sohail ahmad Profile picture
Jan 28 22 tweets 7 min read
...sun set in #Rawalpindi that day at 5.07 p.m., leaving behind a hazy twilight when Bhutto got into her bulletproof vehicle with a foldable escape hatch or sunroof to leave the site of her speech. She then stood up in the vehicle, poking out of the escape hatch to (1/22)
acknowledge her cheering followers. At 5.16 p.m., three shots rang out, followed by an explosion. She fell inside the vehicle, wounded and bleeding from the side of her head. Her staff quickly moved her to the nearest public hospital.

According to a report prepared by (2/22)
the staff who attended her at the emergency department of the Rawalpindi General #Hospital, where she was received by Dr Aurangzeb Khan and Dr Saeeda of Surgical Unit II: ‘A wound was present on the right temporoparietal region through which blood was trickling down and (3/22)
whitish materials which looked like brain matter was visible in the wound. Her clothes were soaked in blood.’

The cause of death was determined to be ‘open head injury with depressed skull fracture, leading to cardiopulmonary arrest’. Various conflicting reports (4/22)
emerged after this attack regarding the nature of the attack and the cause of death. No autopsy was requested by Bhutto’s husband and none was performed by the authorities. The site of the attack was quickly hosed down and much of the evidence washed away.

The major (5/22)
agency involved in the handling of the assassination and its aftermath was Musharraf ’s Interior Ministry. Its spokesman, Brig. Javed Cheema, came on television the following day to present evidence that, he believed, linked the assassination to Baitullah Mehsud, the (6/22)
leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban #Pakistan (TTP), playing a recording of an ‘intercepted’ conversation that purported to indicate that the #TTP had contracted out the killing. Cheema informed the media that Bhutto had died from a fractured skull resulting from her fall (7/22)
against a lever of the sunroof of her vehicle. The government of the day wanted to solve the murder in short order and move on.
..But Zardari did not believe that. Sherry Rehman said that when they washed her body there were bullet wounds.

#Much later, President (8/22)
#Zardari wanted to send the case of Bhutto’s death to the United Nations for investigation, since he clearly did not trust the local authorities, even when his own party was running the government. He was cautioned against bringing the #UN into the inquiry since (9/22)
Pakistan would lose control of the matter once it landed in the UN’s lap. Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammed Khan, who counselled against the move, was quickly sidelined and retired.

According to the detailed reporting of Heraldo Munoz, the head of the UN team that (10/22)
investigated the death at the request of President Zardari, many questions remained unanswered about the government’s handling of the crime scene, the speed with which they produced the evidence against the TTP, and the behaviour of Bhutto’s own party staff before, (11/22)
during and after the attack. He cites reports of suspicious behaviour of Khalid #Shahenshah , one of the security guards, while she was speaking at #Liaquat #Bagh, including making a signal with his fingers across the neck. Shahenshah himself was killed later in (12/22)
#Karachi under suspicious circumstances.

The person in charge of the security for Bhutto was #Rehman Malik, a former official of the Federal Investigation Agency and interior minister in Bhutto’s government. He was in a back-up car that immediately after the attack (13/22)
reportedly headed to Islamabad instead of following his wounded leader to the hospital. Later, as Minister of Interior (for the second time) in the Zardari government, he presented a bound report to Munoz dated 20 June 2009 and entitled ‘Summary of Investigation and (14/22)
Trial Conducted So Far for UN Fact-Finding Commission’.

‘I think your work will be made easy when you read this document,’ said Malik, adding, ‘This is very complete. This is your own report ready to be issued, of course, with the changes and additions that you may (15/22)
see fit.’

Munoz concluded that Malik ‘never satisfactorily answered our questions about his role and actions during the moments surrounding Bhutto’s assassination’. Yet Malik was President Zardari’s confidant and the main interlocutor with the Commission. He had been (16/22)
convicted of corruption in 2004. Zardari used his ‘discretionary powers’ to pardon him after taking over as president and then made him Minister of Interior again. Why? Among other things, a senior US official dealing with Pakistan told me confidentially, ‘because he (17/22)
knew too much’.

Bhutto’s death changed the internal dynamics of the party. Zardari, who prided himself on his loyalty to friends and sought the same from his friends and colleagues, brought in his own team of friends and relatives into key positions. The Bhutto (18/22)
loyalists of the ancient regime fell into line. He inherited an economy on the downswing and headed a coalition that was beset by continuous blackmail by his various partners. Soon, he had to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to get assistance to stabilize (19/22)
the economy.

But lack of institutional mechanisms and whimsical decision making produced less than ideal results. Zardari was also wont to reverse rules and regulations to please business groups from Karachi. He did favour improvement of relations with India and (20/22)
Afghanistan. Inviting Afghan president Hamid Karzai to his inauguration as president was a smart PR move. But he could not follow up since the Afghan policy was largely made in army headquarters in Rawalpindi with controlling input from the ISI Directorate. The civilian (21/22)
government did not devote the manpower or resources needed to formulate sound or sustainable policy on security or foreign relations.

The Battle for Pakistan
By Shuja Nawaz (22/22)

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Jan 27
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Read 6 tweets
Jan 27
وہ بلوچستان میں پیدا ہوئی، کوئٹہ میں ہزارہ بچیوں کے ساتھ سکول میں پڑھی، پھر فیملی سندھ چلی گئی، جیکب آباد میں بھی تعلیم حاصل کی۔ ڈومی سائل سندھ کا ہی بنا ۔ سکالر شپ ملا اور لاہور سے فائن آرٹس میں گریجویشن کی۔ لاہور میں پنجابی دانشور زبیر رانا سے شادی کی۔ یوں پنجابی بھی (1/4)
ہوگئی۔ نسرین انجم بھٹی نے زندگی کا بیشتر حصہ لاہور میں گزارا لیکن آخر میں کراچی کی مٹی نصیب ہوئی ۔ کہتی تھی میں سارے پاکستان کی ہوں۔ حقیقت میں اس کا دل پوری دنیا کے درد سے بھرا تھا۔
پاکستان کی بیشتر زبانیں جانتی تھی ، لیکن اظہار پنجابی اور اردو میں کیا.
پروفیشنل کیرئیر (2/4)
کا آغاز 1971ء میں ریڈیو پاکستان لاہور سے بطور پروڈیوسر کیا۔ کہتی تھی ریڈیو پاکستان نے بطور آرٹسٹ میری گرومنگ میں اہم کردار کیا۔ میں خوش قسمت تھی کہ یہاں مجھے امانت علی خان، وزیر افضال، جی اے چشتی، ظہیر کاشمیری، صوفی تبسم، ناصر کاظمی اور منیر نیازی جیسی شخصیات کی صحبت (3/4)
Read 4 tweets
Jan 25
علی عباس جلالپوری کی کتابیں روح عصر،اقبال کا علم کلام اور مقامات وارث شاہ قسط وار ادبی دنیا ور فنون میں شایع ہوئی تھیں۔ اقبال کا علم کلام جب پہلی مرتبہ شایع ہوئی تو جلالپوری گوجرانوانہ کے ایک کالج میں تعینات تھے۔ اقبال کا علم کلام کی اشاعت سے اقبال کے مجاوروں کو بہت (1/6)
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کہ علی عباس جلالپوری نے یہ کتاب کیوں اور کن مقاصد کو پیش نظر رکھ کر لکھی تھی۔ شاہ صاحب نے بتایا تھا کہ ایک مولوی نے بہت حیران ہوکر ان سے پوچھا تھا کہ آپ نے اقبال کے خلاف کتاب لکھی دی یعنی اقبال کے خلاف کتاب لکھنا ان کے نزدیک شرک سے کم نہیں تھا۔ شاہ صاحب نے کہنے لگے کہ (3/6)
Read 6 tweets
Jan 24
افسانے ہر طرف بکھرے ہیں

لاہور میں کوئینز روڈ پر ایک امیریکن سنٹر تھا۔ پہلے اُس کی ممبرشپ مفت ملتی تھی۔ بعد میں ساٹھ روپے کر دی گئی تو بہت دھچکا سا لگا۔ میں بھی اکثر ٹرین پر جاتے محبوب سے پھول پکڑی ہوئی ہیٹ والی لڑکی اور بروک شیلڈز کے پوسٹرز دیکھتے دیکھتے بڑے شوق سے (1/7) Image
وہاں جایا کرتا تھا۔ اندر خاموشی ہوتی، کوئی اونچی آواز میں بات نہ کرتا۔ فلموں پر کتب دیکھنے کا کبھی اتفاق ہوتا تو ساری ’ہاٹ‘ اور بے باک تصاویر اپنی جگہ سے غائب ملتیں۔ امت کا کوئی فرد کاٹ کر اُنھیں ساتھ لے گیا ہوتا تاکہ خیالی جماع کے دوران آسانی ہو۔
ایک آڈیو لائبریری بھی (2/7)
تھی، اور فلمیں دیکھنے کا ہال بھی۔ پھر جمعیت اور جماعت نے امریکہ فتح کرنے کا تہیہ کر لیا۔ تقریباً ہر دوسرے روز کھولتے ہوئے اُمتی وہاں جمع ہوتے، ٹائر جلاتے، نعرے لگاتے، قریب ہی فاطمہ جناح میڈیکل کالج کی لڑکیاں سہمی نظروں سے دیکھتیں۔
جلد ہی وہ لائبریری بند کر دی گئی۔ وہاں (3/7)
Read 7 tweets
Jan 23
From East to West…
Even if John Sturges’ Western doesn’t quite outclass Kurosawa’s 1954 context. Sturges assembles an impressive cast, with Yul Brynner Seven Samurai, the material translates seamlessly to its new impassively heading up a band of
1 Image
professional killers who come together to defend a Mexican peasant village against ruthless bandits. Steve McQueen, as Brynner’s sardonic second-in-command, and James Coburn as the taciturn knife-fighter stand out, while Eli Wallach, squinting suspiciously, chews the scenery
as the bandit leader, anticipating his equally full-flavoured performance in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Elmer Bernstein’s striding, unforgettable march-theme stands as the archetypal Western score – besides lending the film a pulse-quickening drive.
Read 4 tweets
Jan 23
.... the FCD scheme that allowed
#Pakistanis to convert illegal or undeclared income into #dollar accounts, without fear of legal retribution, started in 1991 and ended in 1998. Its demise occurred when the government froze hard currency withdrawals and repaid everyone (1/13)
the value of their deposits in Pakistani #rupees to deal with the foreign currency crisis created by sanctions imposed after Pakistan’s #nuclear tests in 1998.

Other schemes to deal with diminution in concessional flow of foreign #funds have veered from the dangerous to (2/13)
the comical. In early 1991, soon after the US invoked the sanctions under the Pressler Amendment, ‘Pakistan’s army chief and the head of its intelligence agency proposed a detailed “blueprint” for selling heroin to pay for the country’s covert #military operations.’ The (3/13)
Read 13 tweets

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