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Naveed_Bhuutto Tuesday, November 27, 2012 02:28 PM

[I][CENTER][SIZE="5"][B]ZAB: ‘Peoples are real masters’[/B][/SIZE][/CENTER][/I]

[I]Zulfikar Ali Bhutto struggled to make Pakistan a great country of the world.[/I]

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was true leader of people of Pakistan. The people always remained the central and social point of his politics and internal, external policies. He was given the title of Quaid-i-Awan for his love with the people. He is remembered as a martyr of people and Pakistan. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in his speeches and statements as prime minister of Pakistan and chairman PPP paid rich tributes to the people of Pakistan. In his inaugural address on the occasion of commissioning of permanent TV centre at Lahore Bhutto talked about his vision of Pakistan and destiny of its people.

“I have a vision that one day the fields in our countryside will blossom with abundance. The rolling fields and orchards and village squares will ring with the songs of happy children, children with the colour of blood in their cheeks and with books held proudly under their arms. In the streets of our great cities, we will no more have to live with the shame of children in rags, with sunken eyes and hollow cheeks, children debasing their parents and their society by begging, to keep themselves warm and fed. I have a vision that this day will come.

The day will come when the 60 million people of Pakistan will no longer be as beggars in the streets of the world. They will work within a system which gives to each because of his rights as a human being and not because of the circumstances of his birth. They will be strong in their faith which brought them together in one nation. They will be proud of their identity, and confident in their ability and strength to shake the foundations of ignorance, poverty and disease. With their own endeavours, our people will redirect the flow of history.

We will build a society in which the old values of greed and self-advancement will be replaced by a common concern for the welfare of the whole community. We will build our monuments to our contemporary civilisation. Institutions of learning, factories and dams, atomic reactors and television centres — these will be our Taj Mahals of the 20th century.

I have a vision that this day will come, and I have a programme whereby this day will come soon. For my part, the programme consists of ensuring that the economic, constitutional, social and administrative conditions are created within which human endeavour has the opportunity to be transformed into productive and creative endeavour. My part, my government’s role, is to provide secure, unshakable foundations for the building of a prosperous future. But the nation-builders will still have to be made by people themselves. Too long have we lived with the fatalistic and superstitious belief that prosperity is a butterfly which one day will come to rest of its own accord in our immobile laps. These attitudes are the attitudes of people who live in a state of despair. I say to you that, inspite of the ordeal and the trauma through which our people have lived in the recent past, today there is no call for Pakistanis to exist in despair. The dangers to our identity and to our progress no doubt continue to surround us on all sides and from within. But this nation has endured in these last 12 months. I say to you that, if you so decide, this nation will endure also for the next 12 centuries and more.
The day will come when the 60 million people of Pakistan will no longer be as beggars in the streets of the world. They will work within a system which gives to each because of his rights as a human being and not because of the circumstances of his birth.
Therefore, I have a vision in which I want my fellow countrymen to share, so that when each one of us is asked the question, he may say: “We have a vision.”

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto struggled to make Pakistan a great country of the world. He narrated his objective in the following words:

“The role objective of his struggle and the struggle of his party was to serve the common man, the peasants, the labourers, workers, in fact all sections of society, with utmost selflessness and sincerity and to enhance the prestige of the country.” [Z.A. Bhutto’s Speeches & Statements: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, p.277]

About his slogan roti, kapra aur makan, Bhutto said, “This slogan represents our ethics in terms of the socio-economic conditions of our country and our past history…. I did not say that I would whistle and clothes would fall from heaven, that I would sing a song and houses would be built or food provided. I told the people that they would have to work hard and struggle very hard to increase production…. We would change the direction of our planning from building palaces and sky-scrapers and from non-essentials to the basic priorities of the people.

There are to try and build houses for them, increase the production of food and improve the production of clothing. Now this is the philosophy of the slogan of roti, kapra and makan. [Z.A. Bhutto’s Speeches & Statements, vol-II, p.121, Ministry of Information]
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto believed that social justice can give people a bigger stake in the socio-economic system. There is no alternative to standing committed to the people who are real masters of Pakistan and supreme judges of their representatives.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto explained his views about Pakistan, people and prosperity in the following words:

“I have to communicate to you tonight a most important decision taken by your Government. The decision is meant to transform the hub of our national economy. It flows from that commitment which is supreme and everlasting in my heart and mind. This is the welfare, the happiness and the progress of the people of Pakistan. I believe that no object can be dearer than to reduce, and eventually to eliminate, the operation of all those forces which stunt our society’s growth, cripple its energies and condemn the vast majority of our population to utter helplessness. I consider no fulfillment more gratifying than to pave the way for an upstanding, productive, vibrant future generation. I have said repeatedly that Pakistan’s strength lies in the strength of its people. If the people, the farmer bent with his toil and the nameless man in the street, are not strong, if they are caught in the vice tightened around them by the hoarder and the speculator, the racketeer and the smuggler, then the country’s strength can only be fragile, its morale low and its spirit enfeebled.

Our national economy, as you know, is primarily agrarian. One of the first campaigns which your government, therefore, launched was that of land reforms. This was an assault on feudal power. We limited the size of land holdings and redistributed the land in excess of that size to its tenants. In an area like Balochistan, we first ended the pernicious practice of shishak and then we went ahead and liquidated the Sardari system with all its tentacles and attendant evils which had been entrenched for centuries. We exempted small landowners from the payment of land revenue.

We assured the farmer of minimum support prices for wheat. We established corporations for the export of rice and cotton in an endeavour to secure remunerative prices for these commodities in a volatile international economy. We initiated schemes for fighting the menace of water logging and salinity. We devoted a substantial portion of our resources to subsidizing the inputs of agriculture. We arranged the supply of tractors. We reduced the price of fertilizer. We provided subsidies for the sinking of tubewells. We are doing our utmost to improve the quality of seed and to extend the coverage of plant protection measures. All this effort is aimed at enhancing the productivity of our agriculture and rationalising our rural economy.

But, after all this sweat and expense, after all the multiplicity of arrangements that had to be made in pursuance of these plans, we found that the end product of agriculture was still beyond social control. Why? What is the element that has so far eluded your government’s grasp and blocked the percolation of these benefits to the small agriculturist? Who defrauds both the farmer, on the one side, and the consumer of agricultural products, on the other? Who manipulates the agricultural market? Who steals from the urban consumer the advantages of substantial government subsidies for the provisioning of wheat? What is the barrier in the way of managing our agriculture as it should be managed in this day and age?

This element, this insidious all-pervasive force, is that of the middle man, be he a cotton ginner or a paddy husker. For generations, the middleman in agriculture has sucked the farmer’s blood and kept the consumer, whether an individual or an industry, at his mercy. He has artificially reduced the price of commodities like seed cotton and paddy, which the farmer delivers to him, and raised the price of lint, cotton seed and rice, which he supplies to the consumer. He has evaded or obstructed all our measures to secure fair rewards for the farmer’s labour. He has done so by the variety of means which are at the disposal of those who have not a trace of social conscience. He exploits the farmer’s economic weakness and he takes advantage of the glut in the market at the time of the harvest to deny him a fair price. He hoards stocks in anticipation of higher prices and an undeserved profit. He underweighs the commodity delivered to him, mixes one variety with another, forms a league with the smuggler and establishes a black market.” [ZAB Address to the Nation, July 17, 1976]

[B]The writer is a renowned columnist.
Email: [email]qayyumnizami@gmail.com[/email][/B]

wannabe Tuesday, November 27, 2012 02:37 PM

Green Climate Fund and Responsibilities of Major Emitters
[CENTER][B][SIZE="5"][FONT="Verdana"]Green Climate Fund and Responsibilities of Major Emitters[/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/CENTER]

As a result of global warming, melting of glaciers, unprecedented rains and droughts will occur more frequently in the future. Since it is a global problem; it requires concrete global efforts to reverse and halt the change by taking bold and committed actions by the world community.

He 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Durban, South Africa from 28 Nov to 11 Dec to establish a new treaty to limit carbon dioxide emissions. The delegates of 194 countries attended this 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Primary focus of the conference was to secure a global climate agreement before the expiry of Kyoto Protocol first commitment period (2001-2012). Progress on agreements, reached at the 2010 Conference at Cancun, was also reviewed that includes “cooperation on clean technology, forest protection, adaptation to climate impacts and transfer of funds from rich countries to poor in order to help them protect environment. The establishment of a Green Climate Fund was also sought.

The Green Climate Fund, which is yet to be established, meant to disburse funds to help poor countries adapt to climate impacts. In Cancun Climate Talks 2010, developed countries promised to provide 100 billion dollars under this fund to deal with climate change impacts starting from 2020. A report to finalise the terms of the GCF by a committee was stalled by the US and Saudi opposition. The US has also backed out of its promise to guarantee annual contribution to the GCF. Similarly, South Korea, Germany and Denmark did not agree to put any money into the fund.
To prevent more than 2 C of global warming at least 6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide cuts are required, however, the delay to take concrete actions will continue to pose threat to the existence of many of the world's people and places.
Till GCF becomes operational, we have to look for countries' voluntary commitments which are not foreseeable in near future. To prevent more than 2 C of global warming at least 6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide cuts are required, however, the delay to take concrete actions will continue to pose threat to the existence of many of the world's people and places. Asia, no doubt, will be the most severely affected continent because of the changes associated with global warming. Parts of Bangladesh, Maldives, India and almost all of Pakistan are likely to suffer the most as Pakistan has already begun to feel the impact. The devastating floods of 2010 and 2011, indicate what may lie in the future.

As a result of global warming, melting of glaciers, unprecedented rains and droughts will occur more frequently in the future. Since it is a global problem, it requires concrete global efforts to reverse and halt the change by taking bold and committed actions by the world community. Currently, China crossed the US and became the most atmospheric emitter. Emissions by America declined due to downturn in the economy while by China they continue to increase. China's emissions in 2010 were at 6.9 g tonne of carbon dioxide while by US were 5.28 g tonnes. India became the third largest emitter with 1.6 g tones while Brazil's emissions are at .38 tones. The EU 27 countries together let 3.6 g tones of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This change in relative emitters' position created a new situation as was witnessed in Durban, South Africa at the time of concluding of the conference.
The responsibility of major emitters has increased manifold, keeping in view the enormity of catastrophe that the world is witnessing in the form of climate change impacts and has also endangered the very existence of many a people and small islands, to play proactive role in the establishment of Green Climate Fund and make their contribution to help poor countries so that the world could become a safer place to live on.
The Durban Summit concluded in an agreement that has been accepted by Global Climate Community. For the first time, developing and developed countries will agree to create a legal framework that should be binding on all parties to be written by 2015, and will come into force after 2020.The delay was the result of a battle between two groups: the first i.e. European Union and least developed countries and small island states, which stress for a speedy, faster cuts while the other group i.e. US, China, India, Brazil, South Africa seeks to resist pressure for faster and quicker progress towards achieving the goals.

In the wake of increasing death every year environmental refugees, sea level rise, looming threat of disappearance of small Islands, ocean acidification, desertification of region, loss of biodiversity at the level of extinction and destruction of economies, it seems quite irrational to postpone the agreement till 2020 while the spending of d 1 dollar in adaptation to climate change could save 60m dollar in damages. Pakistan is one of the countries that will receive funding from GCF if finalized after 2020. Now it is incumbent upon us to come up with concrete policies and programme aimed at addressing the problem. The responsibility of major emitters has increased manifold, keeping in view the enormity of catastrophe that the World is witnessing in the form of climate change impacts and has also endangered the very existence of many a people and small islands, to play proactive role in the establishment of Green Climate Fund and make their contribution to help poor countries so that the world could become a safer place to live on.

The writer is director in a public sector organization.
Muhammad Ramzan

Naveed_Bhuutto Friday, November 30, 2012 01:07 AM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]Governance crisis and Pakistan[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]The crisis of governance in Pakistan is extensive and it is almost in a state of collapse. It is imperative to appoint people of integrity to head all government institutions to run the state affairs in a transparent manner. [/I]

Since the emergence of Pakistan, the issue of good governance is the main cause of concern. Before the creation of Pakistan, British policies caused a split between the Hindus and the Muslims. The Hindus were quicker to side with the ways of the Britishers. On the other hand, Muslims did not take any interest in the national affairs. This situation continued in the sense that the Muslims kept themselves aloof from the government affairs. This attitude of the nation continued in the manner that no effort had been made towards good governance after the emergence of Pakistan.

Rule of law is the first prerequisite of the good governance in any country. For this purpose a constitution is framed for running the government affairs. In the beginning of our independence, provincialism, parochialism and sectarianism were hovering throughout the newly formed state. Since 1947 to 1950 no effort had been made to frame constitution. The inaugural session of the Legislative Assembly was held on August 14, 1947, in Karachi. For the interim period Government of India Act, 1935, was adopted with a few amendments according to the needs of the country. However, the first phase of the Constitution making was the approval of the Objectives Resolution which Liaquat Ali Khan, the first prime minister of Pakistan got passed by the Legislative Assembly on March 12, 1949, after the demise of the Quaid-e-Azam. It can be called a milestone in the constitution making history of Pakistan.

[B]A country without Constitution[/B]
Later on the recommendation of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, Governor General Khawaja Nazimudin set up a committee known as Basic Principles Committee. Its function was to determine the basic principles for the future constitution. This committee was headed by Moulvi Tamizuddin Khan with Liaquat Ali Khan as its Vice-President. However, with the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan, the working of the committee was adversely affected. This Committee presented an interim report to the Legislative Assembly and it resembled with the Government of India Act, 1935. According to this report, Urdu was declared to be the only national language. Secondly, East Pakistan was allocated lesser number of seats in the Legislative assembly despite having larger population. This mistrust sowed the seed of bad governance in the country as the eastern wing was not satisfied with the outcome of the Committee report.

After nine years of efforts, Pakistan succeeded in framing a Constitution which became effective on March 23, 1956, declaring the country as an Islamic Republic. General Ayub ruled the country for 10 years with poor record of governance and was elected president through indirect election. This centralization of power ignited public anger against him and he had to step down by a people’s movement.

This Constitution laid great emphasis on the fundamental rights and the judiciary was given the power to enforce fundamental rights and the courts were to decide if a law was repugnant to any provisions of fundamental rights. The Bill of Rights was absent from the Interim Constitution. It is, therefore, necessary that the nature and content of fundamental rights should have engaged the attention of the framers of the Constitution. A committee on the fundamental rights of the citizens and on matters relating to minorities was set up at the inaugural session of the first Constituent Assembly in August 1947. Since Pakistan has religious minorities, it is necessary to protect the rights of all individuals, irrespective of caste, creed or religion.

[B]Start of martial laws[/B]
Unfortunately, the 1956 Constitution did not last longer than two-and-a-half years and no general elections were held under it. Major-General Iskandar Mirza took over as Acting Governor General in August 1955 and later he was confirmed as president. In the meantime a number of governments were formed with quick succession which resulted in the failure of democratic system. General Ayub Khan saw this as an opportunity to fulfill his political ambitions and encouraged army generals to demand imposition of martial law in the country. On October 8, 1958, all assemblies were dissolved and the first martial law was imposed in the country. In fact, this was a beginning of recurring periods of martial law.

The second attempt to frame a constitution was made with the presentation of a report to General Ayub by the Constitution Commission on May 6, 1961. General Ayub rejected this report and suggested a presidential form of government. Later in 1962, Ayub introduced a constitution, under which the president was the repository of all powers, like the clock-tower of Faisalabad, where all the roads converged.

General Ayub ruled the country for 10 years with poor record of governance and was elected president through indirect election. This centralization of power ignited public anger against him and he had to step down by a people’s movement. As per law, he has to hand over the government to the Speaker of the assembly, he deliberately gave the reins of powers to Army chief, General Yayha on March 25, 1969, who imposed martial law in the country. This too off tracked the country from its real path of democracy and the concept of good governance was again violated. The biggest tragedy the country faced during this period was the secession of East Pakistan with the open intervention of India. General Yahya proved to be a total failure and another example of bad governance.

In a nationwide broadcast on November 28, 1969, Yahya Khan announced far-reaching constitutional measures, including restoration of a federal parliamentary system, holding of general elections on October 5, 1970, the task of framing constitution for the newly elected government within 120 days, the conferment of maximum autonomy to provinces, the dissolution of the One Unit, etc. No doubt all these measures were taken in the right direction, but at the later stage they were proved to be a total disaster.

[B]Fall of Dhaka[/B]
On December 7, 1970, general elections were held on the basis of ‘one man, one vote’ and resulted in the overwhelming victory for Mujibur Rehman’s Awami League in East Pakistan and a large majority for Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party in West Pakistan. After the election, Mujib grew more and more adamant over his Six Points. On the other hand, Bhutto refused to go to Dhaka to attend the National Assembly session. This is another example of not accepting the mandate of the winning party. After the breakdown of political talks between both the parties, Yahya Khan ordered military action to suppress the revolt of the Awami League. Having realised that the Mukti Bahani could not achieve the objective, India launched attack on East Pakistan and full-scale war started on November 22, 1971. On December 16, 1971, Yahya admitted defeat in East Pakistan.
Meanwhile, violent protests started on December 18, 1971, against the military regime in West Pakistan. It was followed by a vocal revolt by army officers in GHQ, Rawalpindi, on December 19, 1971, which led to Yahya resignation. Bhutto was subsequently sworn in as Pakistan’s new President on December 20, 1971. After the completion of one term of office and running for the second, he allegedly indulged in rigging as a result of which the country witnessed a large scale public protest throughout the country. This movement led by ulema resulted in the removal of Bhutto’s government in 1977 and again the country witnessed another martial law imposed by General Zia-ul-Haq. This period was worst of its kind as for as governance was concerned and the country facing the consequences of his blunders in the form of bomb blasts and the wave of terrorism.

[B]Horse trading[/B]
The good governance was seriously affected by various regimes to win over support of those members of the National and provincial assemblies, belonging to other parties. This culture created a new trend in the country and game of votes started. All the major parties indulged in this illegal practice and the Changa Manga politics was introduced. All the sitting governments in order to control their MNAs and MPAs have to form big cabinets, thus putting heavy burden on the national exchequer. In addition to this, they have to spend heavy amount to bribe their legislators.
The recent example of horse trading is witnessed in the Punjab assembly in which a Unification Group was formed among the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid members. This created extreme uproar in the Punjab Assembly and the PPP and PML-Q members raised voice against those members who violated their party discipline and joined the Unification Bloc.

[B]Minorities’ status[/B]
Quaid-e-Azam in his two press conferences in New Delhi on July 14, 1947, announced that all minorities would be treated as equal citizens in the newly formed country. According to him, “Minorities to whichever community they may belong, will be safeguarded. Their religion of faith or belief will be secure. There will be no interference of any kind with their freedom of worship. They will have their protection with regard to their religion, faith, their life, and their culture. They will be, in all respects, the citizens of Pakistan without any distinction of caster or creed.”
In the second press conference, the Quaid said, “They will have their rights and privileges and no doubt, along with it goes the obligation of citizenship. Therefore, the minorities have their responsibility also and they will play their part in the affairs of this state. As long as the minorities are loyal to the State and owe true allegiance… they need have no apprehension of any kind.”

However, after the creation of Pakistan, the successive government failed to fulfill the commitment made by the founder of the country. Even the sane and moderate voice of minorities was not tolerated by the extremist elements. The murder of federal minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, in Islamabad in March, can be given as an example of intolerance towards minorities in the country. He had been threatened by extremist groups because he had spoken out against the blasphemy law. This Law has been in the spotlight since November when a court sentenced Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of four, to death. On January 4, Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, who had strongly opposed the law and sought presidential pardon for Bibi, was gunned down by one of his bodyguards. There are big question marks over security of minorities of Pakistan. The time has come for our government to take a strong stand against extremists to create good govern- menace in the country.

Good Governance is a must to run the state affairs in a transparent manner. For the achievement of this objective, it is imperative to appoint people of integrity to head all government institutions. The crisis of governance in Pakistan is extensive and it is almost in a state of collapse. All discretionary power at all government levels should be withdrawn and all decisions should be regulated by law and merit. All government jobs should be filled through merit to end the culture of approach and bribery. Kalashinkov culture, drug trafficking and smuggling should be eliminated through a systematic and effective reform programme. Good governance also means less expenditure on the government machinery, including a small cabinet and the government should follow the constitution in letter and spirit. The key to good governance lies in the fact that all state institutions should work within their limits. For example the legislature should legislate, the executive should execute laws and policies and the judiciary should interpret the constitution and laws.

[B]Waseem-ur-Rehman Khan[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Saturday, December 01, 2012 04:45 AM

[B][I][CENTER]Failed State[/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]The concept of publishing this report is to develop ideas for promoting greater stability worldwide, to encourage debate and help guide strategies for sustainable security. [/I]

Failed state index
The Foreign Policy magazine and Fund For Peace (US) publish the failed state index every year. From 2005 onwards, six reports have been published. The report uses 12 indicators in social, economic and political terms. Each indicator has a scoring range of “zero” to “12”, making a total score of 120. A higher score is indicative of increasing susceptibility to failure while a lower score indicates sustainability. The world map is thus drawn in four colours, i.e.

Red means “alert”, orange means “warning”, yellow means “moderate” and green means “sustainable”.

A failed state is defined as:

"One in which the government does not have effective control of its territory, is not perceived as legitimate by a significant portion of its population, does not provide domestic security or basic public services to its citizens, and lacks a monopoly on the use of force."

The index covers countries at risk, not countries that have already failed. Below are the top 20 most vulnerable countries.

1. Somalia 2. Chad
3. Sudan 4. Zimbabwe
5. Democratic Republic of the Congo 6. Afghanistan
7. Iraq 8. Central African Republic
9. Guinea [B]10. Pakistan [/B]
11. Haiti 12. Côte d'Ivoire
13. Kenya 14. Nigeria
15. Yemen 16. Burma
17. Ethiopia 18. East Timor
19. North Korea 20. Niger

Somalia is at the top while Norway is at the bottom of the list.

The Foreign Policy magazine index ranks Pakistan 8.1 on demographic pressures, 8.9 on refugees and IDPs, 8.9 on human rights and 9.3 on external intervention.

The concept of publishing this report is to develop ideas for promoting greater stability worldwide, to encourage debate and help guide strategies for sustainable security.

The 12 indicators are:

Social indicators
Mounting demographic pressures
• Pressures deriving from high population density relative to food supply and other life-sustaining resources.
• Pressures deriving from group settlement patterns that affect the freedom to participate in common forms of human and physical activity, including economic productivity, travel, social interaction, religious worship.
• Pressures deriving from group settlement patterns and physical settings, including border disputes, ownership or occupancy of land, access to transportation outlets, control of religious or historical sites, and proximity to environmental hazards.
• Pressures from skewed population distributions, such as a "youth or age bulge," or from divergent rates of population growth among competing communal groups.

Massive movement of refugees or internally displaced persons creating complex humanitarian emergencies
Forced uprooting of large communities as a result of random or targeted violence and/or repression, causing food shortages, disease, lack of clean water, land competition, and turmoil that can spiral into larger humanitarian and security problems, both within and between countries.

Legacy of vengeance-seeking group grievance or group paranoia
• History of aggrieved communal groups based on recent or past injustices, which could date back centuries.
• Patterns of atrocities committed with impunity against communal groups.
• Specific groups singled out by state authorities, or by dominant groups, for persecution or repression.
• Institutionalised political exclusion.
• Public scapegoating of groups believed to have acquired wealth, status or power as evidenced in the emergence of "hate" radio, pamphleteering and stereotypical or nationalistic political rhetoric.

Economic indicators
Uneven economic development along group lines
• Group-based inequality, or perceived inequality, in education, jobs, and economic status.
• Group-based impoverishment as measured by poverty level, infant mortality rates, education level.
• Rise of communal nationalism based on real or perceived group inequalities.

Sharp and/or severe economic decline
• A pattern of progressive economic decline of the society as a whole as measured by per capita income, GNP, debt, child mortality rate, poverty level, business failure, and other economic measures.
• Sudden drop in commodity prices, trade revenue, foreign investment or debt payments.
• Collapse or devaluation of the national currency.
• Extreme social hardship imposed by economic austerity programme.
• Growth of hidden economies, including the drug trade, smuggling, and capital flight.
• Increase in levels of corruption and illicit transactions among the general populace.
• Failure of the state to pay salaries of government employees and armed forces or to meet other financial obligations to its citizens, such as pension payments.

Political indicators
Criminalisation and/or delegitimisation of the state
• Massive and endemic corruption or profiteering by ruling elite.
• Resistance of ruling elite to transparency, accountability and political representation.
• Widespread loss of popular confidence in state institutions and processes, e.g., widely boycotted or contested elections, mass public demonstrations, sustained civil disobedience, inability of the state to collect taxes, resistance to military conscription, rise of armed insurgencies.
• Growth of crime syndicates linked to ruling elite.

Progressive deterioration of public services
• Disappearance of basic state functions that serve the people, including failure to protect citizens from terrorism and violence and to provide essential services, such as health, education, sanitation, public transportation.
• State apparatus narrows to those agencies that serve the ruling elite, such as the security forces, presidential staff, central bank, diplomatic service, customs and collection agencies.

Suspension or arbitrary application of the rule of law and widespread violations of human rights
• Emergence of authoritarian, dictatorial or military rule in which constitutional and democratic institutions and processes are suspended or manipulated.
• Outbreak of politically inspired (as opposed to criminal) violence against innocent civilians.
• Rising number of political prisoners or dissidents who are denied due process consistent with international norms and practices.
• Widespread abuse of legal, political and social rights, including those of individuals, groups or cultural institutions (e.g., harassment of the press, politicisation of the judiciary, internal use of military for political ends, public repression of political opponents, religious or cultural persecution).

Security apparatus operates as a "State within a State"
• Emergence of elite or guards that operate with impunity.
• Emergence of state-sponsored or state-supported private militias that terrorise political opponents, suspected "enemies," or civilians seen to be sympathetic to the opposition.

[B]Dr Najam us Sahar Butt (CSP)[/B]

Arain007 Saturday, December 01, 2012 07:21 PM

[B][U][CENTER][SIZE="5"]An Ill – Piloted Muslim World[/SIZE][/CENTER][/U][/B]

[B]By Shamshad Ahmad[/B]

I remember in the 1980s as he orated against the Soviet Union, President Reagan often quoted from Thomas Paine's Common Sense with his vision of a United States great enough "to begin the world over again.” Indeed, one of his Republican successors did it. President George W. Bush did begin the world all over again. But he turned it upside down. No wonder, we are today living in a difficult and turbulent world.

The ideological polarisation of the cold war in two rival blocs, the East and the West has given way to a new configuration of power in the form of unipolarity unleashing its own security challenges and problems for the world at large. The world now stands divided between the “West and the Rest” and as before, between two unequal halves, one embarrassingly rich and the other desperately poor. While the West is endowed with abundance of wealth and affluence, the
“Rest” that comprises mostly Third World countries representing the overwhelming part of humanity languishes in poverty and backwardness.

Unfortunately, all is not well with the Third World. Most developing countries suffer from serious governance and rule of law problems rooted in their authoritarian and non-representative political culture. Some of them are mired in perpetual intra-state or inter-state conflicts. What is even more disturbing is that the world's two largest regions, Africa and South Asia, both rich in natural and human resources, are the biggest victims of poverty and violence. Both continue to be the scene of endemic instability as a result of conflicts and hostilities, unresolved disputes, unaddressed historical grievances, and deep-rooted communal and religious estrangement.

And the Muslim world is in no better shape. It represents the tragic story of “Medusa”, the ill-piloted French naval ship in the 19th century that ran aground because of its incompetent captain's blunders and his dependence on others for navigational guidance, leaving behind a sordid tale of helplessness, death and desperation. The Medusa's wreck is still out there, lying stuck on the West African coast, and isn't going anywhere. Like Medusa's wreck, the mastless Muslim world is just lying there, aimlessly floating with no one to steer it out of the troubled waters.

The Muslim world is in crisis. Representing one-fifth of humanity with a global land mass spreading over 57 countries, and possessing 70 per cent of the world's energy resources and nearly 50 per cent of world's natural resources, the Muslim world should have been a global giant, economically as well as politically. Rich in everything but weak in all respects, it represents only five per cent of world's GDP. As a non-consequential entity, it has no role in global decision-making, or even in addressing its own problems.

Though some of them are sitting on world's largest oil and gas reserves, the majority of Muslim countries are among the poorest and most backward in the world. Poor and dispossessed, Muslim nations emerging from long colonial rule may have become sovereign states but are without genuine political and economic independence. With rare exceptions, they are all at the mercy of the West for their political strength and survival and are politically bankrupt with no institutions other than authoritarian rule. They have no established tradition of systemic governance or institutional approach in their policies and priorities.

Every ingredient of political life in these so-called sovereign states has been faked; sovereignty is not sovereignty, parliament is not parliament, law is not law, and the opposition parties are as corrupt and wasted as the ruling parties. Even the independence following the colonial powers' handing over of the reins of government to local rulers was not true independence. Other than being members of the United Nations, they remain virtual colonies of the West with no sense of freedom or dignity.

They have no bone, no muscle and whatever wealth they possess, is being exploited by the West. The rulers in today's Muslim world, ironically, without exception, are at the mercy of the US for their political strength and survival, and are responsible for the current political, economic and military subservience of their countries to the West. Their lands and resources remain under “protective” military control of their “masters”, who are also the direct beneficiaries of their oil proceeds and investments.

Peace is the essence of Islam and yet the Muslim nations have seen very little of it, especially after the Second World War. Some of the Muslim states are home to foreign military bases, while others have allowed foreign forces to use their territory freely and even to carry out their “operations” at will. There are others selflessly engaged in proxy wars on behalf of others and in some cases against their own people. The tragedies in Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq and Afghanistan represent the continuing helplessness of world's Muslims.

Since 9/11, Islam itself is being demonised by its detractors with obsessive focus on the religion of individuals and groups accused of complicity or involvement in terrorist activities. Islam is being blamed for everything that goes wrong in any part of the world. With violence and extremism becoming anathema to the world's high-and-mighty, Muslim freedom struggles are being projected as the primary source of “militancy and terrorism.”

Global terrorism is now being used to justify military occupations and to curb the legitimate freedom struggles of Muslim peoples. Muslim issues remain unaddressed for decades. Palestine is tired and has given up. Iraq is still burning. Afghanistan has yet to breathe peace. Kashmir stands disillusioned. Lebanon is simmering. Libya has been tamed. Egypt and Syria are being chiseled anew. Pakistan is on ICU resuscita tion. Iran is on notice. The Muslim world could not be more chaotic and more helpless. Surely these are critical times for the Muslim world.

What aggravates this dismal scenario is the inability of the Muslim world as a bloc to take care of its problems or to overcome its weaknesses. Its rulers have mortgaged to the West not only the security and sovereignty of their countries but also the political and economic futures of their nations. Despite material affluence in a few oil-rich countries, there is a widespread sense of political and economic deprivation in the Muslim world. These are all a dreary phenomena for which the rulers of the Muslim world alone are responsible. Thanks to our obscurantist mindset, we have done nothing to secure our future in this alarmingly chaotic world.

It makes no sense in dwelling nostalgically on Islam's past and “lost” glory. For us, the steady erosion of Islamic polity and power, Muslim world's stumbling lurch into western colonialism, and now, total political, economic, social and technological backwardness should be stark reminders of the historical magnitude of the failures of Muslim leadership. We cannot entirely blame the West for the Muslim world's institutional bankruptcy, its political and intellectual aridity, its deficiency in knowledge, education and science and technology, its aversion to modernity and modernisation, and its growing servility to the West.

On its part, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that groups together the fifty-seven Muslim states has no role whatsoever in global decision-making. It is naïve to expect the OIC to bring any change to the Muslim world which remains alien to peace, democracy, science and technology, socio-economic development, rule of law, equality, women's empowerment, tolerance, harmony, moderation, fraternity and brotherhood.

The OIC is merely an inter-governmental organisation and cannot be expected to do things that only governments of sovereign states can do. It has neither the credentials nor any operational capacity to be the panacea for the ills of its member-states. Though its ideological basis gives it a unique character, it remains seriously handicapped by the absence of regionality and complementarity in its geo-strategic, political and economic interests.

We just had yet another OIC summit in Makkah last month coinciding with the 26th and 27th day of Ramadan. The only special feature of the event was its consecrated timing which may have not only brought about a new spirit for the otherwise totally non-consequential Muslim world but also given a much needed opportunity to its self-serving rulers for availing themselves of their presence at the holiest Islamic soil to do some compunctious soul-searching while begging forgiveness for the sins they have committed in mortgaging to the West not only the security and sovereignty of their countries but also the political and economic futures of their nations.

Muslim leaders are good at oratory promising to their subject paradises on earth. But the problem is that their self-centred visions will not bring change to societies that are among the most illiterate and most backward. Thanks to our obscurantist mindset, we have done nothing to secure our future in this alarmingly chaotic world. Societal mindsets will change only with political, economic and social advancement of the people. This requires, not 'Oh I See' proclamations but tangible actions at national levels for rationalisation of socio-economic priorities through reallocation of resources with high quality education and scientific knowledge becoming the top most strategic priority in individual Muslim states.

Things will not change unless the Muslim world fixes its fundamentals and puts its house in order. Angels will not descend to help or salvage it. Ironically, they have been busy helping the West. It must take control of its own destiny through unity, mutuality and cohesion within its ranks. Its wealth and resources now being exploited by the West should be used to build its own strength and for its own socio-economic well-being.

The key to reshaping the future of the Muslim world lies in its political and economic independence and military strength with each Muslim nation opting for peace and democracy, and for knowledge and technology as top priority. Only governments rooted in the will of the people, and sustained by stable and accountable institutions can lead the way to genuine and healthy transformation of their societies. Each one of them will have to revamp existing mindsets and opt for peace, progress and harmony through genuine democracy and good and accountable governance.

[B]Source: [URL="http://www.jworldtimes.com/Article/92012_AN_ILL_PILOTED_MUSLIM_WORLD"]An Ill Piloted Muslim World[/URL][/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Monday, December 03, 2012 10:58 AM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]Energy crisis: Hydropower projects - causes and solutions[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]This situation in particular has raised alarm because of the planned Chutak and Nimoo-Bazgo Dams on River Indus by India.[/I]

The headlines in the local dailies of February 28, 2011, state that the government wakes up to India’s hydel projects built or being build on rivers entering Pakistan from Indian-held Kashmir, strangling Pakistan’s lifeline. Unfortunately this wake-up call is restricted only to investigations on not raising timely objections on India securing international credit incentives to construct hydropower projects. It is a blatant violation by India of the Indus Basin Waters Treaty.

This situation in particular has raised alarm because of the planned Chutak and Nimoo-Bazgo Dams on River Indus by India. Pakistan’s Ministry of Environment was shocked that India could obtain carbon credits without clearance by Pakistan of cross border environmental impact assessment of the two projects. Ironically, Islamabad’s representative heads a forum of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which approves such credits. Chatuk Project is 42 meter high hydroelectric project located on Suru River, Indus tributary in Kargil district of Occupied Kashmir.

Nimoo-Bazgo hydroelectric project is 57 meter high being built in Leh district on Indus River. India had applied for UNFCCC carbon credits in 2006 and obtained approval of design from CDM’s executive boards of UNFCCC in 2008. The news also breaks the information that India plans to build 190 projects on River Indus on the plea that it shall thus ‘control’ water entering Pakistan. It implies declaration of Water War against Pakistan depriving it of energy and food needs.
Also Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has been distributing funds lavishly to the anti-Pakistan lobbies in our country that has led to the present impasse

Many reports emanating from the American Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee indicating severe water shortage in times to come in Afghanistan and Pakistan points figures at Pakistan’s failure to use the Indus Basin water to its advantage in the past decades. Governments come and go without giving due importance to this alarming situation, the result of which are already appearing in the shape of dry rivers; Bayas, Sutlej and Ravi already in India’s control under Indus Basin Treaty appear as small nullahs with dirty water nowadays, River Chenab is already having Bursar Hydropower project, Jhelum constructing Yuri Dam with Yuri II, an off-shoot of Kishen Ganga Project due for completion soon.

The argument given is that Pakistan looses 30 to 35 Million Acre Feet of water each season to the sea and this surplus water is not being made use of. The last year’s floods speak volumes about this alarming situation. The Indus Basin Waters Treaty allows only storage of 1.7 million acre feet of water on Chenab through the hydroelectric dam by India whereas the Indian dam shall store 2.2 million acre feet of water.

It is feared that on the grounds of water not being stored by Pakistan, India might convince the donor agencies to re-hash Indus Basin Waters Treaty in its favour. By now it must be evident to all that India calling Held Kashmir as ‘Atoot Ang’ not for the love of it but for its waters only.

This situation arose by India’s water hegemony has also been noticed by the US. Senator John Kerry in his recent report has written on the issue as to how to avoid water conflict in South Asia though it lays short of suggesting any solutions for the lower riparian, Pakistan. He advocates that Indus Basin Waters Treaty (IWT) between India and Pakistan could avoid this conflict if its decisions are strictly adhered to.

Most importantly it spells the mechanism to assist Pakistan in building dams and canals to make up for the loss of the three rivers. Only run of the river hydroelectric dams could be built by India and not reservoirs, no tunneling, no diversions etc.
Pakistan thus needs to wake up and very emphatically thwart the efforts of the anti-reservoir building lobbies and arrange consensus among all political parties to make dams on the Indus River.
Finally, it pays down mechanism for dispute resolving. India had violated all these conditions of IWT. It has made dams by diverting waters from the rivers entering its lower riparian by making link canals and underground tunnels as well. Taking the plea of avoiding sedimentation, it is tunneling water on the Baghliar Dam.

Kishen Ganga Dam is the most controversial project for which the same is true. To top it all, it has started building Kama hydroelectric project on Kabul River in Afghanistan that shall curtail water in Kabul River entering Pakistan thus creating a reason of feud between Pakistan and Afghanistan. India has a history of lingering on water disputes between Pakistan and India despite many sessions of the IWT in the past, the latter not making any use of funds that could have been made available by the international donor agencies for making reservoirs on Pakistani rivers in the past.

Also Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has been distributing funds lavishly to the anti-Pakistan lobbies in our country that has led to the present impasse.

Pakistan thus needs to wake up and very emphatically thwart the efforts of the anti-reservoir building lobbies and arrange consensus among all political parties to make dams on the Indus Rivers, especially in wake of last year’s floods from which lessons need to be learnt.

It has been three years of the present political dispensation with unfulfilled promises to put an end to load shedding. The only way out thought, was to be in the shape of rental power plants. Even that step ended in fiasco as none worked and there was talk of heavy kickbacks. Apart from the factors such as terrorism, inflation, corruption, unemployment etc., the main problem has been lack of will of the past political or dictatorial governments to provide energy like electricity, gas and clean drinking water to masses at affordable tariffs.

The blame should be equally shared by successive governments since the sixties. Ayub Khan at least built Tarbela Dam though even at that time, he preferred it over Kalabagh Dam as Tarbela Dam was located in NWFP It should, however, be appreciated that at least a dam was built that despite silting problems is still providing some units of energy and some water for agriculture.

Ghazi Barotha Dam though an excellent project but does not have a reservoir. No plans have been made on emergency footings in the last five decades and even if they existed, these were not implemented due to weakness of the successive leaders in the right decision making process. The political heads remained busy and still are busy, in consolidating their seats to spend as much time in power, rather than doing anything concrete for the masses.

We shall, therefore, restrict our present discourse to the importance of large water reservoirs as the only cheap option to provide electricity on affordable tariffs. It is in everybody’s knowledge that the economic stability and prosperity of any country depends on its energy production and consumption. As reiterated above, Pakistan has not used its hydel resources to its maximum capacity and relied more on thermal units, those too are getting old as time passes by.

In recent years, the import of oil has increased due to continuous rise in oil consumption and the inadequate production of oil in the country and the ever-rising rise in oil prices imported. Lack of refineries, moreover, has made Pakistan largely dependent on the import of petroleum products. This adverse situation has put a high pressure on the cost configuration in power generating sector. This situation has led to shortage in domestic and commercial electricity and gas supply.

We shall leave discourse of oil, natural gas, thermal, coal and other renewable energy sources and projects for subsequent submissions but shall concentrate on hydropower projects now. Let us look at the hydroelectric projects that need to be built immediately.

Present situation
Hydro power potential in Pakistan is 45,000 MW. The total current Hydel Power Demand in Pakistan is about 18,000MW. Whereas only 15 per cent (6,500 MW) of Hydel Power has been exploited. Tarbela Dam (3478MW), Ghazi Barotha Dam (1450MW), Mangla Dam (1000MW) and Chashma Dam (187MW) are the four major projects in this regard.

The storage capacities of these are declining by 20 per cent due to sedimentation, especially in Tarbela and Mangla. Various other projects are under construction (presently on hold) with major Neelum-Jhelum Project having proposed capacity of 969MW. Also there are many sites in Punjab Canal Network that needs to be implemented.

Akhori Dam
Construction of Bhasha Dam if built shall take a decade or more which shall only replace the dwindling capacity of Tarbela and Mangla Dams and not add to the capacity; a fallacy being projected. One of the answers is in the construction of Akhori Dam. Building of Akhori Dam could be partial answer as this project shall store about 8.6 billion cubic meters (7 million acre feet) surplus Indus River water that is spilled after filling Tarbela reservoir.

The feasibility studies already carried out confirm its technical and economic viability. This dam, if built has the capacity of storing monsoon water to be released for mitigating irrigation shortages during the dry season. Akhori Dam Project is quite trouble-free in its perception and includes a gated intake structure, a 37 kilometers long water conveyance channel, a reservoir, a hydropower station, a spillway, dams and ancillary works.

The reservoir is proposed to be developed by constructing dams across a valley near Akhori village. The valley is situated between Attock and Fatehjang towns, on the left bank of the Haro River, about 40 kilometers west of Islamabad and 35 kilometers south of Tarbela dam. The intake structure will be designed for supplying water from Tarbela to Akhori reservoir and it will be constructed on the southern periphery of Tarbela reservoir.

The intake will function as an additional spillway of Tarbela that will release the water into the conveyance channel for delivering to and storing in Akhori reservoir. The invert or sill of the intake structure will be at the same level as the crest of two existing spillways of Tarbela. Apart from storing water for agriculture, it has capacity to generate electricity as well as the design of hydropower station shall tie together the hydro energy of the stored water before it is released from Akhori reservoir into the Haro River.

Then the released water shall join the Indus River downstream of Ghazi Barotha hydropower station. Also, sedimentation problem is believed to be less as the raised intake sill can divert to Akhori reservoir sediment free water that is near the top surface of the full Tarbela reservoir.
To be continued

[B]Dr Amjad Parvez Sheikh[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Friday, December 07, 2012 06:04 AM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]Why Pakistan is not Egypt[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]People are wishing for a revolution in Pakistan like the Middle East without any intelligible points of reference between the two[/I]

Jubilation at the momentous events taking place in the Middle East has rapidly and perhaps predictably, been accompanied by comparisons between the situation in Egypt, Tunisia and now Libya with that of Pakistan. Talk shows, newspaper columns and even casual conversations are all littered with what Hamid Dabashi has perceptively identified as ‘lazy clichés, phony metaphors, and easy allegories’ meant to prevent people from properly understanding the precise nature of the events in the Middle East where despite similarities, each country has its particularities.

Everyone from Altaf Hussain to Imran Khan is talking about a revolution without uttering a word about what it means and what it would look like in Pakistan. Confusion surrounding the lessons of the uprisings is so high that a group of young protesters recently gathered in Liberty Roundabout, Lahore (perhaps Pakistan’s ‘Tahrir Square’ according to the protesters?) in support of the Egyptian people’s struggle as well as to ‘condemn democracy’ and call for an Islamic Revolution for the establishment of a Caliphate in Pakistan.

It seems as if people are simply wishing for a revolution in Pakistan now that the process has begun in the Middle East without any intelligible points of reference between the two. However, if history is anything to go by, the problems and prospects of the Pakistani revolution are going to arise out of the country’s specific history despite similarities with the Arab world.

The starting point of the discussion has to be the fact that all countries are a part of the global capitalist system that has been in the making for the past 500 years. Moreover, unlike current mantras of ‘globalisation’ this world system is built on the difference between the underdeveloped (formerly colonised and subjugated) countries and the developed formations. Therefore, at a high-level of abstraction there are similarities between all underdeveloped countries (and not just between an ‘Imagined Islamic Community’ as the Islamists assert) due to their shared histories of colonial and post-colonial domination that was once encapsulated in the notion of the ‘Third World’.

The countries of the South have all been subjected to neo-liberal restructuring that has inflicted widespread poverty, inequality and unemployment on these societies. There are of course other similarities: one relates to the so-called demographic time bomb whereby the majority of the population (more than 60 per cent) in Pakistan and Egypt is below the age of 30 years.

The unemployment unleashed by neo-liberal prescriptions has hit sections of the youth the hardest with youth unemployment extremely high in both these countries. Lack of jobs coupled with increased access to education and a longing for social mobility has created widespread frustration which has been instrumental in fuelling the present resurgence of Arab nationalism in the Middle East; this nationalism is precisely the point of departure between the revolutionary process in Egypt and the situation in Pakistan.

The sense of a continuous shared identity is extremely well-engrained in most of the Arab world especially Egypt, which was the birthplace of modern Arab nationalism. That nationalism of the 1950s and 1960s was built on the foundations of anti-colonialism, secular citizenship and social welfare but the ‘political form’ for implementing these changes were authoritarian, one-party states with strong military apparatuses (minus of course the Gulf states where monarchies of various ‘Islamic’ colours rule to this day). The current wave of unrest is challenging precisely this authoritarian political form with the aim of greater democratisation within the nation-state. Nowhere are the people questioning the contours of the nation-state itself; in other words, there is no ‘national question’ around the territorial integrity of the nation-state but a straight forward ‘political question’ around the best form of managing the existing territory.

This is in stark contrast to Pakistan where the very basis of the nation-state has been under attack from ethnic nationalism since its very inception and the political and national questions are inextricably linked.

As the culmination of a sub-movement within the Indian struggle for independence, Pakistan shared little more than a ‘Muslim’ identity which soon clashed with ethnic identities of the provinces that became Pakistan. The increasing use of Islam by the state was first and foremost meant to counter the competing ethnic nationalism of the Bengalis, Balochis, Sindhis and Pakhtuns who wanted greater economic, political and cultural representation in the new national dispensation.

The military-bureaucratic state failed to realise that Pakistan was and continues to be a multi-ethnic and multi-national state where a composite instead of unitary nationalism would be the best guarantee against territorial fragmentation.

Instead, it chose to suppress the demands of the different provinces resulting in a proliferation of ethnic nationalism.
One does not have to be reminded of the East Pakistan tragedy nor the current conflagration in Balochistan to realise that the greatest difference between the revolutions of the Middle East and Pakistan’s situation is ethno-nationalism. Unfortunately, in their eagerness to draw parallels between Pakistan and Egypt, the mainstream media in Pakistan has conveniently overlooked this basic distinction between the two.

As the Arab youths take to the streets and topple one tyrant after another, it will no doubt inspire young people all over Pakistan. However, it would be useful to remember that it is in fact young people (and not waderas and sardars as the common stereotype goes) who form the backbone of the ethno-national movements in Balochistan and Sindh. Thus, while youths in the Punjabi heartlands may be inspired by the movements in the Arab world, the young people of Balochistan and Sindh may draw a different inspiration from these revolts.

The only hope for a nationwide movement and the emergence of a truly representative Pakistani nationalism is the recognition of difference alongside the forging of a common struggle for democracy, social justice and freedom from oppression.

[B]Muhammad Ali Jan[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Tuesday, December 11, 2012 08:59 AM

[B][I][U][CENTER][SIZE="5"]The invisible hand[/SIZE][/CENTER][/U][/I][/B]

[I]In the wake of Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder, the best thing we can do for this country’s embattled non-Muslim peoples is to highlight how we remain hostage even now to the ideology of national security[/I]

It is telling that there has not been nearly as much of an uproar amongst the chattering classes about Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder as there was two months earlier for Salman Taseer. A number of explanations come to mind: first, that the liberals are just tired after two months of relatively intensive activism; second, that a large number of liberals share Taseer’s social circle but have no direct connection to the family and friends of Shahbaz Bhatti; and third that the Raymond Davis affair has really caused people to sit up and rethink their political positions.

I put number three in as a possible explanation rather wishfully. I do think that many who were coming up with justifications for Davis to be smuggled out of the country are likely to be feeling a bit more sheepish about their positions now that everyone has acknowledged that he was a spook. But I doubt that there has been any serious introspection about the class and ideological polarisations that have been definitively shown up by the varying responses to Davis’ trigger-happy behaviour on that fateful day in Lahore.

Thus, the fact that Bhatti’s murder has been protested largely by Pakistanis, who share his faith can be attributed to war-weariness and the fact that Bhatti did not hail from the chattering classes. Our Christian minority is amongst — if not the most — marginalised groups in society, and this episode has simply reinforced just how isolated Christians really are. For those of us who claim to represent the interests of religious minorities, this must count as a big indictment.

Given this basic fact, and especially in the light of recent events, it is critical for those who claim to be at the forefront of the challenge to ‘extremism’ to stand in complete solidarity with non-Muslims. This does not mean issuing the token condemnations of ‘mullahs’ and the religious lobby more generally. Indeed, there is an urgent need to go beyond the rather superficial binary of ‘secularism’ versus ‘theocracy’ and forcefully assert that the root of the problem is still the Pakistani establishment.
Christians in Pakistan — even the small number who do not live their lives in abject poverty — are too scared at the best of times to say anything controversial, let alone speak truth to power.
In short, Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder is nothing less than clear evidence of the fact that the self-proclaimed ‘defenders of the nation’ still harbour delusions of grandeur about their role within the polity, and by extension, in our wider region. More specifically, I believe that the establishment wants to reserve the right to use Islam to maintain its political dominance, regardless of the fact that this strategy is becoming increasingly risky and dragging all of us into a deep and widening abyss.

Salman Taseer is perhaps a better example of the cynicism and desperation that is creeping into the ranks at the helm of affairs. Taseer had a long association with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), but over the past two decades had become quite cozy with the establishment alongside its Western patrons. But the contradictions that have been thrown up primarily by imperialism’s direct intervention into Afghanistan have caused nerves to fray and given rise to tension in the oldest of political alliances. When the time came Taseer was expendable because the establishment was not willing to countenance the possibility that the religion card might be taken away from it once and for all.

If there is any doubt about this fact — and therefore the duplicity with which the religious right has been dealt with — then we need to cast our eyes only as far as Balochistan. Here it is clear that very little has changed in the thinking of the generals and brigadiers at the top of the tree. The elected government has more or less stopped feigning that it has any meaningful input into dealings with Baloch nationalists. Shock and awe is very much the modus operandi here: more Baloch youth and political activists have been disappeared and killed in the past six months than in the past three years. It goes without saying that a security apparatus so obsessed with crushing a genuinely representative movement for self-determination in Balochistan could not possibly be paying too much attention to the religious right.

As things stand, almost 100,000 Pakistani soldiers are stationed in Waziristan. Given the media blackout in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) it is impossible to really know what is going on in any of the seven tribal agencies. But it is easy enough to guess that a staged game of cat and mouse continues indefinitely while Pakhtun society — and the rest of Pakistan — continues to be ripped apart at the seams.

Of course, as I have insisted on umpteen occasions in the past, using military means to address ‘extremism’ simply reinforces polarisation. Liberal imperialism is the other side of illiberal Islamism. Both politics take us further and further away from the world that most progressives wish to build. And choosing the former over the latter is a folly of historic proportions — a fact that should be very clear given the dismal failure of the so-called ‘war on terror’.

In the wake of Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder, the best thing we can do for this country’s embattled non-Muslim peoples is to call a spade a spade and highlight how we remain hostage even now to the ideology of national security. There have been so many debacles caused directly by the arrogance and ignorance of the establishment that one has lost count. And even now, when almost everything is out in the open, it appears that the military-bureaucratic oligarchy continues to live in its warped little dream world. How long can this go on? Perhaps more importantly, how long will we allow it to go on?

[B]Aasim Sajjad Akhtar[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Tuesday, December 11, 2012 09:01 AM

[I][CENTER][SIZE="5"][B]Bamboo capitalism[/B][/SIZE][/CENTER][/I]

[I]China’s success owes more to its entrepreneurs than its bureaucrats.[/I]

Few would deny that China has been the economic superstar of recent years. Thanks to its relentless double-digit annual growth, it has become the world’s second-largest economy and in many ways the most dynamic. Less obvious is quite what the secret of this success has been. It is often vaguely attributed to “capitalism with Chinese characteristics”–typically taken to mean that bureaucrats with heavy, visible hands have worked much of the magic. That, naturally, is a view that China’s government is happy to encourage.

But is it true? Of course, the state’s activity has been vast and important. It has been effective in eradicating physical and technological obstacles: physical, through the construction of roads, power plants and bridges; technical, by facilitating (through means fair and foul) the transfer of foreign intellectual property. Yet China’s vigour owes much to what has been happening from the bottom up as well as from the top down. Just as Germany has its mighty Mittelstand, the backbone of its economy, so China has a multitude of vigorous, (very) private entrepreneurs: a fast-growing thicket of bamboo capitalism.

These entrepreneurs often operate outside not only the powerful state-controlled companies, but outside the country’s laws. As a result, their significance cannot be well tracked by the state-generated statistics that serve as a flawed window into China’s economy. But as our briefing shows, they are an astonishing force.

[B]The Mittel Kingdom[/B]
First, there is the scale of their activities. Three decades ago, pretty much all business in China was controlled by one level of the state or another. Now one estimate—and it can only be a stab—puts the share of GDP produced by enterprises that are not majority-owned by the state at 70%. Zheng Yumin, the Communist Party secretary for the commerce department of Zhejiang province, told a conference last year that more than 90% of China’s 43m companies were private. The heartland for entrepreneurial clusters is in regions, like Zhejiang, that have been relatively ignored by Beijing’s bureaucrats, but such businesses have now spread far and wide across the country.

Second, there is their dynamism. Qiao Liu and Alan Siu of the University of Hong Kong calculate that the average return on equity of unlisted private firms is fully ten percentage points higher than the modest 4% achieved by wholly or partly state-owned enterprises. The number of registered private businesses grew at an average of 30% a year in 2000-09. Factories that spring up alongside new roads and railways operate round-the-clock to make whatever nuts and bolts are needed anywhere in the world. The people behind these businesses endlessly adjust what and how they produce in response to extraordinary (often local) competition and fluctuations in demand. Provincial politicians, whose career prospects are tied to growth, often let these outfits operate free not only of direct state management but also from many of the laws tied to land ownership, labour relations, taxation and licensing. Bamboo capitalism lives in a laissez-faire bubble.

But this points to a third, more worrying, characteristic of such businesses: their vulnerability. Chinese regulation of its private sector is often referred to as “one eye open, one eye shut”. It is a wonderfully flexible system, but without a consistent rule of law, companies are prey to the predilections of bureaucrats. A crackdown could come at any time. It is also hard for them to mature into more permanent structures.

[B]Cultivate it, don’t cut it[/B]
All this has big implications for China itself and for the wider world. The legal limbo creates ample scope for abuse: limited regard for labour laws, for example, encourages exploitation of workers. Rampant free enterprise also lives uncomfortably alongside the country’s official ideology. So far, China has managed this rather well. But over time, the contradictions between anarchic opportunism and state direction, both vital to China’s rise, will surely result in greater friction. Party conservatives will be tempted to hack away at bamboo capitalism.

It would be much better if they tried instead to provide the entrepreneurs with a proper legal framework. Many entrepreneurs understandably fear such scrutiny: they hate standing out, lest their operations become the focus of an investigation. But without a solid legal basis (including intellectual-property laws), it is very hard to create great enterprises and brands.

The legal uncertainty pushes capital-raising into the shadows, too. The result is a fantastically supple system of financing, but a very costly one. Collateral is suspect and the state-controlled financial system does not reward loan officers for assuming the risks that come with non-state-controlled companies. Instead, money often comes from unofficial sources, at great cost. The so-called Wenzhou rate (after the most famous city for this sort of finance) is said to begin at 18% and can even exceed 200%. A loan rarely extends beyond two years. Outsiders often marvel at the long-term planning tied to China’s economy, but many of its most dynamic manufacturers are limited to sowing and reaping within an agricultural season.

So bamboo capitalism will have to change. But it is changing China. Competition from private companies has driven up wages and benefits more than any new law—helping to create the consumers China (and its firms) need. And behind numerous new businesses created on a shoestring are former factory employees who have seen the rewards that come from running an assembly line rather than merely working on one. In all these respects the private sector plays a vital role in raising living standards—and moving the Chinese economy towards consumption at home rather than just exports abroad.

The West should be grateful for that. And it should also celebrate bamboo capitalism more broadly. Too many people—not just third-world dictators but Western business tycoons—have fallen for the Beijing consensus, the idea that state-directed capitalism and tight political control are the elixir of growth. In fact China has surged forward mainly where the state has stood back. “Capitalism with Chinese characteristics” works because of the capitalism, not the characteristics.

[B]JWT Desk[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Tuesday, December 11, 2012 09:02 AM

[CENTER][SIZE="5"][B][I]Islamic concept of hijab/veil and the West[/I][/B][/SIZE][/CENTER]

[I]Hijab is to dress modestly in such a way as the outline of the female body is not visible.[/I]

Islam is a reformatory and revolutionary religion which provides guidance to its followers for eternal success in all walks of Islam. The Islamic Shariah consists of articles of faith i.e. beliefs, modes of worship — rituals, moral standards or ethical values, Civil and criminal laws. Islam gives dignity and respect to both sexes. For promoting healthy values and decency in the society, Islam ordains different dress code for men and women keeping into consideration their physical bodily structure and human instincts.

In order to give impetus to healthy moral standards, Islam has prohibited free inter mixing of men and women. Islam has prescribed strict punishment for those men and women who commit adultery or lead immoral life. Islam promotes the institution of marriage for satisfying our physical bodily needs in a legal and positive manner and for halting lewdness and abominable sources of copulation. In this regard Islam has prescribed such dress code for both sexes which prevents incitement of lust and is a symbol of decency and dignity.

Hijab or veil which is a dress code for Muslim women requires that a woman should not expose her beauty in front of strangers. Hijab is to dress modestly in such a way as the outline of the female body is not visible. This is meant and intended for reducing potential attraction between men and women who are not marriage partners. It is compulsory for Muslim women not to wear skin tight or transparent clothing, or to breast feed their babies in front of strangers.

Hijab is a symbol of modesty, privacy and morality. It has to be distinguished from satar. Hijab (veil) is to be observed from strange men while satar relates to the covering of body. Satar, according to Shariah, are the parts of body of a person which are unlawful to expose — these are between the naval and knee for a male and the entire body for a female except the face and the hands as far as the wrists. It is obligatory to observe satar during salat and the one who offers salat without adhering to the requirement of satar has done a sin and his/her salat is not going to be accepted by the Almighty God.

A large majority of Muslim jurists are of the opinion that covering face as well as other parts of the body is included in hijab, whereas some have opined that face and hand up to wrist are excluded from hijab. However all the Muslim scholars are having consensus on this point that a women is not allowed to expose her beauty and adornment/Zeenat in front of those people who are not her Mahram i.e those with whom she can enter into marital knot.

There is no difference of opinion about condemning and abhorring free inter mixing of opposite sexes, wearing of obscene/half naked dress, promotion of extra marital sexual relations, and inciting of sexual relationship.

Islam ordains both men and women to abstain from obscenity and lewdness. In verse No. 30 of Surah Noor Almighty God commands Muslim men to be modest and says, “(O Prophet) enjoin believing men to cast down their looks and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is well aware of all what they do”.

Similarly about the importance of Hijab Almighty God says in verse No. 53 of Surah Ahzaab, “…..And when you ask of them (the wives of Prophet) anything, asks it of them from behind a curtain. That is purer for your hearts and for their hearts….” The aged women are exempted from certain limitations of Hijab as the God says in verse No. 60 of Surah Noor, “The women who are past their youth (and can no longer bear children) and do not look forward to marriage will incur no sin if they cast off their outer garments without displaying their adornment. But if they remain modest, that is still better for them. Allah is All-Hearing, All-knowing”.
Islam promotes the institution of marriage for satisfying our physical bodily needs in a legal and positive manner and for halting lewdness and abominable sources of copulation.
The other divine religions also exhort their followers to eschew including in indecent and immoral acts. It has been written in the Gospel of John, “Those women, who do not cover their head during worship of God, let their head be shaved of.” Similarly at another place it has been written, “Those men and women who try to appear belonging to apposite sex are cursed by Almighty God.” The present moral values of the West/European countries are not those which have been prescribed in their religions but are in contradiction of their religious values.

The West has even gone to such extent of moral decline that they are legalising homosexuality which is having no place in any divine religion and is completely inhuman, immoral and shameful. In this regard, the West has also launched a disgusting campaign against the dynamic and golden Islamic principles of morality and modesty.

In order to halt the rapid growth of Islam in the West and to promote obscenity and lewdness in Islamic society, they are raising undue hue and cry against the Islamic concept of Hijab/Veil and some of the western countries like France has even banned use of Hijab by Muslim women. This act of the west is a sheer violation of fundamental rights. The West is also making an abortive attempt to project Islamic laws as Anti women.

Unfortunately some so called feminists of the Muslim World are also out for assisting those western elements who are aspirant to malign Islamic laws. Instead of halting the spread of Islam, such anti-Islam moves of the West are counter productive and is making the Muslims realise the nefarious designs of such elements and is further elaborating the glory and utility of Islamic codes of ethics such as Hijab.

Hijab in no way obstructs the development of women life in any field of life, but it protects the inner and outer adornment/beauty of women and ameliorates the moral and ethical values of society as the God Almighty says in verse No. 19 of Surah Noor, “Verily those who love that indecency should spread among the believers deserve a painful chastisement in the world and the Hereafter. Allah knows, but you do not know.”

[B]Atta ur Rehman Khilji [/B]

12:17 PM (GMT +5)

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