All Terrorism leads to the Al Saud

The request for Pakistani support to invade Yemen and now the threats from “friendly Muslim Brotherly Countries” UAE and KUWAIT.

The sound bites and rationale been publicly stated about invading Yemen, sound eerily similar to the reasons put forward by Bush and Blair to invade Afghanistan and then Iraq !!!

They opened the route for a more powerful country to attack another simply on the basis of aprojected future possible danger from them. Pre emptive Defensive Aggression.  USA invades Afghanistan. USA invades Iraq, twice. Israel attacks the Arabs in 1967, Lebanon decades later and continues to occupy and increase its physical space. And now Saudi launches an air invasion on a terribly weak and poor “Brotherly Muslim Country”. Yemen. 
Ee did right by refusing NOT to get involved in YEMEN or in Saudi Arabia. The bogey being raised to defend the “Khana Kaaba” is just that, a bogey.

 The House of Saud, the Holy Sites and Nejd and Hejaz are very different entities. 

Mecca and Medina have survived, the First Saudi State, when all Holy Sites in Kufa and Karbala were destroyed by Abdul Aziz and his Wahabi, Ikhwan. 

This included the near destruction of the Prophet’s mosque, before these mad monsters were stopped. If the Khan e Kaaba can survive the Qaramthis who took Haj e Aswad away for decades only to return and throw it back.  If these sites can survive the debauchery of the Ottomans, the Egyptians and the Al Saud. Then they can survive.  
So really it’s  not  about the Holy Sites but the survival of the House of Saud and its atempt at Regional bad ass hegemony.  
This comedy is really tragic.  Here is a hugely powerful country, Saudi Arabia, the largest arms buyer in the world unleashing the might of its air force on a poor rag tag bunch of near starving Houthies and then DEMAND Pakistan to come to their DEFENCE ?? 
Are these guys for real?.

Here are some of the “Battle Honors” of the House of Saud.

1. Iraq – Iran War 1980 to 1989. 1 million military and civilian casualties. 3 Million maimed and injured for life. Major instigator and financial Backer of Iraq = Saudi Arabia = 30.6 Billion US Dollars.
2. 1975 – to date. 120 Billion dollars OFFICIALLY spent by Saudi Arabia to propagate its Wahabi / Salafi brand of militant and Jihadist Islam across the globe. Chief “beneficaries” of this “largesse” Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Phillipines, North America and Europe. 70% North American and European Mosques are Wahabi controlled and Saudi Funded. Guess where the ISIS European recruits come from !!
3. 1980 to 1989 – Afghanistan. War against the USSR, Chief financial backer = Saudi Arabia = plus 25,000 Saudi Jihadists came to fight in Afghanistan and look what havoc they are wreaking til date.
4. 1989 to 1993- War against Communist Regime in Afghanistan = Chief Financier = Saudi Arabia.
5. 1993 – 1996 – Civil War between Mujaheddin groups in Afghanistan. Chief sponsors Saudi Arabia and Iran.
6. 9/11. Attack ( conventional wisdom) 15 out of 19 Hijackers were Saudis.
7. Pakistan’s Terrorism menace and TTP. Arguably but conventionally accepted as correct, that majority of the foreign funding comes from private individuals and organisations from…guess again. 100 to 300 million sourced back to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Kuwait.
8. The “Invasion” of Bahrain to save a a despotic King with a 20% majority ruling over an 80% minority .
9. Syrian Civil War – 2011 to date – 250,000 Casualties. Main Financier of the Syrian Rebels – Saudi Arabia. A genocidal attempt to break the so called “Shia Crescent” linking Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
10. Chief Financier of ISIS / DAESH ( (now out of control) to defeat Assad = Saudi Arabia
11. Aggression and Invasion of Yemen, a fellow, brotherly, Muslim country = Saudi Arabia.

We cannot put boots on the ground and for what? To defend this terrible House of Saud against a rag tag army of Houthis or to defend them against their own people?. Who will attack them and why?. The Houthis? And if they can’t fight the Houthis should we? 

Against their own version of DAESH?  Do we want to get involved in a civil war?Against Iran? Can one seriously contemplate an Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia?

Then defend them against whom and what?  Against their nearly century old export of Wahabi terrorism and militancy across the Islamic world?  Against their own terrible chickens which have come home to roost?

Pakistanis will suffer, of course as a consequence for showing some spine and using SPIAGRA, a formulation know to put some stiffness in the spines of hitherto nations with no self respect.  Our people living and working in the Gulf may not have it so good as we did.  Unfortunate but true.  But, perhaps now is the time, we stood up for ourselves, broke the begging bowl, cut the golden handcuffs of financial slavery which ties us to our so called “Brotherly Muslim Countries” and carve our own destiny. Painful but necessary and about time.

The FUTURE if this madness is not stopped.  And the dangerous rhetoric adopted by the Jammat Al Dawah and other ultra orthodiox wahabi friendly political parties such as the Alhle Sunnat Wal Jammat, the reconstituted Sipah e Sahaba and the Jamaat Ahle Hadith, the Wahabi / Hanblai / Salafi political party in Pakistan that the Two Holy Shrines are in danger of being attacked……

1. Shia – Sunni Regional war  to further spread in other countries Cause = Saudi Arabia.
2. Shia – Sunni Civil war in Pakistan = Cause = Saudi Arabia.
And we will rue the day we supported them in Yemen, for it will  put tremendous pressures on our unity and widen the existing fissures and with serious impact on a United Pakistan. Guaranteed

UAE’s Threat to Pakistan. An intemperate outburst unbecoming of a Friend


Dr. Gargash’s statement clearly shows the UAE and the GCC and Saudi Arabia are very angry. It appears that Saudi Arabia’s  chosen the good cop bad cop routine, with UAE being the bad cop.

Pakistan and UAE have had a close mutually beneficial relatioship since the country  became independant. Shaikh Zayed the founder and first Ruler considered Pakistan his second home. He was very liberal in helping Pakistan in times of economic hardship.

In return Pakistani engineers helped set up Etisalat and the power utilities. Pakistani military trained the UAE military.  Pakistani pilots trained UAE pilots. PIA  helped establish Emirates airlines.  Pakistani skilled and unskilled workers helped the Emirate establish and run its Banking,  Health care, Construction, educational and other sectors.

Millions of Pakistan have benefited tremendously, especially economically, from the economic opportunities in the UAE.

Internationally the relationship between the UAE situation was different. The UAE never came out in clear terms on Pakistan’s war against the TTP and Al Qaeda.

Unconfirmed reports base this on a commercial arrangement with these terrorist groups to not do anything in the UAE.

In return the UAE would not publicly say anything against them and will give them “protection” money.

The fact is that while the whole region was, and is in flames, nary a firecracker in the UAE.

But perhaps many don’t know about UAE’s “Neutral” stance on Kashmir.

UAE considered this an “internal issue” between Pakistan and India and has never supported Pakistan’s position.

In a nutshell, both countries helped each other economically  but with different positions in International relations, where each party had to take a partisan position.

To threaten Pakistan with consequences is certainly not what the doctor ordered. But an inappropriate, ill thought, outburst.

Coming down on Pakistan’s expatriate population in retaliation will also be able an intemperate and ill considered action with serious ramifications for the relationship and UAE’S future geo political landscape.

Dr. Gargash spoke in anger. His threat was certainly not the hallmark of a top diplomat of a friendly country.

Pakistan has its own internal demons to fight.

Friends should understand this and the fact that a strong united Pakistan is far better for the UAE then a fractured weak Pakistan.

Supporting an ill advised, poorly thought through military adventure in Yemen would have torn Pakistan from inside. And that would have been very serious not just for the UAE but the entire Region.

Ch. Nisar has done well to respond respectfully but firmly.

Only time will tell whether it’s ..”you’ve taken my lollipop”…. reaction which will continue, or saner heads in the UAE and more importantly Saudi Arabia, will prevail.

A link to the UAE position on Kashmir.

http://www.quora.com/Who-does-UAE-support-in-the-Kashmir-conflict-in-the-UN

Saudia Arabia’s Strategic Blunder in Yemen – Fighting the Wrong Enemy

My perspective is that Saudi Arabia made a huge strategic and tactical blunder and miscalculation in getting involved in this several decades long Yemeni civil war.

And I also think it’s fighting the wrong enemy. Their real enemy is Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and DAESH. Not the Houthies.

This civil war has been going in different forms since the 1960s after the Zaydi Imamate was overthrown and the country divided into the Communist North and Muslim South as two countries. North and South Yemen.

At that time the Saudis actively supported the Houthis against the communists who were supported by the Socialist Nasser and his Egyptian Army. Over the years the conflict has morphed taking tribal, factional, religious and sectarian forms. Between various tribes and factions,  Al Qaeda, Abdullah Saleh, Abd Rabo, the Zaydi Syeds and now a sub part of them, the Houthis.

So a real messy hell hole. And Saudi Arabia chooses to step into it. Again. Wow !!

Also for the first time in nearly 4 decades Iran finds itself in a relatively better geo political position than Riyadh. And If I may also say with very unsure factual underpinnings,  there may be a brief doing the rounds of the State Department and Pentagon that perhaps the end of the House of Saud is near and hence real politik demands a readjustment of alliances.

Bit far fetched I agree but not beyond the realms of possibility and probability.

So I believe that the Yemen conflict is really an internal Yemeni issue but with  huge impact on Saudi Arabias internal politics and the survival of the House of Saud. It could and likely will be a catalyst to destabilise the Peninsula. And this is really what scares the Al Saud. Their survival. More than 50% of the Saudi Army is of Yemeni descent. In fact if one goes back in history the entire population of The Peninsula originated from Yemen.

And at a tactical level the Houthies are advancing South to Aden, which they’ve just taken over and Saudi Arabia is to the North.

 In my opinion the battle the Saudis should be fighting is with the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP who the Houthis are also fighting. If anybody threatens Saudi Arabia and Mecca and Medina more its AQAP in its South in Yemen and DAESH on its East in Iraq and Syria.

So if there ever was a Shaikh Chilli cutting the branch on which I’m sitting stupidity by Saudi Arabia, this is perhaps right on top.

Currently,  Iran for long at the receiving end of “Saudi love and brotherhood”  has Saudi Arabia on the backfoot. It would like to see the demise of the Al Saud and replaced by a gentler government and therefore in all likelihood fully supporting the Houthis.

But I think while the House of Saud’s end is near, there is great danger that it may be replaced by much more radical groups more biased towards DAESH type of Islam and hence cause even greater havoc.

So Iran has to be very careful for what it wishes for. As the Chinese say it may just come true.

For us. We need to stay out.

House of Saud, Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan and Iran

….. “Nawaz Sharif, specifically, is very much Saudi Arabia’s man in Pakistan,” Mr. Alwaleed says….(Prince Waleed’s interview with the Wall Street Journal)

.this is the most direct reference by Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz on how the Saudis exercise control in Pakistan through “their man” Nawaz Sharif and their “gifts”…..another leading European Geo Political analyst calls Nawaz Sharif ….”the Saudi ruling family’s “Shoeshine” boy ready to do their bidding at the drop of the hat….”

So the Saudi ruling family wants Nawaz Sharif to send “Sunni” Pakistani troops to help them fight a loosely confederated rag tag bunch of Yemeni tribes and Zaidi Houthis who’ve been fighting anybody and everybody forever.

These guys are as trigger happy as our own local Houthis called the FATA PATHANS! ! And in the 1960s they caused 20,000 Egyptian troops to reach the Maker quicker than they expected. So beware.

But what I say now, comes from a very senior serving 3 star horse’s mouth, who has told me that he would publicly deny if I quoted his name. So no names.

Some time ago in a conversation with then Prince Salman now King Salman, the Prince says to this 3 star ..” why don’t you Pakistanis get rid of the Shias of Pakistan”….. this was then repeated by a senior ranking Saudi General also a member of the royal family….

Well they may not be able to get rid of the Shias of Pakistan, but if we did participate in this so called Iran Saudi proxy war, it will open the floodgates of sectarian strife and civil war in Pakistan, where our Militancy in FATA will look like walk in the park.

It will also be another black scar on our conscience the other being the “massacre of 1000’s of Palestinians by King Hussein of Jordan ably supported by a certain Brig. Zia ul Haque in Jordan in 1970”.

…in the words of Moshe Dayan…. “Pakistanis and King Hussein killed more Palestinians in eleven days than Israel could kill in twenty years.”

The end of the House of Saud is on the cards. Another cliché. Writings on the wall. We don’t want to get sucked in this quicksand.

The Saud have done enough damage to Islam and Muslims since that terrible pact between Mohammad Ibn Wahab and Abdul Aziz in 1744.

Let nature’s nemesis take its course and let them get their just desserts ! (enough clichés)

And then ever so often people question my sectarian bias and asked if I was against the House of Saud, or the Yemen invasion aor Saudi Wahabiism.

So here’s my answer.

First, I think I will change my name to Mohammad Ramzan so people dont get thrown away by my so Shia sounding name and immediately label me a “Shia Sectarian Iranian agent”.

Second. I am vehemently, openly and inequivocally against all three.

Against Al Saud.
Against intervention in Yemen and against Saudi Wahabiism.

And all three are closely connected and stem from the same evil root. The unholy satanic alliance between Mohammd Ibn Wahab and the son of Saud,  Abbul Aziz in 1744.

The sectarian fissures in Pakistan are thanks to the Saudis, and no not the Iranians, unfortunately, far more stark then they were in 1980 and in 1993 during the Afghan civil war between the Saudi / Pakistani backed Hekmatyar and Haqqani and Irani backed Ahmad Shah Massoud.

And now on the Government’s decision whether to send Pakistan Army to prop up the Al Saud, participate in their dirty war and clean their crap.

Even during Gen Zia ul Haque’s time he flatly refused any Shia Sunni distinction.

And the Saudis now ask for a “Sunni” Pakistani Army!!!. Better ask for an Israeli contingent as well.

Gen. Raheel please be warned you’ll destroy Pakistan if you allow this Saudi Shoeshine boy, Nawaz Sharif to send our boys to clean their diapers.

If anyone is genuinely interested on the role Saudi Arabia has played in fuelling terrorism and militancy,  please read my thoughts on the roots of militancy in Islam and see how they start from Ahmed ibn Hanbal  in the 9th Century to Ibn Tayemmiah on the 12th Century, to Mohammed Ibn Wahab in the 18th Century to Syed Qutub, Mohammed Faraj, Abdullah Azzam, Ayman Al Zwahiri, Osama Bin Laden in the 20th Century and now Abu Bakr Baghdadi in the 21st Century. The link is at the end of this article.

And unfortunately whether we like it or not, historically it has been the Saudi Wahabi brand of Islam which was, is and will continue to be the basis of the terrible belief system of the ISIS / DAESH and the TTP and the Sectarian terrorists outfit in Pakistan such as the ASWJ, the Sipah e Sahaba and the Lashkare Jhangvi.

For the naysayers and the uninitiated a simple comparison of  Sunni doctors, professors, intellectuals, government servants been killed Vs Shias will answer this question of a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Pakistan.

And pray how many by these extreme Sunni terrorist organisations in Pakistan compared to Shias?

Sir. This was not a proxy war between Saudi and Iran in Pakistan. It was a Saudi funded genocide of fellow Muslims, the Shias in Pakistan.

As plain and as simple as that.

Over 70% of Deobandi mosques in Pakistan are funded directly or indirectly by Saudis.

Over 300 Million Dollars, as estimated by the USA government, of annual funding to TTP originated from sources within Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait.

36 Billion dollars were given to Saddam by Saudi Arabia to start the war against Iran which lasted 9 years from 1980 to 1989 and killed over a million people.

Over 100 Billion Dollars have been spent by the Saudi Government to propagate Wahabiism across the Globe subverting Schools, Colleges, Universities, Madrassahs, Political parties, political leaders. Nawaz Sharif being one most prominent. Terrorist organisations like the DAESH, TTP, the ASWJ, The Sipah e Sahaba and the Lashkare Jhnagvi.  Government’s like Pakistan, Mubarak’s and Sisi’s Egypt, Saddam’s Iraq before he invaded Kuwait and the list is endless.

15 of the 19,  9/11 Hijackers were Saudis. 20,000 Saudis came to Afghanistan to fight and created the terrible mess we are in.

These guys really deserve no mercy. They’ve destroyed whatever there was of Muslim unity.

So when people talk about Iran meddling in other countries, my question is what would you do if your entire neighbourhood, overnight, after the Shah of Iran was overthrown, became your enemy including the entire West and the World’s biggesst Superpower?.

Would you sit pretty and twiddle your thumbs and let the Saudis and their proxies walk over you and bring about a regime change or would you fight for your survival?

Simple answer. Fight for your survival.

So I’m not an apologist for Iran and I’m sure they’ve done their bag of dirty tricks but nowhere near the terrible terrible chaos that the House of Saud has perpetrated in the Region and in Pakistan.

Here’s another thing to think about.  Forget sects. Just look at Governance.

Iran has had 11 Presidential and parliamentary elections since their revolution in 1979.

It has a working parliament, a system that can imprison former ministers and or relatives of Presidents.

Yes the clergy still has power beyond what they should but it is waning.  The recent nuclear deal with USA is a battle that the conservative clergy lost.

Saudi is a Monarchy and a terrible one at that. No human rights, no right to vote, no nothing.

A police state like Stalinist Russia.

They treat us Pakistanis like animals. A Saudi is forbidden to marry a Pakistani. That’s your Ummah for you.

In fact they treat everybody like animals, except the Americans and the Europeans.

Finally sir. Iran is a neighbour with a long border with us. Not Saudi Arabia. We want a friend on our border not an enemy.

The House of Saud’s end has come whether people like it or not. Its as plain as the blue sky.

How and when? I dont know. But surely  sooner than people think and expect.

Many people comment on the relationship between Hezbollah, Hasan Nasrallah  and Iran when one points out the nexus between Saudi Arabia and DAESH.

To me its comical. So steeped in prejudiced hatred are the Al Bakistani supporters of Al Saud that they will run down an organisation like Hezbollah which has single handedly taken on Israel and fought the Israeli army to a standstill,  as if its something terribly “evil”.

It’s crazy what prejudice and hypocrisy can throw up!!

Lets be clear. Hasan Nasrallah is in an open alliance with Iran.

Hezbollah is fighting DAESH in Iraq. Hezbollahs enemies are not Yemen or Iraq or Syria or even Saudi Arabia but ISRAEL.

But for Hezbollah, Lebanon today would have been like the Palestinian West Bank and the Gaza Strip. A Ghetto.

But I’m not sure what’s their point?

Are they saying that Hezbollah and Iran are aligned.? Yes. Absolutely. Openly. Brazenly and Bravely.

Is it a bad. No. Absolutely not.

And then really the big question.

What have the Saudis ever ever ever practically done to help the Palestinians?

They let King Hussein of Jordan kill 25000 Palestinians in 1970 thanks to Pakistan and Brig. Zia ul Haque.

And surprise surprise, they sided   with the Shia Houthis against the leftist Yemeni President in the 60’s.

They have a tacit unwritten agreement with Israel to allow Israeli planes to use Saudi air space to attack Iran.

Has Israel ever uttered one word even in anger against the Saudis in recent years?.

Who do you think wants a weak Iran other than Saudi Arabia and the USA? Israel!.

Why did the Saudis fund the overthrow of the first and only legitimately elected Egyptian government of President Morsi, in over 5 decades?

Why are they so paranoid?

Because they know their time is up.

It would have been in their and everybody’s interest including Pakistan to befriend Iran.

But being the Americans shoeshine boys they wanted to become the local badmash and strongman after the Shah of Iran, so they created this Iranian bogeyman out to destabilize the Middle East and fanned the fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

But, In my opinion, I think, finally the Saudis have run out of rope.

Let them now hang themselves.

Here’s the link on how Saudis have fuelled militancy and terrorism.

http://shrmehdi.blogspot.ca/2014/12/the-roots-of-terrorism-and-militancy-in.html

A possible Middle East in 10 years – 2025

This is a hazardous and controversial attempt to try and see how events can unfold in the Middle East in the next 10 years.

My reasons for these assessments are at the tail end of this post.

These are purely based on my pretensions to be a geo-political analyst and a psuedo historian. So please feel free to differ.

Thank you

1. House of Saud unlikely to last out the decade. Don’t see another King from the Abdul Aziz family. Or maybe perhaps just one more.

2. Sectarian strife in Eastern provinces of Now KSA. Likely join Bahrain.

3. ISIS/DAESH will take over some parts of the Arabian Peninsula. In some cases already has through the AQITP in the Yemen. This area will eventually fall to DAESH who are a much much greater threat to the House of Saud than the Houthies can ever be.

4. Bahrain will be ruled by its majority Shia citizenry.

5. Other Monarchies in Gulf will follow KSA. Demographics in these countries will exercise their natural and logical state.

6. Iran will emerge as the one of the biggest Regional powers in competition with India and Turkey. And have a strong working relationship with USA. Pakistan could be another serious contender for Middle Eastern and South Asian leadership with India and Iran See 9.

7. Egypt will undergo another huge change dominated by the Right. Remain unstable.

8. ISRAEL will come under serious pressure from the USA for a rapprochement with Palestinians. Some sort of a half baked two state agreement witll be reached.  Israel will side with any and all forces to dislodge Iran. Will not succeed.

9. Pakistan will become a game changer finally breaking it’s umbilical chord with current KSA. But with a dangerous possibility of a sectarian civil war. Unless there are serious political reforms and grass roots political engagement and governance the wood is dry and the flames plenty. If we do then we will be The Regional Power second only to India.

10. ISIS DAESH will take about a decade to die.

11. Syria will split into Shia and Sunni ruled parts with Daesh. Assad will be history.

12. Iraq will split into Shia, Sunni with Daesh and Kurd states.

13. Iranian clergy will lose its dominant role and liberals will actively share power.

14. China and not USA will dominate and influence the Region.

I say the above based on my assessment of the consequences of the Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the sectarian battles that have erupted, the Rise of ISIS and DAESH, the Arab spring, the assertiveness of the dispossessed and the socially and economically disadvantaged in the Middle Eastern countries

And very importantly the manner in which seemingly rock solid police states like Shah’s Iran, Qaddafi’s Libya, Saddam’s Iraq, Mubarak’s Egypt, Zin El Abedeine’s Tunisia, Saleh’s Yemen,  collapsed in months once these countries imploded through external and internal pressures.

Even the might of the Soviet Army and its dreaded KGB could not save the USSR from disintegrating. So what of these benign monarchies pretending to be Super Powers.

And for those holding a contrarian view…as my dear late departed father used to say, May Allah Bless His Soul….”enjoy the coffee my friend and lets talk in 10 years…” Insha Allah, if we are all around.

And a free coffee for every wrong deduction and assessment 🙂

And here’s an afterthought about Yemen not for me but from the Nation newspaper in Pakistan…worth reading to open the nostrils and smell the filth….

http://nation.com.pk/blogs/30-Mar-2015/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-yemen-conflict 

Col. S.G. Mehdi MC. The passing away of a Great Warrior

This article is my attempt to recount some aspects of our father’s career as a soldier, a leading Geo Political authority & expert and above all, a most passionate and patriotic Pakistani as well as some aspects of his personal life.

He was born on 24 December 1921 in Karnal,  East Punjab to Mir Khaslat Hussain and Ejaz Fatima. He was the eldest of 8 siblings. 4 brothers and 4 sisters. His given name was Mohammad Hussain and as was the culture in those days was also given another name, Syed Ghaffar Mehdi, by which he was and is known.

His family were part of the Sadaat e Baarha of Barsat and Bidoli in India, or the 12 Syeds. These Zaidi Syeds, through Abul Farha Wasthi, are directly descended from Hazrat Zaid Shaheed, hence the name Zaidi, the younger son of Imam Zainul Abedin, and grandson of Imam Hussain, the Holy Prophet’s Grandson, who was martyred at Karbala.

Everyone said he was a voracious reader devouring history books. As his sisters narrate he was also a sickly boy and one day got beaten bad at school by a Sikh class fellow.  He vowed to come back next year and take revenge.

As the story goes his father, our grandfather, engaged a professional wrestler for the grand sum of 5 Rs per month to tutor young Mehdi in the art and science of physical wrestling and to beef up his muscles. And but of course the poor little Sikh boy didn’t know what hit him when they next met!!! Such was his determination, his hallmark which has been his badge all his life.

His love for Pakistan pre dated Partition. As a young student in March 1940, he travelled with the Quaid e Azam from Ferozepur to Lahore hanging outside the Quaid’s train compartment along with his childhood friend and subsequently my father in law, the late Syed Nusrat Hussain Zaidi, as the Quaid making his way to Lahore for his historic 23rd March Address.

My late father in law, Bubba to all, the epitome of grace and silent brilliance, was one of those rare people who could stand up to Agha. Their friendship further strengthened by my marriage to his angelic daughter, my best friend and childhood sweetheart, Shaheena (Sheena).

Later Agha joined the army in 1941 and fought in the 2nd World War in Burma. On 14 August 1944 Agha wrote to the Quaid e Azam on his Regimental letter head, donating his 26 acres of  prime agricultural land to the Muslim League given to him in lieu of his Military Cross for Valor in Burma in the 2nd World War.

On 22nd December 1945, he again wrote to the Quaid-e-Azam, boldly on the Regimental letter head of his unit 1/15 Punjab Regiment, now 9 Punjab, excitedly describing to I am sure, a pretty bemused Quaid, about his first parachute jump.

The Quaid e Azam replied to his letters in “…emotional overtones rarely seen in his letters…” so quoted Khalid Shamsul Hassan saheb, son of Shamsul Hassan saheb, the Quaid’s Private Secretary,  from whose archives the Quaid’s reply was originally discovered by me through an incredibly chance encounter.

In 1982, while I was working for DAWN Newspaper after leaving the Army in 1981, I happened to visit the late Khalid Shamsul Hassan saheb, in his office in National Bank of Pakistan and being the curious questioner, enquired about a row of thick books on his bookshelf.

He said these were records of the Quaid’s correspondence with people, compiled from his father’s records. I told him how wistfully our father would tell us about the letters he had written to the Quaid and how the Quaid had replied. And his greatest regret in life was losing the Quaid’s letter to him during the move to Pakistan during Partition.

Upon hearing his name he looked up sharply, walked to the bookshelf. A minute or or two later he showed me two documents. The Quaid’s letter to a certain Lt. S.G. Mehdi as well a letter written in Urdu dated 14 August 1944 ( 3 years to the day before Independence) from the same person to the Quaid.

I immediately recognized Agha’s writing and excitedly requested a copy. The scene back in the house when I gave him these letters was completely unexpected. This hard as nails ex SSG COMMANDO just slumped in his sofa chair with silent tears rolling down his cheeks as he read and re read and re read the letters over and over again. My heart went out to him as I realized how excruciatingly painful and sad it must be for him to see the state of the country. This was 1982 with Zia’s terrible rule at its peak.

These letters, now with us, are perhaps our most cherished of our father’s legacies.

But in those days in 1944 this letter writing nearly got him court martialed for indulging in political activities by writing to the Quaid as a serving officer. But the unit Subedar Major informed the British Commanding Officer that the unit would revolt if Captain “Killer” Mehdi as he was fondly known, was court martialed.

He was a member of the boundary force transferring refugees between India and Pakistan and saved 1000’s on both sides from certain death. His bristling moustache, booming voice, one arm akimbo arrogantly on his waist the other holding his sten gun at the ready, on top of his jeep, and his troops were mostly enough to put the fear of God on both Muslim and Hindu marauding mobs. As a result not one of the trains and convoys he escorted suffered a single casualty.

He alongwith Col.Latif later Brigadier, Lt. Col later Lt. Gen. Attiqur Rehman, Maj later Maj. Gen. Abid Ali Bilgrami, Major later Lt. Gen Abdul Hamid Khan, Captain later Gen.Tikka Khan, and others formed the officer nucleus of the new Pakistan Military Academy.

Earlier when he was posted to the Indian Military Academy in 1946 the Commandant Brig. Iyappa told Lt. Col. Atiqur Rehman that ” Mehdi was a real find” !

In Pakistan Military Academy He was specially selected by the first Commandant Brig. Ingall to become its first adjutant. As adjutant, he famously did his rounds, not on foot but on his horse !!

This is where he married and brought his beautiful, most elegant and angelic life partner our dearest mother, Sultana Mehdi from the great and proud Qazilbash clan, part of which had settled in Lahore.  May Allah Bless her Dear Departed Soul. A partnership which continued through thick and thin till March 2010 when our dear mother passed away. Bibi as we and everybody addressed this wonderful graceful angelic lady, who never ever thought or said ill of anybody, always stood by him and was the balm that gave him solace in his darkest hours of professional loneliness.

Agha then became founder Company Commander of Qasim company in PMA. Many of Pakistan’s Army’s future generals were cadets who “passed out”, the Military’s strange way of saying, “graduated”, from the Academy under the stern gaze of “Killer” Mehdi. Lt. Gen Fazle Haque, later Governor of then NWFP , Lt. Gen Salahuddin Abbassi later Governor Sind, Lt. Gen Rahimuddin,  later Governor Baluchistan were among the few I can recall now.

One of his favourite cadets was the effervescent quick witted, wonderful gentleman, His Excellency the Wali of Swat, late Mian Gul Aurangzeb, then “GC” Aurangzeb or Gentleman Cadet Aurangzeb.  In later years when Miangul Aurangzeb was Governor, Baluchistan, he and his most elegant life partner, the beautiful Begum Naseem Aurangzeb, daughter of President Ayub Khan, an epitome of grace and beauty, hosted Agha on several occasions, which Agha cherished deeply, especially at a time when he was in the woods. This mutual love and respect is now reflected in my deep friendship and affection for Mian Gul Adnan Aurangzeb, his elder son, who exemplifies the sterling qualities of both his parents.

Later Agha became an instructor at the Staff College Quetta and also subsequently helped establish the War College under Maj. Gen. Sahibzada Yaqub and became its first Chief Instructor. Before and after he served on many key staff and command roles as Brigade Major, G2, G1, Col Staff, Commanding Officer and Group Commander SSG, as well as staff appointments at the GHQ.

He was the only officer till 1950 to have been given a Distinction in his Staff College Course in Camberley, England.

While one can recount countless tales of his incredibly colorful professional life, one incident when he was a Major and G2 Plans in the SEATO (South East Asian Treaty Organisation) secretariat in the mid 1950s, is worth narrating.

SEATO was an international Defence pact of 8 countries lead by the USA to curtail communist expansion in South East Asia. The members were Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States.  This particular year, Pakistan was hosting the Foreign Ministers and of great importance was for them to present a forceful case of the Northwest threat from Afghanistan because the now famous late John Foster Dulles, the US Secretary of State was attending and military aid to Pakistan was high on the agenda.

Late Maj. Gen. Nawabzada Sher Ali Khan Pataudi, who headed the Pakistani defence delegation of which young Mehdi was a member as the Staff Planner, tried to convince the then Pakistani Foreign Minister, Mr. Amjad Ali, to allow Gen. Sher Ali to speak when it came to the “military” part of the Minister’s presentation. FM Amjad Ali would have none of it and insisted he would present, much to Gen. Sher Ali’s acute displeasure and frustration. Reluctantly Sher Ali gave in. Major Mehdi was in the threesome as this was being hotly debated.
As FM Amjad Ali made his presentation and came to the military portion, I now narrate this incident as described by Air Marshal Asghar Khan in his book “The Lighter side of the Power Game” in the chapter titled ” A Major’s Coup” !!
“……. a ferocious looking army paratroop Major leapt from behind the Chairman’s dias. Unfolding a large map in front of the foreign minister and hiding him from view he clicked his heels and addressing the SEATO council said: “Gentlemen I will now brief you on the military threat from Afghanistan”.

“…..What is all this”? asked Amjad Ali in a whisper to the General seated next to him. “How should I know” was the reply. “I’m as surprised as you are”. Let’s see what he has to say”.

The Major had in the mean time started at high speed with a torrent of military jargon and terminology. His manner was so forceful and he appeared so determined that nothing could be done but to let him have his say.

…..The SEATO foreign ministers looked at each other in amazement and at the head of the Pakistani delegation as if to say ” what’s going on?” Amjad Ali had one more try at repairing the situation and asked the General to “stop him”. “How can I” said the General “I didn’t start it”.

Amjad Ali then slid back into his chair, gazing vacantly at the ceiling till the Major had said all he had to say which must have taken 10 to 15 minutes……..”

In later years Agha would recount this story to us amidst rip roaring laughter. But he never told us if this was pre-planned with Gen. Sher Ali or it was his own doing. I strongly suspect the latter, as Gen. Sher Ali was too much of a “proper” military person to have given such a go ahead.

Agha commanded two field units, 15 Punjab and then later the SSG.

He Commanded 15 Punjab also known as 33 Mohammadis, in Bannu and being the maverick that he was, bought a Horse Tonga in beautiful black and gold, and would drive it all over the Cantonment and to office, to the amazement and amusement of both civilians and military.

Once I vaguely recall as a terror stricken 3 year old, him averting a serious accident as the horse went wild and with the whole family sitting, dashed wildly out of control. All I recall in those fearful moments were his colorful phrases trying to control the panicked animal, which he eventually did.

The unit became the top battalion in the Division prompting his good friend and Brigade Commander Brig. Sharif later Gen Sharif to remark “Killer, leave some trophies for the other units!!”

His troops both loved him and feared him and so honored him in later years after his retirement by making him the Honorary Colonel of the Battalion.

Being Received by Lt. Gen Jehanzeb Arbab, then 5 Corps Comd- Dec 1976

Many people also don’t know that one of the reasons he was handpicked personally by Gen. Ayub to head the SSG was because of an earlier assignment the late President Ayub had personally given Agha.

This is 1962 – 63, Quetta. The Afghans were stirring trouble in Baluchistan directly and through the then Khan of Kalat. Col Mehdi then on a Staff assignment in Quetta was given the undercover task to operate inside Afghan territory and conduct clandestine operations. It was completely hush hush.  No military units were to be involved. Only the Corps Commander knew, other than the President and Col. Mehdi and perhaps two other people. It was a case of complete deniability should these guys ever be caught.

Agha got 100 or so top Mehsud marksman from Waziristan through his old Subedar Major of World War 2 days, had them trained in mining bridges etc and raiding small Afghan pickets. Over the next few months, these guys made life hell for Afghan military convoys and pickets and posts with no casualties on the Pakistan side. A few months later President Ayub came to Quetta. At the airport as Col. Mehdi saluted him in the reception line he gently put his hand on our father’s shoulder and said ever so softly. ” Call it off Mehdi…they’ve agreed to talk” and that was it.

No medals, no commendation. This was just pure duty and patriotism. The Mehsuds went back suitably enriched beyond their dreams. Clandestine operations pay well !!

His crowning glory at SSG was to transform the SSG from a Guerrilla outfit under the control of USA military advisers whose task was to launch insurgency operations against a possible future Chinese occupation of Pakistan with targets such as the Radio Pakistan, Ravi Bridge etc!. into a Commando outfit operating behind enemy lines and conducting Special Operations.

For reasons better known to them, the two previous commanders did not find anything amiss in keeping  SSG’s role confined to fighting the Chinese occupiers of Pakistan on behalf of the Americans. One was then Col. Mitha, later Maj.Gen and I forget the second. When Agha took over, his first request to GHQ was the removal of all American advisers and their families from Cherat, then the SSG Headquarters. The Americans strongly resisted and as a final threat refused to help establish the parachute training school if the GHQ acceded to Col. Mehdi’s request.

GHQ was in in a quandary, till he got onto a jeep, went down to Pindi and in his extremely logical manner convinced  and assured them that the Para School would go ahead without the Americans and that he had the necessary local Jump Masters to do the job. I’m not sure if that was true, but he would do anything to get rid of the Americans. So the USA military advisers left. And the Para school established. 1000 para commandos trained and ZERO casualties. The Americans had a 5% casualty rate documented as part of their SOP!!!

Plaque Below Col. S.G. Mehdi’s Phot at SSG HQ

At age 44,  he was the first jumper out of the plane of this first batch of Para commandos wholly trained by Pakistani instructors.

His last jump before that was in 1945, 19 years ago!! Earlier an incredulous instructor tried to dissuade him saying...Sir even the parachutes have changed now from your 2nd World War time...but he would have none of it…so he did two quick tower jumps and off he went to the plane.

Agha’s picture at SSG HQ 

He renamed Cherat as the Eagles Nest. Personally selected and oversaw the design of the SSG  para wing, it’s famous insignia of the Dagger and Lightening bolts, the selection of the distinctive Maroon beret and the label of SSG soldiers as Janbaz and not Jawan. The SSG officer and soldier was a “Mun Janbazum”. I am a Janbaz. Ever ready to lay down my life. He also had as their battle cry the stirring “Ya Ali” ! The last falling victim to sectarianism during Gen. Zia’s time.

His lasting legacy to SSG perhaps was the Angry Eagle exercise, considered one of the toughest military exercises in the world done over several months. Now I believe discontinued.

He was the ultimate commander and loved his troops and officers, always fought for them and supported them. He was also the ultimate disciplinarian  and detested cowardice. He embraced Courage with a capital C. Both Physical and Moral.

The former got him his Military Cross the latter cost him his career.

His Military Cross action is an interesting and bizarre episode with an aspect of humor which perhaps only the brutality of war can bring out.

One day in 1943, while leading a Jungle patrol in Burma his patrol suddenly came across a Japanese one. Both equally surprised to see the other!!

Both sides opened fire instantly and he hit the ground as he had been at the front of the Patrol. Soon the firing from his side subsided and he thought all his men had been killed.

The Japanese called out to him to surrender. Hidden in the bush he decided to fight it out. And as fate would have it he killed all 10 by surprising them from an unexpected side. He searched for the bodies of his own troops and couldn’t find any !!.

Meanwhile he collected “evidence” of his encounter too gruesome to describe here including the ceremonial Samurai sword of the Japanese officer leading the Japanese Patrol. He then headed back to his unit headquarters with his “booty” ….”his boots completely covered in blood up to his ankles….” as noted his MC citation, from the “booty collection”.

There he found his entire patrol all alive, describing to the others how valiantly “Captain saheb” had fought the Japanese before being gunned down to death. And how the Patrol had desperately tried to retrieve his body but couldn’t but in the process did kill quite a few Japanese.

What had actually happened was that the Patrol seeing him go down as the firing started deduced that he had been killed instantly. And discretion being the better part of Valor decided it was better to live and fight another day. What happened to them is another sad story of course.

The Ceremonial Samurai sword now decorates my house wherever I live. It is a source of great honour and inspiration to all of us of this great fearless, courageous man.

His tales are still recounted with glee and laughter and respect and inspiration in the officers messes, unit lines, in the corridors of military offices, training institutions and training grounds where ever he served this great Army and Pakistan.  

Finally retiring in December 1968 on his birthday as Station Commander Karachi. Even in this gentle assignment he made waves. While receiving Alexi Kosygin the then USSR Foreign Minister on a visit to Pakistan in 1967 he refused to lean forward even slightly to shake Kosygin’s hand and so the Russian foreign Minister had to do the bowing. The picture captures this event ever so vividly. Politely enquired ( by now no one messed with him, even the C in C) he said…” a soldier only bows when he falls to an enemy bullet…”

Receiving USSR FM Kosygin

He never suffered fools, always said what he thought was right and always stood by his values and convictions.

As Group Commander SSG in 1965 he strongly opposed the ill fated infiltration of Pakistani SSG Commandos into occupied Kashmir, called Operation Gibralter. This was the brainchild of Maj Gen Akhtar Malik, otherwise a brilliant soldier. Both respected  each others professional brilliance but this time were on opposite sides of a major operational decision. The plan was to infiltrate commandos and other troops inside occupied Kashmir, carry out hit and run raids, live of the land and give Pakistan a strategic advantage. Agha termed it a “Bay of Pigs” and said the operation would fail, similar to the ill fated USA attempt to land troops in Cuba. He said this because of its operational and tactical lack of preparedness and planning. Hence he refused to go along with the Army High Command.

In a famous encounter with Gen. Musa then the C-in-C, a decent man but a professionally challenged individual, Agha told him after Gen. Musa had heard both him and Gen. Akhtar Malik present their arguments for and against Gibralter “…Sir you’re the Commander in Chief so now tell us what do you think? ….

Gen. Musa remained silent. Col. Mehdi repeated the question again this time very forcefully. To which Gen.Musa replied...It’s always very interesting listening to you Col Mehdi saheb…” at this Agha saluted turned to Gen. Akhtar Malik and said…” You won’t get away with this…” and stormed out of the C-in C’s Operations Room.

He went back to SSG Headquarters and put his concerns in writing via a signal formally to GHQ. He was then told by GHQ to destroy his copy of his signal as they had done the same. He didn’t and years later his stance was vindicated by all and sundry.

Thus on 30th August 1965, he was sacked as Group Commander SSG. The Operation went ahead sending countless young men to certain death. Interestingly SSG records show him as the Commander right upto 21 September 1965.  Perhaps a ham handed effort to tag Operation Gibralter’s failure to his name in subsequent narration of history. Who knows. The record has to date not been corrected.

After the war Gen. Akhtar Malik and Agha reconciled and in 1966 both met in Quetta when Gen. Akhtar Malik was Commandant Staff College. Gen. Malik’s younger son Latif Malik and I were  class fellows and very close friends in Lawrence College and are still in contact. Gen Malik tragically died in a car accident along with his wife in Turkey in 1968.

But the SSG has always been Agha’s dear love and they have reciprocated in kind. They have honored him in life and in his transition much much beyond what one expected. His photograph occupies the central location at the SSG  HQ, the ultimate honour to its real founder and pioneer.

I have seen my father cry only four times in my entire life. Crying means silent tears.

1. At his mother’s passing away.

2. On hearing about the failure of Operation Gibralter and the casualty count of those young officers and Janbaz’s who he had nurtured like his own children.

3. On the fall of East Pakistan in December 1971.

4. And finally the day he re-read the letters he had written to the Quaid e Azam and the Quaid’s reply. His second letter to the Quaid was located by me from the Quaid e Azam archives in Islamabad, through the kind courtesy of late Dr. Zawwar Hussain Zaidi the then Director of the Archives. These letters are a source of great pride for our whole family.

After being relieved of his command of the SSG for opposing Operation Gibralter he found himself as Col. Staff of 15 Div in Sialkot, under Brig Ismail (acting Maj. Gen). As Col. Staff he took it upon himself to deploy 15 Division in its battle positions on 4th September, well before the 6th September Indian Attack, which caught many other formations completely off guard. Subsequently Brig. Ismail was relieved of his command for some poor decisions, one being the blowing up of Jassar Bridge, much against Agha’s extremely forceful request, to not do so. But the Pakistani Brigade Commander, Brig. Muzaffaruddin, had cold feet and thought that the Indians had crossed over Ravi to our side and established a bridgehead and hence the need to destroy the bridge to stop Indian reinforcements and also to isolate the “phantom bridge head”.

After the bridge was blown up, the result was NO bridgehead and NO bridge!!  But for the brave valour of late Brig. later Lt. General Abdul Ali Malik, HJ, and his 24 Brigade it would have been a major disaster for Pakistan. Brig Abdul Ali Malik was the younger brother of Gen Akhtar Malik earlier mentioned with respect to Operation Gibralter. But such is this nation’s tragedy that Brig. “cold feet” Muzaffar went on to become a Major General.

Maj. Gen Tikka then took over command of the division,  Agha did not see eye to eye with his GOC on operational matters. In their final encounter Gen Tikka asked him to clear all correspondence with him before dispatch to GHQ. This happened as a result of an enquiry initiated by Agha on Indian troops operating behind Pakistani lines and killing people. This was Gen.Tikka’s view.

Agha’s view was that this was most likely friendly fire and frayed nerves causing own troops to fire in panic and therefore not cause further panic by issuing any operational order from the Div HQ. The inquiry and investigation affirmed Agha’s assessment, so he sent a cable to GHQ saying no Indian troops were operating behind enemy lines. When Tikka saw the office copy of the signal he asked Agha…always very respectfully… “Mehdi saheb who sent this signal“…. Agha in his usual terse manner more terse for senior officers he considered professional lightweights, Gen. Tikka being amongst them, answered…“Sir can’t you see who signed it?…”

 To which Tikka said that henceforth no signal would go to GHQ without his ok. At this, according to another Staff Officer, Agha stood up, drew himself up to his full height, walked up to Gen Tikka and said

..”Sir you don’t need a Colonel Staff but a stenographer wearing a Colonel Staff’s uniform, so kindly find yourself that unfortunate person….”

He then retired to his tent and despite Gen. Tikka’s pleadings did not come back. Perhaps Gen Tikka was nice not to have taken more serious action other than asking for Agha’s replacement. Perhaps because they also went back to IMA,  Indian Military Academy days before partition, and later PMA, where both were Captains and platoon commanders. Hence also Gen. Tikka’s great professional  respect for him, which was rarely reciprocated !

He would have reached much higher rank but perhaps at the doorstep of giving up what he stood for. His run in with Tikka was perhaps the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Despite his intellectual and professional brilliance and his tremendous moral courage he was superseded, having earlier received accelerated promotions most of his career.  The day he was superseded he donned his most formal Army Uniform and asked to be released from Service.

But till his last day, professionally in the army, and in this world, he remained a Soldier’s Soldier.

At one time, hailed as a future Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Army by none other then President Ayub Khan, in his address to officers of the Staff College Quetta in 1963, he left the army in 1968, deeply deeply hurt. A pain that never left him for the rest of his life. Not for not attaining higher rank but for the injustice he believed was done to him for speaking the truth.

He had four loves. Pakistan. Pakistan Army. SSG and his unit, 15 Punjab Regiment, to which I also had the proud privilege of belonging. His family, though very close to him, had a tough time competing with his 4 loves.

So while his undying love for the aforementioned four was lifelong, he was also the ultimate family patriarch. Throughout his life he was helper, mentor, advisor, supporter and chief guide not just to his own siblings but for the larger Mehdi and Raza clan on our mother’s side.

He was incredibly proud of his children and grandchildren. Naheed our eldest sister was his go to person for anything  our parents wanted done. And he turned to her in some of his most challenging times and she was always there for him. Naheed, Gul Baji to us was like a second mother to me and my younger brother Ali.

He was very proud of my other sister, Yasmeen’s, Jani Baji to us, achievements who inherited his determination and our mother’s patience. Yasmeen has made her mark as a renowned educationist and single handedly created outstanding educational institutions in Karachi.

With me he was both demanding and loving. We had common interests of military tradition, history and geo politics and therefore his expectations were high. He enjoyed my company as I cherished his right to the end.

He was also very close to Ali our youngest who looked after him in his final years with lot of love and care. Ali, the ultimate corporate leader and perhaps one of the finest human resource professionals of Pakistan, was a source of great pride for Agha and everyone was excitedly treated to Ali’s successes.

Naheed’s children Farhi, Maham and Shahrukh were also very close. Farhi being his first grandchild was very special to him. Maham was forever etched in him as one day she excitedly showed him her Urdu O levels test paper in which the students had to translate Quaid e Azam’s letter to Agha from English to Urdu.  Shahrukh was the proud and rare recipient of his fine collection of daggers and knives.

 Yasmeen’s children, the eldest Shazia who he and our mother looked after for nearly a year as my sister and her husband were overseas was also very close to him. He would closely follow the lives of Yasmeen’s other children Adnan, now a serious name in Pakistan TV and film, Sami, an investment banker in Canary Wharf and Natasha a brilliant home maker in Singapore.

My children, Sara was his Sara Munni, and he spoilt her no end. Shayaan was Shayaan the genuis and Shaan was Shaan Shaan Aalishaan who plans to continue the family military tradition.

And he was very attached to Ali’s children, Maham and Qublai. And my grand daughter Myesha was his “Princess” !

Amongst his siblings he was especially fond of his youngest sister, Najma, who was Ama Gul to us, who died early, a few years ago. Ama Gul, also considered him like a father and lived with us for a while as well, as did his youngest brother, Pervaiz Mehdi, who later on rose to become a very senior banker. Riffat Mehdi,was the brother younger to him, Amu Riffat to us, who in his own right was something of a legend and also rose to become a very senior banker and was known for his “Mehdi” style as well.  He was saved at partition from certain death, having being sentenced to death for killing a sikh leader, Master Tara Singh during the Hindu Muslim riots. The next in line, Zafar Mehdi, Amu Zafar, followed his footsteps and joined the Army. He retired as a much respected Maj. Gen and subsequently Ambassador. Amu Zafar, like all of Agha’s children, also had the honour of the full “Mehdi” treatment while also serving in 15 Punjab as a young subaltern, during Agha’s command. Amu Zafar later joined the SSG and left it asap after coming to know that Agha had been posted as group commander SSG in January 1964 !!.

His two late elder sisters, Mehr Sultan and Akhtar revered him as did his other younger sister Jehangir.  Also very special for him were my late father in law and late mother in law, both fondly called Mamujaan and Mumaani jan and all their children, Malika ( also my Chachi), Javed, Saleem, Surraiya, Shahid, Shaheena ( my best friend and wife), Rukhsana, and Naveed the youngest.

Agha was especially fond of Surraiya’s husband Dr. Sarwat Hussain, a world renowned Radiologist based in the USA. Not only did he trust Dr. Sarwat’s medical advice totally and unfailingly but and also enjoyed his company and conversations and looked forward to his visits and frequent telephone calls.

Agha greatly respected all his brothers and sisters and they in turn had the greatest respect for their ‘Bhaijan”.  To the rest he was this wonderful person, full of wisdom, history, character, charisma, a larger than life figure even when alive, but always Agha, a person to talk to and seek advice when they struggled with their own internal challenges and demons.  Agha’s greatest pleasure was hearing about the successes of his huge and extended family. He celebrated them as his own and totally genuinely !

On our mother’s side, he had a healthy relationship with her brothers, her being the only sister, Agha Askari Raza, Col. Agha Anwar Raza, Col. Agha Daud Raza, and the youngest Agha Ahmad Raza. His favourite was Agha Daud Raza, Mama Daudi to us, and this love got passed on to the next generations between his children and us.  His love and respect for him continued after his rather early departure. Every year on every Eid, after Eid prayers, his first port of call, always, was to visit our dearest Mami Sarwar, Mama Daudi’s widow, a wonderful most decent, gentle and soft lady.  Their children Shireen (Guria), Sehar (Munia), and Jawaad having a very special place in his heart. He also had  close relationships with our mother’s Mamu’s, all called Baba Khan’s by us. Nawabzada Agha Jan Raza, Nawabzada Agha Mustafa Raza, Maj. Gen. Nawabzada Agha Mohammad Raza and his most aristocratic wife, Auntie Salma. Gen Raza was the first Adjutant General of the Pakistan Army, and instrumental in our parent’s marriage. He was also Pakistan’s first Ambassador to China and subsequently to Italy, France and the USA. Col. Nawabzada Agha Hassan Raza and Auntie Santosh and then Brig Nawabzada Agha Raza and the stunningly beautiful “Ava Gardner” Auntie Begum.

Another person with whom he and our whole family, had a very close relationship with was our dear mother’s Aunt,  Mami Agha Begum, fondly called Agha Begum, who lived in Quetta in this most heavenly and beautiful place called 7 Springs. The visits to her house were and still remain one of the most memorable and enjoyable memories of my childhood.

He wrote extensively on Geo Politics, Military issues, especially on the Region: Afghanistan Iran, Pakistan, India. His writings are captured in a series of Books called “The Mehdi Papers” Three books in Urdu and one in English called the “The Politics of Surrender and the Conspiracy of Silence”. He was a great supporter and proponent of the Kashmiri and Palestinian movements for self determination and believed that eventually they will get their rights. He called for a Commission of enquiry into the Causes and conduct of both the 1965 and 1971 wars. He was the first writer who questioned and analysed the poor Pakistani military leadership in both wars. He was subsequently asked by the Hamood ur Rehman Commission enquiring into the East Pakistan debacle to become an Amicus Curaie. He was also asked to give his very detailed views on the debacle. This testimony to the commission is worth reading for people investigating the causes of Pakistan downfall.

His last book, The Politics of Surrender and Conspiracy of Silence, was published by Crescent International from Canada by his great friend and admirer Dr. Zafar Bangash, a most remarkable and brilliant intellectual, to whom we also owe a great debt of gratitude.

Gen. Musharraf was the first Army Chief who acknowledged publicly our father’s contribution to the Army, the SSG and Pakistan. Before this Agha was a persona non grata and military officers and establishments were ordered not to invite him because of his writings about the mercenary role of the Pakistan Army. For this we are forever grateful to Gen. Musharraf for this great honour he gave our father.

In December 1976, his and my unit 15 Punjab honored him with the honorary Colonel of the Battalion honour. I had just joined the Regiment in April that year and was the youngest and junior most officer in the unit. For a young green behind the years officer, just to be introduced to Generals was quite something but to be introduced to the going to be Honorary Colonel of the Battalion and former Group Commander of the SSG and that too my own father was enough to make my knees go all jelly. As he came down the line of officers being introduced and saluted to, as I had dreaded, I was suitably and loudly up braided by him for a “poor salute” and a “poor posture”. In later years, Gen Musharraf, later President, who was then the Brigade Major and his conducting officer, accompanying him on this visit, would always recount this episode with great glee to others, whenever I met him.

Not that it was. Knowing him,  I dared not give anything, but the perfect salute, finger on eye brow, quivering arm, chest out, ramrod straight. But then this was his style.

Earlier in 1972 Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto asked him to train the People’s Guard and establish the Federal Security Force, which he refused citing that these forces would become ZAB’s personal security militias which they did.

The offer came through the late Gen. Akbar,  Bhutto’s National Security Adviser. I happened to be in Islamabad in the house in 1972, when Gen. Akbar came to make Agha this offer.

In 1969, very few people also know that Shaykh Zayed bin Sultan , the late founder of UAE, asked him to help train the UAE army which he also politely declined saying that the only Army he could and would train was the Pakistan Army. The offer, as one can imagine was incredibly generous.  But the Colonel said no.

It was only his Iranian friend and fellow course mate in Staff College, Camberley, General Fereidun Djem who had become the Iranian Supreme Commander who convinced him in 1970 come to Iran and help and advise the Iranians establish their War College and National Defence College.

He agreed to an advisory role but not for any financial reasons. Even though he was given the honoray rank of a General, he declined, in a letter to the Shah of Iran, to receive salary,  perks and privileges except housing and transport.

He stayed their for a little more than a year,  finally requesting to be released and return to Pakistan. Iran honored him with one of their highest civilian awards the Nishan e Hamkari  Shahansha e Iran, earlier given to only two recipients before him and both Iranians, one a former Prime Minister of Iran and the other the Chairman of the Iranian Planning Commission.

In Pakistan in 1973 he worked again without any salary or perks and privileges with Dr. Mubashar Hassan in Bhutto’s government as his Special Adviser on Northern Areas and left when Dr. Mubashar left the Economic Ministry despite being asked to stay on. Dr. Mubashar remained a good friend.

From the mid 70’s to end of the century Agha wrote extensively on military issues, geo politics and politics.

His articles were carried by all leading English and Urdu newspapers and periodicals.

He was a most active and sought after speaker inside and outside Pakistan on his areas of expertise and extensively delivered talks and lectures in Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan,  UK, USA, Canada.

He was a great advocate of a people’s Army concept much like Israel of a small core of highly professional fighting unit and universal conscription in time of need and war.

He was completely against the Military’s involvement in politics and civil governance and wrote extensively on the subject especially during Zia’s rule.

He believed that by keeping a small standing army we could divert precious funds towards economic development, thereby making us even stronger. And with universal military conscription similar to Israel or USA we would also address our security concerns,  especially concerning India. He wrote a very powerful treatise on the subject titled “A Nation at Arms”. At a future date not too distant, By Allah’s Grace I will write his biography which is already in the works and share more of his life, especially his intellectual contributions.

In his later years he was extremely upset at the use of proxies in Kashmir and Afghanistan, and on Zia’s death declared that the snake nest that Zia left behind would devour Pakistan! He was a great supporter of the Iranian Islamic Revolution and of Shia Sunni unity. This is what brought him close to Maulana Maududi the founder of the Jamaat e Islami.

He actively promoted this thought in his writings and talks and disseminated many of Imam Khomeini’s rulings urging Shias to minimise theological and practional differences. Such as methods of prayers, the Kalima, the Azan etc. For this he was supported by many leaders on both sides but also earned the ire of some very traditional Shia Ulema in Pakistan.

During a visit to a post Shah,  Revolutionary Iran, where invited to speak at a conference,  he was requested to meet the Iranian Military High Command.

So that evening the entire senior leadership of the Iranian Armed forces came to see him with one question. Should they continue the fight against Iraq or seek peace?

Agha looked around the room at their expectant faces and inquired why they asked. The response was that they had to submit a recommendation to Imam Khomeini on the subject.  Agha then gave the military balance of power between the two countries now in favor of Iraq and becoming stronger because of Iraq’s support by all Arab countries especially Saudi Arabia with its wealth.  Therefore his recommendation was to seek an end to hostilities.

 At this stage a senior general from the Baseej, the Revolutionary Guards expressed dismay and said that they have millions to fight and defeat Iraq. Agha’s answer was that while they could chose to do that, it would NOT result in Iraq’s defeat but only dramatically increase the size of Behishth e Zahra, the graveyard of the Iranian Shaheeds in Tehran!!

So better move towards truce and peace.Very soon after Imam Khomeini announced the acceptance of a ceasefire with Iraq.

When the USSR invaded Afghanistan in 1979 December he predicted in an article published in the Pakistan Economist in January 1980 that “…..this was a war Russia cannot win and must not win……. and that after this war USSR would disintegrate……”. There was an interesting ending to this deduction.

Years later in 1989 he came to stay with us for several months  in Boston USA during my mid career MBA at Boston University. His reputation had preceded him and so one day he received an invitation from the President of Boston University to a luncheon to meet and talk to all the Deans of the University.  I tagged along. During the lunch Dean Matre, Dean of Communications, if I recall correctly,  a Ukrainian by origin, quizzed Agha on his prediction that the USSR would disintegrate into independent republics. Agha presented his rationale to which the Dean with his full academic arrogance said. “….but never Ukraine….” . Agha equally forcefully replied. “…..if no other Republic Dean Matre, but certainly Ukraine….” as the Dean began to marshal his response,  Agha followed it up by saying….”Dean it’s such a wonderful day in Boston,  exquisite food and I believe Nelson Mandela is also coming to Boston. …let’s talk again in a few years….”

Years later after the USSR disintegrated Dean Matre sent Agha a most generous letter acknowledging like a true gentleman Agha’s incredibly accurate conclusion.

One of Agha’s favourite sayings was that those who don’t learn from history were doomed to repeat it.

He predicted the Fall of East Pakistan in a lecture in Staff College Quetta in 1963 in the presence of then Commandant Staff College. Maj. General Sahibzada Yaqub who recognised his prescience years later.

He also told a visiting US general in 1963 while delivering a talk at the newly founded War College where he was the Chief Instructor that the USA would not be home by Christmas 1963 from Vietnam but will get bogged down in a war from where it will be very difficult for them to get out off. The wager was a carton of Rooh Afza. Not sure if the USA General was able to fulfill the wager.

While never a member of any political party the only person he actively supported was Air Marshal Asghar Khan and his Tehrik e Istiqlal of which I was also a card carrying member. The Air Marshal was also a great personal friend and Agha in his recent years would reach out to meet the good Air Marshal.

Amongst his and our mothers close friends from the Army were Late Gen Attiqur Rehman and late Auntie Farhat,  one of Pakistan’s finest soldiers. Gen Sahibzada Yaqub and Auntie Tooba, with whom he would have great intellectual jousts on military strategy. Late Lt. General Abdul Hamid Khan and Auntie Surraiya. Late Maj. General Abid Bilgrami and late Auntie Izzat. With late Gen. Sharif, then Brigadier, under whom he served as CO 15 Punjab, he had a long and close relationship. Also late Maj. Gen Ahsan ul Haque who later as Head of Zia’s enquiry commission unearthed the FIR filed by Ahmad Raza Khan Kasuri which was to have such fateful consequences for Bhutto. He enjoyed the intellectual company of late Col Sarwar Malik, a fellow DS in Staff College and close friend. His son Malik Sarwar is now a Global Banker of great repute and also a close friend and well wisher.

Another close friend was the late Brigadier Asad Namazie and his wonderful wife Auntie Khateej Khanum, both iconic in their own right. Our two families also became very close from our childhood days and so are till today. Late Col. Irshad Rashid MC was also a respected friend who he admired and wrote a beautiful eulogy on Col. Irshad ‘s rather early transition.  Another close friend was the late Col. Maqbool Ilahi who he fondly called Murshed and Maujuddin saheb.

One very special friend was the late Raja Saheb of Mahmoodabad who also nearly became one of my sister’s father in law. The proposal from Raja saheb for his son for my sister, Yasmeen, came one day after our parents had accepted another!

Agha was also instrumental in dissuading Raja saheb in becoming an interim Prime Minister under Gen. Yahya.

He also developed very close intellectual relationships with Hakim Saeed saheb of Hamdard foundation, the late Prof. Karrar Hussain and Zia ul Hassan Zaidi saheb the last helped him publish his books in Urdu.  The late Admiral Ahsan, former Naval Chief & Governor of East Pakistan, another very rare moral and upright human being was another person with whom he had a wonderful relationship. Admiral Ahsan also wrote the foreword for one of his Mehdi papers serials as did Salman Ali saheb, a former foreign minister.

In his later years he and the late Ardeshir Cowasjee became really close. Perhaps because both had no time for hypocritical people and double speak.  Other people who he respected and whose company he enjoyed were DM Qureshi saheb former Chairman, State Life and Bankers Equity, Feroze Shah Gilani saheb, who helped him file a suit against Gen. Musa and the late Lt. Gen. Jehandad Khan, founder of the Shifa eye trust.

Other people he spent lot of time with in his writing years was the late Majid Nizami saheb of Nawai Waqt who would publish his articles word for word without any editing and his younger brother Arif Nizami saheb. Such was their respect for Agha. The legendary A T Chaudhri saheb of the Pakistan Times who first published his articles in English. Salahuddin saheb of Takbeer was also a frequent visitor to our house to pick Agha’s brains as were Zia Shahid and Altaf Hussain of Urdu Digest.

Another very special friend was Rashid saheb of Broadway Bakery, also one of Pakistan’s most renowned palmists, astrologer and psychic. The Who’s Who of Pakistan’s political, military and business leadership would line up to meet Rashid saheb to find out what Nature had in store for them. Perhaps another day I will recount the predictions of this most elegant intellectual. Together they would sit for hours merging their disciplines and drawing conclusions of current and future events with uncanny accuracy. In 1977 Gen. Zia requested Rashid saheb to meet him and foretell his future. So much for this so called religious man of God, Zia. These were early days and Zia was seeking advice on the fall out of a Bhutto hanging. Rashid saheb shook his head and said in his soft gentle manner. “…General you should hold election and power back to the civilians…and if you do not one thing I can predict. I don’t usually predict things like life and death because it’s all from Allah. But I see your life ending in a ball of fire !!!…later after this happened Jang published this prediction. Humayun Rashid his younger son is a very close friend and has been very helpful to me several times in my life.

Maj. Ikram ul Majeed Sehgal, Chairman of SMS WACKENHUT,  and a much celebrated author and geo political and defense expert in his own right has done much to let the world know about our father to which I and our family are greatly indebted. Agha had a special relationship and fondness for Ikram saheb and would have long discussions on National and international affairs, with him. Last year he specifically instructed me to deliver all his documents in original into Ikram saheb’s safe custody. He is our father’s rightful spiritual protégé and son.

In his personal life, Agha suffered one very deep personal tragedy from which he never truly recovered. The brutal and senseless assassination of his beloved elder son in law the iconic Shaukat Raza Mirza, then Managing Director of PSO and one of Pakistan’s greatest business Captains, married to my elder sister Naheed. It has been said that Dawn Newspaper carried the second highest volume of condolence messages on Shaukat Bhai’s departure. The highest was on the Quaid e Azam’s death !

Agha, from then on called him, Shaukat Shaheed and his lips would quiver every time he spoke of him.Shaukat bhai’s tragic passing away hit the whole family very very hard. Especially my sister, Naheed,  who suffered the most as her whole world disintegrated.  Being a woman of immense faith and courage has helped her tremendously. Their children, Farhi, Maham and Shahrukh, also devastated, have slowly picked up the pieces. All Masha Allah doing very well in life. Shaukat Bhai was such an incredibly angelic person that metaphorically speaking, even the gods shed tears  at his passing.

But I don’t think, we, as a family were ever the same again.

Agha’s memory was photographic. His knowledge, encyclopedic. His analysis, razor sharp. Despite having listened to him discoursing on history and current affairs for as long as I can remember, they always continued to marvel me. I would occasionally pick up one of his old articles or be given one again for the umpteenth time and yet every single time I would marvel at his intellectual brilliance, his clarity of thought, his masterful art of writing, and ability to marshal information so concisely and brilliantly and his …oh so accurate analysis and predictions on current events.  He was truly gifted by Allah. Everyone who was a part of part of his life, family, friends, colleagues, seniors, juniors, all had the same experience of awe and amazement. Masha Allah.

But with those unfortunate souls who crossed swords with him with limited information and or knowledge in his area of expertise, he was ruthless !!.The punishment was either a really really long lecture, to be listened to in complete silence followed by a curt recommendation to read this book and that book and then given photo copies of his articles and writings, some to be read in deathly silence right there and then !

The less fortunate, if lucky, were just treated to a silent cup of tea, if that, and sent post haste back to where they’d come from, rarely to return!

In his post military career, everything he touched turned to gold.  The military strategist was as successful in the world of commerce as he was in the field of battle. But all this “99 Counting” or “Ninaanway Ka Khel” as he disparagingly called it, never attracted him. So he gave up all his ventures and stuck to his writings, talks and speeches.  And Agha was also a genuine and extremely generous philanthropist, giving generously to individuals and organisations. And perhaps I would leave this here.

Sheena my wife, and our children, Syeda Sara Haider Faraaz, Syed Shayaan e Mohammad Mehdi and Syed Shaan e Ali Mehdi were privileged that he lived with us for many years and on a daily basis soaked in his tremendous wisdom and intellect. They would listen rapturously as he took them to distant battlefields and historical events in his amazingly easy to understand style, rattling of dates, names, events, weaving and linking an intricate mosaic in his magical style. In return the boys taught him the intricacies of Saeed Ajmal’s “doosra” and Sara sharing his love for history, researched for him. Sheena, also a wonderful artist, drew and designed the covers of 3 of his books, which everyone who got them, heard about !. Faraaz, my son in law, won his heart by presenting him a beautifully framed picture of the whole family, which till his last day, adorned center place in his room.

Agha drew his inspiration from the Prophet, Hazrat Ali, Allama Iqbal,  Quaid e Azam and Imam Khomeini. He was also a great admirer of Maulana Maududi and had interacted with him on many occasions. It was his tremendous faith and knowledge of the tragedies that befell the House of the Holy Prophet which gave him strength in his darkest hours of personal and professional tragedies!

Finally at 1036 am on Friday 13th March, 2015, this Great Pakistani, Warrior, Soldier , Beloved Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Brother, Uncle and above all Agha to all, breathed his last on the auspicious day of Jumma Mubarak to meet His Creator.

He was surrounded with love and prayers till his last breath by his four children, Naheed, Yasmeen, Haider and Ali.

From Child to Adult to Child and then back to Him. Such is the way of the Almighty!

ODE TO A SOLDIER
The battle’s over,
The victory’s won.
A soldier makes his journey home.
He fought so hard,
He fought so long.
And now he sings a victor’s song.
It was not easy.
It was not slight.
But it was such a worthy fight.
The battle scars,
They tell the tale,
That war sometimes can be like Hell.
But he fought the fight,
Endured the pain,
For he knew just he would gain.
Commendations,
Medals, cheers,
Those things fade across the years.
But his gain would be
Much more than that–
A place where only few have sat.
An honored seat,
A place of call,
To sit before his General,
And hear the words
That come from Him,
“You fought the fight, now enter in!”

(Donnie Peeler  c1992) 

May Allah Grant His Dear Departed Soul Eternal Peace and Happiness in the Final Abode.

Aameen

Pakistan’s Dukaandars, Thekadaars, Munshi and members of the Oldest Profession

Under the spineless leadership of Dukaandar Nawaz Sharif its been decided to take no action on three important and critical aspects of its Counter Terrorism NAP (National Action Plan).

1. No Action against banned and proscribed outfits.

2. No Registration of Madrassas and Seminaries.

3. No repatriation of Afghan Refugees.

Hence Abdul Aziz of the infamous Red Mosque spits in everyone’s face and publicly supports Daesh / ISIS.

ASWJ, a banned militant outfit gets police protection and is openly allowed to shout their invective and kill fellow Muslims.

So Dukaandar Nawaz Sharif and Thekadar Shahbaz Sharif and Munshi Ishaq Dar and their families are safe.

The label for Mr. A to Z is too inappropriate and embarrassing. Sufficeth that everything is for sale including self respect and character as is the won’t in the world’s oldest profession.  And this is our nation’s definition and description of Mr A to Z as one of Pakistan’s most “brilliant politician”.  Go Figure!!

If this isn’t enough reason to get rid of these vermin I don’t know what will shake and wake this nation of ours.

Unfortunately the fault lies in our meekness and cowardice.

Not more than 30 brave souls stood alongside the courageous Mohammad Jibran Nasir when he lead the protest against Abdul Aziz of Red Mosque. ..similarly when he rallied people against ASWJ.

We are cowards… spineless… gutless… and we deserve these Dukaandars,  Thekadaars,  Munshis and members of the oldest profession in the world masquerading as “Brilliant politicians”

http://tribune.com.pk/story/849724/not-in-the-short-term-govt-quietly-dilutes-its-counter-terrorism-plan 

Why Muslim Youth in Europe are joining DAESH/ISIS

The European Jihadis joining ISIS are no different from the radical youth of the post war generation becoming communists. ..people unhappy with their identity both personal and public…people searching for that Holy Grail of “belongingness” which today the Muslim youth find neither at home nor outside…parents who don’t understand and barely able to communicate an external environment where they feel ostracized or out of place

Angry and aggressive and as somebody said …”with too much testosterone and too little brains”…this group is thus ripe to be radicalized…..

…earlier through violent extremist exclusivist Saudi funded Wahabi / Salafi controlled mosques and now by the allure and glamour of guns and combat…and a feeling of belonging ness.

So till Europe and North America doesn’t wrench the Muslim  mosques out of the hands of the Wahabis and Salafis..this factory will continue to produce the fodder for DAESH.

..the real snake head dear North Americans and European leaders is NOT IRAN….but slightly more West of it…and in the Region..

….so while this wonderful House of Saud lead you guys a wonderful merry go round and the fear of a radicalised nuclear Iran…they were nurturung the real snakes and poison in your own hearth and homes and backyards…

What of a Government of incompetent circus clowns….


What of a government that cannot try and hang Mumtaz Qadri in an open and shut case.

What of a Government that cannot try and punish Abdul Aziz not just for his current madness and brazen support of DAESH and open challenge and dare to the Government but also for the deaths of 14 brave army officers and soldiers who died in the Lal Masjid operation and for staging a mutiny against the state.

What of a Government that cannot arrest, try and punish Malik Ishaq for his own arrogant claim of having “personally killed over 100 Shias”.

What of a government which kills people in cold blood in Model Town and the Chief Minister of that province pleads innocence.

What of a government that fumbles like a pack of incompetent circus clowns landing on its backsides in all areas of governance.

What of a government that cannot manage its fuel supply chain which even a fresh business graduate can do better.

What of a government that cannot show anything and I mean anything for its nearly two years in power.

What of a Government that has as its priorities not fighting terrorism, fixing law and order, improving health care and education but an obscene Metro Bus Scheme and that too in the wrong city.

What of a GOVERNMENT where the PM is clueless about everything, has the temerity to appoint his daughter as the head of a crucial government scheme and finds nothing wrong in it.

What of a government where his brother and all his merry men and women are making obscene amounts of money in lucrative schemes.

What of a government where the Finance Minister has the unenviable reputation of a smooth talking slick con man famous for fudging figures and money laundering and building a real estate empire in Dubai.

What of a government where the interior minister is as clueless about handling terrorism as his naib qasid.

What of a government where the Minister of power is booed in his own constituency.

What of a government where the Minister responsible for the fuel crisis shamelessly says in public that he isn’t responsible for the crisis.

What of a government where the PM’s media Adviser is a TTP apologist.

What of a government where even its electoral mandate is highly suspect and likely stolen.

Why then this government. Why? Why? Why?

The time for getting rid of this set up has come.

No not the army but an an interim handpicked civilian set up of honest competent administrators some how through the Supreme Court declaring a state of emergency.

This fresh set up must be handpicked well and must immediately set itself the task of  electoral and governance reform.

Also hold local bodies elections so grass roots civilian political order is maintained.

Governance structures means Constitutional changes to create more administrative provinces, a Presidential system, majorality election victory and not first past the post system. Cabinet positions to be filled by technocrats and not necessarily legislators.

Most importantly All legislators,  public servants and administrative leaders both civilian and military, to only use Government educational institutions,  health care facilities and public transport for self and family.

And hold elections in 2018.

And let the stern eye of Raheel Sharif keep them in check.

Very sad for me to say this having left the uniform as a protest against Zia’s Martial Law.

The spineless Pakistani Nation and The Hypocrisy of France, the West & the Muslim World

The killings in France were tragic whoever the pepetrators.  Even more tragic and heartbreaking for us in Pakistan was the senseless mowing down of little children in their so neat little green and greys in Peshawar. Nobody has the right to take life.

Pakistan’s schizophrenia and public hypocrisy had never been so starkly contrasted till after the French incident. After the Peshawar tragedy there was no call for a national rally to show resolve against the terrorists. The person who had kept the nation on tenterhooks for nearly 130 days, the one and only Dharna Khan, capable of this call, whimpered and mumbled and APC’d as did other political leaders.

It’s now clear that on top of mind for Dharna Khan then were his nuptials as 130 mothers wept at their children’s graves.

Only the MQM called for a public rally. A few hundred brave souls lead by Jibran Nasir picketed Abdul Aziz and Lal Mosque.

The rest was a deafening silence from 200 million spineless souls except for a few safe twitters and facebook comments by armchair twitteratis like me.

Shame on us, Pakistan. Shame on all of us.

In contrast France rallied the nation and the globe around its so called liberty and managed to collect 40 leaders and 3 million people to defend a rag sheet.

While it has been shocking to see the servitude and insensitivity of the Pakistani nation it was even more shocking to see the crass hypocrisy at Public display in France not just in the 40 leaders who made up the spectacle but the millions who joined in support in Paris.

Many of these were Muslim leaders who, oh so, sombrely linked arms in the chain with Netanyahu, that great defender of Palestinian rights and freedom and free speech. One such Muslim leader was from the land of Nejd and Hejaz, freshly arrived from the flogging of a social media activist in his own country, to show his solidarity for a gutter rag publication. The publication which defiled the image of this man’s professed religion’s most revered and cherished figure.

Sickening and disgusting hypocrisy.

Little does one know that French comedian Dieudonné has been banned from public appearances in France because of his anti semetic jokes.

Pro Palestinian demonstrations are banned in France by law.

So while France can selectively choose to curb the civil liberties and free speech of some it continued to allow a rag of a newspaper to continously and deliberately and baitingly insult the sensitivities of a community in the name of liberty and free speech.

This publication has never chosen to insult Jews and or Prophet Musa despite the many opportunities, Israeli injustices against the Palestinians,  has provided it. And may it never insult  Prophet Musa, a deeply revered figure in Islam as well or for that matter any personage for which any community has sacred and reverential emotions and feelings.

While Western social orders get extremely upset if words like Nigger for African Americans or Nazis for Israeli soldiers, are used,  but it’s perfectly acceptable for these same societies to ridicule, insult, humiliate the Prophet of Islam, in the name of free speech.

So my issue is twofold.  A feeling of terrible sadness at the spineless servitude of the Pakistani Nation and it’s so called leaders especially Dharna Khan when our own were mowed down.

And the sickening hypocrisy of the West, France and our Muslim Countries in showing solidarity with a rag and its double standards.