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India and Pakistan at 70; Nawaz Sharif Rallies; Korea Crisis

How are India and Pakistan doing 70 years after independence? What are their successes and failures? What challenges do they face? What does future hold for them? Can Pakistani democracy evolve and grow to serve all of its people? How will Hindu Nationalist Modi's rise impact South Asia? Is India's secular democracy under threat? Could it lead to war? Is there a way to manage tensions between the two rivals? Will there ever be durable peace in South Asia?

Has deposed PM Nawaz Sharif really accepted the Supreme Court verdict disqualifying him? Should he really accept the verdict as Al Gore accepted Bush v Gore verdict after 2000 US presidential elections and go home quietly? What does Nawaz Sharif hope to achieve by his daily political rallies as he makes his way from Islamabad to Lahore in a long convoy of vehicles? Will his continuing public attacks on the judiciary undermine democracy in Pakistan?

What is at the root of the Korea crisis? Is it Kim Jong Un's fear of regime change if he agrees to denuclearize? What lessons have Kim and others learned from the way US first denuclearized Saddam and Gaddafi and then removed them that led to their deaths? Is President Donald Trump's fiery rhetoric making the crisis worse? Should Trump listen to the advice of US allies to cool it?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Riaz Haq (

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Day: Freeing the Colonized Minds of the Elite

Pankaj Mishra's NY Times Op Ed on India at 70

Lynchistan: India is the Lynching Capital of the World

Nawaz Sharif Disqualified by Pakistan Supreme Court

North Korea Nukes and ICBM

Trump's White House

Talk4Pak Youtube Channel

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Comment by Riaz Haq on August 13, 2017 at 9:05pm

India and Pakistan at 70: their years of independence in charts

From economic might to mobile connections and cricket, much has changed

Pakistan and India celebrate 70 years of independence from British rule this week — on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. The FT’s data team put those years in context. India as an economic superpower Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share this chart At the time of independence, Indian output represented around 15 per cent that of the US. Now the Indian economy is around half the size of the US. When measured at “purchasing power parity” — which adjusts for the fact that locally traded goods and services are much cheaper in the developing world — India is now the third-largest economy in the world, overtaking Germany and Japan since the turn of the millennium. Living standards Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share this chart But output per head in India and Pakistan is around 10 per cent of US levels and in Bangladesh — which at partition was part of Pakistan but gained its own independence in 1971 — half of that. For all the spectacular growth of recent decades, these are still poor countries. People and Cities India’s population is three and half times larger than at the time of independence, and Pakistan’s has grown by more than five times. India is set to overtake China as the world’s most populous country sometime in the late 2020s. Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share this chart A significant moment in a nation’s economic and demographic history is when the urban population exceeds that living in rural areas. In Great Britain this happened around the time of the 1851 census, in the US by 1920, and China passed this mark in 2011. The UN estimates that Pakistan and Bangladesh will have a majority urban population sometime in the late 2030s, but India not until mid-century. Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share this chart Demographic changes are most apparent in the rise of the subcontinent’s megacities. Delhi and Mumbai have overtaken Kolkata, the largest Indian city at the time of independence, with Delhi set to challenge Tokyo as the world’s most populous urban area. But perhaps the most overlooked growth is outside of India — the UN expects both Lahore and Dhaka to be among the 10 largest cities by 2030, ahead of New York. Life expectancy and health Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share this chart At the time of partition, life expectancy at birth in India was a mere 32 years. Over the last seven decades India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have made dramatic strides in healthcare. Immunisation, nutrition, and prevention and treatment of infectious diseases have all improved, leading to a reduction in mortality rates. As a result, people in the subcontinent can now expect to live at least twice as long. Today, life expectancy is 66 years in Pakistan, 68 years in India and 72 years in Bangladesh. Plenty of challenges remain. While infant and child mortality rates have decreased significantly, they remain high. Infant mortality rates in India (38 deaths per 1,000 live births) and Pakistan (66) remain among the highest in Asia. The three countries are also battling non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases — typical of countries getting richer. Connectivity Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share this chart At the time of partition, India counted just 84,000 telephone lines for its 350m people, while there were 4,000 lines for Pakistan’s 75m population. Seventy years on, Asia is one of the fastest-growing mobile markets in the world. Although Europe remains the most highly penetrated mobile region, China and India are the first and second largest mobile markets globally. By 2020, India is expected to join China and cross the threshold of 1bn subscribers. Mobile use in the subcontinent quickly outstripped use of landlines, which at their peak in 2005 numbered 4.5 fixed lines for every 100 population in India. Today, mobile penetration rates are around 80 per 100 population in India and Bangladesh, and close to 70 in Pakistan. Education India has made impressive gains in literacy rates, which increased from 16 per cent in 1951 to 72 per cent in 2015. Challenges, however, remain. Education remains focused on learning by rote. The level of female education, while having come a long way since the early 1950s when just 8-9 per cent of adult females in the subcontinent were literate, is also below that of males. Differences by gender are starkest in Pakistan, where the female literacy rate is still only 44 per cent, compared to 70 per cent for males. Pakistan ranked second from bottom of 144 countries in the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap Index. Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share this chart South Asian countries have invested in education in recent years in a bid to reach their targets under the UN Millennium Development Goals. The subcontinent’s countries have made improvements at all education levels, including higher education. In the last decade, the proportion of students enrolling in higher education has almost tripled in Pakistan and doubled in India and Bangladesh. Religious demographics Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share this chart Before partition, according to census data collected the British, Hindus constituted the vast majority of the population of undivided India. The Hindu share declined slightly from some 80 per cent to 70 per cent between 1881 and 1941, while the Muslim proportion increased slightly, due to differing birth rates. Official demographic data were not collected again until 1951. In the meantime, the 1947 partition had led to huge upheaval, with a reported movement of some 15m people between the two countries, largely on religious lines. The newly created Pakistani state contained a large Muslim majority. Since partition, the balance between Muslims and Hindus in Pakistan has remained roughly stable. In India, the Muslim proportion of the population has been rising. Muslims make up 14 per cent of the Indian population, roughly 176m people, making India home to the second-largest Muslim population worldwide after Indonesia. Sport Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share this chart India versus Pakistan at cricket has claims to be the greatest rivalry in world sport, with both nations crazy about the game learnt from the English during the Raj. TV audiences for their meetings can number in the hundreds of millions. However, in long-form Test matches between the two the prime aim has been not to lose to the other — almost two-thirds of matches have been drawn. Poor relations between the countries precluded any meeting on the cricket field between 1961 and 1978. India’s surprise victory in the 1983 world cup switched their focus to the one-day form of the game and then to the ultra-short Twenty20 format after a similar win — over Pakistan — in the inaugural T20 world cup final in 2007. Financially, the sport is increasingly dominated by India, with the riches of the Indian Premier League attracting the world’s best T20 players each year.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 13, 2017 at 9:27pm

#India and #Pakistan at 70: their years of #independence in charts #Independenceday2017 … output per head in India and Pakistan is around 10 per cent of US levels and in Bangladesh — which at partition was part of Pakistan but gained its own independence in 1971 — half of that. For all the spectacular growth of recent decades, these are still poor countries. A significant moment in a nation’s economic and demographic history is when the urban population exceeds that living in rural areas. In Great Britain this happened around the time of the 1851 census, in the US by 1920, and China passed this mark in 2011. The UN estimates that Pakistan and Bangladesh will have a majority urban population sometime in the late 2030s, but India not until mid-century. At the time of partition, life expectancy at birth in India was a mere 32 years. Over the last seven decades India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have made dramatic strides in healthcare. Immunisation, nutrition, and prevention and treatment of infectious diseases have all improved, leading to a reduction in mortality rates. As a result, people in the subcontinent can now expect to live at least twice as long. Today, life expectancy is 66 years in Pakistan, 68 years in India and 72 years in Bangladesh.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 15, 2017 at 7:58am

The lies Brits tell themselves about how they left behind a better India

Railways. The British built the railways primarily for themselves, using their own technology and forcing Indians to buy British equipment. Each mile of the Indian railway constructed cost nine times as much as the same in the US, and twice that in difficult and less populated Canada and Australia. The bills were footed by Indian taxpayers and British investors received a guaranteed return on their capital. Freight charges were dirt cheap, and Indians who traveled 3rd class paid for expensive tickets.
Tea. The British desire to end their dependence on Chinese tea prompted them to set up plantations in India. Following many failed attempts, they managed to find a local version that worked. For this, the British felled vast forests, stripped the tribals who lived there of their rights, and then paid Indian labourers poorly to cultivate the cleared areas. Once the tea was ready, it was shipped off to Britain or sold internationally. The little bit left in India was too expensive, until the Great Depression when weak global demand finally let Indians enjoy the delights of the drink.
Cricket. “Yes, the British brought it to us,” Tharoor writes. “But they did not do so in the expectation that we would defeat them one day at their own game, or that our film-makers would win an Oscar nomination for an improbable tale about a motley bunch of illiterate villagers besting their colonial overlords at a fictional 19th-century match (Lagaan, 2001).”
English language. The British made it absolutely clear that it was only taught to serve their own purpose. Lord Macaulay wrote: “We must do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinion, in morals, and in intellect.” (This is the same Macaulay who also said, “A single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.”)
“That Indians seized the English language and turned it into an instrument for our own liberation was to their credit, not by British design,” Tharoor writes.
The upshot of the empire, as Tharoor puts it, was that “What had once been one of the richest and most industrialised economies of the world, which together with China accounted for almost 75% of world industrial output in 1750, had been reduced by the depredations of imperial rule to one of the poorest, most backward, illiterate and diseased societies on Earth by the time of independence in 1947.”
Inglorious Empire shows in full glory how the British systematically purged India’s riches, destroyed its institutions, and created divisions among its peoples. Worse still, there has been no formal apology for what the empire wreaked on its subjects. Instead, there is rising nostalgia for the empire as nationalism surges in a country that is now three ranks below India in the size of its economy. 

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 15, 2017 at 8:37am

#India at 70: Why #Hindu nationalists are afraid of #Mughals. #Modi #BJP #Islamophobia … via @DailyO

Hindu nationalists are arguably growing bolder in their anti-Muslim bigotry, as can be seen from the names they choose to fill the vacuum created by their erasure of the Mughals. In 2015, Aurangzeb Road was renamed APJ Abdul Kalam Road, and thus an acceptable Muslim - in Hindutva eyes - supplanted an unacceptable one. But Mughalsarai is being replaced by the name of a Hindutva man. Ajmer's Akbar Road is now known, blandly, as Ajmer Fort. Instead of learning about the Mughals, Maharashtrian school children will learn more about the myth of Shivaji (the actual history of Shivaji being largely unpalatable to current Hindutva sensibilities and so obscured). Such actions communicate the hateful view that only a narrow band of Hindu nationalists can qualify as patriots.

Over the last several years, Hindu nationalists have fought - with increasing success - to remove traces of the Mughals from the Indian public sphere. In 2015, Aurangzeb Road was renamed in Delhi. Other renamings have followed, including, this year, Akbar Fort in Ajmer and Mughalsarai Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh. A second front of the Hindu nationalist war on Indian history is school textbooks. The RSS has been saffronising Indian textbooks for some time, and news broke this month that they had wiped all but a few lines on Akbar from Maharashtrian textbooks.

Hindu nationalists have offered several justifications for their sanitising efforts. Early on, they rallied against honoring tyrants or "invaders," as the Rajasthan education minister described the likes of the Indian-born Akbar. As the months and years have passed, many on the Hindu Right have offered alternative motivations that deemphasise their Islamophobia.

For instance, the recent changes to Maharashtrian textbooks have been characterised by those responsible as framing history within a "Maharashtra-centric point of view." Yogi Adityanath's government has defended its retitling of Mughalsarai Railway Station as having little to do with the Mughals and instead as an attempt to pay tribute to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, an RSS ideologue whose name the railway station will soon bear.

Such flimsy justifications do little to cover up the real fuel behind the Hindu nationalist renaming frenzy: hatred of Muslims, past and present.

India's Hindu Right has never been good with history. For instance, in the lead up to the seventieth anniversary of India's independence, we have seen an uptick in desperate Hindu nationalist claims that the RSS participated in the Quit India Movement, in contravention to the real story that the RSS was somewhere between being aloof from the independence movement and collaborating with the British Empire.

Shame about opting out of the Quit India Movement is understandable, given subsequent historical events. But why is the Hindu Right unable to come to terms with the Mughals, an empire that ended 150 years ago in name and fell apart far earlier in terms of power? For the rest of the world, the Mughals are ancient history, best left to the musty shelves of libraries and the curious minds of scholars. So why are the Mughals - long ago decayed into the dust of the earth-so viscerally threatening to the 21st century Hindu Right?

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 15, 2017 at 1:39pm

#India at 70: #BJP Using History to Divide, Rule People. #Islamophobia #Hindu #Muslim #RSS #textbooks via @thenation

Why the Battle for India’s Past Is a Fight for Its Future
Seventy years after partition, India’s ruling party is using history to divide the country.

In India, history is increasingly finding its way into contemporary debates. That is in large part because Hindu nationalism or “Hindutva”—the defining ideology of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—draws its animus from the past, or at least a vision of the past. (Full disclosure: My father is a member of Parliament for the opposition Congress party, but my views on these issues far predate his political activities.)

At stake is the very conception of what defines India. Is it the pluralist civilization that leaders of the independence era like Nehru imagined? Or is Indian civilization synonymous with Hindu civilization and identity?

The BJP and its ideological allies believe that India is fundamentally a Hindu nation with a proud Hindu history. Using this as justification, it routinely invokes and attempts to correct imagined historical grievances. After years of mobilization, activists in 1992 demolished a nearly 500-year-old mosque in Ayodhya in the north of India, because it was thought to sit on top of a temple that marked the birthplace of the Hindu deity Ram.

The main target of Hindu nationalists is India’s Muslim community, who compose roughly 15 percent of the population (close to 200 million people). Islam has been in India for over a millennium, but Hindu nationalists often depict Muslims as outsiders who are graciously “tolerated,” making their presence in India a testament to foreign invasion and their history one of foreign tyranny.

All nation-states—but especially new ones—use history to burnish their claims of grandeur and legitimacy in the present. After partition in 1947, both India and Pakistan laid claim to the physical and symbolic inheritance of the Indus Valley Civilization. In 1950, while working as a consultant with the Pakistani government, the British archaeologist Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler published an archaeological survey titled Five Thousand Years of Pakistan that sought to endow millennia of history upon a three-year-old nation. A modern nation-state drawn up by British civil servants in the middle of the 20th century can hardly be a prism for understanding South Asia’s deep past. And yet that implausible notion is still invoked by Pakistani nationalists today.

Of course, India and Pakistan have had much more heated contests; they’ve fought several wars and remain at loggerheads over the disputed territory of Kashmir. But the battle over the Indus Valley objects presaged the enduring importance of historical symbols in modern Indian politics.


Similarly, evidence of the plural history of India poses a problem to Hindu nationalists who want to define India as an eternally Hindu nation. That’s why they are engaged on several fronts in fighting a cultural war of historical revisionism. This battle for the past has extended to the Indus Valley Civilization. Where Nehru turned to Mohenjodaro as an example of general Indian accomplishment, some Hindu nationalists now attempt to claim the Indus Valley as a “Vedic” or Hindu culture, a dubious assertion according to historians.

These historical debates have real consequences. Since Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, Muslims and other minority groups have become increasingly demonized at all levels of society, resulting in a horrific spate of attacks, riots, and lynchings in the past year. Much like the pluralist nationalists before them, Hindu nationalists seek to impose their understanding of history on the country to mold the present. But they turn to the past in order to divide and exclude, to suggest that even though all Indians are equal, some are more equal than others.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 15, 2017 at 8:34pm

Here's an excerpt of Barbara Constable's Playing With Fire:

"Throughout the 1990s, during two periods of rule by Sharifs and two by his archrial Benazir Bhutto, the privatization process became a game of grab and run. Investing of investing in solid projects, many business groups colluded with corrupt officials to make quick profits. They borrowed huge sums (from state-owned banks) without collateral, created and dissolved ghost factories, purchased state assets at token prices, avoided paying taxes, defaulted on shaky loans, or deferred paying them indefinitely....Major defaulters and beneficiaries of loan write-offs, granted by both the Bhuttos and Sharif governments, included some of Pakistan's wealthiest business families-- Manshas, Saigols, Hashwanis, Habibs, Bhuttos and Sharifs......using the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the (Musharraf) regime (after year 2000) went to prosecute eighteen hundred cases of corruption to recover nearly $3.4 billion in assets." 

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 16, 2017 at 7:43pm
A study in contrasts: Muslims in India vs Pakistan by Dr. Ata ur Rahman ... The per capita income of Muslims in Pakistan is about $1,460 while the per capita income of Muslims in India is only about $400 – less than one-fourth of the country’s national Indian GDP. About 52.3 percent of Muslims in India live below the poverty line, with an average monthly income of $5 or less. Muslims constitute about 14.5 percent of the total Indian population. However, only between two percent and three percent of them pass the civil services examinations.
The literacy level of Muslims in India is also much lower than the national average. Only about four percent (one in 25) of Indians who receive education up to the high school level are Muslims, while only 1.7 percent (one in 60) of college graduates in India are Muslims. When we consider that one in seven people in India is a Muslim, these figures bring out the stark disparities that exist in India between Hindus and Muslims. In his book, ‘India’s Muslim Problem’, V T Rajshekar states that Muslims “are in many ways worse than untouchables and in recent years they are facing dangers of mass annihilation”.
The mass killings of Muslims in Indian towns and cities also add strength to the Two-Nation Theory. About 630 Muslims lost their lives during the 1969 Gujarat riots. This was followed by anti-Muslim violence in the Indian towns of Bhiwandi, Jalgaon and Mahad in 1970 when a large number of properties of Muslims were burnt and many Muslims killed. During anti-Muslim violence in Moradabad in 1980, about 2,500 Muslims were killed by extremist Hindu elements. Another 1,800 Muslims were slaughtered in the state of Assam in 1983 in a village called Nellie. The official 600-page Tiwari Commission Report on the Nellie massacre has remained a closely guarded secret since 1984.
The destruction of Babri Masjid in December 1992 by Hindu nationalists led to the Bombay Riots. BBC correspondent Toral Varia concluded that the riots were “a pre-planned pogrom” that had been in the making since 1990. According to many independent scholars, extremist Hindu rioters had been given access to information about the locations of Muslim homes and businesses through confidential government sources. This violence was planned and executed by Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist group led by Bal Thackeray.
The anti-Muslim riots that occurred in Bombay in January 1993 following the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, were reported in the following manner by international and Indian newspapers:
“Bombay: Day after day after day, for nine days and nights beginning on January 6, mobs of Hindus rampaged through this city, killing and burning people only because they were Muslims. No Muslim was safe – not in the slums, not in high-rise apartments, not in the city’s bustling offices – in an orgy of violence that left 600 people dead and 2,000 injured...Interviews have suggested, moreover, that the killing, arson and looting were far from random. In fact, they were organized by Hindu gangs, abetted by the Bombay police, and directed at Muslim families and businesses. The extent of police cooperation with the Hindu mobs appears to have spread through the entire police force, excluding only the most senior officers...neither the Maharashtra authorities nor the central government in New Delhi made any effort to stanch the flow of blood.” (The New York Times, February 4, 1993)
“Tragedy has struck Surat (Muslim) women… for them, it was hell let loose... While men were thrown into bonfires, torched alive or had burning tyres put around their necks, women were stripped of all their clothes and ordered to ‘run till they can’t… run”. (The Times of India, December 22, 1992).
Comment by Riaz Haq on August 18, 2017 at 8:10am

India’s Muslims and the Price of Partition

The League began to argue that the Hindu majority of undivided India would swamp Muslims and suppress their religion and culture. As evidence, the League pointed to Hindu-Muslim riots in the northern states of Bihar and the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh), both ruled by the Congress, as an ominous portent. They argued that the movement to ban the slaughter of cows, led by an assortment of religious leaders, Hindu nationalist groups and some members of the Congress, was aimed at subverting Muslim culture. Unlike Muslims, Christians, Jews and animists, a segment of Hindus worship the cow and don’t eat its meat.

In 1937, Congress adopted as the national song of India some verses from “Vande Mataram,” or “I praise you, Mother,” a poem written in the 1870s by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, a Bengali poet and novelist, as an ode to the Hindu goddess Durga. The League objected to its singing as it depicted India as Mother Goddess, which the League construed to promote idolatry, anathema to Muslims.

The most alarming trend has been the lynching of Muslims suspected of possessing beef, for ferrying home cattle purchased legitimately from cattle markets elsewhere.

The markers of Muslim identity — beards, skullcaps and head scarves — invite frowns, even violence, in India. On a late June afternoon, Junaid Khan, a 15-year-old Muslim boy, was stabbed to death on a train near New Delhi. Mr. Khan was traveling with his older brother and two friends. They were identified as Muslim because of their clothes and skullcaps. After an argument over a train seat, their fellow passengers threw religious slurs at them, killed Mr. Khan and injured the other boys.


India’s Muslims didn’t feel secure and weren’t flourishing before the B.J.P.’s rise. There were Hindu-Muslim riots then as well; Muslims were targeted and discriminated against. Their representation in elite government services has been less than 5 percent, according to the Indian government report in 2006.

Today India’s Muslims are apprehensive. Before sectarian violence was often orchestrated to win elections in a clutch of seats, almost always followed by a process of reconciliation. The Hindu-Muslim rivalry never constituted the political language of the Congress Party, the principal recipient of Muslim votes for much of India’s 70 years. The B.J.P. seeks to permanently consolidate Hindus against Muslims and keep the social caldron simmering.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 19, 2017 at 8:31am

Posted by Lt Gen Retd Tariq Khan

This joker (Nawaz Sharif) was interviewed yesterday by BBC. Here is my take on his profile:

A protege of General Ghulam Jilani and a product of General Zia's martial law, Nawaz Sharif never tires of lecturing us on the benefits of democracy. If any one wants to know what hypocrisy means and what is its practical manifestation, well it does not get better than this. Watch and learn as it unfolds before you in its finest hour. Financed by the ISI with illegal funds and propped up by the 'Establishment', he says he always follows the Constitution and the Law. Maybe his dictionary is different from what we are accustomed to read, but the Constitution for Nawaz in his eyes, is a set of rules to facilitate his thievery. He is so bitter about the 'PCO' judges but is indifferent to how he himself rose to stardom on the shoulders of the so called Establishment. Selective in his judgements, partial in his dealings and unfair in his conduct, he is not a man that even a child can trust. They first took out the clause restricting membership to the assembly for the educated only and ushered in the uncouth scum of this country, the fools we now suffer on TV with their slap stick arguments, insulting one another in the basest accusations one can ever be exposed to. Then they took away the powers of the President to dissolve the assembly, removing all checks and balances, giving themselves free license to loot and rob with wanton abandon. Now they want to remove articles 62 and 63 so that morality does not come in their way as they continue to misgovern this hapless nation.

Crying crocodile tears over the demise of democracy, Nawaz was directed to hold a Census by the SC just as he was made to hold Local Body Elections by them. In fact he was forced to convene the NSC by the SC. His most memorable decisions were ones that were forced by the SC through a suo moto action on account of his reluctance to do the right thing. His idea of democracy is limited to circumventing the National Assembly and avoiding the parliament. In his democracy, government funds were distributed to legislators, (just as they had been before) in the garb of development funds, as a bribe and a reward for good behaviour. He did this as if it was his father's country and we were all serfs who were obliged to contribute for this aberration. So much so that we are now taxed for transferring funds from our own savings to our current account while people such as him get away with tax evasion as they lecture us. He insists that 200 million voted for him knowing fully well that he got only 14% votes and that too not to him alone but to the PMLn Party as a whole. He talks of conspiracies, whereas he was removed for his deceit and theft; he fails to acknowledge that his Party still has two PMs: one in Azad Kashmir and the other of Pakistan; that his Party still has a Chief Minister in GB, Punjab and Baluchistan despite his wrong doings. Where does he find that conspiracy agsinst him and that too an international one?

Here is a man who is resposible for stabbing his collegue Junejo in the back, scuttling Benazir's Government twice, personally going to Court to have Gillani removed, and then having the gal to say, "No PM has ever completed his term". Never mind that his beloved Constitution does not specify the term of a PM but mentions the term of a Government only. That this small fact escapes his limited intellect, that the world over, PMs come and go, but it is the Governments that remain.

He talks of disclosing conspiracies but his moment never arrives, he speaks of the rules of business but violates all. His nepotism and violation of merit stands out in every government institution as he corrupts all, FBR, NAB, SECP, State Bank, FIA etc. His hostility towards the judicary is well established as he presided over the only ever physical attack on the SC.

His animosity against the military despite how he was 'wrongly' facilitated by them, is amply displayed by his conduct. He bites the hand that fed him. He illegally ordered the hi-jacking of an aircraft, got his name cleared by a kangroo court and now reasons that you cannot hi-jack a plane from the ground!!! Well then using the same logic, 'you cannot do a coup from court room as well'. He forced out General Karamat for suggesting a National Security Council and then shamlessly constructed one later on. Claimed he had no idea about Kargil though was briefed numerous times. A compulsive liar, a trait that his 'children' have inherited and are famous for displaying on every occassion.

Somebody adamant in negotiating with terrorists till he was shamed in backing down after the APS incident. Politicised the police and made every department of government dysfunctional including NACTA and NAB. Conspired against the military to bring them into an international dispute through the Dawn Leaks and have them declared as a proscribed Group facilitating terrorism; an Indian objective. A leader who bred and nurtured Chotu Gangs while restricting Ranger operations in Punjab. He did this with a straight face while he ordered such operations in Sindh with easy abandon. He colloborated with extremists and ignored the sacrifices of the likes of Colonel Shuja Khanzada who battled for Pakistan.

A shameless man who has put his sons and daughter in the line of fire to save himself. Who did not stop at sullying the reputation if his own dead father to explain his own wrong doings. A cheat and a petty crook, who ensured that government was meant for his own wellbeing regardless of the consequences as he misused his authority everywhere and plundered resources without remorse.

He did not stop taking credit for projects concieved well before him, such as the Gwader Port or taking massive commissions from those that he did initiate. He mortgaged the country into an unsustainable debt, businesses closed down and migrated, exports fell and agriculture destroyed. Circular debt has become unmanageable as energy has started shutting down. Ghost schools haunt the nation and no hospital in the country is good enough for him or his own family as they flee to other countries for medical attention. Today India prides itself in giving visas to Pakistanis needing medical help.

A PM who during his tenure, never made a single meaningful statement on Kashmir, who tried to facilitate India where ever he could. Protected the terrorist Kulbashan while colloborating with Sajjan Jindal in his personal businesses at the cost of the country. Insisted on running the foreign affairs himself where he woefully disgraced us in Saudi Arabia as he sat like a poodle while India earned accolades and we were insulted over the War on Terror dedpjte oyr sacrifices. Tried to pimp his way into relevance into the Saudi-Qatar affair where he was never taken seriously, just as he was not, when he unfolded his chit to read out to Obama, that "Dal and Qeema" awaited him in Pakistan.

Now he asks, "What did I do?" Mr PM , it is what you did not do: Govern Pakistan, the only mandate given to you and your band of thieves. You failed us internationally, you let us down before our friends and enemies alike, and you robbed us. May the Lord have mercy on you and your soul.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 19, 2017 at 10:06pm

How to Get Away With Murder in Small-Town #India? #bribe #vote #caste #politics #democracy #justice #misogyny

PEEPLI KHERA, India — On my last week in India, I went to say goodbye to Jahiruddin Mewati, the chief of a small village where I had made a dozen or so reporting trips.

Jahiruddin and I were not precisely friends, but we had spent many hours talking over the years, mostly about local politics. I found him entirely without scruples but candid. He suspected my motives but found me entertaining, in the way that a talking dog might be entertaining, without regard for the particulars of what I said.

Jahiruddin, though uneducated, was an adept politician, fresh from winning a hard-fought local election. During our conversations, he would often break into rousing, patriotic speeches about truth and justice, thumping the plastic table in emphasis and making it jump. The effect was somewhat tarnished by his Tourette’s syndrome, which caused him to interject the word “penis” at regular intervals.

He was frank about the dirty aspects of his job. He occupied a post reserved for women from lower castes, but no one pretended this was any more than a sham; his wife’s name appeared on the ballot, but the face on the poster was his.

Nearly everything he did in local government was transactional, driven by the desire to secure the votes of minuscule family and caste groups. The funny thing was, it seemed to be working pretty well.


Geeta’s husband — a slight man named Mukesh — stood above Geeta, who was slumped on the side of a rope cot, and brought the stick down on her head several more times. She died on the spot.

What bothered Anjum, she said, was that the police had been contacted about the killing but almost immediately closed their investigation, releasing Mukesh after a few hours.


This was not because he (Jaheeruddin Mewati) believed that Geeta deserved to die or that her husband deserved to escape punishment. It was something more practical. Mukesh’s extended family controlled 150 votes; Jahiruddin had won his last election by 91. A murder case would have been a blot on their caste, and by brokering the cover-up, he had performed a particularly valuable service to a key vote bank. It might help him win re-election someday.

“In India, there is no vote in the name of development,” he said. “In India, there is no vote in the name of doing something good. The vote is in the name of caste, family, community. And then 10 percent of people will say, ‘He did something good for me.’”


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