Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hot Topics in Pakistan

During my stay in Karachi, the most hot topics that agitated the minds of the people were uncontrollable cycle of suicide bombings in Lahore, first on a Ahmedia mosque and second at the shrine of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh; fake degree certificates of elected legislators; and the controversy over UN Commission Report on the killing of Benajir Bhutto.

The Punjab Province was the centre of controversy on the first two issues of terrorist attacks and fake degree certificates. The Provincial governement led by Shahbaz Sharif of the PML (N) denied the existence of terrorist groups in the province and in fact the Chief Minister at one point of time pleaded with Taliban, fighting in the Waziristan area North-West, not to attack his province as his government's policies were the same as that of the terrorist group. The two attacks in one week finally pushed the `terrorist sympathizer' government to ban 17 terrorist organisations in the province. There is nothing new in this as these are already banned organisations. Then why the ban again? Wonderful question, but do not ask. You know the answer, of course. This is to silence those of you asking questions.

The Shahbaz government was again pushed to corner for allowing a unanimous passing of a resolution denouncing media for their exposure of fake degree certificates held by many legislators belonging PML (N). Former President Gen. Musharraf introduced minimum qualification of a degree for contensting elections for provincial and federal legislative bodies. The government is now forced to withdraw the resolution.

The third most interesting development was denunciation of the UN report into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto by the PPP government, which itself invited the UN to investigate expressing lack of confidence in the governmental agencies. The reason is simple. The UN report made scathing observations on the role of the Army and the intelligence agency, ISI. It made an elaborate account of their direct support to terrorist organisations, including the Taliban. One may recall that Benazir Bhutto herself expressed, before her assassination, serious complaints against the security and intelligence agencies conspiring to kill her. The political situation has come to such a pass that President Zardari, husband of the slain former Prime Minister, cannot survive without the support of the Army. Which is important, Power or dead wife? Obvious enough, isnt it?

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