Who is responsibe for violence in Karachi? It’s Sattar Buksh

I had written a few posts earlier about killings in Karachi and if anyone is interested in serious study or resources about it, I refer you to my earlier post Resources on Karachi Killings. Its has links to very rich and in-depth studies on violence in Karachi. But they all miss the angle that has come to light recently while I was browsing through a Karachi food forum on Facebook.

Karachi is a dichotomous city and probably Pakistan is dichotomous as well. There is a part of society that though complains of violence and inflation yet throngs to new food outlets in Karachi that “are popping up like windows on Macbook screens.” and has no qualms spending 5 to 10 thousand rupees on a lunch/dinner or even a snack out for four. It is customary to add here —> for 5 to 10 thousand rupees, a poor family of four can manage to feed themselves for a month.

One of those outlets is Sattar Buksh, a play on Starbucks. Sattar and Buksh are pretty common names in parts of the country.

The owners even got the low standard newspaper Express Tribune to report on its opening as a news.

Everyone’s talking about Sattar Buksh

Sattar Buksh is the latest addition to the list of cafes opened up to cater to the insatiable Karachi appetite, which is ready to engulf everything as people reach new heights of desperation in the entertainment-starved, terror-stricken metropolis. The new place has opened up in Clifton Block 4, that is fast picking up as the next swanky lane catering to the discerning and privileged. It has restaurants such as China Kitchen, Hook, Line & Sinker and the newly opened, Monte Cristo. The Sattar Buksh team says it wasn’t their first venue choice; the cafe was supposed to be in another location in Clifton.

You can read the whole article by clicking on the header. It makes for interesting read. Do not miss the comments as they provide an interesting perspective.

There is also a very active food forum on Facebook known as SWOT’s Guide for Karachi’s Restaurants, Cafes, Dhabas, Khokas and Take-outs and where people critique these food outlets. They can be brutal. Probably Sattar Buksh received one such brutal review which resulted in this

 

But probably that wasn’t enough. So he went on defending it with these arguments

 

All this time we have been looking for political, ethnic or financial reasons for people being killed mercilessly in Karachi. But now we find out that its rich entrepreneur kids who are opening eating outlets for rich people but upon receiving negative reviews go on a killing spree.

Bloody hell.

Post script: I didn’t know Pakistanis were giving HEADs to foreign outlets. That is why service at recently opened Burger King in Karachi was so bad as all the servers were busy receiving head.

Internet and elusive search for truth

Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves. – Eric Hoffer

It was believed that with the advent and ubiquity of internet and the huge information resources that internet puts at everyone’s disposal, creation of propaganda will become hard as people will easily seek out truths and will easily separate fact from fiction. However, recent events have shown that is hardly the case. Moreover, the arrival of social media such as Facebook and Twitter actually adds to the problem.

This was most notable in Pakistan during the Elections 2013 season. Columns were fabricated under the names of well known columnists and political analysts and shared via email, Facebook and Twitter. In pre-Internet times such fake news stories or columns circulated as faded photocopies. Very few people had access to news archives to be able to verify themselves whether such news item or column was ever written.

Now newspapers have their archives online and all one has to do is to visit the newspaper website and verify for oneself if such a column or news item had ever appeared on its pages. If recent experience has taught us anything, no one makes the effort of doing so. Whereas in earlier cases, spreading such false information required us to expend money and energy by photocopying and then delivering such papers, now it can be just done with a simple click of send or share button.

However, Pakistani nation eventually caught up to it as shown by election results and the supporters of political party that were faking such news items and columns lost sympathy of these journalists.

In case of Pakistan, the propaganda remained affected or deceived the Pakistani population. Probably because it was being done by a few die hard media savvy supporters of a particular political party. However, recent coup and subsequent events have shown that if there is a state machinery and intelligentsia behind a propaganda campaign, one can almost fool the whole world.

The campaign against the incumbent president started by “Tamarod” (arabic for Rebelion) by claiming that they have collected 22 million signatures nationwide from people demanding that the president step down. Whereas doubts were raised about authenticity of the signatures or even the numbers, they weren’t taken seriously. June 30, 2013 was announced as a day of protest against the president. A large number of people did come out and it was reported by local media and subsequently picked up by international media that more than 30 million Egyptians are protesting against the government which was also claimed as largest number of people protesting together in history of the world. This was repeated so much by the protestors themselves and the local channels sympathetic to them that they started believing it themselves.

From BBC

Pro-coup claims of 30M people is “gross exaggeration” and “impossible”

It has been claimed that Egyptians staged the biggest uprising in history in the last few weeks. It has been claimed that 30 million people took to the streets.

“I think that’s a gross exaggeration,” says Middle East correspondent Wyre Davies, from Cairo. “I think nationwide there were millions of people this time protesting against the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, but nothing like the 30 or 40 million people some people quoted. That’s 45% of the population – that’s impossible; there are too many young people in Egypt for the maths to work.”

So where has the figure of 30 million protesters come from? It’s difficult to find a source for it, or for any of the other estimates for that matter.

“What we saw last week was a military coup – there’s no two ways about it,” he says. “And therefore the only justification for that logically is that this was a popularly-backed military coup. So it’s in the interests of the people who supported the overthrow of the president to say that they had these millions of people supporting them.”

The BBC website above does not allow for comments. When the absurdity of such huge numbers protesting was pointed out on other websites or blog posts, the authors were branded as stooges of Muslim Brotherhood or USA who do not want to see Egyptians progress. Moreover, unless someone goes to the original source of the estimate and checks its credibility, it is very hard to verify the numbers.

Finally, award winning journalist Max Blumenthal does a deep dive and proves it the numbers were fabricated and social media was used to full affect to forward this.

People, power, or propaganda? Unraveling the Egyptian opposition

Among the first major Egyptian public figures to marvel at the historic size of the June 30 demonstrations was the billionaire tycoon Naguib Sawiris. On June 30, Sawiris informed his nearly one million Twitter followers that the BBC had just reported, “The number of people protesting today is the largest number in a political event in the history of mankind.” Sawiris exhorted the protesters: “Keep impressing…Egypt.”

Two days after Sawiris’ remarkable statement, BBC Arabic’s lead anchor, Nour-Eddine Zorgui, responded to a query about it on Twitter by stating, “seen nothing to this effect, beware, only report on this from Egypt itself.” Sawiris seemed to have fabricated the riveting BBC dispatch from whole cloth.

On June 30, one of the most recognisable faces of Egypt’s revolutionary socialist youth movement, Gigi Ibrahim, echoed the remarkable claim, declaring on Twitter, “I think this might be the largest protest in terms of numbers in history and definitely in Egypt ever!” Over 100 Twitter users retweeted Ibrahim, while a BBC dispatch reporting that only “tens of thousands of people [had] massed in Tahrir Square” flew below the radar.

Some Egyptian opponents to Morsi appear to have fabricated Western media reports to validate the crowd estimates. Jihan Mansour, a presenter for Dream TV, a private Egyptian network owned by the longtime Mubarak business associate Ahmad Bahgat, announced, “CNN says 33 million people were in the streets today. BBC says the biggest gathering in history.”

There is no record of CNN or BBC reporting any such figure. But that did not stop a former Egyptian army general, Sameh Seif Elyazal, from declaring during a live CNN broadcast on July 3, just as the military seized power from Morsi, “This is not a military coup at all. It is the will of the Egyptians who are supported by the army. We haven’t seen in the last — even in modern history, any country in the world driving 33 million people in the street for four days asking the president for an early presidential election.” CNN hosts Jake Tapper and Christian Amanpour did not question Elyazal’s claim, or demand supporting evidence.

Three days later, Quartet’s Middle East special envoy Tony Blair hyped a drastically different, but equally curious, crowd estimate. In an editorial for the Observer (reprinted by the Guardian), Blair stated, “Seventeen million people on the street is not the same as an election. But it is an awesome manifestation of people power.” The former UK Prime Minister concluded that if a protest of a proportionate size occurred in his country, “the government wouldn’t survive either.”

Like the massive crowd estimates, Tamarod’s signature counts were impossible to independently verify. Increasingly it appeared that the numbers were products of a clever public relations campaign, with the Egyptian army and its political supporters relying on the international press and Western diplomats to amplify their Mighty Wurlitzer.

As stated above, it is important to go to the original source to verify numbers, facts etc. Though CNN and BBC carried themselves quite respectively above, however, in these days of Breaking News and ratings game, even they can fall victim to such propaganda.

Osama bin Laden corpse photo is fake

An image apparently showing a dead Osama bin Laden broadcast on Pakistani television and picked up by British newspaper websites is a fake.

The bloodied image of a man with matted hair and a blank, half-opened eye has been circulating on the internet for the past two years. It was used on the front pages of the Mail, Times, Telegraph, Sun and Mirror websites, though swiftly removed after the fake was exposed on Twitter.

In addition, our searching habits and Google ensure that we continue to believe in the propaganda. In his book, Filter Bubble, Eli Parser makes a very convincing case that Google is our gatekeeper to the information. As such, we now see the world through Google. If Google chooses only to show us results skewed towards one viewpoint, it will be swaying our opinion on that issue towards that side. It is a very powerful power that Google exercises over us and we freely allow it to exercise it.

Moreover, in order to improve its search results, Google continuously strives to personalize the search results for us. As such, when we are logged in at our personal or office computer, through cookies Google has an idea of our tastes, viewpoints, location etc and throws up the results that it thinks we want to see. By showing us those results that it considers we are looking for, it plays a crucial role in reinforcing our beliefs about certain topics by not showing opposite opinions or showing them in further down the results list.

Google’s filtering systems, for example, rely heavily on Web history and what you click on (click signals) to infer what you like and dislike…. it’s that behavior that determines what content you see in Google News, what ads Google displays—what determines, in other words, Google’s theory of you.

…According to the New Republic’s Jon Chait, the answer lies with the media: “Partisans are more likely to consume news sources that confirm their ideological beliefs. People with more education are more likely to follow political news. Therefore, people with more education can actually become mis-educated.”

Even if Google does not engage in personalization, websites and activists by using such processes as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Google Bombing can ensure that for some search terms, certain results always appear on top thus creating a false image of websphere and consequently the world.

Whereas in theory Internet, social media and world’s most power search engine should have been making us better informed and bringing the world closer, the truth is that its actually quite an efficient medium to spread information and to reinforce our wrongly held notions.

 

Altaf Hussain and Titanic

Cover of "Titanic (Three-Disc Special Col...

Quaid-e-Tatheer Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai has been known to have absurd outbursts all the time that become butt of jokes amongst his opponents (collected here). However, these statements later force his lieutenants to come up with equally, if not more, absurd arguments trying to justify them.

Most recent example is Quaid-e-Tatheer’s statement that “Titanic of Muslim Ummah is sinking.” It left people scratching their heads to understand the explicit or implicit meaning underlying the statement. In comes Mustafa Azizabadi, Member of Central Coordination Committee (Rabita Committee) of MQM and Incharge of MQM International Secretariat London, and tries to give meaning to it in his tweet:

I don’t know what Quaid-e-Tatheer Altaf Hussain Bhai had in mind when it comes to Titanic but personally only thing I am reminded of is that famous (or infamous) scene where Leonardo Di Caprio does a portrait of Kate Winslet.

Close-up shot of Cameron's nude Rose sketch wi...

On a serious note, I think Mustafa Azizabadi is either the speech writer of Altaf Hussain or may be he has invested in Titanic franchise in Pakistan.

UPDATE

Later MQM Member Rabita Committee and Incharge Central Information Committee MQM Wasay Jalil also tried to come to rescue of Altaf Hussain

 

Hyper-active imagination in Pakistani political rumor mill

There comes a time in every idealist’s life wherein he has to decide whether to stay true to his cause or give in to commercial interests. Learning from a post by pseudo-journalist Ali K Chishti wherein he tagged his post about an ISI assassin who used to carry his ISI badge with him(absurd! I know) with totally unrelated but sexual words (Punjabi Girls, Sex, Mujra) most probably to get more visitors to his site and fearful of my dwindling visitor numbers I have decided to do the Faustian bargain for getting more hits. But only for one post now. However, unlike Chishti, tags in my post will be related as each word would have been mentioned in the article.

The quotes below are based on first hand account of a friend who is a Karachi based senior banker from his one day visit to Islamabad and Lahore to meet senior banking professionals and corporate head honchos there. In his own words Pakistanis have a “hyper active imagination”.

Don’t judge me for posting these as I am just a messenger. Moreover, do keep in mind that these are just baseless yet delicious (or disgusting _ based on your perspective) rumors. I have tried to keep editing to minimum to keep the original flavor so any mistakes (grammatical or idiomatic) should be attributed to original narrator. As I said, I am just a messenger.

1. President Zardari and Bilawal Zardari Bhutto regularly engage in Ménage à trois with Pakistan’s ex-Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

An unknown Bangladeshi online English-language magazine reported about an affair between Bilawal and Khar. The news went viral overnight and Khar was forced to issue a strong denial about it. It was assumed that ISI planted story to discredit Khar for she was making some ripples in foreign policy area (an area where army traditionally keeps a strong control behind the scenes) and when this rumor got traction, ISPR was forced to issue a clarification that ISI wasn’t behind it. Finally, editor of the online newspaper that broke the news was arrested to avoid creating any more controversies.

2. Sharmila Farooqi is Mr. Zardari’s keep, and she got engaged to someone (adviser to the President) in Presidency for her to have a legit reason to stay there.

3. Yusuf Raza Gilani routinely offers his wife, sister and daughters to get political mileage. He once offered his wife to a senior banker for a loan write off to one of his business entities, the senior banker said, kay mera standard itna kharaab nahin (translation: my standards are not that low).

On this I asked my friend that did the respective senior banker who was offered the wife tell this to you himself. He replied,

Nope, his friend. The guy who told me is Senior Executive Vice President and no. 3 in a bank, and he said, roozi per betha hoon, jhoot nahin bolon gaa (interpretation: he sweared that I am sitting on my livelihood (job) and will not risk it by spreading false rumors)

4. Yusuf Raza Gilani’s son (Ali Musa Gilani) is going steady with Bukhtwar Bhutto, and it was she who stood up to his father for Gilani to be given his place back Pakistan People’s Party

My friend summarized the above items in these words

Generally speaking every one on who’s who list of Islamabad (Pakistan’s Capitol Hill) is screwing either daughter or wife of some other guy on the same list

5. CEO of GEO TV has Sana Bucha’s blue tapes with him, and they would soon be leaked.

GEO TV used a similar tactic earlier. When their high ratings garnering religious anchor and a fake doctorate Aamir Liaquat Hussain had moved over to ARY TV channel, they released compilations of him using expletives when he thought the camera was off (of the time when he used to work at GEO TV).

This should have been the downfall of Aamir Liaquat. Yet to give you a flavor how things work in Pakistan, after this scandalous recording came to life, he was rehired by GEO TV. Commercial interests trumpeting moral superiority, if any. GEO TV even launched a celebratory campaign to announce Dr. Aamir’s coming back to their network

Coming back to the original rumor, Sana Bucha had left GEO TV earlier. She has since been fired or resigned from Dunya News as well. Probably a black mailing game played by GEO TV.

6. When Makhdoom Amin Fahim threatened to leave PPP, Zardari trapped him by depsoiting cash in Amin Fahim’s account, and then tipping off NAB so that he comes running to Mr. Zardari to keep him out of jail.

Enjoy. Now keep those hits coming.

Non-financial savvy reporting of financial news : Sony City Osaki edition

A colleague of mine sent the below post to our mailing group as breaking news.

Sony unloads ‘Sony City Osaki’ building for $1.2 billion, will remain as lessee

In a bid to bolster its bottom line, Sony’s been selling properties like a desperate monopoly player, and the latest space on the board to go is the Sony City Osaki building for 111.1 billion yen ($1.2 billion). That follows the sale of its NY headquarters for a similar sum, and the move of its mobile HQ from Sweden to Tokyo. The Osaki building has been purchased by a Japanese holding company who will lease the building back to Sony for a period of at least five years, which seems to be the trend for electronics companies lately. The Japanese conglomerate said all the property deals are being made to “transform its business portfolio and reorganize its assets.” Translation? Sony needs the cash, natch.

There is so much wrong in this small news item. As I didn’t have much time, so I sent him a short reply within five minutes highlighting what is wrong here in first read. Obviously if one does some research online, one can refute the above with links to actual numbers

Firstly, for a company that is engaged in a business of selling consumer electronics, bottom-line will not be bolstered by selling a building. Analysts will discount the profit if any from this transaction as one-off extraordinary income from an unrelated business segment (I don’t know what is the actual accounting term to describe such a profit/loss in income statement). Moreover, the article doesn’t even tell us if they sold the property for a profit or a loss.

Secondly, against a one time profit if any, the company will regularly be lease payments to the lessor for next many years thus reducing the income of Sony for subsequent years.

Thirdly, the article says Sony needs the cash. I don’t think so as all these electronic giants are hoarding cash. I don’t think they will pay down debt as no corporate entity is stupid nowadays to return money when you don’t know if you can access it again.

I can put forward two guesses and they are just guesses at the moment till I have reviewed the accounts of statements of Sony.

One, they want to reduce the size of their balance sheet to show better return on assets.

Two, they fear that BoJ may weaken the yen to stimulate Japanese exports/economy and Sony thinks its better to liquidate dead assets and invest in USD/commodities/other foreign assets (my suggestion would be to stand clear of Silver). Even if foreign asset returns are nominal, they’ll at least gain from yen weakening if and when that happens which will translate into foreign currency translation gains. But I consider this as a weaker of the two reasons.

It took me five minutes to draft the above email without doing any research. I wish the author of the above piece or the editor could have spent more time thinking before giving their opinion on the reason behind the news.

I am an anti state actor and should be hanged

It all started with a single Daily Beast article which I posted on my Facebook page and excerpted the following:

Pakistan’s bin Laden Scapegoat

Pakistani officials tell The Daily Beast that the head of Pakistan’s notorious intelligence service may step down, as the government looks for a fall guy for the bin Laden debacle.

“The senior Pakistani sources say that Pasha was never keen on the ISI job in the first place. He had no background in intelligence and was an infantry and armor officer in previous commands. He was, however, very close to Kayani, who insisted he take the job when he was nominated in 2008.”

Based on the above I commented:

This shows NEPOTISM at the highest level in military. Nothing less than Kyani’s head should roll.

This wasn’t the first time I had asked for accountability of army or for them to bear consequences of their actions so I was expecting some mild criticism. But the reaction was everything but mild. All the arguments that I have heard from my friends over so many years, were regurgitated and thrown at me with vehemence and vitriol for which I was not prepared at all.

1. First time in history Army and ISI are having a fist fight with USA and CIA. We can blame for bad things some other time. Kyani and Pasha are a threat of dirty American interests that is why US wants them removed.

Though I also had objection to his first statement, I just picked on his second statement. What do you mean this is not the right time? After 1971 debacle, this is the best time. The whole nation has seen that the army was sleeping and if we ask for reforms and accountability, the nation will support us. Army derives it support from the perception in the people that they can sleep peacefully at night because Pakistan Airforce (and other armed forces) are awake. The present incident shattered that myth. Its now or never.

2. The budget of Presidency is in hundreds of millions. A minister earns hundreds of thousands in a month.

Huh? Having faced similar arguments before, what the commentator was implying that why are you picking on army when there are such low hanging fruits as President and politicians. I let this one go by without a reply as I knew later I will get a more elaborate comment.

Then came something from quite a few friends at the same time which I had never faced in my years of arguments about Army.

3. If you are asking for accountability now you are an anti-state element and unpatriotic. Your bank balance needs to be checked how much funding you have received recently from US.

In Pakistan one gets used to various labels and ethnic slurs that are thrown at one but I was shocked at being such labels. At max, I was expecting to be labeled with the oxymoron liberal extremist but an anti-state element. This was a new low. What is this about receiving money? Till now, I thought only Army received money from US.

4. Army is the most professional institution and all soldiers that have reached this position are well qualified. General Shuja must be the most qualified person.

Yes. The most professional institution does not have a succession plan. It had to give General Kyani 3 years extension because he thought that no one below him is qualified enough to run the army. What professionalism? Then he appoints Shuja Pasha at ISI and gives him 3 years extension, not because he was most competent for that position but because he would be most loyal to him. Professionalism can kiss my ass.

But I may be wrong. Because a stint in army prepares you for every job in the world be it an ambassadorial position, CEO of public sector organizations orutility companies, administration and HR roles, running fertilizer and cereal plants, dean/director of universities, real estate agency and last but not least, security consultants to local and international organizations as well as experts on TV. You cannot learn such skills even at Harvard, Columbia, Wharton,  Oxford, and/or LBS (#1 on FT Business school ranking and my alma mater 🙂 )

5. Corruption is only at the top. Captains, Major etc are good people.

One of the second most popular argument that I have heard over the years. The question is why these good people become corrupt when they reach the top. I have been hearing such arguments since I have started criticizing the institution and to me, this shows that the rot has set in deeply as all these good, selfless captains, majors etc become corrupt when they reach the top. If you are looking for one reason to reform the institution or introduce accountability, this alone is sufficient as it proves that good people become corrupt as they rise through the ranks.

6. The captains and majors have sacrificed a lot.

Is the army only one making sacrifices? What about the rest of nation which ‘ate grass’ and diverted resources from health, education, infrastructure etc so that this country can have a strong and impregnable defense. Aren’t their sacrifices worth anything? What about the price this nation has paid for the ‘strategic depth’ doctrine in terms of lawlessness, drug trade, etc? Are those sacrifices worthless or is a sacrifice only counted when it comes packaged in a khaki uniform?

Thank God, she didn’t say Generals and Lt. Generals have sacrificed a lot then I would have lost my cool.

7. Accountability of army does not even happen in developed countries. Accountability is only possible if other institutions are strong. This is a lame excuse that other institutions are weak because army keeps stepping on their feet.

Stanley McChrystal’s example was enough to debunk the first sentence. The second argument held its contradiction in itself. If army keeps on stepping into areas which are not its domain from foreign policy to bureaucracy to government to judiciary for most of the years this country has been in existence, how are those institutions ever expected to develop and be strengthened.

8. Leaving all the corrupt politicians in Pakistan, why are you after army alone? All (army and politicians) are dogs of same alley (eik hi gali ke kuttay hain)  some bark more than the others, some bite more venomously than others.

You see in this country either politicians are corrupt or everyone is corrupt. There is no other possibility. You cannot call any segment of society professionals, businessmen, bureaucracy or God forgive me Army corrupt unless your statement is preceded by that fact that ‘all the politicians are corrupt’ or even better you add in the end ‘whole Pakistani society is corrupt’.

With respect to dogs, there are two categories. Bloody dogs and guard dogs. Bloody dogs get beaten, tortured, raped, mutilated, shot at point blank, put in jail their family members never knowing whether they are killed or have been SOLD to dog pound in Guantanamo, and even hanged whereas guard dogs bully around with absolutely no repercussions (they do occasionally START fight with dogs of neighbouring alley but then come back running with their tail between their legs) and get free land to live on, get larger and larger share of “cheethrays” that are thrown at them from their international handlers and probably all go to dog heaven for their exalted status as Shaheed or Ghazi.

9. First we should start with bringing to book waderas and feudal land lords. Then we should start accountability of Army.

Thank you for equating Army with waderas and landlords because that is what they are. Ruling like a land lord over this poor nation with an iron rod in their neck. Google Okara Military Farms and see how military is nothing but feudal setup.

10. Everybody makes mistakes. US was sleeping when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor or when the planes flew into WTC on 9/11 or when they could not locate WMDs in Iraq.

You have got to be kidding me.

11. It seems sometimes that your feelings are deeper than loathing for Army. Why not same feeling for the ‘ yellow saw’ or zard aari whose first reaction was to congratulate US. He too is shitting on aid and partying with his chamchas for as long as it lasts for him.

I think we all hate Zardari equally. Geo news, the channel we all love to hate, hates Zardari (their song for Hum Sab Umeed Say Hain is zor ka jhatka zardaro say laga). All of us hate other politicians as well. I have heard this statement so many times ‘make all the politicians stand in a line and shoot them, the country will be better for it’ that if got a dollar for each time this was said, I would have been a millionaire in dollar terms.
12. Politicians have sold the sovereignty of this nation.

When was the sale? Why wasn’t I informed when it was taking place?

As per reports, it was Musharraf who signed the ‘sovereignty-breaching’ agreement with George W Bush. God forbid had it been signed by Nawaz Sharif or late Benazir Bhutto or any other civilian, the state propganda machine (whose strings are pulled by ISPR) would have gone into full swing branding them as traitors, anti state actors, on CIA payroll etc but since because Musharraf was a military guy, state media as well as ISPR is silent despite the fact that he as head of military was the one who actually “pimped” this nation for a few bucks as you said for “their” war on terror.

It is not like that this pimping or mercenary business started during Musharraf’s era. Zia did the same and Ayub Khan is on record stating “Our Army can be Your Army” to US Assistant Secretary of State Henry Henry Byroade in 1953.

What I find amazing in all of this is that I had just asked for heads to roll. Had incident of similar nature happened in a civilian area, the whole nation, media and army would not have stopped till they had hanged that ‘bloody civilian’ but since its our Army, I should be hanged for questioning their integrity, selflessness and professionalism.

I conclude this post with the quotation of Justice M R Kyani which was recently quoted by Shahid Saeed in his excellent writeup in DAWN

“All praise is for the Almighty who bestowed sovereignty upon the army, then made the people subservient to the army and the army subservient to its own interests”

ISPR Press Release : What a joke

After four days of utter silence to the nation yet some interviews to BBC in English with such statements as “we are good, but we are not God” ISPR comes out with a press release in English mainly for the consumption of the international media. Bloody civilians who were shocked that by diverting resources from health, education and infrastructure, this what our security establishment had to show for itself may find little comfort in reading it.

Without further ado, the Press Release:

It was highlighted that the achievements of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), against Al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates, have no parallel in Pakistan.

In Pakistan? Isn’t that what ISI IS supposed to do? It would have been really shameful if any other international organization came even close to matching ISI achievements in Pakistan.

COAS made it very clear that any similar action, violating the sovereignty of Pakistan, will warrant a review on the level of military / intelligence cooperation with the United States.

Can’t we at least threaten to shut all cooperation? Is this the best threat we could throw at them?

The Corps Commanders were informed about the decision to reduce the strength of US military personnel in Pakistan to the minimum essential

As my friend Jafar said, did the military personnel IN Pakistan do the action? How many CIA guys were thrown out after Raymond Davis saga?

As regards the possibility of similar hostile action against our strategic assets, the Forum reaffirmed that, unlike an undefended civilian compound, our strategic assets are well protected and an elaborate defensive mechanism is in place.

Acha? As if this civilian compound was located near the border in a deserted area. The compound was located well inside Pakistani territory near the military academy Kakul in Abbotabad and the infiltrators were in our airspace for more than an hour and according to our air marshal by the time our F-16s reach there, they had already left in helicopters.

The Forum, taking serious note of the assertions made by Indian military leadership about conducting similar operations, made it very clear that any misadventure of this kind will be responded to very strongly. There should be no doubt about it.

Misadventure of this kind from Indians will be responded to very strongly. However, when Americans do it, it will just warrant a review of our cooperation.

The Forum reiterated the resolve to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan and to fight the menace of terrorism, with the support and help of the people of Pakistan.

What do they have to show for the support that people gave them so far? With big chunk of budget and foreign aid routed to military at the expense of health, education and infrastructure, if we couldn’t even detect the trespassing helicopters and our multimillion dollar f-16s took more than an hour to respond to the threat, the bhookay nangay awaam of Pakistan have been taken for a ride by their security establishment.

=UPDATE=

After this joke of a Press Release which Express Tribune rightly said was CRAFTED on the fourth day of incident, Indian defence ministry replied within half an hour with a statement saying just “ROFL”

=Honorable Mention=

Award for best analysis goes to Tazeen who said something to the effect of that this is the highest point of Presidency that such a huge blunder happens in Pakistan and no one is blaming the President.

=DIRTY TRICKS=

ISPR is back to its old tactics and have started feeding the media to transfer blame to civilian leadership. Ansar Abbasi printed a piece on hikers from western countries taking a trip near Kahuta who were later released by Interior Ministry on having diplomatic immunity. Electronic media was again repeating the stale news that New York embassy issued passport to 7,000 Americans without getting green light from ISI. Does this mean that Osama Bin Laden and other foreigners roaming around in the country have all been green lighted by ISI?