Thursday, October 6, 2011
Jan 2008 part one Dear Readers, As it always goes that there are three reactions to any event, positive, negative, or indifference; you will be choosing your position very soon. Despite its poverty, and precarious situation Pakistan has been leading the geopolitical debate for quite some time. As if its plate of troubles was not full enough, Pakistan got another blast about on 27 December 2007. She is in the headlines again for another act of infamy. With horror I opened the news channel on December the 27th. just to see that the one of the most pivotal figures from the political scene of Pakistan has been eliminated, it was shocking but hardly surprising; a country where thousands of Pakistani soldiers and innocent people have been killed, where one Prime minister was assassinated, where another Prime minister was hanged, where an army dictator was blown-up in the sky along with the American Ambassador( American silence on this matter is very curious, especially since now some American politicians are asking for an international inquiry for the killing of a Pakistani citizen; was there any demand of this kind back then?), there had been killings of many intellectuals along with several attempts to assassinate for the current head of state. I was in horror until the reality of this tragedy started sinking in; when I got more detailed news of this tragedy, I did what many other people from my former homeland did, I cried and cried for that brave lady who did not deserve this fate (neither did those who have lost their lives for the cause of those demons who have been trying to destroy this poor country since 1947, just a footnote here that even Mahatma Gandhi lost his life to save Pakistan from going into bankruptcy, there was no United Nations to help the poor immigrants of Pakistan and India). After my tears dried, the on going process of soul searching restarted, my memory took be back to the time when Pakistan was about to implement its constitution and an army dictator( General Ayub Khan) took over. One of his protege was Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who will later establish Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the constitution was thrown away and a downhill spiral started, then came the the fateful year of 1965 when Pakistan and India had their first military confrontation. Thousands of innocent Pakistani & Indian lives were lost again because the General thought that a few ill equipped freedom fighters will drive out the occupiers of Kashmir -the well trained & well entrenched Indian army! The adventure spread beyond the borders of Kashmir a few weeks later both sides stopped after exhausting their resources. Pakistanis were told that they have won the war. Interestingly neither the UN, nor the USA, nor the UK(who actually was at the root cause of this mess at the time of the independence) intervened; it was the USSR which invited the head of states of these miserable nations. What the deal for settlement was never fully disclosed; the confidence of Pakistanis was breached in the General and his 'brave army' . Mr. Bhutto was the foreign minister by this time and being an intelligent person he decided to abandon the slowly sinking ship of the General. But there was still fear of fading General that Bhutto could not find a political platform. At this point the brave students of Karachi University( the students had a long history of being politically active and paying the price for that) invited Bhutto to a public gathering hall, I happened to be a participant, more than forty years of dust has clouded some of the details of his speech, but one most important theme is reverberating as strongly today as it was back during the late sixties, Bhutto somehow found the right mantra to brain wash the Pakistani's which he will repeat countless times, readers, the mantra was that in Tashkent a secret deal was made to convert the success of Pakistan into a failure, & he promised to tell that secret deal when the right time will come. Millions of Pakistanis took the bait and General was sacked by another Pakistani general named Yahya Khan who was probably an honest and truthful person (unfortunately his weaknesses were whisky and women-I liked him for for all what he was). He promised a fair and honest election and honored his words. Bhutto was the best opportunist & he became the drinking buddy of Yahya Khan. Elections were held in 1970, the results were some what expected, in East Pakistan the Awami league won with a landslide victory; Mr. Bhutto's PPP came a distant second (although in West Pakistan it had the lead); he refused to accept the result of the election and suggested the most bizarre concept that Pakistan should have two Prime ministers. Pakistan went into turmoil, East Pakistanis who were tired of the military junta (mostly composed of Punjabis from the West Pakistan) started demonstrating, the peaceful demonstrations took an ugly turn very soon; this was the golden opportunity for India to punish Pakistan and cut it in two. Indian lead East Pakistani freedom fighters, who were able to defeat the four divisions of the demoralized Pakistani army. By now these fighters were known as Mukti Bahni and East Pakistan was declared as Bangladesh. Some how the Pakistani army was treated under the Geneva Convention, two of my personnel friends were among the prisoners, one chose to correspond with me. Several years down the road they were eventually released, when I questioned him, why out of all the relatives and friends, why he chose me to write the letters(they were allowed to write only 2 letters per week), his response was that he thought that some day I will do something about this tragedy using my pen (he is gone but I am paying that debt today). I have to bring you the most gruesome tragedy of this all, there were literally millions of Pakistanis of non-Bangali origin who supported the Pakistani military as their patriotic duty against the foreign infiltrators, they did not have any protection of the so called Geneva convention, literally hundreds of thousands of them were hacked to death in the streets of Bangladeshi cities, their ladies were rapped and sold to the brothels across the country and across the border. I have yet to know any figure of international stature to condemn these barbaric acts. Of course the western rock groups who had a sympathy concert for Bangladesh and Ted Kennedy never said word condemning these atrocities(Kennedy wanted to visit Pakistan but was denied the visa, because just like today's Democrats of the USA he has an open mouth but closed ears and eyes. I am yet to solve this mystery that why the Democrats of the USA can not see the true picture of that part of the world, do they have some pay masters who ordered them to do so? I would really like to see the face of that Pay Master to whose tunes these puppets dance.) Well the times changed, and now came the time of poetic justices( it is possible that they may sound cruel to you) ; The Bangla Bandhu (Shaikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman) was slaughtered by his own military, and the bodies of his family members were scattered on the steps of the presidential palace to rot, it happened within the few years of separation. In West Pakistan the things took a slightly different turn. The disgraced Yahya Khan was deposed and died in obscurity and his drinking buddy Zulfiqar became the president of Pakistan he also named a junior general Zia ul Haq as the chief of staff of the Pakistani military (so that he can gain his loyalty); he declared himself as the administrator of martial law (another first for a civilian ruler with no shame). Bhutto considered himself the ultimate ruler he thought that he got the bull by his horn. Newspapers were shut down for just publishing the news of the other parties( my sister was working for one of them). Opposition party leaders were arrested, some of them were brutalized by ruthless criminals in those jails, leaders of Jama-at-Islami should take note before siding with the PPP. A commission was named to find the root cause of this tragedy, it was headed by a Justice named Hamood ur Rehman. The commission failed miserably in pin pointing the cause that "Bhutto was a traitor who caused the division of Pakistan, and PPP was equally responsible in this act of treason". Dear readers, please think what should have been the fate of these criminals? In Pakistan when some women relatives of stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh went on a peaceful demonstration the horse riding police in Karachi ran over them. This was the turning point in my life, I was totally demoralized, ashamed and felt so helpless that I decided to leave Pakistan, it was not a cowardly decision, it was an act of desparation, this was not the Pakistan for which Muslim league struggled since 1906. In the mean time the wheels of times kept on turning and the assasination of the one opposition leader's father came to haunt Mr.Bhutto, he was deposed by his own general and sent to the gallows, probably there could not have been any more cruel and poetic justice than this, that the two main culprits met their fate within a decade of breaking apart Pakistan. As they say rest is history, the daughter of Mr.Bhutto started leading the PPP and the naive Pakistani sent her to the Prime minister's house twice, both times this "champion" of democracy was thrown out on the charges of corruption. What goes around comes around.