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Posts Tagged ‘Dawn’

Finally Imran Khan took some sort of a stand on NWA bombings: Seems a bit too late

According to media reports, Imran Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) has finally woke up and found sometime from good for nothing Geo bashing to put some light on North Waziristan bombing issue.

According to DAWN:

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Tuesday said it appears as if a conspiracy is being hatched to detach North Waziristan from the country and vowed to bring the matter to Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif’s notice, DawnNews reported.

Briefing the media after attending a meeting of the party’s core committee here, he said that he will meet with the army chief and appeal to him to stop the military offensive in North Waziristan.

The PTI chief said he witnessed similar situation in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) during the military operation before it was detached from rest of the country in 1971.

In past few days, army used heavy jet and gunship helicopter bombings over civilian population which resulted in the deaths of dozens of innocent people including kids.

Good to see him at least waking up on the issue even if a bit too late.

As far as smelling conspiracy to detach N Waziristan is concerned, I think its a bit too late. The option of detachment now looks perfectly moral and logical especially when populations in settled areas of Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore sided with the mercenary army in their merciless bombings over civilians in tribal areas.

It will still be interesting to see if IK is really going to do something about these bombings or is he just giving a false hope to the people affected by these bombings?

Rights advocate Rashid Rehman Khan gunned down in Multan (DAWN);Strongly condemn this mindless murder

source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1104788

MULTAN: Human Rights Advocate Rashid Rehman Khan was gunned down by unidentified attackers in Multan, DawnNews reported late on Wednesday night.

Initial reports suggest that Khan was targeted by two gunmen inside his office at Kachehri Chowk.

Sources told Dawn.com that two clean-shaven young men barged into Advocate Khan’s office and shot him dead. They also injured his two lawyer friends, identified as Nadeem Parwaz and Afzal.

Injured were taken to Nishtar Medical Center where Parwaz is said to be in a critical condition.

“Armed gunmen stormed the chamber of Rashid Rehman and started indiscriminate firing on Wednesday evening, injuring Rehman and two of his associates present there,” senior police official Zulfiqar Ali told AFP.

Advocate Rashid Rehman Khan was a coordinator for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). The senior lawyer was defending a university lecturer accused of blasphemy and had complained that he had been receiving threats on his life.

The HRCP had voiced serious concern over the threats extended to Khan.

The Supreme Court advocate had submitted an application with the District Bar Association president Sher Zaman Qureshi last month, saying he was threatened by two lawyers and two other persons who asked him not to appear in the case he was representing.

Rehman was representing Junaid Hafeez, a lecturer at Bahauddin Zakariya University.

Hafeez was known for his liberal views at the university and the case of blasphemy was registered after pressure from right-wing student groups, said a student, who wished not to be named.

Pakistan has strict laws against defaming Islam, including the death penalty for blasphemy, and rights campaigners say they are often used to settle personal disputes.

A recent report from a US government advisory panel said Pakistan used blasphemy laws more than any other country in the world, listing 14 people on death row and 19 others serving life sentences for insulting Islam.

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United4Justice:

I strongly condemn this mindless murder especially if it is done in the name of Islam which preaches justice and human rights.

It is clearly mentioned in Quran that their is no compulsion in religion and Quran also emphasizes strongly on rights of people, importance of protecting lives and justice.  I pray for the victim and his family, and also pray for justice for them.

 

Confessions of an ‘agent’ in Syria–>DAWN News Article

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Below is an article by a Syrian journalist who has put light on the lives people of Syria are living in fear. Bashar al Asad like his father is a tyrant and he seems to be the modern version of Nazi leadership. People should raise their voices all over the world and support the freedom and justice loving people in any manner they can.

Confessions of an ‘agent’ in Syria–>DAWN News Article

by (Pen name)

Source : http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/28/confessions-of-an-agent-in-syria.html

 

 

Whether it’s a call on my phone or at the door, I feel scared to death. I mentally prepare myself for the worst, assuming that “they” are here to take me.

But then, when I find a friend at the door or a homeless compatriot asking for food, I realise that it is not my day yet, it is someone else’s.

Despite being unusually lucky, my nightmares don’t end. I rather prepare myself to deal with a situation when Bashar’s sleuths would come to pick me up for writing about the misery of Syrian taxpayers and democracy-lovers.

Regardless of our terrible conditions, we do greet each other daily with ‘sabah al-khair’ or good morning but with little hope for the same.

When I hear stories of torture and disfigured bodies of the missing Syrians and journalists alike, my only prayer to Allah remains, “I am ready for it but ease it on me and my people please.”

We write with pen names and log on the Internet using proxies, thinking we are safe. The reality is otherwise. My missing journalist friends and bloggers had no time to say bye to their loved ones inside the very home they were abducted from. Al-mokhabarat or intelligence agents, just plucked them away, mostly in the dark of the night.

They may discover me sooner or later but I make it a point to erase all my cell phone logs of call and text messages, clear my browser history and empty my laptop’s trash bin. Thinking that I might have forgotten something, sometimes I repeat the act many times a night.

Of late, my personal fear of being kidnapped by government sleuths has been overshadowed by a big, bloodier development. Every day, I see uploaded YouTube videos of the best of Soviet and Russian arsenal knocking down bustling neighborhoods first in Dara’a, then Hama and now Homs.

While I still fear the footsteps of sleuths on my door, I am not being searched as minutely as before.

Instead of looking out for activists and undercover journalists, Bashar’s military is wiping out entire cities from world maps, over suspicions of treason against the Alawite regime.

What started as massacre has duly transformed into genocide. My editors abroad insist on sending my stories with real names, concrete evidence and versions from both sides. I have been in double jeopardy since the first eight months of the uprising when the world only knew about Tahrir square kind of protests.

I, sometimes, wonder if the top-notch media watchdog bodies really know what a faceless and nameless journalist in Syria goes through, at the hands of sleuths as well as the very editors known as gatekeepers.

When making a phone call can risk not only yours and your families’ lives but also the person answering the phone, calling a government source is simply suicidal. Even the most naïve journalist here knows that cellular and landline phone companies are not only owned by the regime’s front-men but also bugged and monitored.

Simultaneously, Syria is a busy place for journalists where one cannot choose which story angle to focus on any given day i.e. massacres in Homs, protests in Damascus and Idlib,  Russian FM’s visit to Bashar, or statements from Washington echoing only fake promises.

But in the end the choice won’t be mine! The media company decides which one suits its agenda and its geopolitical context. Mostly, the easy bet is to bank on the wire service, ignoring the at-risk on-ground journalist who for them is a mere ‘stringer’!

I felt proud of my profession when I first saw stories by foreign journalists covering Syria from their high risk abodes and makeshift media centers. Though the world would not have believed a Syrian journalist like me for the Bab Amar massacre or siege of Homs but I hope they won’t ignore the outsiders’ testimony.

The natural but tragic death of Anthony Shadid, a Lebanon-born journalist for The New York Times, weighed very heavy on Syrian people’s hearts and the battered country’s image. Syria was referred to as home of death.

Besides dozens if not hundreds of slain Syrian journalists, the uprising has claimed two French media-men, and the one and only Marie Colvin died in more familiar way. Their heartrending deaths came in solidarity with local fellow professionals whose names and faces may be known when the tyrant falls and conscience rules in Syria.

Unluckily, I have many pen names for it is hard to write with a real one.  Death of Marie Colvin was personally embarrassing to me. Should I still use pen names when my star colleagues are writing with their warm blood?

I am a single woman with no liabilities except a widowed mother and siblings. One simple story with my real name appearing on an Arabic language blog or English-language website has greater probability of leading sleuths to my home.

Now even my family rarely knows which pen name I use and where in the world, my work publishes. Not that I don’t trust my family but the regime’s four decades of fear can easily cause a Freudian slip.

A year ago, I proudly showed off my byline in international dailies but now we are writing for our lives and not for pride.

I rarely get internet access good enough to open my emails and send my stories in time. I must admit that overall depressing conditions too result in my missing deadlines. Ironically, stories featuring Syrians’ bloodbath are never stale and the desk accepts them more often.

When I work on my laptop, my siblings and mother spy on me to see what I am doing or writing. My eldest sister advised me last September, “I can’t stop a journalist from writing but she should not forget the fate her younger brothers may face if they (mokhabarat) find out.”

One of my university fellows was picked up for writing a blog about a missing seven-year-old in Dara’a. Her brother went to a police station to lodge a report but never returned home. Three weeks later, their mother was asked to receive her son’s body from the same police office. She not only got the body of her 20-year-old son but also discovered the disfigured corpse of her blogger daughter.

Earlier, I hoped to change the world’s opinion with my writings but now, I am only recording testimonies of massacres and detailing current history.

Long after they have taken me to die in their dark cells, my stories will serve as credible evidence to try Bashar and his advisors for crimes against humanity.

Like journalism, we are learning survival techniques on our own, the hard way. Whenever a couple of us sit together away from our parents and the listening walls, we talk about the best ways in dealing with the worst.

I usually tell my colleagues, “Why do you think they would wait for us to admit or defend ourselves. Our charge-sheets are already there with no room for defense or discussion . . . Agents we are! . . . Agents of change!”

Maryam Hasan is a young journalist, whose family struggled against Hafiz Al-Assad’s tyrannical rule and policies. She is using a pen-name due to security reasons.

 

Aafia turns out to be a credible witness–>DAWN

January 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Source : http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/12-aafia-turns-out-to-be-a-credible-witness-010–bi-10

By Masood Haider

NEW YORK: Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui took the stand on Thursday afternoon to testify in a court where she is facing the charge of trying to kill American servicemen while in custody at Ghazni (Afghanistan).

While denying the attempted murder charge, Dr Aafia told the court that she was concerned she was going to be transferred to a ‘secret’ prison by the Americans and was trying to slip out of the room when she was shot.

“I’m telling you what I know,” she said in response to a question by Assistant US Attorney Jenna M. Dabbs.

“I walked towards the curtain. I was shot and I was shot again. I fainted.” Much to the surprise of her defence team, Dr Aafia turned to be a ‘credible witness’.

She was allowed to take the stand after Judge Richard Berman issued her caveats making her aware of the pitfalls and the dangers of such a move. Her defence team was literally scared that she could turn out to be her own worst enemy given her past record of outbursts.

She had been thrown out of the court several times after being admonished by the judge not to speak out of turn.

But on Thursday she surprised them all and remained calm and composed.Dr Aafia again denied picking up an M4 rifle and taking a shot at American soldiers and instead maintained that she was scared and wanted to run away as she heard conversations from behind the curtain during her incarceration at Ghazni.

She said as she peeked out of the curtain she was shot and injured. She also accused the FBI agents who questioned her time and again of threatening to hurt her children in order to scare her.

At one point she became so chatty that she was asked by the judge to just answer the question instead of elaborating them.

She also denied prosectuion’s claim that she was trained in rifle shooting, saying: “I took physical training but not to shoot a rifle.”

She said she was shot two or three times by one person in the room and then shot by someone else. She also said she did not believe any US soldier in the room would be irresponsible enough to leave his weapon lying around.

A group of FBI agents and US soldiers had travelled to Ghazni to interview Dr Aafia after she was allegedly found with materials that included hand-written notes referring to a “mass casualty attack” in the US and listed several landmark locations, including the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge, prosecutors have said.

Mr Chidambaram’s War–>Article for DAWN By Arundhati Roy

October 31, 2009 1 comment

Here is a real thought provoking article for people who want to know how capitalism expands by creating enemies from no where, create a monster out of it, start a hunt for it and then expand it’s hold on the desired areas in the name of fighting the evil.

We are seeing it in US lead so called war against terror and now India is using the same idea against Maoists.

I think civil society in India should learn from a real horrible experience through which Pakistanis are going due to capitalist-imperialism.
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Mr Chidambaram’s War

By Arundhati Roy

The low, flat-topped hills of south Orissa have been home to the Dongria Kondh long before there was a country called India or a state called Orissa. The hills watched over the Kondh. The Kondh watched over the hills and worshipped them as living deities. Now these hills have been sold for the bauxite they contain.

Perhaps the Kondh are supposed to be grateful that their Niyamgiri hill, home to Niyam Raja, their ‘god of universal law’, has been sold to a company with a name like Vedanta (the branch of Hindu philosophy that teaches the Ultimate Nature of Knowledge).

It’s one of the biggest mining corporations in the world and is owned by Anil Aggarwal, the Indian billionaire who lives in London in a mansion that once belonged to the Shah of Iran. Vedanta is only one of the many multinational corporations closing in on Orissa.

If the flat-topped hills are destroyed, the forests that clothe them will be destroyed too. So will the rivers and streams that flow out of them and irrigate the plains below. So will the Dongria Kondh. So will the hundreds of thousands of tribal people who live in the forested heart of India, and whose homeland is similarly under attack.

In our smoky, crowded cities, some people say, ‘So what? Someone has to pay the price of progress.’ Some even say, ‘Let’s face it, these are people whose time has come. Look at any developed country, Europe, the US, Australia — they all have a ‘past’.’

Indeed they do. So why shouldn’t ‘we’? In keeping with this line of thought, the government has announced Operation Green Hunt, a war purportedly against the ‘Maoist’ rebels headquartered in the jungles of central India.

Of course, the Maoists are by no means the only ones rebelling. There is a whole spectrum of struggles all over the country that people are engaged in — the landless, the Dalits, the homeless, workers, peasants, weavers.

They’re pitted against a juggernaut of injustices, including policies that allow a wholesale corporate takeover of people’s land and resources. However, it is the Maoists who the government has singled out as being the biggest threat.

Two years ago, when things were nowhere near as bad as they are now, the prime minister described the Maoists as the ‘single-largest internal security threat’ to the country.

This will probably go down as the most popular and often-repeated thing he ever said. For some reason, the comment he made on January 6, 2009, at a meeting of state chief ministers, when he described the Maoists as having only ‘modest capabilities’ doesn’t seem to have had the same raw appeal.

He revealed his government’s real concern on June 18, 2009, when he told parliament: ‘If left-wing extremism continues to flourish in parts which have natural resources of minerals, the climate for investment would certainly be affected.’

At current market rates, the minerals in the region have been valued not in millions but in trillions of dollars.

Right now in central India, the Maoists’ guerrilla army is made up almost entirely of desperately poor tribal people living in conditions of such chronic hunger that it verges on famine of the kind we only associate with sub-Saharan Africa.

They are people who, even after 60 years of India’s so-called independence, have not had access to education, healthcare or legal redress. They are people who have been mercilessly exploited for decades, consistently cheated by small businessmen and moneylenders, the women raped as a matter of right by police and forest department personnel.

Their journey back to a semblance of dignity is due in large part to the Maoist cadre who have lived and worked and fought by their side for decades.

If the tribals have taken up arms, they have done so because a government which has given them nothing but violence and neglect now wants to snatch away the last thing they have — their land. Clearly, they do not believe the government when it says it only wants to ‘develop’ their region.

Clearly, they do not believe that the roads as wide and flat as aircraft runways that are being built through their forests in Dantewada by the National Mineral Development Corporation are being built for them to walk their children to school on. They believe that if they do not fight for their land, they will be annihilated. That is why they have taken up arms.

MoUist corridor
The forest once known as the Dandakaranya, which stretches from West Bengal through Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, parts of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, is home to millions of India’s tribal people.

The media has taken to calling it the Red corridor or the Maoist corridor. It could just as accurately be called the MoUist corridor. It doesn’t seem to matter at all that the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution provides protection to adivasi people and disallows the alienation of their land.

It looks as though the clause is there only to make the Constitution look good — a bit of window-dressing, a slash of make-up. Scores of corporations, from relatively unknown ones to the biggest mining companies and steel manufacturers in the world, are in the fray to appropriate adivasi homelands — the Mittals, Jindals, Tata, Essar, Posco, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and, of course, Vedanta.There’s an MoU on every mountain, river and forest glade.

We’re talking about social and environmental engineering on an unimaginable scale. And most of this is secret. It’s not in the public domain. Somehow I don’t think that the plans that are afoot to destroy one of the world’s most pristine forests and ecosystems, as well as the people who live in it, will be discussed at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

Our 24-hour news channels that are so busy hunting for macabre stories of Maoist violence — and making them up when they run out of the real thing — seem to have no interest at all in this side of the story. I wonder why?

Perhaps it’s because the development lobby to which they are so much in thrall says the mining industry will ratchet up the rate of GDP growth dramatically and provide employment to the people it displaces. This does not take into account the catastrophic costs of environmental damage. But even on its own narrow terms, it is simply untrue.

Most of the money goes into the bank accounts of the mining corporations. Less than 10 per cent comes to the public exchequer. A very tiny percentage of the displaced people get jobs, and those who do, earn slave-wages to do humiliating, backbreaking work.

By caving in to this paroxysm of greed, we are bolstering other countries’ economies with our ecology. The mining companies desperately need this ‘war’. It’s an old technique. They hope the impact of the violence will drive out the people who have so far managed to resist the attempts that have been made to evict them.

Whether this will indeed be the outcome, or whether it’ll simply swell the ranks of the Maoists remains to be seen.

The real problem is that the flagship of India’s miraculous ‘growth’ story has run aground. It came at a huge social and environmental cost. And now, as the rivers dry up and forests disappear, as the water table recedes and as people realise what is being done to them, the chickens are coming home to roost.

All over the country, there’s unrest, there are protests by people refusing to give up their land and their access to resources, refusing to believe false promises any more. Suddenly, it’s beginning to look as though the 10 per cent growth rate and democracy are mutually incompatible.

Militarisation
To get the bauxite out of the flat-topped hills, to get iron ore out from under the forest floor, to get 85 per cent of India’s people off their land and into the cities (which is what Home Minister Chidambaram says he’d like to see), India has to become a police state.

The government has to militarise. To justify that militarisation, it needs an enemy. The Maoists are that enemy. They are to corporate fundamentalists what the Muslims are to Hindu fundamentalists. (Is there a fraternity of fundamentalists? Is that why the RSS has expressed open admiration for Mr Chidambaram?)

It would be a grave mistake to imagine that the paramilitary troops, the Rajnandgaon air base, the Bilaspur brigade headquarters, the Unlawful Activities Act, the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and Operation Green Hunt are all being put in place just to flush out a few thousand Maoists from the forests.

In all the talk of Operation Green Hunt, whether or not Mr Chidambaram goes ahead and ‘presses the button’, I detect the kernel of a coming state of emergency. (Here’s a math question: If it takes 600,000 soldiers to hold down the tiny valley of Kashmir, how many will it take to contain the mounting rage of hundreds of millions of people?)

Instead of narco-analysing Kobad Gandhy, the recently arrested Maoist leader, it might be a better idea to talk to him.

In the meanwhile, will someone who’s going to the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen later this year please ask the only question worth asking: Can we leave the bauxite in the mountain?

 

Source:http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/12-mr+chidambarams+war–bi-11

An informative article on Pakistan Army’s Role–>Air Marshal Nur Khan Views on 1965 WAr

October 10, 2009 3 comments

The article was published in Dawn in 2005.

Source: http://dawn.com/2005/09/06/nat2.htm

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Nur Khan reminisces ’65 war

ISLAMABAD, Sept 5:

Air Marshal (retired) Nur Khan, the man who led the airforce achieve complete superiority over the three times bigger Indian airforce on the very first day of the 1965 war, had all but resigned the post the very day that he took command of Pakistan Air Force on July 23, 1965.

“Rumours about an impending operation were rife but the army had not shared the plans with other forces,” Air Marshal Nur Khan said.

Sharing his memoirs with Dawn on the 40th anniversary of 1965 war, Air Marshal Khan said that he was the most disturbed man on the day, instead of feeling proud. Air Marshal (retired) Asghar Khan while handing over the command to Nur Khan had not briefed him about any impending war because he was not aware of it himself.

So, in order to double check, Nur Khan called on the then Commander-in-Chief, General Musa Khan. Under his searching questions Gen Musa wilted and with a sheepish smile admitted that something was afoot. Nur Khan’s immediate reaction was that this would mean war. But, Gen Musa said you need not to worry as according to him Indians would not retaliate. Then he directed a still highly skeptical Nur Khan to Lt-Gen Akhtar Hasan Malik, GOC Kashmir, the man in-charge of “Operation Gibraltar” for further details.

The long and short of his discussion with Gen Malik was, “don’t worry, because the plan to send in some 800,000 infiltrators inside the occupied territory to throw out the Indian troops with the help of the local population”, was so designed that the Indians would not be able retaliate and therefore the airforce need not get into war-time mode. A still incredulous Nur Khan was shocked when on further inquiry he found that except for a small coterie of top generals, very few in the armed forces knew about “Operation Gibraltar”.

He asked himself how good, intelligent and professional people like Musa and Malik could be so naive, so irresponsible. For the air marshal, it was unbelievable. Even the then Lahore garrison commander had not been taken into confidence. And Governor of West Pakistan, Malik Amir Mohammad Khan of Kalabagh did not know what was afoot and had gone to Murree for vacations. It was at this point that he felt like resigning and going home. But then he thought such a rash move would further undermine the country’s interests and, therefore, kept his cool and went about counting his chickens — the entire airforce was too young and too inexperienced to be called anything else then — and gearing up his service for the D-day.

The miracle that the PAF achieved on September 6, to a large extent, is attributed to Nur Khan’s leadership. He led his force from up front and set personal example by going on some highly risky sorties himself. But then no commander, no matter how daring and how professional, can win a battle if his troops are not fully geared to face such challenges and that too within 43 days of change in command.

The full credit for turning the PAF into a highly professional and dedicated fighting machine goes to Air Marshal Asghar Khan who was given charge of the service in 1957.

Thank God, unlike the other service no darbari or sifarishi was given the job. And by the time he left on July 23, 1965, Asghar Khan had turned the PAF into a well-oiled, highly professional and dedicated fighting machine and had trained them on the then best US made fighters, bombers and transport planes. Those who flew those machines and those who maintained them on ground worked like a team, and each one of the PAF member performed beyond the call of duty to make a miracle. The PAF performance had crucially allowed the Army to operate without interference from the Indian airforce.

“The performance of the Army did not match that of the PAF mainly because the leadership was not as professional. They had planned the ‘Operation Gibraltar’ for self-glory rather than in the national interest. It was a wrong war. And they misled the nation with a big lie that India rather than Pakistan had provoked the war and that we were the victims of Indian aggression”, Air Marshal Khan said. When on the second day of war President Gen Ayub wanted to know how we were faring, Musa informed him that the Army had run out of even ammunition.

That was the extent of preparation in the Army. And the information had shocked Gen Ayub so much that it could have triggered his heart ailment, which overtook him a couple of years later. This in short is Nur Khan’s version of 1965 war, which he calls an unnecessary war and says that President Ayub for whom he has the greatest regard should have held his senior generals accountable for the debacle and himself resigned.

This would have held the hands of the adventurers who followed Gen Ayub. Since the 1965 war was based on a big lie and was presented to the nation a great victory, the Army came to believe its own fiction and has used since, Ayub as its role model and therefore has continued to fight unwanted wars — the 1971 war and the Kargil fiasco in 1999, he said. In each of the subsequent wars we have committed the same mistakes that we committed in 1965.

Air Marshal Khan demanded that a truth commission formed to find out why we failed in all our military adventures. It is not punishment of the failed leadership that should be the aim of the commission but sifting of facts from fiction and laying bare the follies and foibles of the irresponsible leaders in matters with grave implications for the nation. It should also point out the irregularities committed in training and promotions in the defence forces in the past so that it is not repeated in future. Mr Khan believes that our soldiers when called upon have fought with their lives but because of bad leadership their supreme sacrifices went waste. And after every war that we began we ended up taking dictation from the enemy — at Tashkant, at Simla and lastly at Washington.

He said at present Pakistan is engaged in another war, this time in Waziristan. This war can also end up in a fiasco and politically disastrous for the federation if it is fought with the same nonchalance and unprofessionally as we did the last three wars. He, therefore, called for an immediate change of command at the GHQ insisting that President Gen Pervez Musharraf should appoint a full-time Chief of Army Staff and restore full democracy in the country.

He suggested appointment of an independent chief election commissioner in consultation with all the political parties. “Look at India.There a religious party comes in power and nobody cries foul and it goes out of power and nobody alleges rigging.

We can also do this,” he added. And we must make unified efforts to restore the country in the vision of the Quaid-i-Azam. Turn it into a non-theocratic and truly democratic state. And all the three forces should model themselves on the lines set by Asghar Khan when he was commanding the PAF, he suggested.

Larger rallies soon: Aitzaz–>DAWN

ISLAMABAD, June 15: Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) chief Aitzaz Ahsan on Sunday promised more, larger rallies on the heels of the massive long march calling upon the government to restore the deposed judges.

Mr Ahsan gave no date for the future protests, but his comments indicated that the lawyers did not intend to ease their campaign for the restoration of the judges.

“There will be other marches … there will be bigger marches,” Ahsan told The Associated Press. He said lawyer leaders would soon meet to discuss fresh protests.

The recent protest in Islamabad — dubbed the long march — was one of the largest demonstrations in the capital’s history. Participants, who began travelling from around the country, arrived in Islamabad on Friday night for a massive rally close to the parliament building.

Demonstrators demanded that the judiciary be restored. Musharraf fired dozens of judges and declared a state of emergency last year to avoid legal challenges to his presidency.—AP

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