Yet another “crackdown” against illegal vehicles

The Sindh Police has initiated yet another drive to crack down against vehicles violating the law and in some cases adding to the difficulties law enforcers face when combating criminals in the city of over 18 million people.

With a fresh resolve and backed by many agencies including the Excise Department, the Anti Car Lifting Cell, the Citizens Police Liaison Committee and the Citizens Trust Against Crime the first exercise was conducted on Sunset Boulevard in Karachi’s Defence Housing Authority.

Fancy number plates were removed from over 55 vehicles while 12 were impounded. The Traffic Police Chief Ghullam Qadir Thebo added that a politician’s vehicle was also impounded during the drive.

Interestingly while civilians complied with the law enforcement agencies and accepted the hefty fines, certain government officials claimed entitlements, and the daughter of a provincial secretary hurled a tirade of abuses at the law enforcers mocking them about their knowledge of the Law.

For such a drive to be successful the yardstick used should be the same for everyone. If however different rules are set for government servants and for tax-paying civilians then this drive like many before it will fail miserably.

Glimpses from the field :


*while this has been published it is still a work in progress. I will be updating it with references to the laws that allow such drives, the penalties as well as the “citizens right” in such cases.

Suicide Bomber Auction

screengrab

Pakistan is gearing up to talk to the Taliban. I do not know if the talks will be successful. At this time one cannot help but wonder how much will be achieved when the mentality of those supporting the cause of terrorism is such that a father claps when his son is sold at an auction for 1.5 million Saudi Riyals to become a suicide bomber.

The video is not very recent. It has been around for nearly a year and half and has been viewed over 67,000 times with an equal number of likes and dislikes.

It shows a private auction (allegedly to have taken place in Jeddah, KSA) where the buyers are bidding for a man who will become a suicide bomber. The bidding slows down at 600,000 riyals only to suddenly jump to a million and then finally to the highest bid of 1,500,000 Saudi Riyals.

THE CONTENT

In the video the auction begins with slogans of ‘Takfeer, death to the infidels’ and ‘there is only one god’. The original audio is in Arabic with English subtitles. It shows a man who is identified as Abu Salah who offers “the product of my loin (his son)” according to the subtitles, following which he is carried upon shoulders as a hero.

The auctioneer takes over and starts the bidding at 200,000 Riyals. Quickly the bidders raise the stakes, and the bids double. The man up for auction is identified as Khaled whose brother the content suggests is a martyr.

The auctioneer appeals to the bidders that Khaled will be sent to Baba Amro (in Syria) and that he will sacrifice his life, telling bidders that they need them to sacrifice their money egging them not to be stingy. Do not be afraid he tells them.

The bidding stops at 600,000 and after a few seconds jumps to 1,000,000 Riyals amid a loud cheer as everyone starts clapping. At this point an arrow indentifies Khaled’s father who can be seen clapping as well.

The bidding ends at 1.5 million Saudi Riyals, the price paid for Khaled to end his life in a suicide bombing.

The video itself is not promoting the content or the practice of auctions where one tries to outbid another in an attempt to secure a suicide bomber. It does however raise the question if any talks being held will be successful when there are such people who are willing to spend millions upon millions to produce more and more suicide bombers who will kill themselves and many innocent women and children – all in the name of Islam.

If you wish to the see the video for yourself click here.

Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool (PBUH)

Glimpses Across Pakistan – Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool

5 Cinema’s, 3 Banks, ATM’s, 3 Restaurants, part of Sheraton (yup), 12+ Killed, 100+ Injured, lots of police mobiles torched, & that’s just in Karachi.

In Islamabad the Red Zone was a war zone, with the police unable to cope with what was demanded of them. Residents in the Red Zone ended up crying at home literally because of the extensive use of tear gas by Law Enforcers.

In other cities, Petrol pumps, CNG stations, Cinema’s, Buildings, Restaurants, Banks, and other property was subject to Arsonist’s Galore.

All this was done in the name of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). I do not take his name because, it would be disrespectful to associate the barbaric murder, loot and plunder that was witnessed across Pakistan today, with everything that his lessons teach.

According to the Information minister of Sindh, 2000 policemen were injured across the Islamic Republic of Pakistan today. What the world saw happening across this country is Not a true picture of Islam. In fact it is the farthest of all protests that took place across the muslim world this Friday.

Mufti Munib-Ur-Rahman, a Religious scholar – normally responsible for the sighting of the moon – speaking to the host of the countries most watched news show said, what the world witnessed today was not an example of Islam. He went on to quote from the last sermon of the Holy Prophet (PBUH); that the way the holy City of Mecca has its religious importance, the life of every human being holds just as much importance, and that the best example of ishq-e-rasool is to follow in the foot steps of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

It is true, because the aim of every pious Muslim is to achieve Sirat-e-Mustaqim (The Righteous Path).

After all a pious muslim begs the Almighty to guide him on that path at least 20 times a day – in the five compulsory prayers – more if the additional prayers are offered. Unfortunately the Mufti is the same man, whom other Mufti’s are in disagreement with every year when it comes to the sighting of the Moon – a task he is responsible for.

That in itself highlights, that even religiously we stand divided into so many groups; that we all have starkly different perceptions of the same thing, and that we all call our evolved versions, Islam. I am saddened to say, that I live in a country where Sirat-e-Mustaqim was an operation launched by the Army in Bara Teshil of Khyber Agency in 2008.

I end this rant, with lines that have left me quite disturbed. I am sure they will have the same effect on every Muslim who reads them :

The men behind the movie said it would expose Islam as a violent religion. Now they’re pointing to the riots as proof. Muslims are “pre-programmed” to rage and kill, says the movie’s promoter. “Islam is a cancer,” says the director. According to the distributor, “The violence that it caused in Egypt is further evidence of how violent the religion and people are and it is evidence that everything in the film is factual.” Congratulations, Rioters. You followed the script perfectly. You did their work for them.

Picture taken from this Album.

71 Pages of Confusion

The Supreme Courts detailed verdict in the Prime Ministers Contempt of Court Case, has created more confusion than clearing up the existing confusion; whether the Prime Minister stands disqualified, or is liable to being disqualified from the Majlis-e-Shoora, remains a mystery that a layman can never solve alone. Being just such a layman, I turned to the experts.

According to Justice (R) Wajihuddin Ahmed; the Supreme Court will only give findings on the contempt of court case. It will not state that the Prime Minster stands disqualified – because the clause for that is present in the constitution (Article 63(1)g).

I further asked, whether the matter will now go to the Speaker to decide whether 63(1)g applies or not. His response, in his opinion, Article 63(2) does not apply because it states “If any question arises whether a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) has become disqualified from being a member, the Speaker or, as the case may be, the Chairman shall, unless he decides that no such question has arisen, refer the question to the Election Commission within thirty days and should he fail to do so within the aforesaid period it shall be deemed to have been referred to the Election Comission.”

I asked why Article 62(2) did not apply. The retired Justice explained, that a question has not arisen a conviction verdict has already been given. Therefore the 30 day time period for the Speaker to ponder over the issue is irrelevant.

On an interesting note, he added, that the Supreme Court had sent the short order to the Speaker as well as the Election Commission, and it is most likely that the complete verdict will also be sent to the Election Commission. Why is this point so interesting ? Because it gives way to the question… “Does the Speaker need to send the matter to the Chief Election Commissioner, or will the Election Commission proceed against Prime Minister GIlani?”

For my second opinion I turned to Senator, Barrister Farogh Nasim. Having himself seen the full verdict I asked him whether Para 71 starting from its last sentence – which speaks of the verdict given on the 10th of January 2012, now stood validated since the Prime Minister was convicted on the 28th of April 2012. (For the readers benefit, the said para (starting from its last sentence) is reproduced below)

…. The Respondent was put on notice through Option No.2 in the order dated 10.01.2012 (Ex.P22) of the possible consequences of non-compliance of this Court’s direction and the relevant portion of that order reads:

“5.          This brings us to the actions we may take against willful disobedience to and non-compliance of some parts of the judgment rendered and some of the directions issued by this Court in the case of Dr. Mobashir Hassan (supra). This Court has inter alia the following options available with it in this regard:

 ………It may not be lost sight of that, apart from the other consequences, by virtue of the provisions of clauses (g) and (h) of Article 63(1) read with Article 113 of the Constitution a possible conviction on such a charge may entail a disqualification from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or a Provincial Assembly for at least a period of five years.”

My question to the Barrister was : After the 26th April conviction, should the words “may entail a disqualification” be read without the “may” ? He concurred with Justice Wajih on the note, that after the Prime Ministers conviction article 63(1)g does apply, and if the Speaker does forward the matter to the Election Commissioner within 30 days, it will be deemed as forwarded.

While both agreed, that Prime Minister Gilani should morally step down, Farogh Nasim is of the view that the detailed verdict in its self does not disqualify the Prime Minister; while Justice Wajih maintains that there is no reason for the Verdict to even state – that the Prime Minister has been disqualified, because it is already stated clearly in the Constitution. I on the other hand, a Layman, am still confused.

*The Author is not a Legal Expert. The opinions of the legal experts mentioned are as stated : “Opinions”. Therefore any plans you may have of wanting to sue me, should stand nullified thanks to this disclaimer.

Open Letter to help #SaveMVAlbedo !!!


The last time Ahsan Naveed’s family saw him, he had a sparkle in his eyes, he was as excited as any 20 year old would be, ready to embark on his maiden voyage as an ordinary sailor. Little did he know, he would be taken hostage within days. The MV Albedo was taken hostage by Somali Pirates on 26th November 2010.

The MV Albedo’s 22 Man crew consists of 7 Pakistani, 7 Bangladeshi,  6 Sri Lankan 1 Iranian and one 1 Indian national – they have now spent over 500 days in Captivity.

To #SaveMVAlbedo and bring home Captain Jawaid Saleem Khan, 1st Officer Mujtaba, 3rd Officer Raheel Anwar, 4th Engineer Zulfiqar Ali, Ordinary Sailors Ahsan Naveed, Faqir Muhammed and Kashif Islam – the families of  MV Albedo need to raise US 1.7 million.

After 10 months of negotiations, on the request of the families and under instruction from the Governor Sindh Dr. Ishrarul Ebad Khan, CPLC Chief Ahmed Chinoy formally launched the appeal to #SaveMVAlbedo.

The Campaign requires volunteers to help raise funds. The Contribution can be monetary, or man hours. We need to raise Rs. 160,000,000 by the 20th of April.

In the past 17 months a lot has transpired. Mujtaba  has been blessed with a Son, Abdullah – the first boy in his family after a gap of 30 years – now 14 months old has yet to meet his Father. His 3 daughters have stopped attending school because of his captivity. Mujtaba’s children need your help.

Mrs. Jawaid has been living a nightmare. For the sake of her children, she hid the news of their father’s kidnapping for 10 months. At one point she was told by the Pirates that her husband has been killed. She could not bring herself to face her daughters, to tell them what she knew. It was months later that she learned the Pirates had lied. She needs this nightmare to end. She needs your Help to #SaveMVAlbedo.

Onboard the #MvAlbedo the crew is enduring a nightmare far worse than one can imagine. They are fed a single meal of watery rice every day, due to malnutrition the crew has lost on average 20 Kg in weight. Held hostage on board the MV Albedo 60 nautical miles off the Somali Coast, they are provided less than one liter of water per person, per day. They need your Help.

Imagine having to deliver the news that you are about to be killed. Luckily it has only been employed as a pressure tactic, so far. The Captain and 1st Officer need this mental torture to stop – not knowing if the next time the threat will be for Real. They need your Help to #SaveMVAlbedo.

The Pakistani nation has come together in times of need. They have proven time and again that their hearts are made of Gold.
We know 160,000,000 sounds like a formidable amount, but in reality if only everyone in Karachi gave 9 rupees we would be able to bring #MvAlbedo home today. If we can reach out to every fifth person and collect 45 rupees each, this nightmare can be over. We hope to reach every tenth person – with a target of 90 Rupees per pledge. Come join us, let’s bring #MVAlbedo home.

You can make a deposit online using the “pay anyone” option on you banks ‘netbanking’ portal.

You can also make a donation via your banks ATM machine. You don’t need to sign up for this service; just visit your banks ATM machine and choose the funds transfer section. Simply follow the instructions on the ATM screen to transfer funds. Please be advised that there is a charge that your bank will apply when using interbank transfer facility.

The account details for the #SaveMVAlbedo campaing are :

Bank : NIB BANK LTD.
Branch : UNIVERSITY ROAD BRANCH, KARACHI, PAKISTAN
A/C Name: Shahnaz Jawaid & Neelam Mujtaba

A/C No. (PKR): 10052-10653622
A/C No. (USD): 10052-10653789
A/C No. (GBP) :10052-10653808

Swift Code: NIBPPKKA

Confined in Chains, The Future is Dark..

Children at the Madrassa Zakariya, 5 days after the Raid

An unannounced visit to any of Pakistan’s Government Hospital’s will explain without doubt, why there are thousands of Quacks, Spiritual Healers, Pirs, and so called Gifted Individuals playing with the lives of millions in Pakistan.

A Sindh Police raid on the 12th of December at a Madrassa in Sorabh Goth, freed dozens of boys and young men, who were until then being subjected to gross Human Rights Violations – under the pretext that they were being Cured.

Those freed, claimed to be locked up for various reasons. Some for being supposedly possessed, while others for drug addictions. Most had been brought to the ‘Isla’hi Markaz’  or Correctional Center,  by their Parents, to be Cured (or fixed).

During the Media Frenzy that Monday night, conflicting stories of Taliban visit’s and Militant training, Beatings and brutal living conditions resonated on TV sets, from Islamabad to Karachi & beyond.

“My father took me to several spiritual healers who said I was a victim of black magic,” claimed Azmat Ulla, speaking to AFP.

The reason such ‘Isla’hi Marakiz’ exist, is because they provide a cheaper alternative for Pakistan’s poorest – taking care of those with learning difficulties, mental illness & drug problems – than having to lock up the patient or care for him, at home.

Religious seminaries – attached to mosques – are the only schools & sometimes permanent shelters for the poorest children. It is estimated that two million boys are educated in Pakistan’s 15,000+ madrassa’s.

It was now Friday, 5 days had passed since the Police raided Madrassa Zakariya but to my surprise, Wali Muhammad the crying 6 year old whose face was carried by many global publications (and was aired to millions of households), was still at the Madrassa.

Traumatized by Monday’s events Wali Muhammad became hysterical when he saw the Policemen accompanying me. It took a lot of talking before he finally calmed down and smiled for a picture.

When he spoke, he did not describe the madrassa as a Chamber of Torture, where he was being held against his will. Instead he seemed, quite at home. He wasn’t alone either, about a dozen young boys crowded around us when the Police had stepped away.

The temporary Headmaster of the madrassa Mufti Amin Jaan argued, that local news channels had done a great disservice to Pakistan. He said he was sad, that now the world was talking about Pakistan, about how young boys were being indoctrinated for Jihad, when it was not true.

"Curse Upon the Liars - Area Residents"

The local SHO gave credence to the story. According to him, no militant traces were found from the premises, no literature of any kind – which is the norm – instead the only texts found at the madrassa were copies of the Holy Quran, and Ahadees of the Prophet (PBUH).

While Mufti Amin Jaan argued that the ‘Isla’hi Markaz’ was a seperate entity from the madrassa; where regular lessons were conducted, and no body was locked up. His defense does not remove the scars that Wali Muhammad and dozens of other young children will live with for years to come, having seen others locked up like animals.

The sad part is, countless more will experience first hand or witness similar brutality that was practiced at Madrassa Zakariya by Mufti Dawood.

It will take nothing short of a miracle before Pakistan can provide state care for those in the grip of drug addiction, evil spirits or muscle spasms. Until then, the locking up of those “in need of medical attention” will continue; and many Mufti Dawood’s will provide ‘Isla’hi Marakiz’ like the Chamber of Torture seen on TV.

Confined in Chains, the Future of Pakistan is Dark. Without them, it may be Darker.

Zardari Ki Bimaari

Back in 2008, when the candidates for Pakistan’s Presidential Race were submitting their nomination papers; i sat in a corner penning my thoughts. Today when AP broke the story that President Asif Ali Zardari did infact suffer from a Stroke (or something slightly milder), i decided to fish out my penned thoughts from August 2008…

No Monkey Wrench, just wrenched Monkeys 
Ovais.Jafar – 28th August 2008

As Pakistan gets ready for a new president, it was a pleasant surprise to see all three candidates nomination papers be accepted, without any monkey wrenches being hurled by opposing party candidates. However it is very interesting to see a nation of monkeys sitting on the sidelines, not even blinking at this wonderful orchestra performance.

If evolution had kicked in sooner, and we had evolved from ape, into man; many more of us would be questioning the somewhat submissive acceptance by the Chief Election Commissioner.

According to Senator Khalid Ranjha, former president of the Supreme Court Bar and one time Law Minister – Each candidate would have had to submit proof of Qualification as well as Disclose all Assets, at home and abroad. As stated in the Constitution of Pakistan – a candidate must not suffer from mental disabilities proven in a competent Court of Law.

Senator Ranjha, in our brief conversation pointed out that recently released money from Swiss Bank Accounts (approx 60 million dollars) could have hampered Mr. Zardari’s nomination.

60 million dollars or not; I cannot seem to get past the allegations made by the international news daily “Financial Times”.

In a recent article they claim to have been shown Court documents submitted by Mr. Zardari’s lawyers – citing mental instability, post traumatic stress disorder, dementia, major depression, loss of memory, the list goes on.

With no medical knowledge, I personally believe ailments of the mind can be cured by the mind. After all Britain’s greatest Statesman “Winston Churchill” was suffering from Depression, and as Dr. Cosmo Hallstrom from London’s Imperial College puts it; “He was Britain’s greatest Statesman, who saved it from its Darkest hour”.

Dr. Hallstrom also pointed out, that although Churchill suffered from depression, it was curable just like post traumatic stress. The alarming statement was about “dementia” another ailment Mr. Zardari is said to have been suffering from. As Dr. Hallstrom put it, it has no Cure.

If this is true, why wasn’t an issue raised about this during the election commission’s scrutiny. If  Mr. Zardari is really suffering and these ailments were not simply created to delay court proceedings (which they successfully did), the new question is,  can Zardari be Pakistan’s Churchill ??

-END-

Whether you would like me to eat my hat or my shoes for comparing AAZ to Winston Churchill I do not know, and quite frankly i do not care.  He might not have done much for Pakistan, but I’m sure if Winston was alive today.. He’d be taking classes from A.A.Z !!