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Why PTI is the Biggest Winner after Qadri’s Long March

Imran Khan and Tahir QadriTahir-ul-Qadri’s Long March ended with an anti-climax. The revolutionary zeal of the protestors was rewarded with a compromise. As the dust settles on another vital episode in Pakistan’s foremost soap opera, the character who will come out strongest is Imran Khan.

When PTI decided to boycott the 2008 elections it was subjected to endless abuse by supporters sick and tired of the incumbent regime. These people saw the party as a ray of hope amidst a horizon laced with crooks and criminals. They felt betrayed by the party’s stubborn refusal to budge. It was conveniently forgotten that these “elections” would be held under the aegis of a PCO judiciary unlawfully appointed by a military dictator. Furthermore, this judiciary was responsible for the passing of the NRO, granting amnesty to the biggest criminals of Pakistan. This leads us to a wider malaise infecting the nation: the addiction to quick fixes and fleeting pleasures. The commonly held notion implied that simply getting rid of PML-Q and Pervez Musharraf would somehow solve our problems.

What followed was extremely predictable yet scarcely believable. Musharraf was ousted to wild celebrations, just 9 years after being greeted in the same manner. He was replaced by Asif Ali Zardari, otherwise known as Pakistan’s biggest thief. Since then the journey has been increasingly downhill, towards hell itself. How could we expect anything else from the products of NRO? We lament the presence of tax evaders and hardened criminals in our parliament but after the sham elections of 2008 expecting anything else is absurd.
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Long Live Pak Armed Forces

The tragic occurrence happened in Gayari sector, Siachen Pakistan, is no doubt a heartbreaking one. But this does not imply to blame Pak Armed Forces therefor. Doing so is more tragic than the tragic incident and amounts to scratching the wounds of our Armed Forces. Nonetheless our pseudo & ignorant intellectuals are doing the same!!!

All that has been done by Pak Armed Forces in so far against India is concerned has never been Pak Armed Forces choice; rather it has always been their duty.  It have never been Pakistan armed Forces who have acted against India, it have always been India Hindus who have either directly or indirectly acted against Pakistan and our brave Pakistan Armed Forces has reacted simply against India at the minimum level to counter them.

It were Indian Hindus who occupied the Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir in 1947-1948 and the Muslim Masses along with Pakistani Pakhtun reacted thereagainst due to Pakistan first COAS, Gen Douglas Gracey’s conspirative denial and when they were knocking suburbs of Srinagar, the first Hindu PM, Nehru went weepingly before the UNSC, begging for cease fire vehemently and UNSC passed resolutions for plebiscite in J&K to be carried out under the UN auspices.

In 1965 too it were Indian Hindus who without declaration of war attacked Pakistan and when the brave Pak Armed Forces proven their mettle the Indian PM, Lal Bahadur Shastri went to Tashkent crying for cease fire.

In 1971 also again it were Indian Hindus who attacked East Pakistan with USSR & US shenanigans and dismembered Pakistan due to our charlatan leadership.

In 1984 again it were Indian Hindus who stealthily occupied Siachen Glaciers and Pak Armed Forces resultantly engaged them there & then.

And when Pakistan tried to counter the Hindus in Kargil in 1999 our strategic foes; the US & UK applied all pressure against us and in favour of them.

Pak Armed Forces have accomplished the mission impossible by nuclearizing Pakistan and it’s our Nuclear Teeth that we have tamed the Indian Hindus to a crucial level!!!

I want to Brag a Minute about Pakistan

Don’t get me wrong, I’m generally not that type who boasts but when I thought about it, what is the one thing which I can show off about? It is my very own mother country PAKISTAN. It’s the country where I was born, brought up and now living my life. I have explored most of its famous trademark places, be it Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi, Faisal Mosque in Islamabad or Lake Saiful Muluk in Kaghan. All these places are absolutely breathtaking. When you visit these areas, you will know you are in the presence of true splendor. All of these are made with spot on brilliance.

My favorite hobby whenever I visited the northern areas was horse-riding; I got to do a lot of it when I visited Nathia Gali and Murree. The horses are so beautiful, strong and free-spirited. I used to enjoy being in their presence when I was a little girl. It’s been my dream since forever to live in those areas in which where ever I look, the surroundings leave me in awe.
I, and so do most people, lovingly call Pakistan as Paki and Pakiland because our love for it is immeasurable and eternal. Pakistan has grown so much over time; it has all the newly constructed bridges, underpasses and roads. It also now has excellent drainage system. Whenever it rains, the water clears up in mere 3 to 4 hours.
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London Bridge – Falling Down?

The first two weeks of August have been a troublesome period for those in the Great Britain; who have seen a riot in Tottenham escalate to widespread unrest across the city and beyond within 72 hours: plundering, attacks on security forces, the burning of houses, vehicles, and residential buildings. We, the Pakistanis, are more accustomed to seeing burnt out vehicles, and buildings on our TV screens on the streets of Baghdad, Kabul or Karachi than we are in London. So it’s a profound embarrassment for the UK which is a country without the profundity of troubles affecting those other places mentioned. It is hardly astonishing that people are trying to assess the reasons of this chaos.

The quickly contagious character of this vulgar unrest suggests it was not merely correlated to the shooting by police of a ‘suspect’ last week.

There will be days or weeks before the inquiry committees are set up, and months before they report their conclusions. Until then, the masses will keep on commenting as to the probable causes of what went wrong, and where. Whether Mark Duggan was shot by police because he was an imminent threat to anyone or not, may or may not emerge. Whether or not the nonviolent protest was carelessly handled by the police will be a subject of debate, rather than a factual finding. Legal questions will be raised about the closing of youth clubs and youth projects in response to the government’s debt condition; and the percentile of youth joblessness. Are these violent mobs of youth, who will likely pay a great deal for their destruction if they are caught on CCTV, victims of the bankers? Probably Yes, or Probably Not. Many will doubtlessly debate on these issues.
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From Arab Spring to European Autumn

London Riots 3rd Dayby Engr. Sharique Naeem

This year witnessed mass protests by Muslims in the Arab world, against despotic dictators. For years the voices of people had been suppressed by oppressive tyrants. However, with a stunning display of bravery the Muslims took to streets to protest against the regime. The people came out in their thousands, the likes of which the Arab world, had never seen before. These Muslims were met with brute force unleashed upon them by the Dictators. Inspite of this, the protesters did not resort to vandalism, thefts and destruction of public property at large. The very dictators, whom the western democracies had backed for decades, became the object of critique and condemnation once it was clear that they would no longer be able to continue to rule, in face of growing protests.

The governments of western democracies had hailed these uprising as a yearning for a democracy. Indeed some countries in the west, had used all the arsenal at their disposal to export democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and lately in Libya.

However, even a cursory glance at the chants of the protesters in the Arab world, shows that they wanted a regime change, and replace despotic tyrants with a system of governance from Islam. In arrogance however, the west had continued to maintain, that democracy is the only alternative, for the Arabs, and the people at large, who seek to progress, want justice and prosperous economies, accountability and rule of law.
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A predominant, ‘one-sex’ nation!

You can never really expect a ‘good’ morning in Pakistan.

After waking up from the sleep last morning, I logged into my facebook account to just get a daily dose of news updates. As I scrolled down my home page, a link shared by a friend caught my eyes that completely bewildered me. The news headline read, “Pakistan ranked as THIRD most dangerous country in the world for women.” I tried to ignore the news ‘labelling’ it a false, rumor story but then I thought to undergo a process of research and thinking on the it.

The process that I did was just a track down of past few years of Pakistan where extremism, radicalization and terrorism had dominated the image of the nation, and where poor-stricken and underprivileged women were often seen as innocent victims of the disease of extremism and terrorism. I recalled how women in Pakistan are just not ‘equally’ treated like men; how they are deprived of their basic rights to live with freedom – free from all sorts of impositions; how they are less accessible to education; how they are less accessible to different sectors in Pakistan when it comes to employment; and how they are treated when what they do is just ‘defend’ their rights or ‘voice’ their concerns.
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US and NATO imperialism in South Asia: The developing Pakistan Quagmire

After some nationalist and anti-imperialist elements succeeded in defeating the elaborate US and British plans to install two of their puppets- Parvez Musharraf and the late Benazir Bhutto-in the highest government offices in Pakistan, another puppet, Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir’s husband-also known as Mr. Ten Percent, because of his corruption and demanding and taking systematic bribes on contracts with national and international companies- during Benazir’s premiership, in which he was one of the members of her cabinet, managed to substitute both of them and has proven that he is a bigger puppet than both of them combined. Both he and his wife were methodically groomed for their roles by various organs and representatives of US imperialism.

During their government, they had stolen an estimated one and a half billion dollars from the poor people of Pakistan and had deposited those in foreign bank accounts. When numerous cases of fraud and corruption were filed against them in the Pakistani and foreign courts, they fled the country and lived abroad for years, in aristocratic and lavish life styles, when overwhelming majority of Pakistani people were suffering ever increasing levels of poverty and deprivation. It was only after an incredibly illegal, unjustifiable, and crooked deal with the Musharraf dictatorship, which was a desperate and reckless move to save itself against the rising tide of opposition-pushed and supervised by the representatives of US and British imperialism-in which all the corruption charges were dropped and the cases withdrawn, that they dared to return to Pakistan.
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Is Iftikhar Chaudhry courting trouble?

This week’s Economist magazine has a rather odd take on the Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The article paints him as a manipulator, usurper and as someone at times even pursuing a personal vendetta. It is ironic that the Economist chose a word as strong as usurper in a week that an actual dictator and murderer was thrown off his throne. Surely one would feel some queasiness when using such a strong word for a man of law? I also find it ironic that while the Egyptian usurper, Hosni Mubarak, was overthrown due to populist rage, the man labeled as usurper by The Economist was brought into ‘power’ by the same route.

The author(s) claims that many actions taken by the Chief Justice since his return to the Supreme Court, has been to hurt the ruling Zardari regime. The Economist claims that Iftikhar Chaudhry detests Zardari and the government, that he looks down on the parliament and that he’s too driven to take executive decisions himself and hound it to carry out orders of relatively dubious nature. It is this hatred of Zardari and a patronizing, disrespectful attitude towards the parliament that is driving much of the activities in the top most court of law in Pakistan.
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Strangers in Our own Land

A few days back at around 8:45 pm, I was heading home via the now well known bottleneck on Khayaban-e-Shaheen, outside Zulfikar Mirza’s residence.

I noticed that there was a group of about 50 to 60 women standing outside the home minister’s house, all in head scarves. Slowing down i noticed that they were yelling at the home minister who was standing outside his gate. Obviously I was intrigued and came around to the other side of the road to try and hear what they were saying. I stopped my car near a sidelane opposite the home ministers gate as my curiosity was aroused. After all its not every day that you see a minister, surrounded by the “awam” holding a kutcheri on the road. I wanted to take a quick snap with my cellphone.
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Importance of Social Sector Development

Pakistan is facing high budget deficit which is hitting the economy badly. For reducing budget deficit, the government is cutting down expenditures in the social sector like education and health. When the government reduces expenditures on education, health, population issues, the poor is hit the hardest. No nation can progress without a strong human capital base and investment in this area will be as essential as sound macroeconomic policies in achieving the desired economic boom. They are the ones who depend most upon state provided facilities.

Though all might be enjoying the subsidy, the poor have the highest value for it. When infrastructure prices are raised, the poor are again the hardest hit, as they have to pay more. When jobs are cut, they again are the hardest hit segment of the society, as they have no assets to depend upon apart from the labour that they can sell. The recent cutting in expenditures of the public sector development has increased the incidence of poverty in the country.
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Short Measures and Broadband Pakistan

The oldest known source for the expression “baker’s dozen” dates to the 13th century in one of the earliest English statutes, instituted during the reign of Henry III (1216–1272), called the Assize of Bread and Ale. Bakers who were found to have shortchanged customers could be subject to severe punishment. To guard against the punishment of losing a hand to an axe, a baker would give 13 for the price of 12, to be certain of not being known as a cheat. Specifically, the practice of baking 13 items for an intended dozen was insurance against “short measure”, on the basis that one of the 13 could be lost, eaten, burnt, or ruined in some way, leaving the baker with the original legal dozen.

A few centuries on from the initiation of the baker’s dozen, and we have trading standards funded and operated by the government and off course regulators too. Their TOR extends far wider than preventing the short changing of customers, and also includes misrepresentation in advertising and supply.
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Who is The Terrorist?

Guest Blog by Zeeshan Khan

She crouches in a corner of her humble abode
Fear writ large in her light brown eyes
In her heart she cries out to the world,
“How much more will we be terrorized?”

There has to be something about the term ‘Terrorism’ which makes it the most misused term in recent history in my opinion. Whoever feels like it, picks it up, chews it into a thousand particles and spits it out to be then picked up by another and abused likewise.

Many debate and articulate what “terror” means? Can we, with our safety-bubble lifestyles even come close to understanding what it means? You switch to the news everyday, witness scenes of “blood curdling horror” and human limbs scattered on pavements like nonentities. You shake your head in pity then switch the channel to find out who is the latest “American idol”!

Ask the little girl crouched in a corner, palms pressed tight against her ears to muffle out the screams and firing. Ask the young woman who stares defenselessly at the approaching group of bulky men. Ask those people what terror is, who jumped off the World Trade Center on the ill-fated morning of September 11. My point is that without knowing the essence of this all-encompassing term, great powers, intellectual giants and so-called religious bodies alike use it to promote their own vested interests.
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Liberating Women in Pakistan – The Sane Chronicle

While browsing the Pakistani blogosphere, I found out that writing, grumbling & debating about women issues is in vogue in Pakistan’s literary circle, not considering the fact that it only adds up to an already bad impression created about the country abroad. Well, I want to rest this argument once for good! -My lame attempt to stop educated Pakistanis from maligning Pakistan either intentionally or unintentionally, on International forums. Lets use our pen with responsibility.

Presenting women with financial independence and social autonomy, is often considered the precise approach to impart them power. However, the candid perspective is, empowering women is only a dream without ascertaining two fundamentals; A Blooming Economy & A Free Judiciary. And therefore, earnest political will! Integration of women into the social fabric would happen automatically with an improved economy & amplified employment opportunities. Dynamic government policies & magnanimous economic activity leading to more job generation will indirectly lead to more & more women coming out of homes to work, and hence turning them into financially self-sufficient beings.

Furthermore, enforcing women to work without any increase in jobs will only lead to more frustration in the society as now double the number of people will be applying for the same number of jobs, totting up the competition. However, by broadly improving economy, there would be enough space for both men & women in the job market in different categories. You see men doing many odd jobs that are purely a women’s domain, only because of redundancy. If job market is improved, these chores would also be available to women and even the most conservative ones would come out without eyebrows being raised.
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What Pakistan Needs Now: Sanity

The past weekend saw the arrival of TEDx to Karachi. And it would be no understatement to say that the truly spectacular event took the local TED enthusiasts by storm (no pun intended to the tropical storm ‘Phet’, which despite its best efforts was unable to dampen the spirits of our organizers). The event was executed in style and gave its attendees a lot of food for thought on this one throbbing question: ‘What Pakistan Needs Now?’ The speakers touched upon tolerance, justice, leadership, women empowerment, interconnection, energy, innovation, hope and similar much needed qualities and resources that Pakistan needs now. The winning video short by Ali Kapadia summarized it pretty nicely: what we need the most is imagination and innovation. As I sat there, inspired (and that’s saying something about our remarkable speakers, because I’m not an easy person to inspire), an inescapable thought came to my mind, and it is something which we as a society tend to overlook most of the time: What Pakistan Needs Now is also a bit of ‘sanity’.

Mental health policies are a fundamental and necessary means for the promotion of mental health awareness in any given population. W.H.O. studies reveal that 40.5% of the countries have no mental health policy at all. Is Pakistan one of them? Well, almost. Pakistan’s mental health policy was first formulated as late as 1997. It aimed at addressing issues of advocacy, promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and inter-sectional collaboration. It set out to produce trained care providers, to establish resource centers at teaching psychiatric hospitals and detoxification centers. It also provided for crisis intervention and counseling services, special facilities for mentally handicapped and up gradation of large mental hospitals. But the said policy is not comprehensive and even today a very meager percentage of the total health care expenditure is allocated towards mental health budget.
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Call a Spade, a Spade!

Muhammad Ali Jinnah – Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11th August, 1947

As you know, history shows that in England conditions, some time ago, were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some States in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days. We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.

The heirs of Jinnah’s Pakistan have failed to live up to the expectations of the nations founding fathers. Today’s attacks on Ahmedi “worship places”, was despicable and deserved not only our sympathies with the families of the victims; but our unequivocal condemnation of such barbarism.

However, that too seems too much to ask for.
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