Saturday, March 31, 2012

Army Chief names retired Lt General Tejinder Singh in his bribery complaint to CBI

Army Chief names retired Lt General Tejinder Singh in his bribery complaint to CBI

NDTV Correspondent with PTI inputs, Updated: March 31, 2012 16:54 IST
New Delhi: Army Chief General VK Singh has named retired Lt General Tejinder Singh in his complaint to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the alleged Rs. 14 crore bribe offered to him to clear tranche of nearly 600 Tatra trucks. CBI sources said that General Singh has assured them of providing more material about the alleged bribe offer soon.

The Army Chief's revelation that he was offered a bribe six months after he took office in 2010 has led to renewed attention to how equipment is bought for the Army. The sale of 7000 trucks to the Army by a company named Vectra is being formally investigated by the CBI.

General Singh had claimed that a lobbyist, who had "just" retired, offered him a bribe for clearing "sub-standard" vehicles and he had informed the Defence Minister about it. The Ministry had then recommended a CBI probe into the allegation made by the Army chief.

The CBI has now started examining the complaint received on Friday and may question retired Lt General Tejinder Singh in connection with the case, they said. Sources said a call on whether to proceed with a preliminary enquiry or a regular FIR would be taken soon.

The agency was waiting for a formal complaint from the Army chief regarding details of alleged bribe offer to initiate a formal probe into the matter referred to it by the Defence ministry. CBI officers had earlier met the Army Chief on Monday evening.

Retired Lt General Tejinder Singh has refuted the allegations. He has also filed a defamation case against the Army chief and other officers.

The Pakistani States Private Electricity Fraud with its own people

Can the Pakistani state be trusted ? A corrupt state which sends false inflated electric bills to its citizens ? Gets US Dollars in aid from the USA and hides OBL ?

Sunday, April 01, 2012   

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COMMENT: Shock therapy —Lal Khan

In 65 years, the Pakistani bourgeoisie has lost all confidence of creating a modern industrialised society. In desperation, they have resorted to unprecedented economic, social and political despotism to further subdue the masses 

It is often said that necessity is the mother of all invention. However, if we look at the masses on a vast scale in society it turns into its opposite. Most inventions become a necessity on a wider scale once people become aware of their benefits and end up becoming dependent on them. At that stage these inventions adopt the characteristic of social necessity. The same is true for electricity. Once people got used to its usage, it became an integral part of their lives. However, in countries like Pakistan the provision of this necessity is on the retreat. That is where it hurts the most. There is an interesting anecdote in Punjabi folklore. A poor peasant was carrying a bag of wheat to the roof. His supervisor lit a match to light up the stairs. In a few moments, the matchstick flickered and blew out. The peasant exclaimed in disgust, "You have even taken my darkness from me." When the flame was extinguished, the peasant's eyes could not even see what they had adjusted to (darkness) before the match was lit.
The torment that the people of Pakistan have to suffer in their daily lives due to the massive power cuts is much more agonising. Electricity is probably the most important invention that has become part of human existence. From industry to household, from education to health, it plays a vital part in the functioning of the innumerable sectors of the economy, society and domestic life. With electricity outages, life comes to almost a standstill. In Pakistan over the last few years intense load shedding has become a norm but people cannot adjust to it as there is no feasible real source that can replace the use of electric power. The dependency is so intense that regular day-to-day activities shrivel and stagnate. A sarcastic joke circulates amongst the masses in South Asia that the people of Pakistan are the happiest in the region because they rejoice every hour. Electricity goes every hour and when its returns after an hour everyone exclaims in joy, "It's come, it's come!" Now even that is not the case as vast regions have electricity outages of more than twenty hours a day. 
This state of affairs is not a joke. These outages do not just affect the physical state of the people, it is increasingly becoming a psychological trauma. It worsens the moods, attitudes, behaviours and alienation in society. People are desperate and furious. There have been sporadic protests at regular intervals with the rise in the duration of these outages in the last four years of this so-called democratic rule. These could rapidly converge into a unified mass upheaval that will threaten the entire system. The different political parties and leaders are playing the blame game. This has further confused and distracted the already deprived masses to reach a path that could lead them out of this and other cruel ordeals they are suffering in this tragic society. The experts and analysts are full of modern information on power generation and its supply. From the vast coal reserves in Thar to power generation through solar energy and nuclear power, to the wind and the waves in the Sindh and Balochistan's coastal areas, there are endless sources being pointed out. There is a superabundance of innovative suggestions in the press and television.
The simple truth is that there is an overcapacity of power generation in Pakistan. The total power required at present is around 15,000 megawatts while the total generation capacity is 19,500 megawatts. So where is the problem? The reasons for the underproduction of power are profit, the lack of funds by the state to pay the exorbitant prices of the private power producers and to repair the infrastructure in the hydropower and other state-owned production units. In the last decade, hardly any new electricity-generating capacity has been added due to the ever-increasing GDP expenditures on imperialist loans and military hardware, which leaves almost nothing to repair or build new infrastructure, not just in electricity but from the railways to health and education to roads; all have been left in neglect and are in tatters. And these deficits are only going to worsen in the period ahead. According to some conservative estimates, by the year 2020 the shortfall will be more than 20,000 megawatts. But the real issue is that under capitalism, development of physical and social infrastructure is not for the fulfilment of social needs but to generate profits. In the rotten crisis-ridden capitalism in Pakistan, legal profitability rates are dismally low. Hence, businesses and the state end up resorting to some of the most vulgar corruption. This then defines the pattern of infrastructural planning and goes some way in explaining why hydropower dropped to only 30 percent of the total power generation in the country.
The Independent Power Producers (IPPs) set up during the 1994-5 period were based on petroleum products. Lucrative contracts were dished out to imperialist multinationals from which they generated much more profit than electricity. So were the commissions and the kickbacks that the bureaucracy and the politicians got in reward. These multinationals have been repatriating profits of about $ 2 billion a year for nearly two decades now. Just imagine this massive amount being invested in diverse technologies for power generation. These private generation companies have a capacity of generating 4,981 megawatts but they produce only 2,319 megawatts, simply to force the government to pay ever-higher prices. There is an easy solution to the nightmare of power outages. Nationalise these IPPs under workers control and management and the next moment, 'Let there be light'.
But our ruling elite cannot do this, whichever party or institution they might belong to. In 65 years, the Pakistani bourgeoisie has lost all confidence of creating a modern industrialised society. In desperation, they have resorted to unprecedented economic, social and political despotism to further subdue the masses. Their cold indifference and callousness exudes from their economic and social impotence. They are subjecting the oppressed masses to shock therapy. With a philosophy based on logical positivism, they think that by inflicting wound upon wound on the toilers, they would somehow vanquish them until eternity. They are highly mistaken. The masses see that the rich and the powerful do not even know what it feels like being without electricity. The chandeliers in the palaces of the affluent are ever glowing while the lone bulb in workers' dwellings seldom twinkles. This class contradiction is roiling like lava. When these volcanic eruptions explode, the elite will not be able to escape the wrath of lightning shock waves of a mass revolt with a vengeance.

The writer is the editor of Asian Marxist Review and International Secretary of Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign. He can be reached at

The ‘iron hand’ mentality —Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

COMMENT: The 'iron hand' mentality —Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

The iron hand mentality has been the bane of the establishment and rulers and it is not something inadvertent, spontaneous or random; it is the natural consequence of the deeply etched religious and racist bias

The Balochistan Cabinet, reports say, in order to maintain the writ of the government, has decided to clamp down on anti-Pakistan elements "with an iron hand". This 'earthshaking' decision implies that previously the Baloch people were being dealt with with velvety hands and utmost compassion. The art of dissembling and deceit should be learnt from this 'establishment'; they should open another university similar to their 'strategic depth university', which teaches the finer points of terrorism in its 'strategic assets' department.
This iron hand statement is certainly not surprising because the Baloch had already perceived the absolute sense of desperation gripping the government due to the inexorable rise in Baloch resentment resulting from ever-increasing atrocities and injustices committed against them in the name of 'national interest' and other such charades. 
The recent demands of those serving Pakistan loyally were a dead giveaway about this extreme desperation that has taken hold in those circles that now see themselves endangered by Balochistan's rising tide of insurgency. They no longer even try to provide a fig leaf to the fact that decisions in all matters are taken by the army and they are denied even a figurehead position. The fact is their survival depends on the benevolence of the army and not the people they ostensibly represent.
First the Speaker of the Balochistan Assembly Mohammad Aslam Bhootani said, "Because the army has a role in matters concerning the province therefore it should be included in negotiations with estranged Baloch nationalist leaders." He conceded civilian powerlessness by admitting that the army had its own opinion on security issues and political leaders and parties had their own stance. 
Even those who have not yet seen a ten-rupee note know whose writ runs in Balochistan, but publicly condoning and promoting the army's writ there is tantamount to abject abdication of responsibility by the so-called political leaders and is utterly demeaning for any self-respecting civilian government claiming to represent the people. But as their survival is intrinsically tied to the goodwill of the army, the real power in Balochistan, they serve at its pleasure. 
The Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi while awarding honours on March 23 went a step further and suggested that all stakeholders, including the intelligence agencies, should be consulted to resolve the Balochistan imbroglio. Candidly admitting his helplessness he said, "I cannot (even) recruit a clerk in any department, so you should direct questions about law and order and talks (with angry Baloch leaders) to the chief minister and his cabinet members." The effectiveness of the chief minister and his cabinet is not a 'Boson's particle'-like mystery; they have admitted quite often that they play second fiddle to the Frontier Corps (FC)-run parallel government. 
The governor was all fire and brimstone a few days later in his address at the concluding ceremony of a three-day festival organised by the Pakistan Army at Askari Park; the civilian government was the comic sidekick there. He thundered: "No one will be able to separate Balochistan from Pakistan." The right sound bytes to retain the seat he warms presently.
The irony that most events for March 23 were organised by the army and the FC was lost on no one. Each March 23 and August 14 helps reinforce the Baloch people's belief that those claiming to be their representatives and upholding their rights are in fact simply implementing the commands of the establishment.
These personages have now started fearing the people to the extent that they have no compunction in taking up the fight with those who struggle for Baloch rights. This does not augur well for the people because it will make attainment of their goals more difficult and is pregnant with the prospects of a civil war that ideally suits the establishment. Now the jihadi brigade too, after the turncoat Baloch so-called leaders, are being nurtured for an active anti-people, counter-revolutionary role in Balochistan. These Ngô Ðình Di?ms, Nguyen Khanhs, Nguyen Cao Kys, Vidkum Quislings and Mir Jaffars should however remember that it is the will of the people that prevails and not armed might and weapons. Had this been the case, the United States and France would have been ruling in Vietnam and Algeria today. 
The desperation and nervousness that prevails in the establishment in Balochistan is unmistakably apparent from its jamming the cellular services in the province on March 23. Knowing people would ridicule the occasion, they suspended it. It is a blessing that our heartbeats and our speech are not within the ambit of their regulation, otherwise they might suspend those too to get rid of all those struggling for their rights. 
The velvety hand that the establishment has compassionately used against the Baloch until now has resulted in immeasurable sufferings for them. There have been so many operations and for so long that there is not an area in Balochistan that has not suffered the state's military or economic ravages. There are very few people around who were born before Pakistan began this policy of systematic repression and denial of rights in Balochistan. The vast majority of the Baloch have been directly and personally affected by this velvet hand approach and the remainder will be by the envisaged iron hand policy. The resentment among the Baloch has seen a qualitative change from a passive to active resistance.
The iron hand mentality has been the bane of the establishment and rulers and it is not something inadvertent, spontaneous or random; it is the natural consequence of the deeply etched religious and racist bias compounded by a healthy dose of paranoia and fear in their psyche.
Irfan Hussain in his column Pakistan as a Security State said, "Generations of young officers at the military academy at Kakul have been taught that India is the eternal enemy, and that civilians are a necessary evil who have to be endured, but never trusted. A part of this indoctrination is the notion that one Muslim soldier is equal to 10 Hindus." When you think like that, you put yourself in a hopelessly irretrievable bind from which there is no escape and it leads you towards inevitable destruction. There they also inculcate the idea that armed with their weapons and brute force they can fix all dissenters; that is how they acted against the Bengalis and now against the Baloch. The Bengalis proved them wrong and so will the Baloch.

The writer has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He tweets at mmatalpur and can be contacted at

The Lahore - Bombay film linkage

Dear All,

I continue with the Lahore film industry, tracing its links with the Bombay film industry. Comments are welcome.

Warm regards,

The writer has a PhD from Stockholm University. He is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University. He is also Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. His latest publication is: The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed: Unravelling the 1947 Tragedy through Secret British Reports and First-Person Accounts (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2012; New Delhi: Rupa Books, 2011). He can be reached at

Daily Times, Sunday, March 31, 2012\04\01\story_1-4-2012_pg3_3

VIEW: The Lahore-Bombay film linkage —Ishtiaq Ahmed

Besides talented Urdu-speaking beautiful Punjabi men and women, who became the icons of mass audiences, a variety of Punjabi professionals were absorbed readily by the Bombay film industry 

In Travels of Bollywood Cinema: From Bombay to LA (edited by Anjali Gera Roy and Chua Beng Huat, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2012), the argument I have advanced in my article, The Lahore Film Industry, is that although Bombay, Calcutta and Madras emerged as filmmaking cities earlier than Lahore, the latter enjoyed an advantage and seemed poised to become the second most important filmmaking city. The reason was that while Bombay was the undisputed capital of Hindi-Urdu or rather Hindustani films, it was located far away from the Hindi-Urdu language heartland of northern India. Calcutta was essentially the cultural capital of the Bengali renaissance while Madras catered for the Tamil speaking audiences of southern India. 
On the other hand, Punjabis were conversant in Hindustani, the actual lingua franca of northern India with linkages even in southern India such as Hyderabad Deccan (Tariq Rahman, From Hindi to Urdu, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2011). Consequently, besides talented Urdu-speaking beautiful Punjabi men and women, who became the icons of mass audiences, a variety of Punjabi professionals were absorbed readily by the Bombay film industry. In the 1940s some very successful Urdu-language films were produced from Lahore. Among those were Khandaan, Khazanchi and Daasi. Such developments further enhanced the reputation of Lahore as a competitive film-making city. Khandaan was a Noorjahan-Pran starrer. The future bad man of Bombay (otherwise a thorough gentleman) Pran started his career in Lahore. 
The growing Punjabi colony in Bombay consisted of K L Saigal, Prithviraj Kapoor and his sons, Shyam, Dilip Kumar (Hindko-speaking), Surinder, Karan Dewan, Dev Anand, Balraj Sahni and many others. Among female artistes from Punjab were Khurshid, Mumtaz Shanti, Veena (Tajour Sultana), Begum Para, Noorjahan, Meena Shori, Suraiya and Manorama (a Christian from Lahore). Kamini Kaushal had acted in one film in Bombay but not yet shifted to that city. Shyama (Khurshid Akhtar) of Baghbanpura outside Lahore was to make a name for herself in the 1950s but it is not clear when she arrived in Bombay. 
AR Kardar moved to Bombay in the early 1940s where he established the Kardar Studios. Kardar's assistant, fellow Bhaati Gate resident M Sadiq, actor Suresh (Nazim Ahmad) and many minor actors such as Amar (Dilip Kumar's father in Mela), a Muslim young man also from the Walled City of Lahore, set up hearth and home in Bombay. Dev Anand's elder brother Chetan Anand was also in Bombay.
Legendary singers Mohammad Rafi and Shamshad too shifted to Bombay in the early 1940s; music directors Jhandey Khan, Master Ghulam Haider, Pandit Amarnath and his brothers, the famous duo Hunslal-Bhagat Ram, Hans Raj Behl, Mohinder Singh, Feroz Nizami, Khurshid Anwar, Khayyam and Vinod (Eric Roberts) were part of the growing Punjabi music community in Bombay. 
Ghulam Haider transformed film music by introducing Punjabi beats and tempo. He was undoubtedly one of the greatest innovators in film music. Vinod composed the famous hit song Lara Lappa Lara Lappa lyee rakhda/ Additappa, additappa payee rakhda. Another Punjabi stalwart among music directors in Bombay who began his career in Lahore was Shyam Sunder, whose immortal songs in films such as Gaon ki Gori (1945), Lahore (1948) and Bazaar (1949) have earned him a lasting place in the annals of Hindi film music. Both Vinod and Shyam Sunder died young.
Directors Kidar Sharma and OP Dutta, script and story writers Saadat Hasan Manto and Krishan Chander; lyricists Qamar Jalalabadi (Om Prakash), DN Madokh and Tanveer Naqvi started in Lahore and then went to Bombay. Songwriter and music director Prem Dhawan studied in the FC College and then went to Bombay. Many artistes worked in both places. 
The rioting of 1947 set in motion irreversible, irrevocable migration. B R. Chopra and I S Johar were planning films in a big way for Lahore but had to run for their lives. Ramanand Sagar left in July, so did Gulshan Rai. Character actor Om Prakash (of Fateh Din fame, an all-time favourite skit relayed for years by Radio Lahore), comedian-bad man Jeevan and many others also left Lahore for Bombay. O P Nayyar recorded his immortal song Preetam Aan Milo/ Dukhia Jiya Bullai, Aan Milo at the His Master's Voice studio in Lahore. He left Lahore only in 1948 when it became clear that people with the wrong religion were not going to return to their homes on either side of the Punjab. Writer Rajinder Singh Bedi escaped, sitting on top of a railway carriage carrying loads of Hindus and Sikhs out of Lahore. Song-writer Naqsh Lyallpuri began his literary career in Lahore as a journalist but had to leave in 1947. Punjabi singers, the sisters Surinder Kaur and Prakash Kaur, and Pushpa Hans also left Lahore.
Migration in the other direction also took place. Nazir and his wife Suranlata, Noorjahan and her husband Shaukat Husain Rizvi, character actor Alauddin and many others headed for Lahore. Manto came in January 1948, music directors Ghulam Haider and Khurshid Anwar followed some years later and director M. Sadiq probably in 1969 or 1970. Meena Shori, Khurshid and Mumtaz Shanti also immigrated to Lahore. Some Pakistani actors in Lahore continued to use Hindu filmic names. Santosh Kumar (Musa Raza) and Sudhir (Shah Zaman), the two most famous heroes of the 1950s and 60s represented such practice. On both sides, initially considerable goodwill existed between the two film communities. 
Some families were divided. Thus for example, while Nazir shifted to Lahore, his nephew K. Asif stayed on in Bombay. Kardar stayed on but his brother Nusrat Kardar and son Rauf Kardar returned to Lahore. While Suraiya, her mother and grandmother settled in Bombay, many of her other relatives shifted to Lahore. Rafi stayed on to reign supreme in Bombay while his parents and siblings were in Lahore.
There were some cross-religion marriages that created peculiar challenges. Raj Kapoor's maama (maternal uncle) Mr Mehra married a Muslim, converted to Islam and stayed in Lahore. A unique case of reverse migration took place as well: poet Sahir Ludhianvi (Abdul Hai) left Lahore for India. I will be taking up some of these stories in the forthcoming articles. The Lahore-Bombay connection was not snapped entirely notwithstanding the politics of confrontation that soon afterwards ensued between Pakistan and India. Rather it resurrected from time to time.

The writer has a PhD from Stockholm University. He is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science, StockholmUniversity. He is also Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of South AsianStudies, National University of Singapore. His latest publication is: The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed: Unravelling the 1947 Tragedy through Secret British Reports and First-Person Accounts (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2012; New Delhi: Rupa Books, 2011). He can be reached

Gift of General Ayub Khan to Karachi (Ethnic Anarchy)


'What a city to plunder'Abbas Nasir 31st March, 2012

HAVING been born in Karachi and having lived there for several different stretches, a visit to the city always sets one's pulse racing in anticipation. 
The earliest flashes of memory are of a beautiful city by sandy beaches, a city which never went to sleep and seemed to pulsate round the clock — unlike any other urban centre in the country. Its sea breeze-cooled-evenings, scented by raat ki rani, were the stuff of poetry. 
Its famed night life was not only for the rich but was accessible to the middle class too. Yes, any bustling metropolis in the Third World won't be without its share of the poverty-stricken. But Karachi somehow managed to fold the poor in its embrace. Rarely did anyone sleep hungry. 
The industrial-commercial hub of the country and the only major port city attracted the poor from across the length and breadth of the country, a point made by the many, many of its adopted children. "It is a ghareeb-parwar city, Sahab. Look at its weather. Where else in Pakistan can you sleep under the open skies nearly 12 months in a year. I can tell you that anyone who is willing and able to work doesn't go hungry here," I recall a taxi driver telling me many years ago. 
People lived life here with gay abandon. One remembers the inebriated stumbling out of the bars in Saddar, while one waited in a car across the tram-tracks for a glass of steaming almond-pistachio-laced creamy milk at one of our favourite milk shops.

Nearly five decades on and the Burns Road dhagay wale kabab, the Sabri Nehari, the Delhi Kaali Muslim Qorma and of course Farzand Ali's Qulfi will still make you tell any physician, justifiably warning you of the consequences of a cholesterol-rich diet, to go away and leave you alone. 
Any weekend would be incomplete without a trip to Clifton where stretched out on the sand between the baradari and where the waves lapped the shore would be craftsmen selling sea-shell jewellery, lamps, etc. The whole area would be lit up by 'gas' or 'Petromax' lanterns. 
It was around this time when, as a young boy, the illusion of a city eternally at peace with itself was shattered in ways I couldn't comprehend then. It all began when Ayub Khan defeated Fatima Jinnah in a questionable presidential election.
His son Gohar Ayub Khan led a victory procession through different parts of Karachi, in particular through neighbourhoods which had overwhelmingly supported Fatima Jinnah. This wasn't a benign celebration, as residents of Khamosh Colony and Gujjar Naala would well remember. 
Very soon, the president's armed supporters were attacking homes and the unarmed residents were defending themselves with whatever they could lay their hands on. It was a sad realisation that the violence had an ethnic dimension.

One of my father's friends, a retired army officer who lived in Nazimabad not far from Gujjar Naala, was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack as he tried to prevent the attackers entering his home. With peace finally restored and my father's friend discharged from hospital, we visited him. 
Even weeks later, the whole area resembled a war zone, with burnt-out shells of cars and damaged homes and properties. Karachi may have been as resilient as today but was definitely more, much more, forgiving then. Normality was restored quickly. 
Even though this violence was orchestrated, it passed, much like the 10th of Moharram incidents near Saeed Manzil on M. A. Jinnah Road where every year someone or the other would trigger an ugly episode as the Shia Ashura procession was passing. But by the next day, all was forgotten. 
It would be nearly two decades later when Karachi would be racked by bloody sectarian strife, the roots of which could be traced to the Zia regime. It was committed to a fragmentation of society on whatever lines it could find in its divide and rule policy. Nearly 30 years on, the bloodshed continues.

It was a mere two years after the sectarian flames were fanned here that another conflict took root which would over the following decades exact a toll of thousands of lives and would see property worth billions destroyed. 
Regardless of your ethnicity, if you saw yourself as a progressive individual it was incumbent on you to blame one ethnic group and its representative party for much of the murder and mayhem in the city from the 1980s onwards. And you would be correct, too. 
However, over the recent years, other parties, aligned with one ethnic group or the other, have jumped into the fray and sadly the situation isn't as simple as it was perhaps 10 or 15 years ago. All major parties in Karachi have armed wings, which are used as a 'legitimate' tool of political power. 
If one party seems more capable of widespread terror than the next, it may not represent a greater/lesser desire to use violence. It may merely reflect the size of their respective support bases in this blighted city. The greater the turf they covet, the more firepower they'll need to have. 
In a column for this newspaper in the mid-'80s focusing on Karachi, eminent columnist Ghazi Salahuddin quoted one of Napoleon's generals who had been wined and dined in London and given a grand conducted tour. 
The idea was to win him over and save the city from a possible Napoleonic invasion. When asked what he thought of London as he was leaving, the general famously remarked: "What a city to plunder!" 
Tell me why this lovely city, this sanctuary for the poorest of the poor, this bustling metropolis, seems to bring out the vilest side in all those who seek or wield political power here. 
Why is it so unloved when it embraces all? 
If only for a change we healed Karachi with the vigour with which we plunder it.



My Dear Charles

My suggestion is that since Islam prescribes death sentence for anyone converting from Islam to another religion , Christianity should also prescribe that !

My second advice is that if anyone thinks he is a great Muslim he should not go to Europe or Americas ! On other hand Europe and Americas should banish all Muslim migrants to Europe and make use of the Philipinos who are good in everything from work to pleasure !




This should be Posted in every school in the " USA"
Only 31 words --- Think about it


Isn't life strange?
I never met one Veteran who enlisted to fight for Socialism

86% will send this on.







If Muslims can pray on Madison Avenue, why are
Christians banned from praying in public and erecting religious displays on their holy days?

What happened to our National Day of Prayer? Obama says we
can't have that, yet Muslims are allowed to block off Madison Ave. in N. Y. and pray in the middle of the street! And, it's a monthly ritual!

Tell me again, whose country is this? Ours or the Muslims?

I was asked to send this on if I agree, or delete if I don't. It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God.

Therefore I have a very hard time understanding why
there is such a problem in having 'In God We Trust' on our money and having 'God' in the Pledge of Allegiance.

I believe it's time we stand up for what we believe!

If you agree, pass this on, if not, delete







No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG -
Version: 9.0.872 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/3286 - Release Date: 12/01/10 12:34:00

AL تنظيمات حرب مستقبلية ضد المملكة العربية السعودية التي-AL QAEDAS FUTURE WAR AGAINST SAUDI ARABIA-



The fall of Saudi Arabia to Al Qaeda would be a grand strategic victory for Al Qaeda.

Saudi Arabias 1100 miles border with Yemen is an infiltrators paradise.

authorities say they detained 239,000 illegal immigrants in the past year, up 37 percent from last year. They didn't give estimates for how many got through.

My impression of the Saudi officers as I saw them in Armour School Nowshera in 1983-91 and those shared with my friends who went on Saudi Arabia on military deputation brings me to the conclusion that Saudi military and border police are pathetic and will be easy game for terrorists.

As Yemenis increase in population in Saudi Arabia , a major breakdown of the Saudi state may occur as early as 2017.

The fall of Saudi Arabias Saud Dynasty can severely destabilise the whole region ?

Saudi Arabia has money to spend 20 Billion US Dollars on constructing border fences but it is the Bin Laden company doing this construction ! Allah help Saudi Arabia !

What Saudi Arabia lacks is quality military leadership.

The problem is that Saudi Arabia fears an able military leader in its security forces.


Friday, March 30, 2012

How religion has been used to promote slavery


How religion has been used to promote slavery

By John Blake, CNN

Editor's note: The CNN documentary
<> 'Slavery's Last Stronghold'
airs on CNN International TV March 29, 30, 31 and April 22. Check local
listings for times.

(CNN) - Which revered religious figure - Moses, Jesus, or the Prophet
Muhammad - spoke out boldly and unambiguously against slavery?

Answer: None of them.

One of these men owned slaves, another created laws to regulate - but not
ban  - slavery. The third's chief spokesman even ordered slaves to obey
their masters, religious scholars say.

Most modern people of faith see slavery as a great evil. Though the three
great Western religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - disagree on many
matters, most of their contemporary followers condemn slavery.

Yet there was a time when Jews, Christians and Muslims routinely cited the
words and deeds of their founders to justify human bondage, scholars say.

At times, religion was deployed more to promote the spread of slavery than
to prevent it.

"The lesson in all this is we need historical humility," says Daniel C.
Peterson, author of "Muhammad, Prophet of God." "It's stunning for us to
look back now and say, how can people face themselves in the mirror after
doing what they did, but they did."

But what did the founders of the three great Western religions do? Did they
have slaves and did they condemn the practice? Or were they, at least on
this issue, squarely men of their times?

The answers to these questions are as murky and contradictory as history

What's a slave?

 Part of the problem is historical context. Most contemporary people think
of slaves as people condemned to a lifetime of bondage, working on
plantations and being whipped like oxen.

That kind of slavery did exist during the lives of Moses, Jesus and the
Prophet Muhammad. Many slaves were prisoners of war; concubines, gladiators,
laborers in salt mines. They could be killed, raped and discarded at any

Yet there were layers of slavery in the ancient world. Many slaves would be
seen today as indentured servants, or people trying to pay off debts; royal
bodyguards and entrepreneurs, historians say.

Sometimes the slaves became masters. In medieval Egypt, Muslim rulers
trained and educated slaves to be their bodyguards. One group of slaves grew
so powerful that they overthrew the rulers of Egypt and established their
own dynasty, says Ali Asani, a professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic
Languages and Culture at Harvard University.

"Slavery meant different things in different cultures," Asani says. "There
wasn't always this sense of powerlessness and oppression. In certain forms,
it became an access to power."

In other forms, it became access to freedom, says John Dominic Crossan, one
of world's leading scholars on the life and times of Jesus.

That was the case in the world of Jesus. The Roman Empire was the dominant
power of Jesus' day, and it survived on the backs of millions of slaves. Yet
there was only one mass slave revolt against Rome, which was led by
Spartacus, a gladiatorial slave, Crossan says.

The reason there were so few massive slave rebellions against Rome was
because some of its slaves had avenues for advancement, dim though they may
seem to modern sensibilities.

Slaves could buy their freedom. They ran businesses for their masters or
tutored their children. Greek slaves, in particular, were often valued
because of their education and culture, he says.

Roman slavery was cruel and capricious, but not all Romans saw slaves as

"One of the most extraordinary aspects of Roman slavery," says Crossan,
author of "The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus became Fiction about
Jesus," was that the Romans ended up with a huge number of slaves who were
smarter than their masters."

The uncomfortable historical record

It's been said that great religious figures transcend history. They rise
above the peculiar customs of their day to show a new path forward.

It's a matter of debate if Moses, Jesus and the Prophet Muhammad did that
with slavery. All three seemed to either ignore or tolerate some forms of
slavery, some scholars say.

The parables of Jesus, for example, were full of references to slaves. Terms
like "servants" or "stewards" are what we would call slaves today. Yet Jesus
doesn't seem to make any moral judgments about slavery in his parables,
Crossan says.

The subject may have been irrelevant to him or his audience, says Crossan,
the Jesus scholar. Jesus didn't own any slaves. Neither did his disciples or
the crowds Jesus addressed. They were all too poor and lived under desperate
economic circumstances.

"It may well be that the people he talked to were small farmers who would
not have the luxury of slaves," Crossan says. "He [Jesus} doesn't say
anything for or against it."

Still, Crossan says that he believes that Jesus would have opposed slavery,
given the nature of his teachings. Scholars aren't so certain about Jesus'
most influential disciple, the Apostle Paul.

The man whose writings make up most of the New Testament had to deal with
slavery. As Christianity spread through the Roman Empire, many slaves joined
the church.

At various parts of the New Testament, Paul seems to accept slavery. He
tells slaves to obey their masters. At other times, Paul seems to challenge
the morality of slavery. In one New Testament letter, Paul intercedes on
behalf of a runaway slave and chides the master for calling himself a
Christian and holding a slave.

Crossan, along with some other biblical scholars, says there are actually
two versions of Paul in the New Testament: the authentic, "radical" Paul who
opposed slavery and a "Pseudo-Paul" inserted into the texts by early church
leaders who were afraid of antagonizing Rome.

"It's one thing to say that Jesus is Lord," Crossan says. "Now if you're
saying a Christian can't have slaves, then something must be wrong with
slaves. So now you're attacking the Roman system, which is a slave economy."

Jesus' apparent silence on slavery and Paul's ambiguous statements on the
issue had dreadful historical consequences. It helped ensure that slavery
would survive well into the 19th century in the U.S., some scholars say.

American Christians who owned slaves had a simple but powerful defense in
the run-up to the Civil War. The Old and New Testament sanctioned slavery
and, since the Bible is infallible, slavery is part of God's order, says
Mark Noll, author "The Civil War as a Theological Crisis."

"The defenders of slavery said Jesus condemned quite a few things that were
standard in the Old Testament," Noll says. "He condemned polygamy, violence,
easy divorce, but he never condemned slavery."

Let my people go, but keep the others

Neither did Moses, the founder of Judaism, say other scholars.

There's no record of Moses owning slaves, but the Mosaic laws permitted and
regulated slavery, says Peterson, the author of "Muhammad, Prophet of God"
and a religious scholar at Brigham Young University in Utah.

Still, under Mosaic law, a master was encouraged to free slaves and forgive
debts after a certain period of time that was called the year of jubilee,
Peterson says.

"They were not trying to create a permanent underclass of slaves that went
from parents to child and child and grandchildren," Peterson says of the
ancient Israelites.

But how could ancient Israelites sanction any form of slavery given their
exodus from Egyptian captivity? Didn't their God explicitly condemn slavery
when he ordered Moses to tell Pharaoh to "let my people go?"

The text is not clear on that question, says Brannon Wheeler, a religious

He says the Exodus stories suggest that the God of Israel was angry at
Pharaoh not for enslaving a group of people, but for unjustly enslaving the
"Chosen People"-the people God had promised to give their own homeland.

"In order to make that promise stick, He [God] has to get them out of
Egypt," says Wheeler, director of the Center for Middle East and Islamic
Studies at the United States Naval Academy in Maryland.

"It's not like He [God] says slavery is bad and I want to abolish it."

The Prophet Muhammad never explicitly condemned slavery, and actually owned
slaves, some scholars say.

Yet he recognized the humanity of slaves, teaching followers that freeing
slaves was an act of piety. He allowed slaves to buy their freedom and
demanded that they should be treated with love and respect, says Asani,
author of  "Celebrating Muhammad: Images of the Prophet in Popular Muslim

"He himself did own slaves but he treated them as family," Asani says. "One
called Zayd he treated like an adopted son and one of his wives was a Coptic
Christian slave."

The followers of men like the Prophet Muhammad, though, would take a harsher
attitude toward slaves.

By the time of the crusades, Christians and Muslims were enslaving one
another by the thousands. They cited their faith as justification, says
Robert C. Davis, author of "Holy War and Human Bondage."

"Religion was the defining principle of slavery-this person is another faith
and can be enslaved," Davis says.

Some church leaders preached that enslaving others was an act of evangelism,
Davis says.

"One pope said that the justification for slavery was that it was important
for spreading the faith," Davis says. "Once they were enslaved, they would
more readily take to Christianity."

Those kinds of actions may now seem barbaric, but the texts and stories that
were used to justify slavery still exist in the sacred texts of Judaism,
Christianity and Islam.

Few, though, would quote those scriptures today and many don't even know
they exist.

"We shouldn't be surprised," says Jonathan Brockopp, a religion professor at
Pennsylvania State University. "Religions redefine themselves and people
draw on different stories and underplay other stories. This happens

It happened with slavery, and, who knows, perhaps it's happening again in
our time. There may be a religious practice accepted today that future
generations will look upon and ask the same question we ask about people who
enslaved others in the name of God:

How could they?

When the Indian Corps Saved France and British Empire


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West Blocking Investigation Of NATO Victims In Libya: Russia

 West Blocking Investigation Of NATO Victims In Libya: Russia

 March 30, 2012

 Western partners in UN try to downplay NATO's victims in Libya - Churkin

 UNITED NATIONS: Russia continues to 'closely address' the issue of civilian casualties in Libya as a result of NATO bombardments, Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin confirmed on Friday.

 "Regrettably, our Western partners in the UN Security Council have been trying to play down and hush up the affair in every way they can," Churkin told Itar-Tass. "Last time the issue was brought up in the UN Security Council they put forward an amazing excuse to the effect it would be far better to look into the future."

 The Russian diplomat said this attitude "does not hold water." He pointed out that for the Security Council the question of civilian victims of NATO's bombardments in Libya "is important, because the deaths among the civilian population was a result of operations approved in this building, and the whole operation was conceived as a means to protect civilians."

 Churkin recalled that as he addressed the UN Security Council on March 12, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov demanded investigation into reports of civilian victims of bombardments in Libya and urged the UN Secretary-General to shed light on that issue, using the Declaration on UN/NATO Secretriat Cooperation, signed in 2008.

 In the meantime, as UN officials have said, the UN Secretary-General has no plans for taking any steps along these lines. On Friday journalists asked the UN Secretary General's deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey about Ban Ki-moon's response to the North Atlantic Alliance's refusal to cooperate with the international commission for the investigation of human rights abuse in Libya the UN Human Rights Council had created. The deputy spokesman looked confused and then said that it depended entirely on the Human Rights Council how to achieve cooperation with NATO.

 NATO's massive air campaign, launched in March 2011 against the Muamar Gaddafi regime, saw 26,000 sorties, including 10,000 attack sorties. According to official reports, the alliance's planes destroyed 5,900 military targets. The operation ended only after Gaddafi's physical elimination by Libyan rebels last October.

 In its report published on March 2 the UN Human Rights Commission presented evidence of the death of at least 50 civilians as a result of NATO's air raids. The international human rights organization Amnesty International gathered documentary evidence of the death of at least 55 civilians, including 16 women and 14 children, that NATO's air strikes had led to. Such cases occurred after air raids on Tripoli, Sirt, Marsa-el Brega, Zliten and Majer.

 "Implausibly, NATO insists it knows of no 'confirmed' civilian casualties during its entire seven-month Libya bombing campaign," says an editorial in Friday's New York Times. "Confirmed" means confirmed by NATO, which has shown little interest in investigating credible independent claims of civilian fatalities, including a 27-page memo submitted by The Times last year documenting nine separate attacks where the evidence pointed to unintended victims."

 The newspaper describes as impermissible NATO's refusal to cooperate with the UN commission.

 "If NATO's military leaders continue to resist a public inquiry, in concert with the U.N. or by NATO itself, President Obama and other political leaders of the alliance should press them to change their minds," says the New York Times.