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Why MQM Wants Army in Karachi

By Waqas Habib   Democracy is going to bring some long due respite for Karachiites, as soon we will see a major targeted operation in the city. An operation that will not be carried out by the Army but by the Police and Rangers   After May 11, 2013, few things have changed – call it the loyalty of the people of Sind or a strategic initiative by them. They elected a PPP government into power with a clear majority – a no compromise strategy. Hence they are free to make their decisions on an executive level in Sind. They do not need MQM or ANP’s support to sustain their government in the province.   PMLN too is not carrying baggage in the Federal government. They want peace in Karachi so they can fulfill their biggest … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Karachi, Politics

Understanding the region

By Raza Rumi In the last few weeks, I have been asked to write and speak on the region. First was a podcast on China, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Please see the video and its transcript here (http://razarumi.com/the-future-of-afghanistan-towards-a-regional-solution/). My key argument is that China is a player in this region and its role in future stability cannot be ignored. For that to happen, regional dialogue is necessary. Second, the recent visit of Afghan President Karzai: Here I argue how Pakistan’s Prime Minister is struggling to taking charge of the country’s security policies, away from the security forces, and turning around its economy. Pakistan in real terms has no choice but to facilitate a peace process given the likelihood of more instability after 2014. Read the full post here. This region above all needs stability and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Afghanistan, China, Democracy, south asia

Democracy, policy and the absentee public

By Hussain Bokhari   Pakistan has now been independent for over 67 years. During this time, the country has been subjected to Military law for over 32 years. The remaining 35 years of democratic rule have not exactly been the most effective in terms of progress and serving the needs of the common Pakistani. This has unfortunately been perceived to be the failure of democracy as a political system rather than the ineptness of the few who have been at the helm. According to a recent British Council survey, only 29% of Pakistanis between the age of 18-29 believe democracy is the best political system for Pakistan, and 94% of people in that age group believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.     It is easy to attribute the failures of our attempts at … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Pakistan

This is not cricket

By Raza Rumi It is not surprising that Pakistan’s governance crisis has spilled over into all public domains. The latest arena for judicialising policy and its implementation is the good old game of cricket. True, not everyone thinks Najam Sethi should have accepted the responsibility to oversee the Pakistan Cricket Board. True, too, that I am affiliated with the paper that Sethi owns. But I intend to comment on organizational and judicial matters here that have nothing to do with the two matters noted above. My intent is not to write about PCB per se but about how difficult it has become to manage even ‘easier’ institutions such as the PCB. The ongoing judicial saga is but a microcosm of why Pakistan is in a deep mess. Ordinarily, the Prime Minister is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cricket, executive, Judiciary, Justice

Giving Sharif Space

By Jahanzeb Khan   I have been listening to various think tanks, intellectuals and political analysts over a period of months, especially since this new government took charge, about what should be this administration’s priorities over what it should deliver in the first 100 days. These rapid suggestions and blame games confuse the common masses as to what is actually the issue or what it is that needs to be fixed. We have been witnessing a barbaric outbreak of terrorism from all sides ever since this government took charge and sometimes feel feeble in countering them with an iron fist.  Unfortunately this government does not have people like the former federal Interior Minister, with his expertise of knowing things beforehand, or the former provisional interior Minister (Sindh), who is famous for his prophecies … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Monsoons, Mangoes and Mullahs

By Ghazala Akbar   Monsoon rains, mangoes and angry Mullahs — a visitor to Bangladesh in July / August, finds all three in profusion.  The first two are seasonal. Mullahs of the political kind are perennials. Currently those belonging to the Jamaat-e-Islami are under an ever darkening monsoon cloud, their future role and involvement in Bangladesh politics hanging by a thread. This should be of considerable interest to Pakistan. Yet it barely causes a ripple or comment. The reason is obvious. The trial and tribulations of the party are linked to the events of 1971, a year that Pakistan would dearly like to forget. Bangladesh has neither forgot or forgiven yet. After forty-two years it is engaged in seeking belated justice, bringing to book those it considers ‘local collaborators’ many of whom, allegedly, committed treason … Read entire article »

Filed under: Bangladesh, Islam, Travel

Mr. Prime Minister: Here is some advice

By Waqas Farooq During his recent address (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xRCk8VWI9U) to the nation Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif admitted the failure of state apparatus in fulfilling its role and providing basic services to the citizens. The Prime Minister also appreciated any advice which can be offered to him for solutions on an array of problems Pakistan is facing. Here, I am going to avail myself of that liberty and offer up some sage advice. Having realized the failure of the administration, there is now a need to act sooner rather than later in order to fix the system. There is a dire need to infuse a performance oriented culture in the civil administration of the country. The government should adopt a mission to have result oriented machinery that fulfills its obligations. The government should chalk out … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion, Pakistan

Allama Asad? A new distortion in Pakistan’s history

Allama Asad? A new distortion in Pakistan’s history

By Yasser Latif Hamdani A new lie has been concocted by chachas of Nazaria-e-Pakistan now especially by Orya Maqbool Jan and Safdar Mahmood- two of the most dishonest liars when it comes to the history of Pakistan. The story goes that there was a Department of Islamic Reconstruction and to chair this Department of Reconstruction of Islam,  Jinnah chose Muhammad Asad, formerly Leopold Weiss, the “Jewish Lawrence of Arabia”. Here is the problem:  The Facts- yes those … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, Pakistan

Lessons from the Islamabad Fiasco

Lessons from the Islamabad Fiasco

by Abdul Majeed (This is a useless post because Pakistan and Pakistanis have steadfastly refused to learn any lessons from the past). On 15th August 2013,a middle aged man in the Capital of Islamic Republic of Pakistan started aerial firing in the middle of the city. He started firing into the air in the central Jinnah Avenue neighbourhood — less than a kilometre from the presidency and parliament buildings — after being stopped for a traffic violation on … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Happy Independence Day

To prosper and progress a state needs to replace distrust by openness: achieve security by confidence-building and transparency, and develop a common moral consciousness and moderation says Saad Hafiz As the stage-managed ceremonies marking Pakistan’s 67th Independence Day approach, it may be worth examining the state of the state. This is not to belittle ‘befitting’ national celebrations, which can become important elements of a national identity. Every nation needs symbols, traditions and ‘auspicious’ days to affirm its distinctiveness and pass its traditions to the next generation. Contrary to other modern states that are based on nation and history, Pakistan was founded on a controversial premise that a nation can be created and sustained on the basis of a religious identity. This segregationist, essentially negative concept, which served as the basis of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Jinnah unequivocally wanted Pakistan to be a secular state

Jinnah unequivocally wanted Pakistan to be a secular state

  (Photo: Jacket Cover of leftist Indian historian Dr Ajeet Jawed’s book “Secular and Nationalist Jinnah“) By Yasser Latif Hamdani I am writing this article as a rebuttal to Khuldune Shahid’s article “Jinnah’s Pakistan a mirror of his contradictions.” It is necessary because if you do not counter a falsehood in public domain over time it is taken to be the truth. It is sad that there are many OpEd writers who when writing on this topic do … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

LUBP’s Attacks on Raza Rumi – Shameful

By Yasser Latif Hamdani It has long been my policy to ignore altogether the blog that claims to be run by “critical PPP supporters” called “Let us build Pakistan”, though it really should be called “Let us Bomb Pakistan” because of the nature of its materials. Nor is it in the least bit affiliated with the Pakistan People’s Party. Let me start by explaining why I am writing this blog post. Raza Rumi is one of the most extraordinary progressive intellectuals produced by Pakistan – the sort who will leave an indelible mark long after all of us are gone. His work as a civil society activist as well as an author is already well recognized and needs no elaboration. His work on behalf of minorities and his work to create an … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

What Is A Pakistani?

By Nabeel Jafri Many claim that Pakistan is a failed state. A problem cannot be solved without identifying it. So I sat down to dissect the problem but soon ran into a whole new one – to understand Pakistan, I had to understand the Pakistani first. In order to conduct some credible research, my Pakistani couldn’t simply be somebody I knew. It had to be a Pakistani I had no association with and someone who would be recognized by others for being a Pakistani as well. Thus, I set out to find myself a Pakistani to interview.   Unsure of where to start my search, I gave my parents a call. My mother answered the phone. ‘Mamma, I’m looking for a Pakistani. Where can I find one?’ ‘I can’t hear you properly. The rain damaged … Read entire article »

Filed under: musings, Pakistan

Why I Support Drone Attacks

Raza Habib Raja During my stay in USA, several of my American friends brought up the subject of drone attacks. Cornell is a very liberal school and consequently whenever the topic was broached; it was to condemn the drone attacks and equate these to US hegemony as well as insensitivity. To their surprise, I would start debating them and draw their attention to the other side of the picture. Many of them would actually be surprised by my completely unexpected point of view. Some of them would debate it and out of those a few would eventually admit that at least there was more to drones than mere violation of Pakistani sovereignty, imposition of US hegemony and loss of innocent lives. However, one question has always been thrown at me: How come you claim to be … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, Army, peace, Taliban, Terrorism

Gifting babies on TV to boost ratings

Gifting babies on TV to boost ratings

by Farwa Zahra Reports on a Pakistani show giving away babies as gifts attract international media attention, only bringing more embarrassment to Pakistanis while creating a negative image of Pakistani media.  With Geo TV’s dedicated news reports flaunting the ratings-based success of Aamir Liaquat’s Ramazan transmission “Amaan Ramzan”, the channel has seemingly ignored the other sides of the picture – criticism from the general public, national and international media. I’m sure the show has reached highest TRPs … Read entire article »

Filed under: Media, Pakistan