It seems, Karachi will still need to wait for a long time for any change. Karachi is again seeing rigged elections or no elections at all in many areas. There are reports of violence in areas like NA-255 and no elections in NA-250 and other parts of Karachi.
My experience as a voter at NA256-Meridian Grammar School polling station: Delayed start of voting. People with MQM badges openly moving in the polling station and making sure that their known voters get the chance out of turn for casting their votes while others get frustrated in heat. This will discourage new voters which are more likely to cast their vote for PTI.
Also inside polling station they are taking cards of old people and first timers to cast their votes.Those who knew what they are doing resisted but many dont even know what is happening. If this is happening in educated areas then forget about other areas.
MQM is a product of establishment and if America wants MQM so establishment (Army, rangers etc) will keep a blind on what ever MQM does.
Despite all this people should come forward and vote! Vote PTI in Karachi to show you are not sheeple.
Need Change: Zardari and Nawaz Sharif are two big symbols of this political system. People need tos ee who is sticking with them as allies and who is taking a stand against them. People need to come out for a change and vote for Naya Pakistan and Vote4PTI. Reject these NRO and IJI-2(10 Party alliance) gangs.
People standing up above their prejudices: I am glad that some of my strongly religious friends who belonged to Shia sect are now not following Sajid Naqvi and others who are supporting PPP and MQM but they are now supporting PTI. Similarly some of my Deobandi friends have stopped blindly following their brand of sectarianism and instead of following Fazl ur Rehman type, they will now give votes to PTI. Similar is the case with some Barelvi friends. This is change as its not just feudalism and extortion mafias which are exploiting people. These fake fatwa factories are also exploiting the sectarian diversity and using it to strengthen their political and financial positions. In sha Allah PTI will get the chance and deliver good for the people and the country.
For Karachi: If someone can solve two major issues of Karach then its IK only. Two major problems of Karachi are:
a) Bring peace
b) Local bodies elections and decentralization of power
Military operations by PPP and PMLN governments were the reasons behind the start of ethnic violence as it provided more sympathies to MQM. ANP,PPP and MQM are major responsible of recent mess in Karachi. PMLN was ally of PPP in center when PPP took power in 2008 and they remained allies for a long time in Punjab. Bot PPP and PMLN avoided local bodies elections in last 5 years so one can get the idea what Karachiites should do?
MQM and JI are not major parties and they only work as proxies of PPP and PMLN respectively. PTI will be in a position to take independent position on the issues.
For IK haters: The thing is simple, whatever IK does and whatever social class background he has, he stands up above his social class prejudices of Mr/Mullah, Shia/Sunni,Muslim/Non-muslim or ethnic ones and supports justice and prosperity for all. This thing is lacking in so called religious and so called liberals of Pakistan a lot.
Comment on IK’s speech in grand finale of PTI 2013 election campaign: I am glad that Imran Khan thanked people from all school of thoughts for praying for his health. Apart from many other reasons, I support Imran Khan mainly because he stands up above from his sectarian and social class prejudices and works for justice for all whether shia or sunni, whether muslim or non-muslim, mr or mullah, poor or rich and treats them like human beings. This is something which is lacking in fake liberal and fake religious parties.
My vote is for Justice and My vote is for BAT!
According to her interview, she was directly threatened by MQM and ANP thugs including MPAs.
Now who is going to catch them?
Just watched the sad news of cold blooded murder of Parveen Rehman, Director Orangi Pilot Project. This is a real bad news for the city of Karachi and whole Pakistan.
Orangi Pilot Project is one of the best examples of how local system with private help can serve the people especially poor areas. a big loss indeed. for someone like me who is a strong supporter of local system with people running their own towns, this target killing is a real bad news.
If they ever investigate how people like Hakeem Saeed, Parveen Rehman etc got killed then they can easily reach these land mafia lords. But who will do it as all of these mafia lords and extortion gangs are in the government?
We have recently seen some of the deadliest terrorist attacks on Hazara community, religious leaders of both Shia and Sunni sects, mafia wars in Karachi and resulting terrorism. It is interesting to see that whenever there is a momentum in support of peace dialogue these things pick up their pace as if someone is not satisfied with the idea of peace.
We need to see who is benefiting from this war?
It seems establishment and their NRO don’t like the idea of peace so they will do anything to use any event for an excuse to continue this war mess. PPP has launched Shehla Reza and Faisal Raza Abidi again to play sectarian card, Zardari had a nice photo session with Khemenei and MQM is again playing similar cards. Now its time for people of Pakistan including Shias to think if they again want to fall for these pro-war and pro-status quo groups and present themselves as a fuel for this war?
Despite corruption in 90s, it was not that bad and lives were better and safer but now its a mess out there in our cities. We need to come out of this mess and for this first we need to come out of this war and then isolate those who are benefiting from this war. Without cooling down the fire in FATA, Balochistan etc we cannot expect peace in the country.
There are other factors than this war or sectarianism which are playing their role. It seems Abbas town blast has more to do with other things than sectarianism. What many are not highlighting is that almost half were Sunnis and the area is not just full of “Shia” flats but they have “Sunni” flats too (probably in more numbers). It can well be another land mafia or other mafia or political thing which is being portrayed by MQM,PPP,ANP and other pro-war scum as sectarian or ethnic violence. All these parties have militant wings with full capability of carrying out such activity. We never had a proper inquiry about 2005 Nishtar Park bombings or 2010 Ashura Blast and resulting riots (it seems the riot time was ready for such blast).
Also, some people are demanding gun ban for people. For them I can only say that if you can’t understand that its already very hard for a common person to get a weapons license in Karachi whereas a criminal doesn’t care about these licenses and laws. Its time to demand the lifting of all kinds of bans and restrictions on heavy weapons as these restrictions are only making a common person defenseless against these criminal gangs. Self-defense or even personal revenge is a basic human right as long as it is not misused to harm unrelated people.
Its time we should stand up for our freedom against the powers of tyranny. The least we can do in this regard is not to support tyrants and their unjust actions.
Living in the city of Karachi for more than 25 years is enough for me to know how elections work in Karachi. In Karachi, we don’t have any kind of proper election process. Bogus votes, forced voting, on day rigging and creating an environment of fear to hijack elections and the city. MQM,ANP and PPP blame each other for terrorism, extortion and election frauds, and at the same time they are sitting in the government as allies. These three parties keep the game between them by exploiting ethnic differences and in reality they are allies and partners in status-quo. We have seen examples of 12 May 2007, 27 December 2007 or 9 April 2009 and how MQM, ANP and PPP destroyed the peace of Karachi.
In recent Supreme Court case on Karachi voter lists we are seeing some interesting things coming out. In an instance, a 200 yards house in NA 251 has 639 registered voters. The 200 yards house “Kashana e Zaheer”, in Karachi with 639 registered voters, should be declared a monument of election fraud and the ignorance of people who still love these extortionist mafias.
Some blind voters of MQM, ANP and PPP say that why their parties are being criticized. My answer to them is that if they want to live like sheeple or insects then its their choice, others might want to live like dignified human beings.
Below is the link of an interesting program on the issue having a discussion Farogh Naseem (MQM), Dr. Arif Alvi (PTI) and Nasarullah Shajee (JI):
Ramadan comes with a message of piety, sharing with each and caring of each other. I would like to appeal to all people paying Zakat this year to support Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre. The team running Shaukat Khanum Trust is one of the most credible and capable team in the country and around the world. Running the largest charity organization in a poor country like Pakistan and managing to make it free for around 70 percent of cancer patients in a poor country is not a game.
Please help them in their great effort.
Below is the link of their donation page:
Currently, Shaukat Khanum Trust is running a large cancer hospital in Lahore which provides free treatment to around 70 percent of its cancer patients. They are also working on two projects in Karachi and Peshawar. The hospital is a brain child of Pakistan’s legendary cricketer and philanthropist, Imran Khan.
A good message is given in their recent ad campaign for 2012 Zakat collection:
Please help generously.
Pakistan’s political dynamics has seen its different colors over the last six decades. The country saw some of the most oppressive military regimes and also some of the most corrupt periods of elected plutocracy. Our history saw struggles between left and right and also became an active player in the cold war period.
Though our politics has been influenced strongly by the foreign masters of our ruling elites. But in that our establishment has always played a vital role either as a proxy rule for foreign powers or as a king maker in local politics, many times the role has been a mixture of both. The honest reality of our history is that this role of our establishment has seriously dented our political culture, damaged rule of law and also harmed our rights as free citizens of this country.
A country which was founded on the principles of justice and equality didn’t live up to the expectations due to the dismal performance of our establishment and their cultivated corrupt political culture based on feudal-corporatist mindsets. Right from the days of Ghulam Muhammad, Pakistani establishment strengthened its hold on the affairs of the state and its politics. Pakistan was thrown into an unwanted cold war and thus it gave up its freedom which it got few years ago into the hands of imperialist forces lead by USA, which at that time took place of United Kingdom as world super power along with its rival USSR.
Initially establishment rule was evenly balanced between civil and military establishments but later on especially after Ayub Khan martial law, military acted as the main force of establishment. Now by establishment we can easily refer to GHQ as main source of political power. Even Fatimah Jinnah, one of the strong political figure of our country and sister of founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah was not able to defeat this system. But her role in politics did make our establishment to get involved more in party politics or politics of masses. Now if I see things as an ordinary student of politics, foundation of PPP was meant to fill the political vacuum in the country so that those forces including Awami League, Jamat e Islami and others, who opposed Ayub martial law openly could not strengthen their grounds as alternate political reality other than establishment.
This approach worked in West Pakistan due to strong feudal system but failed in East Pakistan so establishment with the backing of feudal political class decided to use force on our own people. And we all know the consequences of 1971 riots and later Indo-Pak war. There was a chance for the nation to learn lessons from the mistakes and change the future course of actions.
But it didn’t happen except for few adjustments, including a real major one of developing 1973 constitution, our political outlook remained same. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was a product of establishment, who tried to become larger than he should be in the eyes of establishment and also started a nuclear program against the wishes of our imperialist masters, became a liability to the system and so he was removed from the scene through Zia martial law and later hanged till death in a murder case of controversial nature.
Removal of Bhutto, instead of giving some relief to martial law forces became counter productive especially in the province of Sind so a new political reality of MQM was given space and support by military establishment. In Zia’s time not only constitution was treated badly but his use of religion to give cover to his oppressive and hypocrite regime proved to be another major blunder in the history of our country.
Later after the death of General(R) Zia ul Haq, PPP with sympathy votes and deals with local and international establishment came into power. Instead of learning from past mistakes and doing accountability of constitutional violations and corruptions by Zia regime, PPP started a new era of corruption and nepotism in Pakistani politics. They were also joined by their rivals, PML(N) which was a product of Zia remains, in this political culture. This culture saw its ups and downs and political maneuvering by establishment through the formation of IJI and sacking of governments.
In this time Nawaz Sharif of PML(N), also emerged as a big political force through a huge mandate in 1997 elections by bagging 137 seats. Nawaz tried to undermine the unwanted reality of our political history i.e. military establishment and did not follow the line of imperialist master while conducting nuclear tests in 1998,was sacked in a military coup by General (R) Musharraf. In Nawaz’s sacking his controversial 15th amendment and attacks on judiciary also played a key role as these actions weakened the rule of law and supremacy of constitution in the country and thus giving more room for unconstitutional measures by opportunist forces of martial law.
Musharraf rule proved to be one of the most disastrous periods of Pakistani history. In this tenure Pakistan get involved into a foreign war and this war was later dragged into our cities through some of the most evil policies. This war and Musharraf’s rule converted the diversity of our society into a clash between sects, ethnicity and social classes.
Actions like attack on Supreme Judiciary, abrogation of constitution, illegal abductions, extra judicial killings, military operations including heavy bombings on civilian areas, 12 May 2007 and 9 March 2007 and others really broke the back of Pakistani economy and society. The society after Musharraf is more fragmented and country is facing some of the worst consequences of his actions.
Then another foreign sponsored deal, between forces of martial law and feudal-corporatist political elite, resulted in current NRO government. In return of Musharraf’s safety and continuation of his imperialist slave policies, current ruling alliance was not only given power but all criminal cases were removed in the name of reconciliation. In the mean time, removal of Benazir Bhutto from the scene also helped her cronies and beneficiaries of NRO deal to capture more sympathy votes. Despite a report by UN, Benazir murder case is still not seeing much progress except for cover ups.
Our history saw politics of so called Left and so called Right, so called Red and so called Green and also the so called struggle between forces of dictatorships and so called forces of democracy. The reality is most of these setups were fake and were meant to serve the goals of ruling elite and their foreign masters.
Old games are now again being played by our ruling elite with assistance from foreign masters. Former dictator Musharraf is planning to come back into politics. Pir Pagara has also started his alliance of failed politicians in the name of uniting Muslim League.
PPP and allied parties are still playing their dirty games to strengthen their rule through fear and control politics as a result a commercial hub like Karachi is seeing one of the worst periods of target killings.Institutional corruption, high inflation and a huge government-created energy crisis to pave way for their corruption in Rental Power Projects are putting us into further economic disaster.
Natural resources and assets are on sale for nothing and again our nation is being fooled just for the monetary gains of few.So called opposition comprising of PML-Q and PML-N are busy in playing their hypocritical role. People are still not able to come out of their prejudices and short term greed and so giving strength to this system through “Zindabad” mentality.
Even floods have not changed the situation much. Supreme Court, which has provided some hope after restoration is being sidelined by government and institutions. Lawyers and media which emerged as a new force in national politics are now being divided through money and threats. Government involvement in SCBA elections and threats to media are examples of this approach. Situation in Afghanistan will come with its own dynamics and impacts on Pakistani politics.
Luckily few good things happened in recent times including the revival of civil society, emergence of free and resilient media, and an independent Supreme Court. These are real challenging times for those who love freedom and justice. These include all those who are struggling for rule of law, justice, accountability, freedom and respect for nation, and above all a better Pakistan. Lot is needed to be done and it seems to be an almost impossible task but lets hope for the best as we are responsible for our actions and decisions not the given conditions and out of control realities.
Recently, Transparency International published their Corruption Perception Index in which Pakistan was placed at 34th position. Also in UN Humanitarian Development Index, Pakistan is proudly placed at 125 with Zimbabwe at lowest on 169 and small countries like Srilanka and Maldives in better positions of 99 and 107 than World’s 7th Nuclear Power. Many people especially those with some sort of sympathies with our ruling elite criticize the authenticity of these indexes.
One of the main argument presented against the results is lack of understanding by these institutions about the local conditions and environment. This criticism seems to be valid and genuine because if the analysis is based on real conditions then the results might come out worse.
If we look at the problems a common person faces due to corruption, law and order situation, and incompetent governance then the seriousness of the issues become a bit clear. Reality on the ground is that not only corruption is destroying our so-called national institutions and costing us billions but it has buried a common man straight under.
From cartelization to paying forceful unnecessary taxes, there is no justification of calling the present situation even near satisfactory. High inflation and energy crises are a result of government sponsored cartelization and corrupt privatization without merit. If things are done in transparent way and Rule of Law is established then we can expect some improvement in turbulent economy, if it has not crashed yet.We are already moving around 4 percent GDP growth which is very low as compared to countries like India and China in the same region.
If a common man saves enough money through his hard work, even in this time of government sponsored inflation, and decides to build his house then a new series of hurdles and problems start for him. First one is to go through the government doors for transferring the plots, passing the site plan and other unnecessary approvals which not only cost huge amount of fees but a big amount is taken from his through forceful corruption otherwise his file disappears somewhere in hell.
Once he goes through the process then the process of construction comes, if high prices of construction material due to unjustified sales taxes is not enough then extortion money will surely take a lot juice out of him. All the major government parties and their allied mafias are involved in this game. In case of Karachi, areas are distributed and in each area people are bound to pay this money if they want to make their houses or they want to do business. If someone denies then Shersha Kabari Market incident is not that old to remind us what can happen.
Recent target killing also has some touch of this mafia war for taking more and more area under control. Many times where demarkation of areas is not clear people have to pay extortion to multiple parties. The situation has gone worse after floods, especially in Karachi, not only due to chanting demographics but also due to further slowdown in economy and high inflation.
Cost of doing and initiating business is also a major problem. Not only permits, licensing and quotas are a major problem but red-tapism, corruption, security issues and high electricity are things which in any country can break the backbone of business. Load shedding of 12 hours in a commercial hub like Karachi cannot send a positive message for any investor whether local or international.
The situation is not only resulting in the flight of capital but it has created unemployment issues as well which directly impacts the standard of living. We often demand overseas Pakistanis to bring their money in the country but if we honestly analyse the situation then the demand looks a bit unjust.
At the moment our country is facing worst kind of shameless plutocracy in the name of democracy with mafias and government cronies hammering the life out of our people.
The responsibility also lies on the shoulders of people as they are the ones who chant slogans for these leaders and support either corrupt politicians or dictators.
The real issue is not just that how long this situation can go on but the real issue how long our country can sustain it. We need to come out of this situation otherwise time doesn’t wait for anyone and if worse becomes worst and worst becomes unchangeable then collapse of everything becomes inevitable. So the choice is ours and we are already getting late for the right choices to be made. Instead of cursing institutions for bringing out reports reflecting our dismal performance we need to focus on improving the situation and coming out of this mess.
- Also on : http://blogs.aaj.tv/2010/11/shameless-plutocracy-and-turbulent-economy/