Pakistan

Current issues and comments...

Punjab Governor Attempts to Appoint LHC Judges of Choice

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As reported in the local press, recently, the Punjab governor, moved a list of seven ‘Jiyala lawyers’ to the chief justice of the Lahore High Court as ‘recommendations received in the Governor’s Secretariat’ for the slots of judges of the LHC. The chief justice not only rejected the governor’s nominees but also expressed his displeasure over the violation of the Constitution because the summary for appointment of lawyers for the slots of judges had to be initiated from the office of the LHC chief justice.

Whereas, the worthy chief justice has set honesty, uprightness and professionalism as conditions for those recommended from amongst the legal fraternity for appointment as judges to the superior judiciary so that no one could raise fingers at them, it speaks of foul play on part of the worthy governor. Does democracy imply politicisation of government institutions? What use are the sermons and addresses of advocating high moral values, if the deeds by these leaders contradict what they profess! This is, unfortunately the sorry state of affairs.The ones who are supposed to uphold the constitution are the ones trying to violate it.

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posted @ 2:02 PM, ,

Politicisation of Civil Bureaucracy

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Political governments come and go. The government officials whose hierarchy is known as bureaucrats stay on. The postings, transfers and placement of bureaucrats are done according to well laid out rules and regulations. These appointments are supposed to be apolitical. However, now,that is not the case. The worthy Prime Minister who was earlier charged for unfairly employing people, when he was Speaker National Assembly, continues to do so, rather more blodly, as this times he is occupying a higher pedestal. The News International writes,

The bureaucracy is faced with such a sorry state of affairs that the MPs and politicians are openly recommending the postings and transfers of their favourites. The dilemma is that the Prime Minister’s Secretariat is found generous in forwarding such recommendations, which are illegal under the rules, to the Establishment Division and other concerned agencies for implementation. It is the consequence of such whimsical appointments that the Foreign Service of Pakistan has simply gone mad over the appointment of a grade-20 DMG officer as ambassador to Paris. In their petition, they said that the appointment of Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan, DMG Officer of 1987 batch, as ambassador of Pakistan to France, is unprecedented, demoralising and most importantly a violation of the rights of the FSP officers.

His appointment is extraordinary for the reason that Imam has been made inspector general of Islamabad though he has not served as deputy inspector general (DIG) or regional police officer (RPO) even for a single day. After being transferred to his present position, he has become the youngest ever IG Police in the history of Pakistan.

The politicisation of the bureaucracy is distorting the very structure of this institution. It will be incorrect to say that our 'innocent' rulers are ignorant about the rules and regulations. It's all sheer misuse of one's authority and nepotism about which we hear long lectures and sermons but no deeds, rather what we see are the misdeeds.

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posted @ 2:00 PM, ,

Locating CM Secretariat Punjab!

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Chief Minister (CM) Punjab Secretariat has been on the move for last three months. It has moved from 7 Club Road to 8 Club Road and vice verse thirteen times costing the national exchequer a sum of around 1.5 million rupees. The reason given by the officials is the current threats of terrorism which is rather strange. If this was to be the case, President House, PM Secretariat and many other such like offices, too, should be on the move all the time.

The above mentioned to and fro movement of the CM Secretariat very clearly reflects poor decision making and indecisiveness of the concerned quarters. Besides the financial loss caused to the exchequer, I wonder as to how the secretariat has been functioning for these three months. Does the CM know about it?

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posted @ 11:12 AM, ,

Pakistan's Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms

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Pakistan's National Assembly Speaker, Dr Fehmida Mirza, on Tuesday, announced a 27-member Special Committee of Parliament on Constitutional Reforms. The committee has been formed after consulting the parliamentary leaders of 15 political parties having representation in both houses. It has been tasked to finalise the recommendations of political parties for constitutional reforms, including repeal of the 17Th Amendment. And, this is to be done under the scope of the Charter of Democracy, the speaker said.

It has taken more than a year to form a committee for the constitutional reforms. Keeping in mind the enormity of the task, it will take years to finalize the recommendations, implying that PPP will be able to complete its tenure with the constitution as it is, the constitution which grants more powers (including 58(2)B to dissolve the parliament) to the president than the prime minister and the parliament. Mr. Zardari will continue to rule as the Chief Executive with Mr. Yousaf Raza Gilani and the parliament playing only as second fiddle to the president. It may be recalled that Mr. Zardari had announced, prior to the presidential election over a year ago, that whoever was elected as the president, the first gift he would give to the nation would be the repeal of 58(2)B. The country is awaiting the receipt of that gift. What a contradiction between the words and deeds of our worthy leaders!

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posted @ 9:26 AM, ,

Lesson from Victory in T20 World Cup

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It has been very heartening to see our cricket team emerging as the champions of th T20 World Cup. No amount of praise is enough to appreciate the performance beyond compare of our cricket team. The whole nation remained awake and glued to the TV sets to watch every moment of the final match against Sri Lanka. There was no distinction among citizens in this celebration. Pakistanis from all walks of life; the rich and the poor, devoid of any political, ethnic or sectarian affiliation were all praying for the success of their team.

The excitement, jubiliation and joy displayed by the entire nation watching our team play and winning the final are the great moments to be chersished and remembered for times to come. There is a lot to learn from this event. I will restrict myself to only one. Once there is a will, there is a way. United we stand , divided we fall. It are the sincerety of purpose and the honesty to achieve it, following which we can do wonders. If our leadership realizes the virtues of being sincere and honest, it's not late yet for us to rise taller than the crisis facing us.

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posted @ 12:49 PM, ,

Parliamentarians' Perception of Punctuality

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The Law Minister stated in the Punjab Assembly on Friday, “ONLY ‘baboos’ (government officials) and not Assembly members are required to be punctual.” Not a single member of the treasury benches was present in the house at 9am, the time of commencement of the session. Further surprising is the cooperation rendered by the opposition members who opted not to seek adjournment. The session began nearly two hours late to discuss the 2009-10 budget.

Government servants and the staff in the private sector are harshly punished, at times, to the extent of losing one's job for being late. The degree of importance our elected representatives give to the representation bestowed upon them is self evident. Such an iresponsible statement about punctuality coming from a person no less than the Law Minister's speaks of a different mindset which our elected representitives have. They consider themselves to be superior human beings and above law. Yet, we, the masses have high hopes on them to alleviate our sufferings.

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posted @ 12:25 PM, ,

Blood Donation on Benazir Bhutto's Birthday

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It's highly appreciable that PPP leadership and its workers donated as part of celebrations of the birthday of their slain leader by donating blood. The birthday was celebrated with simplicity. So far, so good.

I wish and pray that the spirit of blood donation which indeed is a very noble act is truly understood by the PPP leadership, in particular, and its workers in general. Such noble deeds should lead them to 'noble' their deeds in day to day life. If corruption and nepotism is to continue at the hands of the blood donors, then, the blood donation, too, will be nothing more than a mere rhetoric to befool the masses. The deeds are judged by intentions!

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posted @ 12:10 PM, ,

UN to Probe Benazir Bhutto's Assassination!

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With own judiciary fully restored and fair; unanimously agreed to by the government and the opposition, do we still need to spend millions of dollars to have probe about Benazir Bhutto's assassination conducted by UNO? The question becomes all the more relevant when, according to U.N. statement released Saturday, "The duty of determining criminal responsibility of the perpetrators of the assassination remains with the Pakistani authorities".

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posted @ 11:15 AM, ,

Remembering Benazir Bhutto on Her Birthday

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Benazir Bhutto was indeed a great leader. Born with a silver spoon and being a woman, she opted for a difficult course of life by joining the politics in a third world country. So, no wonder, she met a fate which none of us wished her to meet. She championed the cause of democracy, particularly, after the execution of death sentence awarded to her father, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. She was elected Prime Minister of Pakistan twice but could not complete her tenure both times. Benazir spent most period of her political life in self imposed exile.

Benazir Bhutto's untimely death and that too, though brutal assassination, has left many mysteries which only the future historians will be able to unfold. Why was Benazir Bhutto's government dismissed both times once she happened to be the elected Prime Minister of Pakistan? Why did she opt to live in self proclaimed exile in stead of staying back home and face the charges? What is the truth behind the NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance? Is it Baitullah Masud or someone else behind her murder?

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posted @ 12:18 PM, ,

Senators Demand Restoration of Hajj quota

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Senators on Saturday, by and large, unanimously protested the withdrawal of parliamentarians’ Hajj quota and demanded its restoration. The senators also demanded that the private tour operators’ quota should be abolished as the tour operators blackmailed the applicants and extolled money.

If the latter is true, which is quite likely, what about the former? The parliamentarians want restoration of Hajj quota so as to please the selected people of their constituencies; and, that, too, on a matter pertaining to one of our religious obligations. I agree with the senators' demand to abolish the Hajj quota of tour operators but the worthy senators are contradicting themselves by seeking the same quota for parliamentarians as they are no angels either.

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posted @ 9:36 AM, ,

Politics of Principles or Lack Thereof!

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Commenting on the presentation of pardon documents, duly signed by PML(N) leader Nawaz Sharif, by advocate-general of Sindh in the court, Khwaja Asif of PML(N) accused that it was done on the instructions of President Zardari. Khwaja Asif stated in the Parliament that Mr. Zardari had once again started the politics of confrontation. Khwaja Asif commented, “If they continue character assassination of our leadership then we will also tell the people how Farooq H Naek brought the NRO (National Reconciliatory Ordinance) before us to give indemnity to Gen Musharraf” . He further said," The president lacks credibility and no body trusts him". Responding from the treasury benches, Ms Mehreen Anwer Raja said those who are criticising the NRO should tell the people who begged the military dictator for pardon. The speaker expunged the remarks from the proceedings on the request of Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mehreen Anwar Raja and Fauzia Wahab.

Politics in Pakistan has nothing to do with principles which are nothing but a rhetoric to befool the masses. The above event very clearly indicates the tacit understanding between the two major political parties that neither would expose the other as both have a lot to hide. The moment one side tries to violate that understanding, the other side 'blows the whistle'.

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posted @ 1:18 PM, ,

Inter Ministry Coordination

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The Finance Ministry did not even bother to inform, what to talk of seeking their views, the Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry about the imposition of carbon surcharge on motor gasoline, diesel and other POL products in the new federal budget. This is the standard of coordination at ministerial level. It speaks of the quality of governance and how the decision making is undertaken by our rulers!

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posted @ 1:12 PM, ,

EU Rejects Trade but 'Aids'

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The EU, at the first summit with Pakistan in Brussels, has ignored President Zardari's call for trade concessions but extended 20 million Euros in aid for the IDPs. All what has been agreed upon is well short of Pakistan's expectations. But, as they say, something is better than nothing.

It's strange that, on one hand, America and the developed world call Pakistan as the front line state against War on Terror, and, on the other hand, once it comes to deeds the formers do not follow their own words. USA named Pakistan as its non NATO ally but we don't see US supporting Pakistan like it supports its allies. Pakistan needs to seriously reflect as the aid being received for the large scale military operations being undertaken in the name of war on terror doesn't turn out to be AIDS.

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posted @ 11:42 AM, ,

Is Baitullah Masud a US Agent?

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Haji Turkistan Betani, a former close aide of Baitullah Mahsud, has claimed that Baitullah Masud was American agent. The former during an interview with a local TV channel has sted that he was with Baitullah Masud once the latter sent his men to assassinate Benazir Bhutto. Betani stated that if Baitullah Masud was an not American agent he would have by now been targeted by US drones.

During the ongoing Swat operation, some of the weapons, equipment and munitions seized by Pakistan army have been found to be of American origin. How did these fall into the hands of Baitullah Masud?

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posted @ 2:32 PM, ,

Closing down Illegal Seminaries

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Capital Development Authority (CDA) has started issuing notices to seminaries (madrassahs) operating illegally in Islamabad territory. Reportedly, there are a total of 260 seminaries of which 15 are operating illegally. According to CDA officials, some of these illegal seminaries are spreading hatred against the government and the army, and are promoting extremism. It's never too late to mend!

CDA doesn't let a citizen change the design of one's house by an inch without its prior approval. What has CDA been doing for all these years right from the laying down of foundations of these seminaries to their construction and functioning? Was it the fear of reaction or some officials have been pocketing money to keep their eyes closed. It's worth finding out as to how many such seminaries are operating illegally all over Pakistan. It's equally relevant to find out as to how many of the seminaries operating legally are also involved in spreading hatred and promoting extremism. And, last but not the least, as to how many of these madrassahs are serving as the training grounds for would be taliban.

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posted @ 2:12 PM, ,

Tax on Agriculture

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Finance Adviser Shaukat Tareen is reported to have said on Wednesday that the agriculture sector must be brought under the tax net in 2010-11, saying he would resign if he was not able to achieve that. It is good for the gentleman that he has wished agriculture sector to be brought under the tax net in 2010-2011 and not 2009-2010. Otherwise he will have to resign in next few days. I only hope that the Financial Adviser remembers his statement until June next year.

Our country continues to be ruled by feudal lords and, of late, industrialists. The rulers have resisted agricultural reforms and the tax thereon for over sixty years and it is least likely that they are going to listen to the Financial Advisor. The rulers would rather like to replace the Financial Advisor than accept the agriculture tax.

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posted @ 1:52 PM, ,

Budget Allocation for Benazir Income Support vs Education

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Government has allocated 50 billion rupees for Benazir Income Support Program; a fund to support the poor families in Pakistan. Rs. 24.3 billion have been allocated for Education. The allocation for Benazir Income Support program is twice that of the funds allocated for Education.
The above speaks of the priorities of the government. I wish the government had instituted Benazir Education Support Program in stead of Benazir Income Support Program. Investment in education will make the people stand on their own feet and earn for themselves. Paying a paltry sum of Rs. 1000.00 to a family per month will hardly alleviate their sufferings and will also make them dependent on this charity.

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posted @ 4:54 PM, ,

Umrah Offering Pakistani Family Arrested in Saudia for Heroins Smuggling

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A Pakistani family has been arrested in Saudi Arabia once heroine was found in their baggage. According to the family member Mr. Raees, their sub travel agent had given them Ahrams and sandals in which heroine was packed as a mark of identification for the travel agent on landing in Saudi Arabia. Police have registered a case after arresting the sub-travel agent’s son for smuggling heroine through fraud and deceit using Pakistanis arrested in Saudi Arabia.

The family may be right in their claim about having been deceived by the travel agent. If that is true, it will have to be proved by the family which is not going to be that easy. But the question is as to why did the family not check the contents handed over to them by the travel agent?

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posted @ 4:41 PM, ,

Playing Opposition till Award of Ministries

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Mr. Atta Moneka, leader of PML(Q) Unification Group, has stated that his party would continue to play the role of opposition till they are given ministries by PML(N)in Punjab. Earlier during the political battle between PPP and PML(N) for control over Punjab, it was PML(Q) Unification group which supported PML(N) and enabled the latter to stay on in power. Then, the stand of PML(Q) Unification group was that they were moving away from PML(Q) towards PML(N) for unification of Pakistan Muslim League. According to them, it was a matter of principles and they were not doing so for the sake of ministries. If that was so, then why they are now choosing to sit on the opposition benches.

Politics in Pakistan is nothing but pursuit of power. It has nothing to do with principles which are but mere rhetoric to befool the masses.

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posted @ 1:30 PM, ,

When American and NATO Troops Leave Afghanistan

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It has been over seven years that America invaded Afghanistan in pursuit of Al Qaeda who according to them masterminded 9/11 attacks. History of Afghanistan bears testimony to the fact that no invader has ever been able to reign in the Afghans. The achievements, if any, of US and NATO troops to date also indicate the same. Afghan government and the foreign troops are restricted to a couple of cities and the rest of the country is under control of Taliban, allies of Al Qaeda.

There are indications that sooner or later Americans intend leaving Afghanistan. It's doubtful that this departure would take place after eliminating Taliban and Al Qaeda. So, once foreign troops leave, Taliban will be back in control of Kabul and will be running Afghan government. Having alienated Taliban, how Pakistan is going to deal with Taliban led government?

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posted @ 11:36 AM, ,

Field Day for the Rulers

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The current state of power and politics in Pakistan is a strange balance which is detriment to the development of our country and the well being of the poor. Pakistan Peoples Party is in power in the centre and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz group) in Punjab. Coalition governments in Sindh and North West Frontier Province (NWFP) have also brought Muttehidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Awami National Party (ANP) in the fold of power.

It appears that every one is in the ruling party/coalition. There is no significant opposition to the federal or the provincial governments. Although in the opposition in the centre, PML(N) can't offer any opposition to the federal government as it is going to be responded by PPP is in Punjab. Absence of potent opposition in the parliament, the ruling parties and coalition partners are all having a field day.

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posted @ 9:51 AM, ,

Budget 2009-2010

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In one of the TV shows, Ms Wahab representing the government was only wrong by 35% once she was asked about the rate of pulses. Isn't it better not to answer a question once you don't know the answer? In any developed country, she would not have gotten away with such lying. This speaks of the seriousness and credibility of our rulers. So, no wonder, if the budget figures, too, may be off their targets by 35%.

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posted @ 9:40 AM, ,

Zardari's Late Night Address to the Nation

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Leaders lead by personal example. It's just not understood as to why Mr. Zardari, The President of Pakistan, had to delay his address till as late past mid night. Was the nation going to war? The footage of his planned address started appearing in the evening. The seven minute address did not carry anything special or anything new. Mr. President! try to be punctual. This is the least you can do; at least do that!

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posted @ 9:31 AM, ,

Pro Taliban Islamist Parties

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The divide betwen pro Taliban and anti Taliban is becoming clear with everyday passing. Certain Islamist parties and their leaders are playing a double game. They consider the activities of Taliban as a reaction to the government fighting America's war and demand that the government should take a firm stand of its own rather than fighting Taliban on behalf of America. Do they want America to invade Pakistan like it invaded Afghanistan?

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posted @ 10:44 AM, ,

Neighbourhoods of Taliban

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The recent suicide attack resulting in killing of Anti Taliban religious scholar Dr Sarfaraz Naeemi is a clear signal from Taliban to all other religious and political leaders who condemn the activities of Taliban and declare these to be against the teachings of Islam. Some system will have to devised to protect these leaders and scholars. It will not be possible for the government to undertake this protection. Respective organizations which are headed by these seminaries will have to arrange security of their leaders.

But, what about the security of the common man. The common man, too, will have to arrange for his security by himself. How? It is the vigilance on part of each Pakistani wherein lies the security of not only the common man but that of the entire nation. The neighbourhoods of Taliban are asleep. If they were not, howelse could recruitment, training, planning and preparation of suicide persons and vehicles go unnoticed?

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posted @ 10:20 AM, ,

America Supports Pakistan's Stand on Kashmir

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The recent statement by US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, after his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a welcome shift from America's earlier stance of indifference on Kashmir Issue. On a three days' visit to India, William Burns while addressing a press conference said, " It remains our view that a resolution of that (Kashmir) issue has to take into account wishes of the Kashmiri people".

It's an indication that America has come to realize as to how the resolution of Kashmir Issue is linked with war on terror and peace in the region. However, it's just the beginning and Pakistan should not lay high hopes as America will continue to change its stances as it suits it. This shift in American policy, a sort of reward to Pakistan, appears to be due to the serious resolve of Pakistan to wage war on terror as is evident from the ongoing military operation in Malaknd, Swat and Bannu.

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posted @ 11:12 AM, ,

Taliban Cause Early and Total Summer Vacation

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All public and private sector educational institutions have been closed two weeks earlier than their usual schedule. Summer camps, planned by most of these institutions, too, have been done away with. All this has been done in view of the prevailing security situation caused by Taliban. It's more of a reactive rather than a pro active approach. Loss of a couple of weeks of academics may be bearable. However, it's worth considering as to how we are going to proceed after Summer vacation. Is the threat to our security likely to minimize or is it going to be the same or is it going to increase further? The present trends indicate further deterioration in the security situation. Whatever be the situation we should be planning for the worst. So, the question is as to whether we are going to close our educational institutions indefinitely or we are going to face the threats pro actively. It is this period of three months which needs to be judicially utilized to plan and put the plans in place if we want education to go on after Summer vacation.

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posted @ 11:08 AM, ,

Son under Room Arrest

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My driver's younger brother, Arshad, remained under room arrest for four days. The boy had been sent by his father to Rawalpindi (some three hundred kilometers away) to work. Arshad left the place of work, came back to his home town and stayed with a friend for three days. His friend brought Arshad to his home and handed him over to his father. Arshad's father gave him a thorough beating and locked him in a room. Arshad's grandmother intervened, pursuaded Arshad to apologize from his father and had Arshad released. How Arshad behaves now onward is an open question.

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posted @ 10:03 AM, ,

Industrial and Land Reforms

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Our leaders and legislators make a lot of hue and cry about justice, equality and alleviation of poverty. Quite a few of them are feudal lords and industrialists. Can they set a personal example to introduce industrial and land reforms as these will do a lot of good to the poor? It will also do a lot of good to them not only in terms of prolongation of their stay in power but also in terms of their betterment in the life hereafter, if they believe in one.

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posted @ 10:27 AM, ,

Tax Reforms

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How can our government have tax reforms as once it announces to levy taxes on certain sectors and withdraws the same on the threatening response from those sectors to agitate and resort to demonstrations and strikes?

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posted @ 10:20 AM, ,

Punjab minister Ghafoor restored

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Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor has been restored as Minister Prisons by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. A couple of weeks ago, the former had been asked to stop functioning as a minister after the media reports of his misconduct and certain other realities beyond that at Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore. Although with a reprimand, the minister has been asked to perform his duties honestly. The question is if a similar ill conduct was displayed by a common man how would he have been treated. I wonder if such a person would have been pardoned. In fact, the minister deserved a bigger punishment as better and exemplary conduct is expected of persons of his class. It is doubtful if the minister ever considered resigning as a minister if not as a legislator. Following the trait of nepotism an exception has been made. Where is the so often trumpeted justice? Words needs to be followed by deeds.

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posted @ 12:05 PM, ,

Pakistan Lose by 48 Runs in T20 World Cup

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Performance of Pakistan Cricket Team was far below the desired standards in its first match against England. There was a visible lack of will power and determination both while fielding and batting. However, it should be no surprise. Sports teams represent their countries. We, as a nation, invariably, place high hopes on these teams, forgetting as to how we are performing as a country in the comity of nations. We should be surprised if our teams do well and not when they don't.

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posted @ 11:30 AM, ,

Poor Man's Budget

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A large number of government officials and consultants of all ministries at federal and provincial level are supposedly busy, day in and night out, to prepare a 'poor' friendly budget, due to be announced in a few days. This is what has been happening every year since independence. Every time it is claimed to be the best possible budget, a budget better than the previous year promising alleviation of poverty, increase in health and education facilities etc, etc. However, the outcome to date has been just the opposite of the claims made.

No budget has to date taken into account two simple questions. What is the budget of a poor family of four to five persons whose bread winner is one man? Are the public and private sectors offering these heads of families the opportunity to earn their living as per the budget of the family? If the national budget is geared towards this direction, it is a good budget, otherwise, it is all nothing but jugglery of words. It is hoped against hopes that the ruling party adheres to its slogan of Roti, Kapra aur Makan (food, clothing and housing) not only by its words but also by its deeds for the common man and not for the few of its jyalays (selected followers).

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posted @ 9:21 AM, ,

Breeding of Taliban in Madrassas

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There is a vast network of Madrassas (private education institutions of different sects offering Islamic education as per their own perceptions and political agendas). These Madrassas offer free education, boarding and lodging, stipends and even free clothings to their students. Who finances these Madrassas and what is taught therein is not known to the government. Government officials are not allowed to enter these Madrassas what to talk of monitoring them. With soaring population, ever increasing poverty, inability of the government to provide affordable education and the bias of the society, in general, and, that of the poor in particular, towards the teachings of Islam without truly understanding them, the poor, who generally have more children and less resources to feed them readily send their children to these Madrassas. Our society on the whole has handed over its religion to the Mullahs; a convenient way of shirking its responsibility to understand and follow the true peaceful teachings of Islam. It's common knowledge that the impressions formed in childhood go along with a person right till the grave. Not all, but certainly some of these Madrassas hammer incorrect concept of Jihad into the mind of these innocent children of the poor. It is propagated that Islam should be spread through force and the followers of unislamic teachings as per their perceptions should be done away with by force if they don't fallback to the fold of Islam. Poverty and teachings of pseudo Islam put together alienate the poor youth from the rest of the society. It is this youth which is available to Taliban and the likes for recruitment.

All of these Madrassas are run by Islamist parties most of which have their political and militant wings. A number of efforts have been made by the government including Musharraf's regime to register these Madrassas but in vain. Political conveniences and the fear of reactions from the Mullahs have not let the registration and monitoring happen. The governments have been deferring it which has facilitated the stregtheningn of the Mullah and Madrassas. Lest it is too late, it is high time that registration and monitoring of these Madrassas is undertaken irrespective of the opposition which may have to be faced. The government should know that people of Pakistan have time and again rejected these Mullahs as is evident from the results of the elections held to date, and that the poor send their children to Madrassas not as a matter of choice but compulsion.

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posted @ 10:03 AM, ,

Logic is Variable

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Logic is Variable - it is the "variation" that matters - is a resource for my thoughts. More often, I blog form impressions and or generate ideas to see how they invoke reactions, to keep track of others’ work in the fields of my interests, or simply to rant or point out things that come to my attention.

Also, I use blogging as a platform to prune ideas. This is where I meet others. And “I am neither geek, nor nerd, I am not a hacker, a phreaker, a programmer or any variety of technoid dweeb.” Have a look and let me know what you think?

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posted @ 10:00 AM, ,

Obama's Address in Cairo

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Yesterday, Mr. Barak Obama, President of United States, made a historical speech in Cairo. The address has been labelled as address to the Muslim World as most of its content related to the American relations with the Muslim world. The speech indeed is very impressive in oratory, rich in content but short in terms of road map(s) for the future. Lot of good promises and intentions have been displayed but without any concrete measures to fulfill the same. America's stance that it is not at war with the Muslim world but with those few who are resorting to spreading terror in the name of Islam, has been very well received all over the Muslim world. Obama's clear perception of the Palestinian issue, too, has been welcomed the world over. He very clearly states that the solution lay in two state solution recognizing the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians to coexist in peace. He has offered to resolve the nuclear issue of Iran through negotiations without any preconditions. He wants to achieve peace for Americans in particular, and the world in general, at the minimum cost which is the right approach. However, the good words need to be translated into good deeds. Only time would tell as to what the final outcome is realized.

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posted @ 7:16 PM, ,

Military Operation in Waziristan

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A number of government officials, including the top man, Mr. Zardari, have stated over last many days that military operation will also be carried out in Waziristan. Following these statements people in Waziristan have started leaving their homes and migrating to other places nearby. It appears that the right lessons have not been learnt from the ongoing Swat operation which is yet to be over even militarily. In case of Swat operation, surprise was achieved against Taliban at the cost of locals being caught unaware and becoming Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in millions. In Waziristan , the locals have started migrating. Taliban, too, must be making good use of this time to either prepare for the expected military operation and fortify their positions or disperse and move away to other areas or maybe a combination of both.

Undertaking military operation in Waziristan on the lines of Swat operation will be unwise on part of the government and the military. It will stretch out the military. With reaction time having been provided to Taliban, results of the military operation are not likely to be as good as of the expected military victory in Swat region. And, last but not the least, we will have millions of more IDPs. IDPs of Swat were not armed as there is no tradition of carrying personal weapons in Swat region. IDPs of Waziristan, are going to be armed as by tradition, every local owns and carries weapons. The unrest in the camps of Swat IDPs is being borne by unarmed IDPs with some sort of forced as well as voluntary patience. It is not going to be the case with armed IDPs of Waziristan. It will be worth considering if the locals of Waziristan are organized into armed groups, called as lashkars, supported by the military and launched against Taliban as has been done at few places. However, it has to be ensured that these lashkars don't start equalling personal scores against locals. The menace of having millions of IDPs is too big to undertake another military operation. The government and the military need to find other ways to deal with Taliban. To kill one dirty fish, one doesn't have to empty the pond. There is need to home onto on the dirty fish only by gathering accurate and real time intelligence which has been a total failure to date.

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posted @ 2:55 PM, ,

Resettlement of IDPs of Swat Operation

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Military victory is in sight, but we are paying a very heavy price for the same in terms of over 22.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Scarcity of resources, poor governance and management, looting and plundering, and a number of other ills prevalent in our society and our government, it is no less than a dream that these IDPs will ever be able to fall back to their homes as satisfied citizens. Most of these are going to find themselves deprived off their house hold belongings and their means of earnings. Some others may have to even reconstruct their houses destroyed by bombing during the battle. The life is going to start afresh for them confronting heavy odds. There is a need for our government to plan the resettlement of these IDPs in an orderly manner so that the military victory against Taliban is also converted into a social and political victory by winning the hearts and minds of the IDPs. If the same is not done, the seeds of another kind of Talibanization would be sown to grow quickly and pose similar threat some other time in the near future.

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posted @ 2:24 PM, ,

LHC Orders Release of Hafiz Saeed

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Hafiz Saeed, the chief of Jamaat-ul-Dawa had been under preventive detention days after the Mumbai attacks end November last year. The government had detained Hafiz Saeed vide United Nations Security Council Resolution No 1267. The resolution dealt with an arms embargo, freezing the guilty party’s assets, and banning them from travelling abroad, not detention. Apparently the release has come due to a technical point of absence of the mention of detention in the UN SC resolution. India, on the other hand, accuses Hafiz Saeed of being involved in Mumbai attacks.

Whether the gentleman is guilty or not, either way it speaks ill of our government for undesirably detaining a citizen under international pressure and being unable to justify the detention before the court. Punjab government has decided to challenge the LHC verdict in Supreme Court of Pakistan. Perhaps, there is some additional evidence which was kept away from LHC!

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posted @ 11:59 AM, ,

Media's Trend of Breaking News without Verification

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Ever since the freedom of press and electronic media and opening of dozens of TV channels, for which the credit goes to General Retired Musharraf, these channels are competing among themselves to capture more viewership. One of the areas of this competition is Breaking News and boasting about it that it was this channel which took the lead in Breaking News. The moment they get a clue about something, they very quickly air it to take the lead from the rest. These channels don't take the trouble of verifying the correctness of the news aired by them. It has happened a number of times that the news broadcast turned out to be totally or partly incorrect. These channels are just not pushed or bothered as to how adversely such incorrect/incomplete news affect the citizen. The latest example of this is the kidnapping of students from Cadet College Razmak. Initially, the number of kidnapped students was reported to be around five hundred. The next morning it was announced that all the abducted, less than one hundred in number, had been recovered by the army during a swift operation. Later, it was reported that there were still fifty abducted who were still missing.

Our media is enjoying total freedom and impunity and print/broadcast what it chooses to. There is no check on it. Isn't it the moral responsibility of us all Muslims not to pass on anything to others without verifying its correctness? Who is going to reign our media? Our media is very quick in Breaking News which not only includes disclosing something new to us but also breaking the news in terms of correctness. The latter, too, is, after all, an act of breaking news!

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posted @ 10:23 AM, ,

Recovery of Kidnapped Students of Cadet College Razmak

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Pakistan army deserves to be complimented for recovering the kidnapped students and staff of Cadet College Razmak within hours of the sad incident. Taliban kidnapped the students and staff, travelling in buses, on their way home for Summer vacation. It happened about twenty miles away from Bannu yesterday evening. Army quickly came into action. The speed with which it was able to trace and recover all kidnapped unhurt within twelve hours is highly commendable. Despite the fact that the situation of security is very bad and Taliban are executing the killings and kidnappings at will all over Pakistan, it is reassuring that all is not lost yet an that we can beat the menace of Taliban.

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posted @ 12:27 PM, ,

Confusion Over Return of IDPs

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Freedom of media, freedom of speech and lack of coordination among army, provincial and federal governments are adding fuel to the fire in terms of the miseries faced by IDPs of Swat region. Watching different government officials' statements on the electronic media, hundreds of IDPS left their tents in the refugee camps and started moving towards their homes only to find barricades stopping them and soldiers telling them to get back. There have even been instances where IDPs reached their homes to find Taliban welcoming them and mistreating them. Such irresponsible statements have come from supposedly responsible officials including Mr. Rehman Malik, Federal Home Minisiter. It's a pity. If government can't alleviate the miseries of IDP, we should, at least, not add to their sufferings.

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posted @ 11:46 AM, ,

More US Troops in Afghanistan: Ping Pong of Al qaeda and Taliban

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America is inducting another 20,000 troops in Afghanistan. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Yousaf Raza Gilani has very rightly and timely expressed the reservations against this move. This induction is likely to intensify the hunt of Al Qaeda and Taliban by the US and NATO troops in Afghanistan pushing the terrorists in larger numbers to Pakistan increasing its existing problems of security and insurgency.

To seriously deal with Al Qaeda and Taliban, US troops along with NATO troops, the most advanced and well equipped and well trained armies of the world, should stop cross border movement of Al Qaeda and Taliban, this time from Afghanistan to Pakistan as against earlier movement in the opposition direction, and undertake operations to eliminate them. Similarly, Pakistan army should make every endeavour to block the cross border movement of Taliban. The earlier proposals given by Pakistan to fence and mine the selected border areas along Afghanistan should be implemented. It's not understood as to why Americans oppose the idea of sealing the border. Perhaps, they don't want to fight Al Qaeda and Taliban and in stead want them to cross over to Pakistan leaving the dirty job of fighting to Pakistan army.

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posted @ 3:06 PM, ,

New Judicial Policy: The Only Ray of Hope

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With Swat operation causing over three million IDPs, threat of suicide attacks by Taliban and the like all over the country, electricity load shedding for more than half of the twenty four hours and all other pre democracy ills of corruption and poor governance moving upwards, new judicial policy announced by the restored judiciary is nothing less than a ray of hope in wilderness. It is a common wish of all citizens to remain away from police, courts and hospitals. As announced, if all fresh and pending cases in the Supreme Court and high courts are decided within one year and those from Baluchistan within six months, it would indeed be a very great blessing. The judicial policy aims at independence of judiciary and expeditious disposal of cases. However, the taste of the pudding lies in its eating. It will indeed a great leap forward as a nation if the policy announced is implemented in letter and spirit.





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posted @ 2:26 PM, ,


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