blind_html Fwd: Perfidy or apathy? Pakistan | News | Newspaper | Daily | English

  • From: Nimer Jaber <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 08 May 2009 07:26:33 -0600

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Subject:        Perfidy or apathy? Pakistan | News | Newspaper | Daily | English
Date:   Fri, 8 May 2009 02:10:41 -0400
From:   Jack Lowe <jlowe27@xxxxxxxxxx>
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Perfidy or apathy?
By Mohammad Jamil February 12, 2009

There is consensus among political and social scientists that a state or
government has the exclusive right to the legitimate use of force in
its writ and rules within a given territory. R A Dahl, in his famous
book, Modern Political Analysis, wrote: "We can be reasonably sure of
one thing: When
large numbers of people in a particular territory begin to doubt or deny
the claim of the government to regulate force, then the existing state
is in peril
of dissolution." In Pakistan, some leftists and rightists oppose the
government when it tries to establish the writ of the government. They
do not realise
that such an approach tends to embolden those who challenge the writ of
the state, and also has a demoralising effect on the security forces.
On Saturday, in a local Urdu daily there was a news item that
International Socialist Pakistan put up a protest camp, observed
symbolic hunger strike and
staged a demonstration in front of the Karachi Press Club against the
military operation in Swat. On the other hand, religious right
Jamaat-i-Islami (JI)
also held protest demonstration in front of the press club. Apart from
JI, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI), Tehrik-i-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim
League (N) vehemently
opposed military operation in FATA and Swat. Some of the leaders resort
to scathing criticism of the security forces not realising that if the
are not stopped, they could extend their 'tentacles' to other areas, and
could lead to anarchy in the country. They do not condemn attacks on
imambargahs, and other national assets like Wah factory and other
Unfortunately, the religious parties who had made a mistake of opposing
Pakistan movement are now making another mistake by supporting those who
the writ of the state and try to weaken Pakistan. They insist that
everybody should accept their interpretation of Islam, their dress code
and their perception
of culture. Leaders of the religio-political parties have not even once
condemned terrorists' acts and suicide attacks on security forces'
barracks and military convoys. When pressed to comment on the heinous
crimes like killing civilians, beheading those who do not agree with the
and destroying girls' schools, they justify those acts on the basis that
Pakistan had joined War On Terror.
For some time, situation in Swat and Dir is dismal, as writ of the state
is being challenged by the Taliban, who according to a press report,
have set-up
their High Court in Kabal, upper Swat. Harassed by the militants, people
are taking their cases to the Taliban High Court (THC). Taliban are
people who defy them or try to leave the villages, and then hang the
corpses from the lampposts to terrorise the people. This means that they
are using
people as human shields. Hapless and helpless people of Swat have been
pushed against the wall. Being sick and tired of the situation they
staged a rally
in Chakdara against the Taliban's expanding role in Dir.
Like in other parts of the province, legal fraternity on Friday
completely boycotted the court proceedings in Peshawar against the use
of derogatory statements
by Swat Taliban against lawyers in which Taliban had stated that lawyers
should be killed and the courts in Swat should be closed down.
Meanwhile, a meeting
of the lawyers chaired by the Peshawar High Court Bar Association
President Abdul Latif Afridi was also held. He told the meeting that the
lawyers were
the most dignified community of the society and yet they receive
threats. A few days ago, Taliban had issued a list of members of the
Provincial Assembly
and other government functionaries that they should appear before their
Anyhow, people are picking up the courage to face the militants. ANP
women Parliamentarians constituted a jirga to look after the affectees
of Swat military
operation in Swat and would visit the valley to meet with political
leaders and displaced persons. Provincial leaders, President Zardari and
Prime Minister
Yousuf Raza Gilani should establish their camps in Swat to boost the
morale of the security forces, and also to convey the message to the
militants that
the nation is united against them. There is no denying that rise in
extremism is due to the lack of education and lack of development in
FATA and the region.
Secondly, there was mushroom growth of the jihadi organisations when the
US and the West through massive propaganda campaign and funding had
inspired the
youth to fight the Soviet forces and push them out of Afghanistan.
Those leaders who oppose every action of the government against the
militants and urge the government to negotiate with the militants do not
suggest with
whom the government should hold negotiations, and if negotiations fail
what should be the next step? In the past, central as well as provincial
had signed agreements with the local Taliban but they were not willing
to wean away from enforcing their perception of sharia or from crossing
the international
Pak-Afghan border to help their Afghan brethren. But such acts have
brought Pakistan into disrepute. International community suspects that
Pakistan supports
the militants' acts. Leaders of the religio-political parties do not
realise that army action is imperative when civil administration and
police fail to
control the situation, as it is provided in the constitution that
provincial government can seek armed forces support in case they cannot
quell violence.

They should understand that the 1973 constitution was unanimously
adopted by all the political parties and provinces, and there was a
consensus that no
law would be made contrary to Quran and Sunnah. If Taliban and their
supporters wish to enforce sharia, they have to arrange two-third
majority in the
Parliament through election process. There is a perception that JI and
JUI do not see any possibility of ever having the required majority in
the Parliament,
they therefore want to use the militants' pressure to enforce their
perception of Islam, which is at variance with the great majority of the
people. The
question is whether they want to bring about a change through peaceful
means or through violent means. It should be borne in mind that the
parties supporting
Taliban would get nothing by pursuing such course which is fraught with
dangers, as the militants would never accept their leadership.
Secondly, they should understand that sovereignty cannot be divided. It
is not possible to enforce sharia in one province, have Anglo-Saxon law
in the
second one, 1973 constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, in the
third and a tribal jirga law in the fourth province. Instead of polemics
over constitution,
they should rather focus on Article 37 of the constitution which stands
for the promotion of social justice, eradication of illiteracy,
providing free
and compulsory secondary education and inexpensive and expeditious
justice. Article 38 of the constitution ensures well being of the people
and provision
of basic necessities of life. They have to understand that democracy is
not confined to casting and receiving votes only, but implementing the
can motivate the people to protect the sovereignty of the Parliament. In
other words, it is the will of the people that can guarantee the
supremacy of
the Parliament and constitution.
The writer is a freelance columnist <>

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