Monday, January 21, 2013

VIDEO: Obama's inauguration speech in full

Barack Obama inauguration: Beyonce sings national anthem

President Barack Obama has taken his public oath of office on the steps of the US Capitol to mark the beginning of his second term. Hundreds of thousands of spectators converged on Washington to witness the ceremonial swearing-in, and to listen live as Mr Obama delivered his inaugural address. US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath as the 44th president placed his hand on two Bibles - one used by President Abraham Lincoln at his first inauguration and one used by civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr. After taking the oath, Mr Obama used his speech to call for a divided nation to come together to right the nation's course, following a bitterly partisan election and lame-duck session of Congress. "Now more than ever we should do this as one nation," he said, adding that Americans are made for this moment and can succeed "so long as we seize it together". Former US presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were among dignitaries seated on the Capitol steps for the event. Mr Clinton and Mr Carter are the only living Democrats who have occupied the White House. Mr Clinton was accompanied by his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is departing as Mr Obama's second term gets under way. In addition to the key political figures on hand, several celebrities, including Jay-Z and Beyonce, were in attendance to give the inaugural a red-carpet atmosphere. Mr Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will take part in a traditional parade before heading out to formal balls where the presidential couple will dance for the cameras.

Obama urges end to political name-calling as second term starts

President Barack Obama urged Americans on Monday to reject political "absolutism" and partisan rancor as he kicked off his second term with a call for national unity, setting a pragmatic tone for the daunting challenges he faces over the next four years. Obama's ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol was filled with traditional pomp and pageantry, but it was a scaled-back inauguration compared to the historic start of his presidency in 2009 when he swept into office on a mantle of hope and change as America's first black president With second-term expectations tempered by lingering economic weakness and the political realities of a divided Washington, Obama acknowledged the difficult road ahead even as he sought to build momentum from his decisive November re-election victory. "We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate," Obama said as he stood in the wintry cold atop a giant makeshift platform on the Capitol steps overlooking the National Mall. Looking out on a sea of flags, he spoke to a crowd of up to 700,000 people, less than half the record 1.8 million who assembled four years ago. Obama arrived at his second inauguration on solid footing, with his poll numbers up, Republicans on the defensive and his first-term record boasting accomplishments such as a U.S. healthcare overhaul, ending the war in Iraq and the killing of Osama bin Laden. But battles are looming over budgets, gun control and immigration, with Republicans ready to oppose him at almost every turn and Obama still seemingly at a loss over how to engage them in deal-making. SECOND TIME TAKING OATH When Obama raised his right hand and was sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, it was his second time taking the oath in 24 hours - but this time with tens of millions of people watching on television. The president beamed as chants of "Obama, Obama!" rang out from the crowd. Obama had a formal swearing-in on Sunday at the White House because of a constitutional requirement that the president take the oath on January 20. Rather than stage the full inauguration on a Sunday, the main public events were put off until Monday. A second inauguration marked another milestone of political passage for Obama, the Hawaiian-born son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas. An electrifying speech at the 2004 Democratic convention as a little-known Illinois state legislator lifted him to the national stage, putting him on a rapid trajectory to the U.S. Senate and a few years later the White House. Obama, 51, his hair visibly grayed over the past four years, sought to reassure Americans at the mid-point of his presidency and encourage them to help him take care of unfinished business. His wide-ranging speech touched on a variety of issues, including climate change and Middle East democracy uprisings. Obama, who won a second term by defeating Republican Mitt Romney after a bitter campaign, opened round two facing many of the same problems that dogged his first term: persistently high unemployment, crushing government debt and a deep partisan divide. The war in Afghanistan, which Obama is winding down, has dragged on for over a decade.

'Pakistan's nukes face threat from army insiders'
The threat to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is from within the Pakistani army and there's no way external powers can destroy or seize these as long as Islamabad doesn't make the mistake of attacking India, writes MIT-educated Pakistani nuclear scientist Pervez Hoodbhoy in his book, "Confronting the Bomb" . Hoodbhoy writes that Pakistani army insiders in collusion with an external Islamic group could be plotting to appropriate nuclear assets, unknown to authorities entrusted with protecting these. In February 2000, Pervez Musharraf, then chief of army staff and head of Pakistan government, created a nuclear command, which included a strategic plans division (SPD), which has physical custody of the weapons. Hoodbhoy argues, "Whatever the procedures and equipment Pakistan may adopt, they can only be as good as the men who operate them. Mindsets and intentions matter more than anything else." He adds, "The fear of loose weapons comes from the fact that Pakistan's armed forces harbour a hidden enemy within their ranks. Those wearing the cloak of religion freely walk in and out of top security nuclear installations every day." He emphasizes, "The fear of the insider is ubiquitous and well-founded," and describes the Pakistani army as "a heavily Islamicised rank-and-file brimming with seditious thoughts." There are two Pakistani armies, he maintains. One led by General Pervez Ashraf Kayani and the other by Allah. "It is difficult to find another example where the defence apparatus of a modern state has been rendered so vulnerable by the threat posed by military insiders." Even non-fundamentalist elements are "soft Islamists", he says. It is, however, possible that Pakistan possesses US supplied technology to enhance protection against unauthorised use or accidental nuclear detonations. A former director of SPD, Feroz Khan, is quoted as saying that to meet the insider threat; SPD has adopted a US programme which carries out checks on personnel. "The system knows how to distinguish who is a 'fundoo' (fundamentalist) and who is simply pious." Hoodbhoy reacts, "But this does not really reassure." He illustrates, "Long beards and prayer marks on the forehead are common and religious zeal is especially apparent during the month of Ramzan."

Lahore: Measles cases start emerging in city

The Express Tribune
At least 13 children with measles were brought to two public hospitals in Lahore on Sunday, as the Health Department sought to dispel fears of an epidemic in the province. Five children with the disease were admitted to Services Hospital and five to Mayo Hospital, said doctors on duty. Another three children were discharged after treatment from Mayo Hospital, they said. A Health Department spokesman said that following the outbreak of the disease in Sindh, the government had conducted vaccination campaigns in districts close to the border. He said there was no measles epidemic in Lahore and arrangements for the treatment of patients had been made at all public hospitals. However, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique called an emergency meeting of Health Department officials for Monday to review the measles situation in the Punjab. Professor Yaqoob Kazi, a paediatrician and former dean of the Institute of Public Health, said that for each child affected with measles brought to the hospital, there could be 300-400 unreported cases.
He advocated an immediate and widespread vaccination campaign “before this becomes an epidemic”.
No measles deaths in Layyah
The Health Department spokesman said that 1,408 measles cases had been reported so far in the Punjab while the number of suspected deaths stood at seven, one each in Gujranwala and Kasur and five in Rajanpur. Reports that four children had died from the disease in Layyah were false, he said. They had died of pneumonia. Layyah’s executive district officer (Health) has sent medical teams including child specialists to the affected areas and they have started treatment of the patients, he said. These teams treated 150 children suffering from fever and diarrhoea and vaccinated more than 300 children against measles. EDO (Health) Dr Muhammad Sajjad said that arrangements had been made at Layyah district headquarters hospital for the treatment of measles patients, though no such patient was currently admitted. The Health Department spokesman said that the Punjab government had conducted “mopping up” vaccination campaigns in areas close to the border with Sindh and Balochistan following the outbreak of the disease in Sindh. He added that public hospitals across the province were prepared to treat the disease.
Poor vaccination coverage
Prof Kazi said that the outbreak was a result of low coverage of the Expanded Program on Immunisation (EPI). He said the disease had been eradicated in many countries and it was unfortunate that it persisted in Pakistan. The rate of immunisation in the country is below 50 per cent, he said. “This situation is very dangerous. Some days ago many cases of diphtheria were also being brought to public hospitals. It became an epidemic but not much attention was paid to it. We should have these diseases, which can be avoided through vaccination, under control, but that needs an immunisation rate above 90 per cent,” he said. Measles is particularly dangerous for children who also suffer from malnutrition, raising the mortality rate for the disease by 80 per cent, Prof Kazi said. Children given the first measles vaccination injection have a protection rate of 65 per cent against the disease. Children administered the second injection, at the age of 15 months, have a protection rate of 85 per cent, he added. “Kids who have been given the first injection should be given an additional injection when the disease takes the shape of an epidemic,” he said. Children infected with measles must be kept in isolation, as the disease is highly contagious, he said. “A person not vaccinated against the disease who comes in close contact with an infected person has a 90 per cent chance of catching measles,” he said.

Bangladesh: Massacre in liberation war,Jamaat liable

The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) termed Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami liable for massacre during liberation war in 1971.
Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar was sentenced to death for his involvement in crimes against humanity during liberation was in 1971. The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-2 led by Justice Obaidul Hasan passed the maiden verdict Monday. Among eight charges against him, Bachchu Razakar was awarded with death sentence in three charges, lifetime imprisonment in four charges and another charge was rejected. Earlier in the day, ICT-2 read out the 112-page verdict in crowed ICT-1. Bachchu, the fugitive ex-member of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, faced eight charges of crimes against humanity that he had committed during the country’s Liberation War in 1971. Former Ameer Ghulam Azam, other Jamaat leaders --Motiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, Delawar Hossain Sayedee, Abdul Quader Mollah and Mohammad Kamaruzzaman are also accused in the war crimes charges. The ICT will also deliver verdicts of Delawar Hossain Sayedee any day.

Bangladesh: Azad to be hanged for war crimes
The ICT-2 pronounced its maiden verdict on a crimes against humanity case on Monday awarding death sentence to fugitive and expelled Jamaat member Abul Kalam Azad, also known as Bachchu Razakar. The nation had to wait for 41 years for this day. The International Crimes Tribunal-2, set up to try those accused of committing crimes against humanity during the country's Liberation War in 1971 passed the verdict amid tight security. ICT-2 Chief Justice Obaidul Hassan earlier read the summary of the 112-page verdict. The ICT-2 delivered the verdict at the room of International Crimes Tribunal-1 today following space crisis due to huge presence of people particularly journalists and lawyers at the court room. Azad, the former leader of Islami Chhatra Sangha, the then student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, went into hiding around seven hours before ICT-2 issued an arrest warrant against him on April 3, last year. He used to present a television show on Islamic issues. Earlier on November 4, Azad was indicted with eight charges of crimes against humanity, based on eight incidents that left at least 12 unarmed people dead and two women raped in Faridpur during the country's Liberation War. Azad was active in Jamaat-e-Islami but was later expelled from the political party, according to an investigation agency. On December 26, 2012, the three-member Tribunal-2 led by Justice Obaidul Hassan with members Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Judge M Shahinur Islam kept Azad's case waiting for verdict after the conclusion of closing arguments. Wrapping up the arguments between December 23 and 26, 2012, the prosecution appealed for capital punishment for Azad, while the state-appointed defence counsel sought his exemption from the eight charges. On March 25, 2012, three days after the Tribunal-2 was formed, the prosecution submitted a petition for issuing arrest warrant against Azad, also a close associate of another war-crimes accused Jamaat leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed. It asked for the warrant as an investigation was going on against him in connection with crimes against humanity. On April 3, 2012, the tribunal issued the warrant but Azad had made a run for it. On July 26, 2012, the investigation agency, formed to deal with war crimes probes, completed its enquiry on Azad and handed over the report to the prosecution on July 29, 2012. On September 2, 2012, the prosecution submitted the formal charges against Azad, accusing him of 10 types of crimes against humanity. On September 9, 2012, the tribunal took the charges into cognisance. On October 7, 2012, the tribunal decided to hold Azad's trial in his absence as even after publication of newspaper ads asking him to appear before the tribunal he failed to show up.

Dangerous duty for Pakistan’s ambassador
Serving as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States is risky business, as the country’s former envoy noted after hearing about the legal threat against the current ambassador. Ambassador Sherry Rehman, who has been in Washington for a year, is under police investigation in Pakistan on accusations of violating the country’s blasphemy law, a charge that carries the death penalty. Pakistan’s supreme court last week ordered a police inquiry into a complaint from a businessman against Ms. Rehman for comments she made in 2010 as a member of the Pakistani parliament. Ms. Rehman had proposed legislation to remove the death penalty for blasphemy convictions after Rimsha Masih, a teenage Christian girl, faced execution for burning pages of the Koran. Following an international outcry, a court threw out her blasphemy conviction two months ago after a Muslim cleric, Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, was accused of framing the girl. The complaint against Ms. Rehman, a prominent member of the ruling Pakistan People's Party, came from a businessman, Muhammad Faheem Ahkter Gill, 31, who claimed he was shocked by Ms. Rehman’s comments in a television interview in 2010. He told Pakistani reporters that he had tried for two years to get a court to hear his complaint. In that interview, Ms. Rehman talked about her goal of removing the death penalty from Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which are the strictest of any Muslim-majority nation. She dropped her efforts after facing resistance from her own party. Defendants accused of blasphemy often face street mobs who kill them, even if they are acquitted. Many defendants flee Pakistan after they are freed by the courts. Husain Haqqani, the Pakistani ambassador Ms. Rehman replaced in Washington, was shocked when he heard of the case against the ambassador. “It seems that ambassador of Pakistan to the United States is becoming a hazardous job,” he said in an email to Embassy Row. Mr. Haqqani, ambassador from 2008 to 2011, faced treason charges after a Pakistani-American businessman, Mansoor Ijaz, claimed he and Mr. Haqqani were involved in a plot to seek U.S. military intervention in Pakistan to prevent a military coup. Mr. Haqqani strongly denied the allegations but resigned rather than face the vagaries of the Pakistani judicial system. He now teaches international relations at Boston University. “Pakistan’s extremists charged me with treason without putting me on trial under law, and they seem to be doing something similar by accusing Ambassador Sherry Rehman of blasphemy,” Mr. Haqqani said. He criticized the supreme court for accepting the petition of blasphemy instead of insisting the complaint be filed in a lower court, from which the case could work itself up the judicial system through appeals. “These petitions generate a hostile environment without a formal charge or trial and encourage extremists to physically threaten an ambassador viewed as a traitor or blasphemer,” Mr. Haqqani said. He added his concern that “ideologically motivated judges” are damaging Pakistan’s “image as a modern democracy.”

‘We won’t tolerate the use of Pakhtun regions for strategic policies’

The Express Tribune
Human rights activists, students and politicians staged a protest demonstration in front of the National Press Club against the killing of innocent tribesmen in Khyber Agency and violent police action against peaceful protesters in Peshawar. The protesters — mostly students from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), Fata and Balochistan — were holding banners inscribed with slogans such as “Are Pakhtuns not human”’, “Are they not Pakistanis” and “where is the media”. They resorted to full-throated sloganeering against the government for its inability to provide protection to the people. They criticised the government for the treatment meted out to peaceful protesters who had brought the bodies of loved ones brutally murdered by “the so-called protectors of the country”. “Bullets are being fired at us, what kind of freedom is this,” the protesters shouted. Speaking to the protesters, Awami National Party’s MNA Bushra Gohar condemned the killings. “Unless and until the difference between Islamabad and Rawalpindi are sorted out peace in Fata is impossible,” she said. Defending provincial government’s position, she said order to baton-charge the protesters had been issued from Governor House. “K-P Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain was heading a jirga negotiating with the protesters to go back, but as soon as the jirga members went inside the Governor House to inform the governor about the protesters’ demands, the police outside started baton-charging the protesters,” she maintained. To bring the tribal areas into mainstream politics, the government must abolish the draconian laws being enforced in the region for the last one century. “We will no longer tolerate the use of Pakhtun regions for so-called strategic policies,” she said, added that they are being killed by those whose duty is to provide protection to the people. “People of the tribal areas have been dealt a double whammy. On one hand, terrorists are targeting them, while on the other, the state declared them as terrorists,” she said. She said Fata falls under the president and the K-P governor, directly but if anything happens there, the provincial government is held responsible. “The president should devolve his powers to the provincial government and immediately abolish articles 246 and 247 of the Constitution,” she demanded. Jan Achakzai, a social activist, said the government is pursuing anti-people policies. “Unless the government is clear in its policies and targets in Afghanistan, thinking of peace is akin to daydreaming,” Achakzai said. He said tribesmen were receiving dead bodies for the last 40 years, but now a “well-planned genocide of Pakhtuns has been started”. Sarwar Bari, a social activist, appreciated the change in the establishment’s policies, but noted that, “Only changes in policies won’t help improve the situation. Practical steps must be taken.” He said everyone know who are the mentors of terrorists groups which roam the streets of Pakistan with impunity, openly claiming responsibility for killing Hazaras and Pakhtuns. “Pakhtuns are not weapon-loving people, rather they are a peace-loving people. They just want jobs, education and security,” he said. Later, a candlelight vigil was also held for the victims in Khyber Agency.

Badshah Khan and great philosophy of non-violence

Pervaiz Khan
“My religion is truth, love and service to God and humanity, all religion are based on the some truth, and should be given equal respect, those who are indifferent to the welfare of their fellow men those whose heart are empty of love, those who do not know the meaning of brotherhood, those who harbour hatred and resentment in their hearts, they are yet to know the meaning of religion”. “For me non-violence is not a mere philosophical principle, it is the rule and breath of my life”. — Abdul Ghaffar Khan
A great reformer appears once in a while, several centuries may pass by, without the advent of one. Great reformers are the bravest, purest, most elevating and really inspiring heroes of all times. Generations are associated with in the ages to come, centuries and may be millenniums after we are no more. Seldom, I think human history records of one individual as the one known to the world as Badshah Khan. Many sided personality of his, simplicity of his life, non-violent, disciplined, loyal, inspired, equally distinctive, he was a revolutionary politician and social reformer. He was man of religion; devotee alike of faith and reason; a nationalist; and a man of action, who emancipated his enslaved nation from foreign bondage and showed it the path to freedom. Though his life, one long and ceaseless saga of endeavour to which he all along added, bit by bit, piece by piece, to his monumental structure in the history, advanced, step by step collecting and adding to life all those fragments of truth, one by one, his pursuits for cause, to suffer but to recover, his lost grounds again, with relentless courage, he opened new grounds in all directions and he integrated all his aims and achievements into the unity of his heights. When we look into the splendid mosaic of his life, his thoughts and deeds, there is one thing that stands out as unique and in fact to be remembered in the history and that puts him as a landmark in the evolution of man in our time, it is the philosophy of non-violence of his, to use it as a weapon of truth, love and faith. He always took non-violence to be a sacred trust and always viewed it to be a quest of the human soul for union with God and it was this quest of his that determined Badshah Khan’s all actions For the first in the history of the Pakhtuns, do we come across a man, such a man as Badshah Khan. In him, we had the intimate detail of the inner life of a great public character and spiritual genius, from childhood until death, For him the faith in God was the foundations of all moral values. He considered life as a series of experiments with truth, central to life and work, applying those ideals and principles that have become a part of his life. His convictions that morality is the basis of all actions; truth is the substance of all morality; became the sole objective of his life that grew in him adding to his personality every passing day. Badshah Khan always found himself entirely absorbed in the services of the community, and the reason behind was his desire for self realization, he made the services of humanity as a part of his religion, and he felt that God can only be realized by serving His creatures and for him the service of God was the service of the human being, and all life he practiced this as a religious duty but never did he seek to gain selfish end by its means. He rendered this as a sacred obligation without expecting a reward and this service to the human being revealed to him new implications of truth at every stage. He inspired to realize life through the service of humanity. The weapon of truth and love are infallible for him in all the ordeals of his life and more the hardest they were to achieve the deeper his faith grew. Faith for him, a conception identical with integrity and the best of one’s immediate moral integrity is non-violence, it is a test for one’s genuineness in the pursuit of truth, through one’s actions in the midst of the society and for him a morally progressive society is that in which neither the state nor any social organization is allowed to flout with impurity the sacred principles that every man is entitled to his relative truth. That no one can claim the right to coerce another to treat him as a mean to his end. He was convinced that real thoughts must be connected to moral purposes on the one hand, useful and right action on the other. All sacred actions should be governed by selflessness, non-attachment, non-violence and active service without expectation or worldly gains whatsoever, and that the growth of a man’s personality is in the practice of these values, on the other hand, wrong means corrupts the soul and society as well; that no good can in fact come out of it. Badshah Khan’s philosophy can be classified into different categories at different times. if on the one hand, a main characteristic of his actions were rigid adherence to principles; on the other hand, equally notable were his adaptation to people. The Pakhtun, a soul, totally ignorant of his rights, illiterate he was, affiliated to a culture of hereditary hatreds, family feuds, ferocities and revenges: It was in itself a unique task in the history of the subcontinent for Badshah Khan to adhere and to grasp the philosophy of non-violence. For the Pakhtun society the propogation of Bacha Khan’s message was odd and unfavourable and in an environment that hardly suited to the prevailing trends. It was a difficult task to create grounds for the application of such a philosophy quite unknown to the Pakhtuns. For Badshah Khan to organize and discipline his followers to this philosophy of non-violence and to make the common Pakhtun, understand it and to apply it that long in history as his creed and in the long run leading them to success and liberation was a big achievement. But despite all these odds, he and his followers surprisingly showed their utmost readiness to suffer cheerfully for the severest of punishment and proved to the world the triumph of non-violence. This display was, in the truest spirit, the weapon of the brave against all evils. It, was the charismatic character of Badshah Khan’s personality Badshah Khan took great pains in the initial stages of his struggle, to get the masses acquainted to the philosophy of non-violence; He always stressed that in social life, and in their contacts with each others, Pakhtun should be peaceful, truthful, modest and helpful to others and that he will only admire a man who at some, personal inconvenience and loss, serves his neighbour or another human being, Further they should denounce aggressions and violence; to trust each others; to keep their words; and at the same time be accommodative to others point of view Badshah Khan in order to apply the philosophy apprised his companions with the significance of forgiveness and patient for non-violence first and that it would be on the basis of these two weapons that they combat the colonialist power. Basically the theory of Badshah Khan was strictly under the tenements of Islam. He told them that Quran and the sayings of the Prophet commands to respect others and that the merit of a good life lies in loving others in spite of having vivid knowledge that the one that is to be loved is not a friend, and that the moment there is a slight suspicion in a man as relate his motive towards other, every thing that he does become tainted. He said the fact was that as soon as we lost the moral basis, we cease to be religious, for there is no such a thing as religion overriding morality: a man cannot be untruthful, cruel, and still claim to be near God. Badshah Khan has long recognized this non-violence principle of Islam and Quran and he had accepted it as a part of his life. He had in fact taken a vow, not in a fit of passion, but fully understanding it with a mind fully purified and composed and with the belief that God was his witness. That is what Badshah Khan preached his life and that what he asked his followers to follow, Turning away evil with good and enduring sufferings without retaliation, Non-violence is the mightiest of force at the disposal of humanity, Destruction is not the law of the human, every murder or other injury, no matter for what cause committed or inflicted on another is a crime against the humanity and that never can evil be equal to goodness, and to repel evil with the exercise of patience and self-respect, Self-restrained person grow every day from strength to strength and from power to more power and from peace to more peace. The very first step to self-restraint is the restraint of thought. When he invited the people to his Khudai Khidmatgars movement, he would tell them that the task they were opting had within it the risk to their lives. Also, that they had to take that for the sake of their motherland and their death in that cause would be a noble death. And that it will in return be a service for the benefit of the human beings which itself is a sacred task. He all the while attached great significance to the morality of a man and this religious and moral sense that was instilled in those who joined Khudai Khidmatgars. It gave them a high degree of truthfulness, integrity and awareness. It it not only gave them the power to fight a non-violent battle against the colonist power but at the same time it was marked towards themself too so as to get themselves rid of ethically base motivations such as pride and praise. Anyone who offered to be a Khudai Khidmatgar and in order to achieve this an ideal had to take an oath, “I shall never use violence, I shall not retaliate or take revenge and shall forgive any one who indulges in oppression and excesses against me”, and once the Pakhtun took an oath, he all life, stood committed to it come what may an that is what the followers of Badshah Khan have displayed and proved to the World, in the true spirit. Truth and non-violence were the two ideals of Badshah Khan and in order to achieve these ideals, he put in constant efforts in thoughts, words and deeds being fully aware of the fact that his pursuits were imperfect for the reason that this non-violence was a quality that was only to be attributed to the Almighty, and that it was some thing that cannot be practiced by human beings. Badshah Khan, therefore, considered a person true to the observance of the doctrine of non-violence, when he avoided the violence that was inevitable in life and that, of course, at the risk of his life. He expected every follower of his to perfect himself so as to be able to adopt this non-violence to be a remedy against all evils of society. Also, that the success of non-violence should not be judged in term of victory and defeat of one party or another but in terms of the change of the heart. The progressive, realization of the true nature and power as well as the increasing and effective use of goodness and truth, of love and non-violence, is and can be the highest and the only goal of self conscious humanity. It is the spearhead and symbol of future humanity; for him the quest of truth of life meant its realization, through the means of love and through actions prompted by non-violence. The non-violence approach of his was based on the use and efficacy of moral force as against the physical force or violence; it is foreign to non-violence to seek a victory over other human being in a war in which one group of humand is arrayed against another. The aim and purpose is not to conquer and to humiliate the enemy but to change his mind and will, non-violence means to go unarmed and in that sense, to be defenseless it means to take sufferings upon one’s self and to avoid inflicting it in any way on others. The non-violence approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first of all in more than one way related to a change effecting the heart and soul of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect, calls upon resources of strength and courage they did not know, they had. It is the power of non-violence that develops a sense of dignity and self-confidence as well as to accomplish social changes. These characteristics were demonstrated by the Khudai Khidmatgars much ahead in their direct combat with the colonist power for social reforms as early as 1918. With their efforts for the spread of the mass education all around the province, accomplished with serving the masses. There is another aspect of the thought of Badshah Khan that he applied all his life as a political leader and that was his approach to the freedom of the subcontinent. He was of the firm opinion that the freedom of the subcontinent could only be achieved through truth and non-violence, and once achieved, it shall be a real freedom of the subcontinent. He wanted the freedom of the subcontinent not only for freedom’s sake but for the good of humanity. As an individual must sacrifice himself for the nation, so also must a nation be prepared to sacrifice itself for humanit. He, as a human, was of the opinion that it was the peace of the people that was of prime concern. Their living together on terms of equal rights and privileges and sharing everything justly together and once we could do that we gather more strength, more unity and we grow as a stringed and disciplined nation. The greatest of the contribution of Badshah Khan and his followers was that they led us out of the darkness of conventional wisdom and showed us the falsity the generally accepted belief in the supremacy of violence. He, undoubtedly, an unarmed soldier with an army of unarmed followers fought an unprecedented peaceful battle extending over three decades. Moreover, whenever historians will explain to men as to how they should struggle, against great odds for freedom or for cherished rights, the struggle of the Khudai Khidmatgars will readily come to their lips. In addition, the image of the greatness of Badshah Khan and his followers will always be a guiding factor for struggling men and nations. These followers of Badshah Khan, shared with many others, the goal of a decent, just and equitable society. They besides forcefully added their service to end injustices, tyrannies, corruptions and exploitation of men by their fellow men. They used this non-violence as an essential part of their religion and faith to meet these ends and such an approach when carried in the best spirit of non-violence as a service to the humanity in itself. For me as a humble observer, he was among the greatest of men who remained true to his convictions. All his energies and resources were pressed, into the services of his people and motherland. He throughout his life made every effort, to encourage the full development of the positive aspects of human potentials and to reduce and restrain the negative. A great victorious fighter who always scorned the use of force, he was a man of wisdom and humility having devoted all his strength for the uplifting and betterment of his people. He confronted the brutalities of the imperialists, of all times with dignity and uprightness of a humane individual. Badshah Khan was a thus leader of the people whose success rested on the convincing power of his personality. He by his actions proved to the world that non-violence couldn’t only be implemented in politics but also in day-to-day life of a man. It was the practical display of these qualities with complete renunciation of violence that led the nation to the great political success of all times. He was a messenger of peace, harmony and brotherhood, for the world at large. He lived, thought and acted inspired by the sacred principles and vision of humanity. If humanity is to progress, Bacha Khan thought and his teachings are inescapable Though he is no more with us, his thoughts and ideals will always be cherished with esteem love and devotions for generations to come. It may be hard to believe that such one as Bacha Khan in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.

Pakistan: Adding to confrontation?

When terrorists had taken Balochistan their hostage, when members of all ethnic minorities were being butchered without fear of law and authorities, when senior police officers were themselves involved in the deadly crimes to worsen law and order conditions and when missing persons case was becoming more or more complex, all the provincial lawmakers without exception kept a criminal silence, abetting in the commission of broad daylight crime against humanity. Now that the federation placed the province under the governor’s rule for two months on Jan 14 following a three-day protest by Shia Hazara community against the killing of about 100 people in two terrorist attacks on Jan 10, all have joined hands to requisition a session of the Balochistan legislature pleading that the new constitutional arrangement is in conflict with the political rights of the people. What actually has happened is that the MPAs, all of whom except one, were enjoying all perks and privileges as ministers at the expense of public money, have come out wailing after losing their pomp and show Where have they been when the dismissed Aslam Raisani’s government was showing gross indifference to the volatile situation of the province confronting insurgency with active involvement of foreign powers? Regrettably the Pakistan People’s Party MPAs who are now supporting Raisani and who demanded his resignation in November, are also among MPAs signing the requisition. They had another view of the former chief minister when first Kalat division president of the PPP Rafiq Sajjad suspended the basic party membership of Mr Raisani on charges of corruption and failing to deliver as the chief executive of the restive province and then the PPP Balochistan chapter, headed by Sadiq Umrani, not only endorsed the suspension but also requested Islamabad that Aslam Raisani should be removed as chief minister. Can this conduct be called fair by any yardstick? Ironically an assembly session has been convened on Monday by the speaker, “elected” in a fraudulent electoral exercise where members were pressured to show their ballot papers to the officials of the provincial information department before casting them. It may be mentioned here that President Asif Ali Zardari has dismissed only the provincial cabinet by invoking Article 234 of the Constitution and the assembly was allowed to remain functional. Simultaneously, coalition partners of the ousted government have threatened launching a movement against the imposition of governor’s rule from the day the requisitioned assembly is scheduled to meet. No doubt the requisitioning of an assembly session at this stage would add to confrontation with the federation and the governor and aggravate the woes of dejected communities. Seen in the light of a Supreme Court interim order of October 12 last at Quetta in a constitutional petition filed by the Balochistan High Court Bar Association that the Balochistan government had failed to fulfill its constitutional duty and protect basic human rights in the province, a clear indictment of the former chief minister, the belligerence of Balochistan MPAs becomes unlawful. The fact of the matter is that the federal government had given the Raisani government a great time period of four years and a half before taking it on. Islamabad tolerated him although he hardly lived in Quetta to attend to important administrative, development and political work. Even when the Hazara community members were being slaughtered, their relatives refused to bury their dead and staged a three-day sit-in at Quetta’s Alamdar Road with shrouded coffins, Mr Raisani was abroad. That is why no political organization across the country has opposed governor’s rule in Balochistan. It was rather upon the pressure of political parties, the civil society and other conscientious people of Balochistan and elsewhere in the country that the federation took the constitutional step of removing the chief minister and his cabinet and giving the province’s administration in the hands of the governor. With only a few weeks remaining for the dissolution of the national and provincial legislatures, the governor’s rule in Balochistan seems a fate accompli particularly when almost all segments of society seem content with the federation’s decision. The province’s lawmakers must also reconcile themselves with what has come out because of their own recklessness to the extent of compromising with, rather abetting in, crimes against the people. They must know that governor’s rule was imposed after a consensus that involved all the political parties and nobody throughout the country would support their agitation. They have demonstrated a gross political misconduct and can, therefore, only blame themselves for the outcome.