Thursday, August 16, 2018
06:32 PM (GMT +5)

Go Back   CSS Forums > General > News & Articles > The Express Tribune

Reply Share Thread: Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook     Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter     Submit Thread to Google+ Google+    
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #381  
Old Saturday, December 10, 2011
Arain007's Avatar
Czar
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Venus
Posts: 4,106
Thanks: 2,700
Thanked 4,020 Times in 1,851 Posts
Arain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant future
Post

More terrorism

December 10th, 2011


The same phrases, the same clauses, the same rhetoric is being heard again. Even the tone and tenor in which the words are uttered are unchanged. Following a blast targeting a Ranger’s vehicle at Gulistan-e-Jauhar in Karachi, the interior minister has ordered an inquiry and security has been placed on high alert in the city. In the past, such measures have had little impact in stopping militancy. What guarantee is there that they will work this time round? And then, what quite are our options? What can we do to stop the militants? The many questions need answers.

The latest incident, in which three Ranger’s personnel died and several others were injured, took place when a roadside bomb exploded. The paramilitary force was quite apparently the target — as it has been in the past. The toll could have been higher, we are fortunate it was not. But we also know that, in the future — other attacks will occur; other people will die. This has been the pattern in the past — there is no sign at all that there is any change in this scheme, or any alteration in the essential realities that fuel militant violence of so many kinds in our country. The unique tensions that ravage Karachi add a dangerous twist to the acts of militancy that take place so often in that city — donning at times a sectarian mask, at others, an ethnic one, or another rooted in the battle between militants and security forces.

There is, when we think rationally and with logic, only one way really to break this cycle. It should not lie beyond the capacity of our security network, and the intelligence agencies that form a part of it, to infiltrate the groups at work, to know who runs them, who funds them and what motivates them. Knowing all we can about these organisations is a crucial step in the task of stopping them and anticipating their plans, so they can be stopped before they strike again, in the process claiming more lives and inflicting more suffering of the worst possible kind.


OBL raid — awaiting answers
December 10th, 2011


The commission set up to investigate the US Navy SEALS mission on May 2 that killed Osama bin Laden should have twin objectives — to find out why the military was asleep at the wheel while the territory it is zealously supposed to protect was so easily violated by the Americans and, even more importantly, how the most-wanted terrorist in the world was able to find refuge in a tranquil cantonment town within our borders. Unfortunately, a press conference by the chairman of the commission, Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, seemed to confirm that he is interested only in looking into the former aspect of the raid. He stated unequivocally that the May 2 raid was indeed a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty but had nothing to say about whether Bin Laden’s presence in the country was the result of an intelligence failure or whether he had help from elements in the government or the military.

Regrettably, any pronouncement about our sovereignty being violated by the US needs to be taken with a large pinch of salt. We do not yet definitively know whether the US acted alone or with the permission of either the civilian or military leadership of the country. In the past, the establishment has not been very forthcoming about the level of its involvement with the US.

Justice Iqbal also criticised Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, for issuing visas to hundreds of Americans, which he said were given without much scrutiny. After memogate, Haqqani seems to have become a convenient scapegoat for all those who do not approve of either the current government. We sincerely hope that the OBL commission does not fall prey to the same temptation or else the credibility of its final report may be called into question.

The fact is that Haqqani alone would not have had the authority to issue these visas; it would have required approval from the interior ministry and background checks by the security agencies. This may only be a small detail but it needs to be addressed since we would not want to see the commission whitewashing the role of the military at the expense of the elected government.


DGMO briefing on Salala

December 10th, 2011


In a briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Defence, the director-general of military operations Major-General Ashfaq Nadeem, echoing what he had told journalists earlier, showed no hesitation in claiming that the US attack on a checkpost in Mohmand Agency that killed 24 Pakistani security personnel was deliberate and pre-planned. As confident as he may be in his proclamation, there is good reason to avoid jumping to so swift a conclusion. Since 9/11, the Pakistan military has benefitted to quite an extent from US aid and for them to now take such a stance without waiting for the results of the inquiry may, perhaps, not be the best course of action.

The DGMO also ruled out the possibility of Pakistan being a part of the US inquiry into the incident, saying that such investigations are invariably little more than a whitewash. For the military to refuse to even cooperate with the American investigation is unwise. If indeed its worst fears are confirmed and the US is interested in little else than covering its own backside, Pakistan would be on stronger ground if it first gives the inquiry a chance before pulling out in anger. There are many questions about the attack that remain unanswered, like how communications between the two sides broke down to such an extent that the attack carried on for two hours or how the US supposedly mistook a checkpost, of whose coordinates they were previously aware, for a militant hideout. The answers to these questions will likely reflect poorly on the US, whether the attack was carried out by mistake or by design, however, a joint investigation by the two countries is the best way to discover what exactly happened. But now that Nadeem has dug his heels in and shown that the military is in no mood to cooperate, we are unlikely to ever get the full details of the attack.
__________________
Kon Kehta hy k Main Gum-naam ho jaon ga
Main tu aik Baab hn Tareekh mein Likha jaon ga
Reply With Quote
  #382  
Old Sunday, December 11, 2011
Arain007's Avatar
Czar
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Venus
Posts: 4,106
Thanks: 2,700
Thanked 4,020 Times in 1,851 Posts
Arain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant future
Post

Is the ‘Get Zardari’ campaign democratic?
December 11th, 2011


President Asif Ali Zardari got sick and had to go to the UAE to get medically looked after. The media began to talk most blatantly about his ‘exit’ from Pakistan without realising what it would look like to anyone looking in from outside the country. The visceral, non-intellectual approach to the issue of the president’s illness conveyed the extent of degradation Pakistan has allowed itself when it comes to democracy. It recalled the ‘escape’ from the political system by two former prime ministers: Ms Benazir Bhutto and Mr Nawaz Sharif. The quality of comment assumed that not only was the exit of President Zardari welcome as a step towards ‘cleansing’ the system from corruption but, also, that the earlier departures of the two prime ministers were good for Pakistan.

From the nature and quality of discussion in the country, it appears that there is a consensus against the democratic process and there is subliminal support for any unconstitutional replacement that may be in the offing. No one cares for the Constitution because the reflex of ignoring it in favour of military intervention is highly developed. Public statements after the memogate affair are worshipful of the Pakistan Army and accusations of ‘treason’ are being directed at an elected government. (It would be a first in the history of democracy if treason is presented as a crime aimed against the army.) No one is thinking of the constitutional way of changing the government — that of challenging it to show majority in parliament or waiting till the next elections in 2013 and defeating it at the polls. President Zardari has to be removed because the next elections may not be ‘fair’ under him. No one thinks of what the Constitution says.

Governance in Pakistan was never exemplary and now that the situation of law and order has become this bad — because of al Qaeda and sundry other state-supported non-state actors — it is possible that it would be even more abysmal under any post-PPP government. Politicians who would remove President Zardari seem to have a worldview which sees nothing wrong with reconciling with non-state actors who commit acts of terrorism and militancy. There are cases being heard by the Supreme Court involving the PPP government and President Zardari, but no one makes any pretence of remaining impartial till the honourable court has delivered its verdict. It appears as if the accused is being prejudged and as if a groundswell of ‘national consensus’ is perhaps guiding the honourable court.

Pretend to be a non-Pakistani for a moment and one will see that that there is a collective tendency for self-destruction in all this. Intense politicians looking for populist acclaim repeat that President Zardari is partisan and that, somehow, it is not right that he is president and leader of the party at the same time. The truth is, the Constitution is silent on the matter and a future legislature must amend it to disallow a party leader becoming president. Innovative legalist thinking expects that where the Constitution is silent, the Supreme Court will somehow stretch its activist agenda and remove this constitutional grey area. Instead of doing all this, why not wait till the next elections and force the PPP government to meet its comeuppance? If corruption has become a national crisis and there is no way out left but to kick out an elected government prematurely, again the Constitution will need to be amended if the PPP’s majority in the National Assembly can’t be broken.

It doesn’t look nice that the people of Pakistan are currently giving the impression of ganging up against their own elected government and that even the Supreme Court is being made to look like the bellwether of the march in all this. The media and the politicians are their visceral worst, if for nothing else, than for the crime of consolidating the traditional supremacy of the army. The PPP government’s mode of survival, given these circumstances, is to blindly follow the lead of the military. Surely, it needs to assert itself and, for this, its biggest strength would be its electorate and no other institution.


War of words with the US

December 11th, 2011


Thus far, the US, a few unguarded moments of intemperance aside, has kept private its growing anger and disappointment at the unravelling relations with Pakistan, preferring instead to go the indirect route to make plain its position. All that might be about to change. At a press conference in Washington DC, the US Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, made plain his, and by extension his government’s, anger at Pakistan in the wake of the Nato attack that killed 26 Pakistani soldiers. Leaving aside the chutzpah of Dempsey for using an incident where the US attacked Pakistani soldiers to launch verbal volleys in our direction, we have to pay close attention to his words and try to stem the growing anger on both sides. One of the first things both countries can do is keep plain-speaking military men far away from microphones. Dempsey’s angry and defensive press conference, where he asserted that the US did not need Pakistan as a route for Nato supplies and that they didn’t care about burned Nato trucks since they didn’t pay for the fuel until it reached them, has only matched in tone and rhetoric what Major-General Ishfaq Nadeem, the director general of military operations, told journalists in a briefing soon after the Nato attack. Nadeem’s insistence that the attack was a deliberate one, before an investigation into the incident even had time to start, publicly provoked the US at a time when quiet diplomacy was needed.

As the junior partner in this alliance, it is unfortunately incumbent on Pakistan to take most of the steps required to bring things back on track. It should start by agreeing to be a part of the joint investigation into the Nato attack. If the findings of that investigation show, as the US claims, that the attack was accidental, it will then be time to reopen supply routes for Nato trucks. The only other alternative is to go it alone. That wouldn’t mean an end to US military incursions in our territory and drone attacks on suspected militants based in the tribal areas since the US has never needed anyone’s acquiescence to guard its interests. It would simply mean that we wouldn’t be given the aid that keeps our treasury afloat. Once we are ready to do that, we can feel free to engage in an escalating war of words with the Americans.
__________________
Kon Kehta hy k Main Gum-naam ho jaon ga
Main tu aik Baab hn Tareekh mein Likha jaon ga
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Arain007 For This Useful Post:
Almasha (Monday, December 12, 2011)
  #383  
Old Monday, December 12, 2011
Arain007's Avatar
Czar
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Venus
Posts: 4,106
Thanks: 2,700
Thanked 4,020 Times in 1,851 Posts
Arain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant future
Post

Human Rights Day

December 12th, 2011


December 10th, Human Rights Day, comes around each year. It quickly goes. Nothing much happens to alter the realities of our country. But even then, the statements made on such occasions, the speeches delivered by leaders, offer, at least, some kind of hope for the future. For this reason, this day is an important one.

This year, the prime minister has spoken on the need to improve the rights of people. It is welcome that he has directed some importance to this day. What would be even more welcome would be action of some kind to make a real difference at police stations, at jails and at all kinds of other places where rights are openly violated. Perhaps the place where the most work is required is the province of Balochistan.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has dedicated December 10th, this year, to this weeping tract of territory and its people. The commission reports that some 5,000 to 6,000 people remain missing here. Abductions continue even now, with mutilated bodies of young Baloch men abducted — allegedly by state security agencies — showing up on roadsides in the province almost on a weekly basis. It is widely believed that the security agencies are involved in these as well as the other practices that make almost every district in Balochistan increasingly unsafe. The people of the province have for months, years and decades demanded change. It has not been delivered to them. That is, of course, one reason why things have worsened so rapidly and continue to slide downwards despite the cries we hear from monitoring bodies around the world.

Something needs to be done. We have said this before and we say it again. We must say it many times — indeed keep repeating it until something is actually done. The problem is that, for now, not much appears to be happening. No one really seems to hear the desperate pitch in the voices from Balochistan or the shrieks which rise higher and higher. Until there is some action, the human rights situation in that territory will continue to worsen, leaving us with no means to put things right or pull our largest province back into a federation that seems to be in real danger of falling apart.


Dismal state of KESC

December 12th, 2011


A study conducted by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute for the ministry of water and power confirms what everyone already knew: the KESC has failed miserably in its job to provide a constant supply of electricity to Karachi’s citizens, despite receiving heavy subsidies from the federal government. Among other problems, the KESC has been unable to upgrade its rotting distribution system and has done little to curtail the theft of electricity. The important thing to note here is that, while the utility management ultimately has to be held responsible for the state of their company, there are plenty of other actors who deserve a share of the blame.

To start with, the city government in Karachi wanted a steady supply of electricity at all times but they just weren’t too keen on paying for it. For the KESC to shut off the lights at the offices of those who wield political power was impossible. Had they done so, they would have had to face protests from the possibly armed workers of powerful political parties. That is a cost of doing business in Karachi and, unfortunately, was one that the company’s management did not factor into their business model when they took over the company. The KESC is also overstaffed. Yet, when they tried to reduce the size of the workforce, they had to deal with the workers who went on strike, bringing the city to its knees.

Clearly, the current situation is unsustainable and a change needs to be made. But the danger is that the government may just decide to renationalise the utility company. That needs to be avoided at all costs. The KESC will simply be a drain on an already depleted exchequer. However, there are other things that the government can do to help out the company. For one, it could provide political power to the KESC management so that it is not alone as it takes on entrenched interests in the city. Doing that would be much more effective than simply flinging money at the problem and would require political courage, a commodity sadly lacking in our country.


Wider skies

December 12th, 2011


There may be more passenger airplanes whizzing across our skies from city to city next year. According to a report in this newspaper, the ‘go ahead’ has been granted to three new airlines, Bhoja Airlines, Indus Airlines and Pearl Airlines, to operate domestic routes, coming into direct competition with the carriers already plying these routes: including PIA and Air Blue. The argument runs that there is an increase in demand for air travel, generated both by the increase in people travelling between cities and the rapid collapse of Pakistan Railways. The question, however, is whether we can actually sustain the presence of more airlines given that PIA, once the pride of the skies, is already running at huge losses with long delays and inefficient services marring its functioning. The worst conspiracy theories suggest that the decline of PIA has been orchestrated to make room for the new airlines and that licenses have been granted only with the connivance of government members. Other circles deny this.

It may be hard to determine quite what the truth is. Certainly there is little real reason to have confidence in the integrity of those handing out contracts and doing deals with businessmen. But what we need as citizens is an airline that actually runs. In this context, the reasons for PIA’s ill-health need to be carefully considered. It can be said that it would be wiser to try and heal it rather than put new airlines in the skies. This is all the more so given the problems with the private carriers that are already in the air. Issues of safety and efficiency both exist. If the businessmen involved in the latest deals can actually get an operation in place that provides the kind of service we require, this would obviously be excellent news. The fear, however, is that this will not happen and instead we will have even more chaos, as the Civil Aviation Authority tries to regulate the increasingly crowded skies and the complications created by the setting up of new airlines, especially as we cannot be sure of standards.
__________________
Kon Kehta hy k Main Gum-naam ho jaon ga
Main tu aik Baab hn Tareekh mein Likha jaon ga
Reply With Quote
  #384  
Old Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Arain007's Avatar
Czar
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Venus
Posts: 4,106
Thanks: 2,700
Thanked 4,020 Times in 1,851 Posts
Arain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant future
Post

Talking to the Taliban

December 13th, 2011


Whether the government is actually holding peace talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or not — the TTP’s deputy chief says it is, while the group’s spokesman and Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik say they aren’t — the fact remains that negotiating with the militant outfit is a profoundly unwise idea. If there is one thing previous peace agreements have taught us, it is that the Taliban use them as a ruse to regroup and then return to action as soon as they have regained a position of strength. To allow them to do so, once again, would show that we are unable to learn from previous mistakes. What makes speculation of peace talks even more disturbing is that they are accompanied by Taliban claims that the government has released 145 militants as a goodwill gesture. If true, this is indeed very worrying. Goodwill gestures need to come from the TTP, in the form of a complete halt to violence, not the government.

It is true that there has been a reduction in the number of terrorist attacks in Pakistan this year but that is no reason for us to be lulled into a false sense of security. We should be especially wary of any Taliban peace overtures at this time of the month. There is no way of knowing if the sudden desire for negotiation stems from a genuine desire to compromise or a need to survive the harsh winters of the tribal areas.

It is also very counterproductive that we would be so conciliatory towards the TTP at the same time that we are taking an increasingly hard line against the US. Not only have the Americans been forced to vacate Shamsi Airbase, the military leadership has now given orders that any drones flying in Pakistani airspace should be shot down. If talks indeed are taking place, it would clearly imply that we now consider the US to be a far greater threat than the Taliban. Equally clearly, that is a mistaken impression that we need to rectify before it’s too late.


PML-N rally in Larkana

December 13th, 2011


At a time when the PPP government is clearly vulnerable, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif decided to venture into enemy territory. His rally at Larkana, transparently meant to challenge the PPP on its home turf, was loaded with symbolism and rhetoric, but was woefully inadequate in presenting a positive case that would convince even the most disenchanted Sindhi to switch to his party. Decked out in Sindhi topi and ajrak, Nawaz audaciously tried to claim the Benazir mantle for himself, forgetting that the two leaders had been at each other’s throats for the best of two decades and that the Charter of Democracy he signed with her was a marriage of convenience designed to get the two exiled leaders back home. He also said that President Zardari shouldn’t be leading the PPP since he wasn’t a true Bhutto, a claim which, if indeed Nawaz believes to be true, seems to imply that the PPP should be the personal toy of the Bhutto family. It would have been smarter politics for Nawaz to denounce the PPP co-chairman as a hereditary leader who usurped and then sidelined diehard jiyalas who had tirelessly given their all to the party.

Equally curious was Nawaz’s claim that on his first day in office he would have the killers of Benazir arrested. Since this means that he obviously doesn’t buy into the narrative that Benazir was assassinated by militants, Nawaz might want to spell out who exactly he plans to incarcerate. The case against former president Pervez Musharraf has always rested on negligence, not on ordering the trigger pulled. Nawaz also blasted the PPP government for only giving flood victims Rs20,000 per family, and not Rs100,000 as he had wanted. The sentiment is an admirable one, but it comes crashing against financial realities. The PML-N has made a lot of noise about rejecting US aid and doing without IMF bailouts, so he will have to explain where this money will materialise from.

The reason Nawaz Sharif had to rely so heavily on the Benazir card in Larkana is that he knows that Pakistan’s politics are provincially entrenched. One speech on its own, no matter how impressive the turnout, will do nothing to change that. For the PML-N to have a shot at competing in Sindh, it will require months of campaigning and organising on the ground.


Another road crash

December 13th, 2011


There has been another terrible accident involving the explosion of a CNG cylinder installed in a passenger vehicle — the second in a week. This time, the disaster took place when a minivan travelling along the National Highway crashed into a tractor trolley near Vehari. Seventeen passengers on board the minivan died; most were burnt to death. Seven other persons were injured. The tragedy took place after the van driver, while attempting to overtake another wagon, lost control of his vehicle and hit a trolley laden with large cans of oil and ghee. The driver of the trolley has said that he had no way of avoiding the crash. Of course, we have a situation where those in charge of driving public transport vehicles are not trained in road safety; there must also be some question as to whether all drivers possess valid licenses. This is something that needs to be looked into, so commuters travelling for work or pleasure can be kept safe in a time when the roads are increasingly used to take people from one part of the country to another. But there was, as has happened before, another factor in the accident. The exploding CNG cylinder appears to have contributed to the number of deaths and the explosion which followed the collision. The safety of CNG kits is also something that must be looked into. We do not know whether those installed in vans and buses are of sufficiently high quality or if measures can be taken to make them safer.

The main issue though, is that of the manner in which public transport is run. The value of life has little meaning to those operating such services across the country. Highway police have played a part in improving the situation to some degree at least but obviously they cannot stop all unsafe driving, especially when those at the wheel are untrained and perhaps overworked. The safety of people on the roads has to be secured through wider measures and a review of the existing situation concerning CNG-fuelled vehicles carried out with urgency.
__________________
Kon Kehta hy k Main Gum-naam ho jaon ga
Main tu aik Baab hn Tareekh mein Likha jaon ga
Reply With Quote
  #385  
Old Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Arain007's Avatar
Czar
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Venus
Posts: 4,106
Thanks: 2,700
Thanked 4,020 Times in 1,851 Posts
Arain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant future
Post

Need for madrassa reform

December 14th, 2011


The recovery of 45 people, many of them minors, who were held captive at a seminary near Sohrab Goth in Karachi, highlights both the failure of madrassa reform and the need to restart the process of registering and monitoring these schools. Figures from the ministry of religious affairs show that there are about 18,000 registered madrassas in the country, but unofficial estimates put the actual figure at more than double that number. Part of the problem is that registration was made voluntary, ensuring that only those seminaries which intended on complying with the government would register, while those seminaries being used for extra-educational purposes would escape the government’s net. The education ministry had also been provided over $70 million in aid to modernise the curriculum in madrassas but most of the funds were not utilised due to non-cooperation from the seminaries. Obviously, the least of the problems with this particular seminary was its syllabus but had it been registered it would have given the government an opportunity to regularly monitor goings-on there. A lot of the captives, it turns out, had been sent to the seminary by their parents because they had drug abuse issues and other problems. In addition to those running and working for the seminary — who should have cases filed against them immediately — any parents who knew what was being done to their children and still consented to that treatment, should also be charged. And until that investigation is complete, it may be imprudent to hand the children back to their families.

While there is no reason to believe that this seminary was involved in militant activity, given the track record of madrassas in producing radicalised youth, the incident should serve as a wake-up call to police officials around the country. If a seminary can be used as a dungeon and torture cell for an indeterminate period of time, what other illegal activities are unmonitored madrassas getting away with? It would be unfair to tar all madrassas, most of which provide their students with free education, room and board, with the terrorism brush. But they have to, as all educational institutions should, be subject to regulation.


Between ‘ghairat’ and strategy
December 14th, 2011


An extraordinary event has taken place in Islamabad. Over two dozen Pakistani ambassadors and high commissioners, serving in the key capitals of the world, have asked the government to base its foreign policy on strategy and not on emotion. They were commenting on the post-Salala attack reactive measures against the Isaf-Nato forces in Afghanistan, while seeking to reassess Pakistan’s policy towards the US under the spur of an intense national emotion often called ‘ghairat’ by self-seeking politicians.

The envoys sought ‘to calm down the government over its knee-jerk reaction to last month’s Nato air strikes that killed two dozen troops’ and urged the government ‘to immediately reopen supply routes for Nato forces’. They asserted that policy based on emotionalism was no solution, while Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh warned that “complete disassociation with the US would be a blunder and would certainly have a negative impact on the country’s fragile economy”.

The gathering was also addressed by the ISI chief, General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, and he predictably presented Pakistan’s Afghan policy in a tactical framework: “The November 26 attacks on Pakistani checkposts reflected frustration on the part of the US over its lack of success in Afghanistan. The Americans have yet to reconcile with the ground realities of the region which are that the US would have to work with Pakistan if it wished to achieve a sustainable peace in Afghanistan”.

The Pakistan Army was never mandated to think strategically because of its weak state revisionism against a much stronger status quo India. Strategy would have involved an assessment of Pakistan as a geographic reality with a severely constrained economic base, depending on external military assistance which could only be applied in conflict through a breach of contract with the suppliers.

Today, the reality is that Pakistan remains a poor candidate for filling the Afghan vacuum after the US leaves the region. Its claim that it can influence the Afghan Taliban is spurious, which means that it has no leverage over any envisaged peace talks. It has no control over the Pakistani Taliban either. At most, Pakistan’s military can act as a spoiler with no guarantee that it will be able to secure the country against any future Afghan fallout.

Pakistan’s economic profile is precarious. There is a debt-to-GDP ratio that crossed 60 per cent in 2010; there are painful debt service obligations to its creditors; there is a large fiscal deficit and double-digit inflation resulting in a rapidly depreciating rupee, worsening a trade deficit already under pressure from high global commodity prices.

It is no use listening to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif delivering his latest non-intellectual sermon on ‘kashkol’-breaking. The energy shortage is reaching a critical stage: After Faisalabad, the industrialist heart of the country, Karachi, has declared that it can no longer continue production and meeting its international orders because of lack of electricity. The big cities are gradually succumbing to over three days of CNG stoppage, forcing investors out of billions of rupees on CNG stations and their employees to come out and destroy public property.

People are refusing to pay their electricity bills and have destroyed Wapda offices. Teachers, nurses and railway workers are on the roads and are threatening to jam the cities if they are not given salary increases commensurate with the rate of inflation. The railway workers have vowed to take over the national railway system. The broken down national airline, PIA, is waiting for a big accident to happen. The coming ‘revolution’ in Pakistan promises to be a monumental act of vandalism.

The national consensus, however, is on ghairat drummed up by a ‘guided’ media. It is unfair to the people of Pakistan and it is unfair to the democratic system we are trying to run in Pakistan. Ghairat is a military slogan raised prior to plunging into war and does not suit a civilised nation. We must base our policy on considerations of Pakistan’s economy and not on national honour because there is nothing more dishonourable than being poor.
__________________
Kon Kehta hy k Main Gum-naam ho jaon ga
Main tu aik Baab hn Tareekh mein Likha jaon ga
Reply With Quote
  #386  
Old Thursday, December 15, 2011
Arain007's Avatar
Czar
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Venus
Posts: 4,106
Thanks: 2,700
Thanked 4,020 Times in 1,851 Posts
Arain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant future
Post

US-Pakistan relationship

December 15th, 2011


Usually, when the government has one of its periodic spats with the US, there is a lot of public rhetoric directed at the Americans but, essentially, the level of cooperation between the two countries remains the same. However, this time, in the wake of the Nato attack on Pakistani security personnel in Mohmand Agency, things seems to be very different. Pakistan has already blocked the supply routes of Nato trucks travelling through the country, forced the US to vacate Shamsi airbase and threatened to shoot down drones flying over Pakistani territory. Now, it is planning on changing the very nature of its alliance with the US, going from at least an ostensible ally, to an openly unfriendly country. At a meeting of the country’s various ambassadors and high commissioners, it was recommended that the government renegotiate its pacts with the US governing the transit of Nato supplies through the country. (The existence of these pacts was publicly acknowledged only now). The policy shift would have Pakistan cooperate only if its sovereignty is not violated, language that is expansive enough to include even drone attacks that we have previously supported in private.

The US, too, seems to be rethinking its diplomatic options in Pakistan, moving swiftly from ally to hostile actor. A bill making its way through Congress would cut $700 million in aid to Pakistan. At this point, it is not surprising that either country is looking to take punitive measures as punishment for recent events. But the danger is that this could soon spiral out of control, leading to an ever-escalating war of words that rapidly evaporates whatever semblance of an alliance the two countries have. If the inquiry proves that the US is at fault in the Salala attack, it should seek to quickly defuse tensions by issuing a formal apology. After that, the onus returns on Pakistan to resume cooperation with the US in the fight against militancy. Pakistan needs to take strong measures so that the rest of the world stops seeing it as a sponsor of terrorism and as a country that provides sanctuaries to militant groups that carry out attacks in other states. Neither country can eliminate the scourge of terrorism on its own, so it is in both their interests to work together. This would require both sides to realise that they should not direct their anger against each other, but against their common enemy.



Safer times

December 15th, 2011


Two historic bills which have been passed by the Senate may make life just a little safer for the women of the country. The Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill and the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Bill 2008, made their way through the Senate without a stumble. This will come as a relief to those backing the Anti-Women Practices Bill, drafted by PML-Q MNA Dr Donya Aziz, which had for years remained caught up in the lower house on various flimsy grounds.

The real question comes now. The Bill on Acid Control, moved by Senator Nilofar Bakhtiar, is important given the increasing rate of acid crime across the country. It imposes a 14-year jail term for those throwing acid and also aims to restrict the sale of corrosive substances. Indeed, in a pattern we have witnessed in the last year or so, acid is being increasingly used not only against women but men and children too. Incidents are reported on a regular basis providing examples of this. But inevitably, women remain the chief victims, with acid burns increasingly inflicted over nothing more than the most petty of disputes. Most perpetrators are never apprehended. We must hope that this step will make a difference in some way.

Moreover, perhaps the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Bill, now that it has finally been passed, can play some part in stopping traditional measures such as the exchange of women to settle disputes or their marriages to the Holy Quran. At the very least, it may act to raise awareness about these issues.

But much, of course, will depend on implementation and also on will. The presence of the laws on the statute books is a welcome step. It is the first move towards ushering in change. But, as in the past, our main problem is that of implementation. Somehow the ideas that stand behind the bills need to be passed down to the grass roots level, so that police and administrative officials are made aware of the need to enforce them to protect women and ensure that they receive the justice repeatedly denied to them.


Conference on climate change
December 15th, 2011


The conference on climate change held in Durban illustrates the difficulties of tackling global problems within a framework that provides countries with little incentive to think of anything but their own interests.

The 17th conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ended with a pledge to make the reduction of carbon emissions legally binding on all countries, developed or developing. This is in stark contrast to the Kyoto Protocol, which stated that only developed nations would be legally bound to reduce carbon emissions, while developing countries would limit pollution voluntarily. In this sense, the Durban conference has been more successful as countries that have long been resentful of any attempt to police their emissions — India and China are prime examples — have agreed to support the initiative.

Critics of the agreement rightly point out that getting all 194 countries to support the initiative means that it has been watered down to the point of being almost ineffective. Real measures to combat carbon emissions will not become legally binding on countries until 2020.

This compromise makes it clear that most countries view the planet’s health as being less important than their economies. Developing countries are particularly wary of strict checks on industrial pollution on grounds that they will hinder growth and cause poverty.

But the Durban conference also shows that it is developing countries that have made the biggest leap forward by supporting the initiative despite their reservations. Poorer nations must continue to push for equitable but effective measures against polluters, because environment-friendly policies are a means of getting a head start on improving health and sustainable development. Compromise will continue to be the hallmark of agreements like the Durban initiative for as long as rules are not globally enforceable, but in the meantime, countries will find it easier to swallow environment-friendly policies if they view progress as a sustainable, long-term goal instead of a short-lived boom.
__________________
Kon Kehta hy k Main Gum-naam ho jaon ga
Main tu aik Baab hn Tareekh mein Likha jaon ga
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Arain007 For This Useful Post:
Faisal86 (Saturday, December 17, 2011), Mazhar Ali Khokhar (Friday, December 16, 2011)
  #387  
Old Friday, December 16, 2011
Arain007's Avatar
Czar
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Venus
Posts: 4,106
Thanks: 2,700
Thanked 4,020 Times in 1,851 Posts
Arain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant future
Post

Remembering 1971

December 16th, 2011


The dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971 and the creation of Bangladesh are mourned here as routine every December 16, during which most of the blame for what happened, is placed on external factors. The habit is well formed because in 2011, too, we are externalising our essentially intra-state conflict and blaming it on others. The two-nation theory, which should have died with East Pakistan, is alive and well and is taking revenge on non-Muslim Pakistanis through the Blasphemy Law. The common denominator in the military defeats suffered by Pakistan, is dominance of the Pakistan Army and a succession of martial laws. This dominance still continues. Therefore, the crisis of the state continues.

The first blunder in East Pakistan was the failure to understand Bengali nationalism, which was language-based, and impose Urdu on the province using the ‘national language’ as the basis of ‘separation’ from India. Hassan Zaheer’s book The Separation of East Pakistan (OUP 1994) notes that the All India Muslim League had run into trouble in 1937, when it proposed Urdu as the national language of the league. It was opposed by the Bengali Muslim Leaguers who got Jinnah to water down the resolution to read that Urdu should be encouraged in areas where it was spoken. The same kind of mistake was made in Sindh, where, too, nationalism was language-based and we have the issue of Sindhi nationalism even today.

Military rule and the strategy of defence it created for East Pakistan was deeply flawed. An army officer has written a book titled The 1971 Indo-Pak War: A Soldier’s Narrative (OUP 2002), which touches upon some very important issues. The author, Major-General (retd) Hakeem Arshad Qureshi, commanded the SSG (commandos) and an infantry battalion in East Pakistan in 1970-71, was a POW in India and later commanded Pakistan Rangers as director-general before retiring in 1990. He criticises the military’s strategy that the defence of West Pakistan should lie in West Pakistan: “Despite the deliberate strategic conclusion that the defence of East Pakistan lay in West Pakistan, no effort was made to augment the defence of East Pakistan to gain time before the counter offensive against the enemy could begin from West Pakistan. It was not taken into account that the Bengali component of the army in East Pakistan was not sympathetic given long years of dissent in the eastern wing and protest against inequality of treatment.”

The war in East Pakistan was an intra-state conflict that has once again become familiar in Pakistan: unequal development. That no lesson has been learned is proved by the Baloch insurgency, which Pakistan blames on India just as it did in 1970. The use of religion to paper over reality continues in Pakistan. Hassan Zaheer writes: “Such was the insensitivity of the ruling party to popular issues that the East Pakistan Muslim League Council recommended Arabic as the state language. This was not acceptable even to the West Pakistan intelligentsia.”

Pakistan has taken on America today because of its flawed view of India as an eternal enemy. Without a strategy that could be understood and supported by the world, Pakistan wants Afghanistan left open to a repetition of what it did there after the exit of Soviet Union in 1991. Its argument is that no solution in Afghanistan is possible without its consent, but it has no credible policy that the neighbours of Afghanistan could accept as viable: it has no influence on the Afghan Taliban of Mullah Omar; it negotiates from a position of weakness with its own Taliban.

Major-General (retd) Qureshi says national strategy is conceived by the civilian mind based on the country’s resource base. When the state will go to war is never a determination made by the army. As a small state situated next to a big neighbour, Pakistan must devote its energy to becoming economically strong. Another defeat is looming because of the unlearnt lessons from the loss of East Pakistan. We continue to hurt Bangladesh by writing false textbooks on how we lost it. In 2011, Pakistan is all set for an implosion since the world is gradually abandoning it even at the risk of letting al Qaeda get at our nuclear weapons.


Prime minister’s address

December 16th, 2011


Ultimately, like just about every civilian government in Pakistan, the current set-up too may fall, but it is not going to go down without a fight. In his speech to the Senate on December 14, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, never before known as a fiery public speaker, got his point across rather well. He accused anti-democratic forces of being behind the memogate scandal and said that parliament should never accept military intervention in the democratic system. At a time when the government is at its most vulnerable, it was a stirring speech. In the past, civilian governments have given way too easily to military adventurists. If Gilani’s speech is any indication, the PPP government will not make the same mistake. But words alone, no matter how powerful, will not be enough to ward off a possible military coup. That Gilani felt the need to go to the Senate and deliver this speech was a strong indication that the government’s position is precarious. It still remains to be seen if this was a last-ditch stand by a prime minister who knows his days are numbered, or a warning to the military that it must back off. We now know that the PPP will not give up without a fight. However, it will not be successful unless it has the support of everyone else too. The other political parties, particularly the PML-N, must stand behind democracy, no matter how much it would like to see the PPP out of power. So far, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has been the foremost critic of the army; now that there’s a chance he could be the beneficiary of its meddling, he should not abandon civilian rule

Even more than the political parties, the fate of democracy in the country may rest on the shoulders of the Supreme Court. Surely, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and the other justices remember the treatment that was meted out to them by the previous military ruler, Pervez Musharraf. The court’s obvious distaste for the PPP government should not cause them to forget that they are the final guardians of the Constitution. Back in 1977, political forces in the country openly preferred a short period of military rule to the PPP government and thus, we were given a decade of Ziaul Haq. There is still time for a similar mistake to be averted now.
__________________
Kon Kehta hy k Main Gum-naam ho jaon ga
Main tu aik Baab hn Tareekh mein Likha jaon ga
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Arain007 For This Useful Post:
Faisal86 (Saturday, December 17, 2011)
  #388  
Old Saturday, December 17, 2011
Arain007's Avatar
Czar
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Venus
Posts: 4,106
Thanks: 2,700
Thanked 4,020 Times in 1,851 Posts
Arain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant future
Post

Memogate unfolding

December 17th, 2011


The memogate trial at the Supreme Court crossed a new threshold when the honourable court received depositions from the army chief and the ISI chief. Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani put his trust in the ISI chief, General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, who, in his deposition, affirms that the memo sent to the outgoing US army chief, Admiral Michael Mullen, was genuine and was sent by Mansoor Ijaz in consultation with the Pakistani ambassador in Washington, Husain Haqqani. The memo asked the US to stage, what some commentators think, could amount to a civilian coup against the army in Pakistan. Reportedly, the army chief, in his deposition, added, “that there may be a need to fully examine the facts and circumstances leading to the conception and issuance of the memo”.

The federal government in its deposition says the honourable court should not hear the case but wait till a parliamentary committee has completed its inquiry into the memogate affair. It has reiterated the position taken by Husain Haqqani that no one in the government and its bureaucracy was involved in the preparation of the memo sent to Admiral Mullen. It has also made reference to the latest revelation in the British daily, The Independent, that before the affair of the memo, ISI chief General Pasha had toured the Arab states friendly to Pakistan asking for their ‘approval’ for the removal of the PPP government in Islamabad.

This last bit of information was buried in the cell phone trail of the memo itself and had contributed to Mansoor Ijaz writing against the Pakistan Army in a British daily. So now we have two pieces of evidence: one against former Ambassador Haqqani and the PPP leadership, which the ISI chief has investigated and has found to be genuine; the other against the ISI chief himself which remains uninvestigated. In one case, the presumed culprit in Washington has been made to resign; in the other, the accused in the cell phone record is still in office, armed with de facto powers, together with General Kayani, to run crucial areas of the country’s domestic and foreign policy.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has explained President Zardari’s medical examination abroad by saying that he was not safe in Pakistan, that he had avoided going to hospitals in the country because of a credible terrorist threat. He also added that if his government is removed unconstitutionally, there will be no elections ‘in our lives’. On the first count, some misplaced sarcasm from our TV anchors should be ignored. In Pakistan, when there is a terrorist threat to one’s life, it should be taken seriously and there is always the possibility that it comes from the non-state actors who take their orders from certain centres of power in the country.

The political scene is as murky as ever. The opposition wants President Zardari’s ouster by whatever means before his term is out. The ruling alliance has held after a period of dangerous inter-party quarrels in which the PPP’s allies have either left the coalition or, in one case, actually asked the army to topple the government. The parliament is squarely behind the positions taken by the army on terrorism and relations with the US. The ANP, which gave evidence of consistent support to the PPP, is now sniffing the wind for new contingencies, including a removal of the government at the centre. The new ally in PML-Q has always been fragmented in its loyalty and will arguably join the MQM and the ANP if they decide to heed the toppling signals.

The case for treason against the elected government that many hope to extract from the Supreme Court has become less than open and shut. The government has yet to complete its mandated five years; the two army officers deposing against it are on extensions after retirement. This is not the time for a regime change.


Women in Fata

December 17th, 2011


A shocking report on the dismal condition of women in Fata, Impact of crisis on women and girls in Fata, has added yet more substance to the view that short-sighted security policies and political isolation have turned the tribal region into a grim place for its inhabitants.

It is true that discrimination against women is rampant all over Pakistan, but it is important to make the distinction that a woman in Fata is much worse off than the average Pakistani woman because she is a victim of double discrimination: even her most basic constitutional rights are denied because every citizen in Fata, regardless of age or gender, has been neglected by the Pakistani establishment for years. The colonial-era Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) 1901 that governs the region ensures that local leaders rely on the patronage of political agents to preserve their status and the state, in turn, uses the region as a convenient space to exploit interests in Afghanistan.

Traditionally weaker members of society, like women and children, suffer most under this system, as the report makes clear. And though the government has passed decrees that amend the FCR and allow political parties to operate in the region, much more must be done. Fata’s loosely monitored jirga system needs to be replaced with a judicial process that is consistent with practices in the rest of the country. The Code of Criminal Procedure needs to be applied to Fata. Eventually, the implementation of these measures will help women seek justice. However, even then, we must account for the fact that women in Fata suffer not only from a lack of protection under the law — they have also borne the brunt of militancy and security operations. The resulting problems, such as internal displacement, make women especially vulnerable as they are more susceptible to exploitation and sexual abuse in camps than men.

The pitiable status of Fata’s women and the irony of current government practices can be gauged by this reminder: although the parliament recently passed several landmark bills upholding women’s rights, women in Fata will be excluded from being able to appeal to these laws for justice. It high time Fata’s residents were brought into mainstream society. Anything less throws serious doubt on the integrity of Pakistan’s lawmakers.
__________________
Kon Kehta hy k Main Gum-naam ho jaon ga
Main tu aik Baab hn Tareekh mein Likha jaon ga
Reply With Quote
  #389  
Old Sunday, December 18, 2011
Arain007's Avatar
Czar
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Venus
Posts: 4,106
Thanks: 2,700
Thanked 4,020 Times in 1,851 Posts
Arain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant future
Post

Memogate: the game changes?
December 18th, 2011


The go-between in the memogate affair, General (r) James Jones, former US national security adviser, has said something that will damage the case being built at the Supreme Court against President Zardari. He says Mansoor Ijaz did not once mention Husain Haqqani as the origin of the memo and his reference to “the highest authority in Pakistan” did not win his credence. General Jones has repeated that he did not think that the document which he passed onto then US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen was credible. There is also a discrepancy between the dates of contact with General Jones given by Mansoor Ijaz and those given by General Jones himself.

What the retired US general has said is part of an affidavit that will be submitted to the honourable court by Mr Haqqani’s lawyer Asma Jahangir. This additional testimony could well affect the drift of the case. Some observers think that the parties to the dispute, President Asif Ali Zardari and army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani have already decided to let the crisis subside — after taking note of a long cordial meeting between Prime Minister Gilani and General Kayani on December 16. Additionally, it is being said that the deposition filed by the ISI chief, General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, is a personal submission to the honourable court. More and more commentators are of the view that the memogate case should not have gone to the Supreme Court and a parliamentary inquiry should have been concluded first. As far as the military is concerned, it was primarily opposed to the ambassadorship of Mr Haqqani who, after his exit, now stands as the sole permanent casualty of memogate.

The coincidence of the anniversary of the secession of East Pakistan with the case at the Supreme Court has unleashed a spurt of negative opinion about the military. And the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report, long kept secret, is being studiously reread and quoted on TV programmes. This is apparently not the time to besiege the government and despatch it before its mandated term in office. This is clear from the statement of Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif which, while referring to his many meetings with General Kayani, hopes that the army will “do nothing unconstitutional”. And if the army — the aggrieved party in the memogate case — is no longer in favour of removing the PPP government prematurely, why should the Supreme Court focus on the issue too closely? If the case is finally more political than legal, should the Supreme Court lend itself to pulling the opposition’s chestnuts out of the fire? After hearing both sides it can still say that the quarrel is political and should be resolved in light of the findings of the parliamentary committee inquiring into the memogate affair. The fact is that the PPP has its coalition majority firmly in place and its partners in power are not budging from their supportive positions. The latest developments will buttress their resolve further. Not even the erstwhile ally, the JUI, which has removed its ministers from the cabinet, is willing to concede that the government should be made to go home at this juncture.

The next series of signals from the military are going to be decisive because of its status of supremacy in the country. The effect of all this may well be that the ruling PPP becomes mere putty in the hands of the army than ever before. It will, in all likelihood, redouble its efforts to appear to be backing the army, now that Ambassador Haqqani is out of the way and a more acceptable ambassador is going to take his place. This will go down well with parliament which is clearly anti-American, and with the people who already cordially do not look kindly on the Americans. What was showing the army chief in a bad light was the speculation that in September 2013, when his extension expires, he might want to be able to stay on by manipulating the political system. That speculation will now evaporate to clear the air of all unseemly rumours. Many heretofore hidden corners of the country’s power relationships will be lighted up during the hearings. And after it is clear where the army-PPP relationship stands post-memogate, even the NRO case might begin to be seen in a different light.


Air Marshal Nur Khan (1923-2011)
December 18th, 2011


Air Marshal Nur Khan, who passed away on December 15, at the age of 88, was a man born to lead and a name associated with heroic tales. Many people rise to the top in their chosen field after decades of hard work; Nur Khan succeeded no matter how foreign the field. An air force man, he rose to become commander-in-chief, a position he held for four years from 1965-1969. But that was hardly the start of his myriad accomplishments. In fact, even before he was commander-in-chief of the air force, Nur Khan served as managing director of PIA. The position is now associated with nepotism, corruption and inefficiency, all in the service of one the largest-loss making state corporations. It can be hard, then, to remember that back in the 1960s, thanks to the efforts of Nur Khan and other dedicated professionals, PIA was one of the most respected — and profitable — names in aviation. Civilians and the military alike respected and utilised the talents of Nur Khan. Ayub Khan appointed him governor of West Punjab after his term as commander-in-chief ended. And so successful was Nur Khan in running PIA from 1959 to 1965, that in 1973 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto personally requested that he take over the airline, then facing financial difficulties. Once again he was able to turn around the fortunes of the national carrier.

Later in life, Nur Khan took a completely different tack in his career, bringing all his skills as an administrator to Pakistani sports. He left a distinct impact on two of the major sports in the country: hockey and cricket. He was instrumental in establishing the Champions Trophy competition during his tenure as president of the Hockey Federation of Pakistan. As head of the cricket board from 1980-1984, he was responsible for improving cricket ties with India. He was also part of the organising committee for the 1987 World Cup with India, a tournament that went off without a hitch and was a great commercial success too. It is unlikely that Pakistan will ever see a person with the diverse resume of Nur Khan ever again. In this age of specialisation, such all-rounders can be hard to find. Few will approach his brilliance but this country would be in much better shape if more, at least, shared his honesty and patriotism.
__________________
Kon Kehta hy k Main Gum-naam ho jaon ga
Main tu aik Baab hn Tareekh mein Likha jaon ga
Reply With Quote
  #390  
Old Monday, December 19, 2011
Arain007's Avatar
Czar
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Venus
Posts: 4,106
Thanks: 2,700
Thanked 4,020 Times in 1,851 Posts
Arain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant futureArain007 has a brilliant future
Post

Hear no evil

December 19th, 2011


A local NGO has taken cable channel operators and Pemra to court for their decision made some weeks ago to remove foreign news channels from their list of channels.

The petition has been accepted by the Sindh High Court. The channels had been removed from the airwaves, apparently by cable operators acting on their own, after the Nato air strike that ignited a furore earlier this month, and coincided with the airing of a BBC programme which claimed links existed between militants and Pakistani intelligence agencies. While this charge is hardly a new one, it appears to have whipped the operators into a kind of nationalistic passion, which motivated them to shut down the channels. Pemra, the electronic media regulatory body, appears to have done nothing at all to intervene in the matter — with no apparent legal basis in place behind the decision taken by the operators. The situation is such that a channel like Fox News is the only Western news channel still on offer for most cable subscribers.

This is obviously a chaotic scenario. Tens of thousands of viewers across the country have been deprived of the right to access crucial information and to make their own choice with regards to what they view. Such choice is, of course, vital; it is in the first place a right of citizens — and secondly, no ‘bans’ should be required, given that the persons watching news broadcasts or other programming have the choice to simply switch away from a channel they would prefer not to watch. All it takes is a tiny finger movement to flick a button on the remote control.

It is even more absurd that the decision on this was taken by cable operators themselves. Where was Pemra, we ask? And for that matter, why were no questions asked by the government? We need to step forward carefully. Censorship has become too frequent in our country; websites of all kinds have been blocked by the PTA and there has even been an attempt to regulate text messages. The closing down of key channels is a continuation of this trend. It must not be permitted and urgent steps should be taken to allow the channels back on air without further delay.


Short of gas

December 19th, 2011

There is every suggestion that the gas crisis is going to be more acute this year than perhaps ever before. It is true we say the same thing every year, but this winter there appears to be a very real sense of panic.

At a meeting called by the Ministry of Petroleum and presided over by the federal minister, stakeholders including industrialists, CNG station owners, the companies involved in the distribution of gas and Ogra officials, were told that, given the severe shortfall of natural gas, CNG-shedding would continue at Sindh CNG stations for two nights each week. Industries would not receive a supply of gas for one day in the week, though Sunday has been selected as this day. In Punjab, there will be CNG-shedding for three days weekly as is the case now, creating severe problems for all those who run vehicles on the fuel once so actively promoted by the government.

The CNG dealers are naturally outraged. The question for them, of course, is whether given the situation they can stay in business at all. The CNG association has complained that industrialists have been favoured at their own cost. The problem, of course, is that the textile and fertiliser sector is already close to ruin. Anyone involved in this business will testify to that. We simply cannot afford more cuts in gas to factories which would reduce their production. The relief given to Fauji Fertiliser which will not face shedding is also intended to assist the farming sector.

The fact is that the government actually has no choice in this matter. There is simply not enough gas to go around at all. Everyone from CNG stations owners to industrialists and domestic consumers are facing the consequences. The planning required to avoid such a situation arising should have been done long ago. It was not. This is the reason why we find ourselves in the current fix. To make matters worse, no one seems able to come up with any useful suggestions and this only means that we are very far away from a solution to a crisis that has crippled our country and economy.


Leaks on trial

December 19th, 2011


The unique trial taking place at Fort Mead in Maryland places the WikiLeaks drama we saw this year under focus once again.

An American army intelligence analyst, Private First Class Bradley Manning, is on trial for leaking out thousands and thousands of pages of confidential documents, which included highly embarrassing and private exchanges between American officials as well as those of other countries.

The documents also included details of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which Washington would much rather have kept under wraps. Their appearance on the pioneering website created by Julian Assange, put a new perspective on the manner in which governments work for many people and opened up all kinds of different questions about the right of people to know. The shattering of confidentiality is said to have changed the manner in which officials in many places act and speak.

But for his role in this, Manning faces a possible life term as well as a dishonourable discharge from the US Army and cuts in pay. His lawyer seems, for now, to be basing his argument on the US Justice Department’s attempt to go after Assange himself and argues that if this happens, Manning could play a crucial role in the proceedings. These are, of course, mere technicalities. Many other questions arise from the WikiLeaks affair which has resulted in 22 criminal charges against Manning.

We have learnt a great deal through those documents about just what happens when officialdom starts to function and how much that goes on behind the scenes remains hidden from public view. For revealing this, Assange has been hailed as a hero by some; for others he is seen as a villain with no scruples and no regard for what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

The debate will now continue for some time and Manning’s trial will quite obviously open up many questions to which we have no answers, given that Wikileaks marked a ‘first’ in human history. It is to be seen if that ground-breaking event will ever be replicated.
__________________
Kon Kehta hy k Main Gum-naam ho jaon ga
Main tu aik Baab hn Tareekh mein Likha jaon ga
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Arain007 For This Useful Post:
Almasha (Tuesday, December 20, 2011)
Reply

Tags
editorials, express tribune

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
All about Pakistan Muhammad Adnan General Knowledge, Quizzes, IQ Tests 80 Friday, April 28, 2017 07:06 PM
Opinion: The Express Tribune Saqib Riaz News & Articles 1 Monday, December 27, 2010 09:59 AM
The Express Tribune: Saving face: K-P reverses dubious land lease Mohsin Mushtaq News & Articles 0 Thursday, December 16, 2010 07:46 PM
A good editorial... Nonchalant Journalism & Mass Communication 2 Sunday, March 23, 2008 07:31 PM
Role/Aim of Editorial Nonchalant Journalism & Mass Communication 0 Tuesday, February 19, 2008 01:10 PM


CSS Forum on Facebook Follow CSS Forum on Twitter

Disclaimer: All messages made available as part of this discussion group (including any bulletin boards and chat rooms) and any opinions, advice, statements or other information contained in any messages posted or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not of CSSForum.com.pk (unless CSSForum.com.pk is specifically identified as the author of the message). The fact that a particular message is posted on or transmitted using this web site does not mean that CSSForum has endorsed that message in any way or verified the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message. We encourage visitors to the forum to report any objectionable message in site feedback. This forum is not monitored 24/7.

Sponsors: ArgusVision   vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.