Quote “It is time for new ideas.  It is time for creativity; It is time for bold commitment.  There has been enough pain.  It is time for reconciliation.” Unquote
May Allah help us all in our mission.
Pakistan Zindabad.

Media’s role in Punjab Governor’s murder

SHOOTING THE MESSENGER – MEDIA’S ROLE IN GOVERNOR’S MURDER

RIP Salman Taseer (31 May 1944-04 Jan 2011), the man dubbed by his friends as the lion of Punjab and by those who despised him as a big mouth: was killed in cold blood. A man no doubt who never faltered in expressing his opinion. His jibes with the Punjab government in the past few months became juicy headlines. But it was probably the most controversial claims that incited a 26 year old police elite force recruit to pump twenty six bullets into him. The assassin’s last statement was how he avenged the soon-to-be change in the blasphemy laws. Salman Taseer’s murder underlines the strong current of religious intolerance and hatred; which the media apparently plays up. Critics I’ve spoken to argue that whether its the URS celebrations or violent protests by the clergy; the media indiscriminately gives them airtime.