An open challenge to the propagandists

Published: July 12, 2012
The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto

The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto

Knowing well where they get their sustenance from; and having faced their slings and arrows for very many years now, I never thought I would ever let trolls get under my skin until very recently, with some of them repeatedly telling white lies about one’s service record; lies which do not have the faintest connection with truth and reality.

One of them actually said on Twitter that I had been court-martialled for raping East Pakistani women when I had never even been posted there! Another beauty writing from the United States no less, said on this newspaper’s great comments section that I had been thrown out of the army because of rank efficiency which is why I bore a grudge towards it. Another codger, this time a retired 80-year old Lt.-Colonel; and yet another failed ISI propagandist, a retired brigadier, passed innuendoes against me on the Pakistanpress mailing group too. And other such tripe.

I should have ignored these ludicrous charges even now if it weren’t for a recent tweet in which someone asked me what the abbreviation CEC stood for. And this in the very midst of people tweeting away about the good news about Justice Fakhruddin G Ebrahim becoming the consensus candidate for Chief Election Commissioner of all the political parties, including Imran Khan’s PTI. I ask you!

It was only then that I realised that there were millions of young folk in this country, who whilst they might be extremely bright in their studies in elite institutions like LUMS, LSE, and so on, knew nothing about anything else affecting national life — not politics; not the people who have played large or very small parts in it over the last 30 or so years, making them ideal targets for disinformation and propaganda against the perceived enemies of our mendacious and utterly crooked Deep State.

Since I have never pulled my punches all my life and I am not about to now, in the late morning of my life, I have decided to throw a direct challenge to the managers/puppeteers/paymasters of these trolls: to those who egg them on with fake information; to those who live and do their dirty doings in the shadows; to those who have already been caught doing to this country what no decent person on the payroll of the state would ever even countenance doing, and if caught would be severely punished.

Please witness Air Marshal Asghar Khan’s 16-year old case before the Supreme Court in which funds collected from various unsavoury, even grotty, sources were collected at the behest of the then president of the Islamic Republic none other; and the Chief of Army Staff, and allegedly distributed among many politicians and others through serving officers of Military Intelligence (MI) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to rig the 1990 elections.

Here goes then: I joined the Pakistan Military Academy on May 13, 1965, and was commissioned into the 4th Battalion, (Prince of Wales’s Own) The Baloch Regiment on May 8, 1966. I resigned my commission in 1974 and left the army when my resignation was accepted in 1976. I had put in a total service of 11 years, 10 of it in commissioned rank. I hereby challenge the above named managers/puppeteers/paymasters to publish my complete service record, alongside the service records for that same period of their service, of three of the senior-most generals serving in the army today. That should clarify matters as nothing else will.

These people are cowards, however, and will simply not do the right thing, depending as usual on lies and innuendo and rumour and back-biting. Well, shame on them!

Enough of that, and may I now say how disappointed I am at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman, the good Nadeem Afzal Chan, known for speaking frankly almost brutally, seemingly backing down at the Supreme Court’s registrar’s refusing to appear before the PAC. It is another matter that I am shocked at the SC’s action of allowing the registrar to so refuse as if the honourable court has something to hide.

It is a well-known axiom that the institution that holds other institutions accountable, and by God does our SC more than do that(!), should open itself to accountability too, so that when it is seen that all its acts are indeed aboveboard, including the accounting of government funds, no one would ever dare lift a finger of blame against it. But if it hides behind ‘omnipotence’ it might well be playing with fire.

Indeed, it might well be compared to the army which, too, refuses to appear before the PAC, even its business managers such as Fauji Foundation bosses. Which reminds me: did the IGFC Balochistan appear before the SC bench in Quetta or was it just some junior officers as usual, and their lawyer Raja Irshad? We must note here and now that Raja Irshad is known as the security establishment’s favourite lawyer which raises another question.

Just the other day much was made in the press of how much money the federal government had spent in defending itself in cases particularly before the SC, a newspaper coming up with the amount of Rs70 Million. Might one ask what the Pakistan army, the ISI, and the Frontier Corps have spent in pursuing their cases such as the missing persons and Memogate and Mehrangate cases etc.? Why are only the ‘bloody civilians’ targeted in these matters? Unless of course, Raja Sahib is working free, gratis and for nothing?

As to dual-nationality holders being eligible for elections I can only say that if you are eligible to vote you are eligible to stand in an election. Indeed if Pakistani political parties can collect funds from Pakistani dual-nationals living in their new countries, and they can also vote, i.e., actively affect the old country’s politics, why can’t they stand for elections themselves too?

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (76)

  • Nadir
    Jul 12, 2012 - 11:26PM

    Sir, in Pakistan no one wants to look at their surroundings, their lifestyles and how the same chain of shenanigans that they criticize politicians for is exactly how they get to live their daily lives. People are misinformed by choice, because no number of degrees is a substitute for “education”. A LUMS, LSE et al degree is just social capital that individuals purchase, and that too so that they can look down at others….the illiterate majority of our country are shunned by the same people as uninformed and poor decision makers; this coming from people who themselves live in DHAs and Bahria Towns across the country, whose land was grabbed from peasants and farmers, remain silent of the dominance if military commercial excesses as this is where there social capital is spent, where internship are enjoyed and doors opened. So in all the rhetoric of change, there is no change, just a class of people who look down at those below them and are disgruntled by the elite of the past, “the landlords”. They want change, but champion corporate titans who have for decades exploited daily wage workers, farmers and peasants. They champion disinformation to fit their biases. I dont expect either the puppets or the puppet masters to accept your challenge, for in their bubbles and gated communities they think they are the aggrieved party, when all they are, are exploitative, tax dodgers and law breakers who patronize the masses that make up this country.


  • Parvez
    Jul 12, 2012 - 11:43PM

    Strong, solid and you certainly have defended yourself well although no sane reader of your writing would question your integrity.
    Your last para on dual nationals seem to be written in haste, I disagree with your simple logic as it it involves much more than what you suggest.


  • AZW
    Jul 12, 2012 - 11:54PM


    For many shrill ubiquitous detractors that pour insults on you on the internet, or those who spray bullets outside your house in Wah, please remember that the shrill pitch and cowardly firing in the dark of the nigh masks their emptiness. The empty nationalistic ideology can only survive when these patriots scratch each others’ backs, or when they try to drown the calm voices of reason and sanity. Having the world and history moving mercilessly against them, their solace lies in repeating their mantra, again and again.

    But do remember that there are many, how look forward to reading you each week. And though we don’t shout that often, we appreciate every single word of yours and others that challenges the acceptable narrative and the herd mentality that has taken our nation nowhere for past many decades.

    Keep up the good work and all power to you pen.


  • Ali Q
    Jul 12, 2012 - 11:59PM

    Kamran Shafi Sahab – two wrongs don’t make a right. Recommend

  • Munir Khan
    Jul 13, 2012 - 12:05AM

    If only there were more men of character & integrity such as Kamran Shafi in Pakistan and less of the cowardly ultra nationalist trolls who attack from behind lace curtains!


  • usali
    Jul 13, 2012 - 12:19AM

    Your last point ruins your harangue!


  • gp65
    Jul 13, 2012 - 12:22AM


    I am an Indian and have been reading your posts with great interests both here and earlier on Dawn. I did see the comment on this newspaper and wonder. I am glad you clarified because in this environment any issue that is not clarified gets confirmed almost by default.

    Your writing has always appeared straightforward and direct and this post of yours reassures me that what I have been reading and admiring is truly the voice of your conscience and there is no hidden agenda.


  • Khan Jr
    Jul 13, 2012 - 12:40AM

    It is worth remembering that it is cowards who operate in the dark, getting other simpletons to do their dirty work for them. Unlike these shameless hordes Kamran Shafi at least has the courage of his convictions and openly calls a spade a ‘bloody shovel’. Well done, Major sahib!


  • Ali Q
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:00AM

    I question the false moral equivalency drawn by you (and many others) when you point out “political parties are happy raising money from overseas pakistanis” but prevent their fundraisers from seeking political office.

    Overseas Pakistanis voluntarily fund a political party/message of their choice. (no problem at all, there)
    They fund to, first, improve their towns/villages and help provide functioning hospitals, a strong education system, a fluid economy, rule of law etc and perhaps one day help them see their country in league with the best of the world. They certainly don’t fund to lobby into the national assembly.

    And before you write another piece about dual standards…yes, generals, judges, bureaucrats – all above a certain rank/grade/position – should be subject to such rules too.


  • Hafeez
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:31AM

    Mr. kamran, I have great respect for you because of your courage to speak out the truth. It is good to defend oneself but it seemed far below your person to respond to such ludicrous and baseless allegations. However I do not agree with your last paragraph where you defend dual nationals’ right to hold high public offices. Right to vote should not be confused with right to hold highest public offices. Even in USA, every citizen has the right to vote, but you can’t run for President if you are not a born American.


  • Imran Con
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:49AM

    @Ali Q:
    and one wrong being ignored raises the chances for the people to do it again. Is that right? That two wrongs don’t make a right line is over used and the most useless one ever spoken. Most who use it probably have found themselves to be the exception on numerous occasions. Until people actually evolve to the point they believe themselves to be, two wrongs may not make a right, but it might just shut someone up from adding a 3rd one to it. If not, the 3rd was going to come anyway.


  • Umer
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:50AM

    why can’t they stand for elections themselves too?

    That would be a competition to local crook politicians. Also establishment may not be able to exert as much influence over these independent minded and knowledgeable souls. Therefore no overseas Pakistanis allowed except a minority of select people who submit to the establishment such as Shaukat Aziz.


  • Sid
    Jul 13, 2012 - 2:03AM

    No one with any sense would ever question your integrity. I am a little surprised that you took the whole thing rather seriously.Recommend

  • Mahmood Saeed
    Jul 13, 2012 - 2:28AM


    Absolutely right.
    I criticize him for his big head and have often suggested that he seeks help of a headshrinker.

    Can any one person equate the right to vote with the right to represent? The former exercised voluntarily in our system ( although the law should make it compilsory)is inherent and inalienable. The laright to represent is acquired when you have a constituency to represent. If you are a dual national and resident abroad, you have absolutely no right to do so. If you live in Pakistan with a dual nationality, your ability to represent is compromised as you have foresworn loyalty to a foreign power.

    On representation, there is no country in the world which allows a dual national to represent except when his primary residence is in that country and he has/has been through a constituency selection process/

  • Mahmood Saeed
    Jul 13, 2012 - 2:36AM

    Why did you resign? Enlighten please
    Why did it take two years for the resignation of a major to be processed? Enlighten kindly.
    And now that you have chosen to open a chapter of your life, please tell us what have you been up to in the 70s and the 80s,


  • Uza Syed
    Jul 13, 2012 - 2:55AM

    “SC’s action of allowing the registrar to so refuse as if the honourable court has something to hide.” and you do sound angry when you say, “It is another matter that I am shocked at” …. (SC Registrar’s this act) well, Kamran Sahib, I’m not, I suspect that the honourable court does have something to hide (which makes it less than ‘honourable’ as far as I’m concerned).


  • Adeel759
    Jul 13, 2012 - 2:59AM

    No doubts about your integrity and patriotism whatsoever. Let them scratch their heads. You shall continue saying things the way you perceive them. I personally am interested in taking part in politics in future, though I ve dual nationality. But if I decided to jump into politics I must rescind my adopted citizenship. You cant have people as Defense, Finance and Interior minister who have the comfort of flying out of the country as their tenure ends (Mostly marred with accusations of corruption and mismanagement and what not).Recommend

  • jadogar
    Jul 13, 2012 - 3:29AM

    If you are having issues with them, why not sue them? why waste our time? thank you ET for wasting yet another 5mins of my life


  • mr. righty rightist
    Jul 13, 2012 - 3:38AM

    I don’t understand the point.

    You are asking such propagandists to prove their point? Only an insecure person does that. Be secure and ignore such people.


  • PardesiUno
    Jul 13, 2012 - 3:58AM

    Bravo – I am not giving a single penny to any loafer Pakistani organization or political establishment anymore! They come begging for dollars, yet spit on the very same Pakistani-Americans. Shameful I say, and it shows the true colors of our people – united we stand, divided we fall. Pakistan Zindabad!


  • Shahbaz Asif Tahir
    Jul 13, 2012 - 4:22AM

    Kamran, those like myself, who regularly criticize you, do so, not
    because I hold a grudge, against, you. They are for the following reasons:
    You spend each moment of your life, speaking ill about the finest institution, that
    has made Pakistan proud, the military.
    You talk about our army, as though you give a normal reader, an impression
    that you are either an Indian, or on their pay roll.
    You seem to be unperturbed by the political, economic, social, and monetary damage
    the PPP, has done in these last 4 years, yet not a single column, have you ever
    written about their miserable incompetence, and corruption. Ask a child, or even any
    stranger on the street, and he will give you articulate terminologies, about Zardari,
    and his corruption. How come you forget to write about it?
    Many times I commented on ZAB, and the fact he master minded the break up of Pakistan, in 1971, since he refused to accept the reality of his defeat. Yet you never commented or even replied, which confirms your bias, and unfortunately gets you many critics. All the best.


  • Majid Urrehman
    Jul 13, 2012 - 5:13AM

    You summed it up:

    “It was only then that I realised that there were millions of young folk in this country, who whilst they might be extremely bright in their studies in elite institutions like LUMS, LSE, and so on, knew nothing about anything else affecting national life — not politics; not the people who have played large or very small parts in it over the last 30 or so years, making them ideal targets for disinformation and propaganda against the perceived enemies of our mendacious and utterly crooked Deep State.”


  • Usman
    Jul 13, 2012 - 5:19AM

    K. Shafi defending PPP yet again.. Yaawn!


  • ammar mujeeb
    Jul 13, 2012 - 6:32AM

    who takes this guy seriously ???


  • Raw is War
    Jul 13, 2012 - 7:27AM

    good article.


  • Malik
    Jul 13, 2012 - 7:52AM

    While one appreciates your forthrightness, you are expected to be rational and balanced in your analytical comments. Unfortunately your writings betray a deep prejudice against armed forces.


  • sabi
    Jul 13, 2012 - 8:17AM

    mr kamran
    when argument fails then starts an ugly war of throwing mud on others.these elements in our deep state have no moral values nor have they any logic to convicne a commen conscience.they know one thing that is,to keep on lying till it appears true. That is what we are witnessing for last many decades.
    keep it up sir, no worry truth has its owen essence.


  • Falcon
    Jul 13, 2012 - 8:28AM

    Kamran Sahib – I have no doubt that you have always served your country in whatever capacity you could. But I think it does not befit your status to challenge youngsters of the nation into intellectual wresting match. As far as your view is concerned on dual citizenship, tell me an honorable nation that allows people with dual loyalties to represent them. If you haven’t burnt the boats for your country, you are not likely to stay in the kitchen when it gets hot. You can either have an exit strategy or unflinching commitment, rarely do these two come together.


  • Zia
    Jul 13, 2012 - 8:42AM

    Shafi SB, Don’t worry there are enough indians who can/do support your every column.


  • Salman Abbasy
    Jul 13, 2012 - 8:43AM

    It’s good you left the Pakistan Army when you did. No future in a pond where scum rises to the top.


  • Mirza
    Jul 13, 2012 - 8:47AM

    Once again a great Op Ed covering several points in short span. My stand about the dual nationality is the same as yours. In most countries if you have a right to vote then you can contest elections. If the election of dual nationals could influence the policy and security of the country then their money to all political parties must be banned right way. Dual nationals can “buy” the leaders and influence everything but that would be fine!
    Remember Dr. Fae in jail? All foreign monies be declared and registered with the govt. The opponents of dual citizenship cannot have it both ways. No voting rights and no money to any political party or candidate.


  • Shyam
    Jul 13, 2012 - 9:06AM

    @Shahbaz Asif Tahir
    You spend each moment of your life, speaking ill about the finest institution, that
    has made Pakistan proud, the military.

    The Bangladeshi cricket team has a better record at winning than the Pakistani army. The only thing the Pak army is good at, is self promotion through any means possible


  • afzaalkhan
    Jul 13, 2012 - 9:13AM

    I for one don’t question your integrity i question your sanity and this is not a taunt or insult i seriously think the author needs help.


  • Musings
    Jul 13, 2012 - 9:23AM

    Shahbaz Asif Tahir: If the ‘finest’ institution (military) has made us really ‘proud’, then I rest my case.


  • Baluchi
    Jul 13, 2012 - 9:37AM

    You had to defame my regiment by telling everyone that you were commissioned in it. Is nothing sacred to you? By the way, 4 Baloch ceased to be ‘Prince of Wales’s Own’ in 1956. But such minor liberties with the truth do not bother you.


  • sabi
    Jul 13, 2012 - 9:43AM

    shahbaz asif tal.
    nothing is good or bad unless otherwise by comparison.
    in case of our army no body criticises on the army as institution but,on its role and policies that effects our daily life which might be good and which might well be if a person like kamran shafi(and that list include so many other respected persons) makes critical analysis for that matter army,he speaks with strong arguments supported by historical evidences.either you deny his arguments with your arguments equably supported by historical evidence or accept that realty that when argument failed starts a blame game.the question that why after all our political saytem has not evolved into matuerity in last sixty five years needs a serious answer.if there is constant factor in our failure we must adress it to make our country on the way to speedy progress.and that constant factor is army’s interfernce in civilian affairs.strong pakistan stron army no body denies that


  • Haris Chaudhry
    Jul 13, 2012 - 9:45AM

    Another great piece of ‘say-how-it-is-without-fear-or-favour’ from KS.

    One of the things that stands out like daylight from the comments from those that question your integrity/ service record/ pay-mastery is the lack of content when commenting. These are always one-liners which are squarely aimed to spread innuendos without any substance, background or proof. Naturally they com from one source only… which you have already identified.

    What is also obvious is that those one-liners always fail to counter your arguments and observations and they fire their salvos without the ability of provide their own counter-opinion.

    Most of the relatively-informed and sophisticated readers are acutely aware of the source of these comments but its good to see your bold rebuke for those that might had any doubts..



  • adnan
    Jul 13, 2012 - 9:51AM

    i m always with u kamran saab.i request u to appear on tv talk shows as well so that our public who is not well versed with english can listen u


  • Ali Wali
    Jul 13, 2012 - 10:23AM

    Sir, I am not a regular reader of your column, nor I found anything objectionable in your writing today. But the level of animosity you get from monikers like Khans or Kashmiri sounding names, I mean people who support irrational thinking or behaviours, earns you my instant applauds. If you look into DPC’s leaders backgrounds they are mostly Indian/Kashmiri migrants or Pashtuns, Sheikh Rasheed Kashmiri (who has tens of police guards from decades paid for by tax payers, he is not a minister, or even MNA, someone’s asset, probably), Ludhanvi Indian migrant, Sami ul haq pathan etc etc. In Pakistan if you want peace of mind and praise then follow establishment, and if you want to find out the truth then do not believe in hypocrisy, and be strong.Recommend

  • gp65
    Jul 13, 2012 - 10:38AM

    @Malik: “While one appreciates your forthrightness, you are expected to be rational and balanced in your analytical comments. Unfortunately your writings betray a deep prejudice against armed forces.”

    Prejudice refers to an opinion built without any personal experience. Having worked for the army and lived under army rule for over 30 years, he can hardly be accused of ‘prejudice’ about the army. Yes his opinion about the army may differ from yours but that does not make it prejudice.


  • gp65
    Jul 13, 2012 - 10:48AM

    @Falcon: “As far as your view is concerned on dual citizenship, tell me an honorable nation that allows people with dual loyalties to represent them. If you haven’t burnt the boats for your country, you are not likely to stay in the kitchen when it gets hot. “

    Britain does allow dual citizens to be elected and Lord Nazir is an example. As far as running away when things get hot, Musharraf, Benazir, Nawaz Sharif all left the country when things got hot and none of them had dual citizenship at the time they ruled. SO I am not sure I agree with your argument that having ONLY a Pakistani nationality is a solution the problem you stated. I think that problem is more due to the practice of victimizing political opponents which has a long tradition in Pakistan. I have not seen politicians leave the country just because they lose one election either in India (the land of my birth or US my current home).
    India does not allow dual citizens to be elected, and I am happy with the Indian law as it stands, so I am not advocating the position that they should be allowed to vote. Just recording my dissent with the arguments you proffered.


  • Khan Jr
    Jul 13, 2012 - 10:58AM

    @Shahbaz Asif Tahir
    How many tanks and soldiers did Bhutto have to wreak havoc in East Pakistan? The obvious answer is none. While undoubtedly guided by his selfish motivations ZAB fell in with the general’s to ensure Mujeeb’s political isolation from West Pakistan, it was Yahya and his coterie of generals who greatly benefited from the the military crackdown, albeit it briefly, and hung on to to total power until their ignominious defeat in Dhaka.
    Lumping all the blame on ZAB has been a very successful exercise in the Establishment’s propaganda. In reality ZAB was just a player, but it was the military junta’s callous stupidity that led to the break up of Pakistan.


  • Mohsin
    Jul 13, 2012 - 11:57AM

    I once sent you an email of appreciation during Musharraf days,however,since 2008 you have predominately writen against Army.Nothing on profound governance and corruption issues we are facing at Federal and provinces level.Why this bias?


  • Jaffar Tayyar
    Jul 13, 2012 - 12:04PM

    LUMS and LSE might be the institutes where elite go but they are certainly not the elite institutes.


  • Jpy
    Jul 13, 2012 - 12:06PM

    I am regular reader of KS posts and find these very sensible & upright. But as far as the dual nationality issue is concerned I dont support dual nationals in the decision making body.


  • Khalid Aziz
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:19PM

    @Shahbaz Asif Tahir:
    Which “finest institution” you are talking about? Please keep this propoganda going in the Urdu press. Let the English press, at least, to speak the truth.


  • Goatam
    Jul 13, 2012 - 1:44PM

    Salute your courage Mr KS. Agree with all u said except dual nationality. Their loyality is divided and thus they may not be allowed to rule us. Sending money to their families is one thing, getting prime ministerships, finance ministries etc altogether different issue.
    keep it up sir


  • Raza Khan
    Jul 13, 2012 - 2:04PM

    KS, You need not respond to stupid accusations since we all know you. We all love & respect you. Go get them.


  • Truth bites
    Jul 13, 2012 - 2:06PM

    If this is what you have to write then please stop writing


  • Alaa Qiadat
    Jul 13, 2012 - 2:25PM


    Post October 30th Jalsa in Lahore if did not produce Tsunami..One thing is did produce were internet trolls…I hope you all would agree before that day this trolling and blind following was not evident on Pakistan social media sites at least!


  • shaz
    Jul 13, 2012 - 2:59PM

    @ Salman Abbasi: What a statement!“No future in a pond where scum rises to the top”. How true it is that scum rises to the top! You could have also hypothesized this fact by saying that there is no pond on this globe where scum does not rise to the top; isn’t it? I just wonder if it is not an in-built characteristic of scum to rise to the top.

    But, in my view, it all depends on the pond too; if the pond has pure liquid like milk, cream rises to top. So, at the end of the day, we as a society, synonymous to a pond as referred above, become responsible for letting or not-letting either of the two scenarios to emerge. So future lies in protecting this pond through self-triggering, self-propelled and functional institutional mechanisms to keep filthy ingredients away from the pond that process results into scum. If we just refuse to take such measures; rest assured, only scum will be manufactured in such a helpless pond. Consequently, as a law of the nature, only scum can rise to top in such a helpless pond left at mercy of horrible winds.


  • harkol
    Jul 13, 2012 - 3:07PM

    Dear Sir,

    I, an Indian, read your articles regularly. I like your writing style as well as no-nonsense approach.

    But, All those who vote can’t stand for elections. For example, in India an 18year old can vote, but to stand for election he has to be 25. An ex-convict can vote, but he can’t stand for election. Similarly, It is wrong to let Dual nationals to stand for elections. Their loyalty is divided, and they also have lesser stake in the decisions they make.


  • rao
    Jul 13, 2012 - 4:07PM

    and these ppl talk about Muslim Umma who can not stand a another Pakistani Muslim living abroad who wants to join politics


  • Logic Europe
    Jul 13, 2012 - 4:59PM

    Te opsotion and non state actors are living on a diet of
    old and new lies So you are targeted by same people
    character assassination is the weapon used with great efficiency and skill in Pakistan
    A civilian government in Pakistan is always ridiculed discredited and smeared.


  • KT
    Jul 13, 2012 - 5:02PM

    All this uproar over public offices and dual nationals. What public services exist in Pakistan that we have public offices on which so much revenue is spent. I say lets remove all public offices and privatise the governance of the Country to the lowest bidder. I can say for certain that things will improve. The (multinational) companies that will run the country will operate for profit (as if it does not happen now with corrupt politicians and officials). Tax should be abolished and pay-as-you-go model should be adopted, like toll tax on motorway. To operate for profit they will have to provide services which, ofcourse all of us will have to pay for. They will be in competition with other private firms (e.g., schools, medical centres etc.) and that will improve standards and lower margins. Finally all this activity will create desperately needed jobs. Yes, the company running the country will make money (as the corrupt politicians and officials do) but will also deliver (which they dont do). And after 5 years, we can elect another multinational if this one fails to deliver. With politicians and public servants out of the way, these companies will not have to pay overheads on bribes, another reason for lower margins of services they provide. And no rukus about dual nationals. Any takers ? I am serious :)


  • Elhaan Khan
    Jul 13, 2012 - 5:27PM

    @Shahbaz Asif Tahir: The finest institution that has won all four wars that we have fought with India so far? Or talking about finest institution’s record of building fuji foundation, askari bank, DHA, Marriage halls and occupying its own country four times through imposition of Martial law?


  • Falcon
    Jul 13, 2012 - 5:49PM

    “I am not sure I agree with your argument that having ONLY a Pakistani nationality is a solution the problem you stated.”

    I think the examples you have cited refer to the set of people who had started absconding funds to these countries way before they were politically victimized. You can only politically victimize a corrupt person because that is his / her vulnerability. You can have only one thief in the country at one time. Secondly, systems are not designed for exceptions alone. If that was the case, then we can as well say since criminals still get to commit crimes, may be we should do away with cops and law? The bottom line is that we need to develop structures as well as incentives to prevent outsourcing of Pakistan’s interests and this is one step in that direction.


  • Always Learning
    Jul 13, 2012 - 6:41PM

    Refer the last para. For decades, Pakistan has lived on the aid from US, Japanese, and other tax payers. Should they be allowed to vote too? Regarding the rest, they can try, but no one will mar your fair name.


  • mohammed ali jawaid
    Jul 13, 2012 - 7:07PM

    shafi sb, you should not bother about these propagandist as every other public figure, and of course you are one of them, has critics some decent some nasty ones, you don’t need to answer them. there are two points however, I disagree with you. both judiciary and the armed forces have their own system of accountability I’m sure you know that. while i think there should not be any sacred cow but for the time being let it be the way it is. just look around and see how chaotic and polarization this little freedom of calling names without much proofs under the current dispensation has created? i am all for every ones accountability but first let the democracy matured then call for such measures.Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. already we are unnecessarily embroiled in so many non issues including accountability of politicians etc., which too leading us nowhere because it is the result of political vengeance rather then anything else. secondly, your ‘simple’ logic about dual nationality is really too simple. right of vote for ex-pats Pakistani is one thing and right to represent or holding a public office in Pakistan is another. it’s not so simple and I’m sure you know it too. there is much more at stake than just the question of rewarding them for their funding the political parties. Just consider a gentleman like Mansoor Ejaz having dual nationality becomes your defense minister………you know what i am hinting at?


  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Jul 13, 2012 - 7:15PM

    “Indeed if Pakistani political parties can collect funds from Pakistani dual-nationals living in their new countries, and they can also vote, i.e., actively affect the old country’s politics, why can’t they stand for elections themselves too?” No, and No, I disagree with you on this one, I myself is a US citizen and has been living in Kansas since 1964, I know exactly where do I stand when I tooK the oath for the US citizenship. Although I still love my birthplace Mardan and the country Pakistan but to be fair to Pakistanis, I will not present myself as a dishonest person as some of these people with dual nationalities has done so in Pakistan. By the way those with American citizenship could be prosecuted in the US if they take oath of allegiance to the Pakistani constitution and flag.These people are dishonest and opportunist and they are only loyal to the good life and money and it does not matter how and where they get it. I WOULD ALSO LIKE YOU TO WRITE ABOUT THE MISMANAGEMENT AND THE RAMPANT CORRUPTION BY THE PPP AND IT’S COLLABORATERS LIKE ANP, PML-Q AND MQM. I HAVE BEEN A LIFE TIME PPP MEMBER AND SUPPORTER AND WORKED WITH BB DURING THAT DICTATOR ZIA MISRULE. Recommend

  • Shahbaz Asif Tahir
    Jul 13, 2012 - 7:45PM

    @Khan Jr:

    To refresh your memory, including others who support ZAB, here are some
    of his famous utterings, after he refused to accept his defeat in the 1970
    “I will break their legs”, “tum wahan hum yahan” and on you tube are available
    his speeches, where he used derrogatory, and foul language against the Bengali Muslims.
    I blame Yahya Khan fairly and squarely, including some other generals around him,
    as disclosed in the Hamood ur Rahman, commission report. How ever the champion
    master mind was ZAB, and the Hamood ur Rahman report, clearly points this out.
    This is the reason why ZAB, never released the report, when in power. The break up
    of 1971, was a secret deal between ZAB, Mujeeb, and Indira, and all of them were
    ultimately humiliated, by Allah Subhana, Wa Tala, the one and only one controller,
    of the universe.
    Now to those who think Pakistan army lost all the wars, here are the correct
    facts, to refresh your demented vision, and minds.
    The first war, was actually won by Pakistan, in 1948, and the Azad Kashmir, we control,
    approximately 40%, of area, was captured by the Waziristan tribals, and Pakistan army.
    Infact check your records we had even reached Sri Nagar, but some unforseen
    circumstances, did not retain hold of that area.
    The second war of 1965, which was actually instigated by ZAB, self proclaimed
    champion of democracy, who was foreign minister, in the martial law government of
    Ayub Khan, by sending gurreilas in Kashmir, was a proud moment for Pakistan army.
    Despite India having logistical and economic advantage, the Pakistan army fought
    gallantly, against heavy odds, and matyrs like Aziz Bhatti, are famous personalities of
    that war.
    The 1971 debacle was humiliation for Pakistan,but its actors, ZAB included were
    humiliated, and punished by Allah Subhana.
    ZAB was a flatterer. He hated opposition. When he usurped power in 1971, he made
    himself a martial law administrator. What logic does any one have to explain this?
    While being a foreign minister, he used to sing praises for Ayub Khan, and when in power,
    the same individual was treated with contempt, how come? any explanations?

  • K B Kale
    Jul 13, 2012 - 7:47PM

    I am also an Indian & perhaps an exception who doesn’t use a pseudonym. (I use my real name.)
    I am ardent admirer of Shafisahab’s articles & wait for the Friday that brings his new article. With Shafisahab’s & Tribune’s kind consent, I have translated a few of his articles in Marathi, my mother tongue & they were well-received by my Marathi readers.
    I always praise his work which is based on facts & reason & pray to God to keep Shafisahab safe from evil elements of both Deep & Shallow States!
    I vehemently oppose people of dual nationality their seeking voting rights or their contesting Pakistani elections because loyalty can be to only one country-of your birth or your career-& every one can only make ONE choice. Same rule also for Indians who hold dual citizenship.


  • K B Kale
    Jul 13, 2012 - 8:00PM

    @Shahbaz Asif Tahir:
    Fake tribal warriors won PoK against Kashmiri Armed Forces which was not prepared for any Military action. But this war caused the Maharaja to merge his state with India.


  • Khalq e Khuda
    Jul 13, 2012 - 8:25PM

    Don’t worry about the trolls Mr Shafi. These rookies are going to learn good lessons in political science come elections. Keep up the good work!


  • anonymus
    Jul 13, 2012 - 8:39PM

    1.If you are eligible to vote you are eligible to stand in an election.
    I fully endorse that. it is job of people, let them decide but don’t hide that
    2. People who think that they are wise because they hold a degree. How a PhD in marine biology is better than Jamshed Dasti? this guy has spend his life in local politics. He is commoner and knows all the art of local politics and plays by rules of game.

    These people may be academiclly bright( due to uterine/womb lottery) but politicaly and socially sterile.


  • K B Kale
    Jul 13, 2012 - 8:40PM

    I guess Shafisahab rightly believes that unless Army is limited to barracks, Pakistan can’t be improved. So he goes after the institution with his tongs & hammer. Good luck, majorsahib!Recommend

  • Shahbaz Asif Tahir
    Jul 13, 2012 - 8:42PM

    @K B Kale:

    Oh really, so you actually admit, that India has occupied Kashmir.
    Go tell your Indian army to stop the atrocities, in Kashmir, and live up
    to your claim of being democratic, which in reality is fake.


  • Enlightened
    Jul 13, 2012 - 11:06PM

    Major Shafi, I have always admired your guts for taking on the bulls by their horns which no way is a easy job in Pakistan. However, my advice to your goodself is that whatever anybody speaks about you, please take it easy and keep smiling which suits your personality.


  • Mahmood Saeed
    Jul 14, 2012 - 12:05AM

    That makes two of us at least.


  • K B Kale
    Jul 14, 2012 - 4:35AM

    @Shahbaz Asif Tahir:
    Sir, till Maharaja Hari Singh merged his State with India, it was an Independent entity & so India had kept out of it. Once he merged it, it was part of India.


  • Shahbaz Asif Tahir
    Jul 14, 2012 - 7:45AM

    @K B Kale:

    Then if this is the case, why does India, refuse to a plebiscite, on Kashmir,
    as adopted in the UN charter. Why do 700,000 of the 1.2 million army, need to
    be deployed in Kashmir, to control the uprising? After all in a democracy, each individual
    has the right to self determination. Kindly preach what you practice. Every sane
    individual, knows India’s double standards, in Kashmir, their training and funding BLA,
    in Balauchistan, and numerous other fundings to destabilize Pakistan. Your rhetoric
    is pointless and meaningless. Either you are ignorant, or other wise. All the best.


  • K B Kale
    Jul 14, 2012 - 10:37AM

    @Shahbaz Asif Tahir:
    As these comments are not on on Kashmir issue but Shafisahab’s article, I don’t want to keep writing on Kashmir issue. I referred to it only because you wrote Pakistani Army won that war.
    However, I request you to please read my letter published in DAWN last year. The link is:


  • Mahmood Saeed
    Jul 16, 2012 - 12:18AM


    Here is an anology: you are eligile to attend school/university but you are not to a degree until you have completed your course of study and passed qualifying exams. Get it?


  • Logic Europe
    Jul 16, 2012 - 2:41AM

    @mohammad saeed


  • Majid Urrehman
    Jul 16, 2012 - 4:26AM

    @Mahmood Saeed

    Do you want to say one is not qualify to talk about deep state until a certain qualification is not met? Which qualification are you talking about? 2 years bachelors in PMA which could not impart them enough analytical skills that each and every adventure by deep state in last 65 years has proved flawd and the source of shame for the whole nation from 1948 to Kargil?


  • iftikhar
    Jul 20, 2012 - 9:26AM

    Salam to everyone, I just want to say that whenever we speak or write against each other on twitter, facebook or anywhere on net, we must remember that we r not the only one in cyber space. Its for everyone that we must keep flag of our country and flag of Islam high. People from outside are making fun out of our such debates. Patience and forgiveness are the weapons which we must use


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