The other Pakistan: a powerful civil society asserts itself

March 14, 2009

Lawyers dressed in black suits scuffling with police, several dragged into police vans. Other marching, their arms linked, shouting slogans and holding placards in a peaceful campaign for justice. If you looked at the TV and still pictures of the “long march” launched by the lawyers in a two-year campaign to uphold the freedom and integrity of the judiciary, they seemed to show a vibrant democracy rather than a country teetering on the brink of failure. It’s a face of Pakistan that has all but got buried in recent months, M Reza Pirbhai, a professor of South Asian history at Louisiana University, wrote in Counterpunch.

“Turban-topped, gun-totting mountain men, stern military dictators and corrupt civilian politicians dominate the global media’s representations of Pakistan, from Washington to New Delhi best fitting the preferred image of the ‘most dangerous place on earth,” he said.

“The Pakistani press, however, provides equal coverage to a movement born in the populous, lowland cities, one that showcases this country of 160 million’s more representative, non-violent face. For the past two years, national commentators have been following ‘Men in Black’ – a reference to their black suits and ties – around the streets of Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and every other major population centre.”

For two years the men, and indeed the women, have openly challenged the might of the state with rallies, demonstrations, strikes, boycotts of government institutions and sit-ins in public spaces. They want the supreme court judges dismissed by then President Pervez Musharraf reinstated and a crackdown on them has again begun as they march towards Islamabad.

Is such a protest possible in Afghanistan, the state that Pakistan increasingly finds itself compared to? Or even more tellingly, in any of the countries in the Middle East? Or even countries in southeast Asia such as Malaysia?

The Asian Human Rights Commission says throughout Asia there is no parallel to the Pakistani lawyers movement. It was largely because of this that an election took place last February after nine years of military rule.

The protests, for all the risks they hold for Pakistan’s fragile democracy, represent the power of a civil society, says Ijaz Shafi Gilani, a specialist in public opinion research, in an article in The News.

“An increasingly empowered and more cohesive society finds itself at odds with the authority of the state. Trust in state institutions has declined while trust in civil society institutions including independent media has risen,” he says.

Pakistan’s problem is not that it is a failing nation, he argues. The problem is the distrust between an increasing vibrant society and the state. “The year under the stewardship of  (President Asif Ali) Zardari can perhaps best be described as the one that produced a weaker state, stronger nation.”

Something to retrieve then from these protests?

[Photos of protests in Rawalpindi and Karachi]

57 comments

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The same civilians celebrated in pak streets, dismissal of shariff government and takeover by mushy’s military, less than 10 yrs ago.

Yes, the point about civilians welcoming the army coup if well-made. But arguably isn’t that again an expression of their disappointment with the government of the day ?

Posted by Sanjeev Miglani | Report as abusive

the moral: democracy is incompatible with some religions;
dictatorships are fine, as fear and
pressure assure peace(calm) and contentment

but why should the world care?

The spine chilling reality of the N-Factor that can be brought into the equation anytime and not to mention real danger of repeats of mumbais.

Jihadi’s and extremists win again!

They have managed to cause civil uproar again in Pakistan. The title should be: Pakistan’s “UNCIVIL” society, as it seems Pakistan has the will the will and permision given to the radical islamicists to stomach them with complicity, but shamefully so and to the dissappointment of the world, which leader is more important, or the politics of leadership is more imporatant than the more makeup and stability of their society.

Pakistani citizens are more concerned with cricket and politicians than fighting terrorism.

Pakistani citizens lack any moral core at their centre. Quite shameful and pitiful and disgusting. This politics of warring politicians to them is just another cricket match to vent deep rooted angers from Childhood.

The citizens are too naive to realize that pakistan’s situation will not change due to its leaders.

I still don’t see this sort of upheaval against terrorism.

Pakistani’s are the source of their own suffering and their own worst enemy.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Call it democracy, military rule, dictatorship or fundamentalism its all at the end of the day what people asked for.

There is no cause in the world that cannot move an inch without ground support. For example we attribute terrorist activities to terrorist and not to the people of a specific country that encourages them. This is a fallacy that needs to be corrected.

The people of Pakistan desires for the defeat of India at any cost, to avenge the split of 1971. They don’t mind if Indian children, Muslims or Hindu’s or anything Indian is killed. They want and demand revenge.

Call it schadenfreude or malevolence or empathy or sympathy, in the end of it we are all beasts waiting to devour the weak.

Lesson – be good at heart and use the goodness left in you to help your neighbor. The Mahatma is always right and seek to follow his steps.

I am proud to be born in the land of the Mahatma.

Posted by Jacob | Report as abusive

” Is such a protest possible in Afghanistan, the state that Pakistan increasingly finds itself compared to? Or even more tellingly, in any of the countries in the Middle East? Or even countries in southeast Asia such as Malaysia?

The Asian Human Rights Commission says throughout Asia there is no parallel to the Pakistani lawyers movement. It was largely because of this that an election took place last February after nine years of military rule.”

very well said Sanjeev Miglani. Excellent article. the pakistani people are searching for liberty and democracy against tyrant dictators (military and civilian.) the lawyers movement, if successful, will strengten the democratic forces in pakistan. repression of the judges and media should end, when this happens democracy will be stronger.

Posted by Mr. Ketchup | Report as abusive

Sanjeev,
Only lawyers constitute the Civil Society of Pakistan?? No Doctors, engineers, professors, housewives, students or mullahs?

Although I appreciate your good intentions to highlight something positive, your analysis is deeply misleading and flawed.

Truth is Lawyers are fighting for their survival and Sharifs are fighting for their survival. Just that they have one common enemy now. Zardari is fighting for his survival too. Everybody is Pakistan is OPPORTUNISTIC and IMMORAL! Where was the so called civil society after 911, Madrid, Mumbai? Where was civil society when Sharif was kidnapped by Saudis? What was justice Chaudhury doing with Musharraf for 7 years?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2009/03/13/AR2009031303475. html

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Another misleading comparison to Afghanistan and Malaysia.

Afghanistan is comparable to Pakistan in terms of chaos and instability. But Afghanistan doesn’t have lawyers, courts, nukes, Sharifs, Zardaris, Musharrafs, Army and ISI. Afghanistan has only Talibans.

Malaysia is light years ahead of Pakistan in every respect. Malaysia doesn’t have nukes, Sharifs, Zardaris, Musharrafs, Army and ISI. It is a vibrant civil society (not the Pakistan kind) and it coexists peacefully with it’s neighbors.

Sanjeev, I understand your desperation to write, but please be respectful and careful to readers taste.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Where is the so called “civil society of Pakistan” when Taliban is consuming their own country?

Just selfish vest-interest power hungry maniacs. No conscience, no vision, no morality!

Only love, tolerance and secularism prevail; ask the Mahatma!

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Thank you Sanjeev for writing about a positive aspect of Pakistan. The country is going through a difficult phase and we can blame no one but ourselves for it.

Visitors to Pakistan are shocked when they experience the hospitality and warmth of the common person. The explosion of electronic media has allowed unprecedented freedom of expression. Pakistani women are participating in sports like never before (recently won two matches in the world cup. They are in the air force (including fighter pilots), media, banks, hospitals, architecture, teaching, politics etc.

If we can control the lunatics who want to forcefully impose their interpretation of Islam on others and if we can succeed in re-instating the deposed judges, we can again be on the path of progress we were on 40 years ago.

I am disappointed that some writers from India are as usual full of hatred towards Pakistan. I realize they are still hurting from the Mumbai carnage, but they need to remember that the same brain dead extremists are creating havoc in Pakistan, which in itself proves that they are not supported by ISI or Pakistan Govt, which is frequently alleged.

Posted by Nasir Khan | Report as abusive

“Everybody is Pakistan is OPPORTUNISTIC and IMMORAL!”

David – u re making generic statements here. plz, try to understand this. the lawyers movement, self-serving or non self-serving, is helping pakistan move towards a stronger democracy. the last thing pakistan needs is more military intervention.

a stronger democracy in pakistan should be in the interest of the west as well. it is weird the US is even willing to talk to the venal taliban and rotten dictators but when it comes to pakistan’s civil society and the lawyers there is a telling silence..

and remember these are the same military dictators in pakistan who built the taliban in the first place and played double games with the west(all the while the US keeps funding them.)

Posted by Mr. Ketchup | Report as abusive

all these years what we have witnessed in pakistan is not the failure of democracy, but the failure of dictatorships.

Posted by Mr. Ketchup | Report as abusive

Mr. Ketchup: “if successful, will strengten the democratic forces in pakistan”

This is a very optimistic and ons sided view. Army is the power-broker, negotiator and deal-maker in current crisis. When the crisis resolves, some people will be dead and some deported. Can Pakistanis ever send the army to barracks and get the army under civilian control?

The truth is democracy is always subservient to army in Pakistan. Army always uses democracy to get foreign aid, weapons and serve it’s own agenda in Pakistan.

Is this what you call democracy?

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive

Great and true reflection of Pakistani society. However tired and weary, Pakistani civil society rejecting tyranny and marching on.

Posted by Suleman | Report as abusive

Mr. Ketchup,

“Everybody is Pakistan is OPPORTUNISTIC and IMMORAL!” is not a generic statement but observations from last 30 years.

“a stronger democracy in pakistan should be in the interest of the west as well”

- Like Hamas in Gaza strip? Please tell me a single leader in Pakistan who cares for the country and not power. Since it’s freedom, democracy always served the interests of Military and Mullahs.

“and remember these are the same military dictators in pakistan who built the taliban in the first place and played double games with the west(all the while the US keeps funding them.)”

- Ms Bhutto and Sharif actively helped the army create Taliban, Kashmiri Militants and other Islamic terror groups. Ms Bhutto made several trips to N. Korea, Libya, China to trade nukes and missiles.

Are these your democratic leaders? Truth is they all conveniently use democracy to come to power and do whatever they can to hug on to power .. till they die.

When was the last time any democratic PM or President tried to tame the army and fortify democracy? It’s a SWAMP: born there, live there, die there .. dirty all through.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

How much money could have shariff spent to gather all those men in black suits ?? any estimates ??

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive

i think this is a true picture of Pakistani society as described by writer in this article although some people on the planet wouldn’t accept it as true because their perception about pakistan is made by their respective countries Media policy makers, who can easily hide and twist facts and realities from them in order to move forward their own country agenda rather than to tell truth but i am right because i live in Pakistan and me is not govern by American govt policy guidance to CNN or Indian Govt Media policy guidance to Indian media in order to twist , discard , destroy real facts of this world just like Mr. Bush Weapons of Mass destruction in Iraq.
“The Asian Human Rights Commission says throughout Asia there is no parallel to the Pakistani lawyers movement.this shows Pakistanis are far ahead than many other countries of Asia in protecting it’s civil society rights if other countries can’t learn from us at least they need to learn to see reality of this world in fact they are just seeing what other want them to ………..

Posted by Rizwan Akram | Report as abusive

Anitha,
When Sharif was in power, he interfered in Supreme Court and tinkered with constitution several times. One time (Sharif was PM), he sent party supporters to storm, ransack Supreme Court and beat up judges.

This tells how much respect Sharif has for democracy and courts.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Umair and all pakistanis:

There is one basic problem with Pakistan well said in this article.

http://www.pro-pakistan.com/2008/07/11/f ood-for-thought-international-properties -of-pakistani-leaders/

Quote “When the leaders of a country start buying properties outside the country and their children get educated and stay abroad then the people of the country should know that there is something seriously wrong with the country which the leaders know but are not telling the people of the country.”Unquote

If the leaders are not living in reality (Pakistan) but people still elect them as PM or Presidents, isn’t there a problem? Is there a dearth of potential in the politicians living in Pakistan? If it is the money from Saudi (or from other country) which gets them elected and Pakistan people can just wish helplessly that the leaders make right choices, does not than mean that Saudis (or anyone else) are steering the politics. This is really serious and Pakistanis must say “NO TO FOREIGN SETTLED LEADERS” and exile of a politican, taken by him/her as an excuse, should be made unlawful–how about this revolution?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

When PM Sharif attacked Supreme court and beat up judges:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF2oj2B4p Tg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTBHoYk0g qY&feature=related

Posted by David | Report as abusive

“Pakistan’s Fragile Foundations”

http://www.cfr.org/publication/18749/pak istans_fragile_foundations.html?breadcru mb=/

It’s not ready for democracy. Given current situation in AfPak, only dictatorship is best.

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive

The country is going through a difficult phase and we can blame no one but ourselves for it.

Visitors to Pakistan are shocked when they experience the hospitality and warmth of the common person. The explosion of electronic media has allowed unprecedented freedom of expression. Pakistani women are participating in sports like never before (recently won two matches in the world cup. They are in the air force (including fighter pilots), media, banks, hospitals, architecture, teaching, politics etc.

If we can control the lunatics who want to forcefully impose their interpretation of Islam on others and if we can succeed in re-instating the deposed judges, we can again be on the path of progress we were on 40 years ago.

I am disappointed that some writers from India are as usual full of hatred towards Pakistan. I realize they are still hurting from the Mumbai carnage, but they need to remember that the same brain dead extremists are creating havoc in Pakistan, which in itself proves that they are not supported by ISI or Pakistan Govt, which is frequently alleged.

Posted by Nasir Khan | Report as abusive

Musharraf-Benazir plan was to keep Sharifs away: ex-UK envoy

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.a sp?id=165315

Benazir strengthening democracy?

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive

When Sharif ransacked supreme court and beat up Judges:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF2oj2B4p Tg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m01npQow wc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTBHoYk0g qY

Sharif strengthening democracy?

Posted by David | Report as abusive

All countries have protests. So one must not read too much into lawyers’ protest in Pakistan. It is not going to turn anything around. The power center in Pakistan is the military and they are itching to take over the country again. It is better to leave the country under a dictator. At least they can quit worrying about what kind of government they need. May be they should take Musharraf back again. He is an intelligent man and can make good decisions fast. That is all matters at this time. He has learnt his lessons too and will not be as vicious as he was when he took over the power before. He might do good this time and it might work out good for Pakistan as well as all its neighbors.
Amongst the Pakistani politicians, only Imran Khan is an honest man. May be he should work with Musharraf towards putting the country on the path of progress.

It is not a civil society. It is a criminal society that harbors and hides murderers and terrorists. This society is still hiding Mumbai terrorists.

Taliban will do justice to them.

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive

One White House aide emerged from an intelligence briefing on Pakistan three days after Mr Obama’s inauguration to exclaim: “Holy s–t!”

The US official agreed: “Everyone’s calling it the Af-Pak report, but really it ought to be Pak-Af.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnew s/northamerica/usa/barackobama/4991675/B arack-Obama-told-help-Pakistan-or-risk-a -repeat-of-911-in-America-or-Britain.htm l

Posted by David | Report as abusive

“It’s the army that has failed Pakistan”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment  /letters/article5908292.ece

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Pakistanis will only learn this way. Once the Taliban ingresses into the cities, the headless bodies, violence and bullet riddled bodies, the bloody carnage will start to tear apart Pakistan civil society itself, it is only then Pakistani’s will have an awakening and realize that Radical Islam is at the centre of all this fighting, hate and unrest. The Taliban have yet to teach Pakistani’s a lesson. The army is already powerless to stop it.

The carnage has yet to begin and begin it will on the Pakistani’s, vis a vis the Taliban and extremists.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

This society is anything but civil.

This society is a shame on democracy. This society was founded on hatred for India 60 years ago and even today, hatred is the only thing that holds together this society.

This hateful, complacent, selfish, sloppy, slobbish society has created and sheltered terrorists for last 30 years, sheltered military dictators for last 60 years, almost destroyed two neighboring countries and killed 300K plus people, can’t live in peace with itself or with neighbors and was caught selling WMDs to terrorist orgs and countries. All elected leaders spend time in lying to people or looting state treasury or covering up for terrorists or amending constitution or tinkering with courts or in jails or in exile in exotic palaces abroad.

Are these signs of a civil society? Countries like Somalia, Zimbabwe or N Korea do a lot better than Pakistan. USA can’t dare to bomb Somalia every week like it bombs Pakistan.

This is no civil society like Afghanistan or Malaysia! I can’t find a country on this planet to compare to Pakistan!

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive

Global citizen, watcher

Pakistan was not built on hatred of India, Pakistan was built by collective failure of Jinnah and Nehru.

Most people who migrated did so to save their lives and live in peace, please dont make gross generalization. Just becuase we were lucky to be born in a secular country and not brainwashed by mullahs, we should not relish the plight of pakistan.

Lets not make the same mistake Pakistan did and believe that we can live in peace while the neighbourhood burns. This not the time for “told you so” kindda statements, lets have empathy and keep pakistan and pakistanis in our prayers.

Sorry if I sound preachy.

Posted by indian1127 | Report as abusive

this shows that there is hope, people are willing to clean the mess.. and are willing to stand for it..i hope Mr ten percent understand that the recent clampdown on the media in pakistan is sending the wrong message out… he has to understand that by shutting down free media they cannot escape the resentment of commen pakistani living in their miseries.though we recieve bits and pieces of infomation in india but again ….. just by putting people in jail and shutting media is not the solution …Mr Zardari is loosing credibility…he has to stop thinking about himself and think for the people of pakistan. …and MR Zardari is becaming hugely unpopular around the world..kudos to the people of pakistan especially the younger lot ..corrupt or honest , younger or older … we are with u especially in this hour of need…i hope the indian govt gets the message though they are busy in elections..

Posted by Raging bull | Report as abusive

global citizen say:
“This is no civil society like Afghanistan or Malaysia! I can’t find a country on this planet to compare to Pakistan!”
i think i do agree with u upto an extent there have been dictators and politicians squabbling for power and money..they are every where . in yugoslavia,zimbawae ,uganda,somalia
every where even some politicians india ..yes there is hatred propaganda in their history books but does that mean its the fault of people there in pakistan.. lets think rationally ,..its a basic human nature,they have a big country as their neighbour who has made bangladesh possible.. BUT THIS IS AGAIN A DEBATABLE ISSUE. i think peaceful people’s movements like these should be supported and should be encouraged.. let the people there in pak decide what they want…democracy and free will should be encouraged. After all it doesn’t matter what happened earlier the point is the future of pakistan people should not suffer…india definatly doesn’t want a talibanised pakistan like state in their neighbourhood where free will is suppressed.

Posted by Raging bull | Report as abusive

I wonder how the resignation of Pakistan Information Minister, Sherry Rehman, will affect Zardari et al?

Sherry Rehman tendered her resignation after a cabinet meeting on Friday night, as leading television station Geo was blocked in major cities. (BBC South Asia).

So Pakistan is a peacful country. If it was peaceful then:

the Sri Lankan cricket team would not have been attacked or needed security.

these protest rallies would be allowed to go ahead.

no judges would be sacked.

none of the cities would be blocked off on the main roads.

Peacful, I am not so sure.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Pakistan is an extremely stupid and ignorant society with regards to the fact that they don’t realize, that any leader, civil or Pak army, will have to liase and work with the Americans on the war on terror? It is as simple as that. If Sharif came to power, he would have to enact the same things Musharaff or Zardari would have to because the people are not willing to control or root out Islamic Terror, created by the Pak Army.

This has little to do with Iftikhar Chaudry. If Chaudry were freed, the same problem with Terrorism would exist and the next Pak President would have to deal with drones and terrorism. What are Pak citizens going to do then?

Pakistani society itself is daft, short-sighted and defending its right to whatever form of Islamic Radicalism it wants to shape itself into, that is the centre of Pak’s problem, is that Paks themselves do not want a modern Islam.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Does anyone of you have seen the TV footage of Lahore today?
I could see the raw anger of Common Pakistani towards the establishment. It appeared to me that it is no longer political struggle of Sharif and Co but a clear cut statement to all power brokers in Pak that enough is enough. I could see glimpses of 1942 Quit India in Pakistan.
I often complained that no matter how good a pakistani’s intentions are they don’t do anything towards it. Today i am pleasantly forced to Shut up!

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive

Chirkut,
When you saw the “raw anger of Common Pakistani”, did also you see the “raw hunger of Sharifs or Zardari for power”. Did also see the gullibility of Pakistanis to be manipulated by Sharifs or Zardari? Do you think Sharifs or Zardari will last more than 6 months in any civilized country?

Will Pakistanis deliver Daoowd Ibrahim, Memmons and Mumbai-Nonstate actors to India after this crisis?

Will Pakistanis ban Taliban and be friendly to India, Afghanistan and USA after this crisis?

Will Pakistanis tell Army, ISI to go back to barracks and go under civilian control?

Truth is this “long march” is just for power and will not change anything that brought Pakistan to this brink. Pakistanis will continue to abet terrorists and Talibans, continue to attack India or Afghanistan.

Outside world will gain nothing from this “long march”, but will lose a lot. Sharif will align with Talibans. He even tried to introduce Sharia Law officially in Pakistan, when he was PM. That’s why US doesn’t like him. This justice Choudhury will force CIA out of Pakistan and hinder all CIA operations.

This how a veteran Pakistani journalist puts it:

“Deja-vu in Pakistan crackdown”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/79 37899.stm

“.. has brought an unwelcome feeling that this has all been seen before”

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive

Nasir Khan:
@I am disappointed that some writers from India are as usual full of hatred towards Pakistan.
- Posted by Nasir Khan
–If you feel this is hatred, it is mutual. Actually this is valid anger, mostly. Indians are as “warm and hospitable” as you believe the Pakistanis are. The “hospitality and warmth of the common person” is a culture of the region cutting across the religious boundaries.
@I realize they are still hurting from the Mumbai carnage,
–Yes, you are right. But more so by the inaction of Pakistan towards culprits roaming free in your country. There is good chance that Lahore case is done by LeT as was the Mumbai. Their business in Pak and elsewhere needs to be shut down. If you recall, they were the ones who did Kargill (as Musharraf said).
@but they (Indians) need to remember that the same brain dead extremists are creating havoc in Pakistan, which in itself proves that they are not supported by ISI or Pakistan Govt, which is frequently alleged.
–Here lies the denial part. World knows and your GOD knows that ISI does control terrorism inside India (not only Kashmir–but a variety of terrorists activties) and let us not restrict ourself to Mumabi case. Kabul Indian embassy is even stronger case that ISI blew the Indian embassy–BTW, this is no propaganda and reports say the existnece of incontrovertible evidence. Musharraf himself said in India (in a conference) that both India and Pakistan need to stop this; so he agrees that Pak does this. To tell your denial is promoting terrorism. If you read your own countries newspapers, there are saveral reports indicating or directly mentioning this. Now it all depends whether you think LeT guys are Kashmiri freedom figheters or terrorists. They are terrorists created and maintained by Pakistan and they are already hitting Pakistan. When would you wake up?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Say, but tone it down–more palatable and more effective.

humbly yours,

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Pakistani government will reinstate ex-Chief Justice Chaudhry: BBC News

Now seems like NRO will be canceled, Zardari will be taking one-way flight to Dubai, Musharraf will be taking one-way flight to unknown destination, current CJ will be booted out or jailed, Gilani will defect to PML-N ..

Taliban will collocate with Sahrif at PMO.

But drones will be there, CIA will be there.

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive

Global Citizen:

You have a very creative imagination, but i think you make some strong arguments. its too premature with the chief justice, lets see what happens next.. zardari is probably already ploting the next move, clever one he is.

Posted by Mr. Ketchup | Report as abusive

IMHO Drone operation should be stepped up 10,000%, as the will to fight Taliban increases.

IMHO,surgical Droning of cities may be necessary to do what the citizens of Pak or Army are unwilling or too afraid to do….fight radical Islam.

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive

It is matter of civilised values and should not be confused or messed up with routine matters of Indo-Pak or with Antiterorism drive in Pakistan.Reinstatement is a good jesture and will bring a change ,which was not expected by our neighbourers because of their complex thought process . We are confronted with multidimensional terror plotting at the moment,but would come out soon.Now we are more confident and democratic to settle our national issues,so USA be ready you would be the next to be challanged in the court of people of Pakistan.

Posted by Hassan | Report as abusive

Hassan,
After doing Mumbai, are you shameless to accuse your neighbor of complex thought process!

Before pointing fingers at USA or neighbors, watch out for Talibans. They might be standing at your doors.

Your army keeps surrendering to Taliban and that will not change. This event only weakens the Government and emboldens Talibans.

Posted by Your Neighbor | Report as abusive

The turn of events in Pakistan do not augur well for a civilian society , but the question whether Pakistan is at all a civilian society-where army in active connivance with world’s most dreaded and maligned intelligence agency ISI along with active support from islamic terror outfits work only with limited agenda: to cause as much damage to India by waging low intensity war using these terror outfits, secondly to spread jehad all over the world as if Pakistanis are custodians of islam or islam is in danger and control the drug and opium growing region of Afghanistan , rule the roost ? To achieve these objectives Pak army periodically stage some election and ask Pakistanis to vote for a particular group of politicians, Zardari , Gillani and Nawaz Sharif are no different from them ,Pakistanis like very obedient citizens, select some of these politicians.

For all practical purposes, Pakistan is controlled by Pakistani army and its stooge ISI ,whether directly or through their political nominees , so it does not make any difference who is in power.

The nefarious designs of Pakistan are exposed before the world , and the presence of nuclear weapons and the proliferators like A.Q.Khan , pose gravest danger to international community . It is incumbent upon international community to prosecute Khan and his cronies for crimes against humanity and take control of all nuclear arsenals.

Posted by anju2008 | Report as abusive

@Hassan, After doing Mumbai, are you shameless to accuse your neighbor of complex thought process!
- Posted by Your Neighbor

-Hassan represents a section of Pakistanis who will doubt everything Indian, but will not give a sincere look at Pakistan’s basic problems and introspection is not in his “vocabulary”.

“It is matter of civilised values and should not be confused or messed up with routine matters of Indo-Pak or with Antiterorism drive in Pakistan.Reinstatement is a good jesture and will bring a change, which was not expected by our neighbourers because of their complex thought process . Now we are more confident and democratic to settle our national issues, so USA be ready you would be the next to be challanged in the court of people of Pakistan.”
-Posted by Hassan
– No denying the lawyers achieved what they wanted so congratulations to Pakistan for this. And yes not to be confused with terrorism. But do not overestimate this as “democracy”. This civilian govt did everyting a dictator would do. Democracy will be when your security will stand on the sides during such protests as defense and Pak will not shut off the TV transmission and block media coverage when anti-govt protests are happening. Zaradari is an accidental president (his grin shows that), and the man “Nawaz Sharif” is not a solution to Pakistan’s inside/outside problems. Pakistan public needs to stop electing these foreign settled leaders. When Pakistan is not their home, how sincere he/she can be for the country. Most of the politicans anywhere are selfish, and foreign settled leaders do not even have a selfish interest to take care of the country-they are worse than them. They will care only for short-term benefits–not for long term future of the country.

Read articles/comments from POV of Pakistanis.
http://www.pro-pakistan.com/2008/07/11/f ood-for-thought-international-properties -of-pakistani-leaders/

It hardly matters what civilan govt you pick or how democratic you become. Army can blow this away anytime it feels a reason to do so. Army needs to be under civilian control and right now Army is the master.

@”Now we are more confident and democratic to settle our national issues, so USA be ready you would be the next to be challanged in the court of people of Pakistan.”
-Hassan, don’t be childish.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

I am a Pakistani citizen studying in Gothenburg,Sweden.

Pakistan having a civil society just makes me burst into laughter. What civil society are we talking about, they are almost inexistent.
Look at the Mumbai incidents , did anyone stand up( I mean we never saw any protests from the civil society) for these dastardly incidents!!
Moreover the army continues to make matters worse.When are these sitting ducks(read civil society) going to get up from their slumber. We need to take on these bastar*d Taliban etc and lanch full scale war, no negotiations . Look at the price of negotiations they have kept on bombing our cities. What is the army doing? No need to figure out! The top generals are too scared to come out of their mansions and the foot soldiers are too afraid to peep beyond their barracks!
When Kayani goes around and travels in cities ( he needs more than 3000 soldiers to protect him) . how can he fight a war with that mindset.

Moreover I believe judicial activism would be laid bare since he( Chaundhry Iftikhar) may have already been instructed to tread the water before making any big decisions. I think his reinstatement would be a big letdown for our nation, much as I liken Obama’s being elected President,since I think both of them have collosal issues at hand and would underachieve.
Moreover the guy we praise Mr Aitzaz Ahsan for the lawyers movement and their ’subsequent victor’ is no messiah. Of late he was the Corporate Lawyer of a Pakistani Tellecommunications company called Callmate Tellips Ltd which indulged in a scam of more than 6 Billion Rupees( around one and a half years back and this amounted to 100 Million Dollars). A lot of Pakistani shareholders lost their life savings and I presume Aitzaz got his cut as well from the spoils.
I am not making an accusation but these are facts which you people can check for yourselves.
Therefore I think we should again be pessimistic as to what Aitzaz and Chaudhry have on their sleeves. I don’t trust both of them.
Aitzaz should first help those shareholders get their money back since the management of this company defruaded the people( This was Pakistan’s Satyam but it happend one and a half years earlier) and till date no case has been lodged. I pity you Mr Aitzaz for being such a double dealing Lawyer.

Posted by suleman maniya | Report as abusive

Hi! I just came here after i found an incoming link to my blog site which has been mentioned here in few comments. I had to read all the thread and i wonder why my neighbors only believe in limited exposure to information. On the same Pro-Pakistan site you can find loads of such discussion about the true face of Indian hypocrisy. We started a new series with the title of “Incredible India” to expose the true face of the so very incredible country. I am sure unless you people get over with your obession of greater India, you will never live in peace with your neighbors. I don’t need to repeat the facts here as my blog make sure we don’t skip it. Next time when you pick one post, try to read others as well that goes against you by the same team.

My Incredible Indian Neighbors! Thought it might help you get a little fresh!

http://www.pro-pakistan.com/2009/02/13/i ncredible-india-are-you-proud-to-be-an-i ndian/

Comparison of 2 Resume’s — Chief Executives of Pakistan & India
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Chief Executive of India

Title: Prime Minister
Name: Dr Manmohan Singh

EDUCATION /Qualification:
1950: Stood first in BA (Hons), Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh ,
1952; Stood first in MA (Economics), Panjab University , Chandigarh,
1954; Wright’s Prize for distinguished performance at St John’s College,Cambridge,
1955 and 1957; Wrenbury scholar, University of Cambridge ,
1957; DPhil (Oxford), DLitt (Honoris Causa); PhD thesis on India’s export competitiveness

Working Experience [Teaching]
Professor (Senior lecturer, Economics, 1957-59;
Reader, Economics, 1959-63;
Professor, Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1963-65;
Professor, International Trade, Delhi School of Economics,Universit y of Delhi , 1969-71;
Honorary professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University,New Delhi, 1976 and Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi,1996 and Civil Servant

Working Experience [INTERNATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS] :
1966: Economic Affairs Officer
1966-69: Chief, financing for trade section, UNCTAD
1972-74: Deputy for India in IMF Committee of Twenty on International Monetary Reform
1977-79: Indian delegation to Aid-India Consortium Meetings
1980-82: Indo-Soviet joint planning group meeting
1982: Indo-Soviet monitoring group meeting
1993: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Cyprus 1993: Human Rights World Conference, Vienna

Working Experience [Government Positions]:
1971-72: Economic advisor, ministry of foreign trade
1972-76: Chief economic advisor, ministry of finance
1976-80: – Director, Reserve Bank of India; Director, Industrial Development Bank of India;
– Alternate governor for India , Board of governors , Asian Development Bank;
– Alternate governor for India, Board of governors, IBRD
– November 1976 – April 1980: Secretary, ministry of finance (Department of economic affairs);
– Member, finance, Atomic Energy Commission ; Member,finance, Space Commission
April 1980 – September 15, 1982: Member-secretary, Planning Commission
1980-83: Chairman, India Committee of the Indo-Japan joint study committee
September 16, 1982 – January 14 , 1985: Governor, Reserve Bank of India..
1982-85: Alternate Governor for India, Board of governors, International Monetary Fund
1983-84: Member, economic advisory council to the Prime Minister
1985: President, Indian Economic Association
January 15 , 1985 – July 31, 1987: Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission
August 1, 1987 – November 10, 1990: Secretary-general and commissioner, south commission, Geneva
December 10 , 1990 – March 14, 1991: Advisor to the Prime Minister on economic affairs
March 15, 1991 – June 20, 1991: Chairman, UGC
June 21, 1991 – May 15, 1996: Union finance minister
October 1991: Elected to Rajya Sabha from Assam on Congress ticket
June 1995: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha
1996 onwards: Member, Consultative Committee for the ministry of finance
August 1, 1996 – December 4 , 1997: Chairman, Parliamentary standing committee on commerce
March 21, 1998 onwards: Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha
June 5, 1998 onwards: Member, committee on finance
August 13, 1998 onwards: Member, committee on rules
Aug 1998-2001: Member, committee of privileges 2000 onwards: Member,
executive committee, Indian parliamentary group
June 2001: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha
Aug 2001 onwards: Member, general purposes committee
2004: Prime Minister of India

BOOKS:
India’s Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth -Clarendon Press, Oxford University , 1964;
also published a large number of articles in various economic journals .

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Adam Smith Prize , University of Cambridge, 1956
Padma Vibhushan , 1987
Euro money Award, Finance Minister of the Year, 1993;
Asia money Award, Finance Minister of the Year for Asia , 1993 and 1994

Chief Executive of Pakistan

Title: President of Pakistan
Name: Asif Ali Zardari

EDUCATION /Qualification:
High School from Cadet College Petaro
Details of higher formal education not known; Claims graduation from London but not available to be verified. As per some account. His official biography says he attended a commercial college called Pedinton School . But a search of tertiary educational institutions in London showed no such school.

Working Experience:
Early days: Working at the family owned Bambino Cinema at Karachi . Some accuse Mr Zardari of small-time ticket frauds to steal money from the family business.
Up till 1987 (marriage to the future Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto): No record.
1988 to date: While no official record of any business exists, Mr Zardari is widely believed to be one of the (if not the) richest man in Pakistan . An unofficial list of family owned businesses, property and accounts exists but the completeness of the same cannot be verified. Mr Zardari has however been involved in various national and international cases relating to his businesses. The most significant European cases are a Swiss money-laundering inquiry and a British civil cases.

Working Experience [Politics]:
1988-1990: Husband of the Prime Minister
1993–1996: Minister of Environment during his wife’s second term as the Prime Minister
Un till 1999: Senator
30 December 2007: Appointed himself as the co-chairman of the PPP, along with his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
September 9, 2008: Zardari was elected president of Pakistan . Sworn in by Abdul Hameed Dogar, whose position as the Chiefe Justice of Pakistan remains a contested issue by an overwhelming majority of the Pakistani legal fraternity.

Working Experience [Other]:
Other experience of Mr Zardari includes his widely believed but not proven involvement in
- Several murders – most famously of his brother in law, possibly his wife
- Wrapping a bomb to the leg of a famous UK businessman to ask for money
- Embezzlement & looting of Billions of Pakistan’s wealth

BOOKS:
None on record

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Marrying the then future and now ex (RIP) Prime Minister of Pakistan
Only serving politician to have spent 10 years in Jail
Told the US VP Candidate that she is “gorgeous” and said : “Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you”. When the photographers asked the two to keep shaking hands, he replied : ” If he insists, I might hug you”. This was one day after the President delivered an emotional speech at the UN in new York waiving a photograph of his deceased wife only months after the murder of his wife.

Posted by anju2008 | Report as abusive

@Hi! I just came here after i found an incoming link to my blog site which has been mentioned here in few comments. I had to read all the thread and i wonder why my neighbors only believe in limited exposure to information. On the same Pro-Pakistan site you can find loads of such discussion about the true face of Indian hypocrisy.
- Posted by M Junaid Khan

Mr Khan:
I am the culprit for posting the link from your blog. I was posting in relation to the ongoing discussion and I wanted to give Pakistani POV on political instability. It appears Indian rhetoric is music to your ears. Now Mr. non-hypocritic Khan: I am not going to post each and irrlevant article on your blog. You are a true representation of intrusive-media of pakistan. Such a blasphemy on my part to post that link, but I am lucky not to be in Pakistan.

Now I saw the new link on India, You are working hard–keep it up. You exagerated some facts and missed some. Go find out. It is pity that you are begging to be cited and it does not work that way. If you curb your impatience and see some posts from Indian bloggers, you will find that Indian side has also been covered.

Presenting facts is one thing, but glorifying negatives of India, and getting satisfaction out of that, will take Pakistan down faster than it already is happening. Now for your reference India has many positives that offset these negatives and IMHO Pakistan is quite bankrupt that way.

Khuda Hafiz

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Mr. Junaid Khan,

I do agree with the article written in this link. In India we are dealing with these problems. We know there are a huge number of children malnurished in India. However, you cannot force people to NOT have children because there are too many already. I saw, last year, on You Tube a story of a Pakistani woman who walked infront of a train with her 2 children because she could not afford to feed them.

Yes, India spends a lot of money on defence projects. That is due to the threats we have from Pakistan (covert or otherwise) and Bangladesh. Kargil and Mumbai attacks are contributing factors.

However, you have to admit having a blog called pro pakistan and listing (correctly or otherwise) some of India’s problems does make it look like an inferiority complex is at work – or plain frustration that India is reguarded as a better place than Pakistan by the worlds media.

Bollywood movies are Bollywood movies. They are an escapism. People go to the movies to be entertained and not to have the realities that surround their everyday lives thrown in their faces.

Its as if you want to show how rosy, pretty, gentile Pakistan is by listing all things negative about India.

If Pakistan is so great then:
Stop begging the world for aid.
Remove all terrorism camps from Pakistan.
Sort out your economy.
($1 = 80.2 Pak Rupee)
($1 = 501.3 Ind Rupee)

If you do this then maybe, just maybe other nations will feel safe to come and play cricket and for tourism.
Maybe, just maybe foreigners from China, Poland, the UN and other countries will not be kidnapped and lose their heads.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

M Junaid Khan
“On the same Pro-Pakistan site you can find loads of such discussion about the true face of Indian hypocrisy.”

— The sources from which you’ve quoted are all Indian, wonder who qualifies as a hypocrite?

What’s most amusing is the response to the question posed by you on your pro-pakistan blogsite –
” Are you still proud to be an Indian?”
you- “I certainly am not…blah blah”

—who cares! we are already done with you guys way back in 1947,you’ll are no longer ‘Indian’can’t you’ll still digest this fact- layoff! & give those no-arm race sermons to your own people.
“We started a new series with the title of “Incredible India”
—Look!inspite of all it’s short-comings- even a India-hate-filled paki like you can’t think of anything better, with regards to this advanced, ancient & spiritual civilization called -India, but to term it as ‘Incredible India’.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

India makes world’s cheapest car , Pakistan makes world’s cheapest terrorist

Posted by anju2008 | Report as abusive

why do i always find indians on anything related to pakistan?

this article was all about pakistan’s civil society yet again all the indians can wanna do it tell the world how great their own country is and how bad we are…

you know what… even if india was infact the best country in the world i would still rather choose to be a Pakistani!

stop telling the world that there is nothing wrong with India and everything is wrong with Pakistan…

get a life indians… and move on from Pakistan.. we are here to stay!

Posted by Danish | Report as abusive