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The past and the present -By A Q KHAN

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by pkpatriotic, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. pkpatriotic

    pkpatriotic SENIOR MEMBER

    Apr 2, 2008
    +0 / 939 / -0
    The past and the present
    Random thoughts

    Dr A Q Khan
    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Kya puchhe hai mujh say meri khamoshi ka baais/ Kuchh to sabab aisa hai kay mein kuchh nahi kehta.

    When I was leaving for Germany in August 1961 to study at the Technical University of Berlin, I thought of writing from there to inform people in Pakistan in general, and students in particular, what life was like over there. At that time the offices of the Jang were located at Burns Road in Karachi, near D J Science College, where I had studied. I used to walk past the office every day on my way to college. I thought it might be a good idea to try to see Mir Khalilur Rahman, the chief editor. I went there but instead met one Mr Taqi, who turned out to be the editor. He was very cordial, liked the idea and took me to see Mir Sahib. Mir Sahib was young and full of energy. I noticed that he had a very broad forehead, supposedly a sign of intelligence. He was enthusiastic about the idea and asked me to write for Jang once I got to Berlin.

    When I arrived in Berlin, the Cold War was at its peak. The Berlin Wall had been erected only a few days before my arrival and many Germans from East Germany were trying to flee to West Berlin. The East German militia, VOPOS, was ruthless and shot on sight anyone trying to enter West Berlin. Russian MiGs flew overhead the whole day and caused panic by breaking the sound barrier. My hostel was near the Victory Column and the famous Brandenberger Tor where Hitler used to witness army parades.

    I started writing from there under the title "Letter from Berlin," which soon became quite popular. I continued writing for two years until I moved to Holland in September 1963 to study at the Technological University of Delft. I had moved there because my fiance and future parents-in-law lived in The Hague and my fiance wanted to be nearer her elderly parents. The current critical political and financial situation in our country has prompted me to start this old pastime once again. I have always loved writing and expressing my views on important current matters.

    This does not mean that people have not been aware of my views on various topics. I have perhaps been too vocal for that to happen. (Mein chup baitha-hua-hun, aur yeh maloom hota hai/ Kay jaisay ik zamana keh-raha-hai dastan meri.) Most people immediately try to find reason for or motives behind such writing. There is no compulsion for writing or expressing ones views – Guman tum-ko agar ho to ho, magar hum ko/sukun milta hai rudad-e gham sunane say.

    Since time immemorial there has always been a conflict between "khair" and "shar" (good and evil). Almighty Allah has warned against evil and has advised prayer for protection against the mischief and cruelty of mischief-mongers and tyrants. History is full of stories of dictators and tyrants violating human rights and inflicting unimaginable evils on defenceless, innocent people. Power makes them totally oblivious and they even forget the existence of Allah's divine justice. The most recent example of this is of our ex-commando/dictator, General Musharraf, who considered himself above the law and lord of all he saw. (Har daur mein insaan nay dhaey hain mazalim/Har daur mein insaan khuda banta-raha-hai.) But being intoxicated by power does not turn a human being into a demigod, even though he might forget that there are powers greater than his. (Zalimon nay samajh ye rakkha he/ Jaisay dunya mein ab Khuda hi nahin.) Turning a dictator into a demigod has always been facilitated by the fact that they surround themselves with sycophants. General Musharraf's formal education was no more than FA, and after doing some courses and due to the promotion procedures in the army, he managed to become army chief. It was nauseating to see him lecturing highly skilled people on subjects like economics, foreign affairs, power generation, agriculture, science and technology, higher education, subjects that he surely must have known nothing about.

    Even dictators can, and should, surround themselves with experts, listen to their suggestions and advice and allow them to carry on with their work. Yes-men who dare not say anything against their views may be good for their egos, but not for the country. Sycophants go out of their way to praise their beneficiary. They usually follow the propaganda tactics of Hitler and his minister of propaganda, Goebbels; telling lies so often that ultimately the public starts believing them. This often results in destruction of national institutions and unimaginable damage to the country concerned. I am sure many remember Mujibur Rehman telling the Bengali public that the West Pakistan government was using the proceeds from the sale of their jute to decorate the footpaths of Karachi with gold. People actually believed him.

    On Christmas Eve 1975 I came to Pakistan at the personal request of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. My wife, our two daughters (then aged seven and five-and-a-half) and I were to return to Holland on Jan 15, 1976. Upon Mr Bhutto's insistence, I decided to remain in Pakistan while my wife returned to Holland to pack up all our belongings. In doing this I gave up a highly respectable and lucrative job, good a salary and attractive perks, and my wife left her elderly parents behind to follow me. We did all this so that I could serve my beloved country. I only received my first salary of Rs3,000 per month after six months. We were given a house in what were, at that time, the outer limits of Islamabad – F-8/1. There were only three houses on the whole road and no street lights. We did not complain or bargain for more. We never asked for any favours from the government and never received any.

    Professional jealousy soon started playing a role and some so-called "scientists" tried to convince Mr Bhutto and Ghulam Ishaq Khan that I was a "sharp young man trying to deceive them, who would flee after making money and taking them for a ride." They furthermore pointed out that the process of centrifuge enrichment was extremely difficult and complicated and that only three advanced Western countries had perfected this technology – Holland, Germany and England. Mr Bhutto and Ghulam Ishaq Khan were men of wisdom and foresight. They believed in my sincerity and had faith in my abilities. Some people advised me to lie to Mr Bhutto that the bomb would be ready in three years. I refused, knowing very well that he would have formulated his foreign policy on that premise, and that could have been disastrous for the country. Others suggested making a device containing about 2,000 tons of explosives laced with some radioactive material, thus giving the impression that it was a nuclear explosion. The claim that Pakistan was ready to explode a nuclear device in December 1976 was based on this presumption. Instead of making false claims and taking shortcuts to mislead the government, engineers and scientists should stick to the truth, even if it is not always palatable. This is an attitude I have always tried to follow.

    Thanks to government support, the hard work of our scientists and engineers and our sincere efforts, Pakistan became a nuclear and missile power in a relatively short span of time. This country is indebted to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Gen. Zia-ul-Haq (leaving aside all his mischief), Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto – Mr Bhutto and Ms Bhutto definitely top the list. Upon my personal request, Ms Bhutto allowed the missile deals with China and North Korea to go through and Generals Mirza Aslam Beg and Abdul Waheed Kakar fully supported this.

    The morning is gone and this piece is nearly finished. I could still write about much more. For instance, how in 1999 I suggested to Gen Musharraf to allow me to work on launching our own satellite. It could have been done in about three years. Permission was refused. However, despite this, I am nonetheless proud of what my team and I managed to do – nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank missiles, laser rangefinders and establishing a number of medical and educational institutions. Not a bad record, I think, despite everything Gen Musharraf did to defame me by his campaign of character assassination. Which reminds me -- where is he now? Ignominiously confined to his house and unable to move around freely "for security reasons." Even popular leaders like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto could not avoid what was written for them, despite the fact that they did not compromise on national interests. They have become immortal. To write about such things is the aim of this column.

    Shama har rang mein jalti- hai seher-honay tak.
  2. pkpatriotic

    pkpatriotic SENIOR MEMBER

    Apr 2, 2008
    +0 / 939 / -0
    How to end the conflict in FATA
    Random thoughts

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008
    Dr A Q Khan

    No matter what one is thinking or what one is reading, one's thoughts automatically focus on the ongoing "terrorism" and the law and order situation. After an attack, in which dozens die and are injured, the president and prime minister strongly condemn it, and announce compensation for the families of the deceased and the injured. And then the matter is closed and we wait for the next tragedy.

    My advice to those in power is to try to find an amicable solution of mutual respect to the ongoing conflict in the tribal areas. Quite a large number of us have seen British rule. We remember how an entire area was administered by a commissioner, a deputy commissioner and two or three police officers. The older generation still enthusiastically recalls the peace of that golden period. I still remember that in Bhopal the police station was run by a head constable and the city by an inspector, known as kotwal. There was only one British police officer, the inspector-general, and he took care of the whole state and there was never any law and order problem. The secret to this was that locals were always employed and posted to their own areas.

    In Pakistan the whole system is topsy-turvy. A police officer from NWFP is posted to Karachi, someone from Karachi is posted to Lahore or Quetta, and so on. How can he know the customs and mentality of the local people? He just passes time, tries to make some money and waits for his next posting. And that is perhaps why many heinous crimes are never solved in this country – such as the assassinations of Liaquat Ali Khan, Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, Gen Ziaul Haq, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and various suicide bombings.

    Whatever action the government has taken so far in the tribal areas has proved counter-productive. It has sown the seeds of hatred and could very well lead to the country's disintegration. Creating division between tribes by bribing some corrupt leaders is tantamount to following a foreign agenda.

    How has it become possible to launch air attacks using helicopter gunships, jet fighters and heavy guns against our own people? This whole problem started after Gen Musharraf chose to join President Bush in his 'war on terror' after 9/11. By doing that he effectively stabbed the Pakhtuns in the back, eventually allowing the Americans to play havoc in the tribal areas. Fuel was added to the fire when Gen Musharraf's mercenaries attacked Lal Masjid and mercilessly burned to death hundreds of small children mostly girls – many of them from Pathan families. The result was retaliation with a vengeance never seen in Pakistan before. The Americans were forced to flee in disgrace from Vietnam, the Russians had to leave Afghanistan and the western allied forces are being humiliated in Afghanistan and will, in all probability, retreat. However, the wounds inflicted on our own people by Gen Musharraf and his stooges will not go unanswered.

    Having said that, quite a few people are giving sincere advice. Some patriotic Pathans are trying their best to put some wisdom into the heads of the rulers. It is the need of the hour to immediately set up a committee of people like Rustam Shah Mohmand, Brig Mahmood Shah, Kamran Khan, Khalid Aziz, Amir Usman, Barrister Zahid Saeed, Prof Dr M Yousuf Bangash, former governors Ali Jan Orakzai and M Arif Bangash, Governor Owais Ghani, Rahimullah Yusufzai, Hamidullah Jan Afridi and others. These knowledgeable and sincere people could come up with a viable solution within two weeks and save the country from further disastrous consequences and possible disintegration, all being engineered by America and its cronies.

    The reason why I mentioned my Bhopal story is that a president from Naudero, a prime minister from Multan, an interior adviser from Sialkot and an army chief from Gujjar Khan are not in a position to understand the psychology of the Pathans. A Pathan will give his life for you if you love and respect him, but he will take your life if you insult him and push him to the wall. The president, the prime minister and the army chief are all intelligent people and I hope they would appreciate my suggestion ad will talk to the knowledgeable people I have mentioned, so that our beloved country can get out of its quagmire. If those at the helm of affairs shut their eyes, naturally they won't see the writing on the wall.

    That reminds me of the great and wise Nizamul Tusi, primer minister of Seljuk sultan Jalaluddin Malik Shah. He was a contemporary of the great mathematician, astronomer and poet Omar Khayyam and the notorious Hasan bin Sabbah, widely known for the fake paradise and his ruthless assassins. Nizamul Tusi told his colleagues and assistants: "Consultation with people of understanding is a sign of wisdom and maturity because some of them might know more than you do and could give you valuable advice." Our political leadership needs to follow this advice and seek counsel from the wise Pathans mentioned above. We should not put the interests of the Afghans before our own national interests, not least because they have been bitter enemies of Pakistan from day one.

    Due to Gen Musharraf's blind support to the Americans, which totally ignored Pakistan's national interests, the country is facing serious problems. In this context, one cannot ignore the irony that those whom the people gave a resounding mandate have so far failed to act on it. Our heads should hang in shame at the thought that our beautiful country, despite having vast natural resources and being a nuclear and missile power, has become a banana republic with Islamabad no longer a safe city. Foreign missions have already started sending families of their staff back home or have relocated them to other countries. The International School of Islamabad has lost more than a quarter of its student body and Islamabad wears a deserted look. The Presidency, Parliament and the Prime Minister House are all under siege and it almost feels like being under occupation of a foreign power with movements restricted. We should be wary of rejoicing at the number of "terrorists" killed because we might end up counting our own dead and prisoners, as happened in East Pakistan.
    If we look back in history we will find that any Muslim nation that joined hands with a western country ended up humiliating itself or disintegrating. Despite 50 years of rhetoric by western leaders, there is no Palestinian state. The problems being faced in Kashmir, Chechnya, Bosnia, East Timor and the creation of Lebanon by breaking up Syria are indicative of western intrigues and interference. And the reason for this is that Muslims have been at the receiving end of this disgrace because they ignored Allah's edict that Christians and Jews can never be their true friends.

    When I became adviser to the government of Pakistan, I sent a simple, pragmatic proposal to Gen Musharraf suggesting how the tribal areas could be brought into the mainstream and how extremism could be largely eliminated. The suggestion was to establish a large number of vocational schools with hostel facilities at reasonably close locations. All those studying at such institutes would be paid a monthly stipend of about Rs500 and the coursework would also include religious and other basic education. With such incentives, people would send their children to these schools rather than allow them to come under the influence of extremist forces.

    That way the madressahs would not get candidates for future suicide bombers and/or terrorists. Such a programme could have been up and running within two years. Had some action been taken, we would have reaped some of the benefits now and would not have seen such a tragic episode as Lal Masjid. I would have loved to implement such a programme with the help of friends and other well-wishers.

    There is much more to say and I would like to go on talking about these painful events and situations, but will stop in accordance with the couplet by the famous Urdu poet, Sauda, who wrote:

    Sauda, Khuda ke wastey ker quissa mukhtasar,
    Mere to kaan pak gaey tere fasane men.


    With great appology to the fen of AQ Khan esqr, as me too a great fen of Dr sb, but such practice would nothing more then "anti Mush regime" which can cuases to make him a contraversial persoanlity rather then a 'Hero'.

    We as public understand that what ever happened with him, it was be a part of global game to pressurizing us and even after his replacment from the Nuke's Lab, and put him under house arrest... increase his respect and creditibility besides his motivation for the initiatives to establish nuke's lab in Pakistan, among the nation rather.

    I hope he must recognise the fact and should hear the "voice of the time" and think for a while that what ever he is facing its is even better that he is is still in his loving home land despite of the serious complaints launched by USA- CIA particularly, and even enjoy whole liberty taht he is able to even talk on phone and write articals............ but dont Dr.sb understand that open movements is not feasible for his own security against threats by enemies int'l agencies.

    He must be confident that Pakistanis remember him well as there 'Hero' but for God sake he has to avoid to be public and politicize himself directly or via media too, and not to be to be contravercial in any aspect which may damage his sound worthy image among the nation.
    Make a difference as a 'HERO':enjoy: