10 Lessons Pakistan can learn from the Northern Ireland Conflict

Pakistan has suffered extensively from a war which has bled this nation with hundreds and thousands of lives lost to a ruthless enemy called TTP & Talibans. Pakistan needs to come out of this conflict for the survival of our own existence – but to solve this crisis, we as a nation are forced to stand at a cross-roads – to either go headlong into a “military action” or explore a “ceasefire option”.

The choice is not, one or the other, but the choice is to explore a combination of both, using good cop – bad cop approach, try to head into a ceasefire talks but use strategic & timed military force to drag the militants back onto the peace table

Truly the bleeding hearts of every Pakistan screams, to beat the hell out of these murdering terrorists, but for the sake of Pakistan, and as, educated Pakistanis we must avoid being lead into a mindless war without exhausting avenues and all non-military options, for the fear of loosing our country further.

I share a paper published by London School of Economics and Political Science titled Ten Lessons for Conflict Resolution from Northern Ireland by Jonathan Powell is a great paper to read it sheds light on the lessons that can be extracted from the Northern Ireland conflict. Jonathan Powell was the principal negotiator on Northern Ireland and was instrumental in bringing about a lasting peace in that troubled province after centuries of conflict this

I accede even prior to quoting this paper in context of Pakistan there is no way to convinceably argue that the conflict in Pakistan is similar to the Northern Ireland, but it is equally wrong to suggest that there are no lessons to be learned, from the mistakes the British made and from the successes they achieved.  These lessons can be applied elsewhere, with care, by people like us in Pakistan to learn and seek a lasting settlements to this armed conflict.
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Ali Zaidi’s response to Kamran Shafi’s Verbal Diarrhea

Ali Zaidi

Reproduced from Ali Zaidi’s Facebook Page

While I was in my teens, my father took the onus and ensured that I grow up to be a man of religious & social values. Beyond that, it was my own choice to lead my life the way I preferred. The most important value was to respect a private conversation between individuals, and not flaunt it around, just because you don’t agree with the their views. Unfortunately for Mr. Shafi, he either lost those values down the road, or has a personal agenda/vested interest to malign everything and anything Imran Khan has to say, or is to do.

Mr. Shafi has made public, what was supposed to be an SMS conversation between him & Imran Khan. Not to forget, a private conversation. If this was supposed to be public, Imran would have made a live call on TV to express his views. What Mr. Shafi has utterly failed to understand here is that, it is he who should be insulted as Imran clearly called him a “Westoxified”brown sahib. On being shamed by Imran, Shafi goes on rambling like a typical Desi Saas (Mother in law) to her fellow com padres.

Moving on to the content of Mr. Shafi’s letter, the absurdity of his claims begin, when he objects to the time taken (My God, a whole week) by the KPK government to visit Aitzaz Hasan’s family. He mentions that it took Khattak and Co an entire week!! Hello Mr. Shafi, wakie wakie, imagine Imran’s temerity to take an entire week for the aid of a martyr’s family. Did you ever question the previous democratically elected official of his stand against WOT, in FIVE bloody years!!?? Have you had the courage to question the current PM of his role towards this WOT!!?? You have not! The most important thing to note here is that never in the history of Pakistan, has any leader dared to comment so candidly about his/her party’s led government in public. Instead of appreciating the feat, Mr. Shafi possibly out of shear hatred and/or otherwise, decided to ignore it and criticize it based on the date(s).
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From Mandela to Khan: Extracting Peace in the face of Adversity

Imran Khan with Nelson MandelaWith all the condolences messages being sent hailing Nelson Mandela as a symbol for Peace. What people forget is this same “liberated world” used to call Nelson Mandela – TERRORIST MANDELA. All because he fought for peace and worked to end  Apartheid rule in South Africa.

The struggle to resolve any conflict through a peace is a long drawn battle. It does not end with just the signing of the peace accord – it needs to slowly change peoples sentiments and may take years, if not decades. The apartheid ended in ~1990, but ironically Mandela remained on the Terrorist watch list till 2008

SOWETAN: In 2008 just before his 90th birthday, the United States gave Nelson Mandela a special present, striking him from a decades-old terror watch list and ending what US officials called “a rather embarrassing matter.” In past years, US officials have beaten a path to his door in his family village hoping some of his almost saint-like aura would rub off on them. On Thursday, when Mandela died at age 95, President Barack Obama hailed him as belonging “to the ages”

Yet decades ago many in America did not share in the adulation of Mandela and his African National Congress, which had been billed a terrorist organization by both South Africa and the United States. His severest right-wing critics painted him as an unrepentant terrorist and a communist sympathizer.

I do not like to draw correlations – but I see a similar situation in Pakistan – most Pakistanis want peace, but at the same time there is a lobby that castigates against any attempt to further the peace process – their justifications, in part, are understandable – they kill us, so we must kill them – but that itself is a vengeance driven mindset which is bound to lead to more blood shed and the loss of even more innocent lives

At the same time I see a leader in Imran Khan who continues his commitment towards Peace in Pakistan – despite all the thrashing handed to him in the media and by his political opponents, day-in & day-out.  Any other  leader would have succumbed to the constant assault and back tracked, but Imran Khan remains committed to his vision for a prosperous Pakistan, and the dream is an exercise in futility, without Peace

Surprisingly as similar to Mandela being labelled by his right-wingers as Terrorist Mandela, Khan is similarly painted as Taliban Khan mostly by his opponents, predominantly settled on the left-wing.  Such resistance, is in my opinion, merely because driven by his opponents who see these “peace talks” attempts to disrupt their own established control on Pakistan.  The name calling will never stop true genuine leaders, in fact, it is in the face of such adversity that actually drives them harder to continue their struggle for whats best for their country – Peace

Salute to Nelson Mandela for showing the world that Peace is an entity that is worth fighting for, Salute to Nelson Mandela for picking up South Africa from the ashes to show that this nation can rise up from the oppressive Apartheid to transform into a dynamic progressive country that it is today.

Let us take lessons from a visionary leader like Nelson Mandela, and Let us do something similar for Pakistan .. Peace is definitely possible in Pakistan 

The Media Madhouse

@RoachGrace on Deviant ArtThe free reign enjoyed by our media especially the immature and novice electronic media which gets almost all its human resources from the press mainly Urdu newspapers. It is no wonder that we observe sensationalization and are forced to see moles as mountains.

Some may recall the insensitive and ridiculous headlines of “Awam – Jang Group” and “Qaumi Akhbar” carried when they came out. They were driven in doing the thrilling act, as they put it, because they operated in saturated markets and it was impossible to make a mark in the presence of giants like Jang and Nawa I Waqt.

Similarly electronic media enterprises operate in similar situations. Their markets are saturated, the reader engagement and loyalty enjoyed by their predecessor, print media, is non-existent as it takes only a click to move from one station to the other.

The task of keeping the viewer at a particular station is proving to be difficult for the clever producers, anchors, editors (not sure there are any) and marketing and sales teams employed to sell air time. The TRPs, GRPs are more colloquially “ratings” have come to dictate more than ethics, training and professionalism.

To make matters worse advertising agencies, marketing companies, brands and businesses have grown clever and instead of spending their resources on mass media they employ them on engagement activities. Thus the outburst of channels has to compete for their slice of the shrinking pie (ad spent). The outrageous rivalry is evident from “breaking news” flashes and “sub se pehle aap tak khabar pohanchai…” clichés. Continue reading

This post was submitted by Rehan Ali.

Romancing Glory – legacy of General Zia ul Huq

Zia-ul-HaqIn my childhood whenever we were asked what would you become when you grow up. The most common answers included joining the army or becoming a pilot (fighter). It may be because the 80s were spent under General Zia’s dictatorship. Later, it was the turn of being a Mujahid, fuelled by the Pakistani romance with Kashmir and hatred for India.

The formative years was spent listening to sermons glorifying Jihad and how killing infidels oppressing our fellow brethren in Bosnia, Chechnya, Palestine and more importantly Kashmir. The mullahs were tasked with glorifying and preparing the emotionally charged youth for fighting in the cause of Allah.

Those who have survived and they are very limited in number, recall how they were deceived and sent as proxy soldiers for the purest armed forces. The realization is aided greatly by the post 9/11 scenario in which the Military willingly brought the war on to us. God’s soldiers were now termed strayed fanatics and were driven into the mountains of Waziristan.

The war chimes rang aloud “sub se pehlay Pakistan” become the slogan of progress and enlightenment. We started celebrating the killings of our own countrymen. The price too was paid by us when we started laying to rest countless civilians killed in never before experienced “bomb blasts”.

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This post was submitted by Rehan Ali.

PTI has NO involvement with White Paper against GEO

The recent publication of a white paper of allegations against GEO bears the name of PTI Cyber Force team & PTI indirectly. For starters PTI categorically denies any involvement in this report and believe miscreants are using the party name to help deteriorate the relationships with the media house.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has taken strong objection to GEO issuing a legal notice to Chairman Imran Khan in the program with Mubashir Lucman.

The issue should have been between GEO & ARY or directly with Mubashir Lucman but looping in Mr. Imran Khan in the legal notice who merely responded to the questions posed to him was certainly an attempt to gag the entire talk show which is a decision of the ARY team and Imran Khan has no control over it whatsoever.

The Notice had demanded of the Chairman that he stop the broadcast of his interview of 28th October on ARY channel – as “the language and the conclusive tone” the Chairman allegedly used in the interview “is highly defamatory and unacceptable”!

The Chairman Imran Khan stood by every word of what he said in his interview with Mubashar Lucman for ARY television channel. The Chairman stated categorically that any allegations regarding ANY media house relating to money coming from abroad and allegedly creating links with foreign intelligence agencies must be properly investigated as “it was a very serious matter.” The Chairman reiterated that regardless of which media house was alleged to be involved in any such activity an investigation was in order. Yes the Chairman PTI’s tone was resolute in demanding such an inquiry rather than coming to a conclusion on his own. It is bizarre to accuse a political leader or any citizen of defamation merely because they demand an inquiry into what are serious allegations involving the security of the country.

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Another rigged election?

Rigged Elections in PakistanGuest Blog by By M. Fahid Saleem

These are the most important elections in the history of country, this will determine the destiny of Pakistan” said different politician and pundits before elections. Unfortunately, the post election debate which should have been focused on its results and its policy implication on Pakistan’s future is surrounded by rigging allegations by every party (PML in Sindh, JUI-F in KPK, Nationalist in Baluchistan and Sindh, PTI in Punjab, PPP in Punjab and other provinces, JI in Karachi etc.)

So much have been written and shown on TV however ECP is convinced that these were free and fair elections. As a business student I did some analysis on election results of ten seats in Lahore (NA-118 to NA-127).

Total number of register voters in most of these ten national assembly seats have no difference with the total number of register voters in their respective provincial assembly seats except in three constituencies (NA-123, NA-124 & NA-126). Number of registered voters in these NA constituencies is greater than their respective provincial seats (68, 2590, 150 respectively). However, unfortunately there is not a single constituency where total number of votes polled for NA is equal to its respective provincial seats. Difference ranges from minus 7055 (Votes polled on respective pp seats are more than that of NA seat) to positive 2841 (Votes polled on NA seat is more than its respective provincial seats). Though the total number of votes polled on most of NA seats were more than their respective PP seats except in case of NA-125 and NA-127, where total votes polled at NA are less than their respective PP seats (4600 and 7055 respectively). Every voter polls two votes, one for NA seat and other one for provincial seat; it means total number of votes polled in NA should be equal to their respective provincial assembly seats. How is this possible a person voted for provincial candidates but not for NA candidates and vice versa? I think ECP is in the best position to answer this question.
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This post was submitted by M. Fahid Saleem.

Open Letter to CJP: Contempt of Court against Imran Khan

I am with Imran KhanHonrable Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry,
Chief Justice Pakistan,
Supreme Court of Pakistan

I couldn’t resist but write you some fan mail after seeing that you were trending as number 1 on twitter worldwide. Now that is an achievement! I’m sure you must’ve been trending a few years ago as well when party workers and general public got beaten black and blue so you, as a symbol of justice, could be restored into the judiciary. Imran Khan doesn’t have quite as exciting memories from back then, as he was stuck in jail standing for what you supposedly stood for. Forget these petty details though, who cares!

It’s been an interesting few years since then right? Your gravity defying zero force ‘tilt’ to PML-N is quite frankly nauseating but on the bright side you have developed a unique quality of inspiring some pretty interesting emotions in people across different provinces, parties and professions. Wow. So feel free to share that with the people out there who think that you have delivered nothing of significance over the past few years, how wrong they are.

I heard about this thing that happened in Pakistan recently. What was it again, I can’t remember, um hang on it will come to me…oh yes I remember! Rigging! You know that thing that was riper than a Jamaican mango in these elections, yes that. I didn’t get to vote myself but luckily I came across same pakora paper the other day which had a balla stamped on it so I felt very privileged to have my bit of election action! So thanks for not acknowledging anything about this rigging business, maybe next time there would be enough stamped ballots for us to distribute as toilet paper amongst the needy – I do need to pop a bit of social work on my C.V.
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This post was submitted by Sabreena Razaq Hussain.

PML Family Prepares to Serves itself Justice

Observe how PML Family prepares to serve itself justice by quickly moping up cases against themselves just as they come into power

The judges overseeing the Sharif family cases of Hudabiya Mills, Raiwind Mansion and Ittefaq Foundaries, are suddenly removed and proceedings delayed since no replacement judge is available to overseeing these issues

A mini story appears on the backpage of Express (29th May) almost as an after thought – http://bit.ly/111Y3jN

Aeisha Gulalai: First Female MNA from FATA – PTI

Aeisha Gulalai

A young woman belonged to South Waziristan Agency Aeisha Gulalai vice president of Pakistan Tehreek Insaf become youngest Member of National Assembly on special women seat belonged to tribal area

PTI Chairman Imran Khan has proved the slogans of changed and for the first time he selected a tribal women on special seat belonged to South Waziristan agency which is real changed in the history of country” Aeisha said

Murderers, Looters & Thugs – Outlive the Innocent, Law-abiding & Philanthropic : RIP – Parveen Rehman

I Parveen RehmanToday marks another sad day for Pakistan – Parveen Rehman the director of Orangi Pilot Project was assassinated in Karachi – I express my anger & frustration to literally say that Murderers, Looters & Thugs sadly outlive the Innocent, Law-abiding & Philanthropic – I curse our so called “elected” leaders

Orangi Pilot Project was a people’s financed and managed Low-Cost Sanitation Program; a Housing Program; a Basic Health and Family Planning Program; a Program of Supervised Credit for Small Family Enterprise Units; an education Program; and a Rural development Program in the nearby villages

Today Pakistan has lost a Philanthropic Legend !! My heart bleeds, Your heart bleeds, beneficiaries of the Orangi Pilot Project will also Mourn today – But do our so called elected leaders AT ALL CARE — NO –

Best they can do, is continue protecting the murderers who murdered this legend today … tomorrow morning we all will see papers full of condemnations from our President, Prime Minister, Governor, Chief Minister and even the Chief Justice to all chime in unison “Notice Lay Liya” – “We will launch and investigation” – “We will find the culprits” – each and every Pakistani knows these standardized ritualistic statements, and they also know NOTHING will ever happen, all of these fanfare politicians will come to attend her Namaz-e-Janazah, pose in front of the camera, give those glorious touching statement – but will do NOTHING – these shameless elected politicians will ensure that the crooks are NEVER found, the story will disappear, 180 millions Pakistanis will forget Parveen Rehman – who killed her? or Why did they kill her? is a mystery which will never be answered – Shame on each and every elected leader – you were elected to protect the rights of the people, not to protect your own lives and pockets.

Murderers, Looters & Thugs sadly will continue to outlive the Innocent, Law-abiding & Philanthropic.

PML Photoshop Blooper by Showbaz Sharif at Badami Bagh

Seriously when your team is desperate to “create” news & your leader cant “create” news – your media cell gets desperate to “create the news”

Another Blooper tutorial of how NOT to PhotoShop by PML

  1. The standing crowd is looking ahead in the distance
  2. While Showbaz bends adjacent to a brick wall
  3. Standing crowd has NO CLUE that there is a wall there and it is SUPPOSEDLY being built
  4. Sunlight shadow is different for the audience and Showbaz is uniquely well lit
  5. The color of the hand is interestingly too white (no shadow despite you will notice a differently shaped shadow near the spade & the hand
  6. The head / hair is distinctly photoshop trimmed -
  7. A few blemishes of Photoshop lasso exposed near the lower border of the hand & the starting of the sleeve

A pre-election publicity stunt by PML-N Showbaz Media team on the victims of Badami Bagh

Another Tax Amnesty NRO – Crooks Protecting Crooks

Sayem AliSayem Ali writes in The News – Another NRO: It is another medal of honour for our parliamentarians and another great victory for democracy that President Zardari’s PPP, Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N and all other parties set aside their differences and unite to protect the rights of all criminals, smugglers, drug peddlers and tax chors.

All for one and one for all.

The amnesty bill is nothing more than a smokescreen to siphon off the billions made by influential people in power in the last five years to safer destinations. All the billions of ill-gotten wealth made in the rental power projects, the red and pink buses, steel mills, PIA, Railways, etc. will now be moved out of Pakistan; all thanks to the tax amnesty bill. – Sayem Ali
LINK: Another NRO

Imran Khan dares to Dream BIG & He Wins BIG – Others just cheat to look big


This huge ground is being prepared to host Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf – Tabdeli Rally – Imran Khan will introduce the newly elected PTI KPK Leadership and has another very important announcement to make.This last year has been a roller coaster of a ride – the status quo, as expected, went dirty on the peoples movement for change but PTI withstood the storm and have delivered all our promises and are now set to mobilize a genuine peoples movement to the lead up to the elections. A work force of over 10,000,000+ members – is nothing short of a revolution to bring forth a NAYA PAKISTANWhat I truly love about PTI – is that they continue to challenge themselves – when YOU AIM HIGH – YOU WIN BIG - Imran Khan as a true captain and leader has set high goals for his team and then motivates them to work towards it – this last year you can definitely see his captaincy do wonders for PTI – Opponents have always dug the negative aspect for each, but they too will soon realize the dawn of a new era

  • Lahore Oct 30th Jalsa - was a mammoth risk undertaken by Imran Khan – to plan a Jalsa on the huge Minar-e-Pakistan ground was a risk and it paid its dividends massively - PTI Won Big
  • Karachi Jalsa – was another such risk – even the well established behemoths MQM never dared host a public rally on the massive Mazar-e-Quaid grounds – PTI did and PTI won big
  • Quetta Jalsa - with abundant security concerns [no other party dared hold a Pro-Pakistan jalsa let alone raise the Pakistani flag in Quetta – PTI dared and PTI won big – despite torrential rain the crowd came & welcomed Imran Khan who aimed high, won big
  • Peace March to Waziristan – Imran Khan risked abundant death threats yet stood openly on top of his jeep to welcome the participants, not once but dozens of times risking his life to only highlight the Drones issue and he Dared and he won big
  • Policies – Ever since the Oct 30th 2011 Jalsa – every critic argued that PTI has no plan to solve the mess Pakistan is in, Imran Khan is a cricketer turned politicians with no plans, its no surprise that PTI in this last year has presented to the Public eight polices to the people of Pakistan which highlight its vision for solving Pakistans problems
  • Intra-party elections – a feat NEVER accomplished by any party, to poll over 7,000,000 members this act was critiqued beyond imagination but the PTI Leadership persevered and has completed KPK, nearly completed Punjab, while Sindh and Balochistan are just around the corner – they aimed to set a good example of party democracy in Pakistan and Masha’Allah will win Big

Today in Peshawar awaits a massive & a wet ground looms ahead, the stakes are high – a large crowd at this HUGE ground (Insha’Allah) will rubber stamp the start of PTI’s Tsunami to bring forth a NAYA PAKISTAN

To me this is the art of leadership – a leader gives the vision and then inspires his team to step up to the plate to realize this dream - One example after another will show the people of Pakistan that Imran Khan has set his vision on a better Pakistan and one example after another will repeatedly show that he is the leader that Pakistan needs – no more hand-me-down traditional corrupt leaders – we need a genuine change and a leader who means well for Pakistan – Others just cheat and try to look big

PROUD to be part of this movement for change – all the up’s and down’s have been well worth the headache to see us here – its now or never – I WILL VOTE FOR PTI – WILL YOU!