We strongly condemn the restrictions imposed Chinese government over Uighur Muslims for practicing Ramadan. According to reports Uighur population especially students are being pressurized to surrender their religious practices including FASTING, during the month of Ramadan. China needs to realize forcing people to leave their religion will only create tensions between ideologies. This action by Chinese government as against religious freedom and basic human rights.
China steps up campaign against Ramadan fasting for Uighurs; experts fear backlash
BEIJING — China is discouraging some Muslims in the far western region of Xinjiang from fasting during Ramadan. The government says the move is motivated by health concerns, but others said Friday that it’s a risky campaign to secularize the Muslim minority that will likely backfire.
Several city, county and village governments in Xinjiang have posted notices on their websites banning or discouraging Communist Party members, civil servants, students and teachers from fasting during the religious holiday. Muslims around the world abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk during the 30-day period. Read complete…
Our political dynamics are changing drastically with new players emerging and old players losing their positions. We are also seeing a power struggle between so called Rightists vs Leftists or Seculars vs Theocrats and somewhere there are parties which place themselves in-between. People are even talking about Judicial Martial Law.
But over all out look shows that the focus is on putting together a centralized system with some aspects of democracy. Our feudal culture, history of martial laws and domination of state institutions have restricted our minds to run things from centre with iron fist or authoritarian ways.
What is lacking in this approach is the realization of our diversity in the society. We are a country with diversified ethnic, sectarian and other social classes. Many of us cite China as an example and consider their Democratic Centralization as an ideal concept for Pakistan. We need to know that China has a dominant socialist ideology and their culture is pretty much same throughout China. They have a civilization which can be called as a Chinese Civilization. On the other hand Pakistan doesn’t have a single Pakistani Civilization. Pakistan is on the meeting point of several civilizations on both sides of Indus and which show different cultural and demographic colors if we move from Karachi to K2.
We cannot have a same system for Karachi and FATA or Islamabad and Dera Bugti. Attempts were made by Military dictators like Zia, Musharraf and Ayub who tried to implement their personal ideologies on the whole country and ending up creating a mess. Similarly civilian feudal-corporatists also tried to implement their vision on the whole country and again added to the mess. Even those who talk about liberalism have their own sectarian, ethnic and social class prejudices backing their ideals.
We need a decentralized system where federal government has minimum authority to run defense, dispute resolution and few other things. Even with them a concept of voluntary involvement and local considerations need to be taken into account. We need a system where decision making is brought to the local level which will also ensure merit among different localities selecting their leaders. It is unfair for those who don’t elect a corrupt government but they also have to face the bad consequences of its actions. To keep things in tact we can have a constitutional setup where rules of engagements should be mentioned between different constituents of the country. In short we need a “Rule of Law based Decentralization”.
This decentralization should be in Governance, Legislation and Economics. This is not something impractical; we can see some colors of it in countries like United States or Australia. Obviously for that we need to consider the ideology which dominated at the time of the creation of the country which is also reflected in the Objective Resolution. If we talk about Islam then “Meesaq e Madina” can show us how Muslims and Jews made an agreement by accepting each other as a reality. Even in a centralized country like China, they had to make adjustments in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. Even Russia has different Republics with some autonomy. In Pakistan’s case Quaid e Azam made agreements with our tribes which resulted in the tribes becoming part of Pakistan. These agreements allowed the tribal people to maintain their autonomy and also accept few fundamental laws of Pakistan. We also need a loose central structure to avoid the class clashes.
At the moment power is concentrated to center and everyone wants to control it either through the power of masses or power of gun. We even cannot afford a democratic system where 90% decides to suppress the remaining 10%. It will create the sense of alienation and hopelessness in the parties not in power and so can result in an undesirable retaliation which can be damaging for all.
We need to come out of the copycat mentality and be genuine in our approach as our problems are genuine and bit different from where we are trying to import the solutions.Mutual existence can only prevail through mutual acceptance of each other as a reality.
Note : A bit edited version is also available on http://blogs.thenewstribe.com/blog/66276/decentralization-a-solution/
by Hamid Mir
ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan is no more a cricketer turned politician. He has suddenly become an important regional player in the US endgame in Afghanistan.
A mind-blowing public rally of Imran Khan in Lahore on October 30 made it very difficult for the Zardari regime to give new commitments or accept any demands from the US to push its decade-long war against terror. Imran Khan has not only become a threat for traditional political parties inside Pakistan but is also going to become a big hurdle in the implementation of demands made by US during the recent visit of Hillary Clinton to Islamabad.
The PTI leader criticised not only President Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif but also blasted US policies in the biggest-ever show of political power in Lahore in the past 25 years. The last time Lahore saw this kind of political tsunami was on April 10, 1986 when late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returned after many years in exile. A big reception to the daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was a bombshell for the then military dictator. Benazir Bhutto addressed a big rally in Iqbal Park, adjacent to the historical Lahore Fort. That rally was the beginning of General Zia’s end.
The October 30 rally by Imran Khan in the same Iqbal Park also looked like an end of pro-US policies started by General Pervez Musharraf ten years ago. Imran addressed US Secretary of State as “Chachi Clinton” (Aunty Clinton) and said a big no to any more army operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas. It will now be impossible for the ruling Pakistan People’s Party and its coalition partners to start new operations in North Waziristan or even continue the old operations from South Waziristan to Khyber Agency. Elections are close and no political government can take the risk of going against public opinion.
Hillary Clinton is these days desperately looking for someone who can become a bridge between Afghan Taliban and the US. Imran Khan can make some serious efforts in this regard but is more focused on the situation inside Pakistan. He has offered his services for the engagement of Pakistani Taliban but wants assurances that there will be no more military operations.
Imran said all this just one day before the meeting of President Asif Ali Zardari with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Istanbul. The US has arranged this meeting through Turkish President Abdullah Gull for the success of the Istanbul conference. Army Chief General Kayani also left for Turkey on Monday. Afghan officials will discuss the US endgame with Pakistan, India, Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan, UAE, Turkey, US and UK in Istanbul Conference from November 1.
The US wants some commitments from Pakistan at this conference and that is why the Pakistani Army Chief is also invited to this conference. However, Imran Khan’s massive anti-American rally has made it very difficult for Pakistani leaders to oblige their friends from Saudi Arabia and Turkey who have became part of the process on the US request.
Imran criticised the Army operations in the tribal areas in very strong words. He clearly said some tribal elders had given him assurances that if US drone attacks were stopped and the Pakistan Army halted operations in the tribal areas they would control all militants. Imran Khan also arranged meetings of these tribal elders (mostly from North Waziristan) with his ex-wife Jemima Khan who is making a documentary against drone attacks.
Jemima and Imran are separated but often meet because of their two sons. An American lawyer Clive Smith is also helping Jemima and they are planning a big campaign against drone attacks in the Western media. Jemima writes for Vanity Fair magazine. She is helping not only Imran but also Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, and Assange may also speak at the inauguration of documentary against drone attacks. The documentary is expected to have a lot of “WikiLeaks”. Imran Khan has repeatedly said, “Pakistan has changed”. He threatened, “I will not spare anyone who gave Pakistani bases to US and sold my people for dollars”.
Without naming Pervez Musharraf he sent him a message not to come back to Pakistan. He also said: “We want friendly relations with every country but we cannot accept slavery of America”. Imran Khan came out openly in support of the Kashmiris and advised India to withdraw its troops from Kashmir.
He tried to satisfy the central Punjab voters who are not happy with the soft stance of Zardari and Nawaz Sharif on India. This hawkish stance will definitely bring him closer to the military establishment but he opposes military action in Balochistan. He also criticised the role of Pakistan Army in former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in his recently published book “Pakistan a Personal History”.
According to the sources in Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) more than a dozen ambassadors from different Western countries wanted to see Imran Khan this week but he left for China immediately after addressing the mammoth public rally in Lahore on Sunday night. He will be a guest of the Chinese government. His opponents often declared him “Taliban Khan” or the “modern face of Jamat-i-Islami” but hundreds of thousands of people enjoyed the songs of many popular singers in the Lahore rally. For some critics it became a grand musical show but the fact is that the crowd enjoyed the music at a public place after a very long time. Pakistan has many popular pop singers but they cannot sing at public places due to fear of suicide bombings that started in 2007. There was a suicide attack on the musical show of Sono Nagam sometime back in Karachi and after that many pop singers were threatened not to sing at public places. Many singers like Adnan Sami, Atif Aslam and Ali Zafar tried their luck in India in recent years but now they can come back.
Imran Khan is bringing back not only the political activities on the roads but also encouraging many pop singers like Shehzad Roy to sing publicly who made songs against drone attacks. Roy presented his famous song ‘uth bandh kamar kya darta hey phir dekh Khuda kya karta hey” in the Sunday rally. Thousands of youngsters were dancing on this song and Imran was clapping with them.
Imran Khan is becoming the voice of the common Pakistanis who are neither religious extremists not secular fascists. He is becoming a ray of hope for those disgruntled youngsters who have started hating democracy due to bad governance and corruption. These youngsters can now bring about a change in Pakistan through their vote power. Youth is the real power of Imran Khan and this youth belongs to the lower middle, middle class. This is the most disillusioned class in Pakistan but now the youth of this class is becoming active, which is a positive sign.
Dozens of sitting parliamentarians are contacting Imran Khan for joining his PTI. Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and many political big shots will make some shocking decisions soon but Imran is more interested in young blood and well-educated minds.
He warned the government on Sunday that all politicians must declare their assets inside and outside Pakistan within a few months failing which his party would launch a civil disobedience movement and block all major cities with public support. For many analysts he is emerging as the third option after Zardaris’s PPP and Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N.
Some say he will ruin Nawaz Sharif in the central Punjab and PPP would be the ultimate beneficiary. Imran does not agree with this analysis. He always criticises PPP and PML-N jointly because one is ruling at the centre and the other is ruling Punjab, which is more than 60 percent of Pakistan. Imran has definitely proved that he enjoys more political support in Lahore than Nawaz Sharif but it does not mean that he is going to get clear majority in the coming elections. He needs some winning horses not only in the central Punjab but also in south Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan and Sindh.
He needs big rallies in Faisalabad, Multan, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta and then he can make some bigger claims. He will definitely make dents not only in the vote bank of PML-N but will also damage the PPP badly. There are 25 seats of national assembly in Lahore division of which PML-N has 20, PPP has 3 and PML-Q has one. Imran may snatch at least half of the PML-N and all the seats won by PPP and PML-Q in Lahore. Out of 23 seats in Gujranwala division PML-N has 13, PPP 8 and PML-Q has 2. Imran will damage PPP and PML-Q more than PML-N in Gujranwala. There are 20 seats in Faisalabad division – PML-N has only 4 while PML-Q has 8 and PPP has 7 seats.
Many sitting members of the national assembly from Faisalabad are pleading to Imran to accept them in his party. Some PPP, PML-Q and ANP members from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are also in contact with Imran, which means that his popularity is not confined to Punjab.
His biggest stronghold in the north is the tribal area where he is expected to make a clean sweep and more than 10 seats are in his pocket. This is the same area where he will not allow government to start any new Army operations.
If there is no operation then what will be the future of Pakistan-US relations? Zardari regime is at the crossroads. There is US pressure from one side and the PTI pressure from the other.
Nawaz Sharif was trying to play safe by targeting only Zardari and not the US but Imran Khan has suddenly changed the political dynamics in Pakistan. He is the new trouble man for US and also for the pro-US political elite in Pakistan. All the popular parties have no option other than to follow his anti-Americanism.
Hillary Clinton needs to realise the wave of change in Pakistani politics. She cannot understand this change without engaging Imran Khan. October 30 was just a beginning. World will see more changes on the political map of Pakistan and Imran Khan will play a leading role.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has reiterated his demand to stop military operation in turbulent areas, saying issues can better be solved through dialogue.
Addressing workers’ convention on Saturday, Imran announced that the party would observe October 9 as Balochistan Day and he would visit the province on October 10 to express solidarity with Baloch people.
The PTI chief condemned torture on innocent civilians as depicted by a recently-released video. He said it would really be injustice with Army if we didn’t point fingers over this sad incident. He demanded Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani try soldiers involved in torture of citizens.
Calling for the need to end military operations in Swat and Malakand, he said: “We stood by our Army and completely supported it but we opposed the use of force”. He said justice was the right of every Pakistani citizen and this issue must be resolved through dialogue rather then waging a war.
Expressing solidarity with the people of Balochistan, Imran said the PTI would observe October 9 as Balochistan Day to express solidarity with Baloch people. He said cruelty could never be justified whether it was done by Taliban or government. He said he would himself visit Balochistan on October 10 and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf would continue to oppose injustice done to the people of the country.
He said the PTI was becoming a vibrant political force and he envisaged a youth revolution in coming years.
He said the PTI was no more a silent political party and it was popular among expatriate Pakistanis as well.
He said workers had to play their role in strengthening the PTI while showing better performance and improving party structure. He said the party would emerge as the largest political party due to untiring effort of its workers.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf leaders, including Ahsan Rasheed, Mian Mehmood ul Rasheed, Admiral (retd) Javed Iqbal, Raja Javed Mujtaba, Asif Khan, Umer Sarfaraz Cheema and others also spoke on the occasion.
Party members from various districts criticized the PML-N led Punjab government for its failure to address issues related to provincial administration.
Members of districts, including Hafizabad, Narowal, Gujranwala and Mandi Bahauddin expressed their views on the occasion.
A real threat during that time emerged was BLA
(Balauchistan Liberation Army) lead by Late Balach
Mari. It is now confirmed by many sources that he was
backed by the Indian and Israeli intelligence
(remember Kurdistan movement in Iraq) and obviously
India and Israel cannot do it without American support
There are more than ten consulates and information
centers of India operating in Afghanistan and one
can easily understand the purpose keeping in mind how
many Afghans are interested in going to India or what
is population of Afghanistan?
One more thing to consider Balach mari died in an air
attack in Afghanistan recently by NATO forces.
Also if you look at their media you will realize the
intensity of the propaganda against terrorist activities
in Pakistan and its nuclear assets and they don’t need to
find much material on their own our beloved dictator
provides them all in his justifications to remain in power.
Now just look why these forces are playing this whole
1) To accomplish their Zionist goals in the Middle
East and Pakistan is a real hurdle because of its
Islamic foundations, friendship with Arabs and nuclear
capability (Search Terms: Greater Israel, Armageddon).
2) To cater China’s growing power and influence
in the region (search terms: String of pearls, Gawadar
3) To de nuclearize Pakistan, the only Islamic country
to have it.
4) To strengthen the hold on the natural resources in
5) To stop the re emerging threat of Russia as power
But there are certain challenges these forces are
facing like Pakistan is not a small country like
Afghanistan, it has a real strong military, it is a
nuclear power and also it has some sort of a solid
ideological foundation so to overcome these challenges
they have first decided to weaken the country
internally and so far the things which are supporting
them are that Pakistan has a power hungry elite,
discrimination between ethnic and sectarian groups is
getting wider (in fact they are using it really
efficiently), institutions are getting weak, power is
centered to one man (who is a patriotic person, I
believe but his lust for power and his own political
and ideological agenda is very damaging for the
foundations of Pakistan), military and people are
fighting with each other in northern parts,
involvement of military in politics (General Kiyani is
taking some good initiatives to reduce the role of
Army in civil affairs) and high illiteracy rate.
I still believe that our nation has the strength to
overcome these challenges, we just need to take
actions in the right direction and for that right
leadership is required which I have no doubts in
saying that Mr Musharraf is not able to provide. Most
of the challenges we are facing (in fact he is facing
them more) are the result of his wrong policies which
he thinks are the best possible options and
that’s what Mr. Saddam was doing.
People who believe that nothing can happen to us
because we are a nuclear power so sit and relax, they
need to look at the history and learn from the
destruction of the great Soviet Union.
May Allah unite us and show us the right path.