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.
Continue reading “London Bridge – Falling Down?” »
by 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.
Continue reading “From Arab Spring to European Autumn” »
The Daily Mail studies the sexual assault charges in Sweden which have landed Julian Assange in a worldwide hunt after his startling revelations against the American hegemony. The story is of two women who met up with Julian in August had mutual sex and two days later turn on him charging him with sexual assault. The story is shrouded in a mystery, quite possibly a sex trap laid out to nab Julian as at that time, the Americans were already feeling the heat of his upcoming release on WikiLeaks. He was arrested without bail in UK with a possibility of being extradited to Sweden (US and Sweden have some extraordinary extradition treaties so there is a definite possibility that American government might seek extradition beyond Sweden). READ THE ENTIRE STORY ON DAILY MAIL
In what may seem to have been a huge controversy yesterday just before the start of Pakistan vs South Africa‘s 5th and final One Day International in Dubai. Zulqarnain Haider a new wicket keeper for Pakistan quietly skipped out early that morning from Dubai taking to London. Amidst the massive match fixing controversy that has plagued Pakistan Cricket this last year, it seemed that Zulqarnain Haider may too have also fallen astray.
A day later after reaching London he briefly talked to reporters and was guarded in admitted to have been receiving threats from one un-named person to influnence the 4th ODI, which Pakistan spectacularly won two days earlier, and the pressure was on him again to influence the 5th ODI as a pay-back. The only way he thought best was to skip out of Dubai as he could not sell his country, to have said on cricinfo
Continue reading “I Salute, Zulqarnain Haider for not selling Pakistan to Cricketing Bookies” »
Guest Blog by Barrister Amjad Malik
The killing of a Pakistani politician and an ex parliamentarian Dr. Imran Farooq, a former convenor of the MQM on 16 Sept 2010 at a busy area of Mill Hill London. Dr. Farooq, 50, was a leading member of Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement party and fled to the UK in 1999, claiming asylum. He was stabbed repeatedly before being bludgeoned over the head with bricks in North London. Dr. Farooq had previously claimed that there was a bounty on his head and he was wanted “dead or alive” by Pakistani authorities for criminal and terrorist activities. He insisted that the charges were politically motivated. A post-mortem took place at Finchley Mortuary yesterday and gave cause of death as multiple stab wounds and blunt trauma to the head. This murder poses a serious question for those investigating as to who did it, how it happened, why, and who is behind this for both UK and Pakistan Govt’s, law enforcement agencies and intelligence communities. The last murder which the British Scotland Yard investigated was the poisoning in 2006 of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko but killers were not brought to books only theory in principle was settled to the actual cause of death and front man.
There are 5 possible scenarios regarding Dr Imran Farooq’s killing;
- It could be an inside job ,
- It may be an outside job, by outsourcing and or outer enemy ,
- It may be possible a job in the knowledge of local intel community
- It may be done by overseas agent/Govt
- Simple murder.
These theories are pure speculative and no direct inference must be drawn for criminal investigation. I deal with each individually:
Continue reading “Conspiracy theories: Mystery Murder or a blatant Assassination of Dr Imran Farooq” »
Reports are coming in that Dr. Imran Farooq an MQM leader based in London may have been knifed to death while coming out of his house in London. My personal differences with the MQM aside this is totally not acceptable, I offer my condolences to the MQM supporters and their families on this loss.
He was assassinated while he was returning back home from a casual walk. In my opinion it’s highly unlikely that this was a random robbery incident and hope that the UK police comes to the bottom of this as soon as possible
It is being rumored that a few days back he may have been suspended from the party because of some heated differences. Grapevine reports from London have also pointed towards a finger pointing towards the Pathan community, which could possibly be leveraged to turn Karachi into a battle ground between MQM and the ANP.
As of writing of this report the MQM Leadership is in a meeting at the 90 headquarter in Karachi, we await their annoucements and hope that they issue a very careful and reserved statement, most likely MQM will announce a three day mourning in his honor and the next three days will be the most tense days in Karachi’s history, if the last months mourning is any way to go by, I suspect some serious bloodshed in the city as a retaliation.
Karachi please stay safe.
Yesterday probably ranked one of the most happiest moments in Pakistans history when late at night the airwaves were abuzz to have heard the news that someone had the guts to throw a shoe upon Asif Ali Zardari while he was speaking at a function in Birmingham UK.
It seemed the impromptu action of the elderly gentleman shared the feelings and frustrations of each and every Pakistani to have been watching this corrupt president waltz in power while 14 million people suffer due to one of the biggest floods in our history amongst many other frustrations over the past 3 years of his rule. Following this shoe throwing breaking news, the government pressured many cable operators and shut down Geo.TV and ARY News in a number of localities
The video of the shoe still remains elusive but the person who threw the shoe has been interviewed by Geo
President Zardari graced Birmingham with his presence today as the Presidential tour of Europe reached its final destination. The President was slated to address the overall Pakistani community but in truth it was a PPP bash for PPP workers only.
The Birmingham bash did not pass off without incident and included a substantial public demonstration against his UK visit. However by the end of the day, the event and the Zardari speech were overshadowed by the alleged shoe attack on the President. It seems that President Zardari was the recipient of a ‘shoecide attack’ from an elderly man in the audience who has yet to be named, however more information is set to come forward in the coming days.
As an demonstrator at the Zardari rally I do wish to inform OP readers of the now infamous Zardari Birmingham bash and it particular the anti-Zardari demonstration. As is usual for Pakistani politics, the demonstration included some catchy slogans and chants. Indeed the anti-Zardari messages were numerous and humourous and included many examples of ‘Pinglish’ as readers will decipher from the below photos that I took:
Continue reading “Zardari’s Birmingham Bash” »
Today at 10:30pm (Pakistan Time) British Foreign Secretary William J Hague on his trip to Pakistan is going to come on twitter [@WilliamJHague] to answer questions. I believe this is a great initiative by the UK govt to engage with the general public on a one-on-one basis, I fully support the effort. You are welcome to pose questions on Twitter using the hashtag #FSinPak and I am sure quite a few will be answered live in the 140-character twitter style responses
My question posted earlier yesterday was “Q to @WilliamJHague #FSinPak > your position on liberating Pakistan from this War OF Terror when will it all stop, were sick of runin ur war”. I am sure many would have other pertinent questions to ask of the UK Foreign Secretary today
Continue reading “British Foriegn Secretary to answer Pak/UK Questions on Twitter” »
The East London borough of Barking and Dagenham is witnessing a frenzy of election campaigning. At stake is the rise of the BNP, the British Nationalist Party. In an area synonymous with immigrants, including many from Pakistan, the rise of a fascist party whose manifesto includes the promise to repatriate non-white immigrants; one would easily jump to conclude that immigration explains the BNP’s rise.
However, a recent study published by the Institute of Public Policy Research argues that exclusion and marginalization from wider society, rather than immigration explains the raise of the BNP. The paper argues that socially resilient towns, who are able to withstand changes due to immigration, unemployment or unexpected events display features evident in areas with high levels of interaction. There is great communication between members of the community or unlike each other ethnically, linguistically, religiously, economically etc.
Similar studies conducted on the basis of the 2008 United States election results finds that in states such as Kansas, Kentucky and Arkansas where community members were ethnically, financially and educationally similar were more conservative and unlikely to vote for a black presidential candidate. Members of such communities had little or no interaction with people dissimilar to themselves.
Continue reading “Suburbanize at our own peril” »
However, in the aftermath of Sahil’s rescue more questions are being raised. For one his kidnapping has shed light to the awful spectre of child kidnappings that plague in our country. It has, more importantly, shed light on the states indifference to kidnappings and the lack of support available to victims.
Disclaimer: Before I continue I would like to this opportunity to clearly recognize that while the country faces many security challenges in the face of terror threats across the country, it may be unfair to expect much from an over stretched, under paid, poorly trained, under staffed and poorly resourced police force.
Continue reading “Sahil Saeed’s Recovery – Spotlight should now Focus on Local Kidnapping Victims” »
This short three minute video is enough to update you at how the “democratic parties” in Pakistan are run, the future leaders have no inclination to be a part of the leadership development process and are gifted with the golden spoon and waltz in from the top and are expected to rule an entire nation – Here suffers the fate of the missing Bilawal Bhutto and it shows his concern for Pakistan and its people