November 22, 2010

Terror in the Pakistan blogosphere ---

Military leadership should make freedom of expression its real weapon 
.
President Asif Zardari
THE government's recent notice to our team (Pakistani government issues notice to The Terrorland) has shocked bloggers. There is fear in the blogosphere of the country!

But due to increasing pressure on the civilian administration and military establishment from the new generation and global community, there is a ray of hope for more freedom at least in the cyberspace unlike the mainstream media-cartel.

Pakistan’s mainstream media is under the control of the establishment and it's said that editorial policies of the major media outlets are either determined by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) or the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Therefore, it's believed, the mainstream media is hostile to the elected democratic government. It shows no respect for the civilian Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces but eulogizes the General in command.

Some people believe that the cunning establishment is strategically using media persons belonging to the minority Shia Islam against the President and Prime Minister, who also belong to the same sect. The duo, ISPR and ISI, had been working on the social media especially controlling bloggers but, so far, they have failed miserably despite active brigades of jihadists!

However, the bloggers of the ruling party are now openly criticizing the Army Chief, calling him mafia chief/don. It's a new trend of expressing a provocative point of view on the biggest "taboo subject" in the militarized and Talibanized country.

Surprisingly, the military leadership and secret agencies are still silent! They have realized the "new reality" or are planning a combat strategy in their traditional style? We can’t say anything. But, if they started a crackdown on bloggers, it will do more damage to them than the accusing posts in the cyberspace. If the Pakistan Army has learned from history, then its leadership should make intellectual liberty, freedom of thought and freedom of expression its "real weapon" as professional soldiers! The same is our advice to the "fragile" elected government. Please, don't fear writers, intellectuals, artists and the media. The given freedom will expose the dishonest among them!

Here we’re giving three posts published by Pakistani bloggers. The first blog is about President Asif Ali Zardari. Its abusive headline,  F… You Mr. President, suggests that it's a traditional "artwork" of the ISI. It  was first published by the Pakistani Bloggers on August 12, 2010. This blog was also published by the Alaiwah on August 20 with the byline of Ejaz Haider, Contributing Editor of The Friday Times, with a note: Ejaz Haider says he was only the “minor author” of this piece and the “100 per cent editor”, and the “major author” does not want to own up to it.

The second blog is about Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani. It was published on November 10, 2010 by the Let Us Build Pakistan, the critical supporters of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in the blogosphere. And the third blog is about the chief military spokesperson: Director-General ISPR Maj-Gen. Athar Abbas. It was published by These Long Wars on November 13, 2010. Later, the Let Us Build Pakistan lifted it on its website. Besides the blogs, with compliments, we've selected some comments as well to give our readers a broader view of the alternative media in Pakistan.–The Terrorland Team

***

F--- You, Mr President

 By Shoaib

Let us start with the basics. You are an asshole. A thief. An alleged murderer. And a scoundrel. And mind-blowingly incompetent to boot.

The only reason you matter is because your equally incompetent, currently delusional, then dysfunctional, mother-in-law thought that you were such a lowly piece of shit that you would never get in the way of your late wife, also delusional, whose dowry included the most popular political party in Pakistan. Why she had such elevated expectations of a two-bit thug is beyond us. But still.

After you had done your husbandly duties, the sensible thing for BB to have done would be to have had you shot. In fact, she should just had had your sperm frozen on day one and then had you tortured into the next dimension. But BB made many mistakes, marrying you being one class-fucking-A example.

So long as BB was alive, you were an embarrassment. You stole with great abandon, from old and young, from the rich and the poor alike. You were, and remain, a fucking genius at stealing. And, surprisingly modest to boot.

The world knew you as Mr. 10 per cent.

You were maligned. The SGS Cotecna deal only called for a 6% kickback (as did the Agosta submarines deal). But, since BB was busy leading the masses, she needed a Luca Brasi to handle her business affairs. Division of labour, we believe, is what economists call it.

In 1996, you went straight to jail and did not emerge for 8 years. Let's give you your due. Eight years in jail is a bitch. But you sucked it up, took your torture with a straight face, and eventually scarped off to Dubai as part of confidence building measures between BB and the General.

Then the General got into trouble and the doors to Pakistan swung upon for BB. You skulked along in her wake, hoping not to get noticed. But you were there, lingering like the bouquet of a garlic-laden fart.

In December 2007, Pakistan was blown apart when BB died. You played your cards right, fought for the Federation, faced down the Sindhi chauvinists and insisted that democracy was the best revenge. We began to have second thoughts about you. And BB's mysterious will surfaced giving custody of her party, like a retarded teenager, to her darling husband. Most fucking convenient.

The sympathy factor got the PPP the next election. And all the chootiyas in the party decided that their bread and butter depended upon their kissing your ass. So it became your party. And in the spirit of brotherhood that then prevailed, everybody said, hey let's just make the fucker our President. He seems to have changed.

Let us begin with the fact that you have not changed. You have always been corrupt. And you are still corrupt today. Let us now add to the corruption your amazing fucking arrogance, your oh-so-charming response to all opposition - mein unn ko lund pay likhta hoon - and your general I-don't-give-a-fuck attitude. The funny thing is that we would still forgive you all of that because hey, you got elected President and let's face it, nobody's perfect. Deep down, we still felt that there was a part of your black heart which still cared about Pakistan.

We were wrong. You don't give a fuck about Pakistan. Pakistan is simply put, your bitch, yours to screw whenever you feel like. Aggay, pichhay, whatever.

No person who gave a shit about Pakistan, let alone any sane person tasked with the job of pretending to be the symbol of the fucking Federation, would ever abandon Pakistan during the worst floods in its entire history. Something like 2000 people have died in those floods. Your only job is to care for them, to make sympathetic noises. And you failed to do your job for the simple reason that you don't give a fuck about us.

On top of the colossal stupidity of fucking off to England at a time of national crisis, there are the additional fuck-you factors. First of all, this was not a good time to go to England. Their Prime Minister just got done telling us to fuck off so going staying in London in a $12,000 per night suite was not the ideal response.

And second, there is the whole Normandy chateau thing which just takes the fucking cake in this entire stupid god-damn episode. What fucking planet do you live in if you think that taking a private jet to your private fucking chateau is a good idea when Pakistan is facing one of the largest humanitarian crises in its entire history. This was not work. This was just a giant fuck you to us.

And why, might we ask do you have to put out a press release telling everybody that the chateau has been in the Zardari family for the last 24 years. Oh really? So when your father was running the fucking Bambino cinema in Karachi in the mid-80s, he was also the owner of a 5-acre chateau in Normandy?

Is there some secret Zardari clan which has been French aristocracy for decades? Seriously, how fucking stupid do you think we are?

We are out of words now. We cannot comprehend the depth and level of arrogance in you. We just can't. What we can say is this: Fuck you Mr. President. (End)

(Courtesy: http://www.pakpositive.com/pakistanibloggers/f-you-mr-president-t1082.html)

***

The real story

By Peja Mistri

Army Chief Gen. Kayani
ISI routinely hires Pakistan’s right wing journalists to feed the stories in order to improve the image of military mafia. Such stories are usually very abstract and are written by the ISPR  ”master minds” in such  a way which ( in their “wisdom”) will leave a better impression of the current Don (COAS) and his cronies.

It is pertinent to note that during the era of mad dictator one good thing that happened in Pakistan was that the military mafia in Pakistan faced an internal rift , unfortunately though it was not the rift between good and bad , instead it was the rift between the two factions of mafia fighting for the power.

Due to the nature of “War on Terrorism” , Pakistan’s military had to “sell their mothers” (as American’s call it) , in order to save their skins. Hence they (Military) had to fight against their own progenies i.e. the mullahs. This resulted in a natural rift between the two factions in the military.

It is usually very hard to identify the real loyalties of Pakistan’s military generals (and indeed they usually don’t have any loyalties except to their own’s self). However there are at times visible clashes between the two factions.

If we look back to the period ‘between’ 2006-2009, it now becomes very clear that the faction led by the current Don (Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani) successfully defeated the other faction led by the mad dictator (General Musharraf). Today I was reading the story by an ISI news reporter in “The News” which makes thing very clear.  However as I said this story is encrypted it in such a way that we need to use the correct cipher to decipher the message in this story.

So let me first put here some facts related to this story, before I go on and explain the story.

a) DGMO: The DGMO or the MO Directorate referred here in this story is no other than “Ashfaq Pervez Kayani” who was DGMO ‘between’ 2003 – 2006.

b) Tariq Majeed (Aka Chemical Tariq) : General Tariq Majeed retired as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff on 7th October 2010  and you can now understand why this story is fed now, and was not fed before his retirement. Tariq Majeed as also described in this story belonged to mad dictator’s faction in the army.

c) The Commander of 12th Corps:  It was Lt. General Hamid Rab Nawaz who was the commander of 12th corps during 2004-2007.

d) Maj. General Nadeem Ejaz: Well he was the trusted friend of mad dictator and he is in the dock for many crimes. There is a great chance that he might be made as the first “scapegoat” (if it ever happened) for all the crimes of Army. I am really interested to find out why? (Any one knows more about the reasons?)

e) “Some Key Generals”: This is the terms used in the story to refer to the other faction in the military mafia led by Ashfaq Kiyani. These include Khalid Shameem, Salauddin Satti and perhaps few major generals like Ahmad Shuja (Current DG ISI) and Naushad Kiyani (current DG MI) and last but not the least Lt. General Nadeem Taj.

f) “The GHQ” : The term GHQ here is being used in this story to refer to Ashfaq Kiyani, who was the VCOAS in 2007 and was sitting in “The GHQ”.

g) “key GHQ adviser” : Again this refers to Ashfaq Kiyani.

h) Well placed and well informed sources: This refers to ISPR in the story.

Please note that as far as the substance of this story is concerned, it is nothing but falsehood in every aspect. Though there were differences between the two factions of the mafia , however they had nothing to do with anything described in this story , Chemical Tariq or Ashfaq Kiyani or the mad dictator no one had any difference of opinion on any of the operations like killing of Bugti or Lal Masjid. The differences as one can guess were more of the nature that usually happen in two mafia factions (i.e. to get the full power).

Now let us read the story:

While Musharraf continues to embarrass Pakistan and its authorities, including the Pakistan Army, an important source has revealed that the General Headquarters (GHQ) and its most vital arm, the Military Operations Directorate, was bypassed by the former dictator, both in the Lal Masjid operation and Bugti killing.

The source said that none of these extremely controversial operations, which sowed the seeds of terrorism in Balochistan and the rest of the country, were the brainchild of the MO Directorate.
The source said that in both these military operations, the GHQ and concerned field command were not directly involved. “In both the cases, General Musharraf bypassed the GHQ and its MO Directorate, and gave direct orders to the relevant field commanders,” said the well-placed and well- informed source.
Ideally and as per the military’s established rules, no such operation could take place without being conceptualised and cleared by the MO Directorate. However, Musharraf, the all powerful dictator that he was, did not engage the MO Directorate.

In the case of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti’s killing, the source said, General Musharraf involved the then Military Intelligence chief Major General Nadeem Ejaz and the top command of 12 Corps.
In a briefing on Balochistan issue by the then DGMO and much before the killing of the Baloch Nawab, General Musharraf once talked about the idea of killing Bugti but the idea was not agreed to by the DGMO, who warned that it would lead to unrest. Later, Musharraf never engaged the GHQ and executed his plot to kill Bugti through the MI and the Commander of the 12 Corps.

After the Bugti killing, some key generals in the GHQ in their in-house interactions expressed their dismay over the Kohlu military operation. The Lal Masjid operation, which killed over a hundred persons and led to the escalation of terrorism cases manifold, was no different from that of the military operation aimed at killing Bugti.
The source said that the planning of the Lal Masjid operation was done by Commander 10 Corps Tariq Majid on the direct instructions of the ousted dictator.
“The GHQ and its MO Directorate were not involved in any such planning,” the source said, adding that a day after Lieutenant Colonel Haroon became the first casualty of the pre-Lal Masjid operation, Musharraf convened a meeting of top political and military authorities and given his mind that a full-fledged operation had to be carried out.

An important member of the GHQ spoke against this option and asked Musharraf to review his decision because it involved the lives of more than 100 persons. The dictator was told that when the military was taught to leave some exit point even in case of its enemy, then why should not the extremist elements holed up in Lal Masjid. Musharraf was also warned that if the Lal Masjid operation was executed, it would throw the country into a muddle for quarter of a century.

Instead of listening to his key GHQ adviser, the source said Musharraf snubbed the officer and asked him to mind his own business. Later, the assignment to do the massacre in Lal Masjid was given to 10 Corps without getting the military operation cleared by the GHQ.

It has also been revealed that Musharraf wanted to mislead the masses about the number of casualties by burying the dead unannounced and in unknown places. He was of the view that the CDA authorities would do the task of silent and hidden burial of those killed in the Lal Masjid operation.
Musharraf, who has recently formally joined politics, has lately said that if given the chance, he would repeat the Lal Masjid and Bugti operations. These two operations brought enormous disrespect for the Army and caused retaliatory attacks against the military personnel and installations in all parts of the country.
The first-ever suicide attack in a military unit in Dargai where dozens of soldiers were killed in 2006, was also the consequence of Musharraf’s announcement owning the American missile attack on a Madrassa in Bajaur where more than 80 children were killed.

Under pressure from his American masters, whom he served against the interest of Pakistan, Musharraf said that they were not the American forces but the Pakistan Army, which attacked and killed such a large number of children, including the age of 10. Musharraf lied that they were terrorists but not even a single bullet was found from the rubble of the Madrassa.

Many in the military today admit that the post 9/11 policies and Musharraf’s controversial decisions like the Lal Masjid operation, killing of Bugti and owning up of Bajaur massacre not only fuelled extremism and terrorism but made the military controversial.

Let us read this after applying the cipher:

While Musharraf continues to embarrass Pakistan and its authorities, including the Pakistan Army, an important source has revealed that Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani (in 2007 as VCOAS) and Ashfaq Kiyani in 2004 (as DG MO), was bypassed by the former dictator, both in the Lal Masjid operation and Bugti killing.

The source said that none of these extremely controversial operations, which sowed the seeds of terrorism in Balochistan and the rest of the country, were the brainchild of Ashfaq Kiyani.
The source said that in both these military operations, Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani and his cronies were not directly involved. “In both the cases, General Musharraf bypassed Ashfaq Kiyani, and gave direct orders to the relevant field commanders,” said the ISPR.

Ideally and as per the military’s established rules, no such operation could take place without being conceptualised and cleared by Ashfaq Kiyani. However, Musharraf, the all powerful dictator that he was, did not engage Ashfaq Kiyani.

In the case of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti’s killing, the source said, General Musharraf involved the then Military Intelligence chief Major General Nadeem Ejaz and Lt. General Hamid Rab Nawaz.
In a briefing on Balochistan issue by Ashfaq Kiyani (in 2004) and much before the killing of the Baloch Nawab, General Musharraf once talked about the idea of killing Bugti but the idea was not agreed to by Ashfaq Kiyani, who warned that it would lead to unrest. Later, Musharraf never engaged Ashfaq Kiyani and his cronies and executed his plot to kill Bugti through Nadeem Ijaz and Chemical Tariq.

After the Bugti killing, Ashfaq Kiyani and his cronies in the GHQ in their in-house interactions expressed their dismay over the Kohlu military operation. The Lal Masjid operation, which killed over a hundred persons and led to the escalation of terrorism cases manifold, was no different from that of the military operation aimed at killing Bugti.

The source said that the planning of the Lal Masjid operation was done by Chemical Tariq Majid on the direct instructions of the ousted dictator.
 
“Ashfaq Kiyani and his cronies were not involved in any such planning,” the source said, adding that a day after Lieutenant Colonel Haroon became the first casualty of the pre-Lal Masjid operation, Musharraf convened a meeting of top political and military authorities and given his mind that a full-fledged operation had to be carried out.

Ashfaq Kiyani spoke against this option and asked Musharraf to review his decision because it involved the lives of more than 100 persons. The dictator was told that when the military was taught to leave some exit point even in case of its enemy, then why should not the extremist elements holed up in Lal Masjid. Musharraf was also warned that if the Lal Masjid operation was executed, it would throw the country into a muddle for quarter of a century.

Instead of listening to Ashfaq Kiyani, the source said Musharraf snubbed the officer and asked him to mind his own business. Later, the assignment to do the massacre in Lal Masjid was given to Chemical Tariq without getting the military operation cleared by Ashfaq Kiyani.

It has also been revealed that Musharraf wanted to mislead the masses about the number of casualties by burying the dead unannounced and in unknown places. He was of the view that the CDA authorities would do the task of silent and hidden burial of those killed in the Lal Masjid operation.
Musharraf, who has recently formally joined politics, has lately said that if given the chance, he would repeat the Lal Masjid and Bugti operations. These two operations brought enormous disrespect for the Army and caused retaliatory attacks against the military personnel and installations in all parts of the country.
 
The first-ever suicide attack in a military unit in Dargai where dozens of soldiers were killed in 2006, was also the consequence of Musharraf’s announcement owning the American missile attack on a Madrassa in Bajaur where more than 80 children were killed.

Under pressure from his American masters, whom he served against the interest of Pakistan, Musharraf said that they were not the American forces but the Pakistan Army, which attacked and killed such a large number of children, including the age of 10. Musharraf lied that they were terrorists but not even a single bullet was found from the rubble of the Madrassa.

Many in the military today admit that the post 9/11 policies and Musharraf’s controversial decisions like the Lal Masjid operation, killing of Bugti and owning up of Bajaur massacre not only fuelled extremism and terrorism but made the military controversial.

Again as I said the story does not at all mean that the current Don (Ashfaq Kiyani) and his cronies had any differences with the mad dictator and his cronies (Chemical Tariq, Nadeem Ejaz etc..) over killing of Bugti or Lal Masjid Operation. However this story clearly identifies the members of the two factions. In fact only the member of Mad dictator’s faction which was defeated by the current Don’s faction.

There are some other interesting points in this story which reflects the working of mafia. For example the name of Lt. General Hamid Rab Nawaz is no clearly mentioned, like the name of Chemical Tariq and Nadeem Ejaz. I am not sure what Hamid Rab Nawaz is doing these days he is perhaps MD Fauji Fertilizer.

Similarly the story was published only after the retirement of Chemical Tariq as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff on 8th October. When he was sitting general it was perhaps not possible to publish such a story.

Moreover it is not really clear who the story is addressed to (apart from the public consumption). It seems that there might be still be significant internal rift between the two factions.

(Courtesy: http://criticalppp.com/archives/28893)

***

The Abbas Brothers - A Depressing Tale 
 
By TLW

Army Spokesman Gen. Athar Abbas
The Abbas brothers are sort of B-Grade political celebrity famous in Pakistan. They are Mazhar Abbas (works for ARY and headed the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists for several years), Azhar Abbas (Geo Managing Director), Zafar Abbas (Sub-Editor at Dawn Group of Newspapers) and the very, very famous Athar Abbas (Director General Inter-Services Public Relations, and basically the propaganda mouthpiece of the Pakistan military).
The significant thing is that all these major news organizations (Dawn, ARY and Geo) have the sons of a family who have risen up through the decades as hard working journalists, putting in the sweat and effort to become senior editors, managers, etc. And then there is this brother who joined the military as a cadet in 1976, and unexpectedly presevered through the bureaucratic, fascist mess that is the Pakistan military, until in 2008, there's a new government in town, there's a tottering dictator who's been replaced by an enigma of a former intelligence chief (General Ashafaq Pervez Kayani of course), and the time has come to replace the old spokesman and DG of the military's PR machine with someone new.

The military pulls of a masterstroke by promoting a Brigadier to Major General, who's brothers are not just well respected members of the Pakistan media landscape, but men (like Mazhar Abbas) who have at times fought for media freedom, as evidenced by this blog page that the Committee to Protect Journalists gives him, and this page honoring the man. Not only does the "new" military command send out a signal of promoting men in its ranks who are related to parts of the new "free" media of Pakistan, but it puts a very subtle pressure on the news organisations themselves, and indirectly on the brothers themselves too.

Cafe Pyala has been bothered too many times in it's comments section by a variation of this story where it's presented as a conspiracy in which the Abbas brothers are directly manipulating the news at Geo, ARY and Dawn. I do not buy into this, not just because it's an annoyingly stupid idea, but also because the instruments and structures are already in place that allow the government to pressure Dawn, Geo and ARY into toeing certain red lines.

Dawn in it's 60 year long history has a reputation of many times kowtowing to the military establishment, Geo is owned by Jang group which has no dearth of right wingers, overt and covert authoratarians, and media mouthpieces whilst ARY is compromised by the fact of its founding by a gold smuggler. All are vulnerable and I don't think the Abbas brothers go around harassing the "cowering" employees of these news organisations into toeing some imaginary red line; although the lack of coverage on the bloackade of the Turi in Kurram is a certain case that Dawn and Jang group need to correct. No, nearly ALL the people who work at Dawn, Geo and ARY are aware of the limits (some historical, some present) that they shouldn't cross, and simply don't go there.

So where do the Abbas brothers fit into this tale? Well, rather than provide fodder for conspiratorial thinking, what the Abbas brothers represent is a corporate and ethical dilemma for the ownership and management of Geo, Dawn and ARY. Now before you collapse laughing at the concept of Geo and morals being discussed in the same sentence, let me expand this further. This argument is being made solely at the philosophical level of what should be done by these news organisations concerning the journalist Abbas brothers. The conflicts of interest are obvious.

The journalist Abbas brothers are theoretically meant to challenge the status quo in Pakistan and stand up to authority of the Pakistani state. That authority is represented at the centre by the military establishment of Pakistan. Their own brother is now the vocal chords of that establishment and the journalist brothers are supposed to dissect his words to try and get at the real story hidden behind the spin of public relations. The Abbas brothers may feel that their brother omits certain facts, they may even say he does, but this puts them, their organisation, and their (dare I say) family bonds in a precarious ethical place.

My view of ISPR reports from the current war makes me think generally, that the ISPR do not lie outright about victories or defeats, but they do spin, dissemble, and ignore any fact that is inconvenient to the military's worldview; this description is a world apart from the crude caricaturing by opponents of Pakistan of Athar Abbas as Baghdad Bob V. 2 - I assess he's a normal human being, albeit an ex-soldier, whereas Baghdad Bob was a caricature just from his external personality, and craven, party hack like behaviour.

The corporations also hiring the Abbas brothers are left with a vaguely suspicious feeling. Are they left with a feeling that the military brother wishes to "massage" the "direction" of the media's message. Do they risk that threat, or do they sideline that threat? Would it be ethical for the media houses to sideline Azhar Abbas, Zafar Abbas and Mazhar Abbas into maybe administrative, and non-politically related positions until Major General Athar Abbas either completes his term as the DG of ISPR, or the media houses bring pressure onto the ISPR to possibly retire Athar Abbas.

It is very unlikely that Dawn, Geo or ARY will ask the army to retire Athar Abbas, but maybe if they bought it up, it would make it kind of clear to the military that they are trying to manipulate the media, and that the media is aware of this tactic.

The pressure this also brings on all three of the journalist Abbas brothers is also unfair. These are all men who have built up their reputations through two (sometimes three) decades of experience in journalism. They would likely feel they are "owed" the positions they have, I am sure earned. But this question is really for all their superiors at Dawn, ARY and Geo.

Can you afford to put men who's brother is directly charged with spinning the news, in charge, or in authority of those departments of a news organisation, which have to lift the veil from government obfuscation, spin and omission? It is a depressing question, and I don't blame the respected Cafe Pyala from not trying to bother with such a tangled question of personnel policy, family, subtle government pressure, and media houses. It tires on out, and makes one sad. I hope I've bought some nuance to the matter.

Errata: Zafar Abbas is now actually editor at Dawn. I thank Junaid Mangi at critical PPP for pointing this out. I assumed linkedin would be a good source since one wishes to show their CV in the best light, but I guess Zafar Abbas has enough job security that he can let an old CV stay up. I apologise for getting his designation wrong and will be more careful in the future.

(Courtesy: http://theselongwars.blogspot.com/2010/11/abbas-brothers-depressing-tale.html?showComment=1289751788476#c3435872911075991047)

***

Comments

The comments on the above three posts are also interesting to understand the media war between the civilian administration and military establishment.  

Alaiwah:
Whats needed is for the country to tell this dadhi-chod (because lets face it he would) that they have had enough of the rat faced fucker. Seize all his assets, freeze his accounts and pursue with vigour the cases that were pending against him. The man is a living insult to Pakistanis everywhere and his incompetence, like his greed, has no bounds.
http://alaiwah.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/fuck-you-mr-president-by-ejaz-haider/

Cafe Pyala:
i don't know who you are and what is your interest in putting out the such-gup contained in your piece which has been sent me by someone. i do hope this blogging helps you make some money. and if it does, do tell me how. on the other hand, if it's a luxury, i envy you for being able to afford it.

I had no idea until this stage that I was worth writing about. but strange are the ways of this changing world that even considers lady gaga an icon, so i shan't waste my time on trying to figure out your motives, good or bad. nor do they matter to me, frankly. in fact, if you did want to write about me, one of you (assuming there's more than one, and i could be wrong) could have, given your "range", contacted me directly. i resigned from newsweek pakistan for my own reasons which have nothing to do with the piece whose writing is being attributed to me, though i must say that i forwarded it to several friends after tweaking it a little. in my private, punjabi moments i even agree with some of its contents. but i like to abuse in punjabi. far more satisfying. also, if i had written it, i would have happily bylined it. if you want my take on mr zardari, you can read it here http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-difficulty-of-staying-democratic/658873/
i hope that clears up the issue. as for newsweek pakistan, i wish them well. best,
Ejaz Haider
Contributing Editor, The Friday Times"
http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/2010/09/newsweek-editor-who-never-was.html

Abdul Nishapuri said:
Interesting analysis, peja. So, the takeaway from your article is: “Though there were differences between the two factions of the mafia (army generals) , they had nothing to do with anything described in the story in daily The News, General Kiyani and General Musharraf had no differences on any of the operations like killing of Bugti or Lal Masjid. The differences as one can guess were more of the nature that usually happen in two mafia factions (i.e. to get the full power).”
I tend to agree with your analysis.
I would like to contextualise and interlink your analysis with the following article by Dr Ayesha Siddiqa: What is the ideology of Pakistan’s military?
http://criticalppp.com/archives/1435
Dr Siddiqa suggests that Pakistan army (i.e., its generals) have a pragmatist-nationalist character. They will use religion or secularism or any other ideology and strategy as would best suit them and their institution in a given context.

Fazal ur Rehman Afridi said:
These are all bastards. They is no good or bad person among them. They are all the same. If this Don was have differences with the Mad Dictator then why he did not resign??? This is just cheap publicity for this new Don. Even Mad Dictator was also praised when he was in power and uniform. He was occupying very important positions when Mad dictator was selling the mothers and sisters of Pakistan to Americans. These parasites are sucking the blood of poor Pakistanis and blaming the poor elected government for corruption. This ISI fed journalist does not dare to say a word about the 25 % increase in the defense budget.

pejamistri said:
@Abdul To me the “pragmatist nationalist” approach in simple terms is self-perpetuation and holding on to the power by using ANY means. Although it is true that they (i.e. the generals) can adopt any ideology or strategy, yet it was/is not straightforward for them to completely divorce the religious fanaticism that they used to inspire not only the lower cadre in army but also the youth of Pakistan. That is why we see in the internal friction among the generals of Military.

The generals would love to keep double crossing both Americans and the “Talibans (amongst them)”. But the problem is in this double cross game they need to kill their own people. In the absence of any ideological foundation (like they had in 80′s) , it is very hard for the lower cadre to continue fighting and killing their own people. That’s why you will hear the phrases like “پرائی جنگ”.

On the other hand the “Taliban (amongst them)” , particularly the ones in lower cadre, find a religious obligation to fight against the infidels even if it is mad dictator and his cronies.
You might have noticed that since mad dictator has left the direct attacks against the ISI and the higher cadre (brigadier , generals etc) have been reduced to nil particularly in Punjab.
P.S. Thank you for pointing me to Ayesha Siddiqa’s article. I find it very interesting and agree with most part of it.

Hoss said:
The point is that the whole army was not behind Musharraf when Lal Masjid and the Bugti operation took place and therefore, the army as an institution should not be blamed but only Musharraf and some of his cronies should be blamed. Whole drama adds to the narrative that the Army is good but there are a few bad apples and the army got rid of those bad apples.
While talking about the differences between the two Kiyani and Musharraf, Ansar forgot to mention that after the Lal Masjid and the Bugti murder, Musharraf promoted Kiyani to ISI chief position. Strangely the differences between Musharraf and Kiyani were so great that Musharraf reprimanding Kiyani in a meeting still Mushy baba kept giving Kiyani promotions too. With such open differences, no general could have survived as long as Kiyani did under Musharraf.
As I said, the attempt is to clear the army name and portray Mushy baba as a rogue general on the loose.
The honest and intelligent Kiyani tried to stop him but he couldn’t because some other Generals, who have since retired, helped the rogue and out of control Mushy baba.
Now that Kiyani has public endorsement of Ansar and his gang, he can go ahead and takeover.
Nai jaal layai puraney shikari.

Abdul Nishapuri said:
@peja I agree with your analysis. Also I like Hoss’s analysis which exposes dichotomies in Ansar Abbasi’s narrative of the current military leadership.
It is interesting to see how the ISI is using Ansar Abbasi and other yellow journalists to project a better image of Kayani versus their PR liability, Musharraf. This also suggests that Pakistani generals may sell not only their mothers but also their father/s for certain pragmatic (mostly personal and institutional) gains.

Abdul Nishapuri said:
According to Ahmed Noorani (a member of Ansar Abbasi’s Hizbut-Tahrir brigade of the Jang Group), Zardari is responsible for deployments of uniformed personnel of Pakistan army. In other words, Kayani good, Zardari bad.

Shahid said:
Dude, you use a pseudonym and can survive. As for that Earthman refere3nce, that's one fucked up man who sends his disgusting cartoons and columns in my mail and sometimes they bypass the junk filters. I'm ot sure why Sarah Khan referenced him as a friend of LUBP, and if that's the case, then I think I'll have to talk to Ali and Nishapuri.

TLW said:
LOL, Shahid, sorry to hear about the junk folder fail.

Don't worry, when Sarah Khan called Earthman a "friend" of LUBP, she was being completely sarcastic, cause in comment 4 she links to this web page where they call him a "pro-Taliban conspiracy theorist". Not a friend of LUBP, just a nasty troll.

What I wanted to ask you yaar, was what you think of this piece I've written. Cafe Pyala's responses would get flooded by people abusing the Abbas brothers in conspiracy-speak. I wanted to bypass this stupid conspiracy talk and try and flesh out the scene, and all I end up with are questions not for the Abbas brothers themselves, but rather their various bosses, these bosses ethics (or lack thereof), and why they've let all of them stay in the positions they are in. I wanted to try and take a real world approach to this whole thing, without devolving into conspiracy speak. I'm wondering if I've succeeded on that front.

Reply on LUBP as well, it'll be good to let some light into some of their musty commentators minds.

Shahid said:
I remembered them profiling him as soon as you mentioned the post.

I do think people tend to go off in conspiracy talk and start ranting about how they're collaborating to control the news and twist it and what not. It's a weird mess since the other three, as you pointed out repeatedly, have spend decades in journalism to reach where they are and their soldier brother just landed the single biggest over establishment propaganda job. Now, was he selected b/c his brothers were in the media and he could influence their decisions making? Perhaps and perhaps not.

It would certainly be weird for say Mazhar to sit with Athar and discuss what happened over the KLB. It can be expected of Athar to say that a playing to the gallery press release was right and justified but I cannot in any way imagine Mazhar or Zaffar Abbas agreeing with him. Lateral influences in the form of exchange of ideas influencing others is one thing but it's idiotic to say that they've colluded to play the military's media line b/c that's not something that was existent and ended but something that never existed and will take time and change in the state structure and power relationships to happen.

It will be wrong for them to be punished or taken away from their earned and deserved posts just because their brother happens to have become the media manager for the military. And Athar is now going to retire very soon.

Conflict of interest is one thing but assuming w/o evidence that there's some brotherly gang holding up the government in the eye of the media is a completely different one. I do not exclude the possibility at same point, about some reports and some things personal relationships could have played a deciding role, but that would require convincing the sibling and we should give the three in the media the benefir of the doubt (say ARY was going to run a story on the blockade of Turis and ISPR got wind of it. Athar called up the respective brother and provided reasons. This would require convincing and not mere brotherly influence and/or monetary compensation to the media outlet).

Personal relationships and their influence on such issues should be done w/o mud-slinging.

 TLW said:
it's idiotic to say that they've colluded to play the military's media line

That was the point of this post. To broach the subject without letting the internet fundies go crazy over it.

Personal relationships and their influence on such issues should be done w/o mud-slinging

That was the whole point of this post.

BTW - what's up with the private settings for twitter? Who's bothering you?

Shahid said:
Not so much bothering but public account let's Google search through your tweets. That's way too intrusive and Google shows tweet results on the front page. I find that a very big invasion of reasonable expectation of privacy. 

This post is now published on the web page of the Critical Supporters of the Pakistan Peoples Party Website. Readers’ feedback: 

Hoss said:
Abdul,
You may be right on every count but I know the family from Hyderabad, Sindh where they all grew up. Let me say this I knew one brother socially but their father Mirza Abid Abbas was a well respected literary person. I think Mirza Abid Abbas was for sometime chairman of Hyderabad Education board. HIs integrity was never questioned in Hyd.
But not all sons follow their fathers. Otoh, I think these middle class folks are just trying to survive in Pakistani society where it is better to have relationships with power groups for a better life rather than spend their lives in wilderness by associating with the poor and less fortunate.
I will give them benefit of doubt.

Junaid Mangi said:
Oh, for heaven’s sake. Zafar is not a sub-editor, but is the editor of Dawn.
    
Abdul Nishapuri said:
Just received this email from a friend:
Mazhar Abbas is also Director Reporting ARY in addition to his show. Zafar Abbas has “informal” influence on DawnNews management. Athar Abbas was appointed in 2007 probably.

Sarah Khan said:
Here is something for pure fun.
Earthman, International Professor, (a long time friend of the LUBP) once wrote:-
However GEO TV that is working under command of Super Chief Director, the brother of Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, the DG ISPR, and running whole army – NATO campaign devotedly. While another brother of Athar Abbas is fighting crusade being employee of ARY and think character of Pakistan’s Union of Journalists that Mazhar Abbas is Gen. Sec of PFUJ.
http://criticalppp.com/archives/11103
Influence of Athar Abbas the DG, ISPR and his corrupt brothers on media:
Azhar Abbas, one brother of Athar Abbas, DG ISPR, is CEO of Geo TV network, the largest TV channel and champion of journalism than don’t ask question that who manipulated Swat agreement and forced army to invade on FATA areas. Other brother Zaffar Abbas is Editor of Dawn, and policies of Dawn group are well known.
Another brother Mazhar Abbas is anchor of ARY and secretary general of PFUJ (Pakistan Federation of Journalists). The entire gang is patron of Mahdi army and pro-Iranian terrorist groups in Pakistan.
All brothers have received double plots at Islamabad worth billion. The entire fascist family is pro-Mush and followers of MQM anti-Pushtoon and anti-Sindhi doctrine. The loathsome faces are enough to tell about darkness of their souls.
A brief introduction of media channels and their defenselessness or mockery to de-value entire media industry:
Express TV and newspaper is an Agha Khani channel owned by Lakhani, and operated by Athar Abbas, flag bearer of Khomeini’s doctrine in Pakistan, sectarian views of his team are well known and on record.
Managing Director of GEO TV is a brother of polluted minded Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, the biggest liar of current century and some programs on GEO TV looks like scripted by ISPR or ISI, particularly a program anchored by Sana Bucha.
http://www.makepakistanbetter.com/why_how_what_forum.asp?GroupID=5&Group_title=Pakistan&ArticleID=8278
  
Abdul Nishapuri said:
@Hoss, TLW, the author of this post, may better respond to your comment.
Personally I tend to agree that the Abbas brotehrs’ could be a case of a middle class family who were able to build relationships with power groups in their search of a better life.

TLW said:
@ Hoss, thank you sir for bringing your experience with this family up. My intention with this post was to bring light to this very strange placing of four brothers in very important positions within Pakistan’s private and public media landscape. I think the real “blame” if any lies with those who have placed Mr Abbas as DG ISPR, and those in the various media houses ownership and administration who know what red lines not to cross and what is “too hot to print”. These same people have gone along with multiple conflicts of interest by placing the various Abbas brothers in their positions of authority. I do not think this is a conspiracy between the brothers. It is however a case of the government applying subtle pressure on reporters (the Abbas brothers) and media houses that hire them, and placing Athar Abbas’s future professional advancement in a question mark depending on how, maybe, in the future, one of his brothers deals with the ISPR. In your words sir:
But not all sons follow their fathers.
True.
Otoh, I think these middle class folks are just trying to survive in Pakistani society
Three decades ago, yes. Now they’re all well settled.
where it is better to have relationships with power groups for a better life
Sadly true.
rather than spend their lives in wilderness by associating with the poor and less fortunate.
Tragically true.
I will give them benefit of doubt.
To an extent yes I do too. I am trying to raise the question of the ethics and personnel policy of the media houses, without degenerating into conspiracy theories and finger pointing. There is already too much of it.
I did not wish to make allegations, rather I have tried to flesh out the relationships using publicly available, but reputable sources, mainly the Committee to Protect Journalists.
@ Junaid Mangi I assumed linkedin would be a good source since one wishes to show their CV in the best light, but I guess Zafar Abbas has enough job security that he can let an old CV stay up ;)I apologise for getting his designation wrong and will correct my mistake on my blog.
@ Sarah Khan, that post was funny. Incidentially I tried to search online for what websites are banned in Pakistan and Mr Earthman’s posts could only be accessed through a proxy. So one pro-extremist person on the internet was censored by the Pakistan government. LOL. He is a viciously sectarian little monster. And his hysterical defense of Shahid Masood makes for black comedy.

Mushood Sheikh said:
I guess, the most powerful family of Pakistan, The Abbasi brothers is.

TLW said:
the most powerful family of Pakistan, The Abbasi brothers is
No yaar; their bosses are. Or somebody else; not them.

 Salma said:
New torture video – Courtesy: Our american sponsored army!
or

8 comments:

  1. With due respect let me tell you that the military is not concerned with what journalists write about the generals anymore. An article "Arrest Kayani and His Cohorts to Save Pakistan" was published by a website about three months ago, but the army didn't react. The ISPR is also silent. See what it had written:

    It is time, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yousuf Raza Gilani, fires the Chief of the Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvaiz Kayani, and the top officials at the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

    Mr. Gilani is also required to file a First Investigation Report (FIR) at the nearest police station against Kayani and the ISI bosses for the murder of 3,400 Pakistanis; these Pakistanis were killed by suicide bombings carried out by the terrorists directly under the command and control of Kayani and his ISI cohorts.

    Mr. Gilani would have to make sure that the police acts on his FIR and arrests Kayani and his cohorts, locks them up and presents them in a court to be tried under the law for mass murder and treason.

    You can read the provocative article @

    http://inewp.com/?p=4406

    ReplyDelete
  2. great post. though i had read 2 of the articles but the way you have editorialized them gives a quite new, refreshing and positive perspective. keep it up.

    @Anon

    i checked, it is a foreign website. ISI can't do anything :):):)

    ReplyDelete
  3. don' 4get 2 watch

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nei_BQXiY-I

    ReplyDelete
  4. @TLW

    ISPR Facebook page says: "Major General Athar Abbas. DG ISPR A Great Communicator, A True Warrior of Pakistan from Armoured corps of Pakistan Army."

    There are hundred of likes and comments of his fans.

    S Qambar A Shah says: Major General Athar Abbas should be the Army Chief ..

    Noor Hayat says: he has a v big nd briliant role in changing image of army coruptd by musharaf. great job sir. congrates.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If they start putting serious pressure on you, well then your words are striking home and the truth is spreading faster than they can control it. They fear a true democracy where the peoples voices are truly heard. So stand tall and strong my friend even though it maybe painful at times.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Behold Pakistanis, public "voting" for the next Army Chief has begin! But where will the current chief go?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Is it possible for the civilian govt to revoke the extension in the service of Army Chief Gen Kayani after the Wikileaks or court martial??

    ReplyDelete
  8. Okay so, let me understand. Gen. Musharraf's boss was Gen. Keyani that he bypassed when attacking Red Mosque and starting Military Operation in Baluchistan.
    Now please tell, me why then Gen. Keyani has continued on that Operation that his sub-ordinate, Gen. Musharraf had started?
    Why has Gen. Keyani kept blackmailing and backstabbing USA that Gen. Musharraf had started?
    I understand, you people are Anti Zardari because he is not a Punjabi and your almost all Punjabi Army does not trust him but what can your Army do?
    Its so sad that Obama had rejected Gen. Keyani's that proposal a couple of years ago and this is why Pak Army has been propagating that Zardari is an American Agent. May I ask, if Gen. Keyani is not a 'Nmak Hraam' US Agent, why he had needed Obama's approval?
    Why he just did not shoot Zardari dead instead?

    ReplyDelete