By Praveen Swami
President Zardari’s government, many had hoped, would dismantle the
More than half-a-century ago, two of Pakistan’s most eminent judges drew this bleak lesson from a wave of violence that had led the country into the first of its many experiences of martial law: “As long as we rely upon the hammer when a file is needed and press Islam into service to solve situations it was never intended to solve,” wrote Justice Muhammad Munir and Justice Mohammad Rustam Kayani, “frustration and disappointment must dog our steps.”
Last month, as tensions between
Earlier, ISI Directorate chief Lieutenant-General Shuja Pasha hailed jihadist leaders Baitullah Mehsud and Mullah Fazlullah, whose depredations have claimed the lives of thousands of Pakistanis, as “true patriots” for offering to fight
Much of the ongoing debate rests on the proposition that
In 1951, the Majlis-e-Ahrar, a group of clerics who had ceded from the Indian National Congress two decades earlier, initiated an agitation calling for members of the heterodox Ahmadiyya sect to be declared non-Muslims. It also demanded the removal of
Factional politics helped the anti-Ahmadiyya movement gather momentum. Punjab Chief Minister Mumtaz Muhammad Khan Daulatana had for long used the services of the mullahs, as well as Maulana Abul Ala Maududi’s Jamaat-e-Islami, to keep public attention focussed on religious issues. Daulatana thus covered up his inability to address the province’s economic problems. For their part, the clerics regained ground lost through their opposition to the creation of
Punjab’s Inspector-General of Police, Qurban Ali Khan — a man who, as chief of
Despite the extensive efforts to bribe and inveigle the anti-Ahmadiyya movement into easing off, matters eventually came to a head. In March 1953,
“If there is one thing that has been conclusively demonstrated in this inquiry,” Justices Munir and Kayani concluded, “it is that provided you can persuade the masses to believe that something they are asked to do is religiously right or enjoined by religion, you can set them to any course of action, regardless of all considerations of discipline, loyalty, decency, morality or civic sense.”
It was a lesson that key leaders of the movement to transform
“By the time the 1956 Constitution came into being,” scholar Hassan Abbas has argued, “the religious forces of the country had consolidated their position quite considerably. Among other things, the communist-inspired military coup attempt in 1951 had inclined the government of the day to view the religious parties with a certain detached, if not benign, neutrality.” Maududi — sentenced to death by a military court for his role in the Punjab Disturbances — succeeded in securing the commutation of his sentence to life, and continued to wield enormous political influence.
General Ayub Khan, who took power in a palace coup two weeks after President Iskandar Mirza declared martial law in October 1958, initially attempted to reverse the tide. He renamed the country the
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who became President and then Prime Minister in the wake of Yahya Khan’s post-1971 war humiliation, followed much the same trajectory. His Constitution declared Islam the state religion, and committed it to teaching religion in schools. Bhutto also set up a Council on Islamic Ideology, along the lines of the body instituted by Ayub Khan, to bring secular laws into line with the Shariah.
Islamist clerics, Bhutto hoped, would not ask for more but they did. By 1974, Bhutto —who had alienated his peasant and working class constituency by this time — was facing a new anti-Ahmadiyya movement led by the Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing, the Islamic Jamaat-e-Tulba. Bhutto at first sought to contain the agitation by arresting some 834 of the protesters and their leaders. Later, though, he caved in and declared the Ahmadiyya sect outside the pale of Islam. It did nothing, though, to prevent the near-inevitable outcome: the army leveraged the chaos to assert itself, and Zia-ul-Haq was installed as
President Zardari’s government, many had hoped, would dismantle the
Pakistani neocons and UN sanctions
At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in
Like bullfrogs out after heavy summer rains, Pakistani cyberspace and the realm of the printed word are full of the croaking of neocons who have convinced the already ignorant that the Security Council sanctions against Jama’at-ud Dawa and certain individuals only came because Pakistani officials were either sleeping at the post or had conspired with the 15-member Security Council to let the axe fall.
These people are not interested in facts. They only have opinions.
One cybercon who answers to the name Ahmed Quraishi writes on December 24, “We have a government with shady characters in key places, strongly backed by the Bush administration, acting and behaving as if they were representing a
The two “traitors” he refers to are Pervaiz Hoodbhoy and Asma Jehangir.
Then there is the Ann Coulter of
It is pointless to inform her that the envoys’ conference had been scheduled for some time and was not summoned because of Mumbai. Mazari also wrote that “in the Mumbai aftermath, we chose to prevent our allies from rallying around us in the UN Security Council.”
Ann Coulter, I should explain, is a neocon American figure who urged the bombing of
She is also an ardent admirer of the late Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch hunts.
But to return to the Security Council sanctions, a statement issued by the Foreign Office in
“Action against the JuD and certain individuals was initiated following their designation by the UN Sanctions Committee established pursuant to the UN Security Council Resolution 1267, on the Consolidated List of individuals and entities associated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The request for enlisting the JuD had been under consideration of the UN Sanctions Committee since 2006… Since this resolution was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, it is obligatory on
On December 9, a day before the resolution, Pakistan’s UN ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon said in a statement, “After the designation of Jama’at-ud Dawa (JuD) under (Security Council resolution) 1267, the Government, on receiving communication from the Security Council, shall proscribe the JuD and take other consequential actions, as required, including the freezing of assets.”
This shows that the sanctions were more than expected as was their imminence and the UN mission was not asleep as is being charged by the Ann Coulters and other neocons of Pakistan.
Those who are rising in defence of Lashkar-e Tayba and its mutation, the Jama’at-ud Dawa, perhaps neither know nor do they care to know what the Security Council’s terrorism sanctions committee is. And although these cybercons and super-patriots are beyond redemption and repair, let me nevertheless explain what this committee is and in the face of which
The Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1267 (1999) on October 15, 1999, is also known as “the Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee”. The sanctions regime has been modified and strengthened by subsequent resolutions, including Resolutions 1333 (2000), 1390 (2002), 1455 (2003), 1526 (2004), 1617 (2005), 1735 (2006) and 1822 (2008) so that the sanctions measures now apply to designated individuals and entities associated with Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban wherever located.
The names of the targeted individuals and entities are placed on the Consolidated List. The resolutions listed above have all been adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and require all states to take a number of specified measures in connection with any individual or entity associated with Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban as designated by the Committee.
And what are those measures? Freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities; prevent the entry into or transit through their territories by designated individuals; and prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, spare parts, and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.
The Committee is one of three subsidiary bodies established by the Security Council that deal with terrorism-related issues. The other two committees are the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1540 Committee. The three Committees and their expert groups coordinate their work and cooperate closely and the Committees’ chairmen also brief the Security Council on the activities of the Committees in joint meetings, when possible.
No one can prevent the action of the committee; nor is anyone invited or told about its proceedings. Normally the first signal is a note circulated to all UN member states.
And now the unvarnished truth.
And this takes me back to Pervez Musharraf’s first visit to the
Khalid Hasan is Daily Times’ US-based correspondent. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
This entry was posted on Sunday, December 28th, 2008 at 6:00 pm