Showing posts from July, 2012

Drone Attacks will Disrupt Pak-US Relations

Courtesy:-  Sajjad Shaukat   Pak-US relations deteriorated in 2009 when as part of US espionage network, hundreds of the American CIA spies entered Pakistan under the guise of diplomats who began anti-Pakistan activities through their affiliated militants by supervising and guiding them.  On many occasions, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) helped in stopping the secret movements of the CIA spies who were traveling in vehicles, covered with black mirrors—showing themselves as diplomats. Sometimes weapons were also snatched from them. On the information of ISI, Pakistan’s establishment expelled several so-called diplomats, operating in the country. On the other side, US withheld $800 million in military aid to punish its military and ISI. Besides, American top officials pressurised Pakistan to set free American national, Raymond Davis who killed two Pakistani nationals in Lahore on January 27, 2011. In fact, Davis was also an under-cover secret agent of CIA who entered Pakistan in gu

Welcome to Pakistan

Courtesy:-  Let’s Love Pakistan – a New Resolution (IV) Dholkis, maiyon, mehndi, valima and post-wedding dinners; Pakistani weddings are an experience like no other!  27. Abdul Sattar Edhi and Bilquis Edhi: Abdul Sattar Edhi  began his ambulance service in the 50s, and has since then been a busy, busy man. Today, Edhi Foundation runs the world’s largest radio-linked ambulance service all over Pakistan, and operates countless old age homes, orphanages, clinics, women’s shelters, rehabs and mental asylums. The duo has won dozens of local and international awards and honours but they’ve also been targets of some serious criticism over the years. This does not seem to faze the heaven-sent couple though, and they seem to have only one agenda in life: to serve the disadvantaged. As if all this wasn’t enough, Edhi also holds the world record for working for the longest time without taking a single holiday, and they live humbly—and happily—in a two-bedroom flat within one of their o

Pakistan may face water crisis, warn experts

Courtesy:- Khaleeq Kiani   ISLAMABAD, July 30: Despite having some rains this week, Pakistan may be heading towards an ‘acute water crisis’ which will seriously affect winter crops and create shortage of drinking water in some areas, warns a veteran weather pundit . Sensitising the president, prime minister, provincial governments and relevant agencies and ministries, Dr Qamaruzzaman Chaudhry, adviser to the ministry of defence on meteorology and climate affairs, called for precautionary measures to deal with the looming crisis.

A truly democratic future

Courtesy:- Farahnaz Ispahani For the first time in its history,  Pakistan is close to a democratic transfer of power . One directly elected government will go through the electoral process again in the first quarter of 2013 and a new, elected group answerable to the people of Pakistan will be sworn in to govern it and determine its future.

Losing war against polio to ‘counter-insurgency’

Courtesy:-  Naveed Hussain Alarmingly, Pakistan is one of three countries where polio is still endemic. More alarmingly, the country is not going to be polio-free anytime soon. This year, over 350,000 children under five years of age in the tribal belt — particularly North and South Waziristan and Khyber agencies —  might not be immunised against the virus . A Taliban insurgency and paradoxically, counter-insurgency efforts, too, are to blame for this bleak scenario.

World silent as Muslim massacre goes on in Myanmar

Courtesy:-  Kourosh Ziabari Mohammad Hossein Nikzad, a close personal friend and a senior student of political science just called me a few hours ago, worriedly talking about the dire situation of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and the atrocities the Buddhist Rakhines are committing in the East Asian nation.

Media in the line of fire

Courtesy:-  Mohammad Jamil Over the past two centuries the media have contributed to the promotion of democracy and making it stable throughout the world. In early 17th century, when printing machine was invented, the only role of the print media was to inform the people. Symbolically, media are considered as the fourth pillar of the state; nevertheless constitutionally the Parliament, Executive and Judiciary are the pillars of the state, and their powers and responsibilities are outlined in the Constitution. 

Pakistan in the role of Asian glue

Courtesy:-    Shahid Javed Burki In terms of providing for the economic well-being of its citizens, Pakistan, today, is the poorest performing economy in south Asia.  It is not doing well when its performance is measured in terms of a variety of economic and social indicators . It has had a declining rate of growth for almost 50 years. The trend started in 1965, when Pakistan fought a brief war with India over the issue of Kashmir. But punctuating this declining growth trend were a few spurts, each lasting for about three to four years. All of these occurred during military rule and all were associated with large foreign capital flows.

Welcome to Pakistan

Courtesy:- Lets Love Pakistan  A new resolution  (III) I'm making a list of 65 reasons I love this poor, broken, taken-for-granted country we call Pakistan In September last year, I took up the challenge of making a list of 65 reasons  why I love Pakistan —the poor, broken country I and everyone else I know takes for granted. The idea was simple, but its execution, not so much. Which is why it’s taken me all these months to come up with the third set in the series. With  26 reasons down , I now plan to complete the list in a number of quick and regular posts by August 14, 2012—Pakistan’s 65th Birthday. So, here goes, again. 16.  Thanda  Pakola Inspiringly green with a distinctively refreshing taste and smell, this purely Pakistani pop drink is perhaps one of the most prominent brands to come out of our country, ever. For the past 62 years,  dil definitely   bol raha hai… Pakola  (My heart definitely says, “Pakola”). 17. Mithai If you’re going to say you don’

Biometrics in Afghanistan The eyes have it

Courtesy:-   The Economist  EVEN as the dining room smouldered, soldiers moved about taking fingerprints and scanning eyes of the corpses of Taliban fighters. The ghoulish ritual followed an attack, on June 21st, on a restaurant beside Qargha Lake in Kabul. After the scans, the information was compared with a biometric database. Gathering such data, even from the dead, is now standard practice in the Afghan war. Soldiers learn that usable scans can be harvested as late as six hours after death, depending on the heat. Investigators were confident of finding a match at Qargha Lake, and did so. Their success underlines the growth of the database and the ambition of those behind it. In this case an unnamed suicide-bomber had been scanned two years earlier, in Logar province, because he was looking suspicious, said Lieutenant-Colonel Mohammad Anwar Muniri, who leads the Afghan programme. However, he was not detained. A list of “martyrs” released by the Taliban after the attack in

Dividends of consensus

Courtesy:-  Malik M Ashraf   In the backdrop of the renewal of traditional animosity between the ruling PPP and PML (N) after a short-lived bonhomie brought about by the signing of COD between Benazir Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif, the political pundits and those who had watched the political duels between these two major parties in the nineties had started painting a very bleak picture about the future of democracy in Pakistan. The split between them encouraged the elements inimical to democratic norms to make bizarre predictions about the collapse of the democratic  system  and even time-lines were given in this regard. People witnessed an incessant and well orchestrated campaigns to denigrate and discredit the  government  on unsubstantiated charges of corruption designed to give a cue to the predatory forces to make their move. 

Welcome to Pakistan

Courtesy:-  Let’s love Pakistan: A new resolution (II)   Ghich-pitch and totally kitsch, these brilliant canvases on wheels depict the true zinda-dil colors of Pakistan and its people perfectly!  Pakistan has five out of fourteen mountain peaks of height over 8,000 meters.  I have no doubt that everyone will agree when I say that Arfa and her legacy is indeed one of the 65 reasons we’ve got to love Pakistan. In  September last year , I took up the challenge of making a list of 65 reasons why I love Pakistan; the poor broken country we have begun to take for granted. The idea was simple, but its execution not so much, which is why it has taken me four months to come up with the second set of reasons. I plan to compile the list by August 14, 2012—Pakistan’s 65 th  Birthday.  Here’s a short excerpt from  my previous blog  to establish the idea behind this otherwise puerile exercise: I ’ m going to try to complete the list (of)  reasons – some small; some seriou

Let’s love Pakistan: A new resolution

I’ve often been accused of being a killjoy. I mean, I’m not inherently morose or anything cool like that; it’s just that I take the little anomalies of everyday life a little too seriously. This usually forces me to over think stuff, which leads me to notice again and again the not-so-proverbial glass in its half-filled ignominy, which in turn causes me to be incessantly bitter and irritable with the way things generally run in this country. Yes, living my everyday life in  poor broken Pakistan  certainly helps make things much, much worse! Last month however, a few days before the Independence Day, I decided to make a list of 65 things that compel me to love Pakistan. It was a personal exercise, really; one that I assumed wouldn’t just dust the dirt off my shelved patriotism, but would actually polish and dress it up for the big day as well. But boy was I wrong. Not only was I unable to go past 20 half-decent points to endorse my love for the country that is my home and identity, I f

Pakistan Role in UN Peacekeeping

Courtesy:-  Maimuna Ashraf Peacekeeping, as defined by the United Nations is a way to help countries torn by conflict creates conditions for sustainable peace. UN peacekeepers—soldiers and military officers, civilian police officers and civilian personnel from many countries—monitor and observe peace processes that emerge in post-conflict situations and assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreements they have signed.

Taliban and people’s objectives don’t meet

Courtesy:-  Babar Ayaz U nfortunately, there is no sequencing of the existentialist problems faced by the country. The most serious threats to the country are terrorism by Pakistani Taliban, their al Qaeda inspired associates and the Balochistan militant separatist movement. They should be sequenced in that order. The government and the judiciary’s wrangling of power and the corruption/inefficiency of all the governments — federal and provincial — to me are the third and the fourth issues on the list of priorities.

President Zardari and resolution of crises

Courtesy:-  Rakshanda Rakhshy Some were predicting a showdown between the judiciary and the executive, while others talked openly of the armed forces stepping forward and taking care of matters The whole country was in the grip of a crisis and extreme tension mounted in the minds of every Pakistani on June 23, 2012 when the Supreme Court disqualified the sitting prime minister and a sudden vacuum was created in the political arena. All of a sudden, the country was without a chief executive and head of government, and it seemed as if the government was about to collapse and the whole system would come down like a house of cards. Dismay and frustration prevailed amongst the masses and it looked as though once again the democratic journey of our nation would be discontinued and some unconstitutional measures might be taken by unscrupulous persons to benefit those who would like to see the people back in the lap of dictators or other non-elected, non-representative persons. The hype cr

The spy who confessed

Courtesy:-  S M Hali    J uly 04, 2012 As a gesture of goodwill, Pakistan released the septuagenarian Indian prisoner, Surjeet Singh, who had suffered incarceration for more than three decades in Pakistani jail, on June 28, 2012, and handed him over to the Indian authorities at Wagah border.