Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ghazal: Sabko Malum Hai Main Sharabi Nahi

Cheers! People who drink alcohol outlive those who abstain, study shows
A contentious new study is suggesting people who drink regularly live longer than those who completely abstain from drinking.
Research published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research found those who did not consume any alcohol appeared to have a higher mortality rate, regardless of whether they were former heavy drinkers or not, than those who drank heavily.
Instead, "moderate" drinking, defined as one to three drinks per day, was associated with the lowest mortality rate.
A team led by Charles Holahan, a psychologist at the University of Texas followed 1,824 participants over two decades. They conceded the gender ratio of participants was disproportionate as sixty-three per cent of participants were male. All of the individuals were aged between 55 and 65.
Sixty-nine per cent of the participants who abstained from drinking alcohol died during the 20 year observation period, in comparison to 60 per cent of the heavy drinkers. Only 41 per cent of moderate drinkers died within this time frame.
These results came even after the team controlled variables such as socio-demographic factors, health and social-behavioural factors.
The authors noted: "A model controlling for former problem drinking status, existing health problems, and key socio-demographic and social-behavioral factors, as well as for age and gender, substantially reduced the mortality effect for abstainers compared to moderate drinkers.
"However, even after adjusting for all covariates, abstainers and heavy drinkers continued to show increased mortality risks of 51 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively, compared to moderate drinkers".
They concluded: "Even after taking account of traditional and non-traditional covariates, moderate alcohol consumption continued to show a beneficial effect in predicting mortality risk".

'Atheists face death in 13 Muslim countries'

In 13 countries around the world, all of them Muslim, people who openly espouse atheism or reject the official state religion of Islam face execution under the law, according to a detailed study issued on Tuesday. And beyond the Islamic nations, even some of the West's apparently most democratic governments at best discriminate against citizens who have no belief in a god and at worst can jail them for offences dubbed blasphemy, it said.
The study, The Freethought Report 2013, was issued by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), a global body uniting atheists, agnostics and other religious skeptics, to mark United Nations' Human Rights Day on Tuesday.
"This report shows that the overwhelming majority of countries fail to respect the rights of atheists and freethinkers although they have signed UN agreements to treat all citizens equally," said IHEU President Sonja Eggerickx. The study covered all 192 member states in the world body and involved lawyers and human rights experts looking at statute books, court records and media accounts to establish the global situation.
A first survey of 60 countries last year showed just seven where death, often by public beheading, is the punishment for either blasphemy or apostasy - renouncing belief or switching to another religion which is also protected under UN accords. But this year's more comprehensive study showed six more, bringing the full list to Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. In others, like India in a recent case involving a leading critic of religion, humanists say police are often reluctant or unwilling to investigate murders of atheists carried out by religious fundamentalists. Across the world, the report said, "there are laws that deny atheists' right to exist, revoke their citizenship, restrict their right to marry, obstruct their access to public education, prevent them working for the state...." Criticism of religious faith or even academic study of the origins of religions is frequently treated as a crime and can be equated to the capital offence of blasphemy, it asserted.
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INDIA: Homosexuality illegal: SC
In a major setback to gay activists, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held that homosexuality or "unnatural" sex between two consenting adults under Section 377 Indian Penal Code would be an offence and this provision did not suffer from any constitutional infirmity.
A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and S.J. Mukhopadaya in its judgment allowed a batch of appeals challenging the Delhi High Court judgment decriminalising Section 377 of IPC between two consenting adults. The court had reserved verdict on March 27, 2012 after marathon arguments since February 15, 2012 from counsel for the appellants, the Attorney General G. E. Vahanvati and others arguing for and against the judgment. The Bench while setting aside the High Court judgment, however said it would be open to the government to accept the recommendations of the Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati either to delete Section 377 IPC from the statute book or bring in appropriate amendments.
After the initial flip flop by the Centre in opposing the High Court judgment and changing its stand later, during the arguments the Attorney General maintained that the Centre had decided not to file any appeal against the High Court judgment. He said Section 377 of the IPC “insofar as it criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private” (prior to striking down by the Delhi High Court) was imposed upon Indian society due to the moral views of the British rulers.”
Mr. Vahanvati had said “the introduction of Section 377 in the IPC was not a reflection of existing Indian values and traditions, rather it was imposed upon Indian society by the colonisers due to their moral values. The Indian society prevalent before the enactment of the IPC had a much greater tolerance for homosexuality than its British counterpart, which at this time under the influence of Victorian morality and values in regard to family and the procreative nature of sex.” Parents of gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals and transgenders told the court that the Delhi High Court judgment decriminalising IPC Section 377 between two consenting adults should not be interfered with. It was argued on their behalf that Section 377 created a sense of fear among them which was against their right to life and liberty guaranteed under the Constitution. The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Apostolic Churches Alliance (ACA) had strongly opposed the Delhi High Court judgment.

INDIA: Visitors from Pakistan have to be vaccinated for polio

India on Wednesday announced it would be mandatory for all persons adults or children travelling to the country from Pakistan to furnish proof of vaccination against polio from January 30 next year.
"The step is being taken to safeguard India's polio-free status attained after sustained efforts and investment," said a statement from the Indian High Commission here.
"It is applicable to all travellers from all countries where polio disease is endemic or where cases of polio are reported," it said.
Travellers from Pakistan will be required to carry their vaccination record because evidence of polio vaccination will be requested for entry into India.
Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only three countries where polio remains endemic. The new measure will also apply to Indian nationals travelling to and from countries where polio is endemic.
Travellers should take Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) at least six weeks before their departure to India but not more than a year before the trip, the statement said. Record of taking OPV should be obtained from an authorised medical centre in the format laid out in the International Certificate of Vaccination?of the World Health Organisation's International Health Regulations of 2005.
Once administered, the vaccine remains effective for a year, after which it should be taken again.
The number of polio cases in Pakistan has touched 63 this year, up five from the whole of last year. Militants and gunmen frequently attack vaccination teams, accusing them of being Western spies and part of a plot to "sterilise" Muslims.
The WHO recently said polio that crippled 13 children in Syria was caused by a strain of the virus that originated in Pakistan and is spreading across the Middle East. Genetic sequencing showed the strain found in Syrian children was linked to a strain of Pakistani origin found in sewage in Egypt, Israel and Palestinian territories.In June last year, the Pakistani Taliban banned polio vaccinations in parts of the lawless tribal belt, saying the restriction would last till US drone strikes cease.
Since then, at least 260,000 children in North and South Waziristan regions have not been vaccinated against polio.

Farzana Naz - Pashto Song: Mina Kho Jannana Po Kabul Ke

US 'Nowhere Near' Decision to Pull All Troops Out of Afghanistan
The Obama administration is “nowhere near” deciding to pull out all troops from Afghanistan at the end of 2014, a top U.S. official said on Tuesday, despite mounting frustration that President Hamid Karzai has not signed a security deal allowing the military to remain there after next year.
“I have no doubt that the [bilateral security agreement with Afghanistan] ultimately will be concluded,” Ambassador James Dobbins, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
While Dobbins said that an ongoing delay in finalizing the deal - which U.S. officials had hoped Karzai would sign weeks ago - would impose “damages and costs” on Afghans, he said the Obama administration was not on the verge of abandoning its effort to extend its troop presence.
“We're nowhere near a decision that would involve our departing Afghanistan altogether,” he said.
The administration has been urging Karzai to sign the bilateral security agreement (BSA) it negotiated with Karzai's government. The deal would permit the U.S. to keep troops in Afghanistan beyond the end of 2014 to support Afghan forces and conduct limited counterterrorism activities. After Afghan elders and politicians endorsed the pact last month, Karzai surprised Washington by introducing new conditions for his signature. If no deal can be finalized, Washington has said it will withdraw its entire force of 47,000 troops in a little over a year. Other NATO nations are likely to follow suit. The absence of foreign troops would likely dampen donor nations' willingness to fund Afghan troops and provide civilian aid.
“My judgment is no troops, no aid, or almost no aid,” Dobbins said. If security conditions were to worsen sharply, he said, United States could conceivably even close its embassy in Kabul.
There are fears that the Taliban and other militants ultimately could regain strength, the central government could founder, and Afghanistan be plunged anew into civil war. The possibility of a full withdrawal of foreign forces is already having a dangerous impact on Afghanistan, Dobbins said, as people pull money out of the country, property prices fall and the Afghan currency slips in value. Larry Sampler, a senior official at the U.S. Agency for International Development, told senators that it would be more difficult to find ways to carry out promised civilian assistance for impoverished Afghanistan without a security deal and a foreign troop presence.
‘Colonial’ Pressure
As U.S. frustrations with Karzai become increasingly public, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made a surprise visit to Kabul last weekend. However, in an unusual move, he opted not to meet with Karzai.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, Karzai accused the United States of applying 'colonial' pressure on him to sign the pact and said Dobbins suggested during a recent visit to Kabul that without a security agreement there would be no peace.
The Obama administration has not yet said precisely how many troops it would leave in Afghanistan after 2014 if a deal is finalized that would fight a Taliban that remains a potent, if diminished, force, Senator John McCain, a Republican, pressed Dobbins for clarity on how many soldiers would be left in Afghanistan post-2014, and said announcing future troops levels might persuade Karzai to sign.
“By not doing so you're making a very, very serious mistake,” McCain said.
He said the Obama administration risked repeating the course of events in Iraq, where U.S. officials halted efforts to seal a security deal with Iraq in late 2011, prompting the full withdrawal of U.S. troops at the end of that year. Violence in Iraq is now at its highest level in at least five years; more than 8,000 people have been killed so far in 2013, according to the U.N.

Afghanistan: Kabul Airport Targeted, No Casualties
A car full of explosives detonated north of Kabul Airport on Qasaba Road Wednesday morning, according to the Ministry of Interior (MoI). The blast took place around 8:00am near the military entrance entrance to Kabul airport, the Ministry's statement said. Deputy Interior Minister Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi said there were no casualties reported and the area has been blocked off by security forces with investigations underway. The incident took place while Afghan President Hamid Karzai was due to arrive from South Africa. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujaheed claimed responsibility for the attack and said in a statement that a dozen German soldiers were killed and wounded in the attack. The Afghan Interior Ministry rejected the Taliban spokesman's claim. ISAF said on Twitter that it is aware of the explosion near Kabul Airport, but that more information would not be released until later.

Pakistan: Karakoram University’s Shia students rusticated for holding Youm e Hussain (AS)

Biased administration of Karakorum International University rusticated 3 Shia students for life and another 2 for 3 years for their only “sin” that they played leading role to hold Youm-e-Hussain (AS) in the University on Tuesday. Shiite News Correspondent reported here that biased administration of Karakoram International University did not allow the students to hold Youm-e-Hussain (AS) that was to be held to highlight the sacrifices of Imam Hussain (AS) and his comrades in Karbala.
After having been disappointed by repeated refusal to their request, the students held Youm-e-Hussain (AS) on Wednesday. The Yazidi nasbi takfiri elements of outlawed fanatic terrorist outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba staged demonstration outside of the university against the Youm-e-Hussain (AS). It appeared that Yazidi elements got supporters inside the university who rusticated Jamal Haider, President ISO, KIU chapter, Syed Waqar Hussain, President, JSO, KIU Chapter and Sherullah, vice president of the ISO KIU chapter for life. Ex divisional president of the ISO namely Ayub Ansari and Imtiaz Hussain were rusticated for two years. The rustication evoked countrywide opposition and condemnation from Sunni and Shia parties and leaders who demanded of the university administration to rescind their decision.

Pakistan's Shia Genocide: Yazidi terrorists flee after Shiites of Quetta came out to retaliate

Yazidi nasbi takfiri terrorists of outlawed Sipah-e-Sahaba attacked Shia Muslims, ransacked and torched some shops but they had to take to their heels after Shiites of Alamdar Road came out to retaliate on Wednesday. Shiite News Correspondent reported that outlawed Sipah-e-Sahaba’s terrorists attacked Shiites shops, ransacked and torched some shops but Shiites instantly came out of their shops and houses and retaliated. The terrorists fled the scene. Police reached there but took no action against the terrorists. The residents of Alamdar Road said that the terrorists enjoyed provincial government and police’s patronage. Shia parties and leaders have condemned the attack on Shia population in Quetta and demanded that the U.S.-backed Zionists-Wahhabi Deobandi terrorists must be reined in.

Pakistan: Personalisation under the guise of privatisation – by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
by Bilawal Bhutto
Over a period of time the people of Pakistan have become conditioned to certain economic myths propagated by a powerful conglomerate of industrialists and big business. One of these myths is that Pakistan’s economy is suffering solely because of an inefficient public sector and that privatization is the only solution. This myth has been, and is again being used, to blatantly take forward opaque privatization schemes that will result in national assets being transferred into the hands of a select few, at the expense of the majority, whilst making thousands of Pakistanis redundant in the process. This is crony capitalism at its worst. This nation must not sell off its assets just because this government cannot run these assets properly.
This is a kin to selling all the family silver to pay for a wedding and making no provisions for the child born from this marriage. The current government’s thinking on privatization appears to have only one underlying plan – the creation of a permanent oligarchy that can exploit the state, and the poor people of Pakistan at will. While the thinking may appear brilliant to its architects and their friends, the Pakistan People’s Party and I are committed to stopping any plans based on the personalization of the economy. Personalization under the guise of privatization must be prevented.
Privatization has been successful in many developed countries but at a distinctive point in their economic history. Pakistan, on the other hand, is at a fundamentally different stage in its development trajectory, one at which further privatization will inevitably result in the mass exploitation of the poor, while giving the rich the ability to manipulate state-sanctioned rents in their favor. Unbridled privatization will simply result in the further perpetuation of private monopolies, cartels, and unemployment, and will take us further away from the desirable goal of equitable growth.
The so-called privatization led growth during the previous Nawaz Sharif and Musharraf eras has little to show for it other than increased unemployment, informalisation, and the development of a crony business oligarchy which has now become powerful enough to meddle in and manipulate the democratic vote. The much-vaunted benefits of privatization, namely the transfer of know-how, increased tax-revenue, and sustained private investment in labor-absorbing and productive sectors are missing, and will never come if privatization is forced through at this stage in our development. With about 80% of previously state owned enterprises – especially in large-scale manufacturing, banking, and other services – already privatized, what have we to show for it?
The main argument for privatization, or in the case of this government personalization, seems to rest on the pre-conceived notion that growth can only be achieved through the private sector. That we as a country have no alternative. Yet many of the world’s thriving economies are in countries where there has been an intelligent and effective partnering between the public sector and capital.
China, the second largest economy in the world, has experienced unprecedented economic growth of 9.5% per year over three full decades with the Chinese state remaining the largest shareholder in the country’s 150 biggest companies. Above all the state has undertaken large-scale poverty alleviation work and has reduced socio-economic inequality by providing for the poor.
Our opposition to the privatization of the economy does not mean that we are opposed to the fundamentals of a free market economy. We support the practices of a free market economy where the public and the private sectors are able to work in tandem for the betterment of society. We are for a public sector that sets the standards of good practice in terms of human resource management and protection of employee rights while remaining economically viable. Instead of peddling our assets on the cheap, we need to revisit our approach to the public sector. Instead of privatization we must focus on raising the quality of corporate leadership in the public sector, and promote management led share acquisitions coupled with employee share schemes.
The answer to our current economic malaise lies not in hawking of state-owned institutions but in restructuring these industries and developing effective public enterprise management and providing workers with a genuine stake in any such venture. Successful managements, which have driven similar enterprises successfully either in Pakistan or abroad, should be given the opportunity to take over failing state industries, backed by a mixture of public and private financing.
Similarly, the enormous potential of cooperatives must be unleashed fully, particularly in our agriculture and aquaculture sectors. Through cooperatives smaller farmers and stakeholders can gain access to financing from pooled resources that enable them to increase their productivity. Financial risk alleviation, like insurances and market-driven forward buying, will reduce the risk environment in which farmers operate in Pakistan, and would only be offered by state-driven cooperatives. Such cooperatives can also be extended to bring more land under cultivation and assist in the redistribution to the haris and other landless people of Pakistan.
Only in limited sectors where private capital is extremely difficult to raise should the state opt for limited participation of the private sector in the form of Public Private Partnerships and Private Finance Initiatives. Such enterprises must be crafted carefully and not used as vehicles for the sale of valuable assets to a select few. Any such initiative will only be acceptable to the Pakistan People’s Party if it guarantees worker rights, including jobs, and ensures that eventual ownership will not be transferred from the state. Pakistan belongs just as much to the poor majority as it does to the rich minority. During the last government the Pakistan People’s Party was unable to push through such programmes because we were part of a coalition government, saddled with an economically conservative judiciary that ventured beyond its constitutional mandate and forced a popularly elected government into administrative stasis.
Civil servants carrying out the will of the government were ruthlessly purged or humiliated, and in their place a hostile, conservative and obstructive civil service emerged. Similarly, attempts at broadening the tax-base were fiercely contested by a host of conservative business lobbies. Those same conservative forces of Pakistan, which were instrumental in the restoration of a predominantly conservative judiciary, are now in power. We are the only political force now standing against the pillaging of Pakistan’s resources and the continued exploitation of its masses. We will democratically resist anyone attempting to impose their version of imported economics on Pakistan for personal gain.

یوم نجات 12 دسمبر: پاکستانی قوم چیف جسٹس افتخار چودھری کی ریٹائرمنٹ پر خوش کیوں؟

posted by Sarah Khan
نیوز رپورٹ: بارہ دسمبر پاکستان کی سپریم کورٹ کے چیف جسٹس افتخار چودھری کی ریٹائرمنٹ کا دن ہے اس دن جہاں چیف جسٹس کے کچھ حامی جن
کا تعلق طالبان، سپاہ صحابہ، لشکر جھنگوی، جماعت اسلامی، تحریک انصاف وغیرہ سے ہے اداس ہیں وہیں پاکستانیوں کی کثیر تعداد یوم نجات بھی منا رہی ہے – بی بی سی اور دیگر میڈیا رپورٹس کے مطابق سندھ، بلوچستان، خیبر پختونخواہ، پنجاب اور گلگت بلتستان میں مختلف مذاھب، فرقوں اور قومیتوں سے تعلق رکھنے والے پاکستانیوں کی بڑی تعداد نے 12 دسمبر 2013 کو یوم نجات منانے کا اعلان کیا ہے چیف جسٹس افتخار چودھری مختلف وجوہات کی بنیاد پر پاکستان کی تاریخ کے متنازعہ ترین چیف جسٹس رہے ہیں – نیوز رپورٹس کے مطابق ان سے لوگوں کی ناراضی کی وجوہات حسب ذیل ہیں طالبان اور سپاہ صحابہ کی حمایت: افتخار چوہدری کے دور میں پاکستانی عوام اور فوج کے دشمن گرفتار شدہ تکفیری خوارج دہشت گردوں کو رہا
کیا گیا جن میں ملک اسحاق، خلیفہ عبدالقیوم، خادم ڈھلوں، ملا برادر وغیرہ شامل ہیں – افتخار چودھری کے قریبی رشتہ دار رانا ثنااللہ سپاہ صحابہ اور طالبان کے دہشت گردوں کی سرپرستی کرتے رہے اور ان کے اشارے پر کسی بھی گرفتار شدہ دہشت گرد کو سزا نہیں سنائی گئی ارسلان چودھری کی کرپشن: سموسے کی قیمت پر از خود نوٹس لینے والے اور حکومتی وزرا کو معزول کرنے والے چیف جسٹس نے اپنے بیٹے کی کروڑوں روپے کی کرپشن ہڑپ کر لی اور اس کو کوئی سزا نہیں دی نواز شریف کی خدمت: افتخار چودہری کے دور میں عدالت عظمیٰ پاکستان مسلم لیگ نواز کی حمایت میں کھل کر سامنے آئی – پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کے شریک چیرمین صدر مملکت زرداری کے خلاف سیاسی مہم جوئی کی گئی ، وزیر اعظم گیلانی کو معزول کیا گیا لیکن نواز لیگ کے افراد خاص طور پر شریف فیملی کی کرپشن سے پردہ پوشی کی گئی شیعہ نسل کشی اور بلوچ نسل کشی: افتخار چوددھری نے گرفتار شدہ طالبان اور سپاہ صحابہ کے تکفیری دیوبندی دہشت گردوں کے انسانی حقوق کے لئے غائب شدہ افراد کے نام پر سیکیورٹی اداروں کو تنگ کرنے کی کوشش کی لیکن انہی تکفیریوں کے ہاتھوں شیعہ، سنی بریلوی، احمدی اور مسیحی پاکستانیوں کی شہادت پر چپ سادھ لی – بلوچستان میں سیکیورٹی اداروں کے ہاتھوں بلوچ نوجوانوں کی شہادت پر کوئی توجہ نہ دی جنگ گروپ کی خدمت: افتخار چودھری نے جنگ گروپ کے مالک میر شکیل الرحمن سے اپنے ذاتی تعلقات انصار عباسی اور نجم سیٹھی کی وساطت سے مستحکم رکھے اور جنگ و جیو کی ٹیکس چوری اور کرپشن کی پردہ پوشی کی
بی بی سی اردو میں شاہد ملک لکھتے ہیں کہ افتخار چودھری کی بحالی کی تحریک چلانے والے وکلا بھی ان کی ریٹائرمنٹ پر یوم نجات منا رہے ہیں تین نومبر سنہ دوہزار سات میں پاکستان میں ایمرجنسی کے نفاذ کے بعد جسٹس افتخار محمد چوہدری کی چیف جسٹس کے عہدے پر اور اعلیٰ عدلیہ کے دیگر ججز کو بحال کروانے کے لیے چلنے والی تحریک کے کرتا دھرتا افراد شاید افتخار محمد چوہدری کی ریٹائرمنٹ پر اُتنی ہی خوشی محسوس کر رہے ہیں جتنی اُنہیں 16 مارچ سنہ 2009 کو اُنہیں افتخار محمد چوہدری کی بطور چیف جسٹس بحالی پر ہوئی تھی اس عرصے کے دوران وکلا تحریک کے سرکردہ رہنما چیف جسسٹس سے دور ہوتےگئے شاید اس کی وجہ افتخار محمد چوہدری کے ایسے اقدامات ہیں جن پران رہنماؤں کو تحفظات تھے۔ اُن رہنماؤں میں چوہدری اعتزاز احسن ، علی احمد کُرد، جسٹس ریٹائرڈ طارق محمود، سردار لطیف کھوسہ شامل ہیں
سابق گورنر پنجاب سردار لطیف کھوسہ کا شمار اُن افراد میں ہوتا ہے جنہوں نے ججز بحالی کے لیے وکلاء تحریک میں سب سے پہلے اپنا خون دیا۔ اسلام آباد کے شاہراہ دستور پر وکلا کے مظاہرے کے دوران پولیس نے جن کے سر پر سب سے پہلے لاٹھی برسائی وہ سردار لطیف کھوسہ ہی تھے۔ سردار لطیف کھوسہ کہتے ہیں کہ وکلاء نے جس مقصد کے لیے عدلیہ بحالی کی تحریک شروع کی تھی وہ مقصد پورا نہیں ہوا۔ اُنہوں نے کہا کہ اس تحریک کا مقصد افتخار محمد چوہدری کی ذات کی بحالی نہیں بلکہ عدلیہ کو خود مختار بنانا تھا اور خاص طور پر ضلعی عدالتیں جہاں پر لوگ آج بھی انصاف کے حصول کے لیے آتے ہیں جہاں پر اُنہیں اپنا حق لینے کے لیے سالوں بیت جاتے ہیں۔ سردار لطیف کھوسہ کہتے ہیں کہ وکلاء نے جس مقصد کے لیے عدلیہ بحالی کی تحریک شروع کی تھی وہ مقصد شائد پورا نہیں ہوا۔ اُنہوں نے کہا کہ اس تحریک کا مقصد افتخار محمد چوہدری کی ذات کی بحالی نہیں بلکہ عدلیہ کو خود مختار بنانا تھا اور خاص طور پر ضلعی عدالتیں جہاں پر لوگ آج بھی انصاف کے حصول کے لیے آتے ہیں جہاں پر اُنہیں اپنا حق لینے کے لیے سالوں بیت جاتے ہیں۔ اُنہوں نے کہا کہ افتخار محمد چوہدری نے اس عرصے کے دوران جتنا وقت از خود نوٹس لینے اور ریاست کے دیگر اداروں کے امور میں مداخلت میں صرف کیا اتنا وقت وہ ضلعی عدالتوں میں اصلاحات پر صرف کرتے تو شاید آج صورت حال مختلف ہوتی۔ اُنہوں نے کہا کہ سنہ دوہزار سات کی تحریک کے بعد بحال ہونے والی اعلیٰ عدلیہ گذشتہ ادوار سے بہتر ضرور ہے لیکن اس کے اثرات نچلی عدالتوں تک نہیں پہنچے۔ سردار لطیف کھوسہ نے کہاکہ افتخار محمد چوہدری نے ایسے معاملات پر از خود نوٹس یا ایسے مقدمات کی سماعت کی جن کی وجہ سے وہ مقامی میڈیا پر چھائے رہے اور شاید ہی کوئی دن ایسا ہو جس دن اُن کا بیان یا اُن کے ریمارکس پرنٹ اور الیکٹرانک میڈیا کی زینت نہ بنے ہوں۔ ایک سوال کے جواب میں سردار لطیف کھوسہ کا کہنا تھا کہ اُنہیں وکلاء تحریک کا رہنما ہونے پر تو کوئی افسوس نہیں ہے البتہ مایوسی ضرور ہوئی کہ جس مقصد کے لیے اس تحریک کا آغاز ہوا تھا اُس کے ثمرات ابھی تک سامنے نہیں آئے۔ جسٹس ریٹائرڈ طارق محمود کہتے ہیں کہ اُنہوں نے اُس وقت چیف جسٹس کی پالیسیوں سے اختلاف کیا اور اُن پالیسیوں کو تنقید کا نشانہ بنایا جب عدالت عظمیٰ نے پارلیمنٹ اور انتظامیہ کے معاملات میں مداخلت کرنا شروع کی۔ اُنہوں نے کہا کہ اس مخالفت کی وجہ سے اُنہیں مالی نقصان بھی برداشت کرنا پڑا کیونکہ جب اُن کے کلائنٹس کو یہ احساس ہوا کہ طارق محمود چیف جسٹس کی پالیسیوں سے اختلاف ہے تو اُنہوں نے مقدمات واپس لے لیے۔ علی احمد کُرد بھی اُن وکلاء میں شامل ہیں جنہوں نے اس تحریک میں چیف جسٹس کی بحالی کے لیے کارواں کی لمحوں کی مسافت کو گھنٹوں اور پھر دنوں میں طے کیا لیکن افتخار محمد چوہدری کی بحالی کے بعد وہ چیف جسٹس کی عدالت میں پیش نہیں ہوئے۔ کافی عرصے تک گوشہ نشینی اختیار کرنے کے بعد افتخار محمد چوہدری کی ریٹائرمنٹ سے کچھ عرصہ قبل وہ منظر عام پر آئے ہیں۔ چیف جسٹس کے حمایتی وکلا کے گروپ سے علیحدگی کے سوال پر وہ کُھل کر بات نہیں کر رہے۔ تاہم یہ وہ ضرور کہتے ہیں کہ جس مقصد کے لیے اُنھوں نے لاٹھیاں کھائیں اور قید وبند کی صحبتیں برداشت کیں وہ رائیگاں چلی گئیں اور آج بھی لوگ انصاف کے حصول کے لیے دربدر کی ٹھوکریں کھا رہے ہیں۔ ’ چیف جسٹس کے وکلاء حمایتی گروپ سے علیحدگی کے سوال پر علی احمد کرد کُھل کر بات نہیں کر رہے تاہم یہ وہ ضرور کہتے ہیں کہ جس مقصد کے لیے اُنھوں نے لاٹھیاں کھائیں اور قید وبند کی صحبتیں برداشت کیں وہ رائیگاں چلی گئیں اور آج بھی لوگ انصاف کے حصول کے لیے دربدر کی ٹھوکریں کھا رہے ہیں۔ اُنہوں نے کہا کہ وکلا نے عدلیہ بحالی کی تحریک افتخار محمد چوہدری کے لیے نہیں بلکہ عوام کو فوری اور سستے انصاف کی فراہمی کے لیے شروع کی تھی جس کا حصول آج تک ممکن نہیں ہوا۔ علی احمد کُرد شاید گیارہ دسمبر کے بعد جب افتخار محمد چوہدری اپنے عہدے سے ریٹائر ہو جائیں گے، اس پر کُھل کر اپنے جذبات کا اظہار کرسکیں۔ بیرسٹر اعتزاز احسن اور عاصمہ جہانگیر جیسے وکلاء کے سرکردہ رہنما بھی چیف جسٹس کے مخالف گروپ کا حصہ نظر آتے ہیں۔ ان وکلاء رہنماؤں نے بھی اعلیٰ عدالتوں میں ججز کو تعینات کرنے کے لیے نام تجویز کرنے کے چیف جسٹس کے اختیار کو تنقید کا نشانہ بنایا ہے اور کہا ہے کہ جوڈیشل کمیشن کے دیگر ارکان کو بھی نام تجویز دینے کا اختیار ہونا چاہیے۔ افتخار محمد چوہدری کی عہدے پر بحالی کے بعد اُن کا حمایتی سمجھا جانے والا وکلا کا گروپ مسلسل چار سال سے پاکستان بار کونسل اور سپریم کورٹ بار ایسوسی ایشن کے انتخابات میں شکست کا سامنا کر رہا ہے۔ چیف جسٹس کی ریٹائرمنٹ پر چاروں صوبوں کی ہائی کورٹ بار ایسوسی ایشنز اور سپریم کورٹ بار ایسوسی ایشن نے اُن کے اعزاز میں الوداعی تقریبات کا بھی اہتمام نہیں کیا
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Pakistan: The wages of Imran’s ‘sins’

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has been hosted in Islamabad in the midst of ‘some frictions’ in the US-Pakistan relationship. It is the first visit by a US Defence Secretary for four years, a period that saw extreme ups and downs in the two countries’ relations. The current visit takes place in the context of the looming withdrawal of US/NATO forces from Afghanistan next year, with the issue of a residual US presence in that country still a contentious matter between Washington and the Karzai government. Pakistan is considered by all, including the US, as critical to restoring peace in Afghanistan, particularly in the wake of the withdrawal of foreign forces. Pakistan too is, or at least should be, a stakeholder with a deep interest in its own right in peace in Afghanistan, which is likely to affect directly the situation vis-à-vis terrorism inside Pakistan itself. Within this framework, the discussions the US Secretary of State had with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the newly installed COAS General Raheel Sharif have by and large been kept under wraps for their sensitivity, except what was considered kosher for sharing with the public. The information put out was not surprising, given that the respective positions and concerns of both sides are no secret. Whereas Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told Mr Hagel that the drone strikes were counterproductive and hurting the government’s efforts to counter terrorism, by which he meant that the peace dialogue his government wants to conduct with the terrorists was being affected (e.g. the killing of Hakeemullah Mehsud, chief of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, on the eve of hoped for talks), the US side stated that Mr Hagel wants to tackle the frictions between his country and Pakistan head on. Further, Hagel pressed for keeping the supply routes to and from Afghanistan open otherwise the US Congress may withhold aid to Pakistan. This demand and threat must be seen in the light of the withdrawn statement by Hagel’s aides that the supply route was about to reopen. He also reiterated the long standing US demand that Pakistan stop giving safe havens to the Afghan Taliban on its soil. Nawaz Sharif repeated his government’s support for the Afghan reconciliation process, implying the US side too should perhaps abandon its ambiguity on the issue and come out in support of Pakistan’s reconciliation efforts with its own terrorists.
Chuck Hagel’s aides were forced to withdraw their premature and overly optimistic statement about the restoration of the supply lines because the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) of Imran Khan, whose stoppage of NATO trucks by threatening violence against the truck drivers had caused Washington to announce a stoppage through Pakistan out of concern for the safety of the drivers, had announced a continuation of its disruption of the supply route from Torkham. Since the PTI leads the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, its cadres manning the ‘check posts’ to stop NATO trucks are in no fear of being prevented by the police from their ‘vigilante’ actions. Arguably though, the national highways and the question of allowing or stopping the supply routes lie within the purview of the federal government. But Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N government has been playing on the back foot, presumably so as not to be seen as taking up the cudgels on behalf of the west, particularly the US. But this ‘softly, softly’ approach has meant the provincial (PTI) tail has been allowed to wag the federal dog. If the Imran Khan-led PTI’s stoppage of the US/NATO supply lines costs the country bilateral and possibly multilateral aid, these wages will have been paid squarely because of Imran Khan’s ‘sins’.

Bilawal Bhutto vows to repeal ‘black laws’
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Patron-in-Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday signed a pledge of his party, calling for no compromise on people’s rights of liberty, equality, non-discrimination, assembly and speech, and vowed to repeal all “black laws” in the constitution.
Addressing the ceremony of adoption and signing of the human rights pledge by the PPP Human Rights Cell at Chief Minister’s House to mark the International Human Rights Day, Bilawal vowed to repeal all laws in the constitution which were discriminatory against religious minorities of the country. He directed PPP Sindh President and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali to form a ministry at the provincial level that would help safeguard human rights. He said we have laws against hate speech and violence on the basis of religion or sect, and the provincial government should ensure their implementation.
The PPP leader also read out the 18-point pledge which highlights PPP’s intention to make Pakistan a place where all citizens have equal opportunity to succeed, where access to quality education and healthcare is available to all; where discrimination based on race, religion, gender, class, caste and creed is not practised, no one is killed and injured or kidnapped. “The pledge also characterized PPP’s Pakistan, where strongest and weakest have the same access to justice, quality, education and affordable healthcare, where the poorest and the richest will have the same right to prosper, where privatisation of common interest will not become personalisation of wealth, where nature’s bounty shall be distributed to each according to his merit and others.” Addressing the ceremony, the Sindh chief minister said that PPP leaders had always struggled for the poor people of the country. He said Bhutto had termed the PPP party of the poor and Benazir Bhutto had made hectic struggle for the welfare of people in the country but she was martyred. “BB’s martyrdom caused chaos in the country but at that time PPP’s Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari raised the slogan of long live Pakistan in order to safeguard the country and interests of the common man.”
The chief minister said that Zardari introduced new dimension to politics with his reconciliation policy in which no action was taken against political rivals and they were taken into confidence on every issue. He hoped that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would continue to follow the footsteps of his forefathers. Speaking on the occasion, PPP Human Rights Cell Coordinator and Member of National Assembly Nafisa Shah said that the PPP had empowered people in the country and presence of Fundamental Rights Act in 1973 Constitution was a proof that PPP had always worked for the welfare of humanity, without any discrimination.
“Human Rights Cell was the vision of PPP’s martyred leader Benazir Bhutto and now her son will supervise the matters of the cell,” she said. Other people, including PPP Sindh General Secretary Taj Haider and members of the human rights cell also addressed the ceremony. Several PPP leaders, including Minister for Social Welfare Rubina Saadat Qaimkhani, Coordinator to CM on Human Rights Nadia Gabol and coordinator to CM on Culture Sharmila Farooqui, were also present at the ceremony.

‘Zardari cooperated with UN in BB murder probe’

Heraldo Munoz, writer of the book “Getting Away With Murder – Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination and the Politics of Pakistan” said that former president Asif Ali Zardari cooperated every time the UN commission approached him for investigation.
Talking to Daily Times at the Media Department of George Washington University, Munoz – chief investigator of UN commission which was established to probe Benazir Bhutto’s assassination – said, “President Zardari and PPP government did facilitate us though initially we have faced few difficulties.”
Along with students and US State Department officials, Mark Siegel – close aide and friend of Bhutto family who had also testified in Benazir’s murder trail – attended the second inauguration event of the book at the university. In his book, Munoz, also a former UN assistant secretary noted, “We requested a private conversation with president Zardari to inquire about key facts relevant to our work. He accommodated us on at least two further occasions; our interviews included a lengthy and emotionally charged question-and-answer session at his suite at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Manhattan during his attendance at September 2009 General Debate of UN General Assembly in New York.”
In one of his chapter of the book “The Assassination”, he highlighted that former Inter-Services Intelligence director general Major General Nadeem Taj in a meeting with Benazir Bhutto in early hours of December 27 did convey about a possible terrorist attack against her and urged Ms Bhutto to limit her public exposure and keep a low profile at the campaign rally at Liauqat Bagh later the day.
“Intelligence officers from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates had arrived by private plane in Pakistan the day before, General Taj said, to convey credible information about possible attack, which coincided with the revelation of ISI intelligence regarding terrorist cell in Mardan that might attack her in Rawalpindi,” said Munoz in his 268-page book also carrying Benazir’s picture on the cover.
He further mentioned, “Using communication-interception technology, the ISI had been tracking three separate Pakistani Taliban cells that were supposedly planning to attack Benazir, and the agency already knew about the information coming from foreign intelligence counterparts.”
It is worth noting that Gen Taj responded to a query of Benazir during conversation at her residence in Islamabad on December 27 that: “General Kayani’s policy was that the ISI, from now on, was going to stay out of politics.”
Regarding meeting with former chief of army staff Gen (r) Ashfaq Kayani, Mr Munoz said, “General Kayani considered the performance of Rawalpindi police after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto as ‘amateur’.” The writer quoted General (r) Kayani as saying, “If in 24 hours you don’t completely secure the scene, then you lose the threads to solve a case.”
He said that General (r) Kayani believed that the “Musharraf government’s press conference that had identified Mehsud as the culprit and offered the cause of her death the day following the killing had been ‘premature’. It should not have been done.” In his concluding remarks, Munoz said UN commission was not mandated to pinpoint culprits but broadly al Qeeda and Pakistan’s establishment were responsible for the murder of Benazir Bhutto besides number of other factors. Talking to Daily Times, Mark Siegel refused to offer any comment on the book, saying, “I was one of the persons who testified in Benazir’s murder case so it will not be suitable to make any comment.”