6 accidents in a row

Kids of the PAF masthead
Hashir Abdi
It was the sixth Pakistan Air Force crash in seven months and the second in a week, according to reports. (Seriously????)

Hashir Abdi I know my Dad was involved with Flight Safety in the 70’s… does such a branch even exist any more in the PAF?…

Moiz Ali The Chief needs to resign.

Zahid Husain My dad set up the Flight Safety Directorate in the early 60s n they got really tough with all elements, including I might add, giving talks to the Ladies (wives) to drive home the point of ensuring that the husband was in a good positive frame of mind whenever he left for his work/job that they were very important in carrying Flight Safety forward!!!

Aisha Mirza ‎??

Zahid Husain The Chief needs to do something and be visible n vocal about it, not just leave it to PROs n ISPR or whatever!!

Aamer Bashir AOA Everyone, Its premature to start finalising the inquiry here on FB yet. I mourn the loss of precious life as any Pakistani & Comrade. However, free expression also demands a sense of responsibility from every individual before he puts his thoughts into gear and releases the clutch. PAF is a responsible & mature service with all the inherent tentacles of modern air forces across the globe. YES there is flight safety……it can be best exercised if you don’t fly..unfortunately that’s not an option here. All accidents are thoroughly researched before arriving to conclusions. End Game …. you cannot practice with wooden swords …unfortunately its a risky business. May Allah grant them eternal peace & give courage to their dependents to bear the loss. Aameen

Fauad HatmiAamer Bashir I agree…….

Umar RafiAamer Bashir Fauad Hatmi…both of you are, obviously, the best qualified to comment on the subject…..since you are the experts…..there is quite a bit of civilian and private sector expertise here, on this site (and outside) from which the paf could benefit…i think two things need to happen:…first of all an objective statistical comparison should be made between paf and other air forces, carrying out similar flying….to see if the crashes/fatality ratios are the same….number two, i think there needs to be far more interaction between Pakistan military and the private and civilian sectors (including non-aviation) at a professional level (management, technology, etc.), so that both can learn from each other and exchange best practices.

Samina Rizwan An Air Force that has a “takkar” of a C130 on the ground, loses its Chief of Air Staff and 15 others in a VIP flight air crash, then goes and bangs two Mashak together – not to mention a dozen other crazy mishaps – resignations are the least of the requirement. In many “pretend” conversations with my Shaheed husband I have screamed at him “Rizwan, had you lived, I would have court martialed you on poor flight safety!”. At the end of it all, we will continue to be emotionally blackmailed by the Glorious Shaheed syndrome, by the memory of our loved and lost ones whom we would like to think of as above any professional error and – most of all – by our undying love for a now dysfunctional organization – the Pakistan Air Force. There, Ive said it – cant tell you how much it hurts!

Zahid Husain I know how it hurts! I understand what each of you above have noted! Yes we must wait in the meantime we have to vent our emotions! But these are all events that ONLY the professionals can address n handle! There is much that can always be learnt! May the departed Rest in Peace!

Murad Moosa KhanSamina Rizwan– it takes moral courage to say what you have said. I applaud your courage. The first step towards rectifying any weakness in a system is acknowledging and accepting your mistakes. Without this essential element we cannot make any progress. PAF was recognised by the professionalism of its officers and airmen- at least a critical mass of such people that maintained high professional standards. I am not sure we can make that claim for the present PAF. That is not to say that there are not honest, dedicated officers and airmen in the present set up. Its just that I am not sure there is enough of them to form a critical mass…..

Umar RafiZahid Husain …if one looks at how military organizations function in developed democracies, and how private sector companies function (in Pakistan also), i think there is one big missing piece, from a governance point of view, when it comes to Pakistani military organizations….(i am not saying to put them down, just trying to analyze from management practices, since lives are involved):
that missing piece is that there is no governance oversight of the executives of Pakistan military…….in the private sector, if a company starts decaying, it will go bankrupt in a few years due to competitive market forces…prior to that, its shareholders, usually (rather ruthlessly) fire the executives, and bring in new executive management……since the shareholders money is involved, via stocks…..
in developed democracies, the military is governed by civilian oversight committees, which monitor its efficiency and report it to the voters…and the press has access to the military, which highlights the military’s strengths and weaknesses……this keeps the military executives (generals, air marshals etc.) on their toes…..
……in case of Pakistan, i think no one really knows whether the executives of the military are doing a good job or a bad job….the executives are their own governance system…..is the military being run efficiently or inefficiently?……is money being wasted or being well-spent…..are the employees (and their families) happy or unhappy?……..are so many crashes understandable and a part of the risky profession, or are they a sign of poor executive management?…….there is no mechanism of finding out and rewarding (or firing) the executive management………

Murad Moosa Khan Absolutely right Umar Rafi– couldn’t agree with you more! There is no system of governance and accountability in developing democracies like Pakistan. “Internal’ investigations are just that- ‘internal’. They are never shared or critiqued by external agencies or forums-hence we remain in the dark. And any lessons to be learnt are never learnt. Hence even at the most basic level the audit cycle is never closed. The lack of introspection in developing democracies is what makes them different from mature democracies- which are far more open, transparent and accountable. Until this changes precious young Pakistani lives will continue to be lost, conveniently plastered over by what Samina Rizwan calls the ‘Glorious Shaheed Syndrome”….

Zahid Husain Gentleman you have both very accurately described the malady! Now to get the powers that be to begin a soul searching exercise?!

Murad Moosa Khan You wish…!! Easier said than done Zahid Husain! You know it and I know it as Umar Rafi knows it and all our fathers knew it that ‘the truth that sets men free is the truth that most men do not want to hear..” !!

Samina Rizwan There will be no searching Zahid. Otherwise brilliant minds and generous hearts are overwhelmed with ambition and aversion to personal risk. “Yaan but-shikan bohot hain koi khud-shikan nahin…Torey jo khud ko apne Paseeney mein doob kar”.

Umar RafiZahid Husain…it is perhaps an unsolvable problem….Pakistan civilian leadership is too weak (and perhaps too unqualified) to carry out oversight duties of the military leadership…..the military executive leadership is too powerful to allow such governance of itself…..and, obviously, unlike private sector companies, there are no shareholders to do oversight….and militaries must have discipline, hence its employees cannot form unions etc…..hence there is no oversight mechanism…..
….the best thing any chief could do for the military and its employees is to voluntarily agree to complete civilian oversight of all military affairs…this could be done by the parliament, the press, civil society groups and by perhaps a team of private sector professionals……this will actually strengthen the military and not weaken it…..as new ideas will come in and mistakes will be caught and generals will be judged on performance…..
….this will require the military executives to give up a great deal of power (and perks) and trust the civlians (who are supposed to be the employers of the military)….judging by the civilians reaction to the deaths in Siachen, and reaction to obl raid, i think civilians have a good idea of where to give credit to the military and where to demand better performance……

Hashir AbdiSamina Rizwan: May God Bless You….What a relevant, timely and a Powerful perspective… I am speechless and can only hope that it is being aired in the corridors of PAF leadership…. Umar Rafi, I am completely in agreement with you here regarding the abject lack of soul searching around this series of unfortunate incidents as well as the reasons behind this lack of introspection… Pakistan owes it to those who risk their lives every day that legitimate inquiries be made in order to avoid such tragedies in the future… I know that statistically, incidents like this are unavoidable, however it is the frequency with which they have been happening for a while now that should be the cause of alarm…. Something very fundamental is broken and surely the Blood Of Our Guardians is too precious a commodity to be squandered this way… I work everyday to ascertain problems in major corporations here in the US and it always amazes me how callously the interests of the pawns are brushed aside in a blaze of rhetoric and pretense of necessity… All organisations are subject to this folly and it is only through a comprehensive oversight regimen that they can be rescued from this self defeating spiral of denial. The Second To None legacy is Only Ours to Squander away and I very Sincerely Hope that the concentric Green and White continues to be the bearer of the Legacy worthy of Those On Whose Resolve it first Found Wings…

Ayesha Farooq In such tragic situations the share holders or the people who get ”bankrupt” ( emotionally and otherwise) are the families, the young wife, her children and the old parents – they just want peace of mind and heart so that they can raise the young kids in a relatively normal environment – I don’t think any of them, initially, is in a state of mind to actually ask for serious accountability.

Farhan Ansari The flight safety record of the record was far from good but in recent times it has proved that it is appalling ! . If such was the frequency of ‘occurrences ‘ in any other organization of any ‘reasonable’ country, a few heads would have rolled. There is talk of resignation. Yaar yahaan kabhi kisi ko resign kartey dekha hey?? Prime Minister down to John Doe, sub apni jaghey duttay just hain. Kaash ye mustaqil mizaji kaam may bhi nazar aati.
Its just another breed of people who resign when the bullet train was late by a few minutes ( and the Japanese Railway minister resigned in embarrassment )

Murad Moosa Khan We do not have a culture of accepting responsibility for our actions or holding those responsible to accountability-hence no will resign nor fired and no heads will roll. They never have. Sadly it will be business as usual. The names of a few more young men would be added to the list of Glorious Shaheeds and Allah Kee Marzi would explain the rest….!

Hashir AbdiMurad Moosa Khan: Agreed. Allah Ki Marzihas become a synonym for Kismet…. Just a cop-out

Murad Moosa Khan The same explanation is used to cover the incompetence and negligence of many physicians and hospitals in Pakistan. Some of what we are witnessing in Pakistan (whether it is death of patients in hospitals or the deaths of our young fighting men in flying and other ‘accidents’) verges on criminal negligence. So many precious lives lost. Who is responsible?

Nafees Asghar and I still wait for the report on the tragic crash of a C130 that took place near Bahawalpur on Aug 17, 1988.
Pakistan has gradually become a nation of f.. ups and cover ups.(excuse my French). The buck does not stop with any one in Pakistan. I fail to understand a midair collision of two trainer aircraft. This is not the country and not the Air Force that my father gave 42 years of is service for.

Zahid Husain Folks I am thinking, could I copy n paste each of our comments on this chain to my blog?! Would that be acceptable to each of you?! Yes credits for all comments also! What say you all?

Murad Moosa Khan Certainly! The more open discussion we can have on this the better.

Samayah Abdi I second, its time to make a difference. Our country has been hijacked by illiterate so called self proclaimed kings

Hashir AbdiZahid Husain: You absolutely should

Jehangir Rehman I call it….. “THE REIGN OF THE PYGMIES”


Vintage Artifacts of Pakistan!

The Youth need to learn what is part of this Motherlands heritage! 


There is very little memory left of a Pakistan that today almost seems like an alien planet compared to what it has been ever since the mid-1980s.Here, I share with you some interesting photographs that I have managed to gather in the last couple of years of that alien country. A place that was also called Pakistan.This sequel comprises images of vintage artifacts

ZA Bhutto at Quaid-e-Azam's mausoleum in 1969.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, addresses a rally at Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s mausoleum in Karachi in 1969. (Photo courtesy of eBay.)

The rally was held immediately after a protest movement led by leftist students; labour and journalist unions; political parties, including PPP and the National Awami Party (NAP), had forced Pakistan’s first military dictator Ayub Khan, to resign.
Construction of the mausoleum began in the early 1960s and was still underway when the rally was held. Wooden ladders and planks being used for construction purposes were acrobatically utilised by the crowd to gain vantage viewing points on the day of the rally.

Army troops patrol streets near PIDC, Karachi.

Army troops patrol the streets opposite Club Road and near PIDC building in Karachi, during the anti-Ayub Khan protest movement in 1969.

The picture was taken by a foreign tourist from his room at the Hotel Intercontinental (now, Pearl Continental), which is situated diagonally opposite the PIDC building.

Legendary Jazz singer Dizzy Gillespie performs at a park in Karachi.

Legendary jazz saxophonist and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie,  visited Pakistan during his whirlwind tour of Asia and the Middle East in the early 1950s. Here, he is seen playing his sax with a Sindhi snake charmer at a public park in Karachi in 1954.

Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger at Lahore Airport.

Famous Hollywood stars Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger arrive at Lahore Airport, 1954. The actors arrived in Lahore with a full filming crew to shoot a major portion of the film ‘Bhowani Junction.’

Ava Gardner shoots a scene at Lahore's Railway Station.
Ava Gardner shooting a scene at the Lahore Railway Station in 1954.
Pakistani fans and artistes gather around the main cast of Bhowani Junction on the film’s set in Lahore.
Pakistani fans and artistes gather around the main cast of Bhowani Junction on the film’s sets in Lahore.
American tourists enjoy a camel ride at Karachi’s Clifton beach in 1960.  (Video grab from a 1960 tourism promotional film made by Pan Am)
American tourists enjoy a camel ride at Karachi’s Clifton beach in 1960.  [Video grab from a 1960 tourism promotional film made by Pan Am]
A series of apartment blocks, bungalows, fast-food joints and restaurants have sprung up in the area today – but no tourists,  especially not the bikini-wearing kind.
A 1964 PIA press ad featuring famous Hollywood comedian and actor Bob Hope.
A 1964 PIA press ad featuring famous Hollywood comedian and actor Bob Hope.
PIA was one of the first airlines in the world to introduce in-flight entertainment. It regularly featured in all the prestigious top-10-airline lists for over 20 years, before dropping out in the  mid-1980s.
This is a 1967 press ad published in LIFE magazine for the American insurance company, Continental Insurance.
This is a 1967 press ad published in LIFE magazine for the American insurance company, Continental Insurance.
The number of American and British tourists visiting Pakistan began to grow from the early 1960s. The trend hit a peak in the late 1970s before starting to dwindle and peter out in the mid-1980s.
It (in a tongue-in-cheek manner) addresses those traveling to Karachi and getting injured during a ‘camel crash.’
American Embassy building under construction in Karachi, 1957.
American Embassy building under construction in Karachi, 1957. (Photo courtesy of eBay.)
Completed in the late 1950s, the building became an iconic structure on Karachi’s Abdullah Haroon Road.
Apart from having a busy visa section, it also housed a state-of-the-art projection hall and a widespread library, which was used by generations of Karachi’s school and college students before it was closed down in the late 1990s.
Easy to access across the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s – the building was gradually barricaded and heavily fortified after the tragic September 11 episode in 2001. The visa section was moved to Islamabad, before returning to Karachi in 2012 (in a different building and compound).
This building faced at least four terrorist attacks between 2002 and 2006 and survived them all.
Though the US consulate has now moved to a different location in Karachi, the building still stands.
Part of the cast and crew of PTV’s 1970 play, ‘Shazori,’ at a reception given in their honour by Canada Dry beverages company.
Part of the cast and crew of Pakistan Television (PTV)’s 1970 play, ‘Shazori,’ at a reception given in their honour by Canada Dry beverages company.
Shakeel (third from left) became a heartthrob and sex symbol, being cast in a number of famous PTV plays as a hero throughout the 1970s. He also tried his luck in films but failed to gain the kind of popularity he enjoyed on television.
Today, in his sixties, he still appears on the mini-screen as a character actor.
Newspaper ad (taken from DAWN’s 7 February, 1972 edition) announcing the arrival of a Lebanese belly dancer in Karachi.
Newspaper ad (taken from DAWN’s 7 February, 1972 edition) announcing the arrival of a Lebanese belly dancer in Karachi.
Between the early 1960s and late 1970s, Karachi was dotted by a number of nightclubs that competed for clients by offering the best in-house pop bands, bars and professional belly dancers invited from cities like Beirut, Cairo, Tehran and Istanbul.
Nightclubs were ordered shut in 1977.
A vibrant 1973 poster prepared and printed by the Pakistan Ministry of Tourism to attract tourism to the city of Lahore.
A vibrant 1973 poster prepared and printed by the Pakistan Ministry of Tourism to attract tourism to the city of Lahore.
A copy of famous spy novelist, Edward S. Arron’s 1962 book, ‘Assignment Karachi.’
A copy of famous spy novelist, Edward S. Arron’s 1962 book ‘Assignment Karachi.’
The book was one of the many he wrote that involved the adventures of CIA agent Sam Durell in various cities across the world.
This novel, which narrated the tale of Durell working with Pakistani authorities to capture Soviet-backed henchmen, became an instant best-seller in Pakistan.
However, in a quirky twist, some copies of this novel were set on fire by pro-Soviet leftist students during a demonstration (at the Karachi University) against Ayub Khan’s education policy in 1962.
A 1967 tourism poster for Karachi (printed by American airline Pan Am and used in Europe and the US).
A 1967 tourism poster for Karachi (printed by American airline Pan Am and used in Europe and the US).
A special stamp released by government of Pakistan in 1973, to plead the return of the 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war captured by the Indian forces during the 1971 war.
A special stamp released by government of Pakistan in 1973, to plead the return of the 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war captured by the Indian forces during the 1971 war.
Pakistan lost its eastern wing (East Pakistan) in the war. The break gave birth to Bangladesh.
A 1970 copy of a paperback version of the conspiratorial (and fictitious) book, ‘Protocols of Zion,’ printed in Pakistan in 1969.
A 1970 copy of a paperback version of the conspiratorial (and fictitious) book, ‘Protocols of Zion,’ printed in Pakistan in 1969.
The Protocols, a book describing a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world, first appeared in Russia in 1903. It was written by an obscure Russian anti-Semite author (most probably as a novel), but was given a whole new angle and widespread publicity by anti-Semite American industrial tycoons like Henry Ford and then by the Nazi regime in Germany.
Though constantly debunked as a hoax and a farce, the book soon became popular among Arabs incensed by the creation of Israel in 1948.
The book was little known in Pakistan until the Saudi Arabian regime used Pakistani publishers to print it for the Saudi monarchy in 1969.
Millions of copies of the above-seen book were published between 1969 and 1976 in Pakistan. Most of them were shipped off to Arab countries. In fact late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia used to hand a copy to visitors. He was assassinated by his nephew in 1975.
Many copies also found their way back on the shelves in Pakistan’s book stores. Initially, they became popular with anti-US leftist students, but by the mid-1980s, the book had almost entirely been adopted by the religious right.
It is interesting to note that almost no copies were published in  Pakistan after the assassination of King Faisal in 1975, but newer editions with additions made by certain ulema, religious parties and Islamists in Pakistan, have been appearing ever since the 1980s.
The book has also been influential on popular conspiracy theorists in present-day Pakistan.
Two hippie tourists at a tea shop in Sibi, Balochistan, in 1972.
Two hippie tourists at a tea shop in Sibi, Balochistan, in 1972. . 
Today, traveling to a Baloch town like the one in the picture has become a no-go area even for Pakistanis! (Photo courtesy Rory McLane).
A section of a bar in Karachi seen in 1974.
A section of a bar in Karachi seen in 1974.
Before the sale of alcohol beverages was banned (to Muslims) in Pakistan in April, 1977, Karachi had the largest number of bars in the country.
This particular bar (called “Karachi On”) was situated at Elphinstone Street, in the Saddar area of Karachi. The area was home to a number of nightclubs.
The picture belongs to Ali Huda Shah, whose maternal uncle was the owner of the bar. It was shut down in April 1977.
Today, though there are no public bars in Pakistan, however, licensed liquor outlets selling local beer, whiskey, gin and rum brands still operate in Karachi and the rest of Sindh.
The makers of these local brands are some of the leading tax-paying companies in the country.
A still from one of the most famous one-off plays on Pakistan television, ‘Quratul Ain’ (1975)*.
A still from one of the most famous one-off plays on Pakistan television, ‘Quratul Ain’ (1975).
It starred Naveen Tajik (right), a Pakistani Christian, who, along with Roohi Bano and Uzma Gillani, was hailed as one of the finest TV actresses in Pakistan (in the 1970s).
‘Quratul Ain’ (scripted by Asfaq Ahmed) tells the story of a young man who wants to join the air force and is in love with a girl (Qurat).
Passionate about joining the air force, the young man is distraught after he begins to lose his eye sight.
Qurat tells him she doesn’t care and that they should get married. The young man agrees but then vanishes. Not even his family knows about his whereabouts. Qurat waits for him but is finally coaxed by her father to find another man.
Many years later she accompanies her husband to a Sufi shrine from where she wants to buy some bangles.
As the husband goes looking for a bangles shop, Qurat stumbles upon a blind Sufi fakir (vagabond) selling bangles from a sack.
He has long hair and a beard. He asks for one of her hands so he could put the bangles over her wrist. It’s her lost lover. She does not recognise him.
But he recognises her the moment he holds her hand. In shock, he lets go of his sack and her hand and vanishes into the crowd. It is left to the audience to figure out whether a surprised Qurat realises who the man was.
The play was part of PTV’s ‘Aik Muhabbat Soh Afsaney’ series in which Sufi themes were set in modern urban settings.
Naveen, though hugely successful as a TV actress and fashion model, failed to make a mark in films. She left for the US in the early 1980s.
A shelf in a shop displaying Scotch whiskey brands in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s ‘Bara market’ (Smugglers’ Market) in 1977.
A shelf in a shop displaying Scotch whiskey brands in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s ‘Bara market’ (smugglers’ market) in 1977.
The market was popular with both foreign tourists as well as Pakistanis coming from Karachi and Lahore to buy imported and/or smuggled cloth, clothes, shoes, electronic good and foreign whiskey brands.
The Bara area began to come under the influence of Islamist groups from the late 1980s and today the area has no such market and is in the grip of a violent and bloody conflict between armed fundamentalist outfits and the state of Pakistan.
Poster & still from 1975’s Pakistani film, ‘Dulhan Aik Raat Ki’ (A Bride for One Night).
Poster and still from 1975’s Pakistani film, ‘Dulhan Aik Raat Ki’ (A Bride for One Night).
The flick was Pakistan’s first Urdu film advertised as ‘For Adults Only.’ In the mid-1970s, British and American ‘adult films’ had become a hugely successful outing for young middle-class Pakistanis and couples, and by 1974-75, films (especially in Karachi) labelled ‘For Adults Only,’ were doing a roaring business.
Karachi’s Rio Cinema and Palace Cinema became known for running such films (Rio today is a gaudy shopping mall while Palace was converted into a marriage hall).
Such films were mainly low-budget European and American romantic farces in which nudity scenes and sexual content were allowed to be shown by the censors, thus the tag: ‘For Adults Only’.
Inspired by the period’s ‘Adult Film’ phenomenon, Mumtaz Ali Khan directed Pakistan’s first Urdu film that was ‘For Adults Only.’ It was appropriately called ‘Dulhan Aik Raat Ki’.
Staring late Badar Munir (then known as the ‘Charles Bronson of Pakistan) and a number of famous 1970s Punjabi and Pushtun film actresses, it was a raunchy fusion of violent Italian spaghetti westerns and 1970s European soft-porn.
It was disallowed a re-release in the 1980s by the Zia dictatorship and was only made available (on VHS) in the late 1980s. It is still not available on DVD, but can be found on VCD.
A video grab from PTV’s groundbreaking coverage of the 1970 general elections.
A video grab from PTV’s groundbreaking coverage of the 1970 general elections.
Running consecutively for 48 hours, the 1970 election transmission was one of the first long duration live events telecast by PTV.
Seen in the picture is famous PTV anchor of the 1970s, Laeeq Ahmed, pointing at the number of seats (162) won by the Bengali nationalist party in former East Pakistan, the Awami League (AL).
In 1971 AL rebelled against the West Pakistan military establishment (for not giving it the democratic right to lead the new democratic regime as a majority party), and after a bloody civil war, East Pakistan broke away and became the independent Bengali republic of Bangladesh.
Notice how the host is holding a cigarette in his hand while discussing the election results. TV hosts commonly smoked on the air until the practice was discontinued in the early 1980s.
A 1973 psychedelic poster of Pakistani rock band Irwin’s Terror.
Pakistani rock band Irwin’s Error (1973)
The band was made up of (from left) Irfan Bawany (guitar), Tuppu (drums), Uruj Malik (bass) and Owne Patrick (keyboards). Bands like Irwin’s Terror were different from the famous bands of the era that played exclusively at nightclubs (see bellow). Irwin’s Error played harder versions of rock music and mostly performed at high school parties.
(Picture courtesy: http://lmkonline.wordpress.com/category/band-profile/)
A 1978 picture of Iggy Fernandez, famous Pakistani guitar player, who committed suicide in 1980.
A 1978 picture of Iggy Fernandez, famous Pakistani guitar player, who committed suicide in 1980.
Iggy belonged to the Goan Christian community of Karachi that was very active in the city’s pop music scene in the 1960s and 1970s. He often performed solo at nightclubs and was dubbed as the ‘Jimi Hendrix of Pakistan.’
Exceptionally talented, Iggy got caught-up in a vicious love triangle that led him to jump from the roof of Hotel Metropole in Karachi, in 1981.
The few recordings of his performances that survived his tragic  demise went on to influence moody guitar wizards like Aamir Zaki.
(Picture courtesy: http://lmkonline.wordpress.com/category/band-profile/)
1974 photo showing famous Karachi pop band the In-Crowed performing at the Playboy nightclub on Karachi’s Club Road. The club was closed down in 1977.
A 1974 photo showing famous Karachi pop band the Captivators performing at the Playboy nightclub on Karachi’s Club Road. The club was closed down in 1977.
(Picture courtesy: http://lmkonline.wordpress.com/category/band-profile/)
A recording of The Communications – a funk band from Karachi. The song was recorded at the band’s performance at the Horse Shoe nightclub in January 1977.
A 1974 press ad of Red & White cigarettes. Just like in other airports of the world at the time, smoking was allowed in all areas of Pakistani airports as well.
A 1974 press ad of Red & White cigarettes. Just like in other airports of the world at the time, smoking was allowed in all areas of Pakistani airports as well. The shoot for this ad took place at the old Karachi Airport that worked as a hub in the region and was one of the busiest airports in Asia receiving up to 60 flights in an hour from around the world.
The man is sitting at a famous waiting lounge/restaurant at the  airport (Sky Grill) that also had a full bar and was the only place at the airport that was centrally air-conditioned.
Former Pakistani test team opener, Sadiq Muhammad (left) and  former Pakistan cricket captain, Mushtaq Muhammad, share a beer in Sydney in January, 1977.
Former Pakistani Test batsman Sadiq Muhammad (left) and  former Pakistan cricket captain, Mushtaq Muhammad, share a beer in Sydney in January, 1977.
The picture was taken inside the players’ dressing room at the Sydney Cricket Ground after Pakistan defeated a strong Australian Test side. This was Pakistan’s first Test victory against Australia in Australia. With the victory, Pakistan squared the series 1-1 after being one down in the series. Seen in the background is a shirtless Imran Khan who took 12 wickets in the match.
Pakistan cricket team’s famous pace duo, Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz, at a nightclub in Melbourne in 1981.
Pakistan cricket team’s famous pace duo, Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz, at a nightclub in Melbourne in 1981.
The picture was taken during Pakistan team’s 1981 tour of Australia. Architects of various wins by the Pakistan team in the 1970s and early 1980s,  Imran and Sarfraz who were both best friends but had a major falling out as politicians in the 1990s.
Sarfraz, a long-time Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) supporter, joined the PPP after retirement (in 1988) whereas Khan formed his own party (1996). Nawaz changed allegiances last year, when he switched to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
A 1973 photo of Nawaz Sharif.  Sharif came from a business family and according to a biography (published in 2004) he was a music and film enthusiast and a PPP/Bhutto supporter at college (in the late 1960s).
A 1973 photo of Nawaz Sharif.  Sharif came from a business family and according to a biography (published in 2004), he was a music and film enthusiast and a PPP/Bhutto supporter at college (in the late 1960s).
In the 1970s his family had a falling out with the PPP regime it nationalised a large part of the Sharif family’s businesses.
Nawaz joined politics in the 1980s, guided by anti-PPP dictator, Ziaul Haq. Today his party, the PML-N, is the second largest political party in Pakistan after the PPP.
Karachi on the day the reactionary military junta led by Ziaul Haq toppled the Z A. Bhutto regime (July 5, 1977). In the background is a large cinema that closed down in the 1980s.
End of an era: Karachi on the day the reactionary military junta led by Ziaul Haq toppled the Z A Bhutto regime (July 5, 1977). In the background is a large cinema that closed down in the 1980s.


After a very long time I have come across such a well written article which expresses the feelings of millions of people like myself…

Now we know why Allah sent over a 100,000 messengers to this region……..and it has still not made a difference….!

Saudi Arabia was almost the last to end slavery officially in 1974 yet by nature retain all the instincts of slave-running alive!

Miskeen — by Mehboob Qadir

Miskeen is a spoken Saudi equal of ‘poor wretch’ used to denote mainly the Asian labour force, coloured workers and expatriates from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Philippines, Indonesia, etc. For those of African and North African origins, they have different titles. More than a word, it shows a whole Saudi racial, social and national attitude and a rancid hubris. In this context, Ummah is either a misnomer or merely a convenience for the Arab.

They are Saudis, Iraqis, Egyptians, Yemenis, Kuwaitis Bahrainis, Emiratis or whatever, but brothers in the Ummah. That notion is basically a political convenience. We, in the subcontinent, are emotionally more transparent and excitable. An Arab, like his camel, is emotionally frigid except when he is slighted or his female space is threatened. Despite a strangely adversarial disposition towards females, they count them among their possessions like the black tent, camels and cattle.

One realised that the Saudi men’s honour and prestige seem to be tied more to their ability to control their women by diamond necklaces and gold biscuits than any equation of a sublime human relationship. Their family canvas is a sorry mess because of institutionalised licentiousness through a flood of divorces and multiple marriages. A society short of familial affiliations and internal gravitation disintegrates sooner or later.

Saudis, and Arabs for that matter, have an obsessive love for money, matched in our part of the world by the Pathan or the Sikh somewhat, if not fully. The difference is that Pathans and Sikhs both have plenty in the lands they live in, not the Saudis. Less the oil, they have always been short of food and means of livelihood as hardly anything grew in their deserts. Their harsh unsupportive environment forced them to become highwaymen for hire, ferrying the trade goods of richer nations on the ends of the desert and beyond.

Those who were not involved in running trade caravans were busy raiding the same. Their land bridge geographical location between productive Asia, Africa and Europe helped them to become exchange traders or midway transit men. Since they produced literally nothing but had to sell others’ goods, therefore they developed excellent linguistic skills, which is why Arabic is such an eloquent language.

Arabs are racial exclusivists and the Saudis, a degree more, arrogant too. However, Kuwaitis excel in both fields. This racist arrogance does not stem from any real world class achievement but their age old ability to ply one’s merchandise to the other at exorbitant rates, making the other believe that the deal was fair, employing a clever-merchant syndrome.

The other reason has been the inelasticity of their bare bones social capsule, which was unable to absorb any external influence or people. Their mercantile ability was polished after the advent of Islam with a large dose of missionary zeal and truth on the pain of divine condemnation forever. However, a few centuries on, this zeal waned and skillful statecraft replaced the art of salesmanship. Both required nearly the same neuro transmissions.

I have been Director General (SPAFO) of Pakistan Armed Forces deputationists, mainly, doctors and engineers, to the Saudi Armed Forces from 1998 to 2002.This was one of the most privileged positions for a non-European/American military officer in the Kingdom. I used to sit in the Ministry of Defense sharing the floor with US, British and French military missions. Another unique privilege that I enjoyed was that I could move anywhere in the Kingdom without the indispensible written permission and saw them closely in both urban and rural landscapes.

That regretfully shattered many a myth that we Muslims in the subcontinent carry almost as articles of faith, and along with that a part of my better self too. However, it was an invaluable education in reality and measurement of one’s worthiness or otherwise.

Within weeks, I realised that for a self-respecting person, it was nearly impossible to work honourably with those men. But for the call of duty to the fellow deputationists and mutuality between our two countries, I seriously considered repatriation. Hardly an occasion goes by without making an expatriate realise the tentative nature of his lower stature among these stiff-lipped, stuffy men. Our best, even a PhD in Space Sciences, weighs invariably less than a Saudi camel-herder from the Empty Quarter.

Saudi Arabia was almost the last to end slavery officially in 1974 yet by nature retain all the instincts of slave-running alive. The Iqama (work permit) is the principal instrument and is issued on behalf of the Saudi employer (Kafeel) for one year at a time. This is literally a dog collar that provides the Saudi master unlimited and rather coercive powers over the hapless expatriate. Regardless of innocence, merit, right to be heard and the number of years of hard work, one could be packed off and deported within hours. An expatriate has practically no legal stature, let alone the much talked about basic human rights.

I know of a senior Pakistani banker who helped set up a renowned Saudi bank, rose to the position of vice-president and after 29 years was ordered out at a week’s notice, his invaluable service and lifetime of hard work notwithstanding. His fault? None except the sweet pleasure of his employer and the weapon, the guillotine of Iqama. Once your Iqama is withdrawn you are an immediate nonentity and must leave the country posthaste before they imprison you for an indefinite period. Moreover, one could see horrible exploitation of female expatriates by their masters, particularly that of Sri Lankans and Philippinas. Pathetic insensitivity that was.  (why you people keep coming here? reply I got from a close Saudi friend)

Peculiarly, Saudis have a cold and impersonal system of designating expatriates that they hire. Miskeen is a derisive phrase of pity and loathing that tends to massage their ego in a kind of perverted manner. It tends to be a device of superiority, distancing from the mass of toiling expatriate men and women working in the Saudi households, farms, factories, shops, hotels, offices and all places where an ordinary Saudi considers it below his dignity to work.

The next lower phrase in their not so civil glossary is Siddique, which very eloquently conveys: ‘You work for me but mind your place. No liberties to be taken.’ Siddique is a belittling way of directly addressing one out of innumerable expatriates already held as miskeen. 

European and American expatriates are a different and far superior category. For them notions of pity are transformed into a view of admiration and longing. They are considered and addressed as Rafique, meaning ‘dear friend’. Americans top this list, followed closely by the British and other Europeans, depending upon how much they can benefit materially.

There are cogent reasons for this preferential treatment. Americans and Europeans negotiate their terms of reference very carefully and hard. They are better networked, bring in more lucrative business, have better work ethics and their parent governments are unrelenting should Saudis maltreat one of their citizens.
There is a third but unspoken class who are mentioned with a smile and a wink. These are fair-skinned Central Asians, Lebanese, and blonde-haired Syrians. They are neither miskeen nor rafique but have the privilege of being the pleasure mates of a superior sort but not equals. They have half an access to the privacies of Saudi households; some even married in. Late Rafique Hariri was a kinsman of the Saudi royal family.

In all this business of labelling who was who in the shoddy Saudi esteem, they missed the forest for the trees. They know but never acknowledge that all of the Kingdom’s infrastructure, services and amenities were built by expatriates from all over the world. Saudi oil money drew the best of the foreign societies into their service but tragically, they failed to absorb them into their own society. It was because they were unfortunately blind to the power of diversification, induction of new talent and ideas.

Their genetic disability had been that want and scarcity of thousands of years had made their tribal society grow inwards with no scope or space for expansion and accommodation. The net result is that not only the Saudis floundered a once in centuries chance to enrich their country and society with a mix of talented foreign men and women but also have a huge rootless foreign mass in their midst that can go out of hand any moment. The consequences could be devastating. More about this some other time.

The writer is a retired brigadier of the Pakistan Army and can be reached at clay.potter@hotmail.com

Can Pakistan step back from the brink?


Aftermath of Salman Taseer's assassination

The murder of Salman Taseer was both the start and the symbol of Pakistan’s unravelling in 2011

One year ago, Pakistan was shaken when leading politician Salman Taseer was murdered by his own bodyguard. His violent death and the lack of government response were merely the beginning of a turbulent year for the country. Writer Ahmed Rashid considers whether Pakistan can step back from the brink in 2012.

The death of Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab province, now appears as both the start and the symbol of the political, economic and social unravelling of Pakistan that has taken place since that fateful 4 January day.

The gruesome aftermath of his death, when the governing Pakistan People’s Party, the army, the mullahs and civil society appeared to deny the reality of what had happened, made many Pakistanis ashamed of their rulers.

Roses for a killer

Mumtaz Qadri, an elite police force member, pumped 27 bullets into the politician as he was walking back to his car after lunch at an Islamabad restaurant.

Qadri had informed his police colleagues standing nearby that he would commit murder and throw down his weapon, so there would be no need to kill him. The police obliged by giving no warning to Taseer or shooting Qadri dead.

Qadri, who belonged to a small Islamic group called Dawat-e-Islam, said he killed Taseer because of his attempts to change the controversial blasphemy law. He was showered with roses when he made his first appearance in court.

Hundreds of lawyers pledged to defend him and he was treated as a celebrity by many.

Pakistani lawyers hold rose petals as they voice support for Mumtaz Qadri

Qadri was showered with roses when he appeared in court

Qadri was later tried and sentenced to death but he has appealed against the sentence.

Meanwhile Asia Bibi, the jailed Christian woman whose case of alleged blasphemy had so appalled Taseer, continues to grow weaker in jail and more isolated. There are fears that a zealous prisoner or guard in jail may try to kill her.

When Taseer’s funeral was held, no cleric could be found in Lahore who would read his funeral prayers out of fear of the extremists – some of whom declared that the dead Taseer was no longer a Muslim.

The country’s few liberal civil society members tried to counter the wave of intolerance that swept the country by holding small but ultimately meaningless demonstrations.

More important was the reaction – or total lack of it – by the government, the army, parliament and the political parties. There was no public condemnation of the murder by the highest authorities in the land, except for politician Sherry Rehman, now ambassador to the US.

More sectarian attacks

As if the family had not suffered enough, Taseer’s son Shabaz was kidnapped by an extremist group in August and has not been heard of since.

Taseer was a multi-dimensional politician, businessman, writer and raconteur but he seemed to move to another level when he became governor, taking up controversial issues and defending human rights which even the government was too scared to do.


US-Pakistan downturn

  • 30 Sept 2010: Nato helicopters kill two Pakistani soldiers, prompting nearly two-week border closure in protest
  • 22 April 2011: Supplies to Nato forces in Afghanistan halted for three days in protest over drone attacks
  • 2 May: US announces Bin Laden’s death and says Pakistan not warned of raid
  • 2 June: Top US military chief Adm Mike Mullen admits "significant" cut in US troops in Pakistan
  • 10 July: US suspends $800m of military aid
  • 22 Sept: Outgoing US Adm Mullen accuses Pakistan of supporting Haqqani militant group in Afghanistan; denied by Pakistan
  • 26 Nov At least 24 Pakistan troops killed when Nato forces fire over the border hitting an army check post

His death a year ago has brought many consequences.

During the past year, no politician has dared raise the issue of reforming the blasphemy law. Intolerance by extremists against both Muslims and non-Muslims has increased enormously and there has been a dramatic rise in the number of sectarian attacks, which are usually perpetrated by Sunni extremists against Shia citizens.

The Pakistani Taliban has continued to carry out brutal suicide attacks against the army and civilians and appears to be in control of more territory in Pakistan and also in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.

The meltdown in relations between the US and Pakistan started just two weeks after Taseer’s death, when Raymond Davis, a CIA operative, killed two gunmen in Lahore. The wave of anti-Americanism that followed prepared the ground for a much wider outbreak months later.

The killing of Osama Bin Laden by US special forces in May resulted in the biggest crash in US-Pakistan relations.

After that, alleged leaks from Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, forced two successive CIA station chiefs in Islamabad to leave the country.

Later, the US stepped up confrontation by demanding the ISI curb attacks inside Afghanistan by the Pakistan-based Haqqani network.

When Islamabad shut down the Nato supply route through Pakistan after Nato mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops, all links between the two military establishments were severed.

Looking ahead

A road sign, photographed from atop gridlocked trucks, shows the distance to cities in Afghanistan after traffic was halted at the Pakistani border town Torkham November 27, 2011

Pakistan shut down the Nato supply route through after a Nato raid killed Pakistani troops

The government steadily lost credibility, authority and power as its conflict with the army and the opposition became worse, the economic crisis deepened and the country suffered severe energy shortages. The army also lost credibility. and the government accused the army and the Supreme Court of ganging up against it.

Taseer’s killing is a watershed from which the government has not seemed able to recover and from which the extremists drew strength, increasing their defiance against a state that was deemed weak and vulnerable.

In the new year, the fear of more political assassinations lingers as do deepening divisions between the army and the government which would make the country ungovernable.

It is clear that the 50-year-old source of Pakistan’s continuing instability – civil-military relations – is going to determine the course of 2012.

The army appears determined to oust President Asif Ali Zardari while he and his government appear determined to hang on. Taseer would have made a good mediator between the two because he had solid relations with both; however, there is no such figure in the political spectrum now.

Perhaps the only solution is early elections, possibly by the late spring or early summer, rather than in 2013. Pakistanis can only hope that by taking Taseer’s life and death as an example, all sides in the present crisis in Pakistan can step back from the brink.

Ahmed Rashid’s book, Taliban, was updated and reissued recently on the 10th anniversary of its publication. His latest book is Descent into Chaos – The US and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia

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Absurdity, Thy Name Is…


Posted: 20 May 2012 12:28 PM PDT

Must Pakistan – or perhaps one should say specifically its government, its political leaders, its judiciary, its military and its bureaucrats – continue to make an ass of itself? Must it circumvent any attempt to make the world forget that we can be the most absurd cretins in the world?

Graphic by Nick Bilton (Source: New York Times)

Barely had the memory of the Lahore High Court-imposed Facebook ban faded from the collective global ‘News of the Weird’ consciousness that we were struck with the Twitter ban, which the Ministry of Information Technology people told us was because of “blasphemous and inflammatory content” on the site.

(Update: I had almost finished writing this post when news came in that the Twitter ban had been lifted but am posting this in any case in the off-chance that someone within the corridors of policy-making might read and prevent a recurrence of such ineptitude.)
According to this Express Tribune story:

“Pakistan’s government had asked Twitter to stop a discussion on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), which was considered derogatory, [PTA Chairman Dr Mohammad] Yaseen said, adding that “Twitter refused our request.””

Now, you would have to be totally unaware of what Twitter is and how it works to think the above statement makes any sense whatsoever. Imagine, if you will, the government asking a cell phone company to stop people SMS-ing each other anything derogatory about the Prophet. The only way it would be possible for the cell phone company to enforce such a ‘request’ would be to either read each and every single SMS from the billions that go out from within its network or to simply ban any SMSes that used the word ‘Prophet’ or ‘Muhammad’ or ‘Mohammad’ or ‘Mohd’ or any other possible variation (and there would still be ways to circumvent it), which would of course block all Islamic SMSes as well. Any cell phone company would obviously ‘refuse’ the government’s request, simply because it would not be possible to implement.
Of course I am not even touching upon the concept of ‘free speech’ (and which particularly protects ‘speech’ that one disagrees with or finds offensive) which is integral to rational societies and which would be another reason for Twitter to refuse to censor something even if it could. But this is a concept which is obviously is too lofty an argument for the cretins in officialdom to understand.
In any case, I am more than sure that there is not a single person within the so-called ‘Ministry of Information Technology’ who is on Twitter or even has a passing knowledge of it.
In all likelihood, given the storm of outrage and mocking it has unleashed, the ban will not last very long. But let’s look at what this ban has actually achieved:

1. It has given free global publicity to offensive material that most people – including us – were not even aware of.

2. It has shown that those in Pakistan who are supposed to manage information technology actually have no clue what they are in charge of. They are obviously also clueless about the ease with which such bans can be circumvented (it took us and others a total of five minutes to get around it.)

3. It has made Pakistan a target of mocking all around the world yet again as a country that cannot be rational, trust its citizens or tolerate any opinions that don’t fit in with its own.

4. It has made an issue out of a non-issue (most people were unaware of the material as pointed out above) and in that given oxygen to precisely those obscurantist elements who use these things to fan the flames of bigotry and intolerance, both within Pakistan and abroad. Note that there had been NO protests before the Ministry of Information Technology drew attention to this ‘issue’ but that with its ineptitude it has ensured that it is now on the radar for all rent-a-crowd mullahs and will embolden those racists who enjoy provoking all Muslims.

5. It has shown that any flimsy excuse can be used to censor opinions, particularly political opinions, that the government of the day is uncomfortable with. Because at the end of the day, it’s not alleged blasphemers and pornographers who suffer from Pakistani bans, but common people expressing their personal views, on Twitter, Facebook or on blogs, outside the more easily controlled corporate media.

Let me draw another analogy for our esteemed policy makers. If, on the street, someone were to go around particularly eavesdropping on conversations among random groups of people to check if anyone were using foul language so that he could berate them, or more closely, telling everyone to shut up because he had heard some people using foul language, we would consider such a person a lunatic. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the people at the Ministry of Information Technology have proved themselves to be, overzealous lunatics. It’s about time bureaucrats realize that we cannot police the entire world and, more importantly, that there is no need to.

“My dog is usually fussier,” says American diplomat about our television anchors


Excerpt from “Final Solution for Pakistan,”


We talked to an American diplomat whose job requires frequent interaction with the Pakistani media. This report will not assign a pseudonym, or declare the gender of the American diplomat because that was the condition of cooperation. We will not tell whether the diplomat is still in Pakistan or has moved out.

“Pakistani TV journalists are some of the easiest to buy or manipulate,” said the American diplomat.

“Their price is ridiculously small. A drink, a lunch with a second or first secretary in a place where they can be seen by their admirers, invitations to official receptions, or at most, a trip to the states, is all you need to buy their loyalty,” said the diplomat.

“My dog is usually fussier,” the diplomat added in disgust.

“There was a drive,” the diplomat explained, “very obvious and crude, in some selected countries, to make the educated people feel ashamed of being Muslims.”

“The Pakistani TV journalists swallowed it hook, line and sinker,” said the diplomat.

“Except for an incorruptible handful, they are a sorry lot,” the American diplomat said with an undisguised revulsion.

Pity the Nation

by Justice is Blind

2. In the context of the case in hand I am reminded of the following
unforgettable words of Khalil Gibran that paint a picture which
unfortunately appears quite familiar:
Pity the nation:

Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.
Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it
does not harvest, and drinks a wine that flows not from its own
Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the

glittering conqueror bountiful.
Pity the nation that despises a passion in its dream.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice save when it walks in a
funeral, boasts not except among its ruins, and will rebel not save

when its neck is laid between the sword and the block.

Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a
juggler, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.
Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting, and
farewells him with hooting, only to welcome another with trumpeting
Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strong men
are yet in the cradle.
Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.

3. With an apology to Khalil Gibran, and with reference to the present
context, I may add as follows:
Pity the nation that achieves nationhood in the name of a religion but
pays little heed to truth, righteousness and accountability, which are
the essence of every religion.
Pity the nation that proclaims democracy as its polity but restricts
it to queuing up for casting of ballots only and discourages
democratic values.

Pity the nation that measures honour with success and respect with
authority, that despises sublime and cherishes mundane, that treats a
criminal as a hero and considers civility as weakness and that deems a
sage a fool and venerates the wicked.

Pity the nation that adopts a constitution but allows political
interests to outweigh constitutional diktat.
Pity the nation that demands justice for all but is agitated when
justice hurts its political loyalty.

Pity the nation whose servants treat their solemn oaths as nothing
more than a formality before entering upon an office.
Pity the nation that elects a leader as a redeemer but expects him to
bend every law to favour his benefactors.

Pity the nation whose leaders seek martyrdom through disobeying the
law than giving sacrifices for the glory of law and who see no shame
in crime.

Pity the nation that is led by those who laugh at the law little                           

realising that the law shall have the last laugh.

Pity the nation that launches a movement for rule of law but cries
foul when the law is applied against its bigwig, that reads judicial
verdicts through political glasses and that permits skills of advocacy
to be practiced more vigorously outside the courtroom than inside.

Pity the nation that punishes it’s weak and poor but is shy of bringing
its high and mighty to book.

Pity the nation that clamors for equality before law but has
selective justice close to its heart.

Pity the nation that thinks from its heart and not from its head.
Indeed, pity the nation that does not discern villainy from nobility.

4. I must clarify that I do not want to spread despair or despondency
and it may be appreciated that no reform or improvement is possible
until the ills or afflictions are identified and addressed. The
respondent’s conduct in this case regrettably appears to be
symptomatic of a bigger malady which, if allowed to remain unchecked
or uncured, may overwhelm or engulf all of us as a nation and I recall
here what Johne Donne had written:
Each man’s death diminishes me, For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee.

5. Khalil Gibran had also harped on a somewhat similar theme as under:
On crime and punishment:
Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though
he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon
your world.
But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond
the highest which is in each one of you, so the wicked and the weak
cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.
And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of
the whole tree, so the wrongdoer cannot do wrong without the hidden
will of you all
Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self. You are the
way and the wayfarers.
And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a
caution against the stumbling stone.
Aye, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer
of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.
And this also, though the words lie heavy upon your hearts:
The murdered is not unaccountable for his own murder, and the robbed
is not blameless in being robbed. The righteous is not innocent of the
deeds of the wicked, And the white-handed is not clean in the doings
of the felon.
Yea, the guilty is oftentimes the victim of the injured, and still
more often the condemned is the burden bearer for the guiltless and

You cannot separate the just from the unjust and the good from the
wicked; for they stand together before the face of the sun even as the
black thread and the white are woven together.
And when the black thread breaks, the weaver shall look into the whole
cloth, and he shall examine the loom also.

6. I deem it important and relevant to explain here the conceptual
basis of the law regarding contempt of court. The power to punish a
person for committing contempt of court is primarily a power of the
people of this country to punish such person for contemptuous conduct
or behaviour displayed by him towards the courts created by the people
for handling the judicial functions of the State and such power of the
people has been entrusted or delegated by the people to the courts
through the Constitution.

It must never be lost sight of that the
ultimate ownership of the Constitution and of the organs and
institutions created there under as well as of all the powers of such
organs and institutions rests with the people of the country who have
adopted the Constitution and have thereby created all the organs and
institutions established under it. It may be advantageous to reproduce
here the relevant words of the Preamble to the Constitution of the
Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973:

“We, the people of Pakistan – Do hereby, through our representatives
in the National Assembly, adopt, enact and give to ourselves, this

It is, thus, obvious that a person defying a judicial verdict in fact
defies the will of the people at large and the punishment meted out to
him for such recalcitrant conduct or behaviour is in fact inflicted
upon him not by the courts but by the people of the country themselves
acting through the courts created and established by them. It may be
well to remember that the constitutional balance vis-à-vis trichotomy
and separation of powers between the legislature, the judiciary and
the executive is very delicately poised and if in a given situation
the executive is bent upon defying a final judicial verdict and is
ready to go to any limit in such defiance, including taking the risk
of bringing down the constitutional structure itself, then in the
final analysis it would be the responsibility of the people themselves
to stand up for defending the Constitution and the organs and
institutions created and established there under and for dealing with
the delinquent appropriately. It shall simply be naïve to underestimate the          power of the people in matters concerning enforcement of their will.

The recent phenomenon known as the Arab
Spring is too fresh to be ignored or forgotten. Going back a little,
when told about the Pope’s anger over the ruthless Stalinist
suppression of dissent within Russia Joseph Stalin dismissively made a
scornful query “The Pope? How many divisions does he have?” History
tells us that the will of the Russian people ultimately prevailed over
the Soviet Union’s army of countless divisions.

A page from our own recent history reminds us that the chief justice of          Pakistan did not possess or control any division when he refused to obey the
unconstitutional dictates of General Pervez Musharraf, who commanded
quite a few divisions, and still emerged victorious with the help of
the people. The lesson to be learnt is that if the cause is
constitutional and just then the strength and support for the same is
received from the people at large who are the ultimate custodians of
the Constitution. I am not too sure as to how many divisions would a
population of over 180 million make!

7. The respondent is the Chief Executive of our Federation who has
openly and brazenly defied the Constitutional and legal mandate
regarding compliance of and obedience to this court’s judgements and
orders. The following words of Justice Louis Brandeis of the United
States Supreme Court in the case of Olmstead v. United States (227
U.S. 438, 485) seem to be quite apt to a situation like this:

“In a government of laws, existence of the government will be
imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government
is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it
teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the
government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it
invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”
The respondent is our elected representative and our prime minister
and in his conviction lies our collective damnation.

This surely calls for serious introspection. I believe that the proposed            judgment authored by my learned brother Nasir ul Mulk, J is a step                 towards the right direction as it kindles a flame of hope for a future for                  our nation which may establish a just and fair order, an order wherein the
law rules and all citizens are equal before the law.