Articles Pakistan Media was forced not to Run – IV

 

Continuing our series of articles that were not published by mainstream Pakistani media outlets here is an article by former Senator Afrasiab Khattak.

Here are a few paragraphs from the piece the rest can be found on the blog Alternative Perspectives http://www.alternativeperspectives.org/the-vanishing-freedoms/

The vanishing freedoms

Afrasiab Khattak

“The fiction of a civilian government has been cracking up under heavy burden of the reality of military control over the system during last few years. That the prolonged aggressive sit in in Islamabad in 2014 was scripted by elements in the security establishment was beyond any doubt as the sitting defense minister named names after the end of the aborted coup. The putschists had to beat a  retreat, at least temporarily, in the face of a joint call by all political parties in the parliament for unity against anti democratic forces. But the federal government was considerably weakened and it had  to concede vast swaths of governance, national security and foreign policy to the security establishment. From apex committees in all provinces for steering the anti terror campaign to manning checkpoints on the main roads through out the country, the army gradually came to occupy the driving seat in running the country in the era of war on terror. That the second installment of ambushing the civilian government would come from the judicial front was also predicted in advance by Javed Hashmi, a senior politician who parted ways with PTI in 2014 accusing it to be part of a future judicial coup plan.”

“So far the role of political parties has been disappointing in defending democratic freedoms. Their silence on the subject is deafening. They have failed to read the writing on the wall about the plan for fully controlled democracy even after the recent engineered Senate elections. Most of them are still busy in striking individual deals with the security establishment without realizing that vanishing of democratic freedoms for all practical purposes means end of democracy.”

Pakistan’s Isolation Continues as Diplomats are Restricted

Pakistanis should be concerned about the growing rift between the US and Pakistan that has led – for the first time in Pakistan’s history – to restrictions being imposed on Pakistani diplomats within the United States. Hiding our heads like ostriches will not make this problem simply go away.

On April 12, 2018, the Trump administration notified Pakistani authorities that “diplomats at their embassy in Washington and at consulates in other cities will not be able to travel beyond 40km from their posts without permission. The notice, shared with the Pakistan Embassy in Washington and sent also to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, indicates that the restrictions could be imposed from May 1, if certain issues remained unresolved.”

Five days later on April 17, 2018 a top official of the State Department confirmed that this was true. “A senior official of Trump Administration has confirmed that Pakistani diplomats cannot move without seeking prior permission from the concerned authorities in the State Department. In an interview with VOA’s Uzbek service, Thomas Shannon, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, said this restriction was placed in response to the same conditions Islamabad has imposed on US diplomats in Pakistan.”

According to this notification, “diplomats will need to apply for permission at least five days ahead of an intended travel outside the imposed 25 miles radius. In their discussions with their Pakistani counterparts, US officials also point out that Islamabad has already imposed similar restrictions on American diplomats in Pakistan, who are not allowed to visit the tribal belt or Karachi. Pakistani officials, however, argue that those are not restrictions but security measures intended to protect American diplomats. They point out that the State Department too does not allow its diplomats in Pakistan to visit Fata, Karachi and certain other places in Pakistan out of security concerns.”

Further, “the US warning is linked to a larger visa dispute. Last month, Pakistan received a letter from the State Department complaining that while Americans issue two-year visas to Pakistani diplomats, US diplomats only get one-year visas, forcing them to get their visas renewed every year during their usually three-year postings. The State Department complained that Pakistan was also very restrictive in issuing visas to other US officials and traders and warned that it could reciprocate the measure for Pakistani officials and citizens. The State Department maintained that Pakistanis were usually issued five-year US visas, but US officials and businessmen only got single-entry visas of three-month duration.”

Pakistan’s isolation is growing and yet there is no attempt to change policy in order to prevent this further isolation. Such restrictions inside the United States were always for countries like erstwhile Soviet Union and Cuba or North Korea, not countries that claim ally status like Pakistan.

Articles Pakistan Media was Forced Not to Run- III

The Pakistani Deep state is attempting to muzzle Pakistani voices on the mainstream media. We at New Pakistan believe it is our duty to make sure these voices and what they say is read by all of you.

In this series we will print those articles that were not published by the mainstream media.

The third is an article by Gul Bukhari.

On April 16, 2018, Ms Bukhari stated on twitter: “I completely understand & respect The Nation’s position. However, here’s my article on the #PTM, pleading its case as a human being, Pakistani, and a Punjabi.” This article was later on also published on this website – https://www.nayadaur.net/2018/04/i-am-pashteen/

Here are a few lines from the article, the rest of the article is available in images below.

‘I am Pashteen’

Gul Bukhari

“It is astonishing that the country’s military leadership has alluded to the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement as ‘engineered’, with foreign connections. On Thursday the army chief said that ‘engineered protests’ will not be allowed to reverse the gains of counter-terrorism operations and cautioned the nation against forgetting sacrifices of the ‘real heros’, regretting that ‘no sooner had peace returned to FATA than a movement was started’. For the second time in a week on Saturday, the army chief again alluded to the movement as a ‘hybrid war’ being waged on Pakistan to internally weaken the country, but also noted that ‘the enemies were failing to divide the country on the basis of ethnicity and other identities.’ Both times he neither named the PTM nor its leaders.”

Articles Pakistan Media was Forced Not to Run- II

The Pakistani Deep state is attempting to muzzle Pakistani voices on the mainstream media. We at New Pakistan believe it is our duty to make sure these voices and what they say is read by all of you.

In this series we will print those articles that were not published by the mainstream media.

The second is an article by Mosharraf Zaidi. In his tweet of April 17, 2018 Mr Zaid stated on twitter: “For the first time in over a decade, @thenews_intl has refused to publish my column. This unnecessary muzzling of debate is not healthy. Strong nations cultivate robust debate. Weak ones fear it. Pakistan is stronger than it is being allowed to be.”

Here are a few lines from the article, the rest of the article is available in images below.

‘Making Pakistan Zindabad count’

Mosharraf Zaidi

“There is a crisis in our national discourse and the tendency in times like this is to pick a side and exacerbate the crisis. The national leadership has failed to apply the handbrake and take stock. The result is a slippery slope which the country is sliding at a pace that is neither sustainable, nor good for the future of the country. One of the worst things we can do at this time is to pick a side because really there are no sides here other than Pakistan, and that is the only side each of us should be on. But the absolute, single worst thing we can do at this time is to look away and ignore the crisis.”

Articles Pakistan Media was Forced Not to Run-1

The Pakistani Deep state is attempting to muzzle Pakistani voices on the mainstream media. We at New Pakistan believe it is our duty to make sure these voices and what they say is read by all of you.

In this series we will print those articles that were not published by the mainstream media.

The first is an article Mr Babar Sattar. On April 13, Mr Sattar stated on twitter: “Media is banned from mentioning #PTM. Geo-Jang shut down/ordered not to touch sensitive topics. So my Saturday column couldn’t be published #TheAgeOfFreelyControlledMedia. The debate triggered by #PTM is about coercive relationship btw citizen & Pakistani state.”

Here are a few lines from his article followed by the rest of the article below

We still have a soul

Babar Sattar

“Manzoor Pashteen’s social consciousness may be rooted in his Pasthun identity. He may be motivated by sufferings of fellow Pashtun’s he has seen growing up. But the questions he is asking are relevant for all of us. The debate triggered by Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement is about the coercive relationship between a citizen and Pakistani state and the character, priorities and actions of our state that are undermining three foundational rights of citizens upon which is built the edifice of the rest of their rights i.e. their rights to life/liberty, dignity and equality.”