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Pervez Musharraf's Second Coup in Pakistan: Amends Constitution to retain Power
Burqa-clad Woman Opens Fire in Kandahar killing 4 U.S. troops
Families of Jihad Martyrs meet to Affirm struggle for liberation of Kashmir plus
[CAIR's Concept of "martyrdom"]

1. Pakistan's military coup leader, Pervez Musharraf, has struck again. He has unilaterally made 28 amendments to the Constitution of Pakistan. Among the most important are amendments which will give him the right to continue as military chief AND president for another five years. Also, he will have the right to dismiss the parliament which is to be elected in October.

To sidetrack Pakistani political parties, Musharraf has baited them with the promise of free elections in October. Although the politicians saw in the referendum he held that he can rig such exercises, the bait of elections is so enticing that the politicians took it and will be busy with this exercise.

Musharref thinks that the religious parties are no match for any coalition he will support because the election process in Pakistan is a very dirty and corrupt one. He senses danger from two politicians who oppose him and are experts in the dirty game: Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Hence he has instituted criminal cases against them which would stop them from returning. [They are also his competitors for the favor of the White House.]

In this gloomy picture, the ray of light is the coalition of Islamic parties, Jamaate Islami, Jamiatul Ulemae Islam and others whose unity seems to be holding. Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Ameer of JI, has condemned Musharref's constitutional amendments and urged him to step down.
2. An astonishing news item which has appeared in Pakistan's Islamic publications and newspapers is the story of the burqa-clad Afghan woman who opened fire on U.S. troops in Kandahar. According to these reports, the woman who was standing in front of a drainage canal in the middle of Kandahar, approximately on July 23, motioned to an open jeep driven by an Afghan mercenary in which there were four U.S. troops. The woman was in full burqa but when she drew up part of it to motion with her bare hand, the troops probably thought she needed help or was begging. She had something bulging in the burqa which was at first taken to be a baby by onlookers.

The jeep drew up to her, attracted by her gesture, unusual for an Afghan woman (even begging women do not gesture). Onlookers reported that probably the troops thought they were going to have some ‘fun', very rare in Afghanistan. As soon as the jeep stopped, the woman opened up with an automatic rifle, killing all four soldiers. There was complete pandemonium in the area as onlookers ran for their lives. In the confusion, the woman escaped.

Pakistani commentators are excited by the report and its strange irony that Americans who went in claiming to have gone in to liberate Afghan women from the burqa lost their lives in the process to a damsel in burqa.
3. Pakistan as seen by Musharraf is very different from the Pakistan which the followers of Islam live. Early in August 2002, seminars were held in LAHORE, CHUNIAN and QASUR to honor the martyrs of the Jihad in Kashmir. The seminars were attended by thousands of people, foremost among them the parents and families of the martyrs. A number of fathers of martyrs spoke to evoke the pride and honor they feel in having sacrificed their sons in the jihad to stop Indian atrocties in Kashmir.

Leaders of various jihad groups spoke. Some of their comments are given here verbatim:

Hafiz Abdur Rahman Makki, political affairs organizer of Jamaat ad-Da'wah (formerly Lashkare Taiba) said: "When Musharraf speaks against jihad, martyrs and ghazis, he insults and infuriates the Pakistani people. We are not politicians but we challenge Musharref to hold a referendum on the Kashmir Jihad so that his eyes may open." He added: "The people will not permit the rulers to destroy the ideology of Islam and to throw Pakistan at the feet of America and Vajpayee. Pakistan was achieved on the basis of the kalima of tawheed. There is no alternative here to the implementation of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. The jihad to free Kashmir is continuing and will continue, inshallah, and no power on earth can stop it."

Prof. Sajid Meer, Ameer of the central Jamiate Ahle Hadith, said that by accepting America's dominance, the government has betrayed Islam and Pakistan. "Till yesterday, the rulers who used to differentiate between jihad and terrorism, surrendered at one phone call (from Bush). First the rulers gave their personal and logistical support to America to ruin the Afghans and then made a U-turn even on Kashmir of which they used to claim to be guardians". "Hafiz Saeed (the imprisoned leader of jihad) is more of a patriot than Musharref." "The nation gives 80% of its budget to Musharref for the defense of Pakistan but he has developed such a taste for the palace of power that he has no desire to return to the barracks." "The rulers say that jihad is the task of governments; then why don't you (the government) announce that you will do what Lashkare Taiba and Jamiat al-Mujahideen are doing?" "The rulers should fear the wrath of Allah. It is our task to take revenge for the mass murders of the helpless Muslims in Gujarat (India)."
AN INTERESTING ADVERTISEMENT appeared in a Pakistani newspaper published from New York. It is called Pakistan Post, is the size of the New York Times and is in Urdu language. It is dated August 15-22, 2002. On page three there is a large (quarter page) ad in ENGLISH about CAIR's Annual Banquet featuring pro-government speakers like Nihad Awad and Siraj Wahhaj.

One of the speakers, printed in the middle of the ad, will be Talat Hamdani. She is described thus: "Mother of martyred Mohammad Salman Hamdani (WTC)"

Thus it would seem that Hamdani, killed in the attack on WTC, is seen as a martyr by CAIR. The question arises what makes him a martyr? Why are the other people killed in the attack on WTC not considered martyrs?

Perhaps our readers will help us to understand this new concept of martyrdom offered by CAIR.

2002-08-24 Sat 08:40ct