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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

So ... what's new?

I was 18 when Gen. Ayub Khan declared the first nation-wide martial law, ousting his friend and mentor Maj. Gen. Iskander Mirza from power and, we were told, "hounded him out of the country at gunpoint" - an apt image for those of us brought up on John Wayne-isms like "The last train leaves at sundown. Be on it!"

In the media manipulation that followed, we were told vague tales of how the ex-Pres had looted the country's coffers, how he had promoted smugglers - among them Qasim Bhatti, who was alleged to have presented the elegant First Lady, Naheed Mirza, a diamond necklace worth Rs.700,000 (in the days that it bought more than a car) - and how he had "mortgaged the nation's future unscrupulously", as an eveninger put it. (I recall asking my father how one would go about doing such a thing scrupulously.)
Apart from pondering over the semantics of the situation, I wondered why, since Mirza sahab had stolen 'our' money and not Ayub's personal property, was he allowed to get away - under a private deal - to London. Did Ayub have some 'divine right of pardon' granted to him that he could excercise at whim? Whirrrr ... Fast forward to Gen. Musharraf, almost half a century later. He would not be in this position today if it were not for the martial-law declaring Precedent Gen. Ayub. (BTW, some of you may not know that Ayub's autobiography was ghost-written by the father of the person who ghost-wrote Musharraf's autobiography. Mutations do breed true!) The current President beats his trend-setting predecessor 2-to-1 in the deals department, alone. Nawaz, we are told, wanted to crash the plane in which Gen. Musharraf was travelling - but, bear in mind, not travelling alone. So, Nawaz was, in effect, contemplating an act that would kill hundreds of others. Flashback... "Gensaab" manages to organize a safe landing and a coup. Nawaz is tried. There are corruption charges, questionable bank accounts, nepotism, irregularities & more (well, you know, the kind of things that every Pakistani politician in power can be charged with - provable or not - to some degree). Many cases deal with his families' thieving of 'our' coffers. But, aided and abetted by Soddy Arabia - the Islamic country where they chop hands off for even trivial thefts, wouldn't you know - Nawaz and the the self-appointed (anointed?) President strike a deal. Excuse me! Was this something 'personal' between NS & Mush? Nawaz gets to go away stock-free. Poor fellow has to live outside Pakistan for 5-10 years. I dunno about that ... some of our 'leaders' do it of choice ... and all of them have enough money to have families and friends fly out to them whenever they feel lonely (or hungry, if the stories of nihaari-laden flights are more than a rumour). But -errr- there is the slight matter of his trying to kill innocent people on a flight, na? Should they have been involved in a class-action suit against him? Guess that's not a sensible thought. I know nothing of law, other than what Mr. Bumble said. On the other hand, Benazir, who really is aptly yclept like her Kulfa namesake of Lahore (there is no one like quite like them and one round is more than one can handle of either) is in 'self-exile' - a euphemism for running the fuck out of this country where she faces charges that would land her in jail. Her hubby - like O.J. - has been cleared of all charges. (Hey guys, the next time you bribe someone, get a receipt!) Our dear (=expensive?) 'ruler' has, yet again, exercised his 'divine right of pardon' and, lo & behold, struck a deal!!! All cases wiped out. Whoa. Of course, other countries are involved in making this happen. An example worthy of being truly called Amnesty International? On thinking more, I say to myself: "Fine. So be it! He is the President (although I recall BB saying a few days ago that he is not her President. Wonder in what capacity he gives her a pardon, then)." But, such minor quibbles aside, I agree that the political arena needed a little more colour than just khaki, even if in the form of a (hmmm, "castrated" doesn't quite fit the occasion, but you know what I mean) politician. However, anal as it may sound to some, a small matter does remain. Even if we accept that the cases against her and AZ were politically motivated (and, no doubt many were), and she did not line her Swiss Bank Lockers with 'our' money, what about the millions of dollars - certainly 'our' dollars, earned at great risk by being a front-line state - spent overseas by this government in uncovering all the false accounts and real mansions and stuff? Or was that a politically motivated lie, too? What are the nation's children, as they grow up watching this comedy of terrors unfold, to make of leaders who go through living transparently - even blatantly - dishonest lives, merely to espouse every Eed or Pakistan Day or Ashura that our children must uphold the traditions and values of the great Muslim and national leaders. The children learn just one thing: Nothing succeeds like Hypocrisy! Habib Jalib, albeit in another context, wrote something that makes me think of the days way before Ayub:
Zindagee go keh paa piyaadah thee Dhoop say chhaaoƱ to ziyaadah thee
To those who feel that it would have been fairer to allow Nawaz to also join the National Election Olympics Convention, just remember the sad fact that it doesn't really matter which of the two civvies come into pseudo-power under the witchcraft state-craft of the military-industrial complex.
"Send in the clowns? Don't bother, they're here!"

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8 Comments:

Anonymous the olive ream said...

Exceptional and spot on! Loved this post.

Deals all around, I say. F*** accountability of any sort. Lie, cheat, steal, get caught, cut a deal and get away scot-free. Apparently, it doesn't take much to sell out your country when you've sold your soul to the devil years ago. Sod the punters, they pick up the tab...everytime!

16 October, 2007 19:39

 
Blogger sabizak said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 October, 2007 02:10

 
Anonymous Sabeen Mahmud said...

Confused, depressed, and helpless like most people watching the antics of our "leaders", I can't add anything intelligent to the discussion as there really isn't anything to say. Good pieces won't be rewarded with change in the country unfortunately but I really think there are some stellar pieces here, including this one, that need to be published - Comics and Blog Bundle. What say you?

Super mazaydaar post.

17 October, 2007 10:14

 
Anonymous the olive ream said...

Zak, what about your idea about publishing a compilation of various blogposts into a book. I know you mentioned it when I was in Karachi last January.

BTW, I'll be in Karachi, first week of Novemeber. Hope to see you then.

17 October, 2007 11:32

 
Blogger PatricksSeamuS said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

21 December, 2007 16:11

 
Blogger Humayun Mirza jr said...

Dear Zak,

Make sure you'll do you're home-work, before posting something spoken by Gohar Ayub, son of Ayub Khan about Iskander Mirza.

There is no Evidence of that, only in Gohar's imagination. Mirza gave all his lands when he back the President of Pakistan. He was the most honest President and with not a single evidence of him being corrupt and using the state of Pakistan's facilities for himself, such as Ayub Khan did so and I am sure after his death you know how much he left for his son.

Mirza when he died left 40 pounds only. When he had a heart attack it cost him 70 pounds paid by Humayun Mirza.

If you can give me the evidence about what you have said, perhaps I might believe you, but I am sure there is no significant evidence that you have to approve this state of Gohar, and infact my dear blogger, CNBC had arranged a debate between Humayun Mirza son of Iskander Mirza, Begum Shah Taj Imam daughter of Iskander Mirza, and Gohar Ayub son of Ayub Khan. One of the topics was what you have said, when Gohar found out Humayun Mirza is also in it, he backed off and at the last minute before the show went live he walked out of the studio. As he had no evidence to prove this.
I suggest you should do you're home-work more, and read 'From Plassey to Pakistan' By Humayun Mirza and Ahmad Salim's book on Major-General Iskander Mirza.

Regards,

Humayun Mirza jr.
(Great grand son of Major-General Iskander Mirza).

21 December, 2007 16:28

 
Blogger Zakintosh said...

Dear Humayun

I did do my homework. Perhaps my language was flawed.

My deepest apologies for having offended you. However, I don't see where I have said anything 'offensive' about a man whom I respected a great deal after my few meetings with him as a teenager. His dignified and honest ways of living out the last days in the UK were further proof of his character.

Gohar Ayub, on the other hand, is certainly not one whose viewpoint I would ever accept or consider truthful without seriously excellent supporting evidence. I have always found his politics detestable, as I did his dad's. The latter, I believe - and know I will get flak for saying this - is the man who put us on this slippery slope (unless one believes we were on it already since 1947).

Here's the relevant portion from my post about your great-grandparents. I have added emphases below to lay stress upon my intended meaning:

QUOTE
In the media manipulation that followed, we were told vague tales of how the ex-Pres had looted the country's coffers, how he had promoted smugglers - among them Qasim Bhatti, who was alleged to have presented the elegant First Lady, Naheed Mirza, a diamond necklace worth Rs.700,000 (in the days that it bought more than a car) - and how he had "mortgaged the nation's future unscrupulously", as an eveninger put it.
UNQUOTE

My tone above - while recountiing the popular tales of the day - spun, doubtless, by Ayub and his henchmen - is one of suspicion and disbelief. Perhaps it did not come across to you (and even others) that way, but that was how I meant to convey it. [An aside: I got to know some of the family and descendants of the Bhatti Brothers later. They denied any such linkage directly with the Mirzas, for whatevr it may be worth, but told countless tales of other ventures where many well-known figures were involved in their smuggling rackets.]

In my very next para in that post - and also one that does in no way indicate my acceptance of the charges laid out against President Mirza as 'facts' - I say that the publicised theft of 'our' (i.e. the nation's) money was not something Ayub had a right to pardon, even if the charges were true. The ousted President, in such a circumstance, should have been made answerable to the nation in a court of law. I believe to this day that this was not done because the charges were totally baseless.

Hopefully, this will clarify my point of view. I must add that I felt very wronged by your sentence: "... but I am sure there is no significant evidence that you have to approve this state[ment] of Gohar...". I have not 'approved' ANY statement of GA, nor do I know of any of his statements since I refuse to waste my time on his jabberings.

[NOTE: If I did not genuinely have respect for Mirza sahab, I woud have found it a lot easier to delete your comment and not spend time in setting the record straight.]

BTW, I'd be most interested in your possible explanantion for the withdrawal of PatricksSeamuS's comment (email appended below), since a click on that link also takes me takes me to YOUR blog about President Mirza.

21 Dec 07, at 16:11: PatricksSeamuS has left a new comment on your post "So ... what's new?":

The Truth Behind Ayun Khan and Iskander Mirza:

Dear Zak or whoever wrote this :

In the media manipulation that followed, we were told vague tales of how the ex-Pres had looted the country's coffers, how he had promoted smugglers - among them Qasim Bhatti, who was alleged to have presented the elegant First Lady, Naheed Mirza, a diamond necklace worth Rs.700,000 (in the days that it bought more than a car) - and how he had "mortgaged the nation's future unscrupulously", as an eveninger put it. (I recall asking my father how one would go about doing such a thing scrupulously.)
Apart from pondering over the semantics of the situation, I wondered why, since Mirza sahab had stolen 'our' money and not Ayub's personal property, was he allowed to get away - under a private deal - to London. Did Ayub have some 'divine right of pardon' granted to him that he could excercise at whim?


This is all nonesense. This is all written and told by Gohar Ayub, son of Ayub Khan.

The Truth is this :

As ssaid on Saturday, November 15,1969 by Sultan Ahmed The Leader

Major-General Iskander was an approachable man , and honest.
His pension was blocked by Ayub Khan Rs,2000. He was in grave financial difficulties and he was helped by a friend in Pakistan who arranged for the money. He gave all the lands back, he did not claim any compensation for the properties left in Murshidabad ( Nawab / Sahib zada) and Bombay. The lands given to him when he servred the army , when he became the President of Pakistan he gave them back and didn't reclaim them even though he was in great financial difficulties. When he had a heart attack it cost him 70 pounds his son Humayun Mirza paid for it.
These all the proof that what you wrote dosen't exist and is spread by Ayub's family.

This is the proof that Mirza did not make money as President o Pakistan, there is also the irrefutable proof that he went to the other extent of surrendering his propreprt when he became President of Pakistan. Opposite of Ayub Khan.

An Interview was arranged between Gohar Ayub, Humayun Mirza , and Begum Shah Taj Imam. Gohar Ayub walked out as infact one of the topics was this. He didn't have the proof/evidence to support his claim. Therefore do you're home-work properly, before writting stuff like this :)

Best regards
Zakintosh

21 December, 2007 22:36

 
Anonymous gutscheine zum ausdrucken said...

sehr guter Beitrag

26 March, 2013 20:44

 

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