Connect with us

Opinion

Why did Nawaz Sharif decide to return?

The Kashmir Monitor

Published

🕒

on

IST

By Mazhar Abbas

Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz decision to return on July 13, knowing well that they can face long prison, has certainly given a new hope to Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) workers. Together, they will be facing 10 years and 7 years rigorous imprisonment, as per verdict of an accountability court. What could be possible reasons behind this decision? Does he want to correct the historical wrong committed in 2001, when he went into exile for 10 years, and hoping to see his party win July-25 elections?

 

 

His decision to return home is certainly a big political gamble, as he knows that it is now-or-never moment for him and his politics. Has he not decided to return, it would have given a walkover to his opponents and their counter narrative, led by Imran Khan that Sharif is out, and now the PML-N will be out also.

 

His main critics, Imran Khan and Asif Ali Zardari, were not sure about his return. One was saying, “London is his actual home”, while the other said that he (Nawaz) had applied for political asylum. Some are still not sure about his return and believe the plan can be changed at the last moment. But, the way his son-in-law decided to court arrest hinted at PML-N’s plans for July 13.

 

Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz know that if they don’t return and face imprisonment, Sharif’s narrative will die down, something which they don’t want. They, in fact, want the PML-N to win the next elections on their very narrative.

 

Some PML-N sources hinted that Shahbaz Sharif is also convinced now that his brother’s narrative is not all that wrong, as he himself fears arrest unless NAB decides to withhold action till elections. His speech on Saturday was far more aggressive than his previous speeches. He stressed more on Nawaz Sharif, his conviction, against NAB and the Nawaz Sharif policies than his own development schemes.

 

How the PML-N would react on July 13 would determine party’s support on the ground, as both Shahbaz and Hamza have decided to lead the welcome procession. They have already given call for receiving Nawaz and Maryam warmly.

 

It will also be a test of the interim government and administration that how they tackle the situation, as there are chances of political tension in the city.

 

On the other hand, the return of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz can silence their critics at least on one point that they did not run away from trial and conviction, like General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

 

They are also not very hopeful of acceptance of their appeal or protective bail. The two also know that they would not be kept in any sub-jail, as the conviction clearly stated that it would be rigorous imprisonment, and those who had seen prison know what did that mean.

 

Irrespective of the merit of the case from disqualification to conviction, Sharif’s decision has buried all kinds of speculations about any ‘NRO’ (underhand deal). So, why he decided to come back so soon?

 

(1) Nawaz Sharif knows that his 2001 decision had not only damaged his politics but also led to break-up of the PML-N and made General (retd) Pervez Musharraf strong. Perhaps, he wants to correct his historical wrong.

 

Nawaz and the family had faced conviction by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Karachi, when Justice (retd) Rehmat Hussain Jaffery was an ATC judge. He had sentenced Nawaz to life in jail in a plane hijacking case, registered on the directive of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf in Oct 1999.

 

Later, the then government filed an appeal in the Sindh High Court for enhancement of conviction from life to death sentence. It was at that point that the family felt Musharraf could send Nawaz to gallows, like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. It was at that point that some family members contacted Saudi royal family and Musharraf allowed the whole family to leave Pakistan, on one condition that they would not return for at least for 10 years.

 

Nawaz Sharif always denied it and believed that Musharraf himself had planned to keep both him and Benazir out of politics, which he did during 2002 elections.

 

It led to cracks in the PML-N, and the PML-Q became the favourite party of the then establishment, which shared power with Musharraf, along with a small group, PPP-Patriot.

 

But Sharif carried that burden throughout his post-2001 politics, like the PPP faced criticism of doing an NRO with Musharraf in 2007. Benazir Bhutto immediately realised and broke the accord by returning on Oct 18, and as consequences was martyred on Dec 27, 2007.

 

Secondly, Nawaz Sharif also wants to prove that people have not accepted his disqualification as well as conviction. The only way available for him is to ensure the PML-N victory in elections. He knows that he cannot contest nor his daughter, but if the PML-N wins the next polls on his narrative, politically he will be able to propagate this perception.

 

Nawaz Sharif had built this perception after July 28, 2017, by leading a procession from GT Road to Lahore, against what he termed an injustice to him. Although, it also led to split views in the PML-N, events which followed after disqualification indicated that his narrative got approval of his followers.

 

Thirdly, Nawaz Sharif is also facing a serious dilemma of the political legacy. He will not be in the electoral race, but still wants that at least Maryam must get some space. He always wanted Maryam to play a role more than his ailing wife, Kalsoom Nawaz, who even surprised him when she had led the protest against Musharraf.

 

Maryam’s entry into politics came along with Kalsoom Nawaz, but after the family left Pakistan, she could not get a chance to show her worth. The moment of her re-entry came after many years in the post-Panama era between 2016 and 2018. She led the campaign for her mother in NA-127, Lahore, and got her elected.

 

She is facing a far more dilemma than her three times elected father. Her electoral debut has been blocked because of her conviction for seven years, and subsequent disqualification for 10 years. So, unless the conviction and disqualification are suspended, she has little chance to be elected to Parliament.

 

Sources close to Nawaz Sharif believe that the last two years had been the most painful years in his political career, not merely because of disqualification and conviction, but more because of direct and indirect remarks which came during the court proceedings.

 

So, this is the final round for the Sharif family as well as for the PML-N. They knew that failure is not an option for them, particularly in the presence of such a powerful counter narrative, which is led by their toughest political rival, Imran Khan, who believes that his narrative against corruption would defeat Sharifs and their narrative on July 25.


The Kashmir Monitor is the fastest growing newspaper as well as digitial platform covering news from all angles.

Advertisement
Loading...

Opinion

While the Dust is settling in New Zealand

The Kashmir Monitor

Published

on

By SPAHIC OMER

While the dust is settling in the aftermath of shootings at two mosques in New Zealand, some rather bigger and more consequential truths and dimensions start emerging. Undoubtedly, the killed brothers and sisters are global heroes. They are also martyrs and Jannah (Paradise)-bound (Insha’Allah we most sincerely hope and pray for them).

Whereas the murderer will spend the rest of his miserable life in jail languishing therein (given that New Zealand since 1961 does not have the death penalty for murder), will die smaller and less significant than when he was born, and, ultimately, is Jahannam(Hell)-bound. Truly, the victims have been given a new and far better life, and so, have been in a certain way set free, while the killer and his agenda have perished as soon as they came to the fore of reality and started rearing their ugly heads.

 

What matters at the end of the day is to live and die with honour and dignity, irrespective of circumstances. What lies between and around those parameters is part of a bigger and to us incomprehensible ontological picture.

In the meantime, virtually the whole world – regardless of the level of many individuals’ and groups’ honesty, or otherwise – is propagating what the true Islam is and who the true Muslims are. In reality, everyone is promoting and preaching Islam, one way or another: from mosques and parliaments, to coffee-shops, homes and media. Debates about Islam, Muslims, the Qur’an, the Prophet (pbuh) and mosques continue – and will for a long time – unabated.

The situation is rivalled perhaps only by what transpired after 9/11.

The phenomenon is positively contributing to silencing the isolated pockets of perpetual hate, bigotry and bona fide terror, and is extinguishing the fading flames of their meaning, purpose and appeal. Despite the tragic and regrettable side of the events, the opportunity that such events presented should be leveraged and sustained. It is not always that most of the world is favourably disposed to the affairs of Islam and Muslims. Overtures are being received from all sides including such as were hardly imaginable before.

By making the most of the presented opportunities, the innocent lives would not be seen as lost in vain. The losses will thus become yet more meaningful as well as impactful. The victims’ rewards will also be greatly amplified thereby.

Hence, Muslims should become braver and more proactive in convincing the world as to who exactly they are, what their Islam is, and what they are living for and how. They should go on the offensive, rather than being perennially on the defensive. There should be no more place for excessive apologetic tendencies.

Such a strategy did not bring much sense, nor benefit, to anybody: neither to Muslims in advancing their Islamic civilizational cause, nor to non-Muslims in coming to terms with the same. Muslims should not unduly worry or be afraid, for a truthful person on an extraordinary mission fears nobody and nothing. Indeed, nothing but truth, light, and clarity of existential mission and purpose are identifiable with courage and gallantry, just as falsehood, darkness, and evil are identifiable with cowardice and its associates. Hence, the New Zealand murderer thought he was brave and would become a hero if he killed innocent and unarmed civilians (worshipers).

However, that is exactly what his victims are, and he, on the other hand, has already become a symbol of gutlessness, idiocy, and villainy. He is furthermore met with universal condemnation, disgust, and cursing for his cruel, inhumane, and barbarous acts that targeted defenceless and harmless civilians.

Moreover, Muslims have nothing to be ashamed of, nor hide. On the contrary, they have everything to cherish, be proud of, and share with the world. Muslims always were, and thus should remain, chief protagonists in generating universal civilizational and cultural goodness and beauty. Muslims should use the unfortunate New Zealand episode and its aftermath to come closer to one another and get united at all levels of their ummatic (collective) existence.

There is no political, social, or sectarian issue that can supersede in importance the above. Everything must be in the service of the former.

Why must Muslims wait for tragic events, such as this one, to come out together as one? Why don’t they do so as soon as possible as a sign of a drastic paradigm shift, whereby many future yet more tragic events could be thwarted, or at least significantly mitigated? Once united, Muslims’ performances in such critical fields as education, politics, economic development, science and technology, as a consequence, would dramatically improve as well. They will not then have to harangue the world on how Islam is the religion of truth, peace, progress, enlightenment and justice. Such will be embodied in concrete deeds, policies, and civilizational initiatives and achievements, and will be there for all to see and benefit from.

It goes without saying that Muslim unity and the unity of their ontological mission and purpose denote a precursor, yet a cause, of any remarkable civilizational consciousness and growth of theirs. The relationship between the two realms is causal, the former always being the cause and the latter the effect. Even though the whole world is sympathetic now, if Muslims do not take the matter into their own hands – and by the scruff of the neck – the sentiment will quickly cool down and subside, and we will be back to square one. Nobody will help Muslims if they do not help themselves. The roles of others can only be secondary in nature, playing second fiddle to what Muslims actually do. Likewise, nobody will respect Muslims unless they respect themselves. That is the root cause of all good – and evil – associated with Muslims.

Muslim civilizational destiny ought to be their own and nobody else’s business and concern. It is therefore only them who is answerable to the Almighty for it.

And as a bit of not-so-coincidental symbolism, since the New Zealand tragedy took place in mosques, it might be just appropriate that a Muslim change of fortune should start exactly in relation to the mosque as a concept and sensory reality. Reviving the mosque institution as a community development center and as a symbol as well as locus of Islam’s and Muslims’ spiritual and physical being will definitely go a long way in successfully charting future development courses not only in the Muslim world, but also elsewhere. Mosques should be turned into sources of and facilities for practicing and disseminating the authentic truth, peace, harmony, equality, and justice. They should be beacons of hope, optimism, cooperation, tolerance, and dialogue. Especially in the West, mosques and the infinite universe of messages and values that they typify, should be promoted via most appropriate means and channels as much to non-Muslims as Muslims. That way, there will be no better, friendlier, and more effective ways of da’wah (inviting people to Islam). Nobody will be able to accuse anyone of proselytizing, or any other perceived wrongdoing. Rather, the efforts will regularly be praised and encouraged by all relevant parties. For the sake of fostering peace, harmony and dialogue, to Muslims through the mosque phenomenon, the sky is surely the limit. That could likewise be a reason why the New Zealand criminal targeted precisely mosques and the day, occasion as well as the time synonymous with mosques’ dynamism and multidimensionality.

And finally, Muslims must actualize and live up to the implications of the Qur’anic archetype according to which only believers and everything they epitomize will in the end be successful, despite numerous trials and challenges along the way. On the other hand, the opponents of truth, oppressors of all kinds and criminals, and everything they characterize, will in the end fail and be dire losers, notwithstanding some ostensible temporary triumphs along the way.

What matters most is a true happy ending primarily in the metaphysical sense of the word, and that life does not turn out to be merely nihilistic, hedonistic, and anticlimactic an affair.

Continue Reading

Opinion

The Roots of the Christchurch Massacre

The Kashmir Monitor

Published

on

By WAJAHAT ALI

For Muslims, Friday Prayer is like Sunday Mass for Christians. It’s the day of community prayer. We travel to our local mosques, our religious sanctuary. Our families gather in the early afternoon to pray as a community. Kids run through the halls as the imam recites the Quran in Arabic. We eat together and mingle outside.

This week, as those of us in the United States attend Friday Prayer, the Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, are preparing for funerals.

 

People around the world are praying for the dead in Christchurch after terrorist attacks at two mosques. The authorities say a 28-year-old Australian walked into two mosques with assault rifles and killed at least 49 people. New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, called it “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”

Thoughts and prayers are not enough. These attacks are the latest manifestation of a growing and globalized ideology of white nationalism that must be addressed at its source — which includes the mainstream politicians and media personalities who nurture, promote and excuse it.

If the gunman’s 74-page manifesto and social media posts are to be believed, he was inspired by a thriving online ideological structure that recruits and radicalizes mostly men to save “Western civilization” from a foreign “invasion.”

We’ve seen this before. The gunman’s justifications for his act of terrorism were similar to those in the 1,500-page manifesto that the Norwegian Anders Breivik posted before he killed 77 people in 2011. Mr. Breivik wanted to punish Europe for its multiculturalism and welcome of Muslim immigrants. His manifesto and attacks are said to have inspired the white nationalist Christopher Hasson, who was recently arrested on charges of stockpiling weapons with the desire to commit mass murder, especially against Muslims.

If the idea that Muslims are a threat sounds familiar, it’s in part because it was used by President Trump to argue for a wall to protect America from a “caravan” of Central American migrants seeking asylum. He asserted that “Middle Easterners” were in the caravan, a claim he admitted he could not back up. During a summer trip to England, Mr. Trump warned that Britain was losing its “culture” and that immigration had “changed the fabric of Europe — and unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was.”

Arguing for his travel ban aimed at mostly Muslim countries, Mr. Trump said, “I think Islam hates us,” lied about seeing Muslims celebrate the Sept. 11 attacks, and retweeted a fringe anti-Muslim group’s fake videos of Muslim refugees committing violence. No wonder the Christchurch manifesto praised Mr. Trump as “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”

It’s clear that the dangers of white nationalism aren’t limited to the United States. This attack is a reminder that this dangerous ideology also threatens immigrant communities worldwide, and that it’s fuelled by leaders around the world.

Australia, where the gunman is said to be from, has plenty of its own anti-Muslim, xenophobic rhetoric.

In 2015, a movement called Reclaim Australia organized protests against the “enforcing of Shariah law in Australia” and “the teaching of Islam in government schools.” The Conversation reported that placards displayed by the group at a rally read “Islam is an enemy of the West.” A key policy goal of the far-right political party Australian Liberty Alliance is to “stop the Islamization of Australia.” Its website warns, “Islam is not merely a religion, it is a totalitarian ideology with global aspirations.”

While Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, described the suspect as “an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist,” an Australian senator, Fraser Anning, responded to the Christchurch attack by blaming “the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”

It seems the senator shares similar sentiments with mass murderers.

In his manifesto, the gunman, who referred to himself as a “regular white man,” wrote that he was carrying out the attack to “directly reduce immigration rates to European lands by intimidating and physically removing the invaders themselves.”

The manifesto reveals an obsession with white supremacy, discussing the Battle of Vienna in 1683, which is glorified by white nationalists and Mr. Breivik as the critical moment when Europe staved off the Ottoman Empire’s advance and protected itself from Islam. Text scrawled on the gunman’s weapons appears to refer to military battles such as the 1189 Siege of Acre, a victory for the Christian Crusaders seeking to retake Jerusalem from Muslims. He mentioned Alexandre Bissonnette, who shot and killed six people in a Quebec mosque in 2017 and was a known white nationalist with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim resentment.

His ideas — and their sources and supporters — were familiar to me. As a researcher for the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s 2011 investigation “Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” I connected fringe anti-Muslim conspiracies — such as the made-up threat of Shariah law in America — to the funding sources, think tanks, media personalities, grass-roots groups and politicians who created and promoted them.

These entities have worked together to reinforce the message that Muslims Americans are inherently radical and represent a “demographic time bomb” that will overtake the white population. Mr. Breivik repeatedly cited these groups and people, many of them now closely linked to the Trump administration. Although they should not be blamed for Mr. Breivik’s violence, Marc Sageman, a former C.I.A. officer and a consultant on terrorism, said Mr. Breivik nonetheless emerges from the same ideological network.

Among white nationalists’ major motivators is “the great replacement” conspiracy theory. They fear that Jews, blacks and Muslims will replace white people and eventually subordinate them. Jews are often viewed as the diabolical head of the cabal, the nerve center, who use their infinite wealth and power to reduce and weaken the white man.

In October, Robert Bowers walked into the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and killed 11 Jewish worshipers. He posted on the right-wing social network Gab that the Jewish refugee resettlement agency HIAS “likes to bring invaders in that kill our people” and “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered.” He also re-shared a post about punishing “filthy evil Jews” for bringing “filthy evil Muslims into the country.” This echoed the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Jewish billionaire George Soros funded the migrant “caravan” — a lie that was promoted by President Trump and other prominent conservatives.

Continue Reading

Opinion

Massacre in Christchurch Mosques

The Kashmir Monitor

Published

on

By ASLAM ABDULLAH


In what the Prime Minister of New Zealand described the darkest day in the history of the country, and the worst terrorist attack in the country so far 49 Muslims belonging to different nationalities and ethnic groups praying together in mosques were massacred by white supremacist terrorists. The Queen of Commonwealth, Pope and many other world leaders have sent notes of sympathy to the government.

This is what we know so far:

 

A white supremacist entered a mosque on Deans Avenue, Christchurch where Muslims had gathered to pray. He was carrying a semi-automatic weapon. He opened fire indiscriminately as there were so many targets busy praying. He was streaming the attack live. Another white supremacist entered a mosque in Linwood.

49 Muslims are dead as of now. 41 at the Central mosque, 7 at Linwood mosque and one in Christchurch hospital. 48 people have been admitted to the hospital with gunshot wounds as of now. Others have been sent to medical centers. The terrorist has been charged and would appear in the Christchurch District Court on Saturday morning.

He was arrested in a city street in a car with explosives and more guns inside. The terrorist described himself as 28-year old Australian Brenton Tarrant. The terrorists were not on the watch list of police either in Australia or New Zealand.

Tarrant had issued a manifesto glorifying white supremacy and had asked the people of the US and Europe to oust immigrants and build a pure white society. Police arrested four people initially, three including Tarrant are in custody. The fourth person was not related to the events, police said.

There was a chaotic scene at Christchurch hospital that has only 12 operating theatres in use for people requiring multiple surgeries. Families of the victims and others came to hospitals and at the mosques looking for their loved ones.

Families have shown up at the hospital and at the Deans Ave cordon seeking news of family members. The police have set up a missing people’s register. Witnesses have given detailed accounts of the horror of their co-coreligionists being killed. Victim support has launched an official fund to support the families of the victims.

Leaders from around the world have condemned this terrorist act. Pope Francis has denounced the “senseless acts of violence” in the Christchurch mosque shootings and said he was praying for the Muslim community and all New Zealanders.

In a telegram of condolences Friday, Francis offered his solidarity and prayers to the injured and those who are mourning lost loved ones and noted that it was a particularly difficult time for security and emergency personnel.

He said he was “deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence at two mosques in Christchurch, and he assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks.”

The message sent by the Vatican secretary of state ended by saying, “Commending those who have died to the loving mercy of Almighty God, Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of comfort and strength upon the nation.”

Meanwhile, Muslim civil rights and advocacy organizations in the USA have issued press releases mourning the deaths of more than 40 worshipers gunned down in terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during prayers on Friday, and condemned the apparent anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hate that motivated the attacks and urged mosques in the United States and worldwide to step up security measures.

The white supremacist author of the manifesto called himself a supporter of President Donald Trump, who he sees “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”

There has been an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants, and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president and has repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist Trump administration policies and appointments.

Mosques and other Islamic institutions should take measures to protect the safety of people visiting places of worship. This is applicable to all institutions, regardless of the organizational mission. (See: What to do during an active shooting)

The white supremacist terrorist issued a 73 page manifesto justifying his massacre. In this he praised President Donald Trump. The manifesto published in a question and answer form asked the following:

“Were/are you a supporter of Donald Trump? The response: Sure, as a symbol of renewed white identify and common purpose? As a policymaker and leader? Dear God no.”

The manifesto has been removed from the website. The terrorist in 73 pages talked about American conservative commentator Candace Owens and says, “Yes the person that had influenced me above all is Candace Owens. Each time she spoke I was stunned by her insights and her own views helped me further and further into the belief of violence over weakness. Thus, I will have to disavow some of her beliefs, the extreme actions she calls for are too much even for my tastes.”

Continue Reading

Latest News

Subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor and receive notifications of new stories by email.

Join 1,000,624 other subscribers

Archives

March 2019
M T W T F S S
« Feb    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
Advertisement