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General You are Tubed!

14 November, 2007

By Adnan Gill


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Like mortals, political parties also go through life-changing events that can elevate their virtually unheard leader into the stratosphere of prominence and idolization; similarly, it can throw a crown-bearer of a party into the dark depths of ignominy and oblivion.  There was a time when it used to take a war or a catastrophe to bring a leader to fame and recognition, or contempt and disgrace.  Now, fame and disgrace lay only a blog or YouTube away.  In this day and age of satellite TV, cell phone cameras, and internet portals, political carriers are made or trashed at the speed of light.

Megastar Cricketer Imran Khan with global following of millions of fans was virtually an unknown in the cutthroat world of politics.  Then came the May 12 Karachi carnage.  Dozens upon dozens of MQM workers indiscriminately shooting their political opponents were caught by the prying eyes of digital cameras.  Despite government's best efforts to hide the reality by shutting down the cable operators, within minutes the bloodbath was viewed on the YouTube by the shocked audiences around the world.  This time, MQM which prided itself for bringing a revolution through the wizardry of electronics was fatally stung by the wizardry of information technology.  MQM and their infamous leader Altaf Hussain were effectively ‘Tubed’.  Cognizant to the potency of YouTube, now MQM volunteers try to drown the information through coordinated spamming attacks.  At regular intervals, they upload dozens upon dozens of short pro-MQM video clips on YouTube under every possible Tag related to the Pakistani politics.  But despite their best efforts bloggers like GeoPakistani.com and PkPolitics.com have marginalized MQM’s spamming attacks by providing an alternative portal for the Pakistani news and views.

Where YouTube drove the last nail in MQM's political coffin, it plucked Imran Khan from obscurity and pushed him into the vocabulary of emotionally drained and frustrated Pakistanis who were waiting for a political messiah to lead Pakistan into an era of stability and prosperity.

Blogs and YouTube once again played a pivotal role when the Pakistani establishment tried to hide the truth through the news blackout when the police busted open the heads of lawyers and journalists in a brutal crackdown outside the Supreme Court.  Countless video clips and still photographs on the Internet left no doubt in anybody's mind that the crackdown was premeditated.  The global community was left flabbergasted to see how there were more policemen (both in uniform and civvies) than protesters.  These well-armored policemen were not only armed with batons and teargas, but they had their pockets filled with stones that they showered on the protesters without any regard to age, gender, or profession.  Within hours the pictures of stone throwing policemen shamelessly beating and dragging hapless women were flashed around the world.  One such picture which stood out was of a policeman hurling a baseball size stone on a woman as she covered her head with her hands while desperately running away from her attacker.  Arguably, the glory days of government’s monopoly on tailored information were long gone, and this time the Government was ‘Tubed’.

To the credit of MQM, it was quick at recognizing the awesome potential of YouTube to disseminate information at demand that is why it vainly tries to control the damage through the spamming attacks.  However, the Pakistani establishment has not shown any signs of learning a harsh lesson from its mistakes.  On November 3rd, once again, it fallaciously tried to gag the news and information about the latest crackdown on the Pakistani judiciary, lawyers, journalists, students, cherry-picked opposition leaders, human rights activists, and anyone else whom the General Musharraf deemed to be a hurdle in his lifelong rule.

The General did not realize that the Pakistani public stepped into the information age years ago.  Despite government's best efforts to rob the truth from Pakistanis, the public circumvented the information vacuum through the satellite dishes, SMS messages, phone cameras, blogs, e-mail circuits, and most importantly through video portals like YouTube.

Whether intentionally or naïvely General Musharraf argued that the populace are supporting his second Martial Law, because they did not come out on the streets.  What the General does not realize is that people even in the remotest areas are busy carrying out a bloodless revolution against his regime through the magic of the information technology.  Thanks to this magic, once invisible politicians like Imran Khan are addressing the nation from hiding, and the expatriates are organizing protests all around the world.  These expatriates are lobbying their respective governments to pressurize the General to, at minimum, reverse his second Martial Law and most importantly to reinstall the pre-November 3rd judiciary.  The outcries of expatriates are already bearing fruits.  President Bush has already hardened his government’s stance from pussyfooting to demanding General Musharraf to take his uniform off, and to hold free and transparent elections on time.

India tried to leash the bloggers, recently Myanmar tried to hide its brutal crackdown on the monks, only to realize that the information genie is out, and it can not be caged.  It will be in Generals benefit to grasp the reality that it is no longer possible to keep 160 million Pakistanis oblivious of the truth through censorship and threats of trials of civilians in the military courts.  The historic crash of Karachi stock market is the living contradiction of the myth that information can be controlled. 

Whether you realize it or not but General you are ‘Tubed’ too.

Reader Comments:

Tubed or caged lion?

Gill, you have got it whole wrong. Cattle never die to please hungry crow. General was never eager to enter the scene in the first place. His first question on entering the arena was about who pushed him into it. Being a soldier, he was tubed the day he joined the Academy.He has seen two wars in action and is trained to survive empty handed in Parachinar jungle for months.
Then, he was tubed again when he was asked to be with or against, in the war against terror. He was also tubed when forced into deal to steal with Benazir.

Musharraf's only fault so far has been, that he has refused to be a grazing lion.

M.Saeed, Pakistan - 15 November, 2007

Lack of mediocracy in Pakistan's collective psyche.

It is tragic that We in our history have run into problems after problems.One main reason is that Pakistani nation doesn't have balance in thinking and therefore in behaving.For example this situation that Army has created in which Pakistani nation is on one side and the nation on the other is created by the Journalists who glorified Pakistani army with lies and not truths.e.g in 65 wars,such lies were circulated that angels helped army and angels fought with army side by side.There is no doubt about angels fighting on the side of muslims who fight a just war.But the war of 65 was provoked by Brits and US and Ayyub,the king was enticed into it.Actually the purpose of the war to use all the ammuntion stored so the Pakistani army had to relete its stock on high prices.SUch exageration for the sake of juicy stories of war lifted armed forces to such elevation from where they don't want to come down.Now the same mistake is being played in favour of Lawyers vs army.True lawyers are a force,true they are an organisation,true they work to earn a living compated to army,true army will not give up power until and unless it is forced to,because army doesn't consider Pakistanis any better than animals.But still Lawyers have also big problems,they should be forced to improve for the dispensation of law in all walks of life they should be reminded that after such a movement of restoration for democracy they should work to remove more injustices.

Dr.M.Jawaid KhanMD, United Kingdom - 15 November, 2007

Tubed Gen

Saeed SahibYes Gen is very well trained to survive but at the cost of others.Yes he can sarifice any number of army men for his personel agenda based on directions from abroad.Yes he can survive by accomdating BB because his masters wish. The lion retreated from Kagil because he did not want to suvive there for a change.Enough?

Pakistany, Pakistan - 17 November, 2007

Musharaff is inept

M. Saeed posts:

1. "Musharaff was never eager to enter the scene in the first place".

Tahir>> Then why 111 brigade is always eager to enter in every political scene through coup? Mush had his choices: either to hold election after 90 days and leave or accept PM's decision and leave. But he at will decided as COAS that he will take this opportunity to rule Pakistan. So no one pushed him in but he himself did it.

2. M.Saeed posts, " Musharraf's only fault so far has been, that he has refused to be a grazing lion".

I tell you some of his faults:

a. Thousands have been slaughtered and killed by the so called "protectors of Pakistan's borders" in Balochistan and NWFP. Can you or anyone on Mush side, stand in a court of law and justify the killing and bring proof of militant trying to sabotage Pakistan.

b. Raped women of Pakistan were accused by Musharaff to have planned these crimes against themselves so that they could get political asylum in western countries.

c. People who wanted to receive CJP from Karachi Airport were martyred by straight bullets fired from MQM terrorists and Musharraf called it MQM's right to demonstrate their power in their ground.

Musharaff is a ham-fisted leader who knows that he has no respect and credibility in the eyes of those who fed him 10 billion to get the job done. He has failed Pakistan miserably.

Regards

Tahir Mukhtar

Tahir Mukhtar, Aruba - 20 November, 2007

Mush a low life criminal

Musharraf killed thousands of Bolochis, including Bugti. He is possibly involved directly or indirectly in BB's murder.
He sacrifised over 2 thousands Northern light infuntry men in Kargil and then blocked any inquiry into Kargil defeat. He made millions abroad by soliciting donations from west and Saudis. He should be tried on many counts including unconstitutional military coup.

Anwar Mehmood, Canada - 08 January, 2012

Musharraf has made substantial money, estimated around$50 million. He has built a mansion in long Island NY for $6 million, he owns a palatial property on London, also in Dubai. he was a dictator, suspended constitution twice, nobody knows actual losses in Kargil, according to NS they may be as high as 4000, he blocked investigation into Kargil fiasco siting national security. He was definitely involved in extrajudicial killings of Balochis. He got himself elected with rigged votes (over 97%), enacted NRO to help his buddies and to please his enemies so they should not investigate him. He should get his day in court like any other criminal as he should not be above law.

Roger, Canada - 28 March, 2013

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