"gone with the wind"
there are many aspects of the story...but one thing that keeps pinching me is that realising the threats and consequences of endangering the lives of so many people , BB ,still went on with her plans,giving a very easy hand to the plotter of the incident ,which she to my surprise, alongwith other chamchaas ,narrowly escaped and fled the place, started blaming the govt for all the consequences...its hell of stupidity...idiotic thing..i think she is responsible for such an incident..and shld be punished.such an irresponsible act from such a GREAT leader,this is enought to disqualify her from the next elections and elections to come in future...,..everybody knows khi is a very sensitive place ,...and she could easily hv avoided this unwanted rally...these looters and plunderers our so-called leaders come here and spoil the peace and atmosphere of the country that is already facing difficulties ..i think such rallies shld be completely banned within the city premisies...bcz they dont have the right to play with lives of common man...such rallies give chance to the terrorist to implement their even designs...
thank you!! benazir wht a gift u hv given us!!!!for me there are other things to rejoice rather ur coming back to eat us again!!!!

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While I agree that BB and PPP should have exercised greater caution and avoided such an extended and prolonged procession exposing all participants to great risks, we must all condemn and stop the fanatics behind suicide bombings. To establish a civil society, we have to remove the fear of free speech and public gatherings. Regardless of our political philosophy or our opinions of various politicians, we should stop tolerating those who engage in inflammatory rhetoric exhorting people to extreme violence in the name of Islam.
Your concerns regarding the loss of lives of the innocent people is well justified and everybody will agree to it. On the other hand putting all the blame on the leadership (let it be of any party, or group) may need more insight before being conclusive. We may need to remember:
1) The person returning to Pakistan was an ex-Prime Minister who was twice elected by the vote of the people. If as per constitution a common person has the right to come to his/her country and no one can stop him/her then a person who was elected to the public office has even a greater right to land in the country.
2) Many of us who get concerned about lives of innocent people have not sacrificed a single real dear one while facing the hot and cold of politics. Benazir lost her father and two brothers and should know better than most of us what is life and what is losing your blood relations. In political rallies people do participate and do get hurt but we need to see if the leadership is behind it. Even at Hajj where all sincere efforts are taken to avoid any ugly incident, we see deaths on every occasion. I am not comparing the events based on religious placement, rather just want to say what happen when the crowd gathers.
3) Now who to blame? Fingers are always raised on "who is the beneficiary"? Benazir? ... No, because the explosion did not happen a mile away from her, rather next to her truck and she could have been killed. Also, after this incident, was she able to move the masses against the govt. from Sindh to Sarhad by continuing with the rallies....No. She hasn't even addressed any public rally which are required to gather public support for the elections.

So, who is the beneficiary? The current government? Yes. Despite their claims that they are fighting against terrorism, and even showing their military might in the northern areas, the rallies of Pervaiz Elahi are safe. Why terrorists are not targeting him? How come rallies/public meetings by other political parties which are allies of the govt. in Karachi, are not hit by the terrorists? This means that either they are with the terrorists or they are well guarded in the most appropriate manner to save the lives of the leaders and the participants. In view of these facts and the govt. being the beneficiary of the incident, people find a lot of justification to accuse the govt. for the incident and loss of life.

3) Regarding looting the wealth of the nation, the discussion of Ants and Grasshopper on the forum may give more realization is who is the accused and who should be accused.
i totally agree to wht u hv said regarding freedom of expression:
but one thing i must mention tht i am not with any party nor
with the govt...i believe none of them hv done any good to us as a
nation..the so-called democratic govts.not forgetting the % of people
who go for voting and even those being bribed(horsetraded) and military dictators hv
come and gone ...looting and plundering the wealth ....making
mahals for themselves...filling up their accounts in banks
worldwide..contributing as much as they can to enhanced the misery
of common man and leaving the country at their earliest to lead a care free luxurious life
...our politicians are like vulturers who attack whn see sumthin to eat(elections)..
otherwise fly high...i believe benazir has taken enough sympathies from the people of PAK
in the name of her father and brother...we must not forget that her own husband's name is
involved in this incident,and he is still facing the charges in this respect,to me to these
politicians their is no brother no sister truly no blood relaion ...the only thing tht
matters is "KURSI"...they can go any extent if offered "kursi"...
coming back to what happened tht day..benazir must have taken the whole scenario into
account,she shld hv realised tht it was not the pak she left few yrs back,
as we are facing the dangers of sucide bombers now tht were not common during her days..
she could have adressed the nation via tv/radio...for the sake of freedom of speech..there
was no need for taking out such a huge procession..jamming the main shahra faisal for hrs,
it was like inviting terrorist to come an attack...whn she was recieving warnings
and threats.. party workers are mainly very enthusiast .....ready to sacrifice whtever thy
hv got..and these politicians rather thn giving sumthin to them remain always at the
recieving end...and on tht day the same thing happened,hundreds of people lost their lives ...
and BB ran from the scene along with party leaders..not caring abt hundreds of people
lying on the road who had come to recieve their LEADER...and
unable to address the people for more thn an day after tht incident took place
i cannot think abt anyone benefitting from such things..but as sum people hav highlighted
...maybe benazir could hv got some more sympathies from this..as she went on with the
procession inspite of the warnings...tht eventually led to an explosion...and inspite of
tht being so close...she managed to escape from the jaws of death..like "superman"ohh
woman.....maybe it was not a good idea to return to a place tht was being ruled by her
"most wanted men" during the time of her rule..again an idiotic decision by her...and
to believe "them"..by the way what is she upto now after imposition of emergency??
I agree with you that the organizers of this rally cannot just walk away putting the whole responsibility on the Government and the terrorists.
Staging such an event in a city as volatile as Karachi is very unadvisable. Prolonging it for such a long time was simply idiotic. I am all for "Freedom of Speech", but you have to judge the potential risk. Those 150 people cannot be brought back now. Their wives are widows, and their children are orphans now.The organizers spent so much money guaranteeing the safety of their leader. What about the people who she was supposed to represent?
I was amused how, before the blast, both the government and the PPP were taking credit for making the event possible. Once the bombs went off, everyone was blaming each other for mismanagement.

On the current situation, my personal view is that I cant see anyone in the political scene who rightly deserves to lead this nation. That includes Musharraf, Bhutto, Sharif, etc, etc,etc. Pakistan's silent majority has to rise and take control. Easier said than done
The nation has been so much under the influence of Martial Law that a common person has lost the political insight and the nation has been continuously told the story that politicians are corrupt and the General has come to bring Allah's rule of fairness and justice. This message had been so consistent that people started thinking that when a military dictator accuse the politician he is talking about some other breed that was living in the country. Matter of fact is that the dictator wanted to isolate the politicians from rest of the civilians in order to effectively rule the country. We fhave orgot to realize that they are from us and degree of corruption can vary, but corruption is prevalent in our society and the same ingredients will be found in a person from the society whether he is a politician or a voter (not talking about exceptions).

We as professionals have got accustomed to deliverables as if we call Pizza Hut to deliver pizza with toppings of onions, mushrooms, and black olives. We carry this attitude when we want things from our representatives e.g. I need a good politician from my own country with toppings of sincerity, dedication, and honesty (i.e. not taking bribe like my friends uncle in customs do, or minting money in railways, or getting commission on all purchases in govt. and private sector, or a banker who is playing stocks with peoples money, or an accountant sitting in AG Sindh and asking commission from teachers/professors for releasing their pension, or a journalist /writer who is selling his pen, or a doctor who takes bribe to write a medico-legal report and release a dead body from hospital's cold storage, or an engineer who is making Northern By-pass and Defense under-pass, or a businessman who is eating away bank loans, stealing electricity/taxes and what not, or a broker who is making money without even selling anything, or a Karachi City employee who is takes money on birth as well as death certificates, or an SHO who first pay its own department to get the "well earning" police station, or a private school owner/principal who takes donations to get the child admitted .... list goes on and on). I think with this small list of a few departments we can see what we are and what we should expect from any segment of the society. Even Allah says that He make rulers from among yourself.

Unfortunately the nations and their deliverables are quite different than ordering a pizza. It requires continuity of democratic process and, if the deliverables are not right, then use your VOTE to bring any change....irrespective how weak the currency of VOTE is but this is the only currency that is used to make a difference in bringing a change rather than having a Prime Minister on World Bank's payroll and a President that was inherited one fine morning and has now again enforced himself by throwing out the judiciary. Today with emergency already imposed, Pervaiz Ilahi is still at large to address a public meeting and despite his extraordinary work against terrorism, he is still safe and sound....thanks to the sportsman spirit of the terrorists, or extraordinary security measures of the government. This emergency is an eye opener for the nation because, apart from the speculations about a decision against the President, its basis are why the civil servants (IG Islamabad and other members of the civil bureaucracy) were convicted and punished by the Supreme Court for gross misconduct and this bureaucracy (civil or military) is actually the beneficiary in all circumstances whether civil or military rule.

We, the professionals, do not participate physically in social work, do not aggressively participate in community services, do not go into the mainstream politics and at the same time we want people to deliver us good leadership. We are interested in the fruits but we do not want to take a journey on this path to see how and where the feet get injured. Saying that all politicians are corrupt is very easy but they belong to the same society that has been discussed above. If we think we can import from somewhere else then again we are living in our own ideal world. Get someone from USA and you'll find Enron scandal sitting there, get someone from Japan and their highest official has just been thrown out, go to India and see the biggest martial law free democracy with a no. of politicians accused of corruption, in England they have not been able to find why their princess got murdered and who should be blamed. Every country has its own level of corruption, scandals, and politicians but they keep on electing from the people who participate in elections and let their country ruled by politicians while military takes care of the borders for which it is trained professionally. Despite continuity of democratic rule a level of corruption is still there but they keep exercising their right of vote - even if choosing bad from the worst.
Here's a little excerpt from New York Times today:
A poll in September by Terror Free Tomorrow, a Washington-based nonprofit group, showed that Osama bin Laden was more popular in Pakistan than General Musharraf, with 46 percent of respondents giving him a "favorable" rating against 38 percent for the president. Ms. Bhutto got a "favorable" rating from 63 percent. The nationwide poll surveyed 1,044 adults and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Implication: Given the above poll data, if free and fair elections were held now, PPP and MMA are likely to be the big winners. Is this what we want?
Democratic process would be what the majority wants (even if I or we don't want). Voters will then have to keep pushing their candidates to do what waspromised. They should not leave them alone and sit on the sidelines or knock at the GHQ. If their expectations are not met then they need to analyze if the expectations were realistic and if yes, then use the vote to bring a change and work for a better check and balance system.
In Pakistan, the democratic process will rarely reflect the sentiments of the majority. In the rural areas (which comprises of roughly 70 % of our population), people are bribed,forced and even threatened to vote for a particular candidate. There are incidents of the same in the urban areas. Fake votes are also a common feature.

However, having said that, I do not , in any way, support military rule.

US, UK, Japan, India (the countries mentioned in a previous post) , etc, do have corruption. However, their law and order system has managed to catch the corrupt and convict them. They dont have the accused "exiled" to the UK and Saudi Arabia, to live a life of luxury, spending the money they robbed from the nation. They dont place the suspects in 5-star prisons.

I am amused how Musharraf actually has given amnesty to Bhutto from corruption charges . How can someone be allowed to get away with looting the wealth of the poor people of Pakistan... in the name of "Reconciliation". Granting amnesty is as criminal an act as actually looting the country.
That's the whole point....countries with a long and continuous track of democracy are now mature enough to have some checks corruption. It is still questionable if they give the right punishment even today or check each and every corruption because this is the reality with which we need to learn how to live.

To understand whether people living in rural areas know their interest, we need to change our flavor of living and travel in rural areas- I am lucky that I got the opportunity many times and have a lot of confidence in their common sense. They can be illiterate but they know politics more than most of us and the urban population. We should travel from Hyderabad to Sadiqabad, order "doodh patti" on every "chai ka thia" and listen what people are saying and we'll come to know that they know their interests very well. Sometimes we may not appreciate since we left ourselves illiterate in regional languages. Interests can be short term like getting ten extra bags of wheat from the chaudhry, wadera, khan, or sardar but interest had always been while voting. It will take a while, and that too with the process of exercise of vote, that we start gong for bigger causes. Today's United States was yesterday's land of cowboys and the law was the law of the gun....Pakistan is still quite better off and we should have more hope. In US, despite being educated, still very few people know why they are voting to a specific person because they vote on the basis of last week's CNN and Fox transmission. Our villagers have their own opinions. They know more names of the leaders, governers, and the ministers as compared to the educated class of many developed countries.

Its been a while that we have been talking of corruption without knowing whether 1) a person is accused or convicted 2) whether the cases were being handled by normal judiciary or a special court of NAB formed by the ruler who abrogated the law and toppled the elected govt. 3) what should be the legal standing of the court that was formed by a person who illegally occupied the country. Kargill turned out to be a difficult job compared to conquering his own country of which he was the employee and used to be paid by people's money who elected the government 4) how come the existing ministers/governors/chief ministers who are with Musharraf qualified for the designation when they were also accused of corruption by NAB - the moment they joined Musharraf they even did not require NRO to get amnesty 5) how can a person who has not come by people's vote and is fighting for his legitimacy can give amnesty 6) how can one give amnesty to an accused who has not been convicted 7) why Nawaz Sharif was given to Saudi Arabia even when he was so-called a convict? why Musharraf and the govt. should not be prosecuted for sending him to Saudi Arabia when he was the culprit of the people of Pakistan - there was not only Musharraf in the plane. There were other 349 pessengers in the plane who wanted to see him getting prosecuted? Putting Nawaz Sharif in exile is raising questions if the incident that is being associated with him really happened or was fabricated? Why should Musharraf and his govt. be not accused of keeping the ministers in the cabinet who were accused by his own NAB and not prosecuting them aggressively just like anyone else? There are people with murder cases going hand-in-hand with Musharraf throughout his tenure and are now finally cleaned.

Finally we saw how the government treated judiciary by sacking all the judges while keeping the two judges with them who agreed to take oath on the new PCO. These are the ones who actually took decision to release the 60 people that government is using as the ground for enforcing emergency. I think before we form our courts, and pass our decisions based on our media filtered data we need to see if the accusers themselves qualify to accuse and is there any difference between accused and convicted.
i think this is unfair to say to the participants of this conversation are just talking ...and just talking...."its oyr resposibility to step forward and go in politics and face difficulties in it"
bcz: this way it will be easy to keep masses silent..everybody cant jump in politics..it will be like asking a tailor to become a chef if he is not satisfied with the food he is served..everybody is where he/she is suppose to be...and every task is difficult in its own respect...if ...this is not the solution ..that every men who is not satisfied with the era shld join politics...politiics is not everybodies game...
i think both nawaz sharif and benazir hv been elected twice...and every time they hav apologised from the nation and everytime thy hv cheated them.....and MR. musharraf cant be n execption to all that....i also beleive that all is not so bad abt benazir and nawaz sharif as potrayed by the present govt...but all is not so good to accept them again.and again w/o knowing what is reality....even if there are unconfirmed reports of their corruption ..they cant be ignored..(bcz whenever there sum smoke there is a fire)..and common man cant go searching for clues ...whether that politicains is involved in or not...
but what we see is that all the politicians went away from the country ....either by their will or not....none of them had the courage to face the charges and cases..if they wer based on falsehood...thn why did nawaz and benazir opt to stay away from pak...had they been so innocent they shld hav not left their motherland....come what may..and shld hv faced them one on one..with such a mass support
and now benazir under the cover of a deal with the uniformed president who has promised to remove all the charges against her and other politicians hv comeback .how come she reconciled with him....??? with an un elected president...??? also a uniformed one???...and wht not and wht not???
i believe some people hv been fortunate enough to find people in rural areas know abt politics and all otherwise my own maid who hails from rural area and is living in the metropolis for more thn 20 yrs now doest even know who is PM etc etc nor is interested to knw,she has cable tv at home...but u see there merit lies in the no of bags of aata daal chanwal....these people are ignorant how these waderas..landlords who bcom MPAs and MNAs together with politicians are plaguing our country for yrs...
The fun part with us is that we criticize everyone, including politicians, as if nobody knows politics better than us. It is easy that we criticize a baker for making a bad cake but can still experiment and come to know that ours taste even worst. With politics we don't even want to try on our own. We would like to see lawyers and party workers/leaders coming out on the streets, get severe beating, have bleeding foreheads in order to resist dictator's imposed emergency so that the whole nation can benefit from it but do not want to give our heads to take the sticks. All those lawyers, judges, human rights activists, students of universities, workers and leaders from political parties are not full time politicians whom the nation has paid to do a job of safeguarding the constitution and bring prosperity to all those who are looking towards them. They are just like we are but are more committed to the cause and have more political insight as what will happen to our country and that has given them the courage to face a highly brute force of police and agencies in Pakistan. We cannot isolate ourselves at times of need as politics is an essential part of our life. This is not a subject rather and integral part of everybody's life and we get affected by good/bad political moves of the nations. If we cannot be part of the process at least we should appreciate those who are facing the heat.

Like any military ruler, Musharraf used his King's Party (Muslim League-Q) and the media to start a media trial against politicians (politicians are humans of our society and I don't consider them immune from crimes). The propaganda persisted for 5 years and despite availability of proofs, funds, and all the resources govt. was not able to convict anyone through normal court proeedings. For Peoples Party the time span goes back to 11 years as the cases were started at the time of Nawaz Sharif. This shows that two govts., with all the resources and proofs available and NAB spending millions and billions could not settle even one single case. In that case why we should believe that the accusations were real (unless thats only what we desire to see); instead why shouldn't we believe that the cases were fabricated and used to keep the leadership out of the country to stop the political process. This is not the first time that this tactic was used. Shah Iran used the same tactic with Ayatullah Khamenai and he lived in exile in Iraq and France until the time was ripe for him to come and take over the charge. Again, this is politics and it is very well known that leadership is always protected (just like a General leading the war) to keep people united and guide them towards victory. The timings and loaction to start a campaign is decided by leaders who know politics. By the time I am writing this post, lawyers and workers of PPP, Jamat-e-Islami and PML (N) are already taking the beating for those who may not physically participate but want the constitution to be intact.

Coming to the "deal" (a word aired by the media) it is quite apparent by this time that if it is a deal, it is not for the politicians, rather for the military ruler who's govt. failed to stop terrorism. Today, our jawans are laying down their lives in the middle of the province of NWFP because the solution required political handling of the situation. Today even the West is now quite decided that peace on borders (whether our, or their) is only possible when Pakistan is ruled by the government elected by the people and coming with a political solution rather than military might. That seems to be the reason that the West is supporting the political parties and an understanding (not a deal with any one party) is achieved that political process should be supported and all cases based on political victimization should be pulled off so that all political parties can participate in the elections with their leaderships. As far as support of the West is concerned, nobody has served the West better than the existing govt. which consists of Musharraf and all those accused who changed the loyalties the very next day of Martial Law. Unfortunately today the extent of terrorism is suggesting that they proved to be total failure for those countries as well for Pakistan. The understanding seems to be for the continuation of the political process while the West is still supporting Musharraf without uniform. The only problem is that what will happen of those poltical parties and individuals who are ruling the country on the crutches of the military and changed their loyalties and begged the General for forgiveness which was promptly given without any reconciliation ordinance since both wanted to legitimize each other. They will be wiped off in any free and fair elections. West may still be getting the same support but with strong political support vs military support.

Seeing the village life requires traveling out of major cities and I am the lucky one who travelled and spent time in deserts like Thar to mountainous regions of Balakot, Naran, Kalam etc. Your masi exercised her choice and came to Karachi but did someone came and snatched her from here...No. There are men and women who preferred to have an easy life in the city because the life in village is tough even if the choughry or wadera is not bothering. See the women who are working in the fields of putti (cotton) all day, or cutting wheat and sugar cane. Life is tough and some prefer to be there and some migrate. There is no zalim and mazloom rather a matter of choices. Sometimes these masis are well off in their wadera driven cultures than getting physically assualted by the people of the city who are called educated and professional. They were even given the punishment of burning them by hot irons when the lady of the house thought that they have done theft in the home. These women and women working in the fields are not even represented by the Associations of Working Women as they don't want to sit with these working women which forms the majority. Even the citizens of Karachi where waderas are not ruling were killed after drilling in their legs and dead bodies in the bags was the usual culture. Basically all this is not politics. This requires rule of law and we should work hard to support rule of law and constitution. It will require sacrifices as there is no short cut to it. If we are not in a position to give sacrifice we should at least make it a point that we will keep supporting the efforts for rule of law and the basic principle is that those who come to power by abrogating the law can never respect law. We cannot see this fact better than today when the whole judiciary has been sacked by those claiming the rule of law. We also need to watch media which takes no time to take 180 degree turn if they find their interests getting taken care off by someone else. They talk about law but when they put a sticker of "Press" on their vehicles they actually threat even the police officer not to ask for a driving license from them.

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