Onion News Network files a report on the volatile India-Pakistan standoff
Onion News Network files a report on the volatile India-Pakistan standoff
Guest Post by Temporal from Baithak
KILLAI (TN): Showcasing secular values in this remote village of Tamil Nadu, a devout Muslim couple have built a temple for Hindu Goddess Mariamman in the backyard of their house and conduct regular poojas, arousing interest and curiosity in this region, which remains a citadel of communal harmony.
It all started with a dream that M Bashirbi (50) had in her sleep and her husband Mohammed Ali Jinnah (55) without any hesitation gave his full backing for building the small temple 10 years back in the backyard of their thatched house in this town, near Chidambaram, about 250 km south of Chennai. Muslim family builds temple for Goddess. Muslim family builds temple for Goddess
Guest Post by Masoor Hallaj
As per the news of The News International dated [December 17, 2007] Nahid Khan, the political secretary to Benazir Bhutto, has withdrawn her nomination papers in protest over the awarding of a PPP ticket to Farahnaz Ispahani. According to party sources, Nahid Khan was not happy with the award of the party ticket to Farahnaz Ispahani, the wife of Hussain Haqqani, and has informed Benazir Bhutto about withdrawing her nomination papers saying she cannot sit in the National Assembly with Ms Ispahani. Prior to marrying Farahnaz Ispahani, Hussain Haqqani was married to Naheed Khan’s sister. That could be the reason why Ms Khan did not want to sit with Ms Ispahani in the National Assembly. 
Let’s have quick look of Mr Hussain Haqqani’s [Nowadays an American Scholar who lecture on Democracy] dirty and filthy past while he was part and parcel of Army-Jamat-e-Islami Axis which is riddled witch scandals and corruption. A detailed CV of Husaain Haqqani is at the end to corroborate the comment.
With brainwashing on the one hand and erosion of academic freedom on the other, the campuses (once temples of learning and enlightenment) have been turned into centres of rowdyism and repositories of deadly weapon. Students belonging to various schools of religious thought, regional and ethnic groups, particularly the Islami Jamiat-e-Tulba (the student wing of Jamat-e-Islami) , have played havoc with educational institutions. Professors were another target of the victimization carried out in this period. Members of the IJT launched a concerted campaign against professors known for their liberal views. In Punjab University, particularly, many professors were forced to resign, others were sacked.
The lighter side of Parliamentary politics in India
Ansar Burney completed his tenure as the first ever caretaker minister of human rights. During his four months stint in the Ministry of Law, Burney worked hard tirelessly for providing a safe passage for suspected and convicted enemies of Pakistan while completely disregarding Pakistanis. He even went a step further by actively trying to dissuade Pakistanis from fighting for their own rights. As this article will show, Burney’s work would make any Indian proud of him and hence he will be referred more appropriately as Burney (Singh). Continue Reading
Guest Blog by Amjad Malik (blog)
Previous Article of the series : Silent Revolution – 1
My brief visit to Pakistan in March was welcomed by suicidal blast in Lahore FIA building and farewell attack in Islamabad restaurant resulting several deaths and injuries which pose a serious question of law an order situation in Pakistan where some ordinary citizens still believe that its more of self created problem and may be some agencies involved in it. Opinion is divided which is fatal for Pakistan as govt of the day has failed to send a message across the gravity of situation where unknown sophisticatedly armed men are willing to die with hundred others to score some political point, is it a revenge or the foreign invasion of different kind. It may be the failure of Musharraf regime to properly advocate in favour of their ill thought policies which are back firing. As a nation Pakistanis are not trained to an extent where they can stop any danger coming towards the state in fact, we all awake when the water is above the danger threshold, and nationalism is no where seen in Pakistan and alas Qauid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah is confined to portraits and ceremonial status. His sayings and doings are hardly remembered in particular by our rulers. If they are acted upon from the beginning or even now, we would not be in the mess we are currently in.
12th May massacre showed the tendency of rulers to an extent they may go to suppress lawful drive for constitutionalism in Pakistan, however, the way nation behaved over the tragic death of late Be Nazir burning their own train stations, looting banks and blowing businesses and damaging properties is a worrying sign for the flag carriers of federation. We need to knit ourselves to one nation without caring our geographical heritage or regional location in order to combat the 21st century war of information. Of course, language can play an important and integral part in carrying the message and none other than Urdu could be used to broadcast national message which may be understood by all as if you speak in foreign language how can you convey your message in a borrowed language. I would go one step further and would recommend national disciplinary service to train the whole nation towards rule of law & basic defence drive so that we as a nation start to learn respecting the law of the land.
Guest Blog by Amjad Malik
Public have silently spoken through ballot putting added pressure on our political clan who always fall a prey to pragmatism and accept defeat before even the battle starts. Lawyers moved, bench stood up, media bore with the bashing honourably but only the clan of Q did not move and surrender to public demand and in the end they fell badly from their throne as pride hath a fall. Now public with sheer wisdom have given the task to the new parliament to sort out the mess the country is in rather than boycotting or bringing an orange revolution which is in true sense a silent revolution where opponent is defeated though still alive.
Source: The Harvard Crimson
The former head of the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligences (ISI) political cell recently confessed that he was responsible for political manipulation in Pakistans 2002 elections that led to Islamists coming to power in two provinces and gaining 59 seats in the National Assembly. This fraud was the work of the Americas supposedly unfaltering ally in the War on Terror, General (ret.) Pervez Musharraf and his desire to paint an image of Pakistan as an extremely dangerous, unstable country ready to fall into the hands of extremists the moment he leaves.
Musharraf pretends that he is the only hope for the US in Pakistan. Closer analysis, however, suggests that his claims are far from true. In the 2008 electionswhich were much freer and fairer than those of 2002only 6 seats went to the Islamists. In addition, a secular party won the majority of seats from the North-West Frontier Province where the War on Terror is actually taking place. These results prove that the people of Pakistan are against religious fundamentalism, something the US has largely ignored. In 1999, Pakistan was a stable country with a moderate political party in power. There were no suicide bombings, no abductions by extremists, and people were free to move about without security personnel. By 2007, Pakistan was among the worlds most dangerous places. This transformation is the result of Musharrafs long, incompetent rule.
Guest Blog by Amjad Malik
This could be one of the most uncertain elections in Pakistan where there are hundred of doubts whether they will be held as scheduled, and if yes, will it be fair and the atmosphere is not conducive either. If people come out of fear, and went to vote on the poll day then rest assured despite all the odds the next Parliament will be a mix of pro and anti Musharraf forces who will be deciding very crucial issues and one of them would be reinstating the deposed judiciary and future of Pakistan. If these elections are rigged, it will open a Pandora s Box which may sweep a lot of things with it as Pakistani elections have many stories within.
In the gloomy atmosphere which is saddened by the death of Be Nazir Bhutto, election process could not really attract lay men, women and children who are scared as well as the government machinery under instructions to do or not to do their job casting spells on its fairness. Being a human being I sometime feel the pain of incarceration of family members of Chief Justice & others who are blamelessly detained and are not able to run their lives as other normal human beings like going to school, shopping meeting families etc. It reminds me of the colonial past where family members were arrested in order to make an arrest in order to try the main accused and even today our black masters could not exit from that mind set even in 21st century. Mr. Justice Iftikhar Choudhary could be the main man desired to be detained by the General, however his familys house arrest is unimaginable, and the shameless quietness over it is unforgiveable.
Attached is the entire transcript of the lecture given by Dr. Kasier Bengali in Dec at the invitation of People’s Resistance & The Green Economics & Globalisation Initiative where he talked on Making sense of Pakistan and its Economy at Shirkat Gah Office, Karachi
Alternatively Download the [download#2]
Let me begin by thanking Shirkat Gah for arranging this opportunity and you all for being here to exchange views. I am happy to see so many young faces here. This represents a change. I sensed the first indication of change in October 2005 when the earthquake hit. Young educated people, many of whom had never washed a spoon in their own houses, lived in tents and helped the victims. I think that something happened to bring a generation alive and we are seeing it again. In the current movement today, we may agree with a lot of things, not agree with a lot of things, but the point is that you are concerned, and that has been missing for 20 years, and 20 years is a long time. It’s a whole generation of people; people especially those in their 30s today, who in their own student days and youth were completely unassociated with any social issues. So I find this a very refreshing change and I consider myself fortunate that I am being able to interact with you today.
Now to the subject of economics. I know most of you do not have any economics background, but I will try to be simple. My ability to speak economics in rather simple language developed because when I started my career I started working with trade unions and I had to explain economics to people who were at best matriculates or even less, and that’s where I developed this ability to talk economics in the lay person’s language. I guess there was some kind of a social consciousness. I had no need to work with trade unions; I could have done consulting for the World Bank, or joined the World Bank. In fact I had an offer from an international bank. But like you, I thought I have to work with people and it is working with people that gave me the ability to speak the language of the people.
A volunteer from the Student Action Committee writes on the SAC Lahore incident based on narratives by the SAC Lahore activist who were roughed up in Punjab College
On two consecutive days, 1st and 2nd February, the staff (security personnel as well as faculty members) of Punjab College, Muslim Town have tried to deny the rights of free speech and of free association of pro-democracy activists, and members of the Student Action Committee (SAC) Lahore – even going to the extent of brutal, un-restrained physical assault. In the face of this practical demonstration of the fascist attitudes nurtured in the so-called institutes of higher education that constitute the Punjab Group of Colleges, owned and run by the Nazim (Mayor) of Lahore, Mian Amir Mehmood, the activists have shown a remarkable degree of calm and fortitude, refusing to be provoked, and yet refusing to bow down to the dictates of the civilian collaborators of Army rule.
As already reported in some newspapers (e.g. Dawn), on Friday 1st February, Raheem-ul-Haque (adjunct faculty at Punjab University, former Project Manager at Techlogix) and Saeeda Diep (a veteran political, and not merely social, activist) were distributing flyers on the public side-lane in front of the two sections of the segregated Punjab College. The flyers, published by the Students Action Committee, laid out the basic demands of the Committee and also urged students to join hands with other sections of the public in a protest demonstration in Nasser Bagh on Saturday, the 2nd. The two activists were handing out flyers to all the students, boys and girls, consistent with their belief that information and debate are as much the right of women as of men. While Raheem was distributing some flyers outside the girls’ section of the college, he leaned over the chain at the exit and handed a few to some students standing there. He then continued distributing the pamphlets to other students as they left for home or arrived for class. It is important to note two things here: at no point did either Raheem or Diep trespass on the private property of the college, unless, of course, in his extraordinary legislative zeal, the President decides to declare into existence a new law against aerial trespassing, “Thou shalt not lean into, or otherwise violate the airspace of, another’s property”; not a single student had actually complained against the actions of the pro-democracy campaigners.
I share with you a very interesting article published in The News yesterday discussing the controversial issue of the fluctuating price of oil, though it is an undeniable fact that we are intrinsically linked to the price of oil as prescribed by OPEC but somehow the varied fluctuations have never correlated with the international market, we have seen a rise in the price of oil even when the international markets were on the downhill. At the moment the international market is touching astronomical levels and we will soon see an upward trend of the local prices as well. I must give credit to Dr. Farrukh Malik to have taken on this rumbling giant to at least provide us with a short and digestible analysis
by Dr Farrukh Saleem
Published in The News on January 27 2008
In May 2006, the international price of oil hovered around $66 per barrel (OPEC Basket). On January 2, oil in New York was traded at $100 per barrel (NYMEX) while OPEC Basket was quoted at around $90 per barrel (remember, in January 1999, oil had hit a low of $11 per barrel).
Yes, in May 2006 the price of diesel in Pakistan was Rs37.18 per litre. Yes, Shell Pakistan is still selling diesel at Rs37.73 per litre. In effect, the price of oil in the international market has gone up by a whopping 40 per cent but the government of Pakistan is providing diesel to Pakistanis at rates lower than the international market (India hasn’t increased the price of petrol and diesel in 18 months).
Kaiser Bengali is currently working for Collective for Social Science Research, a research company based in Karachi, economist Bengali has also served as the managing director Social Policy Development Centre between 2001-2004. Here he talks with TNS about a range of issues and gives his own economic blueprint which is closely tied up with politics. Excerpts of the interview follow:
The News on Sunday (TNS): How do see the relationship between military regimes and economic progress?
Kaiser Bengali (KB): There is a myth about development and economic performance of military regimes. In Pakistan, Ayub Khan, Ziaul Haq and Musharraf have all received unprecedented support from IMF and World Bank. In the case of Musharraf, it was the rescheduling and, of course, money that was coming as rental from the United States for using our space.
There were four factors which contributed to the high growth during the Zia period, none of which can be located in Zia’s economic policy. The oil price shock hit the world in 1973 but it was 1975-77 when the first emigrants from Pakistan began to leave for Saudi Arabia and it was 1978 when the remittance inflow began and it peaked in 1982onwards. So the price of the oil price shock was borne by the Bhutto regime but the benefits were accrued by the Zia regime. This rate of remittance inflow gave the govt sufficient fiscal space.
Second, there were very large investments made during the Bhutto period that had long gestation periods. The Pakistan Steel Mills construction started in 1974, and it started commercial production in1982. Similarly there were Heavy Mechanical Complex, Indus Highway, Heavy Electrical Complex, Port Qasim and Ittehad Chemicals (chemical lindustry’s foundation was laid in 1970s and chemicals are a major input in a large number of consumer industries). So this investment in the 1970s began to fruit in the 1980s leading to large chunk of output increases.
I don’t know if I should laugh or cry specially when Musharraf makes statements like these, he sounds more like a deranged maniac who suddenly feel rejuvenated to defend the very same constitution which he ruthlessly raped not once but many times over – geez!!!
Published in Times of India – LONDON: President Pervez Musharraf has dismissed the possibility of being impeached for holding power “unconstitutionaly” if the opposition came to power in the February polls, insisting “I was elected according to the constitution of Pakistan.” Even as President Musharraf agreed that he could be removed from power by a two-thirds parliamentary majority, he made it clear that if the opposition formed the government after the crucial polls, they would be unable to impeach him on the ground that he held power unconstitutionally.
“I don’t care whether they like or not. I follow the constitution of Pakistan and I was elected according to the constitution of Pakistan. Anybody who says it was not done constitutionally is absolutely wrong,” Musharraf told Financial Times of Britain in an interview. The former army chief said he was prepared to work with a prime minister of the Pakistan People’s Party, whose leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated last month, or former premier Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. “I have no choice. According to the constitution, the president has certain powers, [but] the government is run by the prime minister of Pakistan,” he told the daily at the Davos World Economic Forum.
Guest Blog Post by Moin Ansari
Moin Ansari’s Blog
The push theory pushes drug dealers and insurgents out of an area. This action does not eliminate the the insurgents or destroy the insurgency. It simply moves and “pushes the insurgents to a different area, usually into civilian quarters.
The US and NATO have been successful in pushing the insurgency, though not the insurgents out of Kabul to the Afghan Pashtun countryside. NATO, Khad, RAW and others then pushed the insurgency into the tribal areas of Pakistan. Continued activity pushed the insurgency, (not the insurgents) into Swat and Islamabad.
Already some of this insurgency has spread beyond Srinagar. More boots on the ground will spread this fire deep into the heart of India. From the other side, Burma, Thailand already are fighting a growing insurgency.
A more animated intervention or invasion of Pakistan will further push the insurgency and the insurgents into Lahore, Sialkot, Rawalpindi, and other settled areas of Pakistan. Surely the US army will follow the insurgency and the insurgents. Drones flying over Islamabad and firing missiled children hidden in Aabpara or missiles being fired into Gulberg 3 and Husein chowk in Lahore?