Coming soon to a theatre near you

Published: September 5, 2014
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The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto 
kamran.shafi@tribune.com.pk

The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto kamran.shafi@tribune.com.pk

So then, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham has arrived in the Citadel of Islam with several bursts of Kalashnikov fire, destroying a ‘Zikri’ Zikarkhana in Tirtij, District Awaran, Balochistan, killing six worshippers and wounding seven.

ISIS pamphlets have also appeared in Peshawar City itself, and on its outskirts while the Chief Minister of K-P camps in Frontier House, Islamabad, seeing to it that the Great Helmsman gets his breakfast and other meals in time in his container.

An aside: It is said that when the environs of the container get filthy with human waste and the debris consisting of plastic bags and pakora wrappers and mineral water bottles that the three or four hundred people who take turns hanging about throw there, it is moved to another location a few yards away, this exercise repeated daily.

The same is repeated in the Canadian Preacher’s ‘compound’ so to say, on Constitution Avenue, the stench emanating from both now reaching the Diplomatic Enclave, forcing residents to send out for more and ever more supplies of air fresheners and agar batties and the like. Poor things, just what must they make of us?

The leadership of both — the PTI which has a stake in the politics of this country, and the PAT which has none — its leader soon heading back to Canada after spreading the mayhem he has (in case that country cancels his passport), have not said one word about the new threats that the ISIS, and before I forget, al Qaeda through a new enterprise to be called the ‘Qaedat al-Jihad’, pose for this country.

The stated aim of ‘Qaedat’ is to ‘crush the artificial borders’ between Muslim States and to bring Jihad where it has never gone before. According to newspaper reports of late, Zawahiri also ‘renewed a long-standing vow of loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, in an apparent snub to the ISIS which is challenging al Qaeda for leadership of transnational militancy’.

Zawahiri described the formation of ‘al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent’s glad tidings for Muslims in the region. Boy, oh boy, are we in for it!

‘Counterterrorism experts say that al Qaeda’s aging leaders are struggling to compete for recruits with ISIS, which has galvanised young followers around the world by carving out tracts of territory across the Iraq-Syria border’. The brutal ISIS whose leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calls himself a ‘Caliph’ and has demanded the loyalty of all Muslims.

So, while our ‘brothers’ go about giving our religion an even better image than they had already given it, and while they become a threat to the very existence of this country, an aging cricketer who thinks he should be prime minister yesterday, and a rabble-rousing foreigner on the dole in his new country, despoil our capital as only they can.

They have the gall to attack Pakistan Television Network in scenes reminiscent of the great Commando’s coup against an elected government; break down the fences of Parliament House; beat up policemen, and attempt to attack the prime minister’s house itself, none other than Imran Khan making the thundering call repeated many times over: ‘Nawaz Sharif ko gallay sey pakarh lia hai mainey; abhi time agay barrhaney ka aa gaya hai: PM House ki tarraf challo’!

It is a testament to the intellectual dishonesty of the PTI that after accepting Shaykh-ul-Canada’s offer to IK to become his younger brother and PTI and PAT workers First Cousins (Qadri’s words, not mine) a night earlier, and after PTI workers TOGETHER with PAT workers assaulted PTV, Shah Mahmood had the temerity to say in parliament that PTI workers were not part of the attack. I saw PTI flags and dandas in PTI colours myself. Shame.

Then Shah Mahmood says on the floor of Parliament that Imran Khan sent him to ask TuQ not to attack parliament but that the Canadian refused. Why then did the PTI not announce then and there that because TuQ had insisted on attacking Parliament, the PTI was no longer in an alliance with him.

It’s all a big lie, isn’t it? Every paper worth its name in this country, including this paper, has alluded to there being a ‘script’ to this whole tamasha: of variously, removing the government through these ‘choreographed’ protests; forcing the resignation of the prime minister; or at the very least weakening him to the extent that he would just be a rubber stamp.

Their move from Lahore; the camping next to each other in Aabpara; the bringing up of the cranes; the removing of the containers; the arrival in the Red Zone; the coordinated attacks on the police and on sensitive buildings, it was all part of a script. Been there seen that; was even on the receiving end of at least two such ‘coups’ myself! So, please, do not insult our intelligence which is the one thing that irritates me most.

Indeed, has the presence of a certain Pasha during the planning (or shall we say the ‘script-writing’) stage, who is presently in the employ of a foreign government, and his hours long meetings with Imran Khan, duly reported umpteen times in the press been rebutted by anyone? Just who are certain people trying to fool? We Pakistanis have grown up, gentlemen. All you can do is to threaten us and our little children now, cowards!

You haven’t seen me much in the press, but do see my TL on Twitter: I had always predicted the complete failure of these marches AND the ultimate demise of the PTI as a political party of note which status was well within its grasp. Just give good governance in K-P and win big in the next elections. God alone knows who the Great Khan listens to? I suspect just Shireen Mazari and that Niazi fellow.

To end, let me say that I have always stood for a fair accounting of the terrible happenings at Model Town; and completely transparent elections through the use of electronic voting. Above everything else peace in this, the only country I have.

Now for heaven’s sake get out of Islamabad and let the CDA clean up your stinking waste: we have a most respected visitor coming.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (44)

  • Jawaid
    Sep 5, 2014 - 1:36AM

    Brilliant as usual. I wish the author also shed light on the Mush factor to this script as well as financing this mayhem, as already admitted by henchman Ahmad R Kasuri.

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  • Sun Tzu
    Sep 5, 2014 - 1:49AM

    Very witty piece. But for a non-Pakistani, some help in terms of interpretation is needed.

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  • Arifq
    Sep 5, 2014 - 2:00AM

    Correct me if i am wrong, but wasn’t it the paragons of democracy, allies of LEJ sitting Government led by Nawaz Sharif that declared killers of 60 thousand Pakistanis, Stakeholders? What short memory people have or is it simply a case of vested interest? Dear writer, you have it all wrong, if there is anyone closely aligned with these barbarians that appear in different names (ISIS, TTP, ALQ, LEJ) it is the sitting Government led by Nawaz Sharif.

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  • Sabi
    Sep 5, 2014 - 2:51AM

    “You haven’t seen me much in the press, but do see my TL on Twitter: I had always predicted the complete failure of these marches AND the ultimate demise of the PTI as a political party of note ”
    Although I didn’t followed the author on twitter I do agree with what he said on this space.
    I had no doubt about the failure of pti throughout for some solid reasons some of which I had given on this forum.
    What is next? Will share with fellow readers on some proper time.

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  • Sabi
    Sep 5, 2014 - 3:03AM

    A piece of sane advise for Imran Khan
    His idea of naya Pakistan has badly failed.He should try idea of -Naya Imran Khan.

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  • Naeem Khan
    Sep 5, 2014 - 3:25AM

    I read and re-read your oped and got incensed, could not help but see you spewing some venom towards IK. Let me be clear that I worked with BB from here and lobbied the Congress with my own hard earned money on her behalf during that despicable dictator Zia, after seeing the mega corruption by the Zardari and company, I have no sympathy or intention to support any political party in Pakistan and for sure no religious outfits either. It seems to me that you might be insinuating that the arrival of ISIS has some thing to do with either IK or Qadri. So what do you want from CM of KP to stand guard at the airport and check what kind of people are coming to K_P from abroad and South Punjab, there is this thing called delegation of power, he is not like the one in Punjab who micro-managed every detail and then acted ignorant of the massacre which took place at Model Town Lahore. You certainly did not mention that accountability part and glided over the one who is responsible, just pathetic. Did ever occur to you why we have come to this stage, and if you think Parliament and the Senate is so important then how come the leader of the House either avoided or ignored to appear before the law makers for months. You should know that the prime minister is to appear before the House periodically, no he had his relatives and the kitchen cabinet. Is this the way to run so called democratic country of Pakistan. If Army is involved in the script then say so openly and tell us which country has given employment to General Pasha, don’t go on tangent and be very specific about your utterings. Granted the attack on the PTV station is deplorable but how could you tell who was responsible for it, just because you saw the flags and dundas of PTI does not constitute a solid proof. You should have mentioned by and large that it was and is a peaceful demonstration, who started the bloodshed first in Lahore and then in Islamabad, do you remember when Bhutto ordered massacre in Rawalpindi because NAP and others were protesting, we know now what happened to him. You also know that whole sale rigging has taken place in the last elections but any one in this administration heeded the protests for re-count in certain constituencies, we know and NS knew that 4 constituencies will expose him to further re-counts and that’s why he ignored IK for almost 14 months. IK may be what you call him but I do appreciate his taking stand to completely re-vamp the electoral process and while we are at it, people should opt to elect the Senators and the President directly and curtail the tenure of the Senate, NA and PAs to 4,3 and 2 years respectively. 5 years is too long for Pakistani political system. Those who were the architects did it deliberately to benefit them and ignored the ramification of it in the future. Can you deny what IK is struggling for, I don’t see any other politician standing up for the same reforms he is advocating, majority of them are corrupt to the core and wants to keep the same system where they can manipulate and get themselves elected fraudulently. WHAT IS WRONG WITH NAWAZ SHARIF RESIGNING AND IF THERE WAS NO FRAUD IN HIS PARTY’ ELECTIONS THEN HE COULD BE RE-ELECTED IN THE HOUSE, WE DON’T HAVE PRESIDENTIAL TYPE OF GOVERNMENT IN PAKISTAN. UNFORTUNATELY OUR POLITICIANS STICK TO THESE CHAIRS LIKE THEY OWN IT.

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  • Absar
    Sep 5, 2014 - 3:36AM

    With all due respect you do not have any attributes of columnist, let alone journalist.

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  • Pea Brain
    Sep 5, 2014 - 3:51AM

    @ ET:
    I have little faith that you will publish this but find the moral courage somehow. The crude Retired Major, article upon article, uses platitudes upon platitudes while churning out fresh stock from the conspiracy factory with very little critical content. Besides, can you please explain how, ‘Now for heaven’s sake get out of Islamabad and let the CDA clean up your stinking waste’ makes it past the editorial junta? Practice what you preach. I, for one, don’t read this paper to be yelled at by cranky pensioner trying to make it big.

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  • Pea Brain
    Sep 5, 2014 - 3:52AM

    @ET:
    …and no, I DON’T support PTI.

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  • Sep 5, 2014 - 3:57AM

    The bet was Commando will be in the next article written by the major.
    Sure enough there it was. Poor tired old Mush dragged in. That’s how
    you pay loyalty rent to Nawaz and his brother Shahbaz. Until next article.
    Also the esteemed major must have been prowling and sniffing around the
    camps of the protesters/containers of IK and TQ. He can describe the odors
    in vivid details. Must have been perusing the garbage too. A true journalist!

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  • Dr Tony Walsh
    Sep 5, 2014 - 4:10AM

    Mr K Shafi for PM. Ill vote for you. Just heard that a chinese guest has cancelled his visit. v well written…..(as usual)

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  • Sep 5, 2014 - 4:37AM

    Just because they killed 6 Zikris they are now being called ISIS by You?
    Did you notice that Hazaras are being massacred in Balochistan for years?
    What about the Shias being killed in Parachinar? Bannu? No ISIS there?
    Please Major Sahib,..no fear mongering. There is enough to go around with
    Nawaz and his brother Shahbaz in charge.

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  • Sep 5, 2014 - 4:52AM

    ‘…PAT has no stake in this country.’ Wrong. PAT has huge stake. It’s called Moral
    Stake. No corruption. No nepotism. No offshore accounts. No looting the treasury.
    No family members in cabinet. No taking massive huge loans then having them written
    off. No letting your brother be a co regent. No using the police as your personal private
    army. No ordering people shot dead, etc. etc. and etc….PAT has a huge dog in this fight!
    A Bull Mastiff.

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  • Anjum Arshi
    Sep 5, 2014 - 6:24AM

    There is no ISIS in FATA or KP and certainly not in Balochistan. This is just an attempt to create confusion, draw attention, and stir some interest among a Western powers with regard to who should be assisted to fight this imaginary threat. In Balochistan, of course, it’s an attempt to shft blame of disappearances, murders and mass graves. Taleban wouldn’t be splitting up if ISIS were here. We all know who will benefit from this drama. Alas! Instead of focusing n real national security issues, our security apparatus is always conniving to make more and more money by whatever means.

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  • adnan
    Sep 5, 2014 - 6:42AM

    IK is living in the past. Military has not been able to create a civilian ruler since Zia created NS.

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  • AJamal
    Sep 5, 2014 - 7:12AM

    PML N shot in its foot through Hashemi revelation of the Establishment behind the dharnas. Now the world knows this government is not in control of the country.

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  • Mirza
    Sep 5, 2014 - 7:36AM

    I totally agree with the sane voice of a true patriot. ET thanks for such pragmatic and powerful Op Ed.

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  • adnan
    Sep 5, 2014 - 8:24AM

    Why should CDA clean up their waste? If IK and TuQ are real leaders, they should clean up with their own hands. Otherwise, SC should made them do it. That is the minimum that we Islamabadis deserve.

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  • Dr Usman Ghani
    Sep 5, 2014 - 9:05AM

    Dear Mr Shafi, the likes of you can’t befool us readers anymore. I have been reading you since long and know well that you have great love for the King Nawaz, his duke Zardari and their friar Fazalur. So whatever you write will be influenced by your monarchic ideology.

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  • Sep 5, 2014 - 9:16AM

    @Naeem Khan:
    You knocked the major out of the ball park…er…stadium. There was a
    loud thunk! heard in Hasan Abdal, could be the major landing there.
    Please understand, the major is angling for a job with the Nawaz/Shahbaz
    govt. Any job, anywhere, OUTSIDE the country. So, you can connect the dots.

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  • Rana Shafqat
    Sep 5, 2014 - 9:28AM

    One can smell hate against Army in writings of Mr Kamran, I wonder what wrong he has suffered, Mr Ahmad raza Kasuri in one of his TV encounters has said that Mr Kamran was thrown out of Army on Moral turpitude charges, can somebody clarify ??

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  • Ovais
    Sep 5, 2014 - 9:38AM

    If anything we need to give credit to Mr Kamran for consistency – read one article and you have read them all. The fact that the ‘dharna’ is well into its third week without the crowd getting unruly escapes his senses. The attack on PTV – who knows who did it – that Mr Kamran saw PTI flags does not prove anything but jump to conclusions he must. Of-course when it comes to the drone casualties, all sort of nuances creep into his analysis. Is there any doubt that the Nawaz is one of the richest heads of Govt – in any other country the source of a PMs finances would be a constant question by a true journalist, but of-course Mr Kamran feels more concerned by someone who is pointing that out. Is it not a fact that most so called parliamentarians do not pay taxes, have no intention to do so and will use the same sacred parliament to make a law accordingly, that it is only those who were favoured with land grants for being loyal by the British and their sons and daughters who can get elected and then beat the drum of sanctity of the parliament. Did PML(N) not assault the Supreme court. Any word on the election rigging, any word on corruption? What about the Swiss money now conveniently forgotten. Come now Mr Kamran. Either you have a short memory or you know which side of your bread is buttered.

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  • Napster
    Sep 5, 2014 - 10:21AM

    So the responsibility of tackling ISIS and other organisations is only with provincial govt, its purely a matter of fed interior ministry, but our minister is busy doing jihad against people at dharna.
    I dont care if IK succeeds or not but he has definitely given me a ray of hope by exposing the looters & nobodies joined together in bogus parliament to defend their corruption in the name of democracy.(Your party included)

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  • munda Lahori
    Sep 5, 2014 - 10:48AM

    @Kaghan Wala go do some research. one of the biggest fabricators is leading PAT, who didn’t even shy from fabricating the religion Islam
    Wanted to bring a revolution with the help of containers and Bullet proof cars. But according to TuQ Farsihtay protect him but still need bullet proof containers and cars.
    Has agreed for licking feet of Britain Queen like an animal who barks, though it’s faithful, in order to get Canadian Nationality.
    A coward who uses women and children as his protective shield. Lives in Canada on the donations raised by Mihaj Foundation also all the authoritative powers of Minhaj Foundation lies with his sons.
    He wanted to bring revolution in which neither TuQ himself nor his family wanted to give up comfortable, cozy and luxurious life.
    In case if tables are turned against him, he will flee away. According to him the they are peaceful irrespective of holding sticks with big nails and hammers. Oh i forgot the crane also.
    Go and read the book “Exit from Pakistan” by Daniel Markey.
    An exploiter of Islam and there should a case filed against him for Blasphemy.

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  • Pakistani
    Sep 5, 2014 - 11:14AM

    If the author can find some moral courage to write about what his beloved PPP achieved in its 5 years of rule and what the provincial government of Sindh has done for the people, it will be the shortest article ever written and the author will be able to charge full fee. Charity begins at home Mr.Kamran Shafi!.

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  • Asif
    Sep 5, 2014 - 11:47AM

    “To end, let me say that I have always stood for a fair accounting of the terrible happenings at Model Town; and completely transparent elections through the use of electronic voting. Above everything else peace in this, the only country I have.”

    And what exactly have you done towards this end, apart from dishing out criticism on the only person with guts in this country?

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  • DR
    Sep 5, 2014 - 11:58AM

    You said

    “To end, let me say that I have always stood for a fair accounting of the terrible happenings at Model Town; and completely transparent elections through the use of electronic voting. Above everything else peace in this, the only country I have”

    Well if it was not for the March, the Government would have done absolutely 0 on these points you stand by.

    Sick of self serving interests…The problem is that you do not see a viable option to the corruption that exists in Parliament at the moment…If so then we do not deserve Democracy in Pakistan.

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  • Ranjha
    Sep 5, 2014 - 2:01PM

    Great advice ambassador Sahib, let CDA in to the Puppet Theatre called “parlimaan” to clear the stinking trash and throw the whole lot in the Pothohar gunda nalla where it belongs!

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  • IY
    Sep 5, 2014 - 2:13PM

    Mr Shafi. I am sure that when you say ‘terrible happenings in Model Town’, you mean to say cold blooded murder of innocent people!! Is this what you mean to convey when you state ‘we Pakistanis have grown up’? And when you refer to the ‘stinking waste’, I am sure you are alluding to the ‘democracy’ (read sharif/bhutto dynasty) in Pakistan

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  • Parvez
    Sep 5, 2014 - 2:25PM

    It would have been nice if you could have touched upon what good has come from this exercise that has deteriorated into a tamasha……..because to think that no good has come from it, would amount to intellectual dishonesty.

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  • Nzak
    Sep 5, 2014 - 6:54PM

    @Naeem Khan … WoW, you poured your heart out and also the heart of millions in Pakistan. Well done!Recommend

  • Kavi
    Sep 5, 2014 - 7:18PM

    Press secretary to BB says it all. Enjoy democracy while it lasts. Another Nawaz lota whose sentences hardly make sense to me, this is very incoherent and immature.

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  • Ranjha
    Sep 5, 2014 - 8:27PM

    Just turned the TV on and saw Shahbaz Sharif’s Kingdom drowning in water. I think he had promised to turn Lahore into Paris but lo and behold, he has turned it into Venice!

    Get in the gondola and sing O’ sole mio to the King!

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  • Gp65
    Sep 5, 2014 - 9:10PM

    @Naeem Khan:
    The normal convention is presumed innocent until proven guilty. In case of Nawaz Sharif you want to reverse it to presumed guilty until proven innocent . You may not see a problem with that but if this was done it. Would set the worst possible precedent. All that someone has to do to unseat a sitting elected PM is get a few thousand people in a chowk and make accusations abiut the PM. That would be sufficient grounds for him to resign. Can any government run like that?

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  • Timorlane
    Sep 5, 2014 - 9:18PM

    @Chakwal wala: Amazing that the pseudo “intellectuals” never bother to mention the hundreds of ordinary citizens of Pakistan butchered in Balochistan by terrorists just because they spoke Punjabi and Urdu. Perhaps because “liberals” see no gain in glorifying the deaths of common Muslim citizens in this country especially those speaking Punjabi and Urdu

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  • DIY
    Sep 5, 2014 - 11:39PM

    The only ‘stinking waste’ in Islamabad is the so-called ‘parlimaan’. And shame on those who abuse the people who stand up for their rights.

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  • Naeem Khan
    Sep 6, 2014 - 4:12AM

    @Gp65: You make sense however if I may point out that a sitting government has the responsibility to verify fraudulent balloting and IK was yelling hoarse to have it done in the 4 constituencies for almost 14 months but was ignored and the NADRA chief was sent home unceremoniously because he was about to look into it. It would not be a bad idea to either rent or buy electronic voting machines from India with their expert advice since they have already done it successfully. We would not be in this situation in the first place if NS could have accepted the challenge 14 months ago and had the verification done, it certainly would have deflated IK balloon. By the way heaven was not going to fall if NS would have done the verification long time ago. Pakistan has parliamentary system like India and prime ministers come and go, there is no time limit for them to stay for 5 years. ie: Italian parliament, even in Presidential system Nixon had to resign and Clinton was about to be impeached.

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  • Alladitta
    Sep 6, 2014 - 9:11AM

    @Timorlane: They’re fighting a legitimate Jihad. They are fighting occupying forces. DOn’t confuse freedom movement with terrorism.

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  • Jehangir Masud
    Sep 6, 2014 - 2:32PM

    Good to see you back. More power to your pen.

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  • x
    Sep 6, 2014 - 3:32PM

    @Naeem Khan:
    Very true, agree with every word.

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  • Murthy
    Sep 6, 2014 - 4:39PM

    Well written article. In a democracy, even the kind being practised in Pakistan, involves the choice of the majority. IK cannot dismiss the legitimacy of the NS govt, merely because there has been rigging in the elections. If he is interested in democracy, let him fight for finding ways and means for conducting fair elections in the future. The sooner the opposition parties learned to refine and improve the existing democratic institutions in the country the better. What IK and Co are doing can only strengthen the hands of the military, which is already acting as a big brother.

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  • Nittu Singh
    Sep 6, 2014 - 4:42PM

    @Naeem Khan:
    Your mail is longer than Kamran Sahibs Op -Ed…pls leave some room for us also .

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  • javed Iqbal
    Sep 7, 2014 - 12:55AM

    Sir what happened to the proposal about your posting as High Commissioner at London by this Govt._

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  • Talaat Saeed Khan
    Sep 7, 2014 - 7:22PM

    Kamran Shafi was never thrown out of the army,he left it on his own.I can vouch for it.

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