Thursday, December 19, 2019

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Video Report - #PervezMusharraf #Pakistan - What does Musharraf's death sentence mean?

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#Pakistan - Fragile economy isolates diplomatically

Senator Rehman Malik
It is a hard fact that countries grow and emerge as economic powers only if they use their resources intelligently and draw long terms planning to increase their production& watch over their earnings and spending.
Economically developed countries formulate their foreign policies without any alien influence and the leadership strategies to create one to one bond with other interacting countries.
They help each other to develop mutual economic growth by creating a level of confidence & trust. The economic strength and strong foreign policies help countries to gain importance in the world and failure of foreign policies push the nations to isolation, and we have recently seen our own country has fallen victim of this isolation. The diplomatic association is basically anti-foreign investments.
Let us first get an overview of the present situation of our economy. Pakistan’s External Debt reached 106.9 USD bn in Sep 2019, compared with 106.3 USD bn in the previous quarter. Saudi Arabia, Japan, the UAE, and France are among other major lenders and also the UAE, Saudi Arabia USA, IMF, Japan, World Bank, China and the Eurobonds and Sukuk Bonds contribute to our debt. China is contributing to the development sectors of Pakistan through CPEC via its own Chinese companies, some Pakistan enterprises, and government sectors. It is pertinent to mention that the Chinese government has funded its own companies as part of CPEC partner.
In contrast, there are only 6.2 billion dollars as a loan. We are an unfortunate nation facing 106.9 USD bn external debt. As per the State Bank of Pakistan, the total public debt stood at PKR 31.786 trillion at the end of June 2019, and the PTI-led government has accumulated a record public debt of PKR 7,509 billion during its first year in power. I feel worried as a student of the economy as to how we will overcome it.
We have no other choice except for improving the economy as our first priority. The government should not take FATF lightly as in the given situation when the country is facing diplomatic isolation; I do not expect any favour neither from FATF nor from the USA. FATF is a big contributing factor derailing our economy, which we so far are unable to control because of our failure at the diplomatic front. The above situation has put us under substantial financial obligations by almost every country mentioned and world donors.
We are subservient to these countries, and we look like beggars before them as our national financial teams are on begging tours, further bringing our names to humiliation in front of the International community. We, as a nation, are feeling the touch of the fragile and poorly managed economy affecting our foreign policy, and it seems that it will continue to suffer and isolate us till the economy is not recovered.
A study shows that Pakistan Economy is continuously sliding down, which is making our local and foreign policies highly vulnerable. Our national delegations visit various countries not aimed to create goodwill but trying to convince for more loans to run the country day to day basis. We begged before the Middle East and many other countries because of which, today we are under the obligation of those countries. We perhaps forget this fact that those who oblige us today, they do establish some rights on us and later on, it’s the nation that has to pay a diplomatic price for it.
The government celebrated the friendship with Malaysia a few months back, and an impression of new Islamic block emerged where Pakistan, Malaysia and Turkey were the essential and prominent members.
The government tried its best to have the credit of this landmark development. The visit of Prime Minister was highlighted in and outside the country showing great achievement by the government. Pakistan must not forget that the West does not like the rise of Turkey and its fast-growing relations with Pakistan. It is understood that Saudi Arabia being financial backer in oil would not like Pakistan to go against their wish and support those whom Saudi Arabia does not like hence the Prime Minister faced embarrassment in front of the Prime Minister of Malaysia and President of Turkey and also before the world where it is believed that Pakistan Foreign Policy is dependent on donor countries. Neither the Prime Minister could go nor could he send his Foreign Minister to Malaysia to participate in Kuala Lumpur Summit. Every Pakistani is worried about national sovereignty which has been crippled as we are looked down as a poor nation.
Unfortunately, we have propagated ourselves as money launderers in the world while hunting the opponents. Our sovereignty has been compromised just because our economy and our local policies and growth has been crippled by the IMF.
I wish we had a handful of billions of dollars, enabling us not to sell our pride which has created the present situation for us.
Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not advise the Prime Minister in time about the likelihood of this debacle which has caused heavy price in the form of embarrassment to our nation. It warrants an inquiry as to why Saudi Arabia was not taken into confidence and was not consulted before giving confirmation of attendance to such an important summit.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had earlier confirmed his participation in it and the plan for the summit had been finalised during a trilateral meeting between President of Turkey Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in September in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session.
It looks as if someone had played a very negative and adverse role while dealing with this sensitive issue. Let us hope that the real facts shall be made public, and some proper diplomatic measures shall be taken to avoid such an embarrassing situation at the diplomatic front in the future. Unfortunately, our national poverty graph and the worsening economy are badly influencing our foreign policy and making us bow before many members of the International community. In the past, the foreign policy of Pakistan was never influenced by any donor, but financial aids were always attained on mutual understandings and financial rules. The countries invest through public relations, whereas our embassies abroad feel handicapped while creating public relations for lack of sufficient funds. The foreign policy of Pakistan is not up to the required mark as our economic indicators are big handicaps hindering our international relations.
Let us look at Malaysia, and frankly one of the most prominent cases of money laundering has appeared in Malaysia & it had extended hand to Pakistan for help, and I do not know as to which level is the government helping them at, but I know for sure that a Pakistani private security company is helping quietly via a Dubai company to Mahathir government to unearth the trail of money of the former ruler and some other opponent of PM Mahathir Bin Mohamad. The said frontman is under investigation worldwide. PM Mahathir Bin Mohamad thought that Pakistan is the best investigator after reading the money laundering fictions appearing in the media and that is why he requested the support of Pakistan to investigate his opponents on the pattern of Pakistani roadmap of investigation. Let us hope that he is not disappointed with us as he has built high hopes.
I will share some details soon at this ongoing issue. It is interesting to see that no country could dare block Malaysia being a rich country to host the Kuala Lumpur Summit, but we have been prohibited very clearly not to attend? Let see how Malaysia takes it against Pakistan and how we rebuild our image at the diplomatic front which has badly deteriorated by deciding not to attend and we failed to convince other Muslim brotherly countries.
The world follows a different diplomatic policy for the rich block and different for the poor block and we, unfortunately, fall in the negative list of underdeveloped countries.
I had seen much more respect for Pakistan and its passport starting from the early 70s and onward but our respect and economy have been falling since we had decided to jump in the Afghan-Soviet War to support the USA which became our waterloo. Our priority should be how to improve the economy as a national slogan which is now of paramount importance to figure out as an economically strong country in the world & not as begging bowel holder. Our foreign policy is lack of adequate funding to put it on the right track. Our diplomatic isolation was well exposed during our failure to win the international community support to submit a draft resolution over Kashmir issue at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) during the United National General Assembly session this September 2019. We have also miserably failed to muster world support including Muslim Ummah to force Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lift the world’s longest curfew which is imposed in Indian Held Kashmir since August 5th and to restore the special status of Kashmir. It is really tragic that only two countries namely Malaysia and Turkey supported us in UNSC and confidently both have been disappointed by us and India must be laughing at us on this debacle.
In the end, I would like to express that we are poorly managing our economy, leaving direct negative impacts on our society, including our foreign policy. No one will respect us in the world unless we look tall in the international economic index follow the basic principles of national honour and respect.

#Pakistan - Drag Musharraf’s body to Islamabad chowk & hang it for 3 days, if he is found dead: Court

 A special court in Pakistan Tuesday awarded death penalty to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who was convicted for high treason.
The special court in Pakistan that awarded death sentence to former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf has directed that his corpse be dragged to Islamabad’s central square and hanged there for three days in case he dies before execution.
Finding him guilty of high treason, a three-judge bench of the court comprising Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court and Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court delivered the verdict Tuesday.
Passed with a 2:1 majority, the order asked law enforcement agencies to “strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive/convict and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan and be hanged for 03 days”.
While Justice Seth and Justice Karim agreed with the death penalty, Justice Akbar wrote a dissenting note, opining that the prosecution had failed to prove their case.
The majority judgment convicted Musharraf citing Article 6 of the Constitution, which defines the offence of high treason.
It says: “Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or hold in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance the Constitution by use of force or show force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.”
According to the High Treason (Punishment) Act 1973, the punishment for high treason is death or life imprisonment.
The court also said all those who facilitated his escape “may also be brought in the net of due course of law and their criminal acts (if any) may be investigated and tried in accordance with law”.

The treason trial

In 1999, Musharraf carried out a bloodless coup to oust the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif and came to power. In early November 2007, he declared an emergency and suspended the constitution, when he was the country’s President and Chief of Army Staff.
The treason case was filed against him in November 2013 by the Nawaz Sharif government. However, with strong backing of the army, Musharraf dodged trial for years and also managed to get Supreme Court permission in March 2016 to go abroad for medical treatment, promising to come back to his “beloved homeland” in a few weeks.
He has not returned to Pakistan since, though the special court have given him an opportunity several times to make his statement. He is currently in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on a self-imposed exile.

The maze of legal proceedings

After the special court began hearing the case on a daily basis in October 2019, the entire prosecution team was sacked. The court concluded its proceedings on 19 November, in the absence of any further inputs from the prosecution or Musharraf’s lawyers.
The lawyers only sprung to action after the court’s announcement that it would be pronouncing the judgment on 28 November. While Musharraf’s team moved the Lahore High Court challenging the announcement, the government approached Islamabad High Court demanding that the special court be restrained from giving its judgment.
The Islamabad High Court then directed the special court to listen to all parties and ordered the government to appoint a prosecutor by 5 December. The special court, however, ruled that it was not bound by the Islamabad High Court judgment.
During the hearing on 17 December, Musharraf’s lawyer demanded that he be given an opportunity to make a statement before the court, while the prosecution demanded that the scope of the trial be widened by bringing in charges against some alleged collaborators of Musharraf, including former PM Shaukat Aziz.

Constitution desecrated several times, says court

The special court, however, rejected all these requests, noting that Musharraf had been granted several opportunities to join trial, and “afforded more than his due share of fair trial”.
It went on to lament that in Pakistan, “during 72 years of its independence, to our misfortune several times, the Constitutions framed by Legislative Bodies were desecrated”.
The court also passed strictures against Musharraf, saying he was given every opportunity to defend himself but he “by his conduct in the proceedings only evinced his utter contempt for the law and legal institutions in this country”.
It then held Musharraf guilty, ruling, “The trial of high treason is the requirement of the constitution against those individuals who undermine or attempt to undermine the Constitution by any means. This court after presentation of undeniable, irrefutable and unimpeachable evidence by the prosecution against the accused reaches to the conclusion that indeed Accused is guilty and deserves exemplary punishment.”
He was handed down death penalty, directing that he be “hanged by his neck till be dies on each count as per charge”.

#Pakistan's pullout from #Malaysia summit draws criticism

Pakistan's last-minute decision to pull out of the Kuala Lumpur Summit has drawn criticism with some defending the withdrawal by the cash-strapped Islamabad that financially depends on oil-rich Gulf states.
Prime Minister Imran Khan canceled his planned visit to the Malaysian capital to attend the summit after concerns from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi confirmed on Tuesday, according to local English daily Dawn.
Khan paid a daylong visit to Riyadh earlier this week in a vain bid to assuage the kingdom's reservations over the scheduled summit. Leaders from Muslim countries gathered in Kuala Lumpur to discuss issues confronting the Muslims globally at the summit, which started on Wednesday and will continue till Saturday.
"It's an internal diplomatic failure," said Abdul Basit, a former Pakistani ambassador told Anadolu Agency, adding that Islamabad should have done its homework before committing to such an initiative.
He said Pakistan should not have skipped the initiative even if it meant sending a lower-level delegation.
Retired Lt. Gen. Talat Masood, an Islamabad-based security analyst, echoed the view observing that the Kuala Lumpur initiative has upset Riyadh which views its as an attempt to replace the Organization of Islamic Cooperation."It shows the lack of understanding on the part of the prime minister. He should not have committed what he could not do,” Masood told Anadolu Agency.
No effect on ties
Both analysts, Basit and Masood, said that Pakistan’s move would not affect its ties with Turkey, Malaysia and Iran, which support Pakistan’s stand on disputed Jammu and Kashmir following India’s scrapping of the region’s longstanding special rights in August.
Khan on Tuesday met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of a global conference in Geneva and took him into confidence over his decision to not attend the Malaysia summit, local media reported, citing Foreign Ministry sources.
Also, Khan telephoned his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mahamad and expressed his regrets at not being able to attend the summit, local English daily The News reported.
Politicians and journalists took to social media sites to denounce Khan’s decision to skip the summit.
“Backing out from KL summit: when Turkey, Malaysia, Iran supported Pakistan on Kashmir like a rock," Senator Mushahid Hussain, a senior leader of main opposition party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, said in a tweet.
“Terrible news Imran Khan’s Malaysia visit is canceled on the orders of Mohammad bin Salman,” senior journalist Umar Cheema tweeted, referring to the Saudi crown prince.
Khan's decision "reflects the weakness and incompetence of Pakistan's foreign policy managers, whether it's Imran Khan and his team, or Pakistan Foreign Office or the military," said Ijaz Khan, an Islamabad-based professor on international relations.
"He/they should have realized the reaction of Saudi Arabia to any such summit and not agreed to participation before it's announcement," Khan told Anadolu Agency.
"By declining to participate after it's announcement, will have a negative impact on Pakistan's relations with, not just Iran, but much more with Malaysia and Turkey.
"This is more so, after both [Malaysian Prime Minister] Mahathir [Mohamad] and [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan so strongly supported Pakistan, after Imran Khan's speech at UNGA. The decision for this summit was taken after that UNGA meeting, where Khan met the other two," he added.