KARACHI: Senior anchorperson Hamid Mir who was critically injured in an armed attack is his first statement issued after regaining consciousness that his programme ‘Capital Talk’ on Mama Qadeer Baloch’s long march to Islamabad had annoyed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Amir Mir, senior journalist and brother of Hamid Mir, read out the statement before the media from outside the hospital.
“Men of some intelligence agency had come to my house, telling me that my name is on the hit-list,” Amir Mir read out the text. “When I asked as to who had prepared the hit-list, the men gave no response.”
Hamid Mir said he had told them that in the prevailing circumstance he had faced greatest threats from the ISI and they should convey this to their bosses.
The statement further said: “If any harm came to me or my family, the state and non-state actors will be responsible.”
“I had been receiving threats from both state and non-state actors,” it added.
“I had informed in advance about the threats to the Geo’s administration, family members, close friends and companions. I had also pointed out the elements from whom I faced the threats.”
Hamid Mir asked in the statement as to why no action was taken against the elements who had planted explosives beneath his car. “Why were these elements not exposed,” he questioned.
“Despite a police report, no action was taken against the people who had attacked my children in Islamabad,” the statement added.
In the beginning of the statement, Hamid Mir thanked the people of Pakistan for being blessed with a new life.
Another good article by Hamid Mir on how establishment under Musharraf created this mess of terrorism and sectarian violence in Pakistan. My view on the issues are:
General Musharraf, Army and other pro-war lobbies used sectarian and social class differences in the society to forward their war agenda. Before 2005-06, there wasn’t much support for this fake war on terror but after that time they worked
on sectarian and social-class lines to create acceptability for this war. 2007 Lal-Masjid operation was in those same lines. The other thing they did was to exploit ethnic differences to strengthen his rule and MQM/PPP/ANP assisted 12 May 2007 was part of that policy. These things may have helped Musharraf in his war agenda or temporarily strengthening his rule but this has put Pakistan into a self-destructing mode.
Below is the article by Hamid Mir on Lal Masjid Operation. published in Jang:
May Allah give justice to the victims of this barbaric action by state institutions and give strength to the judges of Supreme Court to deliver justice without any fear. We also need to make state institutions clean from these evil minds who plot these evil things against the country and its people.
Recent events of march against drone strikes and attack on Malala Yousafzai have raised some important questions in my mind. These questions are mainly related to the timing of the event and how past events were dealt by the government and security institutions.
If Benazir Murder case is resolved then a lot can be understood about this fake war. For a start, one should ask that how was it possible that some rogue terrorists were able to delete or tempered the mobile communication record from the area? As far as I know that only ISI or some other high level intelligence organization like CIA (Like NADRA data they can surely access this data too) can do it.
These incidents like Benazir, Malala, Islamic University blast or Peshawar market blasts (denied by Talibans) happen at crucial times when anti-war protests take momentum or some crucial decisions are being made about further operations.
Another interesting event is the letter written by Afghan (Pentagon puppet) President Hamid Karzai to PTI’s Chairman, Imran Khan. For those who think that Malala issue is not related to drones and military operations or this fake war, there are few things to ponder upon (If they have the brain to do so). Why the president of a country would like to write a letter to Imran Khan and show the concerns which are shown by social-class and sectarian fascists in Pakistan and pro-imperialism media in USA? It seems Imran Khan and PTI’s march against drone strikes not only disturbed the plans of Pakistani sectarian and social-class fascists but also disturbed the pro-war scum internationally.
Another thing to understand about drone, NWA operation and Malala issue is that Imran Khan is scheduled to lead a protest in front of UN on 26th October 2012.
We need to find answers for these questions. For a start on Malala’s issue, government’s own interior minister Rehman Malik denied the involvement of TTP. Even if it is TTP then there are more than 15 (some say 30) groups working as TTP.
Some are fighting for revenge, some are being funded by international enemies of the country who want Pakistan to remain stuck in this war and some are local criminal gangs. Unless they are not identified clearly, word Taliban has no meaning. Free and Fair investigation can only be done in current scenario through Supreme Court or some investigation body working under SC. But again judiciary is being badly cornered by the government and army due to corruption and missing persons cases. That is why I say for a start we need to find the names behind Benazir murder case.
People say that these tribes and terrorists are ideologically connected. Ideologically connected is also a vague term. People with same customs, cultures or grievances or may be some other common points can be termed as ideologically connected. With this logic most Indians can be termed as RSS, most USA can be connected to Bund or KKK, all Irish people can be termed as IRA, all British people can blamed for the crimes of East India Company, most Israelis can be linked with Stern gang, most Germans can be linked with Nazis etc. Without addressing the root causes, one cannot solve this issue and waging a war against populations after some isolated incidents doesn’t look very intelligent especially after a decade of destruction.
When are we going to learn the lessons from past mistakes? Or Pakistan army and government are committed to repeat another 1971?
A good article by hamid mir on Sheikh Mujib ur Rahman, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
In a historic judgment by Supreme Court of Pakistan , the judges have ordered an action against Malik Riaz (real estate mafia lord), Salman (Son in law of Malik Riaz) and Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry (Chief Justice’s own son).
We salute Chief Justice and Supreme Court for showing us that, at least in their eyes, no one is above the law.
SC orders action against Riaz, Salman and Arsalan
ISLAMABAD: A two member bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif have concluded hearing of the Arsalan Iftikhar suo moto case and issued its short order.
In the short order the Supreme Court directed Attorney General Ifran Qadir to take strict action against Malik Raiz, Salman Ahmed (Riaz’s son-in-law) and Arsalan Iftikhar according to the law. The court said that the three had the right to a transparent trial.
The court ruled that Malik Riaz tried to buy justice, adding those giving bribes and those taking it were both sinners.
The two member bench also rejected the plea of Malik Riaz’s counsel Zahid Bukhari to form a commission or send the case to an investigation agency.
The short order was written on the basis of statements recorded by parties in the case along with those of Hamid Mir, Kamran Khan and Shaheen Sehbai.
Shaheen Sehbai admitted that the son of the CJ was targeted to hatch a conspiracy against the judiciary.
The order further said that Malik Riaz had accepted that despite spending more than Rs340 million he could not get relief. The media should not be used by such persons who do not respect the law and constitution, the order said.
26 Jan 2012 : Capital Talk A good program on Missing Person’s Case and ISI state crimes against people
Below is the link of a useful program on ISI’s crimes and state terrorism. In this episode of Capital Talk Hamid Mir talks on one of the most imortant case of our history.
Guests : Lt. Gen(R) Malik Abdul Qayum, Hasil Bazinjo, Omer Cheema,Asima Jehangir and victim/lawyer in missig person’s case.
Real cases are missing persons, NRO, 3rd November 2007 and if these cases are resolved on principles of justice and constitution then we can see some fundamental changes. :
We also need a war tribunal to investigate and prosecute War Crimes in this fake war on terror.
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.
LONDON: Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan called Thursday for the army to withdraw from Pakistan’s tribal areas and for talks with the Taliban, warning that the country faced “catastrophe” otherwise.
Khan said the US-Pakistan military offensive in the areas bordering Afghanistan was turning locals massively against the United States and boosting support for the militants.
US drone strikes on militants were sparking “anger and hatred” in the area, said Khan, who leads the marginal Tehrik-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice).
“The solution is to hold a dialogue with the militants,” he told an audience at the Chatham House foreign policy thinktank in London.
“The solution is to win them onto our side, not to bomb them with airstrikes.” Otherwise, he warned: “If we continue with this military operation we are facing a catastrophe.”
The militants operating in the tribal areas did not share the beliefs of the Afghan Taliban, who wanted to create an Islamist state, he said.
“In my opinion, they are political Taliban, they are not religious Taliban.”
“They will fade away as soon as the Pakistan army moves back and dialogue is held,” he added.
Khan said that Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf once described him as “a terrorist without a beard” for suggesting talks with the militants, but now it was an idea being promoted by others.
“Now even (Afghan President) Hamid Karzai considers (Taliban supreme leader) Mullah Omar to be a brother,” Khan added, to laughter from the audience.
He also criticised the tactics of the US military surge in Afghanistan.
“The only way I see the surge being effective is if they use their muscle to get the Taliban to the negotiating table.”
“If they use the surge for more bloodshed, I can guarantee they will leave behind — because they will leave — a far more radical government than the one it replaced.”
A US drone strike in the lawless northwest border area Thursday targeted Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, officials said, although the militia denied reports that he was among 10 killed. –AFP